TV: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

grinch_5director: Chuck Jones & Ben Washam
language: English
length: 26 minutes
watched on: 31 December 2013

We don’t get shown this regularly on British television, so my friend was quite surprised when I said I’d never watched it. I’ve actually seen the Jim Carrey version, probably when it came out, so I’m passingly familiar with the storyline, but similarly, I don’t think I’ve read a Dr Seuss book. Or maybe I have. I think they only take about ten minutes back to back, so it’s quite possible that I read one and forgot about it.

In this story the Grinch hates Christmas and wants to destroy it, so he takes away all the Christmas decorations in the nearby town of Whoville, but when he sees the Whos coming together in winter spirit anyway, he has a change of heart and returns all the presents to them. It’s very much a “true meaning of Christmas” story, if it didn’t indeed start that genre itself.

I think it’s a shame that I’ve been introduced to this so late, at the age of 26, because it would have been the perfect thing to watch when I was a child. Now I find the whole “true meaning of Christmas” genre a bit silly, to be honest, and the rhyming verse is fun but a bit grating. At least it’s short, in that respect.

The special does have a slapstick sensibility about it that I enjoyed, though, and it’s certainly got a distinctive style to it. I don’t think I’d watch it again, at least not outside the Christmas season, but having not grown up with it, even if it’s enjoyable it doesn’t hold the same magic for me.


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