When it comes to Christmas traditions, watching your favorite holiday movie is tops on most people’s lists. It is something that people have looked forward to for years passed, and favorites keep getting passed down from GENERATION to generation. The movie ELF was released on NOVEMBER 7, 2003, by NEW LINE CINEMA. The makers of the movie strived to give a nostalgic feel from favorite Christmas movies of the past. They researched movies like Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and other CLAYMATION favorites of the 70s so different generations could relate to it. Elf became an instant hit and is now enjoyed year after year by families of all ages.
SPELL: TRADITIONS, FAVORITE, MOVIE
What holiday tradition are we talking about? WATCHING A HOLIDAY MOVIE.
What is the name of the movie? ELF
What production company released the movie? NEW LINE CINEMA
What type of animation was popular and used in holiday movies in the ’70s? CLAYMATION
Give me another word for malleable. SOFT, PLIABLE, WORKABLE
Name another holiday movie. THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, THE MIRACLE OF 34TH STREET, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, RUDOLF, A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, THE SANTA CLAUS, HOME ALONE, FROSTY, LOVE ACTUALLY, THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES
What year was the film released? 2003
The movie centers around BUDDY HOBBS, a baby in an ORPHANAGE (a place where children without parents are cared for), who stowed away in Santa’s sack and ended up at the NORTH POLE. He was raised by Santa’s elves. At the age of 30, he discovers that he is human and EMBARKS (begin, venture, or launch) on a journey to NEW YORK CITY in search of his real father, whom Buddy discovers is on the “Naughty List.” His father, Walter, is played by JAMES CAAN. Walter Hobbs doesn’t know Buddy exists and is in desperate need of some CHRISTMAS spirit.
SPELL: CHILDREN, SPIRIT, DISCOVER
What is the name of a place where children without parents are cared for? ORPHANAGE
Who stowed away in Santa’s sack? BUDDY
Where did Buddy live for the first 30 years of his life? NORTH POLE
Where does Buddy go to look for his father? NEW YORK CITY
Who plays Walter Hobbs? JAMES CAAN
What does Walter Hobbs in desperate need of? CHRISTMAS SPIRIT
What is another word for embark? BEGIN, VENTURE, LAUNCH
What coast is NYC located on? EAST
Few movies have been able to secure for themselves a place in the holiday film GENRE (category, class, group) as quickly and as successfully as the 2003 family comedy Elf. It Starring WILL FERRELL as Buddy. The movie has all the necessary heart and warmth that make a Christmas movie a truly comfy, cozy seasonal treat.
SPELL: HOLIDAY, COMEDY, SEASONAL
What actor plays Buddy? WILL FERRELL
What is another word for genre? CATEGORY, CLASS, or GROUP
What does the author say Elf has to make it a good holiday movie? HEART and WARMTH
How many years ago did Elf debut? 2021 – 2003 = 18 YEARS AGO
It’s also, at the end of the day, just a downright silly film, filled with EPISODES of childlike humor and wonders that even parents can’t help but snicker (laugh, smirk, giggle) at despite themselves. Elf may not be everyone’s cup of tea — or, as Buddy may prefer to say, a plate of spaghetti with maple syrup — but a lot of heart and joy went into the making of this movie, which has since gone on to secure for itself the reputation of a BELOVED Christmas ICON.
SPELL: EPISODES, DESPITE, REPUTATION
Elf is a _____ film. SILLY
Elf has a reputation as a _______Christmas icon. BELOVED
A lot of ____ was put into this film. HEART and JOY
The film depicts episodes filled with what? CHILDLIKE HUMOR and WONDER
What is another word for snicker? LAUGH, SMIRK, GIGGLE
What does not everyone’s cup of tea mean? THEY ARE NOT THE KIND OF PERSON OR THING THAT YOU LIKE.
What is something that makes you snicker?
Tell me something or someone that you consider to be an icon.
Of course, with as many talented and unpredictable actors in one cast as this film boasted (brag, gloat, show off), it offers an endless supply of sentimental holiday NOSTALGIA (longing for or thinking fondly of a pastime). There’s also an endless supply of HILARIOUS and heartwarming stories of what went on behind the scenes of this Christmas hit.
SPELL: UNPREDICTABLE, FONDLY, ACTORS
What term means longing for or thinking fondly of a past time? NOSTALGIA
This movie had an endless supply of ______ holiday nostalgia. SENTIMENTAL
What does boast mean? BRAG, GLOAT, or SHOW OFF
What kind of stories went on behind the scenes? HILARIOUS and HEARTWARMING
Name an adjective to describe the actors. TALENTED and UNPREDICTABLE
It took 10 years for the movie to make it to the big screen. It was originally written to possibly have JIM CARREY play Buddy the ELF. Jim Carrey ended up DECLINING this role but earned the starring role in another holiday CLASSIC, The GRINCH That Stole Christmas.
SPELL: SCREEN, DECLINING, CLASSIC
Who did the executives originally have in mind to star in the movie? JIM CARREY
What is another holiday classic that Jim Carrey stars in? THE GRINCH THAT STOLE CHRISTMAS.
Can you name another Jim Carrey movie? THE MASK, DUMB & DUMBER, ACE VENTURA, THE TRUMAN SHOW, BRUCE ALMIGHTY, LIAR LIAR, YES MAN
How many years did it take for the movie to get to the screen? 10 YEARS
Do you think that Jim Carrey would have been a good lead in ELF? Why or why not?
The Elf costumes were MODELLED after the characters from the beloved RUDOLF the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The director, JON FAVREAU, relied on his love of his childhood favorites holiday movies for INSPIRATION when directing and rewriting this movie.
Who directed Elf? JON FAVREAU
What movie did he get his inspiration from? RUDOLF THE RED-NOSED REINDEER
Favreau is said to rely on his love of his own childhood holiday movies when doing _____ and ______. DIRECTING, REWRITING
If you were writing a holiday movie, where would you find inspiration?
VAKT: Find Rudolf’s red nose in the picture.
When Favreau cast ZOOEY DESCHANEL in the role of JOVIE, the department store Elf, the direction of the movie took on a musical side. In the first scene where Buddy and Jovie meet, she is singing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in the employee shower at work. Jovie has another huge VOCALIZING moment when she starts the crowd singing, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town ” in the park at the end of the movie. Their singing provides enough Christmas Spirit to help Santa’s SLEIGH fly again.
Spell: EMPLOYEE, DEPARTMENT, CHEER
Who did Favreau cast as Jovie? ZOEY DESCHANEL
When he cast Zooey, the movie took a more ____ side. MUSICAL
Name one of the songs Deschanel sings in the movie. BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE, and SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN
Who is Zooey’s famous sister? Emily Deschanel
VAKT: Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkbnBVe5bJ8
What does Will Farrell do in this clip?
Candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup are the four main elf food groups, according to Buddy the Elf. During the PRODUCTION of the
movie, Will Ferrell ate lots of sugar-filled foods. There is a scene where Buddy is eating SPAGHETTI with maple syrup and candy. Unfortunately for Ferrell, that was real method acting. Ferrell said all of the sugar during the filming kept him up late at night.
During the course of production Ferrell ate lots of _____. SUGAR FILLED FOODS
Buddy puts maple syrup and candy on his _____. SPAGHETTI
Name one of the four main food groups according to Buddy. CANDY, CANDY CANES, CANDY CORN, and SYRUP
Why did Will Farrell have a hard time sleeping at night during the filming?
The outdoor scenes were shot in New York City, featuring real people with live reactions to the ANTICS (pranks, capers, escapades) of Buddy the Elf. In the movie, Buddy worked as a Toy Tester. He was subjected to popping open an endless stream of menacing jack-in-the-boxes. The anxiety ETCHED on Ferrell’s face in these scenes is REAL. Favreau had the boxes connected to a remote control and was able to control them when they jumped out of the boxes to get a priceless reaction from his LEAD.
In the movie, the outdoor scenes caught _____ reactions from real people. LIVE
What job did Buddy have? TOY TESTER
What emotion was etched on Ferrell’s face when he was toy testing? ANXIETY
Who was controlling “the jack” and when it jumped out of the box? FAVREAU
What is another word for antics? PRANKS, CAPERS, ESCAPADES
Would you enjoy being a Toy Tester? Why?
Watch this clip and give me a word that describes it to you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQryS6G_6sA
While the North Pole shots were filmed at an ice rink in CANADA, the New York interior shots were filmed in an even more UNEXPECTED place. A creepy closed-down mental INSTITUTION served as the crew’s filming location for many of the indoor New York shots. These included the police station, Buddy’s orphanage, Greenway Press, and the Hobbs’ apartment, all of which were transformed to look unrecognizable.
SPELL: CREEPY, CREW, NORTH POLE
Where were the North Pole shots filmed? CANADA
Where were the New York interior shots filmed? MENTAL INSTITUTION
Name one of the indoor shots mentioned. POLICE STATION, BUDDY’S ORPHANAGE, GREENWAY PRESS, HOBB’S APARTMENT
Why do you think production companies film scenes on location as opposed to live in the streets?
When it comes to Christmas movies, they can all be a bit cheesy. In Elf, Buddy learns about his family, finding love, and ACCEPTANCE. Buddy’s innocence CAPTURES the magic and joy of Christmas. Buddy represents the kid inside all of us that gets really excited about candy, presents, and making funny sounds, and that is what makes Elf a BELOVED, classic holiday movie.
SPELL: FAMILY, MOVIES, MAGIC
Christmas movies can all be a bit _____. CHEESY
Buddy’s ______ captures the magic and joy of Christmas. INNOCENCE
What lessons does Buddy learn about in Elf? FAMILY, FINDING LOVE, and ACCEPTANCE
Buddy’s character captures the magic of Christmas. What kind of traditions or memories bring you joy during the holidays? Write a letter to Buddy telling him which aspects of his kid-like character that you enjoyed.