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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
2,420 ( 241)
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

The football jersey frequently worn by Michael (Daniel Tay) is that of fan favorite #80 Wayne Chrebet of the New York Jets. See more »

Goofs

When Buddy and Michael take cover behind the snow bank during the snowball fight, rips in Buddy's tights can be seen in his inner thigh area during one shot, but not in the others. 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 Nostalgia Critic: Top 12 Santa Clauses (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
(1934)
Written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie
Sung by Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Tay, James Caan, and Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A star is born in this laugh-out-loud holiday comedy...
23 December 2007 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Charming Christmas confection--about a boy raised by elves in the North Pole who grows up and journeys to N.Y.C. in search of his biological father--puts a clever spin on even the most familiar gags, successfully walking a fine line between absurdist comedy and holiday schmaltz. Will Ferrell looks like a string-bean in yellow tights and, with his mass of curly hair peeking out from underneath his elf's hat, he could easily be used as a walking punchline. Fortunately, director Jon Favreau's handling of "Elf" is incredibly nimble, treating Ferrell and his naive character Buddy with the utmost respect; you can laugh at all the silly pranks without ever feeling guilty. Favreau's work is smooth, and he's assembled an incredible supporting cast of character actors to back his star, though some may find the climactic moments (involving Edward Asner as Santa Claus) a bit too literal--and the movie is certainly funnier before we get to this point. Still, the special effects are kept to a minimum in order to let the people shine...and that's not only refreshing, it's heart-warming. *** from ****


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