Arts & Life, Film and Television

Retro Review: The newest Grinch film diminishes from his louring predecessors

In the 61 years the world has known Dr. Seuss’ Grinch there is one thing all the different grinches had in common: they were mean. They all hated Christmas and the people of Whoville.

However, the newest retelling of “The Grinch” has a very different take on everyone’s favorite holiday menace.

To begin with, his voice does not match the way the Grinch usually sounds. It is not as raspy, angry or passionate as it sounds in Jim Carrey’s portrayal in the 2000 film, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” nor is it as deep and snarly as it is in the 1966 “How The Grinch Stole Christmas!” television special voiced by Boris Karloff.

The new movie has Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the Grinch and it is abysmal to say the least. It is not mean, it is not grumpy and it does not fit the face of the Grinch at all.

The movie shows the Grinch as a fluffy green character with green eyes. However, in both the 1966 and the 2000 version, the Grinch is hairy, not necessarily “fluffy” and has yellow instead of white around his green eyes. This gives him a more maniacal look, while the recent Grinch has more human eyes, making him more relatable and friendly.

In the new movie, he also has an exceptional smile with extremely straight teeth. This is nowhere near the Grinch we know with “termites in his smile.”

The animated version showcases the Grinch as a regular guy who no one in Whoville fears. He is not hated by anyone and he even leaves Mount Crumpit to get groceries like any other Who. He is very normalized in the movie which seems to be a tactic the writers used to make us like the Grinch more and to give him more sympathy when telling his backstory.

With this being said, he does have his moments of cruelty, like pretending to get a jar for another woman at the store who could not reach it or being rude to his dog Max. Sadly, throughout the movie he is not nasty, mean or disgusting. This takes away from the grouchy, angry Grinch he is supposed to be.

This movie, like the 2000 version, touches a bit on why the Grinch hates Christmas. In the 2000 version, he gets bullied as a child for making a Christmas present for Martha May, causing him to leave to Mount Crumpit alone, angry and bitter at the Christmas holiday and hating the Whos.

In the new movie, the Grinch is left abandoned in an orphanage as he watches everyone else enjoy Christmas.

The Grinch is not the only character changed in the movie to fit into today’s standards. Cindy Lou Who, rather than being a regular child, wants to kidnap Santa Claus to ask him to help her mother.

Cindy Lou says her single parent mother always puts her children before herself and she deserves whatever she wants. In the 1966 movie, Cindy Lou was a two-year-old girl who asked the Grinch why he was taking their tree away. In the 2000 movie, she played a more integral part, as she tried to get the Grinch to partake in their Christmas festivities, but it blows up in her face when the Grinch steals Christmas anyway.

Unfortunately, “The Grinch” was a major disappointment for many, as it is difficult to measure up to Jim Carrey’s exquisite portrayal of the character. It seemed as though the creators of “The Grinch” wanted so desperately for the public to find the Grinch relatable and fun, that his character and authenticity got lost in the process.

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