The Grinch (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Based on||How the Grinch Stole Christmas!|
by Dr. Seuss
|Narrated by||Pharrell Williams|
|Music by||Danny Elfman|
|Edited by||Chris Cartagena|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$511.8 million|
The Grinch (also known as Dr. Seuss' The Grinch) is a 2018 American computer-animated Christmas fantasy comedy film produced by Illumination and distributed by Universal Pictures. Based on the 1957 book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss, it is the third screen adaptation of the story, following the 1966 television special starring Boris Karloff and the CGI reboot of 2000 live-action feature-length film starring Jim Carrey. It marks Illumination's second Dr. Seuss film adaptation, following The Lorax (2012). The film is directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier, written by Michael LeSieur and Tommy Swerdlow, narrated by Pharrell Williams, and starring the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Cameron Seely, and Angela Lansbury. The film was Mosier's directorial debut. The plot follows the Grinch and his dog Max as they plan to ruin Whoville's Christmas celebration by stealing all the town's decorations and gifts.
The Grinch was released and distributed by Universal Pictures in the United States on November 9, 2018, in RealD 3D, IMAX, IMAX 3D, Dolby Cinema, and 4DX theaters. It grossed over $511 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing holiday film of all-time, as well as the highest-grossing Dr. Seuss film adaptation. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the animation and the vocal performances (particularly Cumberbatch's), but felt the film added little or nothing new to the source material. This was the final Dr. Seuss film adaptation released during the lifetime of Seuss's widow Audrey Geisel, who served as executive producer of the film and died on December 19, 2018, five and a half weeks after the film's release.
In the town of Whoville, the human-like people called Whos are filled with excitement about celebrating Christmas. However the only one who is not amused is the cantankerous and green-furred Grinch, with a heart "two sizes too small" and lives in his cave with his dog, Max.
Meanwhile, 6-year-old Cindy Lou Who notices that her mother Donna is overworked trying to take care of herself and her twin infant brothers, Buster and Bean. Initially deciding to send a letter to Santa Claus to help her mother, Cindy encounters the Grinch. He sarcastically tells her that, if the matter is so urgent, she'll have to talk to Santa face-to-face about it. She takes this response literally and attempts to go to the North Pole to talk to Santa, but when Donna tells her that it would take a month to travel there, she instead decides to try trapping Santa with the help of her friends.
With Christmas approaching, a bungled attempt by the Grinch to ruin a tree-lighting ceremony results in him having a flashback about his childhood spent alone and unwanted in an orphanage. The Grinch soon decides that he will steal Christmas from Whoville to assuage his distress. He and Max acquire a fat reindeer whom the Grinch calls Fred and steal a sleigh from his friendly neighbor Mr. Bricklebaum. After a test run, the Grinch and Max discover that Fred has a family, and the Grinch emotionally agrees to let Fred go home with them.
On Christmas Eve, after making a Santa disguise and crafting dozens of gadgets to help him with his plan, the Grinch and Max, who pulls the sleigh in Fred's place, go down to Whoville to steal the decorations and presents. He soon encounters Cindy Lou after falling into her trap; her request to help lighten her mother's workload and her kind advice about listening to the Whos' singing to alleviate his sadness touches the Grinch's heart. Despite this, the Grinch continues his mission, unable to let go of the loneliness Christmas brought him.
After stealing every Christmas present and decoration, the Grinch and Max head back to Mount Crumpit to dispose of them. The Whos wake up and are shocked and disappointed to see that the presents and decorations are gone. Cindy Lou believes that she's to blame because of her trap, but Donna tells her that Christmas is not centered on presents and that Cindy Lou's the best thing that ever happened to her. The Whos join together to sing "Welcome Christmas", rendering the Grinch puzzled to see that they are celebrating Christmas despite his thefts. Seeing Cindy Lou and remembering her advice, the Grinch immerses himself in their singing, causing his heart to triple in size and all his sadness successfully goes away. Afterwards, the sleigh falls off Mount Crumpit, and the Grinch attempts to save it. He succeeds at this when Fred and his family come to his aid. After securing the sleigh, the Grinch and Max slide down back to Whoville in order to return the stolen items, and the Grinch admits his crimes and apologizes to the Whos before returning to his cave, ashamed of what he has done.
Feeling sorry for the Grinch, Cindy Lou later invites him to celebrate Christmas at her house which he awkwardly attends. When seated for dinner, he confesses that it wasn't really Christmas he despised, but being alone and neglected. With this, the Grinch finally accepts the Whos' friendship and enjoys Christmas with them.
- Benedict Cumberbatch as The Grinch, a resentful, disgruntled, cave-dwelling, green creature who hates Christmas.
- Cameron Seely as Cindy Lou Who, a kind-hearted young resident of Whoville.
- Rashida Jones as Donna Who, Cindy Lou's overworked single and widowed mother.
- Kenan Thompson as Bricklebaum, a jolly citizen of Whoville who lives near The Grinch.
- Angela Lansbury as Mayor McGerkle, the Mayor of Whoville
- Pharrell Williams as the Narrator
- Tristan O'Hare as Groopert, Cindy Lou's best friend.
- Sam Lavagnino as Ozzy, one of Cindy Lou's friends.
- Ramone Hamilton as Axl, one of Cindy Lou's friends.
- Scarlett Estevez as Izzy, one of Cindy Lou's friends.
- Michael Beattie as the Store Clerk, a clerk who owns the Whoville grocery store.
Georgia Toffolo provided the voice of Mrs. Toffee Apple (a customer who was trying to reach a jar of "Christmas chutney") in one scene in some releases. Frank Welker provided the uncredited vocal effects for Max (the Grinch's pet dog) and Fred (a reindeer recruited by the Grinch to steal Christmas). In addition, Catherine Cavadini, Townsend Coleman, Jess Harnell, Laraine Newman, Scott Mosier, Mindy Sterling, Tara Strong, and Jim Ward all perform additional voices.
Archive recordings of Pentatonix were used for the Who-Carolers.
In February 2013, it was announced that Illumination was developing a 3D animated feature film based on the Dr. Seuss book, with the working title How the Grinch Stole Christmas, later shortened to The Grinch. Peter Candeland and Yarrow Cheney were set to direct, though in 2018 producer Scott Mosier took over from Candeland.
Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as the titular character in April 2016. Illumination originally wanted Cumberbatch to voice the Grinch in his natural accent, however, Cumberbatch felt that since the rest of the cast is American, the Grinch himself should have an American accent. By September 2018, Angela Lansbury had been set to voice the Mayor of Whoville. Rashida Jones, Cameron Seely, and Kenan Thompson also joined the cast, while Pharrell Williams, who had previously worked on Illumination's Despicable Me films, was revealed to be narrating the film.
The animation was created by Illumination Mac Guff in Paris, France. Several software programs were used in creating the film's CGI characters including Maya, ZBrush, and Nuke as well as in-house software. A 3D CGI model of the town of Whoville through which a virtual camera could travel was crafted using Maya, ZBrush, Foundry’s Mari, and Allegorithmic’s Substance Painter.
|Dr. Seuss' The Grinch: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||November 9, 2018|
|Genre||Christmas, rap, hip-hop, rock|
|Singles from Dr. Seuss' The Grinch: Original Motion Picture Score|
Tyler, the Creator wrote a new song for the film titled "I Am the Grinch". Tyler and Danny Elfman, who composed the film's score, collaborated on a new version of the song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" for the film, which was featured in the final trailer, and early on in the film itself.
|1.||"You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"||Tyler, the Creator||1:50|
|2.||"I Am the Grinch"||Tyler, the Creator||2:37|
|4.||"Deck the Halls"||Jackie Wilson||1:16|
|5.||"Run Rudolph Run"||The Brian Setzer Orchestra||3:29|
|6.||"My Favorite Things"||The Supremes||2:45|
|7.||"Zat You Santa Claus?"||Buster Poindexter and His Banshees of Blue||2:47|
|8.||"Christmas in Hollis"||Run-D.M.C.||2:58|
|9.||"Jingle Bells"||The Brian Setzer Orchestra||2:21|
|10.||"The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)"||Nat King Cole||3:09|
|11.||"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"||Pentatonix||2:29|
|12.||"A Wonderful Awful Idea"||Danny Elfman||2:53|
|13.||"Stealing Christmas"||Danny Elfman||4:06|
On November 20, 2017, Danny Elfman was revealed to be composing the film's score. Elfman's score was released on digital formats on November 9, 2018, along with the soundtrack (both digitally and on CD) and the film.
|Dr. Seuss' The Grinch: Original Motion Picture Score|
|Film score by|
|Released||November 9, 2018|
|Label||Back Lot Music|
|Danny Elfman chronology|
All music is composed by Danny Elfman except where indicated.
|1.||"The Big Opening"||2:46|
|2.||"Going to Town"||1:36|
|4.||"Mailing a Letter"||0:50|
|5.||"It's Better This Way"||1:29|
|7.||"Christmas in Whoville"||4:01|
|8.||"Last Lonely Boy"||1:52|
|10.||"To the Fort"||1:18|
|12.||"Walking Toward Destiny"||2:47|
|13.||"The Loudest Snow"||2:10|
|16.||"Grinch's Wild Ride"||2:42|
|17.||"Kids Can't Sleep"||1:33|
|19.||"Taking the Bait"||1:43|
|20.||"It's My Fault"||2:19|
|21.||"Welcome Christmas" (written by Albert Hague and Ted Geisel)||1:38|
|24.||"The Big Finale"||1:56|
|25.||"All By Myself" (Bonus track)||1:05|
Beginning in October, various billboards appeared for the film, each featuring an image of the Grinch, accompanied by a mean or ironic message. Universal and Illumination partnered with several companies to promote the film, including Wonderful Pistachios, Ebates, IHOP and 23andme for about $80 million worth of advertising. All-in-all the studio spent an estimated $121 million promoting the film worldwide. To promote the film, a giant inflatable balloon featuring the titular character first appeared at the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on November 23, 2017, 1 year ahead of its release. Later in December 2018, The Grinch and Max also made cameos in that year's WNBC/WNJU holiday sing along promo.
The film was released on Digital HD on January 22, 2019, and on DVD, Blu-ray, and Ultra HD Blu-ray on February 5, 2019. It includes three mini-movies: Yellow is the New Black (which preceded the film in its theatrical run), The Dog Days of Winter, and Santa's Little Helpers. The Dog Days of Winter was first shown on NBC on November 23, 2018, after How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) and before Trolls Holiday.
The Grinch grossed $270.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $241 million in other countries, for a total worldwide gross of $511.8 million, against a production budget of $75 million. Deadline Hollywood calculated its net profit to be $184.6 million, making it the ninth most-profitable release of 2018. It is Universal's second biggest hit of 2018 behind Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
In the United States and Canada, The Grinch was released alongside The Girl in the Spider's Web and Overlord, and was projected to gross $55–65 million from 4,140 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $18.7 million on its first day, including $2.2 million from Thursday night previews, more than the $1.7 million taken in by Illumination's Sing in 2016. It went on to debut to $67.6 million, finishing first at the box office and topping the 2000 film's $55 million opening. In its second weekend the film made $38.2 million, finishing second behind newcomer Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. In its third weekend the film made $30.2 million (including $42 million over the five-day Thanksgiving period), finishing fourth. In its fourth and fifth weekends, the film finished second behind Ralph Breaks the Internet, grossing $17.9 million and $15.0 million, respectively. It marked the first-ever time animated films were the top two films at the box office in back-to-back weekends.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 60% based on 191 reviews and an average rating of 6.00/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Grinch gives the classic Seuss source material a brightly animated update that's solidly suitable for younger viewers without adding substantially to the story's legacy." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 83% positive score and a 75% "definite recommend".
Alonso Duralde of TheWrap gave the film a positive review, calling it "full of warmth and wit" and writing, "Purists may balk about revisiting this tale, but The Grinch earns its laughter and its sentiment, both of which are plentiful. It's a full-throated Fah-Who-Foraze." Owen Gleiberman of Variety compared the film favorably to the 2000 live-action version, writing, "For anyone who grew up with How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Grinch won’t replace it, yet it's nimble and affectionate in a way that can hook today's children, and more than a few adults, by conjuring a feeling that comes close enough. By the end, your own heart will swell, though maybe just one or two sizes."
Glenn Kenny of The New York Times wrote, "Said dog, Max is the most charming character in this version, directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney. The filmmakers keep the visuals merry and popping bright. Benedict Cumberbatch, voicing the Grinch, opts not to compete with Karloff at all, which is smart and speaks in an American accent, sounding rather like Bill Hader, which is confusing. A tepid hip-hop song about the Grinch plays over the end credits. It’s by Tyler, the Creator, who only a few years ago was considered one of the saltiest (to put it mildly) voices in music. Here, his contribution is as toothless as the rest of the movie." Molly Freeman of Screen Rant gave the film a 3 out of 5 stars, saying "The Grinch may not be a necessary holiday movie, but fans of Dr. Seuss's story or holiday films, in general, will find plenty to like in this new animated retelling. Plus, with a variety of family-friendly jokes, The Grinch will no doubt entertain viewers young and old, though the 90-minute runtime does stretch thin in the third act of the movie. It's perhaps not worth seeing in IMAX, but The Grinch does provide some rich visuals that will also capture the eye of all moviegoers. The Grinch is holiday fun for the whole family, adapting a classic story with a new twist that makes for an altogether compelling moviegoing experience."
Sandie Angulo Chen of Common Sense Media gave the film 3/5 and stated, "This adaptation is bright, colorful, and occasionally funny, but it doesn't come close to matching the effectiveness of the short-and-sweet original." Amy West of Empire gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, writing "Despite its story-telling ambition being two sizes too small (much like its hairy protagonist’s heart), The Grinch is impossibly cute, visually rich and boasts enough festive fun to satisfy young viewers."
|List of awards and nominations|
|2019||Annie Awards||Music in an Animated Feature Production||Danny Elfman and Tyler, The Creator||Nominated|||
|Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Habib Louati|
|Editorial in an Animated Feature Production||Chris Cartagena|
|Art Directors Guild||Production Design in an Animated Feature||Colin Stimpson|||
|Critics' Choice Awards||Best Animated Film||Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney||Nominated|||
|Producers Guild of America Award||Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture||Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy||Nominated|||
|Visual Effects Society Awards||Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature||Pierre Leduc, Janet Healy, Bruno Chauffard, Milo Riccarand||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature||David Galante, Francois Boudaille, Olivier Luffin, Yarrow Cheney for The Grinch||Nominated|
|Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature||Loic Rastout, Ludovic Ramiere, Henri Deruer, Nicolas Brack for Whoville||Nominated|
|Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature||Eric Carme, Nicolas Brice, Milo Riccarand for Snow, Clouds and Smoke||Nominated|
|Movieguide Awards||Best Movies for Families||The Grinch||Won|||
|Epiphany Prize for Most Inspiring Movie||Nominated|
|Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Animated Movie||Nominated|||
|Favorite Male Voice from an Animated Movie||Benedict Cumberbatch||Nominated|
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