8 Surprising Facts About ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas!’

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Both the annual animated short and live-action comedy based off Dr. Seuss’ 1957 famed children’s book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! have come become holiday staples like no other.

First broadcasting on CBS on December 18, 1966, The Grinch tells the tale of a grumpy creature named — you guessed it — the Grinch, who tries to take Christmas away from the townspeople of Whoville, only to discover that they’re perfectly happy without all the “floof and fluff” of materialism. This realization causes Mr. Grinch to have an immediate change of heart, both literally and figuratively.

Though we’ve all curled up to the TV to experience the Grinch’s antics, whether it be animated or live-action, we bet you these eight production secrets will make you think of the film a little differently this year.

We all know the story, but did you know these fun facts?

1. The original storybook Grinch was black-and-white with pink eyes. It was the idea of Dr. Seuss’s friend, fellow animator and director, Chuck Jones, to make the grumpy character green for the animated short.

2. The Grinch’s scheming smile is actually based on Chuck Jones’ grin (minus the termites, of course).

3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! marks the first time Dr. Seuss centered a story on a villain who changes his ways. Prior to 1957, his previous books included Horton Hears a Who!, If I Ran The Zoo and The Cat in The Hat.

4. Thurl Ravenscroft, who sings the theme song of the short, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” was also the voice of Frosted Flakes cereal mascot Tony the Tiger for more than 50 years, from 1951 until his death in 2005.

5. For the 2000 live-action remake of the story that starred Jim Carrey as the profusely cynical protagonist, both Eddie Murphy and Jack Nicholson were both considered for the part.

6. It took Jim Carrey three hours daily to get into his Grinch suit, which was made of individually dyed green yak hairs.

7. Not since 1939’s The Wizard of Oz have so many characters in a film, including all extras, worn such heavy stage makeup. And it paid off! The film won the 2000 Academy Award for Best Makeup.

8. The lyrics for “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” were written by Seuss with the help of Chuck Jones. The brainstorm session for the song, which increasingly describes the Grinch as a sinister and unhygienic brute, was basically an old-fashioned diss battle between the two friends.

 

What’s your favorite holiday movie?

 
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