In Dr.Seuss’ The Grinch what makes the Grinch redeemable and savable isn’t his two size small heart which is capable of growing bigger, or his sunny mean disposition and pranks punctuated with moments of tenderness and compassion. No, it’s his dog and reindeer. Even though they willingly do all that he asks, the Grinch himself is never bad to or abuses the animals that love him. Because he is a good master, care giver, provider, call it what you want, the Grinch never crosses that one indefensible cinematic line, that foreshadows true villainy— dog murderer.
Besides, the Grinch is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, who has and never will, no matter what is afoot, done villainy or evil. Cumberbatch’s Grinch is more a rarity. Benedict’s Grinch is like a child with permanent egg on his face. His voice sings the Grinch’s oxymoronic joyous grumpiness, his frustrated eagerness to please and displease, to be apart and a part of a community that is forever choraling Christmas carols.
In a community full of exuberant Seussian contraptions and eager to please Who citizenry with big puppy dog eyes this is a joyous thing. The Grinch has found that one place where he can be adopted and be a good little boy.