“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” ~ Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Earlier this evening was the annual presentation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the animated tale of The Grinch who dares to attempt to stop Christmas from coming.
This has been aired every year in between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas for as long as I can remember. And I began to wonder this evening more about the history of this beloved animated Christmas special. So I did some researching.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a children’s story by Dr. Seuss written in rhymed verse with illustrations by the author. It was published as a book by Random House in 1957, and at approximately the same time in an issue of Redbook. The book criticizes the commercialization of Christmas.
The animated special however is a 26 minute holiday special that is narrated by Boris Karloff who is famous for acting in many horror films in the 1930’s. It was first debuted on the 18th of December in 1966 on CBS. One full week before Christmas Day.
There are some misconceptions that the song “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” is sung by Boris Karloff. That is untrue. The person who did the vocals to the very famous tune is Thurl Ravenscroft who was an American voice actor and singer until his death in 2005.
The fact that Boris Karloff was the narrator had eluded me personally up until about a decade ago. And I thought that it was really cool. Even though I probably had seen it in the credits for many, many years.
A musical onstage version of the story was produced and performed in 1998 and had a very short time on Broadway as well in 2008.
Of course, I would be at fault for not mentioning the film by the same name, starring Jim Carry as The Grinch in 2000. However, I am really not a fan of the motion picture version than I am of the animated Christmas special.
So there you have it, a little holiday trivia for you.