The Santa Clause (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Santa Clause1994

The Santa Clause (1994)



Critic Consensus: The Santa Clause is utterly undemanding, but it's firmly rooted in the sort of good old-fashioned holiday spirit missing from too many modern yuletide films.

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Movie Info

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 to 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).

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Tim Allen
as Scott Calvin
Judge Reinhold
as Dr. Neil Miller
Wendy Crewson
as Laura Calvin
Eric Lloyd
as Charlie Calvin
Peter Boyle
as Mr. Whittle
Larry Brandenburg
as Det. Nunzio
Mary Gross
as Ms. Daniels
Paige Tamada
as Elf--Judy
Melissa King
as Little Girl
Bradley Wentworth
as Elf at North Pole
Azura Bates
as Elf in Hangar
Joshua Satok
as Elf--Larry
Joyce Guy
as Principal Compton
Jesse Collins
as Ad Executive
Steve Vinovich
as Dr. Novos
Tabitha Lupien
as Ballet Girl
David Sparrow
as Bobby's Dad
Nic Knight
as Quintin
Gene Mack
as Newman
Brett Moon
as Elf One
Ryan Moon
as Elf Two
Jack Newman
as Santa In Street
Michael Caruana
as 1st Officer
Micha Jackson
as Child One
Cody Jones
as Child Two
Kenny Vadas
as ELFS Leader
Brian Reilly
as Tinsel Man
Gordon Masten
as Desk Sergeant
Philip Williams
as Sharpshooter
Chris Benson
as Fireman
Peter Kosaka
as Japanese Businessman
Todd Davis
as 3rd ELFS
Marc Pichette
as 4th ELFS
John Pasquin
as 6th Santa
Tony Krolo
as Coffee Cop
Alec Bachlow
as Neighbor
Jimmy Labriola
as Truck Driver
Steve Kosaka
as Japanese Businessman
Lawrence Nakamura
as Japanese Businessman
Hun Sun Tran
as Japanese Businessman
Steve Tsukamoto
as Japanese Businessman
Bob Dermer
as Puppet Punch
Nina Keogh
as Puppet Judy
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News & Interviews for The Santa Clause

Critic Reviews for The Santa Clause

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (18)

A genial, lightweight entertainment.

August 23, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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.

December 6, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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

December 6, 2013 | Rating: 3/5

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

December 6, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

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

December 6, 2013

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

December 6, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Santa Clause


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. 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.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


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.

Jim Careter
Jim Careter

Super Reviewer

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 how 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.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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