Category Archives: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Grinch to Air on ABC on Christmas

animation

ABC is going all Grinch for Christmas this year. The animated classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas will air on December 25, 2014, at 8 pm ET/PT.

Then the animated show originally aired in 1966 it was shown on CBS.

movie

After the animated movie ABC will show the live action film starring Jim Carrey.

Several dozen Christmas specials are being shown by the networks this year. The last one, in the Christmas clean-up spot, is the Dr. Seuss favorite.

Other Christmas shows being shown on television this year include:

Frosty the Snowman
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
Merry Madagascar
The Story of Santa Claus
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Christmas in Rockefeller Center
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
I Love Lucy Christmas Special
Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
Frosty Returns
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol
Shrek the Halls

New How the Grinch Stole Christmas – November 17, 2017

4 years to draw a movie?

It was just announced that a new movie version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas will be released on November 17, 2017.  Yes, almost four years from now.

The movie will be directed by Pete Candeland based on a script from Michael LeSieur.  The movie studio is Illumination Entertainment, which is partly owned by Universal.

According to a story in Variety, Peter Candeland was chosen as the director by Universal Studios and Illumination Entertainment in part due to his distinct look and work on music videos for The Gorillaz.  However, this will be his first feature direction.  Variety referred to this as a roll of the dice. According to the International Movie Data Base, Candeland has only directed twice:  in 2009 a video short called Harmonix: The Beatles – Rock Band, and in 2002 the video documentary Gorillaz: Phase One – Celebrity Take Down.

Although Pete has more experience as an animator, the resume is still sparse with nothing at all in a dozen years since 2002.  Right now, this, and the four year production time do not bode well.

Michael LeSieur’s resume as a writer is just as sparse.  Two movies to his name: You, Me and Dupree from 2006 and the 2009 film the Maiden Heist.  Neither was an animation, and neither was a hit.

This will be a new animated version.  It will not be a sequel to the original Dr. Seuss animation and is not a remake of the Jim Carrey live action movie.

Fortunately, the movie producers are Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy.  Meledandri has significant movie experience, including animations of other Dr. Seuss material including The Lorax and Horton Hears a Who!   The last couple years Healy has also been active producing a number of projects.  An executive producer is claimed to be Audrey Geisel, the 90- year old widow of Dr. Seuss.  She will be 93 or 94 when the movie is finally released.  Here’s hoping she is still around in the four years it takes to make this.

Dr. Seuss’ animated movie is a yearly holiday favorite.  One of the most enduring and loved films.  That is a tough standard against which to create a new version, especially with essentially rookies in control.  Come Christmas in 2017 we will know if this was a good decision.

 

 

Proposed Jack Nicholson Grinch by Berkeley Breathed

berkeley breathed grinch

Before the live version of the How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey was made, at least one other version of a Grinch movie was proposed.  This would have been an animated / computer graphics CGI version with Jack Nicholson serving as the voice for the Grinch.  Movie concept designs depicting the Grinch were prepared by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed.

In the above concept design the Grinch is seen as a middle-aged, overweight, balding character with strands of green hair.  Dressed in brown with over-sized brown shoes, he is not an appealing character.  He also does not look much like the Grinch in Dr. Seuss’ book.

berkeley breathed grinch

This concept picture more clearly shows the Grinch being drawn to look like Jack Nicholson.  A character being voiced over by an actor is typically not drawn to look like the actor.  But that is what was proposed.

berkeley breathed grinch

Here the Grinch is using an old car for a sleigh.  This other picture depicts the Grinch looking like he came straight out of a Bloom County cartoon.

Berke Breathed became famous for his Bloom County cartoon and characters Bill the Cat and Opus the Penguin.  Bloom County ended its run in 1989, although many of its characters continued in subsequent cartoon series by Breathed such as Outland and Opus.

These concept versions make the Grinch story look more like a Bloom County cartoon than a Dr. Seuss cartoon.  It may have been great in its own.  We will never know.

The Jim Carrey Grinch movie directed by Ron Howard is definitely more faithful to the Grinch as envisioned by Dr. Seuss, and we are glad that is the direction chosen for making a movie.  Jack Nicholson, though, would likely have done a wonderful job voicing over the Grinch in an animated film.  Just so long as the Grinch looks like the Grinch and not Jack.

Jack Nicholson has received more Academy Award nominations than any other male actor in history.  However, these have not been for voicing over animated movies.

According to Box Office Mojo, the Jim Carrey Grinch movie made more money than any of Nicholson’s films in actual dollars.  Adjusted for inflation, two of Jack’s movies were bigger hits: Batman and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

The message printed below the sleigh picture of the Grinch and Max on Mount Crumpit states:

Whoville, HERE I COME BABY!
“The Grinch” movie concept art, 1997

In the mid-nineties we made a bid for The Grinch movie rights.
I saw the film as being a CG animated romp with Jack Nicholson in the
lead role and created the art here to demonstrate.

Dr. Seuss’s widow Audrey Geisel enjoyed our vision.  She enjoyed the vision
of Ron Howard and Universal’s option money somewhat more, alas.
The rest is Jim Carrey live-action movie history.

Nobody but Audrey has ever seen these.
Enjoy and muse along with me what might have been.  – bb

 

Fortunately, Berke decided to release this information.  Otherwise, we would not have known about the proposed Jack Nicholson version of the Grinch.

 

 

 

The Retroist Podcast of How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Retroist has made an interesting and informative podcast about Dr. Seuss and How the Grinch Stole Christmas was made.  The Retroist relates how his love for the story began with his family and the watching of the Grinch animated movie each year.  He now has four copies of the show on disc.

The Retroist is a blog at http://retroist.com discussing nostalgic events which many of us relate to and bond with.

After a musical introduction the podcast quickly dives into a blizzard of detailed facts about the making of the television special and who was involved.

Vic Sage, one of the site’s editors, then provides a detailed review of Thurl Ravenscroft as part of his “Why Should I Know This Person” series.  Ravenscroft sung the “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” in the show, but was mistakenly left off the original credits.  That led to Dr. Seuss taking out a full page advertisement to give Thurl the credit he was due.

The podcast then explores more facts about the animated movie, including its $315,000 budget and the subsequent shows it spawned.

One statement from the podcast says it all: “The world is hungry for the Grinch.”

Yes, it is.  As the Retroist notes, the live action Grinch movie became the second biggest selling holiday film of all time.

The podcast runs slightly more than eighteen minutes.

To listen to the podcast you can click on our mirror of the .mp3 file here:

http://grinchmania.com/files/retroist152.mp3

You should then get an option to listen to the podcast using the media software on your computer device.

For more Retroist information about the Grinch, including an option to subscribe to more podcasts, visit the Retroist here.

 

Kevin MIzner Dissects the Drawing of the Grinch Cartoon

kevin mizner

Kevin Mizner is a painter in Maine, and he is a fascinating, if too short analysis of how the How the Grinch Stole Christmas was drawn and painted.

http://kmizner.blogspot.com/2013/12/how-grinch-designed-christmas.html

Chuck Jones, the famous Loony Tunes artist, was the director for the scenes in the classic animated Grinch movie.  In his blog post Kevin Mizner dissects some of the techniques used.  If you are a professional painter what he discusses may be very basic and not news at all.  For the rest of us, it is a fascinating look at some of the techniques painters use to draw our attention and create memorable pieces.

Maybe this is why some painters are famous, and the rest of us think painting is easy but our works come out as obviously inferior.

In the picture above with Max in front of the window, Mizner explains that Chuck Jones is using a division by three to separate and size the different objects in the scene.

The largest object is the house.  The second largest object, the snow, is one third the size of the house.  The third largest object, the sky, is one third the size of the snow.

Proportional drawing of sizes.  There is one tip.

Another tip Kevin discusses is the use of value patterns and value schemes.  This is where Chuck Jones laid out a few primary colors to use in a scene, which might involve light on dark with one tone variation of each. 

kevin mizner

Here, if we are understanding Mizner correctly, there are two obvious color tones: the yellows of the back wall and the reds for the fireplace.  The dark green tree carefully breaks them up to provide not only contrast, but a scene appealing to the eye.

One of the joys of the Grinch is of course the story.  But the carefully thought out animation has likely helped make the animated movie one of our enduring favorites.  The professional techniques used are of course out in the open for anyone to see, but the beauty may be not realizing what is being done to capture our attention and make an engaging visual story.

Grinch Comes to River City Dance Studio and Hamilton High School

On December 6th and 7th a unique version of the Grinch will performed by the River City Dance Studio.  The events will take place at the Performing Arts Center at Hamilton High School in Hamilton Montana.

Although the How the Grinch Stole Christmas story line is being used, the studio has chosen its own accompanying music.  This will give the story line its own unique interpretation.

This is not a play but a dance.  From the dance studio, Pam Erickson described the performance as involving a modern interpretation of ballet, with folk influences.  The costumes will be simple and the dance should last not more than an hour.  The length is family friendly for those with youngsters.

The youngest dancer will be four years old.  The oldest is eighteen.

The dance performances will be a 7 pm, and on Saturday there will be a 3 pm matinee.

The cost of tickets is ten dollars for adults and six dollars for Hamilton High School students.

Hamilton High School is located at 327 Fairgrounds Road

 

The Grinch is the Most Popular Christmas Show

The classic animated movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas has been voted the most popular Christmas show today!

The What To Do With Kids website ran a poll of what holiday movie is the family favorite.  Of all the Christmas movies made over the years, which does the family prefer to site down and watch together?

The Grinch was voted #1.  The Grinch classic was also voted #1 the last time this poll was done in 2011.

The 2000 live action movie by Ron Howard and starring Jim Carrey came in #7 on the list.  You could call it a Grinch domination of the favorite holiday movie list.

Due to uncertain showing times on television and busy schedules that may prevent everyone from watching the movie when it is aired, the poll noted that many parents buy the movie on DVD so they can be sure their family can watch it each year when they want.

Securing this classic for your family can be found on the Grinch DVD Page

DVDs can also be played on gaming platforms like the PlayStation and XBox.  This is convenient for many cable subscribers whose ability to digitally save movies is very limited by the storage size of their cable box.  Without a DVD copy they may miss out of being able to see wonderful classics like the Grinch Christmas special each year.

 

Grinch to Air on ABC November 29, 2013

ABC television has announced that it will air the perennial favorite How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Friday, November 29, 2013.

The show will be be televised between 8 and 8:30 pm Eastern time.

ABC announces the Grinch will also be broadcast in HD and Spanish. Foreign language we understand. How to do a cartoon in high definition, we are not so sure about how that happens. Perhaps the Grinch will look extra colorful and Grinchy.

Not surprisingly, ABC says the show has a G rating so everyone can watch.

Martina McBride’s Christmas Grinch Show

In 2012 Martina McBride’s Joy of Christmas tour sold out and she is doing it again in 2013.  One of the special features of the tour is that at each city a special guest reads Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas while Martina performs “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch.”

It is  a lot of fun and should sell out again this year.  Martina says she has been looking forward to the tour all year -  and so have her fans.  The show is something the entire family will enjoy.

Here are the 2013 dates for the Joy of Christmas Tour:

11/29 — Huntington, WV, Big Sandy Superstore Arena
11/30 — Louisville, KY, The Louisville Palace
12/4 — Nashville, TN, Ryman Auditorium
12/6 — Minneapolis, MN, State Theatre
12/7 — La Crosse, WI, La Crosse Center
12/8 — Sioux City, IA, Orpheum Theatre
12/11 — Knoxville, TN, Tennessee Theatre
12/12 — Muncie, IN, Emens Auditorium
12/13 — St. Louis, MO, Fox Theatre
12/19 — Green Bay, WI, Resch Center
12/20 — Bloomington, IL, US Cellular Coliseum
12/21 — Rosemont, IL, Rosemont Theatre

As you can see, not much traveling for McBride, and that means if you are on either coast you will never to travel to the center of the country to see this exceptional show.

Here is a video of Martina McBride reading the Grinch story:

Martina is a country singer from Kansas whose songs are also sometimes picked up on contemporary pop radio.  She is one of the most popular singers in history and has sold more than fifteen million albums.  No female singer has been named female vocalist of the year more times than Martina.

She has done a Joy of Christmas performance tour five previous times (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012)