While some may have never seen any version of the Grinch themselves, his name is so famous that everyone at least knows the story.
When someone seems to be out of the Christmas spirit, they’re often labeled as the Grinch. The allusion all children, across multiple generations can identify with green skin and a pointy nose.
First introduced on the big screen in 1966, the Grinch was another story to tell young children to make sure they were in a thankful Christmas mood. Saying the Grinch would come and sneak through the night and take away gifts was only slightly less popular than saying Santa would come and bring coal if he deemed anyone naughty enough.
The 1966 version of the Grinch is animated in a way that closely resembles the drawing style of The Dr. Seuss books that the tale originates from. While not being a musical there are some iconic songs featured in the film that even in 2020 are seen as staple Christmas tunes. “You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” are both songs that are featured in all four Grinch movies to appear on television.
Jim Carrey’s interpretation of the Grinch aired in 2000 is probably the most well known version of the Grinch today. While this film was a live-action take, it didn’t lose any of the magic written into the story by Dr. Seuss. The prosthetic face pieces or and the detailed set all do their parts to bring the story together.
Another difference seen between the 1966 version and the 2000’s version other than one being a live- action is the detailed background info the audience is gifted in the 2000’s remake. Viewers are able to see the Grinch as a child and get a more detailed look into how he became the monster the Whos of Whoville know him as.
Third on our list is the 2018 remake titled, “The Grinch.” This version of the iconic story featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Grinch is an animated film just like the original. The differences to be seen are in the animation style. Instead of staying true to the artwork of the book by Dr. Seuss, this film takes on the realistic animation of most Pixar/ Disney movies made after 2013. With a new version of “You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch” created by Tyler the Creator the film has a sound track of Christmas songs. Still not a musical, it does feature many tunes in the background sung by a variety of musical artists.
The 2020 musical adaption of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is probably the most controversial on the list. Featuring Matthew Morrison, Will Shuster from “Glee,” as the Grinch was a decision many are not content with. Morrison based his interpretation of the Grinch off of Joaquin Phoenix’s “Joker.” The oversexualized take on the classic story was seen in poor taste and was rated 13 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. While the costumes and makeup in this most recent live-action adaption fit perfectly with the strangeness of the story, the musical number, songs and blocking all fall flat.
To finish out this review of every Grinch movie ever made, ranking them from best to worst seems appropriate. The best is Carrey’s 2000’s adaption, followed by The 1966’s version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” the 2018 version featuring Tyler the Creator on the soundtrack and then the most recent 2020 musical adaptation with Matthew Morrison as the Grinch.
All are good films, and while this reviewer ranks Carrey’s renditions the best, this is possibly because it was the first one this reviewer saw.
This is Zeke La Mantia’s second year on with Echo publications. He has earned multiple awards for his photographic contributions.
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