With the holiday season officially upon us, it’s only right that I pay tribute to one of my favorite films: How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I would never pass up a chance to watch my favorite cranky, green Grinch discover the magic of Christmas — all thanks to Cindy Lou Who.
While you might think you’re a master of this classic Christmas tale, I’m here to fill you in on some fun facts that just might surprise. So go refill your mug of hot chocolate and enjoy these 16 facts about How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
1. The original storybook Grinch was black and white with pink eyes.
However, the live-action Grinch we know and love is green. This decision was made by animator and director Chuck Jones when he created the original, animated film.
2. Eddie Murphy and Jack Nicholson were both considered for the role of the Grinch.
Ultimately the part went to the hilarious Jim Carrey. I can’t imagine anyone else living up on Mount Crumpit, to be honest.
3. Jim Carrey spent a total of 92 days in the Grinch makeup.
It reportedly took two and a half hours in the morning to get all the makeup on, and one hour in the evening to get it off. Talk about dedication to your role!
4. Not since 1939’s The Wizard of Oz had so many characters in a film, including extras, worn such heavy stage makeup.
Luckily, it paid off! The film won the 2000 Academy Award for Best Makeup.
5. Tim Burton was almost the director of the movie.
While many people are huge Nightmare Before Christmas fans, I think it’s safe to say everyone was pretty happy with the way Ron Howard made the film.
6. The prosthetic makeup Jim Carrey wore was almost unbearable to stay in all day.
It was so bad he needed counseling from a Navy SEAL on torture-resistance techniques.
7. The yellow contacts Carrey had to wear were just as uncomfortable.
He couldn’t always wear them, so some shots of his eyes were colored in post-production. Ah, the magic of Hollywood.
8. It took more than 1,000 man hours to apply makeup to the actors.
I can barely remember to wear lip gloss! I can’t imagine spending that much time simply beautifying all the citizens of Whoville.
9. Jim Carrey sang his own version of the Grinch’s theme song for the film.
10. The lyrics to the song “Fahoo Foraze” were made to imitate classical Latin.
Seriously, some people really thought it was real Latin and asked for translations. Not too hard to believe with lyrics like, “Fah who foraze, Dah who doraze, Welcome Christmas, Bring your cheer.” Who could possible decipher that?
11. Jim Carrey pulled a prank on tourists on the Universal Studios backlot during filming.
He ran out of the Bates Motel in a dress holding a knife. No one recognized him. Um, scary? I think so, but nonetheless who could be mad at Jim Carrey?
12. Actors who played Whos had to go to Who School.
They were joined by a choreographer to learn how to move and be comfortable being a Who. You know, just another day on the job …
13. Cindy Lou Who is played by Gossip Girl‘s Taylor Momsen.
Fans of the dramatic television show may be surprised to know that bad girl Jenny Humphrey started off as the sweet, good-natured Cindy Lou Who.
14. The movie included a lot of Cirque du Soleil performers for the acrobatic stunts.
This was probably for the best. Sure, we all know that Jim Carrey, Christine Baranski, and Molly Shannon are hilarious, but I’m not sure how flexible they are.
15. Anthony Hopkins, the narrator of the film, recorded all of the narration in one day.
All in one day?! Talk about getting the job done.
16. One morning, director Ron Howard came in at 3:30 AM to put on the Grinch suit with full makeup.
When Jim Carrey first saw him he was angry, mistaking the director for a stunt double who looked nothing like him!
Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas as part of Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas airing Dec. 1-25.