Elf is a 2003 American Christmas comedy film directed by Jon Favreau and written by David Berenbaum. It stars Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Tay, Edward Asner, and Bob Newhart. It was released in the United States on November 7, 2003 by New Line Cinema. The story is about one of Santa's elves (Ferrell) who learns of his true identity as a human and goes to New York City to meet his biological father (Caan), spreading Christmas cheer in a world of cynics as he goes.
The film received positive reviews from critics and earned $220.4 million worldwide on a $33 million budget. It inspired the 2010 Broadway musical Elf: The Musical and NBC's 2014 stop-motion animated television special Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas.