Western Animation: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch!
You're as cuddly as a cactus!
You're as charming as an eel!
An animated Christmas Special
based upon the book of the same name
. It was directed by Chuck Jones
, with Boris Karloff
providing the voice of both the eponymous grinch and the narrator. The special follows the plot of the original book closely. It was originally broadcast on CBS
on December 18, 1966, and since then has been regarded as one of the classic TV Christmas specials.
Followed by Halloween Is Grinch Night
Includes examples of:
- Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: The Grinch turns his head around when the Narrator says it "wasn't screwed on just right".
- Adaptation Expansion: The special follows the book quite closely, but because it's a cartoon, a lot of cartoonish antics are thrown in that weren't present in the original book, such as the wacky sled ride down the mountain that has definite shades of a "Wile E. Coyote Acme invention gone wrong", as well as the scene where the Grinch "gains the strength of ten Grinches plus two."
- Ascended Extra: Max.
- Aside Glance: Due to Chuck Jones being the director, Mr. Grinch does this several times. Though it could also be explained away by saying the Grinch is a tad insane. Max the dog also does it a few times.
- Baby Talk: At one point in the song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch", the singer calls the Grinch "a nasty-wasty skunk".
- Bad Santa: The Grinch disguises himself as this.
- Canis Latinicus: The Whos' "Welcome Christmas" song, with its Latinish-sounding lyrics.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: The Grinch's face breaks into one of these when he first hits on his scheme to impersonate Santa, that it approaches a full-on Slasher Smile.
- The Chew Toy: Something hilariously terrible is always happening to poor Max.
- Christmas Carolers: The one thing the Grinch hates most of all is when all the Whos down in Whoville gather together, and start caroling around the Christmas tree.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The Grinch's only motivation for ruining the holiday is being disturbed by the noises of the Christmas celebration.
- Excited Show Title!: Like the book, the title is How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, with the exclamation point.
- Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Although the Grinch was depicted with the evil eyes a few more times after his Heel-Face Turn. Colorists can be blamed for that mistake.
- Grim Up North: The Grinch lives "just north of Whoville", and his lair is pretty icy (although that may just be because it's winter and most of the way up the 10,000 foot tall Mt. Crumpit.)
- The Grinch: Guess who.
- Heel-Face Turn: The Grinch has a you-really-are-a-heel-face turn at the end.
- Informed Ability/Informed Attribute: The narrator's claim that the Grinch was "so smart and so slick, that he thought up a lie and thought it up quick" (implying that he was a Consummate Liar) rings hollow in the animated special where the Grinch was pretty clearly panicking at his being potentially busted by Cindy-lou Who for trying to steal the tree (biting his fingers while sweating and apparently having his teeth chatter).
- But it only took him a few seconds to come up with the lie, and he presented it with such conviction and smoothness once he had it. (Of course, he's talking to a two-year-old.)
- Logo Joke: The special was produced by MGM Television, and the studio's Vanity Plate is spoofed with The Cat in the Hat standing in for Leo the Lion.
- Matryoshka Object: One waiter serves another waiter, and so on, until Cindy Lou Who gets a strawberry.
- Narrator: Boris Karloff, of course.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Max the Dog.
- Notable Original Music: "Welcome Christmas", "Trim Up the Tree", and (of course) "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch".
- Over-the-top Christmas Decorations: The Whos at the beginning of the movie had a song about extravagant Christmas display:
"Trim every blessÚd needle on the blessÚd Christmas tree."
"Christmas come tomorrow. Trim you, trim me!"
- Paper-Thin Disguise: This ugly cave creature puts on a red coat and Santa hat. Boom! He automatically looks "just like Saint Nick." The only person who actually sees him is a two-year-old girl.
- Plummet Perspective: An ornament falls off the steep cliff.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Grinch himself. After his Heel-Face Turn his eyes turn blue.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Max◊, especially when next to the Grinch.
- Saving Christmas: Inverted; in fact, the inversion of this trope is essentially the whole premise of the story. However, it's then played straight when the Grinch ends up Saving Christmas at the end.
- Slasher Smile: When the Grinch had a wonderful, awful idea.
- Shrunken Organ: The Grinch's heart.
- Sophisticated as Hell: The Villain song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" is the epitome of this trope, especially with the line, "Your soul is an appalling dump heap, overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable, all mangled up in tangled-up knots".
- Up to Eleven: Inverted in the beginning as the Grinch's heart is two sizes smaller than what a normal one should be. Played straight by the end, as it's not only grown to a normal size, but one size farther!
- Villain Protagonist: The Grinch, up until the end.
- The Villain Sucks Song: "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch".
- You Monster!!: One verse of You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch begins, "You're a monster, Mr. Grinch".