Santa And Pete

Theatrical Release: December 5, 1999
DVD Release: September 23, 2003
Santa And Pete


Nicholas Mann (James Earl Jones), the grandfather of a close-knit family, gathers his family on a snowy night. It’s the first Christmas without Grandma and a difficult time for the family, until Grandpa decides to share a story with his 10-year-old grandson Terence. It’s the story of Santa and Pete, a tale that has been handed down for generations. As the story unfolds, we too are transported to faraway lands and mystical events as the old world’s Saint Nicholas is transformed into the modern day Santa Claus.

Dove Review

Dove Review:

Santa and Pete begins in an almost Princess Bride way, where Grampa Nicholas (James Earl Jones) tells his grandson, Terence (Sadrathe Gillespie), the story of St. Nick and Pete in narrative style. Before becoming Santa, St. Nick was a Christian Bishop who traveled throughout Europe handing out chocolates and toys to children.

While journeying through Spain, St. Nick is arrested and imprisoned as a spy because he carries a book containing people’s names and information about their futures titled The Book of Life. While in jail he meets Pete, the prison cook, who realizes St. Nick is a good man who carries a message of peace. Pete helps St. Nick escape from prison, grabbing his bag of toys and Book of Life from the sleeping prison guard.

Together they travel throughout Europe giving gifts to children. Sometime later, St. Nick and Pete decide to follow the children who journey to America to discover new beginnings. During their adventures in the “new world” they meet the early settlers and Native Americans and encourage them to end their dispute. Along the way, through both circumstances and offerings, St. Nick slowly transforms into the Santa we know today.

Santa and Pete is a lighthearted movie that shows the progression of how St. Nick becomes Santa as he and Pete help people experience peace and love. There are elements of Christ’s example throughout the movie. St. Nick and Pete display God’s compassion towards people. St. Nick says to Pete, “Life is the journey and God plans the itinerary.” There are also parallels to the story of Christ’s birth when there is “no room at the inn” so St. Nick and Pete sleep in a barn. St. Nick mentions to Pete, “Christmas started with a child.” Grampa tells Terence that St. Nick’s message was, “Peace on earth, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14). The movie includes a positive message and example, which makes it Dove-Approved for All Ages.

The Dove Take:

Santa and Pete’s heartwarming story of sharing the message of peace and giving makes it a delight for all ages. Children will especially enjoy discovering how St. Nick slowly transforms into Santa.

Content Description

Faith: Themes of Christ's birth and God's compassion
Integrity: St. Nick and Pete spread peace and love to everyone.
Sex: None
Language: None
Violence: Man is threatened by another man.
Drugs: None
Nudity: None
Other: Young girl is separated from parents.


Company: Vanguard
Writer: Greg Taylor
Producer: Beth Polson
Genre: Adventure
Runtime: 120 min.
Starring: Hume Cronyn, James Earl Jones, Flex Alexander, Tempestt Bledsoe.
Reviewer: Karen W.