The Santa Clause

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For films with similar titles, see Santa Claus (disambiguation).
The Santa Clause
The Santa Clause.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Pasquin
Produced by Robert F. Newmyer
Brian Reilly
Jeffrey Silver
Written by Leo Benvenuti
Steve Rudnick

Karey Kirkpatrick
Starring Tim Allen
Judge Reinhold
Eric Lloyd
Wendy Crewson
David Krumholtz
Peter Boyle
Music by Michael Convertino
Cinematography Walt Lloyd
Edited by Larry Bock
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • October 10, 1994 (1994-10-10)
Running time 97 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $22 million[1]
Box office $189,833,357[1]

The Santa Clause is a 1994 American fantasy family comedy film directed by John Pasquin. It stars Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, an ordinary man who accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall from his roof on Christmas Eve. When he and his young son, Charlie, finish St. Nick's trip and deliveries, they go to the North Pole where Scott learns that he must become the new Santa and convince those he loves that he is indeed Father Christmas.

This was Pasquin and Allen's first movie collaboration after they both worked together on the TV series Home Improvement. Pasquin and Allen would later work again on the films Jungle 2 Jungle and Joe Somebody, and on the TV show Last Man Standing.

The film was followed by two sequels, The Santa Clause 2 (2002) and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006). In comparison to the original, the former received mixed critical response whilst the latter was panned by most critics.


Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is a 38 year old divorced father and advertising executive for a toy company in Chicago with a young son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd). On Christmas Eve, Charlie comes to spend the night with Scott before going to his mother and stepfather's for Christmas Day. Scott assures Charlie of Santa Claus' existence, despite not believing himself. That night, they are awakened by a clatter on the roof, and when Scott calls out to the trespasser, he falls into the snow on Scott's front yard and vanishes, leaving his clothing behind. Scott and Charlie discover a sleigh with eight reindeer on the roof, and deduce the man was Santa Claus. They find a card in the clothing instructing that if something should happen to Santa, whoever finds the clothes should put them on and get in the sleigh. Charlie convinces Scott to follow these instructions, and the reindeer take Scott around to children's houses to finish Santa's deliveries.

As morning arrives, the reindeer return to the North Pole, where elves take the two inside. The head elf, Bernard (David Krumholtz), shows Scott a tiny inscription on the card which says that upon the disappearance of the previous occupant, whoever wears the suit accepts the contract of "the Santa Clause", agreeing to assume the identity of Santa Claus and all the responsibilities that go with it. Bernard tells Scott he will have eleven months to get his affairs in order before he returns at Halloween to assume the role of Santa Claus full-time. Scott goes to bed in Santa's room and awakens at home, dismissing it as a dream. Charlie however is enthusiastic about the adventure and is proud his father is the new Santa, and constantly insists that Scott is the new Santa to his mother, stepfather and his classmates at school. Not wanting to upset Charlie, Scott tells him that he should keep the North Pole adventure a secret.

Over the next year, Scott begins gaining weight, his hair whitens, and grows a beard, shaving it off has no affect as it always regrows. He develops a ravenous taste for Christmas-related treats such as cookies and milk, he begins noting which children misbehave and wears red and green clothing. When someone delivers packages of milk, cookies, Santa's list, and Santa's suit, Scott freaks out. Scott also becomes outraged at a board meeting over an ad campaign that features Santa riding in an army tank. His rapid transformation worries his ex-wife Laura (Wendy Crewson) and her new husband, psychiatrist Dr. Neal Miller (Judge Reinhold), who are concerned about Charlie's insistings that Scott is Santa, and that Scott's behaviour is encouraging Charlie's delusions. Subsequently, Scott's visitation rights to Charlie are suspended, and upon seeing Charlie on Thanksgiving, Charlie's insistence that Scott is indeed Santa and a reminder of the adventure they shared wins Scott over to accepting his role, and Bernard arrives to take them both to the North Pole. Laura and Neal fear Scott has kidnapped Charlie and call the police, who start a massive investigation.

Scott, Charlie, Bernard and the elves prepare for Christmas as the police are on the lookout for Charlie and set up a trap at Laura and Neal's home to capture Scott should he return. On Christmas Eve, Scott makes his deliveries, but he is caught and arrested when stopping at Laura and Neil's home. Charlie, still in the sleigh on the roof, remains undiscovered. Four elves with E.L.F.S. (Effective Liberating Flight Squad) rescue Scott and Charlie and return them to Laura and Neal, where the two finally accept Scott's new identity as Bernard speaks to them; and Scott delivers to them the presents they always wanted as children, but never received which caused them to stop believing in Santa. Laura receives a Mystery Date game, while Neil receives an Oscar Meyer Weenie Whistle. Laura also tells Scott that he is welcome to visit Charlie whenever he likes. Scott then takes flight in full view of the police and neighborhood citizens, but he returns when Charlie calls him using a magic snow globe and takes him for a ride in the sleigh and wave goodbye as they head for Cleveland.


  • Tim Allen as Scott Calvin: The protagonist. He is a cynical, ordinary man who becomes Santa Claus over the course of 11 months.
  • Eric Lloyd as Charlie Calvin: Scott's innocent son.
  • Judge Reinhold as Dr. Neal Miller: Laura's second husband. A gentle, well-meaning, yet critical psychiatrist who thinks Scott is delusional.
  • Wendy Crewson as Laura Miller: Scott's ex-wife who is torn between her husband's opinions and believing that Scott is Santa.
  • David Krumholtz as Bernard the Elf: A sarcastic, teenage elf as well as Santa's head elf
  • Peter Boyle as Mr. Whittle: Scott's supervisor at the Toy Company.
  • Larry Brandenburg as Detective Nunzio, the main antagonist
  • Judith Scott as Susan Perry
  • Kenny Vadas as the E.L.F.S. Leader ~taken from the movie's end credits
  • Ivanka Kotalto as E.L.F. 2 ~taken from the movie's end credits
  • Todd Davis as E.L.F. 3 ~taken from the movie's end credits
  • Marc Pichette as E.L.F. 4 ~taken from the movie's end credits


The film was mostly shot in Oakville, a town in the Greater Toronto Area, which also served as the fictional town of Lakeside, Illinois in it.[2] The reindeer used in the film were all from the Toronto Zoo. The trains used in the North Pole scene and the start of the film are all LGB.


Box office[edit]

The Santa Clause grossed over USD $144 million in the United States and Canada, and over $189 million worldwide, making it a box-office hit. The film, now twenty years old has become a Christmas classic. ABC Family plays the movie numerous times throught the holiday season. [3]

Critical reception[edit]

The film was generally well received by critics, and maintains a "fresh" rating of 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, with 31 positive reviews from 39 counted and an average rating of 6.1/10.[4] The consensus from the site is "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."[4]


Note that songs listed here (and in the movie credits) cannot always be found on CD soundtracks.[5]

The film's soundtrack was released on October 10, 1994 in the United States.

  1. Come Together
  2. Immigrant Song
  3. All I Want for Christmas is You
  4. Let's Go
  5. Believing Is Seeing
  6. Sash Completes the Ensemble
  7. Flight
  8. Weightless
  9. Away to the Window
  10. Bells of Christmas
  11. Listen
  12. Goodnight, Goodnight...Don’t Forget the Fire Extinguisher
  13. Visitation – The Drifters
  14. Rose Suchak Ladder
  15. Give Me All Your Lovin' – ZZ Top
  16. List – Loreena McKennitt
  17. Elves with Attitude
  18. Someone in Wrapping
  19. Near Capture
  20. Comfort and Joy
  21. Not Over Any Oceans
  22. Christmas Will Return

Home media[edit]

This film has been released on VHS in on April 4, 1995. DVD in September 29, 2002. The Santa Clause along with The Santa Clause 2 and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause were released in a three movie DVD collection in 2007. All three movies were released as a Blu-ray set on August 29, 2013.

Towards the beginning of the film a brief exchange between Scott and Laura takes place in which Laura hands Scott a piece of paper with Neal's mother's phone number on it. Scott then exclaims "1-800-SPANK-ME? I know that number!". In the United States, the exchange was removed from the 1999 DVD release as well as the 2002 Special Edition DVD and VHS releases after a 1996 incident in which a child from Steilacoom, Washington called the number and racked up a $400 phone bill.[6] On television airings, the phone number is changed to "1-800-POUND". The line remains intact on the 1995 VHS release.


The popularity of the film spawned two sequels, The Santa Clause 2 in 2002 and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause in 2006.


External links[edit]