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Published on February 4th, 2019 | by Dan Nicholls

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Blu-ray Review: The Grinch

The Dr. Seuss Blu-ray is like a giant Christmas sack full of gifts for you to explore. It’s definitely worth your family or Christmas collection.

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Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch arrives on every home entertainment platform you can imagine on February 5th, including an overflowing sack of special features to go with its colorful, bright, and tight (86 minutes is a merciful length for parents and kids benefit alike) package. The Blu-ray transfer looks glorious and thoughts on the film in general remain the same as when it opened – my original review can be found here.

One of the main selling features of this release is the inclusion of three brand-new Illumination Entertainment “mini movies” in bite-sized form. Perfect for attention spans and tired uncles overdosed on Christmas and the Grinch again so goddamn soon but hey the kids love the colors and the characters.

 

Yellow Is the New Black

Everyone’s favorite little yellow nuggets the Minions are back and this time they’re serving hard time! They make license plates but their banana-induced bad behavior winds them up in the chain gang. But you can’t chain down the Minions! They of course get into some shenanigans with a fellow inmate trying to escape. It’s cute enough but too short and ends on kind of an anticlimactic note.

The Dog Days of Winter

This is an adventure with Max the dog, out to find a remedy to help the Grinch feel better. Ol’ Grinchypoo is sick in bed with a cold so he sits this one out, plus Benedict Cumberbatch charges feature-length prices even for mini movies so he only offers up some sighs and coughs for a little change. Some jerkish shop owner won’t accept Max’s money in exchange for some tea so the little pup uses some of that learned Grinch behavior to sneak in and fetch his master a remedy. Max is adorable and this is heartwarming.  

Santa’s Little Helpers

Holy hell yes, more Minions!! Didn’t see that coming. This time the whole trio of Stuart, Kevin, and Bob think they’re going for a tropical vacation but wind up at the North Pole. They immediately assimilate into the roles of elves and put their Minion mayhem into full effect. Plus, it ends with the Minions singing a rock n’ roll rendition of “Jingle Bells” over the credits. Bookmark this one for a Christmas loop in ten months.

The Blu-ray release is packed with special features that do lean more towards fluff than film school fulfilment, but anything for tiny cinephiles-in-training to chomp down on is good in my books. There’s even a Grinch Yule log burning away that you can leave on your screen to hypnotize tykes into sleep so Santa can do his thing. In ten months, of course.

 

The full set of features, as described by the official press release, is a treasure chest of warm, family-friendly movie geek delight:

Who’s Who in Who-ville (interactive map) – There are so many interesting characters that call Who-ville home that it’s hard to keep track of them all. This “Who’s Who” pop-up book uses animation to create a virtual storybook that takes us from Who-ville to Mt. Crumpit.

“You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” Lyric Video – Tyler the Creator puts a modern spin on the Seussian Christmas classic.

The Making of the Mini-Movies – Mini in size but not in heart, these short films are fan favourites. From the Grinch and Max to the Minions – you’ll explore the themes of each of the mini-movies through the eyes of the filmmakers who made them.

From Green to Screen – It takes a lot to bring grumpy green to your home screen. This inside look at the making of Illumination’s Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch features interviews and behind-the-scenes moments with the cast, filmmakers and artists whose hearts have all grown three sizes bringing this classic tale to life.

Illuminating THE GRINCH – Using filmmaker and cast interviews, concept art and progression reels, we take a behind-the-scenes look at how the characters evolved from initial sketches to fully realized characters.

My Earliest GRINCH Memories – The cast and filmmakers of Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch reveal their earliest memories of the grumpy green character and the enduring appeal of this Christmas curmudgeon’s journey to redemption.

Grinchy Gadgets – From his body-size blow dryer to his moving mechanical chair, from his catapult to his dog drone-rig and more… you’ll get to explore the wondrous world of Grinch’s gadgets.

“I Am The Grinch” Lyric Video – A stylized look at Tyler, The Creator’s original song created just for the film.

Songs From His Little Heart – Take a deep dive into the toe tapping beats of Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch. From score to specialty songs, you’ll hear from the film’s A-list musicians on what it took to create the music behind the movie.

X-mas Around the World – Every culture practices Christmas in a slightly different way. We’ll highlight some of the more fun permutations of the holiday around the globe.

Cindy-Lou’s Yule Log – Nothing says the holidays quite like an animated fireplace blasting fake heat from your living room television. Just in time for winter, we’ll recreate Cindy-Lou’s living room on Christmas Eve for all to enjoy.

Production Babies – A celebration of the babies born to the filmmakers during the production of Illumination’s Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch.

Any Who Can Draw – Hosted by an Illumination artist and head of story Mark O’Hare, you’ll see step-by-step how to draw some of your favourite characters from this beloved holiday classic; Grinch, Max and Fred!

 

Arriving just shy of three months since its theatrical opening leaves Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch feeling like a visitor who’s come back to stay way too soon. It’s technically fine but also like, let’s just give it a bit of a break before we pull it up for family movie night. I think this will be a delight to revisit at the proper time again but that doesn’t negate its value as an addition to a kids’ movie collection.

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About the Author

Dan Nicholls

is a Vancouver-based, lifelong movie geek who's been a projectionist, critic, director, (accidental) actor, and writer in the industry since E.T. phoned home. @dannicholls



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