By BOB PALMER,
Just in time to rescue all those who find Christmas cheer annoying and to brighten the smiles of little ones anxious to see their merriment vindicated, the green one returns. “The Grinch” offers the dual appeal of adult humor and juvenile triumph with clever animation and some remarkable talent behind the microphones.
Benedict Cumberbatch gives voice to the Grinch in this latest version of the Dr. Seuss tale of jealousy, greed and frustration. Angela Lansbury, Rashida Jones and Cameron Seely are some of the other credits you will recognize. While this script by Michael LaSieur and Tommy Swerdlow does answer the question, What made the Grinch into the purloiner of holidays that he has become? Don’t look for any big surprises from the gang at Illumination and Universal Studios.
The plot plods forward in the accustomed way. The infamous Grinch lives a solitary life inside a cave on Mt. Crumpet with only his loyal dog, Max, for company. With a cave rigged with inventions and contraptions for his day-to-day needs, the Grinch only sees his neighbors in Whoville when he runs out of food. Each year at Christmas they disrupt his tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter, and louder celebrations. The relationship reaches a crisis when the Whos announce they will make Christmas three times larger than last year.
Before you declare, in your best Grinch voice, that you have already seen this show – several times, I ask you to pause a moment and recall how many “Roadrunner” cartoons you have watched over and over again. Did you even once think Willey E. ever had a chance? Did you ever stop laughing? You might give the Grinch the same courtesy you would a desert scavenger.
There are new talents at work in this production and a new energy. Rotten Tomatoes gives “Grinch” only a 55 percent freshness rating. Audiences, however, seemed happy. The audience score was 70 percent. “The Grinch” is a solid choice for young viewers.
“The Grinch” is rated PG. The run time is 86 minutes. Show times can be found on this page or at www.jimplecute1848.com
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