Story

Dr Seuss’ The Grinch is an animated movie based on the Dr Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Grinch (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch) is a sad, miserable creature who lives in an isolated cave with his faithful dog, Max. The Grinch watches in dismay when the town of Whoville comes alive with the joy and magic of Christmas. He’s determined to destroy the fun and steal all the presents from the town, with the help of Max and a large reindeer called Fred. The plan is to disguise themselves as Santa and his reindeer.

Having stolen all the town’s presents and destroyed all its decorations, the Grinch meets a young girl called Cindy-Lou (voice of Cameron Seeley) at the very last house he vists. Cindy-Lou has set a trap, because she wants to talk with Santa. The Grinch is touched by her sweetness and love for her mother. He remembers his own childhood, spent in an orphanage with no family and no presents for Christmas, and understands why Christmas has always been the worst day of his life. He decides to put things right.

Themes

Christmas; orphans; loneliness

Violence

The Grinch has some violence. For example:

  • Children have a snowball fight.
  • The Grinch throws things at his radio to stop the Christmas Carols.
  • The Grinch knocks down a boy’s snowman. The boy calls him mean so he throws something at the boy.
  • Cindy-Lou skis down a slope and crashes into the Grinch.
  • The Grinch gets knocked down by an inflatable snowman.
  • Cindy-Lou falls down the stairs.
  • The Grinch tries to destroy the Christmas tree with a cannon. He hauls the cannon to the edge of a cliff, but it nearly goes over the edge. It stops in time but catapults the Grinch into the tree.
  • When the Grinch meets Fred the reindeer, Fred starts to eat the Grinch’s hair. The Grinch then lassoes its horns and Fred runs off, dragging the Grinch behind him. The Grinch slams into a tree.
  • A ferocious dog attacks the Grinch, and they both fall off a roof.

Sexual references

Nothing of concern

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

The Grinch shows some use of substances. For example, adults raise a toast to Christmas.

Nudity and sexual activity

The Grinch has some mild nudity. For example, Cindy-Lou’s friend Grouper practises setting a trap for Santa. In the process, he loses all his clothes and is covered by a strategically-placed cookie.

Product placement

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

The Grinch has some very mild coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Dr Seuss’ The Grinch is a moving story about how loneliness can make you envious and resentful, but kindness and forgiveness can change your life. It’s a great family Christmas movie, reminding us of what Christmas is all about.

The Grinch has a few scary scenes, and younger viewers might need parental guidance.

These are the main messages from this movie:

  • Kindness and love are the things we need most.
  • People might feel isolated, lonely and resentful for good reasons, and it’s important to make people feel included.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:

  • love and compassion
  • forgiveness
  • care for others
  • inclusiveness.