The Grinch – The people of Whoville are obsessed with celebrating Christmas. But grouchy green meany, The Grinch, who lives as an outcast, can’t stand the gaudy lights, presents, and sickening cheer. Well meaning young girl, Cindy Lou Who, manages to convince the Grinch to join the town in celebration, but when things don’t go to plan The Grinch decides that no-one will celebrate Christmas and concocts a plan to steal it away from everyone…..

The Grinch (2000) – Director: Ron Howard

how the grinch stole christmas movie poster suitable for children

Rating: PG

Running Length: 144 mins

Starring: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor

Genre: Comedy

REVIEW: ‘THE GRINCH’

Ron Howard’s feature-length adaptation of Dr Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, with Jim Carrey as the eponymous Christmas hating spoil sport, is pretty much everything you would assume it to be. In your face bah humbug fun with plenty of over the top comedy, but also with a few genuinely sweet moments (don’t worry, not too many). Taking source material not only from the original 1957 story by acclaimed children’s author Dr. Seuss, but also from the popular 1966 animated ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas!’ TV special, the movie also expands on and adds certain elements in order to get up to feature-length. These land pretty successfully, with such sections including an origin story of sorts for the Grinch, and an emotional ‘in’ for the audience in the form of the sympathetic (and questioning) character of little girl Cindy Lou Who.

If you have seen any movie with Jim Carrey you will know exactly what to expect from him here. If ever an actor was needed to act through so many layers of prosthetics and still engage it was going to be Carrey. He brings an exaggerated mean-spiritedness to the character which works very well, but on the rare occasion that some vulnerability is needed he also manages this through his glued-on green mask parts, which is to his credit. Momsen as Cindy Lou Who delivers a performance that perfectly anchors the film in its more chaotic moments. Genuinely wanting to see the best in a feared Grinch whom everyone else has written off (but without being too sickly sweet about it) she is the tonal Ying to Carrey’s gurning Yang. Tellingly, there is a repeat of the Dr. Seuss theme here that apparent wholesome perfection is only ever achieve as the expense of others. The supposedly joyous residents of Whoville have totally succumbed to materialism and when it quickly becomes trash the garbage is dumped elsewhere and out of sight (on the Grinch).

If you like your Christmas movies to be on theme but not overbearing with the whole ‘Christmas spirit’ message then The Grinch is definitely the movie for you. It lambasts the brash commercialism of Christmas, ridicules the shallowness and forced joviality, and yet still finds space to acknowledge the only real things that matter: love for your fellow and the strength of family. But be warned, you have to be in the mood for such full on Jim Carrey….

CONTENT: IS ‘THE GRINCH’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN

Teens of Whoville dare each other to go knock on the door of The Grinch. One says “he wants a taste of Who flesh!” in order to scare the others. When they knock on the door there is a jump scare as an apparently huge, scary monster burst through and roars at them. They flee in terror but it is quickly revealed that things are not as they initially appeared.

The Grinch visits the town of Whoville in disguise – a rubber mask with a large fake smile plastered over it. He hands one child a hacksaw and tells them to ‘run real fast’ with it. Later, he scares a girl into falling into machinery. The machinery has a crushing part which she is dragged towards and she is in peril for around a minute.

The Grinch, when at home, appears to enjoy eating glass bottles. He breaks the top off with his teeth and crunches the glass.

Babies are described as being delivered in cots hung under umbrellas which float down into the town. One lands on a doorstep and a man is pleased to see it, calling into the house that their baby ‘has arrived’. He then adds, ‘and it looks like your boss!’.

The Grinch, as a baby, can see into a window where a Christmas party is in full swing. A woman is seen riding on the back of the man and she smacks his behind to ‘gee’ him up. Also, various party members are shown to be putting their keys into a big bowl. Nothing more is mentioned about this and so the implications of these two things are likely to not be understood by younger viewers.

The Grinch, as a child, is shown to draw ‘anti-Christmas’ pictures, including a Santa’s sleigh on fire as Santa falling out. Later, in an attempt to impress someone, The Grinch attempts to shave. He is embarrassed by the result and hides his face before revealing several cuts and bits of tissue on his cheeks. The whole class laugh at him and even the teacher barely suppresses a laugh.

The Grinch attempts to scare someone by roaching, shouting, and ripping a t-shirt in half.. However, the character is unfazed and he eventually gives up.

The Grinch crashes in a party and falls face first into a woman’s cleavage. The camera crash zooms into her chest, and they are shown to both be on the floor with his face buried in her bosom. Later, he holds up some mistletoe and pins it to his bottom, shouting “now pucker up and kiss it, Whoville!”

The Grinch eats a dirty banana skin from a trash heap.

The Grinch straps himself into a self-made contraption and crashes it. He looks stunned but unhurt.

The Grinch breaks into people’s homes and steals all their presence. Later, he accidentally sucks up a cat into a vacuum machine. He looks down the hole to see what is causing the blockage and there is a brief shot of the cat charging up the tube before attacking his face.

The Grinch picks up his dog, Max, and shoves its bottom into the sleeping face of a character who is dreaming about kissing a woman. The dog’s eyes go wide. Later, the dog is picked up by the scruff of the neck. It is also forced to pull a sleigh and it collapses once reaching the top of a mountain

CAN I SEE A CLIP?
VERDICT: IS ‘THE GRINCH’ FOR KIDS?

The Grinch wobbles the line between child friendly slapstick and adult-oriented ‘slight of hand’ jokes that, whilst going over the heads of the young, aren’t really needed. For the majority of the time it gets the balance right, and whilst the movie has its fair share of frantic moments, it also calms down enough that it isn’t just a mindless assault on the senses. With action, comedy, and heartwarming cheer all in one place The Grinch is likely to be a hit with kids and adults alike. Due to some mild innuendo and mild scary moments we would recommend this movie as appropriate for ages 6 and up.

  • Violence: 1/5 (comical in nature)
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (on occasion The Grinch looks hurt. Cindy Lou Who is chastised by the Mayor in front of everyone and she gets upset
  • Fear Factor: 1/5 (one minor jump scare and The Grinch can look intimidating)
  • Sexual Content: 1/5 (some mild innuendo)
  • Bad Language: 1/5 (mild blasphemy and childish insults)
  • Dialogue: 2/5 (The Grinch says he could ‘hang himself’ with all the thrown out ties he finds. He also mocks people who demand presents, insinuating that a pony would be turned into glue)
  • Other Notes: Deals with themes of anti-social behaviour, materialism, zealous adherence to established norms, commercialism, Christmas spirit, judging others by their appearance, and the strength of positive reinforcement.

Words by Michael Record

The Grinch [Blu-ray]


New From: £7.67 GBP In Stock

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