The Claus Family 3 Review – Lacks in magic, holiday cheer, and coherence

By Lori Meek
Published: November 9, 2023
The Claus Family 3 Review - Lacks in magic, holiday cheer, and coherence
The Claus Family 3 | Image via Netflix


This third installment of the Dutch-Belgian series lacks magic or a coherent plot. Perhaps it’s time for Grandpa Noel to hang up his Santa boots.

It’s that magical time of the year when all the streaming platforms start releasing a neverending outpour of holiday cheer. The Claus Family 3 is one such joyful title, courtesy of Netflix. The Dutch-Belgian flick is the third in the series that started in 2020 about a young boy coming to terms with his family’s magical secret. 

Directed by Ruben Vandenborre, the movie shifts the focus to the youngest Claus sibling learning about their grandpa’s double life and wanting to be included in the family gift-giving business. Most of the cast from the first two films reprise their roles, including Jan Decleir, Amber Metdepenningen, Mo Bakker, and Bracha van Doesburgh. 

The Claus Family 3 review and plot summary

This iteration of the Christmas saga finds the titular Claus family about to go on a relaxing ski trip to the Alps. Of course, Grandpa Noël and Santa-in-training Jules plan on using the snow globe to deliver presents when the rest of the clan isn’t looking. 

The holiday gets slightly complicated when the youngest Claus sibling, Noor, figures out the truth about her grandfather and wants to join them on the gifts run. At first, Jules hesitates to let his baby sister come along, but Noel talks him into including her. 

Things go awry when the trio is caught by homeowners in Mexico who mistakenly believe Noel to be a burglar and have him arrested. With Noel stuck in a Mexican prison, it’s up to Jules to save him and save Christmas.

Meanwhile, Noel and Noor’s mother, Suzanne, plans on proposing to her boyfriend during the ski trip but struggles to find the perfect romantic time. 

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We also have a rather pointless subplot where a young boy named Felix is pushed by his uncle to become a skiing champion when the boy just wants to spend the holidays at home with his family. Most of the movie’s subplots add very little to the overall narrative, and the elves in the sauna parts are not as endearing as the filmmakers thought. 

While The Claus Family 3 is only one hour and 14 minutes long, it feels a lot longer than that. The acting is not convincing, the plot makes no sense, there’s no Christmas magic, and the Mexican prison scenes are too dark for what’s billed as a children’s movie. There is a part where an inmate is threatening to skin Santa alive.   

In terms of cinematography, the movie looks more gloomy than whimsical. Most scenes have a dark overlay that would be more appropriate for a horror film, not the feel-good holiday feature this one supposedly is. 

Why The Claus Family 3 isn’t worth your time

The plot is confusing, and I didn’t quite understand the timeline. For example, the film never explains why Grandpa Noel and Jules deliver presents on days that are not December 25th. Do people in this universe receive their gifts on random days throughout the month? 

As sweet as the original The Claus Family movie was, this third installment is even more unnecessary than the first sequel. It seems the writers and actors are suffering from Claus family fatigue, which isn’t exactly a surprise, considering they’ve been releasing one of these flicks every year on the dot for the past three years.

What did you think of The Claus Family 3? Comment below.


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