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Common Sense says
Peppy holiday favorite for both kids and parents.
Based on 80 reviews
Based on 209 reviews
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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although Elf has some potty language and mild swearing ("pissed," "hell," "damn," etc.) and a few references to bodily functions, it's family friendly at its core. Even young kids will appreciate the humor inherent in this fish-out-of-water tale, although some might be upset that Buddy's mother died and that his father never knew about him. The few action sequences (galloping rangers chasing Santa in Central Park, a brief confrontation with a scary raccoon, and some scuffles in a department store) aren't really threatening, and no one is injured. Although the movie is 100% on board with the magic of Christmas, some characters shake their head and roll their eyes at the notion of Santa, and kids talk about the possibility of parents being the ones behind the presents. But the movie's overall message of the value derived from honesty, acceptance, and affection for all humanity is clear and positive. Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to ELF.
- Parents say (80)
- Kids say (209)
How to avoid the doubting-Santa scene
Report this review, language and concepts are quite mature. doubt around existence of santa..
This title has:
What's the Story?
In ELF, Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, a human raised as one of Santa's elves who discovers at age 30 that he has a real father named Walter ( James Caan ) who lives in New York City and is on Santa's "naughty" list. Buddy leaves the North Pole to find Walter, knowing only what he's learned from the elves. (Thus, he's a whiz at making snowflake decorations and spreading good cheer, and he always assumes the best about everyone -- not especially useful skills in Manhattan.) Walter, who's in publishing, is in trouble because he has to find a successful new children's story by Christmas Eve. At first, he doesn't believe that Buddy is his son, but after Buddy passes a DNA test, Walter reluctantly brings him home to meet his wife ( Mary Steenburgen ) and son. Meanwhile, when Buddy stops by the Santa display at Gimbel's, he meets pretty Jovie ( Zooey Deschanel ). On his way to saving the day and ensuring a happy ending for everyone from the North Pole to NYC, Buddy gets many chances to do silly things as he experiences New York and gets to know Jovie and his family.
Is It Any Good?
This movie is sweet and funny, though it can't quite seem to make up its mind whether people should need proof of Santa's existence or not. Some of the jokes in Elf work better than others, and the talents of Caan, Steenburgen, Bob Newhart (as Buddy's adoptive father), and Ed Asner (as Santa) are neglected. But director Jon Favreau shows some verve and keeps the story moving quickly enough to keep it from feeling like a series of skits.
Deschanel nicely shows us the way that Buddy appeals to Jovie's longing for a place where singing and sweetness are encouraged. Peter Dinklage has a marvelous cameo as a haughty author of children's books, making his appearance much more than a sight gag. And Ferrell? His lanky cluelessness has a slightly muddled but imperishable sweetness that gives an endearing quality to all the characters he plays, including Buddy, who's a sort of human Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Buddy's naive pleasure in the world around him is ultimately almost as endearing to us as it is to (almost) everyone he meets.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about whether Buddy is a role model. Do you think Elf intends for him to be someone people admire? Why or why not? Are you more likely to laugh at him or with him? Why? What's the difference?
If you arrived in your town after 30 years at the North Pole, what do you think might surprise and delight you the way that the escalator and revolving door surprised and delighted Buddy?
How does this movie compare to other Will Ferrell comedies? Why do you think he doesn't make more movies for kids?
How do the characters in Elf demonstrate curiosity and integrity ? What about compassion and gratitude ? Why are these important character strengths ?
- In theaters : November 7, 2003
- On DVD or streaming : November 16, 2004
- Cast : James Caan , Mary Steenburgen , Will Ferrell , Zooey Deschanel
- Director : Jon Favreau
- Studio : New Line
- Genre : Family and Kids
- Topics : Holidays
- Character Strengths : Compassion , Curiosity , Gratitude , Integrity
- Run time : 90 minutes
- MPAA rating : PG
- MPAA explanation : some mild rude humor and language
- Last updated : January 5, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas
Animated version of much-loved tale invites younger viewers.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Heartwarming for all ages, some old-school content.
The Santa Clause
Heartwarming holiday tale has some potty humor.
Miracle on 34th Street
Classic holiday movie for the whole family.
Family comedy has slapstick violence and language.
Adorable fairy tale is a fabulous family flick.
For kids who love the holidays
- Best Holiday TV Specials
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- See all recommended movie lists
Find more movies that help kids build character.
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Home » Parent Movie Reviews » Age Rating Of Elf: Parents Guide (7 Big Things)
Age Rating Of Elf: Parents Guide (7 Big Things)
Posted on Last updated: November 12, 2022
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Holiday season is here and the kids might be asking if they can see this one. Will Ferrell in Elf is an instant classic! But can they? What is the true age rating of Elf? Can your kids watch this one? We’re coving the 7 big things parents need to know about the age rating for Elf in this parents guide.
Table of Contents
About Elf (2003)
One Christmas Eve a long time ago, a baby crawled into Santa’s bag of toys…
Raised as an elf, Buddy (Will Ferrell) grows into an adult three times larger than the biggest elf–and realizes that he will never truly fit in at the North Pole.
This holiday season, Buddy goes looking for his true place in the world–in New York City.
Buddy finds his workaholic father (James Caan)–who’s on Santa’s “naughty” list, a new mother (Mary Steenburgen) and a 10-year-old brother who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus or elves.
Here, now, Buddy discovers his destiny–to save Christmas for New York and the world!
Watch the trailer for Elf .
Read the best quotes from Elf .
Age Rating of Amsterdam: Parents Guide (7 Big Things)
Elf is a family favorite! But how kid-friendly is it?
Can your kids watch this one? What is the age rating of Elf?
This parent’s guide will help you decide if your family can handle the seven big issues with movies and shows: mature topics, gore, violence, language, sex, romance, and nudity. We’ll also give the Elf (2003) age rating and age-appropriate recommendations.
Your kids will hear a few unkind words and minor swears.
- “up yours”
- son of a nutcracker
Age Rating of Elf: Is It Safe For Kids When It Comes To Sex, Romance, and Nudity?
There’s some general romance in Elf, but there is no sex or nudity in the movie.
There is a reference to a peep show, but this might go over your kid’s head.
Elf is kid-friendly in this area.
Violence and Gore: Is Elf Too Scary For Kids Under 8?
Elf doesn’t have any gore to speak of: no one dies or is maimed.
It also isn’t a scary movie, though there are some times when characters (and the future of Christmas itself!) are in peril.
There are some fistfights, a character is hit by a car (but bounces right up), an animal (racoon) attacks a character, and the park rangers enter a chase through Central Park in a menacing way.
Is Elf Ok For Kids: Mature Topics
The main topic is Buddy the Elf’s parentage.
Buddy is given up for adoption and subsequently crawls into Santa’s sack and ends up at the North Pole. Kids with adoption questions may be concerned about this issue.
There is some drinking to the point of drunkenness and some smoking in the movie.
Santa is portrayed as a real person, so no worries about ruining the magic for little kids here. But he also does issue a kind of death threat that might be out of character for the Santa your kids know.
There is also a scene where a person with dwarfism is the subject of some jokes.
Elf (2003) Age Rating: What Ages Can Really Watch This One?
Elf is rated PG for mild rude humor and language.
Is Elf OK for kids under the age of 8?
Parents Guide: Is Elf Appropriate For Kids Under 8?
We think Elf is one of the more family-friendly Christmas movies out there.
It should be something kids ages 6 and up can handle in most cases.
There are a few issues as noted above, but if these do not concern your family: enjoy Elf together this holiday season!
Where To Stream The Christmas Movies You Love
- Christmas Movies to Stream on Hulu
- Christmas Movies to Stream on Amazon
- Christmas Movies For Kids to Stream on Netflix
- Christmas Movies to Stream on Disney+
More Parents Guides
- Age Rating of Wakanda Forever: Parents Guide (7 Big Things)
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Is Elf (2003) Kid Friendly? Parents Guide
By: Author tanialamb
Posted on Published: December 10, 2022
Wondering if Elf starring Will Ferrell is ok for kids? Elf is a very funny and heartwarming movie, but it may ruin the idea of Santa Claus for some children. Here’s what parents need to know in this Elf Parents Guide.
Elf Parents Guide
Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa’s elves. Unable to shake the feeling that he doesn’t fit in, the adult Buddy travels to New York, in full elf uniform, to find his real father, who turns out be a jerk at first. Buddy, with his eternal optimism, helps to change the cynicism around him.
Age Rating: Why is Elf rated PG?
Elf is rated PG for mild rude humor and language which means some content may not be suitable for all kids.
Language in Elf
There is minimal language in Elf including damn, hell, pissed, and “up yours.”
Mature Content: Is Elf Ok For Kids?
There is a budding romance between two characters and flirtation amongst characters.
Buddy and another other mailroom worker put alcohol in coffee.
There’s a fight between Buddy and a fake Santa.
Buddy’s father can be rude and mean to him.
Dark, ominous park rangers chase Santa Claus.
There are a coupe of fighting scenes where nobody gets seriously injured.
Is Elf Appropriate for Kids Under 8?
Parents need to know that Elf is kid friendly with a few exceptions including changing the traditional Santa Claus story and the discussion that Santa is really parents giving gifts. Elf is a tough one to gauge the age recommendation, because at its core, it’s a sweet, funny, silly movie about the spirit of Christmas.
These Elf movie quotes show you just how positive he can be. Elf is one of my favorite Christmas films, and is a delightful holiday classic. Will Ferrell is just so over-the-top and ridiculous, I can’t help but laugh.
However, when watching with little ones, you never know what age kids will “stop believing.” And sometimes these Christmas movies influence that. Also, the fact that Buddy doesn’t know who his father is may be upsetting for some kids.
Overall, Elf is more kid friendly than How the Grinch Stole Christmas , National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Home Alone for your holiday movie choices.
Elf is silly, fun, and is about a grown adult acting like a child. Perhaps that’s why I like it so much, because sometimes we just have to laugh and not take life too seriously. I’d definitely recommend Elf for family holiday movie lists.
Is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Kid Friendly? Parents Guide
Monday 15th of November 2021
[…] For those with a 14-year-old boy sense of humor, then Clark Griswold is a hero. I prefer the edited version, if any, though I’d rather watch Elf. […]
- Cast & crew
- User reviews
- Jon Favreau
- David Berenbaum
- Will Ferrell
- Bob Newhart
- 629 User reviews
- 141 Critic reviews
- 64 Metascore
- See more at IMDbPro
- 2 wins & 7 nominations
- Gimbel's Manager
- Miles Finch
- Gimbel's Santa
- Leon the Snowman
- Polar Bear Cub
- News Reporter Charlotte Denon
- NY 1 Anchor
- All cast & crew
- Production, box office & more at IMDbPro
Who Was Almost Buddy the Elf?
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Did you know
- Trivia Several minor traffic accidents occurred when Will Ferrell walked through the Lincoln Tunnel in his costume, because people were so surprised (and distracted from their driving) to see him wearing an elf outfit.
- Goofs When Buddy chases Michael down the street from the school, a crew member in a yellow hat can be seen trying to duck back behind a doorway of a house on the street.
Buddy : [thinking Miles is an elf] Did you have to borrow a reindeer to get down here?
Miles Finch : Hey, jackweed, I get more action in a week than you've had in your entire life. I've got houses in L.A., Paris and Vail. In each one, a 70 inch plasma screen. So I suggest you wipe that stupid smile off your face before I come over there and SMACK it off! You feeling strong, my friend? Call me elf one more time.
Buddy : [after a pause] He's an angry elf.
[Miles promptly attacks him]
- Crazy credits The Snowman closes out the movie by saluting and winking at the camera
- Connections Featured in Late Night with Conan O'Brien: James Caan/David Cross/Greg Behrendt (2003)
- Soundtracks Pennies From Heaven (1936) Music by Arthur Johnston Lyrics by Johnny Burke Performed by Louis Prima Courtesy of Capitol Records Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
User reviews 629
- Oct 3, 2019
- What is 'Elf' about?
- Is 'Elf' based on a book?
- How did the elves know that the baby's name was Buddy?
- November 7, 2003 (United States)
- United States
- Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- New Line Cinema
- Guy Walks into a Bar Productions
- Gold/Miller Productions
- See more company credits at IMDbPro
- $33,000,000 (estimated)
- Nov 9, 2003
- Runtime 1 hour 37 minutes
- Dolby Digital
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2003, Kids & family/Holiday, 1h 37m
What to know
A movie full of Yuletide cheer, Elf is a spirited, good-natured family comedy, and it benefits greatly from Will Ferrell's funny and charming performance as one of Santa's biggest helpers. Read critic reviews
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- Rating: PG (Some Mild Rude Humor|Language)
- Genre: Kids & family, Holiday, Comedy, Fantasy
- Original Language: English
- Director: Jon Favreau
- Producer: Jon Berg , Todd Komarnicki , Shauna Robertson
- Writer: David Berenbaum
- Release Date (Theaters): Nov 7, 2003 wide
- Release Date (Streaming): Nov 16, 2004
- Box Office (Gross USA): $177.1M
- Runtime: 1h 37m
- Distributor: New Line Cinema
- Sound Mix: SDDS, Dolby SR, DTS, Surround
Cast & Crew
News & interviews for elf, critic reviews for elf, audience reviews for elf.
- Dec 16, 2012 Elf is a magical Christmas tale that's fun for the whole family. The story follows one of Santa's elves named Buddy who, after finding out that he's adapted, goes looking for his human father in New York City. The film stars Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, and Bob Newhart, who all give great performances. Ferrell in particular is good at this kind of physical comedy, and there's a certain charm to his performance. However, the film is unable to avoid falling into the usual cliches and stereotypes that Christmas films usually follow. But despite being a tad formulaic, Elf still delivers a wondrous adventure and is sure to become a Christmas classic. Super Reviewer
- Nov 23, 2012 One of the last great modern Christmas films, Elf benefits greatly from my favorite performance of Will Ferrell's and the great supporting cast. Elf has some smart and hilarious humor, mixed with a cute (if slightly over sentimental) story and is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Overall Rating: 81 Super Reviewer
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Elf Parent Guide
Some people stand out in a crowd -- like Buddy (Will Ferrell), the only human being at the North Pole. Accidentally brought home by Santa, the elves want to send the growing problem back to look for his real family.
Release date November 6, 2003
Run Time: 97 minutes
Get Content Details
The guide to our grades, parent movie review by rod gustafson.
Some people stand out in a crowd. For Buddy (Will Ferrell), being the only human at the North Pole is a towering problem. When he was a baby, Santa accidentally picked him up one night while delivering presents to an orphanage. Now he is a growing concern within the elf population at the workshop. Detecting his good heart and desire to learn just aren’t enough to make him an efficient toy builder (along with the fact he no longer fits the furniture), Buddy yearns for his real family.
Seeking advice from the head elf (Bob Newhart), Buddy learns his mother has passed away but his father, a workaholic children’s book publisher, is living in New York City. Setting off to uncover his past, he arrives in the Big Apple wearing his complete elf ensemble. After hunting Dad, Buddy also finds he has a step-mom (Mary Steenburgen) and a ten-year-old half-brother (Daniel Tay).
This lack of belief in Santa has left Mr. Claus (Edward Asner) looking for new ways to fuel his sleigh. Originally propelled by Christmas spirit, he’s resorted to a jet engine to give the reindeer the needed boost. Yet even that solution is having difficulties. With the Clausometer (the Christmas spirit gas gauge) reading empty and the jet running poorly, the whole shebang crash lands in Central Park on Christmas Eve.
This movie provides a nice mix of fun and frolic with only a skiff of content in all of our categories. Both Asner and Newhart fill their roles like the true professionals they are. The jolly man is loving but tough and focused on his job of getting those presents out each year. Likewise Newhart plays his typical role, trying awkwardly to explain to Buddy why his life must change. Primary to this movie’s success is Will Farrell’s convincing and funny performance—especially as he becomes accustomed to big city life.
Marketing the magic of Christmas to an increasingly cynical young audience is a tough challenge, but somehow Elf pulls it off quite well. Kids will love watching Buddy chow down on M&Ms, syrup, and a huge assortment of sugary condiments for breakfast. Teens will find the innocent elf’s stumbling through NYC humorous. And adults will yearn for the innocence they once had as children when this time of year truly did hold magical wonder. That combination will likely put Elf on the “Favorite Christmas Movies” shelf of many homes.
Elf parents' guide.
Having an orphan find their family is a very popular movie plot. Can you think of a few? Why do you think so many stories use this setup?
Does your family know of anyone who has recently moved into your area from a very different place? Although the culture shock Buddy went though while trying to fit into NYC life is an extreme example, do you know someone struggling with similar issues?
The most recent home video release of Elf movie is November 5, 2013. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Elf: 10th Anniversary Edition
Release Date: 5 November 2013
Elf releases in a 10th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray.
Home Video Notes: Elf: Ultimate Collector’s Edition
Release Date: 26 October 2010
Elf releases to Blu-ray in an Ultimate Collector’s Edition . Bonus extras include:
- Audio commentaries by Director Jon Favreau and Actor Will Ferrell
- Production featurettes: Tag Along with Will Ferrell, How They Made the North Pole, Lights Camera Puffin and That’s a Wrap.
- Film School for Kids featurette: Kids on Christmas, Deck the Halls, Santa Mania and Christmas in Tinseltown.
- Deleted/alternate scenes
- Elf Karaoke
- Trivia Track
- Focus Points
- Theatrical trailer
Related home video titles:
Believing in the magic of the season are themes also found in Miracle On 34th Street , and The Santa Clause ( 1 and 2 ).
Related news about Elf
Emma Watson and Lily James Take Live Action Roles in Disney Classics
"One of the 50 Coolest Websites...they simply tell it like it is" - TIME
Elf | 2003 | PG | - 3.3.3
SEX/NUDITY 3 - A woman kisses a man, a man kisses a woman, a man and a woman hug and kiss, a man kisses a woman on the cheek. A man looks at sheer lingerie in a department store. We see a woman in a shower (her bare shoulders are evident) and a man sits outside the shower unbeknownst to her. We see a man in a shower (her bare shoulders are evident). A man takes off his tights (apparently he wears nothing under them) and when a woman enters the room they both scream. A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage. A woman talks about being "naked in the shower." A man sends another man a gift of lingerie. We see a baby boy in a diaper. A man wears tights through much of the movie.
VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A man kicks and punches another man and throws him off a table. Two men threaten each other, one tackles the other, they wrestle around on the ground, over furniture and store fittings, and one swings a tube at the other. Dark horses are ridden hard through a park, chasing a man in a sleigh. A sleigh crashes, a sleigh takes off, and then crashes again. A man is hit by a car and is thrown onto the hood. A man runs into the street and is nearly hit by a car. A man yells at another man and sends him away, and a man yells at another man. A man is forcibly dragged out of a building by two guards (this happens a few times), and a man shoves a man. A man screams after being pricked on the finger. A raccoon hisses, bares its teeth and lunges at a man knocking him to the ground. A man does a split while trying to go up an escalator, a man jumps onto a Christmas tree and it falls over on top of him, and a man's head is sucked against a chute in a mailroom. A man and a boy are pummeled with many snowballs, the boys doing the throwing are then picked off one-by-one by snowballs thrown by the man (one is hit in the face, and one in the back as he runs away). A man bumps his head on an awning, and a man runs into lockers in a dressing room. A man eats pre-chewed gum that has been stuck to a railing. A man vomits in a garbage can, a man sprays perfume into his mouth and reacts to it, a man burps for an extended period of time in a couple of scenes, and a troll flatulates. A man eats cotton balls, and a man shoves a lot of food in his mouth at one time. A man says things to another man the he translates as insults and jibes, although they are not intended that way.
LANGUAGE 3 - 4 scatological terms (one mild), 7 mild obscenities, 3 religious exclamations.
SUBSTANCE USE - People are shown smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, and a Gnome drinks grog.
DISCUSSION TOPICS - Elves, Santa, aspirations, dreams, the Christmas spirit, being different, being accepted, adoption, death of a parent, neglectful fathers, Santa's "naughty list," greed, people of small stature.
MESSAGE - The Christmas spirit is in all of us, and sometimes we just need help finding it.
REVIEWS See ratings & reviews at Critics.com
FILTER by RATINGS Did you know you can now filter searches by any combination of ratings? Just go to our search page or use the search bar, with or without a keyword, from the top navigation menu. Move sliders from 0-10 in any combination, check and uncheck MPAA ratings and use keywords to further filter results -- please let us know what you think.
THE ASSIGNED NUMBERS Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY , VIOLENCE/GORE & LANGUAGE on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest depending on quantity & context | more |
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Parental guidance under 8 (Viol.)
This topic contains:
- overall comments and recommendations
- details of classification and consumer advice lines for Elf
- a review of Elf completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 9 November 2003 .
Overall comments and recommendations
About the movie.
This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.
This review of the movie contains the following information:
- a synopsis of the story
- use of violence
- material that may scare or disturb children
- sexual references
- nudity and sexual activity
- use of substances
- coarse language
- the movie’s message
A synopsis of the story
Elf is the story of Buddy (played by Will Farrell), a 30 year old man who, as a baby, crawled into Santa’s sack and was accidentally taken to the North Pole. He was raised as an elf helping Santa in his workshop along with the other elves. Buddy is just beginning to realise that he doesn’t fit in with the elves, when he finds out that he is human. He decides to go to New York to find his biological father, Walter Hobbs (James Caan). Walter has a senior position with a book publishing company and is on Santa’s ‘naughty’ list, as he is more interested in work and making a profit, than he is in the quality of the books he publishes, the wellbeing of his staff or, in fact, in his own family.
Buddy has a very childlike view of the world and is both overwhelmed and delighted by the sights of New York. With his elf clothing, naïve manner, social ineptitude and total delight in the mundane, Buddy comes across to cynical New Yorkers as mentally unstable. When he visits Walter in his office in the Empire State Building, Walter draws the same conclusion and has him thrown out of his office. Buddy is then attracted to the Christmas decorations on Gimbels Department store and ends up ‘working’ in the toy department, where all the staff are also dressed as elves. He meets Jovie (Zooey Deschanel) there, an attractive but depressed young woman who is forced to do what she sees as humiliating work in order to pay the rent. After an incident involving a fight with the store’s ‘Santa’, Buddy is forced to leave Gimbels and meets up with Walter once again. This time, Walter takes him to the doctor for a DNA test, which confirms his paternity.
Walter takes Buddy home to meet his wife Emily (Mary Steenburgen) and ten year old son Michael (Daniel Tay). The family is obviously an unhappy one, due to Walter’s lack of involvement, but Emily, and later Michael, come to love Buddy’s enthusiasm and good nature. However, Buddy’s relationship with Walter is further damaged by an incident with a prominent author of children’s books, who happens to be a dwarf. Buddy’s naivety once again gets him into trouble.
In the meantime, Santa is having trouble with his sleigh as he approaches New York. The sleigh relies on Christmas spirit to keep it and the reindeer airborne and the lack of Christmas spirit in New York causes it to crash in Central Park. Here Buddy, Walter, Emily, Michael and Jovie all play a part in saving Christmas and resolving their relationships.
Use of violence info
Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.
Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.
There is some violence in this film including the following scenes:
- As he approaches New York, Buddy is attacked by a racoon which first hisses and then quite suddenly leaps on him with teeth bared.
- Buddy is twice hit by taxis as he runs across New York streets. In both cases, the taxis are driving quite fast and the impact is sudden and loud. He is completely unharmed both times.
- Buddy runs into a cupboard and bounces off.
- Buddy accuses the Department Store’s Santa of being an impostor and rips off his beard. They have a fist fight, knocking over many of the displays in the Toy Department.
- Michael and Buddy are involved in a snow fight, in which Buddy has a rapid arm action and fires off snowballs machine gun style.
- Buddy falls from the top of a very large Christmas tree, bringing the whole tree down on top of himself.
- The fight with the author of children’s books is quite vicious.
Material that may scare or disturb children
Under five info.
Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.
The violent scenes mentioned above could frighten children in this age group, particularly the scene with the racoon.
In the scene in Central Park, Santa is pursued by four rangers on horseback. Accompanying this chase scene is some very close up footage of the horses, sudden and quite violent movements and loud noises which could scare younger children.
Parents may also wish to consider the impact on very young children of Buddy ripping off Santa’s beard and having a fist fight with him. The issue of who is the ‘real’ Santa could be quite confusing for them.
Children in this age group could also be concerned by Buddy’s father’s rejection of him.
Aged five to eight info
Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.
Children in this age group may also be scared by scenes mentioned above.
Aged eight to thirteen info
Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.
It is unlikely that children over the age of eight will be scared by this movie, although most would certainly be startled by the racoon’s attack on Buddy.
Thirteen and over info
Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.
It is unlikely that children over thirteen will be scared or disturbed by any scenes in this movie.
There are no sexual references in this movie, although Michael, who is ten years old, has to coach Buddy in how to ask Jovie out on a date.
Nudity and sexual activity
There is no nudity or sexual activity. One scene that may require discussion with very young children is where Buddy enters the women’s showers, sits on the hand basins and listens to Jovie singing as she has a shower. When she realises he is there she wraps herself in a towel and confronts him.
Use of substances
Buddy and one of the mail room staff at Walter’s workplace share a hip flask and are seen lying back on the mail trucks, philosophising and obviously under the influence of alcohol.
There is no coarse language in this movie. At one stage one of the characters calls out ‘Up yours.’
In a nutshell
The ‘take home’ message of this movie is that Christmas cheer is important and people who come across as simple may have a lot to offer.
Values that parents may wish to encourage include:
- finding joy in everyday things
- family togetherness
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Why Elf Might Not Be The Best Christmas Movie To Watch With Little Kids
But a holiday classic when they’re older.
There’s no way around it, families love the colorful live-action Christmas movie Elf . The 2003 movie starring Will Ferrell as the ever-joyous Buddy the Elf seems like a movie tailor made to watch with the kids. And to an extent, it is exactly that. A silly, funny, kind movie that families return to year after year. But as happens with all things, there appears to be a limit to Elf ’s charm with kids. Take the attention span of a 5-year-old, for instance. This age group might not be the target market for Buddy’s travels from the North Pole, through the sea of Swirly Twirly gum drops, or even as he passes through the Lincoln Tunnel. So is Elf appropriate for young kids to watch? Here’s everything you need to know.
Will kids younger than 5 enjoy watching Elf ? Yes and no.
As a human raised by elves in the North Pole , Buddy’s sense of humor is mostly pretty innocent and tame, all things considered. But his story as a young baby who climbed into Santa’s (Ed Asner) bag and went to the North Pole, where he was adopted by Papa Elf (Bob Newhart) and raised as an elf does lend itself to some tongue-in-cheek humor. Especially once he arrives in New York City to meet the father he’s never met (James Caan) and falls in love with Jovie (Zooey Deschanel). The humor is very Will Ferrell-esque, which might mean that it will go completely over the heads of 5-year-old kids who are not known for their nuanced humor. There is a burp or two in the movie they should enjoy, however.
In Elf , the Santa is a little too cranky for little ones who still believe.
At the age of 5, it is not uncommon for kids to still believe in Santa Claus . And watching this frustrated, curmudgeonly version of Santa Claus grumble about Christmas spirit and talk about Joe’s Pizza in New York could very well wreck the magic for kids that age. Especially when they see someone dress as Santa Claus when Buddy is working at Gimbles Department Store and the two get into a huge fight. And let’s not forget, Santa is on the run from the Rangers in Central Park because they don’t like him. All rather dark stuff for that impressionable age group.
What is Elf rated?
Elf is rated PG for some mild rude humor and language. Also it’s worth noting that Buddy walks in on Jovie singing in the shower and they sort of accidentally perform a duet. The language is very mild too, so I wouldn’t worry too much about older kids.
Where can you watch Elf ?
You can stream Elf on HBO Max, or rent it on Amazon Prime, Vudu, and iTunes. Just maybe hold off a few years if you are planning on watching with your 5-year-old. Especially if you’re hoping it will become a beloved classic for them when they’re a bit older. You don’t want them to get sick of it already, right?
Parents need to know that although Elf has some potty language and mild swearing ("pissed," "hell," "damn," etc.) and a few references to bodily
Elf is rated PG for mild rude humor and language. Is Elf OK for kids under the age of 8? Parents Guide: Is Elf Appropriate For Kids Under 8?
Elf is rated PG for mild rude humor and language which means some content may not be suitable for all kids. Language in Elf. There is minimal
Taglines. A Comedy of Elf-fish Proportions · Genres. Adventure · Comedy · Family · Fantasy · Romance · Motion Picture Rating (MPAA). Rated PG for some mild rude
Movie Info · Rating: PG (Some Mild Rude Humor|Language) · Genre: Kids & family, Holiday, Comedy, Fantasy · Original Language: English · Director: Jon Favreau.
Why is Elf rated PG? The MPAA rated Elf PG for some mild rude humor and language. Run Time: 97 minutes. Get Content Details
Elf | 2003 | PG | - 3.3. · A baby crawls into Santa's gift sack and is transported to the North Pole where he is raised as an elf -- believing he is an elf
Children over the age of eight should be okay to see this movie with or without parental guidance. About the movie. This section contains details about the
Elf is a 2003 American Christmas comedy film directed by Jon Favreau and written by David ... This allowed him to conceive of a movie that could be PG rated as opposed
Elf is rated PG for some mild rude humor and language. Also it's worth noting that Buddy walks in on Jovie singing in the shower and they sort