Clifford the Big Red Dog is the titular 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, 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 first appeared in the Miracle on 34th Street in 1987, as he took to the streets as a walk-around mascot. The walk around only appeared in 1987 and was not seen again.
Three years after the 1987 Parade, in the 1990 Parade, Clifford along with Bart Simpson would make their debuts as balloons, Clifford also led the Parade that year. Clifford is also notable for being the second life-sized balloon in Macy's Parade history (the first being Dino in 1963), as the balloon is said to be the same size as his cartoon character counterpart. The balloon made appearances until it was retired in 1996 making 7 appearances in total. 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.
In 2011, Clifford returned to the beloved spectical, as a walk around on the Hats Off To Our Heritage float, along with other popular characters that have been retired.
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.
- 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 appear more than 12 times.