‘Tis the season! There are hundreds (if not thousands) of hours worth of Christmas specials to watch. The best of which become beloved and watched multiple times over, so many times that new things are often noticed and new thoughts emerge. Which leads us to my latest viewing of Elf and the discussions that took place within Casa Hellions. Here are the four things that bother me most about Elf:
The evil, neglectful nuns who run the orphanage
I have a baby. Many of the contributors and readers of this site are raising the “children of the children of the 80s”. There are certain things that you just don’t do if you want your baby to live. Damn near every one of them is ignored by the House of Saint Crib Death.
Little Buddy is laid down in his manger on Christmas Eve, just before Santa’s visit. Santa doesn’t come to New York in July, which means it’s colder than a Foreigner song outside. The large rooms of looming institutions lacking any carpeting aren’t known for their warmth either. Yet here is an infant clad only in a diaper.
Oh but don’t worry, he has a blanket for warmth. And a bottle. Then is left unattended. Maybe there isn’t a Vatican-approved version of What to Expect When You’re Expecting but common sense should dictate one doesn’t leave a baby alone with enough liquid to drown him and a large piece of fabric guaranteed to finish the job via suffocation. Crawling into Santa’s sack may have saved Buddy’s young life.
The North Pole, which should be the most festive place on Earth, is drab
At least people having sex (and we’ll get to lust in a minute) get to enjoy 50 Shades of Gray. Santa and his elves have only one. Every single thing on the interior of the elves’ homes and workplace is the same shade of gray. Desks, beds, tools – all of it is the same shade of gray as the walls, floors and ceilings.
At first I thought this might be intended to show the difference in the two worlds, a la The Wizard of Oz. But when Buddy steps out of any of the buildings, he’s in a beautiful version of the North Pole with blue skies and green trees and white snow. These poor elves have no color in their homes or work. Without color there can be no art, no joy, but what does one expect of a society forced to make toys for hundreds of years?
Adorable animated characters exist for one reason, and one reason only
To be exploited! Toys and clothing and sleeping bags and lunch sacks and anything else that can possibly be embossed with the image of a cute little anthropomorphic animal. Elf features four of them and they are all cute as shit! Even though they wouldn’t exist at the same poles, who cares!
Polar bear, penguin, walrus and of course the legendary narwhal- these characters should have their own spin off movies or at least a yearly Christmas special. If CVS can suddenly produce every knick knack on Earth featuring the entire Island of Misfit Toys then someone needs to pick up the merchandising punk card that has been thrown down. Lets get Funko Pop on the phone!
Who’s that girl….. (Who’s that girl?) It’s Zooey in the shower
This scene is just full of issues. On the surface it does appear to be a sweet duet between two star-crossed lovers. Have a watch to ignite your memory:
First of all, that is a very cute young woman naked and alone in a major department store in the middle of one of the biggest cities on Earth. Unless she just moved to Gotham she should know better than to do any of that. Buddy walks right in and hangs out for the duet. Obviously there are no other employees, no security, no anything to protect young ladies from lecherous elf peepers. She should be a bit more proactive- a lock on the door, the buddy (no pun intended) system, or even shutting her mouth so that the sound of her singing does not drown out the sounds of a 6’3″ goof walking in on her.
Lastly, how do elves reproduce? They must hook up somehow, as Buddy’s father told us that he never took the time to have a family. Yet Buddy must have missed this day in Elf health class because he doesn’t even try to sneak a peek inside the shower. If they believe in the four major food groups, a little bit of sugar in the shower should be its own kind of desirable candy. Pour some of your syrup on that, Buddy.