Fan Theory Linking Elf And Barbie Is Surprisingly Plausible

Fan Theory Linking Elf And Barbie Is Surprisingly Plausible
Image credit: New Line Cinema, Warner Bros.

The perfect reason to rewatch both movies is found. Not that you need one.


  • A Redditor recently theorized that Jon Favreau's Elf and Greta Gerwig's Barbie might share a universe.
  • The similarity is that in both movies, magical beings exist thanks to people's belief in them.
  • What's more, they live in pocket universes and use strange means of travel to get to and from the real world.

We know what movie you'll be watching (or have already watched) this holiday season. Jon Favreau's Christmas comedy Elf was released exactly 20 years ago, and over the years has earned its place as a holiday classic that never gets old.

But the china anniversary is not the only reason to revisit Elf this year. It may sound crazy, but the holiday movie may have ties to the summer hit Barbie, and after hearing this theory, you may get an overwhelming urge to check it out.

Shared Universe

You may have immediately thought of Will Ferrell starring in both movies, but it's not that simple. Redditor u/devilsbard recently suggested that the connection comes from the nature of the world in which both stories exist.

The Redditor bases their theory on the fact that both movies are set in the real world, with a few tweaks. It is clear that there is a kind of magic in both universes, and it is a very specific kind.

Magical beings, be it Santa and his elves or Barbies and Kens, can only exist because people believe in them and admire them. It is similar to the laws of Neil Gaiman's American Gods. As long as people continue to believe in a god, they remain strong, but when the worship fades, so does the god.

In our world, both Santa Claus and Barbie have become symbols and kinds of gods that millions of people worship and believe in. So in the movies, these metaphorical beings get real flesh and bones.

In Elf, it was most evident in the scene where Santa's sleigh had to be fueled by people's Christmas spirit. In Barbie, it is seen when Barbie, like her owner, develops an existential angst.

Means of Travel

In addition, both the North Pole and Barbieland exist in pocket universes of sorts created by people's imaginations. These realities are connected to the real world, but they are kind of hidden behind a veil.

The way the characters access our side of the veil, and vice versa, involves traversing several levels of reality with strange methods of travel and no real explanation as to how this is done.

'I passed through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, through the sea of swirly-twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel,' Buddy says in Elf.

And it sounds a lot like what happens in Barbie when the characters travel between Barbieland and the real world.

This fan theory certainly sounds convincing, and there's only one question left: Who are Will Ferrell's characters in this shared universe? Is the CEO of Mattel an evil twin of Buddy the Elf, or has Buddy himself become cynical after years in the real world? What do you think?

Source: Reddit.

If Elf and Barbie really share the universe, who is the CEO of Mattel?