'The Grinch': Meet the Voices Behind Each Animated Performer

8:15 AM 11/9/2018

by Christi Carras

Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Angela Lansbury, Kenan Thompson, Pharrell Williams and more are the voices for Illumination's take on Dr. Seuss' holiday classic.

Courtesy of Universal Studios

Hide your ornaments — everyone's favorite Christmas-stealing villain is back with a vengeance and a fresh voice. Benedict Cumberbatch is the new Grinch in The Grinch, Illumination's take on Dr. Seuss' classic holiday tale, dashing into theaters Nov. 9.

Joining Cumberbatch in the voice cast of Whos are Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Pharrell Williams and Angela Lansbury. The film is the first animated version of the story to hit the big screen, while its predecessors include the popular 1966 TV movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas and the live-action Jim Carrey starrer of the same name.

In the spirit — or anti-spirit — of the season, The Hollywood Reporter breaks down who's voicing whom in Whoville.

  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Grinch

    Steve Granitz/WireImage; Universal Pictures

    Cumberbatch sheds his British accent in favor of the green grouch's signature sneer, with some added comedic timing. While The Grinch is the Imitation Game star's first foray into the world of Dr. Seuss, Cumberbatch has dabbled in voice acting, with some of his previous credits including the Hobbit films and Penguins of Madagascar. His next vocal endeavor will breathe life into Shere Khan for Warner Bros.' Mowgli.

  • Cameron Seely as Cindy Lou Who

    Universal Pictures

    Newcomer Seely is the latest child actress to portray the sweetest resident of Whoville. Gossip Girl alumna Taylor Momsen last brought Cindy's trademark gravity-defying hairstyle and warm heart to the big screen in the 2000 live-action rendition. Seely can also be seen as the movie daughter of Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams in The Greatest Showman.

  • Rashida Jones as Donna

    John Sciulli/Getty; Universal Pictures

    Jones voices Cindy Lou Who's hardworking single mother, Donna. The Parks and Recreation alumna has had some experience with voice acting for Inside Out, The Simpsons, Robot Chicken and The Cleveland Show. She is currently starring in TBS' comedy crime series Angie Tribeca.

  • Kenan Thompson as Bricklebaum

    Neilson Barnard/Getty; Universal Pictures

    The Saturday Night Live veteran joins the voice cast as the chipper Bricklebaum. Thompson's lengthy list of voice acting credits includes Wonder Pets!, Space Chimps and The Smurfs. He'll next be heard along with Jennifer Garner, John Oliver, Ken Jeong and Mila Kunis in Wonder Park.

  • Pharrell Williams as the Narrator

    Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

    No Seuss tale would be complete without its (unseen) narrator. And who better to deliver the poet's iconic rhymes than singer-songwriter Williams? The Happy singer has a history with Illumination, previously lending his talents to the soundtracks of of all three Despicable Me movies and The Secret Life of Pets

  • Angela Lansbury as the Mayor of Whoville

    Getty Images

    Whoville has elected Lansbury as its first female mayor. The animation veteran takes the helm as the spirited small town's fearless leader, tasked with protecting her citizens and Christmas from the Grinch's evil plots. She'll next be seen in the reboot of another children's classic alongside Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda in Mary Poppins Returns.