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How the Grinch Stole Christmas! on ABC

By caroline schulenburg


"Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot; but the Grinch who lived just north of Whoville did not."


It simply isn't Christmas without those timeless words, first spoken forty years ago by Boris Karloff. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a television mainstay during the holidays, but this particular broadcast was followed by a delightful documentary of its making and the people who contributed their talents to it. It aired on December,12th ABC.


When How the Grinch Stole Christmas! begins, the Whos are singing and decorating in preparation for Christmas. Meanwhile, the Grinch, with his tight shoes and undersized heart complains that he has had to tolerate their merrymaking for fifty three years. He resolves to put an end to their sentimental frivolousness and enlists the help of his sole companion: his scraggily dog Max.


The Grinch constructs the most tattered and ill-fitting Santa suit in the history of all Santas. Poor Max is outfitted with a single antler, the weight of which is almost more than he can bear. Together the two lurch down the mountains into Whoville to steal every last toy, decoration, and festive morsel to keep Christmas from coming.  But when the Whos still sing in joyful celebration on Christmas morning, the Grinch learns that Christmas is about more than toys and decorations and holiday feasts. 


The story has lost none of its charm the four decades that have passed, and the special documentary reveals little secrets without taking away any of the magic. Tom Bergeron hosts the special which features guests such as Audrey Geisel the wife of the late Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice behind the Grinch's theme and Albert Hague, the man who worked with Geisel, Boris Karloff and animator Chuck Jones. Together, they lend insights into the collaboration that produced this classic movie.


It is always a pleasure to see this classic return to television during the holidays. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is certainly a tale that will continue to capture children's imaginations while helping adults to re-capture a moment from childhood for decades to come.

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