Sunday, December 13, 2009

30 Days of Christmas: For The Kids...

What, if not the children, are the holidays really all about? After all, think of all of the rituals we have adopted in the last years: leaving out cookies and milk for Santa, hanging stockings by the chimney with care, making sure they're nestled all snug in their beds well before midnight on Christmas Eve... It only makes sense, then, that countless holiday movies, too, are aimed at the young ones who bring the magic of the season to life!

The 1966 Christmas treat How The Grinch Stole Christmas got a slight revamp at the start of this decade, when Jim Carrey donned an odd-fitting Santa suit and some green prosthetics to portray the titular Dr. Seuss hero in a live action version of the classic tale. However, despite it being almost half a century old, the original still more than holds up. Recently it underwent a color enhancement to bring it up to today's HD TV standards.

Narrated by Boris Karloff, How The Grinch Stole Christmas is really considered a short film, as it clocks in at just about half an hour of holiday fun. But it proves that epics with twists, turns, and surprises are not needed, as it manages to fit in three unique Christmas songs, along with the plot of The Grinch who disguises himself as Santa to steal Christmas from all of the Whos in Whoville. Thanks to a very special little girl (Cindy Lou Who), though, The Grinch is not successful in his original scheme, as he finds his heart growing three sizes, returns all of the gifts, and even sits down to lead the holiday feast.

It is arguable that Dr. Seuss simply adapted Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol to create the Grinch, but no one can deny the effect that this story-- and this special-- has had on pop culture and quite a few generations today. How I Met Your Mother did a whole episode spoofing the special called "How Lily Stole Christmas;" the original song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" is used just about any time a character in film, TV, or ads is depicted as the "villain" in a holiday tale; and even the Rotten Tomatoes website found itself affected by its message: their hearts grew three sizes, too, upon watching it, and awarded How The Grinch Stole Christmas the "freshest" rating of 100%. Not too shabby for a tiny little cartoon from the 60s!

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