Saturday, November 27, 2021

Cartoon Saturday- Clifford the Big Red Dog: The Movie (Graphic Novel)

Ball, Georgia. Clifford the Big Red Dog: The Movie (Graphic Novel)
Clifford the Big Red Dog: The Movie
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Emily Elizabeth and her paralegal mother live in Harlem, New York City. Emily is starting at a new, elite private school, but the other students call her "food stamp" because she is there on scholarship. When her mother is called out of town to work on Emily's birthday, she's disappointed. Her father is supposed to see her, and her uncle will be staying with her, but it's still lonely. On the way to school, she and her uncle stop at a tent of adoptable pets, run by Mr. Bridwell. Emily see a tiny, adorable puppy, but isn't allowed to adopt him. After a hard day at school, she finds the puppy in her backpack when she gets home, and begs to keep him for just one day. Her uncle agrees, and the next morning, the puppy (whom she has named Clifford) is taller than Emily! This causes lots of problems, and when photos of Clifford and Emily appear on social media, the president of LyfeGrow, Inc., who has had disappointing results of his somewhat vague produuct, decides to kidnap the giant dog and pass him off as the result of his product. Emily's new friend, Owen, comes through with help when everyone is trying to keep Clifford safe, and soon the dog is heading off to Shanghai on a boat to stay at Owen's father's house on a large property. Of course, LyfeGrow goons intercept him, and it's up to Emily to find him. Can Mr. Bridwell help Emily keep her new friend safe?
Strengths: While this has obvious appeal to elementary students who might have recently finished the roughly four thousand Clifford books, this is a solidly middle grade adventure with nice themes of frienship and family. The illustrations are fun, and a nice update. There are some mean girls, but also a lot of people wanting to help Emily. I'm vaguely curious about the movie. Apparently, there was also a television show in the 1990s that I managed to miss. Bonus points for naming the magical Mr. Bridwell after Norman Bridwell, the author of the original books.
Weaknesses: Seems a bit odd that Emily and her mother are living in Harlem; weren't the original books solidly surburban? Not as much fun to have a giant dog in all that space, I suppose. Emily still wears skirts at school. Her uncle living in a truck parked on the streets of New York and not wanting to Emily's mother to know also begged an explanation. We don't really know why Clifford is so large, other than some new agey mention of being big and strong to keep Emily safe, and her love making him grow.
What I really think: I have SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. And yet, I also found this rather fun. I shouldn't buy it, but may if I have money left. It's better than some titles (Rickety Stitch and the Galatinous Goo) but not as good as others. 

Ms. Yingling

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