WARNING: This Review May Contain Spoilers

Based on the children’s book by Dr Suess, a film was made back in 2000 starring one of my favourite actors. However, it seems that this is no longer suitable and a new version had to be made. Now, I don’t want to get into the debate on whether it is a remake or not as they are both based on the same book because if I kept doing that, I’d have no content. Below, you’ll find my reasoning for which one I feel is the better film…

Carrey vs Cumberbatch

                Instead of talking specifically about animation versus live-action (because I love the animation of the remake as it reminds me of The Lorax), I want to talk about something more specific. Jim Carrey’s face. Now, I know to some people this may sound like I’m being offensive or silly but I’m completely serious. It’s so malleable that when you watch one of his interviews post – The Grinch he pulls one of his ‘Grinch’ faces and you realise that he’s not wearing a mask. Yes, there are prosthetics involved in the film but the facial expressions are all Carrey’s creations. Whereas, all Benedict has is his voice and unfortunately, for me at least, it’s a little too upbeat for what’s considered such a grumpy character.

Addition of Soundtrack

                I’m not saying there’s no music contained in the original film because there is but it’s only two songs and they’re completely in context. They’re also sung by the cast. However, in the Cumberbatch film, and it seems to be an Illumination thing because it reminds me a lot of Despicable Me, there’s a pop music soundtrack (not sure how Run D.M.C would feel about being called pop music but it was the best description I had).

Interpretations of Max

                Now, I don’t remember reading The Grinch who Stole Christmas when I was little, or having it read to me, but something I love about the original film is that in a way Max the dog is The Grinch’s conscience. It is because of Max that he saves Cindy-Lou in the sorting office and Max makes him go to the Whobilation after he has already said no. However, because there is none of the above included in the remake, there is no need for Max to make him get involved down in Whoville.

Adult Themes

                This is one of my favourite things about re-watching children’s films from when I was young. There’s so much that you don’t pick up on until you’re an adult. For example, when the Whovillelians (I kind of made that up) tell Cindy-Lou the about The Grinch, the audience are shown their Christmas party and people putting car keys into a bowl. Now, as a child this doesn’t mean anything but as an adult you get the idea that something rather naughty is going on. In addition to this, no child will get the joke of ‘He looks just like your boss’ during the flashback scene of the Who-babies arriving in their baskets.

The Grinch and the Townspeople

                See, this is something that’s completely lost in the remake. The townspeople of Whoville are scared of The Grinch in the original film, all except for Cindy-Lou Who. I think this is important because it helps develop not just his character but the town’s reaction to The Grinch – benefited by Cindy-Lou. However, in the remake they are almost oblivious to him, so much so that he doesn’t need to go into town in disguise. One of the townspeople even thinks The Grinch is his best friend.

Moral of the Story

                This is possibly the most important part of the original for me and it’s something I want all of you to remember tomorrow (obviously that’s if you’re actually reading this on Christmas Eve). Cindy-Lou becomes  doubtful about what Christmas is really about and with the help of The Grinch, of course not on purpose, the town of Whoville is shown that it isn’t all about the presents; it’s about being together as a family. Now, I’m not saying this doesn’t feature in the remake at all, I just prefer the subtlety with which it is approached in the original. I don’t think it’s helped in the remake that no relationship is built between The Grinch and Cindy-Lou.

In Conclusion

                I held reservations when it came to there being a remake of The Grinch and in my opinion, I was right. I had already been told by my 12 year old god-daughter that the remake was bad but I followed the advice that I always give to those of you who read these articles and waited to make my own opinion, just unfortunately I ended up agreeing with her. However, I still stand by you making your own opinions on the film as we may disagree. Merry Christmas everybody!

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Writing and reviews - all about what this Leo Loves