In this live-action adaptation of the beloved childrens tale by Dr. Seuss, the reclusive green Grinch (Jim Carrey) decides to ruin Christmas for the cheery citizens of Whoville. Reluctantly joined by his hapless dog, Max, the Grinch comes down from his mountaintop home and sneaks into town to swipe everything holiday-related from the Whos. However, the bitter grump finds a hitch in his plans when he encounters the endearing Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen).
Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (promoted theatrically as The Grinch) is a 2000 American family comedy Christmas film from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, based on the 1957 story of the same name by Dr. Seuss. It was the first Dr. Seuss book to be adapted into a full-length feature film. Because the film is based on a childrens picture book, many additions had to be made to the storyline to bring it up to feature-length, including some information about the backstory of the titular character. Most of the rhymes used in the book were used in the film, though some were slightly changed, and new rhymes were put in as well. The film was directed by Ron Howard, produced by Howard and Brian Grazer, and starring Jim Carrey, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Bill Irwin, Molly Shannon and introducing Taylor Momsen as Cindy Lou Who.
The film spent four weeks as the number-one film in the United States. The Grinch is the highest-grossing holiday film of all time with $345,141,403 worldwide. It won the Academy Award for Best Makeup, and was also nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.
Inside a snowflake exists the magical land of Whoville. In Whoville, live the Whos, an almost mutated sort of Munchkin-like people. All the Whos love Christmas, yet just outside of their beloved Whoville lives the Grinch. The Grinch is a nasty creature that hates Christmas, and plots to steal it away from the Whos, whom he equally abhors. Yet a small child, Cindy Lou Who, decides to try befriend the Grinch.
All the Whos down in Whoville enjoy celebrating Christmas with much happiness and joy, except for the cynical and misanthropic Grinch (Jim Carrey), who hates Christmas and the Whos with great wrath and occasionally pulls dangerous and harmful practical jokes on them. As a result, no one likes or cares for him. Meanwhile, six-year-old Cindy Lou (Taylor Momsen) believes everyone is missing the point about Christmas by being more concerned about the gifts and festivities. After finding him mixing up the mail in the post office, Cindy Lou becomes interested in the Grinch and his history, asking everyone what they know about him, and soon discovers that he has a tragic past.
The Grinch actually arrived in Whoville by mistake when he was a baby, and was adopted by two elderly sisters. Although he showed some sadistic tendencies as a child, he was not the cruel, selfish person he became later; he was bullied by classmates (particularly by Augustus May Who, the current Mayor of Whoville) because of his appearance, with the exception of Martha May Whovier, who was courted by both the Grinch and May Who. One Christmas season, he made a gift for Martha, but attempted to shave his face, cutting himself and when his classmates saw his face covered with plasters the next morning, they laughed at him. He lost his temper, wreaked havoc in the classroom, destroyed the gift he made for Martha, and ran away to live on Mt. Crumpit.
Cindy Lou, touched by this story, decides to make the Grinch the main participant of the Whobilation, to the great displeasure of Mayor May Who, who reluctantly agrees after pressure from the townspeople, who have been warmed by Cindy Lous generous spirit. When Cindy Lou goes to Mt. Crumpit and offers an invitation to the Grinch, he turns her down. He gradually changes his mind, however, due to the promise of an award, the presence of Martha at the celebration and the chance to upset the Mayor. Just as the Grinch is enjoying himself and is almost won over, May Who gives him an electric shaver as a present, reminding him of his humiliation at school. May Who then asks Martha to marry him, promising her a new car in return. This and the ensuing laughter from all the Whos causes the Grinch to openly criticize the Whos for thinking that Christmas is about gifts that they will just dispose of later, in the hopes of making them too ashamed to celebrate the holiday. He then goes on to ruin the party.
When he realizes his attack has not removed the spirit of Christmas from the Whos, the Grinch concocts a plan to steal all of their presents while they sleep. Creating a Santa suit and sleigh, the Grinch flies around Whoville, stealing all of the Whos Christmas gifts. He is almost discovered by Cindy Lou, but concocts a lie that allows him to get away. The next day, the Whos discover the Grinchs scheme, and May Who denounces Cindy Lou as the root of the catastrophe. However, her father, Lou Lou Who, finally stands up to him and reminds everyone that they still have the Christmas Spirit and that the principal meaning of Christmas is to spend it with family and friends. The people accept his speech and begin to sing. Hoping that the change of mood would inspire the Grinch, Cindy Lou goes to Mt. Crumpit to find him.
The Grinch reveals that he intends to destroy all of the stolen gifts after he hears the Whos crying. However, instead of crying, he hears the joyful singing of the Whos. Frustrated at the failure of his plan, the Grinch has an epiphany about what Christmas is really about: not material gifts, but spending time with loved ones, an insight that profoundly touches him and causes his heart to grow to three times its original size. When the stolen gifts begin to fall off the cliff, the Grinch desperately tries to save them to no avail. However, when he realizes Cindy Lou has come to wish him a merry Christmas and is in danger of falling off the cliff with the sleigh, the Grinch finds enough strength to lift the sleigh, gifts and Cindy Lou to safety. After a long descent down Mt. Crumpit, the Grinch returns to Whoville with Cindy and the gifts. He confesses to the burglary and apologizes for his actions towards the Whos, who reconcile with the Grinch. Martha turns down May Whos proposal and decides to stay with the Grinch instead. The redeemed Grinch starts a new life with the Whos, and commemorates the Christmas feast with them in his cave.Jim Carrey as the Grinch, a green creature who always hated Christmas since he was an 8-year-old child. It was revealed in his origin that he started to hate Christmas after his school classmates humiliated him when he tried to shave his face. Before Jim Carrey was cast to play the Grinch, Jack Nicholson and Eddie Murphy were briefly considered.Josh Ryan Evans as an 8-year-old Grinch; his humiliation at school by May Who is what drives him into a hatred of Christmas.
Jeffrey Tambor as Mayor Augustus May Who, Whovilles rude, arrogant, and judgmental mayor. He is revealed to be the school bully who picked on the young Grinch over his shaved face, which motivated the Grinch to hate Christmas in the first place. He also denounces the Grinch every chance he gets and wants to have a Grinch-less Christmas.
Ben Bookbinder as an 8-year-old Augustus May Who; he tormented the young Grinch, which then motivated the Grinch to hate Christmas.
Christine Baranski as Martha May Whovier, the Grinchs lifelong crush and the romantic interest of May Who. She ultimately rejects the Mayor and chooses the Grinch.
Landry Allbright as an 8-year-old Martha May Whovier. She shows compassion towards the young Grinch.
Bill Irwin as Lou Lou Who, Cindy Lous father and the postman of Whoville.
Molly Shannon as Betty Lou Who, Cindy Lous mother and a rival to Martha May in a house-lighting contest.
Taylor Momsen as Cindy Lou Who, a young Who who thinks the Christmas spirit in Whoville is lost. (In this version, she is six years old, whereas in the book in 1957 and TV special in 1966 by Chuck Jones she was "no more than two").
Kelley as Max the Dog and Frank Welker as his voice, who is the Grinchs pet dog and only companion on Mt. Crumpit. It is unknown how or when The Grinch got him.
Clint Howard as Whobris, the mayors sycophantic aid.
Reid Kirchenbauer as an 8-year-old Whobris.
Mindy Sterling as Clarnella Who, one of the Grinchs childhood caretakers
Jeremy Howard and T. J. Thyne as Drew Lou and Stu Lou Who, troublesome sons of Lou and Betty, and brothers to Cindy Lou.
Jim Meskimen as Officer Wholihan, the chief of police.
Anthony Hopkins as the Narrator.
Bryce Dallas Howard as a surprised Who.
The movie was shot between 1999 and 2000. Dr. Seuss wife, Audrey, visited the set in October, 1999.
- "Kids Today" – Jim Carrey and Taylor Momsen *
- "Grinch 2000" – Busta Rhymes and Jim Carrey
- "Green Christmas" – Barenaked Ladies
- "Christmas of Love" – Little Isidore and the Inquisitors
- "Lonely Christmas Eve" – Ben Folds
- "Grinch Schedule" – Jim Carrey *
- "Better Do It Right" – Smash Mouth
- "Whoville Medley" (Perfect Christmas Night/Grinch) – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
- "Reindeer" – Jim Carrey *
- "Christmas Is Going to the Dogs" – The Eels
- "Youre a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" – Jim Carrey
- "Christmas Means More" – Anthony Hopkins and Jim Carrey *
- "You Dont Have to Be Alone" – *NSYNC
- "Where Are You, Christmas?" – Faith Hill
- "The Shape of Things to Come" – James Horner
- "Memories of a Green Childhood" – James Horner +
- "Christmas, Why Cant I Find You?" – James Horner and Taylor Momsen
- "Stealing Christmas" – Anthony Hopkins, James Horner, Jim Carrey, and Taylor Momsen ~
- "The Big Heist" – James Horner +
- "Does Cindy Lou Really Ruin Christmas?" – James Horner +
- "A Change of Heart" – James Horner +
- "The Sleigh of Presents" – James Horner +
- "He Carves the Roast Beast" – James Horner ^
~ Includes Narration and Dialogue
^ Includes "Welcome Christmas"
Rotten Tomatoes gave the film with a rating 53%, with the critical consensus reading, "Jim Carrey shines as the Grinch. Unfortunately, its not enough to save this movie. Youd be better off watching the TV cartoon." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 46 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Roger Ebert criticized the film, referring it as "a dank, eerie, weird movie about a sour creature who lives on top of a mountain of garbage, scares children, is mean to his dog, and steals everyones Christmas presents," and saying, "There should be...a jollier production design and a brighter look overall... Its just not much fun."
Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas opened at number-one with a weekend gross of $55,082,230, for an average of $17,615 from 3,127 theaters and staying at #1 for a total of 4 weeks. It closed on April 30, 2001, after five months, with a final gross of $260,044,825 in the United States and Canada and an additional gross of $85,096,578 in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $345,141,403.
The film garnered three Academy Award nominations, including Best Costume Design (Rita Ryack) and Best Art Direction (Michael Corenblith and Merideth Boswell), and nominees Rick Baker and Gail Rowell-Ryan won the Academy Award for Best Makeup. At the Golden Globes, Carrey was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, losing the award to George Clooney for O Brother, Where Art Thou?. The film won a Saturn Award for Best Music. However, it was also nominated for two 2000 Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst Screenplay, but lost to Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and Battlefield Earth respectively.
The film was released on VHS and DVD on November 20, 2001. A Blu-ray/DVD combo pack was released on October 13, 2009.
Dr Seuss wrote the story for Dr Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat. Dr Seuss wrote the story for Dr Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas and produced Dr Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Dr Seuss wrote the story for Dr Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Horton Hears a Who!. Dr Seuss wrote the story for Dr Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Lorax. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).
Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment have announced they are working on a computer-animated remake of the film. Peter Candeland is set to direct, following the remake to The Cat in the Hat, with Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri producing and Audrey Geisel, widow of Dr. Seuss author Theodor Geisel, will executive produce. It will be released on November 17, 2017.