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"THE SANTA CLAUSE "
(1994) (Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild None Mild Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Minor Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor Minor Mild Mild Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A father unwillingly takes over Santaís duties after the real Santa falls from his roof.
PLOT:
Scott Calvin (TIM ALLEN) is a divorced parent whose son, Charlie (ERIC LLOYD), would rather stay with his mother Laura (WENDY CREWSON) and stepdad Neal (JUDGE REINHOLD). Charlie, however, has to stay with Scott on Christmas Eve and late that night they hear a noise on the roof. Going outside, they find Santa on the roof, only to see him slide and fall to the ground. A note inside his suit tells whoever finds him to put on the suit and Scott, with much prodding from Charlie, reluctantly puts it on. Soon he unexpectedly finds himself delivering Christmas gifts to homes around the neighborhood and eventually ends up at the North Pole. The elf in charge, Bernard (DAVID KRUMHOLTZ), gives him the low down on what's happened. By putting on the Santa suit, Scott unknowingly accepted the Santa Clause that states that he must be Santa from now on. As the months roll by and the next Christmas nears, Scott finds himself looking more and more like the real Santa. Laura and Neal worry about that and the fact that Charlie thinks his dad really is Santa. Scott goes about his Christmas duties, but must deal with Laura, Neal, and the police who believe that he's lost his mind.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
A movie about Santa Claus with the star of TVís "Home Improvement" is sure to be popular with kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
The MPAA reason was not available, but we would assume it was for "thematic elements."
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • TIM ALLEN plays a man who at first is sarcastic about having to "be" Santa, but soon develops a true devotion to the job.
  • ERIC LLOYD plays a rather normal kid who just happens to believe that his father is Santa Claus.
  • WENDY CREWSON and JUDGE REINHOLD play concerned parents who are looking out for their son's well being, but come across as the non-believing, stuffy parents.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
    This is a rather unassuming film that toys with idea of who or what Santa Claus is and plays on the words "Santa CLAUSE" as a major plot point. One looking for reality should leave that notion checked at the door as the plot is rather fantastical and the characterís behaviorís arenít exactly what one would assume or expect under such conditions. But itís not meant to be a realistic movie and thus can be forgiven for that fact. Allen is fairly entertaining in his role as a man who finds himself changing into St. Nick, but he always seems to be conscious of the camera and never gets totally lost in his role. The rest of the cast are okay in their roles with Reinhold furthering his stereotype as an uptight, slightly whacky guy. This isn't a great holiday movie, but it certainly isn't that bad. We give it a 5 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Nothing major stands out in this film as being too objectionable. There's very little violence or profanity and the sexual content is limited to minor comments. A child must deal with divorced parents (who still fight over him) and the existence of Santa Claus is a major issue here. A few phrases and actions exist that parents might not want their impressionable kids exposed to. There are also two farting scenes, one involving a reindeer and the other, Scott. Adults will find enough material to keep themselves entertained and kids will enjoy the fantastical representations of the North Pole, Santaís toy factory, and his reindeer team. While there isn't a great deal to object to, we do suggest that you read through the category listings before allowing your children to see this film.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have drinks at a company holiday party.
  • Wine is seen with a holiday dinner on TV and then on Scottís dinner table.
  • When Charlie states "Weíre flying" as the sleigh takes off, Scott comments, "Itís okay, I lived through the sixties" (possibly implying previous drug use).
  • When an elf asks Scott if she can get him anything, he says, "How about a stiff drink?"
  • When Neal asks what they did last night, Scott mockingly replies, "We shared a bowl of sugar, some shots of brown liquor, played with the shotguns...and looked for women."
  • Wine is seen on Neal and Lauraís dining room table.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Scott calls Laura and instead of saying why heís late to meet her, he lies about there being bad traffic and accidents that have slowed him down.
  • At first Scott is rather sarcastic about having to go through with the Santa duties, but later he comes around and embraces it whole heartedly.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scott encounters a growling dog inside a house that chases him to the chimney. Kids who are afraid of dogs might find the scene a little scary.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Scott refers to the previous night as rough with "...dogs barking, guns going off...." (but no gun shots were heard).
  • The police and a S.W.A.T. team arrive at Neal and Lauraís house and aim their weapons toward it, anticipating Scott coming out.
  • When Neal asks what they did last night, Scott mockingly replies, "We shared a bowl of sugar, some shots of brown liquor, played with the shotguns...and looked for women."
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Iím freezing my nubs (testicles) off out here," "Snotty," "Jerk," "Pinhead," "Stupid," "Oh, nuts," and "Fat boy."
  • Charlie climbs up a ladder onto the roof to look at the reindeer that are standing there.
  • Scott runs outside barefoot in the snow.
  • Charlie gives the "kiss my ass" signal (with his thumb to his nose with fingers waving) to a cop.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • There is a ZZ Top song with the lyrics "Give me all your loving, all your hugs and kisses too."
  • PROFANITY
  • 1 hell and 6 uses of "Oh my God," and 1 use of "God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Laura gives Scott the phone number for Nealís mother and he jokingly says, "Oh, 1-800 Spank Me."
  • Scott tells Laura that he doesnít always sleep in pajamas and that sometimes he sleeps "buck naked."
  • When Neal asks what they did last night, Scott mockingly replies, "We shared a bowl of sugar, some shots of brown liquor, played with the shotguns...and looked for women."
  • As he walks along checking off whether kids or naughty or nice, he passes and then looks back at an attractive woman and says, "Ooh, Veronica. Very nice." She replies, "In your dreams sleigh boy."
  • SMOKING
  • A cop snuffs out a cigarette as he interrogates Scott in the police station.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Scott and Laura are divorced and Charlie lives with her and her new husband, Neal.
  • Charlie asks his parents why theyíre always fighting (while theyíre disagreeing about Charlie believing in Santa).
  • Charlie doesnít want to stay with Scott on Christmas Eve and believes that his dad thinks that everything he wants to do is "stupid."
  • Laura and Neal get a court order restraining Scottís visitation rights with Charlie after they think heís taken the Santa Claus act too far.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether Santa Claus exists or not.
  • Whether bee stings will make you swell up to look like Tim Allen (he tells his coworkers the reason behind his fatness is that heís swollen from a bee sting).
  • The police arrest Santa (Scott) after Laura and Neal think heís abducted Charlie.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Thereís some slapstick stuff such as Scott bumping his head on a low doorway and on a ladder.
  • Santa slips and slides down Scottís roof and falls to the ground two stories below (and is presumably hurt, but thereís nothing graphic and after a moment he disappears leaving his Santa suit behind).
  • An elf rescue team ties up a cop at the police station as they bust Santa (Scott) out of jail.



  • Reviewed December 7, 1996

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