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Scenes of the Season: How to Get Your Grinch On

In a very Grinch-like act, ABC TV scheduled what seems to be their one and only showing of the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas for last night, November 30, which seems too little and a bit early – not even December, and less than a week after Thanksgiving.

Fortunately, although it doesn’t appear to be showing again on either broadcast or cable television, there are options for those of you who still need to get their Grinch on, and won’t be satisfied with the more recent live-action version starring Jim Carrey. While Netflix does not have it for “streaming,” you can pay $2.99 to watch it on Amazon’s Video On Demand. A remastered version with a few extras is also available through iTunes. And of course pirated versions are available by the score, in all sorts of formats.

After watching it last night – for the umpteenth time – with great pleasure, I would like to leave you with a couple of thoughts.

Boris Karloff must have been one of the most unexpected, out of left field, daring casting choices ever. Picking as the voice of a children’s Christmas special an actor best known – monumentally well-known –  for his work in horror films, and particularly as Frankenstein’s monster? And yet he’s brilliant.

And of course there is the animation work of Chuck Jones, which will be so familiar to any fan of cartoons, particularly from his brilliant work on Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies – including many of the best with Bugs, Daffy, Wile E. Coyote and the others. He was responsible for some of the most famous of all these cartoons, including Duck Amuck, One Froggy Evening and What’s Opera, Doc? as well as the famous “Hunting Trilogy” of Rabbit Fire, Rabbit Seasoning, and Duck! Rabbit! Duck!, and one of my personal favorites, Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century (1953).

Finally, since the above video clip is only available through YouTube directly, let me leave you with an MP3 of the title song, sung by Thurl Ravenscroft, who also provided the original voice for “Tony the Tiger”:

“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”

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zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Oh - and hello to Jason Isaacs.

The 400 Blows

zerode

is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.

 

What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.

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