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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(1994), PG [PG*] (1hr 33min)
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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Richard Baker, Caroline Baron, Jennifer Graham Billings, Rick Messina, James Miller, Robert F. Newmyer, Susan E. Novick, Brian Reilly, Jeffrey Silver, William W. Wilson III
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures, Hollywood Pictures Home Video
Director(s): John Pasquin
Written by: Leo Benvenuti, Steve Rudnick
Cinematography/Camera: Walt Lloyd
Music: Frank Beard, Michael Convertino, John Hawksworth, James Pierpont
Film Editing: Larry Bock
Casting: Renee Rousselot
Production Design: Carol Spier
Art Direction: James McAteer
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Another Christmas story without Jesus. It does seem the secular world is becoming more and more obsessed with kicking out Jesus ... the Christ of CHRISTmas. Even the original Kris Kringle, who made toys for children and delivered them to their homes in Europe, was Christian. So why not keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas? So there are those who do not believe in Jesus. Must the majority sacrifice a holiday which has for centuries been CHRISTian for the sake of the minority who are not? Yes, I am gonna harp on this. Remember, CHRIST Jesus was not only brutalized and tortured for our sakes, He spent three days in Hell so you and I would not have to spend one moment there. He is entitled. Let us keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas.
This 1994 version of The Santa Claus-e films is the beginning of the Santa Claus-e franchise. In this one, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) becomes Santa by causing the real Santa to fall off Scott's roof then disappear with instructions for the discoverer to put on the Santa suit and let the reindeer do the rest.
There is "warfare" in this one, too. This time, between Scott and his non-believing ex-wife, Laura (Wendy Crewson) and her new hubby, Dr. Neil Miller (Judge Reinhold), a psychologist. Laura and Neil want Scott and Laura's son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd) to move into the real world and have a more rounded perspective of things. Scott wants Charlie to decide for himself if and when to stop believing in Santa Claus. The rest of this warfare campaign skillfully leads the viewer through the belief in the Santa concept more than the personage of Santa. A concept started by the Christian Kris Kringle, by the way.
And if one looks close enough into the concept of Santa, one can see a few glimmers of Jesus. The brightest glimmer is giving: placing one's self last and in doing so becoming first. Just like Jesus told His disciples after they argued about who should be the greatest among them, to be first one must be last and servant of all. It was not long ago that I realized a doctrine I try to style my life after -- that to be a good leader one must first know how and when to be a good follower -- is indeed a teaching of Jesus Christ. [Mark 9:35]
By now, most of us have seen this version of the Santa Clause films and it would be counterproductive to belabor the film's story and plot any further. So, let us get into that which makes this version almost a moral carbon copy of the third. With a few variations in the investigation area scoring distribution, both films are in magnitude morally equal. Strange that the PG-rated 1994 version earned a final score of 77 placing well within the scoring range earned by PG films in the comparative baseline database (68 to 86 out of 100) while the G-rated 2006 version earned a final score of 78, one point above the 1994 version and also well within the scoring range earned by PG films. Twelve years later what was PG is now G. Of other noteworthiness is the 2002 version. It presented the fewest assaults on morality and decency of the three version, earning a true G-equivalent score. Following is a comparative of the three films to help you envision the comparison.
Note that this 1994 version contains Mary Poppins style "magic" as does all three version but none of it in the 1994 version is used for evil purposes. As with what Mary Poppins did with "magic", what Scott used it for could have been angelic ... all childhood fantasy without the wishful-thinking dissonance the "magic" in films such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films creates.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Not a significant violent or criminal film at all. One fall with injury with an issue of violation of a court order, escape and aiding escape and police maneuvers with firearms is all there is.
This film is rife with lying. Not about Santa Claus. Rather of Scott as he dodges many points of accountability with lies. God is quit stern about lying. [Rev. 21:8] And yes, such onscreen behavior is contagious. Also, remember that a bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly. [1 Cor. 15:33] Custody/visitation battles, adult name-calling and adolescent arrogance/defiance plus a couple events of flatulence cause the rather expensive loss of points in the Impudence/Hate investigation area of this 1994 version, enough to cause the red CAPAlert light (54 points or less in any investigation area). [Isa. 13:11] And one time an example of the three/four letter word vocabulary is heard. [Prov. 22:11]
Sexual Immorality (S)
Adulterous flirtation in the form of a secretary in a short skirt on the lap of a married company executive [Mark 7:21, Prov. 6:32], repeated appearances of Allen in underwear, Calvin spouting a comment about sleeping "buck naked" and lusting after a woman dressed sensuously [Matt. 5:28] are among the highlights of the sexually immoral content. About the issue of "adult in underwear." Would you want your children to be exposed to any adult male in his underwear? Is it okay to wear only underwear in, for example, a court room? A police station? In church? School? Any public place? Well!? The big screen is "public" isn't it? Even the writers recognize the indecency of such behavior. They had the elves shriek as Calvin started to remove his Santa PJs to his underwear.
The use of booze to celebrate and a call for an alcoholic drink to soothe woe are the only related things noted in the entire film.
Offense to God (O)
God's name was used in vain without the four letter expletive a number of times [Deut. 5:11] but the worst offense in this area was the presentation of CHRISTmas without CHRIST.
No suicides or murders were noted.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Christian Educators Association International
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
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ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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