The Santa Clauses Exudes Christmas Nostalgia in a Modern Way
Everyone remembers the pure joy of watching Tim Allen's The Santa Clause for the first time, and now that feeling transcends time with the series The Santa Clauses.
Christmas movies and shows exude nostalgia almost as a rule, and sequels are only sometimes well-received. With this in mind, I was cautiously excited about watching The Santa Clauses.
The Santa Clauses is described by Disney+ as follows:
"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."
Conceptually, it felt too similar to the third iteration of the film series it was based on, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. There's the slight difference in that Santa decides to step down of his own volition instead of getting tricked by Jack Frost, but still, it was very 'been there, done that.'
However, I was beyond excited to know that practically the entire cast was returning. I'm convinced the audience would riot if Santa Claus were played by anyone other than Tim Allen. His icon-level repertoire of nostalgic characters is unrivaled. I was most curious to find out how they would include former Head Elf, Bernard since the child actor has since aged.
Having watched the six-episode series, I love it. That is not to say that the show is without critiques. Frankly, I'm not too fond of the weird acid trip that is the snow globe theme intro to every episode. Thank goodness for that skip intro button because the introduction didn't fit in the world of The Santa Clause. The thought was there considering the significance of the snow globe, but the weird drug-induced execution of it was not satisfactory.
The good-intentioned failure of the introduction can be easily overlooked by the fantastic narrative. I want to commend the writer for consistently characterizing the returning characters. We've all seen remakes or sequels where characters make decisions that don't make sense with their personalities; luckily, this series did not fall into that trap.
Santa Clause loves his position but has struggled to balance it with his role as a family man. Carol is a force to be reckoned with in the real world but struggles to find a fulfilling purpose at the North Pole. Bernard, aged and all, stayed snarky and was a fan favorite. Introducing new characters, like the married couple Betty and Noel, was cringe-worthy in the best way. The Calvin children, Cal and Sandra, were exceptional in their quirks and abilities.
The Santa Clauses delivered nostalgia while presenting modern twists to this beloved story. Most importantly, the modernization of the story did not feel forced; it was a natural progression of the narrative. They managed to do all this with all the subtle novelties of the original film series. For instance, anytime Santa's love for everything sugary and sweet was at the forefront, it brought me back to the original movies.
Remakes and sequels are so common, and usually, a Christmas franchise that has already had two sequels, the last of which was questionable, should not have to succumb to further money-grabbing opportunities, but this series might be the exception. The Santa Clauses not only fulfills its genre requirement of nostalgia but expands on its source material in a genuine way.
Watch The Santa Clauses on Disney+