Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Special: The Santa Clause Trilogy

The Santa Clause (1994)

Divorcee Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is disgusted to learn that his ex and her new husband have tried - and failed - to break it to their 6-year-old son Charlie that Santa isn't real. On Christmas Eve, Scott reads The Night Before Christmas...then receives an unexpected visitor on his roof. When he inadvertently kills Santa and putts on Santa's now empty coat, he finds himself magically rectuited to take his place. He's taken to the North Pole and informed that is now Santa. Charlie is proud of his dad's new job, though Scott's convinced it's a dream...until his hair turns white, his beard refuses to stay shaved, he gains weight inexplicably (probably because of his sudden love of junk food). Now he's accepted it, but how can he keep it a secret from his disbelieving family?

My Thoughts
I have always loved these movies. I think it's mostly because of the idea that any random person could become Santa Claus. It sounds like a dangerous tradition, but how cool would it be if your dad became Santa?!? What if a girl put the coat? Could there be a female Santa Claus?!? It just had me thinking quite a bit when I was 8 years old...

Does anyone else really enjoy watching old Disney movies on DVD just to see what's "Coming Soon"? Haha...I love it! See what movies weren't even out yet when I was little that are now "classics" to little kids. Makes me feel old, but I love the throwback previews. The Santa Clause isn't exactly an 'old' Disney movie, per se, but it's gettin' there. :-)

Okay...Now the movie starts. With another rockin' company party. I want to work for one of these companies that throws awesome Christmas parties someday! I love seeing Tim Taylor somewhere besides Home Improvement. He was one of my favorites then and he continues to be a star in my mind. Between these movies and the Toy Story franchise, he's winning children over everywhere!

I think 6 is a little soon to be giving a kid a "firm grasp of reality". That's the ultimate imagination zone! Eric Lloyd (Charlie) is an awesome actor, though. He started his movie career in Heart and Souls as Robert Downey Jr.'s character as a child. Anyone who can play a young Robert Downey Jr. is awesome in my book. And he was young Bruce Wayne in Batman and Robin, too! I'm just glad he stuck with The Santa Clause movies...It's rough finding new actors to take over after a child actor moves on.

Haha. A Rose Suchak Ladder Company...That is so funny. I really want to see if I can find all those little references. "We're getting the Disney channel now." Good one, Tim Allen. :-) "I hope the guy who lives here is a tailor!" Maybe he meant a 'Taylor'? Haha...It'd be funny if they used Tim Taylor's house.

What is Santa's REALLY lactose intolerant? Poor guy...Drinks half the cup all the time anyway. Must be pret-ty gassy by the time he gets home...Poor Mrs. Claus.

I guess the best way to win your kid's affection back when you disappoint is just to become Santa Claus...Got that, all you dads out there? Go kill Santa and put his coat on and your kids will love you!

I think my favorite part about this whole movie is the mixture of magic and science. It's not just 'oh, there's Santa and that's that'. They explain a lot of it with state-of-the-art science and innovation. Elves are so smart...

Bernard...the best elf ever. He's a little touchy and impatient, but I guess someone has to keep them on their tight schedule. David Krumholtz is incredible. He will always be Bernard to me, but I love him as Charlie in Numbers, in 10 Things I Hate About You, in Serenity, and in his new show Partners. He's a great actor and I always just wanna fluff his hair whenever I see it. Love curly hair like that. :-)

I need to get some hot chocolate, shaken not stirred. I've been trying to perfect hot chocolate forever. Maybe if I added extra marshmallows? Marshmallow cream? More chocolate? All of the above? Haha.

I wonder what someone's reaction would be if little 5-year-olds started lining up and sitting on their lap. It's not his fault, but I'm guessing people would assume he's a pedophile...At least Scott didn't get arrested in the park!

Who remembers when they stopped believing in Santa? I was almost 10 I think...I remember being pretty old, but I held pretty firmly to that belief. I even remember getting close to being in a fight because people kept telling me I was stupid.

I love how there are British elves, too. I don't know why, but it really made me laugh. And Comet is such an awesome reindeer. I want a reindeer as a pet, as long as he's as awesome as Comet. I would really hate to be a mall Santa in a year when the cops are looking for Santa, though.

I love all the extras in the sleigh. Most of it's lame, but if I had a car with a cocoa dispenser in it, I'd gain 20 pounds!

ELFS...Effective Liberating Flight Squad. Genius :-) Black Ops elves...Makes sense.

That little kid, Charlie, learned a lot of lessons in this movie. And we would've lost Christmas without him! Thank goodness for Charlie :-) Saved until we find the next clause in the Santa Claus contract...And what the heck is Bernard eating when he's at their house?? Looks like they got the vertical take-off down, too. Those elves really are geniuses!

Random Facts
The zoo where Scott talks to Charlie is actually the Toronto Zoo in Scarborough, Ontario.

When Scott and Charlie are leaving the North Pole in the sleigh and pass by the moon, the moon has a distinct Mickey Mouse logo on it.

When Scott and Charlie arrive at the North Pole, the code that the elf enters into the pole for entry is 1239.

The scene where Tim Allen takes his son to the Denny's on Christmas Even is actually a Swiss Chalet restaurant in Oakville that had to be altered to reflect the Denny's chain.

During his tour of the workshop, Scott tries out a tool belt and shakes his head as if the tools aren't for him. This is a reference to Tim Allen's then-hit TV show, Home Improvement, where his character's life (Tim 'the tool man' Taylor) revolved around tools.

When the kids scream, "Let him go! Let Santa go!" it's a reference to Miracle on 34th Street.

When Scott is giving alternative names for Santa to the police officer in the interrogation scene, Scott imitated Ed Sullivan when he says the name, "Topo Gigio", which is not a name for Santa, but actually the name of a small Italian mouse puppet that appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Elves are scattered throughout the movie in Scott and Charlie's world. The little blonde girl walking away from the window at the opening of the movie; the little boy putting his jack on and wearing a red scarf as Scott and Charlie are led to their seat in Denny's; the girl walking behind the bench when Scott has kids lined up at Charlie's soccer game; the girl in the purple coat who walks by Scott and Charlie in the park when Scott wants Charlie to keep the secret; and the little boy in the blue turtleneck behind Charlie's desk during show and tell are all elves. They show up as a group at the end of the movie when Scott flies away from the Miller house, running and skipping off.

The role of Scott Calvin/Santa Claus was written with Bill Murray in mind. Scheduling conflicts with another film forced Chevy Chase to turn down the role of Scott Calvin. (Thank goodness, in my opinion...)

The ladder that appears to help Scott and Charlie get to the roof was made by the "Rose Suchak Ladder Co.", a reference to a question Charlie had asked about the line "There arose such a clatter" from the famous poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (The Night Before Christmas).

When Charlie and the new Santa return to the North Pole for the new Christmas, Bernard introduces the techno-savvy elf Quentin, who proceeds to tell Santa about the gadgets the sleigh now has. This is a nod to the James Bond character "Q", who is the technology master for Bond's vehicles.

When Scott and Charlie are driving the sleigh on the road, the truck they go by and ask about I-94 is driven by Jimmy Labriola, who played Benny on Tim Allen's show Home Improvement.

The DVD released bonus material containing 3 recipes on how to make Santa's favorite pizza, cookies, and hot chocolate, and short videos demonstrating the cooking procedures...I need to watch that part!

On older prints of the film, Tim Allen made a sarcastic remark in the movie, including the line "1-800--SPANK-ME". When a child decided to call the number, it turned out to be a phone sex line. The child's mother's complaint had the scene cut for future releases.

Tim Allen has a criminal record and Disney has a no hiring of ex-cons policy. An exception was made in this case (and for Toy Story, I guess)

When Laura looks at the Mystery Date game the music we hear is the jingle the old television commercials used for the board game.

The Santa Clause 2: The Mrs. Clause (2002)
Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) has been Santa Claus for the past eight years, and his loyal elves consider him the best one ever. But Scott's got problems. His son Charlie has landed on this year's "naughty" list, and if Scott doesn't marry by Christmas Eve - one very, very short month away - he'll stop being Santa forever.

My Thoughts
Here's the second installment of The Santa Clause trilogy. One of the few trilogies that, I believe, holds up to the original. It kept most of the original actors and held up the comedy and quality. These are some of my favorite Christmas movies, though. If you guys don't like it as much or have differing opinions, please share! :-) I know there are plenty of people out there who hate these movies, so share your opinions!

The elves in the North Pole control the Northern Lights...that totally makes sense. It distracts us from them! They're so smart...

Tim Allen has really embraced the Santa thing, and I'd say he pulls it off pretty well. The elves do a pretty good job, too. Being kids, who are acting like grownup elves, who act like kids...It's complicated.

The de-Santification process has begun!!! I love when Curtis says that one :-) He and Bernard are by far my favorite elves. The puppets in Santa's bedroom are a little creepy, though...

I just watched the new Rise of the Guardians movie, and now the Easter Bunny will always disappoint me unless it's Hugh Jackman...

I don't know why Curtis thought making a toy clone of Santa would be a good idea. Listen to Bernard!! Haven't we learned our lesson when it comes to thinking, learning machines?? Geesh...

The reaction 'Santa' has to hot chocolate is very similar to my own :-) It's a rush! Haha...Love it.

Scott's first date was fairly creepy...I mean there's Christmas spirit and there are crazy people. I'm pretty sure she's moving toward the crazy people end of the spectrum. And what's the deal with the principal? She's so anti-Christmas...I see the spirit of Christmas hitting her in the face in the near future.

And the problems with 'Santa' begin...All kids are naughty, toy soldier armies in the North Pole, and Commando Santa. But at least the real Santa has started making some dating progress :-) Pressure's on with his magic loss, though!

Carol makes me feel much better about getting into fights about Santa. At least I never got a bloody nose from my fights!

The beginning of the faculty Christmas party is more of what I expect in company business parties. Haha...Everyone just sitting around like a 6th grade dance. Don't really want to stay, but you can't leave until your parents come get you...If only Santa himself could go heat up all the Christmas parties!

People should listen to the 6-year-olds of the world more often. Lucy is pretty much a genius in this movie. We could all learn some lessons from little kids. :-)

I love the way they figure they can get back to the North Pole. No magic, no reindeer, no jet pack...Let's just pull a tooth out and get the tooth fairy to come fly me!

Tim Allen, the action hero! Who knew? Christmas is saved once again. I realize these movies were probably just money grabs for Disney, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy them. So judge all you want, but I still love these movies. :-)

Random Facts
Toy Santa's line, "You are a sad, strange little man," is also used by Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story. Also, when the Toy Santa says "I think Santa feels a little Buzz!" is a poke at him being "Buzz Lightyear" in Toy Story.

On the back wall of Lucy's room is a poster for the Disney cartoon Kim Possible.

When Santa is on his first date with the aspiring singer/songwriter if you look at her shirt, the face of Santa is that of Tim Allen.

Scott Calvin starts talking about cars and engines while talking to Carol Newman, and while walking through the toyshop, Santa picks up and tries on a tool belt (and likes it more than he did in the first movie...). These reference to Tim Taylor, Tim Allen's character on Home Improvement.

Late in the movie, when Scott is mostly "de-Santafied", he captures the Tooth Fairy. The Tooth Fairy, doubting that Scott is Santa Claus, tell him "I know Santa Claus. I'm friends with Santa Claus. You are no Santa Claus." This is a parody of Lloyd Bentsen's famous retort to Dan Quayle during the 1988 US Vice Presidential debate.

In the opening credits, several Jack-in-the-Boxes pop open. The last one to open is the same type of Jack-in-the-Box that is seen numerous times in Elf. (There seem to be quite a few references to Elf in this trilogy)

The line "Quit the chit-chat-Chet" comes directly off a season 1 episode of Tim Allen's Home Improvement where a man named Chet on the phone babbles too much during a game of "Stump the Tool Man."

Peter Boyle, who played Father Time in this film, previously played Mr. Whittle, Scott Calvin's supervisor, in The Santa Clause.

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)
As Christmas nears, Scott Calvin invites his in-laws (Ann-Margret and Alan Arkin) to join the festivities. The holidays take a chaotic turn when Scott discovers a way out of his "Santa Clause" and the mischievous Jack Frost (Martin Short) puts the big freeze on Christmas' big cheese! Unless Scott can save the day, it's going to be a very chilly Frostmas at the North Pole and all around the world. Will Scott be able to get his job back in the St. Nick of time?

My Thoughts
Last The Santa Clause installment. I even like the third one, which does not happen often, especially for Disney movies. This is usually the time when they start just sticking on sequels to suck money out of all the parents who have 8-year-olds, with the exception of these movies and the Toy Story movies, in my opinion. Yet another great, family-friendly Christmastime movie!

The little elf Trish at the beginning may look familiar. She's been in a lot of great movies: My Sister's Keeper; Definitely, Maybe; No Reservations; The Ultimate Gift.She's pretty great, and I hope she can make the transition between child actor to something a little more permanent.

I kind of lost my love for Curtis, but it's probably because he's growing up...It has been 12 years since they made the first one. Might be why Bernard couldn't be in this one...I'm guessing he started growing a beard and his voice dropped or something. Child actors can't play child elves forever...

It kind of makes sense for Jack Frost to feel slighted and possibly get a little malicious, but I really liked the version portrayed in the Rise of the Guardians. This is pretty close to being the same movie: The legendary characters coming together to fight the person trying to ruin Christmas, except in this movie it's Jack Frost, and in Rise of the Guardians Jack Frost helps them beat the Boogey Man.

One of the reasons I have a hard time giving second chances is because the people least deserving of a second chance are the best at convincing you that they deserve it...shown here by Jack Frost. He's a slippery one...see what I did there? ;-)

I feel so bad for the other reindeer. Everyone loves Comet so much and no one even talks to the rest of 'em! So sad...

Doesn't Santa have enough to deal with when Jack Frost is trying to steal his holiday and his wife is about to pop and his production is behind? He has to deal with the in-laws, too??

Movies like this are probably one of the many reasons psychiatrists get a bad name. That soft-talking, psycho-babble that Neil is constantly spewing is quite annoying. I'm sure it's supposed to be, but it gets a little old after two movies of it already.

It's like the Ghost of Santa's Past, but not a dream...Frostmas sounds horrible, though! And I don't understand why people even talk to Jack. He's obviously being sneaky, and Curtis was completely clueless. I feel like I would have put him under some sort of surveillance.

They may be trying a little hard to make the North Pole look like Canada, but it's pretty entertaining. So many maple leaves and hockey banners.

Hasn't everyone at least heard of Jack Frost? I never really thought he was on level with Santa and the Easter Bunny, but I've at least heard of the guy. He makes it snow and all that good stuff...

For a second there, when Santa was creating the jet-powdered scooter board, I saw some Tim Taylor in there. I wonder if he was using any Binford tools over there.

I wonder if the tangled ball of lights for the Christmas tree was a little poke at the National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. That's the only other place I've seen it so far...Maybe it came from some other classic movie...

How hard would it be to convince someone that the last 12 years of their lives happened wrong and that you're Santa and the North Pole Resort is really the North Pole? Jack Frost has brought the ultimate commercialization of Christmas to the big screen. It's such a bummer to see the depressed reindeer and elves being forced in the sale of the North Pole and the idea of Santa; but never fear, Lucy and Scott will save the day. The bad guy never wins...

The real Santa is back, Scott learned his lesson about the importance of family, and Christmas is saved! Turns out, Jack Frost is just a big elf at heart...and there's an extra Claus for this Christmas :-) Is Elf just a sequel of The Santa Clause 3??

Random Facts
The scrolling ticker sign in the toy factory reads "378 Years without an accident".

Jack Frost is seen wearing a black and white outfit with a pale and white look, referring to Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas, another character who believed that he could take over for Santa Claus. In the trailer, the tracks "What's This" and "Making Christmas" from that film are heard in the background.

Despite Bernard's non-appearance in the film, the novelization uses his character.

Peter Boyle's final film.

When Scott is making a distraction in Jack's North Pole, he says, "Well, this show stinks." But his mouth is saying, "Well, this show sucks." Done in order to keep the G rating, most likely.

**Sorry for the long post...I've decided to do the sequels all together...Hope that's cool with all my 3 viewers out there!** :-)

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