The Grinch (2018) – Movie Review
Directed by: Scott Mosier, Yarrow Cheney
Screenplay by: Michael LeSieur and Tommy Swerdlow
Based on the Book by: Dr. Seuss
Starring: Rashida Jones, Tristan O’Hare, Scarlett Estevez, Benedict Cumberbatch, Pharrell Williams, Kenan Thompson, and Angela Lansbury
Run Time: 1h 30min
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family
3 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
The first question that may have entered your mind upon hearing there would be another Grinch movie was most likely, ‘Why?’ To that question Illumination and Universal Pictures, who are making this their eighth animated feature says, ‘Why not.’ Their skills are magical and that fact is palpable while watching this new, fresh take on the beloved Dr. Seuss’ classic. There have been others but if a new generation wants to give it a go, put their twist on things, they could hardly do better with this talented group. Academy Award® nominee, Benedict Cumberbatch, makes a great Grinch, coming off appropriately grumpy yet when needed, perfectly delivering and revealing his softer, broken heart inside. He may try to hide it but doesn’t do very well.
‘The Grinch’ is the story of a cave-dwelling misanthrope who, after being denied Christmas as a child, aims to do the same to everyone in Whoville. He’s getting back at those who hurt him by taking it out on everyone else. He needs therapy.
So, he recruits his faithful dog, Max, to help. While on the hunt for reindeer to sell his charade, he finds one oddball, kind of kooky deer named Fred. With his trinkets and gadgets, sleigh and deer, he as Santa, can easily swoop in and swipe everyone’s presents, tree’s, lights and cookies. Note to parents: Fred brings several giggles from the youngest in the crowd as he’s warm and cuddly. I’m sure toys of this guy will be everywhere. They’ll most certainly be wanted.
Flowing in and out of Pharrell Williams’ narration and the poetry of the original story plus adding the novelty managed in this rendition, this is a movie the kids can’t miss. We do meet new characters along the way but there’s always little, adorable, sweet Cindy-Lou Who to thwart the plans of this Grinch. What he doesn’t see coming is that she’s made plans of her own and that was to make sure she spoke to him. She has set a trap. She does catch him in the act and, trusting he’s the real deal, explains she wants only for her mother to be happy. Cindy-Lou is a genuine and giving soul who the Grinch couldn’t possibly see any fault with. This puts him in a bind. Maybe there’s good in this world after all? If so, can he go through with his assault on it?
If you liked the other movies, and the story as a whole, you’re going to like this, as well. Sure, it’s the same story but his coloring is bright and more agreeable, his shoes are as fuzzy as he is and it’s very relatable. They’ve added moments such as his ‘emotional eating’ and playing the song ‘All By Myself’ on the organ. There’s also a flashback where you see him as a child. Alone. No Christmas. If done well, there’s nothing wrong with taking an animated classic and improving or upgrading it. Having Illumination involved with this was a blessing. You’ll be entertained and so will the kids.