Just in time for the holiday season, The Grinch is back and the newest version of the film emphasizes the saying “three times the charm.”
Directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier, The Grinch, based on the 1957 novel by Dr. Seuss, follows the dreary life of the green, grumpy Grinch during Christmas, his most hated time of the year.
When the Grinch hears from his neighbor that the mayor of Whoville wants the upcoming Christmas to be “three times bigger and more cheerful than ever before,” his already sour mood gets even worse. This is when the Grinch and his loyal dog Max begin to strategize to steal Christmas and leave the cheerful Whos as miserable as he is. His plan is going well and he has almost stolen Christmas when he encounters a sweet little girl named Cindy Lou Who who helps him see what Christmas is really about as his heart grows in size.
Certainly this tale is familiar to the audience, as most everyone has had the beloved book read to them as a child. Many viewers first saw the original film adaptation that came a decade after the book and then later saw the live-action version that came along decades after that. However, what the audience has not seen before was what made the Grinch so miserable in the first place, and Cheney and Mosier offer that answer in the newest film.
When recreating a classic, some things must be changed or modified in order to make the movie successful. The additions to this film are not just about having better animations, though it certainly helps, but rather better character descriptions and understanding about the citizens that make up Whoville, including the Grinch.
The newest make of the film is not just about how the Grinch stole Christmas, but why. Rather than just hearing that a sweet little girl changed the Grinch, the audience got to see what makes her so sweet and who taught her to have the big heart that she does. The third Grinch movie offers insight on who the Whos are.
Of course there are still some questions unanswered like where Cindy Lou Who’s dad is and why her mother is doing everything all by herself, but the other aspect of a good remake is that it does not stray too far from the original story. This movie is a story for kids; it’s not meant to be a reality check on abandoned children and divorced parents. It remains young and innocent to entertain its younger audience and also offers a more complete picture in order to serve its older crowd.
If the deeper insight and better understanding of the Grinch aren’t enough to differentiate this Grinch from the others, the sounds of the movie also help this movie’s uniqueness. The Grinch’s voice, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is unlike the voices of the past. He doesn’t snarl or have a deep menacing tone, but rather, he sounds almost nerdy. The narration, voiced by Pharrell Williams, is played in a way that almost sounds like a song being sung instead of a poem being read which goes perfectly with the new soundtrack that is done by Tyler the Creator.
Overall, this version is the best version yet. It remains close to its origins, while also offering something new in the sounds and the stories. It is the perfect holiday movie.