The Little Reindeer

Produced by: Millimages UK

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                I was looking for an animated holiday special I had never seen before when I stumbled on an animated short film, produced in France and the UK, that aired in the UK on December 25, 2004.  Featuring a tiny reindeer and a young child living in the city, The Little Reindeer promised to be a cute Christmas distraction.  I couldn’t wait to watch it.

                Based on the book by Michael Foreman, The Little Reindeer follows the adventures of a newly born reindeer in the North Pole.  This tiny reindeer finds everything new and wondrous, including Santa's Workshop, which is incredibly busy with Christmas approaching.  As the reindeer checks out the workshop, it accidentally gets stuck in the works, packaged and added to Santa's sack.  He accidentally falls out of Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve and lands on the roof of a building.

                He is found on Christmas morning by a young boy who, realizing that he is not allowed to have a pet in his apartment, decides to keep him on the roof in his pigeon coop.  Every day, the young boy treks from his apartment to the roof, feeding his new friend peanut butter and banana sandwiches and playing with him.  The longer the little reindeer stays in the coop, watching the pigeons fly, the more he is reminded of all that reindeer do.  He beings experimenting and soon is able to stay aloft. 

                Now that he can fly, the little reindeer follows his human friend to school, rescuing him from bullies and teaching those bullies a lesson or two.  Afterwards, the two go on a great adventure, flying to far off lands and having a great time.  After a little research, the young boy realizes just what his friend is and that soon, it will be time for him to return to the North Pole.  He makes all the necessary preparations and, though he knows what will happen when Santa comes on Christmas Eve, he is heartbroken when the reindeer is gone on Christmas Day. 

                Will he ever see the little reindeer again?  Will they ever again share the adventures they once shared together?  Only time will tell.

                The Little Reindeer is a quite the cute little Christmas story.  There is almost no dialogue in this film, with the exception of a few words from Santa Claus (Tom Baker), but there is little need for words.  The characters are very animated and full of expression, allowing for every emotion to be read easily.  Words are unnecessary when you can so easily tell what’s going on through the character’s expressions.  The story is a heartwarming tale of friendship and belonging.  A beautiful story well worth watching with the kids for Christmas.

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