7 Christmas movies you didn't know were filmed in Vancouver

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Vancouver in winter via Shutterstock

It’s no shocker that Vancouver has a vibrant film industry. With numerous studios and loads  of great film crews on the ready, our city’s beautiful and diverse landscape (and tax benefits) has drawn huge Hollywood blockbusters to this side of the border.

Christmas films are no exception. While Vancouver isn’t the setting for any major Christmas movie, or many movies in general, it has provided the backdrop for plenty of festive flicks.

So in honour of Santa season here are 7 films you may not know were shot right here in Vancouver:

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Starring Jonathon Taylor Thomas, the teen heartthrob of the day, and Jessica Biel, I’ll Be Home for Christmas was shot all around Metro Vancouver, including Edgemont Village in North Vancouver, Fort Langley and Port Coquitlam. Sadly for the movie’s producers, the film performed horribly at the box office.

“A college student experiences difficulty in getting home for Christmas after being hazed by his friends. While struggling to get home in time for Christmas, he learns quite a bit about himself and the true meaning of the holiday.” – IMDB

Elf

Surprise! Many of Elf’s interior shots were filmed in sound stages in Vancouver, but since the movie was clearly based in New York, you won’t recognize much of the city in this blockbuster film starring Will Ferrell.

“After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.” – IMDB

Deck the Halls

Mostly shot in Ocean Park, Surrey, and other locations in Metro Vancouver, Deck the Halls was a 2006 moderately successful holiday movie starring Matthew Broderick, Danny DeVito, Kristin Davis and Kristin Chenoweth. The town it was set in was even called Cloverdale!

“Two neighbors have it out after one of them decorates his house for the holidays so brightly that it can be seen from space.” – IMDB

The Santa Clause 2

If our memory of this movie serves us accurately, Tim Allen is turned into a reluctant Santa Claus after accidentally killing the big man. The first one did so well they decided to make two more, which didn’t bust anywhere near as many blocks at the box office. This one filmed around Metro Vancouver, including Port Moody, Coquitlam and New Westminster.

“Scott Calvin has been a humble Santa Claus for nearly ten years, but it might come to an end if he doesn’t find a Mrs. Claus.” – IMDB

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

The studio rounded out the franchise with a third Santa Clause, also filmed around Vancouver in 2006. This sequel was nominated for four Razzie Awards – the worst of the worst nods for Hollywood -but somehow managed to make over $80 million at the box office.

“Santa, aka Scott Calvin, is faced with double-duty: how to keep his new family happy, and how to stop Jack Frost from taking over Christmas.” – IMDB

Christmas with the Kranks

This silly comedy starring Tim Allen (what is it with him and Christmas movies?!) and Jamie Lee Curtis was filmed inside Pacific Centre before a 2004 release. As far as holiday movies go, this one wasn’t half bad but only made $73 million at the box office.

“With their daughter away, the Kranks decide to skip Christmas altogether until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate the holiday at the last minute.” – IMDB

The Muppet Christmas Carol

If this was the only version of the Christmas Carol you watched as a kid, then you’re just like us. The 1992 Muppet movie was shot in studios in Vancouver and England and follows the story of Ebenezer Scrooge (played by Michael Caine), the Cratchits, Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Christmas Past through all our favourite puppet characters. Being up against Home Alone 2 and Aladdin did not bode well for the financial success of the film, which only garnered $27 million at the box office.

“The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser’s redemption on Christmas Eve.” – IMDB

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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at jill@vancitybuzz.com
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