Three kids and their Dad move from L.A to Edmonton. When they go shopping at West Edmonton Mall they find counterfeit cash. They inadvertently help catch the crooks, and later make a discovery about Santa.
It's turning out to be a pretty rotten Christmas for the Saunders family. Having just moved to a new city from Los Angeles, they have no friends, no money and, with the exception of the bright-eyed Mary, no Christmas spirit. To make matters worse, their mother is stuck in L.A., stranded by airline overbookings. So, the Christmas shopping duties fall on Dad and the gloomy kids. Things start looking a bit more like Christmas when 12-year old Brian and 6-year old Mary find a satchel of money at the local mall and they launch a Yuletide shopping spree...that is, until the crooks who counterfeited the money chase them through the mall packed with holiday shoppers. Written by
Filmed in West Edmonton Mall, located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. See more »
When the family approaches the West Edmonton Mall a situating shot shows traffic passing by the mall in the street. A cyclist is clearly seen in summer riding gear. Though care is taken to establish that there "will be no snow for Christmas", it would definitely still be far too cold in Edmonton on Christmas Eve for cycling in shorts. See more »
As an Edmontonian, having a movie filmed in our city is always exciting as that is a very rare occurrence. To have the movie actually set in Edmonton is even better. "Christmas in Wonderland", however, is an embarrassment for Edmonton. It is that bad.
Firstly, the writing is awful. It sounds like it was written by an elementary school student. The 'funny' lines are cringe-worthy. The story itself is ridiculous. Aside from the main storyline, the 'love' story involving the oldest brother and some girl he meets in the mall is absurd. She just happens to be the same age and also just moved from California to Edmonton. The police are also misrepresented. Why is it that the RCMP is the only law enforcement organization in Canada? Edmonton does have its own police force, which were even featured in the movie, yet were called the RCMP. Another ridiculous element of this movie is the fact that there is no snow on Christmas Eve. In fact the grass is nearly green. Anyone who has lived in Edmonton for a few years knows that such an occurrence is EXTREMELY rare. Edmonton winters are long, extremely cold, and usually very snowy.
The acting is atrocious. I have never seen such bad acting, especially from Cameron Bright, Carmen Electra, and Chris Kattan. Cameron Bright is by far the worst, as he sounds, literally, like he is a teacher with no emotion reading a book out loud to his class. Carmen Electra - destroyer of film quality - is not much better. Luckily she does not have much screen time.
Perhaps the worst moment of the film comes when the 'North Pole' is seen in the bowels of WEM. The CGI animation of the 'elves' is perhaps 1980s worthy. The animation is shockingly bad, leaving one to consider if it would of just been better not to include it.
The only redeeming quality is Tim Curry as a memory-challenged Scottish RCMP officer. He does this character rather well considering the awfulness of the overall film.
"Christmas in Wonderland" doesn't deserve the $689 it made in theatres.
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