Right at the height of his comedy career, then-SNL legend Will Ferrell took on the lead role in a 2003 all-ages Christmas hit alongside Zooey Deschanel and Bob Newhart. And now, just 11 days into November, that Christmas hit is right back in the top 10 streaming charts across America.
Elf, the 2003 Christmas classic directed by Jon Favreau, is the 10th most popular film on HBO Max and Hulu today in the U.S. The film stars Ferrell as Buddy Hobbs, a grown man who lives alongside Santa’s elves on the North Pole. When Buddy learns that he’s not actually an elf, but a human who made his way to the North Pole in Santa’s sack years ago as a young baby, Buddy makes his way to New York City to meet his real father: A publishing executive who just so happens to be on the naughty list.
There, Buddy meets the woman of his dreams, changes his father’s life, and reintroduces the true meaning of Christmas to New Yorkers, one awkward interaction at a time.
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Elf was an instant classic when it first came out in 2003, and the film spawned a number of spin-offs over the years, including a video game, a Broadway musical, and even a stop-motion television special. While Favreau originally wanted to do a proper follow-up film to Elf, Ferrell repeatedly rejected the idea. Today, no plans exist for a second Elf movie.
Then again, why create a sequel when the original movie continues to stand on its own? Elf currently has an 85 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes with critics, along with a 79 percent audience score. No need for a potentially risky second installment when the first film is still considered one of the best Christmas movies of all time.
While some may consider Nov. 11 a little too early for the holiday season, viewers in the U.S. can nonetheless catch Elf on HBO Max and Hulu.