ticket to The Santa Clause 2 (expires 12/13/02)
Specs: Widescreen Anamorphic format (1.85:1), English
Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, French and Spanish mono,
Spanish subtitles, close-captioned
Type of disc: Dual Layer Format
average fanboy has no problem getting in touch with his
inner child year-round. For ten months out of the year,
the rest of society looks down upon him. But come the
Christmas season, we get inundated with books, TV specials
and movies aimed at helping everybody else remember their
sense of childhood wonder, or at least cashing in on it.
such a project manages to balance things out with a couple
of dark twists to avoid being too cloying, it is to be
valued. For all its family film hype, The Santa Clause
accomplishes that trick. Spinning off of a pretty black
premise (and borrowing a little from Piers Anthony's Incarnations
of Immortality), the movie sort of lures the viewer
into feeling good about Christmas. Thankfully for those
with small children, it moves fast enough to distract
people from the realization that it begins with the violent
death of Santa.
Tim Allen quickly takes his place, literally, thanks to
that pesky Santa clause. But there's still, briefly, a
Santa Corpse in the front yard. Reducing our cherished
childhood myths to simple bureaucratic succession is a
little subversive, and yet has a little ring of bitter
truth. (Do you think Michael Eisner ever puts on a Walt
Disney suit? Insert your favorite scene from Silence
of the Mice here.)
The movie works because it has genuine heart and humor,
and director John Pasquin reined in some of Tim Allen's
bits. A pretty funny stand-up, Allen had to prove he could
act, and this movie unexpectedly raised his stock. (Never
mind some of what came after it.) But the film also provides
decent character roles for the supporting actors; if not
for this, Judge Reinhold might have disappeared completely.
a lot of their catalog, Disney has already released this
on DVD once. As a sop to those who already have it, there
is a rebate coupon for buying the upgrade included (will
Fox do that with X-Men?) The real timing for this
is to cross-promote with the release of The Santa Clause
2; while small children might enjoy the extras, there's
nothing really new for Disney fans to wild over.
an interesting diversion for kids, the studio doesn't
just include the usual trivia game (though it's there).
Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck demonstrates how to make
certain treats for Santa, sharing the spotlight with his
Spago's pastry chef. The recipes also get included in
a frame by frame section, so this might be a practical
fun activity for a night during Christmas vacation. If
nothing else, kids will dig Puck's accent.
more cynical man might accuse this extra of being crass
cross-promotion for Puck's restaurant at Disney's California
Adventure. Well, Mister Smarty Pants, Puck pulled out
of that project a few months ago, so it just couldn't
be that. It is suspicious that he keeps insisting that
Santa wants pizza by the fireplace, though.
the little bits of commercialism. If you don't have this
movie already, it's worth checking out. Should an older
DVD be sitting in your collection, the upgrade choice
really lies in your hands. But definitely watch it before
heading out to see the sequel, which in itself is entertaining.
Santa Clause 2 retains some of that sly love-hate
relationship with the season. Eight years have passed,
and Scott Calvin has proven himself the most popular Santa
Claus ever. But trouble brews at the North Pole. Scott
has begun to mysteriously lose weight in a desantafication
process, while back home his teenaged son Charlie has
earned himself a place on the naughty list.
the title, you understand what plot complication has arisen:
Scott has to find himself a wife. And about twenty minutes
in, it will come as no surprise who it's going to be.
However, the dark streak still runs through; in Scott's
absence, an evil plastic Santa tries turning the North
Pole into a fascist regime dedicated to giving all the
children in the world lumps of coal. It just goes to prove
that we were right not to trust that toy family in the
old Duracell campaign.
the Fanboy Planet standard, SC2 is worth ,
and the current DVD - well, out of the kindness of your
heart, we invite and encourage you to click on the Amazon
link below. Thus endeth the crass commercialism. For today.
The Santa Clause (Widescreen Special Edition)