The Grinch (2018)
The Grinch, also known as Dr. Seuss' The Grinch, is a 2018 American 3D computer-animated Christmas film produced by Illumination Entertainment and the third screen adaptation of the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss, after the television special from 1966 and the live-action film released in 2000.
It is also the final film adaptation of a Dr. Seuss book during the lifetime of Seuss's widow Audrey Geisel, who died on December 19, 2018, and was an executive producer of the film.
The Grinch and his loyal dog, Max, live a solitary existence inside a cave on Mount Crumpet. His main source of aggravation comes during Christmastime when his neighbors in Whoville celebrate the holidays with a bang. When the Whos decide to make Christmas bigger and brighter, the disgruntled Grinch realizes there is one way to gain peace and quiet. With help from Max, the green grump hatches a scheme to pose as Santa Claus, steal Christmas and silence the Whos' holiday cheer once and for all.
- The main problem with the film is all the character writing is all informed instead of being shown, like how the Grinch is written to be a terrifying grump who outright hates Christmas because of his past experiences with it, but his backstory and personality hardly makes it look like he outright hates Christmas, as the former just shows him having to miss out on Christmas instead of being scarred by it and the latter makes him too normal to be seen as if he's a terrifying grump. The movie, similar to the infamous Grinch film adaptation released in 2000, also has a pointless backstory that is generic and predictable and doesn't need to be there (although this backstory doesn't take up much of the film thankfully).
- The Grinch's design, while faithful to the book, looks more soft than menacing. Max's design also looks out of place and feels like a reject from another Illumination film GMW.
- While Benedict Cumberbatch does a pretty good job as the Grinch, his voice sounds way too normal for the role and he sounds more like someone who's mildly peeved than someone who has no soul and is the physical embodiment of evil.
- It once again runs into the same issue most of these adaptations run into the length. The film is an hour long and there is way too much padding, just so they could have an excuse to make a film out of the book.
- The new characters who are friends of Cindy Lou don't do much to progress the plot and have no real personality.
- The rap update to the Grinch theme is a poor attempt at being hip and cool.
- The new moose character, Fred, is just a pointless comic relief character who shows up for a few scenes and then shows up at the end to finally do something.
- Angela Lansbury as the Mayor of Whoville only appears for one scene and that's pretty much it, making her seem like wasted talent.
- The film doesn't feel like the 1966 special or the book it's based on. In fact, it sometimes even goes as far as to insult them in some scenes, although not as much as in the 2000 film.
- Mediocre comedy such as the "Screaming Goat" meme being used randomly as a joke.
- While the voice acting is good overall, Pharrell Williams as the narrator can be kind of bland and kind of unfitting.
- Cindy is now a generic energetic kid.
- This film took a classic story, and turned it into a cliched, energetic, pop cultural, cash grab.
- Great animation, which is a nice step-up for Illumination films.
- The art style is at least somewhat very accurate to the Dr. Seuss books, although it still has some out of place designs and the lazy reuse of assets that make it rather distracting.
- One shot in the film where the Grinch looks down on Whoville looks visually stunning.
- The concept art is fantastic at least, even if the film ended up being bland.
- Good voice acting, a particular highlight being Kenan Thompson as Bricklebaum.
- It isn't nearly as mean-spirited as the previous attempt at a Grinch adaptation, as the film is a lot more lighthearted than the 2000 live-action adaptation, for example, it lacks the scene where the Grinch saves Cindy, but the former regrets doing so and wraps Cindy in gift paper, as well as throwing the dark atmosphere out of the window in favor of a happier tone that fits Dr. Seuss better.
- Depending on your opinion, the movie actually has the Grinch treating Max nicely in some scenes, which (again, depending on your opinion) is a nice change from the original 1966 special and 2000 film.
- Unlike Illumination's previous Dr. Seuss adaption The Lorax, it doesn't have as much pop culture references, if any.
The film received mixed to average reviews from critics and fans of the original book and special, with many calling it a play it safe kind of film that doesn't add much to the legacy of the story. As with most Illumination films, it was a box office hit, earning $511.6 million worldwide.