The Grinch is a surprisingly solid entry into the library of holiday movies for children and families. Directors Scott Mosier (of Clerks fame) and Yarrow Cheney (who's directed animated films like The Secret Life of Pets) bring the iconic hairy green anti-hero to life for a new generation of young audiences.
Over the years, there have been various attempts to bring Dr. Seuss' children's picture book to life. In 1966, a cartoon TV special was aired, and moviegoers got a live-action film starring Jim Carrey in 2000 (both are titled How the Grinch Stole Christmas). This year's film reintroduces Dr. Seuss' gristly character to children again and does well in bringing the storybook to the silver screen.
The plot, of course, remains very similar to what you'll remember. The Grinch is a grumpy, green human-like creature, with a heart two sizes too small, who lives in isolation with his dog Max. Given his ill-tempered nature, he holds an unabashed disdain for all things related to Christmas. Conversely, Whoville, the village the Grinch lives near, is full of merry citizens who love everything about the holiday. This annoys the Grinch to no end and he eventually decides to steal Christmas from the Whos. However, the Whos' jolly spirit eventually begins to grow on him, resulting in a change of heart.
The characters are delightful and adorable, and the vivid visuals pop off the screen. The 3D animation and CGI do a swell job of surpassing the hand-drawn cartoon version. With forest-green wreaths, twinkling Christmas lights of all colors, and fluffy snow all rendered beautifully, the richly adorned world of Whoville is dazzling and a sight to behold. The soundtrack gets a sparkle too: It spans the range from holiday classics in the Great American songbook to modern remixes. The movie's a much-needed update that manages to live up to the expectations of this cultural mainstay.
Unless you take after the Grinch, it's hard not to feel happier after watching the film, and you may even feel a bit warmer and fuzzier inside too. People young and old will enjoy the movie, if their hearts aren't two sizes too small. No doubt, the 2018 Grinch flick will bring a smile to all.