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You got to hand it to MGM Home Entertainment; they are certainly on the ball when it comes to issuing Christmas programming on DVD, in time for Christmas. Their double feature of the Dr. Seuss classics HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! and HORTON HEARS A WHO! ($20) is one DVD title that everyone is going to want as a stocking stuffer.

As soon as you pop this single sided DVD in your player, you are presented with a menu screen giving you a choice of which of the two programs you wish to play. Of course, I went first to the Grinch. HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! is one of my personal favorites, since it features the vocal talents of horror legend Boris Karloff. Karloff narrates and gives voice to the nasty Grinch, who hates Christmas, and thinks he can eliminate the holiday by stealing every Christmas tree, ornament, gift and provision from the inhabitants of Whoville. Of course, the Grinch soon discovers that Christmas isn’t a material thing that can be stolen. Karloff’s familiar voice brings just the right amount of menace and joy to the story. Animation legend Chuck Jones and Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss himself) produced the animated version of HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! way back in 1966.

To tell you the truth, I don’t think that it has ever looked better than it does on this DVD release. The image is so razor-sharp and detailed, that one can actually see traces of the animation cells over the backgrounds. Colors are unbelievably vivid on the DVD. In fact, they practically leap off the screen.

The Dolby digital monaural soundtrack had respectable fidelity.

HORTON HEARS A WHO! is a delightful tale about an elephant named Horton, who hears the voice of someone, living on a dust speck. Without the benefit of Horton’s elephantine ears, no one else can hear anything coming from the dust speck, so the other inhabitants of the jungle come to suspect that Horton is crazy. Since Horton’s beliefs differ from the others, he comes to be looked upon as a danger to the community. Hans Conried narrates this delightfully off centered tale that teaches tolerance, and that "a person is a person, no matter how small."

Just like its co-feature HORTON HEARS A WHO! was also produced by Jones and Geisel, and looks simply marvelous on DVD. Colors are incredibly vibrant, and the image is super sharp. Digital compression artifacts were never easily discernible on either program.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack sounds quite good. Both programs feature a Spanish language soundtrack, as well as English and Spanish subtitles. Closed captioning is also provided.

Interactive menus provide the standard scene selection options, plus an interactive game, film trivia and pencil tests of the "Grinch" and "Horton" characters. MGM Home Entertainment deserves three cheers for releasing such a marvelous edition of the animated classics HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! and HORTON HEARS A WHO!, just in time for Christmas.

Like I stated above, this double feature is something that every DVD fan will want to find in their holiday stocking.


 Dr. Seuss - How the Grinch Stole Christmas



DVD reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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