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Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 12/23/2010

'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' vs. that other 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'

By Jen Chaney

Cindy Lou Who, you are such a cute little rube. (AP)

Anyone with a vague sense of what goes on in Whoville knows the following to be true: The Chuck Jones cartoon "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," which debuted in 1966, is roughly 8 million times better than Ron Howard's 2000 movie version of the Dr. Seuss tale.

Your votes in our recent "rank the holiday specials" poll only provided further evidence of this undeniable fact. Out of the 23 standard yuletide TV specials and films Liz included in the survey, the '66 "Grinch" ranks No. 1, while Jim Carrey's over-the-top portrayal of the monster we wouldn't touch with a 39 1/2-foot pole shows up at No. 16.

Yet despite the obviously disproportionate level of quality between these two Mount Crumpit projects, ABC has made the audacious scheduling decision to show both "Grinches" back to back, beginning tonight at 8 Eastern. Is there any reason, really, to stick around after the animated Grinch carves the roast beast?

I'd say give the movie at least 10 minutes, if only to reaffirm the fact that its inferiority to the TV special is even more severe than you remembered. (Note to the filmmakers: We never needed to learn more about the Grinch's troubled childhood. Like the guy who cut in front of us on the Beltway this morning and didn't even bother to wave, all we know is that the Grinch is a jerk with no moral compass.That's enough.)

During that 10 minutes, also feel free to acknowledge that Jeffrey Tambor appears in a movie directed by excellent Fox comedy narrator Ron Howard. Which means the "Grinch" film is vaguely connected to "Arrested Development," a thought that will remind you to stop watching this assault on yuletide cheer and spend Christmas with the Bluths instead.

And lastly, a brief peek at the rotten "Grinch" -- as opposed to the awesome-rotten "Grinch" -- will allow you to briefly flashback to a time when Taylor Momsen was a sweet, innocent moppet who looked like this...


(Universal via Queen Mab)

...as opposed to a "Gossip Girl" goth rocker who looks like this.


(Getty Images)

But just take a brief peek and that's it. Because, again, we all know that this Grinchy grin is the only one worth celebrating.

By Jen Chaney  | December 23, 2010; 11:35 AM ET
Categories:  Pop Culture, TV  
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