This Belgian Christmas tale is pleasant without being exceptionally entertaining, and heartwarming without igniting any particularly strong feelings. Some humor falls flat in The Claus Family, especially involving elves meant to be goofy but who border on irritating. The drama in the family dynamics of a working widow and her two kids, who are still grieving their dad's accidental death, is more convincing. But the film is uneven, some dialogue and performances land awkwardly, and a subplot involving the mom's cookie-factory job feels superfluous. Special effects on miniature elves and a magical snow globe that transports Santa around the world look surprisingly old-fashioned, but the cobblestoned town setting is very pretty.
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