How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas film poster.jpg

The Grinch wasn't too scary
But Universal made it that way
Look out, here they come
Angry critics and fans at bay!
Genre: Christmas
Comedy
Directed By: Ron Howard
Produced By: Brian Grazer
Ron Howard
Written By: Jeffrey Price & Peter S. Seaman
Based On: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss
Starring: Jim Carrey
Taylor Momsen
Jeffrey Tambor
Christine Baranski
Bill Irwin
Molly Shannon
Cinematography: Don Peterman
Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Release Date: November 17, 2000
Runtime: 105 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $123 million
Box Office: $345.1 million
Franchise: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!


How the Grinch Stole Christmas (also known as Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas and simply The Grinch in the UK and promotional materials), is a 2000 American live-action Christmas comedy film directed by Ron Howard and based on the Dr. Seuss children's book of the same name. The film was released by Universal Studios on November 17, 2000. It was the first Dr. Seuss book to be adapted into a full-length feature film.

Because the film is based on a children's storybook, many additions had to be made to the story-line to bring it up to feature-length, including some information about the backstory of the title character. Most of the rhymes used in the book were used in the film, though some were slightly changed, and new rhymes were put in as well.

The film mostly received mixed reviews from critics, but was a box office success, grossing $260 million in the United States and over $345 million worldwide. It won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and was also nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design and also won the Favorite Movie award at the Kids Choice Awards. While it was criticized for its screenplay, tone and innuendos, the musical score, Carrey's performance and production values (particularly the make up effects and costume designs) were generally praised, Despite the awards it won, it got nominated for Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst Screenplay at the Golden Raspberry Awards.

Plot

On a tiny snowflake floating through the air, exists the town of Who-ville, home of the Whos. The town is joyously preparing for the coming of Christmas.

However, of all the Whos, a little girl named Cindy Lou Who is feeling depressed, and not at all in the holiday spirit. When her brother and his friends return from climbing Mt. Crumpit and claim they saw the Grinch, Cindy Lou grows curious as to the Grinch, whom she learns does not like Christmas. While in the Post Office with her father, Cindy takes some mail to a backroom and finds the Grinch trying to cause havoc in the mail room. However, the Grinch scares Cindy and causes her to fall into the mail sorting machine. To her surprise, the Grinch rescues her. Cindy then decides to investigate more into the Grinch's past, and interviews several people, including two elderly women who cared for the Grinch, as well as town socialite Margaret May-Who and the Mayor, both of whom were classmates with the Grinch.

From the information she collects, the Grinch as a child actually liked Christmas and even had a crush on Margaret. However, the Mayor (as a child) taunted the Grinch about this. The Grinch tries to create a hand-made present for Margaret and shave off his facial hair, but the bad shaving job causes the class to laugh at him, finally causing him to hate Christmas. After that, he ran away to Mt. Crumpit. As Christmas approaches, the Mayor announces the upcoming Who-bilation, where the town nominates a Cheer Meister. While the Mayor looks forward to another unanimous vote for himself, Cindy requests that they nominate the Grinch, feeling he deserves it the most.

With enough votes, Cindy gets the Grinch a nomination and climbs up Mt Crumpit to deliver it to him. The Grinch does not believe her at first, but reconsiders when he finds out he'll be receiving an award, and that Margaret May-Who will be attending. The Grinch agonizes over the decision to attend (partly believing this is a trick), before appearing to The Whos. While at first apprehensive, the Grinch appears to be getting into the Christmas spirit, until the Mayor crosses the line, giving Grinch the same shaver that Grinch tried using as a child (and saying "ahh, good times"). To add insult to injury, the Mayor proposes to Martha May-Who and offers her a car.

Enraged, Grinch begins to wreck the celebration, causing mayhem and burning down the Christmas tree. Cindy feels terrible that her plan to make the Grinch feel better has been ruined, and the Grinch returns to Mt. Crumpit. The Grinch feeling worse than ever, decides that this year, he'll stop Christmas from coming, by dressing as Santa, and stealing it. Fashioning a sled, he and his dog Max return to Who-Ville and make off with all the gifts and festive trimmings. Taking everything to the top of Mt Crumpit, he plans to drop it all over the edge.

Back in Who-ville, everyone is sad and distraught, with the Mayor blaming the whole thing on Cindy for inviting the Grinch. Cindy's father proclaims that he actually is proud of his daughter, because he's seen that Christmas is not about presents and decorations, but about being together. Soon, a number of other Whos join in and begin singing. This sound causes the Grinch to pause, wondering how they can be so cheerful. As he watches, the emotion gets to him, and his once shriveled heart grows 3 sizes. The Grinch then returns the presents to Who-ville and apologizes for his misdeed. At the same time, Margaret May-Who tells the Mayor she is rejecting his marriage proposal, and that her heart belongs to the Grinch. In the closing of the film, the town feast is held, with the Grinch carving the Roast Beast.

Bad Qualities

  1. The film can be WAY too scary for children (especially since that was the demographic for the original book and 1966 animated special), mainly due to the insanely dark atmosphere that's present in almost every scene in the movie, as well as the presence of scenes that can be extremely scary for younger audiences, such as the scene where the Grinch dresses in a costume with a very creepy face to get into a place in Whoville, and also, his yelling in some scenes can be obnoxious to some viewers.
  2. Some thought it was political to put an anti-consumerist message in the film.
  3. The movie features an unnecessary, stereotypical and cliched Grinch's origin story that creates a big contrast with the simple, effective, entertaining lesson about the true meaning of Christmas of the original book/animated film. The presence of the backstory also delays the actual start of the story for an hour and a half.
  4. The Grinch as well as all of the Whos, except for Cindy Lou and Martha May Whovier, look awkward, maybe even terrifying. Even worse, they're all just ordinary human beings and performed by live performers because of it, which in turn was an abysmal excuse to cheap live-acting on camera to the point they don't look anything like Whos at all in the Dr. Seuss universe compared to this movie.
  5. Whoville isn't appropriately represented; it doesn't look like the original work suggest it is, and most of the shots are extremely dirty and smoky as if the entire town were on fire (in fact, this can actually end up contributing to the film's scariness factor).
  6. The Grinch's personality differs greatly from his book and animated counterpart. In both the original book and animated special, he's a calm, selfish, manipulative, cunning, cruel, hateful, uncaring, heartless, abusive, emotionless, soulless, terrifying, and foreboding creep who mistreats his dog Max and what makes him eviler is that he has no sense of humor whatsoever, making him one of the darkest villains in any Dr. Seuss book and has been compared to the Joker of the DC universe. In this film, however, while he's still somewhat likable, he's a loud, obnoxious, sadistic, malevolent, psychotic, maniacal, and destructive sociopath who now has a lot of comedic elements added to him, making him very out of place, and although the Grinch from both the book and animated film does have some bits of humor, those were very few and far between.
  7. The Whos behave very unlike their book counterparts as well, and their personalities have been completely butchered beyond belief. In the original book, they love the spirit of Christmas more than anything that's material; they hold hands, they sing together, and they love each other, including the Grinch for as evil as he is. In the film, however, they are the exact opposite, since they are corrupted, competitive, ignorant, selfish, self absorbed, cold-hearted, extremely materialistic and cruel to the Grinch. They make the Grinch seem like a hero and have a legitimate reason to why he hated Christmas so much.
  8. In the extended version, the film seems to focus on the Whos more than the Grinch.
  9. There are many unlikable and one-dimensional characters except Cindy Lou and her family, Martha, and the Grinch (though he also can be unlikable in some scenes like the one mentioned in pointer 10).
  10. Relating to the previous pointer, the film can get really mean-spirited at times, such as one scene where the Grinch saves Cindy, only for the Grinch to regret and deny doing so, and later wraps her in gift paper and is like saving a dog from drowning only to kill it in a more painful manner.
  11. There is a number of inappropriate jokes and innuendos that are not only unfunny, but don't fit in a Dr. Seuss movie. For example, there's a very disturbing, disgusting and dreadful scene where the Grinch has Mayor Augustus May Who kiss the butt of his dog Max, which is incredibly inappropriate for a PG film as well as the line he looks just like your boss.
  12. The film is unnecessarily long, lasting 105 minutes, for comparison, the 1966 cartoon managed to get its message in 25 minutes, which is less than a quarter of this film's runtime, in fact, the 2018 adaptation is actually shorter by 19 minutes.
  13. Although The Grinch's make-up and costume is fantastic, his face looks more like a dog than the original design, especially the nose.
  14. Many of the Grinch's facial expressions can range from stupid, ugly, and weird to insanely terrifying, and while it's understandable, they could potentially scare sensible children and pushes the horror elements of the film a lot more.
  15. The scene where a random Who climbs up the mountain to where the Grinch lives to yodel (which was part of the scene where the Grinch wants to decide what to wear for the party he was invited to) is annoying because of the terrible yodeling sung by the Who heard in the scene, depending on anyone's view.

Good Qualities

  1. Jim Carrey is absolutely hilarious in the movie and portrayed the character perfectly; in addition, his make-up and the costume are fantastic.
    • In fact, the make-up used on Carrey was very thick, and putting it on took so long that it nearly drove him mad, so they had to bring in a CIA operative to train him into remaining calm while it was being applied. Ron Howard even showed solidarity towards Carrey by dressing up like the Grinch to comfort him.
    • Carrey was able to be very expressive in his facial expressions, even with the make-up on.
  2. The soundtrack that was performed by James Horner is spectacular.
  3. The source material is well structured.
  4. Decent visuals.
  5. The Grinch's backstory is well handled, despite it being a bit of a cliché. Indeed, giving the Grinch a backstory to flesh out the origins to his hatred towards Christmas is a good idea after all, as the original book didn't mention why the Grinch hated Christmas in the first place (with the Narrator speculating that maybe it was because his heart was two sizes too small) and just opted to steal Christmas out of spite towards the innocent Whos.
  6. The Grinch's song "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" is still catchy, and Jim Carrey is a pretty good singer.
  7. While a bit mean-spirited at times, there are occasional funny moments here and there:
    • In the scene where the Grinch is at his home, he yells at an echo and always gets talked backed, the Grinch yells out "I'M AN IDIOT!!!", only for it to echo out "YOU'RE AN IDIOT!!!", the Grinch then whispers while talking back to the echo, only for it to still yell out "YOU'RE AN IDIOT!!!".
    • There’s a scene where the Grinch as a baby bites Santa's head off a plate and says SANTA BYE-BYE.
    • There's a scene where the Grinch names the Whos he hates outside his home.
    • There's one scene where the Grinch pulls off his tablecloth, keeping all the contents on the table perfectly, only for him to go back and knock them off himself.
    • "It's because I'm Green, isn't it?"
    • "If you utter so much as one syllable, I'LL HUNT YOU DOWN AND GUT YOU LIKE A FISH!... If you'd like to fax me, press the star key."
    • "4:00, wallow in self-pity. 4:30, stare into the abyss. 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one. 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me. I can’t cancel that again. 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing. I’m booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness."
  8. The Grinch brought a good message of how everyone thinks Christmas was all about gifts.
  9. The song "Where Are You, Christmas", performed by Faith Hill, is actually pretty beautiful and heartwarming.
  10. The anti-consumerist message and the fact that Christmas is a celebration of joy is well-handled despite opinions that it's too political. Nowadays, Christmas has become a materialistic holiday in which people think they need material presents to celebrate it just like the Mayor and most of the Whos do, so the scene in which Lou Lou Who finally stands up to the Mayor and calls him out for not realizing that the Christmas' spirit is being with your family and those you love is very heartwarming and poignant.
  11. The Grinch (most of the time, despite being unlikable in some scenes), Cindy Lou, her father and mother, and Martha May are decent characters.
  12. Taylor Momsen is very cute as Cindy.
  13. It has a fewer amount of innuendos and juvenile humor compared to the next film.
  14. The yodeling that was sung by a Who, although annoying, could possibly be hilarious for some viewers, depending on their view.

Reception

Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an approval rating of 49%, based on 142 reviews, with an average rating of 5.54/10. The critical consensus reads, "Jim Carrey shines as the Grinch. Unfortunately, it's not enough to save this movie. You'd be better off watching the TV cartoon". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 46 out of 100 based on 29 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".

Roger Ebert gave the film two out of four stars, referring to it as "a dank, eerie, weird movie about a sour creature" and said, "There should be...a jollier production design and a brighter look overall... It's just not much fun." Ebert observed that Carrey "works as hard as an actor has ever worked in a movie, to small avail." Nevertheless, he decided that "adults may appreciate Carrey's remarkable performance in an intellectual sort of way and give him points for what was obviously a supreme effort".

Trivia

  • Director Ron Howard, who loves the original, said the animated original is such a perfect classic that he didn't even attempt to recreate it. So he at least has respect for the original.
  • Audrey Geisel, the widow of Dr. Seuss, said that she approved this movie as it doesn't have as much innuendos as The Cat in the Hat.
  • Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams and Tom Hanks were all considered for the part of the Grinch.

Videos

External links

Comments


avatar

MJ2009

18 months ago
Score 3
The sad thing is is that my family would rather choose this one over the other one. 😕 But they do still like the other one as well and I respect their opinions on this version of the book.
avatar

Mickey Mouse

17 months ago
Score 6
Which one? The original 1966 special or the 2018 movie?
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Athaggard160

18 months ago
Score 1
While Jim Carrey did his job perfectly, I guess I'd be better off reading the book and watching the cartoon, though this was all right.
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Mickey Mouse

18 months ago
Score 8
Hate me all you want, but I prefer the 2018 movie over this thing, because this movie is VERY scary to be a family movie.
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ItMeansNothing

18 months ago
Score 2
I think it's WAY too weird.
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ItMeansNothing

15 months ago
Score 1
And I also agree over the fact that the 2018 movie is way better.
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TheSwagSceptile

2 months ago
Score 1
Yeah the 2018 animated movie was way better although still not decent enough.
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JDM4678

17 months ago
Score 1
Atleast this can be a bit good to watch if you dont get too scared sometimes
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LA2002

17 months ago
Score 3
I like this film, but I'm aware of its flaws. Whatever the case, I respect those who think otherwise.
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ItMeansNothing

15 months ago
Score -2
This movie is why I never liked Jim Carrey
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LA2002

13 months ago
Score 0
That's fine, though.
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Mickey Mouse

14 months ago
Score 0
Lol I just realized me and Roger Ebert (may he RIP) had the same problem about the film having a dark atmosphere.
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Mickey Mouse

13 months ago
Score 0
Why does the Grinch look like a rabid dog?
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Hiatt Grey

12 months ago
Score 4
I'm sorry, but this movie is miles better than The Cat in the Hat.
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Mickey Mouse

12 months ago
Score -2
I prefer TCITH because at least that one isn't scary and instead makes me laugh
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Eli Boy

10 months ago
Score 0

That's fine. I was never a fan of this movie, even when I first saw it.

There are some good things like Jim Carrey's acting and costume and message. I've seen worse than this movie. I do like the 2018 version more as well as the book.
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Emoboy69

8 months ago
Score 0
hes supposed 2 look creepy 2 add 2 his mean spirited personality
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Mickey Mouse

8 months ago
Score 0

Ik The Grinch is meant to be mean but the decision of making this film have a dark atmosphere was completely unnecessary. Couldn't have they made it be like an extended version of the 1966 special without any scary feelings that ruin the experience?

Yeah Ik the 2018 version exists, but I still hate this film with a burning passion
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Stephenfisher2001

8 months ago
Score 0
I saw this movie when I was a kid when I saw this at school, thankfully, it didn't scare me at all over Jim's character. :|
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BetterSkatez

6 months ago
Score 2
I still have fond memories watching this film. It truly deserves it's cult status.
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Burger

6 months ago
Score 1
I like both this and the 2018 version.
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Robertoiglesias271

5 months ago
Score 0
Nice :)
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Mickey Mouse

5 months ago
Score -2
This film scares me a lot even though it isn't meant to be an horror film, I remember that I made a picture of Thomas the Tank Engine and Allister from pokemon being insanely angry at the Grinch, and I selected a picture of the Grinch making a very ugly face, I got so scared of the Grinch's facial expression I had to delete the picture cuz seriously, HE'S THAT UGLY, why in the fuck they made this film have a scary tone?
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Blubabluba9990

4 months ago
Score 0
I thought people liked this movie.
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MonicaPixarFan2001

3 months ago
Score 0
I actually love this Grinch movie. I know it has many flaws like being TOO scary, the Who's looking creepy, etc., but it's my favorite adaption along with the Chuck Jones one. I don't think it's that awful, it's probably just too average to go on the Greatest Movies wiki, so maybe that's why it's on this wiki. I respect everyone's opinion.
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Omar mcmillan

3 months ago
Score 0
It a Good Movie
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IloveCorgi8

one month ago
Score 0
yeah
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Funny

2 months ago
Score 0
I like this movie, it's a classic
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Master Chief

2 months ago
Score 0
It scares me that some kids don't even know the 60's cartoon and only know this one.
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Yardman2001

2 months ago
Score 0
Although this movie had its flaws it’s far SUPERIOR to the infamously godawful cat in the hat movie
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SuperJaleo245

2 months ago
Score 0
I Enjoyed This Movie, Despite It's Flaws.
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Robertoiglesias271

one month ago
Score 1
I hate this film. I think Jim Carrey is annoying as hell in this, I hate the other characters, I hate the cheap look, I hate the new and unneeded new elements, I hate the tone, I hate the humor, and I hate how long it is.
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ILoveTheTalkingClock

one month ago
Score 1
how is this a horror film
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Gage123B123

5 days ago
Score 0
I always lived in U.S but each time when I check my guide on December if it was airing or going to air soon it showed the U.K poster I thought that was the U.S

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