Carreying the Show
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Review by Ross Anthony

It's the same old story the Doc published back in 1957, but with some tweaking. The Grinch's grinchiness back-story is told and wha'da'ya'know there's a love interest involved. Also, little Cindy Lou isn't simply the sweet faithful who of yester-century; Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmasthis who's got some Christmas suspicions of her own, "Presents? Isn't that superfluous?" Later she sings, "Did Christmas change or was it just me?" The maturing child perspective makes a nice addition to the collection of Holiday tales.

Bumpy, but fun second and third acts follow a very rough first act. Translating a fictional cartoon into fictional cartoony live-action is a daunting unforgiving task that this first act does not make look effortless. Whoville will take some time to get used to and the silly bustling of whos spills over with silly gags unable to carve a smile on the average adult. But, Jim Carrey's resilient spirit, rubber bones, and love of charades, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmascarries the production like an over-packed sack of toys up the steep slippery slope. Though, two sizes too small, it's his heart that saves the show.

A couple of the more notably riotous elements include the Grinch trying with all his might to scare the unscareable, ultimately adorable Cindy Lou and the Grinch's cave from crawling socks to self-defeating answering machine. Speaking of machines, kudos to the set and prop designers. Kids will love the wacky mechanization.

Speaking of speaking, I swear Carrey's cheers scare up a share of the vocal wares of one Sean Connery imitating Mr. Magoo. Whoever, it works. Interestingly, the press notes are careful to point out that Carrey "with no accompaniment or anything to alter his voice" sang the signature song "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch" from the 1966 animated classic. I must say, Carrey's absolutely splendid vocal work on that musical pieceicon pulls together one of the film's strongest moments.

Incidentally, Theodor S. Geisel (Dr. Seuss), content with the 1966 version, turned down any following offers to bring "The Grinch" into live-action. After his death in 1991, his wife Audrey likewise shook her head at all proposals ... until this one, that is.

  • Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Copyright © 2000. Rated PG.
  • Starring Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Kelly, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski.
  • Narrated by Anthony Hopkins.
  • Directed by Ron Howard.
  • Screenplay by Jeffrey Price & Peter S. Seaman based on the book by Dr. Seuss.
  • Produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard at Universal/Imagine.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:13:37 PDT