Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas Movie Poster Image

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas



Heartwarming TV special is true to Seuss' classic book.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1966
  • Running Time: 26 minutes

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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!"

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:December 18, 1966
DVD/Streaming release date:October 30, 2000
Cast:Boris Karloff
Director:Chuck Jones
Studio:Warner Home Video
Genre:Family and Kids
Character strengths:Gratitude, Humility
Run time:26 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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Adult Written bysuzylowry December 22, 2009
I love the Grinch and still won't miss it even at age 47!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bymyab October 14, 2010

Great Message in a Short Film

This is a not to miss movie in our house every Christmas. The Grinch goes from looking and acting like the "eel" the famous song describes him as, to a happier, more gentle Grinch when he realizes that the Who's joy isn't monetary, it's spiritual. What a lovely sentiment! Plus, poor Max's dash down the mountain as a "reindeer" still makes us laugh. FYI, he isn't run over by the sleigh, but more slides under it when the sleigh overtakes him downhill.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byreviewgirl13 July 11, 2009

Great, charming, and classic movie for all ages!

This movie is really good and I still enjoy watching it! It teaches kids great lessons and isn't spoiled by crude language or anything bad or questionable. Great family movie and classic for anyone and everyone!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models