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SANTA CLAUSE 2 ($30) is an enjoyable holiday sequel that will probably appeal to the kids a bit more than their parents. As an adult, I can honestly say that it was the originality of THE SANTA CLAUSE that made the first film fun and magical. By the very nature of being a sequel, SANTA CLAUSE 2 doesnít cast quite the same magical spell as the first film, but the kids are certain to enjoy it- year after year. The plot of SANTA CLAUSE 2 finds Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) several years into his inherited duties as Santa Claus. While things may seem quite jolly up at the North Pole just days before Christmas, a few minor details creep up that could put the kybosh on Scottís tenure as Kris Kringle.

First of all, Scott didnít read the really, really fine print of "The Santa Clause", which requires him to married within a certain period of time- in essence there is a "Mrs. Clause," which leaves Scott a mere matter of days to find a bride or lose the position of Santa Claus forever. Second, Scott learns that his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd) has managed to get himself on the "Naughty List," which makes Scott feel that he may have been delinquent in his parenting duties while up at the North Pole. As expected, Scott is forced to return to civilization to do a bit of parenting and find himself a wife, while leaving a mechanical toy Santa in his place to keep up morale and appearances for the elves- which turns out to be a very bad idea. The cast of SANTA CLAUSE 2 also features Elizabeth Mitchell, David Krumholtz, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Spencer Breslin, Art LaFleur, Aisha Tyler, Kevin Pollak, Jay Thomas, Peter Boyle and Michael Dorn.

Walt Disney Home Entertainment has made SANTA CLAUSE 2 available on DVD in a 1.85:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. Not surprisingly, SANTA CLAUSE 2 sports a terrific looking transfer that gives one very little to quibble about. The image is wonderfully sharp and sports excellent definition. Colors are bright, fully saturated and vibrant. Additionally, flesh tones are highly appealing. There are no signs of chroma noise or smearing to detract from the fine reproduction of the holiday hues. Blacks appear inky, whites are pure and contrast is excellent. Shadow detail is just fine throughout. The film element use for the transfer is virtually perfect, without any appreciable defects. Digital compression artifacts maintain a low profile.

SANTA CLAUSE 2 comes with a good sounding Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. Considering that this is a family comedy without much action, the sound design is a bit on the subdued side. Surrounds kick to life during key moments, but usually provide ambient sound and musical fill. The forward soundstage has nice channel separation, with the center providing clear, crisp sounding dialogue. Fidelity is very good for the musical component and to create convincing sound effects. French and Spanish 5.1 channel tracks are also provided, as are English subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some nice supplements. Director Michael Lembeck is on hand to provide a running audio commentary that seems more entertaining than technically minded. There are also seven deleted scenes included on the DVD, along with introductions for said deleted scenes provided by Michael Lembeck, plus a gag reel. The Directorís Tour of Elfsberg is four-minute featurette that is a pure piece of fluff for the kids, while the Making-of featurette is a nine-minute look behind-the-scenes in a fluffy package. As for the True Confessions Of The Legendary Figures, this three-minute featurette focuses on some of the other notable characters appearing in the film. The DVD also includes Operation Toy Box: Save Santa, an interactive game for the kids. Bonus trailers include FREAKY FRIDAY, THE LION KING 1 1/2, and SPY KIDS 3-D: GAME OVER.

SANTA CLAUSE 2 is a holiday film that the kids are certain to enjoy. The DVD looks great and sounds just fine- making it a perfect stocking stuffer for the kids.



The Santa Clause 2 - The Mrs. Clause


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2003 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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