Tim Allen stars as Scott Calvin, a cynical toy company executive who is forced to take over the job of Santa Claus when he and his son Charlie witness the previous incumbent falling off a roof. Soon Scott finds himself putting on weight, growing a white beard and fulfiling his obligation to deliver presents to all the children around the world. He even finds himself reluctantly getting into the spirit of things!
Tim Allen makes an impressive screen debut in Disney's well-written seasonal film The Santa Clause
. Divorced toy company executive Scott Calvin is pleased to have his son Charlie for Christmas, though the boy himself isn't happy about it. But when Santa Claus accidentally topples off the roof of the house and falls with a thud in the snow, Scott finds himself taking the merry old elf's place and earning new respect in his son's eyes. When the night ends, the reindeer take them to the North Pole, and Scott discovers that by donning the fabled red suit, he's inadvertently agreed to become the next Santa Claus. The next morning he wakes up in his own bed and thinks it's all a dream--but Charlie remembers it with crystal clarity. Scott now has to deal with his suspicious ex-wife (Wendy Crewson) and her psychiatrist boyfriend (Judge Reinhold), who both think he's playing tricks with Charlie's mind, and also with his own out-of-control body, which is putting on weight and growing a prodigious beard. The Santa Clause
probably won't supplant It's a Wonderful Life
or Miracle on 34th Street
as anyone's favourite Christmas viewing, but it's an enjoyable, straightforward family film, anchored by the affable charisma of Allen. --Bret Fetzer