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The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause - comedy DVD review
THE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE Rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 stars
Actors: Tim Allen, Martin Short, Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson
Director: Michael Lembeck   Studio: Walt Disney Video
DVD release: 20 November 2007   Runtime: 92 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Keep Case, Widescreen Anamorphic, Academy , Closed Captioned, Color
DVD features: Audio tracks (English, Dolby Digital 5.1; French, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo; Spanish, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo; Commentary by Director Michael Lembeck, Dolby Digital 2.0), Widescreen/full-screen versions on same disc, Bloopers, Christmas carol-oke, Aly & AJ music video: "Greatest Time of the Year," The making of The Santa Clause 3, Alternate opening, Jack Frost & Mrs. Claus: A Very Different Look, The New Comedians: On set with Tim & Marty, Creating movie magic (Visual effects secrets, from the hall of snow globes to Santa's fireplace)

A trilogy of holiday cheer is complete with the release to DVD of The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. In the first story, Tim Allen's selfish workaholic character Scott Calvin unintentionally finds himself stuck in the role of Santa Claus - at the real North Pole, with real elves and addictive, happy cocoa and piles of gifts to somehow deliver on Christmas Ever around the world. The warmly comedic tale sets the stage for other Santa (mis)adventures in the second movie, when he has to take a bride to keep his now-treasured role.

In this new movie, we see a slightly nostalgic remix of old holiday ideas when Scott finds himself overwhelmed by juggling holiday duties, wife and family, and a new rival. Jack Frost, another Legendary Figure, has the job squarely in his greedy sights. Crisis after crisis ensues at the North Pole, overwhelming Santa, as does Jack's evil and manipulative plan to take over Christmas as its new mascot.

Jack Frost's costume, icy hair and makeup are incredible. He comes across as creepy and slick, but not so much so that it will scare the kids - there is just too much laughter involved to be afraid! Under the greedy and selfish Frost, the North Pole is full of bad puns, unhappy elves, and a steep price tag to have kids put onto the Nice list. Special frosty effects are perfect, and the set is just as impressive as it was in the previous films.

Perhaps most impressive, however, for the third movie in a children's series, is that all the original actors return to reprise their roles. Joining Allen, Eric Lloyd is back as his son, Charlie. Elizabeth Mitchell is Mrs. Clause, round and ready to deliver - but hopefully not when Santa is making his own deliveries. Ann-Margret and Alan Arkin join the cast as Mrs. Claus' parents. Martin Short is a quirky and obnoxious Jack Frost.

The DVD features shivery interactive menu specials like Carol-oke, a music video, bloopers and commentary with the stars. While the bloopers are entertaining, they could have been timed better, or added to the specials along with the music and extra information like Behind the Scenes.

It is the essential holiday feel-good movie, wrapped up in giggles. The immense dose of sappy emotional mush would not work if it were not a family Christmas story. Because that is exactly what it is supposed to be, The Santa Clause 3 is just right.
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reviewed by Carolynn Evans
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