CM Miller has lived in Asia as a missionary kid since she was five. She is currently in America pursuing a degree in theatre.
Dr. Seuss' the Grinch
Christmas is just around the corner, and with it a movie remake featuring our classic Dr. Seuss villain. I couldn’t help smiling as kids erupted into laughter around me, entertained by the Grinch’s mishaps as he relentlessly pursued his quest to bring an end to holiday cheer in Whoville. The catchy song about the Grinch felt like one of those songs that makes you want to dance without caring so much about what the lyrics are really saying (we all do it, don’t we?). I foresee it being someone’s background music while making hot chocolate and sugar cookies. Definitely a cute, family-friendly film to enjoy in preparation for the holidays!
For the first part of the movie, the Grinch seethes over everything having to do with Christmas as the mayor declares it will be three times bigger than the year before. Still, he grudgingly tolerates their preparations while hiding in his lair on Mt. Crumpit. The Grinch finds himself, at last, provoked to destroy the Who’s celebration after accidentally helping light an extravagant array of cheerful holiday lights for the city. Meanwhile, little Cindy Lou is determined to catch Santa Claus so she can ask him in person for something very special. Ironically, the inspiration for her little mission is sparked during a chance meeting with the Grinch himself (gonna have the watch the movie to find out why…..).
This version of the famous Dr. Seuss story introduces a sweet relationship between Cindy Lou and her single, hardworking mother as Cindy Lou does her best to help out with her younger twin brothers. The development of Cindy Lou’s character as an energetic, creative girl can easily charm an audience of kids and I’m sure many mothers will find relatable points in the multi-tasking breakfast scene with Cindy Lou’s mother.
I have to say that the Grinch was a little less of a “Grinch” than you might recall from some other film depictions of him. Throughout the unfolding of the story, you can see a caring side to him when it comes to living with his dog, Max, and also as he takes in an enormous reindeer while preparing to masquerade as Santa Claus. A few times he recalls a lonely childhood from his experience in an orphanage on Christmas day, and this seems to soften him up before he can turn too dark. Although he claims to dread meeting the holiday-obsessed Who that happens to live right at the foot of Mt. Crumpit, the Grinch manages to have a quick but decent conversation with him that almost seems to hint that he enjoys his neighbor’s company but would never openly admit it.
Things for Parents to Know
The movie was very clean, and it was nice to finally see a relationship between a little girl and boy that didn’t develop into premature romance. However, parents may want to be aware of the fact that there is a scene where one of the Who’s doesn’t have any clothes on (thanks a lot Cindy Lou) but nothing is shown and he covers himself with a cookie. Also, when Cindy Lou is gathering her friends together to plan how they are going to trap Santa, she mentions that she “borrowed” an amount of money from her mother so a friend could use it (apparently without asking).
A Point About Christmas
The ending wasn’t quite what I expected, as the story seemed to veer away from Cindy Lou’s request and more towards the Grinch’s change of heart. Possibly, a point was being made that things don’t always turn out the way we wish they would—even during a season as magical as Christmas. Still, Cindy Lou’s sweet personality is ultimately what wins the Grinch over and helps him to see that Christmas isn’t so awful after all. And, of course, the Who’s realize that Christmas is about more than decorations, presents and food and that the best part of the holiday is spending it with the people you care about.
© 2018 CM Miller
Mimi on November 17, 2018:
A good analysis of the underlying meaning of relationships in the movie.