The Santa Clause (1994)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
My most seen.

Every year around Christmas, most of us get into the routine of watching classic Christmas films every year. There are even cable channels devoting to the same things; radio channels that play nonstop Christmas music…it’s a thing. One of those films for me personally has been The Santa Clause, and it’s probably the longest-running film I have of that category. For me, it’s a classic. I also like the sequels to a degree, but looking back…I kind of wish they never made them. Thankfully, they all have Tim Allen, which is perfect for this role all around. So how is the story here?

Meet Scott Calvin, a highly successful businessman and advertiser for toys that are sent all over the globe. Though recently, he has become a workaholic and has run out of time for his own son. When it came to work vs. family, work was always the victor. That’s when he got his son for Christmas one year, and had absolutely no idea what to do. His son was even begging the mom to come back ASAP. That night, however, he ran into “The Santa Clause”. Like a legal document, this clause states that if you put on Santa’s suit, you are the new Santa Clause indefinitely. So, when Santa fell off his roof and disappeared, Scott became the new Santa, you dig? No matter how much he didn’t want to, he couldn’t stop the transformation. This transformation not only made him look crazy, but it looked bad legally for his relationship with his son. So he had to somehow deal with the fact that he was Santa while ignoring the same fact around people who can throw him into a looney bin at the same time.

I like this film for a variety of reasons. Obviously, it has a lot of Christmas spirit, but I’m sure we’ll get into that. I like Tim Allen in this role. The whole plot is relatively similar to Liar, Liar. You got an estranged father who practically ignores his son, a weirdo stepfather, and an ex-wife that he still cares deeply for. Then, you have something wonderful and magic happen that transforms the main character into something the son needed from the father. Like I said…the bones of the film is practically the same thing. That kind of story is appealing to me, because there is a lot of good behind everything as well, like believing in something that is unreasonable.

Normally, a Christmas movie has a lot of Christian ties, reasonably, but this time we’re offered more on the Santa side, and giving presents side. The reason I think this is just as important is because half of what Christmas spirit is…is just that – spirit. I’m not talking about an entity, I’m talking about happiness and joy that comes from the holidays alone. If that comes from Santa Claus, then great. If you’re going to teach your child the “meaning” of Christmas, then you first must consider what the definition of “meaning” is exactly. Sorry, bit off topic.

Without Tim Allen, the movie really wouldn’t be funny, at least I wouldn’t think so. Tim Allen brings just enough of that realistic and sarcastic side of things that brings life to the series. It’s almost believable in a way, definitely for kids, but it offers the idea of magic in a slightly different perspective than what you normally see. All that’s over-the-top is the What If question. If Santa existed…I could definitely believe this story. It goes over everything.

So yes, there is a lot of Christmas spirit behind this series, but overall it’s just fun. It doesn’t really need much to have heart, and heart it has.

The Good:
The father and son theme in this film is admirable and brings hope to some out there that may feel hopeless, especially in the holidays. Christmas spirit and comedy is mixed wonderfully here, proving to be a great addition to your annual holiday movies tradition.

The Bad:
Sorry, 1997, but your graphics suck. I can tell the reindeer are robots, I can tell when you didn’t actually make a CGI chimney and instead lazily warped the video itself. You have your moments here and there, but not when you needed them the most.

Memorable Quote:

Little Elf Judy: Not too hot. Extra chocolate. Shaken, not stirred.


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