The Grinch (film)

The Grinch (also known as Dr. Seuss' The Grinch) is a 2018 American 3D computer-animated Christmas comedy film produced by Illumination. Based on the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss, it is the third screen adaptation of the story, following the television special from 1966 starring Boris Karloff 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 Grinch
The Grinch, final poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onHow the Grinch Stole Christmas!
by Dr. Seuss
Narrated byPharrell Williams
Music byDanny Elfman[1]
Edited byChris Cartagena
Distributed byUniversal Pictures[2]
Release date
Running time
86 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
Budget$75 million[4]
Box office$511.6 million[4]

The film is directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier, and written by Michael LeSieur and Tommy Swerdlow. It stars the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Kenan 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 and distributed 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 felt the film added little or nothing new to the source material.[5] It is the final Dr. Seuss film 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, five and a half weeks after the film's release.[6]


In the town of Whoville, the human-like creatures called Whos are filled with excitement about celebrating Christmas. However, the only one who is not amused is a cantankerous and green-furred creature named the Grinch, who has a heart that is "two sizes too small" and lives in a cave on top of Mount Crumpit, just north of Whoville.

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

With Christmas approaching, a bungled attempt by the Grinch to ruin a tree-lighting ceremony results in him having a flashback about his childhood spent 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 and steals a sleigh from his neighbor Mr. Bricklebaum. After a test run, the Grinch discovers that Fred has a family, and agrees to let Fred go home with them.

On Christmas Eve, after making a Santa disguise and crafting 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 of her trap, but Donna tells her that Christmas is not centered on presents and that Cindy's the best thing that ever happened to her. The Whos join together to sing, rendering the Grinch puzzled to see that they are celebrating Christmas despite his thefts. The Grinch immerses himself in their singing, causing his small heart to triple in size and all his sadness through the years successfully vanishes. Afterward, the sleigh falls off Mount Crumpit, and the Grinch attempts to save it. He succeeds at this when 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, and the 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 invites him to celebrate Christmas at her house, which he awkwardly attends. When seated for dinner, he confesses that it wasn't really Christmas he despised, but being alone and neglected. With this, the Grinch finally accepts the Whos' friendship and enjoys Christmas with them.

Voice castEdit

Georgia Toffolo provided the voice of Mrs. Toffee Apple (a customer who was trying to reach a jar of "Christmas chutney") in one scene in the UK release. In addition, Townsend Coleman, Jess Harnell, Laraine Newman, Scott Mosier, Mindy Sterling, Tara Strong, and Jim Ward all perform additional voices while an uncredited Pentatonix voice the Who Carolers.



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.[7] Peter Candeland and Yarrow Cheney were set to direct,[8] though in 2018 producer Scott Mosier took over from Candeland.[9]


Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as the titular character in April 2016.[8] 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.[citation needed] 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,[10] was revealed to be narrating the film.[11]


The animation was created by Illumination Mac Guff in Paris, France.[12] Several software programs were used in creating the film's CGI characters including Maya, ZBrush, and Nuke as well as in-house software.[13] 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.[13]



Dr. Seuss' The Grinch: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedNovember 9, 2018
GenreChristmas, rap, hip-hop, rock
LabelColumbia Records
Singles from Dr. Seuss' The Grinch: Original Motion Picture Score
  1. "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"
    Released: October 24, 2018

Tyler, the Creator wrote a new song for the film titled "I Am the Grinch".[11] 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,[11] and early on in the film itself.

Track listing
1."You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"Tyler, the Creator1:50
2."I Am the Grinch"Tyler, the Creator2:37
3."Christmas Is"Run-D.M.C.3:19
4."Deck the Halls"Jackie Wilson1:16
5."Run Rudolph Run"The Brian Setzer Orchestra3:29
6."My Favorite Things"The Supremes2:45
7."Zat You Santa Claus?"Buster Poindexter and His Banshees of Blue2:47
8."Christmas in Hollis"Run-D.M.C.2:58
9."Jingle Bells"The Brian Setzer Orchestra2:21
10."The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)"Nat King Cole3:09
11."God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"Pentatonix2:29
12."A Wonderful Awful Idea"Danny Elfman2:53
13."Stealing Christmas"Danny Elfman4:06
Total length:37:00


On November 20, 2017, Danny Elfman was revealed to be composing the film's score.[1] Elfman's score was released on digital formats on November 9, 2018, along with the soundtrack (both digitally and on CD) and the film.[14]

Dr. Seuss' The Grinch: Original Motion Picture Score
Film score by
ReleasedNovember 9, 2018
GenreFilm Score
LabelBack Lot Music
Danny Elfman chronology
Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
Dr. Seuss' The Grinch: Original Motion Picture Score

All music is composed by Danny Elfman except where indicated.

Track listing
1."The Big Opening"2:46
2."Going to Town"1:36
3."Jaunty Kitchen"1:37
4."Mailing a Letter"0:50
5."It's Better This Way"1:29
6."Northward Bound"1:29
7."Christmas in Whoville"4:01
8."Last Lonely Boy"1:52
9."Welcome Song/Forlorn"2:29
10."To the Fort"1:18
11."Dog Tongue"1:23
12."Walking Toward Destiny"2:47
13."The Loudest Snow"2:10
14."Puppy Eyes"1:03
15."Command Center"1:33
16."Grinch's Wild Ride"2:42
17."Kids Can't Sleep"1:33
18."Stealing Christmas"4:04
19."Taking the Bait"1:43
20."It's My Fault"2:19
21."Welcome Christmas" (written by Albert Hague and Ted Geisel)1:38
22."The Apology"1:08
23."First Christmas"0:51
24."The Big Finale"1:56
25."All By Myself" (Bonus track)1:05
Total length:48:00


The film was originally scheduled to be released on November 10, 2017,[15] but on June 7, 2016, it was pushed back to November 9, 2018.[16]


The first official trailer was released on March 8, 2018.[17] 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.[18] Beginning in October, various billboards appeared for the film, each featuring an image of the Grinch, accompanied by a mean or ironic quote and message.[19] Universal and Illumination partnered with several companies to promote the film, including Wonderful Pistachios, Ebates, IHOP and 23andme for about $80 million worth of advertising.[20] All-in-all the studio spent an estimated $121 million promoting the film worldwide.[21] To promote the film, a giant inflatable balloon featuring the titular character first appeared at the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on November 23, 2017, 1 year ahead of its release.[22] Later in December 2018, The Grinch and Max also made cameos in that year's WNBC/WNJU holiday sing along promo.[23]

Home mediaEdit

The film was released on Digital HD on January 22, 2019, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on February 5, 2019.[24] It includes three mini-movies: Yellow is the New Black (which preceded the film in its theatrical run), The Dog Days of Winter, and Santa's Little Helpers. The Dog Days of Winter was first shown on NBC on November 23, 2018, after How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) and before Trolls Holiday.


Box officeEdit

The Grinch grossed $270.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $241 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $511.6 million, against a production budget of $75 million.[4] 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.[21]

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.[25][26] 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.[27][28] In its second weekend the film made $38.2 million, finishing second behind newcomer Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.[29] In its third weekend the film made $30.2 million (including $42 million over the five-day Thanksgiving frame), finishing fourth.[30] 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.[31]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 59% based on 182 reviews and an average rating of 5.96/10. 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."[32] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[33] 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".[27]

Alonso Duralde of TheWrap gave the film a positive review, calling it "full of warmth and wit" and writing, "Purists may balk about revisiting this tale, but The Grinch earns its laughter and its sentiment, both of which are plentiful. It's a full-throated Fah-Who-Foraze."[34] Owen Gleiberman of Variety compared the film favorably to the 2000 live-action version, writing, "For anyone who grew up with How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Grinch won’t replace it, yet it's nimble and affectionate in a way that can hook today's children, and more than a few adults, by conjuring a feeling that comes close enough. By the end, your own heart will swell, though maybe just one or two sizes."[35]

Glenn Kenny of The New York Times wrote, "Said dog, Max is the most charming character in this version, directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney. The filmmakers keep the visuals merry and popping bright. Benedict Cumberbatch, voicing the Grinch, opts not to compete with Karloff at all, which is smart and speaks in an American accent, sounding rather like Bill Hader, which is confusing. A tepid hip-hop song about the Grinch plays over the end credits. It’s by Tyler, the Creator, who only a few years ago was considered one of the saltiest (to put it mildly) voices in music. Here, his contribution is as toothless as the rest of the movie."[36] Molly Freeman of Screen Rant gave the film a 3 out of 5 stars, saying "The Grinch may not be a necessary holiday movie, but fans of Dr. Seuss's story or holiday films, in general, will find plenty to like in this new animated retelling. Plus, with a variety of family-friendly jokes, The Grinch will no doubt entertain viewers young and old, though the 90-minute runtime does stretch thin in the third act of the movie. It's perhaps not worth seeing in IMAX, but The Grinch does provide some rich visuals that will also capture the eye of all moviegoers. The Grinch is holiday fun for the whole family, adapting a classic story with a new twist that makes for an altogether compelling moviegoing experience."[37]

Johnny Oleksinski of New York Post stated, "This “Grinch” is for snowflakes — and not the speck of ice the tiny town of Whoville is situated on. It's best for kids and adults who just can't handle the angry, diabolical monster of films past."[38] Sandie Angulo Chen of Common Sense Media gave the film 3/5 and stated, "This adaptation is bright, colorful, and occasionally funny, but it doesn't come close to matching the effectiveness of the short-and-sweet original."[39] Amy West of Empire gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, writing "Despite its story-telling ambition being two sizes too small (much like its hairy protagonist’s heart), The Grinch is impossibly cute, visually rich and boasts enough festive fun to satisfy young viewers."[40]


List of awards and nominations
Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
2019 Annie Awards Music in an Animated Feature Production Danny Elfman and Tyler, The Creator Nominated [41]
Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production Habib Louati
Editorial in an Animated Feature Production Chris Cartagena
Art Directors Guild Production Design in an Animated Feature Colin Stimpson
Critics' Choice Awards Best Animated Film Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney Nominated [42]
Producers Guild of America Award Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy Nominated [43]
Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Pierre Leduc, Janet Healy, Bruno Chauffard, Milo Riccarand Nominated [44]
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature David Galante, Francois Boudaille, Olivier Luffin, Yarrow Cheney for The Grinch Nominated
Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Loic Rastout, Ludovic Ramiere, Henri Deruer, Nicolas Brack for Whoville Nominated
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature Eric Carme, Nicolas Brice, Milo Riccarand for Snow, Clouds and Smoke Nominated
Movieguide Awards Best Movies for Families The Grinch Won [45]
Epiphany Prize for Most Inspiring Movie Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Animated Movie Nominated [46]
Favorite Male Voice from an Animated Movie Benedict Cumberbatch Nominated

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Danny Elfman to Score Illumination's 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'". Film Music Reporter. November 20, 2017. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Film releases". Variety Insight. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  3. ^ "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch". Regal Entertainment Group. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "The Grinch (2018)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
  5. ^ Cavna, Michael (November 8, 2018). "Do we need another 'Grinch' movie? Some reviews say yes, but others..." The Washington Post. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  6. ^ Audrey Geisel, widow of Dr. Seuss, dead at 97
  7. ^ Borys Kit (February 7, 2013). "'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' Remake in the Works at Universal". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Eldridge Industries. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (April 13, 2016). "Benedict Cumberbatch to Voice the Grinch in 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'". Variety. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  9. ^ Amid Amidi (March 8, 2018). "Illumination's 'The Grinch': First Trailer And A Late Directorial Shake-Up". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  10. ^ Lang, Brent (6 November 2018). "Inside Illumination's Plans for Animated 'Super Mario Bros.' Movie". Variety. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Fleming, Mike Jr. (September 18, 2018). "Pharrell Williams Joins Illumination's Animated Dr. Seuss' 'The Grinch' As Narrator". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  12. ^ Sarto, Dan (17 November 2018). "Illumination Warms Up the Holidays with 'The Grinch'". Animation World Network.
  13. ^ a b Moltenbrey, Karen (13 December 2018). "Spoiler Alert". In Focus. Computer Graphics World.
  14. ^ "'Dr. Seuss' The Grinch' Score Album Details - Film Music Reporter".
  15. ^ McClintock, Pamela (November 17, 2011). "Universal Dates 'Despicable Me 3,' New 'Grinch Who Stole Christmas'". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Eldridge Industries. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  16. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 7, 2016). "Illumination's 'The Grinch' Pushed Back to 2018". Variety. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  17. ^ "A New Trailer for 'The Grinch' is Here and It Needs to be Christmas Now". 2018-06-15.
  18. ^ Schaefer, Sandy (September 18, 2018). "The Grinch Final Trailer & Poster: Cumberbatch Steals Christmas". Screen Rant. Montreal, Canada: Valnet, Inc. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  19. ^ "The Grinch Movie's Billboards Have Incredibly Mean Messages". October 29, 2018.
  20. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 7, 2018). "'The Grinch' Global Promo Campaign Grows Several Sizes From First Movie, To $80M". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  21. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 26, 2019). "How Much Green Did 'The Grinch' Steal? No. 9 In Deadline's 2018 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  22. ^ Jessie Quinn (November 21, 2018). "2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Guide". Showbiz Cheatsheet. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  23. ^ "Watch the 2018 NBC 4 New York and Telemundo 47 Holiday Sing-Along". NBC New York. December 6, 2018. Retrieved May 26, 2019 – via YouTube.
  24. ^ AWN Staff Editor (January 3, 2019). "Dr. Seuss' 'The Grinch' Coming to Blu-Ray and DVD". Animation World Network. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  25. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (November 6, 2018). "'The Grinch' to Steal Box Office Crown With $55 Million-Plus Debut". Variety. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  26. ^ McClintock, Pamela (November 8, 2018). "Box-Office Preview: 'The Grinch' to See Green With $55M-$60M U.S. Bow". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  27. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 11, 2018). "'The Grinch' Who Stole Business: Dr. Seuss Pic Opening To $66M As 'Overlord' & 'Spider's Web' Wither – Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  28. ^ Gallagher, Brian (November 12, 2018). "BREAKING DOWN THE GRINCH'S BOX OFFICE DEBUT AGAINST THE FILMS OF ILLUMINATION ENTERTAINMENT". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  29. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 18, 2018). "'Crimes Of Grindelwald' Falls Short Stateside With $62M+ Debut, WB Celebrates Global Win As 'Fantastic Beasts' Series Hits $1B-Plus". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  30. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 25, 2018). "'Ralph' Scoring 2nd Best Thanksgiving Debut With $84M+; 'Creed II' $55M+ Live-Action Champ; 'Robin Hood' Goes Wrong At $14M+". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  31. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 9, 2018). "Will 'The Grinch' Steal No. 1 Away From 'Ralph'? Both Animated Pics Eye $15M+ During Slow Pre-Christmas Period". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  32. ^ "The Grinch (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  33. ^ "The Grinch reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  34. ^ Duralde, Alonso (November 7, 2018). "'Dr. Seuss' The Grinch' Film Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Helps Make Third Time Charming". The Wrap. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  35. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (November 7, 2018). "Film Review: 'Dr. Seuss' The Grinch'". Variety. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  36. ^ Kenny, Glenn (7 November 2018). "'Dr. Seuss' The Grinch' Review: Pointy-Headed and Pointless". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  37. ^ Freeman, Molly (9 November 2018). "The Grinch Movie Review". Screen Rant. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  38. ^ Oleksinski, Johnny (19 November 2018). "This new 'Grinch' is too weak to steal Christmas". New York Post. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  39. ^ "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Movie Review". Common Sense Media. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  40. ^ West, Amy. "The Grinch (2018) Review". Empire. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  41. ^ "46th Annie Awards" (Press release). Annie Awards. December 3, 2018. Archived from the original on December 3, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  42. ^ Hammond, Pete (December 10, 2018). "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'The Favourite' Tops With 14, 'Black Panther' A Marvel, 'First Man' Rebounds; 'The Americans' Leads TV Series". Deadline. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  43. ^ Nolfi, Joey (January 4, 2019). "A Star Is Born, Black Panther, more gain Oscar momentum with Producers Guild nominations". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  44. ^
  45. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (January 9, 2019). "Best Movies for Families - Movieguide Awards: 'Mary Poppins Returns,' 'Spider-Verse' Among Nominees (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  46. ^ Howard, Annie (February 26, 2019). "Kids' Choice Awards: 'Avengers: Infinity War' Tops Nominees; Dj Khaled to Host". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 27, 2019.

External linksEdit