The Santa Clause, Our Resident Tool Man Becoming Magical (Day #10)

Title: The Santa Clause

Release: November 11th, 1994

Director: John Pasquin

Writer(s): Leo Benvenuti, Steve Rudrick

Starring: Tim Allen, Jodge Rainhold, Wandy Crewson, David Krumholtz, Peter Boyle

*Warning, this review may contain spoilers

What would you do if given the opportunity to become Saint Nick and save Christmas? That is the question we try to answer today. When you have that amount of power just within your grasp, why wouldn’t you take the plunge? Well, besides the massive amounts of added stress and complications to your daily life. I would be all for living in Alaska, but not necessarily the North Pole. At least Alaska has civilization, even if it goes dark for months. I could miss the sunshine aplenty, or I can let someone else take the plunge as The Santa Clause.

Becoming Santa

Taking the stage this time around is everyone’s 1990s friendly favorite, Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, or Tim Allen IRL. Portraying successful toy salesman Scott Calvin, Scott spends his Christmas Eve convincing his son that Santa Clause is a real persona, against his own beliefs. However, there is a dreadful bump in the night and Santa Clause falls off of Calvin’s roof, vanishing and leaving only his signature coat behind. Scott finds a note inside, beckoning him to put on the suit himself and step into the role of The Santa Clause. Needless to say, the first round doesn’t go as planned, and he has to spend the next year in preparation for a successful following Christmas run.

Tim Allen has one of those faces that give priceless stills.

Despite the magical and absurd premise – and I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but… – I applaud The Santa Clause for its realism. Yes, I know, just looking briefly at the plot above, it seems to nullify this argument. However, casting Tim Allen as Scott Calvin was a moment of perfect casting, especially as he was a household name as “The Tool Man” from his success in Home Improvement. He feels like a genuinely real dad, even going so far as being a real human with justifiable responses to his new responsibilities. While I give Tim Allen the most props, The Santa Clause also asks an interesting question that tickles the sociological aspect of my brain. When exactly is the right time to stop believing in Santa?

Santa the Illusion?

What is that elf up to now?

This happens to beg the question, when do you think is the right time? They have a rather appropriate parenting argument regarding this, especially between Scott and his ex-wife Laura. Laura and her new husband Dr. Miller both stopped believing at an early age. Miller backs up this argument with his psychologist profession and background. Scott, however, wants to keep the illusion alive for his son, keeping the magic of the holiday for children even if just for a few more years.  I understand both sides of the argument and didn’t expect an argument for realism vs illusions from a Tim Allen Christmas movie.

While taking a second look, The Santa Clause should have been earlier in our Winter Bonanza. Sure, the film is iconic to many who first saw it during their childhood in the 1990s, but it isn’t a major Christmas mainstay. But The Santa Clause has a special place in my heart, as when I saw it during my own childhood, it made me laugh at the concept of Tool Man Santa. I first saw the movie back in 1997, at the meager age of six and was still pleasantly blinded by the Santa illusion. Did I still believe after watching The Santa Clause? Yes of course, but this made me question the absurdity of the idea.

Stable Through The Ages

I do actually regret that we didn’t write about The Santa Clause in our Modern Rewind segment since the 25-year anniversary was just earlier last month. Surprisingly, The Santa Clause holds up after so much time. Sure, there may be a few jokes from Allen that wouldn’t fly in 2019, but his humor feels like it was created with the 90s in mind. However, comedy is a prime example of subjectivity and an evolution of art, changing drastically since 1994. At the same time, the movie stays its course and is a fun experience for both adults and children. Overall, The Santa Clause exudes 90s reliable quality and should be rewatched this holiday season.

Sure, The Santa Clause may not be the essential Christmas movie to add to your viewing party this holiday season, but it is a fun experience to share with your loved ones. You can see the dated references and laugh at the ridiculousness of the 90s, seeing how far we have grown in a mere 25 years. Plus, everyone needs a bit more of Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor.

Audible Grunts

Thanks for reaching the end of the article! This piece is apart of our Modern Neon Christmas Bonanza, where we are looking at 25 of our favorite or well-known Christmas movies.  So click through to see the previous and next movie, or go back to the home page to find your favorite movie!

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