The Santa Clause

Critics Consensus

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.

74%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 54

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 369,266
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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 tumbles from the roof. It turns out that there is a Santa after all, and Scott has just accidentally killed him. Because of a legal technicality known as "the Santa clause," Scott inherits the jolly old elf's job. As the next year passes, Scott rapidly gains weight, grows a white beard and meets the elf Bernard (David Krumholtz) -- who is the one who really runs the North Pole -- while Charlie regains his Christmas spirit. However, Neal becomes concerned about Scott's sudden change in appearance and insistence that he's Santa, and he forces him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Director John Pasquin previously directed Allen in the TV series Home Improvement and would team with him again for Jungle 2 Jungle (1997).

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Cast

Tim Allen
as Scott Calvin
Judge Reinhold
as Dr. Neil Miller
Wendy Crewson
as Laura Calvin
Eric Lloyd
as Charlie Calvin
Peter Boyle
as Mr. Whittle
Larry Brandenburg
as Det. Nunzio
Mary Gross
as Ms. Daniels
Paige Tamada
as Elf--Judy
Melissa King
as Little Girl
Bradley Wentworth
as Elf at North Pole
Azura Bates
as Elf in Hangar
Joshua Satok
as Elf--Larry
Joyce Guy
as Principal Compton
Jesse Collins
as Ad Executive
Steve Vinovich
as Dr. Novos
Tabitha Lupien
as Ballet Girl
David Sparrow
as Bobby's Dad
Nic Knight
as Quintin
Gene Mack
as Newman
Brett Moon
as Elf One
Ryan Moon
as Elf Two
Jack Newman
as Santa In Street
Michael Caruana
as 1st Officer
Micha Jackson
as Child One
Cody Jones
as Child Two
Kenny Vadas
as ELFS Leader
Brian Reilly
as Tinsel Man
Gordon Masten
as Desk Sergeant
Philip Williams
as Sharpshooter
Chris Benson
as Fireman
Peter Kosaka
as Japanese Businessman
Todd Davis
as 3rd ELFS
Marc Pichette
as 4th ELFS
John Pasquin
as 6th Santa
Tony Krolo
as Coffee Cop
Alec Bachlow
as Neighbor
Jimmy Labriola
as Truck Driver
Steve Kosaka
as Japanese Businessman
Lawrence Nakamura
as Japanese Businessman
Hun Sun Tran
as Japanese Businessman
Steve Tsukamoto
as Japanese Businessman
Bob Dermer
as Puppet Punch
Nina Keogh
as Puppet Judy
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News & Interviews for The Santa Clause

Critic Reviews for The Santa Clause

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (15)

Audience Reviews for The Santa Clause

  • Dec 25, 2016
    At the time of this film's release, Tim Allen was on fire and could do no wrong. He had the #1 movie, with this one of course, topped the New York Times best-selling list and had the #1 show on television. And this happened within the time span of one week. Like imagine how improbable that is for one person in their entire lifetime. Now imagine that it happened to one person in the span of a week. Whatever you may think of Allen, and I'll certainly get into that, it's certainly a very impressive feat no matter how you slice it. As far as Tim Allen is concerned, I'll be honest, I never liked the guy that much to begin with. I mean, yes, I certainly enjoyed Home Improvement in parts, but Tim's character and performances were all very similar from one another. And the nature of sitcoms, at least in the past, were to blame. No actual effort was put into legitimate character development, they'd just rely on the same old and tired jokes about Al's (his co-worker) mom's weight. Or time grunting like an ape. Or Tim hitting his head on a pipe every time he went to the basement. And, continuing with the honesty, Tim Allen never did much for me as a comedic actor. I'm not saying he was bad or anything, like there were certain lines and how he delivered them with fairly quick timing that made me laugh, but I find Tim to be a little bland honestly. And he seems like one of those guys that's putting on an act, like Kevin James, where he might seem likable in his movies, but he's really a major asshole to his fans if they ever got to meet him. With that said, the movie was perfectly. My thing with Christmas movies is that, realistically, a great percentage of them, like say 80%, are absolutely no fucking good. And this one isn't any different but, at the very least, by the very low-standard of Christmas movies, this one an outright masterpiece. Even if it's an average movie by everyone else's standards. The concept, actually, is a fairly good one when you take into consideration that this boils down to a corny Christmas movie. I'm sure you've all heard of this film by now, so let's not bore you with the details. Tim Allen kills Santa Claus and he has take over the job. Simple and to the point. I will say, though, that my favorite parts of the movie were when Tim first takes the job and how angry he is at the whole thing. The whole concept of a cynical Santa Claus, done later to much better effect in Bad Santa, was a good one, but they obviously couldn't run with it seeing that this was a Disney movie after all. And they wanted a family-friendly affair. The more the film settles into a standard family movie, the more spark that it loses. There's a subplot here where Tim's son's mother, and stepfather, feel that Scott, Tim's character, feels that he is a negative influence on his own son. All because of the fact that he pretends that he is Santa Claus. They want Charles, the son, to grow up with a grounded look at reality, where his imagination isn't allowed to run wild. Essentially, they don't want the kid to believe it Santa Claus. It's about as absurd as it can get, but it's how they chose to tell their story. I mean, would any parent out there really hold that against someone? To the point that they actually want VISITATION rights taken away because of it. It's ridiculous. But, again, that's what they wanted their story to be like. The film looks at how Scott's slow transformation to Santa Claus affects him and those around him. It's simple, but it's sporadically entertaining. There comes a point where, after Scott has his visitation rights revoked, that he kidnaps, perhaps not violently, but he does kidnap his own son. And the fact that, at the end, that fact was so grievously ignored was something to see. It doesn't matter if the guy is Santa or not. Kidnapping is still kidnapping, even if the son wants to go with him. Again, Disney movie so they couldn't explore the actual consequences of Scott's actions. They just wave their magic wand and do away with whatever Scott may have done. The acting is solid. Like I said, Allen gives off the appearance of being likable and that does a lot to help the movie. The little kid who plays his son isn't really that good, but you can't really expect much. The rest of the cast is fine, particularly David Krumholtz, who was already really good at this stage and he was only like 16 when the movie came out. But the majority of the movie is about Tim and his son, so none of the supporting characters really get that much of a chance to shine. The movie has the typically corny Christmas ending, where everyone ends up happily ever after. So if that's your cup of tea, then this movie will be right up your alley. As far as I'm concerned, this movie is nothing but average at best. It's better than I would have expected, but not by much. I'm sure this will be a bigger hit with a large family than it would with just me, so take that into consideration. Wouldn't recommend it, but there's worse ways to spend a night.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Dec 19, 2012
    A thoroughly enjoyable Christmas movie. Ok, it's not in the league of 'Muppets Christmas Carol' or 'Home Alone' but Allen is very likeable as the lead and it's fun seeing him develop into Santa. The kid is a little annoying but I can forgive the shmaltz coz it's tailored for a certain time of year. Feelgood fun.
    David S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 22, 2011
    Filled with endearing cheese and holiday cliches, The Santa Clause isn't perfect, but it's hard to complain too much given its lackluster competition in the modern holiday movie market.
    Isaac H Super Reviewer
  • Dec 09, 2011
    Tim Allen brings the comedy in Disney's The Santa Clause. This is a good old-fashioned Disney family film that puts a new spin on the Santa Claus tale for the '90s. There are laughs a plenty for all ages, but it does tend toward the children (as most Disney films do). And there's some hokeyness to the plot, but if you can get passed that there's a charming story here. While there's a bit of silliness to it, The Santa Clause is a solidly entertaining film with heart.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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