‘The Santa Clauses’ review: Tim Allen loads up the sleigh again for Disney+ series

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CNN

“The Santa Clauses” doesn’t bother reinventing the sleigh, but does splash a new coat of paint on it, mostly in a pleasing and slightly clever way. After three films over a 12-year span, starting in 1994, Tim Allen is back in a Disney+ series that, with six half-hour episodes, brings some extra cheer to holiday streaming.

Allen’s Santa, née Scott Calvin, stumbled into the orbit by chance and settled into it and runs his elf empire with Mrs. Claus (Elizabeth Mitchell) and their children (Austin Kane and Elizabeth Allen-Dick, the latter of whom is Allen’s real ). life daughter). Not that the North Pole isn’t pretty, but the younger Calvins have grown up shielded from the wider world, and in the case of the older ones, more than a little curious about it.

Accustomed to things going off without a hitch, Santa experiences some troubling hitches on his latest round of deliveries, confessing to his comically loyal elf sidekick, Noel (Devin Bright), “My magic may have failed me. ”

After briefly trying to hide his gift-giving dysfunction, Santa begins to think about retirement, but of course that means he has to find a possible replacement. Since his story is interspersed with that of a toy technology developer, Simon Choksi (Kal Penn), a single father with problems at work, a PhD is not required. lit up in English to see where this could go.

Still, producer/showrunner Jack Burditt (a veteran of ‘Modern Family’ and ’30 Rock’) packs his bags with some surprises, and ‘The Santa Clauses’ does its best to make the episodes hang off a cliff, even those that have a take a long breath. bit, to pull the audience from one to the other.

There’s also an overall playfulness to the proceedings, not just in terms of drawing on material and characters from the previous films (the last one came out in 2006), but also the contemporary message, which includes kids becoming more numb in the midst of the willful consumerism of this film. click shopping age. Plus, some gags, from a Bigfoot-inspired visual gag to one that plays off the 1987 movie “The Untouchables,” are clearly unafraid to sail over the heads of the younger demos.

To say the show works requires a few qualifications, though, with too much reliance on humor about the ageless elves (played by kids) and too much time spent on Calvin’s posterity, in a Disney Channel-esque way that can’t help but fancy reheated leftovers.

Still, “The Santa Clause” is one of those concepts that’s almost ideally suited to this sort of made-for-streaming revival, with parity from the previous movies but not really necessary at this point to cast that theatrical trio into a quartet.

Notably, Allen was at the height of his sitcom stardom in “Home Improvement” when the first movie premiered, followed a year later by “Toy Story.” In other words, his association with Disney goes back over 30 years and was mutually beneficial and then some.

“The Santa Clauses” expands on that relationship, in a celebratory package that’s bright and colorful and unencumbered by lofty pretensions — just the kind of easy lift that should deliver a few good nights.

“The Santa Clauses” premieres on Disney+ on November 16.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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