The film is directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosaic, written by Michael Lesser and Tommy Overflow, narrated by Pharrell Williams, and starring the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Keenan Thompson, Cameron Seedy, and Angela Danbury. The plot follows the Grinch and his dog Max as they plan to ruin Whoville's Christmas celebration by stealing all the town's decorations and gifts.
The Grinch was released and distributed by Universal Pictures in the United States on November 9, 2018, in Real 3D, IMAX, IMAX 3D, Dolby Cinema, and 4DX theaters. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the animation and the vocal performances (particularly Cumberbatch's), but felt the film added little or nothing new to the source material.
This was the final Dr. Seuss film adaptation released during the lifetime of Seuss's widow Audrey Gases, who served as executive producer of the film and died on December 19, 2018, five and a half weeks after the film's release. In the town of Whoville, the human-like people called Who's are filled with excitement about celebrating Christmas.
However, the only one who is not amused is the cantankerous and green-furred Grinch, who has a heart “two sizes too small” and lives in his cave with his dog, Max. Meanwhile, 6-year-old Cindy Lou Who notices that her mother Donna is overworked trying to take care of herself and her twin infant brothers, Buster and Bean.
Initially deciding to send a letter to Santa Claus to help her mother, Cindy encounters the Grinch. He sarcastically tells her that, if the matter is so urgent, she'll have to talk to Santa face-to-face about it.
She takes this response literally and attempts to go to the North Pole to talk to Santa, but when Donna tells her that it would take a month to travel there, she instead decides to try trapping Santa with the help of her friends. With Christmas approaching, a bungled attempt by the Grinch to ruin a tree-lighting ceremony results in him having a flashback about his childhood spent alone and unwanted in an orphanage.
The Grinch soon decides that he will steal Christmas from Whoville to assuage his distress. He and Max acquire a fat reindeer whom the Grinch calls Fred and steal a sleigh from his friendly neighbor Mr. Bricklebaum.
After a test run, the Grinch and Max discover that Fred has a family, and the Grinch emotionally agrees to let Fred go home with them. On Christmas Eve, after making a Santa disguise and crafting dozens of gadgets to help him with his plan, the Grinch and Max, who pulls the sleigh in Fred's place, go down to Whoville to steal the decorations and presents.
He soon encounters Cindy Lou after falling into her trap; her request to help lighten her mother's workload and her kind advice about listening to the Who's' singing to alleviate his sadness touches the Grinch's heart. Despite this, the Grinch continues his mission, unable to let go of the loneliness Christmas brought him.
After stealing every Christmas present and decoration, the Grinch and Max head back to Mount Crumpet to dispose of them. The Who's wake up and are shocked to see that the presents and decorations are gone.
Cindy Lou believes that she's to blame because of her trap, but Donna tells her that Christmas is not centered on presents and that Cindy Lou's the best thing that ever happened to her. Seeing Cindy Lou and remembering her advice, the Grinch immerses himself in their singing, causing his heart to happily triple.
Afterwards, the sleigh falls off Mount Crumpet, and the Grinch attempts to save it. He succeeds at this when Fred and his family come to his aid.
After securing the sleigh, the Grinch and Max slide down back to Whoville in order to return the stolen items, and the Grinch admits his crimes and apologizes to the Who's before returning to his cave, ashamed of what he has done. Feeling sorry for the Grinch, Cindy Lou later invites him to celebrate Christmas at her house which he awkwardly attends.
When seated for dinner, he confesses that it wasn't really Christmas he despised, but being alone and neglected. With this, the Grinch finally accepts the Who's' friendship and enjoys Christmas with them.
Benedict Cumberbatch as The Grinch, a resentful, disgruntled, cave-dwelling, green creature who hates Christmas. Cameron Seedy as Cindy Lou Who, a kind-hearted young resident of Whoville.
Rashida Jones as Donna Who, Cindy Lou's overworked single and widowed mother. Keenan Thompson as Bricklebaum, a jolly citizen of Whoville who lives near The Grinch.
Angela Danbury as Mayor McGee, the Mayor of Whoville Pharrell Williams as the Narrator Tristan O' Hare as Troopers, Cindy Lou's best friend. Sam Ravaging as Ozzy, one of Cindy Lou's friends.
In February 2013, it was announced that Illumination was developing a 3D animated feature film based on the Dr. Seuss book, with the working title How the Grinch Stole Christmas, later shortened to The Grinch. Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as the titular character in April 2016.
Illumination originally wanted Cumberbatch to voice the Grinch in his natural accent, however, Cumberbatch felt that since the rest of the cast is American, the Grinch himself should have an American accent. By September 2018, Angela Danbury had been set to voice the Mayor of Whoville.
Rashida Jones, Cameron Seedy, and Keenan Thompson also joined the cast, while Pharrell Williams, who had previously worked on Illumination's Despicable Me films, was revealed to be narrating the film. The animation was created by Illumination Mac Guff in Paris, France.
A 3D CGI model of the town of Whoville through which a virtual camera could travel was crafted using Maya, Brush, Foundry ’s Mari, and Algorithmic’s Substance Painter. On November 20, 2017, Danny Elf man was revealed to be composing the film's score.
All music is composed by Danny Elf man except where indicated. “Welcome Christmas” (written by Albert Hague and Ted Gases)1:3822.
“All By Myself” (Bonus track)1:05Total length: 48:00 The film was originally scheduled to be released on November 10, 2017, but on June 7, 2016, it was pushed back to November 9, 2018. Beginning in October, various billboards appeared for the film, each featuring an image of the Grinch, accompanied by a mean or ironic message.
Universal and Illumination partnered with several companies to promote the film, including Wonderful Pistachios, Debates, Shop and 23andme for about $80 million worth of advertising. All-in-all the studio spent an estimated $121 million promoting the film worldwide.
To promote the film, a giant inflatable balloon featuring the titular character first appeared at the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on November 23, 2017, 1 year ahead of its release. Later in December 2018, The Grinch and Max also made cameos in that year's NBC / Nu holiday sing along promo.
Deadline Hollywood calculated its net profit to be $184.6 million, making it the ninth most-profitable release of 2018. It is Universal's second biggest hit of 2018 behind Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
In the United States and Canada, The Grinch was released alongside The Girl in the Spider's Web and Overlord, and was projected to gross $55–65 million from 4,140 theaters in its opening weekend. In its second weekend the film made $38.2 million, finishing second behind newcomer Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grunewald.
Audiences polled by CinemaScope gave the film an average grade of “A–” on an A+ to F scale, while Postural reported film goers gave it an 83% positive score and a 75% “definite recommend”. Alonso Durable of TheW rap gave the film a positive review, calling it “full of warmth and wit” and writing, “Purists may balk about revisiting this tale, but The Grinch earns its laughter and its sentiment, both of which are plentiful.
Glenn Kenny of The New York Times wrote, “Said dog, Max is the most charming character in this version, directed by Scott Mosaic and Yarrow Cheney. The filmmakers keep the visuals merry and popping bright.
Benedict Cumberbatch, voicing the Grinch, opts not to compete with Karloff at all, which is smart and speaks in an American accent, sounding rather like Bill Harder, which is confusing. A tepid hip-hop song about the Grinch plays over the end credits.
It’s by Tyler, the Creator, who only a few years ago was considered one of the saltiest (to put it mildly) voices in music. Molly Freeman of Screen Rant gave the film a 3 out of 5 stars, saying The Grinch may not be a necessary holiday movie, but fans of Dr. Seuss's story or holiday films, in general, will find plenty to like in this new animated retelling.
Plus, with a variety of family-friendly jokes, The Grinch will no doubt entertain viewers young and old, though the 90-minute runtime does stretch thin in the third act of the movie. It's perhaps not worth seeing in IMAX, but The Grinch does provide some rich visuals that will also capture the eye of all moviegoers.
Amy West of Empire gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, writing “Despite its story-telling ambition being two sizes too small (much like its hairy protagonist’s heart), The Grinch is impossibly cute, visually rich and boasts enough festive fun to satisfy young viewers.” List of awards and nominations Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s) 2019 Annie Awards Music in an Animated Feature Production Danny Elf man and Tyler, The Creator Nominated Story boarding in an Animated Feature Production Habit Locate Editorial in an Animated Feature Production Chris Cartagena Art Directors Guild Production Design in an Animated Feature Colin Simpson Critics' Choice Awards Best Animated Film Scott Mosaic and Yarrow Cheney Nominated Producers Guild of America AwardOutstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture Chris Meledandri and Janet Heavy Nominated Visual Effects Society AwardsOutstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Pierre Educ, Janet Heavy, Bruno Chauffeur, Milo Richard Nominated Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature David Gal ante, Francois Braille, Olivier Muffin, Yarrow Cheney for The Grinch Nominated Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Loïc Ra stout, Ludovic Ramie re, Henri Merger, Nicolas Back for Whoville Nominated Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature Eric CARME, Nicolas Brice, Milo Richard for Snow, Clouds and Smoke Nominated Movie guide Awards Best Movies for Families The Grinch Won Epiphany Prize for Most Inspiring Movie Nominated Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Animated Movie Nominated Favorite Male Voice from an Animated Movie Benedict Cumberbatch Nominated ^ “Danny Elf man to Score Illumination's 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas “.
^ Audrey Gases, widow of Dr. Seuss, dead at 97 ^ Boys Kit (February 7, 2013). “ ' How the Grinch Stole Christmas' Remake in the Works at Universal”.
“Illumination's 'The Grinch ': First Trailer And A Late Directorial Shake-Up”. “Pharrell Williams Joins Illumination's Animated Dr. Seuss' 'The Grinch As Narrator”.
^ “The Grinch Movie's Billboards Have Incredibly Mean Messages”. ' The Grinch Global Promo Campaign Grows Several Sizes From First Movie, To $80M”.
“2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Guide”. ^ “Watch the 2018 NBC 4 New York and Telemundo 47 Holiday Sing-Along”.
“BREAKING DOWN THE GRINCH 'S BOX OFFICE DEBUT AGAINST THE FILMS OF ILLUMINATION ENTERTAINMENT”. ' Crimes Of Grunewald' Falls Short Stateside With $62M+ Debut, WB Celebrates Global Win As 'Fantastic Beasts' Series Hits $1B-Plus”.
' Ralph' Scoring 2nd Best Thanksgiving Debut With $84M+; 'Creed II' $55M+ Live-Action Champ; 'Robin Hood' Goes Wrong At $14M+”. Both Animated Pics Eye $15M+ During Slow pre-Christmas Period”.
' Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Film Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Helps Make Third Time Charming”. “Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'The Favorite' Tops With 14, 'Black Panther' A Marvel, 'First Man' Rebounds; 'The Americans' Leads TV Series”.
“A Star Is Born, Black Panther, more gain Oscar momentum with Producers Guild nominations”. ' Avengers,' 'Lost in Space,' 'Ready Player One' Lead Visual Effects Society Nominations”.