Love of Santa Clause Pt 3 (The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, 2006)
Disney decided to make the series a Trilogy. Well, at least until they come up with a Santa Clause 4 or maybe a series reboot with Chris Hemsworth as Scott Calvin. In this film, we are introduced to Jack Frost, who feels like the most under appreciated of the Legendary Figures. He schemes to find a way to be famous and sets his site on the throne of Santa Clause.
Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Clause are bringing Mrs. Claus’ parents to the North Pole. Of course, they have no idea Scott is Santa Claus, only knowing he is a toy maker and they never see their daughter. The In-Laws both take digs at Scott, though in different ways. While his father-in-law Bud is direct, his mother-in-law Sylvia is passive aggressive. Yet again, the film relies on a deception themed plot. Scott and the elves try and convince the In-Laws that they are in Canada. All the while, Jack Frost is busy trying to undermine everything so he can convince Scott to take the Escape Clause.
Frost is successful, taking over a Santa. This results in an “It’s a Wonderful Life” sequence. It is, frankly not very successful, because Scott finding how life is super different without him as Santa is highly compressed into about five minutes. It just does not give us enough time for emotional resonance. The resolution comes quickly, almost to easily.
While there is a good cast here (Short, Anne-Margaret and Alan Arkin are all entertaining), the film feels like there is still a missing element. One of those elements is Bernard. Krumholtz and Allen had a fun chemistry, and while Spencer Breslin’s Curtis is a likable character, his ascension to the main elf is not quite the same.
While not a absolute failure, this is not a strong ending for the series. It feels rushed and has a somewhat unsatisfying resolution.