December 7: The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

The Santa Clause 2. Directed by Michael Lembeck. Disney, 2002.

Pre-Screening Sips

  • Unexpected opinion: this is my favorite Christmas movie and I don’t anticipate anything I watch during this countdown taking the top spot
  • When I was younger, my mom threw a Santa Clause-themed birthday party for me at the local Studio Movie Grill. We had the theater reserved to ourselves, we all wore Santa hats, and each kid got their own holiday party favor. It was an absolutely magical day and I think a little bit of that magic comes back every time I turn this on

Post-Screening Snippets

  • Please do not mistake this being my favorite Christmas movie as me forgiving the fact that the reindeer grumble-speak in this movie and that there is a “reindeer-in-training,” who is both named “Chet” and whose presence implies that the other reindeer could retire
  • How could these elves toss over seven barrels of tinsel on the ground?! Who tf do they think has to clean that up?!
  • Most pop culture jokes age, the Charlie Sheen joke does not
  • I’ve been on my own De-Santafication journey this year and I can tell you that the weight does not just fall off
  • “…not valid in the state of Utah” is the type of “grown-up joke” I want in every family film
  • First of all, the Council of Legendary Figures is ridiculous and fantastic and Mother Nature’s crown deserves a Vogue cover; Second of all, Tooth Fairy wrestling with his masculinity and wanting a new name is hilarious and the kind of stupid I can get behind
  • This movie has two conflicts introduced at the same time, and then just when you think there can’t be more to put on Santa’s plate – boom! There’s a magical watch that has limited magic. Art.
  • The psychiatry jabs keep coming in the sequel and they might be even better than in part one
  • “I’ve got a needle-point sweater, a minivan…see ya in about eight minutes.” I want a mug with this on it, please
  • Who do you call when you want someone to steal a single scene with cringe-comedy? Molly Shannon.
  • I love the use of the “edgy” Christmas songs to support Charlie’s placement on the naughty list
  • The Shirelles’ rendition of “Blue Holiday” playing during the faculty Christmas party is pure genius
  • Every year I promise myself I will host a Christmas party where I just bust out a bunch of old-school games
  • Watching Plastic Santa become a dictator, ruin the North Pole, lose to True Santa, and then be trapped behind a glass case is especially cathartic in the fall of the Donald
  • Why isn’t Elizabeth Mitchell in more things? She can play cold and calculating just as well as coy and charming! (I doubt The Santa Clause 2 is on her sizzle reel, though)
  • The over-the-top melodrama of Charlie’s breakdown about not being able to tell his friends what his dad does for a living is certainly the inspiration for the entire collection of Hallmark Christmas movies
  • Mrs. Claus serving us Fat Monica Realness? Take mid-credits notes, MCU

The Final Hot Chocolate

            The most wonderful thing about The Santa Clause 2 is the movie’s sheer adoration of Christmas. Every set piece, dialogue exchange, and costume is bursting with Christmasness. Objectively, I am aware that there are plenty of flaws (again, the reindeer are unforgivable), but the sheer amount of overstuffed whimsy is overpoweringly cheerful. That all being said, there is a chance, for the first time ever, I might rate The Santa Clause a bit higher than the sequel. Is…is this growth?

GRADE: A

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