“The Grinch” : Snoozing soundly in my seat


Mia Huggins, Graphic Designer

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As the holidays roll around, moviegoers look to the theaters for holiday films to put them in the spirit for the month to come. One such film is the recent reboot of Dr. Seuss’s “The Grinch”, but it didn’t quite grasp the whimsical nature of the book like previous adaptations were able to capture. “The Grinch,” while being a cutesy, wholesome Christmas movie, missed its mark on ingenuity and fresh perspectives on the beloved character.

The most recent adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic was taken for a spin by the Illumination film company, the creators of movies such as “Despicable Me” and “The Secret Life of Pets,” who have been gaining a reputation for cash grabs, given that they have four installments of the “Despicable Me” series, and a sequel to “The Secret Life of Pets,” and it shows. Their adorable art style is extremely effective when pulling audiences in and is very clean-cut and child-friendly in action. However, Illumination seems to be losing its story-making touch, as “The Grinch” was a plain bore. There were very few aspects to the movie that would allude to the whimsical nature of a Seuss story. The audience gets just enough gadgets and phrases here and there to remind them of who they are watching, but only just.  The environment wasn’t the only part of the movie that was washed out, as Illumination risked changing aspects of Grinch himself in an attempt to make him more relatable, and it wasn’t worth it.

One of the benefits of a reboot is to jumpstart a story’s popularity so the younger generation can grow up with a story that is more relevant to themselves. However, “The Grinch” wasn’t preserved, it was distorted. The Grinch, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, lost his mean-ness, his malevolence, and his overall attitude. Our favorite green grump became a watered-down version of himself, participating in small, harmless pranks rather than dastardly deeds. He transformed into a sad sack rather than an angry goofball, and it abolished the feeling of the story. The humor in the movie was extremely lax as well, mostly relying on developments in trends, such as Tyler the Creator (a famous rapper) being featured in the score, and slapstick, which can only be funny after so many times. Unfortunately for “The Grinch,” this means that this film will age fast, considering how fast trends change nowadays. To make matters worse, it didn’t even feel like the Grinch was the main character.

For most of the movie’s duration, we followed the story of Cindy Lou Who, and her quest to capture Santa. This greatly subtracted from the Grinch himself, the main character and namesake of the movie. This made the movie disappointing, as I personally was hoping for a Grinch movie, not a Cindy movie. This wore down the audience quickly, given that three adults fell asleep in the theater I was in. Cindy Lou Who was certainly a lovable character, make no mistake, but we didn’t come for Cindy, we came for an angry Grinch who was ready to create chaos during this holiday season. “The Grinch” may be successful as of now, but will never reach classic holiday film status.

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