Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a holiday tradition. Whether it be the rhythmical wonders of his writing, the TV special that most hold dear or Ron Howard’s fantastical feature-length feature which debuted in 2000 and holds today as the second most successful Christmas film of all-time, just behind Home Alone.
The likes of this modern telling of The Grinch may hold dear to the millennials due to obviously being released and classed as one of the ‘newer’ releases — compared to the likes of the other Christmas classics like It’s a Wonderful Life or even Home Alone itself. Though it doesn’t lesser its magic by any means.
Howard’s The Grinch is undoubtedly one of the most elaborate Christmas films out there, creating a wholly tangible world titled Whoville, whose inhabitants, an odd mixture of animal and human or so they seem, reside inside a falling snowflake. Living at the summit of an enormous hilltop, an outcast and overall green meany whose hatred towards Christmas has titled him as the ominous Grinch. It’s not until young Cindy Lou Who (a then-cute Taylor Momsen, later growing as punk rocker lead in The Pretty Reckless) believes in second chances and invites The Grinch down to Whoville in an attempt to crown him Holiday Cheermeister and show all inhabitants of Grinch’s true nature.
Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman’s screenplay laces the original concept by Dr. Seuss himself and by adhering to a feature-length quality have added extra titbits in, such as The Grinch’s upbringing and the jingles that fans of the film will undoubtedly also harbour as some of their most favourite Christmas songs — Faith Hill’s Where Are You Christmas? is just wonderful and a roaring pop ballad that parallels seamlessly with Jim Carrey’s exuberant character.
And speaking of the star himself, one of Carrey’s most daring and memorable performances to date. Playing The Grinch himself required a lot of things, green skin primarily being an alarming importance. And where Howard exceeded himself was by dodging a CGI route and instead plasters Carrey in layers and layers of latex, all of which works wonders as the costume itself ables Carrey to truly live as The Grinch, actions, body language and all. This booming, thunderous character was made to be played by such a roaring personality like Carrey, so for the most, he absolutely makes this film.
It’s design awarded the film with multiple nominations including an Academy Award win for Best Makeup, but really, as described previously, this world is astounding. Opting out of a lot of computer-generated effects where it would have been incredibly easy to just bow down to, Howard’s decision to lace Whoville with enough props and prosthetics to really make this world pop is a decision that i personally feel makes this film soar as high as a Christmas classic. It looks wonderful, it feels whimsical and fantastical and all things as magically unusual as Dr. Seuss would have intended.
The Grinch is available on Blu-ray and DVD.