Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (film)

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Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ron Howard
Produced by Brian Grazer
Ron Howard
Screenplay by Jeffrey Price
Peter S. Seaman
Based on How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by
Dr. Seuss
Starring Jim Carrey
Jeffrey Tambor
Christine Baranski
Bill Irwin
Molly Shannon
Narrated by Anthony Hopkins
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Donald Peterman
Edited by Dan Hanley
Mike Hill
Production
  company
Imagine Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) November 17, 2000 (2000-11-17)
Running time 104 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $123 million[1]
Box office $345,141,403[1]

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (promoted theatrically as The Grinch) is a 2000 American fantasy comedy Christmas film from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, based on the 1957 book of the same name by Dr. Seuss. It was the first Dr. Seuss book to be adapted into a full-length feature film. Because the film is based on a children's picture book, many additions had to be made to the storyline to bring it up to feature-length, including some information about the backstory of the titular character. Most of the rhymes used in the book were used in the film, though some were slightly changed, and new rhymes were put in as well. The film was directed by Ron Howard, produced by Howard and Brian Grazer, and starring comedian Jim Carrey. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but spent four weeks as the number-one film in the United States. The Grinch is the second highest-grossing holiday film of all time with $345,141,403 worldwide, only behind Home Alone. It won the Academy Award for Best Makeup, and was also nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.

Plot[edit]

In the city of Whoville, everyone celebrates Christmas with much happiness and joy, with the exception of the cynical and misanthropic Grinch (Jim Carrey), who despises Christmas and the Whos with great wrath and occasionally pulls dangerous and harmful practical jokes on them. As a result, no one likes or cares for him.

The postmaster's daughter, Cindy Lou (Taylor Momsen), who is six years old, believes everyone is missing the point about Christmas. After finding him messing up the mail in the post office, Cindy Lou becomes aware of the Grinch's existence, and starts to become interested in the Grinch and his history, asking everyone what they know about him, and soon discovers that he has a tragic past.

He actually arrived in Whoville by mistake, due to a wrong wind when he was a baby, and was adopted by two elderly sisters. Although he showed some sadistic tendencies as a child, he was not the cruel and selfish person who he later became; he was ridiculed by classmates (particularly by Augustus May Who, who is currently the Mayor of Whoville) because of his appearance - with the exception of Martha May Whovier, a much-admired Whoville beauty who was courted by both the Grinch and May Who. On Christmas he made a gift for Martha by smashing some heirlooms of the spinster sisters and machining them into a metal angel. Unfortunately, he attempted to shave his face, cutting himself and opening himself to the ridicule of his classmates. He lost his temper, caused havoc in the classroom, and ran away to live on Mt. Crumpit. He never returned home, and became an urban legend due to brief sightings.

Cindy, touched by this story, decides to make the Grinch the main participant of the Whobilation, to the great displeasure of May Who, who reluctantly agrees after pressure from the townspeople who have been warmed by Cindy's generous spirit. But when she offers an invitation to the Grinch, he turns down her offer. He gradually changes his mind, however, due to the promise of a gift - and arrives late to the proceedings, dressed in a stolen Alpine mountain climber outfit. But just as the Grinch is enjoying himself and is almost won over, May Who not only proposes to Martha in marriage, but also gives the Grinch an electric shaver as a bad joke. This causes the Grinch to lambast the Whos' Christmas celebrations for gifts they will dispose of later anyway, in the hopes of making them too ashamed to celebrate the holiday. He then goes on to ruin the party and upset Cindy Lou.

The Grinch is pleased with his actions, but much to his dismay, he soon realizes that his attack does not remove the spirit of Christmas from the Whos, and that they will celebrate the commemoration of the Christmas tomorrow. Outraged with the idea of spending another Christmas alone in his cave, the Grinch, who is convinced that the Whos only celebrate Christmas because of their extravagant gifts, decides to steal all their belongings while they sleep. Creating a Santa suit and sleigh, and running a test course that fails, the Grinch's burglary is successful - despite again being surprised by Cindy-Lou and having to fabricate an explanation as to why he is stealing the family Christmas tree. He forces Max, his dog, to pull all the stolen things, when his flying sleigh runs out of fuel. The next day, the Whos discover the Grinch's scheme, and May Who denounces Cindy Lou as the root of the whole catastrophe. However, her father, Lou Lou Who, reminds everyone that they still have the Christmas Spirit - the one thing that does not come from a store - and that the principal meaning of Christmas is to spend it with family and friends, and not about giving or receiving gifts and putting up decorations. The people accept his speech, and begin to sing. This scene explains why the Whos celebrated Christmas despite the theft of all the gifts. Cindy Lou goes to Mt. Crumpit to find the Grinch.

The Grinch reveals that he intends to destroy all the stolen gifts after he hears the Whos crying, which he anticipates would be the result of his actions. However, he hears the joyful singing of the Whos. Frustrated at the failure of his plan, the Grinch realizes that Christmas means much more than mere material gifts, an insight that profoundly touches him and makes his heart grow three times its original size. However, the stolen gifts nearly fall off the cliff, and the Grinch desperately tries to save them to no avail. However, when he realizes Cindy Lou has come to wish him a Merry Christmas, the Grinch with enough strength to lift the gifts and Cindy Lou right over his head. After a long descent, the Grinch appears along with Cindy and the gifts. He explains the schemes and apologizes for his actions towards them. The Whos reconcile with the Grinch, while Martha turns down May Who's proposal and decides to stay with the Grinch instead, much to the Grinch's delight. The redeemed Grinch starts a new life with the Whos, and commemorates the Christmas feast with them in his cave.

Cast[edit]

  • Jim Carrey as the Grinch, a green creature who always hated Christmas since he was an 8-year-old child. It was revealed in his origin that he started to hate Christmas after his school classmates laughed at him when he tried to shave his chin. Before Jim Carrey was cast to play the Grinch, Jack Nicholson and Eddie Murphy were briefly considered.[citation needed]
  • Jeffrey Tambor as Mayor Augustus May Who, Whoville's rude, arrogant, and judgmental mayor. He is revealed to be the school bully who picked on the young Grinch over his shaved chin, which motivated the Grinch to hate Christmas in the first place. He also denounces the Grinch every chance he gets and wants to have a Grinch-less Christmas.
  • Christine Baranski as Martha May Whovier, the Grinch's lifelong crush and the romantic interest of May Who. She ultimately rejects the Mayor and chooses the Grinch.
  • Bill Irwin as Lou Lou Who, Cindy Lou's father and the postman of Whoville.
  • Molly Shannon as Betty Lou Who, Cindy Lou's mother and a rival to Martha May in a house-lighting contest.
  • Taylor Momsen as Cindy Lou Who, a young Who who thinks the Christmas spirit in Whoville is lost. (In this version, she is six years old, whereas in the book and TV special she was "no more than two").
  • Kelley as Max the Dog and Frank Welker as his voice, who is the Grinch's pet dog and only companion on Mt. Crumpit. It is unknown how or when The Grinch got him.
  • Clint Howard as Whobris, the mayor's sycophantic aid.
  • Mindy Sterling as Clarnella Who, one of the Grinch's childhood caretakers
  • Jeremy Howard and T. J. Thyne as Drew Lou and Stu Lou Who, troublesome sons of Lou and Betty, and brothers to Cindy Lou.
  • Jim Meskimen as Officer Wholihan, the chief of police.
  • Josh Ryan Evans as an 8-year-old Grinch; his humiliation at school by May Who is what drives him into a hatred of Christmas.
  • Anthony Hopkins as the Narrator.
  • Bryce Dallas Howard as a surprised Who.
  • Ben Bookbinder as an 8-year-old Augustus May Who; he tormented the young Grinch, which then motivated the Grinch to hate Christmas.
  • Landry Allbright as an 8-year-old Martha May Whovier. She shows compassion towards the young Grinch.
  • Reid Kirchenbauer as an 8-year-old Whobris.

Soundtrack[edit]

  1. "Kids Today" – Jim Carrey and Taylor Momsen *
  2. "Grinch 2000" – Busta Rhymes and Jim Carrey
  3. "Green Christmas" – Barenaked Ladies
  4. "Christmas of Love" – Little Isidore and the Inquisitors
  5. "Lonely Christmas Eve" – Ben Folds
  6. "Grinch Schedule" – Jim Carrey *
  7. "Better Do It Right" – Smash Mouth
  8. "Whoville Medley" (Perfect Christmas Night/Grinch) – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  9. "Reindeer" – Jim Carrey *
  10. "Christmas Is Going to the Dogs" – The Eels
  11. "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" – Jim Carrey
  12. "Christmas Means More" – Anthony Hopkins and Jim Carrey
  13. "You Don't Have to Be Alone" – *NSYNC
  14. "Where Are You, Christmas?" – Faith Hill
  15. "The Shape of Things to Come" – James Horner
  16. "Memories of a Green Childhood" – James Horner +
  17. "Christmas, Why Can't I Find You?" – James Horner and Taylor Momsen
  18. "Stealing Christmas" – Anthony Hopkins, James Horner, Jim Carrey, and Taylor Momsen ~
  19. "The Big Heist" – James Horner +
  20. "Does Cindy Lou Really Ruin Christmas?" – James Horner +
  21. "A Change of Heart" – James Horner +
  22. "The Sleigh of Presents" – James Horner +
  23. "He Carves the Roast Beast" – James Horner ^

Legend:
*Dialogue
+ Instrumental
~ Includes Narration and Dialogue
^ Includes "Welcome Christmas"

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas was a financial success at the box office, opening at number-one with a weekend gross of $55,082,230, for an average of $17,615 from 3,127 theaters and staying at #1 for a total of 4 weeks. It closed on April 30, 2001, after five months, with a final gross of $260,044,825 in the United States and Canada and an additional gross of $85,096,578 in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $345,141,403.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes lists the film with a 53% rating,[2] while Metacritic lists the film with a 46/100 rating, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[3]

Roger Ebert criticized the film, referring it "a dank, eerie, weird movie about a sour creature who lives on top of a mountain of garbage, scares children, is mean to his dog, and steals everyone's Christmas presents," and saying, "There should be. . . a jollier production design and a brighter look overall. . . It's just not much fun." [4]

Awards[edit]

The film garnered three Academy Award nominations, including Best Costume Design (Rita Ryack) and Best Art Direction, and nominees Rick Baker and Gail Ryan won the Academy Award for Best Makeup. At the Golden Globes, Carrey was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, losing the award to George Clooney for O Brother, Where Art Thou?. The film won a Saturn Award for Best Music. However, it was also nominated for two 2000 Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst Screenplay, but lost to Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and Battlefield Earth respectively.[citation needed]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on VHS and DVD on November 20, 2001. A Blu-ray/DVD combo pack was released on October 13, 2009.

Remake[edit]

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment has announced they are working on a computer-animated remake of the film. Peter Candeland is set to direct, following the remake to The Cat in the Hat, with Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri producing and Audrey Geisel, widow of Dr. Seuss author Theodor Geisel, will executive produce.[5][6] It will be released on November 17, 2017.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". Metacritic. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ Roger Ebert review,
  5. ^ 2 YEARS (2013-02-07). "'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' Remake in the Works at Universal - Hollywood Reporter". M.hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  6. ^ Gallagher, Brian (2013-02-07). "'How the Grinch Stole Christmas!' Animated Remake Coming from Universal Pictures". Movieweb.com. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  7. ^ "Universal Dates 'Despicable Me 3,' New 'Grinch Who Stole Christmas'". The Hollywood Reporter. 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 

External links[edit]