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

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

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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 of a 3 and 8-year-old Written byAmy R. December 28, 2017

Great Family Movie

Our boys 8 and 4 ...along with us enjoyed this movie. Great message too.
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byPBSFanFromChile February 3, 2017

Nice 3DCG animation. The original 80's version was a total success. The song name is "L'amour a pris son temps" performed by Nathalie Simard in 1984. An English version of that song was available on the dub.

Great and totally awesome movie. Also we recommend the original French Canadian movie of 1984, by Les Productions La Fête (Québec) directed by André Melançon an... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byFrosty54553 December 20, 2020

Great movie

Warning! This is a great movie and all but a dog dies in the last scene which might be sad for little children.....Just wanted to let you know and watch this mo... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old May 3, 2020

i hate it

i liked it when it started and then i was just about to give this 5 stars but then the dog dies. at first i was like "she didnt actually die its a kids mov... 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love snow play with friends

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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