Prancer (1989)

G   |    |  Drama, Family, Fantasy


Prancer (1989) Poster

A farm girl nurses a wounded reindeer she believes is one of Santa's, hoping to bring it back to health in time for Christmas. Her holiday spirit inspires those around her, something her disheartened father is having trouble understanding.


6.4/10
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  • Rebecca Harrell Tickell in Prancer (1989)
  • Sam Elliott and Rebecca Harrell Tickell in Prancer (1989)
  • Cloris Leachman and Rebecca Harrell Tickell in Prancer (1989)
  • Rebecca Harrell Tickell in Prancer (1989)
  • Rebecca Harrell Tickell in Prancer (1989)
  • Rebecca Harrell Tickell in Prancer (1989)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


18 December 2002 | jckruize
8
| Holiday sentiment, well-acted and unsappy.
Some occasionally clumsy dialogue only mildly undercuts the virtues of Greg Taylor's thoughtful script, which provides a surprisingly realistic depiction of the joys and heartaches of simple lives at Christmastime.

Rebecca Harrell is superb as 9-year-old Jessica, who finds an injured reindeer in the woods near her Michigan farm and determines to nurse it back to health in time to help pull Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve. She's a marvelously realized character, refreshingly minus the cute kid mannerisms of many a Hollywood acting tyke. I particularly liked the way she deflected her father's tirades with her singlemindedness of purpose: he might get mad at her, but she was still going to do what she had to do. Very childlike, and very real.

A subplot about Jessica's helping a reclusive, eccentric neighbor (played by Cloris Leachman in a virtual cameo) seems truncated and unnecessary, but for the most part Taylor's scenario sticks to the basics and is better for it. Characters surrounding Jessica act like real people, not stereotypes, and events transpire with a sense of realism, not melodrama.

Credit for this tale's effectiveness also goes to Sam Elliott, who plays Jessica's father, a recent widower, with a harsh demeanor that seems to mask real pain and desperation. Thus his rapprochement with his wayward daughter carries unexpected depth of feeling and could not fail to move all but the most cynical. For a dad like me, I admit it put a big lump in my throat.

Despite a somewhat flawed climax -- to my mind, the vfx shot of Santa's sleigh coursing across the sky is unnecessary, given the magic moment just prior to it that reveals reindeer hoofprints leading to a precipice -- this nice little holiday film delivers a timeless message about faith and selflessness. Recommended for mature kids of 8 or older.

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Details

Release Date:

17 November 1989

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA, Canada

Filming Locations

New Carlisle, Indiana, USA

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,914,486 19 November 1989

Gross USA:

$18,587,135

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,587,135

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