The Grinch

The Grinch

Distributed By: Universal Pictures, Illumination

Release Date: November 9th 2018

Running Time: 86 minutes

What’s the film about?: Based on Dr Seuss’s children’s story How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the animated movie delves into the story of the Grinch, who lives in his cave with his dog Max in the middle of Whoville. The movie delves into the Grinch’s complicated feelings about Christmas, and also his mission to steal Christmas from the Whos, so that they can be less happy and miserable like him.

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Angela Lansbury, Pharrell Williams

Initial thoughts: A typical cartoon movie with a simple plot, and lots of colours and a happy ending- will please plenty of children. Adults will be surprisingly impacted by this movie as well, with the emotional and vulnerable film diving deep into the importance of family and friends and the notion that we all should celebrate in each other’s joy and happiness, because being bitter and angry and sad doesn’t do anyone any good!

Reason to watch: For the warm, fuzzy feelings we receive, for the warmth and the ever-true and applicable message of Christmas being important because of family, to hear Benedict speak in an American accent, for the adorableness of Cindy Lou Who and her friends… take your pick!

Reason to skip: if you truly are a Grinch, or like Ebenezer Scrooge. If you’re not any of those things, then The Grinch will warm your heart immensely.

Does it have heart?: Is the sky blue? Seriously, The Grinch probably has the most heart of any Christmas movie out there. I mean it! It’s simple in its message, but super effective it its delivery.

Does it have a Christmas-y atmosphere?: Yes… and no. For a film rooted in the concept of Christmas being something that the Grinch wants to destroy, we never fully are shown why the Whos are so enamoured by Christmas. Nor do we know why the Grinch is so hellbent on destroying it. Yes, he was left in an orphanage when he was younger, but why destroy Christmas? Yes there are carols and a vibrant Christmas mood all throughout. But there also seems to be a lack of a Christmas atmosphere as well, if you know what I mean. I feel like there could’ve been a whole lot more visually aesthetic Christmas-y things shown, but since this film is first and foremost a kids film; I think I’ll let it slide. At least the movie talks about the importance of family.

Uniqueness?: It’s based on a children’s story by Dr Seuss, and already there’s been a live action film (with Jim Carrey). The film isn’t unique, but it is indeed likeable.

Scene Stealer: Benedict Cumberbatch as the Grinch… who else? But also, a special mention needs to go to Cameron Seely as the naïve but good-natured Cindy, with a big, big heart.

Christmas message: The mainstream Christmas message of Christmas being a time for family and friends, is preached from the rooftops here. But the message of Jesus is never shown at all. What do we expect for Hollywood though?

Closing thoughts: If you like animation, then this film is for you. If you like Benedict Cumberbatch, then this is for you. If you like films with honesty and emotion and heart, then this is for you. Simply put- watch the film, and be amazed at the story of the Grinch who had a hardened heart, but soon changed for the better and became a person full of joy and heart and love.

Overall rating: 4/5

Yes/no; why/why not?: A family film that is fit for the entire family- this film has a great message of having a positive outlook in the face of adversity, and never letting the unfortunate circumstances in life bring us down. So yes, I liked The Grinch. Will you? I’m thinking Yes with a capital Y!

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