Ahh, Elf. If you’re looking for a hilariously funny, heart-warming Christmas film, well, you’ve got it right there.
But did you know these fun facts about your favourite festive film?
1. It wasn’t CGI that made Buddy look big
They actually used a thing called ‘forced perspective’ to make the elves look smaller. Some of the scenes were even filmed on two different sets, with the elves standing in one workshop to look small and Will Ferrel in the other to look big. They were then blended together on film using clever lighting – nifty!
2) Those cotton balls were actually candyfloss
Remember when Buddy shoved a load of cotton wool balls into his mouth at the doctor’s surgery? Well, they were only candyfloss. Phew.
3) Jim Carrey was originally cast to play the lead role
But as the film took a whopping 10 years to be made, things changed, and Ferrel was cast instead. And boy, what a superb decision that was…
4) Will Ferrel got sick because of Buddy’s terrible diet
Thanks to all of those marshmallows and Smarties, the A-litser ended up suffering from headaches and sleep deprivation during filming. ‘That was toug’, Will told About Entertainment. ‘I ingested a lot of sugar in this movie and I didn’t get a lot of sleep. 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.’ What a trooper.
5) The ‘extras’ were real people
When we saw Buddy running through the streets of New York, all the people in the background weren’t actually extras; they were pedestrians paid to appear in the film.
6) That 12-second burp was fake
As in, it didn’t come from Ferrel’s mouth. Instead, it was the same voice actor as Brain from Pinky and the Brain, Maurice LaMarche. So, what was his secret? ‘I’ve always been able to do this weird effect, where I turn my tongue, not inside out, but almost’, he told AV Club. ‘I create a huge echo chamber with my tongue and my cheeks, and by doing a deep, almost Tuvan rasp in my throat, and bouncing it around off this echo chamber, I create something that sounds very much like a sustained deep burp.’ Crikey.
7) There aren’t actually that many buttons in the lift of the Empire State Building
8) The jack-in-the-box scene
Firstly, director Jon Favreau surprised Ferrel by using a remote control to make them pop up when he wasn’t expecting it so that his reactions would be totally real. Secondly, they made the same noise as the laughing hyenas at the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. Lols.
9) Will turned down MILLIONS to make Elf 2
Around $29 million, according to reports. ‘I just think it would look slightly pathetic if I tried to squeeze back in the elf tights: Buddy the middle-aged elf’, he told USA Today. How we wish he had said yes.