Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: Leonard Klady
    This is a hip, likable spin on the seasonal icon told with a deft mixture of comedy and sentimentality.
  2. Reviewed by: Staff(not credited)
    Nevertheless, The Santa Clause is a charming, if mild, fantasy, distinguished by a gentle directorial touch that strikes a deft balance between dramatic and fantastic elements.
  3. All of the film's technical and creative contributions are top-notch, but as it should be, it's the people who win us over. [11 Nov 1994 Pg. F10]
  4. 80
    Aimed at kids, but written with parents in mind, The Santa Clause balances the sugar with the spice, which Allen sprinkles on just right.
  5. The personable star of the TV series "Home Improvement" turns this Walt Disney film around. He may not be as effervescent as, say, Robin Williams, but he's full of understated, ticklish charm.
  6. 63
    The Santa Clause (so named after the clause on Santa's calling card that requires Scott to take over the job) is often a clever and amusing movie, and there's a lot of fresh invention in it.
  7. 63
    As holiday heartwarmers go, The Santa Clause is an amusing stocking stuffer, a sitcom-superficial novelty that jingles many of the same bells as last year's "Mrs. Doubtfire". [11 Nov 1994 Pg. 12.D]
  8. 50
    The Santa Clause isn't an unmitigated disaster, but it's also a whole lot less impressive than it could be.
  9. Reviewed by: Hollis Chacona
    Actually, this souped-up sled is a perfect vehicle for TV star/comedian Tim Allen and, despite its formulaic chassis, he takes us through a few interesting twists and turns.
  10. Watch for the ''Mrs. Doubtfire'' syndrome: In Santa drag and padded for laughs, Scott demonstrates how to be a more sensitive, more funsy parent than boring old Mom.
  11. Reviewed by: Staff(not credited)
    The film drops from obvious comedy into a ready melt slush which no amount of make-up and special effects can rescue.
  12. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    The Santa Clause presents us with an Anti-Claus, Tim Allen of Home Improvement, hard-edged, discomfitingly frenetic and spritzing cheerless one-liners.
  13. Reviewed by: Michael Sragow
    Tim Allen's talent for dry regular-guyness fails to kindle Disney's sappy big-screen Yule log.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Apr 13, 2014
    The Santa Clause is a welcome cheer to the holiday season, but ultimately it fails to deliver anything new than what we already know. It's very predictable, superficial slush. Full Review »
  2. Dec 26, 2013
    A charming Christmas movie that never gets old. It is funny and full of holiday spirit. The other ones aren't very good, but this ones is worth seeing. A delightful movie. Full Review »
  3. Dec 18, 2013
    Santa Clause is the frosting on the Christmas cake, that good gift that you weren't hoping for, probably will play with for a short time, and then ignore for a long time. While some jokes are great and the premise is innocent, Tim Allen's Santa is neither endearing nor memorable. The movie features plenty of great ideas, but lacks substance to make those ideas shine. It's almost as if The Santa Clause doesn't know what it wants to be: a holiday comedy or a dramatic look at the strain of being Santa on family life. Either way, the movie is neither a Christmas classic nor a horrid fruit cake, relying on witty jokes and fresh ideas to mask the repetitiveness of the boring story and the lack of cheer found in this new Santa.

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    Full Review »