How the Grinch Stole Christmas
A retelling of Dr. Seuss’ classic, The Grinch follows the classic tale while offering insight into the sad backstory of the titular character as well as other Whoville citizens.
Spoiler Level: None
Okay, so I know what you’re thinking: “why the hell is he reminding the world of that awful movie?” Well, I invite you to answer this important question: did you watch it? If you did, did you ever stop watching it? At any point, if it was playing on TV, did you turn off the TV without a sense of hesitation? While TV’s 1966 The Grinch offered a decent and respectful adaptation of the book, and 2018’s The Grinch was the same except 3D animated, I’d argue these are both forgettable compared to How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Here’s why.
While being respectful towards the source material is great, I will always have more respect towards the adapters that try something different. How the Grinch Stole Christmas did just that. By adding backstory you start to see the Grinch as a full character and less like a cardboard cutout. Despite the fact that there are aspects of his character that are gross, you still root for him in the end. His change was deserved, and you get to see the real evil uprooted.
I think people like to rule this movie off because it’s weird, but at least it tries to be unique. Yes, the Whos have weird teeth, but the settings are bright, colorful, and whimsy. Yes, The Grinch is, again, gross, but that works for his character. It doesn’t make him unlikeable, just eccentric. The world is fleshed out despite it’s strangeness. There’s the element of class that’s brought up with the obvious disparities between Martha May Whovier and Betty Lou Who. There’s also the descriptions of the odd but functional mail system in the earlier scenes.
For a children’s movie, the writing is excellent. The dialogue is silly without being cringey, the humor does, for the most part, stick, as well as the lighthearted moments. There are certain details that, plot wise, were pretty powerful. There are certain images of the young Grinch as he struggles with his appearance that are sad yet relatable. How often have we tried to alter our appearance to try and look “normal”?
The acting is effective. Jim Carrey delivers an excellent performance, utilizing the full range of his talent, from his quirky upbeat side to his serious side. Everyone else gives excellent performances as well, including Jeffrey Tambor as the Mayor and Christine Baranski as Martha May Whovier.
I think there is something to be said of the criticism this film often gets regarding its handling of adult themes. However, a lot of children’s movies have adult scenes in it, though some are worse than others. I think the problem here is that this movie’s seen as gross already so when you see the crude, adult jokes you end up noticing it. For this movie, as well as a lot of Christmas movies, you can watch them as adults for nostalgia or to get into the Christmas spirit. So, if you’re not comfortable showing this to your kid, you can, and should, still watch it yourself.
While there are many great “The Grinch” adaptations, I think you should take a walk on the wild side and watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
In Defense of How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Acting - 9/109/10
Music - 9.6/109.6/10
Production - 10/1010/10
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