Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Nerds Gets Cheery: Seeing is Believing and Believing is Seeing in ‘The Santa Clause’

Welcome to the most wonderful time of the year, and with it comes movies. Leading up to Christmas, we here at Nerds and Beyond will be sharing some of our favorite films to watch to get into the holiday spirit. I will be talking about Tim Allen’s beloved 1994’s The Santa Clause, 2002’s The Santa Clause 2 and 2006’s The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, because what’s more festive than the jolly guy in a red suit, but with a little twist?

I love Christmas, it’s one of my favorite times of the year, excluding the snow. I love Christmas movies, it gets me into the holiday spirit. I love drinking hot chocolate, curled up in a blanket and watching a good classic. By far, one of my favorite Christmas movies is The Santa Clause with Tim Allen. I can’t help but wonder what would happen if my dad somehow “killed” Santa Claus, put on his iconic red suit and delivered presents around the world, becoming Father Christmas in the process. The 2002 sequel, although I haven’t seen enough because in the past (it seems like it’s never on) is an underrated favorite of mine. Charlie is now a teenager, understanding how hard it is to not be able to tell his friends what his dad actually does and he gets himself on the naughty list while Scott has to try to find a Mrs. Claus by Christmas Eve or he won’t be Santa Claus anymore! Talk about a plot. The 2006 installment brings together multiple legendary figures and one is trying to become the new Santa. Find out why I love these movies and why the whole family should.

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The Santa Clause (1994)

Image courtesy of Disney

The first film in the holiday trilogy follows regular dad Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) as he spends Christmas Eve with his son, Charlie. After reading him ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, they hear something, or someone, on the roof, who turns out to be old St. Nick. After making Santa fall from the roof, Scott unknowingly puts on his suit and boots, goes into Santa’s sleigh with Charlie and soon is delivering presents all around the world. Long story short, they get to the workshop, Scott’s the new Santa, Scott’s not believing it but Charlie being a kid, thinks it’s the greatest thing ever. When they wake up Christmas morning, Scott thinks it was all a bizarre dream, Charlie knows it was real but Scott doesn’t believe him. Santa things start happening to Scott; i.e. he gets bigger, his beard starts to grow, he gets the list sent to his house, he slowly starts to believe that he is Santa, Scott’s ex-wife Laura and her husband Neal think he’s going crazy and it ends with everyone believing and Santa is able to deliver presents on Christmas. In most Christmas movies involving Santa Claus Santa is already established, whereas with The Santa Clause, you have this normal guy becoming Santa and his kid is being roped in too. The elves are “kids” and the workshop is just incredible, which gets even more incredible in the following movies. Tim Allen is the perfect person to play Santa Claus. Also, the title is a play on Kris Kringle as well as the clause that Scott read when he put on the suit.

The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

Image courtesy of Disney

2002’s The Santa Clause 2 could also be known as the “forgotten sequel.” Not that it wasn’t good, because in my opinion, it was. Just that it doesn’t air on TV nearly as much as its predecessor and its following sequel. The plot for the movie is simple: Scott has until Christmas Eve to find a wife or he is no longer Santa. Leading up to the holiday, “the de-Santafication process” starts and Scott starts turning back to how he was before he became Santa. On top of that, Charlie, who is now in high school, is causing trouble, getting himself on the naughty list. So he could be with Charlie, Scott uses a machine in the workshop to make a life-size Toy Santa. It’s Santa but plastic, which turns out to be a bad idea. With this movie, you see more of the workshop, more of the elves. Now that Charlie’s older, he starts to understand that although what his dad does is amazing, he can’t really tell anyone, he feels lonely. You also see Charlie’s school principal, Carol. She goes from this person who has students and even parents terrified of her, only to have someone believe in her and believe in love and she changes because she found someone she loves and cares about and who loves and cares about her.

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The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)

Image courtesy of Disney

The final installment of The Santa Clause trilogy finds Scott as his in-laws visit him at the workshop, or “Canada,” and Carol is due to give birth any day. Meanwhile, legendary figure Jack Frost has come up with a plan to make sure he’s Santa Claus and Scott’s life is completely changed. It’s rare we see a Santa Claus with a kid, let alone two. Seeing THE Jack Frost try to steal all of Christmas for himself is also an interesting concept and having Laura, Neal and Lucy finally go to the workshop is priceless. Towards the end, Jack freezes Laura and Neal so Lucy hugs him in order to save them, proving all you need is just a little love in your heart to warm even the coldest people. It should also be noted that sister-duo Aly & AJ has their song “Greatest Time of Year” featured in the movie which is a major throwback.

Not too many film series these days are Christmas movies. You fall in love with the characters, just like any movie, and you are just wondering what happens next. With The Santa Clause trilogy, although you get complete endings with all three, you are still left wondering. Seeing how Scott and Charlie adapted to Scott being Santa while Scott was also getting closer to Laura and Neal and becoming more of a family is great. I can watch these movies with my family and still feel like I’m watching it for the first time, laughing at the same parts even after all these years. Do yourself a favor, and watch The Santa Clause. Doesn’t have to be all three movies, although it should. But at least watch one of them.


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