Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

dr seuss how the grinch stole christmas poster 2000 movie jim carrey
1 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 1/10



Movie Info

Movie Name: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Studio:  Universal Pictures/Image Entertainment/LUNI Productions GmbH and Company KG

Genre(s): Comedy/Family/Seasonal

Release Date(s): November 8, 2000 (Premiere)/November 17, 2000 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG

dr seuss how the grinch stole christmas ron howard imitation jim carrey

The movie that had children demanding more Chariots of Fire parodies and imitations of Ron Howard

The Grinch (Jim Carrey) hates Christmas and all the Whos in Whoville that celebrate it.  The Whos have a problem too…the holiday has become too commercial and has lost all meaning.  Now the Grinch’s plan to steal Christmas and a chance encounter with a Who named Cindy Lou (Taylor Momsen) is going to change Christmas forever.

Directed by Ron Howard, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a family holiday film.  The film adapts the 1957 story by Dr. Seuss which was previously adapted as the classic animated Christmas special in 1966.  The movie divided critics but was a box office smash.  The film won an Oscar for Best Makeup and had nominations for Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction-Set Direction but also received Razzie nominations for Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst Screenplay.

I cannot hide my disdain for this movie.  I saw it in the theater (I thankfully didn’t pay for it), and the movie has to be one of the worst films I ever sat through (and I saw Howard the Duck, Cutthroat Island, and Phantoms among others on the big screen).  The Grinch goes a long way to take the positive and thoughtful spirit of the story and trashes it.

Don’t be sad, Cindy Lou…it isn’t your fault your trapped in a horrible adaptation

The movie shows that a holiday family movie can sucker almost anyone.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of those movies that slaughters childhood dreams.  The animated (and faithful) cartoon version of the book is one of those cartoons that is smart, watchable, and has a good message.  Apparently Ron Howard decide to go the other way with the movie.

The Whos are greedy, annoying, and look awful.  The village is like some claustrophobic Tim Burton rip-off nightmare and isn’t fun or whimsical but cheesy.  Sure at the end of the movie, they learn the true meaning of Christmas, but the book pushes that they know in their hearts the real meaning all along (and it isn’t the Grinch or Cindy Lou that has to teach them a lesson).

The real problem with this movie is Jim Carrey and Ron Howard allowing him to make it a Jim Carrey movie.  The Grinch’s costume is horrible…It kind of looks like a Showbiz Pizza robot with glued on fur.  Carrey tries to eat up every scene like an Ace Ventura movie and further destroys the story.  The epitome of why this movie is misguided is the scene where he imitates Ron Howard.  Why?  Will a kid enjoy it?  No.  Will an adult enjoy it?  Hopefully not.  It just shows no control and I can imagine Ron Howard and the crew going “wow, that’s so funny, Jim” just egging him on.  It isn’t funny and just takes you out of the story even more…and I am not even a Jim Carrey hater.  I enjoy a lot of his films, but his humor does not fit well in this film.

dr seuss the grinch stole christmas jim carrey jeffrey tambor christine baranski

I made you kiss my dog’s a-hole while you were asleep…that’s funny!!!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas shows what happens when you try to make a 20 minute cartoon into an hour-and-a-half movie.  The movie might (stress might) have been ok if it had been a short with the portions that adapted the story and maybe paired with another movie that should have been shortened (like The Polar Express).  I know this is a controversial take and that the movie has now cemented itself with younger viewers as a childhood favorite (which I can understand since I like some bad stuff from childhood), but it is just not very good…stick with the original cartoon and avoid this movie at all costs…it’s not even bad-funny.

Related Links:

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Halloween Is Grinch Night (1977)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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