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Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, David Krumholtz ... see more see more... , Peter Boyle , Larry Brandenburg , Mary Gross , Paige Tamada , Judith Scott , Jayne Eastwood , Zachary McLemore , Joyce Guy , Jesse Collins , Steve Vinovich , Tabitha Lupien , Lachlan Murdoch , Dennis O'Connor , Scott Wickware , Gene Mack , Jack Newman , Michael Caruana , Brian Reilly , Gordon Masten , Philip Williams , Chris Benson , John Pasquin , Lawrence Nakamura , Frank Welker , Kerrigan Maham , Bob Dermer , Ron Hartmann , Brian M. Reilly

Television sitcom star Tim Allen made his big screen debut with this light, family-friendly holiday comedy. Allen stars as Scott Calvin, the divorced dad of Charlie (Eric Lloyd). Scott is distressed t... read more read more...o learn that his ex-wife Laura (Wendy Crewson) and Charlie's psychiatrist stepfather Neal (Judge Reinhold) have informed his son that there is no Santa Claus. While a sullen Charlie visits his dad on Christmas Eve, a noise on the roof brings them outside, where Scott startles the intruder, who tumbles from the roof. It turns out that there is a Santa after all, and Scott has just accidentally killed him. Because of a legal technicality known as "the Santa clause," Scott inherits the jolly old elf's job. As the next year passes, Scott rapidly gains weight, grows a white beard and meets the elf Bernard (David Krumholtz) -- who is the one who really runs the North Pole -- while Charlie regains his Christmas spirit. However, Neal becomes concerned about Scott's sudden change in appearance and insistence that he's Santa, and he forces him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Director John Pasquin previously directed Allen in the TV series Home Improvement and would team with him again for Jungle 2 Jungle (1997). ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Flixster Users

64% liked it

367,919 ratings


75% liked it

52 critics

DVD Release Date: October 13, 1998

Stats: 13,245 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (13,245)

  • December 30, 2013
    After all is said and done though, he still killed Santa right? Aren't the Elf's upset or angry about this? Have they no empathy? Are their hearts as cold as the climate they live in? Also, has anyone ever received a wooden solder as a present before? Elves are always making wood... read moreen solders but no one ever gets one, I think there is a scam going on. Still, thanks to Eric Lloyd's Charlie Calvin we all know what the greatest Christmas present of all time is. Contraception.
  • January 2, 2013
    A divorced adman for a toy company finds himself in quite a jam after a rooftop mishap on Christmas Eve sees him become Santa Claus, much to the delight of his son Charlie, and the absolute befuddlement/horror of his co-workers, ex-wife and her new man, a skeptical psychologist.
    ... read more
    This mostly holds up pretty good, and Tim Allen is pretty funny, but the cheesiness of a lot of it wears thin after a while. I do like this movie, and the effects are well done, but this is neither one of the best nor my favorite holiday films. The concept sure is fun, though, and the music is quite swelling and wonderful at times.
  • December 12, 2011
    The Santa Clause is a fun kids movie with a few jokes adults will enjoy, its not really a Christmas classic but its fun many people can enjoy.
  • September 25, 2011
    As a Christmas film, The Santa Clause for me anyways didn't work. I felt that the film was a dud. Of all the Christmas themed movies, The Santa Clause is one of the worst. I feel that the film hasn't aged well, and though it's a great film to watch as a kid, later on you realize ... read morehow stupid and pointless this film really is. I don't like the film now, and I find it to be too bad to actually enjoy today. I can think of many Christmas films that are better than this one. Tim Allen usually is pretty funny, but in this film, he seems tired and bored. The film didn't hold up for me, and I found it quite forgettable after viewing it a few times. The film is not as terrific, spectacular or original as everyone claims it to be. For a family film, it's mediocre; there are better films out that the family can enjoy on Christmas. I just felt that the idea behind the story lacked something really great to make this film work. The film hasn't stood the test of time, and the material on-screen is tired and old, and gets annoying after a few viewings. I'll stick with Scrooge and A Christmas Vacation, thank you very much. At least those films have stood the test of time, and are always entertaining, but the Santa Clause is tired, annoying and poorly acted. A pretty bad Christmas film, I honestly don't see what the fuss is about.
  • September 6, 2011
    This was not really that funny. A typical Disney movie.
  • June 2, 2011
    It was an interesting and funny idea to have a normal guy put into the situation of having to become Santa, but if you ask me, this movie overdoes it. The whole idea that he would have to physically transform into Santa is stupid. Of course, as I kid I enjoyed this movie anyway... read more, but it's not one of the better Christmas movies out there.
  • January 15, 2011
    a classic, one of the great christmas movies of all time
  • December 10, 2010
    This most fantastic of Christmas movies has eveything to bring about some holiday cheer. Late night driving, disastrous meals, carols, early morning wake-ups, magic, cocoa and so on. It's a rather clever film, as a man must become Santa, little does he realize, this could save hi... read mores relationship with his son. The great thing about this film is how it takes on the adult and child perspectives. We have a broken home dynamic, but one that is at the point of childish quips and name-calling. There are many times when Allen is more childish than Lloyd. Allen adds some biting wit, and there are plenty of jokes to keep adults happy. The saviour of his relationship with his son also becomes an even worse destroyer as his life begins to unravel. It is dark at times, but this just builds up to the heartwarming ending. One of my holiday favorites.
  • November 23, 2010
    This movie will be a holiday classic forever. It is so funny and creative! The characters are so lovable! This movie is sure tp please you. A film you must watch during the upcoming Christmas season. You'll regret it of you don't!

    "Just because you can't see something, doesn't... read more mean is doesn't exist."
  • August 3, 2010
    The first is actually really good. Just forget Tim went off the deep end and made two more.

Critic Reviews

Jeff Shannon
December 6, 2013
Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times

This is Allen's movie debut, and it's easy to see why his show is a ratings smash. There's an effortless quality to his humor, but it's also got a quietly urgent edge to it. Full Review

Jay Boyar
December 6, 2013
Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel

I was surprised to find The Santa Clause rather easier to take than anticipated. Full Review

Carrie Rickey
December 6, 2013
Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

Like most modern fantasies, The Santa Clause isn't very clear about the rules governing Scott's new powers. Full Review

Michael Sragow
December 6, 2013
Michael Sragow, New Yorker

Tim Allen's talent for dry regular-guyness fails to kindle Disney's sappy big-screen Yule log. Full Review

Richard Schickel
December 6, 2013
Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine

You can get the same emotional and imaginative kick staying home and rereading your Christmas cards. Full Review

Kevin Thomas
December 6, 2013
Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

All of the film's technical and creative contributions are top-notch, but as it should be, it's the people who win us over. Full Review

Michael Wilmington
December 6, 2013
Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

A feeble attempt to revive the tradition of heartwarming family seasonal comedies that gave us Miracle on 34th Street, It's a Wonderful Life, The Bells of St. Mary's and many others. Full Review

Leonard Klady
November 27, 2007
Leonard Klady, Variety

This is a hip, likable spin on the seasonal icon told with a deft mixture of comedy and sentimentality. Full Review

Derek Adams
February 9, 2006
Derek Adams, Time Out

The movie steers a shrewd course between bracing cynicism and old-fashioned make-believe. Full Review

Patricia S. McCormick
May 20, 2003
Patricia S. McCormick, New York Times

Home Improvement fans will find plenty of laughs and may even consent to going to this movie with their little brothers and sisters. Full Review

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    • Judy: Seeing isn't believing, believing is seeing.
    • Laura Calvin: Here's Neil's mother's number.
    • Scott Calvin: 1-800-SPANK-ME? I know that number.

The Santa Clause : Watch Free on TV

The Santa Clause Trivia

  • Tim Allen played the title role in which Christmas movies?  Answer »
  • In what movie do they talk about the escape clause?  Answer »
  • In Which movie does Tim Allen have to become Santa?  Answer »
  • IN the movie the santa clause 3, what did santa have to do to give up being santa.  Answer »

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