The Grinch (film)

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The Grinch
The Grinch, final poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onHow the Grinch Stole Christmas!
by Dr. Seuss
Narrated byPharrell Williams
Music byDanny Elfman[1]
Edited byChris Cartagena
Distributed byUniversal Pictures[2]
Release date
Running time
86 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
Budget$75 million[4][5]
Box office$151.7 million[6]

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 $151 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.[7]


In the town of Whoville, human-like creatures called Whos are filled with excitement about celebrating Christmas. The only one who isn't all excited is a cantankerous green creature called The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch), 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, 5-year-old Cindy Lou Who (Cameron Seely) notices that her mother Donna (Rashida Jones) is overworked trying to take care of herself and her twin infant sisters, Millie and Bean. She at first decides to send a letter to Santa Claus to help her mother. 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 and ask him for his help since she thinks it's too important.

After the Grinch is annoyed that the Whos brought a gigantic Christmas tree to town, he attempts to destroy the tree by catapulting a giant snowball at it, but it backfires and he ends up catapulted himself. Soon, all the festivities take him back to his sad childhood where he is all alone in an orphanage while all of the other Whos were taken by families.

After returning to his cave, 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 Mr. Bricklebaum (Kenan Thompson). After a test run, the Grinch sees that Fred has a wife and child. So 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 and her request to help lighten her mother's workload soon touches the Grinch's bitter heart.

After stealing every Christmas present and decoration, the Grinch and Max decide to 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 since she helps her mother out with her workload and the Whos join in singing.

The Grinch and Max soon hear the singing and the Grinch is puzzled to see that they are celebrating Christmas despite his theft, but he soon listens to their singing and his small heart triples in size. 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 dinner at her house and he awkwardly attends and when seated down for dinner, he admits that it wasn't really Christmas he disliked but being lonely. The Grinch carves a roast beast as he celebrates Christmas with the Whos and starts a new life with them, especially with Cindy.

Voice cast[edit]

  • Benedict Cumberbatch as The Grinch, a disgruntled, 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 single 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



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.[8] Peter Candeland and Yarrow Cheney were set to direct,[9] though in 2018 producer Scott Mosier took over from Candeland.[10]


Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as the titular character in April 2016.[9] 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,[11] was revealed to be narrating the film.[12]


Like almost all of Illumination's films, the animation was created entirely in France by Illumination Mac Guff. The film's animation was made using Autodesk Maya.[citation needed]



Dr. Seuss' The Grinch: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
ReleasedNovember 9, 2018
GenreChristmas, rap, hip-hop, rock
LabelColumbia Records
Singles from Dr. Seuss' The Grinch: Original Motion Picture Score
  1. "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"
    Released: October 24, 2018

Tyler, the Creator wrote a new song for the film titled "I Am the Grinch".[12] 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,[12] and early on in the film itself.

Track listing[edit]

1."You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"Tyler, the Creator1:50
2."I Am the Grinch"Tyler, the Creator2:37
3."Christmas Is"Run-D.M.C.3:19
4."Deck the Halls"Jackie Wilson1:16
5."Run Rudolph Run"The Brian Setzer Orchestra3:29
6."My Favorite Things"The Supremes2:45
7."Zat You Santa Claus?"Buster Poindexter and His Banshees of Blue2:47
8."Christmas in Hollis"Run-D.M.C.2:58
9."Jingle Bells"The Brian Setzer Orchestra2:21
10."The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)"Nat King Cole3:09
11."God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"Pentatonix2:29
12."A Wonderful Awful Idea"Danny Elfman2:53
13."Stealing Christmas"Danny Elfman4:06
Total length:37:00


On November 20, 2017, Danny Elfman was revealed to be composing the film's score.[1] Elfman's score was released on digital formats in November 9, 2018, along with the soundtrack (both digitally and on CD) and the film.[13]

Dr. Seuss' The Grinch: Original Motion Picture Score
Film score by Danny Elfman
ReleasedNovember 9, 2018
GenreFilm Score
LabelBack Lot Music
Danny Elfman chronology
Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
Dr. Seuss' The Grinch: Original Motion Picture Score

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Danny Elfman except where indicated.

1."The Big Opening"2:46
2."Going to Town"1:36
3."Jaunty Kitchen"1:37
4."Mailing a Letter"0:50
5."It's Better This Way"1:29
6."Northward Bound"1:29
7."Christmas in Whoville"4:01
8."Last Lonely Boy"1:52
9."Welcome Song/Forlorn"2:29
10."To the Fort"1:18
11."Dog Tongue"1:23
12."Walking Toward Destiny"2:47
13."The Loudest Snow"2:10
14."Puppy Eyes"1:03
15."Command Center"1:33
16."Grinch's Wild Ride"2:42
17."Kids Can't Sleep"1:33
18."Stealing Christmas"4:04
19."Taking the Bait"1:43
20."It's My Fault"2:19
21."Welcome Christmas" (written by Albert Hague and Ted Geisel)1:38
22."The Apology"1:08
23."First Christmas"0:51
24."The Big Finale"1:56
25."All By Myself" (Bonus track)1:05
Total length:48:00

Hip hop[edit]


The film was originally scheduled to be released on November 10, 2017,[14] but on June 7, 2016, it was pushed back to November 9, 2018.[15]


The first official trailer was released on March 8, 2018.[16] 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.[17] Beginning October, various billboards appeared for the film, each featuring an image of the Grinch, accompanied by a mean or ironic quote and message.[18] 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.[19]

Home media[edit]


Box office[edit]

As of November 18, 2018, The Grinch has grossed $126.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $25.2 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $151.7 million, against a production budget of $75 million.[6]

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.[20][5] 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.[21][22]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 58% based on 133 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. 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."[23] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 50 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[24] 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".[21]

Alonso Duralde of TheWrap gave the film a positive review, calling it "full of warmth and wit" and writing, "Purists may balk about revisiting this tale, but The Grinch earns its laughter and its sentiment, both of which are plentiful. It's a full-throated Fah-Who-Foraze."[25] Owen Gleiberman of Variety compared the film favorably to the 2000 live-action version, writing, "For anyone who grew up with How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Grinch won’t replace it, yet it's nimble and affectionate in a way that can hook today's children, and more than a few adults, by conjuring a feeling that comes close enough. By the end, your own heart will swell, though maybe just one or two sizes."[26] In a rhyming review for Exclaim, Alex Hudson gave the film 7/10 and wrote, "The original Grinch is a holiday classic / The Jim Carrey remake couldn't capture the magic. / This new one is not as good as the first / But the message is sweet, so it isn't the worst."[27]


  1. ^ a b "Danny Elfman to Score Illumination's 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'". Film Music Reporter. November 20, 2017. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Film releases". Variety Insight. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  3. ^ "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch". Regal Entertainment Group. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  4. ^ Lang, Brent (November 5, 2018). "How Chris Meledandri Became the Most Powerful Man in Animation". Variety. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  5. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (November 8, 2018). "Box-Office Preview: 'The Grinch' to See Green With $55M-$60M U.S. Bow". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "The Grinch (2018)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  7. ^ Cavna, Michael (November 8, 2018). "Do we need another 'Grinch' movie? Some reviews say yes, but others..." The Washington Post. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  8. ^ Borys Kit (February 7, 2013). "'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' Remake in the Works at Universal". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Eldridge Industries. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (April 13, 2016). "Benedict Cumberbatch to Voice the Grinch in 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'". Variety. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  10. ^ Amid Amidi (March 8, 2018). "Illumination's 'The Grinch': First Trailer And A Late Directorial Shake-Up". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  11. ^ Lang, Brent (6 November 2018). "Inside Illumination's Plans for Animated 'Super Mario Bros.' Movie". Variety. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  12. ^ a b c Fleming, Mike Jr. (September 18, 2018). "Pharrell Williams Joins Illumination's Animated Dr. Seuss' 'The Grinch' As Narrator". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  13. ^
  14. ^ McClintock, Pamela (November 17, 2011). "Universal Dates 'Despicable Me 3,' New 'Grinch Who Stole Christmas'". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Eldridge Industries. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  15. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 7, 2016). "Illumination's 'The Grinch' Pushed Back to 2018". Variety. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  16. ^ "A New Trailer for 'The Grinch' is Here and It Needs to be Christmas Now". 2018-06-15.
  17. ^ Schaefer, Sandy (September 18, 2018). "The Grinch Final Trailer & Poster: Cumberbatch Steals Christmas". Screen Rant. Montreal, Canada: Valnet, Inc. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  18. ^ "The Grinch Movie's Billboards Have Incredibly Mean Messages". October 29, 2018.
  19. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 7, 2018). "'The Grinch' Global Promo Campaign Grows Several Sizes From First Movie, To $80M". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  20. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (November 6, 2018). "'The Grinch' to Steal Box Office Crown With $55 Million-Plus Debut". Variety. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  21. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 11, 2018). "'The Grinch' Who Stole Business: Dr. Seuss Pic Opening To $66M As 'Overlord' & 'Spider's Web' Wither – Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  22. ^ Gallagher, Brian (November 12, 2018). "BREAKING DOWN THE GRINCH'S BOX OFFICE DEBUT AGAINST THE FILMS OF ILLUMINATION ENTERTAINMENT". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  23. ^ "The Grinch (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  24. ^ "The Grinch reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  25. ^ Duralde, Alonso (November 7, 2018). "'Dr. Seuss' The Grinch' Film Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Helps Make Third Time Charming". The Wrap. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  26. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (November 7, 2018). "Film Review: 'Dr. Seuss' The Grinch'". Variety. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  27. ^ Hudson, Alex (November 8, 2018). "Film Review: 'The Grinch' Tones Down Meanness for Sentimentality". Exclaim. Retrieved November 14, 2018.

External links[edit]