December 1: The Santa Clause (1994)

The Santa Clause. Directed by John Pasquin. Disney, 1994

Pre-Screening Sips

  • For my first Christmas Countdown entry, I wanted to go with one of the movies that’s always in the holiday rotation – I’ve seen this movie about 50 times now
  • Most people think of It’s A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story first when you mention “Christmas movies,” but I go straight to The Santa Clause

Post-Screening Snippets

  • Wow, I’m suddenly in such a cheery mood – yay Santa!
  • One con about this movie is that it’s the reason I still spell “Santa Claus” incorrectly
  • I’m a huge advocate for mental health professionals, but every one of the jabs at psychiatry are hilar-lar
  • I hope the sad, single dad area of Denny’s is based on real life
  • I don’t think this series ever canonically answers the question of whether or not Scott actually commits manslaughter, but there’s an idea for the 4th film, Disney
  • The reindeer animatronics honestly still hold up, but the cartoony, Photoshop CGI is hilariously jarring
  • When I was younger, I always hated Bernard because he was so mean, but now I am Team Bernard all the way – I have a feeling this will preview my Grinch feelings
  • This film does such an excellent job blending the adult humor with the family-friendly plot
  • Scott only ordering a buffet of desserts for lunch is the truth I wish to live
  • I love moments in movies that unintentionally scream the film’s age at you – in this, it’s Scott’s exclamation of “Compact Disc!”

The Final Hot Chocolate

         The Santa Clause really is the perfect Christmas movie. It has magical whimsy, wintery iconography, and is fun for the whole family. More than anything, The Santa Clause is really about something. Sure, many of the movies I’ll watch this month will have holiday themes (celebrating tradition, loving family, happy capitalism, etc.), but The Santa Clause is really a love story told through a custody battle. The idea of Santa can be read as an understanding of Scott’s ability to be a good father. When Laura says, “you really are Santa,” at the end, she sees her ex-husband as her son’s father for the first time since their divorce. The Santa Clause is basically the Marriage Story of Christmas movies.

GRADE: A

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