An Undisputed Ranking of The Santa Clause Trilogy

Watching all of Tim Allen’s The Santa Clause films should be part of everybody’s Christmas traditions. They’re as important to the Christmas season as watching Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Elf on repeat. I was 2 when the original movie came out, so it’s one that I grew up with. It’s time that the Christmas connoisseur in me officially ranks them to be on the internet forever. Catch all three on Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas or at your leisure on Disney+.

1. The Santa Clause (1994)

The original The Santa Clause will always be number one in my heart. It’s the one that everyone thinks of first, and not only because it was the first in the franchise. Let’s get this out in the open, Scott Calvin did not murder the original Santa Clause. He simply yelled to a man on his roof and the man got spooked and fell. As the great Taylor Swift says, no body, no crime.
There are so many memorable scenes, from the weight gain, shaving, hair color, and doctor’s office. One of my favorite scenes is when the E.L.F’s break Santa out of a holding cell with tinsel. My mind used to get blown every year, to the point I genuinely thought tinsel could cut through metal. Also every scene with Judy, you probably remember her as the elf that perfected hot chocolate. I’ve always wanted to try her recipe, to this day. The ending will always be cute to me. I’ll never understand why Neal wanted the Oscar Meyer Weenie Whistle as a kid, but I’ll always love that he had a change of heart after receiving it as an adult.

2. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)

The originals are almost always better than their predecessors. This one is my least-watched of the trilogy. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause felt a little unnecessary, to me.
Another thing to get out in the open, Jack Frost stinks on ice. He’s a big ole meanie. He should never have treated Lucy to being locked in a closet! I’m always stressed watching Scott go back to 1994 and his current day without being Santa Clause.

On top of having to figure out how to undo what Jack Frost did. Frost completely destroyed Christmas, I mean he made the parents buy the children’s presents. Santa would never! Christmas wasn’t even Christmas, he rebranded and called it Frostmas. The end scene where Carol finally has her baby. Naming baby Clause Buddy makes me wish that Buddy the Elf was actually part Christmas royalty. But that’d be too much for my tiny brain to handle.

A scene that I love is when Scott remembers the Escape Clause and records Jack Frost saying it and then using it against him with the help of a snow globe. Thrown back, again, to 1994, Scott gets the Santa suit and realigns the space-time continuum.

3. The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

The second installment of The Santa Clause was downright scary. Way too frightening to be a children’s Christmas movie. Santa needed to leave the North Pole to find a Mrs. Clause. Of course, all Christmas movies have to have some sort of oh no moment where Christmas may be canceled. However, The Santa Clause 2’s oh no moment was deeper. The Mega Santa toy that Curtis produces to fill-in for Scott goes full totalitarian, complete with his scary Nutcracker Army. I know, I’m reading too much into it but that Santa was scary. The rest of the movie, where Scott is away from the North Pole, is your standard rom-com. Borderline Hallmark Christmas movie-esque.

If it weren’t for the scary replacement Santa that wanted to give every child lumps of coal, I think it’d be ranked second on the list. I do love the scene where Carol realized that Scott is actually Santa Clause when Charlie shows her the snowglobe that Bernard gave him in the first movie. Another favorite scene is when Charlie shows up at the North Pole, who smartly called on the help of the Tooth Fairy for a lift after revealing a smile sans front tooth.


Which is your favorite movie in The Santa Clause trilogy? What are your favorite scenes?


-Jess Donahue (@jldx392)

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