Christmas is around the corner, and audiences will be surrounded by many films that cater to the holiday season theme. The stories could be about love or the miracles of Christmas. All these elements define the spirit of this holiday. These films and television shows set the mood for the season as audiences gear up to spend some quality time with family and friends. The Claus Family series are Dutch-Belgian Netflix original films that saw its entries released in 2020 and 2022, respectively, and is about a young boy struggling to deal with a tragedy while coming across a shocking secret about his family. The first film in the series is directed by Matthias Temmermans, while the second is directed by Ruben Vandenborre. The third film of the series is set to be released this week, and it will be a continuation of The Claus Family Saga.
What Happens In The First Film?
The first film was about Suzanne moving to Belgium with her two kids after her husband suddenly passed away a year ago on Christmas Eve. Everything was new for them, and Suzanne was willing to go through this change as she was picking up her life and starting everything from scratch. While Suzanne and her daughter were adjusting to the new life, her elder son Jules Claus had not gotten over his father’s untimely passing and has ever since refused to celebrate Christmas. Suzanne had begun working at a cookie factory that was on the brink of closing, and she had suggested introducing her cookie recipe to revitalize the company. These were just typical Christmas-themed plot points included in the movie to bring out the inherent goodness of people in general, who seem to come across as rude at the beginning of the film. Suzanne was surrounded by good Samaritans who wanted her ideas to be implemented so that none of their jobs would be in danger. She’s a single mother as well, which is why Suzanne must juggle between her work and making sure her children are fine.
Suzanne’s father-in-law Noel runs an antique toy store, and he had taken on the responsibility of babysitting his grandchildren while she was busy working at the factory. Jules was fascinated by a snow globe, which his grandfather considered priceless and was protective of. In his bid to find out what the object does, the magic of the snow globe took him around the world in no time and safely brought him back to the store. Jules was quick to connect the dots and realize his grandfather was Santa Claus. The young boy was further intrigued by the life his grandfather led as the film progressed. Noel got injured, and he ended up revealing his family legacy to Jules. Every elder son of his family had to take up the role of Santa Claus, and ever since Jules’ father’s death, his aging grandfather had sadly had to take over the job once again. Noel’s job was to create genuine excitement in Jules so that he understood the responsibility of being the next Santa Claus. Their dynamics were explored with utmost innocence, and it allowed the audience to understand the deeper meaning of Christmas and how there is more to the holiday than sharing gifts.
The rest of the film is about Jules coming to terms with the idea of being from the family of Santa Claus and helping his grandfather deliver gifts around the world. Jules agreed to take over as the next Santa Claus and was ready to face the challenges that might come with it. Jules’ mother, Suzanne, on the other hand, finds success with her batch of cookies because her son delivers the same to the President of the United States of America during his trips across the globe. The suspension of disbelief was a recurring motifs and magical realism as a genre have been utilized because of the subject matter. Jules’ mother finding success was a predictable subplot, and it helped in ending the first film on a happy note.
What Happens In The Sequel?
The second film in the series was about Jules taking up the role of Santa Claus seriously and his genuine interest in helping a young girl, Marie. Marie had requested that Santa unite her now-divorced parents because she could not stand that her once-loving parents were utterly bitter towards each other. Jules also found many letters from kids requesting Santa to unite their parents, but he noticed his grandfather never catered to them. Noel believed that some requests could not be fulfilled because of the complications attached to them. Jules had lost his father a few years ago, and he understood the pain of not having a parent during the holiday season. The young boy who is on the cusp of being a teenager wants to do something right for Marie. If he was successful in bringing her parents back together, it would be like a Christmas miracle as well.
Meanwhile, Suzanne had opened her cookie bakery and was struggling with the initial sales. Jules, who had no interest in what Christmas meant for his family in the first film, and he turned out to be a total holiday enthusiast this time around and wanted to bring a sense of joy into people’s lives. For the first time, though, he and his grandfather were on opposite sides of the spectrum regarding Marie’s case. Noel’s personal experience with his wife was the reason why he specifically asked his grandson not to meddle in the personal matters of the children Jules caters to. It also highlights the plight of the children and how divorce affects them. Since kids cannot find a solution themselves, they believe a miracle such as Santa Claus could bring their parents back together, and happiness will be restored in their lives. Noel felt guilty about working around the clock and not revealing his identity, which made his married life worse. This is the reason he feels Santa Claus cannot resolve every matter. His only job is to deliver gifts to the kids.
Jules tried his best to discreetly bring Marie’s parents closer, but all the attempts failed because, as a young boy, he did not understand that the love her parents shared was gone. The movie ended with Jules rescuing Marie from a burgeoning fire that had hit her father’s store. Marie was upset that her parents would never reunite, but she was promised a better relationship between them as ex-spouses for her sake. Jules was content with this step taken by her parents and was genuinely happy for the little girl. Noel was also happy to see his grandson trying to make a difference in people’s lives, which was a positive spin on his arc. His grandfather finally came to terms with what Jules was trying to do, and he is thankful to Jules for showing him the light.
The highlight of both films was the elves that worked for Noel and how they were instrumental in giving life lessons to the grandfather and his grandson. Ikka, Gunna, and Holger were charming and overdramatic at the same time but always came forward to help both in times of crisis, not because it was their job. They had become like family to them.
What Can We Expect Next?
As the third film is just around the corner, Jules and Noel will embark on a new journey and rediscover their priorities, as the holiday season will again be the theme. Jules and Noel’s relationship with Suzanne will also be tested for the first time. Jules could also finally let his mother know the family secret. This would either create upheaval or Suzanne might come out admitting she knew about her husband’s role and the legacy he was a part of. The climax of the third film, just like the first two, would be endearing, for it would adhere to the spirit of Christmas.