Yet another re-release that may find you in nostalgic mood is Elf celebrating its 20th anniversary.

First released in 2003, it was the first leading role for Will Ferrell, who played the titular character in a film that has since gone on to be widely considered a Christmas classic.

boom reviews Elf
i don't know who this guy is, but he's grinding my gears already.

One year, after his annual night of working, Santa (Ed Asner) discovers a human baby has sneaked into his sack and is now in the North Pole with him and his elf helpers. It transpires that the baby is an orphan, so Santa allows Papa Elf (Bob Newhart) to adopt him and raise him as an elf and calls him Buddy (Ferrell).

Over the years it becomes apparent to the other elves that Buddy isn’t like other elves, but Buddy is blissfully unaware, despite his human-like stature.

He reaches an age however when Papa Elf decides to tell Buddy how he ended up at the North Pole, explaining that he was put up for adoption by his mother, who is no longer alive. He does have a father, Walter (James Caan), but he’s unaware of his existence.

Buddy decides that now is the time to rectify that fact, and make his way to NYC for an overdue family reunion. So off Buddy goes, into the world of humans for the very first time, for a Christmas adventure.

boom reviews Elf
It's a great idea for a show, where you live with guys and stuff. You'll love it!

This was only the second feature to be directed by Jon Favreau, after his 2001 directorial debut Made, and there’s a genuine concerted effort to create a family Christmas film experience. Although it has an undeniable charm, it owes a lot to 1988’s Big, as it uses Tom Hanks’ performance as a template for Buddy, echoing his child-like wonder throughout.

Twenty years on and it’s still as sweet and as endearing, with that doe-eyed innocence still intact, with Ferrell delivering a touching and engaging performance, that glues the whole silly plot together.

It does become unstuck in places however, with an unnecessary scene featuring Peter Dinklage a little clunky now, as well the introduction of the Central Park Rangers which doesn’t add anything.

Although it sets the scene, it could be debated if it is indeed a true Christmas classic, satisfying a strong sense of nostalgia over any form of classic narrative.

And yet it’s playfulness and festive spirit, that youngsters seeing it for the first time are likely to appreciate, is a gift that keeps on giving.

we give this three out of five