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You're a mean one,
Mr. Grinch.

December 14, 2009

Ever wonder how a man who was known for bringing joy to millions of children worldwide came up with the concept of a green furry villain who stole gifts from under children's Christmas trees and felt that his mission in life was to destroy the holidays for defenseless little kids?

Well, it's no secret that Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) didn't have a natural rapport with children (at least not at signings and other public appearances). So there's little wonder that he is described by friends and family as "unsentimental," particularly as it relates to the holidays. Though he's said to have spent every Christmas in Springfield, Massachusetts with family, Dr. Seuss never warmed to the flowery mush of the holidays. In fact, he once said in an interview that the Grinch is among the few of his characters to whom he really related.

But don't let the title of this article fool you. Geisel may not have been "Mr. Christmas," as it were, but in providing a "Scroogesque" icon for children, he was able to convey better than many artists before and since him, one of the true principles of the holiday season: a transformation from greed and materiality to generosity, compassion and gratitude.

The Grinch is a cartoon character created by Dr. Seuss. He first appeared in the 1957 children's book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. This was followed in 1966 by a popular television special also titled How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's MGM Animation/Visual Arts studio, and directed by Chuck Jones.

In 1977, Seuss responded to the fan request for more Grinch tales by writing Halloween Is Grinch Night, a Halloween special that aired on CBS. Like its predecessor, the sequel was recognized at the Emmy awards. In 1982, Marvel green-lit The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat, which was also produced by Dr. Seuss, under his real name, Ted Geisel. This third special garnered two Emmy awards.

The Grinch is considered a Christmas standard, and parodied/featured outside the Dr. Seuss brand frequently around the holiday season. The character is referenced by the media often in instances where a holiday display is ruined by vandals, or holiday burglaries are committed. Outside Christmas, the term "Grinch" is synonymous with "grouch", as in someone that shows great disdain for something wholesome.

The title of our article refers to the classic song featured in the 1966 TV adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, published in 1957. Chuck Jones, the animator responsible for bringing us Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Cayote, the Roadrunner and other Warner Bros. mainstays, adapted the book for the screen and is responsible for changing the Grinch's color from black and white to green. But it's the voice of Thurl Ravenscroft (best known for voicing Tony the Tiger for Kellogg's) that really makes the movie in the title track.

We'd rather not discuss 2001's live action interpretation. We didn't really like it. In fact, it rather creeped us out.

In the meantime, Dahoo Foress to all.

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