Imua 'Iolani

563 Kamoku Street

Honolulu, Hawai'i

imua@iolani.org

"The Grinch" Movie Review

November 27, 2018

 

     Traditions are a big part of the Christmas season, and reading or watching Christmas books or movies are a favorite pastime. Whether one reads the book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss or watches one of its movie renditions, the 1957 beloved classic is famous around the world for many reasons.

     Christmas is a happy time which is the opposite of what the Grinch feels. He lives on Mount Crumpit and hates Christmas and the Whos (the townspeople). One day, he comes up with a villainous plot to steal the Whos’ Christmas. Fueled by bad childhood Christmas memories, he and his loyal dog Max  manage to steal the Whos’ toys, presents, lights and feast. He later regrets his actions and returns all the items he took.

     “The Grinch” (2018) is the newest version of three movies based on Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch who Stole Christmas” and differs from the classic which aired in 1966. The directors took creative liberty in forming a more positive message compared to the other versions. This rendition is more humorous, more interesting to watch and keeps the audience from being bored by a story they have heard before. This version about the hermit of Mount Crumpit has a very well-written script and beautiful animations.

     The directors of “The Grinch” keep the audience engaged throughout the movie, from the scene where the Grinch visits Whoville, which leads into the plot to “steal Christmas.”  This movie keeps viewers on the edge of their seats and piques their interest throughout an already well-known movie by adding lots of colorful displays, like the Whos’ Christmas Tree that was lit up by many wooden carvings that the Whos created. The movie also adds new elements to the classic tale, like the introduction of a new reindeer named Fred. The directors also changed the Grinch’s backstory, from being bullied on Christmas to being lonely on Christmas, which makes the movie more engaging to the younger viewers.

     The one thing that this movie has that the previous movies did not is humor. The movie released in 2000 had a bit of relaxed humor, but the 2018 version has clear jokes. One of the highlights include when Max and Fred manipulates the Grinch with “puppy eyes.” The humor, however, could have been better balanced throughout the movie.

     I thought the movie was great and one of the best parts is the remix of the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” which combines rap and a Christmas carol. The music is very dramatic and very well timed. The directors could have given the climax of the film more screen time, especially considering the length of less important parts the movie. The scene where the Grinch steals Christmas runs for about 15 minutes, compared to the introduction which is about 30 minutes. In a shorter movie like the Grinch, an introduction that long can easily lose the viewer's interest. One of the points that the movie missed is the wickedness of the Grinch toward the Whos, which characterizes him in previous versions. In the 2000 version, he burns down the Whos’ Christmas Tree and he is very rude to the mayor and all of the citizens, but it never happens in the 2018 version. I kept on waiting for the Grinch to be super cruel but it never realized. Overall, I thought the movie was fun to watch with the whole family, but it lacks the “Grinchy feel” that made past movie renditions so interesting. Most people who liked the movie gave it a B+, which I agree with, seeing as there are some oversights in timing and graphics with this PG movie.

 

 

 

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