Western Animation / Halloween Is Grinch Night


Halloween is Grinch Night is an animated television Halloween Special and a prequel to How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. (It's not too clear whether it's a prequel or sequel, except that it probably occurs before the Grinch's Heel–Face Turn.) It was co-produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises and Dr. Seuss and won the 1977 Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program. It premiered on ABC October 29, 1977.

The story takes place in and around Whoville, a town that The Grinch periodically terrorizes on a night known as "Grinch Night," which commences when a "Sour-Sweet Wind" blows and sets off a variety of animal calls that annoys the Grinch into terrorizing the Whos. As the story opens, the Sour-Sweet Wind is just beginning to blow when Euchariah, a young bespectacled Who (a resident of Whoville) with astigmatism, goes outdoors to use the outhouse (referred to as "the euphemism" in the story), and is swept away by the wind.

On the road he encounters the Grinch, along with the Grinch's dog Max, who is in the process of bringing a large wagon — called the "Paraphernalia Wagon" — down to Whoville. Euchariah decides to keep the Grinch from reaching Whoville by stalling him. On the first two occasions the Grinch contemptuously dismisses him by saying that Euchariah "isn't worth a first-class Grinching," but after Euchariah stalls him a third time, the Grinch decides that he's had enough of the young Who and invites him to take a closer look at the Paraphernalia Wagon. When Euchariah does so, the Grinch opens up the wagon and a cloud of green smoke with Grinch-like eyes emerges and ensnares him.

Inside the wagon Euchariah is confronted by surreal imagery, numerous monsters ("members of the Un-Human Race," according to the background lyrics) and the Grinch's mocking voice. Though he is frightened, Euchariah's courage keeps him on his toes long enough for the Sour-Sweet Wind to die down, thus forcing the Grinch to pack up and retire to his cave; the dog Max, who had been abused and overworked by the Grinch, goes home with Euchariah. Back in Whoville, the residents celebrate Euchariah's courage in preventing the Grinch releasing the Paraphernalia Wagon's full horrors on the town, and up in the mountains the Grinch, who is hauling the wagon home himself, ominously notes that one day soon the Sour-Sweet Wind will blow once more, and it will be Grinch Night all over again.

This show provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Featured in a couple of the songs. Also the Wuzzy Woozoo.
  • Adult Fear: Euchariah getting blown off his feet by the Sour-Sweet Wind. His grandparents call for him when he doesn't return.
  • Badass Bookworm: Euchariah. He can define the term of an astigmatism, and somehow stand up to the Grinch and survive all of the horrors in the paraphernalia wagon.
  • Big, Friendly Dog: Max fits this role in the end; on his hind legs he's as tall as Euchariah, and after freeing himself from the Grinch he runs down the hill after Euchariah and the next shot we see is him happily slurping Euchariah's face.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: The Grinch's lift clear off his face and fly around like giant bats. He's rather proud of them.
    Grinch: It's a wonderful night for eyebrows.
  • Chekhov's Gun: That piece of wood that got knocked off the tree stump where the Grinch crashed was used by Euchariah to slide down the mountain ahead of the Grinch.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Everything that happens after the Grinch opens his trap-door... well... to say none of it makes sense is an understatement.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Grinch is annoyed at the various animal caterwauls — something the Whos have zero control over — so he takes it upon himself to go terrorize them for it. Talk about petty...
    • Of course, the ending of the cartoon suggests that the Grinch's occasional terrorizing of the town is just something he likes to do and that he just uses the noise as an excuse, considering that he's actually disappointed when the Sour-Sweet Wind ends.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Max earning his freedom and going back to Whoville with Euchariah, after the former having been one of the most extreme woobies ever, and the latter having had the euphemism scared out of him.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Un-Human race.
  • Evil Laugh: This is the last thing the Grinch leaves us with.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Parts of the Mind Screw.
  • Gratuitous German: The Grinch shouts out "Achtung!" to Max.
  • Grief Song: Max's sorrowful ballad about how he lost his freedom when he was a puppy.
  • Here We Go Again!: Despite Euchariah's attempts to stop the Grinch, it will happen again when the next Sour-Sweet Wind blows through.
  • Holding the Floor: Even though Euchariah hadn't seen what's inside the Paraphernalia Wagon before, he dares the Grinch to unleash the contents on him, relying on Heroic Safe Mode to ensure he occupies the Grinch while the Sour-Sweet Wind dissipates.
  • Ironic Echo: Euchariah mentions how situations looked much better without his glasses on. The person he's addressing will tell him to put the glasses back on and face the facts. The first time he does it, it's to his grandfather. The second time, Euchariah is speaking this to the Grinch!
  • Last of His Kind: "The Woozoo should at least have immunity! He's the only one left in our community!"
  • Mind Rape: The Grinch does this to Euchariah using his paraphernalia wagon during the movie's climax.
  • Master of Illusion: The Grinch's Paraphernalia Wagon seems to be hypnotizing Euchariah and the audience into thinking he's in a surreal hellish landscape. This possibility is supported by the fact that at the very end of the sequence, he's seen standing on top of the wagon again.
  • Mind Screw: Again, what the Grinch does to Euchariah (and the viewers). Or tries to do, anyway.
  • Minsky Pickup: Prefaces "Grinch Night Ball".
  • Mondegreen: "Grinch is gonna get ya, yes indeedy fa la la, ya!" The sing-along version of the special actually transcribes the "yes indeedy" part as the complete gibberish "nitzen diff a la". In the subtitler's defense, these are Dr. Seuss lyrics we're dealing with here.
    • This is noticeably averted in the German dub, which has simply "blitzi blie fa ha la".
  • Mr. Exposition: Sergeant McPhearson, the local reporter who watches from his mushroom observatory.
  • The Musical: The special has no fewer than seven vocal tunes, some with several measures, and very few instances of repeating. Impressive, given its half-hour running time.
  • Negative Continuity: If this is a sequel to the Christmas one, then the Grinch went back to being evil. If it's a prequel, then Max went back to serving the Grinch.
    • The special "The Grinch Grinches The Cat In The Hat" seems to suggest that the Grinch goes back to being evil on a regular basis.
    • It also shows that that Grinch is a member of an entire species, most of whom are profoundly unpleasant people. So they could be different Grinches, each called "the" Grinch because there are no other Grinches in the area.
  • Nobody Poops: Downplayed. The outhouse is referred to as "the euphemism" but Euchariah's reason for using it is not explicitly given.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: The Whos and animals of Whoville all shack up in safety when the Sour-Sweet Wind starts blowing. A female Who even goes back for her son's doll.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Halloween is never even brought up, nor does any character allude to it outside the title.
    • Which is why re-releases have sometimes renamed it "[It's] Grinch Night"
    • The German dub is titled "An Halloween kommt der Grinch" when it was released in West Germany.
  • Reality Warper: The Grinch has some magic power as he was able to shrink and enlarge himself in his Villain Song.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: It's a Dr. Seuss special, after all.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Wuzzy Woozoo, whom the Grinch torments along the trip down his mountain.
  • Rule of Three: It took Euchariah three attempts to stall the Grinch before he's able to go into the Paraphernalia Wagon.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At the end, when Grinch orders Max to carry the Paraphernalia Wagon back up Mount Crumpet, Max takes the harness off of himself and blows a raspberry at the Grinch, before going home with Euchariah.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: All those ghouls and spirits inside the Paraphernalia Wagon that were going to be unleashed in Whoville.
  • Shout-Out: At one point in the infamous Mind Rape sequence, Euchariah meets the Jibboo from the Dr. Seuss book "Oh, the Things You Can Think".
  • Slasher Smile: The Grinch makes one during the title sequence.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening credits show excerpts from the Paraphernalia Wagon sequence.
  • Surreal Horror: The Paraphernalia Wagon scene. If you need elaboration, see Mind Rape above.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The outhouse is literally called "the euphemism". Toilets were still too taboo to be seen on TV, and "euphemism" really sounds like a made-up Seuss word if you don't know that it's a real word and what it means.
    • It's extra funny if you do know what it means.
  • Villain Song: "Grinch Night Ball".
  • We Will Meet Again:
    The Grinch: "That wind will be coming back someday. I'll be coming back someday."
  • Would Hurt a Child: Admittedly, all the Grinch does is scare Euchariah, but this does count.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Euchariah's delaying of the Wagon. And as he states:
    Euchariah: "Do your worst! Bring out your spooks! Shoot the works! I will not flinch!"