The Santa Clause 2
Released 11/01/2002 Rated: G
As it should have been subtitled: The Mrs. Clause
So there’s two halves to this movie: Scott needing to find a wife by Christmas Eve in order to continue being Santa, and Toy Santa taking over the North Pole. In my opinion they could have cut this movie in half and focus on a single plot line, and it would have been great. Guess which plot point I chose.
Stick to the story of Scott needing to get married. Paired with Principal Newman’s unwillingness to put up any holiday decorations because she runs a public school, and it’s perfect! Poignant even. I want Santa to fight against the PC views of the holiday season. What better avenue than the son of Santa acting out against his principal over her anti-Christmas/holiday view, which gently flows into Scott and Carol falling in love?
The first installment didn’t give in to the over-the-top silliness that this one starts to delve into. There’s no need for Toy Santa turning the North Pole into a dictatorship; however, he’s not the worst component of this film. Other offenders include a bloated Cupid who can’t even stand up under his own weight because Lucy’s been feeding him sweets. And Chet. [shudder] First of all, (and I know this decision was made strictly to appeal to little children) all I hear coming out of this reindeer’s mouth is Phil & Lil from Rugrats. The two don’t mesh together in my brain. To be clear: there was nothing wrong with the animatronic reindeer appearing realistic. They don’t need to mumble or have exaggerated facial expressions.
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
Released 11/03/2006 Rated: G
This movie didn’t leave much of an impression on me when I first saw it about a year ago. I remember wanting to see this one when it came out in theaters, but we never made it. Instead, last year when I was sick I quarantined myself in my bedroom knocking back mug after mug of hot chamomile tea with honey and double featuring The Santa Clause 2 and 3. …I do believe there are worse ways to spend your time when you’re sick, I just can’t come up with any at the moment.
Let me start by saying I was expecting this movie to be funny. It wasn’t. It was bland. And I say this with confidence because I don’t remember much of it at all. I just read through the synopsis on the Wikipedia page going “Oh yeah…”
What I didn’t expect was for them to go back into the first movie, which was poorly edited together if it’s one of your favorites. Not only that, but to show how Scott’s life would have turned out had he never been Santa. Unfortunately that aspect loses me just as much as all the excess adults running around the North Pole before Frost tricks Scott. I have a hard time believing Laura and Neil divorced because Charlie didn’t want Neil to be his dad. I also have a hard time believing Front turned the North Pole into a cash-grabbing theme park. This movie doesn’t feel very personal; it just went for the most extreme with both Scott’s alternate life and how Frost took over as Santa.
So I don’t recommend #3, and I say only half of #2 is good, but it’s not enough for me to encourage you to watch it next year. But I still say #1 is a classic.