10 Best Santa Claus Movies, Ranked By IMDb


It doesn’t matter whether he’s known as Santa Claus, Santa Claus, or Kris Kringle – the party icon is a regular on the big screen. Rarely does a year go by without a few new iterations, providing plenty of options for Christmas viewing.

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But some representations of Santa Claus are better received than others. While some people like a cliché Christmas movie, others are more cynical about the man in red. Which movies starring Santa Claus are most loved by viewers?

ten Santa Claus (1994) – 6.5

Scott as Santa Claus holding a snow globe in Santa Claus

Santa’s origin story comes to life in the 1994s Santa. Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is the latest in a long line of Santa Claus, taking his predecessor’s place after he fell from the roof and died. When Scott puts on his coat, he submits to “Father Christmas” – after which he has a year to come to terms with his new position.

It’s much less depressing than it looks. Allen convincingly portrays both a cynical toy salesman and the increasingly cheerful, white-bearded icon he gradually becomes over the course of the film. It’s a magical affair – one so beloved that it spawned two sequels and still serves as the quintessential Santa Claus movie to this day.

9 Miracle on 34th Street (1994) – 6.6

Remakes rarely match the original, but audiences still note the years 1994 Miracle on 34th Street. In it, Susan (Mara Wilson) and her mother attempt to prove that department store employee Kris Kringle (Richard Attenborough) is the real Santa to keep him from being institutionalized.

A wintry New York backdrop is part of the magic, but a lot of it comes down to Attenborough. Considered by many to be the best Santa in the movie, he’s so warm and lovable that he embodies the Christmas spirit like no other. It also makes it easier to ignore some of the cynicism that makes this movie slightly less iconic than the original.


8 The Polar Express (2004) – 6.6

Santa Claus in the Polar Express

While Santa Claus is not the main character of The Polar Express, it has a huge impact. The entire plot revolves around a young boy who boards a mysterious train on Christmas Eve alongside a group of children who are due to visit Santa Claus at the North Pole.

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Portrayed by Tom Hanks (like several other characters in the film), Santa Claus seems more ethereal and divine than in many Christmas movies. The CGI visuals might not have aged well, but it still gives the film an enchanting quality that continues to this day.

seven The Christmas Chronicles (2018) – 7.0

Kurt Russell The Christmas Chronicles Netflix Christmas Movies

Most films portray Santa Claus as a kind and cheerful old man. The Christmas Chronicles is going in a totally different direction. When two children notice Santa Claus in their house, they jump in his sleigh – which does not work properly and loses all the presents. They must then team up to save Christmas.

Portrayed by Kurt Russell, Santa Claus looks more like a rockstar than anything else. He wears leather, hates the way he’s portrayed in the media, and even has a musical number. Her performance gives an otherwise cheesy Christmas movie its edge and even earned it a second release in 2020.

6 Elf (2003) – 7.0

Buddy the elf talks to Santa

As the title suggests, Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) is at the center of Elf. Having accidentally found himself on Santa’s sleigh as a baby, he grew up alongside the elves before deciding to return to the human world to find his biological father. The result? Festive fun in snowy New York.

Santa Claus always plays an important role. Played by the late Ed Asner, he’s a warm but pragmatic figure who relies on the spirit of Christmas to pilot his sleigh. It is a complete natural.

5 Arthur Noel (2011) – 7.1

Several characters are vying for the title of Santa Claus in the woefully underrated Arthur christmas. Arthur (James McAvoy) is the youngest son of current Santa Claus (Jim Broadbent). He sets out to deliver a lost toy to a young child, helped by his grandfather – Grandsanta (Bill Nighy), a former Santa Claus – and hampered by his older brother – Steven Claus (Hugh Laurie), the cynical Santa Claus on hold. .

The characters are all endlessly watchable, and Arthur’s adventures provide healthy fun for the whole family. In the end, they led him to be named the next Santa Claus – and he’s just as generous, selfless, and upbeat as anyone could hope for.

4 Rise Of The Guardians (2012) – 7.3

Another movie where Santa Claus isn’t the only man in the spotlight. Voiced by Alec Baldwin, the role of Santa Claus in Rise of the Guardians is to be one of the Guardians who recruit Jack Frost to prevent the evil Pitch Black from engulfing the world in darkness.

It is an original concept, associated with an original Santa Claus. Russian, tough and epic bearded, he makes a memorable figure in a movie where he doesn’t even have much to do.

3 Miracle on 34th Street (1947) – 7.9

The original and best version of Miracle on 34th Street has been a Christmas staple since 1947. Set in New York City, it focuses on Kris Kringle, a man who stars as Santa in Macy’s and pretends to be the real Santa Claus.

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Everything about this movie is pure holiday magic, but most of all the portrayal of Santa Claus by Edmund Gwenn. He’s eccentric without being boring and whimsical while still remaining believable. It’s a good balance, but it succeeds perfectly.

2 Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – 8.0

Jack Skellington is equally fascinated by Santa Claus (or “Sandy Claws”) in The nightmare before Christmas like the world is in real life. Having decided he wants to take over and make Christmas better, he has Santa Claus kidnapped – but doesn’t expect him to be delivered to his nemesis, Oogie Boogie.

While this is a very gruesome take on the season, part of its magic is that even Jack – the Pumpkin King – is completely in love with the magic of Christmas and Santa Claus.

1 Klaus (2019) – 8.2

Klaus in Klaus, 2019

Nominated for an Oscar, Klaus is destined to become a future Christmas classic. Giving a new twist to the mythology of Santa Claus, he portrays him as an isolated toy maker who teams up with the new mailman in town to deliver gifts to local children.

It’s beautifully animated, with a unique and quirky style that sets it apart from other Christmas movies. Really, it’s the new take on Santa himself that makes him so special. He’s free from the usual clichés of the genre, transforming him from a jovial old man to a misunderstood loner – and consequently rearranging the tradition in a way that appeals to the whole family.

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