Tag Archives: Boris Karloff

about Boris Karloff, the man whose voice tells the story…

That's the title at the top of the page from the MGM press booklet for the 1966 Chuck Jones-directed animated television special, "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" that introduces Boris Karloff. It goes on to reveal some fascinating aspects of Karloff's character and reads in part:

"When it comes to villains, Boris Karloff is the epitome, so for Dr. Seuss' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS–a tale of a Christmas villain, Karloff is the appropriate narrator.

"Both Jones and Dr. Seuss agreed that Boris Karloff was the only man to tell the tale over the colorful animated film.  The choice was not so much for the association with Karloff's monster roles (although the Grinch is somewhat of a monster in the beginning of the story) but because of the rich mellow voice of this distinguished actor.  He can sound miserable and mean on the one hand, and bright and cheerful on the other–both qualities necessary to the story of HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS.

Chuck Jones and Boris Karloff during the taping of the audio for the animated film, "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

"Through the years, Karloff has played literally hundreds of different characters–so many that he honestly can't remember them all… In fact, this past year has been a busy one for him at MGM, where he also did the role of Mother Muffin in an episode of "The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.", and still another character portrayal in the MGM feature presentation, "The Venetian Affair".


The multi-page Press Book (each page hand-typed!) from MGM for the release of "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

"Today, Karloff commutes between Hollywood and London, where he maintains a flat, and a cottage in Hampshire.  Says he, "You know, it's a funny thing, when I'm in England and I speak of California–that's home, but when I'm here, I think of England as home".  

"His chief interests are flower gardens, poetry and the stage.  He's an avid fan of cricket and Rugby football–in all, quite a mild, cultured, soft spoken English gentleman–a complete contrast to most of his menacing characters on the screen."

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Original pencil on animation paper drawing of Boris Karloff as the Grinch (with the Cat in the Hat hat on) by Chuck Jones; created during the audio taping of Karloff's narration of the classic animated film.  

“Seuss Menagerie to Star on Sunday” — The Debut of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on December 18, 1966

We just came across this wonderful article in the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity's archives that appeared in the Los Angeles Times the week before the Chuck Jones directed "Dr.Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" was to make its debut on CBS (pre-empting "Lassie, no less) on Sunday, December 18, 1966.  In the same box with the clipping (it's a wonderful read BTW, click it to enlarge) were these two photographs.  The top one shows Chuck Jones working with Boris Karloff during the taping session for the soundtrack and the bottom one is (from left) Ted "Dr. Seuss" Geisel, Les Goldman and Chuck Jones admiring the album covers of Seuss' "Horton Hatches an Egg" and the upcoming "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (it with cover art by Chuck Jones.)

Of course, what delights us most of all, is the photo in the article of Chuck Jones looking very Grinch-y indeed as Ted Geisel adds his own twist on the Grinch look.  Can you imagine how much fun it must've been to have been in the room with those two?  Oh, heavens, the mind reels!  

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The art for the album cover:  

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Image of the Day: Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Theodor Geisel, AKA Dr. Seuss, was born on March 2, 1904.  Chuck Redux says Happy Birthday!

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Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) left, with the Grinch, Les Goldman (producer) and Chuck Jones (producer and director) at the sound recording session for their production of "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" in 1966.

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Dr. Seuss (left) with Boris Karloff and Chuck Jones at the sound recording in 1966 for the television special "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

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Chuck Jones and Ted Geisel confer during the recording session for the film adaptation of
"Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas." 

Image of the Day: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Recording Session)

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Original mixed media drawing by Chuck Jones of a guitarist at the recording session for his "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

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Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) from left, Boris Karloff and Chuck Jones look over some of the storyboards at the recording session for the Chuck Jones directed "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas."