Monday, December 15, 2008


Hello, everybody! Welcome to The MonsterGrrls' 25 Days Of Christmas, and today I'm bringing you our weekly Holiday GrinchWatch! This time we're talking about the perennial animated special of Dr. Seuss's How The Grinch Stole Christmas, created by famed Warner Bros. animator Chuck Jones and featuring the great Boris Karloff as narrator and voice of the Grinch.

During World War II, Jones met Dr. Seuss, or Ted Geisel as he was known, when they both worked on the Warner Bros. Private Snafu cartoons for the military. When Seuss wrote and released How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Jones eventually convinced his friend to let him animate the Grinch for television. In 1966 the special premiered on CBS and became a holiday favorite, being repeated every year.

Expanding the book into a half-hour television show meant that several things had to be added. Songs such as "Welcome Christmas," or "Fah-Who-For-Aze" as you might know it, and the celebrated "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" were brought in to heighten aspects of the story that were only hinted at in the original book, such as the Whos' Christmas celebration and the Grinch's plans to steal their Christmas. Also, the sleigh ride sequence, which is one of the show's most hilarious moments, was added to lengthen the show to 30 minutes.

Another important move was to expand the character of Max, the Grinch's dog. Max only appears in the book for a couple of pages, but in the show he takes on a new role as a faithful companion to the bitter and lonely Grinch. Despite the Grinch's meanness, Max still loves him, and ends up becoming the point of view for the audience, showing that deep down, everyone is the same, and needs love and acceptance. (That's a really important thing to keep in mind, especially around Christmas!)

And of course, the show just wouldn't be the same without Boris Karloff and Thurl Ravenscroft! Karloff, for years a horror icon and the celebrated star of Universal's Frankenstein films, was the perfect narrator and Grinch voice for Seuss's funny but wonderful story. Ravenscroft, whose name was unfortunately left off the credits by accident, sang the now-classic "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch," with lyrics by Seuss himself, and his rich delivery is what makes the song so great. The resulting collaboration between all these great minds is why we keep coming back year after year to watch this cool Christmas special--truly, it's a Christmas-themed triumph of the best that Mad Science has to offer!

Hey, next week is Christmas week! We'll be back then for the final part of our Holiday GrinchWatch with a review of the live-action Grinch film with Jim Carrey, so make sure you check back for more of The MonsterGrrls' 25 Days Of Christmas! See you then!

Merry Christmas To All,
Frankie Franken