Review of 'The Santa Clause'

1st film in the 'Santa Clause' series

santa_clause.jpg Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is an executive working at a toy manufacturing company who has separated from his wife Laura (Wendy Crewson) who lives with the boringly normal psychologist Dr. Neil Miller (the delightful Judge Reinhold playing things very straight as the bad-guy) and has custody of their son Charlie (Eric Lloyd). On Christmas Eve, Charlie is staying with Scott when they are woken by a clatter on the roof. When they go outside they startle a man on the roof and he comes crashing down into a snow bank. A card on the body shows that it is the one and only “Santa Claus” but there is also a rather complicated “Santa Clause” that tells Scott that he must become Santa Claus. After a trip to deliver the rest of the presents and then to the north pole it soon becomes apparent that this is for real and Scott is given a year to put his affairs in order before he must become Santa full time. Over the year he puts on the appearance of Santa, gaining weight and a good amount of facial hair, coming to believe more and more that he is Santa, however, Neil thinks he is a bit insane, encouraging Laura to seek full custody of Charlie. Will things work out? Hint: This is a Hollywood Christmas movie, you tell me.

Allen, star of the show, puts on a tremendous performance of the hapless businessman thrown into a the fantastic world of Father Christmas. The effects are cheesy but effective (back in the days where computer graphics were relatively unheard of in movies). This film has a lot of heart with a good amount of humour and fun. Silly, of course, but it is a Christmas movie…The story is interesting with critical points made about modern society. After a tremendously fun start the film drags in the middle with a modest finale. The characters are largely cardboard but this is appropriate here where only a little amount of negative reality intruding but I feel the ending is never really in doubt.

A classic feel-good Christmas story.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2016-12-11

Directed by: Pasquin John

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

Year: 1994

Length: 97 minutes

Genre: Comedy

Other reviewed films in the 'Santa Clause' series: