By Richard Crouse Metro – Canada
When we think of elves at this time of year visions of Santa’s helpers fill our heads.
The cute, industrious and diminutive creatures from the North Pole can be seen everywhere in December in Christmas TV specials, greeting cards and movies like Arthur Christmas and Santa Claus: The Movie.
One of the most famous movie elves is Buddy, played by Will Ferrell in the neo-classic Elf.
“You’re not an elf,” says Leon the Snowman. “You’re six-foot-three and had a beard since you were fifteen.”
So technically he’s not really an elf, just a human raised by elves but he has more Christmas spirit than Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen put together.
This weekend, just weeks before December 25, Buddy is joined on the big screen by a very different kind of elf.
“She’s slightly reckless and totally ruthless and doesn’t hesitate to kill.” That’s how Evangeline Lilly describes the 600-year-old “she-elf” Tauriel from this weekend’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
The bow-and-arrow wielding character is new to the J.R.R. Tolkien movie franchise, created by director Peter Jackson and his co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.
“She’s our redhead,” says Boyens. “We created her for that reason. To bring that energy into the film, that feminine energy. We believe it’s completely within the spirit of Tolkien.”
Buddy and Tauriel are just two of the many kinds of movie elves.
Elves, or (Gelfling as they’re called in the flick), are the main focus of the Jim Henson film The Dark Crystal.
Dobby the House Elf was voted the No. 1 favourite magical creature in the Harry Potter series by NextMovie.com and Thor: The Dark World featured Dark Elves, an ancient race of dangerous beings whose spaceships are powered by black holes.
The cheeseball b-movie Elves features the tagline, “They’re Not Working for Santa Anymore.” Well, if not Santa, then who? Nazis, that’s who.
Finally Tom Cruise consorted with an elf named Honeythorn Gump in Legend, the Ridley Scott film The New York Times called “a slap-dash amalgam of Old Testament, King Arthur, The Lord of the Rings and any number of comic books.”
Swiss actor David Bennett played the feisty elfin sidekick who not only is the protector of the world’s last two unicorns but, along with elves Screwball, Brown Tom and Oona, helps Cruise’s character save the world from the nasty Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry).