The timeless termite smile


Movie poster for “The Grinch” (2000). Fair use: Instagram

Nowadays, labeling someone as a “Grinch” is another way of saying someone cannot get into the holiday spirit. The origins of this term go all the way back to 1957 with a bright-green, pot-bellied character stealing presents from underneath Christmas trees in the Dr. Seuss classic book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Since the 50s, the Grinch has taken on many forms including an animated featurette, a live-action film, and most recently, another cartoon movie adaptation. Beginning with Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, released in 1957, the Grinch franchise has evolved lived to 2018 with The Grinch. What is it about this cranky creature that keeps bringing money to the box-office?       

1966 was the year the first animated film, named after the original book, was released. Immediately becoming a classic, this animation paved the way for future filmmakers. Along with this cartoon came the famous Christmas song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”, which still plays during the holiday season today. The success of this animation sparked many other stories and films, such as the book Halloween is Grinch Night by Dr. Seuss, and The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat, which is a cartoon produced by Dr. Seuss featuring one of his most famous characters, the Cat in the Hat.

Jim Carrey assumed the role of the Grinch in the first live-action movie version in 2000, where he portrayed the bitter, misunderstood character all too well. Although the film received mixed reviews upon its release, the movie has solidified its place into annual Christmas movie marathons. The heartwarming story of a grouch learning the true meaning of Christmas never fails to touch audiences of all ages, a common theme throughout every Grinch movie.

Six years later, the Grinch reached Broadway, from 2008 to 2015. Most recently, a 2018 cartoon adaptation simply called The Grinch was released, with Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the Grinch. Other stars voiced characters in this version, including Rashida Jones, Pharrell Williams, Angela Lansbury, and Kenan Thompson. 

Since Dr. Seuss first created the Grinch, pop culture has eaten up everything Grinch related, from toys and clothing, to video games and musicals. The Grinch has become a Christmas staple, despite being the number one Christmas hater in every adaptation. The stories may be different in each version of the Grinch, but the character never fails to show its audience how even the grouchiest, grossest creature can have a kind heart.