Directed by: Jennifer Westcott
Produced by: Michael Emerson, Victoria Wescott
Written by: Jennifer Westcott
Starring: Morena Baccarin, Josh Hutcherson, John Cleese.
I must confess I got excited when I read about the stellar voice cast including names such as John Cleese and Martin Short. I love animation and I knew absolutely nothing about Elliot The Littlest Reindeer, walking in with an open mind.
First impression was weak though for the graphics looked like I was home playing PS4 and the awkward character’s tone attempt to wink at humour was soon defeated by a numb storyline. There was one moment I laughed, when the Highland horse with Braveheart-painted face and accent to match appeared on the screen. And that was it.
Barely 30 minutes into the film, something unprecedented happened: half the reviewers watching left the cinema. Imagine that. And I sat there, unable to find a comfortable position for a painful hour and a half. Do you want to know my very honest opinion? Well, I wouldn’t take my worst enemy’s children to endure this waste of time and resources. Still want to know more? Sure, let’s continue.
The protagonist, a miniature horse with illusions of grandeur, is bullied by jerk-reindeers (the film’s words not mine) every time he attempts to train with them. Suddenly, Blitzen decides to retire and Santa organises a competition to select the next best thing and everything goes down the hill from here. Elliott goes from friendly horse to wannabe-reindeer in sixty seconds flat, leaving his old friends for a chance to be accepted.
But wait, there is more. The baddie-bad villain Miss Ludzinka, a Cruella De Ville type voiced by Martin Short, plans to purchase Elliott’s farm to make jerky out of its residents. Yes, I said jerky. Yummy. Now, after winning, Elliott is disqualified for not being a reindeer and the judges discover that DJ (the antagonist, Blitzen’s son and Elliot’s personal jerk-reindeer bully for convenience sake) has used additional ‘magical cookies’ to stay high in the sky for longer and win the competition.
If they don’t win, they lose the farm. All is lost, or is it? No spoilers here. All I am going to say if that the logline ‘big dreamers dream big’ is repeated over and over to ensure the audience stays tuned and follows Elliott the wannabe-reindeer and his owner the wannabe-farmer on their journey to become better beings.
What happens next? You’ll have to find out. Or maybe not. Maybe you can spare your kids and go watch something where animals are not threatened to be butchered, smoked and become jerky. Just a thought.
Redeeming features of the film include a nice old-fashioned score by Grayson Matthews and interesting facial expressions courtesy of animation director Sean Coughlin’s and his team. Until next time!
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