Son of Santa
In the big picture of things "Santa, Jr." isn't an amazing Christmas movie in fact it isn't really that memorable but for the 90 or so minutes it is on it is an amusing distraction which is fine for all the family. Combining various cliches including the one of people no longer believe in Santa but with a variation on Santa being arrested with his son ending up in the slammer instead it manages to deliver plenty of obvious amusement which doesn't test you but makes you smile thanks to its innocence. Even when it gets corny, and trust me "Santa, Jr." is a made for TV movie which is most definitely corny you almost end up smiling because it is what you expect.
Having grown up doing the rounds with his father, Santa, Chris Kringle Jr. (Nick Stabile) and his elf Stan (Ed Gale) are now starting to take some of the weight off of the old man with the West coast route. But whilst one night delivering presents Chris finds himself arrested when he is mistaken for the Christmas Bandit, a burglar who dresses up as Santa to break into houses and stealing the presents. Despite it looking like he is going to spend Christmas in the slammer Public defender Susan (Lauren Holly - King of Texas) manages to get him out but under house arrest at her home. Not the best situation but as Susan spends time with Chris she starts to believe he is telling the truth when he says he is the son of Santa. The question is can Susan help Chris save Christmas before there are lots of disappointed little girls and boys and that all depends on not only catching the real Christmas bandit but persuading detective Daryl (Judd Nelson - Airheads) to believe in Santa as well.
I suppose when you watch a lot of Christmas movies it takes something special to stand out and so whilst "Santa, Jr." has this amusing idea that Santa's son, whilst doing the Christmas rounds, gets mistaken for a thief and ends up in the slammer the rest of the movie is quite ordinary. We get served up various Christmas cliches from Susan having once had a miserable Christmas and no longer celebrates it to the seemingly obligatory romance between Susan and detective Daryl. It is all very familiar and whilst nicely paced with just the right amount of magical Christmassy scenes it does little to make itself stand out from the crowd and make you want to watch it again.
But as I said "Santa, Jr." is fun in being innocent with simple humour which young children will find amusing whilst adults will probably enjoy the slight romance between Susan and Daryl, nicely played by Lauren Holly and Judd Nelson. In fact Nick Stabile is pretty good as Chris Kringle Jr. and has this clean cut boyish charm which means that whilst the jokes he has are obvious he gets away with them. And that sort of sums up "Santa, Jr.", it gets away with being obvious and familiar because it isn't terrible, just ordinary.
What this all boils down to is that "Santa, Jr." is a pleasant little Christmas movie which if it crops up on TV and you need something to amuse the children it will do the job and you might enjoy a few bits as well. But it isn't the sort of Christmas movie which you will remember a great deal of a day or so later.