By Joseph DelGrippo ‘19
Nowadays, it would be hard to find anybody who didn’t grow up reading Dr. Seuss books. From One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish to Green Eggs and Ham, every person has read at least one of Seuss’s many books during their childhood. Well, in 2013, DreamWorks tasked their animation division, Illumination, with basically remaking How the Grinch Stole Christmas for modern audiences.
The Grinch felt more like a bubble wrapped, censored remake of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and instead of making a fun and unique film, The Grinch came out as a bland copy of its live action predecessor. Many critics said The Grinch lost the rotten soul that all other iterations—including the original book—once had.
In 1997, Dreamworks studios kicked off production of not one, but two live action Dr. Seuss movies. The first, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, was released in 2000. Directed by Ron Howard—who previously directed Apollo 13—it stars Jim Carrey as The Grinch. I remember watching this film during Christmas Time when I was young, and liking it.
Upon rewatching it, however, I just wonder how this got past anyone who is over the age of twelve. The characters’ looks and costumes alone are enough to fund children’s nightmares. I love Jim Carrey, but The Grinch looks as if the filmmakers were trying to scar kids for the rest of their lives with sheer terror, and not even Carrey’s wit and comedic antics could save the character from poor writing.
However, this abomination made money, so the studio said “Why not?” and greenlit another Dr. Seuss movie: The Cat In the Hat. Compared to The Cat In the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas should have won Oscars.
Released in 2003, The Cat In the Hat was directed by first time director Bo Welch, and starred Mike Myers as The Cat in the Hat. To put it in perspective, this movie was so bad that Dr. Seuss’s wife banned any live action adaptations of any of Dr. Seuss’s books from ever being made again. The Cat In the Hat is one of the worst films I have ever seen in my life. I would rather have to watch eight hours of N*Sync music videos than subject myself to watching the terror ever again.
If you find yourself this holiday season debating to watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas, do yourself a favor and watch the 1968 cartoon instead.