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13 things you never knew about the movie Elf

·3 min read

Every time we watch Elf, we're reminded of what a great Christmas film it is. The singing, the dancing - the decorations! Despite coming out way back in 2003, it feels like it gets better every year, and we're super excited for its 2021 annual viewing (or three.)

Here are some interesting bits of trivia and facts about Elf.

1.Jim Carrey was originally meant to play the role of Buddy. He apparently turned it down to pursue other opportunities after Ace Ventura made him a household name. But we wouldn't change Will Ferrell for the world.

2. Forced perspective was used to make it look like Buddy was a giant. The director was against CGI and wanted to keep the movie as natural as possible, as shown in this behind the scenes featurette from the film. Still, HOW did they make him so huge on papa elf's knee?!

Photo credit: Elf
Photo credit: Elf

3. The cotton balls Buddy eats while in the doctor's office was actually candy floss that hadn't been dyed yet. Genius.

4. Will Ferrell suffered from terrible headaches throughout filming. “I ingested a lot of sugar in this movie and I didn’t get a lot of sleep," Ferrell joked with "I constantly stayed up. But anything for the movie, I’m there. If it takes eating a lot of maple syrup, then I will — if that’s what the job calls for.”

Photo credit: Elf
Photo credit: Elf

5. Buddy's 12-second burp was voiced by someone else; a guy called Maurice LaMarche (who also voiced Brain from Pinky And The Brain.)

6. Will Ferrell's reactions to the jack in the boxes were genuine. Director (and Monica's ex Pete from Friends) Jon Favreau was controlling them off-stage by remote control, as explained in the film's extra commentary.

7. Will Ferrell caused several minor traffic accidents when walking through the Lincoln Tunnel in his costume. People were THAT surprised to see him hanging about the streets in an elf outfit. We would be, tbh.

8. SORRY, but there aren't actually that many buttons in the Empire State Building's elevators. Our entire life has been a lie.

9. Mary Steenburgen, who plays Buddy's stepmum, also plays Will Ferrell's mum in Stepbrothers! A dynamic duo if ever there was one.

10. All the scenes of Will Ferrell running through the city were shot on the last day of filming. The people aren't extras - they were pedestrians paid then and there to appear in the movie!

11. The 'throne of lies' scene had to be shot in one take. The set was too extensive to rebuild for another shot. Luckily they nailed it!

12. Will Ferrell worked as a mall Santa in his very own throne of lies before his career took off. “I have some experience playing Santa Claus..." he said (via Radio Times.) "Chris Kattan was my elf at this outdoor mall in Pasadena for five weeks, passing out candy canes.

"It was hilarious because little kids couldn't care less about the elf. They just come right to Santa Claus. So by the second weekend, Kattan had dropped the whole affectation he was doing and was like (Ferrell makes a face of bitter boredom), ‘Santa’s over there, kid.'”

13. Will Ferrell turned down 29million to be in Elf 2 in late 2013. “I would have had to promote the movie from an honest place," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "Which would’ve been, like, ‘Oh no, it’s not good. I just couldn’t turn down that much money.' And I thought, ‘Can I actually say those words? I don’t think I can, so I guess I can’t do the movie.'"

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