Friday, 30 October 2009

Happy Halloweenie Ev'rybody!

OK, so it's been a while since I last posted - trust RL to get in the way of process yet again XP - but considering that Halloween is fast approaching, I thought it a chance to review a lesser-known animated Halloween special that many US fans might well be aware of:

Sort of like a prequel to "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", this - like many Dr. Seuss animations at the time - were brought to life by DePatie-Freleng Studios (Pink Panther, the Ant and the Aardvark, Tijuana Toads) and all penned by Dr. Seuss himself (alias Theodor Seuss Geisel).The story revolves around Whoville and on a particular time of of year called "Grinch Night" when the "Sour-Sweet" wind starts up, causing a variety of animals to start growling and grumbling, which annoys the Grinch into terrorizing the Whos, who all go into hiding. Only this year a small Who by the name of Euchariah is caught by the fierce wind and blown onto Mount Crumpet, where upon he discovers the Grinch's latest plan for "Grinch Night" and plans to stop him until the "Sour-Sweet" Wind has died down....
While it's not on-par with the success that is HTGSC, Grinch Night does have its moments that have made itself an impact on anyone who happened to catch its first airing back in 1977, and perhaps it being a somewhat "predecessor" to Tim Buton's "The Nightmare before Christmas" - ie; being magical, bizarre, surreal, chocked full of songs and rather psychedelic. Otherwise, it's a pretty good special with its usual Seuss-ness involved.
What's more, after watching it once or twice, I've discovered there is more to this special that meets the eye, with certain tidbits and nods that might go waaaay above the heads of today's youth:

- When young Euchariah Who is caught by the wind, he is making his way to the outhouse (ie: toilet/bathroom) simply referred to as the "euphemism" - which, apparently, is a form of censorship:
" inoffensive word or phrase substituted for one considered offensive or hurtful"

- The Grinch's latest plot to terrorise Whoville involves a large wagon full of monsters named the "Paraphernalia Wagon" - which is a definition for a drug, hence the rather psyched-out scenes when within the wagon itself!

- A particular scene involves the Grinch's eyebrows to fly off from his head. Now this was originally based on an idea Dr. Seuss himself conjured up for a stand-alone film, which didn't receive much enthusiasm at the time. So it seemed appropriate for Giesel to make use of this throwaway idea all the same :)
More info on the "eyebrows" story can be read here, taken from the Cartoon Brew blog.

So there's the long and short of this great grinchy tale
Some things may seem odd but never did fail
to keep the minds both for young and for old

a-thinking, a-tinking and shining like gold.
So relieve those times when one asked for a fright

by watching bellow three parts of GRINCH NIGHT!

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