Tuesday TV: ‘Elf’ as an Animated Musical

BuddyThe No. 1 Christmas film at my house has somehow become “Elf.” Even so, a new animated special based on the movie and especially its Broadway musical adaptation, “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas” (NBC, 8 p.m.) may not please them. After all, every single voice has changed except for Ed Asner as Santa.

What was Will Farrell’s most exuberant role is now played as a tall goofball with a slight Southern lilt with a voice that may well be familiar: Jim Parsons of TV’s most popular comedy “The Big Bang Theory.” Mark Hamill is unrecognizable as the humbug businessman dad Walter Hobbs; and Kate Micucci of Garfunkel and Oates must be fulfilling some personal dream by becoming a character in a stop action special. Also pitching in are personalities from Fred Armisen and Gilbert Gottfried to Jay Leno and Matt Lauer in cameos (the latter as Mr. Sea Serpent).

While the movie’s story has been streamlined, the songs by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin are pretty forgettable. There’s a nice retro feel to the production, though, mostly through the revival of stop-action.

A winner is named on “The Voice” (NBC, 9 p.m.), at the end of a two hour extravaganza in which the finalists will all get to sing with a musical hero: Damien with Jennifer Hudson, Craig Wayne Boyd with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Chris Jamison with Jessie J. Also: Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars with Mark Ronson, Hozier and Fall Out Boy.

A winner is also named on the second season finale of “MasterChef Junior” (Fox, 8 p.m.) after the top two — Logan Guleff, 11, of Memphis and Samuel Stromberg, 12, of Greenbrae, Calif., make a three-course dinner.

The twist for the 30th (!) season of “The Real World” (MTV, 10 p.m.) is that each of the invited residents will be joined by people they don’t necessarily want to see — skeletons from their closets.

After walking the Bible, Bruce Feiler’s six episode “Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler” (PBS, 8 p.m.) will visit important spots for believers all over the world, starting at the healing waters of Lourdes before going to a 700 mile walk among 88 Buddhist temples.

Think of it as a different kind of pilgrimage — for the perfect slice. Cousins Francis Garcia and Sal Basille, also known as “Pizza Masters” (Cooking, 9 p.m.) travel to taste special items. In “Taco Trips” (Cooking 9:30 p.m.) Aaron Sanchez goes looking for tacos, initially in Chicago.

How do you make a Southern holiday feast? Vivian Howard will demonstrate on “A Chef’s Life Holiday Special” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings). I imagine it will take a few sticks of butter.

This year’s Winter Classic outdoor NHL game takes place in Washington Jan. 1 at Nationals Park, against the Chicago Blackhawks. Preparations for the event are followed in the four-episode “Road to the NHL Winter Classic” (Epix, 10 p.m.), starting tonight.

Tiny hearts will be broken following tonight’s Master Chef Junior” There’s an ocean of sea disasters on Turner Classic Movies tonight with “The Poseidon Adventure” (8 p.m.), “A Night to Remember” (10:15 p.m.), “The Last Voyage” (12:30 a.m.), “The Wreck of the Mary Deare” (2:15 a.m.) and “The Sea Wolf” (4:15 a.m.).

Men’s college hoops today includes North Carolina at North Carolina-Greensboro (ESPN2, 7 p.m.), Oral Roberts at Oklahoma (ESPNU, 7 p.m.), Alabama at Wichita State (ESPn2, 9 p.m.), Middle Tennessee at Oklahoma State (ESPNU, 9 p.m.) and  Arizona State at Marquette (Fox Sports 1, 9 p.m.).

NBA action includes Golden State at Memphis (ESPN, 8 p.m.) and Oklahoma City at Sacramento (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly & Michael: Chris Pine, David Oyelowo. The View: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chirlane McCray, Idina Menzel, Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, Daphne Oz, Rachel Feinstein. The Talk: Lisa Kudrow, Emily Wickersham, Wolfgang Puck. Ellen DeGeneres: Jane Fonda. Wendy Williams: Carla Hall. Meredith Vieira: Cuba Gooding Jr. Queen Latifah: Sharon Osbourne, RuPaul, Dustin Lynch (rerun).

Late Talk

David Letterman: Anna Kendrick, Charli XCX. Jimmy Fallon: Christoph Waltz, Nicki Minaj. Jimmy Kimmel: Garth Brooks, Tracey Ullman. Seth Meyers: James Corden, Vanessa Bayer, Robert Earl. Craig Ferguson: Larry King, Angela Kinsey. Carson Daly: Jena Malone, Broods, the Immortalists. Tavis Smiley: Angelina Jolie. Jon Stewart: Paul McCartney. Stephen Colbert: Kendrick Lamar. Conan O’Brien: Dick Van Dyke, Jenny Slate, Vance Joy.

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