The Ages 2-5 category has 2478 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles

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PECK - A LONELY, LITTLE LOVEBIRD DOWN UNDER

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PECK - A LONELY, LITTLE LOVEBIRD DOWN UNDER
REMI NICOLE
Series: BOOK, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - A little lovebird named Peck lives happily in Australia with his animal friends until he starts to feel like he is the only one without someone to share his life with. Peck decides he must travel to a faraway land to find what he seeks, but he learns through his many adventures that there is so much fun in the journey along the way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a simple story with likable characters and engaging illustrations. Peck is a likable character and the illustrations are quite lovely. It's a simple story and appropriate for younger children who will enjoy Peck and the images. It has a nice message about meeting new people. But, the ending is bit surprising since you may think that Peck will find someone to really become his friend. The ending is not a strong which is slightly disappointing. The beginning and middle flow really well. It does make sense and is suitable for the target audience. There is nothing inappropriate or out of place. Peck feels lonely and got on a search to find someone to love. Most of the characters he meets are pleasant, except for a jealous Bee. Young children could be asked what does Peck learn by going out on his own? The illustrations fit the story and are quite eye-catching. There is a message that the main character realizes he won't be lonely because there are new creatures to meet. There is also a subtle message that you don't have to find someone just like you to not be lonely. I'm not sure if it will motivate kids of the target age to further action or inquiry. However, I think they will get the subtle message. It certainly meets and exceeds the KIDS FIRST! criteria, is appealing and engaging. I recommend this for ages 3 through 6 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 2.99
Media: Book


CAMP ANDYLAND

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAMP ANDYLAND
ANDYLAND MUSIC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - Strikingly crafted pop songs for kids, with stick-in-your-head lyrics and catchy melodies - plus a memorable cast of characters that bring kids into Andy's world, taking them on a musical adventure. The camp every kid will want to go to.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Lets go to Camp Andyland or camp in general or stay at home and listen to the CD! This CD is well produced and entertaining. If your busy schedule does not allow you to take your valuable time and refresh and renew at a Camp near you, then sit back, relax and listen to the infectiously fun Camp Andyland - a world inhabited by zany dinosaurs, not-so-scary pirates and a host of other silly sausages! The songs are engaging, delightful adventures that will tickle your ear lobes - and we all need that - so make a date to have some fun and sing-a-long with your new found friends at Camp Andyland! The character voices are quite engaging as are the different musical styles and fun kid-friendly topics. I predict lots of fun and participation from young audiences as they experience the quirky adventures and music. This exemplifies good songwriting skills, terrific use of tempo and instrumentation and very experienced kid-friendly content. Explore and learn about the many wondrous things in this big wide world! Andy respectfully connects to the kids, because he still retains the joys of the child within. He has a handle on what kids like and respond to and doesn't talk down them, but leans in to their level. This is a professional recording all around. Andy does most of the heavy lifting on vocals, instruments and character voices and the recording quality is well done. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. Reviewed by John W., KIDS FIRST! Adult Music Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Runtime: 34 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98
Media: AUDIO


SUPER 4: MEET RUBY

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SUPER 4: MEET RUBY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - Inspired by the world of PLAYMOBIL� toys, set out on a series of adventures with the Super 4 as they travel through the wider PLAYMOBIL� universes. Join Ruby and friends as they embark on 7 fun-filled pirate adventures! First, understand how Ruby came to be the amazing pirate she is. A wicker basket washes up on the shore of Gunpowder Island holding a little baby. Surprise, it's a girl! When Ruby is old enough to jump on ship to join in on a pirate raid, little Ruby sits on the sidelines and watches it all. To prove she is a real pirate, Ruby must set out to obtain a mythical treasure. Will she find it and become a true pirate? Find out in Meet Ruby!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Pirates! Who doesn't love a good pirate tale? That's the first thought that came to me when I saw the cover of this DVD. What adventures will she get into and, since girls were not allowed on pirate ships, will Ruby really become a pirate? The story of Ruby and her adoptive dad, Pirate Rubins is very interesting because stories of pirates usually begin with a pirate ship a sea, looking for treasures and other ships to capture. This story begins with a wicker basket washing up on the shore of Gunpowder Island holding a baby, a girl baby! Since Rubins is the pirate who finds her, he feels it is his duty to keep and raise her, hence he named her Ruby. He knows that he can't continue the life of a pirate and raise a daughter so he works and raises her the best he knows how. She hears so much about pirates while growing up she knows one day she will become a pirate. When the time comes for her to become a pirate, sets out to prove her worth to everyone, including her dad. The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for the intended audience. Most children have experienced a pirate phase at a young age and these episodes are exciting enough to hold their interest. Even though pirates are usually portrayed as villains, there are a lot of good pirates who help Ruby become the pirate she wants to be. Questioning, probing and problem-solving are encouraged in an appropriate manner. The episodes encourage lots of critical thinking and problem solving skills such as team work, asking questions, use of reasoning and logic. The animation is clear, easy to identify and quite colorful. The visuals are characteristic of the period of the pirate era. There are no menu access, chapters, nor special features. This is an adventure that will appeal to school age children between 5 and 10. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. It really is a must see! Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film has a great plotline and gives each character lots of personality. The plotline becomes even more interesting because of all the strong personalities. Even though this film is meant for younger ages, I still was quite entertained.

This film is all about meeting and getting to know who Ruby is. It starts from pirates discovering her as a baby, watching her go on adventures and figuring out who she wants to be. She goes off to the sea for the first time by herself and encounters problems. Eventually she is able to overcome them. She then goes off and solves multiple tests to be able to acquire treasure.

Laetitia Lefebvre has a determined and strong child-like voice which perfectly fits Ruby because Ruby has all of these traits. Ruby at times can sound very stubborn, scared, determined and strong. The Black Baron (Tom Wayland) sounds determined as well. The Black Baron is a very manipulative character and Wayland changes his voice accordingly. For example, he can sound convincing, caring and sweet, but also ominous.

The animation is very colorful and has lots of details. I also love that their faces express emotion and their body language does as well. The pirate costumes are very unique. I loved seeing all the different types of clothing that doesn't repeat for everyone.

My favorite scene is when Ruby smartly doesn't get distracted by the Black Baron when he wants to steal the treasure. I felt really proud of her and I knew that she was fit to become a knight.

The message of the story is to always believe in yourself no matter what. Ruby was born as a pirate, but girls aren't allowed to be pirates. Even though this is true, Ruby goes out and proves her worthiness. She encounters many problems, but stays strong and believes in herself. She stays determined every time. She doesn't stop continuing on her journey. Instead she just becomes stronger and fights even harder. This is a good message for female empowerment. Even though people want to limit you because you are a girl, don't let them. Do what Ruby does. Everyone is against her and she still manages to achieve all of her goals and become successful.

This DVD, just like the rest of the Super 4 series, is well made. It has a wonderful message and an entertaining plotline. I recommend this for ages 6 to 11 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. This is available on DVD now, so definitely check it out.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13.
Runtime: 45 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


ABC MONSTERS: THE COMPLETE SEASON

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ABC MONSTERS: THE COMPLETE SEASON       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - Enjoy the complete season of ABC Monsters! Embark on one phonics adventure after another while learning each letter of the alphabet in this complete set! Twenty six cuddly ABC Monsters live within the walls of Capital Castle. Each monster represents a letter of the alphabet but should any of the monsters go missing for longer than a day, all the letters will be wiped out from every book in Capital Town! So it's very important to make sure that all the ABC Monsters are safely back in Alphabet Gardens before the sun goes down. However, this isn't as easy as it sounds. The ABC Monsters are naturally curious creatures and often wander off from Alphabet Gardens to try and find new and fun items, inevitably getting themselves lost in the process. When Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry set out to find the ABC Monsters, they learn to spell multiple items that start with that ABC Monsters letter as well as play other phonics games and sing songs! Get set for a spellbinding series of magical adventures that engages the imagination all while making learning the alphabet exciting and entertaining!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In the city of Capitol Castle live 26 adorable Alphabet Monsters. The city is full of fun and excitement. However, there is one sad fact - should a monster go missing for more than a day all of the letters disappear from all literature in Capitol Castle! Be prepared for tons of adventures and rescue missions. I have watched several volumes of ABC Monsters, but I was super excited to watch the complete season. Different episodes and volumes of this series feature a select few alphabet monsters, so you get a limited view of this very fun, living alphabet. Being able to sit down and watch the full season has been very enjoyable. Every single monster is different in both personality and look and they work so well with their pals Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry. Every episode focuses around trying to find a lost letter and discovering new things that just happen to start with the specific letter featured in the episode. There are plenty of fun and catchy song to sing along with. I genuinely love watching how the creators managed to make this so jam packed with educational opportunities and yet, so attention grabbing. It's wonderful! I love the cute animation and my toddler agrees. This is great for ages 3 to 6. This lovely series has earned itself 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

Learning can be fun! ABC Monsters: Complete Series DVD is quite an exciting tool for learning the alphabet, learning new words large and small, solving puzzles, writing, learning about directions (north, south, east, west) and the characters teach children about the importance of teamwork. This series concentrates on the alphabet in a fun, lively and energetic way. It also helps with counting. Young children will enjoy singing along with Alice, Brian, Cherry Berry and all the letters when they sing the alphabet song. The song is repeated twice in each episode, bringing the audience back to the original focus of the show - learning the alphabet, writing the letters and learning new words. Each letter comes alive with their colorful outfits, colorful hair, hats, clothes, eyes and funny looking feet and hands. The songs also help with learning the alphabet, as well and learning new words, and finding the missing letters in the puzzle clues. I enjoyed watching this series and rate it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 4 to 8. I know these kids will love this series.

Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This delightful, animated series had me smiling the entire time. I learned how to read and write many years ago, but it was quite exciting to relearn both with the ABC Monsters. From the vibrant animation to exciting adventures and amusing characters, a child is sure to learn their phonics in no time. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, and enhance your vocabulary, let the ABC Monsters help you, because they make learning so much fun.

Set within the boundaries of Capital Castle, twenty six lovable and friendly ABC Monsters appreciate the beauty life has to offer. Each monster symbolizes a distinct letter of the alphabet. If one of the letters goes missing for longer than a day, everything becomes chaotic and every letter becomes erased from all of the books in Capital Town. Because of this, it is imperative that all twenty six letters are home in the Alphabet Gardens before sunset. However, it is an immense challenge to keep all of the letters in one place, since each letter is inquisitive and analytical about every situation, leading them to constantly wander off and explore as much as they can. The viewer joins Brian, Alice and Cherry Berry in finding the ABC Monsters, and watching them learn early language skills through sing-along videos and unforeseen circumstances.

Alice is such a sweet, little girl who loves adventures and meeting new people. She is not afraid to discover new places and enjoys a difficult challenge. Whenever a problem arises, she goes above and beyond to have the ABC Monsters back safely. Brian is Alice's best friend and one of the happiest people you will ever see. Given that he is from Capital Town, he often visits Alice at the castle and always has intriguing questions to ask. He and Alice both are more than eager to correctly solve puzzles and games that are very prominent in their daily lives. Cherry Berry is a lovely Court Jester in Capital Castle who cheers on Alice and Brian as they try their best to find the ABC Monsters. She becomes ecstatic when they get a puzzle correct and will flip and do multiple cartwheels to demonstrate her excitement. Since I used to be a gymnast, Cherry Berry is easy to relate to, and she makes tumbling look so easy. I wish she could teach me how to be a better gymnast.

The animation in this series is beyond adorable. Each letter has a different personality and appearance, which I greatly admire. No matter who you are or what you believe in, you are sure to fall in love with one of the twenty six letters. My favorite part of this series has to be seeing King Wordy in action. He is Alice's dad and he never puts a book down. He reminds me of my sister who loves to read. It amazes me how some people love reading so much, but others do not. You are sure to love King Wordy, because he is hilarious and a great dad to Alice.

The message of the series is to never give up in any situation. As long as you have friends and the will to persevere, nothing is impossible. Reading and writing are essential in everyday life. Even if it is not your cup of tea, there are ways to make it fun. Just ask the ABC Monsters!

I give this series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 10. Although it is intended for a very young audience, it is a fantastic, comedic series to watch with your entire family because, no matter how old you are, there is always something new to learn about the alphabet. ABC Monsters: The Complete Season is available on DVD now so check it out. Find out which letter you truly are.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18

ABC Monsters: The Complete Season is a fun and educational experience for young kids. It inspires them to learn, enjoy learning and even encourages them to participate in physical activity. It is creative and interesting all the way through. If I was a parent, I would use this DVD to help me teach my kid about the alphabet and early language skills.

I have reviewed other episodes of ABC Monsters previously and enjoy how each episode is different. For example, one of the episodes is based on introducing kids to the letter "A." In this episode, the Alphabet Monsters are so excited about the archery competition when suddenly, all the arrows go missing! Alice, Bryan and Cherry Berry (the protagonists) go on a mission to find the missing arrows and the missing letter of the alphabet, which just so happens to be Letter "A." On the way, they go on a lot of mini quests such as helping Amy the Alligator find her armband and help Farmer Alex find his apple. At the end of the episode, Alice, Bryan and Cherry Berry review everything we learned in the episode and include fun little songs and dances for us to do and sing.

Everything about this show is child friendly and appropriate for a young age group. The storylines are consistent without being repetitive and are quite easy to follow. This show would be very entertaining for young kids. The visuals are bright and colorful which will attract young viewers. The music is upbeat and cheery. The characters are adorable and likable. I think that all of these aspects are important in order for kids to enjoy watching a program.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 1 to 5. I believe that this show will intrigue kids with its cute characters and interesting plotlines. It will get them excited about learning, music and physical fitness. It will help parents teach their kids about spelling, grammar and phonics while keeping them hooked and wanting to learn more. This show offers quality entertainment for young children who need to be introduced to the alphabet. Parents can feel confident about using this DVD to enlighten their little ones about the English language. It is available on DVD now so, check it out.

By Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, age 14
Runtime: 575 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


SHERLOCK GNOMES

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SHERLOCK GNOMES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - After a string of garden gnome disappearances in London, Gnome & Juliet look to legendary detective Sherlock Gnomes to solve the case of their missing friends and family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Breaking news from London - garden gnomes have been kidnapped! "Oh fertilizer!" This is one of many amusing jokes from the very British characters in Sherlock Gnomes, sequel to the 2011 animated film Gnomeo and Juliet. Although the plot of this family-friendly movie is somewhat predictable, it is still quite funny and clever.

In this sequel, the formerly star-crossed lovers Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) are married and have just moved to London where they are appointed by their parents as joint heads of the garden. Both Juliet and Gnomeo feel the pressures of their new leadership roles and the marriage begins to suffer through lack of communication and mutual appreciation. Meanwhile, their gnome friends are disappearing from homes all over London, and they attempt to search for and save them. With the help of Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp) and Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor), the adventure begins - to defeat the evil pie company called Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou) and save all gnomes. We also see that poor Watson is quite ignored and under-appreciated by Sherlock.

My favorite aspects of this movie are the music, Johnny Depp and the "planning" sequences. I love the song choices used in transitions between scenes. If you are a fan of Sir Elton John, you will be pleased to hear many of his hits, including "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," "I'm Still Standing," "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" and a fantastic new song performed by the great Mary J. Blige. Johnny Depp is hilarious with his condescending British accent. I have seen almost every movie he has ever been in and he never disappoints with his comedic intensity. Another interesting thing that happens is when we see the inner workings of Sherlock's mind in 2-D black-and-white animation. One clinker for me is when super-intelligent Watson, looking for Gnomeo, says "Gnomeo, Gnomeo! Oh don't make me say it - wherefore art thou, Gnomeo?" (Of course "wherefore" means "why" in Romeo and Juliet.)

The message of this story is a good one - that you will succeed by respecting the people who support you. Sherlock learns that lesson when he realizes that Watson feels that Sherlock isn't listening to him or respecting him. Juliet learns it when she realizes that Gnomeo feels as if Juliet is ignoring him, too.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars because, almost all the scenes kept me laughing, the music is great, and I love the message. I recommend this movie for ages 7 to 18. This is available on DVD/Blu-ray June 12, 2018 and on Digital June 5, 2018. If you are looking for a fun family movie, this is it!

Reviewed by Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 19
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Sherlock Gnomes is a great movie! I really like the storyline because it has an amazing good versus evil plot.

The story follows Gnomeo and Juliet's move to London where they become the new leaders of the garden. On their first day, somebody kidnaps all the gnomes in the garden! Luckily, Sherlock Gnomes and Watson are there. Gnomeo and Juliet help Sherlock save all the gnomes in London.

The animation in this movie is excellent. The gnomes look like real life gnomes with a small touch of cartoon. I like how, in the beginning, a couple of gnomes are standing on a book talking about how they are going to read about Sherlock Gnomes. Sherlock Gnomes is a great detective just like Sherlock Holmes, but instead of protecting people he is the sworn protector of Gnomes. This gives the feeling that the entire movie is about those three gnomes reading us a book about Sherlock Gnomes.

The movie has lots of characters named from other movies and books such as Gnomeo and Juliet whose names are take offs of Romeo and Juliet. Sherlock Gnomes is based on Sherlock Holmes. I like how the gnomes freeze around humans. They just stay completely still so humans don't realize they move. The frozen position is also what they do when fall asleep. As soon as they get frozen, they can choose to fall asleep instantly or not.

The characters in the film include Gnomeo (James McAvoy), Juliet (Emily Blunt), Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp) and Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor). My favorite character is Benny, (Matt Lucas) because he is smart with technology, but otherwise very clumsy. I find that funny.

My favorite scene is when Benny trips and he is forced to put on a show to distract the guard while Gnomeo escapes. That scene is a mix of action and comedy. Another of my favorite scenes is when Gnomeo comes up with a plan to get past Reggie the gargoyle (Dexter Fletcher). I like how they show the plan with paper versions of all the gnomes.

The message of this movie is never take advantage of your friends. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 11 because of its great storyline and message. I think adults will like watching this movie as well. It comes out on DVD and Blu-ray June 10 so, be sure to check it out. Reviewed by Damon Foxe, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10.

Sherlock Gnomes is a frequently clever animated film that has a few fun moments, yet suffers from a jumbled story and too many characters to fully engage you in the movie as a whole.

Sherlock Gnomes is a sequel to Gnomeo and Juliet and brings together garden gnome versions of the famous detective and the Shakespearean couple from the first installment. Gnomeo and Juliet move to a new garden in London that disappoints their entire faction of gnomes. Gnomeo and Juliet are appointed the new leaders to turn the garden into a beautiful wonderland for their little village. Meanwhile, several gardens have been erased of all signs of gnomekind and soon, Gnomeo and Juliet's is too. The dynamic duo of the incredibly smart, but sometimes selfish detective and protector of London's garden gnomes Sherlock Gnomes and his trusty sidekick Watson are on the case and intend to catch the culprit and track down the missing gnomes, with the help of Gnomeo and Juliet.

Unfortunately the collision of these literary duos doesn't work very well. Their stories have very different characters and tones. The film makes clever references to Sherlock Holmes and his works that will be enjoyable for fans of the character's inspiration, but the collaboration still feels forced. Gnomeo and Juliet go through a storyline that feels out of place and their conversations have a repetitive message. The characters feel less developed against the more engaging Sherlock Gnomes.

My favorite character is Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp). He embodies the qualities of the literary detective and makes his portrayal of Sherlock his own, giving him a more fun and comedic manner. He also nails Sherlock's complex relationship with Watson.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 9 due to some crude humor. Younger kids will enjoy the film's bright colors and caper elements and older kids and adults might enjoy some of the humor. However, this film lacks the vivid animation and nuance that offers the same wide appeal of other animated films. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars because the story is a bit confusing, although it has some characters and good laughs.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 86 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: AN ENCHANTING EASTER       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 2-7
Topic - Family
Description - Enjoy this Easter special adventure based on the classic picture book that has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, written by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram and published by Walker Books. As winter melts into spring and the meadow bursts forth with new life, Little Nutbrown Hare sees a rare sight... a pure white fawn, dancing in the moonlight. Nobody in the meadow has ever seen a white fawn so his friends think he's making it up. But Little White Owl tells of a place of mystical white creatures in the next valley, so the friends go on an adventure... across the streamy stream, and through the woody woods to search for the mythical white fawn. Little do they know that the tiny fawn is hiding from them, on the patches of white snow, thinking they are all playing a game of hide-and seek. Only when she falls into the stream and the friends save her do they believe Little Nutbrown Hare. The fawn visits them on Easter Day, but isn't so good at playing hide and seek in the grassy meadow, until they find a field of pure white flowers to play in.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I thoroughly enjoyed this DVD and found it quite interesting to learn about a white fawn. This is a heartwarming tale about Little Brown Hare who wanders outside one night when he can't sleep and discovers a rare, all white fawn dancing in the snow. He knows all white fawns are rare and when he talks to her she runs away. Through lots of escapades Little Brown Hare finally is able to convince his forest friends the fawn is real and able to befriend the white fawn. The characters are interesting and charming. A field mouse and a squirrel friends are all friends with Little Brown Hare and they interact with each other in the most loving way. I felt sorry for Little Brown Hare when no one believes that he had seen the white fawn. Eventually the truth comes out and they finally see her and believe Little Brown Hare.

The morale of this story is about love. The love between Little Brown Hare and his dad, the love of friends and possibility of the love of strangers. The negative behaviors shown are about doubt, but that disappears over time. I particularly enjoyed seeing the field mouse trying to protect Little Brown Hare by making a white fawn out of snow. He tries to protect his friend's honor in doing so.

The educational and social elements that make this title valuable emphasize the various ways that you can show someone how you love them. Adults often tell children that they love them and they can hear it in this story in a way they can relate to.

I recommend this for ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It uses vocabulary and ideas which little children can understand and enjoy. Questioning, probing and problem-solving are developed in a manner suitable for the target age. It is very enjoyable and available now on DVD, so check it out.

Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The DVD Guess How Much I Love You: An Enchanting Easter is a great movie for the whole family. This film has beautiful animation and an adorable storyline that I love.

Guess How Much I Love You: An Enchanting Easter follows a group of forest animals. One, the Little Nutbrown Hare sees a pure white fawn that enchants him. He tells his father and his friends - the field mouse, the fox and the grey squirrel. They do not believe him at first but Little Nutbrown Hare convinces them to help find the white fawn.

The animation in this series is adorable. The characters and background are very colorful. In every scene, there is always a pop of color, whether it is a vibrant blue or a soft pink. The characters look just like the illustrations in the original book, which I love. It is remarkable how detailed the characters are. For example, the fox has orange fur that fades at the end. It looks like a watercolor painting.

If I was to pick my favorite character, it would be the field mouse or perhaps Little Nutbrown Hare's father. I like the field mouse, because he is the only one who believes in Little Nutbrown Hare and what he saw. I also like Little Nutbrown Hare's father, because he is so kind. He takes care of the mother bird's eggs while she goes to get feathers for her nest. When the birds hatched, he takes them to where he kept warm during the storms until their mother cam back.

The message of this movie is to trust your friends. The fox and the grey squirrel did not believe Little Nutbrown Hare's story about seeing a pure white fawn. The only one that really believes him is the field mouse. He keeps Little Nutbrown Hare's hopes up when his friends did not believe him. I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages five to seven. This is available on DVD so, look for it.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Easter! I love Easter! This 30 minute fantastic, delightful and pure film is directed by Jo Boag. It's so rare to find a truly quality children's film such as this. I love how the storyline brings together so many themes including friendship, believing, togetherness and Easter. Wow! What an amazing combination! Get ready to head down a road filled with adventure.

The story follows Little Nutbrown Hare leading a journey to find a pure white fawn that he sees shining and dancing in the moonlight near his village. His friends think he's making it up. They take a gamble endeavor through the woods in the next valley, down the flowing creek and past the rocks to find her. As their doubt grows, she is right there hiding on the patches of white snow. She instantly thinks it's a big game of hide and seek. She promises to visit them on Easter Day, making Easter that much special for them all.

This film is based on the classic book that has sold worldwide, written by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram and published by Walker Books. The animation is astonishing from beginning to end. The characters are beautiful, colorful, appealing and attractive throughout the entire movie. This film is downright delightful, bringing so much joy for one to appreciate. I just love the animals, especially the cute baby birds! The music really supports the lovely characters and action.

My favorite part is when Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends save the pure white fawn from drowning in the stream. It shows how much he cares and adores her. Absolutely touching! This part in the film has many different actions happening at the same time. All of Little Nutbrown Hare's friends find out the pure white fawn is real and not in Little Nutbrown Hare's imagination. At this moment they are reminded the world is full of marvelous animals. My favorite characters are the pure white fawn and Little Nutbrown Hare, because they are both happy, intriguing, playable and friendly.

This film has a great message of friendship and love and the meaning behind them. True friendships are displayed in this film and we see the genuine love and understanding the characters have for each other. It absolutely calls you to action when they venture out to find pure white fawn. All the characters treat one another appropriately, helping help each other, saying nice things and being friendly to one another.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 11, as well as adults. This film is available now on DVD and Digital, so go check it out before Easter.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

I love Guess How Much I Love You: An Enchanting Easter! It is a great addition for my collection of Easter movies because it is so cute!

Easter is on its way and this hare is perfect for the holiday season. The life lessons are about friendship and being kind to others. We see this in the kindness extended to the pure white fawn when they show her that they can be friends. The other life lessons are about teamwork and believing in your friends.

The animation is just breathtaking. It is so perfectly executed that it looks like a perfect little story book with live animals. The scenes with the snow are amazing because of the color mix. It is truly magical.

My favorite character is the pure white fawn. She is a new character that I will always remember. I love her personality. She has a sweet side, which she shows towards the end of the film and a funny, silly, playful side that she shows in the beginning. I am in love with her character's voice which is so soft and sweet, making her the perfect fawn. Her interaction with all the different animals shows that she fits right in and they all gain a new BFF.

Another thing that I like about this DVD are the voiceovers. They match the characters wonderfully with their soft tones, making sound a lot like young children. Each character has a small, adorable and squeaky voice.

All the animals are lovable and each one has a different personality. This makes me feel like I am meeting them for real. I want to jump into the screen and give them a big welcome hug. It also makes me want to jump through the TV and play in the meadow as they celebrate Easter. This is a perfect way to get into the spirit of spring after a long, cold and rainy winter.

I recommend this DVD for kids age 4 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is available now on DVD so look for it. Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD


TENKARA KID

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TENKARA KID
MARK STEUDEL
Series: SHORTS 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - For many of us, we work hard all year and then only get to spend our two weeks of vacation on fly fishing. We fly hundreds of miles to rivers that measure fish-per-mile in the thousands and have elusive new species to catch. We spend thousands of dollars on gear to maximize our precious time on the water. This film hearkens back to the time in our youth when our fishing gear was easily carried in one hand, when we measured our trips in steps, where each fish mattered and every species was relished.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Highly recommended!. I have to admit, this is one of my favorite short films of this season. It is exactly what I look for in terms of programming for youth and families. It is bright, happy, imaginative and inspiring! What a delight. And the ending just brings a huge grin to your face. This short film shows how meditative fishing can be while on a summer vacation or weekend getaway. It's a great incentive to wake up in the morning, especially when you've got a special fishing pole to use. The Fisher Girl goes straight for her fishing rod and fly lures, skipping breakfast. Dressed in bright pink jacket and matching shoes, she wades out into the pond water, casts out her line and quickly catches a couple of fish. Based on how gently she removes the hook from each fish's mouth, you feel her admiration for the creatures. You get the sense that these fish will live happily ever after in her indoor fish tank. They will skip the dinner table! I love the cinematography. It has great camera angles and a wonderfully playful point of view. The underwater shots are exceptionally fun. The camera angles make the fish seem a lot larger underwater, compared to how puny they look dangling from the fishing line out of the water. The background music sounds very Oriental and gives the impression of underwater motion. The outer cylinder that the fishing rod is stored in raises my curiosity. Why is a fishing pole stashed inside a decorated container? It seems very Japanese in nature. My favorite part is watching just the girls' feet and hands move across the screen during the first half of the film. You do not see her face for quite a while, so it makes one wonder where she is going and what is she about to do. I also like the way she gingerly and respectfully removes the rod from its container. It seems as if it is some type of traditional ceremony, maybe passed down from one generation of her family to the next. The message of the film seems to be about respecting your property and also valuing what nature has to offer. Treat your equipment well and you will live to fish another day! It inspired me to try fishing as a hobby. Maybe it will help me wake up earlier in the morning with a stronger sense of purpose. Perhaps it will motivate me to set up an indoor aquarium at home and raise some tropical fish. It gets me thinking about tying my own fly lures, since I like making things and working with my hands. Fishing would also be a fun thing to do with friends. It seems like a pleasant social activity. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. I think it would make a dandy addition to any film festival for youth and families. By Jeff M., and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Critics
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


ASTRONAUT, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ASTRONAUT, THE
ADAM MURRAY
Series: SHORTS 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Jacob's dream of becoming an astronaut may be at risk.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Astronaut is an adorable short film that touches upon the importance of inspirations. One appealing aspect of this film is that it teaches children that their dreams are not ridiculous and anything you dream can be achieved. You can be anything you want! The short film also stresses the importance of not letting bullies get you down and to believe in yourself.

The film follows a young boy, Jacob, whose dream is to become an astronaut and go to outer space. As the film progresses, Jacob is teased at school by a fellow classmate who tells him that he can't become an astronaut because it isn't a real career. An interesting aspect about all the key actors is that they are all related. The director, Adam Murray, uses his children to play the young boy and girl which makes the film seem even more realistic and relevant because they are so believable.

The production quality for this short film is extremely well executed, especially for a first time filmmaker. The special effects in the beginning are astounding and out of this world. The lighting is well done and the visual quality is impressive. The only issue I have in terms of audio quality is that the filmmaker should have put a microphone on the boy, because it is difficult to hear him speak.

My favorite aspect of this film is the relationship between the father and the son. Also, I like the costumes. They are adorable and really showcase Jacob's love for space. The message of the film is simple: never give up on your dreams and don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something. I give this 4 out of 5 stars because it is a great story with a very positive message. I recommend it for ages 5 to 12 and adults will enjoy it as well. Reviewed by Chandler D., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see Juror Comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DINO DAN TREK'S ADVENTURES: THE COMPLETE SERIES

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DINO DAN TREK'S ADVENTURES: THE COMPLETE SERIES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - In this complete series set, enjoy 50 dino-filled adventures with junior dinosaur expert, Trek Henderson, as he imagines dinosaurs in the real world! While Trek's brother, Dan, is away helping his dad, it's time for Trek to get his own dino time. Trek is going to finish some of the experiments in Dino Dan's Field Guide including seeing at least eighteen dinosaurs that Dan has never seen before! Trek will even meet marine reptiles for the very first time! It's time to join Trek Henderson as he embarks on one dino adventure after another and all in his very own way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dino Dan: Trek's Adventures: The Complete Series is a series for young kids with a lot of excitement, and fun adventures to go on! Kids will love this series if they have a big imagination and of course, have a love of dinosaurs.

On this DVD, there are 50 dino-filled adventures with the dinosaur expert, Trek Henderson. Trek imagines different types of dinosaurs in the real world throughout all of his experiences! While Trek's brother, Dan is away helping his dad with something, Trek takes over and entertains himself with his dinosaur world. The goal is to finish up some of the experiments that Dan has started. Trek even meets some new dinosaurs and marine reptiles that he hasn't seen before! Join Trek on his wonderful adventures throughout the world of dinosaurs!

One reason I really like this show is how they incorporate educational lessons into it. It's not everyday that you see a kids TV show that includes all kinds of educational facts within the story line. This is exactly what this series does. For example, in the episode "Trek Rex," Trek is having trouble figuring out what dinosaur he wants to dress up as for a party. Throughout the episode, he has various encounters with several dinosaurs to help him make his final decision. Trek and the dinosaurs' encounters happen in the real world, in front of real people, so he is imagining it. I believe that creates a connection between Trek and kids in the real world, since many have big imaginations.

The overall message in this series is that it's okay to have an imagination and even share it with others! Trek has no problem sharing his findings out loud for everyone to see and has no shame about doing that. This is what kids should feel. And, sharing their findings throughout their childhood is a cool thing to do.

I rate this show 4 out of 5 stars for its playful storyline, exciting cast, imagination and much more. I would love to see the storyline develop more, but it's perfect for younger kids. I recommend it for ages 5 through 10 . This is available now on DVD, so check it out.

By Imani B.G, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This series is great for keeping younglings entertained over the summer. With over 500 minutes in its 50 episodes, this will keep them busy and will keep them interested. I found Trek talking to an imaginary dinosaur somewhat strange but hey, it doesn't seem to bother his mom.

The storyline is about when Trek's brother who goes away to dig up fossils and Trek misses him. Then, one day a package arrives in the mail with a message from Dan asking Trek to help him do some dinosaur experiments. In later episodes, he gets better and better at conducting these experiments. One of his tasks is to find out if albertosaurus hunt in packs. For this, he gets a ham sandwich and gets the albertosaurus to chase him.

Trek is played by Trek Buccino who lives in Toronto, Ontario and attended Claude Watson School for the Arts. He has also been in Pacific Rim and PJ Masks. Trek's mom is played by Allana Harkin who has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy award for Full Frontal which she produced.

What I like about the show is that it is enjoyable to watch while you learn some facts along the way. I recommend it for ages 3 to 8 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. It is available now on Digital and DVD/Blu-ray so, check it out.

By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 575 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF THE ROSE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF THE ROSE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Follow the Little Prince, a hero of multiple generations, as he experiences brand new adventures with iconic characters based on the masterpiece by Antoine de St. Exup�ry. In The Planet of the Rose, the Little Prince believes he has succeeded in getting rid of the Snake after a deadly battle. He can now finally continue to find the Rose's planet for his dear Rose. When the Little Prince and Rose reach the planet of the Rose, strange crabs live on the surface and are hardly hospitable. There is no trace of vegetation and no trace of the Rose people. Convinced they have reached the wrong destination, the Little Prince is ready to leave when they find some of the people. However, the Rose people are asleep and fossilized. The Little Prince and Rose need to bring them back to life. Unfortunately, that's not all they will need to do as the Little Prince's enemy, the Snake, hasn't died after all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I truly enjoyed watching this show. Based on the book series, it has a ring of positivity to it. The Little Prince is an incredibly good and popular book series and a wonderfully animated film series. The symbolisms associated with Rose, the Fox and the Snake may be lost on the youngest viewers. However, school age children will benefit from an increased imaginative mindset and the good vs. evil theme. The flow of the story lags a bit at times, but it is quite pleasant to watch. The Little Prince is definitely a positive role model in terms of protecting the ones he loves such as Rose and other protagonists. They all help each other out of peril like when the spirits help Fox from falling into outer space. The computer animation is exceptional. The characters, locale and colors are easy for viewers to identify with.

One aspect that really stands out are the geographical indicators notating inter-dimensional aspects of outer space. The cover design showing the Little Prince looking out into the distance along with Rose is big, colorful and enticing. Young people would enjoy this film because it is adventurous, the setting is unusual and the graphics are terrific.

The Little Prince series is based upon the teachings of Saint Exupery and holds morals based upon religious values. Although secular in tone, the theme of good overtaking evil is important for children to hear in order to give them hope in this world. The adventure of outer space will draw most children in. This film might get children thinking about other planets and the science of astronomy and geography. It definitely will expand their imaginations. Questioning and probing take place. For example, when the Little Prince talks about traveling to the Rose planet and the Geographer states that they might possibility be "lost forever in infinity" while trying to voyage there. The Little Prince determines it is worth the risk for Rose.

There are no bonus features on the DVD. One issue I have is that when you stop the movie and come back to it later, it starts all over at the beginning. It does not start where it left off, which is a nuisance. Also, there are no foreign language subtitles, which is something I missed. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 13, as well as adults. It is available on DVD now, so check it out.

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Once again, the little prince and the adorable Rose are getting back together and it's fantastic how everything is all happy and joyous for their reunion.

It's very fun and interesting and I absolutely love this DVD. The thing about this story, which is very fun and adorable is that they put a new twist on it. And there are lots of new characters as well as old characters from the series. I absolutely love that they brought the King and the Salesclerk back. I really like that they add new characters to the old ones we love and adore. Everyone will have a character that they can relate to. It is really fun and I love the scene when the Fox comes and they gets knocked off the rope and then he gets to meet the King and the Salesclerk again. It's a glorious movie, very hilarious and silly, which I like. Also, the Little Prince is, once again, a fantastic character. He is definitely my favorite character because he has a lot of wonderful traits. He's very kind and generous, which is glorious. At the same time, he serves as a great role model, and one that kids should see more often. It is good to see someone take their duties seriously, especially helping others. That's what we get in the prince, all the time. I also love little Rose. She's very adorable. She is very funny when she is arguing with the Fox. The two of them are just like yin and yang.

Now, one thing that is just fascinating about this show is the animation. If you think about it, when you look at it you think, "Wow! I'm stunned." I think this show is something that will inspire many young children who might think about traveling to another the moon or Mars. I think that idea is fascinating. I have always loved astronauts. That's what makes this DVD so perfect. The animation is so detailed and colorful and each planet has its own unique twist and turns. By just using words, a little bit of script and then adding all the colors in the DVD make this show perfect. I love that the animation seems to be a mix of anime and origami. They work perfectly together.

I really love that this show is something the entire family can enjoy together. I think it's suitable for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. I definitely give this 5 out of 5 stars. This is available now on DVD so be sure to check it out! You don't want to miss this one.

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: APPLEJACK

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: APPLEJACK       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Think work on the farm is easy? Then you don't know jack - Applejack, that is! Honesty, patience and friendships are tested in a new collection of adventures featuring everypony's favorite four-hooved apple lover! Join Applejack and her very best pals - Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy and Spike - as they experience the power and magic of true friendship. Bonus Feature: sing-along.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Each episode in this collection is approximately 25 minutes in length. The storylines are very straightforward and the moral messages are charming and clear. They are very engaging for the target age. The characters draw you in with their multi-dimensional human personality traits. The language is quite suitable for the audience as well, although younger kids may not pick up every single word. The overall messages are what are important. Applejack, the main character, maintains an integrity even if others do something different. If she does something wrong, then she accepts the mistake as well as its consequences and, more importantly, apologizes. The other characters hold the same level of integrity as well. Questioning and probing are developed when certain problematic situations take place. An example is when a pair of scam artists dupe a crowd at a circus presentation into believing that a miracle product cures ills, Applejack instantly feels there is something fishy going on and is concerned when grandma pony purchases the elixir. In another episode, Applejack's younger sisters and friends want to help build carts for a race, but the older sisters take over designing the carts. The race ends in a big crash, destroying the carts. The younger siblings assert that the holder ones took over their project and the resolution is for the younger ponies to rebuild their carts without interference from the older siblings. I love the humor in these stories, the visual appeal, interesting storylines and great morals that children can easily pick up. The animation is big and colorful. There are five episodes and bonus singalong. The messages address how to be a person of high character, getting along with others, owning up to mistakes and apologizing. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 9. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Even though these episodes are clearly for younger kids, I can't deny that I actually really like these episodes. I don't think I'll actually start watching the show, but this show can be enjoyed by the whole family because it is very entertaining.

This DVD is a collection of five shorts from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, with most of the episodes centered around the character, Applejack. She is an important character in every episode, even the ones that are not centered around her. I am aware that My Little Pony actually has some pretty interesting stories and can get pretty dark, but these episodes are filler. They do also reference major events in past episodes and one episode has two characters who appear to be recurring characters, so I really wouldn't recommend this DVD as a way to fully understand what takes place on the show.

That being said, Applejack has a sweet southern accent, works on a farm and appears to epitomize honesty. I like that My Little Pony shows have a moral compass that teach positive lessons. This show should make lots of parents happy. My Little Pony has a ton of effort and care put into each episode. I'm very impressed with this show. Often times in shows, filler episodes are boring and they make you wish you were watching a story driven episode. This isn't the case with these stories!

Now, My Little Pony has some really interesting characters. I love character driven stories and that best describes this series. The main cast consists of six characters, or "The Mane 6" as they're often referred to outside the show. By the way, it's an amazing pun. I really like when shows have a large cast of recurring characters that really make their world feel real. It helps world-building, character dynamics and of course, I love talking about characters in media. As I mentioned, these episodes focus mainly on one character, Applejack, but sometimes the other members of The Mane 6 share the spotlight. If you like Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash and Rarity, then you will love this series because they are highly featured. My main issue is that, ironically, my favorite member of The Mane 6, Fluttershy isn't in any of these episodes. I know the episodes are about Applejack, but from what I've seen of recent My Little Pony, Fluttershy is the most under-developed of the group. So please, My Little Pony creators, show some love and character development to Fluttershy.

I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. The DVD is available now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Howdy there everyone. Get ready for a brand new adventure with my favorite pony, Applejack! We will be exploring the terrific apple farm and seeing all the wondrous things Applejack, and her wonderful family, do there. I enjoyed all the new episodes in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Applejack because they show Applejack and her family in Ponyville.

Who can argue with Applejack? I know I can't! After all, she personifies the element of truth and that is one of her best qualities. Since she knows how to spot a lie at first sight, she makes the perfect detective. This is why "Leap of Faith" is my favorite episode, hooves down. I can't get enough of Applejack's detective skills and Granny Smith reliving her youth. There is just too much fun and humor in one episode and therefore it is so enjoyable to watch. Two of my other favorite characters are in this episode and they are brewing up trouble - aka Flim and Flam are back in town.

The pony who steals the show is defiantly Applejack. After all this DVD is all about her and she surely takes advantage of that. I would love to have Applejack as a friend and a neighbor, not only for her honestly, but because she is kind and gracious as well. Her sweet southern accent is hard to resist.

The animation in these episodes is very detailed and, once again, looks as if there is a pony running around this wonderful city. I adore the way the town looks with all the bright colors and fun characters. The barn is especially great. It looks as if you could go and pick apples right from the trees. That is one of the great things about this series. The colors appeal to both young and old audiences because of how vivid they are.

Another thing to look for in this DVD are the fun bonus features such as the sing-along and the amazing new cook book from Applejack. You will find recipes for caramel apples, baked apples and spiced apple cider - all of which are kid friendly. The sing-along is great for kids who want to become world renowned singers because they can sing along with their favorite My little Pony Songs with Applejack and the rest of the main six.

I recommend this DVD for ages 4 to 15 and give it 5 out 5 apple stars. It is available on DVD and Digital now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.98
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


MAYA THE BEE 2: THE HONEY GAMES BLU-RAY/DVD

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MAYA THE BEE 2: THE HONEY GAMES BLU-RAY/DVD       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - After a slow harvest season, the very survival of the hive is threatened. Maya, and her sidekick, Willy, go to Buzztropolis, where the Empress invites them to participate in the Honey Games. But if they lose, the hive will have to give the Empress all of their summer honey! Needless to say, Maya and Willy's teammates are neither enthusiastic nor athletic, but Maya remains positive and exclaims that "every bug has a talent!" Can Maya and Team Poppy win and secure her hive's future? Only if Maya is able to gain new friends and learn about teamwork, responsibility, and overcoming their differences! Bonus features: The Making of Maya the Bee 2; Original teaser and trailers.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - My six-year-old granddaughter really enjoyed this DVD. The storyline is quite interesting in showing the life of bees and how they gather honey and support the Queen and all the other bees in the colony. The story line continues with the Queen Bee of Poppy Meadow and her bees gathering honey for the winter. She realizes that they may not have enough honey for the hive to last the winter when she gets word that the Empress, her estranged sister, has declared that the Queen's colony has been selected for The Honey Games. The Hive of Poppy Meadow is required to honor the Empress to donate 50% of their honey. They don't have enough honey for their own hive to survive the winter, so the request is a difficult one to abide by. Maya and her best friend Willie go the Empress and please their case.

The story line is easy to follow and suitable for the target audience. The vocabulary and concepts are also right on target. There is a lot of teamwork shown and sometimes Maya tries things on her own but soon realizes that is a mistake and relies on her friends to help. There are some consequences and they are repaired by the characters in a nice way. Each becomes more respectful of the others as time passes.

The visual appeal of this DVD is appropriate and interesting enough for the youth it was designed for. The DVD is animated and colorful and lively in action to keep the interests of the intended audiences. I feel that the storyline of this is quite entertaining for youth and the pictures of the bees are so cute! The characters on the cover are so interesting you wonder what kind of trouble are they about to get into!

In terms of the message of this story, as the story develops, we discover that the Empress and the Queen are actually sisters that do not get along. Towards the end they make up and realize they love each other and miss being together. Forgiveness becomes the overall theme as we see the sisters resolve their differences. Also, during the competition games the contestants learn a few lessons about fairness and love. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 9.

Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed watching this! This animated film has many underlying messages without becoming confusing. Each of the characters have their own strong personalities which makes their interactions interesting. The plot line is intriguing also.

The main character, Maya is a bee who dreams of competing in The Honey Games. One day she has a chance to make her dream comes true, but it will put her entire city at risk. The Empress demands Maya's city to give up half of their honey to contribute to The Honey Games. They aren't allowed to participate, but are forced to give up their honey. Maya believes that this is outrageous and challenges the Empress. If Maya wins, she doesn't have to give up any honey. But if she loses, they have to give up all of their honey and her city will starve.

Maya (Coco Jack Gillies) is a well developed character. Coco Jack Gillies makes her voice distinctly sound differently which is good for Maya who goes through a lot of emotions. Gillies can sound distressed, guilty, ecstatic and hopeful.

The animation is done really well. The quality is great and all of the little details contribute to make it seem very realistic. The music also is very suitable for the film and sets the mood in the various scenes.

My favorite part is when Maya's best friend Willy realizes that Violet, a bee who is a bully, is trying to sabotage them. Willy has a slight crush on Violet, which blinds him of all the mean things she is doing to Maya. Finally Willy realizes what is happening and stands up for Maya. Even through all these hardships, Maya and Willy find it in their hearts to forgive Violet for everything that she has done. That is one of the messages in this film.

Other messages address how everyone has their own special talent, how you should believe in yourself and that no matter how small you are, you can still make a difference. These messages are really important and give kids a lot of self confidence. I love how they incorporate all of these wonderful messages into the story without making the film trivial.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10. This DVD is available now so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The animation in this film is very high quality, except for the characters' hair. It's a bit odd that they put so much detail into the bodies of the bees, but none into their hair. For me, this movie is a bit too predictable. I like more exciting movies.

The storyline in Maya The Bee 2: The Honey Games follows a little bee named Maya who accidentally embarrasses the empress of Buzztropolis and is forced to try to win The Honey Games to prove that her hive are not all foolish bees. The Honey Games are a series of physical challenges. Maya must win them with a team of oddball bugs or the Empress will take all her hive's summer honey and Maya's hive won't survive the winter.

The main characters in this movie are, Maya, (Coco Jack Gillies), the leader of Team Poppy and Willi (Benson Jack Anthony), Maya's sidekick. Other characters include, Bedford, (Cam Ralph), a bedbug, Spinder (Jordan Hare), a vegetarian spider, Craig, (Jimmy James Eaton) a cockroach that fears dirt, Arnie, (David Collins) and Barney, (Shane Dundas) two ants with helmets, and the villain, Violet, (Linda Ngo). My favorite of these character is Willi because he is scared to do all the stuff Maya wants to do, but Maya won't listen to him and he is forced to do those things anyway. I find this funny.

My favorite scene is when Maya tries to get a honey treat away from Willi so she can give it to the Empress, but instead she accidently throws the treat at the Empress and embarrasses her. This scene is funny, because of the way Maya tries to help her but instead she gets stuck to the Empress's face. Throughout the movie Maya must learn about teamwork and overcoming differences. That leads us to the big message of this movie which is everybody has a talent or, as Maya says it, every bug has a talent. That means that nobody is useless.

I rate this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 7 because it has a good message. I think adults might enjoy watching this movie with their children. This movie is available now on Blue Ray and DVD so, check it out.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 83 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 18.97
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


PUP STAR: WORLD TOUR

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PUP STAR: WORLD TOUR       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
AIR BUD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - PUP STAR is back, with an all-new movie that takes the popular singing dogs on trip around the world, where Tiny and friends find fantastic new songs and meet exciting new canine singers that prove music really is the universal language.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In some ways, this film reminds me of a combination of The Voice and American Idol, but with dogs as contestants and judges. I have to admit that I had some trouble getting into the film at the beginning, because it seems a bit too unrealistic. I had trouble imagining these dogs as music and rap stars. The beginning is a bit slow and then, someplace in the middle, it became much more entertaining. The songs and soundtrack are my favorite part of the film, but some of the dog characters really grow on you. Even though the storyline is quite predictable, it is entertaining. I really like that the tour goes to different countries. The characters are fun to watch and it has a great ending. It is a good film for families to watch together. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 11. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is definitely made for younger kids. The storyline isn't very complicated and it is pretty predictable, but still very enjoyable for the whole family.

The story is about the puppy celebrity Tiny, now a Judge on Pup Stars World Tour, and has selected a dog named Julio as her representative. The issue is, Julio is helping Bark, the villain from the first two movies, win Pup Stars.

Because almost the entire cast is comprised of talking dogs, the editing needs to look good. And, like previous movies, it really does look like the dogs are talking. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to film and edit this movie. In the scenes where Julio performs, he does all these crazy moves and twists and - he looks really good. Kudos to the editors, Jason Dale and Nik Svab. They say it is difficult to work with kids and animals.

One thing I liked in the previous Pup Star movie is the song that Tiny sang. It really was an ear worm. In Pup Star: World Tour there are tons of new songs, with some really talented singers and interesting cultural backgrounds. Because each contestant is from a different country, the songs differ depending on the culture. I really like that about these songs. It fits well with the message they are trying to spread about being united through music. Shout Out to Brahm Wenger.

I feel that, in this movie especially, the writers work with the fact that dogs in this make believe world are actors, singers and similar. There are dog soap operas and there are also tabloids covering dog news. It is as if dogs are not our pets, but more like our equals. Some people already consider them their kids, so I guess it is not that far fetched. Little stuff like that really helps the world building. Also, one of my main issues with the second Pup Stars movie was that I felt the human characters were too oblivious and easily manipulated by the villain's plans. Thankfully, it's different here. The villain's plan is a little more complicated, so I could actually see how the human characters could believe what was going on. Also, I surprisingly laughed a lot. The way certain scenes are shot and acted is just hilarious!

Now, my one question is, how many more Pup Stars movies will there be? The ending of this movie serves really well as the conclusion to the series. But, my guess is that this won't likely be the last movie.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18. If you like dogs and music from all over, I recommend this for you in particular. It comes out on May 5, 2018 so look for it.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Pup Star is back and bigger than ever, as the hit singing pup competition goes global! I am totally into this movie! It is absolutely hilarious - very entertaining, witty, sassy, incredible and completely a family Friday- night movie to enjoy. It is also perfect for dog lovers.

I love this heart-warming film because it is different, talking dogs... now that's pretty different. The dogs bring a fun and quirky style with the singing and dancing that will bring the best out of you. This is definitely a fun, big scale musical adventure.

The story follows Tiny, a charming Yorkie, as she joins the launch of the Pup Star World Tour as a celebrity judge. It takes the popular singing dogs on a trip around the world where Tiny and friends find wonderful new songs to sing from different countries. Each judge chooses their favorite contestant to compete for the new title of Global Pup Star Champion. This film literally makes you get up and dance. When the contest faces a severe threat from a trio of conspirators, you have go see the movie to find out how that is resolved.

Directed and written by Robert Vince, the lead characters and the talent that voices them include Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher), Julio (Jorge Diaz), Grandpa Growl (John Ratzenberger), Simon Growl (Steve Valentine), Bark (George Newbern), Shep (Reggie De Leon), Rover (Jonathon Mangum), Jimmy Kibble (Brian Hull), Steven (David DeLuise), Butch (Danny Woodbury), Raji (Maulik Pancholy), Lou (Makenzie Moss), Ming (April Hong), Juan (Steve Zaragoza), Kano (Diedrich Bader), Dog Gnarly (Ziggy Marley) and many more.

The dogs' costumes are glamorous, with all the sparkles, glitter and beautiful colors. The colors really bring great visual effects to the film. When all the dogs from different countries come out to sing in their cultural customs, it really drew my attention. I loved seeing all the different backgrounds and vibes in all of the dogs. The music is remarkable. It really fits the theme of the film and paints pictures of all the different cultures.

My favorite characters are Tiny, who unquestionably is the most adorable judge, Shep, the funny service manager and Julio, the Mexican pup with a big heart. Most importantly, all the characters are amazing. My absolute favorite part is when the cheaters (I'm not going to tell you who they are) get disqualified from the competition.

The message of the story is "cheaters never win; winners never cheat." I'll admit, I've never understood the utility of cheating. This film definitely calls you to action. It has a positive message that promotes positive social behavior. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and definitely recommend it for ages 5 to 14 years old, as well as adults. The film will be released on May 5, 2018 in Canada and USA so look for it!

By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 87 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


MOLANG: SEASON 2

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MOLANG: SEASON 2       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-6
Topic - Family
Description - Join Molang, a round, fluffy, and happy rabbit, and his friend, Piu Piu, a poised, timid, and reserved yellow chick, as they explore everyday life. Despite their many differences, Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a special friendship. They have amazing times together ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary. From finding themselves in the middle of the jungle, going to the circus or enjoying a rainy day, Molang and Piu Piu embrace every daily adventure together. Who knew dancing in the rain with your best friend could be so much fun? No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with sheer happiness. Embark on 52 lovable adventures with Molang and Piu Piu!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This charming DVD takes you from point A to point B quickly in a manner appropriate for the target age. There is no language spoken except an alien language spoken by visitors. We follow a day in the lives of Molang and Piu, Piu and how they get along on Earty. The show is filled with bright colors along with characters and images that are drawn big and simple. This is an animated series with 52 five-minute adventures. The menu allows one to select a specific episode. You can also select different languages. The show demonstrates positive social skills such as how to get along with others. Themes covered in all the shows include happiness, friendship, caring and respect. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it quite appealing and engaging. I highly recommend it for ages 1 to 5 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The adorable, warm-hearted duo of Molang and Piu Piu are back in Molang Season 2 directed by Marie-Caroline Villand and Stephanie Miziak! The writers compose plots that are incredibly simple, yet engaging and expressive. The directors are skilled in easily conveying the plot, jokes and emotion without the use of dialogue.

These stories take Molang and Piu Piu on adventures near and far, as they help others and bring joy to the lives of everyone they touch. They often run into a friend or neighbor who could use a helping hand or a mood boost. Molang and Piu Piu find unique solutions to everyday experiences and make many friends along the way.

The lexicon of Molang and Piu Piu is incomprehensible, so the animation, sound effects and music work together to transcend words. The animation uses simple images to convey the characters' ideas and concepts. For example, when Piu Piu or Molang have a solution to a complication, a thought bubble pops up to show it in a quick image. The sound effects are either bright or dark, based on the mood of the scene. For example, when Piu Piu gets stressed, which is quite often, he screeches in distress. Furthermore the music, composed by Nicholas Varley, is very adventurous and upbeat, especially during the traveling scenes. It is lively and adds all the more to the jovial ambience.

The art of the animation is pure and simple, yet gives a relaxed and easy going aura. The colors are soft, not too bright or too dark, making the visuals sweet and appealing. Many of the objects such as the houses, characters, trees, vehicles and hills are all rounded creating the huggable, lovable world of Molang.

For me, the most appealing part is the happiness that surrounds each and every episode. Piu Piu and Molang are inseparable and their friendship is beautifully strong. This foundation sets the mood of each episode and their kindness reaches out to my heart.

The message of Molang Season 2 is to brighten the days of those around you and to help those in need. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 185 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.5
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


POCOYO: SEASON 2

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
POCOYO: SEASON 2       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-6
Topic - Family
Description - Meet Pocoyo, the unforgettable little boy with a very big personality! Your child will learn through laughter with Pocoyo and all his friends - Elly, Pato, Loula, and Sleepy Bird. Join Pocoyo and his friends as they embark on fifty-two entertaining and amusing adventures! Whether it's celebrating a birthday party for Elly to overcoming one's fears to ride down the big, scary slide to playing detective with friends, every day is a special day with Pocoyo and friends! 52 episodes, over 6 hours of fun, entertaining and learning.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Pocoyo is a funny, kind-hearted toddler with charisma that goes on for days! He has many friends that he goes on adventures with, but my son (2 years old) really loves Sleepy Bird. Sleepy Bird is a cute little bird that is seemingly always asleep and even flies with her eyes closed. My son giggles his little heart out whenever she comes on the screen. Watching Pocoyo interact with his friends is great. They are all so kind to each other. This whole series focuses on getting through strange or difficult situations via laughter. It really emphasizes the importance of taking a minute to collect your thoughts and laugh away the negativity. I truly love that. It's such a wonderful thing to teach a child. The show's animation is computer generated with a very straightforward design. The simplicity of the characters and sets are eye catching, yet don't over-stimulate the viewer or take attention away from the stories. The music is cheerful and enjoyable. I recommend this DVD for ages 2 to 5 and it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Pocoyo is a unique show for kids. It has cool, clay-like characters and takes place in an entirely empty world. The bright, colorful characters stand out against the plain, white background. The animation style is very clear and calming which fits the personalities of the characters quite well. I like the decision to use very normal toys such as trains and blocks along with unusual characters. It creates a nice contrast.

This is a DVD set with 50 episodes. Each episode follows Pocoyo and his friends Elly, Pato, Loula, Baby Bird, Sleepy Bird and Caterpillar who find something or make something new and then, they all use the item. I like how many possibilities this format provides.

My favorite episode is Guess What? In this episode, Pocoyo and his friends play a game with the narrator. In the game, Pocoyo makes a shape with the things around him. Then, the narrator must guess what the object is. Another episode I really like is Mr. Big Duck. In this episode, Pato finds a pair of sunglasses. The narrator says they make him look like an adult, so he refuses to play with his friends because they're too childish. Eventually, they convince him that being a kid is more fun, so he plays with them. This episode is really funny. I like how his friends react.

I really enjoy how the whole show is shot in first person, from the perspective of the narrator. This makes the viewer feel very involved in Pocoyo's world. The show is very repetitive, which is perfect for its target audience. I really like how the characters move. They move their limbs as if they are actually made of clay. They stretch and move in impossible ways and it's very cute and hilarious.

Each episode has a good moral such as sharing, being kind, cleaning up after yourself and not taking other people's things without permission. The music also fits the show quite well. It sounds fun and almost as if it is being played by a child. I really like Pocoyo's voice. It really fits his character, even though he doesn't speak much. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 2 through 7.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I like this DVD because it has loveable characters and adorable animation. I also love the storyline because it teaches moral lessons. However, I don't like that it gets repetitive at times.

The storyline mainly revolves around three characters - Pocoyo, Pato and Ellie. They learn about morals while doing fun stuff such as dancing and playing detective. They treat each day like it's a special day.

The animation in this is adorable. It reminds me of the game "Animal Crossing". It also reminds me of some sort for anime because of his it is styled. The background of each episode is blank which gives the animators lots of creative freedom. It's cool to do this because you can then do anything with the background. For example, there is a galaxy for an alien and a city for little creatures.

My favorite character is Ellie. She is sassy, kind and loveable. I love that she is always dancing. I also love how she jokes around with the group. She hilarious and I love that.

There are different themes in each episode. For example, in one episode they are talking about how to be considerate and in another they are learning how to be fair with each other. These are all important life lessons that kids should learn, especially at an early age.

I rate this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 3 to 5. This is now available on DVD today so, check it out.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $ 11.67
Media: CDROM
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


CHEAT CODE KIDS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CHEAT CODE KIDS
JUDAH RAY
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Bug wants nothing more, than to earn the respect of his big brother, Tobi, and his friends. Eager to prove that he can hang with the big kids, Bug uses a cheat code, for their favorite video game, that he found online. Instead of instantly making him a master of the game, however, it transports him, and his brother, to an elaborate, virtual world, where they meet new friends, and battle strange, and powerful adversaries. Now, they must learn to believe in themselves, trust in each other, and ultimately win as a team, in order to beat the game and return home.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This screenplay has great entertainment value and I can picture it on the big screen. It is a modern day story. The characters are likable and well developed. It tells an appealing story and, although there have been other stories or movies where the characters explore the virtual reality gaming world, this story stands out enough with its differences. It flows well, has an easy to follow story line and will entertain children. There is a subtle message about teamwork and getting along with others, especially younger siblings.

The story line flows well from beginning to ending and is appropriate for the target age. The characters are a strong point and I found them quite entertaining. Their dialogue is believable and kids will relate to the story. There is conflict between the younger and older brothers and I like that there is a resolution where they learned to work together. The only weakness was the ages of the two brothers. To make it more realistic, the younger brother should be a couple years older or the older brother a couple years younger. Five years is a big difference in age, especially in the beginning with the school situation. Realistically I think the ages being closer would make more since the 7-year-old seems a little older in his behavior and the older brother could be 12 but seems more like 10 years old. I can picture kids in this age range speaking the way they do in the script, so the dialogue is very believable. I believe that it has potential and that the scenes in the Game World are particularly entertaining and would be fun to watch on a big screen. This is well written with very few grammar, punctuation or spelling mistakes. It flows well from beginning to ending and the characters are all developed. It meets or exceeds the KIDS FIRST! criteria, is appealing and engaging. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Some adults may enjoy it, especially if they like gaming. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

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


MOGU AND PEROL

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MOGU AND PEROL
YURIKO OKADA
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A story about two friends living on Yummy Island, where delicious food can be found everywhere! Whenever Mogu is cooking, Perol just pops up and eats the yummy meal. One day Perol finds a very tasty looking Brrrr-berry that Mogu was about to pick. Perol doesn't wait for a second to taste the berry which brings about an unexpected quarrel between the two. Dialogue in Japanese with English sub-titles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This beautifully stop motion animated short film is fun, has cute characters and is very suitable for young children. The music fits well with the simple, slice of life feeling. The subtitles are easy to read. This is the story of two friends living on an island, surrounded by food. The friends bond over food, until one believes he was tricked into eating sour berries by the other friend. During this time one friend says, "Two-faced liar and loser." (This is the only concern that I have about the film.) The friends eventually make up with the help of some yummy food. The film's director, Tsuneo Goda, has made many notable works such as Komaneko, The Curious Kitty &Friends and By Your Side. I love his artistic style! I believe a child would love the fun characters and storyline. The story flows well and is very understandable. My favorite scene is when the two friends are picking berries together. The outdoor set is gorgeous. It's very simple and cute. You should know that the dialogue is in Japanese with English sub titles. I recommend this for ages 5 to 12 (due to the sub-titles) and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


LITTLE WARRIORS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LITTLE WARRIORS
SAM MIRPOORIAN
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Indiana is not known for reckoning with the scientific reality of climate change. Quite the opposite, in fact. The state does not have a climate action plan, nor does any individual city. In early 2016, a group of young people in central Indiana, from ages 9-20, began the process of crafting a Climate Resilience and Recovery Resolution. With the help of elected and appointed officials, this intergenerational initiative resulted in Indianapolis becoming the largest city in the country to pass a youth-led resolution addressing climate concerns, and promising carbon neutrality and the creation of a Climate Action Plan for the city.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Little Warriors is a powerful documentary that is a hopeful look at groups of kids who are trying to make climate change a thing of the past, rather than a somber look at how much global warming has grown as an issue. The film follows a Jim, who teaches kids about the threat of climate change and the science behind it. He vows to empower these kids to spark beneficial change for the earth by muting the power of climate change. The film follows groups of kids who have been taught by Jim and how they end up making a difference in their community. I believe kids will be inspired by seeing their peers' hard work and how it pays off as something that they might never see the benefits of in their own lifetime. Its 20 minute runtime zooms by and I was a little sad when it was over. I like seeing all the different kids testifying on behalf of climate change. The editing is quite good. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 18. I highly recommend it for inclusion in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, especially for those looking for environmental films. Reviewed by Benjamin P. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 23 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CHA CHA CHA - FRENCH LEARNING SONGS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CHA CHA CHA - FRENCH LEARNING SONGS
WHISTLEFRITZ LLC
Series: AUDIO CD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Parlez-vous cha, cha, cha? From samba and merengue to rumba and reggae, this wildly fun collection of songs with Latin and Caribbean rhythms adds an exciting twist to learning French that makes learning French as easy as un, deux, trois.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an upbeat and energetic learning tool for children ages 3 to 7. Join Fritzi the Mouse and friends as they teach us how to sing in French by using this amazing CD comprised of 15 fun songs! Get ready to feel the Island breeze through steel drums and rhythmic beats as you learn French versions of kid classics. You'll hear some old and some new tunes including Months of the Year, Numbers, Vowels, Days of the Week, Seasons, Bingo, Hide and Seek and On the Bridge of Avignon. The vocals are beautifully clear and performed by acclaimed singer Lynn Veronneau. The unique music, composed by Didier Prossaird, has an French Island influence that is undeniably catchy. Some of the songs are supplemented with children's vocals and chants to prompt participation and memorization by the listeners. The songs run between one and four minutes in length for a total of approximately 36 minutes of listening time. Included is an extensive vocabulary companion booklet with colorful illustrations of your favorite Whistlefritz friends! This CD has won awards from Dr. Toy, Parent's Choice Foundation and the National Parenting Publication. You can gain access to additional Whistlefritz media and educational tools via www.whistlefritz.com. I give this CD 5 out of 5 stars for its creative and unique sound. After listening to it, you'll surely be speaking French and humming these tunes throughout the day! I recommend this for teachers, parents or anyone with children who want to learn a second language in a friendly and fun way. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Whistlefritz: Cha Cha Cha is an upbeat album for the whole family that helps kids learn French in a new and fun way.

Each song on Whistlefritz: Cha Cha Cha teaches a different aspect of speaking the French language. Songs range from being about the seasons to the days of the week and even certain jobs.

This CD is great at teaching vocabulary. The songs are sufficiently repetitive in a way that will educate those new to French, but won't annoy those already familiar with the vocabulary being taught. Even if you don't wish to learn French, the songs are peppy and catchy. A lot of different instruments are used and every song has a different feel and vibe.

I recommend it for ages 3 to 18. As long as your child or you are ready to learn some French, you should enjoy this CD. I would recommend this as a segue even into beginning level adults learning French. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is a nice review of some things in French for me, as someone who already knows some, and both beginners and experienced speakers are certain to get something out of this CD.

Cha, Cha, Cha: French Learning Songs is a helpful, educational, kid-friendly collection of songs that encourage learning the language of French through the art of song. French is a beautiful language that is great to know. The fun songs on this track really add something special to the experience of learning.

I had an awesome time listening to these songs and following along with the booklet provided. The woman who sings has a lovely voice, which is complemented by the upbeat rhythms of the music. This CD is full of catchy tunes that are easy to learn and fun for kids to sing along to. The music is energetic, fun and an absolute blast. It is child friendly and, at the same time very educational. I have no doubt that kids who genuinely want to learn French will enjoy this immensely.

I give this CD 5 out of 5 and commend it for ages 2 to 8. I loved this CD and think that it is a unique and helpful way to assist young learners who want to broaden their horizons and learn a new language. It's available now wherever CDs are sold and online at Whistlefritz so, look for it.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

I really enjoyed listening to this CD. It is entertaining music that uses catchy and recognizable songs to teach French! It makes fun background music for little kids and they can do anything they want while listening to the music. By hearing the music at young age, they will learn French by immersion. It's like singing to kids and learning English without thinking about, just the way we learn English. It comes with the English words to the songs as well, so you can read those while listening if you like. I have to admit that it was a bit difficult for me to understand everything, because I don't know French. But kids under the age of five will probably get the hang of it quicker and will be singing the tunes without knowing they are singing in French. If you're older, you may like it the CD because the tunes are catchy and fun to listen to. I recommend this for ages 2 to 5 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is available now wherever CDs are sold and online at Whistlefritz.

Reviewed by Rachel K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Everyone get ready to move and grove to this terrific new CD! I adore the catchy beat of the music and how I found myself singing in French right away. Cha, Cha, Cha: French Learning Songs is musically creative and makes you want to dance and sing. Even if you don't know the French words, you soon will.

One thing that I really love about this is that it teaches you French in a wondrous way that kids, young and old will enjoy. Everyone likes music, so what better way to learn French than through song.

The songs are about the mouths of the year, different types of fruits, numbers and BINGO - the song that everyone loves. Since the songs are in French, the CD comes with a booklet that translates the lyrics into English, so you will understand every word. I enjoyed this factor because I now know how to say things like kiwi and October in French as well as English.

I recommend this for ages 4 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 40 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: AUDIO

Buy Here (from WHISTLEFRITZ LLC)


PANDAS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - An American biologist embarks on a life-changing journey to China to help scientists breed giant pandas and introduce the cubs into the wild.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The fun family IMAX film, Pandas is wonderfully entertaining and educational. It is a documentary about the journey following one particular panda living in captivity, to its release into the wild. The movie begins when Chen Chen is just a pup, living with other baby pandas in captivity. Based on the black bear research of Ben Kilham, this lucky panda is released and followed in the wild. The American researcher, Jacob Owens and the Chinese researcher, Bi Wen Li work together to help bring Chen Chen into her natural environment. Along the journey, she has some awkward moments and challenging times. I won't tell you what they are because it would give away a big part of the movie.

My favorite scene is the beginning when we see Chen Chen and the other pandas playing together. In many ways, they seem just like little kids happily playing. My other favorite scene is when Ben Kilham is playing a peek-a-boo game with a black bear behind a tree (say that 10 times fast). The music, by Mark Mothersbaugh, is really child-like, which adds to the fun playfulness that we see with the pandas. The narration by Kristen Bell is spot on with her happy tone and soothing voice throughout the film. The sweetness in her voice adds to the enjoyment of the movie.

My favorite character has to be the adorable Chen Chen and also the researchers. Chen Chen is always entertaining because she is so cute, loving, has a great personality and is very curious. I especially love the part when the researchers say they will always be there for her whether it is in ten or 20 years.

The message of this film is that, through research, working with others and a lot of patience, pandas and other endangered animals raised in captivity can be successfully released into the wild. The message also is that it is important to save species from extinction because "once they're gone, they're gone"

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SAYIN' IT SAM: COLORS
0
Series: APP, AGES 2-5
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - This app is a game that uses speech recognition to activate animations. It is deigned for preschoolers and kids with autism and speech impairments to motivate them to play by voice. Say a color and see what happens - balloons pop, birds fly, dogs play fetch, trains go Choo Choo down the track and shapes spin.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The game "Sayin' It Sam" is an amazing interactive game different from any other educational game out there. "Sayin' It Sam" is a game made for preschoolers and, in particular, those who have autism to motivate them to speak. There are different modes that have different colors that you have to name in order to get to the next set of colors. You can chose between popping balloons when you name each color, or naming the colors of different shapes.

The artwork for this game sets a warm tone and a kid friendly atmosphere. There isn't a pressuring timer, or a big bad boss level, just Sam encouraging you to name those colors, and use your voice. Unlike some games built around sound, this game has prompt responses to hearing voices, and a variation of responses to each color named correctly.

I give this game 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this game for ages 2 to 6. You can download "Sayin' It Sam" from the App Store. Reviewed by Raquel Y., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Sayin' It Sam: Colors is an educational app for young children and those with speech disabilities. This app is a good idea that could have been utilized better.

The app Is very simple which is a good thing because it's easy to navigate. When you open it, there's a menu. You select choose an item and then you guess the color of the item. The next screen has three items, each a different color. You say one of the colors out loud and it continues to another set of colors. When you get it right, Sam congratulates you.

I'm not sure if this is the app's fault, but it didn't understand anything I said. It might be because of my accent (I'm Irish), but I couldn't get past the first set of colors. The animation is good for such a simple app and Sam's movement is smooth and his mouth mostly matches the audio. The colors are a bit confusing, because brown looks like red and purple looks like pink.

I give this app 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 3 through 6.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Sayin' It Sam: Colors, is an app where you name the colors of shapes, balloons and other objects. When you click on a game to play, Sam says "Let's play!" After the objects appear he says, "Say a color." Then, you say a color and, if you said the name of the correct color, it does a special animation (different for each level) and the shape disappears. Sometimes it takes 4, 5 or even more tries to get the shape to vanish. This game is designed to give young kids who are still learning to talk and kids with language impairments a chance to practice speaking. The animation is quite good. For example, the character Sam, instead of being a random monster or talking animal is a realistic animated human. I like that.

I rate this app 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 6, because it teaches speech and yet it doesn't seem to recognize older voices. I think it's a great idea, but I wish it recognized what I said more easily. I have an Irish accent so that might have been the problem. Some kids might get frustrated having to repeat themselves so many times. The app also has a website (http://www.sayinitsam.com/) which shows live videos of the app being played, a link to their blog and more.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: App


SPACESHIP THAT FELL IN MY BACKYARD, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPACESHIP THAT FELL IN MY BACKYARD, THE
RUTH AND EMILIA
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - When a shiny spaceship lands in Emilia's backyard, she meets URR from planet Goopda who has traveled to Earth to promote universal peace. The two learn about working together and making the world a better place as they sing their way through the day's adventures. Produced by Enrico Lopez-Ya�ez, Asst. Director, Nashville Symphony; Jeff Silverman producer of Mattel's Barbie "The Look." Composer: Ruth Weber.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Spaceship That Fell In My Backyard is the newest release from mother-daughter team, Ruth and Emilia. Featuring strong engaging vocals and terrific production values this fun-filled musical odyssey will have everyone dancing in the streets... as long as there is no traffic and you've looked both ways four times! URR from the planet Goopda is here on a mission of universal peace (like we need it!) and our heroes share positive adventures of love, acceptance and care for planet Earth. A splendid time is guaranteed for all! This energized pop-rock music has some very fun arrangements and instrumentation. It is well produced. The vocals are well-performed and the musicianship is terrific. There are lots of positive messages about love, acceptance, friendship and caring - all very relate-able child oriented issues. The structure follows a theme about our heroes befriending an alien traveler and they share positive goals for the planet. On the plus side, the alien doesn't eat them! This CD is perfect for its intended audience and is created in a gentle loving way. There are safety tips, caring for the planet advice and words of wisdom about befriending people from foreign lands. It all proves that learning and fun can be one. The artists know their audience and intended age group well. I love the way it celebrates our individuality as people and cultures, our deep love and caring for the Earth and the joy and appreciation of our friends near and galactically far away. This CD, in association with their stage show presents a nice package that will get kids get excited about outer space, Earth stewardship and respect for other cultures. I highly recommend it and give it 4 out of 5 stars. My audience recommendation is ages 5 to 10, as well as parents. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Adult juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This CD has lots of wonderful, catchy songs - all upbeat and inspirational. They tell the story of an alien crashing down in a little girl's backyard. They sing about friendship and having fun in life, brushing your teeth at night, saying no to drugs and not talking to strangers. I love how they make catchy songs about these good habits. The song helps you remember these habits.

The only concern I have about this CD is that some of the songs contain words in them that young listeners might not understand. Even though younger children might sing the words, it is always good to include words that young kids understand. Another issue I have is that some of the songs are sun really fast, making it hard to hear the words they are singing.

The CD is definitely informational and catchy and something that kids will definitely learn something from. I recommend it for ages 3 to 7 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This CD comes out on March 23, 2018 so be sure to check it out!

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

This CD tells a story through song and a blend of a variety of music types. Although it teaches positive lessons, this CD is a promising concept met by a somewhat disappointing result.

The storyline is about a young girl named Emilia whose backyard is the landing site for an alien ship from the planet Goopda. The spaceship is carrying an alien named URR. Emilia and URR learn about each others' lives and find they have more in common than they thought.

The CD struggles at keeping an overarching idea to justify an entire CD. It starts off with the thread about Emilia and her otherworldly visitors and then descends into a group of songs about world peace and bubble baths. It doesn't reclaim its original thread until much later and abruptly ends just when it starts to get interesting.

I recommend it for ages 3 to 7 and give it 2 out of 5 stars. Younger kids will enjoy the happy vibe and simple rhymes.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer, age 12
Runtime: 31 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 10.99
Media: AUDIO


GARFIELD: NINE LIVES
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Kids and parents can join Garfield, Jon, and Odie for two hilarious adventures in this new DVD. The two episodes on this DVD include: His Nine Lives - Do cats really have nine lives? Garfield explores his nine lives, from Cave Cat all the way through Space Cat. At the end of his nine tales, Garfield points out to his creator that the circumstances of his last life were stacked unfairly against him and Odie. His creator agrees and gives Garfield back not just one life, but nine more! Garfield in the Rough - Jon announces that he, Garfield and Odie are going on vacation! Garfield gets excited, but that enthusiasm quickly wanes when he discovers Jon planned a camping trip - what a choice! Life in the wild gets dangerous when an escaped panther enters their campground. Will the rangers be able to capture the panther before it finds the trio?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD has two episodes about cats and their nine lives. The first episode is interesting but confusing. I like seeing Garfield, Jon and Odie, but got confused and lost interest towards the middle when it shows other cat short stories and their lives. It loses some of its appeal when other cats are featured instead of Garfield. As a big Garfield fan, I expected more of Garfield. Also, it is unclear whether Garfield is one of the other cats in some of those lives. It that sounds unclear, it's because I was confused. It ends well and has a happy ending, which I like. The second episode is much better, from beginning to end. It flows well and has no confusing issues. It reminds me why I love Garfield so much. This is more of what I expected. I rate this DVD 4 of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 through 18. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 48 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: CHRISTMAS TO THE MOON AND BACK

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: CHRISTMAS TO THE MOON AND BACK
SLR PRODUCTIONS
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 2-7
Topic - Family
Description - On a snow-covered Christmas Eve, Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends stumble across a little Brown Bear who is lost. Determined to return their young friend back to his mother in time for Christmas, the friends venture bravely into the unknown woods. Through this epic journey we are reminded that the greatest gift of Christmas is being with the ones you love.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I thoroughly enjoyed this short film and highly recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival . This is a heartwarming tale about Little Brown Hare who wanders outside one night when he can't sleep and discovers a rare, all white fawn dancing in the snow. He knows all white fawns are rare and when he talks to her she runs away. Through lots of escapades Little Brown Hare finally is able to convince his forest friends the fawn is real and able to befriend the white fawn. The characters are interesting and charming. A field mouse and a squirrel friends are all friends with Little Brown Hare and they interact with each other in the most loving way. I felt sorry for Little Brown Hare when no one believes that he had seen the white fawn. Eventually the truth comes out and they finally see her and believe Little Brown Hare. The morale of this story is about love. The love between Little Brown Hare and his dad, the love of friends and possibility of the love of strangers. The negative behaviors shown are about doubt, but that disappears over time. I particularly enjoyed seeing the field mouse trying to protect Little Brown Hare by making a white fawn out of snow. He tries to protect his friend's honor in doing so. The educational and social elements that make this film valuable emphasize the various ways that you can show someone how you love them. Adults often tell children that they love them and they can hear it in this story in a way they can relate to. The production values are outstanding, from the animation to the voice over talent to the background music. The images look like watercolors brought to life. I love them! I recommend this for ages 2 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It uses vocabulary and ideas which little children can understand and enjoy. Questioning, probing and problem-solving are developed in a manner suitable for the target age. It is very enjoyable and charming. If you have a festival for preschool and early elementary kids, this will fit right in. Reviewed by Tina B. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 26 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


FRENCH FOR KIDS: L'ANNIVERSAIRE DE FRITZI

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FRENCH FOR KIDS: L'ANNIVERSAIRE DE FRITZI       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WHISTLEFRITZ LLC
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - The latest release in Whistlefritz's award-winning French for Kids series! Aimez-vous les f�tes d anniversaire ? (Do you like birthday parties?) Join the language-learning celebration as Marie and the Whistlefritz kids plan the perfect party for their playful animated friend, Fritzi the mouse. Balloons, cake, presents, and special guests add an exciting twist to learning French in this lively, interactive French immersion program. At a Whistlefritz party, even cleaning up is fun! Each step in the party-planning process is captured through entertaining animated segments, live-action footage and upbeat interactive songs that teach words and phrases for toys, colors, parts of the room, household objects, and everyday activities. The video includes an easy-to-use translation guide for parents and teachers (also available for free download from the company's website), as well as French and English subtitle options. Designed for ages 2-7, L'anniversaire de Fritzi is fun for all ages! What are you waiting for? Let's get this language-learning party started!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - L'anniversaire de Fritzi (Fritzi's Birthday) is a really fun interactive French immersion program. In this DVD, Marie, an adult narrator and the Whistlefritz kids plan a party for Fritzi's fifth birthday. Fritzi is an animated French mouse and with lots of cute little animal friends. They make a cake, blow up balloons and invite special guests. It's a colorful mix of verbal and visual learning. It's about 30 minutes in length and is full of laughter and learning. Immersion learning is all about learning a language by speaking only that language without any English translation. It is based on how we learn our first language and makes learning a new one easy and fun. The cast is very diverse and there is lots of laughing and silly behavior woven into the educational lessons. This DVD has a lot of fun songs and encourages play and interaction with the characters and the Whistlefritz kids. The menu offers the options to play songs only and offers an in-depth explanation of immersion learning. Included is also a parent/teacher translation guide. This sing-along, dance-along fun fest is perfect for children ages 2 to 5. I give this title 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This educational and adorable language-immersion learning DVD by Whistlefritz is a great way to help young children learn French. The little characters' expressive faces are funny and engaging to watch.

A sweet mouse named Fritzi is turning five years old and his classmates are throwing a party for him. Along the way, kids experience songs and activities that teach them French words for all the fun things that accompany birthday parties such as cake, balloons, presents, toys and much more.

I love this film because I feel it is a great way for little children to learn French in a fun, entertaining way. The bright colors lock in your attention and the goofy characters are easy for small children to connect with. My favorite thing about this DVD is how, every once in a while, Fritzi's friends check on him while he is sleeping in his tiny house. It is so funny when he makes his cute snoring sounds.

The film also teaches children good behavior like being friendly and warm to each other. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. It is available now on DVD so check it out.

Reviewed by Leah R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I enjoyed the French language DVD, L'Anniversaire de Fritzi. It is helpful for kids. Knowing another language can be very helpful. Whether you are trying to communicate with someone who recently moved to your school who speaks a different language or vacationing in a place where they speaks another language, it's good to know the basics. The best time to learn another language is when you are little. Although we can all benefit from learning a new language even if we are older and may need a bit more time to learn it. This DVD hits the nail on the head. It caters to a younger audience and teaches children at their level. It isn't just learning words though. It teaches through games and songs! It's an immersion technique. I have to admit that I had a difficult time understanding what they were saying at some times, having no past knowledge of French. Still, I really enjoyed watching this DVD and participating as much as I could. It was fun to see people doing things and hearing about it in French. I recommend L'Anniversaire de Fritzi for ages 2 to 5 and rate it 4 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD in the obvious places so look for it. Reviewed by Rachel K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


Buy Here (from WHISTLEFRITZ LLC)


MAGIC OF READING, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MAGIC OF READING, THE
CLAUDIA MOYSSET
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A young boy escapes his boredom by unlocking the magic of reading with the help of his big sister. Together, they both venture into a world that only literature can unlock for them and are shown a glimpse of the world that rests bound in the pages of wonderful books. They escape from the clutches of a monster and battle it to their freedom, challenging their imaginations to follow along with the book.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What a great short student film! Well shot, great audio, excellent background music and very believable actors. This is exactly what a student film should look like. The topic is so appropriate for school aged kids and, of course, the them of the film - reading - is admirable. We heart fully accept and recommend it for ages 5-12. We give it 4 out of 5 stars. Can't wait to see your next film. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3.5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


FLOOGALS: PROJECT EGG HUNT

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FLOOGALS: PROJECT EGG HUNT       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-8
Topic - Family
Description - Join the Floogals on a mission of discovery as they explore Earth and the funny "hoomans" who live there! Each day, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo, and Junior Boomer encounter something that sparks their curiosity, setting in motion the day's research "project" and triggering an exciting adventure! In Project Egg Hunt, the Floogals mistakenly think Mom and Dad Hooman have accidentally dropped candy eggs in the garden when in fact they have placed them there on purpose to create an egg hunt for their kids. The Floogals think they are being helpful and tidy up the eggs! Once the Floogals realize their mistake, they must get all the eggs back on the ground before the kids arrive so their fun day won't be ruined.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a colorful and exciting DVD with five episodes, totaling 60 minutes of fun! The Floogals are a group of curious alien scientists named Fleeker, Boomer and Flo. Their curiosity is sparked by everyday earthly experiences and adventures that lead to experimentation, discovery and observation. The mix of crisp animation alongside "hoomans" (real actors) and live animals is really unique. These little aliens sometimes get into a bit of trouble, which they use problem-solving and teamwork to remedy as they learn something along the way. The menu offers the option to play all episodes or watch them individually. Each episode has a run time of 10 to 12 minutes and include: Project Egg Hunt, Project Rainbow, Project Kite, Project Picnic and Project Tortoise. This DVD is a great educational tool and extremely entertaining. Children between the ages of 2 to 5 will definitely enjoy the songs and story lines. Adventure is everywhere they go. They're the Floogals! 3, 2, 1 LET'S GO! I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars for outstanding animation, cohesiveness, interesting story lines, songs, educational and overall entertainment value. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Floogals Project Egg Hunt is a DVD about tiny secret aliens from planet Floon that sneak around your house learning about humans or, as they call them, hoomans. I really enjoy the animation and admire how they have real people walking around with animated characters. It's a very colorful, bright show with a new lesson in each episode.

The three Floogals in this series are Captain Fleeker (Rasmus Hardiker), the bravest of the group, First Officer Flo (Jules de Jongh), the smartest of the group and Junior Boomer (Hugo Harold-Harrison), who is clumsy and crazy in most episodes, which makes him very funny. These Floogals wander around a house, encountering new things that the 'hoomans' are doing. Then they spend the day researching what the object or activity is and sometimes try to help, often with hilarious results. At the end of each episode they send their report to their leader, who always likes it. So, they receive a strip of stickers based on their observations.

The episodes in this DVD are, Project Egg Hunt, Project Rainbow, Project Kite, Project Picnic and Project Tortoise. My favorite episode is Project Rainbow which is about the Floogals walking in the yard and, as they take cover from a sudden rain shower, they hear the girl "hooman" talk about a rainbow and they decide to investigate rainbows. I like this episode because I can relate to it, as I loved trying to find the end of the rainbow when I was younger. Another good episode is called, Project Tortoise which is about the Floogals discovering a tortoise and deciding to research it more, but when they look back at the tortoise he is gone. The Floogals must find him and bring him home. The title episode, Project Egg Hunt, is very funny because they almost ruin the egg hunt by trying to help. My favorite character is Junior Boomer because he is always being clumsy and causing accidents that sometimes helps the team in unexpected ways. The message of this DVD is, if you work together you can do anything.

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 5 because every episode teaches a new lesson and is very repetitive. Older kids and adults might find it amusing too. This DVD is available on Blu-ray and standard DVD now so, check it out.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Floogals: Project Egg Hunt, directed by Ruth Ducker is an imaginative, exciting space adventure that seems to take place right in my own backyard! The characters are diverse, funny and kind and the storylines are clever yet simple thrills. The story follows three Floogals - Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer who are sent to explore and understand the interesting ways of the Hoomans.

The animation and voices add to the special aspect of each Floogal that makes them unique. For example, Junior Boomer is innocent and the youngest of the three which is shown by his bigger eyes and wide smile. The voice actors are able to capture the character's personality in their voice. Dominique Moore voices First Officer Flo and expresses the sweetness of her character in her voice.

My favorite part is how the Hoomans are considered the mysterious aliens and the Floogals are there to learn about these queer creatures and their ways.

The message of this show is to help those you can and never miss a chance to learn something new. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to look for it.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The fabulous Floogals are back with five brand new episodes that are filled with magic and experimentation! I love how all the episodes are spring and summer related with the Floogals observing rainbows with pots of gold, egg hunts, kits, picnics and tortoises.

The alien characters in Floogals Project Egg Hunt are just adorable. I find Flo (Jules de Jongh) to be just too darn cute. Her alien personality is a true scientist at heart. She is also very silly and friendly with her other alien partners. Flo is a fantastic role model for young children because she teaches them the value of observation and experimentation.

Fleeker (Rasmus Hardiker) is the kind of captain who put everything he has into his observations and projects. He comes up with the most hilarious hypothesis about the new objects they find. Make sure to keep an eye out for Rasmus Hardiker in the new SYFI series Krypton as the character Kem. The first episode is amazing.

Even though Boomer (Hugo Harold-Harrison) is the youngest in the bunch, he has the biggest heart. He also has the biggest appetite. He loves to eat, so any mission that includes a scrumptious meal is his favorite. My favorite episode is "Project Egg Hunt", because as I watched it I laughed a lot. I know what the eggs are used for, yet the Floogals don't and they are hilarious as they make crazy guesses and try their best to figure out the puzzling mystery. They try to be helpful and put the eggs back, only to find out that they have to hide them again.

This DVD has many lessons for kids such as the wonders of experimentation, observation, discovery and science in general. The Floogals teach kids by observing objects and humans and seeing how strange objects are used in our everyday life. Experimentation is completed by trying all kinds of crazy experiments, whether it is tortoise races or catching rainbows. The discovery comes once the Floogals have made their experiments and observations and finally find out what the object is. Simple things seem complicated, because they are small aliens.

I recommend this for ages 4 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD


BIRTHDAY BULLY, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BIRTHDAY BULLY, THE
DONOVAN THOMPSON
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-15
Topic - Family
Description - When a young girl is bullied at school, she finds strength in the most unexpected places and learns that it only takes one.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This timely film very nicely shows how good usually prevails over evil. The whole issue of peer pressure among young teens is brought to light. A crowd of students at first hovers around Allie because she acts cool and has a superior-to-thou attitude. But soon enough, this entourage of kids realizes that Allie is a backstabber and a bully towards them all, and they all end up supporting the new girl at school, Mia. Allie is an overly arrogant young girl who quickly passes judgment on a new arrival at her school. She's quite the game-player, knowing how to manipulate her gang of followers into thinking and acting according to her biases. Both moms in the film, Molly and Claire, display some good parenting skills in taming Allie's bullying behavior. In the end, Mia's innocence and pleasant personality wins over the hearts of Allie's former friends. I truly cheered for the underdog and was happy to see the bratty bully lose the support of her peers. Allie (Kennedy Jordan) is a very convincing bully. She has a gnarly attitude and smirky facial expressions that make her a true intimidator. It is fun watching her supposed homeys stand up to her tyrannical rule in the school cafeteria, after the party. Donavon Thompson does some interesting film editing when he focuses in on a snarling, unpleasant Allie, using a black border around her face (5:58 time stamp). This effect singles her out as the dark villain. My favorite scene is when Allie's mom calls her daughter on the carpet during her party and then proceeds to call Mia's mom. The exasperation and look of "I'm losing control" on Allie's face is priceless and the beginning of Allie's getting her "just desserts." The film is well produced with excellent camera work and audio recording. Lighting and editing are very good. I like the cut-aways that appear to be shot on a cell phone. Sets and costumes are very suitable. The cast seem to all be pretty upper middle class kids. The talent is all very believable from the moms to the kids. Kudos to the director for delivering a well made film. Any film festival would be happy to show this. The movie conveys a powerful message that "bullying does not pay." It shows the important difference between yielding to peer pressure versus generating peer support. It also mentions the various ways that bullying can manifest its ugly head - face-to-face, through behind-the-scenes rumors, online through social media and others. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 15. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


WATER BOTTLE'S ADVENTURE, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WATER BOTTLE'S ADVENTURE, THE
ALICE SINKNER
Series: ENVIRONMENTAL SHORT, AGES 5-13
Topic - Family
Description - Walter the Water Droplet along with Clean Water work together to catch and treat a group of mischievous dirty water bottles so they can get clean and contribute to society and help save lives. Join them on this adventure to cleanliness and happiness.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Adorable, fun and informative. Kudos to this fifth grader on creating this claymation piece about clean water. Well done. Recommended for ages 5 to 13 and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


HUNGRY

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
HUNGRY
JILL SIMON
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - An idealistic grade school teacher has a fear of speaking up in public (other than in front of her kids). But when she finds out that children in her school are going hungry - thanks to federal cutbacks - it compels her to do things she wouldn't have thought she could do, including confronting a Congressman, to help out the children.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - More power to shy people! This film shows that brave voices can be heard and can make a difference in this world. Grassroots movements can sway politicians! This is a great reminder that government is meant to be "for the people." Allison (Jillie Simon), the grade school teacher, is quite the heroine in this film. She encourages her students to speak up and communicate their various concerns to adults. At the same time, she's a strong advocate for justice and change. She's great at respectfully telling others how to right their wrongs. Her efforts at improving people's lives are supported by her boyfriend, who shows her genuine love. The arrogance of Congressman Eric Roberts is truly irritating, as he tries to push his weight around. It's no surprise to see a female citizen being forcefully escorted out of the building where the congressman is holding a meeting. Once the news media catches him in the act of abusing power, he changes his tune and supports Allison's pro-lunch program pitch. I really enjoyed the peppy and energetic musical score by Thomas Simon. It truly enhances the film's impact in a positive way. The camera work and editing are very well done. I give credit to the filmmaker for excellent audio recording and direction. The cast is well chosen as well. Allison's personality is very bubbly. She has a great mix of positive work ethic, social consciousness and a fun relationship with her boyfriend. My favorite part of the film is seeing the school kids strike for the reinstatement of their suspended teacher. Their passion is admirable! What a powerful way to spend recess! The message of this film speaks of the importance of caring for our children, both locally and internationally. Many kids from disadvantaged families show up at school undernourished and hungry, and it adversely impacts their ability to focus and learn. For example, it is difficult for them to function at a high level if they don't get proper amounts of protein. Government programs should at least subsidize protein-rich meals. Likewise, the government should pass and enforce regulations to help preserve our environment. I truly enjoyed this film and highly recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, especially any that have a focus on social issues or education. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 20 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GOOD FOR ONE FREE HUG

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GOOD FOR ONE FREE HUG
SAGE DRAKE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - A little girl makes a difference by giving out hearts coupons to those in need.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Feeling low? Watch this, not watch it twice and I guarantee you your outlook on life will change. Truly an uplifting short film that anyone can relate to. Well shot, well edited. Good audio. No dialogue. Highly recommended for ages 5 to 18. 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DINO DANA: MEGA TOOTH

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DINO DANA: MEGA TOOTH
RIKKI COHEN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 4-12
Topic - Family
Description - Introducing Dana, a feisty 10-year-old 'paleontologist in training' who (like Dan and Trek before her) who eats, sleeps and breathes dinos. So much so that her Dad made her a special backpack that she can transform into any dinosaur she wants. Dana's 12-year old sister Saara is up for playing dinosaurs. Fortunately for Dana, after a chance encounter with Trek, Dana can now see dinosaurs too! What's more, when Dana transforms her backpack, the dinosaurs think she's one of them. With ten new dinosaurs, including two prehistoric mammals, Dino Dana continues the tradition of imagining the awesomeness of the past into an adventure in the present.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I highly recommend this short. This exciting animated film held my attention the entire time. It is fun to explore the ocean with the two girls, trying to find the mysterious megalodon shark. It reminds me of the Star Trek TV show, with the space explorer costumes and the navigation equipment on the submarine. There is a sense of fear from knowing that this shark could chew through the submarine. The program shows a lot of imagination and has excellent educational value. It would help kids appreciate things such as the size and strength of dinosaurs. It also shows kids that their nearby aquarium is a great place to see marine life in live action. The storyline is fun, especially the chase scenes between the shark and the submarine. The most appealing thing about this show is the hint of a dangerous character. I believe children will enjoy this show due to its sense of adventure and discovery, with some science and history thrown in. The show flows well, makes sense and is very watchable. It has good scientific accuracy as far as the details of the sharks and the operation of the submarine. My favorite part is listening to the girls talk about whether the sharks' bite force is strong enough to penetrate the metal walls of the submarine. This gives the movie a scary element, enhanced with the music which reminded me of the movie Jaws. The message is about having respect and appreciation for mother nature's living creatures. It also demonstrates the importance of communicating clearly with your friends in life situations in order to accomplish a task. The girls tease each other in a good-natured way, without insulting one another. I rate this show 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. It would be particularly suited to a festival or special event that focuses on marine science, anthropology or history. Reviewed by Jeff M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


NATURE: THE CHEETAH CHILDREN
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Life on the African plains is a constant struggle, and for a single mother rearing her offspring, the odds seem to be stacked against them. This is an inspiring tale about motherhood and family, as we follow a cheetah family on the grasslands through the eyes of conservationist and cameraman Kim Wolhuter. The Malilangwe Game Reserve in Zimbabwe, where the film takes place, is a dangerous place for cheetah cubs, as the 200-square-mile area is filled with other predators. Cheetah mothers do not have partners or sisters to assist in feeding and protecting their cubs, and this mother cheetah is completely on her own, protecting her five newborn cubs and teaching them how to hunt some of the continent's fastest game. She has just over a year to teach their young to survive in the wilderness without her.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love this movie! I have always been interested in wild animals and nature, especially big cats. This movie follows a mother cheetah and her five children and shows how the mom must protect her young ones and also teach them, within about a year and a half, to hunt and to survive on their own. The photographer had the amazing opportunity to gain the mother's trust enough to follow her and her little ones. There are sad moments because not all five baby cheetahs survive. It's a tough thing for the little ones to survive in a world with so many bigger predators. I was amazed at how mom has to hide her cubs to keep them safe. I learned amazing facts such as a cheetah can run up to 60 miles an hour. The movie made me sad, but it also made me happy to see that there are more than one of the baby cheetahs that survives. The photographer's work is quite extraordinary. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 through 18, as well as adults. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD


GO HAPPY FEET!

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GO HAPPY FEET!
FAIRLEA POLMEAR
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 3-8
Topic - Family
Description - On the sunny coast of Western Australia five best friends and their puppet buddies live a life full of music, fun and dancing! They love to learn about healthy habits but recently things have started to go missing in Happy Feet Bay! The team must work together to solve the mystery.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I strongly encourage this piece to be included in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. I think children will really enjoy this show because it includes audience participation and the actors' energy is contagious. The songs are tons of fun and educational as well. They include significant and relevant environmental lessons about recycling, reusing and even composting. This short incorporates lots of fun exercise activities, including yoga poses. It encourages the audience to follow along and get active. While some younger kids might not understand all of the concepts presented, it start informing them about issues that not only effect them now, but even more so in the future. It flows incredibly well and kept my attention the entire time. You should know that is in formatted as a fifteen-minute television episodic. The sound quality is excellent, especially when the characters are singing. The visual quality is superb and completely clear. The colors of the set are beautiful and really captivating. The sets are stunning and adorable. They use a lot of paper mache, which is excellently constructed. The costumes are eclectic and bright. I especially love how one of the characters (Krysia) makes her outfit out of items she finds. I really love the creative and charming puppets. I recommend this for ages 3 to 8 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. This show comes from Australia and we are happy to present it in our foreign short category. Reviewed by Chandler D. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-8
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DOGGONE ADVENTURE, A

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DOGGONE ADVENTURE, A       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
VISION FILMS
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - "Just Jesse the Jack" enlists a group of junior detectives and their dad, host of a popular TV show, to help him unravel the mystery behind his telepathic talents. But things get even more mysterious when they find themselves entangled in a world of UFOs and secret agents.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This adorable film had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I could not take my eyes off of the screen, because the movie is about dogs. I watched it with my Golden Retriever, who perked his head up whenever the dog barked. Dogs are my favorite animal and, even if you don't like dogs, I guarantee you will fall in love with them after watching this film.

Murphy, a small telepathic canine, becomes separated from his owner one night and encounters a group of young kids who spend their days solving mysteries to upload to their YouTube channel. Because Murphy possesses divine telepathic talents, a manufacturing worker comes along and captures Murphy to understand the complexities behind his dynamic, human-like brain. The kids must find a way to get Murphy back and undertake a precarious mission, filled with a multitude of secret agents and UFO's.

Jesse the Jack Russell Terrier, who plays Murphy, portrays him in an exceptional manner, because Murphy perseveres to the fullest extent and never gives up. A Jack Russell Terrier is a perfect dog to play the lead role. Even a small dog can achieve greatness, which demonstrates that, no matter what you set your mind to, you can achieve anything. Jenny Chaplin (Sydney Thackray) is the only girl out of the three friends, but she is hands down the strongest of them all. When the kids arrive at a 100-year-old haunted mansion, she insists on staying to find out more about the alleged ghosts that inhabit the house. I admire her strength and determination to resolve a formidable mystery.

The haunted mansion is quite astonishing. Although it is old with its broken door, windows, cracks and a plethora of mold, I am blown away by how intimidating it looks. The most menacing part is that there is a piano that plays by itself. Chills rolled down my spine when I saw this. I have never seen a scene like this before.

My favorite part is when Murphy runs away and watches TV through a window. In this scene, he begins to discover the mystery he will uncover. It is hilarious because he sits there and pants, as if he is out of breath. I love when dogs pant, because they are so calm and adorable. Murphy will definitely steal your heart with his charming smile.

The message of this film is that if you work together, nothing is impossible. Life is full of obstacles and unexpected events, but with collaboration and hard work, such obstacles are elementary. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 5 to 12, and adults will certainly love it too. It's a spectacular, convivial film to watch with your family and friends, because it will warm your heart. This film is available on DVD and Digital. You'll never guess how Murphy gets rescued.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What can I say? I am a proud dog lover! This live action-packed, lovable and adventurous film is by Tony Randel. It reminds me of my dog BoBo! Just like BoBo, Murphy is a very energetic and brave dog. The only difference is that BoBo can't speak, like Murphy. I mean, that would be demented! Get ready to head down a road filled with a usual risky undertaking.

This story follows a group of kids who love investigating unsolved mysteries. After being separated from his owner, a telepathic canine comes across these kids. The dog is taken by a determined operative who wants his brains, because he has a mind of a human. So, the kids embark on a dangerous mission to get him back. Things get more puzzling when they find themselves twisted in a world of UFOs and secret agents. They go through a scary mansion that has been abandoned for nearly 90 years.

The lead characters are Murphy the dog (Jesse the Jack Russell Terrier), Ricky Hill (Jayden Hedden), Ricky's brother David Hill (Walker Mintz), Jenny Chaplin (Sydney Thackray), Jeremy Tinsdale (Jonathon Tysor), Shelton "the brain" (Dilantin Patton), Jack Bowser (Paul Logan) and Steven Hill (Kurt Yaeger).

The location is outstanding. The old abandoned mansion looks so horrifying with its cracks, broken windows and door, holes in the walls, tilting door step and a broken roof. The inside is old, moldy and creepy. The piano plays by itself. The oven opens and closes by itself. Clothes are falling. Tables move as if there is an earthquake. And ghoulish people live inside.

The location for the CIA is mysterious as well. The door is protected by unearthly people and there are many dark rooms inside the building. Inside the building is a much more open space with secret doors and weird paths to get to the different rooms.

My favorite character is utterly Murphy! Murphy is completely headstrong from the beginning of the movie through to the end. Murphy makes the movie exiting, intriguing and entertaining. When I discovered Murphy could talk I thought, am I delusional!

My favorite part is unquestionably when they rescue Murphy. In that part we see how they come together to save Murphy. It really takes true team work! You have to wait and see how Murphy is rescued. It will certainly take you on an adventure.

The movie's positive message shows how teamwork is a collaborative effort that achieves a common goal. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12 as well as adults. This film is available now on DVD and on Digital so, make sure to go check it out.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 4-9
Topic - Family
Description - Based on the bestselling bedtime story book written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, which has sold over 11 million copies globally, the film follows siblings Stan, Katie, Rosie, Max, the baby, and Rufus the dog, who decide one day to go on an adventure through whirling snowstorms, oozing mud, and dark forests in search of bears! Featuring the voices of Olivia Colman (The Night Manager, Broadchurch), Pam Ferris (Matilda, Call The Midwife), and Mark Williams (Harry Potter), this animated story is filled with stunning visuals sure to enchant viewers along with its story of perseverance, optimism, and love of nature.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This animated film, based on the best-selling storybook We're Going on a Bear Hunt written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, brings the story to life! The vibrant visuals and brilliant musical score add a special quality to telling the story of a group of five siblings and their dog Rufus who decide to go on a bear hunt while their parents go to aid Grandma and her broken down car.

Their big brother Peter leads them on their quest over the countryside, lakes, oceans, and mountains and through a treacherous snowstorm. Throughout, they sing the famous chant: "We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We're not scared."

I love the children's positive outlook and excitement as they never give up, continue and approach their various destinations. As they encounter "long, wavy grass", "a deep cold river", "thick, oozy mud", "a big dark forest", "a swirling, whirling snowstorm" and "a narrow, gloomy cave", they also sing their other chant: "We can't go over it. We can't go under it. Oh, no! We've go to go through it."

When one of the siblings, Rosie and their dog Rufus become separated from the rest of the family, their adventure takes an interesting turn, delivering more than they ever expected. I really enjoyed the suspense the additional storyline adds to the film. It brings an extra excitement to the story. Do the paw prints add up to anything? You will have to see this film to find out!

I have fond memories of reading this story in my early teaching days as well as singing the chants with the children. Currently I read to children in the schools and look forward to sharing this film with them in addition to reading the story. The accompanying Adventure Field Guide is a perfect addition for children, teachers and families as a supplement to explore their own great outdoor adventures!

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 9 as well as parents, caregivers and teachers. It will be available on DVD February 13, 2018, so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Terry Solowey, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 24 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-9
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.45
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


PETER RABBIT

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PETER RABBIT       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Feature adaptation of Beatrix Potter's classic tale of a rebellious rabbit trying to sneak into a farmer's vegetable garden.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching Peter Rabbit, based on the classic book by Beatrix Potter. It is a wonderful combination of CGI and live action, telling a modern, funny version of the story of a rebellious Peter Rabbit.

Peter Rabbit (James Corden) along with his sisters, Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki) and Cottontail (Daisy Ridley) continue their family quest of sneaking into Mr. McGregor's (Domhnall Gleeson) vegetable garden.

One of my favorite scenes happens in the beginning when Peter Rabbit assigns roles, based on each rabbit's talent, to attack Mr. McGregor's garden. There's a lookout person to let Peter know Mr. McGregor's location in the garden and one rabbit serves as the catcher for the vegetables as they are harvested. It is very funny!

The animated characters are excellent. The rabbits look so real. You can see their hair moving in the wind and they have wonderful human-like actions. Bea (Rose Byrne) shows portrays a neighbor who believes that nature and humans can live together. She is the protector of Peter Rabbit and his sisters.

The story and the characters demonstrate a range of different emotions from both the humans and the rabbits. Mr. McGregor decides he must find a way to keep the rabbits out of his garden and resorts installing an electric fence. He does not foresee Peter Rabbit outsmarting him and using electricity against him. That is a hilarious scene and, if you want to know the outcome, you will have to see it yourself.

The visuals and music are funny and work well together. There are elements of mild violence, romance and a bit of rude humor. Kids will probably enjoy the funny animal characters. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. Many adults will enjoy it also. The film opens in theaters nationwide on February 9, 2018. Be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Peter Rabbit is one of my favorite kid's movie of the year so far. It's an adorable film that is perfect for the whole family. I love this film because of the acting and CGI.

Peter Rabbit follows Peter Rabbit, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton Tail and Benji as they get into mischief by taking vegetables from the garden next door. They take the vegetables from Mr. McGregor who tries desperately to get them out of their garden by using explosives and even an electric fence. The rabbits hang out with loveable characters like Bea. She helps the rabbits by giving them shelter when it rains and helps them get food.

Throughout the movie, we see great acting from all the actors and voice actors in the film. I love how Domhnall Gleeson acts like a soulless man with the rabbits who he is trying to kill, but with Bea, he acts like in he's love. I found that Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) really does seem to be in love with Bea. I also like how the voice actors portray the rabbits. Each one of them has a personality that is well portrayed in their voices and actions. For example, Cotton Tail is a memorable character because of how wild and reckless she is. The way Daisy Ridley voices her shows how wild she can be.

The CGI in this film is extraordinary. The animals look so realistic. If you really focus on the rabbits, you can see the individual hairs on them. You can also see it on the pig character that hangs out with the rabbits. During a fight sequence with Peter and Mr. McGregor, they actually look like they are fighting and not like he is fighting a fake bunny.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 7 to 12. This movie comes out on Friday, February 9, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Adorable, humorous, charming and a heartwarming tale just in time for Easter and spring! You will be hopping as fast as you can to catch up with the rabbits and all the other animals that are, once again, calculating how to get into Mr. McGregor's Garden.

Peter Rabbit is based on the books by Beatrix Potter. Beatrix Potter lived from 1866 to 1943 and is one of the best-loved children's authors. She wrote and illustrated 28 books and each one has been translated into more than 35 languages. They have sold over 100 million copies. This is important because one of the main goals for the director and the cast was to stay true to her vision.

The beauty of this film is that the rabbits all look as if you could touch them because the animation is so life like. The scenes with the garden and house look like places that I would enjoy living because they look like a fairytale that came alive. Of course, if you don't share your vegetables your life will not be enjoyable.

The moral of the film is about getting along with others, telling the truth and being honest. Everyone makes mistakes and we need to find a way to fix them.

Thump, click, crack, snap, thud - all these noises, plus thousands of other sounds effects add to the humor of this film. The music is outstanding. I cannot wait to purchase the soundtrack. There is a combination of movie symphony music, sounds from the 80s, new original songs and a plethora of songs and sounds that will put a smile on your face.

Reviewed by Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


PONYO

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PONYO
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro,, and Academy Award�-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, comes a heartwarming adventure, now featuring hours of new bonus features never-before-released in North America. When Sosuke, a young boy who lives on a clifftop overlooking the sea, rescues a stranded goldfish named Ponyo, he discovers more than he bargained for. Ponyo is a curious energetic young creature who yearns to be human, but even as she causes chaos around the house, he father, a powerful sorcerer, schemes to return Ponyo to the sea.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Studio Ghibli's deluxe Ponyo DVD Set is an extraordinary sight to behold. This vastly entertaining Miyazaki creation enchants you with its spellbinding animation style. Ponyo was released in 2008 in Japan (2009 in US) and garnered several awards including the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. The English language version includes such voice over talent as Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin and Betty White.

Ponyo tells the story of a five-year-old boy, Sosuke, who finds and becomes friends with a puzzling goldfish that he names Ponyo. Later on, he discovers that Ponyo is actually a goldfish princess who desires to become a human. Throughout their journey they overcome her father's displeasure of humans. Ponyo becomes so transfixed and loving towards Sosuke that he must undergo a few challenges set forth by her parents to see if he is worthy of her affection.

The DVD set includes two discs, a Blu-Ray and a traditional DVD. It includes over five hours of riveting bonus features, such as Feature Length Storyboards; Behind the Microphone; The Five Geniuses Who Created Ponyo; Interviews with Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki (Producer); Theme Song Press Conference and Theme Song Music Video; Opening Event at Hibiya Scala-Za Theatre; Hayao Miyazaki Press Conference; Creating Ponyo; Ponyo and Fujimoto; The Nursery; Scoring Miyazaki; Producers Perspective: Telling the Story; The Locations of Ponyo; Original Theatrical Trailers; TV Spots; and even an exclusive booklet with statements from the director.

In the Creating Ponyo special, Miyazaki tells us that Ponyo was made for a younger audience, such as five-year-olds, because he wanted to make a movie that was easier than My Neighbor Totoro for young children to understand. Miyazaki believes that five-year-olds are more perceptive than they are able to describe. He later states that Ponyo represents someone who has been released from the constraints of society. By watching this special, we learn how much respect Miyazaki has for children.

The Producer's Perspective is an interview with the producer, Toshio Suzuki. In this special we learn all the steps that go into making a Studio Ghibli film. First Miyazaki and Suzuki review Miyazaki's image boards and decide which is the best. The storyboards are then sent to the animators. He later states that their method hasn't changed over the past 30 years. He finishes by saying that well developed characters are the foundation of any Miyazaki film.

In The Nursery special, Toshio Suzuki states that it was Miyazaki's dream to establish a Studio Ghibli nursery for the employees' children and, during this production, it became a reality. Suzuki goes on by saying that the storyline changed halfway through production from being totally set at the nursery to also taking place at an old folks home and the house on the hill.

This highly rich Ponyo DVD extravaganza is a must have for any Studio Ghibli fan. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO 2018

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO 2018       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away and Ponyo, and Academy Award�-winning* director Hayao Miyazaki, comes a classic tale of magic and adventure for the whole family. When Satsuki and her sister Mei move with their father to a new home in the countryside, they find country life is not as simple as it seems. They soon discover that the house and nearby woods are full of strange and delightful creatures, including a gigantic but gentle forest spirit called Totoro, who can only be seen by children. Totoro and his friends introduce the girls to a series of adventures, including a ride aboard the extraordinary Cat Bus, in this all-ages animated masterpiece featuring the voices of Tim Daly, Lea Salonga, and real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning, in one of their earliest roles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - It is virtually impossible to not be charmed by this early feature film from Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki of the legendary Studio Ghibli. The story of two young sisters befriended by a huge, oval-shaped forest spirit named Totoro while their mother recuperates from an illness is disarming in its mix of the everyday with the fantastical and the director's unique East-meets-West style. The hand-drawn animation is impressionistic and the attention to detail is incredible, with great use of color and challenging elements such as water rendered convincingly. Throughout, the director's particular whimsy and taste for the quirky bubbles to the surface (a giant cat that acts as a bus), traits that Miyazaki would further explore in later works such as Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle and Ponyo. The Blu-ray DVD of the English-dubbed My Neighbor Totoro features real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning voicing the central protagonists and is pristine in both image and sound. Bonus features include several making-of shorts, extensive storyboards and an exclusive full-color booklet. Rated G, there is a brief consideration of death and a few intense moments. This is animation of the highest order: heartfelt, lovingly crafted, frequently amusing and occasionally poignant. Recommended for ages 6 to 18 and older. 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael Fishman, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

I love this film, there is no getting around it. It is wonderful. It is loved by everyone is my household, as are all of the Studio Ghibli films and works of Hayao Miyazaki. This particular English dubbed version came out in 2005 from Disney studios. The music in this movie is phenomenal and catchy. Since I've had my two-year-old, I have probably watched this movie several hundred times and, both of us are still sit and sing along with the story like it's the first time we've watched it. The story is so captivating. It's about two young girls that move to the country with their father, while eagerly waiting for their mother to be released from the hospital. On the first day in their new home, they encounter Soot Sprites. After this, you are instantly aware that there is something special about this new home. One day, the younger sister Mei encounters a forest spirit named Totoro and from there things get absolutely magical. Totoro is a giant smiling creature and he used scare my two-year-old quite a bit, but after a while he started to see how kind and caring Totoro is. There is a short film called Mei and the Catbus that serves as a mini sequel to My Neighbor Totoro, but it is only able available at the Studio Ghibli Museum in Japan. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars! It is truly one of our all time favorites! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The anime movie My Neighbor Totoro is cute and funny, yet somehow still realistic. Even though some parts are sad, that adds to the plot and makes the story even better. It starts with two sisters, 4-year-old Mei and 12-year-old Satsuki. When Mei runs off and meets a large, mischievous forest spirit named Totoro, their lives are changed forever.

My Neighbor Totoro is directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Every scene is hand-drawn, unlike modern CGI movies. The rural setting and characters just feel real. In one scene, Mei trips and falls instead of running on. This gives a sense of reality, instead of edited perfection.

The story starts when Mei, Satsuki and their father move to a new house while their mother is in the hospital. They soon discover that their house is inhabited by forest spirits, such as the soot gremlins. Nearby, Totoro lives in a huge camphor tree and a magical, eight-legged cat bus is a normal mode of transportation for them.

After Satsuki and Mei get into an argument, Mei runs away. This part is so heartbreaking! With the help of Totoro...you'll see. The ending is a surprise you'll enjoy!

Hayao Miyazaki has also directed other enjoyable anime movies, such as Kiki's Delivery Service and Spirited Away. Recently, Hayao Miyazaki came out of retirement. I, for one, cannot wait to see another Miyazaki directed film!

My Neighbor Totoro is cute, funny and realistic. However, I feel that something is missing. Totoro sounds like the main character, but he is on the screen for only a few scenes. Therefore, the movie somehow seems incomplete. The fact that I want more from it only proves how captivating it is.

Overall, My Neighbor Totoro is an amazing movie. In 1988, when this movie came out, anime was not that popular. My Neighbor Totoro set off a craze for anime in the U.S. that has not stopped yet. The special features unravel the magic by describing how the characters were created, the real life inspiration for the movie's unique locations and more.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 12. You can view this on DVD or Blu-Ray now. If you enjoy anime, cute and quirky characters, or just a realistic movie, check this out!

Reviewed by Eden T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Even after 25 years, My Neighbor Totoro remains an instantly watchable animated masterpiece that holds new surprises from every time I watch it.

Satsuki and Mei are sisters who move to the Japanese countryside with their father. The children are fascinated with the quirks of their new house, as well as the vast nature surrounding it. Satsuki goes to school and Mei begins to explore a fantastical world beneath a large tree in the backyard. She meets three little creatures and names one of them Totoro. Mei tells her sister about the adventure, but Satsuki does not believe her. During the next few days, the sisters discover more and more about their neighborhood and adjust to their new way of life.

My Neighbor Totoro effortlessly crafts and develops so many different poignant stories. It is a coming-of-age tale, as well as a story about how we deal with change and about the bond between two siblings. Totoro, his little pals and the world they inhabit add a whole other layer to an already complete narrative. The magical elements intertwine with Satsuki and Mei's story. They bring light to the siblings, during a scary and dark time in their life. The elements of magic add some levity to less joyful parts of the film, giving closure to the audience as to the characters.

The film never reveals too much about Totoro and a lot about him remains a mystery, even after the credits roll. He is so adorably drawn and never feels threatening. He has no dialogue, excluding a few grunts here and there, but is still one of my favorite things about this film. He brings a kind of magic that resonates with you every time he is on screen.

The lesson of My Neighbor Totoro is to never lose faith in what you believe in. Mei's belief in the magic of Totoro never falters and for that, Totoro helps her and Satsuki not just because they are kind souls, but also because they both learn to believe in his magic.

I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18. It appeals to all ages and has practically nothing objectionable for young audiences. I think adults will marvel at the spellbinding animation and wonderful story. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. You need to see this special re-release if you haven't already fallen in love with this film.

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

In 1988, Studio Ghibli released their third motion picture, My Neighbor Totoro. This film is often the first one you think of when you think of Studio Ghibli or director Hayao Miyazaki. The title character, Totoro is even on the Studio Ghibli logo. It has been 30 years since this film first came out and it still holds up as the beautiful and charming film it is famous for being.

The story is about two sisters named Satski and Mei, voiced by the Fanning sisters, who move to an old house in the countryside with their dad. After moving in, they become friends with a forest spirit they call Totoro.

Of course, I like to talk about animation first and it is just beautiful. Not surprising since, the animation in Studio Ghibli films is always incredible. The backgrounds are just amazing to look at and the forest looks gorgeous. The movement is very fluid and fast; and the characters are so expressive. I love everything about this animation!

The characters are wonderful too. The focus is mostly on the two leads, Satski and Mei. The two of them are very fun, sweet characters who feel like real children. That's always important to me - that kids in films act like real kids. I also have to mention Totoro himself is such an adorable creature. I found myself wishing he was real, so you could cuddle him. He's just so fluffy!

Also, the music in this film is just phenomenal. It's so beautiful and whimsical. There is one particular scene where I actually teared up a little, because the combination of the music and the animation is just so pretty. I also listened to some of the music after watching the film and added it to my playlist. Studio Ghibli always has such wonderful music to back up their films.

My one complaint, that isn't even that big, is that it doesn't feel like there's much of a conflict in the plot. What I mean is, it lacks real struggle. There is a slight conflict because the mom is in the hospital, but the film doesn't treat that like it is a big problem. It's just something there. But even with that, the movie is just so cute, I really didn't bother me.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. The film is available now on DVD so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


LILY'S DRIFTWOOD BAY: SEASON 1 (2018)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LILY'S DRIFTWOOD BAY: SEASON 1 (2018)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - Welcome to Lily's Driftwood Bay. Lily is six years old and lives with her dad and her best friend, who is a seagull named Gull, in a little hut on the beach. Across the way is Driftwood Bay, a special island that exists in Lily's imagination. Every day the sea washes up a new treasure which sparks Lily's imagination about what might be happening on Driftwood Bay. Join Lily and her friends, Salty Dog, Bull, Nonna, Hatsie, Wee Rabbit and Lord Stag as they sail to Driftwood Bay where wonderful adventures await! Along with each adventure is a valuable lesson learned in each story from learning to tell the truth to saying sorry to asking for help. Embark on new adventures with Lily and friends as they travel to Driftwood Bay
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Watching Lily's Driftwood Bay gives me hope for future generations. Lily is always so kind to those around her and her life is filled with simple adventures that are genuinely interesting, shedding light on the fact that life doesn't always have to be busy to be enjoyable. Lily is an adorable little 5-year-old whom I adore for things like how respectful she is to her father. It is so touching to see a single father raising a daughter represented so positively. In this season, there is an episode called Goodbye Seabird and it is particularly touching and heart-breaking. In this episode, you learn a little bit about Lily's mom. What makes it so special is that not many children's shows acknowledge death, especially the death of a parent. The art is extremely cute. It looks like mixed media using colored pencils and paper cut-outs. The music is charming and blends well with the scenery. I highly recommend this for ages 3 to 6 and give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Lily's Driftwood Bay: Season 1 is an amazing DVD. It's a fun way to teach kids about exploring their curiosity and discovering new things. The show takes its viewers into the world of Lily's fantasy. Each episode on this DVD has a great plot that brings you along the adventures in Lily's imagination. These episodes keep it very interesting and there is never a dull moment. It teaches good lessons in fun ways.

Lily's Driftwood Bay focuses on a world in Lily's imagination called Driftwood Bay. Lily finds new treasures on the sea shore everyday that spark her interest. She then travels in her imagination to Driftwood Bay where friends like Salty Dog, Lord Stag and Wee Rabbit help her find out what the object is and what it's used for.

My favorite thing about this show is the accents of the characters. All have British accents, which I love because it gives a different vibe to the show. Each adventure you take with Lily, teaches you a valuable lesson in such a fun way. This is truly a kid's dream film, because it shows a 6-year-old having fun in her own world, just like any other kid. My favorite episode would have to be Starfish in the Sky. That episode is about when Lily finds a telescope on the sea shore and wants to look at a constellation in the sky that looks like a star. At the end of the episode, everybody comes together to see the starfish and it is nice to see all of the characters in one spot. The show is really interesting and shows Lily's day to day life as well as the lives of her friends in Driftwood Bay. My favorite character has to be Salty Dog. He is such an amazing character and is always there for Lily. Salty is the one to drive the boat to take Lily to Driftwood and the one who tells her about the stars in the sky.

The message of this show is to not be afraid to ask others questions about things that interest you, just like Lily who asks her friends questions all the time. I recommend this DVD for ages 4 to 8 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This DVD is available now, so check it out.

Reviewed by Dariana A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Lily's Driftwood Bay, Season 1 is filled with hours of fun adventures in short, easy-to-watch episodes. I can't lie, when I put in the DVD for the first time I actually watched 16 shows in a row! It was pretty epic!

The entire series takes place on a hidden, quiet beach with tall grass and a cute little house. Lily and her father live in a little house there. Past the grass, there is a small shore where gentle waves wash up onto the sand. Sometimes the water washes up random items that were floating out at sea. A seagull named Gull watches out for new treasures every day. Gull finds Lily every time a new little treasure washes onto the beach. She gets excited when she sees Gull and the two of them run off to inspect the treasure.

Across the way is Driftwood Bay, an imaginary island. This special island is where Lily's stories come to life. I will explain just how that happens. Every episode focuses on a brand new treasure. Sometimes the item is a piece or a part that broke off of something bigger. Sometimes it is a common item like a jar. Lily's imagination always takes off into a fun story whenever a new item comes along, no matter what it is. Lily and Gull take a boat over to the island and that is where every adventure story happens.

There are more than two main characters. Her friends are Salty Dog, Bull, Nonna, Hatsie, Wee Rabbit, and Lord Stag. Lord Stag is somewhat full of himself and has very high expectations of the group. The rest of the group are helpful, but they always get themselves stuck in a pickle. Then it's left to Lily and Gull to save the day.

The animation is sweet and really unique. I find it interesting. It has 2D paper animation and also uses real life objects. It's called "Mixed Media." This is a great series for young children. It's not scary at all and there are no villains, so even toddlers can watch it. The short episodes make it good for young kids who can't watch longer shows.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 3 to 9. Moms can watch this with their kids because the animation is so intriguing. Lily's Driftwood Bay, Season 1 is available now on DVD everywhere so, check it out.

Reviewed by Izzy C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age
Runtime: 375 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT!, THE: SEASON 2; VOLUME 1

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT!, THE: SEASON 2; VOLUME 1       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-8
Topic - Family
Description - Enjoy volume one of the second season of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! follows the adventures of 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick, as they are whisked off on extraordinary voyages of scientific discovery with the Cat in the Hat. �Thanks to the Thinga-ma-jigger and our friends, exploring has never been more exciting! In this season set, learn everything from space topics like gravity, what causes day and night, the planets, earth's atmosphere to all about the human body like why do we sneeze, how and why the heart beats, why our stomach rumbles, how amazing our skin, and how important each different bone is in our body. The discoveries don't end there though! Embark on more numerous adventures where we learn all about animals such as why animal ears come in many shapes and sizes, how different animals carry their babies, who are the fastest creatures in the world, why male crickets chirp, how polar bears survive the arctic winter, how a snow leopard balances, and so much more! So let's go, go, go, go on an adventure, we're flying with The Cat in the Hat today!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I always loved Dr. Seuss as a kid and it makes me happy to be able to share this The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That DVD with my children. Everyone is my house really loves puns and this show is a puntastic adventure during every episode. Sally and Nick are the 6-year-old main characters and they are the very best of friends. They love going on adventures with The Cat and seeing all of his goofy inventions. The kids are always very polite and ready for anything. They are however, quick to help The Cat see better ways to do things and I love that. A good chunk of this season is science relative and I'm glad that there is a show helping children discover great ways to approach "adults" (The Cat) and, either ask for help or offer up their knowledge on the subject matter. The animation is fun and eye-catching, the sound effects and music are kooky. I highly recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Cat in the Hat: Season 2 portrays a dream-like world where learning is adventurous and engaging! Each episode takes you on a ride to a variety of places, some are even out of this world. The animation brings you into the realm of Dr. Seuss. I did not want to leave.

The story follows Sally (Alexa Torrington) and Nick (Jacob Ewaniuk) traveling through everyday life, curious and eager to understand the ways of the world. The Cat (Martin Short) always pops in at the right time to help them find the answers to their dilemmas. Together they hop on the Thingamajigger and fly on adventures to discover wonders.

Martin Short, the voice of the Cat, uses the perfect accent and voice to compliment the Cat's personality. He emphasizes certain words to achieve the goofiness in his voice. Alexa Torrington and Jacob Ewaniuk are the voices of the children, Sally and Nick, who grasp the innocence and youthful spirit by their voices. Rob Tinkler voices Fish, Thing 1 and Thing 2. The way he changes the tone and pitch of the various voices is quite unique. The voices for Thing 1 and 2 are high pitched and humorous, while the voice for Fish is lower and more serious.

The animation offers a portal into Dr. Seuss's world. The houses are crooked, yet appealing. The background hills, bushes and trees are slim and tall. The abstract Thingamajigger flies through the sky with its misshapen helicopter blades and bright red and orange colors.

My favorite part of this show is the Cat's personality. He brings fun to learning and, when explaining different conceptions, he adds a sense of humor. For example, when explaining that the brain receives and sends signals from the nose, a phone rings in his hat asking for his nose. He is clumsy and modest about being smart. He makes the children laugh and ends each episode with a joke.

The message of this DVD is learning can happen anywhere and is always an adventure. I give this DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10. It is available now so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The Cat in the Hat episodes are very colorful, exciting and educational. This season is no exception! Everything is upbeat and entertaining plus, you learn lots of new things. Even I learned some knew things from these episodes!

Season 2 is mostly about science topics. These episodes have lots of songs, jokes and puns, and they can travel anywhere. They can shrink or enlarge themselves to learn about everything. Also, the characters are extremely energetic, which makes you feel energized and uplifted because they are having such a good time.

The voice acting is amazing. All of the characters laugh so much and have a great time. They all sound so happy and amazed at everything they learn. Martin Short, as the voice of The Cat is perfect. His laughs are so contagious and he laughs so often. The children, Sally and Nick (Alexa Torrington and Jacob Ewaniuk) are just as ecstatic and energetic. They laugh a lot as well and are very positive kids. Short, Torrington and Ewaniuk all have wonderful singing voices that enhance the episodes.

The animation in these episodes is bright, colorful and detailed. The animation perfectly suits the educational side of these stories, because you can learn about the object, while seeing it clearly. The music and songs are quite clever and pleasing. The music is a vital part to these episodes.

My favorite episode is "Bounce" because, in that episode they teach many different things besides the topic of rubber. It is interesting to learn everything related to and around rubber.

The message of this DVD is to go outside on adventures, after first asking your parents permission (of course) as Sally and Nick do, and to enjoy what's around you. The Cat goes to Sally and Nick's and makes them happy every time by teaching them about their surroundings and showing them around. These episodes inspire you to learn more and shows how learning about new things is fun and exciting.

I give this DVD 5 out to 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 13. It is available now so, definitely go check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 220 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


CICADA

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CICADA
SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS BFA COMPUTER ART
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 4-18
Topic - Family
Description - This film tells a story about a sweet cicada that learns being yourself is the most beautiful song of all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wonderful animated student short. I love the magic portrayed. It flows well, is very brief with very little narration (just grunts and tweaks), yet the message is powerful and easy to understand It's a magical short that shows that just being who you are is magical. It shows the importance of being yourself and encourages you to not to let anyone try to change you. The animated characters are unique and fun to watch. It has very few words, is visual appealing, has lovely characters, fun background music and a powerful message. Plus, it has a happy ending. It is entertaining. Who would think animated insects would be so entertaining? I give it 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 4 to 18 years old. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


FIXIES. TOP SECRET, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FIXIES. TOP SECRET, THE
AEROPLANE JOINT STOCK COMPANY
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Things take a turn to the catastrophic when Fire gets ahold of Professor Eugenius' latest work-in-progress, tiny energy bracelets that will allow Fixies to travel through electrical wires. Under the influence of the untested bracelets, Fire grows out of control and becomes a weapon of mass technological mischief and destruction. The Fixies must work together to stop Fire from destroying the whole city and revealing the Fixies' secret existence to the world!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see kid comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I thoroughly enjoyed this animated film. It is filled with joyful energy. The animation is so colorful and all of the characters are so happy and hyper. I did find that some parts of the plot lack originality and the songs can get a bit repetitive. However, make no mistake, the sound quality and 2D animation is extraordinarily well made. The animated characters' mouths are out of sync with the dialogue because the original language is Russian, but that's not too distracting. The story is very entertaining and the animation looks very interesting and colorful. The story flows well, makes sense and is great to watch. The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for a young audience. I recommend this for ages 5 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 75 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


NOAH'S PARK: THE CARNY- VAL

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
NOAH'S PARK: THE CARNY- VAL
AL GOMEZ
Series: FAITH-BASED SHORT, AGES 5-10
Topic - Family
Description - In the series opener, the Noah's Park friends create a Carny-val to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Noah's Park. It's quite an undertaking for Honk the camel and Dreamer the rhinoceros as the animals want their Carny-val to include a carousel and a rollie-coaster, which they have learned about from one of Dreamer's more outlandish dreams.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I found this animated short quite enjoyable because it's a story about dreaming, teamwork and reaching your goals. Also, it has a happy ending. It makes playful reference to Noah's Ark, hinting that the animals are going to have fun there. The animals are not shown in pairs such as they are in Noah's Ark, so it's not accurate in that sense. It is well produced with cool visual images of glowing crystals which Screech discovers in the cave. The bright colors hold the viewers' attention. The music is quite enjoyable. There is good harmonizing of voices and cute rhyming in the songs. They show healthy fruit snacks which look quite appetizing. The animation is well executed with good movement of the animals and their mouths are synched to their dialogue. The voices vary in speed and clarity, making some characters seem smarter and some, less so. Screech turns out to be a hero, since his glowing crystals help light up the carnival at night. The carnival games that the characters invent look like fun, with lots of up and down motion involved. It flows well, makes sense and is very watchable. The vocabulary and concepts are very age appropriate. I enjoyed the professor-type character, who wears eyeglasses that make him appear smarter than the other characters. I smiled a lot during the funny, slapstick comedy scenes when the characters are busy building the carnival. It is comforting to hear from the characters that "God is always watching over us." The repetitive song about thanking God sounds a bit corny at first, but the repetition eventually becomes rather catchy and grew on me. If kids viewing this film do not have a religious or spiritual environment, they might not enjoy this film. I believe the film appeals to kids of almost any religion. The message is about the value of sharing responsibility among community members. It shows the virtues of hard work and cooperating with others. Characters encourage each other to invent things and try new activities. One character, Shadow shows good sensitivity regarding why Screech does not want to participate in building rides or game booths for the carnival. Dreamer accurately demonstrates the power of dreaming to achieve something special in our lives. The film's message of inclusiveness is quite strong. My favorite part is when Shadow goes searching for Screech, to ask him why he didn't want to participate in the carnival planning. It gives Screech a chance to express his feelings of being less talented than the other characters. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10. Reviewed by Jeff M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 25 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEW BIG PLANE TRIP, THE
WILLIAM VANDERKLOOT
Series: INDIE DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-10
Topic - Family
Description - A big Adventure in the air! Fly on Delta Air Lines from Atlanta to London, England! Travel 4,700 miles across five time zones! Discover the whole hidden world that's behind the ticket. View activities that few people ever see. Go behind-the-scenes on a real flight simulator! Watch flight attendant training, visit the test kitchen, and explore the giant underground machines that move over 100,000 bags every day! Learn how weather affects flights and how planes really fly! Meet the whole team who make this BIG plane trip possible! Smart content for curious kids. Curious content for smart kids.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoyed this for its charmingly educational value. It is exceptionally well made, flows well. Has an excellent script and sound quality. The editing and story line are both well executed. There are lots of good visuals and the whole film is very easy for kids to understand. The youth voice-over is a nice touch. All the information is quite very interesting and kids, especially those fond of aviation, will learn a lot. Even adults will discover things they never knew before. Children who have never been on a plane before will really get a kick out of this and it may dispel any fears they might have. I am quite fond of the film as an educational tool in a classroom or home situation. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 12. Reviewed by Michael M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 44 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


LITTLE FLOWER ARTIST MOVIE, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LITTLE FLOWER ARTIST MOVIE, THE
FLORITA BELL GRIFFIN
Series: SHORTS 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - 2D, hand-drawn, animated short film inspired by the children's book, "Where Little Flower Got Her Power." The ten-year-old Little Flower is an artist who loves painting flowers. Her big imagination gives her an artistic super power that can bring whatever she paints to life. After her personified flowers are painted, they talk to her. The storyline is developed around the meaning of her favorite flowers, which are associated with memorable incidents that impacted her life. Little Flower exchanges greetings with the Black Poplar, Mugwort and Almond Flowers, whose names mean courage, happiness and hope.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What a delightful short film. Hats off to the creator, Florida Bell Griffin whose talent as both a story teller and a filmmaker bring a message of kindness and hope in this animated piece. As a gardener myself, I particularly resonate with the storyline and love the presentation by a young African American girl. I wholeheartedly recommend this for our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival partners and give it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PADDINGTON 2

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PADDINGTON 2       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 4-15
Topic - Family
Description - Paddington is happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy's 100th birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber's antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it's up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This sequel to the hit family film, Paddington delivers in all the right places and truly lives up to its predecessor and even surpasses the 2014 film in many ways. Paddington 2, like the first one, is definitely a family film filled with many morals and messages, generally surrounded by unique jokes and fun adventures. To add conflict to the story, there are some dramatic scenes, but the film manages to always stay kid-friendly.

The movie picks up sometime after the first film. Paddington the bear still lives happily with the Brown family in London. By now, he has a daily routine and has become friendly with the whole neighborhood. In a few days, his aunt will have her 100th birthday. Paddington decides to get her a perfect present. Little does Paddington know that the present he has chosen actually contains a big secret and gets stolen. Paddington is blamed for the theft and sent to jail. Now two conflicts emerge, Paddington must fit in prison and the Brown family must figure out how to get him out of jail.

Paddington's realism really stands out. He clearly still contains character-like features with big brown eyes and heavenly fluffy fur, but he essentially fits-in properly with his surroundings. Not only does the special effects' team deserve credit for this, but the actors deserve double kudos for performing so realistically with a character that doesn't really exist. Adding a superstar as Hugh Grant also brings the film to a completely new level of goodness.

Rare for a sequel, the story stays original and separate from the last film while still maintaining the good parts of the previous story. The humor becomes almost slapstick at times, and other times it's purely situational and always results in a laugh. Paddington as a character really pulls at the heartstrings of the audience, both because of a well-written script and a bear who's designed to be adorable in every way. My favorite scene starts when Paddington gets into jail. He, of course, does not fit in as a well-mannered, kind bear. After proving his skill at making marmalade sandwiches for everyone, the prison stops looking like the one in Shawshank Redemption and begins to look like a cute bed and breakfast you'd pay to stay at. This really shows a large amount of irony due to the fact that many gruff convicts become well-mannered and kind. This scene not only demonstrates the power of the humor in Paddington 2, but truly brings up all of the main characteristics of Paddington as a character.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18. Surprisingly, in the audience, there were more adults laughing than kids, while the kids were simply fixed on the realism and adventures of Paddington. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for being an outstanding family film that truly outdoes its predecessor and leaves you wanting more. It opens nationwide in theaters on January 12, 2018 so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Paddington 2 seamlessly blends heart and comedy for a truly charming family film. This sequel revisits the title character, a precocious young bear living in London as part of the Brown family. As the movie opens, Aunt Lucy is celebrating her birthday in darkest Peru and Paddington is struggling to find a suitable gift to send to her. He settles on a pop-up book of London at a local antique shop and takes on a series of sometimes hilarious odd jobs to pay for it. One night, the book is stolen. Paddington is accused of the theft and sent to prison, but the real culprit is Phoenix Buchanan, a narcissistic actor who craves the spotlight and wants to use the book's value to fund his one-man-show. Paddington sets out to clear his name, while the Browns try to prove that Phoenix is the real criminal.

Paddington 2 is a warm fuzzy blanket of a film. Its title character is a symbol of kindness in a world that needs more of it. He never gives up and always believes in the best in those around him. I love coming back to Paddington's London and being reacquainted with the Brown family and their quirks. The cheerful tone of this film radiates throughout. The lesson of Paddington 2 is be kind to others, always, and its timing could not be better.

Paddington 2 surpasses the first Paddington film in many ways. It brings back endearing characters and everything you love about them, while introducing memorable new ones as well. I love how, once again the modern take on the widely loved story of Paddington Bear stays true to the character while still telling an original story.

Hugh Grant is very good as Phoenix Buchanan. Grant embodies Phoenix's charisma and sly humor. It is nice to see an actor typically known for romantic comedies go to a more villainous place to play this sinister has-been actor who will do anything to be famous again. Grant's top moments are his most bizarre. Be sure to stay for the credits for one of his best.

My favorite character in this film is Knuckles McGinty, the prison chef played by Brendan Gleeson. Gleeson subtly and comically shows us the intensity and warmth of his character. Knuckles's anger and pessimism is a nice foil to Paddington's constant glowing positivity. Gleeson also illustrates how Paddington brings out the softer sides of those around him.

I recommend this film to ages 4 to 15 and adults will love its positive attitude. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars for putting a smile on my face and recreating the magic of the original and then some. It opens nationwide in theaters on January 12, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

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

This film is hilarious and made me cry a cry of joy and also of sadness, multiple times. It is amazing to watch live characters bond with an imaginary, animated bear. Even though there's not actually a bear there, you can feel the love within the family.

The film starts off with a little flash back showing how Paddington was saved from falling off the waterfall when he was a cub, by Uncle Pastuzo and Aunt Lucy. They adopted him and raised him as if he was their own son. Then it returns to present time. Paddington wants to get the perfect gift for Aunt Lucy on her 100th Birthday and decides on a present, but it is expensive. He works hard to earn enough money to buy the gift. One night while he is walking past the store where the gift is, a thief breaks into the store and steals it. Paddington chases after the burglar, but when the police arrive they assume that he is the thief. Paddington is sentenced to 10 years in prison even though he didn't commit the crime. His family tries to prove his innocence, but they don't have much evidence.

Paddington (Ben Whishaw) is supposed to be a young bear. Ben Wishaw, who does his voice, doesn't sound like a young bear to me. He sounds more like a polite and proper man. Even though he doesn't sound young, his voice matches Paddington's personality, particularly because Paddington is very polite, kind and sweet.

The animation for this film is very realistic. Paddington interacts with objects that aren't animated, which makes him seem like he is actually there. Paddington looks very realistic with very detailed fur, eyes and feet. My favorite part of this film are all of the jokes throughout it. They are so funny and sarcastic. The whole audience was laughing together. Everyone understood the jokes, adults and children both, which is always great.

The moral of this story is to be kind and positive, so that life will be kind and positive to you. Throughout all the hardships that Paddington goes through, he stays positive, remains kind and eventually everything becomes right in the end. Paddington 2 is such an amazing film to watch with your whole family. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters nationwide on January 12, 2018 so, go check it out.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


OCTONAUTS: THE GREAT SWAMP SEARCH

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS: THE GREAT SWAMP SEARCH       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-7
Topic - Family
Description - Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii, and medic Peso Penguin, along with the other Octonauts as they explore the world's oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats - above and below the waves! On this exciting DVD, join the Octonauts as they journey to the Everglades to help Tweak's dad, Ranger Marsh, track down several invasive species - including a Burmese Python and her babies! The adventures continue with six more exciting underwater missions!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love The Octonauts. This series is such a cute, effective way to convey real world issues, such as pollution, to children without making it seem wildly scary and overbearing. I genuinely adore watching these little creatures, led by their fearless leader Captain Barnacles who take on so many problems and have so much fun doing it. Tweak and Peso are very cute little characters and I personally love Peso because I am a penguin person. Who wouldn't want to have a medic penguin? In each episode, we meet new creatures and learn all about their habitats and how we can help to keep them safe and happy. My favorite parts by far are The Octonaut Creature Reports. These reports are mini, in-depth views into the creatures The Octonauts encounter along the way in their adventures. The music featured in these episodes is fun, informative and catchy! The animation is simple and my two-year-old really seems to love the style. This show is great for ages 2 to 6 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

Octonauts: The Great Swamp is appealing to the watch, and educational! The show effectively teaches kids about social issues such as invasive species and forest fires without making it scary. The characters are cute, and easy to follow. Each episode has a distinct goal to achieve, whether finding a lost flamingo in the swamp, or rescuing a family of Burmese pythons! The Octonauts, led by Captain Barnacles, work tirelessly to solve the mission together, focusing on the clues they find to guide them to a solution. They are led by the Octonaut motto, "Explore, rescue, protect!" The creature reports produce a fun and catchy song about each animal in the mission giving viewers more information, but the opportunity to learn through song. It's a fun, and educational feature! I recommend it for ages 2 to 7 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kristin H., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a fun, educational, adventure-filled DVD with animals. The voice acting and plots bring a unique feel unlike other animated work. This is sure to be a hit with kids who love animation.

The story follows the adventures of an underwater exploring crew, the Octonauts which includes Captain Barnacles (Simon Greenall), Lieutenant Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw), Medic Peso (Wayne Greyson), Biologist Shellington (Keith Wickham), and Founder Grimpoteuthis (Keith Wickham). They are enticed by many adventures including the likes of returning animals to their homes, rescuing baby animals and finding the right turf for a group of hippos. Meanwhile, they discover new information about all the animals they are investigating.

Simon Greenall, as Barnicles, presents a commanding presence in leading the Octonauts, especially when choosing what is a priority. He is my favorite character because of this. Rob Rackstrawis, as Kwazii, is a fun member of the team who loves to help the animals and learn more about them. It is also interesting to see her reunion with her father who plays a big part in the first adventure. Wayne Greyson, as Peso, is an incredibly smart medic who wants to use his skills to save lives. Keith Wickham, as Shellington and Grimpteuthis, portrays two different characters who are of great importance to the team.

Darragh O'Connell directs this show with a Star Trek-esque tone of discovery. My favorite scene is the chase from the hippos because of the creative ways in which the Octonauts flee. It also feels like an extremely urgent scene. My only problem with the show is that, at times, the episodes are repetitive such as when they use the same plots with different animals.

The message of the show is to protect all animals and the ecosystem. Despite being treated unfairly by the animals, the Octonauts work around that to help them. They even give food to the hungry carnivores who threaten the ecosystem, while protecting the other animals. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. This DVD is available now so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Octonauts: The Great Swamp Search is like Mission: Impossible for younger audiences! There is danger and action at every corner and unique adventures. The music is engaging and made my heart race, adding to the thrilling effect. Along with the gripping stories, each episode cleverly incorporates interesting fun facts casually into the Octonauts' conversations.

The story follows the Octonauts - Captain Barnacles, Kwazii, Peso Penguin, Dashi Dog, Shellington, Tweak and Tunip who always come to the rescue. Each episode follows an entertaining and fresh storyline where the Octonauts face peril and must use teamwork and problem solving to save the day. They help a myriad of animals and learn much from their adventures.

Every species has a distinctive voice and accent. This adds to the element of diversity and uniqueness. Simon Greenall as Captain Barnacles makes it obvious through his authoritative voice that he is the captain. Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw) is a pirate and incorporates an interesting accent to enhance his character and add humor.

The animation is quite realistic, particularly the water, shadows, clouds and colors during different times of the day. The water moves so smoothly that I felt I could reach into their world and touch it. Throughout many scenes, reflections can be seen in the water and are extremely naturalistic. The clouds move subtly across different shots and the movement is memorable. Shadows of the trees, animals and the Octonauts are beautifully portrayed. In the shadows, underwater and during different times of day, the colors change intensity which boosts the sublime qualities of the animation.

The animated cinematography is special. There are many wide shots that show the Octonauts from afar and then zoom in, allowing the viewer a chance to enjoy the scenery, light and depth of the animation. The 3D effects create a world that doesn't seem so far from reality even though it is. It immersed me in the experience while learning about all the different species.

My favorite part is how fun facts are blended into the conversations. Even though it doesn't feel as you are leaning something, you learn many different things about hippos, crawfish and a multitude of other animals. The messages of this show is about teamwork, putting others before yourself and being kind to everyone. I give this DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 12. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to check it out. It's great stealth learning.

By Sahiba K., KIDSFIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SPRING INTO FRIENDSHIP

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SPRING INTO FRIENDSHIP       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: SERIES, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - New Adventures Are Blooming! Big trouble is on the horizon when Twilight Sparkle is given only two coveted tickets to the most anticipated event in town! How will she decide which of her best friends gets to go with her? Discover the answer, and see four more amazing pony tales, as Twilight Sparkle, Spike, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Fluttershy help usher Springtime into Equestria!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD has beautiful graphics and animation. The character designs are super cute and the color palette and environments give the world a whimsical feel. The animation is stunning. The cover design is appropriate and I love that inside the DVD is a small sheet of cute stickers.

The stories and language are appropriate for the target age. The subject matter, designs and characters show a lack of cultural diversity. Most of the characters are female and they all have different personalities. There are some social elements included in the stories such as the importance of getting along with your siblings. I wish there were more of those types of elements in the stories. Some of the characters come off as a bit bratty but most of them portray positive social models and they treat each other respectfully. The stories have some conflict resolutions embedded in them although I wouldn't say there is deep learning from the resolution. Nonetheless, the stories are quite entertaining, have great design and are very appealing. The vocabulary is well suitable to its intended audience. I wish they dug a bit deeper with the conflict resolutions so that young minds watching would get more out of it. There is one episode about sister conflict where I felt that the resolution a bit rushed.

The DVD menu is simple and easy to navigate. I particularly like that there are no commercials. The DVD doesn't allow you to listen in different languages (which I wish it did). It does have a sing a long bonus feature which is super cute. This is definitely an entertaining show. The music, colors and the stories are entertaining with its overall message of friendship. This show appeals mostly to girls, although there are a number of boys and men who love it as well. I recommend it for ages 5 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Martha S. and Julie S.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - As always these My Little Pony episodes are very entertaining and have a great moral. These are no exception. The animation is so colorful, the plot line for each one is unique and they teach important lessons.

This DVD is based on friendship and each episode teaches you a valuable lesson of how to improve friendships, solve problems that might arise in your friendships or just get you to appreciate the friends that you have. The episodes have unpredictable storylines and beautiful, colorful animation which makes them interesting to watch.

Spike (Cathy Weseluck) is such a comedic character with a lot of personality. Cathy Weseluck voices him as an energetic Dino who is very helpful and playful. Spike is definitely one of my favorite characters along with Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong). Twilight is a very mysterious pony. She also has a lot of personality and wants everyone to be happy. Twilight is very caring and Tara voices her perfectly.

The music and sound effects help set the tone and mood of the scenes. The music amplifies feelings of sadness, suspense and sometimes celebration. The animation also helps set mood. For example, for the feeling of sadness, it might be raining. For feelings of celebration, there might be confetti. Sound effects and animation working together really make these shows stand out.

My favorite episode is "Sisterhooves Social" because it makes you appreciate having a sister or siblings. This episode is about Rarity and her younger sister's relationship. It is really touching to see all of their problems resolved in the end and how happy they are together.

The message in these episodes is to be grateful, considerate and to compromise. In "The Ticket Master", Twilight Sparkle has to be considerate to everyone's feelings. And when she does that, no one is hurt. In "Sisterhooves Social", Rarity made a compromise with her little sister. Rarity has to spend more time with her little sister to make her happy.

This DVD is a great collection of episodes to teach your kids about friendship and how to keep up relationships with people. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 3 to 9. It comes out on February 13, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


THOMAS EDISON'S SECRET LAB: ROCK IT TO THE MOON (2018)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
THOMAS EDISON'S SECRET LAB: ROCK IT TO THE MOON (2018)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: SERIES, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Join Angie and friends as they deal with everything from a remote control dance outfit to gravity to moon rocks and more! Hoping to get on a dance show, Von Bolt wears a remote-control dance outfit. But if he let's someone else dance for him, is he really a winner? Next, the Secret Lab Kids are ready to demo their new science song for web entrepreneur, Mook Zookerboom, when he learns that a satellite is coming down out of orbit, panics and heads for the airport. So the team must gather some data on gravity to convince him to return. Then, when Von Bolt accidentally destroys the museum's new moon rock, the Secret Lab Kids must find a way to replace it. Guided by fun-loving Edison, Angie and friends will show kids just how fun science can be!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD is quite appealing and engaging. The most appealing thing about this title are the characters. They are relatable, appealing and funny. The show teaches different science facts. However, it doesn't have much in terms of comedy. A bit of balance between fun and learning would be nice. For me the learning feels a bit heavy. Also, the animation is a bit choppy at times. As far as design, I really love that the characters represent different cultures and I enjoyed that some of the characters have different accents. The vocabulary is engaging and suitable for its intended audience. The science terms introduced in each story are clear and easy to understand. Lots of kids can benefit from watching this DVD and it may ignite their curiosity to further inquiry. I did feel that the pace is somewhat on the slow side. Because it is aimed at older kids, the pace could be a bit faster. The characters act in positive ways and there are definitely consequences to bad actions. For example, in the first episode when the kids build a device to help the robot character win a dance competition, they soon realize that they shouldn't do that, because that would be cheating. Then, when another robot contestant steals the device, she gets in trouble. This show has lots of problem solving and encourages critical thinking. The kids have to solve a problem using science in every story. The characters learn as the story goes and even have to research science facts to solve their problem. The show definitely supports inquiry and investigation. I can see kids wanting to dig deeper into the science exposed in each episode. The DVD was pretty straight forward and easy to navigate. The menu is simple. The special features included a number of music videos. They are cute, but I'm not sure that older kids would enjoy them all that much. I recommend it for ages 7 to 11 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. I think kids will enjoy and learn from it! Reviewed by Martha S. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: Rock It to the Moon DVD is full of episodes about a group of kid scientists who work together on adventures in Thomas Edison's secret lab. The group finds problems around their town and solves them by using scientific facts. I always enjoy these episode packs because I like science and these teach us about chemicals and discoveries I didn't know about before. After every episode, there is a song (written by Stefanie and Ron Fair) about the episode that is sung by dancing robots. The songs are very repetitive and younger kids would like that.

The four kid scientists are, Angie (Phillipa Alexander) a modern female version of Thomas Edison, JD (Adam Long), Angie's brother who thinks well under pressure, Kent (Shash Hira), who has all kinds of phobias and loves all applications of science, Nicky, a scientific genius who is secretly jealous of Angie and, of course, Thomas Edison (Livingston Taylor), a hologram of the scientist who is the kids' inspiring mentor who doesn't solve their problems for them, but instead offers advice and guidance. In the lab, they have Edison's projector which makes his hologram and a virtual reality machine which opens a portal that sends them to a different scientist from the past in each episode. The scientist teaches them something that will help them solve their current problem. These lessons teach real life facts which I like. This DVD is about a few of their problems that they solve using all they know about science.

Episodes on this DVD include, Dancing Machines, Murphy's Law of Gravity, Rock it to the Moon, Act your Stone Age, Von Drop-Out, Freaky Furry, The Monster Not Under the Bed and Nanobots Byte. My favorite is Freaky Furry, which is about Angie accidently switching brains with her dog during a test. The group must find out what happened and switch their brains back. I like this because it is the only one about the human body, which I find fascinating and also because I like dogs. My favorite character is Von Bolts, the robot lab assistant, because he is a funny, indestructible machine who is featured in all the episodes.

The message of this show is that if you work together, you can do anything. I recommend this DVD for ages 4 through 10 because it is funny and very educational but easy to understand. I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars because I like to learn facts and some parts are funny. This DVD/Blu-ray is available now so go check it out. This series has its own website called, edisonsecretlab.com which you should also look at because it has a lot of added features.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This DVD offers a entertaining set of episodes that allows everyone to have a better understanding of science.

Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: Rock it to the Moon is an animated series of science themed episodes. The show is about a group of friends who find the famous scientist Thomas Edison's secret lab. Edison has made a secret lab where he created a virtual version of himself and a robot named Van Bolt. The friends embark on fun adventures with one another while, at the same time, learning valuable scientific knowledge of the world around them.

I was happily surprised by this DVD. I expected these episodes to be very child-like and not very humorous. I was very wrong! The episodes kept me interested the entire time. The episodes are rather short, which is fantastic because it holds your attention the entire time. They are silly, but in a way that got me laughing. These episodes are definitely aimed for much younger audiences than me. I did not think I was going to appreciate the humor like a young child would. My expectations were definitely wrong. I absolutely love the jokes and funny characters. The humor gives these episodes spirit.

This DVD is perfect for anyone interested in science. What surprised me the most about it is that I didn't even know most of the science related topics included. They discuss Murphy's Law of Gravity, fossils and many more. It is very important for children shows to be both informative and entertaining and this one definitely incorporates both ideas beautifully. Each episode teaches kids that science is actually fun. Perhaps one day it can inspire the next generation of scientists.

I absolutely adore the music in this DVD. There are a total of eight episodes and, at the end of each episode there is a music video about science. The music is written and produced by Stefanie and Ron Fair. I am still humming some of the tunes. The music is very catchy and the music videos are entertaining to watch. In the music videos there are always five robots who are do something crazy. In one episode, they float around space and orbit the Earth. The five robots give the music videos a unique touch.

I recommend this DVD for ages 4 to 9 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. This DVD is available now so go check it out!

Reviewed by Talia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

This is a very educational show. Its bright, colorful characters and high-level facts make it attractive to most ages. It manages to be both informative and entertaining.

The DVD has eight episodes of the show that follow Angie, Kent, JD and Nicky as they go on adventures using science. The episodes include Dancing Machine, Murphy's law of Gravity, Rock it to the Moon, Act Your Stone Age, Von Drop-Out, Freaky Furry, The Monster Not Under the Bed and Nanobots Byte. In each episode, the Secret Lab Kids, as they're called, use their hologram projector to visit a scientist from the past. He tells them a bit about his most famous discovery, which gives them a hint to solve the major problem of the episode. I like their decision to use some lesser known scientists such as Thales, instead of just the most famous scientists like Albert Einstein. However, they could have been more diverse in who they chose. Other than the kids, there are no female scientists in the entire DVD.

My favorite episode is Von Drop-Out. Von Bolt is my favorite characters on this show. I like him because he is funny and interesting. In this episode, he feels underappreciated and quits. He gets a new job as a rescue robot and the Secret Lab Kids try to find him so they can get him to come back. I like this episode because its explanation of the science of proportion and measurement is easy to understand and is used in the most practical way that could be used by anyone in the real world.

I like how educational this series is. It teaches science, history, technology, math, vocabulary and much more. Unfortunately, this isn't the main thing children might take from these episodes. The educational values are almost over-shadowed by the wacky unexplained, convenient items the Secret Lab Kids have.

Von Bolt is voiced by Dan Russell, whose voice I really enjoy. I like how he manages to show emotion but still keep the voice robotic. The music is almost better than the show itself. After each episode there is a song. These songs teach more science than the stories, teach it faster, are equally entertaining and are amazingly well produced. They, are by far, my favorite part of this DVD and the show as a whole.

Overall I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 through 14. Younger kids might not understand the science, but they will still probably still find it entertaining. It is available on DVD now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD



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