Saturday, November 28, 2015

Countdown to Christmas: How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Year by year, the iconic Christmas specials of our youth are approaching milestone anniversaries. Last year, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, the Rankin-Bass version, that is, turned 50. A Charlie Brown Christmas hits the big 5-0 this year, and next year, that anniversary is for Chuck Jones' adaptation of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Grinch was one of Jones' last projects for MGM, and was sold to CBS in 1966. What some of you might not know is that Seuss himself (Ted Geisel) co-wrote some of the music with Albert Hague, who is better known to viewers of a later generation for his acting on the original series version of Fame in the 80's. Horror legend Boris Karloff, who had transitioned to television in the latter half of his career, and was a couple of years removed from the end of his NBC series, Thriller, narrates and gives voice to the Grinch.

Grinch was also the 1st Seuss story to be adapted for television, as Horton Hears a Who, the 2nd & last MGM Seuss special, had previously been adapted as a theatrical cartoon some years earlier. However, it's been 20 years since any of Seuss' stories had been brought to the small screen, with the Grinch, the Lorax, and the Cat in the Hat having all been redone in feature film form, with only Lorax avoiding the stigma of a live-action adaptation. Of course, the Cat has been a part of a pair of children's series, more recently for PBS.

Rating: A-.


Steven Dolce said...

I have this special on VHS.

hobbyfan said...

Also available on DVD, but I haven't bothered to buy. I've seen it enough times.