CBS Productions, Stratford Zivic Productions

Richard Thomas, Beau Bridges, Maria Pitillo, Jan Rubes, John Franklin, Debbie Lee Charrington, Taylor Anne Reid, Meghan Black, James Kirk, Brarbara Tyson, Ken Bogue

When professor Jerry McNeil (Richard Thomas) was a small boy, he fell from atop a large pine tree way out in the forest. He was caught and saved by a flying reindeer. Jerry is certain that it’s scientifically possible for a reindeer to fly due to certain physical characteristics. He’s writing a paper on the flying squirrel, but inside, he’s still very interested in reindeer. When he is given a book written hundreds of years ago by a scientist who studied reindeer flight, he becomes obsessed with proving the scientific fact. He heads off for northern Canada, and sure enough finds a flying reindeer, but also crashes his plane at the North Pole. There he meets the writer of his book, as well as the Jolly Old Elf himself, Santa (Beau Bridges). He has the proof he needs, but the one rule is that no one is allowed to ever leave the North Pole or the secret will be out.

This movie ought to be awful. Imagine a film with John Boy about flying reindeer! But actually it’s not too bad. It takes a scientific approach, and dwells, not so much on the Santa and reindeer, but more on the value of family, faith, and belief. When Jerry finds out there is no way to go home, he finally realizes how much he does need his family. Meanwhile, the families efforts to locate him and find him show them how important Dad is to the rest of the family. It’s a fine story, much better than you would ever expect.

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