Twelve years after taking the reins as Santa, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is fully entrenched and comfortable in his role as the jolly old soul of Christmas. With his seriously focused elf Curtis (Spencer Breslin) in charge, his North Pole toy shop is operating like a well-oiled machine, but Scott's heavily pregnant wife is feeling isolated so far from family. To appease Mrs. Clause, Scott arranges to have her parents (a curmudgeonly Alan Arkin and an enthusiastic Ann-Margret) come for a visit.
Complicating matters in a huge way is the jealous Jack Frost (played with excellent villainy by Martin Short). Frost has been put on probation by the Council of Legendary Figures -- a persistently weary Mr. Sandman, a very quiet and light-footed Tooth Fairy, a wrinkly Father Time, etc. -- for, among other things, freezing out the rain forest and sending the birds north for the winter. But kind-hearted Santa has decided to let Jack earn back some good graces with the Figures by assisting him during his busy season. And like any good villain would, Frost takes total advantage of his position and works to usurp Santa's role. In a twist similar to "It's a Wonderful Life," we see what could happen to the North Pole and the Christmas season if good guy Scott Calvin was out of the picture.
Like most movies, The Santa Clause 3 is not completely unpredictable, but it is an entertaining and visually delightful kick-start to the holiday season. The sleigh ride in and out of the North Pole village where Santa lives is a winter wonderland. And the colorful and ornate factory where the adorable elves work without complaint is sure to mesmerize the little ones in the audience.