Christmas is the season of jolly & cheer!
Families come together, grab a mug of steaming hot cocoa fulla' marshmallows, and nestle up next to a warm fire to watch holiday films. But if Christmas is all about holiday joy, then why has the greedy, conniving, and holiday-hating "Mr. Grinch" become as iconic as Rudolph -- Santa Claus even? It’s because inside everyone, there is a small part of us that can get absolutely infuriated with this particular holiday season.
Originally released in 1966, and directed by Chuck Jones, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is an adaptation of the classic children's story of the same name, written by, Dr. Suess. The TV special is about the reclusive, Grinch (voiced by a personal favorite - Boris Karloff), who is fed up with all of the “noise, noise, noise.” With the unwilling help of his dog, Max, the Grinch hatches one of the most elaborate schemes to bring an end to all the "Whos" down in "Whoville’s" holiday spirit.
The Grinch, posing as the giver of gifts, slinks through the town under the cover of night, stealing the Whos stockings, toys, trees, Christmas feast -- even their roast beast!
During his reign of silent night terror, the Grinch meets the little naïve "Cindy Lou Who" (voiced by an uncredited June Foray), who believes that the Grinch is actually, Santa Claus. Once he has purged Whoville of everything holly & jolly, the Grinch heads back to "Mt. Crumpit" to topple his sleigh full of holiday gifts over the summit of the mountain. While waiting to hear the cries of despair from the Whos, the Grinch is shocked to hear, that despite being without their ribbons, tags, packages, boxes, or bags, the Whos began to celebrate Christmas all the same.
Aside from the timeless story, what makes "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" so iconic are the songs that were composed specifically for it. “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” written by Dr. Suess himself, and performed by Thurl Ravencrofts. This well known tune increasingly slings insults at Mr. Grinch’s behavior, using analogies, metaphors, and a host of other writing devices.
"You're a rotter, Mister Grinch,
You're the king of sinful sots,
Your heart's a dead tomato
Splotched with moldy purple spots, Mr. Grinch,
You're a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce!"
Had to... It was merely a matter of when.
The Grinch does nothing that we ourselves haven’t at least wished we could do. Whether being out of actual spite, and malice; because douchebag neighbors have created an eyesore with their ridiculous, dozen-plus blow-up reindeer displaying across their front lawn. Or perhaps kicks come in the form of smashing snow-men that neighboring children have spent hours building, rather than putting forth the effort to build your own.
"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is one of holidays most celebrated films. It's a story dark enough to pique the interest of adults, yet, subtle enough that children love it.
It engages every aspect of what we love, and hate, about the holiday season, unlike any other Christmas special!
- Neil Whitley