On the sixth day of Christmas...
...I'm going double or nothing.
24 days of Christmas
Each day of Christmas, I'll be reviewing a Christmas movie and sharing a new Christmas outfit. I'm slowly accepting I'm not quite as unphotogenic as I think I am. So, isn't that nice? But I'm all for you being subjected as little to me as necessary, so here's a little more background for you - it rounds off our nerdiness with a Marauders Map, a weeping angel tree-topper and some minions 'at work'.
Those of you who know me well by now know that I'm a huge Deadpool fan and the Grinch is mostly my spirit animal (I have the underwear to prove it!).
Day six sees me reviewing not one but two movies at once. In honour of my very good doggo's birthday, and to celebrate a very special Christmas doggo, it's the Great 2019 Grinch-off!
The Great Grinch-Off
So, I've loved How the Grinch Stole Christmas forever. Or, since 2000 when it came out. So, when I heard they were making a new one, I was really interested to see what they were going to do with it. We didn't get around to watching the new one when it came out last year, so this year it was. As a caveat, I've never read the book so I am purely going by the movies. I do plan to rectify this as soon as possible.
I spent ages trying to work out how best to compare these two movies. Was I going to do them separately? Compare them by specific points? Or would I just do some rambling and mix it all together? You, of course, by now know what I went with.
We watched the 2000 one first, figuring we'd go in chronological order. Right from the bat, this one speaks to the adult in me. If my inner adult had a simulacrum, it would be the Grinch - I dislike the public, super loathe an unnecessary amount of things, and would be quite happy living on a mountain in solitude with my dog (especially if there are actual crumpets). I'd also like all the other bits, but hey. The 2018 Grinch also spoke to me - I too eat my feelings a lot - but the beginning was just so much more meh for me. The new one just didn't have any pizazz, there was nothing special about it, it was just another animated movie. Where the 2000 Grinch has a nice intro into Whoville and the quirky Whos, the 2018 movie was incredibly underwhelming.
Moving onto the Grinch character himself. Jim Carey did an amazing job. He was dramatic and over the top and has the chops to pull off the grumpy but endearing traits of the Grinch. As much as I like Benedict Cumberbatch, he just didn't live up to the roll. Half the time, I swore Hugh Laurie was pulling out his old House accent. I also liked the setup for the old Grinch over the new - it seemed better that the Whos knew who he was and were afraid of him, rather than only one person noticed he existed even when they were talking to him?? It also made for a better make-up at the end - but I won't give away too much about that.
Now, I think we can all agree that a true star of either movie is Max. He is loyal and sweet and smart and a very good doggo. In the 2000 movie, he was quite happy to 'tell' the Grinch what he thought of his plans or his thoughts. In the 2018 movie, he was less so, but he was just as loyal and smart and a very good doggo. I think, out of everything between both movies, I couldn't decide which I liked better out of the two Maxes. I liked them both differently and equally and really wish my good doggo would abide wearing reindeer antler on his head.
For narration, there was no contest. Anthony Hopkins all the way. Pharrell Williams was flat and toneless and gave me very little Christmas cheer at all. I didn't look it up (should have, didn't), but I'm going to assume that Williams was responsible for the more 'rap' feel to the music which just felt out of place. The new 'You're a Mean One, Mr Grinch' was left little to be desired and I shall be listening to the one from the 2000 movie on repeat.
I wasn't sure if it was because I was trying to think of notes for this review, but I hadn't realised just quite how many adult jokes there were in the 2000 Grinch. I mean, I knew they'd added some in - Martha May and her light gun, the baby Who looking like the wife's boss, the swinger key bowl at the party, and the Grinch landing in Martha May's cleavage. I giggled like a teenager at every one. The 2018 Grinch still had a few chuckle moments as well - such as the Mold Spice deodorant (even if mould was spelt wrong lol) and the Who Foods grocery store. A special kudos goes to the 2018 Grinch for finding a way to put Lou Bega's Mambo No. 5 in a Christmas movie.
That was about where my specific enjoyment of the new Grinch ended. I didn't dislike it, per se. But I didn't like Cindy Lou at all and I thought it took something away from the story to have her not apathetic about Christmas, it was her bonding moment with the Grinch and I feel it rather lost something sweet without it, like a layer of depth and meaning or something.
So, final thoughts? It's pretty obvious which one wins in my book. The 2000 version will win hands down every time. I will continue watching it once a year (minimum). As for the 2018 version? I'd rewatch it, but I'm in no hurry to do so. What I am going to do is go and read the book (finally!).
2000 Grinch - 5/5 stars - 2018 Grinch - 3/5 stars
What are your thoughts? Let me know which one was your favourite, or if you've got a suggestion for a movie, in the comments.
You can check out both trailers below (fingers crossed there isn't any regional bollocks that gets in the way).