Don’t Be So Mean Grinch!

“Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot,
But the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did not.
The Grinch hated Christmas — the whole Christmas season.
Oh, please don’t ask why, no one quite knows the reason.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.”

 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas joys is watching and sharing my favorite animated Christmas specials. This month will be dedicated to these wonderful specials and films.

 

Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr. Seuss is one of the most significant authors in American literature. His classic book, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” has been a lifelong favorite. Known as a children’s author, Dr. Seuss’ cadence and rhyming style (anapestic tetrameter) is both renown and his signature. I believe his gift lies in his ability to convey his philosophy of life in a playful, endearing way. Most of us grew up reading Dr. Seuss and escaping into the wonderful worlds he shared. His other bestselling books bring back precious memories: Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and Horton Hears a Who!


How the Grinch Dr. Seuss

 

On December 18, 1966 “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” premiered as a television special and has continued to entertain and touch my life and the lives of countless children both young and old. It relates the tale of the Christmas plot of the mean ole Mr. Grinch to steal the joy of celebration from the residents of Whoville; it’s Seuss’ spiritual lesson for the true meaning of Christmas.

 

How_the_grinch_stole_christmas_1966_print_ad_premiere

Print ad of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 1966

Narrated by the legendary Boris Karloff – also the voice of The Grinch – we are introduced to the world of Whoville and that nasty wasty Grinch.

 

How the Grinch Boris

Boris Karloff and The Grinch

You’re a foul one, Mr. Grinch.
You’re a nasty, wasty skunk.
Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk.
Mr. Grinch!
[spoken] The three words that best describe you are as follows and I quote:
[sung] “Stink! Stank! Stunk!”

 

In this version of the story, we don’t really know why The Grinch hates Christmas and the residents of Whoville. Just that his heart is 2 sizes too small. However in the Jim Carrey movie version of Dr. Seuss “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,”we see the flashback of The Grinch as a child and how because he looks different: green and hairy as an eight-year-old he is taunted and teased by his classmates.

“Little Grinch” makes a Christmas present for his crush and tries to shave his face for the presentation but ends up with toilet paper stuck all over. Everyone laughs at him, so he storms out the room climbing up to his mountain exile. Not seen for years, he becomes an urban legend. Flashing forward to The Grinch and his now adult classmates, it isn’t hard to understand why Whoville isn’t his favorite town and additionally, the Whos love of Christmas has become a major thorn in his side.

 

How_the_Grinch_Stole_Christmas_film_poster

So, The Grinch gets this inspired idea after seeing his dog Max get snow on his face that sort of looks like a beard. The plan becomes to dress up as Santa, sneak into Whoville and rip off all the houses of presents, toys and even a piece of cheese from a mouse. So low down. Hence “stink, stank, stunk!”

 

How the Grinch Santa outfit

Poor Max wasn’t really down with the plan but was forced to play his part as a reindeer.

 

Enter my favorite resident of Whoville, Cindy Lou Who. I’ve loved her all my life. Her innocence and open heart are a testament to – as John Lennon once wrote: “All you need is love.”

 

Ah, but not even the innocence of Cindy Lou could discourage The Grinch from following thru with his wicked plan.

 

How the Grinch stealing presents

However, The Grinch would come to realize that Whoville is no ordinary town. Even without presents, toys or roast beast, Christmas would still come.

 

How the Grinch Who singing

 

 

 

 

This timeless message of appreciating what you have in friends and family is a gift often lost in this world of envy and greed. Matthew 16:26 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” Let’s remember the true meaning of Christmas not only during the holidays but every day of the year.

 

Merry Christmas!

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Moonwalker’s Smooth Criminal

Smoothcriminalmoonwalker

 

Back in the day, when Michael Jackson released a new tune it became a television event. The announcement of the date and time of the video was always anticipated by the fans. We would arrange our schedules to make sure not to miss the latest and greatest from the King of Pop. But with the release of Moonwalker, Michael took the debut event to a whole other level!

smooth criminal

 

What we witnessed that night was a game changer.

Michael Jackson: Moonwalker (1988). Not just one video but an anthology style film compilation of long form videos including the songs: Smooth Criminal and Leave Me Alone. Releasing these songs in this format was unique to TV and the times and proved Michael’s mastery and revival of the film short.

Leave Me Alone was a “Michael Vision”, dead-on rebuttal to all the gossip and rumors about Michael’s life including Bubbles the chimp and did he really buy the bones of the Elephant Man? (watch for MJ dancing with elephant man bones)

Smooth Criminal features the most dynamic and straight up coolest choreography ever!!!  And “the lean” shut up!!

Michael was granted a patent for the hitching mechanism which was built into the floor of the stage and the performers shoes.

smooth lean

Danger abounds with Annie and her friends (including John Lennon’s youngest son Sean), storm troopers, machine guns and a pint sized imitation of Michael by “baby bad Michael.”

A truly innovative project with probably one of the most mangled lyrics in music history. “Annie are you walking?” No!!  It’s “Annie are you okay?”

 

So without further adieu, the smoothest moves of the Smooth Criminal.

Don’t Be So Mean Grinch!

“Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot,
But the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did not.
The Grinch hated Christmas — the whole Christmas season.
Oh, please don’t ask why, no one quite knows the reason.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.”

 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

 

Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr. Seuss is one of the most significant authors in American literature. His classic book, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” has been a lifelong favorite. Known as a children’s author, Dr. Seuss’ cadence and rhyming style (anapestic tetrameter) is both renown and his signature. I believe his gift lies in his ability to convey his philosophy of life in a playful, endearing way. Most of us grew up reading Dr. Seuss and escaping into the wonderful worlds he shared. His other bestselling books bring back precious memories: Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and Horton Hears a Who!


How the Grinch Dr. Seuss

 

On December 18, 1966 “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” premiered as a television special and has continued to entertain and touch my life and the lives of countless children both young and old. It relates the tale of the Christmas plot of the mean ole Mr. Grinch to steal the joy of celebration from the residents of Whoville; it’s Seuss’ spiritual lesson for the true meaning of Christmas.

 

How_the_grinch_stole_christmas_1966_print_ad_premiere

Print ad of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 1966

Narrated by the legendary Boris Karloff – also the voice of The Grinch – we are introduced to the world of Whoville and that nasty wasty Grinch.

 

How the Grinch Boris

Boris Karloff and The Grinch

You’re a foul one, Mr. Grinch.
You’re a nasty, wasty skunk.
Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk.
Mr. Grinch!
[spoken] The three words that best describe you are as follows and I quote:
[sung] “Stink! Stank! Stunk!”

 

In this version of the story, we don’t really know why The Grinch hates Christmas and the residents of Whoville. Just that his heart is 2 sizes too small. However in the Jim Carrey movie version of Dr. Seuss “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,”we see the flashback of The Grinch as a child and how because he looks different: green and hairy as an eight-year-old he is taunted and teased by his classmates.

For his crush, he makes a Christmas present and tries to shave his face but ends up with toilet paper stuck all over. Everyone laughs at him – including his crush – so he storms out the room climbing up to his mountain exile. Not seen for years, he becomes an urban legend. Flashing forward to The Grinch and his now adult classmates it isn’t hard to understand why Whoville isn’t his favorite town and therefore the Whos love of Christmas has become a thorn in his side.

 

How_the_Grinch_Stole_Christmas_film_poster

So, The Grinch gets this inspired idea after seeing his dog Max get snow on his face that sort of looks like a beard. The plan becomes to dress up as Santa, sneak into Whoville and rip off all the houses of presents, toys and even a piece of cheese from a mouse. So low down. Hence “stink, stank, stunk!”

 

How the Grinch Santa outfit

Poor Max wasn’t really down with the plan but was forced to play his part as a reindeer.

 

Enter my favorite resident of Whoville, Cindy Lou Who. I’ve loved her all my life. Her innocence and open heart is a testament to – as John Lennon once wrote: “All you need is love.”

 

Ah, but not even the innocence of Cindy Lou could discourage The Grinch from following thru with his wicked plan.

 

How the Grinch stealing presents

However, The Grinch would come to realize that Whoville is no ordinary town. Even without presents, toys or roast beast, Christmas would still come.

 

How the Grinch Who singing

 

 

 

 

This timeless message of appreciating what you have in friends and family is a gift often lost in this world of envy and greed. Matthew 16:26 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” Let’s remember the true meaning of Christmas not only during the holidays but every day of the year.

 

Merry Christmas!

Moonwalker’s Smooth Criminal

Smoothcriminalmoonwalker

 

Back in the day, when Michael Jackson released a new tune it became a television event. The announcement of the date and time of the video was always anticipated by the fans. We would arrange our schedules to make sure not to miss the latest and greatest from the King of Pop. But with the release of Moonwalker, Michael took the debut event to a whole other level!

smooth criminal

 

What we witnessed that night was a game changer.

Michael Jackson: Moonwalker (1988). Not just one video but an anthology style film compilation of long form videos including the songs: Smooth Criminal and Leave Me Alone. Releasing these songs in this format was unique to TV and the times and proved Michael’s mastery and revival of the film short.

Leave Me Alone was a “Michael Vision”, dead-on rebuttal to all the gossip and rumors about Michael’s life including Bubbles the chimp and did he really buy the bones of the Elephant Man? (watch for MJ dancing with elephant man bones)

Smooth Criminal features the most dynamic and straight up coolest choreography ever!!!  And “the lean” shut up!!

Michael was granted a patent for the hitching mechanism which was built into the floor of the stage and the performers shoes.

smooth lean

Danger abounds with Annie and her friends (including John Lennon’s youngest son Sean), storm troopers, machine guns and a pint sized imitation of Michael by “baby bad Michael.”

A truly innovative project with probably one of the most mangled lyrics in music history. “Annie are you walking?” No!!  It’s “Annie are you okay?”

 

So without further adieu, the smoothest moves of the Smooth Criminal.

Fab Five “Days Night” 50 Years

A Hard Day’s Night

July 6, 1964

Beatles hey mister

Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Lennon & Paul McCartney of the Beatles in ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

In celebration of film’s 50th anniversary Criterion Collection issues 4K digital restoration

What an inspired idea Beatles manager Brian Epstein had to introduce the world to John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in the 1964 film “A Hard Day’s Night”.  Naturals for the camera, the lads stole our hearts and delivered a funny, nonstop scream fest!  Paul’s “grandfather” (“villain, a real mixer” 🙂 (Wilfrid Brambell) practically stole the show ascending from under the stage during the middle of a number!

 Wilfred BrambellWilfred B

The film never gets old and always lifts my spirits and brings a smile with thoughts and memories of a glorious time gone by.

Directed by Richard Lester
Produced by Walter Shenson
Written by Alun Owen
Starring John Lennon Paul McCartney George Harrison Ringo Starr Wilfrid Brambell Norman Rossington John Junkin Victor Spinetti Maggie d’Abo
Music by The Beatles George Martin
Cinematography Gilbert Taylor
Editing by John Jympson
Studio Proscenium Films Walter Shenson Films Maljack Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates 6 July 1964 (UK)

 

“A Hard Day’s Night” 1964

A Hard Day’s Night

beatles hard days night

Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Lennon & Paul McCartney of the Beatles in ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

 

In celebration of the film’s 50th anniversary, cities across the U.S. will screen movie on Fourth of July weekend

 

A_Hard_Days_night_movieposter

 

What an inspired idea Beatles manager Brian Epstein had to introduce the world to John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in the 1964 film “A Hard Day’s Night”.  Naturals for the camera, the lads stole our hearts and delivered a funny, nonstop scream fest!  Paul’s “grandfather” (“villain, a real mixer” 🙂 (Wilfrid Brambell) practically stole the show ascending from under the stage during the middle of a number!

The film never gets old and always lifts my spirits and brings a smile with thoughts and memories of a glorious time gone by.

 

 

Directed by Richard Lester
Produced by Walter Shenson
Written by Alun Owen
Starring John Lennon
Paul McCartney
George Harrison
Ringo Starr
Wilfrid Brambell
Norman Rossington
John Junkin
Victor Spinetti
Maggie d’Abo
Music by The Beatles
George Martin
Cinematography Gilbert Taylor
Editing by John Jympson
Studio Proscenium Films
Walter Shenson Films
Maljack Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates 6 July 1964 (UK)