According to the author of the series, Bernard will be crucial to The Santa Clauses Disney+ television show. In 1994's The Santa Clause, David Krumholtz's Bernard the Elf was first seen, playing a deadpan straight man to Tim Allen's overwrought titular character and the animated elves. In contrast to the other elves, Bernard had a unique and refreshing personality. He served as a Santa lore expert and grudgingly assisted the new Santa. Although Bernard made a comeback in The Santa Clause 2 from 2002, he was absent from The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.
Despite Bernard's pivotal part in the first two movies, he wasn't even mentioned in the third entry in the series, and there was no justification for this omission. For the benefit of the character's admirers, his reappearance was announced earlier this year in the new sequel series The Santa Clauses. In an interview with TVLine, executive producer and director Jason Winer revealed that the series will finally address viewers' questions regarding where Bernard has been since The Santa Clause 2 "Why has [Bernard] matured differently from other elves? Jack Burditt, the show's creator, also outlines Bernard's role in the future season. See what he says after the break:
"He's having a phase. He is essential in educating Scott about things he may not have known about himself or the role of Santa Claus. We're making fun of Scott's lack of expertise in his capacity as Santa Claus. He only knows how he came to be Santa Claus, and many details are concealed from him. When he returns, Bernard unlocks a lot of that knowledge."
The Santa Clauses will follow Scott Calvin, played by Allen, as he looks to find someone to take over as Santa so he can retire and have a family. Given this theme, it seems plausible that the show may be building to the revelation that Scott had been staring at the ideal Santa the entire time. Bernard would be the perfect choice for the position, should he decide to accept it, given he has shown a wealth of insider information regarding Santa's mystique and duties.
Bernard would also make a fun pick for Santa because his gruff, no-nonsense personality would delightfully contrast with Santa's infamous happiness, carrying over one of the most successful elements of the original Santa Clause. A well-liked fan theory proposes that Bernard was the son of the last Santa, which would imply that he is destined for the mantle and explains the elf's odd stature and ageing process in comparison to the other elves. This potential, together with Bernard's status as a franchise favourite but underused character, would provide for a satisfactory resolution for his character's arc.
However, the elf might not want the suit because he is happy with his status as an elf or because he is pleased to pursue a different destiny, potentially as a result of his extended absence from the Santa Clause movie series. Additionally, Burditt's statement that Bernard "is in an episode" seems to suggest that rather than a protracted arc, his participation will be a one-off in the series to refute crucial information. It will be a joy for audiences to see Bernard back in his pointed shoes when The Santa Clauses premieres next week, regardless of who ends up playing Santa.