How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is the English translation of the classic Russian story, Сказ работника и праздничного городка (lit. The Tale of the Worker and the Festive Town), as written by Kazimir Stovidoyska. The original story was heavily modified by translator Dr. Seuss to be more appealing to the children of the Eisenhower-era United States, although both translations are well-received in their respective countries. It is uncommon in either the States or Russia to even know of the existence of the alternative interpretation. The English version has been developed into two movies, one in the classic animated style of the '60s, and the other a live-action film featuring Jim Carrey, which is about on-par for what you'd expect from a Jim Carrey performance.
The story opens up with the Whos down in Whoville preparing all manner of celebration and festivities for Christmas Day, including singing Christmas songs, preparing Christmas decorations, and igniting Christmas bonfires. Modern theologians cite the lack of mention of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but this is a minor detail in the story which can be easily left to the imagination of the viewer.
However, in a mountaintop cave overlooking Whoville, there lives a mean-spirited monstrous being known as The Grinch. He loathes all the cheeriness and noise of the Christmas celebration, which is attributed to a number of factors, chiefly his crippling disfigurement of having a severely shrunken heart. Modern physicians cite the lack of proper anatomical knowledge concerning the heart's lack of influence on emotion, but this is a minor detail in the story which can be easily left to the imagination of the viewer.
He hatches a plan to steal all the festive decorations and presents from Whoville in an attempt to rob the town of the spirit of Christmas itself. In a show of mocking irony, he wears a classic Santa Claus outfit while doing so. The story reaches a touching conclusion when the Whos down in Whoville, who may be functionally braindead, are overjoyed regardless that Christmas has arrived. The Grinch, noticing their stupefying optimism, loses the last shred of his sanity and becomes similarly overwhelmed with joy, even overcoming his heart problem. He then joins the Whos in their celebration, returning all their Christmas decorations and presents, and the entire town suffers a euphoria-based meltdown. Modern politicians note the lack of a properly punitive system of justice in Whoville, but this is a minor detail in the story which can be easily left to the imagination of the viewer.
The Russian version opens up with the titular Worker, Ivan Grinchovis, leaving the town of Whominaskya, which has embraced capitalistic ideals and now enjoys the fruits of his labor in the form of a festive and massive celebration. Angry that his work and toil has gone unnoticed by the people in the festive town, and desperate since he now has nothing left to ease his heart pains, Grinchovis devises a plan to take what is rightfully his from the oppressors of Whominaskya. Donning his red lumberjack outfit and manning his dog sled, he approaches in the night before their Celebration of Wealth and takes the presents and decorations back to his mountain cabin. Looking back at the town once he returns, Grinchovis notes that the people of Whominaskya, rather than being despondent at the loss of their wealth, have put forth an honest effort to rebuild the town from what Grinchovis took, meager though it may be. Shocked, he realizes that he has become that which he despises most, and returns to the town with his possessions. Together, Grinchovis and the people of Whominaskya agree to work for the benefit of all.
The animated movie is basically the same as Dr. Seuss's translation, only with mid-'60s Christmas songs, as was mandatory at the time, and was animated by Chuck Jones (yeah, that's how much of the man he was!). One feature of note was that a detail from the Russian version, that being Grinchovis' loyal sled dog Maksim, was added to the animated version (as Max) to contrast the Grinch's antagonistic nature. This was before the first major antagonist role in animated films, as well as before antagonist voting rights. Modern film theorists believe that if this were created today, Max would be absent from this version (instead replaced by a large-breasted model who everyone would pretend was actually Cindy Lou Who, a minor character who attempts to stop the Grinch), but this is a minor detail in the story which can be easily left to the imagination of the viewer.
The one with Jim Carrey
Rather than adapting from the book, this variant adapted the story from the animated movie, including the massive track of songs. Since Jim Carrey didn't really fit the model of an anti-hero protagonist very well (read: at all), the producers opted to give the aforementioned Cindy Lou Who a larger role. However, pressure from various anonymous groups led them to keep Cindy Lou Who as a young girl, rather than the initially-intended Jessica Alba. Max remains in the story, but as live-action dogs are notably less charismatic than animated ones, he serves very little purpose in the plot.
The book was particularly well-received in both countries, noting the happy moral ending despite the shades-of-grey morality displayed throughout. Those who saw the movie, on the other hand, could not come to a consensus, since much consternation was raised over the omission of critical details that could not be properly left to the imagination of a movie-goer in their busy lifestyle.