The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)

santa clause 3 the escape clause poster 2006 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 4/10

Rounds out the series

Decent actors squandered on a poor film

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Santa Clause 3:  The Escape Clause

Studio:  Outlaw Productions

Genre(s):  Family/Comedy/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Seasonal

Release Date(s):  November 3, 2006

MPAA Rating:  G


I will win this ugly sweater contest…That I vow!!!

Mrs. Claus (Elizabeth Mitchell) is expecting a baby and it is the busiest time of the year for Santa Claus (Tim Allen).  As a means to cheer up Carol, Scott invites Carol’s parents Bud (Alan Arkin) and Sylvia (Ann-Margret) to the North Pole along with his ex-wife Laura (Wendy Crewson), her husband Neil (Judge Reinhold), and their daughter Lucy (Lilian Mumy).  The only problem is that Carol’s parents don’t know Scott is Santa and now Scott must find a way to trick them into thinking the North Pole is just Canada.  Unfortunately for Santa, Jack Frost (Martin Short) has his eyes set on Santa Claus’ popularity, and the Escape Clause could be just what Jack needs to steal it from Scott.

Directed by Michael Lembeck, The Santa Clause 3:  The Escape Clause was released in theaters during the holiday season of 2006.  The movie was ravaged by critics and the film received Razzie nomination for Worst Actor (Tim Allen along with his performances in The Shaggy Dog and Zoom), Worst Supporting Actor (Martin Short), Worst Prequel or Sequel, and Worst Excuse for Family Entertainment.


We’re not the brightest people

First, it is amazing that The Santa Clause 3 was a theatrical release.  Originally it was intended to just be a Disney Channel film, but they thought it would be a good idea to make it a regular release film…bad move in the fact that the script was poor, but good news in that it was relatively cheap to make which equaled big profits worldwide.  The movie really feels like a write-off.

The first two Santa Clause films weren’t great, but they were better.  The movie is marginally worse than the second Santa Claus movie that was pretty bad itself.  It tries to go for an It’s a Wonderful Life feel by having Scott wish his being Santa Claus away which leads to a warped present day where Jack is Santa and the world is ruined.  It takes too long to get there and then despite the long set-up, ends too quickly and easily.


Jack Frost rockin’ the Santa look

Apparently in this movie, everyone just got really stupid.  The parents of Carol believe that Canada looks like Santa’s workshop.  I realize that in the world of The Santa Clause that Santa is a ficticious character (that still somehow end up leaving mysterious packages at their homes…a problem never addressed in any of these Santa movies), but the guy looks like Santa, works with child size workers, and only cares about toys…Ok, if they didn’t think he was Santa Claus, they should have thought he was a pedophile.  Also, when things start to go wrong, no one casts an eye at Jack Frost who just radiates evil (and coldness).  Kids can be easily entertained, but they can also be smartly entertained and this movie panders by not even trying to be intelligent.

The Santa Clause 3:  The Escape Clause hopefully seals the fate of the Santa Clause series.  While the first movie was tolerable and had its moments, the other films are quite painful to watch.  Both this film and The Santa Clause 2 are virtually unwatchable.  With so many good Christmas movies out there, I don’t think you should bother with this one.

Related Links:

The Santa Clause (1994)

The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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