The Santa Clause movies: Cast and Character Guide

Christmas movie talk

After over 15 years, Tim Allen is finally getting fitted for his red hat and coat and checking a certain list twice, because The Santa Clause franchise is coming to town once again, this time with the Disney+ original series, The Santa Clauses (2022).

As the recent teaser trailer shows, Allen will once again be stepping into the shoes of Scott Calvin, the man who accidentally acquired the title of Santa Claus all the way back in 1996. Now, after delivering toys to millions of little boys and girls around the world for nearly three decades, Scott has decided to hang up the coat and retire. However, since he likely doesn’t want to stop being Santa by falling off of a roof as his predecessor did, he begins a rigorous search for someone to take his place (starting with football star Peyton Manning of all people).

Scott won’t have to do this alone as he has a huge cast of characters by his side, both new faces and some familiar ones we’ve met from the original trilogy. To find out who is in this holiday adventure, simply read below to learn about every major cast member and who they’ll be played by.

Tim Allen as Scott Calvin / Santa Claus

The original voice of Buzz Lightyear himself is back to play his version of Saint Nick after playing him in three feature films, starting with The Santa Clause (1994)

Certainly the most grounded entry in the series, the first Santa Clause film introduced audiences to Scott Calvin, a grumpy businessman who works at a major toy company. Calvin is currently reeling from a recent divorce where he and his ex-wife Laura (Wendy Crueson) are constantly arguing over what’s best for their son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd). Charlie spends one Christmas with his real dad when they hear a thud on the roof. That thud came from Santa himself, and when Scott yells at the man, Santa falls to the ground and disappears. Thinking this is all some sort of dream, Scott puts on Santa’s coat and he and Charlie deliver the remaining toys. It takes a while for Scott to realize that this was all real, but eventually, with the help of Charlie, Scott puts his grumpiness to the wayside and fully embraces becoming Santa.

In The Santa Clause 2 (2002), Scott is slowly losing his Santa-related appearance and abilities. This is because there was a clause in his contract (get it?) that states that if Scott wants to remain as Santa, he will need to find a Mrs. Claus. He finds one in the unlikeliest of places when he has to go to a disciplinary meeting for Charlie, now a rebellious teen, and meets Carol (Elizabeth Mitchell), Charlie’s cold and strict principal. Using some Christmas magic and some of that jolly charm, Carol eventually falls in love with Scott and agrees to marry him. There’s also a subplot with an evil toy clone of Santa but oddly enough that’s not too important.

Finally, the last time we saw Scott Calvin was in The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006), where Santa goes toe to toe with the winter-based troublemaker, Jack Frost (Martin Short). Scott is under a huge amount of stress this Christmas, more than usual because he and Carol have a new baby on the way, Carol misses her parents, and he has to babysit Jack Frost after he’s been put under probation by the Magical Figures counsel after trying to hijack Christmas. Jack tries to get Scott to enact the “Escape Clause” which would make it, so Scott never became Santa. He almost succeeds, but Scott’s holiday cheer is just too much for the frosty foe.

Now years later in The Santa Clauses, Scott is now much older and much more tired. It’s his hope that he’ll be able to find a successor to become Santa, so he can settle down and live a relaxed life with his wife and children.

Elizabeth Mitchell as Carol Calvin / Mrs. Claus

Lost (2006-2010) alumni Elizabeth Mitchell joined the franchise in The Santa Clause 2, where she fell head over heels in love with a man she would later find out was Santa Claus.

Carol was once the principal at Charlie’s high school, where she quickly got a reputation as a remarkably strict disciplinarian. Not the ideal candidate for a Mrs. Clause, but once she and Scott got to know each other, it was clear that there was a kinder, softer side to her. By the time we get to The Santa Clauses, Carol and Scott are still together, now having two teenage kids to care for. This reliance on their family actually makes Carol the one to suggest to Scott that maybe it’s time to retire, as seen in an exclusive clip at the show’s panel at the D23 Expo, showing that she has always been the voice of reason to Scott’s more improvisational attitude.

David Krumholtz as Bernard

David Krumholtz makes his long-awaited return to the franchise after being noticeably absent in The Santa Clause 3.

Bernard was the number one elf at the North Pole and one of the first elves that Scott meets when he arrives at the North Pole for the first time. Since he’s the lead elf of the toy factory, Bernard is the one who shows Scott the ropes of being Santa and goes over all the nitty-gritty details in his surprisingly thorough contract that he agreed to when he put on Santa’s suit. Though Bernard and the rest of the elves look like kids, they’re actually far older than Santa himself, with Bernard being the oldest at about 900 years of age. The last time we saw Bernard was in Santa Clause 2, where he tried his hardest to control a rebellious toy Santa and essentially run the entire operation while Scott was away.

Krumholtz was unable to return for the third film but is confirmed to appear in the limited series. We get a tease of him at the end of the trailer, and while he is a bit older, it really is great to see Elf Number 1 again.


Eric Lloyd as Charlie Calvin

The last cast member returning for the show (that we know of at least) is Eric Lloyd as Scott’s son, Charlie who was a major character in the first and second films in the series. In the original film, Charlie is the one who staunchly insists that the adventure he and his dad went on was no dream and that he really was the next Santa. In the second movie, Charlie then becomes a teenager who is far more rebellious and lacking of much of that classic Christmas spirit, even winding up on Santa’s naughty list. Scott and Charlie are ultimately able to reconnect as father and son, though Charlie only makes brief appearances in Santa Clause 3 in a much smaller capacity.

From what we know, Charlie is now all grown up in the series, with a wife and kids of his own.

Austin Kane as Cal Calvin

So technically there is another returning character, and it’s the little baby we saw at the very end of Santa Clause 3 affectionately nicknamed “Buddy Claus”.

Nowadays, he goes by Cal (Austin Kane), and the eldest child of Scott and Carol seems to be unable to focus on what he wants to do in life. Having lived in the magical bubble that is the North Pole all his life, Cal really wants to understand what’s out there in the world and see what life is like as a normal teenager (though he is also quite scared of what the unknown world has to offer). Having already dealt with a teenage son lacking direction, hopefully, Scott will be able to help his son find out what life has in store for him.

Elizabeth Allen-Dick as Sandra Calvin

The second child of Scott and Carol will be Sandra, played by Tim Allen’s real-life daughter Elizabeth Allen Dick in her first IMDb credited acting role.

Sandra is very much in the same boat as her brother, Cal, in the sense that she’s trying to figure out what to do with her life. However, where Cal wants to see the outside world, Sandra very much wants to stay at the North Pole. Perhaps she wants to take much more of an interest in the family business, though this may prove difficult as she is not an elf and her father is currently planning his retirement.

Kal Penn as Simon Choksi

The Kumar to John Cho‘s Harold, Kal Penn will be a part of the cast in what appears to be something of an antagonist role.

That’s not to say Simon is an evil person, he’s just fallen into a grumpy patch, and honestly for good reason. He’s now a single father looking after his daughter Grace (Rupali Redd), after Grace’s mother passed away. Now he’s become a moderately successful businessman, but he lacks any sort of holiday spirit and is greatly overprotective of Grace, trying to share his cynical attitude on the holidays with her. So to recap, we have a single dad who has an ambivalent attitude toward Christmas and just so happens to have the initials “SC”. Now, where have we heard that before?

Rupali Redd as Grace Choksi

Simon’s daughter Grace is practically the polar opposite of her dad in every way.

Where Simon is paranoid and strict, Grace is jolly and happy. That’s not to say everything in her life is perfect, as she is with her dad in grieving for her mother. She’s evidence that people grieve the loss of a loved one in different ways. Simon does this by putting himself in his work, while Grace does this by believing in something fantastical like Santa Claus.

Matilda Lawler as Betty

Much of the cast of elves in the original would be tough to cast today as they were all children at the time, so The Santa Clauses needed a new cast of little helpers to assist Santa this time around.

The first major example of this is Betty (Matilda Lawler), who handles many of the municipal day-to-day tasks at the North Pole. One of these tasks is helping Scott go over the naughty and nice list, which is proving to be an ever increasingly tedious task for Scott as now going over the list seems pointless as every kid gets a toy regardless of their place on the list.

Devin Bright as Noel

With Bernard retired, Noel (Devin Bright) now has the honor of being Santa’s Elf Number 1.

As mentioned with Bernard, Elf Number 1 is the lead elf who is Santa’s second in command at the toy factory. They oversee anything and everything that needs to be done to prep for next year’s Christmas. Unlike Bernard, who took a much more serious approach to his job, Noel seems to be a bit more energetic and is something of a best friend to Santa. In one of the clips shown at D23, Noel can even be seen flying with Santa on Christmas helping him deliver presents.

Laura San Giacomo as Le Befana

Another character we learned about at D23 was La Befana, played by Pretty Woman‘s (1990) Laura San Giacomo.

La Befana is a lesser-known holiday figure from Italian folklore. She’s essentially if Santa was a witch, also delivering gifts to children who were good and coal to children who were naughty. Not all that different, but the witch angle just naturally makes her a bit creepier. How she factors into the story of The Santa Clauses isn’t known just yet, but she apparently lives in the woods on the outskirts of the North Pole.

Other Characters from the Films Who Could Appear

At their panel at the D23 Expo, director Jason Winer (Modern Family) and writer Jack Burditt (Last Man Standing) teased that Scott, Carol, Bernard, and Charlie wouldn’t be the only cast members we’d see return from the other films.

There are a lot of potential cameos that could appear, such as Scott’s ex-wife Laura, her husband Neil (Judge Reinhold), and their daughter Lucy (Lilianna Mumy). Perhaps we also might see Scott’s in-laws and Carol’s parents return with acting legends like Ann-Margaret (Bye Bye Birdie) and Alan Arkin (Edward Scissorhands) reprising their roles. Finally, we could even see the return of some legendary magical figures return, such as Aisha Tyler‘s (Monsters at Work) Mother Nature and maybe even Martin Short’s (Only Murders in the Building) Jack Frost.

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Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.


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