HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (ENHANCED)
Reviewed January 14th, 2001 by Brian White
Ok. Last year I blasted the MGM home video release of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I complained (in lovely Seuss-live verse, by the way) about the transfer, and the shoddy package. It looked like a quick release for a quick buck. I felt redeemed when Warner Brothers put out their “Enhanced” version of the Christmas special this year. This disc is about as feature-laden as a twenty-odd minute cartoon can be on DVD. One little problem though: it’s the same transfer as last year. To expose my own ignorance, I praised the “new” transfer, only to blush as I compared it to last year’s release. It’s all the same. I must have been in a humbug mood last year, because it looks quite good. The problems I pointed out are obviously native to the original production. Unless George Lucas cleans it up, and puts Jabba into a scene, this is just the way it looks. Hey, crow tastes kind of like chicken (even though I still think last year’s disc is just a cash-grab)!
Just what do you get on this excellent package? Well, you get this holiday classic from 1967 in very good form. The colors pop, and the audio is quite good (Karloff’s narration still sounds phoned-in).
Apart from the show, you get some excellent bonus material. First off is the funny TNT special about the making of the cartoon. This special is made more interesting by the fact that the late Phil Hartman, in hilarious form, is the host. It’s all quite tongue-in-cheek while also being informative. Hartman plays the cheezy, insincere TV host in all its glory. The pencil tests are quite a cool behind-the-scenes view of the Grinch.
Also included on the disc is a featurette about the music. Who (not Cindy Lou) knew that Albert Hague, the old teacher from Fame!, wrote all the music for this cartoon? He tells the whole story about taking home the Seuss lyrics, writing the music, and insisting that Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) come over to his place to hear the compositions. Also included is an interview with Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger, who sang “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”
Perhaps the kicker is the cool, screen specific commentary by animator Phil Roman and June Foray, who voiced Cindy Lou Who. Their recollections about the production are quite valuable. They truly recognize that they are a part of history.
Of course, you can watch Horton Hears a Who, but why bother?
The disc is presented in 4:3, Dolby Digital stereo.
Please help support our site by buying this DVD title
through this link. Thank you
Story / Content