A grumpy Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.
Based on the Dr Seuss book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” the Grinch is a new animated film adapting the story of how a green furry creature with a heart two sizes two small, set out to steal Christmas from the residents of Whoville. The new film is from directing team Yarrow Cheney (The Secret Life of Pets), and Scott Mosier in his first feature film directing role, having been Producer on the vast majority of Kevin Smith’s filmography.
The Grinch is a well written tale which follows its main character on his quest to steal Christmas, this is essentially a character study bundled up in a kids film. The Grinch has a clearly defined story arc and he naturally finishes the film as a very different character to what he starts the film as. It’s a smooth narrative that is well paced, and delivers substance behind its style, it fleshes out the Grinch’s motivations in a simplistic but logical way, and while its final act does drag on probably a little too long, at the same time it also provides a nice epilogue rounding everything out.
Despite a relatively small cast of characters, the film focuses its main narrative on the Grinch himself and while successful in this sense, it does overshadow some of the supporting characters somewhat, and it would have been interesting to see them with more developed sub-plots of their own, and how this could have fit with the main narrative. That said, to do so might be less in the spirit of the original book, however at the same time it would make for a more rounded out film.
I had high hopes for the comedic sensibilities of the film given some of the creative talent behind it, and while the humor was fun, there were no really great comedic sequences to be found. It’s comedy is amusing and soundly distributed throughout the film, but it lacked any really memorable funny moments that left a lasting impact.
The animation is crisp and colorful, while the characters, set pieces and scenery are all interesting and enjoyable to watch. Benedict Cumberbatch delivers a great performance, though Pharrell Williams left more of an impression as the narrator, as he delivered that nostalgic bedtime story manner so effectively.
Arriving at the right end of the year for its story, the Grinch will be a good option for kids films over the next month, and adults will hopefully appreciate its well-crafted narrative as well. While it’s not hilarious, it’s an engaging film with something for all audiences.
I’m giving it 7.5 out of 10, you can see the Grinch in cinemas around Australia from 29 November, 2018.