Elf

Christmas season has officially started and what better way to begin than trivia from one of my favorite holiday films? Elf seriously cracks me up every time I watch it. Maybe it’s Will Ferrell? Maybe it’s James Caan? I don’t know, but here are some fabulous facts about the film.

By the way, how was your Thanksgiving? Tell me all about it!

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–When this screenplay first emerged in 1993, Jim Carrey was attached to star in the lead.

–The outside of Gimbels is a digitally altered view of the 34th St. Macy’s, a reference to Miracle on 34th Street (1947). Gimbels was Macy’s main competition but it is now closed.

–One of the skyscrapers built by Buddy in Gimbels is the Liberty One building in Philadelphia. In real life, Gimbels was a Philadelphia-based department store.

–When she first meets Buddy, Jovie asks, “Did Crumpet put you up to this”? Crumpet is the name David Sedaris called himself while working as an elf, as recounted in his Christmas story anthology “The Santaland Diaries.” David Sedaris’s sister, Amy Sedaris appears in the film as James Caan’s assistant, Deb. The usage of the name Crumpet may refer to Sedaris or may be a coincidence.

–Near the end, when Santa is showing Michael his nice list, all of the people on Santa’s list worked on the movie: Victoria Down (key makeup artist) wants an English riding saddle with leathers and a crop; Drew Davidson (chief lighting technician, as Andrew Davidson) wants Rock-em Sock-em robots; Andreas Nieman (assistant property master, as Andy Nieman) wants a complete set of titanium drivers and a new golf glove; Nathan Tichenor (co-production coordinator) wants an Apple iBook with 1 gig hard drive and a built-in CD burner; Michael Hobbs is a character in the movie; Jimmy Miller (executive producer) wants a Hot Wheels turbo ultra race track with six cars, power launcher and track cleaner and Penny Gibbs (unit production manager) wants an Old MacDonald Farm Kit with Battery Operated Tractor and a Remote Controlled Cow-Tipper.

–The elf Ming Ming, who appears briefly in the beginning of the film, is played by Peter Billingsley, who starred as Ralphie Parker in the classic holiday film A Christmas Story (1983).

–The brief TV news clip showing Buddy walking in Central Park (just before Buddy’s dad and brother find him), and the still picture of Buddy in the news clip, closely mimic the famous 1967 film of an alleged Bigfoot (“Patty”) taken by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin.

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