“ Genre: Children's DVDs / Theatrical Release: 1966 / Director: Chuck Jones / Actors: Boris Karloff, Thurl Ravenscroft ... / DVD released 31 October, 2000 at Warner Home Video / Features of the DVD: Animated, Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Enhanced, Full Screen, NTSC „
* Prices may differ from that shown
Film Only Review.
I always remember hearing Dr. Seuss stories when I was younger and their subsequent embodiments over the years, the Cat in a Hat movie wasnt a favourite but I did always quite like the live action Grinch movie starring Jim Carrey, I had noticed the animated movie in the background of a different film home alone and had always wanted to watch it but had found it difficult to track down. I was pleasantly surprised recently to not only find the DVD in Wilkinsons but also for a bargain price of £2.99, I couldnt resist and the DVD has made its way into my ever growing Christmas movie collection.
The Grinch made his first appearance in the writings of Dr Seuss in 1957, he was a hugely popular character and was soon honoured with a feature length television special in 1966, created by MGM studios.
Generally described as an unpleasant character the Grinch is mean spirited and hates Christmas, unlike the people of the town of Who-ville, he not only hates Christmas but he also hates the Whos. Noticeably different in appearance to the Whos the Grinch is covered from head to toe in green fur, his red and yellow eyes are framed by expressive and sinister black eyebrows and his expression is usually frowning or mean.
All the Whos down in Whoville liked
Christmas a lot,
but the Grinch, who lived just north of
Whoville, did not.
The Grinch hated Christmas - the whole
Oh, please don't ask why, no one quite
knows the reason.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas-
The animated movie follows the original story by Dr Seuss with none of the additions and extra plot lines of the 2000 live action movie.
The Grinch hates Christmas and all that comes with it, the songs, the gifts, the lights, the celebrations. Unable to cope with the thought of Christmas imminent arrival one year he decides to put a stop to it and hatches a plan. Creating himself a Santa Claus outfit and dressing up his dog Max as a reindeer, the Grinch sets out to steal Christmas, he takes every last item from the Whos homes, the gifts, their trees, the decorations every last crumb
On their walls he left nothing but hooks,
and some wire.
And the one speck of food
That he left in the house
Was a crumb that was even too small for a
He has a brief encounter with a young and curious Who called Cindy who is unable to sleep but he succeeds in his plan and makes his escape.
Despite the Grinchs plans Christmas still arrives and the Whos do not react how he expects changing the Grinchs opinion of the whole Christmas season.
Then the Grinch thought of something
he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought,
"doesn't come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little
Price & availability-
I mentioned earlier that I got my DVD from Wilkinsons for £2.99, while it is not widely available throughout the year it does crop up a lot more during the winter months. It is also available on Amazon but for £13.99 so youre definitely better off visiting a Wilkinsons or maybe a supermarket to see if they have it in their seasonal selection.
While I do enjoy the live action movie and the extra depth the story gains from it, I think its great to see the tale its original form, Dr Seuss stories are wonderful for all children to experience and this DVD is a great way to introduce it to children who perhaps arent so keen on reading, its the perfect introduction and may even give them a keen enough interest to seek out some of the other stories written by Seuss.
The movie is narrated by Boris Karloff who also provides the Grinchs grumpy, grouchy voice. He gives a more sinister edge to the character compared to the more comic voice provided by Jim Carrey in the 2000 movie, which I think is what Seuss intended for the character. The cast of voice actors is limited to just 2, that of Karloff and also June Foray who provides the voice of young Cindy, such a small cast means there is no battle to outdo each other, rather the story flows simply with the voice of Karloff leading us through the twisting rhymes.
Thurl Ravenscroft provides his voice for the song in the movie, again re-used in the 2000 movie, which describes all the horrible characteristics of the Grinch. He has a very classic MGM musical voice and I did think at one point it may have been the voice of Howard Keel who was a big musical star at the time the movie was produced. The lyrics of the song are quite amusing as he lists hoe horrible the Grinch is
You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch
You're a nasty, wasty skunk
Your mind is filled with unwashed socks,
your soul is full of gunk
The words that best describe you are as
and I quote: Stink, stank, stunk!
While the song is additional to the original story it is not out of place within the original writing and creates a fun interlude which allows the Grinch to create his outfit and go about stealing Christmas in a fun filled and interesting way.
The animation in the movie follows the very same style that was used to illustrate Seusss stories, with unusual elongated features and limbs on the characters, giving the impression that they are indeed a different race of people rather than simply making them appear human, the Grinch naturally appears different to the Whos with his green fur and sinister expression symbolising his mean nature compared to the Whos good natures. You cannot help but feel sorry for the Grinchs poor pet dog Max who always gets the brunt of his bad mood.
What I like about this movie and its story, other than the fact that it is a simple and amusing cartoon, is the message that it delivers. There is so much concern that Christmas has become commercialised, and is more about what you spend and have spent on you nowadays and the original messages celebrating not only the religious aspect of the holiday but also those related to family, have been lost. While I may not a religious person I do hold family with high importance and Christmas for me is a time to be with my family and spend time with them that may not be possible throughout the rest of the year, this movie shows that there is indeed more behind the holiday than just presents and decorations, as the Whos gather and celebrate despite the Grinch having stolen all the gifts, decorations and food, they show what they truly count as important- their family and friends. Its a message thats appropriate now as much as ever and one I think is good to teach all todays children, it doesnt matter if you dont get the latest I-pod or games console, what counts is being with the people who care about you and who you care about in return.
Overall it is a good fun cartoon to watch, its not so sinister that young children would not be able to watch it and it is also quite short at approximately 26 minutes, while I wouldnt necessarily recommend it as Christmas Eve viewing (just in case your little one worries the Grinch might decide to pop round your place) it is certainly a film that the whole family can watch. Its a welcome addition to my DVD collection and I would definitely recommend keeping an eye out for the movie if you havent seen it already.
For the complete story visit-
or go to
www.Seussville.com for Dr Seusss official site.
Bitter and hateful, the Grinch is irritated at the thought of the nearby village having a happy time celebrating Christmas. So disguised as Santa Claus, with his dog made to look like a reindeer, he raids the village to steal all the Christmas things. The village is sure to have a sad Christmas this year.