Santa Clause 2 (2002)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-Nov-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of-Inside The North Pole With Curtis
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Director's Tour Of Elfsburg
Featurette-True Confessions Of The Legendary Figures
Outtakes-Gag Reel
Audio Commentary-Michael Lembeck (Director)
Deleted Scenes-7, With Director's Introduction
Game-Operation Toybox
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 100:07
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (70:57) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Michael Lembeck
Studio
Distributor
Disney
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Tim Allen
Judge Reinhold
Wendy Crewson
Elizabeth Mitchell
David Krumholtz
Eric Lloyd
Spencer Breslin
Liliana Mumy
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music George S. Clinton


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Russian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
Icelandic
Portuguese
Russian
Estonian
Spanish Audio Commentary
Swedish Audio Commentary
Norwegian Audio Commentary
Danish Audio Commentary
Finnish Audio Commentary
Russian Audio Commentary
Spanish Titling
Portuguese Titling
Russian Titling
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Santa Clause 2 is a sequel to The Santa Clause, which was one of the two really good movies Tim Allen has made. I missed it in the cinemas (it didn't seem to be there long), and so I was a bit wary when approaching it on DVD — would this be one of those dreadful sequels that make you think less of the original film?

    Things start well: all the stars of the original film are back (that's always a good sign), even though this film was made 8 years after the original.

    Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is doing well as Santa, and clearly enjoying himself. Most of the elves seem happy. Bernard (David Krumholtz) is looking harried, but that's his normal appearance. We meet an elf we haven't seen before, Curtis (Spencer Breslin — who seems to have been introduced so we still have a child among the main characters, now that Charlie is teenage). Curtis has some bad news for Santa, but before he can deliver it, another elf, Abby (Danielle Woodman), drops something of a bombshell: Scott's son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd), is on the Naughty list — this worries Santa a lot. Then he gets worse news, as he starts to lose weight rapidly, and his beard and hair change from white to grey — he's going through de-Santa-fication. This is what Curtis needed to warn him about: there was a second Santa clause on the card that made him Santa in the first place. He must get married before Christmas Eve, or there'll be no more Santa, no more North Pole, and no more Christmas. It's a shame they didn't tell him earlier, considering he now has 28 days to woo and wed...

    Given that it's the run-up to Christmas, Scott can't leave the North Pole, but he needs to. Curtis suggests making a duplicate of him using his experimental pantograph (for what it's worth, this is not a pantograph, which is a drawing instrument). With misgivings, Scott agrees, goes through the machine, and out rolls a plastic duplicate (also played by Tim Allen). Scott leaves Plastic Santa in charge, and shoots off to see what's going on with Charlie, and to try to find a wife.

    Charlie's in trouble for spray-painting graffiti on walls at school, graffiti about the fact that the school principal is opposed to Christmas decorations. Scott, Laura (Wendy Crewson) and Neal/Neil (Judge Reinhold) have to front the school principal, Ms Newman (Elizabeth Mitchell), to discuss Charlie (echoes of a similar scene in the previous movie).

    Meanwhile, the plastic Santa has been reading the rule book, and gets out of control, becoming a complete martinet and deciding that every child has been naughty and deserves coal, not presents.

    So, can Scott help his son? Find a wife? Help the principal rediscover Christmas? And rescue Christmas from the plastic Santa? Hmm, this is a G-rated Disney picture (is that a big enough hint?).

    The one thing I could have done without was the appearance of the legendary figures — they weren't really necessary (although I liked Michael Dorn as The Sandman).

    In all, this is a decent sequel; not as good as the original, but still worthwhile. If you enjoyed the original, this one is well worth a look.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This movie was shot in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, but this DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. That's close, if not ideal.

    The picture is sharp and clear, with excellent shadow detail and no film grain. There's no low level noise.

    Colour is strong and well-rendered — that's important, because there's lots of vivid colours to show. There are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are no film artefacts of any significance.

    There is a bit of aliasing (especially on the tooth-pulling string), and some moiré (most noticeable around 46:58, on the mesh safety jacket Charlie's wearing), but neither is strong enough to be annoying. There are no MPEG errors.

    There are subtitles are in ten languages, plus English for the Hearing Impaired — I only watched the English for the Hearing Impaired. They are well-timed, easy to read, and close to word-for-word.

    The disc is single sided and dual layered, formatted RSDL. The layer change is at 70:57. It is quite a good layer change, and not easy to spot.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are six audio tracks; four of these are the soundtrack in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian. I only listened to the English, which is Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448kbps. The other two audio tracks are both English. One is the director's commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192kbps), which I listened to in toto. The last audio track is an English Descriptive track (Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, 192kbps), which consists of the soundtrack, overlaid with a pleasant woman's voice that describes what is taking place on screen — she sounds like she's enjoying her work.

    The dialogue is clear and easily comprehensible. Audio sync is not a problem.

    The score was composed by George S. Clinton. It's well-suited to the film. There are several appropriate songs incorporated into the soundtrack

    There are some neat directional sound effects in this soundtrack. It makes excellent use of the surrounds for directional audio, and very good use of them for ambient sound. The subwoofer gets some use for LFE (particularly for the soldiers), but this is not an action movie, so we don't expect a lot.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu is animated, with music, and rather cute. It's easy enough to navigate.

Featurette — Inside the North Pole with Curtis (9:47)

    This is a behind-the-scenes tour of the North Pole sets with Curtis (Spencer Breslin). It's presented on the premise that they were really filming at Santa's North Pole.

Featurette — Director's Tour of Elfsburg (4:15)

    The director's blue shirt is somewhat over-saturated in the intro to this. The director shows us around the various buildings of Elfsburg. This is behind-the-scenes footage. I wonder why a number of people in the background were wearing surgical masks?

Gag Reel (4:17)

    There are some fun outtakes in this collection, and lots of fluffed lines.

Featurette — True Confessions of the Legendary Figures (3:30)

    This is a bit silly — it's a series of brief interview snatches with the legendary figures who appear in the film.

Commentary — director Michael Lembeck

    This commentary was recorded on the premise that the film was really shot at the North Pole, and stars the real Santa. This is cute to begin with, but gets increasingly irritating as time passes. He has a bit of information to convey, but too much of it is fiction. He mentions an extra relating to casting reindeer for the part played by Comet — that extra doesn't seem to exist. I don't recommend this commentary.

    This commentary, unlike most, is subtitled so that speakers of (six) other languages can enjoy it. Unfortunately, English is not one of the languages available.

Deleted Scenes (11:51)

    Seven deleted scenes, each introduced by director Michael Lembeck, who explains why the scene was deleted.

Game — Operation Toybox: Save Santa

    This is a game you can play on your DVD player, providing your remote offers a fairly quick response. There are three games in this, and you can choose which you want to play, but you are supposed to win all three. The first one (top left) is a fairly easy trivia game where you just have to guess true or false in answer to questions. The other two are more action game, with one being a game of avoid-the-soldiers, and the other a shoot-the-soldiers-with-silly-string game — my remote is slow enough to respond that I couldn't play these two — I hope yours is faster.

Easter Eggs

    There are three minor Easter eggs on the Bonus Material page — just go down to the bottom of the menu — demonstrating the three functions of the pantograph.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 widescreen version of this disc (released very recently) sounds like it has the same features. It has the same extras, and reports tell of a similarly good transfer. There's a full-screen version for those who insist on that sort of thing.

    The Region 4 disc is missing:

    The Region 1 disc is missing:

    These differences would not normally tilt my decision either way, but clearly the Region 4 version is more considerate of the differently-abled, so let's give it to Region 4.

Summary

    A better-than-expected sequel to a movie that was widely enjoyed.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    There are some good extras, but I would not include the commentary among them.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Saturday, November 29, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Jules F
AllZone4DVD - Magalie S

Comments (Add)
Problems with Game - R REPLY POSTED