The Santa Clause movies, starring Tim Allen as the holly jolly holiday mascot, seem like they are full of Christmas cheer and happy times. However, during all the toy-making, father-son bonding, and covert special-ops elf missions with jetpacks, they buried some of the darkest elements seen in any family holiday classic.
During the first scenes of the original film, we see that in order for Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) to become Santa, the Santa Claus before him needed to die. Scott calls to the previous Santa, accidentally causing him to fall off the roof and plummet to his death. We can all thank Disney for making a family Christmas movie that starts with Santa dying.
Because of a card left in that Santa’s coat, Scott thinks it’s okay to then wear the freshly dead guy’s clothes, which is just plain weird. This makes Scott the new Santa Claus. He killed someone and took his job.
When he gets to the North Pole, none of the elves bat an eye. The darkest part of all of it is that they don’t care. Throughout the trilogy, we see that Scott bonds with and becomes close friends with many of the elves. They’re practically family. It’s safe to assume that the previous Santa may have made similar relationships with the elves, and yet they don’t seem to care that their friend is dead and has been replaced. Not once do they ever mourne.
It’s tragic. They know they’re friend has died, but they never question what happened or feel sad that they’ll never see him again. They just move on with their lives. Despite seeing all of Scott’s adventures with them and seeing them grow together over the course of three movies, it’s bizarre to think that they might not care if Scott died similarly to the previous Santa.
On top of all that, the second film indicates that in order to remain Santa Claus, the individual needs to be married so that there is a “Mrs. Claus.” If that previous guy was Santa long enough, he would have had to have been married. There’s no Mrs. Claus when Scott shows up in the North Pole, so the elves must have given her the boot after her husband met his demise. She loses her husband and then gets kicked out of her home because of it. Assuming there was a Mrs. already, it further proves how heartless the elves truly are.
The Santa Clause movies pretend to be all fun and reindeer games, but the opposite is true. Santa dies, and the elves don’t care. For those who have grown up with these movies, it’s a bit of an unsettling thought knowing the story about Santa is much darker than it originally seemed.