How ‘The Grinch’ stole hearts this holiday season

Greener, cleaner, with a slightly nicer demeanor



Move over Jim Carrey because there is a new grouch in Whoville.

He is greener. He is cleaner. He has a slightly nicer demeanor.

Thanks to directors Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier, audiences can travel to Mount Crumpit to bear witness as Benedict Cumberbatch steps into the role of the meanest, greenest villain in town: The Grinch.

The movie kicks off with a rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Sung by Tyler, the creator, the rap version sets the scene for a familiar story, but with a fresh take.

With a soundtrack consisting of Nat King Cole, the Supremes, Pentatonix and Run-D.M.C., this film is the perfect musical blend of classic cheer and holiday hip.

Seriously, this movie score is sure to put some Bailey’s in your coffee and will have you dancing under the mistletoe.

As the introductory song plays, audience members are taken into the Grinch’s home: a semi-organized, technologically innovative lair filled with contraptions designed to help Max the dog make coffee, cook and clean for his master.

After sliding into his green slippers and pants, the Grinch is greeted by an empty-pawed pet, who has to break the news to his master that they have run out of groceries. Bitter and cranky, the pair venture down the mountain to restock their pantry and wreak havoc in Whoville.

The Grinch’s shenanigans are not new to this story; however, in this version, his actions are not as crude, violent or hateful. In one scene, the Grinch comes across a woman who cannot reach the last jar on the tallest shelf at the grocery store. The Grinch reaches above the woman, picks up the jar, examines it and, to her dismay, puts it back on the shelf — still out of reach. Before walking away, he knocks the shelf and sends the jar crashing to the floor.

I did not miss the pickpocketing, fiendish Grinch who wrapped Cindy Lou in paper in the back of the post office. Honestly, I chuckled as the scene reminded me of something an older sibling might have done to me as a kid. Despite his hatred of Christmas, the Grinch was not as cruel in this film.

A contrast to the Grinch’s organized morning schedule, the Who household is not a well-oiled machine.

Donna Who, a single, working mother, constantly on the go, works the night shift at the Whoville hospital. During the day, she cares for her rambunctious twin boys and her sweet, pink-loving daughter Cindy Lou.

Cameron Seely gives voice to the adorable, spunky and innovative Cindy Lou. Amidst the craziness of the holiday season, her mother’s hard work and stress is not lost to Cindy Lou. Recognizing how much her mother does, Cindy Lou decides to send Santa Claus a letter asking for extra help for her mother.

While Cindy Lou sled rides across town to mail her letter, she crashes into the Grinch and Max, losing her letter in the process. After the Grinch goes on a rant about how the children of Whoville are entitled, selfish brats, Cindy Lou shakes off his negativity and hatches a plan to meet Santa on Christmas Eve.

The Grinch’s story began in 1957 when Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel published the children’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” This story is no stranger to adaptation — films, musicals and a live-action movie. However, this version is not lacking in charm or originality.

The movie has a fresh perspective as it puts more focus on Cindy Lou’s effort to help her mother, this film does not waste too much time on the relationship between the Grinch and the Whos or his upbringing. In fact, this version is more wholesome, but it still gets the job done.

In one scene, a group of Christmas carolers corner the Grinch throughout the town. The scene was dramatic and comedic — a reflection of the film’s atmosphere as a whole.

The Grinch still hates Christmas. The Whos are nothing but holly and jolly as they prepare for Christmas Day. But, there is less destruction, rudeness and rivalry compared to the 2000 live-action version.

This Grinch is sympathetic. As a kid, he was abandoned in an orphanage, and while everyone was celebrating Christmas in town, the Grinch was left alone — giftless, friendless and without cheer.

Burdened with this memory, the Grinch believes all Whos are selfish; however, Cindy Lou proves him wrong as she shows him there is more to Christmas than material items.

The strongest feeling found in this film: love.

Cindy Lou’s determination to make her mother’s life easier will inspire those even with the smallest of hearts, and that is the real story to focus on.

The Grinch’s mission to steal Christmas obviously falls flat. There is no surprise there, and love proves to conquer all.

The Grinch’s love for Max, Cindy Lou’s love for her mom, Donna’s love for her family and the Whos’ love for each other will bring a tear to your eye as you find your inner-child.

A nervous, tie-wearing Grinch shows up at Who’s house for a Christmas dinner, and immediately, he is welcomed with open arms. As he carves the roast beast, he thanks everyone for inviting him into their home, offering a special thanks to Cindy Lou.

“Your daughter’s kindness changed my life,” the Grinch said.

In that moment, my heart grew three sizes, and anyone who goes to see this film is sure to feel the same way.

“The Grinch” is pure, wholesome and offers a fresh take on a classic holiday story.

I do not care what any Scrooge has to say because this movie did not stink, stank or stunk.