By: Henry J. Fromage (Four Beers) –
I can’t quite believe that it’s been almost twenty years since the monstrosity below. Like, hasn’t there been at least two CGI animated Grinch movies already?
Minions studio Illusion takes its shot at the classic Christmas story about a green bastard who tries to steal Christmas from a bunch of hamster people who teach him about the real spirit of Christmas, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Benedict Cumberbatch is a pretty quality choice to play the sniveling, sarcastic ne’er-do-well, and is clearly having fun with the role, and Illumination’s signature rounded, elongated character design and affinity for Loony Tune physics does make for the anticipated but still overall pretty pleasant viewing experience. There are certainly more tortuous ways to shut the kids up for an hour and a half.
Random Observations to Drink To:
- The Grinch wears Grinch fur clothes
- The Mom works night shifts, and looks like she’s wearing scrubs in the first scene, so that establishes there’s a hospital open 24 hours, but when Christmas Eve comes, nobody in the entire town is awake?
- The Grinch lives in an enormous lair carved out of stone- who carved it, Dwarves?
- The Grinch is looking pretty spry to have counted 53 Christmases in his lair.
- How old is Max? How many Maxes have there been?
- Is the motion blurring of the animated swirling establishing shots a cheap way to tamp down on animation cost? They know there’s no reason to mimic the limitations of real cameras, right?
- The Grinch is totally going to hook up with that single mom, right?
The Grinch isn’t much of, well, a Grinch. He goes into town to shop whenever he’s out of food and apparently hasn’t cultivated a bad enough reputation to even get so much as the occasional dirty look from the populace. He also doesn’t really have the out-of-the-blue heart-growing revelation in the end like the book, but rather progresses pretty quickly to a softer persona even before Christmas hits. Even the character design is the cuddliest Grinch we’ve seen by miles.
The thing is, Mr. Grinch has a fairly legitimate axe to grind. We learn from flashbacks that he was in an orphanage as a child and that at least until he was 5 or 6 or so he never once celebrated a Christmas. What kind of monstrous small town ostracization is going on here? There’s not even a scrawny spare tree or a few donated presents for the kids that would feel the sting of Whoville’s overbearing Christmas obsession the most?
Speaking of which, the year that the Grinch has had enough is when the town mayor (a 3-line slumming Angela Lansbury) decides that they’re going three times bigger on everything, and 20 times or so bigger on the tree. It’s an orgy of conspicuous consumption that I even wanted to see leveled with a catapult.
It’s not even goddamn Thanksgiving yet!
I think The Grinch may have… made me into more of a Grinch. Ultimately it’s exactly as innocuous as you’d expect from Illusion.
The Grinch (2018) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: anytime somebody is obnoxious about Christmas
Take a Drink: whenever The Grinch’s morning routine begins
Take a Drink: for each new room of The Grinch’s enormous lair we see
Take a Drink: for dark childhood flashbacks
Do a Shot: for the stupid goat screams