Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Dr. Seuss's Christmas bad guy comes to life in this classic animation.
Whether we call him Mr. Scrooge or the Grinch, each of us could be found guilty of having something in common with these characters (whether we admit it or not). And that may be why we are sympathetic to such dastardly scoundrels.
A recluse in a mountaintop cave, the odd creature was born in the writings of Theodor Geisel--better known as Dr. Seuss--in 1957. A few years later, under the direction of animation legend Chuck Jones (the hand behind Bugs Bunny and associated characters), Geisel's work was brought to television as a one-shot Christmas special.
For the few of you who have lived in caves even further away from civilization than the Grinch, the story focuses on the "Whos," the residents of a strange little town called "Who-ville." Each year they busy themselves with Christmas preparations. However, as their enthusiasm for the season boils up the mountainside towards his cave, all that reaches the Grinch is "Noise! Noise! Noise!"
Unwilling to be the acoustic absorption for their frolicking any longer, the Grinch masterminds a diabolical plan with his one lone companion... his dog Max. With some basic sewing and carpentry skills the Grinch dons a red suit and turns Max into a reindeer. Following in Santa's footsteps on Christmas Eve, he packs up the Whos' gifts, trees, and the sacred roast beast, and totes them up the highest mountain peak to dump them.
But being robbed of their holiday trappings doesn't bring the response that the Grinch anticipated. Breaking into a grateful chorus the Whos sing, "Christmas day will always be, just as long as we have we," and the Grinch discovers (and we remember) that the spirit of Christmas isn't dependent on presents or turkey dinners. Perhaps that is why this animation has endured.
The recent re-release of this title on DVD and VHS includes another Dr. Seuss classic, Horton Hears a Who. My favorite of all the Seuss films, Horton captures the infinite possibilities of the universe and reminds us "a person is a person, no matter how small". The DVD also contains a couple of additional documentaries that, although not overly insightful, will at least provide answers to obscure entertainment trivia questions like what Tony the Tiger and Rocky the Squirrel have in common with the Grinch.