6. The Santa Clause
Release Year: 1994
Directed By: John Pasquin
Starring: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, Larry Brandenburg, David Krimholtz, Peter Boyle
The fun part of Christmas movies is that we watch them when we’re young. They are one piece of the puzzle that gets us into the holiday spirit, more often than not because these movies push the “magic” of Christmas on us hardcore. But when we grow up, these movies and their magic don’t fade away. They’re nostalgic and fun, like The Santa Clause, a unique take on Christmas and the reason many ’90s kids were confused about the real spelling of Claus.
For a children’s Christmas movie, Disney’s The Santa Clause is rather dark. Tim Allen stars as Scott Calvin, who’s divorced and has custody of his son Charlie on Christmas Eve. Their evening is more or less unmemorable, but it takes a turn when Scott accidentally kills Santa. Soon, he and Charlie travel to the North Pole, where Scott learns that he must take over Santa’s duties. Because he put on the suit, he’s the new Santa Claus, and there’s no looking back.
The Santa Clause reteamed Tim Allen with Home Improvement producer John Pasquin, whom he would later work with again on Joe Somebody, Jungle 2 Jungle, and Last Man Standing. The film holds a 74% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was a box office smash resulting in two less celebrated sequels, 2002’s The Santa Clause 2 and 2006’s The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. No matter how you feel about the sequels, the original is an all-time best and annual must-watch.