The 7 Lives of the Grinch

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The Grinch
Universal Pictures International France

Back on the TV and film appearances of the Grinch, back on TF1 Séries Films, this evening, in its animated version of 2018.

On the occasion of the cinema release of Grinch, in November 2018, Première had thought about the various adaptations of the fun universe of Dr. Seuss. We are republishing this article – as well as a link to the review of the film, below – on the occasion of its broadcast on television. Stack for the Christmas holidays!

The book

The Grinch was born on a beautiful day in May 1955 with the short poem “The Hoobub and The Grinch”, published in the columns of Redbook magazine. And it was two years later that he became a bookstore hero via How The Grinch Stole Christmas, written and illustrated by Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr Seuss, then 53-year-old king of children’s literature. It tells the adventures of a creature covered with green hairs grumbles at will. A misanthrope who has a holy horror of Christmas and will do everything to spoil the festivities planned in the small town of Chouville, from which he has lived for 53 years away, in a cave. The book will be a huge popular success that will cross the generations.

TV adaptations

It’s on the small screen, eleven years after the publication of How The Grinch Stole Christmas as The Grinch is given new life through Chuck Jones, Bugs Bunny’s daddy. The latter adapts his adventures into a cartoon which instantly becomes cult with the rich idea of ​​entrusting his voice to Boris Karloff, the unforgettable interpreter of Frankenstein.

Then in 1977, Dr Seuss himself took up the pen to imagine Halloween is Grinch night, a prequel to the 1966 cartoon specially designed for ABC’s Halloween party, which won an Emmy the following year.

Five years later, the Grinch reappears on TV, still on ABC, the time of a crossover with another character straight out of the imagination of Dr Seuss: The cat in the hat. And the latter puts his hand in the dough to imagine this The Grinch grinches the Cat in the Hat, in musical entertainment mode. This time with two keyed Emmys.

Then in 1996, The Grinch made a final round – to this day – by the TV box for the time of the series The Wubbulous World of Dr Seuss, in which Jim Henson, the creator of Muppet Show, plays for two seasons with the universe and the many characters imagined by Seuss who passed away on September 24, 1991 at the age of 87.

The Grinch: Well struck! [Critique]

The passage to the cinema

During his lifetime, Dr Seuss was wary of cinema, scalded by the 1953 adaptation of 5,000 Dr. T’s fingers which he considered a failure. For him, who considered the work of Chuck Jones in ’66 to be almost unsurpassable, seeing his Grinch go from the small to the big screen was therefore not a priority. After his disappearance, his widow Audrey Geisel was in charge of managing adaptation rights. And pressed by many requests, she had indicated very early on that she wanted to wait for technology to develop to make a film faithful to the universe of her late husband. Several filmmakers were in the ranks: Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura), John Hughes (The Breakfast club), the Farrelly brothers (Mary at all cost) and… Ron Howard who won the bid with Jim Carrey in the title role. A childhood dream for this zebulon who, however, had to endure more than three hours of makeup daily (imagined by one of the masters of the genre, Rick Baker, who notably worked on Star wars and Men in black) during the hundred days of filming. But this suffering will not have been unnecessary: The Grinch totaled $ 350 million in revenue worldwide. That is three times its budget.

The first animated film

Eighteen after Ron Howard’s vision, The Grinch reappears on the big screen but in 3D animation mode. At the origin of this project, we find the Illumination studio, the creators of Me ugly and nasty and All on stage who had already brought to the screen in 2012, another character of Dr. Seuss, The Lorax (with nearly 350 million dollars in planetary revenues). At the helm of this adaptation of the original 1957 book, Yarrow Cheney (co-director of Like beasts) and Scott Mosier (screenwriter of Funny turkeys) sign a funny, hectic Christmas saraband, with just the right amount of emotion, carried by the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch in VO and that of Laurent Lafitte in VF And like all Illumination productions, this Grinch was created entirely in France at their Mac Guff subsidiary.

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