Did you log in to Netflix this week hoping to watch 2018's version of The Grinch only to find that it was missing? Despite streaming on the service for the better part of the year, and sitting in the Netflix Top 10 for most of the weeks leading up to December, the Universal film vanished on Friday, December 4th. Some Netflix users took to social media to voice their displeasure with this decision by the streamer, but as they've said in a handy FAQ on how Netflix actually works, it wasn't their call and frankly if it was up to them they'd have kept the popular Christmas movie around for a little longer if they were able.
"Netflix works with content providers, distributors, producers, and creators to acquire licensing for TV shows and movies to stream on our service," the official Netflix FAQ reads. "When content is not available to stream, it can be for a few different reasons including: The content rights are currently exclusive to another company; The streaming rights are not available to purchase from the content provider; and Popularity, cost, seasonal or other localized factors, or availability."
Though no specific reasoning was given for The Grinch's sudden disappearance, that last point certainly seems like the possible reason. Being a recent hit, and about two weeks away from Christmas itself, NBCUniversal might be positioning the film to have a place on their own streaming service, Peacock. As of this writing, the 2018 film can't be found on any free streaming service, so a digital rental is about the only way to see it if you don't already own a physical copy. To make things a little more curious, the 2000 live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas remains available for streaming on Netflix for the time being though.
In the meantime, however, a live-musical version of The Grinch has been announced by NBCUniversal with Glee star Matthew Morrison taking on the title role to somewhat horrifying effect. This musical version of the story, with book and lyrics by Tim Mason and music by Mel Marvin and featuring the hit songs "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome Christmas" (by Albert Hague & Dr. Seuss), breathes new life into this timeless story. It also stars Denis O'Hare ("Big Little Lies") as old Max, Booboo Stewart ("Descendants 3") as young Max, and talented, young newcomer Amelia Minto ("The Lost Girls") as Cindy-Lou Who.
Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical! will air on December 9th at 8pm ET/PT on NBC.