London Fields: According to Variety, Clifford the Big Red Dog is making his bigscreen debut courtesy of small-screen content provider Warner Home Video.
Over the past couple of years, the studio video division has quietly worked with Scholastic Entertainment to finance production of the first animated theatrical film based on the 40-year-old children's book series and the PBS TV and Artisan video series. Now WHV, in concert with its film studio sibling, is quietly overseeing theatrical distribution and marketing of the 73-minute Clifford's Really Big Movie.
The film features the voice of the late John Ritter as Clifford in one of his final performances. Directed by Robert Ramirez, the movie also features the voice talents of Wayne Brady, Jenna Elfman, John Goodman, Wilmer Valderrama, Judge Reinhold, Kel Mitchell and Jess Harnell.
Animated in traditional 2-D style, the movie has been playing strongly enough since Feb. 20 in the first four test markets -- Atlanta, Minneapolis, Phoenix and Austin, Texas (plus three screens in New York with marketing limited in that city to print only) -- that the studio is going to add 19 more markets April 23, reaching a third of the country overall and probably expanding beyond that soon after.