(3.5) with charlie brown and die hard this was for years my go-to christmas movie. and sure, it has some problems but it's still very entertaining with a wonderful dark streak. in general, i miss the dark, weirdly bent comedies that seemed to be more common in eighties and parts of the nineties.
Loved this as a kid and having not seen it in 15 years or so I can say that it still holds up. The blend of goofy comedy and gruesome violence is well handled and there are few movies that can balance family-friendly and downright-nasty. The acting is quite good and the effects are stellar and still works better than CGI probably would have.
There was never a movie like this, and never again. Bold enough to blend fantasy, horror and sci-fi in a children story. Like a good classic children story is meant to be. With monsters and fun. (Oh, I remember, Neil Gaiman does it so well, too! Oh, and he was the one that said that "fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.")