Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa's elves. Unable to shake the feeling that he doesn't fit in, the adult Buddy travels to New York, in full elf uniform, in search of his real father. As it happens, this is Walter Hobbs (James Caan), a cynical businessman. After a DNA test proves this, Walter reluctantly attempts to start a relationship with the childlike Buddy with increasingly chaotic results.
Writer: David Berenbaum
Director: Jon Favreau
Producer: Jimmy Miller, Kent Alterman, Jon Berg, Cale Boyter, Julie Wixson Darmody, Toby Emmerich
Cast: Edward Asner, Mary Steenburgen, Bob Newhart, James Caan, Michael Lerner, Jon Favreau, Faizon Love, Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, Andy Richter, Amy Sedaris, Peter Dinklage, Daniel Tay
Welcome to the ok.com Rating Widget
Share what age you think this movie is appropriate for by clicking one of the bars on our age-rating chart below.
Then, tell us if you think the movie was worth your time by clicking either the thumbs up or thumbs down button.
After you leave at least one rating (either age or worth your time), you can optionally leave a review for others to read.
What Do Your Friends Think?
Login to see what your friends think.
It's hard to become a classic Christmas movie, but Elf accomplished that feat with flying colors. This hilarious tale is a must-see during the holiday season. :) Will Ferrell does a fantastic job as Buddy the Elf. It alludes to many classic Christmas movies. You'll probably find yourself quoting him for years to come.
There are a few references that may not be child appropriate, but they probably wouldn't understand them. Overall, it's a clean movie. Definitely family-friendly.December 6th, 2013 · Details1 Thank ·
Hilarious Christmas movie, in fact one of the funniest Christmas movies ever made. Will Ferrell is hilarious. Even if you are not a usual fan of Will, you will like him in this movie. It is a pretty original idea and the director Jon Favreau nails the mood and spirit of Christmas in this film. It will be a classic movie that you will want to watch every year,December 3rd, 2013 · Details
Elf is a great christmas movie that should be in everyones christmas collection. I watch it every year because it is so funny and gets you in the christmas spirit. Humor in the movie is great and I would say its ok for a kid to watch.February 8th, 2013 · Details
I don't like many of Will Ferrell's movies, but I loved this one! It has a really cute story and Zooey Deschanel is so sweet in this! Maybe my favorite Christmas Movie!December 8th, 2012 · Details
I know many people who aren't big Will Ferrell fans but loved this show.
It's quirky and fun. I watch it with my wife every Christmas without a doubt.
I think it's good for 9 .June 7th, 2012 · Details
This is the greatest holiday movie I've ever seen! Will Ferrell is the perfect "Elf", and the role of "Jovie", the love interest, is perhaps the second-best thing Zooey Deschanel has ever done (behind "(500) Days of Summer"). Mary Steenburgen, James Caan, Edward Asner and Bob Newhart also shine with their characters. The soundtrack rocks and the comedy will bring us Yuletide cheer. Thank you, director!June 2nd, 2012 · Details
How this ever received a PG rating is beyond me. I recall there being some fairly adult humor in this over-the-top comedy. Some people found this movie hilarious, but the only part I found comical was his run-in with the raccoon at the beginning. Everything else was ridiculous and over the top. I wouldn't waste your time on this one. Another Will Farrell dud.August 27th, 2011 · Details
"Elf" is every bit as touchy-feely as "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and other old holiday TV specials it parodies. Which seems at least a bit disingenuous what's the point of sending up something if you don't have the stomach to shred the inspiration?
Yet this charming little holiday comedy is the movie equivalent of comfort food. It may be short on belly laughs but it has heart, which is something we see all too rarely these days on the big screen. And at just over 90 minutes, it's one of the recent films that doesn't overstay its welcome.
How audiences will react "Elf" may depend on their tolerance for star Will Ferrell, who plays the title character, an orphan who, as a baby, sneaked into Santa's toy bag. As a result, he's christened "Buddy" and is raised at the North Pole by Papa Elf (Bob Newhart, who also serves as the film's dry comic narrator).
However, as Buddy gets older, he also grows considerably larger than the elves who surround him, so Santa (Ed Asner) has a hard time finding work he can do. Soon Buddy learns that he was "adopted," so he decides to head south to New York, hoping to find his biological parents. Unfortunately, he discovers that his mother is dead and his Scroogelike father (James Caan) wants nothing to do with him.
Even more upsetting is the fact that New York is very short on Christmas spirit, a problem when the holidays and Santa finally arrive.
The material here is a bit soft, but it's directed with energy and imagination by Jon Favreau, who is making a drastic departure from his usual R-rated fare. It's also filled with amusing pop-culture references, such as a sight gag that will be appreciated by cryptozoology devotees.
Ferrell can be a bit much, but he brings a real sweetness and goofy likability to the part, toning things down at least a little. The real star here may be Zooey Deschanel, as winning as as ever playing an acerbic department-store elf who steals Buddy's heart. (Not to give anything away, but she's also got a great singing voice.)
"Elf" is rated PG for slapstick violence (pratfalls and a couple of comic scuffles) and mild peril, as well as some vulgar humor relating to bodily functions (including flatulence). Running time: 95 minutes.
December 16th, 2004 · Details