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While some may consider THE SANTA CLAUSE ($30) to be a kid’s movie, I found this holiday tale to be quite enjoyable and certain to please the kid in all of us. THE SANTA CLAUSE stars Tim Allen as divorced father Scott Calvin. Scott tries to be the best father he can be to his young son Charlie (Eric Lloyd), but it isn’t easy. Charlie will be spending Christmas Eve with his father, so Scott is distressed to learn that his ex-wife’s new husband has just told Charlie that there is no Santa Claus. Of course, Scott reassures his son that there is indeed a Santa Claus and that he will be visiting them tonight.

In the middle of the night, Charlie awakens his father because he hears something on the roof that thinks is Santa. Scott too hears the noise, so he goes outside to investigate and spies someone up on the roof in a Santa suit. Scott startles the individual on the roof who promptly falls into a snow bank in the front yard. Scott checks "Santa's" pockets for some identification, only to discover a business card with the name Santa Claus. On the back of Santa’s business card are emergency instructions that say put on the suit, get into the sleigh and the reindeer will know what to do. After discovering actual reindeer on the roof, Charlie convinces his father to put on the suit and get into the sleigh. Soon the two of them are flying house to house and delivering Christmas presents. Last stop, of course, is the North Pole where Scott discovers something he never counted on- The Santa Clause.

The Santa Clause is the fine print of Santa's business card that stipulates: "in putting on this suit and entering the sleigh the wearer waives any and all rights to previous identity, real or implied, and fully accepts the duties and responsibilities of Santa Claus until such a time the wearer becomes unable to do so either by accident or design." When Scott wakes up in his own bed the next morning, he just assumes his Christmas Eve ordeal was a dream. However, when Charlie insists that their Christmas Eve adventure was real and that his father is now Santa Claus, Charlie’s mother starts thinking that Scott has become a bad influence on their son. Things get especially bad for Scott when he begins putting on weight, his hair turns white and he grows a long beard that no amount of shaving can get eliminate. The cast of THE SANTA CLAUSE also features Wendy Crewson as Scott's ex-wife Laura and Judge Reinhold as her psychiatrist husband Dr. Neal Miller.

Walt Disney Home Video has made THE SANTA CLAUSE available on DVD in a good looking Letterboxed transfer that unfortunately does not contain the anamorphic enhancement. THE SANTA CLAUSE is presented at approximately 1.85:1 and the compositions appear well balanced at his ratio. Image quality is solid, but it isn't as spectacular as an anamorphic enhanced DVD. THE SANTA CLAUSE doesn't look bad; in fact detail is quite good. It just lacks the snap of the best transfers. Color reproduction was super; the fully saturated hues were rendered quite cleanly. Digital compression artifacts were never a problem on this DVD.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack has a dependable mix with solid channel separation across the front and clean dialogue reproduction. Bass reproduction was respectable, while the surround channels were utilized primarily to provided ambience rather than active effects. A French language track has been provided on this DVD, as well as English captioning.

The simple interactive menus provide the usual scene and language selection features, plus they give one access to a theatrical trailer.


The Santa Clause



DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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