The Ages 2-5 category has 2299 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles

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

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

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

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

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

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


GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: AUTUMN JOURNEY

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: AUTUMN JOURNEY       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 these adventures 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. Keeping love as the major theme, each adventure is set against the backdrop of a season with this collection focusing on the bright colors of autumn. Join Little Nutbrown Hare and Little Field Mouse as they leave a trail of acorns to find their way home, but Little Grey Squirrel unknowingly collects the acorns. Oh no! Now they are all lost in the woods! Will they be able to find their way back home? Enjoy these autumn adventures and more with Little Nutbrown Hare and friends!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - If you are seeking quiet, calm, old-timey togetherness with your child, then Guess How Much I Love You: Autumn Journey is perfect! Nothing blows up, nothing glitters and, most importantly, nothing is designed to over-stimulate you or your child. These animated episodes are good clean fun that reminds one of sweet, simpler times.

This animated series is based on the iconic books by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram, bed time story go-to's for 20 years. Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends, Little Field Mouse and Little Grey Squirrel have adventures and misadventures that young children will enjoy and learn from.

This DVD of individual episodes makes bed time or quiet time even more special. Like the books, each episode has child-friendly dialogue, the joy of friendship and loving companionship between parent and young bunny. The episodes provide the added bonus of animation, stunning autumn-themed water color illustrations and calming music. And who doesn't enjoy hearing the father, Big Nutbrown Hare and son trying to one-up their love for each other?

Guess How Much I Love You: Autumn Journey is timeless entertainment for 3 to 6-year-olds and anyone else who enjoys a good bed time story!

Reviewed by Ruth A., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Guess How Much I Love You: Autumn Journey is a collection of heartwarming episodes full of love and I absolutely loved them! Watching it reminded me of when I was little and my mom would read me bedtime stories!

This movie is based off of the book Guess How Much I Love You, a much loved classic bedtime story written by Sam McBartney and illustrated by Anita Jeram.

Guess How Much I Love You: Autumn Stories is about Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends who go on outings and learn lessons.. They explore and go on adventures such as building a spider web, collecting different things, playing fun games and enjoying themselves. There are many lessons to be learned in these episodes. Kids can learn about team work, the importance of memory, using their imagination, perseverance and more!

I love all the animation! Autumn Journey is colorful, creative, detailed and it looks like it's a water color. The main characters are all drawn with detailed lines and color. The scenery is really pretty. All the trees have bright autumn colored leaves and they even have details in their trunk lines.

My favorite character is Little Nutbrown Hare. He is so adventurous and playful. He loves his friends and helping his dad out. He is kind and a great role model. Little Nutbrown Hare explores the meadow with his friends, Little Grey Squirrel, Little Field Mouse, Little Red Wood Fox and many more.

It is very sweet how every night Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare say how much they love each other. They try to compete with bigger reasons to describe the amount of love they have for each other. Normally stories are about a mom with the child sharing a bond. Here the dad is always there in the adventures telling Little Nutbrown Hare how much he loves him and this is a really nice change. It shows kids that both parents share equal love.

These short episodes are great bedtime stories to watch and enjoy during quiet family time. This movie is relaxing and full of fun plot lines that can help kids calm down and fall asleep. The sweet animation and story lines are perfect for when Mom or Dad are too tired to read a story out loud. I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 6 and rate it 5 out of 5 stars because it is based on the classic books and is full of valuable lessons, great animation and heartwarming moments.

Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 75 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


ABC MONSTERS: STARRING MNOP

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ABC MONSTERS: STARRING MNOP
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: SERIES, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - Twenty six cuddly ABC Monsters live within the walls of Capital Castle. Each monster represents a letter of the alphabet, but should any of the monsters go missing for longer than a day, all the letters will be wiped clean from every book in Capital Town, so it's very important to make sure that all the ABC Monsters are safely back in Alphabet Gardens before the sun goes down. However, this isn't as easy as it sounds. The ABC Monsters are always curious and happy creatures so they tend to wander off from Alphabet Gardens and get lost in the process.�

In each adventure Alice and her good friends Brian and Cherry Berry, must search high and low for one of the missing monsters.� In this DVD, embark on adventures to find the letters M,N,O and P!� Will they be able to get all four letter monsters back to Capital Castle before the sun goes down?� Find out! Along the way Alice and her friends laugh, sing, and clap along as they discover just how much fun letters and words can be, while at the same time learning valuable clues that lead Alice and her two friends ever closer to the runaway monster.� Your little one will enjoy everything from karaoke videos to learning how to draw each featured letter to word puzzles and more!

Get set for a spellbinding series of magical adventures that engages preschool children's imaginations, while making learning exciting and entertaining.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Kids, ages 3 to 6 will simply love ABC Monsters: Party in Capital Castle! Starring MNOP because the episodes are quick paced, entertaining and fun! Meanwhile, their parents will embrace these episodes as a tool for helping children increase their pre-reading skills such as letter recognition, letter formation, visual tracking and vocabulary recall.

Learning the letters of the alphabet and developing pre-reading skills is always easier when it feels more like play rather than effort! Watch along as friendly talking monsters in the shape of letters make learning fun by using repetition, word games, brightly colored animation and age appropriate songs.

Throughout these four stories, cartoon characters Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry work together to find missing letter monsters and return them to their home in Alphabet Gardens in the Capital Castle. This DVD focuses on the letters M, N, O and P.

This reviewer would have welcomed diversity in the "human" characters, as they were all seemingly Caucasian. I rate this 4 out of 5 stars.

By Ruth Anderson, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What would the world be like without the letters M N O P? Chaos! We use these letters every day and, in this DVD, preschoolers and kindergarteners help solve a mystery to find a different missing letter in every episode. This is a fun filled show containing four episodes, each one about the relationships of letters and how important they all are. Each episode focuses on a specific letter and uses words from that letter throughout the show.

This animated cartoon adventure has the perfect blend of silliness, singing, puzzles, mysteries, exercise and games. I enjoyed the colorful animation and all the different activities that keep your mind entertained. The letters are all adorable. It teaches children how to spell, write, count, directions, phonics and the importance of letting peers know where you are.

My favorite episode to watch is Odd Jobs and Octopuses. I love this episode because it is silly. I like all the fun words that we learn and it is really cute. I love the way that it incorporates many different ways we use the letter O. The letter O is very quirky. The way he solves the problems with all his odd jobs is original. All the letters get together to help O. This episode also teaches teamwork and that is a very important lesson for children to learn.

The voiceovers are quite believable and easy to listen to. The voices vary enough to make it easy to see differentiate between the letters. All the character are adorable and make you want to play along with them, sing the catchy songs, exercise, dance and do the fun games.

My favorite character is Alice because she is so adorable, sweet and helpful. I love the ways she supports her friends Brian and Cherry Berry while they try to find the missing letters. Brian is very funny and just too cute for words. I love how he assists Alice and Cherry Berry by telling them what words mean. Cherry Berry is a magical fairy with a jester stick that is friends with Alice and Brian. She is very helpful and is willing to help Alice and Brian find the missing alphabet letters.

The graphics are bright, silly and colorful. The directors, Au Loong and Cheong Siew Wai have created a fast paced, entertaining show that captures your attention from beginning to end. You are sad to see it end.

I recommend this show for ages 3 to 7. Older kids will likely enjoy watching it too as it reminded me of being younger and reinforced that learning can be fun. Cute, singing Monsters always make people smile. This really is one cute, adorable, quirky and fun learning experience all rolled up into one DVD of four episodes. I give this DVD 4 � out of 5 ABC Stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


OCTONAUTS: SLIME TIME

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS: SLIME TIME       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 - 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 plunge into all kinds of sea slime! Captain Barnacles has to catch a runaway Octopod when it s hijacked by a gang of crustaceans trying to escape algae-infested waters! Kwazii searches a shipwreck for hidden treasure, only to encounter goo-squirting Slime Eels! And when a herd of hungry sea pigs is about to fall into a deep sea trench, the crew attempts to lure them away with a tasty treat - rotting sea kelp! It's slime time with the Octonauts!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a great collection of nine 10 to15 minute episodes featuring our favorite underwater explorers, The Octonauts. We follow along as Captain Barnacles and his crew explore the world's oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats. This collection has episodes with some wild creatures such as Sea Snot Cucumbers, Mudskippers, Marine Iguanas and Slime Eels! The Octonauts teach lessons about the importance of helping others and preserving the world around us-above and below the waves! Bonus Features include episode selection and in-depth explanations of all the sea phenomena featured in the episodes via short animations and fun songs! I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 7. It's fun, silly and informative on a relatable level for this age group. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by-Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Do you like adventure, fun and marine biology? Then Octonauts: Slime Time is the perfect DVD for you and your family to watch together. This animated collection of eight shows offer fun-filled adventures where you learn about all kinds of fascinating creatures including algae, snot sea cucumbers, slime eels, marine iguanas, mudskippers, sea skaters, sea pigs and even giant squid. This is a really great collection of shows that are educational, exciting, interesting and fun to watch.

I like that they have so many different characters who all love to help sea creatures and find out more about them. It is really great that they are helping young kids learn about the ocean and spark their curiosity about the creatures who live there. One of the best features of this collection is that at the end of each episode they have a creature report which reinforces, through song, all the informational things for that episode and includes a clip of what the actual real creatures look like.

Even though there are many different characters which I enjoyed very much, my absolute favorite is Shellington (Keith Wickham). He is goodhearted and very inquisitive about oceanic creatures. The way he voices this character truly adds brilliance and friendliness to it. There is also Tweak (Jo Wyatt), a smart southwestern rabbit, Captain Barnacles (Simon Greenall), a kind polar bear, Dashi (Teresa Gallagher), an adorable dog, Peso (Paul Panting), a goodhearted penguin and Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw), a daredevil cat pirate. There is a wonderful gang of all kinds of animals and vegimals (Michael Murphy) who are just too cute for words. Their different personalities all come together as they help some fascinating creatures of the sea.

My favorite episode is with Marine Iguanas. I loved it because it is fun to watch and I had no idea that these creatures even existed and learning about them was incredible. This episode also involves a bit of a mystery and is very quirky. I learned quite a lot and loved seeing what they looked like in person in the creature report at the end.

I recommend this show for ages 4 through 18. Younger kids will love the animation and will learn about some terrific creatures. Older kids and adults will learn new things about these stupendous creatures and might even learn about a couple they never knew about before. I give this DVD 4.5 out of 5 oceanic starfish.

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Age 11
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 5.9
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


PUP STAR

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PUP STAR       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
XXX
Series: FEATURES, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A Yorkshire Terrier, competing in a televised singing competition, is separated from her owner by an opportunist dog pound worker. Starring: Jonathan Mangum, Danny Woodburn and Kaitlyn Maher.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - To make a perfect family-friendly adventure film is a difficult task to achieve. You have to make it both entertaining and kid-friendly while including a positive, preferably inspirational message. Pup Star, the latest installment in the Air Bud series, succeeds in this goal with assistance of wonderful music and fantastic acting.

The adventurous feel of the movie appeals to the audience. This film has more than that to offer though with its comedy, positive messages and a slight bit of drama. There is even some romance to keep the viewer entertained and at the edge of their seat.

The story starts when a young puppy named Tiny goes on a dog singing show and does quite well. She receives a golden ticket from the judge which allows her to go straight to the finals. Everything changes when Tiny gets captured by animal control and must go on a huge adventure to get back to her owner and also to the competition finals.

Pup Star has a wonderful story line and great acting by Tom Everett Scott, Kaitlyn Maher and Jed Rees. The voice over cast for the animals matches their characters and feels quite authentic. They each make their characters truly come to life. But, the best part of this film is that the story which is entertaining, suitable for young kids and easy to follow.

My favorite scene is when we first meet Tiny. She gets on stage and starts singing. Her song is beautiful and serves to introduce the style and the feel of the film. I also love this scene because, although the talking dogs are animated, it looks very realistic, as if the dogs are actually talking.

Pup Star would appeal to families and younger kids. I recommend it for kids ages 4 to 13 and rate it 5 out of 5 stars for its excellent acting that truly makes the characters come alive, its realistic animation, beautiful music and its fantastic story. By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Pup Star is a fun, fantastic, family-friendly film! It really is an amazing and inspiring movie with talking and singing dogs. I found myself cheering for the super talented Tiny and booing the bad guys, or should I say bad dogs!

The story is about Tiny, an adorable Yorkie pup who dreams of becoming the next Pup Star, which is a spinoff of the popular TV singing competition reality shows. The celebrity judges include Dog Gnarly, Blake Sheltie, Lady Paw Paw and of course, Simone Growl.

Along Tiny's journey, she is dog napped, meets colorful companions and becomes a more inspired singer with the help of Charlie, who is on his own journey. Tiny is encouraged by everyone she meets to keep going and not give up on her dreams. My favorite part is when Tiny sings. Kaitlyn Maher's voice over and singing of Tiny is outstanding and all 13 original songs are so strong melodically that I found myself humming along to the song Blue Skies after watching it. Additionally, the various voice over and singing talents for all the other dogs are equally impressive.

The message of this film is never give up and follow your dreams. Tiny faces many challenges and tries her hardest to persevere and reconnect with her loving family.

The talking and singing dogs are created with amazing special effects. Their mouths move in perfect harmony with the words and lyrics. Also, I love the rich and emotional music composed by Brahm Wenger which draws you in from the get go. I recently had the privilege to interview the writer and producer of Pup Star, Anna McRoberts and she mentioned that this is the biggest cast of talking and singing dogs ever in one movie - 31 total. Bow Wow!!!

Out of all the Air Bud Entertainment movies, this is my favorite. We can all relate to following our dreams no matter what they are and cheering for the underdog. I recommend this film to kids age 5 to 18 as well as anyone who loves dogs - kids and adults alike. With so many wonderful things to love about this family friendly film movie, I give it 5 out of 5 pup stars! I want to share one more thing: throughout this entire film, I actually forgot that dogs don't really talk... or do they?

Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Lights, Fur and Make-up and we are good to go. Cameras are rolling, dogs are singing and talking. What? Dogs singing and talking? Air Bud Entertainment brings us American Idol and The Voice doggy style, complete with a golden dog bone which takes you straight to the final round of our singing competition.

Anna Mc Roberts and Robert Vince produced and directed this adorable story about singing dogs. Their vision leads to a unique, quirky, family-friendly movie which is fun to watch.

The graphics are so good that you believe the dogs are really singing and talking. The dogs all have different personalities. There are various breeds of dogs and they all sing a different genre of music. The breeds and the songs match up perfectly. The stylish dog outfits and cute names are spot-on adorable. All these differences remind us to be ourselves and enjoy being the person you are. After all, the world would be boring if we were all the same.

The 13 original songs will have you singing along. My favorite song is when Rowland (Jess Ress) the human dog catcher is singing "I want to be a cat" to the dogs. The dogs did not think it was funny but I laughed away. Each dog has its own singing style from country, pop, rock n roll, the blues by Big Ears (Obba Babatude) and many more.

The country scene when Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher) sings on-state with Emily Rose (Bonnie Somerville) is my favorite moment in this film. Their voices together are perfect. Kaitlyn Maher might sound familiar as she appeared on Americas Got Talent when she was four. Her voice has matured and she sings her heart out in this film.

There are three sets of stars in this film, the dogs and their trainers, the voice-over actor/singers and the real people actors. My favorite dog is Charlie (Tom Everett Scott). He is a Labradoodle and looks like a giant version of my dog Dust Bunny who is a Cockapoo. He is a free spirit and loves rock n roll. The dog trainers are awesome because there are some amazing dog tricks in this film.

Tiny, a Yorkshire terrier is too cute for words. Kaitlyn Maher voice matches the personality of Tiny perfectly. Makenzie Moss portrays Lou, the owner of Tiny. You can tell she truly loves dogs and the concern she has when Tiny is lost is genuine. She also sings and has a lovely voice. I would be heartbroken if Dust Bunny ever got lost and would look for him everywhere.

This is a love story. There is drama with Bark (George Newbern), the bounty hunter and Rowland, the dog catcher. There is a mystery as you discover who Charlie really is and wait to see if they ever find their way back in time for the big Pup Star finals. There is comedy in all the various quirky dogs we meet along the way.

The star-studded cast includes voice-over actors from Finding Dory (John Ratzenberger), Last Man Standing (Carla Jimenez), Air Bud (Nicholas Harrison), Let's Make a Deal (Jonathan Mangum), Miles from Tomorrowland (Diedrich Bader) and many more.

I recommend this film to kids ages 5 to 18 because of all the cute dogs, the singing and dancing, the voice-over actors and a great storyline. This movie is definitely family friendly. Who knows, it might make you want to go out and buy a dog. Remember, dogs are a lot of work and even though these trainers make it look easy, it's not. Let's just say lots of time and patience is needed. I give this film 5 out of 5 Doggy Tail Wags. Be sure to check out my interviews with the cast on KIDS FIRST! 's YouTube Channel.

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

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


HUMPBACK WHALES IMAX (4K UHD/3-D BLU-RAY/DIGITAL COPY)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HUMPBACK WHALES IMAX (4K UHD/3-D BLU-RAY/DIGITAL COPY)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - Narrated by two-time Golden Globe nominee Ewan McGregor, Humpback Whales is an extraordinary journey into the mysterious world of one of nature's most awe-inspiring marine mammals.

Set in the spectacular waters of Alaska, Hawaii and the remote islands of Tonga, this ocean adventure offers audiences an up-close look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play and take care of their young. Captured for the first time with IMAX 3D cameras, and found on every ocean on Earth, humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a slow but remarkable recovery. Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out why humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales, why they sing their haunting songs, and why these intelligent, 55-foot, 50-ton animals migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Spellbinding! Humpback Whales is outstanding and incorporates the best that IMAX films have to offer - impossible photography, entertaining music and an instructional narrative that when combined, creates a positive visceral.

The musical score is brilliantly constructed to create an emotional connection between viewers and the whales. The song "Best Day of My Life" paired with pristine video footage of effortless swimming, lunging and breaching invokes a jubilant mood. The haunting, yet mesmerizing songs of the hunchback whales are also highlighted.

Narrated by Ewan McGregor, this documentary is educating, motivating and inspiring. I was enthralled by the details of the bubble net feeding and the up-close photography of the whales enjoying their catch. Rescue attempts of a young whale entrapped in rope from a boat demonstrates the dangers whales face as a result of man's impact on the ocean. The Special Features are almost as value-added as the main feature! "The Search" shows the difficulties in finding the humpback whales, leading the production crew to Tonga, Alaska and Hawaii. We meet the photographers, researchers and the director whose enthusiasm for the accurate and complete portrayal of the whales is contagious. Not only did I feel like I wanted to join their crew, but I also wanted to do more research on the humpbacks! "The Making of Humpback Whales" shows the behind the scenes logistics of filming the whales. For this viewer, the only thing missing was the spray of fresh ocean water! Humpback Whales rates a resounding 5 out of 5 stars! Your family will love it!

Reviewed by Ruth A., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Humpback Whales DVD is amazing, stunningly beautiful and a spectacular educational ocean adventure. For the first time in IMAX, it offers an up-close look into the incredible lives of humpback whales by a team of researchers.

What I particularly like about this show is how much fun information you learn about humpback whales. For instance, did you know that humpback whales can weigh 50 tons, be longer than a 50 foot school bus and have a wing span greater than most Lear jets? Or, that they can dive to the depths of 1,000 feet in the ocean and migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year? And, did you know that male humpback whales sing?

Sadly, we also learn that for hundreds of years and up until the 1970s, humpback whales were killed for their oil. Fortunately, because of the generous support of the Pacific Life Foundation we are learning the importance of the humpback whales and the importance of protecting them.

My favorite thing in this show is learning that the male humpback whales communicate through song. Their songs are known as the "Music of the Deep." It is also what motivated countries across the world to form a ban to stop the killing of humpback whales in 1978. Up until this time, these marine mammals were becoming extinct.

This film is wonderfully narrated by two-time Golden Globe nominee Ewan McGregor and produced by Academy Award nominated filmmakers at MacGillivray Freeman Films. The accompanying music is moving and sets the mood perfectly. I also loved seeing the beautiful scenery as we follow a team of researchers journeying into the waters of Alaska, Hawaii and the distant stunning islands of Tonga.

The message of this film is that humpback whales should be protected, respected and asks what can we do to help them survive. So what can we do to help? Glad you asked. The film tells us that this is possible by encouraging ships to slow down or be re-routed and to keep trash out of the ocean. However, there is also a life moral message about how it is our turn to be the guardians of these magnificent creatures.

The Humpback Whales DVD is a wonderful, educational, ocean adventure for both children and adults. Young viewers will enjoy the beautiful scenery and more mature viewers will appreciate the many amazing things there are to learn about humpback whales. The DVD includes a special feature by the film's director who discusses the making of the movie which you won't want to miss. I recommend this for ages 5 to 18 and give it five out five stars. I hope you watch this DVD so you too can experience the magnificence of humpback whales.

Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

You are sitting on a quiet beach watching the waves roll into shore. Suddenly in the middle of the ocean a giant leaps in the air, does a complete 180 degree twirl and splashes back down into the depths of the ocean. As quickly as the ocean frenzy started, it all stops and goes back to calmness. You have just witnessed a humpback whale.

The narrator for this movie is two-time Golden Globe nominee Ewan McGregor who I love and adore. His pace and soothing voice set a calm tone for this film. Stephen Judson's' writing is easy to understand and memorable.

Of course, this is an awesome movie. It is made by the award-winning documentary filmmakers MacGillivray Freemen Films, the same people (Shaun and Greg Mac Gillivray) who made Everest and National Parks Adventure which are beautifully executed. I love the amazing places they take us because they always make you want to get more involved in the world around you and spend more time outdoors.

You may not have one as a pet because the mothers carry them around for one year and when they are born, they are 14 feet long. When full grown, they are 55 feet long and, at 50 tons, they will not fit into your swimming pool. If you have trouble walking a dog, well the 10,000 mile migration they take every year might be a bit much for you. This film takes us all the way from the tropics to Alaska and Antarctica. We get to see the world through the eyes of humpback whales and marine biologists. The equivalent of 8,000 hamburgers they eat every day might also be a deal breaker. A gold fish makes a better pet for your home.

Humpback Whales is a beautiful film with stunning photography and educational facts about these majestic creatures that I found fascinating. The birds-eye-views are dynamic, the views are something I have never seen before. You watch the humpbacks as they glide through the water. Jumping in the water and playing with them might be an option your brain can consider but it's not going to happen but, I enjoyed watching the beautiful tropical places that this movie takes us to.

The best scene in this film when a group of whales form a group bubble net. One whale blows bubbles in a spiral motion surrounding the creel then, several whales swim deep into the bottom of the ocean and sing haunting noises while swimming upward. These intelligent creatures of the ocean have learned an easy way to herd fish. They capture them in the bubble net and the whales have a wonderful meal for their whole group.

Listening to all their different songs and how they change them reinforces our grasp of their communication skills and genius. Only the males sing. The movie also has other music with a tropical vibe by Steve Woods and Calum Graham which puts you in the mood to hang out in the ocean with the humpbacks.

Tonga, which is east of Australia, is where whaling was once a prevalent way to make money. They have since stopped and found that tourism brings in more money and saves the whales. In the 1970s, there were only 50 breeding female humpbacks left. Today, the number has grown to the 2,000s. This once-almost-extinct mammal is still only 40% of the population it once was. We are making great progress.

There are three countries where whaling is still allowed today - Japan, Norway and Iceland. Additionally, boating accidents and pollution such as trash, fishing nets and other items lead to their demise.

The earth is 71% waters and oceans. We should all look after the ocean creatures and our planet. This movie reinforces and reminds us that the humpback whales exist and need our help to survive. Along with kidsfirst.org you should add OneWorldOneOcean.com to your must see viewing list.

I recommend this film to kids ages 7 thru 18 who will find it entertaining, educational and beautiful. All 40 minutes will hold your full attention. Adult will love the epic underwater and aerial photography. I give this film 5 out of 5 Humpback Whale Star fish.

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

This movie is alive and interesting with the truth about humpback whales. This movie is especially interesting because how it's told in 40 minutes and tells you everything you need to know about these magnificent creatures. It allows you to look up or ask some friends about humpback whales. Throughout this story, you learn how they move around, all about their calves, the dangers they face and especially, how humans work against and with them at the same time. It talks about how people are the main enemy of the whales because of ocean trash. But it also tells us how we can help them and what you can do. It brings hope and information to everyone who watches this film.

The DVD has an extra scenes feature and boy is it interesting. It talks about how the movie was made, where they went and a lot of other interesting things. I love the way everyone said they had a good time making the film and that they are so happy. It's also very similar to the actual movie, but they talk to the camera and tell you about themselves.

Ewen McGregor, the narrator, is quite enthusiastic throughout this film. He tells us interesting things about the whales and how they do all these incredible things. You may not think it, but there is amazing animation in this film. They show how the whales eat, and sometimes show the whales moving. It's really detailed and for a moment made me think it was really the live whales.

My favorite part of this film is when they talk about the migratory paths of the whales. I especially liked learning whales' fingerprints. This film moral is quite a sad one I would say about not doing things that kill the whales. For example, drive slower and don't throw trash into the ocean.

I rate this movie 3 out of 5 stars because I personally am not a whale lover. It would be rated much higher by a long shot if I was. I recommend this for ages 5 to 18 and adults may enjoy it too. I think that younger kids may be scared by the death scenes which we unfortunately have to endure. You can find this movie on Blu Ray/DVD.

Reviewed by Miles T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 40 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 27.48
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


LITTLE PRINCE, THE (NETFLIX ORIGINAL, 2016)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LITTLE PRINCE, THE (NETFLIX ORIGINAL, 2016)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - From Mark Osborne comes the first-ever animated feature film adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry's iconic masterpiece, The Little Prince. At the heart of it all is The Little Girl, who's being prepared by her mother for the very grown-up world in which they live - only to be interrupted by her eccentric, kind-hearted neighbor, The Aviator. The Aviator introduces his new friend to an extraordinary world where anything is possible. A world that he himself was initiated into long ago by The Little Prince. It's here that The Little Girl's magical and emotional journey into her own imagination - and into the universe of The Little Prince - begins. And it's where The Little Girl rediscovers her childhood and learns that ultimately, it's human connections that matter most, and that what's truly essential can only be seen with the heart.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is touching, adorable and eye catching. I love this film which is based on the book by the same name. It is original and fun to watch. I also like the fact that this film is about growing up and talks about how growing up is not a bad thing. You can still have fun being a kid at heart.

I love all the characters in this film. My absolute favorite is The Little Girl (Mackenzie Foy) who is adorable, funny and wants to help everyone that she can. She is also a perfect role model for little girls my age. Then we have The Aviator (Jeff Bridges) who is an old man and he is trying to help The Little Girl by telling her a story. He wants her to see that you can still be a kid, have fun and use your imagination even when you grow up.

The Little Prince (Riley Osborne) is a very kind person who tries his best to help The Aviator. Riley Osborne is the son of Mark Osborne, the executive producer and director of this fantastic film. Mr. Prince (Paul Rudd) is a kind, but scared older version of The Little Prince and he is hysterical. I really like his character. He has been so busy working that he has forgotten his true identity.

One of the best scenes in this film is when The Little Girl and her friend The Fox (James Franco) sneak out in the middle of the night to The Aviator's house to borrow his plane. In order to take off an amazing contraption is engaged. Then, they on their way flying through the night sky. I love this scene because it is fun, adventurous and the animation is quick, cleaver and crystal clear.

The animation in this film is beautiful. They used two different kinds of animation in an effort to show the difference between the real world and the one that The Little Girl is imagining. This is a good choice on Mark Osborne's part. He chose to do this because he studied many different styles of animation in college. It turns out that he liked them all so he combined two very different styles to make this film. Half of the movie looks like you are reading a book and the other half looks like the real world. This all makes it gorgeous to watch.

The appropriate age for this film is 7 to 15. Kids will like this film and will enjoy the animation and the story. Adults will like that it is based on a book that they knew as a child and it will bring back memories. I give this film 5 out of 5 daydreaming stars.

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

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


KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Kubo lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta. This causes all sorts of havoc as gods and monsters chase Kubo who, in order to survive, must locate a magical suit of armor once worn by his late father, a legendary Samurai warrior.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Amidst the beautiful animation is a beautiful story - a story about telling stories and the affects of creating your own story and how to take hold of your fate as you create your story. With comedy, drama and romance, we are taken on a journey of discovery and coming-of-age. Kubo and the Two Strings is a heartfelt, magical, sweeping animated picture that resonates with all ages.

The animation is the first thing to catch your eye and keeps your attention throughout. The detailed, unique animation helps give the film its magical tone. The animation is very defined, which gives the imagery and movement a fluidity that literally, nearly makes the film sweeping. That's how we get an epic feel from it, despite its 100 minute runtime. Furthermore, the animation encourages the theme of creativity, as it is unlike most animated films we've seen, or probably will see.

That theme of creativity, married with the theme of story-telling, is the heart of the story. Kubo tells stories passed down to him from his mother, which she got from living. The movie explains that we create our story as we go and how we will encounter surprises and dangers but the story must go on. What makes our story unique is who's a part of it. That message is told beautifully through brisk, to-the-point plotting and dynamic imagery. What this film says about the process of creating (stories in particular) is how it explains that the situation we're dealt never allows us to create the outcome we want. Instead, life gives us our lemons and we must make our own lemonade.

Even though this film is whimsical and beautifully, there are dark undertones which give it layers. Like Grave of the Fireflies and Up, Kubo and the Two Strings doesn't dumb down its themes and trusts its audience - all of them. The movie uses dialogue to explain itself while giving visual depth that gives it subtext so that children are able to discuss and understand what's at the heart of the film. That is where the true beauty lies.

But there's something beyond that. Even as I write this review, there are things about the movie I can't quite explain. I've touched on the cinematography, the themes and the presentation of the themes, but I can't quite explain the true beauty well enough. What I want to add, is that this movie is a like a painting. It is a moving picture in the true sense of the word. There are moments so distinct and eye-opening that it will take your breath away. Then, the underlying tonal darkness of the picture gives it a maturity that appeals to older audiences. To put it simply, Kubo and the Two Strings is made up of dreamlike imagery underscored by nightmarish undertones. I also want to note the rather haunting score, beautifully penned by Dario Marianelli. It's literally the perfect concoction for a film, filled with fantasy, horror, sadness, humor, creativity, epic-ness, beauty, patience and pace.

With that said, I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. It can be seen at a local theater near you.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this movie. It is original, beautiful to watch and has heart and soul. The quirkiness of this movie only adds to its lovability. It is hard to find an original movie and using origami as the base of this movie is simply genius.

Kubo's grandfather has stolen his eye and now is after the other and he will do whatever he has to, to get the other eye. His two aunts are frighten witches. His mother has lost all her memories and many dangers await Kubo and his only helpers are a monkey and a silly half man, half beetle and an endless supply of paper. I know this all sounds totally crazy, but it all works together quite nicely to make this incredible movie.

I struggled once trying to make an origami swan so I appreciate the origami in this film which has a mind of its own. Kubo plays a two-stringed instrument which transforms simple paper into magnificent, magical shapes and forms.

The voice-overs in this film are stupendous and really bring it to life. My favorite character is Kubo (Art Parkinson) who is just so adorable yet strong, independent and goodhearted. My other favorite is Monkey (Charlize Theron) who is brave, funny, clever and very stubborn. I love her character because of all these traits. Even though she is tough, she has a kind, sweet side that she shows how much she loves her son. There is also the beetle (Matthew McConaughey) who is hysterical, dangerous and a straight shooter or, at least according to him he is. I love his character because its funny and had me belly laughing. His affection for Monkey is adorable. Of course, there are villains of this film. The sisters, both played by Rooney Mara portrays them as crazy, wacko witches and her voice is perfectly scary. The other villain, The Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) is the weird Grandfather who wants Kubo's other eye and he is super creepy.

One of my favorite scenes is when Kubo, Monkey and Beetle are trying to defeat a giant skeleton and find the sword of unbreakablity. It is adventurous and funny. The graphics are incredible, especially the way they created the skeleton. This is the biggest clay animation character ever made. I thought this action scene was intricate and believable.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18. Adults will like it too. I do want to suggest that if your child is younger than 7, they might get scared with the darkness and the villains, but if they can accept that it is all fake then they will be okay. I rate this film 5 out of 5 magical origami stars.

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

A crowning achievement from Laika studios, this tale follows a one-eyed hero named Kubo (Art Parkinson). For years, his mother has hid him away from her cold-hearted sisters (Rooney Mara) and cruel grandfather (Ralph Finnes). One night, they finally find Kubo, but her mother uses her magic to stall her sisters and give Kubo enough time to escape. With the help of Monkey ( Charlize Theron) and Beatle (Mathew McConaughey), Kubo must find the three pieces of armor in order to defeat his grandfather.

With a summer full of remakes, reboots, sequels and adaptations, it's incredibly refreshing to witness a unique film that's not bound by a former version. This film's plot is full of fascinating lore and investing drama. The film gives clues about where the story is headed and those, for me, help predict the outcome of the story. Even though some come true, it is in no way predictable. This film surely doesn't take the traditional route of storytelling. There are some clich� moments, but the tone of the film makes it quite unique. It can be morbid and respectfully deal with fascinating concepts of life and death, but I adore films that don't talk down to kids and instead treat them as capable viewers.

This film exemplifies some of Laika's best stop motion animation ever put on screen. As I commented in one of my blogs (Advertisement: check out our blogs), I believe stop-motion is fascinating but is sadly declining in today's film world. Thankfully, Laika Studios has kept the art form alive. This company finds creative stories and talented artists to create amazing characters and sets. Even though they don't produce a film very often, this film is an excellent example of where that time and effort goes to. The outstanding use of color and lighting creates gorgeous images and dark dramatic scenes. The characters' designs, from their eyes, to their clothes are extremely detailed. Perhaps the best example of their stop motion skills is shown in the first monster Kubo and his friends encounter. The filmmakers built a giant animatronic in order to create this scene. It's an amazing construction and you can see how the filmmakers shot the scene if you stay through the credits. It's a sight to see.

My favorite scene is after Kubo and his friends fight the second sister. Without giving anything away, this scene takes place after an intense battle. All I can say is that this scene consists of neither dialogue nor music. The visuals speak for everything. Each frame captures the emotion and loss of our protagonist. It's truly a prime example of the power of visual narrative.

The message is that stories end, only to begin new ones. Kubo is a storyteller who never manages to find endings to his tales. When face to face with his Grandfather, he is given the chance to immortality so his story never has to end. However, the idea is passed on that even if your story ends, the people you love will keep your story alive in them and pass it on to generation to generation.

My favorite character is Monkey. Charlize Theron once again demonstrates her incredibly acting ability with this character. I adore the devotion and courage she has when protecting Kubo. Plus she knows how to defend herself and when she has a sword, watch out.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 7 to 18. This film is dark at times and can get intense. With that said, because of the sensational technology and intelligent script it's definitely a perfect climax to summer films. It is in theaters now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Keefer C. Blakeslee, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

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


ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - Scrat's epic pursuit of his elusive acorn catapults him outside of Earth, where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the planet. To save themselves from peril, Manny, Sid, Diego, and the rest of the herd leave their home and embark on a quest full of thrills and spills, highs and lows, laughter and adventure while traveling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters. Starring Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES (IMAX: 4KUHD/3D BLU-RAY/BLU-RAY)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES (IMAX: 4KUHD/3D BLU-RAY/BLU-RAY)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - It's a natural history epic. It's a compelling detective story. It's scientific adventure at its best.

Flight of the Butterflies is an interconnected scientific adventure story that spans not only thousands of miles, but generations. It's about the remarkable Monarch butterfly migration, the most incredible migration on Earth, and the determined scientist who spent 40 years trying to discover exactly where the butterflies mysteriously disappeared when they flew south for winter.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Glorious! Flight of the Butterflies is as visually stunning as it is educational! Prepared for 3D IMAX, this documentary details Dr. Fred Urquhart's lifelong scientific inquiry into the migration patterns of the monarch butterfly. Scientific facts are brought to life with outstanding photography and make this film one to watch again and again. Young viewers will fall in love with science while witnessing a researcher devoting his life to following his passion. Flight of the Butterflies is perfect for the entire family! By Ruth A., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

In Flight of the Butterflies, a 44-minute film originally intended for IMAX viewing, the mystery of where millions of monarch butterflies migrate each fall is uncovered over many years by a determined scientist and his wife. We literally float with the butterflies at times and get incredibly close to nature, while also following the story of the scientists and their personal journey that leads from Canada to Mexico. Though the music is often heavy-handed and the film can feel dull at times, the science, the strong visuals and compelling true story at its heart are fascinating. The images are pleasing and there are two interesting (occasionally engrossing) narratives of the butterflies migration and the scientists' attempts to trace them. As it was meant to be seen in an IMAX theatre, it has the power to stun. At home on a normal TV, not so much but still engrossing and often fascinating. The film is well-structured and the running time feels just right at about 44 minutes. There is a clear beginning, middle and end and care is taken to present facts clearly. At times, I wished that more science were included and the actual migration rendered with more detail. The film almost takes pains to portray individuals as working together, whether they are scientists and butterfly enthusiasts working towards the same goals or filmmakers and crew taking real care to not injure any butterflies when possible even when there are thousands swirling around them. The film is all about inquiry and investigation, mystery and discovery. This may be its most lasting impression on young viewers as there is more emphasis on plot than pure visuals. The cover design and packaging are colorful and inviting. The filming is often impressive, even astounding as we get to witness a caterpillar turn into a butterfly. Some CGI is utilized in certain sequences which some may not even notice and most will not be bothered by. The menu access is clear. Two special features are included, a Making Of Featurette that is excellent and a short message from the previous President of Mexico. This film is beneficial in a number of ways. It is educational and should awaken a concern and curiosity for nature, butterflies and possibly even conservancy in young viewers. As well, it might inspire a few future scientists. The story unfolds in an entertaining way, with flashbacks to the scientists' earlier lives and outstanding footage of the butterflies throughout. The story arc of the scientist who dedicates his/her life to a mystery and is eventually rewarded (though it took years) and the entire process of the science could motivate some to pursue science. Also, it is certain to influence, in a good way, how they view butterflies for the rest of their lives. Highly recommended for ages 6 to 18. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Flight of the Butterflies is an amazing, beautifully shot film that is a wonder for the eyes. This film centers on a scientist named Fred Urquhart who, as a child, wondered where butterflies go during their migration. As an adult, he and his wife try to answer that question. Another storyline follows a butterfly named Dana as she shows you the year-long process of migration and tells the tale through three generations of monarch butterflies, following them from Texas to Toronto to Mexico.

My favorite part of Flight of the Butterflies is when Fred's life's work takes place before his eyes, when he sees millions of monarch butterflies fluttering around on a mountain in Mexico. The scene is beautiful and has some rich and epic cinematography. I also like when the filmmakers use MRI footage to show a very detailed and sharp scene of a caterpillar slowly turning into a butterfly through its chrysalis.

Flight of the Butterflies was first released in IMAX theaters and I can see why. The cinematography in this film is amazing and keeps you glued to the screen. This film is also extremely educational. I knew almost nothing about butterflies before viewing this film and I learned so much in such a short period of time. I am now extremely interested in the migration process. In fact, the film makes me want to plant my own butterfly garden.

The musical score fits the subject and is tranquil and light. The lesson of this film is to always persevere. Fred Urquhart doesn't give up for forty years and always tries to reach his goal.

I recommend you watch the special features on this Blu-ray disc. Behind the Scenes gives you more context on the making of this film and features interviews with the cast and crew, including one with a real life person portrayed in the movie. It's really cool to see how the crew got some of the shots and makes you realize how difficult it was to make this film. Other special features include a message from the President of Mexico.

I give Flight of the Butterflies an age rating of 7 to 13 because the film goes into some pretty complex science and history. I think older viewers will enjoy this film as well. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars. If you are interested in the topic of butterflies or if you like science in general, you'll like Flight of the Butterflies.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 44 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.93
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


SECRET LIFE OF PETS, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SECRET LIFE OF PETS, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Taking place in a Manhattan apartment building, Max's life as a favorite pet is turned upside down, when his owner brings home a sloppy mongrel named Duke. They have to put their quarrels behind when they find out that an adorable white bunny named Snowball is building an army of lost pets determined to take revenge.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Hysterically funny. Great cast, wonderful animation and delightful story. I found myself laughing pretty much throughout the entire film. There is quite a lot of chase scenes, barking, animals discussing killing humans so, I don't recommend it for very young children. For those old enough to look beyond that, it's an imaginative story that adults will enjoy along with their kids or grand kids.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What do you get when you combine a fantastic cast, beautiful animation, original story and hilarious jokes? You get this new animated masterpiece, The Secret Life of Pets.

The Secret Life of Pets is predominantly a comedy however, there is much more to this story than nicely delivered jokes. The film also dips into a cute romance story with a very strong main sense of adventure. Some action is involved to spice things up as well as some drama to keep the viewer at the edge of their seats and help see the relationship between the on-screen characters to their own pets.

The adventure begins when Max (Louis C.K), an ordinary house dog, gets a new doggy brother, Duke (Eric Stonestreet). The two don't exactly become friends at first and when they end up at a park, they get separated and must go on a huge adventure where they meet many strange and interesting creatures as they journey back to their owner.

This film is a rare case where there is truly nothing to complain about. The comedy appeals to all ages. In the audience, kids were laughing throughout the entire film and so were adults. The story is entertaining and never gets boring or drag on. And, it keeps creating new fun ways to entertain the viewers. I also enjoyed many small references to other films. The whole movie has a very relaxed feel, which is perfect.

The cast is legendary with Louis C.K, Kevin Hart (Snowball), Albert Brooks (Tiberius) and more - all making the characters truly come alive. Visuals of downtown New York are stunning and greatly enjoyable. It is also worth mentioning that I greatly enjoyed the classical soundtrack of the film which is very unexpected for an animated family comedy. But, it elevates the jokes in many places and spices things up without going overboard.

My favorite scene is when Duke and Max run into a sausage factory during their journey home. At the factory they, of course, eat many sausages and both overeat and imagine a heavenly sausage world. This goes back to the very relaxed feel of the whole film and the scene is completely random but seems to fit perfectly and made the audience laugh nonstop.

This film is meant for kids, but It appeals to adults too. I recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Some of the scarier animals may be a bit much for younger kids. I rank it 5 out of 5 because of its original idea, fantastic casting, new and funny characters, wonderful soundtrack and great sense of humor.

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

Let the debates begin and if they haven't begun, allow me to start: Zootopia or The Secret Life of Pets? - two acclaimed comedic animated movies featuring talking animals. Well, I'd like to throw in my opinion - The Secret Life of Pets, while less cleverly plotted, is much better written and animated. This film will not dazzle you with a wonderfully woven plot, but it will undoubtedly entertain you with dynamic characters and strong jokes that land more often than not.

The day of New York City misadventures for Max and the newly picked up Duke, is reminiscent of those zany 50s and 60s comedies. Without coincidence, those decades were very popular for films set in the "City that Never Sleeps", particularly for comedies. Jokes about hipsters moving to Brooklyn and New York City alleyways are featured in the film, paying homage to the city. But even better than that, are the beautiful shots of New York City in this film. It would give the opening scene in Manhattan a run for its money. The cinematography in this film is absolutely gorgeous, worthy of being full sized paintings to hang on your wall. Master shots include New York City at night with the lights from the moon and the buildings illuminating the city, aerial shots of the city in the daytime with beautiful weather and an air of inspiration. The images captured in this film are among some of the best of any animated feature ever and I've no issue saying that.

But, the imagery isn't the best part of the movie. Naturally, its the characters of the film. For a comedy of this nature to be successful, the writer/s must come up with strong characters who make strong choices. So the jokes end up bolder and have a higher probability of landing. This movie is filled with those. Archetypes pervade the movie such as the longing ing�nue, the idiotic gang leader, the fearless elder and the neurotic straight man (the main character). These familiar characters were popular in comedies during the 50s and 60s and further highlight the style of film this is, which is quite refreshing. As a matter of fact, the relationship between Duke and Max is reminiscent of Walter Matthau (Duke) and Max (Jack Lemmon), who were a successful duo in cinema in the 50s and 60s. This film is so much like others of that era, I can see Billy Wilder directing this.

Lastly, and what impressed me most, is the score. It is an up tempo, lighthearted score. But, what makes it so impressive is how often it is used. In today's comedies, a score isn't used often. Because we're in an age of off-beat, dry comedy, an accompanying score ruins the tone and wipes away the awkwardness. This film uses the score like those comedies of the 50s and 60s, which creates a more lighthearted comedic tone and gives comedic rhythm to the scene. It also makes scene transitions less awkward and helps with pace. The score itself is a wonderful, having been scored by the great Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 & 2). I'd love to see it in contention for the Best Score Oscar (although seeing the fate of Inside Out's beautiful score, it may not happen). So with all of this nostalgia, the movie really impressed me. It's not easy to go against the grain and pay homage to classic Hollywood. Speaking of which, I am loving this trend in animated films today that reference older movies. Inside Out referenced Chinatown, this movie referenced Some Like it Hot (a cat says to a dog trying to date her, "I'm a cat" and the dog says "Well, nobody's perfect"), The Birds, and Grease (even singing a song from the musical). It's very satisfying for movie fans.

With all of that said, I give this movie 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. The reason it misses out on perfection for me is because I feel the plot could have been tighter and I wish the film had a little bit more to say, or at least say it meant to say a little louder. But nonetheless, I know your kids will enjoy this film and you will too. I recommend it for ages 6 to 18 and it can be seen at a local theater near you when it opens July 8.

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

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


GIBBY

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GIBBY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - A young girl finds an unlikely and uplifting friendship with an adorable monkey in this charming, light-hearted film. Katie has lost interest in her school, her friends, and gymnastics following the loss of her mother. But her outlook changes in the summer when she is asked to monkey sit Gibby, her science teacher's Capuchin monkey. Taking care of the monkey challenges Katie and reorders her life in a big way, and Gibby's happy-go-lucky personality renews Katie's zest for life. Gibby helps her with gymnastics, renewing friendships (including finding a potential boyfriend) and overcoming her nemesis, a mean girl who is out to beat Katie at everything.

Rising star Shelby Lyon heads up an all-star cast, including Peyton Meyer (Girl Meets World), Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie), Sean Patrick Flanery (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles), Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day) and, of course, Crystal the Monkey (Night At The Museum).
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Gibby is a fun to watch film. Children as well as adults can enjoy watching the great acting by the cast along with Gibby, the monkey. The film shows great friendship development. While there is an element of a "mean girl," Katie is able to handle it. The film takes you on a journey with Katie as she works through her depression and loneliness after the death of her mother. When she is selected to care for Gibby, it brings her back to her love of gymnastics and renewing friendships. The characters display the behaviors of teenagers, seeking popularity and looking for love. Gibby is entertaining, funny and tugs at your heart. You learn facts about a capuchin monkey and watch the young actors develop friendships and create believable and real life actions. The story is well done with actions, concepts and dialogue that are part of real life. This film could inspire children to engage in gymnastics. It is very real and down to earth, using real people and a very talented monkey - Crystal who definitely steals the show. There is no CGI and the special features are excellent. It offers facts from Gibby's trainer who talks about the challenges of working with animals and humans. I recommend it for ages 5 to 15. Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Bananas!!! This little monkey will keep you smiling as you watch my favorite actress Crystal, use her natural monkey talents to help a young girl find her true heart's desire. This film is heartwarming, entertaining, funny, and adorable all wrapped up into one great movie.

One of my favorite things about this film is that no CGI is used. This film is very down to earth and it is good to get a break from all the amazing graphics taking over movie theaters today. There are ups and downs just like in real life and that is what makes this film endearing and believable.

The acting in this is believable. I love all the different characters in this film, but my absolute favorite character is Gibby (Crystal, a capuchin monkey). She is hysterical, cute and there when you need her. Crystal has made many monkey appearances, but this is one of her best performances I have seen. I had the pleasure of meeting her on the set of We Bought a Zoo and Gibby. She is very talkative, loves to stick her tongue out and has a boyfriend that she hangs out with when she is not in the spotlight. Tom Gunderson, her trainer is like an overly protective father who loves her and takes wonderful care of this high maintenance little diva. Oh, our little monkey is not a hugger, but she likes to high five.

My other favorite character is Katie (Shelby Lyon). She is lonely and depressed at first because of the death of her mother and then she meets Gibby and her whole world changes. Then, she is fun, happy and ready for anything. Her acting is wonderful and I had the pleasure of meeting her as well. Shelby Lyon is very bubbly, cute and fun to hang out with. She also loves doing gymnastics. She showed me a couple of her awesome skills and I was quite impressed. I do wish that they had more gymnastic scenes in this film. Tommy (Peyton Meyer) is a friend of Katie's and has a crush on her but she doesn't know it. A great friendship blooms when he volunteers to watch Crystal and help Katie over the summer with her new pet monkey. He is as cute in a person as he is in this movie.

I have lots of favorite scenes including Gibby (Crystal the monkey) sneaking into a birthday party and being mistaken for a dangerous animal. Gibby is hit on the head by a crazy mother who is scared of the giant one foot, seven inch monkey. This is one of my favorite scenes because it really touched my heart and I found myself crying. Can you say cameo appearance? Look carefully and you will see me there in a pink shirt and a zebra dress. The lovely Vivica A. Fox also joins in on the monkey fun.

I love the fact that all the girls did their own gymnastic stunts. They are very talented and a great group of young women to hang out with. Phil Gorn, the director, is brave working with both kids and monkeys. Congratulations on making an adorable movie.

I recommend this film for kids as young as five who will love the adorable Crystal. Teenagers will relate to the means girls and the young love crushing going on. This is a fantastic family-friendly film for the entire family to sit back and enjoy and appropriate for ages 5 to 16. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 monkeying around stars.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan B., age 11 1/2
Runtime: 86 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-16
Suggested Retail Price: $ 1498
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


SENI

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SENI
XXX
Series: INDEPENDEN FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - Seni is all about cutting all the web that hold us from being Winged. It's how a kid makes a unique bond with an ant, he pampers, plays, feeds and takes outmost care of the ant. However at the end the ant leaves the kid for his world, while making the kid realize the value of freedom.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short film has an interesting premise and the young boy is completely charming. Who would think of befriending an ant other than a child. I particularly enjoy the drawings at the end. This would make a lovely addition to a young film festival and opens itself up to some fun discussion afterwards. Recommended for ages 5 to 8. Reviewed by Julie S. KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comment
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


BFG, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BFG, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Ten-year-old Sophie is in for the adventure of a lifetime when she meets the Big Friendly Giant. Naturally scared at first, the young girl soon realizes that the 24-foot behemoth is actually quite gentle and charming. As their friendship grows, Sophie's presence attracts the unwanted attention of Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater and other giants. After traveling to London, Sophie and the BFG must convince Queen Victoria to help them get rid of all the bad giants once and for all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie has giants, dreams, friendship and compassion all rolled up into one two-hour long movie that is a wonderful experience. The BFG's character and graphics are shock and awe to me. His job as a dream catcher is in danger and I think I just found my new career goal - catching dreams and using them to make other people happy. The BFG is a complicated, humorous character with many aspects to him. Brilliant director Steven Spielberg adds yet another great movie to his resume.

This must-see summer hit opens nationwide July 1, just in time to spend a hot summer day in a cool theater near you. It is more of a drama then a comedy even though you will laugh throughout the film. The movie is based on the book by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. I have added this book to my summer to do list.

The CGI animation in this film is top-quality and award winning. The scale between the humans and giants has been done before but in this film, it is truly extraordinary. The thought and details shown in every scene captivate you into believing you are on screen in this new make believe world. Giants, the dream country and giant country all come to life. The flipping of the world upside down and entering dream country is a memorable scene and my favorite. It is one of the many places you will find yourself wishing really existed or think that perhaps it does it somewhere.

The characters have incredible depth to them. Ruby Barnhill's (Sophie) performance is extraordinary. Most of her scenes are in CGI and she had to use her imagination when acting out those scenes. She is the lead of this film and carries it well. There are few real humans until the second half and her connection with the BFG is heartwarming. Sophie is a kind, brave and sharp orphan who finds herself dwarfed in the world of giants.

Mark Rylance (The BFG) is fascinating, remarkable and a top notch actor. You can tell that he is kind and he sticks to what he believes in. He doesn't care about what the other giants think about him he just wants to care for a little girl and catch dreams. I like how he thinks that it is wrong to eat humans. At least there is one giant we don't have to run from. He is comical and humorous and his take on the English language will have you laughing out loud as the audience did when I watched this film. His new words will add to your vocabulary and have you smiling when you recall them.

The BFG meets the one and only Queen of England (Penelope Wilton) and the Queen herself would be proud of her performance, as I would definitely bow down in her presence. I find her beautiful, interesting, fair and funny.

When The BFG gives the Queen, her assistances, the guards, crazy dogs, Sophie and everyone in the room a taste of his favorite drink and everyone in the room starts whiz popping, it is hysterical. I loved this scene. Everyone in the theater could not stop laughing and I just joined in right along with them. The dogs in this scene are ridiculously entertaining when they skid along the floor while tooting away.

I recommend this film for ages 10 to 18. This is a family friendly film which kids will enjoy. Be forewarned that the scenes about bullying are unsettling and the huge giants look very lifelike and might scare younger kids. Some of them are mean. I give this film 5 out of 5 giant dream catcher stars.

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

I enjoyed watching the new Disney film, The BFG. We get to see the works of three great storytellers together. Director Steven Spielberg collaborated with Walt Disney Studios to bring Roald Dahl's classic book "The BFG" to life and turn it into a wonderful film. I love the film for its CGI, which makes the animations look incredible and I also enjoyed its comedic moments. In this film, we meet Sophie, an orphan who hates the all girls' orphanage she is living in. Then one day, she spots the elderly big friendly giant (The BFG) who takes her away to Giant Country because he doesn't want her to tell other people that she saw him. At first, Sophie is scared because she thinks he is going to hurt her but then she realizes that the giant is actually really friendly, unlike the other giants. The Big Friendly Giant is considered an outcast by the other giants because he refuses to eat children or people as they do. Sophie has an idea to enlist help from Queen Victoria to help keep the Big Friendly Giant safe and capture all the man eating giants from Giant Country. To see how the story unfolds, go see this film.

I appreciate the animations of this film because they are vivid, detailed, realistic and child friendly. The faces and the size of the giants are amazing. I also like this film because of its humor. It is great! I guarantee that this film will make you laugh at some point during the movie. I also like the designs of the scenes. They look extremely realistic - so much so, that you could easily think it is a real place. I love how the characters change throughout the film. However, what I didn't like in this film is that there are a few scenes that are too intense for younger viewers. Also, some scenes got a little boring. But besides that, this film is fantastic.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to kids ages 6 to 18 and I think adults will like this as well. I also recommend this to people who like family, action, adventure and comedy movies. Make sure to see BFG, which opens July 1 in theaters nationwide.

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

This 2016 colorful film based on the book by Roald Dahl is great to watch and gives you a small look into where dreams come from. The 3D effects draws you into the film and make the characters much more fascinating with its depth, texture and a variety of colors.

Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is a young girl that comes in contact with the Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance-Voice) who, in spite of his frightening looks, we find to be a kind and good natured person. He is assumed to be an outcast by the rest of the giants due to his refusal to eat children like they do.

The visuals are obviously something that stand out to me the most. They are clear, bright and engaging. They make the gap between the animated BFG and the real life character of Sophie very small. Steven Spielberg directs this film so, of course it is authentic and believable. It has dark moments that are spread throughout the film that parents should be aware of when taking their young children to see it. This film highlights the admirable qualities of perseverance and bravery as it tells the story of a girl and a giant in a perilous world. My favorite character is the BFG because of his childlike demeanor. His speech brings softness and an innocent aspect to his character which makes him less of a monster and it accentuates how different he is from the rest of the antagonistic Giants. The BGF for the most part focuses on the relationship between Sophie and the Big Friendly Giant, but other characters include Mary (Rebecca Hall), Mr. Tibbs (Rafe Spall), The Queen (Penelope Wilton), and Bloodbottler (Bill Hader).

My favorite scene is when Sophie shoves herself into a disgusting green vegetable to hide from one of the giants. While she tries to get out of it, we see her feet, then her legs and more - covered in a green slimy substance, until she is fully out. This scene brought about sounds of disgust and laughter from the audience. That's why it's my favorite. Actress Ruby Barnhill plays her part extremely well. She acts just like any other ten year old kid with tons of questions and lots of curiosity. She is full of energy. The BFG gears itself towards younger audiences and has a recurring theme about dreams coming true. One of my favorite inspirational quotes by Stephen Spielberg is "I don't dream at night. I dream at day. I dream all day. I'm dreaming for living." That message happens throughout the film as well.

I recommend this great family film for ages 7 to 14 and rate it 4 out of 5 stars. Even though I enjoy watching this film, I do feel that a couple of scenes are too long or unneeded altogether. The BFG opens in theaters on July 1st, so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16



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


FINDING DORY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CHANDLER'S ARK
LANCE DUMAIS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Professional surfer, shaper, and animal lover Scott Chandler sets out on a quest to break the world record for dog surfing. Chandler's Ark shows Scott's journey from constructing his massive fifteen foot board, to practice days at dog beach, all the way to his attempt for the world record in San Deigo, CA. We get a unique inside perspective of the determination it takes when setting out to break a world record and how one boat sized surfboard brought together a team of friends to make it all possible.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What an interesting and entertaining, family-friendly film about Scott Chandler, pro surfer. Watching the World record being attempted and accomplished is ever so inspiring. It shows that you can accomplish things if you keep trying and it has surfing dogs! I found myself rooting for the surfing dogs and the team involved. The music and scenery is stunningly beautiful. If you love surfing, you will love this film! Even if you don't, you will come away feeling inspired. Lot of the action takes place at the beach and it is loaded with visual appeal.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 16 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


ZOOTOPIA (BD/DD/DIGITAL HD/BLU-RAY)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ZOOTOPIA (BD/DD/DIGITAL HD/BLU-RAY)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-15
Topic - Family
Description - From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes a comedy-adventure set in the modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia. Determined to prove herself, Officer Judy Hopps, the first bunny on Zootopia s police force, jumps at the chance to crack her first case even if it means partnering with scam-artist fox Nick Wilde to solve the mystery. Bring home this hilarious adventure full of action, heart and tons of bonus extras that take you deeper into the world of Zootopia. It s big fun for all shapes and species!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From our friends at Walt Disney Animation comes Zootopia, the story about a city of anthropomorphic animals where a fugitive con artist fox and a rookie bunny cop must work together to uncover a conspiracy. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Mia A. comments, "I thoroughly enjoyed Disney's Zootopia because the animation took me into a beautiful world just like ours, but completely filled with animals." Tre'ana H. chimes in with, "I really adored this film because it is very different from any ordinary film. The characters belong to the zoo animals' collection. It is hilarious because all the animals act like humans and engage in everyday, normal conversations like we do." See their full reviews in the kid comments section.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I thoroughly enjoyed Disney's Zootopia because the animation took me into a beautiful world just like ours, but completely filled with animals.

Zootopia is about a bunny named Judy (Ginnifer Goodwin) who grew up on a carrot farm. Judy always wanted to be a cop when she grew up even though she is a bunny and bunnies do not become policemen. She goes to police training and then becomes a cop in Zootopia.

Zootopia is a land where all different types of animals, prey and predators, live together in peace. When Judy gets to Zootopia she is not taken seriously as a Bunny Cop, so Judy has to finish a case in 48 hours or else she resign. She teams up with a fox named Nick (Jason Bateman) to help figure out the case. Will she get taken seriously as a cop and finish the case? You'll have to watch it to find out.

My favorite character in Zootopia is Nick, a clever, funny and mischievous fox. Nick got lots of laughs from the audience and I learned to care about him after his back story was revealed.

My favorite scene is with the sloths. Judy and Nick go to check a license plate and all the workers at the DMV are sloths. The main sloth named Flash (Raymond S. Persi) says everything slowly. Judy is in a big rush and to make the process even slower, Nick tells Flash a joke. This is one of the funniest scenes that got lots of laughs from the audience.

The film's animation is incredible. It's filled with lots of color and creative, minute details. In one scene, Judy travels through the different zones of Zootopia and, in the rainforest zone, it starts raining and the rain hits the train. This scene is filled with detailed colors and light.

Zootopia is a mystery movie, but it is also a comedy. The mystery part of this movie could be scary to little kids because there are dark scenes with intense action and it shows some animals going savage.

There are a couple scenes with nude animals. This isn't that bad because it only shows animals without clothes on. It is funny though because the animals freak out even though, in real life, animals are always "nude".

I rate this movie a 4.5 out of 5 stars because there are some scenes little kids might find scary but everything has a reason even if it doesn't seem important at the time. Since this is a Disney movie, some parents might think it is good for all ages. But, I recommend it for kids age 6 to 15 because of the fear factor. If your kids like mysteries and dark scenes then, that won't be a problem. Go see Disney's Zootopia in theaters near you when it opens March 4.

Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11. Be sure to check out Mia's interview with Animation supervisor Kira Lehtomaki.

I really adored this film because it is very different from any ordinary film. The characters belong to the zoo animals' collection. It is hilarious because all the animals act like humans and engage in everyday, normal conversations like we do. Directors, Byron Howard and Rich Moore have delivered a creative and amazing story filled with imagination.

In the city of Zootopia the animals live a diversified life. They all get along with each other until a plague hits some of the animals and they start to be aggressive with each other. A fugitive con artist / fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) and a rookie bunny cop named Judy Hoops, (Ginnifer Godwin) work together to uncover the conspiracy that is taking over their city. You will not believe the deception that is taking place.

My most memorable scene is when the bunny first goes to Zootopia. I liked this part best because, when she is on the train, you see the entire city of Zootopia. It made me feel like I was part of the scene touring Zootopia with Judy. This section of the filmzootopia.d.jpg shows each part of the city and reveals all the different scenery in each section. This is the coolest scene and is so beautifully detailed.

The setting of this story made me feel like I wanted to be a part of this world of Zootopia. The colors are very bright and it looks like an amusement park with plenty of animals.

The moral message of this film is that you should never let anyone bring you down or stop you from being the person you want to be. People may try to break you down, but you can't let them. You can be whatever you want to be in this world of freedom.

I recommend Zootopia for ages 6 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 Stars because it is child friendly, hilarious, exciting and everyone will enjoy it. This movie opens in theaters Friday, March 4, 2016 so go check it out, you will not be disappointed.

Reviewed by Tre'ana H., age 12.
Runtime: 108 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 22.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURES, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - The Turtles return to save the city from a dangerous threat.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - "Shhhh! You have to sneak up on them." I'm talking as quiet as a ninja because I'm reviewing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows! If you liked the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, then you'd better hurry up and buy tickets for this next movie, because it's even better! This is an action-packed movie with lots of comedy, suspense and thrills. In this film, there are many characters that were in the first TMNT movie as well as the original cartoon such as Shredder and Casey Jones. Bebop and Rocksteady make their first debut in this film and it is a hilarious debut, because the actors who play those characters are very funny.

In this film, Shredder has returned, but this time without a mask. Shredder (Brian Tee) is the evil mastermind that everybody hates. Brian Tee is the perfect actor to play Shredder because he never breaks character and makes the audience believe he is really scary. While Shredder is being transported to prison, many unexpected things happen and the Ninja Turtles go through a lot of trouble to find and defeat him once and for all.

Fenwick (Will Arnett) is the person who takes credit for defeating Shredder in the first movie even though it was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, because the Turtles can't show their faces in public.

Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) is a scientist with a hilarious laugh. Baxter Stockman works with Shredder and the Foot Clan to try and take over the world.

Motion capture is used to create this film which means that the actors put on sensors and the sensors capture their movements and put them onto the screen. So, the film is part animation and part live action. It is nice to see an appearance by Carmelo Anthony, a New York Knicks NBA player because the setting is in New York City and seeing him in Madison Square Garden makes the movie seem even more realistic.

I give this film 5 out of 5 bold stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Adults who liked Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when they were younger will also very much enjoy this film. This film is rated PG-13 for mild profanity and violence.

Reviewed by Na'im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


BEAUTIFUL PLANET, A

BEAUTIFUL PLANET, A       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - An exploration of Earth and beyond as seen from the International Space Station. Narrated by Jennifer Lawrence.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Now playing in IMAX theaters, this film is an exploration of Earth and beyond as seen from the International Space Station. Narrated by Jennifer Lawrence and directed by Toni Myers, it is truly a visual treat and also shows the impact that humans have had on Mother Earth. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Torri P. comments, "Every think looks so realistic. It feels like you are in space with the astronauts. All the pictures are stunning. Plus, all the angles and shots taken are perfect." See her full review in youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A Beautiful Planet is a phenomenal documentary narrated by award winning actress, Jennifer Lawrence. The cinematography is spot-on. Every think looks so realistic. It feels like you are in space with the astronauts. All the pictures are stunning. Plus, all the angles and shots taken are perfect.

This film explores the Earth, as seen from the International Space Station (ISS) by three astronauts apart of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) who spent six months there. They are able to see the effects we humans have made on the planet and explore the galaxy in an attempt to understand the Earth a bit more. At night you can actually see major cities around the world. You also see the different storms taking place on earth. Even though it is not so pleasant when you're on earth experiencing a storm, from space it looks pretty cool! Surprisingly, there are many places that have storms occurring at the exact same time. It is very interesting to watch. Not only do you get to see the beauty of our planet, you also see the wear and tear we have contributed to it. Who would have thought humans would have such an effect!

The astronauts show us what it is like for them to live in space for an extended period of time as they venture out into space and go about their daily activities.

The part I enjoyed the most is seeing the Earth at night. It is so beautiful. You can really see where everything is, from the oceans to the continents. The whole planet is dark but then you see a many lights and even cities. It is breathtaking!

I recommend this move for ages 5 5o 18 and I give it 4 out of 5 golden stars. A Beautiful Planet will be in theaters near you, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Kayla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


KIWI: 20 PHONICS ADVENTURES

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KIWI: 20 PHONICS ADVENTURES
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Topic - Family
Description - In this collection of twenty episodes, Twiki and Twini will take us on adventures to discover new words and new sounds. Each episode features a handful of words spelled out by our friends, Twiki and Twini. Your little one will learn how to spell fun words like "clown" and animal words like "dog". The fun and learning never ends with these two! Get ready to enter into an unexpected universe comprised of sounds, words, and images. Filmed in HD Stop Motion Animation! A cinematic process and technique used to make static objects appear as if they are moving. A technique used in claymation and puppet-based animation.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Great way to learn new language skills! This series features 20 stories following Twiki and Twini, the colorful, claymation Kiwi bird characters who help young children develop language skills using phonics. Each story is simple and to the point. Twiki and Twini present the concepts, sounds and spelling in entertaining ways. Each story introduces new words and can be viewed independently. Each story has a theme with related sounds and words. The menu allows you to select a particular story or view them all. Children 2 to 6 years old will enjoy watching this series and their parents can easily enjoy watching it with the children. Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kiwi: 20 Phonics Adventures is a fun, educational, colorful and well-animated series on DVD that does a good job of teaching young children about phonics and word building.

Kids can learn phonics along with Kiwi birds, Twiki and Twini, as they go on adventures including making a movie and trying to find a magic compass. My favorite episode in this volume, the latest in the Kiwi series, is The Little Robot. Twiki and Twini meet a blue robot in desperate need of energy and they have to go to the moon to find moon rocks to power him.

Another episode I enjoyed is The Magic Compass. The Kiwis find a magic compass that can change the seasons but a mischievous skunk steals it and Twiki and Twini need to find it so they can change the season back.

Each short episode of Kiwi: 20 Phonics Adventures teaches a few words revolving around a specific topic. For instance, one episode centers on housecleaning and another on art. The narrators spell and sound out the words used in each episode and review all of them at the end. Every episode is very playful and bright and the words stay in your mind because they use shapes and objects from the episode's theme to spell out the words on your screen and make it more memorable.

The claymation is very lush and colorful and stands out in this quirky series. The animation brings the kiwi birds to life and, even though they never talk, you understand their personalities and relationship. I really like watching the two buddies, the short, round and sometimes grumpy Twiki and his tall cheery yellow sidekick, the clumsy, easygoing Twini. Fun side characters throughout the series keep the stories lively.

Kiwi: 20 Phonics Adventures was originally a French series and it's fun to spot clues from European culture in the animation in some of the episodes. For example, when showing you how to spell coin, they use European money to make the letter "o."

Kids will have a great time learning about phonics with Twiki and Twini.

I give Kiwi: 20 Phonics Adventures an age rating of 3 to 6 or for anyone trying to learn to read and rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10.
Runtime: 95 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


CAT IN THE HAT, THE: OH SAY, WHAT'S THE WEATHER TODAY?

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT, THE: OH SAY, WHAT'S THE WEATHER TODAY?       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 - It's time to explore and learn further about everybody's favorite topic - the weather! So let's hop on the Thinga-ma-jigger with the Cat in the Hat, Sally, Nick, and our dear friend, Fish. First, we'll travel to Color-ga-lore to meet King Kaleidoscope, an expert on rainbows! We'll discover how to make our very own rainbow and even learn a musical number to remember the proper color order! Then, we'll travel to Huff-Puff-Maguff where there's just so much wind! We'll fly a kite and cool down with the breeze. Next, we're off to Bluey Blue Sky where we figure out the what and why behind the water cycle. Ever seen water vapor rise high into the sky? The weather adventures have just begun so let's hop on the Thinga-ma-jigger and have some fun in the sun!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This Cat in the Hat series is timeless fun for young children and their parents alike. While the age-old characters of Nick, Sally, the goldfish in the bowl and The Cat in the Hat (voiced by Martin Short) are not much different than the Cat in the Hat stories of olden days, the concept of actually being educated while being entertained is new. Children ages 3 to 7 will have fun secretly being taught science facts in the guise of a cartoon. I personally learned some facts about rhinoceroses that I doubt I will be forgetting anytime soon!

The Cat in the Hat Knows A lot About That! does a brilliant job of repeating facts through kid-friendly vocabulary and catchy songs sure to get kids singing along. Between the repetition, the bright colored animation, Martin Short's characterization of The Cat and the memorable music, these episodes have the potential to make a lasting impression on your children. I suspect this will be one DVD they will want to view again and again! The Cat in the Hat Knows A lot About That! receives a rating of 5 out of 5 stars from me. Reviewed by Ruth A., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I think that it is quite funny that the moms let Nick and Sally go everywhere with The Cat in the Hat. I get a little worried about that. That just goes to show how trustworthy the Cat in the Hat is. The moms have to be very trusting to trust a worthy cat like that.

This 90 minute DVD is filled with seven adventures that are all about the weather which effects everyone, every day. I love that it has fun activities for children to do in between the episodes. It easily keeps you focused while teaching you about the weather in a fun and entertaining way.

Dr. Seuss is loved by all children around the world and this DVD is voiced in many different languages. What started out as silly children's book is something that children worldwide now share.

Sometime science can be boring, confusing and seem like a whole different language but now we have The Cat in the Hat making science and weather concepts easy to understand and remember. Learning can be fun and exciting when watching animations that make it easy to remember. I recently interviewed Julie Stall, the producer of this series and she understands what makes children laugh and smile and has done an amazing job bringing Dr. Seuss books to life in over 60 animated episodes.

Martin Short is the cat's meow. He is the voice of The Cat in the Hat and has been in this role for over six years. His ability as a great character actor who can do many voices makes him a perfect fit for this role. I had the pleasure of meeting him in person a short time ago and found him very pleasant, easy to talk to and extremely funny.

I'm so impressed by Alexa Torrington who voices Sally, the cute adorable little girl who goes off on learning adventures with the Cat. She has played the same character for over six years and is now a young adult, yet her voice sounds the same as when she started as a young girl. Sally is kind hearted, curious, clever and loves learning. She is endearing and cute to watch.

Jacob Ewaniuk voices Nick, the little boy who follows the Cat. He has also kept his voice consistent to his character. Nick is inquisitive, humorous and compelling to watch.

I love to learn and this DVD taught me lots of lessons such as how clouds are formed, how wind power works, what the water cycle is and much more. One of the most intriguing lessons on this DVD is Chasing Rainbows because you get to learn two lessons in one. I love rainbows and this entire lesson is all about rainbows and has a catchy song that is still stuck in my head. I learned all about the colors of the rainbow and where they come from.

Of course there is also the Fish voiced by Rob Tinkler. I adore Fish. Fish asks great question that make you think. He should hide the answers and make finding them a little trickier, although they are perfect hiding places for younger children. Then we have the cutest thing ever - Thing One and Thing Two. They always seem to be helpful and ready for The Cat in the Hat's whistle to lend a helping hand. All three of these characters add a little something to this series and they are all adorable, quirky, humorous sidekicks for The Cat in the Hat.

I recommend this series to ages 3 to 12. Younger kids will love the animation. Older kids will have science lessons reinforced and fun, cute cartoons to watch. I rate this 5 out of 5 Thinga-ma-jigger red and white top-hat stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


MIRACULOUS: TALES OF LADYBUG & CAT NOIR

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MIRACULOUS: TALES OF LADYBUG & CAT NOIR       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 6-11
Topic - Family
Description - Marinette and Adrien, two seemingly normal kids live what appears to be an ordinary teen life in Paris with daily encounters that create amusing circumstances in school, with friends, family, and even with strangers. But when the evil Hawk Moth threatens their beloved city of Paris, they transform into the superheroes Ladybug and Cat Noir using super powers gained with the help of their magical friends. Hawk Moth is using his evil energy to transform normal people into super villains, so our two heroes need to use all their skills to defeat him.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This show is about two best friends that are in school together, they become superheroes known as Ladybug and Cat Noir. I like this series. I find it to be very cute with all of its clever puns and adorable outfits and it's also full of friendly values such as sticking together through thick and thin and keeping each others secrets. It really makes you want to be a superhero as well. However, there is one thing I had an issue with and that is the voices and the moving mouths which do not always match up. I also don't care for the transformation scenes where the girls change into their outfits. I hope the make more episodes in the future though as the good outweighs the negative. I recommend this series for ages 6 to 13 and give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Miraculous is a very fun series about two friends who lead normal lives during the day and then transform into superheroes with many skills. The kids watching this video ranged in ages from 3 to 11 and they loved it! The characters are fun and sassy which keeps the attention of the older kids. The younger kids liked the fast-paced storyline and vibrant colors of the cartoon. There are "good guys" and "bad guys" that the children could easily identify and root for. Some of the ideas are new and innovative making it interesting for parents to watch too!

Reviewed by Hanna M., KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 132 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-11
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


MACK & MOXY: THE GREAT HELPEE HEROES

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MACK & MOXY: THE GREAT HELPEE HEROES       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 - Join Mack, a loveable, moose-like lummox, and Moxy, a feisty whirlwind of a raccoon/fox go-getter, on four exciting adventures! Together with a helpful Trooper, Mack & Moxy set out to rescue another Great Helpee in a far off mystical place called HelpeeLand. Along the way, Mack & Moxy meet a new Friend in Need who ends up teaching us a new important cause. Let's embark on the first adventure! Mack & Moxy set out on a colorful adventure to HelpeeLand in search of a Great Helpee. Along the way, they met Nolie, a loveable little puffball who has never had any friends to play with. As the Heroes become her first friends, they share and sing about the joys of reading books. Guest celebrity, Josh Duhamel (Transformers, All My Children), helps the Heroes' mission in support of Save the Children, providing quality preschool programs to underserved children around the world since 1932. In this DVD, Mack & Moxy introduces us to Save the Children, American Red Cross, Feeding America, and World Wildlife Fund. Other guest celebrities featured include Kal Penn (House M.D., How I Met Your Mother) and Eva LaRue (CSI Miami, All My Children). Mack & Moxy teaches children life-long lessons of charity and compassion while celebrating the joy of helping others.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Mack & Moxy is very colorful and has a great message for youngsters ages 3 to 8. The show uses consistency and repetition to attract and hold your attention. Each segment begins with a bit of fun and then the "alert" sounds and lets them know that it is time to rescue a "helpee." One of the wonderful things about this show is how it models very clearly friendship and teamwork along with helping others in order to be successful and create happiness all around you. I think Mack & Moxy can motivate children to participate in activities in their neighborhood, help with food pantries, spread the word about being prepared for fire and other emergencies. Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Children love to help and this TV show, available now on DVD, is a fabulous way to get little ones involved in the world. It was intriguing and educational to watch.

Humanitarian - Wow! A 12 letter giant word! It means so many things and can be over-whelming and confusing. Thank goodness we have Mack and Moxy to help kids', ages 3 to 8 understand this word. It doesn't take much. It's all the little things that add up to make you a great humanitarian.

Brahm Wenger and Alan Green are good friends who started this great concept of getting our next generation involved in being kind to others. They give them the tools to become helpful, happy passionate people. Kindness and compassion taught at a young ages will stay with kids forever.

I am eleven and I found myself doing a conga line and singing "Get low and go." This is just one of the many lessons taught on this adorable DVD. It has cute, catchy songs after each episode and the lyrics are printed on the bottom of the screen. So, get ready for a sing-a-long.

I am a big Super Hero fan but most of them are a little too much for little ones with their complicated story lines and, of course, scary villains. Mack and Moxy are the perfect Super Heroes to teach little ones how they can become Super Heroes at any age.

I love the episode "A Friend Who Reads is a Friend Indeed." I belong to LA Book Pals and we go to schools and read stories to children who they love it. The books I pick out are usually fun and interesting which makes the children want to read along. Save the Children is a wonderful organization which does so much for children around the world with a simple goal of helping kids to read. It is a small step that anyone can take towards becoming a great humanitarian.

The setup of the show is eye catching and keeps your attention with its live action, animations and fun graphics. Mack and Moxy's colorful, zany, live-action puppets are a great addition. Then, a real celebrity "Admiral" adult sends them on a mission along with a real kid and an adorable "helpee" to save the day. They enter into a colorful, animated cartoon to help someone in need. When they return to reality, they share a song.

Next, there are real life stories about people who have been helped by various charities. World Wildlife Fund, Save the Children, American Red Cross and Feeding America are featured and more organizations are slat for future shows. The real people and stories are my favorite parts because they are what help connect us all. We are all in this world together and it is our duty to care for each other.

It is refreshing to see celebrities such as Josh Duhamel, Kal Penn and Eve LaRue take part in a children's show about helping others. I adore Rachel Ray and she is also included in this TV series. Shellfish Sheldon (Hank Azara) is another voice you are sure to recognize. It is great to have a lot of money and fame but by touching others with kindness, compassion and caring, you become rich in your heart and soul.

I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 8 and give it 5 out of 5 Helping Hug stars. Be careful, your children might be so inspired they will have you doing humanitarian deeds with them. I hope this will spark up ideas for children. This DVD is in stores now so, be sure to check it out.

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

The Mack & Moxy: The Great Helpee Heroes DVD is great! It is as entertaining as it is educational. I learned a lot about different ways to care for others, compassion, important causes and the joy of helping others. In short, I learned what it is to be a humanitarian.

This DVD features four different episodes from the new children's TV show, Mack & Moxy. In each episode the main characters go to Helpee Land to save a "Great Helpee" from evil Shelfish Sheldon. This greedy character wants to steal all the happiness in the world just for himself.

On their journey, they always meet a friend in need who introduces them to a new and important cause. For example, in "Feeding Rainbow" we learn about the charity organization, "Feeding America" that provides hunger-relief through food banks/pantries for those who can't afford to purchase their own food. In the episode "Always be Prepared," we learn the importance of Emergency Preparedness and about the American Red Cross organization. Basically, we learn things about what to do in scary situations such as, if there is a fire, we should not grab a thing, "get low and go" and have a plan of action.

My favorite episode is a "Ty-Grrrr's Tale" because it is about saving tigers and I love animals. We also learn about the World Wildlife Fund that helps raise awareness and money to help and protect animals.

I love that each episode has a special celebrity guest. My favorite actor on this DVD is, Josh Duhamel who plays the Admirable in the episode, "Save The Children." He reminds us the importance of early education. I really like Josh because he's funny and entertaining.

The message of this DVD, like the show, is about inspiring children to become great humanitarians.

I actually had an opportunity to visit a live taping of the show and interview both the creator of the show, Brahm Wenger and Kelly McQuinn, the Co-Executive Producer. One of the things they shared was that the show teaches children in the language that they know. They explained that this is done with the show's bright colored characters, fun music, songs, dance and awesome stories that teach humanitarian lessons. They also shared how excited they are to be part of America's first kid's TV show about causes.

I believe 3 to 8-year-olds will really like this DVD and TV show with its adventurous stories, fun music and lively characters. I give the show five out of five stars, or should I say humanitarian stars. Finally, I hope that you too will find a cause from this DVD or in your own life that inspires you to become one of the next generation's great humanitarians. This DVD is available in stores on May 24, 2016 so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 8.

I like this show because it shows compassion while celebrating the happiness of others. I try to demonstrate this in my everyday life by helping friends when they need help and giving to the needy and donating clothes. I love the musical songs and that the animated characters speak throughout the whole film. The director explains this film as a child-friendly way of raising the next generations of humanitarians.

This animated series combines action, adventure and comedy. The colorful characters will stimulate children's imaginations and draw them into this fascinating, fairy land world.

This movie is about Mack, a lovable, moose-like lummax and Moxy, a feisty whirlwind of a raccoon/fox go-getter who set out on adventures. One day their operator, Admiral Josh puts them on an assignment to solve a case and get a baby animal from the animation world. The operator accompanies a little hunter girl to help find the baby animal, but they are transformed in the animation world to find the baby animal. After the recovery of the baby animal, they go back to real life world. I can't reveal any more.

My favorite part is when the moose and the raccoon go to save the baby animal in the animation world. I like this part because, it is so cool to see the animation world and all this fairy dust in the sky and around the characters.

The message of this film is to teach children life-long lessons about giving, to be understanding of different situations and to help others all around the world. Mack and Moxy are noted as the great helpee heroes.

I recommend this movie for ages 3 to 5 because it is educational, informative and gives children a sense of humaneness. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars because, it does get a bit boring at times. But, the meaning of the film is awesome. I definitely believe that children from 3 to 5 will enjoy it. This DVD is available now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Tre'ana H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


SID THE SCIENCE KID: INVENT & INVESTIGATE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SID THE SCIENCE KID: INVENT & INVESTIGATE
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-6
Topic - Family
Description - Sid the Science KidTM is an inquisitive little boy who uses comedy to tackle questions kids have about basic scientific principles. Why do things work the way they do? He tries to answer each question and solve problems with the help of Teacher Susie, Sid's family as well as his classmates, May, Gerald and Gabriela. In this third volume, Sid and his friends learn all about simple machines, how animals communicate, the importance of dirt, what makes leaves special, bugs and more! Let's invent and investigate with our favorite scientist, Sid the Science Kid!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This animated show features a curious young boy named Sid who has many questions about the world around him. It follows a format where Sid encounters a new concept in the morning, goes to school where he meets his friends and they learn about the science surrounding this new concept. In the episodes I watched, these included the wheel, incline plane and levers. While the animation and comedy are corny at best, there is definitely tangible educational and scientific benefits to be gained. I recommend this for ages 2 to 6 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael O., KIDS FIRST! Juror

Sid the Science Kid has always been a favorite amongst small children and their parents. Sid has taught my children so much and practical things that help them understand the world around them. This title does exactly that and is very similar to the episodes that are shown on PBS. Sid is very respectful to his parents, baby sister, friends and teachers. Everyone around him encourages asking questions and opening their minds to learning new things. The catchy tune in the beginning is fun too. Overall kids will love this title and parents will love how unique it is compared to other shows for this intended age group.

Reviewed by Hanna M., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Sid is a hit! Younger kids really enjoyed the first episode of Sid the Science Kid which is about wheels, what they do and how they are useful. These kids immediately became excited to see Sid as they regularly watch his show on PBS. Older children were expecting more and though they were engaged in watching the episode they were not as satisfied with this episode however, when told they didn't have to watch the whole show they did not want to stop watching! Both older and younger children loved the music in the video. The title song is catchy and the wheels song brought older kids to watch who originally didn't want to, along with the Big Idea.

Reviewed by Hanna M's youth jury
Runtime: 220 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


DINO DAN: DINO BABIES

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DINO DAN: DINO BABIES       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 junior dinosaur expert Trek Henderson as he imagines dinosaurs into the real world! Trek is amazed when he sees an Edmontosaurus laying her egg in a Triceratop's nest. With his friends' help, Trek learns that some animals will lay their eggs in the nests of animals that can do a better job of protecting their babies. Then, before Grandma heads south for the winter, she and Trek create a comic book about three pterosaur babies who get lost on their migration south and the cave-people superheroes that save them: Tyrannosaurus Trek and Quetza Grandma! Embark on these dino baby adventures and more with Trek and friends!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed the way this DVD uses CGI of dinosaurs in the story. This show is truly entertaining and educational. It is very colorful and teaches a great deal about dinosaurs and how they live in their environment. We learn all about several species of dinosaurs - Edmontosaurus, Triceratops, Brachiosaurus and Spinosaurus. Trek teaches us about what they eat, how they care for their babies, how their foot prints give paleontologist information about how they lived and more. It is also quite entertaining in the way Trek's imagination put the dinosaurs into the world now.

Dino Babies uses great story lines in each episode. I enjoyed the way each episode has a real life familiarity. For example "Switched at Nest" tells us how dinos care for not only their young but other species young. "Dino Tooth Fairy" examines the various species teeth. The vocabulary and material are very well suited for the intended age group and they do a great job explaining terms and answering why dinosaurs do the things they do. I enjoyed the introduction of each episode with a situation that causes Trek to work on the solution and, in the process, he uncovers information about dinosaurs that he shares with the audience.

We see many positive role models. Trek and his friends demonstrate a friendship and willingness to work together on their school project. They all recognize Trek's expertise when it comes to Dinosaurs.

This is exceptionally well produced. It has excellent options on the menu that are easy to use, allowing you to view all episodes or select a specific chapter.

I definitely give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12.

Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! Juror

This is such a cool video! There are real people and real sets with animated dinosaurs in them. The storyline includes great real life lessons including planting trees and gardening. The human characters also talk about dinosaurs so kids can learn details about the different types of dinosaurs. There were a few scary instances with larger dinosaurs and confrontation but they were resolved peacefully. The transitioning from real sets with animated dinosaurs and full animation keeps the interest level high. The sound effects of the dinosaurs and high energy music also helps to keep one engaged. Overall, loved this title and how a wide range of kids would also enjoy watching fun human characters interact with these extinct creatures.

Reviewed by Hanna M., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - There are a bunch of Dinosaur movies, TV shows and cartoons but it is rare to see real life like Dinosaurs. I found this collection to be entertaining and educational. Each episodes features a different dinosaur and you get to see what a real one would look like and learn different traits about them.

The dinosaurs are fascinating. Adult dinosaurs would be very expensive to feed and way too hard to keep confined so, they roam the neighborhood. Ok, don't worry, they are friendly.

Trek, the little boy whose these adventures are about, only keeps adorable baby dinosaurs in his back yard. His Mom tries to make sure to always have dino treats on hand so Trek can use the food to figure out different things about dinosaurs. Can they fly? Do they eat eggs? What is their favorite thing to eat? What do their foot prints look like?

Getting foot prints from a dinosaur takes a lot of hard work and "Dino Footprints" was my favorite episode. I watched the various ideas Trek used to get foot prints and found them very humorous. Hanna and her Dad help him look like a dinosaur that is a predator. The predator then gives chase and tricks the other dinosaurs into stepping into the clay and thereby, making a foot print.

My favorite character is Trek Henderson because he is hilarious. Trek is also kind, smart and curious. He has all the traits that everyone should have. I also love the fact that he cares about the different dinosaurs and their families. He has the cutest backpack that looks just like a dinosaur. This back pack will be on my birthday list this year. Trek is very creative. When he doesn't have Dino bait, he puts his head together and finds a way to make some.

My favorite dinosaur is the baby Plesiosaur. Plesiosaur dinosaurs swim in cold water. This is another adorable baby dinosaur that is so cute and I wish I could have one as a pet. I already have a fish tank that she could live in. This dinosaur is also my favorite color - blue. It is just meant to be and I would name her Annalisa.

I recommend this DVD for ages 4 to 11.It is easy to watch although older kids might want more factual content and drama to keep them interested. I give this 4.5 out of 5 Roaring Dino egg stars. This DVD collection of eight episodes is brought to you by N Circle Entertainment and is available in stores on May 3, 2016 so, go check it out.

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

Kids ranging from 3 to 10 liked this video because the animation of the dinosaurs is amazing and almost believable. The storyline is fun and the kids' attention did not wander. Seeing different animated dinosaurs was quite intriguing to the kids. They liked the scenes with dinosaurs the best as opposed to human characters. When the film went to complete animation the kids became more excited in anticipation that the story would get even better. A wide age range of kids enjoyed watching this title immensely from 3 to 10.

Reviewed by Hanna M.'s youth jury
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-10
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


RATCHET & CLANK

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
RATCHET & CLANK       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Ratchet and Clank tells the story of two unlikely heroes as they struggle to stop a vile alien named Chairman Drek from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy. When the two stumble upon a dangerous weapon capable of destroying entire planets, they must join forces with a team of colorful heroes called The Galactic Rangers in order to save the galaxy. Along the way they'll learn about heroism, friendship, and the importance of discovering one's own identity
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love the animated movie Ratchet & Clank which is based on the popular Play Station video game. From the beginning to the end, the film kept me on the edge of my seat, as it is an adventurous, funny, heartwarming and witty story. One of the funniest scenes is when Dr. Nefarious shoots Chairman Drek with a laser gun and turns him into a sheep.

The story follows the main character, Ratchet who wants to be a member of the famously respected Galactic Rangers team but unfortunately, is told he doesn't have the right "stuff." According to Captian Qwark, Ratchet may have heart but physically just doesn't measure up as he is too small. However, Ratchet meets and names a robot Clank who is similarly small and both human and robot not only become the best of friends but a powerful duo. Together they make it their mission to try to save the Solana Galaxy from the evil Chairman Drek.

My favorite part of the story is when we learn the robot doesn't measure up to his own kind. In fact, he is considered a "defect" to be terminated because he's small, thinks for himself and doesn't want to hurt humans but wants to help them.

I particularly enjoyed all the various voices talent for the animated characters. My favorite is that of Ratchet's and I was fortunate enough to personally meet and interview both James Arnold Taylor and Bella Thorne (the voices of Ratchet and Cora) immediately following the movie screening. I loved seeing how their actual facial characteristics and physical mannerisms are incorporated into their animated on-screen film characters.

There's not just one moral to this movie but three stand out in my mind. First, is to always believe in yourself and never give up. Second, as told to Ratchet, "To be a hero you don't have to do big things just right things." Third, if the right thing requires you to do the wrong thing then probably the right thing is the wrong thing to do. I love these golden nuggets that make the characters seem very real as cleverly penned by the director, Kevin Munroe.

All ages will like Ratchet &Clank and it's particularly well suited for ages 5 to 12. There's no bad language that make it appropriate for young audiences. The sophisticated storyline, fun adventure, basic struggle of good vs. evil and plenty of twists and turns will appeal to more mature audience, as well. It's also a story about two underdogs who together try to rise to the challenge. Do they succeed? Well, you'll have to see the movie to find out!

Finally and on a personal note, I just love the relationship between Ratchet and Clank - two orphans in the universe finding each other and creating a lasting bond. Together the dynamic human and robot duo try to do the right thing in the right way.

I can't wait until the sequel or maybe even a TV series. I give this film 5 out of 5 galactic stars. Go see this movie. You're going to love it!

Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 8.

I was very entertained watching Ratchet and Clank, which is a CG animated movie based on the iconic PlayStation video game. Its animations are delightful and it has a great plot. Ratchet and Clank prove that, if you want to do something, it is not the size of the individual that matters it's the heart!

In this movie, we meet Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor) who is the last of his kind, a foolhardy "lombax" who has grown up alone and dreams of being a Galactic Ranger, a well known hero. When he meets Clank (David Kaye), a small-sized robot who helps him accomplish his dream. Together they join forces with a team of interesting heroes called The Galactic Rangers in order to save every planet in the Solana Galaxy from being destroyed by the alien, Chairman Drek. I enjoyed this movie and I think other kids will enjoy this film.

I loved watching this movie because the CG animation is amazing and the colors are very vivid and rich. The characters look great. It looks very child-friendly for younger audiences. I was satisfied with the comedy, because the jokes are funny and some of them are related to technology in our everyday lives. I enjoyed the plot of the movie because it tells a wonderful story of Ratchet and Clank without doing a disservice to the franchise. I also loved the voice acting performances of Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Bella Thorne, Rosario Dawson, Jim Ward, James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Armin Shimerman and Sylvester Stallone. They all give stellar performances suitable for their characters. This movie also has a nice pace. It's not rushed and doesn't drag either. I can't say anything negative I have to say about this film.

This movie has messages about friendship, heroism, discovering one's identity and the importance of listening to each other. It also shows that you should think before you act. These lessons can help kids learn about the importance of listening and understanding.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 4 to 18. I think adults might like this as well. I also recommend it to people who like family, action, adventure, movies based on video games and comedy movies. It's in theaters April 29, so make sure you go see it with your kids.

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

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


ABC MONSTERS: STARRING IJKL

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ABC MONSTERS: STARRING IJKL       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 - Twenty six cuddly ABC Monsters live within the walls of Capital Castle. Each monster represents a letter of the alphabet. Now should any of the monsters go missing for longer than a day, all the letters will be wiped clean from every book in Capital Town! So it s very important to make sure that all the ABC Monsters are safely back in Alphabet Gardens before the sun goes down. However, this isn't as easy as it sounds. The ABC Monsters are always curious and happy creatures so they tend to wander off from Alphabet Gardens and get lost in the process. In this DVD, embark on adventures to find the letters I, J, K, and L! On an icy cold day, monster I goes missing. Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry need to find him soon especially since the weather is supposed to get even colder! Will they be able to find him on this icy cold day? Then, Cherry Berry wants to enter the Jester Jamboree but in order to win it she feels like she needs to perform something nobody has ever seen before. However, at this same time, J monster goes missing. So once again, Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry go off to find J monster. Where could she have gone? These fun educational adventures continue with finding K and L. Will Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry be able to get all four letter monsters back to Capital Castle before the sun goes down? Find out!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The concept of the alphabet monsters is a very fun one. The story is engaging and despite that the DVD is for younger kids the older kids enjoy it as well, singing along and watching. Younger kids sing along with the alphabet song. Although this is an educational video, the kids are none the wiser. To them, it's entertainment. Reviewed by Julie A., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Even though I am much older than the target audience for this show, I must say that the this DVD excels at introducing letters of the alphabet while making it fun and interesting. Throughout the different episodes and stories, there is letter recognition, spelling and the opportunity to write out each letter. These are just a few of the learning mechanisms contained in this volume.

This particular volume focuses on the letters I, J, K and L. Of course, it is very informative with these letters of the alphabet and, at the same time entertains little ones in this aspect of early language learning. The story revolves around the letters missing. They are nowhere to be found. The family and friends of the people that live in Capital Castle must solve riddles and clues to find these missing letters, one episode at a time.

It has many different bright colors which are visually fun and catch the attention of young viewers. The sing along songs are enjoyable and, at the beginning of every episode, I found myself singing the opening song. I enjoyed the songs and like how they transition from one letter to the next as well. My favorite character is the Princess because she is very optimistic and curious - things I relate to. She just wants to know stuff. My favorite episode is "L" mostly because I enjoyed the word choices. Each episode leaves you with wanting more and more. One facet of this show that I don't particularly like is the length. Each episode is about 30 minutes which, in my opinion, is a bit too long to focus on one letter and just three words associated with it.

Parents, this is a great tool to help you introduce your preschooler to words and phonics. You can even watch it with them and show how excited you are when they are learning. Learning is exciting and fun and this is a great age to do so. I recommend this DVD for ages 2 to 5 and give it 3� out of 5 stars due to its length and limited word choice. It is a great learning DVD for preschoolers and I'm sure the little ones will truly have fun and enjoy it.

ABC Monsters: Adventures in Alphabet Gardens! Starring IJKL is available now DVD, so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


NEW HOME FOR CHARLIE THE CHOCOLATE CHIHUAHUA, A

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEW HOME FOR CHARLIE THE CHOCOLATE CHIHUAHUA, A       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FAT RED COUCH
Series: APP, AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - Small is the New Big! Read, Watch, Play, Create, and Discover with Charlie the Chocolate Chihuahua! It isn't easy being little, but it sure is fun! Charlie the Chocolate Chihuahua is a tiny dog in a big world! Help Charlie find his way in his new home with this engaging, fun, and thoughtful family entertainment that will inspire creativity.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This app offers two major games and a reading comprehension section. Charlie, a Chihuahua, is in his new home and learns to get along with the two other dogs who are already live there as part of the family, as well as relating to other animals including a squirrel and birds though this is quite minimal. A jigsaw puzzle section featuring Charlie in various settings can become quite challenging and represents the most likely part children would return to.

It is very bright and colorful, fun to use and has exceptional audio quality. The games are slightly challenging. They use audio reinforcement nicely as one solves the small challenges. However, after a few times playing the games, a child could lose interest as the challenge lacks depth.

The navigation could be a bit clearer. To get back to the home page, you have to move your finger (on iPad) to the top left corner to make the icon for Charlie re-appear. In the reading section, you need to swipe up on the bottom to get arrows to direct you back. I found it a bit confusing.

In the Reading Comprehensive section, there is conflict between one large dog and a squirrel and the lesson learned seems out of context. The animation is basic but smooth and definitely colorful. The sound is great, very clear and makes use of a variety of voice types.

There is little entertainment value but the educational benefits include concentration skills that can be developed with the jigsaw puzzle. The social benefits are minimal as the lessons learned in the reading section are so basic and not always convincing based on the story. Interestingly, it is mentioned that Charlie is a rescued dog. This idea could have been explored further to give more depth to the story. Of course, the reading section itself is helpful for young readers and allows for users to be read to or to read by themselves. I recommend it for ages 5 to 7. REviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A New Home for Charlie the Chocolate Chihuahua is an exciting app that makes use of really cool visuals and sound effects (including voice acting). It is an easy to use app that makes use of colored buttons to assist in navigating it. This app contains a selection of things to do that I think kids between the ages of 5 and 9 would really enjoy, these include stories to read, videos to watch, games to play, and artwork to create. All of these have an emphasis on exploration and creativity. I think that it is a great app for younger children with the only downside being occasional performance issues that I experienced, including lag.

There is a ton of variety for kids to enjoy in this app. There are things to read, videos to watch, games to play, and artwork to create. This extensive content for kids to explore is complete with enjoyable graphics, artwork, and animation.

I believe a child would enjoy this because it features a loveable cast of dogs (and who doesn't like dogs) that are created using impressive visuals. The user also gets to interact with these dogs in ways that are kid friendly such as games and videos.

This app features a simple, but effective user interface that uses colored icons to help navigate. The content is definitely suited to the audience with appropriate vocabulary and concepts. The characters portray characteristics that show positive values of friendship and cooperation. When there is conflict, the characters work together to resolve it. They definitely are uplifting and positive.

The app offers a collection of learning opportunities for children to read, watch informative videos, play games and use their imagination creatively. Reviewed by Michael O., KIDS FIRST! Juror

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-9
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: App


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BOX, THE
ISAIAH FERGUSON
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - A boy's imagination takes him places when he discovers an ordinary cardboard box in the streets of his neighborhood.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wonderfully executed short that explores the world of imagination beyond the box. Every child loved to play in boxes when they were younger and this tween/teen takes it to a new level. Delightful. Recommended for ages 5 to 18.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
INSTA TREE, THE
ISAIAH FERGUSON
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - An animated "commercial" that advertises an all new growing alternative to vegetation.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short student makes a wonderful spoof about growing alternatives to actual vegetation. I love its tongue in cheek nature and the perfectly executed animation. Recommended for ages 5 to 18.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


MAN'S BEST FRIEND

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MAN'S BEST FRIEND
ROB SPRACKLING
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - 10 year old Zach loves his football - and his football loves him back. They enjoy playing in the garden, going to the park and spending time together, just like a boy with a faithful dog. But when his ball gets lost, Zach must team up with his neglected Mum, to find his best friend. In doing so, Zach and his Mum re-find each other.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - They say a picture is worth a thousand words well, this short animated moving picture must be worth a million words then! The expressiveness of the actors certainly deliver the emotions of this storyline in a fashion that you cannot miss. The animations of the ball/s are only surpassed by the young boy whose love for his soccer ball goes without saying. Mum holds her own, particularly when it comes to finding the ball when it goes missing. Charming, recommended for ages 5 to 12. Older kids and adults will enjoy it too. I can't wait to see more from this filmmaking team.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


MOUNTAIN PONY

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MOUNTAIN PONY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
MOUNTAIN PONY PRODUCTIONS
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - This is a digital storybook with a soundtrack CD. The story is about a singing pony and his band who travel through the Old West, and through time, seeking adventure, knowledge, and their next gig.

Jobey is the band's leader. A true wandering spirit, Jobey has an insatiable appetite for new places and the ability to write and sing beautiful songs at the drop of a ten-gallon hat. Jobey's bandmates and two best friends are Sly, a guitar-slinging cowboy who acts as the narrator, and Rocco, a brilliant raccoon who not only plays drums for the band, but also designed the time machine that sends them soaring across space and time.

They all embark on magical adventures where they discover the meaning of life, play toe tappin' music, make new friends and learn about history. Available on the app store: https://appsto.re/us/bwzt_.i??
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What a fun story with cute, creative characters, an interesting storyline and a bit of stealth learning. The artwork truly brings the story to life and entertain younger children. It has entertainment value in addition to educational value and teaches history in a fun way. The easy to read story follows a very likable singing pony and his band, including a fun raccoon. The band travels throughout the old west and through time. Children will enjoy the characters and learning about their adventures. I recommend this ages 4 to 8. The soundtrack is also fun to sing along with and features the catchy Mountain Pony theme song. It's lively, fun to dance and sing along to and is quite catchy. I also recommend the CD for ages 4 to 8 and give it 4 out of 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - "Howdy y'all!" I'm talking like a cowboy today because I'm reviewing a storybook app called Mountain Pony and the main character is a cowboy. This book is available on the App Store for iPads and is about Sly and his friends. They are trying to get to a music festival in 1969 but they are in 1869 and they have a solar-powered time machine that's broken, so their mechanic has to fix it. They go on a very exciting adventure to get to 1969. They sing a lot of songs along the way which I found very interesting. I would recommend watching the first two or three chapters and then taking a break and coming back because, sitting through five chapters might be a little long. I recommend this for kids ages 4 to 8 and give it 3 out of 5 stars because, some parts get a little slow for older kids.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 1.99
Media: Book


OTTER OF THE UNDERGROUND

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
OTTER OF THE UNDERGROUND
CHRISTINA BENENATI
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - When their gold mine experiences a mysterious power outage, Otter and Mole's journey to restore the mine spirals into a wild adventure. Director Bio: Christina Jean Benenati is a story developer, fabricator, and animator. She recently graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in May 2015, with a degree in Film & Television and a focus in Animation. She is currently working as a Puppet Fabricator at Laika Inc. Christina has always enjoyed making art and began her storytelling adventures at an early age. She has a strong interest in creating children's media and particularly enjoys stop-motion animation. Her film, Otter of the Underground, was completed for her advanced senior project at NYU.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Shiver me timbers! Watch out for the unusual suspects! This short piece has fantastic puppets and sets, great background music and sound effects and a cute storyline. I love Otter and Mole. They are adorable with great voices. Beet makes a perfect villain as well. Great addition to any children or family film festival. Accepted.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


JAMMIES, TEETH, PRAYERS & BED

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
JAMMIES, TEETH, PRAYERS & BED
T. GREG MERRION
Series: SHORT, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - This short, animated film is about the trials a dad experiences trying to put his four kids to bed one evening.

Director's statement: This is a fun, rhyming, animated short that young parents and their children will relate to very well. Instead of plopping in the recliner to work his crossword puzzle, relax and visit with his wife, this young father ends up spending the entire evening putting his kids to bed... and he wouldn't change it for anything in the world!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Fun! This first-time filmmaker delivers a charming animated film about something any parent or kid can relate to - bedtime! The narration in iambic pentameter tells a loving story by a busy parent and rings true of how crazy parenting can be. The 2D animation reminds me of Sunday morning cartoons in its simplicity and straightforwardness. Nice addition to a family film festival. Recommended.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


BIG ENERGY DEBATE, THE / EL FUTURO DEL C�MBIO CLIM�TICO

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BIG ENERGY DEBATE, THE / EL FUTURO DEL C�MBIO CLIM�TICO
JAVIER ANGELES
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - During recess, three little kids discuss about their recent lecture about renewable energy. Each with their own particular understanding.

Director's Statement: I direct and produce this film to try to make an impact in the audiences about renewable energy and the cost of having fossil fuels as one of the main energy sources and its cost. From Mexico. In English, also available in Spanish
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Well done and addresses an important environment issue. The characters are cute and charming. I was surprised at their British accents since the filmmaker is from Mexico City. The 2D animation is well executed although the colors seemed quite muted. I highly recommend this for a youth film festival, especially for younger kids.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


AWESOME BEETLE'S COLORS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
AWESOME BEETLE'S COLORS
JANIS ZARZECKIS
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 2-7
Topic - Family
Description - A short, fun and educative plasticine animation. A nearly impossible story, supported by a catchy melody, guides us through the ABCs. There are many letters in the Alphabet and in the process of learning they are usually linked to nouns. The filmmakers have created a link between all the letters of the Alphabet using nouns, adjectives and verbs. Most importantly, this offers visual, audial and kinesthetic associations that help children in the process of learning. Children's brains will make the necessary connections on their own and complicated things will be learned easily and effortlessly. In Latvia all kids have learned the alphabet by the Latvian counterpart of "Awesome Beetle's Colors", written by the artist Indra Sproge who is the director of this new animation. This project is now available in English so that children all over the world can learn Alphabet with great fun and ease! From Latvia. Film language: English.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The most appealing thing about this short is the claymation which is bright, cute, catchy and fun. The song is also appealing and sticks in your brain. I was a bit confused about what this film was about in the beginning. There is nothing that explains it is an ABC song. But, once I got this, I was on board. There are a couple words that might be a bit out of range for the audience of this film but, overall I think it is very suitable for the intended audience. The song is very catchy. Aside from a fuzzy scene in the beginning everything looks great. It is very entertaining above all other things and educational. I recommend this to kids ages 2 to 7 because of its entertainment value and because I personally enjoyed it. This short film originates from Latvia but it is all done in English. This could make a fun interstitial for a film festival.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


GONE WITH THE TIME

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GONE WITH THE TIME
AMOPIX
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Gone with the time humorously tells the story of two archeologists sent out to a site to carry out a thorough analysis. Their investigation leads them to the remains of a 2500-year-old Gallic village.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A brilliantly animated overview of archeological studies that serves as an introduction to school aged kids to this field of science. Filled with humor and a silly chicken, the student filmmaker has created a short that will hold the interest of kids while they're learning about this field of study. Produced in France with English dialogue. Highly recommended for a student or youth film festival for ages 6 to 12.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see youth comments
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


POLKA DOTT

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
POLKA DOTT
CPCOLLABORATIONS
Series: SHORT, AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - Dott has a wild and wonderful imagination. She likes to be silly and she enjoys a good homonym. She can "knot" say "know" to ice cream. Sometimes she imagines being a very spoiled princess. Occasionally she plays the flute with a hummingbird. Every so often she floats like a mermaid up into a tree. Then Dott gets another idea: How about a party? Dott and all her friends gather to dance the afternoon away!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This fun and imaginative film stars a charming young girl playfully teasing us with homonyms and silliness, ending with a dancing party with her friends. Sweet little short that would be perfect as an interstitial for any youth or family film festival. Recommended for ages 5 to 8.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 6.5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


LILY'S DRIFTWOOD BAY: MEET LILY

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LILY'S DRIFTWOOD BAY: MEET LILY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - Meet Lily!� Lily is five years old and lives with her dad in a little hut on the beach.� Across the way is Driftwood Bay - the island that Lily can see from her window, and it is here that the characters that she has created in her imagination come to life.� Every day the sea washes up a new treasure which sparks Lily's imagination about what might be happening on Driftwood Bay.� Accompanied by her best friend, Gull, the clever seagull, a new adventure begins as they go across the way to Driftwood Bay.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Lily's Driftwood Bay is an enjoyable and creative DVD that kids will love to watch. It takes place on a beach where Lily lives with her father. Lily dumps out a bag of shells and rocks in the intro and arranges them to make her own little friends, who then come alive to interact with her in her own imaginary "Driftwood Bay" island. My favorite thing about this show is the animation. It's unique and it took a little bit to get used to, but I love its creativity. The rock and shell characters incorporate the actual textures of the objects they are made of in their designs. It makes the show very interesting visually. Lily has a pretty strong accent and, a few times, she was a little difficult for my kids to understand, but the accent also made the kids listen more intently. The characters are fun and they learn about themes such as teamwork and friendship through their adventures. This is a cute show with good messages and interesting animation. I really enjoyed it and recommend it for kids ages 3 to 9.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Lily's Driftwood Bay isbE a cute and adorable show that all children will love! The animated characters are so cute because they look like a child colored them. Lily's character is very dainty and her personality is as bright as the sun. She seems so outgoing and loves an adventure. The opening captures your attention immediately where you see Lily making things out of objects she finds at the beach.

This season contains ten episodes and runs approximately 75 minutes long. Lily's Driftwood Bay is a Northern Irish children's television series that premiered on Nick Jr. in the UK and Ireland in 2014. Creator Colin Williams really has made something special that I truly believe children will love as they follow Lily on her fun adventures with her friends Gull, Salty, Hatsie and more. Every day the sea washes up a new treasure which sparks Lily's imagination about what might be happening on Driftwood Bay. The voice talent also excels. Orlagh O'Keefe is the voice of Lily. Peter Mullan voices Salty the dog. Paul Currie is the voice of Gull. Tameka Empson voices Hatsie the Hen. Many of these voice over actors have been in major movies or TV shows. Peter Mullan appeared in Hercules, The Jungle Book, Harry Potter and War Horse. Paul Currie is best known for Big City Park and Big and Small.

The show is very interactive and well suited for its audience. My favorite scenes in the show are when Lily comes back with new things. It's not a show I would watch and I'm a teenager and it's more suited for kids ages 4 to 7. I rate it 4 out of 5 stars and think that girls will like it more than boys since it is a bit girly. The DVDis available now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Jasmyn Diaz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


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

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
THOMAS EDISON'S SECRET LAB: ROCK IT TO THE MOON       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - 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.� Enjoy these adventures and more with the Secret Lab Kids
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This starts off with a really catchy theme song and has different episodes such as Dancing Machine and Rock It to the Moon. The characters are fun and there are also eight music videos throughout the DVD - one after each episode and the music videos feature words taught in the episodes. This DVD really makes learning science, including chemical reactions and Murphy's Law of Gravity, so much fun. It combines high entertainment value with educational value. It would appeal to a wide variety of ages because it is geared towards the younger kids but the music and topics will also appeal to slightly older kids. I recommend this for ages 4 to 11. My favorite parts are the music videos, because they are catchy and really make this DVD! I give this one 5 out of 5 stars!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Very entertaining and informative, the animation is filled with vivid color which draws your attention. It truly makes education fun. Its language is easy to understand, giving young viewers the ability to process the information presented. This is an excellent educational series with each episode containing a different message. In the first episode, the robot teaches the viewers to never not do something because they are told not to and to just be happy doing what you love.

The series teaches various things from human anatomy to space science. For instance, they explain gravitational pull and how it differs from in space versus on Earth. I learned that the quantity of atoms doesn't change but gravitational pull makes you weigh less on the moon and the closer the object, the greater the gravitational pull. Jupiter has more mass than Earth which means it has more gravity and, according to the show, it would be less fun there due to the fact that you couldn't float around. The show uses comedy as well to get its point across.

Every episode has an adventure or a problem to solve. Writers Steven Banks, Steven Darancette and Brian Stampnitsky excelled at creating such a cute show that inspires its audience. In fact, it encourages kids to be scientists. Angie, played by Phillipa Alexander who has a lot of experience doing voice-overs for animated films and, it's great to see her here. I like how they have included text when songs come up. It's a small detail that helps you grasp the significance of the words in the songs.

My favorite scene is in the first episode. When learning about space, the characters portray what is being taught by some green aliens and one of them gets attached to the moon due to the fact the gravitational pull has increased as a result of the mass of the moon. This part was just very funny. I recommend this animated film for ages 2 to 6 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Giselle T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: Rock It to the Moon is a fun, educational series that made me laugh while I was learning. This show teaches new cool stuff about gravity, nanobots and the birth of the remote control.

Angie, Kent, JD and Nicky are back with Thomas Edison and Von Bolt the robot to solve all kinds of problems by going back in time to learn from pioneers in science throughout history.

In the first episode, Dancing Machine, Von Bolt is invited to try out for a dance competition. The gang and Thomas Edison realize that he's not such a good dancer and decide to build a remote-controlled suit so Von Bolt can make it to the show. They use the virtual reality room to travel back to Spain in 1903 and discover how to use radio and remote control from Leonardo Torres y Quevedo, an engineer and mathematician who created one of the first designs for a remote-controlled device.

My favorite episode is Murphy's Law of Gravity. The kids are trying to impress web celebrity Mark Zoomerboom with their song about science. Instead he discovers a satellite is falling out of the sky and he panics. The kids must find a way to keep him calm to get their song to go viral. This episode was laugh-out-loud funny and there's a cool gag with penguins to watch out for.

My favorite character in the series is Thomas Edison (Livingston Taylor) because whenever the kids are under pressure or doubting themselves, he comforts them and gives them good advice. I really hoped there would be an episode in this volume that showed how the kids found the lab but that is a loose end for me in the story line and I hope they work it in on a later volume.

Some of the other episodes I liked are Rock It to the Moon because they talk about gravity. Another episode I enjoyed is Nanobots Byte because I didn't know what nanobots were. They are really, really tiny robots - and the episode helped me understand how they work.

I like the music videos in this volume even more than the first DVD, Secret Lab Meeting. Some of them are really catchy and some of them are just kind of weird. I recommend Thomas Edison Secret Lab: Rock It to the Moon to ages 5 to 12. Kids will fall in love with this show pretty easily and I think there are some pretty advanced subjects that older kids might want to learn about.

I give Rock It to the Moon 3 out of 5 stars. I recommend you science fans watch this show that presents high-level science with high amounts of fun. Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: Rock It to the Moon is in stores April 26th so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-11
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF BAMALIAS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF BAMALIAS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-10
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - On Planet Bamalias, the Little Prince will go through a terrible experience - he will lose his memory. He can't even remember where and why he is there! Planet Bamalias is at the center of five other planets and all these planets depend on it for their survival. Fox is going to try everything to help him recover his lost memory.� Fox tells the Little Prince their story: why they are here, planet-hopping chasing the snake and how it all started. Slowly the Little Prince remembers but will he remember everything in time to save the Bamalias constellation?� Find out in The Planet of Bamalias!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Little Prince: The Planet of Bamalias is not your average fairytale. With many twists and turns, The Little Prince must undertake a difficult journey to gain his memories back and stop the vicious Snake from fulfilling his evil plans to destroy planets. It is the fight between what's right and what is worth fighting for. This is a fight worth watching.

This film is everything but predictable. Just when everything starts to be okay, the evil Snake appears and causes chaos. The most memorable moment is when The Little Prince has a flashback about saving his best friend, Fox. Fox needed the Little Prince to help him get out of a volcano that the Snake threw him in. As they try to get out, the Little Prince finally realizes that he possesses power within himself to conquer all things. It was very sad because he had to decide what was more important friendship or love.

Usually my favorite characters are the heroes but here, Snake is my favorite. Although he is bad, there is just something enticing about the way he moves. I love how he disappears and reappears in a matter of seconds. The editor builds suspense by having dark music play just before he appears. The best characteristic of Snake is his ability to change his form and feed off of people's fears.

This film stands out from others because the director doesn't set a limit to his creativity and imagination. The plot is well developed and the setting takes place in a different galaxy where things are quite different. That is one of the reasons why I recommend this film to ages 4 to 10 because it is an escape from reality but it also discusses important lessons. One of the most important messages is that you should fight for what you believe in. Kids would really identify with the Little Prince because he is little kid trying to learn from his own mistakes and to do the right thing. Parents can really appreciate that this film is educational and encourages the viewers to never give up.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. The Little Prince: The Planet of Bamalias is now available through DVD so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Shelby R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Little Prince: The Planet of Bamalias is a whimsical, colorful show with great animation, lovable characters and an excellent villain. At the end of the volume, I still wanted to see more of the adventures of the Little Prince and his buddy Fox.

Based on the characters created by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, this film follows the Little Prince as he finds the villain, the Snake, casting his shadow over a planet. On this planet, he meets Kimi and Tiksi who every year guide the Bamalias, a sort of sky whale, to the Great Eye. The energy of the Bamalias' song travels through the Great Eye to power the whole constellation of planets that depend on them. Then something terrible happens. The Little Prince and Kimi forget everything, who they are and what their mission is. The Prince's friend and comrade, Fox must help him retrieve his memory so he can stop Snake and get Kimi to remember how to lead the Bamalias to the Great Eye or the constellation is doomed.

My favorite character is Fox because he never gives up on his friend and is very funny. My favorite part is a flashback in which the Little Prince must get Fox out of a hole. The reason he is stuck in a hole is because Snake tricks him into thinking he is going to the planet of chickens. The scene really shows the inseparable camaraderie between the Prince and Fox. The lesson I take from this installment of the Little Prince's adventures is always be loyal to people you love.

The villain in this show, the Snake, is very good at being very bad. He gives people bad ideas and tricks them into carrying out his evil plots. My one problem with this volume is that there are some things left hanging at the end, but I don't want to ruin it for you.

The animation in this show is very good, particularly the character design. The animation is so detailed that even the scales on the Snake look realistic.

I recommend this show for ages 8 to 11 because some younger kids might find the snake scary. If you are a fan of the French book, The Little Prince, you will certainly enjoy this show. I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-10
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


OCTONAUTS, THE, CREATURE ENCOUNTERS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
OCTONAUTS, THE, CREATURE ENCOUNTERS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Topic - Education/Instructional
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 encounter strange aquatic creatures of all shapes and sizes! Plunge into a red-hot lava cave as Peso and the team search for a teeny tiny water bear! Race to a colorful coral reef with Shellington as he tries to meet a special jellyfish that can live forever! And escape a scary moray eel with the help of Barnacles, Kwazii and a mysterious master of disguise - the mimic octopus!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Octonauts are sea creatures who swim around and meet other sea animals. They try to help wherever they can and have fun learning as they do so. The kids saw the DVD in the package and became very excited to watch. Their eyes were glued to the screen and they sat quietly. The 10-year-old liked the turtle that tried to eat the jellyfish. Although he said it was "boring", he watched the whole video quietly despite being told he was free to do something else. The 3-year-old liked the character that says "Octonauts to the rescue!" Kids absolutely loved this video!

Reviewed by Jas G., KIDS FIRST! Juror

This DVD contains eight episodes each focusing on a different creature including water bears, immortal jellyfish, sea sponge, duck-billed platypus, mimic octopus, jawfish, remipedes and oarfish. The Octonauts are an interesting group of little explorers who find unique sea animals that can do amazing things. I really like how the action is integrated with education in this series. Kids can learn a lot about animals, but also about the importance of knowledge and how to work together to solve problems. The DVD includes a section with the "creature reports" which are cute chants teaching the basics of the animals. I believe kids ages 4 to 10 would really like this series.

Reviewed by Karyn A., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - While watching this show I noticed the how original it is. It's the only TV I have ever seen about bears that helps creatures and kids seem to really enjoy that. I can say, that even as a teenager this captured my attention. So younger kids would definitely be interested in this show and that's good because then they'll pay attention to all the important messages that it teaches.

Octonauts is a funny and creative show about a group of silly bears that go on adventures and help other creatures underwater. This show teaches important kids important qualities to develop such as generosity, courage and team work. It also teaches how helping is always a great thing to do. Besides teaching important character traits and messages it also teaches educational things too. During the show I noticed how they teach things to each other and take a deeper look at things to make sure the viewer understands. This is good because a kid can have fun learning new and important things without even knowing that they are actually learning.

The scenery in this show is also great. The bright colors and unfamiliar environment of the sea floor really keeps kids in tune with what they are watching. Also, the scenery really adds to the storyline of each episode and adds to the personality of each character. This makes the show more interesting to watch and often lead me to asking myself questions such as "what type of animal was on the screen" or "where were they were in the ocean?" These questions were answered soon afterwards and with lots of thought put into the answer.

I recommend this show for ages 2 to 7 because it is very educational and toddlers who watch it will be very intrigued by the colors, characters and scenery. This show also gets 4 out of 5 stars from me because, though it is educational and fun for little kids, sometimes it got a little too corny for me. I suggest that you show a younger sibling this show as soon as possible because little kids love it.

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


Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


ALISA KNOWS WHAT TO DO!: THE MYSTERY OF THE LAST TRUENOX

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ALISA KNOWS WHAT TO DO!: THE MYSTERY OF THE LAST TRUENOX       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 - Alisa Knows What to Do! is based on the extremely popular science-fictional novels about Alise Seleznyova, a young girl from the future, by famous Russian author Kir Bulychiov. This animated series weaves a tale about the adventures of a group of teenagers living at the end of the 21st century. The world has changed yet the burning questions that occupied people at the beginning of the century are still pertinent today. Alisa and her friends not only battle evil and injustice but they are also concerned with global problems like the natural balance and a clean environment, both on the planet and in space. From the far-off planet Verum, Alisa's father, Professor Salazar, brings back a truenox - a mysterious creature that is able to predict the future. Without warning, Professor Salazar's colleague Doctor Gilliam kidnaps the truenox, who Alisa and her friends have grown very fond of. Alisa rushes to the aid of her new friend
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The kids had never heard of this series and had no opinions beforehand. The story is fast paced and keeps the children's attention from beginning to end. The main character, Alisa is smart and engaging. She is courageous and up to a challenge. There are funny moments and intriguing ones. Characters are easily relatable. Older children thought it was "fine" and younger end thought it was "good". One older boy liked "the catastrophe after catastrophe".
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - There are so many great Sci-fi movies and TV shows out there. However, very few of them are meant for kids or are poorly done. Well, Alisa Knows What to Do!, is a beautifully animated and exciting Sci-fi series distributed by N Circle Entertainment that is great for kids and adults.

Each episode is a separate adventure featuring middle school student Alisa and her friends filled with action and even some fun teenage romance. All the stories are kids friendly and yet, contain original humor that adults will appreciate too. Add to that some stunning animated visual effects and it makes it for a great show that a wide audience will enjoy.

Alisa is a young girl living many years in the future. The show follows all her crazy and fun adventures with her family and friends and involves animals and technical gadgets that we hope to have in a future. Additionally, each episode delivers a positive moral story which is nicely portrayed nicely within the show itself. The show stays exciting with fun adventures. If you are a fan of science fiction or enjoy dreaming about the future possibilities like I do, you will enjoy this show where we see lots of technology such as space jumpers, hover boots and even cloning!

The Russian-produced show is produced by Timur Bekmambetov's Bazelevs Group, Riki Group and Animation Studio Moskva. It is exciting to see a very unique style of camera shots and coloring. On top of that, the English dubbing is exceptionally well don and very smooth. I didn't even realize that characters were re-voiced until the second episode. The series is based on the books by Russian science fiction author, Kir Bulychiov. For people who have read his books, as my family did for many years, it is cool to see the characters come to life. However, the stories are original to the show, which allows even readers of his books to be surprised.

My favorite episode is Wipe Out Creativity in which a few of Alisa's friends sign up to take implants to make them smarter and stronger. However, they get in trouble and Alisa and some of her new friends rescue them. I love this episode because the subject is very interesting and starting to come up in today's world. The moral of it is: Don't let others mold you; only you can make you. I think that is very important and agree 100 per cent.

The show is designed for young kids. A few parts may be a bit intense so, I recommend it for ages 7 to 18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars because it is beautifully animated, has an exciting story, impressive voiceovers and original comedy. Welcome to United States, Alisa Selesneva - kids here are going to love you!

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

I found this movie to be unique and interesting. This four episode DVD tells all about Alisa and her four teenage friends embarking on many adventures. The first episode focuses on an adorable creature called a Truenox. Original, funny and quirky with the added bonus of mysteries to solve, I found it very enjoyable to watch.

My favorite episode, A Singing Showdown has a mystery and a shocking outcome. Hilariously funny with great music, this show down wants to see who will rule the planet.

The colorful characters resemble real teenagers. Real geniuses who think outside of the box, they create new and cool ideas to save people, creatures and their planet. My favorite character has to be Alisa because she shows girl power, humor and her potential as a great best friend. She rises to the occasion whenever there danger lurks.

The voiceovers actors truly match the emotions and voices of real teenagers. Each character has its own unique voice and characteristics, which match their avatar. This makes the film very believable.

The Truenox, which they rescue in the first episode The Mysteries of the Last Truenox, has to be the cutest pet that I could hug for days. He turns out to be an alien that helps Alisa and her friends on their adventures. Comical almost to a fault, he adds humor to the series which made me laugh a lot. Just one smile from him and I found myself smiling back.

Their adventures have many learning lessons including: The power of friendship is greater than anything; You should not judge people or animals based on their looks; Personality and their true hearts are better traits then just good looks.

The colorful animation has amazing details. I felt as if I lived in the future and could actually live on this futuristic planet. The animated people feel like they are real. I found this an amusing place that I would enjoy being a part of. Flying cars and boots would be amazing to own. The unusual design of the different gadgets and modes of transportation add to the futuristic feel of this movie. All of the space aliens look peculiar and plausible.

I recommend this film for ages 6 to 15 because of its cuteness, bright animation and easy to follow storyline. I give this movie 5 out of 5 galactic stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


ABC MONSTERS: ADVENTURES IN ALPHABET GARDENS! STARRING IJKL

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ABC MONSTERS: ADVENTURES IN ALPHABET GARDENS! STARRING IJKL       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - In this DVD, embark on adventures to find the letters I, J, K, and L On an icy cold day, monster I goes missing. Alice, Brian, and Cherry Berry need to find him soon especially since the weather is supposed to get even colder! Will they be able to find him on this icy cold day? Then, Cherry Berry wants to enter the Jester Jamboree but in order to win she feels like she needs to perform something nobody has ever seen before. However, at this same time, J monster goes missing. So once again, Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry go off to find J monster. Where could she have gone? These fun educational adventures continue with finding K and L. Will Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry be able to get all four letter monsters back to Capital Castle before the sun goes down? Find out!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The younger children saw the DVD sleeve and were excited to watch this video. The concept of the alphabet monsters is a very fun one. The story is engaging and despite that the DVD is for younger kids the older kids were singing along and watching as well. Younger kids were singing the alphabet song in the beginning. This is an educational video but the kids were none the wiser (except for older kids)! Reviewed by Ruth A., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

My 4-year-old granddaughter liked the Holey Moley song and the ABC song as well as her 18 month old brother. She said she liked the cartoons and the music. She also liked telling the answers about finding the missing letters M and helping solve the mystery of the Alphabet Garden. She also enjoyed Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry. She remembered the words marbles, medal and map and said she knew the word map from Dora. I helped her sound out map and now she can spell it! She's very proud of that. In the clip, Noodlicious, she said she liked finding the letters N too. She liked Holey Moley more and we ended up watching it three times in two days.

Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Even though I am much older than the target audience for this show, I must say that the this DVD excels at introducing letters of the alphabet while making it fun and interesting. Throughout the different episodes and stories, there is letter recognition, spelling and the opportunity to write out each letter. These are just a few of the learning mechanisms contained in this volume.

This particular volume focuses on the letters I, J, K and L. Of course, it is very informative with these letters of the alphabet and, at the same time entertains little ones in this aspect of early language learning. The story revolves around the letters missing. They are nowhere to be found. The family and friends of the people that live in Capital Castle must solve riddles and clues to find these missing letters, one episode at a time.

It has many different bright colors which are visually fun and catch the attention of young viewers. The sing along songs are enjoyable and, at the beginning of every episode, I found myself singing the opening song. I enjoyed the songs and like how they transition from one letter to the next as well. My favorite character is the Princess because she is very optimistic and curious - things I relate to. She just wants to know stuff. My favorite episode is "L" mostly because I enjoyed the word choices. Each episode leaves you with wanting more and more. One facet of this show that I don't particularly like is the length. Each episode is about 30 minutes which, in my opinion, is a bit too long to focus on one letter and just three words associated with it.

Parents, this is a great tool to help you introduce your preschooler to words and phonics. You can even watch it with them and show how excited you are when they are learning. Learning is exciting and fun and this is a great age to do so.

I recommend this DVD for ages 2 to 5 and give it 3� out of 5 stars due to its length and limited word choice. It is a great learning DVD for preschoolers and I'm sure the little ones will truly have fun and enjoy it.

ABC Monsters: Adventures in Alphabet Gardens! Starring IJKL is available now DVD, so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


ZOOTOPIA

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ZOOTOPIA       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY ANIMATED STUDIOS
Series: ANIMATED FEATURE, AGES 3-12
Topic - Family
Description - From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she quickly learns how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde, a wily fox who makes her job even harder. Starring the voice talent of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman and Idris Elba.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From our friends at Walt Disney Animation comes Zootopia, the story about a city of anthropomorphic animals where a fugitive con artist fox and a rookie bunny cop must work together to uncover a conspiracy. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Mia A. comments, "I thoroughly enjoyed Disney's Zootopia because the animation took me into a beautiful world just like ours, but completely filled with animals." Tre'ana H. chimes in with, "I really adored this film because it is very different from any ordinary film. The characters belong to the zoo animals' collection. It is hilarious because all the animals act like humans and engage in everyday, normal conversations like we do." See their full reviews in the kid comments section.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I thoroughly enjoyed Disney's Zootopia because the animation took me into a beautiful world just like ours, but completely filled with animals.

Zootopia is about a bunny named Judy (Ginnifer Goodwin) who grew up on a carrot farm. Judy always wanted to be a cop when she grew up even though she is a bunny and bunnies do not become policemen. She goes to police training and then becomes a cop in Zootopia.

Zootopia is a land where all different types of animals, prey and predators, live together in peace. When Judy gets to Zootopia she is not taken seriously as a Bunny Cop, so Judy has to finish a case in 48 hours or else she resign. She teams up with a fox named Nick (Jason Bateman) to help figure out the case. Will she get taken seriously as a cop and finish the case? You'll have to watch it to find out.

My favorite character in Zootopia is Nick, a clever, funny and mischievous fox. Nick got lots of laughs from the audience and I learned to care about him after his back story was revealed.

My favorite scene is with the sloths. Judy and Nick go to check a license plate and all the workers at the DMV are sloths. The main sloth named Flash (Raymond S. Persi) says everything slowly. Judy is in a big rush and to make the process even slower, Nick tells Flash a joke. This is one of the funniest scenes that got lots of laughs from the audience.

The film's animation is incredible. It's filled with lots of color and creative, minute details. In one scene, Judy travels through the different zones of Zootopia and, in the rainforest zone, it starts raining and the rain hits the train. This scene is filled with detailed colors and light.

Zootopia is a mystery movie, but it is also a comedy. The mystery part of this movie could be scary to little kids because there are dark scenes with intense action and it shows some animals going savage.

There are a couple scenes with nude animals. This isn't that bad because it only shows animals without clothes on. It is funny though because the animals freak out even though, in real life, animals are always "nude".

I rate this movie a 4.5 out of 5 stars because there are some scenes little kids might find scary but everything has a reason even if it doesn't seem important at the time. Since this is a Disney movie, some parents might think it is good for all ages. But, I recommend it for kids age 6 to 15 because of the fear factor. If your kids like mysteries and dark scenes then, that won't be a problem. Go see Disney's Zootopia in theaters near you when it opens March 4.

Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11. Be sure to check out Mia's interview with Animation supervisor Kira Lehtomaki.

I really adored this film because it is very different from any ordinary film. The characters belong to the zoo animals' collection. It is hilarious because all the animals act like humans and engage in everyday, normal conversations like we do. Directors, Byron Howard and Rich Moore have delivered a creative and amazing story filled with imagination.

In the city of Zootopia the animals live a diversified life. They all get along with each other until a plague hits some of the animals and they start to be aggressive with each other. A fugitive con artist / fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) and a rookie bunny cop named Judy Hoops, (Ginnifer Godwin) work together to uncover the conspiracy that is taking over their city. You will not believe the deception that is taking place.

My most memorable scene is when the bunny first goes to Zootopia. I liked this part best because, when she is on the train, you see the entire city of Zootopia. It made me feel like I was part of the scene touring Zootopia with Judy. This section of the filmzootopia.d.jpg shows each part of the city and reveals all the different scenery in each section. This is the coolest scene and is so beautifully detailed.

The setting of this story made me feel like I wanted to be a part of this world of Zootopia. The colors are very bright and it looks like an amusement park with plenty of animals.

The moral message of this film is that you should never let anyone bring you down or stop you from being the person you want to be. People may try to break you down, but you can't let them. You can be whatever you want to be in this world of freedom.

I recommend Zootopia for ages 6 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 Stars because it is child friendly, hilarious, exciting and everyone will enjoy it. This movie opens in theaters Friday, March 4, 2016 so go check it out, you will not be disappointed.

Reviewed by Tre'ana H., age 12.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


SMART-EZE: MINUTES A DAY, MATH, ENGLISH AND READING COMPREHENSION

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SMART-EZE: MINUTES A DAY, MATH, ENGLISH AND READING COMPREHENSION       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FAT RED COUCH
Series: APP, AGES 5-12
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - Smart-EZE apps are designed for review of Math, English Grammar, and Reading Comprehension materials learned during the previous school year, for grades 1-5. The first Smart-EZE lesson is free for a single subject and grade level of your choice. Available for iOS, Android and Kindle tablets. http://fatredcouch.com/products/smart-eze-math-english-and-reading-comprehension-summer-review/
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an intuitive app that is designed to help students, ages 5-12 review and expand upon concepts they learn in school. In my experience with the app, I noticed that it has a well designed user interface that is easy to navigate and is pleasant to look at. There are three subject areas that the app covers: Math, English and Reading. These subjects are covered in sections that each contain questions that will challenge the user to think deeper, to solve problems and to interpret reading. The user can also select the grade level content they wish to work with, making it easy to tailor the experience to individual needs. I believe children will enjoy learning on this app because of its fun style and the fact that it offers rewards for users based on how hard they work. Overall, I believe it is a great example of meeting KIDS FIRST! criteria, but there are a few negatives that I should address. First, I experienced some performance issues, my app was laggy and slow. Secondly, there is not very much sound in the app, which is strange for an app with such a good visual style. Despite those drawbacks, this is a very solid app, which is why I give it 4 stars out of 5.

This app has great exercises in the three subject areas I mentioned above, the obvious benefit is that it is a useful tool for elementary and middle school aged kids to review and expand upon what they learn in class. There are lots of tools that track the user's progress and there is a handy level selector that the user uses to pick up where they left off. Users are also allowed to go back and fix mistakes before moving on.

This app has graphics and colors that help to refine the experience and increase its appeal. Reading, English and math skills are taught in a series of questions. Reading skills require investigation and understanding of passages that are given, the user then has to answer questions about the reading. Math is taught using a more standard approach: multiple choice or write-in questions. English questions require users to complete tasks such as correcting mistakes and defining words. The app has an easily navigable user interface with colored buttons and directions; as well as large, easy to read fonts. I do believe a child would enjoy this because of the fun and colorful design of the app, and because there are periodic rewards for the completion of goals. REviewed by Michael O., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This learning tool is perfect for school-aged kids and I love that it's not boring like a lot of other educational apps I have tried. The main reason for that is the way it awards you digital medals depending on how well you perform. I love getting medals! It made me want to keep playing so I could get more. I wished they used this app in schools. I would look forward to it every day. Parents who prefer only educational games for their kids should definitely check this app out.

Smart-EZE has three different categories: math, reading and writing. Each section asks you a series of questions. Sometimes you have multiple choice answers to choose from and sometimes you have to write in your own answer. I like the reading sections best because the stories are all very funny. I had a trickier time with math because, even though I was playing at my grade level, there were some math concepts I had never seen before and didn't understand. It might be a good idea to make sure your kids know that the app covers lots of different materials and concepts and they might not know all of them. It all just depends what they have covered in school.

Another part that I like is that you are able to go back and repeat questions that you missed until you get them right. Also, Smart-EZE has a parent mode that allows parents to check on their kid's progress and see how many questions they got right or wrong. The only part that bothered me is that the app seemed a little laggy when I played. This was particularly noticeable when using the note pad and watching animation.

I recommend this for kids ages 8 to 12. I rate this app 4 out of 5 stars because it is lots of fun, but the lag is a little frustrating.

Reviewed by Miles Tallia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


ONCE UPON A SIGN: THE NEW THREE LITTLE PIGS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ONCE UPON A SIGN: THE NEW THREE LITTLE PIGS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
DAWNSIGNPRESS
Series: SHORT, AGES 5-8
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - Tom, Larry, and Sunny have all purchased their own land and will be building their own house. All have different ideas on how to build the best house. But which house will be able to stand up to the Wolf? And what valuable lessons will the Piggy family learn in the end?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Parents, if your child loves fairy tales and you want them to see another side of life as they know it, please have them watch The New Three Little Pigs by DawnSign Press! Their Once Upon a Sign series brings fairy tales to life using American Sign Language as a major mode of communication. The actors act and sign ASL while the dialogue is voiced in the background.

This DVD is thoroughly entertaining, current and humorous. The clever dialogue and animation make it fun for parents to sit and watch with the kids. Who doesn't love the older sister pig who is the voice of reason for her sillier younger pig brothers?

Watching this DVD with your child, whether hearing impaired or not, is a fun and brilliant way to introduce sign language and provide a glimpse into different modes of communication. What a great way to broach the conversation with your child about differences and similarities between people with good hearing and those needing sign language.

I heartily rate The New Three Little Pigs 5 out of 5 stars, and recommend the viewing age 3 to 12 years of age.

Reviewed by Ruth A., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is cute and adorable movie that almost everybody will love. It is perfect for little kids because they will learn a lot. It's also great for older kids because it has a modern twist on a fairy tale. I think they will really enjoy it and relate to it as well. It is really funny how they play on words when they are playing with video games and stuff. It is really funny and made me laugh.

Now, the background is awesome. It looks like it is hand drawn and it kind of made me feel as if I jumped into the fairy tale. It made me feel as if I was there, standing as a little pig myself. Standing ... It is just so cute. They have real life props that look like you could pick them up and play with them. And the cute little piggies are so so so adorable. Plus, I learned how to garden, how to use sign language and also, about how this family could have fun.

Now, we get to learn sign language at the end which is very cool. I have always been interested in learning how to do sign language for quite a while and I bet other kids have as well. With this DVD, the hearing impaired can also listen to it and watch it and know what is being said.

My favorite character is probably Funny Piggy. She is a great female character. She shows kids that it's great to work hard and they can have fun doing that as well. She reminds us to always try to do your best no matter what. This is a life action film. I think adults would enjoy it as well as kids. I recommend it for ages 3 to 11 depending on your style. I give this DVD 4.5 out of 5 twinkling stars. It is available now from DawnSign Press and wherever DVDs are sold so, check it out.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.
Runtime: 25 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 15.96
Media: DVD


HOLIDAY AND EVERYDAY SONGS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOLIDAY AND EVERYDAY SONGS
HAP-PAL MUSIC, INC.
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - This is a collection of songs about holidays throughout the year combined with songs about special things that happen every day. Included songs for Martin Luther King Day, Valentines Day, Chinese New Year, Halloween, Fourth of July, Cinco de Mayo, Christmas and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - At last count Hap Palmer has written over a million songs - most people will be too lazy to fact check that fact. It's an election year. I elect Mr. Palmer to the Kids Music Hall of Fame alongside Mister Rogers another bastion of children's rights even when they're wrong sometime and need a hug and a cup of musical cocoa. 'Holiday and Everyday Songs' is a 19-song extravaganza of musical styles and feel good candy kisses that will have mom and dad dancing in Neolithic ways and kids downright digging the tunes and sharing and learning different cultural celebrations and appreciations. This album is memorable! Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music Judge.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Hap Palmer Holiday and Everyday Songs is fun to listen to. We like the music and the singing. The singing is not like other songs. The songs have expression and feelings. We especially like the song Witches' Brew. The words are so fun and it's catchy. That song gets stuck in your head all day. We love it! It's our favorite. We also like the song Scamper a lot. We think other kids would like this CD because it's really fun!
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.95
Media: AUDIO


SUNNY DAY

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SUNNY DAY
CHENXIN YANG
Series: COLLEGE STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A 2D animation depicting a sweet moment of the old lady use magic comforting the sad little boy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short animated film is very interesting. Something about the story is extremely compelling, as simple as it is. The 2 D animation is delightful. The music plays to the simplicity of the art form. The story is so simple and yet, could be interpreted in many very complex ways. Over all, I adored this. I would definitely consider it for a youth or family film festival and would definitely watch more by this filmmaker. Reviewed by Megan C. KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 1 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Video and DVD


PLACES YOU'LL GO, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PLACES YOU'LL GO, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
JESSE SALAZAR III
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - An 8 year old's adventure across America. Director, Jesse Salazar III is an independent Texas filmmaker that has made an impact on the South Texas film and journalism community. Since 2009, he has worked in virtually every area of digital video and cinema production, winning the accolades and approval of his peers and mentors along the way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A lovingly created film documenting a young boy's experience traveling across America as he is observed by his own father. His fondness for LEGOs which he brings everywhere is a nice touch. Well filmed, good audio, good visuals. Would make a nice addition for a kids or family film festival.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 21 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Video and DVD



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