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How The Grinch Stole Christmas: From a 50s Best-selling Book to Timeless Movie Adaptations

Theodor Seuss Geisel, photo courtesy of the author

Theodor Seuss Geisel or Dr. Seuss, the author of many children’s books that helped them read makes a mark in history as books are turned into movie adaptations.

Out of more than 60 books that he has written, one of the most famous is “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. Published in 1957, it is admirable how the times have changed, but it remains a best-selling favorite, especially when the Christmas season approaches. As a go-to movie by people of all ages, there is no question why it became a Christmas Classic and even had three movie adaptations.

Overview of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”

The book features the Grinch, a creature who isolates himself on top of a mountain and despises Christmas. As the night before Christmas comes, he destroys and sabotages the celebration by stealing and taking gifts, decorations, and everything related to Christmas. Expecting that he would hear people cry and ruin Christmas once and for all, the Grinch finds himself in shock when he sees that the people remain happy and unfazed about what happened. Ultimately, he realizes the true meaning of Christmas and grows to love and celebrate it as well.

Movie Adaptations of How The Grinch Stole Christmas

As mentioned earlier, there are only three movie adaptations so far, and each has its unique touch compared to the book and each other.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

The first movie adaptation of How The Grinch Stole Christmas was in 1966, and was a simple animated version. It started as a television special until it became a recurring holiday one. Aside from the influx of watchers, it was the “first look” at the words of the book come to life.

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Come the year 2000, the second movie adaptation was made, this time a live-action version of the book. It stars Jim Carrey, considering that this adaptation was made to be a comedy. Compared to the first adaptation of the book, this was a full-length film and included a few additional details such as Max, the Grinch’s dog, and Cindy Lou, a six-year-old girl who would eventually change his heart about Christmas.

The Grinch (2018)

This latest movie adaptation is also the version that surpassed the two former ones when it became the highest-grossing film adaptation of Dr. Seuss. With technology already improved, the animation of this version was one of the most praised by critics. All in all, both book and movie adaptations of Dr. Seuss are proof that Christmas Classics will endure the test of time and season, and that the holiday spirit lives on through words and images carefully crafted by the author.


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