The original animated short film of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! presented itself to us on the TV during an overnight trip. To my surprise, I discovered that my husband had never seen this classic from 1966. It was narrated by Boris Karloff and is a delightful little story.
I proceeded to tell him about the film from the year 2000 of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which was directed by Ron Howard and stars Jim Carrey (one of his favorite actors) as the Grinch himself. We got it from Netflix and watched with wonder at the artistry of this film. It is rated PG for some crude humor.
The world of Whoville is brought to life with lots of inventive sets, along with some incredible makeup that make the Whos cute and distinctive. Rick Baker was listed among the credits, and so I didn’t expect anything less. He is an award winning makeup artist responsible for the likes of Men in Black and Ed Wood, and has won seven Academy Awards for Best Makeup, including one for his work in this film.
I particularly liked the facial makeup of the Whos; the noses they grow into as they mature, their hairdos and the long eyelashes on everyone. The costumes were brilliant as well.
The Grinch was delivered to Whoville as an infant and was adopted by two kind women. But as he grows, children being what they are, he is ridiculed for being different. He finally cannot stand it any longer and retreats to his mountain cave. The Grinch’s cave is strewn with a grotesque assortment of things you’d find in a garbage dump. He lives at the end of the tube that shoots the Whos garbage away from the village and up the mountain, so that is not such a mystery.
If I didn’t know it was Jim Carrey in that hairy, green costume and makeup, I would never have guessed the actor, although some of his vocalizations as the Grinch give away his comic genius.
How the Grinch steals Christmas is played out very well, with the expanded involvement of Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen), a precocious youngster with very cool hair. She is a budding investigator who grows curious about the Grinch, and her role adds so much to the story of the town and the Grinch.
Martha May (Christine Baranski) is the girl who grew up to be the woman all the men desire, but who has a soft spot for the Grinch. The songs are familiar from the original film with some new ones added into the mix.
We both enjoyed watching this fantasy tale. The characters were well developed, and the sets, costumes and makeup, stay true to the original vision of Dr. Seuss without the need for animation. I am in great respect of the fine craftspeople that pulled this off. Thanks to Imagine Entertainment for taking on such a challenge and bringing this Dr. Seuss Christmas classic to life!