Best Christmas Movies Part One: The Grinch

The Grinch is an all-time favorite Christmas treat from Dr. Suess

The Grinch takes high honors on our list of the best Christmas movies ever.

It’s impossible to talk about the best Christmas movies without mentioning How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There are two well known versions of this classic Dr. Seuss tale. The first, and according to many, the only reliable version, is the 1966 animated television version (which is technically a short movie, with a running time of less than an hour). The other is the 2000 live action feature film starring Jim Carrey.

The Story

Dr. Seuss released How the Grinch Stole Christmas in its original book form in 1957. The story, now familiar to almost all Americans, tells of the cold-hearted Grinch who descends from his mountain to steal Christmas from the town of Whoville. To his amazement, however, the Whos continue celebrating even without Christmas’ external trappings, and the Grinch’s heart “grows three sizes” at the sound.

The Animated Classic

The animated version of the story closely follows the story, with only a few comical scenes and songs added to make it long enough for television. It’s hard to imagine now, but the film originally received mixed critical reactions, with some disliking it immensely. However, it has now attained a mythical status in American popular culture, and few would argue its status as a classic.

The Feature Film

When you discuss the best Christmas movies ever made, it’s always controversial to bring up a remix of a beloved classic. And predictably, opinions are split regarding Jim Carrey’s performance as the onerous Grinch in the feature film. In fact, the movie was simultaneously nominated for Raspberries (“awards” given to the worst movies annually) and Academy Awards.

Financially, the film made a splash, and most appreciated Jim Carrey’s over-the-top performance. What troubled most people were the additions to the script made necessary to extend the story to fit into a two hour movie.

Regardless of how you feel about the film, though, one thing remains for certain … How the Grinch Stole Christmas has become a holiday classic and isn’t likely to disappear any time soon. So whether you curl up with the book in front of a fireplace, pop in a DVD, or eagerly await the show’s annual airing, rest assured that you’ll be Grinch-ified for many years to come!