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Courtesy New Line Cinema A scene from the film "Elf."
Rap Sheet: Buddy’s crimes in ‘Elf’

Disclaimer: The should not be taken as any form of legal counsel or guidance; there may be errors in interpretation of the law and there may be crimes and violations missing from this list. I am not an officer or an attorney; I am a movie fan with a blog.

Here at The Salt Lake Tribune’s crime blog, I tally the crimes characters commit and evaluate what potential sentence they could serve for them. Now that it’s December, the Rap Sheet takes on one Christmas movie after another — and after taking on Hans Gruber in "Die Hard" last week, we move on to a more traditional holiday choice: "Elf."

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Buddy the Elf’s life practically begins as a crime, with Santa Claus kidnapping him as an infant from an orphanage. Once the man-elf reaches New York City in search of his father, Buddy (naively, for the most part) makes a lot of poor choices, not counting his attempts to make spaghetti more sugary. While his step-mother might write off felonies as "fun," his father Walter Hobbs has the clear judicial sense to see that "felonies are felonies" — though to be fair, most of Buddy’s crimes are misdemeanors.

Criminal mischief • Buddy destroys the store’s pillows and nails the stuffing to the Santa House roof.

Voyeurism • Buddy goes into the women’s shower room at Gimbel’s while Jovie is bathing, and sits down next to her stall, much to her agitation.

Assault • Buddy is jailed after fighting the fake Santa Claus in the middle of the store.

Vandalism • Buddy cuts down a tree in Central Park.

Criminal mischief • Buddy destroys the Hobbs family’s television stand to create a rocking horse.

Aiding and abetting • Buddy helps the real Santa Claus flee from the New York City rangers.

For his six crimes, almost one for each layer of the Candy Cane Forest, Buddy could face up to 11.5 years behind bars. He may not be a cotton-headed ninny muggins, but he is certainly a criminal. Hey, who knows, maybe he could sign up for a work release program and return to the mail room.

Michael McFall



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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