The Californian

‘Elf’ is full of fun

Siena Sharpe, Assistant Editor

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Elf is a family classic for all ages, because who doesn’t like seeing Will Ferrell in bright yellow tights and a neon-green elf hat?

Buddy the Elf, played by Will Ferrell, is a human living in an elf world. When he was an infant, he crawled into Santa’s toy bag in an orphanage and has since been raised as an elf. He can’t shower comfortably, design any toys efficiently or learn like the rest of the elves. He’s one of Santa’s favorites, but one year a tragic surprise shocks Buddy’s whole world: his biological father Walter Hobbs, played by James Caan, is on the naughty list. Buddy decides to set off to New York City to find Hobbs and discover where he really came from.

Throughout the whimsical film, Buddy learns about his family background, how things work in the real world, and what true love really feels like. Because of his father’s somewhat constructive criticism, Buddy learns to adapt to the human world.

One of the most memorable scenes is when Buddy learns “Santa” is coming to New York City to visit his new job at the toy store.

When watching this scene I couldn’t help but see myself in Buddy. As a child I always stayed up preparing for Santa to arrive until I was finally rushed off to bed. I’d even go as far as making detailed art projects filled with glitter and tinsel and hanging tons of snowflakes around the house to prepare for his arrival. If I saw an imposter Santa like Buddy did, I’d be completely heartbroken and pissed off at the sight.  

The cast also includes the lively Zooey Deschanel as Buddy’s charming love interest Jovie, Mary Steenburgen as Buddy’s new stepmom, and Emily and Daniel Tay as Buddy’s little step-brother Michael.

Whether it may be bonding with Michael over a vicious snowball fight or cooking spaghetti with chocolate syrup, sprinkles and candy for breakfast, Buddy seems to make the film extremely family friendly and full of Christmas cheer.

But, this is the case until the scene where Buddy accidentally gets drunk while working in the mail-room of his father’s building due to mistaking whiskey for maple syrup.

Since I was around seven when I watched this scene for the first time I was super confused about what was actually in the flask. I totally just thought Buddy was on a sugar high. Obviously now when I watch it I can sit back and laugh at Buddy dancing drunkenly to “Whoomp there it is” by Tag Team.

You also can’t forget about the great musical outbursts throughout the film. One of my favorite parts is when Buddy sings along with Jovie while she’s singing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in the shower.

The fact that she doesn’t notice him singing along until he hits the high note at the end really made me laugh. This scene also made me want to attempt to sing the song as a duet with one of my family members.

Besides hilarious and heartwarming scenes like this, Buddy demonstrates the beauty of community and positivity and how without them, it would ultimately lead a person, such as his father, to be on the naughty list. Every time I watch this film and see what an appreciative and bubbly character Buddy is, it always makes me think about how I show my appreciation for others.

I think Elf sets great life lessons for everyone and show’s how one’s attitude can affect all aspects of life. Because of Buddy’s attitude, I genuinely want to jump around and sing, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”

The only complaint I have with the film is there could’ve been more character development for Jovie or Michael. The characters played a huge role in making Buddy’s Christmas magical but they could’ve used a little more love.

All in all the film is a great composition of family values, joyful thoughts, and a belief in the Christmas spirit. This leads me to give Elf a solid 4 out of 5 Grizzly Paws.

 

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The School Newspaper for California High School, San Ramon CA
‘Elf’ is full of fun