Reviewed byBookPoetVote: 9/10/10
This film proves that there are still unspoiled hearts left on Planet Earth.Those who find it sappy or irrelevant have spent too much time wearingGrinch suits and need a good dose of humanity to thaw that hard matter intheir chests that passes for a heart.
The child actors are the heart of _Prancer_. They are real, never overactingor coming off as children playing at making a film. Sam Elliot is theepitome of the overstressed, depressed man who has lost his wife anddespairs of losing everything else too. His transformation is believable andworthy of the time spent to watch his character unfold. Cloris Leachman is adelight as the female Scrooge who is touched by two children--Jessica whoreintroduces her to the joy of Christmas, and a little boy in church whoreintroduces her to the joy of human fellowship.
Above all, this is a story of transition. The earnest child must moveforward to knowledge, and the jaded grownup must move back to mystery andfaith. If your Christmas is too much take and not enough give, I prescribehot chocolate, hot buttered popcorn, and a viewing of Prancer with peopleyou love. Better yet, do as we have and make this movie part of yourpersonal holiday tradition. It might help make you a better person the restof the year.
Reviewed byscott-551Vote: 7/10/10
Few movies inhabit the world of childhood quite as authentically as"Prancer." Until thevery last moments, it doesn't matter whether young Jessica's belief thatshehas foundone of Santa's reindeer is literally true. The fact that she couldbelievesuch a thing sostrongly, and selflessly act on her belief to help the lost reindeer, iscompelling enoughon its own. Children occupy a world where naive clarity mingles with aconfusingknowledge of how much of adult life remains unknown. "Prancer" creates anatmospherethat lets adults dip back into that almost-forgotten way of experiencingtheworld.
Sam Elliott delivers a fantastic performance as Jessica's father, afarmerwho has recentlylost his wife and will soon probably lose his farm. He is on the verge oflosing his family,and the father-daughter relationship at the heart of the movie feelsunaffectedly real.Cloris Leachman's turn as an embittered neighbor deserves note aswell.
The film's greatest flaws occur in its last two minutes. First, acriticalcontinuity errorshows that the reindeer has shed a jingle-bell harness just before thesoundof theharness is supposed to indicate the animal's presence. Finally, at theveryend, the movieshatters its ambiguity about the literal truth of the reindeer'sidentity.In doing so, itnegates the foundation of the story's authenticity and dramatic power,andtrivializes thefinal reconciliation between Jessica and her father. If the reindeer isnota supernaturalbeing, then Jessica is a silly little girl and the audience has been had.But if the reindeeris a magical beast from Santa's stable, then it is not a leap of faithforJessica's father toaccept her improbable belief in the animal. By revealing the answer onewayor the other,"Prancer" cheapens itself and significantly undermines the emotionalpowerof anotherwise subtle and moving drama.
Reviewed bysmillacat76Vote: 10/10/10
In general, I think Christmas has lost its meaning for most people.Now, the main goal of the holidays seems to be to spend as much moneyas possible. In the process, people lose sight of the fact that we arecelebrating the birth of the Son of God. I try hard not to get toowrapped up in the frenzy of the commercialization of Christmas. So, Itry to find ways to make my season peaceful and meaningful. Prancer isone of the joys of the season for me. It's themes about keeping faithin the face of all those who don't believe, love overcoming hard luck,and courageously facing loss as a way of dealing with it are timeless.Rebecca Harrell as Jessica Riggs is the star of this movie, and SamElliot couldn't have been cast in a better role. During the holidays, Itry to find one evening to build a crackling fire, sip hot chocolate,and settle down to watch Prancer. It has become my favorite Christmasmovie, and one of my favorite movies of all time. What makes it evenmore precious is that it was filmed near my home, in LaPorte, Indiana.The beautiful snowy fields, orchards and woods filmed in the movie arejust outside my door! I hope you all enjoy Prancer as much as I do!
Jessica, the daughter of an impoverished farmer, still believes in Santa Claus. So when she comes across a reindeer with an injured leg, it makes perfect sense to her to assume that it is Prancer, who had fallen from a Christmas display in town. She hides him in her barn and feeds him cookies, until she can return him to Santa. Her father finds him and decides to sell him to the butcher, not for venison chops, but as an advertising display.