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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

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
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)


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


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 - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - 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. It comes out in theaters on March 23, 2018 so check it out.

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

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


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)


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)


GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: AN ENCHANTING EASTER

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
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: DVD, 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


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


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


MIRACULOUS: TALES OF LADYBUG AND CAT NOIR: SEASON ONE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MIRACULOUS: TALES OF LADYBUG AND CAT NOIR: SEASON ONE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir Season 1 contains episodes 1-26. Marinette and Adrien have all the challenges of normal teenagers - dealing with school, family, friends and growing up. But unlike most teenagers, Marinette and Adrien have an added responsibility - saving Paris! That's right! When Paris is threatened by the evil Hawk Moth, Marinette and Adrien magically transform into the superheroes Ladybug and Cat Noir! Together they work tirelessly to keep Paris safe from the villains created by Hawk Moth. Special Features: Laura Marano theme song music video, animatics, sing-alongs, and cast & crew interviews.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Miraculous denotes keeping the faith, which is one of the themes of this series. I like that the Superheroes are children. The teenage protagonists are very positive role models. Even when a situation is not entirely their fault, they accept responsibility for their actions. The main intent is to give the child viewer a feeling of control and normalcy in an increasingly chaotic world. Stereotyping is at a minimum, but we do have a blue-eyed, blond girl portrayed as an "entitled" snobbish girl and a boy (Adrien) as the ideal blond, blue-eyed hunk. When Marionette transforms into Ladybug she appears in a super-slick, skin tight outfit that emphasizes her buttocks and thighs. Adrien's Cat Noir outfit makes him appear super thin, as he is resembles a black panther's sleek body-type.

I highly recommend because of its overwhelmingly positive content. The story usually starts with an everyday situation involving the teenagers where one character feels a sense of injustice. Then, an adult antagonist steps in to make a deal with the teenager and the character accepts it. The teen then runs havoc and Lady Bug and Cat Noir have to confront them. Lady Bug and Cat Noir succeed. The adult antagonist, Hawk Moth promises to defeat Lady Bug and Cat Noir in the future. There is a consistent flow in the story lines in each episode that keeps the viewer engaged with some small lulls that might distract a young viewer a bit. The individual episodes make various points such as taking responsibility for one's actions. For example, in episode 4, one girl asks another to hold an heirloom watch while she competes in a roller-blade competition. It is smashed during the race when a kid drops it on the street where the race is being held. The girl is devastated and blames everyone initially. By the end of the episode, she accepts full responsibility for asking others to hold it for her.

Most of the characters are either teens or adults and treat each other in a genial fashion. The vocabulary and concepts are appropriate for the target audience. The problem solving comes in the form of Ladybug and Cat Noir. In one episode, they try to save Paris from a teenage antagonist who is under Hawk Moth's spell. The viewer would be able to grasp this concept since it is presented in a clear-cut fashion.

This animated series uses contemporary computer graphics and bright colors that stand out and entice its audience. The bonus features include the theme song music video, behind the scenes of music video, animation how-to's and cast and crew interviews.

The message of this series is about having a sense of control and normalcy in an increasingly chaotic world. This is reinforced throughout the series. Also, since the protagonist is female, it follows the movement to uplift women within the past couple of years. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 13. Reviewed by Kimberly Mullins, KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This show is fun, adventurous and all around awesome. Because of my age, I viewed it as a younger kid would. The episodes are full of splendid animation, great scripts, and positive messages for young kids.

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir is a family friendly cartoon about two teenagers, Marinette and Adrien, who seem to be people that live normal lives. However, that is all just a fa�ade. Whenever evil strikes their beloved city of Paris, Marinette and Adrien transform into their alter egos: Ladybug and Cat Noir. Together, the duo does all they can to conquer the antagonist, Hawk Moth and whatever poor entity Hawk Moth decides to possess or "akuma." This television show is definitely good for younger kids to watch.

I particularly enjoy the visual aspects as well as the aesthetics of the show. I really think the animation is spectacular. It is bright, colorful and advanced. However, at certain points I noticed that the moving lips do not sync up with the words onscreen. This only occurred at certain points.

The show is definitely interesting and entertaining. Even though it's a kid's show, I it's not irritating. I had a fun time watching it and, at many points thought to myself, "If I was a kid, I would watch this show regularly." All the action scenes, although animated, are particularly fun and exciting to watch.

Even though it has lot of clich�s such as the overbearing, selfish, mean girlfriend and the shy girl who keeps pining after the boyfriend of the previously mentioned girl, the show mostly portrays women in positive ways. Ladybug/Marinette is an incredibly empowering female character and a positive role model for younger girls to look up to. She is sassy, smart and knows how to kick butt.

I recommend this DVD for ages 4 through 10 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is as entertaining and exciting as it is empowering. And, it's available on DVD now, so check it out.

By Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 540 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 16.97
Media: DVD


OCTONAUTS: SEASON 1

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS: SEASON 1       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 - Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii, medic Peso Penguin and the rest of the crew, as they explore the world s oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats above and below the waves! Based on the richly imaginative books by Meomi, this series combines immersive visuals and submersive humor to transport young children into a world that is both real and fantastic, full of mysteries to unravel and surprises around every corner. So come aboard the Octopod for 52 exciting missions!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Octonauts: Season 1 definitely grows on child and adult alike. The stories teach about various underwater creatures and the importance as a team to help others. I am sure this DVD will be a favorite for children because of the great animation, excellent characters, catchy songs and brightly colored underwater locations. It will definitely keep their attention and parents will not be bored either. The episodes offer a lot of educational information about sea animals. I love how it doesn't make it seem as if the carnivorous sea animals, such as sharks, are bad creatures. It is simply what they do and it plays very well, so children don't even notice that the carnivores are different from the non carnivores. Its refreshing to have a series that does not play good against the bad and makes it more about helping each other. Our favorite part is at the end of each segment when they show videos or pictures of what the sea animals looks like. That way the children learn not just what the creature can do while watching the show, but also what they really look like. Now when we go to the aquarium, we will be able to spot these different sea creatures. The animation on this DVD is broadcast quality with a color palette that is bright enough to catch little ones' attention. My kids greatly enjoyed playing with the toys that came with this DVD. It was a nice treat for them to have and help them remember what they learned in the show by play acting with the characters. Our whole family learned something new about the ocean from each episode, especially from the creature reports. They are now looking forward to going to the aquarium to see how many sea creatures they can find! The overall message of this show is about having fun while working together as a team, especially while exploring the seas. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 through 8.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Octonauts have always been one of my favorite TV/DVD series. The Octonauts are selfless and brave, human-like animals and have great teamwork. Aside from the multiple wonderful messages that they teach in every episode, they also have detailed animation.

The Octonauts live in the ocean in their octopus-like structure called the Octopod. Whenever there is trouble in the ocean, the team of Octonauts does not hesitate to help anyone in need. The main characters include Captain Barnacles (the bear who leads the team), Kwazi (the pirate-like cat) and Peso (the timid penguin). At the end of the episode, there is always a Creature Report, a song giving facts about one of the creatures that they saw or helped during the mission.

Captain Barnacles (Ross Breen) sounds like a bear who has everything under control. He has a very deep, commanding and strong voice which implies that he is the boss, and he is. Peso (Paul Panting) has a very soft, sometimes shaky and uncertain voice. Peso is a happy, but conservative penguin, and you can hear that through his voice. You can also easily hear when he is scared.

The animation is detailed and shows the ocean as a beautiful place with the wide variety of colors. Another thing that I like about this series is that on the Octonauts team, there are different species of animals aboard the Octopod. They work together great as a team, even though they are all different. It shows that even though you don't have many similarities, you can still work together successfully and be friends. This is just one of the great messages taught in this series.

My favorite episode is "Undersea Storm." During this episode, a storm is heading near the reef where the Octonauts live. A strong current sweeps up a baby lobster, but Kwazi saves it and returns him to its family and they are very grateful. Later, Kwazi crashes and can't get his submarine to work. The whole family of lobsters shows up to help him out. Everyone makes it safe inside before the storm hits. This is my favorite episode because it teaches the morals of The Golden Rule. It is very clever how they present this moral.

There are multiple different messages throughout this DVD. All are really important and sometimes are overlooked. I love that The Octonauts offer entertainment to young children while teaching them good lessons.

This is an awesome DVD to watch and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 3 to 11. Maybe it could even be for 12 and 13-year-olds, because I really enjoyed watching it myself. It is available now on DVD so, be sure to check it out.

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

Octonauts is one of my favorite TV shows. I've been watching it my whole life, since I was a baby! This Season 1 DVD is filled with 52 episodes, which is over eleven hours of the best Octonauts adventures. In Octonauts: Season 1, everything that happens takes place underneath the ocean! That is my favorite thing about this show. It takes me on an underwater adventure every time. I get to live my dream of being aquatic!

Captain Barnacles leads his team. Tweak Bunny, Pero Penguin, Kwazii Kitten, Shellington Sea Otter and Dashi Dog all appear in Season 1. Every character is a different type of animal. They are have unique personalities and special traits that make them interesting. All of these traits make the Octonauts team a good group of characters that can handle any kind of problem that comes their way.

This is a fun series! The stories always move forward without a dull moment! Each episode keeps my attention and I am totally entertained. Nothing scary ever happens and that makes me feel relaxed and interested while I'm watching. I can watch one episode after another.

All of the episodes on this DVD have positive messages for kids about helping others or teamwork. I think kids can also learn a lot about the ocean and all of the sea creatures who live there. This is an educational show, but it doesn't feel like it. Those kinds of shows are the best! I have two favorite things about these shows. The Octopod is really cool. It is the big underwater spaceship that they travel around in and it is also the headquarters for the crew. It looks like a big mechanical octopus.

My other favorite thing about the show are the Vegimals. They are so silly and interesting. Think of putting together a vegetable and an animal and you get a Vegimal! For example, if you take a half-salmon and a half-jalepe�o, you have just made a Salape�o. The Vegimals are very cute and funny.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10. It's calm and colorful and it looks like little bath toys that a baby would like to play with. I think even the smallest child would be mesmerized watching these shows. This is available on DVD now, so go check it out!

Reviewed by Izzy C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

The Octonauts have always been one of my favorite TV/DVD series. The Octonauts are selfless and brave human-like animals and they have great teamwork. Aside from the multiple wonderful messages that they teach in the episodes, the episodes also have detailed animations.

The Octonauts live in the ocean in their octopus like structure called the Octopod. Whenever there is trouble in the ocean, the team of Octonauts will not hesitate to help anyone in need. The main Octonauts include Captain Barnacles (the bear who leads the team), Kwazi (the pirate-like cat) and Peso (the timid penguin). At the end of the episode, there is always a Creature Report, a song giving facts about one of the creatures that they saw/helped during the mission.

Captain Barnacles (Ross Breen) sounds like a bear who has everything under control. He has a very deep, commanding and strong voice which implies that he is the boss, and he is. Peso (Paul Panting) has a very soft, sometimes shaky and uncertain voice. Peso is a happy, but conservative penguin and you can hear that in his voice. You can also easily hear when he is scared.

The animation for these episodes is detailed and shows the ocean as a beautiful place with a wide variety of colors. Another thing that I like about this series is that, on the team of Octonauts, there are different species of animals aboard the Octopod. They work together great as a team even though they are all different. It shows that even though you don't have much similarities, you can still work together successfully and be friends. This is just one of the great messages that The Octonauts teach.

My favorite episode is "Undersea Storm". During this episode, a storm is heading near the reef the Octonauts live in. A strong current sweeps up a baby lobster, but Kwazi saves it and returns him to his family and they are very grateful. Later, Kwazi crashes and can't get his submarine to work. The whole family of lobsters shows up and helps him out. Everyone makes it safe inside before the storm hits. This is my favorite episode because it teaches the moral of the golden rule. It is very clever how they present this moral in this episode.

There are multiple different messages throughout the DVD. All of the messages are really important and sometimes are overlooked. I love that The Octonauts give entertainment to young children and teach them good lessons at the same time.

The Octonauts Season 1 is an awesome series to watch and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this film for the ages of 3 to 11. Maybe it could even be for 12 and 13 year olds, because I really enjoyed watching it myself. Be sure to check this series out on DVD and on TV now!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 700 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


FAERIES OF FARTHINGALE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FAERIES OF FARTHINGALE
MELINDA DARLINGTON-BACH
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-13
Topic - Family
Description - The Faeries of Farthingale is a delightful 10-minute children's film for ages 4-12. Join Fiona Farthingale as she returns home to the remote English countryside, far from the bustling city of 1917 London. Fiona's life is enriched as she stumbles upon the magical secret from her mother's childhood living right in her garden. Join her in the journey of discovery exploring the enchanted land of "The Faeries of Farthingale."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a delightful fantasy, filled with beautiful imagery and an imaginative storyline. Well produced, sweet performances from the young actors. I highly recommend this for ages 5 to 13 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Sarah S, KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SOMEONE GOOD WILL FIND YOU

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SOMEONE GOOD WILL FIND YOU
MARKUS KAATSCH
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 3-15
Topic - Family
Description - A well-intentioned Chinese immigrant father tries to teach his son, David, how to "make it" in America. When David becomes enamored by a Superman costume in a store window, his father sees an opportunity to impart to him the importance of hard work, thrift, and delayed gratification. But when the time comes for David to reap the rewards of his efforts, it turns out that the lessons he's learned transcend those his father intended. Revealing the human capacity for connection, compassion, and sacrifice, Someone Good Will Find You is a story about the lessons parents try to teach their children, and the unintended ones children learn on their own.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed this short film with its lesson about saving and spending. The story is about a little boy who lives with his parents, two young Chinese immigrants. While shopping one day, a Superman costume catches his attention and he pleads for his dad to buy it for him. His dad draws the line, saying that his son has to earn the money to buy the costume. He buys his son a piggy bank and the boy names it Peaches. He begins to learn a valuable lesson. In the end, the boy might have learned even more than his father has. The cinematography is very good, capturing beautiful shots of the skyline of where the boy lives. The message of this film is that you have to work for what you desire. The boy learns this and it changes his outlook on money. It has a surprise ending which you will enjoy. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 15 as well as adults.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


LEMON & ELDERFLOWER

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LEMON & ELDERFLOWER
ILENIA COTARDO
Series: FOREIGN ANIMATED STUDENT SHORT, AGES 3-10
Topic - Family
Description - Two sibling hummingbirds have to build different inventions in order to solve their "big" problem: to take flight with other birds.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I absolutely love this clever, colorful, collage stop-animation. The characters are delightful, the message of overcoming difficulties by turning a liability into a successful solution, the soundtrack...just an entertaining and beautifully rendered short with lots of heart. Everything about this film is appealing and clever. It has a fun storyline - an obstacle that is overcome through a good idea - and turns a liability into an asset. The film flows through clever use of colorful collage and stop-motion. The story has a beginning, a middle and a happy and funny resolution. Very well suited for a youth and family audience because it is clever and visually appealing. The sound is perfectly attuned to the visuals and has no limitation in terms of language barriers. The animation is colorful, beautifully rendered, and really clever in the use of paper to depict an entire world
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PRINCESS EMMELINE DOESN'T LIKE CATS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PRINCESS EMMELINE DOESN'T LIKE CATS
TOVA REYES
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGE 5-15
Topic - Family
Description - Kind Princess Emmeline goes through her royal forest feeding and caring for animals. She does not understand why cats suddenly want to jump on and become part of her dress.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This animated film is short, cute, funny and a bit weird. Princess Emmeline and all the animals are very kid-friendly. This would particularly appeal to kids who like cats, although there are scenes where the cats kill the mice. It is not graphic or gruesome though. The film short flows well and the 2D animation is well executed. The characters are happy and kind to one another. At first Princess Emmeline does not like the cats, but then later on they kill all the mice that have landed in her dress and she changes her tune. I like the message that good things can come in disguise. The sound quality is excellent and the resolution is amazing. I could pick out every mouse in the cave scene without them blurring together
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


TREETOP FAMILY: SPARROWS LEARN TO FLY

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TREETOP FAMILY: SPARROWS LEARN TO FLY
SKYSHIP ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FOREIGN ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - It's a big day in the old oak tree! The baby sparrows are learning to fly! Featuring the original song, "Flap Your Wings Together," from the makers of Super Simple Songs. Treetop Family is a delightful series for children all about family and friendship. Join the sparrows, the mice, the possums, and the squirrels as they sing, and play, and discover the world around them...together. There's always something new to learn in the old oak tree. Treetop Family....home for you and me.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short 2 D animated piece from Super Simple Songs is just that, super simple. And, I might add quite charming as well. It's an innocent piece showing how the baby birds learn how to fly. Probably not accurate in a scientific way but nonetheless, charming and appropriate for its intended audience - preschoolers. Lovely pastel colors, a wonderful tune and simple, uncluttered animation. Recommended for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for ages 2 to 5. 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: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


BUMBLE NUMS: UNDERWATER WATERMELON SALAD

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BUMBLE NUMS: UNDERWATER WATERMELON SALAD
SKYSHIP ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FOREIGN ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - The Bumble Nums is a brand new cartoon full of counting and cooking fun! The Bumble Nums are going underwater for the secret ingredient for their next yum yum dish! Join Humble, Stumble, and Grumble in this children's cartoon as they go diving for underwater watermelons and then make a delicious Underwater Watermelon Salad!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This cheery animated short has a lot of things going for it. Nice 2D animation, good music and a reasonably good story line. Although not scientifically accurate, its fantasy is charming and fun. It also embed some stealth learning such as big, bigger, biggest. I recommend it for a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for ages 2 to 5 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PIT STOP: RUNNING ON EMPTY

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PIT STOP: RUNNING ON EMPTY
SKYSHIP ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FOREIGN ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - The race cars are having a showdown in the desert in Episode 3 of the car racing cartoon for kids, Pit Stop! But will the scorching hot conditions leave gas tanks bone dry? And can Racer #4 talk herself into the fastest race of her life? Whose race car will cross the finish line first? It's a hot one!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This four minute animated show is absolutely adorable, has great colors and the dialogue is clear and age appropriate. After I finished this episode I looked up other episodes on YouTube to share with my 20-month-old son. The 2D animation is very well done. The backgrounds as well as the moving images are clear and seamless. The facial expressions are absolutely precious. There are quite a few jokes that are fun for kids as well as their parents. I believe a child would enjoy watching number 4 talk to herself. I might add that I'm glad they have a female race driver among the group. It flows very well and the content is appropriate for its intended audience. I'd love to see this series become event longer. It has great potential in that way. I highly recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for ages 2 to 5 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PAPER PUPPET PLAYHOUSE: THE THREE LITTLE PIGS & THE BIG BAD WOLF

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PAPER PUPPET PLAYHOUSE: THE THREE LITTLE PIGS & THE BIG BAD WOLF
SKYSHIP ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FOREIGN ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - The Three Little Pigs is a fairly tale about three little pigs who each build new homes before being visited by the Big Bad Wolf. One pig takes the easiest way and builds a house out of straw. The second pig also chooses an easy way and builds his house out of sticks. The third little pig builds a strong house out of brick. Which house do you think will be the safest and strongest?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I wholeheartedly recommend this for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. The whole Paper Puppet Playhouse is fantastic and so well done that I placed it on a playlist from YouTube so that I can watch the rest of the series. The narrator is quite engaging. Listening to his versions of the various characters is quite engaging. It makes you appreciate the talent of this voice over artist. The animation is wonderfully adorable and really immerses you in the story. It's simple 2D animation which is appropriate for its intended audience. My son is 20 months and thoroughly enjoyed this in every way. The storyline flows very well and is very suitable for its target audience. Watching the wolf trying to blow the houses down is really funny because the animation softens the aggressive wolf. This would look fantastic on the big screen. I think it's a great take on the story. I recommend this for ages 2 to 6, but I greatly enjoyed it myself. I give this 5 out of 5 stars. If you are looking for preschool programming for your festival, this is one that fits the bill! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CARL'S CAR WASH: GUS'S GARBAGE TRUCK

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CARL'S CAR WASH: GUS'S GARBAGE TRUCK
SKYSHIP ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FOREIGN ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 3-6
Topic - Family
Description - Yikes! Gus's garbage truck is trashed! What a stinky mess! Time to head to Carl's Car Wash to get this rubbish truck all cleaned up! Can Carl can choose the right car wash settings to get Gus's garbage truck sparkling clean?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I highly recommend Carl's Car Wash: Gus's Garbage Truck for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. It's very cute and well done. I love watching educational shows that are meant for pre-school aged children. It always gives me ideas regarding how to teach toddler my son. I love how the show embeds learning moments when Gus takes his garbage truck to the car wash and Carl selects the type of vehicle, the level of messiness and other things. Also, Carl the viewer helps the customer count tokens. Very nice early math and language skills. There are funny little jokes that small children will appreciate. The animation is simple and brightly colored which helps hold kid's attention. The voices and background noises are well done and help keep you interested in the story. It has a great structure and is well designed for its target audience. One of our favorite things is during the actual car wash. The bubbles are fun to watch and brightly colored. My son loved that. I want a car wash like this. The only thing I am a bit disappointed is lack of cultural diversity. All the characters are white. Darn, this is cutely educational and I highly recommend it but, for lack of diversity have to mark it down a bit. I believe this is well suited for ages 3 to 6 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-6
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DISHA'S BOAT

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DISHA'S BOAT
AMIT KAPOOR
Series: SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - One afternoon, Disha, a vivacious 10 year old, comes home from school. She discovers her mother's new game and is very excited about it. Inquisitive and engrossed in her mother's hand written notes, Disha's task is simply to follow the instructions, have fun and do every activity independently. What challenges are in store for Disha?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I recommend this movie for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival because it has an appealing message about how a mom indirectly guides her daughter towards being independent and wonderfully charming actors. The movie flows well with main character, Disha's mom, communicating with her through sticky notes to guide her along. The movie quickly shows Disha becoming more independent. It's also little confusing in some aspects, such as the ending. The protagonist's acting is very realistic. Disha is quite adorable. Also, the background music is quite appropriate and adds greatly to the story. A child will enjoy the movie's theme about the mom continuously guiding her daughter through day to day tasks and helping her to be more independent. The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for its target audience. I enjoyed the camerawork and the scenes of everyday life in India. Disha's costume, whether it's her school uniform or dress all look appropriate. I think this makes a wonderful addition to any youth or family film festival that wants to examine childhood and international families. It is shot in India, in English and is very easy to understand. I recommend this for ages of 6 to 12 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comment
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TIME MACHINE GUITAR ADVENTURES
RALPH COVERT
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 2-8
Topic - Family
Description - Ralph from Ralph's World lives in a colorful TV Treehouse with 3 puppet friends, Beauregard, Rani, and Malcolm. With the help of his time machine guitar, they go on adventures through history to meet interesting people and learn about music. They have lots of fun, and play lots of songs along the way!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is simply wonderful. Ralph's style complete engages the kids both on screen and those watching. His songs are fun, varied and original. The puppets and the kids are all charming and believable. Love the backgrounds and sets. I love how he incorporates music education into this in a way the kids can easily apprehend. The Time Machine time travel segments are fun and, although not realistic, offer some history education to the show's content in a fun, fantastical way. All the visuals are exceptionally well done, the music fun and engaging and the format perfect for young kids. I recommend this for ages 4 to 12 as well as adults and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 28 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-8
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SUNNY AND GERD IN SPRING CLEANING

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SUNNY AND GERD IN SPRING CLEANING
DACOSTA BAYLEY
Series: ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Gerd sits in his favourite spot to enjoy his break and catch up on some reading. Unbeknownst to Gerd, his best friend Sunny is about to deny him any respite
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Love this. What do you get when a robot-obsessed illustrator is set loose? Something remarkably just like this short film. Technically it is brilliant with great characters who jump right off the screen. I could make toys out of these and they would fly off the shelf. They are adorable and thought provoking at the same time. Ok. Great background music, storyline. It's a yes. Kids 5-18 plus adults will enjoy this. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


FERDINAND       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: ANIMATED FEATURE, AGES 4-18
Topic - Family
Description - Ferdinand, is a giant bull with a big heart. he is mistaken for a dangerous beast and is captured and torn from his home and family. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team for the ultimate adventure. Set in Spain, Ferdinand proves you can't judge a bull by its cover.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I have to say, I really enjoyed this movie. It is definitely much better than I originally thought. I assumed it would be a bit bland, but I was pleasantly surprised.

This is the story about a bull named Ferdinand who dislikes violence. He is taken in by a girl named Nina and her dad. Due to being at the wrong place at the wrong time, he is taken to a ranch where they plan to put him in a bull fight. He is determined to escape and find his way back home. This is an adaptation of an old picture book from 1936, which I think is pretty interesting.

First, let's discuss the animation. I find the animation to be quite Disney-esque. It is fast, fluid and, best of all, colorful - just the way I like animation. The color scheme is very aesthetically pleasing. The flowers especially look amazing, as silly as that sounds. This movie has a good amount of star power with John Cena, Kate McKinnon, David Tennant, Daveed Diggs and more. The voice acting is probably one of the best things about this movie. Everyone sounds like they're having so much fun and that they clearly love their roles. That really helps every character feel so likeable. The voices of the horses are an excellent example. Their accents and mannerisms are hilarious.

Speaking of hilarious, this movie is actually really funny, a lot more funny than I originally expected. I assumed the humor would a bit like the general humor in most modern animated movies. Another thing I find interesting is that the movie is surprisingly kind of dark. Considering the whole story is about bullfighting, a few scenes are actually very serious. Certain scenes made me think to myself "this is a kids movie?!" I really didn't expect that. Honestly, a lot of things surprised me, which I'm really happy about. Since I never want movies to be bad, I love it when a movie surpasses my expectations.

Finally, I love the cast of characters. Lupe the goat, the hedgehogs and the horses are my favorite characters, but every character has something about them that makes them so interesting. The other bulls are likeable characters and so is the bullfighter villain. Even smaller side characters really made this movie. I love the message this movie puts out: peace over violence. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. It comes out December 15, 2017 so go check it out.

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

Ferdinand, directed by Carlos Saldanha is a spoonful of sugar! Ferdinand's compassion is contagious and, with his big innocent eyes and smile, he brightened my day. The animation is visually appealing and adds happiness and joyfulness to every aspect of this film. The music adds an exhilarating effect to the action scenes and made my heart pump faster and faster.

The story follows a timid, lovable bull named Ferdinand who loves flowers. He is born a fighter at a ranch, but has no desire to hurt anyone. He runs away and is taken in by a farmer and his daughter. Together, they grow up and through a series of events, Ferdinand is misunderstood and separated from his home and must do everything he can to return to his family.

John Cena plays Ferdinand and keeps a softness in his voice that reinforces Ferdinand's serene aura. Kate McKinnon plays Lupe, a hilarious, exuberant goat. The way she manipulates her voice made me laugh. The antagonist, Valiente, voiced by Bobby Cannavale, has an animosity against Ferdinand that is clear and terrifying.

The animation is sublime and gorgeous. There are many scenes where Ferdinand is sitting on his favorite hill, gazing into the distance. The landscape is intricately detailed. You can see the cracks on the cliffs and shadows with the pinkish orange sunset with the trees, flowers and grass swaying with the wind. These scenes transcend words and made me feel the peace and serenity that Ferdinand experiences. Ferdinand's expressions are priceless, revealing his feelings exquisitely. His ears flap when he is excited and his smile is enormous. The animation is excellent throughout.

My favorite part is Ferdinand's personality. Ferdinand would never hurt a fly and loves everyone and everything. He always does what is right and, no matter how anyone treats him, he considers everyone his friend.

The message of Ferdinand is don't be afraid of who you are and let your true self shine. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 15. Ferdinand opens in theatres nationwide December 15, 2017 so be sure to put it on your holiday viewing list.

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

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


SNOWMAN, THE & THE SNOWMAN AND THE SNOWDOG (2017)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SNOWMAN, THE & THE SNOWMAN AND THE SNOWDOG (2017)
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - Relive Raymond Brigg's holiday classic, The Snowman! One crisp, winter morning, a young boy wakes up to find a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground as far as the eye can see. Filled with excitement, the boy decides to build a snowman using a tangerine for his nose, coal for his buttons and eyes, and tops him off with a hat and scarf. Later that night, at the stroke of midnight, the snowman comes to life! The young boy and the snowman embark on a magical adventure of discovery where the snowman explores the young boy s world and in return he takes him flying to his home in the North Pole. Upon arriving at the North Pole, the two join a party as the guests of honor to a very special person. Then, embark on a new adventure in the charming sequel, The Snowman and the Snowdog! When a young boy and his mother move to a new house, the boy discovers a secret box hidden under the floorboards of his bedroom. In the box, he finds a hat, scarf, some lumps of coal and a shriveled tangerine - it's a snowman-making kit! Later that day it starts to snow and the boy builds a Snowman and with the little spare snow leftover, a Snowdog. That night they come to life and take him on a wonderful adventure. As dawn breaks they fly home, but before the boy returns to bed a magical surprise awaits him...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Snowman is one of my all-time favorite pieces of animation. Directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by Jonathan Coates, this non-narrative film truly is filled with wonder. The haunting music by Howard Blake ("Walking in the Air") stays with me for days after each time I watch this film. And, I mean that in a good way. Based on the best-selling book by Raymond Briggs, this is a piece of animation that is true to the original story and one to share with your family during the holiday season.

N Circle Entertainment has done a brilliant thing in creating this two DVD pack and including the sequel to this classic film, The Snowman and Snowdog which was created to mark the 30th anniversary of the original. Another non-narrative film, this one brings in a new character in a short film that is as charming as the original. Dedicated to John Coates and featuring a new song, "Light the Night" by former Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows, this is an extremely thoughtful sequel and was made using traditional hand-drawn animation, not CGI. This collection is really a treasure! Reviewed by Sarah S., KIDS FIRST! Juror

These movies are instant classics that bring out the feeling of Christmas Spirit. The first thing you notice is the beautiful animation. The next is the story which is wholesome and great for the whole family. The Snowman is about a boy whom builds a snowman and when that snowman comes to life they embark on a lovely adventure to the North Pole. Similarly, the sequel is about a boy building a snowman and a Snowdog that both come to life. I highly recommend these two short films and recommend them for ages 2 to 9. I also believe some older children and adults will like it as well. I give these 5 out of 5 stars! Happy Holidays!

Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! juror.

This double feature is simply enchanting and magical! I loved the books and I love how the illustrations come to life in this film and what is even more amazing is how entertaining it is to watch even without any talking. I was simply enchanted by the film and didn't want to miss a minute of it. The music fits the film so well and I am awed by the magic of the stories. My favorite part in The Snowman is when the Snowman tries on different fruits for his nose. These films will make you smile. The sequel is even more magical than the original, if that is possible. They are definite holiday feel-good types of movies that the whole family should watch! The bonus features are interesting. I especially like the alternate introduction from David Bowie. Other bonus features include "The Story of The Snowman," "Behind the Scenes" interviews with the author, Raymond Briggs. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18 as well as adults and I give this 5 out of 5 stars for originality, magic and entertainment value. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This double feature DVD includes heartwarming films about the winter season that never ceases to amaze me. I like both movies because they remind me of myself during the holidays. For example, when the boy has to scrounge up snow for his snowman, I thought about when I tried to do the same thing! This DVD includes two movies: The Snowman and The Snowman and The Snowdog. I love both equally!

In The Snowman, a young British boy in a classic 1950s English rural home builds a snowman on Christmas Eve. At midnight, the snowman comes to life and takes the boy on a flying trip around the world! The scenes become grander and grander until you think nothing more can happen! After all of this is over, they travel back home. The next morning, the boy...well, you'll see. The ending brought meaningful tears to my eyes!

The sequel movie, The Snowman and The Snowdog picks up where the first movie left off. It takes place in modern times with another boy who has recently moved into the exact same English house (now renovated). Less than a year after moving in, the boy discovers under a floorboard a time capsule left behind by the previous boy. This box includes a picture of the same snowman and the original objects used to decorate it. The lad builds the snowman according to the picture and the Snowman is reborn! Still, the boy isn't finished. While saddened with the recent loss of his dog, he also builds a Snowdog! They travel around the world in similar fashion as the first boy, but there is a surprise ending!

The detail in these movies is stunning! Even though there is no talking, the artistry makes up for that. Each scene is hand-drawn, which must have been a technical pain for the scenes in motion! These movies are based on Raymond Briggs' classic picture books. Besides young children, adults who have read this book in their youth will also appreciate these quality films. The unexpected ending is truly memorable!

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for kids ages 2 to 6 and adults who enjoy fine art. This movie is available both on DVD and VOD. So, enjoy this winter delight!

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

Holiday movies are one of my favorite forms of entertainment. Especially those that have adorable characters and a heartwarming tale. That is what these two short films called The Snowman and The Snowman and The Snowdog are all about. Add magnificent hand drawn animation and you have the perfect Christmas movies.

I love that these two films on this double feature DVD have no words and are both beautifully illustrated with animated images. The orchestra for the original film is Sinfonia of London and for the sequel, the London Metropolitan Orchestra. Their performances are stunning. Each piece of music fits the scene perfectly because it made me feel as if I was in the scene myself. Also the music is superb to just relax to. So grab a hot cup of cocoa and put your feet up.

Both of these films are hand drawn with pastels and pencils. The only thing that is CGI (in the sequel) is the falling snow flakes and that took a lot of persuasion to get Raymond Briggs to allow that. The best part of both films are the drawings, which make them special and unique. I like having a break from all the CGI and seeing animation as it was made years ago. This is something that many other kids will appreciate as well.

My favorite movie out of the two films is the sequel, The Snowman and The Snowdog. I love this movie because there is an adorable dog made of snow and the quirky snowmen. Also in this movie there are more snowmen and snowwomen which is something that I loved seeing.

I love the adorable Snowdog. He is very funny and had me laughing and even crying for joy. He is my favorite character. I also think that he would be an amazing pet to have. This is because he is very loyal and he comes whenever you call for him.

I recommend this DVD for ages 2 to 18. These movies never get old and people from all over the world will absolutely adore them. This DVD has become one I have added to my holiday collection and will watch it every year. Even really young children can watch it because it is so beautiful and the message is all about friendship, love, cheer and what the holidays are all about. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 golden stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.96
Media: DVD
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GUMBY: GUMBY'S ARCTIC ANTICS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GUMBY: GUMBY'S ARCTIC ANTICS       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 - Gumby and Pokey, television's legendary clay characters, live one great adventure after another in a timeless world of stop motion magic and wonder. Join our favorite duo in this fun-filled collection of 50's, 60's and 80's episodes! When Santa gets sick right before Christmas, will the holiday be ruined or can the Witty Witch save the day and deliver the gifts with the help of a certain someone? Then, Scrooge escapes from his book and sets out to destroy all of the toys in Toyland, but luckily Gumby is there to save the day. From helping the Pilgrims, George Washington, and even the Moon Boggles, to rescuing a baby mastodon in the arctic, these unique shows will spark your imagination and bring a smile to your heart.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I didn't watch Gumby as a child but I was aware of the cartoon, as we called them. What struck me watching these clips is how much is based on actual history. Learning about General George Washington crossing the Delaware River, the American Revolution, watching an infamous character from the famous book "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens come to life and see how Gumby deals with each of these is interesting. Learning a little about the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving is also a good lesson. Whoever heard of Santa Claus getting sick on Christmas Eve? Having Gumby, Pokey and a good witch come to the rescue is brilliant! Learning about Alaska? Wow, that is awesome! Who has ever seen a glacier? An Eagle? A Walrus? An Igloo? A Polar Bear? These stories are entertaining and enlightening and hold a child's interest. The focus throughout the series seems is one of teamwork and the importance of working together for the common good. The cover is very colorful. It looks like the characters are having fun on the sled, which is an indication of fun things to come!

This DVD has a number of clips, each telling a different story. The characters in each clip are interesting and fun. It is designed for younger kids, but older children will learn a bit about history by watching. The vocabulary is suitable for the target audience and the claymation and colors are fun for everyone to watch. The social models I gather from this DVD is one of teamwork and its importance. There is a bit of negative behavior in "A Pigeon in a Plum Tree," but Gumby works through it. In "Northland Follies" when a box falls on an igloo, Gumby and Pokey get even with the walrus and leave the scene, because they don't want to have to re-build the igloo again. All in all, the clips are funny and kids are engaging.

Critical thinking and problem solving skills are encouraged as well as doing the right thing. Gumby and Pokey get into lots of interesting situations and many come right out of pages in a book, yet they don't change history, they just add more fun to the story.

The DVD cover design is wonderful and appeals to its target audience. Claymation is a unique form of animation that is not frequently seen. The colors are bright and cheery and the characters are quite real looking. The menu allows you to go to a specific episode. I recommend it for ages 4 to 10 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This collection of a dozen Gumby episodes promises to entertain the whole family with great humor suitable for all ages. Its spectacular soundtrack really brings the show justice.

Like many other Gumby collections, this set revolves around Gumby's adventures which vary from episode to episode, but generally have some light comedy throughout. Something that really stands out to me on this DVD is the moment where Gumby actually talks about some historical facts, bringing a bit of education to this set.

Even though this collection's branded as Arctic, there are many episodes that leave the Arctic Circle and dive into history. Some of the best include visiting the American Revolutionary War or the voyage on the Mayflower. Gumby really makes them shine by bringing humor and unique adventures to each one. The genius writers even fit in an occasional fact here and there that teaches young viewers about history without it feeling like a lecture. It just feels like one character explaining the situation to another character. However, there are minor issues with some of the plots. Generally, Gumby episodes are very short which fits the style, but many of these are too open-ended and don't have a concrete finish. Almost all Gumby episodes feel a bit unfinished and seem to do little to address the conflict that made the story exist, which leaves the viewer slightly disappointed.

The quality of the stop-motion animation keeps at a superb level, despite these episodes originally being made across three decades, some as early as the 1950s. The writers, for the most part, did well in keeping the episodes interesting. There are some noticeable repeats in jokes or ideas. For example, there are two episodes where Gumby and Pokey somehow destroy an igloo and must rebuild it for the occupants. The two stories vary slightly, but have a very similar conflict. This makes the repeat episode rather boring. Something that the writers excel at (as they always did for Gumby) is the dialogue. The conversations are always natural, smooth and very realistic, despite all the characters being made from clay. These episodes of course also feature the original soundtrack of the show, which is recognizable and really adds to the experience. The music feels light and soothing, yet entertaining and fitting for each story.

My favorite episode is Gumby Crosses the Delaware River. In this episode, Gumby and Pokey enter a book about George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River, where he surprise-attacked enemy soldiers. Pokey and Gumby help Washington by sending Pokey in as a spy. The episode is filled with a good sense of humor and does teach kids about some historical facts. It represents a perfect bundle of learning and fun.

Like all other Gumby collections, the show revolves around family. There are some jokes here and there that will make teens and adults laugh, but it's mainly geared for younger kids. I recommend this for ages 9 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. In general, the episodes are great to watch, but some could have a better or different storyline to ensure uniqueness and the originality of writing. This DVD is available in stores now so go check it out.

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

I believe the DVD Gumby: Arctic Antics is a great series because of its claymation and characters. I found it brought cheer to my Christmas and made me happy.

This DVD is a collection of holiday themed episodes from the 50s, 60s and 80s about Gumby and his friend Pokey as they look into famous stories about Christmas, Thanksgiving and the fourth of July. Gumby and Pokey are an iconic duo from the 60s.

This type of animation is known as claymation. It reminds me of Christmas movies such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and other classics such as Santa is Coming to Town. They poke fun of the fact that the characters are clay by making them melt. I like how they incorporate live action with the animation. In one scene, Gumby and Pokey fall down into a pile of things and they are live action.

The characters in the show are fantastic. I love the banter between Gumby and Pokey. Gumby always tells Pokey to pay attention to the story they are watching, but he always disobeys. Instead, he helps the characters in the story.

The message of this film is to help people no matter the consequences. It spreads a message about helping friends or people in need. Pokey helps a prince who was scammed by shop owners when they gave him a plum tree with a pigeon in it. So, he tells a man with fairy dust to turn the tree and pigeon into gold. The prince is surprised of what happens and the girl he gives it to is ecstatic.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars recommend it to ages 6 to 9. This is available on DVD now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 80 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 3.99
Media: DVD
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SUPER 4: WELCOME TO KINGSLAND!

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SUPER 4: WELCOME TO KINGSLAND!       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-10
Topic - Family
Description - Inspired by the world of Playmobil� toys, embark on a series of adventures with the Super 4 as they travel throughout the wider Playmobil� universes. Whether it be a sci-fi futuristic world, a magical fairy world, a world of pirates, or a world of medieval knights, the adventures are never ending! Welcome to Kingsland, a world of chivalry, dragons, quests, tournaments, and castles! Kingsland is ruled by the corrupt King John, who is Prince Alexander's uncle. King John ascended the throne when Alex's father and mother were lost at sea. Prince Alexander is the heir to the throne but cannot abide living under his uncle's corrupt authority. Join Prince Alexander, or Alex as he'd prefer to be called, along with his Super 4 friends as they band together to fight villains especially dragons and save their worlds from chaos.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Welcome to Kingsland is about the Super 4 and a lovely prince named Alex joining forces to take down the evil king (who just happens to be Alex's uncle) and fight many medieval monsters such as dragons to save the world! Although I enjoyed the story, I have to be honest., I really disliked the CGI animation. While I understand that this is a Playmobil property and they do things very similar to LEGO. I just really feel like their animation doesn't work well here. By the end of this program, it felt as if it was a long commercial for the Kingsland Playset and less an actual story. My son enjoyed it though and I believe that the younger aged kids will like it. I just wish there was more to learn from this program and less to buy. It is very comical and definitely tries to teach children to problem solve, but falls a bit short of the mark for my liking. I recommend it for ages 5 to 9 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this DVD with its seven, fun-filled episodes with wonderful story lines, exciting characters and fun animation. The animation is similar to what LEGO movies use, but it Is different and transports you to a new place.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Super 4: Welcome to Kingsland is a DVD of episodes about the Playmobil characters known as the Super 4. The series is based on the worlds of Playmobil. The worlds shown on this DVD are: Kingsland, which holds knights, barons, kings, princes, princesses and dragons; Fairy World, where fairies and little strange monsters live; and the Lost World, which includes dinosaurs. I must admit, I didn't really enjoy this DVD. It is very repetitive. The characters that aren't Super 4 members do the same thing in every episode. For example, the knights just worship the king and don't fight. The plot where the baron tries to marry the princess is used in two different episodes.

The members of the Super 4 are: Alex, (Damien Ferrette), the prince of Kingsland and the leader who started the Super 4; Twinkle, (Annouck Hautbois), a fairy from Fairy World, who doesn't always get her spells right the first time; Ruby, (Laetitia Lefebvre), a pirate from the Pirate Lost Island, who sometimes gets in trouble for stealing treasure but always gives it back unless it is owned by the enemy; Gene, (Franck Lorrain), the team's genius from the Agents' world, who never gets things wrong. The Super 4 are a group of friends who embark on many adventures and missions to fight villains. This collection is about a few of their adventures saving Kingsland, Alex's home world from chaos.

My favorite episode is called "Rage of Dragon" which is about the enchanted witch from fairy world who puts a spell on Ruby that turns her into a dragon. Super 4's remaining members must figure out what happened to her and help her break the spell. That episode really stands out. My favorite character is Alien, Twinkles strange little monster pet who is really scared of dragons. He is funny because he is always clumsy.

The message of this show is that if you work together, you can do anything. I don't like that the series repeats the same plot multiple times, but younger kids who like repetition and play with Playmobil might love this. For that reason, this series isn't really my taste. I rate this DVD 2 out of 5 stars for its ability to look like Playmobil. I recommend this DVD for ages 2 through 6 because it has a lot of repetition of plots and characters and little kids love that. This DVD/Blu-ray is available now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Damon Foxe, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


REGAL ACADEMY: ROSE CINDERELLA IN FAIRY TALE LAND

REGAL ACADEMY: ROSE CINDERELLA IN FAIRY TALE LAND
0
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Rose Cinderella thinks she is a regular teenager, but things change when she finds a magic key unlocking a world where fairy tales come to life! Rose Cinderella quite literally falls into Fairy Tale Land and discovers that Cinderella is not only her grandmother but also the headmistress of Regal Academy, a school where fairytale families teach the next generation how to become heroes. Episodes included are: A School for Fairy Tales, The Great Dragon Race and The Swan in Swamp Lake.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What's most appealing about this DVD is that it's an animated series starring Cinderella's granddaughter. I like this series because it separates fact from fiction. For instance, the viewers see Regal Academy as an enchanting and magical world filled with mythical creatures, while earth is simply earth. Furthermore, I like that Rose has a magical ability, which is called pumpkin magic. With her wand, Rose turns pumpkins into cars and objects. Rose is a likable character that will be relatable to children between the ages of 5 to 12. She's clumsy, a bit nosy, loud, outspoken, and has a positive outlook on life. This series has great visuals and includes vocabulary and concepts that are suitable for this age group. In fact, each episode flows well, the sound is clear, and has a beginning, middle and end. I highly recommend this series and give it 4 out of 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 72 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: DVD



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