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Click for full sized poster

The Santa Clause 2

Starring Tim Allen
Screenplay by Don Rhymer and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio and Ed Decter & John J. Strauss; Story and based on characters created by Leo Benvenuti & Steve Rudnick
Directed by Michael Lembeck
website: disney.go.com

IN SHORT: family fare [Rated G for General Audiences. minutes]

We admit that back in 1994, having no kidlets and being new to this reviewing biz -- meaning that we were still paying for tickets -- we didn't pay much attention to The Santa Clause. That being the case we planted for Santa Clause 2 without the slightest idea of what had come before. This allowed us to apply the primary rule of this site ("you shouldn't need to know the Source Material to understand the film") first hand. [The who and what of Santa Claus gets a bye. If you've not heard of the Man, you're not reading this review in the Western World.]

From that point of view alone, Santa Clause 2 succeeds with remarkable clarity. The essential background of the first film is reduced to one sentence, even though the "legal" aspects of the original aren't. In that sentence we learn that Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) found Santa's suit and in doing so became, or inherited the mantle of, Santa. That's one heck of a way to get a job and it has made life difficult for Scott's son Charlie (Eric Lloyd), who must keep his father's secret. That's where SC2 kicks off, with the guy in the suit having to balance the

requirements of his job and his family life. Charlie's carrying all sorts of resentment about dad's secret life -- we're making assumptions here -- and has been caught defiling Christmas decorations at his school by the principal, Carol Newman (Elizabeth Mitchell). Newman's a hottie, which makes the whole experience easier for any male lugging kidlets to the theater.

Santa should've seen it coming. Scott's name has appeared on the year end "Naughty or Nice List" in the former category. Adding to his parenting problems is the fact that he's losing weight (which wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that, well, he's Santa...) and there's piece of paper waving in his face called "the Missus Clause." Simply put, no Missus, no flying reindeer. With less than a month to go before The Most Important Day Of The Year, all the elves at the North Pole shift into crisis mode. A special machine is built by Bernard the Head Elf (David Krumholtz) and number one helper Curtis (Spencer Breslin), to manufacture a life sized, toy Santa to oversee all operations. Decoy in place, Mr. Calvin heads south to set his son straight and, with the fate of Christmas at stake, find a wife.

In our days, we've known only one truly hardcore Christian fundamentalist and he will probably be carrying a picket sign in front of his local theater because of the one line of dialog that goes something like "There can't be Christmas without Santa!" For everyone else, The Santa Clause 2 is a genial family flick and dead on for those with single digit kidlets. It's all the more remarkable considering the number of hands (five pair) that pummeled a story by Clause creators Leo Benvenuti & Steve Rudnick into finished shape. Normally that means a real mess to sort through. Not in this case.

Because of the kidlet orientation, we don't put a ratings number on films like The Santa Clause 2, since they're always destined for that stack of vids near the teevee. We, being an adult member of the wrong Tribe, had no difficulty sitting for SC2, even without kidlets.

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