The Grinch (2018) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Neither a turkey, nor a cracker – just pretty and fun

This 2018 animated version of The Grinch has a runtime of 85-minutes and is directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier. It is based on the Dr Seuss book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas“, with this film version having a screenplay written by Michael LeSieur and Tommy Swerdlow. There have been other versions of the Grinch and there will no doubt be future versions of the Dr Seuss creation. This one is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch and features the voice talent of Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, and also Pharrell Williams.

In case you have been living under a rock; The Grinch hates Christmas, he lives alone with his dog Max away from everyone. He is miserable because his heart is two sizes too small. When the residents of Whoville begin their annual celebration for Christmas the Grinch recalls how lonely and miserable his own childhood was at Christmas. Because of this, the Grinch decides to ruin Christmas for everyone else – he decides to steal their Christmas. After making plans and successfully following through on them, even lying to a Whovian child called Cindy-Lou, strange things happen to him. The sound of the Whovians’s singing despite their loss makes his heart grow again until he feels as though he should put things right again and apologise. Once repented he begins to change his ways, but it isn’t fully realised until he gets invited to a Christmas dinner by Cindy-Lou. He realises it’s not Christmas he hates, but being alone, and as long is surrounded by friends he can never be a grinch again.

He slowly comes around to the idea of Christmas until he can’t stand it anymore and begins to embrace the seasonal festivities.

(from left) Cindy-Lou Who (Cameron Seely) helps liberate the Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch) from his grumpiness in “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” from Illumination.

The voice acting is great, I particularly enjoyed Pharrell Williams’s narration throughout. The animation is easy on the eye and fun to look at – it’s close to the drawings in the Dr Seuss books and the original animation, but obviously more modernised. After the success of other updated animated versions of Dr Seuss books I knew this would come soon enough. The live action versions of Dr Seuss creations, including “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Cat in the Hat” did well enough at the cinema, but there is a timeless appeal to animated creations that the live action versions just can’t capture. “The Lorax” did well, so why not do “The Grinch” again too. While I did enjoy watching this updated version I didn’t find anything ground-breaking about this version. I was a little upset that the classic songs I knew from the original Grinch animation were missing. Despite any reservations I had, this is a colourful and cheerful kids film which will keep the young ones entertained for a bit of time. It’s not awful like some online film review sites have had trolls say, but it’s also not the best thing since sliced bread either – it’s just middle of the road and harmless fun which will no doubt be repeated on TV on an annual basis.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/10)

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