The Grinch

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This article is about the 2018 Illumination animated film. For the 2000 live-action film known as "The Grinch" in the UK, see How the Grinch Stole Christmas.


General   Trivia   Gallery   Soundtrack   Quotes   Transcript   Trailer transcripts   Credits   Home media   Television broadcast timeline    

The Grinch (also known as Dr. Seuss' The Grinch) is a 2018 American computer-animated Christmas comedy film produced by Illumination. Based on the 1957 Dr. Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, it is the third screen adaptation of the story, following the television special from 1966 and the live-action feature-length film from 2000 starring Jim Carrey. It marks Illumination's second Dr. Seuss film adaptation, following Dr. Seuss' The Lorax. The film is directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier, and written by Michael LeSieur and Tommy Swerdlow. It stars the voices of Benedict CumberbatchRashida JonesKenan Thompson, Cameron Seely, and Angela Lansbury, and is narrated by Pharrell Williams. The plot follows the Grinch as he plans to ruin Whoville's Christmas celebration by stealing all the town's decorations and gifts.

The Grinch was released by Universal Pictures in the United States on November 9, 2018, in RealD 3D and select IMAX theaters. It grossed over $511 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing holiday film of all-time, as well as the highest grossing Dr. Seuss film adaptation. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the animation and the vocal performances (particularly Cumberbatch's) but said the film added little to nothing new to the source material. It is the final adaptation released during the lifetime of Seuss's widow Audrey Geisel, who served as executive producer of the film and died on December 19, 2018, six weeks after the film's release.

Plot[edit | edit source]

In the town of Whoville, the humanoids called Whos are filled with excitement about celebrating Christmas. However, the only one who isn't amused is a cantankerous and green-furred creature named the Grinch, who has a heart "two sizes too small" and lives in a cave on the top of Mount Crumpit just north of Whoville. The Grinch only visits Whoville when he needs to buy food and do bad things.

Meanwhile, 6-year-old Cindy Lou Who notices that her single mother Donna is overworked trying to take care of herself and her baby twin brothers, Buster and Bean. Initially deciding to send a letter to Santa Claus to help her mother, Cindy encounters the Grinch, who sarcastically tells her that she'll have to talk to Santa face-to-face about it; she then decides to go to the North Pole to talk to Santa, but when Donna tells her that it would take a month to get there and back home, her final decision is to try trapping Santa with the help of her friends.

With Christmas approaching, all the Whoville festivities give the Grinch a flashback about his terrible childhood spent mostly alone and unwanted in an orphanage. The Grinch soon decides that he will steal Christmas from Whoville to assuage his distress. He acquires a fat reindeer whom he calls Fred to help him pull a sleigh stolen from his neighbor Mr. Bricklebaum. After a test run, the Grinch discovers that Fred has a family. With a heavy heart, he lets Fred go home with them.

On Christmas Eve, after making a Santa disguise and dozens of gadgets to help him with his plan, the Grinch and his pet dog Max, who pulls the sleigh in Fred's place, go down to Whoville to steal the decorations and presents. He soon encounters Cindy after falling into her trap; her request to help lighten her mother's workload and her kind advice about listening to the Whos' singing to alleviate his sadness touches the Grinch's heart. Despite this, the Grinch continues his mission.

After stealing every Christmas present and decoration, the Grinch and Max head back to Mount Crumpit to dispose of them. The Whos wake up and are shocked to see that the presents and decorations are gone; Cindy believes that she's to blame because she "trapped" Santa, but Donna tells her that Christmas is more than just about presents and that Cindy's the best thing that ever happened to her. The Whos then join together to sing. The Grinch and Max hear the singing, rendering the Grinch puzzled to see that they are celebrating Christmas despite his thefts. After heeding Cindy's advice and immersing himself to their singing, his small bitter heart triples in its original size. The sleigh falls off Mount Crumpit, to which the Grinch tries to save it. In the nick of time, 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 where a guilt-ridden and remorseful Grinch admits his crimes and apologizes to the Whos before returning to his cave, ashamed of what he has done.

Feeling sorry for the Grinch, Cindy Lou invites him to celebrate Christmas at her house, which he awkwardly attends. When seated down for dinner, he confesses that it wasn't really Christmas he despised, but being alone and his bitterness over being neglected. Before carving the roast beast, the Grinch offers a toast "To kindness and love, the things we need most."

Voice cast[edit | edit source]

Additional Voices[edit | edit source]

Production[edit | edit source]

Development[edit | edit source]

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. Peter Candeland and Yarrow Cheney were set to direct, though in 2018 producer Scott Mosier took over from Candeland.

Casting[edit | edit source]

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 Lansbury had been set to voice the Mayor of Whoville. Rashida Jones, Cameron Seely, and Kenan 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.

Animation[edit | edit source]

The animation was created by Illumination Mac Guff in Paris, France. Several software programs were used in creating the film's CGI characters including Maya, ZBrush, and Nuke as well as in-house software. A 3D CGI model of the town of Whoville through which a virtual camera could travel was crafted using Maya, ZBrush, Foundry’s Mari, and Allegorithmic’s Substance Painter.

Music[edit | edit source]

Main article: The Grinch/Soundtrack

Tyler, the Creator wrote a new song for the film titled "I Am the Grinch". Tyler and Danny Elfman, who composed the film's score, collaborated on a new version of the song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" for the film, which was featured in the final trailer, and early on in the film itself.

Release[edit | edit source]

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.

Marketing[edit | edit source]

The first official trailer was released on March 8, 2018. The second trailer was released on June 14, 2018. The third and final trailer was released on September 18, 2018, along with a new poster. Beginning October, various billboards appeared for the film, each featuring an image of the Grinch, accompanied by a mean or ironic quote and message. Universal and Illumination partnered with several companies to promote the film, including Wonderful PistachiosEbatesIHOP and 23andme for about $80 million worth of advertising.

Home media[edit | edit source]

The film was released on Digital HD on January 22, 2019 and on Blu-ray, DVD on February 5, 2019. It includes 3 mini-movies: Yellow is the New BlackThe Dog Days of Winter, and Santa's Little HelpersThe Dog Days of Winter was first shown on NBC on November 23, 2018, after How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) and before Trolls Holiday.

Reception[edit | edit source]

Box office[edit | edit source]

The Grinch grossed $270.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $240.9 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $511.6 million, against a production budget of $75 million. Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $184.6 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues, making it the ninth most-profitable release of 2018. It is Universal's fourth biggest hit of 2018 behind Dusk and Dawn: A Zodiacal Night, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Computeropolis: The Deep Web.

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. It made $18.7 million on its first day, including $2.2 million from Thursday night previews, more than the $1.7 million taken in by Illumination's Sing in 2016. It went on to debut to $67.6 million, finishing first at the box office and topping the 2000 film's $55 million opening. In its second weekend the film made $38.2 million, finishing second behind newcomer Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. In its third weekend the film made $30.2 million (including $42 million over the five-day Thanksgiving frame), finishing fourth. In its fourth and fifth weekends, the film finished second behind Ralph Breaks the Internet, grossing $17.9 million and $15.0 million, respectively. It marked the first-ever time animated films were the top two films at the box office in back-to-back weekends.

Critical response[edit | edit source]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 58% based on 172 reviews and an average rating of 5.9/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Grinch gives the classic Seuss source material a brightly animated update that's solidly suitable for younger viewers without adding substantially to the story's legacy." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 83% positive score and a 75% "definite recommend".

Accolades[edit | edit source]

Award Category Recipient Result
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Animated Movie Nominated
Favorite Male Voice from an Animated Movie Benedict Cumberbatch

Videos[edit | edit source]

Trailers and Clips[edit | edit source]


v - e - d
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Media
The Grinch
Characters
The GrinchCindy Lou Who


v - e - d
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Universal Animation Studios
Ama and the Mysterious Crystal (1997) · Paint World (1999) · Mistress Masham's Repose (2000) · Magina (2003) · Computeropolis (2004) · Onion Mastori: The Movie (2005) · Curious George (2006) · Me & Mobo (2006) · Computeropolis 2 (2007) · Swapped (2008) · Woo La La (2009) · Computeropolis 3 (2010) · Nepola's Odyssey (2011) · Quest (2012) · Luna & Zak (2013) · Nepola's Odyssey II (2014) · Paradoria (2015) · Imagimals (2017) · Lix (2017) · Computeropolis: The Deep Web (2018) · Sev: Indehindrance Day (2019) · Paradoria 2 (2019) · Imagimals 2 (2020)

Upcoming: Computeropolis: Webcation (2021) · Mechagirl (2022)

Illumination
Despicable Me (2010) · Hop (2011) · The Lorax (2012) · Despicable Me 2 (2013) · Minions (2015) · The Secret Life of Pets (2016) · Sing (2016) · Despicable Me 3 (2017) · The Grinch (2018) · The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) · Esqua (2020)

Upcoming: Sing 2 (2021) · Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022) · Untitled animated Mario film (2022)

DreamWorks Animation
Dusk and Dawn: A Zodiacal Night (2018) · Greenuts (2018) · How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) · Abominable (2019) · Trolls World Tour (2020) · The Croods: A New Age (2020)

Upcoming: Spirit Untamed (2021) · The Boss Baby: Family Business‎‎ (2021) · The Bad Guys (2022) · Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022)

Gingo Movies
Hatty in the Big City: The Movie (1999) · Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie (1999) · Going Francisco (2001) · The Gabriel Garza Movie (2002) · The Whackems: One Big Movie (2003) · Zina and the Vivid Crew (2004) · The Pandemoniums Movie (2009) · The Ace of All Trades Movie: Too Hot For Theaters! (2010) · FusionMania: The Movie (2012) · Planetokio (2014)
Multimedia Animation
Liche's Wish (1990) · East of the Sun and West of the Moon (1992) · Romeo and Juliet (1994)
Amblin Entertainment
An American Tail (1986) · The Land Before Time (1988) · An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991) · We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993) · Balto (1995) · The Imps of Nature (1996)
Big Idea Entertainment
Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (2002) · The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie (2008) · LarryBoy: A VeggieTales Movie (2020)
Animated Films Distributed by Universal
The Snow Queen (1959) · Pinocchio in Outer Space (1969) · Flying Phantom Ship (1971) · Elements of Light (1989) · Jetsons: The Movie (1990) · Doraemon: The Movie‎‎ (1995) · Maze of the Castle (1998) · The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000) · Princess Arete (2001) · Momo (2001) · The Magic Roundabout (2005) · The Princess and the Pied Piper (2006) · Cinnamon the Movie (2007) · The Tale of Despereaux (2008) · Saturn (2013)
Animated Films Distributed by Focus Features
Zoe Tarr: The Drinking Detective‎ (2007) · Coraline (2009) · 9 (2009) · ParaNorman (2012) · The Boxtrolls (2014) · Ratchet & Clank (2016) · Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)