TV Review: Elf Buddy’s Musical Christmas (2014)

Posted: December 24, 2014 in Animation, TV

Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas - Season 2014

A human named Buddy (Jim Parsons) mistakenly crawls into Santa’s (Edward Asner) bag of presents and is mistakenly taken to the North Pole, and raised by elves.  But Buddy starts to grow and knows he is different than the other elves.  Finally, Santa tells Buddy that he is human, the son of Walter Hobbs (Mark Hammill) children’s book writer who lives in New York.

Buddy rushes to New York to meet Walter, only to find out that he’s got a wife and another son and has no time for Buddy.  He’s got a Christmas book to write, and present to his boss Mr.Greenway.  (Gilbert Gottfried) On the bright side Buddy meets Jovie,  (Kate Micucci) and falls in love with her immediately, but Walter’s Christmas spirit is still flagging.  Dejected and roaming the streets of New York, Buddy spots Santa, and his sleigh is about to crash because of the lack of Christmas spirit in the world.  Can Buddy repair Santa’s sleigh and bring Christmas spirit back to New York City?

This is an adaptation of the movie and Broadway play Elf, but this one hour animated version takes a lot of shortcuts to fit into an hour playing time.  It cuts out Bob Newhat’s kindly Poppa Elf character, and Miles Finch, the little person played by Peter Dinklage completely, and totally shortchanges the Jovie character, so that the romance between Jovie and Buddy makes no sense.  The whole story seems rushed and badly told, which is a shame because Elf is one of my favorite films, and it’s got a sweet, simple, heartwarming message when told in the original format.  The music is taken from the Broadway show, I imagine, but this whole production seems haphazardly thrown together.

I like Jim Parsons he’s very funny on Big Bang Theory, and has a great singing voice, but he plays Buddy more like an elf, whereas Will Farrell played Buddy as a human with childlike innocence, that is a huge difference.  Mark Hammil plays Buddy’s dad, but doesn’t have the gruffly loveable nature of James Caan.  It’s ironic to see Hammill playing someone’s father. I wished he could have broken character and said “Buddy I am your father.” Kate Miccuci is no Zooey Deschanel, Deschanel’s voice and quirky persona made Jovie a girl anyone could fall in love with.  There are lots of cameos from the likes of Jay Leno and Today host Matt Lauer, but these are wasted. Edward Asner tries to bring back a little magic from the original, but it does not work.

The animation is poor, Emily Hobbs look like she has Brillo for hair, Michael Hobbs looks like a character out of the Addams Family.  The animation looks cheap, that’s about the worst thing I can say about any animation.  A modern classic like Elf deserves better.  Do yourself a favor and watch the original.

Elf:  A little short on everything.

Here’s my review of the Elf movie.  I try to watch it once a year.




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