34 user 19 critic

Prancer (1989)

A farm girl nurses a wounded reindeer she believes is one of Santa's, hoping to bring it back to health in time for Christmas. Her holiday spirit inspires those around her, something her disheartened father is having trouble understanding.


(as John Hancock)



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2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
... John Riggs
... Mrs. McFarland
... Aunt Sarah
... Orel Benton
... Mr. Stewart / Santa
... Jessica Riggs
John Duda ... Steve Riggs (as John Joseph Duda)
... Carol Wetherby
... Herb Drier
... Billy Quinn
Walter Charles ... Minister
Victor Truro ... Mr. Young
Marcia Porter ... Mrs. Fairburn
... Mr. Soot
Robert Zimmermann ... Wagnall


Jessica, the daughter of an impoverished farmer, still believes in Santa Claus. So when she comes across a reindeer with an injured leg, it makes perfect sense to her to assume that it is Prancer, who had fallen from a Christmas display in town. She hides him in her barn and feeds him cookies, until she can return him to Santa. Her father finds him and decides to sell him to the butcher, not for venison chops, but as an advertising display. Written by <Vertigus@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They lost the true spirit of Christmas...And found it locked in the heart of one little girl. See more »


Drama | Family | Fantasy


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

17 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jessica und das Rentier  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,914,486, 19 November 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The main street in the movie is a street over from that in Three Oaks where the lumber yard was located. See more »


When we first see the close-up shot of the Christmas display (with Prancer intact) being raised up downtown, one of the railroad crossing arms is up though we can hear the bells ringing and a train approaching. The following long shot shows the crossing arms completely down with their lights flashing. See more »


John Riggs: [to Steve at the dinner table] If you're gonna eat like an animal, take your food out to the barn.
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Followed by Prancer Returns (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A lovely, heartwarming Christmas flick
28 December 2006 | by See all my reviews

"Prancer" is about a young girl, Jessica Riggs, who unexpectedly finds a wounded reindeer, whom she believes belongs to Santa. With her father under financial pressure, and who ignores her a lot, she has a tough time. She wants to look after it and nurse it, but has to do it secretly since her father is against it and could kill it at any moment. She often have minor fights and arguments with her father regarding family matters and her own life. Meanwhile, her duty, she feels is to take good care of Prancer.

Jessica Riggs's role was played by Rebecca Harrell, and she must have been the perfect young child to do the role. Her natural, childlike attitude couldn't have got any better, and that was seen in the movie.

I still remember myself crying a bit while watching it as a child. It still brings tears in my eyes while watching even today. I advise those who wish to watch this movie watch it by around Christmas, and that would be the right time....And believe me, you won't be disappointed.

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