The Holiday Movies That Made Us
By Jeff Ayers — / Death Wish Coffee Blog
When the holiday season gets into full swing, we all look towards our favorite movies to rewatch for the millionth time. Now you can go behind the scenes and get some new insight into two classics: "Elf" and "A Nightmare Before Christmas," thanks to Netflix and their highly successful documentary series "The Holiday Movies That Made Us."
If you're unfamiliar with the series, each episode tackles a beloved movie and pulls the curtain back on how it got made and the obstacles or triumphs it might have faced along the way. Rather than talk with the main cast and directors of these films, which can be found in countless interviews and DVD special features, this show interviews people truly behind the scenes—the producers, the set builders, the auxiliary cast members—in short, the people that made the movies that made us. It's a refreshing take on the "behind-the-scenes" documentary style and is put together in a fun and entertaining way.
The idea for the series is helmed by the incomparable Brian Volk-Weiss, who is also the head of Comedy Dynamics, and borrows its format from its sister series, "The Toys That Made Us." You can find all seasons of both shows on Netflix.
This two-episode special for "The Holiday Movies That Made Us" is a wonderful look into the creation of these two classics. First, with "Elf," we find out that the movie almost didn't get made, almost didn't land its iconic star, Will Ferrell, and almost got sued. Plus, Jon Favreau almost got fired! Come to find out, some of the most beloved scenes in the movie were achieved by just letting a costumed Will Ferrell loose on unsuspecting New Yorkers!
The second episode dives into "The Nightmare Before Christmas," Tim Burton's claymation hit that spans holiday seasons. Personally speaking, I'm a huge fan of this movie and have watched all the behind-the-scenes stuff I could find, and this episode of "The Holiday Movies That Made Us" had a bunch of stuff I'd never seen before!
Don't stop at these two episodes either, as there are many more to watch in both "The Movies" and "The Toys That Made Us" series. Speaking of holiday movies, the docu-series went in depth into both "Home Alone" and "Die Hard." In fact, my holiday tradition of watching both movies has now been altered—I watch "Home Alone" and then immediately watch "The Movies That Made Us" episode after. It makes the experience a true holiday treat.
If you are looking for even MORE behind the scenes from these incredible docu-series, you can listen to our interview with series creator Brian Volk-Weiss. The first time we talked about the inception of "The Toys That Made Us" before its release, the second time he appeared on our show to talk about the success of that first season and what was in store for future Toys episodes, and the third time he came on the podcast to talk about how excited he was for the spinoff of "The Movies That Made Us."
That's a very meta behind-the-scenes look at the best behind-the-scenes docu-series on Netflix today! Also, there are more seasons of both on the way so we can't wait to see what's next!