Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! & Horton Hears a Who!(Rhino Movie Music)

Xmas Records

Record Reviews

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! & Horton Hears a Who!

(Rhino Movie Music)

For those of us who weren't allowed to watch TV as children (not without "Express Written Consent"), the holiday season meant one thing: Christmas specials. It was that magical time of the year when the Holy Trinity came to pay tribute: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and of course the best one of all, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! As the years went by, Rudolph and that pipsqueak elf outed themselves as sissies, while Frosty got exactly what he deserved -- a one-way ticket to Puddlesville. That mean ol' Grinch, on the other hand, he never lost his edge (even if his eyes turn gooey blue at the end!). Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk, Miiister Griiinch; the three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote: stink, stank, stunk! The Grinch rocked! The same isn't necessarily true of Rhino's recent reissue of the soundtrack, which they've now paired with another Dr. Seuss book-turned-TV-special, Horton Hears a Who! With some Nazi kangaroo trying to exterminate all the helpless inhabitants of Dust Speck -- an Aryan chorus chanting, "Boil that dustspeak" -- Theodore Geisel's allegorical tale about equality among all living things isn't nearly as much fun as The Grinch, nor does its translation work as well on CD. In fact, it seems that we have immortal animator Chuck Jones to thank for much of The Grinch's appeal; Rhino's new reissue includes a liner-notes Q&A with Mr. Merry Melodies himself, Jones, who reveals that he met Geisel working on WWII propaganda 'toons, and that he convinced the world-famous author to revolve the 1966 Christmas special around the Grinch's dog Max, because kids could identify with the idea of indentured servitude. Jones also points out the pivotal nature of Thurl Ravenscroft, better known as the voice of Tony the Tiger, and his "lugubrious" take on "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch" (an "Isolated Music Track" for Xmas tape enthusiasts). There coulda been more on getting narrator Boris Karloff to rival his Frankenstein monster with his gravely Grinchyness, and the new cover artwork is decidedly more garish than that on the previous issue, but then this eternal nightmare before Christmas endures just fine in all of its 26 and a half minutes of glory. [In faux Latin]: Fah Who Foraze, Dah Who Doraze, Welcome Christmas, bring your light. Fah Who Foraze, Dah Who Doraze, Welcome in the cold, dark, night.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Review: Tearjerk, <i>Face to Face</i>
Review: Tearjerk, Face to Face
Face to Face (Record Review)

Kriss Conklin, May 12, 2023

Album Review: The Stacks
Album Review: The Stacks
Lay Me Down to Rest (Record Review)

Mars Salazar, Feb. 17, 2023

More by Raoul Hernandez
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
A farewell party for Jim Eno, Rock the Park with Rosie Flores, and more recommended shows

June 2, 2023

S.L. Houser’s Earnest “Wind in the Door” and Five More Songs From Austin Artists
S.L. Houser’s Earnest “Wind in the Door” and Five More Songs From Austin Artists
New music picks from Rod Gator, BLK ODYSSY, and Cloud Companion

June 2, 2023

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle