Ron Howard’s 2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey is an iconic piece of cinema. The surreal world of Whoville is brought to life in the full length feature film, adapted from Dr.Seuss’s 1957 children’s book.
Dr. Seuss, a writer, illustrator, filmmaker – all around creative whiz kid illustrated political cartoons during the war before returning to writing children’s literature, that irony isn’t lost on me. For, …The Grinch… is saturated with comments on local politics, elections, bullying and commercialism.
Jim Carey’s performance is truly: comedy at its core and I adore him. Plus, there could not be a more perfect narrator than Anthony Hopkins to convey the surface level commentary peppered with sarcastic wit.
The film encapsulates all the hype that completely stresses everyone out, yet we indulge year after year. Why is that?
I suppose because deep down, we relish in the one time a year where it’s perfectly acceptable to be drunk as a lord… I mean, overly joyous and triumphant.
Why do I relate to The Grinch?…well,
It was a long time ago when Eyelyd was a mere five or six years of age when she first watched …The Grinch… This was different to her usual viewing material which consisted of the musical Oliver, Matilda and Gladiator with Russell Crowe. There was something that resonated with her about this comical green cynic, was it because she, herself would grow to have cynical tendencies too?
See, I’ve always been perfectly comfortable in my own company, amusing myself for hours playing make believe, playing teacher to a whole class of porcelain dolls, waltzing around the garden with my mums bamboo torch telling all the bugs ‘they shall not pass’, you know…the normal kid stuff…
Never quite fitting in with the other kids, but at the same time never without a friend or two. It could be said my cynicism came from my early viewing patterns, re-watching the same film over and over again until my parents had to hide the VHS tape when they got sick of my narrating the dialogue from beginning to end along with the characters. I liked what I liked and I was obsessive.
Stepping outside of my comfort zone was not only anxiety inducing, but unnecessary. Of course this is fine when you’re little loner kid with no responsibilities, but when you enter the ‘adult’ world full of interactions (ew), small talk (ew) and ‘networking (ew, ew).. it doesn’t quite fly.
I suppose the most poignant example I have of this introverted childhood putting me at a disadvantage would be: Disney movies.
Yes, so I don’t know the plot to The Little Mermaid, I can’t sing the songs from Beauty & the Beast, I don’t have a favorite princess. I may or may not have watched them as a small child, but not for many years and I don’t remember anything about them, nor do I hold any special place in my heart for any character. I watched The Lion King for the first time at age 24, which was practical forced by my partner, continuously shocked by my lack of ‘Disney nostalgia’.
There is something magical and surreal about the duo of Cindy-Lou and the Grinch, I suppose those two entities combined is what I relate to. Cindy-Lou stands out from her Christmas obsessed who’s, unphased by the show of it all, The Grinch has grown into the stereotype put upon him by bullies and yet, through cynical realism, the two still maintain the curiosity for the joy and happiness of it all.