The Santa Clause Opening Was Originally Way Darker But Disney's Chairman Said No

If you're a person of a certain age, you're probably seen The Santa Clause, and if you're a person with reasonably good taste, you probably love it. It's got just the right balance of wholesome holiday fun and David Krumholtz. Turns out, however, that the original movie was apparently supposed to be much darker. Like at the beginning when Santa falls off the roof and dies? Well, in the original script, Scott Calvin was supposed to mistake him for a burglar and shoot him.

Take it from lead actor Tim Allen, who recently told the story during a visit to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon...

The original Santa Clause is a little darker, written by two comedians. And I actually shot and killed Santa in the original movie, and he fell off the roof. Because I thought he was a burglar! And he gives me the card, and the whole movie starts. And the kid actually starts, 'You just killed Santa.' And I go, 'Well, he shouldn't have been up on the roof when he wasn't invited.' I'm laughing so hard, but the head of Disney at the time, [Jeffrey] Katzenberg, says, 'Well, we can't start a movie like that.' I said, 'Why not?' He said, 'We can't start a Disney movie with you murdering Santa.' ... I said, 'You kill all the parents in all your other movies anyway.'

OK. So, let's start off by addressing that Mufasa-sized accusation at the end. Yeah, a few Disney parents have left us too early. Is it really enough to establish a pattern though? Let's try to put a real number around this hypothesis. Googling... Well, Mental Floss says 27 key Disney characters have dead mothers. Fine. That's definitely a lot. Tim Allen clearly has a point here, but it's definitely worth noting that most, if not all, of these characters weren't shot during a misunderstanding by another main character. So, I get where Jeffrey Katzenberg was coming from there.

That being said, I think we would all like an alternative universe to exist in which The Santa Clause was a really dark movie. Maybe all the light teasing of Neil goes to a really dangerous place? Maybe Scott Calvin gets a little too into being Santa and starts abusing his power at the North Pole? I'm talking in the same vein as a project like Very Bad Things. Hard R-Rating. At least several deaths. Nudity. Maybe a scene where someone intentionally gets the reindeer drunk. I'm just spitballing here, but honestly, all of it is gold.

If you'd like to check out more from Tim Allen's interview with Jim Fallon in which he touches on Toy Story 4, you can check out the video below...

This is the part of the story where we'd normally tell you when The Santa Clause is coming to theaters and say something like, "Get excited!", but The Santa Clause came to theaters twenty-four years ago. Even its less exciting sequels came and went. Yup. We all got old. Deal with it.

Mack Rawden
Editor In Chief

Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.