Video/DVD Review:    Clifford the Big Red Dog: King Clifford and Be My Big Red Valentine

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Top Pick. He's big and he's red, and on time for Valentine's Day. Clifford the Big Red Dog: King Clifford and Be My Big Red Valentine are available on DVD together, or separately on VHS. Each title contains 4 fun episodes (so you'll get 8 episodes on the DVD -- approximately 90 minutes). There are also bonus features, called Big Fun Features, on the DVD. 

Clifford: Be My Big Red Valentine Four fantastic episodes all about Valentine's day and love: 

What happens when you give special gifts to your friends, and they don't do the same in return? Cleo learns how to handle this "problem" in Cleo's Valentine Surprise

T-Bone is helping out Cleo by taking care of her spirited neice, Kiki, in Big-Hearted T-Bone. Kiki turns out to be quite a handful. In fact, T-Bone is overwhelmed, especially since he wants to be with Mimi (it's puppy love, you see!). T-Bone's responsibility to his friend is admirable, and the message gets across to young viewers splendidly. 

At Emily Elizabeth's school, her teacher announces her plans to get married in Wedding Bell Blues. The problem is, she will be moving away and Miss Grumbly will be taking her place. The kids imagine just how bad she will be, and later learn to avoid forming opinions about someone before they even meet her.

T-Bone is going through a small crisis in Special T-Bone. After Clifford proclaims that everyone is special, T-Bone wonders just what it is that makes him stand out from the crowd. It takes him a bit of time to figure out his special gift, but he gets there!

King Clifford Four episodes all about royalty! Kings and queens, and the lovable big red dog: 

There's a Treasure Island party in the works in The Pirate King, and Clifford gets to help. Even though he is too big for the houseboat, the party's not over! In fact, little viewers learn a little about the value of including everyone in the fun when Clifford gets crowned the Pirate King.

It's Cleo's turn to get royal treatment in Princess Cleo. However, she takes it all a little too seriously when she gets to wear her grandmother's crown. With the realization that she is a princess, she starts ordering her friends around.

Mac learns an important lesson in King Mac. After taking the credit for the very good-hearted T-Bone's work, and enjoying the tasty reward, Mac begins to feel a little guilty. 

It's raining and the dogs are stuck inside in this title's final and fourth episode, Flood of Imagination. Clifford's clear thinking saves the day -- he shows his puppy pals that they can go anywhere with their imagination!

The themes are terrific in this series, and they come shining through in these collected episodes. John Ritter is the voice of Clifford (I only just found this out -- it was one of those times when the voice sounded so familiar, and the realization that it's John Ritter's voiceover was both natural and a surprise). These stories are very tasteful and original. There's plenty to like about the series! The characters are well-developed and consistent, and the animation is lovely. We like how the episodes begin with a book opening and end with the book shutting, and the Pirate King episode makes reference to the likable classic book, Treasure Island.  

The DVD edition features a chaptering option plus Big Fun Features: Where is Clifford Game involves "finding" characters given text-only clues (and text-only means parents or older siblings will have to help out); a live-action segment that shows kids with real dogs; and a great feature called Clifford's Big Ideas that contains animated shorts about different themes (such as Being Responsible) as well as ideas for parents to extend the themes at home.

For more information, user reviews, or to buy, follow these links:

Clifford - Be My Big Red Valentine  (VHS) 

Clifford - King Clifford (VHS)

Clifford - King Clifford/Be My Big Red... (DVD) 

 

Pros:
  • Tasteful stories with big lessons that are never heavy-handed.
  • High entertainment value.
  • The animation is delightful.
  • Great value, low price.

 

Cons:

 

 

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VHS/DVD   Ages 2-5  
 

 

 

See also:

 
Our Rating:

A

To Buy this Video/DVD:

Buy Clifford - Be My Big Red Valentine or Clifford - King Clifford (VHS) or Clifford - King Clifford/Be My Big Red... (DVD) at Amazon.com

 
Reviewed January 2003   Comments? Email us.
 

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