THE SANTA CLAUSES is a whole sleigh-full of Christmas magic aimed to recapture the magic from the original three films of the franchise but will the show have you laughing like a bowl full of jelly? After seeing the first two episodes. we’re not sure it’s the heaping dose we were expecting.. While we can comfortably say that the show hasn’t definitely earned itself a lump of coal it’s not exactly the soaring reindeer success in its first act.
The action really starts right from the opening moments of the show, almost jarringly so. What we saw in the first two episodes is a setup of some interesting plot points for all the characters. We’re not just zeroing in on the jolly fat man this time.
Unfortunately, some of the beats feel slightly familiar. Comparisons to ELF will surely be made. The world is low on holiday cheer and Santa’s magic is dwindling as a result. Sweets and treats are obsessively and excessively enjoyed in comically obscene amounts (although this is canon with the original films). Plus, Santa’s two teen children who grew up at the North Pole don’t have a firm grasp of the real world. Hilarity, we assume, will only ensue.
If that’s not enough, Scott (Tim Allen) and Carol (Elizabeth Mitchell) have a first-born son (who was actually introduced in THE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE) who was named Buddy. Regardless, the franchise has its own lore and canon to lean on and honestly there’s so much homogeny across Christmas mythology that it’s hard to call this a downfall necessarily. Buddy is now all growed up except now, with no explanation, he is called Cal (Austin Kane) and he’s joined by his younger sister Sarah (Elizabeth Allen-Dick). Both cherish the Christmas magic but yearn for adventure in the great wide somewhere.
The series also features a merry assortment of elves that take on crucial roles to keep operations running at the North Pole including unnervingly endearing Noel (Devin Bright) and the merry & bright Betty (Matilda Lawler). A side story is also being fleshed out back in the real world with struggling toy exec Simon Choksi (Kal Penn) and his precocious young believer of a daughter named Grace (Rupali Redd). Sound familiar? Perhaps his character’s initials offer a clue.
The two-episode premiere packs in some fun cameos, in-jokes and references and most importantly is firmly engrained in the delightful colorful practical North Pole that was established across the trilogy. Sure, there’s plenty of CG but there’s still a very tangible feel to this world which is always wonderful to enjoy. We’re really happy to be back in this world and especially excited to have the blessing of size that a series offers compared to a movie. We’re optimistic there’s still some Christmas magic in this franchise.
See it for Yourself
THE SANTA CLAUSES is set to debut on Disney+ with a two episode premiere on November 16, 2022.