Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +4

Content: +2 1/2

The inventive, entertaining and educational, although sometimes wacky, rhymes of Doctor Seuss in such favorites as “The Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” and “Horton Hatches an Egg,” are cherished memories of almost everyone. But during the holiday season, thoughts turn to the tale of that green-furred meany, The Grinch that stole Christmas, whose heart was two sizes too small. Creating a live version of the Grinch, which could earn the blessing of Doctor Seuss’ estate and complement the 1966 animated television version now seen annually, fell to talented actor Jim Carrey and director Ron Howard. In the fantasy world of Whoville, all the Whos are busily shopping, stringing up bigger and better light shows, and getting ready for the big Who-balation celebration of Christmas. But all the commotion makes little Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) wonder if there isn’t something more to Christmas. And why the reclusive Grinch on Mount Crumpit isn’t enjoying Christmas with the other Whos. Cindy nominates The Grinch for holiday Cheer-Meister. But the Mayor of Whoville (Jeffery Tambor) reminds the Grinch of a long ago humiliation, which triggers a plan for revenge. No doubt, this GRINCH is a family winner and will become a classic in its own right.

Although the commercialism of Christmas is emphasized as the Whos shop for packages and compete with each other for bigger and better light displays, there is still a joy associated with the holiday. The Grinch becomes a recluse because of his humiliation by other children and triggers his hatred of Whos. At one point, the Grinch holds mistletoe over his rear and tells the Whos to “kiss it” as an insult. But there is also an apparent willingness to forgive as the Grinch is included in the celebration and later when he apologizes. Some slapstick, cartoon-like violence occurs as the Grinch commits mischievous pranks. One disgusting scene shows bugs crawling around the Grinch’s teeth and some may be offended when a scene implies the mayor kisses a dog’s rear. A few slightly scary scenes may disturb very young or sensitive children. Unfortunately, while it implies there is more to Christmas than presents and decorations, it doesn’t follow through with the real reason for the season. Some of the crude humor is inappropriate for young children, but with almost no bad language, sexual content and only cartoonish violence, THE GRINCH can be an enjoyable outing.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Universal Pictures, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Once - mild

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Several times - Moderate slapstick (people collide/fall off bicycles, cars bump, girl dropped in mail chute/ threatened by package stomper, dog bites Grinch’s rear, Grinch hits self w/mallet/ puts head between clapping cymbals, Grinch bounces into woman, tree burned, car explodes, Grinch has ‘heart attack,’ bed pulled through wall)

Sex: None

Nudity: Near nudity - (Low-cut outfit)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: House keys put in bowl at party, Grinch falls with head in woman’s chest, woman adjusts dress top

Drugs: Drinking from bottle marked XXX (homemade liquor)

Other: Grinch eats glass bottle, commercialism of Christmas emphasized at first, close-up of bugs crawling in Grinch’s teeth, ref. to movies/TV desensitizing children, quotes from the ‘Book of Who’ similar to Bible, Grinch holds mistletoe over rear, implies man kisses dog’s rear, Man says he only needs family for Christmas, implies that Christmas is more than commercialism

Running Time: 105 minutes (e)
Intended Audience: Ages 6 up

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