Review ‘Elf’: The Christmas spirit we need in 2020

Editor’s note: Do the Christmas classics survive in 2020 as well? Let’s take a look.

We need a little Christmas merriment after a hard year, and “Elf” contains just that for everyone to hear.

The family comedy starring Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Edward Asner, Mary Steenburgen, Zooey Deschanel and many others has become the main holiday season since its release in 2003.

But the film took on a new meaning for me this year. After the many temptations she brought with her in 2020, “Elf” was just the boost of the Christmas spirit I needed.

Here’s a look at how “Elf” can still spread the holiday joy for everyone to hear.

Hilarious scenes bring the Christmas spirit

The film spreads Christmas merriment through many hilarious scenes. A few of those I particularly liked this year were Buddy’s attempts to test a faulty outlet, climb the escalator, and place a star on a tall Christmas tree. And one can’t help but laugh at Buddy’s epic burp next to Michael at the table.

Will Ferrell, right, in a scene from the movie

Will Ferrell, right, plays Buddy in a scene from the 2003 film “Elf.”
Alan Markfield, New Line Productions

It was built on Christmas classics

“Elf” also exudes a festive spirit in the way it pays homage to classic Christmas songs and movies. Movie music features favorite holiday holidays like Elle Fitzgerald’s “Sleigh Ride” and Earthe Kitt’s “Santa Baby.” These are all classic holiday songs we hear every year. “Elf” introduces these iconic songs directly into the film, connecting us to our Christmas nostalgia.

And that’s not the only reference to classic Christmas material. The credit sequences and scenes depicting animals from the North Pole and Leon Snjegović are also reminiscent of Rankin and Bass stop-motion Christmas staples such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.

And Buddy’s key moment on the bridge at its lowest point in the film reminded me of a similar scene in the holiday classic “Lovely Life,” another Christmas classic. This film creates a new and original story in one go, wrapping it with a festive classic bow.

Don’t forget the message

In the end, the message of the film is full of Christmas spirit. Buddy’s self-deprecating father Walter Hobbs realizes what’s most important to him and puts family first. Life may not go the way we wish it had been in late 2020, but Christmas is a remembrance and honor of what is most important to us. Walter learns this lesson by listening to his sons. This makes it full of Christmas joy.

It is a message focused on family, hope and love. And that is exactly Christmas. The holiday season invites us to spread joy to everyone, sending our love to our families along the way. “Elf” reminds us of that, suggesting that we listen to those around us. And if you listen long enough, you will hear the holiday festivities spreading once a year.