Anthony's Film Review

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Ron Howard's live action version of a classic Dr. Seuss story almost makes the cut...

Let me first say a couple of words about Dr. Seuss. Everyone knows Dr. Seuss, a pseudonym for Theodore Geisel, as one of the most beloved writers of children's books. He didn't just create original literature for young minds. He inspired generations of children to read. Certainly, I was one of those kids who picked up at least one Dr. Seuss book. For me, I remember reading Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back.

Another one of this stories was How the Grinch Stole Christmas. As a kid, I did not read this story or see the animated adaptation. I do, however, know what it's about, enough to appreciate how Dr. Seuss wanted to create a moral tale for the children. I thought of this when Ron Howard's live action version of the story came to theaters. It looked pretty magical. Jim Carrey, known for wildly comic roles, plays the title character. It was another reason to see the movie, mainly because I wanted to know if Carrey could do a children's film.

Here's what I have to say about his performance. It's not bad. In fact, I don't think anyone could be a better live-action Grinch than Jim Carrey. He captures the mannerisms of a disgruntled creature quite well, and the makeup team did make him look like the Grinch from the book and the cartoon adaptation. I wouldn't say it's perfect. The one thing I noticed while watching the movie is how the Grinch does act mean and cruel like the character is supposed to, but he does so in a way that seems somewhat mean-spirited. This is best illustrated by a scene in the town where the angry Grinch does some cruel things, including giving the town mayor an embarrassing haircut.

In between, you have a movie that could be described as magical. The production design is well done, making the setting come alive like it's straight out of the book. There's narration by Anthony Hopkins that nicely introduces the story. There's also one scene with a girl singing, though I found it somewhat forgettable. And I did like the last several minutes of the movie when, as you'd expect in a children's fairy tale, things are set right again. They did a decent job with that.

Yet, I have to give this movie a slightly negative rating, just because the potential to be a good enough movie was limited by jokes that were a bit crude for a story like this. If it weren't for that, I'd give the movie a 6/10. For some of you, especially if you have kids, you might find this movie to be just fine for the family. I won't argue with that. Even so, there's one way to experience How the Grinch Stole Christmas that is better than any other: read the book. That's what Dr. Seuss wanted, don't you think?

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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