A group of kids find themselves at odds with the new kid in this Canadian animated feature that shows the power of friendship and both its good and bad.
It’s winter time and the kids are preparing for their annual snow race in their small town. For the past few years, the very smart Frankie has always designed sleds that have been winners. However, this year may prove to be different when Zak, a new kid arrives in town with his cousin Charlie. Zak is not exactly a good kid as he likes to resort to cheating. When he distracts Frankie’s friend Chuck by using Charlie as bait, Frankie loses for the first time when his driver and friend, Sophie, crashes when the sled falls apart.
Convinced Zak has cheated, Frankie decides to challenge Zak to another race. Zak, happy enough with his win, at first refuses. However, when he makes a deal to bet the local barn, the place where Frankie and all of his friends hang out and design the sleds, Frankie finds himself with no other alternative but to agree. When the other kids discover what Frankie is done, they are mad at him at first. However, Luke leads the way to help Frankie redesign his sled. Frankie decides to up the ante and make Zak and himself become the drivers of the sleds for this upcoming race. Will brains be able to overcome cheating?
This Canadian animated feature, a sequel to the 2015 animated film Snowtime!, can be seen as a standalone film. Based on a novel entitled “The Dog Who Stopped the War”, this film has a message about friendship and both the good and bad as well as the consequences that can happen when it comes to cheating. This is a well-written film that makes good use of its running time and can be enjoyed by everyone of all ages.
One thing that is important when it comes to animated shows and films is the voice cast. And this is one project that has a really good voice cast. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Shameless actor Noel Fisher is perhaps the biggest name of the voice cast and he’s perfect as the new kid Zak, who masks the fact that behind his tough kid exterior lies a kid who relies on cheating. Perhaps it is because of a wall that he’s afraid to break down. His cousin, Charlie, is an aspiring singer voiced by Dawn Ford who feels conflicted between helping her cousin and her growing feelings for local tough guy with a gold heart Chuck, voiced by Don Shepherd with a resemblance to one of Disney’s fun supporting characters, and we’re talking Kronk.
Lucinda Davis does a really good job at voicing Frankie Four-Eyes, the lead protagonist who sometimes sounds arrogant himself. His character starts out very cocky to the point where after he loses to Zak, attempts to put the blame on friend/driver Sophie. Things only get worse for Frankie when he makes a deal to bet the local hangout without even talking to his friends, and even if it was forced, still gives him a sense of pride and arrogance and it is only when he is confronted by the whole group of friends that he realizes he was wrong and learns a hard lesson about friendship. However, this being a family film, we know how this will turn out, but it’s quite a fun and emotional ride to enjoy.
Racetime may be a sequel, but it holds as a standalone film with a good voice cast and a good story with some lessons to be learned. An enjoyable family film that should be at least checked out once.
WFG RATING: B+
Viva Pictures presents a CarpeDiem Film and TV production. Director: Benoit Godbout. Producer: Marie-Claude Beauchamp. Writers: Claude Landry, Maxime Landry, and Paul Risacher; based on the book “The Dog Who Stopped the War” by Roger Cantin and Danyele Patenaude. Editing: Mathieu Beausoleil.
Cast: Lucinda Davis, Noel Fisher, Dawn Ford, Don Shepherd, Angela Galuppo, Elizabeth Macrae, Holly Gauthier-Frankel, Heidi Lynne Weeks, Jenna Wheeler-Hughes, Sonja Ball, Tod Fennell.
Viva Kids will be releasing the film on Demand and on Digital on November 5, 2019.