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Trivia / How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

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The book:

  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: It's How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, NOT The Grinch That Stole Christmas. The 2000 movie actually uses this as a Mythology Gag.
    The Grinch: I did it! I'm the Grinch that stole Christmas! And I'm sorry.
  • Write What You Know: The Grinch is said to have been Dr. Seuss's most autobiographical character. In addition to being something of a recluse himself, Seuss's home and studio were on a hill overlooking La Jolla, California, and every Christmas, he'd scoff at the chintzy lights and decorations adorning all of the houses below. He was 53 years old when he wrote the book, hence The Grinch's line about putting up with Christmas "for 53 years."

The animated special:

  • Acting for Two: Boris Karloff did the narration and the Grinch's voice.
  • Adored by the Network: TBS loves airing this special on the week of Thanksgiving. From the mid-90's up until 2009, it would be aired in a block with other Dr. Seuss specials such as The Cat in the Hat and Daisy-Head Mayzie, and sometimes The Wizard of Oz.
  • Channel Hop:
    • Originally run on CBS for over 30 years, ABC got the special during the Turn of the Millennium and would often run it in double-features with the 2000 film. In 2015 the rights went to NBC, making it possibly the first Christmas special to have been on all of the original Big Three networks at some point or other. It has also aired on both The WB and The CW, and on cable it has aired on Cartoon Network, Boomerang, WGN America, TNT, and TBS.
    • Distribution-wise, the special originally belonged to MGM Television, but was a part of the library Ted Turner purchased along with MGM in 1986 (having only kept MGM itself for 74 days, but kept the library afterwards). As a result, it fell under Turner's in-house distribution firm until 1996, when the Turner-Time Warner merger occurred and Turner Entertainment was absorbed into Warner Bros., who have since held the rights; since 1986, TBS, TNT and later Cartoon Network have broadcast the special on cable.
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  • Disowned Adaptation: Dr. Seuss himself did not like the end result of the cartoon much, citing it as having too much of Chuck Jones' own art style. He much preferred the later Grinch (and other Seuss-inspired) specials that were created by Friz Freleng.
  • Edited for Syndication:
    • For many years US network broadcasts deleted one of the "You're a Mean One" verses ("You're a rotter, Mr. Grinch...") as well as a genuinely disturbing moment in which the Grinch does his Slasher Smile while leering at several young Whos in their bed. Later ABC broadcasts, and 2015 and 2017-onward NBC airings, cut the special down to the bare minimum to make room for more ads, keeping the important story parts, deleting many of the visual gags, as well as a shot of the Grinch cracking his whip while Max pulls the sleigh up Mt. Crumpet. Averted with broadcasts on the Turner networks such as TBS and Cartoon Network, which show the special uncut, probably due to being cable networks that can make revenue off cable subscriptions in addition to ads (plus owning the special helps); in return, though, TBS speeds up the special slightly to squeeze more commercials in. NBC also restored The Grinch to its original runtime in 2016, in honor of its 50th anniversary, but then started editing it in 2019 (cutting some verses from "You're a Mean One") to make room for showing How to Train Your Dragon: Homecoming uncut.
    • Advertisement:
    • The original 1966 broadcast of the special was sponsored by The Foundation for Full Service Banks and contained sponsor plugs at the beginning and end of the special. However, just like the Coca Cola plugs from A Charlie Brown Christmas, they were removed after the first airing (due to the special’s message contradicting the sponsors services) and are notoriously difficult to find nowadays.
  • Self-Adaptation: Dr. Seuss himself wrote the lyrics for the songs.
  • Uncredited Role: Allegedly for no better reason than the people doing the credits simply forgot to add his name, Thurl Ravenscroft never received screen credit for singing "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch." Dr. Seuss himself caught this after the special aired and personally wrote to every major news publication he could asking them to mention Ravenscroft to make up for the mistake.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • According to Chuck Jones' daughter Linda, the original idea was to have Boris Karloff narrate, voice the Grinch, and perform the song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch", that is until Karloff informed Jones he couldn't actually sing, thus paving the way for Thurl Ravenscroft. Stage productions, and the live-action film would keep the idea of the Grinch's actor singing it though.
    • More a case of "What Could Have Not Been": Seuss originally had his mind set on avoiding Hollywood like the plague after his own troubled history with it (the Executive Meddling on The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T, only getting $50 for the rights to Horton Hatches the Egg for the Looney Tunes adaptation). Had his friend Chuck Jones not continued to twist his arm, the cartoon would likely never have been made.

The 2000 movie:

  • Adored by the Network: And how. Freeform (as ABC Family) loved playing this movie during the 25 Days of Christmas event. For 2016, the cable rights were reclaimed by HBO, but their Grinch obsession came back when they got the rights back the following year.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit: "Where Are You, Christmas?" by Faith Hill was a crossover hit from the soundtrack.
  • Cast the Expert
    • Many of the Whos seen performing over-the-top, gravity-defying business in the background of the Whoville scenes are played by Cirque du Soleil performers.
    • Reto-vaudeville performer and Clown Hall Of Fame inductee Bill Irwin plays the visibly clown-like Lou Who.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor:
    • In the Japanese dub, the narrator is voiced by film and television actor Masanobu Takashima.
    • The Latin American Spanish dub features TV presenter and actor Juan Ramón Huerta as the narrator.
  • Creator Backlash: Jim Carrey was not happy about the studio interference forcing raunchier jokes into the film, especially since he'd gone out of his way to ensure that all of his ad libs would be family-friendly, and admitted that he should have fought harder to prevent it.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • The 8-year-old Grinch, who was played by Josh Ryan Evans (born in 1982).
    • In the Latin American Spanish dub, the eight-year-old Grinch was dubbed by the 21-year-old Luis Daniel Ramírez.
  • Descended Creator: Ron Howard plays a townsperson in Whoville.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Jim Carrey found the mask to be horrifyingly claustrophobic and the yak hair used in the suit was constantly itching his skin. The contact lenses used to make his eyes yellow-and-red were apparently even worse, resulting in some shots which were simply digitally altered in post. It got to the point where an interrogation expert who specialized in training special forces to endure torture had to be brought in to help Carrey cope. The expert's suggestion was for Carrey to distract himself from the discomfort was to smoke constantly, to eat everything in sight, and occasionally punch himself in the thigh to give him something else to focus on, which Carrey did throughout production. Carrey also said that during the makeup process he would concentrate on spinning a smooth stone in his wrong hand.
  • Executive Meddling: According to Ron Howard, the studio heavily edited most of the raunchier ad libs out, then forced a few more of their own in.
  • Fake American: The Canadian-born Jim Carrey affects an American accent as the Grinch.
  • Fake Irish: The Irish officer Wholihan is played by the American Jim Meskimen.
  • In Memoriam: At the end of the film, there is a dedication to Ron Howard's mother Jean Speegle Howard ("...who loved Christmas the most."), who died three months before the film's release from heart and respiratory illness.
  • Name's the Same: Cindy Lou's two older brothers are named Drew and Stu, and their father's name is Lou.
  • Non-Singing Voice: In the Latin American Spanish dub, Mario Castañeda provides the speaking voice for the Grinch, while Rubén Cerda does his singing.
  • The Other Marty: Musically, Faith Hill is this to Mariah Carey, who also co-wrote "Where Are You, Christmas?" James Horner and Will Jennings. Mariah did record it for the movie but due to Executive Meddling from Sony and interference from her ex-husband Tommy Mottola (chairman and CEO of Sony Music at the time), which she and he were in an ongoing legal battle after they divorced, her version has never been released.
  • Production Posse:
    • A good amount of people from previous Ron Howard films return, including regular composer James Horner and producer Brian Grazer.
    • Additional orchestrators Steve Bernstein, Richard Stone and Julie Bernstein previously worked together as composers on Freakazoid!, Pinky and the Brain and Animaniacs.
  • Real-Life Relative: Ron Howard's brother, Clint Howard, portrayed Whobris, and his daughter, Bryce Dallas, plays one of the surprised Whos.
    • Taylor Momsen's sister Sloane plays a uncredited role as a "Little Girl Dreaming of Sugarplums".
  • Saved from Development Hell: Dr. Seuss had been approached about a live-action version of The Grinch several times in his twilight years, always turning it down because he didn't want a repeat of The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T. His widow Audrey Geisel, who founded Dr. Seuss Enterprises shortly after his death, only relented when she saw a stage production at The Old Globe Theater in San Diego in the mid-90s.
  • Throw It In!:
    • One afternoon during shooting, Jim Carrey stole Ron Howard's hat and started riffing and impression of him. Howard was so amused that he added the scene of the Grinch "directing" Max on how to be a reindeer, all of which was ad-libbed.
    • The Grinch reading his schedule out loud was similarly improvised.
    • In the script, the Tablecloth Yank was supposed to fail. Carrey actually pulled it off, so he improvised the new punchline where he just knocks all the stuff off the table anyway.
  • Uncredited Role: Ron Howard appears as a townsperson in Whoville and Richard Steven Horvitz is the automated voice on the Grinch's answering machine, but both actors are uncredited.
  • Underage Casting: The older Grinch is played by then 37-year-old Jim Carrey despite the character being over 50 years old. Mario Castañeda was also the same age as Carrey when the former dubbed the Grinch in the Latin American Spanish dub.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams (he was John Hughes' choice when he was involved to direct the project), Tim Curry, and Tom Hanks were considered for the part of the Grinch before the casting of Jim Carrey.
    • Tim Burton was offered a chance to direct the Live-Action Adaptation, but could not due to a conflict with another project (presumed to be what would become, many years later and without his involvement, Goosebumps) he was working on at the time.
    • The Grinch was originally going to have white fur like in the book, but Ron Howard also wanted it to be an adaptation of the 1966 cartoon.
    • A lot more CGI post-production work was planned, including a completely "digital backlot" where actors would perform entirely in front of green screens. Max was originally conceived as an all CGI character.


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