Show Name: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Studio: MGM Television
Release Date(s): December 18, 1966
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
You’re a mean one…Mr. Grinch. He hates all the Whos down in Whoville and he intends to show them how much this Christmas season. As they gather their little town and nestle in their beds for Christmas Eve, Mr. Grinch has a plan. He’s going to steal Christmas and not even the Whos can stop him.
Directed by Chuck Jones of Looney Tunes fame, How The Grinch Stole Christmas adapted the popular 1957 story by Dr. Seuss. It premiered on CBS on December 16, 1966 to mixed reviews but has since become a classic. It airs multiple times during the holiday season and is widely available in different formats.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is benefited by the narration by horror classic actor Boris Karloff. He brings his deep voice to the story and acts as the voice of the Grinch himself. It brings a hint of Halloween to a Christmas story and turns the Grinch into more of a monster. If the Grinch had been goofier, I don’t know that the special would have worked.
The art is classic Chuck Jones and it has the look of a Looney Tunes cartoon. This works for the Grinch. If the art had been done by someone like Disney, it would have been too clean. It adapted Seuss’s art but manages to manipulate it into something original. The type of humor in the story also works well with Looney Tunes art with more gags that are along the lines of Road Runner and Wiley E. Coyote.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! also was very faithful to the original story. It took much of its narration directly from the story and this really helped carry the theme of the movie. The Grinch learns the meaning of Christmas and the Whos accept him because of the meaning of the holiday. It works in unison and is a nice message.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a holiday classic. Not quite as warming as A Charlie Brown Christmas or as visual as a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but it is good. It was adapted into a horrible live action picture starring Jim Carrey in 2000 but also had two cartoon sequels Halloween is Grinch Night (1977) and The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat (1982).
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