The Santa Clause

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The Santa Clause
The Santa Clause.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Pasquin
Produced by Robert Newmyer
Brian Reilly
Jeffrey Silver
Written by Leo Benvenuti
Steve Rudnick
Music by Michael Convertino
Cinematography Walt Lloyd
Edited by Larry Bock
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • November 11, 1994 (1994-11-11)
Running time
97 minutes
Country United States
Language English
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 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 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 former received mixed critical response while the latter was panned by most critics.


Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is a successful executive at a toy company in the Chicago area. However, he spends less time with his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd). Scott always convinces Charlie to believe in Santa, despite the fact that Scott himself does not believe in him. Although, Scott's former wife, Laura (Wendy Crewson) and her new husband Neil (Judge Reinhold) believe that Charlie has to grow up and stop believing in Santa. After Scott reads him The Night Before Christmas to sleep, Charlie wakes Scott up after hearing noises on the roof.

Rushing outside, Scott startles a man dressed as Santa on the roof, causing him to slip and fall. Attempting to help the man, Scott finds a card on him that states "If something should happen to me, put on my suit, the Reindeer will know what to do," after which the body disappears. Charlie comes outside and discovers reindeer and a sleigh on the roof. 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", 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 proudly tells his class that his father is Santa. As a result, Laura, Neil, and the school principal ask Scott, all of whom they believe is responsible, to tell Charlie to stop believing in Santa once and for all. 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. He begins gaining a significant amount of weight, including 45 pounds in a week, reaching 192 pounds. His facial hair regrows quickly after shaving and his hair turns stark white. Scott also begins craving milk and cookies. As a result, most of his clothes stop fitting, forcing him to wear sweaters and sweatpants. This eventually leads to Laura and Neil to consider arranging to suspend Scott's visitation rights, believing that he is losing his mind. Scott eventually visits Charlie anyway, who gives Scott a snow globe that Bernard gave him earlier, which finally convinces him that he is Santa. After Scott asks Laura and Neil to leave him alone with Charlie for a minute, Bernard appears and whisks both to the North Pole to begin preparations for Christmas.

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] It was originally going to be released under the Hollywood Pictures banner, but was moved to Walt Disney Pictures after positive test screenings among children (despite Hollywood Pictures received a marquee credit—placement of the studio's production logo on marketing materials with the film's opening titles).


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 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. ^ "Woman Complains Of Porno Line In Disney Film". Retrieved 2011-12-23.[dead link]

External links[edit]