Buddy travels to New York where he has trouble adjusting to the customs of the cynical human world.Buddy finds his father at work, but Walter is incredulous and has security remove him.On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 84% based on 189 reviews, and an average rating of 7/10.The site's critical consensus reads, "A movie full of Yuletide cheer, Elf is a spirited, good natured family comedy, and it benefits greatly from Will Ferrell's funny and charming performance as one of Santa's biggest helpers." Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, saying: "Ferrell makes the damn thing work.On Christmas Eve, a baby boy crawls into Santa Claus's sack at an orphanage and is unwittingly transported back to the North Pole.When discovered at the workshop, the elves name him "Buddy" because he is wearing "Little Buddy Diapers", and he is adopted by Papa Elf.It received positive reviews from critics and grossed 0 million worldwide on a 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.
Santa reveals, to Buddy's horror, that Walter is on the naughty list due to his selfishness, but suggests Buddy could help redeem him.
Taking a security guard's sarcastic suggestion literally, Buddy visits the Gimbels department store where the manager mistakes him for an employee.
At the store's Santa Land, he meets Jovie, an unenthusiastic employee to whom he is instantly attracted.
After hearing that Santa will be at the store the following day, Buddy spends the night decorating Santa Land.
When Buddy realizes that the Gimbels Santa is not the real Santa, he confronts him and yanks the beard off his costume, resulting in a fight that lands Buddy in jail.