Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Movie Marathon Day 19

           I'm trying something different to get in the holiday spirit this year. Every day, from now through Christmas, I will be watching a different Christmas movie or television special. I have compiled the list of features ahead of time and am drawing one, at random, from my Christmas stocking everyday to determine what gets watched. Thank you for joining me in this endeavor. Let's take a peek at day day nineteen.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

           This is possibly my dad's favorite Christmas special. It is either this or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In either case, I have a fond memory of being introduced to this special on TBS by my father over a Taco John's dinner. I obviously liked it right away. I mean, what's not to love? It has the words of Dr. Seuss, the animation of Chuck Jones, and the voice of Boris Karloff. All in all that is a pretty powerful team behind one Christmas special. As a bonus it is not the Jim Carrey version. Let's grab a six pack and a pound and get down to it.


           How the Grinch Stole Christmas opens with the Grinch on Mount Crumpit lamenting the pending Christmas. He is dreading it because the Whos down in Whoville cause an unbearable ruckus every Christmas and he just wants to be left alone in peace and quiet. Working this problem over in his head, he comes up with the plan to disguise himself as Santa and go down in to Whoville and steal all of their various Christmas accoutrements to prevent Christmas from coming. Whipping himself up a quick Santa Claus costume and dressing his dog, Max, as a reindeer he sets off for Whoville to make good on his plan.

He looks just like the genuine article.

           He arrives in Whoville and does indeed steal all of the Christmas materials. The Grinch then heads back to the top of Mount Crumpit to dump the gifts, decorations, and food. Before doing so he waits a minute, hoping to savor the sound of the Whos' sobbing over the lost Christmas. Instead, he hears them singing out anyway. The Grinch then realizes that there is more to Christmas than gifts, decorations, and food. With this new knowledge, he returns the stuff he stole to Whoville and joins with them in their holiday festivities.

I'm not sure that table is structurally sound.

Final Thoughts

           As the synopsis shows, the story of How the Grinch Stole Christmas is pretty light. That is okay though, as that is not what makes this special work so well. What makes the special memorable are the things I listed before. Dr. Seuss' rhymes are energetic and fun, even if half the words are nonsensical, Boris Karloff is a great choice to voice the Grinch and Chuck Jones' animation is lively and emotive. Add to all of that some catchy songs, and you've got all you need to make a great 25 minute Christmas special. To try to stretch it to anything longer would do it a great disservice. (Looking at you 2000 live action version.) If you've got the half hour to spare, this feature should be a good addition to your holiday season. Join me tomorrow when we complete the first two-thirds of the project.

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