The poster for the film's theatrical release.

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a 2000 comedy film from Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, based on Dr. Seuss' 1957 storybook of the same name and its animated adaptation. Because the film is based on a children's storybook, many additions had to be made to the storyline to bring it up to feature-length, including some information about the backstory of the title character. Most of the rhymes used in the book were used in the film, though some were slightly changed, and new rhymes were put in as well.

Directed by Ron Howard, produced by Howard and Brian Grazer, and starring Jim Carrey, it is the first theatrical film based on a Dr. Seuss story. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but spent four weeks as the #1 film in the United States. It is the second highest-grossing Christmas film of all-time with $345,141,403 worldwide next only to Home Alone.

DreamWorks Studios was originally planning to co-produce the film, but dropped out at the last minute.

Anthony Hopkins supplied narration, similar to Boris Karloff's in the original, andthe soundtrack included a new version of the original special's song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch."

The advance publicity title for the film was simply The Grinch, and the title was retained for the final version released in Australia and the United Kingdom.


SPOILER: Plot details or story follow.

The movie begins with a celebration in the microscopical city of Whoville, where everyone celebrates Christmas with as much happiness and joy, with the exception of the cynical and misanthropical Grinch, who despises Christmas and the Whos with great wrath and occasionally pulls dangerous and harmful pranks on them. As a result, no one likes or cares for him.


Cindy Lou, after becoming aware of the Grinch's existence, starts to create interest in the Grinch and his history and asks everyone what they know about him, and soon discovers that he has a tragic past. He actually comes from a mistake by a wrong wind when hewas a baby, and is adopted by a group of ladies. Although he shows some sadistic tendencies as a child, he was not the cruel and selfish person who he became; he simply was ridiculed by all his classmates (mostly by Augustus May Who) because of his appearance (with the exception of Martha May Whovier), and goes on a rampage against Christmas.


Cindy, touched by this story, decides to make the Grinch the main participant of the party before Christmas, to the great displeasure of Augustus, who has no choice but to agree to the idea. But when she offers an invitation to the Grinch, he only grumbles and sends her out of his cave. However, after much gossip and debate with himself, he (with a "little help" from Max, his dog) goes to the party anyway.


While he is initially disgusted with the party, he start to genuinely enjoy himself until Augustus proposes to Martha in marriage and gives the Grinch an electric shaver as a Christmas present, something that makes him remember his traumatic childhood and go on rampage again, spoiling the party and upsetting Cindy Lou.


The Grinch is pleased with his rampage, but much to his dismay, he soon realizes that his attack does not remove the spirit of Christmas from them, and that they will do the commemoration of the Christmas tomorrow without any trouble. Angry with the idea of spending another annoying Christmas in his cave, the Grinch deduces that the Whos only celebrate Christmas because of their extravagant gifts, and he (with the unintended help of Max) decides to steal all their belongings while they. He does this successfully, but ends up forcing Max to pull all the things stolen when his flying sleigh breaks.


In the next day, when the Whos wake up and notices that they were robbed, Augustus gets mad and openly accuses Cindy Lou as the person responsible for "ruining Christmas!", but her father, Lou Lou Who openly defends her by arguing that she did nothing wrong and that the principal meaning of Christmas is to spend it with family and friends, and not to give or receive gifts and do decorations. The people agree with this remark and begin to sing.


Meanwhile, the Grinch, unaware of what is happening in the town, believes that he has destroyed Christmas and decides to destroy all the stolen gifts after he hears the Whos crying, but much to his shock and chagrin, he actually hears the joyful singing of the Whos and realizes that his plan has backfired. Disgusted and puzzled, the Grinch starts to ask why his plan fail and, after a moment of reflection, he realizes that Christmas means much more than mere "material gifts", an insight that profoundly touched him and (literally) makes his heart grew up three times its original size.


But his happiness doesn't last, because the gravity start to pulled the stolen gifts to the edge of the cliff, and a horrified Grinch decides to save it, but the gifts are too heavy to him, and he is about to leave it until Cindy (who decides to give him another chance) appears in the top of the gifts and tells him that she came to see him, because "nobody should be alone on Christmas". This gives enough strength to the Grinch to lift the gifts. After a long descent, the Grinch appears along with Cindy and the gifts, explaining what has transpired, apologizing for all his evil deeds and pranks against the Whos, and offers to accept any punishment that they want to give him. But much to Augustus's chagrin, the Whos not only decide to forgive him, but Martha also decides to deny Augustus's proposal and wants to stay with the Grinch (much to his personal happiness and delight). In the end, the redeemed Grinch starts a new life with the Whos and commemorates Christmas with them in his cave.

Spoilers end here.


  • Jim Carrey as the Grinch, the protagonist of the film
  • Taylor Momsen as Cindy Lou Who, a young Who who thinks the Christmas spirit in Whoville is lost and tritagonist of the film
  • Jeffrey Tambor as Mayor Augustus May Who, Whoville's mayor and the primary antagonist
  • Christine Baranski as Martha May Whovier, the Grinch's lifelong crush and the romantic interest of Augustus
  • Bill Irwin as Lou Lou Who, Cindy Lou's father and the postman of whoville
  • Molly Shannon as Betty Lou Who, Cindy Lou's mother and a rival to Martha May in a house lighting contest
  • Clint Howard as Whobris, the mayor's aid
  • Mindy Sterling as Clarnella, the teacher
  • Jeremy Howard as Drew Lou Who, son of Lou
  • T. J. Thyne as Stu Lou Who, son of Lou and brother to Drew
  • Jim Meskimen as Officer Wholihan, the chief of police
  • Josh Ryan Evans as an 8-year-old Grinch. His humiliation at school by Augustus is what drives him into a hatred of Christmas
  • Ben Bookbinder as an 8-year-old Augustus May Who. He ridicules the young Grinch, which then motivated the Grinch to hate Christmas
  • Landry Allbright as an 8-year-old Martha May Whovier. She shows compassion towards the young Grinch
  • Reid Kirchenbauer as an 8-year-old Whobris
  • Frank Welker as the voice of Max the Dog, the Grinch's only companion on Mt. Crumpit and deuteragonist of the film
  • Anthony Hopkins as the Narrator


  1. "Grinch 2000" - Busta Rhymes and Jim Carrey
  2. "Green Christmas" - Barenaked Ladies
  3. "Christmas of Love" - Little Isidore and the Inquisitors
  4. "Lonely Christmas Eve" - Ben Folds
  5. "Better do it Right" - Smash Mouth
  6. "Whoville Medley" (Perfect Christmas Night/Grinch) - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  7. "Christmas is Going to the Dogs" - The Eels
  8. "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" - Jim Carrey
  9. "You Don't Have to be Alone" - 'N Sync
  10. "Where Are You, Christmas?" - Faith Hill

Home video releases


Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas was a financial success at the box office, opening at #1 with a weekend gross of $55,082,230, for an average of $17,615 from 3,127 theaters. It closed on March 1, 2001 after 15 weeks with a final gross of $260,044,825 in the United States and Canada and an additional gross of $85,096,578 in other territories for a total worldwide gross of $345,141,403.

The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes lists the film with a 53% rating, classifying it as "Rotten", and Metacritic listed the film with a 46% rating, indicating "mixed or average reviews". The film garnered three Academy Award nominations, including Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction, and won the Academy Award for Best Makeup. At the Golden Globes, Carrey was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, losing the award to George Clooney for O Brother, Where Art Thou? The film won a Saturn Award for Best Music. However, it was also nominated for two 2000 Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst Screenplay, losing both categories to Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and Battlefield Earth respectively.


  • Jim Carrey would notably star as the main character in another Dr. Seuss adaptation eight years later - he voiced Horton in the 2008 film adaptation of Horton Hears a Who!

External links

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Universal Studios
Movies Merry Christmas, Mr. LawrenceThe Munsters' Scary Little ChristmasHow the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)Love ActuallyThe HolidayKrampusAlmost ChristmasThe Grinch (2018)Last ChristmasBlack Christmas (2019)
Direct-to-video films The Life and Adventures of Santa ClausBarbie in a Christmas CarolA Very Monkey ChristmasBarbie: A Perfect ChristmasBeethoven's Christmas AdventureAll I Want for Christmas is YouMy Adventures with Santa
Live-action television episodes "The Day They Captured Santa Claus" • "'Twas the Fight Before Christmas…" • "Christmas Presence" • "Home for the Holidays" • "Yule Laff" • "Christmas Brains" • "Seoul Mates" • "A Christmas Secret" • "Christmas Party" • "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa" • "A Benihana Christmas" • "Mr. Monk Meets His Dad" • "Moroccan Christmas" • "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa Claus" • "Ludachristmas" • "Christmas Special" • "Secret Santa (30 Rock) • "Christmas Attack Zone" • "Secret Santa" (The Office) • "Classy Christmas" • "Christmas Wishes" • "Josh and Mindy's Christmas Party" • "Mr. Monk and the Miracle"
Animated specials and episodes "Dickens of a Christmas" • A Wish For Wings That Work • "For Whom the Jingle Bell Tolls" • "A Christmas Peril" • "Ms. Banshee's Holiday Hits" • "Fright Before Christmas" • "A Very Woody Christmas" • "It's a Chilly Christmas After All" • "Yule Get Yours" • "The Twelve Lies of Christmas" • How Murray Saved Christmas • "ChristMess Eve"
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