It took eight years, several writing teams, and a delayed release date, but finally, the saga begun in The Santa Clause has a new chapter. Those wondering how Tim Allen has adjusted to his new job as Santa need wonder no more. He's doing just fine, as it turns out, happily overseeing the production of toys and efficiently delivering them each Christmas Eve. The job has a snag, however, which Allen's helpers for some reason neglect to share with him until a few days before Christmas. He needs to find a wife, or else he ceases to be Santa, Christmas collapses, and chaos rules the world. Allen has other problems, too. His son Eric Lloyd, an otherwise good kid, keeps running afoul of pretty, unattached principal Elizabeth Mitchell, who won't allow her high school to put up Christmas decorations. (Could the tasteful separation of education and holiday entertainment be a motive, or could it be due to some Christmas-related trauma from her past?) This prompts Lloyd to spray-paint the school with pro-Christmas graffiti, and Allen must rush down from the North Pole to simultaneously search for a bride and engage in heated debates with Mitchell. Could the tasks become one and the same? Meanwhile, the robotic Santa (also played by Allen) left behind to run the North Pole begins to run amok. Despite the obviously mercenary nature of this sequel, there's a thimbleful of clever ideas at work here, most notably in the way Allen's RoboSanta begins to turn his toy factory into a tiny dictatorship. But there's also a lot of cloying performances from child actors and unearned sentiment in great, glopping handfuls. (The casting decision to have children play elves, and the sight of factories full of tiny hands at work on mass-produced toys, also veers a little too close to the real world for its own good.) "My whole life has become about secrets, and I hate it," Lloyd tells Allen, during one of several points where director Michael Lembeck lets the emotions run too high for a movie called The Santa Clause 2. By the finale, those emotions are forgotten, as Allen squares off against his doppelganger, leaving the door open for another sequel. How will a college-age Lloyd feel about having Santa as a father? Will Chet, this film's reindeer-in-training, ascend to a place on the team? And if so, who will he displace?