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How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

A movie directed by Ron Howard based upon the classic holiday book.

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The Grinch;This is not YOUR Childhood Grinch

  • Dec 7, 2000
  • by
Pros: Jim Carey is nothing short of brilliant; ideal for children.

Cons: Considerable poetic license taken with the movie

Twas the eve before Christmas and all through the land, the cash registers were clinging and money, sweet money, was exchanging hands. The people came rushing to spend their hard earned cash, to empty the store shelves of everything including Who-hash. The season came early before All Hallows Eve; come spend your money, your savings, the greedy merchants all plead. And Hollywood not to let be left in out, made a Dr. Seuss movie to tell us what Christmas is really all about. With fast food tie-ins and miniatures made in China galore, Hollywood’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas came knocking at our doors. And with the tally reaching 300 million dollars in box office receipts can anyone doubt there will be repeats, and more Dr. Seuss books adapted to full-length movies, it gives me the creeps.

If your house was like mine, then you grew up reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas (or having it read to you) and like me you have introduced the little green scrooge to your children through cartoon and book. Both the book and the cartoon were a tradition in my house while growing up, and no matter how many times I read the book and saw the cartoon, each reading and showing was like meeting the Grinch for the first time. Such was the magic and mystery of Dr. Seuss books. So it is with chagrin that I cannot say the same for the full-length movie adaptation, though my six-year-old might disagree!

Perhaps it is because the movie explained the Grinch’s origin; or perhaps because the movie added parts to the story that while certainly plausible, lent nothing to the overall tale; or perhaps its because Cindy Lou Who takes center-stage in the movie, and while certainly cute as a button, that cuteness distracts us from the central theme of the movie; or perhaps it because the Grinch was not—dare I sat it—evil enough for my tastes!

A brief interlude:

For any of you not familiar with this story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a book written by Dr. Seuss. The story is about a green, thing call the Grinch, who for what ever reason, hate Christmas and sets about stealing it from the Who’, a race of beings that live in Whoville. The Grinch does not know the true meaning of Christmas because his heart is too small to grasp the concept; he thinks Christmas is about buying present and eating until your stomach bulges with the cornucopia of ware prepared for the day. He reasons that by stealing all of the Who’s presents and food, he can stop Christmas from coming. But he learns the Christmas is about more than presents, at least to the Who’s in Whoville.

Now back to our regularly scheduled review:

The beginning of the movie is spend introducing us to the Grinch and the Who people down in Whoville, and how the Grinch came to hate the Who people and Christmas. I suppose a little poetic license is called for and even accepted in any book adaptation, but I found myself bored for almost 45 minutes while this played out, waiting for the part when the Grinch actually goes about stealing Christmas. I kept wondering when he was actually going to creep, crawl and slither, and do his dastardly deeds, although I must admit my six-year-old was totally enthralled by the movie from beginning to end.

When the Grinch, played very, very, convincingly by Jim Carey actually sets about the task of stealing all of the Who’s wares I finally woke up—yes woke up—and took notice. From this point on, I could relate to the movie and enjoy it, even when Cindy Lou Who didn’t seem to recognize the Grinch when she caught him stuffing the family Christmas tree up the chimney, even though she has been in numerous scenes with him through out the movie!

As I stated above Jim Carey was nothing short of brilliant in the role of the Grinch; who better to play the green meanie, than Jim Carey; its as though he was born to play the role. He captured the essence of the Grinch by becoming the Character as he does in all of his roles, most notably in The Mask.

At the end of the movie, there was considerable clapping from the legion of little hands in the theater, including two that resembled my daughters—yes she loved it! How can I not recommend this movie when so many little ones enjoyed it? Perhaps the lesson here is that the movie version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas was not made for me and those of my generation, in fact it was made for our children’ jubilation. For when it comes to video, the line they will form, and on the DVD version there will be still more of the Grinch for you and I to buy at the store.

Thank You for reading and rating my review…

~The Bard~


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More Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stol... reviews
review by . January 10, 2005
The original Dr. Seuss Story on How The Grinch Stole Christmas was a mere half hour cartoon. The original cartoon version kept it simple without any extended sidebars and remains more successful.    Ron Howard tries to exaggerate this story and more or less fails quite miserably. Jim Carrey tries his best but even he comes up short with his over-exaggerated antics. The other actors and actresses in Whoville just sit there and take up space. They just all look like a bunch of …
review by . December 01, 2000
Pros: great sets; wonderful costumes; good script; Jim Carrey is AWESOME     Cons: The mayor (Jeffrey Tambor) annoyed me; lots of little kids in the theater     So, I've been on a bit of a movie kick lately. I can't seem to get enough of the stars and stories plastered on the screen, enveloped in the wonderful aromas of buttery popcorn and nachos while my feet stick to the ground. I love the cinema.      The latest film (not including the …
About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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Director Ron Howard casts comedian Jim Carrey in the title role in this live-action adaptation of the famous Christmas tale by Dr. Seuss, giving this rendition of HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS a delightfully manic spin. Carrey is virtually unrecognizable in his elaborate green makeup, but his anarchic comic touch is unmistakable. He manages to fully embody the grumpy title character, while still supplying his own comedic touches, and it is his performance that makes the film a treat for adults and children alike. The candy-colored set design for the town of Whoville and the jubilant score contribute to the overall feeling of innocuous fantasy that the Grinch disrupts with his dastardly deeds. The familiar story of the Grinch stealing every present in town on Christmas Eve has been expanded to incorporate flashbacks to the Grinch's childhood, which serve to explain his hostility toward the Whos. As Cindy Lou-Who, a little girl so sweet she sees goodness even in the Grinch, young Taylor Momsen strikes jus...
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Director: Ron Howard
Genre: Family
Release Date: 2000
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman
DVD Release Date: November 20, 2001
Runtime: 105 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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