Directors: Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones (VOICES)
Release Date: February 5, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Illumination and Universal Pictures present The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss’ beloved classic. The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl’s generous spirit. Funny, heartwarming and visually stunning, The Grinch is fun for the whole family!
Based upon the timeless classic by Dr. Seuss, Illumination presents a new, updated animated feature for the entire family. ‘The Grinch’ tells the familiar tale of the green, Christmas despising individual who lives in self-imposed isolation with his beloved dog Max and hates nothing more than the dreadful holiday of Christmas and the uncomfortable childhood memories that accompany it. As the holiday rolls in once again and the Whos down in Who-Ville get into full celebration mode, the Grinch finally decides that he’s had enough and hatches a diabolic plan to steal the holiday and end it once and for all. But a young kindhearted Who named Cindy Lou-Who wasn’t something he had accounted for.
Illumination’s new animated take on Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Grinch’ is a gorgeously animated, humorous and incredibly fun animated holiday film with a great deal of heart that’s perfect for all ages. Staying true to Seuss’ source material in the major ways, while also incorporating some additional storyline elements of their own into the mix which still manage to feel very much in the vein and tone of the story and usually only compliment it, while also contributing plenty of additional laughs and emotion that never seems forced or out of place. Always keeping things entertaining for older audiences, while still making certain that the content also remains family friendly at all times and then managing to find that perfect balance of humor and style that seems to work equally well for audiences both young and old. All while constantly complimented by the impressive animation and detail within. It’s smoothly guided along by directors Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier, while also featuring a solid voice cast that includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, Pharrell Williams, Kenan Thompson and Angela Lansbury along with more. It’s a heartwarming, hilarious and beautifully animated family film that I would definitely encourage giving a whirl, chances are you‘ll be thrilled that you decided to do so.
Fellow 3D enthusiasts who caught ‘The Grinch’ on the big screen and enjoyed it or have been looking forward to the film but didn’t have a chance to catch it in theaters should also largely appreciate the film’s 3D Blu-ray presentation for the most part which albeit tamer than many still makes for an even more gorgeous and immersive experience. Providing plenty of depth and noticeable elements that appear to leap out of the screen, while never getting too aggressive or going out of its way to unnecessarily overdo the effect and therefore detract from the movie itself.
Overall, ‘The Grinch’ is a splendid new animated adaption of the famous Dr. Seuss book that delivers a heartwarming, often hilarious and just downright fun holiday adventure that’s complimented by impressive animation every step of the way and a well selected voice cast. Illumination’s new adaption of ‘The Grinch’ is definitely highly recommended for any fan of Dr. Seuss’ classic story or of similar animated feature films. For anyone already the slightest bit interested it should have no trouble at all proving well worth 90 minutes of your time and the price of a rental and should additionally make for a perfect selection one family movie night. With something to offer folks of all ages it’s very likely to prove a real treat for the whole family, or even just for you.
The 3D Blu-ray release of ‘The Grinch’ features a full 1080p High Definition MVC encoded 3D presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The 3D video presentation looks pretty great for the most part and provides a rather sharp, smooth and detailed presentation with some solid depth courtesy of the 3D, along with a number of objects that appear to jump nicely out of the screen. It’s a fairly subtle 3D presentation compared to many, but nonetheless makes for a great compliment to the animated fun of the film. There were some noticeable instances of crosstalk on my system (and additionally when played via my PC for comparison) but as a whole nothing terribly troublesome or consistently distractive. Overall, it may not be the most in your face and extravagant 3D presentation in recent time, but this high definition 3D presentation from Universal certainly still delivers and looks pretty great throughout.
The 2D Blu-ray release (which is also included with the 3D Blu-ray combo pack) features an AVC encoded full high definition video presentation of the feature film also utilizing its original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. While I didn’t have the opportunity to watch the 2D Blu-ray of the film in its entirety, the few scenes I jumped between looked pretty solid overall with a rather sharp and detailed presentation sporting rich vibrant colors that should satisfy.
The Blu-ray release (both the 3D & 2D disc) features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a crisp, clean and wonderfully active audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send music, various objects, vehicles and nature elements along with more whipping throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, and never conflicting with any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a wonderful Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that contributes plenty of additional joy and fun to the overall viewing experience and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Grinch’ includes a nice collection of bonus content that fans of all ages should enjoy. While the extras are included on both the 3D and 2D Blu-ray discs, they are only presented in 2D on both. Included on the release are ‘3 Mini-Movies’: ‘Yellow is the New Black’ (running approximately 4 minutes in length), ‘The Dog Days of Winter’ (running approximately 4 minutes) and ‘Santa’s Little Helpers’ (approximately 4 minutes) in addition to a ‘Making of the ‘Mini-Movies’ Featurette (6 minutes). We’re also treated to some other various Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include a look at bringing the film to life, featuring interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘From Green To Screen’ (approximately 6 minutes), ‘Illuminating the Grinch’ (5 minutes), ‘My Earliest Grinch Memories’ (3 minutes), ‘Grinchy Gadgets’ (3 minutes) and ‘Songs From His Little Heart’ (3 minutes). Also included are various other fun videos including ‘”You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” Lyric Video’ (approximately 2 minutes), ‘”I Am The Grinch” Lyric Video’ (3 minutes), ‘Any Who Can Draw’ Drawing Instructions for your favorite characters (7 minutes altogether), ‘X-Mas Around the World’ (2 minutes) ‘Production Babies’ (1 minute) and ‘Cindy Lou’s Yule Log’ (8 minutes). Also featured is ‘Who’s Who in Who-Ville’ which offers interactive character profiles for various characters in the film and includes Animation Tests, Progression Reels and more for each.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. It should additionally be noted that for the purpose of convenience, the images present for this specific release represent the 2D version of the film, even though the review itself covers the 3D version. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Grinch’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Illumination Entertainment & Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.