Happy Holidays and welcome! We are counting down the days until December 25th and, in that time, I will be reviewing each and every Christmas/holiday film I watch during the month. They’re mostly a selection of films in my own library or films and shows that have been recommended to me.
Please enjoy and leave a comment!
And if you missed any of our past reflections, take a look:
Holiday Inn (1942)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
White Christmas (1954)
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
Our next film is…
WATCHING: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
DIRECTOR: Chuck Jones, long-time animator of WB’s Looney Tunes. It was also co-directed by his long-time assistant director Ben Wisham.
WHAT IS IT?: A wonderful collaboration between Dr. Seuss, Looney Tunes animator Chuck Jones and veteran actor Boris Karloff, who voices The Grinch.
THE PLOT: A mean old being called “The Grinch” lives above Whoville, a place filled with people who celebrate Christmas with all the syrupy, maudlin, sickening joy that cynical, cold-hearted beasts like the Grinch eschew. So sick of it, is he, that he plots to invade Whoville and take away every last bit of Christmas there is to enjoy so they share in his misery…but it just isn’t that simple.
WHAT DID CRITICS THINK?: This is a holiday classic. I believe it’s the only Christmas-themed movie or TV show which enjoys a full 100% aggregate on Rotten Tomatoes.
WHAT DID I THINK?: How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a wonderful special, one that I’ve grown to absolutely love more and more with each passing year.
This lyrical fable features Seuss’s colorful trademark art style (which heavily inspired Tim Burton’s designs for “The Nightmare Before Christmas”), and is far more secular than “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, its lesson is rooted in the theory that people are generally good and that joy isn’t manufactured, but comes from within.
By this time, you could see a pattern emerging in most of these Christmas films…but the beauty of this special is Seuss’s expert dialogue and storytelling along with Boris Karloff’s excellent voicework as both the voice of the Grinch and the special’s narrator. Yes, it’s mean-spirited at times but the lesson makes everything worth it.