6.9/10
188,126
450 user 160 critic
Trailer
1:40 | Trailer
After discovering he is a human, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole decides to travel to New York City to locate his real father.

Director:

Jon Favreau

Writer:

David Berenbaum
Reviews
Popularity
2,043 ( 374)

Who Was Almost Buddy the Elf?

Jim Carrey as Buddy the Elf? It almost happened! Check out who else almost starred in your favorite Christmas movies.

Find out

2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: AL Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

On the outskirts of Whoville, there lives a green, revenge-seeking Grinch who plans on ruining the Christmas holiday for all of the citizens of the town.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Kelley
Home Alone (1990)
Certificate: AL Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

Director: Chris Columbus
Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern
Certificate: AL Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

One year after Kevin McCallister was left home alone and had to defeat a pair of bumbling burglars, he accidentally finds himself stranded in New York City - and the same criminals are not far behind.

Director: Chris Columbus
Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin
Certificate: AL Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When a man inadvertently makes Santa fall off of his roof on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place.

Director: John Pasquin
Stars: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson
Certificate: AL Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

On Christmas Eve, a young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express, while learning about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Tom Hanks, Chris Coppola, Michael Jeter
Mary Poppins (1964)
Certificate: AL Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In turn of the century London, a magical nanny employs music and adventure to help two neglected children become closer to their father.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson
Certificate: 9 Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of sister and brother, Kate and Teddy Pierce, whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about.

Director: Clay Kaytis
Stars: Kurt Russell, Darby Camp, Judah Lewis
Certificate: Unrated Biography | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker
Certificate: 6 Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
Certificate: AL Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Scott Calvin has been a humble Santa Claus for nearly ten years, but it might come to an end if he doesn't find a Mrs. Claus.

Director: Michael Lembeck
Stars: Tim Allen, Spencer Breslin, Elizabeth Mitchell
The Lion King (1994)
Certificate: AL Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A Lion cub crown prince is tricked by a treacherous uncle into thinking he caused his father's death and flees into exile in despair, only to learn in adulthood his identity and his responsibilities.

Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones
Edit

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)
Edit

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.


Certificate:

AL | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 2003 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Elf, el duende See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Leon, the snowman at the North Pole, is named for the singer Leon Redbone, who voices the character. Coincidentally, "Leon" is also "Noel" backwards. See more »

Goofs

When the nun puts Buddy in his crib she covers him up. The close-up shot of Buddy shows the blanket down around his kicking feet. In the next shot, the blanket is back up under his arms. 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 T00nVision: T00nVision on Ice! (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish 17th century music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Played on piano by James Caan and
Sung by Zooey Deschanel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
WOW I forgot how great this film was
20 December 2016 | by Christmas-ReviewerSee all my reviews

BEWARE OF BOGUS REVIEWS. SOME REVIEWERS HAVE ONLY ONE REVIEW TO THEIR NAME. NOW WHEN ITS A POSITIVE REVIEW THAT TELLS ME THEY WERE INVOLVED WITH THE MOVIE. IF ITS A NEGATIVE REVIEW THEN THEY MIGHT HAVE A GRUDGE AGAINST THE FILM . NOW I HAVE REVIEWED OVER 200 HOLIDAY FILMS. I HAVE NO AGENDA. I AM HONEST ABOUT THEM.

I saw "Elf" when it was first released theatrically in 2003. I did not see it again until 2016. I forgot everything about this film. What I can't believe was that I forgot how wonderful this film was. It does everything you want in a "Christmas" movie. This film is full of "Christmas Spirit" that most films never seem to capture.

In this film On Christmas Eve in 1973, an orphaned infant boy stows away on Santa Claus' sack. When discovered back at the North Pole, he is adopted by Papa Elf. Papa Elf names his son Buddy.

Buddy grows up at the North Pole believing he is an elf, but due to his human size is unable to perform elf tasks. When Buddy accidentally learns that he is human, Papa Elf explains that he was born to Walter Hobbs and Susan Wells, and was given up for adoption without Walter knowing. Susan died and Walter works at a book publisher in New York City. Buddy travels to find him, whom Santa indicates that Walter is on the naughty list due to his greed and selfishness. Buddy then is out to save Walter and Christmas itself.

This should be on your must see watch list.


13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 450 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed