First, the positives. The kids are adorable and the young actors performing the parts of Katie and Teddy did a marvelous job. Kurt Russell really hits the mark as a slightly grouchy, no-nonsense Santa. However, I was dismayed by the amount of size shaming and diet culture promotion.
Had it happened only once, I would have rolled my eyes and moved on. However, it happened multiple times, including a scene where the sleigh hits a billboard advertising Coke products with the image of a portly Santa enjoying a Coke. Santa shouts: "take that, Fat Man!"
Shaking my damn head. Not only was the size shaming not necessary, but the levels of at the very least subconscious vehemence and hatred towards larger people was absolutely uncalled for. Also, do the writers really thinks that Santa is so vain that all he cares about is being perceived as slim and sexy? I honestly find such people quite a bore and I would hope that if Santa were real, he wouldn't be a self-centered dullard.
As a curmudgeonly adult, I found the size bashing dismal and enraging. I can only imagine how it would seem to a big kid watching that movie. The inherent message they will take away is not "family needs to stick together," but "fat is the very worst thing you can possibly be. Even Santa hates fat people."
Hollywood really needs to stop with the lame-ass fat jokes whenever they find themselves at a loss for comic relief. If you can't include larger people in your story in a positive way, at the very least don't include them just to make them the butt of mean-spirited "humor".
Every kid deserves to feel like he or she is okay just as he or she is all year 'round, but I feel that a positive, family-friendly holiday movie needs to take a bit of extra care to make sure they aren't alienating and shaming certain already stigmatized populations.