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THE SANTA CLAUSES (2022)  l  Disney+  |  November 16, 2022

Starring:  Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd, David Krumholtz

Director: Jason Winer

Scott Calvin is back! After being Santa Claus for nearly thirty years, he’s as jolly as ever. But as Christmas declines in popularity, so does his Santa magic. Scott struggles to keep up with the demands of the job, as well as being there for his family. Upon discovering there is a way to retire from his post, Scott considers stepping down as Santa Claus and finding a worthy successor so that he can become a better father and husband.

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REVIEW BY: Darren Zakus - Episode 1 and 2

Just in time for the holiday season, The Santa Clauses sees Tim Allen return to one of his most iconic roles: the big man himself, Santa Claus. 

Having grown up in the 90s, watching the Tim Allen Santa Clause films is a holiday tradition that I will never tire of. Allen is a great comedic actor, and watching him portray this mythic character is always a pure delight as he has that perfect wholesome spirit that brings the holiday spirit to life. But it has been sixteen years since we last saw Allen put on the red suit, though this holiday season audiences are being treated to a new Disney+ series bringing back Allen for another adventure as Santa. 

We find Scott Calvin years later after the events of The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, happily living in the North Pole as Santa with Carol and their two teenage children. But as Scott is growing older and getting ready to retire as Santa, this forces Scott to begin looking for his replacement as he prepares for his family’s new life outside of the North Pole. Much like the films, the series is bursting with holiday jokes and lots of fun for the entire family as we watch Allen as Santa in the North Pole. We see the elves dancing and singing, Santa attempting to keep his Santa-physique by eating lots of holiday treats, and of course, the secret holiday lingo for emergencies at the North Pole. It is safe to say that if you are a fan of the movies, that you will enjoy the comedy in the show. 

The first two episodes of the mini series focus on setting up the scenario that Santa finds himself in, showing the circumstances that lead him to the idea of retiring, Carol’s struggle as Mrs. Claus, and introducing audiences to their two teenage children: Cal and Sandra. The end of the second episode begins setting up the larger story of the mini series, teasing Kal Penn’s Simon and his role in the series, as well as laying the groundwork for the holiday filled mishap that will require Santa to once again save Christmas. As the films did so wonderfully, the writing weaves in more mature themes, dealing with themes of consumerism, one’s self worth, and identity in a relatable way for both adults and children to grasp the themes as they inform the show’s story. While it is only two episodes, the miniseries is off to a strong start and I can’t wait to see the rest of the story unfold this holiday season.

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As I previously touched on, it is great fun to see Allen back as Santa and he has not lost any of the charm that he has brought to this role before. Never for a second missing a comedic beat, while capturing the internal struggle that Scott faces between his love of being Santa and wanting to do right by his family, Allen is marvelous in the lead role and brings the show to life. Elizabeth Mitchell returns as Mrs. Claus, and it’s great to see her fully in the role as we never truly got to see her be Mrs. Claus before, only Carol as Scott fell in love with her and then again briefly in the third film while she was pregnant. Radiating warmth, compassion and an undeniable sense of fun, Mitchell is a great asset to the series. 

Kal Penn is fine so far, his role has been very limited and not given much material to work with as of yet, but he has some good comedic moments that shows potential for his performance with an expanded role in the latter half of the season. Elizabeth Allen-Dick is good as Scott’s daughter Sandra, but the majority of first two episodes gives the spotlight to Austin Kane as Cal. Kane shares some great moments with Allen, bringing a great energy to his scenes that captures the fun father-son dynamic between Scott and Cal. 

Based on the first two episodes, Disney+ has another hit on their hands with The Santa Clauses that is certain to put everyone in the Christmas spirit over the next month. Featuring the return of Tim Allen as Santa Claus and all the holiday fun that made audiences fall in love with the films, The Santa Clauses is on track to become a new holiday fan favourite for Disney.

RATING: 3.5 out of 5