I really didn’t expect much from the newest Grinch film.
Sure, it had Babycakes Mumblecrunch (Benjamin Cumberbatch) voicing the Grinch, but I really wasn’t aware of much else. I just assumed it was another Christmas money grab.
When I was approached to review it and get some stuff, I said, “Sure, I like stuff”.
And so, we sat down to watch it. And we were blown away. Aside from Elizabeth’s first statement (“I’m never buying dollar store marshmallows again.”), mine was, “Wow, this is gorgeous.” And it got better from there.
Here is the number count:
I laughed out loud a total of 14 times.
I cried twice.
I said the word ‘gorgeous’ six times.
As I write this my four-year-old son is on his fifth viewing. Including the bonus add-ons.
I said to Elizabeth, “This is actually good,” three times. Once at the end.
As far as story goes, there are several extensions to the story. The Grinch is less scary, more rude, except to Max (the dog). He does love Max. I like their relationship (“You are a good dog. But a bad drummer).
They gave The Grinch a bit of a back story, and in this, his reason for not liking Christmas. While they didn’t hit you over the head with it, it made sense and did tie it all together. Cindy-Lou is also a bit more flushed out. Yes, this is still for children, but it is smarter. The introduction of Fred the Reindeer wasn’t heavy handed. The Grinch had a sleigh, he needed a reindeer. It was natural, and Fred was a natural in this.
And the ‘heist’ scene was magic. There is a visual creativity there that I haven’t seen in a while. I won’t give it away, but it was the highlight of the film for me.
Also: Body brush.
As for the bonus material there is a ‘fireplace channel’ version called ‘Cindy-Lou’s Yule Log’ where you watch a fireplace surrounded by presents. Instead of an arm coming in to stoke the fire, the Grinch comes in and slowly steals all the Christmas elements. A good time.
It wasn’t a total re-imagining, but in the ‘Grinch-iverse’, it is a solid addition. I wasn’t too keen on Tyler, the Creator’s version of the classic song, but I can look past that. The stupefying animation by Illumination (Despicable Me) and solid writing gave me a short memory when it came to the musical offering.
In the end, after all the watching and analyzing and rewatching…it didn’t feel like a Christmas movie. Just over a month out of Christmas with it fresh in our hearts, it was a Christmas movie that didn’t need to be watched during the season to be relevant.
I have a DVD/Blu-ray combo to give away. And a toque that you can see pictured below.
Head to the UnDad Facebook page for deets. Super simple.