Et Tu Cotton-Headed Ninny-Muggins: How “Elf” Became a Christmastime Classic

Through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, across the sea of swirly twirly gumdrops, and walked by way of the Lincoln Tunnel. Buddy the elf’s adventure was arduous and long, yet it was quite worth it for the comedy that ensues. 

Whether its Will Ferrell’s acting, the ridiculous plot, or the Christmastide thematics, the movie has stood the test of time, eventually becoming the iconic classic. The seemingly random plot, a baby stole away to the north pole now seeking his real father, Walter, might even help the movie become more powerful in its reserve. The flick accomplishes the goal of any movie during the holiday season wants to achieve, longevity. Elf was released in 2003 and they still play it in theaters and on TV around the holiday season.

When it comes to Christmas, Elf constitutes a quintessential work of cinema that will bring joy and energy into any and every household.

The main character Buddy depicts a merry and energetic man-child as Will Ferrell so poignantly portrays. Will brings life and dimensionality to the character that no other actor could have accomplished. Whether we find Buddy stumbling about New York City, searching the lingerie section for a gift to his father, or singing loudly across a department store, none can withstand Buddy’s charms.

A man, living as an elf, that finds his way back to his real father. The plot kickstarts in an interesting way, a baby stowaway in Santa’s infamous knapsack. We then see Buddy discovering his actual origin, to which he feels driven to find his way back to where he came from. Yet, ready for the cold-hearted world, Buddy was not and he felt that most acutely from his own father. The storyline may seem ludicrous and wacky but it has some really powerful callbacks and moralities that make the movie even more so iconic.

Many films stand the test of time, some old, some more modern, and the Jon Favreau effort Elf illustrates one of them. The movie’s more silly points are counterbalanced by the deeper moral tones of learning the truth of happiness and the freedom of personality. 


By Ethan Everman, Staff Writer

Featured photo by Nicole Honeywill / Sincerely Media on Unsplash

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