You probably know by now that I love the original How the Grinch stole Christmas special from 1966 although my family also enjoys the Jim Carrey version from 2000 but I won’t deny that the Dr. Seuss movies are not very good and considering Illuminations also did The Lorax I wasn’t that excited. I’ll just get this out of the way, Tyler the Creator’s cover of the classic Grinch song sucks. It sounds too much like Despicable Me by Pharrell Williams (weird choice for a narrator). Jordin Smith’s cover was a way better cover.
Benedict Cumberbatch is decent as the Grinch but I feel like they wasted an opportunity on using his deep voice. He also comes off as little too nice especially towards Max. His backstory is simpler and less mean spirited than the 2000 version. There’s also a b plot focusing on Cindy Lou Who trying to capture Santa so she can ask him to help her mother. She sort of feels like a combination of Gru’s daughters. Her arc isn’t that necessary to the movie but the character is still really likable. Speaking of which the whos this time are much more friendly than in 2000 especially Bricklebaum who’s sort of a foil to the Grinch.
Illumination films usually have nice animation but standard humor and the Grinch also falls into that. I like the design of Whoville which looks like a mix between gingerbread houses and no straight lines which looks very similar to the book. The character designs while your standard Illumination character designs still look nice compared to 2000 (the only reason they won the Oscar for makeup was because of Jim Carrey). The comedy again is pretty much like Illumination’s other movies which are filled with pop culture references and slapstick. The screaming goat gag got old even before it screamed.
The Grinch feels more like a Christmas version of Despicable Me. Out of all the Dr. Seuss movies this is probably the least disrespectful of the Dr. Seuss adaptations. I would say this is better than the 2000 version because it’s less mean spirited but I feel like this movies too new to compare it. It’s still a nice Christmas movie for your kids.
+ More friendly Whos
+ Nice animation
+/- Cindy Lou Who
– Standard kid jokes
– Tyler the Creator’s Grinch cover