Happy Birthday Buddy! Hard to believe it’s been 10 years since Elf first charmed us on the big screen and has been in our homes and hearts since.
Buddy (Will Ferrell) is everything good about Christmas and people.
He loves unconditionally.
He makes a rocking horse out of a TV unit.
He adds maple syrup to spaghetti.
He puts the star on the Christmas tree in a very special, Chevy Chase-like way.
He goes up an escalator like no one else.
He uses Etch-A-Sketch in miraculous ways.
He sees magic and joy everywhere.
He doesn’t judge.
He loves life and he enjoys every minute.
And the best part?
He gives his gift of joy and love for all to share.
Fun notes about Elf:
Remember Peter Billingsley who played Ralphie in A Christmas Story? He makes a delightful cameo in Elf as Ming Ming (the Elf who tries to help Buddy be a productive toy maker at The North Pole).
Yup, that really is Zooey Deschanel singing in Elf. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (not my fav Christmas song, it’s actually kind of creepy) is sung by Leon Redbone and Zooey Deschanel.
Elf uses a method of filming called forced perspective to make Buddy the Elf (a human raised by Elves) look so much larger than the other elves, including Papa Elf played by the awesome Bob Newhart.Peter Dinklage, who plays arrogant and cranky children’s book author Miles Finch now appears as Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones. Check him out in The Station Agent, he’s fantastic, as always.
Elf was filmed in New York City and British Columbia, Canada.
Ray Harryhausen was the voice of the Polar Bear Cub. Harryhausen was a genius visual effects creator, and a writer and producer best known for his stop-motion model animation (Mysterious Island, Jason and the Argonauts, First Men in the Moon, One Million Years B.C., Clash of the Titans, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, It Came from Beneath the Sea, etc.). Sadly, Mr. Harryhausen passed in May 2013. Remember the restaurant in Monsters Inc.? Harryhausen’s, a nod to a legend.
Will Ferrell doesn’t do his own 12 second belch (yes, and it turns out when we’re talking about belching, 12 seconds is a looooong time) in the pop burp scene. But it’s a real belch, done by the brilliant and talented Canadian voice actor, Maurice LaMarche. Maurice LaMarche is the man of a million voices, my fav, the voice of the Brain from Pinky and Brain and Animaniacs (Are you pondering what I’m pondering?). Also, he played Wakko Warner which completely explains the belching. He was the voice of Sylar on Heroes, later played by Zachary Quinto. Other works include: The Little Mermaid, The Simpsons, Futurama, Batman: The Animated Series, Ed Wood, Disney’s House of Mouse, and so much more.
If you haven’t seen this movie because you think it’s silly, or childish, or you can’t stand Will Ferrell…well, sure it might be all those things and more, but give it a chance – it’s also funny, like, laugh out loud hurt your sides funny, charming, poignant, addictive, with a ton of great messages. And it’s really a case of, you’ve got to see it to believe it.
Pull up a chair and please share!