Tim Allen plays a guy named Scott Calvin who has a son named Charlie. Charlie firmly believes in Santa Claus, but his dad is a bit rebellious against it. After an incident occurs, Scott Calvin has to become the next Santa Claus.
I haven’t seen this movie for years until recently. So, I picked up some new details. Here are the elements that pleased me and those I felt could’ve been better.
1: The plot
The storyline is similar to that of “Evan Almighty”, which was released several years later in 2007. The way Charlie and his dad got along progressed well. At first, Scott would be a bit tough on Charlie and then their relationship improved over time. Another element that felt believable to me was when Charlie’s mother and her boyfriend, Neil, were suspicious of Scott Calvin when Charlie was telling stories about him being at the North Pole. Scott Calvin was suspended from being with Charlie.
2: The humor
The movie was very funny. It had great dialogue and the characters’ decisions often cracked me up. I laughed throughout much of the film.
Now onto the parts that could have been portrayed better.
1: The characters’ reactions at times
When Santa fell off the roof, he died and somehow vanished. Charlie and his dad didn’t react strongly enough nor believably. In fact, they accepted it too much like it was no big deal. Um… Santa lost his life. And no one seemed stressed out about it.
Other examples of weak reactions include when a kid in Charlie’s class at school called a girl stupid for asking Scott Calvin if he made the toys. And the teacher was way too relaxed and gentle about it. She even smiled. A truly responsible and believable teacher would’ve gotten angry and said something like, “Excuse me, we don’t call others stupid. That’s not nice. Apologize to (whatever the person’s name is).”
And when Calvin gained weight as he was turning into Santa Claus, one of his co-workers commented on it and Scott seemed to casually accept that. Hey, other guy, that’s not your business that Scott was gaining weight. He should’ve known better.
2: Why do the elves look like human children?
Not only do the characters in the movie mistake the elves as kids, but so did I when I first saw it many years ago. The elves are apparently more than a thousand years old. So, why do they look like human children? Bernard, the elf who was involved with Charlie and his father, resembles a teenager.
I am pretty sure elves aren’t supposed to look like human kids. I think the portrayal of them in the movie, “Elf”, that came out years after in 2003, is far more accurate.
3: The bizarre special effects
Okay, okay—I get it. This was released in the 90’s, when special effects were still in their infancy. But seeing the shape changes for plot convenience, such as when Scott’s form alters so that he can fit inside a pipe, looked weird to me. It reminded me of something that would have occurred in a kiddie show, such as “Barney and Friends”. But whatever.
4: Scott orders desserts at work, despite being lactose intolerant
I get that he is developing more interests in sweets as he transforms into Santa Claus. He already grows a beard each time he shaves, and gains weight every time he loses it.
But at the beginning of the movie, he reveals that he’s lactose intolerant. So, at some point, he’s offered soy milk since the person he’d told about his dietary restriction remembered that. And I doubt the desserts he ordered at work were dairy-free. Many dietary restrictions were not recognized until, at least, the 2000s – or possibly the 2010’s. One of the exceptions of dietary restrictions acknowledged in the 90s was the peanut allergy.
Regardless of the flaws, I enjoyed “The Santa Clause” very much. I would rate it 5 out of 5 stars.