Alicia Vitarelli chats with the cast of 'Clifford The Big Red Dog'

It's a live-action, CGI version that brings the big red dog to Manhattan.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- He's a childhood staple who has been stealing hearts since he first appeared in children's books almost 60 years ago.

Now, 'Clifford the Big Red Dog' is the star of a live-action film hitting the big screen and streaming services Wednesday.

I talked with the cast about Clifford's latest adventure.

There's nothing but BIG love for Clifford in this film. It's a live-action, CGI version that brings the big red dog to Manhattan.

His bond with Emily Elizabeth is as strong as ever, with the loveable duo once again reminding us of the massive power of friendship.

"I feel so honored that I get to be the live-action Emily Elizabeth," says newcomer Darby Camp.

In her breakout role, Camp plays a young girl struggling to fit in. Her red dog is doing the same.

"I really love how it tells other kids to accept yourself and accept others for their differences, and just to be kind and love one another," Camp says.

Fresh off this summer's 'Jungle Cruise,' Jack Whitehall plays the less-than-responsible Uncle Casey.

"It was such a fun character to play," Whitehall says. "And not a huge stretch necessarily for me in terms of his personality."

John Cleese is a nod to Norman Bridwell, the author who created the empowering series back in 1963.

"Clifford has just kind of always been around, you know," says Tony Hale, who plays the villainous Tieran. "To step into this world and to see the finished product and to be a part of it, it's very surreal. The books were just always a part of our house."

The film also stars Rosie Perez, David Alan Grier and Kenan Thompson, among others.

But the real star, Clifford, was the work of film magic.

"There was actual 10-foot puppet as Clifford," Camp says. "Two puppeteers were controlling it. It was crazy how talented they were. With each scene, it actually felt like there was an actual dog. They studied the dog's movements and emotions. They hit it spot on."
Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.