Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

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Buy a ticket for a good 'Clause'

The Santa Clause 2
Tim Allen, left, reprises his role as as the jolly old elf in The Santa Clause 2.

Billy photo
Read Billy's movie reviews on his special archive page.
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 4, 2002

Movie: The Santa Clause 2

  • Rating: PG

Summary: After taking over the job as Santa (accepting the terms of the "Santa Clause") eight years before, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) has to leave the North Pole to take care of some family issues. His son, Charlie (Eric Lloyd), has gotten into trouble at school, and it's landed him on the "Naughty" list. Before he leaves to visit with Charlie, Santa is notified of the fine print in his contract -- the "Mrs. Clause" -- that states he must get married before Christmas or the de-Santafying process will begin. Well, it already has! So Santa and a couple of his helpful elves create a quasi-Santa to take his place while he's away. This duplicate Santa has a mind of his own and is a little eccentric, to say the least. In the midst of trying to get to the root of Charlie's problems and finding a wife with a few weeks to spare, the real Santa must also try to come up with a way to stop the replacement one from ruining Christmas.

My view: Much to my surprise, I was really impressed with what Disney came up with for this sequel to 1994's The Santa Clause. I was expecting this to be very bland and cutesy, just another mediocre sequel. It was really funny, though! The characters were amiable, the story was pleasant, and the humor was bright and not boring. I was very pleased.

Favorite part: The duplicate Santa Claus was great! He was childishly naive at first, and the scene where he discovered a fondness for hot chocolate brought out some hearty chuckles.

Recommendations: This is a perfect "fun for the whole family" film to kick off the holiday season, even though it is a little early. Enjoy!

Grade: A

-- Billy Norris, 14, is in the ninth grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

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