Parents say

(out of 47 reviews)
age 8+
Review this title!
Adult Written bybarbkeith April 9, 2008

"Some people think the parents do it ..." (!!)

Liked this movie, overall. But as a parent of children who still have a strong belief in S.C., I was disappointed with the discussion of there not being a Santa Claus and the subsequent line "some people say that the parents do it..." (!) This was not something I wanted my young children to hear, as I'm sure the thought had not yet occurred to them! Was disappointed that the movie might plant my child's first seed of doubt about the existence of the "big red guy"!
Educator and Parent Written byMomTeacher61 June 2, 2011

Something to consider...

I think that this movie is spectacular family fun. However, in the beginning of the film Papa Elf tells Buddy that people "down south" don't believe in Santa anymore and that they think that moms and dads put out the presents and eat the cookies. It could potentially spoil the secret of Santa for a lot of kids...
What other families should know
Educational value
Adult Written byHFx7 November 20, 2014

Language issues...

It's really no wonder that kids today use such bad language. I am shocked that other parents think that this movie is appropriate for kids as young as 4! My oldest is 12 and my youngest is 3 and they won't be watching this movie. Is it a funny movie? Yes. Is it cute? Yes. However, I do not allow my children to watch movies where the words "crap", "damn", "hell" or "pissed" are used. That is language that is inappropriate for children to use and it's low class and vulgar for people of any age to speak that way. It's too bad that so many movies are inappropriate for children when they could be so much better if the language was cleaned up.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent of a 1 and 4 year old Written byagency14 April 9, 2008

Not good for adoptive families

Very funny movie in many ways, and very enjoyable BUT a big warning to adoptive families: Buddy the elf goes off to NY to find his "real" dad, that being his biological father rather than the father who adopted him and raised him and is indeed his REAL father. Very problematic message for adoptive families or families with less traditional structures, who raise their children to understand that family is about love and who takes care of you, not biology. As much as I love this movie, it will be off limits to my son until he's much much older and more confident and comfortable with our adoptive family status.
Parent Written byngeorgianow November 18, 2015

Makes me question Common Sense Media

If your reviewers think movie is for 7+ it makes me wonder about your other ratings. There is language, drinking, innuendos galore, not to mention the discussion over SC being the parents. Let me see, do I want to discuss with my child how someone gets a child they never knew they even had......ummmmm NO! Cute movie, for older ones.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 8 and 9 year old Written byPaulaBradley November 28, 2014

Would NOT recommend for children

Typically I agree with CSM but after watching Elf with my two boys (8 and 9) I was surprised that CSM rated it for age 7. The movie definitely puts thoughts into kids heads about Santa not being real- thoughts that were probably not in my kids minds until they watched it. However I was more disturbed by the language and adult themes throughout the movie.
Parent of a 8 year old Written byajn January 18, 2011
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written byJimmyH December 16, 2009
Parent of a 7 and 7 year old Written byTwinMyself December 27, 2010


Light hearted, easy family movie. Nothing inappropriate or uncomfortable for anyone. Just sit back and enjoy. You are guaranteed a laugh!!!!!
Parent of a 5, 6, 7, 10, 10, and 17 year old Written byCharlie The Cat December 17, 2011

My Youngest Kid NO!!!

Perfect For My Other Kids it Made my 6, 7, 10, 10, and my 17 year old laugh.
Adult Written byjkw April 9, 2008

I second the "not for toddlers"

I'd also heard this was suitable for toddlers, so my husband and I screened it. We're glad we checked first! It is a cute movie, but there is a lot there that our 3-year-old daughter could find disturbing, including trees catching on fire, multiple physical fights, and a lot of yelling/anger for confusing reasons. I'd say it is best for the 6-12 year old range with some parental explanations.
Educator Written bytennisguy1847 August 30, 2009

best christmas movie ever made!!!!!!

this is my family's favorite christmas movie. we bought it and watch it at least twice each christmas. it never gets old and its such an enjoyable movie!
What other families should know
Great role models
Adult Written bycrystal April 9, 2008
Will Ferrelll is adorable and funny as Buddy, a human raised as an elf, who one day finds out he's adopted and decides to go to New York City to find his biological father. This movie is extremely appealing for young children (Buddy exhibits constant joy, which should also serve as an example of good behavior), and is also entertaining for adults (so unrealistic that it's amusing); there are also some moments that are delightful for both generations (such as when Buddy finally experiences the invention of an escalator). Although there are some scary moments (Buddy's father throws a fit at him), and children might be worried about Buddy's mother's lack of appearance, this film is an ideal movie for parents to see with their children. P.S. the movie also enforces the belief in Santa Clause (is a character)
Adult Written bywiscwil April 9, 2008

Elf not for toddlers

We mistakenly took our 4 year old to Elf. She wanted to leave after 30 minutes. While Will Ferrell's character is sincere, it was hard to explain to her why "Santa" was trying to beat up "Elf", as in the department store scene. Elf pulls Santa's beard off, and then Santa picks up a bat and tries to take Elf's head off with it. We feel mostly responsible, as it does have a PG rating, and mistakenly took the advice of a relative who felt it was fine for toddlers. Side marketing note: I noticed Cadillac's brochure on James Caan's desk.My "adult" review of the film for adults is that the North Pole scenes are great, the movie lacks a real compelling plot, and Mr. Ferrell is so good, the screenwriters get lazy, as opposed to Pixar - who labor over the story.
Adult Written bysculpturewoman April 9, 2008

Not for adopted children

There are so many good movies out there, why watch this one? Not only is it dumb and mind-numbing, but as an adoptive parent, it made me cringe. Elf, the main character, crawls into Santa's bag one Christmas night and ends up being 'adopted' by Santa. References to 'real' parents and other language that portrays a negative -- and silly -- view of adoption.
Parent of a 4 and 7 year old Written byM382 November 26, 2010

4+ okay for family holiday movie

There's nothing to be alarmed about in this movie for kids ages 4 and up. Our boys really enjoyed it.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great role models
Parent Written byFamilymovies1060 November 27, 2015

not family friendly

Characters say things such as "I get more action (in bed) than you" and "up yours." Man makes repeated, inappropriate comments to female reporter. Snuggling, handholding, tickle parties are mocked and may make young children self-conscious about enjoying those things with parents.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written bymartalowe February 25, 2011

ELF ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best movie I've ever seen made my family laugh out loud every sentence or so.And we've like seen it like 3 or 4 times so my rating OUTSTANDINGLY AWESOMELY FUNNY!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byhellomynameisgeorge November 27, 2010
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 10 and 16 year old Written byWife-mother-law... July 16, 2016

This one is tricky to rate

I tend to be on the more protective end of the spectrum though we first started watching this when our youngest was 7. It is edgy for 7 -10 year olds, but sweet to its core. Proceed with caution if you really do believe that this will be your child's first introduction to the idea that some people don't believe in Santa. (But I am pretty sure most 7 year olds have heard that crazy notion and pleased to say this movie confirms that Santa is real.)