2012-11-20

Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups – Fun For the Whole Family?

by Yo Snyder

There are some Christmas movies where the whole family can snuggle up together, sit back and watch and enjoy all together. Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
is not one of those movies. Oh, it’s not a bad film perse, but it’s
just a bit more squarely aimed at the kiddies than everyone else.
Everything is done very simply and broadly so young ones won’t miss a
beat, but this makes it a bit less engaging for older audiences. There
was a reason I decided to review this movie with my 7 and 10 year old
daughters, and that was because I had a feeling it was more for them
than anyone else. And I was right, they loved it. I felt like it was too
long (and it clocks in at just under 90 min).

There’s a lot of
talk about magic in this movie. There are magic crystals that help grant
Christmas wishes which helps with Christmas spirit which feeds the
great icicle of Christmas magic which makes the magic crystals capable
of magically granting wishes and…well, it’s the great circle of
Christmas magic. Our story centers on four precocious little pups who
want to prove they worthy of magic crystals of their own, and so they
steal one to grant wishes. However, they grant one too many; including
one for Christmas spirit to go away. That spells trouble; like
“the-end-of-Christmas-forever-type” trouble. And so, they puppies must
find a way to undo their mistake and save Christmas. This story
intersects with the tale of a family who recently lost their mom. The
older son isn’t taking it so well, but the preciously cute young
daughter’s Christmas spirit is as strong as ever. There are several
touching moments in this story that , I have to admit, even got me
choked up a bit (but then, I just can’t imagine Christmas without my
wife). Then there’s an odd, Mary Poppins-type side-story involving Mrs.
Clause. These various threads all intersect and Christmas is saved, but
not the way you might think.

In fact, I find it very interesting
that in a movie that talks so much about crystals and magic and the
“spirit of Christmas”, that at the penultimate moment, when something
must be done to restore Christmas spirit in order to save Christmas,
it’s not magic crystals and wishes that save the day, but rather a song.
And not just any song; O Holy Night, one of the most worshipful,
Christ-centered Christmas carols around (and one of my all-time
favorites). Did you get that? To save Christmas, a song is sung about
Jesus Christ, born to save the world from darkness and sin, and it’s
that song that helps restore Christmas spirit and save Christmas. It
just seemed so out of place considering the focus of the rest of the
movie, and yet so appropriate. No matter how hard we may try, we just
can’t escape the fact that what makes Christmas truly magical is God’s
love in the flesh; Jesus Christ born to save and redeem our world.

Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
is not a Christmas classic, nor is it a film for the whole family to
enjoy. However, if you need the younger ones distracted whilst you do
some Christmas baking or other holiday preparations, it’s a decent
enough distraction for the kids.

Score: 4 of 7 (simple, heartfelt, and innocent enough, and it has cute kids and cute puppies, but there is a lot of talk about magic, so some family discussion refocusing on what Christmas is REALLY all about may be necessary after viewing)