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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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2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Storyline

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 <wkmiller704@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This holiday, discover your inner elf.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Details

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Release Date:

7 November 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elf, el duende  »

Box Office

Budget:

$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The apartment that Buddy's dad lives in is the same apartment building (exterior shot) that Dana Barrett lived in in Ghostbusters. See more »

Goofs

The trucks on the skateboard that Santa gives Michael are facing the same way. It would be impossible to turn like that; a skateboard is put together with the trucks facing opposite each other. See more »

Quotes

[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.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in The Night Before (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Christmas Stylee
(1992)
Written by Johnnie Osbourne and Coxsone Dodd
Performed by Johnnie Osbourne
Courtesy of Heartbeat Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
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User Reviews

Wonderful
9 November 2003 | by (usa) – See all my reviews

A great holiday comedy, destined to be a minor classic. Better than JINGLE ALL THE WAY but not quite as good as A CHRISTMAS STORY, this razzle-dazzle fantasy by actor-director Jon Favreau tells the off-center tale of a human, played by a rather fey Will Ferrell, raised by Santa's elves, who at age 30 goes off in search of his father, a New York City book publisher played by a weary-looking James Caan. Much hilarity ensues, as the merry Ferrell teaches the frumpy Caan the true meaning of Christmas. Some delightful touches such as a bunch of Rankin-Bass-type North Pole creatures including a Burl Ives-ish snowman played by Leon Redbone and an adorable penguin with both eyes on one side of its head. Lots of attention to detail (for instance, note Caan's apartment after Ferrell has transformed it, including the dozens of Christmas cookies on the kitchen counter). Some hysterically funny moments, such as Caan coming upon Ferrell sleeping in Gimbel's (yes, Gimbel's!) window and Ferrell running full-tilt into a steel locker after surprising Reese Witherspoon-lookalike Zooey Deschanel in the shower. This is the film that makes Ferrell a bona fide star, by the way. It owes nothing to SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, thank God, being wholly original in thought and content and character. In the end, ELF goes on a bit long, it falters whenever Ferrell is offscreen, and the ending is a bit too much...but what the heck. By the way, the movie is just this side of being a musical, which will surprise and delight many moviegoers. The soundtrack is simply magnificent, filled with memorable holiday tunes including a nice duet of "Baby It's Cold Outside" featuring Ferrell and Deschanel.


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