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Prancer ()

directed by
featuring Sam Elliott, Rebecca Harrell, Cloris Leachman, Rutanya Alda, Abe Vigoda

If you know the Clement Clark Moore poem, you'll know that Prancer is one of Santa Claus' "eight tiny reindeer." When 9-year-old Rebecca Harrell, who still believes in Santa despite the remonstrations of her parents and the taunts of her peers, stumbles across the selfsame Prancer in a remote part of the forest, no one will believe the girl. Later on, Harrell's no-nonsense father Sam Elliot comes across a wounded reindeer, he feels it his duty to put the suffering animal out of his misery. The deer, of course, is Prancer, and it magically vanishes before Elliot's startled eyes. Harrell nurses the deer back to health in secret, with the help of kindly doctor Abe Vigoda and her troublesome older brother John Joseph Duda. Harrell is determined to contact Santa and let him know where Prancer is, but her efforts only result in public humiliation for her father. But this is a Christmas film, and the spirit of goodwill is contagious by fadeout time, even transforming town-recluse Cloris Leachman into a warm-hearted social animal. Filmed in Indiana, Prancer isn't quite a classic, but it's perfect midwinter videocassette entertainment. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi Hide synopsis

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