How The Grinch Stole Christmas
I remember back in 2000 when this was first coming out being rather excited about it. I mean, a live-action Grinch film that featured Jim Carrey in the title role sounded, and looked really promising.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the story, essentially the Grinch (Jim Carrey) is this green monster who lives up in a mountain. For his own reasons, he hates Christmas with the flaming passion of a thousand suns.
One Christmas Eve, the Grinch travels down to the village of Whoville to steal everything Christmas-related from each and every home. The basic idea, when it comes right down to it, is that when they wake up on Christmas Day, Christmas will be ruined and they'll shut up and stop bothering him with their constant noise. But as cruel as it all sounds, the whole thing ends up being a very deep and heartfelt lesson about Christmas and what it's all about.
The original version of the story, narrated by Boris Karloff, was always a great Christmas classic for most to watch around the holidays, and quite franly, it still is. It does everything the live-action film does, does it better, quicker, and more effeciently, ultimately delivering the exact same message.
The main difference in the two is that one is a made-for-TV half-hour cartoon special, and one is an hour-and-a-half-long movie. So in the end, it all depends on what you're after. The movie has a bit more back story to it, but it's mostly unnecessary. They delve into what triggered his hatred for Christmas, but in the TV special, the lack of that was kinda what made things so good. Your imagination could make any old reason up. I remember just thinking he was an asshole who came to his senses one Christmas morning when he realized what Christmas was all about. However, in the film, the whole thing is based on a love interest and being bullied. But I always thought the Grinch should be the bully. Not the guy who was picked on. Maybe he just hated Christmas because he was a crotchety old grouch. He didn't need a whole big back story reason for it all.
That said, a LOT of people still enjoy this movie, and watch it every year. I'd be lying if I said there weren't aspects of it I actually really like. Jim Carrey does play the role really well... sometimes... His naturally cartoonish antics just make it all spring to life, the voice is good, and the facial expressions he uses are spot on. On the other hand, there are times he gets pretty irritating. He ends up being like the kind of guy you'd become friends with, but then immediately regret it.
To the film's credit, when it came out, it was a solid Christmas movie. It brought a lot of the magic across in a lot of different ways. A Christmas movie gets pretty powerful when it's based in a fantasy world. The special effects used were relatively new to us at the time too, so the whole thing looked pretty awesome. Hell, I even remember getting goosebumps when you saw the Grinch smile in the trailer.
But now, the effects of movies like 'Avatar' or the new 'Star Wars' films, or even the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy have knocked these special effects on their proverbial ass. This was actually my first time watching it through in well over a decade, and sadly, it wasn't quite as good as I remembered.
Anyway, it's still a perfectly passable film despite it's flaws. It's still a movie people watch every year, and enjoy, and that's perfectly fine. Whatever gets you into the Christmas spirit. But I'd be lying to the general public if I'd recommend the movie over the TV special. It's the same story in about 22 minutes, it's cute, it's funny, it gets the exact same message across, and it still runs strong today. The movie's decent, but the special is better overall.
Leave a Reply.