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Elf: Buddy’s Sing & Cheer Along Edition DVD Review | Holiday Fun

Classic Holiday Film Arrives in a 15th Anniversary special edition.

Reviewed by on Nov 23, 2018
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews Elf: Buddy’s Sing & Cheer Along Edition DVD. Take home a very interactive version of the loved holiday classic.

By: Lynn Barker

When full-sized, human Buddy the elf (Will Ferrell), who was adopted and raised by tiny elves, leaves the North Pole for the first time to find his dad in the big city, his innocence causes big trouble for him but also teaches those around him a little about holiday spirit and love. Buddy falls for a co-worker at Gimbel’s department store. She’s “elf” Jovie (Zooey Deschanel). Publishing mogul/Dad Walter (James Caan) thinks somebody sent Buddy as a “Christmas-gram” joke and has him removed from the building. Can Buddy ever win over Jovie and convince his dad to love and accept him?

Baby Buddy is discovered in Santa's sackBaby Buddy is discovered in Santa's sackCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Buddy’s Past

It’s Christmas Eve 1973, and a baby boy crawls into Santa Claus's sack at an orphanage and is transported back to the North Pole. He’s discovered at Santa’s workshop and the elves name him "Buddy" because he is wearing "Little Buddy Diapers", and he is adopted by Papa Elf (Bob Newhart). The baby grows into adulthood at the North Pole fully believing he is just a larger elf. He can’t keep up in the toymaking shop so he gets the boring job of a toy tester, popping up jack-in-the-box toys all day.

Buddy went to school with tiny elvesBuddy went to school with tiny elvesCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

The Truth Comes Out

Finally, Papa Elf explains that Buddy was born to humans Walter Hobbs and Susan Wells and given up for adoption. Susan then died and Walter, who now works for a children's book publisher at the Empire State Building in New York City, is unaware of Buddy's existence. Sadly, Walter is on the naughty list because he is so selfish but Papa thinks Buddy could help him change that.

Buddy's elf dad explains his real parentageBuddy's elf dad explains his real parentageCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

In New York

Buddy finally makes it to New York but his innocence makes it hard for him to adjust to this downer human world.  People laugh at him or he just irritates them. He finds his dad at work, but Walter doesn’t believe Buddy is his son and, because of his weird elf costume, thinks he’s a Christmas-gram sent by the Gimbels department store and has security remove him. He is sent to Gimbels, where the manager mistakes him for a holiday employee.

Walter has Buddy thrown out of his officeWalter has Buddy thrown out of his officeCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Enter True Love, Jail and Home

Working at the store’s “Santa Land”, Buddy meets and falls for Jovie, a cynical, bored, elf-dressed employee who thinks he’s charming but nuts! He stays up all night at the store re-decorating Santa Land to look like the real North Pole. Gimbels’ Santa arrives and, knowing he’s not the real Santa, Buddy confronts him, yanking the beard right off his costume. The resulting fight lands Buddy in jail. Walter bails him out, takes him for a DNA test and learns that this oversized “elf” is really his son. Walter takes him home where he meets step-mother Emily (Mary Steenburgen) and 12-year-old, half-brother Michael (Daniel Tay). Emily insists that they care for Buddy until he "recovers".

Buddy flirts with co-worker JovieBuddy flirts with co-worker JovieCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Fitting In?

After Buddy defeats a gang of bullies in a snowball fight, Michael likes him and convinces him to ask Jovie on a date where she finally falls for him. Walter's boss the publisher expects a popular new book by Christmas Eve. The writer, a little person, is mistaken for an elf by Buddy, gets insulted, walks out and the deal is blown. Angry, Walter disowns Buddy who ends up wandering the city streets feeling like he’ll never fit in anywhere.

Walter finds Buddy sleeping in Gimbel's windowWalter finds Buddy sleeping in Gimbel's windowCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Can Buddy Save Christmas?

Will Walter ever accept and love Buddy? Will lack of holiday spirit ground Santa forever? Do Buddy and Jovie have a future together?

Michael thinks Buddy is just weirdMichael thinks Buddy is just weirdCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Buddy at the North Pole with SantaBuddy at the North Pole with SantaCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Special Extra Features

On Disc 1 (red) “Buddy’s Sing & Cheer Along Edition”, we find these interactive features to be enjoyed while the movie plays:

Buddy's quotes appear on screenBuddy's quotes appear on screenCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
  • Sing Along Version – You can follow Buddy’s elf cap as it bounces over the lyrics when one of the goofy songs comes on.
  • Buddy’s Best Lines – These pop up as words on the screen when Buddy blurts and yells out his silly/fun lines.
  • Buddy’s Big Book of Elf Culture – Opens on screen with all things “elfish” like toy-making tips and special elf dances.
  • Sweet Treats – All during the movie some of Buddy’s bizarre recipes will pop up.
  • The Clausometer – Tracks holiday spirit in the corner of the screen as belief in Santa rises and falls.
  • Buddy’s Buddies – Some of the cute little, animated friends of Buddy will run around on the screen from time to time.
  • Fun Facts and Trivia – Little tidbits about Buddy’s world pop up occasionally.

Also on this red disc:

Buddy is too slow at making toysBuddy is too slow at making toysCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Previously Released Special Features

  • Kids on Christmas – real life kids answer Q’s about Santa, holiday spirit etc. Cute
  • Deck the Halls – features random, real life people who are super into decorating inside and out for the holidays. We see them setting up displays and bragging on their over-decorated homes. Kinda fun and slightly weird.
  • Santa Mania - is all about love of Santa all over the world. One Santa is a surfer, there is a woman who sews massive amounts of Santa costumes and we see how Santa Claus Lane in California was saved from demolition. Sweet holiday spirit feature.
  • Christmas in Tinseltown brings us a Hollywood Christmas. We see the decorations and learn the history of the famous Hollywood Christmas Parade in which stars throughout the ages have appeared. Nice.

Unfortunately, some of the extras on the original 2003 film are buried under layers of something called “Infinifilm” on the (green) DVD disc containing the original movie. Supposedly, this is where you find audio commentaries, deleted scenes and a few more featurettes. After spending a while searching for these features, we gave up.

Wrapping Up

Elf is one of Will Ferrell’s most winning films. He comes off as a charming sweetie. The movie was very popular and still can bring out a ton of holiday spirit on this home edition 15th anniversary DVD set. The movie still holds up today and this two-disc set is well worth a purchase for gifting or collecting this time of year.

Buddy doesn't understand real world animalsBuddy doesn't understand real world animalsCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Extras are quite cute but the “Sing & Cheer Along Edition” will probably most appeal to kids and younger tweens. For teens and adults, all the little pop-ups just might be sweetsie “overkill”. The “previously released” extras provided from the original DVD are quite enjoyable and varied but making home audiences “dig” through layers of something called Infinifilm to find a commentary, deleted scenes etc. just isn’t fun.

Jovie tries to understand BuddyJovie tries to understand BuddyCourtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

This Elf 15th anniversary release is still a nice addition to your holiday film-watching library, especially if you have an older, worn DVD that it’s time to replace. We can go 3 stars.

Elf: Buddy’s Sing & Cheer Along Edition DVD Review: 3

Elf: Buddy’s Sing Elf: Buddy’s Sing Courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Get Elf: Buddy’s Sing & Cheer Along Edition in stores now!

Are You An Elf Fan?

Is Elf one of your fave holiday classics? Do you think Will Ferrell is funny and sweet in the film or do you just think it’s lame? Express your unique opinion below with a comment or be your own reviewer and share more about it on your Kidzworld profile page!