Santa Claus: The Movie

1985 PG 1h 48m DVD

Santa Claus: The Movie

1985 PG 1h 48m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
This is the delightful story of a master toymaker who discovers a magical kingdom of elves at the North Pole. There he is entrusted with special powers. But one of his elves goes to work for a greedy toy baron who wants to put Santa out of business.
Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, David Huddleston, Burgess Meredith, Judy Cornwell, Jeffrey Kramer, Christian Fitzpatrick, Carrie Kei Heim
Jeannot Szwarc
Widescreen 2.35:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 9+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 9+
age 9+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Santa Claus: The Movie is a 1985 holiday film that is both about the origin of Santa Claus and the story of an evil toymaker (played by John Lithgow) who seeks to take over Christmas with the help of a prodigal elf (played by Dudley Moore). Although the abrupt shift in tone from the first half of the movie to the second is jarring, of greater concern is the constant smoking, as Lithgow's character is always shown smoking a cigar. There also is lots of consumerism (product placement for McDonald's) and mild profanity ("crap," "sucks," "hell"). Although the movie does teach lessons on Christmas being a time of selfless giving, and there are some clever moments along the way, overall, the movie's inability to decide exactly what it wants to be makes the cynical tone of the second half a bit much for both parents and kids.

Sexual Content

Not applicable


Kids bully and taunt two of the lead children in the movie for claiming to have met Santa Claus. Early in the film, the elderly couple who eventually become Santa and Mrs. Claus seem to perish when their sleigh gets trapped in a blizzard.


"Crap," "sucks," "hell."

Social Behavior

The movie shows the importance of selfless giving during the holiday season and contrasts this with the evils of selfish greed.


A Coca-Cola can is prominently displayed in a scene in which a homeless boy is given dinner. The antagonist is shown pouring a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon into a glass. One scene is filmed inside a McDonald's restaurant; several types of McDonald's food are prominently shown.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

The antagonist is never shown without a smoking cigar. He's also shown drinking beer. A man dressed like Santa Claus on a New York City street is shown drinking from a bagged bottle presumed to be alcohol.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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