The Ages 8-12 category has 2914 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles

Below are the 50 most recently endorsed
(see more by clicking the button at the bottom)

You may narrow your search WITHIN these results by entering a keyword and/or topic category
Enter Keyword:
Select Topic:

You may also start a new keyword search


SEVENTH DWARF, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SEVENTH DWARF, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - When Bubi, the youngest of the seven dwarves, accidentally pricks Princess Rose, he triggers the curse of an evil ice queen and sends an entire kingdom into a century-long slumber. Bubi and the other six dwarves must travel into the future with a charming prince and a suicidal dragon in order to save their fairy tale kingdom.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Seventh Dwarf is a movie focused around Princess Rose and her curse. This story is very loosely based on Sleeping Beauty. In this story, you have all of the characters from all of the standard Disney fairytales. Princess Rose's rescue team consists of Jack, her Prince Charming, the seven dwarves and a "Suicidal Dragon."

Right away when watching this film you can tell by its animation and the loose story that it's for children in the age range of 5 to 10. I didn't like the animation style used in this film. I believe that a child in this age range would probably enjoy this film. The dwarves sing and dance constantly, which is very charming most of the time. It's nice to pick out subtle yet obvious differences and similarities between the characters. It feels as though the story is trying to teach us a lesson and gers carried away. The story is generally enjoyable and full of cute little lessons, however, I think the "Suicidal Dragon" is a bit inappropriate. The Dragon actually puts a rope around its neck and ties the other end to a boulder. Admittedly the Dragon does not end up killing itself but, of course, that's not until after the dwarves sing a song about friendship.

Had this movie not had the suicidal bit in it, it would have earned a higher rating from me but, because of the Dragon, I am giving this film 3 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachel V., KIDS FIRST! reviewer.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Seventh Dwarf is a family film adventure in which cute little dwarves Bobo, Tschakko, Cloudy, Sunny, Cookie, Speedy and Ralfie embark on a journey to save the beautiful and fabulous Snow White. It's the night before Princess Rose's 18th birthday and everyone in the kingdom goes to the Fantabularasa Castle to celebrate including Snow White, the Seven Dwarves, Cinderella and Red Riding Hood.

Everything is going swell until, just before the clock strikes midnight, Bobo, the youngest dwarf, accidentally pricks Princess Rose's (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty) finger with a cursed needle and sends the entire kingdom into a slumber that is a century long. Yikes! The dwarves fall into a huge complication where they must find Rose's true love, Jack, to save her with a kiss! In this tricky and insane journey, they face a fierce and blazing dragon and even defeat the evil, ugly witch, Dellamorta.

I watched this movie along with my little sister and she loved it! It's a pretty basic story but the way it is presented makes it interesting and funny. I feel like they combined all of our favorite kid tales into one and do a great job at it! The only cons that are evident throughout the movie are the songs that they sing. You'll find it nearly impossible to get them out of your head afterwards! Pretty tedious if you ask me. What makes The Seventh Dwarf so enjoyable is the quality of it all. All of the colorful characters create a fascinating adventure and writing that entertain both children and parents effortlessly.

The Seventh Dwarf is rated PG for its thematic elements and some suggestive material. I rate this film four out of five stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18.

It is playing in select theaters in July and will be released on DVD on August 18, 2015.

Reviewed by Michelle C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

There are cute and funny dwarfs in this all new adventure. This new story line is adorable and fun for the whole family.

BoBo, the smallest Dwarf, is played Joshua Graham and he is my favorite character. His clumsiness leads the story line through its many adventures. The message is "Hero's come in all sizes" - which is a great message.

Peyton List voices the famous Sleeping Beauty and she has been updated. Although there are many plans in place to protect her, she still cannot escape pricking her finger and falling into a dead sleep.

Norman MacDonald portrays Burner, the dragon. He is fierce and quirky. His voice matches perfectly with his character. Then, of course, there is the dancing. This is one of my favorite scenes and we learn that Burner is great dancer.

The music is catchy and I found myself still singing the songs the next day. They are original songs with great uplifting lyrics. There are many belly laughing moments.

The graphics are classic animation style done in German 3D computer animation. It is bright and colorful. The backgrounds and castle scenes are very detailed. Each character is well thought out with each matching its own unique personalities. Every fairy tale needs a villain and her name is Dellamorta (Nina Hagen). The movie all flows beautifully but this charter is done in a completely different style which makes her seem oddly out of place.

The story line is easy to follow and full of surprises. Many different characters show up from various fairy tales. The story is based loosely on Sleeping Beauty with many twists and turns. The characters are much different from the original versions we all know and love. There are several new ones you will be adding to your favorites list.

The Dwarfs have all new names with different traits and personalities. Their differences help them as they try to rescue Princess Rose and everyone in the castle from the evil sleeping spell. They must go on a quest in search of her true love.

This movie has many messages including 1) Don't be afraid to be who you are, 2) Believe in yourself and 3) Don't judge people before you really get to know them.

I recommend this movie to ages 5 to 8. It is definitely most suitable for a younger audience.

This movie gets 4 � toe tapping stars. It is sure to put a smile on your face and many new songs in your heart. It has a limited release in local theaters beginning July 31, 2015 and will be available on DVD August 18.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

The Seventh Dwarf is an animated film directed by Boris Alijinovic and Harald Siepermann. I really enjoyed the movie. It is hysterical. The movie is about Princess Rose (Peyton List), who has an 18th birthday celebration and accidentally pricks her finger on a needle that is held by Bobo and cursed by the evil queen, Dellamorta. The needle puts her immediately into a deep sleep. After Princess Rose falls asleep, Bobo then accidentally puts the rest of the castle into a slumber. The only way to get Princess Rose to awaken is by a "true love's kiss".

The film takes place at a castle. There is a party thrown for Princess Rose and all of her fairytale friends attend: Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, The Wolf, Cinderella, The Seven Dwarfs and others. The main characters are the Seven Dwarfs but, they have different names than we are used to. There is Cookie, Sunny, Cloudy, Ralphy, Speedy, Tschakko and Bobo. Bobo is the clumsy one of the group. Every time his shoelaces come undone, something bad happens. Even though the evil witch, Dellamorta and her dragon, Burner are not invited to the celebration, she makes a grand appearance anyway. The dwarfs are taken on an adventure when they set out to find Jack who is the only one who can wake up princess Rose with a "true love's kiss". The dwarfs get into so many sticky situations along their journey to find Jack. Finally, they find Jack and they hurry back to see if the "true love's kiss" will save Princess Rose. You'll have to watch the movie to find out.

The Seventh Dwarf is an outstanding movie. It is full of comedy, adventure, music and dancing. The actors have great comedic timing. The actors amazed me with their singing performances. I have to commend the directors for bringing these characters to life.

My favorite part of this movie is when the dragon, Burner shows Bobo one of his favorite things he likes to do. He asks Bobo to promise not to laugh. After he shows Bobo his secret, their new friendship takes a bad turn. Soon afterwards, Bobo and the Dwarfs make Burner feel better and they end up being best friends. My favorite character is Bobo because he is always happy and is hilarious.

The message of the film is: As long as you have friends by your side, you can accomplish anything.

I rate this movie four out of five stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18 as well as adults. This film is playing in select theaters in July and will be released on DVD/Blu-ray on August 18, 2015

Reviewed by Brooke S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 88 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.97
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


LEGO BRICKUMENTARY, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEGO BRICKUMENTARY, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
XXX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - A look at the global culture and appeal of the LEGO building-block toys.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you ever wanted to know everything there is to know about the wonderful brick building toy, LEGOs, this is your film, with not only insight of the full history of LEGOs but also about how large and diverse the LEGO community is! A LEGO Brickumentary will be loved by the millions of LEGO fans, and really anybody who wants to know how LEGO became a worldwide known phenomenal.

This of course is a documentary with many educational aspects, but they did it in a style which almost told an adventure of the LEGO history, and showing how the community was created. The narrator, Jason Bateman, did a wonderful job putting life into the narration of the whole film.

The movie is about LEGO's history from its humble beginning in the 1950's to today, almost 70 years later! From the idea, to the challenges, the actual reason it became the brick company we know today, of course with some changes on the way, including the design that allows them to stick together. This movie also takes a look into the massive community of LEGO, from the conventions, to the people who work in LEGO, to even the medical treatment LEGO offers! If you wanted to know about LEGO, this movie certainly does the job.

I love a lot of things about this movie did to make it educational but yet still entertaining. However, this film was a bit all over the place. For example, it started off talking about the largest LEGO set ever built, then it talked about something else for 10 minutes, and went back to it. I thought that was a bit confusing, and could have been edited better. I did however like what they did with the narration, Jason was shown as an animated LEGO character, the way they animated in the LEGO Movie. Also, at times they showed him, "legalized" while for example, a LEGO convention was happening behind him. Combined with his wonderful narration, I thought it came together very nicely.

My favorite scene is about the huge LEGO set I talked about earlier, a branch of LEGO designers, called Master builders, who are responsible for the massive LEGO statues in amusement parks and conventions, are tasked to build a life size replica of their X-Wing set which will be displayed in time square, to see the outcome of the set, and the adventure they had to make it, including placing over 3,000,000 pieces! I loved this scene for the sole reason it showed you how extreme LEGO creations can get.

I believe this is film is good for all ages, of course older kids would get more of the terms and enjoy it more, I also give it 5 out of 5 stars because despite the thing about it being a bit random, they did a wonderful job making it educational and entertaining.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel), and it's making more claims on his time than he has available, considering his imminent marriage to the love of his life, Sunaina (Tina Desai). Sonny has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy - posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig). Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce, and are wondering where their regular dates for Chilla pancakes will lead, while Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship, as Madge (Celia Imrie) juggles two eligible and very wealthy suitors. Perhaps the only one who may know the answers is newly installed co-manager of the hotel, Muriel (Maggie Smith), the keeper of everyone's secrets.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Loved the first movie and enjoyed the sequel as well. It's probably more suited to adults, especially older adults who will resonate with the trials and tribulations of the characters in this film. But, it is filled with a positive spin on how to deal with aging, limited finances, and the craziness of friends and family.

It's incredible cast is partly what makes this so charming. Judi Dench and Bill NIghy certain light up the screen. Maggie Smith adds her acerbic form of humor and Seema Azmi and Tina Desai are both quite wonderful. The addition of Richard Gere was unexpected and his performance was really so so.

It is very warm, uplifting and charming in every way. Can't wait to see the third installment, if there is one.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


CRAYOLA DJ

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CRAYOLA DJ       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
LEGACY GAMES
Series: APP, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Create the perfect music and play with tracks in different genres, including dance, pop, and hip hop. Layer your loops and add fun sound effects, then take your beats to the dance party. Your color-coded music creates an exciting color and light show. Perform for an audience and earn points for mixing and scratching your music! You can then save your music and share with friends and family!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Young kids gain enjoyment from the simplest of games, whether it be tag or crab racing. Crayola DJ is another one of those easy, fun games that lets children create their own music in the palm of their smart phone device. Perhaps the most enjoyable part is listening to the music change genres so quickly from funk to pop to hip hop just from pressing the devices on the game.

Crayola DJ opens up and the player is immediately faced with two turntables. The player is helped by a woman's voice giving basic instructions on how to create music. There are buttons that provide different rhythms, basses, melodies and sound effects to create the player's desired tune. These beats all come from different genres such as dance and holiday. This sort of "practice mode" provides a chance to creatively experiment with balance of the music, tempo and more. There is a two player mode where two kids can compete with one another and show off their mixing skills and also a performance mode where the player gets to feel like he or she is performing for a show.

Available on both Android and iOS, Crayola DJ is a very inventive game that many will enjoy. One aspect of the game that I really enjoyed was the interactive aspect. Lots of games out there that kids play are very singularly noted and simply require button pressing or aiming at a target. This game is much more intricate than that and provides children an opportunity to actually learn while playing on a device.

One criticism I have of the game is the lack of clarity. Yes, it is good to have kids learn for themselves and creatively experiment with a game. However, I had trouble understanding how exactly to make music and how to get from the "practice" area to the "performance" area. The woman's voice who helps guide you through the game is pleasant enough, but she lacks information on how to make the game really easy to comprehend in the beginning.

All in all, I would give the game a 3 out of 5 stars due to the confusion and lack of clarity in instructions. Still, it is a very enjoyable game and I recommend it for kids ages 4 to 8. This is a creative new game for kids to learn more about music and, most of all, enjoy themselves. Reviewed by Carissa P. KIDS FIRST! juror, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Crayola DJ app is very fun, especially if you love music and creating music. This app helps you to make a song then spin your track at a party like a real DJ. The app is easy to learn, do and is fun to create with your friends. There is not a super wide selection of music beats to make your song but you can make a lot of tunes. I enjoyed the bright visuals, easy to follow instructions, the creativity of the app and the idea of being able to be a DJ on your tablet. I recommend this app for 6- to 12-year-olds because it's fun to create songs and it is a blast to listen to what you create. I'd rate this app 4 out of 5 stars. Crayola DJ is for kids to have fun and be creative.

Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.

The app Crayola DJ is neat and fun to play with. This is a kid's app where you can learn basic beats. There are so many combinations of music beats that you can make. The music areas covered are pop, hip-hop, dance, fusion and holiday. I thought the holiday beats would be weird to use, but it sounds real interesting. There are some loop buttons that you can add to the sound. Crayola DJ is about complete creativity. The Crayola DJ app does not disappoint. I downloaded this app under Google Play. The screen for this looks very simple. There is a voice tutorial which walks you through the app. I like that is has two turntables that you can actually spin backwards or frontwards. There is also a tempo slide and turntable slide. Crayola DJ has a one and two-player game. This game is based on creating and mixing up beats to earn the most points. It is interesting to play, but I didn't like that the screen was completely different from the main one. It has a voice tutorial also. I read online that you can add your own music. I have not seen anywhere on this app that shows where to do this. That would really bring this app straight to the top. Crayola DJ is fun for all ages. I recommend downloading this app especially for kids who has an interest in mixing. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 18.

Reviewed by Kamren W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 8

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 4.99
Media: App


SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it's up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Aardman Animation is known for its thought-provoking animated films such as Wallace & Gromit, Creature Comforts, Chicken Run and Flushed Away. It is a British animation studio located in Bristol, England. Their latest installment, Shaun the Sheep, does not disappoint. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Willie J., age 16 comments, "But, the backbone of any and every Aardman film, including this one, is the screenplay. Shaun the Sheep has a wonderful screenplay - full of wit, cleverness and humor." Tre'ana H., age 11 adds, "This film is dazzling, amusing and comical." See their full reviews in youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Being a fan of Aardman, I was very excited to see this movie. And I was not disappointed. Shaun the Sheep is a charming, funny, and entertaining movie that continues the tradition of good movies by Aardman.

The animation is beautiful. Claymation is my favorite type of animation because of how off-beat it makes everything look, so I'm already partially biased on the cinematography. That is a huge reason I love Aardman.

But, the backbone of any and every Aardman film, including this one, is the screenplay. Shaun the Sheep has a wonderful screenplay - full of wit, cleverness and humor. I can't tell you how hard I laughed at the Silence of the Lambs' reference (the only one in my theater who did laugh at it). There is a restaurant named "Moon," and, in the film, a cow jumps over it...get it? It's the little things like that make this film so great. Without dialogue, this movie is still more intelligent than many. That isn't to say it's a silent film, but it doesn't have any talking. It doesn't need it. The saying, "A picture is worth 1000 words" applies to motion pictures as well. The way the movie uses images to convey messages or to tell jokes and to advance the story is impressive and entertaining. It makes us feel smart, that we're able to put the pieces together and not have to be told everything. I'd even say it's refreshing.

I wish I could say more about the movie, but it's excellence was so expected and it's formula is so familiar, that I can't elaborate too much. It's vintage Aardman, basically. Fortunately, that is a fantastic thing. So I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It can be seen at a local theater near you. Reviewed by Willie J. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16.

This film is dazzling, amusing and comical. Shaun (Justin Fletcher), the antagonist is tired of the farmer's (John Sparkes) everyday routine. He wants a day off, a change. So he causes chaos on the farm. He convinces the duck to trick the dog by stringing him a bone to distract him from watching the sheep. A mix-up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City. That's when it all begins. This spectacular film is loaded with visual delights for the young and old.

Directors Mark Burton and Richard Starzak bring these animals alive as people and give them so much personality. The sheep don't talk but through imagination, expressive grunts and hand movements and looking at the story through the sheep's eyes, you can figure this unique movie out. The music makes it extra groovy. The storyline is what you perceive it to be. The sheep costumes are stylish and appealing. Their dark faces and mouths on the side of their faces add to the visual humor of the movie. The movie is tricky because you would never think animals would be this clever. It makes you curious as to what might happen next. I can't wait to get my dog, so I can see if he will be this smart.

My favorite part is when the sheep goes into the clothing store running from Animal Control. The sheep buys and puts on the new clothes in the store disguising themselves as Animal Control employees. They get dressed up and come out of the store looking and walking like normal people. It is so funny!

The message of this film is to treat animals fairly just like you want to be treated and consider them smart.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18 and I give it 4 out of 5 Stars because it is a family-oriented funny movie.

Reviewed by Tre'ana H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


FANTASTIC FOUR (2015)

KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
FANTASTIC FOUR (2015)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Four young outsiders teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe which alters their physical form in shocking ways. The four must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a disappointing film that has a riveting first half but a rushed and forced second half. Four young minds create a machine that transports them into a alternate universe. Once they come back they have acquired unique powers that they need to control.

The first half looks quite promising. The pace, character development and story are very engaging. The darker direction they take with the story makes it enjoyable. My favorite scene is when the four discover their abilities. There is a sense of fear, tragedy and betrayal with the characters. It starts out as another successful origin story, then it feels as if the editors pressed the fast-foreword button once it starts to get interesting. The second half feels as if it is a long sneak peek for the next Fantastic Four film. It has a great head start but it left me wanting more in a negative way. There is enough four, but it lacks "fantastic."

The updated special effects are one of the redeeming qualities of this film. The presentation of each power is stunning. The impressive design of Ben Grimm/The Thing (Jamie Bell) and the fluent stretching effects of Mister Fantastic give this film an updated edge.

At first there is a connection among the characters; both with each other and the audience. The actors pull this off seamlessly and you are sincerely captivated with their goals and struggles. However, they suffer during the second half as all their hard work is painfully rushed.

My favorite character is Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic (Miles Teller). Richards is one of the people who help build the machine. He ends up getting the ability of an elastic body which means he can stretch any part of his anatomy. Miles Teller has been on a roll with his career and for good reasons. He's a talented actor who dives deeply into the characters he plays. This part is no exception.

The moral of the film, though a bit forced, reminds me of Abraham Lincoln's quote, "A house dived against itself cannot stand." The four heroes face Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell) and attack him individually. Soon they realize, that together, they are stronger.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend this to 10 through 18-year-olds. There's some dark material and language that younger audiences may not be able to handle. This film has some saving aspects but sadly, they do not recover the whole film. This film is in theaters August 7th

Keefer C. Blakeslee, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

In Marvel's latest reboot, Fantastic Four, they failed miserably in trying to create a flawless superhero movie. And, when I say that, know that the movie is downright disappointing.

The film commences by introducing the young genius Reed Richards going through trials and tribulations with his new teleportation device. No one seems to pay attention or truly care about his work until his soon-to-be best friend Ben Grimm comes along. Reed and Ben thrive together through their years to make someone notice their hard work and make a difference in the world--this is where Franklin Storm comes along and gives them a full ride to Baxter Building for their ingenuity.

In Baxter Building they gain some new co-workers; Victor Domashev, Sue Storm, and Johnny Storm, who all happen to be your ordinary geniuses, and together they figure out what interdimensional travel is all about.

I have so many things to say about this movie that I wish were good ones. For starters, it is so boring. Seriously, it is probably the lamest film Marvel has adapted. Contrary to the other movies, the graphics weren't even breathtaking. The one time we FINALLY change settings and enter a battle scene, it lasts two minutes. They made Doctor Doom seem so weak and vulnerable and also gave him some new powers in this movie which is truly unnecessary when the character is already a perfect villain. Last but certainly not least, the acting was extremely dull. I felt depressed just looking at these monotone, boring "heroes."

Overall, Fantastic Four was a huge letdown. As a die-hard Marvel fan, I was really upset that this movie was so rushed and discouraging considering the original film was pretty great.

Fantastic Four is rated PG-13 for its intense sci-fi action violence and some mature language. I give this film 2 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Michelle C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Marvel's Fantastic Four, fills itself with great action, in depth special effects, and a talented cast. This film held my interest and makes me want to see other Marvel films. It's definitely an exciting film.

After being teleported to a perilous and different universe, the physical form of four young adults, changes in dramatic ways. The four of them are left with the challenge of controlling their new found powers and saving the world from a former friend and colleague who becomes their enemy.

The special effects, clarity and attention to detail is outstanding and I really enjoyed watching it. There is a sense of togetherness that you feel from the four main characters throughout their journey. They are working together for a common goal. Even though I haven't seen most of the other Marvel films, I still understand what's going on and can easily follow along. I also enjoy the different abilities the four main characters possess. If I had to choose out of the four powers to be my favorite, I would definitely pick the ability to become invisible, because there is so much you could do with that. I'm sure it would be a lot of fun. Something that I didn't enjoy is the slowness in the first half of the film. I feel as though the beginning of Fantastic Four ought to be shortened down to the essentials and another part should have more action in it, making it closer to what I'm anticipating from watching the trailer. However, the length of the film is good where it's not too long for you to get bored and not too short where you would want more.

My favorite character would have to be Sue (Kate Mara). She exemplifies traits of intelligence, self-control, and kindness. Also, being the only girl in the group, I relate to her most. My favorite scene is really any scene that the characters are using their powers, because I love when people have special abilities and they show them to others.

A great message in this film is of course team work. Many people working together is much stronger that one person working alone. It also communicates a message of helping others and in doing so, it shows people that you are reliable and that they can trust you.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and anyone who loves Marvel films. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Fantastic Four is in theaters now, so please check it out. Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


RICKI AND THE FLASH

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
RICKI AND THE FLASH       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A musician who gave up everything for her dream of rock-and-roll stardom returns home, looking to make things right with her family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This family drama stars three-time Academy Award� winner Meryl Streep as an aging rock star who has abandoned her young children during their formative years and returns when her ex asks her to return to help her youngest deal with a failed marriage.

Ms. Streep has surprised us in the past with her singing talent in films such as Mama Mia and returns with a whole new gig - a hard-rocking singer/guitarist. Jonathan Demme directs this film which, in my humble opinion is one of the hidden gems of the summer. IN what could be a rather sappy story, screenwriter Diablo Cody has created an amazing and uplifting comedy that will leave you walking out the door singing and dancing and a smile on your face.

This film is loaded with music and live performance. Streep's real-life daughter Mamie Gummer plays her on-screen daughter. The film is dedicated to bassist Rick Rosas who passed away last November after an unsuccessful fight with cancer.

This is a win win film that will be enjoyed by kids and parents alike.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This live action feature film directed by Jonathan Demme is definitely entertaining and a feel-good movie. Ricki and the Flash is loaded with non-stop music, mostly from the 80s and presumably sung by Ricki (Meryl Streep) and Greg (Rick Springfield). I enjoy this laid back comedy drama for its intense and strong family relationships.

This movie is about Ricki who walked out on her husband and three young children in Indiana to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a rock-and-roll star in Los Angeles. Her decision alienated her from her family and soon her ex husband Pete (Kevin Kline) married Maureen (Audra McDonald) who fills the role of mother. One day Pete calls Ricki to help him with their daughter Julie (Mamie Gummer) who is reeling from her very recent separation from her husband. When Ricki arrives in Indianapolis, she has a lot of work to do to rekindle the relationship with her kids.

This movie makes me think about what it could feel like to be a kid whose mom abandons them, or be a mom who walks in one day and her kids hate her. This movie is very realistic. My favorite character is totally Mamie Gummer, Meryl Streep's daughter in real life, because she really portrays her role as Julie and makes me laugh and feel bad for her in some parts of the movie. I really like Meryl Streep as an actress, but I didn't buy her being a rock star as much as I would have liked. The lead band player, Greg, is her boyfriend, and he tones down Ricki's edgy personality.

My favorite scene is when Ricki and her daughter Julie are at a donut shop. There is some inappropriate humor in this scene which lays out the first steps to bonding and rebuilding their relationship.

The target audience for this film is definitely for anyone who was alive in the 80's and it may appeal more to women than men. There is some adult humor, mild language, and drug use in this film, so I would recommend Ricki and the Flash for ages 13-18. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because overall it was a fun movie for the summer.

Come see this movie in theaters, Friday, August 7! Reviewed by Lainey A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13.

I was totally entertained watching this movie. The plot is awesome and has a great story line about a Mom leaves her family in order to follow her dream. It is also about the consequences of choices. The theme for young people is that you can be anything you want to be. Rarely do you hear people talking about the hard work and sacrifices you have to make to achieve your dreams. Ricki, played by Meryl Streep, pays the ultimate price - her children and family. This is a very believable plot with an outstanding cast.

Take an old warehouse in Brooklyn, throw in same chairs, a bar and keep the Shirley Temples coming. The band scenes with Meryl Streep singing are some of my favorite. You can tell they are all having a great time and love being there. There are many Rock 'N roll songs that you can sing along with (in your head) and I loved the music.

Rick Springfield plays her band mate and boyfriend and they seem like they belong together. I found myself rooting for their success. Meryl has said they he helped her learn to be a Rock 'N Roll Star. This, once again, shows what an A+ actress she is. She excels at portraying different characters constantly. She is fearless. Congratulations to Rick Springfield for his amazing performance in this film and for coaching Ms. Streep.

Meryl Streep did not know how to play a guitar before this role and managed to snag a 45 minute private lesson with rock legend Neil Young in preparation for this film.

Kevin Kline plays Pete, her patient ex-husband who was left to raise their three children on his own while his wife tried to make it in the Rock 'N roll business.

Mamie Gummer plays Julie the daughter. This was not a far stretch since this is Meryl Streep's real daughter. They definitely look alike. At the beginning of the film, she is very upset and depressed and plays this part well. I could not decide if I wanted to get mad at her or feel sorry for her. This movie is really about a mother, her daughter and her sons trying to reconcile their past. Some people should get a second chance but only if they want one.

The age range for this movie is 10 to 18. It has a mature topic and there are many bars scenes. Young ones might not like it because it is a drama. I give this movie 4.5 Rock Stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


HOT AIR

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOT AIR       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
RECESS MONKEY
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - Flight, adventure and unexplored territory are all part of the concept behind Hot Air, a CD with DVD. Recess Monkey is known for expressing what kids adore most, and in this case, everyday experiences like meeting the new kid in school, wearing hand-me-downs, flying a paper airplane and watching a balloon drift up in the sky, are all related through smart lyrics and layered musicality. Band site: www.recessmonkey.com
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - 'Hot Air' rises to the occasion and delivers a potent punch of fun, danceable and delightfully listenable tunes that will lift your spirits and take you on flights of fancy that are frown resistant. Recess Monkey is a tried and true band of experienced and educated musicians who have inhaled the wonderful songwriting and production values of top groups from the late 60's and 70's and have exhaled a new, original and pleasing paradigm of songs that are kid-friendly but more importantly, kid-conscious. Up up and away, the sky is the limit, or is it?

As far as the DVD portion of this goes: The DVD is rolled into the same CD package which is clever and visually stimulating. The colors and sets are vibrant and stimulating and appealing to a child's' artistic sense and sensibility. Hot Air rises to the occasion and is chock full of fanciful characters and situations animating a fun and engaging narrated story of a boy to man, Andrew, who makes a colorful balloon out of hand me down male and female sibling clothing. When he joins an air race contest and helps a penguin in trouble when his magic carpet is hit by lightning, the excitement and thrills build. Vintage newsreel footage of early flight vehicles and pilots of the time, adds credence to the contest. Through perseverance and dogged determination Andrew finishes the race dead last but due to a technicality actuality wins. Terrific songs, creative artwork and humorous storytelling make Hot Air a winning package.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments, youth comments coming soon.
Runtime: 40 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 17
Media: AUDIO


ANT-MAN

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ANT-MAN       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 - Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Ant-man is one of the lesser known Marvel characters and, with this new film, has quickly become a new favorite for many. The storyline reveals his origins and how he develops his astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength. And, of course, like any super-hero movie, how he has to work to save the world. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Harmony, age 16, comments, "From Marvel comes the newest superhero thriller, Ant-Man with a mixture of comedy and action that brings pleasure for people of all ages." Wille J, age 16 adds, "Despite its small (pun intended) initial impression, it is the content that is able to allow Ant-Man to hold its own amongst the star-studded, big named Marvel films like Avengers and Iron Man."
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - From Marvel comes the newest superhero thriller, Ant-Man with a mixture of comedy and action that brings pleasure for people of all ages. The film is about a scientist, Dr. Hank Pym, played by Michael Douglas, who gets forced out of his own company and left searching for someone to bravely take on the missions he requests. With his invention of a super suit which provides superpowers, shrinking abilities and the control of an army of ants, Pym finds his talent, Scott Lang, to be the one and only "Ant-Man." Seeking redemption for his past criminal behavior, Scott accepts the challenge to save the world and fight off enemy scientist, Darren Cross from using his similar suit for evil. Things take a turn when the world is not the only thing that needs saving.

The film's many wonderful aspects start with the amazing performances from actors including, Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Corey Stoll. I always know an acting performance from an antagonist is amazing when I actually believe the person is evil in real life. The acting job from Corey Stoll proves to be great when I find it hard to believe that he can be nice in real life. With his past experience in many comedic films, Paul Rudd easily and naturally portrays the witty character Scott without seeming fake or cheesy.

The movie is uplifting and funny in so many ways. The movie throws out jokes about other Marvel characters and icons, which are surprising and hilarious. The film is authentically different in style from the typical superhero or even Marvel film.

The film does include lots of violence and scenes with foul language which is why I'd definitely say the film is for people 13 years of age and older. Furthermore, I would recommend the film to people of ages 13 to 18. Adults will enjoy this as well. The film guarantees laughter and entertainment to people of all interests, including those who are not fans of Marvel or superhero movies. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Check it out coming to theatres on July 17th

Reviewed by Harmony M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. Captain America, The Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Falcon...Ant-Man. The very last name sticks out for a reason, it's the only one that sounds like the lead character in a kindergartener's comic book. And boy does the movie try to up the ante on his powers, which, if you think about them, are lackluster. Sure, his size may not affect his strength, he can get through key holes and do secretive things without being noticed. But, let's be honest, there's nothing "cool" about this hero. It is not the hero, but the company attached that will attract audiences. But it is, surprisingly enough, the script that will keep audiences.

Paul Rudd is the lead. He is best known for his comedic performances in This is 40, Anchorman and I Love You, Man. He is perfectly cast, especially considering who the writers are. The screenplay was written by Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Edgar Wright, and Paul Rudd himself. All of them are comic geniuses. Adam McKay is the writer of both Anchormans and the director of Anchorman, Step Brothers and Talladega Nights. Edgar Wright is writer/director of The World's End, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead (the latter three also known as the Cornetto Trilogy). And Joe Cornish is a collaborator with Edgar Wright. That team of writers for this screenplay are the forces behind Ant-Man, which is the funniest Marvel film of all-time.

Despite its small (pun intended) initial impression, it is the content that is able to allow Ant-Man to hold its own amongst the star-studded, big named Marvel films like Avengers and Iron Man. I mean, the special effects are fine (no surprise), the plot itself is conventional and expected and the hero's back story is no more or less compelling than any other hero's. What truly sets it apart is the overall entertainment. It is an entertainment that knows what it is and goes at it with intention and blatant direction. What I mean is: it's not overly clustered like Age of Ultron was. Ant-Man is fully aware of what it is and even goes the length to make fun of itself, without ever being ridiculous. You know those over-dramatic moments we usually see in Marvel films? Such as a monologue or a big secret being revealed? Well, this screenplay takes those moments and saves us from their clich� and tiring nature. Just how its done, you'll have to see. The audience I watched this movie with was dying with laughter at the witty and the timely satirical moments that pervade the movie.

Throw in Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly (who I kept mistaking for Jessica Chastain for some reason) for the needed dramatic contrast and you've got everything you need for a perfect Friday night blockbuster. Comedy, melodrama and things blowing. Oh, did I mention that Michael Pena and T.I. are in the supporting cast? Yes, it's that funny.

The only weak spot I found was in the villain. Corey Stoll, who many of you may know for playing Peter Russo in House of Cards, is inconsistent in this movie. He is a very good actor (see Midnight in Paris), but between the script and the direction of both his performance and his scenes, he looks bad - overblown. Of all of the aspects in this movie, the villain is the one that needs the most spoofing. Despite that, I still give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. I was surprised by some of the language used (which I shouldn't have been considering the writers), so I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. It can be seen at a local theater near you.

Reviewed by Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16.

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


PIXELS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PIXELS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The highly toted film, Pixels opens this weekend to much applause. When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games. Directed by Chris Columbus and starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Michelle Monaghan, this is sure to be a hit with families looking for their summer entertainment. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, "This film is fantastic! The special effects are absolutely mind blowing." Mia adds, "The computer animation is fantastic. The animation is realistic, detailed and just so incredible. " See their full reviews in kid comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - From Donkey Kong to Pac-man, from Adam Sandler to Josh Gad, this film really has anything you could imagine. Pixels is the funniest film of the year so far!

This is, of course, a comedy. However, along with that, there is a lot of drama and a hint of romance all packed into one huge adventure made for the entire family to enjoy.

The story features Brenner (Adam Sandler) who installs electronic equipment for a living. However, when an alien species attacks in the form of 1980s classic video games, Benner and his friends are the only ones capable of stopping them. And, to do so, they must beat the aliens, as if they were in the game.

This film is fantastic! The special effects are absolutely mind blowing. There are no boring scenes and some special effects are simply mind-blowing fantastic. I still can't figure out how they did it some of them. The acting is spot on. One scene I really liked is where two kids are competing on classic arcade machines with Donkey Kong loaded on them. The director makes it so you see them playing, their points and the screen as well as the reflection of the games in their eyes. It looks amazingzing!

My favorite scene is when they are facing Pac-Man in mini coopers that are designed to be the ghosts who chase and destroy Pac-Man. When Brenner is the only one left and Pac-Man just gets a power up which allows him to eat the ghosts, Brenner pulls of an awesome and insane stunts to run away and it is action packed and just stupendous to watch!

This film is good for kids, adults and gamers of course. I do believe people in their 30s and 40s would like this the most because they can understand a lot of the older game references. I don't think younger kids should watch this due to the adult language and mature references. I recommend it for ages 9 through 18 and older and give it 5 out of 5 pixelated stars.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13.

This detailed movie directed by Chris Columbus is a fun summer movie full of action! Pixels starts off in 1982 when 3 young teens compete in the Video Arcade World Championships. After the championship, Sam's (Adam Sandler) life goes downhill. Years later his best friend, now the President of the United States, calls on Sam to help with an alien invasion that could destroy the world. Sam and his team have to defeat the 1980 video games in real life. The plot is very interesting, unique and original and could lead to a very good sequel. The computer animation is fantastic. The animation is realistic, detailed and just so incredible. I know some people don't dig Adam Sandler but I really think he is very good in this role. The audience was so into the movie. They clapped at achievements and laughed at all the funny parts. It was so cool to hear their connection with the movie. The actors are great and very hilarious. All the actors work like a team. One of my favorite characters is Eddie also known as Fire Blaster (Peter Dinklage). He is very funny and he is very committed to his character. My favorite part of the movie is when Sam, Violet (Michelle Monaghan) and Will (Kevin James) go up against Donkey Kong. All of the computer animation is incredible. It is so realistic and I found myself wishing I had been part of the action on set when the characters all jumped over the barrels and up the ladders. This movie is an interesting blend of comedy, science fiction and action. Even though there is some inappropriate language and questionable jokes and in one scene kind of inappropriate dance moves, I still enjoyed this film. Since this movie is new, funny, has amazing computer animation, is well casted and transformed me, I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this movie for 11 to 18-year-olds and think adults will enjoy it too. I do believe some younger kids still could enjoy this film. It just depends on how much they understand the jokes and if they recognize the video games from the 1980s. To be the first to see this creative movie, watch Pixels in theatres July 24. The highly toted film, Pixels opens this weekend to much applause. When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games. Directed by Chris Columbus and starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Michelle Monaghan, this is sure to be a hit with families looking for their summer entertainment.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ARI
AZURE PRODUCTIONS
Series: SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - After a humiliating quest to become someone else, Ari finds that he and his way of being are of surprising value.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ari is a film that really touches the heart. Seeing this overweight boy being so dissatisfied with himself while trying to pursue his love interest really draws empathy from the viewer. The lighting has certain bleakness to it throughout the film, which wonderfully extenuates the emotional turmoil the young man, Ari, faces throughout his day to day life.

The film begins with Ari in the boy's locker room, grabbing and releasing the fat on his stomach while being notably displeased with himself before being rushed to put on his shirt so the other boys don't see what he's so ashamed of. He then writes a long, heartfelt letter to his crush Jess, but is too shy to give it to her when he has his opportunity. When he gets an award for being the most improved in his gym class after passing out from how much effort he was putting towards a game of basketball, which he was barely participating in before, something amazing happens. What that is, you'll just have to watch Ari to find out, and I suggest you do. I rate this films 4 stars out of 5 and appropriate for ages 12 to 18, because it may be overly sad or gloomy for younger audiences, but very motivational to those of similar age to Ari himself.

Reviewed by Kyle B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 9.5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
HINOKIO
KIDFLIX GLOBAL
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - This is a very unique and poignant coming-of-age story of loss and first love. Satoru is a withdrawn boy who uses a very advanced remote-controlled robot (Hinokio) to communicate with his schoolroom from home. Through the eyes of the robot, Satoru experiences real life friendships and his first real love. Eventually he realizes that he must go out into the real world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Hinokio is an amazingly unique Japanese sci-fi movie from director Takahiko Akiyama which is centered on a boy, Satoru Iwamoto, who has been confined to a wheelchair for a year after a car accident which resulted in his being disabled as well as his mother's death. Satoru is so traumatized by the death of his mother and his inability to walk that he doesn't leave his room, and instead uses a robot (nicknamed "Hinokio" after a special type of wood used in its construction, and its similarities to the children's tale "Pinocchio") to experience the outside world.

The story is all about Satoru's journey through life and his own self discovery at the same time. Through the robot he controls, Hinokio, Satoru makes many friends such as the video game-loving Kenta and his closest friend Jun. Satoru has many fun experiences with his friends, fishing with Jun and camping with his entire class, but they're all experienced through his robot persona and, as such, they just don't feel quite right to him. He can't fully enjoy what he's doing in life since he's really just operating a robot from within his room. Because of this, Satoru installs a program in the robot which allows him to feel what the robot feels. It's his attempt to make his experiences more real. His plan works but it brings out both the good and the bad feelings he faces in the world and almost he dies because of them.

Hinokio brings out a lot of emotions, some happy and full of relief while others are sad and full of danger. The appearance of the robot Hinokio and the story behind the boy who controls it is really moving from the moment he walks into the classroom until the credits roll down the screen. Hinokio makes you feel something and that's a quality that most movies don't have.

On the visual side, the robot Hinokio is very visually appealing and blends in nearly seamlessly to the world around it. The acting is also very good, in particular, Mikako Tabe who plays the role of Jun. The dialogue and inflection is really effective in keeping the atmosphere emotionally charged, even when it's said in a language I don't know (I watched using English subtitles, with the audio in Japanese).

Overall, Hinokio is a very intriguing and well-made film that digs deep into the necessity of relationships between people, displaying just how important and life-changing those relationships can be. Hinokio has a short fight scene where Satoru uses the robot to defend his friend Jun from a group of older "bullies" along with some virtual violence from within a computer game, but the violence was mild enough to fit within the KIDS FIRST! Criteria.

I give Hinokio a strong rating of 4 stars out of 5 and highly recommend it for ages 8 to 18. I believe even younger children will enjoy the robot interacting with the world, even though they may not grasp the moral implications of the film.

Reviewed by Kyle Burda, KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Japanese movie, Hinokio: Intergalactic Love, is about a boy named Satoru who uses a robot that his father gave him to enter back into the world. Satoru is dealing with depression from his mom's death. He begins to stay away from the outside world and sends his robot, which he can control, to school. Hinokio, the robot, begins to experience what Satoru wants in real life. I recommend Hinokio for the KIDS FIRST!! Film Festival. This is a sweet, heartwarming movie. It shows how sensitive kids can be, especially dealing with death. I believe young kids and tweens would definitely enjoy and relate to it. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kamren W., age 8.

This is a unique and clever coming-of-age film that follows a boy who uses a robot to connect with the real world after a traumatizing event. This film is absolutely amazing with a cast of very talented child actors and an engaging story. Even though our protagonist is represented by a robot, this film does not lack human emotion. It has your heart in a vice several times with the characters' intimate interactions. It is in Japanese with English subtitles which narrows its audience to kids old enough to read sub-titles quickly enough to keep up with the action. If you are able to provide captions it's worth it. I highly recommend this film for ages 9 to 18, and younger if they can read well. And, I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 17.95
Media: FeatureFilm

Buy Here (from KIDFLIX GLOBAL)


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LOTTE AND THE MOONSTONE SECRET
KIDFLIX GLOBAL
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Lotte and Uncle Klaus are going on a treasure hunt to unlock the secrets of the three magical stones Klaus and his friends took from a secret temple. But they don't realize they are being followed!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This cute animated film follows a little girl named Lotte and her Uncle. They embark on a journey to find the mystical moonstones. The film's colorful animation and harmless characters will please small children ages 3 to 10. It tosses you into a child-like world that inspires imagination and the laws of reality do not bind it, much like a child's mind. Adults will spend time looking at their watches because of the simplistic story but it's not meant for them. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this film for our festival.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 17.95
Media: FeatureFilm

Buy Here (from KIDFLIX GLOBAL)


NATURE: ANIMAL HOMES
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - The series features a blend of CGI, animation, CT scans and signature blueprint graphics to highlight engineering principles inside the structures. A variety of cameras, including tiny HD versions, capture unprecedented views inside animal homes without disturbing natural behavior. When appropriate, filmmakers shoot behaviors in slow motion and use infrared and time lapse to reveal how animals create their structures over time and through the seasons. Over the course of three episodes, the series delves into the amazing flexibility animal architects display, the clever choices they make and the ingenious ways they deal with troublesome habitats. Contains the following episodes: The Nest; Location, Location, Location; Animal Cities, Animal Homes. Nature pioneered a television genre that is now widely emulated in the broadcast industry. Throughout its history, Nature has brought the natural world to millions of viewers. The series has been consistently among the most-watched primetime series on public television. Nature has won over 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 12 Emmys and three Peabody's. The series received two of wildlife film industry's highest honors: the Christopher Parsons Outstanding Achievement Award given by the Wildscreen Festival and the Grand Teton Award given by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. Recently, the International Wildlife Film Festival honored Nature executive producer Fred Kaufman with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Media.

Nature pioneered a television genre that is now widely emulated in the broadcast industry. Throughout its history, Nature has brought the natural world to millions of viewers. The series has been consistently among the most-watched primetime series on public television.

Nature has won over 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 12 Emmys and three Peabody's. The series received two of wildlife film industry's highest honors: the Christopher Parsons Outstanding Achievement Award given by the Wildscreen Festival and the Grand Teton Award given by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. Recently, the International Wildlife Film Festival honored Nature executive producer Fred Kaufman with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Media.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD series is both educational and interesting. I really like how this three-part series not only shows how animals build their homes but also teaches about the animals social interactions and behaviors. Even adults will learn something new! This definitely is not just for the kids but I recommend for ages 6 to 18.

I personally found Location, Location, Location the most intriguing. It shows how crucial and important location is for when certain animals build their homes such as the beaver. When animals build their homes it is not always such a simple procedure and I found it so interesting to see that it can be complex. The narration and scenery adds so much to this series.

I recommend it for classrooms and also for family viewing. It is such a wonderful way to learn more about animals such as different varieties of birds, beavers and black bears. This DVD series will definitely give children a better perspective on how animals make their homes. It is quite an intriguing process!

Animal Homes was filmed both in the U.S. and abroad. The U.S. locations include the Connecticut coast (ospreys and saltmarsh sparrows), North Carolina (ducks), Hawaii (albatross), outside Burlington, Vermont (ravens), Maryland (black bears) and Jackson Hole, Wyoming (beavers).

Available June 16th and will also be available for digital download.

Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Senior Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments.
Runtime: 180 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD


DESCENDANTS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DESCENDANTS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
DISNEY CHANNEL
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A present-day idyllic kingdom where the benevolent teenage son of King Adam and Queen Belle offers a chance of redemption for the trouble making offspring of Disney's classic villains: Cruella De Vil (Carlos), Maleficent (Mal), the Evil Queen (Evie) and Jafar (Jay). Directed by Kenny Ortega. Starring Sarah Jeffery, Dove Cameron, Kristin Chenoweth and Cameron Boyce.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth review.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Descendants is a Disney Film, Directed Kenny Ortega. It is a musical film about four descendants of Disney's most infamous villains: Mal (Dove Cameron), the daughter of Maleficent (Kristin Chenoweth), Carlos (Cameron Boyce), son of Cruella De Vil (Wendy Raquel Robinson), Evie (Sophia Carson), daughter of Evil Queen (Kathy Najimy) and Jay (Booboo Stewart), son of Jafar (Maz Jobrani). Ben (Mitchell Hope), the son of Belle (Keegan Connor Tracy) and Beast (Dan Payne), wants to give the children of the villains an opportunity to live a different life than their parents. He wants them to work at being good versus evil. However, Ben's parents do not feel the same way. They do not think it is possible for the kids to change, since they were raised by evil parents. Maleficent appears to be the leader of the villains and she sees this as an opportunity for their kids to go to the Kingdom to steal something that will give them more power.

The film takes place at the Kingdom where the good Disney heroes live and the Isle of the Lost where the villains live. The kids of the Kingdom attend a prep school. This is where the descendants will stay while working on their character flaws. Once the kids are at the Kingdom, they find it difficult to fit in. Mal, is not too happy there. She wants to make her mom proud and will do anything to do so. The longer the Descendants stay, the more they change. In the end, you will see if they change for better or worse.

Descendants is an incredible film. It is filled with action, comedy, drama, music and dancing. I laughed at some parts and even cried at others. The singing is outstanding! I love every song and will purchase the soundtrack. The choreography is filled with tons of energy. The cinematography is excellent as well. The film is bright, fun and very colorful. Mr. Kenny Ortega directs the film and also choreographs the dances. He is one of the most talented people in the world. Mr. Ortega does an amazing job making sure the actors stayed true to their characters.

I do not have a favorite part of the film. The entire film is spectacular! My favorite character is Mal. I like her because she is not afraid to express herself and she doesn't care what other people think of her. She is fearless, strong and beautiful. Dove Cameron is superb in the film. She makes her character seem so real and relatable. I think the entire cast did an awesome job in their roles.

The message in the film is: Do what your heart says and not what others say.

I recommend this movie for ages 6 - 18 and also adults. I rate the movie 5 out of 5 sparkling gold stars!

Reviewed by Brooke S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9.

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


ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - First off, in my approximate ten years of watching movies, I have never seen a movie that was so emotionally investing. Between the comedy and the incredible ending, director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon does an incredible job in incorporating such a serious subject matter into a movie that is fun and entertaining. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a coming-of-age, PG-13 movie that tackles the serious subject of a young girl being diagnosed with leukemia by making it a distant part of the movie. The film centers around Greg Gaines, played by Thomas Mann, a lonely teenager who is forced to spend more time with his acquaintance Rachel Kushner, played by Olivia Cooke, because she has been diagnosed with leukemia. Greg and his friend Earl, played by Ronald Cyler II, tries to bring some light into her life throughout the course of the film.

I applaud the film for its great cinematography and use of different shots to portray certain feelings and emotions throughout the movie. I was engaged throughout the whole movie because of the great audio and music that is used. I was greatly intrigued by the great chemistry between all of the main actors. Lastly, as a 17-year old young man, I thoroughly enjoyed the great and raw comedy that is presented. The director could have gone a completely different way with the movie and I greatly appreciate the fact that Alfonso and the people working with him "stuck to their guns" to create a refreshingly real and raw movie that I loved in every way.

On a personal note, I loved how real the movie was. There are certain plot holes in movies that I will notice and say, "What happened to this?" or "What about this?" For example, I asked myself, "What about their homework? Do they do any homework?" Surely enough, my question was answered in the matter of a minute and I love and appreciate that aspect of the film. As far as the writing goes, Jesse Andrews and his crew have made a script with incredibly funny jokes and great back-and-forth dialogue.

In conclusion, the only thing negative I could gather from this movie was that it starts a bit too dramatic for my tastes and is a bit too realistic. However, once you get past those parts of the movie, I believe you will definitely enjoy Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. I strongly recommend not taking your children to see the film if they do not understand what leukemia is and they have a tough time grasping with death. Also, it has strong sexual humor and profanity throughout the movie. I was a bit surprised the movie was rated PG-13 because of the dialogue. In the end, I give Me and Earl and the Dying Girl a whopping 5 out of 5 stars for its incredible attention to detail, laugh-your-socks-off comedy, strong writing, and great camera work. Please take my advice, young adults and up, PLEASE watch this movie. Thanks for reading.

By Brandon Cela, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a brilliant new coming of age film that follows coworkers Greg and Earl through their senior year of high school. Their seemingly quiet and low key lives are altered forever after befriending a classmate who has been diagnosed with cancer. In this new age masterpiece, Greg, Earl and Rachel must navigate through the treacherous territories of high school and growing up while dealing with Rachel's illness.

This film is beautiful, truly a must see for not only teens, but adults as well. It is so refreshing. It's very rare that I find a movie that depicts what it's like to be a teenager and grow up in this day and age with such honesty and genuine emotion. The movie is narrated by Greg, played by Thomas Mann, with his internal dialogue. I resonated with that so much. This is not your typical high school, coming of age movie. This is a raw, real film that will move just about anyone.

Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and cinematographer Chung Hoon-Chung do an extraordinary job with the visuals of this film and creating characters out of the locations and sets. The unique and creative stance taken with the shot sequences and camera angles is fascinating. There are many scenes that are one long continuous shot or filled with unique zooming and panning techniques. Every shot is captivating and draws you deeper into the film, making every aspect of the movie flow seamlessly and take on a personality of its own.

In this movie, Greg and Earl occupy most of their time by making parodies of classic and foreign films. In many scenes, we get to watch a few clips from their homemade movies and it is very interesting to see all of the different styles and filmmaking tactics they use. They experiment with puppetry, stop motion, live action and many other film styles. It is so cool to see all of these different techniques in one movie, making Me and Earl and the Dying Girl feel like a true ode to cinema.

The heavy subject matter of cancer, life and death is balanced by brilliant humor that will leave you laughing out loud. But, this film is definitely not a comedy. I found myself crying on multiple occasions. This film really makes me think about my life and the people that are in it. I think one of the best things about film is when it makes you think long after the credits have stopped rolling. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is one of those gems of a film that really leaves you asking questions and delving into your thoughts.

It's difficult to pick my favorite character because the cast is so studded with insanely talented individuals. The three main characters - Greg, played by Thomas Mann, Earl, played by RJ Cyler and Rachel played by Olivia Cooke, all work together so flawlessly. Watching their relationship grow and develop over the course of the film is wonderful. Thomas Mann is an amazing actor and this film really shows off his talent. In most of his feature films he plays the goofy awkward teen and it's never much of a serious character, but in this film you are able to see the variety he brings to the screen. I am a huge fan of Olivia Cooke, she stars in Bates Motel and The Signal which is one of my favorite movies, watching her in this very challenging roll is phenomenal. Her character development over the course of the film is so moving. She deals with her illness in such a raw and real way while gracefully accepting what she cannot change. This is RJ Cylers' first feature film and he does a wonderful job. His character Earl provides quite a bit of comedic relief while also staying very real and grounded. Although he's not one to talk up a storm, when he does speak he often delivers a powerful message. There are so many amazing supporting actors in this film that really tie everything together, but it would take me forever to go over all of them so I'll move on.

I can't say I have a favorite scene because as I said before, every shot and every scene is captivating. There isn't a single moment when I am uninterested in what I am seeing. The brilliant use of color, lighting, movement and setting to convey emotion is truly remarkable and should be inspiration for filmmakers everywhere.

This film does feature a bit of mature language since it is centered around high schoolers who are not always known to have the cleanest mouths, but I don't think the profanity is gratuitous or unnecessary. It keeps the film very real. This movie is heavy because of the topics of illness and death. It definitely brought most of the audience to tears, myself included. So be prepared to have your heart strings pulled. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and highly suggest that adults watch it as well because I believe that people of many age groups can relate to the film and find it enjoyable.

I give Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 5 out of 5 stars, so make sure you check it out in theaters this summer!

Reviewed by Raven D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


BEYOND THE MASK

BEYOND THE MASK
XXX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The chief mercenary for the British East India Company, being double crossed by his former employer, has made his way to the American Colonies. Working to redeem his name, William Reynolds (Andrew Cheney) now hides behind a different mask in hopes of thwarting his former employer. As his past life closes in on him, Will must somehow gain the trust and the help of his beloved Charlotte, a woman he has been lying to, as well as a colonial intellectual by the name of Ben Franklin. All the while he races against time to defuse a plot that could have devastating effect on the birth of a new nation.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beyond the Mask is a very action- packed adventure set around historical events that led up to the American Revolution.

The opening scene finds the character Will Reynolds carrying out mercenary deeds for his employer, head of the British East India Company. After delivering papers that proved to be detrimental to the newly formed American Colonies, Will is double-crossed and finds himself on the run in the American colonies.

Will is rescued by Charlotte and becomes a woman with whom he falls in love. Because he is now wearing a new mask as part of his plan to thwart his former employer, he is not truthful to his love, Charlotte. Will wants to win back trust of Charlotte and Benjamin Franklin.

I enjoyed watching the movie. It is fast moving, has very good historical points, some of which I was familiar. I grew up in Philadelphia and learned about Benjamin Franklin and the men who participated in the First Continental Congress.

One important element that is included in the film is the element of faith. One of Will's masks is that of a Vicar. He really has no real experience as a religious person and not sure of God.

The scenes look very authentic. The buildings look like Philadelphia during 1775 and 1776. The conflict interactions look real and you can feel the danger and the pain.

The actors Andrew Cheney, as Will and Kara Killmer, as Charlotte and John Rhys-Davies, Will's former employer and Charlotte's uncle portray their characters with real authenticity The ending demonstrates how important it is to have faith, love and believe.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18. The film meets the baseline KIDS FIRST! criteria and I rate it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - There is a common analogy with bad, big-screen melodramas as being " more expensive lifetime movies." Well, Beyond the Mask is like a more expensive Hallmark movie with even the look bearing an uncanny resemblance to When Calls the Heart. You might ask, "Are all Lifetime and Hallmark movies bad?" No. Because they're geared towards a certain audience, so their construction is built for that audience. Believe me when I say, I took the audience into consideration when watching Beyond the Mask. I even watched the film with a member of that target audience who said the film was just "ok." I wasn't as kind.

The movie is about a man who seeks personal and relational redemption against the backdrop of the American Revolution. "Why the American Revolution?," you may ask. Well, I don't know exactly. I suppose the plot conventions that give way to the character could only be done during that time period and, making it during an essential event in history, is supposed to up the appeal. But, in the end, all we get is a mixture of Batman, 1776 (without the songs) and any 90s action movie. Yes, it's as bad as it sounds.

The message itself is noble and actually good. Redemption cannot be acquired, for God has already given it. Yet the execution of the idea is sporadic and unnecessary. The movie is terribly misleading. It starts out as a war film, a battle of the Brits against the Americans, with a love story sub-plot. Ok, no problem. The religious theme could still be implemented with subtly or fitting melodrama and it would be a good movie. But, somewhere around the middle of the second act, the movie decides to turn itself into a superhero/action film with the protagonist dressing in a mask and fighting off crime in the nighttime and helping a small shop in the day. It is out of place symbolism ("hiding" behind a mask literally and physically).

Then there is the clich� action sequence, in which the film rudely shifts tone completely. It turns into an action movie. With the whole protagonist vs. antagonist's henchmen (who of course loses), which is followed by the protagonist vs. antagonist battle and, of course, the villain loses. Then, within a matter of seconds the protagonist and his love interest must escape the area they just saved which will self-destruct within a matter of seconds. Oh, did I mention they had to do all of this in about five minutes? The only elements missing are Nicolas Cage and Simon West.

The tonal shift is detrimental to the viewer because it is confusing. It may even be a little offensive because it is misleading. But it is only one of the many inconsistencies and offenses.

The acting though, is actually pretty good for the most part. The issue with the whole film though is, despite their great EFFORTS, you can still see the low-budget production values - from the CGI to the casting. Alan Madlane looks nothing like Benjamin Franklin, not even the shape of his body is believable. The makeup and costuming could have been a little better.

I attribute this issue to the fact they wanted the setting to be the American Revolution. We start with preconceived notions and prior examples to base our expectations from. I couldn't help but prepare myself to see something similar to, or as good as, Tom Wilkinson in John Adams, or at least Howard da Silva.

I'll use this analogy: the movie is like a teenager with no money who really wants to look good at prom. No matter how well they try to apply the makeup and outfit and attitude to try and compete with the more affluent students, their lack of resources still shows.

Therefore, I give this movie 1 1/2 out of 5 stars. If one wishes to see this film, I recommend it to ages 13 to 18.

Reviewed by Willie J, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


INSIDE OUT

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
INSIDE OUT       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school. Directed by Pete Docter and Ronaldo del Carmen. Starring Diane Lane, Rashida Jones and Amy Poehler.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Ladies and gentlemen, we have a masterpiece on our hands. Pixar has done it again. They already lay claim to two of the top 100 movies of all-time with Up and Wall-E and they have now added Inside Out to their mantelpiece. I will gladly go on record by calling this one of the finest animated features to ever be created. Why? Because it's THE most innovative, imaginative and creative film to be made since 2008s Synecdoche, New York.

The beautiful thing about this movie is that both adults and children can enjoy it. As a matter of fact, I'd say that adults may enjoy it more, because they can have a more fundamental understanding of what this film is. It is 100 minutes of analogous brilliance, that changes our idea of what goes on in our heads. Is this idea fathomable or true? No. But the analogy provides the very product film was invented to produce: a stimulation of the imagination.

Children will enjoy the beautiful colors and the basic plot. What the children can understand is what they can relate to: growing up and adjusting to life as they enter puberty. They will laugh at things that SEEM funny or the more, for lack of better word, simple pieces of humor. But the true jokes, the pieces of humor that have the most intellect are the ones children won't understand. I appreciate those the most because they're fathomable. It's the moment when you laugh, not because the joke is ridiculous, but because you can actually imagine that happening.

Amidst the hilarity there is also a certain depth of emotion. There is a tear-jerking moment, yes, but I mean more along the lines of nostalgia. The way the movie portrays the effects of the emotions and the rationalization that go along with them, conjure a desire to reflect on oneself in their pre-teen days. This film may literally get into the mind of a pre-teen, but the metaphorical representation is what seals the reflection. "I was like that?", "Is that how I thought then...I that how I think now?" may be questions you find yourself asking yourself. These are the effects of a brilliant screenplay.

On a final and personal note, I'll tell this short story. There is a scene in the film, where two officers are questioning a cloud in Imagination Land about her dead husband. Then, in the middle of the interrogation the cloud herself is killed as she is run through by our main character. One cop goes, "Hey wait...", but as he says that, the other cop grabs him and says, "Forget it Jake, it's Cloud Town."...get it? It's a parody of the famous final words from the classic 1974 noir, Chinatown. I'll tell you, it wasn't very comfortable being the only person in the theater laughing at that joke.

It's just one joke amongst many. Beyond the hilarity and, mainly due to the aforementioned reasons I explained, I happily give this instant classic 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 7 to 18. It can be seen at a local theater near you. Enjoy.

By Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Pixar's New Inside Out is a Brilliant Creative Masterpiece!

Inside Out is one of the most creative movies that I have ever seen. Created and directed by Pete Doctor, Inside Out features the voices of Amy Poehler, Phillis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black and Mindy Kaling. The film was produced by the wonderful animation house, Pixar and is being distributed by Disney.

Inside Out is about the mind of a young girl, Riley and the emotions that rule her day to day existence. The emotions are characters: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear--and they live in her brain, at headquarters. When Riley and her family move to San Francisco from Minnesota, this presents a huge emotional challenge for Riley. Joy tries to keep Riley thinking positively about her new home, but the other emotions have other ideas and make the transition to San Francisco more complicated.

My favorite part of Inside Out is when Riley and her parents are at the dinner table and all their emotions are battling for center stage. "Anger" in Riley is fighting against "Anger" in the father. Meanwhile, the Mother's emotions are frustrated by the Father and they are remembering some hot Brazilian guy that the Mother knew and wishing she had married him! This sequence is hysterical!

The writing of Inside Out is rich and complex. The script takes the audience and their emotions on a rollercoaster ride as well. At one point I saw my mother and many other people in the audience crying!

The directing of Inside Out is terrific. Like Pete Doctor's previous films, Monster's Inc. and Up, Inside Out is not only entertaining but also reveals something brilliant about what it means to be human. There's a great sense of invention to how the film lays out the mind with different areas like the subconscious, long, short and core memories and train of thought. The animation in these sequences is really surreal.

Inside Out has a wonderful, simple message. We need all our emotions to be an actual human being. It's not enough to just have Joy--you need Sadness to offset the Joy and to be compassionate. You need Fear to help you to make good decisions and to not be too risky. You need Anger to stick up for yourself. And, you need Disgust to make the right fashion choices!!

Inside Out is appropriate for ages 6 to18. It can be appreciated on lots of levels. Kids will enjoy all the slapstick humor and teens will enjoy the sophisticated writing and inside jokes about the brain. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


JURASSIC WORLD

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JURASSIC WORLD       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly. Directed by Colin Trevorrow. Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins and Judy Greer.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - After over 20 years, the park is back. The dinosaurs are back. The breathtaking directing, producing, acting, camera shots, special affects and story is back too. Reboots are one of the hardest things to pull off and not ruining the entire series it self. Director Colin Trevorrow and co-producer Steven Spielberg pull it off way over 100%.

When I say this is dramatic, that is a under statement. Although it is not scary, at times every person in the audience shivers in thrill, fear and just excitement of what is going to happen next. A classic part of Spielberg is adding that comedy in what would be expected impossible places, but yet the comedy fits perfectly. In parts, there is romance and even adventure. Of course, who can forget, dinosaurs!

The story begins when Jurassic World, built around 30 to 40 years after the original Jurassic Park closed down on the same island is a massive resort and theme park, with many dinosaurs, attractions and even a baby dinosaur petting zoo! (I want to go there!) Like all theme parks, management is trying to pop out with new attractions so people stay entertained/ Well they decide to go over-the-top with a genetically modified dinosaur Indominus Rex, which is a combination of many animals making it smart, powerful, fast, strong, big and over all a T Rex 2.0!

This film is just WOW! First, let's talk about the camera shots. They are able to achieve 360 degree shots, 20 feet off the ground and close ups all in one. It is fantastic and perfectly timed too. The director doesn't just do it for the sake of doing it, which I like. I think the acting is perfect. It is dramatic, action packed, romantic and much more. The actors, young and old all are perfect. The director and producers came through in a way that is beyond amazing. Steven Spielberg hasn't stopped making films one of a kind and it is as if he brought back a feel from the original Jurassic Park.

I do want to mention the moral of the plot because it pretty much shows something we see time and time again, and people in the film see time and time again as well, that it is a BAD idea to make dinosaurs a attraction. Yet, it gets people to empty their wallets so the attractions makers do it. The moral is "When it fails, it fails. Don't try to stretch out something that shouldn't exist. (Because it's dangerous)" Not only do people think it is a good idea to make a whole bunch of massive man-eating beasts a petting zoo, they also decide to make a dinosaur, that is pretty impossible to kill, an attraction. And then, they think, "Oh nothing bad will happen."

I have to say that this is a rather violent film (pretty typical of the Jurassic series). It is border line horror because of how dramatic it is. It will give people chills. And, it is just not meant for younger kids. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars for being a wonderful film. It is dramatic with revolutionary camera shots and crystal clear special effects. I am predicting now that this film will win at least one Oscar.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Jurassic World is an action packed extravaganza that is an amazing 3D experience. Its part action, part disaster and part science fiction film. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg, this recent installment of the Jurassic franchise is startling in its special effects imagery. Directed by Colin Trevorrow, Jurassic World stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio, Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson.

The Jurassic World theme park features fully functioning dinosaurs in their natural habitat. Attendance at the park is declining, so the owner commissions a new dinosaur attraction called Indominus Rex. The Indominus Rex is a genetically engineered dinosaur that has many attributes from other species. It was designed to put the WOW back into Jurassic World. The story concerns two brothers, Gray and Zack who go to Jurassic World to visit their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works at the park. When the boys are touring the park, they go off- road, just at the time when the Indominus Rex breaks out of his habitat. The boys do not listen to the emergency announcement telling the visitors to return to the main building. Claire gets anxious about her nephews so she enlists the aid of the head animal trainer, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to help her save the boys. Meanwhile, the head of security for InGen, Vic Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio), is trying to use the Indominus Rex and other fearsome dinosaurs at the park as weapons for the military.

The special effects in Jurassic World are really amazing. The dinosaurs look totally real. It must have taken a lot of time and money to create such realistic effects. Especially in IMAX, all the special effects really pop. My favorite part of the film is when Owen Grady "clicker" trains the velociraptors. It's so cool how they respond to him. They look so real! The film is also gently humorous. There aren't that many funny scenes, but when there is a funny scene, it's well played. The moral of film is how important family is, especially the bond between brothers. Also, Jurassic World shows the danger of tampering with mother nature. Jurassic World is typical of the genre of big disaster movies with a lot of clich� elements. Being a sequel, the film isn't that unique story wise. The acting is serviceable. Some of the reactions aren't believable in terms of the scare factor of Jurassic World.

Jurassic World is appropriate for ages 12 to 18. It is surprisingly gory and scary, so parents should accompany younger kids. The film may not be appropriate for all kids under 13. I give the film 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15.

As a movie buff who disapproves of stretching a franchise out too long (especially if the last two have been lack luster) and, as a fan of the first Jurassic Park, I admittedly went into this film with low expectations. After Jurassic Park 2 and 3, I had little hope that a 4th one would be much better than it's two predecessors. I'll put it this way: I couldn't be happier, that I was wrong. Jurassic World is almost better than Jurassic Park. It has the best acting of any of the films, it brings back the tension the original had, and above all, it is fun.

It was strange, for a while, to see a film in the Jurassic Park franchise without Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, or the late Richard Attenborough. But Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt give great performances and inherit the reigns of this series exceptionally.

Now, to the part the fans REALLY care about - yes, the dinosaurs are awesome. Why? Because they've finally gotten a new one! The villain of the film is bigger and better than the last two and is genuinely scary. But the real key to this film is the development of relationships.

Director Michael Giacchino and the screenplay writers (there's a lot of them) have made us CARE for these characters, dinosaurs included, and what happens to them. They aren't annoying nor are they boring or static. They are well rounded (for a film of this genre, which suffices) and with some kind of noticeable depth. They develop over the film and we watch them grow. Because we care for them, suspense is created when they are put into intense situations. Relationships are also developed with the dinosaurs. No longer is every dinosaur a threat, instead there are actually some creatures we root for. As a matter of fact, the best supporting character in this film is a sea dinosaur.

And finally, the icing on the already delicious cake, is how many allusions to the first Jurassic Park the film has. How many inside jokes there are between filmmakers and fans. That's classic filmmaking. That's a throwback to those great cheesy, fun, fan-favorite 80s films when the audience and the filmmakers are in sync, and BOTH parties are having genuine fun. It's most noticeable in the actual filmmaking - the angles and the pacing and editing, it's all very Speilberg-esque. Therefore, the original is honored in both content and style.

I applaud this film for having fun and for being mature. I actually want another one, I want to see these characters and these actors again. That's how good it is. I'd like to see this movie again. That's why I give this film, 4 out of 5 stars. It can be seen at a local theater near you starting Jun3 12. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. For fans of the franchise, here's your consolation for the last two, go have fun.

Reviewed by Willie J, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MAX

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MAX       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURES, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A dog that helped US Marines in Afghanistan returns to the U.S. and is adopted by his handler's family after suffering a traumatic experience. Directed by Boaz Yakin. Starring Robbie Amell, Lauren Graham, Thomas Haden Church, Mia Xitiali.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is about a marine who faces challenges on and off the battlefield. However, this marine is not a human. This marine is a dog, a dog that inspires many. Max is truly an inspirational adventure many will love and enjoy.

This movie is truly a thriller with a pinch of mystery, however in the form of an adventure that is full of dramatic scenes. There is action with a sparkle of romance spicing up the story as well. At the end, and at its core, it is an inspirational and heartwarming story.

Max starts off when a soldier named Kyle, his squad and his search dog Max are heading to a town in Afghanistan to do their mission. On the way there, they get ambushed and Kyle passes away. Max is traumatized and develops post dramatic stress disorder. The only person who seems to have a positive affect on Max different is Kyle's younger brother. Soon the two bond and start an epic adventure that holds a answer to a mysterious question. If you want to know what it is you have to watch the film!

This film tells an original story and very nicely too. Actors of all species are wonderful in portraying their parts and showing all the varied emotions of those characters. The director makes the story unfold smoothly. I think that some parts of the film are a little bit stretched out. However, Max will make you laugh, cry, gasp and awe. It is a joy to watch.

My favorite scene is when Max and Kyle's little brother, Justin are just starting to get to know each other. Justin brings Max to his group of friends and they race down the hill together. Justin quickly picks up speed and not only does Max easily follow but, he also guides Justin down a safe path. I like the scene because it's really the first time that Max and Justin work as one and it shows the full range of skills that Max has.

This film is rather violent and also has some very mature scenes. The story itself is sad at times and it does contain a bit of gore and intense violence, so I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. For even with its minor imperfections, the creators did a wonderful job showing a heartwarming and original story that generation after generation can be inspired by.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O., age 13

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


LEGEND OF LONGWOOD, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEGEND OF LONGWOOD, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-12
Topic - Family
Description - Crumbling castles, frightening spirits, beautiful horses and a plucky, fearless heroine all come together in this magical quest film, set in the starkly beautiful landscapes of rural Ireland. Mickey Miller is a thoroughly modern 12-year-old New Yorker who has little enthusiasm for her mother's plan to take her and her little brother to start a new life Longwood, a windswept town in Ireland. Their arrival in Longwood, however, coincides with the return of the Black Knight, a legendary ruler whose appearances always mean that something evil is going to happen. Realizing that she is directly linked to the story of the Black Knight, Mickey and her new friend Sean (along with Silver, the wildest, most untamable horse in the stalls of a nearby castle) set out to redeem the knight. But first she must save a precious herd of white horses and thwart the plans of a greedy, ambitious woman: a mighty handful even for the bravest girl!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This movie is a very good watch, being both very heartwarming and captivating. The film is full of lots of suspense and drama as the main protagonist, Mickey, aims to figure out the mystery of the new town she moved to.

In The Legend of Longwood, young teen Mickey Miller has to confront the mystery of the new Irish town her family has moved into. Upon moving, Mickey immediately gets sucked into the curse that the town of Longwood has been under for centuries. The 300-year-old curse concerns a man the people call a Black Knight, who is trying to find his lost baby daughter. Mickey has to try to understand how her amulet given to her by her dead father, the snooty rich palace woman her mother works for, and the seven palace horses all combine to stop the curse and save the town of Longwood.

The most impressive performance is given by Lucy Morton, the actress who plays the protagonist Mickey. Mickey displays extreme courage, integrity and perseverance throughout the whole film as she constantly gets reprimanded for seeking an end to the curse. Without Morton's impressive range of emotions and slight nuances in body language, Mickey's strong character would not be as evident. A strong performance is also given by Fiona Glascott, who plays the money-hungry antagonist named Caitlyn.

One moral of the movie is to have courage in the face of adversity. Mickey outdoes even the adults in trying to bring stability and peace to her town. This proves that even adults need to understand that perseverance and motivation are two key traits that all people need to have, no matter how dangerous or difficult a deed appears to be.

The creators of the film took very wise advantage of natural settings to portray Ireland in an honest manner. The locations of wild, grassy areas and woods are what make the film extremely realistic. Other careful touches that contribute positively to the film are the lighting techniques used to make each actors' expressions easy to comprehend and the lack of overbearing music, which often overwhelm dialogues in some movies.

This movie is perfect for family movie night. Kids and parents could watch a very fascinating movie that is interesting from beginning to end. I recommend it for ages 10 to 15 since it has suspense that some younger kids would dislike. I give the film 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is available now on DVD wherever DVDs are sold.

Reviewed by Carissa P, KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - It is not too common that a small production company makes a wonderful film with a nice story line, cast and nicely done overall. The Legend of Longwood is a wonderful dramatic story that will be enjoyed by most who sees it.

The main genre of this film is drama with a sense of adventure and fantasy thrown in. Also, they include from time to time a bit of comedy making the story enjoyable, yet thrilling.

The story begins when a young girl named Mickey (Lucy Morton) is torn away from New York where she lives with her family because they have to move to Ireland on almost the opposite side of the world. She arrives sad and depressed. To add to the problems of leaving New York, she leaves behind the memory of her passed away horse which is the only connection she has to her dad. (If you want to find out more about he dad, you have got to watch the film!) She and her family settle in and she soon learns about a legend and starts a massive and dramatic adventure along with a discovery which leads to a very unexpected ending.

This film is a wonderful production with nicely executed shots and story plot. You never expect what happens so it is just a thrilling thing to watch. The director, Lisa Mulcahy, really excels at creating a compelling story with everything in perfect position. The only con I have is that the acting with some of the younger talent is a bit dull at times. Also, they move through conversations so fast that I missed important parts of the story, making me wondering what happened later.

My favorite scene is when a elderly lady tells Mickey the story of the, 'Mysterious Black Knight' which is a 300-year-old legend. It is shown through animated pictures and narration and becomes a very, if not the most, important part of the story.

This film really has nothing too mature for kids, so I recommend it for ages 9 to 18. I also give it 4 out of 5 stars because, although it is very nicely done in terms of directing, story and camera shots, it lacks somewhat in terms of acting skills and feels rushed at times.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 99 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 16.97
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


1913 SEEDS OF CONFLICT

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
1913 SEEDS OF CONFLICT
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - 1913: Seeds of Conflict examines a critical yet overlooked moment of transformation in Palestine, long before the Balfour Declaration and British Mandate period usually considered the matchstick for today s ongoing struggles. It was a time when identities were fluid and few Arabs or Jews living there could imagine the conflict that would engulf their region for the next century.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The film is very eye opening about a very old and difficult conflict between Arabs and Jews and who owns Palestine. I enjoyed the film because it gave me answers to some questions I have about the conflict between Jewish and Arabic people. It enlightened me about the geography. I was not aware of the area called Ottoman and what was the Ottoman rule.

The film opens with the re-discovery of a film from 1913 that documents a time in history that few people know about. I have often wondered what is the cause of this hatred between Jewish and Arab people?

The actors who portray the characters, Albert Antebi, a Sephardic Jew known as the Jewish "pasha", Ruhi al-Khaalidi, the scion of a Palestine family and Jerusalem's elected representative to the Ottoman Parliament, Khalil Sakdkini, a Christian schoolmaster and voice for Palestinian culture and Arthur Ruppin, a German Zionist who opens the Palestine Office to strategize the shape of a Jewish homeland that was to come are very authentic and speak in the native language.

I had to pay attention and read the subtitles. Normally, I really do not like films with subtitles. However, 1913 Seeds of Conflict has very interesting and historical information. The ending leaves you thinking about how something very small can trigger something very enormous.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18. The film meets the baseline KIDS FIRST! criteria and I rate it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Juanita S. KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


EDGE OF 12

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
EDGE OF 12
EV FILMS NY
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - What are the typical decisions facing a 12-year-old suburban girl? And what are their consequences?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Edge of 12 is a nice short about the unfortunate events that can occur in the life of a preteen. Although this short focuses on preteen girls, you must believe these events can happen to males as well. This short explores what it means to be peer pressured and the consequences that follow bad decisions. The main character is pressured into stealing a dress and gets in trouble with her mother because it. There is a scene where the girl gives her last bit of money to a homeless woman for a cup of coffee. You can see the pride in her eyes as she sees her kindness pay off. The story ends with a man approaching the girl to get her help "finding his dog." She runs away from the situation and later hears about another girl getting kidnapped and is able to lead the police to the man that beckoned her.

The music in this short is well done and rather quirky, which makes for a delightful ambiance in this serious message. I believe that this is a short that young kids could benefit from as it serves as a great, but light warning for multiple situations that are more common than we'd like to believe. The only complaint I have is the scene in which the girl encounters the kidnapper. It could have been better outlined. I feel that it is, by far, the most important scene and yet, it is not as impactful as I had hoped, due to some ambiguity. This short is definitely suitable for ages 9 to 15 and I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This interesting short, written, produced and directed by Nanci Gaglio, is about a girl who has to make important decisions through life and how the decisions she makes impact her life. The cinematography looks like a well made home movie because of the camera work and lighting. The background noises are at times distracting. This video feels like a downer because it only shows the bad side of life, although it does teach you some things - don't talk with strangers and don't shoplift. This is not my favorite film. I rate this short 2 out of 5 stars because the story about the girl's life makes you feel like your life could be like that and then, you could be a little scared. I recommend this short to 12 to 18-year-olds because it could make a younger child think they will live a life like the girl in the film. It could make them afraid or worried. There is a message here that an older person could teach a younger sibling or friend to make wise decisions if they find themselves in a scenario like the girl in the film finds herself in. Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.
Runtime: 8.5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


SAN ANDREAS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SAN ANDREAS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his daughter.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this movie a lot. It is a good disaster film. San Andreas is directed by Brad Peyton and stars Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino and Paul Giamatti. While this movie is well done, it doesn't quite compare with movies by the disaster movie king, Roland Emmerich. After seeing one of Brad Peyton's other movies, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, I had my doubts, but he does a pretty good job here.

There are three reasons why I enjoyed this film so much. First, are the special effects. Special effects in a disaster movie can make or break it. In this film, the CGI is eye-popping. At certain moments, it feels like there is a little too much going on all at once. But at the same time, it makes you feel as if you are in an earthquake, which probably feels pretty overwhelming.

The second reason I like this film is the acting. The acting is pretty strong for a disaster movie. Sometimes in disaster movies, it's all about stunts and action sequences. In this film, the acting makes you feel invested in the characters and you are really rooting for them.

The last reason I like this film is the story. Though corny at times, when adding humor or romance into the big earthquake scenes, the interplay between the action scenes and the family scenes keeps you emotionally involved.

There is a bit of a downside. The dialogue, characters and the some of the story are very predictable and filled with clich�s. While some of the lines are clever, they often seem out of place. There are lots of pretty standard panic, action lines such as "Run," "Hold on," and similar. The main characters are well fleshed out, though some of the cast seems like simple stereotypes representing selfishness and greed.

They spend a lot of time showing the destruction of the earth quake and less on the aftermath of the quake, such as having the main heroes trying to survive riots, gas leaks, crumbling buildings, etc. With all the devastation, it is a bit dull seeing the Golden Gate Bridge collapse for the 1000th time in a disaster flick.

It is humorous that scientific accuracy is thrown out the window. For example, they say the earthquake is a 9.1 but, according to what I've read, that magnitude cannot happen on the San Andreas fault.

I give San Andreas 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. If you like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Paul Giamatti and disaster movies, you'll like this one.

Reviewed by Will S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


BARELY LETHAL

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BARELY LETHAL       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
XXX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Megan Walsh has been training to be an international assassin for Hardman. However while she is on a mission, she notices how other teenagers her age seem to be having fun and enjoying their lives. Desiring a normal life, she bails out of a mission and enrolls in a student exchange program, in the process, being adopted by a foster family. She soon becomes a part of the high school and is subjected to the pressures and life of being in this environment.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Barely Lethal is an upcoming independent action-comedy film directed by Kyle Newman and written by John D'Arco, starring Hailee Steinfeld, Jessica Alba, Sophie Turner and Samuel L. Jackson. The unlikely story revolves around a teenage special ops agent who covets a "normal" adolescence only to discover that "normal" isn't all its cracked up to be. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kendyl P. comments, "Barely Lethal is an outstanding movie! ...I was on the edge off my seat waiting to see what would happen next!" See her full review in youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Barely Lethal is an action packed comedy. This film is about a teenage girl named Megan Walsh (Hailee Steinfeld) who is a highly trained special ops assassin taught to fight bad guys at a school called Prescott Scouts for Girls. Megan realizes that she is missing out on being a teenager and decides to fake her own death, enroll herself as an exchange student at a traditional American high school and live with a new family. Megan then realizes that high school is more difficult than she thought. Unfortunately, Megan's former nemesis Victoria Knox (Jessica Alba) tracks her down and tries to destroy her. It's up to Megan to defend herself and defend her new family.

The message of this movie is life isn't always the way it seems. Megan does a lot of research and watches a lot of movies and reads a ton of teen magazines about life as high school student. When she is finally able to attend high school, she realizes it is not at all as she expected. Megan also learns one of her closest friends at Prescott is not really a true friend.

My favorite scene is when Megan is fighting off Victoria Knox. It is an intense yet exciting brawl between the two girls. I was on the edge off my seat waiting to see what would happen next!

My favorite character is Maxwell Hardman (Samuel L. Jackson) who is the leader of the Prescott School for Girls where Megan grew up. He is very caring and acts like a father figure to Megan even when he tries to hide it. Agent Maxwell believes in Megan and proves that he will help her if she is ever in need.

Barely Lethal is an outstanding movie! I highly recommend this film for boys and girls ages 13 to18 and give this movie 5 out of 5 shinning stars!. It opens May 29 in select theaters nationwide so, go check it out.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


SURVIVOR       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A State Department employee newly posted to the American embassy in London is charged with stopping terrorists from getting into the U.S. That puts her right in the line of fire and she is targeted for death and framed for crimes. Discredited, she is forced to go on the run while she tries to clear her name and stop a large-scale terrorist attack set for New Year's Eve in Times Square. SURVIVOR is directed by James McTeigue and also stars Dylan McDermott, Angela Bassett and Robert Forster.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Survivor is breathtaking and electrifying. It made me feel a pit in my stomach that was so intense because I felt as if I was a part of the film myself. This outstanding film is about a woman who is a Foreign Service Officer and tries to prevent terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, she gets too close to preventing atrocities that she becomes framed for crimes concerning terrorists and, all of a sudden, is running from villains, the government and her closest friends all to save America.

Every character is excellent and seems very realistic, especially the main villain who is played by Pierce Brosnan and the main character played by Milla Jovovich. I don't usually focus on the cinematography in films but, for this film, it is quite important. It seems like the camera is hidden where no one could ever find it but the camera still captures every image and this makes the film come to life even more. Also, since the film has a lot of guns and bombs, the visual and sound effects can't seem fake and luckily, the movie succeeded in this. Speaking of sound effects, the music is very suspenseful so the film does achieve its goal of being an action and suspense film. The director James McTeigue really creates an acceptable film and it deserves an applause.

I think the plot is that one should always do what is right even if someone is trying to stop you or, if they say that what you are doing is wrong when you know that what you are doing is right. I would not recommend this movie for all audiences but, for people who enjoy action and thriller genres, they will enjoy it. This movie is very well done and I definitely would watch it again. I rate this film a 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 because of the extreme violence and some foul language. I hope whoever watches this film will enjoy it just as much as I did.

By Hailee Hutton, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MENTALIST, THE: 7TH AND FINAL SEASON
WARNER HOME VIDEO
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The FBI's masterfully manipulative criminal consultant Patrick Jane is back for the seventh and final season of the clever crime series. Formerly employed by the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Jane spent two years off the grid and in exile after tracking down and exacting vengeance upon Red John, the serial killer who murdered Jane's wife and daughter. After crafting a deal to work for the FBI, Jane convinced former CBI agent Teresa Lisbon to join him. Supervised by the no-nonsense Agent Dennis Abbott, Jane and Lisbon work alongside their former CBI comrade Kimball Cho, FBI analyst Jason Wylie and the young, ambitious agent Michelle Vega. Now that Lisbon and Jane have confessed their love for one another, they must find a way to be partners in both their professional and personal lives as they begin their new relationship. 13 on e hour episodes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Seventh and Final Season of the The Mentalist had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning to the ending. The cases that the team have to solve are interesting, challenging and the entertainment value is the top benefit of watching the final season. Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) is still my favorite character as he helps solve the top-security case with his partner Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney), who is also now his girlfriend. The addition of characters Jason Wylie (Joe Adler) and especially Michelle Vega (Josie Loren) really add to the series. I really like Michelle Vega's character and the acting is superb. It's also more than just solving these high profile cases, there are friendship issues, love and romance and issues of trust. It's also entertaining to watch the relationship between Patrick Jane and Teresa Lisbon blossom as they figure out what their new relationship is all about and where they want to go. It is also fun to watch the interaction and relationship between Michelle Vega and agent Kimball Cho. I don't want to give away any of the endings but there are a few surprises. I also think that I was quite satisfied with the ending of the season.

Special features include deleted Scenes, all-new featurette: Patrick Jane: An Uncommon Man-Chronicling Patrick Jane's Journey of redemption, from revenge to romance. I enjoyed watching all of the special features. I would give this one 5 out of 5 stars but, there is violence due to the nature of the series. I do not think the violence is inappropriate to the story-line or overdone but there is violence and hence, it's not appropriate for children under age 13. We recommend for ages 13 - 18, and adults. Reviewed by Denise B.

We will definitely miss this series. It is so much better than all the reality shows currently popular. This is real acting, storyline and drama.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Runtime: 572 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 39.98
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


NOT YOUR PARENT'S PARADE
PHILIP SURACI, JR.
Series: SCREENPLAY FOR AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A 12 year old girl, fears the loss of her skateboarding mentor (and secret crush) when he enlists in the Marines. She decides to try to bring him home by ending all war. With her friends, she embarks on a campaign to force all adults to sign an oath renouncing war by denying their parents their love and laughter. Through social media, courage and creativity, the plan takes off. The adults resist mightily. Yet, the children lead a non-violent rebellion that transforms society when the U.S. President finally signs the Oath for Victory Over Violence.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I found this script refreshing, entertaining and in some ways, very positive. I like that it goes against a stereotype of skater boys and girls being bad (at least out here in So Cal) and I like that Lyndsay is a young girl that wants to make a difference. It has a great message that violence and war aren't always the answer and the title really does fit the script. The characters are created well and the dialogue is believable and appropriate for the modern or slightly futuristic times. There is conflict and a satisfactory conclusion and children ages 12-18 would be engaged. The script is well-done.

Overall, there are very few grammatical or spelling errors. I did find one word (pg. 18) that I would suggest changing but did not catch any other words. It was easy for me to rate this script with a 4 out of a 5 stars.

The language used is appropriate to the age of the characters and I think that young middle-school age kids and teenagers could relate. There is one word that I would suggest changing (on page 18: suckas). I recommend for ages 9 to 18.

The characters are its greatest strength. They are likeable, easy to relate to and understand and fit well within the story line. I do think it would be helpful to know what year this takes place in. It is slightly far fetched with a woman President but that is actually refreshing. Another strength is the quality of descriptive writing done by the author. At times, I feel as if I am really there. Nicely done.

I do believe that this script has commercial potential. There's a good message and shows that kids can make a difference. The characters are likable and entertaining and it has a somewhat happy ending. I was satisfied with the conclusion.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay


FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching willfulness; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor. This timeless story of Bathsheba's choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love - as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I had not read the book nor heard of the film Far From the Madding Crowd when I saw it. So, this review is from the point of view from someone with no prior background knowledge of the source material. Please keep that in mind, fans of the book.

When I saw that BBC had a hand in producing this picture I immediately knew a few things, 1) it would have a down tempo pace, 2) The acting would be good and 3) that the cinematography would be good. I was right about all three. Nevertheless, I had no expectations for the script which was inconsistent.

There are times when the dialogue flows well. The conversations fit the tone and nothing is over-the-top dramatic. And then, there are times when I rolled my eyes at the clich� lines. It's that type of romance movie. It became apparent to me though, that the dialogue is specified to show character and relationships rather than good conversation. The dialogue succeeds in moving along the plot and expanding on the characters' situations rather than creating conversational scenes. I can understand that, especially considering the genre of the movie. Yet, it still proved a bit problematic.

This film stars Carey Mulligan as an independent, head-strong protagonist and, what a wonderful job she does. She takes what could have been a very one-note character and makes her complex. Bathsheba (the protagonist) could have easily been portrayed as stubborn and inconsistent, but is instead portrayed as someone fighting for her equal rights as a woman and as a woman dealing with emotions for the first time. And, just her luck, she gets three men to fall in love with her. How about that for first relationship dealings?

The supporting cast does a fine job with a few hiccups. The standout among them is Michael Sheen who takes his supporting part and almost steals the show from the leading lady. Matthias Schoenaerts provides a steady consistency as the moral compass of the film and plays the untainted, instantly likable love interest well.

As for the aesthetics of the film, I was not disappointed. There are scenes of beautiful landscapes and breathtaking shots that aren't necessarily needed, but are surely wanted for the eye-candy effect. They provide good transitions and help keep the pace of the movie in tact.

Because of the acting, cinematography and overall investing quality this film has over an audience, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. I'll end on this note: I spoke to a couple of people at the theater after the film who had read the book. I asked them how accurate the film is and if it does the book justice. They both confidently said, "yes." So, if you're a fan of the book and were iffy about seeing the movie, I hope that testimonial might influence your decision to see this movie. This is in theaters now so, enjoy.

Reveiwed by Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


SUNSHINE SUPERMAN
MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A heart-racing documentary portrait of Carl Boenish, the father of the BASE jumping movement, whose early passion for skydiving led him to ever more spectacular -and dangerous- feats of foot-launched human flight.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A heart-racing documentary portrait of Carl Boenish, the father of the BASE jumping movement, whose early passion for skydiving led him to ever more spectacular -and dangerous- feats of foot-launched human flight.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


PITCH PERFECT 2

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PITCH PERFECT 2       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - After a humiliating command performance at Lincoln Center, the Barden Bellas enter an international competition that no American group has ever won in order to regain their status and right to perform. Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Hailee Steinfield - it's a girl comedy
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is truly a teen-focused comedy starring Rebel Wilson, Anna Kendrick and Hailee Steinfeld. The humor is silly but the message poignant. When you're not laughing at the antics of these girls, you are tuned in to their becoming better friends and supporting one another. It deals with issues that kids can relate to - secrecy, jealousy, yearnings. The including of the YouTube star Flula Borg is a pleasant surprise and he literally steals the show when he's on-screen. But, actually, all the cast members are pretty well positioned. They may not be the best actors but they can SING! The romance between Fat Amy and Bumper is a sweet addition and, in my humble opinion, I think that Adam Devine's character Bumper is probably the most interesting in the show. Parents might want to know that it does include use of some pretty specific words for genitalia - in context of the big mishap in the opening scene.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a fun and compelling sequel. The Barden Bellas are back! Because of a embarrassing performance they become a laughing stock and, in order to restore their title they, enter a world competition which no American team has ever won.

If you loved Pitch Perfect then you are going to enjoy this film even more. Pitch Perfect 2 has updated music, new characters and a lot of laughs. You can see the first film to get in touch with the characters and story, but it's not necessary.

The highlight of the entire film is the musical performances. Think of the last film and multiply it by 1,000. The Barden Bellas are now a tiny fish in a big pond up against a Capella groups from all over the world. Even the famous group Pentatonix have a cameo appearance. This allows the film to showcase grand productions from all corners of the Earth.

The cast embrace their roles and voices. This is a character driven franchise. Like the first film, you have to buy into the absurdity of these over-the-top characters in order to enjoy it. After you do that, you will find the comedy funny and can fall in love with these characters. Actors like Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and many others make this film what it is. I also have to mention the comical cameos from Snoop Dogg, David Cross and even Keegan Michael Key who add to the amusement of this film.

The comedy style is shock humor and pop cultural references. This leads to a lot of jokes being hit or miss. Most of the shock humor comes from the two announcers, Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins. Their comments are insulting but the comedy comes from the fact that these people could not exist and still keep their jobs.

My favorite character is Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), the newest addition to the Bellas team. I love Steinfeld as an actress and I usually associate her with dramatic roles and not much for comedy. This film shows that not only can she carry a note but also be very funny.

I have a tie for my favorite scene. The first one is when the Bellas' German rival team, Das Sound Machine performs at the world competition with Light' em Up by the Fallout Boys. The other scene is equally good because it is Fat Amy singing a love song to her boyfriend, Bumper (Adam DeVine). One scene is epic, the other hilarious. Both are absolutely incredible.

The moral of this story is, "Stay in touch with your true voice." The Bellas, as a team, loose who they are, so they go to a retreat to understand each other. With the help of an old Bella member, they find their voice and become the great team they were before.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 13- through 18-year-olds There is adult humor and language that younger audiences shouldn't watch, but for the older crowd it's a thoroughly entertaining film. This film opens in theaters May 15

Keefer C. Blakeslee, Age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Pitch Perfect 2 is directed and produced by Elizabeth Banks. I love this film because it is very funny and made me laugh constantly throughout the whole movie. Pitch Perfect 2 employs enjoyable aspects from the original Pitch Perfect such as phenomenal music and amazing costumes, wicked humor, the commentators Gail (Elizabeth Banks) and John (John Michael Higgins) who are quite funny and the beautiful Beca (Anna Kendrick).

It is a bit racist in how it shows the three girls. Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) is an Asian who is more like a cartoon character than having any real personality. Cynthia-Rose (Ester Dean) is a gay African American and Flo (Chrissie Fit) plays a South American.

This movie is about seven girls, soon to be eight, who make up the Bellas, an acapella group from Barden University. They are known for their singing and dancing. When they are performing in front of President and Mrs. Obama, Fat Amy has an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction. After much ridicule from the press, the group is suspended and is unable to compete or recruit any new members. They are devastated and intent on winning the Acapella World Championship in Copenhagen in order to regain their competitive status. They have to compete against the German group, DSM (Das Sound Machine) which is definitely their biggest competitor. The Bellas are joined by a new member, Emily (Hailee Steinfield), whose mom (Katy Sagal) was a previous member of the group.

The screenplay is very well thought out and the plot is easy to follow. It has several subplots that help keep the action moving. The actors are hilarious in this repeat performance. Rebel Wilson really stands out as Fat Amy because she is completely over the top and steals every scene she is in. There are lots of cameo appearances which keeps the viewer looking for familiar faces.

I give this film a 4 out of 5 stars and strongly recommend it for ages 13 to 18 years old, due to the crude humor and sexual innuendos.

Reviewed by Lainey A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


NOBLE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NOBLE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
ASPIRATION MEDIA
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Vietnam. 1989. Fourteen years after the end of the war. When Irish woman Christina Noble flies into Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) she leaves behind an extraordinary life story. But the best is yet to come. Christina lands in a country "that she wouldn't be able to show you on a map". With a few dollars, a dream and her own hard-won courage, she is about to change everything. For hundreds of thousands of people. Forever. NOBLE is the inspirational true story of a woman who believes that it only takes one person to make a difference. And of how she is proved right.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The inspirational film Noble is very enlightening. It helped me realize that a kid's life in America can be so much easier than a kid's life in other countries. It also inspired me to help others that are not as fortunate as I am. The movie is very well acted, in terms of creating believable character. Noble is a film that touched me emotionally and mentally and definitely put a new perspective on life.

The film is about an Irish woman named Christina Noble. The movie shows three parts of Christina's life - her childhood played by Gloria Curtis, her teens and twenties played by Sarah Greene and her midlife years played by Deirdre O 'Kane. Christina has a revelation through a dream that makes her to decide to help the homeless children in Vietnam to prevent their childhood from turning into an unfortunate childhood. Christina creates very strong bonds and connections with the people in Vietnam while on her crazy adventure of helping children.

The main character, Christina Noble has a very protective, brave and emotionally strong personality. I enjoyed how the director Stephen Bradley separates the film into three parts to show Christina's difficult life as a young child and into teens and twenties. When she gets older, she starts helping kids. One of the interesting part of film is the editing which is not sorted chronologically. Instead, it is all mixed together. For example, there might be a scene showing her in her teens and twenties. Then, it's followed with one from her childhood. The next scene might show her in middle age. The acting is very believable. In fact, at one point, I found myself in tears and, at another point, smiling. The film is like an emotional roller coaster. The cinematography is also very good. It is very good. I was very impressed and inspired.

I rate this film five out of five stars and recommend it for children age 12 to 18 because of some adult content and some inappropriate language.

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


BLANKET QUITE RARE, A

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLANKET QUITE RARE, A
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: BOOK, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - There once was a boy with a blanket quite rare that his mother had told him was made with great care. It came on his birthday with colors so bright It made him feel happy all day and all night.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A Blanket Quite Rare, written and illustrated by Lisa Geotis Ikegami is a rare gem of a book for children ages 4 to 10. A young boy receives a special hand-knit blanket for his birthday. That evening he is frightened during a thunderstorm and takes refuge in bed under the safety of his birthday blanket. Not only does the blanket calm him, but it takes him on a magical journey.

Both boys and girls will find A Blanket Quite Rare to be appealing and engaging. The story is written solely using rhymes, but there are several pages with only artwork which keeps the flow of narration from becoming trite. Using watercolors, the illustrations are attractive and children can depict the emotions of a frightening thunderstorm and the resulting joy in the peace and calm of a sunny day. Some of the drawings are very detailed and might encourage a child to linger on the page and enjoy looking to see what all has been included.

This book meets the KIDS FIRST!. Overall content of the book is good. The story is easy to follow with a clear beginning, middle and end. The production quality and the visual appeal of the book are very appealing. I recommend this book for any child who might ever be fearful during a thunderstorm.

Reviewed by Ruth A.

This title is very whimsical with beautiful watercolor illustrations throughout. The pictures are unique and very colorful. The book mainly takes place in a boy's room while he is under his favorite blanket weathering a storm.This ebook may give children a new perspective on nature and how it is why it is. It may also help them cope with fear or insecurity. The main character's challenge will encourage a child to imagine and inquire in ways that maybe they wouldn't have before. Reviewed by Elizabeth B.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This book by Lisa Ikegami is a very loving story. In the story, a kid gets a beautiful blanket and loves it up. He goes through a problem and the blanket fixes it. Reading this book would help kids not be afraid of thunderstorms. The pictures are not just fantastic, the author painted them too. I love all the water colors and how she blends the colors together. The book is not a long book so it's a good length for a short story. The language rhymes sometimes and sometimes not, it can be a tad confusing but it does not make too big a difference. This is a book for little kids but also may be a good bedtime story for some older kids. I rate this book 4 out of 5 rainbow blankets because of the pictures and tale of a sweet boy and his blanket. My age recommendation is 3 to 10-years-old because it's not a scary picture book and it is a very cute, sweet story. Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-10
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12
Media: Book


FAITH OF OUR FATHERS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FAITH OF OUR FATHERS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PURE FLIX ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - With the Vietnam War raging in 1969, two young fathers report for duty. A man of great faith and a doubtful cynic. A quarter-century later, their sons, Wayne and John Paul (David A.R. White and Kevin Downes), meet as strangers. Guided by handwritten letters from their fathers from the battlefield, they embark on an unforgettable journey to The Wall-the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Along the way, they discover the devastation of war cannot break the love of a father for his son.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This has not been reviewed by adults. Please see our youth review.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This faith-based film is very touching and emotional. It shows us exactly what our soldiers go through to protect our country.

Two fathers of different paths were brought together by the Vietnam War and, after their deaths, their sons are brought together for peace. These two sons Wayne (David A.R. White) and John (Kevin Downes) never had the opportunity to really see their fathers. However, the letters that they received from them displayed messages of love and pride.

One of the main reasons why I like this film is that the portrayal of our soldiers in the war is so realistic. It shows us what they had to go through to claim freedom for our country. The different plot lines are woven together very well and the script is written with smooth transitions from one time period to another. Even though this film has lots of great characters and scenes, I think that some of them are unnecessary. My favorite scene is when Wayne talks about his past in a jail cell with John. It's a tender moment and is a very emotional scene that gives layers to Wayne's character.

My favorite characters are the two main characters, Wayne and John. They feed off each other very well and their different personalities actually complement each other. I like the references of Bible verses this film has which gives comfort and strength in life and death situations. Even when the fathers are facing death, they can have eternal life in heaven if they choose and believe.

This film has a great message about fatherhood and getting along with others. It spreads the gospel of Jesus and touches your heart.

I recommend Faith of our Fathers for ages 12 to 18. Although there are war scenes, it's not overly graphic or gruesome. People who like faith-based films will thoroughly enjoy it.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. It is a good film that tells the gospel and has great messages. <[>Thank you to all our service men and women who serve to protect our country on a daily basis. Faith of our Fathers is in theaters on July 1st, so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


CHEF'S LIFE, A: SEASON 1

CHEF'S LIFE, A: SEASON 1
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A Chef's Life, Season 1 Join Chef Vivian Howard's personal and culinary journey from the top restaurants in New York to her return to Eastern North Carolina as she explores the rich bounty of farm fresh cooking, family and community. Each episode follows Vivian out of the kitchen and into cornfields, strawberry patches and hog farms as she hunts down the ingredients that inspire her seasonal menus. Disc One Sweet Corn & Expensive Tea Strawberry Stay at Home Pimp My Grits Cracklin' Kitchen Tomatoes...You Say Heirloom, I Say Old Timey The World is Your Oyster Muscadine Time Disc Two A Road Trip For Rice Peanut Pastime Love Me Some Candied Yams! Collard Green Queen The Buttermilk Belt Have Yourself Some Moonshine This DVD features subtitles in English
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I highly recommend A Chef's Life. If you enjoy culinary and reality TV shows you will enjoy this unique television series that follows Chef Vivian Howard and her journey with her Northern Carolina restaurant, Chef & the Farmer. 100% farm-to-table experience!

Unlike other culinary shows, it focuses on community-based agriculture and a family's restaurant. It automatically made me feel connected to the Chef Vivian Howard and her journey with her restaurant. Chef Vivian Howard even states that she is "exploring the South, one ingredient at a time." Heartwarming moments are a large part of the series, always showing Chef Vivian's family's traditions and the communities traditions.

The 13-part series is immensely informative. It gives a small sample of the history of each ingredient featured in the episode. In each episode, Chef Vivian Howard also gives a one-on-one lesson that features the food item of the episode. Chef and the Farmers honor the foods that are in season by making the restaurant menu revolve around those food items, such as the corn and strawberries that are featured in Disc 1.

It gives great ideas for easy and great tasting food. Even being vegan, I found many of the recipes easy to convert to vegan recipes, or vegetarian - from the sweet corn recipes to the candied yams. They even have an episode that includes a vegetarian recipe. This episode is called "Tomatoes...You Say Heirloom, I Say Old Timey" on Disc 1.

Although I would absolutely be interested in watching more seasons, I did have some dislikes and concerns. In "Cracklin' Kitchen" there are a couple of scenes that show pigs being cut up. I did not notice any warnings before the episode started or before the scenes occurred. Personally, I believe that there should have been some type of warning because some people are sensitive to events and imagery such as that.

Chef Vivian Howard has an extraordinary connection to the audience and her community. Her confidence in kitchen shines as well as her confidence for the reprise of the South. She keeps her chin up throughout the whole season, even during the extreme low points within her restaurant.

I recommend this to ages 13 to 18 due to the somewhat mature content in a couple of the episodes. This is not gender specific so any gender would enjoy this series. I would rate this series 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Aisling Lacey, KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments please. This has not been reviewed by youth.
Runtime: 390 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 29.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TOMORROWLAND       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 - Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory. Directed by Brad Bird. Starring George Clooney, Britt Roberttson, Hugh Laurie, Judy Greer, Tim McGraw.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Loved this film. Walt would have been smiling I think. Britt Robertson, who we just saw in The Longest Ride, plays this role exceedingly well and outshines her two co-stars, George Clooney and Hugh Laurie. But, the real attraction of this film is the Tomorrowland imagery. Flying trains, personal air packs and all the accoutrements of an imaginary life in the future drew me in. It is fun, fantastic and simple. I would take my younger children to see this.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - How can you describe this film, a film that is original (which is very rare these days), surprising (also rare) and it has a perfect ratio of pretty much everything! Tomorrowland is a movie of wow that makes you want to go out and do something knowing that nothing is impossible.

This film has everything. It has a wonderful, heartwarming plot with a good 50/50 split of drama and comedy and is filled with many wonderful morals and messages. It can be called a tale, sci-fi, adventure and more. But, this film has something for everyone.

Tomorrowland starts off showing a young high school girl named Casey (Britt Robertson) who is told that the world is being polluted, destroyed and slowly ending. She asks why something is not being done about it. One day, she finds a mysterious pin which takes her to a world not in the future, past or present, not on Earth. It is somewhere beyond our knowledge, known as Tomorrowland. She embarks on adventure trying to get there and meets many people including Frank Walker (George Clooney) who is a former child genius and actually lived in this place for some time.

This film is truly an enjoyable experience to watch. Director Brad Bird does an extraordinary job making this a master piece. From the perfect cast to the original story, it is breathtaking to watch. The cinematography is perfect - not too modest and not to forced either. The cast is inspiring. George, Britt and the rest of the cast make jokes, deliver dramatic moments, and everything in between. The relationship between the main characters are sad at times, happy at times. They are heartwarming and draw you in. Disney has really outdone itself so many times and they surprise us again with a very original and nicely done film which will become the next phenomena

My favorite scene is when Casey, Frank and a girl named Athena (you must watch the film to learn more about this very special character) go to Paris and they launch something out of the Eiffel tower. It is action-packed, funny and stunning to watch. The special effects are out of this world and thrilling.

There are so many moral messages. The main one is "nothing is impossible and never stop questioning the world around you." In the film, Casey never stops asking questions and, because of this, a very surprising thing happens.

I recommend this film for kids ages 8 to18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. This film is truly one of the greatest films of the year and wonderfully executed. It opens in theaters on May 22 so don't miss it.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


WILD KRATTS: SHARK-TASTIC

WILD KRATTS: SHARK-TASTIC       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Martin Kratt and Chris Kratt are studying the secrets of great white sharks while their nemesis, Chef Gaston Gourmand, is looking for ingredients for his shark fin soup recipe. Later, when Martin knocks the Creature Power Suits into a deep Arctic trench, the brothers search for them in the brand-new Octopod submarine where they witness a Pacific octopus' defense against an attacking shark. Then Aviva takes the lead when she wants to upgrade the Tortuga with swimming capabilities, so the Kratt brothers seek out a sea turtle for inspiration. Finally, the Wild Kratts team is on a mission to decode the secret language of dolphins using one of Aviva's new inventions, but a hungry great white shark puts their animal friends in harm's way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Please see our youth review. This has not been reviewed by adults.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Animation, learning and fun is what Wild Kratts Shark-Tastic is about. The brothers, Martin and Chris Kratt, better known for their PBS kids show Zoboomafu, is back again. This learning adventure takes them to different parts of the world and the special sea creatures that live there.

This DVD includes four episodes:

1. Octopus Wildkratticus- Saving a special octopus.

2. Tortuga Tune Up- How some sea turtles defend themselves.

3. Speaking Dolphinese- Learning about the dolphin language.

4. Stuck on Sharks-Learning about the great white shark

The main characters of Shark-Tastic are the Kratt brothers. Aviva is the leader and engineer, Koki the computer expert and Jimmy Z the operator. Kids will enjoy Jimmy Z. He is the funniest one on the show. This show sure to get young kids excited about these sea creatures. The DVD contains episodes that have already aired on PBS Kids so, they are not anything new. The episodes all have the same theme: How to defend yourself from getting eaten by sharks. Even though the title is "Shark-Tastic," the show is not all about sharks. Sharks are included in all episodes though. Each episode starts with the Kratt brother visiting a place where the sea creature the talk about lives. The dolphin episode is one of my favorites as I am a huge fan of dolphins.

The Kratt brothers are great communicating with each other. I like when Aviva builds a dolphin decoder. In each of the episodes, Aviva makes a Creature Power Suit that is like the animal being talked about in that episode. In real life, scientists are trying to find ways to communicate with dolphins.

The animation for this show is 2D with bright colors. You also see the actual sea creatures in their natural bright colors. That is was makes this DVD and the other Wild Kratts episodes more fun. You can really get into them.

I recommend Wild Kratts Shark-Tastic DVD for ages 4 to 8. This is definitely for kids who love animals or want to learn about them. The Kratts brothers and their friends explain the sea creatures in an easy way. This DVD is a good way to begin learning about them. I think older kids will want to learn more. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars. It also comes with DVD Rom which has printable PDF's with activities and a link to PBS kids. This DVD is available now wherever DVDs are sold.

Reviewed by Kamren W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 8
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: DVD


AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This sequel to the Avengers series delivers almost non-stop action. As an adult, I sometimes felt totally assaulted at the amount of violence in the film and began to question the descriptive term "gratuitous violence." This is a term that KIDS FIRST! has long employed as one of its criterion for endorsing a film. You might argue that the amount of violence used is acceptable since it is relegated to good fighting evil. But, on the other hand, I would venture to comment that surely the violence drives the film. The story line is pretty meager, or as one of our youth critics commented, "doesn't really matter." It is all the action shots that draw in the audience.

Did I enjoy it? Would I see it again? I can't say that I found it particularly enjoyable or thought provoking. I certainly wouldn't have the need to watch it again though, many of our youth reporters would, particularly those who are comic-book fans. Even my husband, who does love action adventure films, was a bit worn out after the viewing.

So, there you go. I certainly wouldn't recommend this for young kids even though I'm sure many parents will take them. But, for older kids who can discern the difference between fact and fiction, go at it. It's pure escapism, in the name of good.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Another monumental Marvel movie! The Avengers assemble once again go up against a new corrupt, A.I. Ultron (James Spader). As the troupe pursue their mission, we're given a deeper understanding of our favorite super heroes.

There are not enough words in the world to express how happy I am. As a Marvel fan, this film showcases some of my favorite comic book characters together in one plot line in a bigger and better way. When you are dealing with a sequel, as a filmmaker, you're pretty much trying to top yourself. Thankfully, the filmmakers have out done themselves here. We're given a superior conflict, more characters and action beyond epic proportions.

I love this movie not only because it's a phenomenal Marvel film, but also an outstanding film in general. A movie is supposed to grab the audience and transport them to a universe with characters that not only we look up to but also identify with. Marvel has successfully created this reality. Every time I see a Marvel logo on a movie poster I'm excited to be sent back, once again, into their universe.

Marvel is a genius entertainment company because they establish their characters in previous films. The Avengers are the protagonist. Every character is given their moment in the lime light but, they are not the main focus. They all share the screen and have their own personal conflict, yet they respond as team. That is not to say that there is no character development, there is. Former story lines help save time so that the writers can focus on perfecting the current story. This also leads to much stronger relationships between the characters.

For people who have no history with Marvel films, I suggest that you see some of the previous films that feature the Avengers. The reason is that you may miss a connection with the characters that can be resolved by watching previous films. Although you will enjoy the action and story even without seeing the previous films, the inside jokes and interactions between characters become funnier when you understand the past.

The action in this film is awesome! The word awesome is a very primitive word, but it explains everything. While I love to go to the movies and appreciate storytelling and 3 dimensional characters, there are times when I just want to see things go boom! Every Avenger, with his or her different abilities, works together and kicks butt. An example of this is when Thor hits Captain America's shield and causes a devastating explosion. You have to see it to believe it.

My favorite character is, Vision (Paul Bettany) an android created by Ultron. Bettany is originally the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark's (Robert Downey, Jr.) A.I. companion. Bettany uses his fantastic voice to create Vision. I was excited when I heard he was going to be a new addition to the Avengers team. Not only is the acting and personality spot on, but the costume design is beautiful.

There are so many scenes that I adore, but my favorite is when the Avengers, "get acquainted" with Vision for the first time. This is the second A.I. the group has encountered and they're unsure if they can trust him. Vision is uncertain himself and gives a speech on why it doesn't matter because they all want to stop Ultron. At the end of his speech there is a comedic pay-off that shows which side Vision is truly on.

The moral of the film is, "The way to peace is not destruction." Ultron is built for one reason - to create peace in our time. Ultron is confused on how to fulfill that mission and believes the only way to achieve his goal is to wipe out the human race and start over. However, Ultron underestimates the soul of man.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 11- to 18 year-olds. There is language and intense action that younger kids might not be able to handle. Check out this film in theaters May 1 and remember, a true Marvel fan stays to the end of the credits.

Reviewed by Keefer C. Blakeslee, Age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

My friends have asked me what I thought of Avengers: Age of Ultron and my answer has always been the same: it depends on who you are. If you are a fan of this genre, superheroes, and/or a general movie goer you'll love it. But if you're me, who sees films differently, then the answer to that question is much more complex.

The plot of this film doesn't really matter in all honesty. I mean, you have the good guys fighting the bad guys, that much hasn't changed and it's not what I want to focus on in this review.

What I want to focus on, is the direction and writing of writer/director Joss Whedon. For those of you who just want to know if this film is tons of fun and entertaining and don't care about the movie buff stuff I'm about to spill in short: see this movie. But, I warn you, the movie buff stuff I'm about to spill may be an explanation for the feeling of incompleteness you may have.Joss Whedon wrote this film very ambitiously. He wanted to add the depth and character development of a drama, and keep the same thrills and mindless entertainment of a blockbuster. The issue is - that's very hard to do in a reasonable amount of time. The film already runs nearly 2 1/2 hours and is still incomplete.

I digress, Joss Whedon would have been better off picking a side: mindless entertainment or depth? Truthfully, I would have preferred depth. Getting to know the characters only increases the suspense when they're put in dangerous situations. It draws you in more. Whereas mindless entertainment doesn't because you know what's going to happen.

The thing about his film is that it develops this depth with each Avenger. It tells of their fears and gets into their personal lives. It develops these relationships and just leaves it on the ground, not to be picked up again. Joss Whedon doesn't follow through the idea and we're left wondering "what happened?"

Then, to top it all off, he begins something new. He doesn't come to a definite conclusion, yet he starts a new beginning. That, in my opinion, is a mistake. It's playing with the emotions of the audience who've invested themselves in these band of characters. Whedon shows us that these heroes are people and then doesn't expand on them. He doesn't conclude their stories. It's frustrating.

Yet, there are action scenes of pure bliss, brilliance and utter entertainment that send chills. They impress. It glues you to the screen. There are shots that are bound to amaze you. I still have the climactic battle in my head. It has a deeper meaning than many may give it credit for and I appreciated that.

Despite all that, this film is a great time. All of the heroes get their big moments, and each character is spotlighted. Before I end my review, I want to commend and point out the fantastic voice performance of James Spader. He gives Ultron such life and personality. It's further proof that there needs to be a voice-acting category at the Academy Awards. Brilliant work, Mr. Spader.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Please keep in mind that I saw this film in Imax 3-D. Those of you seeing it in 2-D may have a different impression that I did, due to the extreme differences in the way we experienced this film.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MOLECULES TO THE MAX

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MOLECULES TO THE MAX
RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Molecules to the MAX!, a 42-minute film created by scientists and professors from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is an animated, colorful and engaging Giant Screen adventure film about a curious oxygen atom ("Oxy") and her friends who have a lot of fun exploring the nanoscale building blocks of matter as they travel through nanospace. In the film, Oxy, Captain of the Molecularium, is dispatched from the Unified Field of Atoms on an expedition to discover the secret of life on Earth. Along with her crew - Hydra and Hydro, the curious hydrogen twins and Mel, the uptight computer- they have many misadventures exploring the Earth's atmosphere and the cycle of water molecules, through clouds, snowflakes and raindrops. Lost in the far reaches of outer space, Oxy and her crew are rescued by Carbon and his gang of intergalactic carbon atoms. With lots of bravado and a little luck, Carbon is able to pilot the ship back to Earth. The film is showing around the globe on select IMAX screens and has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Japanese. In addition to the film, the DVD is packed with bonus features, including behind-the-scenes commentary on the making of the movie; five educational animated shorts from NanoSpace; and a glimpse of the award-winning film "Riding Snowflakes." The DVD is the latest release of Rensselaer's Molecularium Project, an educational initiative designed to teach children about science in an entertaining environment.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This title is really well animated, has cute informative songs, is very funny with comical movie references and word play. The flow of the show is great. There is a clear beginning, middle and ending. And, it is entertaining and really funny throughout. Even if the viewer knows little or nothing about molecular science, the characters explain the very basics in a way that is easy to understand and fun to watch. The animation is really good and there is nonstop action to keep the viewer's attention.

It has cute, informative songs and makes comical movie references. There are lots of complicated information presented in a kid friendly way. The animation is quite good and there is nonstop action to hold the viewer's attention.

It is suitable for ages 6 to 14. It's a great way to learn simple molecular science principles. The characters are molecules. They portray moments of friendship and rejection, depending on which molecules are together in a scene. This title will encourage kids to question everything. It's very informative and yet, acknowledges that there are many unanswered questions in science and in life.

Excellent production values. It has special features such as scene selection, soundtrack in five different languages, filmmaker's commentary and information about Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the producer of this title. It is very easy to navigate and fun to explore.

Our adult reviewers enjoyed it as much as their kids. Reviewed by Eli B.

Molecules to the Max is an exciting trip into the tiny world of polymers, DNA, atoms, and many other microscopic structures. The viewer follows some hydrogen and oxygen atoms, along with a traveling computer and miniature spaceship, into space and to the planet Earth. There, the atoms learn all about molecular structures and life.

This was entertaining and very educational. The concepts explored were things the viewer could identify with. The show included some catchy upbeat songs and some fun characters as the teachers. I was learning along with my kids, as we watched it together.

My only negative feedback is that I felt like some of the wording would not be understandable to the suggested age range. A few of the concepts, such as DNA and polymers, were explained in a way that I'm not sure children would understand. There were also numerous references to carbon dating, along with a song about Carbon, that I think would probably be very confusing to most children. Having said that, my 6-year-old walked in while I was watching the show and said, "Oh I LOVE this movie!" He then sat and watched the entire thing with me. He also watched several of the bonus animated shorts, which explain some concepts more clearly. He may not have understood it all, but he enjoyed it all. And I'm sure when he learns about molecules and atoms, it will be familiar to him. So I would recommend this DVD for ages 8-16, but I think if a child were interested in science, then maybe even down to age 6 would enjoy it. I give it 5 stars. Reviewed by Karyn A.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The movie Molecules to the Max is cool. I like that the atoms are all different colors, and I liked when they went into the person's body. I learned that everything is made out of molecules. Oxy was my favorite atom because she was fun. I think other kids would like it because the atoms do lots of fun things like going inside an American penny, a snowflake, and gum. They also go into a tunnel that leads to the other side of the Galaxy. It's an awesome movie. Luke A., Age 6

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99
Media: FeatureFilm


SI

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SI
SAMANTHA SMITH
Series: SHORT FILM, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Si, a temperamental 6-year-old, gets a goldfish from her parents after begging for a puppy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Si is a bit temperamental but, fortunately, only in her imagination. Her resolution to her disappointment is charming and unusual. You'll have to watch it to find out.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Si is a very interesting film. The use of color is exceptional. Pacing such a vibrant young girl in a completely white, void-like room makes an impact. The few objects that have color have it for a reason;. There isn't anything that serves to clutter your view and distract from the message of the piece, only to enhance it. Except for a small audio issue around 3:17, the production is nearly flawless. It's an extremely well executed piece of art.

The message itself is surprisingly complex considering how short of a film it is. My interpretation follows along the lines of making the best out of the situation you are given. The girl Si is given a goldfish after asking for a dog and, at first, is visibly discontent with it after it refuses to eat the fish food. But, through a revelation of her own she then decides to add all sorts of colorful crafts to the bowl in an attempt to make the best out of what she has. And, by doing so, she finds herself transported into the fish's world where she has what can only be an amazing experience swimming along as a mermaid.

I highly suggest watching Si and getting your own interpretation of the short film. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. Even if some younger audiences don't realize the deeper message behind the video, the visuals are still very aesthetically pleasing and they're sure to enjoy it.

Reviewed by Kyle B., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer, age 17
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


CLASSIC SONGS & TRADITIONAL TUNES

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CLASSIC SONGS & TRADITIONAL TUNES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
ANDYLAND MUSIC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Fifteen beloved folk and classic children's tunes capture the heart of the songs. Authentic instrumentation, thoughtful arrangements, restored lyrics, and Andy Z's friendly vocals complete this rousing CD that will entertain and engage for years.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From 'This Land is Your Land' to 'Happy Trails,' Andy Z brings a freshness and excitement to familiar songs that we think we may know but after a few extra verses that were part of the original songs and some well-played musical surprises our ears are buzzing with a renewed acquaintance with old friends. The vocals are engaging and the toe-tapping arrangements will have you dancing with a 'Turkey in the Straw' or breaking out a 'Hokey Pokey' or singing along with 'You Are My Sunshine'. 'Oh Susanna' you've got to listen to this CD and don't you cry for me now, girl!

The songs are performed as close to their original intent with all of the original lyrics and instrumentation approximated. This absolutely keeps the tradition of American folk songs alive and well. It is positive and uplifting and the interpretation of songs that a lot of us have heard for years is fresh and engaging.

The quality is excellent. The music mirror the birth of our nation which was an exciting time for America in terms of exploration and strong families along with adventurous and brave people immigrating from all over the world. These songs offer insight into American history from a musical point of view. The artist starts with the premise "maybe you're familiar with this song, but did you know there are other verses?" Particularly enlightening is "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with the wraparound lyrics.

The musicianship, choice of traditional instruments and vocal performances are well-done and engaging. The production value (recording) is very professional.

Reviewed by John Wood.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The kids enjoyed listening to this CD. They clapped and moved along. Overall, they seemed to have fun. All around the Kitchen and You are My Sunshine were two of their favorites. The songs are upbeat and energetic and it was nice to see the kids enjoying some of the old classics, some of which they apparently had never heard before. The performance is entertaining and the songs are fun.

One little boy said his favorite was the first one. Another child was excited about the kitchen song. An older boy said he liked the middle songs best. One girl liked the sunshine song best.

"It is good music." "We like all the music." "It is singing."
Runtime: 38 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98
Media: AUDIO


CALLING ALL THE ELEPHANTS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CALLING ALL THE ELEPHANTS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONG WIZARDS RECORDS
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Twelve cheeky, laugh-out-loud funny songs. Combining country and children's pop music with a wacky, seesaw feel, moving from a country stroll where the wit sneaks up on you to a rock 'n' roll sprint where an outrageous lyric slams into you.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Put on the headsets and buckle up because 'Calling All the Elephants' is one of the best albums in a long while to make you laugh out loud and snort milk out of your nose! The word-play, songwriting and musicianship are exemplary. Randy Sharp and Dave Kinnoin, two-seasoned performers, flex their musical chops and in the process push the creative boundaries of children's music in a profoundly wondrous way.

These crafty clutch of tunes hatch from basic concepts and happenings into mini-operas of mirth and merriment. Be yourself. Be resourceful. Be different. Be inventive. Be creative. Have FUN! Who could ask for anything more. Love this album!

Lyrics are stellar, brilliant and quite appealing. The music and production are terrific. Plus, there are many wonderful surprises. Very clever!

Everything clicks like an expensive watch. It's rare to discover an album that appeals to older children, doesn't talk down and takes conceptional chances. This is a breath of musical fresh air.

In ways, it is purposely disrespectful of what is considered appropriate in children's music. Therefore, kids will love it!

I love an album that invites frequent listening because you flat-out love it and / or continue to discover new elements and surprises that you missed before. This is one of those albums. Never gets old. Solid vocals and character voices, musicianship rocks and the recording quality is state-of-the-art.

Reviewed by John Wood.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is fun and original and many of the songs have a really good beat and rhythm to them. I like that this CD has songs with funny lyrics. My favorite songs are Last Word and Puzzle. I like how the lyrics in Last Word throw in words such as "foot" and then there is a pause and "ball" is added or "cow" and then "boy." Puzzle is just catchy and is fun to dance to it. Most of the songs are pretty cool and make you want to dance. Some of the lyrics are repetitive but I still think they are pretty good. There is only one song I really didn't like as much and that is Acting Like A Baby. I think it is just the topic that I don't really enjoy. The song is still catchy. But, how often do you really like every song on a CD? Over all, this is a CD with fun songs, catchy lyrics and I give it a thumbs up. Best for kids ages 5 to 10. Some older children may not like it as much. I would give this one 4 out of 5 stars.
Runtime: 38 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98
Media: AUDIO


LONELIEST TREE, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LONELIEST TREE, THE
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - Not very far from the big city is a very special farm. It's special because it grows special trees...Christmas trees! The trees are able to stretch their graceful branches

covered with needles and pine cones toward the sun as they grow taller and taller--all but one.

"The Loneliest Tree celebrates themes of continuity, enduring faith and vision, and surviving loss and rejection at a special holiday season of love and peace." Midwest Book Review
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Loneliest Tree by D.G. Stern is an attractive picture book for children ages 4 to 7. The story follows a sapling in a Christmas tree farm and explores the tree's emotions as it makes its ultimate journey to its forever home. The illustrations by Deborah Allison are colorful, child-oriented and follow the storyline. She includes racially diverse community members among the many drawings of trees and heavy machinery. Young boys in particular might be drawn to the descriptions and illustrations of the trucks and snowplows.

The Loneliest Tree feels like a labor of love that unfortunately might have missed the mark of making the reader care about the tree. Character development is lacking, so it was hard for me to become emotionally attached to the tree or its outcome. One particular line in the beginning of the story, "Loneliness can sometimes be good" led me to think readers would be shown a depth or array of emotions which do not materialize.

This book meets the KIDS FIRST! . Overall content of the book is very good. The story is easy to follow with a beginning, middle and end, although the passing of time gets confusing. The production quality and the visual appeal of the book are very good. The story is suitable for young children. I rate this 3 out of 5 Christmas trees.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is an excellent, fictional book. The story is about a special farm that grows Christmas trees. When Christmas comes, people leave their cities and arrive to the farm to buy a unique tree. All the beautiful trees were being brought except the smallest tree. Everybody neglected that tree. When the tree grows, guess who brought it? I can't reveal anymore you have to read it.

My favorite part is when the tree relocated to his new home. It is such an outstanding place and the tree is very happy and never feels lonely again. The tree shines with glitter and glam like a diamond, so pretty. I like this book because it is meaningful and the storyline is great. I can remember being a young child and sometimes feeling lonely myself.

The author, D.G. tells a great story about expectation and anticipation. The illustrator Deborah Allison, has created wonderful pictures with bright colors.

The message of this book is "when you think you are lonely, you are never alone. You always have a remarkable place in someone's heart."

I recommend this book for ages 3 to 6 and I give it 4 out of 5 stars because it is an easy book to read and it has great pictures to look at that are bright in color.

By Tre'ana Hickson, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. Age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.95
Media: Book


IRIS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
IRIS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - IRIS pairs the 87-year-old Maysles with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. More than a fashion film, the documentary is a story about creativity and how, even at Iris' advanced age, a soaring free spirit continues to inspire. IRIS portrays a singular woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people are life's sustenance and reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment. Despite the abundance of glamour in her current life, she continues to embrace the values and work ethic established during a middle-class Queens upbringing during the Great Depression. I feel lucky to be working. If you're lucky enough to do something you love, everything else follows.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This has not been reviewed by an adult. Please see our youth review.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Iris is a great documentary, particularly if you have a passion for fashion. Iris Apfel is a 94-year-old woman who embraces her unique eye for fashion and style. She takes the simplest things from shops and stores all over town and dresses them up in a variety of ways. She accessorizes her clothing by accenting them with very large and unique pieces of jewelry. Large pearl necklaces with big, bright colorful bracelets are only a few items that Iris uses. She believes each outfit needs to have color and sometimes lots of it. A lot of designers and fashion icons love her style and creativity.

The message of this documentary, produced by veteran documentarian Albert Maysles, is "success is a sacrifice." Iris talks about how she always wanted to have kids, travel and have a successful career. She realized that she could not have it all and be successful. She did not want her kids to be raised by someone else. So, she chose to purse her career and travel the world with her husband, Carl Apfel. Although Iris did not have kids as she once hoped, she still feels successful and that her life has made a positive impact in the fashion industry.

Iris is very witty, funny and inspirational. Even in her 90s, she continues to educate young aspiring fashion designers. She believes it will be a lost art if people do not learn the history of fashion and its origin.

The film Iris is a wonderful documentary. It is perfect for girls and boys ages 13 to 18-years-old who aspire to learn more about the fashion industry. Even if you are not in the industry and want to watch a good film about a wise woman who continues to inspire others, this film is a perfect selection. Iris will be released in select theaters April 29, 2015. I give this movie 4 out of 5 shining stars.

Reviewed by Kendyl P., KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


5 FLIGHTS UP

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
5 FLIGHTS UP       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
XXX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A long-time married couple who've spent their lives together in the same New York apartment become overwhelmed by personal and real estate-related issues when they plan to move away. Starring Morgan Freeman, Diane Keaton, Cynthia Mixon. Directed by Richard Loncraine.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film has not been reviewed by adults yet. Please see our youth review.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - From the storyline, it may seem that this film will be boring to kids. But, when I started watching this film I fell in love with it. Morgan Freeman's perfect timing of jokes and Diane Keeton's wonderful and priceless emotions make this film entertaining and heartfelt from the very start to the last second.

It is a bit hard to say what the main genre is. Of course, there is a lot of romance between the two characters, Alex (Morgan Freeman) and Ruth (Diane Keeton), there is also that funny side that makes it all that more enjoyable. And, there is still a serious dramatic side which keeps you on the edge of your seat till the end.

The story starts when an elderly couple, Ruth and Alex, live in a high up, massive apartment in New York City, Brooklyn actually. However, the five flight of stairs they need to take is getting more and more challenging so they decide to move to a location with an elevator. To add to the challenges, their dog is in the hospital undergoing treatment for spinal injury.

The director, Richard Loncraine makes this movie feel authentic and rustic and also shows how current society stereotypes elderly people, how they truly feel about it and how wrong it is. The cast is wonderful and the acting is just superior with serious and comedy scenes mixed together and standing out all the time. I also like how they lightly touch upon problems of the past as well as problems of today. For example, Ruth and Alex got married in a time when bi-racial couples were not welcomed with open arms. Then it shows how today a gay couple is making an offer on a house. They submit it along with a note telling how they tried to adopt a child and finally were able to adopt one. It is something Ruth and Alex wanted to do when they were younger but were denied.

My favorite scene is when they have an open house to sell their apartment and a huge crowd of people comes through, looking at everything and touching everything. Alex doesn't like it but Ruth tries to see the positive side but fails. I like that scene because it shows how the couple's life isn't perfect and also makes the film feel very real. Not only this moment does that but many others as well.

This film has perhaps several moments of adult content but none that is too mature. I recommend it to kids ages 10 to18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


STORIED STREETS

STORIED STREETS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
THOMAS A. MORGAN & JACK HENRY ROBBINS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - STORIED STREETS explores homelessness across America by telling the stories of those who live it every day. The documentary film-which premiered at the 2014 Sedona International Film Festival-profiles the homeless and the formerly homeless and their struggle to survive. Their stories are real, raw and compelling. These stories, coupled with the fact that right now homelessness is growing at an unprecedented rate in America, is the genesis behind STORIED STREETS. The film will provide a window into their struggles, question stereotypes and change the way you feel about homelessness. Directors: Thomas A. Morgan & Jack Henry Robbins. Executive Producers: Susan Sarandon & Morgan Spurlock
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film completely destroys the stereotypical image of the homeless and makes you rethink what you should have said to that person you saw on the street. Storied Streets is truly inspiring and I believe everyone should watch it.

This is a documentary. But, it tells stories like none other that are not only terrible and sad, but also inspirational and heartwarming.

The story looks at different homeless people and shows that they are not people who are lazy and just want to make money without any work. It shows hard working people who just, sadly, can't afford a home. And, because of that, they are dehumanized and try not to appear homeless because they believe it is shameful.

This documentary not does a phenomenal job of showing statistics and evidence of this problem and what should be brought to our attention. It also shows how we as normal, every day people can easily fix it. This is something that a lot of documentaries don't have. This film is well produced and directed which makes it enjoyable to watch and thought provoking at the same time.

One of my favorite stories in the film is about a boy who is now around 18-years-old. His mother abandoned him in his freshman year of high school and, instead of finding her, he concentrated on his education and worked hard. He doesn't appear to be homeless and is pretty much the complete opposite of what you might think to be a homeless person. I was happy to see that he is now going to college.

This film is rather mature so I recommend this to ages 12 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is a well told story and also offers good pro-active solutions for dealing with homelessness.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 13

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN

BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
REVOLVER ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The story follows a young rickshaw-puller in Bhopal who gets a menial job at a chemical plant, but in December of 1984 a chemical spill in India takes the lives of almost 15,000 people and injuring more than 100,000. The film follows how the industrial disaster in the city changes his life and those of others.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film is based on the true story about Bhopal's gas tragedy which book place in December of 1994 at the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant. Over 500,000 people were exposed to toxic gas and other chemicals, killing as many as 10,000 people in one night. This historical drama is moving and shocking. Directed by Ravi Kumar. Starring Martin Sheen, Mischa Barton, Kai Penn, Fagun Thakrar, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Rajpal Yadav and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This documentary drama is about something everyone should know about and make sure the human race should not repeat. What happened 30 years ago should have never happened and it is truly sad this film is based on this true story. Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain is not only a reminder of what happened, but a story we must remember, so we do not repeat it.

This film is a documentary, but is also a story and a drama. There is no comedic relief. There is strong messages and lessons to be learned.

The story begins when a multinational company, Union Carbide India opens a chemical factory which contains the number one most dangerous chemical to humans in the world. The company responsible for the factory is sadly not making much money and, as a result, they cut their safety regulations. This does not end up as a good idea for, in 1984, the factory had a major leak and the deadly chemical called MIC quickly shot into the air, and into the surrounding air which covered a major town called Bhopal. Thousands die while hundreds of thousands are injured and even today, 30 years later, are still ill.

This film truly shows this event well and shows how many people were effected by it and what the company who caused it did to help the victims. Nothing. Warren Anderson (Martin Sheen) not only doesn't help them, but the India court accuses him of mass murder and the "corporate shield" protects him so he is not affected whatsoever. Martin Sheen plays this role with true conviction.

This film is an incredibly sad story, I cannot choose a favorite scene. My least favorite is when the accident comes to the attention to Warren for the first time. Anyone would expect that he would be in shock or cry or just try to help them. What he does is blame the workers because he gave them an opportunity and they "ruined it." Then, he flees the country when he sees all the dead bodies and is accused of mass murder. I do not like this scene for I believe he should have at the least go to jail for the rest of his life.

This film is very mature so I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars for they did a wonderful job retelling this horrid event. Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MONKEY KINGDOM

MONKEY KINGDOM       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - In South Asia, Maya the monkey and her son Kip struggle to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the troop at Castle Rock. When neighboring monkeys take over their home, Maya's whole troop is forced to relocate. She uses her ingenuity to lead the members of her extended family to untapped resources amid strange new creatures and unfamiliar surroundings. Ultimately, the entire troop must work together to reclaim Castle Rock, where Maya hopes her son will have a bright future. Narrated by Tina Fey. Directed and produced by Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Monkey Kingdom opened my mind to learning about animals in the wild! This is a great nature documentary, especially if you like monkeys and, contributions from ticket sales of this movie will help save the monkeys in south Asia.

Monkey Kingdom begins with an explanation of how a certain group of monkeys live. Specifically, it focuses on Maya and her baby, who are considered the lowest of the group. It discusses their lifestyle, their routines and how they have to deal with the different seasons and the weather. They also talk about their struggle for survival. Finding food, especially for the ones at the bottom of the tree, is a challenge. These monkeys have a king and three queens. It is amazing that even though they are monkeys, they still have a social hierarchy.

My favorite part of this movie is when all the monkeys are playing with each other and swinging from their homemade "original" jungle gym. I also like the part when the lower class runs out of food and have to find a way to survive. They locate the humans' house and raid their kitchen. They even confiscate all the eggs from the hen house!! It is hysterical to see a monkey running off with a sub sandwich.

My favorite character is Kip, Maya's son! He is a cute baby monkey that is so innocent and, most of the time, has no idea what is going one. He depends on his mom for protection. Maya is on the low end of the social hierarchy. She is a female monkey with a nice personality unlike the three sister queens who act as if they own everything. I love how Maya protects her baby at all costs. Tina Fey is a wonderful narrator for this, giving a clear understanding of what is taking place.

The thrust of this documentary is to raise money to help maintain the habitat of monkeys that live in the jungles of South Asia. I recommend this film for kids age 6 through 18. Both boys and girls will enjoy it because, who can resist watching monkeys play. I rate this movie a five out of five dazzling stars! Be sure to check it out when it comes out in theaters on April 17, 2015.

Reviewed by Haley Powell, KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 12

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


PADDINGTON (2014)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PADDINGTON (2014)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WEINSTEIN CO, THE
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 4-18
Topic - Family
Description - A young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck ('Please look after this bear. Thank you.') and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist. Starring Nicole Kidman, Ben Whishaw, Imelda Staunton, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Paddington is a great adventure, with lots of twists and turns. This film is playful, comedic, enjoyable and definitely a great film for friends and family.

Paddington (Ben Whishaw, voice) is a rare breed of bear that travels all alone to London. He wants to find a home after his is destroyed. While there, he discovers that it's not what he expects, but finds a family that's willing to take him in and look after him for just a little while. This is when everyone's adventure begins.

Paddington is so outgoing and adorable. You can't help but love this bear. He has an innocent way about him, but still is a little mischievous and gets into trouble. His visual effects and fur looks very real and life-like. Nicole Kidman's character (Millicent) is very determined to add Paddington to her collection of stuffed animals. She will stop at nothing to get him. She's fierce, frightening and intimidating. I love the story line, humor, and definitely the action. I liked that the climax of this film is very unpredictable and shocks the audience. My favorite character would have to be Paddington. He truly thinks of the wellbeing of others and his curiosity is adorable. He reminds you of a child learning new things. A scene that I would call my favorite is when Paddington tries to return a wallet to a man that dropped out of his packet while walking out of an antique shop. Paddington chases him, trying to get the wallet to him. Finally he catches up with the man by falling on him from the air. When he falls on the man they both tumble down and about 30 wallets fall out of the man's coat. Paddington catches a pickpocket and ends up in the paper on his first day in London. It's a very comical scene that makes the audience crack up.

One of the messages of this film is that families are not just made up by the people who are related to us, but friends and even animals can be a part of our family.

I recommend Paddington for ages 8 to 16. However it's great for the whole family and anyone who loves Bears. It's rated PG and there's nothing really you would need to look out for.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars. It's a great film that makes you feel good.

Paddington arrives in theaters on January 16th, so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - From the producers of the Harry Potter franchise comes another children's film that many families will love for its humor, storyline, special effects and of course - the Bear! Paddington will be loved by families everywhere.

This movie has a nice core of humor with an intriguing story that is not only intense, but lighthearted too. Breathtaking special effects, animation and a strong feel of adventure round out the show.

The story starts when a very intelligent family of bears is sadly separated. An earthquake happens and the aunt must send her young nephew to London for a better home. After arriving in London, this young bear is taken in by a family but immediately starts running into challenges of fitting in to the human world.

This film is wonderful. I love the cast - lots of talented and wonderful people. Ben Wishaw plays the voice of Paddington and is excellent at making his character seem adorable and innocent, yet smart and caring at the same time. The humor is off-the-charts amazing and the camera angles and shots are one-of-a-kind. Some shots I could not get over and had to watch again and again.

My favorite scene is when Paddington tries to say his name to Mr. Brown, who is kind of the father of the family. But, Paddington says it in bear language. When Mr. Brown tries to repeat it, Paddington looks horrified and says, "How Rude!" It is a funny and lighthearted scene and kind of sets the right mood for this funny film.

This film is diffidently meant for kids but adults will enjoy it as well. I recommend it for ages 8 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Critics, age 12
Runtime: 95 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


DANCIN' IN THE KITCHEN

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DANCIN' IN THE KITCHEN       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
COMMUNITY MUSIC, INC.
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 0-2
Topic - Family
Description - Grammy Award-winning musical duo Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer celebrate 21st century families with this new album of songs and stories. The 15 tracks reflect the diversity of families in the US today, and highlight the idea that families are bound by love. Guest stars include Riders in the Sky, the Savoy Family Cajun Band, The Canote Twins and Kim & Reggie Harris. At the request of Nora Guthrie, Cathy Fink set Woody Guthrie's poem "Howdy Little Newlycome" to music, enlisting Irish super group Cherish the Ladies to perform. The title song reflects the fact that the kitchen is the center of many homes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dancin' in the Kitchen by Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer knocked my socks off so I immediately decided to dance barefoot in the kitchen - great decision. This album is a breath of fresh air that climbs the mountain of rarefied musical integrity and promotes acceptance and tolerance on so many levels. First and foremost, I doff my symbolic cap to a duo that I have admired for so many years for their ultimate musicianship and steadfastness to true North. When you wrangle high-class talent, incorporate brilliant songs and deliver unswerving production values the gestation of your endeavor has value for the ages. Could I break down every song for you? Yes. Could you listen to samples somewhere? Yes. Is my review a teaser? Yes. Are samples a teaser? Yes. Get on up, people! You will not be disappointed or dismayed, this album is special and grabs you from the first downbeat to the last fade-away. XOXO.

This is an exciting and vibrant CD from the first downbeat to the final fade. There is a lot of wonderful music and supporting messages regarding the diversity of families and their makeup.

Cathy and Marcy know how to producer, perform, pace and structure an album. This CD has many guest groups and a wide range of songs that flow seamlessly.

Though topics of divorce, adoption and same gender parents are presented through song, it is never heavy-handed but presented with love and joy. Better learn how to get your dance on! Sit back and enjoy funny word play and stories and a wonderful array of musical sounds. These 15 performances are absolutely top rate. Vocals are spot on and engaging and the musicianship is stellar. The production value is impeccable. Review by John Wood.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This CD by Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer is sweet and loving. The title song Dancin' in the Kitchen is very upbeat in a zydeco style. My two birds loved this song. They moved their heads to the beat. It was so funny! My favorite song is Everything Possible. It's very calming and has a sweet message that you can be anything. The two songs Dinnertime Orchestra and Who's in Charge of Naming the Colors are both stories. In I'm my own Grampa, I enjoyed the tune but found the words very strange. Also From Scratch is a sweet lullaby. Most of the songs have amazing lessons to learn about accepting our differences, such as if your family is different or your skin color is different than your friends. I belong to a Family is also very sweet. I recommend this for kids age 2 to 8. I can see a lot younger kids dancing to it. I give this CD four out of five stars because it is fun and a good CD for little kids.

Reviewed by Mia Anderson, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

This CD is a good form of entertainment to bring children of this age together. The kids in our group had a good time listening and dancing to the music. Though they are young and distracted, the music brought them right back to dance together. The stories told in the music are simple and their responses to all ones of enjoyment, smiles abound. The children loved the music and had a good time. The music is about families and togetherness and they could relate to that.

The dinnertime orchestra was particularly fun and kids responded to it enthusiastically. They listened intently and danced along. They were too young to sit and listen to the entire thing all at once but wandered off and returned frequently. The pace of the music is perfect, fast enough to be engaging but not frenetic.
Runtime: 35 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.95
Media: AUDIO
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)



NEW SEARCH

All content ©Copyright 1991-115 by Coalition for Quality Children's Media

Database search interactivity by NET MAN
Kid movie news & Free DVDs:
Join KIDS FIRST! on Twitter Join KIDS FIRST! on Pinterest Join KIDS FIRST! on Facebook
Loading Search...