‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ teaser criticized

A look at the latest take on the beloved children’s book character Clifford the Big Red Dog has arrived — and people have serious thoughts.

Reactions to a teaser trailer that Paramount Pictures released Wednesday for its upcoming live-action movie sent the pup’s name trending on Twitter. People had strong feelings about the character they’ve known most of their lives. The original Clifford book, written by Norman Bridwell, was published in 1963 and spawned dozens of sequels. They were adapted into several TV series, including one last year on Amazon, as well as home videos and, in 2005, an animated film. (The late John Ritter provided the voice of the main character in a couple of projects.)

Actors Keith Ewell and Bear Allen Blaine film the live-action Clifford the Big Red Dog on July 2, 2019 in New York City. (Photo: James Devaney/GC Images)

The sneak peek of the 2021 flick shows the camera moving from one cute pup to another as the narrator says, “This holiday season, we’re thankful for the pets whose love got us through the year. But next year, get ready to love even bigger!” The camera then lands on what can only be a young Clifford, who dwarfs all the others, many times over.

The trouble seemed to be the alarming color of Clifford’s fur and his size, which just wasn’t right, according to critics. Mostly, though, they thought a live-action version of the story was unnecessary.

Saturday Night Live star Kenan Thompson, Rosie Perez and Darby Camp, who played Chloe, the young daughter of Reese Witherspoon’s character in Big Little Lies, will star. Comedian David Alan Grier will voice the canine.

Clifford the Big Red Dog is scheduled to arrive in theaters sometime next year.

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