Is the classic Grinch better than Jim Carrey’s?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. With the season of joy quickly approaching, I look forward to all the holiday traditions my family has participated in for years, like decorating the Christmas tree, making cookies and of course, watching the best Christmas movies. However, with one Christmas movie, we are constantly faced with a question: should we watch the 1966 classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or the one released in 2000 starring Jim Carrey?

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is a classic tale about a green creature who learns the true meaning of Christmas. Spending time in Whoville leaves viewers delighted and fills them with anticipation for the Christmas season, but the two popular versions offer unique takes on that poem penned by Dr. Seuss.

Dr. Seuss masterfully crafted this tale to spread a message of love and acceptance throughout the generations who have read and now watched it. Although it may seem targeted toward a younger audience, this story holds a profound implication for how all should approach the Christmas season. 

The classic version offers nostalgia for those in our generation. I remember watching those old cartoon characters each year. It tells the story in a simple and easy-to-understand way that those with younger siblings in mind can appreciate.

Then there is the Jim Carrey version. In this adaptation, the brilliant actor managed to take a simple Christmas story for kids and turn it into something an older audience can enjoy. Jim Carrey has a wide span of characters that he plays effortlessly; his Grinch character is one of the best.

After a quick Google search online, it is evident that those on the internet agree with these traits. Many argue that although Jim Carrey is legendary, he could never top the feeling of nostalgia that accompanies the original 1966 version. 

Christmas is one of the most nostalgic holidays of the year — certainly the most nostalgic for me. What would Christmas be without reliving childhood memories while spending time with your family? The classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” never fails to remind me of when Christmas was as magical as the Whos down in Whoville made it out to be. 

In Jim Carrey’s version, an emphasis is placed on the cynicism that many already experience during the holidays. To make it more relatable to those people, the Grinch is made “grinchier,” and the themes are a tinge darker. While nothing is wrong with this, it does lack a particular childlike wonder that the classic version
leans toward. 

The Jim Carrey version is the kind of movie I would watch to have fun and laugh at. But if someone were to ask me to show them “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” I would share the original first. Who knows, perhaps they would join that sentimental green creature and his dog Max, and be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas. 

Van Horn is an opinion writer for the Liberty Champion

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