Australian Council on Children and the Media

Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

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Short takes

Parental guidance to 8 (Scary scenes, Viol. Theme)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
  • a review of Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 November 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Parental guidance due to some scary scenes, violence and theme.
Children over the age of 8 Most children over 8 should be okay to see this movie with or without parental guidance

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 92 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Mrs Claus (Elizabeth Mitchell) is about to give birth and it’s almost Christmas time, a very busy time of course for Santa (Tim Allen). Carol Claus is also emotional at the prospect of becoming a mother and misses her family. Santa is under a lot of pressure and devises a ruse for bringing her parents to the North Pole by disguising it as Canada and thus not breaking any Santa secrets. To add to Santa’s troubles, an emergency meeting is held by the Council of Legendary Figures to discuss what to do with Jack Frost (Martin Short) who has been unashamedly promoting himself and trying to upstage Santa. The Council wants to expel him but he begs for another chance and Santa takes him on as an additional helper.

The dastardly Jack Frost however, has ambitious plans and sets out to sabotage Santa’s efforts to get presents ready in time for Christmas. He discovers that there is an escape clause to being Santa and tricks the overstressed Santa into invoking it. Jack Frost assumes the role of Santa and turns the North Pole into a ghastly theme park. Meanwhile the real Santa, who has returned to a miserable life as Scott Calvin, has to devise a way of putting things back the way they were.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Family relationships

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • a girl elf kicks Santa in the shin
  • Jack Frost pushes a loaded trolley into an elf
  • Jack Frost causes an explosion which sets machinery on fire
  • Jack Frost breathes on Laura, Santa’s ex-wife (Wendy Crewson) and husband Neil (Judge Reinhold) and turns them to ice
  • Santa and Jack Frost fall from the North Pole through the sky and land heavily on the ground
  • Jack Frost and Santa fight. Frost hits Santa with a shovel
  • Santa hits Jack (who is now Santa) and a policeman with a giant candy cane.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Carol is whisked off on a trolley to give birth and she’s screaming although more in alarm than pain
  • Santa enters the lounge room through a huge Santa’s mouth fireplace which has a fire burning in the grate.
  • The Sandman puts Carol’s parents to sleep with a spell
  • Scott (Santa) visits his ex-wife Laura. Laura and Scott’s son Charlie (Eric Lloyd), now a teenager, are very nasty to Scott and Charlie doesn’t even want anything to do with him.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disburbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

The apparent family breakdown between Scott (Santa) and his son Charlie could concern some children in this age group.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

It is unlikely that anything in this movie would scare or disturb children over the age of thirteen.

Product placement

None

Sexual references

None of concern.

Nudity and sexual activity

None

Use of substances

None

Coarse language

None

In a nutshell

The main messages from Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause are that good eventually wins over evil and that pride comes before a fall.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • forgiveness
  • kindness.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of spending time together as a family.

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