November 17, 2018 The Grinch (Movie Review)
The Christmas season is a joyous time. The season where family and friends come together to decorate, bake cookies, and celebrate life, there is a reason why “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Although, there are some who despise all the festivities, like Charles Dickens’ 1843 A Christmas Carol character Ebenezer Scrooge, and of course, Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch. First introduced in the 1957 Dr. Seuss children’s book How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the story has become a mainstay in popular culture with various film adaptions including the 1966 classic animated television special narrated by Boris Karloff and the 2000 live action film How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey. Now, just in time for the 2018 holiday season, comes the latest feature about the mean Mr. Grinch with the new film The Grinch.
Released in theaters on Friday, November 9th through Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures, The Grinch’s story was penned by Michael LeSieur (You, Me and Dupree 2006, Glory Daze series) as well as Tommy Swerdlow (Cool Runnings 1993, Little Giants 1994) with Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney acting as directors. An animated movie, the new adaption offers a fresh, modern take on the cynical green Grinch.
Voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game 2014, Dr. Strange 2016), The Grinch lives in a cave up in Mount Crumpit north of Whoville all alone with his loyal dog Max. Here he spends his time living a secludes life away from the the Whos, avoiding them at all costs, especially during Christmas season. Unfortunately, five days before Christmas Mr. Grinch has run out of all food in his cupboards, forcing him to trek down Whoville to purchase more groceries. Here he finds Whoville is lively and happy with Christmas season in full effect, actually three times bigger than ever before!
Naturally The Grinch is applaud by all the happiness and vows to steal Christmas away from the Whos once and for all – plotting to theft all the gifts and decorations from well over 200 homes. A diabolical plot, he calls on his dog Max and a hefty, loveable reindeer named Fred. Eventually left to just Mr. Grinch and his extremely sweet companion Max to do the dirty deed, will Christmas be ruined forever for Whoville?
Naturally, we all know the story and the end result. That in mind, the newest telling does provide some modernized textures. This is not to say it is completely modern and lost the feel of the classic, because it does not. In fact, it says pretty true to the classic tale without ruining the mood one bit. The Grinch instead interjects some good comedy, gives some more backstory to the mean Grinch’s childhood, and offers a few new wonderful characters such as Bricklebaum (Kenan Thompson: Kenan & Kel 1996, Snakes on a Plane 2006), a jolly bearded member of the Whoville community that you just have to love. Furthermore, the new film’s take on Cindy Lou Who (Cameron Seely: The Jim Gaffigan Show series, The Greatest Showman 2017) is nothing less than adorable and magical. She along with her friends Groopert (Tristan O’Hare), Axl (Ramone Hamilton: Hot in Cleveland series, All Day and a Night, The Last Tycoon 2016), Ozzy (Sam Lavagnino: Bravest Warriors series, Puppy Dog Pals series), and Izzy (Scarlett Estevez: Daddy’s Home 2015, Lucifer series) make for a dynamic bunch that add a new layer to the story.
Also featuring narration by megastar Pharrell Williams, the atmosphere of The Grinch is upbeat and bound to make you smile throughout. This, matched with the stunningly beautiful animation that is highlighted by colorful, bright imagery, The Grinch is family-oriented must see this holiday season.
If anything, The Grinch reminds us that Christmas is about generosity, family, community, and kindness…something we need to remember, especially now a days. A tasteful and fun new imagining of an age old classic, Cryptic Rock gives The Grinch 5 out of 5 stars.