How to watch Elf online

Will Ferrell as Buffy the elf in Elf
(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to watch Elf online. The heartwarming and hilarious comedy has become one of the best Christmas movies and a beloved holiday classic since its release in 2003. Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, a grown man who grew up in the North Pole believing he was one of Santa's elves.

Elf details

Year: 2003
Cast: Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Peter Dinklage, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner
Director: Jon Favreau
Run time: 97 min
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 84%

As a toddler, Buddy was accidentally taken to the North Pole, and then raised by the elves. Possibly due to his size, he never truly fit in (oh, and he's terribly at making toys), so he goes to New York City to find his real father. Unfortunately, his father is Walter Hobbs (James Caan), a mean, cynical businessman who spurns Buddy at first.

In the big city, Buddy also doesn't quite fit in. He ends up getting a job at a local department store, where he falls for his indifferent co-worker Jovie (Zooey Deschanel) but also causes havoc when he accuses a faux Santa Claus of sitting on "a throne of lies." His words, not ours.

Eventually, his childlike wonder and cheerful disposition begin to thaw Walter's coldness and Jovie's lackluster attitude. As Buddy says, there's room for everybody on the Nice List!

Here's everything you need to know about how to watch Elf online in 2021.

How to watch Elf in the US

This holiday season, American viewers can watch Elf streaming on HBO Max right now!

HBO Max is our No. 1 choice among the best streaming services, thanks to its excellent, high-quality library. You can access dozens of new 2021 movies and watch prestige dramas from HBO, every episode of Friends and great originals like Hacks and The Flight Attendant.


Our favorite streaming service at the moment, HBO Max is available in two tiers: the $15 per month ad-free tier and the $10 ad-supported tier. Both give you access to acclaimed HBO shows, a big selection of classic movies and recent hits as well as HBO Max originals.

Elf is also available to rent or buy at digital stores, generally around $3.99 for rental and $9.99 for purchase.

Is Elf on Netflix?

No, Elf is not on Netflix. But the streaming service is always adding new titles to its huge library, so we'll add it to our letter to Santa for next year.

How to watch Elf in the UK

Brits, sing loud for all to hear because you can watch Elf on Sky Cinema, which you can get with a Sky TV package (starting at just £25 per month). Or you can get a Now TV Cinema pass to stream the movie online. The pass comes with a free seven-day trial and then costs £11.99 per month.

How to watch Elf in Canada

In the Great White North, which as close to Santa as you can get, Elf is streaming on Crave

You can check out Crave with a 7-day FREE trial. After that, you can get either the Crave Mobile plan for $9.99 per month or the more robust Crave Total plan for $19.99.

How to watch Elf in Australia

Aussies will smile because Elf is streaming on Binge, which comes with a 10-day free trial for new subscribers.

After that, the streaming service costs $10 per month.

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.