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How the Grinch Stole Christmas + Horton Hears
a Who by Albert Hague and Eugene Poddany

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas & Horton Hears a Who (Soundtrack) by Albert Hague and Eugene Poddany

How the Grinch Stole Christmas +
Horton Hears a Who
Composed by Albert Hague and Eugene Poddany
Rhino Records (1999)

Rating: 7/10

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Both the cartoon itself and accompanying music just has such character, that any remake is going have a hard time in taking their place in our collective, Christmas-hearts.

Classic Who'liday Cheer!
Review by Christopher Coleman

How the Grinch Stole Christmas has become a Holiday classic and no small part of that is the unforgettable music.  It is most noted for its memorable lyrics, penned by the good Dr. Seuss, himself, Ted Geisel.  Unfortunately the remainder of the music is lost in the shadow of such kiddie-classics as You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.  The talents of composers Albert Hague and Eugene Poddany certainly help the redemption story of The Grinch be told.  With the remake of the story into a full motion picture, the interest in The Grinch is reaching an all time high; however, the feel of the film and music is much more contemporary and only nods respectfully, once or twice, to the original film.  For those who crave a little Christmas, or a little of their childhood, this release, from Rhino Records, might be something to invest in.  In addition to the famous Grinch story and music, this CD also contains the music, and dialogue, from Horton Hears a Who, which was exclusively scored by Eugene Poddany.

When one hears the title "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," usually one of two themes rushes to their heads.  Either the menacing, bass voice of Thurl Ravenscroft (the original voice for Tony the Tiger!), singing, You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, or the song of the celebrating Whos, Welcome Christmas, complete with pseudo-Latin lyrics, comes rushing to our minds.  It is a certainty that these two songs have gone a long way in making this one of our favorite Christmas cartoons.  As the lyrics are creative and comical, their melodies are equally infectious.

Composer Albert Hague, may not the most familiar composer to most, but has been composing for film and television since the 1960's.  He has also made a number of notable appearances as Professor Shorofosky in the feature film and television series, FAME.  He combines with long time, animation score veteran, Eugene Poddany, to give How the Grinch Stole Christmas the familiar musical atmosphere most closely related to the popular Bugs Bunny and Friends cartoons of the 1950's and 1960's.  Hague's contribution are the memorable melodies for those Grinch-songs we love to sing along to.  The music is far from just purposeless underscore but fully serves as sound effects, as changes in attitude, emotion and intent.  Both Hague and Poddany had established long, working relationships with the cartoon's producer, Chuck Jones, and their signature sound and feel can be found in dozens of Bugs Bunny cartoons and Tom & Jerry episodes of the 1960's.

This release by Rhino records contains the entire story of both How the Grinch Stole Christmas as well as Horton Hears a Who.  Most of the dialogue is found and all of the most significant songs and musical themes.  Both stories also feature four isolated music tracks, which provide a more pleasurable way of enjoying these songs.  The recording is, at times,  stuffy, but the clarity might actually surprise some.  The liner notes are full of snap shots of both cartoons as well as a great interview with producer, Chuck Jones. 

While Ron Howard's version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas is garnering exponentially more attention (and money) than the original cartoon or book ever did,...and while the accompanying soundtrack is being equally well marketed, there is no replacing the original.  Both the cartoon itself and accompanying music just has such character, that any remake is going have a hard time in taking their place in our collective, Christmas-hearts.  This album succeeds in at least one area that Interscope's 2000 release fails.  Capturing some of the essence of Christmas, this Rhino Record release actually demonstrates the moral of the story of the Grinch as it foregoes big marketing and commercialism.  While the music may not be what the typical film music fan is looking for this album certainly holds more continuity and focus than its 34 year younger sibling release.
 

Rating: 7/10

 

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Track

Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Opening 1:29  ***
2 Trim Up the Tree 0:45  ***
3 Tomorrow is Christmas, It's Practically Here 4:11  ****
4 Welcome Christmas 0:46  ****
5 I Must Stop Christmas 0:59  ***
6 You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch - Thurl Ravenscroft 5:15  ****
7 You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch (reprise) - Thurl Ravenscroft 5:15  ****
8 A Quarter of Dawn 1:43  ***
9 Welcome Christmas 2:52  ***
10 Finale 3:06  ***
11 Opening 1:29  ***
12 Trim Up the Tree 0:47  ***
13 Welcome Christmas 2:06  ***
14 You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch 3:32  ****
Horton Hears a Who  
15 Opening 5:57  ***
16 Mrs. Toucnella Told Me 2:53  ***
17 Old Doc Hoovey 2:01  ****
18 Wickersham Brothers Song 2:14  ****
19 Who-Ville Aloft 3:22  ***
20 Doctor Hoovey, You Were Right 1:33  ***
21 Horton The Elephant's Going to be Caged 5:21  ***
22 Be Kind to Your Small Person Friends # 1:17  **
23 Finale 0:48  **
24 Old Doc Hoovey 1:23  ****
25 Wickersham Brothers Song 2:06  ****
26 We are Here 1:26  ***
27 Be Kind to Your Small Person Friends # 1:32  **
 

Total Running Time

66:04  

 

 
   

 

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