|How the Grinch Stole Christmas! character|
The Grinch (right) with his dog Max.
|First appearance||How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957)|
|Created by||Dr. Seuss|
|Portrayed by||see below|
The grumpy, anti-holiday spirit of the character has led to the term "Grinch", which is probably derived from the French word grincheux which means "grumpy", coming to refer to a person opposed to Christmas time celebrations or to someone with a coarse, greedy attitude. In fact, a document in the live-action film stated that "The term Grinchy shall apply when Christmas spirit is in short supply".
The Grinch has since become an icon of the winter holidays, despite the character's hatred of the season, and has appeared on various forms of memorabilia such as Christmas ornaments, plush dolls, and various clothing items.
The Grinch is depicted as a furry recluse living in seclusion on a cliff overlooking the cheerful, optimistic town of Whoville. He scorns the Christmas season and the boisterous festivities customarily celebrated during the holiday; apparently irritated by the happiness of others and deriving pleasure from spoiling other people's merriment. Aided by his pet dog, Max, he disguises himself as Santa Claus and breaks into the Whos' homes to steal their holiday decorations and gifts. Although his plan works, he is infuriated on Christmas morning to find the Whos singing cheerfully despite his actions. Convinced that the holiday must carry a meaning distinct from its decorations and gifts, the Grinch returns and distributes his stolen goods to the Whos, with whom he thereafter celebrates. Nevertheless, the Grinch is still portrayed as a bitter and ill-tempered character in artwork or other media. With the character's anti-holiday spirit followed by the transformation on Christmas morning, scholars have noted similarity to Ebenezer Scrooge from Charles Dickens' 1843 novella A Christmas Carol. In both the animated TV special and the 2000 live-action film, he is shown to have superhuman strength when he stops an entire sleigh loaded with presents from going over a cliff and lifts it over his head, although he is also described as "[finding] the strength of ten Grinches plus two" during that moment of crisis. Thus, his feat of strength may be akin to an adrenaline rush, as he does not appear to exhibit this ability under normal circumstances.
The Grinch first appeared in the 1957 story How the Grinch Stole Christmas, written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss, published as both a Random House book and in an issue of Redbook magazine. 9 years later in 1966, the story was adapted into an animated television featurette of the same name, which was directed by Charles M. Jones (who was known at this time as Chuck Jones) and which included the song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch". Boris Karloff serves as both the story's narrator and the voice of the Grinch.
In 1977, Seuss responded to the fan request for more Grinch tales by writing Halloween is Grinch Night, that serves as a prequel to the 1966 film. This was followed in 1982, when Marvel green-lit The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat a TV film starring The Cat in the Hat, also produced by Dr. Seuss (though under his real name, Ted Geisel). Although not as successful as the original, the two films both received Emmy Awards. Several episodes of the 1996 Nick Jr. television show The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss featured the Grinch, this time in puppet form, a rare screen appearance for the character without being animated or illustrated.
A 2000 live-action feature comedy film based on the story, directed by Ron Howard and starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch, was a major financial success, though it received many mixed reviews and holds a 53% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. A video game based on the film, simply entitled The Grinch, was released on several consoles and PC in the same year. It was followed in 2007 with the release of a Nintendo DS version that went under the full title of the movie.
The Grinch was portrayed on the stage when the story was turned into a musical by the Children's Theater Company out of Minneapolis. The show made it to Broadway by way of a limited run in 2006, with Patrick Page playing the Grinch.
In television and film, the Grinch has been played or voiced by six actors. For the three animated adaptations, three actors were used: Boris Karloff in the original 1966 short, Hans Conried in Halloween is Grinch Night, and Bob Holt in The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat. (All three of them died shortly after the production of their respective specials and could not reprise the role.) Anthony Asbury portrayed The Grinch in The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, and Jim Carrey and Josh Ryan Evans did so in the 2000 film adaptation, for which Carrey received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.
In popular culture
- A Grinch-like creature – with an elongated face and green skin, wearing a Santa Claus costume, who speaks in rhyme with an imitation of Boris Karloff's voice – appears in the fifth episode of the American animated TV series Family Guy, "A Hero Sits Next Door", when Peter Griffin's new next door neighbor Joe Swanson tells the story of how he came to be in a wheelchair: falling off a building while stopping the "grinch" from robbing the Christmas presents of the kids in an orphanage.
- A similar Grinch-like creature, known as the Grumple, is the subject of Homer's Christmas fears in The Simpsons episode "Kill Gil, Volumes I & II".
- Episode 10 of the third season of Just Shoot Me! is titled "How the Finch Stole Christmas" and a narrator's voice is commenting the story in a way reminiscent of the original Grinch tale.
- The Grinch, along with Cindy Lou Who and Max, appear in Seussical, a musical which takes it plot from several Dr. Seuss books.
- TV Guide Book of Lists. Running Press. 2007. p. 158. ISBN 0-7624-3007-9.
- Serf_12 December 17, 2009 7:21 PM EST (2009-12-17). "Citigroup Suspends Foreclosures: Grinch's Heart Grows Three Sizes! - Econwatch". CBS News. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
- "Orlando Grinch? Former Osceola County courts supervisor faces tri". www.palmbeachpost.com. 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
- Felps, Bruce (2010-11-09). "Grinch Grabs Salvation Army Kettle | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth". Nbcdfw.com. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
- "S | WTAM - Local News - The BIG One - WTAM 1100". WTAM. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
- Philip Nel (2005). "Dr. Seuss: American Icon". p. 130. Continuum,
- Jacob M. Held (2011). "Dr. Seuss and Philosophy: Oh, the Thinks You Can Think". p. 147. Littlefield Publishers,
- Oscar awards 2001
- "How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
- "How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Rotten Tomatoes". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2012-07-07.