Twenty years ago, who would have guessed that Elf would become one of the all-time great Christmas movies? It was only the second feature film helmed by Jon Favreau, and it was one of Will Ferrell’s first leading roles following his long stint on Saturday Night Live. That combination proved to be too irresistible for audiences to pass up, which is why Elf is now celebrating two decades as a perennial holiday hit.
Ferrell stars as Buddy the elf, who just happens to be biologically human. Buddy grew up in the North Pole surrounded by elves who work for Santa Claus. He just doesn’t fit in very well among the elves. One holiday season, Santa gives Buddy the inspiration to travel from the North Pole to New York City so he can meet the father he never knew. That’s the basic setup for Elf, and now we’re going to tell you where you can stream it this holiday season.
Where is Elf streaming?
If you want to see Buddy venture from the North Pole to New York to find his long-lost father, head to Max to begin streaming. Launched as HBO Max in 2020, the recently renamed Max offers programs from its signature brands, such as HBO, Cartoon Network, and Warner Bros. Legacy shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Succession, and Game of Thrones can all be watched on the service, as well as current movies like The Batman. And original programming, like Hacks and The Flight Attendant, exists under “Max Originals.”
Because it streams under WarnerMedia, Elf is also available to watch on TNT and TBS this holiday season. If you do not have cable TV, the Will Ferrell comedy can be accessed through live TV streaming services like Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV. Hulu + Live TV features a fixed lineup of cable channels, while Sling TV is an à la carte model that lets users pick and choose the channel lineup.
Check out other holiday movies on Max.
When does it stream for subscribers?
Elf is currently streaming on Max.
Stream Elf on Max
Elf is also streaming on Hulu this year, but only through the end of December.
Stream Elf on Hulu
How much does it cost?
To access Max, subscribers can choose between a plan with ads and a plan without ads. With ads, Max costs $10 a month or $100 a year. Without ads, Max costs $16 a month or $150 a year.
Cable TV subscribers can watch Elf for free on TNT and TBS. Without cable, the film is available through live TV platforms like Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV. Hulu + Live TV costs $75. Sling TV offers two basic packages: Orange and Blue. Separately, those packages cost $40 per month and they cost $55 if purchased together. Extra Sling channels will cost anywhere from $3 to $11.
Is it worth watching Elf?
Certainly! Even though it’s 20 years old, Elf has a modern yet timeless quality to it that makes it hold up to this day. Ferrell is at his peak comic form here, imbuing Buddy with a child-like wonder that clashes hilariously with his rough NYC surroundings.
In addition to Ferrell, Elf stars James Caan as Buddy’s biological father, Zooey Deschanel as Jovie, Mary Steenburgen, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, Peter Dinklage, Amy Sedaris, and Andy Richter. The movie was directed by Jon Favreau and is 97 minutes long.
On Rotten Tomatoes, Elf registers 85% on the Tomatometer and a 79% audience score. On Metacritic, the film holds a Metascore of 64 and a user score of 8.5.