Each movie listed includes: 

(1) Title (2) Rating (3) Genres (4) Starring (5) Synopsis (6) My Personal Review (7) Scoring 1-5


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Santa and Pete (1999)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Fantasy

Starring: Hume Cronyn, James Earl Jones, Tempestt Bledsoe, and Flex Alexander

Synopsis: A man tells the story of St. Nicholas and his partner.

Review: This is a different take on the Santa origin story.  We see how Santa evolved from St. Nicholas including his clothes, the reindeer, and his sleigh.  There’s a subtle religious aspect with references to faith.  I think children will love this movie.  This would be a wonderful film for families to watch together.  It’s more grounded than magical but it’s a special story.

Scoring: 4

Santa And The Ice Cream Bunny (1972)

Rated: G

Genre: Fantasy

Starring: Jay Ripley and Shay Garner

Synopsis: When Santa's sleigh gets stuck in the Florida sand, he tells a group of children the story of Thumbelina until the children and a bunny help him.

Review: I’m struggling to find the words to describe just how awful this movie is.  Part of the problem is it makes absolutely no sense.  I have no idea where the writer came up with this.  The story is, well, not really a story, the costumes are hideous, and the music is enough to make you want ear plugs.  This may be the worst movie I’ve ever seen.

Scoring: 1

Santa and the Three Bears (1970)

Rated: G

Genres: Animation, Family, Fantasy, Musical

Starring: Hal Smith

Synopsis: When a park ranger tells two bear cubs about Christmas and Santa Claus, they want to skip hibernation to celebrate, but their mother doesn't believe in Saint Nick and wants them to sleep.

Review: This is an adorable movie.  Children will love it and it’s one adults will enjoy watching with them.  The two cubs’ curiosity and excitement is contagious.  The poor mom is doing her best even though she’s exhausted.  I actually found myself smiling throughout the movie.

Scoring: 3

Santa Baby (2006)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance 
Starring: Jenny McCarthy, Ivan Sergei, and George Wendt 
Synopsis: Mary Class is a highly successful business executive - who just happens to be the daughter of Santa Claus. But when her father falls ill, Mary returns to the North Pole and the life she left behind to take over for her dad and implement her innovative ideas for running Christmas.
Review:  If you can get past the idea that Santa, supposedly immortal, has heart issues and needs recovery time, you’ll love it. The elves are funny and you want Mary to bridge the traditional with the modern and succeed. 
Scoring: 4.5
Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe (2009)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance 
Starring: Jenny McCarthy, Dean McDermott, and Paul Sorvino
Synopsis: Santa's in the midst of a "late-life" crisis--he's tired of the responsibilities of the job and he's ready to let his business-minded daughter, Mary, take over. Mary feels torn between the family business, running her own high stakes firm in New York City, and balancing a relationship with Luke. The situation gets even more stressful when Teri, a mysterious and ambitious new-comer to the Pole, decides that she wants to be the new Santa. Can Mary get this straightened out in time to save Christmas?
Review:  I liked this a lot less than the first one. It has the same lighthearted vibe but I have a few problems with it. We have a different Luke and a different Santa. I don’t buy Paul Sorvino as Santa. We’ve been shown that elves are senseless yet one elf is bright enough to trick Santa, Mrs. Claus, Mary, and Luke. I enjoyed it but not as much. 
Scoring: 3.5

Santa Bootcamp (2022)

Rated: G

Genres: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Emily Kinney, Rita Moreno, and John Schuck

Synopsis: Hired by shopping mall magnate Ed Mancini to host a Christmas gala for his biggest investors, Emily heads to Santa Bootcamp - to find the perfect Santa and the inspiration she'll need to make the evening a success.

Review: This wasn’t was I was expecting.  I thought it would be a silly but enjoyable movie.  It was so moving.  It was about the spirit of Christmas and community.  It’s chock full of Christmas and relationships.  I especially appreciated them incorporating deaf characters because there are so few characters with disabilities in movies.  It also leaves us wondering, was it them?

Scoring: 3

Santa Buddies (2009)

Rated: G

Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy 

Starring: Danny Woodburn, Tom Bosley, Richard Kind, Christopher Lloyd, George Wendt, and Tim Conway 

Synopsis: When Puppy Paws (the fun-loving son of Santa Paws) gets bored, he finds Budderball on Santa's naughty list and figures he's just the dog to show him how to be an ordinary pup. When the magical Christmas Icicle starts to melt however, and the world begins to forget the true meaning of the season, it's up to Puppy Paws and his newfound Buddies to journey back to the North Pole and save Christmas.

Review:  Yet another talking animal movie. I found it to be beyond silly but the dogs are cute. I’d put this in the for kids not adults column. 

Scoring: 2

Santa Camp (2002)

Rated: TV-Ma

Genre: Documentary

Synopsis: Every summer, a horde of professional Santas, Mrs. Clauses and elves descend on a campsite in the New Hampshire woods to learn the tricks of their trade. But this year is different.

Review: I found a lot of the information to be worth hearing.  There were so many good points like issues with racism.  I appreciate their efforts to make Santa accessible to children but at times it went too far, like a woman with a Ph.D. wanting to be Dr. Claus.  There’s only so far you can stray from the myth.  For the  most part there were too many pauses and slow moments that made it boring to watch.

Scoring: 2

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (1964)

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy 

Starring: Pia Zadora 

Synopsis: The Martians kidnap Santa Claus because there is nobody on Mars to give their children presents.

Review:  If you like poorly made circa 1960s/1970s sci-fi, you may enjoy this but you’ll probably be the only one. It’s so absurd. The story, acting, effects, and costumes are ridiculous. This can’t even count as “it’s so bad it’s good”. It’s just bad. 

Scoring: 1

Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1970)

Rated: G

Genres: Animation, Fantasy

Starring: Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney,

Synopsis: A mailman reveals the origin of Santa Claus.

Review: This may be my favorite of all the Rankin/Bass productions.  I really enjoy the way they explain the origins of Santa Claus including how he got his name, why he delivered toys, his red and white outfit, and how he met Mrs. Claus.  Burgermeister Meisterburger provides plenty of comic relief.  This is a mandatory must see for us every year.  I highly recommend it for children and adults.

Scoring: 5

Santa Claus The Movie (1984)
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Fantasy 
Starring: Dudley Moore and John Lithgow
Synopsis: This is the story of a master toymaker who discovers a magical kingdom of elves in the North Pole and becomes Santa Claus. But when Santa's eager-to-please elf Patch leaves the North Pole for the big streets of New York City, he becomes mixed up with a dastardly toy tycoon's plans to take over Christmas. And so begins Santa's adventure - to rescue his faithful elf and to save Christmas for all the children of the world!
Review:  A classic for me that we watch every year. It shows a magical side of Santa and his elves in a unique way.  This is a realistic looking Santa.
Scoring: 3.5
The Santa Clause (1994)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy 
Starring: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, and David Krumholtz
Synopsis: When a man inadvertently kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place.
Review:  I love this movie, but I’m still bothered by the fact that the immortal Santa can be killed and replaced. I guess that’s my inner child freaking out. Other than that, it’s a magical North Pole, and interesting transition from man to Santa, loving moments, and lots of fun. 
Scoring: 5
The Santa Clause 2 (2002)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance 
Starring:  Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, David Krumholtz, Spencer Breslin, Elizabeth Mitchell, Aisha Tyler, Kevin Pollack, Jay Thomas, Art LaFleur, Peter Boyle, and Molly Shannon
Synopsis: Scott Calvin has been Santa Claus for the past eight years, and his loyal elves consider him the best Santa ever. But Santa's got problems (he's even mysteriously losing weight) and things quickly go south when he finds out that his son, Charlie, has landed on this year's "naughty" list. Desperate to help his son, Scott heads back home, leaving a substitute Claus to watch over things at the Pole. But when the substitute institutes some strange redefinitions of naughty and nice, putting Christmas at risk, it's up to Scott to return with a new bag of magic to try to save Christmas.
Review:  Similar fun and magic to the first movie but the plastic Claus scenes were a little much. I loved seeing Scott/Santa with a foot in both worlds.  I think the kids will love Comet.  I enjoy this most when I watch the trilogy together.
Scoring: 5
The Santa Clause 3 (2006)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance 
Starring: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, Spencer Breslin, Elizabeth Mitchell, Aisha Tyler, Kevin Pollack, Jay Thomas, Martin Short, Ann Margaret, Alan Arkin, Art LaFleur, and Peter Boyle
Synopsis: Santa's got problems: it's a few days before Christmas and production lags, Mrs. Claus is about to give birth to their first child and wants family time, and Jack Frost (tired of second billing) is on probation under his supervision. He tries to support his wife by bringing her parents to the North Pole (to preserve his secret, they must think it's Canada). He also brings his ex-wife Laura, her husband Neil, and their daughter Lucy. Inside the toy factory, Jack makes mischief and hatches a plan to become Santa. With Santa juggling that many snow globes, something is bound to go wrong. But if things get too difficult, he can always exercise his option to invoke the Escape Clause. Will he?
Review:  Truly one of a kind look at Santa. It still has the emotion and humor of the first two but adding the family to the North Pole is lots of fun.  Jack Frost is done brilliantly, including his hair and makeup. 
Scoring: 5

Santa Claws (2014)

Rated: PG

Genres: Family, Fantasy

Starring: Ezra James Colbert

 Synopsis: Tommy, who is unable to celebrate Christmas because his mom says Santa isn't real, leaves his kittens out for Santa to take back to the North Pole, but after a major allergic reaction Santa can't fly the sleigh or deliver presents anymore, so the kittens have to deliver the rest of the presents to all the boys and girls before sunrise.

Review: This movie was so hard to sit through. It’s so insipid. Small children may like the cats but that’s it.

Scoring: 1

The Santa Con (2014)
Rated: NR
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance 
Starring: Barry Watson, Melissa Sagemiller, Melissa Joan Hart, Jaleel White, and John Ratzenberger 
Synopsis: Small-time con man Nick is ordered by his parole officer to take a minimum-wage job as a department store Santa during the holidays and he hates it. Near the end of his first shift, he hastily promises a young boy, Billy, that Santa will bring his estranged parents back together by Christmas. When his sister Rosemary hears this, she is livid and can't believe he would break a little boy's heart with an empty promise. After a long night of soul searching - and with the help of an insightful female pastor - Nick decides to make good on his promise to the child, somehow. But after meeting the boy's mother Carol, will Nick ultimately choose to put the happiness of others ahead of his own?
Review:  It’s nice seeing the moral dilemma and the changes this situation brings about in Nick. The true meaning of the Christmas spirit comes to life. 
Scoring: 3

Santa Fake (2019)

Rated: NR

Genres: Fantasy, Musical

Starring: Heather Morris, Judd Nelson, and John Rhys-Davies

Synopsis: A young man emigrates from Ireland to the United States and finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of shenanigans.  He gets a job as a shopping mall Santa to hide from a gang of hooligans only to find out his role as Santa is more than just a disguise.

Review: Overall this was a good movie.  It was corny at points, as so many movies are, but that’s the point.  This movie doesn’t take itself too seriously.  It’s fun if you can handle the silly.

Scoring: 2.5

Santa Girl (2019)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Starring: Barry Bostwick and Jennifer Stone

Synopsis: Fleeing the family business and an arranged marriage, Santa’s daughter chooses a magical adventure of her own: college.

Review: This is an unusual view of Santa and the North Pole.  Start with Mrs. Claus is dead, Santa doesn’t eat carbs, and their daughter is a lazy and spoiled brat.  That about sums up the Christmas spirit of the movie.  I enjoyed seeing other mythological characters.  Of course, everything works out. 

Scoring: 2.5

Santa Hunters (2014)

Rated: G

Genres: Comedy, Family 

Starring: April Telek and Brenda Crichlow 

Synopsis: Four children try to claim that Santa Claus is real.

Review: This movie is very silly and childish but that’s because it’s made for children. I doubt adults would like it for fun but to watch as a family would work. The kids are doing all the typical crazy catch Santa stuff. 

Scoring: 2.5

The Santa Incident (2010)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Family 

Starring: Greg Germann and Ione Skye

Synopsis: After his sleigh is shot down while flying through restricted military airspace, an earthbound Santa is sought for questioning by a pair of overzealous Homeland Security agents. The fate of Christmas is now in the hands of the disbelieving by-the-book duo, unless their faith in Santa can be restored by two children and a trio of elves who have arrived from up North to help out a friend in need.

Review:  I found this to be a little dumb, children may enjoy the children in the movie. That is if they can handle Santa’s sleigh being shot down. This is one you can skip. 

Scoring: 1.5


Santa Jaws (2018)

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Reid Miller

Synopsis: Trying to survive the family Christmas, Cody makes a wish to be alone, which ends up backfiring when a shark manifests and kills his entire family.

Review: Yes, it’s B movie.  No, it’s not campy and fun in a Sharknado way.  It’s just plain stupid.  A comic drawing shark coming to life.  Okay, sure.  Then you have mediocre acting and horrible effects.  Just awful in every way.

Scoring: 1

Santa Jr. (2002)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance 

Starring: Lauren Holly, Judd Nelson, and Nick Stabile

Synopsis: Father Christmas's son tries to follow in his father's footsteps, but gets arrested while delivering presents.

Review:  I’ll admit it’s a little cheesy but I think it’s a nice family film. I enjoyed the adventures and all the characters. The Christmas magic makes it even better. 

Scoring: 3