The Santa Clause 2 topped last weekend’s box office and brought Christmas early this year. As an appetizer to celebrate its new installment, the original 1994 release, The Santa Clause was released on DVD last week. And while the movie hasn’t changed, the advent of DVD technology makes the extra features the special part of the disc.
The Santa Clause Special Edition DVD includes three extra features that are especially important for kids: “How to be an elf”; “Santa’s Helper”; and “Cooking snacks for Santa with Wolfgang (Puck).” Also, the DVD-ROM feature allows kids to boot up the disc, write Santa an e-mail and experience the 25 days of Christmas.
But these features serve as just an excuse for people who own the VHS to make the upgrade to DVD, which does allow for richer computer-generated images.
The original Santa Clause showcased Tim Allen’s funnyman talents at the height of his popularity. He embodied one of the world’s most recognizable mythic characters with a believability that had parents and kids listening for reindeer hooves on Christmas Eve. The movie also introduced audiences to a new, more fanciful North Pole and elves with a little attitude. It was the right mix of humor, sentiment, tradition and family goodness. It was a hit.
And that’s the real prize on this special edition. As for the extras, “Santa’s Helper” is elementary at best, and the “How to be an Elf” tutorial is too dialogue-heavy to keep the attention of its intended audience. The cooking segment fails to demonstrate how kids can complete the recipes.
In other words, if you have kids, go ahead and get it. Just skip past those other menu options — there’s not much there.
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