The Grinch is the newest animation from Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment. Based on the book by Dr Seuss, it is the second incarnation of the movie, the first of which was the well-known live action featuring Jim Carrey.
This time Benedict Cumberbatch portrays the green grump, in a story much more similar to that of the book. Replacing what is often at times overly slapstick and highly prosthetic comedy of the original, The Grinch is this year’s go-to Christmas movie. The story sees the Grinch, a furry, green, Christmas hating creature who lives on his own just outside of the town of Whoville, set out to ruin Christmas with his trusty dog, Max and a misfit reindeer, Fred.
In the town of Whoville, we focus mainly on Cindy-Lou Who (Cameron Seely), a young girl who, after watching her mother, Donna (Rashinda Jones), struggle as a single mother of three, decides to trap Santa to ask him to give his mum a break for Christmas. The story switches between narration by Pharrell Williams and the character’s perspective on things. Accidentally trapping the Grinch, who is impersonating Santa to steal Christmas, Cindy Lou is able to teach the Grinch the true meaning of Christmas, but is it too late?
The film uses Illumination’s usual animation style of Illumination Mac Guff studios, which works nicely to depict the characters in the same style as the book. While keeping homage to the book through Williams’s narration, it has an interesting soundtrack, from the well known ‘You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch’ being performed by Tyler, the Creator, to songs from Pentatonix and Run-D.M.C. This, along with the freshness of the jokes in the movie, makes it suitable for all ages.
The film runs in at 86 minutes, which is a perfect length to keep the younger audience entertained whilst not being too long for them to lose interest. Though it carries through with some of the usual genre tropes of slapstick humour, it doesn’t sink to the toilet humour that most kids films feel the need to use. Whilst most other Illumination movies are advertised as children’s movies, there really is a family feel to The Grinch, with some really witty one-liners and visual gags for older audiences. It’s not sappy enough to make it ‘un-cool’ for teenagers but has enough heart and an actual storyline that you don’t feel dumbed down to watch.
If you’re looking for a new Christmas movie to watch with the family, a loved one or a trusty dog, The Grinch is the one.
Image: Universal Studios.