A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Racetime is an animated feature from Canada depicting ambitious kids who spend all their time outdoors in a snowy scape working to win a sled race. The movie showcases a close-knit band of friends who support each other and welcome newcomers to their group, but one newcomer, who challenges the reigning sled-racing champion, turns out to be a cheater. The movie tries to model acceptance and the importance of friendship even during difficult times. Some spectacular sled crashes, but no one is hurt.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In RACETIME, Frankie (voiced by Lucinda Davis) is the local boy genius who year after year designs the winning sled of the annual Slederator race. With his friend Sophie (also Lucinda Davis) as his experienced driver, no one has come close to beating the team. When newcomer Zach (Noel Fisher) arrives in their snowy wonderland, he challenges Frankie and actually bests him with friend Charlie (Dawn Ford) driving. But it turns out that as nice as Charlie seems, she has conspired with Zach to sabotage Frankie's sled in order to win. As the sled designers clash amid accusations and snark, they agree to a new race, but this time with "no rules," opening the door for Zach and Charlie to cheat even more. Zach saws off Frankie's sled sliders during the race, which Frankie must daringly repair going full speed. Ultimately, the situation offers the cheaters a chance to change their ways and join the close-knit group of local kids.
Is it any good?
This movie feels pretty generic in its animation and plotting, but at its heart it's a message of the importance of creating harmonious relationships. For that reason, Racetime certainly deserves a look by younger kids with nothing to do on a rainy day. The kids here live in an idyllic world in which adults are mentioned but never seen, leaving them to negotiate difficult interpersonal interactions without grown-up input. Like Snowtime!, a 2016 animated film about some of the same characters, the film examines true conflicts that kids face, and offers a gamut of ways they can choose to resolve them.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way Frankie and his friends embrace the cheating Zach in Racetime, even though he has betrayed them. Do you think there's value in using friendship to reform seemingly-bad people? Why?
Frankie's obsession with winning leads him to do things that could adversely affect his good friends. How do his friends react to that news?
Why do you think friendship is important?
- In theaters: November 18, 2018
- On DVD or streaming: November 5, 2019
- Cast: Lucinda Davis, Noel Fisher, Angelea Galuppo, Todd Fennell
- Directors: Benoit Godbout, Jean-Francois Pouliot
- Studio: Shout Factory
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Run time: 89 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: PG for some mild rude humor
- Last updated: November 21, 2019
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