The Santa Clause is a modern classic, taking us back to the mid-90s, that glorious time when Tim Allen was lovable and not a talking head of the political misinformation machine. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a divorced dad that commits a little bit of manslaughter and winds up taking over the role as Santa Claus and finds the true meaning of being a father while also being Father Christmas. He also finds compassion for his wife, whom inexplicably dresses like Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction (again, 90s) and her lame second husband, Judge Reinhold. This is the problem I have with this movie: these two chuckleheads.
To understand my problem, you have to envision the universe in which this film takes place. The audience knows, without a doubt, that Santa Claus in this universe is real. We see him fall off the roof and die, we see Scott Calvin take his place, we see him deliver presents, we see his North Pole hangout, we even see the tactical force team that is deployed when he gets arrested. In The Santa Clause Cinematic Universe, Father Christmas is unequivocally canon. Yet, here are two assholes that want nothing more than to get Charlie to lose the belief in Santa Claus.
First, the why of it all. Why do Neil and Charlie’s mom not believe in Santa Claus? It’s quite simple: because neither of them got one specific toy one year in their childhood. For her, it was a Mystery Date game, for him an Oscar Meyer weenie whistle. Let’s call it a clerical oversight on Santa’s part, but it’s just one goddamn toy, amid assuredly an ocean of other toys that they did receive up to and probably after the inciting incidents. Remember, Santa is a real entity; one that probably has a GDP that rivals most nations, so they must have gotten some presents that their parents could not account for.
And let’s expand on that last point: they’re both parents to Charlie and this is most likely not Neil’s first Christmas in the picture. Santa MUST be delivering presents to Charlie the year’s before his dad pushes him off the roof. How do they explain the toys that they have no recollection of purchasing? They have to have some sort of way of accounting for everything, no? Even if it’s just a quick check of the credit card statement, there must be some point where they look at each other and say, “Gee, I don’t remember buying Charlie that soccer ball. Do you?”
And the whole Santa regime doesn’t seem that concerned with keeping the whole “Santa is real” thing a secret. The E.L.F. squad out themselves to the police when they go to bust Scott out of the slammer. Not only that, judging by how many kids are witnesses to him being dragged away in handcuffs, it seems like he does his rounds at about 9:30 at night, which isn’t what I was brought up to believe, but I’ll let him do him. How is this even a secret?
Furthermore, let’s suppose that they are right. There is no Santa Claus. Isn’t it just a little concerning to them that Scott has put on a substantial amount of weight and has, essentially, lost his goddamn mind? I know that she’s Scott’s ex-wife, but he’s still a major part of her life, but she seems like she’d be fine with him falling deeper into his own psychosis just as long as Charlie understands that she buys all the presents he gets on Christmas. And Neil is a fucking psychologist! At no point during the movie does he say, “You know, Scott, I really think you need to get a psychological evaluation. I feel like you’re displaying classic signs of dissociative personality disorder and possibly schizophrenia.” Nope. The major concern here is that Charlie believes in Santa Claus. And to reiterate: Santa is actually real in this universe.
What does this all mean? Most likely, that I just overanalyzed everything. OR… The Santa Clause is actually a complete takedown of climate change deniers. Neil and Charlie’s mom completely deny a provable fact in the world in which they live in completely based on anecdotal evidence. The use of digital effects to create snowfall instead of a snow machine just confirms this theory as gospel. Climate change and Santa are real, Neil and Charlie’s mom are awful people, and Charlie plans to push his dad off the roof sometime in the future.