The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)

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Review #296 of 365
Film: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006) [G-13] 98 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $12.75
Where Viewed: Metropolitan Metrolux 14, Loveland, CO
When 1st Seen: 3 November 2006
Time: 4:45 p.m.
Review Dedicated to: Haddi

Film's Official Website
DVD Release Date: 20 November 2007 (click date to purchase or pre-order)

Directed by: Michael Lembeck (The Santa Clause 2)
Written by: Ed Decter (The Wild) and John J. Strauss (The Wild)
Characters by: Leo Benvenuti (Kicking & Screaming) and Steve Rudnick (Kicking & Screaming)

Featured Cast (Where You Might Remember Him/Her From):
Tim Allen (Zoom) • Elizabeth Mitchell (Running Scared (2006)) • Eric Lloyd (The Santa Clause 2) • Judge Reinhold (Vice Versa) • Wendy Crewson (Eight Below) • Spencer Breslin (Zoom) • Liliana Mum (Cheaper by the Dozen 2) • Martin Short (Jiminy Glick in Lalawood) • Ann-Margret (The Break-Up) • Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) • Art LaFleur (Hostage) • Aisha Tyler ("Ghost Whisperer") • Kevin Pollak (Our Time Is Up) • Jay Thomas ("Murphy Brown") • Michael Dorn ("Star Trek: The Next Generation) • Peter Boyle ("Everybody Loves Raymond")

Soundtrack: Download now from Martin Short - The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

Click for 'Review Lite' [a 150-word or less review of this film]
Disney® Studios has done it again when it comes to satisfying and worry-free family entertainment from it’s the Santa Clause franchise. This time, Santa (Tim Allen) must deal with his in-laws, a pregnant Mrs. Claus, and hero-worship from pesky, Loki-esque, Jack Frost before he can deliver toys to children all over the world.

Things begin with winter season wonder, Jack Frost (Martin Short) feeling as though he's the only figure in the Council of Legendary Characters without a real holiday and decides to invent Frostmas. This causes great worry among the leaders of the council, Mother Nature (Aisha Tyler) and Father Time (Peter Boyle). Meanwhile, Mrs. Claus (Elizabeth Mitchell) we discover the news that a baby Claus is on the way and set to be born on Christmas Day, but sadly, if only her parents could come to visit, maybe she'd be a little more cheerful.

"…The Escape Clause unwraps as delightfully and magically as the first Santa Clause…a film both parents and young children can enjoy together."
So, despite the S.O.S. Clause (Secret Of Santa) whereby Santa must minimize the number of people who know about the true location of the North Pole, Santa agrees to bring the in-laws Sylvia (Ann-Margret) and Bud Newman (Alan Arkin) up for the holiday, but with a master plan in place to change everything to convince them that he is nothing more than a Canadian Toy-maker. Adding yule to the fire, Mother Nature calls an emergency meeting of the Council of Legendary Characters including: Santa, Father Time, the Tooth Fairy (Art LaFleur), Cupid (Kevin Pollak), the Easter Bunny (Jay Thomas), and the Sandman (Michael Dorn) to rule on the counts of Jack Frost upstaging Santa. The final ruling is that Jack will do community service for Santa and learn to deal with his issues of being second fiddle. Santa asks Sandman a favor to help him get the in-laws to 'Canada' without them being the wiser—a nice long slumber would do the trick. On his trip to the 'real world' Santa also pays a visit to his ex-wife Laura (Wendy Crewson), her husband Neil (Judge Reinhold), and mostly to see his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd). For some reason, writer chose to limit Charlie's role this time--he's going on a snowboarding trip for Christmas--so, the emphasis turns to Laura and Neil's daughter, Lucy (Liliana Mumy) who's never been to the North Pole. They basically convince Santa to take the three of them up there so that, especially, Lucy can see Santa's Snow Globe collection. So, everything has been put in motion for a collision of interests as Jack Frost, intent on sabotaging Santa, the in-laws intent on finding everything wrong with Scott Calvin, and the ex-laws just getting in the way of everything. What no one can anticipate, however, is that Jack Frost will learn the secret of the Escape Clause and trick Santa into evoking it, propelling them back in time and permitting Jack to become the new Santa Claus. This semi-tribute to the Christmas Carol shows Scott what would have happened in his life had he not become Santa and, meanwhile, Jack Frost turns the North Pole into a giant amusement park with visitors from all over the world, stage shows, toy-building, but no more deliveries of presents to kids on Christmas Eve.

Tim Allen as Santa Claus
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No spoilers here, you'll have to see this wonderful winter season film sure to be a classic and nice finish to the trilogy. With the writers and director back and all of the original cast members, spectacular scenes of the North Pole and the magical snow globe room, great special effects, and nothing too scary when it comes to Jack Frost's villainy—unless you believe sabotaging the cocoa machine is just going to far, one would expect a wonderfully charming film. Sit as far back from the screen as possible because Spencer Breslin has had a terrific growth spurt and is starting to be unable to carry the role as Elf #1, so this will help put him back a bit into perspective. It was a tad disappointing that Charlie's role was so limited, as it was fun to see how he's grown up too. All in all, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause unwraps as delightfully and magically as the first Santa Clause with a plot slightly more robust and entertaining than the second, this Clause is a film both parents and young children can enjoy together.

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Cast Members
Tim AllenElizabeth MitchellEric Lloyd
Judge ReinholdWendy CrewsonSpencer Breslin
Liliana MumMartin ShortAnn-Margret
Alan ArkinArt LaFleurAisha Tyler
Kevin PollakJay ThomasMichael Dorn
Peter Boyle
Michael Lembeck
Ed DecterJohn J. Strauss
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The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006) Review-lite [150-word cap]
Tim Allen dashes his way into hearts again as he dons the Santa Suit this time with arch rival Jack Frost (Martin Short) in hot pursuit of his...well...suit...and Hot Cocoa. Laugh and enjoy this closing chapter to the Santa Clause trilogy.

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