Buddy the Elf Sold Out for a British Supermarket Chain?
Which cotton-headed ninnymuggins greenlit this one?
In a bizarre corporate crossover cash-grab, footage of Will Ferrell’s famed performance as Buddy the Elf in Elf has been rendered into a commercial for the British supermarket chain Asda, because it’s already November 4th and our holiday cheer might not have been sucked out of of our bodies already by the increasingly shameless displays of nostalgia-mining on behalf of cynical advertising executives.
This creepy cut-and-paste job evokes the memory of those scenes from the Disney-era Star Wars movies wherein the likeness of Grand Moff Tarkin or leftover footage of Carrie Fisher are awkwardly cut alongside actors who are desperately trying to create chemistry with a floating tennis ball in front of a green screen. Though decidedly less ghoulish than these examples, the Asda commercial, titled “Have Your Elf a Merry Christmas,” maintains that awkward air of disconnection while Ferrell’s disembodied likeness dodges shopping carts and sings behind a cash register through the “magic” of rotoscoping.
The commercial was shot by award-winning music video director Daniel Kleinman, who is best known for designing the title sequences of every James Bond film since GoldenEye in 1995, with the exception of Quantum of Solace, a movie with only marginally more entertainment value than a commercial about Buddy the Elf eating free samples and building a display for the self-checkout line.
At this point, it would be beating a dead horse to complain about the tastelessness of commercials during the holiday season, or to lament the death of the month of November as everything post-Halloween has been absorbed into “Christmas Time.” But is it too much to ask for these advertisers to stop retroactively ruining our favorite festive films in these rotoscopic fever dreams?
Next thing you know, we’re going to see John McClane crawling through the air ducts of Target while saying, “Yippee Ki-Save, mother lover!”