A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is intended to entertain rather than educate.
Caring for one another. Showing loyalty to family. Believing in the spirit of Christmas. Valuing people over money. Caring about animals.
Positive Role Models
Bud is often grumpy and short with people, but cares about his family and has strict principles. He is also still grieving the loss of his wife, which explains some of his antisocial tendencies. Gloria is curious, energetic, and kind. But she is also sometimes disobedient and lacks empathy with her mother about her father often being absent.
British and American main characters. Predominantly White and gender-balanced cast, with some ethnic diversity. Discussion of grief and trauma.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Scuffles. Character placed in arm lock. Car crash results in non-serious injuries. Character butted by reindeer. Knocked over but not hurt. Punch to the face played for comic effect. Rifle shots fired by a hunter. Some jump scares. Reference to the death of a grandparent/spouse.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Language used includes "idiot," "bloody," "hell," "damn," "a--hole," "smartass," and "ass." "God" used as an exclamation.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Discussion about having to live on a budget, the sale of a valuable family house, and running a business. One character claims to care about his family but also appears to be money-orientated when dealing with them. Gloria films things she finds interesting on her smartphone and uses social media and the internet to share them.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Prancer: A Christmas Tale is a family drama about an aging patriarch who develops a bond with his granddaughter when they discover a reindeer living near the family home. The movie loosely revolves around grandfather Bud's (James Cromwell) attempts to stay out of a nursing home and reconcile his relationships with various members of his family. Overall it has several positive messages, while Bud and the other leads act with care and compassion toward each other. Bud's granddaughter Gloria (Darcey Ewart) is British, but the rest of the cast is American and predominantly White. Some people of color feature in minor supporting roles. Bud's grief for his late wife also prompts several discussions about mental health and well-being. There are some scuffles involving grabbing, pushing, and shoving and the main villain is a hunter who fires shots. Several insults are used during arguments, including "a--hole." Gloria regularly films things on her smartphone and uploads them to social media platforms. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A belated threequel in the Prancer movie series, this outing is a low-stakes, feel-good family drama for the holidays that manages to spin a decent odd-couple story out of a pretty vague premise. In Prancer: A Christmas Tale, veteran Cromwell has no trouble giving everyone the short shrift as cantankerous Bud, before the persistence of his visiting 10-year-old British granddaughter, Gloria, provides him with a companion with whom he can follow the trail of the titular magical reindeer. Thankfully, Cromwell and Ewart's on-screen chemistry helps them make easy work of a lightweight script and keeps things watchable.
The story is less consistent and at times feels more like a scenic sleigh ride. Half Christmas fairy tale and half family drama. The rocky relationship between Gloria's parents and Bud's constant clashes with his two adult children comes and goes before being resolved a bit too neatly. While Bud and Gloria's pursuit of Prancer relies on a lot of exposition. A stronger villain would've made things more interesting, as would've making Gloria's uncle Gerald (Aaron McCusker) a bit more devious. But anyone looking for some throwaway fun to help the turkey go down could do worse than add this to their Christmas watch list.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.