“The Santa Clause” is a Disturbing Movie
When I was a kid, Tim Allen was in a holiday movie, the title of which was a clever pun. Unfortunately, the film’s target audience was too young to get said pun. So a whole generation spent the rest of their lives misspelling the jolly old elf’s last name.
Seriously, look at the poster for The Santa Clause. The E is in a different font to show that it doesn’t belong. They even explain it in the title… “A clause, as in, the last line of a contract”. The character is SANTA CLAUS. No E.
But that’s not why it’s disturbing. Nor is it the insensitively illogical casting of David Krumholtz as a Christmas elf.
Here’s the deal: Character deaths have fallen out of vogue lately in children’s movies. Death scenes are generally reserved for a villain. In the 90s, it was more popular… a year earlier, Simba witnessed his father’s death, and Scar died at the end. But the deaths meant something.
But in The Santa Clause, 2o minutes haven’t passed before a character has died. Is this the death of a villain? No, it’s quite the opposite… it’s the death of Santa Claus. And how is the death of a beloved character treated? It’s played for laughs. “You killed him!” exclaims Charlie, the son of the main character who takes up the sleigh and coat of the freshly dead Patron Saint of Christmas. And who is this Santa? Is it the original Santa Claus? I assume that, like Scott Calvin, he is a man who had the unfortunate luck of putting on the suit some years before. He probably has a family of his own… but no attempt is made to find his family. In fact, they have no way of knowing he is even dead! His body disappears as soon as he dies…
Let me rephrase this: Santa Claus Falls to his death. In the first 15 minutes of the movie. He does this in the presence of a five-year-old boy. His death is laughed off before being dismissed and forgotten.
I would like to watch a spinoff called “A woman living in Detroit finds out her husband, who has been missing for 17 years, actually spent 10 years as Santa Claus, bringing happiness to children all over the globe, but his death was forgotten and covered up.” Actually I guess that’s kind of a long title. But seriously… it would have been better than the shitty sequels we got.