It’s the holiday season yet again and the time has come for us to acknowledge an important truth: The iconic, verdant Baby Yoda is widely beloved because of an avenue paved for him by none other than Baby Grinch.
There’s no point in beating around the bush: I would die for Baby Yoda (as would some of my colleagues). I have been madly in love with the tiny green gremlin featured in The Mandalorian since 2019 and have been nearly brought to tears by simply watching him eat a French cookie. Have I ever seen a full episode of that Disney+ Star Wars show? No, and I have zero intention to, but that’s truly besides the point.
Baby Yoda had his inaugural moment in the limelight in the latter few months of 2019 and has continued to spark joy as The Mandalorian continues to get made. He’s been called The Child and Grogu by those who make and actually watch the show, but to the collective masses he will always be Baby Yoda as he looks like an infant version of Yoda, and also because he is literally a baby version of the Yoda species.
As a woman of 30 with a penchant for cute aggression, Baby Yoda checks many boxes for me. He’s even the background of my iPhone, which some may say is immature and I would argue that those people need to examine who hurt them in therapy or with an elder they respect. But, upon further examination of my obsession with a fictional green infant, I’ve realized that Baby Grinch—as seen in the 2000 Jim Carrey vehicle How The Grinch Stole Christmas—really set the stage. If you forgot what this smol pompadoured king looks like, let me refresh your memory:
You legally cannot look at that image and tell me that you don’t want to bite the tiny rolls on his chubby little arm!!! Sure, I’m aware that Baby Grinch was a bit of a menace and aggressively ate the heads off of Santa cookies, but who among us cannot relate to doing exactly that as a baby? Additionally, I’m sure no one looked as cute as Baby Grinch did while chomping away.
I’d be remiss if I did not mention that between 2000 and 2019, there were in fact other green babies in the midst of the zeitgeist. 2007's Shrek the Third brought us the chaos of Shrek and Fiona’s unfortunate triplets, Fergus, Farkle, and Felicia. While I have no doubt that they, too, were created in the wake of the Baby Grinch’s perfection, they did not succeed in achieving the same effect. I would absolutely not die for Fergus, Farkle, or Felicia, and, frankly, would rather forget they exist. Sorry to those babies. There was also Marvel’s introduction of Baby Groot with their 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy, which I’m saying now is not comparable to the aforementioned babies. He’s not in the same league. I will not elaborate.
So, while you hunker down at home to celebrate this holiday season and perhaps watch either How The Grinch Stole Christmas or even The Mandalorian, let’s honor the lineage of our the green babies we cherish—both new and old.