Since there’s not already a brilliantly-crafted, beloved animated version of Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and since there’s not already a modernized, trying-too-hard-to-be-hip version of the story either, Universal is setting out to bring the green menace to the big screen with Illumination Entertainment.
Illumination chief Christopher Meledandri is no stranger to the wubbulous world of Seuss. He acted as EP for Horton Hears a Who! and produced The Lorax, and with the success of the live-action, Jim Carrey-led version of Grinch that I pretended doesn’t exist in the introduction, Universal secured a strong business partnership with the Seuss estate. So now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, we’re getting this.
Cynicism aside, Illumination does have a knack for crafting heartfelt stories with enjoyable characters, and since this version will be animated, it negates any risk of seeing some nightmare-inducing make-up work. Plus, Peter Candeland (a descendant of the Django villain?) is directing, so there’s a strong sense of craftsmanship at the helm even if he’s never directed a major feature-length project before. All the same, it does feel more than a bit like digging back into the same well – especially when Seuss has so many stories that could be mined for movies. Where’s Oh the Places You’ll Go? or Scrambled Eggs Super? Should we just expect a new Grinch every 13 years or so at this point? How long until he joins The Avengers?