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3 great Will Ferrell Christmas movies to watch in December

Will Ferrell has been making audiences laugh since his time on Saturday Night Live in the late 1990s. Ferrell left SNL and provided comedy fans with a string of instant classics in the 2000s, including Old School, Anchorman, Wedding Crashers, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers. Amid that treasure trove of adult comedies, Ferrell found time to cross into holiday comedies and star in three Christmas movies.

The obvious Ferrell-led Christmas movie to watch in December is Elf, where the actor plays a human raised by elves who travels to New York City to meet his biological father. However, two more of Ferrell’s Christmas movies should be on your list of things to watch in December. One is a sequel to a 2015 comedy and the other is a musical adaptation of an iconic Christmas story.

Elf (2003)

Will Ferrell in Elf.
New Line Cinema

Twenty years ago, Ferrell starred in Elf, which has become the defining Christmas movie of the 21st century. From the memorable quotes (“Buddy the elf, what’s your favorite color?”) to laugh-out-loud scenes (Peter Dinklage in the boardroom), Elf is a Christmas movie with heart, humor, and love, three key ingredients we seek at the holidays.

Directed by Jon Favreau, Elf stars Ferrell as Buddy, a human raised by elves at the North Pole. Unfortunately for Buddy, he struggles to fit in with the other elves due to his size and ineptitude in the art of toymaking. Papa Elf (Bob Newhart) reveals to Buddy that his father, Walter Hobbs (James Caan), works in New York City, but is unaware of his elflike son’s existence. To make matters worse, Walter is on the Naughty List. Convinced he can fix things, Buddy must travel to New York City and spread a little Christmas cheer in the Big Apple.

Stream Elf on Max or Hulu.

Daddy’s Home 2 (2017)

Four men sit at a table and laugh in Daddy's Home 2.
Claire Folger / Paramount Pictures

After the success of Elf, you would think Ferrell would appear in a Christmas movie every couple of years. That wasn’t the case, as Ferrell didn’t star in another Christmas film until 2017’s Daddy’s Home 2. After the success of Daddy’s Home, Ferrell and Shooter’s Mark Wahlberg reprised their roles as Brad Whitaker and Dusty Mayron, respectively, for the sequel.

Brad and Dusty are on good terms, having developed a friendship since the events in Daddy’s Home. With the holidays approaching, Brad and Dusty decide to have a “together Christmas” and spend the holidays as one blended family. It sounds like a good plan on paper, but the proposal goes out the window with the arrival of Dusty’s tough father, Kurt (Mel Gibson), and Brad’s overprotective dad, Don (John Lithgow). Now, the four men must learn to coexist or risk ruining Christmas for the family.

Stream Daddy’s Home 2 on Paramount+.

Spirited (2022)

Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell sing and dance in Spirited.
Apple TV+

Ferrell is so talented and funny that any co-star who can match his wit and energy will thrive next to the comedian. Enter Ryan Reynolds, one of the more underrated comic actors in Hollywood. Ferrell and Reynolds collaborated on a retelling of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol in Apple TV+’s 2022 movie Spirited.

Every Christmas Eve, the Ghosts of Christmas Present (Will Ferrell), Past (Sunita Mani), and Yet to Come (Loren G. Woods) pick one soul to redeem. This year, the ghosts select Clint Briggs (Reynolds), a lonely and controversial media consultant. The roles are reversed in Spirited as the ghosts become the ones to examine their past, present, and future. Oh, did I mention it’s a musical comedy? And you can now belt out all the songs in the singalong version of Spirited.

Stream Spirited on Apple TV+.

Editors' Recommendations

Dan Girolamo
Dan is a passionate and multitalented content creator with experience in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. Throughout…
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