30 Feminist Christmas Movies, Ranked

10 of 31

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Screencap via MGM

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Grinch is a legendary green monster who lives on top of a mountain above Whoville. The Whos, who live in Whoville, are all kind and joyful, while the Grinch resents them because he is mean and bitter. In order to ruin Christmas for the Whos, the Grinch decides to dress as Santa Clause and, instead of distributing gifts, steal all the Whos’ presents, decorations, and food. But in the process, he meets Cindy Lou Who, a child who begins to make him think about the true meaning of Christmas. And even after he has carried out his dastardly plan, the Whos’ warmth and joy affect his too-small heart for good.

The Good

  • Embracing an outsider is a feminist act. The Whos welcome the Grinch into their Christmas celebration. They don’t hold a grudge, and they aren’t afraid of him just because he looks different or lives up on Mount Crumpit away from all of them. In fact, it could be said that it is his isolation that led him to such a mean act. Taken that way, the movie can be read as an encouragement to support and accept minorities, rather than keeping away from them them.
  • While the Grinch is the protagonist, Cindy Lou Who is essentially the hero of the story. While all the Whos inspire the Grinch’s heart to grow, Cindy is a big part of that. She doesn’t even do anything extraordinary. She wins the Grinch over just by being herself.

The Bad

  • Despite the above, Cindy Lou Who basically amounts to a manic pixie dream girl. She exists to inspire kindness and love in the Grinch, not for her own purposes.
  • The Grinch takes major advantage of Cindy when she wakes up and sees him. It’s overall pretty creepy that there’s a weird guy in her house taking her Christmas tree. But the Grinch also lies to her and acts as a false ally by getting her a drink (which, in the real world, would be rather suspect, right?).

The Ugly

  • The Grinch is fully redeemed at the end of the movie, but I find it a little unsettling that he never faces consequences for his actions. I know that the kind-hearted nature of the Whos is the point of the story, but the Grinch, like many men in many movies, did something totally horrible and unacceptable, and then got away with it because he said sorry. A female Grinch would have just been called a plethora of names.