Though it’s a few months early, Disney has decided to get us into the holiday mood by releasing The Santa Clause Trilogy on Blu-Ray this past week.
The trilogy is the story of toy company executive Scott Calvin, who unwillingly takes on the mantle of Santa Claus by donning his suit one day, invoking the titular “Santa Clause;” anyone who puts on the suit will take over the role of Santa.
To be honest, I hadn’t seen the original film in years (probably since it came out), and did not see the two sequels until this set arrived. I was expecting (and dreading them) to be lackluster, but I was actually pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed all three films.
The plots of all three films are relatively simple. Like I mentioned, the first film is about Scott taking on the role of Santa and eventually coming to terms with it, while reconnecting with his son. The second film is about the “Mrs. Clause,” which says Santa must take a wife; otherwise he will lose his job. And finally, the third film is about Jack Frost trying to take over as the new face of Christmas.
Most of the time with movie trilogy’s, they start out the strongest right out of the gate, and get worse as the series goes on. Surprisingly, I found the first film to be the weakest of the three. That’s not to say that it isn’t enjoyable, but I found it be much harder to get into, and it seemed somewhat dated by its terrible CGI.
The Santa Clause 2 I found to be the most enjoyable, as Time Allen seemed to really get into the character here and let loose; not just as Scott, but as a robotic doppelganger as well. Though, I’m sure the addition of Elizabeth Mitchell to the cast, whom I fell in love with because of LOST, certainly helped add to my enjoyment of the film. The third film was a great way to end out the trilogy, and adding Martin Short as the bad guy into the mix finally gave Tim Allen another great comedian to bounce off of.
The Blu-Ray transfer on the last two films looks great. Everything is crisp and clear, and looks much better than I expected it too. The first film, however, suffers from a lot of grain, especially during its scenes at the North Pole.
The special features on each disc go between “This is great!” to “Why is this here?!” They range from cooking Christmas snacks with Wolfgang Puck, to making of featurettes, to seeing how they transferred the actors into their characters through the use of make-up and special effects. Overall, it is a decent amount of stuff, but it may leave a typical movie buff wanting a bit more. For example, I found it a bit odd that the director’s commentary track for The Santa Clause 2 presented the film as a documentary, and really had no insight as to how the film was made (Sorry, I’m a movie guy, so I love hearing about that stuff).
Overall, you can’t go wrong with this collection. Young kids will definitely enjoy all three films, and you’ll find yourself enjoying it along with them. Definitely give it a go if you don’t already own these films on DVD…it’s definitely worth the price of admission, and it’ll get you into the holiday spirit…just before Halloween.
By Jeff Heimbuch
The Disney Review is written and edited by Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor
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