Production Information

Holiday magic mixes with comical chaos at the North Pole in THE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE. Tim Allen reprises his role of Scott Calvin – aka Santa – as he juggles a full house of family and the mischievous Jack Frost (Martin Short), whose chilling Santa envy has him trying to take over the “big guy’s” holiday.

At the risk of giving away its secret location, Scott invites his in-laws, Sylvia and Bud Newman (Ann-Margret and Alan Arkin), to the North Pole to share in the holiday festivities and be near their daughter, Carol (Elizabeth Mitchell) – aka Mrs Claus – as she prepares for the eagerly anticipated birth of baby Claus.

Along for the adventure are Scott’s extended family: son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd); ex-wife, Laura Miller (Wendy Crewson); her husband, Neil (Judge Reinhold); and their daughter, Lucy (Liliana Mumy), who, together with Head Elf Curtis (Spencer Breslin), must foil Jack Frost’s crafty scheme to control the North Pole.

Walt Disney Pictures presents THE SANTA CLAUSE 3, directed by Michael Lembeck from a screenplay by Ed Decter & John J Strauss. Producers are Brian Reilly, Bobby Newmyer and Jeffrey Silver. Executive producers are William W Wilson III and James Miller. Lembeck’s creative team includes cinematographer Robbie Greenberg ASC, production designer Richard J Holland, costume designer Ingrid Ferrin, editor David Finfer and composer George S Clinton.

“I want to be a part of it, ‘North Pole, North Pole’…”

Even with the success of 1994’s “The Santa Clause” and 2002’s “The Santa Clause 2,” Tim Allen wasn’t convinced that he should don the 75-pound Santa suit once again and go back to the North Pole for a third time. But a meeting with Disney executives changed his mind.

“I didn’t think I would do another ‘Santa Clause.’ I’m not interested in doing the same story,” says Allen. “But we started hashing out ideas at the meeting. Then I said, ‘I wonder what it would be like without Santa Claus? How weird would it be to not have this great mythical figure in the world?’ That struck a chord with all of us.”

The concept – which resembled a modern-day take on the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” – gained momentum. “I’m like a kid,” admits Allen. “I want to see the North Pole, too. In THE SANTA CLAUSE 3, we decided we were going to shoot inside the North Pole even more and get to know more about my family and my relationship with Mrs Claus.”

THE SANTA CLAUSE 3 finds Santa taking on new challenges as his family continues to grow. He is faced with the hefty double responsibility of keeping peace within his blended brood while preventing Jack Frost (Martin Short), who makes his debut in this third instalment, from exploiting Santa’s stressed state and taking over Christmas.

“I get to a point in my career as Santa where the mortal side of me starts to show,” says Allen of his character. “There’s too much conflict at the North Pole.”

Ultimately, Santa Claus and Jack Frost switch places, and “you get to see what the world would be like if Jack Frost ran the North Pole,” says Allen. “Believe me, you don’t want to see that world!”

Having Tim Allen aboard the third instalment of “The Santa Clause” was vital to its success. The popular star of the beloved ABC series “Home Improvement” and hit movies such as “Toy Story” and “Galaxy Quest,” Allen has now made the character of Santa his own. So what is it about Tim Allen as this jelly-bellied, rosy-cheeked icon that strikes a chord in all of us?

“It’s simple,” says producer Brian Reilly, who has been part of all three “Santa Clause” films. “Tim has a great gift for making us all laugh. These movies created a place for themselves in the holiday season. In this North Pole world, audiences just love Tim Allen.”

Continues executive producer William W Wilson III, “From the moment Tim Allen transformed into Santa Claus in the first movie, he embodied the part. He’s funny, and he has heart, and that is what struck a chord with so many people. Hopefully audiences will want to continue to watch Santa’s journey.”

“An amazing thing happens when Tim gets in the Santa suit,” adds director Michael Lembeck. “He literally, totally inhabits the character. There’s something about Tim playing that role – he becomes that loveable icon.”

Like Allen, Lembeck, who directed “The Santa Clause 2,” came aboard for North Pole visit number three.

Lembeck has his own opinions about what makes the “Santa Clause” franchise so successful. “It’s hard to define what lightning in a bottle is,” says the director. “But the audience loves our honesty, our entertainment value, our dramatic content, and our comedy.

“We give the audience really loveable characters,” he adds, “and now we’ve got a wonderful villain to root against.”

But Lembeck also likes to keep it real in this magical world. “We ground our fantasy premise in a lot of real-life thematic material,” he says, “like how to juggle work and family.”

Lembeck was also looking forward to seeing some old friends from “The Santa Clause 2.”

“When you get together again, it’s as if you just saw each other,” he says. “We never missed a step. We got right back into being comfortable with each other and enjoying one another, and it made the work so easy. Everybody was really just licking their chops to get back together.”

The filmmakers knew they needed Lembeck’s Energizer Bunny-like enthusiasm on set to make THE SANTA CLAUSE 3 a winner.

“Michael is so open and collaborative. He has his vision and knows what he wants,” says Brian Reilly. “He allows the actors to play, and as a result, we have performances that touch your heart. His positive attitude is infectious.”

“He is one of the greatest directors that I have ever worked with,” says costume designer Ingrid Ferrin. “He believes in the story that he wants to tell.”

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