“People” magazine has a list of “30 Surprising Facts About Your Favorite Christmas Movies,” and while some of them aren’t exactly shocking . . . there are some interesting ones. Here are 10 highlights:
1. Natalie Wood was eight when she filmed “Miracle on 34th Street”, and she thought her co-star Edmund Gwenn really WAS Santa Claus.
2. The supervising animator for “The Nightmare Before Christmas” says the movie was shot at 24 frames per second, meaning that technically the characters had to be posed 24 different times for each SECOND. And it took It took a whole weekto finish shooting each minute of the movie.
3. An episode of “MythBusters” proved that a person’s tongue CAN instantly get stuck to a freezing pole like in “A Christmas Story”.
4. Will Ferrell ate so much sugar while filming “Elf” that he had trouble sleeping. He said, quote, “I constantly stayed up. But anything for the movie, I’m there.”
5. Jim Carrey was originally supposed to star in “Elf”.
6. “The Santa Clause” joke involving ‘1-800-SPANK-ME’ caused massive problems for parents when kids discovered that it connected them to an actual phone sex hotline. Some people who dialed the number reportedly racked up hundreds of dollars in phone bills.
7. The Grinch was black-and-white in the original Dr. Seuss book . . . and it was the director of the 1966 animated movie who had the idea to make him green.
8. After the release of “Home Alone 2”, the Plaza Hotel in New York City was swamped with families wanting to recreate Kevin’s adventure in Suite 411, a.k.a. ‘Kevin’s Suite,’ for $1,100 a night. Donald Trump owned the Plaza back then, and as you probably know by now, he has a cameo in the movie.
9. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” creator Robert May considered the names ‘Reginald’ and ‘Rollo’ before settling on ‘Rudolph.’ He ultimately thought Reginald sounded too British and Rollo sounded too carefree.
10. Some of the Jean Shepherd stories that made up “A Christmas Story” were first published in “Playboy”. Of course, they weren’t R-rated. As you probably know, aside from the pictorials, “Playboy” has a long history of featuring short stories. In fact, that’s why most people say they read it. (???)
The director of “A Christmas Story”, Bob Clark, also directed“Porky’s” and the not-so-family-friendly movie “Black Christmas”, which is a classic horror movie from 1974. (Hit up People.com for the whole list.)