|What do The Santa Clause 3 and the perennial Christmas classic have in common? The theme of not knowing what you have until it's gone. For Jimmy Stewart's character of George Bailey it takes the angel Clarence showing him what life would be like if he'd never been born. For Tim Allen's Santa Claus, it takes the conniving Jack Frost to show him just how much he truely loves his life.|
Christmas is once more upon the North Pole and poor old Santa finds himself being torn between his job and his new family. Mrs. Claus is expecting their first child together and is wishing to spend time with her family. On the flipside, things are their usual hectic selves for Christmas in the factory. Santa finds himself wanting to spend time with Carol while constantly being pulled away by his work. And knowing how much his wife is missing her family, he makes arrangements to bring her parents to the North Pole, without them knowing exactly where they are.
Unfortunately, in the midst of all this planning for the in-laws and preparing for Christmas comes a meeting of the Legendary Figures. It seems that Jack Frost is tired of being seen as the herald of Christmas, and thus Santa, and wants a holiday of his own. Thus he's been going out of his way to upstage Santa and promote the idea of a holiday celebrating Jack Frost. This promotes the need for a meeting to decide what to do with the rouge Legendary Figures in order to put him in his place. It is at this point that Santa reveals to the others the kinds of stress he's facing this year, and it is revealed that their is an escape clause written into the Santa clause. Learning of this, Frost begins hatching a devious plan to take Christmas away from Santa.
Conning Santa and the other Legendary Figures into letting him work for Santa, Frost proceeds to con Curtis, the new Head Elf, into telling him what the escape clause is and how it works. He then proceeds to begin sabotaging things at the factory in an attempt to get Santa to invoke the escape clause. But when he learns that Santa fears problems with his family more than those of the workshop, he uses his wife and in-laws, and a bit of trickery, to get Santa to unwittingly invoke the escape clause.
Now Santa and Frost are transported back twelve years in time to when Scott Calvin first put on the suit and became Santa. Only this time Frost puts the suit on and becomes Santa. No longer Santa, Scott returns to a corporate salesman. More accurately, he's probably now the president of sales for the toy company he had been working for when he orginally became Santa. And following his path from twelves years before, the corporation was his life. He didn't bother to see Charlie, much less talk about his family. And Christmas Eve wasn't a holiday to him, one which he looked forward to, but rather just another work day.
Finding himself in a different life, he seeks out his ex-wife, only to discover that the loathing she had for him twelves years prior is now much closer to hatred. Even Charlie doesn't want to see him. When he asks about Carol, Laura reveals that she moved away and expects she was looking for more kids to torement. And when he asks about Neil and Lucy, Laura reveals that she and Neil have been divorced for a while and Neil has taken Lucy, as he always does, to the North Pole.
Seems Frost quickly discovered how hard Santa's job really is, and how apparently thankless it is. So he's turned it into little more than a theme park. Gone are the happy elves and joyful village, replaced by elves who now appear to wish there wasn't a Christmas so they could be put out of their misery and a place where children drag their folks, demanding this and that. Not to mention the sounds of angry parents.
It is here that Scott learns that he caused Neil and Laura to get a divorce. And it is here where Scott must return things to the way they were, with him as Santa. After all, despite all it's problems, Scott had been happiest as Santa, and he had a much bigger impact on the lives of those around him than he was thinking of at the time Frost tricked him.
In the end, Scott manages to return to being Santa, revealing this to his in-laws. And Carol delivers their first child together, a son they name Bud. Charlie helps Santa to further remember how important family is to him when he gets all the Legendary Figures, save Frost, to help over come the problems in the workshop, freely choosing to give up a snowboarding trip to help out his father.
Now the big question, is this movie as good as the first two? Probably not as good as it is a more serious movie, but at the same time that is not to say that one should find it a waste of time if they are expecting it to be the same as the first two. The Santa Clause 3 is an enjoyable movie that has it's own cute moments and serves to help us remember the lessons of the first two movies. As I have already said, it is a new take on the holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life.