CINDY-LOU PREVENTS “THE GRINCH” FROM STEALING CHRISTMAS

The Grinch

In both the original Dr. Seuss book, Cindy-Lou Who is a tiny toddler, “no more than two,” whose interaction with a Santa-Claus-disguised Grinch revolves only around questioning him about why Santa is taking their Christmas tree in the middle of the night.

In Universal Pictures and Illumination’s new version of The Grinch, she’s a little older, and she’s on a mission to trap Santa to ask him to help her over-worked, over-tired mother. “We wanted to find a character who was the antitheses of the Grinch,” producer Chris Meledandri says. “Someone who was incredibly helpful and embodied the optimism that childhood allows us to have. She’s a very positive character, but there’s a certain wisdom to her as well. We talked a lot about why her path was going to cross with Santa’s — or the-Grinch-as-Santa — and giving her a sense of mission and intention. Her determination puts these two characters on paths that we know are going to collide.”

That collision ultimately becomes the catalyst for the Grinch’s change (and growth) of heart. “She starts the whole process of the Grinch’s transformation,” says Benedict Cumberbatch who lends his voice as The Grinch. “She’s this very excited girl who kind of represents everything that Christmas should be about: thinking about other people, being generous and kind. And it sorts of melts the Grinch. She’s not thinking about what presents she wants for herself, and that really stuns him. It’s the first piece in the puzzle that helps him discover the real reasons Christmas is being celebrated.”

“Cindy-Lou is the light,” director Scott Mosier says. “She sees the good in everybody, and she wants more than anything to help her mother. She wants nothing for herself. That selflessness, that love, shatters what the Grinch believes to be true about the Whos, Christmas — everything really.”

For the role, the directors cast child actor Cameron Seely, who had played PT Barnum’s daughter Helen in The Greatest Showman. “When you set out to cast a child you have two choices,” Meledandri says. “You either cast a child or you cast somebody much older who’s able to give you a voice that sounds like a child. It’s generally our preference to see if we can cast a child, but you’re dealing with a much greater unknown, and it involves a wide search. So when our team found Cameron, Scott immediately responded to her vocal audition, then spent time working with her. From the minute he started to work with her, he saw her potential, and boy, was he right. She performed like a pro with fifteen years of experience, and she’s not even ten years old.”

Now playing in Philippine cinemas, The Grinch is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.  Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/uipmoviesph/

MEET MAX & FRED, THE LOYAL PETS OF “THE GRINCH”

The Grinch

The grumpy Grinch may be out to steal Christmas, but his loyal, animal friends may inadvertently  steal the thunder from him when it comes cuteness, in Universal Pictures and Illumination’s new comedy adventure The Grinch starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Watch the new The Grinch TV Spot at YouTube: https://youtu.be/9TZZW7Jpy1g.)

Max

The Grinch’s loyal canine companion doesn’t speak a word, but his devotion to the Grinch allows the audience to see the goodness in the character, too. “The relationship between Grinch and Max is the number one relationship in the movie,” director Scott Mosier says. “When the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes at the end of the film, Max is the one character who has known that was always there inside the Grinch.”

And in this new version, he’s far more than just a pet. “Max is the Grinch’s best friend,” Benedict Cumberbatch says. “Max is all things to the Grinch. He is a barista, a manservant, a sleigh puller, friend, consoler, companion, guard dog, kind-of-indifferent drum player. He’s a remarkably adept dog. If only there were more Max’s in the world I’m sure some of our problems would be solved. But he’s an extraordinary character and, like most animals, will probably steal the show. He’s very lovable, and his loyalty to the Grinch is sort of heartbreaking. He’s so loyal to this miserly, green guy. It pays great dividends by the end, but it’s a long road for Max.”

Max is also, in some ways, a surrogate for the audience. “Through the course of the film, even though we get the sense that Max might not share all of the Grinch’s attitudes, he loves the Grinch so much that he’s willing to go along with him at any cost,” producer Chris Meledandri says. “Our Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney have managed to capture Max as a character— giving him qualities that are wise and slightly anthropomorphized — while never breaking the reality of Max being a dog. As an audience, you’re always seeing him as the dog that he is.”

Fred

“Fred is one of the most unexpected new characters we introduce in the film,” Meledandri says. And one of the new characters likely to become every kid’s favorite plush toy. A rather portly reindeer, he crosses paths with the Grinch early in the planning stage to steal Christmas. The Grinch attempts to capture a reindeer to pull his sleigh on Christmas Eve, but just as a he approaches a large herd, a screaming goat scares them all away. All of them, that is, except Fred, who’s found a patch of grass that he’s devouring.

Like Max, Fred never speaks, but he quickly becomes a sweet comic foil to all the Grinch’s grumpiness. “Fred really takes this little family of two – Grinch and Max – and turns it into a family of three,” Meledandri says. “He’s so well-meaning and he wins you – and the Grinch – over with humor and emotion.” Also, he’s a really good snuggler.

In Philippine cinemas November 28, The Grinch is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.  Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/uipmoviesph/