Santa Clause 3 The Escape Clause
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.