On a tiny snowflake floating through the air, exists the town of Who-ville, home of the Whos. The town is joyously preparing for the coming of Christmas. The opening scene is full of noise and excitement with the townspeople hustling and bustling about shopping for gifts. Cheerful Christmas music plays in the background while the countdown until Christmas Day is announced over the town’s loudspeaker. Bright colors combined with unusual hairstyles are seen on the people of Who-ville. The town itself is covered with a multitude of lights, decorated trees, and wreaths.
However a little girl named Cindy Lou Who is feeling depressed and lacking the holiday spirit. When her brother and his friends return from climbing Mount Crumpit, claiming they saw the Grinch, Cindy Lou grows curious of the Grinch. The Grinch is a mean spirited villain sporting yellow teeth and covered in green hair. His small heart has no room for feeling while his only friend is his dog, Max. The holiday season is especially despised by the Grinch. He has an extreme hate for Christmas and holiday cheer. The Grinch tries to cause chaos in the Post Office to disrupt holiday mail delivery. At the same time, Cindy Lou takes mail to a back room for her father and finds the Grinch. He scares her causing Cindy to fall into the mail sorting machine. To her surprise, the Grinch rescues her.
Cindy decides to investigate the Grinch's past. She interviews several people including two elderly women who cared for the Grinch and the town’s beautiful Margaret May-Who, and the Mayor, both of whom were classmates with the Grinch. From the information she collects, the Grinch, as a child, actually liked Christmas. He also had a crush on Margaret. However, the Mayor, as a child, taunted the Grinch about his crush. The Grinch creates a hand-made present for Margaret: a beautiful angel with wings crafted from colored jewels. He also attempts to shave his facial hair, which he is constantly tortured about by classmates. The bad “hack job” causes the class to laugh at him and the humiliation motivates him to hate Christmas. After that, the Grinch ran away to Mount Crumpit to live alone.