The Grinch is a popular Dr. Seuss character featured in the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Created in 1955, the character has also appeared in various adaptations of the book. The grumpy, anti-holiday spirit of the character has led to the term "Grinch" coming to refer a person opposed to Christmastime celebrations.
History with the Macy's Parade
The Grinch would make his Parade debut in 1997, as a collaboration between Macy's and Universal. Of note, this is the first known inflatable to be created by Inflatable Images. He would first take form as a 34 foot tall falloon, illustrating the moment when his heart grew three sizes. He sat upon a sleigh, filled to the brim with items of his holiday heist, additionally, the sleigh carries a Christmas tree in a large red sack. The week before the 1997 Parade, the Falloon would be placed upon Macy's 34th Street marquee, to promote his position as Macy's Holiday Ambassador of 1997. The Grinch, along with Paddington Bear (another Falloon) got to be the only two units to stay in the parade after another fellow Dr. Seuss character balloon caused a serious accident that got two balloons pulled from the parade. He would retire after this Parade but briefly returned in 2002 to promote that year's run of Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Orlando. He would continue to make appearances at Universal until 2004 when the Falloon was officially retired. The Grinch falloon still survives at the Inflatable Images headquarters.
In addition to appearing as a falloon, the Broadway rendition of How the Grinch Stole Christmas would serve as one of the pre-parade acts in 2006.
In 2017, after a 15-year hiatus from the main Parade, the Grinch would return in the form of a giant balloon, in order to promote the release of Illumination Entertainment's animated Christmas film, The Grinch the following year in 2018. The design shows him quickly scurrying away after a successful night of stealing Whoville's Christmas. He carries a large red sack on his back, which contains a candy cane, presents, and his beloved pet dog, Max.
This second balloon was also used in a special YouTube video, in which Macy's Parade Senior Director, John Piper, demonstrates the steps to creating a Parade balloon. The video featured the Grinch balloon being constructed and painted at the Raven Aerostar headquarters in Sioux Falls, Dakota. The balloon was retired after the 2019 Parade.