And so as the Christmas season rolls in, the movies follow it. This year, classics such as ‘Home Alone’ and ‘ Its A Wonderful Life’ are joined by the 2018 remake of ‘The Grinch’ but make no mistake this remake is far from a Christmas classic. Kids can take away plenty of good messages from this movie: such as Cindy Lou’s kind and loving behaviour in wanting to make her mom’s life less stressful and the Grinch’s own character arc that sees him grow out of his cocoon of resentment and despair.
The film follows the titular “Grinch” in his usual routine of ruining or rather “stealing” Christmas away from the people of Whoville. The Grinch’s decision to ruin the holiday for the people of Whoville and steal all their presents is prompted by the Mayor of Whoville’s decision to make Christmas three times as big as it has been before. The story is intensified by the additional side story that includes Donna Lou and Cindy Lou Who’s plan to trap Santa Claus and ask for a very particular gift, subsequent Christmas shenanigans ensue.
My criticisms lie largely in the plot, as Illumination Studios is able to deliver a well animated, bright, colourful and visually appealing film. Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the Grinch is even quite entertaining, while it isn't comparable to Boris Karloff in the 1966 original, it is still seeping with the Grinch’s trademark misery and grumpy attitude that almost everyone knows. For some bizarre reason, Pharrell Williams narrates the film and does definitely manage to bring a sense of that Dr Seuss- like levity to the film. Even the soundtrack from rapper Tyler, the Creator is a new, creative and interesting addition to this retelling. However the same cannot be said about the plot. Although the plot allows for some laughs and funny visual gags to occur, it brings very little to the table in terms of actual creativity and imagination when reinventing the story. It could be suggested that the film plays it far too safe and creates what is essentially a declawed version of what this remake could have been.
2018’s ‘Grinch’ remake is a fun, entertaining and visually enjoyable film that both kids and parents will enjoy, but it is definitely far from a Christmas classic if you're looking for one of those I'd recommend the 1966 version of this same story.