A Simulated Live Stream: Elf
By Kerry Moriarty on December 19, 2012
Guess what? It’s almost Christmas! I don’t know what that means to you, but to me it means a number of things. It means while my neighbors’ frame their homes in Christmas lights, send out personalized awkward family photo “Happy Holiday” postcards, and purchase freshly harvested evergreen trees from the boy scout troop down the street, I am doing quite the opposite. Here I sit in a depressingly unlit house staring at my 25-year-old Christmas tree (not exaggerating guys) and morning the death of my recently passed dwarf hamster, P.J. Sparkles. Despite the lack of cheerfulness around me I can’t help but gear up for the upcoming holiday.
Tonight, in an attempt to gain some holiday cheer I have placed our Elf DVD into the DVD player and pressed play. As a movie-fanatic I tend to watch movies alone, which sometimes can get very lonely. As a result I have decided to proclaim my
thoughts to you as I watch this movie for what seems like the thousandth time. It is both for the benefit of you and myself. I get the chance to pretend that I am watching with someone and you get the chance to do the same. I realize that this
may be a long shot as you would have had to coincidently stumbled onto this posting as you began to view the movie yourself, but hey, even if you’re not, read on! You might just learn something.
Here we go…
1) I usually do not enjoy listening to old people telling me stories, but if it’s Bob Newhart dressed in an elf costume I am totally on board. AHH! Hey Bob Newhart! You look super adorable! Remember when you voiced Barnard in The Rescuers? Geez, I wasn’t even born when that came out! A lot has changed since then, hasn’t it? You sound so super old now – but in a perfectly good way. I just love how you seem to stumble across your words and stutter a bit in this narration. I know that whenever my grandmother tries to tell me anything she averages ten words a minute, and I know you must be way more articulate than her so bravo on this portrayal!
2) “What in the name of Sam Hill is that?” Just so you guys know I had no idea what this meant until recently. This movie came out in 2003 and I was eight and did not know how to Google things so it took me awhile. Anyway, Wikipedia taught me that “Sam Hill” it is a euphemism for “the devil” or “hell.” I know you either knew this or did not care at all, but it used to bother me that I did not understand what it meant so there you go! Anyway, did you know that baby Buddy was actually played by triplets? Neat-o huh? I love how they used actual babies though! I know this isn’t much to ask of a movie, but I recently saw Breaking Dawn: Part Two and though I understand why they used a CGI baby I think that it really took away from the rest of the movie and was a bad choice.
3) Don’t you love how Buddy looks so big and the elves look so small? This was accomplished in a couple different ways. The actors who played the elves were much shorter than average, 5’5” or shorter. The director also had them shoot upwards when viewing the “human” characters and downwards when shooting the elves. What made the proportions truly believable was that the set designer built two sets, in one set everything was normal sized, but in the second set everything was shrunk down. When they filmed the scenes with the elves they used the normal sized set, but when the human scenes were shot they used the shrunken set. Oh
and whenever Buddy is sitting on Papa Elf’s lap they sat Bob Newhart a few feet back and used a child’s pair of legs. Total optical illusion guys. So simple, yet so awesome.
4) Do you ever think about how hard it would be to be in Buddy’s position? Seriously I think about it all the time. It breaks my heart when Buddy has to tell Ming Ming that he only finished 85 Etch A Sketches. It reminds me of school. He’s trying his hardest, but he’s just not cut out for his line of work. I can totally relate. And I love how the elves try to make him feel better by telling him that his talents include changing the batteries in the smoke detector. Talk about rough.
5) I love Leon Redbone. I mean how awesome is this snowman. I love how he says that he traveled around the world when he was a “young cumulonimbus cloud.” Did you guys know that he is who sings, “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” with Zooey Deschanel during the credits?
6) Do you guys find Edward Asner to be the sassiest Santa ever? He’s all like, oh yeah “I’ve been to New York thousands of times.” And he’s super critical of how Leon the snowman shouldn’t be a credible source of travel information because he “doesn’t have any feet.” Anyway he’s sassy. It’s what makes him a super refreshing Santa Clause. It is also what makes him so awesome as Carl in Up.
7) It would be pretty great to be an elf. However, thank goodness I am not an elf because those Dumbledore-esque half- moon spectacles seem to be the only choice of eyewear and I just could not rock those. And, side note, I don’t think I could live off of candy canes and syrup.
8) AHH EPIC.
You guys, we have officially reached one of the most epic parts of any movie. That’s right the ground just started rumbling and the pelican, polar bear, and walrus trio have just fled, screaming. You see the majestic horn emerging from the water. THERE HE IS GUYS. MR. NARWHAL. When I was eight I totally thought that Narwhals were not real things. Obviously I thought they were the unicorns of the sea. Discovering that Narwhals are 100% completely real was one of the bigger shocks of my life. Seeing a Narwhal in real life is defiantly in the top ten of my bucket list.
9) The “Pennies From Heaven” scene is probably the best scene in the move. This scene has become a very big dream for me. Someday I hope to visit New York and re-enact it. Well, everything except eating the gum off the railway – I think I could live without doing that. Fun fact, all of these scenes were shot on the last day of shooting. The director, one camera man, and Will Ferrell just drove around in a van and found Buddy-like things to do.
10) The singing scene is a masterpiece. The song Buddy sings to his father is actually consists of several takes of Will Ferrell singing the song differently. Ferrell sang the song multiple times and the director had the best part of each version pieced together.
11) The Gimbel’s manager is my mom’s favorite character. I wonder if when David Berenbaum was writing the movie he had a certain character in mind. This is the only thing I have seen Faizon Love in, but he pretty much kills it in this movie.
12) AHH BLONDE ZOOEY DESCHANEL.
It’s so different. I mean, I think she still looks crazy beautiful and I think that she needed to be blonde in this movie (I definitely see Buddy with a blonde), but no matter what hair color, she is ridiculously talented. Her singing voice is to die for.
13) I have never sat on the lap of a mall Santa. I don’t know if I am happy or sad about this. I mean I probably would have been really nervous or terrified to go and sit on a strangers lap, but I think it would have been a sweet picture. I don’t want to brag, but have one of me with an Easter Bunny and though the bunny looks super creepy I look adorable. Anyway, the decorations Buddy makes in anticipation for the arrival of Santa are stunning and completely inspired. The fight scene where Buddy pulls of the phony Santa’s beard and they destroy the Lego Eifel Tower had to be shot in one take because the set was very difficult to build.
14) Hey you guys it’s the director! Jon Favreau is so awesome. He’s a great actor and director. I wish that I could tell him that he directed my favorite movie. Anyway, in case you were wondering the cotton balls that Buddy eats in the doctor’s office were tuffs of white cotton candy. Apparently Will Ferrell had frequent headaches while shooting the movie because he was forced to eat so much candy.
15) “Did you hear that?” Thank you very much Elf burping scene, this is now a common expression used in my household. Thank you for giving my father more material for me to roll my eyes at. But in all seriousness, that burp was not done by Will Ferrell. The was produced by the great Maurice LaMarche, who was the voice of “The Brain,” from “Pinkie and the Brain.”
16) These snowballs sound like laser beams. I realize that this entire scene is ridiculous so I should just accept that everyone in the scene is capable of throwing snowballs about 100 miles per hour, but have you guys attempted to have a snowball fight recently? It might just be me, but I find it to be ridiculously difficult. I can barely even make a snowball. I definitely can’t make a perfectly round one like Buddy.
17) I love Buddy’s confession of love to Jovie. I sincerely hope that my husband proposes to me using Buddy’s speech about feeling warm and his tongue swelling up.
18) When I first watched this movie I thought that he seriously was putting syrup into his coffee. WHY DOESN’T THE GUY SAY ANYTHING? Did he not hear Buddy say “syrup?” Anyway, this mistake leads to the “Whoomp! There It Is,” scene where Buddy is dancing on top on the table which is a great scene. I remember attempting those dance moves and feeling terrible about myself because I was failing completely.
19) Best meeting ever. OH MY GOSH PETER DINKLAGE. You’re so perfect for this role. If any of you guys watch Game of Thrones then you know what I am talking about. Another reason that this meeting is so awesome because Kyle Gass pitches a story about “a tribe of asparagus children” who are worried about the odor of their urine. I have tried not to laugh at this time and time again, but I can’t. I have to laugh at this.
20) The note that Buddy leaves when he runs away is my go-to note. “I’m sorry I ruined your lives and crammed 11 cookies into the VCR.” Whenever I have to write a letter to someone I simply copy Buddy’s Etch A Sketch departure letter word for word. Whether it’s Christmas, a birthday, or a get well soon card, this is what is inside.
21) The scene where Jovie sees the news report about Buddy always makes me crave Ramen noodles. She just looks so cozy and warm and I always get insanely jealous of her Ramen and feel really sad when she just leaves it on her ottoman to go help Buddy. Oh and I love how the news footage of Buddy looks just like the famous Bigfoot footage.
I hope you guys enjoyed this simulated live stream of my favorite Christmas movie. I’m so glad I could share all of my thoughts with you, as no one else is willing to re-watch this movie with me. So thank you and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!