“Christmas already? Ugh!” Who would ever say such a thing? It was none other than the infamous Grinch, who kicked off this holiday season with his new movie, The Grinch (2018). As a lover of the classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), my expectations were very high for this addition to the Grinch franchise. After watching, wide-eyed with a popcorn and Coca-Cola in hand, I left satisfied. My expectations were met, but not quite surpassed, like I thought they would be.
The movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas was released in 2000 by director Ron Howard. Totaling $259,011,600 in box office sales, it became a Christmas classic. The Grinch was portrayed by Jim Carrey. The newest version of the movie, The Grinch, was released November 9, 2018 by directors Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney. As of December 2, it has done an impressive $203,507,195 in box office sales, so it is likely to surpass its 2000 counterpart. This time around, Benedict Cumberbatch takes a crack at playing The Grinch.
As an employee at Regal Cinemas Branford 12, I was able to access the exact attendance for The Grinch on the opening weekend: 730 tickets sold. My co-worker Lindsey Rispoli has noticed consistent attendance for the movie throughout the past month. She noted, “The capacity of the theaters are normally almost 80% full for The Grinch. When all the movies get out, I see the children smiling and talking about the movie and all of their favorite parts.” The movie is gaining momentum as we transition into the holiday season. It is one of the most popular movies at the theater even after a month in theaters, and I forsee the attendance increasing even more as we near Christmas.
Jaylein Piekarski, a senior at Platt Technical High School, recently watched The Grinch (2018). “I like the new movie. I felt like it was well oriented towards children, especially the animation,” said Jaylein. I agree because I think the animated movie was very cute and more visually attractive than the previous movie, in which the Grinch looks scarier. Personally, I prefer the new movie in this aspect because it was more enjoyable to watch when the screen was so bright, colorful, and animated. Jaylein also discussed the altered plot line of The Grinch, in which Cindy Lou Who and her newly introduced twin brothers are raised by a struggling single mother. All Cindy Lou Who wants for Christmas is for her hard-working mother to be happy. This detail is immensely different from How the Grinch Stole Christmas in which Cindy Lou Who is an only child to two parents. However, I love the insertion of this detail into the movie because it modernizes the classic story. Nowadays, many kids are raised by single parents, so it allows those kids to strongly relate to the film and know they are not alone in their situation.
Taylor Myers, a senior here at EHHS, also enjoyed the new film. Taylor said, “My favorite part of the new movie is when that goat screams and the Grinch gets mad at him, and when he screams at the end of the movie.” One of the funnier parts of the movie is when the Grinch is looking for reindeer, but a goat comes up to him instead and screams at him. This bit is inspired by the viral YouTube video of a Taylor Swift song remix that features a goat screaming (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh6c0SOfkH4). This part of the movie was funny for both people who understood the reference and people who did not.
The Grinch is appreciated for its comedy and cutesy animation, however, Taylor and Jaylein both do not think it topped the previous movie. Taylor commented, “I thought it was cute, but it wasn’t different. It follows the same storyline of the other classic Grinch movies.” Taylor was looking for something that made the movie special in its own way, but was disappointed when she did not find that. Overall, both Jaylein and Taylor feel as though the previous movie was more humorous and creative, especially with Jim Carrey as the lead. Jaylein said, “Benedict Cumberbatch's performance as the Grinch was not bad, but can’t top Jim Carrey’s iconic role.” In my opinion, Jim Carrey did an excellent job of captivating the “Grinchiness” of the character. As for Benedict Cumberbatch, I think he does a great job with the character but does not possess that same “Grinchiness” that Jim Carrey does. He seems more lonely and morose in contrast with the bitter and spiteful Grinch in full form we saw with Jim Carrey.
Overall, I was very pleased with the movie and liked it a lot. It was a perfect blend of comedy, emotion, and “Christmas spirit.” While others prefer How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), I believe both movies sparkle in their own ways.