The Santa Clause 3

Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
Not a bad cover, but not great either. The big man, with his white flowing beard is on one side, while the diminutive Jack Frost is opposite the great one. Nothing too fancy.

I actually thought that the menus were well done, with a bit of Santa’s toyshop mixed into the backgrounds. I thought they looked rather neat actually. Again, nothing too unique, but just enough to put me in the holiday mood, which might be a good thing for this review.

Features: 4/10
There really wasn’t a lot in terms of extras that I really enjoyed. There were some hilarious bloopers included, which actually had me laughing harder than anything that was in the film, but there really wasn’t a whole lot more included on the disk. There were a few shorts that detailed things like Tim Allen and Martin Short on set, as well as bit on the changes that were made to Mrs. Claus and Jack Frost early on in the film (Jack looked pretty cool as originally designed – a messy, mop-top villain, before the GQ makeover). There was also a short that detailed some of the visual effects from the shoot, but not much else in terms of extras. There are a few musical extras, including a kind of sing-a-long for some Christmas favorites, and a music video that was really average.

Movie: 6/10
The Santa Clause original film was pretty good, and very original. Tim Allen was really quite funny, and it was fun to watch during the holiday season. The Santa Clause 2 was not as good, and therefore not a DVD that my family watches during the holiday season. Along comes The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. I had high hopes, as Martin Short joins the crew as Jack Frost, a bitter little man who wants a bit of the action around Christmas. What better way to inject new life into the series than have a quirky new guy join the mix as a bad guy who wants to be the new Santa, and commercialize Christmas (as if it isn’t already.) I found Short to be both quirky and somewhat funny, but it was not enough. While Tim Allen and Short were great on screen, it was if they were really dialed down, and I think it made the whole film just seem bland. In the bloopers, the two actors were great and really funny, but it didn’t always transfer over to the film.

I don’t want to sound like Ebenezer Scrooge, but I wasn’t blown away by this DVD. The sets looked great and festive, and the collection of actors was great. The special effects were rudimentary at best, but I guess for this type of film they were adequate. Overall this was an adequate follow up for the Santa Clause series, and my guess is that most kids will love it. My young son was glued to the set for most of the film, which means it works, but I found my attention wandering somewhat, which makes me sad. I didn’t hate the DVD, but it says something that I myself was looking for an escape clause.

(I truly hope that Santa doesn’t read this review, otherwise I am getting coal for sure!)

Video & Audio: 8/10
(Squiddy) – The video and audio were decent. I viewed the regular DVD, and of course Disney does a great transfer, but there was nothing to write home about. I did find it interesting that this DVD had both widescreen and full screen versions of the film included on one disc, which seems to me to be rare for Disney. I can’t remember another recent disk from Disney that gave you a choice. It is a nice addition, but it seems to be a decision that ultimately forced the studio to skimp on the extras.

(Ascully) – I took a look at the Blu-ray version of the movie as usual this week, and while I agree with Squiddy on the quality of the actual movie. The transfer of the movie stands up to anything Disney have put on Blu-Ray disc to this date. The movie is wonderfully crisp in HD and the audio is also amazingly clear and rich. Its not the kind of movie you will drag out to show off your system, but it isn’t to shabby in the old audio/video department either.

Value: 6/10
I can’t recommend that everyone run out and buy the Santa Clause 3 DVD. I know, bah humbug and all that, but it was really just an average film. It is a nice one to watch once a year with the kids, but it just isn’t as good as some of the other Christmas movies that are out. Maybe skip this one and watch the 1966 Grinch film instead. (I really don’t hate Christmas, honest.)

Overall Score 6/10