Not to be confused with Clifford The Big Red Dog, Clifford the movie is about a a young boy played by the man-child Martin Short. The movie starts out with Clifford as an old man/Catholic Priest/head of a boy’s orphanage. A little boy (Ben Savage) tries to run away and Clifford tells him the story of when he was a mischievous young man. (I don’t think this movie was popular with anyone besides my brother and I.)

Clifford and his parents were all going on his father’s work trip to Hawaii. Clifford brought his favorite toy dinosaur, Stephen, in hopes that the plane would stop in California so he and his family could make a pit stop at Dinosaur World. He went to go talk to the pilot, and ended up almost crashing the plane (blaming it on Stephen), which caused an emergency landing in California.clifford

Clifford’s father, ready to murder his own child, calls up his architect brother, Martin (Charles Grodin), who lives in California and asks him to babysit Clifford while they take a well-needed vaycay. Clifford’s uncle, agrees because he needs to prove to his girlfriend, Sarah (Mary Steenburgen), that he’s great with kids.

Side note: Does it terrify anyone else that Martin Short TOTALLY passes as a 10 year old boy when he was 44 years old?

Conveniently, Martin designed some of the rides at Dinosaur World and promised Clifford that he’ll take him if he behaved. Clifford, talking in his sweet voice, wins over Sarah and Martin. Especially Sarah whom he falls in love with. Clifford knows how to depend on his age and act stupid even though he’s an evil mastermind. He throws a party in Uncle Martin’s house, gets Martin fired, and pretends to run away to San Francisco. MV5BMjIyNDAwNjYzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTYzNjgwMw@@._V1._SX640_SY897_

Clifford also ruins Martin’s relationship with Sarah by telling her that Martin beats him. At Sarah’s parent’s anniversary party, Clifford spiked Martin’s drink with hot sauce, making him unable to toast which caused him to dump a pitcher of water on his head. Clifford also passes him lipstick instead of chap stick, making him a laughing stock.

One of my favorite scenes is when Martin talks to Clifford  and tells him to act like a human boy. This is Martin giving Clifford one last chance to make everything okay.

Of course, all hell breaks loose once Clifford uses Martin’s voice mail recording to pose a bomb threat. Martin gets questioned and spends the night in prison. That night, he takes Clifford to Dinosaur World after hours, to the ride he wanted to go on the most–Larry the Scary Rex.

Martin kind of snaps and makes Clifford go on the ride all night long, and puts it on turbo speed, breaking the entire thing, and almost killing his nephew. Martin ends up saving Clifford, and they kind of work things out.

Young Ben Savage learns a lot from Clifford’s tale and decides to stay at the boy’s school/orphanage/prison.


7 thoughts on “Clifford

  1. The only reason I like this movie is because no other movie made you and Spencer laugh more hysterically. I could never figure out what the attraction was other than the fact that it’s totally absurd and non-sensical.

    • Hah yeah his character is just so funny. I think I liked watching trouble makers in movies and on TV because I was the opposite of them. And Martin Short is just dumb.

  2. Back before South Park and Reno 911 and all those shows, Comedy Central CONSTANTLY ran Clifford. It was basically on an endless loop from 1995-1998, which I remember because my mom has some kind of bizarre crush on Martin Short so we watched this movie every single time it was on. I never really got the appeal and just felt bad for Charles Grodin.

    • That’s so weird. Maybe that’s how it was introduced to us? I have no idea. I don’t even know if it should truly be classified as a kid’s movie. It’s just so, so weird. But yeah, poor Charles Grodin. lol I love your mom for having a crush on Martin Short.

  3. The only thing I remember about this movie was the whole Dinosaur aspect. I think my mom rented this movie because she was a big fan of the Kurt Russell/Martin Short cinematic masterpiece Captain Ron. How long before we start writing about movies we saw as kids that have nothing to do with actually being a kid?

    • I’ve never seen Captain Ron but it sounds good. I think Martin Short is pretty funny in this. I think this is the beginning of writing about movies made for adults that we watched when we were kids. I mean, this really isn’t a kid’s movie because. But it’s not really an adult movie either. It just is.

  4. Pingback: Blockbuster Family Faves | The Waiting


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