Illumination’s new Grinch film hits theaters this weekend, and it’s the same heartwarming story you love, with a lot more laughs.
The Grinch is directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role. It’s written by Michael LeSieur and Tommy Swerdlow, based on the book by Dr. Seuss.
And – no surprises here – but this is the same, classic holiday story we’ve all known since childhood. The Grinch is a mean loner who lives high above Whoville and hates Christmas. One year, the curmudgeon decides he’s going to steal Christmas from the residents below.
However, one of the things that truly sells this flick is what they add to the tale. There are a few new characters and new plot details that flesh out the story somewhat and give fans of the old films something new to enjoy. In particular, Cindy Lou Who’s quest to meet Santa Claus provides not only a lot of laughs and a lot of heart, but it’s also the emotional core of the film while the Grinch does his thing.
Which brings us to the other thing that sells the movie – the laughs. There is a lot of humor in The Grinch; you’ll have a laugh every few minutes. It’s not dumb humor either, nor is it reminiscent of the Jim Carrey version. This team has infused their film with its own brand of humor, humor that works for both kids and adults.
Oh, and then there’s the Grinch’s dog Max. Granted this is an animated film, and Max isn’t actually played by anyone, but he steals the show. Credit to Mosier and Cheney, as well as the animators, for making Max so lovable and fun to watch.
Cumberbatch’s Grinch is a more mellow, plain-speaking one. His performance isn’t as distinct or original as Carrey’s was, but it’s still good in its subtlety. Honestly, who really stands out among the voice cast is Kenan Thompson, supplying the same quick, comedic delivery he’s become famous for on SNL.
The animation is crisp, clean, and pretty to look at. There are a few moments where the “camera” is swooping around and things get a bit blurry and it might bug your eyes, but for the most part Illumination continues to prove themselves a worthy competitor of Disney/Pixar and Dreamworks.
The Grinch is a light, fun holiday movie that families will enjoy. If you’re looking for something to do with the kids this weekend, take them to the flick. It’s got laughs and heartwarming moments, as well as some great lessons for the little ones to take home.