(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from The Santa Clause)
Doug (vo): So at the time The Santa Clause came out, there was actually a little bit of a risk factor to it, in that nobody knew if Tim Allen could actually carry a film. We knew he could carry a sitcom (Home Improvement) okay, but that was sort of the standard formula that was repeated over and over, and, yeah, does that translate well into not only a theatrical film but a Christmas film? And the answer is, yes, he does, but...not as much the story, which is a good setup, but doesn't give much else on top of it.
Doug (vo): The movie centers around Tim Allen being a divorced dad with a son. He's trying to find a way to spend more time with him around Christmas, and, sure enough, he accidentally yells at Santa Claus, who's on top of his roof, causing him to lose his footing and, yes, kill himself. Pretty dark, actually. Trying to make his son feel better, he takes off the suit and puts it on, not realizing that he's actually entering into the Santa Clause, with a "E". Get it? So now he has the job of delivering all the gifts to all the kids around the world. He tries to decline it, but overtime, he seems to keep putting on weight, growing long hair, and yes, even a white beard. Eventually, he finds he just can't turn away and decides to take the job, all while his son starts telling everybody, and, of course, they don't believe him, and then he's roped in, and then nobody believes him, but, of course, they'll be proven wrong in the end, and...God, I hate these stories.
Doug (vo): If it was more funny, I'd be more open to it, but that's one of its major problems. It's not that funny. Now to the film's credit, I don't think it's trying to be that funny. I think it's trying to be more whimsical and magical, and it does have certain elements of that. The North Pole is a lot of fun, it definitely has some decent effects. There is certainly this idea that they want to give the size and weight to Santa, while also throwing in a little comedy, but, again, the key words are "little comedy." When you have Tim Allen as Santa Claus, you know you want a lot of funny stuff, and they don't really do that much. It's more trading it in for this story of him trying to convince everyone he's Santa Claus, nobody believing him, and then people getting more concerned and, just...ah, you know where it's gonna go, so why are we watching it?
[Several clips focusing on Tim Allen's character, Scott Calvin, as well as the film's depiction of the elves, are shown]
Doug (vo): Well, maybe a few reasons are that Tim Allen's not bad. He definitely has a charm factor to him, and to help him out, he has some enjoyable elves as well. I found it interesting that in this rendition, the elves are played by kids, not little people, and they're still supposed to be older, like some are several hundred years old, but they look like little kids. I guess that's sort of a way of getting past child labor laws. At first, I was somewhat offended by this, 'cause I thought, "Hey, isn't that kind of taking jobs away from little people by having kids acted instead?" But the more I thought about it, the North Pole does look a little bit more jolly with a bunch of kids running around, and, yeah, I know they're not really kids in this, but, come on. They're kids. And they're happy and they're cheerful and, yeah, it just makes the place seem more upbeat, which is not to say grown adults in the role aren't upbeat, but you can't capture it like you can with a kid. So I think it's fine, especially knowing that the majority of elf roles are still gonna have little people in them. The North Pole is a nice-looking North Pole. It's very bright and colorful and definitely has a large scale to it, and, yeah, it's obviously a set, but I don't mind. It still has sort of that magical element to it.
Doug (vo): But is there enough magic in this movie to overlook a painfully obvious story? In my opinion, no, but for a lot of other people, yes. If you can put up with that kind of story and don't really mind it, then there's still plenty of other elements on top of it to be enjoyable, just not enough for me to get into it. It's not the worst, it's just kind of boring for me. But again, if it doesn't bother you, then I think this film will be a fun, magical ride. I just think there's more that can be explored and done with this idea. But, hey, that's what we have sequels for, and I'll join you over in the next video for those.
[A scene showing Santa's sleigh flying into the sky is shown]