In defense of the Christmas movie remake

This afternoon while trying to kill some time before dinner, we watched “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”  You know, the one starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch.  This movie gets a lot of flack from people who believe it’s a sacrilege against the original Grinch cartoon.  I don’t think this is entirely fair.

For one thing, you can’t really compare the two.  Yes, they originate from the same storybook, but I think that’s pretty much where the similarities end.  The cartoon is indeed a CLASSIC… required viewing for the young at heart everywhere.  I feel it’s important to get at least once viewing every holiday season.  There’s nothing to beat the animation, the flawless narration of the tale and the spirit invoked by the story.  This version certainly has no equal.

However.

I don’t think loyalty to the classic is any reason to discount entirely the “remake”.  No, the Jim Carrey version fills an all-important “goofy holiday movie” quotient.  In fact, if this version falls flat anywhere at all, it falls flat when it gets too sentimental which doesn’t happen often but when it does it comes off as slightly insincere.  But at the goofy stuff.  It scores a direct hit.  Jim Carrey is fantastic as The Grinch, bringing his own special brand of silly to the story.  In fact, it is with The Grinch where this movie shines and provides us so many laugh out loud moments, we can’t help but quote then year-round.  I submit for your consideration:

That there is possibly my most favorite scene in the movie, though I do have MANY.  Yes, I dare say there is plenty of space in my heart for BOTH versions.  Plus it makes the kids laugh.  That’s Sunday Afternoon Gold, right there.

Now, some remakes are definitely better than others.  I’m thinking “Miracle on 34th Street” in particular here.  I never did care for the saccharine 90′s version with that annoying kid that was showing up in every family movie there for a few years.  The original, in that case, is very hard to beat.  Though I can admire that they tried.

I’m not sure how I’d feel about a remake of “The Christmas Story” or “Christmas Vacation” though.  Those ones may be off limits.

But making cartoons into live-action or computer animated versions?  I suppose I can get behind that.  Think of how cool a re-do of “Frosty the Snowman” done live-action style would be?  Or Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer done in computer animation?  Done by the right studio (and not some fly-by-night type of outfit), the end result could be fantastic.  I’d love to see someone try.

What do you think?

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