Clifford the Big Red Dog is the title character and the main protagonist of the children's book series of the same name, written by the late Norman Bridwell and originally published in 1963, and the television series, which is based upon it and ran from 2000 to 2003 on PBS Kids. He is one of the world's most recognizable storybook characters and the official mascot of Scholastic.
In the beginning, Clifford was adopted by his pet owner, a 6-year-old Emily Elizabeth, when he was a very small puppy, no bigger than any other. But when Clifford grew up two years later, with a love of Emily Elizabeth, he became a giant-sized dog. This caused Emily's family to move to a much larger area where Clifford could have plenty of room.
History with the Macy's Parade
Clifford is one of the longest-running balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He first appeared as a balloon in 1990 along with Bart Simpson, where he led the Parade this year. Clifford is also notable for being only the second life-sized balloon in Macy's Parade history (the first being Dino), as the balloon is said to be the same size as his cartoon character. The balloon made appearances until he was retired in 1996 making 7 appearances. However, he returned to the Parade for a second run, this time from 2000 to 2004, to promote his TV show which was airing on PBS during that same timespan and made 12 appearances in the parade so far. A decade after the balloon was retired, he was used as one of the balloons for test flights to test balloon handlers and most recently in September 2015 alongside Julius. While it hasn't been seen since then, Clifford still survives at the Macy's Float Warehouse as of 2016.
As a walk-around
Clifford first appeared in the parade in 1987, not as a balloon but a walk-around mascot, it only appeared in 1987 and was not seen again. He was also on the Hats Off To Our Heritage float in the 2011 Parade along with other characters that have been retired.
- In 1990, a bouquet of balloons got stuck onto Clifford's left ear, but detached from the balloon shortly before his NBC parade debut.
- In 2004, Clifford was pushed into a tree and was caught in it, but no damage was done to him, unlike fellow balloon Garfield.
- The Clifford balloon was seen in the 1993 animated film We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, along with Dino the Dinosaur, Aviator Snoopy, Woody Woodpecker, and Spider-Man, and in the 1994 film Miracle on 34th Street.
- This balloon is also seen, alongside the Parade itself, in the book Clifford's Thanksgiving Visit where the real Clifford enters the big city to see his mother for Thanksgiving.
- Clifford is the most recent balloon to have more than 11 appearances.
- The Whistler and His Dog (Harry Breuer version, 1990-1994)
- The Whistler and His Dog (Milton Delugg version, 1995-1996, 2001-2002)
- Clifford the Big Red Dog (TV show main theme, 2000, 2003-2004)