HOLLYWOOD—The Dr. Seuss classic, “The Grinch” is getting the opportunity at another stab on the big screen, this time another animated version. You might be asking yourself why I noted “another” time in the previous sentence. It seems this classic is being reinterpreted, reimagined or whatever you want to call it every so many years.
The last time we saw the character, we got a live-action version starring Jim Carrey as the green little fiend. This time the Grinch is voiced by British actor Benedict Cumberbatch. I thought Carrey’s interpretation made the iconic character more frightening to kids than misunderstood, where this new version gets back to the basics.
I really don’t think I need to dig deep into explaining the narrative of the book, which sees the town of Whoville stunned to learn that all their Christmas festivities have been ruined by the Grinch who doesn’t seem to please about the holiday. He is mischievous, at time lacking emotion, but in the end (no spoiler here people) he learns the true message of Christmas thanks to Cindy Lou Who (voice of Cameron Seely). This is even after stealing all of the presents from the residents of Whoville.
The animated feature has plenty of heart and manages to maintain the audience’s attention, more likely the kiddos compared to the adults. Why is that? Well nothing new or fresh has been introduced to the classic tale, and let’s be honest, who actually would consider messing with a classic leaving people in uproar? I would not and I don’t think many who are familiar with Dr. Seuss’ classic tales would either.
What’s not to love many of the iconic characters of Whoville including Donna Lou Who (voice of Rashida Jones), Bricklebaum (voice of Kenan Thompson), Mayor McGerkle (voice of Angela Lansbury) and Max (voice of Frank Welker)? They are all classic characters and they provide laughter and humor to the movie. Musician Pharrell Williams tackles the role of the narrator and while he does a solid job, I would be lying if I did not admit, his voice just doesn’t do it; I was hoping someone like Morgan Freeman who has a more commanding, authoritative and soothing voice will take over those duties. Does it impact the pacing of the movie, not really; only a critic could point out such a flaw in casting for the movie.
With the latest reincarnation of “The Grinch” we get the same old tale, and that is okay because it does its job of reminding the audience of what made ‘The Grinch’ such an iconic tale. At its heart it’s not about receiving gifts, about spending time with family and friends and making memories.