Format: DVDMultiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
List price: $39.99
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Description: The Santa Clause Divorced toy company executive Scott Calvin (Tim Allen of Home Improvement and the Toy Story movies) is pleased to have his son Charlie for Christmas, though the boy himself isn't happy about it. But when Santa Claus accidentally topples off the roof of the house and falls with a thud in the snow, Scott finds himself taking the merry old elf's place and earning new respect in his son's eyes. When the night ends, the reindeer take them to the north pole, and Scott discovers that by donning the fabled red suit, he's inadvertently agreed to become the next Santa Claus. The next morning he wakes up in his own bed and thinks it's all a dream--only Charlie remembers it with crystal clarity. Scott now has to deal with his suspicious ex-wife (Wendy Crewson, Air Force One) and her psychiatrist boyfriend (Judge Reinhold, Beverly Hills Cop), who both think he's playing tricks with Charlie's mind, and also with his own out-of-control body, which is putting on weight and growing a prodigious beard. The Santa Clause probably won't supplant It's a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street as anyone's favorite holiday film, but it's an enjoyable, straightforward family film, anchored by the affable charisma of Allen. --Bret Fetzer The Santa Clause 2 Considering how lame this sequel could have been, The Santa Clause 2 makes for a pleasant holiday diversion. It's got the familiar smell of Disney marketeering, and more than a few parents will object to this further embellishment of the St. Nick legend, but Tim Allen's amiable presence provides ample compensation. As a divorced dad who inherited the jolly man's job in The Santa Clause, Allen now faces another Yuletide challenge. According to the "Missus Clause" in his North Pole contract, he can't continue to be the real Santa until he gets married. As luck and five credited screenwriters would have it, Allen falls for the Scrooge-y principal (Elizabeth Mitchell) of his son's school, while a phony, power-hungry duplicate Santa wreaks havoc on the North Pole's overworked elves. It's all as sweet as spiced eggnog, with that warmed-over feel of a mandated sequel, but the Christmas spirit does prevail with the sound of sleigh bells and Allen's rosy-cheeked ho, ho, ho! --Jeff Shannon The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause How about a new villain and a dash of It's a Wonderful Life to spice up the third installment of the popular Tim Allen holiday franchise? Under the onslaught of another Christmas season, Santa Claus/Scott Calvin (Allen) is feeling even more pressure because Mrs. Claus (Elizabeth Mitchell, reprising her role from The Santa Clause 2) is expecting a little Claus and also longing for the company of some "tall people." So Scott agrees to let her parents (Ann-Margret and Alan Arkin) visit as long as they believe that they're really in Canada rather than at the North Pole. Further complicating matters is a visit by Scott's ex-wife (Wendy Crewson), her husband (Judge Reinhold), and their daughter, Lucy (Liliana Mumy). Enter the bad boy of the Council of Legendary Figures, Jack Frost (Martin Short), who's supremely jealous of the figures who have their own holidays, especially Santa. So he launches a plan to sabotage the toy factory and compel Scott to invoke the little-known Escape Clause and wish he'd never become Santa. The resulting evocation of a classic Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life, is seasoned with a splash of Back to the Future when Scott rewinds 12 years (has it really been that long?) to when it all began. Though neither sequel has matched the charm of the original Santa Clause, both have been safe, reliable family fare. (All ages: some crude humor) --David Horiuchi