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The Santa Clause

The Santa Clause (1994)



Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 52
Fresh: 39 | Rotten: 13

The Santa Clause is utterly undemanding, but it's firmly rooted in the sort of good old-fashioned holiday spirit missing from too many modern yuletide films.


Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 6

The Santa Clause is utterly undemanding, but it's firmly rooted in the sort of good old-fashioned holiday spirit missing from too many modern yuletide films.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 367,915

My Rating

Movie Info

Television sitcom star Tim Allen made his big screen debut with this light, family-friendly holiday comedy. Allen stars as Scott Calvin, the divorced dad of Charlie (Eric Lloyd). Scott is distressed to learn that his ex-wife Laura (Wendy Crewson) and Charlie's psychiatrist stepfather Neal (Judge Reinhold) have informed his son that there is no Santa Claus. While a sullen Charlie visits his dad on Christmas Eve, a noise on the roof brings them outside, where Scott startles the intruder, who

Oct 13, 1998

Buena Vista Distribution Compa

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Latest News on The Santa Clause

December 20, 2006:
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Welcome to Day Three of RT's Five Days of Christmas Countdown, in which we serve up a different list...
December 18, 2006:
RT's Top Yuletide Comedies -- Christmas Countdown, Day One
Welcome to RT's Five Days of Christmas Countdown, where we serve up a different list each day of the...


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All Critics (52) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (13) | DVD (14)

This is Allen's movie debut, and it's easy to see why his show is a ratings smash. There's an effortless quality to his humor, but it's also got a quietly urgent edge to it.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I was surprised to find The Santa Clause rather easier to take than anticipated.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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Like most modern fantasies, The Santa Clause isn't very clear about the rules governing Scott's new powers.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Tim Allen's talent for dry regular-guyness fails to kindle Disney's sappy big-screen Yule log.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
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You can get the same emotional and imaginative kick staying home and rereading your Christmas cards.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
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All of the film's technical and creative contributions are top-notch, but as it should be, it's the people who win us over.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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A funny, warm and inventive Christmas film that proves seeing is not believing -- believing is seeing.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Is it just me, or is this whole idea on the sick side? Imagine how uncomfortable this jolly little yarn would be for divorced parents and their children.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Tim Allen made his feature debut in this engaging yuletide comedy, which is likely to appeal to the whole family and brims over with plenty of good ideas.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

This is the most playfully amusing, inventive new cinematic Christmas fable in several decades.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Allen's foray into the real world after his transformation begins is the funniest part of the movie.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

Allen's schtick is a jabbermouth know-it-all.

December 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Heartwarming family tale for both kids and adults.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

While the film breaks no new ground, it offers the kind of simple, well-crafted, family entertainment that used to be a staple of the Disney studio.

December 4, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This movie has charm to spare and it's hard to resist.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A fun Christmas tale.

April 2, 2004

Agreeable family fare that'll please the young 'uns but that adults will find only slightly diverting.

January 1, 2004 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Santa Clause

After all is said and done though, he still killed Santa right? Aren't the Elf's upset or angry about this? Have they no empathy? Are their hearts as cold as the climate they live in? Also, has anyone ever received a wooden solder as a present before? Elves are always making wooden solders but no one ever gets one, I think there is a scam going on. Still, thanks to Eric Lloyd's Charlie Calvin we all know what the greatest Christmas present of all time is. Contraception.
December 30, 2013

Super Reviewer

A divorced adman for a toy company finds himself in quite a jam after a rooftop mishap on Christmas Eve sees him become Santa Claus, much to the delight of his son Charlie, and the absolute befuddlement/horror of his co-workers, ex-wife and her new man, a skeptical psychologist.

This mostly holds up pretty good, and Tim Allen is pretty funny, but the cheesiness of a lot of it wears thin after a while. I do like this movie, and the effects are well done, but this is neither one of the best nor my favorite holiday films. The concept sure is fun, though, and the music is quite swelling and wonderful at times.
January 2, 2013
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

As a Christmas film, The Santa Clause for me anyways didn't work. I felt that the film was a dud. Of all the Christmas themed movies, The Santa Clause is one of the worst. I feel that the film hasn't aged well, and though it's a great film to watch as a kid, later on you realize how stupid and pointless this film really is. I don't like the film now, and I find it to be too bad to actually enjoy today. I can think of many Christmas films that are better than this one. Tim Allen usually is pretty funny, but in this film, he seems tired and bored. The film didn't hold up for me, and I found it quite forgettable after viewing it a few times. The film is not as terrific, spectacular or original as everyone claims it to be. For a family film, it's mediocre; there are better films out that the family can enjoy on Christmas. I just felt that the idea behind the story lacked something really great to make this film work. The film hasn't stood the test of time, and the material on-screen is tired and old, and gets annoying after a few viewings. I'll stick with Scrooge and A Christmas Vacation, thank you very much. At least those films have stood the test of time, and are always entertaining, but the Santa Clause is tired, annoying and poorly acted. A pretty bad Christmas film, I honestly don't see what the fuss is about.
September 25, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Judy: Seeing isn't believing, believing is seeing.
    – Submitted by Dann M (2 years ago)
    1. Laura Calvin: Here's Neil's mother's number.
    2. Scott Calvin: 1-800-SPANK-ME? I know that number.
    – Submitted by Derek R (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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