In 2000, Hollywood decided audiences needed a live-action movie starring Jim Carrey as the terrifying-looking green creature from Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas. The film later won multiple Oscars, became one of the highest-grossing holiday films of all time, and remains one of the most beloved Christmas specials to date. But the real star of the movie isn’t Carrey as the Grinch; it’s Max the Dog, his ever-loyal best friend.
According to the Animal Humane Association, Max is played by six different mixed-breed shelter rescue dogs: Kelly, Chip, Topsy, Stella, Zelda, and Bo. Lots of harnesses and precautions were employed to bring Maxs scenes to life, and it was worth it, too — that pup is the best part of the movie. “Max is much more than just the Grinchs loyal dog and unwitting accomplice,” the Animal Humane Association wrote on its website. “In fact, Max may be the true hero of the story, as his humor, devotion, and likeability outshine even the Whos down in Whoville.”
This pup stands by his owner through it all — even the Grinchs deranged plan to, you know, steal Christmas from Whoville. “Max is the world’s greatest dog, let alone the Grinchs best companion,” actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who voiced the Grinch in a 2018 animated adaptation, told USA Today. “Anyone should be so lucky to have a Max in their life.”
Max, despite being the Grinchs pet and sidekick, is actually much nicer than his master and loves both Christmas and the Whos. Still, he is forced to do his owners bidding out of fear of being abused.
Max is the tritagonist of “Dr. Seuss How The Grinch Stole Christmas!”. Hes also the pet of The Grinch and unlike his master, very kind and loves Christmas.
The Grinch decides to use him as his own reindeer since real ones were scarce on Mt. Crumpit. When they get to Whoville, he holds the ladder for The Grinch as he goes down the chimney and steals all the food and presents from the houses.
Max is seemingly smarter than the average canine, almost acting as the Grinchs “butler” of sorts. At one point, Max does this in an attempt to sleep in the Grinchs bed, but The Grinch doesnt buy it.
They both realize that Christmas is actually about family and friends getting together and having a good time. After that, he helps his master stop the sleigh from falling off the edge and they go back down to Whoville to give back the presents and celebrate Christmas with the Whos.
The Grinch’s loyal dog Max is back as well, and is played by six different mixed-breed shelter rescues: Kelly, Chip, Topsy, Stella, Zelda, and Bo. The dogs all wore a lightweight headpiece with long ears attached, and for the flying sequences wore an additional antler headpiece as well as fur-covered harnesses to secure the dogs in place. Kelly also wore a fur-covered harness in a scene where the Grinch and Max hide in the mailroom. They were suspended in the upper corner near the ceiling, while a crewmember held cables connected to four points on the harness from his position behind both the Grinch and the ceiling. The crewmember securely held the cables for the entirety of the scene, ensuring that there was no chance of Kelly falling.
Many television and movie star dogs are actually “discovered” as orphans at local animal shelters or pounds. Happy, who stars in TV’s “7th Heaven” was rescued from a veterinarian’s office, and J.J. is a yellow lab that was rescued from the pound and stars in the upcoming movie “The Mexican” with Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. Schumacher often finds dogs with star potential at pounds, and actually discovered all six “Max” dogs at local shelters. Although he does look for qualities such as playfulness and a lack of shy and skittish behavior, Schumacher states that he does not wait to find one particular “fit” for a role. The “Max” dogs, after all, had their hair dyed and trimmed to resemble one another, and each had their own distinctive personality.
In case you’re wondering if the dogs were initially frightened of Carrey in full Grinch-regalia, AHA monitored the pre-production training and observed that the dogs were desensitized to all of the actors’ make-up and costumes during training, as well as familiarized with their own costumes and safety devices. For example, Max’s antlers and long, floppy ears were actually a lightweight headpiece that the dogs wore throughout their training, and by the time filming began, the little divas were well adjusted to their accoutrements. Max also adorns a mini hardhat and Rudolph nose, although he gets to swipe off the clownish, red nose with his paws in the movie.
In the cave, Max is unamused by his master’s negativity regarding Christmas, but stands by him nonetheless. For the following sequences, the trainer cued the dog with various commands: “on your feet,” “pick it up,” “hold it,” “look here,” and the basic “sit,” “stay,” and “speak.” After Max presented the Grinch with Cindy-Lou Who’s invitation to the “Holiday Cheer-Meister of the Year Award” ceremony, the trainer removed the paper from the dog’s mouth and rewarded her with a treat. Also, a stuffy was used when the Grinch cold-heartedly kicks Max—who was excitedly Jingle Bell-Rockin’ at the Grinch’s decision to go to the ceremony—through the air.
As one of the most highly anticipated movies of the Holiday 2000 season, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas features Jim Carrey as the hairy, green Christmas menace intent on destroying the Yuletide cheer for the people of Whoville. Unlike the animated version, this Grinch is somewhat of a tortured soul, and his hatred for the holiday goes beyond Santa and “roast beast”—this time the Grinch takes it personally, and it’s Cindy-Lou Who (played by Taylor Momsen) who must finally convince the heart-challenged Grinch what Christmas is really all about.
He’s Willing To Try New Things
The Grinch dresses Max up as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to lead his stealing-Christmas sleigh, and Max is kind of willing to roll with it — until his owner realizes the whole thing is a bad idea.