A 2003 Christmas film directed by Jon Favreau and starring Will Ferrell. Ferrell stars as Buddy, a human who is raised by Santa Claus (Ed Asner) and the elves at the North Pole after accidentally crawling into Santa's sack. Realizing that he is not competent as an elf and discovering his true lineage, he decides to head to New York City, where he meets his deadbeat corporate father, Walter (James Caan). His father initially doesn't believe he is his son, but is introduced to his family, who is won over by his innocent charm. Buddy's adventures in the city include an encounter with a fake Santa at Gimbel's and falling in love for the first time with an employee dressed as an elf (Zooey Deschanel). His own father begins to warm up to him but yells at him after Buddy screws up a deal with a famous children's book author. Buddy runs away, feeling he never belonged in New York.Santa's sleigh then crashes in Central Park, where the big man himself tells Buddy that a lack of Christmas spirit has caused the engines to fail. Now it's up to Buddy to repair the sleigh and get everyone to believe in Santa before Christmas is ruined.Manages to be a funny, charming and (mostly) family-safe Christmas movie.
This film provides examples of:
Actor Allusion: This isn't actually Ed Asner's first outing as St. Nick. He originally voiced the title character in an obscure animated special: The Story of Santa Claus.
Adoring The Pests: Buddy tries to befriend a vicious raccoon, who attacks him for his troubles.
Big Applesauce: Buddy goes to NYC. The network that catches Buddy on camera is real.
According to the DVD commentary, the bearded guy who Buddy mistakes for Santa during the "Pennies from Heaven" scene when he first gets to New York was also real and unaware that he was being filmed for a movie.
Big "NO!": Buddy's reaction to finding that his father is on the naughty list.
Big "YES!": Miles Finch lets one fly while discussing ideas for his next book.
Brick Joke: One of the jack-in-the-boxes that Buddy had been in charge of testing makes a surprise reappearance late in the film.
Well, they're not really that corrupt, they're just a bunch of cotton-headed ninny muggins, as proven by that incident where they shipped an order of books with a couple missing pages. No wonder the company is failing.
Crazy Consumption: In one memorable scene, Buddy eats for breakfast: a plate of spaghetti topped with maple syrup, several fistfuls of candy and a crumbled Pop-Tart. Dentists will have nightmares viewing it.
Gasshole: Buddy swallows an entire 2-litre bottle of Coca-Cola in one gulp and then lets out a very loud burp (provided by Maurice LaMarche).
Genius Ditz: Buddy acts like a 7-year-old trapped in an adult's body, but is able to make a Lego replica of New York City, draw the Mona Lisa on an Etch-A-Sketch, and singlehandedly decorate an entire store for Santa's arrival in less than one night.
Historical In-Joke: A Macy's store is used as a stand-in for Gimbels. In reality, Macy's bought out the Gimbels chain in 1986.
Homage Shot: Like George Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life, Buddy finds himself standing on the edge of a bridge one night, suffering feelings of worthlessness, until he notices a falling ethereal being in need of his rescue.
Innocently Insensitive: Due to his childhood in the North Pole, he has no idea how offensive his interaction with Miles is.
The Insomniac: Elves are apparently satisfied with 40 minutes a night, and Buddy, somehow, manages to cope with this.
Made of Iron: Buddy can get run over by a taxi-cab & walk away as if it didn't happen(all while appologizing for getting in the way).
In another scene he mistakes a short book writer for an elf, & gets the crap beaten out of him. Despite the massive amount of force in his beaten, he still isn't handicapped.
The 1st example of this trope for this movie when he encounters a raccoon. Said raccoon mauls him after he ignores its pretty obvious warning symbol & yet he walks along without a single scratch on his face.
Mall Santa: Department store Santa, technically. But Buddy is not fooled:
Buddy: You smell like beef and cheese. You don't smell like Santa.
The snowballs even make bullet sounds as they whiz by.
The Narrator: Papa Elf (Bob Newhart), Buddy's mentor, narrates the story at either end.
Never Trust a Trailer: There was a scene where Buddy was playing ice hockey with his elf friends which ends in him checking an elf so hard he flies into the stands. It was in every trailer. Suffice to say, it didn't show up in the movie.