Clifford the Big Red Dog
Also known asClifford
Genre
Created byDeborah Forte
Based on
Directed byJohn Over
Voices of
Theme music composer
Opening theme"Clifford the Big Red Dog"
by Jason Michael
Ending theme"Clifford the Big Red Dog" (instrumental)
Composers
  • Josh Mancell
  • Mark Mothersbaugh
Country of origin
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes66 (130 segments) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producerDeborah Forte
Running time26 minutes (13 minutes per segment)
Production companies
DistributorScholastic (United States)
TV-Loonland AG[3][4] (Europe)
Release
Original network
Original releaseSeptember 4, 2000 (2000-09-04)[5] – February 25, 2003 (2003-02-25)
Chronology
Followed byClifford's Puppy Days
Related showsClifford the Big Red Dog (2019)

Clifford the Big Red Dog is an American/British educational animated children's television series, based upon Norman Bridwell's children's book series of the same name.[6] Produced by Scholastic Productions, it originally aired on PBS Kids from September 4, 2000 to February 25, 2003. The UK version (where it was dubbed with British voice actors replacing the original American soundtrack) originally aired on BBC Two on April 1, 2002.[7]

John Ritter voiced Clifford in all episodes, though this was originally done by Canadian actor Brent Titcomb in the 1988 direct-to-video series. By the time the last of the 65 half-hour episodes 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 after PBS debuted Clifford's Puppy Days.

While no new Clifford episodes have been released since 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 serves as the series finale due to Ritter's death, as no new episodes were made to continue from where it left off (until the reboot in 2019). However, 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.[8][9] However, PBS Kids continues to air reruns of this animated series.

Overview

Two 15-minute stories made up each half-hour episode. Usually one 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.

Episodes

Main article: List of Clifford the Big Red Dog episodes

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 40 September 4, 2000 (2000-09-04) December 5, 2001 (2001-12-05)
2 26 January 16, 2002 (2002-01-16) February 25, 2003 (2003-02-25)

Characters

Humans

Dogs

Cats

Production

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.

Setting

Birdwell Island
SeriesClifford the Big Red Dog
TypeIsland
First appearance"My Best Friend"
Last appearanceClifford's Really Big Movie

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.[13]

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 her mother told her that a small apartment is no place for a big dog like Clifford.

Format

The series has at least 4 segments in the show.[14]

  1. First story: The opening theme is followed by the first central story, which is usually about the dogs, and a problem they face.
  2. Storytime with Speckle: Between the first and second story, Emily Elizabeth reads Clifford a short story about a dog named Speckle, and his animal friends.
  3. Second story: Another central story, usually about Emily Elizabeth and her friends.
  4. Clifford's Big Ideas: Another 30-second short, which demonstrates a moral lesson such as "Play Fair" or "Help Others", with narration by Emily Elizabeth. This segment was cut-out on PBS Kids Channel airings.
  5. Live action segments starring real kids and their dogs.

On UK airings, 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.

Reception

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 Birdwell, 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."[15]

International broadcast

Clifford the Big Red Dog was shown on CBeebies and Tiny Pop in the United Kingdom. It also aired in Canada on CBC and in Latin America on Discovery Kids.[citation needed] It aired in the Republic of Ireland on TG4 from 6 February 2001.[16] It aired in Australia on Nine and in New Zealand on TV2.

2019 reboot

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.[8][9] Scholastic, 100 Chickens, 9 Story Media Group and Brown Bag Films produce the series.[17] Excepting Clifford, Emily Elizabeth and Birdwell Island, the new series is a complete departure from the predecessor show's character base.

In other media

This section relies largely or entirely upon a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources.Find sources: "Clifford the Big Red Dog" TV series – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Direct-to-video

In 1988, before the television series, six direct-to-video episodes based on the Clifford series were released on videocassette by Family Home Entertainment, Scholastic Media and Nelvana Limited. The animation for the direct-to-video series came from the Peanuts cartoon team of Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez. Brent Titcomb voiced Clifford in the videos, and Alyson Court voiced Emily Elizabeth.

Film

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 dedicated to his memory.[18] 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.

Video games

Original series

Modern series

Sponsors

References

  1. ^ a b "Clifford the Big Red Dog (TV series) (2000)". British Film Institute. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  2. ^ "He's Big! He's Red! He's Coming to PBS Kids! Scholastic Productions' "Clifford the Big Red Dog" Animated Series Debuts on PBS Fall 2000" (Press release). PBS. January 7, 2000. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  3. ^ https://www.screendaily.com/tv-loonland-signs-first-big-deal-with-bbc/405203.article
  4. ^ https://www.awn.com/news/tv-loonland-completes-central-and-eastern-european-sales
  5. ^ Zurawik, David (July 13, 2000). "PBS gives kids new Saturday morning shows". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
  6. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 128–129. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  7. ^ "Search Results - BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  8. ^ a b Sopan, Deb (May 16, 2018). "'Clifford the Big Red Dog' Returning to TV in 2019". New York Times. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Milligan, Mercedes (June 4, 2019). "Scholastic's New 'Clifford the Big Red Dog' Launches in December". Animation Magazine.
  10. ^ "The Cast of Clifford the Big Red Dog®". PBS Kids. Archived from the original on May 20, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  11. ^ "Little Clifford" 19 September 2000, 6 candles on cake
  12. ^ a b Markstein, Donald D. "Don Markstein's Toonopedia: Clifford the Big Red Dog". www.toonopedia.com.
  13. ^ Alvarez, Victor Paul (December 16, 2014). "'Clifford the Big Red Dog' Author Dies at 86". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  14. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 203–204. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  15. ^ Heffley, Lynne (2000-09-04). "Kids' Series Give Gentle Life Lessons Television Review". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-03-22.
  16. ^ RTÉ Guide, 3–9 February 2001 edition and subsequent dates
  17. ^ Dickson, Jeremy (November 6, 2018). "9 Story deepens PBS KIDS relationship". Kidscreen. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  18. ^ Kennedy, Louise (April 23, 2004). "Clifford's 'Big Movie' will charm his small TV fans". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 6 March 2020.