The Two Gay Geeks and our Staff are taking a much needed break from Thanksgiving through the end of the year. But, we still wanted to have content for you to read during that time. As such we got busy and watched all of our favorite holiday videos. Some are classics and others are off-beat and loosely associated with the holidays. We hope you enjoy our offerings and that you holiday season is safe, sane, and satisfying.
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
I watched the first two Santa Clause movies at the theater and loved them. At the time, they were a new twist on the Santa Claus mythology and the comedy was decent, with Tim Allen doing an excellent job playing a reluctantly recruited Santa Claus. What I can’t remember is if I watched Santa Clause 3. That didn’t stop me from watching it for my selection of holiday films. I honestly didn’t think I’d find it that interesting. The third in a series can be bit lacking. However, I did find the set well designed, the acting engaging and the film, while easy to follow, sweet and just right for children.
In the movie, Scott/Santa (Tim Allen) and his wife Carol/Mrs. Claus (Elizabeth Mitchell) have settled in at the North Pole. Santa is busy planning for Christmas and Carol is pregnant. She feels lonely and misses her family. So Scott must find a way to keep her happy. He comes up with a plan, bring the in-laws to the North Pole. But he can’t give away the Secret of Santa Claus. In addition, he must find a way to prevent Jack Frost from taking over Christmas. It seems like an impossible task but he is Santa Claus. And with the help of the other legendary beings, he might just have a chance.
This film is the quintessential Christmas movie, focused entirely on family, friends and embracing the Christmas spirit. This most of all is why it is a likable film. Scott is focused on making Carol happy, on spending time with his son, his ex-wife, her current husband and their daughter as well as in-laws. He’s also torn between them and making Christmas special for the entire world. While the story is certainly not complex, it is solid with a resolution that allows Scott to give his wife what she needs while still keeping Christmas for everyone, preventing Jack Frost from destroying it. It balances family, fun, and story, creating an enjoyable story for families and children.
It is not solely the story that makes it enjoyable. Tim Allen is likeable as Santa Claus/Scott. His worry over his wife is believable, as is his humor throughout the movie. Martin Short is devilish as Jack Frost, making a very fun villain, who it is difficult to hate. I love his resentment of Santa Claus getting all the fame while Jack Frost is ignored. I also really liked the design of his outfit and the character. In addition, I really enjoyed the acting of the other legendary beings, Mother Nature (Aisha Tyler), Sandman (Michael Dorn), Easter Bunny (Jay Thomas), Cupid (Kevin Pollack), Tooth Fairy (Art LaFleur). Their contribution helped the show be even more enjoyable. But my favorite performance was Lilliana Mumy as Lucy Miller. Her character got to save the day in an unexpected way and the young lady acted beautifully.
Another piece that really worked was the set design. The design of Santa’s workshop was top notch and believably magical. The design of the legendary beings outfits and Santa’s magic were also well done. Even more than ten years later, the designs hold up to current work and totally help support the story.
It is not perfect. The story is completely predictable. You know Jack Frost is the bad guy and you even know how he is able to trick Scott. Even Lucy’s save was able to be guessed based on clues the writers give you. That lack of complexity does make it a bit too easy to follow if you are an adult. The other factor is that the humor is silly and not always bring the laughs, at least for me. I do think for children it is perfectly funny and the simple storyline will be enjoyable.
For family and children, this is a nice Christmas movie. The kids will love the magic and Santa’s workshop. For adults, there are little comedic bits hidden in signs and in the set that will make you chuckle. While it is not overly complex, it is a sweet film that highlights the heart of the holidays, friends, family, and love.
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