Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Movie Poster

Trivia for Dr. Seuss' The Grinch

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  • This movie was originally scheduled for a November 2017 release, but was moved to November 2018. This was presumably to avoid competition with Sony Animation's The Star (2017), another animated Christmas-related movie. Had this movie been released in 2017, it would've been released sixty years after the Dr. Seuss book on which this movie was based, first published in 1957.
  • This was Benedict Cumberbatch's second animated movie. The first being Penguins of Madagascar (2014).
  • This was Illumination Entertainment's ninth feature film.
  • This is Illumination Entertainment's second Dr. Seuss movie, after The Lorax (2012).
  • This is the second Illumination Entertainment movie to have a holiday season release, after Sing (2016).
  • This is Illumination Entertainment's first holiday based movie since Hop (2011).
  • In Despicable Me 3 (2017), the oldest of Gru's girls, Margo, is seen wearing a t-shirt with this version of the Grinch on the front. Being as both are from Ilumination Entertainment, this was clearly a nod to the upcoming movie. In Despicable Me (2010), Margo had a Lorax shirt, teasing Illumination Entertainment's The Lorax (2012), a fellow Dr. Seuss movie.
  • The first official footage of this movie was released by Illumination Entertainment as a television spot on February 9, 2018, to capitalize on the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
  • The second Illumination movie produced in 2.39:1, after Despicable Me 3 (2017).
  • The movie was from the creators of Despicable Me (2010), The Secret Life of Pets (2016), and Sing (2016).
  • Fourth 2018 animated movie to have a non-verbal lead character (that being the Grinch's dog, Max) after Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero (2018) (which had the title Sgt. Stubby the Dog), Incredibles 2 (2018) (which had Baby Jack-Jack), and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018) (which had Blobby the Blob Monster).
  • The second theatrical Dr. Seuss animated movie rated PG by the M.P.A.A., after The Lorax (2012), and the fourth theatrical Dr. Seuss movie rated PG.
  • This is Illumination's first PG-rated animated movie for thematic elements.
  • Illumination Entertainment's second movie to feature no humans after Sing (2016), and the second animated Dr. Seuss movie to feature the furry humanoids seen commonly in Dr. Seuss books, after Horton Hears a Who! (2008).
  • The Grinch's backstory differs from How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), in which the Grinch was publicly humiliated in elementary school as a child due to having to shave at his age.
  • The eighth Universal Pictures animated movie rated PG, of which all previous animated Universal Pictures movies released after The Tale of Despereaux (2008) (Universal Pictures' only CGI movie Rated G) were rated as such.
  • The third Universal Pictures animated movie produced in 2.39:1, after The Tale of Despereaux (2008) and Despicable Me 3 (2017).
  • This is Illumination's last original full-length animated feature film of the 2010s, and last original full-length feature for the next two years, as the next movies releasing in that time (The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019), Minions: The Rise of Gru (2021), and Sing 2 (2021)) were all sequels.
  • In all of the other versions, the Grinch could not find a reindeer to help him with his heist, so he used Max instead. But in this adaptation, he successfully finds a reindeer and lets it stay at his house with Max.
  • This is the second Grinch adaptation released by Universal Pictures. The first being How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000).
  • The last Illumination movie of the 2010s released in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
  • Dame Angela Lansbury's third theatrically released animated movie. The others being Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Anastasia (1997).
  • At one point, the Grinch is stealing Christmas and a cat attacks him. This was not in the book, but also happened in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000).
  • Cindy-Lou Who's nightgown that she wore when the Grinch steals a Christmas tree resembled the dresses worn by the female Smurfs in Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017).
  • This movie marks the second time an English actor has voiced the character of the Grinch. The first was with Boris Karloff in How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966).
  • Rashida Jones' second animated movie, after Inside Out (2015). Both of these movies had a Hotel Transylvania movie in their respective years (2015 and 2018).
  • The Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) wore a Santa Claus costume, but makes no further attempt to really look like Santa. In this movie, the Grinch plays a more convincing looking Santa including a beard and boots.
  • Near the end of this movie, the Grinch wears a red and white tie when he's invited over to Cindy-Lou's house for Christmas dinner, a reference to The Cat in the Hat (another Dr. Seuss character) who has the same color pattern hat.
  • The Grinch is less exaggerated-looking than previous versions, with softer facial features that look more like a furry green dog-man than a creepy old goblin, and normal eyes instead of his signature red and yellow pupils. He's also got much less of an exaggerated potbelly. Furthermore, the previous versions establish/imply that the Grinch lives in self-imposed exile away from the Whos. This movie shows that the Grinch regularly visits Whoville to buy groceries. Presumably, as a result of him coming down to their town often, the Whos don't despise or fear him as much as the Whos do in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) or Halloween Is Grinch Night (1977), where the Grinch's impending arrival is a big deal.
  • Max is still the Grinch's morality pet, but instead of being a frightened, timid dog who reluctantly does the Grinch's bidding, Max is very much loving and loyal to the Grinch. While he is by no means a nicer guy, this version of the Grinch is shown to be marginally kinder to Max than the cartoon or How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), generally by treating him more like a typical dog owner would and at one point playing with Max with a small, affectionate smile on his face. Overall, the Grinch is much less antisocial than his previous incarnations and it's implied his motive for stealing Christmas is partially more of a Freudian Excuse than out of sheer malice.
  • The Grinch is attacked by a ginger cat while he is stealing presents, just like how his live-action counterpart was attacked in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) by a Persian cat.
  • Released two weeks before Black Friday.
  • This version of the Grinch insists on getting into character as Santa and actually dons a white beard, compared to the previous versions who didn't even bother. Yet he still does little else to hide his distinguishing green fur.
  • In the Latin American Spanish dub, the Grinch was voiced by Eugenio Derbez; in the Japanese dub, the Grinch was voiced by Yo Oizumi, better known to video game fans as the Japanese voice of Professor Layton, and also playing Kureo Mado in the Tokyo Ghoul live-action movie. In the Brazilian Portuguese dub, the Grinch was voiced by Lázaro Ramos.
  • The second Illumination movie with a dog named Max, first was The Secret Life of Pets (2016).
  • In the Latin American Spanish dub: Ruben Cerda, who voiced the Grinch's singing voice in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), reprised the character in this dub, through the acting voice was voiced by Eugenio Derbez instead, rather than Mario Castañeda.
  • Brad Dourif was replaced by Pharrell Williams as The Narrator.
  • The studio originally wanted Benedict Cumberbatch to voice the Grinch using his natural voice, but Benedict felt that, since the rest of the cast is American, the Grinch should have an American accent.
  • The movie's animation was made using Autodesk Maya.
  • In 2018, Producer Scott Mosier took over from Peter Candeland as director.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch had been cast as the title character in April 2016. By September 2018, Dame Angela Lansbury had been cast as the Mayor of Whoville. Rashida Jones, Cameron Seely, and Kenan Thompson had also been cast in this movie, while Pharrell Williams, who previously worked on Illumination's Despicable Me film franchise, was revealed to be narrating this movie.
  • On November 20, 2017, Danny Elfman was revealed to be composing the score. Tyler the Creator wrote a new song for this movie titled, "I Am the Grinch". Tyler and Elfman collaborated on a new version of the song, "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch", for the movie, which was featured in the final trailer.
  • When Cindy-Lou Who and her friend go up into the treehouse, the baseball bat on which they ride as a platform has the name "Theodor" carved on it. This is a reference to author and Creator Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss.
  • Since the Grinch has a very distinctive shape and look, the animators took inspiration from the book, Benedict Cumberbatch stated: "for certain performative strokes definitely, they film your performance while you're doing it, so it's not in isolation from that, they've managed to embody this voice in a character that's utterly unique, and I don't think looks too much like me, they record every session so they can see the performances as well as hear (it), but it's not like facial capture, I never did anything of that nature."
  • When asked how prepping and going into record compared to motion capture, Benedict Cumberbatch stated: "it's far less mobile. It's a fixed point, you have to create a lot of energy, but it's around a really fixed access of microphone, whether you're being hauled around in a sleigh round a mountain or flung through a catapult or talking very quietly to your dog - all those levels have to come around a microphone. Your voice has to be supported by the action that makes it sound that way, but you have to stay on the mike, whereas with motion capture you can really swing yourself about because you have a headset usually; you can throw your body around the landscape, except you're in isolation at the mike without (Dame) Angela Lansbury or Kenan Thompson or any of the thousand people I did talk to."
  • Benedict Cumberbatch compared the Grinch to his motion-capture performance of Smaug in The Hobbit trilogy: "for this character, a little bit like Smaug, he lives in a mountain and he's quite angry and isolated and alone, so apart from talking to Max who doesn't verbalize, it helped for the character in this instance. It does get very weird if you're doing quick-fire dialogue and you're not in the room with the people you're acting with."
  • When asked if this movie was always the direction of the storybook, Benedict Cumberbatch stated: "You don't necessarily get the whole script. There's pitches all along the way and you know where it's going. But I did say quite early on I really want to know why he is the way he is. Maybe there is a reason behind that, that he's been hurt before. Why is he outside? Why is he green? Why does he live on his own in a mountain? What is all that about? The sort of motivational questions that a navel-gazing actor always asks. But you do need to make sense of characters. They can't just exist in a vacuum, even if they're animated characters in a family film."
  • When asked what is a holiday tradition or Christmas thing that makes him feel most like a Grinch, Benedict Cumberbatch stated: "Excess packaging, It's enough already. We're living (through) environmental disaster after environmental disaster. I don't get why it's not something that's actually fine-able now, to wrap toys and goods in plastic that's not needed. Toys are made of plastic as well. It's plastic on plastic. That is the thing that gets me Grinchy. Everything else is just part of the season. Last minute Christmas shopping? Often you've only got yourself to blame. But I just can't stand all the excess that goes with consumer goods and packaging."
  • Benedict Cumberbatch stated his own tips or traditions for getting in the spirit: "It's just about family and friends and going off-grid for me. It's about decorating of course - the tree, the house. I like getting out there and being with friends and family. I'll be like, "Wow, I feel like I've been out three nights in a row - oh yeah, it's Christmas!" I really love that sense of it being a holiday. I just enjoy the effort that people go to everywhere with decorations. I like being in a metropolis for Christmas, and I really like getting away from it all around the actual days and being in nature."
  • A frozen lake in this movie is shown to be in the shape of a heart, foreshadowing the ending when the Grinch's heart grows three times in size.
  • Like almost all of Illumination's other movies, the animation was created entirely in France by Illumination Mac Guff.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch was already a fan of the book and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966).
  • Released a month before Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018) also starring Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the main antagonist, Shere Khan.
  • In Cindy-Lou Who's first scene, she is chasing after a mailman to give him a letter to Santa. In How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), Cindy-Lou's first scene was going to the Post Office to join her father at work.
  • Cindy-Lou Who has a stuffed animal that resembles Snowball from Illumination's The Secret Life of Pets (2016).
  • In Tyler the Creator's rendition of "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch", there are two lines in which the Grinch's teeth are described as yellow. However, in this movie, the Grinch's teeth are clearly white. Whereas in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), his teeth are yellow and extremely crooked. In the original book and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966), his teeth also appeared to be white, though also crooked. In this movie, his teeth, aside from being white, are mostly straight.
  • This movie marks the second time that The Grinch is shown as a child. The first being How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000).
  • The song that Grinch plays on his pipe organ is, "All by Myself" by Eric Carmen.
  • The Grinch's epiphany to steal Christmas happens on December 21 rather than Christmas Eve. This gives the Grinch more time to develop his gadgets and formulate his plan to rob all of Whoville in one fell swoop. This extra time also allows him to find reindeer to pull his sled, eventually snagging a reindeer named "Fred".
  • Similar to his previous incarnations, this Grinch has a massive intellect when it comes to concocting schemes and creating technological marvels (apparently inspired by Rube Goldberg), all for the purpose of stealing gifts.
  • There is a new reason for why the Grinch has to go down to Whoville during the Christmas season. He initially had stockpiles of food to last him until the start of January, but due to his excessive "emotional" eating, he was reduced to a mere bean on a plate just five days shy of Christmas.
  • Pharrell Williams, who is the narrator of this movie, and Tyler the Creator, who provided songs for the soundtrack, collaborated on the song, "The Mantra", which is on the Creed II (2018) soundtrack.
  • There's a scene where Donna Who is late for her bus and chases after it yelling the bus driver's name "Sam!", who then stops and lets her on. This is a reference to Speed (1994), where Annie (Sandra Bullock) does the same thing.
  • Second voice acting of Benedict Cumberbatch, without the use of motion capture performance.
  • Feature film non-documentary directorial debut of Scott Mosier, whose previous directing credits were the short films Mae Day: The Crumbling of a Documentary (1992) and Eddie's Life Coach (2017).
  • In the Spain Spanish dub,, the Grinch was voiced by Ernesto Alterio.
  • This is the first Illumination movie to not feature a main antagonist.
  • Singer Kaitlyn Maher was originally considered for the role of Cindy-Lou Who.
  • In the book, Cindy-Lou Who is "no more than two" years old. In this movie, she is six-years-old.
  • One of the Whos is named Mr. Cubbins. This is probably a reference to Bartholomew Cubbins, hero of two non-rhyming adventures by Dr. Seuss.
  • Illumination's second movie to have a narrator, after Minions (2015).
  • Illumination's fourth animated movie screened in IMAX theaters after The Lorax (2012), The Secret Life of Pets (2016), and Despicable Me 3 (2017).
  • The book at which the Grinch throws his alarm clock is called "Spelunking for Beginners". Spelunking is the activity and hobby of cave exploring. Since the Grinch lives in a cave on Mount Crumpit, this could have helped him in the process of carving out the interior of his home long ago.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch and Kenan Thompson were in animated movies where studio members at animation companies were mentioned during the casting call of main cast members outside of the credits. Cumberbatch previously appeared in Penguins of Madagascar (2014), and Thompson appeared in Wonder Park (2019). Both movies, respectively, had a character voiced by Ken Jeong.
  • Martha May Whover from How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) was completely written off from this version, as the writers felt that a voluptuous love interest is not the kind of message they wanted to acquire this time, which is connected to the controversy from The Cat in the Hat (2003). Like many other versions of the classic Christmas story, the Grinch was never given a love interest.
  • Illumination Entertainment's third movie to take the name of the protagonist(s) after The Lorax (2012) and Minions (2015).
  • In How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), the Grinch gets the idea of disguising himself as Santa Claus when he sees Max's face being covered with snow that vaguely resembles Santa's face. In the book and this version, the Grinch comes up with the idea of disguising himself as Santa completely on his own.
  • There is a given concept for this adaptation. Like in the previous "Grinch" media, the Grinch appears to be undressed, but in here, it is revealed that he's been wearing extra green fur over his briefs. This, however, cuts out the misinterpretation to the children of seeing the Grinch "nude".
  • Benedict Cumberbatch is the second actor to portray the Grinch to have a connection to movies based on comics, playing Doctor Stephen Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jim Carrey, who played the title character in How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) played Edward Nigma/The Riddler in Batman Forever (1995), based on DC Comics.
  • Pharrell Williams did the soundtrack for The Lion King (2019) which was directed by Jon Favreau, who is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, of which Benedict Cumberbatch is a part, as Doctor Stephen Strange.
  • Pentatonix sang "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" in the scene where the choir was chasing the Grinch with Christmas carols.
  • This movie differs from its source material - and previous adaptations - in many different ways, especially in the third act. Firstly, in the book and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), the Grinch and Cindy-Lou's Christmas Eve encounter happens because the latter wakes up to get a drink of water and crosses paths with the former. Here, it's because the Grinch gets caught in the trap Cindy-Lou set out for Santa. Secondly, in How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), the Grinch is able to save the sleigh by finding "the strength of ten Grinches plus two'". In this movie, he and the sleigh are rescued by Max, Fred, and his reindeer family. Finally, in all previous versions of the story, the Grinch immediately joins the Whos in their Christmas celebration after returning their presents. In this movie, he goes back to Mount Crumpit after returning the presents and apologizing. He doesn't join the Whos until Cindy-Lou invites him to Christmas dinner at her house.
  • The twentieth theatrically released animated film released in the 21st century with a November release date outside of a Thanksgiving week after Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (2000), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Brother Bear (2003), The Incredibles (2004), The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (2004), Chicken Little (2005), Flushed Away (2006), Happy Feet (2006), Bee Movie (2007), Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008), Fantastic Mr Fox (2009), Megamind (2010), Happy Feet Two (2011), Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Free Birds (2013), Big Hero 6 (2014), The Peanuts Movie (2015), Trolls (2016), and The Star (2017).
  • The Grinches intellect to build inventions originally came from the 1982 cartoon "The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat". This trait was repeated in the live action movie and the animated film.
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