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Movie review by
Yvonne Condes, Common Sense Media
Snowtime! Movie Poster Image
Sweet tale about kids' snow battle has very sad moments.
  • PG
  • 2016
  • 80 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Kids may gain understanding of the pain those who've lost someone in combat go through. Lessons related to teamwork and ingenuity as well.

Positive Messages

Friends and loyalty are more important than winning, and there are always consequences to war. Empathy is an important theme. Teamwork and a common goal can improve a situation. Thinking creatively can help solve problems.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sophie is a tough, compassionate leader most of the time. Another girl notes how great it is to have a girl in charge when there are few girls in town. Frankie is at first made fun of for his ideas but then applauded when he designs a snow fortress. Both Luke and Sophie quit the battle, only to be dragged back in. One boy has the iffy idea to make ice balls, but he gets talked out of it because it's too dangerous (the opposing side retaliates anyway). Some diversity in body types and ethnicities among the characters. Adults are alluded to but never seen.

Violence & Scariness

Sad flashbacks to a character's dad's funeral. A boy gets caught in an out-of-control sled that crashes. Snow battles include throwing snowballs with a baseball pitching machine. A boy falls off a ladder. Talk of making snowballs into ice, which leads to one team filling snowballs with paint. Kids use a catapult to hurl blocks of snow and talk about war often in the context of the snow battle. Spoiler alert! A beloved dog dies after being trapped under a collapsed snow fort; the kids bury him.

Sexy Stuff

A boy and girl flirt and eventually kiss.


Insults include "weird," "four eyes," and girl telling a boy that he smells like rotten eggs.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Snowtime! is an animated remake of the live-action French-Canadian film La Guerre des Tuques (The Dog Who Stopped the War) about a group of kids who get involved in an elaborate snow battle during their winter break from school. Adults are alluded to, but never seen; the opposing teams are led by a boy whose father was killed in a war (there are sad flashbacks to his funeral) and a new girl in town who proves to be a tough, compassionate leader. The battle starts out fun, but ultimately a misunderstanding leads to tragedy (there are some very sad moments near the end, and the story ends on this downbeat note). That said, it's also refreshing and funny, without the sarcasm and snark that's constant in many mainstream animated movies. Expect some teasing/name-calling ("four eyes," "weird," etc.), a quick kiss between two characters, and frequent talk of war, mostly in the context of the snow battle.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bybeachmama12 March 13, 2016

Very sweet, but crushing for little ones

My kids, 9 and 5, love Ross Lynch, so we were excited to watch the movie. The animation is beautiful, and the film is sweet with a good message. The relationshi... Continue reading
Parent of a 7 year old Written byEmiNeslihaN D. December 24, 2016

Very sad

I was so excited to watch this movie with my son. While watching everythin was ok. We were laughing enjoying etc. When the dog is dead my son cried to much and... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byYYgirl February 22, 2016

Its gonna be good

I have seen several clips, and it already seems like a good movie. I'm a HUGE fan of Ross Lynch (main reason I'm interested in watching) and I can... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byDopeReviews1 January 6, 2019

Not for little kids

I watched this with my brother and we both cried when the dog died. The dog was totally innocent and died because of the kids’ dumb mistakes. The rest of the mo... Continue reading

What's the story?

In SNOWTIME!, a group of friends living in a mountain village get into an epic snowball fight to kill time during their two-week winter break from school. Luke (voiced by Angela Galuppo) and new girl in town Sophie (Lucinda Davis), both 11, lead their teams into battle: Whichever team ends up occupying the elaborate snow fort wins the war. The conflict escalates, feelings are hurt, issues are resolved, and fun is had -- until a tragic turn makes the kids realize even a snow war can have serious consequences.

Is it any good?

This is a lovely animated film about a group of kids who learn about the hazards of war during a drawn-out snow battle. And while Snowtime! is beautiful to look at, what makes it so special is the pacing. It's not frenetic or over the top; instead, it's sweet and full of lessons about why war is never good and friendship is always the most important. It's also funny and entertaining for both parents and kids -- although the sad twist at the end may be too much for some younger or more sensitive kids.

There's also a sweet love story (they're 11, so it's mostly flirting, with one kiss) between Luke, who's mourning the loss of his soldier father (the boy's grief comes to life when he plays "Taps" on his bugle), and his "nemesis" Sophie, a smart, independent girl who gets dragged into the fight and becomes a strong leader. Their friends/teammates are a ragtag group of funny, interesting kids that includes Frankie (Sandra Oh), a boy genius who's asked to make a snow fort but ends up creating a high-tech fortress.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the snow fight was fun at first but eventually went too far. Kids: What do you do when you feel like your friends are acting inappropriately or out of control? What message does Snowtime! send about war and violence?

  • How did the movie's sad moments make you feel? Do you think they were necessary to the story? How did they change the movie's tone?

  • How do the kids exhibit empathy and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

  • Luke and Sophie like each other, but they have trouble expressing their feelings. Have you ever liked someone but couldn't tell the person how you felt? What happened?

Movie details

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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For kids who love snow play with friends

Our editors recommend

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