The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
|The Santa Clause 3:
The Escape Clause
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Lembeck|
|Produced by||Robert F. Newmyer
|Written by||Ed Decter
John J. Strauss
|Based on||Characters created
by Leo Benvenuti
|Music by||George S. Clinton|
|Edited by||David Finfer|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures Distribution|
|Running time||92 minutes|
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause is a 2006 American fantasy comedy film directed by Michael Lembeck. It is the third and final installment in The Santa Clause trilogy following The Santa Clause 2. The film stars Tim Allen returning as Scott Calvin/Santa Claus and Martin Short as Jack Frost. Allen and Short had previously worked together in the 1997 Disney comedy feature film, Jungle 2 Jungle. Eric Lloyd returns in a smaller role as Santa's son Charlie, as do many of the supporting actors from the first two films, reprising their previous roles. However, David Krumholtz, who previously played Bernard the Arch-elf, does not appear in this one because of starring on Numbers, and so Curtis (played by Spencer Breslin), who was previously the Assistant Head Elf, has now been promoted to his former position.
Production was completed in February 2006. The movie was released in theaters on November 3, 2006 in the US followed by a release date of November 24 for the UK.
The DVD and Blu-ray were released on November 20, 2007 in the U.S. and November 12, 2007 for the UK.
Scott Calvin/Santa Claus (Tim Allen), and his wife, Carol (Elizabeth Mitchell), are expecting their first child as Christmas Eve approaches. Carol is missing her family, so Scott invites his in-laws, Sylvia and Bud Newman (Ann-Margret and Alan Arkin), up to the North Pole, along with his ex-wife, Laura (Wendy Crewson), her husband, Neil (Judge Reinhold), and their daughter, Lucy (Liliana Mumy), to keep Mrs. Claus company. Meanwhile, he is summoned to a meeting of the Council of Legendary Figures consisting of Mother Nature (Aisha Tyler), Father Time (Peter Boyle), the Easter Bunny (Jay Thomas), Cupid (Kevin Pollak), the Tooth Fairy (Art LaFleur), and the Sandman (Michael Dorn). Jack Frost (Martin Short) also arrives and is in trouble. He is jealous that he has no holiday or special occasion in his honor, and has been promoting himself during the Christmas season. Mother Nature accuses him of attempting to upstage Santa, and suggests sanctions against him. When Santa says that he is dealing with how to get the in-laws to come without revealing that he is Santa, Jack Frost manages to negotiate a light sentence of community service at the North Pole, helping Santa and the elves put up various Canadian-themed paraphernalia, as Carol's parents believe Scott is a toymaker in Canada. However, Frost's ultimate goal is to trick Santa into renouncing his position, and he sneaks into Santa's hall of snow globes (which contain images of all the Santas throughout world history) and steals a special one containing Santa Claus (aka Scott Calvin) that will invoke the Escape Clause, in which Santa must hold the Globe and say "I wish I'd never been Santa at all" thus sending him back in time and undoing his career as Santa. When Lucy discovers this crime Jack Frost freezes her parents and locks her in a closet. Jack Frost causes trouble for the family that makes Scott think that he must resign to make things better.
Jack tricks Scott into invoking the Escape Clause and are both sent back in time to 1994. Jack Frost grabs the original Santa Claus's fallen coat first thus making him top man; Santa. Jack Frost in his Santa job has both shamelessly promoted himself and taken the commercialization of Christmas to an extreme bringing people to the North Pole and calling Christmas "Frostmas". Scott Calvin is sent back to the past, where he has been the CEO for his old company for the last twelve years and works even on Christmas Eve. His non-Santa life is a disappointment, with his business taking priority over everything and Charlie loathing him for his lack of attention over the years. This has had effects on other people too, as Scott never married Carol (who has now moved away); and Laura was miserable in her remarriage to Neil, resulting in their divorce. Scott asks where he can find Lucy and Neil, and Laura sharply replies that the two have been visiting the North Pole every year since the divorce. She hands Scott a flyer which reads "The North Pole Resort", which Scott immediately recognizes as Frost's handiwork. Scott promises to set things right and so wanting his Santa job back he flies to the North Pole via commercial airplane and sees the offensive North Pole, which reminds him of a Las Vegas lounge, whereupon cheap songs are sung about "Frostmas", and parents pay to have their children put on the nice list (or poorer families can at least get a toy made for undeserving brats). Scott also sees how miserable the elves are, unlike the productive workers they were when he was Santa, and the Reindeer are all confined to a petting zoo, in front of a line of impatient children waiting to pet them.
He meets Neil and Lucy at the resort, where Neil expresses his resentment toward Scott for causing the separation between him and Laura. At a broadway-style stage performance, Scott confronts Jack Frost as Santa Claus, who is still aware of his trickery on Scott and realizing he cannot reform Frost, Scott tricks Jack Frost into putting his voice of the Escape Clause on a microphone-like pen and then has Lucy, who is attending the carnival, go steal Jack Frost's snow globe and bring it to him; Jack Frost finds out and takes the globe but Scott then plays the recording of Frost saying "I wish I'd never been Santa at all" thus invoking the Escape Clause and causing him and Jack Frost to be sent back once again to 1994. Scott restrains Jack long enough to let the Scott Calvin of 1994 get the coat thus making him Santa Claus again and taking him back to the North Pole in the present and the family where no time has passed since.
Scott back as Santa, when entering the toy factory reconciles with his family and is happier until he sees Lucy, who was freed by Curtis, informed Scott what Frost did to her parents; Jack Frost (who had been reverted to his original position) is arrested by elf police officers (elficers) and he reveals that he cannot unfreeze his victims unless he is unfrozen himself; Scott and Lucy then use a gift Scott gave her; a snow globe of her warmly hugging a snowman, to unfreeze Jack Frost and reform him to thus resolve the conflicts in the movie; the "Canada" ruse is dropped and Carol tells her parents she is Mrs. Claus, and Scott sees his new baby boy, named Buddy Claus, who is born just 3 hours before he must deliver Christmas gifts.
- Tim Allen as Santa Claus/Scott Calvin
- Martin Short as Jack Frost
- Elizabeth Mitchell as Mrs. Claus/Carol Calvin
- Judge Reinhold as Neil Miller
- Wendy Crewson as Laura Miller
- Liliana Mumy as Lucy Miller
- Alan Arkin as Bud Newman
- Ann-Margret as Sylvia Newman
- Spencer Breslin as Curtis the Elf
- Aisha Tyler as Mother Nature
- Peter Boyle as Father Time
- Michael Dorn as the Sandman
- Jay Thomas as the Easter Bunny
- Kevin Pollak as Cupid
- Art LaFleur as the Tooth Fairy
- Charlie Stewart as Dr. Hismus
- Abigail Breslin as Trish
- Eric Lloyd as Charlie Calvin
- Madeline Carroll as Santa Elf
- Zach Mills as Carpenter Elf
- Jordan Orr as Voices of Elves
- Sammi Hanratty as Glenda
- John Ross Bowie as Rory
The Santa Clause 3 received mostly negative reviews from critics, earning a 15% "rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes, as opposed to the positive reviews the first film got and the mixed reviews the second film got. With the consensus that "Playing Jack Frost as an evil cross between Liza Minnelli and Liberace, Martin Short is a welcome presence, but this tired series continues drawing from its bag of bland gags and dumb slapstick." Eric D. Snider, a reviewer, said that Allen did The Santa Clause "The first time with enthusiasm, the second time with affection and the third time for a paycheck." Kyle Smith wrote, "We're getting a turkey and a ham for the holidays. Santa is so dumb he should be demoted to cleaning up after Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys 'R' Us." Manohla Dargis dismissed the movie (in a three-paragraph review) as "Squeaky clean, but you might die of boredom." Finally, Nathaniel Bell wrote off the film as "Holiday filler, stuffed with unearned emotion and trite sentimentality." In the UK, Mark Kermode described it in 2006 on BBC Radio Five Live as "The cinematic equivalent of tertiary syphilis".
Awards and nominations
|Golden Raspberry Award||Worst Actor||Tim Allen||Nominated|
|Worst Screen Couple||Nominated|
|Worst Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|Worst Prequel or Sequel||Nominated|
|Worst Excuse for Family Entertainment||Nominated|
The first two films had become box-office successes during their opening weekends, but The Santa Clause 3 was beaten by Borat for the #1 spot.
As of February 7, 2007; The Santa Clause 3 made $84,500,122 in North America and a worldwide gross of $110,768,122. The first film made $189,833,357 worldwide at the box-office while the second film made $172,855,065.
DVD & Blu-ray Disc release
The film was released on both standard DVD and high-definition Blu-ray Disc on November 20, 2007.
- "Movie Review - The Santa Clause 3 - www.ericdsnider.com - The Official Website of Eric D. Snider". www.ericdsnider.com. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- Lee's Movie Info
- Official website
- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause at the Internet Movie Database
- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause at AllMovie
- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause at Ultimate Disney