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The Grinch (also known as Dr. Seuss' The Grinch) is a 2018 American 3D computer-animated Christmas comedy film produced by Illumination. Based on the 1957 Dr. Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, it is the third screen adaptation of the story, following the television special from 1966 and the live-action feature-length film from 2000. It also marks Illumination's second Dr. Seuss film adaptation, following The Lorax (2012). The film is directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier, and written by Michael LeSieur and Tommy Swerdlow. It stars the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Cameron Seely and Angela Lansbury, and is narrated by Pharrell Williams. The plot follows the Grinch as he plans to ruin Whoville's Christmas celebration by stealing all the town's decorations and gifts.
The Grinch was released by Universal Pictures in the United States on November 9, 2018, in RealD 3D and select IMAX theaters. It has grossed over $322 million worldwide, and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the animation but said the film added little to nothing new to the source material.
In the town of Whoville, human-like creatures called Whos are filled with excitement about celebrating Christmas. The only one who isn't amused is a cantankerous, green furred creature called The Grinch, who has a heart "two sizes too small" and lives in a cave on the top of Mount Crumpit just north of Whoville. The Grinch's only friend is his loyal pet dog Max and they both only visit Whoville when the Grinch needs to buy food and do bad things.
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. She at first decides to send a letter to Santa Claus to help her mother but after encountering the Grinch, who sarcastically says that she'll have to talk to Santa face-to-face about it, she eventually decides to try and trap Santa with the help of her friends.
With Christmas just around the corner, all the Whoville festivities force the Grinch to recall his sad childhood spent mostly alone and unwanted in a run down orphanage. The Grinch soon decides that he will steal Christmas from Whoville to assuage his distress. He acquires a fat reindeer whom he calls Fred to help him pull a sleigh that he stole from frenemy Mr. Bricklebaum. After a test run, the Grinch discovers that Fred has a wife and child. With a heavy heart, he lets Fred go back to them.
On Christmas Eve, after making a Santa Claus disguise and dozens of gadgets to help him with his theft, the Grinch and Max, who pulls the sleigh in Fred's place, go down to Whoville and begin stealing the decorations and presents. He soon encounters Cindy 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 take his sadness away, touches the Grinch's bitter heart. Nevertheless, the Grinch carries on with his mission.
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 to see that the presents and decorations are gone. Cindy at first believes she's to blame because she 'caught' Santa, but Donna tells her that Christmas is more than just about presents and that Cindy's the best thing that ever happened to her. The Whos join together in song.
The Grinch and Max hear the singing and the Grinch is puzzled to see that they are celebrating Christmas despite his theft. After heeding Cindy's advice and immersing himself to their singing, his small heart triples in size, causing him to double over in breathless joy and wonder. The sleigh almost falls off Mount Crumpit and the Grinch tries to save it. In the nick of time, Fred and his family come to his aid. After securing the sleigh, the Grinch and Max go to Whoville to return the stolen items and he admits his theft to the Whos and apologizes before going back to his cave.
Feeling sorry for the Grinch, Cindy comes to invite him to celebrate Christmas at her house and he awkwardly attends. When seated down for dinner, he confesses that it wasn't really Christmas he disliked but being lonely and his bitterness over being neglected. Before carving the roast beast, the Grinch offers a toast, "To kindness and love, the things we need most."
- Benedict Cumberbatch as The Grinch, a grouchy, green creature who despises Christmas.
- Cameron Seely as Cindy Lou Who, a young resident of Whoville.
- Rashida Jones as Donna Lou Who, Cindy's overworked widowed mother.
- Kenan Thompson as Bricklebaum, a jolly citizen of Whoville.
- Angela Lansbury as Mayor McGerkle, the elderly Mayor of Whoville.
- Brad O'Hare as Groopert, one of Cindy Lou's friends.
- Ramone Hamilton as Axl, one of Cindy Lou's friends.
- Sam Lavagnino as Ozzy, one of Cindy Lou's friends.
- Scarlett Estevez as Izzy, one of Cindy Lou's friends.
- Pharrell Williams as the Narrator
- Frank Welker as Max, the Grinch's pet dog and sidekick.
- Lori Alan
- Carlos Alazraqui
- Doug Burch
- Catherine Cavadini
- Tucker Chandler
- Townsend Coleman
- Meilee Condron
- Abby Craden
- Brian T. Delaney
- John DeMita
- Bill Farmer
- Aaron Fors
- Willow Geer
- Jess Harnell
- Barbara Harris
- Carter Hastings
- John Kassir
- Evan Kishiyama
- Danny Mann
- Jeremy Maxwell
- Scott Mosier
- Laraine Newman
- Dashiell Priestley
- Alex Puccinelli
- Emma Elizabeth Shannon
- Mindy Sterling
- Tara Strong
- Joel Swetow
- Regina Taufen
- Jim Ward
In February 2013, it was announced that Illumination Entertainment 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. 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.
Like almost all of Illumination's other films, the animation was created entirely in France by Illumination Mac Guff. The movie's animation was made using Autodesk Maya.
- Main article: The Grinch/Soundtrack
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.
The film was originally scheduled to be released on November 10, 2017, but on June 7, 2016, it was pushed back to November 9, 2018.
The first official trailer was released on March 8, 2018. The second trailer was released on June 14, 2018. The third and final trailer was released on September 18, 2018, along with a new poster. Beginning October, various billboards appeared for the film, each featuring an image of the Grinch, accompanied by a mean or ironic quote and 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.
As of December 9, 2018, The Grinch has grossed $223.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $98.9 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $322.4 million, against a production budget of $75 million.
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 frame), finishing fourth. In its fourth and fifth weekends, the film finished second behind Ralph Breaks the Internet, grossing $17.9 million and $15.7 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 57% based on 160 reviews, with an average rating of 5.9/10. 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".
Trailers and Clips