The ability to turn an ordinary man into a large furry-green creature who is both endearing and somewhat frightening at the same time is impressive in itself. When I merely think of Christmas and what will put me in the holiday spirit I find that Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas staring Jim Carrey comes to my mind. This funny, heart-warming classic has had the ability to capture my attention and get me excited for Christmas every year since it first came out in 2000. The special effects, particularly the extensive makeup and costume, dramatically enhance the film and without them it would not be the same. According to five-time Academy Award winner Rick Backer, who was in charge of the make up and costume for the film, him and his crew created 125-characters make up for the movie and they applied as many as 110 make-ups daily. The appliances were made of rubber pieces that were glued to actor’s faces and they could only be used for one day of filming so by the end of production 8,000 facial appliances and 3,500 ears were used. In addition, 150 facial hairpieces were created. When screening the film, I can clearly understand why so much time and equipment went into the designs and actual creations. They were able to make something so fictional look so real and “normal” for the incredible set and screenplay. The colors that were chosen for the costumes also reflect the film positively. According to Understanding Movies, “Color tends to be a subconscious element in film. It’s strongly emotional in its appeal, expressive and atmospheric rather than intellectual”. When looking at each characters costume, it is clear that a lot of thought went into who wore what. There are several shades of green and red to reflect that it is a Christmas film. Also, the fact that the Grinch is green clearly resembles Christmas, but can also be a play on the fact that the Grinch was envious of particular characters in the film since he was so different and green typically portrays envy. When looking at the colors chosen for Taylor Momson’s character Cindy Lou Who, who plays a young a curious girl in the film, you see a lot of pinks and whites to portray her innocence and to accurately show that she is a young girl. It is clear that much thought went into the color choices for the costumes and they are able to depict the accurate emotions for the theme of the movie.
In all, there was not a moment when I thought Jim Carrey looked anything like an ordinary human being, and his exaggerated facial expressions and body movements only made his costume and makeup even more believable. Although I Know that each character is wearing massive amounts of makeup and even rubber facial parts, the realness and meticulous detail make the “Who’s” seem very believable. The creators were able to make “who’s” look like a real species that would exist in “Whoville”. Jim Carrey, Ron Howard, and Rick Backer all enhanced their credibility in this film by recreating the famous Dr. Seuss book that was filled with simple yet exaggerated drawings. They were able to turn this book into a major motion picture and the costumes and makeup are what brought an extra spark and magical effect to the movie.