David Kramholtz returns in The Santa Clauses as Santa’s former head elf Bernard to show Scott Santa’s origin story. Krumholtz’s appearance is especially remarkable considering that he relinquished his role in Santa Claus 3, which never mentions the character’s absence. Finally, after all this time, the audience learns that Bernard didn’t even explain to Santa why he left.
It turns out that Bernard went to the Ramspring elf and simply did not return somewhere between the events of the second and third films. Bernard reunites with Santa in the present day and tells him that he has married Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave. Choosing to live in the real world, Bernard began to age, explaining why he no longer has his youthful elven appearance.
The inclusion of the character in Santa Clauses is important enough not to feel like a one-time cameo, and it speaks volumes about the show’s goal to complete the story. It wouldn’t have been hard to add a few former characters from the iconic trilogy (especially since the franchise boasts quite a few star names like Judge Reinhold and Martin Short), but the writers managed to hold their ground and Bernard’s entry was more meaningful as a result.
Somewhat oddly, however, just as Bernard’s absence was never mentioned in Santa Claus 3, Bernard’s replacement as head elf in this film (Spencer Breslin’s Curtis) is also absent without explanation in Santa Clauses.
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