I’ll be the first admit that I do love the Christmas holiday season. It’s true…. I love it all. The decoration the house, the Christmas tree, the presents, the gathering of family and friends, Christmas dinner, the holiday music, and (of course) the Christmas themed movies out there. Of course, I’ve do have plenty of my personal favorites like ElfPolar ExpressHome AloneDie Hard (action movie junkie in me) as well as Bad Moms Christmas and Office Christmas Party (yes, I love that those comedy holiday themed movies). I definitely have more out there, but those are ones that I do watch a lot during the holiday season.

Naturally, this brings me to talking about 2018’s The Grinch, the third cinematic iteration of Dr. Seuss’s classic tale of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I remember when they (Illumination Entertainment) announced that they were going to do a feature-length movie of Seuss’s classic holiday picture book and (like many) was a bit skeptical about, especially after 2012’s The Lorax (another Illumination Entertainment animated movie), which felt lackluster and stretched its source material a bit too much (the core plot was interesting, the rest wasn’t). So, as you can imagine, I wasn’t too keen on another Seuss-centric theatrical cartoon endeavor. However, after seeing the film’s various move trailers, I was kind of interested to see this movie as the film (giving what was presented in the trailers) looks promising. Plus, the animation for the feature looked great. So, I decided to see this movie in theaters, hoping that it would good animated film for the studio (Illumination Entertainment recent track record proves that) as well as doing justice to Dr. Seuss’s beloved book. So, what did I think of it? Well, I really liked it. Despite some minor criticisms, The Grinch is a delightful and modernized retelling of Seuss’s cherished holiday tale, thanks to some tweaks to the narrative, the overall animation, and some solid voice talents. It may not beat out the simplistic nature of the 1966 TV cartoon movie, but it’s definitely more refined (and enjoyable) that the 2000 live-action iteration.

The Grinch is directed by Scott Mosier, who has a background being more of a producer (most notably in several Kevin Smith directed films…. Chasing AmyClerksMallrats, etc.) and Yarrow Cheney, who’s background with Illumination Entertainment (most notable for The LoraxDespicable Me, and The Secret Life of Pets in various roles (i.e. animation department, production, co-director, etc.). Together, the two co-directors approach the movie with kid-friendly approach, with their intent to be directed at the “juice box” crowd (if you know what I mean). Thus, The Grinch (as a whole) as a certain family friendly feel throughout the movie; meaning that the film isn’t too dark or to complex, which in the case of trying to translate a children’s picture book into a theatrical feature, is sort of a good thing. Basically, it’s best to just simply streamline the picture to fit its demographic and both Mosier and Cheney succeed in that regard. In conjunction with that idea, the two co-directors keep the feature on point (mostly) throughout the film’s runtime, which is only 86 minutes in length (roughly one hour and twenty-six minutes long). That means the movie doesn’t get bogged down in trying overstuff the narrative and keeping everything basic and simple…very much like Seuss’s story. Thus, The Grinch runs at a brisk pace, which is good for kid’s animated feature, and rarely feels sluggish or bloated. Plus, I do have mention that film’s humor of jokes and gags are pretty funny as well as I found myself laughing at most of them.

 

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