|Clifford the Big Red Dog|
|Also known as||Clifford|
|Directed by||John Over|
|Theme music composer|
|Opening theme||"Clifford the Big Red Dog" by Jason Michael|
|Ending theme||"Clifford the Big Red Dog" (instrumental)|
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||66 (130 segments) (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer||Deborah Forte|
|Running time||26 minutes (US version)|
15 minutes (UK version)
|Original network||PBS Kids|
|Original release||September 4, 2000 –|
February 25, 2003
|Related||Clifford the Big Red Dog (2019)|
Clifford the Big Red Dog is an animated educational children's television series, based upon Norman Bridwell's children's book series of the same name. Produced by Scholastic Productions, it originally aired on PBS Kids from September 4, 2000, to February 25, 2003. A UK version (dubbed with British voice actors replacing the original American soundtrack) originally aired on BBC Two in April 2002.
Internationally, German-based TV-Loonland AG handled broadcast rights to the series, while Entertainment Rights held merchandising and home media rights.
John Ritter voices Clifford in every episode. By the time the series ended production and the subsequent film Clifford's Really Big Movie were completed, Ritter was back on ABC's prime time schedule, starring in 8 Simple Rules. Ritter's death on September 11, 2003, came less than two weeks before the debut of Clifford's Puppy Days (it is often mistakenly cited as the reason the spin-off was created in lieu of a third season).
Though production of Clifford ended before Ritter's death, voice actors for the main characters have reprised some of their roles for the Ready to Learn PBS Kids PSAs. Clifford's Really Big Movie served as the series finale, Clifford's Puppy Days still continued to air until its cancellation in 2006.
On May 16, 2018, Scholastic announced a reboot of the series of the same name, which was released on December 6, 2019, on Amazon Prime Video and December 7, 2019, on PBS Kids, starring Adam Sanders as the new voice of Clifford. PBS Kids continued to air reruns of the 2000 series until 2022. Select PBS member stations still continue to carry the show.
As of 2021, the show is currently distributed worldwide by 9 Story Media Group.
2 stories made up each half-hour episode. Usually 1 story featured Clifford and his canine friends, Cleo, T-Bone and Mac among them; the other story would focus on Clifford's owner, Emily-Elizabeth and her friends, Jetta, Vaz and Charley. During scenes focusing on the dogs' perspective, human speech would replace barking to show the storyline from the dogs' point of view.
Main article: List of Clifford the Big Red Dog episodes
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||40||September 4, 2000||December 5, 2001|
|2||26||January 16, 2002||February 25, 2003|
The series was produced by Mike Young Productions and Scholastic Studios with animation produced by Hong Ying Universe Company Limited in Taipei, Taiwan and Hosem Animation Studio, a Shanghai-based outlet in China who did the uncredited work.
The TV series takes place in the fictional island of Birdwell Island, where Clifford lives. The name is inspired by Norman Bridwell, the author of the books, but the letters I and R are switched. Birdwell Island was inspired by Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, where Bridwell lived.
Emily Elizabeth used to live in an apartment in New York City, but she moved away with her parents and Clifford to Birdwell Island because Caroline told her that a small apartment is no place for a big dog like Clifford.
The series has at least 4 segments in the show.
In the UK version, only one story is shown, with either the Storytime with Speckle or the Clifford's Big Ideas segments at the end, shortening the show to about 15 minutes.
Clifford the Big Red Dog has received generally positive reviews from television critics and parents of young children. Lynne Heffley of Los Angeles Times wrote," Clifford: The Big Red Dog focuses on positive messages with a fantasy approach. Based on the classic children's books by Norman Bridwell, this animated series is about a red dog who is the size of a jumbo jet to match the outsized love that his owner, a little girl named Emily, has for him."
Clifford the Big Red Dog was shown on CBeebies and Tiny Pop in the United Kingdom, and in Latin America on Discovery Kids. It aired in the Republic of Ireland on TG4 from 6 February 2001. It aired in Australia on Nine and in New Zealand on TV2.
Main article: Clifford the Big Red Dog (2019 TV series)
On May 16, 2018, Scholastic announced a reboot of the series, which premiered on December 6, 2019, for both Amazon Prime Video and PBS Kids. Scholastic, 100 Chickens, 9 Story Media Group and Brown Bag Films produce the series. Excepting Clifford, Emily Elizabeth and Birdwell Island, the new series is a complete departure from the predecessor show's character base.
In 1988, before the television series, six direct-to-video episodes based on the Clifford series (Clifford's Fun with Letters, Clifford's Fun with Sounds, Clifford's Fun with Rhymes, Clifford's Fun with Opposites, Clifford's Fun with Numbers and Clifford's Fun with Shapes) were produced by Nelvana Limited for Scholastic Media, and released on videocassette by Family Home Entertainment. Brent Titcomb voiced Clifford and Alyson Court voiced Emily Elizabeth.
In 2004, Warner Bros. Pictures distributed a feature-length animated film based on the show, Clifford's Really Big Movie. In the film, Clifford, Cleo and T-Bone join an animal show to win a lifetime supply of dog food to provide for Clifford. This was one of John Ritter's last films as he died on September 11, 2003, after completing voice work for the film. Clifford's Really Big Movie was released posthomously and dedicated to his memory. The movie also stars Wayne Brady as Shackleford the Ferret, Judge Reinhold as Amazing Larry, John Goodman as George Wolfsbottom, and Jenna Elfman as Dorothy the Cow. The film also serves as the series finale, as no new episodes were produced after the film was released, until the reboot premiered on PBS Kids in 2019.