Prancer Returns,
directed by Joshua Butler
(Gypsy Films, 2001)

Prancer Returns is the sequel to the 1989 Prancer. Considering the seven awards this film received (plus five nominations) it was obviously much better than I thought.

We are back in Three Oaks, Michigan, where Prancer is a local legend. When Charlie (Gavin Fink), a newcomer from Chicago, notices a reindeer is missing from the team hanging across Main Street, he is sent to Tom Sullivan (John Corbett), the local Prancer expert. Tom tells him the story and explains that the town does not hang Prancer until a special ceremony on Christmas Eve.

Charlie's brother, Ryan (Robert Clark), hates the small town and plans to go back to Chicago to live with his dad. He is fighting with their mom, Denise (Stacy Edwards). Charlie's adjustment is not going much better. He is not making friends and the other boys have caused him to get detention at school. But things really start going downhill after he finds a baby reindeer and hides it in his basement.

Ryan is leaving for Chicago. Charlie has to find somewhere to hide Prancer until he can reunite him with Santa. Denise is going out with the "Darth Vader of elementary," vice principal Jim Klock (Michael O'Keefe). It all comes to a head when Prancer follows Charlie to school and bites Klock. Klock calls animal control to put Prancer down.

I enjoyed the original Prancer and could not wait to see this one. It seemed almost like I was watching the same movie with different names and faces. I was extremely disappointed, but only because I had those expectations. Had I not seen the first movie, I would have cherished this one and been extremely satisfied with it.

The roles were played well and the sets were nice. (It was a bit of a shock to see Prancer's antlers go from nubs to a full rack, but I suppose that is all part of the magic of Christmas.)

Considered on its own, Prancer Returns is a great movie. It is a cute adventure that the entire family can enjoy.

review by
Alicia Karen Elkins

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