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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Children > Literature > Holiday > TV > Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: 50th Birthday Deluxe Edition (Animated/DVD-Video)

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: 50th Birthday Deluxe Edition (Animated/DVD-Video)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B+     Film: A



And all the DVD shoppers with the Hamtamblers and Wooglepops will surely love the new release of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: 50th Birthday Deluxe Edition, maintaining all of the great heart and animated excellence it always has.  It being the holiday season we are sure to observe quite a few seasonal DVD releases and re-releases (aren’t we on about the 10th Bad Santa edition by now?).  Never the less, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one title that surely deserved and overhaul and the studio did an excellent job with this new digitally restored, anniversary release.  Though it is only the 40th anniversary since this Chuck Jones masterpiece was penciled down, it has been a fast and stunning 50 years since Dr. Seuss laid down his mad rhymes of a sly, heartless, creature who wished for nothing more than NO CHRISTMAS.


For those who have been living under a rock, The Grinch is a tale of an unloved soul who lives atop a mountain and looks down on a pleasant village of a people known as the Who (no Roger Daltrey is not there)spending each moment loathing their happy, loving, Christmas embodied existence.  The Grinch feels it is his duty to crush the Who’s spirits and steal all of there Christmas joy by snatching up every last gift and ornament, down to the last crumb of a mouse.  But to his surprise after taking every ornament, gift, and light the Grinch had not taken Christmas at all, and discovered that Christmas is not about what you give or get but who you love and who loves you.  Surely the storyline is schmaltzy, but it is Christmas and joy needs to be spread somehow in this crime filled world.  The Grinch takes his place in this tale as a permanent fixture of the Christmas season just like Santa or Charles Dickens' Ebenezer Scrooge.  Dr. Seuss’ classic tale with Chuck Jones' classic/timeless animation only goes to show that the meeting of great minds can create a classic piece of art, no matter how childish and cartoony it may be.


Almost every person and family in the world has heard of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and has made it a part of their lives.  Even the word “Grinch” has become a device of common speech to refer to a mean, grouchy person.  This film has been excellently restored especially compared to previous VHS and other DVD releases.  The sound has improved, though not perfect, truly highlighting the feel and heart of the film and emphasizes the classic, nonsensical sound imagery while making the film’s title song boom.


The technical aspects of this DVD are quite good.  The picture, as previously stated, has been remastered and is presented in its 1.33 X 1 Full Screen format as it was originally.  The picture is clean and crisp and has never looked better.  The sound in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Surround is clear, balanced, and highlights the heart of the film quite well though some of the original muffled nature (as seen in other Chuck Jones creations) remains and could stand to be looked into further.  The extras are quite excellent and are good enough to watch again and again.  Some extra features include From Whoville To Hollywood describing how ‘The Grinch’ book and film came to be.  Also other features include ‘Songs in the key of Grinch’ interviews with the musical composers, Who’s who in Whoville Biography, Song Selection, Grinch Pencil Test, and TNT’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas Special Edition Featurette with the late (kind of eerie) Phil Hartman.  If all of these special features were not enough there is an additional animated short to be viewed ‘Horton Hears a Who’ whose book was written prior to the Grinch and inspired the land of Whoville, but whose animated feature was not created until 4 years after the Grinch animated film.  This short does not appear to have been cleaned up like How the Grinch Stole Christmas however.


In the end this animated feature is a classic that has been seen in millions of homes and holds the hearts and minds of many.  Dr. Seuss was an excellent creative entity and when combined with the genius animation stylings of Chuck Jones the title was sure to become a classic.  This feature is well put together in the areas of picture, sound, and extras while being quite affordable at the same time.  This title is a must have for children of all ages and is sure to fill any stocking or child’s heart with joy.  So grab your Roast Beast and chow down on this exquisite new edition of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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