Toon Talk: The Santa Clause 3
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by Kirby C. Holt
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
Walt Disney Pictures
MPAA Rating: G
The last time we saw Scott Calvin, he had fulfilled the "Mrs. Clause" by marrying the lovely Carol at the close of 2002’s The Santa Clause 2. Ol’ S.C. himself, once again played by Tim Allen, returns for what is being touted as the final chapter in the "greatest Santa story ever told", titled The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (now in theaters). But this concluding tale is all the second installment wasn’t: loud, inane and just plain not funny, the cinematic equivalent of a lump of coal.
We begin back at the North Pole, where Mrs. Claus (Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost’s newest mystery woman) is expecting her and Santa’s first child. Her pending motherhood makes her homesick for her own family back in the "real world", but since December 24th is fast approaching, a trip down South is out of the question. So Santa decides to bring the in-laws (Ann-Margret and Alan Arkin - looking like he wants to be anywhere else but here) up North … to Canada. Seems the "S.O.S." ("Secret of Santa") can’t be revealed to them, so the ruse that Scott is a "toymaker in Canada" is perpetuated. Cue all the elves to raise the maple leaf flags and spout "eh" every so often in this, the world’s longest unsuccessful running gag.
Complicating matters and endangering the "big night" is the presence of Jack Frost, played by Martin Short. Frost, not content to just "nip at your nose", is tired of Santa getting all the fame and glory each wintertime and wants to take over Christmas for himself. When he learns of the "Escape Clause", which essentially erases a Santa’s existence and returns him to his previous life, he tricks Scott into evoking it, which results in Frost donning the red suit on that fateful night twelve years (two movies) ago, becoming a most Grinch-like Saint Nick.