30 Surprising Facts About Your Favorite Christmas Movies
Get the behind-the-scenes scoop on classics like A Christmas Story and It's a Wonderful Life
We can’t blame you for thinking you know all there is to know about your favorite beloved holiday flicks. After all, annual 24-hour marathons and Netflix access make it almost too easy to unintentionally learn every heartwarming and hilarious line.
But even the most diehard Christmas movie fanatics still have secrets to discover, from just how much actors went it took to bring storybook characters to life, to the cameos you might have missed even on your 10th viewing.
7. According to The Nightmare Before Christmas‘ supervising animator Eric Leighton, the film was shot at 24 frames per second, meaning the characters had to be posed 24 different times for each second of the film.
9. Eagle-eyed viewers will spot a hidden Mickey Mouse logo when The Santa Clause characters Scott and Charlie pass by the moon in a sleigh.
12. Eric Lloyd, who played Charlie in The Santa Clause, broke his front teeth in a fall right before filming and had to wear prosthetics for the shoot.
14. Gonzo was originally going to portray Christmas Yet to Come in The Muppet Christmas Carol. He eventually took on the role of Charles Dickens because, as director Brian Henson said, he was “the least likely character to be Charles Dickens.”
17. Jim Carrey was originally slated to star in Elf.
18. The Santa Clause joke involving “1-800-SPANK-ME” caused massive problems for parents when kids discovered it connected them to an actual phone sex hotline. Some viewers who dialed the number reportedly racked up hundreds of dollars in phone bills.
19. Composer Danny Elfman still didn’t have a script when it came time to write the music for The Nightmare Before Christmas, so he based his songs only on conversations with and sketches from director Tim Burton.
22. The Grinch was black-and-white in the original Dr. Seuss book, but director Chuck Jones had the idea to make him green for the 1966 animated feature.
24. Writer Richard Curtis first conceived Love Actually as two separate films, and had planned entire movies following the storylines of Hugh Grant and Colin Firth’s characters.
29. Despite being a holiday movie, Miracle on 34th Street hit theaters in May, because 20th Century Fox studio head Darryl Zanuck believed more people went to the movies in the summer.