11 Disturbing Things You Notice While Watching The Santa Clause as an Adult
When I sat down to watch The Santa Clause recently, I expected to see the same funny, family-friendly Christmas classic I remembered loving in the '90s. Instead, I came away from viewing the holiday flick about Tim Allen reluctantly taking over Santa Claus's job with a whole bunch of new insights that soared way over my head as a kid.
Scott Calvin Is an Insufferable Tool
Calling Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) a jerk is a gigantic understatement. Yes, I remember him being on the sarcastic side when I originally watched this movie, and yes, I know that's what his character is supposed to be like in order for him to grow and have a believable character arc. Still, seeing him openly making fun of his ex-wife's new husband, lying about being late to pick up his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd), and being super nasty to a little girl whose house he visits dressed as Santa makes it clear that Scott is way more of a d*ck than I realized.
Scott Low-Key Murders Santa and Steals His Job
The impetus for this movie is when Scott heads outside after hearing Santa Claus clattering around on the roof (why Santa hasn't learned how to keep it down after hundreds of years on the job, I'll never know) and screams at him from the yard. Santa is startled, slips, tumbles off the roof, and falls in front of the house, presumably breaking his neck and dying.
Not only is Scott remarkably chill about having a man lying dead in his front yard, but he also proceeds to ransack the body, finding the business card detailing the rules of the Santa Clause (#punny), and takes over gift-delivery duties for Santa. Because the first thing you do when you inadvertently murder someone is put on their clothes and steal their job. Obviously.
The Drug Joke
After Santa's body magically disintegrates into the snow (along with my sanity), Scott and Charlie hop in his sleigh and head to the first house to deliver gifts, because nothing says father-son bonding time like breaking and entering. When the bag of toys starts floating in the air with Scott hanging off the end of it, he subtly slips in a drug joke. "Whoa, Dad! You're flying!" Charlie says, to which Scott responds, "It's OK, I'm used to it, I lived through the '60s." It's a pretty tame joke on its own, but when you remember Allen's real-life drug charge, the line packs an edgier punch.
Where Are All of the Parents?!
I know the elves in the North Pole are supposed to be super old despite their youthful glow, and Scott points out the lack of adult supervision as soon as he arrives, but there is a literal infant in one shot. Is this a Children of the Corn sequel, or . . . ?
No, Really — Why Doesn't Anyone Care That Santa Is Dead?
In addition to the North Pole being run by a legion of toddlers, no one there seems at all concerned that their former boss has broken his neck falling off a roof and has dissolved into a snowbank. Was the former Santa that bad of a dude, or what?
Judy the Elf
At the North Pole, Scott is escorted to his new digs and given some red, silk, monogrammed pajamas that I actually almost ordered from the Victoria's Secret catalog the other day. Then, an elf named Judy (Paige Tamada) brings him some hot cocoa, and Scott breaks the ice by saying, "You know, you look really good for your age." Judy, ever the professional, replies, "Thanks, but I'm seeing someone in Wrapping." The insinuation of Scott flirting with a little girl (OK, OK, a 1,200-year-old elf) is just a little gross. Am I reading too much into it? Probably. Does it still leave a bad taste in my mouth, not unlike burnt cocoa? Definitely.
Scott Is Hardcore Fat Shamed
As you've probably realized, I'm not the biggest fan of Scott. Despite this, it's hard not to feel bad for the guy when he goes back to the office after Christmas and all of his co-workers are super nasty about his sudden, Santa Clause-induced weight gain. As soon as he walks into a conference room, his boss (Peter Boyle) jumps to his feet exclaiming, "Scott, your weight!" followed by, "You're starting to look like the Pillsbury Doughboy, you're falling apart!" and finally, "See a doctor, a shrink, a dietician, anything. Just get some help." Even the doctor he goes to see makes fun of his belly when he lifts his shirt. Way harsh. To his credit, Scott "Sweatpants Are All That Fits Me Right Now" Calvin doesn't let it faze him.
The Reindeer Haven't Aged Well
It's sad to see the reindeer I thought were super cute in 1994 as stiff, unrealistic animatronics in 2015. Granted, it's been over a decade since The Santa Clause premiered, and since then audiences have been majorly spoiled by first-class CGI work, so it's totally understandable that the special effects in this movie wouldn't exactly hold up.
Laura and Neil Try to Take Away Scott's Visitation Rights
Scott's ex Laura (Wendy Crewson) and her new husband, Neil (Judge Reinhold) — a psychiatrist with a truly heinous sweater collection — get Scott's visitation rights for Charlie taken away all because Scott supports Charlie's belief in Santa Claus. Neil basically brainwashes Laura into this decision
because he hates Scott with the fire of 1,000 suns by citing psychobabble about Scott standing in the way of Charlie's maturity and development. It's garbage, but she goes along with it, because she's married to a man who wears Cosby sweaters unironically and we really can't expect much from her in the way of good decisions.
The Random Dance Break
This weird, spontaneous mini dance break occurs as Scott is preparing for his first official Christmas as Santa and comes out of freakin' nowhere. No one else has danced in this movie thus far. Charlie is moving his arms the wrong way. Scott is wearing a red spacesuit NASA rejected. It's so brief that, for a second there, I truly thought I'd hallucinated it.
There Are a Lot of Farts
This movie reeks with flatulence humor, and sadly I didn't find any of it nearly as funny as I used to, which is a disturbing reflection on myself. I've officially become Scrooge, and will see myself out.