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Elf (2003)

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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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3,316 ( 55)
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Stars: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Buddy
... Walter
... Papa Elf
... Santa
... Emily
... Jovie
... Michael
... Gimbel's Manager
... Miles Finch
... Deb
... Fulton
... Morris
... Eugene
... Gimbel's Santa
... 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:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 November 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elf, el duende  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the final day of shooting in New York City, it was just Director Jon Favreau, Will Ferrell, and a camera man driving around the city looking for locations to shoot. They would jump out and ask pedestrians if they would be willing to be extras for some quick cash, while Ferrell paraded around acting like Buddy. Much of the montage when Buddy first arrives in New York City was filmed then, such as when he is getting his shoes shined, and jumping between traffic. See more »

Goofs

After Buddy was arrested for assaulting the store Santa, he was let out pretty easily. In real life, Buddy wouldn't be released out so easily, as when he was booked at the jail, the NYPD would have been suspicious of the fact that he had no identification and no background (of course, if Buddy insisted he was an elf from the North Pole, the police would have probably thought he was insane and committed him to an asylum). 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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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 Countdown: Episode #73.89 (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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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An instant holiday classic: Ferrell's crowning achievement to date!
10 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

ELF (2003) *** 1/2 Will Ferrell, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Edward Asner, Bob Newhart, Zooey Daschanel, Daniel Tay, Amy Sedaris, Faizon Love, Andy Richter, Kyle Gass, Michael Lerner, Artie Lange, Peter Billingsley, Peter Dinklage, Claire Lautier, Jon Favreau. Ferrell gives an inspired lunacy turn as a man who was raised by elves at The North Pole and discovers to his dismay he's actually human sparking his quest to be re-united with his long-lost father (Caan in an inspired bit of casting), a 'naughty-list' occupant, who works as a children's book publisher in New York City, just in time for Christmas. Hysterically funny thanks to the goofy yet sweet and wonderful turn by Ferrell (no one else could pull off the razor's edge of looking like an idiot yet retaining the innocent glee of a child and bares a striking resemblance to Tom Hanks' turn in 'BIG') with a great cast especially the beguilingly pretty Daschanel as his fellow Santa's Little Helper at Gimbels'who he falls in love with. Directed with style and witty warmth by Favreau (who has a cameo) and written by newcomer David Berenbaum with a smart, fun script that caters to all ages with a nostalgic nod to classic animated holiday specials for good measure. An instant holiday classic. Trivia note: Billingsley, best known as Ralphie from the yuletide cinematic classic, plays 'A CHRISTMAS STORY' the elf foreman!


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