The Santa Clause is a beloved holiday film that our family regularly dusts off this time of year. But the film and soul sucking sequels raises some seriously disturbing, uncomfortable questions that really need answers.
Disney released The Santa Clause in 1994 to a generally welcoming, popular reception. It has since become a Christmas classic and spawned two questionable sequels and, most reccently, a Disney+ show.
But if there is one thing I do, it’s over-think the movies and shows that my family subjects me to time and time again. It’s a good way to pass the time, if nothing else, and helps prevent insanity from the inanity.
I invite you to join me in pondering the wildly disturbing, uncomfortable questions about the Santa Clause universe that really need answers for the Disney+ show.
Why do none of the elves seem upset the last Santa died?
The premise of the Santa Clause is pretty simple and explained in the fine print found on the card from Santa’s suit:
ln putting on the suit and entering the sleigh, the wearer waives any and all rights to any previous identity, real or implied, and fully accepts the duties and responsibilities of Santa Claus in perpetuity until such time that wearer becomes unable to do so by either accident or design.The Santa Clause, 1994
In other words, if Santa dies (or becomes disabled?), by accident or design (read: murdered, killed, offed, ect), another person can take over by simply putting on the suit and entering the sleigh.
As you probably recall, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) startles the current Santa Clause while he is up on his roof, causing him to fall to his brutal death in the cold snow. (Oddly, Tim Allen told ABC News that originally, he shot him.) Scott then grudgingly puts on the suit and enacts this binding clause and sets up the rest of the plot for the movie.
Fast forward a bit, and we see Scott meeting the elves of the north pole. Notably, not one of them seems the slightest bit upset that the previous Santa died no more than a few hours before.
In fact, Bernard, the lead elf at the time, seems more annoyed by the inconvenience of having a newbie to train than the fact his last boss just died.
Now, we could explain this as the previous Santa being a cruel overlord, but that doesn’t seem very Christmas-y, does it? The movie also shows how even Scott, a capitalist at heart, questionable father figure, and clearly poor husband, can change his entire personality to become the Santa everyone knows and loves within a year. So how bad could the last guy really have been?
The more probable explanation is that their deaths occur frequently enough to not even phase the elves any more. Just how long was the last guy even on the job? The movie never really addresses this, though apparently, at one point, there was supposed to be an ongoing joke about the frequency of Santa’s demise in more recent years.
This could point to the potentially very morbid idea that Scott is the longest lasting Santa in recent history, or, potentially ever. Really puts a fun, light-hearted spin on a family Christmas movie.
What exactly happens to the wives of the deceased Santa?
Really, what do they do with the previous Mrs. Clause? Is she forced out into the cold to die of exposure? Killed out right? Given a choice to marry the new Santa or excile?
There is still a strong possibility, given the lack of wife in The Santa Clause, that no recent Santa has lasted long enough on the job to actually enact The Mrs. Clause. In which case, we can rest assured that they may only have to infrequently – at most – deal with the nasty affair of getting rid of the previous Mrs. Clause.
But just how many of them made it to the point where the Mrs. Clause would actually affect them since it clearly does not kick in the first year? Building on that, how many of them are now frozen corpses littering the north pole, potentially acting as markers for the reindeers’ safe return home every Christmas?
The world may never know.
What does Charlie mean when he says “I think that I’m going to go into the family business?”
In a feel good family Christmas movie, this line is meant to show that Scott has really turned around his relationship with Charlie and now he’s earned his son’s respect and love. So much so that he really wants to be just like him and join the family business, when originally, he seemed better bonded with his step dad.
In the reality of their universe, the fuck is that line supposed to mean? “I think that I’m going to go into the family business.” It basically translates into: “One day, I’m going to kill my dad!”
After all, the only way to “go into the family business” in this case is to either:
- kill his dad
- stage an “accident” that disables him
At that point, no one knew about the Escape Clause, so its safe to say he did not plan to simply trick his dad into giving up his power.
That leaves really only two possibilities to “go into the family business,” both of them potentially gruesome and underhanded. Then again, the elves likely won’t care, so it is not clear exactly how “accidental” the death really needs to be.
Fun Fact: In true just winging it as they go style, apparently The Santa Clauses will finally answer this question, since it reportedly deals with Scott turning 65 and wanting to retire. This implies that he can, if he survives, pass the mantle down peacefully and while still alive. Still doesn’t negate the notion that Charlie could engage in some Game of Thrones shenanigans to ensure the mantle gets passed to him instead of his half-siblings.
Can any Legendary Figure get “replaced?”
The Santa Clause clearly established the idea that the mantle of Santa Clause is immortal and ongoing while the man behind the mantle is mortal and can, well, easily die. Just how transferable is this notion?
The Santa Clause 2: The Mrs Clause introduced us to the Council of Legendary Figures, which includes:
- Mother Nature
- The Sandman
- Easter Bunny
- Father Time
- Tooth Fairy
- Jack Frost (added in Santa Clause 3 as the main villian)
Can they all die? Do the same rules apply? If I came across Mother Nature, could I stage an “accident” and take over the mantle of Mother Nature? Can anyone become Father Time? The Easter Bunny?
Speaking of which, the Easter Bunny is some weird half-man-half-bunny hybrid. What is that transition like? That’s some straight horror movie shit right there as you morph into a freak of nature.
Really puts into perspective just how little Scott had to change to become Santa. At least he didn’t shoot the Easter Bunny or he might have to go through that hideous mutation.
The Santa Clause FAQs
For those of you with more normal, less thought provoking questions, here are some of the answers you have been searching for.