The Santa Clause (1994)
From one original Disney Christmas film to another, 1994’s The Santa Clause was the first really big starring role for Tin Allen. Lucky for him, is a Christmas film and those tend to stuck around. Even better, this lead to an unexpected franchise that Disney made a good fortune on.
Scott Calvin (Allen) is a businessman with a normal life, divorced from his wife Laura (Wendy Crewson) while seeing his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd). He decides to take care of him for the holiday season. On Christmas, a clatter from upstairs is heard which Calvin investigates. Calvin shouts and effectively kills Christmas. Yup, Santa’s dead now. Thanks, douche. Scott discovers a card of Santa’s that takes the two the North Pole. Whisked away to the land, they are greeted by Bernard the Arch-Elf (David Krumholtz) who informs them of the Santa Clause. Whoever takes the big man down after killing him most take up the position. Scott does the job and finds it ridiculous. The next morning, he thinks everything is all a dream until he starts to slowly but surely morph into Santa Claus throughout the next year. Many think he has gone insane and let himself go, resulting in Laura’s second husband Dr. Neal Miller (Judge Reinhold) to deal with him much to Scott’s dismay. Scott begins to deliver presents and is arrested after the police think he is breaking and entering. It is up to Charlie’s belief in Santa to save Christmas and prove Scott is Santa once and for all.
The Santa Clause is one of those other hokey and cheesy Christmas films I love. It handles its cheesiness with style with a very creative story. The story is interesting is that it’s a guy who doesn’t believe in Santa anymore and is suddenly the big man. Scott at first is kind of a jerk, but over the year as Santa, he evolves to not just being a kind hearted man, but to a go father. I like the father/son aspect of the film because it makes Scott more human and shows he can deal with kids. The dynamic shows that Scott has a heart and only wants what’s best for those he cares for. Allen takes charge of his role, but doesn’t overplay it as he would do in the later sequels.
The design of the North Pole is still what I think of when I hear the North Pole. It’s bright, vibrant, majestic and surrounded by hardworking elves. It’s just so damn gorgeous and out of a dream. The elves themselves are played by children, giving them that immortal feeling. It helps that they also play their parts well including Krumholtz as Bernard. He was like the cool dude you wanted to be and leader of the elves that with dry sarcasm. Funny enough, they would use Krumholtz again in the first sequel and he still looked and acted like he did in 1994. The film is rather good, but it does get boring in some places, but that’s made up for in how well acted and produced it is. Maybe it’s my nostalgia, but I never get tired of watching this film around Christmas.
The Santa Clause is one clause worth signing up for.