The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner Bros. - 1966
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 25 minutes
Genre: Holiday TV special
Disc Format: BD-25
Video Aspect: 1.37:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Boris Karloff, June Foray
Directed by: Chuck Jones
Music by: Albert Hague
Written by: Thedor Dr. Seuss Geisel
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 6, 2009
"The Grinch looks great in Blu!...."
Every who down in Who-ville likes Christmas a lot, but the Grinch who lived just north of Who-ville did NOT! So the cuddly as a cactus Grinch (with termites in his smile and garlic in his soul) tries to wipe out Christmas for the cheerful Who-villains, only to discover: maybe Christmas, he thought doesn't come from as store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more! Magnificently narrated by Boris Karloff and animated by cartoon legend Chuck Jones, it's an award-winning Who-roast-beast-feast of a holiday classic!
The Grinch who stole Christmas is a story that should need no introduction. However for those few who may have never heard it here is a good overview from Wikipedia:
The Grinch, a bitter, cave-dwelling, catlike creature with a heart "two sizes too small," lives on snowy Mount Crumpit, a steep, 3,000-foot (910 m) high mountain just north of Whoville, home of the merry and warm-hearted Whos. His only companion is his faithful dog, Max. From his perch high atop Mount Crumpit, the Grinch can hear the noisy Christmas festivities that take place in Whoville. Envious of the Whos' happiness, he makes plans to descend on the town and, by means of burglary, deprive them of their Christmas presents and decorations and thus "prevent Christmas from coming". However, he learns in the end that despite his success in stealing all the Christmas presents and decorations from the Whos, Christmas comes just the same. He then realizes that Christmas is more than just gifts and presents. His heart grows three sizes larger, he returns all the presents and trimmings, and is warmly welcomed into the community of the Whos.
As a child Dr. Seuss' books were required reading in my house. We loved reading them over and over. The cat in the hat, Horton hears a who, Green eggs and ham, and the subject of this review were among the most popular. The Grinch who stole Christmas was adapted into an animated film in 1966 and became a Christmas season staple that as kids we never missed. Voiced and narrated by the late great Boris Karloff, Chuck Jones' adaptation is skillfully handled and is one long memorable moment that has enchanted youngsters for years. I love Thurl (Tony the Tiger) Ravenscroft's rendition of You're a mean one Mr. Grinch and the interaction between the Grinch and his faithful companion, Max. Other than the Grinch, the biggest scene stealer has to be Cindy-Lou Who (voiced to perfection by June Foray). This is indeed a timeless classic that has been shared and enjoyed by generations. Here is a quote from my recent review of A Charlie Brown Christmas as it also pertains to this:
When I was young the only time we were able to see classics like this were around the holidays when they came on TV. If you somehow missed it you were out of luck until next year. It was rarely a problem because there was always plenty of advanced notice. Of all the wonderful yearly classics this is one that we never missed. The advent of home video changed all of that. I don't want to say that made it less special but kids growing up in the age of home video don't understand the excitement/anticipation of waiting each year to see The wizard of Oz, West Side Story, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, or How the Grinch stole Christmas. It has probably been forty years since I first saw it and I still enjoy it very much the same. Watching it now brings back warm nostalgic feelings from my childhood. I am thrilled that it has been released in high definition on Blu-ray Disc.
This program is appropriate for all ages.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
How the Grinch stole Christmas comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 20 mbps and lossy Dolby Digital stereo audio that has a constant bitrate of 192 kbps.
This presentation clearly represents this made for TV special in its finest light and looks great. The print is in excellent shape and exhibited little to no obvious signs of its age. Resolution is excellent as the video is rendered with refined clarity and stable sharpness. Colors are bold with slightly overstated reds and blues and a wide array of hues that quickly identify with Dr. Seuss' distinctive visual style. Blacks, such as those found in the background of the Grinch's cave or in the dark Whoville family fireplaces aren't infinitely deep but look appreciably dark next to the lighter elements onscreen. I detected a light veil of grain and didn't see any signs of compression related video noise or artifacts. This older TV based soundtrack makes exclusive use of the center channel speaker. I was impressed with the level of clarity that I heard in spoken dialogue and lower level sounds contained within the recording. The centrally focused presentation isn't especially engaging but dimension is fair. There is no information mixed to the surrounds and subwoofer. Based upon the original source elements this track sounded appropriately dated but otherwise just fine.
- Behind the story: Dr. Seuss and the Grinch from Whoville to Hollywood - 25 minute featurette
- Grinch pencil test - Take a look at some of the storyboard sketches
- Songs in the key of Grinch - 8 minute documentary
- 4 Grinch song selections set to a static pic of Whoville
- Making animation and bringing it to life - Audio commentary featuring animator Phil Roman and June Foray (the voice of Cindy-Lou Who)
- Who's who in Whoville - Text based biographies of Dr. Seuss, Boris Karloff, Chuck Jones and June Foray
- How the Grinch stole Christmas TNT special edition hosted by the late Phil Hartman - A fun soup to nuts look at the production (19 minutes)
- Trailers: Peanuts holiday collection & Classic Christmas favorites
- Bonus Disc containing a Digital Copy and standard definition DVD version of How the Grinch stole Christmas
How the Grinch stole Christmas is a beloved family classic from the mind and heart of Dr. Seuss. Its story was faithfully brought to life in this animated feature that has easily withstood the test of time and entertained generations of viewers throughout the years. It tiptoes onto Blu-ray from Warner Bros. featuring excellent high definition video quality and a wonderful assortment of pertinent bonus supplements that add to the enjoyment of this quality offering that belongs in every collection.
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