Five Flaws in The Santa Clause
By Kyle Sutherland Egwyl Editor
1994’s The Santa Clause starring Tim Allen as Scott Calvin is one of the great Christmas loves of my childhood. For as long as I can remember it’s been my go to Christmas Eve watch, right up there with Muppets Christmas Carol and Die Hard (yes that’s a Christmas film, come at me bro!). If you’re not familiar with the film suffice it to say that Tim Allen accidently kills Santa, loots him of his clothes and is forced therefore to become the new Father Christmas, it’s a hoot. But as much as I love it, my god it has some annoying stuff that goes unanswered in it, all of which have been torturing me for the past two decades. So before the annoyance becomes festive bile which drives me to delirium, let’s get them out there, these are the things in The Santa Clause that really, really bug me.
Elves couldn’t care less Santa’s dead
Ok, so Tim Allen’s killed Santa by causing him to fall off his roof and presumably land hard enough to rupture his belly like a big bowl of jelly, now he’s Santa. Apparently Christmas magic operates on the same law as the Necromongers from Chronicles of Riddick. So Allen and his son end up at the North Pole where some happy little elf helps them down into Santa’s workshop. There Allen is informed by Bernard, literally the tallest elf ever (Will Ferrell doesn’t count, he’s not actually an elf) that he’s Santa due to some weird clause (get it?) that was enacted by his shameless robbing of a dead mans clothes. Here’s the thing though, do those elves ever show even the slightest bit of sadness for the disappearance of their former Santa? No they don’t care at all, he’s not even mentioned again, why? Was he a bad Santa? Did he used to come into work every morning howling drunk and make offensive little people jokes whilst slapping his weird child elves around? These are things I have to know! Things I must know!
Scott Calvin’s wife needs no more proof he’s Santa than a home invader
So basically Scott’s wife has spent the whole film convinced he’s insane, she even refuses to allow him further visitation to his son, at Christmas (now that’s cold lady). But then towards the end of the film she suddenly sees the light when Bernard shows up and she’s all like “oh my god! A slightly shorter than regular guy! Only Santa has access to those!” Now here’s where this gets confusing, she’s spent the whole film convinced Calvin is either trying to lie to her son to warp his fragile little mind, or is just a total nut roast. If either of those are the case why is it so hard to imagine that he’d hire someone to help him with this lie? Seriously for all she knows Bernard’s just a sparkly thug Scott hired to bludgeon her to death and frame her new boyfriend! But no, she takes the appearance of a five foot tall man to immediately mean magic elf, that’s her knee jerk reaction and it makes no sense!
Why does no one remember Scott’s Santa?
Ok, so at the end of the film the police have arrived in force to arrest Calvin for escaping from jail and kidnapping his son (in reality I’m inclined to think he’d be shot on site, in which case does the officer who shoots him then become Santa? Oh my god I totally bagsy Santa Cop the movie!) But at the last minute he flies into the air in his sleigh and drops all of the presents the adults never got as kids into the crowd, everyone is happy. Until the next film when no one remembers anything with the exception of Calvin’s family. Wait what? Why don’t they remember? The film makes no reference to Santa’s sleigh being equipped with some sort of yuletide neuralizer. I mean these people just witnessed proof that not only is Santa Clause real but magic’s real to! Wouldn’t that be something to at least go on your Twitter feed? Also, check back in the film, there’s a news crew there, why doesn’t the whole world know that Santa’s real? Why does no one in the sequel remember that one time when Scott Calvin rode a magic sleigh through the sky and gave them all presents? He gave you presents you ungrateful jerks!
Ok really, was the last Santa just horrible?
Remember how before I said that Calvin Santa gives the parents the gifts they never got when they were kids? For the ex-wife it’s some doll and the boyfriend gets a weenie whistle, whatever the hell that is. It’s the moment that (aside for the aforementioned home invasion by a magical weirdo) reignites their belief and faith in old Saint Nick. But wait, why didn’t they get those gifts to begin with when they were children? Were they just very naughty? Too naughty for a weenie whistle? (which btw the guy was 3 when he asked for) how naughty can these children have been? We never see Calvin Santa refusing gifts to children, so is he a soft touch or was the old Santa just a harsh old git? Maybe that’s why the elves had such a couldn’t give a damn reaction to his death, he was a horrible codger who would deny toddlers their desire for something as simple as a whistle in the shape of a hotdog (I googled it) in fact forget that guy I’d push him off a roof as well!
The worst annoyance of all
But the worst annoyance of all for me about this film, worse than everything else, is that despite all of these gripes I can guarantee I’ll still be watching it this Christmas eve. Despite every little thing which drives me mental about this film, I will be there as sure as former Santa was a foul, elf abusing, slave master who hated children, with my hot chocolate and my mince pies, enjoying the hell out of a Christmas classic from my childhood. Then when it’s done I’m going most likely to think of all the dumb points throughout its entire run time and not care in the slightest. Because despite all this the kid in me will always say, “dude just shut up and enjoy the movie, its Christmas damnit”.
But then it will be Boxing Day, and I shall be annoyed once again.
Merry Christmas from Egwyl everybody!