Eight years after he first slipped on the big red suit to save Christmas, Scott Calvin (Allen) is putting the ho-ho-ho into Hollywood again in this entertaining follow-up.
Torn between getting ready for the holidays and looking after his son Charlie (Lloyd) whose naughty antics seem to be a cry for fatherly love, Scott/Santa decides to create a robot duplicate to run the North Pole while he returns home.
But there's another problem: no one bothered to read the small print on the Santa contract, and unless Scott gets married by 24th December, he'll no longer be in charge of Christmas.
As if the contractual problems surrounding the 'Mrs Clause' weren't enough, Robo-Santa has his own ideas about how the North Pole operation should be run.
Looks like Scott's going to have to save Christmas all over again...
Capturing some - but not all - of the first film's yuletide magic, this belated sequel pitches itself nicely between kiddie comedy and adult humour.
The plot may be a little too complex for its target audience (flitting back and forth between three different storylines is hardly ideal), but the sheer enthusiasm displayed by everyone involved saves the day.
Animatronic reindeer, cute child elves, and a genial performance from (the usually smug) Allen steer the movie effortlessly through the occasional dull spot.
Veering between cold-hearted cynicism - the McDonald's product placement is gratuitous, while the overriding emphasis on Christmas as a time of receiving presents is overly shallow - and magical Christmas moments, this is far better than the usual Hollywood holiday cash-ins.
Ultimately, "Santa Clause 2" is a blockbuster that's interested in jingling more than just the loose change in your pocket.