Why Clifford the Big Red Dog is definitely a Kaiju

Clifford the Big Red Dog is not only far from the norm for a dog, but he could also be classified as a kaiju.

After years of preparation, the Clifford the big red dog The trailer for the live-action movie has finally been released. For devoted fans of the books, it has taken a while, since the books were first published in 1963. But not everyone is excited to see how the adaptation goes. The internet has been a hotbed of reactions, ranging from poor to absolutely negative. It’s easy to see where the review is coming from – Clifford isn’t quite as big as in the books, despite being animated, and a lot of people seem to have preferred an animated adaptation over live action.

Judging by all the lackluster headlines, it’s clear journalists and writers are struggling to find the right words to describe the trailer, as one Twitter user points out.

Another Twitter user makes it clear that it would have been better done as a fully animated, not live-action movie, which is completely understandable as the CG seems to leave a lot to be desired.

Overall, reactions have been mostly negative despite the hype. Although one tweet in particular, posted by the Kaiju News Outlet, elicited a very different reaction: Clifford the big red dog might actually be the newest kaiju.

For those in need of a refresher, kaiju is a term that may reflect a genre of Japanese movies and TV shows that feature giant monsters or refer to the monsters themselves. They are typically depicted attacking towns, causing chaos, and hovering over normal-sized citizens. Some notable kaiju are Godzilla, King Kong, and Mothra. These monsters dominate Japanese entertainment, are critically acclaimed, and draw fans from all over the world to their movies or shows. Simply put, kaiju aren’t just big animals – they’re “weird” monsters with an almost divine presence.

So when Twitter user @rjm_fnglhr made the connection between Clifford and kaiju, it made perfect sense. Clifford is unquestionably a “strange” creature. For starters, what other fictional dog dominates buildings and cities? While the portrayal of Clifford in the new trailer leaves his height a bit smaller than expected, he’s still a huge dog that looks more like a monster than a normal animal.

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Besides his height, another aspect of Clifford that makes him a kaiju is his color. Simply put, dogs are do not red. Even when they have physical deformities or biological differences, you would still never see a red dog. (At least, not the type of red that is Clifford’s trademark.) Not only does this set him apart from other dogs, but it also gives him a very odd look, in general. Traditionally, the color red has been used to suggest antagonism, especially in anime. When you see a red-eyed anime character, for example, you know that person is bound to be an enemy. Clifford is no different – his size, coupled with the odd color of his fur, elicits frightening reactions. Even though audiences and readers of the book know Clifford is sweet, seeing him live definitely makes him look more like a kaiju than a normal pet.

In addition, dogs are particularly powerful creatures, even at their normal size. Dog bites are treated with strict consequences and children are taught to be gentle and careful with dogs. At Clifford’s size, he could cause serious damage to buildings, entire towns and people. It would take very little for Clifford to accidentally hurt someone, which doesn’t quite fit the PG theme of the new film.

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Reaction on seeing Clifford.

Even without considering Clifford’s actual personality, the giant red dog can certainly be classified as a kaiju. Every external aspect of Clifford fits more into the kaiju genus than it does to other displaced animals. And if that wasn’t enough, the trailer teases that Clifford is causing a lot of chaos in the new movie, which is a must-have for any good kaiju. While the movie is probably mistaken about Clifford being a lovable giant, it’s absolutely remarkable that he fits right into the kaiju genre. Maybe the MonsterVerse could get a new addition soon.

KEEP READING: Paramount Shares First Look At Live-Action Clifford The Big Red Dog

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