THE GRINCH vs How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The holiday classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas
by Dr Seuss has been given an animated makeover by the team behind the Despicable Me movies. Yippee-ki-yay, movie lovers, it’s Jan here
and today I’m explaining the biggest differences between Illumination’s new Grinch movie, the
60s animated TV special, and the live-action film with Jim Carrey! Keep watching to the end for a bonus Grinch
easter egg! And subscribe and leave a comment about the
movie for a chance to win some awesome Grinch merchandise. The first big difference that you’ll notice
between this particular Grinch and previous versions is that the filmmakers have deliberately
made him a little more likeable and relatable. That’s because they felt that a very nasty
Grinch would be too off-putting in a feature-length festive film, so they sanded down his spiky
edges somewhat. Another big change in this version is that
the filmmakers delve into why the Grinch became the way he is. In the original book and made-for-TV animation,
the Grinch didn’t have any real backstory. We just knew he’d hated Christmas for 53 years,
likely because his “heart was two sizes too small.” The live-action film, however, did add some
background information with baby Grinch arriving by accident in Whoville, getting adopted by
elderly women, falling for a girl at school, and being bullied by his classmates, which
made the young Grinch leave town for Mount Crumpit. Like that movie, the new animation returns
to the Grinch’s youth for answers, though this time, his emotional pain stems from a
childhood spent in an orphanage where he was basically abandoned during Christmas. By bringing up the Grinch’s backstory, the
filmmakers wanted to soften our feelings towards him and open up a path for him to heal over
the course of the story. Indeed, according to Benedict Cumberbatch,
‘once you understand why Christmas is painful for him, you kind of root for him a little.’ But what about the new Grinch’s appearance? Well, although, in his 1957 book, he started
out black and white with pinky-coloured eyes, thanks to the 1966 animation, green is very
much the colour associated with the holiday-hating character. And, as you’d expect, just like the live-action
movie in 2000, Illumination’s animated feature sticks with green, though it does make some
changes, giving his teeth a cosmetic makeover and adding pinker lips and green on white
eyes, in a change from the pinky-red on yellow eyes of the 60s animation and the green on
yellow eyes of the live-action. This Grinch also looks brighter, softer, better
groomed and less creepy than previous versions, which I imagine was done to make him look
more generally appealing. The amazing progress in animation tools and
techniques since the early cartoon means that there’s a real sense of texture to the Grinch’s
hair in this new film, and the wavy effect in his fur feels like a nod to the character’s
drawings in the book. As far as the other characters go, the filmmakers
have gone for a less zany look that’s more human and largely cuter than in previous adaptations
as they wanted the movie to appeal to a broad audience including people who’d never seen
the original Dr Seuss and Chuck Jones artwork. The Grinch’s dog Max has been part of his
story since the original book. But in this new version, the relationship
between Max and the Grinch is much more developed. Max isn’t just a pet or substitute reindeer;
he’s everything to the Grinch including his best friend, his pretty much constant companion,
and his devoted right-hand dog. In fact, Max’s incredible loyalty to his green
friend is designed to help us to see the goodness in the Grinch. Someone else who’s been part of the grouchy
green character’s story from the very beginning is Cindy-Lou Who. In the book and TV special, she’s just 2 years
old and her only real interaction with the Grinch is when she chances upon him while
he’s disguised as Santa and asks why he’s taking her family’s Christmas tree. The new movie, like the Jim Carrey film, ages
Cindy-Lou up several years and greatly expands her storyline. In the live-action, Cindy-Lou has more interaction
with the Grinch than this film, though Illumination’s movie still gives her an active role which
involves her trying to trap Santa as she wants him to help out her tired, over-worked mother. There’s also a whole host of new characters
introduced in this film. Not content with just having one adorable
creature on screen, the new movie adds a reindeer called Fred who I can absolutely see being
a favourite with kids and selling a ton of toys, much like Max. Fred appears when the Grinch starts to put
together his plot to steal Christmas and he’s not only a nice comic foil to the Grinch’s
grumpiness but, as with Max, he also lets us see a different side to the green Christmas
thief. Another new animal addition to the story is
a wild goat, and although he’s not on screen very long, he definitely leaves an impression
thanks to his rather distinctive voice, which adds to the film’s comedy! Another new face in Whoville is the Grinch’s
nearest neighbour, Mr Bricklebaum. He’s the “happiest Who alive” and considers
himself to be the Grinch’s best friend, though the Grinch, of course, has an entirely different
view of the situation! Bricklebaum, who’s voiced by Saturday Night
Live star Kenan Thompson, is full of Christmas spirit and just adores covering his house
in lights and breaking out his huge selection of Santa and Snowman inflatables to celebrate
the holidays. Basically, he’s another obstacle in the way
of the Grinch’s isolation and the Grinch doesn’t like it one bit! Also not in the original book or TV special
is the Mayor of Whoville. Now, if you know the live-action version,
you’ll remember there was a mayor in that film and he was an entirely nasty piece of
work. In fact, he was the reason why the Grinch
cut himself off from society. However, in Illumination’s film, the mayor
isn’t a baddie, she’s a completely different character, and it’s a real treat to hear her
played by Angela Lansbury. While Cindy-Lou’s parents aren’t mentioned
in the book or TV animation, they do make an appearance in the live-action movie, where
her father is the town’s postmaster and her mother competes to have the best Christmas
lights in Whoville. In a complete change, in the new animation,
Cindy-Lou’s mother, Donna, is a frazzled, hard-working single parent with three children
and she’s voiced by Parks & Rec star Rashida Jones. Similar to the live-action father, though,
this new animated mother realises that Christmas is about much more than things. Cindy-Lou needs some help to carry out her
plan to trap Santa, so she turns to her friends, who are all new additions to the popular story. There’s her best friend Groopert as well as
the brains of the outfit, Izzy, the laid-back Axl, and the wisecracking Ozzy. In the book, there’s only a handful of houses
shown in Whoville, and although the number of colourful Who homes more or less triples
in the TV special, it’s still a tiny town. In the live-action movie, Whoville got much
bigger and more detailed with a post office, stores, and a school, and there was also an
excess of festive lights, ornaments, and presents as the Whos were more materialistic. Illumination’s new film takes things in a
different direction, making Whoville’s houses, stores, businesses, and vehicles reflect the
warm and welcoming nature of the Whos. The new Whoville is a vibrant town full of
vivid colours. In fact, it appears so sweet and inviting
that it looks like it could be made out of gingerbread! By the way, when creating Whoville, the filmmakers
made sure they avoided straight lines where possible to keep a similar vibe to Dr Seuss’s
work. Story-wise, there are some interesting differences
between all the versions of the Grinch’s tale. The only time the Grinch visits Whoville in
both the book and the 60s animation is to carry out his plan to steal Christmas. In the live-action film, however, the Grinch
visited Whoville several times before trying to steal their big day. First, he went to cause trouble after some
Whos disturbed him on Mount Crumpit; and later, he returned as holiday Cheer-Meister for the
Who’s seasonal celebration. The new animated movie also shows the Grinch
descending from his mountain home before his big robbery, but this time it’s because he’s
run out of groceries after stress-eating his way through all the food in his house ahead
of Christmas. He later ends up in Whoville again after his
plan to launch a huge snowball at the town goes wrong. While all the versions of the story show how
much the Grinch hates all the noise of Christmas, the new animated movie ups the stakes as the
Grinch is faced with the prospect of the noisiest holiday season ever as, this year, Whoville’s
mayor wants the festivities to be three times bigger than usual. Of course, the Grinch really can’t stand the
idea of that, which leads him to steal Christmas to stop the noisy madness of it all! I mentioned earlier that Whoville’s much bigger
in this film, and that means that the Grinch’s plan to rob the Whos turns out to be much
more challenging than previous adaptations. In fact, this time, it’s a whole big production,
more akin to a huge heist! So, expect to see the Grinch get really creative,
using a massive range of crazy Rube Goldberg-style contraptions that reminded me a lot of the
kind of stuff you see in Aardman’s Wallace and Gromit films. Oh, and the Grinch’s cave is also full of
ridiculous, hi-tech gadgets and gizmos too. If you’re a fan of the songs from the original
animation, you’ll be pleased to hear the new movie features both ‘Welcome Christmas’, which
gets a pretty familiar interpretation, and ‘You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch’, which is given
a totally different spin. There’s also a new song, ‘I Am The Grinch’,
which plays over the closing credits. Singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams, who provides
a lovely and suitably warm narration for the new film, certainly had big shoes to fill
as generations have grown up hearing Boris Karloff lend his inimitable voice to the TV
special. As for the new script, it mixes Dr Seuss’s
original language with new dialogue and narration, so in addition to many classic lines, you’ll
also hear new material that aims to reflect the style and spirit of the original. Pharrell’s vocal performance in the Grinch
is also an Illumination easter egg as the singer-songwriter has composed themes and
songs, including the Oscar-nominated Happy, for the Despicable Me movies. And I’ll be talking about lots more Illumination
easter eggs in my Things You Missed in The Grinch video which you can tap here to watch
or click the link at the end or in the video description. Now, which is your favourite version of the
Grinch? And what do you like best about the new movie? Let me know in the comments below and remember
to subscribe for a chance to win one of these cool Grinch merch packs. I’ve got new videos on The Grinch coming up,
so tap left to watch the next one or tap right for another video you’re sure to like. If you enjoyed this, I really appreciate a
thumbs-up and a share! Thanks for watching and see ya next time. Yippee-ki-yay, movie lovers!

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