One of the most famous fictional characters ever is the Grinchthe grumpy green creature created by the writer Theodore Seuss Geiselbetter known as Dr. Seusswhich made him the protagonist of the illustrated children’s book entitled How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Over time, this character has become increasingly iconic, increasingly characterizing himself on an aesthetic level and assuming ever new forms and meanings. Especially thanks to some famous film, animated or live-action transpositions, the Grinch has finally become a true and proper symbol of the Christmas holidays.
On a par with works such as A Christmas Carol and his Ebenezer Scrooge, Nightmare Before Christmas or comedy Mom I missed the plane, the films dedicated to the Grinch never fail to be among the most watched in this special time of year. The story of the character is actually more complex and profound than expected and dates back to almost seventy years ago. During this period, several works were created starring the Grinch, a figure now part of the world’s cultural heritage, which in addition to entertaining and frightening, continually reminds us of the true values of Christmas.
The Grinch: The True Story of the Character
As anticipated, the character of the Grinch was born from an idea of the written Dr. Seuss, who made him the protagonist of his 1957 children’s book. This is the first appearance of the Grinch. However, the name of the character had already appeared in the 1953 book Scambled Egg Super!by Seuss himself. In this book, however, the Grinch is an exotic bird always intent on chirping, thus sharing the passion for singing with the green creature. Subsequently, given the success of the character in the form we still know today, an animated television special was created in 1966 entitled The Grinch’s Tale Christmas!then reproposed punctually over the years during the Christmas period.
This has contributed, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries, to making the Grinch a traditional Christmas figure. Therefore, reference is made today to it in the event that the festive period is ruined by acts of vandalism or theft, or even simply by those who say they can’t stand Christmas and want to boycott it. Subsequently, other known appearances of the character are found in the titled Halloween special Halloween is Grinch Nightwritten by Seuss to respond to increasing fan requests, and in the animated series The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat.
The Grinch: who is he and what is his meaning
As is now known, the Grinch is a funny furry green creature with a bursting belly, which makes it take on a pear shape. His eyes have red pupils and yellow eyeballs, while his face resembles that of a cat. His hands are long and slender and particularly surprising is his extraordinary strength. However, a fundamental characteristic of the Grinch is that of having a heart two sizes smaller, which therefore makes it immune to the most common forms of love. In addition to its very particular appearance, however, the Grinch also stands out for its character. In the stories that see him as the protagonist, he stands out as a misanthropic, surly, solitary and easily irritable personality.
He lives in isolation in a mountain cave, taking care never to meet any other living being. All of which makes him a perfect subject for hating a merry, bright, and warm holiday like Christmas. In fact, the Grinch cannot bear the sounds, colours, decorations, noises and gifts typical of this period and therefore tries to prevent all this from taking place. Going beyond all this, the stories related to the Grinch therefore focus on criticizing the commercialization of Christmas, suggesting instead to return to a more intimate and sincerely felt dimension, which does not need gifts or pomp to be celebrated.
The Grinch: the film adaptations, from Jim Carrey to the cartoon
In addition to the animated series mentioned above, the Grinch also appeared in two feature films for the cinema. The first of these is The Grinchdirected in 2000 by Ron Howardwhere to interpret the beloved green creature there is the mythical Jim Carrey. This is the first live-action work dedicated to the character and his world, which has established itself as a huge success with the public. In particular, as well as for Carrey’s interpretation, the film is remembered for the wonderful costumes and fascinating sets, as well as obviously the make-up, which was later awarded an Oscar. The Grinch costume is in fact particularly elaborate, composed of a spandex fabric suit covered with green-dyed yak hair.
Later, in 2018, the character was instead the protagonist of an animated film, also entitled The Grinch, where roughly the same story is repeated, with a few variations. The actor finds himself giving voice to the character, in the original language Benedict Cumberbatchwhile in Italian the Grinch has the unmistakable voice of Alessandro Gasmann. Grossing over $511 million worldwide, this became the highest-grossing Christmas film of all time. Currently, for 2022, a horror genre parody film with the title is also planned The Mean Onewhere the character is depicted as a bloodthirsty monster terrorizing the city near his cave.