Title: The Grinch
Directors: Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier
The scene opens on the bustling town of Whoville. Children shriek with glee as they dodge flying snowballs. Parents dart in and out of stores buying food and presents for the upcoming Christmas holiday. However, on top of his cold lonely mountain, the Grinch sits with a grumpy frown on his green furry face, hating Christmas. Through flashbacks and memories, the narrator explains the root of Mr. Grinch’s detestation for Christmas stems from loneliness. With the holiday swiftly approaching and the Grinch’s hatred for the festivities mounts, he comes up with a plan–a plan to steal the Whos’ Christmas including their decorations, trees, presents, and ultimately their joy.
This new Grinch film features rich animation, updated Christmas music, engaging humor, and in-depth characters. Unfortunately, the movie depicts Mr. Grinch as a lonely grumpy hermit instead of the menacing cruel antagonist the audience may expect. However, The Grinch still presents an excellent example of a lonely heart transformed by love and forgiveness. As the plot thickens, a stark contrast between bitter anger and innocent kindness is revealed as the Grinch and a little Who girl devise intricate holiday plans.
Through the contrast between the selflessness of the Whos and the meanness of Mr. Grinch, the film shows that Christmas isn’t about packages, lights, gifts, and trees. Instead, Christmas should center around relationships and the celebration of Christ’s birth. After the Whoville townsfolk have forgiven the Grinch for stealing Christmas, he realizes that they can still celebrate because for them the holidays are about selflessness and giving. At the end of the film, after the Grinch’s relationship with the Whos has been mended, the once-stingy green hermit raises his glass in a toast “to kindness and love–the things we need most.” As we gather around our gift-laden trees this year, that same sentiment should be reflected in all our hearts. That Christmas is about so much more than opening presents, instead it’s about celebrating our Savior.
A rather random but highly necessary note: for any of you who may go see this revised holiday classic because the esteemed Benedict Cumberbatch voices the furry green villain, be forewarned that the beloved actor seems to have abandoned his charming British accent for this film.