Where to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas (all versions)

“You’re mean, Mr. Grinch. You are really stupid. You are cute as a cactus, you are charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch.”

For fans of Dr. Seuss of all ages, Albert Hague’s very catchy song from the original TV special, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (as performed by Thurl Ravenscroft) perfectly encapsulates the disgruntled soul who is so fed up with Christmas revelry that he decides to make everyone else miserable by taking their presents and pageantry.

However, the Grinch’s enduring popularity isn’t just because he’s an effective villain. That’s because the Grinch has an epiphany about the true meaning of Christmas and a chance for redemption when he realizes how wrong he was to rob Whoville. And the Grinch goes to extremes to make things better before accepting changes in himself as well. As the story goes, his heart grew three sizes that day, and he did not die suddenly of coronary heart disease.

There are three adaptations of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s 1957 children’s book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! TV special, 2000 live action film starring Jim Carrey in the title role, and the Grinch, a 2018 animated film that expands the story to a feature length. Now, it’s time to tell you where to find all three adaptations this holiday season.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)


Frankenstein star Boris Karloff lent his voice How the Grinch Stole Christmas! as the narrator and the Grinch himself. This special was directed and developed by Looney Tunes legend Chuck Jones, and the animation has held up remarkably well in the following decades.

The only real weakness of this version of the story is that it ends too quickly, only 25 minutes from start to finish. However, it’s hard to argue with something that works so well that it’s still a Christmas favorite nearly six decades later.

Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Peacock.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

The Grinch talks to a dog in Dr.  Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Image used with permission of the copyright holder

Some Grinch-like Hollywood executives have confirmed that no one will be able to stream the live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas this holiday season without paying extra. Sounds like someone deserves coal in their stockings for that.

Director Ron Howard and screenwriters Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman took extreme liberties with the Grinch’s backstory by reframing his isolation from Whoville. For example, the Grinch once loved Martha May Whovier (Christine Baranski) and had a mutual feud with his childhood bully, Mayor Augustus MayWho (Jeffrey Tambor).

Additionally, the film establishes the Grinch’s reluctant bond with young Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) when he saves her life, and she tries to involve him in the town’s Christmas celebrations. The film basically has the same ending as the TV special, it just takes a lot longer to get there.

Rent or buy How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Google Play, Prime Video, YouTubeAnd Apple TV+.

The Grinch (2018)

The Grinch is in the process of stealing Christmas.
Universal Pictures

Sherlock And Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch takes the lead role the Grinch, which offers the most sympathetic version of the character to date. As part of the expanded story, the film suggests that the Grinch’s actions stem from the anger, pain, and loneliness that have accompanied him throughout his life. However, he was not a heartless monster even before his redemption. The Grinch takes care of his dog, Max, and he doesn’t even spare his reindeer, Fred, in a happy ending.

To complete the story, the creative team gave larger roles to Cindy Lou Who (Cameron Seely) and the rest of Whoville. Other cast members include Rashida Jones as Donna Who, Kenan Thompson as Bricklebaum, Angela Lansbury as Mayor McGerkle, Tristan O’Hare as Groopert, Sam Lavagnino as Ozzy, Ramone Hamilton as Axl, Scarlett Estevez as Izzy, and Pharrell Williams as the Narrator.

Watch the Grinch on Peacock.

Is any version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas worth watching?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Image used with permission of the copyright holder

Yes, especially the original animated version. Despite its antiquity, it still offers an entertaining, albeit brief, diversion into the classic story of Dr. Seuss. Young children will be especially entertained by the simple storyline and clear good versus bad narrative.

Jim Carrey’s version has both admirers and detractors. Director Ron Howard’s live-action interpretation loses some of its magic in a big-budget translation, and Dr. Seuss can be a bit annoying at 105 minutes. That said, Carrey is at his comedic peak here, and the make-up and production design are absolutely charming.

For today’s fans, the Grinch may have the best chance of catching up. It has dazzling modern animation and a more reflective story than the live-action film. Carrey himself may be a live-action cartoon, but the Grinch’s unique physique will always work better in animation.

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