AT LAST a children's Christmas movie that is not only released in the UK in time for the season of goodwill but also delivers the goods in abundance.

The Grinch is not only is this a great Christmas warmer-upper, it is also the most wonderful piece of eye candy I've seen in years, writes Richard King. Added to which it's rib-ticklingly funny.

The art design matches the off-kilter charm of the original illustrations, while the tone lies somewhere between the Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka.

The story is simple. Outcast from Whoville, the green furred cantankerous Grinch plans to ruin Christmas for the inhabitants of the town by stealing Christmas. The townsfolk are all pretty materialistic and Christmas is a very important time to them, with present buying uppermost in importance. So the Grinch disguises himself as Santa and goes about stealing the gifts and decorations from each of the houses in town. Of course there's a message -- Christmas is about much more than gifts.

This is definitely Carrey's show and without him I doubt it would have worked. Director Ron Howard keeps things enjoyably upbeat and festive and the heavily disguised cast go about their jovial business with just the right amount of sugar.

Fortunately Carrey was born to play the Grinch and is utterly convincing, filling the character with a twisted and downright selfish persona, which is part Ebenezer Scrooge and part Fred Flintstone.

There isn't a dull moment and the few featured songs are kept thankfully short -- Taylor Momsen who plays Cindy Lou really should have had some singing lessons.

Grinch is by far the best Christmas movie in years. The kids loved it, the adults loved it and I want to see it again. Now! I said I want to see it again, NOW!