Dr Seuss’ beloved Christmas classic gets quite a lazy animated transition to the big screen – but does just about enough to provide passable family entertainment.
But that’s because inevitably A) it’s colourful, B) it’s Christmassy, and C) it has a really cute kid in it, that does just about enough to paper over the cracks of its simplistic plot.
Seuss’ lead character, the grumpy, pot-bellied, avocado green, humanoid known as The Grinch, isn’t really delved into too deeply – avoiding some more exciting complexities of the character that fans will know and love – playing it fairly safe by doing the classic ‘Scrooge-style’ festive animation.
When the residents of Whoville – including single mom, Donna (Inside Out’s Rashida Jones) – plan to make their annual Christmas festivities three times bigger than before at the behest of the town mayor (the legendary Angela Lansbury), the reclusive Grinch (voiced by Britain’s own Benedict Cumberbatch) hatches a scheme with his lovably-loyal canine Max to ruin the holiday season.
But the main spanner thrown in the works comes in the form of Donna’s young daughter Cindy-Lou (who played Helen Barnum in The Greatest Showman) – an extremely sweet character that’s arguably the best thing about the movie – who’s trying to trap Santa so she can personally give him a Christmas wish: to make her over-worked Mum happy.
And everything pans out in a fairly short, straight-to-the-point, paint-by-numbers fashion – that just about does what it says on the tin. But not a jot more.
To put it into perspective my four-year-old enjoyed it more than the recent Hotel Transylvania 3, but not as much as The Incredibles 2, as The Grinch will undoubtedly satisfy the younger age demographic. But anyone over the age of eight or so will probably be looking for something a little more stimulating.
If you were being hyper-critical you’d say it provides absolutely no ingenuity whatsoever – it was like the script could have been written in five minutes – but hey, it will get the tills ringing and that’s what those greedy film execs really care about.
Which could leaving some adults as grumpy as The Grinch – but should still leave the little ‘uns with a festive smile on their faces.
Voice Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, Pharrell Williams, Tristan O’hare, Kenan Thompson & Angela Lansbury
Running Time: 1 Hr 26 Mins
Directors: Scott Mosier & Yarrow Cheney
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