Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Movie review by
Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Heartwarming TV special is true to Seuss' classic book.
  • NR
  • 1966
  • 26 minutes

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 25 reviews

Kids say

age 3+
Based on 30 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

After doing some very mean things, the Grinch learns that Christmas is about more than gifts and presents. It's about love. Additional themes include humility and gratitude.

Positive Role Models

At first the Grinch is mean, cruel, and bad, but he learns and becomes good.

Violence & Scariness

The Grinch's dog, Rex, is slammed into snow drifts and run over by the sleigh.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas is an animated version of the classic children's tale -- read line-by-line by Boris Karloff -- with moments of extremely mild peril. The Grinch's dog is treated poorly -- slammed into snow drifts and run over by the sleigh. And very young or sensitive children may become a little upset at the Grinch stealing all the Whos' Christmas presents. But there's far more to recommend in this perennial favorite than there is to worry about. It's a classic that's practically required holiday viewing for families that celebrate Christmas.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLowe's man August 2, 2014

One of the best and so finely narrated.

Whose heart won't be warmed up when they see how The Grinch changed his ways and developed a big heart? All he needed was love. And that he received from... Continue reading
Adult Written byZoobeezoo November 17, 2021

Warm, humorous and fun.

The original and by far the best Grinch movie, the Seuss-style animation is delightfully whimsical.
The songs are brilliantly written and beautifully performed... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old December 10, 2009

way better than the other one

i like this one alot better than the real people one! this one is cute and clever
Teen, 13 years old Written bypoe-ette December 31, 2011

Really, truly the BEST!

Everyone in my family watches this movie every year on Christmas eve! Who doesn't like this movie?

What's the story?

In DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, it's the day before Christmas, and all the Grinch can think about is how much he hates the whole Christmas season. "No one quite knows the reason. It could be perhaps that his shoes were too tight. It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right. But I think that the most likely reason of all may have been that his heart was two sizes too small." Naturally, then, the Grinch hates the Whos in Whoville, who string up the lights, hang the holly Who-wreath, and play with the confoundingly loud jing-tinglers, floobfloobers, and tar tinkers. He can't stand it! So he hatches a plot to stop Christmas from coming. Dressed as a rag-tag Santa, the Grinch sneaks into every home and, with the coerced help of his dog, drags all their Christmas decorations, food, and presents back up the mountain. But can he stop Christmas from coming? And can the love that Christmas embodies save his shriveled heart? If you were born in the past 50 years, you know the answer to that question.

Is it any good?

Forget those nasty Christmas movies that are too cynical and cool to be heartwarming, and settle your family down for a viewing of this classic animated special. This retelling of the beloved Theodore Geisel book, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas is true to its roots and its heartwarming moral. It's a sweet, soothing story, nearly the polar opposite of movies like Jingle All the Way or even the classic A Christmas Story, with their focus on consumerism. This 30-minute cartoon will introduce a new generation to the adorably put-up dog; the nasty, green face of the Grinch; and the angelic Cindy Lou Who. And it will have youngsters bopping along to great songs like "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." Kids are likely to howl in delight at descriptions like, "You have termites in your smile. You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile!"

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the message Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas delivers about the true meaning of Christmas. Would you enjoy Christmas as much without presents? How do you make Christmas special?

  • How does the Grinch change over the course of the story? Can people learn to be good? 

  • How do the characters in How the Grinch Stole Christmas demonstrate gratitude and humility? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love christmas

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

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