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The Grinch
The Grinch.png
The Grinch (right) with his dog Max
First appearance How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957)
Created by Dr. Seuss
Portrayed by Jim Carrey (How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000 film))
Voiced by
Gender Male

The Grinch is a fictional character created by Dr. Seuss. He is best known as the main character of the 1957 children's book How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. He has been portrayed and voiced by many different actors, including Boris Karloff, Hans Conried, Bob Holt, Jim Carrey, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Character description

The Grinch is depicted as a hairy, pot-bellied, pear-shaped, snub-nosed creature with a cat-like face and cynical personality. In full-color adaptations, he is typically colored avocado green. He has spent the past 53 years living in seclusion on a cliff, overlooking the town of Whoville.

This funny character is also portrayed as grumpy and mean in the early parts of the movie but soon gets swept off his feet with Christmas cheer. Some might say he's a mean one Mr. Grinch he really is a heel. He's as cuddly as a cactus as charming as an eel. He's a bad banana with a greasy black peel.

In contrast to the cheerful Whos, the Grinch is misanthropic and mean-tempered. The reason for this is a source of speculation; the consensus among the Whos is that he was born with a heart that is "two sizes too small". He especially hates the Christmas season, making particular note of how disturbing the various noises of Christmas time are to him, including the singing of Christmas carols. Unable to stand the holiday any longer, he decides to destroy it once and for all.

Aided by his pet dog, Max, he disguises himself as Santa Claus and breaks into the Whos' homes to steal everything they own and dump it off a nearby mountain. Although he pulls off the theft successfully, on Christmas morning, he is shocked to hear the Whos still singing cheerfully, happy simply to have each other. He then realizes that the holiday has a deeper meaning that he never considered. Inspired, he stops the Whos' belongings from falling off the edge of the mountain, and in the process (according to those who speculated upon the size of his heart before) his heart grows three sizes. He returns all the gifts he stole and gladly takes part in the Whos' Christmas celebration.

The Grinch is still portrayed as a bitter and ill-tempered character in artwork or other media. In both the animated TV special and the 2000 live-action film, he is shown to have superhuman strength when he stops an entire sleigh loaded with presents from going over a cliff and lifts it over his head, and he is also described as "[finding] the strength of ten Grinches plus two" (a phrase lifted from the original book) during that moment of crisis. In the 2018 film, the Grinch has assistance saving all the Whos' stolen goods.

With the character's anti-Christmas spirit followed by the transformation on Christmas morning, scholars have noted similarity to Ebenezer Scrooge from Charles Dickens' 1843 novella A Christmas Carol. Cardiologist David Kass suggested that the rapid growth of the Grinch's heart at the end of the story indicates that the Grinch has the physiology of a Burmese python.

In Seuss's book, "no one quite knows the reason" for the Grinch's grudge. In contrast, the 2000 film adaptation provides a backstory in his upbringing: Abandoned in infancy in Whoville and left in the cold, unnoticed by the revelers at a Christmas party, the Grinch is taken in by two Who sisters. He proves an unruly schoolboy and is bullied by a schoolmate, Augustus May Who (later Whoville's mayor), but falls for a Who-girl named Martha. Determined to impress her, he cooks family heirlooms in a pot for a Christmas gift exchange and vainly attempts to shave, then is mocked for his efforts by all at school but Martha and so conceives an abiding resentment. The TV special The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat lays much of the blame on the Grinch's grieving the death of his mother.

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