Prancer (1989) review

Rated: 1.5 / 5

So this is a film about a girl who finds a reindeer in the woods, that was wounded from hunters shooting at it. And she believes this reindeer to be Prancer, Santa’s missing reindeer. And she does all she can to nurse it back to health and reunite it with Santa come Christmas Eve. And she does all this at the expense of her friends and family, making them all suffer mentally, emotionally, and even sometimes physically, while she goes about fulfilling this childish delusion of hers.

Jesus Christ am I glad I didn’t watch this for Christmas, let alone make a family viewing out of it. Not since The Babadook have I wanted a dipshit kid to get killed so badly in a movie. Sam Elliot has one of the most annoying fucking daughters in cinema history in this film. Everything she does in the fucking movie makes the lives of those around her worse in some way, and yet us the viewers, and the other people in the film (at least by the end of it) are meant to view her as an adorable well-intentioned good-hearted child.

We’re not meant to view her as a whiny bitch. We’re not meant to find the voice she sings with grating on the ears. We’re not meant to view her as unreasonable and selfish. Well fuck what we’re supposed to feel. I feel like Sam Elliot should’ve just fucking snapped and blasted her skull open with his hunting rifle, then cooked himself a plate of bacon and eggs and eat it while make some speech in his Sam Elliot voice about how good it tastes and how relaxed he feels now that he doesn’t have to deal with her shit anymore. Then he’ll stuff an apple in her mouth and throw her in the oven.

So in case you didn’t figure it out, I really didn’t like the protagonist of this movie. And aside from being related by blood, her father didn’t have any reason to like her either, with all the shit she pulled throughout the film’s runtime. And I knew how this was going to end too. It was going to end with both of them reconciling with one another and saving Christmas or something. And I knew I was going to hate it when that moment came where the film tries to emotionally manipulate you into believe she really is a sweet adorable girl.

And you know what? It almost succeeded. And it almost did so in two ways.

1.) The daughter actually admits (after having an accident) that she was acting foolishly this whole time, and needed to grow up. To which I started thinking, “Maybe this film is more intelligent than I gave it credit for. Having a message where silly childish beliefs cause kids to do foolish things, and it’s only when one finally acts mature, acknowledges their foolishness, and becomes a little more wise, that they can finally move on and get along better with everyone else. Which generally causes her and everyone around them to improve in mood, attitude, personality, and acceptance.”

2.) Sam Elliot showcased why he’s such a good actor with not just the speech he gives with how much he loves his daughter, but how he delivers it. His Sam Elliot voice, the tears in his eyes. It’s enough to make any grown man cry.

Then the very end of the movie comes and shows that this reindeer really was Prancer, Santa’s missing sled tower, who flies away to rejoin the others, leaving nothing to the imagination. Which basically butchers point #1 above, which makes point #2 lose some of its impact, which leaves me with no other conclusion except to view this film as a piece of shit with an annoying dipshit girl protagonist.

A Christmas film can be good and have a good Christmas message while also acknowledging that Santa isn’t real! I’ve seen it happen! In Gremlins! What’s the “good” Christmas message in that movie? Fuck if I know, but it was set during the Christmas time and is a better film than this, so I’m just going to assume it has a better Christmas message buried somewhere in it!

“Well shit, I probably should’ve called Dalton in to teach her some manners the same way he taught Jimmy.”

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