June 18, 2024

Benedict Cumberbatch to Voice the Grinch

Illumination Entertainment CEO Chris Meledandri announced that Benedict Cumberbatch will star in the new animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas film, which is set to hit theaters on Nov. 10, 2017.  The classic Dr. Suess book has been adapted twice before, first as the spectacular classic animated TV special directed by the legendary Chuck Jones (a close friend of Ted “Dr. Suess” Geisel), and the less than spectacular Ron Howard directed live action film starring Jim Carrey.

As far as the casting is concerned, sure, Cumberbatch will be just fine.  But let’s move on to the fact that this film is a bad idea. Chuck Jones already provided the perfect adaption of the story. What made it so good outside of Jones’ stellar animation, was that it’s only 26 minutes long, which is a perfect length for an adaption of the original story.  The live action Grinch film was at its strongest when it got past the unnecessary back story, and got right to the story we’re familiar with, which is the last act of the film. We’ve seen adaptions of other Suess stories (The Lorax and Horton Hears a Who) that required padding as well to fill the 90 minutes for  feature length, and they both suffer as a result.

It’s also likely that like Ron Howard’s version, this will be at least partially based on Jones’ cartoon, and despite any advances in CG animation, Jones’ animation is still some of the best the medium has ever seen. But leaving well enough alone isn’t profitable.



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