What You Need To Know:
(H, L, N, V, M, B) Humanism; 5 exclamatory profanities, 4 obscenities & profuse name-calling; brief scene where Clifford is watching a TV program of African dancers with upper female nudity; slapstick humor which may only serve as a bad model for younger children & boy dangled over gaping jaws of giant model Tyrannosaurus Rex; lying, deceit & dislike for parents; and, a redemptive ending.
CLIFFORD utilizes the amazing comedic skills of 42-year-old actor Martin Short to play the lead role of a 10-year-old boy obsessed with the desire to visit Dinosaurworld, a fictional amusement park. The movie opens with Clifford and his parents flying to Hawaii. Clifford visits the pilot and shuts the engines down, causing the plane to land at LA. He suggests his parents leave him in LA with his Uncle Martin. Uncle Martin agrees to take him to Dinosaurworld but circumstances prevent him from doing so, and Clifford takes his revenge. Clifford proceeds to wreck his uncle’s life, destroying his home, his career, his relationship with his fiancee and even gives him a criminal record. Late at night when Dinosaurworld is closed, Uncle Martin takes Clifford and puts him on the “Larry the Scary Rex” ride, slowly increasing the ride’s speed until it is destroyed.
The filmmakers went to great lengths to create the illusion of 42-year-old Martin Short to appear as 10-year-old Clifford. They used special make-up, over-sized props, and even had the other actors stand on apple crates. Short, a master impressionist, is incredible in some scenes. Clifford repents as the movie ends. But sadly, the movie creates humor through devices such as name-calling, lying, gluttony, and rudeness that younger children won’t understand or may even imitate.