Christmas in Wonderland
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|Christmas in Wonderland|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||James Orr|
|Produced by||Laurette Bourassa|
|Written by||James Orr|
Wanda Birdsong Shope
|Music by||Terry Frewer|
|Edited by||Jana Fritsch|
|Distributed by||Yari Film Group|
Christmas in Wonderland is a 2007 Canadian-American comedy film about three children who move with their father from Los Angeles to Edmonton, Alberta, where they catch a group of counterfeiters while Christmas shopping.
The Saunders family has just moved from Los Angeles to Edmonton right before Christmas leaving them with no Christmas spirit with the exception of the bright eyed 6-year-old Mary (Amy and Zoe Schalgel). They go to the majestic West Edmonton Mall for Christmas shopping. The boys find out that Wayne (Patrick Swayze) had been fired from his job and Christmas might not happen this year. He leaves 16-year-old Danny (Cameron Bright) in charge of Mary and 12-year-old Brian (Matthew Knight). Mary tells Santa (Matthew Walker) that she wants a million dollars for Christmas for Wayne, although she doesn't know he was fired. She also says the same thing to "Rudolph" the reindeer and Brian tells her that if she wanders off again, the "Mall Ghost" will eat her. They then go to the ice rink.
Meanwhile, Leonard (Chris Kattan) and Sheldon Cardoza (Preston Lacy) are talking about using counterfeit money to get real money in exchange. They have a whole bag full of it. In an argument, Leonard accidentally knocks it off the ledge and onto the ice rink. Brian and Mary find it and not knowing that it contains counterfeit money, leave to go on a shopping spree. Mary thinks Santa gave it to her as an early present. Ginger Peachum (Carmen Electra) goes to Leonard and Sheldon and gets mad at them for losing it. They go to the ice rink to find Brian and Mary but they have already left. They then have a montage of trying to find them in different places even though they are right beneath their noses. They buy a motorcycle while Wayne is having a tough time buying a gift for his wife, Judy (Rachel Hayward), who is still in Los Angeles after getting bumped. In the backroom, Gordon McLoosh (Tim Curry) from the RCMP comes to investigate the case of how counterfeit money is appearing all over the mall with the story of two kids claiming that they won the lottery. They find the address where they want the motorcycle to be delivered. They go there and, seeing all the unpacked boxes everywhere, think they are going to move (which is odd, considering they just got there). They find a family photo and use it as evidence. They then search the mall for Wayne, thinking he is the one behind all the counterfeit money.
Now, everyone has a crisis. Brian and Mary are spending counterfeit money, Wayne is being unknowingly tracked down for nothing and is having troubles buying a gift for Judy, Danny can't find Brian or Mary at Santa's Village, and Leonard and Sheldon are looking for them. However, Danny goes to the amusement park to find them and finally meets the girl from the water park, and she invites him to some Booster Juice. They learn they have everything in common such as both being from Los Angeles, both hating Edmonton, her name is Shane (which was his girlfriend's name in Los Angeles) and missing younger siblings.
At LAX Airport, Judy is stuck waiting for her plane. There, she meets Kristopher Kringle (Walker) who informs her that he got bumped too and that she shouldn't worry because "things always work themselves out one way or another". He then leaves to board his plane and shocks her after he knows her name.
After leaving the bar, Wayne gets arrested by Gordon but even though he explains that he is innocent, Gordon thinks otherwise. Brian and Mary witness this and after he explains what happened to her, Leonard and Sheldon finally catch up to and chase them. They bump into Ginger but Brian finds out that Leonard and Sheldon work for her and run away again. Elsewhere, Wayne is getting interrogated but still has no idea what is going on. Brian and Mary dodge Leonard and Sheldon and ditch the bag on a mannequin. They lead Leonard and Sheldon into the mall's back hallways. They get scared after seeing the shadow of a wolf and get locked in another room with Leonard. Mary runs one way and Brian runs the other. Leonard goes for Brian, who leads him up to the top of the shark tank and Leonard is right behind him. But he is one step ahead, he covers the floor with slippery fish, and Leonard falls into the shark tank. Brian leaves the back hallways and runs right into Danny. He explains the whole situation to him and then they find Mary being taken care of by the Mall Ghost (Walker) but once they leave, Brian and Mary get left behind a little and see Danny and Shane get arrested. Now the fate of Christmas is in Brian and Mary's hands. They must get revenge on Leonard and Sheldon, who meet up with Ginger again to say they haven't retrieved the bag yet. She is furious and tells them to go find the kids with a no holds barred as Brian passes them on a motorcycle with the bag. The chase starts as Leonard, Sheldon, and Brian chase each other on the motorcycles. Mary drops a water balloon on Ginger and she starts chasing her. Brian makes them dive through a clothing kiosk and covers Leonard's face so he can't see where he's going. Mary goes back into the back hallways and lures Ginger onto the roof. After a sharp turn, Leonard and Sheldon break a window and fall into the wave pool. On the roof, Mary tricks Ginger into getting on a cracked window dome and she falls through but just slightly grabs the ledge preventing her from falling into the sea lions' pool. This catches Gordon's eye and his agents get suspicious. Mary throws the bag down and when Ginger hits below the agents arrest her. Just when they find out that the bag contains the counterfeit money, mall security bring Leonard and Sheldon to Gordon. The Saunders family gets released and Wayne is very upset at Danny for leaving Mary with Brian. On their way out, they walk into Sam Nichols (Walker) who owns the mall. He says that he is willing to give Wayne a job. At home, they forgot about getting a tree, presents, or anything. The next morning, Judy is able to get home before Christmas and the kids marvel as they see a tree and presents. The turkey is even ready. Mary gets a letter from Santa saying that he is the one responsible for everything. The film ends with her waving at him from the window, proving that Christmas miracles do happen.
- Patrick Swayze as Wayne Saunders
- Rachel Hayward as Judy Saunders
- Cameron Bright as Danny Saunders
- Matthew Knight as Brian Saunders
- Amy and Zoe Schlagel as Mary Saunders
- Chris Kattan as Leonard Cardoza
- Preston Lacy as Sheldon Cardoza
- Carmen Electra as Ginger Peachum
- Matthew Walker as Santa Claus, Sam Nichols, Mall Ghost, Kristopher Kringle, and the Old Man with the Walker
- Tim Curry as Gordon McLoosh
- MacKenzie Porter as Shane
- Marty Atonini as Elliot Block
- Royce Chartrand as Child Skater
The film is largely set and mostly filmed in West Edmonton Mall. Secrecy before it was announced led many Edmontonians to wonder why Christmas decorations were still in place long after Christmas had passed.
The film was exhibited theatrically in Canada in 2007, but it premiered on television in the United States in 2008 as part of ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas programming block. It was poorly received by the public.