Dr. Seuss’s beloved 1957 children’s book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! has become one of the essential stories of the Christmas season. It’s been adapted multiple times in both animation and live-action. Here’s how you can stream every version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
The story of the grumpy, Christmas-hating creature who learns the true meaning of the season after attempting to sabotage the holiday in wholesome Whoville is a favorite of multiple generations of kids and adults. Whether you prefer the classic animated TV special or the most recent staged musical production, there’s a Grinch for you.
Directed by legendary Looney Tunes animator Chuck Jones and starring horror icon Boris Karloff as the voice of both the narrator and the Grinch himself, this CBS special has aired on TV every year since its premiere. It also introduced several important elements of the Grinch mythology, including the character’s green-skinned appearance and his theme song, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”
It was followed by the non-Christmas-themed sequels Halloween Is Grinch Night and The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is streaming on Peacock ($4.99+ a month or $49.99+ per year). The classic (along with Halloween Is Grinch Night and The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat) is also available for digital purchase ($9.99) and rental ($3.99) at Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, and other outlets.
The only comedy star with the right kind of intensity to take on the Grinch was Jim Carrey, who donned some mildly unsettling full-body prosthetics to play the character in Ron Howard’s live-action adaptation. Howard channels a bit of Tim Burton in his creation of the rather psychedelic Whoville, expanding on Dr. Seuss’s simple story in order to fill out a feature-length film. Whether you find it delightful or nightmarish, Carrey’s version is certainly tough to forget.
Illumination, the animation studio behind the Despicable Me movies (as well as the previous Dr. Seuss adaptation The Lorax), created a feature-length animated version that expands the story in different ways than Ron Howard’s film, giving it a lighter, friendlier tone. Benedict Cumberbatch brings a slightly more subdued approach to his performance as the Grinch, and the film’s design sense is brighter and cuddlier than in previous versions. Audiences responded well, making The Grinch the highest-grossing holiday movie of all time.
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The story of the Grinch was first adapted into a stage musical in 1994, and in December of 2020, NBC made it the network’s latest “live” musical broadcast—although pandemic-related restrictions required it to be pre-taped without an in-person audience. Glee star Matthew Morrison plays the Grinch alongside Denis O’Hare and Booboo Stewart as different versions of the Grinch’s dog Max.
The production includes songs originally created for various versions of the story, including the 1966 special, the 2000 movie, and the stage musical (plus some up-to-date current-events jokes).
The Grinch Musical is streaming on Peacock ($4.99+ per month or $49.99+ per year).