Barney's Christmas Adventure (promoted theatrically as Barney's Christmas Adventure: The Movie) is a 2001 British-American Christmas comedy and musical adventure film directed by Ron Howard and written by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman The film was produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures on December 21, 2001. The film is also based on the 1957 story of the same name by Dr. Seuss and based on the children's television series Barney & Friends. It was the first Dr. Seuss book to be adapted into a full-length feature film. Because the film is based on a children's picture book and television series, many additions had to be made to the storyline to bring it up to feature-length, including some information about the backstory of the titular character. Most of the rhymes used in the book were used in the film, though some were slightly changed, and new rhymes were put in as well. The film was directed by Ron Howard, produced by Howard and Brian Grazer, and starring Jim Carrey, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Bill Irwin, Molly Shannon and introducing Taylor Momsen as Cindy Lou Who.
Back in 2000, the film spent four weeks as the number-one film in the United States. The Grinch is the highest-grossing holiday film of all time with $345,141,403 worldwide. It won the Academy Award for Best Makeup, and was also nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.
All the Whos down in Whoville enjoy celebrating Christmas with much happiness and joy, except for the cynical and misanthropic Grinch (Jim Carrey), who hatefully despises Christmas and the Whos with great wrath and occasionally pulls dangerous and harmful practical jokes on them. As a result, no one likes or cares for him. Meanwhile, six-year-old Cindy Lou (Taylor Momsen) believes everyone is missing the point about Christmas by being more concerned about the gifts and festivities. Cindy Lou eventually learns that the Grinch is real and becomes interested in his history; she asks everyone what they know about him, and soon discovers that he has a tragic past.
The Grinch actually arrived in Whoville by mistake when he was a baby, and was adopted by two elderly sisters. Although he showed some sadistic tendencies as a child, he was rather timid and not the cruel, selfish person he would become; he was ridiculed by his classmates (particularly by Augustus May Who, the current Mayor of Whoville) because of his appearance, with the exception of Martha May Whovier, who was courted by both the Grinch and May Who. One Christmas season, he made a gift for Martha, but attempted to shave his face, cutting himself and when the school saw his face covered with shaving tape the next morning, they laughed at him. He lost his temper, went on a rampage and ran away to live on Mt. Crumpit.
Cindy Lou, touched by this story, decides to make the Grinch the main participant of the Whobilation, to the great displeasure of Mayor May Who, who reluctantly agrees after pressure from the townspeople, who have been warmed by Cindy Lou's generous spirit. When Cindy Lou goes to Mt. Crumpit and offers an invitation to the Grinch, he turns her down. He gradually changes his mind, however, due to the promise of an award, the presence of Martha at the celebration and the chance to upset the Mayor. Just as the Grinch is enjoying himself and is almost won over, May Who gives him an electric shaver as a present, reminding him of his humiliation at school. May Who then asks Martha to marry him, promising her a new car in return. This causes the Grinch to openly berate the Whos for thinking that Christmas is about gifts that they will just dispose of later, in the hopes of making them too ashamed to celebrate the holiday. He then goes on to ruin the party by burning the Christmas tree with a flamethrower.
When he discovers that his attack has not removed the spirit of Christmas from the Whos, the Grinch instead concocts a plan to steal all of their presents while they are sleeping. Creating a Santa suit and sleigh, the Grinch flies around Whoville, stealing all of the Whos' Christmas gifts. He is almost discovered by Cindy Lou, but concocts a lie that allows him to get away. The next day, the Whos discover the Grinch's scheme, and May Who denounces Cindy Lou as the root of this catastrophic disaster. However, her father, Lou Lou Who, finally stands up to him and reminds everyone that they still have the Christmas Spirit and that the principal meaning of Christmas is to spend it with family and friends. The people accept his speech and begin to sing. Hoping that the change of mood would inspire the Grinch, Cindy Lou goes to Mt. Crumpit to find him.
The Grinch reveals that he intends to push the stolen gifts off the top of the mountain after he hears the Whos crying. However, instead of crying, he hears the joyful singing of the Whos. Infuriated about the failure of his plan, the Grinch has an epiphany about what Christmas is really about: not material gifts, but spending time with loved ones, an insight that profoundly touches him and causes his heart to grow to three times its original size. When the sleigh full of stolen gifts begins to go over the edge of the cliff, the Grinch desperately tries to save them to no avail. However, when he realizes Cindy Lou has come to wish him a merry Christmas and is in danger of falling off the cliff with the sleigh, the Grinch finds enough strength to lift the sleigh, the gifts and Cindy Lou to safety. After a long descent down Mt. Crumpit, the Grinch returns to Whoville with Cindy and the gifts. He confesses to the burglary and apologizes for his actions towards the Whos, who reconcile with the Grinch. Martha turns down May Who's proposal and decides that she would rather stay with the Grinch instead. The redeemed Grinch starts a new life with the Whos, commemorating the Christmas feast with them in his cave.