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LOST & FOUND

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LOST & FOUND
MISS MELODEE STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Sent to spend the summer with their uncle on a remote island, young brothers Andy and Mark learn that their eccentric grandfather once owned the island, but vanished without a trace...taking with him the secret to a vast fortune. Delving into the mysterious past, the brothers discover that their grandfather designed a complex treasure hunt, a hunt that could lead to unimaginable wealth and heal their broken family - if they can find it in time. Sinister forces also search for the money and will stop at nothing to keep the boys from their quest. As the adventure unfolds, the boys learn that the bonds of family are the most valuable riches of all, and that some family secrets can't stay buried forever.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching Lost & Found. It has elements of mystery, combined with compassion and underlying evil. It has Star Power. Lost & Found opens with Andy Walton (Justin Kelly) competing in a swim meet. Winning the meet can mean a scholarship for college. Andy, an excellent swimmer mentions that he can hold his breath for 90 seconds. Andy does not win and the disappointment sends his life in a different direction.

After breaking the law, he is sent to spend the summer with an unknown uncle. Uncle Trent (Jason Patrick) lives on the remote island, once owned by his grandfather. He and his younger brother Mark (Benjamin Stockham) learn that their eccentric grandfather once owned the island, but vanished without a trace, taking with him the secret to a huge fortune.

The boys discover a challenging treasure hunt and follow the clues with hope of finding the treasure in time to save and heal their broken family. Along the way, they face many obstacles. Andy is not happy about having his younger brother Mark tag along, but later realizes and comes to appreciate Mark's loyalty and knowledge. I liked one scene in which Mark is lying in bed with his life jacket on and Andy asks him why? He replies to Andy because "Mom" told me to keep it on" and besides it is cozy.

There is a small side story about young love between Andy and Claire Broman (Celeste Desjardins). Claire is the daughter of John Broman (Cary Elwes), who is seeking the Walton fortune and wants to change the island.

Since Lost & Found takes place on a remote costal island, it has a cloudy, mysterious feel. It is filmed partly along the coast of Washington state and Canada. It has good production values and would work well on the big screen. It is very watchable and I plan to watch it again. It has several lessons appropriate for the entire family. The main lesson is voiced in a statement "what we do in the dark will come out in the light." Keeping secrets from family members can lead to discord, anger and pain. I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18 and adults will enjoy it also. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars. This is an independent production with big production values so, look for it at your local Film Festival or on DVD. Discover the results of Andy and Mark's treasure hunt! Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - With beautiful filming locations and promising filmmakers, this Indie film is wonderfully entertaining. The story is about teenage brothers (Benjamin Stockham & Justin Kelly) who embark on a treasure hunt to restore their family's lost fortune. The directors and producers noble attempt at making a fun family treasure hunt film are evident in the production aspect. Joseph Itaya, who has been a part of incredible short films in the past like Monsoon, sits in the directing chair of his first feature and manages to make the look of the film riveting. Delightful use of lighting and outdoor sites invite people right into the adventure. However, looks can only go so far and where this film falls a bit short is in the screenplay. Some lines are droll and there is an unnecessary plot twist. Even with its minor bumps, if you're looking for a campy mystery, Lost and Found will provide enough entertainment for movie night with the family. I recommend it for ages 8 to 18 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Keefer B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99
Media: FeatureFilm


BUNYAN & BABE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BUNYAN & BABE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
CINEDIGN
Series: ANIMATED FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Travis (Johnny Orlando) and his sister Whitney visit their grandparents for the summer and stumble upon the evil plan of a greedy land developer (Kelsey Grammer) to steal the land of the town's longtime residents. While running from one of the developer's goons, Travis falls through a magical portal which transports him to the world of American hero, Paul Bunyan (John Goodman) & his pet ox, Babe (Jeff Foxworthy). Bunyan and Babe get wrapped up in a brand new adventure, and with the help of their new friends Travis and Whitney, they save the town. Together they learn firsthand that you don't have to be big to do big things. Starring John Goodman, Kelsey Grammer, Jeff Foxworthy, Mark Hamill and Johnny Orlando (YouTube Sensation)
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - > This film has entertainment value and also teaches an important lesson. The characters are a strong point and I love the story line. It's original and creative. A young boy goes with his sister to his Grandparent's farm. The young boy, who loves his video games and cell phone, goes off to nature which is a great lesson in itself, but there is much more to the story. There are the greedy villains, who are twin brothers, that need to be defeated. The young boy transports back in time to the time period of Paul Bunyan and Babe. This film flows well and the animation and sound effects really bring it to life. It also has star power with characters being voiced by Kelsey Grammer, John Goodman, Jeff Foxworthy and Mark Hamill. I give this 5 out of 5 stars for its excellent entertainment value and powerful message. I recommend it for ages 7-18. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is really unique and interesting. I have never before seen a plot quite like this. The events that happen are quite unusual and I really enjoyed how the ending turned out.

The film follows Travis (Johnny Orlando) who encounters some challenges when he goes to his grandparent's farm for the summer. By accident, he travels to a different world and gets some big help from the legendary Paul Bunyan (John Goodman) and his talking blue ox, Babe. When they get back to the normal world, they realize that he didn't just end up in a different world for no reason. He is chased after witnessing Blackstone, a magician, hypnotize a store owner and force her to sell her land to him. Blackstone's bodyguard is the one who chased him. Eventually, everyone realizes that Blackstone and his brother, Norm Blandsford (Kelsey Grammer) a greedy land developer, are working together. They realize the problem is bigger than they initially thought.

I love how John Goodman's voice perfectly fits what I think Paul Bunyan might sound like. His voice is deep and strong like a macho man, which seems really fitting. I also liked how Travis (Johnny Orlando) uses his voice to help us know what Travis is feeling. For example, when Travis wants to help Paul Bunyan find Babe, his voice sounds really determined, which shows the audience how persevering he is.

The animation is spectacular. I particularly enjoyed seeing how the body language of each character shows what they are feeling. I also enjoyed seeing Blackstone's hypnotic device on his hand. It is amazing how the animators made the light look like it was going toward the character and not just staying on the screen of the device. I almost felt like I was being hypnotized myself!

My favorite part of the film is when Babe escapes and starts drinking the toxic water. It amused me that he was so careless. I couldn't believe that he didn't see how the color of the water was abnormal and it looked really gross. It was funny to me when Norm Blandsford sees Babe who is just lying there, out cold.

This film's message is one that many children and even adults can relate to - even though you are small, you can still do big things. This doesn't only mean small size-wise. It can also mean small, as in just one person in a big world. This message encourages people to keep trying and to never give up, no matter what challenges are in your way, such as being small. The message can also inspire people to not limit themselves as to what they can do, because of things they can't control, such as being small, not pretty, or not being smart. This message is very important and could help a lot of people get over their insecurities and be more confident in themselves.

I really enjoyed watching this movie and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to ages of 4 to 10. You can watch this fantastic film on Google Play on January 12 and in theaters February 3. You should definitely check out this awesome movie. I think you'll be glad you did.

By Jolleen Mejia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


MONSTER TRUCKS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MONSTER TRUCKS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Topic - Family
Description - Looking for any way to get away from the life and town he was born into, Tripp (Lucas Till), a high school senior, builds a Monster Truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars. After an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site displaces a strange and subterranean creature with a taste and a talent for speed, Tripp may have just found the key to getting out of town and a most unlikely friend.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is the fun, adventurous comedy that is perfect for the whole family. In this stupendous movie, there is a fun story line, quirky characters and terrific graphics. The way they incorporate each and every person's unique talents and personality traits is incredible. On top of that, there is an adorable comedic monster that is not scary but cute, silly and goodhearted.

This movie is about a teenager named Tripp (Lucas Till) and his tutor Meredith (Jane Levy). One day, Tripp finds a remarkable creature that has never been heard of before. He decides to keep the creature and names him Creech. Tripp makes a huge truck where he can keep Creech inside and use Creech as the engine. He then has to get Creech back home with the help of Meredith. The oil people, which only loves money, want him dead. If people find out about him they will want to study him and protect him. This would cause the company to shut down.

My favorite scene is when Creech Meredith and Tripp are hiding and doing a speed chase with the evil people who want to take Creech away from them to experiment on him. I love this because Creech is climbing walls, jumping on top of buildings and driving on top of the roofs. The graphics in this scene are spectacular and had me staring in awe at how well are executed. The characters have some hilarious jokes that had me laughing until my stomach hurt.

My favorite characters are Creech and Meredith. I love him because he is funny, adorable, sweet and silly. I usually do not like creepy squids but this one is adorable. He provides comic relief that will have you smiling and laughing all the way. Meredith is the smart, quirky kind one who just wants to do what's right and help everyone that she can. Tripp is also very humorous and goodhearted and I love that about him. He brings the film to life and has you cheering for him throughout the movie.

I recommend this to kids ages 7 to 18. Kids will love the characters that they can relate to, the adorable monster Creech and the story. Adults will love the graphics and the well written jokes. It is perfect for the whole family as a silly, feel good movie. I give this 5 out of 5 Monster Truck Stars.

By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I really enjoyed watching the film Monster Trucks. It is a very action packed, science filled and exciting. It's a film that will have younger views hooked from the very beginning. The animation, cast and storyline all help tie this movie together in a way that is so amazing.

The story is about Tripp (Lucas Till) who lives in a small town that he isn't all that fond of. He builds a Monster Truck from pieces of scrapped cars. After an unexpected accident at a oil-drilling site called Trevaax, a strange creature is let loose who meets Tripp and Meredith (Jane Levy). The three set out on a joyride to protect their new subterranean creature friend.

My favorite part about the film is when all three creatures reunite with each other-thanks to Tripp and the gang and are set off to return to their homes. I really like this part because it is almost a happy ending, even though it isn't the end yet. Throughout the film, there are many pleasant scenes and I love the positive way that we see how Tripp and Creech's relationship grows. Friendship is a huge theme which is great because that is something that everyone benefits from.

Without giving away the ending, the message of this film is that family and friends are very important no matter what they look like. Another message is to always fight for what you believe is right in the end. Tripp is skeptical about Creech at the beginning of the film, but as it progressed, so do his feelings for the friendly creature. They form a bond with each other to keep one another safe no matter what the circumstances. Another example is with one of the scientists who works for the "evil" oil-drilling company. He realizes towards the end that what his company is doing could be harming others and has a change of heart for the creatures. I recommend Monster Trucks for ages 5 through 13 due to the lively colors, action packed theme and fun filled excitement. I rate this film a 5 out of 5 stars for its kid-friendly, thrilling storyline and talented cast. This film opens nationwide in theaters on January 13, 2017.

By Imani B. G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

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


FENCES

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FENCES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Troy Maxson makes his living as a sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh. Maxson once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but was deemed too old when the major leagues began admitting black athletes. Bitter over his missed opportunity, Troy creates further tension in his family when he squashes his son's chance to meet a college football recruiter.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon

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


MONSTER CALLS, A

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MONSTER CALLS, A       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The monster does not come walking often. This time it comes to Connor, and it asks for the one thing Connor cannot bring himself to do. Tell the truth. This is a very touching story about a boy who feels very damaged, guilty and mostly angry. He struggles at school with bullies, and pity looks from everyone, and at home with his mother's sickness. Will Connor overcome his problems? Will everything be okay? Will Connor be able to speak the truth?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is just amazing! The monster is very realistic, the plot is new, unique and compelling, and the movie moved me to tears.

This is an adapted story from the award-winning novel. The story begins when Conor O'Malley (Lewis MacDougall) meets a monster (Liam Neeson) during what Conor thinks is a dream. Conor already has enough on his plate with bullies at his school, his mother's (Felicity Jones) illness and the pressure that his grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) will take him away from his mother. Plus, Conor's father is living far away where he cannot support his child through the mental and physical challenges that he is undergoing.

Lewis MacDougall portrays Conor O'Malley extremely well. He draws the audience into his world and really makes them experience his pain. The way that MacDougall shows how Conor loves his mother and doesn't want her to go makes everyone feel heartbroken. MacDougall pulls you in with his great acting skills that make this film enjoyable as your mood swings form tears of joy to extreme sadness throughout the whole movie.

The monster's appearance looks extremely realistic. The monster's body is very detailed with multiple branches sticking out of it and you see the branches grow and entangle everything they come across. I also love the sound effects. Whenever the monster wakes up and comes out of the ground, the sound of breaking branches and his growl are very realistic which make him seem completely real.

My favorite part of the movie is when Conor and his mother are together in his mother's final moments and the monster is there watching over them. It is really touching to see them together, but sorrowful at the same time because, you know that the mother has to go. It really moved me seeing how much they love each other.

The message of this story is that you have to learn to face the truth and accept it. You can't hide from your problems and expect them to go away. You must accept the truth. You have to be strong and learn to let go and move on.

This movie is really spectacular and riveting. I give it 5 out of 5 monster stars. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. There is too much drama and death for younger viewers. You can find this movie in theaters now. It is truly wonderful and you should definitely check it out.

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

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


LION

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LION       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WEINSTEIN CO, THE
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - In 1986, Saroo was a five-year-old child in India of a poor but happy rural family. On a trip with his brother, Saroo soon finds himself alone and trapped in a moving decommissioned passenger train that takes him to Calcutta, 1500 miles away from home. Now totally lost in an alien urban environment and too young to identify either himself or his home to the authorities, Saroo struggles to survive as a street child until he is sent to an orphanage. Soon, Saroo is selected to be adapted to the Brierley family in Tasmania, where he grows up in a loving prosperous home. However, for all his material good fortune, Saroo finds himself plagued by his memories of his lost family in his adulthood and tries to search for them even as his guilt drives him to hide this quest from his adoptive parents and his girlfriend. Only when he has an epiphany does he realize not only the answers he needs but also the steadfast love he has always had with all his loved ones in both worlds.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Lion is a beautifully produced film that truly captivated my heart and became one of my favorite movies. This film captures everything that I look for in a film. It is filled with emotional, heart-touching scenes, a powerful message and wonderful cinematography. It is very unique and special, very different from what you ordinarily see at the cinema.

The story tells about 5-year-old, vulnerable Indian boy Saroo who gets lost on a train and travels thousands of miles across India away from his dear family. Saroo faces many hardships of life all by himself. Eventually he is taken in and adopted by a caring Australian couple. Years later Saroo feels a part of himself missing and is filled with murky memories of his past as a young child in India. Using Google Earth, Saroo is determined and passionate to find his lost family through the use of this tool.

The lovable and kind Saroo is played by the talented Dev Patel who also had the leading role in the Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Dav Patel portrays Saroo's passionate determination to be reunited with his family and country in the most believable way. Rooney Mara plays adult Saroo's girlfriend who aids him in finding his family. Sue Brieerley, Saroo's adopted mother is portrayed by Nicole Kidman in another stunning performance.

The film runs 120 minutes and I have many favorite scenes, but what touched me most is watching the passion that drives Saroo to find his family. Although he faces many hardships and issues, his love and passion for his family drive him to not quit but overcome every obstacle. Seeing his dedication to be reunited with his roots is inspiring.

The message of this film touched my heart, due to similar personal experience I share with Saroo. As someone who also left their motherland at age six to come to a country with better opportunities I, like Saroo, know how it feels to be reunited with your motherland and have only mercury memories from where you come from. So I relate very deeply to the message of not forgetting your origins and staying true to your background and roots. In addition, the film portrays the message of family and unity, which are dear to me as well.

I highly recommend this film for ages 13 to 18. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and expect to see this film be nominated for an Oscar. It is playing in theaters now so, go check it out. You will be glad you did.

By Maria Guerrero, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

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


PASSENGERS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PASSENGERS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The spaceship, Starship Avalon, in its 120-year voyage to a distant colony planet known as the "Homestead Colony" and transporting 5,258 people has a malfunction in one of its sleep chambers. As a result one hibernation pod opens prematurely and the one person that awakes, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) is stranded on the spaceship, still 90 years from his destination.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What happens when you blend fantastic acting, beautiful visual effects, intense story and a surprising ending? You get a unique and exciting film called Passengers. Surprisingly, the main genre is not action or adventure, but a romance. With that, of course, comes drama as well.

Passengers begins when a deep space colony ship called Starship Avalon encounters some technical issues. It has only been 30 years into its 120 year voyage and one passenger, a mechanic named Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), awakens from his hibernation pod. After a year of loneliness, he is joined by another person, who also wakes up named Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence). The two live on the ship completely alone and soon realize that the starship they call home needs some fixing. If they don't do something, they and the 5,000 others aboard may die.

The concept of a romantic sci-fi is very unexpected and unique. Most viewers will be surprised because it is advertised as an action-packed adventure. It does contain some action elements, but most of the film is very romantic and dives deep into humans' nature under unique circumstances. The romance itself is smooth and realistic. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are enjoyable as separate characters and together they are simply perfect. They talk to each other very lightly and make the story entertaining despite that we only watch the two of them for most of the film. That is another fantastic aspect of Passengers. Everything is simple from the sets to the characters and even the story. That doesn't make it a boring film. With dramatic acting and beautiful visual effects, it is very much an entertaining story, which is hard to achieve with so few elements.

There is a small issue in one specific scene which slightly ruins the entire story. The scene contains a medical bed that gives you several options, including stem cell regeneration. Although this seems normal in a sci-fi film, the main problem is that it ruins the entire story. Brain stem cells allow you to live much longer than normal, which kills the whole "90 years till everyone else wakes up, and we'll be dead" element. This is the main problem with the characters. Another big thing about the stem cell aspect, is that they never have a role in the story. It is just an option for a robotic medical bed in the background, but because the option exists, it makes a huge part of the plot questionable.

My favorite scene is when both Aurora and Jim are awake and already getting close. One day, the ship's A.I. tells all passengers to go to the observatory as it passes very close to a star. They run to the observatory to see the flames of a red giant, with the ship almost touching the surface. I loved this because it is a stunning visual scene mixed with intense music and spectacular acting which makes your adrenaline pump.

There are several mature moments, which make this unsuitable for younger children. I recommend it for ages 9 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars because, despite it being a fantastic sci-fi romance, with beautiful special effects and fantastic acting, the fact that one scene jeopardizes the main conflict of the story is a big downside. It is still an enjoyable film which I would recommend for all to see and opens in theaters on December 21, 2016 so, go check it out.

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

Passengers is a decent movie filled with romance and sci-fi vibes. The acting and stellar special effects impressed me. However, there are many logic errors and things, which don't make sense. It is still very watchable.

The story is about two passengers, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) and Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence), who are stranded on a spaceship, Starship Avalon, which is on a course to the Homestead Colony. This journey Is supposed take 120 years. Unfortunately, Jim and Aurora wake up from their hibernation pods thirty years into the journey. With 90 years left in the journey, the two try to go back to hibernation, but it doesn't succeed. During the trip, the two fall in love and try to enjoy their time spent on the Avalon, but aboard the ship a series of malfunctions occur. Jim and Aurora must figure out how to save the ship and the lives of the others in the hibernation pods.

Chris Pratt delivers an excellent multi-faceted performance and steals the show as Jim, presenting both comedy and romance. There are also scenes where Jim emotes his sadness, frustration and loneliness before he meets Aurora. Jennifer Lawrence's performance as Aurora, a writer who wants to capture new adventures, has good chemistry with Chris Pratt's character. Michael Sheen as Arthur, an android bartender, delivers good comic relief and is an interesting character.

Morten Tyldum's direction keeps the movie flowing at a fast pace especially in scenes when the ship is in danger. The special effects are great, especially the space effects and the swimming pool scenes when there is a loss of gravity. My favorite scene is the scene where Jim and Aurora first explore space. Their acting is marvelous. The idea of vending machines that can make all sorts of coffee is a cool one. This movie does have numerous logic issues and the lack of realism makes some scenes really weird. There is a scene where Jim is faced against a big ball of fire. The only protection he has is a small shield. Also, the issues that happen, supposedly caused from something that happened two years back, are not believable because issues come immediately after such a big problem rather than in slow, short installments.

The movie has a great message. Jim and Aurora heroically save the spaceship and more than 5000 passengers in hibernation in spite of the fact they know that they won't be alive when they reach Homestead Colony. I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 years old. I don't recommend this movie for younger kids because it has few romantic scenes, which are not appropriate for them. This film opens in theaters on December 21st, so go check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


ASSASSIN'S CREED

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ASSASSIN'S CREED       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 - Through Abstergo a company that creates a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the memories of his ancestor, Aguilar de Nerha (Aguilar Of Nerha), in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins and Templars, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Films like these are difficult to recommend for people to watch. Assassin's Creed is a film that isn't bad, but it certainly isn't good. Based on the video game series, it's very divisive and my recommendation depends on the person I am recommending it to. On one hand, the action sequences are engaging and well paced, but on the other hand, the movie takes itself much too seriously and is too thickly plotted. It falls to the conventions of a bad action film and yet it finely executes the entertainment aspects of a watchable action film. Therefore, Assassin's Creed proves to be a very mediocre movie.

One of the major questions is whether the film does the game justice or is it a good adaptation. To that I would say yes. The action sequences emulate the video games very well, but the story is something different. As a matter of fact, Ubisoft said that they'd consider using elements from the film in future games. However, I'm sure that playing a videogame with this plot would be much more exciting that watching it. This movie lacks excitement and, more importantly, it lacks fun. Director Justin Kurzel, director of 2015's Macbeth, takes this movie much too seriously. He attempts to add too much depth to these characters and spends much too much time on the back story, motivation and plot. As a matter of fact, I find the cast to be a waste. Four Oscar nominees? Charlotte Rampling, Jeremy Irons, Marion Cotillard, Brendan Gleeson and Michael K. Williams portray supporting characters and they all look like they're having no fun. There's a difference between serious melodrama and fun melodrama that embraces the cheesiness of the piece. The performances in this film fall under the former and they really doesn't work. An audience watching this doesn't want to invest that much, they don't want that kind of heaviness.

The only redeeming quality are the action scenes, without the big names. There is some sensational fight choreography and impressive stunt work. During the moments of action, the film is engaging, exciting, and even edge-of-your-seat captivating. The stunt doubles must have had fun jumping from 125 foot buildings and jumping from roof to roof. It's these scenes and moments that nearly make it worth enduring the long scenes of dialogue and development. That's where the divisiveness comes in. Are the bad parts of overly dramatic plot and character development worth seeing the exhilarating, entertaining action sequences? Well that's a question that depends on the person. To action movie fans and fans of the game, I would say it is worth it. But to the casual action fan or those looking to be entertained that have no attachment to the game, I believe you'll find the film mediocre. Therefore, I give the movie 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It can be seen at your local theater.

By Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Assassin's Creed is an action packed film filled with an amazing choice of actors and actresses. Usually I don't enjoy films that have a lot of violence in them, but this film has a storyline that always has you on the edge of your seat ready to see what would happen next.

The cast is outstanding and their characters are so well written that, at points make you feel sad for them although they are considered bad people. This film is about Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) who finds out that he is the descendent of Aguilar the last known Assassin to have possession of the Apple of Eden. At the beginning, he is in denial of being considered part of the secret society of Assassins because, as a small child he watched his father, a member of the Assassins, kill his mother. Sofia (Marion Cotillard) is a scientist trying to find a cure for violence with the help of her father (Jeremy Irons). This leads to the wonderful sci-fi part of the film with its revolutionary technology that allows Callum to unlock genetic memory of his ancestor Aguilar.

My favorite part is when Callum goes through his genetic memory and learns the same skills his ancestor, Aguilar, had in order to fight off the people that are taking advantage of him and the other assassins. Another part that stands out is when sometimes they speak Spanish. I really like that because it shows how well thought out the film is. Furthermore the CGI is the best I've seen so far and I personally would go watch this film a second time. This film has many amazing plot twist that just leave you speechless, but you have to watch this film to know what I'm talking about.

I recommend this film to ages 13 to 18 due to the amount of violence shown. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars because, although it is such a good film with its dialect, script and settings, there are very few parts that leave you confused as to what is going on. This film opens in theaters December 21, 2016 so go check it out.

By Lizeth Gallegos, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

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


NEVER AGAIN IS NOW

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEVER AGAIN IS NOW       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
XXX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 4-18
Topic - Family
Description - From the producers of The Blaze TV's For the Record comes a documentary investigating the troubling rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, a story told through the eyes of a woman who fled to America in 2004 to escape it. Evelyn Markus was raised in Holland by parents who witnessed the growing anti-Jewish violence of the 1940s. Her parents survived the Holocaust when Allied soldiers liberated them in 1945. When Markus saw signs of the same disturbing trends returning to the Netherlands, she left the land her family called home for centuries. Today she confronts the hatred that drove her out, and embraces her life's mission -- to prevent one of history's darkest chapters from repeating. The documentary is now available at The Blaze TV.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely love this documentary. Never Again is Now not only tells inspirational stories of the Holocaust, but also brings to light problems that are taking place in the world today that many people know nothing about. In Europe, there is a rise in anti-Semitism, with no foreseeable end. This documentary informs you about this hidden threat in a compelling and passionate way.

Never Again is Now focuses on educating the world about what is happening in Europe. The stories they reveal are inspiring, but also dramatic, very sad and unbelievably real. Especially when the creator talks about how her door was marked with a pink Star of David, not just targeting her and her wife as Jews but indicating, in a Nazi fashion, that they are a gay couple.

The documentary starts with stories of families who lost someone in the Holocaust or who witnessed the horrible acts of Nazi Germany first-hand. A unique aspect of the film shows the American Veterans who liberated cities from Nazi Germany's hold and discovered the concentration camps. They never knew they existed, nor were they trained to ever deal with such things or to have empathy for the survivors. The movie then talks about the rise of Anti-Semitism in countries such as Netherlands, France and United Kingdom. It talks about events that took place from 2001 to 2015, the rise of hate speech and assaults on Jewish people and Israel. The entire documentary keeps referring to one strong message, the necessity to inform people and not let those who try to destroy Judaism and destroy its communities win.

What Never Again is Now does so well is it tell the history of the Holocaust and draw a parallel to today, while delicately connecting the two. Many documentaries do either one but rarely both and this truly allows you to listen to people who experienced concentration camps and the Nazi rule that happened 70 years ago, is happening again. The narration is done by Evelyn Markus, who is also the creator of Never Again is Now. Her vision not only makes the whole story flow brilliantly, but has other excelling aspects. One of its most unique things it brings out is how many Islamic people were raised to believe Jewish people are horrible. It shows how these people grew up hating Jews, without even knowing anything about the atrocities of the Holocaust.

My favorite scene is when the film shows the Veterans who liberated a train heading to a death camp. We hear stories of WWII Veterans who fought bravely to free Europe from Hitler's rule, but you never hear stories of how they handled liberating the concentration camps. A Veteran talks about how they had never heard the words concentration camp before and never were trained to be a humanitarian in any fashion. When they freed those who survived the train, they had to take them to a liberated city with artillery on its way. I love this scene because it just shows such a unique aspect I have never seen in a documentary before. The art direction is also beautiful. They make old black and white photographs look almost 3D and move just a slight bit to attempt to bring them to life.

Despite this being a film everyone should watch, it is very mature. I recommend it to ages 11 to 18. Parents should know that it does not hide the truth in any way. It talks openly and directly about issues and brutalities of the world. I give Never Again is Now 5 out of 5 stars for its fantastic narration, story, message, concept and special effects. This is one the most meaningful documentaries I have ever seen. I urge kids and adults to see it, not just because I'm Jewish, but because, when hate like this rises in the world, it eventually affects everyone, not just one ethnic group. This film is in limited release. For a list of screenings, go to http://www.neveragainisnowfilm.com

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

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


LA LA LAND

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LA LA LAND       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Mia, an aspiring actress, serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions and Sebastian, a jazz musician, scrapes by playing cocktail party gigs in dingy bars, but as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Love this film. It so reminds me of films from The Golden Age of Hollywood musicals. Fun right from the amazing one shot first scene. Emma Stone plays the role of Mia with conviction and verge. You want to just squeeze her in one big hug. Ryan Gosling - who knew he could play the piano and dance! And, according to what I've read, he practiced like crazy and played it himself in one take on day one of shooting. Now, that's amazing. The film is presented in CinemaScope, using the 1953 20th Century Fox logo. Now that's cool. The costumes by Mary Zophres are stunning. The locations are all iconic LA and wonderful. It's my favorite musical of the year! Go see it! You'll smile, laugh and walk away singing and dancing.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - La La Land is one of the most different and entertaining movies of recent times I have ever seen. The acting and the melodious musical numbers mesmerized me. The colorful setting and dresses also add to the cinematic flair.

The story is about two aspiring people with dreams of what they want to become, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone). Sebastian is an exceptional jazz pianist who wants to revive jazz with his own jazz club which he dreams to make and Mia dreams to be an exceptional actress. The two meet under random circumstances, somewhat rudely. Drawn together by their aspiration to do what they love, they fall for each other. However, their dreams conflict with their love for each other.

Ryan Gosling excellently expresses his love for jazz and Mia. He enacts the piano playing part exceptionally well and it really looks like he is a gifted jazz pianist. Emma Stone is a show stealer as Mia with her expressive eyes, aspirations and acting skills, especially during the scenes where her character auditions and her chemistry with Ryan Gosling is amazing. John Legend, as Keith, utilizes his short on-screen time well, portraying a man with a different taste in jazz which Sebastian doesn't like, and he happens to be a good friend in need.

Damien Chazelle's direction keeps the movie flowing from one beautiful musical number to the next. Mandy Moore's exceptional choreography charms us, particularly in "A Lovely Night," which was done in one-shot on a hilltop on Sunset, and includes amazing dancing from the main actors. My favorite scene is the scene in the planetarium with creative visuals such as Sebastian and Mia flying in the sky, dancing. Sebastian and Mia's dresses in the movie are spectacular and some of the best I have seen in a movie. The film is also shot in cinemascope which gives it the vibe of many golden Hollywood musicals.

The movie has a positive message about Mia and Sebastian never giving up their dreams. Despite multiple failures, Mia still pursues her dreams about being an actress and the same with Sebastian about starting a jazz club. I give this movie 5, out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. The only inappropriate thing about the movie is some of the language, but that is infrequent. This is a movie which everyone will enjoy. This film opens in theaters on December 25, 2016, so go and check it out for a unique musical unlike any other.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


HIDDEN FIGURES

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HIDDEN FIGURES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURES, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers", we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This absolutely fantastic film will inspire so many people to never give up on their dreams and talents. It shows that you can do anything if you put your mind to it.

The movie takes place in the 1960s where sexism and racial discrimination is still at a high. There is fear of the Soviet Union since they already have the technology to send astronauts into space, though there is still hope for America. This is a true story which revolves around three extremely intelligent African-American women - Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Mary Jackson (Janelle Mon�e) and Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) who all work for the NASA program. They are the brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell). The woman struggle with using their brilliance since they live in a world where the color of their skin defines who they are and who they are not going to be.

The acting is fabulous! Taraji P. Henson is made to play Katherine Johnson. Taraji highlights the braveness and intelligence of her character, adding a bit of a quirky side as well. I feel that I know her character like a friend. Mary Jackson (Janelle Mon�e) is my favorite character out of them all. She has this determination in her that is mind blowing. She can be very serious at times, but one of the most hilarious people at others. Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) definitely takes on the leader role. When watching this film you feel for her struggles and want her to succeed so badly. Octavia brings boldness and sarcasm that just makes you adore her. I felt the strong friendship between these woman.

I could tell how much time was spent in designing the set and costumes. The sets are so realistic that I felt transformed into that time period. I loved looking at the small details added to each set. Renee Ehrlich Kalfus designed the costumes which are so colorful and suit each character perfectly. It is so interesting to see how different the clothes were back then. The costumes helped add to it being the 60s.

My favorite scene is when Al Harrison (Kevin Costner) breaks down the colored woman's bathroom sign to show that everyone can share the same restroom. Al Harrison is the head of the NASA launch program. This is my favorite scene because I loved seeing someone who looked beyond the color of people's skin.

The main message of this film is to never give up on your dreams, even when people tell you that you can't. The three woman look beyond their gender and their skin color. They look at the talents they have. One example of this is when Katherine Johnson is talking to Jim Johnson. Jim is surprised as to why they are having a woman do such important things at NASA. Katherine retorts with an inspiring line "Yes they let women do some things at NASA Mister Johnson. And it's not because we wear skirts. It's because we wear glasses!" I recommend this film for ages 9 to 18. The younger audiences will enjoy learning about the past and be inspired to shoot for the stars. The older audiences will like the comedy and the amazing story. I give this film a 5 out of 5 astronaut stars. It opens in theaters on January 6, 2017 so go check it out!

Reviewed by Talia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This inspirational feature film, based on a true story, captured my full-focused attention for the entire movie. Not only is it emotionally charged, but it is also historically educational. This movie is sure to give your family a lot of thought provoking conversations to have around the dinner table.

Based on a true story, three African-American women, Mary Jackson, Katherine G. Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan, work for NASA during a time of racial tension and segregation in the 1960s. Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) became NASA's first African-American female supervisor and self-taught FORTRAN programmer. Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) became the first African-American woman engineer and Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Hensen) was a mathematician and physicist. These three women not only helped NASA send a man to space, but carved a path for other women and African-Americans to hold high powered positions previously held only by Caucasian men.

My favorite character is Mary Jackson. Janelle Monae truly captures the spunk and tenacity of the real-life character she plays. She is inspiring, dedicated and truthful. I find it interesting that Ms. Monae's first passion is singing and songwriting and Hidden Figures is only her second feature film as an actress, with the other being the award winning Moonlight from 2016. The only negative comment I might share is that I would have preferred some elements to be expanded within the storyline so that I could learn even more about the lives of these three women, especially my favorite character, Mary Jackson.

There are so many messages one can take from Hidden Figures, but two specifically stick out in my mind. First, that you should not allow someone else to put a ceiling on your dreams and second, that history teaches us empathy for others.

Hidden Figures has some cussing, but nothing derogatory toward another person. It is a period piece set in 1961 and based on a true story. Audiences do encounter terminology and situations that were the harsh reality at that time, so some kids may not be mature enough to understand and grasp the full message of the movie. This film is correctly rated PG and is suitable for the whole family to enjoy together. But, because of the period content, I recommend for ages 8 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

By Tristan Tierce, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 14 years old.

Hidden Figures is a very inspirational movie. The acting and the informative material impressed me tremendously and the costume design adds to the greatness of this movie.

It is based on a true story is about three African American women living in the 1960s. Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) are gifted in math and science and the three manage to work at NASA. They face many difficulties due to their color and gender. Despite working initially in the segregated computer room, the three manage to help America in the space race which was dominated by Russia. The trio also ensure the entry and the return of John Glenn (Glen Powell), who is aboard the Friendship 7 orbiting Earth.

Taraji P. Henson's acting is extremely powerful as Katherine Johnson. She has the look of a mathematical genius. The scene where she explains her struggles to her boss is my most favorite scene in this movie and it brings out Taraji's excellent acting. Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughn is great at both drama and comedy. Janelle Monae's depiction of Mary Jackson as a determined and steadfast lady is excellent and believable. Kevin Costner is another standout performer as Al Harris, head of the Space Task Group. His caring nature of not being a racist is one of the sides of the character which is presented well, as well as his portrayal of always being focused on the task. Glen Powell brings charisma and respect in the famous astronaut, John Glenn.

Theordore Belfi's direction gives the movie room for all three of the women to show their hardships and triumphs. The music, composed by Hans Zimmer and Pharrell Williams appropriately enhances the setting of the movie. The costumes, for all the characters, are well designed and really look like attire from the 1960s. My only complaint is that only Katherine Johnson gets a proper back story, explaining her past, but we don't really learn about the background of the other two women. The movie excels at defining the contributions of all three women.

The movie has a positive message about never giving up, no matter how much of a struggle. Despite the racist behavior and the challenges of the job, the trio never give up. For example, Katherine is constantly faced with the cold behavior of her colleagues. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. The youngest audience members might be a bit bored since this is an informative type of movie, but if they are interested in math, science or history, then they should go and see it. This film is available in theaters January 6, 2017, so go and check it out for an inspirational true story.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


SING

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SING       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Buster Moon a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal-some might even say delusional-optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now faced with the crumbling of his life's ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world's greatest singing competition.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Great film! Perfect for taking your kids or grandkids between the ages of 7 and 18, maybe even younger. Wonderful storyline, delightful music, excellent animation. Most importantly is the music. It is simply wonderful and worth going to see for that alone. The animated characters are lovingly illustrated and I found myself rooting for Buster Moon even though he was a bit of a goofball. This is definitely one to not miss. It's in theaters now.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Illumination Entertainment has done it again! The creators of Despicable Me, Pets and Minions have brought us more talking animals to love; and this time they sing!

Sing is about a Koala named Buster Moon who loves the theater so much that he buys a theater and follows his dreams. His theater is going through some hard times, so he holds a singing competition. Ash, Buster Moon, Rosita, Mike, Meena, Johnny and Gunter are some of the competitors, and they all have important stories to tell.

Each character is like a small subplot, so you get some good background information. Voiced by big names such as Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon and Seth MacFarlane, we get to know and love each character. Ash is a rock singer who lives with a stuck up boyfriend. Rosita is a pig who has many kids and a husband, but she doesn't feel appreciated by any of them. Mike is a little street mouse or rat with attitude that gets him in some interesting situations. Meena is an elephant that is super shy and Johnny is an ape that is stuck in a family job of robbery.

My favorite character is Johnny because he believes in what he loves and never stops trying to pursue his dreams. He almost runs two lives, doing what he wants to do while also participating in the family business of robbery.

My favorite scene is the car wash scene. Buster Moon has to wash cars to make some money, so his friend Eddie helps him. Buster Moon washes as Eddie dries. This scene is very funny because they use their bodies to wash and dry.

The moral to this film is to never give up on your dreams. We see how all the characters have an event in their lives that holds them back from what they really want to do and what their true talents are.

This movie is called Sing, so I expected some major singing. I like how there are popular songs incorporated into the movie. All the characters have amazing voices and some are very comical. The singing really made me want to get up and start singing.

The animation is super colorful, creative and detailed. You can see small details on the animals like the fur on the apes and the quills on the porcupines. I love how the animal characteristics and human characteristics are combined and balanced out perfectly to make a human animal. The animals may walk and talk like humans, but they also have some animal traits. The porcupine's quills fly out and the apes run on their feet and hands.

I recommend Sing to ages 6-18 because this is a great family movie for all ages. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars. If you are looking for good clean family fun, go enjoy Sing in theaters near you!

By Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Jyn Erso, a Rebellion soldier and criminal, is about to experience her biggest challenge yet when Mon Mothma sets her out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. With help from the Rebels, a master swordsman, and non-allied forces, Jyn will be in for something bigger than she thinks.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I just finished watching Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and, let me tell you, it is a must see and you don't have to go to a galaxy far away to see it! It's edgy, intense and delivers a lot of thrills. Fans will not be disappointed with this new action packed film.

Meet Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), a defiant and eager character who takes on a desperate mission for the Rebellion to try to steal the plans of the Death Star so they can learn how to destroy it. The question is, will they find the plans and learn how to destroy it or will they fail? You have to see the movie to find out.

I relished watching this movie for its incredible CGI, story and characters. The CGI is amazing. For example, the details of the planets make them look so interesting, realistic and beautiful. Another example is K-2SO (my favorite character) who is completely created by CGI and yet, he looks like a real robot! I also love K-2SO because his sarcastic humor and delivery is hilarious. He acts too smart for his own good and he steals the show. The story has many twists and turns, and it left me with a lot of "what ifs" and I enjoyed that. The new characters are ordinary but strong people who band together to help Jyn and you'll end up liking and rooting for them. Each one is memorable in their own right. I feel like the Star Wars movies are getting better and better. There are some subtle references to previous Star Wars films and some familiar faces. You might be asking, "who?" The answer is, go see the movie to find out!

I did not enjoy how the movie ends because, I felt they could have gone in another direction. But that is just my opinion. Overall, this film is amazing and I think you will definitely enjoy it.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to people who like spinoffs, family, Star Wars films and action / adventure movies. I recommend this for ages 8 to 18 as well as adults. Be aware there are a few intense scenes and some blood shown. It opens Friday, December 16, 2016 so make sure to check it out in a theater near you.

By KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Ryan R., Age 12

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is definitely a great addition to the Star Wars saga. It has so many amazing things about it and is truly astonishing.

As in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this film has a great female hero, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). She is the perfect person for this role. She is very silent in the beginning and doesn't have as many lines as I thought she would, but it serves as a way to show her character's personality. She seems angry inside and does not care about the Rebellion.

The music uses the Star Wars theme and, even though it is not the exact same music as in the other Star Wars movies, it plays a critical role in making the film come alive. The music is dramatic at times and soft at others and really sets the moods, making scenes more dramatic, even when they aren't that dramatic. The scenery also really makes you feel like you are on another world.

I love the special effects - the explosions, weapons, and spaceships are fantastic and are even better than the amazing special effects in the other Star Wars films. They look so real and are very interesting. The spaceships are the coolest of all the special effects. There are so many different kinds, it is hard to believe that someone put that much time, effort and creativity into designing imaginary aircrafts.

As great as Rogue One is, it is violent and has a lot of death. The death is not bloody or gross in any way but it is still death. Just a warning, some characters that people might get attached to die and some people may get upset because they like that person, so brace for impact. This film feels more like a movie for grown-ups than some of the others in the saga, but it is still great for kids.

This movie is a prequel to Star Wars 4, A New Hope (or number one if you are talking about the order of the films being made) and it comes after the Anakin, Qui Gon Jinn and younger Obi Wan Kenobi section of the saga. This film is called a Star Wars "story", but it is one of the best Star Wars films yet. It explains many things and shows how different things in A New Hope happened. There is one particular part that I needed to have pointed out to me. I will not spoil it, but if you think during the movie about the name, A New Hope, then you should get it.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it adds important details to the previous Star Wars stories, is a great story on its own and is beautifully made. This film is suitable for ages 8 to 18 because it is great for older people but kind of scary for younger kids. It opens in theaters on December 16, 2016 so, go check it out! You'll be glad you did.

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

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


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LONELINESS OF THE SHORT DISTANCE RUNNER, THE
XXX
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 8 TO 12
Topic - Family
Description - A young girl dreams of competing in the Olympics and a local fun run offers her a first opportunity to prove herself. This short comedy was 100% improvised by the lead actor (also the director) when she was just 11 years old.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a fun film that brings up issues for great discussions among the viewers. Without giving away the ending, I'll stay away from what those issues may be. I was concerned about the use of the music and whether the filmmaker has the rights to use it. However, he has assured me that he does. My other concern is that in the beginning of the film, when the girl is whispering into her cell phone you can hardly make out what she is saying. But, it's cute and well constructed as a student film so, I am going to give it a recommendation. Julie S. KIDS FIRST! juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF THE SNAKE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF THE SNAKE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-11
Topic - Family
Description - The universe is in danger. The evil Snake extinguishes the stars as he passes through the galaxy, causing chaos and plunging the planets into darkness. The Little Prince must leave his Asteroid home and beloved friend, Rose, in his quest to outsmart the Snake and save the universe from doom. Accompanied by his trusted companion, the Fox, the Little Prince travels from planet to planet, braving danger and discovering vast and enchanted worlds.� Will the extraordinary gifts of the Little Prince bring each of the planets back to life? And will he ever find his way home?

The Snake is tired of constantly losing against the Little Prince so he decides to risk it all! He goes back to B612, kidnaps Rose and brings her back to his planet. By doing so, he might lose everything because if the Little Prince comes to the Snake's home planet and frees Rose, the Little Prince will also rescue all the gloomy prisoners! Will the Snake regret kidnapping Rose and possibly losing all of his prisoners?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a modern day version of the Little Prince and is slightly darker because of the evil Snake. I like that it takes place in space, because I know my son and many other young kids really like other planets and things in space. The animation is done well, but is a bit old school and not as cool as some of today's animation. The storyline is very good. It is entertaining and has a good plot that is easy to follow. There are some issues with the voices as they are delayed at times. Younger children may not notice the, but the older children will notice it. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. It is a bite scary so I would not recommend for younger than 5. The storyline is entertaining although it's not completely unique. Reviewed by Denise B. KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ever have a dream about you or one of you friends getting captured by an evil snake? I know I have. Then, you should watch the Little Prince: The Planet of the Snake. I particularly enjoyed this movie because the Fox is funny and has a good sense of humor. The Fox is always encouraging The Little Prince to keep on going and keep on trying even when times get rough. I enjoyed the plot of the movie as well as the theme, which is "love is stronger than hate." The Little Prince has a lot of love, which keeps him strong.

This film is about this boy named The Little Prince whose true love, Rose gets captured by an evil snake named Snake. The Little Prince embarks on an adventure with his friend Fox to save Rose and destroy Snake once and for all. The Little Prince along with his friend Fox travel to different planets to look for Snake. They start out on the planet that Fox and The Little Prince live on, Asteroid B612 and travel to different parts of space and various planets.

The Little Prince and the Fox gather many clues, which lead them to the mysterious island where Snake is. They get attacked by a bunch of weird black balls of gas called gloomies, which throw them off track when they try to look for Snake.

This movie is animated and, although it could have been better I still enjoyed the story and its message. The problem for me was that the animation and sound weren't in sync. For example, when the Little Prince spoke, you would see his mouth move and two seconds later you would hear him say the word. That was distracting to me.

Still, this is a great movie for ages 3 to 10. Younger kids might find some of the characters and scenes too frightening. Kids who like animated movies and adventure storylines would really like this movie. I give it 3 out of five stars because of its good story and problems with the sound sync.

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

The Little Prince: The Planet the Snake is a twisting, action-packed animated show for kids. It is based on characters from a famous book by Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry called The Little Prince. It comes as a set of three episodes that create one adventure-filled story. It is fun, fast-paced and very exciting. I enjoyed how it made me feel for The Prince while keeping me excited and interested.

The Little Prince: The Planet the Snake is about The Little Prince's journey to rescue his Rose who has been kidnapped by an evil Snake. The prince uses his magic, the help of his friends and his courage to follow the clues to get to the Snake's planet. He faces many treacheries and traps set up by the Snake on his journey, but he perseveres to rescue his Rose. The series has some very detailed animation and the characters show some great expressions. The overall result very visually interesting. This DVD is a bit darker than other titles in The Little Prince series. I didn't like how it references other episodes of the series because, this makes it unable to stand alone, but it does make me want to see the others! Aidan Drummond and Brian Drummond do the voices of The Little Prince and his Fox. Their expressions, like sadness and joy, are done with great character in their voices.

My favorite part of the DVD are the fight scenes between The Little Prince and the Gloomies. These are monsters that are created out of sadness and the loss of hope. These scenes are always very exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. I also felt that they are spread out enough that they don't get boring or repetitive but keep a consistent theme throughout the show.

The moral of the show is to never lose hope. I feel this is important because it teaches kids to never to give up on their dreams. It also teaches the importance and power of love and reassures us that good always conquers evil. The Little Prince: The Planet the Snake is an interesting film and makes a great addition to the The Little Prince series. I give it 5 out of five stars because it is dramatic and exciting. I recommend it for ages 5 to15. It is available on DVD January 10, 2017 so, go check it out.

By Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I found this movie to be moderately enjoyable. Although the story telling is original, it is confusing and a bit hard to follow. There are many questions that are never answered. It does leave the door open for additional sequels in The Little Prince franchise.

The story consists of a snake plunging the universe into darkness until a boy named The Little Prince and his friend, Fox, set out to stop him and save the world. I admire the creativity that goes into some of the ideas, as this film is certainly unique and original. My favorite character is the Fox who is always there for his friend, The Little Prince. Fox also has the best and most witty lines in the film.

The animation style is interesting and above average. However, I am not a fan of the design for Rose. She is a rose character with a human face. It is really strange and reminded me of one of the animated flowers from Disney's Alice in Wonderland. Aside from that character, I enjoyed the animation, especially the designs for outer space. Hands down, the background animation is my favorite part of the visuals. They look like something out of a charming children's book, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I wish there was more development of the characters. I would have enjoyed seeing more development of The Little Prince character, who struck me as a bit boring. I wanted to know more about him such as, does he have parents? How did he end up in space? I don't know if the director meant to do this, but the character voices are slightly distracting and odd. They sound slightly robotic and almost glitchy. It was distracting for a while, but it only a minor frustration.

I am a newcomer to this series, so I wish there was an introduction to help viewers get up-to-speed about where this movie begins. It was difficult to follow without having seen the previous stories and if you jump into this one as a stand-alone film.

I recommend this movie for ages 4 to 8, especially boys I give it 3 out of 5 stars. The movie releases on DVD on January 10, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The Little Prince: The Planet of the Snake is one of the sequels of the series based on this book. This is a wonderful movie for children and I like it because of its message.

Some of you might know the very popular novel The Little Prince by French author Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry. The Little Prince has been adapted into numerous forms over the decades, books, theater, film, audio record, as well as movies. The Little Prince: The Planet of the Snake is about a young boy that should leave his home planet with his companion Fox to try to defeat the snake that is creating chaos, putting the universe in danger and has also kidnapped his flower friend, Rose. The Little Prince and Fox go on a quest to save Rose, but in their journey, they fight danger and go through many adventures. The Little Prince and Fox discover many interesting things in their journey to rescue Rose and protect the planets. The other challenge is to find their way back home.

I like how the producers adapted this iconic novel into a contemporary animated video for kids. Through this film, kids get to know another tale of adventures based on this classic children's literature. The voice actors are quite wonderful. I particularly like Paul Dobson's voice as the Snake as his sinister act was very believable. The animation is modern CGI which brings this classic into a contemporary format. However, the animation isn't like a Disney film; it is more like the show Miraculous Ladybug.

My favorite character is Fox. I love how comic he is and laughed a lot at his funny comments. I also like how the Fox helps The Prince not lose hope when they think they lost Rose. The message of this movie is to not lose hope. The Prince loses hope but the Fox helps him carry on in saving Rose. That is a good message for children. They can learn to help their friends when they feel sad or want to give up. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 7. You can find this movie at your local store or on Amazon on January 10, 2017 so, go check it out.

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

I loved this fantastic animated film. It made me wonder what was going to happen next.

The characters all have a goal that impacts each other in a different way. For example, the Little Prince sets out to save his Rose, who is in great danger with the snake. While the snake just wants peace and quiet in the galaxy, he still decides to keep the Little Prince's Rose. This causes an unpredictable outcome of where the Rose will end up. Two downsides to the film are many strange aspects that don't make sense and some of the characters that partner with the snake are scary and unappealing. This film, directed by Pierre-Alain Charrier, introduces a boy, The Little Prince, voiced by Aidan Drummond and his pet fox who help the galaxy drive out of darkness and chaos caused by the snake. The snake (Paul Dobson) eliminates the stars of the galaxy with the motive to have peace, quiet and darkness just like it was before. On planet B612, The Little Prince's home, his beloved Rose is abducted by the snake. When he finds out that his Rose was taken by the snake, he sets out to find her. With colliding paths of darkness and light it is a wonderful adventure to watch.

The music is very fitting in various situations such as when the snake is enticing Rose to come home with him. The animation is smooth and vivid. My favorite part of the film is when the fox has to give a mysterious creature a part of himself that holds value. His possession is his sense of humor, so he cracks a joke making the scene funny in a desperate situation. The fox (Brian Drummond) creates a balance of adventure and humor to the storyline. The message of this film is to have hope in any given situation. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars, because of its great message and detailed animation. I recommend it for ages 11 to 13 some characters are slightly scary and unusual looking. Look for this epic movie on DVD on January 20th.

Reviewed by Kamryn B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 15
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-11
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


CAN YOU DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE THE WORLD

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CAN YOU DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE THE WORLD
MARCELINA MARTIN
Series: INDIE ENVIRONMENTA SHORT, AGES 6-18
Topic - Family
Description - Sawyer Miller is part of a year long program for kids in Lake Okoboji, Iowa to create projects that help change the world to make it a better place. The kids decided on their own what they would do. Sawyer discovered a Non Profit organization in California that builds and places beach clean up stations around the San Francisco Bay Area and Hawaii. All One Ocean has now created an educational program to teach children about taking care of our oceans. This is Sawyer's story about how he became "the littlest activist" and engaged his community in the process.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is about a cause that is close and dear to my heart. It is about a kid who starts doing something to change the world and help beaches stay clean. It is a positive, heartwarming type of story with an important message. I give this 4 out of 5 stars because it is family friendly and has a great message. My only issue is the volume of the young boy at the beginning sounds like he is on a speaker phone. It has great visual appeal, flows well and has a great message. It really shows how this child made a difference and how others can as well. Recommended for ages 6 to 18. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


BAD KIDS, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BAD KIDS, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
XXX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A group of teachers at a Mojave Desert high school take an unconventional approach to improve the lives of their struggling students.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is a very inspirational documentary that really tells kids that not everyone's life is easy as it profiles kids who struggle through many battles and differences, including battles with their family. I learned about all the various things that make life really difficult for them but how they have learned to deal with them and not give up. They also learn that if they do continue, their dreams can come true.

I had the pleasure of meeting the filmmakers, Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe when I saw this film and I loved how dedicated they were to making this film. They told me that one of the pleasures of making this film was learning about all the kids, learning their inspirational stories and being able to help them through this journey. Vonda Viland is the principal at the school where these kids go and she said the same thing as well as how much she loves working with these students and helping them come out of their shells as they open up to her. I love her because she's so sweet and kind and I particularly love when we see her heart to heart conversations with her students.

Those are my favorite parts of this film because you can really tell that the students and Ms. Viland have a connection and she really wants to help these kids; help them in their journey to graduate from high school and see that they will be okay. I love how the students really open to her and, later on, you can see how they really develop a bond with her that they care about. It shows that you can talk to people at your school and they can help you get through your journey. I greatly recommend seeing this documentary, especially if you are having a hard time in life because it will help you through those hardships and show you how not to give up. You should keep on going. I love that about this documentary. It's one of my favorite parts because it is so inspirational.

I recommend this film to ages 13 to 18 because younger kids wouldn't understand some of the scenes. But teens will enjoy this film and it will help them deal with difficult times in their lives. I give this 4 � out of 5 stars.

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

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


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
NOSH: BITE-SIZE ADVENTURES
XXX
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Preteens Alex and Taylor are the hosts of Nosh, a kids' cooking show that focuses on one popular dish per episode. With the assistance of their bumbling yet well-meaning young producer, Reese, and occasional guest chefs, the hosts show kids at home how to cook simple, delicious recipes, from spaghetti to chicken pot pie to pizza. In each episode, the hosts delve deeper into the history behind their favorite foods. Through the magic of time travel (and green screen), they teleport through time and space to better understand the origins of the recipes they're creating.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This episodic show has great potential. As a play off the plethora of "made by adult" cooking shows, having these youth hosts is refreshing and new. The somewhat incompetent producer provides some comic relief and the time travel to discover the origins of the food du jour - chile - is perfect. The pace works well. The graphics are bright and fun. The charming talent couldn't be better. I can't wait to see the next episode. Recommended for KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals for ages 8 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 22 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


THOMAS EDISON'S SECRET LAB: TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE LIFTOFF

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THOMAS EDISON'S SECRET LAB: TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE LIFTOFF       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Unknown to the world, Thomas Edison built a secret lab where he invented a virtual version of himself and a steampunk robot named Von Bolt. Years later, Angie, a twelve-year-old science prodigy, discovers the lab. When an old friend of Edison's visits the lab and asks the Secret Lab Kids to help him with an urgent, top-secret project, they have to follow him through a wormhole to get to his own secret lab. Who could this mysterious friend be and what is this top secret project during the holiday season?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a fun ?DVD with a mystery to solve which makes it more interesting than the typical holiday type ?of ?show. I like that this is family friendly, engaging and fun to watch. I also like that this isn't just for the little kids but is appropriate for ages 5? to 12. The characters are my favorite part and they will appeal to kids ?in this age range. I give this 4 ?out of 5 ?stars for ?its entertainment value?. ?I am not sure if it will keep all 12-year-olds interest?ed? but they may ?enjoy ?watch?ing? it with their younger siblings. It's a fun holiday film? and available now on DVD. ?Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: 'Twas the Night Before Liftoff is a wonderful DVD that is educational and interesting and still very funny and entertaining. In it, some very colorful characters have a very important and exciting adventure. It also has an educational, original music video at the end of each episode.

This DVD contains six seasonal episodes of Thomas Edison's Secret Lab that create one special holiday story. It features four kid geniuses who help a virtual Thomas Edison to solve every day and unusual problems using science. In the first episode, Stranger in a Strange Lab, the kids learn about wormholes from Albert Einstein so they can help Thomas Edison's Friend, Bob, with an urgent, top-secret project. In the following episodes, which include Sturm und Drag, All the Heavy Lifting, Twas the Night Before Liftoff, Von Bolt Meets Santa, and And to all a Good Flight, they help him solve problems with his project using their scientific knowledge, scientific theories and the help of historic geniuses such as Isaac Newton, Pythagoras and George Cayley. Meanwhile, Thomas Edison's steampunk robot, Van Bolt, digs deeper into Bob's secrets to reveal his true identity and the real reason his project is so urgent.

This film is very funny and educational, teaching science, history and vocabulary in a very entertaining way. It also contains loads of cool fun facts. I really like how all the scientists that help the four kids are real scientists from history such as Albert Einstein. From watching this DVD, I learned that George Cayley created one of the first flying machine, how airplanes fly and the amount of time you can be in freezing temperatures before getting hypothermia or frostbit. I also learned that batteries die quicker in cold temperatures and how space suits work. My favorite part of the DVD is the original music videos at the end of every episode. They are funny, cool, and catchy and actually help to remember the facts!

I give this DVD five out of five stars because there was nothing I didn't like about it. I recommend it for children age 5 to 13 and I think it would make great holiday viewing for kids that are interested in science and engineering. It is available on DVD now so go check it out.

By Rohan Foxe, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

My overall thought about this film is very positive. It is a very fun interactive movie that various kids will enjoy due to its learning experience. While watching, I felt as if I was being taught something new while celebrating the Christmas spirit. You will definitely not be bored throughout the film.

The story is about a secret lab developed by Thomas Edison (Livingston Taylor) in a world that no one knows about. In that lab, a virtual version of Thomas was built along with a robot named Von Bolt. A long period of time passes and a young girl named Angie (Philipa Alexander) discovers the lab. An old friend of Edison comes to town and asks the Secret Lab Kids to help him. The viewer is invited to join the cast of Thomas Edison's Secret Lab in solving the mystery of the secret project and the mysterious friend.

My favorite scenes would have to be the sudden sing along tunes. Each tune has a new lesson that is introduced at different times. Science is taught with touches of the Christmas spirit as well. I really admire how the writers create similarities between science and Christmas for kids to get them into the spirit of the holidays. For example, a song explains the scientific history of Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, but the characters also talk about what they want to do for Christmas. Another example is when Von Bot teaches the kids about the magic of Christmas and what it is really about. I felt as if I was being taught new information and opinions about science by the characters in the film, which I found positive and enjoyable.

Without giving away the ending, the moral message is to focus on the task at hand and work together as a team to get things done. At first, the characters have trouble realizing that they were given a special mission that needed to be completed by a certain time because they were so focused on the fact that Christmas was coming soon. I really like how the writers tried to not to make the message so repetitive since many children's movies are. It really is a fun and calm, interactive movie to watch. I recommend this film for children ages 5 to 12 due to its childish, yet mature message and educational information. I also think parents would enjoy watching this along with their kids and they may even learn something new like I did. I rate this 5 out of 5 stars because of its merry Holiday spirit and interactive learning experiences. This DVD is available now so, go check it out.

By Imani Baptiste-Green, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
Runtime: 70 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PAWO
ANTJE HEYN
Series: INDIE ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - PAWO (Tibetan for �being brave�) is the magical adventure of a little toy figure, who finds herself in a curious world. Thanks to some strange companions, she gradually becomes aware of her strength and skills.

About the Director: Antje Heyn (*1979 in Bergen auf R�gen) is a Berlin based animation director and illustrator. Her work is inspired by daily observations of urban living and culture as well as nature and animals. Besides setting her heart on creating characters and bringing them to life she teaches animation at art academys and is running the Protoplanet Studio.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Clever, cute, compelling. The animation of this film is quite unique and charming. I found myself drawn into the story from the very get go. The simple line drawings are remarkably expressive and I kept wondering what was going to happen next - from seeing Pawo ski to straddling a hole in the ground. Oh my, that hole became a being of sorts. One thing becomes another in the most playful way - An octopus, a pig, a panda, a blob. The girl becomes fat, changes her hair. I love how imaginative this film is and cute. Even when the cute character becomes suddenly strange. Great sound effects and music and no dialogue. I could have watched it much longer and was disappointed when it ended. Even the ending credits are fun. Recommended for ages 5-12. This would make a fun addition to any film festival. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ADDICTION, THE
DANNES ZHANG
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 12 TO 18
Topic - Family
Description - In a city of wealth, the homeless are often forgotten as Shanghai continues to struggle with modernization. A homeless man tries to fix a couple's broken relationship while fighting the social stigma against him.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The story is a good one and the acting very solid. There is a very good lead performance and solid storytelling that make this a recommended watch. It's worth the time. The way it's shot and the way it looks is very mature and would be most suitable to a teen audience. The story is told nicely, albeit there are some slow areas but it is very watchable. The cinematography is very well done with nice close ups. It gives us a glimpse into another culture and their social stigmas. I would have liked to see it a bit longer and develop the character a little more and expand on his relationships. I particularly enjoyed the ending. Recommended for ages 12 to 18. Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The story is a good one and the acting very solid. There is a very good lead performance and solid storytelling that make this a recommended watch. It's worth the time. The way it's shot and the way it looks is very mature and would be most suitable to a teen audience. The story is told nicely, albeit there are some slow areas but it is very watchable. The cinematography is very well done with nice close ups. It gives us a glimpse into another culture and their social stigmas. I would have liked to see it a bit longer and develop the character a little more and expand on his relationships. I particularly enjoyed the ending. Recommended for ages 12 to 18. Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 10 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
CRADLE
ZANYAR LOTFI
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Technically the little girl simply just wants to do her homework. But when grandpa's snores keep her little sibling from sleeping and it cries, things get a bit more complicated. But she has a good idea. From Iran, in Kurdish with English sub-titles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Cradle is a basic story of determination and the creativity of a young girl to complete her homework despite the interruptions of her grandfather's snoring and her baby sibling crying. This film is set in Iran where you see the home setting, the place where the grandfather sleeps, the cradle with the baby and how everything is connected so that the young girl is able to work on her homework and rock the cradle at the same time. The colors are bright and give you a sense of an Iranian home. A child will be able to understand not only the frustrations of the young girl but also appreciate her determination to solve the problems. It sets you up visually and through sound to see and hear the entire environment from the beginning and through the actions and the conclusion. Cradle does not have any actual dialogue or vocabulary. The visuals give you a sense of what is happening. I recommend this film for ages 10 to 18. Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KOJO: A SHORT DOCUMENTARY
MICHAEL FEQUIERE
Series: AFRICAN AMERICAN SHORT, AGES 7-18
Topic - Family
Description - KOJO is a short documentary on gifted twelve year old jazz drummer Kojo Odu Roney. In this candid interview, Kojo reflects on his tireless work ethic, the current state of Jazz music, learning from his mentor and father, Jazz saxophonist Antoine Roney and much more. Kojo's charisma, sensibility, and passion are as mesmerizing as his drum skills and for the first time in this documentary he shares it with you.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Very enjoyable documentary about a young African American jazz drummer. You can't help but be inspired by this young man who is mentored by his musician father but, certainly is motivated by his own love of music. Recommended for ages 8 to 18 for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival partners. If you love music, love children, and love to see people working hard doing what they love, you will love this short film. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film would play well at a KIDS FIRST! Film festival because it follows the passion of a young person who many kids would be able to relate to. Kojo loves playing drums, but also wants people to appreciate his creativity and style. He is influenced by great drummers and we can all learn something from him. Whatever you do or play, you should want to have a high level of performance and do the very best you are capable of. I have never heard of him before but I'm going to follow him now. Anyone can relate to the amount of practice it takes to be prepared to perform well. This film flows well and has very good visual and audio quality. It explores the life of a young drummer and his passion for his art. Kojo's narration keeps you interested. I like how it doesn't only focuses on Kojo but includes his friends and general public. It feels very real and unscripted, just like you are getting a sneak peek into Kojo's life. I recommend it for ages 7 to 18. Reviewed by Brianna Hope B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 14 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
I AM DYSLEXIC       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
MADS JOHAN OGAARD
Series: FOREIGN INDEPENDENT SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - The animated short film I AM DYSLEXIC expresses what it feels like to have a learning difference in our current school system. Those with learning differences should be proud of who they are and should never be made to feel alone. The film uses strong metaphors to portray these emotions, as we follow a little boy in his journey to climb a mountain in a world made of books.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This has a powerful message about learning differences and emphasizes that you are not alone. It is done with animation, very little words and a song. It is appealing, different and I was amazed. This impressed me a great deal. The animation is entertaining and well executed, a soundtrack with a song and a message about how when you have a learning disability you are not alone. Very powerful! As someone who has worked with many kids with learning disabilities, I highly recommend this for all to see. The soundtrack and visual appeal make it worth watching. I give it 5 out of 5 stars because it has visual appeal and a wonderful soundtrack that portrays the message. It flows well and makes sense. It shows that it is okay to have learning differences or learning disability. Recommended for ages 8 to 18. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


AGRINOUI

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

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


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


BELIEVE (2016)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM       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 - The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - It has been fifteen years since Harry Potter: The Sorcerer's Stone was released. Now, 15 years later, we have a film explaining so many parts of the Harry Potter's universe that will be loved by everyone who sees it.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an extraordinary adventure. There are dozens of elements that help make this story so exciting. In some scenes, there are romantic elements between characters and fantastic comedy that will make anyone laugh. To make even picky viewers sit on the edge of their seat, the movie also offers spectacular action scenes.

The story starts when Newt (Eddie Redmayne), a magizoolagist (study of magical creatures), goes to New York looking for a rare animal breeder. While there he accidentally gets all his magical creatures taken by a No-Maj/Muggle (non-magical person). It is now up to him and some new friends to get the creatures back. As they collect his creatures, they discover there is a grave danger to New York City that could threaten the existence of magical world.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is slightly different than the previous Harry Potter movies, although it takes place in the same universe. The story is much more complex than the previous movies. While the previous films all had individual stories, they also continued a continued plot about Harry Potter. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them does not have that and instead begins and wraps up the plot in one movie. Since there are so many elements to the plot, things get slightly confusing. At the end, they reveal the bad guy. The problem is, we don't really know he's the bad guy. They don't show at the beginning or throughout the film who the bad guy is and exactly what the he did. Throughout the story you are introduced to several antagonists and it feels like it is up to you to figure out who is the actual villain. The person at the end of the movie seems completely random. Although you can figure out, it is some evil villain based on how the characters are talking and you have no idea who the character is. If you watched the film two or three times, you might easily understand the story and, most likely, enjoy it much more. But, when you watch it one time, you might feel slightly confused and not completely understand what happened.

A big perk about this film is the acting. Eddie Redmayne plays the main character and he is marvelous as Newt. Newt is a very quiet and an enthusiastic genius, which Eddie Redmayne excels at portraying, as always. The whole cast excels in their rolls, even if those with only five minutes of screen time. Something else I love about this film are the costume and set designs. The movie takes place in the 1920s and it truly looks like that time period from the police uniforms, to business men and even the children. Just like in the previous Harry Potter films, the cinematography and special effects are spectacular. There is a huge aerial shot of some sort of giant magical creature that looks so realistic it makes you feel you are in 1920s New York City along with the main characters. One more thing that could have been better is the sound. The sounds of monsters and creatures are spectacular and beautiful to listen to, but the actors' dialogue is hard to hear at times. The actors often give very important information about the plot, but you can't hear it because it is muffled by other sounds.

My favorite scene is when we look inside the suitcase Newt brings with him. Just like many other things in this Harry Potter world, it is much bigger inside then it seems. Inside his suitcase "world" he has dozens of different magical creatures that he nurtures including some that are the last of their kind. His goal in his career is to write a book about magical creatures and the good things about them, since every other magical creature book discussing them focuses on how to defend yourself. That suitcase is his "workshop" of where he learns everything.

There are some scenes that are either too dramatic, too intense or too violent for younger kids and so, I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. I give it 4 out of 5 stars because, despite having some issues with sound and storyline, the phenomenal acting, beautiful cinematography and unique visual effects make this film a very enjoyable one. On top of that, if you have never watched a Harry Potter film, or never read the books, you can still easily enjoy the story and understand the terminology.

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

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a magical film that expands the Harry Potter universe and hands down the mantle to a new set of fun, endearing characters. I never took my eyes off the screen because of the twists and turns and its spellbinding special effects.

This film follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a young wizard who arrives in New York with a briefcase full of magical creatures. When his beasts are let loose throughout the city, Newt must gather them up and stop them from causing mayhem. He enlists the help of a baker named Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and two sisters, Porpentina (Katherine Waterston) and Queenie (Alison Sudol). When New York's wizard congress accuses Newt of being involved in the death of a politician, he must save his friends, prove his innocence and stop the magical threat facing New York.

My favorite part of this film is when Newt and Kowalski are trying to find a missing beast that has escaped to the city zoo. Newt starts making mating calls to get the creature back under control. Seeing Eddie Redmayne jump around and make weird noises is hilarious and fun to watch. My favorite character is Kowalski. Dan Fogler steals the show with his sense of humor and wonder.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them works as an introduction to the Wizarding world for people who aren't familiar with it and as a tour of the fictional magic landscape in New York for people who are. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, makes a successful transition to screenwriter. This is her screenwriting debut. She crafts an entertaining and detailed story out of a book she wrote that was supposed to be a textbook at Hogwarts where Harry Potter studied wizardry. Rowling treats the new cast of characters with the same respect she gave to Harry and his friends but Rowling makes a bold move in giving this film a darker tone.

I recommend this film to ages 12 to 18 because it is much darker than some of the Harry Potter films and has some adult themes and scary scenes involving magic. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. This is another compelling movie in the Harry Potter franchise that is definitely worth seeing. It is in theaters now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


RULES DON'T APPLY

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
RULES DON'T APPLY       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 - An aspiring young actress (Lily Collins) and her ambitious young driver (Alden Ehrenreich) struggle hopefully with the absurd eccentricities of the wildly unpredictable billionaire Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty) for whom they work. It's Hollywood, 1958. Small town beauty queen, songwriter, and devout Baptist virgin Marla Mabrey (Collins), under contract to the infamous Howard Hughes (Beatty), arrives in Los Angeles. At the airport, she meets her driver Frank Forbes (Ehrenreich), who is engaged to be married to his 7th grade sweetheart and is a deeply religious Methodist. Their instant attraction not only puts their religious convictions to the test, but also defies Hughes' #1 rule: no employee is allowed to have any relationship whatsoever with a contract actress. Hughes' behavior intersects with Marla and Frank in very separate and unexpected ways, and as they are drawn deeper into his bizarre world, their values are challenged and their lives are changed.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What a film! Intriguing storyline, filled with romance and drama, which makes it so special and why I liked it! I enjoyed this film and learned some interesting facts about Howard Hughes and how he became such a well-known figure in history.

Howard Hughes, a brilliant billionaire wants to make movies, planes, tools and get involved in the field of medicine. Rules Don't Apply explains Howard Hughes as a rule breaker and a risk taker. For his movies he kept many actresses waiting around to star in one of his movies. Most of them never did. They received $400 a week, a house and a chauffeur. The film focuses on one of the actresses, her driver and their relationship with each other and Howard Hughes. The rule is "employees do not date" and they break the rules.

The acting in this film is superb and very believable. Warren Beatty, Alec Baldwin, Oliver Platt, Matthew Broderick, Lily Collins, Annette Benning and Candice Bergen are among the star studded cast.

Lily Collins (Marla Mabrey) is magnificent in bringing Marla Mabrey to life as an inspiring young actress full of hopes and dreams. Alden Ehrenreich (Frank Forbes) is stupendous as Marla's driver and love interest. His character oozes with emotions and he even made me cry in a couple scenes. He wants to be close to Howard Hughes because he wants him to invest in some land off of Mulholland Drive which he thinks has great promise. I felt as if I was living in 1958 Hollywood and was watching events as they happened. The sets and locations look so authentic for the period. I love seeing what Hollywood used to look like, even if its all shot on green screen.

I laughed at the scene when the actresses stood under a window while their pay checks were lowered to them on the end of a rope from a window above them. The actresses were not allowed to drive but when Frank Forbes let Marla Mabrey drive the car, I cheered for her. She finally got back just a little bit of her freedom and dignity and I could feel the happiness and joy she felt.

Warren Beatty as Howard Hughes is terrific. He acts just like I think the real Howard Hughes did. He is strangely odd and yet loveable. You want to root for him to succeed.

Warren Beatty directs, writes, produces and acts in this dramatic film, his first in 20 years. He is an award winning icon. The award winning Annette Benning, his wife, also stars in the movie. She is the concerned mother who reminds me of my own mother, always worrying about me.

At times it seemed a little slow but dramas always feel that way after watching cartons, YouTube and all the fast technology my generation watches every day. It was shot in real time so there are not a lot of scenes jumping around. The story is in the sets, words and acting.

Howard Hughes is shown with his a pain killer addiction and as a playboy so, I recommend this for ages 13 to 18. There are times when they have conversations, which I did not understand and my Mom said we will talk about it later. That said, I enjoyed learning more about Howard Hughes who is an interesting character and, in many cases, was ahead of his time. Without him, airplanes and movies would be totally different than they are today, along with many other inventions he was involved in personally or financially.

This film opens nationwide November 23rd so, be sure to check it out.

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

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


MOANA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moana is another excellent Disney film full of fun songs, lovable characters and detailed, colorful animation. I left the theater in a happy mood and replayed the songs in my head for days after.

This film follows a Polynesian girl named Moana (Auli'i Cravalho ) about to become the chief of her island. She is chosen by the ocean to go on a journey to retrieve Maui, an egotistical demigod with a magical fishhook. He must help her locate the heart of Te Fiti, a relic that keeps the islands in balance. Now, with the help of a not-so-bright rooster, she must complete her task and save her island from destruction.

My favorite character in this film is Maui (Dwayne Johnson). He is hilarious, a little arrogant at first, but grew on me as the film developed. Maui also has mystical tattoos that jump around his skin and are very fun to watch. Dwayne Johnson is spot on, perfectly portraying all sides of the character and even a good singer. Auli'i Cravalho is a standout in this film, giving Moana a real personality and really excels in her first voice acting role.

In every Disney movie, there are fun sidekicks for comic relief and this film is no different. Pua is Moana's adorable pig companion and Hei Hei is a foolish chicken that follows her onto her boat. They are actually representations of Disney legends, Ron Clements and John Musker, the directors of this film.

The animation in this film is visually groundbreaking. Everything from Moana's hair to the ocean is detailed and creative. The songs in this film are memorable and fun. My favorite song is You're Welcome, a catchy tune that mixes Dwayne Johnson's vocals with Lin-Manuel Miranda's inventive lyrics.

The movie plays with Disney's formula by not giving Moana a love interest. Instead the film focuses on Moana's personal journey to becoming her own hero.

Moana is preceded by a smart short film called Inner Workings about the relationship between the heart and the brain that is, in itself, worth the ticket price.

I recommend this film to ages 6 to 12 as there are some perilous, scary moments and mildly crude humor. Moana left me with a smile and catchy songs that stuck in my head. I give Moana 4 out of 5 stars. If you like the music of Lin-Manuel Miranda or a good Disney movie, you'll enjoy this great film.

By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

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


ALMOST CHRISTMAS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALMOST CHRISTMAS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Walter Meyer (Danny Glover) is a retired mechanic who lost the love of his life one year earlier. Now that the holiday season is here, he invites daughters Rachel (Gabrielle Union) and Cheryl (Kimberly Elise) and sons Christian (Romany Malco) and Evan (Jessie T. Usher) to his house for a traditional celebration. Poor Walter soon realizes that if his bickering children and the rest of the family can spend five days together under the same roof, it will truly be a Christmas miracle.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed Almost Christmas because Christmas is my favorite holiday and it brought back memories of my family's gatherings. I could identify with Walter Myers (Danny Glover) in his attempt to bring his somewhat dysfunctional family together at Christmas time and his desire to honor his deceased wife and preserve some traditions. I feel traditions are special. What is not appealing is the suggestive material, drug use violence and profanity.

Almost Christmas opens with a journey of the Myers' lives and brings you to witness the five days before Christmas. It moves quickly and I did not understand some things in the beginning of the film until later. Walter Myers lost his wife the previous year and attempts to bring his family together for the upcoming holidays. Will they survive?

The behaviors modeled by the characters are a mixture. Walter Myers is a man who worked hard and provided for his family, wife, two daughters and two sons. He is having a difficult time dealing with the loss of his wife and is unaware of the struggles his children are having. Cheryl (Kimberly Elise), the oldest daughter, pretends that her life is perfect when, for real, her marriage to Lonnie (J.B. Smoove) is one affair away from being over.

The youngest daughter Rachel (Gabrielle Union) is trying to get through law school while dealing with a recent divorce and struggling to get by. Christian, the oldest son, is happily married with two great kids but is obsessed with his political campaign. Evan (Jessie T. Usher), the youngest son, is in college and is currently fighting an addiction to painkillers.

One of my favorite parts is the heartfelt conversation between Aunt May (Mo' Nique) and Walter (Danny Glover) over a piece of sweet potato pie Walter bakes. Aunt May lets him know not only does he love and care for her sister, his wife, but he also allows her to pursue her life and career.

Almost Christmas displays perseverance with Walter Myers' attempt to make a sweet potato pie as good as his beloved deceased wife. It has many comedic elements throughout. Director David E. Talbert use multiple themes of loss, financial struggles, parenting and divorce as vital roles in developing the story. Almost Christmas has colorful visuals, especially the costumes of Aunt May which are beautiful and look fabulous o her. The music is fun and memorable, the locations are quite realistic locations and the emotions the film evokes resonate with most of us.

I give this film 4 out 5 stars and recommend It for 14 to 18-year-olds as well as adults. You can see Almost Christmas at local theaters beginning Friday, November 11, 2016!

Reviewed by Juanita S. Leary, KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Almost Christmas is a heartfelt story about a family at Christmas time. The comedy is well thought out and the storyline is terrific. This film is perfect for families who are enjoying the holiday season with each other.

The film is more about family than Christmas. There is no caroling, present wrapping or cookies. We just watch family members trying to find ways to put their differences aside and get along. The all-star cast is magnificent particularly Danny Glover as Walter, Gabrielle Union as Rachel, Mo'Nique as Aunt May) and many more. My favorite scene is when the uncle (J.B. Smoove) decides to fix the outdoor Christmas lights on the house and the kids watch him. After his wife warns him to get off the roof and let someone else fix the Santa Clause, he falls off the roof and lands on his face. This scene made me laugh so hard especially when the kids got out their phones to record it and post to their social media.

I adore Mo'Nique as Aunt May. She was adventurous and always willing to try new things even when the rest of the family is not. She doesn't put up with any jazz from the four adult children. She is brutally honest and very humorous. She is the one who makes sure the family sticks together like glue.

All Walter (Danny Glover) wants for Christmas is to have his four children get along for five days. Walter is not quite sure how to do this because his wife usually dealt with such things, but since she is no longer around he finds that he needs to step up and make Christmas fantastic for his family. The only problem is that the children don't get along with each other all that well.

The message is about families getting along. This family wants to spend their first Christmas together since their mother passed away, but families can be difficult. The message, beautifully demonstrated throughout the film, is that families should spend more time together and enjoy this time together.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 because there is some drinking and some profanity. You should also know that this film discusses loss and how it hurts so it might not be appropriate for everyone. Other than, that this film is family friendly with great humor and storyline. I give this film 5 out of 5 Christmas Carol stars. This film opens in theaters on November 11, 2016 so go check it out.

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

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


MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS: LEGEND OF EVERFREE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I enjoyed watching this film. The storyline is engaging, the animation is stylized with bright colors and the characters have a bouncy feel when they move.

Twilight Sparkle (played by who?) and her friends go to a Summer Camp, when strange things start happening. I can't really say more because I don't want to give away the ending. I will admit the characters only have one personality trait, but they still manage to be entertaining. One of my favorite things about this movie is the character designs. If you ignore the unnatural skin and hair colors, Scott MacDonald makes characters that look really attractive and the clothes are outfits I actually want to wear.

The animation isn't the best, but I appreciate the effort and it has a unique style, so I give it a pass. My only complaint is that it feels like you have to watch the previous shows and previous movies to understand it since the characters reference past events. As someone who doesn't watch this show, I was often quite confused. However, that is only a slight problem, and it's not really the movie's fault.

I should also say that the composer of the original songs, Daniel Ingram, has created some really catchy tunes that managed to get stuck in my head. The voice actors are convincing, and obviously very invested in voicing their characters, even if I don't understand how Andrea Libman manages to make her voice that high for Pinkie Pie's voice.

I recommend this show for ages 8 to 13 and I can see some older kids and teens enjoying this too. Although, I wouldn't use this particular film as an introduction to the show. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Calista B. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13
Runtime: 73 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.73
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


DOCTOR STRANGE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DOCTOR STRANGE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Marvel's "Doctor Strange" follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City's Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This superhero movie will disorient you, confuse you, make you ponder time itself and is easily the greatest superhero film ever made. Doctor Strange combines humor, action and science fiction to make a legendary film unlike any other.

There are dozens of elements that make Doctor Strange so great. One of the main parts of this film is the action. The action is highly supported by the dramatic interactions between characters. There is also a large amount of perfectly timed humor. It's so light and enjoyable that it makes you laugh every time. On top of that, there is even a small element of romance in Doctor Strange.

Doctor Strange begins when a very talented neurosurgeon, Steven Strange, (Benedict Cumberbatch) gets in a bad car accident and gets injured. His injuries make it impossible for him to continue practice medicine and he desperately looks for a cure. His search takes him to India where he meets a group of people that do magical things. He joins their group to be healed, but as he trains in their art, he learns there is much more then what meets the eye in the reality he lives in.

Perfect. That is the only word that can describe Doctor Strange. Easily the most breathtaking part is the special effects. There are scenes where they warp and distort the world around them in such elegant and spectacular ways that it makes you feel slightly disoriented. That is not where the special effects end though. The powers they have look magical and so realistic, you won't think it is done by CGI. The acting is another perk for the film. Benedict Cumberbatch excels as Doctor Strange, not only in the intense action scenes but also in the comedy scenes. He truly makes the character come to life and the entire cast portrays the story perfectly. On top of that, the costume design and makeup is another huge achievement in the movie. There are parts where even slight details on a character's face or costume add huge additional meaning to the story. The costumes in general are beautiful and amazingly well constructed.

My favorite scene is when Doctor Strange discovers how to warp and twist time. He tries it on an apple he is eating and you watch the apple turn from half eaten to ripe and new, to fully eaten and slowly decaying. I love this scene for so many reasons, primarily the extraordinary special effects. This is an example of how well they integrate set design, the live footage and the CGI. This is not the only scene where they integrate these so well. On top of that, just looking at how Doctor Strange discovers this power is very entertaining and enjoyable to watch.

Although Doctor Strange is a great movie, it is clearly not meant for young kids. There are lots of scenes containing gore and violence and scenes that are dark in general. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. I also absolutely give it 5 out of 5 stars for its phenomenal special effects, beautiful costumes and sets, breathtaking acting and exciting story.

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

Doctor Strange is an excellent introduction to magic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with mind-bending visuals and a great performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, who perfectly embodies the character of Dr. Stephen Strange.

This film centers on an egotistical neurosurgeon named Stephen Strange. After a terrible car accident ruins his hands, he searches for treatment that can help him heal and return to the operating room. He ends up in Nepal and meets Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who saves him from being robbed and shows him to Kamar-Taj, a place where healing is done through spirit.

At first, Stephen thinks it is all a hoax, but The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), a teacher of the mystic arts shows him what he's capable of. When the world's sanctums are under threat from Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), a former student of The Ancient One, Stephen must step up and become the sorcerer supreme.

My favorite part of this film is when the New York sanctum is under attack. This scene is rewarding as a comic book fan, as you finally get to see Doctor Strange don the Cloak of Levitation, a trademark for the character.

My favorite character in this film is The Ancient One. This character is very wise and helps Stephen become Doctor Strange. Benedict Cumberbatch excellently captures the arrogant personality of Stephen Strange at the beginning of the film as well as the changes the character undergoes throughout the movie.

The special effects in this film are crazy, at times psychedelic. This makes the action scenes all the more captivating. I recommend you see this in IMAX 3D. It's worth the extra money for the visuals. In fact, there is more than an hour of IMAX footage in this film. Michael Giacchino's almost gothic score captures the trippy nature of this film.

I like that this film doesn't take itself too seriously and has a sense of humor. My only problem with this film is I feel there is a little too much going on plot-wise. I give Doctor Strange an age rating of 12 to 18 because of its fantasy violence and language and a scene involving a car crash.

I give Doctor Strange 4 out of 5 stars. Make sure to stay after the credits for not one, but two post-credit scenes.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 11

This movie is filled with the type of CGI everybody wants in every movie. I was trying to turn my head around it the whole movie since it is so detailed. 160 million dollars went into this film making the Marvel Universe much wider a possibility. Doctor Strange makes the mind confused and entertained at the same time. Along with the fact that it is in IMax 3D, which makes it that much better, the settings are something you would imagine in a Harry Potter property.

In this movie, Doctor Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is hurt in a car accident and wants to get healed but his hands are too damaged. He asks the one and only recovered person who had the same medical condition how he relieved it and goes to the place he refers him to and discovers a place of magic and wisdom.

This is one of my favorite Marvel movies because it might have the best animation in the world. Yes, this movie takes place around the world. I really cannot explain the amazingness of this animation. It is so detailed that it looks totally real. However, the music does not compare with Guardians of the Galaxy. If it did, this movie would be my favorite movie. The acting is impeccable. The animation is stunning. And the plot is enjoyably complicated. Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams deliver incredible performances as they show struggle, heartbreak and wisdom. One of the biggest holes in this movie is the characters. Doctor Strange is deep and well defined, but all the other characters come out of nowhere. It would have been better had they made the characters deeper and more profound.

The moral of this story is that no matter what anybody else does, you can always do what you want to do. That's my take away. You might have a different message that you get from the film.

I recommend this movie for kids ages 7 to 18 and adults will love it too. If you are one of those parents who don't let their kids see Marvel movies, you should know that I caught no cursing. I give this movie 4 � out of stars because the characters aren't so deep and the music could be better. But, everything else is spot on! Even the post-credit scenes have really interesting things that set new things up for more future movies.

Reviewed by Miles T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


SNOWTIME!

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

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

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

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

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

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars because the animation is great and it has an important message. I recommend this to kids ages 3 to 18. I think adults might like this as well. I also recommend this to people who like family, comedy, adventure and action movies. Snowtime! is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I give this movie 4 1/2 out of 5 shooting snowballs. This movie is brought to you by Shout! Factory and is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

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


MECH-X4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


INFERNO

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
INFERNO
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Academy Award� winner Ron Howard returns to direct the latest bestseller in Dan Brown's (Da Vinci Code) billion-dollar Robert Langdon series, Inferno, which finds the famous symbologist (again played by Tom Hanks) on a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman from unleashing a global virus that would wipe out half of the world's population.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Inferno is an action-packed crime movie that has you hooked from the very beginning. I really enjoyed this film because of the storyline, cast, suspense and message. While watching, I felt as if I was actually in the movie playing one of the main characters. It's like watching a huge mystery game which making this movie awesome and exciting.

After waking up in a Italian hospital with symptoms of amnesia, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones). Together, they go on a journey across Europe to stop one of the antagonists (Ben Foster) from unleashing a deadly virus that can decrease the world's population.

My favorite part of this extraordinary movie is the very beginning. Once the movie starts, you instantly come apart due to the confusion that is going on in Tom Hanks' and, consequently your mind. That is what makes the audience adore this film because it's as if you have a role in the film along with the actors. Another aspect I like is the cast. Each character is different in their own right as we can see from their background stories. You tend to question yourself many times because you are unsure who to trust and who not to trust. That is what makes this movie so thrilling and exciting. There is also a lot of historical information about religion and other cultures which is explained in a way that helps you understand what is going on and allows you to interpret as you choose. I applaud the author of the series, Dan Brown and the screenwriter, David Koepp for their terrific skills in creating an interesting and compelling story.

Without giving away the ending, the message of this film is based on a biblical term "Seek and Ye Shall Find.'" In other words, you search for the truth no matter what the outcome may be. Tom Hanks is searching for the Inferno disease even though he has a feeling of what is at stake. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and adults will enjoy it as well. And, I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for its excellent storyline, mystery, action packed script and outstanding cast and crew. Inferno comes out to theaters on Friday, October 28, 2016. I suggest you buy a ticket and check this movie out as soon as possible! You definitely will not regret it.

By Imani Baptiste-Green, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

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


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: 25TH ANNIVERSARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


CAT IN THE HAT: HALLOWEEN

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

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

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

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

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


INTO THE INFERNO

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INTO THE INFERNO       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
NETFLIX
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - Werner Herzog and volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer travel the globe and visit volcanoes in Indonesia, Ethiopia and even North Korea in an attempt to understand man's relationship with one of nature's most violent wonders.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Volcanoes are all over the world and we know so many scientific facts about them. They are majestic and very dangerous, but there is also culture, religion and much more that always surrounds these amazing creations of nature. Into the Inferno by Werner Herzog is a beautiful documentary that tells you all about volcanoes and takes you on a behind the scenes tour.

This documentary is quite educational and the creators of the film share their gigantic adventure around the world which is exciting and quite dangerous. There may be a couple of jokes here and there, but this film is not a comedy. Its main purpose is to show the beauty, danger and culture of volcanoes in an entertaining fashion.

This film follows Werner Herzog (Director) and Clive Oppenheimer (Volcanologist) as they explore the most unique volcanoes on Earth. From the coldest places in Antarctica to the hottest places in Ethiopia, to even the most mysterious places deep in the jungle or on remote islands. They not only talk to local scientists and experts about the area and the volcano, but they talk to the local villagers to hear about the culture and religion in each areas.

Simply put, this documentary is beautiful. There is no better word to describe it. The camera work is spectacular and borderline dangerous. Many of the volcanoes they visit are open and have visible magma lakes inside them. This makes getting the footage very challenging, but the crew manages to pull it off. On top of that, most documentaries only explore the science of volcanoes, but this one talks about so many other aspects of volcanoes. For example, in Ethiopia, they talk about archaeology and how volcanoes help preserve fossils. This allows the viewer to learn about not only the volcanoes but the many myths and rituals surrounding them. One small issue is that, if you are not passionate about learning about science or about culture, some scenes may be slightly boring or feel stretched. Otherwise, the director Werner Herzog has produced a perfect documentary that is truly educational and entertaining.

My favorite scene is when they go to Antarctica to see a massive volcano there. Not only does it just show how hard the crew works to get the footage, it also is mind-blowing to see freezing snow temperatures with a giant hot volcano right in the middle of it. In many scenes in Antarctica, they are right on the ridge of the volcano, looking down at the massive magma lake within the volcano surrounded by magnificent ice. This is absolutely spectacular and scary to watch at the same time.

There are many parts of the film that are either socially or politically mature in terms of cultures, which makes it unsuitable for very young children. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18. I give it 4 � out of 5 stars because it achieves perfect cinematography, is a unique concept and very educational, but it does feel a bit stretched out.

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

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


TWO FOR ONE

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


HOOT QUARTERS: LACHANOPHOBIA

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


ROOM ON THE BROOM

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ROOM ON THE BROOM       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - From the creators of the hugely successful THE GRUFFALO and THE GRUFFALO'S CHILD comes ROOM ON THE BROOM, a beautifully animated film based on the best-selling children's picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The story of a kind witch who invites a surprising collection of animals to join her on her broom, much to the frustration of her cat. When the gang saves the witch from a fearsome dragon she rewards them with a magnificent new broom which has room for everyone! ROOM ON THE BROOM is a magical tale of friendship and family directed by Max Lang & Jan Lachauer with the voices of Gillian Anderson, Rob Brydon, Martin Clunes, Simon Pegg, Sally Hawkins, Timothy Spall and David Williams.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is funny and has great animation. I like that they quote directly from one of my favorite books, Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson. I also like how the words all rhyme.

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

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

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

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

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

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


TROLLS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


LOVING

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LOVING       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, are sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958 for getting married.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Loving, a film based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving written and directed by Jeff Nichols, captures what I have said many times - "love knows no color." I can relate to the story because I grew up in Virginia and I was about nine-years-old when Richard and Mildred began their struggle. My mother, who I credit with wisdom and foresight, realized that in Virginia equality among the races was going to be a challenge. She knew that Virginia's laws would challenge integration in all areas, particularly in schools. We moved from Norfolk, Virginia to Philadelphia, PA in 1959.

Loving opens with a beautiful scene of Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga) on an acre of land that Richard purchases and shares his plan to build a home for his love and future wife. I found it very interesting that the community where Richard and Mildred lived at that time, Central Point, Virginia was more integrated than other towns in the South. The problem was the Commonwealth of Virginia, with its law against interracial marriage.

Loving vs. Virginia is a historical civil rights case that went all the way to the Supreme Court and changed not only the lives of Richard and Mildred Loving but also reaffirmed the people's right to marry no matter their color.

Richard Loving and Mildred Loving, along with their supportive family members show determination and courage. In one scene, when the attorney Cohen asks Richard Loving what he wants to say to the Supreme Court, he replies "Tell them I love my wife."

Loving is a love story that inspires. It truly captures the feelings and surroundings of that time.

I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and adults will most likely enjoy this as well. I give it 5 out of 5 stars for a compelling story, well told. This film opens nationwide on November 4, 2016 so go see it and experience what loving is all about.

Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Before I get started with my review, let me tell you something. Love is the key to everything. If any of you have seen this film, you know the main idea of the story already. But if you haven't, let me bring you up to speed. This is a sad yet romantic film. When I watched this movie, it changed my perspective or at least my way of thinking about love. After watching it, I thought about the life I live today and I realize that without the Lovings, the world would be a much different place.

This movie is about the true story of an interracial couple who fell in love. In the beginning of the movie, we see Mr. Loving (Joel Edgerton) building a new home for himself and his wife. Little did they know that the police were going to soon find out about their marriage and shortly after, they would end up in jail. Back in 1967, in the state of Virginia, interracial marriages were illegal. But love has no color so Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga) and Richard Loving decide to fight for what they believed in. When the police find out, they try to stop them. As you watch this movie, it makes you think about love, not differences. Now get this - after watching this movie some of the actors from the film came on stage and told us more about the movie. I learned that when Peggy, the Loving's daughter first meet Joel Edgerton (who plays her dad in the film), she called him daddy and began to cry.

The filming crew truly captures the reality of the times in so many ways. I recommend this film for ages 10 through 18 and older. Children 10 would not have learned about this subject yet, but when you're 10 you already start learning about the racism in their country in social studies. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it was better than my expectations. It has a good storyline and a good setting and, most importantly, the titles really catches the meaning of the film. This film opens in theaters November 4, 2016 so be sure to check it out.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


MASTERPIECE: CHURCHILL'S SECRET
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - It is the summer of 1953 and Nurse Appleyard (Romola Garai) is rushed to a secret location where she discovers her patient is Winston Churchill (Michael Gambon), the elderly Prime Minister. Churchill has suffered a stroke and may not last the weekend. As Churchill's wife (Lindsay Duncan) and family gather at his bedside, long-buried tensions rise to the surface.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is, simply, a fine film portraying a great man suffering and recovering from a stroke late in life surrounded by his troubled but loving family and well-meaning staff attempting to control the situation and keep it hidden from the public. Real emotion is portrayed with a delicate and at times humorous touch.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 111 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 34.99
Media: DVD


GENERATION STARTUP

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GENERATION STARTUP       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
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Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Generation Startup takes us to the front lines of entrepreneurship in America, capturing the struggles and triumphs of six recent college graduates who put everything on the line to build startups in Detroit. Shot over 17 months, it's an honest, in-the-trenches look at what it takes to launch a startup. Directed by Academy Award winner Cynthia Wade and award-winning filmmaker Cheryl Miller Houser, the film celebrates risk-taking, urban revitalization, and diversity while delivering a vital call-to-action-with entrepreneurship at a record low, the country's economic future is at stake.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you started a business from scratch? Or, are you thinking of starting a new business? If so, this is the film for you. The startups in this film are being built in Detroit which is a tough town to either make or break it. This film shows how hard people have to work to succeed and make their dream of owning a business come to life.

Award winners Cynthia Wade and Cheryl Miller Houser filmed this adventure over a period of 17 months. A lot happens within this short time period. Susan Margolin is the executive producer with mega experience in film distribution. Lauren Zalaznick is also the executive producer and has an resume having worked at NBC Universal, Sundance, Cannes and many more companies. These four women definitely comprise a power house and are great role models.

Andrew Yang is the founder of Venture for America which has placed college graduates at startups in 15 different cities over 2 years. He is also an adviser though out this film. Will they have the guts, determination and drive to succeed? That is what this film is about. The ups and downs and mistakes you go through to make it. Pamela Lewis is the director of the New Economy Initiative and she is another adviser to this film.

The storyline is very interesting and told in documentary style. I love watching films with real people about real lives. This film follows six people trying to open new startup businesses from scratch. Brian Rudolph, Avery Hairston, Labib Rahman, Dextina Brooker, Kate Catlin and Max Nussenbaum are the six people that we follow on their journey. Will they make it? We are always on the edge of our seats wondering if they will make it because it could go either way. I think that this documentary really captures all the hard work, determination and perspiration you have to put into making your dreams come true. It takes a lot to start a new business. There is a ton of effort that goes into a little thing such as paste that I love to eat. No sugar coating here, they have many failures and successes.

All six people have different goals and different obstacles they have to overcome. No spoilers, but not all of them make it and some decide to take another path. They are all exceptional students. People like this hold the world's future in their hands. This is a small sample of the people who will be creating jobs, products and inventions for our future.

My favorite scene is when Max Nussenbaum and a bunch of his friends are in a house that has no heat, poor insulation and it is in the dead of winter so they have blankets, tents and space heaters all around them. I love this scene. It is hilarious as they all try to find warmth in the little establishment that they set up. Indoor camping, yeah! They said that, as difficult as this was, they miss this part the most. They have come a long way since then.

One of the great ideas I like is a spoon is covered with cereal that you dip into peanut butter and eat. You can do it while sitting in a car. I am going to try this. Other companies I found interesting were a chickpea noodle company, an on-line property management company, a website to encourages women mentors and more.

I recommend this film to ages 11 to 18. Adults will like this too. Kids will be inspired and will want to start their own business. Children are creating and starting businesses when they are very young, so who knows what this might inspire? Adults will think that the story is informational and intrigued to see who will make it. You should know that there is mild profanity but, it is story of determination and what it takes to accomplish your dreams. I give this 4 � out of 5 startup rising stars.

By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

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


LOVE SONG OF THE DRONE

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


I AM NOT A MOUSE

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



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