Two decades after its release, there are still things viewers don’t know about the modern Christmas classic. Elf. The film stars Will Ferrell as Buddy, a human who was raised by Santa’s elves just to meet his real family. Elf Follow Buddy on his journey from the North Pole to New York City to reunite with his long-lost father, played by James Caan. Elf features other incredible actors, including Bob Newhart as Buddy’s adopted Papa Elf and Zooey Deschanel as Jovie, a woman who works at the mall’s Christmas store with whom Buddy falls in love.
The film’s success has turned the 2003 release into a perennial Christmas classic that is rich in repetition and offers many quotable lines. There remains an enthusiasm to learn more fun facts about Elf even after all this time, and the development and production of this film includes many entertaining stories. Between barely noticeable details, actors who were originally cast or who almost appeared, stories from the set, deleted scenes and more, there is a lot of information about the making of Elf that perhaps all audiences do not know.
12 Will Ferrell got sick from eating too much sugar
Elf food groups are not human food groups.
In this film Buddy is seen eating a staggering amount of sugar, most famously a plate of spaghetti loaded with various sweets. According to the elves, the four main food groups are “Candy, candy canes, candy grains and syrup.” Ferrell actually ate most of the candy depicted, and said Sun in an interview that this led him to suffer terrible headaches and insomnia due to his character’s horrendous diet.
eleven Buddy’s setup in New York was improvised
It is achieved by interacting with strangers and having fun.
According IMDB, the final day of filming included only Ferrell, director Jon Favreau, and a single cameraman. They caught a montage of Buddy doing various things when he arrives in New York and offered cash to passersby to act as extras. In some cases, they surprised someone passing by and asked permission to use the images later, including the man in the red sweater and sweatshirt whom Buddy mistakes for Santa.
10 The film is a tribute to another Christmas classic
The elf costumes are inspired by a past version.
The crew wanted Elf to pay tribute to another classic of Christmas cinema: the television movie Rudolph the red nose reindeer (1964). The elf costumes in Elf They are almost exact replicas of those used by the animated elves in Rudolph. The style of Santa’s workshop, as well as the stop-motion animals that live at the North Pole, are also reminiscent of the previous film. The snowman who tells Rudolph He also makes an appearance and offers Buddy some friendly advice.
9 Ralphie Parker has a cameo
An appearance by the protagonist of a quintessential Christmas movie.
Peter Billingsley, who played young Ralphie in A Christmas story (1983), he plays the small role of the elf Ming Ming. He, along with the other elves, assures Buddy that he has “special talents” when Buddy is falling behind in toy production. While chatting without realizing that Buddy is listening, Ming Ming and another elf also accidentally reveal to Buddy that he is a human. Billingsley also worked with Favreau on Iron Man (2008) and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) and had cameos in both films.
8 An elf hockey scene was cut
Elves playing hockey at the North Pole.
Another scene demonstrating how Buddy stands out at the North Pole did not appear in the film. Buddy participates in a hockey game with the other elves and quickly surpasses his opponents due to his size compared to them. He was finally cut off from Elfbut this scene is now available to watch on YouTube.
7 Wanda Sykes was supposed to appear
A small detail still pays tribute to him.
Wanda Sykes was supposed to play the manager of Gimbel’s department store. where Jovie and, unofficially, Buddy work. This role ultimately went to Faizon Love. Love is particularly memorable in this role for intervening to stop “Santa” from destroying the intricate Christmas decorations when Buddy inadvertently starts a fight. However, Gimbels’ manager’s nameplate says Wanda in the film, as Love himself insisted on wearing the nameplate.
6 Elves prefer syrup to coffee
Syrup is one of the four main food groups.
In the scene where Ming Ming reveals that Buddy is human, he and another elf are standing in a break room where there is a table with snacks and drinks. However, instead of coffee, the elves have a jug of syrup, along with a jug of milk and a bowl of candy canes. The decision to use syrup for the elves is smartly based on what Elf established as the four main food groups for them. It’s also no surprise that Buddy doesn’t really understand coffee when he arrives in New York.
5 “A Throne of Lies” was made in one take
An iconic scene meant destroying the set.
The crew had a chance to film the now-iconic scene in which Buddy unmasks a mall Santa. Because Buddy and Santa get into a fight and destroy most of the store’s setup, The “throne of lies” scene could only be done once. The time and resources it would take to recreate the production design were considered too great for the film to risk having to do it multiple times, so the pressure was on everyone to get it right the first time.
4 Jim Carrey was supposed to be a friend
Another comedy actor was supposed to take the lead.
When Elf was in development, the original goal was for Jim Carrey to play Buddy. However, Carrey turned down the role. Carrey’s famous comedy films in the ’90s, including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) and Dumb and dumb (1994), gained him the attention of Elf equipment. by the time Elf Finally ready to start filming, Carrey had already turned his attention to a new Christmas movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), and Will Ferrell took over the role after rewrites and the addition of a new creative team.
3 Bob Newhart Knew Elf Would Be a Christmas Classic
He loved the script and believed in it from the beginning.
A person involved with Elf I knew it was going to become a hit, as Bob Newhart said cnn, “My agent sent me the script and I fell in love.” He told his wife that Elf was “It will be another ‘Miracle on 34th Street,’ where people will see it every year.” Newhart’s words had an element of prophecy, since Elf In fact, it’s an annual Christmas special for many people. He is also most proud of Elf than almost any of his other projects, saying, “Without a doubt, the role of Papa Elf far surpasses any role I have ever played.”
2 Ferrell turned down $29 million to star in a sequel
Just let something good be.
While Favreau was open to it, Ferrell refused to make a Elf sequel, despite being offered a monumental salary to return. The cast and crew accomplished quite a feat when they produced this classic, and apparently Ferrell didn’t think it was worth trying to replicate the success just for the paycheck. Favreau has also closed the door on making another Elf movie, recently saying in a Variety interview, “I think there is always room for new Christmas movies; that particular movie, I don’t know what story would be told after that. Is very complete.”
1 Elf turns 20 this year
Time flies when you have good movies to watch.
Elf debuted on November 7, 2003, meaning the film recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Variety even called favreau “shocked” realizing that this milestone would come so soon. Many people, including Ferrell, doubted elf chances of success, but it was an unexpected blow. Today is a much-loved Christmas movie and people will no doubt enjoy the adventures of Buddy the Elf for years to come.