DirectorJames Orr Initial DVD releaseDecember 23, 2008 CountryCanada
Release dateNovember 21, 2007 (2007-11-21) WriterWanda Birdsong Shope, James Orr, Jim Cruickshank GenresComedy, Family film, Slapstick CastPatrick Swayze (Wayne Saunders), Matthew Knight (Brian Saunders), Amy Schlagel (Mary Saunders), Tim Curry (McLoosh), Carmen Electra (Ginger Peachum), Chris Kattan (Leonard Cardoza) Similar moviesThe Santa Clause, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, The Santa Clause 2, Scrooged, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Ref
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 six-year-old Mary. Wayne (Patrick Swayze) brings the family to the majestic West Edmonton Mall for Christmas shopping. The boys find out that Wayne had been fired from his job and Christmas might not happen this year. He leaves 16 year old Danny (Cameron Bright) in charge of 6 year old Mary (Amy and Zoe Schalgel) and 12 year old Brian (Matthew Knight). Mary tells Santa (Matthew Walker) that she wants a million dollars for Christmas for her dad, although Mary doesn't know her dad 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 skating rink.
Meanwhile, Leonard Cardoza (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, Leo accidentally knocks the bag off the ledge and into the skating rink. Brian and Mary find it and not knowing that it is phoney money, leave to buy themselves stuff. Mary thinks Santa gave her this as an early present. Ginger (Carmen Electra) goes to the Cardoza brothers and gets mad at them for losing the bag. The Cardoza's go to the rink to find the kids 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. The kids buy a motorcycle while Wayne is having a tough time buying a gift for his wife who is still in LA 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 an address where they wanted the motorcycle to be delivered. They go to the home and think, with all the unpacked boxes everywhere, they are going the 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 this fake 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 gifts, Danny can't find Brain or Mary at Santa's Village, and the Cardozas are trying to find them. However, Danny goes to a roller coaster to find them and finally meets the girl at the water park and she invites him to some Booster Juice. They learn they have everything in common such as both being from LA, both hating Edmonton, she has the name of "Shane" (which was the same name of his girlfriend in LA) and missing siblings.
At the Los Angeles Airport, Judy Saunders (Rachel Hayward), the wife, is stuck waiting for her plane. There, she meets Kristopher Kringle (Same actor who plays Santa) 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 his plane and shocks Judy after he knows her name.
After leaving the bar, Wayne gets arrested by McLoosh but even though he explains that he is innocent, McLoosh thinks otherwise. Brian and Mary witness this and after Brian explains what happened to Mary, the Cardozas finally catch up to them and chase them. The kids bump into Ginger but Brian finds out that the Cardozas work for Ginger and run away again. Elsewhere, Wayne is getting interrogated but still has no idea what is going on. Brian and Mary dodge the Cardozas and ditch the bag on a mannequin. They lead the Cardozas into the back hallways of the mall. Brian and Mary 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. Brian leads him up stairs to where they feed the sharks and Leonard is right behind him. But Brian is one step ahead as he covered the floor with slippery fish and Leonard falls into the shark tank. Brian leaves the back hallways and runs right into Danny. Brian explains the whole situation to him and then find Mary being taken care of by The Mall Ghost (Same actor as Kristopher Kringle) but once they leave, Brian and Mary get left behind a little and see Danny and Shane get arrested. Now, the fate of their Christmas is in the hands of Brian and Mary. They must get revenge on Leonard and Sheldon. The Cardozas meet up with Ginger again to say they haven't retrieved the bag yet. She is furious and tells them to go find them with a no holds barred as Brian motorcycles by with it. The chase starts as the Cardozas and Brian chase each other on the motorcycles. Mary from above, drops a water balloon on Ginger and she starts chasing Mary. Brian makes them dive through a clothing kiosk and covers Leonard's face so he is now blindly driving. Mary goes back into the hallways and lures Ginger onto the roof. After a sharp turn, the Cardozas break a window and fall into the water park. On the roof, Mary tricks Ginger into going on a cracked window dome and Ginger falls through but just slightly grabs the ledge preventing her from falling into the water where the sea lions are performing. This catches the eye of McLoosh and his agents get suspicious. Mary throws the money down and when she hits below the agents arrest her. Just when the agents find out that the money is the counterfeit, mall security bring the Cardozas to McLoosh. 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 (Same actor as Mall Ghost) 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 was able to get home before Christmas and the kids marvel as they see presents. The turkey is even ready. Mary gets a letter from Santa saying that he is the one responsible for everything. The movie ends with Mary waving at Santa from the window. Proving that Christmas miracles do happen.
Matthew Knight as Brian Saunders
Chris Kattan as Leonard Cardoza
Cameron Bright as Danny Saunders
Preston Lacy as Sheldon Cardoza
Amy Schlagel and Zoe Schlagel as Mary Saunders
Carmen Electra as Ginger Peachum
Matthew Walker as Santa, Mr. Nicholas, Mall Ghost, Kristopher Kringle, and The Old Man With The Walker
Tim Curry as Gordon McLoosh
Patrick Swayze as Wayne Saunders
MacKenzie Porter as Shane
Marty Atonini as Elliot Block
Rachel Hayward as Judy Saunders
The film is largely set in and mostly filmed at West Edmonton Mall. Secrecy before it was announced led many Edmontonians to wonder why Christmas decorations were still in place long after the Christmas season had passed.
The film was exhibited theatrically in Canada in 2007, but in the United States it premiered on television in 2008 as part of ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas programming block. The movie was poorly received by the public.