Santa Clause 2
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // PG // November 1, 2002
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted October 6, 2002
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The Movie:

Occasionally, I find my expectations proven wrong about a picture. I'd expected "Santa Clause 2" to be another Disney direct-to-video effort that somehow gained theatrical distribution. While it's bigger and better than that, it doesn't cross that line by leaps and bounds.

Eight years (it seems like forever) since the first film (although apparently ready to go last year, the film was reportedly delayed to re-work the story), Tim Allen once again plays Scott Calvin, who became Santa Claus after accidentially knocking off Santa in the first picture. After a rather decent "Crimson Tide"-ish opening where the elves just barely miss being spotted by a plane flying over the North pole, Santa kicks the production line into high gear. Unfortunately for Santa, nobody remembered to tell him about the "Mrs. Clause", a piece of fine print that required that he get a wife or lose the suit.

So starts the "De-Santafication" process, shrinking Scott (er, Santa) back down until he'll no longer be the jolly fat guy who delivers presents. At the same time, he finds that son Charlie is on the "naughty" list this year, so he flies back down to the states in the hopes of trying to work both things out at once. Meanwhile, he leaves a robot Santa in his place, who starts to not work particularly well with others.

Script issues aside (why didn't anyone remember to tell Santa during these eight years), there are some really nice moments scattered throughout this film, including one where Scott livens up a school Christmas party by finding the presents that were in the hearts of the teachers during their childhood. It's a sweet scene, handled well and genuinely touching. Allen and Elizabeth Mitchell (as the Principal who wants to suspend Charlie) also have good chemistry together and are one of the reasons why the film works as well as it does.

Overall, "Santa Clause 2" isn't much to look at (I was a little stunned to find that this film was done at a reported cost of $65 million), it's rather forgettable and it's not going to do much for Allen's career. However, it is fairly well-done family fare, offering enough to keep kids passably entertained, while also mixing in some jokes for the adults in the audience.



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