Some things are so surreal you need to see it to believe it:
For twelve years Chief Lou Caputo from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Bureau has been dressing as the Grinch. When he catches someone going up to five miles an hour faster than the speed limit in the school zone in front of the Marathon, Florida Stanley Switlik elementary school, he offers them a choice of receiving an onion or a ticket.
Apparently, only nine out of ten drivers choose the onion instead of a ticket. We have no idea what the one out of ten drivers is thinking when deciding to be ticketed.
Maybe it is because of the stench. Caputo doesn’t hand out fresh onions to be used for dinner. Instead, he pokes holes in the onions and lets them sit for a month. By the time he hands them out they are very stinky. Want you car to smell like onions?
When someone is caught speeding a uniformed police officer pulls over the driver. After running a quick check on the car, Caputo then emerges as the Grinch to surprise the driver and offer them the onion deal.
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.
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.
The Grinch has been caught and he is being held in Palestine, Texas. He can be seen in the Old Anderson County Jail at 704 Avenue A. Visiting hours are every weekend through the end of December.
This is the new lair for the Grinch, and will be his home for weeks instead of the cave on Mount Crumpit. But to make the Grinch feel at home, the entire jail has been transformed into Whoville.
Visiting hours for the Grinch’s Lair are Friday (six to ten pm), Saturday (ten am to nine pm), and Sunday (one pm to nine pm).
The cost of admission is only five dollars. Personal photos inside the jail err lair are allowed. Professional photos with the Grinch and Max are only $2 and hot chocolate to keep you warm is a dollar. Great family fun!
The Anderson County Jail is was built in 1931. Although common for the time, but rare for a jail, the building is designed in Art Deco style. The jail as you see it today is pretty much how it looked when it was built, minus the prisoners of course The jail is listed as one of the nation’s historical places, building #98000692.
We have added a dedicated page for Department 56 Grinch products at Grinch Mania. There are more than enough products, and they are popular enough, to warrant their own page.
Shown above is Cindy Lou’s house. This wonderful piece is typical of the high quality collectibles produced by Department 56. For many years the Seuss foundation as entrusted Dept. 56 with making a steady stream of high quality items you will be proud to showcase in your room.
The Cindy Lou house, for example, is true to the book and the Who’s penchant for round, slanty buildings – the opposite of the square and straight buildings we often see. The colors are vibrant and there is so much detail you can enjoy this piece for a long time and still find an interesting little detail you may not have previously noticed. It shows Cindy Lou, Grinch, and Max.
Department 56 is located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and is known for making fine collectibles. The company got its start as a “department” (you can guess the number of the department, in Bachman’s florist shop in Minneapolis. Obviously, it has well outgrown those humble beginnings and now sells products worldwide.
Meet Grinch collector David Howes from near Buffalo, New York. Do you see that huge red contraption behind him, the one that is not his barn? That is one of two sleighs from the 2000 Grinch movie starring Jim Carrey. David has this wonderful, and eighteen foot high movie prop because he is a super Grinch collector. He likes getting stuff like this.
His collection is so impressive he has been interviewed each of the last two years by his local newspaper. Interviewing David each year may become as regular as watching the Grinch himself.
David was born in 1962 and lives in East Aurora, which is a town of 6000 Southwest from Buffalo, New York, and considered to be within the Buffalo metro area. When not working in the maintenance department for the Orchard Park School District, David is busy collecting Grinch items. He has over 150 items to date. An impressive number! Fortunately, not all are as large as the Grinch’s sleigh.
Or, perhaps more accurately, when not engaged in his profession of collecting Grinch movie props, David moonlights for the School District. How many people do you know who list their profession as Grinch movie prop collector? Check out David Howe’s LinkedIn profile:
He first started collecting Grinch items in 2003 after the Grinch movie had played in theatres and movie collectibles began to become available. His first purchase was a green ornament. His most prized collectible is a pink pumbersilla, which is a combination umbrella and parasol. In Whoville, instead of stork delivering babies, pumbersilla’s float down deliving baby Whos to their new families. He also owns a brown robe worn by Jim Carrey in the movie, and the giant chair for Whoville Mayor Augustus Mayhoo. Other prizes in his movie prop collection include the hat worn by the timekeeper who kept telling people how long it is until Christmas, and a huge mug used for “Who Nog.”
In over a decade Howes has probably spent $15,000 acquiring Grinch collectibles.
A bit of trivia from Howes – the roast beast being carved at the end of the Grinch movie is not roast beef. It is an eight-legged turkey. He also notes that the Whos have six toes and 1938 candy canes were used in the movie. David was watched the Jim Carrey movie over a hundred times, includes DVD extras, so he could absorb every little detail and fact about the Whos.
During the holidays his massive collective has been displayed for others to enjoy at the Aurora Theater. The Aurora Theater is located at 673 Main Street in East Aurora.
Kathy Barbro runs this site. She has posted a step by step process (there are nine steps) for drawing the Grinch face. She includes a pdf file that can be downloaded so kids can do this from home.
Kathry Barbro is a grade school teacher in Sherman Oaks, California, which is in Southern California. Before becoming a teacher she obtained an art degree at the Minneapolis College of Arts and Design and had spent two decades working in graphic design.
Her art projects, such as drawing the Grinch, are designed so they can be quickly and easily used in the classroom, while at the same time keeping young kids interested in what they doing. When if comes to the Grinch that should not be much of a problem.
The directions cover step by step how to make the Grinch mask, from getting the design, to cutting it out, doing the art work, and then making the Santa Hat.
The starting point is the outline of the mask, and Sheena, owner of the blog has fortunately provided a template to download, print, and then cut out of a piece of paper. This is very convenient as now you do not have to go searching for your own picture. You certainly can, and you may find another picture your prefer. Remember, the outline is most important for making this type of project. Sometimes it can be difficult to see a picture and visualize just the outline which you will be filling in to make your mask. Having someone already do this for you is a huge time saver.
One you see how simple this project is you can use to make many masks, of the Grinch and other fun characters for your kids.
The instructions do come with a list of supplies. These are items you may already have around the house. If not, they are inexpensive and should not be hard to find at the local store.
Once you have found a picture to trace, creating the mask from start to finish should take less an hour. It is a project little ones will have the patience to create.
A wonderful Grinch Lenox page has been added to the products directory. You will not want to miss it. In this figurine the Grinch is triumphantly returning back to Whoville after having a change of heart. Max is having a good time on the back of the sleigh. Wonderfully detailed with 24 karat gold accents, this is one of many delightful pieces Lenox has made featuring the Grinch.
Lenox is headquartered in Bristol, Pennsylvania, but now manufactures in North Carolina, and has been in business more than 120 years. The company makes fine china products, including the Grinch figurines, and has made the dinnerware for several Presidents.
Miramar California, the scene for fast planes, jets, and helicopters, and infamously the location of the classic Tom Cruise Movie Top Gun, was recently visited by the Grinch. The occasion was the lighting of the Christmas tree at the Marine Corps station.
Many marines volunteered to make the event a success. According to the big smiles on children’s faces it appears they were successful.
In addition to the lighting of the Christmas tree, there was holiday food, music, more events, and also a special appearance by Santa Claus.
It is worth noting the movie Top Gun in Miramar was at the Navy Fighter Weapons School, and not the Marine Corps Station. About a decade after the movie was released the Naval Air Station at Miramar was merged into facilities in Nevada. The Marine Corps Station remains. Many people, when there hear jets and Miramar together automatically think of the Tom Cruise movie. Geographically, they are correct. For those who do not know, the Navy and Marine Corps are separate branches in the military, although they often work closely together.
On December 7th the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park will have its annual “Breakfast with the Grinch.” In addition to the Grinch, Cindy Lou Who will also be present.
For extra fun, breakfast will feature green eggs and ham, another Dr. Seuss favorite. Will you be brave enough to eat it? While enjoying your breakfast there will be a reading of the classic book How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Breakfast and the event will first occur at 9 am. If that is too early for you it will be repeated at 10:30 am. As you can tell, the event will last about an hour.
Reservations and payment need to be made by December 3rd.
The cost is ten dollars per person. For registration call (276) 523-1322.
The Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park is located in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, in the western tip of the state. About an acre in size, the museum is located in a mansion built in 1895. It is now an official state park run by the State of Virginia.