The reindeer effect is as an instance where something that is gross, unattractive, unintelligent, savage, unappealing, or just completely awful in real life is redefined through cartoons and cultural representations as cute, cuddly, cunning, kind, attractive, or appealing. For example, reindeer and most animals or anything else that is personified through cartoons or songs.
I went to Africa and was nearly killed by an angry Hippopotamus that charged out of the river and attacked our Safari truck unprovoked! I didn't they were so vicious, probably because of how friendly they look on those Hungry Hungry Hippos commercials. I blame our lack of caution around hippos on the reindeer effect that that game has created.
by TheManFromSparkleCity January 04, 2011