’Tis the season to reignite the Christmas magic with a TV spinoff of everyone’s favorite holiday classic franchise, The Santa Clause.
If you’re one of the kids-turned-adults that Santa mentions in the series, the nostalgia of seeing Tim Allen back in the red suit is surely enough to make you believe again.
And that’s exactly what Santa wants. A lot has changed since Scott Calvin took the ropes from the previous Santa back in 1994; this isn’t the same world that it once was, and not even the North Pole is safe from political correctness and “cancel culture” (you can’t put kids on the naughty list anymore, they go on the “misunderstood list”!). While the one-liners might offend some people, particularly with Allen’s personal political beliefs, it’s actually quite funny that the North Pole—so far removed from the real world— is still touched by these issues. Most of us turn to entertainment as a form of escapism, and that’s especially true for holiday films, so the scenes were a bit risky to include, but thankfully, they weren’t layered on too thick and simply included to further along the plot that Christmas spirit is at an all-time low, a problem for Santa who thrives off of the magic of those who believe in him.
Since I watched the original film (and the sequels) as a child with my mom, I don’t recall so many adult jokes stuffed in, which makes me think that despite the adolescent nature of a show about Santa, the series is determined on capturing the hearts of viewers like me—those who grew up with Scott Calvin and Charlie who are now working adults with their own families. There’s a throwback to little Sara, now a millennial still living with her parents who stopped believing in Santa and throws a half-empty bottle of wine at him when he slides down her chimney. Relatable. When Santa falls off the roof—his biggest fear and a telltale sign that change of power is imminent—he questions if he “ripped his sack,” and while I know he’s referring to the red bag filled with toys, I can’t help but let out a chuckle at the other intended meaning. There’s even a reference to Santa being part of the Illuminati and Betty’s “this isn’t the Vatican” crack when suggesting the North Pole be home to two Santas. Those very kids that don’t believe anymore now work for Disney and manufacture the magic. And they know that while kids will surely enjoy this show, it’s the parents who will really get the references and drive the success.
It’s also why the successor that Betty, who, I agree, would probably make a great Santa herself if elves had rights, is eyeing once Scott decides it’s time to retire, Simon Choksi (brilliantly brought to life by Kal Penn). He’s what some might call the modern-day Santa—a mix of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and honestly, any millennial who is trying to find success in the modern-day world of e-commerce. He wants to deliver the gifts, and he wants them done now.
Choksi, however, is also very much like Scott Calvin in his pre-Santa days; he’s disillusioned, overworked, and in desperate need of a Christmas miracle. It didn’t seem like Scott would make a good Santa either at the beginning, but look at us now! Will Choksi make his way to the North Pole and see it through a business lens? Or will he be open to the magic?
The world indeed needs to be reminded of the Christmas magic, but so does Santa, who has seemingly lost his groove after 28 years and feels let down by the changing world around him. How can he spread Christmas cheer when he’s very clearly burnt out? He’s dedicated his whole life to the gig, but at the cost of his family, including Mrs. Clause, played by Elizabeth Mitchell, who feels underutilized in her role and has a valid concern over how the jolly man’s wife is presented to the public. If anyone is a victim here, it’s her—Mrs. Clause deserves to be portrayed as the badass that’s holding it all together behind the scenes. I love that the series wants to include that she’s given up her personal identity to make Scott’s dreams of Santa possible, but she also deserves to find her groove again.
In addition to real-world elements and issues being incorporated, a crucial piece of this show’s success is nostalgia. Millennials love it. It makes us feel happy, whole, seen and reminded of simpler times. And that’s why, it’s so nice to see Eric Lloyd reprise his role as Charlie, Scott’s son.
Charlie is now a father and husband who lives with his family in Florida. When Santa is first informed of the possibility of retiring (a clause in the contract), he dreams up the perfect plan that will allow him to hand over the reins to his son to take on the “family business.” But remember how disenchanted the world is with Santa? Well, that extends to Charlie as well. He’s no longer the starry-eyed boy who thought the North Pole was the best place in the world. Instead, he sees it for the unrealistic chaos that it is, so when his father presents the proposal, Charlie immediately shuts it down, informing his dad that the North Pole is not a conducive environment for raising kids.
And he’s not wrong—the elves are cracked out on candy (as they should be), but there’s zero connection to reality (aside from the dwindling Christmas spirit), which means that the kids grow up kind of strange, as evidenced by Scott’s two children—Sandra and Cal. Sandra only loves animals (she’s the hipster that will fit right in the real world) and Cal is living in an “imaginary world” preoccupied with his VR set… which, in a fitting turn, ends up being his escape to places like Kansas where he can envision a “normal” teen life. Scott realizes the enormous effect his job has had on his family, which solidifies his desire to leave the candy canes, cider, and hot cocoa behind so that he can be the family man they all need. But will they actually like the real world once they get there? There’s not much cheer here!
Naturally, there’s a lot that will need to be done before he can retire, but with Santa on his way out, the very reality of Christmas is threatened. Can the elves and the new jolly old man restore the faith and the belief in magic?
While the world has largely stopped believing in Santa, it’s true that we need him and the magic of the holidays (all holidays!) now more than ever. And that’s why it’s the perfect time to revive this beloved franchise. By turning it into a series, we’re also getting double the magic, and from the first two episodes on Disney+, I have minimal complaints.
Now, where’s Bernard when you need him?
Other Moments That Deserved to Be Mentioned
- Noel is the right-hand elf that Santa deserves. The elves were always a hoot in the movies, but the show is allowing them to become a more integral part of the action, and I love it. They are keeping the North Pole afloat!
- Polly Pocket Potty Party. If you know, you know.
- Calling reindeer “flying livestock” just paints things in a different perspective.
- The elf who wanted the new Santa to be Harry Styles is a vibe. She’s onto something.
- I’m really trying to be put on Santa’s “Eye of the Kringle” diet plan—eat as much as you want and work out by laying on the couch—minimal movement for ultimate success. It didn’t work for him, but you know what I mean.
- Charlie never told his wife Marie that his father was Santa, and honestly, I don’t blame him for not knowing how to broach the subject without sounding like a madman.
- I possibly suffer from Acute Squawk Syndrome.
With Simon and Grace drugged (let’s call it what it is, even if it’s a cute little elf responsible) and summoned to the North Pole, I can’t wait to see how this all pans out. Could Simon be the right man for the very jolly job? It seems like he’s going to make a mess of things initially, but he’s got the toy manufacturing and logistics background, so this could be the wake-up call he needs!
What did you think of the first two episodes of The Santa Clauses titled “Good to Ho” and “The Secessus Clause” on Disney+?
The Santa Clauses Season 2 Episode 6 Review – Wanga Banga Langa
The Santa Clauses concluded its season season with a rather satisfying conclusion, which is par for the course for a Disney show about the holidays.
While the battle between Scott Calvin and Magnus Antas was amping up to be big and ugly, the steam quickly fizzled out as Mad Santa realized that he’s been focusing so much on getting the North Pole back that he didn’t even stop to consider if it’s what he really wanted after 700 years. Turns out, it wasn’t—and the human world did a number on him as he actually enjoyed taking to the stage at Santopolis and engaging with the crowds of adoring fans. It was the perfect gig to stroke his ego, without all of the pressure that comes with the role of Santa Clause, while allowing the rightful Santa, Scott, to continue for years to come.
Kris, who appeared throughout the series as the owner of Santapolis who was just trying to make his dad proud, tagged along for the ride back to the North Pole with Scott and Carol, which was a dream come true as he’s dedicated his whole life to Christmas. The guy not only got to experience so much with Magnas Antas and Olga, but he was able to witness all the magic at the North Pole, which was made even more special when it was revealed that he was the little boy in the original movies when Scott, who was just getting a hang of things, was struggling to deliver a kayak. I love when movies do callbacks and bring things full circle, especially as it made Kris’ role more meaningful.
Other elements introduced this season came into play, as Sandra’s powerful magic, helped harness by La Befana (who Kris was also a huge fan of and couldn’t believe he was finally meeting), was the only thing that could help restore Cal from nutcracker to human form. La Befana also cracked me up when she dismissed the idea of being reinstated as a Legendary—she really doesn’t need all that corporate red tape as she’s content just being herself.
Mad Santa pointed out that despite knowing what every child in the world wants for Christmas, Scott didn’t have an inkling of what Cal truly wanted right now. And it was true–he was so focused on making Cal the next Santa that he completely dismissed everything else.
To make up for it, Scott threw a human-like prom for his son as an early Christmas, with Riley as his prom date. They really are meant for each other!
While there’s still a possibility that Cal will continue his Santa training (remember, Mad Santa’s amulet chose Cal, which means that he has potential as the next successor), for now, he needs to live a normal human life. It’s what everyone deserves.
Also getting to dig into the human experience? Noel and Betty during their Kribble Krabble honeymoon. Truthfully, I’m not surprised Betty didn’t have any fun on her own because traveling without your soulmate is not something anyone wants to do willingly. However, after dedicating themselves to the North Pole for thousands of years, they deserved a break, especially when Noel proved that he was deserving of Head Elf status by rallying the gnomes (aka gnomies) to have his back against Mad Santa’s retaliation. Noel did that!
An elf-gnome alliance is something no one expected, but it was a sweet turn of events, as was Bethina and Olgalockilus’ (official names) newfound appreciation for each other. After they went toe-to-toe trying to destroy one another, they realized that they were much more alike than they ever imagined. “It doesn’t make sense that we’re enemies,” Olga noted, as they pieced together that heir feud was simply egged on by their devotion to their “headstrong bosses,” or, as Olga noted, “doofuses.”
Olga even proved she’s a pro at making practical items like printer cartridges and such, and I’m betting that’s on someone’s Christmas list!
Together, the North Pole is stronger than ever. Also props to the quick mentions of Bernard and Charlie and his family… the OG fans appreciate it.
By the time the Christmas season rolled around, delivering presents to the good boy and girls became a family affair (Cal even got over his fear of flying), but not before Scott, Carol (a modern-day Mrs. Clause, not the one represented by a bonnet), Sandra, and Cal stopped by Santapolis to catch Magnus and Kris’ spectacular show.
It seems that all’s well that ends well (though maybe not the latest accusations against Tim Allen of being a complete nightmare on set) when it comes to the magic of Christmas. What did you think of the second season of The Santa Clauses? Did you enjoy it or did you think the series was reaching with the storyline?
The Santa Clauses Season 2 Episode 5 Review – B-E-T-T-Y
The Santa Clauses Season 2 Episode 5 finally gave fans insight into the Betty-led coup against Mad Santa thousands of years before his resurgence in Illinois, Scott Calvin’s old stomping grounds, with a vengeance.
Of course, we know that Magnus Antas was turned into a nutcracker—before coming back alive with a sprinkle of Santa magic at Santapolis—by the elves, but what we didn’t know is that Betty and La Befana teamed up to make sure he got what he deserved.
Betty, returning to the North Pole early from her Kribble Krabble, turned in her resignation upon telling Santa Scott the full story, but he didn’t care about any of the clauses/rules, adamantly calling her a “hero” for her sacrifice.
Nothing that Betty told Santa Scott was all that shocking to audiences, though he was definitely taken aback by the news, he didn’t have much time to sit with it because Cal ventured out of the North Pole to retrieve his vest from Magnus Antas, not fully understanding the level of danger he was putting himself in. Cal’s naivety is his best asset and his greatest flaw, all at the same time.
On the other hand, you have to pride him on his bravery because he walked in without a plan and tried to handle it himself without any fears… well aside from his fear of heights and flying the sleigh, which he somewhat conquered.
Mad Santa turned Cal into a puppet after he called his dad the greatest Santa of all time, and was surprised by how much Santa magic he possessed, which means that Scott may get his wish of keeping it in the family business after all.
After they locked all the vortexes and portals coming in and out of the North Pole, Scott and Carol had to find a more unique means of transportation back to the Windy City to save Cal from Mad Santa, while Sandra hung back with La Befana to keep the North Pole safe. Having a witch in the family came in hand!
As for Betty, I’m a bit bummed we didn’t get to see any of her adventures in the real world, and it feels like a missed opportunity to have her not come face-to-face with Mad Santa and Olga, however, I did genuinely like the moment where Noel stood up for his wife and made sure that Magnus Antas knew who she was—her name is B-E-T-T-Y, don’t forget it because she’s the one who managed to take you down and save Christmas for everyone! The North Pole was functioning without her, but it wasn’t thriving, so it’s a good thing she’s finally back.
As for the second season of The Santa Clauses, I feel like it would’ve benefitted from being a movie rather than a limited series because it does feel like the storyline is being dragged out unnecessarily at this point… and it’s starting to lose its magic.
Also, poor Kris, who just wanted to run his little Santa village and earn his father’s love, and now he’s stuck in the royal battle between Mad Santa and Santa Scott. But at least he’ll have one heck of a story to tell, if they don’t dust him when all of this is finally over.
The Santa Clauses Season 2 Episode 4 Recap – Miracle on Dead Creek
Operation Save Easter is in full swing on The Santa Clauses Season 2 Episode 4. Easter was celebrated as the holiday became the North Pole’s problem after Sandra accidentally turned the Easter Bunny into an actual bunny.
While Scott isn’t used to hiding Easter eggs and delivering baskets, he is used to sneaking into homes unnoticed to drop off goodies, so all they really needed to adjust was the costume—a funny hat, an eggplant coat, and an invisibility cloak that could’ve been straight from Hogwarts.
Naturally, Cal assisted as part of his “Santa training,” which hasn’t been going so well, and while he definitely proved he has a long way to go when he mistakenly hid the Stink Eggs from the Basket of Tricks versus the actual eggs, it helped him get his mind off of Riley.
Everything was going pretty smoothly, in fact, aside from Cal and Scott needing to backtrack to a few houses until Scott decided to be a good dad and stop by Riley’s place so that his son could see her. We knew Cal’s love life was going to cause problems, but in a way, it’s also a good thing that it brought the whole Mad Santa situation into Scott’s orbit as the elves were never going to fess up. Plus, it helped him make sense of the visions he was having.
The arrival at Riley’s set off the alarms for Mad Santa, who put a whole plan into motion by using North Pole magic to turn Santaland into a premiere winter destination that rivaled the North Pole. Little did he know, Santa was actually in town for a different reason—and the elves chose to keep the North Pole magic being used in America a secret from Santa, as they were determined to keep him from finding out the truth about Mad Santa.
Was it the best decision? Likely not. But Noel is doing his best and hoping that it’s enough. Plus, they all vowed to protect Santa at all costs by closely monitoring him. When they realized he was on a collision course with Mad Santa, the emergency protocol was enacted just as Scott and Cal got caught in a trap set up by Olga.
Mrs. Clause was the true hero of the episode, however, taking her jetpack to save her husband and son once she found out the truth about the missing nutcracker coming to life in Chicago. She never panics or misses a beat, which was also evident when she enlisted Sandra’s help to scavenge the Easter Bunny’s house to save the holiday.
She use the opportunity to reconnect with Sandra, who was struggling from her fallout with La Befana and swore never to use magic again, despite the fact that she’s a witch.
While I don’t know if destroying the Easter Bunny’s house—and defending it by saying he’s so messy he won’t even notice it—was the right move, it was sweet that she helped Sandra find an outlet to channel all of that anger. As women, we often need to be reminded that it is okay to be angry, and there’s a healthy way of getting all those emotions out without repressing them and letting them fester and make us resentful.
Overall, there were a few key developments, but mostly, the episode felt more like a filler, especially all the scenes with the Sandman. Even though Scott learned of Magnus Antas’ existence and came face to face with him, we will have to wait until next week’s episode to see what comes of it. Will he be furious with the elves, especially poor Noel?
What happened to him when he got hit with the ball of fire? Will Cal and Sandra play a role in helping Santa Scott defeat Mad Santa?
And what’s Magnus’ plan now that Santa is aware of him? It feels like he’s run his course in Santaland. You’d think Kris would’ve realized by now that Mad Santa is actually a villain, but alas, he’s just happy that he can make his father proud with his Christmas-themed park now a roaring success.
Also, where is our girl Betty? Why aren’t we seeing more of her adventures in the real world?
What did you think of the episode? Are you enjoying the season thus far?
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