November 19February 27, 2022
“A Wonderful, Awful Idea”: Animating the Grinch Who Stole Christmas
Museum of the Moving Image – Amphitheater Gallery
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a made-for-television short by legendary animation director Chuck Jones, based on the 1957 book by Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss). First aired by CBS in 1966, this 24-minute animated story of a grouchy curmudgeon who tries to ruin Christmas has become an enduring holiday classic. The sketches, animation cels, and backgrounds on exhibit—40 selections from the extensive private collection of Bill Heeter and Kristi Correa—illustrate Jones’s approach to adapting Geisel’s story for the screen. In contrast to the book’s black, white, and red palette, Jones unleashed a riotous array of vivid colors to depict the story’s settings and characters. The film showcases Jones’s unparalleled character animation and comic timing, creating an utterly believable, villainous—but ultimately redeemed—Grinch that became the standard for all subsequent adaptations.