Clifford Grows in Theaters

Warner Home Video and Scholastic Ent. are getting their big dog on the big screen with the 73-minute feature film Clifford’s Really Big Movie. Warner Bros. has been testing the film in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Austin and New York. According to Daily Variety, the pic has done so well that the studio is going to open it to 19 more markets on April 23.

Directed by Robert C. Ramirez (Joseph, King of Dreams, The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue), Clifford’s Really Big Movie has the big red dog run away to join a carnival in hopes of winning a lifetime supply of Tummy Yummies. The late John Ritter lends his voice to the title roll, leading a cast that includes Jenna Elfman (Looney Tunes: Back in Action), John Goodman (The Emperor’s New Groove), Wayne Brady (The Wayne Brady Show), Wilmer Valdarrama (That ’70s Show), Judge Reinhold (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) and Kel Mitchell (The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle).

Scholastic, which has successfully taken the 40-year-old Clifford the Big Red Dog children’s book series to the small screen with a popular animated TV show airing on PBS and a line of home video releases distributed by Artisan, reportedly approached Warner Home Video with the idea for a feature. Warner Bros. is counting on the theatrical distribution to drive DVD sales when the title hits home video in the fall.