Movie Quote of the Week – 12/8/17

Answer to MWL 12/6/17: The Narrator (Boris Karloff (voice)) – How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Narrator: But this, this sound wasn’t sad. Why, this sound sounded glad! Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, was singing, without any presents at all. He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming, it came. Somehow or other, it came just the same. And the Grinch with his Grinch feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling.
The Grinch: How could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. it came without packages, boxes or bags!
Narrator: He puzzled and puzzed ’til his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. ‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.‘ What happened then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day.

Thanks for everyone’s submissions and a roast beast to the following people for answering correctly:

Kim (Tranquil Dreams)
Tom (Plain, Simple Tom Reviews)
Rob (Movierob)

Christmas in July Blogathon 2015: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Well here we are! The Christmas in July Blogathon has arrived.  To kick us off, Steve from Movie Movie Blog Blog reviews the 1966 TV special How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  This is one that I usually watch at least once every holiday season, as I’m sure rings true for many people.  Now, onto you Steve!

grinchBy any standard — and certainly compared to Jim Carrey’s torturous 2000 movie remake — the 1966 TV-special version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” still holds up beautifully. I know adults who can recite entire scenes by heart. Veteran cartoon director Chuck Jones knew he had tapped into something special. In an interview I had with him a few years ago (sorry, I have to toot my own horn here–see the interview at my blog), he told how he understood the importance of audience identification. “Everyone hates Christmas a little,” he said. “To find a character who ‘hates Christmas a lot’ is a real find!”

And he was right. As the children who saw this special as a kid (yours truly included) grow older, they are assaulted by the same commercialization that Charlie Brown complained about in his own Christmas special. Thus, it unfortunately becomes very easy to identify with this Grinch who plots to steal Christmas from an entire town and dump it off a nearby mountain 50,000 feet high.

maxPerhaps it’s this very grim take on a beloved holiday that saves this special from the sugariness that sapped the life from future Dr. Seuss specials. Even though The Grinch’s dog Max (a continuing victim in Grinch’s plotting) and Cindy-Lou Who (to whom The Grinch, dressed as Santa Claus, blatantly lies) tread the border of treacliness, we never forget that that nasty old Grinch is the main character in this story.

cindy-louMuch of this is helped along by superb voice characterizations. Boris Karloff gives the perfect bite to The Grinch’s voice, and he also narrates the story wonderfully. And Thurl Ravenscroft, best known as the voice of Tony the Tiger in Kellogg’s TV commercials, immortalized the song “You’re a Mean One, Mister Grinch” for a generation of cartoon-lovers. (If you ever get a chance, listen to the Whirling Dervishes’ alternative take on this gem.)

Many of the Christmas specials we loved as kids, sadly, don’t hold up so well for us in later years. (This is probably a minority opinion, but for me, the Rankin/Bass version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” sounds like it was recorded in a lavatory.) The Grinch, perhaps because he started out so old to start with, never seems dated.

Thanks, Steve! And with that, we are officially underway! Next up is Tim with an interesting and unique entry. Check back for that later today.

Movie Quote of the Week – 12/19/14

Answer to MWL 12/17/14: The Grinch (Jim Carrey) – How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The nerve of those Whos. Inviting me down there, on such short notice! Even if I wanted to go, my schedule wouldn’t allow it. 1:00, wallow in self pity. 4:30, stare into the abyss. 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one. 5:30, jazzercise. 6:30, dinner with me. I can’t cancel that again. 7:00, wrestle with myself-loathing. I’m booked! Of course if I bumped the loathing to 9, I can still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. -The Grinch

The following people answered correctly: