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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A 17 year old girl named Madeline Whittier has a rare disease that causes her to have to stay indoors 24/7 with her filtered air. Her whole life is basically books, her mom, and Carla(her nurse). One day, a moving truck pulls in next door. There she sees Olly. Olly Bright is Maddy's new neighbor. They get to know each other through emails. The more they get to know each other, the more they fall in love. Olly starts to make Maddy realize that she isn't really living. This starts the adventures of Maddy's new life.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I have nothing but positive things to say about this affectionate and sensational picture. The film incorporates the use of strong chemistry with its talented actors to tell a story about understanding, acceptance, life and love. Everything, Everything is a dramatic, romantic film that the teenage and young adult audience will definitely enjoy.

Maddy (Amadla Stenberg) is an imaginative and creative 18-year-old girl who has an illness which prohibits her from going outside. A new boy, Olly (Nick Robinson) moves to town and the two instantly share feelings for one another. He won't let anything keep them from being together. Maddy and Olly develop an online relationship which progresses throughout the film, leading to them risking everything to be together, even if that means losing everything. We join the two lovebirds on a romantic unforgettable adventure.

My favorite scene is when Maddy and Olly first meet. I can safely say that the audience and I were all screaming (silently of course) with joy and excitement when the two exchange smiles and when Olly constantly flirts with Maddy. The chemistry between the two actors is extremely well executed and seems so realistic. I also love the diverse cast because we need that in our society today. The director really respected and developed the interracial relationship very powerfully and wonderfully. I applaud the crew and cast for making the movie so enjoyable to watch and understand.

The theme is about acceptance and growing from the obstacles that you face. Maddy has stayed inside for the majority of her life, but when she meets Olly, she is finally able to take risks and enjoy what life has to offer step by step. Teens will definitely relate to the storyline in terms of growing and experiencing what life has to offer. Both Maddy and Olly send a message to not let people drag you down or stop doing what makes you happy and helps you become a better person.

I recommend this film to ages 13 to 18 because of its teenage love scenes. I also encourage parents to see this with their adolescents because they will definitely find themselves smiling and feeling happy throughout the whole film. I rate this film 5 out of 5 due to its impeccable cast and crew, intriguing storyline, vibrant colors, soothing music and much more. Everything, Everything is in theaters now so, please go and enjoy this movie as much as I did.

Reviewed by Imani B.G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-14
Topic - Family
Description - A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg's newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention. This family cross-country adventure turns into an experience the Heffleys will never forget.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul has the same wonderful entertaining impact as the rest of the series. For those who don't know, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a fiction comedy novel for children and teenagers written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. Over the years, these books have been brought to life in films that have the same well-liked effect on the audience as the original books. I was and still am a huge fan of the Wimpy Kid series and I recall always being excited for the new book or the new film to come out.

This film follows the Heffley's taking a road trip to attend Meemaw's (their grandmother's) 90th birthday party. But of course, this trip goes off course thanks to Greg's newest strategy to get to a video gaming convention. They flee from their parents, drive themselves to the convention, violate the no technology rule and many events take place that will make this not-so-family trip unforgettably crazy. Their family adventure turns into an experience filled with different funny moments you don't get in a normal family vacation.

My favorite scene of is when they are entering the grandmother's house. Greg gets into a boat that is outside and he goes inside the house with it. Somehow, he slides into the house and makes it to the pool, thereby making a special entrance. This is a very funny scene because it shows how Greg's delirious mind operates.

The message that I get from this film is to never give up on what you want and don't let anyone stop you. The film teaches this message in a funny and comical way. Gregory sees himself in a position that he doesn't like due to something he does wrong so, he does what he can to clear his image. His way of doing it is to go to the video gaming convention and become famous. This is how Greg thinks he can fix this, by doing all these crazy things. But that's not the important part. The point is that he goes out of his way to achieve his goal and he never stops until he gets it. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15. This opens in theaters on May 19th, 2017 so go check it out.

Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is an upbeat, fun and humorous movie based on the books by the same name. It has an entertaining script with interesting relationships between characters. This movie also has moments where I burst out laughing. However, although it is delightful, this film falls flat in many areas.

The film follows twelve-year-old Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker), his brothers Rodrick (Charlie Wright) and Manny (Dylan Walters) and their parents (Tom Everett Scott and Alicia Silverstone). The family takes a road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday in Indiana. However, Greg has plans to go to a video game convention that land him (and his family) in some hot water.

This film has many positive qualities. One i the clever writing. I really like the scene where Rodrick gets "shot," when Greg and Beardo remake the scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Also, the scene where Manny and the pig are reunited is absolutely adorable. I applaud the writers for their brilliant writing. Another positive quality that quite impressed me is the story line. The chain of events had me on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next. Mischief and misfortune seems to follow the Heffley family wherever they go! It is clear that the writing and the physical humor in this film are quite outstanding.

However, although the script is quite good, the direction is not. The shots don't feel quite right all the time. For example, throughout the movie, the camera is often focused on Alicia Silverstone's teeth. The scene transition is also choppy and disorganized. It just is not smooth. I feel as though there could be more music underneath the dialogue. The acting falls flat as well. I am quite disappointed by these aspects.

I rate this film 3 out of 5 stars. The excessive potty humor throughout the film may appeal to younger kids, so I recommend it for ages 7 to 13. This film is funny and entertaining, yet it lacks several essential components. It opens in theatres on May 19, so if you're looking for some family-friendly fun, go check it out.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This family friendly film will have you laughing as you join the Heffley's in their first summer road trip. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is a fun entertaining film that I highly enjoyed with its funny scenes, unique character personalities and the different adventures the Heffley's take on.

As the Heffley's embark on their summer road trip to rural Indiana for their grandmother's 90th birthday, young and witty Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker) will do whatever it takes to get to a video game convention and meet his favorite gamer. To everyone's surprise, technology will be restricted on the trip since Greg's mother, Susan (Alicia Silverstone) wishes to grow closer to her son and create unforgettable memories. Throughout the trip the whole Heffley family faces numerous adventures and trials as the trip goes hilariously off course and becomes a mission.

I really enjoyed the personality of each character in this film. Their different charisma contributes greatly to tone the film. My favorite character is Rodrick, the older but not so wise brother. His humor, style and spirit brings laughter to the screen. Although he is not the brightest, he is highly funny. One of my favorite scenes is when Rodrick orders an Uber and believes that the ride is free, although the destination is an hour away and it's charged to his parents' credit card. Also hysterical is the scene where Rodrick eats one too many fried butter sticks and regrets it later when riding the roller coasters.

Young and witty Greg Heffley is played by Jason Drucker of Barely Lethal, Every Witch Way and many commercials. Lead rock singer of Loaded Diper and Greg's sixteen-year-old brother Rodrick is played by Charlie Wright, known for Ingrid Goes West and Better Things. Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott play the parents of Greg and Rodrick.

Although this film is hilariously funny, it is filled with several life lessons for the viewer to learn from such as, disconnect from technology and connect with those around you. Today, everyone seems to be so attached to technology and social media that they loose the concept of socializing. This film grasps the importance of family values and disconnecting from technology to spend quality family time.

I highly enjoyed watching this fun, summer movie and recommend it to families and children between the ages of 5 and 10. This is a great film for kids to watch over summer break and remember the value of family. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because of its many funny scenes, unique story line and unique characters. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul opens in theaters May 29, 2017 so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Maria G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
THOMAS EDISON'S SECRET LAB: IT'S ALWAYS SHARKEST
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-11
Topic - Family
Description - Unknown to the world, Thomas Edison built a secret lab where he invented a virtual version of himself and a steampunk robot named Von Bolt. Years later, Angie, a twelve-year-old science prodigy, discovers the lab. While visiting one of Kent's relatives, the kids come up with a great idea for attracting more tourists to his restaurant - the only catch is that it also attracts a very big shark with very big teeth! What will the Secret Lab Kids do? Guided by fun-loving Edison, Angie and friends will show just how fun science can be
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I've been lucky enough to review two of the Thomas Edison's Secret Lab DVDs and I just love them. As a kid I always loved science class, but I know that not everyone did. There were lessons that appealed to me less than others and I was lucky enough to have ?shows such as Bill Nye the Science Guy and The Magic School Bus? to inspire me?. ?This collection is called "?It's Always Sharkest" because it features an episode regarding a shark?'?s sense of smell. Thinking about subjects ?such as?? DNA and ?radioactive ?decay? doesn't ?seem to be very appealing to younger ?kids, but these episodes change that. It gives a very hands on, kid friendly approach to not just learning about these subjects, but enjoying the adventure along the way. One of my favorite things about this program is meeting the creators take on other scientists like Darwin and Watson. The animation is phenomenal and the lessons learned are even better. I? recommend this to kids ages ?5? to 12, but ?make no mistake, ?I greatly enjoyed learning new things and relearning things I had long forgotten. If I could ?rate this higher than 5 stars I would, but since I can't?, I give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: It's Always Sharkest because it is an educational show, has very unique features and really good animation.

This show is about a group of kids and with a few robots that do scientific research. They do it in a secret lab that Thomas Edison left behind with a digital version of himself. They do research about a shark's sense of smell. When the group gets into situations where they mess up on a project or experiment, they always find a way to fix it. And, they have adventures with famous scientists such as Charles Darwin.

The show has cool features that I've rarely seen on a TV show. At the end of every episode, they have a music video recapping what they learned in that episode. I've only seen this once before on Bill Nye's old TV series. The only thing different between Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: It's Always Sharkest and Bill Nye's music video is that Bill Nye's was a parody of popular songs while the songs on this show are all original songs.

The animation reminds me somewhat of the TV show The Fairly Odd Parents. Both have similar animation styles. They both look sort of like paper cutouts. Furthermore, I like how the robot's actions are animated. In the first episode, one of the robots is almost eaten by a shark so he spins out of control to try to get away from the shark's mouth. I thought that was hilarious, seeing him spin out of control.

The message of the show is to find ways to fix problems and it encourages kids to appreciate and learn more science. In the first episode, the group tries to make a slide but fails because there was too much friction. The whole series is based around science and boosts kids' interest in science. The program shows how science can be fun. I rate this show 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 9. It is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

By Carla Paz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


AFRICA'S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AFRICA'S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. This is a journey through two hundred thousand years of history, from the origins, on the African continent, of art, writing, and civilization itself, through the millennia in which Africa and Africans shaped not only their own rich civilizations, but also the wider world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In this six part series made for PBS, Harvard University Professor Henry Gates, Jr. provides an in-depth look at many of the major events that define African civilization, beginning with humankind's origins in Africa and the subsequent development of culture, religion, and society on the continent. Focusing on debunking myths, the hour-long episodes delve into the topics of the origins of mankind; the spread of Christianity and Islam; the emergence of art, culture and writing; the thriving coastline cities during the Middle Ages; contact between Africa and Europeans; and the tumultuous 19th Century with the expansion of the slave trade and gold, ivory and diamond trading. Special emphasis is placed on art and architecture, shining a welcome light on aspects of African culture that young people may not be aware of. As usual for PBS, the production is excellent, although one might wish for more for detail on daily life and many topics are barely touched upon. Overall, Prof. Gates makes for an engaging host and the detail covered is impressive and enlightening. The program is suitable for all children ages 12 to 18. The DVDs include chapter headings but no special features. 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: $ 20.79
Media: DVD
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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Set to the backdrop of 'Awesome Mixtape #2,' Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Set to "Awesome Mixtape #2", Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. #2 is more thrilling and hilarious than its predecessor. It is an action packed, sci-fi adventure about a group of intergalactic criminals who are tasked to work together to save the universe. Chris Pratt again stars as Peter Quill, aka Star Lord. The rest of the cast follows suit - Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket.

The film starts out with the classic 70s song "Brandi" by Looking Glass as we see two young people driving down the highway, very much in love. We later learn that this is the back story of Peter's conception and is foreshadowing the main storyline of the film. The movie jumps 34 years and Peter is now Star Lord, captain of a band of reformed outlaws. The group is hired to guard the uber batteries of the Sovereign planet. Upon leaving, Rocket steals some of the batteries and a space battle ensues. Star Lord and his crew are shot down and make an emergency landing on a nearby planet. Before landing, they notice a mysterious spaceship, which takes out the entire Sovereign fleet pursuing them. The rest of the film is an emotional, action-packed adventure, having to do with this mysterious personage. There are lots of battles between different factions in this crazy sci-fi, fantasy universe.

The movie has lots of lively and entertaining scenes. My favorite is when Rocket Raccoon uses traps to his advantage to defeat an incoming horde of ravagers. Every scene with Drax is terrific because he has a different philosophy of life and has the most infectious laugh of any character in any movie, ever. I also love how Peter is obsessed with 80s pop culture. He references them all the time, but his companions never understand them, because they didn't grow up on Earth. I especially love how 80s music is used to evoke nostalgia from Peter's childhood, making for a terrific oldies soundtrack.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is phenomenal and full of whimsical jokes that don't get old. It is a perfect family adventure that is suitable for ages 10 to 18. Parents and grandparents will even get a kick out of it. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars for its engaging humor and captivating action. It opens in theaters on May 5 so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Clayton P.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 exceeded my expectations by a landslide. This film is one of my favorites I have seen all year. The CGI is magical, characters are hilarious and I did not dislike one second of the movie!

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 follows up with our beloved team of intergalactic space heroes. The team consists of a humorous guy named Star Lord aka Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), former assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), sarcastic raccoon thief named Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), muscular brute who goes by Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) lastly, a baby talking tree named Groot (Vin Diesel). Though they are a bunch of rebels who have broken the law numerous times, they might just be what the galaxy needs.

I came into the movie theater knowing that, when I walked out I would have absolutely loved it and that went according to plan. I still can't believe it has been three years since Guardians of the Galaxy came out. I thought nothing could top that film, but this one certainly does. I must say that there is definitely a new feel to this film. It seems to be a bit naughtier than the last one. There is much more swearing in this film. However it is appropriate within the context of jokes. This is one of the funniest Marvel films I have ever seen. I actually burst into tears laughing. The funniest character is Groot. He adds silliness when scenes get serious. He truly steals the show when he says his award winning line, "I am Groot."

In Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 we were introduced to these peculiar characters, but in Volume 2 it's almost as if they are our best friends. You laugh, cry and feel their frustrations. Star Lord (Chris Pratt) delivers another stellar performance. You can really see how he is connected to his character. Chris Pratt was born to play this role. This film goes into Peter Quill's past and we learn more about Peter's hardships, which are gloomy. This is a much different feel than the first film. Hopefully he will keep on developing this character in future movies.

No words explain how absolutely beautiful the CGI is. I got transported straight into the world where the characters live. Something they incorporated, that we saw in Star Wars: Force Awakens, is transforming an older actor to make them appear younger. In this film, they completely transform Kurt Russell, who plays Ego the Living Planet, into a rockin' 80s version of himself. At first I thought he was a young actor which they made appear older, but it is the complete opposite!

The main theme in this film is family dynamics. We get a zoomed in view of how the team is trying to fix some unresolved family wounds while trying to save the galaxy. We were left off after the first film with Gamora and her sister Nebula wanting to kill each other. In this film, we see how they have evolved as sisters and the layers of their relationship which make this film very relatable for anyone with siblings. The biggest question answered in this film (who is Peter's dad?) is resolved in a huge way.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is a must-see blockbuster of 2017. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18. There is mild cursing and lots of action scenes that might frighten younger children. Adult Marvel fans will adore this film as well. I give this 5 out of 5 intergalactic planets. I am excited for what will come next in this amazing franchise! This film is in theaters now so go check it out!

By Talia Jacnuk, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: REUNION

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: REUNION       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - It's been six years since that summer adventure when Taichi and the rest of the DigiDestined crossed over to the Digital World and nearly three years since the final battle between Hikari's group and BelialVamdemon. And, at some point, while the peaceful days went by, the gate to the Digital World mysteriously closed. But when a Kuwagamon suddenly appears in Odaiba, its rampage leaves the town in ruins, and the people there in turmoil. Taichi chases after it, in an effort to halt its rampage. But there's nothing he can do against a Kuwagamon. Not by himself. And that's where a new adventure begins.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This story takes place six years after the events of the original Digimon Series. New threats to the real world from the digital world occur and it's up our reunited heroes to save us. It's really neat seeing the Digi-destin (heroes) grown up. They are so different from when they were kids. The animation, despite being digitally animated, is quite nice. The sound track is great and really gives you the feel of the older show. I believe this is suitable for ages 6 to 18, but I really enjoyed it as well. I give this great revamp of a classic 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - While I am not a big fan of Digimon (I prefer Pok�mon), I have to say that the animation in this DVD is really well executed. It is very colorful, vivid and very realistic. After a slow start, the plot picks up and brings fans right back into the Digital World full of adventure and battles.

If you were a fan of the Digimon series in the 1990s and early 2000s, then this is the movie for you. Toei Animation and Shout! Factory have reunited the original characters to produce its first animated feature film. It has been six years since Tai and the rest of the "DigiDestined" crossed over into the Digital World. The gate remains closed but new adventures await.

There is a DVD combo pack option that includes both Japanese and English language versions as well as bonus content. The English dubbing is highly professional. Joshua Seth returns as the voice artist for Tayi Kamiya. He is a well-known voice-over artist, not just for his work on the Digimon series, but multiple other anime and video game projects. My favorite character is Angemon (Dave Mallow). I really enjoy the way he voices this character, making him sound creative and quirky.

Digimon Adventure Tri. - Reunion would not be a good place to start if you are new to Digimon, as it picks up where the series left off many years ago. It is best to have at least some understanding of the back story of the characters and storyline or you will not be able to really grasp what is going on. But the message of working together to achieve a common goal is easy to understand. My favorite scene is when Tai and Angemon stand looking over the cliff. This scene is dramatic and relatable and changes the tone of the film.

This is a dramatic, yet lighthearted film reuniting all of the Digimon characters from the original series. I recommend this film for ages 10 to 16 and give this film 3 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD, March 16, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

By Tristan Tierce, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 14 years old

Digimon Adventure Tri.: Reunion is a fun return to the world of Digimon's Digital Monsters with epic battles and powerful Digimon that should definitely appeal to fans of the original series.

Many years have passed since the original show and the characters are now in high school. Tai encounters a strange Digimon that jeopardizes the reputation of the rest of the magical creatures. Tai is reunited with the rest of the Digidestined and they come together with their Digimon to fight against the destructive monsters that Tai encounters. As this threat becomes more hostile, the Digidestined must work together to fight against it.

My favorite part of this film is the climactic final battle. Seeing the Digidestined fight against one common evil is very epic. This scene feels like it has real stakes to it. I honestly was unsure of what would happen next. It is a nice pay-off for what the film has been building up to the whole time. The Digimon really let loose and you finally really get to see the grand scale of their powers onscreen in a rewarding way.

I do not like the ending to this film. It might catch you off guard with an ending that feels abrupt. You could argue that they chose to end it this way because this film has two other sequels, but I think they could have at least added one more scene.

This film is a little confusing. I know little of the Digimon mythos and there is some exposition that I don't understand. However, this series' welcoming nature though makes up for that. Even though I do not know the characters, they interact in a way that made me feel as if I knew them already. I mostly credit the voice cast for this. They have never played these characters before or worked together, but it feels as if they've known each other for a long time and their chemistry feels very much believable.

I give this DVD an age rating of 5 to 14. It's pretty much for all ages and, if you're a fan of Digimon, I highly recommend it. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Fans of Digimon will really enjoy it. You can find it now on DVD so, go check it out.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Runtime: 96 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 21.97
Media: DVD


BORN IN CHINA

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BORN IN CHINA
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 4-18
Topic - Family
Description - Narrated by John Krasinski, Disneynature's new True Life Adventure film "Born In China" takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden snub-nosed monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard-an elusive animal rarely caught on camera-faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China's vast terrain-from the frigid mountains.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Born in China is a beautifully shot documentary with fun narration, excellent cinematography and an inspiring story. I love the visual splendor of this film and I am still in awe from some of the shots of the vast Chinese landscape.

Narrated by John Krasinski (NBC's The Office, Amazon's Jack Ryan), Born in China chronicles the lives of three animals: Ya Ya, a giant panda who lives surrounded by bamboo and peace with her growing cub, the mischievous monkey Tao Tao who yearns for attention after the birth of his baby sister and later joins a group of outcasts, and the snow leopard Dawa struggling to protect her cubs from predators in harsh conditions. The film also follows the journey of a herd of chiru as they migrate to give birth to their young.

Born in China is one of the rare films that perfectly captures the magic and excitement of nature on screen. Not only does it have footage of some of the cutest animals on earth, but you really get to know some of the animals and their personalities. Also it has great shots of the stunning landscape of China that you're not going to find in any other movie.

John Krasinski is very versatile in his role as narrator. He knows his young audience well and adds some fun dialogue to make it more appealing to them. His narration also goes very well with what is going on onscreen and is key in helping you understand the animals. One flaw is that the subplot with the chiru feels unneeded. Unlike other storylines, there is no main character to gravitate toward or follow. It feels like extra baggage that overcrowds the movie.

One of the best parts is that it demonstrates the animals showcasing basic values we see in society today. The lesson I took away is that the importance of family outweighs everything else, no matter what situation you're in. Tao Tao goes to roam with The Lost Boys because he can't find attention at home but later he learns that those who care for you will be there when you need them.

I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18. It's pretty much suited for all ages, but some animal violence makes it a unsuitable for very young children. It also will be very much enjoyed by adults. I give Born in China 3.5 out of 5 stars. It arrives in theaters just in time for Earth Day, April 22, 2017. Don't forget to stay for the credits for a series of bloopers and outtakes.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WHALE RIDER
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - On the east coast of New Zealand, the Whangara people believe their presence there dates back a thousand years or more to a single ancestor, Paikea, who escaped death when his canoe capsized by riding to shore on the back of a whale. From then on, Whangara chiefs, always the first-born, always male, have been considered Paikea's direct descendants. Pai, an 11-year-old girl in a patriarchal New Zealand tribe, believes she is destined to be the new chief. But her grandfather Koro is bound by tradition to pick a male leader. Pai loves Koro more than anyone in the world, but she must fight him and a thousand years of tradition to fulfill her destiny.
Runtime: 101 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


ADVENTURES OF TRACY & FELT, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ADVENTURES OF TRACY & FELT, THE
ELIZABETH SCHIFFLER
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGE 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - A mini-web series following two explorers learning the magic of science. Director Statement: The Adventures of Tracy & Felt was born out of a desire to work with talented young Washington filmmakers, writers, and artists to ground work in the location we love and learn from. Developed on Whidbey Island, WA we challenged ourselves to create a story full of laughs (mostly our own) and exploring the magical and not-to-distant world of science and nature.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Highly recommended. This short film is very simple, but funny. One moment in particular made me laugh out loud. Obviously this is a low budget production and it is very cleverly done The production quality isn't great, but it has a certain style that is very compelling. With a bigger budget, it has potential as a sitcom on maybe Disney or Nickelodeon. The two main characters, a boy and an octopus, are not that bright. They are very immature and na�ve, but quite likable. The background music doesn't stand out or add much. This mini web-series is definitely is aimed at a younger demographic who will appreciate its silliness. There are more episodes on their YouTube Channel by the same name. I enjoyed it enough to subscribe. I recommend this for ages 8 to 15, particularly those who want to watch a simple, silly and fun series. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


WEDDING PLAN, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WEDDING PLAN, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-16
Topic - Family
Description - After her fianc� calls off their wedding a month before the ceremony, a woman decides to keep the reservation and trusts God will provide her with a husband.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Many people say that they have faith, but how many are willing to give it 100 % and put their family, money, beliefs and trust into the hands of God. This is a fabulous tale of faith and how things can be rough, but you need to buckle down, be kind and try your best to have faith in God and in yourself, no matter what happens. The writing and the acting is brilliant and will have you on the edge of your seat throughout this humorous story.

It is a common human belief that, as we grow up, everyone's goal is to find a mate or someone to spend the rest of their lives with. While Michal (Noa Kooler) is planning her big wedding, she finds out the man she plans to marry does not love her.

Exhausted by dating and trying to find the perfect mate, she puts her faith in God and plans an entire wedding with the faith that a groom will show up by her wedding day. This leads to a string of matchmakers, blind dates, rock stars and many other possible grooms before the wedding day.

The acting is superb and Michal (Noa Kooler) tells her story in the most believable way, showing how difficult it can be to find the perfect mate. I love how Noa Kooler portrays her character with such passion and poise. Her facial expressions are fantastic she really makes you relate to Michal and the way she feels. Kooler deserves an award for her wonderfully portrayal of such a hard-working, honest and opinionated person. Michal is very quirky and honest with everyone she meets. Yos (Oz Zshavi) is a super-cute rock star who Michal meets. Although she wants a groom, it cannot be just anyone. She wants to marry someone for life.

You can see the shock in people faces when she tells them that she is getting married on the eighth day of Hanukah but has no idea who the groom will be. This is why I was fascinated by this movie because you never know until the end whether she will be married or if she will be single forever. I like the music. Adding the lyrics to the screen is a great idea.

One of my favorite things about this story is that Michal travels with a petting zoo. Her job is introducing the animals to the children and letting them hold and pet them. The van that she drives which holds all the animals, adds to the charm of this film. It made me laugh. One of my favorite scenes is Michal's introduction of a snake at a little girl's birthday party when she tries to get them to pet a snake.

The dialogue of the story, set in Jerusalem, Israel is Hebrew and subtitled in English. After a while I didn't even notice that I was reading subtitles because the story is so intriguing and interesting. Every once in a while there were a few points where the subtitles went a little too fast for me. This movie is fascinating and thought provoking. It made me think and laugh at the same time.

I give this 5 out of 5 gigantic wedding bouquets and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because, in order to read the sub-titles, you must know how to read. Also, it is a very intense story and teaches good values such as don't give up, always give 100% or more, always believe in one another, especially God and, even when you think you can't succeed, you need to have faith. It is full of cute outfits, great acting, a stunning cast and an adorable story. It opens in theaters May 12, 2017 so, put it on your to see list.

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

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


ALBEDO ABSOLUTE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ALBEDO ABSOLUTE
TATIANA CHKHOVA
Series: SHORT AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - This film is a fairytale adventure of Violet and Savannah, two sisters who disobey their parent's warning by venturing into a brooding forest. There, they discover a large plug wedged into the forest floor. What lurks beneath the plug? The girls cannot resist finding out. Their curiosity sends them down a kaleidoscopic drain pipe and into a strange and startling journey of no return.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film has a very artistic feeling to it. It's exceptionally well produced and the young actors are quite engaging. It's intriguing to watch because, while it's not overtly suspenseful, you're on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. The colors in the film are all so vibrant and wonderfully eye catching. So much that I did not want to look away from the screen for even a second. The story is about two young girls who venture outside against their parents' warnings and find a large bathtub plug in the ground. When they pull the plug, they find something they would have never thought they would find, and they end up wishing they would've listened to their parents. The film leaves us with a cliffhanger. I wanted to know what happened but, you don't find out. I suppose we'll have to wait for its sequel. The film flows well and has a very mysterious feel to it. The cinematography is quite wonderful. The camera work and sound quality are excellent. The animation adds to the film and is appropriately used. The storyline is intriguing and suspenseful. I think that adults would enjoy watching it with their middle and high school aged children. I recommend it for ages 8 to 15 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Perhaps the only hiccup with it is that the girls venture into the woods against their parents' warnings. Reviewed by Kelsey M and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


BONECA DE ATAURO: SEARCHING FOR THE LOST LOVE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BONECA DE ATAURO: SEARCHING FOR THE LOST LOVE
DAVID PALAZ�N
Series: FOREIGN ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - 'Boneca de Ata�ro: Searching for the Lost Love' is the first stop-motion film coming out the young nation of Timor-Leste. On this non-stop laughter and action-packed film, the main character--a handmade rag doll called Ataurina--while looking for her abducted partner, takes us into an adventurous journey through some of the most beautiful locations in Ata�ro island (a new eco-tourism paradise destination in South East Asia). During the trip, Ataurina travels by all means encountering unexpected dangers and meeting curious characters across the island in a mission to get her loved one back. The Boneca de Ata�ro (Ata�ro's Doll--in Portuguese) is a well-established women cooperative producing for the last 10 years the most well-known handicraft brand in the young nation of Timor-Leste. The cooperative produces intricately handmade embroidery dolls, handbags, toys, housewares and educational products. Based in Ata�ro island--25km north off the coast of Dili--it is one of those projects truly born out of love, passion and hard work, providing income to over 60 families in the island. The film was made totally pro-bono by award-winning filmmaker David Palaz�n, co-written by Karen Reidy and Swiss artist Ester Piera Zuercher (the founder) and co-produced in collaboration with the women at the cooperative.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This lovely short film is about a doll who goes on an exciting and adventurous journey to find her boyfriend. She travels all over this island before she finds him, meeting many different walks of life along the way. This film is very cute and, somewhat educational because we learn how the dolls are made, which is interesting and exciting. A child would enjoy this because its fun and lighthearted and the story about a doll's adventure is silly at times but we get to meet a lot of fun, colorful characters along the way. I love the dolls. They're sort of like a rag doll and, when they come to life, they're absolutely charming. The voice over for them is also quite charming. And then, the characters they meet are also rag doll type characters of different sorts. The film flows nicely and is quite watchable. I believe it would make a lovely addition to a children's or family film festival, especially if there was a focus on international culture. The film's dialogue is in Tetun, the local language, with English subtitles. They move slowly enough that it is easy to follow along. The sound quality is wonderful. It is crisp and easy to understand. At times, it is so realistic, while at other times - quite hilarious. All the sound effects really add to the film and make it amazing. The cinematography is impeccable as well. The picture is very clear and only unsteady when it is required. I recommend it for ages 8 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars because it's really funny and cute and I think just about anyone would love it! Reviewed by Kelsey M. and Julie S.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 20 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PROMISE, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PROMISE, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
OPEN ROAD PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, The Promise follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated Ana, and Chris - a renowned American journalist based in Paris.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I am definitely going to watch this film again. It is so exotic because it is based on the Ottoman Empire, which not every kid is entirely aware of. The school subject I dislike most is history, but after seeing this film, my mind is forever changed because I am fascinated about how much goes on in the world.

The Promise is set in the Ottoman Empire, in Armenia, the eastern part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Mikael Pogosian (Oscar Isaac) is a young, Armenian medical student who recently married in order to receive an endowment to pay for medical school. He leaves for Istanbul to further his studies. In the midst of his medical endeavors World War 1 breaks out and Armenia is deeply involved in it. When he travels to Istanbul, a mass Armenian genocide is initiated and he has to overcome these obstacles with Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), a woman he begins to fall in love with. Since her husband, Chris Myers (Christian Bale) is not too happy, a love triangle begins to form. Pogosian and Le Bon work together to keep everyone safe and try to leave Turkey and go to the United States.

Oscar Isaac (Mikael Pogosian), the protagonist, puts others first and acts solely on instinct, which is a great quality to possess. Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) has a kind heart and desires to save all of the Armenian children. Chris Myers (Christian Bale) is a reporter for the Armenian genocide and takes great pride in his work. The budget for this film must have been very large because there are hundreds of weapons utilized, many explosions and gunshots and many buildings destroyed. I love that the men ride on horses because horses are one of my favorite animals. It reminds me of history class because, in the past, soldiers rode on horseback.

My favorite part of the film when Ana is teaching Pogosian how to dance with her cousins and Pogosian's cousin walks in. There is complete silence. Not many men dance, so it is entertaining to watch. The message of this film is to be informed about the past and to appreciate all that you have. Living in America, I feel fortunate to be safe and could not imagine what people in countries such as Armenia and Turkey have gone through.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. Since there are many casualties and gory scenes, I recommend this film to children ages 16 to 18 and think adults will enjoy it too. This movie changes how I think. I learned so much from it. If you can watch intense scenes, then you should see it because it will change your life. This film opens in theaters on April 21, 2017. It is a movie that you truly do not want to miss.

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

The Promise, directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Terry George, is a moving love story based in Turkey and Armenia during World War I.

Mikael Pogosan (Oscar Isaac) was born into a simple family, but had dreams of attending medical school in Constantinople. Once there he fell in love with a fellow Armenian, Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), but she was already in a relationship with American Journalist, Chris Meyers (Christian Bale). While The Promise focuses on the relationships between Mikael, Maral (Angela Sarafyan), Ana and Chris, it dives deep into the chaos and destruction of World War I.

The Promise was shot on location in various parts of Spain witch provides a very picturesque backdrop. I feel that the cinematography matches the very deep and compelling nature of this film. It is a period piece from 1914 and the costumes, hair and makeup are very fitting.

My favorite character is Chris Myers. At first he appears abrasive and hardened, but he wins the audience in the end with his selfless acts and overwhelming display of love toward Ana and compassion toward Mikael and all the Armenian people. I was fascinated by his character development. He continually faces struggles, but his burden for sharing the story of the Armenian people is what keeps him strong.

My favorite scene is when Oscar, narrowly escapes from the Turks and ends up hitching a ride on a moving train, only to learn that it is crammed full of Armenians. Even though he struggles to stay alive, he attempts to rescue them, but unfortunately fails.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars. The Promise is way more than a love story. It is a fascinating history lesson that shows the realities of war through raw human emotions. Because of the graphic nature of this film, along with a few love scenes, it is appropriately rated PG-13 and, therefore I recommend it for ages 13 to 18, and I know most adults will enjoy it as well. This film opens in theaters on April 21 so, be sure to check it out.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 14-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


POWER RANGERS (2017)

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
POWER RANGERS (2017)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - High school outcasts stumble upon an old alien ship, where they acquire superpowers and are dubbed the Power Rangers. Learning that an old enemy of the previous generation has returned to exact vengeance, the group must harness their powers and use them to work together and save the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - There have been many movies, shows and stories related to the Power Rangers series, but by far, Power Rangers (2017) beats all other installments in the series. This doesn't mean Power Rangers (2017) is perfect. The film has a fair share of flaws that could have been fixed, but for the most part, it leaves a pleasant and positive impression.

This film has plenty of action, with lots of comedic scenes to illicit frequent giggles from the viewers. Some romance blossoms between the characters and it is filled with a dramatic feel throughout the entire film. The story begins when five kids, despite having no previous connection with each other, all end up at a gold mine, where a strange rock with even stranger coins is revealed. Each of them take one coin and attempt to escape from the mine's security. Sadly, while escaping, they get hit by a train in what would be a lethal crash. Yet, all five wake up the next day completely alive. More important, now they all share super hero strength, can jump really high and more. Soon the five learn that they are the Power Rangers and need to defend a crystal in Earth's crust that allows life to exist on the planet, from an evil woman named Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks).

Power Rangers (2017) has entertainment value and fans of the brand will especially enjoy it. There are many aspects that come out perfectly. My favorite aspect, by far, is the cinematography. Every single shot in the 120 minute run time is wonderful, from twisting shots that give the viewer a first-person perspective, to shots flying through the air to give a sense of scale. Another aspect that the crew achieved successfully are the costumes. The Power Rangers look epic and the reveal of their costumes were cheered by viewers in the theater because of how iconic the designs are. The plot also has many good aspects. They don't give the characters' super powers and super suits at the beginning. For most of the film, you have five teenagers who are clearly mortal. This gives the viewer time to bond and connect with the characters and allows a sense of realism.

The plot does have its downsides. Even to people who have no idea who Power Rangers are, the story is quite predictable. From the first time they give information about the conflict in the story, I knew exactly how the adventure would turn out. One aspect that surprised me was the special effects. The designs of the monsters and robots all look very real and impressive, but their placements in the real world look forced and somewhat fake, and there are many times where it's especially obvious to the viewer. Despite all these flaws, the acting is quite phenomenal. I love the way every character comes to life, and how the actors are able to transform. One character that I thought could be improved is the villain, Rita. The back story in Power Rangers (2017) is very vague, and turns her into another "good guy turned evil and now she is insane" example. This has been overused in movies, especially when it comes to stories about super-heroes. I do appreciate how diverse the background stories of these characters are and how in tune with today's world they are as well.

My favorite scene has to be the compilation of clips where the five realize their powers. Of course, they wake up thinking that the previous night's deadly train crash was simply a bad dream, but they soon start realizing something is very wrong. Not only are the stones from the previous night still in their pockets, but throughout the day, it becomes very clear that their strength has exponentially grown, and they are now stronger and more fit then the strongest people on Earth. I chose this scene because the acting and cinematography work together very well in these clips to show the true confusion on the characters' faces. You really feel like you are part of the scene, instead of simply watching it.

This film has one major change from the older films. It is no longer appropriate for younger kids. They portray Rita in an almost horror-like way (which comes out stunningly) and, there are some scenes with adult language and slightly adult references. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars because of its many flaws, like the special effects, storyline and some of the characters. However, Power Rangers (2017) is still enjoyable to watch and really does justice to the series. It is in theaters now so, go check it out.

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

Saban's Power Rangers is a great romp of Power Rangers' fan service. I found the acting and special effects to be incredible throughout this movie. This will appeal to all Power Rangers' fans. This film is about five teenagers, Jason (Dacre Montgomery), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Billy (RJ Cyler), Zach (Ludi Lin) and Trini (Becky G.), who are all misfits. The five come across stones of the Power Rangers, an order of people who protect Earth, and they take these stones. The next day they wake up with superpowers. They go back to find an underground lair with a robot Alpha 5 (Bill Hader) and a former Power Ranger in the form of a talking wall, Zordon (Bryan Cranston). Zordon warns them of an imposing threat, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks), who has the power to destroy Earth. This group of misfits must learn to overcome their problems to become the Power Rangers and defeat Rita Repulsa.

Dacre Montgomery presents leadership yet also being a troublemaker in his role as Jason (Red Ranger), and instead of falling to the stereotypes of being the bland leader who gives rules, he presents a charisma in his character. Naomi Scott as Kimberly (Pink Ranger) is fantastic in presenting a fierce yet caring Power Ranger. RJ Cyler as Billy (Blue Ranger) is my favorite character in the movie due to his comic relief. Ludi Lin as Zach (Black Ranger) presents a careless, yet quick Power Ranger. Becky G as Trini (Yellow Ranger) completes the team of Power Rangers. Elizabeth Banks can be a little bit too over-the-top with her villainous Rita Repulsa, who is horrifying most of the time but funny in the most unintentional parts.

The direction of the movie by Dean Israelite is fast paced with every character and especially during the action scenes. The special effects by Zoilo Abad are exceptional with the details on the costumes taking the highlight. My favorite scene is the final battle with Rita Repulsa in the Power Rangers' mech suits due to the breathtaking special effects. The movie's message is about teamwork being the solution to the problem because the team is only able to defeat Rita Repulsa by working together as a team and using tactics they learn together. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 due to the intense action and language. This film opens is in theaters now, so go and check it out, if you want a mighty morphing time.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 1

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


FATE OF THE FURIOUS, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FATE OF THE FURIOUS, THE       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 - Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game-and the rest of the crew has been exonerated-the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime he can't seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world's stage... and to bring home the man who made them a family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - As a fan of the Fast & Furious series, I really enjoyed the excitement of the fast cars, beautiful scenery and spectacular action sequences in this film.

The opening scene gives a glimpse of the streets of Cuba, in which Dom (Vin Diesel) races an old, raggedy car that belongs to his cousin who is behind in his payments to the loan shark Raldo (Celestino Cornielle) and gets us ready for all the extravagant stunts to come. The stakes are high. The winner takes the opponent's car! Dom shows his expertise and experience as he races the burning car in reverse to victory. He does not take Raldo's car and gives his cousin his car. This is the beginning of the underlying theme of "family" and "loyalty".

All the characters are now older and family and loyalty resonates with them now. The villain, Ciper (Charlize Theron) is a threat to the team's family. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force crisscross the globe to stop Cipher from unleashing chaos on the world's stage.

There are several scenes that demonstrate ingenuity. For example, the street lights are all green. Cars start without a driver and they chase of a submarine in icy cold water. My favorite part is when the team hooks up Dom's car with the determination to save Dom from his rogue actions.

I recommend the film for ages 14 to 18 because of the violence and how scantily clad women are objectified, looked up and down by the camera and there are scenes of a married couple in bed together kissing and being close to each other. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It opens in your local theater on Friday, April 14, 2017 so, go check it out.

By Juanita Seon L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Buckle your seatbelt for the new movie The Fate Of The Furious, an action-packed, block-buster sequel to The Fast and the Furious. I have never watched any of the Fast and the Furious movies and I really enjoyed this. This film seems like it is the beginning of a story and it brings you up to speed on what happened in the past very quickly. So even if you have never seen any of the Fast and the Furious movies, you will know what's happening and be very interested. The tone of this movie is very intense because the action keeps you wondering what is going to happen next.

This movie is about a guy named Dom (Vin Diesel) who betrays his team and goes and fights for another team that does evil things. Dom's old team, led by Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock), has to go fight not only for themselves but also for the world. You have to watch this movie to the end to find out how Dom feels about betraying his team.

The special effects absolutely blew my mind and, I must say, I have never seen better special effects than what's in this film. The cars drive themselves and the action scenes could never happen in real life. They are pure genius. I would have loved see it in 3D because all of the cars and action scenes would have made been that much more intense. If you like funny movies with a lot of action you will definitely love this movie.

The message of this film is to not betray your friends. When Dom goes rogue, his friends start to change and hate him. In real life, this same thing would happen. One thing that bothered me about this movie is that, even though Dom is one of the main characters, he doesn't talk a lot and looks sad most of the time. I didn't really like that and I think the audience would have understood his character better if he had more lines. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 gold stars and recommend this movie for ages 10 to 18 because of some profanity, humor and violence. Adults will also love this movie. It opens in theaters April 14, 2017 so go check it out.

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

The Fate of the Furious is an enjoyable entry into the Fast and Furious franchise that brings exactly what fans want to see: ridiculous action sequences, fun characters and slick new cars.

Directed by F. Gary Gray, The Fate of the Furious opens with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) on their honeymoon in Cuba when his team is called to assist Luke Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) with a mission in Berlin. Dom ruins the mission by going rogue and leaving Hobbs injured on the side of the road. The team soon figures out that Dom is working with a cyber terrorist by the name of Cipher (Charlize Theron). To take down Dom and figure out why he has changed sides, they must enlist the help of old friends as well as new ones.

My favorite part of this film is the jailbreak scene where Hobbs has to stop an old enemy named Deckard (Jason Statham) from escaping prison and wreaking havoc. Seeing two action heroes fighting their way out of prison and preparing to duke it out is exhilarating and had me pumping my fists in the air with excitement. This scene is over-the-top and outrageous but I was having too much fun to care.

I am an outsider to this franchise, having never before seen a Fast and Furious film. I really enjoyed this movie. As this franchise has evolved, it has learned what the fans want to see. By not taking itself too seriously, the cheesy dialogue and slow-mo feel a little more fitting with its lighter tone. The way this film works is that it knows it's absurd and has fun with it.

I don't love the story because it tries to do too much, a common thing in blockbuster movies today. The opening sequence in Cuba is unnecessary. It barely has anything to do with the plot but it does establish the mood and tone. By upping the ante with ridiculous action from the very start, it prepares the audience for what's to come. There are also a lot of characters to follow and sometimes the plot gets a little too ridiculous for comfort. But if you're going to see this film, it's not for a strong story.

Some performances in this film are very funny. Tyrese Gibson is hilarious as Roman. He has a lot of fun with this role and is very energetic. Dwayne Johnson is another standout who delivers an amusing performance. He maintains his action hero persona while also exercising his comedic chops.

The lesson of this film is that you should never turn your back on family. Even when Dom goes rogue, his team never gives up on him. I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18 for its mild language and violence.

I give The Fate of the Furious 4 out of 5 stars. Overall, The Fate of the Furious is a film that should be appealing for outsiders to this franchise as well as those who have been on this ride since the very beginning. This film opens in theaters on April 14th, so be sure to check it out.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

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


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KUU KUU HARAJUKU: MUSIC BABY
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - From the mind of Gwen Stefani comes the world of Kuu Kuu Harajuku! Say hello to HJ5! A super cool band made of five super cool girls! Love, Angel, Music, Baby and their inspirational leader G love to sing, dance and sport the latest kawaii fashions (Kawaii is "cute " in Harajuku speak)! With help from their loveably incompetent manager Rudie, HJ5 travels all over to put on shows for their fans! Although they are totally talented, every time they start a gig, something wild and crazy happens before they finish the first bar! I mean, it's not easy performing while you are being attacked by space aliens, adorable (and ravenous) monster pets OR hunger (you don't want to mess with Baby when she's hangry). No matter what challenges come their way, they always work together to save the day!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This program was ?co-?created by Gwen Stephani (No Doubt) and you can really tell. It's extremely girly and stylistic and the music is fantastic. It's about a band called HJ5?. It has a real cutesy Spice Girls meets My Little Pony feel to it. The girls are always running into problems while trying to do a gig. Nothing seems to go their way, but because they are such great friends they always find a way to salvage the day. There is an adorable episode called Baby's Birthday. Baby is on the girls in the band and it's fun watching the other members scrambling to make this day worthwhile for Baby. This is definitely not a program that I ?think? boys would ?particularly enjoy. There are ?no action moments?. It is all heavily focused towards girls?,? which is fine.? The music is great and ?it ?has a fun pop sound. The animation is ?quite ?good and ?the storyline flows well. I ?recommend this for ages 4 through 11 and give it 5 out 5 stars for really teaching girls to be tough and stay positive! Reviewed by Rachael Vickers, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98
Media: DVD


TOMMY'S HONOUR

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TOMMY'S HONOUR       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Set against the early days of the sport and stunning landscape of Scotland, TOMMY'S HONOUR is based on the intimate and powerfully moving true story of the challenging relationship between "Old" Tom Morris (Peter Mullan) and "Young" Tommy Morris (Jack Lowden), the dynamic father-son team who ushered in the modern game of golf. As their fame grew exponentially, Tom and Tommy, Scotland's Golf Royalty, were touched by drama and personal tragedy. At first matching his father's success, Tommy's talent and fame grew to outshine his father's accomplishments as founder of the Open Championship in 1860, his stellar playing record, and his reputation as the local caddie master, greenskeeper and club & ball maker. In contrast to his public persona, Tommy's inner turmoil ultimately led him to rebel against the aristocracy who gave him opportunity, led by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews chief Alexander Boothby (Sam Neill), and the parents who shunned his passionate relationship with his girlfriend-then-wife Meg Drinnen (Ophelia Lovibond).
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed this film. It reminds me that golf isn't as easy as it looks. In fact, the sport is rigorous and difficult and, at times, unpleasant and uncomfortable. In the film, players are forced to play through all kinds of weather, including heavy rain and harsh snow. Going into this movie, I wasn't a great fan of golf. However, you don't need to be in order to enjoy the film. The movie combines elements of romance and allure along with a superb storyline which kept my mind stimulated and thinking as I watched the film.

Tommy's Honour tells a story about a father and son who both love the game of golf. Tommy Morris Sr. is considered the game's founding father and Tommy Jr. was the best golfer in the nineteenth century.

One thing that surprised me is how interesting Tommy Jr.'s character is. He is loyal, chivalrous, intelligent and determined. He always perseveres, no matter what obstacles stand in his way. I especially like the scene in which young Tommy chops down the tree. Although heartbreaking to watch, it really showcases his vulnerability.

Also jaw-dropping are the scenery and the locations. Tommy's Honour was filmed in Scotland where the actual story took place. The wide, open oceans and the vast greenery along with the architecture and culture absolutely blew me away. I've always wanted to travel to Scotland, but now, I am driven to go and experience the culture for myself. Scotland seems like an incredible country, with both natural and manmade artifacts and geography that are gorgeous.

The background music also keeps it stimulating and interesting. The music suits the tone of each scene and also puts a very Scottish spin on the movie. Another thing I like is the subtle humor. Although this film is not a comedy, the writers manage to sneak in a few laughs.

I would rate this film 5 out of 5 stars for its incredible storyline and enchanting cinematography and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well. You should know there are some intense scenes. This film comes out in theaters on April 14 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGE 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a roller-coaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Smurfs: The Lost Village is a fun family film full of creativity and good animation. The movie takes kids into a vibrant new world with a new crew of Smurfs. Unfortunately, some bland characters and stale laughs don't live up to the visual achievement of this movie.

Based on the works of Belgian cartoonist Peyo, this film follows Smurfette as she struggles to discover her identity. Smurfette was a lump of clay created by the evil wizard, Gargamel, who is the Smurfs' sworn foe. Whenever she tries to forget the terrible notion that she is not a true Smurf, something happens that reaffirms her of it. One day, while playing with a group of Smurfs, she sees something that may lead to the uncovering of a new faction of Smurfs. Smurfette, Hefty, Brainy and Clumsy set out on a journey together. With Gargamel on their heels, what they find could change the world around them forever.

The animation in this film is vibrant. The creatures in the forest surrounding the Lost Village are colorful and creative. The look and feel of the film overall pays homage to the original comics but also exploits the nuance and richness of modern computer animation techniques.

I don't care for the story in this film. Other than the addition of the Lost Village and its inhabitants, it feels pretty formulaic. The story has a lot of the tropes of the original cartoon and that isn't a bad thing, but the plot is predictable and the antics between Gargamel and the Smurfs in a full-length feature film grow old very fast. I would have liked to see this film take a different path than the adaptations before it, but it plays it safe.

The voice cast of this film includes a broad range of actors from Julia Roberts to Jack McBrayer. The film never really uses these actors to their full potential, sidelining many to bit cameos rather than real roles. Mandy Patinkin is a standout in this film as Papa Smurf, a wise guy who helps the Smurfs when they seek guidance. Patinkin is the perfect choice to play this role. His voice is both soothing and authoritative. Patinkin also has the right amount of charisma to voice this character.

The lesson of this film is that you will not be remembered for what you were good at, but the kindness in your heart. Smurfette has trouble finding a skill that will define her personality unlike her other Smurf pals. But that is not what is important in life. The way people will remember your legacy is by how you treated others. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 10 and you should be aware there is some crude humor. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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

I enjoyed the film Smurfs: The Lost Village because it teaches girls to be strong and confident within themselves. This movie also teaches kids that working together is better than working alone. I don't like that the movie implies there is a relationship between Papa Smurf and Smurfwillow or that it pushes a relationship between Smurfette and Hefty Smurf. This is not needed. I found this movie to not be as funny as the live action ones, which is weird since most children's animated films have a lot of funny moments.

The story is about Smurfette feeling lost and alone because she is the only girl in the village. She also feels like she isn't a real Smurf because she was made by Gargamel, who wants to take all the Smurfs to steal their magic. To save another Smurf Village from evil, Gargamel, Hefty, Clumsy, Nerdy and Smurfette work together to find the lost village and warn them about Gargamel. On this journey they discover the biggest secret in Smurf history and help Smurfette realize the power inside of her, that she is strong and fits in.

The animation in this movie is very detailed. It reminds me of a lot of the claymation in The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is much better than The Smurfs 2 (2013). It seems more animated and not as realistic which adds to the fantasy of being in the Smurf world. The backgrounds are quite pretty and mystical, especially when The Smurfs go to the Forbidden Forest.

The star-studded cast includes Demi Lovato, Julia Roberts, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello and many, many more. Their voice acting is one of the best parts of the film, especially Demi Lovato's voice as Smurfetts. She acts in such a docile manner but still projects the strength of girl power.

My favorite character is Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) who is the funniest characters. I can relate to Clumsy in that I too am very clumsy. I always manage to trip over some object. I also really enjoyed the character Brainy (Danny Pudi) who is another funny character. I admire how he relies on his books for most of the movie, but gets over listening to how things should be and just cherishes living in the moment.

The message of this movie is all about team work and how girls are powerful. I recommend this movie to ages 5 to 7 and give this a 3 out of 5 stars. This film comes out April 7, 2017 in theaters nationwide so, check it out.

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

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


GOING IN STYLE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GOING IN STYLE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A reboot of the 1979 movie that was directed by Martin Brest and featured George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg. Three seniors, who are living social security check to check and even reduced to eating dog food at times, decide they have had enough. So, they plan to rob a bank...problem is, they don't even know how to handle a gun! A social commentary on growing old in America and what we are sometimes driven to, due to circumstances.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I was really looking forward to seeing this film because of its stellar cast and the heist theme, which I'm particularly fond of. And, I must say, I was not disappointed in the least. Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Ann-Margaret all deliver credible and mildly hysterical performances. It's an absolute hoot whether you are 60, 40, 20 or younger. The line: It's a culture's duty to take care of its elderly" makes a poignant statement. The underlying theme, about robbing a bank because the bank and the company that you slaved away for 40 years, touches an all too true scenario in today's retiree experience. I'm not saying you should go rob a bank but seriously, seniors are being robbed of what is due them in ever expanding numbers and it's not a good thing. Nice to laugh about the situation. Highly recommended. 5 out of 5 stars, recommended for ages 10 to 18.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Out of all of the movies that I have seen this year, this movie is by far the funniest. Within five minutes, my stomach hurt because I was laughing so much.

I love a comedic plot and Going In Style is exactly that - three older men try to rob a bank to obtain a better life. These lifelong friends, Willie, Al and Joe, are having personal struggles. Willie (Morgan Freeman) desperately needs a new kidney. Joe (Michael Caine) is losing his home. And, Al (Alan Arkin) is just pressured into robbing a bank. Joe thinks of making the idea a reality once their pensions are cancelled. Inspired by a robbery the men witnessed, Willie, Joe and Al are optimistic they can steal their deserved pension money, but are going to need help.

Morgan Freeman's portrayal of Willie is incredible. Given that Willie needs a new kidney to better his life, Freeman's despair is heart-wrenching and he connects with the audience in a unique way, because he remains hopeful that he will feel better in the near future. Michael Caine really suits the role of Joe whose fearless personality helps accelerate the success of the robbery. Alan Arkin plays Al who acts innocent at first, but once the robbery becomes a reality, you see his wild side emerge and it is quite hilarious.

The costumes worn by Willie, Joe and Al are extremely entertaining. They wear masks that resemble famous people! In addition to this, the bank they plan to rob is very fancy. Seeing famous people walk into an elegant bank with guns and large bags is humorous to watch. My favorite part is when Joe and Willie are watching television and The Bachelorette comes on. This scene had me laughing the entire time because I am a such a Bachelorette fan. Seeing these older men discuss Kaitlyn Bristowe's final pick was unexpected, but gave me a good laugh.

The message of this film is to chase after your dreams, no matter how old you are. If 70 year old men can rob a bank, then you can too. All humor aside, the film illustrates that nothing is impossible and you can better your life if you want to. Hands down, this film deserves 5 out of 5 stars. There are a multitude of jokes, action scenes and the motivation that these three men possess to reunite with their families and better their lives is so strong. It motivates me to jump over any obstacle in my way and complete any task I need to. I recommend this film to kids ages 13 to 18, because it leaves you with a smile on your face. Even though it is about robbing a bank, kids know to not replicate that, so I'm not concerned about them heading out to rob their neighborhood bank. There are a few shooting scenes, so please be mindful about who goes to see this film. Adults will love this film as well, because they can relate to the personal issues these men face. This film opens nationwide on April 7th, 2017. It has something for everyone and if you have never seen three older men rob a bank, you definitely should.

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

Going in Style is a good remake of the 1979 movie of the same name. I found the acting and humor to be funny and it will definitely appeal to all heist movie fans.

This movie is about three elderly people, Willie (Morgan Freeman), Joe (Michael Caine) and Albert (Alan Arkin), whose pensions have been frozen by a corrupt bank. Joe has an idea to rob the corrupt bank. Despite initially disagreeing, Willie and Albert agree to the plan. However, the three have a long way to go and they must face training to pull off the heist.

Morgan Freeman as Willy presents a supportive friend with health ailments and expresses his love for his granddaughter with whom he communicates by internet. Michael Cane as Joe is the one who comes up with the plan and is very impressive because of his willpower to not lose his home. Alan Arkin as Albert is my favorite character as he steals the show with his charm and wit. Matt Dillon as Hamer portrays an intelligent cop who wants to track down these bank robbers.

The direction by Zach Braff is slow paced in the beginning and becomes fast paced towards the end. The movie seems to the drag a lot in the beginning but it comes around. My favorite scene is the chase after they rob a local convenience store. It is very hilarious and comedic.

The movie's message is to never underestimate a person by their age or looks because the three friends are able to pull out an impossible heist in spite of their age and health issues. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 due to some scenes involving drugs and some language. This film opens in theaters on April 7th, so go and check it out.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


GIFTED

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GIFTED       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old's mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank's formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary's landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary's teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Gifted is a story with not a lot of surprise elements, but it wins the audience over with its powerful statement, outstanding acting and stunning cinematography. Mainly, Gifted has a very dramatic storyline. However, Gifted offers much more then that. Viewers also get a subplot of romance, friendship and strong family values as well as some comedy here and there to keep a dramatic movie light.

The plot begins when Mary Adler (Mckenna Grace) starts first grade. She isn't like the other kids in her class. Her teacher, Bonnie (Jenny Slate) soon learns that Mary turns out to be a genius in mathematics. She can easily do equations higher than high school level. Despite her clear giftedness, Mary's uncle, Frank (Chris Evans) refuses to put Mary in a school for gifted children, trying to keep the girl's life normal. Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), Mary's grandmother insists on making her do mathematics around the clock and training her to be a math prodigy. What follows is a custody battle between the two for Mary.

My favorite scene really stands out due to remarkable lighting and camera work. The scene really doesn't contribute to the plot, but the cinematography makes it one of the most excellent in the film. The scene shows Mary riding on Frank's shoulders. Behind them, a giant sunset completely fills the sky. The lighting from the setting sun comes out stunningly dazzling. Even though it doesn't add to the complexity of the story, the scene is very impressive and demonstrates the closeness of the uncle and his niece.

One of Gifted's weak points waters down to the story. Even though the film is unique from other stories about genius kids, by focusing on the family values and relationships instead of Mary's exceptional mathematical skills, it still comes out very predictable and rather simple. The main conflict never really feels like a major issue but rather, just a side story. Despite those issues, Gifted still entertains through the acting. All the actors deliver outstanding performances. Mckenna Grace, despite being only 10-years-old, completely steals the show. Never does the acting feel forced and the actors seem to authentically connect with their characters and have a true bond on-screen.

There are a few adult references in the film, but nothing too worry about. I recommend this for ages 8 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars because, although the story needs work, the acting and cinematography make Gifted a very entertaining and memorable film. This opens in theaters April 14 so, be sure to check it out.

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

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


ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The time is 1939 and the place is Poland, homeland of Antonina Zabinski and her husband, Dr. Jan Zabinski. The Warsaw Zoo flourishes under Jan's stewardship and Antonina's care. When their country is invaded by the Nazis, Jan and Antonina are forced to report to the Reich's newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck. The Zabinskis covertly begin working with the Resistance and put into action plans to save the lives of hundreds from what has become the Warsaw Ghetto.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is truly incredible because it shows how kind hearted people are. Given that the movie takes place in Poland during World War II, there is a lot of tension among the Jewish and German residents because the Jewish Holocaust is occurring. But, the main characters, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, still manage to take care of their zoo and try to keep the animals safe.

In the midst of World War II, Adolf Hitler's power permeates in Poland, specifically in the Warsaw ghetto, where there are many Jewish inhabitants. Living in Warsaw is Antonina Zabinski (Jessica Chastain), her husband Jan Zabinski (Johan Heldenbergh) and their son. They are in charge of the Warsaw Zoo, where any animal you can imagine lives. Bombs are hitting the Warsaw Zoo, killing many of the animals. The zoo is almost completely destroyed, and the Zabinski's decide to use it as a Jewish sanctuary.

Jessica Chastain's portrayal of Antonina is quite believable. Antonina is a beautiful woman who loves animals more than she loves herself and she does her best to ensure that everything goes as planned. Johan Heldenbergh, who plays Jan, is very brave. He acts as an assistant to a German soldier and looks for creative ways to transport the Jews to safety. They put their lives on the line to save others, which truly is remarkable.

The Warsaw Zoo looks astonishing. It is huge! There are so many beautiful trees, and there are animals walking around with Antonina. I want to now have my own zoo someday!

My favorite part of the movie is when Antonina is riding her bicycle and she calls her camel to walk alongside her. This camel is hilarious because he makes strange noises and he hops so quickly. He acts as a police patrol for the zoo, which I think is extremely funny.

The message of this film is to help others. Antonina and Jan Zabinski try to help hundreds of Jews stay safe and do not put themselves first. Antonina and Jan live in imminent danger themselves and all they can focus on is making a difference, which I admire greatly.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. It is so inspiring and there are animals in it, for which I have a great soft spot. Given that there are many casualties among animals and people, I recommend this film to ages 14 to 18 as well as adults. This film is not afraid to depict historical reality, so it may be difficult to watch some scenes, but this movie is now one of my favorites. Watch this film if you enjoy history and films that are based on true stories. It comes out on March 31, 2017 in theaters so, make sure to keep your eyes open for it. It is a movie you certainly don't want to miss.

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

I really enjoyed The Zookeeper's Wife. It is a real-life story about love and caring under extreme conditions in the midst of war. Antonina Zabinska and her husband, Dr. Jan Zabinski, are so brave and generous. They saved the lives of almost 300 Jewish people by hiding them in their basement under their zoo during the German invasion in Poland in WWII. This movie was moving and beautifully done, but there are some scenes that were a little too intense for me.

The plot is a true story that occurred during the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in 1939 to1945. The Warsaw Zoo, owned by the main characters, is bombed and so many animals unnecessarily slaughtered. The brave owners rescued and protected hundreds of local Jewish people from the Nazis. The main character is Antonina Zabinska (Jessica Chastain). She is the leader of this establishment and comes up with the idea to hide the Jewish people. The film tells a wonderful true story about this modest woman who accomplished an amazing feat.

The message is that an unassuming woman was able to save many human lives even though she would have been killed instantly by the Nazis if they knew she had sheltered these people. She does everything in her power to ensure almost everyone's safety. I love how Jessica Chastain portrays Antonina. She remains calm about the situation and believes it is going to work out okay for everyone. Even though she is nervous about the advances of the Nazi zoologist Heck, she still tries to manage her nervousness when in front of the children. She has tremendous strength of character.

What really stood out for me was the opening scene when you see two cute lion cubs sleeping with a young child and her mother watching lovingly over them. Juxtaposed with that adorableness is a scene later where many of the animals are killed by the Nazis. It is extremely shocking and sad to see these beautiful animals so needlessly slaughtered. Another very intense, but effective scene is when two Nazi soldiers are flirting with a young teenage girl and then, you see the girl beaten up and blood running down her leg. Even though the attack on the girl is not shown, the aftermath of the rape shows the cruelty of the Nazis.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars because it effectively tells a beautiful, true story about the power one woman's loving heart. This movie contains intense scenes, so I recommended it for kids 13 to 18. This film is in theaters now so, check it out.

Reviewed by Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

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


4 TO 5

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
4 TO 5
CRAIG KNOWLES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 4-18
Topic - Family
Description - On the eve of his 5th birthday, a young boy discusses his last day of being 4.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Charming. This short documentary is about a little boy who talks about not being four years old anymore the day before he turns five. It very sweetly portrays an adorable young boy whom we see a little bit of what goes on inside his head. The sound quality is crisp and easy to understand. The camera work is clear and steady. I believe it will project well onto a big screen. This film flows well with a beginning, middle and an end. It makes perfect sense and is completely watchable without any hiccups. We don't often get the chance to listen to what a four or five year old thinks so this is refreshing. I think children will enjoy this, especially those close to his age, because they can relate to him. Older kids and adults can relate to him in their own way, as the child they used to be or perhaps a child of their own when they were younger. For the most part, I think many children and adults alike will really enjoy this film and hence, recommend it for ages 4 to 18 and adults as well. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kelsey M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


INTERROGATION, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
INTERROGATION, THE
ALEXANDER SMITH
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A spy is captured by his arch enemy, but has a few tricks up his sleeve that befuddle his captor.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This student film has a lot going for it, clever idea, writing and decent execution. The villain is about to torture a spy but gets offended and the spy lectures him on how to be a professional villain. In the end, the villain is quite incompetent. The sound, visuals, cinematography and performances are suitable for a student production by high school students. The performances may be a bit overacted but, it's within an acceptable range and I think other high school students will enjoy it. I particularly enjoyed the lighting which gives a sense of an interrogation room. The writing is pretty well done. I recommend this for ages 13 to 18 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 14-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
RESOLUTION, THE
SEAMUS HYMAN
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10-14
Topic - Family
Description - A old fashioned story about two men brawling over a woman.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoyed this student short, created in the style of black and white silent films. The storyline is about two men who get into a fight over a woman. The flickering image, the background piano music and the Chaplinesque movements of the characters are funny and carried out quite well. Every movement and action is overdone.

There are subtitles to let the audience know what is being said. I think young children will enjoy this and find it funny. It flows well. Makes sense and is very watchable. It could benefit from a little more detail when it comes to the plot but, it's suitable for a youth or student film festival. I recommend it for ages think this film is best for ages 10 to 18 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kelsey M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments.
Runtime: 2 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
THE SWATCH
ERICK HATTER
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 12 TO 18
Topic - Family
Description - A bullied teenager creates a super watch that gives him super powers.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - My hat's off to Erick Hatter, the 12th grade student writer, director, producer and cast member of this film. Everyone hates a bully and, in this student film, the bully gets his just desserts when his victim finds a watch that gives him super powers. The special effects are well executed and it puts some action into the film. It's well produced with very good video, audio, set, locations and costumes. The story is easily relatable in that it's about high school students and bullying. And, the super watch adds some super hero type aspect to it. The film flows well. There is a beginning and a middle, but no end due to the "To Be Continued" at the end. I like the cliffhanger and can't wait to see the sequel This film would make a good addition to a youth film festival and is appropriate for teens, ages 12 to 18. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Recommended. Julie S., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments.
Runtime: 2 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DEAR HENRI

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DEAR HENRI
MATTHEW SANDAGER
Series: INDEPENDENT SHORT, 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Nine-year-old Henri recently lost her beloved namesake and pen pal, Grandpa Henry. She misses him deeply, and his sudden absence raises the question: can their correspondence continue, and if so, how? Henri is old enough to anticipate what grown-ups might say, but young enough to imagine there might be a way. Over the course of one summer day in Brooklyn, Henri "sends" a series of letters in imaginative ways--nested in the basket of a handmade air balloon, folded into an origami boat that sails into the tunnels under the city--and with each attempt, she imagines the magically circuitous route her message takes to reach her grandfather. DEAR HENRI, combines live action with animation to depict the vivid inner world of a young girl grappling with cosmic questions. Will she ever receive a response?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Kudos to Matthew Sandager, the filmmaker, for this lovely, uplifting short film. The topic is not an easy one, dealing with the loss of a beloved family member. The story is about a girl who has recently lost her grandfather and still writes him letters and tries to talk to him. While the topic has a sadness to it, this film is very cute and uplifting. I would encourage programmers to include this in their festivals since, it's universal topic is something that everyone deals with at some time in their life, including young children. It is rare to see this handled in such a positive way.

The production value is quite good. The sound quality is excellent, crisp and the dialogue is completely understandable. The cinematography is clear and steady. I particularly enjoyed the stop motion animation which is very well done. The actors deliver believable performances. The story flows well with a well structured beginning, middle and end and it makes perfect sense and is completely understandable.

I love how the little girl does not stop trying to write to her grandfather. Her positive nature is refreshing. I believe that children will enjoy this because it is quite relatable. For older kids and adults, it offers a cute story about dealing with the death of a loved one. The content is perfectly suited for ages 6 to 18 and I believe adults will enjoy it as well. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kelsey M and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 13 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


THANK GOD FOR JELLY

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
THANK GOD FOR JELLY
MARCI KROWN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 6-18
Topic - Family
Description - A girl's mission is to carry out her father's values on gratitude and goes on a journey with her stuffed rabbit, brother and two friends in order to do so. What she finds is clearly unexpected.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I think a child would enjoy this film because it follows children on an a small quest to thank someone. The most appealing thing about this film is that all different ages of children can relate to it. Something you should be aware of is the religious overtone and references to God. It is one of the most important themes in this film. This film has a great structure and makes sense. The plot flows easily and it is very watchable. It has accurate information about how jelly is made and tells it in a simple way that even young children can understand. The production quality was great. There are many different sets which make the story come alive. The costumes are appropriate. The special effects are a little sloppy, but this might have been intentional. The lighting is great throughout the film, even outdoors. The camera and sound production are both clear both too see and to hear. I recommend this film for playing at a film festival because it has a great message about gratitude and being grateful for what you have. This might be categorized as a religious or spiritual film. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because of its sound and production quality. I recommend it for ages 7 to 16. Although it does not possess star power, the actors are very relatable. Recommended, Linda D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 21 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-16
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GO CART, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GO CART, THE
KAILYNE WATERS
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A lone shopping cart injured and seized for scrap breaks free and navigates a world of danger, changing his fate and bringing happiness to those he encounters.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Happily accepted! Being a person who goes to the super market and uses a cart to put all my food in, I have never once thought about a story involving those squeaky baskets, but Kailyn R. Waters has. This short film is an extremely original story that is definitely child friendly. It is a very unique story, but I lost interest about 4 minutes before it ended! The plot drags a bit too long and eventually, lost the freshness that hooked me in. Another thing that fell short is the animation. The characters are drawn almost like stick figures. There is a hand-drawn look to them that I enjoyed. I adore the music in this film. It helps change the moods of the scenes. And, the sound effects are spot on - birds chirping, cart squeaking, train driving, crane moving etc. The main message is the best part of it all. It is all about finding your purpose in life. This is a great lesson to teach children. Also the story has some rather interesting characters. There is a disabled boy who feels that he is an outcast. This is another fantastic example of what we should be teaching children. To try to help out people with struggles. The first time the go cart sees the boy, they feel a connection since they are both disabled. I recommend this film for ages 5 to 13. Children will learn valuable lessons from this short movie. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Talia J. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 12 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


ODD SQUAD: THE MOVIE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ODD SQUAD: THE MOVIE
SINKING SHIP
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Odd Squad: The Movie is a live-action comedy featuring government agent kids who investigate weird and unusual phenomena in their town and put things right. The kid agents are up against a group of grown-ups called Weird Team who runs Odd Squad out of business and the agents are forced to retire and become regular kids again. All seems lost until Odd Squad discovers Weird Team is not actually solving problems and they are up to no good. Armed with only their wits, the kids regroup and break into their old headquarters to save the day. The movie features big action set pieces, odd creatures, and even a trip to space. There's lots more action, problem solving, great visual effects and even a trip to outer Space! This film is targeted to children ages from 5 to 10. Adults may also enjoy!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Great show! It has visual appeal, good acting and an awesome story line featuring kids as government agents who, dressed in their school uniforms, look like they are mini adults. They are on the stop investigating weird things happening in their home town like a gigantic rat that shows up from who knows where. It is fast paced, highly entertaining and has great messages that teach kids about working together, friendship and more. Very appealing visually and good acting - especially from the kids. Flows well, excellent sound and video quality and very watchable. What kid wouldn't like watching other kids their age who are heroes? Fun music; great pace. I rate this 4 out of 5 stars for great entertainment value and messages and I recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kids will love this and families think it is adorable. In this fun and adventures movie we get to meet odd squad. They are a team or squad of adorable and adventurous kids who solve cases that are odd and weird and they are always trying their best to do what is right and help those who are in need the most. One of the most appealing things about this film is the way they teach math and make it fun and interesting for everyone, big and small, young and old. The sound is very clear and I could hear everything, loud and clear. Sets and locations are different. For example, the office where the Odd Squad works is amazing and I love it with all the fun and cool things it has to offer kids in terms of fun and games. The costumes are spot on. I love the outfits they wear as agents. By the way, Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) appears in this film and so does Hanna Simone (New Girl), Millie David (Annedroid) Tim McKeon (Adventure Time) and J. J. Johnson (Dino Dan, Annedroid) . I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18. Kids will love the way that the Odd Squad agents solve cases and how they work things out no matter what the case is. I give this 5 out of 5 gigantic Odd Amazing Shooting Stars. Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Very enjoyable, especially the cinematography and the script. The movie is surely watchable and suitable for younger kids. The introduction is interesting and makes sense. It does illustrate some basic mathematical concepts which may be appreciated by kids. The costumes and camera work are well executed. I didn't care for the special effects which looked fake to me, but the humor and characters are all very appealing. I like the story and characters in this movie. The jokes are very funny and suitable for a school-age audience. Also I like the costumes. The concepts and language are surely suitable for its audience. I give this a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this movie for kids of ages 6 to 12 years. Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 65 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ONCE UPON A SIGN: THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLF       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
DAWNSIGNPRESS
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - An off-the-grid village in the Southwest is preparing to celebrate their Juice harvest. Their friend Wolf helps by bringing the Juice to the city to sell, and upon his return, the annual celebration kicks off. Small One is responsible for alerting the village of Wolf's return but will he remember the complicated directions?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I think this is absolutely brilliant. I have never seen anything from Once Upon a Sign before this and, the wait was well worth it. The actors are artists with their sign language. They really have the body language and visual expressions down. The voice over work is great and its lovely that I can enjoy something like this as well. I was actually catching on to some of the ASL and I looked up more of their videos afterwards. The animation is really cute and blends great with the live action actors. I recommend this for ages 5 to 16 and, as I said earlier, I enjoyed it as well. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 25 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 15.95
Media: DVD


BOSS BABY, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BOSS BABY, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A hilariously universal story about how a new baby's arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7-year-old named Tim.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - "Where do babies come from?" is a question that children ask adults, parents and anyone willing to take a stab at an explanation. The Boss Baby, a Dreamworks Animation film gives us an unexpected answer to this question. We find ourselves looking through the eyes of a very imaginative seven-year-old boy, Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi). Tim is happy and has a very vivid imagination which we see him use to overcome obstacles. The film is very colorful, funny and includes elements of nostalgia with the music.

The Boss Baby is a family comedy that addresses issues of sibling rivalry. Tim, as the big brother, fears that he will have less love from his parents because of the new baby. The Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) arrives at Tim's home in a taxi, wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. This film shows a view of the culture of the corporate world in a most humorous way. For example, the Boss Baby holds a meeting with a group of the neighborhood babies and talks about plans to carry out his mission. The parents (Lisa Kudrow and Steve Buscemi) have no clue about what is happening with the children.

My favorite scene is when Tim discovers that his baby brother can talk and sets about to prove it to his parents. We see chases, just-in-time escapes and some scary scenes from the imagination of 7-year-old Tim such as creepy hallways. Once Tim learns about his baby brother's mission, the two work together to defeat the evil plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

The Boss Baby addresses issues around sibling rivalry as well as the importance of team work and the fact that there is enough love for everyone in a family. Because of some scenes with rude humor, some mild violence and the display of baby body parts, I recommend it for ages 6 to 18. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars! It opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, March 31, 2017! Be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita Seon Leary, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Dreamworks' The Boss Baby, is an extraordinary, fun and lighthearted animated film based on an award-winning picture book by Marla Frazee.

7-year-old Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi) had the perfect life and the full attention of his parents until one day, a new arrival took it all away and became the Boss of his family. Tim and Boss Baby face sibling rivalry, trying to both win the affection of their parents. Much to Tim's surprise, the two bond when they join forces to uncover the evil plot of the CEO of Puppy Co. And in the midst of it all, Tim and his new brother Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) learn the true meaning of the love of family.

The Boss Baby is fabulously directed by Tom McGrath, who you might recognize from his work on all three Madagascar movies and Megamind. He says that the movie is partially an apology letter to his own brother for all the grief he put him in when they were young.

My favorite character is Boss Baby. Alec Baldwin voices this character with great panache. His witty personality mixed with a take-charge attitude bursts through the screen. I feel that Baldwin's voice talent in this is one of the key reasons this movie shines.

My favorite scene is when Tim and Boss Baby work together to sneak into Puppy Co. and attempt to steal the secret file. Watching a working large scale replica of one of my favorite games when I was young (Mouse Trap) was particularly fun. Also, there are many toys from the 70s and 80s included which I enjoyed. Several times I found myself times trying to find them in the scene. There are so many magical moments throughout. As an only child, it's funny that there are times the movie made me want to have a brother and, other times, I'm happy to be an only child.

The Boss Baby is an enjoyable film safe to keep you and your family thoroughly entertained. Director Tom McGrath states "I want this movie to draw you in and make you move to the edge of your seat, not pull away from the screen" and I believe he achieved that goal. It is rated PG for mild humor and I recommend it for ages 6 to 14, although the whole family will enjoy it. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters nationwide on March 31, 2017 so, go check it out.

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

The Boss Baby is a hilarious movie about a boy named Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi) who has a pretty great life with his parents, until one day he gets a baby brother (Alec Baldwin) who wears a suit and tie. Tim is very skeptical about this new baby brother, but eventually he works with his baby brother to help stop the antagonist, the CEO of Puppy Co.

This film is very funny because Tim and the baby are always fighting. Sometimes they put scenes in slow motion which makes them extra funny. In one scene, the babies are going against Tim and everything is over exaggerated. I went with a 6-year-old and she and the rest of the audience laughed a lot.

The animation in this movie is very detailed and brightly colored. The creative use of so many colors help give each scene a happy feeling. There is a lot of detail in this movie such as the characters' hair. You can see little strands of hair and each individual eyelash. Having so much detail on each character helps make it more realistic.

The moral to this film is "don't judge a book by its cover." Although Tim is right to be skeptical about the new baby, he doesn't get to know the baby before judging him and jumps to the conclusion that he is bad. My favorite scene is when Tim tries to show the parents that the baby can talk. This is a very funny scene because everything is so over-the-top and the slow motion parts are hysterical. The music is primarily one song, Black Bird. This song is sung throughout and is Tim's favorite song. Black Bird brings a sweet mood to the film whenever it is sung.

I recommend this film for ages 4 to 14 because. It is a pretty funny movie parents can take their kids to, but you should know that there is a reference to killing people which might be scary to little kids. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars, because the plot is really developed and it is very funny. Go see The Boss Baby in theatres when it opens March 31, 2017. I think you will love it!

Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Disney's animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Beauty and the Beast, directed by Bill Condon is a whimsical yet captivating film that I highly adored watching. This live action film has made my "Top 10 List" due to its incredible singing performances, marvelous set designs and accuracy of the original Disney story. As a Disney fanatic myself, I absolutely love that this film has the power to take me back to my younger days.

Daughter of a wise and humble merchant (Kevin Kline), Belle (Emma Watson) is a bright and independent young lady who will be taken as a prisoner by a monstrous beast (Dan Stevens) in place of her elderly, caring father. As prisoner of the Beast in his cold dark castle, Belle soon builds a strong bond with the talking enchanted objects of the castle. Who will help break the lasting "forever curse" by bringing the Beast and Belle closer? Belle learns to look past the frightening physical appearance of the Beast and looks upon his caring gentle soul. But, will this be enough to break the lasting forever curse upon the castle and the Beast?

Incorporated as a live action film from Disney's original animated film, Beauty and the Beast, the whole cast delivers exquisite performances portraying each unique and iconic character. The caring, yet brave Belle is played by the talented actress Emma Watson. Watson has appeared in numerous films including the Harry Potter films, My Week with Marilyn and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Dan Stevens, known from Legion TV Series deftly portrays the terrifying Beast, a difficult character to play due to its temper.

From the songs, to the set designs, this film has it all. I truly appreciate and love that they took the 1991 Disney classic and turned it into a live action film. This is something that has not been seen before and was well directed by Bill Condon (Mr. Holmes, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and 2, Dreamgirls). Being a huge Disney princess fan, I am highly pleased with the accuracy of this live action version. The costumes, songs, characters and plot are all very accurate. It made me feel as if I was in a Disney story book.

One of favorite things about this film and the story of Beauty and the Beast itself, is the message it depicts - that of looking past the physical and looking within. This is a moral that every viewer can learn from. The film is very successful in massaging this message and the audience will easily relate to the moral as the film unfolds before their eyes.

This enchanted, unbelievable film deserves 5 out of 5. I highly recommend it to families, young children and Disney fanatics. Kids and adults both will enjoy watching it and singing along with the iconic songs. You can catch Beauty and the Beast when it opens nationwide on March 17, 2017. Reviewed by Maria G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

It has been 26 years since Disney released the animated film, Beauty and the Beast. Now, we have a remake with a slightly updated story, stunning visual effects, beautiful acting and an epic soundtrack. Here is another attempt to convert an animated film into a live action film. The classic fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast is predominantly a romance and, just like the original animated film, this one also has a strong comedic take with lots of funny scenes. There are also a hand full of scenes that are quite the opposite. These are filled with heart-wrenching drama that make you either hate or love the characters and get sucked into the story.

Beauty and the Beast (2017) is pretty much a carbon copy of the 1991 animated film. Belle is a beautiful but smart village girl who goes into the woods after her father goes missing. She discovers a cursed castle full of inanimate objects brought to life and a hateful prince turned into Beast. The Beast has locked up her father and she takes her father's place, being sentenced by the monster to live in the castle with him forever. The Beast's curse can be removed though. All he needs to do is to fall in love with someone and that person needs to love them back. The Beast and Belle start falling in love in what seems an impossible romance at first. There are challenges, as Belle still feels she is a prisoner and the townspeople think the Beast is a monster that needs to be destroyed.

The previous Disney live-action remake was the classic Cinderella (2015). It suffered from the same problem as this one - the fact that an animated film is different from a live action film. The story, musical numbers and character interaction all feel much more real in a live action film, which causes fantasy love stories to lack credibility. Cinderella suffered from this problem and Beauty and the Beast is also affected by this challenge. However, its creators did a much better attempt at addressing the issue. Instead of simply taking a story and using a camera instead of a drawing pencil, the writers incorporated more intricacies to the plot than were in the 1991 version. There are back stories about the characters which enhanced and refined their personalities and made the plot richer. This allows for a film that isn't just a spin off on a 25-year-old animated film, but a truly enjoyable story on its own.

The film's quality is superb and the acting is a big plus. Two actors who stand out the most are Luke Evans (Gaston) and Josh Gad (Lefou). They are absolutely spectacular together and Disney generously incorporates some changes to Lefou from 1991, which shows him being slightly in love with Gaston. This change adds a lot of fun and silly moments. Emma Watson (Belle) also delivers a stupendous performance as Belle, although the my favorite Belle is that played by Paige O'Hara. Emma Watson's Belle doesn't seem like a main character, but more of a supporting one. There is no strong presence as we saw in the 1991 version where Paige's performance makes it apparent that Belle is the star along with the Beast. The rest of the cast performs wonderfully and bring the characters to life, with some slight changes to keep the film fresh and new.

The film's two strongest points are more technical. The cinematography and special effects are outstanding. The Beast looks very real and has immense detail, from his facial expressions, to his fur. The castle, magical servants and landscape are the pure definition of eye candy, and are the most beautiful parts of this film. This integrates perfectly with unique and spectacular cinematography that really does the film version justice. Another part that I commend the sound designers and mixers for is the music. The entire soundtrack plays impeccably with every scene and the musical numbers are extraordinary.

Out of all the wonderful cinematics and special effects, I would choose one musical number as my favorite scene - the Gaston number. In this scene, Lefou sings a song and gets the entire village to join in - about how great Gaston is. Not only does the song come out as entertaining, but the scene has fantastic visuals by everyone participating and truly brings justice to the scene. I prefer this version of the song over the original, which doesn't happen often with the remakes.

In general, this film, from its comedy, to its story, is meant for kids. This doesn't mean adults won't enjoy it. The nostalgia alone makes Beauty and the Beast an entertaining film and, dozens of times in the film, there are small references that adults can truly appreciate and enjoy. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 and believe adults will enjoy it as well. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars because it does outdo any other film this year in visuals, acting, music, cinematography and plot, but has some weak acting and still feels a bit like a forced conversion from animation to live action. Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Age 14

Disney has done it again! I was enchanted as I watched Disney's live-action remake of the 1991 animated classic, Beauty and the Beast. This film is different enough and certainly strong enough to stand on its own, and much better than the remake of Cinderella. Meet Belle (Emma Watson), who is a young woman who loves to read. She feels different because no one in her village knows how to read. They choose not to and treat her as if she is the oddball because of it. All she wants is an adventure. One day, her father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), gets taken and imprisoned by the Beast (Dan Stevens) in his remote castle. Belle searches for her father and finds him. To free her father, she exchanges her freedom for his and stays in the castle with the Beast. She starts to befriend everyone in the castle and she begins to develop a friendship with the Beast. If you want to know what else happens, you should go see the movie.

I enjoyed this movie because as soon as you see Emma Watson in action, you are enchanted by how she brings Belle to life. Her portrayal of the Disney princess, Belle, is perfect. I have never seen Ms. Watson sing before, and she sings considerably well. Dan Stevens is hilarious as the grumpy Beast. The CGIs are outstanding, especially the Beast. It is incredible how he transforms. I also like how they designed all the talking objects. Lumi�re, the candelabra (voiced by Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth, the pendulum clock (Ian McKellen) and Garderobe, the wardrobe (Audra McDonald) all look like real talking objects and are very comedic. On another note, the soundtrack is beautiful. I love the song, Beauty and the Beast by Ariana Grande and John Legend.

The only things I don't like about this movie are the few scary scenes. Because of them, I don't recommend this to younger kids. Some other scenes are a bit dark also. This is a know-your-kid kind of movie. Something interesting I want to point out is that one of the characters is gay (although if your blink you might miss the quick reference) and I like that Disney is trying to add more diversity in their films.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this to the ages 8 to 18 and I think adults might like it as well. I recommend this to people who like action, adventure, adaptations, family and Disney movies. Make sure to see Beauty and The Beast which comes out in theaters nationwide on Friday, March 17. This is definitely a must see and you won't regret watching at the theater. Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


UNITED KINGDOM, A

KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
UNITED KINGDOM, A       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A United Kingdom is the true story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana (David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London, which caused an international uproar when they decided to marry in the late 1940s just as apartheid was being introduced into South Africa. It was a decision that altered the course of African history.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A United Kingdom is a film that is very much in love with its own story. Director Amma Asante is obviously very passionate about the subject of this movie, which is about how a biracial couple in 1940s Africa nearly tears apart an entire village and breaks down the relationship of colonial Britain and Africa. We feel Asante's passion for racial equality, and social justice. We clearly see how adamant she is about doing what is right for a nation, rather than fattening one's own greedy pockets. That's all very evident. However, the one thing Asante fails to do, and a glaring mistake of the film, is that she ignores the core of the relationship between the two main characters involved.

David Oyelowo (Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) play the interracial couple. They are both very invested in their moments and the actors both allow their care for this story to show through their performances. However, their relationship is not at all developed. I found myself caring more for the people of the village than their relationship. The issue as I see it is that Director Amma Asante skipped past all of the expositional development stage of their relationship. About 20 minutes into the movie we are already in Africa and the conflict of the story has already changed. It changes from 40's race relations in Britain, to diplomatic struggles between Africa and Britain. But we never truly get to know these people.

Pike plays Ruth Williams, the white Londoner. And, Oyelowo plays Seretse Khama, the King of Botswana. We quickly see how they meet, how they feel, what their families and friends think and then they're married and are in Africa. But we're missing something very essential when it comes to a successful cinematic relationship and that's relational conflict. Despite the fact that Ruth's family is against their marriage and so is Seretse's, we don't how they're affected by it. There's never a moment of problem between the two of them. Essentially, we never see the events in which their relationship is strengthened by adversity before they're off to Africa. That poses an issue going into the second act because, all of a sudden, we're given new conflicts, characters and situations. And, we have to fill in the blanks and imagine that their relationship is one worth fighting for.

However, once we get to Africa and the colonial conflict starts as well as the conflict within Seretse's family, we're caught up to speed. Asante takes us on a plot of cheer and disappointment and we are never for a moment bored. We're never not entertained and we get sucked into their story and applaud the wars they win amidst the battles they lose. For those reasons, I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It can be seen at a local theaters now.

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

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


MAKE A WISH, MOM

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MAKE A WISH, MOM
DIANA SCOTT
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Sweet and touching birthday wish from young Lily to her mom.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short film is so very moving. I was not prepared for the ending but what an ending. All the things she wanted to talk to her mom about on her birthday, she did. Little did the audience know that her mom has died and this was her way of coping with her loss. Very powerful statement piece. I highly recommend that it only be played for a young adult or teen audience as the subject is very sad. Any young child who has recently lost a parent or loved one may find this a big "too real". It is also well suited for a spiritual film festival or student film festival. The story is about a young girl who is having a birthday party for her mother who has passed away. This is a very sad but warm film that will help you appreciate your mom in more ways than one. It reminds us to enjoy our mom's company. The production values are pretty good. The images are clear. The sets are well selected. The costumes are appropriate. One issue I have is the sound. There are a couple of rough spots when the two kids are fighting and when the girls go to get the cake. I recommend it for kids ages 10 to 18. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Tina B. and Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Juror and KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


BLANCHE'S BICHON BUZZ

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BLANCHE'S BICHON BUZZ
ISSYSHARPRADIO/PINK POODLE PRODUCTIONS
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 7-18
Topic - Family
Description - Following in the footsteps of acclaimed, indie, found-footage, big screen treatments (think Blair Witch, Unfriended, and Paranormal Activity) comes the parody short Blanche's Bichon Buzz. Buzzworthy Bichon Frise' Blanche DuBois Sharp accidentally unleashes her bladder on the pristine floor of Grandma's house. In order to escape her soap-and-watery fate, Blanche must outrun her pursuers. Her journey proves to be an authentic, cinematic, epic nail-biter and possible head scratcher. However, the best cinema is that which makes one think about adorable animals! Important production note: Blanche's Bichon Buzz proudly shot on location at Grandma's actual house in New Orleans, Louisiana.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - You have to admire the skills of this 10-year-old filmmaker who created this. It's fast, furious and funny. It feels like a trailer and, I can't wait to see the rest of the film. In just over a minute, she has created intrigue, set us up to wonder what is going to happen to Blanche and made us want to come back for more - always a good goal for any film. I feel a sequel here. Approved and recommended for ages 8-12. 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult reviews
Runtime: 1 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


WATER PATH FOR A FISH

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WATER PATH FOR A FISH
PROMOFEST
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - It's a starry night when Oscar sees from his window... a little goldfish jumping on a dirty puddle! Two cats are watching from the shadows. Oscar will help the goldfish through a rampant adventure in a nighty Latin American, with the lack of water as a backdrop
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This non-narrative film is absolutely adorable, is easy to understand and teaches a valuable lesson about helping others. The animation is stunningly beautiful with brilliant colors and interesting characters. The sound effects and music are charming and engaging. The story takes place in a town that has no water when a small boy is awakened in the middle of the night by some stray cats harassing a stray fish. The little boy rescues the fish but there isn't enough water and the fish almost dies. Water miraculously returns to the town and the boy is able to provide the fish with adequate water. In gratitude, the fish repays them with something that will changes the boy's life. This short film is full of heart and a valuable lesson about how important it is to help someone, no matter how small or how big they are. I recommend this for ages 5 to 12 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kelsey M. KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KUKUSCHKA
PROMOFEST
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Kukuschka is a bird, who follows the sun. It seems to her as if she already could touch It, but the Sun is still far away. Suddenly she is not alone anymore, but for two it's even more difficult to keep going so fast. She will reach the Sun, may be tomorrow may be the day after. Best Short Animated Film, Cesate Short Film Fest; Best Animation, Festival Internacional De Cine de Pasto; Special Jury Mention, Festival Internazionale del Cinema Di Frontiera, Special Prize, from Masters, Open Russian Festival of Animation Films
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Highly recommend this excellent, imaginative animated short. The animation is very well executed. The characters and set quite quirky and the storyline charming. The story follows a bird that is dressed somewhat like a mummy who follows the sun. She lays an egg and immediately starts panicking and tries to pawn the egg off on someone else. Eventually the egg hatches and still she tries to pawn off the baby bird, but to no avail. What is so appealing is that, eventually, the bird becomes quite attached to the baby bird and panics when she can't find it. At last, her bond with the baby bird kicks in and it's very endearing and sweet. I love how the bird learns what it's like to panic when you lose a child and think that kids and families will relate to this story. But, what I really like is the odd characters. They are visually appealing and fun. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because younger kids might think the characters are just plain weird. And, I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kelsey M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


KONG: SKULL ISLAND

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KONG: SKULL ISLAND       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers unites to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I saw this last week and have to say that it is definitely an amazing work visually. The special effects teams have truly outdone themselves with their extravagantly detailed Kong and other gigantic creatures. In terms of storyline, meh! Performances are also so so with the exception being John C Reilly's performance. He walks away with the show in my humble opinion. Samuel L. Jackson's character is probably the second most interesting although he transitions from a slightly crazy war hero to a maniac without a logistical means of doing so. It was good to see John Goodman in his older and fitter self and Tom Hiddleson's persona is somewhat believable. Brie Larson's role as a war photographer didn't really deliver much except for one scene that I predicted but won't comment on as that would be a spoiler. I enjoyed the soundtrack, especially Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit - took me back to the 70s and the Vietnam War era. Note to vans: sit through all the credits for a message at the end. I still enjoyed it and would take anyone who is into monster movies. It does deliver that! Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kong: Skull Island is a fun sci-fi movie which is a breathtaking visual treat. I really found the direction and special effects to be fantastic in this movie. This will appeal to all those sci-fi fans.

This movie is about a diverse group of travelers which includes former British Special Air Service Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), an anti-war photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), a government agent Bill Randa (John Goodman), a seismologist Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), and an army led by Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) who head to Skull Island. Upon arriving, they are attacked by Kong, a huge gorilla, who destroys their helicopters and splits the team up. Packard wants revenge for the men he lost in the helicopter crashes, and he wants to kill Kong. Conrad and Weaver realize a bigger threat known as the Skullcrawlers lurk beneath them. The only one who can protect them is Kong, and only he can ensure the team's safety in escaping the island.

Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad heroically represents a soldier. Brie Larson as Mason Weaver is very impressive as a bold photographer. John C Reilly as Hank Marlow, a war veteran, is my favorite character in the movie due to his comic relief and interesting backstory. Samuel L Jackson as Preston Packard brilliantly expresses his revenge with his angry facial expressions.

The direction of the movie by Jordan Vogt-Roberts is unique and really captures the vibe of the 1970s. His filmmaking emphasizes on the smaller things more than the big things, and this is an interesting new concept. This is primarily used whenever we see Kong especially in the first Kong encounter. The focus is more on Kong's face than just his whole body, and this adds tension. Also, the special effects done by Chris Brenczewski really added detail to the monsters, and it made them look real. The scene that I liked the most in the movie is the final fight scene between Kong and a big Skullcrawler, and it was absolutely a blast due to it being a hand to hand combat scene which was fun to watch. My only problem with the movie is the characterization. While everyone does a fine job with the part they are given, their characters just feel like bland stereotypes. I didn't find myself caring for anyone other than John C. Reily's character who has some interesting story beats.

The movie's message is to not mess with nature because if these travelers didn't attack Kong's territory, then he wouldn't have attacked them in the first place. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18 years old as it may be scary for younger audiences due to the intense action and language. This film opens in theaters on March 10th, so go and check it out.

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

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


STARFLAKE RIDES WITH THE GALACTIC BIKERS
NI-COLA PRODUCTIONS
Series: SCREENPLAY FOR AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Starflake, is little white-haired girl who lives on an asteroid in the asteroid belt of the planet Silver Valley. She is a Starbabe, a being who can exist in outer space without any need for life support. A rogue team of four Deep Space Ranger Cadets, mounted on rocket cycles, is on a mission to rescue their fellow cadets who are trapped on the planet Kafka, under the control of the mad alien computer, ALIEC. When they run across Starflake (Star), they see in her a being who can maneuver the slim vent leading to ALIEC and not be bothered by the poisonous atmosphere surrounding ALIEC. Thirsting for adventure, Star joins the Bikers. They land on Kafka, and set up camp. At first they want Star to take a bomb to ALIEC, but since they have begun to care for her, they think it's too dangerous and decide to use a remote control bomb. When their fellow cadets, under ALIEC's mind control, attack them Star decides to take matters into her own hands. She crawls through the vent to ALIEC's chamber uses a special mind coin to drive ALIEC totally insane. The computer melts down and the cadets are free. The Bikers boost Star up on their shoulders to show their respect for her. Star remarks how she is finally tall and Lydia says to her that she is always tall when supported by those who love her. Star says: "Then I must be the tallest person in the galaxy."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This script is more than just a sci-fi fiction thriller that entertains. It teaches about friendship and acceptance. I feel that this is an important theme for the age group 12 to 18. The characters are the strongest aspect of the film but the story line is very creative and flows well from beginning to end. It is appealing and engaging and has commercial potential. I can imagine this on the big screen with wild and creative outer space adventure scenes. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and it is perfect for the ages intended. All Star.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

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


LOST CITY OF Z, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LOST CITY OF Z, THE
AMAZON.COM
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The Lost City of Z tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as "savages," the determined Fawcett - supported by his devoted wife, son and aide de camp returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed The Lost City of Z, an interesting nonfiction film that highlights certain aspects of history from the viewpoint of an explorer in the 1900s. The film is based on true events, revealing the history of the lost city.

The Lost City of Z explains the tale of British Explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who finds various artifacts that prove to be evidence of a lost city that once resided in the Amazon. His findings and beliefs are ridiculed by many who do not want to believe that there once was an advanced civilization where savages live today. Eager to prove them wrong, Fawcett travels into the Amazon multiple times with his aide de camp Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson) and his son Jack Fawcett (Tom Holland).

The setting of the film captured my interest with its realistic Amazonian look, luscious plant life, rapid rivers and villages portrayed throughout. I was mesmerized by the attention to detail. Additionally, the tribes who are described as "savages" are played marvelously and their cultures are depicted accurately. The history shown throughout The Lost City of Z is displayed in an interesting way, making the history fun to learn and easy to understand.

The Lost City of Z displays the courageous acts of Percy Fawcett in his historical exploration. His ambition and bravery is excitingly portrayed as we delve into the history of a past civilization. I absolutely recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and think adults will enjoy it as well. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. This film opens in theaters nationwide on April 21 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Lara Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


KIKORIKI. LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KIKORIKI. LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - The lovably simple residents of peaceful Kikoriki Island are thrown kicking and screaming into big adventure when their resident scientist invents an amazing device (a helmet called "the Improverizor") which takes personality traits from one person and swaps them with someone else's! But when spineless young Wally tries to use the untested device to cure his cowardice, he ends up even more spineless: by getting accidentally body-switched with a squirmy little caterpillar. Now he's got more to fear than he ever dreamed, and so do his fellow villagers, as they're dragged into a madcap adventure packed with plane crashes, mistaken identities, erupting volcanoes and angry natives on the warpath. Boy, do the Kikoriki crew wish they could switch places now: with anyone!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Kikoriki is about a character named Wally trying to cure his cowardly ways by using a local scientist's invention which allows you to swap personalities with someone else. Wally accidentally switches personalities with a caterpillar and things really take off from there. It's lovely seeing Wally wanting to be himself again and working so hard to get there. I personally thought this was funny. This is one of those kids movies that attempts to keep adults engaged as well as their children. Between having a random celibacy joke and polite kid curse words, it really draws all ages in. I feel that this is most suitable for ages 5 to 12. I have a 13-month-old who was glued to the screen and I have a 15-year-old who giggled at the jokes as well. I give this program a 4 out of 5 stars just because I feel the light adult humor and the visuals do not always match up. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon is a family-friendly animated film based on the television series GoGoRiki. Directed by Dennis Chernov and originally voiced by Russian actors, this film is one of two DVDs that are being brought to American audiences by Shout! Kids Factory.

The story begins with the local scientist creating a machine called the "Improverizer" which swaps people's personalities. But something goes terribly wrong when a young coward, Wally, gets hold of the device. Wally's friends and other Kikoriki residents take a journey to help him return to his original body. It is a tale about finding yourself, learning to trust your own instincts and not rely on silly mechanisms like an "Improverizer" in order to change and grow and develop friendships.

The animation is done with CGI (Computer Generation) and is colorful and esthetically pleasing. Each of the characters are based on different animals and their personalities are very fitting. Their bodies are egg-shaped and the DVD actually includes an egg decorating kit so you can make your own Kikoriki villagers at home. The animation looks very cartoony and fun, but some times I did feel the storyline was a bit slow. As an illustrator myself, I found the landscaping and various imaginative backdrops were my favorite part.

My favorite character is Wally. Wally starts off as a coward and tries to use the "Improverizer" to change his personality. In the end he learns that bravery comes from within. I found myself laughing several times during the film.

I feel Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon is appropriately rated PG due to some rude humor and mild peril. It also includes a few adult references and jokes, but nothing so noticeable I feel a younger child would pick up on. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 12 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. It came out on DVD, March 7, 2017 so, go check it out.

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

KikoRiki: Legend of the Golden Dragon is a funny animated film featuring lots of bright and hilarious characters. I like how it has lots of jokes referencing other films. It is a very interesting film with a cool animation style. I like how it includes lots of zany contraptions that make me laugh. It has an entertaining story filled with prophesies, volcanoes, treasure and jokes.

In the story, a young sheep named Wally gets tired of being a scaredy cat so he uses one of the town's scientist's inventions to get courage. He trips and accidently misuses the device and ends up in a caterpillar's body. Meanwhile, the other residents of KikoRiki Island are taking a plane trip when their plane crashes and are lost. They find the native chameleon's village and discover that Wally's caterpillar-controlled body is worshiped as the golden dragon spoken of in a prophesy. Wally gets the same information from some hilarious treasure hunters and both groups try to get his body back.

This film is very funny and has very colorful characters. The story has many twists and turns that keeps it exciting entire time. I especially enjoyed how they have a slow buildup of action throughout the film, not all in one place. This film's moral is to think highly of yourself. They also emphasize how you can do anything if you believe, friendship is important and good always comes out on top. I feel these are important morals because they teach a lot about self-respect.

My favorite part of the DVD is when the what the characters are playing happens in real life. This is hilarious and shows that the writers have great imaginations. I also strongly enjoyed the part where Wally becomes a caterpillar because it s like a Rube Goldberg machine which I find very entertaining.

I really enjoyed this film. It is very entertaining and funny. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15. I also think parents will enjoy this. It is available now on DVD so, check it out.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.96
Media: DVD
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PLASTIC IS FOREVER

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PLASTIC IS FOREVER
DYLAN D'HAEZE
Series: STUDENT DOCUMENTARY, MIDDLE SCHOOL
Topic - Family
Description - An in depth look at plastic pollution from a kid's perspective, and what kids can do to solve the problem.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This student production isn't quite Oscar-caliber but it is very engaging and important. This short documentary discusses how plastic effects the environment, including the oceans and the human race. The message is about how to use the three R's: reduce, reuse, and recycle as well as understanding how plastic affects the planet as whole. This is very important because we need to understand how to make the world a better place to live in. This film excels in teaching ways to do just that. The cinematography and production is very high quality. The interviews of the experts add to its credibility. It is an inspiring documentary that will cause people of all ages, young and old, to come together and make a difference. It combines a strong message with credible professionals and creates a cinematic artwork. This film is beyond excellent and I recommend it to people age 7 to 18. Reviewed by Ella L, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments.
Runtime: 19 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DOCTOR MONSTER

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DOCTOR MONSTER
GUSTAVO TEIXEIRA
Series: FOREIGN ANIMATIED SHORT, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - Dudu has already chosen his future profession, now will have to face his fears to become a doctor of monsters.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a great submission. It is from Brazil and the dialogue is in Portuguese with English sub-titles. It's very cute and full or hopes and dreams that a child can be whatever they wish to be. I believe children will love this. After all, who wouldn't want to be a monster doctor? I particularly enjoyed the opening scene. It offers a great look into the imagination of a child. I love the cast and sets. The child actors are quite adorable. Just watching them is enjoyable. I love the kid watching TV wearing his Frankenstein mask. But, the main thing about this is the story. This story is fun and imaginative. It is well shot with good audio and it flows very well. All around it is just fun story, well executed. The language is suitable although, the word dumb appears once. My only problem is with the sub-titles. They are centered at the bottom of the screen and sometimes fly by so fast you miss what they say. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend for age 7 to 15. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see youth comments
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD
JOYCE FITZPATRICK
Series: SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Someone new moves into the neighborhood and doesn't make friends easily; one kid is curious to find out why.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Highly recommended. This is a very cute, pleasant and uplifting film. The ending is adorable and very satisfying. It raises awareness of deafness without treating it in a negative way. It also made me want to learn sign language. It is well shot, has good background music and pleasant characters. I love the interaction between them. I was disappointed that it's so short. After it ends, I wanted to watch more. It is amazing how invested in the story and characters I felt even though it is only 90 seconds long. Ultimately, it is short but sweet and a must watch. Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 2 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CHILDREN OF THE NOON, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CHILDREN OF THE NOON, THE
DIEGO FIORI
Series: FOREIGN DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - The Children of the Noon deals with the universal subject of life. The time passes marked out by daily activities for the group of children and teenagers in the orphanage in Nchiru, the small Kenyan village. Soon emerges how orphan condition and genteel poverty they share are not the only problems that unite them and determine their days. A sudden death of one of them breaks the narrative rhythm and changes all points of view intertwining a dense web of pains and joys, friendships and hopes. he Children of the Noon deals with the universal subject of life. The time passes marked out by daily activities for the group of children and teenagers in the orphanage in Nchiru, the small Kenyan village. Soon emerges how orphan condition and genteel poverty they share are not the only problems that unite them and determine their days. A sudden death of one of them breaks the narrative rhythm and changes all points of view intertwining a dense web of pains and joys, friendships and hopes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Accepted. This beautiful constructed documentary shows children of other cultures whose lives are intertwined with pain and joy, friendship and hope. I believe a child would enjoy this film if they're interested in learning about what's going on in the world and learning about situations and events that affect children. The film is well produced with clear visuals and sound. The language is English and Swahili which, when used is sub-titled. The camera words is quite commendable and follows children playing, washing clothing and learning in a classroom. What I love about this film is that it focuses on universal issues such as child abuse, abandonment, neglect and poverty. Children could learn a lot from this film. It could enlighten them and show them that they have a lot to be grateful for. This film brings an awareness to children who may have no idea of what other children's lives are like outside of the United States. Some of the children in the film were born with HIV. Some of them have been abandoned by loved ones, while others have become orphans because their parents have passed away from illness or disease. It is interesting to take a walk in these children's shoes and see the world through their eyes. Some of them laugh to keep from crying. It is their way of coping with the pain. Some of the children are very poor. In the film, a boy goes to visit his mother who asked him repeatedly if she can have his belongings. This film shows how some of the children who experienced poverty and abuse at home are probably happier in the orphanage than they ever were at home. We see how the children in the film cope with the loss of a friend and discuss topics such as death, life and AIDS. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 because there is some rather mature content. For example, in the first scene a woman gives birth and, even though there's no nudity, the content is too mature for kids under age 12. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Geanice G., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This documentary is very educational. It takes place somewhere in Africa in what we would call a group home here in the USA. The children range from age 8 to 16 and they explain why they live in the group home. Their stories are very heartbreaking. It made me aware of issues young people don't really think about such as poverty, disease, child abuse and death. These are dark topics but good to be brought to the attention of kids. It is very upsetting, but it makes you want to help out. I felt helpless at times and I wished I could assist the kids in the film. At times, the cinematography is very beautiful. There are some scenes that show really pretty landscape shots. At times, the camera shakes a lot which is very distracting. The editing could have been more judicious. Some scenes could have been cut. But for the most part, this is a very moving, informative film. I definitely recommend it for ages 13 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 1:5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-19
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


EYES IN THE BACK OF HER HEAD

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
EYES IN THE BACK OF HER HEAD
MADISON DURAND
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A little monster wonders if his well-meaning mother is hiding an unusual secret. Music by Grammy-winning Danny Weinkauf; video created by 16-year-old Madison Durand.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Love this short student produced animation. Very clever and funny. It flows well, is very watchable. The original music is adorable and I love the subtitles in it. They make it fun for a younger audience that is just learning to read to be able to participate. Cute storyline, bright and colorful animation. Highly recommended for ages 3 to 12. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


ADVENTURES OF TRACY & FELT, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ADVENTURES OF TRACY & FELT, THE
ELIZABETH SCHIFFLER
Series: SERIES, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - A mini-web series following two explorers learning the magic of science. This mini-webisode series was conceived on Whidbey Island, WA with a team of talented artists.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Highly recommended. This short film is very simple, but funny. One moment in particular made me laugh out loud. Obviously this is a low budget production and it is very cleverly done The production quality isn't great, but it has a certain style that is very compelling. With a bigger budget, it has potential as a sitcom on maybe Disney or Nickelodeon. The two main characters, a boy and an octopus, are not that bright. They are very immature and na�ve, but quite likable. The background music doesn't stand out or add much. This mini web-series is definitely is aimed at a younger demographic who will appreciate its silliness. There are more episodes on their YouTube Channel by the same name. I enjoyed it enough to subscribe. I recommend this for ages 8 to 15, particularly those who want to watch a simple, silly and fun series. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Web Series


LUCIA

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LUCIA
FRANCESCO FONTANA ANTONELLI
Series: FOREIGN STUDENT PRODUCTION, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Lucia is a young woman who cries the loss of her beloved one. She is prostrated in pain in front of the grave of the departed. Because of the unbearable pain she plucks her eyes in front of the burial, and faints, unconscious. She will encounter a mysterious woman.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This foreign student film is very unique. It deals with depression and suicide The entire film is shot in black and white, with no dialogue, only music. Because of this, it relies solely on the music and the cinematography and both really work. I love the music. It replaces the dialogue perfectly. The cinematography is really good. The camera angles are very engaging and add to the mystery of the story. The music is hauntingly beautiful. The story left me wanting more. This could easily be turned into a full length feature film. The ending left me curious and wanting to know more. I feel like this is a film that a group of friends would each see differently. You could spend hours theorizing about the ending. It is not for young children because of the subject and it is slightly gory. I recommend it for ages 11 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. It would be especially good to watch in groups such as at a film festival. Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PLANET 98475
NOAH ZIELINSKI
Series: STUDENT PRODUCTION, MIDDLE SCHOOL
Topic - Family
Description - This story is about the argument between a flesh and blood human and a artificial intelligence robot. The man and robot argue about who is human and who is not, while being stuck on planet 98475 by them selves. They have to learn how to get along.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an admirably well done student film that takes on some serious issues about what makes us human. "Violence and anarchy - that's what destroyed our world in the first place. Having a heart is overrated, whether it pumps blood or electricity - is choosing the right thing to do." The camera work, to make it appear they are on another planet, is well done for a student film. The topic, about is explored through the relationship between a human teen and his AI robotic companion. When she almost "dies," his passion and appreciation for her reveal the feelings he has for her and when he almost dies, she shows the same allegiance to him. The story is well done through minimal dialogue and action. The visuals are acceptable with reasonably good video and audio. I believe children will appreciate the efforts by one of their peers. I recommend it for ages 10 to 15 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. REviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


BAD LITTLE FAIRIES

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BAD LITTLE FAIRIES
GAYLA GOEHI
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 7-12
Topic - Family
Description - A group of young fairies must train to fight the evils trying to make their way into their beloved Fairy Fairy land.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a wonderful student short film with a very cute concept. My daughters sat in with me to watch this one and thought it was adorable. The concept of mischievous little fairies is very appealing. The visuals and music are great, the cinematography quite well done. The acting is quite acceptable. This is a graduation film made by young acting students from Gary Spatz's "The Playground" Acting Conservatory in Los Angeles. The outdoor shots in the beginning are quite gorgeous and it stays pretty consistent throughout the film. The background music is quite complimentary and feels light and magical. This will play well on the big screen. It is very visually appealing and also teaches a very valuable lesson. Everyone can be naughty and it's okay to play tricks, but you must be considerate of how others might feel. I recommended it for ages 5 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. It should fit well into most film festival for youth and families. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - SEE ADULT COMMENTS
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO



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