Movie review of “Snowtime!”: In this colorful animated movie from a team of French-Canadian filmmakers, kids wage a boisterous, seemingly harmless snowball war that takes a turn for the tragic. Rating: 2.5 stars out of 4.

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An impressive snow fort rises at the center of “Snowtime!” Two lofty turrets tower above a white landscape that looks like it’s been slathered with vanilla frosting in this animated kids movie from Quebec-based filmmakers Jean-François Pouliot and François Brisson. (Normand Canac-Marquis and Paul Risacher wrote the screenplay.)

The fort is the creation of a band of schoolchildren in an out-of-the-way little hamlet. Bored during a two-week winter break from classes, they decide to break the tedium by dividing into two groups to play capture the fort.

They’re creative kids, turning snow shovels into snowball catapults and tubing into a snowball cannon. It seems like a harmless game at first, though one thoughtful girl cautions early on that “war is not fun.” Later, a set of twins chants in unison: “It’s just war. No reason to hurt anyone.”

Movie Review ★★½  

‘Snowtime!,’ with the voices of Ross Lynch, Sandra Oh, Angela Galupo, Lucinda Davis. Directed by Jean-François Pouliot and François Brisson, from a screenplay by Normand Canac-Marquis and Paul Risacher. 82 minutes. Rated PG for mild thematic elements and rude humor. Pacific Place.

But it is a war of sorts, and with war come casualties.

A remake of a 1984 live-action French-Canadian movie “La Guerre des Tuques (The Dog Who Stopped the War),” “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.

And above all there’s a message, explicitly stated by the wisest young character: “A day without war is a victory for peace.”

Out of the mouths of babes …