The Santa Clause (1994) - Dir. John Pasquin
When it comes to Christmas movies there are really only two kinds: practical and magical. Practical movies deal strictly with reality and plausible situations, while magical movies deal with all of the supernatural elements involved with the holiday, primarily Santa Claus. A quicker way to distinguish the two is to say that practical movies are for adults and magical ones are for children. Of course the really good ones blend the two concepts in a way that makes them universally appealing. Not to be confused with Santa Claus: The Movie (1985), which at its core is just a seasonal rendition of Superman: The Movie (1978), The Santa Clause (1994) is one of those movies that is clearly for kids, but doesn't leave the adults hanging. Tim Allen's cynical portrayal of a divorced father exhibits a humorous approach to an otherwise somber situation. On top of that he kills Santa Claus and later in the movie kidnaps his son. However, it is his metamorphosis into Santa that really makes the movie enjoyable. Allen's physical transformation was scoring laughs and convincing audiences two years before Eddie Murphy fatted-up in The Nutty Professor (1996). The heart of the movie is the relationship between Allen and his son Charlie (played by Eric Lloyd). It is through Charlie's renewed belief in Santa that Allen fully embraces his duty as Saint Nick and makes the complete transition into Father Christmas. Despite the sequels being questionable grades of garbage, The Santa Clause (1994) shines through as an enjoyable holiday film for the whole family.