The Santa Clause Trilogy

Twas the night before Christmas and no action has been made on The Blog Complainer’s part on what he’ll do for Christmas. He contemplated possible Christmas related posts but suddenly he heard arose such a clatter, it startled the small time internet critic. It was coming from above.  The Complainer reached for his shotgun and phone to alert the nearby authorities. As the strange object moved across the Complainer’s roof, the critic reloaded his gun and started dialing. But then a loud scream, The Blog Complainer couldn’t really only describe it as if his intruder fell from some sort of great height.

The Complainer runs into his front yard to see his intruder impaled on his reindeer display. The strange man imploded and all that remained was his clothes which looked like Santa Claus’s suit. The worried Complainer moved very quickly, picked up the dead man’s suit and chucked it into his neighbor’s rubbish. Then he immediately rushes up the stairs and goes back to sleep. He woke up the next morning with an idea of what to do on Boxing Day because he’s too lazy to do any work on Christmas Day.  As the man prepared his breakfast, he checked his Twitter to discover that all of the children of the world were devastated that Santa Claus never gave them any presents. The Blog Complainer had a deep thought but as the garbage truck did it’s early run, the Complainer had a revelation….

Since when do garbage trucks do their normal runs on Christmas Day?  The critic chuckled to himself and then immediately  took a photo of the truck and tweeted the thought to Twitter. It was only later that morning that his neighbor asked The Complainer about the reindeers and the giant sleigh of presents on his roof. 

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The Complainer didn’t know what to think about the reindeer staring at him.

I love Christmas, it’s a great idea for a holiday, to come together with the ones you love and to celebrate being alive and being so happy together. It’s at the best time of the year, at the very end, because anywhere else on the calendar I would probably not be in the mood to see anyone. Besides getting free stuff and listening to the same Christmas songs being sung by every artist on the whole planet I love watching Christmas movies as they’re good escapism for getting me into the holiday spirit. Probably the Christmas movies that I watched the most were the Santa Clause trilogy.

The Santa Clause trilogy ran from 1994 to 2007 starring Tim Allen as the iconic jolly Coca Cola Kris Kringle and if you haven’t heard of these movies then you’re missing out as  they’re an interesting collection of movies. So let’s celebrate these holidays by talking about the Santa Clause movies.

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The Santa Clause is probably my most nostalgic Christmas movie as I can pretty much accurately recreate the whole movie just off the top of my head. I’ve probably watched this movie at least once or twice every Christmas since I was too young to understand what Santa even is. So no matter what I’m about to say next this movie will always hold a special place in my heart of coal. Okay, first off, this movie is really dumb, like extremely dumb. (Let me explain.)

So The Santa Clause introduces us to Tim the Tool Man Allen as a 40 something year old businessman named Scott Calvin. Scott is a miserable bachelor who gets to spend Christmas with his son Charlie. So the first ten minutes of the movie we see Scott and Charlie not really bonding very well with Scott not very subtly expressing his hatred of his ex-wife Laura’s new husband Neal the Shrink because he’s a real jerk. The movie doesn’t really kick off until Charlie hears someone on their roof, Scott goes to investigate only to find someone breaking into their chimney. Scott really spooks the house thief who is revealed to be Santa Clause as he accidentally slips off the roof and dies. Yeah, I’m serious, Tim Allen just killed Santa Clause!

But that traumatic experience is completely brushed aside as Scott and Charlie find Santa’s farting reindeer and they’re taken to the North Pole. Once at the North Pole they descend into Santa’s workshop where they meet the only adult elf in the whole shop. (How that works is beyond me?) Bernard the head elf tells Scott that Santa Clause is more like a job than an actual person because when you kill Santa and put on his suit, that means you become the next Santa and if you choose not to be Santa then you’ll be known as that guy who ruined Christmas!

After that the movie kind of just stops while Scott slowly becomes fatter and eventually turns into Santa himself, Charlie doesn’t really help by making his dad sound like a nutter and his parents keep telling Charlie that Santa isn’t real and they keep telling Scott to tell Charlie that Santa isn’t real. Repeat that for half an hour and you got your second act. (How did 3 year old me sit through this?) The last act is a bit of a drag where Santa becomes a fugitive and flying jetpack children have to rescue him from jail. But the ending is still a pretty sweet and happy ending.

For a Christmas movie it feels a little more adult orientated with many scenes in the middle of movie that feature people doing boring adult stuff like therapy and people standing around and talking. Then some scenes which would make an adult cringe but make a child laugh like the scene where the jetpack kids tie up the fat cop or the farting reindeers. I think for a child whenever they’re not focusing on Santa or the North Pole I can imagine it would be very uninteresting for them and an adult I think would get more enjoyment out of it but some parts would be too immature for them.

As for comedy, it’s more of a hit or miss – you’ve got the toilet humour for the kids and the not very funny adult humour.  I found it more charming than funny as it’s a very dumb movie but I think it works for the story that they’re trying to tell. It’s a better distant father and son movie than a Christmas movie as Scott and Charlie’s love for Christmas was kind of cute and kept me engaged with what was going on. None of the performances in this movie are especially noteworthy, although everyone did their jobs fairly well. I more enjoyed the soundtrack as it displays a good amount of Christmas songs to get you in the mood.

I really don’t have more to say about The Santa Clause as it’s just a simple kids movie that looks way more appealing to adults and isn’t anything more than that. It’s extremely average but it’s got a pretty good emotional core  and a lot of heart that understands what’s so special about Christmas. I probably could say worse about this movie but I honestly don’t hate it enough to do that as I find it a great guilty pleasure that I can easily put on every Christmas and enjoy myself no matter what mood I’m in.

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So, they made another one and now I’m seriously regretting doing the whole trilogy.

The Santa Clause 2 is a movie that exists because Disney was a bit low on cash that Christmas. I said some bad stuff about the first Santa Clause but you have no idea what you’re in for here! So in the first movie it started with a boring Christmas party, well this one thought let’s spice it up with some unnecessary drama. A plane flies over the North Pole and apparently this is the worst thing ever because they might be discovered. (Even though at the end of the last movie they pretty much confirmed Santa is real.) But I’m presuming that the people who made this movie never saw the first movie so it’s okay that they missed such a massive detail. The first twenty minutes of this movie smells strongly of lazy Disney Sequelitis as nothing actually happens but filler and in the middle of that I’m very confused as to what the hell is happening.

But when the movie finally decides to introduce a plot we find out that when Bernard read Tim Allen that business card in the first movie he apparently missed out a very important detail, that you need another Clause aka Mrs Clause and I love how this movie treats it as if this stupid rule has been here the whole time. So Tim Allen has until Christmas Eve to find true love and he has a magic watch that tells how much magic he has left, which is a plot device so the movie can happen. After that the little boy elf from the live-action Cat in the Hat movie suggests they need to clone Tim Allen so a toy Santa can run the place while he’s away finding a wife. I’m guessing they forgot that Bernard ran the shop for a whole year while Tim Allen was developing into his fat suit and what’s funny they even offer up to do the logical approach but they go ‘Na, the script says to do this way so get over it. It was around this point where I was heavily considering shutting the movie off.

In the real world they got the kid from the first movie to play Charlie again and God his acting is so terrible, it’s so bad that he could challenge Anakin from Attack of the Clones for the most sissiest main character award. I really wished Charlie would just go away like with the first little girl who played Judy. Now that I’m thinking about her I wish that her replacement disappeared too. I joked about how stupid the first movie was at some points but this one is just plain stupid. Without the Santa Clause title and the familiar actors this movie really has nothing to do with the first movie. Everything that made the characters in the first movie somewhat interesting just doesn’t exist. Bernard is the head elf and his character in the first movie has been completely disregarded for the meek worried voice of reason. Judy no longer acts like a little adult but more of a just a dumb child who serves hot coco. The list goes on.

While it is heavily flawed there are some things I kind of liked. Most of the performances in this movie are very bland and generic. (Others are atrocious.) The actors for Laura and Neal are pretty good, probably the best performance from the adults is Elizabeth Mitchell as the strict principal who I kind of liked her character until the script says she has to hate Tim Allen because she thinks he’s pulling her leg. I hated that scene, they had some okay chemistry until it was all flushed down the toilet so their relationship feels as developed as Edward and Bella. But the only actors who look like they care about this movie are the children because they give it their all, especially the Cat in the Hat kid. The best character in the movie is Rubber faced Tim Allen as he’s so goofy that I can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous he is.

There are some other nice moments like my favourite scene in the movie is when a little girl approaches Tim Allen and tells him what she wants for Christmas, and it’s kind of cute. That’s what was so great about the first movie and you people didn’t even try! The set design looks pretty good but somehow it looks way smaller than the first set. (It doesn’t help that cinematography makes it look like a cheap Disney channel movie.) The costume design is pretty good too and those giant toy soldiers still give me the creeps. Honestly the best parts of this movie are whenever they’re far away from the North Pole and when we’re just focusing on the real world and real world problems.

I could go on for many more paragraphs telling you why this is so bad but we’ve still got another movie to go. So in the end they defeat Rubber faced Tim Allen and Tim Allen finally proposes to the Principal by saying ‘Marry me or you’ll be the one who ruined Christmas’. The End! This movie is so terrible that I’m willing to say it’s the catalyst for all those crappy Christmas movies that we have today.

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Here we are at the final movie because every great first movie needs at least two half arsed follow ups for it to be considered profitable.

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause is generally known as the worst movie in the Santa Clause trilogy, but honestly are you surprised at this point. The second movie had something to look up to unlike this one which had the very average Santa Clause 2. But let’s look on the bright side, it’s a slight improvement over the second movie. For a start it’s an 1hr 28 compared to an 1hr 40, the North Pole is bigger than before instead of just 3 rooms and a courtyard now there are 7 or 8 rooms and including the courtyard and some side streets. The movie no longer looks like a cheap TV show, the farting noisy reindeers play a much smaller role, the writers of this film remembered the first film existed. Also Bernard is wiped from this movie, which I’m grateful for because he sounded as interested as I was watching the sequels, Charlie is barely in the movie which is a step closer to not being in the movie altogether and Judy 2.0 is only in one scene and without any dialogue. (I think it’s still Judy 2.0?)  That’s about it with positives so let’s talk about why this movie is so bad.

So for this Christmas (even though these sequels always end before Santa sits his fat ass in his sleigh) Principal lady misses her real family and she can’t stand to spend another Christmas without them because she’s a heightest. So Santa kidnaps his in-laws and then asks his son’s parents and their daughter if they want to spend Christmas with him. Oh yeah, they have a daughter and isn’t she the most irritating little thing you have ever seen. At the North Pole they don’t want Mrs Clause’s parents finding out that they’re in the North Pole because they might expose Tim Allen’s identity and where they are, which is a pretty poor excuse since in the first movie they confirmed his identity and why do you think it’s called the North Pole in the first place!

So we have our forced conflict and something you’ll notice in this movie straight away is that everyone has lost 95% of their IQ, which they pretty much confirm when the in-laws are convinced that the North Pole is Canada!!!! (They’re the most unobservant people I have ever seen.) So while this is happening we’re introduced to one of the smartest characters in this movie because the script says he’s smart. This movie introduces Jack Frost and he’s our antagonist but he comes off as more of a prankster but sadly everyone in this movie is too stupid to notice that there was even a prank to begin with. So for the next third of this movie we have Jack do something devious, Mr and Mrs In-law exploring the workshop and overlooking the fact that this doesn’t look like your typical workshop, Laura and Neal doing some stupid nonsense, little girl doing stuff and rinse and repeat to pad out our super super basic movie.

So we find out during the movie about a thing called the Escape Clause. We learn in a scene with Jack and Cat in the Hat kid (or adolescent) that there is a room full of snow globes in case Santa wants out. So Jack outsmarts everyone to get to these snow globes except that girl device WHO IS ALWAYS JUST THERE!!!!! So Jack tricks Santa into wishing he didn’t exist and for some reason they teleport to when Tim Allen first killed Santa Clause, I’m guessing this is in case he wants back in. But if Jack wasn’t there to interfere then his wish wouldn’t come true.

So right here is when the movie actually starts to get good. I know, crazy right, and we only have twenty minutes to go. The reason for that is because it finally feels real. (To some extent!) While the build up to this was heavily forced and unnatural but at least it’s something I can get behind, it reminds me of a time when these characters were people instead of plastic toys and the motivations are completely understandable and relatable instead of being brain dead. Scott returns to the North Pole to find Miss Little sucks the life out of every scene she’s in. Scott tells the girl ‘Hey in another reality  I showed you a room full of snow globes’ and she says ‘I LOVE SNOW GLOBES, thank you weird guy I’ve just met’.   

So in the end everything is restored, the in-laws find out they’re at the North Pole and they agree to not tell a soul. Amazing, it’s like this plot line really was a waste of everyone’s resources,  the Elf-icers (that’s what they’re called) arrest Jack Frost and the plot device hugs Jack Frost’s badness away so he’s a nice guy now and after that I regret not ending it there. They all live happily ever after, Mummy Clause produces a baby Clause and the franchise is over. Woop Pee!

For all of the problems that this movie fixes it also creates plenty of new ones so in the end I think they’re both equally on the same level of terribleness. I’m grateful that they didn’t make anymore because I don’t think any human being should have to test their intelligence on any more of these Santa Clause sequels.

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So long folks, don’t expect a continuation until 50 years after the first movie’s release

Here we are at the end of this super long review and at the end of the year. I’m glad I reviewed that as I consider this my Christmas present to you, so you’d better give me a good present in return! I kid, you reaching this point in my review is a good enough Christmas present for me. So that’s pretty much the end of 2018 for me so this may be one of my last posts of this year and I think it’s best to say this now. 2018 has being a really awesome ride and a great end to a first chapter in The Blog Complainer’s story and hopefully 2019 will be an even funnier ride or, at least, equally as fun. Thank you for sticking with me this year or, if you’re new, then thanks for discovering me.

Until Next Time I’m The Blog Complainer and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and to all a Goodnight.

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