Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (23)
| Top Critics (13)
| Fresh (16)
| Rotten (7)
Aimed at very young audiences, the cheerier remake - with voice work by Sandra Oh as the young architect of a snow fort and a song by Céline Dion - is more distinguished by its charming animation than how it handles the storyline.
The characters remain underdeveloped, a problem complicated by the weightless, unexpressive animation.
"Snowtime!" is by turns ribald (there's a flatulent dog), boisterous (there's charging through the snow with wooden swords wildly waved), tender (there's a boy grieving quietly for a father killed in a real war) and, yes, tragic.
That's the charm (and the quandary) of this film. Sophisticated in its look and feel on the one hand (the warm hues and tones evoke a warmth that defies the wintry cold), it's almost too retro for its own good on the other.
It is aimed at younger children and includes pretty songs, but it doesn't soft-pedal anything. Its low-key story is about friendship, but it's also about loss, which should leave pint-size viewers with plenty to think about.
Despite a few diverting moments and some ambitiously dramatic themes, this one is simply too uneventful and too populated by thinly sketched characters to keep its target audience engaged.
Snowtime! doesn't have too complicated of a story-kids living in a small town plan a massive snowfight-but that simplicity will make it work for younger kids.
The charming script, credited to four writers, turns on a dime when tragedy befalls one of the characters.
The overall tone is sweet and simple. Besides, eight million French-Canadians can't be wrong.
Snowtime! explains the topic of war in a "safe" manner that tempers things with a healthy dose of fun and laughter. It's like a really good Newberry Medal-winning book.
Snowtime! wants to be much more than a Saturday morning animated distraction.
If your kids get bored watching Snowtime!, that may be more of a comment on our hyperactive culture than it is on this gently funny story about kids who actually play outside all day.
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