When I was a kid, we had a book about the Grinch who stole Christmas and a beloved animated TV special that was repeated every year. Now we have a whole Grinch-related film industry.
It all started when someone got the bright idea of doing a like-action Grinch movie. And it starred Jim Carrey who, apparently, got the job because he could do the Grinch's wicked smile without CGI.
I remember having mixed feelings about the movie when I heard about it. The book is 64 pages long. And frankly, most of them are white space. The animated TV show was only 30 minutes (less commercials). How are you going to get a full-length motion picture out of that?
Easy! You pad it with subplots and turn the story upside down. And toss in an attempted top-40 Christmas song.
We get a Grinch origin story. We get an out-of-control Christmas light contest. We get a feckless mayor who seems to be out to take over the Who-fest and we get Ron Howard's brother, Clint, who is contractually obligated to appear in all Ron Howard movies. And we have the term "bitchin'" introduced into the lexicon of family movies.
They took everything I loved about the story and pumped it up on steroids until it wasn't. They make enough trips back and forth between Whoville and the Grinch's Mt. Crumpit Cave to earn them all airline miles. The Grinch sneaks into town multiple times, not just Christmas Eve. And gets tricked into being named the grandmaster of the Who-fest, which literally makes him sick. There's just a lot of bad blood between the Whos and the Grinch. And it's a over a girl, mostly.
It's just amazing how the Carrey Grinch has drowned out any earlier versions, based on visits to the mall or Universal Studios theme parks. There are a lot of guys out there in green felt doing Jim Carrey these days to this day.