It’s that time of year again. When all the Christmas stuff comes out and everywhere you look in town or on TV is Christmasy but everyone still refuses to consider it Christmas until December. The amusing thing about this film is that it recently got a lot of attention because of a fake Smash Bros leak.
It’s average. Compared to other Illumination films I’ve seen I’d say it’s somewhere in the middle (I haven’t seen Hop, The Lorax and Sing yet though). Starting with the positives I think Illumination despite all the problems with their approach to movies they do have a decent art style that lends itself really well to a Christmas movie. Having a Grinch movie be a heist film is a good fit and the Grinch’s gadgets are entertaining. While there’s a few jokes that either don’t work or are overdone in kid’s movies there’s still a fair amount of funny ones too.
As far are weaknesses go much like the Jim Carrey movie it pads out the story in order to make it a movie including a really generic tragic backstory for why the Grinch hates Christmas. There’s also a lot of recycled designs and even the more unique character models look similar to something from another Illumination movie, Cindy Lou for example looks like a combination of two of Gru’s daughters. Speaking of Cindy Lou her subplot is one that gets stretched out to the point of mostly being filler with most of her friends not really serving any purpose despite a point being made about needing all of them.
As a Grinch adaptation it’s nowhere near as good as the original Chuck Jones TV special with Boris Karloff but it’s still got enough of its own charm to be enjoyable. If you like Illumination movies you’ll probably like this one, if you hate them you can skip it (especially since there’s a Minions short at the beginning).