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Once Upon a Christmas (2000)

Santa is discouraged by a lack of Christmas spirit and wants to quit, but his daughter, Kristin, begs for one more chance to prove to him that there is hope for the world.

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(as Steven Berman)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bill Morgan
...
Kristen Claus
Mary Donnelly-Haskell ...
Rudolfa Claus (as Mary Donnelly Haskell)
...
The Tooth Fairy
Robin Avery ...
Sandman
Penny Blake ...
Elf #1
...
Douglas Campbell ...
Santa Claus
André Carthen ...
Principal Marsh
...
Dunder
...
Kyle Morgan
Grant Linneberg ...
Coach Zane
Elizabeth Prout ...
Mrs. Morgan
Jennifer Prout ...
Young Brittany
...
Brittany Morgan (as Kirsten Prout)
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Storyline

Widower Bill Morgan took in his loser brother-in-law, Uncle Johnny to his cynical, materially spoiled brats Kyle and Charlene, who never need long to chase each new au-pair screaming, while Bill spends all his time on business and a budding affair with a close, equally workaholic spinster colleague. The kids' misbehavior and disbeliever comments on a 'Santa Smells' website got them struck from the Northpole Christmas gifts list, like so many that Santa refuses to go on and leaves on his and Mrs. Klaus's first Hawaian holiday. Firstborn daughter Rudolfa was waiting to succeed and turn Christmas into a creepy prank festival, but her gentle younger sister Kristen begs a change to save Christmas be redeeming the Morgan family. So she reports as new au-pair, who wins the rascals over, finally helped by Johnny, who fears eviction. However Rudolfa has an evil plan, exploiting Bill refusal to pit up a Christmas tree and a crucial business presentation. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Can Santa's daughter turn naughty to nice and save Christmas?


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

18 December 2016 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

A Christmas Story  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Kristen has frozen time, the flames are completely immobile. However, the smoke continues to blow out of the windows. See more »

Quotes

Uncle Johnny: Kristen says every day should be like Christmas.
Harley Jones: Oh, what a lovely thought. But when would people work?
See more »

Connections

Followed by Twice Upon a Christmas (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

It Must Have Been The Mistletoe
Performed by Mary Donnelly-Haskell & Marc Cory Lee
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User Reviews

 
For Kathy Ireland devotees, Christmas freaks, and royalists.
14 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

You've heard of "King Midas In Reverse"? Kathy Ireland is Orson Welles in reverse - meaning to say the swimsuit model-cum-actress-cum-designer-cum-Christian's never done a movie as BAD as her debut ("Alien From L.A."). "Once Upon A Christmas" continues this tradition, though not alas for lack of trying.

This TV movie is based on the premise that Santa Claus has become disillusioned with his day job, what with so many naughty people in the world and anti-Kringle websites ("Jingle bells, Santa smells..."); but his good-hearted daughter Kristin (Kathy, but who else?) still feels there's a chance for December 25, so she agrees to try and change the mind of the Morgans, with the future of Yuletide at stake. But the father (John Dye) is business-minded, his children are avaricious and intent on getting rid of every potential substitute mum, and their uncle (Wayne Thomas Yorke, in the movie's best performance) is hardly the ideal guardian. Plus our heroine's sister is little more than the Grinch in human form...

All of which could, in better hands, have proven to be a decent little seasonal movie; it certainly has good intentions on its side, and isn't too shameless in its pitch for the "Touched By An Angel" audience (I knew John Dye had been on it, and I bet myself that Kathy had also been alongside Roma Downey at one point. I was right). But better writing and directing (Steven H. Berman and Tibor Takacs respectively) would have helped, with the amusing earlier scenes at the North Pole wiped out by the poorly handled climax; decent special effects - Kathy's sleigh ride makes "Superboy" look good - and child actors who can actually act wouldn't have gone amiss either. For a movie that's supposed to be about restoring the Christmas spirit, this is fairly low on spirit itself; it's never really as heartwarming as it should be, and depressingly short on humour as well (the villain gets surprisingly little time, with the emphasis on the family).

Kathy Ireland is, however, endearing (as well as looking a treat throughout - as the credits point out, "Special Thanks to The Kathy Ireland Signature Collection"), and the movie is more bearable than "Ernest Saves Christmas" or the "Miracle on 34th Street" remake. It would be nice to think that the sequel ("Twice Upon A Christmas") is an improvement, but I'm not holding my breath. (For those wondering why this is good for royalists, a certain Edward Wessex is one of the executive producers. Well, he has to do something...)


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