On November 9th, a new Grinch movie is coming out (it’s called Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, not to be confused with How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) or Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)). Early November seems a little soon for a Christmas movie to be released, but who am I to criticize the money-making potential of a pre-Thanksgiving release date and Hollywood’s eternal wisdom? According to Wikipedia, the Jim Carrey-led version got its release on November 8th, 2000, and that was the highest grossing film of the year, so it’ll probably work out for this one as well.
I didn’t really have even the most ambient awareness of the existence of this movie until today — I don’t have kids and I think Dr. Seuss turned out to be racist and, as such, doesn’t factor into my day-to-day thinking all that often — but the first look at its soundtrack was released today, and it’s compelling. That’s because of the work of Tyler, the Creator, following the lead of his longtime hero and mentor Pharrell Williams into the children’s movie soundtrack space. At this point, Pharrell might actually be better known to the public for his monster hit “Happy,” from the Despicable Me soundtrack than for his groundbreaking production and idiosyncratic solo career pre-Minions. Tyler might be hoping for a similar outcome: He’s producing multiple original songs for the Grinch soundtrack, and while his early output as the most visible member of Odd Future didn’t suggest a move into family entertainment, it’s not the most outlandish move at this point.
Tyler’s offering — an update of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” — is not going to climb the pop charts like “Happy.” It follows the same simple structure of the beloved original, which is, in essence, a mid-’60s diss song about how gross The Grinch is, but adds drums, strings, Tyler’s unmistakable baritone and a chorus of children. I’m not saying I’m going to listen to it, like, a lot, but there is some real tension to the song, and by the end Tyler’s prowess as a producer is plain.