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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)


SULLY

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SULLY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - On Thursday, January 15th, 2009, the world witnessed the "Miracle on the Hudson" when Captain, Chesley Sullenberger, nicknamed "Sully" & is portrayed by Tom Hanks glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Love this film. Of course, I was familiar with the story as was anyone in the US at the time of this incident. What I was not aware of was how Captain Sullenberger and his colleague were investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board to make sure that the river landing was indeed necessary. Clint Eastwood delivers a fine film here. He and Tom Hanks, with his understated heroic performance, demonstrate how you can make a provocative film devoid of all the pyrotechnics and special effects that fill so many films today. The other unsung heroes are all the first responders who got every passenger and crewmember out of that icy water to safety within 24 minutes. Stunning. The final scene under the credits of the actual passengers, Captain Sully and his co-pilot are equally compelling. Every one of them has a personal story of gratitude for the man who saved their lives that day. Bravo. Oscar material me thinks.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Out of all the intense films released this year so far, Sully is the best one, hands down. Out of all the nonfiction films released this year, Sully is the greatest. From spectacular directing to emotional acting, Sully is easily one of the best films of 2016.

Interestingly enough, although this film may have a few action scenes, it shouldn't be branded as an action movie. It is full-on intense drama, with two or three jokes that are original and funny, but don't turn the film into a comedy. The story itself can also be considered an emotional and physical dramatic adventure that changes the lives of the characters forever.

Sully begins when U.S. Airways flight 1549 lands in the water in the Hudson river after both engines are destroyed by birds. Luckily, not one passenger is injured and this is due to the skill of both rescue teams and pilot Sully Sullenbrger (Tom Hanks) and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles (Aaron Eckhart). Unfortunately, the nightmare is not over. Even though all passengers are in safety, it is still a major question if Sully should have landed the plane in the water and if he might have had enough speed and altitude to reach the runway at an actual airport.

This is a very famous story that happened in 2009, but many people do not know what happened after the plane water landed. Sully truly shows all the events of this flight. Another amazing aspect of the film is the acting. Both Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart do phenomenal portrayals of the pilots. Not only do the two look so much like the actual people, they also got their personalities right too. The two actors excel in the scenes where they keep imagining the crash, and it clearly affects them day after day. Clint Eastwood has directed many wonderful films, but Sully, without doubt, is one of his best. The story does not feel like it lasts 96 minutes and I was surprised when it ended. Sully really does keep you on the edge of your seat using cinematography that makes you feel like you are a part of the movie, acting that is emotional and dramatic and even special effects that make it look very real. Something to note, the film was shot with IMAX cameras so seeing it in IMAX theaters gives you the best possible experience.

My favorite scene is the actual plane crash. From taking off, to the passengers getting into rescue boats, this scene keeps your heart beating very fast. I personally suffer from a fear of flying and it pumped me full of adrenaline. I could not blink until I found out what happened next. The special effects of the plane going down in the middle of New York looks very realistic and intense. On top of that, the emotional acting of not only the pilots, but the passengers and the flight attendants brings even more drama to the scene. It is easily the most intense scene in the whole film and, because of cinematography, it makes you feel like you are a part of it, is borderline scary.

Sully is a very mature story. And though it lacks adult content, language or gore, it is geared for a mature audience because of its intense and dramatic scenes. It may be too intense for younger viewers so I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. I definitely give Sully 5 out of 5 stars for its spectacular directing, wonderful cinematography, emotional acting and realistic special effects.

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

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


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


JUNGLE BOOK, THE (DVD/BLU-RAY/DIGITAL)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
JUNGLE BOOK, THE (DVD/BLU-RAY/DIGITAL)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY ANIMATED STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - The man-cub Mowgli flees the jungle after a threat from the tiger Shere Khan. Guided by Bagheera the panther and the bear Baloo, Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery, though he also meets creatures who don't have his best interests at heart. Directed by Jon Favreau. Starring Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Disney steps it up in this reboot of the Rudyard Kipling classic tale. This live-action film with enhanced animated animals stays true to the original story while delivering a big Wow! factor with it's realistic animations. Had it not been for the animals talking, I would have sworn they were real.

A stunning voiceover cast combined with an outstanding score equate to, what I believe, is something that outshines the original class from the 60s. I would have loved to have been a fly inside Jon Favreau's mind as he was generating the concept for this film. The visual effects team also deserves a huge applaud for their incredible work. The casting was straight on. Newcomer Neel Sethi, for whom this is his first feature role delivers a lively and believable performance while charming us with his precociousness and adorable smile. You can hardly ask for better voice over work than what we get from Bill Murray as Baloo, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Idris Elba as the formidable Shere Khan , Lupita Nyong'o as Raksha and Scarlett Johansson as the seductive Kaa. She and Christopher Walken as King Louis steal the show with their cameo roles. I love this! Can you tell. However, it does have some "scare the pants off you" scenes so, be cautious when determining which child to take with you. It is not for the faint of heart.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I enjoyed watching the Blu-ray/DVD combo of The Jungle Book about Mowgli (Neel Sethi) who is the only man cub in the jungle. He wants to be a wolf, but in reality he's not. He is raised by wolves and he feels he has a nice life. Then one day Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens Mowgli's life. While the wolves argue about whether or not Mowgli should leave for the safety of the pack, Mowgli decides for them and leaves. He ventures out to find the man village. On his way to the man village, he meets many enemies and friends like King Louie (Christopher Walken), Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) and Baloo (Bill Murray). What will happen next? Will he make it to the man village? Does Shere Khan catch him? You just have to watch the movie to find out.

What I liked about the bonus features on the Blu-ray disc is a feature called, The Jungle Book Reimagined which shows ideas for the remake of The Jungle Book and Neel Sethi's experience while acting on the set. This shows the relationship between Neel and the director. There is also a bonus audio commentary feature from the director, Jon Favreau, which is great because you get to hear what he was thinking when making the movie. Another added bonus allows you to go to the scene selection and select the scene you want, plus there is a setup feature so you can insert your own settings. There is also a DVD version included and a download code to download a digital copy if you would prefer to use that versus the discs.

What I like about this movie are the CGIs which are so realistic that you think the sets are real because they are so incredibly detailed. The animals look realistic as well and the backgrounds are very intricate. But, as I learned in the Blu-ray feature "I am Mowgli", it shows that it was all done on green screen, which makes this film more incredible because most of it isn't real! The voice acting is superb. Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken and many others truly bring the animals to life with their outstanding voice over work. Speaking about Christopher Walken, another bonus feature is "King Louie's Temple Layer by Layer". It shows you how the "I Wan'na Be Like You" scene was created. It is very interesting to watch how the orchestra, Christopher Walken, the storyboard and green screens worked together to make that sequence. Finally, the music is superb and adds so much more energy and excitement to the movie. It just makes the scenes more interesting than they would be without such compelling music.

What you should know about this film is that there are many intense scenes. Even I jumped out of my seat a few times. This isn't a movie for children below age 9 and is definitely a "know your kid" type of movie. I also didn't like how King Louie doesn't look as friendly as in the original movie. Aside from that, this movie is truly outstanding entertainment.

I recommend this film to kids ages 9 to 18. People who like action, adventure and comedy movies will surely enjoy this. It does have intense scenes and will make you jump but I give it 4 out of 5 stars and love all the bonus features on the DVD/Blu-ray/Digital HD which is available August 30, 2016.

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

Having now see three versions of the Rudyard Kipling classic, I can honestly say that Jon Favreau's 2016 adaptation reigns supreme. I know that may come as a far-fetched opinion for the faithful fans of the 1967 animated classic, but open your mind to the possibility that this version is above the rest.

The darker, more realistic tone of this live-action adventure is a sharp contrast to the lighter tone of the 1967 musical comedy. That may be off-putting to some fans, but once you're swept up in the visual splendor of the movie, the story becomes ever more engaging. Speaking of which, don't be surprised if a few elements of the 1967 version's story aren't in this one or are rearranged.

Jon Favreau gives the story the proper grandeur it deserves. He uses lush art direction and sweeping cinematography to make the story look bigger. Visual effects aside, the aesthetic of the film gets across the monumental stature a family adventure should have. Combine the visuals with the score of John Debney and you'll find beauty and thrills that bring back a child like wonder.

One thing I really appreciate is the way the film treats the animals as characters, not denying them close-ups or treating them as spectacles. They are instead, portrayed as natural beings within the world of the screenplay. It enhances the brilliant voice acting of the cast. Speaking of which, I hope this film can rekindle the campaign to get voice acting a category with the major awards. Idris Elba is perfectly evil. Ben Kingsley and Bill Murray provide such natural and fitting voice work. And, Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken steal the show. Their scenes are the highlights of the movie and are easily the most memorable.

This movie is an overall construction of perfect cinematic elements. Disney has hit a grand slam with The Jungle Book as it will be etched in the memories of audiences for decades. I say this film is one of the best films of this decade and maybe even the last ten years.

With that said, I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It can be seen at a local theater near you.

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

After analyzing this film, I really appreciated it because it is family oriented and explores the relationship of a young man. This film made me wonder if something happened to my parents who would take care of me. I love the fact that the animated jungle animals look so real and talk like human beings. This film blends adventure, drama, fantasy and family in an entertaining story. I enjoyed this film because of the way it takes a classic story and turns it into something amazing. Director Jon Favreau's fantastic adaptation of the story and his devotion to the animals cherish exceeded my expectations. The special effects and 3D portrayal of all the animals are breathtakingly awesome.

The story follows the man-cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi) who departs the jungle after a threat from the tiger, Shere Khan (Idris Elba). The panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) serves as his protector and keeps him out of harms way until Baloo the Bear (Bill Murray) comes on board and joins the team. Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery and meets creatures along the way who don't have his best interests at heart. The film shows his innocence and you have to respect and honor him.

I loved the scene when Baloo the Bear and Mowgli go to the lake with Mowgli sitting on Baloo's stomach as they float down the river. I really adored this moment because it is hilarious and it reminded me of a special time I spent with my friends in the pool. A bond is formed that you knew could not be broken.

The message of this film is do not ever hold a grudge against someone because of something that happened in the past. Try to make amends because life is too short and precious. Live each moment to the fullest. That is what Mowgli realizes and does. You should always give someone a chance to fit in.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18 because they will definitely be entertained. I give it 5 out of 5 Stars because it is child friendly, hilarious, exciting and enjoyable it even though some terrifying moments exist. This movie opens in theaters Friday, April 15, 2016 so go check it out, you will not be disappointed.

Reviewed by Tre'ana H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 106 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
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
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LITTLE PRINCE, THE (NETFLIX ORIGINAL, 2016)

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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


PETE'S DRAGON (2016)

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PETE'S DRAGON (2016)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - The adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This latest retelling of Pete and his friend Elliot the dragon does not disappoint. The visual effects are so darn believable it's mind boggling. The story, of course, follows the traditional one with perhaps a few new elements thrown in to juice it up a bit. The performances by Oakes Fegley, Bryce Dallas Howard and Robert Redford excel in their down home simplicity. I particularly enjoyed Oona Laurence's portrayal of Natalie, Pete's BFF from the first time she spots him as a wild kid in the woods. Truthfully, I went to see this to escape the 100+ degree heat into an air conditioned theater and it completely knocked my socks off! I highly recommend it for parents and grandparents to share with their kids and grandkids. Just be aware that there are some disturbing images that make it questionable for kids under age 7. Kudos to Disney for delivering a very believable fantasy.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Over the years, special effects have gotten better, acting more emotional, camera techniques more unique, and stories so much more exciting. Pete's Dragon is a perfect example of the progress in the world of filmmaking.

This film, at its core, is an adventure of two friends - a boy and his dragon. There is much more to offer though. Pete's Dragon offers exciting and spectacular action, yet includes some comedy to keep things bright and highlight the complex relationship between a child and his big friend.

The story begins when a young boy named Pete (Oakes Fegly), age five, gets into a car accident and sadly, both his parents pass away. Pete is now stranded in the woods and everything changes when he meets a green dragon he names Elliot. They live happily together for six years until Pete is discovered by other people and now must make a huge decision. Should he live with Elliot in the woods or go live with humans?

Pete's Dragon truly makes Elliot come to life. Not only is his skin and fur deeply detailed, his expressions look natural and the way he moves is very realistic. It makes you want to get a dragon of your own! The creators made it so we see the actors interacting with Elliot and hugging him, despite the fact that his image was added in post production. The CGI is seamless and makes you truly believe he is a real life dragon. The actors interacted with Elliot emotionally even though he isn't actually there when they shot their scenes. What is equally impressive is that the young kids deliver a level of talent equal to adult actors. I also greatly enjoyed the cinematography. The scenes of Elliot flying through the clouds with Pete on his back and seeing the town, woods and mountains below are simply spectacular.

My favorite scene is when Pete and Elliot play in the woods and are having a blast. I love this scene because it truly shows that no matter the difference of age, height or even species, they are best friends. I also enjoyed this scene because it shows the peaceful beauty of the forest and represents the fantastic visual effects they created for Elliot moving around the forest.

This movie is recommended for kids, but not too young kids. I recommend it to ages 6 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well, but very young kids may find it a bit too intense at times. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for its beautiful cinematography, spectacular acting and very realistic special effects. It's in theaters now so, go check it out.

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

I liked watching Pete's Dragon. I enjoyed watching this film because of its fantastic animations and great pacing. After a terrible car crash, Pete (Oakes Fegley) is the only survivor. He is found and raised by a dragon named Elliot in the woods. Elliot is a huge, green, compassionate and joyful dragon. Six years later Pete is discovered by Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) a forest ranger who wonders how is he the woods by himself. He says that he lives in the woods with a dragon. Grace sets out to investigate if his story can be true. To find out what happens, you have to go see the movie.

What I enjoy about this film is the animation of Elliot. The CGI's are very realistic, for example the look of the fur and the detail of his chipped tooth ate perfect. This film makes it look like there is a real dragon in the woods. The pacing of this film is great, it isn't rushed, choppy or slow. I didn't feel like I was watching a movie for an hour and a half. This movie didn't make me feel empty like other films I have seen. I additionally like the sets, the town looks beautiful. Another thing, the cast performances are fantastic. Robert Redford's performance is superb, I enjoy his performance as Grace's father. He is a great character and Oakes Fegley is amazing as Pete. His performance shows a new side of this character that is different when compared to the original version.

The directing is well done. The director and writer (David Lowery) turned this remake into a fantastic piece. The entire art department made the CGI's great and I give them props for all their hard work.

However, one thing I didn't like is that some scenes were predictable. I knew how some scenes were going to turn out. I didn't feel surprised when certain things happened in the film. Besides that this film is great.

The moral of the film is just because someone or something is different, doesn't make them a monster. When people see Elliot they immediately are afraid, they want to hunt him down and eventually want to use him. Even though Elliot is very friendly, and compassionate dragon.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this to kids ages 6 to 18 and I think adults might like this as well. I also recommend this to people who like children, family, action and adventure movies. Make sure to see this film on Friday, August 12. Coming to a theater near you, this movie won't disappoint you.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
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
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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
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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
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ENDGAME

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ENDGAME       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 - Since he was 5 years old, Jose (Rico Rodriguez, Modern Family) has learned from his Abuelita (Ivonne Coll, Jane The Virgin) how to play chess like his grandfather, who was a champion in Mexico. Now as part of the Brownsville school team, Jose has the chance to use his skills and, for once in his life, find himself in the spotlight, as he tries to help his team make it to the Texas state finals. As their coach, Mr. Alvarado (Efren Ramirez, Napoleon Dynamite), teaches his students the meaning of perseverance and team effort in the face of adversity, Jose discovers his own strengths and uses them to bring his broken family together.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I like that this film teaches kids to never give up and to work as a team. The main story is a great one and one that should be told. There are a lot of different emotional issues covered such as teenage death and the tragedy of being deported. These are big issues and I am not sure that they are shown in the best way possible. What I mean is that they are touched upon but I felt as if parts were missing. For example, I didn't feel that, as a viewer, I saw the despair and grief of the main character Jose when he lost his brother. I would have liked to have seen more about this in this film. The issues are touched upon, but not quite enough to make an impact. It is a good film with an enjoyable story and very good action. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18.

Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Chess, the game that is so simple, yet so complex and difficult is coming to your TV screen in this great film called Endgame on DVD. This film is a wonderful combination of emotions - one minute you are sad and crying, then the next you are happy and laughing. I love that the film does this and that it really makes you feel like you are there.

The acting in this film is very well executed, but my favorite character is Jose (Rico Rodriguez) who is one of the stars of Modern Family. He is goodhearted and loves to play chess just like his grandmother or Abuelita in Spanish (Ivonne Coll) who starts teaching him the game of chess at the age five. Jose is going through a tough time. We see him stumble and fall but friends, family, chess and determination come to the rescue. Karla (Justina Machade), Jose's mother is depressed and sad for many reasons and she is mad because her mother has taught her son how to play chess even though she doesn't approve. The principle (Jon Gries) doesn't think that there should be a chess club and that it is a useless cause. Mr. Alvarado (Efren Ramirez), a teacher at Jose's school thinks that all children should know chess and that it can change their world for the better. Sandy (Cassie Brennan) is adorable and very funny. I like that she tries to help Jose (Rico Rodriguez) when he is playing chess with other competitors by distracting them with her flirtations. She uses her girly charms to her advantage.

Movies that show women as strong mother and grandmother figures are so important to our youth. I love all the women in this film. They have many complex aspects to them. There is always a fine line between grandparents' and parents' roles which is funny because they all want the same thing - for their children to be happy and healthy.

My favorite scenes are those when Mr. Alvarado (Efren Ramirez) have the children play chess on a life size chess board and they are the chess pieces. I love these scenes because they are hysterical and this is great idea for children to learn how to play chess. I will be trying this with my friends and family now because it looks like so much fun.

The fact that it is based on true events is astonishing. I like that it is so real and well portrayed as it makes you become really engaged in the characters and the out-come of this true story. Hurray! I love the end of a movie when they have captions that tell you what happened to the real characters after this event in their timeline.

I wish that this film included just a bit more about chess and explained it a bit better. I have played chess many times and enjoy the game. Although you do not need to know how the play chess to enjoy the drama and family struggles, basic knowledge of the game helps you to better understand what is going on especially when they show scenes regarding competitions. I liked that they showed it as a game of strategy and that you need to know your opponents next move and never lose focus.

I recommend this film for ages 9 to 18 and think adults will also like this film because it is about chess and they might even learn a new chess move or two. Children will learn from this film because they will be able to see Jose struggles and see how he deals with issues such as anger, frustration and hurt. I give this film 4 � out of 5 chess piece stars.

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

Endgame By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11 Endgame is an interesting film with some good characters and memorable performances, but the plot could use a little work. Although, at the end of the movie, I had a smile on my face.

At a very young age, Jose (Rico Rodriguez) starts to learn chess from his Abuelita (Ivonne Coll) but he has always been in his brother's shadow. When tragedy strikes, Jose receives a calling to become a chess champion. The movie is inspired by the true story about a school in Texas that built an champion chess team.

My favorite character is Mr. Alvarado (Efren Ramirez) because he never gives up on the kids and even spends his rent money to get them to a tournament. Another character I like is Jose's grandmother because she is always giving him good advice, encouraging him to do the right thing and she teaches him to play chess. There are other performances that stand out for me. Rico Rodriguez puts a lot of effort into his role and he is very believable. So does newcomer Alina Hererra who plays Jose's friend and is the person who gets him interested in playing chess for the school.

As much as I like the characters and the actors, the plot is uneven and I feel as if I've seen parts of it in other films. Some scenes are pretty inspiring, but others just feel cheesy and stylized. When the plot tries to take an emotional turn, sometimes it ends up going flat and didn't resonate with me. I enjoyed the ending of this movie anyway because it is a pleasant surprise.

Compared to films about baseball or football, chess doesn't get much attention in the film industry, so it is nice to see it recognized in this film. I am also surprised how deep the film delves into social issues. The ending also managed to surprise me in spite of the plot problems in how it was executed. I like some of the music in this film and it really signals the right tone in some scenes.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 16 due to some language and some crude humor. I give it 2 out of 5 stars. It's not perfect but if you like Rico Rodriguez from the TV series Modern Family or chess, you'll probably enjoy Endgame.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 22.97
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


LEGEND OF TARZAN, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEGEND OF TARZAN, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - John Clayton following his parents' death in Africa would be raised by an ape and would be known by the name Tarzan, would leave Africa and go to his parents' home in England along with woman he fell in love with and married, Jane Porter. He would be asked by Belgian King Leopold to go to Africa to see what he has done there to help the country. Initially he refuses. But an American, George Washington Williams wants him to accept so he can accompany him. He says that Leopold might be committing all sorts of atrocities to achieve his goal like slavery. He needs to prove it. Clayton agrees and his wife insists that she accompany him because she misses Africa. They go and when they arrive a man named Rom who works for Leopold attacks the village they are at and captures Tarzan and Jane. With Washington's help he escapes and sets out to rescue Jane by going across the jungle and Washington joins him despite being told that he might not make it. .
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Alas, Tarzan lovers rise for the continuation of this legendary story, but take a seat because this film is disappointing. The film covers Tarzan's life after he left Africa to live in England as John Clayton and returns to Africa to help his country. After a series of dangerous obstacles and captures, Tarzan fights to save his love Jane.

I found the film's plot so confusing and disconnected that it was difficult to give a thorough summary without looking it up. The film stars Alexander Skarsgard as Tarzan who, in the movie, is quite civilized, British and sophisticated despite the fact that he was raised by gorillas in the jungle. This disappointed me because it is one thing to make a bad movie but it's even more disappointing when the film has a template to follow and doesn't. In the original film, Jane is British but in this adaptation she is American. This really confused me because of its inconsistency with the original story. Another disappointing aspect is that the apes in this film were not his friends. They were his enemies. The back story of Tarzan is all about how he was raised by gorillas and how they are his family. I did not enjoy seeing Tarzan fighting the creatures that are supposed to be his family.

Looking past that inconsistency and hard-to-follow plot, on the positive side, the film has impressive visuals that make it quite entertaining. The characters are not ones you get attached to or gain a bond with and, me for that makes the movie lack the emotional connection it needs to really draw in the audience.

I feel as if the film doesn't focus on appropriate things. It focuses a lot on business schemes to get money rather than the emotional struggles and journeys in the jungle.

The film has little details and aspects that are alright, such as the casting, but I just did not find the movie compelling. I think it would interest people that like historical fiction and recommend it for tweens and teens. People between the ages of 30 to 60 would also enjoy it because of its complexity and historical background. I would not go out of my way to see this and rank it 2 out of 5 stars because I was so disappointed in it.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


I AM YOU

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
I AM YOU
XXX
Series: INDEPENDEN FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 8-5
Topic - Family
Description - The film is an abstract depiction of a child's perspective of the outer world. The struggle of the kid to come in terms with the surrounding and the desire to liberate himself from its clutches.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short film blends abstraction with realism in a fascinating way and invites the viewer to question their relationship to others. I enjoyed watching it and think it would make a good addition for a youth and family festival. Recommended for ages 8 to 15. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


SENI

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SENI
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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


KEEPIN' IT WEIRD TV- EVEN THE KIDS ARE WEIRD

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KEEPIN' IT WEIRD TV- EVEN THE KIDS ARE WEIRD
XXX
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Meet our Keepin' It Weird Youth from Austin, TX with a collection of sketches where they poke fun at the world around them!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Keepin' It Weird TV is funny, different and very entertaining. I enjoyed it because the kids display great imagination along with their "weird" creativity. The locations work very well with the theme. For example, in the episode "Pistachio Pants," they introduce the pants with one young person being teased and then she turns the table and sets a trend. While, I do not consider this a special interest topic, I think it is a great example of how our young people view various adult situations and make them laughable. I believe a child will enjoy this show because it presents real life activities in a zany, over-exaggerated way. I recommend it for ages 8 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 16 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


LIGHT DRIFTER

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LIGHT DRIFTER
XXX
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Light Drifter by Yu-Ting Cheng is a 2D animation that uses a flowing pastel and watercolor style to tell a poetic visual narrative based on the filmmaker's childhood nighttime sleepwalks. Created at the intersection of dreams and reality, the audience is lead on an imaginary journey through mysterious spaces that are shaped by light.

Director's Bio: Yu Ting Cheng received an M.F.A. in Computer Art with a concentration in 2D animation from the School of Visual Art in New York (2016). Her creative and animation practice includes computer animation, concept design and storyboard design for visual concept development. She has worked as a 2D animation assistant at Bill Plympton Studios in New York (2015) and as an assistant instructor in stop motion, animation and watercolors at Taipei Contemporary Art Association, Taiwan (2013).

Director's Statement: I'm a dreamer. In my 2D animation Light Drifter, I invite the viewer into my dream world through a visual m�lange of watercolor and illustration. As a child in rural Taiwan, I played and drew in my grandfather's garden. Surrounded by farms and animals, I recorded what I saw. Light Drifter is a visual narrative of my dreams realized in a surreal world populated by monsters, birds, fish and magical creatures. For me, reality and dreams can merge. In the imagination of a child, the boundaries between the known and unknown are fluid. Ever since I was young, I have sought to share this mysterious reality with others. Light Drifter, a story of an impish creature who ventures into the seemingly friendly mouth of a monster, invites a suspension of logic as the viewer enjoys a tour of the unknown. As a child, I remember being startled and disoriented by the darkness as I awoke from my frequent nighttime sleepwalks. Light Drifter is a visual response to lessen the fears associated with these early nightmares. Through a strong use of light, I transform unpredictable and intriguing shapes into candy that lures the viewer. Ku Yan-Ren, a Taiwanese watercolorist has remarked, "Each stroke and color in Yu Ting's work reveals her powerful imagination. Visual discoveries await her viewers." Through my inventive use of color, I convey a positive energy to the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This student film is extremely unique and a welcome breath of fresh air for someone who searches for something different in film. The strongest aspects of this film are the visuals and sound. The colors are lively and beautiful. The artistic style is quite imaginative with interesting and compelling characters. The music complements it quite well and moves the film forward. I believe anyone, especially younger kids who have active imaginations, will enjoy this film. It is completely non narrative so it is very open to interpretation. Some people might not enjoy this aspect of it, especially those who prefer something more realistic and less abstract.

I recommend this for film festivals because it's the kind of film you would only find in that type of environment. I found it very enjoyable and I think anyone who enjoys ambiguous topics and enjoys searching for deeper meaning in media will enjoy watching this. It is something different and something that is very unique that people will interpret in their own different ways.

The production values are high. The music is a very soothing. The artistic style and colors are very enjoyable to latch. The animation is well executed. I give a hats off to this student filmmaker and hope to see more of her work.

It feels very uplifting and imaginative and I enjoyed watching it. Recommended for ages 8 to 18.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


TEACHER X-GIN'S LESSON IN DISCRIMINATION

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TEACHER X-GIN'S LESSON IN DISCRIMINATION
XXX
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - The one-day teacher of this episode is Gin Oy, a writer and model. When she was younger, she was discriminated and bullied because she was a plump girl with tattoos, which caused her to suffer from major depression in her adolescence. So she intends to let the kids know what discrimination can do to hurt someone's feelings. She divides the students into two groups, according to the unchangeable hereditary characteristic of their earlobes. With a made-up experiment, she convinces the kids that those with free earlobes has better self-control while those with attached earlobes have to stay inside the classroom during the breaks to study harder. Being tagged as someone born to be worse than the others, what will the kids react to this discrimination?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What an interesting way to address discrimination, a topic that certainly every young child should be aware of. This film positions an instructor who spoofs the kids in the beginning until she leads them through an exercise that allows them to experience discrimination based on something they cannot control - their earlobes. The film uses cute graphics to enhance its message and moves very quickly as the viewer is allowed to observe the children participating in the various exercises designed to teach them what it feels like to be discriminated by others over something beyond their control. The camera work and quality as well as sound are very good. The thoughtfulness of the subject and how it is handled is excellent. There is some terminology and concepts that may not be appropriate for younger viewers however, given the topic those words are necessary to help reinforce the point about discrimination that the film addresses. I recommend this for inclusion in a youth film festival and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. You should know that it is in Chinese with English sub-titles. Reviewed by Michael O and Julie S. Delete
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 26 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


LAKOTA GIRLS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LAKOTA GIRLS
XXX
Series: INDEPENDENT FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - This is a historical drama about Mato Win, an eight-year-old Native American girl who lives at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. She is sent to live with a white family at a horse ranch in the Black Hills. She stays with Clara, an eight-year-old white girl and her family, but Mato Win is determined to get back to the reservation. She runs away to the mountainous forest, but is found. Mato Win is afraid she will be kept from her parents and does not trust Clara's older brother Cavan. Mato Win questions Clara about an old photo of two Indian men in her home. Clara tells the story of her great-great grandma, Emylon, who rode the train from Indiana to teach there, a hundred years ago. The girls discover they have more in common than they knew.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is quite a wonderful drama that weaves in an intercultural love story based on a true story of the director's great-grandmother. The beautiful scenery shot in the Black Hills and the Pine Ridge Reservation are stunning. The actors are quite believable and include many Lakota actors appearing in a film for the first time. The flute music by the Lakota flutist is stunning as is the original score by William Cox. This first-time filmmaker has created a lovely tale that reveals the history of her family and the complicated relationships created by the intercultural marriage of her ancestor. It's not perfect but it is certainly an admirable effort and quite worthy of play at the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. I recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 94 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


S.O.S.

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
S.O.S.
XXX
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 6-10
Topic - Family
Description - A story about a mischievous young boy and his relationship with his protective older brother, centered around a lovely day at the beach.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This animated student short captures the relationships between these two brothers in a fun and imaginative way. I enjoyed the scenes at the beach, the terror of being too far out in the water and the joy of being rescued. The ending surprised me as it seems to lead us to yet another adventure by these boys. I recommend this be included in a youth and family film festival and congratulate the 4th year college filmmaker on a job well done. Julie S. for KIDS FIRST! I recommend it for ages 6 to 10 and give it 4 out of 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


DOG LOVER, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DOG LOVER, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
XXX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - Sara Gold is a rising star at the United Animal Protection Agency (UAPA), a major animal rights organization that conducts animal rescues and lobbies for better animal welfare laws. Handpicked for a major assignment, Sara goes undercover as a college intern to infiltrate a suspected "puppy mill" run by the enigmatic Daniel Holloway.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film teaches important morals and has a heartwarming story. It also gives us an opportunity to meet many new characters and experience beautiful scenery.

The Dog Lover is dramatic film. There are a few jokes, but film is not meant to be a comedy. There are a few more elements that spice things up, including a romance between characters as well as an adventurous theme throughout the film.

The story starts when Sara Gold (Allison Paige) is working for a nonprofit organization that is against dog breeding. Sara goes undercover at a dog breeder farm. She discovers that there is truly nothing wrong with the farm and they treat their dogs very well. The organization still accuses the family farm which then has to fight to keep their dogs safe.

This film has a simple and pretty much unoriginal story. It is a story about someone who works for the good guys and then discovers they actually are the bad guys. The ending is very expected so the story is predictable and somewhat boring. But, the main actors performed exceptionally well. Allison Paige, James Remar (Daniel Holloway) and others are amazing. However, I felt as if the side characters' performances felt forced which made some conversations seem rather cheesy.

The cinematography is very simple and standard, but the scenery is beautiful and enjoyable to watch. My favorite scene is when Sara and the son of the dog breeder, Will Holloway (Jason Blair) go on a trip near the farm. There, the two watch the spectacular scenery and observe wild horses galloping around freely. I love this scene because it is peaceful and somewhat romantic without being over the top which is very difficult to achieve.

The Dog Lover does have some mature topics and some sad parts which may be too mature for younger kids. I recommend it for ages 11 to 18 and give it 3 out of 5 stars for its pretty scenery and some good performances. This film is in theaters on July 8 so, be sure to go check it out.

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

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


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


LEGO STAR WARS: THE FREEMAKER ADVENTURES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
DISNEY XD
Series: DVD, AGES 8 - 15
Topic - Family
Description - The series stars the Freemakers, a family of scavengers who build and sell starships from the scoured debris of space battles strewn throughout the galaxy. When their youngest discovers a natural connection with the Force through an ancient artifact . The Kyber Saber, his world is turned upside down, and he and his family are thrown into an epic struggle against the Empire to restore peace and freedom to the galaxy. Throughout their adventures, the Freemakers explore new worlds, meet new and familiar characters, and learn the true value of what it means to be a family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Just when you thought you would have to wait a year for the next Star Wars movie to come out, Disney is here to rescue the world from the long wait. On June 20th, Star Wars fans will have a new series to watch on Disney XD.

There are people who follow the Lego kits step by step and then, there are those who think outside of the box and build from their imagination and this is what a Freemaker truly is all about. Bill Motz and Bob Roth have captured the feel, characters and storyline of Star Wars which is why I love this new TV series. It feels like you are connecting with a friend who you have not seen for a while. It is easy to watch and everything is relatable and, of course, there are new ships, characters and gadgets to add to the Star Wars treasure chest.

There is a family of three scavengers who operate a salvage and repair shop in space living in the time period after The Empire Strikes Back and before Return of the Jedi. They are just trying to survive and pay the rent.

Roger Roger is back and has moved up to become a sidekick. I just love saying Roger, Roger, as it brings a smile to my face. No one but Matthew Woods could do it so perfectly. He has been a part of Star Wars forever and continues to work on various projects with great enthusiasm for this fantasy realm originally created by George Lucas. This series has the Star Wars humor, high stakes, the fate of lives, secrets and creative fun characters. I am with you Roger, Roger.

Nicolas Cantu as Rowan Freemaker, the little brother, is humorous as he is a klutz and trouble loves to follow him. His voice matches the animation and enhances the epic adventures he undertakes. He is my favorite character and I can't wait to see what will happen to him next. He has abilities that always seem to get the Star Wars characters into trouble as they learn to defeat the dark force and fight for good. Yes of course there is Darth Vander, his minions and the Storm Troopers who lurk in the background to trip up our heroes.

Eugene Byrd is no stranger to acting and his voice is an added bonus as the older brother who is still a kid but the real genius of the family. Zander Freemaker is the pilot and the one who knows how to build everything.

Kordi Freemaker is the female who tries to keep the family together. She has girl power, charm and charisma and uses these qualities to her advantage. Ferlark the landlord is no match for Vanessa Lengies who voices this character. She is always there to keep the boys in check. I love that she is a problem solver and smart.

The animation offers the LEGO'ized look of the Star Wars world. It is crisp and clear and gives you the sense of watching a Stars Wars movie. With this new series, the creators have also made yet another planet for us to visit and learn about.

The story line is great but my favorite thing about this series is all the new characters they have added. Even better is the fact that LEGO has made the characters and ships for this series. So buckle up and get ready for another Star Wars adventure.

I recommend this series to kids ages 8 to 18. Everyone who is a Star Wars fan will love this. After the first episode and I am hooked and waiting impatiently for the next installment. I give this series 5 out of 5 light sabers and May the Force be with You!!! Look for this series on Disney XD.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


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


SHREK (25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SHREK (25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Topic - Family
Description - Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Shrek! In this fully computer-animated fantasy from the creators of Antz, we follow the travails of Shrek (Mike Myers), a green ogre who enjoys a life of solitude. Living in a far away swamp, he is suddenly invaded by a hoard of fairy tale characters, such as the Big Bad Wolf, the Three Little Pigs, and Three Blind Mice, all refugees of their homes who have been shunned by the evil Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). They want to save their homes from ruin, and enlist the help of Shrek, who is in the same situation. Shrek decides to offer Lord Farquaad a deal; he will rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), who is intended to be Farquaad's bride. Accompanying Shrek on his adventure is the faithful but loquacious Donkey (Eddie Murphy), who has a penchant for crooning pop songs. The two must face various obstacles in order to locate the Princess, but they find their world challenged when she reveals a dark secret that will affect the group. Shrek is based on the children's book by William Steig, and features additional voice-work by Vincent Cassel, Cody Cameron, and Kathleen Freeman.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Such an incredible film. Delightful satire. Excellent computer animation. Traditional fairy tales are satirized gender stereotypes are pulverized and all result in a, much appreciated happy and surprising ending. Encourages self esteem and loving people for who they really are. Some minor violence and naughtiness, like the potty humor which kids uproariously laugh at and makes adults cringe.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A bit hit! Kids love the characters, especially Eddie Murphy's talking and singing donkey with his potty humor. Without exception, they all wanted to watch it again. Some scenes are too scary for youngest kids. This one's a keeper! Put it into your library.
Runtime: 89 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 17.99
Media: DVD ISBN # 7/15/2007
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


Buy Here (from PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT)


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BOOK OF WISHES, THE
SANTA FE SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS & SCIENCES MOVING IMAGES PROGRAM
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Jeff finds a book that will grant all his wishes. But sometimes, what you want isn't all that good for you.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A frustrated student in his room struggles to complete his homework. He finds The Book of Wishes - wishes for a "homework machine". But, how does this affect his life? The Book of Wishes offers a rendition of a classic message. We wish for things and, when granted, we find out the price of that wish turns out not to be so good. When viewers see what happens to Jeff when he wishes for a homework machine, it may lead them to re-think their own wishes. Very watchable, and creates a curiosity where you want to find out what happens.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FAD-ULOUS
SANTA FE SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS & SCIENCES MOVING IMAGES PROGRAM
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Stella's classmates are all obsessed with a new fad: neon mustaches. Stella doesn't want to wear one, but the peer pressure is building...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What do mustaches and fads have in common? Fad-ulous is a great example of how fads start and what keeps them going. The film demonstrates the importance of being an individual and maintaining your standards. Stella, the main character tries to resist becoming involved but peer pressure is stronger. After experiencing discomfort in eating, concentrating for a test, Stella stands up against the fad. Fad-ulous addresses an important issue, dealing with FADS- the importance of maintaining your own self-identity.
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


MAGIC TRAIN, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MAGIC TRAIN, THE
JOE CHANG
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - The story of Magic Train was based on a girl called Lin Lin, who was an American Born Chinese and brought up overseas. During her trip to China on a traveling train, she had experienced series of amazing things from what she saw in China. The film was particularly concerned about different aspect of artistic levels. From the unique style and technique of animation, the film had shown the humanistic feelings from the combination of Chinese traditional cultural and modern life. It also had a lot of entertainment and artistic affection, too. The whole film was consist of ten different little stories in sequence, and had 87 minutes in total. The dialogue was little and the music was adapted from Chinese traditional well-known music scores. The audiovisual feeling of the film was like a song, a picture, a poem and a dream. These could touch deep through the heart of different age group audiences.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From the opening scene, I enjoyed this film and its animations. Some of the animation reminds me of the motion capture executed in films such as The Polar Express. Some animations are a bit dark at times which makes them difficult to see. I love the blend of animation and live action. It gives it the viewer a somewhat surreal experience as it incorporates some amazing animated shorts into a loose storyline. Time and again, we come back to the girl on the train who seems to be dreaming of all the incredible things she saw while in China. This is an animator's dream with its many animated shorts, each one visually beautiful and well executed. The background music, adapted from traditional Chinese music suits the film quite well. There is little dialogue in this and what there is, is in Chinese with English sub-titles. But, dialogue is not necessary as the animations each tell their own story. Recommended for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, for ages 8 to 18. Julie S. for KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Joe Chang is an award-winning director, animator and artist. He studied at Lu-Xun Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang, China and Tama Art University in Tokyo, Japan and the animated short the Chinese Violin (2000) was his first animated film with the National Film Board of Canada. His most recent animated feature film is The Magic Train (2015). Currently, Joe is an artist and independent filmmaker, and he also working at the School of Art, Zhejiang University of Technology as a Dean and professor in Hangzhou, China.
Runtime: 87 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


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)


JOURNEY TO SPACE (BLU-RAY)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
JOURNEY TO SPACE (BLU-RAY)
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Brilliantly narrated by film and television legend Sir Patrick Stewart, Journey To Space gives a sweeping overview of humanity's accomplishments in space, as well as our ongoing activities and future plans. Journey To Space puts into historical context the magnificent contributions made by the Space Shuttle program and its intrepid space pioneers. It uses the most spectacular space footage (including unique views of Earth and operations in space) such as deploying and repairing the Hubble Space Telescope. It then goes on to show how the shuttle launched and assembled the International Space Station (ISS). Together, these programs have taught us how to live, build and conduct scientific experiments in space. The ISS will continue operating in space until 2024, and the film shows how it is building a foundation for the next giant leaps into space, concluding with a fascinating, realistic scenario of how astronauts will actually get to Mars, live there for long durations, and then return home after a two-and-a-half-year mission.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really liked Journey to Space. This film is greatly educational and adventurous. The film includes amazing photographs that made me feel like such a small being in the vastness of space. This documentary includes authentic pictures from the Hubble space telescope that are out of this world, literally (*wink*). I found myself mesmerized by all the information and discoveries made in space.

This amazing documentary on space exploration is narrated by Patrick Stewart (X-Men series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Ice Age: Continental Drift, and many more).The film is very informative. I learned so much. It even shows NASA's 3D diagrams for how they will build new spacecraft for Mars. The challenges that the human body has to endure while orbiting the Earth in the ISS (International Space Station) are great. For example, some people's bones and eyes start deteriorating within a few days of being in zero gravity. Physical exercise and nutrition are two key components of their staying healthy.

I have many favorite parts of this film. One is when Patrick Stewart describes the human's hunger for knowledge and discovery. Another is the introduction which shares diverse environments of our planet Earth. Patrick Stewart is a great narrator for this film with his captivating tone of voice and amazing vocabulary. Also, this documentary included Chris Ferguson who is an experienced astronaut, Serena Aunon, an astronaut-in-training and Lindsay Aitchison who designs and makes space suits. All three people are passionate about what they do and each plays an important part of the success to travel into deep space and beyond!

The moral of this film is that mankind is, and will always be, exploring new environments and places on this planet and in deep space. I relate to this concept on many levels because I love to explore. The things that really stick out to me in this film are the music, the fabulous scenery and all the information throughout the film.

I recommend this movie for ages 8 to 18 and think adults will enjoy it as well because the extraordinary knowledge given is great for all ages and is very inspirational for all who wish to invent and discover new things. I give this documentary 5 out of 5 galactic stars.

Reviewed by Bison B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Runtime: 45 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 29.99
Media: DVD


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


ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLAD (2016)

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLAD (2016)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - When Alice wakes up in Wonderland she must travel through a mysterious new world to retrieve a magical scepter that can stop the evil Lord of Time before he turns forward the clock and turns Wonderland into a barren, lifeless old world. With the help of some new friends, Alice must also uncover an evil plot to put the Queen of Hearts back on the throne.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Disney's Alice Through The Looking Glass is a magical fantasy adventure film in the great Tim Burton tradition. It is also a refreshing, feminist take on the classic Lewis Carroll story. This sequel to 2010's blockbuster, Alice in Wonderland, again stars Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as Iracebeth (Queen of Hearts) and Anne Hathaway as Mirana. New to the cast is Sasha Baron Cohen as "Time."

In the real world of 18th century England, Alice Kingsleigh is a captain of an English merchant ship. She is about to lose her commission when she re-enters Wonderland for the second time. She is given a warm welcome by all her old friends: the White Rabbit, TweedleDee and TweedleDum, the Cheshire Cat and Mirana. She learns that her best friend, The Mad Hatter, is depressed because he misses his parents and his siblings. She decides that the only way to help him is to find his family. They are presumed dead, but the Hatter doesn't believe so. She then goes in search of the chronosphere, a time travel device located at Time's castle. What follows is an epic journey in search of "The Hatter's" parents.

Alice Through the Looking Glass is very creative and colorful. Tim Burton is one of the producers, so this is not surprising. The costumes and the makeup are top notch. The special effects are inventive, especially the sequence at Time's castle. Time has an amazing castle, which is run by a group of creatures called "seconds," which are made of nuts, bolts and gears. These "seconds" can combine to make even bigger creatures called "minutes." These "minutes" can combine to make a enormous, transformer-like creature called "hours."

There is a lot of smart wordplay based on the character Time. Think of all the puns having to do with time and they are all in the movie. Sasha Baron Cohen as Time steals the whole film. He is very funny, exciting and works well with this great ensemble cast. My favorite line of the film is when The Mad Hatter exclaims "dream or reality - who's to say which is which." This sums up the message of the movie and the magic in all Tim Burton movies.

Alice Through The Looking Glass is an enchanting adventure/fairy tale for the whole family. It is appropriate for ages 8 to 18. I rate this film 4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

This film is visually amazing with a legendary cast. A few generations have grown up with the characters of this series. Based on all the details and success of the first movie, it was built up to be a fantastic film. What came out, however, was far from that.

This film mixes many elements, which makes it confusing at times. First, there is comedy. On top of that is lots of drama with some adventure and fantasy thrown in. To make things even stranger for a "Wonderland" film is the presence of sci-fi as well.

The film is just under two hours long and has a dozen different things happening. First, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is now a grown, independent young woman. She is an extremely talented British Captain of her father's ship. However, since it is the late 1800s, that is unheard of. After a dangerous voyage, she discovers that her ship and her status are taken away. While thinking about the future, she encounters an old friend from Wonderland, which leads her through a "mirror portal" back to Wonderland. In Wonderland, she finds that her old friend, Hatter (Johnny Depp) is slowly dying from despair of losing his family and trying to find them. Alice tries to help out the Hatters and discover what happened to his family by time travelling.

This story takes up only the first twenty minutes of the movie. The film has way too many climaxes and problems. It seems like it is moving onto the next film every 10 to 20 minutes. But that's not the biggest issue. On top of that, there are so many holes that it is clear the screenwriters did not think twice about what they were writing. That makes the audience wonder, "Wait, why didn't they just do this and save so much time and problems?" Also, the effect of going from fantasy to slightly sci-fi is a bit much and confuses the viewer even further. So, the script and the storyline are weak. Then, there are the interactions between characters which I found boring and bland. I don't fault of the actors who are legendary and very experienced, but blame it on the screenplay. The writer, Linda Woolverton clearly did not do the justice to the story. Compared to Disney's Alice in Wonderland which came out in 2010 or the 1951 version, this is a disappointment. If Walt Disney ever saw this version of Alice, he'd not be happy and, most likely would make some drastic changes. It was disappointed that the storyline in this movie has very little to do with the original book by Lewis Carroll. I'm all up for being creative but, when it ventures so far astray, why not call it something else?

On the other hand, there are some positives about this film. Even though the writing has issues, the visual effects are simply spectacular. The realistic interaction between animated characters and live actors is amazingly well executed. Even the CGI characters still look a lot like something you'd expect from Alice in Wonderland. There are probably a good five to ten minutes of visual aerial shots showing spectacular buildings and contraptions, all created digitally. Throughout the shots, I stared in awe at the beautiful world created by digital designers and artists. On top of that, even though the dialogue was bland, the performance of the actors is top notch. They did all they could to enlighten the dialogues and the story. Hatter's facial impressions are priceless.

My favorite part in the movie is the eye candy of all those visual effects that made you forget the lack of story structure, or rushed script writing and just enjoy this fantasized world that has been around for so many years. Unlike the story or script, the visuals are in great detail and very fitting.

This film is filled with great acting and or spectacular visuals so I recommend it for ages 7 to 18. There are some action scenes that are too intense for younger children. Because of poor screenplay and storyline, I rate it 2 out of 5 stars.

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

Alice Looking Through The Glass is absolutely amazing. All of its elements make it outstanding. It's based the book by Lewis Carroll where Alice returns to Wonderland and has to help the Mad Hatter find his family. Through her journey, she must overcome multiple obstacles that try to stop her. She also experiences some personal issues herself regarding her own family in the real world. The animation of this movie is, by far, the best I've ever seen. Everything seems so real, yet has that fairytale, fantasy aspect. Most of the movie takes place in the world of Wonderland.

The movie's plot is very well done. My favorite part is when Alice confronts the Mad Hatter about him being right all along and he slowly becomes himself again. Actually, that transformation which includes a change in makeup, hair, eye color and shape is impressive. Without a doubt, that moment is very delightful and heartwarming. My favorite character is Alice Kingsleigh, the protagonist, played by Mia Wasikowska. Ms. Wasikowska represents the character as an adventurous, but still timid girl. Alice never gives up and believes in her dreams and her friend's dreams as well. Alice always keeps her word and is always there for her loved ones no matter the circumstances.

Throughout the movie, there are many morals but the one that caught my attention was how that the past cannot be changed, one can only learn from it. I find this very important since people sometimes can't get over their mistakes and really, they should just learn the consequences and move on and keep living. This film also shows how, in the 19th century, being a female leader was difficult or unheard of and one had to be strong and smart with their words.

The most redeeming quality of this movie for me is that it revolves around the meaning of having a family and doing everything for them. I recommend this film to ages 3 to 18 and I rate it a five out of five stars.

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

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


ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - In the 3D animated comedy, The Angry Birds Movie, we'll finally find out why the birds are so angry. The movie takes us to an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds - or almost entirely. In this paradise, Red (Jason Sudeikis, We're the Millers, Horrible Bosses), a bird with a temper problem, speedy Chuck (Josh Gad in his first animated role since Frozen), and the volatile Bomb (Danny McBride, This is the End, Eastbound and Down) have always been outsiders. But when the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it's up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to. Featuring a hilarious, all-star voice cast that includes Bill Hader (Trainwreck, Inside Out), Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids, Sisters), and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), as well as Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live, Ghostbusters), Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele), Tony Hale (Veep, Arrested Development), Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors, Sisters),
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely loved this family friendly cartoon because it made me laugh out loud! The animation in this movie is exquisite. It is so detailed that you can clearly see all the feathers on the birds and tiny waves of the ocean. When they show scenes of the town you can see the patch work on the houses and the real looking scenery. Each character is unique because the creative animation matches their personalities.

This movie is about, Red (Jason Sudeikis), a red bird who never fit in and has anger issues. One day, he has to go to an anger management class and meets the birds Bomb, Matilda, Chuck and Terence, and they all become friends.

Then, pigs come to the island on an unexpected visit. They have parties with the birds and they give the birds weird gifts like trampolines and motorcycles and generally cause havoc in the town. A horrible turn of events happens and Red and all of the other birds need to save the day.

My favorite scene is when Red attends anger management class. Matilda, the instructor talks with all the birds about their issues. They participate in many funny exercises such as poetry writing and yoga. This is a funny scene. Red has the wrong attitude and is definitely negative and Matilda the instructor demonstrates some anger issues too.

My favorite character is Terence (Sean Penn), a giant red and black bird who doesn't really talk as much as he grunts. His facial expressions are particularly funny. Terence gets a lot of laughs from the audience and appears to be a crowd favorite.

The Angry Birds Movie is definitely a comedy. Almost every scene, even the sad ones, have funny lines. There is some humor that would make sense to older kids and adults but not little kids. There are some parts that some adults might not feel comfortable with some of the content. For example, when the pigs slap their butts and joke about reproducing.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars because of the humor and recommend it for ages 4 to 18. It is a fun and silly animated movie about angry birds. Who doesn't love angry birds? If you like the game Angry Birds or just want to have a good laugh, then The Angry Birds Movie is the movie for you. It opens in theaters nationwide May 20, 2016 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.

Do you like birds, pigs and sling shots and laughing? I know I do and I am so excited that they finally made a movie about the angry birds and their story.

If you're a diehard fan of Angry Birds, then you should see this because it explains everything and it will make you like the game even more. You find out why Red (Jason Sudeikis), a fellow Lithuanian. is always angry. The pigs are cute and cunning and all will be explained. They have an evil plot which leads up to the big pig vs bird war.

This movie is totally stupendous, hilarious and explains why the birds are so angry. There are so many punch lines and jokes that I was laughing and rolling on the floor. I find myself quoting so many of the jokes that are still stuck in my head. I think that adults and kids will both like the humor in this movie because it is appropriate and it appeals to a large audience.

The animation is crisp, clear and detailed. The island the pigs live on is amazing. No detail is left out and it is an incredible, giant city they live in. Each pig and bird is designed to show its peculiarity. The baby birds make your heart go awe every time you see one. They all match the game. I love how they keep the game details in the story.

The voice-over talent - Peter Dinklage, Sean Penn, Danny Mc Bride and Maya Rudolph - all excel in delivering an unique and interesting personality. The star-studded cast brings out the emotions of each individual bird. The birds look so real. I didn't even realize that they were animated until after I left the theater because they were so well portrayed. I loved the way it made me feel like I was part of this film.

The music is also quite suitable. I thought it was really funny that the birds were shown in rock 'n roll and the pigs as country. The mighty eagle and the mighty red song are just adorable to me. There is a large variety of different music throughout this film.

My favorite character is Josh Gad who voices Chuck. He is hysterical, goodhearted and ready for anything. I am starting to think that I have the need for speed and this is the bird for the job. Josh Gad deserves a huge pat on the back for his fast talking and energetic voice, which fit his part perfectly.

My favorite scene is one in which Chuck is so fast that he throws paint, moves pigs around and sets up the scene to distract the pigs for the bids. He starts this while Red is in the middle of a sentence and finishes before the sentence is over. That is what I call FAST! Of course, Chuck pretends that he has no idea as to what has just happened as chaos ensues.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18. Everyone in the theater laughed throughout the film and both the adults and the kids left with a giant smile on their faces. I give this movie 5 out of 5 sling shots with exploding angry birds attached. I really hope you can see this in a theater near you. Brought to you by Columbia Pictures and Rovio Animation, it comes out on May 20, 2016.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
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


TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DESGUISE: SEASON 1

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DESGUISE: SEASON 1
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 8 - 15
Topic - Family
Description - When a Cybertronian prison ship filled with Decepticons crash lands on Earth and unleashes its prisoners, Bumblebee returns to the planet he once called home and with his team (Strongarm, Sideswipe, Fixit and Grimlock) tracks the escapees down in order to bring them to justice. Along with their new human allies, Denny and Russell, this unlikely team of robots in disguise must protect the Earth while preparing for an ominous threat suited only for a Prime.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I grew up watching Transformers, so I was really excited when given the opportunity to review this. Every episode is jammed pack with comedy, but there is much less action than the older Transformers. This series is a great children's show and has a consistent theme of working together for the greater cause. Although I prefer the more action approach to Transformers, I believe that this series has more to offer and is entertaining for boys and girls due to the comedy. I'm giving it 5 out of 5 stars. This series would be greatly enjoyed by ages 4 to 14. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! juror.

Looking for an action-packed video all about fighting for justice? This series is a good one! Planet Earth needs to be saved and Bumblebee assembles a team of Autobots action heroes to save the day. Yes, it is about fighting off evil but it is also about teamwork and is quite entertaining! I like that evil does not win of course, but I like that there is comedy as well. The fact that there are human allies makes this all the more interesting to watch. There are 26 Episodes and I enjoyed the Bonus features: 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International Panel, Featurettes and Animated Shorts. I enjoyed the animated shorts the best and my son liked the featurettes. I also think that I want to go to the San Diego Comic Con! I recommend for kids ages 6 to 12. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Many people dislike the live action Transformers movies directed by Michael Bay and I one among those. I did, however, enjoy the older Transformers cartoons, much like many of my friends did. So when I got the chance to review this newer Transformers animated series for a younger generation, I was considerably excited. After watching four sample episodes, I can say that the show definitely has merits that would appeal to younger audiences such as the action and the creative characters. I think the ideal audience is ages 8 to 12. They would get the most enjoyment out of it. As a 16-year-old, I have problems with it such as the voice acting which isn't up to par and, the fact that they have not learned from the movies and have wasted time with human stories in a show about Transformers. Younger children would probably not care or notice these things and will enjoy it for what it is. They are sure to really enjoy the creative robot designs such as the dinosaur robots and the shark robots. For them, I give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars and believe that these younger kids will definitely get plenty of enjoyment from it. Reviewed by Michael O., KIDS FIRST! juror.
Runtime: 570 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


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


QUACKERZ (BLU-RAY & DVD)

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
QUACKERZ (BLU-RAY & DVD)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - When the peaceful island of the Mandarin Ducks is mistakenly invaded by the Military Mallards, a conflict flares up between the Mandarin Emperor and the Mallard Commander. Longway, the Emperor's son, and Erica, the daughter of the Mallard Commander, meet... and before long, a friendship takes wing. While their feathered fathers fight and egg each other on, the wicked Ms. Knout is con-duck-ting a scheme to destroy the sun. The kids will have to get all their ducks in a row to battle their foe... but waddle they do if her foul plan succeeds?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This movie has very cute animation and lovable characters. Honestly this movie's real hook is the visuals. My daughter complained about not understanding the jokes and dialog in this film and, after watching, I see what she meant. I believe the creators wanted to make it enjoyable for parents as well as kids and, sadly in doing so, they made it a little bit too complex for younger children. That said, the story is quite good and I rather enjoyed it. I recommend this for ages 8 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars due to its complexity. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! juror.

Quackerz is a fun, animated story for both older kids and their parents. Produced by the Russian Animation Studio Rome. This delightful tale is mainly about the Chinese legend of the Sun Duck. What is the purpose of the Sun Duck? To protect the sun and the world, of course. The true Sun Duck (Longway) is a very likable character and one thing I really enjoyed about this film are the characters. Longway is my favorite though and I found myself cheering when he learns how to fly! This film is truly entertaining and this film has it all from adventure to conflict: The Mandarin Ducks and the Military Mallards, But, it is much more than about the conflict between the two groups. It shows true friendship and teamwork and it is quite detailed and even has humor. There is some minor violence and the evil character can seem somewhat scary so even though this is family friendly, I would recommend for ages 7 to 18. The soundtrack and scenes compliment each other and this one also has interesting Bonus features which are Behind the Scenes Animatics and An Attempt at Flying was my favorite one to watch. I give this one 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Do you like crazy ducks, silly henchmen and a love story? Then Quackerz is just ducky for you. The comical, adventures and fun movie is perfect for the whole family. The story is about Mallard military ducks vs. Mandarin ducks. I like the way it all plays out with all the different story lines, characters and all the jokes.

The characters in this film are very detailed. They all have different, wonderful voices, which I enjoyed dearly. Robbie Daymond who plays Longway is spectacular. He fits the teenage duck and you can hear the frustration he feels as his desire is to spread his wings and see the world. Andrea Becker who plays Erica is magnificent. She connects with Longway and the two ducks are destined to be together. Enn Reitel who voices Peng Li is hysterical. It is sweet of him to be so protective of his son. Mallard Commander is tough, but he has a soft side and loves his daughter dearly. You can tell that he wants the best for Erica. The story is really about how far fathers will go to protect their children. The voice-over actors are simply amazing and they all have peculiarities that fit their characters and make them sound unique.

The animation in this film is amazing. I love that it is so detailed. I like the way they show the town where people live as well as the mountains the ducks call home. All of the cooking scenes with the henchmen have astonishing details.

I loved the scene when Longway and Erica are flying and having such a good time. I am also a huge fan of romance. The ducks chewing gum and blowing pink bubbles in the air makes your heart go pitter patter and puts a smile on your face. You can just tell that these two are definitely love birds. The animation in this scene is very detailed. I am a tad bit jealous that she got a gorgeous blue firefly bouquet. It is so amazing.

I have a lot in common with Erica and can relate to her. She has girl power which makes her unique and fun. Erica is goodhearted, curious, adorable, smart and a tough cookie when needed. Those are just some of the qualities that I like about this awesome ducky.

This movie reminds me of Kung Fu Panda which also takes place in China, has talking animals and features the martial art of Kung Fu. Then, there is Romeo and Juliet's feathered fathers who keep the star-crossed duckies apart. It also reminded me of Rio because the Mandarin ducks cannot fly. This combination of movies put into one, has a slice of cake for everyone and I love that.

I recommend for ages 10 to 18. It is certainly family friendly. So, get a box of crackers and have a family adventure of your own. Be forewarned that there is some violence and the evil Ms. Knout could use a tad more feathers. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 quacking flapping stars!

Brought to you by Shout Factory, it is available on DVD and Digital Platforms July 14, 2016.

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

This animation has bright colors, clear visuals, great music and a story line that I'm sure you will find interesting. A young Duck Longway (Robbie Daymond-Voice) is completely bored with his uneventful life on an island off the coast of China. His life turns around when a fight breaks out against the Mandarin Ducks and the Military Mallards. Soon after that a war breaks out against the Duck and human race. To top it all off, to keep the Sun in the sky to shine for everyone, one Duck must step up to the challenge. Will he succeed?

The visuals of this film are very clear and captivating with bright colors and depth. The many different outfits and accessories worn by the animals as well as the humans are exciting and fun. These are not your normal hats, gloves, scarves and belts. Some of the belts are made of metal and the hats are very different from what you and I are accustomed to seeing. This film, for the most part, accurately displays the feelings and situations that tweens and teenagers feel and go through. I find many different aspects of a few characters to be very relatable. The flow to this film isn't as smooth as I would like it to be. Also, many of the actions feel as though they are being thrown in haphazardly with no real meaning. The music is upbeat with catchy tunes and it connects you to each scene. One of my favorite scenes is when Longway learns to fly. It represents the freedom of flying and not being tied down to anyone or anything. It's a great scene that shows individuality and captures what Longway wants from life. I really do not have a favorite character since no single character stands out to me as they are all basically pretty similar. There are a few comedic moments throughout the film, however not a lot.

I recommend Quackerz for ages 6 to 12. It's for both girls and boys and I'm sure they will enjoy the special features including behind the scenes footage.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars. I would have like to see smoother transitions and actions that made sense in the sequences they are played in. Other than that, it's a good film and I'm sure younger kids will enjoy it. Quackerz is available on DVD and Blu-Ray, so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 81 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.97
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


AGAINST THE WILD 2: SURVIVE THE SERENGETI

AGAINST THE WILD 2: SURVIVE THE SERENGETI
ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - For bickering siblings Ryan (John Paul Ruttan of Shelby: The Dog Who Saved Christmas) and Emma (Ella Ballentine), it was going to be a fun weekend visit with their dad at his job in Africa. But when their small plane crash-lands in the Serengeti, they have only each other along with their fellow passenger, a Malamute named Chinook to rely on. The rescue teams are searching. Their mom (Jeri Ryan of Star Trek: Voyager and Boston Public) is panicked. Can brother, sister and one courageous dog now learn how to conquer their fears and trust each other in the most beautiful yet untamed wilderness of all?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed this film. At first, I was a little worried that there would be no animals. I hate when movies advertise animals and there aren't any in the film. I was wrong! There are tons of animals and it was really fun to see them in their natural habitats. We see lions, elephants, snakes, monkeys, giraffes and so many more. I learned a lot too. I actually had no idea that lions and hyenas are afraid of fire. All of these majestic, friendly and not so friendly animals were my favorite part of this film.

This film revolves about a brother and sister, Ryan (John Paul Ruttan) and Emma (Ella Ballentine). They take an airplane to see their father and their plane gets shot down over the Serengeti. With the pilot injured and no one else to help them except a Malamute dog called Chinook, they have to rely on each other for survival.

My favorite character in this film is Emma because she is upbeat and tries her hardest to be positive, even though it is difficult. She is also a little scared and I could definitely relate to that. Emma and Ryan desperately want to go home to mom and dad. She portrays the character well and shows a bit of girl power, humor, wit and courage.

My favorite scene is when we see an aerial view of zebras, wildebeest and giraffes from the plane. This was an incredible scene because we got to learn more about the animals.

Some things about this movie bothered me. Emma had a cut on her face which moved from scene to scene. In one shot, it was on her left cheek and then, it was on the right. Continuity is a big deal on a film and this was a goof. Also, I found some of the fire scenes and, there are many, a little worrisome. I kept thinking, "Please, stop and clear all the grass away so you do not start a brush fire." I thought more could have been done with content of the kids' backpacks and what could help them. It lacked teaching and educational moments, to me. But, overall, I loved the film and seeing the cool animals.

This film is suitable for ages 6 to 18. My mom and dad liked it so, I think other adults would enjoy it as well. Younger children might find the lions, crocodiles and hyenas frightening because they all are all real and scary looking.

I rate this film 4.5 out of 5 stars as it felt as if I was on a safari in the Serengeti in Africa.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 91 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


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



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