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Still shot from the movie: Santa Clause 3 The Escape Clause.

Santa Clause 3 The Escape Clause

Scott Calvin, aka Santa Claus (played by Tim Allen) has a new batch of holiday headaches. Not only does he need to worry about distributing toys, but he and his wife Carol (Elizabeth Mitchell) are also expecting a different kind of special delivery.

Overall Grade: B-
Violence: B-
Sexual Content: B+
Language: A-
Drugs/Alcohol: A
Release Date: 03 Nov 2006
MPAA Rating: G

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In-Depth Review

Special delivery takes on new meaning in the third installment of The Santa Clause series. Not only is Scott Calvin, aka Santa Claus, worried about having millions of toys ready for distribution on Christmas Eve, he and his wife Carol (Elizabeth Mitchell) are also anxiously awaiting the imminent arrival of their first baby.

When Scott (Tim Allen) donned the red suit twelve years ago, after the previous Santa fell off his roof, he never imagined he'd be dealing with these kinds of holiday headaches. Nor did he dream he'd get a second chance to be a parent -- or at least not until he learned about the "Mrs." clause in his contract which ordered him to find a wife.

Now he's trying to keep everybody happy and still get things done in time for his once-a-year midnight run. In order to do that, he asks Jack Frost (Martin Short) to lend a helping hand around the toy factory and invites Carol's parents (Ann-Margret and Alan Arkin) to visit their daughter at the North Pole after disguising it as a Canadian village full of short people.

But if delivery deadlines, due dates and disapproving in-laws aren't' enough to lose sleep over, Jack is nipping at Santa's nose, trying to find a way to take over the big guy's job. While pretending to help, the frosty character goes about the workshop sabotaging the elves' efforts and putting a chill on the festive preparations taking place under the direction of Santa's number one elf, Curtis (Spencer Breslin).

While balancing work and family responsibilities is a conundrum every parent will relate to---especially during the Christmas season---it's small comfort to know Santa faces the same issues. He does, after all, have a throng of hardworking elves to help pick up the pieces.

As the time counts down to both big events, Jack's attempts to upstage the Jolly Elf reach a fevered pitch. Yet even with all the action, the film often feels like a steaming cup of cocoa gone cool. The sweetness is sometimes there, but it fails to warm for long. Given the comedic talents of the actors involved, audiences might expect this clause to deliver more than it does.

Content Details: Beyond the Movie Ratings...

Opening with a mad dash to the delivery room, this film rushes from one Christmas disaster to another as Jack Frost tries to take over Santa’s job by freezing his toy making machines, and starting the Jolly Elf’s pants on fire. Flatulence and brief comments are contained in the script along with occasional slapstick violence including men falling, wrestling and being hit in the face with a shovel. Jack also encases two adults in ice.

Discussion Ideas: Talk About the Movie...

Why is Scott anxious to improve his success as a parent? What challenges does his extended family face? How do they better their relationships?

What plans does Jack have to commercialize Christmas and put himself in the spotlight? How do his actions detract from the spirit of the season?

Video alternatives

This Christmas-themed trilogy includes The Santa Clause in which Scott Calvin first dons the suit and The Santa Clause 2 where Scott discovers he has to find a wife by Christmas Eve. In the holiday classic, It’s A Wonderful Life, another character finds out how a whole town would have been different without his influence.

Home Video Notes

Home Video Notes: The Santa Clause: 3-Movie Collection

Release Date: 16 October 2012

Disney/Buena Vista is releasing this franchise in a 3-disc Blu-ray package includes:

- Blu-ray copies of The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 2 and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.

- Audio commentaries

- Deleted scenes

- Featurettes

- Bloopers

- The Night Before Christmas Short

DVD Notes:  Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

DVD Release Date: 20 November 2007

Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause comes to DVD with all the trimmings, including an alternate opening scene, audio commentary by director Michael Lembeck, and a blooper reel. Unwrap the secrets of the production by viewing the featurettes Jack Frost and Mrs. Claus: A Very Different Look, The New Comedians: On the Set With Tim and Marty, Creating Movie Magic: Visual Effects Secrets, and From the Hall of Snowglobes to Santa’s Fireplace. Enjoy the sounds of the season with Aly & AJ’s music video of Greatest Time Of Year and singing along with Christmas Carol-Oke. Presented in wide screen and full frame versions (both on the same disc), the movie offers audio tracks in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English, French and Spanish).

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About the Reviewer: Kerry Bennett

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