12 Days of Christmas Films – Day 1: How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

‘You’re a monster, Mr. Grinch. Your heart’s an empty hole. Your brain is full of spiders, you have garlic in your soul…’

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Most people of my stupid, lazy generation have seen the Jim Carrey¬†Grinch movie. Mostly because we have got nothing better to do with our time. But the original Warner Brothers cartoon inspired by Dr. Seuss’ book has perhaps fallen a little out of fashion. And that’s a shame because it is aces…

First off, the Grinch is narrated beautifully by Boris Karloff, who is best known as playing Frankenstein’s monster in various bolt-necked, horror classics. Secondly, the Grinch’s theme song, which is basically just an ode to how much of a smelly prick he is, is sang by Thurl Ravenscroft, otherwise known as the voice of famous cereal salesman Tony the Tiger. Ggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeattt!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is an interesting one because the Grinch himself is actually quite justified in his actions. He dresses up as Santa, with the help of his dog, and steals all the Christmas stuff from local village Whoville as revenge for the fact that they gallivant around the place playing outlandish musical instruments really loudly and just generally pissing the Grinch off. He asks them to knock it off and they don’t so the Grinch acts accordingly. He is nothing if not fair.

At one point the Grinch encounters a two-year-old child and instead of seeing the error of his ways, he makes up some bullshit story to her and then sends her off to bed. The Ghost of Christmas Past wouldn’t have scared the Grinch, I tell you that now.

Unfortunately, his resolve is eventually crumbled by the realisation that you don’t need material things to enjoy Christmas. Something that we all know is total bullshit. If I don’t wake up to a four pack of Guinness and a cheese board this Christmas, there will be no festive cheer in the Johnson household.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is perfect yuletide viewing because it is less than half an hour long, it has inspired loads of other stuff that came after it and it showcases what was a bit of a golden age for Warner Bros. animation. If you are serious about Christmas films, you should get this one checked off your list.