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Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Blu-ray Review – Green Meanie Out to Take Home

Benedict Cumberbatch voices a Grinch we can relate to and collect.

February 04, 2019

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Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Blu-ray Review – Green Meanie Out to Take Home - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Feb 04, 2019
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

Kidzworld reviews the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital pack for Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch. Are the extra features family/tween/teen friendly? Will you collect this great new version of the classic?

By: Lynn Barker

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), hates the fact that the Whos living below him are going to go three times bigger for Christmas this year. He wants his solitude and quiet back so plots to steal Christmas while Cindy-Lou Who (Cameron Seely) wants to capture Santa and ask him to gift her mom with some much needed rest. These two plans will mesh with surprising results and a revelation about the Grinch that no one expected.

The Grinch Trailer


Cindy-Lou will mail her letter to SantaCindy-Lou will mail her letter to SantaCourtesy of Universal Studios

Bigger Not Better

As the Whos in the village below over-decorate, Grinch has been indulging in “emotional eating” and hates that his radio alarm clock only plays holiday music. Out of food, he and beloved dog Max have to go for groceries to Whoville. We see that Donna Who (Rashida Jones), mom to twins and young Cindy-Lou, is bravely overworked and barely coping. Grinch is mean to everyone in the grocery store as well as Cindy-Lou who has dropped her important letter to Santa. She thinks of walking to the North Pole to talk to him but mom nixes that.

Grinch not happy about a bigger Who ChristmasGrinch not happy about a bigger Who ChristmasCourtesy of Universal Studios

Secret Plans

Grinch plays “All By Myself” on his massive pipe organ and angrily watches a ginormous Christmas tree being flown into Whoville and Cindy-Lou confides in friend Groopert (Tristan O’Hare) her plot to stay awake on Christmas Eve, catch Santa and tell him her wish for mom. After trying to catapult an enormous snowball into town to destroy the tree, Grinch is himself catapulted into the tree and lands right on the button to light it up! He can’t win! He remembers his sad childhood as an orphan with no family or Christmas. He decides to dress as Santa and steal Christmas from Whoville!

The Grinch dressed as Santa starts stealingThe Grinch dressed as Santa starts stealingCourtesy of Universal Studios

Complications

The Grinch plans to go into town dressed as Santa, steal every present and take down all the decorations on Christmas Eve.  Cindy-Lou and friends decide Santa will have to be trapped in order to listen to her and they figure out how to capture him. Meanwhile, Grinch figures out how to steal a sleigh and after a screaming, noisy goat messes up his attempt to recruit reindeer, he is left with one very fat one he names “Fred”. After big, exhausting (and funny) trouble stealing the sleigh on top of neighbor Mr. Bricklebaum’s (Kenan Thompson) house, Grinch actually allows dog Max and giant reindeer Fred to snuggle with him in bed. After sending Max out attached to a drone to fly over Whoville counting houses to steal from, Grinch tries out the sleigh but allows Fred leave when his wife and child find him. Little Max will have to “guide the sleigh tonight”.

Large reindeer Fred wins Grinch's heart...eventuallyLarge reindeer Fred wins Grinch's heart...eventuallyCourtesy of Universal Studios

The Theft

Employing his own clever mechanical devices, Grinch steals all of Whoville’s presents and decorations. At the very last house, which happens to be Donna and Cindy-Lou’s, he gives in to temptation and grabs a cookie she has left for Santa. Whoosh! He is caught in her trap! Will Grinch’s plan still succeed? Will Cindy ever ask Santa to make mom’s life easier? Will Grinch finally change his mind about the joys of Christmas?

The Grinch makes his get-awayThe Grinch makes his get-awayCourtesy of Universal Studios

Special Extra Features

  • 3 Mini Movies – Two feature the beloved Minions and one Grinch’s cute dog Max. All three are very enjoyable, well-animated and sweet.
  • Making of the Mini-Movies – overseas animators talk about developing and making the three little films.
  • From Green to Screen is the shortish “making of” featurette. Filmmakers and voice actors talk about the look and design of the film based on the original Dr. Seuss’ illustrations, adding new characters etc. Interesting.

The Grinch and Max at homeThe Grinch and Max at homeCourtesy of Universal Studios
  • Who’s Who in Who-Ville is an interactive feature in which you can explore the character profiles, animation and photo galleries on the major characters. Grinch, Cindy-Lou Who, Max and Fred, The Head Whos and Cindy Lou’s Crew are all profiled. Lots of fun details.
  • My Earliest Grinch Memories features actors and filmmakers telling us how they first were introduced to the Grinch and what appealed to them. Nice.
  • Grinchy Gadgets is my fave extra because it goes into some detail on all the creative mechanical devices that Grinch creates to live comfortably at home and steal Christmas. Very cute.

Grinch works on his creative sewing machineGrinch works on his creative sewing machineCourtesy of Universal Studios

Musical extras include: Videos with lyrics on screen for “I Am the Grinch” and the re-do of the classic “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”. The Songs from His Little Heart extra features composer Danny Elfman talking about his choices for the film’s score.

  • Any Who Can Draw is another of the fun extras in which an animator shows us step by step how to draw Grinch, Max and Fred. A little too fast in spots for me to follow but very fun.
  • X-Mas Around the World explores wildly different holiday traditions from Norway, Sweden, Germany, Venezuela, Austria, Australia and Japan.  Interesting.
  • Cindy Lou’s Yule Log is one of those full screen burning fireplace things only this one is animated and has Grinch popping up occasionally. Cute.
  • Production Babies is just a list of all the babies born to production staff during the making of the film.. very self-indulgent.

Benedict Cumberbatch voices The GrinchBenedict Cumberbatch voices The GrinchCourtesy of Universal Studios

Wrapping Up

We loved this film when it first came out. Benedict Cumberbatch beautifully voices an eventually kinder, more relatable Grinch whose lonely, bad start in life and holiday season disappointments led to his “bad guy” behavior. We finally “get” the Grinch. Yes, he’s overall “mean” but he loves his little dog Max and grows to care about a “full-figured” reindeer who enters his life as well as opening up to the joy of togetherness. 

Cameron Seely voices Cindy-Lou WhoCameron Seely voices Cindy-Lou WhoCourtesy of Universal Studios

The film pushes “kindness and love; the things we need most”. Never more true in our troubled, modern times.

Rashida Jones, voice of Cindy-Lou's mom DonnaRashida Jones, voice of Cindy-Lou's mom DonnaCourtesy of Universal Studios

This take home version on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital has fun extras although nothing really that original. There is no audio commentary.. Would have loved one with Benedict Cumberbatch explaining his choices etc. for the voice but, overall the take home version looks and sounds fabulous and extras are interesting. We did love the three mini-movies. We go four stars.

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Blu-ray Rating: 4

Courtesy of Universal Studios

Buy Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch starting February 5th

Will You Collect This Blu-ray?

Tell fellow Kidzworld visitors why you love this Grinch movie and why you want to add it to your collection at home.  Or, Grinch not your cup of egg nog? Tell us that too by commenting below and/or writing about it on your profile page.