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‘Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch’ like you’ve never seen/With a Grinch who isn’t very mean

Cindy Lou (voice of Cameron Seeley) listens to a Whoville visitor (Benedict Cumberbatch) in “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch.” | UNIVERSAL PICTURES

With “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

In Nineteen Fifty-Seven

Dr. Seuss made such a splash

We were all in Whoville Heaven!

For years and years and years

The book remained a hit

So they made a cartoon special

And folks liked THAT quite a bit!

A man named Boris Karloff

Who starred in “Frankenstein”

Was the voice of the mean green Grinch

And he did much better than just fine!

The highlight of the TV show

Was a very funny tune

With words and phrases so very gross

If you were eating you’d put down your spoon!

Mr. Grinch was called a foul one with termites in his smile

With all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile

His heart was a “dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots”

His soul was “rubbish…mangled up in tangled up knots”

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Silly ‘Smallfoot’ applauds the curious nature of the beast

We moaned and groaned and moaned and groaned

At this very garbage-y song

But we loved it every year

And sang it all night long!

The years passed by and by

But the Grinch was still quite groovy

So in the year 2000

They gave him a full-length movie!

Jim Carrey played the Grinch

And he was pretty funny

The movie was not great

But it made a lot of money!

(One problem with the movie

Was the residents of Whoville

Their makeup was so creepy,

They could have been from Boo-ville)

Here’s a bit of Grinch-ian lore

You might find somewhat news-ical

It’s even been a Broadway play—

That’s right, a full-fledged musical!

The kids who read “The Grinch” at first

Have children fully grown

And some of THOSE children

Have squiggly wiggly kids of their own!

So now comes a new take on the tale,

And this is quite a match:

The Grinch is voiced — just wait for it —

By the man called Cumberbatch!

It’s an animated, full-length adaptation/interpretation

And while it’s kind of sweet, it’s not really a sensation

The thing about this Grinch, from the moment he’s onscreen

He’s mostly lost and lonely, and really not so mean

Even when he’s scheming to completely foul things up

We see he’s just a softie, when it comes to Max the pup

Cumberbatch is fancy, like Eggs Benedict

I’m a fan of his, I am, I am, I am

But I wish his voice work as the Grinch

Had contained more Green Eggs and Ham

(Sorry!)

We get lots of slapstick chases

As they try to stretch the story

But all that does is make us think:

Sometimes LESS is more-y

Rashida Jones adds a warm touch as Donna Lou Who

Cameron Seely sparkles as little Cindy Lou

And even though it feels as if the movie is overlong

Kenan Thompson provides some laughs as the cheerful Bricklebaum

There’s a new take on “You’re a Mean One …” from Tyler, the Creator

And yes, that’s Pharrell Williams stepping in as the narrator

Two great talents! I was hoping to feel glee!

But in both cases, the work was fine but too low-key …

From time to time you’ll laugh and maybe shed a tear

But this isn’t the kind of “Grinch” you’ll want to see each year.

‘Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch’

Universal Pictures presents a film directed by Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney and written by Michael LeSieur and Tommy Swerdlow, based on the book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss. Rated PG (for brief rude humor). Running time: 90 minutes. Opens Friday at local theaters.