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In Elf, all of the elaborate Christmas decorations in the store took the art department weeks to build, so the fight between Buddy and the mall Santa had to be done in one take.
In The Polar Express, Josh Hutcherson did all the motion-capture work for Hero Boy, while Daryl Sabara provided the voice.
In Love Actually, they originally shot an additional (and heartbreaking) storyline that included the school’s headmistress and her partner, who was battling a terminal illness.
In How the Grinch Stole Christmas, both Eddie Murphy and Jack Nicholson were originally considered for the role of the Grinch.
In Home Alone, the prop department originally created a fake tarantula to put on Daniel Stern’s face, but the director made them use a real one.
In The Nightmare Before Christmas, one single minute of footage took about a week to shoot, and the whole stop motion movie took three years to make.
In It’s a Wonderful Life, writer-director Frank Capra helped create a new type of artificial snow because the current movie method (using Cornflakes that were painted white) was too noisy when the actors had to walk in scenes.
In Miracle on 34th Street, the parade scenes were shot on location during the 1946 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which meant they only got one morning to film everything.
In How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Jim Carrey had to complete torture-endurance training from the CIA to help him get through the daily 8.5 hours of Grinch makeup.
In Four Christmases, the ticket agent was actually played by Peter Billingsley, aka Ming Ming from Elf and Ralphie from A Christmas Story.
In A Charlie Brown Christmas, one of the producers wasn’t thrilled with a cut of the Christmas special and suggested that they add a laugh track, causing Charles M. Schulz to walk out of the room.
In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Donald Trump would only give the production team a permit to film in the Plaza Hotel, which he owned at the time, if they wrote him into the movie.
In Jingle all the Way, the whole movie was actually inspired by the Cabbage Patch Kids craze from the Christmas season of 1983.
In Elf, none of the shots with Buddy at the North Pole involved CGI or special effects – it was all done with forced perspective.
In Miracle on 34th Street, actor John Payne, who played Fred Gailey, loved the movie so much that he actually wrote a sequel to the Christmas classic when he was older.
In Die Hard, Bruce Willis’ character spent most of the movie doing crazy things (like stepping on glass) while barefoot, so he actually wore fake rubber feet.
In The Holiday, the website that Iris and Amanda used to swap houses is actually real.
In National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, there was a scene where Rusty watched Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, which was a full-circle moment because Capra’s grandson actually worked on Christmas Vacation.
In Elf, Will Ferrell, Jon Favreau, and a single cameraman ran through New York on the final day of shooting and interacted with random people on the streets to film the “Buddy discovers New York” montage.
In Last Holiday, the deluxe hotel that Queen Latifah’s character stays at, the Grandhotel Pupp, is a real-life hotel in the Czech Republic.
In Meet Me in St. Louis, Margaret O’Brien’s mother would get her to cry on command while filming the sad scenes by telling her that her rival actor on the MGM lot was a better crier than her.
In It’s a Wonderful Life, the whole holiday picture was actually shot in the summer of 1946, and it occasionally got so hot that production literally had to be shut down for a few days.
And in The Santa Clause, Disney had a strict policy against hiring ex-cons, but Tim Allen, who was arrested in 1978 for the possession of nearly 1.5 pounds of cocaine, was given an exception.