‘Santa Clause’ series makes festive tradition

Santa Clause series makes festive tradition

Nicole Schroeder

[tabs][tab title=”The Santa Clause”] [heading size=”21″ margin=”30″]‘Santa Clause’: an untraditional  classic [/heading]
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As a person of tradition, I enjoy the story of Santa Claus in the way it is normally told: including elves, reindeer and the jolly man with a snow-white beard, leaving presents under the tree for the good little children of the world.
A movie like The Santa Clause, in which Tim Allen (Home Improvement, Toy Story) is cast as the lead role and the job of Santa is handed off to the next man through the power of a binding contract is not one I could ever see myself watching more than once, much less finding to be entertaining. Yet, much to my own delight, this same movie which had ignored the fundamentals of Clement C. Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas but included Allen’s impish sense of humor was one I found to be both imaginative and amusing.
The film describes the life of Scott Calvin (Allen), a successful toy salesman but less-than-successful father to his son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd, Batman & Robin). On Christmas Eve night, Calvin’s world flips upside down when he accidentally scares Santa and causes him to fall off the roof. This invokes the Santa Clause, requiring Calvin to take over and become the new Santa in spite of his numerous protests. If he doesn’t, then “there will be millions of disappointed children across the world.”
Of course, the overall message behind the movie is certainly not unique. Through Calvin’s decisions, he is able to improve his relationship with his son and become a more caring, selfless person than he was before. The same idea can be seen in other Christmas movies, from How the Grinch Stole Christmas to A Christmas Carol. Considering the modern twist that is placed on the story of Santa and his workshop throughout the movie, however, such clichéd themes help keep the movie grounded in the spirit of the holidays.
The only thing I can really say bothered me in the movie was the inclusion of the immature humor and childish sarcasm that seems to characterize many of Tim Allen’s roles in live-action movies such as The Santa Clause. From Comet the reindeer farting in his first encounter with Calvin to Calvin’s blatant dislike for Charlie’s step-father, Neil, the abundance of comical scenes in the movie seemed to detract from the overall warmth and innocence of the film.
All in all, I have to say the modern take on a traditional Christmas story like that of Santa Claus is not one I would usually find too appealing, if not for the absence of important aspects in the story then for the ways in which it portrays the characters. With its family-centered themes and air of festivity, though, the movie, The Santa Clause, is not only an exception to this pattern but one that I could see becoming a tradition in and of itself.
This the the second installment of a 12  part series. Various staff writers have picked their favorite Christmas movies and reviewed them. Check out the other movies of Christmas here! 
Check out ‘Santa Clause 2’ and ‘Santa Clause: the Escape Clause’ reviews in the tabs above. 
[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t067u2Jnks0″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93ASUImTedo[/youtube] By Nicole Schroeder
[/tab] [tab title=”The Santa Clause 2″] [heading size=”21″ margin=”30″]‘Santa Clause 2’ rose to the occasion unlike most sequels [/heading] Santa_Clause_2
If I felt excited and “Christmassy” after watching the first installment in The Santa Clause series, I was even more so as I watched The Santa Clause 2. The premise of the movie made sense and did not seem to stretch my belief in the storyline or the characters. Additionally, while the same kinds of humor and short quips were present in the second movie, they were much more endurable in that they added a cheerier quality to what seemed to be, comparatively, a more mature theme.
This time, the story began at the North Pole, where Scott Calvin (the current Santa Claus) was busy at work getting ready for the Christmas holiday that was less than a month away. However, he is hit with unexpected news when his elves inform him not only that his son, Charlie, is on the naughty list, but that a second clause exists—a “Mrs. Clause” requiring him to marry before the coming Christmas Eve.
To escape the North Pole in time to deal with his son and find a wife, Santa creates a toy version of himself to run the workshop while he is gone. What ensues is a hilarious and inventive story that leaves audiences laughing, smiling and ready to break out the hot cocoa and Christmas decorations themselves.
One particularly pleasing aspect of The Santa Clause 2 was its inclusion of various elements and plot points from the first movie in the second. Like any good sequel should, the second movie made sure to incorporate the most important events and memories into the subsequent storyline. Whether it be the mention of the snow globe Bernard the elf (David Krumholtz, Numb3rs) gave to Charlie (Eric Lloyd, Batman & Robin) or the premise revolving yet again around the clause tying Scott Calvin to the role of Santa, Director Michael Lembeck made sure to follow the timeline created in the first film while still adding in many unique elements to keep past audiences like myself entertained.
Yet another interesting and creative piece from the movie was the alter-ego of Scott Calvin’s Santa, known as Toy Santa who was also played by Allen. Toy Santa’s cheeky comments and love of rules seemed to make him the exact opposite of the real Santa Claus and leads to funny one-liners throughout the movie, particularly between Toy Santa and the real Santa near the end of the film.
I have to say, though, one of my favorite elements to this film was not its tongue-in-cheek humor or the ties it made to the previous movie, but Elizabeth Mitchell‘s (Lost) performance as Carol Newman, Charlie’s principal. The Stephen’s College graduate played a wonderfully diverse character, transforming from someone the audience loved to hate to someone they grew to adore by the end of the story.
While I won’t spoil the ending to the movie, I will simply say she definitely fit the bill for the role she played and easily became my favorite character by the time the approximately hour-and-a-half-long movie was over.
Simply put, The Santa Clause 2 is a rare film. Most sequels, particularly those made for holiday movies, find themselves grasping at straws to continue a story which has already been exhausted to a point of irritation in its audiences. This movie, however, was wonderfully conceived and beautifully executed; it is one I could easily argue was better than the first.
This the the second installment of a 12  part series. Various staff writers have picked their favorite Christmas movies and reviewed them.Check out the other movies of Christmas here!  
Check out ‘Santa Clause’ and ‘Santa Clause: the Escape Clause’ reviews in the tabs above. 
[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qdohFmqZ68″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93ASUImTedo[/youtube] By Nicole Schroeder
[/tab] [tab title=”The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause”] [heading size=”21″ margin=”30″]‘Santa Clause: the Escape Clause’ fell flat from the high expectation of quality set by the previous two films[/heading] 81b05e83ecd4655f4c644278f3f3df148dcec852
In the movie, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, there is a scene in which Jack Frost (Martin Short, Frankenweenie) begins to sing to a parody of the song, “New York, New York.” The elf playing the piano at the time can’t help but groan, exasperated by Frost’s horrible singing and the state of things at the North Pole. After watching this movie, I am disappointed to say I felt very much like the elf.
While the other Santa Clause movies included strong, captivating stories—albeit intermixed with a few clever jokes—I found The Santa Clause 3 to be the exact opposite: a story based on its slap-stick comedy and containing a plot filled with holes.
One of the most disappointing features of this trilogy’s third act is the return of the juvenile humor witnessed in the first movie. The reindeer have gone back to farting and the adults have reverted to acting like children again, something that I felt was very discouraging for a series that had done so well in its two prequels.
Surprisingly enough, this “elfish” humor didn’t come from Tim Allen’s character in Scott Calvin/ Santa Claus. Instead, it could be blamed largely on Neil Miller (Judge Reinhold, Swing Vote), Laura Miller (Wendy Crewson, Saving Hope), and Jack Frost (Short). These three characters, while not the only jesters in the story, were certainly some of my largest annoyances with the film, as I found many of their jokes to be unnecessary and distracting from the plot underneath.
If these jokes were irritating, however, the inconsistencies in the timeline caused by this movie were even more so. Many things throughout the plot were unexplained, such as where Jack Frost had been in the past few movies or how and why Lucy (Liliana Mumy, Cheaper by the Dozen) was able to become such an essential piece in the story. All of this made it very difficult to understand what exactly was happening in the plot and frustrated me greatly, especially with the well-defined timelines I had come to expect from the series’ other two movies.
Despite the flaws in the movie, though, I have to give credit to the series for continuing to include the festive, heart-warming message I have come to expect with each movie. The Santa Clause 3 did not fall short of my expectations in its overall theme, teaching audiences that, in the end, Christmas should be about spending time with your family and being thankful for what you already have rather than simply wanting more.
With a half-baked plot and lack-luster jokes to fill the cracks, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause didn’t seem to reach the high hopes I had set for the film from the beginning. However, even though it fell flat in terms of the story it told, the underlying message of the movie was one reflecting those before it: one of family, friends, and the true spirit of Christmas that can be appreciated by generations young and old.
This the the second installment of a 12  part series. Various staff writers have picked their favorite Christmas movies and reviewed them. Check out the other movies of Christmas here! 
Check out ‘Santa Clause’ and ‘Santa Clause 2’ reviews in the tabs above. 
[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrWp53jU-MI”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93ASUImTedo[/youtube] By Nicole Schroeder
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