Is Santa Claus ready for retirement? Letters to the big man are down, and every year, it appears that Santa’s Christmas night delivery route is getting shorter and shorter. Is it possible that believing in the spirit of Christmas is at an all-time low? Tim Allen’s Kris Kringle returns in Disney+’s jolly good time series, The Santa Clauses just in time to raise that sense of wonder.
The six episode series opens on Kal Penn’s Simon as he hurriedly tries to get work done on Christmas Eve. As a single father, it’s tough to balance work and fatherhood. Up in the sky, Santa is making his yearly rounds, but it appears that the sleigh might be flying lower than normal. When he travels down into a familiar home, a particular little girl doesn’t even recognize him, and, worst of all, his magic is experiencing its own hiccups. What in the name of the Sugar Plum Fairy is going on?!
When we met Scott Calvin in the original 1994 film, I don’t think anyone expected that we might see him falling off a roof and questioning his life choices. He has been Santa for nearly 30 years, and he loves it. You can tell how much Allen adores playing this part too–you can see his face light up when he talks about loving the holiday. Unfortunately, Mrs. Claus (Elizabeth Mitchell) is struggling to find her purpose, and their kids Buddy and Sandra (played by Austin Kane and Elizabeth Allen-Dick) don’t exactly have a “normal” upbringing. When The Secessus Clause is discovered (in which Santa can step away from his duties), it makes the family question their lives, and Santa begins the hunt for a worthy heir to his sleigh.
Will another person become Santa? I’m not sure. The Santa Clauses introduces a clear path of succession (only 2 of the 6 episodes were screened for critics), but perhaps it will ignite the love of the holiday even more for the family to stay put? It’s impressive that the series is questioning legacy and identity when it could just pump out season after season of red and green cheer. The production design looks like it came out of a storybook–I wanted to visit the North Pole immediately.
The Santa Clauses will continue the love of these characters. It’s worthy, candy cane coated addition to your family’s annual Christmas traditions.
The Santa Clauses airs weekly on Disney+. The first two episodes are available now.