tek's rating: ½

Mr. St. Nick, on ABC
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Caution: spoilers.

This aired on "The Wonderful World of Disney" in 2002. I'm sure I saw it, but I'm not sure if I saw it when it first aired, or sometime later. Actually, I'm not sure if it was even the same year, but it must have been sometime in the early to mid 2000s. I feel like I might have seen it on a cable channel like ABC Family or something. Anyway, I'm writing this review after watching it again on DVD in 2022, for Christmas in July. I found it reasonably amusing and, you know, entertaining in various ways, I suppose. I'm definitely glad to have seen it again.

Kelsey Grammer plays Nick St. Nicholas XXI, who is the son of the current Santa Claus (Charles Durning) and Carlotta (Katherine Helmond). But rather than the North Pole, Nick lives in Miami, where I guess he's a socialite and philanthropist who does fund raising. He has a friend named Hector, who introduces him to a TV meteorologist named Heidi, whom Nick soon starts dating. Hector has an idea for a charitable website called Mr. St. Nick.com, and gets Nick and Heidi to be the spokespeople for it.

Meanwhile, Nick is supposed to take over as the new Santa Claus when his father retires after 100 years in the position. But they don't have a good relationship, and Nick decides not to take over. Unfortunately, all of Santa's magic starts transferring to Nick (unbeknownst to him), which means the current Santa won't be able to carry on in the position even though he wants to.

Also meanwhile, Nick has a butler, an elf named Jasper, who hires a new cook named Lorena. Nick and Lorena don't get along at first, though it's obvious they will come to get along quite well (despite the very limited time frame of the movie). But there's an INS agent named Nardo who would like nothing more than to deport Lorena, so he spies on her, and this eventually turns him against Nick. And when Hector and Heidi embezzle money from the charity and frame Nick, Nardo has him arrested. (I have no idea how he gets to be lead on that case, since it has nothing to do with immigration.) Of course there's a happy ending, but I don't want to spoil any details.

Well, there are a few other characters I should mention, like Lorena's tia Sophia, and her nephew, Danny. And there's a wizard named Mimir played by Wallace Shawn. There's also a guy Nick meets in jail who is of no importance, but I thought he was pretty funny. On the whole I liked the movie, though I do think some plot points were too rushed, but that couldn't be helped. And I'm not sure what else to say.

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