“The Grinch” steals Christmas yet again in latest adaptation

Steven Thompson

Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was originally written as a children’s book before it was into an animated Christmas television special that aired on CBS in 1966. After airing every year since then, it’s become an annual holiday tradition. 

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

In 2000, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was transformed into a live-action movie. Under Ron Howard’s directorship, Jim Carrey offered a stellar performance as the Grinch and Sir Anthony Hopkins is unforgettable as the narrator.

Perhaps the only performer able to outshine Hopkins is Boris Karloff. Karloff was a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional English actor, whose voice has become the stuff of legend as the original Grinch and narrator.

From the television special in 1966 until the first movie in 2000, the basic storyline and title remains unchanged. The most notable differences between the two is the movie can’t be considered a cartoon, the obvious cast change and an updated theme to reflect the year 2000.  So how does the latest adaptation, directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier, stack up to its predecessors?

Cheney and Mosier’s take on the classic tale, titled simply “The Grinch,” makes a few tweaks to the formula of the original. 

In the 2018 movie, the village of Whoville is shown more broadly than its two predecessors, and sweet heroine Cindy Lou Who is older than before. Until now, Whoville has always been depicted as something of a utopia. But in this version, Cindy’s mother is single and she is struggling to make ends meet. This addition of everyday struggle adds a new layer to the film that hasn’t been seen before, and allows the audience to be even more empathetic towards Cindy Lou and the other residents of Whoville. 

The Grinch, who is played by Benedict Cumberbatch, plots a maniacal plan to ruin Christmas festivities for the sweet people of Whoville. Cumberbatch does a good job as the Grinch but he is not as good as some of his predecessors.

Meanwhile, Cameron Seely is amazing as Cindy Lou and moviegoers should be excited to see what she does next.

The plot of the movie remains mostly unchanged from the original. The Grinch’s maniacal plan to ruin Christmas is still his central goal, and the people of Whoville remain as resilient as ever. The theme of family, friends, community and sharing still rings strong, and the updated visuals give the message an added glamour. 

“The Grinch” is a delicious holiday treat that can be enjoyed by the entire family and by the end of the movie, will fill the grumpiest human being with holiday cheer. Each offering of Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” represents the sign of times. All three adaptions represents the timeless tug of war of good versus evil. But this is the only one of the three that show the people of Whoville as everyday people with everyday problems, which adds a bit of relatability for modern moviegoers. 

Rating: 3/5 sails

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].