The Santa Clause

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The Santa Clause
The Santa Clause.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Pasquin
Produced byRobert Newmyer
Brian Reilly
Jeffrey Silver
Written byLeo Benvenuti
Steve Rudnick
Music byMichael Convertino
CinematographyWalt Lloyd
Edited byLarry Bock
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • November 11, 1994 (1994-11-11)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$22 million[1]
Box office$189.8 million[1]

The Santa Clause is a 1994 American Christmas fantasy family comedy film written by Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick, and directed by John Pasquin. The first film in the Santa Clause film series, 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 Santa Claus.

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 television series 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 sequels each declined in critical favor.


Scott Calvin (Tim Allen), a successful toy salesman, prepares to spend Christmas Eve with his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd). Scott convinces Charlie that Santa Claus is real, despite not believing himself. Scott's ex-wife, Laura (Wendy Crewson) and her psychiatrist husband Dr. Neil Miller (Judge Reinhold) both stopped believing in Santa at a young age and feel that Charlie needs to do so as well. After Scott reads The Night Before Christmas to Charlie and tucks him into bed, Santa's sleigh lands on their roof and wakes Charlie. Charlie wakes up Scott, who hears Santa's footsteps on the roof and assumes that it is an intruder.

Rushing outside, Scott startles Santa, causing him to lose his balance and fall off the roof. Scott finds a card in the pocket of Santa's suit that states "If something should happen to me, put on my suit, the Reindeer will know what to do," after which Santa vanishes. Charlie climbs onto the roof via a ladder which has magically appeared, and finds Santa's sleigh and reindeer. Scott follows him into the sleigh, which flies off to continue delivering presents. Persuaded by Charlie, Scott puts on the Santa suit and delivers a few gifts before the reindeer take them to the North Pole. Once they arrive, Bernard (David Krumholtz), the head elf, explains to Scott that because he put on the suit, he is subjected to a legal technicality known as "The Santa Clause", a mystery of who will replace Santa meaning that he has agreed to accept all of Santa's duties and responsibilities, and has been given eleven months to get his affairs in order before reporting back to the North Pole on Thanksgiving. Overwhelmed, Scott changes into pajamas and falls asleep. The next morning, he wakes up in his own bed, causing him to believe that it was all a dream, until Charlie discovers that Scott is still wearing the pajamas from the North Pole. When Charlie proudly tells his class that his father is Santa, Laura, Neil, and the school principal ask Scott, whom they all believe is responsible, to tell Charlie that there is no Santa. Not wanting to break Charlie's heart, Scott instead convinces Charlie to keep their trip to the North Pole to themselves, which Charlie agrees.

Over the course of the following year, strange things begin to happen to Scott. The first thing to appear is a beard, which always re-grows, even immediately after shaving. He also develops a fondness for Christmas treats, primarily milk and cookies. The taste for these newfound treats cause Scott to gain an inordinate amount of weight seemingly overnight and he balloons to 192lbs, which at first he thinks he is just bloated. He also begins losing the coloring of his hair, turning it stark white. Scott's doctor says his weight gain is just a fluctuation, even when Scott insists that gaining 45lbs in a week is not right and the changing of his hair color is because he is middle aged. His rapid weight gain results in his clothing not fitting and he results to wearing sweatpants and white t-shirts that reveal is swollen belly at times. Scott's weight gain becomes evident to his coworkers when he orders dessert items which he says are "sides" and claims he was stung by a bee to try to hide his weight gain. During a meeting with his company, Scott disrupts the meeting to call out their idea of promoting a television advertisement of Santa riding a toy tank. Scott's boss Mr. Whittle takes him aside and asks him to get some help. He also begins to recount 'naughty' and 'nice' children by name after getting his "list" of children in the mail. After an incident in which several children approach Scott to ask for Christmas presents, Laura and Neil believe he is deliberately trying to undermine Charlie and successfully petition a judge to suspend Scott's visitation rights. Devastated, Scott goes to Laura and Neil's house on Thanksgiving, where Charlie shows Scott a snow globe that Bernard had given him, finally convincing him that he is Santa. After Scott asks Laura and Neil a minute to talk to Charlie alone, Bernard appears and transports him and Charlie to the North Pole.

Laura and Neil believe Scott has kidnapped Charlie and contact the police. At the North Pole, Scott sets out to deliver the gifts with Charlie in tow. However, upon arriving at Laura and Neil's home, Scott is arrested. The elves eventually send a crack team of extraction elves to rescue him. Scott returns to Laura and Neil's house and manages to convince them that he is Santa by giving them presents that they wanted as children but were never given to them, which caused both of them to stop believing in Santa. Laura decides to burn the papers banning Scott's visitation rights and tells him that he can visit anytime. Bernard then appears to tell Charlie that if he shakes his snow globe at any time, his father will appear, before Bernard vanishes into thin air. After a public departure, Scott travels the world to finish delivering gifts. Using the snow globe, Charlie summons Scott back home. Laura agrees to let Charlie go with Scott to finish delivering the gifts, and the two head off into the night.



This film was entirely shot in the Greater Toronto Area. Oakville served as the city of Lakeside, Illinois.[2]


Box office[edit]

The Santa Clause grossed over US$144 million in the United States and Canada, and over $189 million worldwide, making it a box-office hit. The film has since gone on to become a Christmas classic. Freeform and AMC have played the film during the holiday season with record ratings.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received generally positive reviews from the critics. The film currently holds a "Certified Fresh" rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, with 40 positive reviews from 54 counted and an average rating of 6/10. 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. Let's Go
  2. Believing Is Seeing
  3. Sash Completes the Ensemble
  4. Flight
  5. Weightless
  6. Away to the Window
  7. Bells of Christmas
  8. Listen
  9. Goodnight, Goodnight, Don’t Forget the Fire Extinguisher
  10. Visitation
  11. Rose Suchak Ladder
  12. List
  13. Elves with Attitude
  14. Someone in Wrapping
  15. Near Capture
  16. Comfort and Joy
  17. Not Over Any Oceans
  18. Christmas Will Return

Home media[edit]

This film was first released on Home Video (VHS) on October 20, 1995. The first DVD was released in October 29, 2002. The Santa Clause along with its sequels were released in a three movie DVD collection in 2007. All three movies were released as a Blu-ray set on October 16, 2012.

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 Neil's mother's phone number on it. Scott then says "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 and the 2012 Blu-ray release after a 1996 incident in which a child from Steilacoom, Washington called the number (which turned out to be an actual, working sex line 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.

VHS, Laserdisc, DVD and Blu-ray history[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Santa Clause (1994)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Reel Toronto: The Santa Clause". Torontoist. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
  3. ^ Natale, Richard (1994-12-12). "Disclosure Edges Out 'Santa' at the Box Office Movies: Much-hyped sexual-harassment drama pushes aside the Tim Allen heavyweight". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
  4. ^ "The Santa Clause". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  5. ^ The Santa Clause (1994) - Soundtracks[unreliable source?]
  6. ^ Shelby Gilje (October 19, 1997). "Living | `Santa Clause' Has A Line That Could Invite Trouble". Seattle Times Newspaper. Retrieved 2018-12-04.

External links[edit]