Search
  • Carrie Specht

The Grinch

by Megan Dalton

I wanted to get into the Christmas spirit by choosing the movie The Grinch. The great holiday movie,The Grinch, was filmed in the early 2000s and starred the amazing Jim Carrey. The movie was nominated for many awards and won Best Movie for Families. The film is one of the centerpieces that brings holiday joints too many others around the world. This paper will be examining the lighting, the sound transitions, and some of the editing cuts that were made through the movie. Grab a holiday snack and get ready to enjoy Christmas!


The movie automatically starts out with a fast pace movement. When it has a fast editing scene that shows how the town is so fast paced. The whole point of the movie is showing how the town of Whoville is so dedicated to enjoying the holiday spirit. The fast editing from showing people shopping, to buying food, to talking fast, and walking fast shows the fast pace motion and lifestyle that the people in Whoville live. It sets the tone for the viewers to get a better understanding of how special Christmas is to them. Every year many of the people go bigger and they go better, so the importance of Christmas to the people in Whoville is very important.


I have seen this movie many times in my life and before taking this editing class there are new and interesting things that I did not notice before. When the kids are running up the mountain to go visit the meal ol' grinch it shows the kids going up the mountain. Then there is a cut that happens and it is the grinch looking at the kids as they are going up and it shows the kids through his telescope. I think this is a brilliant shot because you are able to hear the kids and see the kids from the grinch's perspective, even though the scene initially starts with the kids going up the mountain. As they are going up the mountain it has this dark and scary undertone, which then there is also a siren going off. This is showing the kids that there is something up and it is not going to be good if they keep on pursuing their journey up the mountain.


The first opening scenes involve a lot of close up shots of the grinch showing how ugly he is and how mean his facial expressions are. I found it very interesting the way that they shot their opening scene as they are getting to know the Grinch. It's almost like the scene is filming a sideways view. I am thinking they shot this way because it is showing how odd and peculiar that the people from Whoville are. Both sides of the people from this movie are not our average “normal” people, so I am thinking that they added this to get the film a little more odd and peculiar feeling. It also has a shot that it shows from the view of Cindy Lou Who and her dad. It shows the height difference between the two and shows. They show a lot of close up shots of the first encountering moment between Cindy Lou Who and the Grinch. The close up shot is showing the not so beautiful shots that the grinch has. It also shows how the Grinch is trying to scare the little girl and to intimidate her while talking to her. They also do a lot of close shots on the Grinch's hands.

The scene when Grinch is going back up to the top of his mountain and going home is very interesting. The scene shows the Grinch jumping into the trash shoot and then doing a fast shot back to the grinch while he is going up the trash. It then cuts over to an animated scene with a map and shows the distance the Grinch has to travel. This is important because if it wasn’t for the shot that shows the map the audience would not be able to get to make the establishing shot and know the great distance he is having to travel. It then shows another establishing shot of him landing into a bunch of trash, which then again shows the audience that where the Grinch lives is lonely, dirty, and far away from the other members of Whoville. As the scene goes on it is filmed yet again at a sideways view.


The scene then moves on and the Grinch has a conversation with himself inside his home. This is significant because it shows the grinch talking, as if he was talking to someone. As the time goes on it then shows a shot of his walls as the sounds are bouncing off the walls, as if someone was talking back to him. This is showing again in a different point of view how lonely the Grinch is living up at the top of the mountain. The Grinch gets home and shows the difference in height between him and his pet monkey that he has. The shot looks to me like it could be a cowboy shot because it shows just about the ankles and shows the top of the head of the monkey. The scene is then showing how significantly bigger the monkey is over the Grinch.

The sounds that are edited into the movie are interesting and I had never noticed. Throughout the movie it shows the snow on the ground and it shows the people in Whoville walking around in snow boots, big jackets, and drinking hot chocolate. All these things are showing the viewers and the audiences that the weather outside is cold. Another aspect though that is contributed is the background noise provided throughout the movie. Throughout the movie there is a subtle sound that wisps by throughout the movie. It is the sound of a wind and snow. The sound adds a different point of view showing all the people that the environment that they are in is in fact old outside.


The scene when Cindy Lou Who and the Grinch was an interesting scene as well. The Grinch is being rude and disrespectful to Cindy Lou Who as she is talking to him. He is mocking her and as he is mocking her, the camera starts to turn sideways into the Grinch's face showing the disrespect he is putting off to her. He then starts to look up at the ceiling while talking to her sideways showing the odd conversation that they are having between each other. The zooming then goes in on his eyes showing there is evil within his eyes. The zooming in on his eyes is telling the audience that something is not right about the Grinch while he is talking to Cindy Lou. Even as it went back on younger scenes of the Grinch it showed the Grinch from a side angle. I believe this is trying to show the audience the odd and off-putting features that the Grinch displays.


As the movie progresses we really get to see the angry side of Grinch. He has just lost his mind with the members of Whoville. The scenes show fast moving and editing as the Grinch zooms through town with anger. You can tell from his fast and the fast motion that the Grinch is wanting to get revenge. There is a specific scene, as he plans his revenge, that he throws out his dog Max. He shows the distance that Grinch throws Max and then shows the Grinch swinging from tree to tree and then shows the point of view that the Grinch has on Max as he is laying snow. The ending of the movie is edited great with meaningful music and establishing shots! It shows the sled that is on top of the mountain and how the Grinch is saving Cindy Lou by holding her up on the sled. The Grinch ends up zipping fast down the mountain with fast action scenes showing how he is eager to get down and celebrate Christmas with the rest of the town! He even turns around and goes backwards which shows how confident he is with driving the sled without even saying anything. The lighting in the end scene shows the town coming together and celebrating the true meaning of Christmas. Once the Grinch rushes in on the sled and they all zoom in on the towns faces to show their expressions on how they are feeling towards the Grinch of Christmas day!


Growing up, as the young child I was, I ended the movie for being a heart felt warm and amazing holiday movie. Being an adult now I totally viewed this movie with an eye for editing. There is so much more to actual movies besides the actual story. Many people put hours or hard work into creating this beautiful movie and now I will forever have a better understanding on how much time and effort it takes to edit films! I do now believe that I will never be able to view movies the same without noticing small edits that are made.