It’s here: your very first look at Clifford The Big Red Dog! #CliffordMovie hits theatres next year, but today we’re celebrating the pets who inspire us to #LoveBig. 🐾 ❤️ Share a pic of your favorite pet to help us spread the love! pic.twitter.com/CGRn8M8QYL— Clifford Movie (@CliffordMovie) November 25, 2020
It's no secret that I'm not a fan of CGI animals in movies, and the new live-action teaser for Clifford the Big Red Dog (2021) already has fans of the original series (myself included) divided. The teaser, posted to Twitter on Nov. 25, shows the giant pup sitting next to a few of his smaller four-legged friends and looking irresistibly adorable — well, except for a few caveats. Fans of Norman Bridwell's original Clifford the Big Red Dog series were quick to point out that Clifford's red coloring looks noticeably unnatural. As someone who grew up reading books and watching the 2000s PBS show after school, I have to agree.
No, red isn't a natural fur color in dogs, but something about this specific shade is just off. It's probably the fact that part of Clifford's natural charm is that he looks so cartoonish to begin with. By making him so realistic, he's lost some of his appeal, and the CGI pup is facing a lot of criticism comparing him to:
- James Corden in Cats (2019)
- The Genie in Aladdin (2019)
- The original Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) design
- A spray-painted labrador retriever
- A dog someone spilled cranberry juice on
Twitter users also pointed out Clifford looks way too small compared to the other dogs in the teaser. After all, he used to make school buses look tiny and peek through third- and fourth-story windows without a problem in the books. It's safe to say Clifford is probably still a puppy in the teaser, but it's unclear whether the film will show him growing up or not. At an estimated 7 feet tall, Clifford has a lot of growing up to do if he's going to live up to his animated self.
Fans are also hoping the finished film will star Clifford's longtime friends T-Bone the bulldog and Cleo the poodle, who did not appear in the clip. I still need to see Clifford all grown up (aka in his final form) to make a true decision about how I feel. But I have my fingers crossed that, no matter what, the 2021 film will deliver the same heartwarming storyline and messages of kindness as the books have for elementary schoolers since 1963. Watch the teaser clip above to see the latest version of the big red dog for yourself.