The new Christmas series on Disney+, "The Santa Clauses," is said to contain themes of religion in the plot, but will only be seen in the last two episodes.
Tim Allen returns to play a 65-year-old Santa Claus in the series, with the plot focusing on the realization that he cannot be Santa forever and goes on a journey to find a suitable replacement.
"He’s starting to lose a step in his Santa duties, and more importantly, he’s got a family who could benefit from a life in the normal world, especially two sons, one that grew up in Lakeside, Illinois (Charlie) and one that grew up at the Pole (Buddy)” the official synopsis reads. “With a lot of elves, children, and family to please, Scott sets out to find a suitable replacement Santa while preparing his family for a new adventure in a life south of the pole," says Allen in an interview with TheWrap.
The original trilogy of the series did not possess a religious aspect, and information about this new incorporation of faith has been kept under wraps and fans can only speculate how it will be introduced.
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At first, there were all sorts of otherworldly creatures and ghouls in the series, however, Allen emphasizes that it was important to him that none of that was included.
"It originally had a lot of otherworldly characters, and ghosts, and goblins. I said no, this is Christ-mas. Its Christ-mas. It literally is a religious holiday. We don’t have to blow trumpets, but I do want you to acknowledge it. That’s what this is about. If you want to get into Santa Claus, you’re gonna have to go back to history, and it’s all about religion."
Allen says the "Santa Clause" team found "a brilliant way" to bring religion to the story, but won't be seen until episodes five and six.
"It’s really wonderful. They took a chance, and we did it really well."
In an interview with Kelly Clarkson on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Allen reveals that the plot will include the real story of St. Nicholas.
"We dive deep as it gets later about St. Nicholas and the Turkish priest that started this."
He then speaks on the power of giving to others.
"The heart of Christmas is about giving. Getting is what we’ve gotten used to...but the whole thing is about what it’s like to give. Give as a father to his children...It is so magic."
According to Faithwire, there has been some backlash against the series due to a specific line the man in red says when asked what is bothering him. He responds, "Saying Merry Christmas to all has suddenly become problematic!"
It did not take long for critics to blast the actor on Twitter. The Daily Mail writes that many people focused on Allen's political beliefs.
The first two episodes premiered on Disney+ on November 16. The remaining four episodes will be released every Wednesday with the finale available to stream on Dec. 14.