The Ages 12-18 category has 2702 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles

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RAG DOLLS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
RAG DOLLS
ABOVE THE LINE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 4-14
Topic -
Description - Playtime turns into uncontrolled shenanigans when a young girl discovers rag dolls in an antique chest. For the dolls' very real counterparts, self-control is out of their hands.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a very fun and enjoyable short film. I like the film's premise about a little girl who is able to control the adults with rag dolls she found in an antique chest. It makes for some very funny actions by the characters who don't understand what's happening to them. This film is perfect for children because the dolls get to know each other better and they see them in live action form. It makes sense and flows very well. The storyline is consistent and the language is appropriate for its intended audience. The music is very complimentary, almost like what is used in a silent film. It sets the mood and drives the pace. And, it's a happy sound. The quality of the cinematography is high, as is the audio. It should project well on a big screen. Most importantly, I think it will make young viewers laugh. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 14. Reviewed by Ryan R. and Julie S, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! adult juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a very fun and enjoyable short film. I like the film's premise about a little girl who is able to control the adults with rag dolls she found in an antique chest. It makes for some very funny actions by the characters who don't understand what's happening to them. This film is perfect for children because the dolls get to know each other better and they see them in live action form. It makes sense and flows very well. The storyline is consistent and the language is appropriate for its intended audience. The music is very complimentary, almost like what is used in a silent film. It sets the mood and drives the pace. And, it's a happy sound. The quality of the cinematography is high, as is the audio. It should project well on a big screen. Most importantly, I think it will make young viewers laugh. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 14. Reviewed by Ryan R. and Julie S, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! adult juror.
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Lifelong G-Man Mark Felt, aka "Deep Throat," leaks information to the press that helps to uncover the Watergate scandal of 1974.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The opening of the film lead me to believe deep secrets would unfold. Mark Felt (Liam Neeson) encounters his former colleague Bill Sullivan (Tom Sizemore) and they exchange words recapping what appears to be a professional rivalry for the viewer's benefit. This film is an historical drama about men (FBI employees) whose job is to analyze every detail and research and report discrepancies. There are times when things do not add up. Mark often comments, "The President has no power over the FBI."

Given this film is created from Felt's 2006 autobiography and published a year after he revealed his identity as "Deep Throat" to Vanity Fair, the film does not deliver on the juicy details and unveiling I expected. The most appealing part of the movie is the historical retrospective of the film. At times, the details are unappealing, as the characters are hard to follow. The film flows well, although it took me a few minutes to determine which characters were members of the FBI and who else was in the room. As the film moves on, the characters develop into an amazing working team. I empathized with Mark Felt throughout the film. I felt the Director could have given us more insight into the walls of the institution where Felt worked for 31 years, and whose integrity he sought to protect from the interference of the Nixon White House officials.

When J. Edgar Hoover dies and Felt is passed over for his position, L. Patrick Gray III (Marton Csokas), a close Nixon ally, replaces Hoover as head of the FBI. Mark's integrity and hard work for more than 30 years are overlooked by the good-old-boy White House network. Leadership knows Mark is dangerous, given what he knows. When the Watergate break-in occurs, the FBI demands a 48-hour wrap and Mark knows this is the beginning of the end of the position he has served loyally and with integrity, even if he decides that spilling secrets is the best way to protect the FBI and manage his way out of an unmanageable situation.

While the office scenes are bland and the meetings with Bob Woodward (Julian Morris) in the parking garage seem contrived, there is substantial interest during sessions with Time Magazine's reporter Sandy Smith (Bruce Greenwood), who realizes Mark Felt is breaking his tight-lipped manner as Felt finally gives way. He tells Mark, "The FBI must be terrified of you." The characters are hard-hitting FBI employees. Their job is to serve and protect, even if it means keeping secrets to protect their peers, boss or the White House administration. For the most part, the characters are seen as positive stand-up men. It is only when Mark Felt makes a decision that we see his character stray, yet it is portrayed with shocking beauty. This film, based on true-facts, is brilliant. Many times, I found myself wanting to research more about this era, and the real men portrayed in the film.

The movie works hard to humanize Mark Felt, his family and fellow G-men. The subplot family story is warm, while most of Mark Felt's career interactions are harsh and direct. The film challenges the viewer's memory of historical facts. Is he a hero or a villain? Whatever you see, there is no doubt Mark Felt is the most impactful whistle-blower in American history so far. Many times, the film appears black and white and a bit grainy. In order to capture the times, I believe this is purposeful. As with any sleuth-type film, the graininess adds to the mystery. Another sign of the times, excessive smoking. While a total turn-off to this reviewer, it was prevalent in the 70s. The historical retrospective of this dark time in American history is invaluable. As the story unfolds, I was glued to the screen. The burden and power of the American landscape is presented in contrast with dark figures who believe secrets are best kept.

This film, with very adult themes, showcases a moment in history which is almost anti-climatic. The story focuses on the Watergate break-ins of the 70s and the ways and means the White House and other organizations lived and worked with secrets. Dare we say it parallels politics today? Because of the subject matter and fine details of "who's who" in the puzzle of facts, I recommend this only for mature teens. Many adults will find this tale riveting, especially those old enough to be aware of Nixon's presidency in the 70s. I recommend this film for ages 16 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This film may prompt teens to research more about Mark Felt and his place in history. Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - While educational, offering a peek into the often hidden parts of our nations' government, this film is also entertaining. The writer/director, Peter Landesman shows authenticity while keeping us engaged. It is based on the true story about the anonymous whistle blower in the Watergate scandal from the 1970s, who we later learned was Mark Felt.

I really enjoy time-era pieces. This is a historical drama based in the 1970s, so between the costuming and set props, it is fun to learn more about life during that time in history.

Not surprising, one of my favorite characters is Mark Felt (Liam Neeson). He always plays more stoic roles, where he is demanding, but deserving of respect. It is funny to see him look older with white hair, and I did miss that he did not have any action scenes in this film. But, I also like that we catch a glimpse into his personal life too - one that is relatable, and sometimes full of conflict and pain.

There is not one particular scene that is my favorite. What I enjoyed the most is when Mark Felt had secret meetings with his colleagues Ed Miller (Tony Goldwyn) and Charlie Bates (Josh Lucas). It was nice to see their loyalty to each other and to their work. When learning about Watergate, this is often an unknown part of the process.

This quote from Peter Landesman speaks of why this film took so long to hit the screens. "In my worldview, events are not about history--events are about human beings. I'm fascinated by people under pressure and in crisis, and what happens to them and what they do." I find it interesting that this film was started in 2005 and did not come to completion until now. This speaks to how much investigating they did for the production.

This film is rated PG-13 for language, although I didn't find it overly profane. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18, provided the viewer has some understanding the Watergate scandal. Otherwise I think they will get bored. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It opens October 13, 2017 in select theaters so be sure to check it out.

By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


NATURE: YOSEMITE

NATURE: YOSEMITE
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Yosemite was forged by time and shaped by the power of water. Water made life possible in this "stone wilderness," carved out the iconic Yosemite Valley, and gave birth to the Earth's largest living trees. But with climate change, Yosemite is feeling the heat. Water is scarcer and the threat of wildfire is more common. Join scientists and adventurers as they explore the past, present, and future of the Sierra Nevada's (a mountain range which stretches from California into Nevada through Yosemite) most precious resource, its water. Glide over the Yosemite Valley, climb trees as tall as buildings, and see how critters both great and small - from the bighorn sheep to the American pika - survive through drought, wildfires, and mountains of snow, as we investigate one of America's great wildernesses.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an entertaining and educational film about Yosemite and the breath-taking scenes are amazing. If you have never been to Yosemite, this film will make you want to visit! I really enjoyed seeing the wildlife and the narration is superb! I highly recommend for children ages 8 to 18. I even learned about a little critter that is related to the rabbit (the pika) and thought a great part of this film was learning about this little critter who looks like a rodent but isn't. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for being both educational and entertaining with breath-taking cinematography. There are no special features but this truly is a special film all by itself. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99
Media: DVD


SMITHSONIAN: THE REAL STORY: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN

SMITHSONIAN: THE REAL STORY: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 14-18
Topic - Family
Description - Johnny Depp and the cast of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" present the buccaneer lifestyle as a back-stabbing, high-living, hard-drinking world. It makes for an entertaining series, but is it a true depiction of the times? Evidence shows that amidst the lawless merriment, pirates formed a highly organized society, where democracy ruled and voting and health care preceded England by 100 years. We interview historians, weaponry experts, and one of the film's screenwriters to show how true pirate adventures inspired this blockbuster franchise.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This Smithsonian Channel program considers how realistic the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" film is. By looking at the reality of the weaponry, social life and habits of real pirates who operated in the Caribbean in the early 18th Century, a strong case is made for the Johnny Depp film as presenting a surprisingly accurate representation. Though very little of the actual "Pirates" film is shown, reenactments of pirates are well-done and a weapons' expert enthusiastically, if a bit gruesomely, demonstrates the weapons of the era. Much attention is given to Blackbeard, the most infamous of pirates, upon whom Geoffrey Rush's Barbossa is partly based. A fascinating segment focuses on the discovery and restoration of canons from Blackbeard's sunken ship. Computer-generated drawings of ships provide detail as to the structure and operation of pirate ships, of which I wish there had been more. The fast moving production really just skims the surface of the subject matter, but production quality is excellent and it is chockfull of fascinating details. Recommended for ages 14 to 18, as well as adult. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 46 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 14-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


AMERICAN MASTERS: EDGAR ALLAN POE: BURIED ALIVE

AMERICAN MASTERS: EDGAR ALLAN POE: BURIED ALIVE
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 14-18
Topic - Family
Description - Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive draws on the rich palette of Poe's evocative imagery and sharply drawn plots to tell the real story of the notorious author. Featuring Tony Award-winning actor Denis O'Hare, the film explores the misrepresentations of Poe as an alcoholic madman. It reveals the way in which Poe tapped into what it means to be a human in our modern and sometimes frightening world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This American Masterpiece production weaves together actor Denis O'Hare portraying writer Edgar Allan Poe with archival photography, actors reciting passages from Poe's work, and commentary from literary experts to create an impressionistic, well-rounded and occasionally surprising portrait. Fans of the hugely influential 19th century writer will revel in the details of Poe's upbringing and the fascinating, though tragic trajectory of his personal life which, while informed by death and alcoholism, was not quite the life of the madmen that Poe is often portrayed as. Narrated by Kathleen Turner, this artfully directed and edited program shines a light on Poe as both ground-breaking writer of horror, mystery and detective stories, and as a very opinionated editor of literary magazines. The 84-minute program whisks by in an engrossing and entertaining flow of talking heads, period detail, arresting images and O'Hare's impersonation to give a riveting glimpse into the life and talent of the writer. Included as extras on the DVD are readings of two of Poe's most famous poems, "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee" by Garrison Keillor and others. Recommended for ages 14 and up. Five stars. Reviewed by Mike F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 84 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 14-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
EARTH: ONE AMAZING DAY
0
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - From BBC Earth Films, the studio that brought you Earth, comes the sequel - Earth: One Amazing Day, an astonishing journey revealing the awesome power of the natural world. Over the course of one single day, we track the sun from the highest mountains to the remotest islands to exotic jungles. Breakthroughs in filmmaking technology bring you up close with a cast of unforgettable characters. Told with humour, intimacy and a jaw-dropping sense of cinematic splendour, Earth: One Amazing Day highlights how every day is filled with more wonders than you can possibly imagine- until now.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Earth: One Amazing Day is a beautiful, informational film that makes you really appreciate Earth and know more about it. This film captures nature in all its beauty and is simply breathtaking. This film is very touching, suspenseful and pleasurable. There is comedy, action, adventure, romance and non-fiction all in one film. There is something for everyone to enjoy!

This film explores all the aspects of one day on Earth. It follows the lives of different animals including iguanas, baby lizards, zebras, giraffes, lions and many more. The film shows all the struggles in nature, but also the wonderful and amazing parts. It makes you see the beauty of nature and makes you curious about what's out there.

The people who responsible for filming this, Robin Cox, Kevin Flay and Flying Glass used their cameras to capture the beauty of Earth. Doing this is a real challenge, but they managed to capture so much detail and were able to get incredible close ups. They recorded at different angles, which makes the whole film visually pleasing and close to what it's like if you were actually there. I also loved the narration of Jackie Chan and Robert Redford. Their voices are very mellow, blends in with the music and overall just fits perfectly for this film.

The events that capture are very cool. I especially like how the camera work shoots at different angles so you get a different perspective on the world. The film's visuals are very colorful and intriguing. My favorite part is when the giraffes fight over the land and the ladies. I like this scene because I learned something new. I had no idea that giraffes could bend their necks so much or that they would just swing their heads around to fight. It was really amusing to see their heads swinging around everywhere, but a little sad to see that they were bleeding.

The message of this film is to acknowledge the Earth and realize how lucky we are to be here. There are so many wonderful things happening around us that we don't notice. The film reminds us to stop and smell the roses and to make sure to protect the earth's beauty so future generations can enjoy it as well.

I loved watching this film so much. It really touched my heart and made me realize how beautiful the Earth is, on just one amazing day. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18. I'm sure that everyone will enjoy this film, even adults. Definitely make sure to check it out. It opens nationwide in theaters October 6, 2017.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Earth: One Amazing Day is an incredible feature length documentary that is a sequel to Earth, an acclaimed movie based on Planet Earth, the famous series of BBC wildlife documentaries shown on networks and in schools worldwide. The film features amazing cinematography, stunning graphics, and the audio quality at the screening I saw was brilliant thanks to the Dolby theatre vast speaker system. It had different layers of sound played at the same time creating a very realistic vibe.

Earth: One Amazing Day follows a huge variety of animals and the challenges they must face during a single day. It shows how animals are impacted by the rhythms of the sun and how it provides life to all creatures. It starts off early in the morning following marine iguanas. It then brings you to midday where we get an amazing view of a giant panda and her cub eating bamboo. Next, we get a view of a zebra and her foal attempting to cross a rushing river to get to where the grass will grow next. It continues telling different stories for every animal it shows.

My favorite scene is when it shows a group of bears scratching on trees to music. The scene is hilarious and is very well edited so that the bear's movements appear to go to the music.

The documentary is narrated by Academy award-winner, Robert Redford. The pauses he leaves between his words are timed brilliantly creating a dramatic atmosphere for each tale. Earth: One Amazing Day was directed by Richard Dale, Peter Webber, and Fan Lixin. This is currently one of the biggest collaborations on a film between China and the United Kingdom. The Chinese version is voiced by Jackie Chan who is known across the world for his martial arts movies.

The music matches the scenes seamlessly. I love how they tell a short story with each animal and how it makes the viewer invested in each and every one of them. They use clips taken over the course of several days and make them appear as one scene.

The moral of this film is that there is beauty all around us that can be seen every day. We must only look around us to see it. I feel that this is an important and inspirational message to appreciate our world, this isn't being said enough.

I give Earth: One Amazing Day 5 out of 5 stars for its unbelievable graphics and storytelling. I recommend it to children ages 6 to 18 and think that adults will also

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
REBEL IN THE RYE
0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The life of celebrated but reclusive author, J.D. Salinger, who gained worldwide fame with the publication of his novel, "The Catcher in the Rye".
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching the dramatic biography Rebel in the Rye, directed by Danny Small which examines the life of J.D. Salinger, best known for his novel, Catcher in the Rye. I have not read this book, although I know that it was very controversial when it first came out.

The film has elements of determination, a bit of arrogance, some humor and an underlying bit of inspiration. J.D. Salinger not only has inner conflicts, but he also has a conflict with his dad Sol Salinger (Victor Garber). The film stirred my curiosity and I decided to down load Catcher in the Rye and listen to it in my audible library. The film inspired me to seriously begin writing a book. We see a young, smart-mouth J.D. Salinger (Nicholas Hoult) as he experiences the horrors of World War II. The combat scenes are not graphically displayed. Salinger sees many people killed, including a good friend. He also sees a concentration camp and he is a victim of a mugging. You should know that there are scenes of drinking, partying and smoking, (common during this era), mild profanity and mild sensuality.

Strong characters include Whit Burnett (Kevin Spacey), as Jerry's tough mentor. You can see that he really believes in Salinger and pushes him to "find his voice." Another character who stands out is Hope Davis as Salinger's mother. The scene when she receives a copy of his novel is very moving. One of the funniest moments in the film comes when Salinger asked Little, Brown and Company to not send him any reviews of his book. In classic comedic fashion, the very next scene shows Salinger seen reading the reviews at home. I enjoyed seeing the secluded place where Salinger pursues his writing. It is very lovely and peaceful.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. I give it an enthusiastic 5 out 5 Stars. I plan to see it again. This film comes out on September 15, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Rebel in the Rye, directed by Danny Small, is entertaining and educational. This film is a docu-drama that reviews the life of J.D. Salinger, author of the classic book, "Catcher in the Rye." I found this film both insightful and inspiring. His perseverance as a writer is vividly displayed throughout the film.

The film allows the audience to jump deeper into Salinger's life and what makes him tick. We experience first hand his arrogance, quirky humor and determination. I like how they show the various relationships throughout Salinger's life. Because his father (Victor Garber) was condescending, it made Salinger fight that much harder to succeed. It was the encouragement and love of his mother (Hope Davis) to whom he dedicates his highly successful novel. We see how the betrayal of his love, Oona O'Neill (Zoey Deutch) hardened him and how he felt the relationship he had with his wife (Lucy Boynton) was too overpowering and intrusive for him to grasp. These aspects definitely made me feel more connected to him as a person and understand a bit more about his strange life.

My favorite character is Salinger's college professor, Whit Burnett, played by the award winning actor, Kevin Spacey. Kevin Spacey always manages to bring the audience into the heart and soul of every character he plays. I enjoyed how, at the beginning, Whit Burnett feels like any other professor - just there to teach an educational lesson. Life lessons are what he ends up actually teaching Salinger. Throughout the film we see him develop a true friendship and bond with Salinger. It actually hurts to watch their relationship tear apart and made me want to cheer when they are able to finally mend their relationship and move forward.

Even though the war scenes are very graphic and difficult to swallow, they truly help us see what formed Salinger as an adult and why he spiraled into a recluse.

Rebel in the Rye is rated PG-13 for smoking, brief violence and sexual references. The war scenes, while minimal, are very graphic. There are people smoking throughout the film, which was appropriate for that era, but I did not feel the language or sexual references were strong enough to make it inappropriate for younger teens. I do not feel that younger kids would appreciate the life of this author, or really gain too much enjoyment for this film. So, I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. It is playing now in select theaters so go check it out.

Reviewed by Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


BATTLE OF THE SEXES

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BATTLE OF THE SEXES
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement, the 1973 tennis match between women's world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men's-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. The fiercely private King was not only championing for equality, but also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, as her friendship with Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) developed. And Riggs, one of the first self-made media-age celebrities, wrestled with his gambling demons, at the expense of his family and wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms ...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The themes presented in this film are still relevant and have merit. With that said, I want to add that ever since Ibsen wrote "A Doll's House," it's very rare to get a film (or play for that matter) that is charged with the theme of gender equality and presents it in a way that truly resonates. What do I mean? In films that aim to give a message or present an issues, such as when the writer wants to say something about the relevant society, more often than not, the writer portrays those characters in simple categorizations of good and bad. That may work in a superhero film, but in a piece of realism, where character development and relationships are key elements to the storytelling, simple good and bad just won't do. That's my issue with this film. The screenplay simplifies a few integral characters too much, in favor of hoisting up its protagonist.

To get this out of the way, the performances are fantastic. Emma Stone and Steve Carell lead the cast well, and the cast doesn't have a weak link in it. In particular, a lot of credit has to be given to Steve Carell. He took a character that was underwritten and perhaps even misrepresented and makes him sympathetic and someone to root for. Andrea Riseborough also delivers a very affecting performance and really gives us some great scene work with Emma Stone.

The directing is swift, well paced and well filmed. Kudos to the cinematographer who really has a wonderful grasp on stillness to promote an essential moment and exerts great uses of soft and hard focus to portray dramatic moments and internalize character feelings. The editing also deserves a shout out for some wonderful pacing and really effectively switching between the grainy, 70s like cinematography and more clear cinematography.

Now, back to the screenplay. What made and still makes "A Doll's House" the ultimate gender-equality script is that every character can be sympathized with. We learn more about the human condition and evils of society, rather than placing blame and anger on individual groups. There are only two men that can be rooted for without hesitation and that's our protagonist's husband and father. Every other guy is completely unlikable and has no arc, and Steve Carell's character can be questioned. Carell's character, who is a vital part of this story, isn't written very well or thoroughly. It's always hard to have two protagonists in a film, especially at a reasonable and well paced time. Carell's character is both an antagonist and protagonist or, at least attempts to be so. Carell's character opposes Emma Stone's. It's a man versus women ordeal and their tennis match is the crisis and climax of the film. But, here's the issue. Carell's character is NOT the antagonist. It's society! So why is Carell's character's standing within the realm of the film so questionable? Why doesn't he get his own arc? Every major character in "A Doll's House" takes a journey. That's what makes us empathize with them and come away disliking their society, and not the products of that society. The same would work with this film. But instead, there is a co-protagonist / antagonist that is not written for people to care about or even empathize with. He gets no arc, no change. He's unaffected. He may as well have been a smaller part.

Why is this an issue? Because Emma Stone's character is a catalyst. She's the driving force and vehicle used within the film to represent the affects of an unjust era and to showcase the positive effects that a change in this society would have. Unfortunately, because Carell's character and the real antagonists (the sexists who sit atop the societal ladder) don't change, because we only see them as unlikable, this story turns into something simple and ultimately unfulfilling. Stone's character merely wins the battle within the film and we come away knowing that and are momentarily happy. However, that soon goes away, which makes this entertaining dramedy perhaps a little forgettable. Had the writing been more substantial and caring to all its characters, and forgiving to all its characters and condemned society instead, we'd come away with a more profound understanding of where issues lie and are issued from. That's a memorable film. I suppose the cinematic world is still chasing Ibsen.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars for its entertainment value and performances and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It is playing in theaters now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

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


PROSPERITY

PROSPERITY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WELL GO USA INC.
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Dr. Pedram Shojai is an author, filmmaker, founder of Well.Org, Urban Monk, husband and father. PROSPERITY is a feature documentary about his journey across the Americas to discover a more sustainable way for us all to do business and thrive on our Planet. 'The Urban Monk' tracks the organic roots of Rodale Publishing; the food revolution of Whole Foods Market; Guayaki's waged war for rainforest redemption; Terra Cycle's scheme to drain the oceans of plastic; architect CookFox's carbon-reducing skyscraper design, alongside many others. Through these companies and more, the documentary explores an exploding conscious business movement, one fueled by social responsibility, transparency, millennials, and the realization that business-as-usual can't go on. The film unveils effective ways for everyone to be a part of this movement and really drive the positive change needed in the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - "Urban Monk" author Pedram Shojai takes viewers on a wide-ranging exploration of how decisions made in relation to every day spending habits and company's bottom lines affect the world around us. Shojai visits a variety of companies both large and small that are succeeding at combining ethical business decisions that promote sustainability with profit, guided by a desire to improve the world. Examples range from struggling cacao farmers in Panama to Whole Foods, which began as a small organic market. Throughout, the idea that business decisions based on ethical considerations can make for a better world and still yield profit by, among other things, reducing waste, ensuring future customer growth and creating more productive and fulfilling work environments, is vividly portrayed.

The production quality is excellent and the editing brisk, while maintaining a serious tone. Shojai makes for a genial host and the 80 minute program is a stimulating and inspiring journey into the consideration of human behavior, collective and individual, based upon money and ways in which we can redefine true "prosperity." Recommended for ages 12 to 18 as well as adults. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review

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


VICTORIA AND ABDUL (2017)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
VICTORIA AND ABDUL (2017)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Abdul Karim arrives from India to participate in Queen Victoria's golden jubilee. The young clerk is surprised to find favor with the queen herself. As Victoria questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance that her household and inner circle try to destroy. As their friendship deepens, the queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes, joyfully reclaiming her humanity.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching the British-American biographical drama, Victoria and Abdul. I learned facts about Queen Victoria, the British ruler of India and the real-life relationship between Queen Victoria (Judy Dench) and her Indian servant, Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal). Directed by Stephen Frears and written by Lee Hall, it is based on a book written by Shrabani Basu. The film has regal pomp and circumstances, life lessons and humorous elements.

We see Abdul (Ali Fazal), a clerk in India, happily going about his duty recording the names of prisoners in a big log book. He is selected to travel to the UK to present a gold mohar, a coin, as part of the Queen's jubilee celebration. Abdul is selected because of his height. He is tall and very handsome.

Abdul is instructed on how to present the mohar to the Queen. He is told not look at the Queen and Abdul, because of his reverence for the Queen, decides to kiss her feet. This is the beginning of a unique relationship.

Abdul begins to share with Queen Victoria facts about India. He tells her about the Taj Mahal, Indian customs and teaches her Urdu. The Queen's viewpoint about how she rules begins to change as she learns more about the country and its customs.

My favorite scene is when the staff of Queen Victoria opposes her decision to give Abdul knighthood. Her son attempts to have her declared insane. She insists on facing the staff in person and she says, "I am cantankerous, greedy and fat. I am perhaps, disagreeably, attached to power. But I am anything but insane."

Victoria and Abdul shows the beautiful countryside of the UK, Scotland and India as well as some of the famous sites such as Windsor Castle. The costumes designed by Consolata Boyle, pay meticulous attention to historical detail even down to the Queen's monogrammed shoes.

This film is a story about a different kind of friendship and how it influenced the lives of everyone in their circle and beyond. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18 and some adults will enjoy it as well. You can experience the royal pomp and circumstances of Victoria and Abdul at your local theater when it opens September 22, 2017

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This incredible, historical film opened my eyes and made me better understand the world I live in. Given that racism is still a prevalent issue in today's society, it was mind-boggling to see it in Britain, at the turn of the 20th century. I admire how this film brings the past to the present, and made me question how racism can dissipate in the future.

This film carefully documents the relationship between Queen Victoria and her beloved servant, Abdul Karim. Queen Victoria reigned in the United Kingdom from 1837 to 1901. She was the longest serving monarch in world history. In addition to being a queen, she was also the Empress of India. Because of this, Abdul Karim and his friend Mohammed are sent from India to Britain to deliver a sacred coin: the Mohur. Abdul and Mohammed believe they are only going to remain in Britain for a short period of time, but they end up going on the adventure of a lifetime.

Judi Dench, who plays Queen Victoria, exceptionally portrays a queen who is tired of her constriction. All she wants to do is have Abdul be her full-time servant, but because of his origins, Queen Victoria's staff does not approve. Ali Fazal, who plays Abdul Karim, considers the queen a very special person and his kindness towards her is impeccable. He teaches her the Quran and shares his culture with her. As time goes on, both develop a strong friendship, which is truly heartwarming.

The setting is remarkable. I've never seen the Taj Mahal, Scotland or the queen's palace. This film takes the audience to all these places. After seeing the beauty in other countries, it makes me want to travel the world. My favorite part of this film is when Queen Victoria eats with her staff. She eats very quickly and, once she finishes her food, regardless if the others are done or not, the servants take all of the food away. It's hilarious to see people still eating their meals and have their food taken away in the blink of an eye.

The message of this film is that no race, culture or religion is subordinate to another, even though individuals are from many different backgrounds. Britain is usually portrayed as one of the most powerful countries, but not in this film. We have to learn to not categorize others as inferior because of their lifestyle. Differences make society beautiful. If we were all the same, everything would be boring.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 15 to 18 as well as adults. There are undertones of adult subject matter throughout the film. Queen Victoria is infatuated with much a younger, married man, which is why an older audience is more suitable for it. Check it out when it opens in select theaters on September 22, 2017. I guarantee you've never seen anything like this before.

By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

How could the Empress of the British Empire and a poor Indian clerk possibly have anything at all in common? The fact that there is much that they share is a major theme in Victoria and Abdul. One example is that they are both in "prison." You first see scenes with Abdul and Queen Victoria in their native habitats: waking up, doing their jobs and, we see that they both exist in confined situations. Abdul works in an actual Indian prison, doing a very boring job and Victoria later says she is "in prison" because she cannot do what she wants to do, which is to explore the world. In one surprising scene, Victoria actually falls asleep at the table at her Golden Jubilee dinner! Abdul catches her eye and he becomes a window to the wonderfully exotic world of Indian culture.

Every British character in this story, except Victoria, is a terrible racist. The Royal staff of Queen Victoria disapproves of her friendship with Abdul and are constantly conspiring to sabotage their relationship. In contrast, Queen Victoria is fascinated by India, the languages, architecture and just about everything. She wants to explore India, but she cannot because if she does, she likely will be assassinated by the oppressed Indian people. Her son and heir Bertie (later King Edward VII) is the most hateful of all. One of the first things he does as king is to burn all evidence of his mother's 14-year friendship with Abdul that exists among his mother's papers and photographs.

One of the things that really stood out for me in this movie was the dialogue. Many wonderful actors are very lucky to bring life to this well-crafted screenplay. Judi Dench, as Queen Victoria, is really funny and dramatic at the same time. Ali Fazal, as Abdul, is amazing because he shows the care, love and respect the character has for the Queen. Of course, Michael Gambon is appropriately arrogant as the Prime Minister (although his distinctive voice keeps bringing Dumbledore to mind!) Eddie Izzard, as Queen Victoria's son Bertie, is also phenomenal as the worst villain in a movie full of them - very realistic and believable. The director Stephen Frears and the writer Lee Hall are amazing because they capture an important piece of history in an entertaining way. (When I found out Lee Hall wrote Billy Elliot, I knew this movie was going to be great.)

I give Victoria and Abdul 5 out of 5 stars because it tells the remarkable story about how two people from very different worlds come together as friends. I recommend this movie ages 13 to 18 because there are no intense moments and the plot is slightly complex. There are only funny, sweet, beautiful and some sad moments. You can see Victoria and Abdul in theaters when it opens on September 22, 2017.

By Lucia Funaro, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18

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


LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. ANIMATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - The battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, also secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu (Jackie Chan), as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat the evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), who also happens to be Lloyd's dad. Pitting father against son, the epic showdown tests these fierce but undisciplined modern-day ninjas as they learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash the inner power of Spinjitzu.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What do you get when you mix a crazy cat, stealth ninjas and an evil villain? The LEGO Ninjago Movie which is an action packed adventure. I want to watch The LEGO Ninjago Movie again and again because the animation is fantastic and uses real life LEGOs. This story, told through the eyes of a young boy, captures your heart with friendship, parent controversies and team work.

The voiceovers are magnificent. It's as if you can feel the characters' emotions from the tone of their voices. This film has terrific characters such as Master Wu (Jackie Chan). I love Master Wu and the way that Jackie Chan portrays this character as someone who knows some amazing karate moves to help their students. My favorite character is Master Wu because he is hilarious and tells some good jokes, even when he doesn't know that he is making them. Guess what? A crazy fact about Jackie Chan (who has been acting since he was 7-years-old) is that he performs his own stunts and has broken every bone in his body. He is remarkable. I talked with him in person at LEGOLAND California just a few days ago. During our conversation, I discovered that his goal is to introduce children to martial arts and teach them how to find inner peace. Jackie Chan also plays Mr. Liu in The LEGO Ninjago Movie.

Cole (Fred Armisen) is a very kind and musical ninja at heart. When I met Fred Armisen, I discovered that he is very musical and knows how to sing Jingle Bells very well. I love the way that he connects with Cole through music and I love that they both love being ninjas, even when not on camera. Cole is a ninja who is very calm and quiet, yet when it is time to lay a bet no one is better for the task than him.

Lloyd (Dave Franco) is an amazing ninja who tries his best to do what is right and find a way to eradicate the evil Garmadon (Justin Theroux). Lloyd is the kid in school who no one likes because his dad is the evil villain Garmadon. During the daytime, Lloyd deals with bullies. Then at night and when he is needed most, he turns into a ninja with his friends Cole, Jay, Kai, Nya and Zane.

Jay (Kumail Nanjiani) is the anxious, yet adorable kid who I love and, who in real life he thinks that the cat was a pain to shoot with. When they were shooting they used two identical, twin cats and it was very hard to shoot them for technical reasons. Kai (Michael Pena) loved the shoot and thought it was a dream come true because, when he was hired he automatically became a ninja inside and out and he loves that feeling. Zane (Zach Woods) says that he was practically born with a robot voice and that he didn't have to practice at all for this role. Nya (Abbi Jacobson) told me that we all are ninjas and that we don't have to worry about not being cool or amazing, as we are all those things at heart.

The best scene in this film is when Garmadon and Master Wu have a gigantic martial arts battle and fight each other for good vs evil. I love this scene because it is spot on with the timing and the ending was quite shocking. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 as well as adults. People will love it because of the adventure. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. You can see The LEGO Ninjago Movie on September 22 when it opens in theaters nationwide.

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The LEGO Ninjago Movie, directed by Charlie Bean, is confusing yet manages to deliver some humor and entertainment. With many story lines and disconcerting ideas, it is a bit difficult to follow. Some of the plot lines are left unfinished. However, interspersed through the movie are scenes and dialogues where I couldn't help but smile.

The story follows six ninjas - Lloyd (Dave Franco), Cole (Fred Armisen), Jay (Kumail Nanijani), Kai (Michael Pena), Zane (Zach Woods) and Nya (Abbi Jacobson), who protect their home against the abominable Garmadon (Justin Thereox). Garmadon is Lloyd's father but Lloyd would do anything to get rid of him. Together the ninjas journey to find an answer to eliminating Garmadon once and for all.

Dave Franco as the voice of Lloyd easily adds emotion to his character. In one scene, when Lloyd wakes up to answer a phone, his voice tells us that he is weary and has just awakened. In other scenes, when Lloyd is irritated or confused, he uses different vocalizations to easily emphasize these emotions.

The animation and cinematography are the most prominent aspects of this film. The water of the ocean and pools is very realistic. When something emerges from the water, droplets trickle down from the object. The reflection of water on different surfaces is life-like and beautiful. Each individual LEGO block is detailed and, when looked at closely, you can even see scratches. The animation of the faces also brings about a lot of the emotion. The lines of the faces move when the character feels different sentiments. For example, when a character is confused or angry, different lines appear and disappear on the face showing sentiments. The cinematography is unique. In each of the battle scenes, the virtual cinematography allows one to view it from many different perspectives. In one scene, the perspective is Garmadon's point of view while, in the next scene we see the civilians' point of view.

The message of this film is that the superpowers that are invisible are sometimes the most powerful. I give this film 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Check out The LEGO Ninjago Movie when it opens in theaters nationwide September 22, 2017.

By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Surprisingly, I found this movie really enjoyable. I say surprisingly because I am not a fan of Ninjago, yet I managed to find it as funny and charming as the previous LEGO Movies.

The movie follows the story of the Green Ninja Lloyd, as he struggles to cope with his father Garmadon, an evil villain. This affects how the citizens of Ninjago see him and how they treat him. After Garmadon takes over Ninjago, the ninjas take a journey to find the ultimate weapon to save Ninjago

Of course, I have to start this review by mentioning the visuals. This movie is stop motion animation made using LEGOs. And aside from a few live action parts, everything is made out of LEGOs. And, it looks amazing. Like The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, this movie looks so good. The city of Ninjago, the subtle Japanese atmosphere, the expressions all look great. Since this movie has a lot of action, it took over four years to make. It is so impressive and I can't imagine what patience it took to create.

Similar to the other LEGO Movies, this film manages to be both hilarious, yet deep and meaningful. The story is all about a kid's life being in influenced by his dad's bad choices, which is a heavy subject. It is handled very seriously and maturely. Kudos to the writers, Dan and Kevin Hageman. They've made an amazing product. The movie has moments where Garmadon and Lloyd just talk about their relationship and their broken family, and it's really well done. The voice actors are also really great. Kumail Nanjiani as Jay is a particular stand out. For some reason, I found his voice very adorable and energetic. Honestly, all the voice actors show a lot of energy and effort.

As I previously mentioned, I don't know much about Ninjago. I was nervous that I wouldn't understand this movie because I don't follow the series. Thankfully, I can say that is not the case. I know almost nothing, yet I easily got the general idea of the story. So, if you're worried about not understanding the story, you're in luck. This movie stands on its own.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Remember, you don't need to like Ninjago to enjoy it. This movie comes out in theaters on September 22, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Calista B, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12 What do you get when you mix a crazy cat, stealth ninjas and an evil villain? The LEGO Ninjago Movie which is an action packed adventure. I want to watch The LEGO Ninjago Movie again and again because the animation is fantastic and uses real life LEGOs. This story, told through the eyes of a young boy, captures your heart with friendship, parent controversies and team work.

The voiceovers are magnificent. It's as if you can feel the characters' emotions from the tone of their voices. This film has terrific characters such as Master Wu (Jackie Chan). I love Master Wu and the way that Jackie Chan portrays this character as someone who knows some amazing karate moves to help their students. My favorite character is Master Wu because he is hilarious and tells some good jokes, even when he doesn't know that he is making them. Guess what? A crazy fact about Jackie Chan (who has been acting since he was 7-years-old) is that he performs his own stunts and has broken every bone in his body. He is remarkable. I talked with him in person at LEGOLAND California just a few days ago. During our conversation, I discovered that his goal is to introduce children to martial arts and teach them how to find inner peace. Jackie Chan also plays Mr. Liu in The LEGO Ninjago Movie.

Cole (Fred Armisen) is a very kind and musical ninja at heart. When I met Fred Armisen, I discovered that he is very musical and knows how to sing Jingle Bells very well. I love the way that he connects with Cole through music and I love that they both love being ninjas, even when not on camera. Cole is a ninja who is very calm and quiet, yet when it is time to lay a bet no one is better for the task than him.

Lloyd (Dave Franco) is an amazing ninja who tries his best to do what is right and find a way to eradicate the evil Garmadon (Justin Theroux). Lloyd is the kid in school who no one likes because his dad is the evil villain Garmadon. During the daytime, Lloyd deals with bullies. Then at night and when he is needed most, he turns into a ninja with his friends Cole, Jay, Kai, Nya and Zane.

Jay (Kumail Nanjiani) is the anxious, yet adorable kid who I love and, who in real life he thinks that the cat was a pain to shoot with. When they were shooting they used two identical, twin cats and it was very hard to shoot them for technical reasons. Kai (Michael Pena) loved the shoot and thought it was a dream come true because, when he was hired he automatically became a ninja inside and out and he loves that feeling. Zane (Zach Woods) says that he was practically born with a robot voice and that he didn't have to practice at all for this role. Nya (Abbi Jacobson) told me that we all are ninjas and that we don't have to worry about not being cool or amazing, as we are all those things at heart.

The best scene in this film is when Garmadon and Master Wu have a gigantic martial arts battle and fight each other for good vs evil. I love this scene because it is spot on with the timing and the ending was quite shocking. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 as well as adults. People will love it because of the adventure. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. You can see The LEGO Ninjago Movie on September 22 when it opens in theaters nationwide.

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The LEGO Ninjago Movie, directed by Charlie Bean, is confusing yet manages to deliver some humor and entertainment. With many story lines and disconcerting ideas, it is a bit difficult to follow. Some of the plot lines are left unfinished. However, interspersed through the movie are scenes and dialogues where I couldn't help but smile.

The story follows six ninjas - Lloyd (Dave Franco), Cole (Fred Armisen), Jay (Kumail Nanijani), Kai (Michael Pena), Zane (Zach Woods) and Nya (Abbi Jacobson), who protect their home against the abominable Garmadon (Justin Thereox). Garmadon is Lloyd's father but Lloyd would do anything to get rid of him. Together the ninjas journey to find an answer to eliminating Garmadon once and for all.

Dave Franco as the voice of Lloyd easily adds emotion to his character. In one scene, when Lloyd wakes up to answer a phone, his voice tells us that he is weary and has just awakened. In other scenes, when Lloyd is irritated or confused, he uses different vocalizations to easily emphasize these emotions.

The animation and cinematography are the most prominent aspects of this film. The water of the ocean and pools is very realistic. When something emerges from the water, droplets trickle down from the object. The reflection of water on different surfaces is life-like and beautiful. Each individual LEGO block is detailed and, when looked at closely, you can even see scratches. The animation of the faces also brings about a lot of the emotion. The lines of the faces move when the character feels different sentiments. For example, when a character is confused or angry, different lines appear and disappear on the face showing sentiments. The cinematography is unique. In each of the battle scenes, the virtual cinematography allows one to view it from many different perspectives. In one scene, the perspective is Garmadon's point of view while, in the next scene we see the civilians' point of view.

The message of this film is that the superpowers that are invisible are sometimes the most powerful. I give this film 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Check out The LEGO Ninjago Movie when it opens in theaters nationwide September 22, 2017.

By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Surprisingly, I found this movie really enjoyable. I say surprisingly because I am not a fan of Ninjago, yet I managed to find it as funny and charming as the previous LEGO Movies.

The movie follows the story of the Green Ninja Lloyd, as he struggles to cope with his father Garmadon, an evil villain. This affects how the citizens of Ninjago see him and how they treat him. After Garmadon takes over Ninjago, the ninjas take a journey to find the ultimate weapon to save Ninjago

Of course, I have to start this review by mentioning the visuals. This movie is stop motion animation made using LEGOs. And aside from a few live action parts, everything is made out of LEGOs. And, it looks amazing. Like The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, this movie looks so good. The city of Ninjago, the subtle Japanese atmosphere, the expressions all look great. Since this movie has a lot of action, it took over four years to make. It is so impressive and I can't imagine what patience it took to create.

Similar to the other LEGO Movies, this film manages to be both hilarious, yet deep and meaningful. The story is all about a kid's life being in influenced by his dad's bad choices, which is a heavy subject. It is handled very seriously and maturely. Kudos to the writers, Dan and Kevin Hageman. They've made an amazing product. The movie has moments where Garmadon and Lloyd just talk about their relationship and their broken family, and it's really well done. The voice actors are also really great. Kumail Nanjiani as Jay is a particular stand out. For some reason, I found his voice very adorable and energetic. Honestly, all the voice actors show a lot of energy and effort.

As I previously mentioned, I don't know much about Ninjago. I was nervous that I wouldn't understand this movie because I don't follow the series. Thankfully, I can say that is not the case. I know almost nothing, yet I easily got the general idea of the story. So, if you're worried about not understanding the story, you're in luck. This movie stands on its own.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Remember, you don't need to like Ninjago to enjoy it. This movie comes out in theaters on September 22, 2017 so, go check it out.

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

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


GREAT YELLOWSTONE THAW: HOW NATURE SURVIVES

GREAT YELLOWSTONE THAW: HOW NATURE SURVIVES
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Yellowstone is home to North America's most iconic wildlife, and every year these animals must survive the Thaw one of the harshest seasonal changes on Earth when temperatures can swing from minus 40 F in winter to almost 100 F in summer. Learn how animals cope with this range, and witness the impact on individual families of wolves, grizzly bears, beavers, and great gray owls.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This three-part BBC Earth production series vividly portrays how various animals cope with the seasonal thaw in Yellowstone Park, an extreme weather transformation that sees temperatures range from minus 40 degrees F. in winter to over 100 degrees F. in summer. The astounding beauty and brutal harshness of nature are well-documented in this impeccably photographed look at the effect of the challenging weather conditions on wildlife in the park, from wolves and bears to beavers and Great Grey owls. Kirk Johnson of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History makes for a genial host as he is joined by fellow scientists and wildlife photographers who demonstrate in the field how they track and monitor the particular animals they specialize in. Johnson is occasionally humorous but not overly so, remaining focused on providing a clear-eyed view of how climate change is threatening the balance of life between predators and prey and affecting the vegetation that provides sustenance for many of the animals. The camera work throughout is impressive - getting inside a beaver's nest as they loll about and observing owlets as they first attempt to fly. Images of animals hunting and eating their prey are present but rarely lingered on and there is very little that would be disturbing to any but the youngest of viewers. Recommended for ages 12 to 18 as well as certified adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Mike Fishman, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 180 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


GADGETGANG IN OUTERSPACE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GADGETGANG IN OUTERSPACE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
VISION FILMS
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A group of kids help five quirky little aliens who crashed into Earth, fix their spaceship, and together they save the universe from danger.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This hilarious animated film teaches so many important morals. I laughed the whole time. The animation is colorful and pleasing to watch. Also, the storyline is interesting and really inspiring.

The whole adventure begins when the Inva's (quirky little green space aliens) spaceship crashes onto planet Earth. When the Gagetgang kids (Gus, Phoebe, Mary Ann, Francesco, Mitsue, Banana and Tank) go to investigate the loud noise they heard, they see the spaceship and the Invas. The Invas tell the Gagetgang that they need help because an evil warlord is holding hostage the Confederation of Planet Leaders and all the planets are in grave danger.

Antony Serlano (Invas) can make his voice high-pitched, which is the perfect sound for an alien. The voice is very strange and fits the characteristics of the Invas. The writer of this story, Ale MacHaddo has interwoven many different morals into the story. I don't usually see films with multiple morals so prominent in the story. It is cool to see them all and be inspired in so many different ways.

The animation is very detailed and colorful. The different kinds of aliens they come up with look awesome! They are all completely different! They each have their own different characteristics and personalities.

My favorite part is when the Gagetgang offers to help the Invas. This is a perfect example of what you should do for someone in need. It warmed my heart to see the Invas so happy to get help from them.

There are multiple messages in this story. The first is about helping others in need. The Gagetgang help the Invas and the entire universe when they are in need. The second message is about no being defined by the category you are given. The Invas are seen by everyone as a weak, unintelligent species. Even when the Invas are put through a lot of persecution, they prove everyone wrong when they save the universe. The last message is that "no matter how small you are, you can still do big things together." The Gagetgang, even though they are so small compared to the universe, get together and save everyone.

This film is really inspirational, colorful and detailed. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 5 to 11. Gagetgang in Outer Space is a wonderful movie! You can check it out now on Digital!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Gadgetgang In Outer Space fascinates me because of its excellent animation. The voice acting is top level and the spectacular direction captures every detail of a space opera. This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser with the kids.

The story is about a spaceship that crashes to Earth and reveals a group of quirky little space aliens on the run for their lives. The GadgetGang kids - Gregory, Phoebe, Francesco, Mitsue, Mary Ann, Banana and Tank soon discover this won't be the same old stuff they are accustomed to. Instead it's an adventure which will heroically test all of their skills as a team. They learn that far away from the galaxy, an evil warlord named Gana Golber has seized control of the Confederation of Planets and now all the whole universe is in danger. Can the GadgetGang stand up to the test, or will all of humanity fall?

Brian Munn, as Gregory, excellently presents his leadership of the team, and relies on his quirky one-liners and street-smart to save the world. Due to this, he is my favorite character. Maisa Silva, as Phoebe, is great in how she shows her love for her brother, Gregory, as well as her adventurous attitude. Marc Thompson, as Francesco, provides a book-smart companion to Gregory. Lisa Adams, as Mitsue, provides exceptional comic relief and gadgets for the team. Alyson Leigh Rosenfield, as Mary Ann, is more concerned about her beauty and appearance as she tags along for the ride. David McDonald, as Gana Golber, is a threat, but his weakness comes beneath his exoskeleton.

The direction by Al McHaddo is splendid. Homage is given to many sci-fi movies, such as Star Wars and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. My favorite scene is the final space battle because there is a mix of spacecraft battles and artillery combat which I found entertaining. The Gadget Gang's banter only heightens the final battle. My only problem with this film is that it is a little too fast with its explanation of key plot points and kids could have trouble following the story line. However, all of the scenes of the movie are filled with humor and action.

The message of the film is about working as a team, because the GadgetGang would not be able to accomplish their purpose without the teamwork from everyone involved. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 80 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.48
Media: DVD


VIETNAM WAR, THE

VIETNAM WAR, THE
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - In an immersive narrative, Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. THE VIETNAM WAR features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides. Ten years in the making, the series brings the war and the chaotic epoch it encompassed viscerally to life. Written by Geoffrey C. Ward, produced by Sarah Botstein, Novick and Burns, it includes rarely seen, digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20thcentury, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and revelatory audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.

The run time of the program is approximately 1080 minutes on 10 discs. There are over 100 minutes of extra bonus footage, including a 45-minute preview program, 2 pieces on contemporary lives of 2 of the participants, and bonus content. The program will also be available for digital download. "The Vietnam War was a decade of agony that took the lives of more than 58,000 Americans," Burns said. "Not since the Civil War have we as a country been so torn apart. There wasn't an American alive then who wasn't affected in some way -- from those who fought and sacrificed in the war, to families of service members and POWs, to those who protested the war in open conflict with their government and fellow citizens. More than 40 years after it ended, we can't forget Vietnam, and we are still arguing about why it went wrong, who was to blame and whether it was all worth it."

THE VIETNAM WAR features new, original music written and recorded by Academy Award-winning composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The film also features new music arranged and performed by Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble. It is the first time Burns and Novick have worked with Reznor and Ross, as well as with Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble. Additional music in the film was composed by David Cieri and Doug Wamble, both of whom are longtime collaborators with Florentine Films.

The series also features more than 120 popular songs that define the era, including tracks from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Simon & Garfunkel, Janis Joplin, Ben E. King, Phil Ochs, Donovan, Johnny Cash, Barry McGuire, Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Otis Redding, Santana, Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone, The Temptations, Booker T. and the M.G.s, Pete Seeger and more.

The film will be accompanied by an outreach and public engagement program, providing opportunities -- facilitated by public television stations -- for communities to participate in a national conversation about what happened during theVietnam War, what went wrong and what lessons are to be learned. In addition, there will be a robust interactive website and an educational initiative designed to engage teachers and students through multiple platforms, including PBS Learning Media.

Viewers are encouraged to join the conversation: #VietnamWarPBS
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I am a huge fan of war films and often associate them with sitting on the couch with my dad and listening to him tell me stories of my grandfather's experience at war. This particular series is among one of the most powerful I have seen. There are many interviews from people that were involved or witnessed the war from various sides of the battle. There are some graphic moments, but nothing too graphic since it is a PBS production. I feel that this is an important series for everyone to watch regardless if you are curious or not. Learning of the horrors of war gives you an understanding and an appreciation to those that fought. Many of the interviews are heartbreaking because, as you can imagine, there is nothing glamorous about war. I feel that the educational aspects of this are so powerful that they will stay with me for a long time. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 999 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 129.99
Media: DVD


GUMBY MOVIE, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GUMBY MOVIE, THE
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Take a magical romp with the world s most popular clay boy in The Gumby Movie. For the first time, you will enjoy this heartwarming adventure, fully re-mastered from its original film rolls. This is the complete movie, with all its scenes intact. This clay-animated masterpiece was written and directed by Gumby Creator Art Clokey, and showcases Gumby, Pokey, Prickle, Goo, the Blockheads, Professor Kapp, and introduces the Clayboys and singing sensation Tara. Gumby rocks out with the Clayboys for a concert benefiting local farmers. But things go awry when Gumby s arch enemies, the Blockheads, dognap his pet pooch, Lowbelly! Bad turns to worse when the Blockheads also kidnap the band...and replace them with clones! The battle between Clayboys and clones is filled with trains and planes, knights and fights, thrills and spills! True to classic Gumby adventures, The Gumby Movie takes viewers in and out of books, to Toyland, Camelot, outer space and beyond! The Gumby Movie Bonus Features include: Photo Gallery and Behind the Scenes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I always love watching anything Gumby related. I remember watching Gumby when I was younger and it was always a blast. It was always quirky and weird, which is something I can really get behind. The movie is a well done flashback to the series and has the same goofy animation and weird storylines. If this is not something that you've grown up with, chances are you might not like this movie as much. It's a hard style to get into if you are not watching it for nostalgia. My children were a little confused when watching this because the animation is so old school. I personally really enjoyed it and I am 26! I recommend it for ages 6 to 12 and give it 5 out of 5 stars, fully admitting that I am a sucker for nostalgia. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.

This Blu-ray release of the original 1995 feature-length film has been re-mastered and restored to its original running time of 90 minutes. The plot follows Gumby and his pals as they thwart the villainous Blockheads, who have created evil robotic clones of Gumby and his friends. The stop-motion clay animation, from the creator of the original TV series, is charming as ever in its stilted nature and the filmmakers utilize bright colors and wild re-shaping of the clay characters to often startling results. Thought not as lovably quirky as the TV show, which ran from 1953 to 1969 and was revived 1982 to 1989, the film should prove catnip to older fans of the iconic green character and entertaining for young viewers (most likely two to ten years of age). There is some pop-culture humor, including a nod to the original Star Wars film, but nothing crude or offensive. The DVD box set comes in a fun green Gumby head-shaped box. Included as an extra is a short film comprised of stills and video from the film's production. I give this 3 out of 5 stars. and recommend it for ages 5 to 12 and over 30.

I am a Gumby fan! I fondly remember watching Gumby and his pals when I was younger and was not disappointed with this movie! It is highly entertaining. It's pretty much like the Gumby I remember with more of a modern twist to it. I especially enjoyed watching Gumby vs. the Bad Robot Gumby and felt myself rooting for Gumby and his pals to win over bad, which back in the day were the blockheads of course! Children ages 7 to 11 will most likely enjoy this and Gumby fans of any age will enjoy it as well. I also like the music in the movie. The soundtrack really adds to the movie. The DVD also has a few surprises such as a photo gallery and behind-the-scenes which I found quite interesting to watch. I give this 5 stars out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is the youngest of the Gumby series and is far from the best. However, even though there are some moments that could be improved on,�Gumby: The Movie�still delivers the timeless entertaining charm that the earlier decades of the Gumby series are so famous for.This film follows the trend of the show by concentrating on Gumby's adventures. There are some light action scenes to keep these adventures exciting as well as a few jokes that the whole family can enjoy.

Gumby: The Movie's plot is about Gumby and his friends attempting to stage a concert. During the concert, two investors in the audience accidentally find out that Gumby's dog (Lowbelly) cries pearls when he listens to their music. They come up with a scheme to steal the dog and make thousands of dollars, but get discovered and Gumby and his friends have to save Lowbelly in one epic and complex adventure.

For the most part, this film really has a lot of great perks. The detail in the stop-motion clay animation really looks spectacular and mostly natural. The plot has lots of fun twists as well as quite a few references (i.e. one fighting scene contains light sabers in a ship that looks like it belongs in�Star Wars) to other series that allows for a good laugh. The background soundtrack by Jerry Gerber fits the tune of the quirky cartoon well and adds a little spice to the movie as a whole. There are a few technical hiccups that can be improved on to make this film perfect. One example is the visible and obvious wires holding up some of the characters. Even though this film was made in 1995, wire removal editing tools have existed since the late 80s. At times, the animation lags quite a bit and could be sped up to make more fluid motions. Nevertheless, none of these little things ruin the watching experience, as�Gumby: The Movie�still is a great film to watch with the family.

There are some filler scenes that don't do much to further the plot nor add any reoccurring elements to the story. Even though they sound bad, they are enjoyable and make it feel like several separate episodes, each with a unique adventure. My favorite scene takes place towards the beginning of the runtime when Pokey looks for Gumby everywhere. On his way, he passes by a slide. At the same time, two of Pokey's friends come out of the slide and run into him. The three turn into a big clay ball and need to go to the hospital to get un-separated. The scene has quite a few made up procedures that are both funny and realistic looking, which adds to the humor. Even though this has no purpose to the story, it still provides a few good laughs and, in general, is a fun mini-story.Gumby: The Movie�can be a family movie but its main purpose is being a kid's movie. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 8 to 18.�I give�Gumby: The Movie�4.5 out of 5 stars because it has a few technical faults here and there, but still really provides a good quality Gumby feature film. By Gerry O. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD


LEAP!

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEAP!       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WEINSTEIN CO, THE
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Paris, 1884. An orphaned girl arrives in Paris from Brittany. F�licie Milliner is 11 and has no money but one big, passionate dream: to become a dancer. With nothing left to lose, F�licie takes a big risk: she 'borrows' a spoiled brats identity and enters the Opera Ballet School. But how long can she be someone else? Mentored by the tough and mysterious cleaner, Odette , F�licie learns that talent is not enough - it takes hard work to be better than her ruthless, conniving fellow students. That and friendship. Felicie's inventive, exhausting and charismatic best friend Victor also has a dream: becoming a famous inventor. Together, they both encourage each other to reach for the stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Leap! is a great film with a big meaning. This film teaches it all - honesty, perseverance and the importance of practice, family, believing in yourself, believing in your dreams and passion. F�licie makes a lot of mistakes during her journey, which set her back, but that doesn't stop her from continuing to push through.

The story begins when F�licie and her best friend, Victor escape from an orphanage. They take a train to Paris so that F�licie can attend a dance school there and Victor can become an inventor. They arrive in Paris without any money. During their journey, they encounter many challenges. As F�licie meets new people, a love conflict arises as well as a conflict with a wealthy lady who is pure evil and wants to crush Felicie's dream.

A wealthy woman Regine (Kate McKinnon) is cruel, rude and arrogant, but a boy with a crush on F�licie protects her from Regine. McKinnon makes Regine sound totally wicked in a bad but great way. The boy, Victor (Natt Wolf) is portrayed as a timid, but an optimistic and caring friend.

The animation in this film is spectacular! It is very detailed and their mouths move with the words they are saying so well the animated characters seem real. The voice acting is spot on. The voices are filled with emotion and an inspiration to the audience, including me.

My favorite part is when F�licie watches a ballerina at the French dance school. She takes just one look at the ballerina's dance and knows she wants to dance and that she can dance. You can really see Felicie's passion for dancing right there. The whole movie is all about passion and the movie will inspire viewers to follow their dreams.

The message of this film is to follow your dreams. It show how, in order to succeed, you have to work very hard, believe in yourself and have passion. F�licie is an exemplary role model.

Leap! is a very inspirational film with a very important lesson and a pleasure to watch. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18. Adults will love this movie as well. I really enjoyed watching this film. Definitely check this awesome movie out when it opens nationwide in theaters August 30, 2017.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Leap!, directed by Eric Summer is a fun filled, adventurous experience! A quick dive into the storyline and action captivated me from the beginning. The animation engrossed me with its beautiful and realistic settings of buildings, streets and skies. The designs of the characters' outfits are unique and exquisite.

The story follows two best friends, F�licie (Elle Fanning) and Victor (Dane DeHaan) who have tremendous dreams. F�licie yearns to be a ballerina and Victor, an inventor. Together they escape their home at an orphanage and arrive in Paris to pursue their ambitions.

Elle Fanning as Felicie's voice communicate sadness when she sniffles, happiness as she squeals with joy and courage with a firm voice. Through Felicie's voice, I connected to her. Dane Dehaan as Victor's voice adds great joy and lightness to the film. The humor in his voice made me laugh out loud along with the audience.

The animation is the highlight of this film. The settings and surroundings are intricately detailed. When F�licie and Victor walk through the streets of Paris, the walls of the different buildings are covered with posters that have been ripped or worn down, the individual bricks or stones that make up the walls and street floors are covered with moss and miniscule cracks which adds to their realistic look. The architecture is angelic. The images of the Grand Opera house does true justice to the actual opera house. The ballet choreographer, Benjamin Millepied, wonderfully creates dance masterpieces. Although animated, I felt as if I was watching F�licie dance in real life. In one scene, two girls dance side by side and gracefully migrate from the stage to the chairs in the audience, to outside the stage. They use multiple areas as their stage and still look skillful and elegant.

My favorite part are the costumes. Designed to be sophisticated, from the ballerina's tutus to the vest of the Director of Opera, they have beautiful flower prints with bright colors and are very visually appealing.

The messages of this film is "never give up on your dreams" and "persevere towards your goals." I give 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It opens nationwide in theaters August 25, 2017 so, check it out.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Leap! is a marvelous movie that is so inspirational. It has a classic plot of a dance movie, with amazing twists that keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more. Leap! has fantastic animation and shows some of the real struggles of being a ballerina. This film shows how hard work pays off and really motivates you to work as hard as the characters in the film. I love how it has clich�s, but still kept me glued and wanting to know more.

The storyline is about an orphan girl, F�licie (Elle Fanning) and her best friend Victor (Dane DeHaan) who escape an orphanage to pursue their dreams. Felicie's dream is to dance and she gets her own chance to pursue that. Along the way, she faces challenges and setbacks that help her learn about her longing to dance.

Something really amazing about this film is that during the group dance scenes, they only show the dancers feet, while they dance on pointe. I love it because of how in sync all the feet are and how realistic the animated ballet shoes are. The one thing I didn't like about the movie is how old some the characters sound compared to their age. For example, F�licie is 11 years old and is voiced by Elle Fanning whose voice sounds much older. In some scenes, Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen) who is much older than F�licie sounds younger than her. But, the animation is so beautifully unique and unlike anything I've seen in any other movie. My favorite scene is when Victor (Dane DeHaan) and Rudy (Tamir Kapelian) fight over F�licie and it turns into a very funny slap fight. My favorite character is Odette because she is the one who teaches F�licie how to dance and always believes in her no matter what happens.

I think there are two messages in this film. The first is to follow your dreams because, if you can dream it, you can do it (shout out to Walt on this one). The second message is that practice makes perfect. This is what F�licie has to do in order to achieve her dream. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars because it is such a marvelous movie that I loved watching. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 because even my 17-year-old brother enjoyed it! You can find this film in a theatre near you on August 25.

Reviewed by Dariana A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


FLOWER'S EYES, A

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FLOWER'S EYES, A
XILANG PRODUCTIONS
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Eight students of different ethnic background are learning Mandarin at a tuition class. They are behind in their Chinese schoolwork but are learning happily with their gentle, caring tuition teacher in a colorful natural environment. A beautiful and harmonious bond awakens a pure heart.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A Flower's Eyes is a calming short film perfect for a youth and family audience. The songs are melodious, lovable and made me smile. The story follows students learning Chinese with a warm-hearted teacher who loves her students dearly. The children are adorable and add an innocence that younger audiences will enjoy. In the beginning, the camera's point of view is from the eye of a flower that is watching the children on their way to class. Once in class, the camera stays outside the classroom, so viewers cannot see inside but can hear the laughter and voices of the children. The bond between the sweet children and their teacher is very appealing, as are the visuals of the Malaysian nature and wildlife. I also enjoyed the songs. There are some scenes that don't seem to have a purpose, but the ambience of the film emanates a peaceful and loving feeling. The film flows well most of the time, however some transitions are confusing. For example, there is a scene where the teacher and her son are sitting together and then it switches to showing the teacher teaching her students a song about a snowman. There is a sudden change in topic that doesn't make sense. However, it is still very watchable. The film uses vocabulary and concepts suitable to its audience most of the time, although there is a scene where the teacher mentions menstruating, which I think is unsuitable for younger kids. The visual appeal and soundtrack are what stand out to me most. There are multiple nature shots. These are my favorite and they make it interesting and unique. For example, during the first song, we see a forest in the rain. The close-ups of the leaves show beads of water and small insects crawling around them. The two songs, "The Eyes of a Flower" and "Why is the Snowman Missing" are delightful and suitable for younger kids. The sound quality is consistent and clear throughout the film. The message of the film is that, when you look at the world through a flower's eyes, it is extraordinarily beautiful. I recommend this film for ages 5 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this film for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival because I believe little children will enjoy the songs, the nature visuals and the bright colors. Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 14 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PUP STAR: BETTER 2GETHER

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PUP STAR: BETTER 2GETHER       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
AIR BUD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4 - 12
Topic - Family
Description - The action-packed new season of the franchise continues with the story of Tiny, an adorable Yorkie pup who, after winning the 'Pup Star' TV singing competition, is suddenly launched into an adventure when she's replaced by a street Yorkie, Scrappy, and the two swap lives in a dog-filled, fish-out-of-water tale that ultimately demonstrates life truly is 'better together.'
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have to admit that I liked this so much more than I thought I would. The dogs are absolutely adorable and they storyline, while a bit trite, is quite suitable for its intended audience. The humans are all pretty stereotyped and goofy but in a good way. This is one of those films that I definitely recommend for kids, especially dog lovers. My hat is off to the animators for making the dogs appear to be speaking. They way their mouths move is pretty credible. I would definitely take my granddaughter to this! I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Air Bud Entertainment has done it again and created a fun-filled family film with this follow up sequel to Pup Star. I like the movie because the story has a fun adventure and also introduces lots of new characters including the disco dog Shampoo, the perfect pal P.U.P. (Mackenzie Sol) and the "cantankerous" Kitty Purry (Madison Pettis).

The story begins when Roland (Jed Rees) and Bark (George Newbern) kidnap Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher); or should I say dognap. Scrappy (Kaitlyn Maher) is put in Tiny's place for the Pup Star finals because Bark wants revenge on Tiny. My favorite scene is Shampoo's disco party! It is hilarious because it is quite unusual to see dogs dancing. Wow! He slides all around and spins on the ground like fidget spinner. My next favorite scene is in Kitty Purry's cat alley. When Roland enters, his clothes are in perfect condition, but when he comes out, his entire outfit is in shreds.

My favorite characters are Tiny, Scrappy and Roland. Tiny is so loveable and a great singer. Scrappy is an awesome rapper with lots of attitude. Roland thinks he is pretty smart but he's really like a dodo bird. It's so funny that in almost every scene something bad happens to him which made me laugh like a howling husky.

I absolutely love the music because it includes rap, pop, country, upbeat and sad songs that draws you in and touches your heart. Kaitlyn Mayer has an amazing and versatile voice. She is able to not only sing pop but rap like nobody's business. I like the special effects because they make the talking dogs and facial expressions look so real and, by the end of the movie, I believed that dogs can really talk and sing. Can't they?

I don't want to give away the ending, but you'll most likely have tears in your eyes. The heartfelt messages of the film are about sticking together and that families are better together. I recommend this to ages 3 to 13. I rate this film 5 out of 5 Pup Stars. I highly encourage you to see this film! It is available on VOD August 29, 2017 so go check it out.

By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This wonderful, animated film is one of my all-time favorites. Firstly, it's about dogs. Secondly, any kind of dog you can imagine is in this film, so you are sure to love at least one. If you don't love dogs as much as I do, that's okay, because there are plenty of cats to go around as well.

After Tiny, a Yorkshire terrier, wins the Pup Star finale, her fame begins to flourish. Having multiple interviews and traveling around the country, she's forced to remain astray from her family. Scrappy, an identical street Yorkshire terrier, switches lives with Tiny and their families and friends are completely unaware. Tiny and Scrappy encounter multiple adventures and learn a valuable life lesson: life is better together.

Kaitlyn Maher, who voices both Tiny and Scrappy, successfully illustrates the differences between the two, through Scrappy's low-pitched raps and Tiny's intense singing voice. During the film, there are also times where you aren't able to tell the difference. Mackenzie Moss, who plays Tiny's owner Lou, is the perfect dog owner. She loves Tiny more than anything in the world and, even though she's actually loving Scrappy for a majority of the film, her heart is always with Tiny. You can see it in her smile when it's Tiny's birthday. The entire house is decorated. There is a cake - what more could you ask for?

The set is incredible! It looks so similar to the set of America's Got Talent. The stage is filled with colorful lights, incredible singers and there's even a real audience. It feels as if you're a part of the show. My favorite part is when Tiny goes on "Jimmy Kibble Live" and competes with a super-fan. They play a game called "Who Knows Tiny Best?" Jimmy Kimmel Live is one of my favorite talk shows, so it is hilarious to see an imitation of it.

The message of the film is concise, yet extremely powerful: life is better when you're together. No matter who you may be with, as long as you have a support system, there is nothing that can tear you down. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 6 to18. Adults will love it too. You're never too young or old to love an animal. I fell in love with the first Pup Star film and seeing the second one made my heart melt. If you love animals as much as I do, this is undoubtedly the film for you. Catch this film on VOD August 29, 2017. I can't wait to see Pup Star 3.

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

This film is a perfectly cute kid and family furry-friendly movie. Sorry, there are lots of puns in this film. It is clearly geared to younger kids, but at least I can say there is a very clear effort to make this film watchable for older siblings and even parents.

The story centers around a celebrity pooch named Tiny and a streetwise dog named Scrappy who are forced to switch places after Tiny is dog-napped. Scrappy is coerced to purposely lose The Pup Stars Final competition pretending to be Tiny.

First, I want to acknowledge the really good editing in this movie. Since most of the characters are dogs, you must make their lip movements and actions look convincing. And I must admit, the lip movements and actions actually do look real. That must have taken a lot of time. Kudos to the film's editor, Jason Dale. All the dogs in the film are likable and you just want to cuddle up with Tiny and Scrappy.

This film has some flaws in terms of its story. First, the humans are incredibly oblivious and bumbling. When Scrappy meets Tiny's family, she does a terrible job hiding that she isn't Tiny, yet they completely buy it. No one seems to realize Tiny and Scrappy have switched places. All the human characters are either self-absorbed or really incompetent. I also have an issue with how predictable the storyline is. I knew the big reveal within the first few minutes of the film. Not only that, this type of story has been done before. This movie is pretty much Parent Trap, but with dogs and an American Idol twist.

I have to say that the music is surprisingly really good. The song Tiny sings, "Is This For Real?" is pretty catchy and I even found it stuck in my head after the movie was over. The singing overall is also great. I admit, the movie's soundtrack is kind of a guilty pleasure for me.

Before the movie starts, it is revealed that they are working on Pup Stars 3 and I am curious how many movies they can make, especially since the first one only came out last year and they go straight to VOD. I wonder what the plot will be for the next movie and hope they don't depict the humans as totally incompetent next time.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10, as this is a solid family film. It will be released on VOD on August 29, 2017 so, check it out.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Pup Star: Better 2Gether, the sequel to Pup Star, is an amazing original film that really hits the heart. The storyline is unique and the ending is so adorable. The film teaches the important messages of honesty and owning up to your mistakes. The storyline begins when Scrappy gets put up to impersonate Tiny. Bark instructs Scrappy to lose the Pup Star Competition as Tiny so that he can win. Bark kidnaps Tiny and tries to keep him contained. Eventually he escapes and tries to find his owner and reveal the truth.

Kaitlyn Maher voices two completely different characters and personalities well. She voices Tiny's sweet and affectionate personality and also voices Scrappy's rough, snarky personality. I also love the voice acting of Steve Valentine as Simon Growl. It is a really good Simon Cowell impression. At first, I thought it was actually Simon Cowell voicing his dog counterpart.

The animation that makes the dogs dance and talk looks so real. It is so cool to see the dogs break-dancing at the disco party. It is also amazing to see the dogs singing and talking. They sound beautiful and angelic.

My favorite character is Scrappy, because she is so courageous and has such a strong personality, even if she seems harsh. She is a great example of "don't judge a book by its cover." I don't want to give any spoilers, but she is very confident and knows what's right.

The message of this film is to have confidence in yourself and do what's right. Tiny has confidence that she can find her owner. She doesn't give up and that helps her greatly. Scrappy knows what's right and she becomes successful and happy at the end. These things benefit both dogs and the film teaches that it will benefit you as well. They are very important lessons that will help you throughout your life.

This film is very inspirational and super-cute. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 3 to 18. Who doesn't love puppies? Definitely check this film out when it comes out on VOD August 29, 2017.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


NUT JOB 2, THE: NUTTY BY NATURE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NUT JOB 2, THE: NUTTY BY NATURE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
OPEN ROAD PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Surly the squirrel and his animal friends find out that the corrupt mayor of Oakton plans to bulldoze their beloved Liberty Park to make way for an amusement park. Hoping to save the place they call home, Surly, Andie, Buddy and the rest of the gang join forces with Mr. Feng, a seemingly cute and innocent mouse who happens to be a fierce master of kung fu.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Nut Job 2 is wonderful! With some movies, the sequel is never as good as the original, but with this movie, they are both awesome films. There is never a boring part or unnecessary scene. It keeps you wanting more and gets you really attached about the characters' lives. The background music really helps keep the story going and makes the chase scenes more suspenseful since there are no silent moments.

In the film, an accident happens and all the animals who are eating at the nut shop are forced to move back to the park. Unfortunately, Mayor Muldoon (Bobby Moynihan) has some nefarious plans to destroy the park. So, Surly (Will Arnett) and his friends have to find a way to work together to save the park.

One of the things I care for in both of The Nut Job films is the animation. I love how you can see every single hair on all the animals and how each one is different. Another thing that I love about this film is the music. That, you can thank Heitor Pereira for. The music goes with the lines and scenes so well, that it truly enhances the story. My favorite character is Buddy because, even though he never talks, he is always there for Surly and it's funny to see Buddy's expressions that make it seem as if he's talking. I also really like the backstory showing Surly and Buddy's friendship. Another thing I really like is Mr. Feng's (Jackie Chan) tail because it makes him more intimidating, which adds to his character. My favorite scene is when Andie (Katherine Heigl) starts singing about how the park is their home and they make a joke about how "no one can break into a spontaneous song." Go watch it and you'll see!

The two messages in this film are to work together, which this movie is all about, and that nothing comes easy. This message comes into place when the animals have to move back to the park and scrounge for food. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars because of the extraordinary animation, plot and music. I recommend this film for ages 5 to 14 and parents and older siblings will enjoy it too. You can find this film theaters nationwide on August 11, 2017.

By Dariana A., KIDS FIRST Film Critics, age 11

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TRIP TO SPAIN, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on a six-part episodic road trip through Spain, sampling the restaurants, eateries, and sights along the way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed The Trip to Spain for its humor, beautiful countryside scenery, exquisite food and wine and meals shared by two male friends. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon shine as themselves on a romp through Spain for an adventurous week together.

They are asked to go on a newspaper photo shoot to portray Don Quixote and Sancho Panza and we travel with them through Spain in both fun times and some serious professional and family moments.

I love the road trip scenes across different parts of Spain and laughed heartily as the two men tried to outdo each other with comedic imitations of famous actors such as Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro. My favorite scene is Steve Coogan's inimitable portrayal of Mick Jagger singing. He had his voice and hand motions down to a tee. I also loved their singing duet while driving along the road of an old song of Noel Harrison's "Windows of Your Mind." Baby boomers will appreciate the joke about who Noel's father is and what song his father sang.

In opposition to the hilarity of most of the film, we see Steve Coogan dealing with some serious concerns regarding a script he has written and wondering why it has not been green-lit yet. He also learns that his agent has left the agency and he's been handed over to his agent's assistant and is unhappy about that. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Steve, his ex-agent has contacted Rob, telling him that he is the next James Cordon, and should be hosting an awards show and would like to represent him.

While on the road, Steve has some somber phone conversations with his son and Rob enjoys fun Skyped conversations with his wife and kids. The ending of the amigos' trip and Steve's time alone, provide viewers with an interesting speculative ending. This film is the third in a trilogy directed by Michael Winterbottom. Seeing this one has enticed me to seek out the first two films, The Trip and The Trip to Italy.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. It is playing at select theaters nationwide so, go check it out.

By Terry Solowey, KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I surprised myself by actually enjoying this film. It is entertaining and light-hearted. The writer/director, Michael Winterbottom leaves the audience with an ending that encourages some interesting discussion as well as making me want to go grab a late night snack!

The Trip to Spain is a deadpan comedy about two friends, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing themselves, traveling across Spain, writing about food while they take in culture and talk about life. This is the third in a series of "trip" films and aired at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. What I find interesting is Michael Winterbottom never actually wrote a script. It is more of an outline explaining where each scene takes place, who is in it and what subjects will be discussed. Most of the lines are improvised by the actors.

The Trip to Spain is shot on location which allows for some magnificent cinematography. There are numerous breathtaking views from the many restaurants they visit. One thing I found annoying was the abrupt cuts the camera takes to show locals eating or sitting around. I found it unnecessary and actually distracting from the plot.

I enjoy dry, deadpan humor. I also think the many impressions Steve and Rob do throughout the film are fun to watch. Obviously I cannot relate when they make references to their 50-year-old selves, but I often laughed at the situational humor.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Because of the content and dry humor, I think older teens and adults will appreciate it most. It is playing in theaters now so, go check it out.

By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MENASHE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Deep in the heart of New York's notoriously secretive Hasidic Jewish community, Menashe, a good-hearted but somewhat hapless grocery store clerk, struggles against tradition to keep custody of his only son after his wife passes away.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Menashe is an authentic, emotional masterpiece telling the story of a kind, hapless, Hasidic grocery store clerk who battles to keep his family together after his wife dies. Directed by Joshua Z. Weinstein and starring Menashe Lustig, the film was shot clandestinely because of the beliefs of the Orthodox Jewish sect. I love this film because it took willpower to make. You can't say that about many films nowadays.

Menashe is about a kindhearted, but miserable grocery store employee that must remarry in order to care for his only son. It is against the Hasidic beliefs that a child be taken care of without a mother in the home. While Menashe ponders his situation, his well-off brother-in-law is given custody of Rieven by their Rabbi. Menashe is frustrated by this and is only able to get back custody of his son for a week, while he looks for a new wife. It doesn't seem that he really wants to get remarried, because when he goes on one date he isn't particularly friendly.

Unlike the rest of his family and friends, Menashe is more at ease with the secular society surrounding them in Brooklyn. He dresses more casually, without the requisite black hat and coat. While he takes his religion seriously, he wants to embrace life and freedom, more than the sect allows. My favorite part of this film is when Menashe drinks malt liquor with the Hispanic employees after his late night shift. They talk about life and try to get Menashe back on track.

One of the attributes of this film is the way it educates you about the culture of ultra Orthodox Judaism. The other very impressive fact is that it is the first film in 70 years to be filmed in Yiddish. Most of the film is subtitled for those who don't speak Yiddish. Both Menashe Lustig and young Ruben Niborski convey the closeness they have between father and son. One downside of the film is that it is low budget, which is reflected in its grainy resolution. Some of that could also be due to the fact that it was shot in secret.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for its authenticity and emotional punch. I recommend it for ages 13 through 18. The film is in limited release throughout the country at art house cinemas.

By Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

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


RESILIENT HEART, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
RESILIENT HEART, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WWW
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The Resilient Heart explores the keys to preventing heart disease on a worldwide scale. At the film's core is the story of Dr. Valent�n Fuster, a world-renowned cardiovascular scientist, and Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Through his exploration of the heart at the molecular level, Dr. Fuster discovers that the real answer to defeating chronic disease lies in a much larger place: early education. By highlighting scientific contributions ranging from basic science to translational research, the film addresses the improvement of clinical and surgical care efforts to promote lifestyles that prevent or slow the progression of heart disease. Ultimately, it shows how the intersection of science, medicine, research, education and compassion bring about changes that are not only important but also replicable by physicians and patients throughout the world . The film follows Dr. Fuster and his team as they travel to Eldoret (Kenya), Bogota and more. If you or someone you know has ever been touched by a heart disease, you really must see this film. Directed by Susan Froemke. Cast: Dr. Valentin Fuster
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This inspirational film kept me glued to the edge of my seat. I didn't know that heart disease is the number one killer in society today. It fascinates me that there are incredible individuals in this world such as Dr. Valentin Fuster who want to make a difference in the lives of others, especially with a disease that is so common.

In this documentary promoting worldwide heart health, we see cardiologist Valentin Fuster working with doctors around the globe to help individuals realize that behavior is the key to combating heart disease. Traveling to countries like Kenya, Colombia and Grenada, Fuster works with both children and adults to help facilitate healthy behavior, through group therapy sessions, classroom instruction and community volunteering.

Valentin Fuster has the biggest heart. He flies to other countries once a week to help people. He gets up at 4:30 every morning, works 7 days a week and works with kids for 15 years to help them understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. I wish I could meet him, because I would love to thank him for all of the incredible work he has done for kids and adults around the world.

I really admire that the film is not based in a single geographical location. It is fascinating to see different cultures and compare them, and see how heart disease affects poor countries, which most people are not aware of. The fact that I was able to see how different areas of the world need so much help from future generations motivates me to follow in Fuster's footsteps - first starting in my own community, then making my impact even bigger.

My favorite part of this film is when Dr. Fuster talks about his motivation and says that if he died tomorrow, he would be okay with it, because he has helped so many people. This is rewarding to him.

The message of this film is that we have the power to keep our hearts healthy. You can start focusing on heart health at any age and, although we can't necessarily cure heart disease, we can prevent it by exercising, eating right and avoiding incredible amounts of stress. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 12 to 18. Adults would love it too. No age is too young to begin taking care of your heart. You can watch this film on Amazon now! This is the documentary of a lifetime.

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

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


LUCKY (2017)

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LUCKY (2017)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A 90-year-old atheist has outlived and out-smoked his contemporaries, and as he comes to terms with his own mortality, he searches for ever-elusive enlightenment. Directed by John Carroll Lynch; Starring Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This paradoxical film definitely altered my perspective on daily life. Life is meant to be a beautiful thing, but not in this case. Elaborating on loneliness and the mundane events in everyday life, you will surely rethink what it means to be alive.

Lucky is a 90-year-old atheist, who ironically, isn't so lucky. Every day, Lucky drinks his glass of milk, does yoga stretches, has a cup of coffee, goes to the local diner and ends his day walking back home from the store with a package of cigarettes. His health is impeccable, but he does not seem to be happy. In reality, he is afraid of living and consistently talks about death. Join Lucky on his journey of trying to attain enlightenment and see if he can live the life he truly desires.

Harry Dean Stanton plays the role of Lucky and successfully portrays an angry, independent old man. Stanton manages to hold a depressed facial expression for the majority of the film. All the town residents try to help him. Yvonne Huff plays Loretta, the waitress at the local diner who empathizes with Lucky the most and drives to his house to check up on him once day. Originally, Lucky is reluctant, but Loretta goes into his house and they watch TV together. Lucky tells her that he's scared of life and they both share a hug before she heads over to the diner for her shift.

The set is incredible. The film is set in a deserted town, so the characters' relationships are very strong. David Lynch, who plays Howard, has a tortoise named President Roosevelt and he is tremendous. I didn't know that tortoises could live for 200 years. It's great to see an animal become so prominent to the residents of the town. My favorite part is when Howard says his tortoise has escaped. Tortoises travel very slowly, so his friends make fun of him by asking if Howard went to Europe in the time being. Seeing this scene made me want to have my own pet tortoise.

The message of this film is to live life however you desire. Life is short, so make sure to make the most of it, even if it means doing the same thing over and over again. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 16 to 18, since there is drinking, drugs and foul language. Catch this film in theaters September 29, 2017 to find out what it means to be "Lucky."

By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

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


DRAIN RANGERS: EPISODE 4

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DRAIN RANGERS: EPISODE 4
FAITH HANEY
Series: SHORT FILM, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Too much stormwater can be a big problem! This educational stop-motion animation series illustrates the causes of - and solutions to - dirty stormwater runoff. Join the Drain Rangers as they discover ways we can all help keep our lakes, rivers and streams clean.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is amazing and I recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival in the Environment Short Film category. Children will enjoy it because it has unique and interesting animation and a wonderful message about problems children should find interesting. The stop motion animation is really well done. The costumes and sets are also quite good. I love the sound track, which makes the animation spring to life. All the production values are high enough to meet big screen standards. The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for school aged children. The main character is a young child. The only potential unappealing factor is the word engineering in the title. Unless, you are a nerd like me, you might take a look at the title and assume the film is going to be boring. The word stormwater in the title is appealing, I believe. When I saw it, I wondered exactly what storm water. I believe the film encourages kids to help protect the environment and it belongs in a youth and family film festival. I recommend it for ages 5 to 12 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Jolleen M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! jurors.
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MELTDOWN
ZOE COHEN
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 13-18
Topic - Family
Description - In this comedic thriller, two guys try to escape from a basement by deciphering hidden clues. Tension heightens when the clues become more and more personal.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This live action student film captures your attention from the get go and holds it through the ending with a big twist. It's well produced with excellent video and audio quality, including sound effects which enhance the thriller aspect of it. It starts out with two teen boys wandering in the dark, not knowing where they are. They find a light switch and then clues about their whereabouts. One boy's face is printed on the head of a pi�ata of sorts and then there's a knocking at the door. Things get weird until, they get weirder. I definitely recommend this for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for ages 13 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comment
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DUNKIRK

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DUNKIRK       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 26- June04, 1940, during Battle of France in World War II. Samantha M. comments, "This unique film altered my perspective on daily life. It fascinates me how history has shaped our world. Viewing this film made me appreciate the security that we have in our country today." Michelle C. adds, "Dunkirk offers the most intense, beach set cinematic experience since the iconic film Jaws. In this new adaptation of such a strong battle, Christopher Nolan's talent as director and writer shines through, creating a visual masterpiece that leaves you mesmerized."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dunkirk offers the most intense, beach set cinematic experience since the iconic film Jaws. In this new adaptation of such a strong battle, Christopher Nolan's talent as director and writer shines through, creating a visual masterpiece that leaves you mesmerized. The battle of Dunkirk was a short one, May 26 to June 4, 1940. Despite its minimal timeframe, it was deadly. WWII Allied soldiers were hiding, surrounded on all sides by the German Army and had to be evacuated on the beaches of Dunkirk, by way of an operation famously known as Operation Dynamo.

On the ground, British Army Privates Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) and Alex (Harry Styles) are two of the men desperately fighting and struggling to remain alive and safely evacuate the beach, by whatever means available. Across the ocean, local sailors Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) and his son Peter (Toms Carney) had been recruited by the Navy to help with the evacuation. From yet another perspective, members of the Royal Air Force including Farrier (Tom Hardy) attempt to shoot down the German bombers, in order to help the stranded troops evacuate the beach and ocean safely. Let's talk about the production of the film. The cinematography, as expected from talented director and writer Christopher Nolan, is groundbreaking.

Congratulations to Hoyt van Hoyterman for creating a visual masterpiece. Everything looks incredibly realistic and breathtaking, keeping you on your toes throughout the film. The scene that is the most memorable to me, is when one of the Air Force pilots soar through the sunset sky as the troops cheer in victory. I assure you that it will give you goosebumps and make you teary-eyed. The sound effects and the music by Hans Zimmer make the movie that much more tangible. The bombing begins from the very start of the film, preparing you for an emotional rollercoaster. They are so loud that it sounds as if they're coming from the back of the theater. If you listen closely, there's a ticking clock throughout the entire film, (minus the ending, which I will keep under wraps for you to discover) hidden within each song, creating increased tension and suspense. By the end of the film, I was already down to the nub of my fingertips, so prepare to be antsy! Harry Styles' performance is quite impressive, particularly since he is a known as a singer, not an actor. It is refreshing to see his excellent performance her, as he is the one with the most lines and delivers them eloquently, equal to an experienced actor. Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy also delivered remarkable performances. Dunkirk relies heavily on emotions since it barely has any dialogue, so it is important to have the story delivered by the visuals and the acting, which they achieved flawlessly. Dunkirk opens in theaters nationwide on July 21, 2017. It's 107 minutes long and is Rated PG-13 for intense war experiences and some language. Because of the stunning cinematography and storyline, I rate Dunkirk 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Go check it out, whether you are a history buff or not, this film will remind you how history affects us.

By Michelle C. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This unique film altered my perspective on daily life. It fascinates me how history has shaped our world. Viewing this film made me appreciate the security that we have in our country today. Based on the historical account of World War II, Dunkirk highlights the tension within the British Empire, France and Belgium, as the German army begins to make brutal attacks. In hopes of keeping Dunkirk intact, the allied soldiers are evacuated by boats and must fight for their lives at sea.

Fionn Whitehead plays the lead British soldier, Tommy, and his acting is incredible! He doesn't have many lines, which makes his acting stand out. You can empathize with Tommy just by looking into his eyes and see the pain he's experiencing as he is fighting for his life. Harry Styles plays Alex, another one of the British soldiers. Styles doesn't have many lines either, since Dunkirk heavily emphasizes war battle scenes rather than dialogue. When Alex does speak, his words are powerful. In one of the scenes, he tries to convince the other soldiers that Gibson (Aneurin Barnard) is a German spy.

Alex's anger is discernible. You can see how long he has been hiding his emotions and how much the war is taking a toll on him. Dunkirk is set on the beaches of Northern France. The views are breathtaking, but it is depressing to see such a beautiful place being bombed. However, it does motivate the soldiers to protect their country, which is why the director, Christopher Nolan, emphasizes the soldiers' surroundings. My favorite part of the film is when the soldiers are being fed bread with raspberry jam. They look incredibly happy to be eating after days of stress. This scene makes me appreciate how much I have. All I want to do is help these soldiers, get them to safety and thank them for all their hard work. The message is to never give up and to recognize the impact World War II made on our country. Hard work pays off. We should never forget our fallen soldiers and appreciate how they changed our lives and countries for the better. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.

Since there is little dialogue, it can be confusing at times, but it is unique. I recommend it to ages 16 to18, and adults will enjoy it too. There are many fatalities, gunshots and dead bodies, so it is not particularly for little kids. It depends on your tolerance level. Check out this film in theaters nationwide when it opens on July 21, 2017. You won't want to miss it.

By Samantha M. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

This movie is very timely, considering Brexit, in its subject matter of national British pride. Director Christopher Nolan reaches back to one of England's greatest points of pride before the U.S.A.'s entry into the war, namely, the against-the-odds evacuation from the town of Dunkirk, France to preserve 400,000 British troops. This movie is Nolan's love letter to England and the men and women who gave their lives to guard and protect her. Back in England, one representative patriot is a duty-bound father, played by Mark Rylance, whose boat, like many other boats in England, is requisitioned by the Royal Navy evacuate the stranded in Dunkirk. His story connects with that of two RAF pilots sent on a mission to protect the skies while the naval operation is undertaken. The only drawback of the film is that none of the characters is fleshed out enough to make the audience connect with them on a more emotional level. But this is, after all, war. Nolan's realistic account is both a visual and auditory masterpiece. The scenery is magnificent. I have never seen a movie in which there are so many scenes without dialogue. One of the most remarkable sequences is the aerial flight sequence. I actually felt as if I was flying! IMAX adds to the already impressive immersive quality of the movie. I recommend this film for ages 15 to 18 because it gets a bit intense. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it tells the incredible true story about how all of England came together to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of young soldiers. By the way, teenage girls will agree with me that Harry Styles isn't too shabby. This is s his first movie and his realistic acting is truly amazing. This film opens in theaters nationwide Friday, July 21, 2017 so, go check it out. By Lucia F. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

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


DOCTOR

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DOCTOR
YAVUZ UCER
Series: FOREIGN STUDENT DOCUMENTARY, AGES 13-18
Topic - Family
Description - Turkoman Besir and his family forced to flee to T�rkiye from Syria because of their village was bombed in the civil war of Syria. Besir's dream because the civil war was being a doctor and helping people, but after , he Is just smiling and not answering to the question "What's your dream?". The family which fell apart and living different cities because of the T�rkiye's living conditions, trying to continue their lifes. Besir have to work, away his mother and without see her. Then he started to mix trashes and collect waste papers and cardboards.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This student short reveals a story about a young boy whose life has been thrown into turmoil thanks to the civil war in Syria. It is well told and brings home the impact this war has on human beings. For Americans who live so far away, it is a lesson with great impact. What if this happened to you? What would you do? Recommend for KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals for ages 13 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DOGS OUT

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DOGS OUT
TONY PAPA
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A man changes the outlook of a small town by convincing everyone to push their dogs out
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Very enjoyable, especially for dog lovers. This student short has an interesting concept and subtle political side. It features many adorable dogs and teaches a well-needed message about finding the root to a problem. It has a nonlinear story line, which works. There is no resolve. Instead, there is a comedic ending that leaves it up to the viewer to decide. There is one foul word. All the camera work is well done, especially the drone shots. The sets also are quite believable, visually appealing and the radio station scenes are particularly well done. There is nothing that screams cinematic about this, but it will translate to a big screen just fine. It has enough cute dogs and relevant commentary to be compelling. Its stance on political issues is relevant in today's culture. Using dogs as a euphemism works perfectly. Overall, it is an enjoyable film that I recommend for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals for ages 10 to 18 and up. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Keefer B and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


YOU GOT A PROBLEM...

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
YOU GOT A PROBLEM...
CHARLES MANDRACCHIA
Series: EPISODICS
Topic - Family
Description - Uncle Louie and his Italian-American Paisanos solve a problem that the Pizza Man is having with a bunch of kids from a Brooklyn neighborhood. You got a problem, no problem...just call uncle Louie. He'll take care of it! No Problem!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Cleverly constructed. I enjoyed the characters and the animation. Quite a different approach to teaching fractions. Not sure how many of the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival partners will incorporate this into their programming but, I will definitely recommend it. It's off kilter, has a different spin on the mafia and their impact on society. I rate this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 14. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


THE EMOJI MOVIE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE EMOJI MOVIE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - The Emoji Movie - Exhilarating Storyline, Wonderful Cast, Colorful Animation and More
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see kid comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Emoji Movie is a kid-friendly fun and exciting film for people of all ages to enjoy and connect with. I love how the world of emojis in smartphone relates to the human world throughout the film. It gives the audience a way to identify with the characters and the plot. Families will definitely enjoy this amusing motion film and may even learn from it.

Alex's (Jake T Austin) smartphone is home to all of the emojis. Each has its own facial expression except for Gene (TJ Miller). Gene struggles with being an emoji with multiple expressions and is determined to become normal like all of the other emojis. Gene asks for help from his new best friends, Hi-5 (James Corden) and Jailbreak (Anna Faris), a popular code breaker. During their epic adventure, the three face great danger and conflict with other characters. Join them on their experience.

I enjoyed every aspect of this film, but my favorite scene is when Gene realizes his uniqueness from the other emojis. Alex is having phone troubles and is on the verge of getting it fixed, which means the end for all things emojis. Gene steps in to make sure that doesn't happen, which is a perk since he recognizes his worth. This scene sends a powerful message for kids to learn about liking themselves and recognizing their importance in the world.The overall message of the film is to learn to accept who you are, no matter what others think of you. In the beginning, Gene has trouble figuring out who he is and why he isn't like the rest. That leads him to wanting to be normal. Fortunately, Gene later realizes who he is, with a little help from his friends, and finally accepts himself. Kids and even adults can learn a lesson from this and apply it to their lives by building up their own self confidence.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18. There are scenes that tweens and teens can enjoy, but it also contains some scenes are suitable for 5 to 13 year olds. Adults will most likely enjoy this as well. It really is a film that the whole family will get a kick out of.

I rate The Emoji Movie 4 out of 5 because of its exhilarating storyline, wonderful cast, colorful animation and overall message. The Emoji Movie opens on July 28th, 2017 so, be sure to check it out so you can laugh along with the characters and enjoy it as much as I did.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


BEGGARS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BEGGARS
RAVINDER DHAKA TELEFILMS
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - Desire to live with Self esteem and pride awakes in his heart. When thinking of a person starts changing that thought affected his society as well . Then, along with the man he seems to change the society. In our film "Beggars" a boy has changed the attitude of his beggars society .He taught them and People of his age to live with dignity and pride.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This fictionalized film follows the life story of a young Indian boy trying to get food to eat. Although the characters are made up, the story is a true one about life for boys such as these who live in poverty. The lesson learned by the younger boy is to do something useful for others and get paid rather than simply beg. It's a life changing moment for the younger boy who thrives under the tutelage of the older one and is no longer starving. I recommend this film for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival because it has a great lesson about working hard rather than beg. The scenes are very realistic as they show the life of a street beggar. We see how a stranger helps the young beggar to understand that you need to serve others in order to earn food or money legitimately. The movie starts out sad when we see the beggar boy as very hungry and no one will give him food. Later, he is saved by another boy who shows him how to work hard at small jobs to earn money or food. The most appealing part about the film is the moral of the story. I think children will relate to it because the primary characters are children. The movie flows well. The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for its intended age. The sound, camerawork, sets and locations are all done well and appropriate to the story. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CONNECTED: THE FUTURE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CONNECTED: THE FUTURE
ANGELA VAULT
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Two years ago, Alexa Payesko created 'Connected', a documentary about four adorable seven and eight year-old girls who discuss what technology means in their lives. The charming, funny, future rock stars, artists, and teachers explain how iPhones, iPads, and LeapPads inform and dominate their lives. Now, two years later, and two years older, Alexa went back to find how their views on technology have changed. 'Connected: The Future' looks at each girl to see if they are really connected with their technology. They all love their selfies, but as one girl noted in 'Connected', "too much technology isn't good for the brain." Is that how they still feel?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see kid comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Connected: The Future is a documentary film about four ten year old girls who compare how technology in their lives in present time versus when they were eight years old. Something that I found interesting, and many viewers will too, was the fact that eight year olds now text and Face Time on their cell phones. When I was eight, I had an iPod that I couldn't text on. I was one of the more fortunate people, as a lot of my friends didn't even have iPods. It is crazy to see how the times have changed. Another thing that many people will find interesting is the fact that the young girls noticed how often their mothers went onto technology and how obsessed they are. My only complaint with the film was that the way the girls use technology didn't change drastically in two years, yet it was still intriguing to see how technology affected these four totally different girls. For these reasons, I think it would make a good addition to the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Recommended for ages 5-12. 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Ella L. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 13 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE NEW MISSION       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-12
Topic - Family
Description - Life on B612 has resumed to normalcy. Rose, Fox, and the Little Prince are living peacefully, maybe too peacefully...Then one night, Rose hears the Snake telling her that she has a home planet with a family. Can this be true? Rose asks Little Prince to find her planet because she's afraid it's in grave danger. The Little Prince asks Fox to keep an eye on Rose as he flies off on his plane to try to find more information on her planet. The Little Prince promises he will return before the next sunset to trim the baobabs germinating on B612. While searching for Rose's planet, the Little Prince encounters four characters, the geographer, the hunter, the king, and the businessman. They tell him that Rose's planet is in another galaxy far beyond interstellar space. Meanwhile, back on B612, days have passed so Little Prince hasn't had a chance to tend to the baobabs like he promised Rose. So Rose is starting to be bothered with nightmares and is becoming irritated. The tones begin to rise between Rose and Fox and arguments occur. After an argument between the two, it's decided to open the sketchbook and free the Snake. When the Little Prince finally returns to B612 and learns that the Snake has been freed, he collapses. His friend, the aviator, comforts him and urges him to set off on a new adventure to fight his worst enemy again. But what about Rose's planet? The aviator mysteriously explains - those you will save will guide you.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really love the whimsical components shown in this story. Most of the characters are well thought out and fun to discover. For the most part, the Little Prince is a great role model. He's kind and caring, with an adventurous spirit. Though the story makes sense, it is a bit weak. I feel the stakes for the Little Prince are not high enough. It lacks a strong motivation for him to leave his planet behind. Also, the opposition isn't very strong, until the snake is set free and that is towards the end of the story. Sometimes it feels as if the protagonist's obstacles are too easy to concord, so it is hard to feel empathy for him and his cause. It feels as if he doesn't have to work hard enough to overcome the challenges he encounters.

I like the design of the show, especially the character designs. Although, I think that the snake may be too scary for younger kids. The most appealing thing about this show are its elements of imagination. I love how each of the characters the Little Prince encounters are whimsical. The whole story is full of surprises. The whimsical factor of the story makes it very enjoyable for kids. The characters are engaging and the story is written in a way that, as viewers, we want to know what happens next. On the other hand, because the story has some weaknesses, older kids might not enjoy it as much.

You can tell the Little Prince loves his friends and his planet and wants to protect them. One thing I didn't like is that in the scene with the hunter, he lies to him and, after the lie, the hunter decides to help him. I think he could have found a better way to solve the issue with the hunter without lying. Also, Fox and Rose constantly fight and we definitely see the consequences of their behavior. They let the prince down and release the snake. However, because this is such an important moment, I feel that the dialog in that scene could have been stronger.

The examples of problem solving throughout the story are not as strong as they could be. They are present, but the prince could have dealt with them in better ways. For instance, his first instinct to fight the snake is to use his sword. He even says he had fought the snake before, so why doesn't he stop and figure out what is it that the snake wants this time. Why doesn't he use the information he knows about the snake from the past to confront it again? Part of the problem is that it isn't clear exactly what the snake's goal is.

The show is done in 3D animation. The visuals are not breathtaking, but they are suitable for its target audience. This is the first DVD I've seen that doesn't have a Menu. It opens with previews of other shows from the same distributor and then the movie starts. It would be nice if a menu was available so you can select to start and stop and go to specific scenes. I can see kids play pretend being the Little Prince, imagining new planets and characters. I think more than inquiry, it will motivate their creativity.

This DVD is best suited for kids ages 6 to 10. The vocabulary and concepts are age appropriate. It is a safe story for parents to watch with their kids. It's entertaining and enjoyable. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to look for it. Reviewed by Martha S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This imaginative animated film warmed my heart. Elaborating upon a conquest to find Rose's family, the friendship that Little Prince, Fox and Rose share is remarkable. Each character differs from one another, but they all manage to combat the forces of evil together, which in turn, strengthens their relationship in a way never seen before. With such a divine plot, exquisite action scenes and heartwarming friendships, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Previously, the Little Prince defeated an evil snake and trapped him in his beloved sketchbook. Everything on B612 is peaceful again. Rose, Fox and the Little Prince are enjoying life, playing games with one another and building stable friendships. But one night, the Snake tells Rose that she has a family that is in danger. It is up to the Little Prince, Fox and Rose to work as a team, and try to reunite Rose with her family.

Marion Cotillard, who plays Rose, delivers exceptional dialogue with her sweet voice. Her laugh is infectious and seeing Rose smile through every difficult situation is very inspiring. Cotillard portrays Rose as optimistic, through her desire to never give up and this is something that everyone can learn from. Riley Osborne, who plays the Little Prince, is very charming, because he cares about Rose and will do anything to help her find her family. He asks Fox (James Franco) to keep an eye on her as he searches the galaxy for her family.

The animation in this film is incredible. Seeing the galaxy for the first time left me speechless. The costumes are very realistic, which makes the characters look like they don't belong in space. But, that is the beauty of this film, because we can see how opposites attract. My favorite part is when Rose, Fox and the Little Prince play a game called, "Red Light, Green Light." Rose covers her eyes and Fox and the Little Prince can only move on green light. If they move on red light, Rose wins. It's fascinating to see their friendship grow and it makes you want to join the game.

The message of this film is to work as a team and to never give up. No matter what obstacle you encounter, there is always a way to combat it and push forward. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for its nonstop action and unique plot. I have never been this intrigued by a film before. I recommend this to kids ages 6 to 12 and it is great to watch for parents as well. With such comedic jokes, relatable characters and a mysterious plot, there is something for everyone to enjoy. This film is available now on DVD. Check it out and find out if the Little Prince can find the Planet of the Roses.

By Samantha M.s, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS is the new adventure film from Luc Besson, the director of The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy, based on the comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers and filmmakers. In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha-an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets fascinated me because of its excellent, ahead of its time special effects. The stunt work is top level. The spectacular direction adds flair to the story.

The movie is about Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), who are operatives that maintain order in the human territories. Under operation from Commander Filitt (Clive Owen), the team embarks on a mission to Alpha, the City of a Thousand Planets. While on the mission, the team meets shapeshifter Bubble (Rihanna), who helps them. However, a mystery at the center of Alpha could threaten the existence of every person in the city. Only Valerian can unlock the secret beneath the threat.

Dane DeHaan as Valerian bravely presents his character who tries to save the universe, while at the same time impress his partner, Laureline. Dane is excellent in his battle scenes, especially in the final showdown. Cara Delevingne, as Laureline, expresses her extreme love and confidence in her effort to rescue Alpha. Clive Owen as Commander Filitt seems heroic, but puzzles Valerian with his classified files. He is my favorite character. Rihanna, as Bubble, can transform into any shape to help the team. She also represents a slave who craves freedom. Sam Spruell as General Octo Bar is noble and firm in how he presents his orders and also tries to solve the mystery of the classified files of Commander Filitt.

The direction by Luc Besson is splendid. Innovative camera techniques are used to present most of the locales, especially in The City of a Thousand Planets. My favorite scene is when Valerian takes a shortcut across the city. It is a treat to watch, due to how the environments switch. My only problem in this film is that it jumps everywhere following various sub-plots, which makes it difficult to follow. Despite that flaw, the special effects make it worthwhile.

The film's message is that it is sometimes necessary to break conventional rules for a worthy cause. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action and brief language. The movie releases in theaters on July 21st, so check it out for one, ahead of its time sci-fi film.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


BOY BY THE SEA, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BOY BY THE SEA, THE
VASILY CHUPRINA
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The story of an unlikely friendship. A young boy sitting by the sea, watching the stones he throws disappear beneath the surface. An old lighthouse keeper. A different truth beyond the water.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a beautifully produced piece from the cinematography to the background music, the acting, direction, costumes and location. The topic of death is a bit heavy for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival partners. I am going to recommend it because of its excellence. I can't promise that many of our KIDS FIRST! Film Fest partners will select it. It does deserve recognition as an outstanding film. I would give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SCARLETT-ANGELINA

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SCARLETT-ANGELINA
LORETTE BAYLE
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10-15
Topic - Family
Description - Scarlett-Angelina is a little girl who knows how to take care of herself, much to the dismay of the small-time crook who kidnaps her. Never underestimate a little girl with good manners.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Recommended for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Well produced, surprise ending. Great locations, visuals, background music and acting. I particularly like the two main characters which are extremely well played and very believable. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
UNDEBATABLE
GAYLA GOEHL
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Julia has cerebral palsy (played by Julia Illy who really does have cerebral palsy) but that's not going to stop her from walking on-stage for the school's debate to be the next sixth grade president. It's undebatable that Julia is the best candidate yet does everyone see her qualifications or her disorder.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Voting, sexism, disability, teens - all good topics for a student film. I love that this film addresses these important issues and the conversations about them are meaningful. Casting a child actor as someone with cerebral palsy who actually has the disease definitely makes a statement in this film. Everyone in the cast seems quite suited to their roles. The visuals are well done as is the audio. The only issue I have with it is the background sounds when the kids are speaking backstage. It's a bit too loud and overshadows the dialogue. The film takes a twist at the end that will pull at your heart-strings and makes us see how everyone has a disability of some sort. Highly recommended for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for ages 10 to 14. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Reporter.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CRUSHED

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CRUSHED
GAYLA GOEHL
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10-14
Topic - Family
Description - The Hurricane runs this small town middle school until the new girl arrives and he develops his first crush. What wouldn't a bully do for love?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Crushed is a sweet short film with a good concept and lesson. The story follows a bully named Braxton. He rules the school with his intimidating behavior and countless victories in arm wrestling. He strolls around the school with his crew who help maintain his reputation throughout the school. Students feel powerless against this bully. One day, a new girl who doesn't fear Braxton arrives. She brings with her hope for the students who cower in fear whenever Braxton appears. Those students rally her to take on Braxton and claim his title in arm wrestling. Little does she know, Braxton is in love with her. On the surface, Crushed already sounds like an original comedy, but it manages to convey a heartfelt message about forgiveness and second chances by the end. I liked the main character. Normally, you don't like the bully in a film such as this one. But the fact that Braxton is both a protagonist and antagonist is very interesting. Braxton is not a great person and he is flawed, but something about his personality and his decision to apologize for how mean he was to his classmates makes his character likable. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DREW'S DANCING DRUM

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DREW'S DANCING DRUM
SHERRE CHAPPELL
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 4-12
Topic - Family
Description - Drew loves playing his drum for people until he is bullied by a boy named Malcolm. His dad encourages Drew to go on drumming and befriend the very boy that bullied him.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Great visuals. Wonderful animations. I love the detailed backgrounds such as the moving fish in the fish bowl. I love the father/son relationship also. Bullies are everywhere and this one is ever so typical as is the boy's reaction. Inviting the bully to join them is perhaps an overly optimistic solution but hey, it works in this film. And, everyone ends up dancing together at the end. Love happy endings. And, I really love the visuals and background music. I recommend this for inclusion in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival and suggest its appropriate age group as 4 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S. KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


RAINBOW FIELDS (XHOIHOBOTE DHEMALITE)

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
RAINBOW FIELDS (XHOIHOBOTE DHEMALITE)
BIDYUT KOTOKY
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - On a soul searching journey back to his native place on hearing the news of the death of a childhood friend, a famous film director has to confront the unresolved vestiges of a terrible childhood accident, before he loses his last chance for redemption and closure.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film offers an inside look at children growing up during a violent period in Assam and shows how they are affected. They create a realistic story as a play. The film explores the difference between what is real in a play compared to real life. The film flows very well. It explores the friendship between Pulak and Niyori. We see the protagonist, Niyori, with his family as a adult. When he learns of the death of his childhood friend Pulak, we learn about their childhood adventures. The flashbacks of Pulak and Niyori's childhood are very charming and we can feel and experience how remarkable it was. In one scene, Kuwoli, the younger sister of Niyori sees a group setting fire to a village while on her way to school. It traumatizes her and she refuses to speak. At their wits' end, her parents call her grandfather and he explains to the sisters how film can make something seem real when it is not. He gets Kuwoli to talk again. The scenery of the Indian State of Aasam is stunningly beautiful and calming, especially the scenes of the river bordering the village. This film encourages the idea of keeping promises and dreaming big no matter what happens. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 89 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS: MAGICAL MOVIE NIGHT

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS: MAGICAL MOVIE NIGHT       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Grab Your Popcorn, Because The Equestria Girls Are Back For A Magic-Filled Triple Feature!? ?DANCE MAGIC? - When Rarity finds out about a music video competition, she's eager to convince her friends at Canterlot High to enter the contest. The girls soon learn that Crystal Prep Academy are also interested in participating in the contest. The students at CPA have many more resources and are better dancers! Will they be able to pull together and make a winning music video?? MOVIE MAGIC? - The Equestria Girls have been specially invited by A.K. Yearling to go on the set of the upcoming Daring Do movie and they are overjoyed. For super-fan Rainbow Dash, watching behind the scenes as her favorite heroine comes to life is a dream come true. But when a rare and important prop from the set goes missing, putting the movie on hold, Rainbow Dash's dream becomes a nightmare.? MIRROR MAGIC?- As the pages in her journal run out, there's only one thing for Sunset Shimmer to do: return to Equestria to get a new journal! There, she meets Starlight Glimmer and agrees to bring her back to experience life at Canterlot High. But while Sunset Shimmer was away, a revenge-seeking Juniper Montage finds a beautiful hand mirror enchanted with Equestrian magic. Not only can it provide a window into another land, but if you push the right button, it can also make things disappear into limbo, trapped between the two realms.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - As always, My Little Pony has delivered a wonderful, heartfelt of episodes on this DVD. I always enjoy watching how well the episodes are chosen to be consolidated for the specific DVDs such as this one, Magical Movie Night. There are so many lessons packed into this DVD from feeling betrayed to feeling unsure of oneself. I love how the cast of ponies handles these problems and creates a familiar story that becomes a beacon of hope and reassurance for children who have gone or will go through similar trials. My favorite episode on this DVD is called "Movie Magic." In this episode, you get to see Rainbow Dash as a fan girl to a movie franchise and discover that the movie world isn't all it's cracked up to be. The animation in this collection is great, as always, and the music is fun and catchy. One of the best parts of the DVD is the bonus feature sing-along. This is a great DVD that I recommend for ages 5 to 12 and it definitely gets 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This animated film has a great storyline and important morals that I loved to watch. Plus, all of the characters have their own unique personalities, which is cool to see. The animation is spot on with detailed facial expressions and body language of the characters.

The stories, Dance Magic, Movie Magic and Mirror Magic are all about friendship, teamwork, persevering and forgiving. In the stories, the Equestria Girls work together solving obstacles that come up. They befriend, forgive and help their enemies. The Equestria Girls create peace among every one and teach others to create peace as well.

Ali Liebert makes Juniper Montage sound very determined, jealous and greedy, but also shows Juniper's hurt side, where she is apologetic and depressed. Tabitha St. Germain portrays Rarity as very elegant, creative and calm. But at times, she is easily frustrated and very competitive. The animation for all of the My Little Pony films is really cute and detailed. I love this type of animation. The backgrounds are very detailed and the animation is really pleasing to watch.

My favorite part is when Pinky Pie's (Andrea Libman) dream comes true when she sees a building made of pudding. Her eyes light up and you can see her pure happiness. I really love this part because it made me really happy to see Pinky Pie so excited. The pudding also looks delicious

The message of these stories is that you should be kind to everyone, no matter what. Also, it promotes forgiving people and giving them second chances. The Equestrian Girls have their stuff and their ideas stolen, but they still forgive and become great friends even with the thieves. This collection of stories teaches children to have a good heart and enjoy life in the moment.

This is a wonderful DVD with big messages. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. This DVD is available August 8, 2017, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

With three unique stories and beautiful animation, this DVD collection entertains younger audiences while teaching them about friendship. It has a room for improvement and is far from the best of the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic series. Like the previous shows and movies of this series, the three episodes focus heavily on adventure and comedy. The episodes all teach kids about friendship, teamwork and many other positive behavior. At times, the stories concentrate more on action or drama but they are never too mature for young children.

The three episodes start after the latest film, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Legend of Everfree. The stories are all different, but generally focus on seven girls solving problems together. At the end, an answer comes to them and they all learn an important message about friendship. Watching at least the previous film is helpful to the viewer since there are some references to previous plot elements. It would be very difficult to enjoy this DVD without having any prior experience with the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series.

Overall, this DVD has an enjoyable series of stories. They are bright, educational and are simple enough for younger kids to understand. Compared to the previous films and shows, the quality has dropped in some places. One of the strongest outliers to me is the comedy. In the past, the main character called Pinkie Pie (Andrea Libman) often plays a comedic role. In this collection, the comedy doesn't come out goofy and funny as it usually does. It feels forced and almost annoying. Something else that I found lacking is the conflict in the stories. The first episode, Dance Magic, really suffers the most. The conflict in this episode focuses on the girls trying to raise money for a spring dance. Sadly, it has no good introduction and is simply explained at the beginning. This makes it not too important to the viewer and the way the characters treat this issue furthers the problem. One thing that has stayed consistent throughout the series is the voice acting and animation. Both have still maintained high quality and are one of the best parts of the show.

Out of the three, my favorite episode is Mirror Magic. The storyline is quite unique. It's about a girl jealous of the seven friends who puts six of them in a magic mirror. It's up to the seventh, Sunset Shimmer and her new friend Starlight Glimmer. This plays out interestingly in the show as Starlight, just like Sunset, is a villain turned good. This makes for some interesting chemistry between the two, which is entertaining.

As always, this series is meant for kids. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 7 to 13. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars for an overall good collection of episodes and high-quality animation, but a lack of good conflicts and a drop in quality.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 66 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


PRIME SUSPECT TENNISON

PRIME SUSPECT TENNISON
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 14-18
Topic - Family
Description - The early career of iconic detective Jane Tennison is chronicled in this series, which is set in the early 1970s.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Prime Suspect Tennison. This PBS Masterpiece production is a prequel to the popular series Prime Suspect (1991-2006) starring Helen Mirren as Detective Jane Tennison. Prime Suspect Tennison turns the clock back to give viewers a look at Tennison's start in the British police force over the course of six 90-minute episodes. Set in early 1970's London. the usual attention to period detail of Masterpiece productions imbues this mini-series with a counter-cultural feel thanks to the fashion and music of that colorful era. Stefanie Martini steps into the role of a younger Helen Mirren with suitable precision and confidence, nicely displaying a touch of ready-impatience and a budding keen intellect, making for a convincing young Tennison/Mirren. The short series should prove entertaining to general audiences but most appealing to fans of the original series. Production is excellent and the DVD set includes several short videos focusing on the fashion, hair, and cars of 70's London as well as policing at the time and a short about the original show. Being a crime show, there are some grizzly visuals and crime details. Recommended for ages 14 and up. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 360 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 20.66
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


BEST FRIEND

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BEST FRIEND
CORY REEDER
Series: SHORT, AGES 6-18
Topic - Family
Description - After moving across the country a little girl finds more than a best friend when her parents let her adopt a dog.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film touches your heart in so many ways. Moving cross country can be an emotionally traumatic experience for young children and, this film addresses that straight on. Additionally, the young actress who plays the protagonist has Down Syndrome and plays her role unbelievably well. There are some surprises when the family goes to pick out a rescue dog and meet another family that has also just moved. Can't tell you the ending but, let's just say it is heartfelt and honestly encouraging. A big recommendation for a family film festival.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Wonderful film! It deals with a child moving and turns it into a very charming story. Moving is an issue many kids deal with. This is a story that I personally can relate to. I have been involved in a move so I empathize with the main character, Deirdre. The characters are very likable and relatable. I also think including a dog in a story about a kid moving is a fantastic choice. Dogs have been known who help people with emotional issues such as anxiety, depression and PTSD. They also help with loneliness associated with moving. This film is very well thought out. I like that the actress who plays the main character actually has Down Syndrome. It's rare to see this condition represented in media and this is a remarkable step forward. The disabled representation doesn't stop there, as the dog chosen by Deirdre's friend, Alvie, has wheels attached to him. Another thing I like about this film is how the kids' parents end up becoming friends. The four of them end up having very entertaining reactions that are very believable. This film flows very well and is easy to watch. The cinematography is very appealing and it has a very charming story. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


AUDUBON

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AUDUBON
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Naturalist and 19th century painter, John James Audubon was one of the most remarkable men of early America. The program brings to life his timeless paintings with dazzling footage of the living birds he immortalized - and celebrates visually the natural world he described in his writings. Interviews reveal the man, explore his art, and put his groundbreaking work in modern perspective.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This documentary gives an in-depth history of the life of John James Audubon. There are many examples of his beautiful works of art, maps charting his journey from Haiti to America and excerpts from the journals he kept throughout his life. This DVD offers a great way to teach anyone about John James Audubon. The art and story telling is not only beautiful and interesting, but important scientifically and in regards to American history.

The film flows well with great detail and historical accuracy. The material is easily understood and, after scientific elaborations, often a more simplified explanation is given. John James Audubon was a man of incredible talent and fortitude. He faced many challenges such as childhood abandonment, adult poverty and immigration during the 1800s. The film wonderfully details not only his countless contributions to art, science and conservation, but the challenges he faced and surpassed are an equally important part of his story. This film will prompt many questions regarding many topics! Throughout it, Audubon's travels are documented on a virtual map. The map brings about questions regarding geography, immigration, cultural differences, animal species of North America and many other topics that appeal to many age groups.

The film has great visual appeal. It is filmed in locations where Audubon painted and, throughout it, these works are shown in all their glory. Selections of Audubon's original journal entries are seen for the first time in this film as well. The cover of the DVD and the CD have iconic Audubon images titled "Wild Turkey" and "The Great Horned Owl". This offers the option of viewing the 90 minute theatrical version or the 60 minute broadcast version. English subtitles are available. Scene selection is not available, but you can pause, rewind or fast forward as necessary.

Audubon is such a great film about the life and contributions of John James Audubon. His struggle and journey as a Haitian immigrant to the United States of America is inspiring. The paintings he created forever immortalized the subjects (some of which are now extinct) and the research he did ultimately led to our nation's first conservation organization. This film will prompt many questions regarding many topics including birds, painting, hiking and travel, American history in the early 1800s and more. The message of this film is in its detailed historical look at the life and contributions of John James Audubon to art, science and Conservation.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Audubon will be available on DVD June 20, 2017. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 150 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 17.99
Media: DVD
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LUCKY OR NOT HERE I COME

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LUCKY OR NOT HERE I COME
GERRY ORZ
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The story is about a man named John Wilson, who has no talents and no aspirations. He is certain that he will never live up to his parents' expectations. He's forever stuck in the shadows of his quarterback older brother and his younger sister, a child prodigy. However, just as he comes to accept his dull existence, a series of extraordinary and devastating events changes John's life forever. John goes on a journey that turns out to be anything but ordinary as he embraces his own destiny in this adventurous and inspirational story of love, loss and loyalty. It turns out anything is possible.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an amazing story with well-thought out writing and wisdom. The strongest aspect are the characters and the lesson to be learned. John is just an average guy with a brother and sister who are above average, but he truly is the lucky and amazing one. It is entertaining and eye-opening and a great way to learn some important life lessons. If I had to sum this book up in one word, I would say that word would be "Wow!"

The characters are the most appealing aspect of the story. Besides that, it is different and unique and offers a whole lots of life wisdom. It is entertaining and the kind of book that is hard to put down. I found myself rooting for the main character many times. It follows the life of the main character, John and his journey from childhood to adulthood. Some may think he is unlucky, including himself but he learns a valuable lesson about how really lucky he is. This is an eye-opening revelation. I think that teenagers will relate to this story quite well.

John is a very positive role model. His being an average guy with a prodigy sister and jock older brother puts a great spin on the story. I also think that the family dynamics and the friend relationships are explained extremely well and I enjoyed reading about John, his family and his friendships. There are a couple of negative characters, but they really don't win in the end and I feel they served an important role.

It flows well from beginning to ending and it makes sense. Many times as I was reading, I just sat there in awe about how such a young author could have such knowledge beyond his years. I can imagine this on the big screen one day. The story has great visual appeal and the book's cover is amazing.

There is quite a bit of death in the story which is why it may not be suitable for every 13-year-old, but I also believe that it is dealt with in the best of ways and makes sense within the story. This would be a great book to discuss with teenagers. I can see discussing how they saw John in the beginning of the book compared to how they saw him at the end. I really feel that he was unlucky for the first half of the book and then my perspective changed.

Initially, I felt this story is purely entertaining, but as I thought more about it I see the value of the social elements about friendship, family and even morals. The story encourages one to take a better look at themselves and at life.

I give this 5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 and believe adults will thoroughly enjoy it as well.

Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult review

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


WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES       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 - Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This science fiction film had me fascinated with the breathtaking special effects and the animation from the get go. It's impressive how much technology has improved and the differences of the effects in the previous Planet of the Apes films compared to this new one is incredible. It's insane how today, everything looks so realistic. I also like this film because of its sincere, from-the-heart message.

War for the Planet of the Apes is about Caesar and his apes who are forced into deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a cruel Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both of their species and the future of the planet.

My favorite scene from this film is when all the apes are attacked by the military and lots of them are killed. Their leader Caesar, of course, becomes furious and wants to do something about it. He decides to go off to fight the soldiers that attacked his family while defending themselves. I love this scene because it shows how the leader of the apes really cares for his family. Also, the apes that look up to him see him as a role model and can follow in his footsteps and morals.

The important message of this film is that no family is perfect. Unpleasant things can happen that make their relationships worse. Family members can go through tough times, but in the end, family is family and love will always be there. So if there's fighting and family members are struggling through something, they will figure things out and help each other sort things out. In this film, the apes are all there for each other all the time. If someone needs help, they all help. If someone is fighting or arguing, they all help figure it out. They support each other. I think it's an amazing idea that this message is taught by the apes because lots of people can learn from this and apply it to their own lives.

By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15



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


SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May, under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark, Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine - distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man - but when the Vulture emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments

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


TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving the future lies buried in the secrets of the past and the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Now, it's up to the unlikely alliance of inventor Cade Yeager, Bumblebee, an English lord and an Oxford professor to save the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This latest installment is part of the action packed Transformers series that I love because of the captivating work of the transformers' team. Seeing it in IMAX is even more mind-blowing. As well as the great cinematography, this film has hyper-realistic imagery that makes it ten times better.

This film has many great things in it, but a big problem I have with it is that it has too many things happening. By that, I mean there are new characters, lots of transformers, lots of different storylines and multiple things happening at the same time. These are all great, but there is a limit to how many things can be in a movie. This film isn't quite over the top, but close.

Some of the new characters include Izabella (Isabela Moner), a young girl who is interested in transformers and quite skilled with machinery, Vivian (Laura Haddock) an teacher from England who has a large role in saving the world. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is also in this film as a returning character. He was in the fourth movie, Age of Extinction.

This film has an interesting storyline and is fun and cool. An interesting name twist occurs when a main character, Optimus Prime becomes Nemisis Prime when he is evil. Nemesis Prime is the leader of the auto-bots, a good group of transformers. The strategy of turning a good guy bad is a great strategy to attract viewers of the film.

This movie does a cool, sneak-peek into history. It talks about medieval times and the knights of the round table. That is a primary plot which explains why this movie is called The Last Knight. It is cool to incorporate history into the film as it adds a little extra something to it. For example, in the first film, there is a cool kind of conspiracy part which I won't describe because it would be a spoiler. It is well acted and well executed with beautiful special effects and nearly non-stop action. You don't really have a chance to reflect on what or why this crazy and confusing story bounces around from one country to another, landing deep in the ocean and then suddenly reappearing at Stonehenge, England. Even though it's hard to know who is shooting at whom or for what reason, somehow it's still enjoyable to watch and even gripping at times.

Overall, this is a great film. It is cool, fun and has a lot to it, even if it may be a little too much. I recommend this film for ages 9 to 18. There are some adult jokes and violence, but they are not too bad. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

By Nathaniel B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

What an action packed and thrilling movie Transformers: The Last Knight is! It includes many sentimental, comedic and energetic scenes that had me at the edge of my seat. The animation and computer technology are amazing and so satisfying to watch. Teenagers and adults will definitely want to buy this DVD to re-watch it over and over again.

The Autobots, Decepticons and humans are all at war once again. Optimus Prime is still gone - off on a venture to meet his creator. The essentials for saving the future is engulfed within the secrets of the past and the history of the original Transformers and their descendants on Earth. It is up to the alliance of the inventor and Transformers protector, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), an Oxford professor, Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock) and the Autobots to save the world. Join them on their epic and intriguing fight!

I have always enjoyed watching the Transformer movies ever since I was a adolescent and I was not disappointed in this movie. My favorite factor of the movie is the special effects. The computer technology and editing are tremendous and make the movie come to life. Another part that I really enjoyed is how the history of the Transformers and the historical events are introduced. Being a Transformers fan, I have always wondered about the history of these fun and fast fighting bots and it finally is revealed in this movie. One thing that upset me a little bit is that some scenes are all over the place. I found myself confused about who is who, and how some scenes relate to the overall story. Other than that, I really enjoyed this film.

The overall message of the film is to be united as one. Regardless of how many hardships there are in the world, you should look past the differences and join together to get past them. In the beginning, the humans try to destroy the remaining Autobots because they believe they are dangerous, but that is not the case! They are trying to protect the world and the human race. Eventually, the humans and the bots unite to defeat the evil creator that is trying to destroy Earth.

I encourage teenagers and adults to watch this entertaining and thrilling movie, along with all the Transformer fans. No age below thirteen should see this movie, since there is a fair amount of profanity. However, families with teens will definitely have an awesome time watching it.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars for its exhilarating action-packed scenes, awesome special effects, amazing cast, great voice-overs and enthusiasm. It is available now on DVD and Blu-ray so to check it out. I think you might enjoy this movie as much as I did!

Reviewed by Imani B.G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16.

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


BENCH, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BENCH, THE
HANK ISAAC
Series: SHORTS, AGES 8-14
Topic - Family
Description - In this short homage to the days of silent film, "The Bench" tells the story of young love in a familiar triangle of rich versus poor.

Director's statement: "The Bench" began as a workshop for my young actors to challenge them to tell a story without speaking. We decided to follow it through as a finished film with the goal of expressing not just the "look" of the late 1920s but also the naive sensibilities of the period. Please note that the four principal cast members were between 10 and 12 years old at the time of filming.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Gotta love the homage to silent films and this short delivers its message just as clearly as it might had it contained dialogue. As a silent film fan, I am slightly biased. Nevertheless, the production values are quite good, the piano accompaniment classic and the acting by these young students quite admirable. Yup, it's a yes from me. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 14. Adults will most likely get a chuckle to of it as well. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


TRIGGA

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TRIGGA
MELONI POOLE
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 9-18
Topic - Family
Description - She'd rather not speak and prefers life as a horse, but the girls at school just won't leave her alone
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A very compelling film about bullying. Based on a true story. This short film by an English filmmaker is about a school-aged girl with an active imagination being bullied at school. She'd rather not speak and prefers life as a horse, but the girls at school just won't leave her alone. It is a little different and I like that it has a happy ending and good acting. The scenes are realistic and the story line flows well. It is a bit unbelievable, but still a good story. It has good visual appeal, enjoyable scenes and settings and an enjoyable soundtrack. I love how the young girl overcomes her problems through her love for horses. Its message is about love and kindness. Although there are some bullying scenes, the violence is not over the top. I recommend this for ages 9 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Recommended for KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Juror, Denise B. and Julie S.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 16 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO



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