Dr. Seuss first unleashed his wonderful Christmas creation upon the world in 1957 in the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Nine years later, the great Warner Bros. director, Chuck Jones, adapted the story in animated form for television that itself has become a classic enjoyed annually by children and adults alike to this day. It has since been translated into two feature films, one of which is currently entertaining people in theaters right now. For me, the Chuck Jones version remains closest to my heart.
The Jones one is the version that introduced me to the character before I ever saw the original book. The Grinch was delightfully mean, the Whos down in Whoville were pure and innocent, and stuck in the middle was the Grinch’s faithful companion, Max the dog. In the end, there was genuine redemption for the green meanie.
When I was young and had first entered the business, I wrote Mr. Jones a fan letter, telling him of my affection for his version of the story. I mentioned that I had even held Christmas parties at my home where I had my guests take a Grinch quiz, and then we would watch the film to mark off the correct answers. (I also had mentioned to him my love for his other Warner Bros. cartoons.) He responded by sending me a sketch of Bugs Bunny dressed in the Grinch’s Santa outfit which I treasure to this day.
So, just because I was feeling a little nostalgic for the ol’ emerald one, I worked up a little piece to post here this holiday season!