Two more installments have been released in the franchise since the original The Santa Clause was released in 1994, over three decades ago.
After the release of 2006’s The Santa Clauses 3: The Escape Clause, many believed that Tim Allen, who plays Scott Calvin/Santa Claus, had hung up his red hat and sleigh for good.
After more than a decade in the role, Allen could finally retire as Santa.
It’s been a while, but The Santa Clauses is finally coming to Disney+, and that means Allen can put on the red suit once more.
What we can tell from the previews is that this new series is both a fitting farewell to Tim Allen’s portrayal of Santa Claus and a fresh start for the long-running brand.
In addition to Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd, and David Krumholtz, the cast of The Santa Clauses also includes a number of newcomers who have become fans of the franchise.
Is it worth your time and holiday spirit to see The Santa Clauses, or does it end up being a lump of coal in this well-loved holiday franchise’s stocking?
While it may be too soon to tell, let’s see what the first two episodes of The Santa Clauses have to offer.
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The Santa Clauses continues in the tradition set by its predecessors.
After the events of the third film, in which Scott Kelvin (Allen) and Carol (Elizabeth Mitchell) start a family at the North Pole, this series picks up 16 years later.
Throughout the film, Santa repeatedly states that he has been working with Saint Nicholas for 28 years, which is consistent with the timeline established by the first film’s premiere and plot.
In the first episode, we see Santa doing what he always does on Christmas Eve: distributing gifts to all the good boys and girls.
Noel (Devin Bright), Santa’s trusted assistant and elf, is laughing it up in the sleigh, clearly enjoying their work.
It was an incredible moment that made me laugh out loud to see these two pull some crazy antics with the reindeer, sleigh, and a glazed cruller donut.
The two of them are working hard to spread holiday cheer, and fans of the original franchise will enjoy a throwback scene they are sure to recognize.
It doesn’t take long, though, for the viewers to realize that not everything is as it seems.
Children today don’t have the same level of faith in Santa and the Christmas magic as they did in years past, and this has a significant effect on Santa.
As the children’s faith in Scott as Santa gradually wanes, Scott’s personal holiday cheer inevitably wanes along with it.
Scott, who used to despise the idea of playing Santa, is having a hard time considering retiring from the role.
When he sees that his family isn’t doing well at the North Pole, though, he makes up his mind and decides to step down from the position.
Still, he can’t formally retire from the role until he finds someone to take it over.
The acting in the pilot episodes of The Santa Clauses is the show’s most vital point
As Santa and Mrs. Claus, Tim Allen and Elizabeth Mitchell have consistently been fantastic. Allen’s comedic style is ideal for this holiday children’s franchise, making him the outstanding Santa Claus.
It was great to see Allen in such a happy and amusing character again after seeing him play a grumpy old man in previous productions like Last Man Standing. Mitchell, who has performed the part in two movies, adds something fresh and original to the table.
She had already found love, relocated to the Arctic, and started a family in earlier episodes. The conventional romantic interest role was assigned to her.
She has much more screen time in The Santa Clauses, where she can fully shine as an actress. In the first two episodes, Mrs. Claus begins to wonder about her and Santa’s place
in history, a history that extends well beyond their own lives. And as she goes, she starts to wonder what her existence as Mrs. Claus and as Carol in the real world may and should be like.
It’s a neat idea that seems very current, which is a good sign that the franchise has evolved beyond its more superficial roots in the ’90s.
New cast members Devin Bright (Noel) and Matilda Lawler (Betty) are just as good as the established cast members.
Noel, as Santa’s overly protective and sometimes inept helper, provides much of the show’s comic relief.
On the other side, Santa’s Chief of Staff among the Elves is a very proper woman named Betty.
Much of her humor stems from the fact that she doesn’t waste words or beat about the bush.
At least twice or thrice in the first two episodes, people actually laughed out loud at how her attempt at being serious came off as so absurd.
Lawler carries Betty with a confidence and air of business that haven’t seen in many other young actresses. She is not Bernard, but she is an excellent addition to the cast.
The parts that made to expect more
The two youngest kids in the Scott and Carol family, Cal (Austin Kane) and his sister Sandra (Elizabeth Allen-Dick), aren’t given anything to do in the first two episodes.
The two kids seem to take a back seat to more established characters like their parents.
The two of them seemed rather strange, but that could just be because they’ve spent their entire lives in the Arctic.
My sincere goal is that during the course of the show’s six episodes, we will learn more about Cal and Sandra.
It’s also great that Elizabeth Allen-Dick is following in her real-life father’s footsteps by appearing in the same franchise he has been a part of for the previous 28 years.
Perhaps she’ll follow in her family’s footsteps on and off the screen and run the company.
In my opinion, both Kal Penn’s Simon and Rupali Redd’s Grace, whom he raises as a single parent, lack depth.
Grace is an endearing child who hasn’t lost her Christmas spirit, but that’s about it. On the other hand, her father plays the skeptical money-hungry Scrooge in the show.
After the first two episodes, all four of the aforementioned characters left me wanting more. However, they will become less one-dimensional as the show develops.
There is a vague sense of foreshadowing in the first two episodes but no actual indication of what is to follow.
For sure, Scott will be on the lookout for a new Santa, but it’s still a bit depressing to think that someone else will be taking over after almost 30 years of seeing the same Santa on our TVs.
The charisma enjoyed in the first two movies is still here, although it isn’t as prominent.
It is good to keep watching The Santa Clauses because it appeals to my sense of nostalgia, especially as we approach the most beautiful time of the year, but hope the show finds its feet soon.
Conclusions on the ‘The Santa Clauses’
Tim Allen’s comeback as Santa on Disney+ marks the beginning of the holiday season.
The Santa Clauses is a good program for families and entertaining to watch in general, but it lacks the magic of the original trilogy.
Without a doubt, this latest instalment in the series caters to an even younger demographic than its predecessors, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.
Despite the story’s seeming aimlessness, it was found people laughing quite a bit and adoring the ensemble cast.
Still, there is time for the show to fix its hiccups and find its footing, as only two of a total of six episodes has aired thus far.
The first two episodes of The Santa Clauses premiere on Disney+ today, with new episodes premiering every Wednesday.
Do you know if it’s any good? Tweet or post in our Discord server with your feedback.
Also, another new Disney+ series starring Chris Hemsworth, Limitless, is available to stream today; if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to read our review of it!