Christmas just wouldn’t feel the same without our annual holiday tradition of watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Most everyone knows this timeless story, which is based on the 1957 book by Dr. Seuss. The television special of the same name first appeared in homes back in 1966 and still replays several times each season. The story was brought to life in the 2000 live-action film featuring an unforgettable Grinch played by Jim Carrey, which is still my kids’ favorite.
In Illumination’s new animated The Grinch movie, the Grinch is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch and is portrayed as an almost sweet, sometimes sensitive character that is suitable for younger viewers. My movie buddy was my grown daughter Cassandra, and we laughed out loud when the Grinch jumped out of bed in his “tighty whities” before getting dressed in his green hairy pants. We were wishing that we could teach our dog how to make and bring us French press coffee like trusty canine Max did for The Grinch each morning. My daughter Cassandra especially liked the multi-level cave with the futuristic gismos and gadgets. Whoville resembled a gingerbread cottage village with futuristic pop out shops. We both enjoyed the updated music with a new version of “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.”
A backstory is provided showing the Grinch growing up in an orphanage which is where his dislike for Christmas begins. He snaps when he learns of Whoville’s plan to make their holiday three times bigger than usual. It’s comical the way the Grinch utilizes cartoon versions of James Bond type gadgets to help steal Christmas. Fred, the Grinch’s new pet reindeer, resembles a woolly mammoth. The self-proclaimed best friend, Mr. Bricklebaum, is quite persistent and made us smile when he confronts The Grinch about his green hair dye to keep away the gray.
It’s hard to beat the cuteness of the last Cindy Lou Who, although we were a bit disappointed that she and the Grinch didn’t have that much interaction. Ultimately though, she is the one that shows him the kindness that changes his life before he finally shares Christmas dinner with her family.
This 3-D computer animated movie has gotten mixed reviews from the critics, but we are sure the spirit of this movie will touch your hearts and you will want to bring kids of all ages to see it. We judged this movie to be a hit based on the continual laughter of the kids in the audience. This is a family-friendly holiday movie that is sure to become a classic for kids of all ages.
Movie times: click here
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family
Director: Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier
Written By: Michael LeSieur, Tommy Swerdlow, based on book by Dr. Seuss
Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of The Grinch, Cameron Seely as the voice of Cindy-Lou Who, Rashida Jones as the voice of Donna Who, Pharrell Williams as the Narrator, Kenan Thompson as the voice of Mr. Bricklebaum, Angela Lansbury as the voice of Mayor McGerkle
Running Time: 90 minutes