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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.

Director:

Jon Favreau

Writer:

David Berenbaum
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Popularity
2,015 ( 407)
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Ferrell ... Buddy
James Caan ... Walter
Bob Newhart ... Papa Elf
Edward Asner ... Santa
Mary Steenburgen ... Emily
Zooey Deschanel ... Jovie
Daniel Tay ... Michael
Faizon Love ... Gimbel's Manager
Peter Dinklage ... Miles Finch
Amy Sedaris ... Deb
Michael Lerner ... Fulton
Andy Richter ... Morris
Kyle Gass ... Eugene
Artie Lange ... Gimbel's Santa
Leon Redbone ... Leon the Snowman (voice)
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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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Elf, el duende See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,113,501, 9 November 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$173,398,518

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$47,044,933
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Billingsley: Head elf Ming Ming (uncredited). See more »

Goofs

When Emily is eating the spaghetti for breakfast, you can see the amount of sauce on the pasta changes between shots. 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.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Near the end of the credits, the original score from the film plays over in the background, and then the last one thing showing was the title of the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in How They Made the North Pole (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

You Make Me Feel So Young
(1946)
Music by Josef Myrow
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Frank Sinatra
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A really nice, funny movie for Christmas despite a little bit of the inevitable smaltz
16 November 2003 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Accidentally finding his way into Santa's bad once Christmas Eve, little baby orphan Buddy ends up in the north pole, where he is raised by the elves as one of their own. As he gets ever bigger and less and less suited to the elf lifestyle he is told about his real father and decides to go to New York to find him. However Buddy's natural smile and elfish enthusiasm doesn't really fit in with New York, not to mention a father who rejects him.

When I first saw the trailer for this film I laughed slightly but I also thought that it could easily be just awful. Despite this fear I decided to go and see it on the basis of seeing Ferrell in the Reloaded MTV spoof on the DVD and being very funny. I was glad that I did as the film was refreshingly funny very enjoyable despite the weaknesses inherent in a seasonable film of this nature. The jokes are a mix of adult and children - but not separately, the humour is of a nature families can all enjoy rather than being of a `one for me and one for the kids' type.

The film does get a little sweet towards the end, but it manages to avoid this usual trap for the majority of the film and can't be expected to not be all Christmas cheer at some point! The fish out of water stuff is pretty funny and Farrell makes his character funny without being annoying to the audience (as he feared he might be from the trailer). Caan is good but has to work with the `scrooge' character of the film and thus gets fewer laughs. The support cast is good with fun turns from Newhart, Asner and Steenburger.

It does get a little sickly sweet towards the end and the fish out of water jokes do wear a little thin towards the end but mostly it is very funny and refreshingly fun to watch. The film is made better by a performance from Farrell that is perfectly pitched without being annoying and full of spark and wit.


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