PRANCER, my all-time favorite kid's Christmas movie
Let’s recap a little. PRANCER tells the story of Jessica Riggs, a warm-hearted, bright-eyed girl in the Midwest. She lives with her father and brother on an apple farm in Northwest Indiana. We learn that her mother passed away a couple years ago from cancer. The role of Jessica’s father is played to a T by veteran actor Sam Elliot. He’s a hard-nosed man’s-man, doing what he can to make ends meet on the farm.
Jessica is a Christmas enthusiast, like most young children. She gets slightly enraged when a friend tells her there isn’t a Santa Claus – and almost more so when everyone around her doubts that the reindeer is Prancer. But Jessica conjures up a plan to reunite Prancer with Santa on the night before Christmas Eve at the aptly named Antler Ridge, a cliff high atop a nearby mountain.
There’s even a scene where Jessica calls a live-stock veterinarian to come check out Prancer. But when he arrives and sees that it’s an injured wild reindeer, he packs up and starts to leave. But Jessica’s innocent begging causes him to stay and tend to the ‘deer.
Needless to say, after the article goes live, her father out and throws a fit. Threatens to shoot Prancer until a local business man steps in and offers to buy the reindeer for $200. Sold.
So now the ‘deer is on display in a cage in the middle of town square. Jessica hatches a plan to break Prancer out in the middle of the night. This new plan works…sort of. Prancer gets free but Jessica winds up unconscious, laying in the show. And now here comes the charm of the movie. The reindeer lays next to her to keep her warm.
Cut to Christmas Eve. The town has rallied behind young Jessica Riggs. And her father has bought back Prancer and has him loaded up in the back of his truck. The two head for Antler Ridge.
Interesting side note: a sequel was released in 2001 called PRANCER RETURNS. I actually have yet to see the sequel, but I plan to sometime this holiday season. So expect a review next year.
Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!