Elf (2003) Script

PAPA ELF: Oh, hello.

You're probably here about the story.

Elves love to tell stories. I'll bet you didn't know that about elves.

There's probably a lot of things you didn't know about elves.

Another interesting elfism:

There are only three jobs available to an elf.

The first is making shoes at night, while, you know, while the old cobbler sleeps.

Lazy bum. Couldn't even make a clog.

You can bake cookies in a tree.

As you can imagine, it's dangerous having an oven in an oak tree...

...during the dry season.

I wanna make shoes!

But the third job...

...some call it the show, or the big dance.

It's the profession that every elf aspires to.

And that is to build toys in Santa's workshop.

Only two weeks left till Christmas.

It's a job only an elf can do.

Our nimble fingers, natural cheer and active minds...

...are perfect for toy building.

They tried using gnomes and trolls...

...but the gnomes drank too much.

[GNOME BELCHES]

And the trolls weren't toilet trained.

[TROLL FARTS]

No human being has ever set foot in Santa's workshop.

That is, until about 30 years ago.

And as you may have guessed, that's where our story begins.


[YELPS]

[YELPS]


Oh.

Wowee! Wow.

[YELPING]

[SHRIEKS]

What a blessing you are. What a blessing you are.

Here we are.

We're just going to make you feel so comfortable.

There we are. There you are.

It's time to go to sleep.

Maybe by next Christmas, you'll have a home.

Merry Christmas, my angel.

[METAL CREAKS, DIRT SPRINKLES]

SANTA: Mmm.


[ELVES CHEERING]

SANTA: All right, all right.

We've had another very successful year.

So after all that hard work...

...it's time to start preparations for next Christmas.

What in the name of Sam Hill is that?

ELF: "Little Buddy Diapers."

His name is Buddy. He must have...

Snuck into your sack at the orphanage.

What do we do?

So Santa had a decision to make.

Fortunately, when it comes to babies, Santa's a pushover.

So Buddy stayed with an older elf who had always wanted a child...

...but had been so committed to building toys...

...well, he'd forgotten to settle down.

Santa.

Yes. Yes, I raised Buddy.

I was his adopted father.

Though Buddy grew twice as fast...

...he wasn't any different from the other children.

Not too fast, Buddy.

I mean, not really.

Before we learn how to build the latest in extreme graphic chipset processors...

...let's recite the code of the elves, shall we?

Number one.

ALL: Treat every day like Christmas.

TEACHER: Number two.

ALL: There's room for everyone on the nice list.

TEACHER: Number three.

ALL: The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

And one day, when Buddy was old enough, I made him my own personal apprentice.

Never been in this room before.

Well, I think it's time you start your tinker training.

[BUDDY GASPS]

Santa's sleigh.

You're gonna help me make it fly.

I thought the magical reindeer made the sleigh fly.

PAPA ELF: Where do the reindeer get their magic from?

Christmas spirit.

Everybody knows that.

Well, as silly as it sounds...

...a lot of people down south don't believe in Santa Claus.

What?

Who do they think puts all their toys under the tree?

Well, there's a rumor floating around that the parents do it.

That's... That's ridiculous.

I mean, parents couldn't do that all in one night.

What about Santa's cookies? I suppose parents eat them too?

Yeah, I know. I know.

And every year, less and less people believe in Santa Claus.

I mean, we have a real energy crisis on our hands.

Oh.

I mean, just see how low the Clausometer is.

That's shocking.

That's why I came up with this little beauty in the '60s.

[ENGINE POWERING UP]

BUDDY: What is it?

It's a Kringle 3000.

Eighty-five hundred reindeer-power jet turbine engine.

Without it, the sleigh couldn't get more than a few feet off the ground.

Well, looks like we got a short in the thermo coupler.

You wanna give me a hand with that?

You want me to help?

As much as Buddy was accepted by his family and friends...

...there were a few drawbacks to being a human in an elves' world.


Hey, Ming Ming.

Um...

I'm gonna be a little bit short on today's quota.

It's all right, Buddy.

Just how many Etch A Sketches did you get finished?

Come on, Buddy, how many?

I made 85.

Eighty-five.

That puts you...

...915 off the pace.

ELF 1: Ooh, that's bad.

Why don't you just say it?

I'm the worst toy maker in the world.

I'm a cotton-headed ninny muggins.

[ALL GASP]

No, Buddy, you're not a cotton-headed ninny muggins.

We all just have different talents, that's all.

Seems like everyone else has the same talents except for me.

You have lots of talents.

Special talents, in fact, like... Special talents?

ELF 2: You changed the batteries in the smoke detector.

You sure did. Triple A's.

And in six months, you'll have to check them again. Won't he?

ELF 3: And you're the only baritone in the elf choir.

You bring us down a whole octave.

In a good way.

See, Buddy, you're not a cotton-headed ninny muggins.

You're just special.

And so Buddy was sent where the special elves work.

[JACK-IN-THE-BOX LAUGHS, BUDDY GASPS]

[BOX CHIMING "POP GOES THE WEASEL"]

[JACK-IN-THE-BOX LAUGHS, BUDDY GASPS]

[SIGHS]

[BOX CHIMING "POP GOES THE WEASEL"]

[JACK-IN-THE-BOX LAUGHS]

MING MING: Hey, Foom Foom.

I hate to do this, but can you help me pick up the slack on those Etch A Sketches?

-No problem. -I appreciate it.

Buddy is killing me.

I already got Lum Lum and Choo Choo pulling doubles.

Quick thinking yesterday with that "special talents" thing.

MING MING: I feel bad for the guy. I just hope he doesn't get wise.

Well, if he hasn't figured out he's a human by now...

...I don't think he ever will.

FOOM FOOM: If he hasn't figured out he's a human by now...

...I don't think he ever will.

I think they're too small.

MING MING: You're just special.

[SNORING]

[BUDDY SINGING DEEP NOTE]

[SHOES SQUEAKING]

[JACK-IN-THE-BOX LAUGHING]

You don't look so good, Buddy. Are you okay?

I'll be okay. I just need a glass of water.

[SCREAMS]

Buddy.

[GRUNTS, GROANS]

[KNOCKING ON DOOR]

PAPA ELF: Buddy, are you okay?

I'm sorry, Papa.

Just need some alone time.

Buddy, I think we have to talk.

Buddy, I think there's something I probably should tell you.

You probably should've found out a long... A long time ago.

PAPA ELF: I then proceeded to tell Buddy of how his father...

...had fallen in love when he was very young...

...with a beautiful girl named Susan Welles...

...and how Buddy was born and put up for adoption by his mother.

And how she had later passed away.

I told him his father had never even known that Buddy was born.

And most importantly, I told him where his father was.

In a magical land called New York City.

My dad works there?

Empire State Building.

Hey, Buddy, wanna pick some snow berries?

BUDDY: Not now, arctic puffin.

-Hello, Buddy. -Oh.

Hi, Leon.

Why the long face, partner?

It seems I'm... I'm not an elf.

Of course you're not. You're 6-foot-3 and had a beard since you were 15.

Papa says my real father lives in a magical place far away.

I don't know what to do.

At least you have a daddy.

I was just rolled up one day and left out here in the cold.

But the thing is, I've never even left the North Pole.

Buddy, I've been around the world many times...

...when I was a young cumulus nimbus cloud.

It's a wonderful place filled with wondrous creatures.

Except dogs. Oh, by the way, don't eat the yellow snow.

Oh, I know that.

All I'm saying is...

...this might be the golden opportunity to find out who you really are.

SANTA: So I hear you're going on a little journey to the big city.

Yep. Kind of nervous.

Leon says New York is pretty different.

Oh, don't pay attention to Leon.

He's never been anywhere. He doesn't have any feet.

I've been to New York thousands of times.

Really? What's it like?

Well, there are some things you should know.

First off, you see gum on the street, leave it there.

-It's not free candy. -Oh.

Second, there are, like, 30 Ray's Pizzas.

They all claim to be the original, but the real one's on 11th.

And if you see a sign that says "peep show"...

...that doesn't mean that they're letting you look at presents before Christmas.

Can't wait to see my dad.

We're gonna go ice-skating and eat sugarplums.

That's the other thing I wanted to talk to you about.

You know, Buddy, your father...

...well, he's on the naughty list.

No!

WOMAN: You're taking the books back?

See, I see what you're trying to do here. You're trying to make me feel bad...

...when in actuality you're the one that missed the payments.

But the children love the books.

I know that.

You know, I'm the one that ran the focus groups, but I like hearing that.

SANTA: Listen, some people, they just lose sight of what's important in life.

That doesn't mean they can't find their way again. Huh?

Maybe all they need is just a little Christmas spirit.

[ELVES CHEERING]

Well, I'm good at that.

I know you are.

PAPA ELF: I'll always be here for you.

Now go.

Get.

Bye, guys.

-Bye, Buddy. -Bye, Buddy.

-Take care. -Bye-bye.

Bye-bye.

Bye-bye, Buddy.

[WALRUS SOBBING]

There, there.

[PUFFIN GASPS, SHRIEKS]

Bye, Buddy. Hope you find your dad.

Thanks, Mr. Narwhal.

Bye.


Hey. What's your name?

My name's Buddy.

[GASPS]

Does someone need a hug?

[YELLING]

Nice raccoon! I just wanted a hug.


Hi. Hello.

[LAUGHING]

Thank you. Thank you.

You did it! Congratulations.

World's best cup of coffee.

Great job, everybody.

It's great to meet you.

Hi.

[HORN HONKING]

Santa! Sant...

Nope. Not Santa.

Thank you. Thank you.


[YELLING]


Thank you.

No. No. All right?

Get out of here. Get out of here.


[ELEVATOR DINGS]

[ELEVATOR DINGS]

-Hello. -Hey.

Ooh.

[BUDDY GASPS]

Beautiful.

Looks like a Christmas tree.

A reprint. You know how much that's gonna cost?

Two whole pages are missing. The story doesn't make any sense.

You think some kid's gonna notice two pages? All they do is look at pictures.

[ELEVATOR DINGS, BUDDY GASPS]

Sorry I can't ride the rest of the way, but this is where my dad works.

Have a good day. Oh, I forgot to give you a hug.

I don't know, Connie. I've never declawed kittens before.

How many? Eight?

I don't know if I'm gonna have time.

All right, just bring them by the camper this weekend. I'll see what I can do.

I'm not gonna charge you, bring them by and I'll see what I can do.

Excuse me. I'm here to see a Walter Hobbs.

I'm Buddy the elf.

You look hilarious.

-Who sent you? -Papa Elf.

-Papa Elf? -Mm-hm. From the North Pole.

-From the North Pole? -Yes.

-So you really think we should ship them? -No.

I think we should take a $30,000 bath so some kid can understand...

...what happened to a puppy and a frigging pigeon.

Ship them.

[PHONE RINGS]

-Yeah? SECRETARY: Mr. Hobbs?

-It's me on the intercom. -Go ahead.

Yeah, I think someone sent you a Christmas-gram.

Dad!

All right, let's get it over with.

I walked all day and night to find you.

You look like you came from the North Pole.

That's exactly where I came from.

Santa must have called you.

Oh, yeah, sure, he just got off the cell phone with me.

He did?

-So go on. -Go on with what?

Are you gonna sing a song or something? Or can I just go back to work?

A song?

Uh...

Yeah. Anything for you, Dad.

I'm here with my dad And we never met And he wants me to sing him a song And I was adopted But you didn't know I was born So I'm here now I found you, Daddy And guess what I love you, I love you, I love you Well, that was weird.

Usually you guys just, you know, put my name into "Jingle Bells" or something.

It's me, your son. Susan Welles had me.

And she didn't tell you. And...

But now I'm here. It's me, Buddy.

Susan Welles. You said Susan Welles?

Yes.

Who sent this Christmas-gram?

What's a Christmas-gram? I want one.

-I think we should call Security. -Good idea.

[SOFTLY] I like to whisper too.

It's okay. Walter's my father.

Well, your dad's busy right now.

Okay, I'll come back later.

Yeah, you're not gonna come back for a while, okay?

-You're gonna go back to Santa land. -Okay.

Yeah, why don't you go back to Gimbels?

Sorry. Sorry.

Passion fruit spray?

Fruit spray? Sure.

[BUDDY YELLING]

Sorry.

Sorry.

Do you wanna go?

[TOILET FLUSHES]

Hey, have you seen these toilets?

They're ginormous.

MANAGER: Psst.

Ahem.

Hey, come. Come here!

BUDDY: Me? -Yes.

What are you doing down there?

You're not supposed to be down here.

You shop on your break. You don't come...

-Get upstairs. -Okay, I didn't know.

Well, you should know.

-Are you mad at me? -No.

-You sure? -Yes, I'm sure. Just do your job.

Okay.

Ah. Wow.

What's this?

MANAGER: This is the North Pole.

BUDDY: No, it's not.

-Yes, it is. -No, it's not.

-Yes, it is. -No, it isn't.

-Yes, it is. -No, it's not. Where's the snow?

Why you smiling like that?

I just like to smile. Smiling's my favorite.

Make work your favorite. That's your favorite, okay?

-Work is your new favorite. -Fine.

-It's time for the announcement. -Okay.

Okay, people, tomorrow morning, 10 a.m., Santa's coming to town.

Santa! Oh, my God!

Santa, here? I know him.

I know him.

He'll be here to take pictures with all the children.

Just keep your receipts.

-Ten a.m. tomorrow. -Ten a.m. tomorrow.

-Santa's coming to town. -Yes.

MAN 2: Can you sign this for me?

Oh.

Hi.

Santa's coming.

Are you enjoying the view?

You are very good at decorating that tree.

Why you messing with me? Did Crumpet put you up to this?

I'm not messing with you.

It's just nice to meet another human who shares my affinity for elf culture.

-I'm just trying to get through the holidays. -Get through?

Christmas is the greatest day in the whole wide world.

-Please stop talking to me. -Uh-oh.

Sounds like someone needs to sing a Christmas carol.

Go away.

Best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

Thanks, but I don't sing.

Oh, it's easy. It's like talking.

Except louder and longer and you move your voice up and down.

I can sing, but I just choose not to sing.

Especially in front of other people.

If you sing alone, you can sing in front of others. No difference.

Actually, there's a big difference.

No, there isn't. Wait.

I'm singing I'm in a store, and I'm singing I'm in a store and I'm singing Hey! There's no singing in the North Pole.

-Yes, there is. -No, there's not.

BUDDY: We sing all the time. -No, there's not.

Especially when we make toys.

See?

MAN [ON PA]: Attention all Gimbels shoppers.

Please make your final purchases.

We'll be closing in 10 minutes.

Well, it's time for me to go home.

But Santa's coming. There's so much to do.

Yeah. Uh... Heh-heh.

I'll see you tomorrow.

-Buddy. -Jovie.

-Hi. -Hi.

Jovie.


Hey, I'm gonna eat in the bedroom, okay? I got a bunch of stuff to go over.

-Are you sure? -I'm just way behind on a bunch of stuff.

Can I eat in my room?

-No. -Why not?

Dad's eating in his room.

[IMITATING WALTER] I got a bunch of homework to go over and I'm way behind.

You're eating here.


[JOVIE SINGING "BABY, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE"]


[BUDDY SINGING ALONG]


[WATER STOPS]

Get out! Don't look at me!

Get out!


Dad?

Dad?

Dad, hi! It's me!

Dad! Dad! Dad!

-Hey! -It's okay. I just have a gift for my dad.

-Okay. I'll take this. -Okay.

Well, just make sure he knows it's from me, his son, okay?

I love him so much and I think he's the greatest dad in the world.

You guys are so strong.

[INDISTINCT CHATTER]

KID: This is neat.


-Hey, you. -Me?

Come here. I wanna talk to you.

What about?

How come you were in the women's locker room this morning?

I heard you singing.

You sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I was naked?

I didn't know you were naked.

Why were you here so early?

They shut my water off.

What were you doing here so early?

Building this.

-You built this? -Mm-hm.

They're kind of pissed about this.

Really?

Hey, guys. Have you seen the place?

It's pretty good. It's a little too good.

Corporate must have sent in a professional.

I don't know why somebody's gunning for my job, but look, let's remain a team.

Okay? Because if I go, we all go.

If you get wind of anything, call me on my radio.

Channel three. Code word is "Santa's got a brand-new bag."

Okay?

Six-inch ribbon curls, honey.

-That's impossible. -Six inches.

[SIGHS]

By the way, I think you have the most beautiful singing voice...

...in the whole wide world.

Santa.

[SANTA HOLLERING, KIDS CHEERING]

[BUDDY SCREAMS]

Santa! It's me, Buddy!

-Hey, Buddy, how you doing? -Santa!

It's me!

WOMAN: Are you ready to see Santa? KID: Santa!

-Who the heck are you? -What are you talking about?

-I'm Santa Claus. -No, you're not.

Why, of course I am. Ho-ho-ho.

Well, if you're Santa, what song did I sing for you on your birthday this year?

"Happy Birthday," of course.

Ho-ho-ho.

-So how old are you, son? -Four.

-You're a big boy. What's your name? -Paul.

-What can I get you? -Don't tell him what you want.

He's a liar.

Let the kid talk.

You disgust me. How can you live with yourself?

-Just cool it, Zippy. WOMAN: Smile.

You sit on a throne of lies.

-I'm not kidding. -You're a fake.

-I'm a fake? -Yes.

-How'd you like to be dead? Huh? -Fake?

GIMBELS SANTA: He's kidding.

-You stink. -You're gonna have a good Christmas.

You smell like beef and cheese. You don't smell like Santa.

[BUDDY GASPS, KIDS SCREAMING]

He's an imposter!

He's a fake! He's a fake!

-Come here! -I can't.

He's a fake!

Where you going now? Where you going?

Oh! Ah!

No!

He's not Santa Claus! He's not Santa!

WALTER: "To someone special."


-What's that? -Intercom.

Right.

[PHONE RINGS]

-Yeah? SECRETARY: The police are on line one.

Police. Hello?

Dad!

I knew that you'd come. I love you for coming.

Officer Tom, this is my dad. This is Walter.

He bailed me out. They gave me one phone call.

I said, "I know who I'm gonna call. Walter Hobbs."

Sure enough, you showed up. You did.

They said you weren't gonna show up. They told me so many times.

Just who the heck are you and what is your problem?

I'm Buddy. I'm your son.

Wait. Um...

Tell me, where'd you get this picture?

Papa Elf gave it to me.

What is this, some kind of game? What do you want, some money?

No. I just wanted to meet you and I thought you might wanna meet me.

Who wouldn't wanna meet you?

Thought maybe we could make gingerbread houses and eat cookie dough...

...and go ice-skating and maybe even hold hands.

WALTER: Uh-huh.

-Come with me. -Okay.

Okay. What have we got here?

Buddy, don't eat those.

[BUDDY GASPS]

Oh.

Gotta hurry up, I'm double booked for the rest of the afternoon.

-Am I sick? -Yeah, but we're here to do a test.

-What kind of test? -A test to find out if you're my son.

-Why am I sitting on paper? -It's sanitary for the other patients.

-Sit still so I can do the finger prick. -Finger prick!

[BUDDY GASPS]

-It's cold. -Yeah, just please sit still.

-Can I listen to your necklace? -No, you can't. Sit still...

Why is there a skeleton? If I squint, he looks like a pirate flag.

-Does he have a name? -No. I'm sorry, Ben.

-I have patients waiting. -Please sit still.

-He got mad at me. -Yes, he did. He did.

The sooner you sit still, the sooner we can get this mess over with.

-Then can we eat sugarplums? -You betcha.

We'll eat sugarplums and have gingerbread houses and we'll even paint eggs.

-Oh, paint eggs, that's Easter. -Right.

Ow! Oh.

My finger has a heartbeat.

Won't hurt so much after a little.

What's your name?

Buddy.

-I'm Carolyn. -Hi.

-What do you want for Christmas? -A Suzie Talks A Lot.

I'll put in a good word with the big man.

Thanks. Your costume is pretty.

Oh, it's not a costume. I'm an elf.

Well, technically, I'm a human, but I was raised by elves.

Oh. I'm a human raised by humans.

Cool.

[DOOR OPENS]

So?

It's a boy. Buddy's your son.

That's very impossible.

You saw that guy out there. He's certifiably insane.

He's probably just reverting to a state of childlike dependency.

An elf?

What he needs is to be nurtured.

I see.

So, um, you'd like me to breast-feed him?

Walter, just bring him home. Introduce him to Emily and Michael.

And once he comes to terms with reality...

...he should drop the elf thing and move on with his life.

That's what I would do.

Oh, my God. Walter, this is wonderful.

You... You have another son.

Wonderful. Gosh, I guess I never really thought of it that way.

This is incredible.

It's a little complicated, but it's nothing that we can't handle.

-Honey. -What?

He thinks he's an elf.

I'm sorry, what?

He thinks he's a Christmas elf.

Oh, come on, Walter. I'm sure he doesn't actually think he's an elf.

BUDDY: And then I traveled to the seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest...

...past the Sea of Swirly Twirly Gumdrops.

And then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.

Ah!

So where were you for the last 30 years?

The North Pole.

Can you pass the maple syrup?

I didn't put it... It's spaghetti.

You know what? I think I have some.

Yes.

EMILY: You like sugar, huh?

Is there sugar in syrup?

Yes.

Then yes!

We elves try to stick to the four main food groups:

Candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.

So will you be staying with us, then?

You mean I can stay?

Of course you can.

-Emily. -How long do you think you'll be with us?

I hadn't really planned it out, but I was thinking, like, forever.

Emily. Can I just speak to you for a minute in the kitchen, please?

Are you crazy? He cannot stay here.

Clearly, he has some serious issues.

We can't just throw him out in the snow.

Why not? He loves the snow.

He's told me 15 times.

Walter, he's your son.

[BUDDY BELCHING]

Did you hear that?

You are so weird.

Dad?

Dad?

Dad!

[DOOR OPENS]

-What? -I can't go to sleep unless I get tucked in.

-What? -I can't go to sleep unless I get tucked in.

I am not gonna tuck you in.

I promise I'll go right to sleep.

Fine.

-Tickle fight, tickle fight! -Buddy, stop. Stop.

Sorry.

Sorry.

You, ahem... You just lay there and go to sleep.

-Okay. -Okay.

Dad?

Hm?

I love you.

Okay. Go to sleep now.

Well, this is really something.

I'm usually the one making breakfast.

That's good. That's good.

Okay.

Oh, that's good.

-Good? Good. -Good.

So did you, uh, sleep okay last night?

Great. I got a full 40 minutes.

And I had time to build that rocking horse.

EMILY: Oh, my gosh, you actually made that?

Where did you get all the wood?

-Good morning, honey. -Morning, Dad.

Walter, Buddy has made us breakfast. Isn't that nice?

And lunch.

And lunch. Bye.

-So, Dad, how many scoops? -I'll stick with the coffee now, thanks.

Okay.

So, Dad, I planned out our whole day.

We'll make snow angels and then we'll go ice-skating.

Then eat a roll of Toll House cookie dough as fast as we can.

And then, to finish, we'll snuggle.

I've gotta go to work, Buddy.

Oh, and another thing, if you're gonna be staying here...

...you should think about, you know, getting rid of the costume.

But I've worn this my whole life.

You're not in the North Pole any longer.

-You wanna make me happy, don't you? -More than anything.

Then lose the tights.

I mean, as soon as possible.

As soon as possible?

As soon as possible.

Okay.

EMILY: I almost forgot my...

[BOTH SCREAM]

Morning.

[CELL PHONE RINGING]

Walter here.

It worked. It's you.

-How'd you get this number? -Emily left an emergency list.

I see. And, uh, is this an emergency?

There's a horrible noise coming from the evil box underneath the window.

It sounds like this:

[MAKES SCREECHING NOISE]

It's not evil, Buddy, it's the radiator.

And heat makes noise when it comes on.

No, it doesn't. It's very evil.

It's scary to look at. It's...

Okay, I'm going toward...

Oh, wait. Yes, it is.

Okay, it's okay, it's okay. Everything's fine.

-You were right. -Okay, good, I'm gonna hang up now.

I love you. I'll call you in five minutes.

No, no. Buddy, don't, uh...

You don't have to call me, okay?

Good idea. You call me.

Okay, I'm gonna hang up now.

I painted a picture of a butterfly.

-Good, I'm gonna hang up now. -I tuned the piano.

Okay, I love you. Bye.

Mmm.

Mmm.

-Hobbs. -Hey.

-How you doing? -Please sit down.

I saw you at the retreat. You're looking good.

Thank you very much, you as well. What do I owe the pleasure?

Well, to be honest, I got a call from my niece.

She wants to know how a certain puppy and a certain pigeon...

...escaped the clutches of a certain evil witch.

Believe me, we're already looking for new printers.

This one has obviously gotten sloppy.

Maybe it isn't the printer who's gotten sloppy.

That's your signature, right?

-We could sit here and point fingers all day. -I've got news for you.

Even if those two pages were in there, the book still would've sucked.

Have you seen the numbers for this quarter?

-They'll be here today. -They're in.

That frigging puppy and pigeon are tanking hard, Hobbs.

My people estimate we're gonna post a minus 8 for this quarter.

A minus 8.

That does not happen.

-You know, we'll bounce back. We... -No.

-No? Well... -No, no, no.

We're gonna ship a new book the first quarter.

First quarter?

I'm gonna be back in town on the 24th.

At that time, I would love to hear in exact detail...

...what your plans are for this new book.

Wait a minute. The 24th, that's Christmas Eve.

-And? -And, uh...

No problem. Be great to have you in the loop.

[BELL RINGS]

MICHAEL: All right, I got every weapon in the game.

-I got full health. I got full armor. BUDDY: Michael.

-I got full... -Michael, it's me, Buddy.

-You know that guy? -No, I've never seen him before.

It's me, Buddy. Your brother.

Oh, man.

No, Michael. Wait, it's your brother. Mich...

Sorry, sorry.

Michael, Michael.

Michael.

Michael, wait up.

Michael, Michael.

Wow, you're fast. I'm glad I caught up to you.

I waited five hours for you. Why is your coat so big?

So good news, I saw a dog today. Have you seen a dog?

You probably have.

How was school? Was it fun? Did you get a lot of homework, huh?

Do you have any friends? Do you have a best friend?

-Does he have a big coat too? -Go away.

Ow.

Son of a nutcracker.

Run.

BOY: Get them. Hit the green guy.

Oh, no. These guys are bad news.

We better get out of here.

You know what? We can take them.

Okay, just start making as many snowballs as you can.

[BUDDY PACKING ICE RAPIDLY]

You ready?

Let's go.

Ow.

BOY: Go away.

[CRYING]

MICHAEL: Oh, man. One got away.

Snowball.

[GRUNTS]

Wow.

Where did you say you were from?


-I wish Dad were here. -Why?

Because he's the greatest dad in the whole wide world.

Are you kidding? He's the worst dad in the world.

-What do you mean? -All he does is work.

-Working's fun. -Not the way he does it.

All he cares about is money. Doesn't care about you or me or anybody.

Well, he is on the naughty list.

You like her?

Like who?

MICHAEL: The girl you're staring at.

BUDDY: Oh. Uh...

Yeah.

Why don't you ask her out?

Out?

You know, on a date. To eat food.

-Food? -Yes, real food.

Not candy. And if she says yes, you're in.

It's like a secret code girls have.

Well, look who it is.

-Hi, Jovie. -Hi.

-Oh, uh, this is Michael. -I'm his brother.

JOVIE: Hi.

So, what are you doing here? Did Gimbels give you your job back?

No, but things worked out pretty good. They gave me a restraining order.

Well, um, you should probably get out of here.

Ho-ho-ho.

But I really wanted to see you and I think you're beautiful...

...and I, um... I feel really warm when I am around you...

...and, um, my tongue swells up.

So...

Do you wanna go eat food?

JOVIE: Do I wanna eat food?

Mm-hm.

You know, uh, the code.

Food.

JOVIE: Well, I just had my lunch break.

Okay, I understand.

But I'm free on Thursday.

-Thursday. Thursday. -Come on. That'd be great.

All right.

-Is that okay? MICHAEL: You did great, man.

-What should we put on it first? MICHAEL: Lights.

Oh, good. And then after that?

MICHAEL: Ornaments. -Ornaments. Okay.

-What the hell is that? MICHAEL: A Christmas tree.

-A Christmas tree? -Buddy chopped it down in the park.

Emily?

I don't know what you're making such a big deal about.

-They were just having a little fun. -Oh, fun.

So felonies are fun now? I thought, see, felonies were felonies.

Okay, the tree thing was bad. I'll get him to plant another one.

But at least Michael is happy for once.

What's that supposed to mean?

Well, I don't think it's any secret, Walter, that you haven't exactly been there for him.

Why don't we just pull him out of school and let the deranged elf-man raise him?

Then they can have lots of fun committing felonies.

-How are we gonna get the star on top? -I got it.

I mean, what are we gonna do? We can't leave him alone here.

He's gonna destroy the place.

Why don't you take off tomorrow, you know...

...and you could stay home and watch him?

Oh, no. No, I can't stay home tomorrow. I have a budget meeting tomorrow.

Well, honey, I can't take off. I'm one bad pitch away from getting fired, one.

Well, I tell you what. I have an idea then.

Why don't you take Buddy to work with you?

[ELEVATOR DINGS]

-Hey, Walter. -Morning, Jack.

Morning, Jack.

-Good morning, Mr. Hobbs. -Morning, Sarah.

Good morning, Sarah. That's a nice purple dress. It's very purply.

WALTER: Francisco. -Hello, Mr. Hobbs.

Francisco. That's fun to say. Francisco.

[BUDDY GASPS]

-Hi. -Hi.

-Remember me? -I do. I didn't recognize you.

I know. I'm in work clothes.

-Thank you, Debra. -Thanks, Deb.

BUDDY: You have a pretty face. You should be on a Christmas card.

You just made my day.

Ugh.

-Buddy. -Mm?

-You don't have to drink that. -Thank you.

Francisco.

Francisco.

Francisco.

-Francisco. -Buddy.

-Am I too loud? -Just a little.

Sorry.

Yes, Bud?

Why is your name on the desk?

I bought the desk. My name's there so no one steals it.

That's a joke, isn't it, Dad?

Yeah, Buddy, that's a joke.

So, what are we gonna build?

No, we don't do that kind of work here, pal.

[PHONE RINGS]

-Buddy the elf. -Put that down.

Hello? Hello?

[DIAL TONE HUMMING]

-Please, don't touch anything. -Sorry.

Bud, have you ever seen a mail room?

A mail room? No.

-No? Oh. -No.

I mean, wow. Wow.

Listen, it's a place where mail from all over the world comes.

And they sort it out there, see? And you can touch it all.

-And they put it in these shiny bins. -Shiny bins.

Right. What do you think?

-It sounds great. -Good.

Can we go there?

Well, I got to work here. Maybe you can work there.

Okay, I'll work there.

I don't think this is the place my dad was talking about.

-Is there a different mail room? -No, this is the only one.

It's not very shiny.

Now, over here is the trench.

All the mail comes out that shooter.

Scan and find the floor each piece is moving to.

Put it in a canister and shove it up the tube with the same number.

-You got that? -I think so.

This place reminds me of Santa's workshop.

Except it smells like mushrooms...

...and everyone looks like they wanna hurt me.

Greenway is coming in tomorrow so, what? What do we got?

Well, Morris and I have been brainstorming...

...and we've come up with what I think is a pretty big idea.

-Great. What? -You're gonna love it. It's fantastic.

-What? MORRIS: Okay.

Picture this:

We bring in Miles Finch.

The Miles Finch?

-The golden ghost. -We bring him in.

He's written more classics than Dr. Seuss.

It ain't gonna be easy, but I think it's worth a shot.

My two top writers, my crack team, my fun squad...

...you came in here pitching me the idea of hiring another writer?

-Yeah. -Miles Finch.

I like it.

I like it.

Then I traveled through the seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest...

...and past the Sea of Swirly Twirly Gumdrops.

Oh! Ooh.

Wow.

It's sucky.

Oh, wonderful. Yes.

That is marvelous how that...

[LAUGHS]

Oh, it's very sucky.

It's very sucky.

Whew.

-So how'd you get here? -Work release.

Mm.

Syrup in coffee?

Why didn't I think of that? Can I try some?

Be my guest.

Very generous of you.

Mmm. Oh.

I love syrup.

Oh, I love it.

Mmm.

You know what, I know I sound like a broken record.

But we are buddies.

You're my best friend, that's it. You're my best friend.

You know, Buddy, nobody around here listens to me.

-I got really good ideas. -Yeah, I believe it.

I know, I'm right, I listen to you. You have great ideas.

-I just try to go with the flow. -Go with the flow.

-Yeah. -Go with the flow.

-No, I gotta get out of the flow. -Well, then get out...

I'm in the flow. That's what got me here.

I'm 26 years old, I got nothing to show for it.

You're young. You're so young.

-My papa... -Yeah?

He didn't make master tinker till he was 490.

[BOTH LAUGHING]

Four hundred ninety.

It's a tickle fight, tickle fight.

Tickle fight, tickle fight.

My favorite book of yours has gotta be Gus' Pickles.

It's existential yet it's so accessible.

Mr. Finch, Eugene Dupree here.

It's a thrill just to be talking to you on our speaker phone.

Miles, so, what do you think? Can you fly in tomorrow?

MILES: I'll give you five hours tomorrow, not a minute more.

Well, that's great.

I'd like a black S500 to receive me at the airport.

I need the interior of that car to be 71 degrees exactly.

-We can do that. DEB: Mr. Hobbs?

-There's a situation downstairs. MILES: I'm sorry, what?

No, hold on, Miles. Deb, hang up.

-I do not hold. Do not put me on hold. DEB: We have a problem in the mail room.

-What's going on? -Don't speak.

Debra, hang up.

MILES: That's it, I'm gone. -Miles.

I'll be there tomorrow. Seventy-one degrees.

DEB: Sir, Chuck in the mail room needs to talk to you.

Chuck.

What? What could be going on down there...

...that's so important you had to interrupt me? What?

["WHOOMP! THERE IT IS" PLAYING OVER STEREO]

[ALL WHOOPING, CHEERING]

ALL: Hey! Hey!

Hey!

Yeah!

[MUSIC PLAYING OVER PHONE]

[INTERCOM BUZZES]

Coming.

Hi.

-Wow, you look miraculous. -And so do you.

Thank you.

What would you like to do?

I got some ideas.

Just reach out in front of you and take a sip.

Don't look. There you go.

Well?

It tastes like a crappy cup of coffee.

[BUDDY CHUCKLES]

It is a crappy cup of coffee.

No, it's the world's best cup of coffee.

The trick is to not get your arm caught in the door.

Also, never close your eyes because then you'll get sick.

Okay, when you feel comfortable, you just jump in.

-What are you doing? -I'm skipping.

I'm skipping, I'm skipping.

Wait, wait, wait. Wait a minute, one more, one more.

Now, look at the size of this one.

BUDDY: Hm?

[JOVIE CHUCKLES]

JOVIE: Come with me.

BUDDY: Look out. Yellow ones don't stop.

Yellow ones don't stop.

Wow, that's a big one.


Sorry.

You missed.

-What do you mean, I missed? -You missed.

[ELEVATOR DINGS]

[FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING]

-Miles Finch. -Miles Finch.

Miles Finch.

All right, let's do this.

-Miles, I'm so happy you could come. -Yeah.

-I'm Walter Hobbs. -Yeah, let's get the, uh...

-Taken care of so we can get started. -Right, here you go.

MILES: Great.

All right, ahem, what have you guys got so far?

Go ahead.

MORRIS: Uh...

We were thinking something like this:

We open on a young tomato.

He's had some tough times down at the farm.

-You know, rabbits, and... MILES: No.

No tomatoes. Too vulnerable.

Kids, they're already vulnerable.

I know, you see, I told you guys.

-I told them the very same thing. -And no farms.

Everybody's pushing small-town rural. Farm book would just be white noise.

What about this? A tribe of asparagus children.

But they're self-conscious about the way their pee smells.

Apparently, all we have is vegetables.

I have no time, so, you know...

Yeah. I've got about five or six great starts here.

I got one idea that I'm especially psyched out of my mind about.

You know, it's one of those ideas where you're just like, yes!

-Whoa. MILES: Heh-heh-heh.

Uh, great. Could we hear it?

I'll start with the cover. Picture this.

[DOOR OPENS]

BUDDY: Dad, I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it.

Buddy, not now. Can you please go back to the pit?

I'll come and visit you in a little while, okay?

I didn't know you had elves working here.

Boy, you're hilarious, my friend.

He doesn't, uh...

Get back to the story, please.

[MILES CLEARS THROAT]

So on the cover above the title...

Does Santa know that you left the workshop?

You know, we're all laughing our heads off.

Did you have to borrow a reindeer to get down here?

-Buddy, go back to the basement. MILES: Hey, jackweed.

I get more action in a week than you've had your entire life.

-I've got houses in L.A., Paris and Vale. -Oh.

Each one of them with 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.

He's an angry elf.

[GROWLING]

Look at you.

Ow. Hey, what...?

I wasn't ready for that. Hey, hey, hey.

DEB: Ah! -Whoa!

-Ooh. -Call me elf one more time. Call me elf.

You're an elf.

Miles, I'm sorry. He thinks he's an elf.

Listen, Miles. Listen, Miles.

[DOOR SLAMS]

He must be a South Pole elf.

You get the hell out of here.

-Where do you want me to go? -I don't care where you go.

I don't care that you're an elf, that you're nuts.

I don't care that you're my son!

Get out of my life, now!

EMILY: Hi, it's me.

WALTER: I really can't talk right now. -Just tell me how the pitch went.

I'm gonna be later than I thought, okay?

Well, don't be too late, Walter, it's Christmas Eve.

-Walter. -Wait.

-Honey, I gotta go, okay? Love you. -Say hi to Buddy.

-What? -Walter, breakthrough.

-We found this in the conference room. -What is it?

It's Miles Finch's notebook. This thing is chock-full of genius ideas.

I mean, look at that.

MORRIS: And his best idea is about a peach that lives on a farm.

-What's more vulnerable than a peach? -What? What do we do?

EUGENE: We should go with the first pitch. It's genius.

-How much time we got? -We got, like, 45 minutes.

Come on, let's try to get a storyboard ready.

-Come on, let's do it. -Just try.

You can't sit down and get a storyboard ready.

-Go and get a storyboard ready. EUGENE: Okay. Go.

BUDDY: I'm sorry I ruined your lives...

...and crammed 11 cookies into the VCR.

I don't belong here. I don't belong anywhere.

I’ll never forget you. Love, Buddy.

I'll never forget you. Love, Buddy.

God.

Hey, Buddy.

Buddy?

GREENWAY: We need a big launch, fast, to get the company back on track.

So I think I speak for my fellow board members when I say:

This better be good.

Before I get into the story, uh, let me start with the cover, okay?

Now, just picture this:

Dad, I gotta talk to you.

-Michael, what is it? -Buddy ran away.

-What? -He left a note.

I'm scared, Dad. He's gone.

Let me just finish this meeting and then we'll figure it out, okay?

Figure out what? Buddy cares about everybody.

All you care about is yourself.

Hey, Michael.

Wait.

We're gonna have to reschedule this, Mr. Greenway.

We don't have time to reschedule.

I wanna hear the damn thing now. Son, you'll have to wait.

No, don't tell my kid what to do.

Can't we do this another time, Mr. Greenway?

I flew in just to hear this pitch and I intend to.

It's gonna have to wait.

If you wanna keep your job, Hobbs, you will pitch me this book right now.

Well, up yours.

-Yeah, up yours. -Hey.

GREENWAY: Hobbs, Hobbs, Hobbs!

You walk out of here and you're finished at Greenway!

You're finished!

I don't belong anywhere.

Buddy.

Buddy, where are you?

[SANTA SHOUTING INDISTINCTLY]

SANTA: Prancer, whoa, come on, come on.

Vixen, up, up.

Santa?

SANTA: Come on, you can do it.

-Dad. -What?

Michael, where you going? Michael.

Santa.

Back off, slick. You'll scare the deer.

Buddy, is that you?

Are you okay?

Boy, am I glad to see you.

The Clausometer suddenly just dropped down to zero.

There's just no Christmas spirit anymore.

And the strain was too much.

The engine broke free of her mounts.

I need an elf's help.

I...

I'm not an elf, Santa. I can't do anything right.

Buddy, you're more of an elf than anyone I ever met.

And the only one who I would want working on my sleigh tonight.

-Really? -Really.

Will you fix it for me, Buddy?

I'll try. Papa taught me how.

You gotta find it first.

It dropped off the sleigh back over there a ways.

-The engine? -The engine, yeah.

Go, Buddy. Go, Mr. Elf.

I'm standing here outside Central Park...

...where it is unclear exactly what has happened.

What we know is, authorities have closed the park...

...and are in the process of clearing it.

The only thing that people can agree on...

...is that they saw something fall from the sky.

I've got an eyewitness with me who claims to have seen the thing firsthand.

What did you actually see?

I was walking around, I saw this thing and my daughter pointed it out to me.

WOMAN: Oh, your daughter saw it?

Sweetheart, can you tell me what you saw falling out of the sky?

It was Santa's sleigh.

[WOMAN LAUGHS ON TV]

Santa's sleigh. Well, there you have it. Santa's in Manhattan.

Sorry to interrupt your first big news story, Charlotte...

...but New York One has just received...

...some exclusive amateur news footage that you just might wanna follow up on.

There seems to be a strange man dressed as an elf...

...wandering through Central Park.

I don't know if this is the hard-hitting news you're used to covering in Buffalo.

-Oh, my God. -Here at New York One, news is top priority.

What the hell...?

BUDDY: Hey.

-You found it. -Buddy.

I need to tell you something.

No, Buddy, there's something I have to tell you right now. Um...

I didn't mean anything I said back there. Not a word.

I know you may be a little, um...

Well, chemically imbalanced, but you've been right about a lot of things.

I don't want you to leave.

You're my son and I love you.

Buddy...

-What was it you wanted to tell me? -Oh, right.

-Come with me. Come on. -Right.

I'm here with another eyewitness who has his own version.

-Sir, what did you see? -I think you're great, Charlotte.

I saw something fall from the sky into the middle of Central Park.

-You're a great news lady. -Thank you.

Could you tell me more about what you saw fall from the sky?

Your eyes tell the story. That's what I love about you.

And you got a great mouth. The thing just dropped in Central Park.

It was amazing. And everybody's going crazy.

CHARLOTTE: Dick, according to authorities, the area has been cleared.

Only the Central Park Rangers now remain in the Park.

These forces are highly-trained but rarely see action.

Some have accused them of being too gung ho when called into duty...

...and their controversial crowd control tactics...

...at the Simon and Garfunkel concert in '85 are still under investigation.

I knew you'd find it, Mr. Elf.

Slap it on real quick. We've got to get going.

Attaboy.

So, uh, you're...?

-Santa Claus. -Right.

Would you mind taking this to your first-born?

Sure.

-Um, and my first-born, he's an elf? -Yeah.

Actually, I'm adopted.

Michael, would you open this hatch for me, please?

Attaboy. Thank you.

So you're really Santa Claus?

You never can tell, kid.

Tell me, Michael, what do you want for Christmas?

-I wanted a skateboard. SANTA: Oh.

Not just a skateboard.

A Real HUF board. Lookie here.

Lookie here.

How do you like them apples?

Go look and see.

Whoa.

What happened?

-You made my sleigh fly. -What do you mean?

Well, before the turbine days...

...this baby used to run solely on Christmas spirit.

You believed in me. You made my sleigh fly.

Hold it, if you're really Santa Claus, then we can get some news cameras in here...

...everyone will believe in you, then your sleigh will fly.

Christmas spirit is about believing, not seeing.

The whole world saw me, all would be lost.

The paparazzi have been trying to nail me for years.

Hey, look.

[HORSE NEIGHS]

Oh, no.

It's the Central Park Rangers.

Dad, Michael.

I got a plan.

SANTA: Wait. Wait, Michael, my list.

You bring that list back right now, you hear me?

Come on, give me your hat and coat.

Mrs. Claus made them for me.

Hey, hey, here I am.

Ho-ho-ho!

Hey. Ho-ho-ho!

Hey, hey.

Excuse me. Thank you, excuse me.

CHARLOTTE: So the authorities have not discovered any reindeer in the park?

-No, no reindeer. -Sleigh bells?

-No sleigh bells either. -Elves?

-No, none of that. -It's him, it's the real Santa.

His sleigh won't fly. Nobody believes in him.

CHARLOTTE: Did you see something? MICHAEL: Santa needs us to believe.

I can prove he's real. Look, this is his list.

CHARLOTTE: Okay, well, further confirmation...

...that there has been a Santa sighting tonight.

We have the naughty and nice list.

"Lynn Kessler wants a Powerpuff Girls play set.

-Mark Webber wants an electric guitar." -Yes.

"Carolyn Reynolds wants a Suzie Talks A Lot."

Thanks, Buddy.

"Dirk Lawson wants pampering at Burke Williams Spa.

Stan Tobias wants a power-pumper water rifle."

-Must be another Dirk Lawson. -"Dave Keckler wants some Nike Shox."

Okay. Well, obviously, we have a new development in the story.

A confirmation that Santa must've been sighted...

...because we have his book right here.

-Heh-heh-heh. -What's your name?

I'm Charlotte Dennon, New York One.

D. D.

"Charlotte Dennon wants a Tiffany engagement ring...

...and for her boyfriend to stop dragging his feet and commit already."

CROWD: Oh!

We've got power.

DICK: Charlotte? Charlotte?

-Hey, turn the cameras back on. -Who told you to say that?

It's the real Santa. We need to get these cameras back on.

-He needs our help. -Hey, Michael.

-Are you okay? -Yeah, I'm fine.

But Buddy, he's in the park with Santa.

The sleigh won't fly because there's no Christmas spirit.

-Michael. -Mom.

Michael.

-Are you okay? -I'm fine.

The best way to spread Christmas cheer Is singing loud for all to hear

[SIGHS]

Buddy, we better get going. Get in now.

Santa, I'm not done with the engine yet.

Can't wait.

On Dasher. On Dancer.

I'm not done with the engine.

That's okay. You get started, I'll catch up.

You know, he wasn't lying.

Merry Christmas.

Santa, I caught up.

Stop messing around and get in.

[BUDDY YELLS, TOY SQUEAKS]

Santa, why are they chasing us?

I put them on the naughty list and they never forgave me.

[SINGING "SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN"]

SANTA: Yah! Yah! Yah!

Up, up, go up.

Buddy, we need power. We're gonna crash.

[SINGING ALONG]


[ALL SINGING]

[SANTA SHOUTING]

[JACK-IN-THE-BOX LAUGHS, BUDDY YELLS]

SANTA: You can do it. Come on, Prancer. That's my boy.

Pull, Dancer. Pull, Dasher.

I'm getting too old for this job.

Now.

[BOTH YELLING]

[BUDDY LAUGHS]

-The engine's gone. -We're toast.

[BOTH YELL]

Well, still no sign of Santa.

But some spontaneous Christmas caroling has broken out...

...right here in front of Central Park. Let's have a listen in.

[CROWD SINGING ON TV]

[SINGING ALONG]

[ALL SINGING ALONG]

MANAGER: Come on.

SANTA: Just a little more.

SANTA: Hyah! Hyah!

[MOUTHING WORDS]

-Wait, you're not singing. -Yes, I am.

No, you're not. You're just moving your lips.

Santa.

-Michael, please, what's the big deal? -Dad.

[WALTER SINGING ALONG]

[BUDDY AND SANTA LAUGHING]

SANTA: Go!

-Bye-bye. SANTA: Just like the old days.

DICK: Charlotte? Charlotte?

Well, I guess we'll never know for sure...

...what happened this Christmas Eve in Central Park.

SANTA: Ho-ho-ho!

Merry Christmas.

Ho-ho-ho!

PAPA ELF: And so, with a little help, Buddy managed to save Christmas.

And his spirit saved a lot of other people too.

[JOVIE SINGING "AULD LANG SYNE"]

Walter started his own independent publishing company.

His first book was written by a brand-new, critically acclaimed children's author.

The book was Elf, a fictional story about an adopted elf named Buddy...

...who was raised in the North Pole, went to New York...

...ate spaghetti, worked in a shiny mail room...

...and eventually saved Christmas.

"First, I traveled through the seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest...

...past the Sea of Twirly Swirly Gumdrops...

...and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel."

And as for me, I can't complain.

Buddy comes up to visit from time to time.

Oh, thank you, Jovie. That's very sweet.

You're welcome, Papa.

[COOING]

Come here, little one.

Poppy wants to see you.

Buddy.

Buddy, Buddy.