Many of you might be thinking “Did we really need another version of The Grinch? There’s already the book, two films and a broadway musical!” Despite any hesitations you might have, Illumination Entertainment‘s Dr Suess’s The Grinch is a welcomed early Christmas gift this holiday season.

For those unfamiliar with the classic Christmas tale, The Grinch follows a green Who named The Grinch who lives with his overly affectionate dog Max live alone in a cave on the outskirts of the town of Whoville. All of the Who’s living in Whoville adore Christmas, however, The Grinch absolutely detests it and plans to get revenge by stealing every Christmas tree, decoration, light and present in town. Meanwhile, young Cindy Lou Who desperately wants to meet Santa Claus and plans to trap him on Christmas Eve.

With a simplified storyline, added humourous tweaks and fun new characters sprinkled through, directors Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney have created a perfect balance of familiarity and freshness. The bold and daring animation creates a magical, colourful and gravity-defying world that is unparalleled to what we see in Ron Howard‘s 2000 live adaptation. The soundtrack is also a vast improvement, featuring modern and upbeat festive tunes from artists like Tyler, The Creator, Run DMC and Pentatonix.

Benedict Cumberbatch brings vulnerability and softness to the typically cynical character of The Grinch, best demonstrated in his more caring and mutually beneficial relationship with Max. Cindy Lou, voiced by Cameron Seely, is not the typical sweet and innocent young girl of past retellings, but rather a feisty and funny heroine who dreams big and refuses give up on them. The original tale’s underlying meaning that Christmas is about more than physical things is still present and equally relevant to today’s audience.

Do not be surprised if your heart grows three times in size when watching The Grinch. Whilst it will no means replace the original story, it’s definitely a festive family must-see.

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