How some of our holiday movie favorites almost never were…

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is getting to watch my favorite holiday movies. Now, I mean no offense to the more modern holiday movies like Elf and The Santa Clause, but when I think of holiday movies, I think of the older classics and cartoon specials I grew up watching.  Recently, I came across some interesting facts about some of my favorite holiday movies that I just had to share.

The network executives and sponsors of A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) were disappointed with the finished product. They were wary of the religious overtones and objected to real children voicing all the characters. They agreed that they would air it “once and that will be all.” Thank goodness, network execs and sponsors don’t know everything.

In the book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1965), the Grinch was a black-and-white character. It was Chuck Jones, the illustrator behind Looney Tunes, who had the idea to make him green because it reminded him of the rental cars popular in the Washington-Baltimore area during that time. Another thing Chuck gave to the cartoon Grinch was his face, which actually resembles Chuck Jones’ face more than the it does its Grinchy counterpart in the book.

Edmond Gwenn, who played Santa in the original 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street, actually played Santa Claus during the real 1946 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The parade scenes from the movie were taken from the real 1946 parade.

The musical White Christmas (1954) was intended to reunite Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, who had previously co-starred in Holiday Inn and Blue Skies, but Astaire declined the project after reading the script, and Danny Kaye stepped in to take the role.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) was a box office flop. It was television broadcasters, who picked up the film from the public domain and played it every Christmas, that made It’s a Wonderful Life a holiday classic. If you love It’s a Wonderful Life, be sure to watch for Tom’s blog on this holiday classic later this month.

If you are like me and love classic movies, here are a few more you may want to watch this holiday season.

So what’s your favorite holiday movie?

Julie is Production Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

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