It’s been eight years since Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) killed Santa Claus and dutifully took over the old goat’s responsibility to the world’s children. Somewhere in the North Pole, Scott runs a sweatshop where hundreds of atrocious child extras are employed as elves. Bernard (David Krumholtz, summoning the ghost of Screech from “Saved by the Bell”) and Curtis (Spencer Breslin) tell the cocoa-loving Santa that he has to snag himself a missus before Christmas Eve or he’ll be completely de-santified. Lucky for St. Nick, his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd) is back home revolting against the world like any good product of divorce and incurring the wrath of a pretty high school principal (Elizabeth Mitchell). Before Santa takes Comet back to the States, Bernard and Curtis have him cloned so as to convince the elves that their slave master is still in the house. It’s not long then before Scott melts the ice queen principal’s heart and does away with the decoy Santa-cum-Pinochet that wants to give coal to the world’s children. On top of the awkward performances and lifeless direction, Santa Clause 2 also manages to be both sexist and racist. Santa meets with Mother Nature, Father Time, Cupid, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and the Easter Bunny in a scene seemingly modeled after an SNL sketch. The Tooth Fairy wants to change his name and the moody Mother Nature takes it upon to herself to announce that she’s “pre-El-Niño.” When Scott takes the whiny Calvin to do his community service, a hip-hop Christmas anthem inexplicably blares from his car stereo. Ladies and gentleman, Santa has entered the ghetto! As one of Santa’s potential spouses, Molly Shannon merely conjures bad memories of Ron Howard’s The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Perhaps most troublesome are the egregious product placements. Scott’s family walks into the kitchen clutching McDonald’s bags in their hands, ensuring that the company’s logo is never obscured from the camera. The only mitigating factor here may be the sheer stupidity of having to listen to shoddy animatronic reindeer talk like Chewbacca. Parents: now that you know why your children kept badgering you to stop for fast food on the way home from this family dud, go take them to see a real film. The Nightmare Before Christmas and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory have more life and cheer in any given shot than the whole of Santa Clause 2. Disney has wisely chosen to open this film on November 1st, guaranteeing that it will be forgotten way before its memory haunts Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas mornings across the country.
- Michael Lembeck
- Leonardo Benvenuti, Ken Daurio, Ed Decter, Cinco Paul, Steve Rudnick, John J. Strauss
- Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd, David Krumholtz, Spencer Breslin, Wendy Crewson, Judge Reinhold, Peter Boyle, Michael Dorn, Art LaFleur, Liliana Mumy, Molly Shannon, Aisha Tyler
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