20 Crazy Facts You Never Knew About How The Grinch Stole Christmas

My family has a lot of Christmas traditions that we partake in every single December. One of those traditions is watching How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which, in my opinion, is probably the best Dr. Seuss movie/story ever. I’ve been watching the original animated version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas since before I could remember, so I obviously love that one. But I’m also a big fan of the live-action take on the story starring Jim Carrey.

For me, one of the best things about the holidays is watching this movie – so why not learn more about it? If you’re a big fan like me, you’ll love finding out trivia behind both the animated and live-action movies. Here are 20 crazy, interesting facts you never knew about How The Grinch Stole Christmas:


1. The man who sang the famous Grinch song in the animated movie, Thurl Ravenscroft, is the voice of Tony The Tiger! 

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2. Tim Burton was almost the director of the live-action version, but had a conflict with another movie. 

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3. Eddie Murphy and Jack Nicholson almost got the role of The Grinch. 

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4. The prosthetic makeup Jim Carrey wore made him feel so uncomfortable he needed counseling from a Navy SEAL on torture-resistance techniques. 

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5. Jim Carrey’s yellow contact lenses were so uncomfortable that he couldn’t always wear them. Some shots of his eyes were colored in post-production. 

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6. No other movie had so many characters in such heavy makeup since The Wizard of Oz in 1939. 

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7. More than 1,000 man hours were used during shooting to apply makeup to the actors. 

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8. Jim Carrey spent a total of 92 days in the Grinch makeup. It took 2 and a half hours in the morning to put it on, and one hour in the evening to get it off. 

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9. Producers came to the set of Man on the Moon to see if Jim Carrey would make a good fit for the role. But he was so deep in character that his impersonation of the Grinch ended up being him doing an impression of himself doing an impression of the Grinch – that’s how he got the role. 

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10. The lyrics to the song “Fahoo Foraze” were made to imitate classical Latin. Some people really thought it was real Latin and asked for translations! 

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11. The Whoville set was built on the backlot of Universal Studios, and one day, Jim Carrey pulled a prank on tourists. He ran out of the Bates Motel in a dress holding a knife. No one recognized him. 

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12. There are many nods to the sorority Sigma Kappa throughout the story, because Dr. Seuss’s wife was a member. 

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13. The original Grinch was not green, he was black and white with red and pink splotches. 

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14. Jim Carrey improvised the famous line “6:30 P.M. Dinner with me; I can’t cancel that again.” 

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15. Actors who played Who’s had to go to Who-School with a choreographer to learn how to move and be comfortable being a Who. 

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16. After The Grinch leaves Whoville a second time in the live-action movie, the camera shows a statue of an elephant – this is a reference to Horton Hears A Who.

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17. Anthony Hopkins was the narrator of the live-action movie and recorded all of the narration in one day. 

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18. The movie used a lot of Cirque du Soleil performers for the acrobatic stunts. 

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19. Set designers used Medieval, Moroccan and Islamic influences as architectural references, just like the books.

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20. One morning, the director Ron Howard came in at 3:30 AM to put on the Grinch suit with full makeup. He directed with the suit on all day. 

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Which of these facts did you find the most interesting? Are you a fan of the Grinch? Do you like the animated or live-action version better? Tell me in the comments.

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.


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  • John Wayne Peel

    I could NEVER watch the Live action version. t left out the rhyme and therefoe the reason to see any other version of the Chuck Jones animated, Boris Karloff wonderful speaking voice that made it work splendidly!