Nobody manufactures pre-packaged, synthetic cheer quite like Disney, as proven by this relentlessly merry sequel. Tim Allen returns as Santa, who discovers his employment contract has a “Mrs.” clause, requiring him to marry or forfeit the job. With the “de-Santafication” process already underway, he hurries back to the suburbs to find a bride, and to attend to his rebellious son, whose name has just made the “Naughty” list. Moments of genuine levity pop up occasionally, and Allen still charms as the jolly elf. However, like most sequels, this one coasts on autopilot, relying heavily on whatever worked the first time around. Crass and clamorous, it takes much of the luster out of the Santa Clause myth, but kids are sure to love it precisely because it’s so chaotic.
Kinsey Scale: 1 (Elizabeth Mitchell, here seen as an icy school principal, played doomed supermodel Gia Carangi’s lover in Gia, as well as Dr. Kim Legaspi, who pursued a female colleague, on ER. David Krumholz, who plays Santa’s head elf Bernard, was a gay director with a penchant for Petula Clark in How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog.)