Thursday, December 18, 2014
DECEMBER 18 = "The Grinch" Debuts on TV.
"Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot
But the Grinch who lived just North of Whoville did not!
The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
But, whatever the reason, his heart or his shoes,
He stood there on Christmas Eve hating the Whos,"
These are the opening lines of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", which made it's debut on this evening's date, December 18, in 1966. This truly delightful animated cartoon version of Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel's 1957 story about the nasty old Grinch trying to put the Kibosh on the Christmas holiday has since become a classic; a true part of every Christmas season.
Dr. Seuss Didn't want to....
Geisel at first didn't want to put "the Grinch' on the screen. But Chuck Jones (below), the brilliant animator for "Bugs Bunny" with whom he had worked during WWII on "Private Snafu" and on the animated
Of course the voices are a key to making such a cartoon work. Happily the perfect voice was available to add not only the right touch of menace to the character of "the Grinch", but which could also add the sweetness of spirit to the quirky rhymes of Dr. Seuss. This was of course the voice of the actor Boris Karloff (below). Karloff was 79 years
his menacing work as the "Frankenstein" monster and "the Mummy" just to name two of his credits. "He had the power of the voice." said Dr. Seuss's widow, Audrey. "He could be malignant in what he said, and the way he could say it." There are only two other voices heard in "the Grinch". One of those is "Little Cindy Lou Who" who was voiced by the actress June Foray whom you all heard as "Rocky the Squirrel" in the cartoon, "Bullwinkle". And to complete this trio of voice-over royalty, the voice who sung the famous song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" was the actor, Thurl Ravenscroft. better known as "Tony the Tiger" with his famous "They're Grrrrrrrreat" voice for "Kellogg's Sugar Frosted Flakes."
And the Music in "the Grinch" makes the cartoon compete. And this was written by Albert Hague (below), a Tony Award winning composer who is most likely best known for portraying the character of
"The Grinch" Earns Classic Status
The cartoon was premiered on the evening of this date in 1966 on the CBS TV network, and received mixed reviews at the time, with critic Rick DuBrow saying that it was "probably as good as most of the other
Cheer to all Whos, far and near.
"Christmas Day is in our grasp
So long as we have hands to grasp.
"Christmas Day will always be
Just as long as we have we.
"Welcome Christmas while we stand
Heart to heart and hand in hand."
"Behind the Scenes of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'", Produced by Kay Zusman, 1997