How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Film and Plot Synopsis

Finally, the complete story of the Grinch is told through the wonderful narration of Sir Anthony Hopkins. Rejected by the Whos as a child, the Grinch lives on the outskirts of Whoville atop Mount Crumpit. The Grinch hates everything about Whoville and its residents, but he especially hates Christmas. After the Grinch is publicly humiliated by Augustus May Who, a former bully from the Grinch’s childhood, the Grinch decides to rob all of the townspeople of Whoville of every scrap of anything related to Christmas. However, the question remains, who will discover the true meaning of Christmas first, the Grinch or the Whos?

‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)Finally, the complete story of the Grinch is told through the wonderful narration of Sir Anthony Hopkins. All the Whos in Whoville enjoy celebrating Christmas every year. They have wondrous celebrations with many decorations. One year, the Grinch arrives in Whoville as a baby and is quickly adopted by two elderly sisters, Clamella and Rose Who (Mindy Sterling and Rachel Winfree). The Grinch is a timid child who shies away from the other kids, with the exception of Martha May Whovier (Landry Allbright), one of the prettiest girls in his school.

The Grinch (Josh Ryan Evans) has a crush on Martha May, who shows empathy towards him. However, another student named Augustus May Who (Ben Bookbinder) is jealous that Martha May likes the Grinch more than him and mocks the Grinch for having a beard. As a result, the Grinch tries to shave and ends up cutting his face, which causes everyone in school to ridicule him, except Martha May. The Grinch loses his temper and declares that he hates Christmas. He leaves Whoville and takes refuge at the top of Mount Crumpit where he sets up his new home.

Years later, the Grinch (Jim Carrey) continues to live atop of Mount Crumpit. The Grinch has become a pariah in Whoville due to his mean-spiritedness, especially at Christmastime. One little six-year-old Who, Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen), believes that everyone in Whoville is missing the point about Christmas by focusing too much on the gifts and festivities and not enough on the personal relationships. She has a run in with the Grinch at the post office and feels sorry for him. Cindy Lou later learns about the Grinch’s past, which causes her to have greater empathy for the Grinch.

Cindy Lou nominates the Grinch to be the town’s “Holiday Cheermeister”. This displeases Augustus (Jeffrey Tambor), who is now the mayor of Whoville. Cindy Lou takes it upon herself to notify the Grinch and climbs Mount Crumpit to invite the Grinch to the celebration. The Grinch accepts and participates in several events as Cheermeister. The Grinch has fun at the celebration, but when Augustus provides him with a gift of an electric shaver, it brings back all the childhood trauma of the Grinch’s public embarrassment.

To make matters worse, Augustus proposes to Martha May (Christine Baranski) and gives her an expensive engagement ring. The Grinch becomes enraged and berates all the Whos for their materialism. He points out all of their gifts eventually end up in the garbage which ends up being dumped on Mount Crumpit near his home. The Grinch burns down the celebration’s tree and goes on a rampage before returning home to Mount Crumpit.

The Grinch reaches his limit and concocts a plan to ruin the Whos’ Christmas spirit by stealing all of their presents, decorations, and food while they sleep on Christmas Eve. The Grinch disguises himself as Santa Claus and dresses his dog Max as a reindeer. The two then ride their sleigh down into Whoville. The Grinch enters Cindy Lou’s house first and begins removing everything that is Christmas related. Cindy Lou wakes and discovers the Grinch stealing her Christmas tree.

The Grinch lies to Cindy Lou and tells her that he is taking the tree back to his workshop to repair a broken bulb. He then ushers her back to bed. The Grinch then systematically robs every house in Whoville and places all of the ill-gotten Christmas items into a giant sack. He and Max then ascend to the top of Mount Crumpit to destroy all of the stolen items by pushing the sack off the side of a cliff.

The Whos all awake on Christmas morning and are horrified to discover the theft. Augustus blames Cindy Lou for letting the Grinch ruin the holiday for the town. However, her father, town postmaster Lou Lou Who (Bill Irwin) stand ups for his daughter. The postmaster explains to the town that he finally understands what Cindy Lou has been trying to tell the whole town, that Christmas is not just gifts and fancy decorations, but about getting together with family and friends. The town rallies behind Cindy Lou and begins singing a Christmas carol.

Meanwhile, the Grinch hears the Christmas carol at the top of Mount Crumpit. He is confused as to why the Whos are still celebrating Christmas, especially since he has stolen everything related to the holiday. Suddenly, the Grinch realizes that he has failed to prevent Christmas from coming because, as Cindy Lou stated, Christmas is getting together with family and friends.

Once discovering the true meaning of Christmas, the Grinch’s extraordinarily small heart grows three sizes instantly. However, the sleigh full of gifts begins to slide over the edge of the cliff, along with Cindy Lou, who had come to spend Christmas with the Grinch. The Grinch suddenly has the strength to lift the full weight of the sleigh and pulls it and Cindy Lou to safety. Then, the Grinch, Cindy Lou, and Max all ride down the mountain to return everything to the citizens of Whoville.

Once in Whoville, the Grinch apologizes to the townspeople for his misdeeds and surrenders himself. The townspeople accept his apology and ignore Augustus’ pleas to arrest and pepper spray the Grinch. Martha May rejects Augustus’ marriage proposal and returns the engagement ring to him, declaring that her heart belongs to the Grinch. Afterwards, the universally accepted Grinch joins the Whos’ Christmas feast and carves the roast beast.

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Universal Pictures released How the Grinch Stole Christmas on November 17, 2000. Ron Howard directed the film starring Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, and Anthony Hopkins.

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