The Ages 5-8 category has 3198 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles

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AGRINOUI

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
AGRINOUI
XXX
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - A young mare visits Cyprus to take part in races. Frustrated from failure, she abandons the racetrack after confronting her strict father. The mare will meet new friends who will try to help her find her lost courage.

Director's statement: The incredibly talented people that contributed to this production made this film a joy to create. This film aims to be appealing to a wide range of ages. So, no violence, no sex, no explosions! These apparent restrictions enabled the story to focus on the building of relationships between friends and the psychological challenge the protagonist is faced with. Certain philosophical matters that subtly deal with questions such as racism and the path to success will be easier to be picked up by the more mature members of the audience. In this film we also get to know Cyprus by seeing traditions in front of significant landmarks and by hearing Cypriot characters communicate in their native language.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Enjoyable story that kids can relate to. The plot is very appealing but the animation is a bit rudimentary. I do like the voiceover talent though, especially that of the bird. The storyline flows well and it is very cheerful and happy. Most children will enjoy this, particularly the humor. I like that the message encourages teamwork and effort. A child would enjoy this movie because it is has a nice ending. Even though the animation lacks sophistication, the story is excellent and would make a good addition to any film festival. I recommend it for ages 5 to 9. The dialogue is in Greek with English sub-titles. Reviewed by Eden P.
Runtime: 20 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-9
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BALLOONS
XXX
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - A collaborative short film created by Marley Boss and several fellow campers at French Woods summer camp about the role of friends in overcoming sadness
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - An adorable student production by a 6th grader. Charming and thoughtful with good intent all around. The performance by the young actors is quite believable and shows us the deep concern they have for others. I believe this short would play well at a youth/family film festival and heartfully recommend it for ages 8 to 15. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


BELIEVE (2016)

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BELIEVE (2016)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SMITH GLOBAL MEDIA
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - A small-town business owner tries to save the local Christmas pageant against all odds.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - There are many holiday films that attempt to show you a story of faith, or hope or maybe just positivity. Believe tries to tackle all those things in a fantastic and entertaining holiday adventure.

Believe begins showing Matthew Peyton (Ryan O'Quinn), a business owner in a small town, going through financial trouble. Despite owning a business, he also has had the responsibility of hosting the famous local Christmas Pageant every year. Sadly, this year, his company has not been doing well and is losing money. When he tries to plead to the townspeople he cannot do it, he is accused of being greedy. The entire town hates him and it is up to him to save his business and attempt to save the spirit of Christmas in a poverty-stricken town.

Believe perfectly achieves its message - never lose hope and always believe in a better tomorrow. The story clearly represents that. The cinematography is unique and beautiful in many scenes, from slow motion of falling snowflakes, to unique close ups and first person prospective. The actors, for the most part, play their emotions well and make the story feel dramatic. One character falls a bit short. Clarence (Isaac Ryan Brown) often feels out of place in some scenes, almost as if included for comedic effect or to help solidify the message. This is not because of bad acting. Isaac Ryan Brown plays Clarence as an excited and positive kid perfectly. The major problem is the interactions and his role in the story. Throughout the whole story, it feels like Clarence and Matthew have separate adventures and goals of being hopeful and faithful. This does not integrate well and makes for awkward scenes. Another major issue is that the film is too long at 2 hours. It would benefit from some judicious editing as there are many scenes that had no purpose and add to the length, making the story feel stretched.

My favorite scene is when Matthew gets mugged and his car is set on fire. The cinematography of this scene is great with close ups of Matthew as his car is on fire and snowflakes slowly falling in the background. The entire time, the camera is shaking and distorted as if the viewer is experiencing some sort of head injury along with Matthew. I loved this because it gives you both a third person view of Matthew and a first person feeling of what he is experiencing.

There are very few with some mild violence and some dramatic scenes so I recommend it for ages 9 to 18. I also give it 3.5 out of 5 stars because, despite it having an issue with one character and the story, it has a strong moral, beautiful cinematography and fantastic acting. It opens in theaters on December 2, 2016 so, go check it out.

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

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


MOANA

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MOANA       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Topic - Family
Description - The main character will be Moana Waialiki, a sea voyaging enthusiast, and the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators. When her family needs her help, she sets off on an epic journey. The film will also include demi-gods and spirits taken from real mythology.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this film because it shows how brave girls can be. Moana is the daughter of the Chief of a Village in the Pacific Island who's destined to become the leader of her tribe. At a young age, Moana was taught by her Grandma to love the sea and she told her stories about how the islands were made. Moana's father always told her to not go beyond the lagoon in the ocean since it's dangerous. He was concerned about losing her.

Against her father's permission, Moana has to leave her Village and embarks in an ocean adventure to save her people. The demigod Maui took the heart of the maker of all lands Te Ka and Moana has to find him to give back the heart to Te Ka, otherwise their land is going to be ruined.

Moana is produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios in a unique CG animation style that looks very realistic, like virtual reality. The voice over actors are all quite wonderful, especially Rachel House. I love how she portrays her character Grandma Tala because her voice delivers such grant emotion. Also, Dwayne Johnson portrays his character Maui very well with a very adventurous tone. I like how they animate Te Ka with extraordinary animation effects. The writers really make this story about an emotional heroine quite a fantastic story. I got emotional when I saw this movie because of the relationship between Moana and her grandma. I commend the directors, John Musker and Ron Clements for delivering such a great film with outstanding visuals and sound.

My favorite characters are Grandma Tala because she has so much faith in Moana. She doesn't mind that people call her crazy for loving the sea. I also love Moana because she is very brave and courageous. I like how, even though her father is afraid for her she still goes to fight for her people.

The message of this movie is to believe in yourself, follow your heart and fight challenges. Moana believes in herself when only one other person does. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because of its inspiring message. I recommend it to ages 6 to 18. This is the perfect movie to see over the holidays with family and friends. You can find this movie at your local movie theater on November 23!

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

With its beautiful soundtrack, diverse cultural representation, and unique plot, Moana is a movie that is fun for all. The enchanting adventure incorporates a lot of mythology and folktales. The film is about an adventurous teenage girl named Moana who has been attracted to the sea since birth and sails the ocean in a quest to save her people. Along the way she finds the mighty demi-god named Maui who has caused her people's misfortune. In hopes of saving her people, she brings Maui along on her journey to fight the enormous monsters and obstacles, with his guidance. On their journey, Moana not only discovers Maui's true identity, but also her own.

The big thing that stands out in this film is that it is one of the very few Disney movies that does not revolve around a love story or romance of any type. On top of that, the film truly draws in the audience's emotions without a death or depressing factor. The film is unique in that it goes beyond the typical Disney formula.

The delightful and memorable soundtrack by the creator of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, stayed with me days after the screening, which is proof that it is quality music. After only seeing the film once I had memorized a great portion of the lyrics. The animation, without a doubt, is phenomenal. The detail in the hair and water is unbelievable. The 3D aspect is also memorable particularly in one scene where I flinched when an object seemingly flew out of the screen and towards the audience.

When watching films about a quest or journey of survival that revolve around one or two people and the game plan is made apparent, it is easy for the plot to drag or and feel very long, or choppy and flooded with random scenes of unfortunate obstacles. In films like those, it is especially important to make the plot flow well and be well paced so the audience feels that they are alongside the protagonist. This film executes the survival style plot in a fun and feel-good manner. Also, it is rich in culture and extends Disney's diversity, which is wonderful. It casts very talented voice actors including the well-known Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson as Maui and Auli'i Cravalho as Moana. Johnson was fantastic. His voice is quite distinctive but, because of his spirited voice work and accent, I did not realize it was his until the credits. Auli'i Cravalho makes her first appearance as a voice actress in this film and is absolutely amazing.

Given the brilliant animation, impactful soundtrack, strategic plot and spirited voice work, this film is one you need to see. I recommend it for people ages 7 to 18 and give it four out of five stars. It is in theaters now so, go check it out.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS: LEGEND OF EVERFREE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS: LEGEND OF EVERFREE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - What Could Be More Fun Than A Field Trip To Everypony's Favorite Camp?

When Canterlot High School goes on a field trip to Camp Everfree, they're surprised to find a magical force is causing strange things to happen. Twilight Sparkle , with the help of the Mane 6 and especially Sunset Shimmer (who refuses to give up on her), must confront the dark "Midnight Sparkle", within herself and embrace her newfound magical abilities to save the beloved camp from closing down for good!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - You may remember the original My Little Pony shows like I do. I wasn't so certain as to what to expect from these new shows. Would this be better than the ones I remembered? The answer is yes! I was quite impressed with this show because the animation is quite modern and up to date and I really enjoyed the story line. I also really love the characters and their fun names which will delight young children! Applejack is my favorite character. What I really like most are the positive messages of helping one another and making a positive difference in the world. This show also has more of a musical feel to it that will entertain children ages 6 to 15 (and many adults too). I give this one 5 out of 5 stars because it is entertaining, colorful and full of positive messages. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - My Little Pony has caught up with sci-fi and now has dimensions where the ponies are teenagers. WOW! This is an awesome concept! I love this colorful DVD with its amazing storyline, fantastic characters and terrific animation. This film is one of my favorites of this series. I love the story line and how it fits perfectly with the rest of the series. The animation is fantastic. I love that they mix it with a little bit of Japanese anime. It really brings this film to life.

The cast is so fun and entertaining. Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong) is a loving main character. She shows this by helping her friends and trying to find ways to make the world a better place for everyone. She does this despite the fact that she is dealing with her evil dark side that came out in the last film. Plus, things at Camp Everfree are going wrong and strange things are happening all around camp. Sunset Shimmer (Rebecca Shoichet) is thoughtful, generous, wants to help everybody and wants to solve the mystery. She also helps Twilight Sparkle overcome her fear and gain more confidence about herself. Rainbow Dash and Applejack (Ashleigh Ball) is daring, adventurous and a total tomboy. She tries to do the most outrageous and dangerous stuff with her friends including rock climbing and archery. Applejack is brutally honest and cares deeply for everyone. She can be a bit mean at times, but she just wants you to know the truth about everything. She once told Rarity that her idea of a runway was dumb because they were in a forest and no one but her would use it. Pinkie Pie (Andrea Libman) is hyper and loves to throw parties anywhere, anytime and any place. She brings marshmallows to everything to make s'mores. She tries her best to be fun and bring life to the party. She even dares Rainbow to eat as many marshmallows as she can fit in her mouth in one bite while they are telling scary stories by the campfire. Fluttershy (Andrea Libman) is shy, quiet and loves animals with all of her heart. She even goes to help a bird get back into its nest when she is in a hurry. Rarity (Tabitha St. Germain) loves to sew clothes for all her friends and is a complete girly girl at heart. She even wants a runway where she can show the other campers the clothes she has made.

Sunset Shimer is my stand out character. She wears a crown that has a spell cast on it and ends up with a demon inside her that she must fight off. Her character is compassionate. I like that she is always battling her caring side against her evil side. She is thoughtful of others. The way she tries everything in her power to help Twilight Sparkle overcome her fear is a great reminder to take good care of your friends and family, which is the theme of this film.

This is filled with magnificent songs that provide a musical theater vibe because the girls sing throughout the movie. They all have beautiful voices. You will want to learn the lyrics and sing along with them. They are so heartfelt that they really make you feel the emotions the characters are feeling.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 16. Younger kids will love the story and fun characters. Older kids will find it inspiring. I give this 5 out of 5 pony stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 73 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.73
Media: DVD
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SNOWTIME!

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SNOWTIME!       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - To amuse themselves during the winter school break, the kids in a small village decide to have a massive snowball fight. Luke and Sophie, both 11 years old, become the leaders of the opposing sides. Sophie and her cohort defend an elaborate snow fort against the assault of Luke's horde. Whichever side occupies the fort at the end of the winter break, wins. The voice cast includes Ross Lynch (of the pop band R5, and Disney Channel's "Austin & Ally") and Sandra Oh ("Grey's Anatomy"). The soundtrack includes songs by C�line Dion and Simple Plan.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Snowtime is an animated feature based on a live-action classic called "The Dog Who Stopped the War." It takes place in a small town during the kids' winter break. They build forts and have a war. The fighting escalates, and what starts out as fun, in the end causes a serious tragedy. I really enjoyed this show. The animation, voices, and music were all high-quality, and the story was well-written and meaningful. I wanted my little boys ages 4 and 6 to watch it, so I warned them about the sad ending, and, once they knew what to expect, they thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the movie. There are many good lessons taught such as friendship, loyalty, kindness, and avoiding conflict. I would recommend this movie for ages 5 to 18. Reviewed by Karyn A., KIDS FIRST! Juror

This animated film seemed a bit slow at times and honestly, at first...I was thinking..."Wait! This whole film is simply about a bunch of kids trying to entertain themselves on Winter school break by having a major snowball fight." I was wondering how a film could be based around this whole concept. But, this film is packed with some very powerful life lessons and messages. The characters are entertaining and two of the main characters, Luke and Sophie were my favorites. They are the leaders of the opposing teams of the snowball fight. The beginning of the film starts out as a way to have fun during Winter break but this fun turns into a more serious not so fun war and there are sadly some consequences. But, this is when the characters learn about friendship and even more important...that when there is war....no one wins. This message came thru loud and clear and really left me saying "Wow! This film is so much more than kids having a major snowball fight to entertain themselves." I was actually speechless and impressed with how this meaningful message was portrayed through this film. I give this one 4 stars and highly recommend for ages 8 to18. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love watching the new film Snowtime. This film is one to watch. In this film, it is winter break and Luke (voiced by Angela Galuppo) and his friends prepare for an epic snowball fight. They divide themselves into two teams. One team builds an amazing snow fort and the other team wants to win the snowball fight to claim ownership of the fort. Watch these two teams go head to head in this snowball fight to see who gets to win and claim the snow fort. Who will win? Who will lose?

I appreciate this film because I love how it shows a beautiful, snowy village and the kids in this village having fun in the snow. I also like the fort the kids make in this movie. I love the characters. They are silly, quirky and sometimes bashful. I also liked their appearance and how they are drawn. The jokes are also funny; this is another great film for kids. I really enjoyed the scenery too.

The moral theme in this film is an important one. Basically, there are no winners when it comes to war. The kids end up learning this lesson. Their friendly snowball fight soon takes an ugly turn which leads to some serious conflicts and a surprise. I think there are other life lessons in this film but that is the main one that stands out for me.

My favorite character is Nicky (voiced by Liz MacRae). When Nicky shares his ideas with his friends, they underestimate him and knock his ideas down. I love that he doesn't allow what they say to discourage him and he continues on his own and accomplishes his idea. I respect his persistence and how he collaborates so well with his friends. I enjoyed how he makes things and they turn out well. I appreciate his imagination. I can relate to him because people sometimes knock down some of my ideas too. But I continue to go forward with my ideas and prove them wrong.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars because the animation is great and it has an important message. I recommend this to kids ages 3 to 18. I think adults might like this as well. I also recommend this to people who like family, comedy, adventure and action movies. Mark your calendars for February 19, 2016 when Snowtime opens in theaters.

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

It is 90 degrees in Los Angeles California and 48 degrees in Colorado and it is winter for another month, with snow falling in other states. What is a group of kids to do over winter break? Have a snowball fight, of course. The group splits into two teams and away we go. The story line is great. We got a glimpse of the backstory of characters and learn what motivates them and makes them who they are.

I have two favorite characters. The first is Sophie voiced by Luchina Paris. She is the older sister and is always coming up with a plan to defeat the other team. My second is four eyes because of his crazy glasses. Many of the best parts of the movie are due to his ingenious inventions he makes to keep the fort in his team's control. They are creative and awesome. I would have picked his team just to see the inventions he made - slides, escape hatches, automated snowball throws and traps to keep the other team on their toes. The story line has a bit of a love story angle but seems to fizzle out and is not completed. If they make a part two I hope they continue this story line and leave it with a better conclusion.

The hardest part of having two teams is the fact that they are all really good friends. There are many moments when you see them struggle because they are fighting their friends. It is all in fun but still there is a goal, which is to take the fort from the other team

I loved the graphics and animation. It is believable and easy to watch. You forget the characters are animated and look at them as if they are real people. The fort, well let's say it is the most awesome snow castle ever and I would love to play in it.

Most children's movies are fun, cute and quirky and leave you feeling upbeat. This movie left me feeling sad. I loved the movie but I did not like the ending. No spoilers, but I wish they had added more to the ending of the movie. But, there is a message and everyone will get it. It is one, which we should all know.

I recommend this movie for ages 6 and up. Younger kids might not totally grasp the story line but they will love the graphics and a good snowball fight.

I give this movie 4 1/2 out of 5 shooting snowballs. This movie is brought to you by Shout! Factory and opens in theaters March 29th. The DVD will be out in the fall of 2016 just in time for the next winter snow fun.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 80 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


MECH-X4

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MECH-X4       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
DISNEY CHANNEL
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Mech-X4 is an American comedy television series created by Steve Marmel. The series stars Nathaniel James Potvin, Kamran Lucas, Pearce Joza and Raymond Cham. The series is scheduled to premiere on November 12, 2016, on Disney XD.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Amazing! I got a sneak peek of the first episode of Mech-X4 and was pleasantly surprised because this is not your typical Disney TV show. It made me feel like I was watching a movie with its wonderful storyline, graphics and acting. This fun-filled adventure show airs on Disney and Disney XD Saturday, November 12 so be sure to check it out. In this incredible show, there is an amazing cast, graphics and an awesome storyline - all of which are quite believable.

This show stars Ryan Walker (Nathaniel James Potvin). With his dreamy eyes, he is a typical teenage boy who finds out that he is a technopath. While chit chatting with Nathaniel, I discovered that he loves his super power which is being the master of all technology. His personality matches his character perfectly as he is fun and easy to talk to. His new-found superpower awakens a 150 foot robot called Mech-X4 and its job is to protect the city from crazy monsters.

Ryan Walker then recruits his friends to help. Harris (Kamran Lucas) is the brains of the group. In real life, he has been doing Martial arts since he was 5 years old and he does most of his own stunts. Harris is cautious and protective of his friends and the new-found robot. Harris is a geek who wants to make sure that everyone has their facts straight before they jump into things. He is amazing at martial arts and play his character quite believingly.

Spyder (Pearce Joza) is adventurous and ready for anything. I also met him and found his easy going nature quite enjoyable. In real life, he loves snowboarding. He provides the comedic relief for the group and is extremely funny. He loves all the gadgets for the robot and, since this is all new for them, sometimes things don't work out as planned.

Ryan also recruits his brother Mark (Raymond Cham) to help. He is not a mechanic in real life, like his character and the two of them are exact opposites. Mark's main job is to be the mechanic and fix everything. Mark is usually the leader in his family so he has to get used to the fact that he needs to let his brother shine and he has to stand back a bit. Raymond loves the idea of mixing two animals together to get cool and creative monsters for the show. He wishes he had the super power to see free movies at the box office. Skateboarding is his thing.

I was lucky enough to be able to meet all these fantastic actors and visit with them about their roles in this show. They are all so grateful to be a part of this magnificent show. The one thing that is missing is girl power. Disney already gave the green on Season 2 before Season 1 even airs. WOW ! And, the guys told me to keep a look out for girl power coming soon.

The graphics of this show are spectacular. I love the way the robot and monsters all seem so realistic. It feels like you really are there and as if you are going on this adventure with Ryan and his friends while protecting the world. I love all the amazing places they shot in Canada, the wonderful acting and the insight into each character.

My favorite scene in this episode is when Ryan, Spyder, Mark and Harris are fighting a gigantic snake/octopus monster with the robot. It is filled with action, adventure and a little comedy. Plus the graphics are incredible and realistic.

I recommend this series for ages 8 to 18 because the action and comedy. I also think adults will enjoy it, especially the story line and the characters. According to Steve Marmel and Anupam Nigam, Executive Producers of the show, their target audience is a wide range. They want parents to enjoy watching this TV show with their kids. Be sure to check out my amazing interviews and learn more about the cast on our YouTube Channel. I give this TV show 5 out of 5 gigantic robot stars.

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

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


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: 25TH ANNIVERSARY

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: 25TH ANNIVERSARY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-18
Topic - Family
Description - Be our guest at the enchanted 25th Anniversary celebration of Beauty and the Beast, universally acclaimed as one of Disney's finest animated features and now honored in the Walt Disney Signature Collection. Join brave, independent Belle on the adventure of a lifetime as she sets out to rescue her father and finds herself in the enchanted castle of a mysterious beast. Enjoy this timeless tale overflowing with unforgettable characters and Academy Award-winning music (Best Song, Best Score, 1991) It took more than 600 animators, artists and technicians three and a half years to complete the project. Beauty is the first animated Disney feature scripted by a woman, Linda Woolverton. The film marked the first time each animator was credited on screen specifically for the character he or she brought to life. Disney's animation department won a Scientific and Technical Academy Award for the design and development of the Computer Animated Production System used to make the film. The style of illustration was inspired by French painters Fragonard and Boucher.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This classic Disney animated film will always hold a place in our hearts. It's great to see it once again and relive the magic I experienced when I first watched it. I advise parents to be careful when showing it to kids under the age of five, some of whom might not be able to handle the more violent scenes. Certainly there are no blood and guts here but, for more sensitive kids, there may be some frightening stuff. The music is truly a joy to listen to, the voice over talent is as good as it gets and on the DVD/Blu-Ray or Digital HD version, there are some cool bonus features that make your viewing experience even better.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - It's been 25 years since this wonderful Disney Animated film found its way to viewers and forever captured their hearts. Since then, there have been dozens of other animated classics, but none leave the impression that Beauty and the Beast does. With its humor, spectacular animation, character design, story and adventures, this story is truly one of, if not, the best that Disney Studios' has ever made.

Beauty and the Beast has many different genres, the main one being romance. Along with that is a sense of adventure and excitement. The film also has its share of exciting scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat almost the entire time, even if you saw it many times before.

It begins when Belle (Paige O'Hara), a young girl in a village, has to rescue her father from a big and scary Beast living in a dark castle. Belle then has to stay in the castle for the rest of her life to free her father. It turns out that the Beast is, in fact a prince, under a dark and magical curse. This curse makes him a horrible Beast and the only way to break it is to find a girl that will fall in love with him. The Beast and Belle start bonding and falling in love.

Beauty and the Beast is an extraordinary masterpiece for many of the reasons I mentioned, but what impresses me the most is the animation. Despite its now 25 years old and way before the first computer animation, there are scenes in the film where it incorporates 3D like effects and looks almost exactly like today's computer animation. To think that it was actually drawn by hand is spectacular and astonishing. On top of that, the voice over work is simply phenomenal, from singing to talking, each emotion and role is played ideally. Speaking of music, the songs in this animated classic are fantastically done from the beat to the lyrics, to the actual voiceover artists singing the songs, to very well-orchestrated scenes.

The DVD also comes with several very cool bonus features. The most exciting to me is the sneak peak of the 2017 live action version of Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. It shows the cast reading lines, some special effects and even several sets. If that is not enough to spark viewers' curiosity, there are also many facts about Beauty and the Beast as well as some footage of the actual recording booths where the original cast recorded their lines. I also enjoyed the part when it talks about how Walt Disney never really got to do this story, even though he wanted to, and thus in 1991, his creative team did it to honor his wishes.

My favorite scene is when Belle goes down to eat dinner in the castle for the first time. In this castle, all the servants are magically turned into utilities. Just to name a few, there are talking clocks, teapots, knives, a stove, wardrobes, candles and more. They all do a big musical number with the classic song, "Be my Guest", which sounds spectacular and the animated musical number has many parts that are just hysterical.

Despite some violent scenes, it is still perfect for kids. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Younger kids may find the Beast scary or may not enjoy the more intense scenes. I give Beauty and the Beast 5 out of 5 stars for absolutely phenomenal animation, an exciting and detailed story, beautiful songs and emotional voiceover work. Here's to another 25 years with a new generation!

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

This is the classic tale of a brave girl and a gigantic scary beast is coming to your home on DVD and Blue Ray and its available right now.

I am so happy that Disney is bringing this film back. The music is spectacular and makes you want to sing. Lucky for you there are three different versions - the original that was shown in theaters, a sing along so you can be in the film in your own special way and a special edition. How cool is that? Also included are many bonus features such as 25 fun facts about the film and a reading section so you can be there with the cast and the crew. There are interviews with the music team who created the music and many other interesting and fun things to watch on this home entertainment version.

As for the talent in this film. The voice-overs are superb and well suited for their roles. Belle (Paige O'Hara) is my favorite character. Belle is a daring, caring girl who wants more in life than the same thing over and over again. She dreams about having an adventure and her wish comes true when she gets a giant adventure of her own. The Beast (Robby Benson) is one scary, mean creature. You wonder if he will continue to lash out at people or change his ways. There are also the evil villains. Gaston (Richard White) is so vain that he loves himself more than anyone else. He is just a big bully who gets what he wants, when he wants it. Last, there are the amazing enchanted pieces of furniture and silverware - Lumiere (Jerry Orbach), the charming and handsome candle stick holder, Cogsworth (David Ogden Stiers), the mean grouchy clock who wants to be boss and Mrs. Potts (Angela Lansbury) and Chip (Bradley Pierce) the adorable mother and son who are all too cute for words.

The animation is incredible and very detailed from the falling snow to the red rose, the dancing and the scenery. All are breath taking.

My favorite scene is when the furniture and silverware and all the other magical items in the castle fight the angry villagers to protect their home. I love this scene because not only it is original but it's very funny. I love all the unique and different ways the items fight off the villagers. It makes me laugh every time.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18. They will love the magic and the fun characters. Adults and older kids will love to see this film again or perhaps see it for the first time. There is just a bit of violence when Gaston has a perilous death and The Beast can be a bit too scary for really young children. This is a perfect Disney magical musical for the whole family. I give it 5 out of 5 enchanting red roses.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.
Runtime: 92 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 22.99
Media: DVD


POCOYO - BOO!

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
POCOYO - BOO!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Topic - Family
Description - Join Pocoyo and his friends on seven playful adventures. Whether it's playing a new game called Boo!, enjoying a monster mash party or pretending to be Godzilla & King Kong, every day is fun & engaging with Pocoyo and his friends!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this movie because it is a silly Halloween themed movie. It made me think twice about the characters and it is fun and informative. Pocoyo and his friends are pretty funny. There are seven stories and every story has a lesson such as telling the truth, facing your fears, making new friends and being fair to friends.

This is an animated movie where the main character is a little boy named Pocoyo. There is also a silly duck named Pato who has crazy eyes, a pink elephant named Elly, a cute colorful dog named Loula and a little bird named Sleepy Bird. There is also a narrator with an English accent which I think is cool.

In the beginning, I thought Pocoyo was mean because he tries to scare his friends a lot. As the movie developed, I realized that Pocoyo is just a little boy who is learning how to treat others just like any other kid.

My favorite character is Pato because he is so silly and has crazy looking eyes, especially when he is scared. The movie is perfect for Halloween because there are monsters, silly Halloween dress ups and aliens, but it isn't too scary for younger kids. The characters do silly things that made me laugh but also made me think "where are the parents?" Then I remembered, it's just a movie and Pocoyo and his friends have great imaginations!

This movie is perfect for younger kids who will learn important lessons and learn to use their imagination - both of which are very important. I loved this show when it played on Nick Jr. when I was younger and I still love it now thanks to this movie. I watched the movie with my 3-year-old cousin and she loved it. She laughed the entire time and now this is her favorite show. I recommend this for kids ages 1 to 6. I think parents will like it too since it teaches kids important life lesson about how to treat others in a fun way. This is a perfect movie for families to watch together this Halloween. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars because I don't think the characters talk enough.

By Katlyn Martins, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Runtime: 45 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 3.96
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


CAT IN THE HAT: HALLOWEEN

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT: HALLOWEEN
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - The Cat in the Hat takes Nick and Sally on a Halloween ride filled with howlers and shockers and scary fandangles, big laughs and music and fun from all angles! Their fright-filled adventure takes them deep into the Oooky-ma-kooky Closet where Nick and Sally discover the very best Halloween costumes ever.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I truly enjoyed this DVD. Its constant action, vibrant images, funny terminology and catchy music definitely is entertaining. It is a fun film to watch as a family, filled with an adventurous journey to find Halloween costumes.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween is an animated film about Nick and Sally who wait until the very last minute, Halloween Day, to get their costumes. The Cat (Martin Short) takes them on a journey full of excitement to find their Halloween costumes in the Oooky-ma-kooky Closet. They must travel through many spooky places to find this special closet. They trek through scary caves and an eerie tree forest. They encounter howlers, shockers and scary fandangles. They even find out The Cat doesn't like pumpkin patches.

The greatest feature of this film is its colorful animation. The visual appeal attracts viewers and pulls them in with fun, happy and cheerful characters. My favorite character is definitely The Cat. His optimism and imaginative ideas make you want to see where he's going to take the kids next. My favorite part of this film is when they get to go to the Oooky-ma-kooky Closet and try on various costumes as pirates, cowgirls and animals. The song that accompanies this scene, "What Will You Be?" stayed in my head for a long time afterwards. This is my favorite episode because I love playing dress up and this scene is right up my alley.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because the film is great, but not for my age range. I recommend this film for children ages 3 to 7 because of the youngish scenarios. It's a feel-good movie that will give young viewers a fun friendly Halloween movie that's not too scary. It is available on DVD now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Linda D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


TWO FOR ONE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TWO FOR ONE
TERRI TREAS
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-13
Topic - Family
Description - A middle school campaign for class president turns ugly when the students take to social media to support their favorite candidate. The teacher and high school mentors come up with a clever solution to teach the true meaning of co-operation or bi-partisanship to the student body.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film teaches a valuable lesson and is very current and topical. It is suitable for kids in middle school and has visual appeal. The acting is pretty good and believable. The locations used fit really well with the story. Most of the film takes place at home or in school. The costumes are pretty typical of what most kids in middle school are wearing. I like that there is a good point to the story and that there are all different races and cultures included. I wasn't quite sure at first about the stereotyping of certain groups in school, but it is believable and there really are groups in middle school and high school. I think this is well executed and kids would benefit from watching it. We recommend this film for ages 8 to 13. Reviewed by Denise B. KIDS FIRST! juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 13 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


HOOT QUARTERS: LACHANOPHOBIA

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
HOOT QUARTERS: LACHANOPHOBIA
JOEL DANIEL
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 3-8
Topic - Family
Description - Hoot Quarters is an episodic series staring, The Hoots, a band who write, record and perform original music for the young and old(er), and Oliver t. Owl, a purple owl who thinks he knows everything, but whose knowledge is almost always a little off. Hoot Quarters is the name of the tree house where The Hoots hang out and rehearse. The built said tree house in a tree where Oliver was already living. Oliver decided to move into the tree house - preferring it to the knot hole abode he was previously occupying. After spending just a little time with Oliver, two things were clear: 1) he is extremely lovable, and 2) as previously mentioned he has some rather curious views of the world. Specifically, he seems to think he knows a lot more about just about everything than he actually does. Because of this, The Hoots and their friends often find themselves having to steer Oliver's slightly misguided-self back on the right course. In doing so, they realized there was an abundance of excellent teaching moments and opportunities that could benefit not just Oliver but the rest of community and world at large. Each episode of Hoot Quarters focuses on one of these lessons. They primarily focus on music education and healthy lifestyle choices. They are shot in the same style the band writes their music: in a way that the young and older can appreciate and enjoy. The lessons are never too overt and/or presented in a way that speaks down to their audience. In the Sea of Bees episode the band Sea of Bees visits Hoot Quarters and shows Oliver that sometimes it's okay to play in the dirt (even if one has lovely purple feathers). In Lachanophobia, Oliver learns the importance of trying something before you decide you don't like it, because you never know until you try!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a charming and funny episode about a kid relatable topic, a puppet not wanting to try a new food. The humor is simple and the story has a strong beginning, middle and end. Yet, there is a freshness to the storytelling as well, with some unexpected jokes and twists. The story features music performed by a children's entertainment band The Hoots. Their music style will appeal both to children and adults. It's simple, fun and entertaining. It has a typical kids TV show look, like something on PBS Kids. Has good production value - nice set, visually appealing. The episode uses one big word that young kids and most adults wouldn't know - Lachanophobia - fear of vegetables. But, this word is key to the story and is explained in a clever and funny way. My only recommendation for change is to have the main character read the dictionary page out loud. This production is very appropriate for young children who cannot read yet. Having someone read the text out loud would help them enjoy the last joke in the show. The story has a beginning, middle and end. The main puppet character doesn't want to try broccoli because he doesn't think he will like it. He tries clever ways to get out of eating broccoli so he can eat his favorite treats. The problem is resolved when he actually tries broccoli at the urging of his friend and finds that he really likes it. In this episode, all the characters are male (three adult male band members and a puppet owl) so, for parents who are looking for female representation this show is not it. However, the topic of gender doesn't come up and this show can certainly be enjoyed by children of both genders. Recommended for ages 3 to 8.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-8
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


ROOM ON THE BROOM

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ROOM ON THE BROOM       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 - From the creators of the hugely successful THE GRUFFALO and THE GRUFFALO'S CHILD comes ROOM ON THE BROOM, a beautifully animated film based on the best-selling children's picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The story of a kind witch who invites a surprising collection of animals to join her on her broom, much to the frustration of her cat. When the gang saves the witch from a fearsome dragon she rewards them with a magnificent new broom which has room for everyone! ROOM ON THE BROOM is a magical tale of friendship and family directed by Max Lang & Jan Lachauer with the voices of Gillian Anderson, Rob Brydon, Martin Clunes, Simon Pegg, Sally Hawkins, Timothy Spall and David Williams.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is funny and has great animation. I like that they quote directly from one of my favorite books, Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson. I also like how the words all rhyme.

Room on the Broom is about a witch and her cat who go on a trip and the witch drops something from her broom. She flies down to get it but a wild animal finds it. When they give it back, they ask if they can come with her. Meanwhile, a scary monster chases them but they are unaware. This happens three times and soon there are so many creatures on the broom that it becomes too heavy.

I like the animation because of its detail. The expressions of the characters are very amusing and made me laugh. I also enjoyed the music because it sets the mood for each scene. My favorite part of the film is when the monster captures the witch and it seems like she's doomed. I like this part because it is a twist on the rest of the film. This part is also the scariest part for younger kids so, be forewarned. I like this scene because it is action packed and suspenseful.

The stellar cast includes Simon Pegg as the narrator. Gillian Anderson does the witch's voice. The four animals are played by Rob Brydon, Martin Clunes, Sally Hawkins and David Walliams.

The moral of this film is to be kind and make friends and it talks about the importance of friendship. If parents have their children read the book along with the narrator, it becomes a more educational experience.

Room on the Broom is a great film. I give it four and a half out of five stars because it is a fun film for younger children. I recommend it for ages 2 to 8 and I think parents will enjoy watching it with their younger kids. This is a perfect Halloween film for younger kids.

Reviewed by Rohan D. Foxe, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 45 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-9
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


TROLLS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TROLLS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - From the creators of Shrek comes the most smart, funny, irreverent animated comedy of the year, DreamWorks' Trolls. This holiday season, enter a colorful, wondrous world populated by hilariously unforgettable characters and discover the story of the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach. Featuring original music from Justin Timberlake, and soon-to-be classic mash-ups of songs from other popular artists, the film stars the voice talents of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop, Gwen Stefani, and many more. DreamWorks' TROLLS is a fresh, broad comedy filled with music, heart and hair-raising adventures. In November of 2016, nothing can prepare you for our new Troll world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From the beginning, Trolls takes you on a vivid colorful, musical journey including the magic of the Trolls and the roughness of the Bergens. The Trolls daily routines - hugging every hour, singing and dancing and living everyday partying is endearing and their story is a combination of several stories. The messages are about remembering how important it is to be ourselves and that we all have what we need to be happy inside of ourselves. The catchy soundtrack causes you to dance in your seat. As an animated musical, each song hits your heart, your funny bone and brings joy, some sadness and a true feeling of happiness. I really enjoyed watching the Trolls hug every hour - what a touching idea. The interaction between Branch (Justin Timberlake), Poppy( Anna Kendrick) and the other Trolls show how important it is to realize when someone is negative or unhappy, there is a reason. When you care about or are a friend who look for ways to help the person. Watching it in 3D enhances the whole film experience. I recommend it for ages 2 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love the new Dreamworks film, Trolls because it is entertaining, has a good message, has a great soundtrack filled with incredible music and is virtually impossible not to like. In this movie, it is 20 years since the Trolls escaped from the Bergens. Bergens are giants compared to Trolls. Meet Poppy (Anna Kendrick) who is going to be queen of the Trolls. She decides to have a party, but Branch (Justin Timberlake) warns them not to make a bunch of noise or their enemies, the Bergens will find them. Poppy doesn't listen and, because of that, the Bergens, capture some of the Trolls. Poppy decides to find and rescue them. Will she save the Trolls or will the Bergens do something to them before she does? You have to see the movie to find out.

I enjoyed watching this movie because I love the music. If you didn't know, this movie is a musical. It is fantastic! I love how they turn well-known songs into their own new version of the song by changing the arrangement. Another reason why I love this movie is because of its cast. The cast's chemistry is evident as you watch the interaction between the characters throughout the film. Anna Kendrick's and Justin Timberlake's performances are fantastic because they take you on an emotional journey and make you feel it. I love how Justin Timberlake's character goes through changes throughout the film and Anna Kendrick's character Poppy is hilarious. She made me laugh a lot.

The supporting cast members are superb as well and their characters, in some scenes, steal the show. For instance, Biggie (James Corden) is so hilarious in one scene, but I can't say which one because it would spoil the movie. Also the performances of Gwen Stefani, Russell Brand, Zooey Deschanel and many others will have you laughing as they deliver a bunch of jokes as well.

This film is amazing and has a positive message - "You don't need things or people to be happy. Your happiness lies within yourself and you should be proud of who you are."

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 6 to 18. I think adults may like this as well. The Bergens may be a bit scary looking so kids under age 6 might find it too intense. I also recommend this to people who like action, adventure, musicals and family movies. This film comes out November 4, 2016 in theaters nationwide. Make sure to see this movie, because it is worth seeing.

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

This is a terrific film. The small, adorable and fun Troll dolls are making a comeback in the new feature film Trolls. The cutest ever Trolls play opposite the pessimistic Bergens. These are fun, energetic characters as well as grumpy characters who blend together to make this film perfectly engaging. There are also stupendous songs that make you just get up and out of your seat, singing and dancing.

The animation is very vivid, extraordinarily colorful and detailed which is perfect for the little ones who will love the colors and the fun characters in this film. The way everything so detailed, realistic and whimsical makes this film really stand out in a way that appeals to both kids and adults.

The cast is brilliant especially Poppy (Anna Kendrick) who is the happiest, kindest, sweetest troll of them all. She always see the bright side of things and reminds me of myself when I was younger. Maybe that's why she is my favorite character. Plus, Poppy is an amazing singer just like Branch (Justin Timberlake).

Branch the grumpy, sad troll is also very sarcastic and funny. He is a favorite because of how his smart remarks add a lot of humor to this film. Justin Timberlake, who I recently met, is nothing like his character in real life. He is an absolute sweet heart in person. I got to talk with him recently on the rainbow carpet for Trolls and learned that he loves to sing and dance and he had a splendid time working on this film. He is also the executive music producer for this movie.

Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) is an unhappy scullery maid who is in love with someone. She needs a little help to get him to notice her and hence, the matchmaking begins. Last, there is Chef (Christine Baranski), the villain we all love to hate. She is crazy and frightful. She likes to eat trolls and that keeps the story interesting and intriguing for older kids.

My favorite scene is when Poppy is singing a fun song called "Get Back up Again" while she is almost eaten, stepped on and everything painful and horrible happens. I love this scene because it made me laugh so hard. It makes you want to get out of your seat and sing along with her. I also love the way that she gets back up no matter what, thinks positive and tries her best to help everyone, no matter what happens to her along the way.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18 because younger kids will love the fun songs, colorful animation and the silly adorable characters and older kids will love the scary villain and the story line. This is a feel good family friendly movie that parents will enjoy as well. I give this film 5 out of 5 rainbow troll stars. Be sure to check my interviews on the rainbow carpet where you can meet actors who play these characters and learn more secrets. This film comes out November 4 in theaters nationwide so, go check it out.

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

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


FINDING DORY (BLU-RAY/DVD/DIGITAL HD)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FINDING DORY (BLU-RAY/DVD/DIGITAL HD)       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 keeps 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 Julie S., KIDS FIRST! juror. This sequel to Finding Nemo focuses on Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) overcoming her short-term memory loss to find her parents whom she was separated from when she was very young. There is peril, excitement and suspense as well as humor and a variety of characters throughout. The animation is beautiful, often stunning. Overall, this should be very entertaining to children though not quite as much as Finding Nemo was. There are extras on this Blu-Ray DVD that discuss, albeit briefly, sketching character design, music and deleted scenes. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult 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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
EAGLE HUNTRESS, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - This spellbinding documentary follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old nomadic Mongolian girl who is fighting to become the first female eagle hunter in twelve generations of her Kazakh family. Through breathtaking aerial cinematography and intimate verite footage, the film captures her personal journey while also addressing universal themes like female empowerment, the natural world, coming of age and the onset of modernity.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Eagle Huntress is an inspiring film. I love its uniqueness and that is based on a true story. The film is about a 13-year-old Mongolian girl named Aisholpan who trains with her father to become the first girl in her family to be an eagle hunter. Traditionally for many generations, only boys were trained, but Aisholpan's father Nurgaiv wanted to train her because he believed in her. Her mother and siblings are also featured in the film.

The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking, showing beautiful landscapes of Mongolia and astonishing nature scenes. The movie is a team collaboration with the participation of various producers, executive producers and an excellent director, Otto Bell. Although the production crew was small, they made quite a striking film. This is Otto Bell's first true story documentary which is impressive because the quality of the production is remarkable. The collaboration of the various producers helped make the film possible. The narrator is Star War's Daisy Ridley which sweet narration can help young kids understand and follow the story.

Otto Bell found out about Aisholpan and her remarkable story from a BBC segment and decided to make a film about the story. All the characters are real, so there aren't any characters. My favorite personage is Aisholpan because she is confident in herself and goes through many challenges. My favorite scene is when Aisholpan wins a contest. It is such an inspiring moment! Another great scene is when Aisholpan catches an eagle because it shows her fearlessness and how accomplished and brave she is.

The message of the film is to follow your dreams and to preserve family traditions. This movie is very moving and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this to ages 5 to 18. This movie opens in New York and Los Angeles on November 2 and nationwide on December 23, 2016. Go check it out if you are up for a real life adventure with a girl heroine.

Reviewed by Carla Paz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

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


LOVE SONG OF THE DRONE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LOVE SONG OF THE DRONE
BRIAN LARSON
Series: INDIE ENVIRONMENTAL SHORT, AGES 3-10
Topic - Family
Description - An animated music video about the life (and love) cycles of a drone bee. Director's Statement: This film is a labor of love; my wife is a beekeeper and I was fascinated by the world of bees, especially the different roles and jobs each member of the hive has. It just seemed natural to have a song written for them! The world of beekeepers is full of really talented, creative and caring people!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Lovely short that will fit nicely into environmental festivals. The concept of a very short animated film about a drone bee or bees is appealing. This animation and music is simple and charming and quite suitable for pre-K through early elementary. The animation is fairly basic and fun. The song is charming although it doesn't quite teach what a drone and Queen Bee really are so, be prepared to augment that when showing it to very young children. Keep in mind that it is entertaining and shouldn't be looked at as an educational film. I loved it and recommend for ages 3 to 10. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


I AM NOT A MOUSE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
I AM NOT A MOUSE
EVGENIA GOLUBEVSA
Series: FOREIGN INDEPENDENT SHORT, 3-8
Topic - Family
Description - Every time Lucy is called 'Mouse' by her Mum, she turns into a real mouse! What is Lucy going to do? Available with French/Italian/Russian/Spanish subtitles. Email us to request the details!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This animated short is quite adorable and has fun with a topic many children can relate to - being called pet names by their parents. I recommend it because it is suitable and has entertainment value. The 2D animation is well crafted, bright and fun to watch. The story line is unique and entertaining. It has a beginning, middle and end and yes, it makes sense. It made me chuckle. It's short and to the point and I think young children like it because many times parents have nicknames for children that they do not like and this is the main theme and it is done with wonderful animation and even humor. Recommended for ages 3 to 8.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 2 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-8
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


BLACKMAIL

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BLACKMAIL
STEPHEN BURHOE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 7-12
Topic - Family
Description - Siblings learn life lessons, as one tries to extort the others weekly allowance from him. When the prospective victim threatens to bring their police officer father into the fray, the tables are turned.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Accepted and very enjoyable. I recommend this and give it 4 out of 5 stars. The story line is well done. I like that there is a twist and a lesson to be learned. It is entertaining. There is definitely visual appeal and I recommend it for children ages 7 to 12 although it is suitable for older kids too. It is appropriate, entertaining and, has a lesson. It is suitable, clever and visually appealing. The sound quality is good and the locations fit with the story. The acting is good although there is no star quality. I particularly enjoyed the young boy's expression at the end. It flows quite well and there is definitely a beginning, middle and end that make sense and make it watchable. I like that it isn't dragged out and that there is a twist when the younger brother basically outsmarts his older sister. It truly is about blackmail even if it is with siblings in a family. It teaches a lesson and has a slight twist. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


ANIMAL RESCUE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ANIMAL RESCUE
L'OEIL CINEMA
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Lea have a homework to do about her father's job. She think her father's job is boring but she will find it more admirable after following him through a working day. Festival play: FIFEM, Montreal, Canada, 2015
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a refreshingly clever kid-relatable story, told in stop-motion animation by a group of student filmmakers. The story follows a young girl who is embarrassed by her dad's profession as animal rescuer until she has to spend a day at his job to write a school essay. She encounters animals and sees how his dad's job matters to the animals and to the community. In the end, by riding along with dad for a day, she gets a chance to see another meaning of hero and sees him as a hero after all. The story has some surprising twists and turns, clever humor and a clear beginning, middle and end. The quality of animation and visual storytelling is especially impressive, considering this is a movie made by kids with minimal resources. This film is enjoyable and appropriate for a general family audience. Although we can predict that by the end the main character will come around to appreciating her dad, the way the story plays out is refreshingly clever. Particularly impressive is the use of available resources - figurines, homemade characters and whatever was on hand to tell the story. The sets are presumably also created by the kids. The visual storytelling makes sense. Voices by kids are real and feel natural for the story. The production value of this film is especially impressive considering the age of the creators who seem to be about 10 years old. Recommended for ages 5 to 11. Dialogue is in French with English sub-titles. Reviewed by Katarzyna K., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


DREAMSCOPE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DREAMSCOPE
ANNA ANTONOVA
Series: INDI SHORT, AGES 6-12
Topic - Family
Description - Have you ever think about, How these strange ideas and questions come up to children mind? I have theory that children with emotional inner world and huge imagination all over the world are connected with each other somehow. 2 worlds. 2 cultures. 2 little kids. What this experience could give them more? Director bio: Graduated Moscow Art Theatre University in 2010. Was working in several theater festivals, than decided to study cinema. Graduated Russian All-state Cinematography University as director of editing, and Moscow Cinematography School as DP. First fairytale for children participated in International film festival 19th Children Film Festival in Hyderabad, India, where I started my next project DreamScope. Currently study in New York Film Academy. Direct and shoot by myself. Ratings Rate this Project This project has not yet been rated. Notes Ranny Levy on September 20, 2016 This title is very unique. It has outstanding visuals and concept. It is a very interesting title that has a place in a film festival. The only unappealing thing is that it is somewhat confusing for some to understand what the point of it is. I had to watch it a second time to fully grasp the concept. The idea is about children's imaginations so any child with an active imagination should enjoy it. It flows well and, for the most part, makes sense. The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for the intended audience. I recommend it for ages 6 to 12. Reviewed by Michael O., KIDS FIRST! juror. Delete Ranny Levy on September 20, 2016 � Shared with Submitter This title is very unique. It has outstanding visuals and concept. It is a very interesting title that has a place in a film festival. The only unappealing thing is that it is somewhat confusing for some to understand what the point of it is. I had to watch it a second time to fully grasp the concept. The idea is about children's imaginations so any child with an active imagination should enjoy it. It flows well and, for the most part, makes sense. The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for the intended audience. I recommend it for ages 6 to 12. Reviewed by Michael O., KIDS FIRST! juror. Delete Add a note about this entry. Send a copy to the submitter. Add note Screenshot Download Trailer
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This title is very unique. It has outstanding visuals and concept. It is a very interesting title that has a place in a film festival. For me, this film was somewhat confusing to understand exactly what the point is. I had to watch it a second time to fully grasp the concept. It is about children's imaginations and I think any child with an active imagination will enjoy it. It flows well and, for the most part, makes sense. The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for school aged children. I recommend it for ages 6 to 12. Reviewed by Michael O., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DINO DAN: THE WONDER WIZARD OF DINOZ       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-9
Topic - Family
Description - Join junior dinosaur expert Trek Henderson as he imagines dinosaurs in the real world! At bedtime, Mom reads Trek "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz". Trek drifts off and ends up in "The Land of Dinoz" where he meets new pals the Scare-Troodon (Penelope), the Tin-Dromaeosaurus (Bobby) and the Cowardly Stygimoloch (Hannah). Together, they all head off to see the wizard and save him some wicked dinosaur skeletons. Enjoy this and more dino-rrific adventures with Trek and friends!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Watching this film was fun, exciting and all around enjoyable. The film made me laugh all the way through along while teaching me a thing or two about dinosaurs. This is a thrilling tale about a young dinosaur lover who goes on different adventures.

Dino Dan: The Wonderful Wizard of Dinoz is a short film about Trek Henderson having a vivid dream that seems familiar to the story The Wizard of Oz except, of course, there are dinosaurs in it. Trek, a junior dinosaur expert just loves dinosaurs and everything in his life is comprised of the prehistoric creatures. His room is filled with dinosaur inspired posters, clothing, bedding and toys. So, it probably made sense for him to dream about them after his mom read him a bedtime story in preparation for his big trip to the Dino Museum the next day. There are three additional tales included on this DVD that are about a school musical about dinosaurs and overcoming stage fright, having night vision to seek out a veggie thieving dinosaur and a great battle between two of the largest known dinosaurs.

The greatest feature of this DVD is the education you get in learning all about the different types of dinosaurs there are. It's not only about the T-Rex and Triceratops. There are over 600 species such as the Troodon and Albertosaurus. The bright colors are visually appealing. They enhance the story and help viewers in learning about these amazing creatures.

My favorite character is Trek. His knowledge and passion for dinosaurs is very inspiring. My favorite part is when Trek arrives at the Land Of Dinoz and his new friends, the Scare-Troodon (Penelope), the Tin-Dromaeosaurus (Bobby) and the Cowardly Stygimoloch (Hannah) realize they each have the power of courage, wisdom and caring within them, just like Dorothy and her friends did in the Wizard of Oz.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars because it is family friendly, informative, humorous and a great mix of live action and CGI animation. You also get a bonus of three other mini stories packed in the adventurous 60 minutes. I recommend this DVD for children ages 4 to 7 since this is usually the age the fascination for dinosaurs occurs and they will want to learn more. This film is available on DVD now, so make sure to go check it out.

Reviewed by Linda D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SUPER 4: WELCOME TO KINGSLAND!       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-10
Topic - Family
Description - Inspired by the world of Playmobil� toys, embark on a series of adventures with the Super 4 as they travel throughout the wider Playmobil� universes. Whether it be a sci-fi futuristic world, a magical fairy world, a world of pirates, or a world of medieval knights, the adventures are never ending! Welcome to Kingsland, a world of chivalry, dragons, quests, tournaments, and castles! Kingsland is ruled by the corrupt King John, who is Prince Alexander's uncle. King John ascended the throne when Alex's father and mother were lost at sea. Prince Alexander is the heir to the throne but cannot abide living under his uncle's corrupt authority. Join Prince Alexander, or Alex as he'd prefer to be called, along with his Super 4 friends as they band together to fight villains especially dragons and save their worlds from chaos.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this DVD with its seven, fun-filled episodes with wonderful story lines, exciting characters and fun animation. The animation is similar to what LEGO movies use, but it Is different and transports you to a new place.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF GARGAND       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-10
Topic - Family
Description - The universe is in danger. The evil Snake extinguishes the stars as he passes through the galaxy, causing chaos and plunging the planets into darkness. The Little Prince must leave his Asteroid home and beloved friend, Rose, in his quest to outsmart the Snake and save the universe from doom. Accompanied by his trusted companion, the Fox, the Little Prince travels from planet to planet, braving danger and discovering vast and enchanted worlds. Will the extraordinary gifts of the Little Prince bring each of the planets back to life? And will he ever find his way home?

On Planet Khagle, every 122 days, Khagle (who is vaguely similar to Santa Claus) hands wishaplants' seeds out to children and inhabitants. The wishaplants grow into trees which then give presents to children. However the wishaplants also ensure the village's survival because the plants roots' secure the houses to the ground. Therefore, without the wishaplants, the houses would fly off! The Little Prince and Fox must help the Planet Khagle when we find out that Lyl the alchemist, who grows the seeds into wishaplants has disappeared 48 hours before the Khagle's distribution. Will the Little Prince be able to find Lyl the alchemist in time before Khagle's giving of the wishaplants?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mystery, friendship and trust make this an amusing film to watch. The discovery of new planets in the galaxy, each with its own strange inhabitants is a fun concept. I take joy in watching what or who the new planet and characters will be. Beautiful animation, unique story line and memorable characters make this a must see film. I can't wait to see the next adventure. This year, the Little Princess has become one of favorite characters. This series is based on the book from France, written by Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry's.

The Little Prince and his friend Fox travel across the galaxy visiting different planets. A giant black cobra which symbolizes different emotions like fear, hatred, sadness and jealousy covers the galaxy with darkness. The Little Prince must find out what ails each planet. He is constantly homesick for his red rose on his home planet B612. While visiting the planet of Gargand, they discover that the people there rely on wishing trees, which must be replaced every 122 days, to hold their planet together. The children make a wish upon a tree seed that is dropped down chimneys. The trees then re-grow and each child is rewarded with a new tree which contains the gifts they wished for. One of my favorite parts of this movie is learning what each child asks for such as a hiding tree, a joking tree, a music tree and things like that. I laughed so hard when the Fox asks for a chicken tree and even harder when I saw what tree appeared. The Fox is darling and humorous.

The story reminds me of Christmas - making a wish list, Santa coming down the chimney and waking up to new toys. I wish that along with the gifts the children get from their trees that the trees might look like the item the children wished for. The Gargand delivers the seeds while flying on a Jagunda, a big blue saber-tooth looking creature with bat wings who throws the seeds down the chimney. I am enchanted with these beautiful creatures.

There is a race to find a new Gargand. Thery and Dokan are the main competitors, but when the best doesn't win there might be cheating. The loser takes matters into his own hands. Along with the help of the snake, a peaceful happy community is thrown into disaster.

My favorite part of this film is the captivating animation which is full of carefully thought out and has meticulous details. The colors and the flow of the movie are perfect.

The moral of this story is to think before you act because the thought of losing and revenge could cost the lives of the whole planet. The loser kidnaps Lyl the Alchemist, who puts the wishes into the tree seeds. Even if you think everything is falling apart you should stop, think it out and try again. Sometimes when you hold on to things too tightly out of fear of loss, you hurt the thing you are trying to protect.

I recommend this film to kids ages 6 to 18. The storyline contains lessons for younger kids and characters they can relate to but there are messages that older kids and parents will relate to as well. This DVD is available now wherever DVDs are sold so be sure to check out this adorable movie. Keep a look out for other movies in the series as well.

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

The Little Prince: The Planet Gargand is a fun and playful animation for kids. It is based on characters from a famous book by Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry called The Little Prince. I like how they include action without violence so it is suitable for younger kids. It is a series of three episodes of a television show that are all part of one big story. When my younger brother watched it, he said it was the best kid's show he'd seen in a long time.

The story is about the Little Prince's adventure on the planet Gargand. When the prince arrives, he finds out that there is about to be a race and the winner will become the next Khagle. The Khagle is a person who delivers seeds to grow magic trees that give gifts to the children. If all the seeds are not delivered, then the planet will break apart into lots of small floating islands. Someone cheats in the race and Thery, a local who expected to win, doesn't. He gets very angry at Dokan, his best friend because he thinks that it was him and then tries to steal the seeds so that he can be the Khagle. The Little Prince and his friend, the Fox must stop him and save the planet.

I like the cheery animation and the action in this film. I also enjoyed the expressions of the characters and the vivid colors. There are some inconsistencies when it suddenly changes from day to night at certain points that I didn't like. My favorite part of the film is the race scene because it is energetic and exciting. It is action-filled and very fast-paced. It is also gripping because they had dreamed their entire lives of winning this competition and it is very important to them.

Brian Dow is the voice of Thery and James Beach voices Dokan. The Little Prince is voiced by Aidan Drummond and the Fox by Brian Drummond. Their voices express the characters so well, it makes you believe they are the characters they play.

This film has several moral message about how friendship is powerful and how you can do anything you put your mind to. It also shows that cheating does not pay off and good conquers evil.

The Little Prince: The Planet Gargand is a great animated film and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I think kids ages 3 to 10 would enjoy it and I also think adults would like watching it with their kids. It is now available on DVD and I think it would make a great Christmas gift for kids.

By Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


QUEEN OF KATWE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
QUEEN OF KATWE       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 - A Ugandan girl sees her world rapidly change after being introduced to the game of chess.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Disney's Queen of Katwe is the most intense film I have ever seen. Like Akeelah and the Bee, which it resembles, it is the kind of film that induces nail-biting suspense. The story concerns a poor young girl from Uganda, who becomes a world chess champion. The film is directed by Mira Nair, a renowned "indie" filmmaker. It stars David Oyelowo (Selma), Academy Award winner, Lupita Nyong'o (Twelve Years A Slave) and introduces Madina Nalwanga, as the young chess prodigy, Phiona.

Uganda is a country of contrasts. There is great economic poverty, but a rich cultural heritage and great national pride. The coach of the local school decides to start a chess club for the children. He entices the kids to learn chess by feeding them porridge every day. Phiona, a girl from the poorest part of the slums, follows her brother to the club and notices him playing chess. She is spotted by the coach and is then invited in. She quickly becomes the best player, crushing all competition at the club. The coach realizes that Phiona has a gift and encourages her to lead their team at the national tournament. The rest of the movie is her journey to become a chess grandmaster.

The Queen of Katwe is a colorful, exciting film full of memorable moments. Every time the kids win a game or tournament they do a cool handshake and dance. My favorite part of the film is during the second tournament, when Phiona aggressively squeezes her opponent's pieces into checkmate. Another great scene is when the children compete in another country and experience their first meal at a fancy restaurant.

Overall the acting is top notch and the African music throughout the film is captivating. Oyelowo as the coach is a terrific role model for the children. He is a hardworking, dedicated, selfless teacher. Nyong'o as Phiona's mother is also an interesting character. Although poor and uneducated, she is still a strong and passionate advocate for her daughter's happiness. The message of the film is how much you can achieve with hard work and gumption.

Queen of Katwe is an important film for our time because it has a universal message for young people everywhere. It is appropriate for ages 12 through 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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

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


MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SOARIN' OVER EQUESTRIA

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SOARIN' OVER EQUESTRIA       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - The sky's the limit with these five high-flying adventures, featuring all of your favorite winged Ponies! Join Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, the Wonderbolts and, of course, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Spike, as they show you Equestria the way it was meant to be seen... from above!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - After six years of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoons, there have been many great episodes. Some are adventurous, some funny but always entertaining. My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Soarin' Over Equestria has five episodes from all six seasons that truly demonstrate hilarious moments, wonderful stories and fantastic morals.

This series is mostly an adventure but there are many more elements to the show. There is very mild and child friendly drama, as well as a good amount of humor that will make audiences laugh. On top of that, there is the occasional action scene that is child friendly, but exciting. These genres are truly shown in the five episodes on this DVD.

Even though all the episodes are from different seasons, they all follow the story of one of the characters, Rainbow Dash (Ashleigh Ball) trying to accomplish her dream of joining a very elite team of Pegasus, called the Wonder Bolts. There isn't a central plot related to the main story of the show, so those who haven't seen the show before do not have to worry about being able to follow the story.

Despite there being six seasons, over 100 episodes, multiple movies and more, the show is still fresh and exciting. There are many big plot reveals in the latest seasons and it never loses its charm. This can truly be seen in these five episodes because, despite some being six years apart in release, they all still have an even level of quality, from colorful but detailed animation, to spectacular voiceover work. The DVD also comes with a sing-along bonus feature that younger kids will enjoy. The biggest part about this DVD is, of course, the morals about friendship. Each message is different, from getting over fears, to don't make wrong assumptions or don't fall to peer pressure. All of them are good morals that both kids and adults could learn from and are important ones that should be followed in life.

My favorite episode is Testing Testing, 1, 2 ,3. In this episode, Rainbow Dash needs to take a test to sign up to be part of the Wonder Bolts. The main problem is she has never really studied for anything before, so all her friends attempt to help her study in different ways. I like this episode because it talks about how everyone studies differently and the plot of this episode is a perfect example. Some people like flashcards, while others like little films about it. Another great feature about this episode is that it's hilarious and the story has an unexpected ending.

This DVD is meant for young children and I recommend it for ages 4 to 18. Younger kids may not appreciate it fully and I know plenty of older ones who are still fans. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars for its beautiful songs, colorful animation, emotional voice acting and complex but entertaining plots.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-14
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


WILD LIFE, THE

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)


WHERE HEROES DO NOT BELONG
THE SEVEN BRIDGES GROUP LLC (REPRESENTING TEREZIA KONTOVA)
Series: SCREENPLAY FOR AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - One classroom, twenty children. Every child keeps committing one specific devil deed in the classroom: lying, stealing, bullying, etc. Every chapter one of these children falls asleep and wakes up to a World with the plenty of welfare: countless toys, countless sweats, countless anything the child desires for. But every child in that miraculous World is treated by the same specific devil deed which the child was committing in the classroom during the day-light.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a story of students that have lessons to be learned that are not academic. There are morals to be learned and in this first chapter we learn of young Tom who has a problem with lying. I had some difficulty with the flow of the beginning of the chapter and there was some slight confusion, but the middle and ending did make much more sense and came together. There are quite a few grammar mistakes that should be fixed. I feel that this story does have potential and there are some strengths.

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


BLINKY BILL THE MOVIE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLINKY BILL THE MOVIE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Blinky Bill is a little koala with a big imagination. An adventurer at heart, he dreams of leaving the little town of Green Patch and following in his missing father's footsteps. When Blinky discovers a mysterious marker that hints at his Dad's whereabouts, he embarks on a journey that takes him beyond the boundary of Green Patch and into the wild and dangerous Outback. He quickly makes friends with Nutsy, a zoo koala, and Jacko, a nervous frill-necked lizard. Pursued relentlessly by a vengeful Cat who has a personal score to settle with Blinky, the trio must learn to work together if they ever want to survive the rugged Australian landscape and find Blinky's father!

Stars: Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Toni Colette (Little Miss Sunshine), David Wenham (Lord Of The Rings), Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge), Barry Otto (The Great Gatsby), Barry Humphries (Dame Edna) and Robin McLeavy (Hell On Wheels)
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Great news for kids in the US! Now we can bring Australia's favorite childhood friend, Blinky Bill, into our own homes. This movie is such fun. I can't wait to introduce it to all of our young friends.

This much loved children's cartoon character was brought to life in books by author and illustrator Dorothy Wall and first published in 1933. Many adventures were created in book form and TV cartoons, making Blinky Bill a staple in Australian homes over the past 80 years.

Blinky Bill is a mischievous, yet endearing, koala who lives in Green Patch with his loving mother and adventurous father. His father takes off to explore the Sea of White Dragons and is gone for over a year. Young Blinky Bill sneaks off to find him, meeting friends and antagonists along the way.

Blinky Bill the Movie gives us everything that kids want from an animation film - heartwarming friendship, adventures, bravery and silly humor. The writing is brilliantly written for kids and for adults, who happen watch along. The dialogue is clearly written with a wink and chuckle and there are many jokes that go unnoticed by younger viewers, but are entertaining for the adults. One humorous scene finds Blinky Bill in a jam and the only defense he can think of is to pick his nose and rub his finger on his pant leg to repulse the predator. My favorite scene is two female Emus giving each other dating advice repeating, "I'm swerving it!" as they saunter about. The quick pace of dialogue, the Australian accents and adult aimed jokes left me smiling and wondering at times, "Did I just hear that right?"

I love the Australian cultural references throughout the movie. Regional expressions such as, "Blinky's gone bush!" and "Hang on a bilby's whisker!" sent me running to the internet to look up what was being referenced. Seeing the Australian terrain and the indigenous animals that we don't have in the U.S. provides a fun educational lesson.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. This film would be welcome entertainment and perfect for kids ages 3 to 13. As Blinky Bill's father would say, "Grab your gumnuts" and go enjoy Blinky Bill the Movie! It is playing in select theaters now and will be available on DVD October 11, 2016.

Reviewed by Ruth A., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this film. It was very fun to watch. I like that the adventures are comical and it's based on an Australian cartoon. It's a movie based on koalas which I'm very happy about because they haven't done that in a long time. Plus, it takes place in Australia so it has a few Australian words which are actually quite funny. And, of course, they have Australian accents which I like too.

It has quite a cast including Ryan Kwanten as Blinky Bill, an adventurous koala who decides to go look for his dad who has gone to the sea of white dragons to look after him mum and has been gone for almost a year. So, Blinky's worried about him and decides to go on an epic quest. On his way he meets Nutsy (Robin McLeavy) who is my favorite character. She is very silly and ditzy. Not only that but she's kinda like a zoo koala, aka a city girl. I think she's trying to find her inner wild side. She is very funny because she has some quite snotty remarks as well as she pretends that she doesn't like Blinky Bill most of the time. You can tell that her character is dead. Then there is David Wenham who plays Jacko. Nutsy and Blinky Bill try to find him and they help him out when he gets stuck in a couple of situations. Let's just say he's very silly and I like the way that his character is so uppity. He's very comical and a little crazy. But, that just adds to the excitement. Then there's the evil Cat played by Rufus Sewell. He's actually trailing behind Blinky and everyone else just because he doesn't like koalas. He doesn't like them because something happened in his past.

This is actually a pretty cool film. I love the animation because it is so crisp and clear and detailed. I like that it's so simple and colorful but yet has quite a lot of detail. It makes it seem like it's real. My favorite scene is probably Nutsy decides to finally go to her zoo home, which she's been trying to do the entire time, but decides to go with Blinky Bill instead and go with his family as well as Jacko. It was very sweet and a very humble moment as well. And, it's very silly, all because she decided to get over heights. It is actually very funny and the way the two of them bond is very adorable.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 12. Kids will love the story, the animation and the adventure. Older adults will probably like it too because it is very funny and silly. I give this 5 out of 5 wild outback koala stars.

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

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


ADVENTURES OF GUMBY: 60S SERIES VOLUME 2

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ADVENTURES OF GUMBY: 60S SERIES VOLUME 2
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Join Gumby and Pokey for fun-filled adventures in this fantastic second volume of the 60's series! Enjoy full-sized Blockheads bendables in this collectible box set! You'll enjoy over 40 clay-animated episodes, which originally aired from 1967 to 1968, fully re-mastered from their original camera rolls and soundtracks. These cleverly written stories engage both children and adults with timeless themes that captivate today's audiences as they did when first released. Gumby and Pokey are drawn into the past, present and future and to far-flung places for completely unique and sometimes surreal experiences. The Blockheads, who first showed up in the 50s become more prominent in this assortment of late 60s episodes. Along with the Blockheads, Prickle, Goo, Professor Kapp, Aunt Gumbiddy, Nopey, and other whimsical characters make appearances in this collection of episodes.

For the first time ever, you'll enjoy these special features: "Clay Peacock" art film, animated theme song, bumpers, photo gallery, and an interview with Rick Baker and others that worked on the Gumby series. Imaginative, comical and heart-filled. That's Gumby! Our loveable heroes, their friends and the mischievous Blockheads are off for yet another adventure!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have always loved Gumby, there's something about the style that just brings a glow to my face and it is so incredible to have the 60s collection together. I am very lucky in that I got to review Vol 1 as well. Between the digitally remastered visuals and the remastered music, I can honestly say that this collection breathes new life into Gumby. This collection is full of great views of friendship and working together. My children loved it and I am all too happy that they do. My only qualm is the fact that there are missing episodes between Vol 1 and Vol 2. After doing some research it appears some episodes were removed for appearing racist or having other socially unacceptable moments. Although I understand the reasoning behind the removal, it would have been nice to have the complete collection and for that reason I am giving this a 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Fifty years ago, before computer animation, we had hand drawn animation and stop motion animation. The Adventures of Gumby: The 60s Series Volume 2 not only contains spectacular stop motion animation, but also has fantastic and fun adventures that kids and adults of all ages can greatly enjoy.

This series is meant to be an adventure but it doesn't hold back on humor and will make you laugh time and again. It also has some mild action and even a slight bit of intensity, but nothing to be too concerned about. Even those intense scenes are full of light and good nature.

Each episode focuses on a different story. Some may focus on an adventure into a dinosaur world or into space or even into a micro world where germs live. Each episode follows Gumby and his friends and what happens during their adventures while teaching kids some valuable information. Most episodes have some sort of moral message and, since there isn't a continuing, viewers can watch at any point of the series and understand what is going on. I enjoy the fact that, despite most of it being pretty fantasy-like, it intertwines actual science and real-world knowledge to the point where I found myself learning stuff about economics, which was a pleasant surprise!

My favorite episode is Shady Lemonade. In this one, Gumby and his friends go to a lemonade place and discover that the owner scammed them. Later that day, they save a man's cat and the man gives them a very large reward. They decide to use that money so people can get lemonade at a cheap price and not worry about getting scammed. I picked this episode because, despite it not have some fun adventure, it is still a unique and fun story which kept me entertained. On top of that, the moral of the story is great - for every action there is a reaction, just like it shows in Shady Lemonade.

The Adventures of Gumby: The 60s Series Volume 2 has so much to love about it. Stop motion animation is sadly a dying art and, in this series, you see what makes it so fantastic. This is an art form that has more of a human touch. In hand drawn animation, you draw pictures with pen and paper. In computer animation, you type on a keyboard. With stop motion, you physically touch the characters and alter them at will. On top of that, the voice acting is wonderful as are the songs. There is some background music in many episodes, which isn't too noticeable but adds to the flow of the show. Despite it being over 50 years old, I still greatly enjoyed it and laughed throughout every episode. I also admire the series because its creators don't ever talk about morals or try to explain them, but you still learn a good lesson from the fun, easy-going stories.

This series is designed for kids and parents have nothing to worry about. I recommend it for ages 4 to 18. I believe adults will enjoy this show too, even though it is a kid's show, because it sparks your imagination and its out of this world stories will make you laugh. For spectacular stop motion animation, wonderful voice acting, fantastic songs and perfect stories, I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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

The Adventures Of Gumby: The 60's Series, Volume Two is a good show with groundbreaking animation and an immense amount of creativity behind it. The Adventures Of Gumby follows a happy chunk of green clay named Gumby and his friends - Pokey, Prickle the little yellow dinosaur and a blue flying mermaid named Goo. Gumby can go anywhere, including inside books and turn into anything. The crew goes on lots of fantastical and quirky adventures together. One of the things I enjoyed about this DVD is its diverse set of characters. The Adventures Of Gumby: The 60's Series, Volume Two has all the favorites from Volume One and introduces new creations like Nopey, a dog who can only say "no" and Dr. Zveegee, an evil scientist intent on capturing Prickle and using him for research.

The collection has 40 fun-packed and colorful episodes. My favorite is Point Of Honor. This episode sees Gumby infuriated at Prickle for pushing him and challenges him to a duel. It is surprising to see a quick change of tone in this show and watching these friends in conflict is quite engrossing. Another episode I enjoyed is A Bully For Gumby. This episode follows Gumby and Pokey trying to trick the Blockheads, their usual rivals, after they attempt a dangerous prank. I loved watching Gumby and Pokey outsmart the villainous Blockheads. Another fun episode is Dragon Daffy, in which Prickle is denied entry to an ice cream shop because the cashier thinks he is a dragon. Prickle tries to convince him he's a dinosaur and sends Gumby to find his mom so he can prove it.

I really have to give credit to Art Clokey for using claymation in an innovative television series and creating such classic characters. The special features on this DVD are very good and many honor his legacy. One of the special features I really like is the short film The Clay Peacock. This short demonstrates Clokey's exquisite animation ability and the music gives it an ominous vibe. I also liked the 60's Crew Interviews. This featurette helps you get a better understanding of what it was like working at Clokey Studios and it is interesting to hear how these people got their jobs.

I recommend this series to ages 6 to 8.These are short cartoons and are quite suitable for young kids' attention spans. The episodes are extremely colorful but I think younger kids maybe won't understand the jokes. I rate this 4 out of 5 stars. It is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.
Runtime: 220 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


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
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PUP STAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


LITTLE PRINCE, THE (NETFLIX ORIGINAL, 2016)

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SECRET LIFE OF PETS, THE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


GIBBY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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
AJIT GIRI
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
AJIT GIRI
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
KEEPIN' IT WEIRD TV PRODUCTIONS
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
YU TING CHENG
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



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