The three words that best describe this film are as follows, and I quote: Stink. Stank. STUNK!
A bit of backstory... I actually saw this when it was in theaters. I was barely out of diapers at the time. I remember the film watching experience being unpleasant and unenjoyable. Yes, even at that tender age, I knew this film blew.
I love the works of Dr. Seuss
. I did then and I still do now. His works are some of the greatest things to come out of children's literature. Yet we let people take his great work and make them into mediocrities, this being the worst of the lot. Even The Cat in the Hat
is a superior film. (I have never met anyone else who shares that opinion. Maybe they're too scared to speak up.)
Very little about this film even works. Sure, some of the jokes work, but most just fall flatter than Wile E. Coyote. It might have been interesting to see how the Grinch became a misanthropic Yule-hater, but the way they do it makes you wish you never asked. Practically all the new material was unneeded and unnecessary. The fact that the Whos are portrayed as materialistic douches contradicts the message in the book. The Whos redeem the Grinch by showing that the presents don't matter to them, and they celebrate Christmas anyhow. It's simple and well-done, which this film is not.
While I won't criticize the acting and music, because neither of those registered to me, I will mention that "Where Are You, Christmas?" is up there with "The Christmas Shoes" in the list of awful Christmas songs. The filmmakers at least had enough decency to include "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," though no rendition will ever
measure up to Thurl Ravenscroft's.
I think the best opinion on this film came from Maurice Noble, one of the animators on the original special, who said about it: "When it was over, I just sat there and cried."
How right he was. The film makes such hash of Seuss's book that it almost seems like an insult to him and his work. All the work he put in to making a beloved classic upstaged by this mediocre piece of shit. It's one of the worst remakes of a film based on a book, right up there with Tim Burton
's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
So - what should you do? Here's what I suggest. Watch the Chuck Jones
version. It is infinitely superior. When the Ron Howard version comes on TV, turn it off or switch the channel. Get your friends to do this, maybe.