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Elf (2003)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Family, Fantasy  |  7 November 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 133,049 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 376 user | 149 critic | 38 from

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.



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Title: Elf (2003)

Elf (2003) on IMDb 6.9/10

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2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


Buddy was a baby in an orphanage who stowed away in Santa's sack and ended up at the North Pole. Later, as an adult human who happened to be raised by elves, Santa allows him to go to New York City to find his birth father, Walter Hobbs. Hobbs, on Santa's naughty list for being a heartless jerk, had no idea that Buddy was even born. Buddy, meanwhile, experiences the delights of New York City (and human culture) as only an elf can. When Walter's relationship with Buddy interferes with his job, he is forced to reevaluate his priorities. Written by Ken Miller <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This holiday, discover your inner elf.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild rude humor and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

7 November 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vilenjak  »

Box Office


$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$31,113,501 (USA) (7 November 2003)


$173,381,405 (USA) (27 February 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Jon Favreau drew Buddy's crayon drawing of himself in the card he made for his dad. See more »


Lights are visible in the office and mailroom scenes. See more »


[first lines]
Papa Elf: Oh, hello. You're, uh, you're probably here about the story.
[the pages flip to show Papa Elf talking to the camera]
Papa Elf: Elves love to tell stories. I-I'll bet you didn't know that about elves. There's, uh, probably a lot of things you didn't know about elves. Another, another interesting, uh, elfism, uh, there are only three jobs available to an elf. The first is making shoes at night while, you know, while the old cobbler sleeps.
See more »


Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Leprechaun (2010) See more »


Baby, It's Cold Outside
Written by Frank Loesser
Performed by Leon Redbone and Zooey Deschanel
Leon Redbone appears courtesy of August Records
See more »

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User Reviews

This is a wonderful, original and perfectly portrayed film.
24 June 2004 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

This was one of my favorite movies in 2003. Will Ferrell is brilliant as the Elf. The supporting cast is great too, especially Bob Newhart as his elf "dad". The characters are well written and it is a refreshing film to get lost in. Will Ferrell plays the elf with such innocence, he is so funny! This is not just a Christmas film but when the DVD comes out I will be watching "Elf" in July. The story progresses nicely, there are many lessons to be learned as you watch this movie. It touched my heart in many ways. I highly recommend this movie for kids AND adults, you won't regret it. Treat yourself and watch this "original" movie. Hollywood needs to make more like this.

89 of 119 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
6.9!!! just_jesss
Probably the second worst Christmas movvie of all time chinaskee-418-613225
terrifyigly horrific garbage
If my husband's long-lost son showed up... bsmale
This movie is not appropriate for children really should be pg13 crunchman74
Did Alan Silvestri rip off the melody in this score? dmfreck
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