The animated Grinch is better than Jim Carrey’s cult classic

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Out of the 1966 TV special starring Boris Karloff, The Grinch has received the big screen treatment, starring both Jim Carrey and Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role, but the 2018 animated feature is arguably better than Carrey’s. Based on the beloved tale of Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the iconic Christmas tale has been adapted for the screen three times, each with its own success and failures. In 2000, director Ron Howard made the first live-action version of the story, with the same title as the book, starring comedian Jim Carrey, actress Christine Baranski, Taylor Momsen and Jeffrey Tambor.

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For nearly two decades, the live-action version was the Grinch movie. Then, in 2018, the story of the Grinch was retold in animated form, with Doctor Strange Star Benedict Cumberbatch takes center stage and stars alongside Rashida Jones, Cameron Seely and Pharrell Williams. This brilliant CGI version stayed closer to its source material, not bothering to get into the politics of Whoville and its various inhabitants. Although it seems counterintuitive, the loss of this narrative depth may have worked in its favor. While How the Grinch Stole Christmas The movie isn’t necessarily bad, the cult classic still has its issues compared to Cumberbatch’s animated performance. Here’s why The Grinch turned out to be a better Christmas movie than Ron Howard’s adaptation.

Related: All the characters from the original film return for a Christmas story Christmas


The two Grinch films put their own spin on the classic Dr. Seuss

How the Grinch Stole Christmas – the book – was written by Dr. Seuss and first published in 1957. The underlying purpose of the book was to criticize the commercialization of Christmas, something that is even more prevalent today. It tells the story of cave-dwelling Mr. Grinch, a mean, nasty, nasty creature whose heart is two sizes too small. Fed up of hearing about the Christmas festivities going on in Whoville, he decides to steal Christmas by dressing up as Santa and his dog, Max, as a reindeer. Then he sneaks through Whoville in the middle of the night and takes all the decorations and presents. Without fail, the people of Whoville (which technically includes characters from Horton hears a who) still bring us together to sing a happy Christmas song, because Christmas is something that happens in our hearts. Hearing this, the Grinch’s heart fills with love and he returns all the presents before being invited to Whoville’s Christmas dinner.

Both the 2000 Howard version and the 2018 animated version follow the same premise, but both have fleshed out the story to make it into a feature film. The animated film certainly tells a more simplistic story, with flashbacks to the Grinch’s time alone in an orphanage presenting a justification for the Grinch’s Christougenniatikophobia (fear/animosity towards Christmas) than even very young audience members can understand. It’s easy to understand and gives more time to focus on the story at hand, while Howard very carefully explains that the Grinch reluctantly saved the life of Cindy-Lou (played by a much younger person). gossip girl star Taylor Momsen), who later becomes interested in his backstory, discovering that he was adopted by two older sisters and bullied at school by the Who, who went on to become the town’s mayor.

The animated Grinch is best for younger viewers

Like The Grinch Stole Christmas Universal Movie

The expanded backstory a How the Grinch Stole Christmas it’s interesting, but the movie takes a while to get going, and the more complex nature of the Grinch’s past makes very young kids (ages 4-7) start to get restless and disengaged. Instead, in 2018 The Grinch it gives enough time to the backstory to make it relevant, but it doesn’t dwell on it. Instead, more time is spent on moments like the Grinch and Max trying to track down a reindeer, or Max diligently preparing his master’s breakfast each day. These moments are easy to watch, fun to watch, and completely engaging for younger viewers, who laugh out loud at some of the silliest stuff. For adults, this might mean that the Christmas movie has a little less substance, but despite the nostalgia factor that the stories of Dr. Seuss create for their own childhood, adults are not the target audience.

The live-action Grinch is darker (but more musical)

Grinch with a creepy smile in How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Another big difference between the two is the color palette. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is darker, both visually and in its story, while The Grinch it is bright and bubbly in tone. In part, this is because the animators can increase and intensify the colors in production, but both films send a clear message; one aims to have that more bleak, grown-up edge, while the other wants to bring happiness to the masses. The central character, the eponymous Grinch, is adorable The Grinchwhile he is tired and unattractive How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Related: Netflix Has a Christmas Cinematic Universe: How It All Connects

Jim Carrey’s Grinch outing contains Easter eggs and more music, which is more prominent. This does not mean The Grinch but it doesn’t have a fun and enjoyable soundtrack, because it sure does. It is based more on Christmas classics; there’s a particularly fun rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” performed by the Whoville choir (and Pentatonix on the soundtrack). Both films are also based on songs used in the original animated TV special from 1966. They also share the presence of a narrator, but while Howard’s version features Anthony Hopkins in the role, The Grinch has Pharell Williams . Known to millions of kids as the man who sang “Happy,” recruiting him once again was a real coup for Illumination.

The lively Grinch got the gist

Grinch poster 2018

Both of us The Grinch i How the Grinch Stole Christmas use the original text of Dr. Seuss, but both add their own flourishes to set themselves apart from what’s come before. Both films have also received mixed reviews, but ultimately Cumberbatch The Grinch he has so much heart it’s hard not to see him as superior. There will undoubtedly be those who prefer Carrey’s darker, meaner Grinch, but Cumberbatch does a good job of voicing his own version: a Grinch who, while still mean, has a lovable nature from the start. This particular notion is what makes 2018 lively Grinch more family-friendly film, especially those with very young children.

The Grinch of Dr. Seuss was the perfect storybook villain for the young; someone they could censure while still finding him likable and endearing. Just like what has been done with the minions franchise, Illumination has managed to deliver a likable villain that kids will root for throughout the film, even if they don’t quite know why. In fact, even adults find it hard to dislike Cumberbatch’s Grinch, as well as his lovable dog, Max. The film offers its own take on the Grinch’s bleak past, and all audiences need to realize is that the Grinch doesn’t want to be this way: he just needs someone to come along and show him some kindness. This comes in the form of both Bricklebaum (brilliantly voiced by Kenan Thompson), Whoville’s most cheerful resident, and young Cindy-Lou, who shows the Grinch’s kindness despite stealing Christmas from him.

A more important one The Grinch it’s over How the Grinch Stole Christmas the film is the animation. Simply put, it’s stunning, from the Grinch’s fur to Cindy-Lou’s hair. Even the food looks appetizing and realistic in this Christmas/holiday movie, and the snow looks so pure that the audience feels like they could reach out and touch it. This, along with a cheerful voice cast, elevates a simplistic children’s tale to a whole new level. IlluminaciĆ³n has proven once again that it is an animation powerhouse to be reckoned with, which continues to move forward with increasingly daring projects and The Grinch Lighting proved that it can be trusted with beloved franchises as well as its own IPs. However, this is not a huge surprise. Seuss’ original stories, with their quirky illustrations, lend themselves perfectly to animation. Turning into live action? Not so much. While the 2000s How the Grinch Stole Christmas The film was definitely a product of its time and is likely to be fondly remembered by adults who saw the film as children. The Grinch 2018 is frankly better, and continues to appeal to a whole new generation of viewers who weren’t there to see Jim Carrey’s live-action Grinch all those years ago.

Next: Why Ghostbusters 4’s Christmas Release Date Makes Perfect Sense

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  • The Grinch 2018 movie poster

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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