When Christmas comes around, there are so many things that must be done for it to actually feel like the holidays. This list differs depending on the person; whether they choose to bake cookies or go Christmas caroling is entirely up to them. But there is one thing that is on (or should be on!) everyone’s Christmas to-do lists: watch Elf.
Considering Elf was released in 2004, it is holding its ground against other Christmas classics that have been around since the 80s and 90s, like The Santa Clause and Christmas Vacation. Maybe it’s because of the adorable innocence Buddy the Elf has, or just simply the humor. It has quickly become a staple to the holiday season.
It’s impossible to watch Elf without having a smile plastered on your face. Some scenes just never get old…like Buddy exploring New York for the first time (hello, ABC gum and “World’s Best Cup of Coffee”), or Buddy’s encounter with an “angry elf”, his father’s superior from work.
What makes Elf unique is its appeal to our emotions. We are instantly in love with Buddy from the opening scene of him as a baby in an orphanage, and enlightened at the joyful and energetic vibe that is present at the North Pole. There is even a love story intertwined in it, and it definitely helps that it includes Zoey Deschanel.
Another reason why it’s the best is the settings are absolutely perfect. It first starts out in the North Pole, which is so cute decked out with its miniature elf furniture, jolly elves and Frosty the Snowman (and Mr. Narwhal)! We can’t forget to mention the classic ‘cotton-headed-ninny-muggins’ terminology.
Then it moves to New York, which in my opinion is as close as we get to the North Pole in the US. Buddy explores all the must-see locations including: the tree and ice skating at Rockefeller Center, Central Park and Gimbals (aka Macy’s). New York at Christmas is guaranteed to bring instant cheer!
Buddy’s quirks are some of the best parts of the movie. His “cooking”, which consists of spaghetti topped with every candy/sweet in the pantry, his fear of the escalators, the meaningful “presents” he gives his dad… the list goes on, but it’s clear that Buddy’s love and excitement for Christmas and life are infectious to everyone, including the audience.
Buddy’s dad, Walter, starts out on the naughty list, much to Buddy’s disappointment. But with Buddy’s unwavering love and loyalty, he starts to warm up his cold-hearted father, and ends with him on the nice list (this gives us all hope!). The movie ends with Buddy’s family, including his father, mother and younger brother on better terms than ever, all thanks to Buddy’s love and help.
It was Elf that taught us the three values of Christmas…that we can (possibly) implement into the rest of the year! 1. Treat every day like Christmas, 2. There’s room for everyone on the nice list, and 3. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!