THE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Tim Allen as SANTA CLAUS/SCOTT CALVIN
Elizabeth Mitchell as MRS. CLAUS
Eric Lloyd as CHARLIE CALVIN
Judge Reinhold as NIEL MILLER
Wendy Crewson as LAURA MILLER
Spencer Breslin as CURTIS
Martin Short as JACK FROST
Directed by: Michael Lembeck
BY KEVIN CARR
As I watched the special features for “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause,” I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, someone kicked some sense into the folks making this DVD series.
You see, I was dreading a DVD filled with the cheese from the second DVD, in which the cast and crew actually acting as if they shot at the real North Pole as guests of the real Santa Claus and elves. Similar to how the “Star Wars” DVDs came with a special feature about how much of a diva R2-D2 is, this was cute for about five minutes. But for an entire DVD – including a 90-minute commentary – it got really old.
The DVD of the third “Santa Clause” is much more acceptable, and it offers a fine assortment of special features. And upon watching things again, I realized that I didn’t hate the movie, just the last five minutes. In fact, the majority of the film was remarkably okay.
This time around, Santa Claus (Tim Allen) is faced with a challenge from Jack Frost (Martin Short), who thinks he should be the head of Christmas. Using a loophole in the folklore, Frost manages to travel back in time to stop Scott Calvin from putting on the red suit all those years ago. Time shifts, and Jack Frost becomes the new Santa, sending the modern-day Scott on a quest to save Christmas.
While there are stumbling blocks in this film, like Jack Frost bursting into show tunes (which is expected from Martin Short) to the Disney machine hypocritically shaming us for commercializing Christmas, it’s a decent family film. Just watch out for the ending, which offers too much sweetness even for the holidays.
The DVD comes with a nice selection of bonus features, including a blooper reel, an alternate opening, different looks for Mrs. Claus and Jack Frost, a spotlight on Tim Allen and Martin Short as comedians, a visual effects featurette, a music video and a karaoke feature for Christmas carols.