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It’s been 20 years since Elf premiered and became one of the best Christmas movies of all time

It’s been 20 years since Elf premiered and became one of the best Christmas movies of all time

The incredible movie debuted on November 7 two decades ago.

It has officially been two decades since the world was given one of the best Christmas movies of all time.

It's hard to imagine life before Elf as the heavily-quotable movie has become a staple of the festive season.

The Will Ferrell-led film premiered on 7 November 2003 and was a worldwide smash.

On a budget of just $33 million, it managed to rake in $225 million at the box office.

It sees Buddy the Elf (Ferrell) travel to New York City to find his real father.

But because he has grown up in the North Pole with Santa and the rest of the Christmas elves, the real world is very different to everything he's ever known.

What ensues is a heartwarming, funny adventure in the Big Apple that certainly sets the mood for a family-friendly Christmas.

It holds an 85 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes after more than 200 reviews from critics.

"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," reads the critical consensus.

The movie had been in the works since the early '90s and Chris Farley and Jim Carrey were first suggested to play the role of Buddy.

Funnily enough, Will Ferrell was on the writing team that helped develop David Berenbaum's original script.

However, the script was fairly 'dark' and was very different to what we saw on the big screen 20 years ago.

Director Jon Favreau admitted he was initially hesitant to sign onto the project.

Warner Bros.

"I took a look at the script, and I wasn’t particularly interested," he explained to Rolling Stone.

"It was a much darker version of the film.

"I liked the notion of being involved with Will in his first solo movie after Saturday Night Live, but it wasn’t quite there."

He said everything fell into place when he came at the script from the point of view of a man growing up 'as an elf in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, one of those Rankin/Bass Christmas specials I grew up with'.

He spent a year rewriting the script and eventually managed to get into the PG territory.

Favreau delivered the script to the movie studio and they loved it.

Elf is regarded as one of the best Christmas films of all time, something that Favreau thinks is one of the best accolades in the entertainment industry.

“Our goal, even then, was to make a movie that could be part of that pantheon,” he said

“The fact that it’s in rotation is the highest honor that movie can have.”

Elf is available to stream on NOW.

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Topics: Christmas, TV and Film, Elf