Grouchy Grinch. A movie poster advertising The Grinch hangs outside of AMC theaters at the Collection. The Grinch is the third adaptation of the beloved Dr. Seuss classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. (Alyssa Freyman)
Grouchy Grinch. A movie poster advertising The Grinch hangs outside of AMC theaters at the Collection. The Grinch is the third adaptation of the beloved Dr. Seuss classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Alyssa Freyman

Stealing the show: the latest adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas

November 30, 2018

People sit in the theater, escaping from the summer heat. Sipping on soda and munching on popcorn, they watch the trailers of upcoming movies. Action movies, comedies, and romance movies fill the screen, getting everyone excited for autumn and winter. All of a sudden, a trailer plays, causing viewers to raise eyebrows. The Grinch movie trailer plays. People roll their eyes, wondering why another adaptation of the classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” book written by Dr. Seuss is being made. The following question fills the minds of people everywhere: is it worth watching?

The Grinch had a lot of pressure on its shoulders, what with it being released after two other versions of Dr. Seuss’ beloved book. The book, which was released in 1957, has been made into three movies: one made in 1966, another made in 2000, and the latest one released this year. The latest version of the movie was produced by Illumination Studios, making the animation of the film similar to the kind used in Minions and The Secret Life of Pets. The movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch as The Grinch, Cameron Seely as Cindy-Lou Who, Rashida Jones as Cindy-Lou Who’s mom (Donna Who), and Pharrell Williams as the narrator. Director Yarrow Cheney had experience from making Dr. Seuss books into movies with The Lorax in 2012, while Director Scott Mosier had previously worked on another holiday children’s movie: Free Birds. With a rotten tomatoes score of 58%, it’s clear that people are conflicted as to whether they like The Grinch or not.

I believe that this newer version of the beloved children’s book is a refreshing new take on the story. While the previous version from 2000 starring Jim Carrey had lots of opportunities to laugh and was a realistic approach on the story, I felt that the 2018 movie had a more modern take that was more applicable to all kinds of viewers and the storyline made more sense. In the 2018 movie, the Grinch was not hated by the Who’s; rather, he hated them and the idea of Christmas. The reason is later explained as we get a small glimpse into the childhood of the Grinch. Spending his whole childhood in an orphanage, he never got to celebrate Christmas and always felt left out by the festivities of Whoville. This makes sense, considering the fact that he never got to experience or learn the true meaning of Christmas or love. Throughout the movie, we see him get drawn by Christmas items, such as cookies and a book dedicated to the holiday. Also, the Grinch wasn’t incapable of showing love. Rather than treating Max, his dog, with no respect or love, he shows his appreciation towards him in subtle ways; whether it’s by petting Max or letting him sleep in his bed.

The Grinch can be relatable at times, and viewers learn to love the villain of the movie. At one scene of the movie, we get to see the Grinch eating away his emotions with large quantities of spaghetti and cereal. Also, Cindy-Lou Who is not a delicate character who questions the meaning of Christmas. Instead, she is a headstrong little girl who does whatever it takes to try to help her hard-working and overwhelmed mother. The bond we get to see between Cindy-Lou Who and her mother, Donna Who, is something we do not get from the previous movies, highlighting the importance of family.

The overall theme of the movie, expressed by the Grinch at the end, warms the hearts of viewers. The Grinch recognizes the importance of family and friends, and ends the movie with a toast: “To love and kindness, the things we need most.” This movie is definitely one worth seeing, in my opinion, and may even be the best adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas yet.

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