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Tim Burton Didn’t Direct 'Nightmare Before Christmas' and Other Surprising Xmas Movie Facts



'Tis the season to pour a hot cup of cocoa, steal a few of Santa's cookies, and settle down for a Christmas movie marathon. But before you queue up your favorites, take a look at this little known trivia that will make you appreciate the holiday classics even more. 

Ready for some Christmas movie trivia? Prepare to be surprised! 

1. Tim Burton wrote and produced 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' but he didn't direct it.

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Tim Burton may have come up with the concept, story, and characters for the creepily animated classic, but he's commonly mistaken as the director too. The real director was Henry Selick, who also directed Coraline and Tim's James and the Giant Peach.

2. Jack Skellington actually has two voices and 'The Princess Bride' fans will recognize his speaking voice.

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Composer Danny Elfman lent his voice to Jack for his songs. But Jack's speaking voice is by Chris Sarandon, who played the evil Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride.

3. 'It's a Wonderful Life' flopping is what made it a holiday classic.

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When It's a Wonderful Life came out in 1947, it did so bad at the box office that Republic Pictures decided not to bother renewing its rights to the film in 1974. Because it became free content, American TV stations started playing it on repeat throughout the holiday season. That repetition is what helped instill it in our minds as a holiday classic and made it one of the most popular Christmas films ever.

4. That Thanksgiving parade scene from 'Miracle on 34th Street' was real.

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Edmund Gwenn played Santa in the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street. But many people don't know that he played Santa in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1946 as well. Edmund dressed as Santa for the end of the parade, which was filmed and then cut to be included in the movie.

5. Chris Columbus was asked to direct 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' but Chevy Chase stopped him.

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Chris Columbus, who later directed Home Alone, was originally asked to direct National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. However, after two meetings with Chevy Chase, he told the film's writer John Hughes, "There’s no way I can do this movie. I know I need to work, but I can’t do it with this guy."

6. 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' was the last film for the original voice actor of Betty Boop.

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It's hard to argue that the best character of Christmas Vacation isn't Aunt Bethany. Her lines are iconic and no one could have delivered them quite like Mae Questel. Mae had been in Hollywood for quite some time before her role as Aunt Bethany. She was known for providing the voice for Betty Boop and Olive Oyl. Christmas Vacation was her last film before she passed in 1998.

7. Joe Pesci bit Macaulay Culkin in a rehearsal for 'Home Alone.'

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Joe Pesci is often a method actor and his role in Home Alone was no exception. He avoided Macaulay Culkin on set and Macaulay became more than a little afraid of him. In the film, Joe hung him on a coat hook and said that he's going to bite his fingers off one at a time. But in the rehearsal, Joe actually did bite him. It broke the skin and Macaulay has the scar to prove it.

8. Jim Carrey auditioned for 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' while in character as Andy Kaufman.

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Jim Carrey is, rather famously, a method actor. So much so that he refused to get out of character as comedian Andy Kaufman for the 1999 film Man on the Moon. When Dr. Seuss's wife Audrey Geisel came to meet Jim to see if he was the right fit for the Grinch, she was told that she wouldn't be meeting Jim. She would be meeting Andy. She was greeted by Jim doing an impression of Andy doing an impression of Jim doing an impression of the Grinch. Sounds a little convoluted, but, hey, it worked.

9. It took three actors to bring the protagonist in 'The Polar Express' to life.

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While he doesn't actually have a name and is just listed as "Hero Boy," he's still the main character of The Polar Express. As an adult, he's voiced by Tom Hanks. As a child, he's voiced by Daryl Sabara of Spy Kids fame. But Daryl didn't actually prove the motion capture needed to create the character. The Hunger Games' Josh Hutcherson did

10. Tom Hanks provided the voice and motion capture for almost all of the male adult characters in 'The Polar Express.'

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If you're wondering who a voice in The Polar Express is, it's a safe bet that it's Tom Hanks. He voiced and provided the motion capture for six characters: Hero Boy as an adult, Hero Boy's father, the hobo, the conductor, Scrooge, and Santa Claus.

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