The Santa Clause (franchise)

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The Santa Clause
The Santa Clause franchise logo.jpg
Official franchise logo
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution,
Release date
Running time
294+ minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget>$88 million
Box office$470 million[1]

The Santa Clause is a media franchise that consists of three American holiday family-comedy theatrical feature films starring Tim Allen, and one limited series for Disney+. Based on an original story by Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick, the plot centers around Scott Calvin's transformation into Santa Claus, and his adventures thereafter.

The Santa Clause was met with mostly positive critical reviews, and was a box office success. In the years since its release, it has earned its status as a Christmas classic.[2] The sequels experienced diminishing critical reception, but were still financial successes and are also now considered holiday cult classics.[3]

The franchise continued with the limited series The Santa Clauses, which premiered on November 16, 2022.


Title U.S.
release date
Director Screenwriters Story by Producers
The Santa Clause November 11, 1994 (1994-11-11) John Pasquin Leo Benvenuti & Steve Rudnick Robert Newmyer, Brian Reilly and Jeffrey Silver
The Santa Clause 2 November 1, 2002 (2002-11-01) Michael Lembeck Don Rhymer
and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio
and Ed Decter & John J. Strauss
Leo Benvenuti & Steve Rudnick
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause November 3, 2006 (2006-11-03) Ed Decter & John J. Strauss

The Santa Clause (1994)[edit]

Divorced dad Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) has custody of his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd) on Christmas Eve. After he accidentally causes the death of Santa, they are magically transported to the North Pole, where an elf explains that Scott must take Santa's place before the next Christmas arrives. Scott thinks he's dreaming, but over the next several months he gains weight and grows an inexplicably white beard. Realizing that it wasn't a dream, Scott embraces the new, permanent role he has as Santa Claus.

The Santa Clause 2 (2002)[edit]

Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) has been in the role of Santa for the past eight years, and his loyal elves consider him the best one ever. But the world of the "Merry Old Soul" turns upside down when he's dealt a double whammy of news: Not only has his son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd), landed on this year's naughty list, but Scott discovers that he must marry by Christmas Eve, or he will stop being Santa Claus forever.

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)[edit]

Christmas cheer turns into holiday chaos when Scott Calvin / Santa Claus (Tim Allen) invites his in-laws (Ann-Margret, Alan Arkin) for a visit and must also contend with Jack Frost's (Martin Short) scheme to take over the North Pole. Scott, his family, and Head Elf Curtis (Spencer Breslin) must join forces to foil the nefarious plot.

Short film[edit]

True Confessions of the Legendary Figures (2003)[edit]

Released on The Santa Clause 2 home media, the 3 minutes 30 second short film is a mockumentary interview with Father Time, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Cupid, Sandman and Mother Nature. The actors reprised their roles from the film.


In January 2022, it was announced that a sequel limited series was in development. Jack Burditt will serve as showrunner and executive producer, while Tim Allen and Elizabeth Mitchell will reprise their roles as Scott Calvin / Santa Clause and Carol Newman-Calvin / Mrs. Claus, respectively. Allen, Kevin Hench, Richard Baker and Rick Messina will serve as additional executive producers. The project will be a joint-venture production between Disney Branded Television, 20th Television, Disney Television Studios, and Disney+ Original Series. The show is intended to be released via streaming exclusively on Disney+. Production is scheduled to commence in March 2022 in Los Angeles, California.[4][5] At the beginning of that month, Jason Winer was announced as the director.[6]

The official premise of the series was announced as:

Scott Calvin is on the brink of his 65th birthday and realizing that he can’t be Santa forever. He’s starting to lose a step in his Santa duties, and more importantly, he’s got a family who could benefit from a life in the normal world, especially his two kids who have grown up at the Pole. With a lot of elves, children, and family to please, Scott sets out to find a suitable replacement Santa while preparing his family for a new adventure in a life south of the pole.[7]

In March 2022, Kal Penn was cast in the series as a character named Simon Choski.[8] While Penn's character has not officially been identified as Allen's character's successor, the initials of his character's name are "S.C.", the same as Scott Calvin and Santa Claus.[original research?]

Main cast and characters[edit]

List indicator(s)

This section shows characters who will appear or have appeared in more than two films in the series.

  • An empty, dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's official presence has not yet been confirmed.
  •  C indicates a cameo role.
  •  V indicates a voice-only role.
Character Films Television
The Santa Clause The Santa Clause 2 The Santa Clause 3:
The Escape Clause
The Santa Clauses
1994 2002 2006 2022
Scott Calvin / Santa Claus Tim Allen
Comet the Reindeer Frank WelkerV Bob BergenV TBA
Charlie Calvin Eric Lloyd
Neil Miller Judge Reinhold TBA
Laura Miller Wendy Crewson
Mr. Whittle / Father Time Peter Boyle
Bernard the Elf David Krumholtz David Krumholtz
Carol Newman-Calvin / Mrs. Claus Elizabeth Mitchell
Lucy Miller Liliana Mumy TBA
Curtis the Elf Spencer Breslin
Mother Nature Aisha Tyler
Easter Bunny Jay Thomas
Cupid Kevin Pollak
Tooth Fairy Art LaFleur
Sandman Michael Dorn
Jack Frost Martin Short
Buddy "Cal" Calvin Uncredited baby actorC Austin Kane
Bud Newman Alan Arkin TBA
Sylvia Newman Ann-Margret
Simon Choksi Kal Penn
Sandra Calvin Elizabeth Allen-Dick
Grace Choksi Rupali Redd
Noel Devin Bright
La Befana, the Christmas Witch Laura San Giacomo

Additional crew and production details[edit]

Title Composer Cinematographer Editor Production
Running time
The Santa Clause Michael Convertino Walt Lloyd Larry Bock Walt Disney Pictures
Hollywood Pictures[9]
Outlaw Productions
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution[9][10] 97 minutes
The Santa Clause 2 George S. Clinton Adam Greenberg David Finfer Walt Disney Pictures[10][11]
Boxing Cat Films
Outlaw Productions[12][13]
104 minutes
The Santa Clause 3:
The Escape Clause
Robbie Greenberg 92 minutes
The Santa Clauses Ariel Rechtshaid J.P. Wakayama TBA 20th Television
Small Dog Picture Company
Double Wide Productions
Disney Platform Distribution TBA


Box office performance[edit]

Film Revenue Budget Ref.
U.S. and Canada Other territories Worldwide
The Santa Clause $145,539,357 $45,000,000 $190,539,357 $22,000,000 [14]
The Santa Clause 2 $139,236,327 $33,618,738 $172,855,065 $65,000,000 [15]
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause $84,500,122 $26,768,000 $110,768,122 [16]
Totals $369,275,806 $105,386,738 $474,162,544 >$88,000,000 [1]

The Santa Clause 2 on its opening weekend grossed $10 million more than its predecessor. The opening weekend was a personal best to date for Tim Allen. The Hollywood Reporter said its performance "exceeded expectations".[17] The Santa Clause's strongest market outside the United States was Germany, and The Santa Clause 2 had in Germany an opening weekend of $892,000, which was 50% larger than the opening weekend of the original film.[18]

In the United States, The Santa Clause 3 had an opening weekend of $19.5 million, which was less than the $29 million grossed by The Santa Clause 2. Box Office Mojo reported: "More often than not, second sequels in the family genre make significantly less than their predecessors".[19] After 24 days in theaters, the third film had grossed $67.1 million, which Box Office Mojo said was "lagging behind its predecessors by a wide margin".[20]

In the United Kingdom, The Santa Clause 3 had an opening weekend of $2.7 million at 350 locations, which was 40% better than the opening weekend of The Santa Clause 2.[21] In Mexico, The Santa Clause 3 had an opening weekend of $1.4 million at 380 locations, which was three times better than The Santa Clause 2's opening weekend.[22]

Critical and public response[edit]

Film Critical Public
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
The Santa Clause 73% (59 reviews)[23] 57 (13 reviews)[24] A-[25]
The Santa Clause 2 56% (122 reviews)[26] 48 (26 reviews)[27] A[25]
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause 17% (66 reviews)[28] 32 (17 reviews)[29] B+[25]
The Santa Clauses 59% (17 reviews)[30] 55 (6 reviews)[31]

Scott Foundas of Variety called the 1994 film was "a full-on charmer pic". Foundas said the 2002 follow-up had too many writers and executives involved during the long development process, which he said led to "systematically pulverizing most of the original's simple delights". The critic said: "The Santa Clause 2 is a movie conscious, at every waking moment, of trying to out-do its predecessor".[32] Variety's Justin Chang said The Santa Clause 3 was "a much cleaner, more streamlined ride than its overstuffed predecessor". Chang said: "Michael Lembeck directs the action with a surer touch and more consistent tone than he brought to Santa Clause 2, and effortlessly pulls off the pic's sentimental, life-affirming moments without tugging too hard".[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Santa Clause Movies". The Numbers. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  2. ^ Walsh, Michael (December 10, 2018). "What Makes 'The Santa Clause' a Christmas Classic?". Nerdist. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  3. ^ Roberts, Daniel (January 29, 2022). "16 Years Later, 'Santa Clause' Star Will Return With Tim Allen in New Series". Inside the Magic. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 14, 2022). "Tim Allen To Headline 'The Santa Clause' Sequel Series For Disney+ From 'Last Man Standing' Team". Deadline. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  5. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (January 28, 2022). "Elizabeth Mitchell To Return As Mrs. Claus For 'The Santa Clause' Disney+ Limited Series". Deadline. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  6. ^ Haas, Shawnee (March 1, 2022). "Disney's 'The Santa Clause' Limited Series Taps Jason Winer As Director". Collider. Retrieved March 1, 2022.
  7. ^ "JUST ANNOUNCED: Tim Allen Returns to the Red Suit for the Santa Clause, a Limited Series for Disney+". 14 January 2022.
  8. ^ Maas, Jennifer (March 3, 2022). "'Santa Clause' Series at Disney Plus Adds Kal Penn". Variety. Retrieved March 12, 2022.
  9. ^ a b The Santa Clause at the American Film Institute Catalog
  10. ^ a b The Santa Clause at the American Film Institute Catalog
  11. ^ "AFI|Catalog".
  12. ^ Lyons, Charles (April 26, 2001). "Duo board 'Santa' sleigh". Variety. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  13. ^ Chang, Justin (November 2, 2006). "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause". Variety. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  14. ^ "The Santa Clause (1994)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  15. ^ "The Santa Clause 2". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  16. ^ "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  17. ^ Fuson, Brian (November 4, 2002). "'Santa' delivers early b.o. gift". The Hollywood Reporter.
  18. ^ Groves, Don (November 26, 2002). "World might be enough for Bond franchise". Variety.
  19. ^ Gray, Brandon (November 6, 2006). "'Borat' Bombards the Top Spot". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  20. ^ Gray, Brandon (November 27, 2006). "'Happy Feet', 'Casino Royale' Top Thanksgiving". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  21. ^ McNary, Dave (November 27, 2006). "007 goes for the global grab". Variety.
  22. ^ McNary, Dave (December 5, 2006). "Bond holds cards o'seas". Variety.
  23. ^ "The Santa Clause". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  24. ^ "The Santa Clause". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  25. ^ a b c Fink, Richard (December 26, 2021). "Santa Clause Actor Reveals the REAL Reason Bernard Wasn't in Third Movie". Screen Rant. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  26. ^ "The Santa Clause 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  27. ^ "The Santa Clause 2". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  28. ^ "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  29. ^ "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  30. ^ "The Santa Clauses". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  31. ^ "The Santa Clauses". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  32. ^ Foundas, Scott (October 31, 2002). "The Santa Clause 2". Variety. Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  33. ^ Chang, Justin (November 2, 2006). "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause". Variety. Retrieved June 23, 2022.

External links[edit]