Although The Grinch is not the first retelling of the beloved Dr. Seuss tale of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, it is a sweet and well-intentioned update of the classic Christmas tale.
If you don’t know the story of the Grinch, it follows a green, grumpy yet lovable creature being who decides to steal Christmas from his holly jolly neighborhood, Whoville, only to learn the true meaning of the holiday.
Although the film does not diverge from the original version, The Grinch gives a fresh perspective to the tale but not enough to enhance the narrative. In other words, you’ll feel warm fuzzies but your heart isn’t going to grow two sizes larger.
There’s a stellar update to Cindy Lou Who and her family, focusing Cindy’s determination to have Santa help her overworked mother for Christmas rather than naively wondering where Christmas “went”.
Also, compared to prior versions, I do think this film best captured the relationship of the Grinch and his dog, Max (who is definitely the best character of the movie). The two are priceless, precious and far less aggressive which makes it a more pleasurable watch.
Besides those changes, there did not feel like a point to this film rather than to just have a newer version for the next generation. Unfortunately, I do not think it will have the same impact Ron Howard’s live-action version did years ago.
As a side note, what upset me the most of this rendition is the use of Benedict Cumberbatch – why on earth would you want an actor who has one of the most perfect voice talents to hide it with an almost Bill Hader-like American accent? Someone explain.
Final Thoughts: Anyone who is a fan of the story of The Grinch will enjoy the delightful and colorfully animated update to this classic tale, however, it ranks average compared to its predecessors.