No gripes about the Grinch


Graphic by Molly Schmeits

Emma Hansen, Online Editor

Christmas’ number one hater is back and better than ever with a radiant new animation style and an allstar cast. Benedict Cumberbatch steps in and takes over the mantle of the Grinch, effectively turning the character from someone you wouldn’t want to touch with a thirty-nineand-a-half foot pole, to a walking, talking stuffed animal.

It’s a total 180 from the sinister and nasty version created in the original 1966 animated movie. He’s no longer a creepy man that you can almost smell through your screen.

This retelling of the classic Christmas story offers a much more redeemable version of the traditionally wicked Grinch. His rough edges are softened out to make him a more kid-friendly character and his reasons for being the way he is are much more realistic.

Now instead of being bullied as a child like in the backstory of the 2000 movie, loneliness is his main motive for being so “mean” (if you can even call it that). This rendition has stripped him of all of his unpleasantness and replaced it with a bunch of resentment and a pinch of bitterness.

Usually, the Grinch just holes himself up inside his arctic fortress to escape the Christmas spirit and festivities. This year, however, the mayor has proclaimed that the Christmas celebration in Whoville needs to be three times as festive as it usually is. Suddenly the Grinch is being blinded by the twinkling lights and the eyesore of a tree that they’ve set up in the town square.

All he wanted was a nice, quiet night to wallow in self-pity and the Who’s have decided to ruin it for him. This is when he decides that if he’s not having a good time, then no one else should be allowed to either. I’m sure you can guess what he plans to do. This is really the only evil thing he does in the movie. For the most part, he’s just antisocial and doesn’t want to deal with the constant annoyingly happy attitude of the Whos.

Die-hard Seuss fans have nothing to worry about when it comes to the plot. They didn’t reinvent the wheel by any means, and the movie keeps the age-old story of a spiteful green man who hates the holidays. While the creators did have to add content to transform the story from a 26-minute long movie (like the 1996 original) to a full feature-length film, they didn’t add anything significant.

Most of the additions came in the form of added characters or backstory, that didn’t detract from the plot. My personal favorite was the Grinch’s neighbor, Mr. Bricklebaum (Kenan Thompson) who was aptly declared “the happiest Who alive.” He brought in some extra humor with his persistent attempts at getting the Grinch to be his best friend and his unwillingness to accept “no” as an answer.

Pharrell Williams lends his voice for the rhyming narration that is carried out throughout the movie and Tyler the Creator offers up a funky remix of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” that is sure to interest the younger crowd.

The movie gave the audience a much more believable Grinch transition from bad to good. When he admitted that he “thought [stealing Christmas] would fix something that happened a long time ago,” my heart grew a few sizes. In the past, the Grinch has just returned the presents and went on about his business. Now, not only do the Whos get a little life lesson about materialism, but they also receive a heartfelt apology.

This is just the jolly, feelgood movie to put you in the holiday spirit. Even though most of us already know the movie, it’s perfect for little kids new to the story but still keeps its older fans in mind.