How the Grinch Stole Christmas


Interscope Records (0606949076528)
Movie | Released: 2000 | Format: CD, Download
 

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# Track Artist/Composer Duration
1.Kids TodayJim Carrey and Taylor Momsen0:20
2.Grinch 2000Busta Rhymes/Jim Carrey3:34
3.Green ChristmasBarenaked Ladies2:35
4.Christmas of LoveLittle Isidore & The Inquisitors2:19
5.Lonely Christmas EveBen Folds3:20
6.Grinch ScheduleJim Carrey0:40
7.Better Do It RightSmash Mouth3:10
8.Whoville Medley: Perfect Christmas Night/GrinchTrans-Siberian Orchestra4:59
9.ReindeerJim Carrey0:35
10.Christmas is Going to the DogsEels2:57
11.You're a Mean One, Mr. GrinchBusta Rhymes/Jim Carrey2:31
12.Christmas Means MoreJim Carrey/Anthony Hopkins0:49
13.You Don't Have to Be Alone'N Sync4:33
14.Where Are You ChristmasFaith Hill4:06
15.Shape of Things to Come (includes "Happy Who-lidays") James Horner6:32
16.Memories of a Green Childhood James Horner3:28
17.Christmas, Why Can't I Find You?Taylor Momsen James Horner2:09
18.Stealing ChristmasJim Carrey/Anthony Hopkins/Taylor Momsen James Horner6:55
19.The Big Heist James Horner4:04
20.Does Cindy Lou Really Ruin Christmas? James Horner4:09
21.A Change of Heart James Horner3:43
22.The Sleigh of Presents James Horner6:01
23.He Carves the Roast Beast (includes Welcome Christmas) James Horner3:12
 76:40
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How the Grinch Stole Christmas - 06/10 - Review of Tom Daish, submitted at
I would only be invoking grand irony if I were to complain about The Grinch (the movie, not the character) being a shallow, sickeningly sentimental, surprisingly witless and ironically cynical Christmas marketing ploy, so I won't. It had nice sets, teeth and green hair though. Quite why Ron Howard decided to make a full length feature on such a thin premise - I think Dr Seuss' work is an American thing - I'm not entirely certain, but it gave James Horner the chance to pen an occasionally delightful score. The first half features a multitude of songs by various famous and not so famous artists, some of which are quite fun, the Barenaked Ladies have a good sense of humour, but in the main they are pretty tedious collection or rock, pop and r'n'b, rounded out by an obnoxious performance of Where Are You Christmas? by Faith Hill, even if it is based on a theme from the score itself.

After all that ranting, I feel like a lie down (and appear to be growing green hair), but I can at least enjoy James Horner's score. Maybe that it isn't 80 minutes in length is an advantage, but that it features a couple of memorable tunes, including the aforementioned song melody which forms the main theme. There is a distinct whiff of Casper and Danny Elfman's Edward Scissorhands at times, although the latter is hardly surprising for this kind of score. The Shape of Things To Come opens Horner's half, but isn't really that inspiring with a rather embarrassing toy march song performed by the residents of Whoville; did it really need to be that silly? Christmas, Why Can't I Find You is performed by possibly the most yucky child actor ever to appear on the silver screen, not helped by those pillars of ivory that are her (false) teeth. If you thought Dreams to Dream or Somewhere Out There from the American Tail scores were enough to make you return your luncheon, then I suggest you give this a miss.

From that point, the score takes a distinct turn for the better. Stealing Christmas is an enjoyable mixture of comedy suspense and dialogue from the film. Not the sort of thing I should be condoning, dialogue on a soundtrack, but in this case, it works well, especially Anthony Hopkins' droll narrator. The Big Heist is a zany action cue which might be very silly, but Horner seemingly having fun is rare these days and he approaches it with larger than life grandeur. The introspective moments, on the other hand, are subtle and effective. Does Cindy Lou Really Ruin Christmas? includes some nice variations on the main theme, including a particularly angelic choral version.

The final few tracks where the Grinch finally sees how great Christmas is and how he should be nice to everyone are resolutely upbeat and A Change of Heart swells to proportions fit for a divine vision and all's well that end's well in He Carves the Roast Beast, even if the Disney-esque ensemble vocal performance at the conclusion is a bit much. I know I'm very cynical about the film, but I just thought it was awful in almost every respect. It needed the darker edge and imagination of someone like Tim Burton to be undercut the sickliness. For a real Christmas musical and filmic treat, I'd easily recommend The Nightmare Before Christmas instead. However, Horner's score is a smile inducing forty minutes, twinkling bells and all.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas - 06/10 - Review of Andreas Lindahl, submitted at
In the past, James Horner's "collaboration" with Sony Classical has given us releases over 70 minutes long of his latest scores, such as The Perfect Storm and Bicentennial Man. Therefore, the news that Interscope Records would release the soundtrack for How the Grinch Stole Christmas were not well received. The tracklisting found at online stores such as Amazon.com and CD Now weeks before the release date promised a CD packed with dialogue from the film and songs by 'N Sync, Eels, Ben Folds and Barenaked Ladies and other groups and artists - and no sign of any score tracks at all. However, the score fans weren't entirely ignored. Tucked to the end of the CD are nine cues, about 40 minutes, from James Horner's score for the film.

I must admit that I have really been looking forward to this score. Horner has never written a score for a Christmas film before and his latest scores have all been for serious dramas or loud action - so it is certainly time for something more playfull. And while How the Grinch Stole Christmas isn't entirely what I expected and wanted it to be, it is quite a good and entertaining score, with music ranging from typical Christmas music with bells, light swirling strings and choir, to more upbeat and playfull pieces, reminiscent of the groovy and jazzy music from Casper, with saxophone, accordion and hammond organ together with the traditional orchestra. Add to this some more serious, dramatic music and some typical Whowille christmas songs, complete with strange instruments (constructed by Horner and his team) and you get a score that probably will become a christmas favorite to many.

The thematic material is a winner. The main theme is a genuine Horner ditty - lyrical, soft and oh so beautiful - making every appearance a highlight. Especially when performed by soft strings, woodwinds or wordless choir, which probably will remind many of Danny Elfman's score for Edward Scissorhands - like Elfman was the first composer ever to use wordless choir to evoke the feeling of christmas... The Grinch himself has been given a somewhat simple, but effective theme, performed by accordion and saxophone in unison, thus creating a sound which really stands out from the rest of the music. It's not especially evil sounding but quite groovy.

Horner has of course written a song for the film as well. Surprised? Titled "Where are you Christmas?" it uses the films' main theme as its musical foundation. Sung by Faith Hill it's a typical film song. Not good, but not bad either. I wouldn't be surprised if it turns into a hit. It's also sung by Little Cindy Lou-Who (played by Taylor Momsen) in the film. It's really cute. Unfortunately too cute. Just think about John Williams' "When You're Alone" from Hook and double the "cute factor" and you will get a pretty good idea of what it sounds like...

I won't comment that much on the songs - none of them are especially good. Not even "Green Christmas" by Barenaked Ladies (I'm a big, big fan!). The sound effects are completely unnecessary and quite annoying. Heck, there's even dialogue all over one of the best score tracks, "Stealing Christmas". Luckily, there is a score only promo floating around, featuring about 70 minutes of Horner's score - meaning no annoying songs and no, even more, annoying dialogue.

Soundtracks from the collection: Christmas

Nightmare Before Christmas, The (2006)
In from the Night / Silver Bells (2006)
Dog Named Christmas, A (2009)
Nightmare Before Christmas, The (1993)
Arthur Christmas (2011)
Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, The (2007)
Home Alone (1990)
Muppet Christmas Carol, The (1992)
Santa Clause, The (1994)
Little Women (1994)

Soundtracks from the collection: Kids

Jungle Book 2, The (2003)
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)
Bee Movie (2007)
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Bolt (2008)
Nanny McPhee & the Big Bang (2010)
Racing Stripes (2004)
Brother Bear (2003)
Jumanji (1995)
Minoes (2002)


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