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Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) has been Santa Claus for the past eight years and his loyal elves consider him to be the best Santa ever. But Scott’s son Charlie (Eric Lloyd) is on the year’s ‘naughty’ list and to make matters worse, unless Scott doesn’t get married by Christmas Eve, he will stop being Santa forever! Keen to help his son and to find a wife, Scott leaves the North Pole in the hands of a substitute Santa and goes home. But the substitute Santa redefines naughty and nice and the festive season is seriously at risk. In the meantime, Scott meets Charlie’s headmistress Carol (Elizabeth Mitchell), who lost all faith in the magic of Christmas. 

Review by Louise Keller:
A whimsical fantasy about preserving the spirit of Christmas, Santa Clause 2 is a fun dose of ho-ho-ho with a sprinkling of romance and magic. I haven’t seen the 1994 film The Santa Clause, which recounted the story of how Scott Calvin became the man in the red suit. But it doesn’t seem to matter one little bit, because this story is complete with its innovative script filled with charm and plenty of heart. The accent is on the characters rather than on splendiferous effects for effects sake. The effects are totally driven by the narrative, and work beautifully. I like the way Santa’s generous girth and beard shrink, as the countdown begins – the soft foam latex prosthetics for Santa are extraordinary, as are those for the toy plastic Santa. It is like watching a magician at work, as we see Scott’s ample double chin quickly disappear over a few scenes. 

They’re a lovable bunch at the North Pole in Santa’s workshop, where his little helpers are played by children, whose youth and innocence positively beams. The board meeting of the Legendary Characters is a lovely touch, when we meet Cupid, The Easter Bunny, the Sandman, Mother Nature, Father Time and The Tooth Fairy, who is hoping for endorsement of his new chosen name, The Mole-inator. The ‘missing clause’ of ‘Mrs Clause’ is inspired, allowing Tim Allen to play a romantic lead as well as the warm, generous rosy-cheeked Santa and the plastic substitute who becomes a dictator when his values are inverted. Of course there are the reindeer, and when Prince has too many apples at dinner, Comet is given the task of transporting Scott back home on his mission. 

Tim Allen heads a terrific cast: he exudes warmth and vulnerability, using his comedic timing effortlessly and to great effect. Elizabeth Mitchell makes a lovely Carol, who learns how to recapture the wonderment of it all, and Art LaFleur brings some cute touches to his adorable Tooth Fairy. With themes about the value of family and believing in the joy of Christmas, it’s a welcome interlude of escapism, and a reminder of how pleasurable it is to laugh and be transported into the realms of our imagination. So as the Christmas season approaches, if you should see a flash across the face of the moon or the clouds seem to be in a hurry, step out of your cynic’s clothes for a moment and take a close look – it could be Santa with his team of reindeer dashing to spread a dose of magic into hearts everywhere.

On DVD, the film looks splendid and the menus are beautifully designed to exude the spirit of Christmas. Inside The North Pole featurette is presented by Curtis (No 2 Elf), who takes us on a charming 10 minute tour of the Santa Clause 2 set. We join Curtis in the make up chair getting his ears waxed and hear his thoughts on Santa. Even elves have to go to school, but in his case, school came to him on the set. The gag reel is fun and spontaneous and there are seven deleted scenes with an introduction by director Michael Lembeck. Special features also include an audio commentary by Lembeck, the director’s tour of Elfsburg, fun interviews with cast and creatures on the set (in True Confessions of Legendary Figures) and an appealing interactive game for kids of all ages.

Published January 1, 2004

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CAST: Tim Allen , Elizabeth Mitchell, David Krumholtz, Eric Lloyd, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Spencer Breslin, Liliana Mumy, Danielle Woodman, Art LaFleur, Aisha Tyler, Kevin Pollak, Jay Thomas, Michael Dorn

DIRECTOR: Michael Lembeck

SCRIPT: Don Rhymer and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio and Ed Decter & John J. Strauss (Story by Leo Benvenuti & Steve Rudnick)

RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes

PRESENTATION: Widescreen; Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1

SPECIAL FEATURES: Inside the North Pole with Curtis; Director's Tour of Elfsburg ; Gag Reel ; True Confessions of the Legendary Figures ; Audio Commentary ; Deleted Scenes ; Operation Toybox: Save Santa Game


DVD RELEASE: November 19, 2003

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