Several minor traffic accidents occurred when Will Ferrell walked through the Lincoln Tunnel in his costume, because people were so surprised (and distracted from their driving) to see him wearing an elf outfit.

Director Jon Favreau used a remote control to trigger the Jack in the Box toys to get the startled reactions from Will Ferrell.

Due to his policy of appearing in family friendly films Chevy Chase was briefly considered for the role of Papa Elf by director Jon Favreau. However Will Ferrell vetoed this idea because he disliked working with Chase when he returned to guest host Saturday Night Live (1975) in the mid-1990s. Ferrell said Chase was the worst host he worked with during his tenure on that show.

The scene when Buddy eats different candies and pastries with the spaghetti noodles had to be shot twice, because Will Ferrell vomited the first time.

Will Ferrell turned down $29 million to be in a sequel in late 2014.

The cotton balls Buddy eats while in the doctor's office were actually cotton candy that had not been dyed.

Wanda Sykes was originally slated to play the Gimbel's Manager but backed out at the last minute. She was replaced by Faizon Love, who insisted on still wearing the nametag made for Sykes, which is why his tag inexplicably says "Wanda."

On the final day of shooting in New York City, it was just director Jon Favreau, Will Ferrell, and a camera man driving around the city looking for locations to shoot. They would jump out and ask pedestrians if they would be willing to be extras for some quick cash, while Ferrell paraded around acting like Buddy. Much of the montage when Buddy first arrives in New York City was filmed then, such as when he is getting his shoes shined, and jumping between traffic.

Will Ferrell suffered from headaches throughout filming, as he had to actually eat all of the sugary food in the Elf food pyramid on camera.

The film is able to use elements from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) freely because that film is not properly copyrighted, containing an error in the Roman numerals of its copyright notice.

The elves have a pitcher of syrup in their break room instead of coffee.

The scene where the fake Santa is chasing Buddy had to be done in one take, because it was too hard to rebuild everything.

Screenwriter David Berenbaum's first ever script. Berenbaum was raised Jewish, but his family always celebrated Christmas. He was a huge fan of the Rankin/Bass Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964) of which Elf pays homage. Berenbaum's father died when he was only 8 and the story is really about connecting and finding out about a father.

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).

Director Jon Favreau drew Buddy's crayon drawing of himself in the card he made for his dad.

After reading the script, Bob Newhart took such a liking to it that when he told his wife how wonderful it was with both the story and the role, he saw it as being a perennial movie like a "Miracle on 34th Street": a movie that would play every Christmas season.

The design for Santa's Workshop as well as the elf uniforms come from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). The elf uniforms completely mirror the ones from the television special. Most of the animals in the North Pole are also designed to look like the same form of stop-motion animation used in Rudolph.

Before making the film, Jon Favreau would observe his 1-year-old son, Max, to get ideas for what Buddy might do. As Favreau notes, Max was his barometer for how believable Buddy's antics were. Favreau also mentions when he feels Buddy knows he's doing bad or believes he's doing good, which makes a fun, little game throughout the film.

Will Ferrell's brother Patrick played a security guard at the Empire State Building.

According to Will Ferrell at the movie's premiere co-star James Caan approached him and said he felt Ferrell's performance in the film was "too over the top" while they were shooting the movie. However when Caan saw the finished film, he later said he understood the energy Ferrell needed to put into his performance and later praised Ferrell saying he gave a good performance.

The apartment in which Buddy's dad lives is the same apartment building (exterior shot) in which Dana Barrett lived in Ghostbusters (1984).

Most of the shots with Will Ferrell and Ed Asner in the workshop with the elves are forced perspective rather than CGI.

Buddy's twelve-second belch was supplied by voice actor Maurice LaMarche, best-known for his cartoon character, "The Brain", from Pinky and the Brain (1995), and who also did the operatic belching in Animaniacs (1993) as "The Great Wakarotti". LaMarche also worked with Will Ferrell on the animated series, The Oblongs (2001).

Jon Favreau's son plays Young Buddy sitting on Papa's knee.

Will Ferrell has no interest in reprising his role for a sequel in the years since, telling Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live back in 2013: "Absolutely not...I just think it would look slightly pathetic if I tried to squeeze back in the elf tights: Buddy the middle-aged elf." He reiterated his position in 2017 in an interview with IGN.

When Santa gives Michael his present, it's a "Real Huf" board. Real is the brand of skateboard and Huf, is the nickname for professional skateboarder, Keith Hufnagel. Director John Favreau is friends with Keith Hufnagel, and used to use him for stunts. This is why his skateboard is used. In the 2008 film "Step Brothers", Will Ferrell's character is named "Brennan Huff".

Will Ferrell's first leading role.

Contrary to popular belief, Zooey Deschanel's hair is not naturally blonde as seen in Elf. She dyed it for a project that was never released, and did her audition and screen test for Elf during that time frame. The studio did not want her to change it back because they hired her based on footage of her as a blonde.

Mary Steenburgen, who plays Emily, Buddy's stepmother and Michael's mom also plays Will Ferrell's mother in Step Brothers (2008).

The voice of the jack-in-the-box laugh is that of Dal McKennon. The audio clip is taken from Lady and the Tramp (1955), in which McKennon performed the voice of a laughing hyena.

Many of the sets were built twice, once much larger for the actors playing elves and once slightly smaller for the normal sized actors. In the scene where Ed Asner as Santa addresses his elves, he is standing on a platform on a smaller version of the set. The elves were standing on another platform far behind him. Lighting was used to blend the two images together.

Jon Favreau mentions Will Ferrell's line about the fake Santa sitting on a "throne of lies" is from Lord of the Rings.

The scene where Buddy and the fake Santa fight was filmed in front of a greenscreen and all of the kids were put onto the greenscreen in editing. They were filmed separately from the fight scene. This was due to the fact that it had to be filmed in one take and it was too dangerous having all of the kids in the scene. This is evident when Buddy is framed against the kids when he first sees fake Santa.

Zooey Deschanel performs three songs in this film. One of them is "Baby, It's Cold Outside", which she sings in the shower accompanied by Will Ferrell, and then sings again with Leon Redbone over the end titles. She later made an official recording with her indie duo She & Him, released on their album "A Very She & Him Christmas" released in 2011.

Jon Favreau notes he went on the Atkins diet and lost around 40 lbs after filming his scene as the doctor. He said at the time that he "looked like a tall ship with a big sail" in his white coat. Because of this, Will Ferrell gave Favreau a tall ship in a bottle as a wrap present.

Jon Favreau likes the idea that the film might be watched year after year by people who have already seen it once before. He wanted to include several Easter Eggs throughout the film for people to pick up on in subsequent viewings. The shot of Buddy trampling through Central Park like Bigfoot is one of these moments.

Bob Newhart claimed that of all the fan mail he received, usually half of it was for "Elf".

The skyline Buddy builds at Gimbel's contains many Philadelphia skyscrapers, including One Liberty Place. Screenwriter David Berenbaum is from Philadelphia, and in real life, Gimbel's was a prominent Philadelphia department store, and sponsor of the country's first Thanksgiving parade held in that city in 1920.

The exterior shot of James Caan taking Buddy's phone call was the first shot for James Caan. Jon Favreau notes how lucky they were to get the actor but admits they didn't know what they were going to be getting hiring an actor of his caliber. There were concerns that he would be cracking up far more than he actually did, but the way Caan underplays every scene works perfectly against Will Ferrell's child-like attitude.

The script was written in 1993. The film was optioned at an independent company called Motion Picture Corporation of America (MPCA), which wanted Chris Farley to play Buddy. In an interview on The Movies That Made Us: Elf (2020) writer David Berenbaum felt that it would have been a "completely different movie" with Farley in the lead and decided not to sell the project to MPCA.

Jon Favreau notes much of the music was added only after hearing Zooey Deschanel's singing voice. The director likes how quirky but dry she is in her performance, something else that Will Farrell was able to bounce off of for his performance.

The film's exterior of Gimbels department store has previously been reported to be a digitally altered view of the Macy's flagship store on 34th Street in Herald Square, Manhattan. This is incorrect. It is actually 295 Fifth Avenue and 30th Street, also known as the Textile Building. Meanwhile, the Macy's was only used for all of the interior scenes. But it is true that considerable CGI work was put into transforming the exterior into "Gimbels". The actual Gimbels was the main competitor for Macy's, with its flagship store located on 33rd Street in Herald Square, just a block south of the Macy's. The Gimbels closed in 1986, and the site is now the Manhattan Mall.

The scene after Buddy hugs the raccoon and exits the forest to walk down a paved forest road was shot on Paradise Valley Road in Squamish, British Columbia. The crew was in the area randomly searching for a suitable location, and were found trespassing on private property just as they finished shooting the scene.

When Buddy (Will Ferrell) goes to Gimbel's to ask Jovie (Zooey Deschanel) out on a date, the song playing over the loudspeaker is "Christmas Island" sung by Leon Redbone. Redbone also provided the voice of Leon the snowman at the North Pole.

The idea of Buddy putting maple syrup on his spaghetti came late in the screenwriting stage. Favreau tried to think of all the unhealthy stuff elves might eat.

The sound effect used by the jack-in-the-box is the same sound effect used by the laughing hyenas at the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and was also used in Lady and the Tramp (1955) for the laughing hyenas in the zoo, as well as for Ripper Roo in the Crash Bandicoot video game series.

Originally the news reports near the end of the film were going to be on a much larger scale. Jon Favreau mentions it was going to be a CNN report and there were supposed to be a dozen cop cars surrounding Central Park. Also the cops were supposed to be chasing Buddy down Fifth Avenue, shooting at him as he shot back at them. He also jumps off the Empire State Building and onto a helicopter in Berenbaum's original script. Favreau felt the "slice of life" news story played better into the reality of the situation. He says helicopters circling and cop cars swarming would have looked too much like The Blues Brothers (1980).

The tree on fire in the early moments of the film was done using forced perspective. The top half of the tree is a miniature in the foreground. The bottom is roughly 40 feet away from the camera. The edges were then blended to make it appear as if it's all one tree. Jon Favreau felt it important to us the "old techniques" rather than CGI. felt these techniques gave the film a feeling of nostalgia, like the old Christmas TV programs the director grew up on. One of the films he compares the technique to is Lord of the Rings, which, like Elf, is a New Line Film.

Mark Acheson, who plays the guy Buddy is talking to and laying down with in the mail room, had auditioned for the role of a trucker. That part was cut from the film, but, because of his audition tape, Jon Favreau cast him in this role in the mail room. Favreau got notes from the studio pointing out that Acheson was clearly not 26. Favreau responded that, yes, this was clearly why it was funny that he says he's 26 in the movie.

The brief television 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.

The 4 Central Park Rangers are spoofs of the Four Horseman Of The Apocalypse.

In an early draft of the script, the other elves made fun of Buddy for being different and unable to work as fast as they could. Jon Favreau felt it better to keep the characters good-spirited and optimistic even though he's different from them. "It explained why Buddy was doing all these good things in New York if he grew up in a world where everybody was so sweet even when he's obviously screwing everything up and doesn't fit in at all."

Jon Favreau has kept up his interest in returning for a follow-up, saying as recently as 2016: "You can play with the narrative structure and you can play with things in a way where you could do a cool version that the fans would like, and the people that were involved in it might be so charmed by it that they'd be involved in some other capacity."

When Buddy is in the Doctor's waiting room, you can see behind him a Christmas tree and a menorah. Jon Favreau, who plays the Doctor (and is the director of the movie), had parents who were of Catholic and Jewish descent, adding a subtle personal touch.

Filming in New York City only lasted 14 days. The remainder was filmed at studios in Burnaby, British Columbia and Vancouver, British Columbia

This movie was turned into a Broadway musical. It premiered November 2010, and ran through January 2011.

Jon Favreau likens the film to Big (1988), a film about a kid who is forced to grow up too quickly and learn his way around the big city. The director likes the comedy Will Ferrell brings to the film. "But if you don't have a good story and an emotional aspect to the story people grow weary of just one comic bit after the next. I think they want to see a story that engages them on an emotional level." Favreau brings up the bonding moments between Buddy and Walter like when Walter tells his son he doesn't have to drink the coffee. He also mentions the different ways Buddy changes throughout the film, how he learns from the city and the people in it. Buddy reading Pigmalion is kind of a reference to that.

Some of the sets like Walter's apartment, Gimbals' toy department, and the jail cell among them, were built in an abandoned mental hospital in Vancouver, the same hospital where New Line shot Freddy Vs. Jason (2003).

Will Ferrell and Jon Favreau had frequent disagreements about the tone of this film. Ferrell and his frequent collaborator Adam McKay, both of whom did uncredited rewrites, wanted a more cynical PG-13 comedy but Favreau wanted something more lighthearted and family-friendly. Ferrell's feeling that he and Favreau didn't work well together is why the proposed sequel never happened, despite this film being a huge hit.

While attending the Oscar Wilde Awards in Los Angeles, Richard Curtis declared that Will Ferrell's performance should have guaranteed him an Oscar nomination. He stated: "I always get very antsy about the fact that Will Ferrell didn't get nominated for Elf," Curtis said, according to BBC. "But," he added, per BBC, "it's the price you pay, as it were. Comedies tend to make a bit of money, and then you don't get the prizes."

All the stop motion animated characters in the opening credits use Favreau's voice. He also provided the voice for the rabid raccoon Buddy runs into in Canada.

Miles Finch's anger at Buddy calling him an elf reflects Peter Dinklage's real life refusal to play elves or other mythical creature roles that are typically given to actors with dwarfism.

When she first meets Buddy, Jovie asks, "Did Crumpet put you up to this?" Crumpet was David Sedaris' character name when he worked as a Macy's elf, as recounted in his Christmas story anthology "The Santaland Diaries". David Sedaris' sister, Amy Sedaris appeared in the film as James Caan's assistant, Deb. It may also be a reference to Mount Crumpit from the Dr. Seuss Christmas story "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".

The Christmas tree being too big for the living room is a nod to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), where Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) also uproots a tree with the Family station wagon that is too big for his living room.

According to the DVD commentary, the bearded guy who Buddy mistakes for Santa during the "Pennies from Heaven" scene when he first gets to New York was also real and unaware that he was being filmed for a movie.

Jon Favreau feels including actors like the late James Caan in the film helped Will Ferrell's performance both in terms of comedy and as an actor.

During the scene when Buddy first arrives at his father's office, Walters secretary Deb can be seen on the phone talking to someone about declawing eight cats. She tells the person on the phone to "just bring them by the camper...", implying that she is so dramatically underpaid by Walter that she is too poor to afford an apartment in the city.

The mail room was a set piece that was added late in production and was the last scene shot before production wrapped. It had bounced in and out of the film throughout Elf's production, but Favreau decided they needed one more set piece.

While appearing on Cleveland's 92.3 The Fan's Bull & Fox show, James Caan said: "We were gonna do (a sequel) and I thought, 'Oh my god, I finally got a franchise movie, I could make some money, let my kids do what the hell they want to do.' And the director and Will didn't get along very well...So, Will wanted to do it, he didn't want the director, and he had it in his contract, it was one of those things."

Leon, the snowman at the North Pole, is named for the singer Leon Redbone, who voices the character. Coincidentally, "Leon" is also "Noel" backwards.

When Buddy goes to work with Walter, the ties they each have on are the same pattern but different colors.

When Jon Favreau first read the script, it plays up that the cops are chasing Buddy near the end of the film. Favreau didn't like this idea, so the Central Park Rangers, who Favreau compares to Ring Wraiths, were invented to replace New York City cops. The costumes were designed to reference Lord of the Rings, and the Rangers were always shot in silhouette to hide their real appearance.

Along the lines of Walter and Buddy bonding, the scene in Walter's office was originally cut from the film. The studio kept wanting it shorter and shorter until it was finally trimmed altogether. It was executive producer Kent Alterman's idea to put the scene back in to show the importance of Walter and Buddy getting to know one another.

On the commentary, Jon Favreau mentions it looks fake when you use too much CGI. Still, the reindeer were clearly computer generated as they're flying through the sky. The real reindeer Buddy runs into in Central Park were scared by Will Farrell.

The stop motion characters were done using two-frame stop motion. Every time the puppet would be moved, the character would be shot twice giving it a choppy movement and the feeling of how they looked in the old TV shows. Jon Favreau mentions all the stop motion was done by the Chiodo brother, three brothers who still do stop motion animation.

Jon Favreau included a lot of New York based locations in the script, locations like the Empire State Building he wasn't sure he'd be able to get at the time. However, his locations manager was able to secure them. All off the exteriors were shot in NYC, something Favreau takes great pride in.

During the film, Walter, played by James Caan, has a Cadillac brochure on his desk. Presumably spending time at work looking at his next car purchase. It is there the entire time and can be seen in all the shots of Walter's office. When his boss, Mr Greenway surprises him to confront Walter about the missing pages in his book, you can even see Walter quickly throw the brochure in a drawer to try and hide it.

The character of Buddy's little brother Michael is supposed to think Buddy is weird during their 1st family dinner together but at around 44:10 in the actor who plays him (Daniel Tay) tries not to laugh at Will Ferrell but he cracks a little smile & again around 45:08 in.

Jon Favreau first knew of Peter Dinklage from Living in Oblivion (1995) and that the actor was in The Station Agent (2003) at Sundance while the movie was filming in January of 2003. Likewise, Zooey Deschanel was in All the Real Girls (2003), Mary Steenburgen was in Casa de los babys (2003) at the time, and James Caan had just finished shooting Dogville with Lars von Trier. "If you just look at the cast of this movie, it doesn't really say 'Broad Christmas Comedy' but they certainly were funny." he stated.

The shot of Buddy walking through the woods in a still photo on the news is a reference to the infamous Bigfoot photo.

Discussing children's book ideas, Miles Finch speaks unfavorably of rural settings and expresses his belief that a protagonist shouldn't be too vulnerable (kids are vulnerable enough as it is). The children's book at the end, as well as the movie itself, seems to take his advice: it takes place in New York City and features a protagonist who, while childlike, can do all the things a grown man can do.

Will Ferrell's character, Buddy, builds a city skyline out of Lego. In The Lego Movie, Will Ferrell's character, The Man Upstairs, is revealed to have built the city skyline out of Lego.

Peter Billingsley, Jon Favreau and Mary Steenburgen all also appear in another Christmas movie, Four Christmases, (2008).

The design of the "central park rangers" is a reference to the ringwraiths from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Also, the Rangers were always shot in silhouette to hide their real appearance.

Buddy wraps all of the toys on the shelf in preparation for Santa's visit to Gimbel's.

Despite the production not having much in the way of a budget or schedule for any ambitious special effects, Jon Favreau was dead set on using as many in-camera effects and live props as possible, as he felt too much CGI would date the film and clash with the Rankin/Bass Productions-inspired visual style. The forced perspective shots used to put normal-sized Buddy in an elf-sized world took so long and were so complicated to set up that Joe Bauer's effects team had to set up a second unit so they could to come in at night and set up shots for the next day just to keep the film on schedule and under budget. The North Pole set itself was so deep and wide that it had to be built inside a hockey rink, as no sound stage could accommodate it.

The gum Buddy chews off the fence was not actual gum they found. It was planted there by the production. Not everyone in the immediate area was aware of this. Likewise, there is no elevator in the Empire State Building that has buttons to all the floors. This was fabricated for the film.

Baby Buddy in the orphanage scene was played by triplet girls. The director credits their performance to editor Dan Lebental, who was able to make it appear they were doing everything Baby Buddy is seen doing. Favreau notes they had twin boys for the part, and the boys looked just like Will Ferrell with curly blonde hair. However, they wouldn't stop crying and were promptly ejected from the premises, probably out into a cold Vancouver night.

Jovie asks Buddy if Crumpet put him up to talking to her. This is a reference to the fact that Macy's elves do not go by their real names at work- they pick out a whimsical elf name when they're hired.

According to Jon Favreau, David Berenbaum wrote Elf as a spec script, meaning no one paid him to write it before doing so. Will Ferrell became attached to the project while still at "Saturday Night Live". Years later, the script was sent to Favreau who rewrote certain elements of the film.

James Caan was really playing piano at the end.

Wanda Sykes was supposed to play the manager of Gimbels but dropped out, the reason behind the Wanda name tag. She ended up playing the character for the first time in a December 2020 script read as a fundraiser for the Democrats in the Georgia Senate runoff.

This marks the first time of many Edward Asner played Santa Claus for real. He had previously 'portrayed' Santa Claus in the 1986 Disney TV Movie The Christmas Star (1986), although on that occasion he was actually a con artist masquerading as Santa in order to trick some kids into helping him recover stolen loot.

Early in the movie, when Walter Hobbs looks at a yearbook and finds a picture of him and Susan Wells, there is a quote on the opposite page. That quote is three lines from the poem "Prayers of Steel" by Carl Sandburg and says, "Let me lift and loosen old foundations. ... Let me be the great nail holding a skyscraper through blue nights into white stars."

The Doctor, played by Jon Favreau, is able to give Walter, played by James Caan, paternity tests immediately after he tests Buddy, played by Will Ferrell. Blood paternity tests in real life are not rapid tests and can take up to week to get results.

On the blu-ray, the status bar is in the shape of a candy cane.

To shoot the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, production had to wait until after midnight and only then got four hours to get the scene, because a professional skater was performing the next day. The premier party was also held there.

The shot of Mary Steenburgen singing along with Zooey Deschanel was a reshoot. It had originally been shot with Steenburgen too gleeful for the moment. Jon Favreau felt it would work better as a dramatic moment, so it was done over between other scenes were being shot.

The real Gimbels, famous as Macy's long-time Herald Square rival, went out of business in 1986.

The character "Francisco", which Buddy says is "fun to say", was James Caan's alien partner's name in Alien Nation (1988).

We can see in the scene where Buddy brings Jovie to taste the world's best cup of coffee, that she's wearing a traditional Irish Claddagh ring. These rings symbolize love, loyalty, and friendship.

Jon Favreau's first time voice acting in a theatrical film, later he'd go onto voice Reilly the Beaver in Open Season (2006), Hurley the Guinea Pig in G-Force (2009), Jerome the Bear in Zookeeper (2011), a Pygmy hog in The Jungle Book (2016), and Rio Durant in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).

Garry Shandling was offered the role of Walter, but turned it down.

Production on the film began before Old School (2003) came out making Will Ferrell a huge commodity. Jon Favreau recognizes the chance the studio took on green-lighting Elf and notes how well New Line promoted Ferrell and Elf after Old School came out in February of 2003. It's rare for a film maker to delve into how well their film does financially on these commentary tracks, so it should be noted Favreau brings up Elf's success. It debuted 2nd behind The Matrix Revolutions but came in 1st place its second weekend out. It was going up against The Matrix Revolutions in its second weekend, so, really, it wasn't that fair.

For the role of Walter Hobb, Favreau wanted an actor who could play the comedic side up but who was also much more grounded than Will Farrell's Buddy. This was the director's approach to casting many of the secondary characters.

Terry Zwigoff was offered a chance to direct the film, but turned it down. He instead directed another Christmas related film Bad Santa (2003).

When Buddy is in the holding cell after the fight with the department store Santa, the walls he's sitting against says "No Smoking, No spitting". The inmate sitting at the table playing cards is in fact smoking.

When Buddy is traveling from the North Pole to New York, the iceberg he floated down on had shrunk down to a size he could barely stand on when he reached the 'Candy Cane Forest.'

The football jersey frequently worn by Michael (Daniel Tay) is that of fan favorite #80 Wayne Chrebet of the New York Jets.

All of the elves, except for Buddy and Papa, have names that are a combination of two words (Ming Ming, Choo Choo, etc.)

Mary Steenburgen also stars in another Christmas movie: One Magic Christmas (1985). She plays a Mom who doesn't believe in Christmas and an angel helps her to believe in Santa again. She also starred in Four Christmases.

When Buddy is walking & talking with Leon, Buddy leaves no footprints in the snow while a path is made from Leon "scooting" across the snow.

Walter and Santa are played by James Caan and Ed Asner, respectively, who are both Jewish.

This was the movie that proved that Will Ferrell could carry a feature, although he didn't become a full-blown star until Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy a year later.

It has been rumored that Jim Carrey was considered to play Buddy.

Buddy's to-do list with his father on the Etch-Sketch reads "Make Snow Angels", "Go Ice Skating", "Tollhouse Cookie Eating Race", " Snuggle."

The fight scene with Buddy and Miles Finch was going to be longer and more violent, with Miles slamming Buddy's head against the cabinets repeatedly before flipping him on to the table. Buddy would have also fought back by biting Miles while he's in the chokehold, and Miles tells Walter "Nobody bites Miles Finch!" before his angry exit. Jon Favreau decided it was too violent and had it trimmed down.

The late James Caan and the late Edward Asner previously starred in El Dorado (1966). John Wayne also costarred with both actors.

There was evidently an elf hockey game that was shot and lost before the film was completed. Jon Favreau felt the momentum had to be sustained,

Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel appeared in Winter Passing (2005).

Both director Jon Favreau and Peter Dinklage were in the MCU. Favreau plays Happy Hogan and features in many MCU projects where Dinklage features in Avengers: Infinity War.

The image of Buddy walking among a large, shoulder-to-shoulder crowd in the streets of Manhattan mirrors the famous shot from Tootsie of Michael Dorsey in his Dorothy Michaels get-up doing the same.

"And so he has his mission for act 3." Jon Favreau brings up that, like so many Christmas stories, Elf is about an outcast who becomes necessary.

Morris (Andy Richter) and Eugene (Kyle Gass), the two staff writers at Greenway Publishing are never seen apart and share most of their dialogue.

In the animated special Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas, the only actor to reprise their role from the original film is Ed Asner.

James Caan and Mary Steenburgen also play husband and wife ten years later in the English version of The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013).

Both Edward Asner (Santa) and James Caan (Walter Hobb, Buddy's dad) guest starred in Hawaii Five-0 (2010), which stars James Caan's son Scott Caan.

Meghan Black's feature film debut. She played an elf.

Mary Steenburgen also acted in a another Christmas movie where she also plays someone who doubts magic and Santa "One Magic Christmas" (1985.)

The New York Jets jersey Michael wears is for the then wide receiver, Wayne Chrebet.

When Buddy is walking through Central Park looking for Santa, at one point he strikes a pose similar to that of a classic photo of Big Foot.

The animated musical has Jim Parsons as the title character, Mark Hamill, Rachael MacFarlane, and Max Charles as the Hobbs family, Kate Micucci and Gilbert Gottfried as Jovie and Mr. Greenway, and Ed Asner reprising his role as Santa from the original film.

At one point, the story more closely resembled Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, with the North Pole elves acting as All of the Other Reindeer to Buddy's Rudolph. However, it would have made Buddy trusting everyone he meets to be as nice as he is a harder sell (and generally too depressing), so it was changed.

Starting at 0:43:15, while Buddy has his family spaghetti dinner. As they are walking through the door, and also during the dinner, you can see a fork, spoon and fork "mobile", hanging over the table. It also appears there are others in the background.

When you think about it, Buddy isn't the only manchild in the movie. The Gimbels manager keeps arguing back and forth with Buddy about minor things, like whether or not there's singing at the North Pole. Miles Finch gets violent over (what he thinks is) a petty insult. Walter's boss refuses to reschedule his meeting, then yells and fires Walter on the spot when Walter leaves to save Buddy. And there may be others. Buddy's childish behavior isn't that different from these other characters, it's just that Buddy keeps a childlike sense of wonder and kindness, while these other characters hold onto more negative childlike qualities while adopting a more cynical view of the world.

Buddy's adoptive father, Papa Elf, isn't in the musical. Santa takes over his role as Buddy's adoptive father figure and the narrator.

This movie was distributed by New Line Cinema, while the animated special "Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas" was distributed by Warner Bros., New Line's future owner.

Santa has a different hat and coat in the beginning vs. the end of the movie, implying that Mrs. Claus replaced it in the 30 years that Buddy lived in the North Pole.

"And there's a freezing stunt man," says Jon Favreau in the overhead shot of Buddy traveling across the snow.

Edward Ashner has already voiced Santa Claus in numerous other Christmas movies and specials.

Buddy naively believes a coffee shops claim to have "the world's best cup of coffee", is changed in the musical to "The World's Best Hotdog", with Jovie giving the putdown.

The musical version has a few elements not present in the original movie, including an entire scene where Buddy enters a Chinese restaurant to sulk after Walter tells him to get out of his life, where he finds a bunch of department store Santas complaining about their jobs, and how disrespectful and ill-behaved today's kids are. Jovie is given a much-needed Backstory that explains why she's such a humbug when we first meet her; she grew up in Los Angeles, where she describes Christmas as being, "surreal", because it never snowed; she had been living in New York for two years, and even then, she still never saw snow, so Christmas never felt special to her. That, and apparently she went out with a bunch of jerkasses over the years. In the movie, Mr. Greenway and Miles Finch don't appear much, but in the musical (in which they're combined into one character), Mr. Greenway comes back in the final act as the Big Bad, and also reveals that Buddy shredded a completely fake manuscript earlier.

It's roughly 3,600 miles from the North Pole to Manhattan.

Peter Billingsley-who famously starred as a child in another Christmas-classic movie, A Christmas Story-appears briefly in the beginning of the movie as an elf named Ming Ming.

Jason Lee was considered for the role of Buddy the Elf.

Timothy Hutton was considered for the role of Buddy the Elf.

Rainn Wilson was considered for the role of Buddy the Elf.

David Cross was considered for the role of Buddy the Elf.

As of 2022, this movie now airs on TBS and TNT.

David Berenbaum: An office worker.

Jon Favreau: Dr. Ben Leonardo, and the voice of the narwhal who says goodbye to Buddy.

Near the end, when Santa (Ed Asner) is showing Michael his nice list, all of the people on Santa's list worked on the movie: Victoria Down (key make-up 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 a one 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 scene in which Buddy is on the bridge thinking about the unthinkable much like the main character George Bailey in a similar scene from another Christmas classic favorite: It's a Wonderful Life (1946). One of the many homages to old Christmas movies by director Jon Favreau.

Buddy sees a sign in Gimbel's Dept. store reading, "the perfect gift for that special someone" and buys lingerie for his dad. In the final scene of the family exchanging gifts on Christmas, the same lingerie is seen as having been gifted by someone.

Buddy and Jovie's baby's name, Susie, is visible on her hat along with a large snowflake at the end of the movie. She was obviously named after Susie Snowflake. a very early claymation character from back in the 30s and Buddy's deceased mother Susan Wells.

At the climax, when Walter joins in singing (and thus gives Santa's sleigh that last ounce of Christmas spirit needed to fly unaided) it seems like a cliché act of saving the day. But then one remembers his college photo of him and his late lover. In it, you see him playing guitar and serenading her. This actually makes the climax even more heartwarming because singing made him relive that happiness he felt when he was with Susan. If that didn't bring him Christmas cheer, nothing would've.