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 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
  • 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 directed by John Pasquin. It is the first installment in The Santa Clause trilogy and 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: The Mrs. Clause (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 is a divorced 40-year-old advertising executive, who is also a father to his son Charlie. Charlie's mother, Laura, is now married to psychiatrist Neal Miller. Charlie spends Christmas Eve with his father, who burns the Christmas turkey, forcing them to eat at Denny's. After Scott reads "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to Charlie on Christmas Eve, he and Charlie are awakened that night by sounds on the roof. After confronting a man on the roof, who inadvertently falls off when Scott startles him, then vanishes leaving his Santa Claus outfit behind, they discover eight reindeer on the roof and Charlie convinces Scott to put on the suit and finish Santa's work for him. As the morning comes, the reindeer return to the North Pole to Santa's Workshop, where the head elf Bernard explains that, due to a clausical contract written on a card Scott found on Santa, in putting on the suit and entering the sleigh he has accepted the "Santa Clause" and has agreed to the responsibilities of that position. He tells a skeptical Scott that he has eleven months to get his affairs in order before reporting to the workshop at Thanksgiving permanently.

Scott awakens in his own bed on Christmas morning and believes the night before having been a dream, but the enthusiastic Charlie recounts several events he hadn't told him and leaves him in doubt. After Charlie proudly tells his class that Scott is Santa Claus, Laura and Neal confide their concerns and ask Scott to put a stop to what they believe is a delusional fantasy. Not wanting to break Charlie's heart, Scott tells him to keep the North Pole and everything they saw a secret. However, over the course of the year, Scott grows a beard but shaving it off has no effect, it regrows every time, he develops a ravenous taste for Christmas treats such as cookies and milk and even gains an inordinate amount of weight seemingly overnight. He also begins losing the coloring of his hair, turning it stark white and long. He also begins to recount 'naughty' and 'nice' children by name after getting his "list" of children in the mail, as well as his own suit. These changes prompt further concern from Laura and Neal, who subsequently call to have Scott's visitation rights removed. Laura confides that she stopped believing in Santa when she was eight, when he failed to give her a board game Mystery Date for Christmas, while Neal, at the age of three years stopped believing when Santa didn't give him an Oscar Mayer Weenie Whistle he wanted. On Thanksgiving night, Scott arrives to visit Charlie, but when Laura steps out of the room for a moment, Bernard comes and takes them away to the North Pole, leading her to believe Scott had kidnapped him.

On Christmas Eve night, Scott begins delivering presents, and is arrested when entering Laura and Neal Miller's house, leaving Charlie stranded in the sleigh on the roof. The E.L.F.S. (Effective Liberating Flight Squad) is called and rescues Charlie and frees Scott from custody. Scott returns to take Charlie home, and manages to convince Laura and Neal of his new identity by giving them the gifts they asked for as children. Laura destroys the court order against Scott and tells him that he can visit Charlie anytime he wants. After a very public departure, Charlie attempts to use a snowglobe that Bernard had given him to summon Scott to him and Scott eventually arrives. After getting Laura's permission for a sleigh ride with his father, Charlie and he head out to continue Santa's deliveries and Scott accepts his new life as Santa Claus.


  • Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, a 38 year old divorced businessman and Laura's ex-husband.
  • Eric Lloyd as Charlie Calvin, Scott's eight-year-old son and Neil's step-son.
  • Judge Reinhold as Dr. Neal Miller, Laura's new husband.
  • Wendy Crewson as Laura Miller: Scott's ex-wife
  • 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.
  • Kenny Vadas as the E.L.F.S. Leader
  • Chris Benson as Fireman O'Hara


The film was mostly shot in Oakville, a town in the Greater Toronto Area, which also served as the city of Lakeside, Illinois in it.[2]


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 over twenty-one years old, has become a Christmas classic. ABC Family and AMC (TV channel) plays the movie numerous times through the holiday season with record ratings. [3]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received generally positive reviews from the critics. The film currently holds 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. 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 and Laserdisc) on October 20, 1995. The first DVD was released on October 29, 2002. The Santa Clause along with The Santa Clause 2: The Mrs. Clause 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 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 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 produced two sequels, The Santa Clause 2: The Mrs. Clause in 2002 and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause in 2006. The main cast were all present in the sequel. David Krumholtz, who played Bernard, was absent during The Escape Clause, due to other commitments. There are no plans to continue the series past a trilogy.


External links[edit]