[ANIMATION ART] Group of four Chuck Jones storyboards from How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Chuck Jones for M.G.M. Pictures, 1966. Pencil, marker and watercolor on pre-printed M.G.M. Animation/Visual Arts storyboard forms, annotated with the companion text in pencil in the lower panel, and signed in pencil by Chuck Jones, the director and producer, numbered in sequence at upper right (panels 198, 205, 235 and 238). A few faint tape marks on the back of the storyboards with minor show-through, in all in very attractive condition. Framed.
Chuck Jones had worked with Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) on a Warner Brothers cartoon during World War II, and it was Jones's inspiration to adapt the Dr. Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! into an animated feature. This was produced jointly by Geisel's The Cat in the Hat Productions and M.G.M's animation division. The entire text of the book was incorporated into the special, with songs and wordless sequences added to extend the length to 25 minutes, so that the finished piece would fit into a thirty-minute TV slot. CBS underwrote the production. Boris Karloff was chosen as the narrator. The four panels come from the sequence in which the Grinch steals the star from the Christmas tree (lettered "And you drive a crooked hoss, Mr. Grinch") then forces the tree itself up the chimney ("'And now!' grinned the Grinch 'I will stuff up the tree'"), follows the tree and presents ("Then he went up the chimney, himself, the old liar") and finally grabs the Yule log ("The last thing he took was the log for their fire!").
The special first aired on CBS on December 18, 1966, and while it was initially greeted with only moderate praise, it has gone on to become an accepted Christmas television classic. CBS aired it annually until 1988, and while it has subsequently moved to other channels, watching it remains something of a holiday tradition in America. These original storyboards are quite uncommon at auction.
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