Tim Allen again plays Scott Calvin/Santa Claus, while Martin Short plays Jack Frost, a competing holiday character. Both had previously worked together in the 1997 Disney comedy feature film, Jungle 2 Jungle. Eric Lloyd returns in a smaller role as Scott's son Charlie, as do many of the supporting actors from the first two films, reprising their previous roles. However, David Krumholtz, who previously played Bernard the Head Elf, does not appear in this installment because of contractual issues, and so Curtis (Spencer Breslin), who previously played the Assistant Head Elf, has now been promoted to Bernard's former position. Production was completed in February 2006. The movie was released in theaters in the United States on November 3, 2006, and in the United Kingdom on November 24th of the same year.
The film was rated G by the MPAA, and also received a G rating from the Office of Film and Literature Classification in Australia. It was given a U certificate in Britain by the British Board of Film Classification.
Scott and Carol have been married for a while now and love each other very much. However, Scott/Santa Claus is having difficulties managing Christmas this year. Carol/Mrs. Claus is expecting their first child which is due on Christmas Eve and is afraid that he will be making his deliveries while she is making hers. Wanting her to feel more comfortable, he invites his in-laws, Sylvia and Bud Newman, up to the North Pole, along with his ex-wife, Laura, her husband Neil, and their daughter Lucy to keep her company. Meanwhile, he is summoned to a meeting of the Council of Legendary Figures, consisting of Mother Nature, Father Time, the Easter Bunny, Cupid, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman. They show him a cardboard cutout of Jack Frost just as Jack himself arrives. Besides Father Time reminding him that he heralds the season and not a holiday, Mother Nature accuses Jack of attempting to upstage Santa by freezing a volcano in Hawaii, making it snow in the Amazon, and making it cold in Mexico thus sending the geese back up north for the winter. All the other Legendary Figures agree that a punishment needs to be invoked against him with the idea to suspend him. He manages to convince them to put him into community service at the North Pole. When Scott brings up the part with the in-laws during an argument with him, the Easter Bunny recommends the "Escape Clause" which he declines. When Jack asks what it is, Father Time tells him that he would know more about it if he attended the meetings more often. Scott reluctantly agrees with a warning to him if he does anything wrong on his watch. He helps to disguise the North Pole as Canada for the arrival of the in-laws. Scott manages to get them there with the help of the Sandman.
However, Jack, who wants to have the power and influence of Santa, goes around the North Pole and uses his powers to create technical problems with some of the equipment. The shop flies into chaos and many gifts are destroyed, and Scott is faced with the possibility that there will not be enough toys for all the children in time for Christmas.
Jack talks to Curtis the Head Elf about the Hall of Snow Globes and discovers that Scott's can be used to activate the Escape Clause, the most powerful one of them all. This one can help the current Santa escape from his job as Santa; if he holds his snow globe and says, "I wish I had never become Santa at all", he can return to the point where he became Santa and prevent the event from occurring. Scott takes a quick break to show Lucy the Hall of Snow Globes, and gives her a magical one that shows her hugging a snowman, which turns pink because her hugs are so filled with love and warmth. As they leave, Jack sneaks into there and steals Scott's, freezing Laura and Neil when they catch him, and threatening to do the same to Lucy if she tells Scott, before locking her in a storage closet. After further attempts at sabotage, he manages to enrage the in-laws, and gives Scott a gift as he talks about his frustrations. Not realizing what he is doing, he is persuaded into uttering the Escape Clause while opening it and taking out his snow globe. He and Jack are transported back in time to his front yard, where, twelve years earlier, he caused Santa to fall off the roof and donned his suit to become the new Santa. Jack reaches it before the past Scott can, and puts it on to become Santa.
Scott is sent back to the present, where he has been the CEO for his old company for the last twelve years, and works even on Christmas Eve. He drives over to Laura's house. She treats him very coldly, revealing that she and Neil also divorced after having Lucy, as without him around, Neil tried and failed to fill his role to Charlie. He frantically asks where Carol is and Laura says she "left town years ago because there weren't enough local kids to terrorize or something." She gives him a magazine that shows the North Pole is now a tourist attraction where wealthy parents take their kids and pay for them to be on the nice list. He assures her that he'll fix everything and it will all go back to normal. Wanting his old job back, Scott returns to the North Pole where the elves are miserable and Christmas has become highly merchandised. Lucy and Neil are there as well, although they too are not happy to see him. He confronts Jack with what he has done and claims his vision of Christmas isn't what the holiday is about, but he reminds him that he was the one who said "I wish I had never become Santa at all."
Scott convinces Lucy to sneak into the Hall of Snow Globes and bring Jack's to him. He interrupts a musical performance by Jack, when Lucy tosses him his snow globe. Jack mocks that Scott will never convince him to invoke the Escape Clause, but Scott plays a recording of him saying "I wish I had never become Santa at all", when he said it to him earlier. To Jack's horror and fury, the two of them are whisked back to the past again, where Scott holds Jack down while his past self finds the suit and puts it on, restoring events to the way they were.
Back in the present, Scott reunites with Carol, even though no time has passed since he left, and he promises to make her life better. He then shows his in-laws the truth about his workshop, where despite Jack's sabotage, gifts are being manufactured and will be ready on time for his deliveries. To his surprise, his son, Charlie, arrives and helps out the elves, as do the other members of the Council of Legendary Figures.
Just as it seems things are going perfectly, Curtis and Lucy appear, and Neil and Laura are wheeled in, frozen solid. Jack is also dragged in by the "elficers" and when ordered by Scott to undo his spell on them, Jack refuses. By unfreezing them, he would have to "unfreeze himself" and so they will be frozen forever. When Scott asks for Mother Nature to help him out, she reminds Scott that the abilities of a Legendary Figure won't work on others. Frost believes he still has won, however, Scott has an idea. He tells Lucy to give Jack one of her heartwarming hugs; her tight hug, full of love and warmth, breaks him down, changing his clothes and hair from icy to normal and breaks the spell around Neil and Laura. Everyone, including the defrosted and reformed Jack, celebrates with a hug, and Carol suddenly announces that her baby is coming. She gives birth to a boy and names him Buddy Claus just at midnight, right before Santa has to leave to deliver the gifts.
The Santa Clause 3 received negative reviews from critics, earning a 13% freshness rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Eric D. Snider, a reviewer, said that Allen did The Santa Clause "the first time with enthusiasm, the second time with affection and the third time for a paycheck."  Kyle Smith wrote "We're getting a turkey and a ham for the holidays. [...] Santa is so dumb he should be demoted to cleaning up after Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys 'R' Us." Manohla Dargis dismissed the movie (in a three-paragraph review) as "squeaky clean, but you might die of boredom." Finally, Nathaniel Bell wrote off the film as "holiday filler, stuffed with unearned emotion and trite sentimentality." In the UK, Mark Kermode described it on BBC Radio Five Live as "the cinematic equivalent of tertiary syphilis".
The first two films had become box-office successes during their opening weekends, but The Santa Clause 3 was beaten by Borat for the #1 spot. By February 7, 2007, The Santa Clause 3 made $84,500,122 in the US and a worldwide gross of $110,768,122. The first film made $189,833,357 worldwide at the box-office while the second film made $172,855,065.
Broadcast history and availability
The film appeared on ABC Family on December 1, 2008, as part of the 25 Days of Christmas. In Canada, it first appeared on CBC Television on December 13, 2009. In the UK, it was shown for the first time on the BBC on Christmas Eve 2009. In New Zealand, it was also aired on TV 2 on Christmas Eve 2009. In Singapore, it was shown for the first time on MediaCorp Channel 5 on December 26, 2009.
The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 20, 2007, in the United States, and on November 12th of the same year in the United Kingdom.
|Tim Allen||Santa Claus/Scott Calvin|
|Elizabeth Mitchell||Mrs. Claus/Carol Calvin|
|Eric Lloyd||Charlie Calvin|
|Judge Reinhold||Neil Miller|
|Wendy Crewson||Laura Miller|
|Liliana Mumy||Lucy Miller|
|Alan Arkin||Bud Newman|
|Spencer Breslin||Curtis the Head Elf|
|Martin Short||Jack Frost|
|Aisha Tyler||Mother Nature|
|Peter Boyle||Father Time|
|Michael Dorn||The Sandman|
|Jay Thomas||The Easter Bunny|
|Art LaFleur||The Tooth Fairy|
|Charlie Stewart||Dr. Hismus|
|Madeline Carroll||Santa elf|
|Zach Mills||Carpenter elf|
|Jordan Orr||Elf voices|
- ↑ The Santa Clause 3 movie review at the Official Website of Eric D. Snider
- ↑ Lee's Movie Info
- ↑ "Christmas Eve Movies"
- Disney's official The Santa Clause 3 website
- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause at the Internet Movie Database
- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause at Allmovie
- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause DVD review at DVDizzy.com
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