The movie is directed by Jon Favreau and stars Will Ferrell as the human brought up as an elf, James Caan as Buddy's biological father, Mary Steenburgen as Buddy's step-mom, Zooey Deschanel as Buddy's love interest Jovie, Bob Newhart as Buddy's adoptive elf papa and has Ed Asner as Santa.
Slate calls it "a heartwarming homage to Christmas movies past". The New York Times calls it a "charming" success. Roger Ebert says,
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.