Quinn is a young orphan who believes in Christmas and has a strong faith in Santa Claus. When she first comes to the orphanage, she befriends Will, who is the oldest of the girls and really doesn't believe in Christmas. It also hurts her feelings when Will is and the other girls are treated badly by the no-nonsense proprietor Ms. Stout, who wants the girls to learn that life is cruel (ironically so is she). When Paws comes in the alley behind the orphanage, Quinn finds and befriends him, believing that Christmas wishes can come true if they believe in Christmas.
Role in the film
In New York City, when Mrs. Gibson walks Quinn to the orphanage, Quinn pulls her back, worrying that she might be lonely in there. Mrs. Gibson reassures her that there are some other kids for her to play with. When she rings the doorbell, Ms. Stout opens the door. Mrs. Gibson introduces her to Quinn and Ms. Stout lets them in. Mrs. Gibson gives Ms. Stout Quinn's monthly care check and asks if they could introduce Quinn the the other girls, but Ms. Stout tells her they are studying (they are really doing their chores). When Mrs. Gibson leaves, Ms. Stout takes a close look at Quinn to make sure there is nothing wrong with her health and tells her to sit on the bench. She tells Quinn she will get Willamina (Will) to show her around and calls to her. Ms. Stout drags Will downstairs to meet Quinn. When Ms. Stout leaves, Will reassures Quinn that she be comfortable in the orphanage and introduces her nickname "Will". She introduces her to the other orphans: Janie, Meg, Taylor, and Mary and tells her that she will get adopted. She then shows Quinn their bedroom and leaves her to get settled into it.
Later, Quinn is seen on the alley balcony with her angel that her mom had given her before she passed away ("Who Will Sing My Song to Me?"). Will finds her on the balcony and tells her to come back into their bedroom before lights out. Quinn shows Will her angel and is told not to let Ms. Stout see it (because of this, Ms Stout might take it away from Quinn). Ms. Stout comes into their bedroom and sees Janie's doll under her pillow. She walks over to Janie's bed and snatches the doll from her, making Janie sad and sobbing in her bed. Will comforts Janie and promises her that they will get it back for her, but Janie tells her that it is going to the furnace, which worries Quinn in the middle of the night. The next morning, Quinn pleads Will to let her come with her for a walk in the city, and Will swears that they have to hurry and Ms. Stout has two hours to get her hair done. When they go to Hucklebuckle Toys, Quinn sees Santa Claus in the shop, but Will informs her that he isn't real. Ignoring the insult, Quinn goes into the shop and meets Kate Hucklebuckle, the wife of James who both work in the shop, and tells her that Will is only with her, because her parents passed away. Kate takes her to see Santa Claus and introduces her to him. To make sure Will isn't right, she pulls Santa's beard, but then she asks him to get Will the red bike in the window, and a puppy to cheer the girls up at the orphanage. Will calls her over to go, and Will tries to inform her that Santa isn't real, but Quinn urges to argue that he is.
When they get back to the orphanage, Ms. Stout furiously meets them. Will fibs that she is showing Quinn where to take the trash out, and changes the subject by complimenting her hair. Quinn slips out the fact that it looks like a hedgehog, and Ms. Stout grabs the girls into the basement to punish Will for inadvertently insulting her. She shows Quinn the incinerator and explains that if she breaks one of her rules, she will end up in the basement with Will, and takes her back upstairs, leaving Will starved and heartbroken. That night, Quinn hears a voice calling for help outside in the alley. Quinn goes out in the alley and finds Paws in it, looking at her for help. Quinn has never seen a talking dog before, so she goes down to Paws and befriends him, and promises to help him look for Santa Claus and let him stay at the orphanage, though they have to careful not to let Ms. Stout see him. They go inside and sleep in the closet for the night.
In a deleted scene, Quinn is denied any breakfast from Ms. Stout because she was late but Will offers her a piece of waffle and the two eventually make up for each other. Unbeknownst to them, Paws turns the poor quality breakfast food into a delicious gourmet of cupcakes. Ms. Stout soon finds out, and thinking that the girls had stolen all of the delicious treats from a pastry chef knocks them to the floor by the fires of her inner psyche to make the girls more miserable than ever, warning that there will be "consequences" if there is a crumb big enough for a mouse to eat.
The next morning, when they wake up, Paws fills the closet with Christmas decoration with his magic Christmas crystal. Will hears Quinn's delighted voice in the closet and finds Paws sitting next to Quinn, surprised. Quinn tells her that he is looking for Santa Claus, and Paws barks, trying to get Will to believe Quinn. Will shushes him, and warns Quinn that they'll get in trouble if Ms. Stout hears him barking and informs her again that Santa isn't real. Paws barks again, and Will shushes him. When Ms. Stout goes out shopping, Quinn and Paws go out to find Santa. Paws sees James Hucklebuckle dressed as Santa, and gives up. That night, Quinn shows Paws to the girls led by Janie, and they hear him talking, because children can only hear Paws talk if they really believe in Christmas. Will tries to inform and warn the girls about Paws, but they encourage her to believe in Christmas by singing ("I Do Believe in Christmas"). Ms. Stout storms in and finds the girls in beautiful dresses, the bedroom Christmas-decorated and Paws himself, and for no other purpose than in intense anger sends Will back down to the basement with Paws. She takes Paws down there too, and puts him there with Will. When Ms Stout comes up, she sees Quinn's Christmas angel and snatches it from her. With a refusing yell, she tells her to get back upstairs before she ends up in the basement with Will.
The next day, when Paws turns into a toy, Ms. Stout throws him into the furnace. Quinn desperately goes in there to rescue him, but ends up in trouble, rolling her way to the fire trying to save Paws. Will and the girls come to rescue her just in time, and Will stops the furnace and helps Quinn and Paws out, and Quinn puts the crystal back on Paws' collar. When Santa turns sick, Quinn, Will and Paws rush with Kate and James to the hospital. But when they get there, it is too late. When the doctor tells them that Santa may not might it, the whole family is devastated, thinking Santa is going to die. Paws bravely volunteers to keep Santa company all through his tests and turns back into a toy by morning.
After Ms. Stout gets fired from her job because of her mistreatment she has influenced on the girls by Ms. Gibson, Quinn and Will are adopted by the Hucklebuckles. At their new home that night, Santa Claus and Paws visit, and Paws gives Quinn's Christmas angel back to her, and Quinn and Kate hang it on the Christmas tree and wave goodbye to them. The next day, when the agent visits Hucklebuckle Toys, Kate and James introduce Quinn and Will to them, and the whole family lives happily ever after.