Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Top 25 Christmas Movies List: #13 The Santa Clause

The Santa Clause (1994)

    Scott Calvin (played by Tim Allen) is an ad-exec for a toy company and divorced father to Charlie (Eric Lloyd), his 6-year old son. He is spending Christmas Eve with Charlie before he has to hand him back over to his mother, Laura (Wendy Crewson) and her new husband, Neil, (Judge Reinhold) on Christmas Day.

   After reading Charlie Twas the Night Before Christmas and turning into bed for the night, Scott is awakened by a "clatter" on the roof. He and Charlie both head outside to investigate. Scott sees a man on top of his house and yells at him, causing the person to fall off the roof and to the ground.

   It turns out the person was Santa Claus. His body disappears but his Santa suit remains. They find a business card in the pocket stating that if anything should happen to him, the person that finds him should put on the suit and the reindeer will know what to do.  The reindeer are waiting on the roof along with Santa's sleigh.

  After much insistence by Charlie, Scott puts on the suit and climbs up the ladder found leaning against their house. Once they are on the roof, they hop into the sleigh and begin a night of delivering gifts from house to house guided by Santa's eight magic reindeer.

  They make one last stop at the North Pole where they meet Bernard (David Krumholtz), Santa's head elf, and he explains that whoever puts on Santa's suit must now assume his identity and all the responsibilities of it as shown in very fine print on the business card they found. This is the "Santa Clause". He gives Scott until Thanksgiving of the following year to get his affairs in order before he has to assume the role of Santa Claus full-time. Bernard then gives Charlie a snow globe. They have some cocoa then Scott settles in for the night in Santa's silk pajamas and bedroom.

  In the morning, Scott wakes up back in his own home and so he believes it was all a dream. But Charlie remembers all the details and when he tries to tell his mother and stepfather, they become upset with Scott for encouraging the child's fantasies.

  As the new year progresses, Scott finds himself going through massive changes. He begins gaining weight and despite his numerous attempts of dying his hair, it keeps turning white. His facial hair regrows within a matter of minutes after each shave and he develops a fondness for wearing red and green clothing. He craves cookies and hot cocoa and children seem to naturally come up to him and begin reciting their Christmas wishes. All of this concerns his ex-wife and her husband and they attempt to terminate his visitation rights with Charlie.

   After losing his visitation rights, he is allowed time with Charlie on Thanksgiving, where he and Bernard take the boy on a trip back to the North Pole. Laura and Neil think that Scott has kidnapped Charlie and so they call the police.While at the North Pole, Charlie helps his father and the elves perfect their new high-tech sleigh.

   On Christmas Eve, Scott, as the new Santa, goes on his rounds delivering gifts to each and every house but then is arrested for kidnapping. He is taken to jail where the elves rescue him and fly them back to Laura and Neil's. As Scott says his goodbyes, Charlie is sad and begins to cry. He does not want his father to go. Bernard tells him that the snow globe he gave him earlier is magical. Anytime he wishes to see his father all he has to do is shake it and he will come. Laura and Neil now realize that Scott Calvin is in fact Santa Claus. They throw the custody papers into the fireplace and tell Scott that he can visit Charlie anytime he likes.

   Scott gives Laura the vintage board game "Mystery Date" and to Neil he gives an Oscar Mayer Wienie Whistle. These are the items they asked Santa for when they were children but never received them, which in turn caused them to stop believing in him. He wishes them a "Merry Christmas" then flies away in his sleigh.

  Not long after, Charlie shakes the globe and Scott returns. Laura allows him to take Charlie for the night to finish delivering the rest of the gifts and together they fly up and away into the sky.

  This is a cute movie that has become a holiday staple since its release in 1994. There have been two other sequels made continuing the story of Scott Calvin/Santa and his family.

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