grinch

How Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Grinch’ stole America’s hearts

Nov 15 • Arts & Leisure, Top Stories • 681

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Christmas seems to be coming earlier and earlier each year. As soon as Halloween ends, everyone glosses over Thanksgiving and gets right into full Christmas mode.
Even Hollywood has started to follow in this trend, as a new version of Dr. Seuss’ “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” has just hit theaters.
In just over four days, Illumination Entertainment’s “The Grinch” has amassed a whopping $78 million at the box office.
And for good reason, “The Grinch” is by far my favorite of the modern Illumination Entertainment CGI adaptations.
“The Grinch” marks the third theatrical outing of everyone’s favorite green hermit who hates Christmas, and I have to say, I was a bit skeptical going into the theaters.
I grew up watching both the classic cartoon and the 2000 Jim Carrey version as a child, and I only really like the former.
The live action version was always pretty creepy to me, and while it has some funny parts, I always prefered the original.
This most recent retelling of the classic story gives both versions a run for their money.
While the original cartoon from 1966 was only 26 minutes, “The Grinch” adds tons of new material to get the runtime up to feature length.
Unlike the 2000 live action version with Carrey, “The Grinch” does not just pad its runtime with random jokes that do not add any value to the film.
Every new element that is added to “The Grinch” is done in a way that actually endears the audience more to both the Whos of Whoville and the Grinch himself.
“The Grinch” had me laughing so hard I was in tears for a good majority of the movie.
Just about every joke that is presented to the audience is laugh-out-loud funny for both adults and children alike.
While this definitely is a children’s movie, there is plenty of inside jokes that kids definitely will not understand, which is always a plus for me.
Even the jokes that were not risque were genuinely funny on their own merit, making “The Grinch” a funny night out for both adults and children alike.
With such an emphasis on the comedic side of the story, it could be easy to lose sight of the emotional character of the story, but “The Grinch” balances the two sides of this coin with expert precision.
The animation of “The Grinch” is really spectalular. The unique art style that Illumination has crafted over its short tenure of being a popular movie studio has been perfected in “The Grinch.”
The design of each character blends Illumination’s style with the classic look of the characters, while updating them to appeal better to modern audiences.
The attention to detail in each scene is impressive as well. Illumination walks the line between cartoonish and realistic well, and avoids running into the same problems Pixar had in recent films of making the scenery so realistic that their cartoonish characters feel out of place.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as the titular character is nothing short of perfection.
Cumberbatch does not so much do a “funny voice” for the Grinch, he really just ditches his native accent and changes his voice up just enough that he is almost unrecognizable as himself.
And somehow, while doing this different voice, Cumberbatch is able to convey a complete spectrum of emotion from existential dread to laugh-out-loud hilarity.
The critical reception of “The Grinch” could be described as mixed at best. Rotten Tomatoes has given it a 56 percent on the Tomatometer, and I truly cannot understand why.
“The Grinch” had my entire theater and me rolling on the floor from beginning to end.
I give “The Grinch” my full endorsement. It is a hilarious and surprisingly heartfelt movie that, while it has been released a little early, is perfect for this holiday season.

BENJAMIN HAYLETT
haylett001@knights.gannon.edu

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