‘The Grinch’ takes a classic and makes it fresh and fun

Universal Pictures All-Access

By Khandekar Hussain

It has almost been two decades since live-action film How the Grinch Stole Christmas was released in theaters and over half a century since that film’s inspiration, the cartoon of the same name, hit TV screens. Even though both of these now classic movies have a spot in hearts and left us in a jolly, excited and Christmassy mood – much like the title character the end of his tale – the latest Grinch installment, simply titled “The Grinch,” will replace both those movies in an instant.

“The Grinch” directed by Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier and written by Michael LeSieur, follows the adventures of the grumpy title character and his lovable sidekick dog, Max, as they try to stop Whoville from celebrating Christmas, the holiday that, for some odd reason, the Grinch despises with every little bit of his heart. Along the way, the pair meets a little girl named Cindy Lou, who is on the way to send a letter to the big man himself, Santa Claus.

Mr. Grinch, played by Benedict Cumberbatch ( “Doctor Strange”) puts on a stunning display of voice acting with a lifelike and emotional performance that sounds as if it was made up on the spot and not lines of a script. There are also other great voice performances, such as Cameron Seely who plays Cindy Lou in the film and Kenan Thompson who plays Bricklebaum in the film. Both these actors did a terrific job on their performances and like Benedict Cumberbatch, they put a lifelike and very funny performance based on their characters even though Benedict Cumberbatch had an emotional performance.

The film is narrated by singer Pharrell Williams (“Happy”) and his performance is pretty good; his voice is smooth and relaxing which is what you need in a narrator for this famous movie.

Even though this film is a spectacular remake, the Grinch isn’t really as grumpy as in the old films. t this Grinch is a bit more jolly. I feel like that the writers had gone a little soft on the movie probably because nowadays anything that seems too saddening or that anything that looks harmful, the parents of the children would want those parts of the movie to be cut out. The addition of Cindy Lou’s three friends seems important until the realization comes that they only make one cameo throughout the whole film.

The animation is marvelous; at some points in the movie, the surrounding area looks as if someone had taken a picture and just put it in the frame. All the voice actors do a good job of getting the emotions across, such as when Cameron Healy, as Cindy Lou, relates her Christmas wish – it seems so sad and you’d want just hug her through the screen.  The music is fitting and great as well. When there had been a sad scene in the movie, there is a well-coordinated orchestra just waiting to pounce.

Rated PG, “The Grinch” is now available to stream, download or purchase as a DVD or Bluray disc.