Imagined and created by the legendary Theodor “D. Seuss” Geisel nearly 60 years ago, the Grinch has not only since stolen Christmas, but wickedly stolen our hearts. The rhyming, ebullient dastardliness that is the silly Grinch has become part of the Christmas tradition so much so that we can’t help but secretly root for the green creature to oppose the cherished holiday before being inspired to change on the strength of Who-ville’s unwavering kindness.
When Universal Pictures produced “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” starring Jim Carrey in 2000, the mythos of the Grinch and his transformation became an even more potent pop-culture phenomenon. Since then, the annual “Grinchmas” gala has become a welcome staple at Universal Studios Hollywood, celebrating the story of the Grinch, his faithful dog Max, as well as the the fictional town of Who-ville and the Whos during the holiday season. Suffice it to say, this year’s “Grinchmas” – which runs through January 1st – has proven to be just as mischievously joyful as in years past.
Contributing to the festive spirit is the all-out dressing-up of Universal Studios Hollywood, which radiates happiness from the main gate, where the luminescence of December, along with the spectacularly top-skewed Christmas trees, can be appreciated. The jubilation continues inside with wreaths and other delightful decorations scattered about. It is, however, in the center concourse where the Grinch and all of Who-ville pride can be basked in and experienced to the fullest capacity.
Anchoring the space is an awe-striking 60-foot Christmas tree, also suitably curved at the top, which is so jollily gargantuan that it appears to be from another world; and of course, it is – illuminated from the mind of Dr. Seuss.
With freckles of snow interspersed throughout, and side-winding rows of colorful and jangling ornaments, the mesmerizing tree by itself is worth the price of admission. Though there is much more, including the opportunity to take in musical performances, meet/greet the Grinch and Max, personalize and ornament trees in the quirky Who-ville style at the Trim Up the Tree Lot, enjoy Who-bilicious treats, and take Who-mazing pictures with the many button-nosed denizens – such as, among others, a varsity football player and cheerleader from Who-ville High School.
That said, the most fruitful of all the activities might be the opportunity to send a list of three good deeds on a postcard to the Grinch from the Who-ville Post Office. In return for this magnanimous gesture, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. and Random House Children’s Books will match the considerate act by donating a book to a child in need on behalf of the sender. It is this outpouring of warmheartedness that is not only symbolic of Who-ville, but the holidays as a whole, and Universal Studios Hollywood deserves ample credit for participating in the benevolent festivities.
Lastly, if that isn’t enough, the famous Studio Tour on the backlot incorporates the liveliness of “Grinchmas” by highlighting the Grinch and the Whos, who dance, sing and pay homage to many of the memorable scenes from the 2000 film on a number of the original set pieces. It is a sing-along-sprinkled merry manifestation of all things Grinch-related, and a compelling reason to take the tour, especially if not previously done so.
Certainly, the “Grinchmas” experience at Universal Studios Hollywood is highly recommended for the brilliantly decorative presentation and performers who bring the Grinch and Who-ville to vivid life.
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