My little brother is 4, and he loves dogs and the Buddy Halloween movie, Halloween Hound. So having thought the Halloween movie was pretty cute, I assumed this one would be decent. Nope. To start off, I'm 16, love scary movies, but the Santa Clause in this movie will haunt my dreams. He's pretty scary looking. My brother usually sticks around for a while to try a movie out but about 10 minutes in he asked me to turn it off. Later after he went to bed, I somehow came to the decision to watch it... Don't ask. Next, Mrs. Stout, the woman who runs the orphanage, manages to be so much less likeable than even Ms. Hannigan in Annie. Seriously, she's just straight up cruel. If I was a small child, she would scare me. At some point Creepy Santa gets hit BY A CAR. Just generally not a great theme in a Christmas movie. The only thing that made me feel okay while watching this was the cute puppy (Paws) who was sweet and innocent. Well, kiss that goodbye because pretty soon the fluffy dog is turned back into a ridiculously creepy stuffed dog. Which gets thrown into a furnace. Good times. Later, the little girl CLIMBS INTO THE WORKING FURNACE TO GET OUT THE STUFFED DOG. I understand Disney trying to have a bravery theme, and don't get me wrong, I adore Disney, but this was just taking it too far. Young kids' brains are like sponges, and I remember being little and reenacting movie scenes. Let's not have kids reenact this one with one of their toys and an oven. There's a lot of screaming and crying in this movie and as a kid, I hated that. It made me feel very uneasy. I didn't even finish the movie because I was pretty dang creeped out. But I hear it has a happy ending, at least.
I advise you to wait till your kids are a little older to watch this. But honestly, I'm 16 and pretty scarred. Take it from someone who's not much older than your kids, I would have been scared when I was little. It was just weird. I can't really describe the mood it gives off. The highlights were the cute puppy when he wasn't a creepy toy, the other talking dogs, and probably the pretty happy scene with a song about Christmas, until the little is thrown in the basement for singing. It goes downhill fast.
Sorry for the novel! I hope this helps!