How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a 1966 American animated television special directed by Chuck Jones. It is based on the homonymous children's book by Dr. Seuss, the story of The Grinch trying to take away Christmas from the townsfolk of Whoville below his mountain hideaway. The special, which is considered a short film as it runs less than an hour, is one of the very few Christmas specials from the 1960s to still be shown regularly on television. Hans Conried narrates the film and also provides the speaking voice of The Grinch (the opening credits state, "The sounds of the Grinch are by Bob Holt. And read by Hans Conried, too!")
The 26-minute short was originally telecast on CBS on December 23, 1966. CBS repeated it annually during the Christmas season until 1999. It was eventually acquired by Warner Bros, which now shows it several times between November and January. It has since been broadcast on TNT, Cartoon Network, and The WB Television Network. Most recently, it has been shown on Kids WB, but with some scenes trimmed down because of time constraints (the show was made at a time when commercial breaks on television were shorter than they are now). In any event, as of the present time, it is the lead-off "classic" special (i.e. the first classic special) that airs on network television each Christmas season.
The special was originally produced by The Cat in the Hat Productions in association with the television and animation divisions of Warner Bros. WB owned the special until 1986. Today, the rights stand with Turner Entertainment (the copyright holder) and Warner Bros. Animation (a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment; its predecessor company had employed Chuck Jones for many years). Warner Bros. Television owns the TV distribution rights, and Warner Home Video the DVD rights.