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4.7 out of 5 stars
Elf [DVD] [2003]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2014
This is one of my favourite Xmas films and I have watched it a number of times since 2004.

Will Ferrell (The Elf) had been abruptly awaken as a child one Xmas eve by Santa making a noise when he fell from the inner chimney chamber and decided to climb into Santas bag whilst Santa was preoccupied by the bottle of cheery and a plate full of mince pies.

A 1/4 decade on we then meet Elf agin as a fully grown adult having lived in Santas community since the day he hopped a ride on Santa sleigh 25 years previously. Elf does not fit in very well with the other Elfs as a result of poor manual dexterity skills and his obvious incompetence. When Elf learns that he is an imposter he decides to pack his bags and run for the hills in order to find his real father.

When he gets to New York he is unable to acclimatise to his new surroundings and his father makes it clear from the onset that he wants no involvement with him. The only thing that prevents him from returning to The North Pole is a female work colleague who he meets in work.

The film is very funny indeed and the way that they capture his innocence, honesty and transparency (and naivety!) compared to others in New York is first class. Every scene maintains a high standard of comedy and the seriousness of everyone else around him enhances the comedy element. It is of course though Ferrell himself that makes the film hilarious and not many actors could have played the part as well (if any at all).

My wife also enjoyed it and it's also one of her favourite films.
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2004
At last! ELF gets an appropriate (if slightly overdue) festive release!
Ferrell starts as Buddy, the 'elf' of the title, a baby mistakenly taken to the north pole and raised along with the rest of Santa's elven helpers. As he grows up he can't understand why he towers 4 feet over all the other elves, or why he doesn't have pointed ears? Eventually, he learns of his origins and sets off to the big city to find his real father.
Once there, he becomes comically confused by the modern day interpretation of Christmas and starts to despair when the true spirit of Christmas seems to be lost. Think of this film as a cross between Dudley Moore's 'Santa Claus The Movie' and Steve Martins 'The Jerk' and you will get the idea.
Most of the fun in this film comes from Ferrells charming and at the same time manic performance, and he clearly carries the whole film, although the supporting cast are also strong.
A wonderful family film, this is one the most delighful Christmas films ever made!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2006
This film is sooo funny. If you are looking for a feel-good Christmas film that will make you laugh out loud then this is it. If you are a child (big or small!)then this film is perfect for getting you in the Christmas spirit and has you believing in Santa all over again. The scene where Buddy (Will Ferrell) pushes in front of all the children in his excitement to see santa again and then exposes him as the fake he is, is hysterical. In fact a giant elf walking around New York and acting like an excited kid is hilarious. But this film is also heart-warming in a Scrooge-esque kind of way, where grumpy old business man realises that family is more important than money and when everyone starts singing "Santa Claus is coming to town" to prove their faith in Santa I can feel that Christmas excitement buzzing around in my belly!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2008
My favourite Christmas film. Will is excellent in this "laugh out loud" festive comedy. Watched it in the cinema when it came out and bought the DVD. Basic storyline is baby lived in orphanage - got caught in santa's sack when he delivered presents. Got taken back my mistake to Santa's homeland. Grew up with the elves and eventually realised he was "different". Set sail to New York to find his Dad. Finds life in NYC both fun and hard to deal with. Eventually finds his dad who is on Santa's naughty list!! Bonds with his new found family - but upsets an important client of his new found dad and is thrown out. Eventually finds love and restore NYC's christmas cheer.....A feel good, christmasy, fun filled film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2014
If Elf was not already brilliant on dvd imagine the sheer joy it is in blu-ray.
The sound and picture are so much sharper.
Zooey Deschanel get's more beautiful with every watch.
Will Ferrel is adorably and disgustingly hilarious.
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I'm not a huge fan of Will Ferrell, but this family comedy showcases his more "good natured" humour, with a tight script and genuine comedy rather than gross-out gags and jokes. He captures the innocence of the child-like Buddy, naïve to the wider world and keeping the Christmas spirit alive in a world turning cynical and commercial. There's a little Buddy in all of us, and it'd be a warmer place if it came out more.

With strong support from James Caan as the tough-talking but emotionally torn father and the beautiful Zooey Deschanel as a girlfriend we'd all love to have who says it like it is but is more attractive for it with nothing but decency in her, the characters are fun, engaging and all help build Buddy's world without being clichéd. Kudos to the Gimbel manager, played by Faizon Love, who cracks me up every time he's on screen with his dead-pan rapport against Buddy.

Managing to be something more humane and personal than your typical Christmas film, it does however turn into the festive fantasy towards the finale when we have a full blown race to save Christmas - yes it's cheesy but actually good fun. As with the opening also at the North Pole, blending live-action and animation like the festive films of the past, this is a wide-eyed spectacle seen through the eyes of Buddy that will easily appeal to all ages and make young and old chuckle.

The comedy comes from seeing the fish-out-of-water template played to great effect, and lots of sight gags and one-liners coming thick and fast.

It's harmless fun, but is something a little different for Christmas time with a great cast, a good script and a real sense of heart and family.
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on 11 February 2015
This is one of my favourite films of all time. It is endlessly funny and uplifting, and I can watch all year round. I never ever get bored of it.

The film centres on the character of Elf, brilliantly played by Will Ferrell, who mistakenly ends up at the north pole as a baby, and is then adopted by elves, who raise him in as one of their own.
However, once the adoptee has grown to full adulthood, Elf suddenly notices one day while working in Santa's workshop his physical differences from his co workers. He questions his heritage and is told the truth by his adopted father, that he is in fact a man, and so he then sets about tracking down his birth parents.

His search for his real parents leads him to yuletide New York City, and immediately feels at home as he explores department stores revolving doors, working santas and his biological fathers family and colleagues with hilarious results. The scene in mail room where Elf is dancing on the table and drinking with fellow workers is hilarious.

Unlike a lot of Christmas films this story isn't overly sentimental and the only overload of sugar is in the very physical sense as Elf lives on a diet of candy cane and syrup which he explains to his stunned birth family who are then encouraged to incorporate in their meal times also.

You could read a lot into this story such as faith is the true message of Christmas, but for me I just enjoyed the loveliness of Elf's innocence and the happiness and unity it brought to all those hardened cynical city dwellers, me included. Ultimately, this film allows the adult viewer remember all the reasons as a child they enjoyed Christmas. From jumping on beds, to snow ball fights to the feverish anticipation of Santa's visit and what he has left to be opened on Christmas morning.

I can not recommend this highly enough, and as much as I would love a sequel I don't think you can build on what is already a Christmas classic.

The film has so many standout scenes such as Elf's first sighting of a department store santa who he innocently mistakes for the real thing, the duet with Zooey Deschanel in the shower room, but the climax of the film however sentimental it may be, gets me every time. This is the scene where santa is being chased by park rangers and is desperate for Christmas cheer to lift his sleigh of the ground as the engine has failed. The moment when buddy's girlfriend begins to sing in the crowd that has gathered outside the park alongside a tv crew reporting on claims of santa sightings, is one of the most uplifting committed to film. This has a lump form in my throat every time.
Especially when Elf's brother reads from Santa's book, and lists some of the wishes made for Christmas as the sleigh and Elf suddenly gain enough lift and rise above them, to their wonder.

This film mixes adult humour perfectly with childish hopes and dreams and celebrates all that is good about the season to be merry.
A feel good movie in every sense of the word.
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on 12 January 2014
I am writing a review on the film Elf, released to the public on 2003. This is a wonderful family film starring Will Ferrell. I think that everybody should purchase this as I love this film! One of the best films ever(subject to my opinion), I demand you go and buy it!. It is a film about a young orphan who snuck into Santas sack one Christmas Eve and became adopted by an older elf who worked at Santas workshop for so long that he had forgotten to settle down. Once the young orphan who was named 'Buddy' had reached 30 years old he found out about his real parents and that his mother had died but his father had a family of his own and lived in New York City. One day shortly after Buddy had set out to find his dad and gets up to all sorts of fun, fantastic and funny things. Buddy finds love, helps his fathers Christmas spirit and shows him what's important in life and also helps Santa when on one Christmas Eve get stuck in a sticky situation. It will keep you on the edge on your seat throughout the whole movie. I would recommend this movie to everyone.

I bought this product as a Christmas movie for the family to watch on Christmas Day. I wanted it to be a good film that brought a great Christmas spirit and created a happy atmosphere. But I didn't want to purchase a film that we would watch once and would then be left on the shelf to gather dust throughout the year. I wanted a joyful film that could be watched either all year round or in the winter times as I enjoy Christmas films. As I find it hard to decide on a film that the whole family enjoys and 100% of the family enjoyed it, fact.

I don't think it is a good film, I think it is an astonishing film. My daughter was mesmerized within the first 15 minutes, my son was glued to the screen and my husband had never sniggered so much at a film in his whole life. This film created an amazing Christmas spirit and atmosphere within the whole family. I definitely think that it is a film that could be watched most of the year as children would love it and my daughter loves it and has watched it almost everyday since Christmas. I am fully satisfied with the results of the movie.

I love the film because every single time my daughter is down or unhappy I put the film on and almost immediately she is smiling and is back to her normal self. I liked that there are some parts to the film that are aimed more towards the older generation and there are parts of the film that are specified towards the younger generation. I like the animation in the beginning of the film as it brings reality to the North Pole and makes Santa more believable for children! I also like the effects that the film has to make Buddy the elf bigger than the other elves to show that he is an adult which makes it clearer to the child's perspective. I also like the fact that Buddy and his girlfriends relationship doesn't go into the detail from a adults perspective as it makes the film more appropriate for children.

I don't like the elves choice of food within the first part of the film as it promotes an unhealthy diet for children. My daughter keeps asking to have 'Elf food' and wants to eat syrup and candy with all of her meals. My son also keeps asking if he could dress up as an elf for the whole of the Christmas break next year. But I think that this is different for each family as every child is different.

I think that in my personal opinion the film has totally 110% reached its goal. Many of the other film reviews are good and many other families have enjoyed it as a Christmas celebration film. I think you should buy the film, watch the film and love the film. All my family have not stopped talking about the film yet as we think it's funny and joyful. I am very satisfied with my purchase and am very happy with the result I had from watching it! If I was to give it a vote I would give it a 10 out of 10 and would recommend it to people of all ages.
I love it,
You will love it,
We will all love it!
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A fun movie that really gets the festive juices pumping. This film is played totally for laughs rather than emotional depth.

The basic story is as follows; Orphaned baby Buddy crawls into Santa's sack and gets taken to the North Pole. He is adopted by the elves and grows up thinking that he is one of them despite growing to 6'4" and being unable to match the elves' speed at making toys. Eventually he is told that he is human and that he actually has a living father whereupon he decides to travel to New York to meet Dad.

Unfortunately his father is a mean spirited grizzled cynic of a man who is less than pleased to discover that he has a grown up son. Especially one who wears a tunic and tights and believes he is an elf. Buddy has to try to win his new family round and redeem his Dad. In the process he meets the girl of his dreams and has to launch a rescue attempt for Santa who is stranded in Central Park when his sleigh breaks down due to a lack of Christmas spirit.

In the early stages of the film the comedy springs from Buddy's ineptitude in Santa's workshop. When the action switches to New York it becomes a culture clash with Buddy failing to understand sarcasm, commercialism and all the other joys of modern life. Will Ferrell plays the innocent abroad beautifully and completely captures the essence of a man brought up with a childlike view of the world. James Caan does a great mean Dad and the leading ladies are played by two of my favourite actresses, Mary Steenburgen as Caan's wife and Zooey Deschanel as the object of Ferrell's affections. Ed Asner is a convincing Santa and Bob Newhart is an inspired choice as Papa Elf, Buddy's adoptive father. Newhart's deadpan delivery is brilliant during the early narration scenes.

Stand out scenes for me are Buddy's transformation of a department store into a Christmas Wonderland and Buddy getting beaten up by a diminutive writer who takes umbrage when Buddy thinks he's an elf. This film will leave you suffused with Christmas spirit. I don't recall any bad language but younger children probably won't get the humour which is quite adult despite the slapstick. Enjoy with older children and grown up friends and relatives.
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on 29 August 2010
Some Christmas movies are fun the first time round and insufferable everytime afterwards. 'Elf' is the polar opposite (pun intended). It is without a doubt my favourite Christmas movie. Ever. Myself and my younger brother watch this once a day leading up to the Christmas period and know it word for word, so I feel qualified as the expert on Elf.
Elf is about an orphaned human baby who crawls into Santa's stocking one Christmas when he is delivering toys to the orphanage. Only discovering the baby when he gets back to the North Pole, Santa entrusts the baby to an older elf, Papa Elf. Papa Elf raises the baby, who they name Buddy, as his own. Although Buddy (played by a hillarious Will Ferrel) grows twice as tall as the other elves, he isn't told he is a human and can't understand why he doesn't share the elves toy making abilities. He is shocked to learn he is a human and decides to travel to New York city to find his father Walter Hobbs (James Cann), who doesn't know he was born. But Walter is on the naughty list! Buddy has a great adventure in New York, eating spagetti covered in maple syrup, working in a shiny mailroom, and his ecstatic Christmas spirit rubs off on his jaded father as well as many other people, including the beautiful shop worker Jovie (Zooey Deschanel) whom he falls in love with. Together, they go on to save Christmas!
This is a fantastic film which will leave you begging for more! Will Ferrel is on top form as the lovable, childish Buddy, and James Cann and Zooey Deschanel offer excellent support. With a brilliant soundtrack and score and all the maple syrup you can eat, 'Elf' has everything a Christmas film needs and more! You should watch it time and time again!
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