(On TV, December 2018) The only thing surprising about The Santa Clause 2 is that it actually took eight years for a sequel to be completed. While the script does show some ingenuity in milking the premise even further, the innovations stop at the end of the first act, and the rest is a mechanical exercise in completing the arcs outlined early on. This film adds romance, as the protagonist must find a Mrs. Claus before long. (I choose not to ask what happened to the previous Mrs. Claus.) Alas, the film also adds an antagonist of sort under the guise of a Robot-Claus who (as they usually do) turns evil and must be stopped from ruining Christmas, in keeping with the other two or three things that could also ruin Christmas. At least the romance is cute (featuring Elizabeth Mitchell) and the imagined fantasy world of the series is expanded to include other mythical creatures. (I wonder how much of it was an inspiration for a similar group of characters in Rise of the Guardians.) It does still work, although we’re a clear step down from the original film. Best seen as close to Christmas as possible, as the film doesn’t have much else than Christmas cheer to rely on.