DVD Review: 'The Grinch' packs plenty of special features and extras

When Director Ron Howard’s live-action adaptation of the beyond-famous Dr. Seuss book “”How the Grinch Stole Christmas”” hit theaters late last year, audiences and critics alike ogled the astronomical production value and Jim Carrey’s extravagant rendition of the Grinch character.

The “”Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas”” DVD attempts to recapture much of the awe of the large-screen version through increased sound and video quality, for which DVDs are known. It even tries to expand upon the Grinch experience with a plethora of special features.

No one who has seen “”The Grinch”” could argue that color vibrancy is not a vital element of the movie’s experience. Set against a background of blazingly white snow and with every character minus the dog dressed in amazingly colorful costumes, accurate color is requisite for the film.

Fortunately, the DVD delivers, especially in the scenes that take place in the Grinch’s dark and dreary cave hideaway, where the darker tones are extremely vivid. Unfortunately, in the scenes set in Whoville, the bright colors appear slightly washed out next to the blinding white snow that covers the town.

Although nothing special for a DVD, the enhanced visual quality does wonders for certain parts of the movie — especially those featuring Carrey. When the movie zooms in on Carrey, instead of the smoothed blur one would see on VHS, DVD viewers are given a revolting, amazing view of every contour and slimy hair on Carrey’s extensively made-up face.

The DVD’s special features add to the movie experience almost as much as the enhanced video quality. However, the main feature, the “”Spotlight on Location,”” is rather disappointing. The feature does its best to dumb down the genius of the people behind “”The Grinch”” to the lowest common-audience denominator, only barely illuminating the very surface of each element of production.

Fortunately, more involved viewers can watch the specialized featurettes that respectably cover the incredible makeup production, design of the biggest set Hollywood has ever created, visual- effects team that handled over 300 shots, and “”Who School,”” in which the actors were taught in detail how to act, move and be Whos. These featurettes will make the pickiest of moviephiles gape in awe at the genius, sweat and tears that went into producing “”the biggest motion picture production in years,”” and are alone worth the price of the DVD.

The DVD also includes features intended for small children, who obviously make up a large portion of the movie’s audience. These features, which include a sing-a-long, a read-a-long and a “”Dress the Grinch”” game, are excellent activities for small children and are designed in such a way that small children can easily navigate through them.

Unfortunately, the DVD’s remaining special features are rather disappointing. The “”Outtakes,”” while funny, are disappointing for a Carrey movie. Similarly, the DVD-ROM features, which include some rather trite games,Web links, production notes and other text-based presentations, are nothing special.

“”The Grinch”” DVD, while it does have a few holes, generally enhances upon the movie through enriched quality and the inclusion of several astounding special features, almost achieving the awe-filled experience of watching the movie on the big screen. Considering that the DVD is priced identically with the VHS version, anyone with DVD-watching capability planning on purchasing the movie should definitely go the DVD route.

The Grinch

***

Starring Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen and Jeffrey Tambor

$26.98 suggested retail price

Rated PG

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal