Should You Take Your Toddler to See Clifford The Big Red Dog? Movie Review

Want to bring your toddler to watch the Clifford the Big Red Dog? Is it worth seeing in theaters? Here’s our spoiler-free Clifford movie review.

Clifford the Big Red Dog is a character we’ve known and loved for generations. I hadn’t gotten around to introducing him to all of my kids. Jayda, my oldest, watched a little of the show when she was a toddler, and we’ve read a few books, but she’s 11 now. Her siblings and I catch the trailer before another movie and everyone gave it a thumbs up. So we went for it. That was Jayda, her 8-year-old brother and 3-year-old sister (who I thought would be a perfect candidate to love it). And their reactions surprised me. Thinking of taking your young kids to see Clifford the Big Red Dog? Read on for our spoiler-free review. And stick around for some free activity pages! 

Clifford Movie Review: A Parent’s Thoughts

Parents need to know Clifford the Big Red Dog is a charming movie with plenty of laughs for the little ones. The story quickly takes off with a cute little (regular sized) puppy and a little girl visiting an unusual pet shop. Right away my 3 and 8 year old were sucked in and wondering what was going to happen. 

Clifford the big red dog review
Photo Credit: Courtesy Paramount Pictures.

Some of the best parts of the movie are as characters are discovering Clifford’s big size and trying to figure out how to navigate it. From there the story gets a little complicated for the youngest fans to follow. The greedy villain is conniving but not scary. The back and forth of hiding, chasing, and trying to save the heroes gets a little tiring by the end, especially for my 3-year-old. Jayda was a good sport and laughed a few times. But my 8-year-old was delighted through the entire film. Admittedly he’s a huge animal lover, but it does make me think the target age for this film might be higher than I initially thought.

What’s a giant dog without a little potty humor? There’s definitely some of that, along with great takeaways such as it’s ok to be different, and positive messages reminding us to appreciate others who are different from us. My tween and I weren’t necessarily the intended audience and at times I found myself trying to stay awake. The runtime was 96 minutes but I thought it felt longer. Still, it is worth a watch with the whole fam, but likely most enjoyable for that 5-9 age range. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what my kids thought.

Clifford the Big Red Dog‘ Kids Movie Review

J is 11-year-old Jayda. T is 8-year-old Ty and LL is 3.5-year-old Lee Lee (she drops off after a few questions).

Clifford review small red dog being cuddled by a little girl
Courtesy Paramount Pictures

What did you think of the movie?

J: I thought it was ok. I thought it was good and fun and it talked about people that are different and how that’s good. I like that it’s based on a PBS story, and I liked the actress she’s from the Christmas show. But at the end I felt like it just kept looping over and over again. 

T: I liked it. Because there’s dogs, and a giant reed dog

LL: I liked it because I like him. 

What was the funniest part to you? 

J: When the uncle first found out about his size. 

T: There were A LOT of funny parts! When she asked what if he grows to be 100 feet tall. 

LL: When he ran in the street. 

Would you recommend it to your friends? 

J: Maybe. They might be a little old for it. I feel like it’s a family movie with younger kids. 

T: Oh yes! 

Giant red dog looks at regular sized vet
Paramount Pictures

What lesson did you learn? What message was the movie trying to get across?

J: It had good lessons but some I already knew but the lessons are good for younger kids.  

T: That you can not steal a pet from another person. 

Who was your favorite character?

J: The girl. 

T: Clifford.

Who would you recommend this movie to? 

J: People and families with kids 3-8. 

T: People older than 5. 

Do you think it’s for older kids? 

J: No. 

T: I think they’d like it. I think for little kids they might think “oh no what if my dog gets that big and eats me?”

Feathers flying through a bedroom of Clifford the Big Red Dog Movie review clip

Did you think it was scary?

J: No. 

T: No. Maybe for little kids. 

Would you want to watch it again? 

J: Yea. 

T: Yes. 

How would you rank it compared to other movies you’ve seen recently? 

J: I liked Ron’s Gone Wrong a little bit more. I liked Luca a little bit more, like half an inch more. 

T: It’s maybe in my top 25 but maybe number 25 of my top 25. I liked it more than Jaws. I liked Luca more. Also I liked Ron’s Gone Wrong more. I didn’t like it more than any Marvel movie except for Captain Marvel and Thor 3. 

Q: What was your favorite part? 

J: I guess when they were hiding from the plumber.

T: Whenever she rides on the dog. 

How would you rate it?

J: 2.5 to 3 stars out of 5.

T: I’d give it a 4 out of 5, 7/10 

Is it worth going to the movies to see or should people watch it at home?

T: Yes, it’s fun to see in the movies. 

J: Theaters. It’s because it’s fun with the big dog.

Clifford the Big Red Dog is playing in theaters and on Paramount+ starting November 10th. Are you planning to see it? Let us know what you think!

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