Scholastic’s New ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ Launches in December

Clifford the Big Red Dog — the new kids’ book-inspired TV series produced by Scholastic Entertainment — will make its larger-than-life debut on Amazon Prime Video, December 6, and on PBS KIDS, December 7. The 39 x 22’ reboot will feature beloved characters Clifford and his best friend Emily Elizabeth, new friends, new imagined adventures, a vibrant new art style, and an original song in every episode.

“We look at every character on PBS KIDS as a role model for the joy of learning,” said Linda Simensky, VP, Children’s Programming, PBS. “Emily Elizabeth and Clifford showcase the thrill of working together and learning from one another, through stories that weave together imaginative play, early learning, and social-emotional concepts.”

The new series will be supported by an expansive licensing and consumer products program and a global publishing program, with new titles launching in 2019. Scholastic is seeking licensing partners in all product categories, the first wave of licensees will be announced soon.

The live-action hybrid Clifford the Big Red Dog feature film from Paramount Pictures premieres November 13, 2020.

“With an exciting expanded world and so many big adventures ahead, Clifford the Big Red Dog will win over children and families around the globe once again,” said series co-executive producer Caitlin Friedman, SVP & General Manager Scholastic Entertainment. “From a fresh new look to a full-scale licensing program with products that will help kids extend the fun and positive messages of the series beyond the screen, Clifford is well-poised to make a larger-than-life return.”

Based on the best-selling Scholastic books of the same name, written and illustrated by Norman Bridwell, the first Clifford the Big Red Dog cartoon premiered on PBS KIDS in 2000. The standout show has aired in 110 countries and has garnered numerous industry excellence awards. Scholastic published the first Clifford title in 1963, and today there are more than 133 million books of the Big Red Dog’s adventures in print in 16 different languages.

“Clifford has been a beloved friend and enduring presence in children’s lives for more than 50 years,” said Iole Lucchese, Scholastic Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Producer. “We’re thrilled to introduce the reimagined Clifford the Big Red Dog series to a new generation of families, including the millennials who grew up with Clifford and now get to share his stories of loyalty and kindness with their own children.”

Clifford the Big Red Dog is produced by Scholastic Entertainment, in collaboration with 100 Chickens and 9 Story Media Group.

Animation Magazine

Paramount’s ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ Takes ‘Rugrats’ 2020 Slot

Paramount Animation has set a release date of November 13, 2020 for its untitled live-action/animation hybrid feature based on Scholastic property Clifford the Big Red Dog. The pre-Thanksgiving release is being directed by Walt Becker (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, Old Dogs).

The Clifford flick is based on the beloved books by Norman Birdwell, which center on a little girl named Emily Elizabeth and her 25-foot-tall red dog — a gentle giant whose size is attributed to his human’s great love for him. The charming characters, which debuted 1963, have starred in a popular KIDS PBS animated series and previously hit the big screen in Clifford’s Really Big Movie, released by Warner Bros. in 2004. Scholastic is planning a new Clifford series set to launch this fall, as well as a new publishing and licensing program.

Clifford is taking over the Nov. 13 spot from Paramount’s hybrid Rugrats feature, which has been pushed back to January 29, 2021.

[Source: Hollywood Reporter]

Animation Magazine

‘Wonder Dog’ Alerts Owner to Blood Sugar Swings

By Serena Gordon

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Wherever Kathleen Simmonds goes, her service dog, Emma, isn’t far behind. Emma — also known by her Instagram handle, “Type 1 Wonder Dog” — has been trained to sniff out dangerously high and low blood sugar levels and alert Simmonds so she can take action.

Simmonds, 48, has had type 1 diabetes for more than three decades, but she reached a point where she was no longer able to feel dangerous swings in her blood sugar levels.

“I got the dog for the security of my family. Things had gotten so bad that my husband was afraid to travel and my kids were afraid to go to school. They were worried they’d come home and find me passed out,” Simmonds said.

Emma — a border collie — has brought Simmonds and her family peace of mind, as having the dog has significantly improved Simmonds’ blood sugar management.

“She’s like a big security blanket for all of us,” Simmonds said.

Detecting highs and lows

A new British study confirms that dogs can detect dangerous variations in a person’s blood sugar.

The researchers reviewed owner records on 27 dogs that had been trained by the same charity group. During more than 4,000 out-of-range episodes, the dogs were able to pick up an average of 70 percent of the episodes.

The dogs were slightly better at detecting low blood sugar levels, picking up on 83 percent of the low blood sugar episodes. For high blood sugar levels, the dogs were correct an average of 67 percent of the time, the study found.

Study author Nicola Rooney said these dogs “have immense potential to increase the quality of life of their companions, reducing health risk and even saving lives.”

But, she said, there are a number of factors that can affect the dog’s performance, such as the dog’s individual temperament, its training and its relationship with its human partner.

“Just as we’ve seen in pet dogs, those dogs whose owners who consistently and positively reward their dog tend to have dogs that do the best,” said Rooney, who is a teaching fellow in animal welfare and behavior at the Bristol Veterinary School in England. The study was published recently in the journal PLOS One.


Effectiveness varies

Not everyone is convinced that diabetic alert dogs are consistently effective, particularly when measured against the latest technology: continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). These devices measure blood sugar levels every five minutes or so, and most will sound an alarm when a person has blood sugar levels that are too high or too low.

Linda Gonder-Frederick, from the Behavioral Medicine Center at the University of Virginia, has also done research trials with diabetic alert dogs. “There have been a number of studies and there are a lot of mixed results,” she said.

Her conclusion? “The jury is still out, but a diabetic alert dog is definitely the most user-friendly glucose monitor we have. It’s much more user-friendly than finger sticks and CGMs. But we expect these dogs to work 24/7, and that’s a lot of ask of a little creature.”

“Dogs have incredible olfactory ability, and I believe they can do this, but we’re lacking hard scientific data,” Gonder-Frederick said.

If you’re thinking about getting an alert dog, there are a number of things to consider. One is how comfortable are you with getting a lot of attention?

“When you have a dog with you 24/7, you have to get used to people coming up to you,” and folks have mixed reactions, Simmonds said.

Another is whether you are willing to put in the time to train the dog, and then consistently reinforce and reward the dog for alerting you?

Not every dog is a service dog

Claire Guest from Medical Detection Dogs, the U.K. charity Rooney used in the study, said people who “show a high willingness to reward their dog when it correctly alerts them to their blood sugars tended to have especially well-performing dogs.”

Jennifer Cattet, the owner of Medical Mutts in Indianapolis and Emma’s trainer, said there’s no specific breed that’s best-suited to being a diabetic alert dog.

“It really comes down to the dog’s temperament. You need a dog that’s naturally social, confident and very food-motivated. You also need a ‘Velcro dog’ — a dog that tends to stay close to a person naturally,” she explained.


Cattet selects and trains dogs from young ages, but she also trains family pets. However, she said people need to be aware that this doesn’t always work out.

“Most service dog organizations have about a 50 percent failure rate because dogs are living creatures, and there’s a lot of work that goes into being a service dog. Just alerting to blood sugars naturally doesn’t make a dog a service dog,” Cattet said.

Diabetic alert dogs don’t come cheaply, either. Simmonds said Emma cost $ 14,000 and that price was one of the lower ones Simmonds found in her search. The dogs in Rooney’s study cost around $ 38,000 (29,000 pounds) to raise and train, but Medical Detection Dogs is a charity and the dogs are given to people with diabetes for free.

Simmonds and Cattet both said it’s vital to investigate any organization that offers these trained dogs. Because there is a lot of money involved, there’s also a potential to be scammed. Simmonds recommended doing a lot of internet searching, as well as checking with the Better Business Bureau.

Gonder-Frederick pointed out that there are currently no regulations or standards for training and performance when it comes to diabetic alert dogs.

Still, all the work has been worth it for Simmonds. “Emma lets me live a more normal life. I don’t have to spend my days worrying about my blood sugar anymore,” she said.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCES: Nicola Rooney, Ph.D., teaching fellow, animal welfare and behavior, Bristol Veterinary School, United Kingdom; Claire Guest, chief executive and co-founder, Medical Detection Dogs, Great Horwood, U.K.; Kathleen Simmonds, St. Louis; Linda Gonder-Frederick, Ph.D., Behavioral Medicine Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville; Jennifer Cattet, Ph.D., owner, Medical Mutts, Indianapolis; Jan. 15, 2019,PLOS One

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

Lionsgate Serenades Home Audiences with ‘Rock Dog’ in May

Rock Dog

Viewers are invited to party with a new breed of rock star next month, as Lionsgate releases heartwarming family comedy Rock Dog on Digital HD on May 9, and Blu-ray (MSRP $ 34.99), DVD ($ 29.95) and On Demand on May 23. The music-driven adventure is written and directed by Oscar nominee Ash Brannon (Surf’s Up), from the original graphic novel by Zheng Jun.

Rock Dog‘s rise to stardom begins when a radio falls from the sky and into the hands of a wide-eyed Tibetan Mastiff. Finding a new passion, the pup leaves his rural home to fulfill his dreams of becoming a musician and sets a series of unexpected events into motion. The film’s voice cast features J.K. Simmons, Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Lewis Black and Kenan Thompson.

The Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD releases include some fun bonus materials, including the music video for “Glorious” and four featurettes: “Finding the Fire: The Making of Rock Dog,” “Mic Check: Casting the Voices,” “A Rockin’ New World: Animating Rock Dog” and “Rock Dog and Roll: Exploring the Music.”

Rock Dog

Rock Dog

Animation Magazine

Komixx Sells ‘Dog Loves Books’ to YLE Finland


UK- and US-based family entertainment producer Komixx Media Group has fetched a new broadcast partner for its animated series Dog Loves Books, with Finnish broadcaster YLE coming on board for the series based on Louise Yates’ award-winning books. The 52 x 7 series is aimed at kids ages 4-6.

Dog Loves Books tells the story of bookshop owner Dog and his best friend Pug. Whenever Dog or Pug have a problem to solve or a question to answer, they look in one of their beloved books. The fun really begins when Dog opens a book and he and Pug are swept away into an imaginative world of adventure, where anything is possible.

The cartoon has been developed from the books by Melanie Halsall, Head of Development at Komixx; and award-winning screenwriter Alan Gilbey. CBeebies has already been confirmed as the primary UK broadcaster for Dog Loves Books, which is currently in pre-production and due to enter production this fall at Komixx’s animation studio, Mackinnon & Saunders Digital Studios in Manchester.

Dog Loves Books

Dog Loves Books

Animation Magazine

‘Good Dog’ Usually Does the Trick

SUNDAY Aug. 28, 2016, 2016 — Many dogs prefer praise from their owners over food, researchers report.

“We are trying to understand the basis of the dog-human bond and whether it’s mainly about food, or about the relationship itself,” Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta, said in a university news release.

For a recent study, 15 dogs underwent brain imaging to assess their reactions to different behavioral experiments.

“Out of the 13 dogs that completed the study, we found that most of them either preferred praise from their owners over food, or they appeared to like both equally. Only two of the dogs were real chowhounds, showing a strong preference for the food,” he said.

Berns was lead author of the study recently published in the journal Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. He leads the university’s Dog Project, which is investigating the evolution of dogs.

Previous research by the project showed that dogs respond more strongly to the scents of familiar people than to those of other people or of familiar dogs.

The team’s current focus is investigating dogs’ ability to process and understand human language.

“Dogs are hypersocial with humans and their integration into human ecology makes dogs a unique model for studying cross-species social bonding,” Berns explained.

More information

The Human Society has more about dogs and their behavior.

Posted: August 2016

View comments – Daily MedNews

‘Blue Dog’ painting recovered hours after being stolen in New Orleans

The 1997 painting ''Wendy and Me'' by Louisiana artist George Rodrigue, is pictured in this undated handout image obtained by Reuters January 6, 2015. The painting, with an estimated value of $  250,000, depicts the artist as a blue dog beside his bride on their wedding day. It was stolen on January 6, 2015 from a gallery in New Orleans, the artist's son Jacques Rodrigue said.  REUTERS/George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts/Handout via Reuters  (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW ENTERTAINMENT) ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES

The 1997 painting ”Wendy and Me” by Louisiana artist George Rodrigue, is pictured in this undated handout image obtained by Reuters January 6, 2015. The painting, with an estimated value of $ 250,000, depicts the artist as a blue dog beside his bride on their wedding day. It was stolen on January 6, 2015 from a gallery in New Orleans, the artist’s son Jacques Rodrigue said.


(Reuters) – A painting by Louisiana artist George Rodrigue that depicts him as a blue dog beside his bride on their wedding day was recovered undamaged hours after it was stolen from a New Orleans gallery, a gallery spokesman said on Wednesday.

The 1997 painting “Wendy and Me,” with an estimated value of $ 250,000, was found late on Tuesday leaning against the wall of a hotel, less then three blocks from where it was stolen off the wall of the Rodrigue Studio in New Orleans’ French Quarter, gallery spokesman Andrew Freeman said.

Members of the band Stereo Fire Empire, who found the painting, turned it over to police, and it was returned to its place on the wall on Wednesday with a guard watching over it, Freeman said.

In a statement provided by Freeman, a New Orleans police spokesman said the man believed to have stolen the painting remained at large. Police did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

“We are so thankful for the good Samaritans that saved this special artwork,” Jacques Rodrigue, who helps manage his late father’s art, said in a statement. “Dad painted ‘Wendy and Me’ for his wedding to Wendy so this is an irreplaceable piece to my family.”

George Rodrigue rose to prominence in the 1990s with his series of paintings depicting blue dogs based on a Cajun legend of a werewolf or ghost dog threatening to haunt naughty children.

He died in 2013 at age 69 of complications from cancer, his son said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Sausage, Greece’s ‘protest dog’, dies of heart attack

(Reuters) – Sausage, the ginger mongrel who became famous for appearing at anti-austerity protests and barking at riot police at the height of Greece’s debt crisis, has died of a heart attack, local officials said on Thursday.

The stray dog, called “Loukanikos” in Greek, became a media sensation and public darling in 2011 by regularly showing up on the side of demonstrators and yelping at police amid the chaos of teargas and flying petrol bombs.

He was named runner up for Time Magazine’s “Animal of the Year” in 2011, only beaten to the top spot by the army dog that accompanied the U.S. Navy SEAL team which took down Osama Bin Laden.

“He was Greek. Like all stray animals, Loukanikos somehow reflected the restlessness of Greeks who refuse to bow down,” Anna Makri, a veterinarian who heads the city’s stray animal service, told Reuters. “The doctor’s assessment was that he died suddenly, of a heart attack.”

Sausage ended up appearing on the front page of most Greek newspapers and wagged his tail on television screens as violent anti-bailout protests raged behind him.

Makri said a Greek animal welfare group took Sausage in about two years ago.

The leftist Avgi newspaper said that he had been buried under a tree on a hill in the city center.

Stray dogs are a common sight in Athens. Most are monitored by city authorities and wear collars and tags with a phone number to call if they are in – or causing – trouble.

(Editing by Deepa Babington and Andrew Heavens)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

‘World’s Ugliest Dog’ Elwood dies in New Jersey

(Reuters) – Elwood, the Chihuahua and Chinese Crested mix whose unusual appearance won him the 2007 title of World’s Ugliest Dog, has died unexpectedly at the age of 8, his owner said on Saturday.

“It was very sudden,” said a tearful Karen Quigley, 52, of Sewell, New Jersey, who adopted Elwood in 2006. The homely but lovable 5-pound (2.3-kg) canine died Thursday, on Thanksgiving morning.

“He was in my arms,” Quigley said. She said the veterinarian believed he might have had some kind of cancer.

Elwood was dark and practically hairless – except for a tuft of white hair on his forehead – and had a long, protruding tongue.

A breeder had deemed Elwood too ugly to sell and was planning to euthanize him, but he was taken in by one of the breeder’s friends. Quigley adopted him in when he was 9 months old.

After winning the annual “World’s Ugliest Dog” contest held in California, he developed a legion of fans who sent him letters and postcards. This led Quigley to write “Everyone Loves Elwood,” a children’s book about self-acceptance.

Elwood had “a magical power to make people smile and laugh” that made him very attractive, especially to children, said Quigley. Elwood would pose for photos with people at charitable events.

“He was the most beautiful dog I’ve ever seen … ” said Quigley, who has rescued other dogs as well. “He taught children it’s OK to be different.”

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski, editing by Ian Simpson and Gunna Dickson)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Lee’s ‘Adam and Dog’ Shines During Award Season

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Minkyu Lee discusses his Annie-winning, Oscar short-listed, Genesis-themed short Adam and Dog. Companionship between humans and animals is an oft-explored concept in the film world, no less in the animation realm. But one of this year’s Best Animated Short Oscar short-list contenders seeks to breathe new life into an old […]
Animation Magazine