The Ages 10-18 category has 2659 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles

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This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
I WAS ALWAYS ALEX
XXX
Series: FOREIGN DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Documentary short about teenager daily experiences. A day in the life of Alex, a boy who dreams like everyone else. He dreams of driving, flying dreams, and dreams of boosting the wolf carries inside. In Spanish with English Subtitles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely recommend this film because it is a well crafted documentary. The story is uniquely told through visuals and interviews. The ending really is self explanatory and I love how the director leaves you with thoughts before the credits roll. The documentary is simple but impactful. The title really sums up what the story is about. It's very direct, but at first glance, it doesn't really mean anything. The film definitely adds meaning to the title. I think younger kids would not be able to put all of the pieces together because you have to listen closely. The most important dialogue is at the beginning and if you miss it, you will not understand the ending. The story makes sense although I watched it twice to get the full meaning because I wasn't paying attention to the beginning the first time through. I love the simplicity of this and it definitely left me speechless at the end. I watched it full screen and I was able to see everything very clearly. The cinematography isn't anything outstanding but the shots capture Alex's character perfectly. I love the song that is in the background. I can't imagine any other song replacing it. It's a documentary so all of the locations and costumes are where Alex's family live or wore. This subject touches on a topic that I think older kids and adults can really identify with. Alex is not a normal boy because, in scientific terms, he is technically a girl. The documentary defines normal and shows how Alex is a unique kid wanting the same things as other normal kids. Recommended for ages 12 to 18. Reviewed by Shelby R., KIDS FIRST! juror.
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


MAARTIN

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MAARTIN
XXX
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Maartin is an action-comedy about a kind-hearted bicycle police who has high ambitions of becoming a detective. When the Norwegian bicyclemafia kidnaps Pierre, the son of Maartin �s sweetheart, Maartin gets an opportunity to show what he's made of. Against all odds, Maartin tracks down the crooks, but gets caught together with his partner Kowalsky. When everything looks lost, Maartin uses tricks from his favorite TV-show MacGyver to get out and beat the bad guys.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Maartin is very humble in his occupation. Although he wants to be a detective in the beginning, he is satisfied with being a bicycle cop at the end. The movie copies the formula from many American movies with the smart/dumb villain. The smart villain has a typical bad temper. I believe children would enjoy this film because the underdog wins in the end. The underdog winning is the basis of many children's movies. The movie flows extremely well. It goes with the storyline. In the beginning he is a regular bike cop. In the middle, he is vulnerable about being killed. In the end he is a hero. The production quality is quite good. For example, when Maartin is in trouble, the lighting turns red which signals something bad is happening. I think the makeup of the bruises he receives are also pretty good. Although the underdog wins in the end and the villain goes to jail, the underdog doesn't instantly captured like in most movies. He does get the girl and praises in the end but is humble about it. I recommend for ages 13 to 18 years old because it has some vulgar language with cursing. Accepted for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 20 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SHELTERED BY THE TREES
XXX
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 13 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - "In Jewish tradition, when someone passes away the best way to remember that person is to plant a tree, because in Israel there is the desert and so a tree represents a challenge to time a challenge to memory". KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This beautifully crafted documentary by talented Valentina Arena tells very personal stories of survivors of the Holocaust and about the people who gave shelter to Jews whose lives were endangered. It offers a look into the every day lives of those whose lives were affected drawn from memories of their own experiences. It offers us hope about the goodness of humanity and people who behave out of respect for other human beings and the ongoing love of their relationships that continues through generations. Highly recommended for older teens due to the seriousness of the subject. My age recommendation is 13 to 18 and adults would enjoy this as well. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

This film provides great examples of traditions and family unity as well as encouragement for humanity to create harmony. It is a very moving historical story about the caring and loving people who protected Jewish people who were in danger during the time of the Nazi occupation of Italy during World War II. It is a real story about how people banded together to protect each other from injustice and shows how the extended family has honored and protected the relationships founded during that time. That is an excellent lesson for young people. I recommend it for ages 14 to 18 as well as adults. Reviewed by Juanita S. KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BALLOONS
XXX
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - A collaborative short film created by Marley Boss and several fellow campers at French Woods summer camp about the role of friends in overcoming sadness
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - An adorable student production by a 6th grader. Charming and thoughtful with good intent all around. The performance by the young actors is quite believable and shows us the deep concern they have for others. I believe this short would play well at a youth/family film festival and heartfully recommend it for ages 8 to 15. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


BELIEVE (2016)

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BELIEVE (2016)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SMITH GLOBAL MEDIA
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - A small-town business owner tries to save the local Christmas pageant against all odds.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - There are many holiday films that attempt to show you a story of faith, or hope or maybe just positivity. Believe tries to tackle all those things in a fantastic and entertaining holiday adventure.

Believe begins showing Matthew Peyton (Ryan O'Quinn), a business owner in a small town, going through financial trouble. Despite owning a business, he also has had the responsibility of hosting the famous local Christmas Pageant every year. Sadly, this year, his company has not been doing well and is losing money. When he tries to plead to the townspeople he cannot do it, he is accused of being greedy. The entire town hates him and it is up to him to save his business and attempt to save the spirit of Christmas in a poverty-stricken town.

Believe perfectly achieves its message - never lose hope and always believe in a better tomorrow. The story clearly represents that. The cinematography is unique and beautiful in many scenes, from slow motion of falling snowflakes, to unique close ups and first person prospective. The actors, for the most part, play their emotions well and make the story feel dramatic. One character falls a bit short. Clarence (Isaac Ryan Brown) often feels out of place in some scenes, almost as if included for comedic effect or to help solidify the message. This is not because of bad acting. Isaac Ryan Brown plays Clarence as an excited and positive kid perfectly. The major problem is the interactions and his role in the story. Throughout the whole story, it feels like Clarence and Matthew have separate adventures and goals of being hopeful and faithful. This does not integrate well and makes for awkward scenes. Another major issue is that the film is too long at 2 hours. It would benefit from some judicious editing as there are many scenes that had no purpose and add to the length, making the story feel stretched.

My favorite scene is when Matthew gets mugged and his car is set on fire. The cinematography of this scene is great with close ups of Matthew as his car is on fire and snowflakes slowly falling in the background. The entire time, the camera is shaking and distorted as if the viewer is experiencing some sort of head injury along with Matthew. I loved this because it gives you both a third person view of Matthew and a first person feeling of what he is experiencing.

There are very few with some mild violence and some dramatic scenes so I recommend it for ages 9 to 18. I also give it 3.5 out of 5 stars because, despite it having an issue with one character and the story, it has a strong moral, beautiful cinematography and fantastic acting. It opens in theaters on December 2, 2016 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Web Series


FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

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FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - It has been fifteen years since Harry Potter: The Sorcerer's Stone was released. Now, 15 years later, we have a film explaining so many parts of the Harry Potter's universe that will be loved by everyone who sees it.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an extraordinary adventure. There are dozens of elements that help make this story so exciting. In some scenes, there are romantic elements between characters and fantastic comedy that will make anyone laugh. To make even picky viewers sit on the edge of their seat, the movie also offers spectacular action scenes.

The story starts when Newt (Eddie Redmayne), a magizoolagist (study of magical creatures), goes to New York looking for a rare animal breeder. While there he accidentally gets all his magical creatures taken by a No-Maj/Muggle (non-magical person). It is now up to him and some new friends to get the creatures back. As they collect his creatures, they discover there is a grave danger to New York City that could threaten the existence of magical world.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is slightly different than the previous Harry Potter movies, although it takes place in the same universe. The story is much more complex than the previous movies. While the previous films all had individual stories, they also continued a continued plot about Harry Potter. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them does not have that and instead begins and wraps up the plot in one movie. Since there are so many elements to the plot, things get slightly confusing. At the end, they reveal the bad guy. The problem is, we don't really know he's the bad guy. They don't show at the beginning or throughout the film who the bad guy is and exactly what the he did. Throughout the story you are introduced to several antagonists and it feels like it is up to you to figure out who is the actual villain. The person at the end of the movie seems completely random. Although you can figure out, it is some evil villain based on how the characters are talking and you have no idea who the character is. If you watched the film two or three times, you might easily understand the story and, most likely, enjoy it much more. But, when you watch it one time, you might feel slightly confused and not completely understand what happened.

A big perk about this film is the acting. Eddie Redmayne plays the main character and he is marvelous as Newt. Newt is a very quiet and an enthusiastic genius, which Eddie Redmayne excels at portraying, as always. The whole cast excels in their rolls, even if those with only five minutes of screen time. Something else I love about this film are the costume and set designs. The movie takes place in the 1920s and it truly looks like that time period from the police uniforms, to business men and even the children. Just like in the previous Harry Potter films, the cinematography and special effects are spectacular. There is a huge aerial shot of some sort of giant magical creature that looks so realistic it makes you feel you are in 1920s New York City along with the main characters. One more thing that could have been better is the sound. The sounds of monsters and creatures are spectacular and beautiful to listen to, but the actors' dialogue is hard to hear at times. The actors often give very important information about the plot, but you can't hear it because it is muffled by other sounds.

My favorite scene is when we look inside the suitcase Newt brings with him. Just like many other things in this Harry Potter world, it is much bigger inside then it seems. Inside his suitcase "world" he has dozens of different magical creatures that he nurtures including some that are the last of their kind. His goal in his career is to write a book about magical creatures and the good things about them, since every other magical creature book discussing them focuses on how to defend yourself. That suitcase is his "workshop" of where he learns everything.

There are some scenes that are either too dramatic, too intense or too violent for younger kids and so, I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. I give it 4 out of 5 stars because, despite having some issues with sound and storyline, the phenomenal acting, beautiful cinematography and unique visual effects make this film a very enjoyable one. On top of that, if you have never watched a Harry Potter film, or never read the books, you can still easily enjoy the story and understand the terminology.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a magical film that expands the Harry Potter universe and hands down the mantle to a new set of fun, endearing characters. I never took my eyes off the screen because of the twists and turns and its spellbinding special effects.

This film follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a young wizard who arrives in New York with a briefcase full of magical creatures. When his beasts are let loose throughout the city, Newt must gather them up and stop them from causing mayhem. He enlists the help of a baker named Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and two sisters, Porpentina (Katherine Waterston) and Queenie (Alison Sudol). When New York's wizard congress accuses Newt of being involved in the death of a politician, he must save his friends, prove his innocence and stop the magical threat facing New York.

My favorite part of this film is when Newt and Kowalski are trying to find a missing beast that has escaped to the city zoo. Newt starts making mating calls to get the creature back under control. Seeing Eddie Redmayne jump around and make weird noises is hilarious and fun to watch. My favorite character is Kowalski. Dan Fogler steals the show with his sense of humor and wonder.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them works as an introduction to the Wizarding world for people who aren't familiar with it and as a tour of the fictional magic landscape in New York for people who are. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, makes a successful transition to screenwriter. This is her screenwriting debut. She crafts an entertaining and detailed story out of a book she wrote that was supposed to be a textbook at Hogwarts where Harry Potter studied wizardry. Rowling treats the new cast of characters with the same respect she gave to Harry and his friends but Rowling makes a bold move in giving this film a darker tone.

I recommend this film to ages 12 to 18 because it is much darker than some of the Harry Potter films and has some adult themes and scary scenes involving magic. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. This is another compelling movie in the Harry Potter franchise that is definitely worth seeing. It is in theaters now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Web Series


RULES DON'T APPLY

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
RULES DON'T APPLY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - An aspiring young actress (Lily Collins) and her ambitious young driver (Alden Ehrenreich) struggle hopefully with the absurd eccentricities of the wildly unpredictable billionaire Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty) for whom they work. It's Hollywood, 1958. Small town beauty queen, songwriter, and devout Baptist virgin Marla Mabrey (Collins), under contract to the infamous Howard Hughes (Beatty), arrives in Los Angeles. At the airport, she meets her driver Frank Forbes (Ehrenreich), who is engaged to be married to his 7th grade sweetheart and is a deeply religious Methodist. Their instant attraction not only puts their religious convictions to the test, but also defies Hughes' #1 rule: no employee is allowed to have any relationship whatsoever with a contract actress. Hughes' behavior intersects with Marla and Frank in very separate and unexpected ways, and as they are drawn deeper into his bizarre world, their values are challenged and their lives are changed.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MOANA

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MOANA       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Topic - Family
Description - The main character will be Moana Waialiki, a sea voyaging enthusiast, and the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators. When her family needs her help, she sets off on an epic journey. The film will also include demi-gods and spirits taken from real mythology.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this film because it shows how brave girls can be. Moana is the daughter of the Chief of a Village in the Pacific Island who's destined to become the leader of her tribe. At a young age, Moana was taught by her Grandma to love the sea and she told her stories about how the islands were made. Moana's father always told her to not go beyond the lagoon in the ocean since it's dangerous. He was concerned about losing her.

Against her father's permission, Moana has to leave her Village and embarks in an ocean adventure to save her people. The demigod Maui took the heart of the maker of all lands Te Ka and Moana has to find him to give back the heart to Te Ka, otherwise their land is going to be ruined.

Moana is produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios in a unique CG animation style that looks very realistic, like virtual reality. The voice over actors are all quite wonderful, especially Rachel House. I love how she portrays her character Grandma Tala because her voice delivers such grant emotion. Also, Dwayne Johnson portrays his character Maui very well with a very adventurous tone. I like how they animate Te Ka with extraordinary animation effects. The writers really make this story about an emotional heroine quite a fantastic story. I got emotional when I saw this movie because of the relationship between Moana and her grandma. I commend the directors, John Musker and Ron Clements for delivering such a great film with outstanding visuals and sound.

My favorite characters are Grandma Tala because she has so much faith in Moana. She doesn't mind that people call her crazy for loving the sea. I also love Moana because she is very brave and courageous. I like how, even though her father is afraid for her she still goes to fight for her people.

The message of this movie is to believe in yourself, follow your heart and fight challenges. Moana believes in herself when only one other person does. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because of its inspiring message. I recommend it to ages 6 to 18. This is the perfect movie to see over the holidays with family and friends. You can find this movie at your local movie theater on November 23!

Reviewed by Carla P. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

With its beautiful soundtrack, diverse cultural representation, and unique plot, Moana is a movie that is fun for all. The enchanting adventure incorporates a lot of mythology and folktales. The film is about an adventurous teenage girl named Moana who has been attracted to the sea since birth and sails the ocean in a quest to save her people. Along the way she finds the mighty demi-god named Maui who has caused her people's misfortune. In hopes of saving her people, she brings Maui along on her journey to fight the enormous monsters and obstacles, with his guidance. On their journey, Moana not only discovers Maui's true identity, but also her own.

The big thing that stands out in this film is that it is one of the very few Disney movies that does not revolve around a love story or romance of any type. On top of that, the film truly draws in the audience's emotions without a death or depressing factor. The film is unique in that it goes beyond the typical Disney formula.

The delightful and memorable soundtrack by the creator of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, stayed with me days after the screening, which is proof that it is quality music. After only seeing the film once I had memorized a great portion of the lyrics. The animation, without a doubt, is phenomenal. The detail in the hair and water is unbelievable. The 3D aspect is also memorable particularly in one scene where I flinched when an object seemingly flew out of the screen and towards the audience.

When watching films about a quest or journey of survival that revolve around one or two people and the game plan is made apparent, it is easy for the plot to drag or and feel very long, or choppy and flooded with random scenes of unfortunate obstacles. In films like those, it is especially important to make the plot flow well and be well paced so the audience feels that they are alongside the protagonist. This film executes the survival style plot in a fun and feel-good manner. Also, it is rich in culture and extends Disney's diversity, which is wonderful. It casts very talented voice actors including the well-known Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson as Maui and Auli'i Cravalho as Moana. Johnson was fantastic. His voice is quite distinctive but, because of his spirited voice work and accent, I did not realize it was his until the credits. Auli'i Cravalho makes her first appearance as a voice actress in this film and is absolutely amazing.

Given the brilliant animation, impactful soundtrack, strategic plot and spirited voice work, this film is one you need to see. I recommend it for people ages 7 to 18 and give it four out of five stars. It is in theaters now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Harmony M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


ALMOST CHRISTMAS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALMOST CHRISTMAS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Walter Meyer (Danny Glover) is a retired mechanic who lost the love of his life one year earlier. Now that the holiday season is here, he invites daughters Rachel (Gabrielle Union) and Cheryl (Kimberly Elise) and sons Christian (Romany Malco) and Evan (Jessie T. Usher) to his house for a traditional celebration. Poor Walter soon realizes that if his bickering children and the rest of the family can spend five days together under the same roof, it will truly be a Christmas miracle.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed Almost Christmas because Christmas is my favorite holiday and it brought back memories of my family's gatherings. I could identify with Walter Myers (Danny Glover) in his attempt to bring his somewhat dysfunctional family together at Christmas time and his desire to honor his deceased wife and preserve some traditions. I feel traditions are special. What is not appealing is the suggestive material, drug use violence and profanity.

Almost Christmas opens with a journey of the Myers' lives and brings you to witness the five days before Christmas. It moves quickly and I did not understand some things in the beginning of the film until later. Walter Myers lost his wife the previous year and attempts to bring his family together for the upcoming holidays. Will they survive?

The behaviors modeled by the characters are a mixture. Walter Myers is a man who worked hard and provided for his family, wife, two daughters and two sons. He is having a difficult time dealing with the loss of his wife and is unaware of the struggles his children are having. Cheryl (Kimberly Elise), the oldest daughter, pretends that her life is perfect when, for real, her marriage to Lonnie (J.B. Smoove) is one affair away from being over.

The youngest daughter Rachel (Gabrielle Union) is trying to get through law school while dealing with a recent divorce and struggling to get by. Christian, the oldest son, is happily married with two great kids but is obsessed with his political campaign. Evan (Jessie T. Usher), the youngest son, is in college and is currently fighting an addiction to painkillers.

One of my favorite parts is the heartfelt conversation between Aunt May (Mo' Nique) and Walter (Danny Glover) over a piece of sweet potato pie Walter bakes. Aunt May lets him know not only does he love and care for her sister, his wife, but he also allows her to pursue her life and career.

Almost Christmas displays perseverance with Walter Myers' attempt to make a sweet potato pie as good as his beloved deceased wife. It has many comedic elements throughout. Director David E. Talbert use multiple themes of loss, financial struggles, parenting and divorce as vital roles in developing the story. Almost Christmas has colorful visuals, especially the costumes of Aunt May which are beautiful and look fabulous o her. The music is fun and memorable, the locations are quite realistic locations and the emotions the film evokes resonate with most of us.

I give this film 4 out 5 stars and recommend It for 14 to 18-year-olds as well as adults. You can see Almost Christmas at local theaters beginning Friday, November 11, 2016!

Reviewed by Juanita S. Leary, KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Almost Christmas is a heartfelt story about a family at Christmas time. The comedy is well thought out and the storyline is terrific. This film is perfect for families who are enjoying the holiday season with each other.

The film is more about family than Christmas. There is no caroling, present wrapping or cookies. We just watch family members trying to find ways to put their differences aside and get along. The all-star cast is magnificent particularly Danny Glover as Walter, Gabrielle Union as Rachel, Mo'Nique as Aunt May) and many more. My favorite scene is when the uncle (J.B. Smoove) decides to fix the outdoor Christmas lights on the house and the kids watch him. After his wife warns him to get off the roof and let someone else fix the Santa Clause, he falls off the roof and lands on his face. This scene made me laugh so hard especially when the kids got out their phones to record it and post to their social media.

I adore Mo'Nique as Aunt May. She was adventurous and always willing to try new things even when the rest of the family is not. She doesn't put up with any jazz from the four adult children. She is brutally honest and very humorous. She is the one who makes sure the family sticks together like glue.

All Walter (Danny Glover) wants for Christmas is to have his four children get along for five days. Walter is not quite sure how to do this because his wife usually dealt with such things, but since she is no longer around he finds that he needs to step up and make Christmas fantastic for his family. The only problem is that the children don't get along with each other all that well.

The message is about families getting along. This family wants to spend their first Christmas together since their mother passed away, but families can be difficult. The message, beautifully demonstrated throughout the film, is that families should spend more time together and enjoy this time together.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 because there is some drinking and some profanity. You should also know that this film discusses loss and how it hurts so it might not be appropriate for everyone. Other than, that this film is family friendly with great humor and storyline. I give this film 5 out of 5 Christmas Carol stars. This film opens in theaters on November 11, 2016 so go check it out.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS: LEGEND OF EVERFREE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS: LEGEND OF EVERFREE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - What Could Be More Fun Than A Field Trip To Everypony's Favorite Camp?

When Canterlot High School goes on a field trip to Camp Everfree, they're surprised to find a magical force is causing strange things to happen. Twilight Sparkle , with the help of the Mane 6 and especially Sunset Shimmer (who refuses to give up on her), must confront the dark "Midnight Sparkle", within herself and embrace her newfound magical abilities to save the beloved camp from closing down for good!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - You may remember the original My Little Pony shows like I do. I wasn't so certain as to what to expect from these new shows. Would this be better than the ones I remembered? The answer is yes! I was quite impressed with this show because the animation is quite modern and up to date and I really enjoyed the story line. I also really love the characters and their fun names which will delight young children! Applejack is my favorite character. What I really like most are the positive messages of helping one another and making a positive difference in the world. This show also has more of a musical feel to it that will entertain children ages 6 to 15 (and many adults too). I give this one 5 out of 5 stars because it is entertaining, colorful and full of positive messages. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - My Little Pony has caught up with sci-fi and now has dimensions where the ponies are teenagers. WOW! This is an awesome concept! I love this colorful DVD with its amazing storyline, fantastic characters and terrific animation. This film is one of my favorites of this series. I love the story line and how it fits perfectly with the rest of the series. The animation is fantastic. I love that they mix it with a little bit of Japanese anime. It really brings this film to life.

The cast is so fun and entertaining. Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong) is a loving main character. She shows this by helping her friends and trying to find ways to make the world a better place for everyone. She does this despite the fact that she is dealing with her evil dark side that came out in the last film. Plus, things at Camp Everfree are going wrong and strange things are happening all around camp. Sunset Shimmer (Rebecca Shoichet) is thoughtful, generous, wants to help everybody and wants to solve the mystery. She also helps Twilight Sparkle overcome her fear and gain more confidence about herself. Rainbow Dash and Applejack (Ashleigh Ball) is daring, adventurous and a total tomboy. She tries to do the most outrageous and dangerous stuff with her friends including rock climbing and archery. Applejack is brutally honest and cares deeply for everyone. She can be a bit mean at times, but she just wants you to know the truth about everything. She once told Rarity that her idea of a runway was dumb because they were in a forest and no one but her would use it. Pinkie Pie (Andrea Libman) is hyper and loves to throw parties anywhere, anytime and any place. She brings marshmallows to everything to make s'mores. She tries her best to be fun and bring life to the party. She even dares Rainbow to eat as many marshmallows as she can fit in her mouth in one bite while they are telling scary stories by the campfire. Fluttershy (Andrea Libman) is shy, quiet and loves animals with all of her heart. She even goes to help a bird get back into its nest when she is in a hurry. Rarity (Tabitha St. Germain) loves to sew clothes for all her friends and is a complete girly girl at heart. She even wants a runway where she can show the other campers the clothes she has made.

Sunset Shimer is my stand out character. She wears a crown that has a spell cast on it and ends up with a demon inside her that she must fight off. Her character is compassionate. I like that she is always battling her caring side against her evil side. She is thoughtful of others. The way she tries everything in her power to help Twilight Sparkle overcome her fear is a great reminder to take good care of your friends and family, which is the theme of this film.

This is filled with magnificent songs that provide a musical theater vibe because the girls sing throughout the movie. They all have beautiful voices. You will want to learn the lyrics and sing along with them. They are so heartfelt that they really make you feel the emotions the characters are feeling.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 16. Younger kids will love the story and fun characters. Older kids will find it inspiring. I give this 5 out of 5 pony stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 73 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.73
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


DOCTOR STRANGE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DOCTOR STRANGE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Marvel's "Doctor Strange" follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City's Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This superhero movie will disorient you, confuse you, make you ponder time itself and is easily the greatest superhero film ever made. Doctor Strange combines humor, action and science fiction to make a legendary film unlike any other.

There are dozens of elements that make Doctor Strange so great. One of the main parts of this film is the action. The action is highly supported by the dramatic interactions between characters. There is also a large amount of perfectly timed humor. It's so light and enjoyable that it makes you laugh every time. On top of that, there is even a small element of romance in Doctor Strange.

Doctor Strange begins when a very talented neurosurgeon, Steven Strange, (Benedict Cumberbatch) gets in a bad car accident and gets injured. His injuries make it impossible for him to continue practice medicine and he desperately looks for a cure. His search takes him to India where he meets a group of people that do magical things. He joins their group to be healed, but as he trains in their art, he learns there is much more then what meets the eye in the reality he lives in.

Perfect. That is the only word that can describe Doctor Strange. Easily the most breathtaking part is the special effects. There are scenes where they warp and distort the world around them in such elegant and spectacular ways that it makes you feel slightly disoriented. That is not where the special effects end though. The powers they have look magical and so realistic, you won't think it is done by CGI. The acting is another perk for the film. Benedict Cumberbatch excels as Doctor Strange, not only in the intense action scenes but also in the comedy scenes. He truly makes the character come to life and the entire cast portrays the story perfectly. On top of that, the costume design and makeup is another huge achievement in the movie. There are parts where even slight details on a character's face or costume add huge additional meaning to the story. The costumes in general are beautiful and amazingly well constructed.

My favorite scene is when Doctor Strange discovers how to warp and twist time. He tries it on an apple he is eating and you watch the apple turn from half eaten to ripe and new, to fully eaten and slowly decaying. I love this scene for so many reasons, primarily the extraordinary special effects. This is an example of how well they integrate set design, the live footage and the CGI. This is not the only scene where they integrate these so well. On top of that, just looking at how Doctor Strange discovers this power is very entertaining and enjoyable to watch.

Although Doctor Strange is a great movie, it is clearly not meant for young kids. There are lots of scenes containing gore and violence and scenes that are dark in general. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. I also absolutely give it 5 out of 5 stars for its phenomenal special effects, beautiful costumes and sets, breathtaking acting and exciting story.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Doctor Strange is an excellent introduction to magic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with mind-bending visuals and a great performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, who perfectly embodies the character of Dr. Stephen Strange.

This film centers on an egotistical neurosurgeon named Stephen Strange. After a terrible car accident ruins his hands, he searches for treatment that can help him heal and return to the operating room. He ends up in Nepal and meets Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who saves him from being robbed and shows him to Kamar-Taj, a place where healing is done through spirit.

At first, Stephen thinks it is all a hoax, but The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), a teacher of the mystic arts shows him what he's capable of. When the world's sanctums are under threat from Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), a former student of The Ancient One, Stephen must step up and become the sorcerer supreme.

My favorite part of this film is when the New York sanctum is under attack. This scene is rewarding as a comic book fan, as you finally get to see Doctor Strange don the Cloak of Levitation, a trademark for the character.

My favorite character in this film is The Ancient One. This character is very wise and helps Stephen become Doctor Strange. Benedict Cumberbatch excellently captures the arrogant personality of Stephen Strange at the beginning of the film as well as the changes the character undergoes throughout the movie.

The special effects in this film are crazy, at times psychedelic. This makes the action scenes all the more captivating. I recommend you see this in IMAX 3D. It's worth the extra money for the visuals. In fact, there is more than an hour of IMAX footage in this film. Michael Giacchino's almost gothic score captures the trippy nature of this film.

I like that this film doesn't take itself too seriously and has a sense of humor. My only problem with this film is I feel there is a little too much going on plot-wise. I give Doctor Strange an age rating of 12 to 18 because of its fantasy violence and language and a scene involving a car crash.

I give Doctor Strange 4 out of 5 stars. Make sure to stay after the credits for not one, but two post-credit scenes.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 11

This movie is filled with the type of CGI everybody wants in every movie. I was trying to turn my head around it the whole movie since it is so detailed. 160 million dollars went into this film making the Marvel Universe much wider a possibility. Doctor Strange makes the mind confused and entertained at the same time. Along with the fact that it is in IMax 3D, which makes it that much better, the settings are something you would imagine in a Harry Potter property.

In this movie, Doctor Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is hurt in a car accident and wants to get healed but his hands are too damaged. He asks the one and only recovered person who had the same medical condition how he relieved it and goes to the place he refers him to and discovers a place of magic and wisdom.

This is one of my favorite Marvel movies because it might have the best animation in the world. Yes, this movie takes place around the world. I really cannot explain the amazingness of this animation. It is so detailed that it looks totally real. However, the music does not compare with Guardians of the Galaxy. If it did, this movie would be my favorite movie. The acting is impeccable. The animation is stunning. And the plot is enjoyably complicated. Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams deliver incredible performances as they show struggle, heartbreak and wisdom. One of the biggest holes in this movie is the characters. Doctor Strange is deep and well defined, but all the other characters come out of nowhere. It would have been better had they made the characters deeper and more profound.

The moral of this story is that no matter what anybody else does, you can always do what you want to do. That's my take away. You might have a different message that you get from the film.

I recommend this movie for kids ages 7 to 18 and adults will love it too. If you are one of those parents who don't let their kids see Marvel movies, you should know that I caught no cursing. I give this movie 4 � out of stars because the characters aren't so deep and the music could be better. But, everything else is spot on! Even the post-credit scenes have really interesting things that set new things up for more future movies.

Reviewed by Miles T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


SNOWTIME!

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SNOWTIME!       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - To amuse themselves during the winter school break, the kids in a small village decide to have a massive snowball fight. Luke and Sophie, both 11 years old, become the leaders of the opposing sides. Sophie and her cohort defend an elaborate snow fort against the assault of Luke's horde. Whichever side occupies the fort at the end of the winter break, wins. The voice cast includes Ross Lynch (of the pop band R5, and Disney Channel's "Austin & Ally") and Sandra Oh ("Grey's Anatomy"). The soundtrack includes songs by C�line Dion and Simple Plan.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Snowtime is an animated feature based on a live-action classic called "The Dog Who Stopped the War." It takes place in a small town during the kids' winter break. They build forts and have a war. The fighting escalates, and what starts out as fun, in the end causes a serious tragedy. I really enjoyed this show. The animation, voices, and music were all high-quality, and the story was well-written and meaningful. I wanted my little boys ages 4 and 6 to watch it, so I warned them about the sad ending, and, once they knew what to expect, they thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the movie. There are many good lessons taught such as friendship, loyalty, kindness, and avoiding conflict. I would recommend this movie for ages 5 to 18. Reviewed by Karyn A., KIDS FIRST! Juror

This animated film seemed a bit slow at times and honestly, at first...I was thinking..."Wait! This whole film is simply about a bunch of kids trying to entertain themselves on Winter school break by having a major snowball fight." I was wondering how a film could be based around this whole concept. But, this film is packed with some very powerful life lessons and messages. The characters are entertaining and two of the main characters, Luke and Sophie were my favorites. They are the leaders of the opposing teams of the snowball fight. The beginning of the film starts out as a way to have fun during Winter break but this fun turns into a more serious not so fun war and there are sadly some consequences. But, this is when the characters learn about friendship and even more important...that when there is war....no one wins. This message came thru loud and clear and really left me saying "Wow! This film is so much more than kids having a major snowball fight to entertain themselves." I was actually speechless and impressed with how this meaningful message was portrayed through this film. I give this one 4 stars and highly recommend for ages 8 to18. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love watching the new film Snowtime. This film is one to watch. In this film, it is winter break and Luke (voiced by Angela Galuppo) and his friends prepare for an epic snowball fight. They divide themselves into two teams. One team builds an amazing snow fort and the other team wants to win the snowball fight to claim ownership of the fort. Watch these two teams go head to head in this snowball fight to see who gets to win and claim the snow fort. Who will win? Who will lose?

I appreciate this film because I love how it shows a beautiful, snowy village and the kids in this village having fun in the snow. I also like the fort the kids make in this movie. I love the characters. They are silly, quirky and sometimes bashful. I also liked their appearance and how they are drawn. The jokes are also funny; this is another great film for kids. I really enjoyed the scenery too.

The moral theme in this film is an important one. Basically, there are no winners when it comes to war. The kids end up learning this lesson. Their friendly snowball fight soon takes an ugly turn which leads to some serious conflicts and a surprise. I think there are other life lessons in this film but that is the main one that stands out for me.

My favorite character is Nicky (voiced by Liz MacRae). When Nicky shares his ideas with his friends, they underestimate him and knock his ideas down. I love that he doesn't allow what they say to discourage him and he continues on his own and accomplishes his idea. I respect his persistence and how he collaborates so well with his friends. I enjoyed how he makes things and they turn out well. I appreciate his imagination. I can relate to him because people sometimes knock down some of my ideas too. But I continue to go forward with my ideas and prove them wrong.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars because the animation is great and it has an important message. I recommend this to kids ages 3 to 18. I think adults might like this as well. I also recommend this to people who like family, comedy, adventure and action movies. Mark your calendars for February 19, 2016 when Snowtime opens in theaters.

Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.

It is 90 degrees in Los Angeles California and 48 degrees in Colorado and it is winter for another month, with snow falling in other states. What is a group of kids to do over winter break? Have a snowball fight, of course. The group splits into two teams and away we go. The story line is great. We got a glimpse of the backstory of characters and learn what motivates them and makes them who they are.

I have two favorite characters. The first is Sophie voiced by Luchina Paris. She is the older sister and is always coming up with a plan to defeat the other team. My second is four eyes because of his crazy glasses. Many of the best parts of the movie are due to his ingenious inventions he makes to keep the fort in his team's control. They are creative and awesome. I would have picked his team just to see the inventions he made - slides, escape hatches, automated snowball throws and traps to keep the other team on their toes. The story line has a bit of a love story angle but seems to fizzle out and is not completed. If they make a part two I hope they continue this story line and leave it with a better conclusion.

The hardest part of having two teams is the fact that they are all really good friends. There are many moments when you see them struggle because they are fighting their friends. It is all in fun but still there is a goal, which is to take the fort from the other team

I loved the graphics and animation. It is believable and easy to watch. You forget the characters are animated and look at them as if they are real people. The fort, well let's say it is the most awesome snow castle ever and I would love to play in it.

Most children's movies are fun, cute and quirky and leave you feeling upbeat. This movie left me feeling sad. I loved the movie but I did not like the ending. No spoilers, but I wish they had added more to the ending of the movie. But, there is a message and everyone will get it. It is one, which we should all know.

I recommend this movie for ages 6 and up. Younger kids might not totally grasp the story line but they will love the graphics and a good snowball fight.

I give this movie 4 1/2 out of 5 shooting snowballs. This movie is brought to you by Shout! Factory and opens in theaters March 29th. The DVD will be out in the fall of 2016 just in time for the next winter snow fun.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 80 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


MECH-X4

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MECH-X4       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
DISNEY CHANNEL
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Mech-X4 is an American comedy television series created by Steve Marmel. The series stars Nathaniel James Potvin, Kamran Lucas, Pearce Joza and Raymond Cham. The series is scheduled to premiere on November 12, 2016, on Disney XD.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Amazing! I got a sneak peek of the first episode of Mech-X4 and was pleasantly surprised because this is not your typical Disney TV show. It made me feel like I was watching a movie with its wonderful storyline, graphics and acting. This fun-filled adventure show airs on Disney and Disney XD Saturday, November 12 so be sure to check it out. In this incredible show, there is an amazing cast, graphics and an awesome storyline - all of which are quite believable.

This show stars Ryan Walker (Nathaniel James Potvin). With his dreamy eyes, he is a typical teenage boy who finds out that he is a technopath. While chit chatting with Nathaniel, I discovered that he loves his super power which is being the master of all technology. His personality matches his character perfectly as he is fun and easy to talk to. His new-found superpower awakens a 150 foot robot called Mech-X4 and its job is to protect the city from crazy monsters.

Ryan Walker then recruits his friends to help. Harris (Kamran Lucas) is the brains of the group. In real life, he has been doing Martial arts since he was 5 years old and he does most of his own stunts. Harris is cautious and protective of his friends and the new-found robot. Harris is a geek who wants to make sure that everyone has their facts straight before they jump into things. He is amazing at martial arts and play his character quite believingly.

Spyder (Pearce Joza) is adventurous and ready for anything. I also met him and found his easy going nature quite enjoyable. In real life, he loves snowboarding. He provides the comedic relief for the group and is extremely funny. He loves all the gadgets for the robot and, since this is all new for them, sometimes things don't work out as planned.

Ryan also recruits his brother Mark (Raymond Cham) to help. He is not a mechanic in real life, like his character and the two of them are exact opposites. Mark's main job is to be the mechanic and fix everything. Mark is usually the leader in his family so he has to get used to the fact that he needs to let his brother shine and he has to stand back a bit. Raymond loves the idea of mixing two animals together to get cool and creative monsters for the show. He wishes he had the super power to see free movies at the box office. Skateboarding is his thing.

I was lucky enough to be able to meet all these fantastic actors and visit with them about their roles in this show. They are all so grateful to be a part of this magnificent show. The one thing that is missing is girl power. Disney already gave the green on Season 2 before Season 1 even airs. WOW ! And, the guys told me to keep a look out for girl power coming soon.

The graphics of this show are spectacular. I love the way the robot and monsters all seem so realistic. It feels like you really are there and as if you are going on this adventure with Ryan and his friends while protecting the world. I love all the amazing places they shot in Canada, the wonderful acting and the insight into each character.

My favorite scene in this episode is when Ryan, Spyder, Mark and Harris are fighting a gigantic snake/octopus monster with the robot. It is filled with action, adventure and a little comedy. Plus the graphics are incredible and realistic.

I recommend this series for ages 8 to 18 because the action and comedy. I also think adults will enjoy it, especially the story line and the characters. According to Steve Marmel and Anupam Nigam, Executive Producers of the show, their target audience is a wide range. They want parents to enjoy watching this TV show with their kids. Be sure to check out my amazing interviews and learn more about the cast on our YouTube Channel. I give this TV show 5 out of 5 gigantic robot stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


INFERNO

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
INFERNO
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Academy Award� winner Ron Howard returns to direct the latest bestseller in Dan Brown's (Da Vinci Code) billion-dollar Robert Langdon series, Inferno, which finds the famous symbologist (again played by Tom Hanks) on a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman from unleashing a global virus that would wipe out half of the world's population.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Inferno is an action-packed crime movie that has you hooked from the very beginning. I really enjoyed this film because of the storyline, cast, suspense and message. While watching, I felt as if I was actually in the movie playing one of the main characters. It's like watching a huge mystery game which making this movie awesome and exciting.

After waking up in a Italian hospital with symptoms of amnesia, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones). Together, they go on a journey across Europe to stop one of the antagonists (Ben Foster) from unleashing a deadly virus that can decrease the world's population.

My favorite part of this extraordinary movie is the very beginning. Once the movie starts, you instantly come apart due to the confusion that is going on in Tom Hanks' and, consequently your mind. That is what makes the audience adore this film because it's as if you have a role in the film along with the actors. Another aspect I like is the cast. Each character is different in their own right as we can see from their background stories. You tend to question yourself many times because you are unsure who to trust and who not to trust. That is what makes this movie so thrilling and exciting. There is also a lot of historical information about religion and other cultures which is explained in a way that helps you understand what is going on and allows you to interpret as you choose. I applaud the author of the series, Dan Brown and the screenwriter, David Koepp for their terrific skills in creating an interesting and compelling story.

Without giving away the ending, the message of this film is based on a biblical term "Seek and Ye Shall Find.'" In other words, you search for the truth no matter what the outcome may be. Tom Hanks is searching for the Inferno disease even though he has a feeling of what is at stake. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and adults will enjoy it as well. And, I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for its excellent storyline, mystery, action packed script and outstanding cast and crew. Inferno comes out to theaters on Friday, October 28, 2016. I suggest you buy a ticket and check this movie out as soon as possible! You definitely will not regret it.

By Imani Baptiste-Green, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: 25TH ANNIVERSARY

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: 25TH ANNIVERSARY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-18
Topic - Family
Description - Be our guest at the enchanted 25th Anniversary celebration of Beauty and the Beast, universally acclaimed as one of Disney's finest animated features and now honored in the Walt Disney Signature Collection. Join brave, independent Belle on the adventure of a lifetime as she sets out to rescue her father and finds herself in the enchanted castle of a mysterious beast. Enjoy this timeless tale overflowing with unforgettable characters and Academy Award-winning music (Best Song, Best Score, 1991) It took more than 600 animators, artists and technicians three and a half years to complete the project. Beauty is the first animated Disney feature scripted by a woman, Linda Woolverton. The film marked the first time each animator was credited on screen specifically for the character he or she brought to life. Disney's animation department won a Scientific and Technical Academy Award for the design and development of the Computer Animated Production System used to make the film. The style of illustration was inspired by French painters Fragonard and Boucher.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This classic Disney animated film will always hold a place in our hearts. It's great to see it once again and relive the magic I experienced when I first watched it. I advise parents to be careful when showing it to kids under the age of five, some of whom might not be able to handle the more violent scenes. Certainly there are no blood and guts here but, for more sensitive kids, there may be some frightening stuff. The music is truly a joy to listen to, the voice over talent is as good as it gets and on the DVD/Blu-Ray or Digital HD version, there are some cool bonus features that make your viewing experience even better.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - It's been 25 years since this wonderful Disney Animated film found its way to viewers and forever captured their hearts. Since then, there have been dozens of other animated classics, but none leave the impression that Beauty and the Beast does. With its humor, spectacular animation, character design, story and adventures, this story is truly one of, if not, the best that Disney Studios' has ever made.

Beauty and the Beast has many different genres, the main one being romance. Along with that is a sense of adventure and excitement. The film also has its share of exciting scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat almost the entire time, even if you saw it many times before.

It begins when Belle (Paige O'Hara), a young girl in a village, has to rescue her father from a big and scary Beast living in a dark castle. Belle then has to stay in the castle for the rest of her life to free her father. It turns out that the Beast is, in fact a prince, under a dark and magical curse. This curse makes him a horrible Beast and the only way to break it is to find a girl that will fall in love with him. The Beast and Belle start bonding and falling in love.

Beauty and the Beast is an extraordinary masterpiece for many of the reasons I mentioned, but what impresses me the most is the animation. Despite its now 25 years old and way before the first computer animation, there are scenes in the film where it incorporates 3D like effects and looks almost exactly like today's computer animation. To think that it was actually drawn by hand is spectacular and astonishing. On top of that, the voice over work is simply phenomenal, from singing to talking, each emotion and role is played ideally. Speaking of music, the songs in this animated classic are fantastically done from the beat to the lyrics, to the actual voiceover artists singing the songs, to very well-orchestrated scenes.

The DVD also comes with several very cool bonus features. The most exciting to me is the sneak peak of the 2017 live action version of Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. It shows the cast reading lines, some special effects and even several sets. If that is not enough to spark viewers' curiosity, there are also many facts about Beauty and the Beast as well as some footage of the actual recording booths where the original cast recorded their lines. I also enjoyed the part when it talks about how Walt Disney never really got to do this story, even though he wanted to, and thus in 1991, his creative team did it to honor his wishes.

My favorite scene is when Belle goes down to eat dinner in the castle for the first time. In this castle, all the servants are magically turned into utilities. Just to name a few, there are talking clocks, teapots, knives, a stove, wardrobes, candles and more. They all do a big musical number with the classic song, "Be my Guest", which sounds spectacular and the animated musical number has many parts that are just hysterical.

Despite some violent scenes, it is still perfect for kids. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Younger kids may find the Beast scary or may not enjoy the more intense scenes. I give Beauty and the Beast 5 out of 5 stars for absolutely phenomenal animation, an exciting and detailed story, beautiful songs and emotional voiceover work. Here's to another 25 years with a new generation!

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

This is the classic tale of a brave girl and a gigantic scary beast is coming to your home on DVD and Blue Ray and its available right now.

I am so happy that Disney is bringing this film back. The music is spectacular and makes you want to sing. Lucky for you there are three different versions - the original that was shown in theaters, a sing along so you can be in the film in your own special way and a special edition. How cool is that? Also included are many bonus features such as 25 fun facts about the film and a reading section so you can be there with the cast and the crew. There are interviews with the music team who created the music and many other interesting and fun things to watch on this home entertainment version.

As for the talent in this film. The voice-overs are superb and well suited for their roles. Belle (Paige O'Hara) is my favorite character. Belle is a daring, caring girl who wants more in life than the same thing over and over again. She dreams about having an adventure and her wish comes true when she gets a giant adventure of her own. The Beast (Robby Benson) is one scary, mean creature. You wonder if he will continue to lash out at people or change his ways. There are also the evil villains. Gaston (Richard White) is so vain that he loves himself more than anyone else. He is just a big bully who gets what he wants, when he wants it. Last, there are the amazing enchanted pieces of furniture and silverware - Lumiere (Jerry Orbach), the charming and handsome candle stick holder, Cogsworth (David Ogden Stiers), the mean grouchy clock who wants to be boss and Mrs. Potts (Angela Lansbury) and Chip (Bradley Pierce) the adorable mother and son who are all too cute for words.

The animation is incredible and very detailed from the falling snow to the red rose, the dancing and the scenery. All are breath taking.

My favorite scene is when the furniture and silverware and all the other magical items in the castle fight the angry villagers to protect their home. I love this scene because not only it is original but it's very funny. I love all the unique and different ways the items fight off the villagers. It makes me laugh every time.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18. They will love the magic and the fun characters. Adults and older kids will love to see this film again or perhaps see it for the first time. There is just a bit of violence when Gaston has a perilous death and The Beast can be a bit too scary for really young children. This is a perfect Disney magical musical for the whole family. I give it 5 out of 5 enchanting red roses.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.
Runtime: 92 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 22.99
Media: DVD


INTO THE INFERNO

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INTO THE INFERNO       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
NETFLIX
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - Werner Herzog and volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer travel the globe and visit volcanoes in Indonesia, Ethiopia and even North Korea in an attempt to understand man's relationship with one of nature's most violent wonders.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Volcanoes are all over the world and we know so many scientific facts about them. They are majestic and very dangerous, but there is also culture, religion and much more that always surrounds these amazing creations of nature. Into the Inferno by Werner Herzog is a beautiful documentary that tells you all about volcanoes and takes you on a behind the scenes tour.

This documentary is quite educational and the creators of the film share their gigantic adventure around the world which is exciting and quite dangerous. There may be a couple of jokes here and there, but this film is not a comedy. Its main purpose is to show the beauty, danger and culture of volcanoes in an entertaining fashion.

This film follows Werner Herzog (Director) and Clive Oppenheimer (Volcanologist) as they explore the most unique volcanoes on Earth. From the coldest places in Antarctica to the hottest places in Ethiopia, to even the most mysterious places deep in the jungle or on remote islands. They not only talk to local scientists and experts about the area and the volcano, but they talk to the local villagers to hear about the culture and religion in each areas.

Simply put, this documentary is beautiful. There is no better word to describe it. The camera work is spectacular and borderline dangerous. Many of the volcanoes they visit are open and have visible magma lakes inside them. This makes getting the footage very challenging, but the crew manages to pull it off. On top of that, most documentaries only explore the science of volcanoes, but this one talks about so many other aspects of volcanoes. For example, in Ethiopia, they talk about archaeology and how volcanoes help preserve fossils. This allows the viewer to learn about not only the volcanoes but the many myths and rituals surrounding them. One small issue is that, if you are not passionate about learning about science or about culture, some scenes may be slightly boring or feel stretched. Otherwise, the director Werner Herzog has produced a perfect documentary that is truly educational and entertaining.

My favorite scene is when they go to Antarctica to see a massive volcano there. Not only does it just show how hard the crew works to get the footage, it also is mind-blowing to see freezing snow temperatures with a giant hot volcano right in the middle of it. In many scenes in Antarctica, they are right on the ridge of the volcano, looking down at the massive magma lake within the volcano surrounded by magnificent ice. This is absolutely spectacular and scary to watch at the same time.

There are many parts of the film that are either socially or politically mature in terms of cultures, which makes it unsuitable for very young children. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18. I give it 4 � out of 5 stars because it achieves perfect cinematography, is a unique concept and very educational, but it does feel a bit stretched out.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


TWO FOR ONE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TWO FOR ONE
TERRI TREAS
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-13
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - A middle school campaign for class president turns ugly when the students take to social media to support their favorite candidate. The teacher and high school mentors come up with a clever solution to teach the true meaning of co-operation or bi-partisanship to the student body.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film teaches a valuable lesson and is very current and topical. It is suitable for kids in middle school and has visual appeal. The acting is pretty good and believable. The locations used fit really well with the story. Most of the film takes place at home or in school. The costumes are pretty typical of what most kids in middle school are wearing. I like that there is a good point to the story and that there are all different races and cultures included. I wasn't quite sure at first about the stereotyping of certain groups in school, but it is believable and there really are groups in middle school and high school. I think this is well executed and kids would benefit from watching it. We recommend this film for ages 8 to 13. Reviewed by Denise B. KIDS FIRST! juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 13 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


TROLLS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TROLLS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - From the creators of Shrek comes the most smart, funny, irreverent animated comedy of the year, DreamWorks' Trolls. This holiday season, enter a colorful, wondrous world populated by hilariously unforgettable characters and discover the story of the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach. Featuring original music from Justin Timberlake, and soon-to-be classic mash-ups of songs from other popular artists, the film stars the voice talents of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop, Gwen Stefani, and many more. DreamWorks' TROLLS is a fresh, broad comedy filled with music, heart and hair-raising adventures. In November of 2016, nothing can prepare you for our new Troll world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From the beginning, Trolls takes you on a vivid colorful, musical journey including the magic of the Trolls and the roughness of the Bergens. The Trolls daily routines - hugging every hour, singing and dancing and living everyday partying is endearing and their story is a combination of several stories. The messages are about remembering how important it is to be ourselves and that we all have what we need to be happy inside of ourselves. The catchy soundtrack causes you to dance in your seat. As an animated musical, each song hits your heart, your funny bone and brings joy, some sadness and a true feeling of happiness. I really enjoyed watching the Trolls hug every hour - what a touching idea. The interaction between Branch (Justin Timberlake), Poppy( Anna Kendrick) and the other Trolls show how important it is to realize when someone is negative or unhappy, there is a reason. When you care about or are a friend who look for ways to help the person. Watching it in 3D enhances the whole film experience. I recommend it for ages 2 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love the new Dreamworks film, Trolls because it is entertaining, has a good message, has a great soundtrack filled with incredible music and is virtually impossible not to like. In this movie, it is 20 years since the Trolls escaped from the Bergens. Bergens are giants compared to Trolls. Meet Poppy (Anna Kendrick) who is going to be queen of the Trolls. She decides to have a party, but Branch (Justin Timberlake) warns them not to make a bunch of noise or their enemies, the Bergens will find them. Poppy doesn't listen and, because of that, the Bergens, capture some of the Trolls. Poppy decides to find and rescue them. Will she save the Trolls or will the Bergens do something to them before she does? You have to see the movie to find out.

I enjoyed watching this movie because I love the music. If you didn't know, this movie is a musical. It is fantastic! I love how they turn well-known songs into their own new version of the song by changing the arrangement. Another reason why I love this movie is because of its cast. The cast's chemistry is evident as you watch the interaction between the characters throughout the film. Anna Kendrick's and Justin Timberlake's performances are fantastic because they take you on an emotional journey and make you feel it. I love how Justin Timberlake's character goes through changes throughout the film and Anna Kendrick's character Poppy is hilarious. She made me laugh a lot.

The supporting cast members are superb as well and their characters, in some scenes, steal the show. For instance, Biggie (James Corden) is so hilarious in one scene, but I can't say which one because it would spoil the movie. Also the performances of Gwen Stefani, Russell Brand, Zooey Deschanel and many others will have you laughing as they deliver a bunch of jokes as well.

This film is amazing and has a positive message - "You don't need things or people to be happy. Your happiness lies within yourself and you should be proud of who you are."

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 6 to 18. I think adults may like this as well. The Bergens may be a bit scary looking so kids under age 6 might find it too intense. I also recommend this to people who like action, adventure, musicals and family movies. This film comes out November 4, 2016 in theaters nationwide. Make sure to see this movie, because it is worth seeing.

Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

This is a terrific film. The small, adorable and fun Troll dolls are making a comeback in the new feature film Trolls. The cutest ever Trolls play opposite the pessimistic Bergens. These are fun, energetic characters as well as grumpy characters who blend together to make this film perfectly engaging. There are also stupendous songs that make you just get up and out of your seat, singing and dancing.

The animation is very vivid, extraordinarily colorful and detailed which is perfect for the little ones who will love the colors and the fun characters in this film. The way everything so detailed, realistic and whimsical makes this film really stand out in a way that appeals to both kids and adults.

The cast is brilliant especially Poppy (Anna Kendrick) who is the happiest, kindest, sweetest troll of them all. She always see the bright side of things and reminds me of myself when I was younger. Maybe that's why she is my favorite character. Plus, Poppy is an amazing singer just like Branch (Justin Timberlake).

Branch the grumpy, sad troll is also very sarcastic and funny. He is a favorite because of how his smart remarks add a lot of humor to this film. Justin Timberlake, who I recently met, is nothing like his character in real life. He is an absolute sweet heart in person. I got to talk with him recently on the rainbow carpet for Trolls and learned that he loves to sing and dance and he had a splendid time working on this film. He is also the executive music producer for this movie.

Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) is an unhappy scullery maid who is in love with someone. She needs a little help to get him to notice her and hence, the matchmaking begins. Last, there is Chef (Christine Baranski), the villain we all love to hate. She is crazy and frightful. She likes to eat trolls and that keeps the story interesting and intriguing for older kids.

My favorite scene is when Poppy is singing a fun song called "Get Back up Again" while she is almost eaten, stepped on and everything painful and horrible happens. I love this scene because it made me laugh so hard. It makes you want to get out of your seat and sing along with her. I also love the way that she gets back up no matter what, thinks positive and tries her best to help everyone, no matter what happens to her along the way.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18 because younger kids will love the fun songs, colorful animation and the silly adorable characters and older kids will love the scary villain and the story line. This is a feel good family friendly movie that parents will enjoy as well. I give this film 5 out of 5 rainbow troll stars. Be sure to check my interviews on the rainbow carpet where you can meet actors who play these characters and learn more secrets. This film comes out November 4 in theaters nationwide so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Web Series


LOVING

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LOVING       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, are sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958 for getting married.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Loving, a film based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving written and directed by Jeff Nichols, captures what I have said many times - "love knows no color." I can relate to the story because I grew up in Virginia and I was about nine-years-old when Richard and Mildred began their struggle. My mother, who I credit with wisdom and foresight, realized that in Virginia equality among the races was going to be a challenge. She knew that Virginia's laws would challenge integration in all areas, particularly in schools. We moved from Norfolk, Virginia to Philadelphia, PA in 1959.

Loving opens with a beautiful scene of Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga) on an acre of land that Richard purchases and shares his plan to build a home for his love and future wife. I found it very interesting that the community where Richard and Mildred lived at that time, Central Point, Virginia was more integrated than other towns in the South. The problem was the Commonwealth of Virginia, with its law against interracial marriage.

Loving vs. Virginia is a historical civil rights case that went all the way to the Supreme Court and changed not only the lives of Richard and Mildred Loving but also reaffirmed the people's right to marry no matter their color.

Richard Loving and Mildred Loving, along with their supportive family members show determination and courage. In one scene, when the attorney Cohen asks Richard Loving what he wants to say to the Supreme Court, he replies "Tell them I love my wife."

Loving is a love story that inspires. It truly captures the feelings and surroundings of that time.

I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and adults will most likely enjoy this as well. I give it 5 out of 5 stars for a compelling story, well told. This film opens nationwide on November 4, 2016 so go see it and experience what loving is all about.

Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Before I get started with my review, let me tell you something. Love is the key to everything. If any of you have seen this film, you know the main idea of the story already. But if you haven't, let me bring you up to speed. This is a sad yet romantic film. When I watched this movie, it changed my perspective or at least my way of thinking about love. After watching it, I thought about the life I live today and I realize that without the Lovings, the world would be a much different place.

This movie is about the true story of an interracial couple who fell in love. In the beginning of the movie, we see Mr. Loving (Joel Edgerton) building a new home for himself and his wife. Little did they know that the police were going to soon find out about their marriage and shortly after, they would end up in jail. Back in 1967, in the state of Virginia, interracial marriages were illegal. But love has no color so Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga) and Richard Loving decide to fight for what they believed in. When the police find out, they try to stop them. As you watch this movie, it makes you think about love, not differences. Now get this - after watching this movie some of the actors from the film came on stage and told us more about the movie. I learned that when Peggy, the Loving's daughter first meet Joel Edgerton (who plays her dad in the film), she called him daddy and began to cry.

The filming crew truly captures the reality of the times in so many ways. I recommend this film for ages 10 through 18 and older. Children 10 would not have learned about this subject yet, but when you're 10 you already start learning about the racism in their country in social studies. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it was better than my expectations. It has a good storyline and a good setting and, most importantly, the titles really catches the meaning of the film. This film opens in theaters November 4, 2016 so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Kamhai Beard, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


FINDING DORY (BLU-RAY/DVD/DIGITAL HD)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FINDING DORY (BLU-RAY/DVD/DIGITAL HD)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunites with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - "Just keep swimming Dory," her memory keeps reminding her. Ellen DeGeneres truly has outdone herself with her voiceover of Dory. Ellen championed the making of a sequel because she had such fun playing the little blue fish and it's well worth the effort. Dory suffers from short term memory issues which the entire storyline revolves around. It causes her to lose her parents, find Nemo and Marlin, find her parents and find a whole lot of others in the process. What she has going for her is her kind and loving and smart nature. She tends to bring everyone into her universe and things just seem to work out for her. A great role model for kids and adults and a fun plot. Pixar's animation truly proves them to be the leader in this business once again and charmingly so. It's not just the visuals but it's all the little things they throw in that engage you from the get go to the finish. And, be sure to get to the theater so you don't miss the short, Piper, that shows before the feature. It's also a must see. Loved both! Will go back. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! juror. This sequel to Finding Nemo focuses on Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) overcoming her short-term memory loss to find her parents whom she was separated from when she was very young. There is peril, excitement and suspense as well as humor and a variety of characters throughout. The animation is beautiful, often stunning. Overall, this should be very entertaining to children though not quite as much as Finding Nemo was. There are extras on this Blu-Ray DVD that discuss, albeit briefly, sketching character design, music and deleted scenes. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - It has been 13 years since easily the greatest animated film came out. Now, the very hyped up sequel has been released. Finding Dory brings back the fantastic characters, amazing jokes and the fun story with important morals. This movie, much like Finding Nemo is an adventurous comedy, but that isn't all that this film has to offer. It also has a good amount of child-friendly action. On top of that, the movie features many important morals that teach kids lots of good lessons. Mind-blowing animation by Pixar also impresses the audience.

Finding Dory follows one year after the events of Finding Nemo. Nemo, (Hayden Rolence), Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) are all back in the coral reef, living happily. However, everything changes when Dory gets a memory about her past and her family. They all then go on a quest to the far away coast of California to find Dory's parents. On the search for her parents they meet new friends and see old friends. Many events lead up to one main event. Do they find Dory's parents or not? If you want to find out, you have to watch the film.

As much as I enjoyed this sequel, I was disappointed as it felt like Finding Dory made some of the same mistakes that Star Wars: The Force Awakens made. Both were massively hyped films to continue a successful franchise. Both movies seemed to repeat a lot of the story line from the previous film. The events in Finding Dory are almost exactly like the events of Finding Nemo. This makes it very boring and quite predictable for people who saw the first film. On top of that, Finding Nemo is a fantasy but is done much more true to science. Some of the moments in Finding Dory feel forced even for a fairy tale. On top of that, the jokes in Finding Dory are somewhat repetitive, lack originality and, only a few times, are actually funny. What is especially enjoyable are the scenes with Ty Burrell's voicing the Beluga character. The first film was a complete success in its comedy. You could see Finding Nemo twenty times and still laugh. With Finding Dory, I'm not sure someone would watch it multiple times.

However, there is one thing I really adore about this film - the cast. Since it's been thirteen years after Finding Nemo, the quality of the voice acting was a big question. But after watching the film, I can say it feels like it was made directly after Finding Nemo in 2003. What is most impressive - Hayden Rolence who voices Nemo. Of course, since it's been thirteen years, the actor who voiced Nemo can no longer do the same voice so they had to find a new kid. Hayden is stupendous in this role and I could not notice a difference between the two.

My favorite scene is when they introduce my new favorite character, Hank (Ed O'Neill), an octopus. Hank finds Dory and agrees to take her to where they think her parents are in return for something that Hank needs. This scene is hilarious and the dialog between the octopus and Dory is delightful.

Finding Dory is meant for kids and thus, has nothing parents should be worried about. Because of a few action scenes, I recommend it to ages 4 through 18. I give it 4 out of 5 stars because the story is so similar to the original and seems rushed and even a bit boring at times. But the voice acting and amazing animation by Pixar makes it all worth the wait.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.

I love the new Disney / Pixar film, Finding Dory which is the sequel to Finding Nemo. Fans of Finding Nemo will absolutely love this sequel. The animation is amazing, the humor hilarious and witty and the plot is so heartfelt. It does not disappoint. Dory is a forgetful but fearless blue tang fish (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), suffers from short term memory loss and has struggled with this for her entire life. Then one day, something happens to Dory that triggers her memory and she remembers that she has a family. She tries to find them with the help of Nemo (voiced by Hayden Rolence) and Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks). The question is, "will Dory find her family, or will she forget to find them?"

This film's humor is so hilarious, I laughed my pants off and that's why I love it so much. Some of the jokes are also funny for adults, which I also liked. I love the animation because Pixar makes the sea life in this film look so realistic and the colors are so rich and vivid. The characters are adorable, kid-friendly and nice. Pixar has done it again. They made me feel all kinds of emotions - happiness, fear and sadness, just to name a few. I love the film from beginning to end. It is really fantastic.

Ellen DeGeneres is child-like and goofy. Her portrayal of Dory really excels. However, my favorite character is Hank, the octopus (voiced by Ed O'Neil) who gives an outstanding performance). He can camouflage into anything. I love how he has that ability. I also like how he makes so many hilarious jokes. He assists Dory on her adventure to find her family so he can leave the Marine Life Institute and go to Cleveland. We see how Hank's personality slowly changes throughout this film because of Dory. I just love how Dory grows on him and how he helps her no matter what.

Also, I noticed that all the characters in this film have some type of disability in some way or another and all of them learn to overcome it. That is a very important message in this film.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 4 to 18. You should be aware that there is one short scene that involves an octopus that may scare some children but it is very brief. I also recommend this film to people who like children, family and action movies. And, I think that adults will enjoy this. Make sure to see this film when it opens Friday June 17.

Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.

The anticipated sequel Finding Dory is adorable and fun, but not a match for the original. It's a brilliant and enjoyable movie on its own. The only problem is the bar was set in Finding Nemo. Basically, it is fun, but nowhere near as compelling as Finding Nemo. Considering the amount of time that has passed since the first one, they did everything they could to keep things consistent with the original which is a big plus.

The film focuses on the forgetful, yet friendly blue fish Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) and her journey to find her family. The plot is connected with a series of flashbacks from Dory's childhood and in bursts of random memories which is different and unexpected. I really like how they connected scenes and referred to experiences from the first film and I love that they even have many appearances from the original characters.

The film provides outstanding humor as Pixar always does, giving people of all ages unforgettable enjoyment. I was extremely relieved to see the same style of animation and camera work in the second film because I feared that, after all these years, they would try to advance the details and tweak the animation. However, it is safe to say the film resembles the first and the consistency is very comforting.

In comparison to the other sequels Pixar and Disney have created, Finding Dory is very impressive. The movie can be a bit of a let down if one's mindset is on the expectations from the first one, but it is a fun adventure on its own.

I was concerned whether Dory could successfully carry the role of a main character since she had previously played a supporting role, but she carried it out well. The supporting cast really stands out and brings the comedy to life and their pleasant personalities bring a fun element to the film.

One of the best aspects of this film is the focus on character development rather than the fun journey. Pixar provides more than just comedy and entertainment for the kids. The film contains thoughtful messages and shines a light on mental disabilities.

While the film is not as good as you expect it, it is not as bad as you feared. The film is definitely worth watching. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18. People who saw the first film will particularly enjoy it. Otherwise it might be difficult to fully understand. I give this film a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Check it out when it opens in theaters June 17th.

Reviewed by Harmony M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
EAGLE HUNTRESS, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - This spellbinding documentary follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old nomadic Mongolian girl who is fighting to become the first female eagle hunter in twelve generations of her Kazakh family. Through breathtaking aerial cinematography and intimate verite footage, the film captures her personal journey while also addressing universal themes like female empowerment, the natural world, coming of age and the onset of modernity.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Eagle Huntress is an inspiring film. I love its uniqueness and that is based on a true story. The film is about a 13-year-old Mongolian girl named Aisholpan who trains with her father to become the first girl in her family to be an eagle hunter. Traditionally for many generations, only boys were trained, but Aisholpan's father Nurgaiv wanted to train her because he believed in her. Her mother and siblings are also featured in the film.

The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking, showing beautiful landscapes of Mongolia and astonishing nature scenes. The movie is a team collaboration with the participation of various producers, executive producers and an excellent director, Otto Bell. Although the production crew was small, they made quite a striking film. This is Otto Bell's first true story documentary which is impressive because the quality of the production is remarkable. The collaboration of the various producers helped make the film possible. The narrator is Star War's Daisy Ridley which sweet narration can help young kids understand and follow the story.

Otto Bell found out about Aisholpan and her remarkable story from a BBC segment and decided to make a film about the story. All the characters are real, so there aren't any characters. My favorite personage is Aisholpan because she is confident in herself and goes through many challenges. My favorite scene is when Aisholpan wins a contest. It is such an inspiring moment! Another great scene is when Aisholpan catches an eagle because it shows her fearlessness and how accomplished and brave she is.

The message of the film is to follow your dreams and to preserve family traditions. This movie is very moving and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this to ages 5 to 18. This movie opens in New York and Los Angeles on November 2 and nationwide on December 23, 2016. Go check it out if you are up for a real life adventure with a girl heroine.

Reviewed by Carla Paz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MASTERPIECE: CHURCHILL'S SECRET
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - It is the summer of 1953 and Nurse Appleyard (Romola Garai) is rushed to a secret location where she discovers her patient is Winston Churchill (Michael Gambon), the elderly Prime Minister. Churchill has suffered a stroke and may not last the weekend. As Churchill's wife (Lindsay Duncan) and family gather at his bedside, long-buried tensions rise to the surface.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is, simply, a fine film portraying a great man suffering and recovering from a stroke late in life surrounded by his troubled but loving family and well-meaning staff attempting to control the situation and keep it hidden from the public. Real emotion is portrayed with a delicate and at times humorous touch.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 111 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 34.99
Media: DVD


BIRTH OF A NATION, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BIRTH OF A NATION, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 16-18
Topic - Family
Description - Set against the antebellum South, THE BIRTH OF A NATION follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nat's preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities - against himself and his fellow slaves - Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom. This film is rated $ for disturbing violent content and some brief nudity.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - KIDS FIRST! does not, as a rule, review R rated films. However, due to the subject matter, we did decide to review this but with the warning that this is not a film for young people under the age of 16. It has very graphic scenes of violence which, unfortunately, accurately portray the reality of the times. But, please approach this film with caution and do not take young children to see it.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The name of this movie is very fitting. It's an ironic title that, no doubt, has a connection to the 1915 silent epic with of exactly the same name. What's the irony? The 1915 The Birth of a Nation is one of the most influential films of all time. I've seen it and it is a masterpiece of cinema. Essentially, it is the Citizen Kane of its time, but it has an abysmal message. It encourages and praises the Klu Klux Klan and the movie did, in fact, have a huge influence in rekindling the rise of the KKK during the first half of the 20th Century. So 2016s The Birth of the Nation, which comes out over a century after D.W. Griffith's film, is fittingly named after it. Considering that Nate Parker's film is about rebelling against oppression with the backdrop of slavery and racism, the title adds a stark, ironic contrast.

The 2016 film is an account of the Nat Turner slave rebellion. Nate Parker plays the leading role. He is supported by Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley and Aja Naomi King. The all perform wonderfully in their roles. They are believable and honest with fine characterization. Though, it's clearly Nate Parker's show.

What I want to focus on is the direction. Nate Parker also directed this picture and I must say, I like his style. I fully expect people to compare this film with the 2013 Best Picture Winner 12 Years a Slave and have discussions on which is better. I contend that 12 Years a Slave is better, but they are not really comparable. Nate Parker directs this film with honesty, which is a polite way of saying brutality. He doesn't shy away from the violence and he shows shots that get across the inhumanity of the time. But he also mixes in a very cinematic touch. By that I mean he emphasizes the major moments with a sweeping score, he captures emotionality with close-ups, and he includes shots for the sake of beauty. Whereas 12 Years a Slave is unrelenting realism, without hint of sentimentality or cinematic nature. One thing I do appreciate with Parker's direction is that he isn't afraid to inject some humor. I actually think, within the tone of the film that is brilliant. It isn't as light as Django Unchained, but there are a couple of moments, a couple of scenes that relieve us of the heavy, draining nature of the movie, and nothing is taken away because of it.

The script, which was written by Nate Parker, is a good script. Though there are minor dialogue exchanges I could have done without and there are minute moments I would change, all in all he gets across his message. There are some VERY powerful moments. As a matter of fact, one scene in particular, where slaves are shown hanging from trees, and the camera slowly pans backwards until we see them in a medium shot, is one of the most powerful scenes I've ever seen in the movies. And, I've seen a lot of movies. The way Parker frames them and positions them, they look like hanging ghosts, haunting the land and our memories. Combine that image with the sound of "Strange Fruit" playing in the background, one can't help but tear up. I did. And what makes that scene work is that is sums up the nature of the film. Nate Parker could have left that scene silent without a score or song, and just show that image and it would have polarized us. But by having "Strange Fruit", a song about lynching, play in the background, we are brought to emotion. It is a powerful scene.

So, I congratulate Nate Parker on his fantastic directorial debut. He is the true auteur on this, having starred, written and produced it. It is not perfect. It is flawed, but it is effective. There are some narrative issues and directorial inconsistencies, but the story and passion behind the choices cannot be denied. Because of that I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 15 to 18. It can be seen at a local theater near you.

Reviewed by Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 15-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


GENERATION STARTUP

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GENERATION STARTUP       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
XXX
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Generation Startup takes us to the front lines of entrepreneurship in America, capturing the struggles and triumphs of six recent college graduates who put everything on the line to build startups in Detroit. Shot over 17 months, it's an honest, in-the-trenches look at what it takes to launch a startup. Directed by Academy Award winner Cynthia Wade and award-winning filmmaker Cheryl Miller Houser, the film celebrates risk-taking, urban revitalization, and diversity while delivering a vital call-to-action-with entrepreneurship at a record low, the country's economic future is at stake.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you started a business from scratch? Or, are you thinking of starting a new business? If so, this is the film for you. The startups in this film are being built in Detroit which is a tough town to either make or break it. This film shows how hard people have to work to succeed and make their dream of owning a business come to life.

Award winners Cynthia Wade and Cheryl Miller Houser filmed this adventure over a period of 17 months. A lot happens within this short time period. Susan Margolin is the executive producer with mega experience in film distribution. Lauren Zalaznick is also the executive producer and has an resume having worked at NBC Universal, Sundance, Cannes and many more companies. These four women definitely comprise a power house and are great role models.

Andrew Yang is the founder of Venture for America which has placed college graduates at startups in 15 different cities over 2 years. He is also an adviser though out this film. Will they have the guts, determination and drive to succeed? That is what this film is about. The ups and downs and mistakes you go through to make it. Pamela Lewis is the director of the New Economy Initiative and she is another adviser to this film.

The storyline is very interesting and told in documentary style. I love watching films with real people about real lives. This film follows six people trying to open new startup businesses from scratch. Brian Rudolph, Avery Hairston, Labib Rahman, Dextina Brooker, Kate Catlin and Max Nussenbaum are the six people that we follow on their journey. Will they make it? We are always on the edge of our seats wondering if they will make it because it could go either way. I think that this documentary really captures all the hard work, determination and perspiration you have to put into making your dreams come true. It takes a lot to start a new business. There is a ton of effort that goes into a little thing such as paste that I love to eat. No sugar coating here, they have many failures and successes.

All six people have different goals and different obstacles they have to overcome. No spoilers, but not all of them make it and some decide to take another path. They are all exceptional students. People like this hold the world's future in their hands. This is a small sample of the people who will be creating jobs, products and inventions for our future.

My favorite scene is when Max Nussenbaum and a bunch of his friends are in a house that has no heat, poor insulation and it is in the dead of winter so they have blankets, tents and space heaters all around them. I love this scene. It is hilarious as they all try to find warmth in the little establishment that they set up. Indoor camping, yeah! They said that, as difficult as this was, they miss this part the most. They have come a long way since then.

One of the great ideas I like is a spoon is covered with cereal that you dip into peanut butter and eat. You can do it while sitting in a car. I am going to try this. Other companies I found interesting were a chickpea noodle company, an on-line property management company, a website to encourages women mentors and more.

I recommend this film to ages 11 to 18. Adults will like this too. Kids will be inspired and will want to start their own business. Children are creating and starting businesses when they are very young, so who knows what this might inspire? Adults will think that the story is informational and intrigued to see who will make it. You should know that there is mild profanity but, it is story of determination and what it takes to accomplish your dreams. I give this 4 � out of 5 startup rising stars.

By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


LOVE SONG OF THE DRONE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LOVE SONG OF THE DRONE
BRIAN LARSON
Series: INDIE ENVIRONMENTAL SHORT, AGES 3-10
Topic - Family
Description - An animated music video about the life (and love) cycles of a drone bee. Director's Statement: This film is a labor of love; my wife is a beekeeper and I was fascinated by the world of bees, especially the different roles and jobs each member of the hive has. It just seemed natural to have a song written for them! The world of beekeepers is full of really talented, creative and caring people!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Lovely short that will fit nicely into environmental festivals. The concept of a very short animated film about a drone bee or bees is appealing. This animation and music is simple and charming and quite suitable for pre-K through early elementary. The animation is fairly basic and fun. The song is charming although it doesn't quite teach what a drone and Queen Bee really are so, be prepared to augment that when showing it to very young children. Keep in mind that it is entertaining and shouldn't be looked at as an educational film. I loved it and recommend for ages 3 to 10. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


BLACKMAIL

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BLACKMAIL
STEPHEN BURHOE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 7-12
Topic - Family
Description - Siblings learn life lessons, as one tries to extort the others weekly allowance from him. When the prospective victim threatens to bring their police officer father into the fray, the tables are turned.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Accepted and very enjoyable. I recommend this and give it 4 out of 5 stars. The story line is well done. I like that there is a twist and a lesson to be learned. It is entertaining. There is definitely visual appeal and I recommend it for children ages 7 to 12 although it is suitable for older kids too. It is appropriate, entertaining and, has a lesson. It is suitable, clever and visually appealing. The sound quality is good and the locations fit with the story. The acting is good although there is no star quality. I particularly enjoyed the young boy's expression at the end. It flows quite well and there is definitely a beginning, middle and end that make sense and make it watchable. I like that it isn't dragged out and that there is a twist when the younger brother basically outsmarts his older sister. It truly is about blackmail even if it is with siblings in a family. It teaches a lesson and has a slight twist. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


PAPAVERI E PAPERE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PAPAVERI E PAPERE
ADELAIDE DANTE DE FINO
Series: FOREIGN INDEPENDENT FILM, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - 1952, De Gasperi visits Sassi di Matera, the ancient part of Matera city. The town is bubbling with energy. Two rival families are getting ready for the most important singing competition of the year. All the adults' recent and passed contradictions and oddities are shown up through the eyes of little girl Chico. In Italian with English sub-titles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film is visually beautiful with excellent production values in production design, cinematography, music, directing and acting. It shows life in a small Italian village after World War II and the locations are stunningly beautiful. There are mature themes, with reference to the army, the party - presumably the communist party, and Christians being relocated against their will. Though the film is safe for all ages, the realities of life that drive the story may be better suited for an older teen or adult audience. Children will enjoy the music in the film and could relate to being caught in the middle when their parents push them to perform for the greater good of the family. It is beautifully filmed and is like a short trip to another place. There is no violence or profanity. The mature historical and political context will be unfamiliar even to many adults watching. The story takes place in a small village in Italy and the sense of place is captured effectively. The film is set in a historical context - though not explicitly stated, the outfits and conversation and music suggest 1950s (especially the cat-eye glasses on many women). There are political undertones that are subtle, with a man in an army uniform telling the girl's father that if the girl wins with a song that celebrates poppies standing tall, the party wouldn't like that. There is also a conversation between the adult men about "poor Christians" being "relocated" and whether it is right to do so. This political and historical context makes for a more mature subject matter that will be hard to grasp for anymore who is not familiar with Italian history post-World War II. Therefore, it is more suitable for older teens and adults. We recommend for ages 14 to 18 as well as adults. The dialogue is in Italian with English sub-titles.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 24 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 14-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


ANIMAL RESCUE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ANIMAL RESCUE
L'OEIL CINEMA
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Lea have a homework to do about her father's job. She think her father's job is boring but she will find it more admirable after following him through a working day. Festival play: FIFEM, Montreal, Canada, 2015
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a refreshingly clever kid-relatable story, told in stop-motion animation by a group of student filmmakers. The story follows a young girl who is embarrassed by her dad's profession as animal rescuer until she has to spend a day at his job to write a school essay. She encounters animals and sees how his dad's job matters to the animals and to the community. In the end, by riding along with dad for a day, she gets a chance to see another meaning of hero and sees him as a hero after all. The story has some surprising twists and turns, clever humor and a clear beginning, middle and end. The quality of animation and visual storytelling is especially impressive, considering this is a movie made by kids with minimal resources. This film is enjoyable and appropriate for a general family audience. Although we can predict that by the end the main character will come around to appreciating her dad, the way the story plays out is refreshingly clever. Particularly impressive is the use of available resources - figurines, homemade characters and whatever was on hand to tell the story. The sets are presumably also created by the kids. The visual storytelling makes sense. Voices by kids are real and feel natural for the story. The production value of this film is especially impressive considering the age of the creators who seem to be about 10 years old. Recommended for ages 5 to 11. Dialogue is in French with English sub-titles. Reviewed by Katarzyna K., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


REBELLION

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
REBELLION
STEPHEN BURHOE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Two siblings argue over their behavior towards their parents and each other in this coming of age story.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short film effectively causes both teenagers and their parents to reflect on the kind of role model they are and how they should reevaluate what they can do differently to improve the behavior of those around them. The story is about a teenage girl babysitting her younger sister. The teenager is very rude and a poor role model for her sister. She finds her younger sister smoking her cigarettes and tells her she can't smoke. The younger sister points out everything the older sister does wrong and says some very rude things to her. This film is short and to the point, emphasizing that teenagers need to realize that their actions can affect others, especially younger siblings who are watching and copying them. The message in this film is very sharp and hits hard. It will likely strike a cord with many teens and is important. Recommended for ages 11 to 18.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 11-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


DREAMSCOPE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DREAMSCOPE
ANNA ANTONOVA
Series: INDI SHORT, AGES 6-12
Topic - Family
Description - Have you ever think about, How these strange ideas and questions come up to children mind? I have theory that children with emotional inner world and huge imagination all over the world are connected with each other somehow. 2 worlds. 2 cultures. 2 little kids. What this experience could give them more? Director bio: Graduated Moscow Art Theatre University in 2010. Was working in several theater festivals, than decided to study cinema. Graduated Russian All-state Cinematography University as director of editing, and Moscow Cinematography School as DP. First fairytale for children participated in International film festival 19th Children Film Festival in Hyderabad, India, where I started my next project DreamScope. Currently study in New York Film Academy. Direct and shoot by myself. Ratings Rate this Project This project has not yet been rated. Notes Ranny Levy on September 20, 2016 This title is very unique. It has outstanding visuals and concept. It is a very interesting title that has a place in a film festival. The only unappealing thing is that it is somewhat confusing for some to understand what the point of it is. I had to watch it a second time to fully grasp the concept. The idea is about children's imaginations so any child with an active imagination should enjoy it. It flows well and, for the most part, makes sense. The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for the intended audience. I recommend it for ages 6 to 12. Reviewed by Michael O., KIDS FIRST! juror. Delete Ranny Levy on September 20, 2016 � Shared with Submitter This title is very unique. It has outstanding visuals and concept. It is a very interesting title that has a place in a film festival. The only unappealing thing is that it is somewhat confusing for some to understand what the point of it is. I had to watch it a second time to fully grasp the concept. The idea is about children's imaginations so any child with an active imagination should enjoy it. It flows well and, for the most part, makes sense. The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for the intended audience. I recommend it for ages 6 to 12. Reviewed by Michael O., KIDS FIRST! juror. Delete Add a note about this entry. Send a copy to the submitter. Add note Screenshot Download Trailer
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This title is very unique. It has outstanding visuals and concept. It is a very interesting title that has a place in a film festival. For me, this film was somewhat confusing to understand exactly what the point is. I had to watch it a second time to fully grasp the concept. It is about children's imaginations and I think any child with an active imagination will enjoy it. It flows well and, for the most part, makes sense. The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for school aged children. I recommend it for ages 6 to 12. Reviewed by Michael O., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


MISS BEVERLY HILLS GHOST

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MISS BEVERLY HILLS GHOST       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
MENS REA PRODUCTIONS LLC
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - What happens when you cross a choir nerd and a dead fashionista?

A makeover from hell, and a Beverly Hills murder mystery going nowhere good. Except maybe the mall...

Sari Coogan is a lonely nerd from New Jersey. But when she moves into a Beverly Hills mansion haunted by teen heiress Missy Palmer, Sari must get in with the rich and famous to solve Missy's murder.

Award of Merit, Accolade Global Film Festival; Audience Choice Award, New Media Film Festival 2016 After facing the socialites and billionairesses of Beverly Hills Senior High, Sari quickly realizes that almost everyone had a motive to kill Missy. And if she can't figure out WHO killed Missy Palmer - and soon - she just might become the NEXT MISS BEVERLY HILLS GHOST...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - While the title is a comedy, it deals with real-life activities of young people in wealthy Beverly Hills. This entry is comprised of 12 episodes which follow each other. It is very watchable. The audience can look forward to watching Sari and Miss Beverly Hills "Missy Palmer" solve this murder mystery. The first episode opens with scenes in New Jersey (the Garden State), Sari Coogan's original home, showing an industrial site, not a farm or garden and provides a great contrast. The flash back of how Sari's injury led to her being able to see ghosts is quite amusing. In the other episodes, Sari is forced to do things totally against her character to comply with the request of the ghost of Miss Palmer. This series definitely uses vocabulary and concepts suitable and understandable for young people. I recommend this for young people, particularly young women ages 13 to 18 because they will relate to and identify with the characters. Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This series s quite funny and suitable for 10 to 18-year-olds. It is more suitable for girls, due to the fashion references and the beauty aspect. This film meets all the KIDS FIRST criteria and isn't biased in any sense. Although it does portray most Beverly Hills' white girls as dumb and rich. There is also one use of the word "skank" which I found inappropriate and although the f word is never explicitly said, there are multiple uses of the an abbreviated form such as, "fml", "ftw" and "wtf." It is an interesting story and although it's a bit clich�, I enjoyed it. The video quality is very good. The angles are a bit shaky but the overall images are great. The acting is fairly believable. The cinematography is quite good although there is room for improvement in lighting and such. Although it's a low budget film, I was impressed by the good audio and sets. What's most appealing is the ghost factor. Reviewed by Taylor M. KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 240 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


CHARMING

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CHARMING
TOM ALBANESE
Series: SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Prince Charming recounts his disastrous search for true love in a re-imagining of classic Grimms' fairytales with a contemporary touch.

Director's statement: Who is Prince Charming? As a kid, I always remembered him as the guy who swept in at the end of my sister's favorite movies to kiss the princess, save the day, and ride off into the sunset, leaving everyone to live happily ever after. But why was he kissing all these princesses? What happened after the prince and princess rode off into the sunset? Can everyone really live happily ever after?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a clever take on familiar fairy tales, with funny moments throughout. The film is a charming story about Prince Charming's quest to find his true love before time runs out, lest he have to forfeit the kingdom to a wicked witch, thereby ruining his family. The humor is more appropriate for a teenage audience, as are some of the more mature themes, such as adults drinking alcohol and a fairy tale character smoking what is presumably a joint, and putting it out quickly when someone walks in. All in all it's a funny story, well acted. The more mature themes are nothing that teens don't see in their high schools, though they are worth noting for parental discretion. It is a modern day version of Cinderella and Prince Charming with the focus on Prince Charming mores than Cinderella. It is more realistic than the classic version and is entertaining and teaches a lesson about true love. The scenes, characters, and costumes really fit the story line. It has visually interesting production design with fairy tale looking locations and costumes. Well cast actors. Music sets the mood effectively. Good sound. The story makes sense and it plays on the fairy tale theme that Prince Charming appears in various fairy tales with different princesses. In this story all those princesses are actually part of his quest to find his one true love. Clever references to fairy tales, funny jokes that defy expectations. Good acting. Unappealing is the adult use of alcohol. Prince Charming drinks from a flask in front of a child when he is depressed. Prince Charming and his parents have wine with dinner and Prince Charming asks a child where he can get a beer. The child responds "I'm six". Aladdin smokes what appears to be a joint. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. It would be suitable for younger kids if Prince Charming didn't drink alcohol. But, the language used is appropriate and that there is no violence. Recommend it for festival but description should make clear the caveats above.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 17 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


BRUNO

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BRUNO
ANDREA HINTERMAIER
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Bruno catches his best friend Rick kissing his sister Jo. He�s more than angry, although nobody understands why. In his pain Bruno turns to his mother for help, but she is busy with her own divorce. Bruno takes revenge on his sister and the family situation escalates. Finally Bruno decides to make a bold decision. Maybe he can confess his love to Rick. Bruno is the story of a 15-year-old boy who escapes from his torn up family and learns to trust himself. A Coming of Age story about love, trust, honesty and forgiveness. Dialogue is in German with English sub-titles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Mature subject matter is handled nicely. This 10-minute film does an excellent job of presenting characters who feel real, including a teenage protagonist who is gay, which is simply accepted and not presented as a struggle, though interestingly his boyfriend is tempted by the protagonist's sister. The film ends on a believable and humorous note. Nicely framed, good photography and excellent sound design. Excellent instrumental soundtrack enhances the story. Well structured, simply told. Slow to start but it keeps one's interests. It is very watchable. Its themes of family and homosexual relationship will resonate with many teen viewers. Recommended for ages 13 to 18. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


SUPER 4: WELCOME TO KINGSLAND!

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SUPER 4: WELCOME TO KINGSLAND!       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-10
Topic - Family
Description - Inspired by the world of Playmobil� toys, embark on a series of adventures with the Super 4 as they travel throughout the wider Playmobil� universes. Whether it be a sci-fi futuristic world, a magical fairy world, a world of pirates, or a world of medieval knights, the adventures are never ending! Welcome to Kingsland, a world of chivalry, dragons, quests, tournaments, and castles! Kingsland is ruled by the corrupt King John, who is Prince Alexander's uncle. King John ascended the throne when Alex's father and mother were lost at sea. Prince Alexander is the heir to the throne but cannot abide living under his uncle's corrupt authority. Join Prince Alexander, or Alex as he'd prefer to be called, along with his Super 4 friends as they band together to fight villains especially dragons and save their worlds from chaos.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this DVD with its seven, fun-filled episodes with wonderful story lines, exciting characters and fun animation. The animation is similar to what LEGO movies use, but it Is different and transports you to a new place.

The stories usually start off at King's castle and the characters leaving on an adventure. The PLAYMOBIL characters are young, quirky and still trying to figure out their abilities. They all have clothing that matches their various characters which adds to making them look realistic. The Super 4 leader is a prince who is the brave knight, Alex (Damien Ferrette). A rambunctious and quirky pirate, Ruby (Laetitia Lefebvre) has their backs at all times although she is a bit of a thief. A shy and adorable fairy, Twinkle (Sarah Natochenny) is still learning how to use her magic wand. An intelligent and boastful scientist, Gene (Franck Lorrain) stands out from the others because he is a scientist from the future. Also, there is a silly girly girl, Leonora Princess (Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld) who loves her brother but can be a bit of a burden at times. She is very kind and clever and tries to help the Super 4 save the day and the kingdom.

This is set in medieval times, a period I always take joy in watching with its knights, dragons, castles and, of course, a catapult. The background and castles put you the mood to grab your sword and defend the castles. Gene makes this a unique story line. His futuristic vehicle with computers, wheels and an engine sure beats walking or riding horseback. He always tells the viewers facts and science knowledge to help them solve the problems.

The voice talent are perfectly matched for their characters. The fairy is a bit high pitched perhaps but, one thing I like is that you can always tell who is talking because their voices are re all so distinct. The episode "Princely Wedding" is humorous because the Princess is put under a love spell and falls in love with the Black Knight and Super 4 must figure out what is going on. She wants nothing to do with them because she is madly in love and will not listen to anyone, but her "love" is a sworn enemy of the kingdom. She is a girly girl, so this episode is totally out of character for her. I smiled from ear to ear in the "Baby Dragon" episode when Gene, the mature scientist, is singing a lullaby and is attached to the baby.

The lesson learned here is that we all need each other to conquer problems. You should never give up as there are always different ways to look at things. When you do, you can find a solution. I recommend this to kids age 5 to 12. The episodes are short enough to keep young ones' attention and the unique animation, story lines and science information will entertain older kids. I give this 5 out of 5 super PLAYMOBIL stars. You can find this DVD wherever DVDs are sold.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Super4 is a decent Playmobile series that is more suitable for younger kids. The voice acting kept me in interested, but, the childish jokes were definitely not suited for my age group. Also, the CGI is not as sophisticated. Despite these flaws, it is very watchable by a younger audience.

The story line follows the adventures of four characters who go on adventures in Kingsland. The four characters include Prince Alexander (Damien Ferrette), Twinkle the fairy (Sarah Natochenny), Ruby the pirate (Laetitia Lefebvre) and Gene the scientist (Franck Lorrain). The team face certain challenges such as opposing kingdoms and dragons in six different episodes.

Damien Ferrette delivers a decent performance as Prince Alexander and expresses the character's adventurous side quite well. Sarah Natochenny plays a fun Twinkle the fairy, showing the magical side of the character well. Ruby the Pirate (Laetitia Lefebvre) presents a very believable pirate that likes to steal. Gene the Scientist (Franck Lorrain) is the most interesting character due to his intelligence and wittiness.

The movie's CGI is not as sophisticated as most of today's animated TV shows, which bothered me a little. Most movies today, such as the Pixar movies have realistic animations of the characters. The animation here seems choppy and the characters are not very detailed. Despite this, I appreciate the effort of the animation team because their efforts display the characters well. My favorite part would be the scenes involving the dragons. I think that the dragons are a great, fantastical element.

This movie has a good message about people working as a team and that, as a team, they can solve any problem. The team is faced with various dangers and they work together to overcome these dangers. This show would appeal more to anyone interested in Playmobil line of toys. I give this show 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8 years old. This series is available on DVD so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF GARGAND       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-10
Topic - Family
Description - The universe is in danger. The evil Snake extinguishes the stars as he passes through the galaxy, causing chaos and plunging the planets into darkness. The Little Prince must leave his Asteroid home and beloved friend, Rose, in his quest to outsmart the Snake and save the universe from doom. Accompanied by his trusted companion, the Fox, the Little Prince travels from planet to planet, braving danger and discovering vast and enchanted worlds. Will the extraordinary gifts of the Little Prince bring each of the planets back to life? And will he ever find his way home?

On Planet Khagle, every 122 days, Khagle (who is vaguely similar to Santa Claus) hands wishaplants' seeds out to children and inhabitants. The wishaplants grow into trees which then give presents to children. However the wishaplants also ensure the village's survival because the plants roots' secure the houses to the ground. Therefore, without the wishaplants, the houses would fly off! The Little Prince and Fox must help the Planet Khagle when we find out that Lyl the alchemist, who grows the seeds into wishaplants has disappeared 48 hours before the Khagle's distribution. Will the Little Prince be able to find Lyl the alchemist in time before Khagle's giving of the wishaplants?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mystery, friendship and trust make this an amusing film to watch. The discovery of new planets in the galaxy, each with its own strange inhabitants is a fun concept. I take joy in watching what or who the new planet and characters will be. Beautiful animation, unique story line and memorable characters make this a must see film. I can't wait to see the next adventure. This year, the Little Princess has become one of favorite characters. This series is based on the book from France, written by Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry's.

The Little Prince and his friend Fox travel across the galaxy visiting different planets. A giant black cobra which symbolizes different emotions like fear, hatred, sadness and jealousy covers the galaxy with darkness. The Little Prince must find out what ails each planet. He is constantly homesick for his red rose on his home planet B612. While visiting the planet of Gargand, they discover that the people there rely on wishing trees, which must be replaced every 122 days, to hold their planet together. The children make a wish upon a tree seed that is dropped down chimneys. The trees then re-grow and each child is rewarded with a new tree which contains the gifts they wished for. One of my favorite parts of this movie is learning what each child asks for such as a hiding tree, a joking tree, a music tree and things like that. I laughed so hard when the Fox asks for a chicken tree and even harder when I saw what tree appeared. The Fox is darling and humorous.

The story reminds me of Christmas - making a wish list, Santa coming down the chimney and waking up to new toys. I wish that along with the gifts the children get from their trees that the trees might look like the item the children wished for. The Gargand delivers the seeds while flying on a Jagunda, a big blue saber-tooth looking creature with bat wings who throws the seeds down the chimney. I am enchanted with these beautiful creatures.

There is a race to find a new Gargand. Thery and Dokan are the main competitors, but when the best doesn't win there might be cheating. The loser takes matters into his own hands. Along with the help of the snake, a peaceful happy community is thrown into disaster.

My favorite part of this film is the captivating animation which is full of carefully thought out and has meticulous details. The colors and the flow of the movie are perfect.

The moral of this story is to think before you act because the thought of losing and revenge could cost the lives of the whole planet. The loser kidnaps Lyl the Alchemist, who puts the wishes into the tree seeds. Even if you think everything is falling apart you should stop, think it out and try again. Sometimes when you hold on to things too tightly out of fear of loss, you hurt the thing you are trying to protect.

I recommend this film to kids ages 6 to 18. The storyline contains lessons for younger kids and characters they can relate to but there are messages that older kids and parents will relate to as well. This DVD is available now wherever DVDs are sold so be sure to check out this adorable movie. Keep a look out for other movies in the series as well.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.

The Little Prince: The Planet Gargand is a fun and playful animation for kids. It is based on characters from a famous book by Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry called The Little Prince. I like how they include action without violence so it is suitable for younger kids. It is a series of three episodes of a television show that are all part of one big story. When my younger brother watched it, he said it was the best kid's show he'd seen in a long time.

The story is about the Little Prince's adventure on the planet Gargand. When the prince arrives, he finds out that there is about to be a race and the winner will become the next Khagle. The Khagle is a person who delivers seeds to grow magic trees that give gifts to the children. If all the seeds are not delivered, then the planet will break apart into lots of small floating islands. Someone cheats in the race and Thery, a local who expected to win, doesn't. He gets very angry at Dokan, his best friend because he thinks that it was him and then tries to steal the seeds so that he can be the Khagle. The Little Prince and his friend, the Fox must stop him and save the planet.

I like the cheery animation and the action in this film. I also enjoyed the expressions of the characters and the vivid colors. There are some inconsistencies when it suddenly changes from day to night at certain points that I didn't like. My favorite part of the film is the race scene because it is energetic and exciting. It is action-filled and very fast-paced. It is also gripping because they had dreamed their entire lives of winning this competition and it is very important to them.

Brian Dow is the voice of Thery and James Beach voices Dokan. The Little Prince is voiced by Aidan Drummond and the Fox by Brian Drummond. Their voices express the characters so well, it makes you believe they are the characters they play.

This film has several moral message about how friendship is powerful and how you can do anything you put your mind to. It also shows that cheating does not pay off and good conquers evil.

The Little Prince: The Planet Gargand is a great animated film and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I think kids ages 3 to 10 would enjoy it and I also think adults would like watching it with their kids. It is now available on DVD and I think it would make a great Christmas gift for kids.

By Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


MIDDLE SCHOOL: THE WORST YEARS OF MY LIFE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MIDDLE SCHOOL: THE WORST YEARS OF MY LIFE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURES, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - Imaginative quiet teenager Rafe Katchadorian is tired of his middle school's obsession with the rules at the expense of any and all creativity. Desperate to shake things up, Rafe and his best friends have come up with a plan: break every single rule in the school and let the students run wild.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely enjoyed watching this movie because I could relate to the characters. Also the humor is great and the cast is superb. Meet Rafe (Griffin Gluck) who is entering another middle school, due to his behavior. Rafe attends his new school, but there is too many rules and Rafe doesn't like rules. So Rafe and his best friend Leo (Thomas Barbusca) decide to break every rule in the school. Rafe does this because the principal doesn't promote creativity and destroys his notebook which is filled with all his drawings.

Many people can relate to hating school at some point in their life and that is what makes this movie so relatable. I love the animations, because they are child friendly and are very well drawn. It shows that it's okay for you to have and use your imagination and be creative. Additionally, the performances of Griffin Gluck, Thomas Barbusca, Isabela Moner, Alexa Nisenson and the entire cast is fantastic. You can tell that the actors took it seriously and when they portrayed their emotions, it doesn't seem fake. It feels very real. The soundtrack is perfect. It gives the right tone and energy for the scenes. I love this movie so much there is nothing I didn't like about it.

This is Alexa Nisenson's first featured film and she gives an amazing performance as Georgia, making me laugh many times. Also, she makes you feel her emotions throughout the movie. The humor in this movie is great. I love the pranks Rafe uses to break the school rules which are created by the mean principal. My favorite scene is when Rafe puts post-it notes all over the school because I love how he created artwork with the post-it notes.

This movie is a must see, and I think that most kids will love this movie as well including the adults. I recommend it to kids ages 6 to 18. I give this movie 5 out of 5 amazing stars. I recommend it to people who like adventure, family, comedy and book-based movies. Be aware that this movie contains some mild language and kids under the age of 6 might not understand what is going on. Also, there are a few emotional scenes, so bring your tissues. Make sure to see this film when it opens October 7, 2016 in theaters nationwide.

Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I admired this film because I like the fact that Rafe is courageous to stand up to the principal without backing down. I loved the animation because it brings Rafe thoughts to life with bright vivid colors and descriptions of appearances. It is awesome! The genre is comedy, humor and some drama. I can relate to this because I am in middle school and you always have to follow the uniform dress code or they will write you up. Rules can be good, but sometimes you do want to bulk the system (lol). The director, Steve Carr is incredibly artistic with this film especially the delusion of bringing a character from real life to the fantasy world. I not familiar with the book series, but I know it's probably interesting as well as the movie.

A new student comes to Hills Village Middle School Rafe Khatchadorian (Griffin Gluck). His displacement from previous schools led him to this school and this is the last draw. On his first day, he encountered the principal Dwight (Andy Daly) who is just very difficult to deal with. He is stagnant on his rules and do not want to bend at all. Desperate to rattle his feathers, Rafe and his friends bring a creative solution and come up with a plan to break every single rule in the book.

My favorite part of this film is when Rafe and Leo (Thomas Barbusca) sticky noted the whole school. I liked this part the best because it is hilarious. Finally, someone sticks up to the principal about his shenanigan rules. It is creative and it is a good way to get the principal back for destroying his art book.

The message of this film is remember you have to follow some rules even when you don't, but make the rules according to acceptable standards and not rules you can't live or follow. Even adults have to follow rules. I feel this way because the principal wasn't following the rules and he suffered the consequences for his actions.

I recommend this film for ages 11 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 Stars because I feel that this is a comedy humor and some drama film for children. It is hilarious and you definitely will laugh and even may shed a tear.

This movie is available in theaters now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Tre'ana H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


QUEEN OF KATWE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
QUEEN OF KATWE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - A Ugandan girl sees her world rapidly change after being introduced to the game of chess.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Disney's Queen of Katwe is the most intense film I have ever seen. Like Akeelah and the Bee, which it resembles, it is the kind of film that induces nail-biting suspense. The story concerns a poor young girl from Uganda, who becomes a world chess champion. The film is directed by Mira Nair, a renowned "indie" filmmaker. It stars David Oyelowo (Selma), Academy Award winner, Lupita Nyong'o (Twelve Years A Slave) and introduces Madina Nalwanga, as the young chess prodigy, Phiona.

Uganda is a country of contrasts. There is great economic poverty, but a rich cultural heritage and great national pride. The coach of the local school decides to start a chess club for the children. He entices the kids to learn chess by feeding them porridge every day. Phiona, a girl from the poorest part of the slums, follows her brother to the club and notices him playing chess. She is spotted by the coach and is then invited in. She quickly becomes the best player, crushing all competition at the club. The coach realizes that Phiona has a gift and encourages her to lead their team at the national tournament. The rest of the movie is her journey to become a chess grandmaster.

The Queen of Katwe is a colorful, exciting film full of memorable moments. Every time the kids win a game or tournament they do a cool handshake and dance. My favorite part of the film is during the second tournament, when Phiona aggressively squeezes her opponent's pieces into checkmate. Another great scene is when the children compete in another country and experience their first meal at a fancy restaurant.

Overall the acting is top notch and the African music throughout the film is captivating. Oyelowo as the coach is a terrific role model for the children. He is a hardworking, dedicated, selfless teacher. Nyong'o as Phiona's mother is also an interesting character. Although poor and uneducated, she is still a strong and passionate advocate for her daughter's happiness. The message of the film is how much you can achieve with hard work and gumption.

Queen of Katwe is an important film for our time because it has a universal message for young people everywhere. It is appropriate for ages 12 through 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SOARIN' OVER EQUESTRIA

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SOARIN' OVER EQUESTRIA       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - The sky's the limit with these five high-flying adventures, featuring all of your favorite winged Ponies! Join Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, the Wonderbolts and, of course, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Spike, as they show you Equestria the way it was meant to be seen... from above!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - After six years of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoons, there have been many great episodes. Some are adventurous, some funny but always entertaining. My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Soarin' Over Equestria has five episodes from all six seasons that truly demonstrate hilarious moments, wonderful stories and fantastic morals.

This series is mostly an adventure but there are many more elements to the show. There is very mild and child friendly drama, as well as a good amount of humor that will make audiences laugh. On top of that, there is the occasional action scene that is child friendly, but exciting. These genres are truly shown in the five episodes on this DVD.

Even though all the episodes are from different seasons, they all follow the story of one of the characters, Rainbow Dash (Ashleigh Ball) trying to accomplish her dream of joining a very elite team of Pegasus, called the Wonder Bolts. There isn't a central plot related to the main story of the show, so those who haven't seen the show before do not have to worry about being able to follow the story.

Despite there being six seasons, over 100 episodes, multiple movies and more, the show is still fresh and exciting. There are many big plot reveals in the latest seasons and it never loses its charm. This can truly be seen in these five episodes because, despite some being six years apart in release, they all still have an even level of quality, from colorful but detailed animation, to spectacular voiceover work. The DVD also comes with a sing-along bonus feature that younger kids will enjoy. The biggest part about this DVD is, of course, the morals about friendship. Each message is different, from getting over fears, to don't make wrong assumptions or don't fall to peer pressure. All of them are good morals that both kids and adults could learn from and are important ones that should be followed in life.

My favorite episode is Testing Testing, 1, 2 ,3. In this episode, Rainbow Dash needs to take a test to sign up to be part of the Wonder Bolts. The main problem is she has never really studied for anything before, so all her friends attempt to help her study in different ways. I like this episode because it talks about how everyone studies differently and the plot of this episode is a perfect example. Some people like flashcards, while others like little films about it. Another great feature about this episode is that it's hilarious and the story has an unexpected ending.

This DVD is meant for young children and I recommend it for ages 4 to 18. Younger kids may not appreciate it fully and I know plenty of older ones who are still fans. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars for its beautiful songs, colorful animation, emotional voice acting and complex but entertaining plots.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-14
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds a magical place known as Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers... and their powerful enemies. Ultimately, Jacob discovers that only his own special "peculiarity" can save his new friends
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you are looking for hilarious comedy, intense action scenes, spectacular visual effects, original and unique camera shots, exciting but unexpected story - there is only one film that combines all of these so perfectly and that is: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

There are so many elements that create this master piece. A lot of the film contains wonderful and original humor, but also balances it out with drama and intense scenes. The main story also contains strong elements of romance that is spectacular due to wonderful acting and a beautiful script.

The story begins when Jake (Asa Butterfield), as a teenager, loses his grandfather. His grandfather's dying words are to find someone and talk to them about something. This of course is confusing to him and he decides to convince his parents to take a vacation to Wales to find out if all the bedtime stories his grandpa told him about peculiar children with magical-like powers are true. He finds out that there is a very big danger to the children and the home and he is the only one that can possibly stop it. The only question - is he up to the task and is it real?

Tim Burton, once again, excels in one main category - special effects. Despite CGI now creeping into every film, I love how he makes some monsters look like stop-motion animation. This makes them feel realistic and is a fantastic choice. The rest of the monsters and special effects can only be described as stunning with stunning detail and realistic looking characters. That isn't the only great thing about this film though. There is also a legendary and complex story with many twists and turns that keeps your attention and keeps bringing unexpected additions to the plot. The actors truly make the story come to life and excel in their roles. From comedy scenes, to romance scenes, each feels realistic and natural.

Speaking of scenes, my favorite would be when they take a giant sunken cruise ship and resurface it. I choose this scene for one main reason - the special effects. Even though the whole sequence lasts less than five minutes, it will leave you in awe as they take a hundred foot long ship and launch it back from the bottom of the ocean. This scene shows how much effort creators really put into the special effects for the movie - this moment is truly a centerpiece.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children may seem like a great family friendly film, but it is far from that. There is some gore and graphic scenes so it is inappropriate for young children. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars simply because it is so spectacular from the acting, to the exciting story and, of course, to the phenomenal special effects.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15.

If you like movies that start off with a big action scene and keep that momentum going throughout the whole movie, you should definitely go check this movie out. Director Tim Burton uses really exotic and unusual special effects that make you feel like you are back in the mid 1900s when the movie takes place. If you watch this movie, you might feel like you are on a big adventure with the Peculiar Children.

This movie is about this boy named Jake (Asa Butterfield) whose uncle was killed by one of the evil Peculiars. Jake's uncle gave him a message right before he died to go to see Miss Peregrine and all the Peculiars. Jake goes on a journey with his father, back in time, to Miss Peregrine's home for Peculiar Children. Jake meets a bunch of different Peculiar Children and they go on a quest to save Miss Peregrine and all the others. The head of the Evil Peculiars, Barron (Samuel L. Jackson) is hungry for human eye balls, which is the only thing that can keep Barron looking human. Barron has the ability of looking like anyone in the world which really throws everyone off in the beginning and ending of the movie. Also Barron has a special peculiarity which really helps him but it hurts others.

What is really interesting about this movie is how one character really steps up and leads the team of Peculiar Children to fight the Evil Peculiars. It is nice to see how someone can go from being shy to being a leader.

I recommend this movie for 10 to 18-year-olds. Adults will also love this movie because of the thrills and suspense it contains. I do not recommend it for younger kids because it is very scary in some parts and they would probably get very frightened.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 solid gold stars for its suspense, thrills and humor and because it makes you want to keep watching to the very end.

Reviewed by Na'im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


WILD LIFE, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WILD LIFE, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - On a tiny exotic island, Tuesday, an outgoing parrot lives with his quirky animal friends in paradise. However, Tuesday can't stop dreaming about discovering the world. After a violent storm, Tuesday and his friends wake up to find a strange creature on the beach: Robinson Crusoe. Tuesday immediately views Crusoe as his ticket off the island to explore new lands. Likewise, Crusoe soon realizes that the key to surviving on the island is through the help of Tuesday and the other animals. It isn't always easy at first, as the animals don't speak "human." Slowly but surely, they all start living together in harmony, until one day, when their comfortable life is overturned by two savage cats, who wish to take control of the island. A battle ensues between the cats and the group of friends but Crusoe and the animals soon discover the true power of friendship up against all odds (even savage cats).
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I enjoyed this movie because it is exciting and adventurous. One exciting part is when pirates come to the deserted tropical island and rescue Crusoe. Another adventurous scene is when the tree house sets on fire after stray cats throw lit lanterns at Crusoe. I enjoyed that movie is narrated by the parrot Mak (David Howard).

If you compare this movie to the book it is completely different. Unlike the book, when Robinson Crusoe A.K.A Robin Crusoe is shipwrecked on an island, there are no cannibals. They do make mention of the cannibals when he and his dog Rufus (B.J Oakie) first get there. The animals make scary noises in reference to the cannibals. So basically, it's a kid friendly version of the book and now, all of a sudden, there are animals talking, pirates and paradise. When Robin Crusoe (Matthias Schweighofer) gets shipwrecked on the island, the animals start to make hilarious statements about him.

The story is about an English man named Robinson Crusoe who gets shipwrecked on an island and has to learn how to survive in the wilderness along with his animal friends Kiki (Marieve Herington), Carmelo (Colin Metzger), Pango (Jeff Doucette), Epi (Sandy Fox) and Scrubby (Joey Camen). But as easy as that sounds, it takes months to complete it and, by then the stray cats have had hundreds of kittens and that creates problems. When this happens you discover how smart these old animals really are. They even learn how to fire a musket.

The movie graphics are great. The CGI animations are colorful, alive and very vibrant. When you get to see the whole tropical island paradise, lots of colors just pop out. I recommend this movie to the ages 5 through 13.

Reviewed by Kamhai B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


HILLSONG: LET HOPE RISE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HILLSONG: LET HOPE RISE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Capturing the on-stage energy and off-stage hearts of the Australia-based band Hillsong UNITED, HILLSONG - LET HOPE RISE is a new motion-picture genre: the theatrical worship experience. The film explores Hillsong's humble beginnings and astonishing rise to prominence as an international church whose songs are sung every Sunday by more than 50 million people worldwide.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Watching Hillsong: Let Hope Rise is the most surreal movie going experiences you will ever have. It's not a film. It's not a documentary. It's a live worship experience being captured on camera.

Hillsong United originated in the late 1990s in Sydney, Australia. The band itself is made up of faithful members of the Hillsong Church. This Christian band creates music that not only worships God but also instills hope to their listeners. And now, they tour many countries and continents singing songs of worship targeting the younger generation.

Unlike popular concert films like One Direction: This is Us and Katy Perry: Part of Me, it is not filled with costume changes and performances. The purpose is to discuss the process of creating music that is truly meaningful. Many of their popular songs are featured in the film and have lyrics at the bottom of the screen to encourage the audience to sing along.

You may recognize Michael John Warren (director) from his other films like Shrek the Musical, Rent: Filmed On Broadway, Drake: Better Than Good Enough and Nicki Minaj: My Time Now. Warren digs deeper by interviewing band members, Senior Pastor Brian Houston and Bobbie Houston. Together, they share how the church has transformed their lives and why they value their music so much.

"We are the biggest band that you don't know." Joel Houston, band leader and son of Brian Houston, explains. For almost a decade, Hillsong United has been number one and two for U.S. Christian albums sales. Joel continues to say "This film isn't for us. The band isn't for us. It's for God." The band members emphasize that the songs are carefully crafted to express their deep feeling of admiration for God. Day in and day out, the band devotes all of their time to finding the perfect sound and lyrics. One song could take months or even longer to be completely finished. That also means, months and months away from their loved ones.

Music is one of the most powerful creations known to man. It is beautiful to observe these concert goers really receiving music and allowing it to affect them. I found myself shedding a few tears because it is so moving. This film is so personal and I felt like I was among the thirty thousand people at their annual conference.

The most important lesson you can take away from this film is to stay true to who you are and what you believe. I recommend this to ages 12 to 18 as well as adults. Although this is a Christian band, I believe people that are looking for healing, have different beliefs or are music lovers will appreciate the real life stories and how their music is changing the world.

This film is out Friday September 16th. Check out your local theatre for listings.

Reviewed by Shelby Ronae, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


9/11 INSIDE THE PENTAGON
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - Produced by Lone Wolf Media, "9/11 INSIDE THE PENTAGON" revisits the events of 9/11 from the perspective of those who were in Washington, DC, working at or near the Pentagon. Using exclusive first-person interviews with Pentagon personnel, first responders, aviation experts and journalists, as well as rarely seen Department of Defense footage taken from inside the Pentagon after the attack, the special tells the story of heroism and perseverance in the face of unimaginable, life-threatening obstacles.

Unlike those in New York City who were completely taken by surprise, those in Washington, DC, followed the news coming out of New York and realized than unaccounted-for flights still in the air would likely target significant, symbolic and strategic sites in the nation's capital - including the Pentagon. In the chaos that followed after Flight 77 struck the Pentagon, a group of workers inside crawled through black smoke and pools of jet fuel looking for an exit, only to find themselves trapped behind a newly installed blast-proof window that was impossible to break open; emotional clashes over jurisdiction would break out between Pentagon personnel and first responders trying to find survivors in the wreckage; smoke threatened to incapacitate the National Military Command Center; and an unaccounted-for plane would pose the threat of yet another strike.

Among those interviewed in the film are those who experience the attack first-hand: Steve Carter, assistant building operations manager at the Pentagon; first responders Mike Regan, Alan Wallace and Ed Hannon; Pentagon personnel Captain William J. Toti (U.S. Navy, retired) and Colonel Marilyn Wills (US Army, retired); air traffic controller Colin Scoggins; structural engineer Leo Titus; and Washington Post reporter Steve Vogel.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - There are many aspects curious children might find of interest, from flight control to building safety to the entirely of what occurred on 9/11. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: Video and DVD


WHERE HEROES DO NOT BELONG
THE SEVEN BRIDGES GROUP LLC (REPRESENTING TEREZIA KONTOVA)
Series: SCREENPLAY FOR AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - One classroom, twenty children. Every child keeps committing one specific devil deed in the classroom: lying, stealing, bullying, etc. Every chapter one of these children falls asleep and wakes up to a World with the plenty of welfare: countless toys, countless sweats, countless anything the child desires for. But every child in that miraculous World is treated by the same specific devil deed which the child was committing in the classroom during the day-light.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a story of students that have lessons to be learned that are not academic. There are morals to be learned and in this first chapter we learn of young Tom who has a problem with lying. I had some difficulty with the flow of the beginning of the chapter and there was some slight confusion, but the middle and ending did make much more sense and came together. There are quite a few grammar mistakes that should be fixed. I feel that this story does have potential and there are some strengths.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay


LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat. Starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz and more
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - When you watch a romantic film, you expect it to achieve skilled levels of drama, acting, entertaining and relatable story to keep the viewer engaged, but still have a realistic romantic plot. The Light Between Oceans is a spectacular romance story that is truly perfect in many ways.

The Light Between Oceans tells a dramatic story with many romantic elements. There are couple of jokes but it should not be considered a comedy in the slightest. The characters do embark on a large and emotional adventure throughout the story, so this film can also be considered an adventure.

The story begins when Tom (Michael Fassbender), a WW1 veteran comes back to his home, Australia. After suffering in the War, he takes a job of a lighthouse keeper, living completely alone on a small island. However, he meets a girl named Isabel (Alicia Vikander) and they quickly fall in love. After getting married and moving to the island, they try to start a family but lose two babies prematurely. Everything changes when a baby mysteriously washes up on the shore and they must decide to keep her or report this phenomena to the authorities.

The story is based on a book and the story itself is fantastic. In this film however, many scenes are unnecessary and cause it to feel stretched out. For example, there are flashback scenes about the baby's father, which would be nice in the book, but in a film are not necessary and drastically increase the run-time. There are also some scenes that seem to be there for no reason and could be cut out to make the film more enjoyable. Despite those issues, the acting is emotional and fits the characters. Michael Fassbender and Alica Vikander truly make you believe their characters, Tom and Isabel, are deeply in love. Another aspect is the film's heart-wrenching drama, which the entire cast brings to life. From sadness, to anger, to just plain awkwardness, they demonstrate their emotions wonderfully. On top of that, the cinematography is exquisite, especially of the lighthouse, the waves and the beach. It truly shows beautiful parts of Australia not widely known.

My favorite scene is when the boat landfalls onto the island with the baby. Isabel is heavily traumatized from losing two babies, so seeing a live baby changes her mood quickly and, it is interesting to see how the characters react to the situation. I also like this scene because it displays the actors' outstanding performances and is also easily one of the most important scenes in the film.

Although this film lacks any adult language, it still has a considerable amount of adult content so I recommend it to ages 13 to 18. Younger kids may be too young for the content and may not even understand the plot. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars due to its length but still, the acting and beautiful cinematography makes it all worth while.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Web Series


BLINKY BILL THE MOVIE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLINKY BILL THE MOVIE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Blinky Bill is a little koala with a big imagination. An adventurer at heart, he dreams of leaving the little town of Green Patch and following in his missing father's footsteps. When Blinky discovers a mysterious marker that hints at his Dad's whereabouts, he embarks on a journey that takes him beyond the boundary of Green Patch and into the wild and dangerous Outback. He quickly makes friends with Nutsy, a zoo koala, and Jacko, a nervous frill-necked lizard. Pursued relentlessly by a vengeful Cat who has a personal score to settle with Blinky, the trio must learn to work together if they ever want to survive the rugged Australian landscape and find Blinky's father!

Stars: Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Toni Colette (Little Miss Sunshine), David Wenham (Lord Of The Rings), Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge), Barry Otto (The Great Gatsby), Barry Humphries (Dame Edna) and Robin McLeavy (Hell On Wheels)
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Great news for kids in the US! Now we can bring Australia's favorite childhood friend, Blinky Bill, into our own homes. This movie is such fun. I can't wait to introduce it to all of our young friends.

This much loved children's cartoon character was brought to life in books by author and illustrator Dorothy Wall and first published in 1933. Many adventures were created in book form and TV cartoons, making Blinky Bill a staple in Australian homes over the past 80 years.

Blinky Bill is a mischievous, yet endearing, koala who lives in Green Patch with his loving mother and adventurous father. His father takes off to explore the Sea of White Dragons and is gone for over a year. Young Blinky Bill sneaks off to find him, meeting friends and antagonists along the way.

Blinky Bill the Movie gives us everything that kids want from an animation film - heartwarming friendship, adventures, bravery and silly humor. The writing is brilliantly written for kids and for adults, who happen watch along. The dialogue is clearly written with a wink and chuckle and there are many jokes that go unnoticed by younger viewers, but are entertaining for the adults. One humorous scene finds Blinky Bill in a jam and the only defense he can think of is to pick his nose and rub his finger on his pant leg to repulse the predator. My favorite scene is two female Emus giving each other dating advice repeating, "I'm swerving it!" as they saunter about. The quick pace of dialogue, the Australian accents and adult aimed jokes left me smiling and wondering at times, "Did I just hear that right?"

I love the Australian cultural references throughout the movie. Regional expressions such as, "Blinky's gone bush!" and "Hang on a bilby's whisker!" sent me running to the internet to look up what was being referenced. Seeing the Australian terrain and the indigenous animals that we don't have in the U.S. provides a fun educational lesson.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. This film would be welcome entertainment and perfect for kids ages 3 to 13. As Blinky Bill's father would say, "Grab your gumnuts" and go enjoy Blinky Bill the Movie! It is playing in select theaters now and will be available on DVD October 11, 2016.

Reviewed by Ruth A., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this film. It was very fun to watch. I like that the adventures are comical and it's based on an Australian cartoon. It's a movie based on koalas which I'm very happy about because they haven't done that in a long time. Plus, it takes place in Australia so it has a few Australian words which are actually quite funny. And, of course, they have Australian accents which I like too.

It has quite a cast including Ryan Kwanten as Blinky Bill, an adventurous koala who decides to go look for his dad who has gone to the sea of white dragons to look after him mum and has been gone for almost a year. So, Blinky's worried about him and decides to go on an epic quest. On his way he meets Nutsy (Robin McLeavy) who is my favorite character. She is very silly and ditzy. Not only that but she's kinda like a zoo koala, aka a city girl. I think she's trying to find her inner wild side. She is very funny because she has some quite snotty remarks as well as she pretends that she doesn't like Blinky Bill most of the time. You can tell that her character is dead. Then there is David Wenham who plays Jacko. Nutsy and Blinky Bill try to find him and they help him out when he gets stuck in a couple of situations. Let's just say he's very silly and I like the way that his character is so uppity. He's very comical and a little crazy. But, that just adds to the excitement. Then there's the evil Cat played by Rufus Sewell. He's actually trailing behind Blinky and everyone else just because he doesn't like koalas. He doesn't like them because something happened in his past.

This is actually a pretty cool film. I love the animation because it is so crisp and clear and detailed. I like that it's so simple and colorful but yet has quite a lot of detail. It makes it seem like it's real. My favorite scene is probably Nutsy decides to finally go to her zoo home, which she's been trying to do the entire time, but decides to go with Blinky Bill instead and go with his family as well as Jacko. It was very sweet and a very humble moment as well. And, it's very silly, all because she decided to get over heights. It is actually very funny and the way the two of them bond is very adorable.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 12. Kids will love the story, the animation and the adventure. Older adults will probably like it too because it is very funny and silly. I give this 5 out of 5 wild outback koala stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


ADVENTURES OF GUMBY: 60S SERIES VOLUME 2

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ADVENTURES OF GUMBY: 60S SERIES VOLUME 2
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Join Gumby and Pokey for fun-filled adventures in this fantastic second volume of the 60's series! Enjoy full-sized Blockheads bendables in this collectible box set! You'll enjoy over 40 clay-animated episodes, which originally aired from 1967 to 1968, fully re-mastered from their original camera rolls and soundtracks. These cleverly written stories engage both children and adults with timeless themes that captivate today's audiences as they did when first released. Gumby and Pokey are drawn into the past, present and future and to far-flung places for completely unique and sometimes surreal experiences. The Blockheads, who first showed up in the 50s become more prominent in this assortment of late 60s episodes. Along with the Blockheads, Prickle, Goo, Professor Kapp, Aunt Gumbiddy, Nopey, and other whimsical characters make appearances in this collection of episodes.

For the first time ever, you'll enjoy these special features: "Clay Peacock" art film, animated theme song, bumpers, photo gallery, and an interview with Rick Baker and others that worked on the Gumby series. Imaginative, comical and heart-filled. That's Gumby! Our loveable heroes, their friends and the mischievous Blockheads are off for yet another adventure!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have always loved Gumby, there's something about the style that just brings a glow to my face and it is so incredible to have the 60s collection together. I am very lucky in that I got to review Vol 1 as well. Between the digitally remastered visuals and the remastered music, I can honestly say that this collection breathes new life into Gumby. This collection is full of great views of friendship and working together. My children loved it and I am all too happy that they do. My only qualm is the fact that there are missing episodes between Vol 1 and Vol 2. After doing some research it appears some episodes were removed for appearing racist or having other socially unacceptable moments. Although I understand the reasoning behind the removal, it would have been nice to have the complete collection and for that reason I am giving this a 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Fifty years ago, before computer animation, we had hand drawn animation and stop motion animation. The Adventures of Gumby: The 60s Series Volume 2 not only contains spectacular stop motion animation, but also has fantastic and fun adventures that kids and adults of all ages can greatly enjoy.

This series is meant to be an adventure but it doesn't hold back on humor and will make you laugh time and again. It also has some mild action and even a slight bit of intensity, but nothing to be too concerned about. Even those intense scenes are full of light and good nature.

Each episode focuses on a different story. Some may focus on an adventure into a dinosaur world or into space or even into a micro world where germs live. Each episode follows Gumby and his friends and what happens during their adventures while teaching kids some valuable information. Most episodes have some sort of moral message and, since there isn't a continuing, viewers can watch at any point of the series and understand what is going on. I enjoy the fact that, despite most of it being pretty fantasy-like, it intertwines actual science and real-world knowledge to the point where I found myself learning stuff about economics, which was a pleasant surprise!

My favorite episode is Shady Lemonade. In this one, Gumby and his friends go to a lemonade place and discover that the owner scammed them. Later that day, they save a man's cat and the man gives them a very large reward. They decide to use that money so people can get lemonade at a cheap price and not worry about getting scammed. I picked this episode because, despite it not have some fun adventure, it is still a unique and fun story which kept me entertained. On top of that, the moral of the story is great - for every action there is a reaction, just like it shows in Shady Lemonade.

The Adventures of Gumby: The 60s Series Volume 2 has so much to love about it. Stop motion animation is sadly a dying art and, in this series, you see what makes it so fantastic. This is an art form that has more of a human touch. In hand drawn animation, you draw pictures with pen and paper. In computer animation, you type on a keyboard. With stop motion, you physically touch the characters and alter them at will. On top of that, the voice acting is wonderful as are the songs. There is some background music in many episodes, which isn't too noticeable but adds to the flow of the show. Despite it being over 50 years old, I still greatly enjoyed it and laughed throughout every episode. I also admire the series because its creators don't ever talk about morals or try to explain them, but you still learn a good lesson from the fun, easy-going stories.

This series is designed for kids and parents have nothing to worry about. I recommend it for ages 4 to 18. I believe adults will enjoy this show too, even though it is a kid's show, because it sparks your imagination and its out of this world stories will make you laugh. For spectacular stop motion animation, wonderful voice acting, fantastic songs and perfect stories, I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The Adventures Of Gumby: The 60's Series, Volume Two is a good show with groundbreaking animation and an immense amount of creativity behind it. The Adventures Of Gumby follows a happy chunk of green clay named Gumby and his friends - Pokey, Prickle the little yellow dinosaur and a blue flying mermaid named Goo. Gumby can go anywhere, including inside books and turn into anything. The crew goes on lots of fantastical and quirky adventures together. One of the things I enjoyed about this DVD is its diverse set of characters. The Adventures Of Gumby: The 60's Series, Volume Two has all the favorites from Volume One and introduces new creations like Nopey, a dog who can only say "no" and Dr. Zveegee, an evil scientist intent on capturing Prickle and using him for research.

The collection has 40 fun-packed and colorful episodes. My favorite is Point Of Honor. This episode sees Gumby infuriated at Prickle for pushing him and challenges him to a duel. It is surprising to see a quick change of tone in this show and watching these friends in conflict is quite engrossing. Another episode I enjoyed is A Bully For Gumby. This episode follows Gumby and Pokey trying to trick the Blockheads, their usual rivals, after they attempt a dangerous prank. I loved watching Gumby and Pokey outsmart the villainous Blockheads. Another fun episode is Dragon Daffy, in which Prickle is denied entry to an ice cream shop because the cashier thinks he is a dragon. Prickle tries to convince him he's a dinosaur and sends Gumby to find his mom so he can prove it.

I really have to give credit to Art Clokey for using claymation in an innovative television series and creating such classic characters. The special features on this DVD are very good and many honor his legacy. One of the special features I really like is the short film The Clay Peacock. This short demonstrates Clokey's exquisite animation ability and the music gives it an ominous vibe. I also liked the 60's Crew Interviews. This featurette helps you get a better understanding of what it was like working at Clokey Studios and it is interesting to hear how these people got their jobs.

I recommend this series to ages 6 to 8.These are short cartoons and are quite suitable for young kids' attention spans. The episodes are extremely colorful but I think younger kids maybe won't understand the jokes. I rate this 4 out of 5 stars. It is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.
Runtime: 220 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


SULLY

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SULLY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - On Thursday, January 15th, 2009, the world witnessed the "Miracle on the Hudson" when Captain, Chesley Sullenberger, nicknamed "Sully" & is portrayed by Tom Hanks glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Love this film. Of course, I was familiar with the story as was anyone in the US at the time of this incident. What I was not aware of was how Captain Sullenberger and his colleague were investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board to make sure that the river landing was indeed necessary. Clint Eastwood delivers a fine film here. He and Tom Hanks, with his understated heroic performance, demonstrate how you can make a provocative film devoid of all the pyrotechnics and special effects that fill so many films today. The other unsung heroes are all the first responders who got every passenger and crewmember out of that icy water to safety within 24 minutes. Stunning. The final scene under the credits of the actual passengers, Captain Sully and his co-pilot are equally compelling. Every one of them has a personal story of gratitude for the man who saved their lives that day. Bravo. Oscar material me thinks.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Out of all the intense films released this year so far, Sully is the best one, hands down. Out of all the nonfiction films released this year, Sully is the greatest. From spectacular directing to emotional acting, Sully is easily one of the best films of 2016.

Interestingly enough, although this film may have a few action scenes, it shouldn't be branded as an action movie. It is full-on intense drama, with two or three jokes that are original and funny, but don't turn the film into a comedy. The story itself can also be considered an emotional and physical dramatic adventure that changes the lives of the characters forever.

Sully begins when U.S. Airways flight 1549 lands in the water in the Hudson river after both engines are destroyed by birds. Luckily, not one passenger is injured and this is due to the skill of both rescue teams and pilot Sully Sullenbrger (Tom Hanks) and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles (Aaron Eckhart). Unfortunately, the nightmare is not over. Even though all passengers are in safety, it is still a major question if Sully should have landed the plane in the water and if he might have had enough speed and altitude to reach the runway at an actual airport.

This is a very famous story that happened in 2009, but many people do not know what happened after the plane water landed. Sully truly shows all the events of this flight. Another amazing aspect of the film is the acting. Both Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart do phenomenal portrayals of the pilots. Not only do the two look so much like the actual people, they also got their personalities right too. The two actors excel in the scenes where they keep imagining the crash, and it clearly affects them day after day. Clint Eastwood has directed many wonderful films, but Sully, without doubt, is one of his best. The story does not feel like it lasts 96 minutes and I was surprised when it ended. Sully really does keep you on the edge of your seat using cinematography that makes you feel like you are a part of the movie, acting that is emotional and dramatic and even special effects that make it look very real. Something to note, the film was shot with IMAX cameras so seeing it in IMAX theaters gives you the best possible experience.

My favorite scene is the actual plane crash. From taking off, to the passengers getting into rescue boats, this scene keeps your heart beating very fast. I personally suffer from a fear of flying and it pumped me full of adrenaline. I could not blink until I found out what happened next. The special effects of the plane going down in the middle of New York looks very realistic and intense. On top of that, the emotional acting of not only the pilots, but the passengers and the flight attendants brings even more drama to the scene. It is easily the most intense scene in the whole film and, because of cinematography, it makes you feel like you are a part of it, is borderline scary.

Sully is a very mature story. And though it lacks adult content, language or gore, it is geared for a mature audience because of its intense and dramatic scenes. It may be too intense for younger viewers so I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. I definitely give Sully 5 out of 5 stars for its spectacular directing, wonderful cinematography, emotional acting and realistic special effects.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


DRESSMAKER, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DRESSMAKER, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
AMAZON.COM
Series: FEATURE, AGES 14-18
Topic - Family
Description - A glamorous, worldly dressmaker returns to her small Australian hometown to seek the truth behind her notorious reputation. This dark and quirky comedy stars Academy Award winner Kate Winslet as Tilly Dunnage, who cares for her eccentric mother (Academy Award nominee Judy Davis), schemes with the local sergeant (Hugo Weaving) who has secrets of his own, and falls for local farmer Teddy (Liam Hemsworth). As she starts to unravel her scandalous past, she transforms the town's women with her exquisite creations. Armed with only her sewing machine and haute couture style, Tilly shows she is a force to be reckoned with and that revenge never goes out of style. You should know this if "R" rated. We normally do not review "R" rated films but this was unrated when we reviewed it.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Wow! Best movie ever. This is a complex dramedy mystery. I cried, laughed so hard my side hurt and I picked my jaw up off the ground several times. Jocelyn Moorhouse is an epic director and writer along with her husband P.J. Hogan and I couldn't wait to see what they would do next.

This is what a good drama is all about. It starts with an aerial view over the vast terrain of Australia. It made me feel as if I was going to watch Little House on the Prairie. The fluffy couch seating at Broad Green Pictures made me think this was going to me a quiet drama. Wrong. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. This is definitely an award-winning, must-see movie.

The main characters are played by Kate Winslet (Myrtle Tilly Dunnage) the amazing dressmaker, Liam Hemsworth (Teddy Mc Swiney) the tall drink of cool water hunk, Hugo Weaving (Sergean Farrat) the policeman who loves fashion and fabric and Judy Davis (Molly Dunnage) the mother who can't pass up a drink and is a pick pocket.

Every character in this film an important part in the story. I love all of them. The hunch back Percival Almanac (Barry Otto) can only stop by running into a pillow and will have you holding your sides with laughter. Gertrude 'Trudy' Pratt (Sarah Snook) goes from drab to fab in order the capture the heart of William Beaumont (James MacKay). Beulah Harridiene (Kerry Fox) is the school teacher we all have nightmares about. Evan Pettyman (Shane Bourne), like most of the townspeople, has many secrets. Tilly is out for revenge and to reveals them all. Some of them might not make it out of their lies alive.

Tilly, a Paris educated dressmaker, comes home to check on her mother and to confirm whether or not she is a killer. All the townspeople hate her because she murdered another child when she was a little girl. She wants to know if it is true.

Tilly begins making dresses for the various ladies of the town and tries to extract their memories. Through flash backs she finds pieces of the puzzling mystery. She thinks she is cursed and has given up on relationships. Liam Hemsworth has other ideas. Romance is in the air.

The costume designers, Marion Boyce and Margot Wilson outdid themselves from the sad periodic outfits to the fabulous New York runway dresses. Just picture a small town in the middle of nowhere with dirt roads in the 1950s with half the town walking around like New York Fashion week runway models.

Of course, there are sports in this movie and those are my favorite scenes. Tilly's house is on the top of a hill which serves as the golf range and the town below is the golf course. When the balls fly, look out below.

Tilly is full of girl power and has many assets with which to manipulate the townspeople . Her arrival at a local soccer game, wearing a hot cute red dress to distract the players is shocking to this small quiet town. Then, she changes outfits and distracts the other team, leading the favorite team to victory. I loved this scene.

There is violence and sexual content in this film, but it is minimal. I recommend it for ages 14 to 18 as long as they are mature enough to follow a complex drama. I give this film 5 fabulous dresses with golden stars.

By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 118 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


JUNGLE BOOK, THE (DVD/BLU-RAY/DIGITAL)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
JUNGLE BOOK, THE (DVD/BLU-RAY/DIGITAL)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY ANIMATED STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - The man-cub Mowgli flees the jungle after a threat from the tiger Shere Khan. Guided by Bagheera the panther and the bear Baloo, Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery, though he also meets creatures who don't have his best interests at heart. Directed by Jon Favreau. Starring Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Disney steps it up in this reboot of the Rudyard Kipling classic tale. This live-action film with enhanced animated animals stays true to the original story while delivering a big Wow! factor with it's realistic animations. Had it not been for the animals talking, I would have sworn they were real.

A stunning voiceover cast combined with an outstanding score equate to, what I believe, is something that outshines the original class from the 60s. I would have loved to have been a fly inside Jon Favreau's mind as he was generating the concept for this film. The visual effects team also deserves a huge applaud for their incredible work. The casting was straight on. Newcomer Neel Sethi, for whom this is his first feature role delivers a lively and believable performance while charming us with his precociousness and adorable smile. You can hardly ask for better voice over work than what we get from Bill Murray as Baloo, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Idris Elba as the formidable Shere Khan , Lupita Nyong'o as Raksha and Scarlett Johansson as the seductive Kaa. She and Christopher Walken as King Louis steal the show with their cameo roles. I love this! Can you tell. However, it does have some "scare the pants off you" scenes so, be cautious when determining which child to take with you. It is not for the faint of heart.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I enjoyed watching the Blu-ray/DVD combo of The Jungle Book about Mowgli (Neel Sethi) who is the only man cub in the jungle. He wants to be a wolf, but in reality he's not. He is raised by wolves and he feels he has a nice life. Then one day Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens Mowgli's life. While the wolves argue about whether or not Mowgli should leave for the safety of the pack, Mowgli decides for them and leaves. He ventures out to find the man village. On his way to the man village, he meets many enemies and friends like King Louie (Christopher Walken), Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) and Baloo (Bill Murray). What will happen next? Will he make it to the man village? Does Shere Khan catch him? You just have to watch the movie to find out.

What I liked about the bonus features on the Blu-ray disc is a feature called, The Jungle Book Reimagined which shows ideas for the remake of The Jungle Book and Neel Sethi's experience while acting on the set. This shows the relationship between Neel and the director. There is also a bonus audio commentary feature from the director, Jon Favreau, which is great because you get to hear what he was thinking when making the movie. Another added bonus allows you to go to the scene selection and select the scene you want, plus there is a setup feature so you can insert your own settings. There is also a DVD version included and a download code to download a digital copy if you would prefer to use that versus the discs.

What I like about this movie are the CGIs which are so realistic that you think the sets are real because they are so incredibly detailed. The animals look realistic as well and the backgrounds are very intricate. But, as I learned in the Blu-ray feature "I am Mowgli", it shows that it was all done on green screen, which makes this film more incredible because most of it isn't real! The voice acting is superb. Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken and many others truly bring the animals to life with their outstanding voice over work. Speaking about Christopher Walken, another bonus feature is "King Louie's Temple Layer by Layer". It shows you how the "I Wan'na Be Like You" scene was created. It is very interesting to watch how the orchestra, Christopher Walken, the storyboard and green screens worked together to make that sequence. Finally, the music is superb and adds so much more energy and excitement to the movie. It just makes the scenes more interesting than they would be without such compelling music.

What you should know about this film is that there are many intense scenes. Even I jumped out of my seat a few times. This isn't a movie for children below age 9 and is definitely a "know your kid" type of movie. I also didn't like how King Louie doesn't look as friendly as in the original movie. Aside from that, this movie is truly outstanding entertainment.

I recommend this film to kids ages 9 to 18. People who like action, adventure and comedy movies will surely enjoy this. It does have intense scenes and will make you jump but I give it 4 out of 5 stars and love all the bonus features on the DVD/Blu-ray/Digital HD which is available August 30, 2016.

Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.

Having now see three versions of the Rudyard Kipling classic, I can honestly say that Jon Favreau's 2016 adaptation reigns supreme. I know that may come as a far-fetched opinion for the faithful fans of the 1967 animated classic, but open your mind to the possibility that this version is above the rest.

The darker, more realistic tone of this live-action adventure is a sharp contrast to the lighter tone of the 1967 musical comedy. That may be off-putting to some fans, but once you're swept up in the visual splendor of the movie, the story becomes ever more engaging. Speaking of which, don't be surprised if a few elements of the 1967 version's story aren't in this one or are rearranged.

Jon Favreau gives the story the proper grandeur it deserves. He uses lush art direction and sweeping cinematography to make the story look bigger. Visual effects aside, the aesthetic of the film gets across the monumental stature a family adventure should have. Combine the visuals with the score of John Debney and you'll find beauty and thrills that bring back a child like wonder.

One thing I really appreciate is the way the film treats the animals as characters, not denying them close-ups or treating them as spectacles. They are instead, portrayed as natural beings within the world of the screenplay. It enhances the brilliant voice acting of the cast. Speaking of which, I hope this film can rekindle the campaign to get voice acting a category with the major awards. Idris Elba is perfectly evil. Ben Kingsley and Bill Murray provide such natural and fitting voice work. And, Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken steal the show. Their scenes are the highlights of the movie and are easily the most memorable.

This movie is an overall construction of perfect cinematic elements. Disney has hit a grand slam with The Jungle Book as it will be etched in the memories of audiences for decades. I say this film is one of the best films of this decade and maybe even the last ten years.

With that said, I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It can be seen at a local theater near you.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

After analyzing this film, I really appreciated it because it is family oriented and explores the relationship of a young man. This film made me wonder if something happened to my parents who would take care of me. I love the fact that the animated jungle animals look so real and talk like human beings. This film blends adventure, drama, fantasy and family in an entertaining story. I enjoyed this film because of the way it takes a classic story and turns it into something amazing. Director Jon Favreau's fantastic adaptation of the story and his devotion to the animals cherish exceeded my expectations. The special effects and 3D portrayal of all the animals are breathtakingly awesome.

The story follows the man-cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi) who departs the jungle after a threat from the tiger, Shere Khan (Idris Elba). The panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) serves as his protector and keeps him out of harms way until Baloo the Bear (Bill Murray) comes on board and joins the team. Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery and meets creatures along the way who don't have his best interests at heart. The film shows his innocence and you have to respect and honor him.

I loved the scene when Baloo the Bear and Mowgli go to the lake with Mowgli sitting on Baloo's stomach as they float down the river. I really adored this moment because it is hilarious and it reminded me of a special time I spent with my friends in the pool. A bond is formed that you knew could not be broken.

The message of this film is do not ever hold a grudge against someone because of something that happened in the past. Try to make amends because life is too short and precious. Live each moment to the fullest. That is what Mowgli realizes and does. You should always give someone a chance to fit in.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18 because they will definitely be entertained. I give it 5 out of 5 Stars because it is child friendly, hilarious, exciting and enjoyable it even though some terrifying moments exist. This movie opens in theaters Friday, April 15, 2016 so go check it out, you will not be disappointed.

Reviewed by Tre'ana H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 106 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


ALL THE DIFFERENCE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALL THE DIFFERENCE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - Filmed over five and a half years, ALL THE DIFFERENCE (83 min.) weaves together the stories of two tough, yet promising young black men, Robert and Krishaun, as they navigate their lives through their high school senior year and all four years of college. They come from broken homes and low-income, high-risk communities in Chicago where barely 50% of young black men graduate from high school and of those that do graduate less than half go on to college and even fewer will graduate within 4 to 6 years. The film explores the factors in their lives (education, parents and grandparents, teachers, role models, personal drive and community support) that made all the difference in helping them be the first in their families to most likely escape poverty and secure a place in the middle class.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a must-see documentary which begins airing on PBS September 12, 2016. I know documentary - boring right? Wrong. The film is real, raw and an insight into the lives of real people. Best of all it, is about two super heroes named Robert and Krishaun. These two young men are actual people who we all can look up to and inspire to be like them. They cannot fly or shoot lasers out of their eyes. They have determination, courage, commitment and guts. We need role models to look up to and, through this film, we see the good, bad and how life-changing events are made possible if you have just a little help.

Every day on the news we hear bad things. People complain and talk about how sad it all is. Rarely do people think about ways to change it. Wes Moore and Joy Thomas Moore stepped up and, not only thought of a better way, but acted upon it. Emmy-winning filmmaker Tod Lending spent years filming two young men. That is what I call dedication. We watch how their lives go forward in time and live each moment with them. I was frighten, crying, laughing, hoping and cheering for them.

Gang violence is nothing new. We see it on the news, movies, theater and television shows. Painted signs all over remind us that it is real. They all have sad stories and reasons for their actions.

What if you took some of the reasons away? What if someone came to you and said, "I can change your life for the better and will hold your hand and guide you." Would you grab the hand and walk with them? Many of the gang members said "no" once they found out cameras would be watching them 24/7 for many years. Two of them took a leap of faith. This film is a story about this incredible adventure, against all odds, of two young men who said "yes, I want a better life. I want out of the gangs."

This film is very emotional. I was afraid that they would not make it. It is real life, real problems and real people. When things are hard, it is always easy to give up. There are many times when you worry that they will. The most shocking thing about this film is meeting the real live Robert Henderson III and Krishaun Curtis Branch - gang bangers. I was nervous. They are nothing like you see on television or in the movies. The two of them are sweet, kind, smart and likeable. Krishaun even has a new baby. Their major flaw is not liking the Denver Broncos, but I let them slide.

My favorite person in this documentary, besides our super hero, is Robert's grandmother. She has an incredible story of her own. She is a super hero who has lived a difficult life, but never stopped wanting the best for Robert. She has girl power plus.

With the right mentors, role models, opportunities and a helping hand, great things can happen. It is an inspirational story that I recommend for ages 11 through 18. I also think Robert and Krishaun can be great super heroes to younger kids. This film is not sugar-coated. The violence is implied and talked about. It's not shown, but still it would be too much for younger kids unless this is the life they are living. If you can watch it with your kids and guide them to understand the many messages in this film, it is an eye opening experience. We can all reach out a helping hand. I give this film 5 out of 5 Super Hero Stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.
Runtime: 83 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD



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