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Toon Talk: The Santa Clause SE DVD and The Santa Clause 2
Page 1 of 3

by Kirby C. Holt (archives)
November 5, 2002
Kirby reviews the recent special edition DVD release of The Santa Clause and the recently released theatrical sequel The Santa Clause 2.

Toon Talk
Disney Film & Video Reviews by Kirby C. Holt

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(c) Disney

Jolly Holidays
The Santa Clause Special Edition DVD
The Santa Clause 2

 

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The Santa Clause Special Edition DVD
   Full FrameWidescreen

Christmas just seems to keep getting here earlier and earlier … how else can one explain the fact that, as trick or treaters are knocking on my door, I’m writing a review of Disney’s The Santa Clause franchise?

Much talk has been had about the November 1st release date of the sequel The Santa Clause 2, which seems premature to some (actually, it’s just a wise avoidance of another little family-friendly film titled Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), but the original Santa Clause was released just 10 days (and 8 years) ago, on November 11, 1994. The comedy, the first starring role for then newly minted sitcom star Tim Allen, proved to be a crowd-pleasing hit, so a sequel was inevitable. It just took them along time to do it.

Already available on video and Disney DVD for some time now, Walt Disney Home Video has grasped the opportunity to release a so-called ‘special edition DVD’ of The Santa Clause to tout the release of the sequel. So-called as in that this new version has simply added a few throw-away features (complete with a ‘sneak peek’ of the second film, which is merely the trailer seen in theaters and on television for weeks now) and repackaged it as a new product. Also included with the ‘new’ set is a free ticket for The Santa Clause 2, which almost makes it worth buying after all.

For, when all is said and done, it is in that rare cinematic sub-genre known as The Sequels That Are Better Then The Originals (where you can find such few films as The Godfather Part II, The Empire Strikes Back and Toy Story 2) where you will be able to place The Santa Clause 2.

But first things first: the original Santa Clause tells the yuletide tale of how a workaholic ad exec named Scott Calvin (Allen) inherits the mantle of ol’ Saint Nick when he dons the red suit after its previous wearer takes a header off of Scott’s roof. (How this film got away with killing off Santa Claus in the first fifteen minutes remains a mystery to this day.)

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(c) Disney

After a slapstick sleigh ride where Scott is coaxed into delivering the toys for tots by his 6-year old son Charlie (Eric Lloyd), the reindeer lead them to the North Pole, where they are greeted by Bernard (David Krumholtz), the dreadlocked head elf in Santa’s Workshop, where it is learned that, since he put on the suit, Scott is now the new Santa. And while this, naturally, brings nothing but excitement for Charlie, Scott thinks it’s all just a dream, possibly an eggnog-induced hallucination.

But when Scott inexplicably starts putting on weight, growing a long white beard and wearing nothing but shades of red and green, it appears that his destiny has been foretold. And while it does help in his shaky bond with Charlie, the whole ‘bowlful of jelly’ look does not sit well with Scott’s ex-wife Laura (Wendy Crewson) and her second husband, psychiatrist Neal Miller (Judge Reinhold).

It takes till Christmas Eve, with the urging of Charlie, for Scott to finally accept his new role in the world, but when the new Saint Nick takes Charlie with him to deliver presents, Laura and Neal sick the cops on him, and Santa must escape jail in time to save Christmas for all the children of the world.

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