Scott Calvin has been Santa Claus for the past eight years, and his loyal elves consider him the best Santa ever. But Santa's got problems (he's even mysteriously losing weight) and things quickly go south when he finds out that his son, Charlie, has landed on this year's "naughty" list. Desperate to help his son, Scott heads back home, leaving a substitute Claus to watch over things at the Pole. But when the substitute institutes some strange redefinitions of naughty and nice, putting Christmas at risk, it's up to Scott to return with a new bag of magic to try to save Christmas. Written by
Walt Disney Pictures
Starring: Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Nicole Leroux, Judge Reinhold, Spencer Breslin, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, Kevin Pollak, Molly Shannon, Jay Thomas, Aisha Tyler, Michael Dorn
Premise: Scott Calvin has been Santa Claus for the past eight years, and his loyal elves consider him the best Santa ever. But Santa's world is turned upside down when he's dealt a double whammy of bad news: not only has his son, Charlie, landed on this year's `naughty' list, but if Scott doesn't marry by Christmas Eve, he'll stop being Santa forever. Desperate, Scott turns to the elves' new invention - a machine that can replicate anything - to create Santa II and he leaves his double in charge. Things quickly go south at the North Pole when Santa II institutes some strange redefinitions of what's naughty and nice; worse, when Scott finally falls for a potential Mrs. Claus, she threatens to drive a wedge between him and Charlie. In a climactic battle pitting Santa, Charlie, the new Mrs. Claus, and the elves against Santa II and his army of tin soldiers, the future of Scott's family, the North Pole, and Christmas itself, hangs in the balance.
After a horrorific Halloween, the last thing you would expect would be a Christmas themed film. But here we are with the sequel to the 1994 smash hit, The Santa Clause. The movie opened modestly but soon gained popularity and was selling to packed houses over the Thanksgiving weekend. It just made natural sense for the Walt Disney Company to return with a sequel. The Santa Clause 2 was originally slanted for release in 2001 but the executives at Disney became aware that sequels to moderately old films won't automatically become the same hit as the original after 102 Dalmatians flopped in 2000 thanks in part to The Grinch. After the script was revised, Tim Allen finally returns as the big guy after eight years. But this time around, he doesn't have his hit TV show to bring in the sure-fire crowd like before. Will The Santa Clause 2 be as magical as the original or will the sequel follow the same steps as 102 Dalmatians?
The story goes that Scott Calvin has been Santa for eight years and it declared the best Santa ever by his elves and the children of the world. But his helper elves find that they missed a clause in his contract that states that he must get married before Christmas Eve or else he will not be Santa ever again. On top of this delema, his son Charlie has been found on the naughty list for incidents at school that involve his principal, who Scott soon falls head over heels for. But he soon must return to the North Pole as the temporary toy replacement takes in new order at the North Pole. The story was very well done. It introduced all the original characters in very nice fashion and brings good attention to brand new ones like Curtis, the keeper of the Santa handbook. One of the especially good parts was how they introduced Miss Mitchell and how she soon came to be the love interest of Scott Calvin a.k.a. Santa Claus. There were little or no problems with the story that tries hard to live up to the original.
The characters in The Santa Clause 2 are very funny and do a great job of bringing the audience into the holiday world of the North Pole. Tim Allen is as funny as ever reprising his famous role as the big guy himself, Santa Claus. Spence Breslin is very amusing as Curits and really shows off his mature acting abilities in a comedy, which will be needed when he appears in The Cat in the Hat with Mike Myers in 2003. Elizabeth Mitchell is great as Charlie's principal. She really brings the romance into this familty comedy that is needed to offset some of the goofiness that happens all around but doesn't draw too much attention away from other important scenes. All the original characters are back and do a extraordinary jobs returning to their old roles.
Overall, The Santa Clause 2 is as funny or better then the 1994 original in many areas of the story and characters. Though the movie does seem perfect but there are slight flaws to this beautifully wrapped package. The main problem is the moral lesson expressed in the film. They are stated in lines of the film and come off as way too tacky especially with the emotional music playing. This is okay for a family audience but can get on nerves to older audience. This does not ruin the film in the least. The Santa Clause 2 does everything it sets out to achieve and does so with great flare. If this film does well enough, you might expect another sequel but even if this is the last chapter in the Santa Clause films then it goes off on a fabulous note. If there is one holiday film to take your kids to see this November, take them to see The Santa Clause 2. You won't forget it and neither will your kids after they are done laughing their heads off. And no worries for adults, the jokes appeal to both children and adults. Look for hidden Disney jokes and even a few Buzz Lightyear lines slipped into the story. One of the few films that lives up to the original.
My Rating: ****1/2 out of 5
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