Like most sequels -- especially those eight years in the making -- The Santa Clause 2 is bursting at the seams of its Santa suit with extra subplots and places for your eyes to look. Unlike most sequels, the latest Tim Allen holiday vehicle actually pulls it off. Surprisingly, what's new is every bit as effective as what returns. It could even be argued that the sequel's three most whimsical ingredients are all fresh: comically gifted child actor Spencer Breslin as an elf, Allen's own synthetic dictator of a doppelganger, and a reindeer that speaks in irresistible reindeer gibberish. If the above weren't enough, the team of screenwriters (there's almost one per character) finds room for fellow folklore icons like the Tooth Fairy and Mother Nature, and even introduces a frosty principal (Elizabeth Mitchell) for Allen's Scott Calvin to thaw. The whole concoction overwhelms a viewer's better notions that this is just a corporate, profit-driven enterprise. Although the screenwriters distribute screen time miraculously among the disparate components, left out in the cold is Eric Lloyd as Scott's son, reprising from the first movie -- which makes him a decidedly awkward age to write. That's why his "acting out" takes the form of spray-painting graffiti about the principal on school walls, which just never makes much sense for his character. Other than that, the script really does have it both ways -- pursuing equally interesting plot lines both at the North Pole, where Allen has a dandy time playing the robotic impostor, and back home. The Santa Clause 2 generates enough populist charm to appease all but the most cynical purists -- who were never its target audience in the first place.