Happy Anniversary, Mr. Grinch!

‘Grinch’ poised to ring in the big 5-0
He may have been about as “cuddly as a cactus and as charming as an eel,” but the Grinch definitely has enduring appeal.
The book that introduced the grumpy, green Dr. Seuss creation who tried to thwart Christmas turns 50 next year.
To get a jump on the event, Warner Home Video last month released a 50th Birthday Deluxe Edition DVD of the animated special Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the first time it has been remastered.
“If yuletide comes, so comes the Grinch,” says Audrey Geisel, 85, widow of Ted Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, who died in 1991 at age 87. “Year after year after year The Grinch came out, and that rather surprised me as the years went by, but then I finally said it’s going to be there every single season.”
The book, which Seuss biographer Kathleen Krull says in a DVD interview took him “a week” to write (although the ending took “months”), is a perennial favorite. The animated special over the past five years has averaged 6.4 million viewers each airing. And the DVD, says Dorinda Marticorena of Warner Home Video, “every holiday season sells so well.”
The appeal, Geisel says, is the Grinch’s message, of course:
Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas Ö perhaps Ö means a little bit more.
“Ted liked the Grinch particularly because it went against the normal way of looking at Christmas,” says Geisel in a phone interview from her home on a hilltop in La Jolla, Calif. (Parked outside is her beloved gray 1984 Cadillac with the GRINCH plates.)
The holiday had become too materialistic, she says, and “Ted wanted to bring back the ho, ho without all the dough, dough. Making a heart grow three times is a nice thought.”
The craziness of Christmas was something Dr. Seuss felt even before he wrote about the Grinch, says Bill Dreyer, curator of the Seuss art collection.
“I just reviewed an artwork that Ted created in 1938 called Xmas Chaos,” Dreyer says. “This has never been seen. It’s been in a private collection for 70 years. It talks about in this artwork 20 years before Grinch, the treadmill or whirlpool of the holiday. You jump on and get thrown off. It’s interesting that the Grinch is the medium through which Ted delivers his philosophical idea about the holiday (being) hijacked by commercialization.”