On a rainy day over the weekend, I went to see The Grinch, the newest cinematic version of the original book by Dr. Seuss from 1957. I’m a sucker for Christmas movies, and what better way to celebrate the beginning of December? I hadn’t heard anything about the movie, given it was still fairly new to the theaters, so I went in with no predisposition of what I was about to see.
Now, for those of you who may not know, this movie is similar to 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' (2000), but this film is actually animated. The story is similar, but not exactly the same. As I remembered the movie I used to watch as a kid, I recalled Cindy Lou Who having a special sort of relationship with the Grinch. She held a certain interest in learning about him and why or how he began to hate Christmas, thus leading to their friendship eventually forming. In the newest story, Cindy Lou and the Grinch didn’t even truly meet until the night of Christmas Eve, only once quickly bumping into one another before.
Cindy Lou wanted to catch Santa Claus so that she could ask him something important: a very personal favor. She knew she couldn’t wait up all night to find Santa; so, she created a trap. As she slept, the Grinch made his way through each Whoville house, Cindy Lou’s happening to be the last stop of the night. The Grinch’s bright red sleigh was guided by his dog Max, his one true friend. It was filled to the brim with tangled up lights, trees, and presents of all kinds. The Grinch made it a point to not stop for any milk or cookies, ensuring that his business would be done by the time the sun rose and the birds began chirping on Christmas morning. So, by the end of the night, he was tired and hungry. Cindy Lou had left cookies for Santa as a part of the trap she created, and it worked.
The Grinch helped himself to the cookies left by Cindy Lou, and soon enough, he was wrapped up, trapped upside down, and hanging from the ceiling. Cindy Lou didn’t realize who she had there stuck in her living room. Thinking it was Santa, she shared an important favor with him, and it was so selfless that his heart began to grow. Regardless of this encounter, the Grinch continued on with his original plan, and in the morning, the colorful, jolly Whoville woke up to empty houses and what was now abandoned trees, no longer decorated and standing lonely.
Christmas did still go on, with presents or not (an important lesson to take from this). The Whos held hands and sang Christmas carols, the same as they would do if this was like any other Christmas. Cindy Lou blamed herself—she shouldn’t have trapped Santa and asked him for a favor. He must have been mad at her and then cancelled Christmas afterwards. She was distraught.
I won’t give away the ending, but I will say I like this adapted version just as much as the original, if not more! It didn’t revolve around the Grinch being bitter over a middle-school crush, or his love after all of these years. Instead of taking on the fairy-tale approach, I think they did a much better job making things realistic and not always revolving the plot around a relationship. Plus, on top of all that, it held a strong message about the importance of family and kindness. I’d recommend this film for someone in the mood for a little holiday cheer.