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The Santa Clause 2 Review

By Shawn McKenzie 10/30/2002

I am a big fan of Christmas movies.  Unlike most cynics, I enjoy the Christmas season.  There’s a warmth and coziness to it that makes me happy.  I like to spend money on my friends and family, I like receiving gifts, I like the whole decoration thing, and I like the music and movies that go along with it.  Cynics would say they are just trying to cash in on the season, and while that may be true…so what?  I don’t care about their fiscal intentions, I just like seeing them.  When the first Santa Clause movie came out, it had such a great concept for a story that it became a perennial favorite.  This time around, the idea isn’t so fresh, but the fun is still there.

In case you have lived in a cave for the last decade or you are one of those cynics, The Santa Clause movies are about the story of Scott Calvin (Tim Allen), who has been Santa Claus for the past eight years.  He got the job if you recall by accidentally bumping off the previous Santa.  He put on the famous red coat and automatically fell under the Santa Clause, which states that he who wears the coat takes on the responsibility.  It took him a while, but he eventually fell into the role. His loyal elves consider him the best Santa ever.  He thinks everything is going great, but then suddenly he is given two bits of bad news at the same time.  The first one is that his son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd), has been added to this year's "naughty" list.  Charlie has been acting rebellious at school by vandalizing the walls of the school gym and lockers.  In addition, it is brought to Scott's attention that he failed to read the fine print on the card that came with the coat.  It seems that there’s a clause in the Santa agreement, called the Mrs. Clause, that requires him to get married by that Christmas Eve or he stops being Santa (I didn’t catch why he had to be married by that specific Christmas Eve or why this wasn’t brought to his attention earlier.)  Soon he's losing weight and his beard.  Scott decides to go back home to deal with his son and maybe find a wife.  Since it was the busy time of year and he didn’t want to worry the elves, he enlists his head elf, Bernard (David Krumholtz), and his elf in charge of research and development, Curtis (Spencer Breslin), to find him a replacement.  What they come up with is a clone of Santa himself, made by a machine invented by Curtis that was intended to either duplicate gifts, increase their size, or reduce their size.  As Scott heads back home, the clone (played by Allen as well) attempts to learn the ropes of being Santa.  He reads the rulebook and takes it a little too literally.  He comes up with some odd new definitions of naughty and nice, which puts Christmas at risk.  He uses the same machine that created him to duplicate and enlarge an army of toy soldiers to keep the elves working hard and to not rebel against him.  Meanwhile, Scott meets Charlie’s principal, Carol Newman (Elizabeth Mitchell), to discuss his behavior and becomes attracted to her.  Will Scott be able to get his son back on the straight and narrow, find a wife, and get back to the North Pole in time to save Christmas?

When I started seeing press for this movie I noticed that the movie was rated G.  The first movie had been rated PG, so I began to worry that this one would be watered down.  Aside from being a little cheesier than the first one, The Santa Clause 2 is just as funny, thanks to the performance of Allen.  He is one of the few family-friendly comedians who can still be funny for adults.  While I don’t think this movie will really appeal to teens, I do think families will enjoy it just as much as they enjoyed the first one.

There are only two bad performances in the movie.  The first one is Breslin.  I guess I’ve never really thought he was that good of a child actor ever since his breakthrough role in Disney’s The Kid.  The other one is the reindeer Comet.  He is the reindeer who brings Scott back home.  He is very annoying and unfunny with a grating “reindeer” voice that sounds like a Gremlin or something.  On the flip side, the goofy reindeer trainee Chet is humorous with his googly eyes, silly flying style, and childlike voice.

How great is Judge Reinhold?  He plays Neil, the man who married Charlie’s mom Laura (Wendy Crewson) after she and Scott were divorced.  Neil is a psychologist, and Reinhold plays the over-sensitive, over-analytical shrink perfectly and amusingly.

The Santa Clause 2 isn’t really too original (I mean, come on…the Mrs. Clause?) but it is fun and enjoyable.  I should have had more faith in Tim “Buzz Lightyear” Allen because he has made more consistently funny family-friendly entertainment than most of his contemporaries.  Next time I see that Allen is in a G-rated movie again, I won’t be so worried.

Get the first movie on DVD:

Get the original soundtrack featuring Christmas classics from artists like Smokey Robinson, Chuck Berry, and Louis Armstrong along with new songs by SHEDaisy, Eddie Money & Ronnie Spector, and Unwritten Law & Sum 41:

Buy these items at

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Catch this movie at the theater if you can...

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Demand your money back, even if you saw it for free!

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