In Whoville, The Grinch watches over all and before his change, he could not wait for the holidays to be over. During the yuletide season, he has plenty to bah humbug about. With the home video release on Feb 5th, fans of Dr Seuss and Grinch can reflect upon all that’s happened and realize the smiles can last year round.
The updated version owes a huge debt to its realization back in 1966, with the first animation voiced by and starring Boris Karloff. While it’s tough to beat the love for the Chuck Jones animated work and the song, “You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch,” this update by Illumination Studios does a very respectable job. To make this release perfect, Universal should have included the original work (studio ownership notwithstanding). Not only is the song given a hip hop take by Tyler, the Creator but also new characters are introduced. Fred is particularly adorable as a very rotund reindeer which The Grinch uses to get around. The animators would not do this unless they plan on having them come back.
An original work may be around the corner; nearly all the characters the studio has a license to can appear. They have to negotiate or partner with Blue Sky for Horton and Warner Animation Group for Cat in the Hat.
This release offers plenty to relive, and unwrapping this disc was like opening a Christmas present all over again. Yes, I love the Minions, and had to include this release in my library. “Yellow is the New Black” is a very cinematic take on a prison break scenario (taking place after their big escape in Despicable Me 3) and “Santa’s Little Helpers” sees them land in the North Pole, and with no surprise, St Nick is not pleased.
As a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, the voice of The Grinch, I wanted to hear why he chose this particular role and decided to voice the seminal character in an American accent, than his British. He adds a nice sense of gravitas in characters like Smaug in The Hobbit. In Penguins of Madagascar, he got to practice some comedy. I was particularly impressed with his work in Mogli: Legend of the Jungle as Sheer Kahn, and would love to see him perform in more animated style works.
Also included are animation tests and progression reels for would-be animators to study. Not every video release offers this amount of extras to look at. I particularly enjoyed “Illuminating and My Earliest GRINCH” features, which offers some insight into why this tale continues to be loved even now. Dr Seuss penned a work which is timeless and the producers gave a great reason why they wanted to update this work. It’s tough to convince me on why remakes are needed. This film is just as colourful as the original and well, somebody has to turn my frown upside down next holiday season.
Details of the bonus contents can be found listed in the prior article here.