These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Roger Ebert: I thought it would be clunky, stupid and obvious, like The Santa Clause 2 or How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It would have grotesque special effects and lumber about in the wreckage of holiday cheer, foisting upon us a chaste romance involving the only girl in America who doesn't know that a man who thinks he is an elf is by definition a pervert...It took me about 10 seconds of seeing Will Ferrell in the elf costume to realize how very wrong I was. This is one of those rare Christmas comedies that has a heart, a brain and a wicked sense of humor, and it charms the socks right off the mantelpiece.
Brenda McDonald, embodying every sweet, helpless little-old-lady and kind-hearted, heartbroken nun in movie history.
But the children love the books!
Peter Dinklage's scene was mentioned in a lot in critic reviews as being the most memorable sequence of the film.
Tear Jerker: The scene where Walter tells Buddy to get out of his life. Buddy looks so depressed and disheartened that it's soul crushing.
The musical score by John Debney really gets those heartstrings.
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Believe it or not, the Broadway musical versionn is considerably more adult than the movie, with an increase in language, sexual innuendos, and double entrendres.note Some critics are saying that it's more of a grown-up show anyway, and that the kids would only be interested in the scenery.