It’s time to put your Jack O’Lantern and witches’ hats away, the holiday season is finally upon us! As the days get colder in Michigan and snow begins to roll in, it’s the perfect time to bake some Christmas cookies, snuggle under a warm blanket with a nice mug of hot cocoa, and load up your favorite holiday film. There are so many classics to choose from, that you’ll be easily entertained from now until December 25. Although, if you’re like me you might be looking for something new this holiday season, and Disney+ has the perfect Christmas series to watch. The Santa Clauses season 2 premiere has finally arrived, signaling the true start to the holiday season.
This long-running franchise, which has spanned almost three decades, nearly my entire life, once again sees Tim Allen rock the white beard and bright red suit, as he reinvents the franchise that cemented him as the king of Santas. The premiere of the second season also brings back all the familiar faces from the first season, with a few new characters to keep the series fresh as a Christmas Tree.
[Warning: Spoilers from The Santa Clauses season 2 two-episode premiere are below!]
Making Christmas a family affair
After the events of the first season, which saw Scott Kelvin a.k.a. Santa Claus (Tim Allen) relinquishing the role of Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, traveling the Yule-Verse, and taking back the red hat and white beard to once again save Christmas. It’s a journey that brings him right back to where he began the season, but burnout is real, and sometimes stepping back is the only way to move forward. However, this time around, Scott is learning that he doesn’t have to do everything by himself. He has a family and he can turn Christmas into a family business with a role for everyone.
After Carol’s (Elizabeth Mitchell) journey of self-discovery in season one, it seems as if she’s found her place at the North Pole. She’s leading an elf police force of her own, making sure that the North Pole and everyone living there remains safe, as well as keeping the secrets residing there well… a secret. Cal (Austin Kane), Scott and Carol’s lovable doofus of a son is the top pick to become the new Santa Claus. Scott begins Cal’s training to eventually take over the role, a decision that upsets Betty (Matilda Lawler), the Chief of Staff at the North Pole. However, her annoyance falls on deaf ears, and she’s effectively removed from the North Pole anyway, but more on that in a minute.
Finally, Scott gives his daughter Sandra (Elizabeth Allen-Dick) the coveted role of being in charge of the magical creatures that reside at the North Pole. While spending time around animals all day sounds like a treat, shoveling the waste is not at the top of my list of enjoyable tasks. The job itself wouldn’t be that hard for Sandra, she loved being around the reindeer in season one, however being able to hear the animals talking becomes overwhelming to her.
With everyone having a role and Christmas spirit at an all-time high, thanks to the distribution of magical globes to families and people around the world, it seems like everything is going exactly the way it should be. What could go wrong for the Kelvin family?
Cracks start forming in The Santa Clauses
Across the two episodes, “Chapter Seven: The Kribble Krabble Clause” and “Chapter Eight: Floofy”, the problems of this season begin to arise. Beginning with Cal, it’s easy to see that his attention is divided, now that he has a girlfriend, Riley (Ruby Jay). Not only does he wish for her to appear in The North Pole, which he achieves through magical means, but I can’t imagine it going well when his father inevitably makes him choose between love and being Santa Claus. We may be a ways from that, but I also see the dissent and annoyance settling in Scott, who wants both his family and his career but struggles when things don’t go his way.
Adding to the chaos on the North Pole is the new powers that Sandra seems to be developing. Her parents write off her odd behaviors at the beginning of puberty, but truly Sandra is scared about her powers, not knowing how to control them. So she turns to the only person who might be able to help her, La Befana (Laura San Giacomo), the Christmas witch. La Befana agrees to help her, but only if Sandra lets her parents know what’s happening. Something that Sandra struggles to do throughout the two episodes.
While the girlfriend and magical powers drama are ever present in the Kelvin gang, it’s not the major problem of the season. An ancient magical nutcracker has gone missing from the North Pole and ended up at a Christmas theme park called Santatopolis. Ran by Kris Kringle (Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias), a happy-go-lucky Christmas lover, Santatopolis is newly thriving thanks to the renewed Christmas Spirit. But The Mad Santa a.k.a. Magnus Antas (Eric Stonestreet) housed in the Nutcracker might spell trouble not only for Kris Kringle and Santatopolis but for the North Pole as well.
It’s the wrong time for Betty to be on her Kribble Krabble, an Elvish Rumspringa in which she must leave for a year and experience life outside of the North Pole. Hopefully, Noel (Devin Bright) can hold down the fort, seems like Christmas is in danger!
The positives and negatives of The Santa Clauses season 2 premiere
The Santa Clauses season 2 is a strong start to what is sure to be a fantastic season. I have such a soft spot in my heart for anything Christmas and The Santa Clause franchise has been a staple in the Kitson household since I’ve been a young child. So I feel like I’m both easy to please and also to disappoint when it comes to a childhood classic.
I know that sounds complicated. But what I mean is that as a Christmas show, it doesn’t have to be much to impress me. My mother and I watch cheesy Christmas movies like they are going out of style every holiday season. Most aren’t good, but if they make us feel all warm and tingly, then it’s a win in our book. However, on the flip side, it’s always dangerous to visit a childhood favorite again, because the world in which the film inhabits might not feel the same as it once did. Call this the Christmas conundrum.
The Santa Clauses has easily navigated this dilemma and has skyrocketed to one of my new Christmas favorites. It has the same charm and energy that the original trilogy of films has but expands the Yule-verse naturally. It’s like seeing your friends again after a long time, the perfect vibes for the holiday season. It doesn’t feel like a money grab, but instead a well-thought-out story that happens to focus on characters we’ve already come to love.
Tim Allen continues to prove he is Santa in every sense of the word. Allen easily slips back into the white beard and red suit, filling my heart with so much Christmas joy. Who needs a snow globe to remind you of the Christmas Spirit when you have The Santa Clauses? Allen has always been a comedic genius with the roles he plays, at least most of them, but nothing will top his time as Santa in my book.
As the foil to Scott Kelvin’s Santa, Eric Stonestreet is pretty fantastic as Magnus Antas otherwise known as The Mad Santa. Stonestreet portrays this Santa from Yonder as a terrifying warlord of sorts but does so in a way that is approachable to children without feeling too scary. It’s a difficult balance and I don’t think that just anyone could have done it to perfection like Stonestreet. He’s vastly more interesting than Simon Choksi (Kal Penn) from season one because he ties into the deeper mythos of Santa and the Yule-verse. I am so excited to see where this season takes the exploration of Santa’s past.
Elizabeth Mitchell continues to be one of the highlights of The Santa Clauses for me. It seems like both Mitchell and the writers understand the importance of a greater story for Mrs. Claus, a character who has long served as a side character of the Christmas narrative. Who is she without the big man in red? It’s such an interesting concept and perfectly lines up with who Carol was before her marriage to Scott. It feels like Carol has a sense of direction once again and with her new vigor, I think we’re headed into an interesting story in season two.
I watched this with my mother and nephew and we all had different experiences with it. My nephew and I enjoyed it a lot, but my mother noted that the first two episodes felt difficult to follow compared to the last season. Part of that she noted was due to all the different storylines that are introduced, so many so that there isn’t a significant amount of time dedicated to just one. With so many moving pieces, it does take quite a bit of attention to ensure full understanding, something that might be difficult for younger viewers. However, I hope like my nephew and I, most can follow and understand what’s going on. Especially as the larger picture comes into play as more episodes roll out.
Final thoughts for The Santa Clauses season 2 premiere on Disney+
Overall, I highly enjoyed the first two episodes of The Santa Clauses season 2. I loved seeing these characters once again, with the series being the perfect show to ring in the holiday season. If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas show to watch with your family, then you can’t go wrong with this newest entry in a beloved Disney franchise. The Santa Clauses is exactly what we need for our yearly dose of Christmas cheer!
The Santa Clauses season 2 premiere episodes are currently streaming on Disney+! Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or the Cosmic Circus Discord if you are planning on checking out this show during the Christmas season!
Or if you prefer a scarier Santa Claus, check out our review of Violent Night starring David Harbour!