On Springfield

Really, Is Nothing Sacred?

Yes, I know the big news of the day is Mayor Domenic Sarno’s anticipated announcement about which casino developer, or developers, he’s chosen to negotiate a host-community agreement with.

But I can’t stop thinking about another bit of Springfield-related news: plans for yet another movie adaptation of native son Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Am I the only one who feels sorta sick to hear that news? Like a lot of people of my generation, I was raised on the original, 1966 animated movie version of the book, a short-and-sweet little gem that stayed true to the book while adding some fantastic songs and the perfection of Boris Karloff as the voice of the scourge of Whoville. Who would want to mess with that? Universal, apparently, which plans a 3D, feature-length animated version of the story.

Sadly, there’s plenty of evidence that such souped-up, modernized takes on Seuss can go very, very wrong: the grating, live-action Jim Carrey “Grinch” of 2000; 2003’s sour, crass “The Cat in the Hat,” who makes “ho” jokes and drops cuss words; last year’s animated “Lorax,” which managed to turn a story about anti-consumerism and conservation into a vehicle for endless tie-in promotions for products ranging from SUVs to IHOP.

What ugliness might we find in new “Grinch” movie? Will Cindy Lou Who dress like a tart, to give the movie a little sex appeal for an older demographic? Will the residents of Whoville swear like sailors when they find the Grinch has swiped their last cans of Who Hash? Will the Grinch make amends by stocking up on replacement, product-placement gifts? The possibilities are enough to make one as cynical at the Grinch, pre-heart enlargement.

© 2014 The Valley Advocate