The trilogy that, unfortunately, became what it was originally much better than.
The first Santa Clause is enjoyable as a Christmas movie but also works well as just a dramatic movie. The Santa Clause answers the question of what would happen if a regular guy becomes Santa Clause. When the movie gets serious, dealing with custody battles, the movie feels real. Though this does beg the question, why doesn’t Scott just try to explain any of this. I get that they wouldn’t have believed the whole Santa Clause situation, but Scott doesn’t even try to explain or show them of what’s going on . Regardless though, The Santa Clause is still a movie that’s fun to watch each holiday.
Unfortunately, this is just a series that gets worse and worse. The character drama doesn’t work and just feels more fake. The plot of the evil Santa Clause clone doesn’t work very well either and just clashes with the more dramatic side of the movie.
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause is just trash. The movie’s version of the North Pole is just overproduced, similar to Fred Clause’s North Pole. Martin Short is enjoyable to watch, as he’s clearly having fun, but the plot and characters are just very thin. They try to do the whole thing of bringing it full circle by relating it to the first movie, but it just doesn’t work as well as the movie thinks it does.
Out of this trilogy, The Santa Clause is really the only one worth watching, as neither of the other two can match the magic and dramatic weight of that first film.