During the winter school break, the kids in a small village decide to have an epic snowball war. Most of the kids in the town decide to rally behind Luke, leaving Piers, his dog Cleo and brainiac friend Frankie to fend for themselves. However, the odds are evened when new girl Sophie and her hothead sister Lucy join forces with Piers and Frankie to defend their heavily elaborate fort.
Snowtime! is an animated remake of the 1984 Quebecois film The Dog Who Stopped the War. The story involves a group of kids in a village having an increasingly heated snowball war. At the centre of this conflict are the opposing “generals” Luke and Sophie, who are the two oldest kids of the group. Luke is haunted by the death of his soldier father and is always carrying along the bugle played at his funeral. Despite being on opposing sides, Luke and Sophie feel an attraction to each other and end up exchanging flirtations during the evening breaks from battle.
The kids in Snowtime! each have their own unique character trait, giving the film a bit of a Peanuts feel to it. The various character types in the film include super-smart Frankie, absent-minded muscle Chuck, pacifist Nicky and Luke’s always-suffering second-in-command Jack. The film makes sure to point out that practically every kid in the village is male, which in turn makes Sophie and Lucy major outsiders in this conflict, with there being only one other female character in the whole film.
It must be argued that much of Snowtime! takes place in the fantasy world of these kids, especially when it comes to the heavily fortified snow fort that Frankie designs. There is not an adult in sight as these kids have more intense battles each day. However, what starts as fun and games for these kids quickly becomes all too real when the film includes some repercussions that are sure to pull at some heartstrings. In fact, there is a very big about-face in tone towards the end of the film, which might actually end up being upsetting for young kids. Other than that, Snowtime! is more or less fun for the whole family.
Is Snowtime! opening weekend worthy?
For the most part, Snowtime! is an innocent wintertime film aimed at kids. However, the laughs turn to tears towards the end and as such the film is not really recommended for very young kids, unless of course they see the film with a comforting parent.
Snowtime! opens on Friday, February 12, 2016 at select Cineplex locations. Check their website for more information.