MOVIES

Why The Grinch Sounds Different – And Familiar

Long before taking on the titular grump of “Halloween Is Grinch Night,” Hans Conried established himself as a regular in bringing Dr. Seuss characters to the screen. Perhaps his most well-known Seuss role is that of the lovable elephant in the 1970 “Horton Hears a Who!” animated TV special. Helmed by “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” director Chuck Jones, the story retells the beloved story of a kind-hearted pachyderm who does everything in his power to preserve the microscopic world of Whoville that resides on a flower.

For those only familiar with Conried’s villainous roles, his part as Horton, as well as the film’s narrator and Who scientist Dr. Harold Hoovey, offers a refreshing change of pace. Horton’s naive and innocent personality makes him instantly endearing and you root for him all the way through. Conried toned down the usual bombast quite a bit, but his more tender approach remained ever-effective.

In between “Horton Hears a Who” and “Halloween Is Grinch Night,” Conried narrated 1973’s “Dr. Seuss on the Loose,” which presented three animated adaptations of other classic Seuss stories such as “Green Eggs and Ham” and “The Sneetches and Other Stories.” The special saw Conried work alongside another Grinch voice actor, Bob Holt, who voiced the character in 1982’s “The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat.” 

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