2 user 1 critic

Like Father, Like Santa (1998)

A ruthless toy tycoon (Harry Hamlin) out to crush all of his competitors travels to the North Pole to put an end to his biggest rival.


Michael Scott


Mark Valenti




Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Hamlin ... Tyler Madison
Megan Gallagher ... Elyse Madison
Curtis Blanck Curtis Blanck ... Danny Madison
William Hootkins ... Santa
Gary Frank ... Smitty
Roy Dotrice ... Ambrose Booth
Stuart Pankin ... Snipes
Gary Coleman ... Ignatius
Jimmy Briscoe Jimmy Briscoe ... Fitzroy
Michael Munoz ... Whoops
George Sharperson ... Jake
John Pontrelli John Pontrelli ... Chester
Jennifer MacWilliams Jennifer MacWilliams ... Maureen
Lex Robbins Lex Robbins ... Kyle
Tommy Woods Tommy Woods ... Zac


A ruthless toy tycoon (Harry Hamlin) out to crush all of his competitors travels to the North Pole to put an end to his biggest rival.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Family | Fantasy







Release Date:

1 December 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Christmas Takeover See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Traditional, arranged by Frederic Austin (uncredited)
Arranged by Jeremy Sweet (BMI)
Published by Eifoata Music (BMI)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Brief Kringle Memory
18 November 2003 | by pirate1_powerSee all my reviews


One of the last Saban Entertainment projects for the Fox Family Channel prior to Disney's acquisition of both Saban and the network was this delightful, hilarious Kringle odyssey, starring Harry Hamlin, Roy Dotrice, Stuart Pankin, Gary Coleman (in a rare post-"Diff'rent Strokes" cameo) and (get this!) William Hootkins as Santa Claus. "Like Father, Like Santa" might have been forgettable to some, but those who have seen it before (or may see it again on ABC Family, as the network calls itself these days) still consider it quite a hoot!

Tyler Madison (Hamlin) is one of L.A.'s hottest toy manufacturing executives. He has a wife and a son and one of the most notable pedigrees in corporate America today. What no one knows, however, is that Tyler Madison is also the son of Santa Claus (Hootkins) --- and has been estranged from his father for many years. But when an unprecedented crisis befalls Santa's Kingdom, and when gentle-hearted and somewhat reluctant Ambrose (Dotrice), who has spent 30 years as one of Santa's hardest-working Elves, is goaded by the jealous Snipes (Pankin) into taking over the North Pole, Claus Senior and Junior must team up to set things right and restore happiness to the Elf Compound.

Hootkins, who will always be known to Star Wars fans as Jek Porkins (and to certain Batman fans as Lieutenant Eckhardt), provides a kindness and a wisdom unexpected from a character actor of his tenure. When I first saw this film, I myself never knew how much he could bring to the role of Santa. Indeed, I had to shed a tear when I saw him interacting with the kid who portrays Tyler's son. Imagine the kid's excitement when he learns that Santa is in fact his very own grandpa! Now, what kid on Earth wouldn't want to boast that kind of family tie?

"Like Father, Like Santa" is brilliant, hilarious, and somehow poignant; and it's a shame, really, that this rare jewel of a Christmas comedy has to be ranked among the forgotten film treasure of the Season to be Jolly. Still, I heartily recommend it to anyone who has ever wanted to wish upon a star and say: "I wish Santa Claus were my grandpa." Being the so-called Elf without Jingles, I have to tell ya: I kind of feel that way too.

Ho-ho-ho! (By the way, I'm wearing my Santa Claus regalia as I write this, so I trust you'll understand why this review has a very jolly demeanor about it.) Merry Christmas to all!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed