Parents' Guide to

Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Animated reindeer tale has nice messages but nasty bite.

Movie PG 2018 89 minutes
Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 10+


My friend recommended this, but I turned it off with 20 min to go bc it was too negative. The characters talked to each other with constant put downs, name calling like loser and all around selfishness and negativity. I know the psychedelic cookies and doping were over my 7 yr olds head, but still I had enough. She didn’t complain when I turned it off so obviously she wasn’t that into it. I feel there are plenty other movies with more positive and kind messages.
age 10+

Just bad.

Last 10 minutes are ok. Rest is just BAD. Steal characters from other movies. Just skip it.

This title has:

Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8):
Kids say (4):

Children aren't likely to mind or even realize that this holiday-themed story is derivative of several other kids' animated films, but it may bug older viewers. Whether writer-director Jennifer Westcott was inspired by others' ideas or just ripped them off is unclear, but it's hard to ignore the elements of Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer that feel borrowed from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Olive the Other Reindeer, Charlotte's Web, Ferdinand, Arthur Christmas, and even The Lemon Drop Kid. That said, the film's (few) original ideas are great, including the fun idea of a reindeer-training academy and Canadian performer Kolton Stewart's toe-tapping, inspirational song "Off to the Races," which plays over the credits.

Westcott picks up what Gene Autry's jovial delivery of the Rudolph song masks: Comet, Donder, Blitzen, et al. aren't necessarily good guys. Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer runs with that notion, painting the veteran reindeer as mean, self-centered, and "stupid." As Santa's stars retire to get married, raise families, and open their own businesses, Santa sees them as disloyal. Westcott is clever to realize and exploit this idea, but it's not exactly the kind of ho-ho-wholesome content that makes the holiday spirit soar. Hutcherson's sweet, earnest, innocent delivery as Elliot fits the film's positive messages, but the tone is overpowered by Bee's hallmark snark and Morena Baccarin's Deadpool cynicism. Thanks to that, plus its barrage of put-downs, Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer brings little joy to the season.

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