The Grinch appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As I expected, the transfer looked terrific.
Sharpness was fine across the board. Virtually no softness appeared, as the movie delivered satisfying definition.
No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge haloes were absent. Of course, print flaws never manifested themselves.
Grinch’s palette offered a general pastel tone, with some emphasis on blue and green as well as warmer pinks and reds for Whoville. The colors showed a good sense of vividness and worked well.
Blacks were dark and deep, while low-light shots offered nice clarity and smoothness. This became an appealing visual presentation.
With Grinch, we get a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, this mix offered a reasonably lively soundscape, especially during the action sequences. Those fleshed out the spectrum in an involving way and gave us nice activity and pizzazz.
Music also became a strong partner, as the score and songs used the soundscape well. Add to that some localized speech and the soundfield added breadth to the experience.
Audio quality seemed pleasing. Speech always sounded distinctive and concise, while music was peppy and rich.
Effects offered solid reproduction, with clean highs and deep lows. I liked this mix and thought it gave the movie life.
A staple of Illumination releases, the disc provides three Mini-Movies. We find Yellow Is the New Black (4:17), The Dog Days of Winter (4:04) and Santa’s Little Helpers (3:52).
Usually these mini-movies focus on characters from the film featured on the disc, but “Black” and “Helpers” feature the Minions. “Days” uses Grinch’s pooch Max, so it manages to connect to Grinch. All three offer decent entertainment, with “Helpers” as the most fun of the bunch.
To look behind the scenes, we go to Making of the Mini-Movies. This five-minute, 53-second clip features directors Fabian Polack, Derek Drymon, Bruno Chauffard, Habib Louati, Thierry Noblet, and Serguei Kouchnerov and Illumination founder/CEO Chris Meledandri.
As expected, “Making” gives us a few nuggets about the mini-movies. It’s too short to tell us much but it offers some decent insights.
From there we go to movie about the feature film, and we open with From Green to Screen, a six-minute, 19-second featurette. It offers notes from Meledandri, directors Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney, art director Colin Stimpson, modeling set supervisor Ludovic Ramiere, editor Chris Cartagena, and actors Rashida Jones and Benedict Cumberbatch.
“Screen” looks at design choices, story/characters, cast and performances. A few minor notes emerge but this becomes a largely fluffy piece.
With Illuminating The Grinch, we get a four-minute, 55-second reel with Meledandri, Cheney, computer graphics supervisors Laurent de la Chapelle and Fabien Polack, character effects Richard Adenot, animation directors Pierre Leduc and Christophe Delisle, and layout cinematography supervisor Guy-Laurent Homsy.
“Illuminating” examines character design and animation. Though short, it gets into the topics fairly well.
An interactive feature called Who’s Who in Whoville appears. It gives us info about Grinch, Cindy-Lou, Max, Fred, “Head Whos” and “Cindy-Lou’s Crew”.
Across these, we can see “Character Profiles” as well as animation tests/walk cycles, progression reels and photo galleries. The “Profiles” offer short featurettes with info from Mosier, Meledandri, Cheney, Cumberbatch, Jones, and actors Cameron Seely, Scarlett Estevez andRamone Hamilton.
The “Tests”/”Cycles” let us see various iterations of the characters, while the “Reels” show us the animation at four different stages. We get some good tidbits under the “Whoville” banner.
Next comes My Earliest Grinch Memories, a three-minute, 10-second piece with Cumberbatch, Stimpson, Cheney, Jones, Meledandri, and Mosier. They offer personal histories with the characters as well as additional thoughts on the movie. Don’t expect much of interest here.
During the three-minute, 21-second Grinchy Gadgets, we hear from Meledandri, Cheney, Mosier, Seely, Cumberbatch, Estevez, and Hamilton. They discuss the movie’s gizmos without much depth, so this turns into another fluffy reel.
Two Lyric Videos follow: “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” (1:55) and “I Am the Grinch” (2:48). Both present the songs along with lyrics and unique animation. They’re forgettable.
Songs from His Little Heart runs three minutes, 25 seconds and features Meledandri, Mosier, Cartagena, and composer Danny Elfman. As expected, “Heart” covers the movie’s music and tunes. It’s a serviceable overview.
For a tutorial, we head to Any Who Can Draw. Hosted by head of story Mark O’Hare, we get taught how to draw the Grinch (3:05), Max (2:04) and Fred (2:11). These become fun lessons.
With Xmas Around the World, we get a two-minute, 20-second clip. As one might anticipate, we find info about non-American holiday traditions. It comes with some good bits.
Next we locate Cindy-Lou’s Yule Log. It fills eight minutes, two seconds and provides an animated fireplace with some Grinch dialogue and animation. It seems like a pleasant little diversion, if not anything memorable.
Finally, Production Babies lasts one minute, 16 seconds and features O’Hare. He introduces a list of the children born during the film’s creation. It’s cute but not especially interesting if you weren’t part of the team.
The disc opens with ads for The Secret Life of Pets 2, Johnny English Strikes Again, and Ugly Dolls. No trailed for Grinch appears here.
An update on the Dr. Seuss classic, The Grinch suffers from a mix of bad adaptation choices. Nonetheless, it offers reasonable entertainment in spite of itself. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio along with a decent set of supplements. Grinch doesn’t compete with the TV classic but it’s still a moderately likable holiday tale.