December 18, 2006 12:00 PM

NBC (Dec. 11, 9 p.m. ET)


Santa’s over it. “Too many toys, too many ungrateful children,” he tells the Mrs. So the old guy hangs up his fuzzy hat to research retirement communities instead. But his elves have other plans. They set out to show him that some kids do know that Christmas is about more than getting one of those elusive PlayStations. Though there’s too much filler here—including a random musical number best viewed with the mute button firmly pressed—the movie inspires far more laughs than your usual holiday mush. And with a spot-on cast that includes a grumpy John Goodman as the big guy and Chris Kattan as a power-hungry elf, parents can stomach it just as well as the youngsters. (Unlike that freezer-burned yule log Aunt Enid serves you every year.)

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