The Santa Clause (1994) – Film Review

Tim Allen is THE SANTA CLAUSE...

When it comes to Christmas movies, they don’t come much more magical than The Santa Clause. While the film may appear to be aimed primarily at children, this is a festive treat for the entire family (and for any Christmas movie fans) and is definitely a DVD to add to the collection if you don’t already have it.

When Scott Calvin accidentally kills Santa Clause, he finds himself in what he would have imagined to be an entirely impossible situation – he spends Christmas Eve, with his young son Charlie, in the back of a reindeer led sleigh, delivering presents to every child in the world. The film then follows Calvin’s transformation from a cynical businessman into Santa Clause himself, encouraged every step of the way by his son and doubted and distrusted at every turn by everyone else around him. The scenes in the North Pole are beautifully shot and the whole film has a distinctly magical feel to it.

While focusing on Charlie’s obsession with his father’s transformation, the film spends a great deal of time working through the idea of adults losing their Christmas spirit. Scott and Charlie’s mother Laura are divorced, and her relationship with her new husband Neil, a psychiatrist, causes continual problems for Scott’s relationship both with Laura herself, and with Charlie. Rather than look for the positives in Charlie’s newly rejuvenated relationship with his dad, Laura becomes increasingly distressed by her son’s behaviour, and blames her ex-husband for creating what she sees as a serious problem with their child. Charlie’s bedroom becomes a shrine to the North Pole, and he begins to tell his friends and schoolteachers all about his father’s new job, and their adventure to the North Pole. While remaining a heart-warming fantastical film with many very comical moments, The Santa Clause also includes a more serious storyline, examining the workings of the modern family and what this means for children at this traditionally family-orientated time of year.

The Santa Clause is a film that celebrates the magic of Christmas, reminding adult viewers how exciting this time of year is for children. As we grow up we lose that feeling, caught up in shopping frenzies, decorating and negotiating family dramas, and this film does an amazing job of reminding viewers of all ages that this time of year is special. The idea of Santa Clause is thoroughly celebrated and Tim Allen plays the part to perfection, gradually changing from a sarcastic cynic, to completely embracing his new (and completely unexpected) role as Santa. Eric Lloyd is also superb as Charlie, whose innocence and utter belief in his father as Santa brings the majority of the heart-warming moments to the movie.

If you’re looking for a film that will entertain the entire family this Christmas, give The Santa Clause a try. It truly represents the joy and magic of the festive season, and while it is almost twenty years old now, it hasn’t lost the ability to lift your Christmas spirit.


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