Prayer Focus
Movie Review

The Santa Clause 2

Reviewed by: Megan Basham
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
All Ages
Genre:
Family
Length:
_____
Year of Release:
2002
Tim Allen in “The Santa Clause 2” Elizabeth Mitchell in “The Santa Clause II”

Starring: Tim Allen, Spencer Breslin, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd, David Krumholtz | Directed by: Michael Lembeck | Produced by: Brian Reilly, Bobby Newmyer, Jeffrey Silver, Robert F. Newmyer | Written by: Leonardo Benvenuti, Ken Daurio | Distributor: Walt Disney

In his second installment as the jolly old elf, Tim Allen discovers another clause in the Santa gig—namely, the “Mrs. Clause.” With only days to go before Christmas, it seems St. Nick must find himself a bride or he will cease to be Santa and Christmas will be a bust.

Compounding the problem is that Charlie, Santa’s only son, has taken to spray painting holiday cheer on his high school, landing him on the “naughty list.” Then, while Santa’s off dealing with his rebellious teenager, his life-sized toy stand-in begins exhibiting control issues (absolute power, y’know) and decides to replace everyone’s gifts with coal. (Of course, considering that “Jacka**: The Movie”, was the top-grossing film last week, I can’t say I entirely blame him.)

Overall, “Santa Clause II” is run of the mill family fun. Part of the problem is that it tries to follow too many plot lines at once, missing the opportunity to make any one consistently funny. This is not to say the movie doesn’t have its charms. There are several laugh-out-loud moments, with the strangely hilarious Molly Shannon providing the funniest sequence as Santa’s overly spirited blind date. Also, the cameos during the annual “meeting of mythical figures” are especially fun for grownups, and the North Pole is as delightful a gingerbread wonderland as it could possibly be.

As far as performances go, Tim Allen makes an appealing, and surprisingly believable, Santa, but Elizabeth Mitchell as the object of his affection is the real star of the show. With very little material, she manages to seem both frosty and vulnerable. However, I do have to say that while I know this complaint is a bit tired, I still find it creepy that 49-year-old Tim Allen’s love interest is a twenty-something blond beauty, but I guess that’s Hollywood for you.

An accurate explanation of the purpose Jesus Christ’s birth. Answers for skeptics. Plus, Christmas carols, games, coloring pages, reviews of Christmas movies, and more… Though the film stays true to its “G” rating, I would offer one word of caution: Great emphasis is made throughout the film that without Santa, there would be no Christmas. If you do take your kids to see “Santa Clause II”, I would use it as an opportunity to point out this worldly fallacy, and explain to them that, for some people, Santa is a fun add-on to Christmas, but that the birth of our Savior is the reason for the season. And Christians will always celebrate this—with or without Kris Kringle.

See our review page about the sequel to this film: “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—My husband And I took our 14 yr old daughter to see this movie and thought it was delightful. We looked forward to seeing the sequel for sometime. It really made us laugh. I also thought the references to the fairy tale characters were very clever and helped to enhance the story. I see no reason why it should be an issue in a family as long as everyone knows the characters in the movie are make believe.

I especially liked the way they revived the characters from the first Santa Clause using all the same actors. Although I would’ve liked some reference to the real reason for the season, the birth of our Savor. But I see no reason to let that prevent you from going to this movie. As long as everyone in the family knows the true meaning behind Christmas.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Phyllis A, age 39
Positive—I really enjoyed this movie as a fun, fantasy, story. I think as long as you make it clear what the real meaning of Christmas is, kids won’t get confused. By the way, Elizabeth Mitchell is in her 30’s not her 20’s which makes the pairing slightly less “creepy”.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4½]
—Ruth Adamson, age 39
Positive—I thought some of the “viewer comments” were rather harsh. Folks, this is a movie about Santa Clause; if you have a problem with elves, magic, and old Saint Nick, see something else. I personally found it very funny and charming, with almost nil in the problem area; I’d let my five year old niece see it with no qualms. The plot is engaging and funny… what about the Tooth Fairy, who’s really a man? or how about the RIT—Reindeer in Training? I went to a full showing, and everyone loved it. So give Santa a little bit of slack, and enjoy yourself.
My Ratings: [Good / 3½]
—Charity, age 19
Positive—Excellant funny movie. Some people need to remember that God created the sense of humor too! Good movie for the entire family with lots of laughs.
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
—Tom A, age 49
Positive—I thought this was an Wonderful family film. I personally loved the first one so this was a real treat for me and my family. I took my two kids to see it and they both liked it too. Nothing offensive, very cute, funny, and sweet. Basically, it’s good for all ages. If you like the first one then you’ll like this one.
My Ratings: [Good / 4]
—Marilin, age 35
Neutral
Neutral—I thought the movie was a good, fun family film. It kinda stabbed my heart though when Elizabeth Mitchell said “people are just searching for something to believe in”… realizing that so many people are missing out on the most believable person of all—Jesus Christ!
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Peggy Sowell, age 44
Neutral—I rate SC2 a 3½ based only upon the secular entertainment of the film. There is nothing Christian about this film. As a pastor, I tend to be somewhat more observant and opinionated concerning a film than the average viewer would. Hollywood pulls out all the tricks to push a secular agenda. There is reference to cloning; first mice and then Santa himself. No cursing however the word butt is used a few times.

I did notice some subtle sexual tones: once when the easter bunny speaks of having 33,000 offspring, second when SC looks at the naked clone (shows naked rear), and again at the end when SC speaks of a 3 month honeymoon.

Finally, the most offensive statement to me was when the chief elf states that the “single most important aspect of Christmas is for Santa to have a wife.” We all know that the single most important aspect of Christmas is Jesus Christ. I was disappointed.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 3½]
—Pastor Ritchie Ables, age 34
Neutral—Unfortunately, Part 2 was not as good as the original movie. As a Christian, I was disappointed at how much “magic” was stressed and used throughout the entire movie. MUCH more than the first. This seemed to be more of a money making film—seeming to go with the current pull and fascination with kids and magic in films of recent. Also rather than stressing God; In one particular scene Mother Nature was put in the place of God.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 3]
—Stacy Killian, age 34
Neutral—This movie is a true fantasy, and it works. It’s believable, in a zany kind of way. It has some very funny moments. It is also by an large entertaining, but not really morally uplifting. And it is totally, completely, absolutely secular, making somewhat a mockery of the Christmas holiday.
My Ratings: [Good / 4½]
Halyna Barannik
Negative
Negative—Let me see if I have this straight. Scott Calvin is divorced. He is an absentee father. His teenage son is in trouble at school. He has 28 days to find and marry a wife. The woman he finds is half his age. Sounds like the perfect pagan American Christmas to me. Let us not forget the council of Mother Earth, Father Time, the Sandman, the Easter Bunny, Cupid and the Tooth Fairy.

Our Santa is omniscient and knows what you really want. His clone creates a COUP D’ETAT; but in the end the G-rated elves quickly destroy and literally “disarm” his force of toy soldiers. In the North Pole you can lie and use deception to solve problems, but still remain on the “nice” list. Sounds like the perfect Disney solution to a Christ-focused Christmas.

Yes, there are wonderful heartfelt sentimental moments in “SC2”. Yes, there are some funny moments generated by the pure comedic talent of Tim Allen. Yes, the story and the plot is a cute sequel to the original. I just can’t swallow another dose of shallow Christmas commercialism. My honest suggestion is attend and support local presentations of the Christ story and relax—there is an “ESCAPE CLAUSE.
—Douglas Downs
Comments from young people
Positive—Like, OH MY GOSH! This was like the best movie I have ever seen! There was like nothing bad in it that should like keep anyone from seeing it. Unless like, you’re anti santa clause… or just like, anti christmas… like the grinch… that is like the 2nd best christmas movie I have ever seen. But like, yeah take my advice… and go see this move right now… or like tomorrow. Cause it’s like super-di-duper!
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 5]
—Ivana Traft, age 15
Positive—This movie is not only non-offensive it does have several good themes running through it… Chris encourages Charlie not to lie and to keep his promises but even though it is not as apparent this movie is a good family flick for both kids and adults!!
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
—Courtney, age 15
Neutral—I found the film mostly entertaining, and with some good moral issues. It was a colorful and well-paced family movie with cute, funny parts for young children (the reindeer scenes) and more serious parts that might be more interesting to parents or older kids (Santa’s search for a wife). There are no bad words and no sex; as for bathroom humor, there is one short scene showing a candy-eating reindeer with a gas problem. All the actors in the film do a good job, especially Santa’s date the school principal and Santa’s son, Charlie.

Charlie starts out as a troublemaker because he misses his dad, but is later reassured of his father’s love and attention. Though Santa is divorced, he and his ex-wife and her new husband get along fine together. Charlie sacrifices a tooth (long story) to get to his father in the South (North?) Pole.

Parents won’t like the fact that in the film, only Santa makes Christmas really Christmas. Jesus is never mentioned at all. If the filmakers had toned down the “Santa is Christmas” idea, I would have listed the film as positive. Still, the good parts of the film might make The Santa Clause 2 very entertaining for many Christians.
My Ratings: [Average / 3]
—Hannah Chen, age 15
Positive—This was a cute movie especially for smaller kids if any at all still believe in Santa Clause. There was nothing offensive in it although it does not really show the true meaning of Christmas.
My Ratings: [Good / 4½]
—Lauren, age 14
Positive—I, my mother and my sister all thought this was a great movie. We saw it the day it came out and are planning to buy it. It has great morality and shows that messing up what’s not yours is wrong. The only objectionable thing was that one of the reindeer passed gas but they made it funny. And although they didn’t tell the real meaning of Christmas it was still good. A great movie for the whole family.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 3½]
—Kara, age 12
Positive—I thought this movie was good because it still had the same characters, kind of interesting, lots of entertainment, VERY funny, and enjoyable. Your kids will love it and you will too.
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
—Carolyn, age 9
Positive—This is a blast and a knockout at the box office too. great family movie. everyone should love this one. it was definitely should be better at the box office than 8 mile. before this one came out star wars episode 2 attack of the clones was my favorite. go see this one. I promise you all will like this one this had no language or sexual content.and no crude humor one time they took the lords name in vain but other than that it excellent.
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
—Matthew Shaw, age 7