The Santa Clause (partially lost teaser trailer for Christmas comedy-drama film; 1994)

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The film's theatrical poster

Status: Partially Lost

The Santa Clause is a 1994 American Christmas comedy-drama film directed by John Pasquin and starring Tim Allen that was released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film stars Allen as Scott Calvin, an ordinary man who accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall from his roof on Christmas Eve, and must subsequently adopt the role of Santa Claus himself. The film was released on November 11th, 1994, and was a critical and commercial success, becoming a staple of the holiday season and later going on to spawn two sequels of equal financial success but dwindling critical reception.

Teaser Trailer[edit | edit source]

Earlier in 1994, a teaser trailer was produced for the film that was designed to drum up anticipation for it. The teaser features a stylized recreation of the scene where Santa falls from Scott's roof, with Santa, his reindeer, and a nearby dog all being portrayed as Christmas ornament-Esque wooden figures being puppeteered around the set. It is then revealed that this scene is taking place inside of a snow globe being held by Scott Calvin, who declares his confidence in himself in the Santa Claus role before accidentally dropping the snow globe. Notably, this trailer makes no reference to The Walt Disney Company in any capacity, as in this stage of the film's production, Disney was still planning to release the film under their Hollywood Pictures label, only changing their minds following positive reactions from children to the film in test screenings.[1]

Availability[edit | edit source]

The teaser was widely circulated in theaters throughout 1994, being placed before screenings of big Disney releases that year such as The Lion King. However, the trailer would never be released on home media, and after The Santa Clause left theaters, it gradually began to fade from public memory. It wouldn't be until 2002 that the trailer would resurface in any capacity, wherein it was reedited for use as the teaser trailer for the film's first sequel The Santa Clause 2. The majority of footage and audio from the original teaser was maintained for The Santa Clause 2 teaser, with the Hollywood Pictures logo being replaced with the Walt Disney Company logo, certain lines being edited out or replaced to acknowledge the film being a sequel, and the animations depicting Tim Allen's credit, the original tagline, the original title, and the original release date being replaced for the same reason.

The majority of this cut material would later be found through other means, with the animations depicting the original film's title and release date being reused in other trailers for the film, the animation for Allen's credit being featured in a TV spot for the film, and the cut audio being found in a camrip of a Summer 1994 screening of The Lion King in which the teaser was shown. The animation depicting the original tagline for the film can also be seen in this recording, but it is difficult to make out and is partly cut off by the edge of the screen and by the walls of the projection booth from which the recording was filmed. Using much of this material, YouTube user Ethan was able to make a reconstruction of the original teaser that closely replicates the edits seen in the original version, only lacking the animations of Allen's credit and the original tagline, which are recreated in a different style. To date, this is as close to the original teaser trailer as we have been able to get.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Ethan's reconstruction of the teaser trailer using the original elements.
The Santa Clause 2 teaser trailer.
Trailer for the original film featuring the animations for the film's title and release date.
TV spot for the film featuring Allen's credit.
Camrip from a screening of The Lion King featuring the original teaser's audio (1:28 - 1:51).

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]