Kyle Says THE GRINCH Will Put You In the Holiday Spirit.

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FILM REVIEW: THE GRINCH

BY KYLE ARANGO

When we were all kids, Dr. Seuss was a staple of our childhood. We read his silly stories and funky rhymes, but many stories fell by the wayside. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is not one of those. This is one of, if not Seuss’ best book ever. The animated special is great and now we are getting another version. Could The Grinch be a great Dr. Seuss adaptation for both kids and adults alike? The answer is an emphatic yes! This is the perfect Christmas movie for families that will live on with all the other Christmas greats for generation after generation.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a classic tale we all read as kids. We meet the character of the Grinch who is a miserable, lonesome, hermit that lives up in a cave on a mountain with his dog Max. Down below him is Whoville, a town full of happy families that go all out for Christmas every year. The Grinch hates Christmas and decides one year enough is enough and decides to steal Christmas in Whoville. This film tells relatively the same story, but they add new material to make it their own. This version feels fresh and raw and brings a new taste to the story that works. The live action How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey and directed by Ron Howard from 2000 tried to do something different and it did not work. That movie is atrocious and thank goodness this new version came along so we can get that taste out of our mouths. In this version you feel for both Grinch and all the citizens of Whoville and understand where they are all coming from. This along with a very short running time allows you to be engaged throughout and leaves you with your heart three times larger.

The storytelling in The Grinch is really the backbone of this film. Like I said before that you care for both sides, but you care for each and every character. You care for the dog Max, and reindeer that he stumbles upon. Each citizen of Whoville feels unique and not just bunched up together. They all have a different personality. Little Cindy Lou Who that is just a minor character in other versions plays a major role in this version. She is doing everything she can to talk to Santa not to ask him for gifts, but to ask him to help her mom because she feels that since she does so much for everyone else, she deserves something nice too. This broke my heart right away once it was introduced. My mom is the exact same way, always trying to make others happy and I never felt I could thank her enough. I felt like Cindy Lou Who, a name we used to call my mom, and wanted her to accomplish her goal. Throughout you know she is on a collision course with the Grinch ad you both dread it and cannot wait to see it happen.

Now the star of the film is the Grinch himself and he is voiced brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch. This man is a national treasure who makes this character his own. You cannot tell that it is even him until you see his name at the end. He brings that cruelty and relatability to the character that we should not feel. While doing this, he also brings a tremendous sense of humor to the role. There are moments of hilarity that had me laughing so hard that I forgot this was supposed to be a kid’s movie. There is a scene towards the beginning where the Grinch and Max travel into Whoville for food and it is one of my favorite sequences this year. He is a cynical prick that has a massive character act that you fully believe in thanks to how well he was written and portrayed. Another standout is another citizen of Whoville named Bricklebaum who is voiced by Kenan Thompson that almost steals the movie. He is a man obsessed with Christmas and his clash with the Grinch who hates Christmas is something to see.

One final shout out I want to give is to the wonderful animators over at Illumination. This is the best and most clean animation I have ever seen from any movie and they fully take advantage of the advancements in technology. When you see this film, you will notice the hair on all the characters and how real it looks. That is something I have never seen before with each strand being distinct on the body. To see where animation goes from here is exciting to think about.

The Grinch is one of the biggest surprises of the year for me that absolutely made me smile. This is the best film the studio Illumination has ever put out which is known for films such as Minions, Secret Life of Pets, and the Despicable Me franchise. This film will put you in the Christmas spirit early on and both kids and adults will thoroughly enjoy this film both this year and for years to come when it inevitably joins the 25 days of Christmas lineup on Freeform.

 

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