This is a typical American Christmas film – lots of snow, a grumpy divorced dad, and a happy ending, but there is one thing slightly different about this – Santa is dead within 15 minutes of the film.
You may be thinking “are you sure this is a happy, family Christmas film?” and the answer is yes, even though Santa is seen as dead for the majority of the movie there is still laughter and a heartwarming ending.
The 1994 film follows Scott Calvin (played by Tim Allen) and his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd) on their eventful Christmas Eve – the Turkey is burnt to a crisp after being set on fire, they end up at Denny’s, an American diner and then Charlie’s dreams are ruined after he finds Santa dead on his front garden.
Scott then carelessly delivers some presents whilst almost getting attacked by a large dog, setting off the house alarm and waking up a little girl and before they know it – they are in the North Pole.
The scene where they first arrive at the North Pole is incredibly heartwarming and full of Christmas magic. Charlie is asleep on his dad’s shoulder (who is driving a sleigh pulled by Santa’s reindeer, may I add) and before they know it, they are surrounded by elves in Santa’s workshop.
In the next act of the film, we watch Scott prepare for his new role. Without spoiling the film too much, he looks completely different by the following Christmas rolls around. We discover he’s grown a thick beard, he’s gained weight and his hair turns white, no matter how often he attempts to dye it back to his natural colour.
The film doesn’t just focus on all the holiday fun though. We are give an insight into the custody battle between Scott and Charlie’s mum (Wendy Crewson) and stepdad (Judge Reinhold) which leaves Scott in a very sad state, but of course, like any classic Christmas film, everything finishes with a fairytale ending.
If you are looking for an underrated, family Christmas film to watch this year then this is the one (just maybe don’t watch it with kids who believe in Santa)!
Words by Izzy Hawksworth.
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures