On the DVD: You'd be hard pushed to cram any more special features on to this disc: as well as four deleted scenes, there's over an hour of behind the scenes featurettes. From a documentary about the stunts, the Oscar-winning make-up and how the team visually translated Dr Suess' festive tale to the screen, to a segment on the visual effects and CGI, allowing you to follow the filmmaker's process from beginning to end. And just when you think you have filled up on Grinchy extras there's another menu with the cinema trailer, "Wholiday" recipes, statistics about the film, cast and crew biographies, a trailer for the PlayStation game and the Faith Hill music video "Where are you Christmas". In a bid not to exclude the kids in this DVD bonanza, the Grinch's canine chum takes you through "Max's Playhouse" including interactive games and music, Dress the Grinch, a read-along story and a rhyming game. The candy-cane colours of the Christmas-obsessed town of Whoville shine brightly in anamorphic widescreen; the Dolby 5.1 Soundtrack will fill your house with festive cheer; and the intelligent commentary from Ron Howard give you some great behind the scenes info. --Kristen Bowditch
Spotlight on Location
Who School Featurette
Makeup Application and Design Featurette
Seussian Set Decoration
Visual Effects Featurette
Faith Hill "Where Are You Christmas?" Music Video
By The Numbers
Cast and Filmmakers' Biographies
Grinch Game Trailer
"Where Are You Christmas?"
"You're A Mean One, Mr.Grinch"
Red-Along "The Care and Feeding Of The Grinch"
Dress The Grinch
Can You Rhyme?"
How Do I Find Things?
Faith Hill Music Video
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Hungarian Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Icelandic, Hindi, Dutch, Bulgarian, Turkish, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Greek, Norwegian, Arabic
Dual Layer, 1.85:1
First, this is a Ron Howard film and as such, has to be accepted as a film with a great sense of identity and even better storytelling. Jim Carrey was made for this part and his performance as the gruesome Grinch is extraordinary - full of caperings, facial contortions and madcap explosions of gutteral grunts and cackles. However - even he is very nearly acted off the screen by 'Max' his dog, played by 'Kelley' who quite rightly gets third billing when the credits roll.
The story is well known and I see no sense in providing yet another precis, save to say that the only really gross part is when the Whos of Whoville virtually force-feed the Grinch with food during part of their celebration. This is just a bit too much and is way more repulsive than the pile of garbage that makes up most of the Grinch's lair. This particular scene may just make the film a bit unacceptable for very young children.
A lot of praise also has to go to Anthony Hopkins who's interspersed readings of Dr Seuss's text is so well done and so central to the storytelling.
And when it comes to defining 'cuteness', Taylor Momsett as 'Cindy Lou Who' is absolutely perfect. She not only looks the part but is also one heck of a good actress. She plays the central character of the little girl who wants to trust the Grinch with absolute conviction - and without all the overblown sweetness that so often characterises childrens' parts in so many American films. Her song is perhaps the film's one lapse into maukishness, but this can be forgiven.
Accept this film as a fairytale fantasy which tells a story that is really a fantastical re-interpretation of Dickens' 'Christmas Carol' --- not in terms of ghosts, but in terms of a character who hates himself and Christmas and then learns not only what Christmas really should mean, but that he has both a heart and the ability to love others.
Oh - and be sure to watch the extra features which explain how the make-up was achieved.
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