Monday, December 22, 2008

25 Days: The Santa Clause(s)

This weekend was a serious catchup weekend for Christmas movies.

I managed to watch around seven or eight - most of which had something to do with Tim Allen. I am not completely finished with my list, but I am getting there and I might actually do it by Christmas Day.

Anyway, on Sunday I did the trifecta for The Santa Clause films starring Tim Allen as the big jolly guy himself.

I hadn't watched these in awhile, nor had I ever watched them in succession - so I got a little more perspective.

I must say that the first film really does blow the other two out of the water.

In the original The Santa Clause, Allen stars as Scott Calvin, a divorced father who is a pretty high up in the toy making business. Because of this, however, he has lost touch with his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd).

Charlie would rather spend time with his mother Laura (Wendy Crewson) and her new husband Neil (Judge Reinhold) then stay the night with his father on Christmas Eve.

But Charlie begins to change his mind after his father becomes Santa Claus. After the old Santa fell of the Calvin's roof, Scott put on his suit and finished his deliveries for the night - and fell under the Santa Clause - which reads that if you put on the suit, you become the new Santa.

After a night in the North Pole, Calvin wakes up in his own bed not really believing what happened - perhaps it was a dream. But, Charlie knows it to be true and spends the rest of the year trying to convince Scott, Laura and Neil.

Scott, meanwhile, has begun the transformation into Santa, as he begins to balloon up, go grey and grow a beard.

This was the best of the three movies, as it was more about a father and his son, instead of anything fairy tale-ish.

The second film is all about the Mrs. Clause.

In a missed clause, the elves led by leader Bernard (David Krumholtz) scramble to tell Santa that he must get married by the end of Christmas Eve, or he will be de-Santafied.

This is all happening while Charlie has landed on the naughty list, due to spray painting Christmas cheer at the school - and being busted by Principal Newman (Elizabeth Mitchell).

Scott must leave the North Pole to deal with Charlie and find a wife, and in order to keep the North Pole running, Curtis (Spencer Breslin) creates a life-size toy version of Santa to fool the elves while Santa is away.

As Scott slowly begins to de-Santafy, he begins to fall for Principal Newman, despite Charlie's hatred for her.

We find out that the reason Charlie is lashing out is because he must keep the secret of his father being Santa Claus - and it is tearing him up inside. He plays the hero and convinces Principal Newman that his father truly is Santa.

The story outside of the North Pole was good, and if that would have been it the movie would have been just as good as the original. However, they made another story-line of the Toy Santa taking over the North Pole and Scott and the elves must stop him from destroying Christmas.

The Toy Santa, also played by Allen, was way over the top. Almost to annoying factors. The story of Charlie acting out and the Scott-Principal Newman courtship were strong enough to carry the movie iteslf - the other storyline just went one too far.

Finally, the third movie - entitled Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause shows Santa with his new wife Carol (Principal Newman) expecting a child. Carol is a bit saddened by the fact that Santa doesn't have time for her as this is his busy season - so Santa invites Carol's parents up for the holidays (hiding the fact that they are in the North Pole - instead they are in Canada).

Also along for the ride were Neil, Laura and their daughter Lucy (Liliana Mumy) - for their first visit to the North Pole.

It also appears that Jack Frost (Martin Short) is trying to get his own holiday, but has been turned down repeatedly by the other mystical members. He is on the verge of getting kicked out, but Santa throws him a lifeline and allows him to help out over the holiday.

This is what Frost needs as he pretends to be helping out, but is dismantling the workshop, hindering the relationship between Santa and his in-laws, and has devised a plan to become Santa.

After finding out about the Escape Clause, Curtis is tricked into telling Jack that every Santa has a snow globe that if they hold and say "I wish I would have never become Santa at all" then everything would be returned back to when they first became Santa - giving Jack the opportunity to take over Christmas.

Santa shows Lucy his snow globe collection, and Jack sneaks his way into steal it. Then finds a way to trick Santa to say the words as he has given Santa his snowglobe as a gift.

The rest of the film is Santa trying to oust Frost as the new Santa to return everything back to normal.

I found this to be my least favorite of the three films, although I must say I enjoyed the Jack Frost enemy a lot more than the Toy Santa. But, the overall film wasn't as polished as the second.

Santa Clause Grade:

Santa Clause 2 Grade:

Santa Clause 3 Grade:

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