We first got this movie when my sons were 3 and 5 and we previewed it first. I did not feel the 'dog fight' scenes were too suspenseful/dramatic and I allowed my children to watch them. They were not scared, but we have long practiced the following technique: 1. always watch full movies before allowing your child(ren) to see them 2. if you deem only 1-2 parts may be a little intense, but not too scary or age-inappropriate for the child, make sure you are sitting WITH your child and TALK to them through those scenes. Point things out such as, "Oh, that wasn't very nice," or "I think his friends will come and help him, do you think so?" etc. It does a world of good to pull them out of the trance that television (and most forms of media which involve a screen and audio) and back into the real world where we should always be aware of what we're allowing into our minds. We definitely shelter our children, but also want them to encounter some concerning subject matter (age-appropriate) at home so that we can discuss it thoroughly, answer their questions, and give them a solid security in Jesus Christ and the character of God. The unforeseen benefit of this movie is that, although, Jesus' Name is in the title, it doesn't appear too "preachy" or like a traditional Bible story so we have had several neighbor children and some relatives who are not from Christian families choose this DVD off the shelf and happily watch it with our kids (while avoiding some of the "Jonah and the Whale" or "David and Goliath" type movies and even skimming past our selected Disney and/or Pixar movies). That says a LOT, and they are still getting the ever-so important picture of Who Jesus, the loving Savior, is.
I bought this movie for my daughters 2nd birthday. She is very advanced however, this movie scared the daylights out of her. There is a man trying to bash the dogs in the head. I understand that might be realistic but definatly not appropiate for young children. The cover does not depict the theme of "dog bashing" in the movie.