How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Review

by Bret W.


I swear, every time I see a Ron Howard film I am in awe at the sheer magnitude of it.  In this case, what began as a children’s book written in 1957 explodes on the silver screen in full live action in the year 2000, and it couldn’t have happened with anyone but Howard at the helm.  It also couldn’t have happened with anyone but Jim Carrey as the Grinch.  Oh, he was awesome!  But more on that in a bit.

You may remember the Hanna-Barbara cartoon which featured the voice of Boris Karloff narrating and portraying the Grinch.  You may remember that it’s only half an hour long with commercials.  So what to do to stretch the story out into a full length feature film?  Well, Howard gives us a lot more insight into the lives of the Whos.  He focuses a large part of the story on Little Cindy Lou Who (who, in the story, was no more than two, but in the film is more like six or seven).  Cindy Lou is jaded at the concept of Christmas and only sees it as a time of gift giving.  But she thinks that there must be more to it.  So she sets out to find out why the Grinch is so dead set against Christmas.

She finds the women who raised the Grinch and they tell his tale.  It seems that because he was different, he was picked on by the other Whos, especially a Who boy who would become the Mayor of Whoville.  When he was teased around Christmas for trying to give a gift to a girl he had a crush on, he went berzerk and stormed to the top of Mt. Crumpet where he took residence away from the Whos who belittled him.

Well, Cindy Lou tries to help the Grinch by nominating him to be the Cheermeister of Whoville, and at first all seems well, until the Mayor teases the Grinch again and sets the wheels in motion.  From there, the story follows the original book.
What can I say?  I loved it.  Carrey was brilliant as the Grinch, and the story, the effects, the music, the whole thing tied together wonderfully to make a delightful film enjoyable for all ages.  The theater I was in was packed, about 50/50 on the kid/adult ratio, and I noticed that the adults loved it every bit as much as the kids.  Even my own children, who don’t usually sit still for live-action films, were riveted to their seats the entire time.  The action is not too severe, and I would consider it appropriate for children of any age.  The language was quite tame as well.

As for the acting, I can’t say it enough.  Carrey stole the show.  There was even a part where he acted like Ron Howard directing his dog Max to play the part of the reindeer.  It was a classic moment.  In fact, the whole movie was a classic.  Well filmed and well produced, well directed and well acted, I think it’s a total package that works very well.