Now that the 'pesky' Halloween has ended we can finally get to what matters.
Thanksgiving and Christmas.
With those comes some delightful holiday releases that will put you in the mood for a roast beast.
(The following are the three official synopsis for the Dr. Seuss's Holidays on the Loose! release. Enjoy)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! –“Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot.” And every family likes How the Grinch Stole Christmas! a lot! Based on Dr. Seuss’ beloved book, this joyous, heart-tickling holiday event which features the voice of legendary actor Boris Karloff, has delighted all ages since its 1966 debut. Can the Grinch steal the town’s holiday spirit by stealing their holiday treats? Or does Christmas…perhaps…mean a little bit more? The answers to those questions unfold charmingly under Chuck Jones’ pitch perfect direction.
The Grinch Grinches The Cat in the Hat – What happens when the mischievous Grinch decides to wreak havoc on the world but the happy and ever-so-delightful Cat in the Hat stands in this way? The result is a triumphant story of an unlikely hero who uses a little caring and compassion to help save the world from an unfriendly and unbeautiful future. Watch and see if the Cat in the Hat can go from peaceful picnic in the shade to helping the frightfully mean Grinch turn a new leaf. This special earned an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Animated Program in 1982.
Halloween is Grinch Night – The sinister Grinch who stole Whoville’s Christmas is back to declare Halloween as “Grinch Night!” While the Whos are caught in a horrible storm of Sour-Sweet Wind, the Grinch and his trusty pooch Max, take this opportunity to terrorize the little town. Unfortunately for him he is surprised by a young boy whose unexpected courage prevents the Grinch from unleashing his awful horrors onto their tranquil town. Grinch Night will never be the same! This special earned an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Children’s Special in 1978.
Out of all three, the strongest of the group still is How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, which is to be expected. You get a wonderfully cleaned up version of the Christmas classic with a very nice mastered audio track to boot. I love the fact that you can actually go to all the singing parts of the special, which is one of the more addictive features of it. It's still a very solid Christmas classic that just doesn't come on enough during the holiday season. This deluxe edition of the film is worth the price of admission for this release. The fact that you get more is something special.
The second television special, which is The Grinch Grinches The Cat in the Hat, is a 1982 tale of The Cat in the Hat saving the future from a very evil Grinch. It's certainly enjoyable, and a little frightening, but a wonderful edition to the collection. Out of the three, it is probably one of the more complicated stories that were told in the Dr. Seuss/Grinch series. The mixture of The Cat in the Hat into the story is a bit weird, but it works by the end. I found it to be less emotionally involved than the first, but it still is a very well put together special. My kids loved it, which is saying a lot.
The last television special on this release is Halloween is Grinch Night. To be very blunt and honest, I'm not sure why they don't do more Halloween / Grinch specials. It would seem that the Grinch and Halloween would go together like peanut butter and jelly. You've got an evil character that is set to ruin things, which is perfect for a night filled with ghosts, goblins, witches and things that go bump in the night. The special is pretty solid and deserved an Emmy. It's kind of the opposite of Grinch's Christmas special, as you've got a boy stopping him from ruining a very quiet town. It's basically the same formula, but with a less emotionally involved holiday. Still, it's just as fun.
What's great about this release is that it is only $26.98 ($21 for Amazon folks), which is a very reasonable price for this DVD set. It has some good specials in it that will be brought out as much as Charlie Browns' specials during the holiday season. I know that I've already watched these multiple times, and not just for reviewing. For a reviewer during the holiday season when tons of items are coming in to write about that's saying a heckuva lot about the replay value. I would pay $26 for these in a heartbeat.
The only regret I have about this set is that I wish it was on Blu-ray. Not only would the HD transfer look beautiful (as Warner Home Video has proved time and time again that it knows how to do good looking transfers), but it would probably be on one disc. As it is, it's a pretty DVD visually that is worth the price of admission.
In addition to the three television features, you also get a very solid set of special features. Here's what you're looking at:
- From Whoville to Hollywood – A rapping, rhyming chronicle of the original book and this beloved animated adaptation.
- Songs in the Key of Grinch – Interviews with composer Albert Hague and vocalist Thurl Ravenscroft.
- Who’s Who in Whoville – Biography Gallery.
- Grinch Song Selections – Go right to your favorite songs. Includes: Opening Song, Trim Up the Tree, Welcome, Christmas and You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.
- TNT’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas Featurette – With Phil Hartman.
- Grinch Pencil Test
All of these features are good. You won't find a throw away in this list (throw away meaning that it was simply put there to fill space). I particularly like the Phil Hartman featurette (miss that guy) and the Grinch Song Selection. You'll have plenty to do on this list well after the features have run their course. A very solid set of special features.