Story

Elliot (voice of Josh Hutcherson) is a miniature horse who lives on a struggling goat farm and reindeer training centre. Elliot dreams of being chosen to pull Santa’s (voice of George Buza) sleigh and, with the help of his good friend Hazel (voice of Samantha Bee), he trains harder than any of the reindeer on the property. But the struggling farm owner, Walter (voice of Rob Tinkler), doesn’t see his potential. Also, Elliot is bullied by self-proclaimed reindeer leader DJ (voice of Christopher Jacot), and none of the other animals believe that Elliot has what it takes.

When a news story breaks that a reindeer has left the North Pole and a replacement must be found immediately, Elliot stows away to enter the Reindeer Games secretly and prove his worth once and for all. In the meantime, Walter makes a deal with a shady woman to sell the farm and all the animals. But Walter doesn’t realise that the woman is planning to turn the animals into jerky. Elliot and Hazel uncover her plan, along with an evil elf’s plot to get rid of all reindeer. Together Elliot and Hazel must not only save Christmas but also save their friends.

Themes

Relationship difficulties (including abandonment); animal distress; animal cruelty; bullying

Violence

Elliot the Littlest Reindeer has some violence:

  • Reindeer kick both Hazel and Elliot out of the way.
  • There is repeated animated violence where Elliot gets bashed out of snowdrifts.
  • Two reindeer smash Elliot between them to get him off course.

Sexual references

There is nothing in Elliot the Littlest Reindeer to scare or disturb children over 13 years.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Elliot the Littlest Reindeer shows some use of substances. For example, Mrs Claus makes ‘magic cookies’ that help the reindeer fly. One reindeer takes more than he should and later faces the consequences of the scandal. Hazel eats a whole plateful and finds that they have a hallucinogenic effect.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no nudity or sexual activity in Elliot the Littlest Reindeer.

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

Although there is no swearing in Elliot the Littlest Reindeer, there is frequent name-calling and put-downs. These include ‘cheater’, ‘dim-witted’, ‘suckers’, ‘punks’, ‘idiots’, ‘stupid’, ‘jerks’, ‘ninny’, ‘dunderheads’, ‘stinkin’ and ‘shut up’.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Elliot the Littlest Reindeer is an animated Christmas tale about persistence and the power of dreams. It has a dark side, which is aimed at slightly older children.

These are the main messages from this movie:

  • Be proud of who you are, especially when you’re different from others.
  • Overcome your fears by facing them.
  • Remember that if something is important you’ll find a way to fix or achieve it.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include persistence, hard work, loyalty, integrity and responsibility.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:

  • cheating in sports or other areas of life
  • taking substances to boost your performance
  • lying to get your own way or deceiving others by pretending to be something that you aren’t
  • bullying people because they’re different from you.