The Grinch: Why the family film from the makers of Despicable Me isn’t just for Christmas

We share the best bits about the movie of the Dr Seuss classic, unveil fascinating facts, reveal who voices the characters and more, as The Grinch is released in the BT TV Film Store.

It might be based on the classic Christmas book from Dr Seuss, but The Grinch is more than just a festive family film.

Benedict Cumberbatch is the voice of the grumpy Grinch in the computer-animated movie based on the 1957 tale, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

From Illumination - the creators of Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets, and Sing - The Grinch is visually stunning, and the perfect film for a family movie night all year round.

> The Grinch is available to buy on BT TV and watch on your TV box now

> The Grinch is available to rent from Tuesday, March 12

Here, we reveal three reasons to watch the film, as well as fascinating facts, who voices the characters, and more...

Who voices the characters?

Benedict Cumberbatch is the voice of The Grinch

Benedict Cumberbatch the grinch

The Oscar-nominated British actor (The Imitation Game, Sherlock) lends his voice to the cynical green grump who lives a lonely life inside a cave with only his loyal dog, Max, for company.

When the residents of nearby Whoville declare they are going to make Christmas three times bigger this year, the Grinch goes on a mission to steal Christmas!

Cameron Seely is the voice of Cindy-Lou Who

The young American actress - known mainly for playing Hugh Jackman’s daughter Helen Barnum in The Greatest Showman - plays lovable Cindy-Lou, who unlike the Grinch has a heart full of Christmas spirit.

Rashida Jones is the voice of Donna Who


Back at the door

A post shared by Rashida Jones (@rashidajones) on

Rashida Jones (The Office, Parks and Recreation) plays Cindy-Lou's overworked single mum, Donna.

Pharrell Williams is the Narrator


Good morning, there’s a lake on Mars.

A post shared by Pharrell Williams (@pharrell) on

Musician Pharrell Williams, who had previously worked on Illumination's Despicable Me films including the Oscar-nominated song Happy, lends his voice to the film’s narration.

The film also features: Tristan O'Hare as the voice of Groopert (Cindy Lou's best friend), Kenan Thompson as Mr. Bricklebaum (a jolly bearded-citizen of Whoville who befriends The Grinch) and Oscar-nominated Angela Lansbury as Mayor McGerkle (the elderly Mayor of Whoville).

3 reasons to watch The Grinch...

1. It’s not just for Christmas

Like Scrooge, the Grinch teaches children about the commercialisation of Christmas, but there’s more to the story than a cheery holiday tale.

The themes of friendship, kindness, positive spirit and the power of optimism are universal, and little ones can learn from this all year round.

Watching the grumpy Grinch have his heart changed by the generous Christmas spirit of little Cindy Lou (below left) is a heartwarming tale.

Cindy Lou and Donna

Plus, it’s funny too! The humour helps to get the moral of the story across without being too ‘in-your-face’.

Definitely one for a family movie night.

2. Benedict Cumberbatch brings a different kind of Grinch

Jim Carrey’s portrayal of the Grinch in the 2000 live-action movie was energetic, overenthusiastic, and yes, just a little sinister!

Benedict Cumberbatch - who provides the voice of the character in this animated version - is very different. This Grinch is apathetic and a little lazy, but he’s not mean-spirited.

He’s a good guy at heart - he just needs his morning coffee!

Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the character is one of a grouchy cynic who prefers to mind his own business, and who decides to steal Christmas to prove a point rather than out of pure hatred for the Whos and the festive season.

Oh, and he’s much nicer to his loyal dog, Max, who’s a total cutie in the film!

The Grinch Max

3. The music is proba​bly not what you’d expect

The soundtrack for the 2000 Grinch movie could be described as fairly traditional, with Faith Hill’s Where Are You, Christmas? - performed by Taylor Momsen in the movie - the stand-out hit.

The soundtrack for this film could not be more different.

American rapper and record producer Tyler, The Creator, provided songs for the film’s soundtrack, including his version of lead song, You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch (watch it below).

Tyler also penned an original track called I Am the Grinch, a first-person piece about the Grinch’s nature, including lyrics like: “I don't like love, I don't like fun. When I'm around, Christmas is done”.

Sheldon Pearce from music site wrote that “Tyler’s Grinch songs still sound like his, and not annoying, smoothed-down versions”.

Tyler tweeted around the time of the film’s cinematic release that his aim for his songs on The Grinch soundtrack was for them to appeal to both kids and adults.

[Read more: The best new box sets and films in the BT TV Store]

The Grinch trivia: Did you know…

1. The movie studio originally wanted Benedict Cumberbatch to voice the Grinch using his natural British accent, but the actor felt that the Grinch himself should have an American accent as the rest of the voice cast is American. Watch Cumberbatch discuss his accent in The Grinch below:

2. You might recognise the voice of Angela Lansbury - who voices Mayor McGerkle in The Grinch. She lent her voice to the famous Mrs. Potts in the 1991 animated Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, and she was the voice of the The Dowager Empress Marie in the 1997 Fox animation, Anastasia.

3. The Grinch is attacked by a ginger cat while he is stealing presents in this movie - just like how Jim Carrey’s version of The Grinch was attacked by a Persian cat in the 2000 film.

4. Near the end of the film, the Grinch wears a red and white tie when he's invited over to Cindy-Lou's house for Christmas dinner. The tie is the same colour and pattern as the title character in The Cat in the Hat wears in another Dr Seuss favourite.

5. Speaking of outerwear, the Grinch's striped winter scarf is the same style as Gru’s scarf in the Despicable Me films,  another Illumination film (albeit in a different colour pattern).

The Grinch scarf

6. Bonus Easter egg alert: In Despicable Me 3, the oldest of Gru's girls, Margo, is seen wearing a T-shirt with this version of the Grinch on the front. Seeing as that film was released in 2017, and the Grinch was released in 2018, and that both are from Illumination Entertainment, this was clearly a nod to the upcoming film.

Watch The Grinch if you liked…

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the Jim Carrey version), Despicable Me, Minions, The Secret Life of Pets, The Lorax.

What the fans are saying about The Grinch…

Families loved having a cosy movie night with The Grinch movie, sharing their joy with others on Twitter:

Watch the trailer for The Grinch:

More family movies in the BT TV Film Store:

All three Despicable Me movies, plus the spin-off Minions, are available to buy in the BT Player on your TV box now.

Fancy something a bit more musical? Sing is available in the BT TV Store now.

> Not yet with BT? Find out the great ways you can get BT TV here

> BT broadband customer? Get BT TV

> BT TV customer? Buy The Grinch and watch on your TV box now, or rent it from from Tuesday, March 12

Images: © 2018 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

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