I went to my player, the one that’s on top. I turned on the TV I bought at the shop. Then I opened my Blu-ray, took it right from its case, and then there on the tray I put it in place. I pushed one or two buttons to bring it up fast. Soon an FBI warning, then my feature at last. I sat the whole time crouched alone in my chair, watching fanciful images that came to me there. I was certain at once that I’d seen this before, but something was different; it was brighter, I’m sure. The Grinch was the same, he hadn’t changed, not a bit. But the image was clearer now, I had to admit. So, I puzzled and puzzled alone in my seat. Why these colors much finer for such a repeat? Then at last I was certain, yes it had to be so. This must be high definition, what a wonderful show. I know when it ended I felt somewhat sad, but these discs last forever, and so I was glad. So, if you’re a fan of the Grinch and his kin, you must hurry now quickly and watch it again. I promise it will be like nothing you’ve known. It’s for kids of all ages, both little and grown.
Boris Karloff was famous for monsters and ghouls, who’d have thought he’d be perfect for books read in schools? He tells quite a story, a marvelous voice. To play the Grinch and reader he was the most perfect choice. The songs are all there, you know them by heart. Nothing is missing, not one little part. Everyone’s back, Cindy Lou Who and Max. But the Grinch is the star. The facts are the facts. You can sing along joyfully. You know every word. You know every scene even before it occurred. Chuck Jones was the talent behind all the art, as he carefully directed each wonderful part. It was made in 1966. It’s been shown every year, from Tampa to London, Paris, Rome, and Tangier. Kids laugh and they snicker. Some kids even wince; for 44 years now we’ve been watching The Grinch.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas is presented in its original broadcast full frame format but, for the first time in a brightly colored high definition 1080p image courtesy of a VC-1 codec. This one is far superior to the Horton transfer. The colors are almost blinding they are so bright an clear. The level of detail and sharpness makes it hard to believe this is a 40 year old cartoon. I never expected this kind of image quality.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is pretty much DVD standard sound. I don’t suspect anything more than that could have added more to the experience. The dialog and song numbers are clear, and that’s really all we have any reason to expect from this release.
There is an Audio Commentary by Phil Roman, one of the show’s animators, and June Foray, the voice of little Cindy Lou Who. Foray appears a little mismatched, but Roman is delightful and often clues us in to the animator that did the various scenes.
The features are all in a VC-1 codec but are pretty much standard definition.
Dr. Seuss And The Grinch – From Whoville To Hollywood: (15:48) Kids, authors, and Dr. Seuss’s widow all join in on a celebration of the man and his work, particularly, The Grinch.
Songs In The Key Of Grinch: (8:01) Albert Hague was the music composer and Thurl Ravenscoft, best known as Tony The Tiger, sang the Grinch numbers. They both share their memories of creating the wonderful music that help bring this Christmas special to life.
TNT’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas – Special Edition: (19:18) The late Phil Hartman gives us a look at how the show was created from sound effects, music, voices, and of course the animation. There are some very nice conceptual drawings here as well. Chuck Jones clips are included. Even Danny Elfman and Tim Burton get in on the action here. There’s a Karloff clip from my favorite horror film, the Val Lewton classic The Body Snatcher, directed by Robert Wise and not to be confused with the pod people alien invasion film.
Grinch Pencil Tests: A slideshow of early test drawings.
Song Selection: This feature allows you to go directly to any of the show’s musical numbers.
Who’s Who In Whoville: This feature gives a small capsule text biography on Chuck Jones, Boris Karloff, Dr. Seuss, and June Foray.
DVD and Digital Copy
Wherever you are, be it North, South, or East, spend a night with the Grinch, that lovable beast. This is truly a classic, I declare it to be so. It’s a family fun evening, without spending much dough. When someone decided to put the Grinch out this way, The quality, within “grew 3 sizes that day”.
12/03/2009 @ 12:51 am
Great review Gino, very entertaining stuff.
12/03/2009 @ 3:38 pm
Thank you, Jay 🙂