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“The Grinch” Honors and Improves Original

Illustration by Clara Hollowgrass

Hide your presents and candy canes because the Grinch is back in Whoville to steal Christmas. Illumination Studios seems to have landed yet another classic Dr. Seuss book adaptation following its film version of The Lorax. The 2018 The Grinch follows the green menace as he attempts to stop the citizens of Whoville from celebrating and spreading Christmas joy.

As seen before in The Lorax, Illumination Studios has once again seamlessly captured the iconic and nostalgic style of the beloved Dr. Seuss and transformed it into eye catching 3D computer animations. All of the visuals were more than impressive, and everything looked very accurate and true to their storybook roots. Animation suits the big screen version of The Grinch well, truly capturing all of the exaggerated style and effects of the original story, while saving us the torture of watching an overly dressed up Jim Carrey act out the green Christmas stealer.

The soundtrack and main themes were produced by the Grinch-like rapper himself: Tyler, The Creator. The young and well known artist has come a long way from where he started. Moving from the grimy and violent tone heard in his early works, we’ve seen the artist grow and develop a more relaxed and melodic sound that is both seen in his recent music as well as his songs found in the album for this movie. Both the main Grinch theme, “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” and the end credit song, “I Am the Grinch,” fell into the hands of the rapper.

Although it may seem like the style of Tyler, The Creator and The Grinch would not match up well, the soundtrack proves otherwise. The rapper’s unique sound and style provided a refreshing and young revamp on the musical end, that complimented the new visuals of the classic Grinch story.

In addition to its top of the line animation studio, this movie’s cast delivered even better than expected. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Grinch was truly amazing, and he seemed to really immerse himself in the character. A perfect blend of an American accent and his own British accent provided both the cruel and irritable side, as well as the lonely and misunderstood side of the character, outperforming even the lively and expressive Carrey. The seasoned English actor kept all of the original traits of the character as well as his own twists and nuances, giving the Grinch a relatable and human like personality. Although some may say that the Grinch himself was a bit too kind when compared to his former characterizations, the more gentle and emotional side of the character allows the viewer to connect with the misunderstood outcast.

Even side characters such as Bricklebaum, the jolliest citizen of Whoville, voiced by Saturday Night Live comedian Keenan Thompson, gave a lot to the overall movie. They provided depth and side stories that felt important, and were able to avoid becoming afterthoughts while still reserving the main spotlight for the Grinch.

This rendition of the classic Christmas book seems to excel in all the right places. Its visuals are stunning and feel nostalgic and proper, and the castings proved to be some of the best possible.

This movie turned out to be everything enjoyable about a film version of The Grinch, without the awkward and disturbing use of makeup and effects seen in Carrey’s 2000 rendition. Although this may not win an Academy Award for best screenplay, it is still a very fun and lighthearted movie that anyone can enjoy. By combining all of these successful aspects with a creative new soundtrack, the movie exceed expectations, giving viewers a fun movie for the holidays.