The Santa Clause movies hold such a special place in the hearts of many who grew up in the ‘90s and early 2000s, with Tim Allen’s Scott Calvin/Father Christmas standing as one of the funniest portrayals of the character to ever hit the big screen. It’s been over 15 years since Allen last struggled with the legalities of being Kris Kringle, so news that the franchise would live on as the Disney+ series The Santa Clauses was an early Christmas present for me and surely many other fans.
Tim Allen was announced to be reprising the leading role, which I can’t imagine with anyone else filling in, and the past few months have seen a growing list of names — old and new, naughty and nice — being added to the project, which will be available with a Disney+ subscription at a date that is yet to be determined. Let’s take a look at an updated cast list for The Santa Clauses.
Tim Allen (Scott Calvin/Santa)
After wrapping his sitcom Last Man Standing after nine seasons in May 2021, Tim Allen signed on to return as Old St. Nick, apparently with the emphasis on the “Old” in this episodic tale. The official synopsis for the series says that with Scott Calvin approaching his 65th birthday, he sets out to find the person who will replace him as Santa Claus, while also preparing his family for a life away from the North Pole after so many years.
As well as starring in the first three movies (in 1994, 2002 and 2006) and the above-mentioned sitcom, Tim Allen is likely best known as the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story franchise — though not in Lightyear — and Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor from Home Improvement. He’s also starred in comedies including Galaxy Quest, Wild Hogs and more.
Elizabeth Mitchell (Carol Calvin-Claus)
As weird as returning to The Santa Clause universe would be without Tim Allen, the same could be said for a series without Mrs. Claus herself, Elizabeth Mitchell. The actress joined the franchise in the second movie as the principal of Scott’s son Charlie’s school. Charlie’s dad and principal fell in love — every kid’s dream, I’m sure — and Carol Calvin returned for the third movie.
Elizabeth Mitchell has starred in a number of movies and theatre performances, but she is most known for her TV work, primarily for playing Juliet Burke on Lost. She was most recently among the cast of Netflix’s First Kill, whose cancellation after one season drew the ire of its boss and passionate fanbase. She has recurred as Carla Limbrey on Outer Banks and starred in the ABC science fiction series V and NBC’s Revolution, among others.
David Krumholtz (Bernard the Elf)
This is an exciting one for fans. David Krumholtz was a scene-stealer as Bernard the Elf in the first two movies but was surprisingly missing from the third film. The actor later revealed that while Bernard was supposed to be in The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, he chose not to take part because “the character got devalued a little bit and I couldn’t in good conscience do it.” Presumably all creative differences are in the past, because Bernard will reclaim his rightful place in Santa’s Workshop when The Santa Clauses hits Disney+.
David Krumholtz has a lengthy resume with appearances in movies including Addams Family Values, 10 Things I Hate About You, the Harold & Kumar movies and many others, and he starred as Charlie Eppes in CBS’ crime drama Numb3rs from 2005 to 2010. Next year he will appear in Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated Oppenheimer, which boasts a large cast of A-listers.
Kal Penn (Simon Choksi)
Speaking of Harold & Kumar actors, Kumar himself is joining The Santa Clauses in a leading role, Deadline reports. Kal Penn will play Simon Choksi, a devoted single father described as “the next Jeff Bezos.” The game inventor and product developer has high hopes that he hasn’t quite been able to realize — at least until a fateful visit to the North Pole.
Kal Penn’s TV work includes main roles in CBS’ Clarice, NBC’s Sunnyside, ABC’s Designated Survivor and Fox’s House, which he left in 2009 to serve in President Barack Obama’s administration. He most recently headed up the unscripted Freeform series Kal Penn Approves This Message, and is set to appear in the upcoming psychological horror Smile.
Matilda Lawler (Betty)
Matilda Lawler joined The Santa Clauses as a series regular, Deadline reports, playing Betty, an elf who is Santa’s Chief of Staff. Betty is described as “the smartest elf in the room" who has to balance Santa's foils and fumbles while also keeping the reindeer ready and able to fly out and get the job done. While she may not be the funniest Elf in the North Pole, she's certainly dependable.
Best known as Flora from Flora & Ulysses and Young Kirsten in Station Eleven, Matilda Lawler got her start in the theater, making her Broadway debut at age 10 in The Ferryman.
Laura San Giacomo (La Befana the Christmas Witch)
NCIS veteran Laura San Giacomo was cast in The Santa Clauses as Le Befana the Christmas Witch. The character is from Italian folklore, and is similar to Santa Claus in that she brings gifts to good children on the morning of the epiphany. While it’s unknown how the Wobbly Woods resident will play into Santa’s operation, it should be quite fun to see how these two cultural icons come together.
Laura San Giacomo is also known from her role as Cynthia Patrice Bishop in Sex, Lies, and Videotape. Her TV credits include roles in Barry, Just Shoot Me, As We See It, and Animal Kingdom.
Austin Kane (Cal)
Scott and Carol’s son will be played by Austin Kane. While Deadline reports the son’s name is Cal, he was introduced as Buddy in The Santa Clause 3, so it’s possible “Cal” is a nickname inspired by his last name. The character reportedly “lacks drive and focus,” and is apparently ready for life south of the North Pole. You know, where people have new names sometimes.
Austin Kane played a toddler on Two and a Half Men and has also made guest appearances in series including Lethal Weapon, Sam & Cat, Criminal Minds and The Goldbergs.
Elizabeth Allen-Dick (Sandra)
Tim Allen’s real-life daughter joins the cast as Sandra, the youngest child of Scott and Carol. Deadline reports a “lengthy audition process” was held before Allen-Dick was awarded the role to make her acting debut alongside her dad. The character is reportedly “a bit rough and tumble,” and forms a strong connection with animals, due mostly to the lack of other children her age at the North Pole.
Devin Bright (Noel)
Joining Betty and Bernard in Santa’s Workshop will be Noel, Santa’s right-hand elf, played by Devin Bright. The character sees himself as St. Nick’s best friend, Deadline reports, and is full of energy and optimism. The young actor has a few credits to his name, most notably Noah from Walton Goggins’ CBS dramedy The Unicorn.
Rupali Redd (Grace)
Rounding out the cast is newcomer Rupali Redd, who will play Grace, the daughter of Simon Choksi (Kal Penn). Deadline reports that Grace is sweet, kind, angelic and all the other good adjectives. Her love for Christmas could reportedly melt the heart of the biggest grinch. No coal in this one’s stocking.
A notable character missing from this list is Scott Calvin’s oldest son Charlie, who was played in the movies by Eric Lloyd. Yahoo reports that Lloyd, now 36, is mostly retired from acting, but we can still hold out hope, can’t we? It’s exciting to see the new faces that will be joining our old favorites when we jump back into Scott Calvin’s world.
While we wait on a release date, check out some of the other shows on Disney+, as well as some of the best movies about Santa Claus and how to watch them.
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.
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