Illumination Pictures

The newest Grinch movie has just been released to theaters and people of all ages are going to see it.

As a person who is not a huge fan of the live-action version, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000), the new animated film was exciting for me. While Jim Carrey is very well-known for his role, the humor could sometimes get to be too much and ultimately made his Grinch unlikable. I thought Benedict Cumberbatch brought the perfect balance of humor and empathy to the screen with his variation of the Grinch. With humor for children and adults to both understand and enjoy, we also get a backstory that someone from any age group couldn’t help but see the Grinch as human.

The story is also altered from the first two adaptations from Dr. Seuss’ original children’s book. In the first animated TV special “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which was released in 1966, the Grinch is an evil green guy who steals everyone’s Christmas — but then we get a sprinkle of change. In the live-action that starred Carrey, we get to know more about the Who’s, especially Cindy-Lou. However, the newest version focuses more on the community of the village, Whoville, and what Christmas means to them.

The character development is amazing in this film. At first, the Grinch is the bad guy. The Who’s don’t mind him, and he doesn’t necessarily mind them either — just Christmas. Towards the middle of the storyline, like most films, we get a better understanding of why Christmas is so dreadful to the Grinch. It’s a quick explanation, but you get all you need. Then, towards the end, we get a few more sprinkles of his childhood and the audience is able to empathize further with the protagonist. We see his mind change, the Who’s accept him for who he is and (spoiler alert) everyone lives happily ever after.

Though there are many good things, I was left wanting to know the answer to some questions. It’s not huge topic, but Cindy-Lou doesn’t have a father. This wouldn’t be an issue if in the previous adaptations she didn’t have one, but she did so I expected two parents. Instead, we see Cindy-Lou’s family as her, her mother and two young brothers.

We also see a huge upgrade in materials this time. The Grinch comes up with new technological gadgets that make for a fast and easy manner of stealing each piece of Christmas. The movie is much more up to date with what kids are interested in and catching up with advancements in technology, but it’s not overwhelming. So, the sudden appearance of a workshop and decked out sleigh is odd. However, it does makes the stealing of gifts, trees and lights all the more interesting.

This version of the Grinch isn’t meant to be scary. The story, character development and animation of the film shows that we should be accepting of other people. Although it is coined as a Christmas film, audiences see what really any holiday can do for others. The overall theme and meaning of the film is to bring together people who are alone, need family and friends during this time of year.

Review overview



8.4"The Grinch" brings a fresh new take to the beloved tale, with wonderful animation and a strong storyline.