Now, here’s a new film, made for the big screen. It’s longer, it’s brighter — check out that lime-green! Rating: 3 stars out of 4.

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Movie review

My heart was aflutter; in my stomach, a pinch

As I sat with my popcorn, awaiting “The Grinch.”

On my mind was a picture of grade-school-age me

Waiting every December for “Grinch” on TV.

We all loved that version — so short and so sweet

And Karloff’s sly cackle? A Christmastime treat.

But now, here’s a new film, made for the big screen

It’s longer, it’s brighter — check out that lime-green!

(There’s no need to panic — it’s really not scary

This one’s animated, and there’s no Jim Carrey.

A family film, shown in 2 or 3D,

It’s from the same team as “Despicable Me.”)

The Cumberbatch Grinch, all paunchy and slouchy,

Is not really mean — he’s just kind of grouchy.

You all know the story: He cooks up a scheme

“I’ll steal Christmas!” he plots, beady eyes all agleam.

But the Who’s, as we learn, will not easily fall:

They happily caroled; no presents at all.

It’s a message that warms, be you grown-up or kid,

And did I like this “Grinch”? Well, mostly I did.

The look of it all is, no question, a joy:

Who-ville looks like a sweet gingerbread toy

With snow-dappled treetops and wreaths with red bows

Brightly wrapped presents and Christmas-themed clothes.

(Just one note on costume, which caused me to stare:

Why must the Grinch sleep in tight-white underwear?)

The story’s much longer — like the Grinch heart, it stretches —

And yes, I do have one or two quick kvetches:

A bit too much rushing and pratfalls and such;

Some newly writ rhymes lacked the Seussian touch;

The Grinch’s backstory? Excessively rote;

And I wish we’d seen more of that very odd goat.

But while the first “Grinch” I will always adore

It’s possible that there’s still room for one more.

Hearing the Who’s sing their songs to the skies —

It’s still movie magic, whatever the size.


★★★ “Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch,” with the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Cameron Seely, Pharrell Williams. Directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney, from a screenplay by Michael LeSieur and Tommy Swerdlow, based on the book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss. 86 minutes. Rated PG for brief rude humor. Opens Nov. 9 at multiple theaters.