The Grinch is a truly magical, even poetic, rendition that remains faithful in some important ways, not only to the original 1966 animated short How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but to the children’s book itself. The characters are oftentimes rhyming, making one think of the how the original story reads. Likewise, the design has an expectedly Dr. Seuss style with rounded edges and topsy-turvy structures. Most impressive is the extremely detailed and visually perfect animation that is strikingly colorful and bright! The filmmakers also creatively craft the signature buildings, houses and natural setting to work seamlessly with innovative technological inventions in the form of outrageous gadgets that the Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his dog, Max, use throughout to accomplish their sinister plot of stealing Christmas from the Whos.
This simple movie clips along at a fairly rapid pace and is engaging throughout; a few new characters are introduced, such as an oversized reindeer who assists the Grinch and Max for a period of time, and a jolly neighbor who is the biggest fan of Christmas, and, therefore, the Grinch’s least favorite person. However, this Grinch is not as mean and broken as the original, for he is, in fact, loving toward both his dog and the reindeer, but the Grinch’s own hurt and consequent desire to hurt many others is still prevalent enough to drive home the message that compassion and love is the true meaning of Christmas.
The Grinch’s initial epiphany occurs when he is stealing Cindy Lou’s (Cameron Seely) tree: she tells him that she does not want presents; she only asks from Santa to help her single mom to be happy, as she selflessly works so hard for others. The Grinch then questions whether he could be happy, too.
The action and adventure that takes place throughout this movie, with fast-moving sleds flying through the snow and even through the air, along with various mishaps that threaten the success of the Grinch’s venture, are captivating and comical. I chuckled throughout and found many of the devices and quippy jokes to be quite clever. This film merits the Dove-Approved Seal for All Ages, is for young and old alike, and is a great way to kick off the holiday season!
The Dove Take
In The Grinch, the power of kindness to heal and restore is as powerful as in the original version, and it is heartwarming to see the Grinch be forgiven and embraced by The Who’s.