cartoon by Jade Howe

The holiday season comes with a few ‘mandatory’ traditions. One such tradition in households across America is watching How The Grinch Stole Christmas. The late Dr. Seuss’ classic was previously brought to life by director Ron Howard.

     This year, Illumination revived this old holiday classic with an animated version titled The Grinch. With an all-star cast of voice actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Pharrell Williams, and Kenan Thompson, the film had the potential to be the next holiday classic.

     After watching the film, I feel severely let down. This animated spin on Dr. Seuss’ story strays far from the original plot line and butchered the classic story that most people know today. Additionally, the performances from the voice actors were nothing short of careless. To all fans of Jim Carrey’s Grinch, save your money.

     The 2018 version has the Grinch walking the streets of Whoville without causing any disruption, a concept that would have been unfathomable in the original.

     I had very high hopes for Benedict Cumberbatch’s new take on the Grinch as a character but I was very disappointed by the way his personality was taken over by a terrible string of humor that can only be seen as funny in the mind of a child.

     Another big reason I am not a fan of the new Grinch film is the weird spin on the Grinch’s home; and not only his home, but the advances and gadgets that come with it. In the original the Grinch has a very run down home in Mt. Crumpit. With a collection of gears and motors the Grinch’s home is all self-made. However in the 2018 film, the Grinch lives in a nice, well lit, modern home, and the gadgets and tools he uses to steal all the presents from the Whos are straight out of the future. It seems almost as if the writers hadn’t even seen the original film.

     My main reason for not liking this film and the reason I will likely never watch it again is the absence of the original back story. The original Grinch grew up in Whoville up until his last year of grade school where he had a traumatic experience that made him leave Whoville and despise Christmas as a whole in the Howard version. In the new film, the Grinch grows up in an orphanage and is neglected from celebrating Christmas like all the other Whos. The new film doesn’t have a strong or viable reason for the Grinch to truly hate Christmas.

     Although the same concept of the Grinch story is maintained throughout the film, the movie was not executed properly by any stretch of the imagination. If the ultimate goal of the film was to become a holiday blockbuster, then the filmmakers were miles off target. Overall, I would suggest to anyone with the humor level above that of a 5th grader’s and respect for their own time to stay at home and watch the previous versions.

Written by Andrew Spiegel