PG, 97 minutes
Will Ferrell; Zooey Deschanel; James Caan
Enjoy this gleeful Christmas classic with friends and neighbours. Bring an unwrappd, new toy in lieu of admission and help raise Toy Mountain to new heights. Sponsored by the Duhamel Family and Meridian Credit Union.
It begins to dawn on Buddy that something’s amiss when, at work on the Etch A Sketch assembly line with the other elves, he realizes that he’s just no good at making toys. His adoptive father, Papa Elf (played by Bob Newhart), breaks the bad news: Buddy’s real mom was very young when he was born (a fact that’s telegraphed to us by the black-and-white photo Papa Elf holds up, of a pair of ’60s folkie-student types with long hair and glowing, guileless expressions). She put him up for adoption and later died. Buddy’s father is still alive — he lives in New York and works, as all human beings in New York ought to work, in the Empire State Building — although, as Ed Asner’s Santa Claus warns Buddy, “He’s on the naughty list.” (He also happens to be played, with a very naughty degree of faux crabbiness, by James Caan.)
Still, an elf’s gotta do what an elf’s gotta do, and so Buddy steps, Rudolph-style, onto an ice floe and heads toward an uncertain future in which he’ll unravel his past.
Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com