How Will Ferrell Invaded Real NYC Locations To Film ‘Elf’

The 2003 cinematic offering Elf has done a marvelous job of attaining instant classic status. Since its release, this Will Ferrell vehicle has managed to rake in loads of dough, score a musical adaptation, and it is federal law that the film be played on television at every waking moment from Thanksgiving onward.

There are a lot of reasons why people gawk over Elf and its charms, and part of that has to do with the use of New York City as a co-star in the motion picture. When you watch the film, you’re constantly hit with familiar NYC sights that range from landmarks (like Grand Central Terminal and Central Park) to spots like the 23rd Street subway station.

As a holiday service, we’ve assembled a zippy 77-second video laying out some of the interesting details about how director Jon Favreau managed to shoot the film at these iconic locations. (Don’t go looking for Gimbels, mind you. They’ve been closed since Ronald Reagan was in the White House.) On top of these NYC shooting details, we’ve also packed this clip with bonus bits of trivia that might come in handy at your next pub quiz. For example, did you know that Will Ferrell was once a mall Santa in Pasadena? Now you do, and if you hit play you’ll learn so much more.