The Grinch, is the newest film adaptation of Dr Seuss’ timeless Christmas classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The movie topped $67 million in its first weekend, surpassing the last film version of the story from 2000.
It is a tale few American kids or adults haven’t heard before. The Grinch (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) lives in solitude in a cave on Mount Crumpit, above the town of Whoville. While the Whos in Whoville all adore Christmas, the Grinch despises it. Although in this day and age more than a few of us could probably relate to his desire to escape from incessant Christmas music.
During one of his incognito visits to Whoville, he bumps into Cindy Lou, the daughter of an exhausted but loving single mother. That evening, they both make a resolution; the Grinch to, of course, steal Christmas, and Cindy Lou to catch Santa so she can ask him directly to help her mother.
The film’s animation does justice to all the charming artistry that was so characteristic of Dr Seuss. It has wit, humor, plenty of feel-good moments and a few tear-jerkers that genuinely tug at your heartstrings. It also speaks to some very real experiences on Christmas such as loneliness, commercialism and the importance of family. The character of the Grinch has a complexity that children will enjoy and adults can appreciate.
At the same time, The Grinch offers very little new to the story. The film’s makers play it very safe and take care not to tamper too much with what made the tale so universally appealing. While some might appreciate the movie staying true to the classic story, others might be left a little bored from its predictability.