Chuck Jones' daughter, Linda, likes to recount that when she was a young girl her father would often 'act out' the cartoons he was working on for her, voices, gags, action, everything. Chuck explains in his book, Chuck Reducks, how he went on the road with the Grinch storyboards and their presentation saga…
"…off to New York to sell the idea to a sponsor. (Today you sell your film to the network; in the those innocent days–1966–you sold to the sponsor, guaranteeing financial support, before you could proceed to the network.)
"That sounded easy enough. After all, I could take great pride in the wonderful story and full professional storyboard, and I could–and did–act all the parts (even Cindy-Lou Who) while presenting the board–twenty-six times!
"Yep. Twenty-six times I did my dog-and-pony, or rather dog-and-grinch, act for the icy-eyed acres of advertising agency people before I could find a buyer." (Eventually the Foundation of Commercial Banks became the sponsor, much to the surprise of Chuck, for who would think that they of all people, would want to promote an entertainment where the main character says, "Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store?")
Ted Geisel (second from left) and Chuck Jones (second from right) pose with members of the Foundation of Commercial Banks for a publicity photo before the airing on December 18, 1966 of the animated television special, "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
And speaking of advertising agencies…below is a telex (pre-fax, pre-email, pre-skype!) from the Chicago office of the giant Leo Burnett advertising agency (think Mad Men) to their New York office counterparts extolling the virtues of Jones' storyboard presentation and how it would behoove them to make sure one of their big clients (Kellogg's or Campbell's Soup) became the sponsor of this most watched and beloved holiday special. An amazing read, isn't it?