You Know ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ but Have You Seen ‘Halloween is Grinch Night?’
I’d have to believe that almost everyone is familiar with the holiday classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The book by Dr. Seuss has been turned into several films, all of which are guaranteed to invoke the holiday spirit after seeing the Grinch’s heart grow. The Grinch is a beloved, yet snarky and often mean-spirited character that has become synonymous with this time of year. Back in 1977, a Grinch sequel was released called Halloween is Grinch Night (sometimes called It’s Grinch Night or Grinch Night) which seems to have fallen into obscurity. Have you ever heard of it? Let us know in the comments because I love the Grinch and I only found out about the special today!
The film was meant to be a prequel of sorts, showcasing Whoville at Halloween, and is much darker than the Christmas version. It takes place on a night when “Sour-Sweet Wind” blows and the Grinch comes out of his cave to terrorize the Whos with his dog, Max by his side. The special will make you feel even worse for poor old Max, who seems to be enslaved by the Grinch instead of being his trusty sidekick. He is shown locked in a dungeon and even whipped by the Grinch. As a dog lover, this one stings.
Since the special is focused on Halloween, not Christmas, it has a spookier and more psychedelic tone and could likely frighten some young children. The story takes a look at the Grinch’s life before the famous Christmas happenings but doesn’t really share the backstory of why he hates the Whos so much (unlike the Jim Carrey version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas which shows the young Grinch being teased by the Whos). Whoville and the Whos look different than the Christmas versions, perhaps giving a glimpse at what Whoville is like at other times of the year, with some of the Whos resembling the Amish community for some reason.
Of course, like any Dr. Seuss special, it features original music including a tune that goes, “I suggest we stay indoors tonight, Our problems are immense, I wouldn’t go out on Grinch Night, For six dollars and sixty cents!” It kind of reminds me of Devil’s Night, the tradition of kids getting into mischief the night before Halloween. (Tell me, have you heard of Devil’s Night or is it just a Michigan thing?) It is odd that the special isn’t streaming or usually aired anymore because it won the 1978 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program.
While Halloween is Grinch Night isn’t available on streaming services as of now, I found a version on YouTube for you! Let me know your thoughts.