Carl the Critic: "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (Comparison between the Old and New)
Old Vs. New
I'm not a fan of some of the movies that were made based on Dr. Seuss's weird twisted mind, but I actually like both versions of the classic story "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", but which one is better? Well according to most Critics that were around in the early 2000s, the Ron Howard version was worse and that "no one in their right mind would subject their children to a movie of a green, hideous creature that lives on a mountain of garbage." This criticism makes no sense when you consider 2 things: 1) There was already a movie directed by Chuck Jones in 1966 of the exact same hideous creature and 2) even if the Grinch from 1966 didn't live on a pile of garbage, parents did subject their children to one famous green monster who is famous for living in a can full of garbage with a pet worm on Sesame Street his name was... Big Bird (just kidding).
But I digress, so instead of what I normally do, I decided to take the route every film critic takes and decide to compare and contrast the old movie and the new movie based on a few key points that makes both movies unique.
Closest to Original Story (And Best Story in General)
At this, the 2000 version trips on the first hurtle and cracks a tooth, because the original story of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" did not have more than 3 memorable characters: The Grinch, Max, and Cindy Lou Who. So if you are a person who likes your film adaptations as close to the original material as possible, the 1966 version is the better film. But this is also where people may split on the issue because whether a movie was close to the original source or not was (and in fact still is) never an issue in Hollywood. In addition to that, if Ron Howard wanted to make the Dr. Seuss classic into a feature length film, there needs to be some serious padding, and backstory. The thing that the 2000 version of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" has which I thought was unique was to give the Grinch a back story involving bullies, an embarrassing moment at school, a messed up explanation of where babies come from, a strange love story, and- well it's just nonsensical, and there are some plot holes... So maybe the original movie still wins this round for being short sweet and to the point.
One point to Old
Which version had a better setting? Well let's see one takes place in Who-ville, which is on a snowflake (...very bad planning on the Who people's part, because their town would be destroyed if the snow flake they lived in landed next to a fire hydrant and a dog with a full bladder happen to be near). Then there is the other Who-ville, which is in... you know come to think about it they never really specify where Who-ville is in the animated film because IT DOESN'T MATTER. Who-ville is like Narnia, it's just a magical place of its own. It could be on a baby's dirty diaper for all we know. That's what makes the Who-ville in the animated movie better as far as location is concerned.
One Point for the Old
Well let's see here, which Grinch was better? The animated or live action? Karloff or Carrey? I feel like both did a great job being the Grinch but let's observe these two closely. Karloff's Grinch was just him reading the book (or so it sounded like) as if he was reading it to a group of children, which I'm sure was the movie's intention, but when you think about it, Karloff didn't really "act" as he did "read". Jim Carrey was indeed acting, he gave the Grinch a personality, and you sympathized for him because of his back story of why he wanted to steal Christmas from the Who people. Plus when I think of the Grinch, I think more Jim Carrey than Boris Karloff. Boris Karloff was still good, and he is a better actor in general, but for the role of the Grinch Carrey was better.
One Point for the New
The animated movie was more about the Grinch then it was about any of the supporting characters. Of course the movie is 26 minutes long so there isn't too much time for character development it's not like the live action version which is 104 minutes long and is enough time to pad out the relationships between characters we don't care about. Though the new film's supporting characters do add to the message of the story, about how Christmas shouldn't be materialistic and getting rid of presents wont stop Christmas from coming. Though if we were to compare the Cindy's of both movies, you will find that the Cindy from the live-action film is a bit of a dumb ass. She has this habit of talking to strangers, climbing dangerous mountains (unsupervised), and she can't tell that the Santa Claus who is stealing her Christmas Tree is actually the Grinch (even though she has seen him before multiple times). The Cindy from the animated movie has an excuse because she's never seen Santa Claus or the Grinch before. But because this is a choice between a cast of many idiots vs a cast of 3, no one gets a point.
Now I know you think that because "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" from 1966's version had the first "'You're a mean one Mr. Grinch'" song by the amazing Thurl Ravenscroft, it is automatically the winner. Well that is a perfectly just reason to think so but now I ask, "what other songs do you remember from the animated version?"
"'Fa-who-forrest-da-who-dorris'" you might reply.
To which I reply "That's not the name of the song."
And at this point you go to Wikipedia to look up the soundtrack to the original animated version. Now I ask you "what songs to you remember from the live action version?"
"'Mr. Grinch', 'Where Are You Christmas?', and... 'Fa-who-forrest-da-who dorris'"
My point is that the newer version has more memorable music, and I actually like 'Where Are You Christmas" in the newer version, because it makes sense for Cindy's character to wonder where it is (not because she is a dumb ass though that might be a part of it but,) because Cindy is the only one in Who-ville to know that Christmas is not about material things, but she doesn't know what it is either.
Though I'd be lying if I said I didn't love the "Mr. Grinch" song, and Thurl Ravenscroft kicks Jim Carrey's ass when he sings it (Jim Carrey's version makes me feel dirty, which is the point I guess but at the same time seeing Carrey eat a greasy banana peel is a little too far.) But the newer version still wins this one because I like "Where are you Christmas?" a little more than "Mr. Grinch"
One Point for the New
The Major Factors of Both Versions of "How the Grinch Stole Chrismas"
The final score is:
A tie? No that can't be right!... Can it? Tell you what, I'll let YOU decided.
WHAT ABOUT YOU
Which Version of "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" did you prefer?See results without voting
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