March 23, 2019

“Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch” proves to be a new holiday favorite

Becky Miller '20, Opinions Editor

The new Grinch movie, which came out on November 9, boasts an all-star cast, including Benedict Cumberbatch as Grinch, Rashida Jones as Cindy Lou Who’s mom, and Pharrell Williams as the narrator. Photo courtesy of https://www.grinchmovie.com/gallery.

Looking for the perfect holiday movie this season? Push “Home Alone” and “It’s A Wonderful Life” to the side this year, because “Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch” is in theaters and will surprise you with its dazzling visuals, heartwarming message, and modern twists.

This new animated version of Dr. Seuss’s beloved classic holds the essence of the original tale but incorporates contemporary additions as well. Pop singer Pharrell Williams narrates the movie, using a mix of Dr. Seuss lines and new, creative rhymes that sound just like Dr. Seuss with a modern flair. Rapper Tyler, the Creator wrote a six-song soundtrack for the movie including rap song “I am the Grinch” rolling during the credits and adding a fun, current element to the movie.

“Don’t knock, no gifts over here/ I don’t smell nothing in the air/ You can take that over there, and I don’t really care/ Tell your homeboy in the red suit to chill/ Before I ban him from Who-ville,” raps Tyler, the Creator.

One compelling reason to go see the Grinch is the vibrant animation. From cool scenes of Cindy Lou Who whizzing around on her sled, to the strikingly Seuss-esque gadgets used by the Grinch to stack up everyone’s Christmas decorations on his sled, the colorful visuals impress, engage, and captivate any audience member, regardless of age.

In addition to the contemporary additions to the movie, Benedict Cumberbatch, who voices the Grinch, adapted the portrayal of the Grinch into an nicer character. This artistic liberty contributed to the depiction of the Grinch as much more of a misunderstood, sympathizable Who, rather than a villain. With the addition of background information on the Grinch’s childhood, it is easy to feel for the normally sour character and relate to him more.

“[The Grinch] is traumatized by Christmas, because the poor thing, he grew up as an orphan, and therefore all the joy and belonging and loving he sees going on everywhere else, he is not a part of. So, he is, you could say, green with envy, and it makes him far more empathizable and far more of a sort of antihero,” said Cumberbatch in an interview with National Public Radio.

Unlike the 1957 book, the 1966 TV special, or the 2000 live-action movie, this version includes a sub-plot about Cindy Lou Who’s plan to catch Santa on Christmas Eve and ask him to help out her overwrought single mom. Selfless acts like this one, Who-ville’s willingness to forgive the Grinch at the end of the movie, along with the lovability of characters, and the Grinch’s dog Max, contribute to a heartwarming movie experience. The movie emphasizes a larger optimistic message that is not wholly connected to Christmas, but to the loving spirit of the holiday season in general, which makes watching “Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch” time well spent for all this winter.

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