The 2003 film Elf was an ideal storm of circumstances that lead to it turning into the traditional Christmas characteristic that everyone knows and love. Apparently mid-way by way of manufacturing although it was nearly placed on pause and at one level thought-about un-releasable, all due to some authorized uncertainties. As revealed in The Holiday Movies That Made Us (a Christmas variant of the Netflix collection “The Movies That Made Us”) an episode targeted fully on the making of the movie reveals that the affect of the traditional Rankin/Bass Christmas particular, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” put the movie in authorized scorching water.
“We obtained in bother with clearance,” Production Designer Rusty Smith recounted. “They obtained nervous that we had stolen an excessive amount of from Rankin/Bass. And unexpectedly we had legal professionals in our midst. Lawyers with you on the set, legal professionals with you within the artwork division. Lawyers saying like ‘Where’s your reference? Where’d you get this concept? Where’d this come from?’….The producer got here to me and stated ‘The movie may not be releasable.'”
Ahead of this particular revelation, the producers for the movie revealed that the primary of three guidelines that director Jon Favreau had for the film was that it had to appear like Rankin/Bass. This is not any extra clear than in how the film constructs the North Pole, attire its elf, and never to point out its personal stop-motion “Leon The Snowman.”
“(The legal professionals) have been like ‘How influenced are you?’ And we stated to them, ‘actually influenced,'” Producer Jon Berg (prior to his DC Films days) reminisced. “Favreau got here in and threw the guide on the freaking desk in his first assembly.”
For a quick time, when it was unclear what the authorized ramifications of the Rankin/Bass affect may be, the manufacturing redesigned Buddy’s costume to be blue as an alternative of the inexperienced that we all know. In truth, whereas taking pictures scenes with star Will Ferrell, the film would shoot the scene in a single costume then have him change to movie within the different. They additionally thought-about a digital alteration for the swimsuit for the scenes that they’d already shot, fortunately for them it did not come to that.
“Basically, legally, we thought we had made a deal and all the things was so cool, so we went off and made the film,” Executive producer Cale Boyter stated. “Some quick authorized work had to be completed. Thankfully we had some fairly good folks that might determine it out.”
Elf is obtainable on all film platforms in your Christmas viewing with The Holiday Movies That Made Us now streaming on Netflix.