Tim Allen is back for another round as Jolly old Saint Nick in the sequel to 1994 film, "the Santa Claus". After viewing the first film I remember feeling very curious at the end as to how his life would play out now that Scott Calvin was ripped from normal day to day life and thrust into the surreal world of the North Pole with elves and reindeer and Christmas time cheer. What happens the rest of the year? How does he keep in touch with his son? A few of these questions are answered here with a fresh new original story that is very well made to appeal to adults and kids alike.
Eight years have passed and Santa Claus (a.k.a. Scott Calvin, played by Tim Allen) is faced with a new contractual challenge - to find a Mrs. Claus. Santa has also found out that his son Charlie has been in trouble and put on the "naughty" list at the North Pole. The elves come up with a plan to duplicate Santa so that he can return to his home town to find a wife in 28 days while the duplicate Santa will stay at the North Pole and run things. The duplicate Santa turns out to be a militant jolly pain-in-the-butt who takes over the north pole and shuts down all the toy production to instead turning the elves into slaves and making lumps of cole for all the "naughty" children. Meanwhile Santa is turning back into the thin Scott Calvin and finding his son Charlie (played again by Eric Lloyd) is a troubled nuisance to his teachers and family. The schools snappy, arrogant Principal Carol Newman (played by Elizabeth Mitchell) at school is not at all happy with Charlies behavior and is in need of some holiday cheer herself. After Santa spends some time with Charlie, he grows fond of the Principal and they begin to fall for each other despite attempts by the family to set him up on several blind dates. Santa uses his magic to speed the courtship up, but he must conserve it to return to the North Pole. After admitting his true identity to Carol, everything falls apart leaving Santa to return to the North Pole alone. Everything comes together in the end of course, but you will have to see the movie for yourself to see how it all plays out.
There are plenty of touching scenes in the romance developing between Santa and Carol, but they are sweet and not overdone keeping it appropriate for the kids as well as the adults. It was great to see Eric Lloyd return after 8 years to play Charlie Calvin as this normally doesn't happen with a child actor in a sequel done so many years after an original. Tim Allen gets plenty of opportunity in this film to exercise his comedy talents as the jolly fat man with very funny scenes that made me laugh out loud. There is a great set of scenes with a group of "fantasy characters" like the Tooth Fairy, Father Time, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, Cupid, and Mother Nature. Although the film is predictable, this doesn't detract from the enjoyment of it. I really liked all the characters and found the story engaging and sweet. It's a perfect holiday movie for the whole family with familiar characters and wonderful holiday fun!