Santa Clause sequel No. 1

Karen Schubert

“You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town!” Or, in our case, “The Santa Clause 2” has come to town. This sequel to the 1994 original family holiday classic opened last Friday to become last week’s top box-office hit. I won’t deny that it is a cute flick, but I will tell you not to expect it to be as great as the original.

The greatest thing about “The Santa Clause” was its originality. It was a fresh approach to the classic tale of jolly St. Nick. It was an instant holiday classic, giving perspective on how Santa managed to reach every home in a night and on the atmosphere and environment of the North Pole. But in this sequel, there is little creativity left for the producers.

The only major difference between the original and the sequel is the chronological order. In the original, Tim Allen starts as Scott Calvin and becomes Santa Claus, but the reverse occurs in the sequel. In “The Santa Clause 2,” Allen starts off as Father Christmas but heads back to the suburbs. In every scene his facial hair begins to disappear and pounds shed off until he morphs into a babe magnet for any woman over 30, since he is in search of Mrs. Claus. If he doesn’t find her within a month, he will lose his position as Santa and Christmas will no longer exist, according to the contract he accepted upon donning the red suit.

The best thing the movie does is include all the same actors as the original. Allen makes a great Santa Claus, but no sequel works unless the entire cast is the same as well. Eric Lloyd stars as Santa’s son Charlie, eight years old in the original, now a teenager on Santa’s naughty list. Wendy Crewson returns as Santa’s ex-wife, and Judge Reinhold as her psychiatrist husband. David Krumholtz appears to have hardly aged at all as he returns playing the same great head-elf Bernard.

The council meeting Santa holds with the Easter Bunny, Mother Nature, the Tooth Fairy, Cupid and Father Time is a creative attempt to show the link that the fairy tale creatures have to one another. Another clever addition is Chet, Santa’s reindeer-in-training. The sequel gives hilarious personality to the reindeer.

While this movie can’t even touch the greatness of the original it is still worth seeing to put you in the holiday mood. There are so few quality Christmas movies every year that it is worth the time just to bring some cheer to the season.