Last year I had this idea that I was going to do lots of posts here at WWoB about Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials. Then it ended up that I did next to none, so here's the first entry of what will hopefully be many more. Yesterday I dug out of my archives HALLOWEEN IS GRINCH NIGHT, a terrible attempt to follow up HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS with more Grinchy holiday fun. The Grinch Christmas special was based on Dr. Seuss' classic 1957 book of the same name and first aired on television in 1966. The screenplay was written by Dr. Seuss and the film itself was directed by animation legend Chuck Jones. I have read that Dr. Seuss was very proud of this production, and did not generally like film versions of his stories except for the Grinch Christmas special. Now fast forward to the 1978 Halloween special and it appears someone had a gun to Seuss' head to write this crap-o-la. Any charm, message or holiday spirit is thrown right out the window in this production.
As you may guess, I've seen alot of animation and as a viewer there is one rule you can always count on. If a cartoon's musical sequences are abstract and involve characters running around in different colors with no backgrounds, you can pretty much guarantee you're not watching a good cartoon. Case in point, during HALLOWEEN IS GRINCH NIGHT about 48 songs are sung in the course of 22 minutes. In one song, while the Grinch tries to convince a young Whoo that he IS the real Grinch, the Grinch's eyebrows fly off of him and flutter around while various Halloween images dance across the screen. Everytime this sequence is played, the ghost of Dr. Seuss jabs a Thrunkle-fork or a 3 foot pointy edge Knock-Glock-Grabber directly into his heart! I'd like to tell you the plot of this Halloween cartoon, but I couldn't make heads or tales out of it! For some reason, the Grinch decides to pay the residents of Whoo-ville another visit, he spends that next 20 minutes making his way down his mountain (again), Max the dog takes time for a song about why he's so sad, and then the Grinch meets a little Whoo whom was blown away from a storm out of his backyard while on the way to the outhouse. Yes...it's that bad.
You'd have to go out of your way to catch this vintage TV special now. It no longer airs, luckily for me I taped it off television about 20 years ago!