With so many different entertainment options out there for your children, we at PopcornBiz thought we'd take a moment each week to dissect one piece of family entertainment strictly from a parent's perspective, so that you know what parts are appropriate for your loved ones, and which are not. This week's COVER YOUR EYES subject: “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”
Before we get into the parental considerations for this, please note that this edition of CYE refers to the ORIGINAL animated version of The Grinch, and not the Ron Howard film version that ruined Christmas forever a few years back. If you want to know if that movie is okay to show your kids, the answer is NO. NEVER. If you catch them watching it, burn your TV in front of them to let them know you mean business. Now, to judge whether or not the original version is safe for young eyes, we must consider a few factors:
The “Will Parents Be Able To Tolerate It?” Factor: YES. Like "Rudolph," the original "Grinch" is the kind of holiday special most American parents can't wait to show their children. If you're like me, you fantasize of watching it while cuddled on the couch with your little one, as you both are moved to tears at the end by the Whos singing their little Who song even though all their presents are gone. But then reality hits and your kid demands to watch "Phineas & Ferb" and you're like YOU FOOL! DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND HOW SPECIAL THIS SPECIAL IS?! Kids today don't understand great television.
Anyway, "The Grinch" still holds up, and in fact seems to only improve with time. Thanks to Chuck Jones' direction and the brilliant narration from Boris Karloff, the special has an unmistakable edge to it that never overwhelms the underlying warmth of the show. It's a perfect half-hour of viewing, and I doubt any new Christmas special will ever be able to match it.
The Dead Parent Factor: None! The Grinch may not even HAVE parents, which is so much better!
The Sexy Sex Sex Factor: None. And thank goodness for that. I suspect there's a hentai site somewhere deep in the bowels of the web that traffics in grinch porn, but I have no interest in seeing it.
The Scare Factor: The Grinch himself can be scary to your young ones, but that scariness gets blunted by the fact that the Grinch turns downright cuddly at the end. Hard to be scared by the Grinch once he ends up carving the roast beast. The only scary parts to the Grinch are conceptual in nature. Your kid may ask you if someone will steal THEIR Christmas, which is a legit concern among greedy little kids. "The Grinch" also introduces children to the idea of meanness, the idea that some people out there aren't so nice, and have bad intentions. That can be a bit of a shock.
The Violence Factor: None, though putting antlers on a little dog is never a good idea.
Age Range: 1 and up. You have nothing to fear from the beloved classic, except for the alternate ending when the Grinch keeps all the stuff and burns Whoville to the ground. Look for it on the special Criterion disc!