How a Taylor Swift meme inspired a screaming goat in ‘The Grinch’ movie

asdfgrinch screaming goatThis little goat hilariously follows around Benedict Cumberbatch’s Grinch.Universal/Illumination

Warning: There are minor spoilers ahead for “The Grinch.”

Universal’s animated remake of “The Grinch,” makes some additions and updates to the classic Dr. Seuss story, but it also adds some new characters, including a screaming goat kids should enjoy.

It turns out the little guy, who pops up several times throughout the movie, was inspired by the popular Taylor Swift goat meme. 

“We’d already done the scene where we knew the Grinch was going to go out to try to find reindeer and find Fred [reindeer]. We’d already started to build that sequence, and then we were like, ‘This is missing something. There’s a layer of fun to be had as he’s journeying out into the woods,'” co-director Scott Mosier told INSIDER. 

“I wish I could say it was some deep, artistic, creative core, but it was YouTube,” Mosier continued about the inspiration for the tiny goat. “There’s a Taylor Swift remix of one of her songs with a screaming goat, and we all couldn’t stop laughing. I just think it’s the funniest thing in the world.”

Mosier is referring to the YouTube remix of Swift’s 2012 song, “I Knew You Were Trouble.” It went viral in 2013 after a screaming goat was added to a portion of the chorus. 

You can watch it below: 

Mosier said it became an idea they had for the film and the team at Illumination started to build it for the movie, but they weren’t sure if he would make it into the final cut. 

“We were heading to the first test screening and we were like, ‘How are we going to end the movie?’ And there was that screaming goat, and we were like, ‘Let’s go for it,’ Mosier said. 

“Initially, it was like, ‘OK, well, here’s the button for the end of the film to get us through the test screening and we’ll see how it plays,” said co-director Yarrow Cheney added. “It was, probably, the biggest laugh, and it really just gave such an energy to the end of the film that at that point it was like, ‘OK, something’s working here. We need to keep this.”

asdfscreaming goat grinchThe little screaming goat pops up a few times throughout the movie, often to scare the Grinch and make him a little more human.Universal/Illumination

Interestingly enough, “The Grinch” isn’t the only animated movie this month where you’ll see a bleating goat. A similar gag occurs in Disney’s upcoming “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” its “Wreck-It Ralph” sequel. So expect to see a lot of the animal. 

You can read more from our conversation with “The Grinch” directors here. The movie is now in theaters. 

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