Film Reviews

Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Film Review)

During this review, I’ll be explaining my personal thoughts on the Grinch. The events throughout the film may not be in chronological order as it would take me a long time to evaluate each event in the film! Anyway, here’s my thoughts/opinions on “Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. ****INCLUDES SPOILERS****

It’s coming up to Christmas and what’s better than watching christmas films? Near enough nothing. Every single year, I watch The Grinch and other christmas films as it seems to be some sort of tradition now. This Ron Howard film is now seventeen years old and is still having an impact on this generations children plus adults. Jim Carrey stars as the main character – the Grinch. He is a true legend in the film world and this film is just another one of his iconic performances. Cindy Lou is the other main protagonist of the film played by Taylor Momsenwho further in her career starred in the hit tv show; Gossip Girl and became a full-time musician in the band; The Pretty Reckless.

As a plot summary, it’s a funny, weird film of people who are obsessed with christmas. This can be related to our own world to be honest, because there are people out there who go all out for christmas and make sure it gets better each year. We all know many people who get over excited for christmas and start singing christmas songs two months before December, which can be a bit too much for others. As long as people are happy, I really don’t mind what they do in the christmas period. Christmas is one of the most magical periods of the year.

The difference between our world and “Whoville” has to be that the people of Whoville have strange noses and big teeth, whereas us real ‘humans’… don’t (I guess we only do if it’s in our genetics). They remind me a bit of animals in a way, maybe even mice, purely because of their features. This film is definitely so powerful, because they’re all kind and welcoming spirits filled with love. Looks aren’t anything in this film, if you have a warm heart and a kind nature, you’ll go far and be loved by the people around you.

The narrator of the film is actually Anthony Hopkins who is well-known for his performances in the Hannibal Lecter films…. the Grinch is slightly different to that though obviously. The narration that Hopkins reads rolls off the tongue and he even rhymes his words which makes things easier for people to relate to, feel closer to and understand better.

Anyway, let’s get to the film itself. Everyone enjoys christmas in Whoville except for the Grinch. But could that all change? Well, no feel good/christmas film doesn’t have a cheery happy ending that everybody enjoys.  The Grinch himself is pretty scary looking, so no wonder the people of Whoville were scared of him. What I find really unique is how Cindy Lou and Max the Dog are the most mature out of everyone in their town. They’re caring and want to make sure that the Grinch is ok. The “villain” is the nasty mayor who only really cares about himself.

The first meeting of Cindy Lou and the Grinch is in the mail sort room – as things get a bit pear-shaped when obviously Cindy Lou falls into the hole of the mail processing machine which is a bit predictable. I remember watching this film for the first time when I was around 6 and even at that age, I knew something was going to happen. Mr Grinch obviously gets Cindy Lou out of the mail processing cause after all, he isn’t that bad, surely? This makes Cindy Lou truly think that the Grinch isn’t so bad and Mr Grinch feels a sudden rush of anger because he doesn’t want his “scary” reputation to die. With that the Grinch wraps her up like a christmas present which is a bit random, and escapes.

Next scene includes the big ballad of “Where Are You Christmas?” which little Cindy Lou sings. She’s emotional and her hopes for christmas being filled with love may just completely smash. Her dream is to make sure that the Grinch enjoys his christmas too, so EVERYBODY in Whoville has a great christmas. Taylor Momsen played little Cindy Lou at the age of seven years old and what a delicate little voice she has. The song itself was actually written by Mariah Carey, James Horner & Will Jennings.

But The Grinch is lonely. He never wanted to admit it, even the echoes in his mountain house shout to him “You’re an Idiot.” As this is mainly a family film, the directors and producers didn’t want to make it depressing in parts, but you do feel sorry for the Grinch purely because he has no one except for Max the Dog. In reality though, we all help ourselves and learn to love ourselves before loving others, so the Grinch really needed to gain self-respect and love to make things easier for himself. Maybe even having a bath would be good for him? I mean, even his socks run away from him!

Even though people find the Grinch very different to them in Whoville, he still came from where all babies came from, the sky. That’s how it works in this film which makes it a whole other level of weird. He came from the same place as everybody else, which doesn’t make him that different after all. It did seem though, that he wasn’t actually intended to be in Whoville purely because his basket came roaring through and pretty much crashed into the place, but I guess, just because he’s green, doesn’t mean he’s mean! Sorry, I didn’t intend for that to rhyme…

One of my favourite scenes is when the Grinch is reading the book of Whoville people shouting.. “Hate, hate, hate… hate, LOATHE ENTIRELY.” We can all relate to this scene when we’re scrolling down social media sites and thinking “damn, why am I friends with you again?” Towards the middle of the film, everything is going well for a bit and the Grinch seems ok. “6.30pm, dinner with me, I can’t cancel that again” was actually improvised by Jim Carrey.

Martha May always has had a crush on the Grinch which is actually really nice because it proves that it’s not all about looks, which is true in the real world anyway. Christmas is about love and no wonder the Grinch didn’t like it to begin with purely because no one showed him love, except for his adopted mothers. They took him in even though they didn’t really have too and gave him love at a young age. We don’t really seem much of them as the Grinch grows up, but I don’t think it helped that at school, he was the main target for the bullies. As the Grinch is awarded the “Holiday Cheermeister Award”, the past comes back to haunt him. His prize is some shavers, and in the Grinch’s case they remind him of a time he’d rather forget… when he got bullied. It makes me kind of angry when the Mayor of Whoville claims to be nice when really we all know that he’s a bit of an arse and wanting to get rid of the Grinch once and for all.

Obviously, in pretty much most films, there’s a part where everything goes bad and a bit manic, and that part of this film is when the Grinch turns slightly bad again and “steals” christmas from the people of Whoville. This scene has many similarities to the iconic Tim Burton film “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. To keep it short and sweet, the Grinch stole christmas because people weren’t nice to him and he obviously felt judged and not wanted in the Whoville town. There’s a famous quote with “treat others as you wish to be treated” and the people of Whoville surely didn’t do that with the Grinch. No wonder he hated the festive season when it’s mainly to do with love and being with your loved ones. Hatred and loneliness made the Grinch steal christmas from the Whoville’s. 

After releasing that no matter what, even taking presents from people on Christmas morning, you can’t take away the love of christmas itself and the meaning behind it. The Grinch finally realises that he can’t stop anyone from loving others and christmas. Max the Dog starts kissing the Grinch and the Grinch lets him! He starts feeling emotions that he’s never felt before as his heart starts to beat. The Grinch then is reunited with the people of Whoville and they all join together to make one. He even gets together with Martha May! Aaahhh – always a happy ending. Merry Christmas!

Overall, fun film to watch and highly entertaining.
Score out of 5: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Happy holidays to all my followers and friends! Thanks for your support!

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