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DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI.: CONFESSION

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI.: CONFESSION       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Tai and his friends are haunted by the infection that resulted in Meicoomon destroying Leomon. What could have caused it? When did it occur? Now, all of the Digimon are quarantined, in hopes that answers can be found and the infection can be stopped. Unfortunately, one of the quarantined Digimon is already showing symptoms. The adventure now evolves once again...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Digimon Adventure Tri. 3: Confession is a beautifully made anime film that touched my hearts and will touch the hearts of others. The storyline picks up right after the events that took place in past movies. Tai and his friends are still trying to figure out what caused the infection that made Leomon go rogue. All the Digimon are quarantined in hopes to keep them safe from the infection and buy the friends some time to figure out ways to stop it from spreading. Sadly, one of the Digimon is showing some indications that they might have the infection.

This DVD is the third film in the franchise Digimon Adventure Tri. I had absolutely no background knowledge of the first film Digimon Adventure Tri, nor did I know anything about the second film Digimon Adventure Tri.2: Decision. Consequently, it was a bit difficult for me to understand what was happening in the beginning of the film, since the characters referred to things that happened in the previous two films. For example, the character Leomon is discussed a lot in the beginning of the movie. I had no idea who or what that character was for the first twenty minutes. Eventually I picked up that Leoman is a Digimon. Then, I had to re-watch the scenes where they talked about that character. The one very helpful thing in this film are the flashback scenes. They really helped me understand the plot. I recommend that people watch the first and second films before watching this one as it will help them understand the plot of the film.

This is not my first anime film, but it is my first anime dealing with magical characters like Digimons. I was not a fan of Pokemon growing up so I never watched too many anime films. Occasionally I have watched a realistic fiction anime but never fantasy ones. After watching this film I'm definitely going to put more time in watching anime films. This film gives justice to the world of anime. The storyline is compelling and the whole concept of digital monsters is absolutely fascinating. I love the relationships between the people and their Digimons. My favorite duo has to be Patamon (Anna Garduno) and TK (Johnny Yong Bosch). I could feel the love they have for each other. I grew very fond of these characters over time. I emphasized with them when times were bad. These two characters make this film even better.

The animation is absolutely stunning. There is so much detail that goes into making anime films. This film meets that high standard. The Digimon are drawn beautifully. Their exterior designs match their personalities so well. I could tell a lot of time went into drawing these monsters. The humans also have a very special look to them. My favorite feature is the characters' eyes. You can feel the characters' emotions by looking into their eyes. It can be difficult to truly connect with animated characters at times, due to their not looking realistic. These characters are drawn very realistically and I personally connected to them.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 16. Younger audiences will love the fun characters and the older audiences will find the story line interesting. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. I felt a connection to the characters and an urge to know the ending. I think the animation is stunning. This film is available now on DVD now so go check it out!

Reviewed by Talia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Digimon Adventure Tri: Confession impressed me because of its wonderful style and action. The voice-acting is spectacular and the impressive animation allows for amazing visuals. This is sure to be a hit with Digimon and anime fans.

The story follows the events after an infected Meicoomon (Kate Higgons) turns to the dark side and kills Leomon. Due to this, Meicoomon's owner, Meiko (Miho Arakawa), is dealing with extreme guilt and all the other Digimon are left in the office of Izzy (Mona Marshall) to prevent further infection. However, when Takeru (Junya Enoki) finds out his Digimon, Patamon (Laura Summer), is facing infection, he tries to stop it before it is too late. Meanwhile, Meicoomon returns to cause more havoc on Earth.

Miho Arakawa, as Meiko, excellently presents her guilt and blame after Meicoomon turns to the dark side. Her sadness is well presented as she tries to abandon her team. Junya Enoki, as Takeru, is a highlight delivering a well-ranged performance full of charisma and urgency, as he tries to put his team back together to save Patamon. Also, the emotional drama between Takeru and Patomon is well done, and due to this he is my favorite character. Tom Fahn, as Agumon, is a well-presented team leader of the Digimon who will do anything to save his friends. Laura Summer, as Patamon, delivers and equally emotional performance to Takeru as she is facing a possible impending infection, which will turn her against her Digimon friends. Kate Higgons, as Meicoomon, is a well-developed antagonist who is a formidable foe for the Digimon to fight.

The direction by Keitaro Motonaro is wonderful due to a pace that feels as if it's an interesting magna story. My favorite scene is the scene when Takeru tells Patamon that he is infected, because it is extremely emotional due to the incredible acting of the two characters. My only problem with this movie is the large amounts of expository flashbacks that further progress the story. It feels like a lazy way to tell a story.

The message of the movie is about finding a way to forgive yourself. Meiko's intense guilt and blame for herself is a big plot point, but she learns that moving on and helping the team will be for the better. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 because of its action and emotional themes. The movie is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 105 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.42
Media: DVD
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VERMEER, BEYOND TIME
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Vermeer, Beyond Time explores the life and work of one of the most loved, influential, and well-known artists, Johannes Vermeer. Images from his paintings have become part of our collective imagination and are instantly recognizable.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed the juxtaposition of seeing Vermeer's paintings and scenes of modern day Holland, as well as museum goers viewing and admiring his works in the museums of Europe today.

Vermeer, Beyond Time is a documentary film portraying the interesting life and work of the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. Today he is admired and loved for well- known paintings such as "Girl with a Pearl Earring," "The Lacemaker," "Girl by an Open Window" and others.

Narrated by well-known actor, comedian and musician Steve Martin who weaves a story of the trials and tribulations that Vermeer experienced in his short life. He died in 1672 at the age of 40, destitute and desperate.

What I found extremely interesting and was unaware of, is that after his death, twenty years later, in 1696, twenty-one of his works were sold and then disappeared for 150 years. They were discovered later, in the middle of the 19th century. Admired by masters of his time such as Rembrandt, Peter de Hooch as well as the writer Marcel Proust, he never got to see the fruits of his creative labor.

Born in 1645, Vermeer came from humble beginnings. At the age of 21, he married into wealth and his marriage changed the course of his life. He fell in love with an older woman very different from him, had 15 children and a mother-in-law who was instrumental in his career. His life was imbued with his family of women.

Yet in his paintings, there is an element of mystery as he was known for silence, solitude and thought in his approach. When one looks at his paintings, it's as if time disappears. Historians wonder why he painted so few pictures and yet for those known today, people are extremely passionate. His paintings tell stories and represent symbols of a society in Delft, which had a leading economy and was the richest city in Europe at that time. This is known as the golden age in Holland, as people were creating their own culture.

Vermeer had an intense engagement and admiration for women, and his paintings portray them in a refined manner. He painted elegant women and men of learning, and introduced musical instruments into many of his paintings.

The film explores his techniques and approach in great detail. One of his paintings created in the golden age of 1657-8, called "Little Street" is discussed as an exercise of the mind. It is suggested that perhaps the artist reinvented reality by imagining and creating a house as the central character, with a woman doing needlework, a servant girl cleaning the yard and a small boy and girl at play.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 15 to 18 as well as adults. Those who are into art and art history and who want to know more about Vermeer's technique and the time he lived in will particularly enjoy it. It is rich in detail and history of that time. This film is available now on DVD so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Terry S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 17.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


FILM OF CINEMA, A

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FILM OF CINEMA, A
THIAGO B. MENDON�A
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - "Father, what's cinema?"
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoyed this film. One thing that appealed to me is the interest and love that Isabel has for her father's filmmaking career, which is in crisis. She asks, "what is cinema?" I enjoyed her excitement and creativity to make a film as part of a classroom project with her fellow classmates. It is very interesting to watch Bebel volunteer to use her father's equipment before she asks him permission. We see in her an element of stubbornness that leads to her father first objecting to her using his equipment to showing her how to use it. I believe tweens and teens will enjoy this film because it's message is about beauty, love and caring for others. It shows family fun and closeness. This film shows some film history and introduces us to the some of the early inventors of film and cinema, Lumiere and M�li�s. We see glimpses of acting by silent screen stars Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Bebel interviews family members, friends and a stranger she encounters on the street. In her interviews, she asks each person three moving questions: 1. What is life?; 2. What do you like most?; 3. What is your biggest dream? We also see the beautiful countryside of Brazil. I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. The visuals of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chapman interwoven with Bebel's story adds a sense of inspiration and art. I highly recommend this film for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. You should know that the dialogue is in Portuguese with English sub-titles. Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
INDEFINABLE
BAY AREA VIDEO COALITION
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The topic of gender is one that is widely discussed in today's society. A teenager encourages people to define their own genders, unfettered by traditional societal gender binaries that can limit those who are trying to define their genders. They want people who are having a difficult or confusing time defining their own genders to know that the whole process is a journey of self-discovery and self-love.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Indefinable is a short personal essay narrated by a youth who relates to being androgynous, with the freedom of being able to dress comfortably and not have to worry about fitting into traditional ways our society expects girls to present themselves, such as not having body hair. The film is narrated by one person and is supported by images of several diverse youths, all of whom seem happy and comfortable with who they are. The film encourages the viewer to find their own path and use the labels to which they personally relate, not limited to binary roles of male or female. It is a reminder that, especially as a youth, it's okay to consider yourself a work-in-progress and not feel pressured to have everything figured out. The film is thoughtfully written, has a clear beginning, middle and end, relating a personal experience to a more general perspective. It invites questions that could be raised in a discussion that follows a screening of this film. I give this 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Reviewed by Katarzyna K., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comment
Runtime: 1 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
NEW HOME, A
BAY AREA VIDEO COALITION
Series: STUDENT DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A teen discusses his experiences of immigrating to the U.S. from the Philippines. He goes through hardships and learns to overcome them. He comes to closure with his conflicts and gives a word of advice to immigrants coming to America.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A New Home is a thoughtful personal portrait that illuminates the experience of immigrating to the U.S. at a young age. The film concisely captures the essence of its theme. In just one minute we meet the subject, learn about his background, the challenges that he had to overcome, especially bullying and the wisdom that he gained from the experience. The filmmaker uses music, an interview and video of the teen in his new city. Recommended viewing for schools, especially those where U.S.-born youths may not understand the impact of their actions on a new student. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Reviewed by Katarzyna K., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 1 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TRIBAL PRIDE
BAY AREA VIDEO COALITION
Series: STUDENT DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Native American youth have important roles in preserving their culture, the land, and water. Through the Tribal Youth Ambassador program, they share their story of uplifting their community through creating apps, making videos, educating others, and more. This story is not centered around tragedy, but around empowerment and resilience.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Tribal Pride is an engaging hopeful documentary about the Tribal Youth Ambassador Program. In four short minutes, the film introduces the audience to the background of the program, the youth participants and the work that they do. Interviews with the young people and their mentors are skillfully woven with footage from the traditional crafts and the museum that this program supports. Tribal Pride acknowledges the historical trauma of the Native American people, and at the same time focuses on resilience of the people and hope for the future. It captures the passion of the young people for their traditions and respect for the elders, inviting the casual observer to learn more about the culture. This film is strong technically, an example of excellence in the craft of documentary filmmaking. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
OUR TREASURE
BAY AREA VIDEO COALITION
Series: STUDENT DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The Aikuma Project preserves threatened languages by sharing stories as they are told by people in their language. By traveling around the world, collecting stories told by different communities, and transcribing them onto the Aikuma app - Aikuma has spearheaded the Treasure Language Storytelling Initiative. The Aikuma Project dedicates their time to the preservation of languages and the conservation of the diverse linguistic culture which exists globally. By sharing their stories, Treasure Language Speakers are able to find their voices, and realize a new meaning to their ability to speak their native language.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Our Treasure is a sensitive documentary that introduces the audience to a project that preserves languages, especially those that are spoken and not necessarily written around the world. We meet people from various backgrounds who are brought together through The Aikuma Project to tell stories and share music. This film sheds light on the importance of preserving the rich diversity of languages that make up the fabric of American society, even though the country is officially monolingual. The filmmakers achieve that goal through interviews, stories, photographs, event footage and a demo of the Aikuma app. What is unique about this documentary subject is the way it brings together a number of bilingual communities that all face the same challenges and opportunities. In short, this is a film about hope. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Reviewed by Katarzyna K., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
YA-KA (OUR WATER)
BAY AREA VIDEO COALITION
Series: STUDENT DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Indigenous struggles in America today are mostly hidden from public eye. As solidarity with the "No DAPL" movement has grown, more Native movements become more visible. This film aims to highlight the connection these movements have with what sustains all life: water. Elders and young activists alike share their stories and personal truths about water and their fight for it.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Ya-Ka is a thoughtful, engaging documentary about an important topic that gets minimal attention in mainstream media. It links the past to the present, from events that took place in 1969 Alcatraz to the recent events at Standing Rock. The people who share their stories in the film come across as very natural. Getting the subjects to trust and open up is one of the most difficult tasks for a documentary director. The filmmaker succeeds here. The interviews with elders and youth activists highlight the common thread of the connection to the land and life-giving water. The film skillfully uses historical photographs and Standing Rock footage to engage the viewer. Since this is a short film, it barely scratched the surface of the issues. It has potential to be developed into a longer documentary. Excellent work from a talented young filmmaker. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12-18. Reviewed by Katarzyna K., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CROW'S PEAK

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CROW'S PEAK
JOHN MCDONALD
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Drake and Frank learn a valuable life lesson after being invited to a party.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This comedy/horror short takes a different look at making sure you know who has invited you to a party before you go. I have to admit that I like it although, by KIDS FIRST! standards it would be considered marginal in terms of meeting the baseline criteria. But the humor infiltrates the entire show, it's well produced. I love the animation and the creepy characters. This is something I would program for Halloween if I was a programmer. It's fun and, in the long run, safe. Recommended for ages 8 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


AMAZING GRACE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
AMAZING GRACE
JULIE MONEY
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 8-14
Topic - Family
Description - How a young girl navigates her way through life with her Father by her side, when he can't be there. It's about growing up. It's about resilience. This is Grace's real story. There are five episodes in this first series all around five minutes long.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Love this. It takes on the difficult subject of how a young girl manages to tackle life's hiccups without her dad who's passed away. But, has he? In this short film, he comes to her almost as real as the day to coach her. The acting by both the young girl and the dad is quite lovely. Both seem to live inside their roles and, if I didn't know they were acting, I would believe they are who they play. Nice background music, not too obtrusive. Well shot, staged and delivered. I rate it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend for ages 8 to 14. Reviewed by Julie S. KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


BAKE SHOP GHOST, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BAKE SHOP GHOST, THE
LORETTE BAYLE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 7-18
Topic - Family
Description - In a haunted bake shop, a determined young woman struggles to find the perfect recipe to satisfy a hungry spirit. Based on a best-selling children's book, this film provides enchantment for all ages.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a perfect short film. It has a charming story, delightful characters, lovely acting and is beautifully shot. I rate this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 as well as adults. It would make a wonderful addition to a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 17 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CALLING ALL ZEROS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CALLING ALL ZEROS
JOSHUA HORNE
Series: FAITH-BASED FEATURE, AGES 7-12
Topic - Family
Description - Unlikely heroes form a support group in a backyard tree house to deal with a notorious school bully.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Bullying is such a big issue these days both in and out of school. This short film tackles the issue head on with a cast of adorable characters and a relevant storyline. The camera work, audio work, theme song and sets are all quite well done. I particularly love the youth actors that I think a youth audience will relate to. I recommend this to ages 7 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 52 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


FREE ADVICE WITH ADAM CHERNICK

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FREE ADVICE WITH ADAM CHERNICK
SONDRA CHERNICK
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Each week on "Free Advice" 11 year-old stand-up comedian Adam Chernick helps conflicted and confused adults solve their real world problems using just his humor, honesty and heart.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Oh my, Adam Chernick is not only an adorable 11 year old but his advice to adults is pretty profound. This kid could become the next Ann Landers or Jay Leno, it's hard to tell which way he might go. He's a stand up comedian with a heart and a level of understanding that most adults lack in a big way. I definitely recommend this short film for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival and highly recommend that the festival bring Adam in to speak to the audience. I can't think of any adult filmmaker who could be more genuine than this dude. Recommended for ages 8 to 18 as well as adults. 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


THAT ONE SMILE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
THAT ONE SMILE
TAMESHA SCOTT
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - (Drama) Two sisters separated at birth and brought together through their love of music and each other...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Recommended for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. This short film is well executed and delivers a highly believable story although the ending is a bit far fetched. The acting is superb. The camera work and audio are well done and it flows well. For a short film, it truly draws you in and holds your attention. I found myself wishing it was longer. Recommended for ages 10 to 15 as well as adults. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


WELCOME TO CAMP APOTAMPKIN

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WELCOME TO CAMP APOTAMPKIN
TAMESHA SCOTT
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Jasper's mom finds a summer camp online and sends him, site-unseen to a camp for monsters and vampires
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Hysterical. This short film plays with the disconnected mom and the teen kid when she unwittingly sends him off to the perfect camp for him. It's well shot, well acted and well scripted for a young teen audience. Recommended for ages 12 to 16 and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-16
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


HEAVENS HARD PITCHES

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
HEAVENS HARD PITCHES
TAMESHA SCOTT
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A young girls searches for answers to her father's identity and the reason she was sent to foster care.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wow, this heart-wrenching story brought tears to my eyes. It's a bit slow moving but that pace is actually suitable to the storyline. Well scripted, acted and produced. I recommend this for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for ages 12 to 18 as well as adults. Anyone who has experienced foster care, in any way, will particularly resonate with this well thought out piece. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comment
Runtime: 13 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


FRIENDS FOREVER

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FRIENDS FOREVER
BIN LU
Series: STUDENT DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - The movie is about two friends who really want to be each other, and ended up having a very unexpected adventure...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Adorable. This film by 6th grade student Vinca Lu warms my heart. It gives such insight into these two young girls, their friendship and dreams. Very well scripted, acted, shot and edited. I believe middle school students will thoroughly relate to the circumstances of these two girls and their lives. Recommended for ages 10 to 15 as well as adults. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comment
Runtime: 14 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


OK

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
OK
IAN LANG
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Young Matthew has struggled a lot over the past two years. Losing his mother to cancer, dealing with bullies, and now moving to a new town to get a "fresh start", it seems like everything in his world is upside down.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Bullying is such a prevalent topic these days, both in and out of school. This film shows the interaction between boys, bullies and friends and a father, and the issues they are all dealing with. The acting is quite good. The script, quite realistic. The sets and background music all take you to a place in middle America that many of us can relate to. There is no diversity shown here, as everyone is white, middle class. In spite of that, I find it commendable and recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 13. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comment
Runtime: 50 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


MOM GOT EATEN BY A SPIDER DEMON

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MOM GOT EATEN BY A SPIDER DEMON
STRETCH FILMS INC.
Series: SHORT AGES 8-12, ANIMATION
Topic - Family
Description - A horror comedy about twin 'goosies' who rescue their mom after she becomes possessed by a spider demon.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This absolutely wacky animation and creative slapstick is thoroughly entertaining. It gets a bit violent for a kids' cartoon, almost like Itchy and Scratchy form the Simpsons. Much like classic Looney Tunes shorts, it provides enough absurd humor and insane animation for kids to enjoy! It is filled with creative visuals, slapstick comedy and nutty humor that will appeal to both a kid and adult audience. The quirky animation looks as if a coloring book was brought to life. This short's suspension of disbelief and unbalanced reality makes it charming. While at times it can get violent, it's harmless. The expressions of the characters are exactly what animation is supposed to do, over-exaggerate. Mouths are able to be bigger and eyes can become more revealing. Sound however may be obnoxious. There are a lot of screaming birds. The characters are clever and funny. The colors and backgrounds are quite amazing. This is the work of an animation genius, although not for those who take things too literally. This exemplifies humor and heart. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. Reviewed by Keefer B and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comment
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DISHA'S BOAT

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DISHA'S BOAT
AMIT KAPOOR
Series: SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - One afternoon, Disha, a vivacious 10 year old, comes home from school. She discovers her mother's new game and is very excited about it. Inquisitive and engrossed in her mother's hand written notes, Disha's task is simply to follow the instructions, have fun and do every activity independently. What challenges are in store for Disha?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I recommend this movie for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival because it has an appealing message about how a mom indirectly guides her daughter towards being independent and wonderfully charming actors. The movie flows well with main character, Disha's mom, communicating with her through sticky notes to guide her along. The movie quickly shows Disha becoming more independent. It's also little confusing in some aspects, such as the ending. The protagonist's acting is very realistic. Disha is quite adorable. Also, the background music is quite appropriate and adds greatly to the story. A child will enjoy the movie's theme about the mom continuously guiding her daughter through day to day tasks and helping her to be more independent. The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for its target audience. I enjoyed the camerawork and the scenes of everyday life in India. Disha's costume, whether it's her school uniform or dress all look appropriate. I think this makes a wonderful addition to any youth or family film festival that wants to examine childhood and international families. It is shot in India, in English and is very easy to understand. I recommend this for ages of 6 to 12 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comment
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SHAKE IT OFF

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SHAKE IT OFF
KRISTI VETICA
Series: SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - When a popular elementary school girl is treated like an outcast by her friends she learns how to cope through dance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an inspiring short film about a young girl who achieves her goals, follows her dreams and overcomes the bullying directed at her. It is a great family movie and has a very strong message that will definitely spark a conversation between parents and their children. Shake It Off tells kids that you can put your mind to something and make it happen. The script is a little cheesy and predictable, but the production quality is pretty high and the cast especially the lead, quite outstanding. The protagonist is absolutely adorable and a great dancer to boot. The cinematography is quite good and the cast and crew deliver a pretty fantastic movie that families will enjoy, especially those interested in dance. The most appealing thing about this film is its message: just because someone tells you that you can't do something, doesn't mean it's true. The film flows well and makes a lot of sense. The subject is handled well, although there is not really give a good explanation as to whether the bullies are reprimanded. Bullying is serious business, especially when directed at younger kids. This story avoids making the situation too depressing while at the same time it doesn't sugarcoat anything. I believe a child would enjoy this because it's entertaining to watch and it sends out a great message. I recommend this film for ages 7 to 11 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals for two categories: bullying and dance. Reviewed by Ella L. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 23 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-11
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


WHAT GOES UP

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WHAT GOES UP
JEANNETTE SAVAGE
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Imaginative little girl Abby is going to explore the stars. She even has her own a cardboard spacecraft. But the destiny of stars is to collapse, and when tragedy strikes suddenly, Abby must learn how to find light in the dark.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I think it's a great little film that shows that children are resilient and that they can overcome life's biggest obstacles. The story is about a little girl named Abby who has a big imagination. She is very interested in space exploration and her mother tells her that she can do whatever she puts her mind to, telling her to "reach for the stars." She spends a lot of time playing in her spaceship, which is constructed out of empty boxes. When she is in her ship, she travels to space. Midway through the movie, her mother dies and she has a hard time coping. She destroys her space ship, seemingly to give up on her dreams. But things turn around for her and her father and she begins to put more effort into completing her homework and doing well in school. Her father sends her to a space camp with a note saying "the sky's the limit," the words her mother used to say. He fixes her spaceship and she gets excited about learning again. The film flows very well and the story makes perfect sense. Visually, the cinematography is very clear, as is the sound quality. I particularly enjoyed the background music. It is empowering to children and, though the topic heavy - coping with Death of a loved one - it is addressed sensitively. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 12. Reviewed by Amanda M., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 12 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


ISOLATION

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ISOLATION
ALI GHIASVAND
Series: FEATURE, AGES 14-18
Topic - Family
Description - Zohreh is stalked on the way home. She finds this out in the middle of the way and runs away. This leads to her death in a car accident. Her husband, Parviz, has the head jailer's green light to go on bail for 72 hours to bury and say farewell to Zohreh.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The most appealing feature about this film is the drama, mystery and love of a father for his children. I like the way we learn why Parviz is a prisoner and how Zohreh attempts to keep his image stellar. It is a story of determination and fatherly love. The story follows a father, Parviz , who is a prisoner on leave to handle the death of his wife Zohreh. He is faced with finding out the truth about not only his wife's death but also her life with his two children. I believe older children will enjoy this film because of its message about self-reflection and determination. The film has you guessing what Parviz will do to keep his word about returning to prison and making sure his children are cared for and safe. We see and experience the fear from an unknown person chasing Zohreh that leads to her being run down by a car. Parviz meets his daughter after a couple of years and his six- year-old son for the first time. We feel his "isolation" as he seeks to unravel the mystery of his wife's life. He talks with their former landlord, relatives and friends to get to the real answers. It is well produced with excellent visuals and a storyline that holds you in suspense. I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. This is definitely not for younger children. I recommend Isolation for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 92 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SAMMY'S MEASE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SAMMY'S MEASE
ANTHONY ORKIN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 6-12
Topic - Family
Description - Lily performs surgery on her favorite stuffed animal. Unfortunately, there are complications. Lily hides her deed from her mother. That night, she has a nightmare. Animated in stop-motion, her doll Sammy has a measle-ectomy. The next morning, Lily finds that Sammy has risen from the dead. Daddys are good for something.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The subject of this short film is not too uncommon but its treatment is definitely different. I think that kids will relate to the storyline and hence, recommend it for KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. It's well produced with excellent cinematography, animation, background music and acting. I recommend it for ages 6-12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DENTURES OF DEATH

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DENTURES OF DEATH       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
ELIAS SOMMER
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 12 TO 18
Topic - Family
Description - In the center of this comedy is timid six-year-old Tommy, whose parents make the terrible mistake of letting insensitive great-uncle Will babysit the child. That same night, sleepless Tommy loses his first tooth, and with no one there to answer his questions, the boy's vivid imagination runs wild...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Extraordinary! This short film by a university student is very well produced with great visuals and imagination. The terror the young boy experiences while in his great uncle's care is thoughtfully portrayed and carefully constructed. The ending brings great satisfaction to the story and we see the great uncle isn't completely wacko. Because it could be somewhat frightening to younger children, I recommend it for ages 11 to 18 as well as adults. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S. KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 14 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 11-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO
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SUNNY AND GERD IN SPRING CLEANING

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SUNNY AND GERD IN SPRING CLEANING
DACOSTA BAYLEY
Series: ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Gerd sits in his favourite spot to enjoy his break and catch up on some reading. Unbeknownst to Gerd, his best friend Sunny is about to deny him any respite
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Love this. What do you get when a robot-obsessed illustrator is set loose? Something remarkably just like this short film. Technically it is brilliant with great characters who jump right off the screen. I could make toys out of these and they would fly off the shelf. They are adorable and thought provoking at the same time. Ok. Great background music, storyline. It's a yes. Kids 5-18 plus adults will enjoy this. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


JEERJIMBE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
JEERJIMBE
GAUTHAM IYER
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - The movie is named after the "Jewel beetle" - at the ripe age, the beetle's wings are cut and the wings are used to make ornaments and jewels while the beetle is let to die. Indian culture (which has been evolving and changing in urban areas but hasn't changed much in the rural segment) gets girl kids of 13-15 years married off depriving them of the opportunity to do things on their own, get educated and contribute to the society.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I highly recommend this film for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. The appealing thing about this film is seeing a different culture. I always love to learn about new cultures and different types of people. The unappealing thing is that it is in a different language, and, even though there are subtitles, it is tiring reading them because they go so fast. This did not hinder the film. It flows well, is handled well and is quite watchable. At some parts though, it was hard for me to understand what was going on, even with the subtitles. There is a lot of drama and comedy, which was really interesting to watch. The camerawork is amazing. The costumes look great. The acting is great. The overall production of the film is well done. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 127 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SNOWMAN, THE & THE SNOWMAN AND THE SNOWDOG

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SNOWMAN, THE & THE SNOWMAN AND THE SNOWDOG
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - Relive Raymond Brigg's holiday classic, The Snowman! One crisp, winter morning, a young boy wakes up to find a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground as far as the eye can see. Filled with excitement, the boy decides to build a snowman using a tangerine for his nose, coal for his buttons and eyes, and tops him off with a hat and scarf. Later that night, at the stroke of midnight, the snowman comes to life! The young boy and the snowman embark on a magical adventure of discovery where the snowman explores the young boy s world and in return he takes him flying to his home in the North Pole. Upon arriving at the North Pole, the two join a party as the guests of honor to a very special person. Then, embark on a new adventure in the charming sequel, The Snowman and the Snowdog! When a young boy and his mother move to a new house, the boy discovers a secret box hidden under the floorboards of his bedroom. In the box, he finds a hat, scarf, some lumps of coal and a shriveled tangerine - it's a snowman-making kit! Later that day it starts to snow and the boy builds a Snowman and with the little spare snow leftover, a Snowdog. That night they come to life and take him on a wonderful adventure. As dawn breaks they fly home, but before the boy returns to bed a magical surprise awaits him...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Snowman is one of my all-time favorite pieces of animation. Directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by Jonathan Coates, this non-narrative film truly is filled with wonder. The haunting music by Howard Blake ("Walking in the Air") stays with me for days after each time I watch this film. And, I mean that in a good way. Based on the best-selling book by Raymond Briggs, this is a piece of animation that is true to the original story and one to share with your family during the holiday season.

N Circle Entertainment has done a brilliant thing in creating this two DVD pack and including the sequel to this classic film, The Snowman and Snowdog which was created to mark the 30th anniversary of the original. Another non-narrative film, this one brings in a new character in a short film that is as charming as the original. Dedicated to John Coates and featuring a new song, "Light the Night" by former Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows, this is an extremely thoughtful sequel and was made using traditional hand-drawn animation, not CGI. This collection is really a treasure! Reviewed by Sarah S., KIDS FIRST! Juror

These movies are instant classics that bring out the feeling of Christmas Spirit. The first thing you notice is the beautiful animation. The next is the story which is wholesome and great for the whole family. The Snowman is about a boy whom builds a snowman and when that snowman comes to life they embark on a lovely adventure to the North Pole. Similarly, the sequel is about a boy building a snowman and a Snowdog that both come to life. I highly recommend these two short films and recommend them for ages 2 to 9. I also believe some older children and adults will like it as well. I give these 5 out of 5 stars! Happy Holidays!

Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This double feature DVD includes heartwarming films about the winter season that never ceases to amaze me. I like both movies because they remind me of myself during the holidays. For example, when the boy has to scrounge up snow for his snowman, I thought about when I tried to do the same thing! This DVD includes two movies: The Snowman and The Snowman and The Snowdog. I love both equally!

In The Snowman, a young British boy in a classic 1950s English rural home builds a snowman on Christmas Eve. At midnight, the snowman comes to life and takes the boy on a flying trip around the world! The scenes become grander and grander until you think nothing more can happen! After all of this is over, they travel back home. The next morning, the boy...well, you'll see. The ending brought meaningful tears to my eyes!

The sequel movie, The Snowman and The Snowdog picks up where the first movie left off. It takes place in modern times with another boy who has recently moved into the exact same English house (now renovated). Less than a year after moving in, the boy discovers under a floorboard a time capsule left behind by the previous boy. This box includes a picture of the same snowman and the original objects used to decorate it. The lad builds the snowman according to the picture and the Snowman is reborn! Still, the boy isn't finished. While saddened with the recent loss of his dog, he also builds a Snowdog! They travel around the world in similar fashion as the first boy, but there is a surprise ending!

The detail in these movies is stunning! Even though there is no talking, the artistry makes up for that. Each scene is hand-drawn, which must have been a technical pain for the scenes in motion! These movies are based on Raymond Briggs' classic picture books. Besides young children, adults who have read this book in their youth will also appreciate these quality films. The unexpected ending is truly memorable!

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for kids ages 2 to 6 and adults who enjoy fine art. This movie is available both on DVD and VOD. So, enjoy this winter delight!

Reviewed by Eden T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9


Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.96
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


GUMBY: GUMBY'S ARCTIC ANTICS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GUMBY: GUMBY'S ARCTIC ANTICS       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 - Gumby and Pokey, television's legendary clay characters, live one great adventure after another in a timeless world of stop motion magic and wonder. Join our favorite duo in this fun-filled collection of 50's, 60's and 80's episodes! When Santa gets sick right before Christmas, will the holiday be ruined or can the Witty Witch save the day and deliver the gifts with the help of a certain someone? Then, Scrooge escapes from his book and sets out to destroy all of the toys in Toyland, but luckily Gumby is there to save the day. From helping the Pilgrims, George Washington, and even the Moon Boggles, to rescuing a baby mastodon in the arctic, these unique shows will spark your imagination and bring a smile to your heart.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I believe the DVD Gumby: Arctic Antics is a great series because of its claymation and characters. I found it brought cheer to my Christmas and made me happy.

This DVD is a collection of holiday themed episodes from the 50s, 60s and 80s about Gumby and his friend Pokey as they look into famous stories about Christmas, Thanksgiving and the fourth of July. Gumby and Pokey are an iconic duo from the 60s.

This type of animation is known as claymation. It reminds me of Christmas movies such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and other classics such as Santa is Coming to Town. They poke fun of the fact that the characters are clay by making them melt. I like how they incorporate live action with the animation. In one scene, Gumby and Pokey fall down into a pile of things and they are live action.

The characters in the show are fantastic. I love the banter between Gumby and Pokey. Gumby always tells Pokey to pay attention to the story they are watching, but he always disobeys. Instead, he helps the characters in the story.

The message of this film is to help people no matter the consequences. It spreads a message about helping friends or people in need. Pokey helps a prince who was scammed by shop owners when they gave him a plum tree with a pigeon in it. So, he tells a man with fairy dust to turn the tree and pigeon into gold. The prince is surprised of what happens and the girl he gives it to is ecstatic.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars recommend it to ages 6 to 9. This is available on DVD now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 80 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 3.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


SUPER 4: WELCOME TO KINGSLAND!

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SUPER 4: WELCOME TO KINGSLAND!       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-10
Topic - Family
Description - Inspired by the world of Playmobil� toys, embark on a series of adventures with the Super 4 as they travel throughout the wider Playmobil� universes. Whether it be a sci-fi futuristic world, a magical fairy world, a world of pirates, or a world of medieval knights, the adventures are never ending! Welcome to Kingsland, a world of chivalry, dragons, quests, tournaments, and castles! Kingsland is ruled by the corrupt King John, who is Prince Alexander's uncle. King John ascended the throne when Alex's father and mother were lost at sea. Prince Alexander is the heir to the throne but cannot abide living under his uncle's corrupt authority. Join Prince Alexander, or Alex as he'd prefer to be called, along with his Super 4 friends as they band together to fight villains especially dragons and save their worlds from chaos.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Welcome to Kingsland is about the Super 4 and a lovely prince named Alex joining forces to take down the evil king (who just happens to be Alex's uncle) and fight many medieval monsters such as dragons to save the world! Although I enjoyed the story, I have to be honest., I really disliked the CGI animation. While I understand that this is a Playmobil property and they do things very similar to LEGO. I just really feel like their animation doesn't work well here. By the end of this program, it felt as if it was a long commercial for the Kingsland Playset and less an actual story. My son enjoyed it though and I believe that the younger aged kids will like it. I just wish there was more to learn from this program and less to buy. It is very comical and definitely tries to teach children to problem solve, but falls a bit short of the mark for my liking. I recommend it for ages 5 to 9 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this DVD with its seven, fun-filled episodes with wonderful story lines, exciting characters and fun animation. The animation is similar to what LEGO movies use, but it Is different and transports you to a new place.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Super 4: Welcome to Kingsland is a DVD of episodes about the Playmobil characters known as the Super 4. The series is based on the worlds of Playmobil. The worlds shown on this DVD are: Kingsland, which holds knights, barons, kings, princes, princesses and dragons; Fairy World, where fairies and little strange monsters live; and the Lost World, which includes dinosaurs. I must admit, I didn't really enjoy this DVD. It is very repetitive. The characters that aren't Super 4 members do the same thing in every episode. For example, the knights just worship the king and don't fight. The plot where the baron tries to marry the princess is used in two different episodes.

The members of the Super 4 are: Alex, (Damien Ferrette), the prince of Kingsland and the leader who started the Super 4; Twinkle, (Annouck Hautbois), a fairy from Fairy World, who doesn't always get her spells right the first time; Ruby, (Laetitia Lefebvre), a pirate from the Pirate Lost Island, who sometimes gets in trouble for stealing treasure but always gives it back unless it is owned by the enemy; Gene, (Franck Lorrain), the team's genius from the Agents' world, who never gets things wrong. The Super 4 are a group of friends who embark on many adventures and missions to fight villains. This collection is about a few of their adventures saving Kingsland, Alex's home world from chaos.

My favorite episode is called "Rage of Dragon" which is about the enchanted witch from fairy world who puts a spell on Ruby that turns her into a dragon. Super 4's remaining members must figure out what happened to her and help her break the spell. That episode really stands out. My favorite character is Alien, Twinkles strange little monster pet who is really scared of dragons. He is funny because he is always clumsy.

The message of this show is that if you work together, you can do anything. I don't like that the series repeats the same plot multiple times, but younger kids who like repetition and play with Playmobil might love this. For that reason, this series isn't really my taste. I rate this DVD 2 out of 5 stars for its ability to look like Playmobil. I recommend this DVD for ages 2 through 6 because it has a lot of repetition of plots and characters and little kids love that. This DVD/Blu-ray is available now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Damon Foxe, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


JUSTICE LEAGUE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JUSTICE LEAGUE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes-Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash-it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I'm not sure why the reviews for this movie have been so squirrely. This is a very entertaining movie, with the kind of mindless, superhero entertainment one wants in a film of its kind. I personally think there is a bias against DC movies not made by Christopher Nolan, however I will defend Justice League in this review.

It should be known that I don't expect these types of films to have much in the way of development or good writing. After all, these aren't directed by Nolan and are more in the direction of what Marvel movies are - pure entertainment. It's a date night movie, or something for the family to watch together. It's not going to produce any Oscar worthy performances a la Heath Ledger, but the performances need to personify these characters and be believable. That's my criteria. Is it entertaining? Will audiences like it? Will its target audience be attracted to it? And the answer to all three of those is yes.

In the Critic's Consensus of the film on Rotten Tomatoes, one of the criticisms is "thin characters." To that I say, of course! The writing in a film such as this isn't supposed to provide subtle depth and deep character analysis. The characters are simple with personal issues that they get over and get past within two hours. They are figures to awe at, not people reflect themselves in. Just because Captain America: Civil War achieved that, doesn't mean every superhero action flick that comes out achieves that. Justice League is well enough acted to where these characters are quite believable. What more an audience seeking a Friday night romp ask for?

The most important thing is that the movie is only two hours long. It feels great! The recent trend of superhero movies and blockbusters taking two and half to three hours is a bad trend that doesn't serve the films (and it's why many them aren't very good), but Justice League is very well paced, very tight and a good length. DC has been clocking in their films at around two hours, twenty minutes. Justice League clocks in at 120 minutes precisely and it feels like a breeze. Directing and editing are well done as far as that goes.

Of course there are cheesy lines and over dramatized moments, but isn't there always? It's a formula that works and eventually we just ignore those parts because the action scenes are so entertaining. That word "entertaining" perfectly describes this movie from beginning to end. It's predictable as they come, formulaic as can be and not exceptional by any means. But, my goodness is it pleasant watch. It's just plain fun. DC has made a good movie that deserves to be seen. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It is playing in theaters now so be sure to go check it out.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is spectacular in two main ways, the comic book references and the special effects. There are so many of them such as The Flash and Superman racing. Also the CGI costumes look so real for Cyborg and Steppenwolf.

Justice League is about Bruce Wayne/Batman tracking down parademons. Meanwhile in Atlantis, Themyscira Steppenwolf invades and steals the mother boxes from them, killing a lot of Amazonian and Atlanteans troops in the process. Batman hears this news from Diana/Wonder Woman and decides to form a team to stop Steppenwolf from stealing the last mother box.

Batman (Ben Affleck) returns as the best Batman yet. He stands out from the other characters with his two Oscars, one for best picture and another for best screenplay. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) also has an award for best actor from Teen Choice Awards. Award-winning actor J. K. Simmons plays Commissioner Gordon and, for the five minutes he's on screen, is awesome.

The budget of this movie is $300,000,000, so the special effects should be stupendous and that is correct. For Cyborg's character, his whole body looks like it is actually made out of metal and is glowing. The costume for The Flash looks damaged and made out of NASA grade material.

My favorite part of this movie is when The Flash and Superman are about to race. This is my favorite part because it is such a big comic book reference, which is why I like DC more than Marvel.

The message of this movie is to stand up as a leader because your friends will support you. This message is very positive for people that are reluctant to stand up. This film has a few iffy thing such as Aquaman drinking a whole whisky bottle and smashing it, but there are no risky things kids might imitate after watching it. There is some mile profanity. This movie is dark, yet funny and is riddled with references. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 10 to 18. This movie is in theaters now, so go check it out.

Reviewed by Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

This movie is definitely meant to please and entertain all the DC Universe fan's. In other words, for me this movie is just plain great. I really enjoyed how we got to see all the main Justice League characters in one big movie. Who wouldn't? Seriously, the way costumes are designed to the great acting is amazing.

One part I really enjoyed is when Batman starts swinging around and driving his Batmobile around town, because it shows the audience how cool Batman really is. Another part I really enjoyed is when Flash is introduced. Flash is that one character who ends up bringing all the comedy to the film, which I think is great.

The storyline in this movie is about how Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavil), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Auqaman (Jason Momoa) come together to save the day. They have to battle a dangerous alien race who is trying to destroy Earth so they can rule all. Throughout the movie we experience a lot of funny moments such as when Flash shows that he likes Wonder Woman and again when they're fighting the villain. There are also some really cool CGI effects that wow'd me.

The creators of this movie should be quite proud of their creation, because I believe Justice league will be a big hit. Everybody in the movie theater enjoyed the movie. You could tell by listening to their laughs and their clapping at the end of the movie how much they loved it. While watching it, I noticed that the CGI was similar to a video game, which I think suits this movie very well. I would have to say this is the best DC movie I have seen so far. Along with the cool graphics, the acting stands out, which I found very enjoyable. Also there are some really cool plot twists.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 because there is some mild profanity and some mature scenes at the beginning. I give this 5 out of 5 stars. It is playing in theaters now so be sure to check it out, whether or not you are a DC fan!

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

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


STAR, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
STAR, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - In Sony Pictures Animation's THE STAR, a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told - the first Christmas.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This incredible animated film had me laughing the entire time. On top of that, there are so many talking animals, ranging from horses to sheep and even dogs. I love dogs immensely, so seeing them talk kept my eyes peeled the entire time. Along with the talking animals comes an impeccable plot, so I promise that you'll never be bored.

When a donkey named Bo breaks free from the local village mill, he joins his friend, Dave the Dove, on the trip of a lifetime. On their journey to Bethlehem, they find a lovable sheep named Ruth and they all work together to keep Joseph and Mary safe. In doing so, they encounter numerous obstacles, such as fighting wild dogs and protecting Mary from being stabbed. This film is undoubtedly unique, because it tells the story of the First Christmas from an animal's perspective. Watch Bo and his friends discover the true meaning of the First Christmas, by following the bright star in the sky, which ultimately guides them through all of their encounters.

Steven Yeun, who plays Bo the Donkey, is hands down my favorite character. He is optimistic and truly cares about the well-being of others. Even though Joseph tells Bo to leave him and Mary alone, Bo will not stop until he ensures that Mary can safely birth her son. Gina Rodriguez, who plays Mary, is such a sweet woman. She truly cares for Bo and, while her husband Joseph doesn't want Bo around, Mary will never let Bo down. Zachary Levi, who plays Joseph, is an exceptional example of a husband. He never lets Mary down, comforts her when she's upset and will do absolutely anything to make her happy. He travels for miles to find a place for their son Jesus to be born and remains calm the entire time. I applaud him for his great patience.

The animation in this film is adorable. Bo the donkey is the cutest donkey I have ever seen. He has big eyes and, whenever he makes a mistake, you have to forgive him, because he doesn't mean any harm. Each character looks dramatically different. It's great to see such diversity in the film. All of the characters respect one another, no matter their backgrounds or appearances, which is a concept that should directly be applied to human interaction.

My favorite part is when Bo and Ruth are trying to warn Joseph and Mary of the bad guys. The audience knows the animals can talk, but Joseph and Mary don't, which makes it even funnier. All Joseph and Mary can hear is screaming animals and they see Bo and Ruth running around in circles, pretending to act as vicious, wild dogs.

The message of the film is to appreciate the meaning of the First Christmas. Before watching this film, I was unaware of the history behind it, but I am so glad I watched it, because it changes your entire perspective on Christmas. In addition, the film focuses on working together, never giving up on each other and always treat others kindly, even if they don't treat you that way. There is no reason to ever be mean to anyone and all of these animals are so kind to each other. If animals can do it, so can humans.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. It is the perfect film to watch this upcoming holiday season with family and friends. This film opens November 17, 2017 in your local theater, so go check it out. There is no better way to kick off the holiday season than by watching a film about why we celebrate the Christmas holiday.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Star is an amazing movie! It has some stunning animation and graphics. I could see every single hair on the animals. It also has a marvelous plot based on true events. This film gives a modern twist to the biblical story of Jesus' birth which makes it very interesting and keeps you at the edge of your seat. It also has a lot of comedy and funny jokes.

The Star is the story of Jesus' birth and the journey of all the animals in the famous nativity scene. Bo, a donkey, escapes the mill he was in and hid in Mary's house. Bo discovers that there is an evil king who wants to kill Mary, so he follows Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem to protect them.

One of the things I love about The Star is the great music (thanks to John Paesano) and its amazing artists, from Mariah Carey and Kelsea Ballerini, to Fifth Harmony and Pentatonix. I found a bunch of wonderful new Christmas songs in this movie and they are all so awesome. I also love the stunning animation. When Bo first goes outside of the millers, it had been a while since he had been outside. So when he did, you can see his pupils dilate. That shows the amount of attention to detail the animators made. This film makes this biblical story more interesting for kids, with a lot of action and engagement. It is also very funny. They crack a lot of jokes that made the whole audience laugh. My favorite scene is when Joseph tries to put a harness on Bo and Joseph keeps falling off.

The message of this film is that friendship is worth fighting for and, even if someone doesn't know that they need it, you should still help them. I recommend this film for ages 5 to 12 because it really is a great family movie and will teach kids a little more about the history of Christmas and Jesus' birth in a fun way. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for it stunning animation, modern plot and amazing new music. This film opens November 17, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


REGAL ACADEMY: ROSE CINDERELLA IN FAIRY TALE LAND
0
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Rose Cinderella thinks she is a regular teenager, but things change when she finds a magic key unlocking a world where fairy tales come to life! Rose Cinderella quite literally falls into Fairy Tale Land and discovers that Cinderella is not only her grandmother but also the headmistress of Regal Academy, a school where fairytale families teach the next generation how to become heroes. Episodes included are: A School for Fairy Tales, The Great Dragon Race and The Swan in Swamp Lake.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What's most appealing about this DVD is that it's an animated series starring Cinderella's granddaughter. I like this series because it separates fact from fiction. For instance, the viewers see Regal Academy as an enchanting and magical world filled with mythical creatures, while earth is simply earth. Furthermore, I like that Rose has a magical ability, which is called pumpkin magic. With her wand, Rose turns pumpkins into cars and objects. Rose is a likable character that will be relatable to children between the ages of 5 to 12. She's clumsy, a bit nosy, loud, outspoken, and has a positive outlook on life. This series has great visuals and includes vocabulary and concepts that are suitable for this age group. In fact, each episode flows well, the sound is clear, and has a beginning, middle and end. I highly recommend this series and give it 4 out of 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 72 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: DVD


VISIONS OF PUERTO RICO

VISIONS OF PUERTO RICO
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Viewers are given the opportunity to take a journey through paradise around the island of Puerto Rico and back again, by using the lighthouses at the four corners of the island as transition points. Featuring informative narration about the island's rich history, architecture and lush natural beauty, the program uses aerial and ground footage shot in high-definition with the latest technology, and a soundtrack of local favorites including the omnipresent chirp of the tiny coqui frog to submerge viewers in this special place.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This hour-long PBS program takes us on a tour of Puerto Rico (a U.S. territory since 1898) using aerial photography to swoop along the stunning coastline and survey the old fortresses and classic beaches. Moving inland, the camera lingers over the Spanish-influenced architecture and vast countryside, farms and forests. The sunny streets of Old San Juan come alive as we see children playing and people going about their daily lives. Lighthouses at each of the four points of the island anchor the travelogue, and along the way bits of history about the land and the people are accompanied by lively Spanish music. The editing is relaxed, in keeping with the island's rhythms, though a sense is felt of the encroachment of modern skyscrapers on its natural beauty. While lush forests and stretches of green countryside are hovered over, one can't help but ruminate upon the devastating effects of 2017s Hurricane Maria that flooded so many of the peaceful streets and plazas, after this program was made. Recommended for ages 12 to 18 as well as adults and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Mike F., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 55 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD
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DADDY'S HOME TWO

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DADDY'S HOME TWO       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Father and stepfather Dusty and Brad join forces to make Christmastime perfect for the children. Their newfound partnership soon gets put to the test when Dusty's old-school, macho dad and Brad's gentle father arrive to turn the holiday upside down.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The subject matter of Daddy's Home Two hits close to home for my family as we are a mixed-family family and my children are in split households. When the first film came out, all of us went to go see it in theaters together. So we were all super excited to have the honor of attending the press screening and reviewing the sequel.

The story is wonderful and heart warming. It is a real treat to see co-dads in action. Seeing this huge split family come together and thrive is beautiful. My favorite part of this movie is seeing the fantastic work done in choosing the grandfathers' roles. Watching this, you really believe that Mel Gibson is Mark Wahlberg's dad and John Lithgow is Will Ferrell's dad. They deliver such believable performances. On the other hand, John Cena's character isn't given enough character development to make a big impact. My least favorite part of this film is the ending. I can't tell you what it is because that would be a spoiler. I will say that it takes place at a Showcase Cinema and maybe it's because I was at a Showcase Cinema watching this film, but I really did not enjoy the sequence of events at the ending.

All together though, the film is well done, light hearted and funny. It brings light to a difficult subject and hopefully inspires some parents and step-parents to try a little bit harder because, in the end parenting is about the children not parents. This movie is rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive material. I feel it is appropriate for ages 10 to 18 as well as adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Daddy's Home Two is definitely worth seeing and is funnier than the first movie. In this hilarious sequel to Daddy's Home, we see Dusty's (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad's (Will Ferrell), friendship and co-parenting skills put to the test when both their dads show up for Christmas.

Towards the beginning of the film, one of the children expresses at a school play how sad it makes them feel about having two Christmas's in two different homes. After the play, Dusty and Brad come up with an idea and decide to tell the kids that they will have a together Christmas. Dusty's dad, Kurt (Mel Gibson) and Brad's dad, Don (John Lithgow) arrive during the time they are planning their perfect Christmas and that's when things start to get crazy. Don is a very talkative, affectionate and emotional type of dad. Meanwhile, Kurt is very an ultra masculine, loner type of dad, who is not the greatest parent. Kurt starts to instigate and stir things up between Brad and Dusty. The question is, will they have a successful family Christmas or will it be an epic failure?

I really enjoyed this film for its humor and the new cast additions. The humor is way better than the original. I must say that Paramount upped the comedy by a lot. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when they went to talk to Santa. That visit to Santa leads to a specific turkey hunt. I don't want to spoil it for anyone because it is very entertaining. I also enjoyed the performances by the cast. Wahlberg and Ferrell maintain their comedic chemistry like they did in the first film. The new cast members, John Lithgow and Mel Gibson are very comical and make it more entertaining with their facial expressions, sarcasms and crazy antics. The jokes are amusing because of their delivery. Lithgow and Gibson are the polar opposites and they are hilarious. Oh, and watch out for Scarlett Estevez and Owen Wilder Vacarro, those two are little scene-stealers. They each have moments where they really shine.

I must admit the movie can be a little childish and inappropriate at times. But overall it's worth the watch. After all, everyone should experience a little joy and laughter around the holidays. The message I took away from this film is that the dads in this blended family were willing to work with each other, despite their differences in parenting, for the sake of their kids so they could have a Merry Christmas together. I give this movie four out of five stars and recommend it to ages 9 to 18 as well as adults. I also recommend it to those who like family comedies. This opens Friday, November 20, 2017 in theaters nationwide so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This film is so incredibly hilarious. The humor is quite slapstick and exaggerated, but is written so well and timed so perfectly that it is not obnoxious in the slightest. The plot is interesting to follow. The writers squeezed a lot of important and comical events into a short amount of time. However it doesn't seem rushed or forced.

Daddy's Home Two, the sequel to Daddy's Home, is directed by Sean Anders and stars Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, John Lithgow and Mel Gibson. In this film, two kids urge their mom (Linda Cardellini), their dad (Mark Wahlberg) and their step-dad (Will Ferrell) to have a "together Christmas." They all agree before Dusty and Brad find out that both their dads (John Lithgow and Mel Gibson) are spending Christmas with them. The film follows this group of people as they try to enjoy a family holiday while tensions rise between each other.

The acting is awesome throughout this film. The delivery of the jokes is so on point and it makes everything funnier than it already was. I could not keep my eyes off of the screen the entire time because this film is so much fun to watch. I had an absolute blast watching it. The holiday theme makes it a great family movie to watch during the upcoming holiday season.

The message is about family and how important it is. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18. You should know that there are slightly adult jokes. This film opens November 10, 2017 in theaters nationwide so go check it out whether you're with friends, family or even by yourself. You will have blast.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS       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 - A lavish trip through Europe quickly unfolds into a race against time to solve a murder aboard a train. Everyone's a suspect when Detective Hercule Poirot arrives to interrogate all passengers and search for clues before the killer can strike again.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - As a colleague of mine said after the closing credits, "Ever once in a while, isn't it great to see a wonderful film." This gentleman has been in the theater and entertainment business all his life, as were the others with whom I attended this screening. With a wonderful cast, under the direction of Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as Poirot, this film did not disappoint. The script, based on the classic novel by Agatha Christie, is filled with wonderful dialogue that one likes to savor it in your memory. The cinematography and locations were awe-inspiring. The camera shots coming over a precipice to see the iconic train below stops your heart at times. Yes, I loved it. Other critics have panned it and I ask why. Perhaps because it's too slow for our U.S. audience that craves action and adventure. But, for me, I enjoyed the costumes, the idea of being on that train, of sussing out "who done it" and more. Of course, I already knew the story but I put that into the back of my brain so I could watch this as if it was fresh and new. And, that made me happy. I loved it! I recommend it! Unless you are a speed junky, I think you will too. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Murder on the Orient Express is an incredible film. It is a perfect example of a classic suspenseful mystery movie. It is based on the detective novel by Agatha Christie. Watching this film really made me want to read the book.

The movie follows Hercule Poirot as he makes a journey aboard the train, The Orient Express. When someone gets murdered in the first-class carriage, while the train is temporarily stuck in snow, he interrogates the remaining passengers to find the culprit. As he slowly starts unraveling the different stories, lots of contradictory clues start to appear and they lead you, along with Hercule Poirot to finally make sense of this twisting tale. I really like how the movie allows you to connect to all the characters as they tell their stories in detail.

My favorite scene is the inevitable big reveal at the end of the film, when Poirot solves the case. I love mystery movies. This is the part when you find out if you are right about who you think committed the crime. I saw this film at in 70mm which was awesome. It gave the film a really authentic feeling.

I love how all the actors portray their characters. During the interrogations, you can tell that each character has something to hide. I really enjoyed Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot. I feel that he really fits the character and portrays how Hercule is feeling at any given time. His moustache is fabulous. I particularly like his moustache guard that he wears at night. This is very funny.

I love the attention to detail in this film. I that there is a slow, rocking sound of the train throughout the entire movie and that there is always movement outside the windows, while the train is in motion. I also like the small connections to Agatha Christie's other books. I love how they use black and white footage to represent flashbacks. This makes very clear what happened in the past rather than the present.

The moral of this film is that there is more to any situation than meets the eye. Nothing is just black and white or right and wrong. There is a gray area in between where people's actions can be both.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for its real, authentic feel and recommend it for ages 10 through 18 as well as adults. This film opens in theaters November 10, 2017 so check it out.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I was excited when I watched the film, Murder on the Orient Express. This movie is truly amazing. I always love mystery movies because they really get me thinking. This one is particularly puzzling. It kept me guessing till the end. The storyline pulls it all together well. The movie has an old-time feel since it takes place in the past. The screening I saw it at was on 70mm film which added to the overall feeling of it. Some parts of the movie are a bit scary, but there are very funny moments too.

The stars of this film are Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot, the protagonist, who is the most amazing detective. Penelope Cruz plays Pilar Estravados, a humble Spanish missionary and nurse. Willem Dafoe plays Cyrus Hardman, a stern German professor who keeps to himself while keeping an eye on everyone else. Other famous actors who are featured include Dame Judy Dench, a foreign princess, Michelle Pfeiffer, an American actress and Johnny Depp, a conman. They all play characters who are riding first class on the train, The Orient Express, when a murder occurs. Hercule Poirot must use his skills to collect the evidence and find the murderer. As the story unfolds, it is very hard to figure out who the murderer is and why. The tagline is "everyone is a suspect" and this turns out to be true, in the most unexpected ways.

My favorite part is in the beginning when Hercule Poirot solves a mystery of a stolen item and catches the culprit at The Waiting Wall. This scene is hilarious. Nothing about this movie is bad, I like when it shows the bottom of the old-fashioned train. Those scenes are particularly cool. The train drives through some awesome scenery on its journey from Istanbul to Paris. The message of this film is that things aren't always what they seem. The movie is based on the book by Agatha Christie and has a perfect ending to have a sequel, as they mention where Poirot must go next, which is the name of another book by the same author.

This movie is really amazing. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars for its awesome storyline and message. The movie is rated PG-13 and I recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Younger children might not understand the concept of murder mysteries and it contains violence such as stabbing and gun shooting. I believe adults will really enjoy it too.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10.

The new mystery film Murder on the Orient Express thrilled with the very intense and complex plot that develops along with the audience's assumptions and theories. When someone watches a suspense movie, you try to keep up and solve the mystery yourself. I could not take my eyes off the screen because of how entertaining this film is and the mystery that unfolds every second of the way. Of course, the plot is very well scripted. It is impressive how everything makes sense and connects at the end. Also, I love how every doubt or question is answered. You can really notice how the filmmakers and the crew were very careful and delicate with the plot and the making of this movie. On another note, what also makes this movie so successful is the cast, a majority of which are A-list, experienced actors that portrayed their characters in the most excellent manner. And at the end, their work pays off as the result is a wonderful film that is most enjoyable.

Murder on the Orient Express is about a lavish train trip through Europe that quickly unfolds into a race against time to solve a murder aboard the train. When an avalanche stops the Orient Express dead in its tracks, the world's "greatest detective" interrogates all the passengers, searching for clues before the killer can commit another crime.

My favorite scene is when the detective interrogates the passengers to get insight on who may be the possible killer. I like this scene because you have the opportunity to see all the different personalities of the various characters in their personal excellent close ups. Also, you get to appreciate the work of all the outstanding actors such as Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz. They are also a big part as to why this movie is pleasurable. Their acting brings the plot to life.

The message of this film is there's more to life than simply right and wrong. In other words, black or white. There are sometimes human factors to consider. People should not be so quick to judged or criticize. The heart needs to be used instead of just thinking with the head or with superficial factors. The detective sees that and has compassion for many of the passengers and their situations. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. It is in theaters now so, be sure to check it out.

By Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


DOOZERS: GIANT GINGERBREAD HOUSE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DOOZERS: GIANT GINGERBREAD HOUSE
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Topic - Family
Description - Welcome to Doozer Creek where the Doozers live! They're green. They're cute. They're three inches tall and they're full of energy, ideas, and enthusiasm! It's family time at Doozer Creek! The Pod Squad want to build a Doozer-sized Gingerbread House! However, in order to achieve such a large size Gingerbread House it's going to take some clever construction to create. Can the Pod Squad do it? Then, Daisy Wheel wants to ice skate with the others, but she doesn't know how. Together, the Pod Squad build her a custom Doo-Step Skating Dress that lets her glide across the ice in no time. Weee! Enjoy these adventures and six more focusing on science, technology, engineering and math!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoy watching The Doozers because I was always a huge fan of Fraggle Rock. My son loves Fraggle Rock and he totally recognized the Doozers when they came on! In this DVD collection, the Doozers set out to make a large gingerbread house and the show really goes into the math and engineering of building the house. It's great how it manages to simplify it enough for young viewers to enjoy. Next you get to see the gang help out a friend and engineer a really cute dress in the process. There's even little present exchanges in this story. I really love how educational and engaging this show is for younger children. I think teamwork is an important life skill and any child watching this is sure to learn very quickly the importance and joy that comes from being part of a team. This is great for ages 3 to 7, but my 21-month-old really enjoyed as well. I give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


THOR: RAGNAROK

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THOR: RAGNAROK       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 - Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The science fiction film, Thor: Ragnarok fascinated me with its special effects, animation and all the technology used to make it so spectacular. It's very impressive how technology has improved over the years and how the previous Thor movies and this one reflects that. I believe one thing that attracts the Thor audiences as well as other superhero movies is that they love to see all the new technology implemented. It's thrilling to see. I also like that they added another side to this film. This one, of course, has a storyline related to the previous Thor movies, but the new film has its own unique touch that makes it stand out from all the previous ones. A lot of times, people complain that all the movies in a series have pretty much the same plot and here, this is not the case. This film has a completely different plot than the previous ones, which makes it more entertaining and exciting.

The storyline is about Thor being imprisoned on the other side of the universe and outside his own world. This situation leads him to commit some absurd actions, like having to face his former ally and avenger Hulk. He later finds himself in a quest for survival and on a mission to prevent the all-powerful Hela, his own sister, from destroying him, his world and his people.

My favorite scene is when Thor and Loki's sister, Hela makes her big entrance, showing that she is powerful and that she wants to control anything in her way. I love this scene because it sets the tone for how the movie will develop. She pits herself against her two brothers, claiming that she is there to stay and will fight them to get what she wants. At that moment, you understand there will be conflicts between these siblings and they are on two separate teams. It makes you expect and analyze what is about to happen. I also like this scene because this is the completely new part of the Thor story.

The positive message that this superhero movie teaches is that it's best if you have perseverance and courage to deal with problems in your life. The characters all have these qualities that they use to achieve their goals. In Thor's situation, it is beneficial for him to use this because what he has to go through is very rough. He has to process the fact that his own sister wants to destroy him, his world and his people. If he lacked the courage and perseverance to get past that, he would not have been able to fight for what was right. In real life, sometimes very difficult situations get in our way and keep us from doing what we want. That is when you pull out these qualities that help you keep going and strive for what is best. And that is what this film teaches the audience. I rate this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. This is available in theaters now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Thor: Ragnarok impressed me because of its excellent action and style. The acting is top level and the wonderful direction captures every detail with an 80s retro feel. This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser for all Marvel fans.

The story is about Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the God of Thunder and former Avenger, who finds himself in the toughest match of his life when he is pitted against Hela (Cate Blanchett), the Goddess of Death, who destroys his hammer in a fierce battle. Thor escapes through a space portal, but is transported to Sakaar, a planet known for its gladiator matches hosted by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Imprisoned, Thor is forced to fight on the gladiator ring, only to find out his opponent is the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), who is unaware of their previous comradery. Meanwhile on Asgard, Hela is the new leader and executes a strict dictatorship. Despite being captured, Thor is trying to set up a team with the Hulk, Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to escape and stop Hela before it is too late.

Chris Hemsworth, as Thor, excellently presents his desperation, despite being a hero of great power. His new-born comradery with the Hulk is well presented, due to their great chemistry. Cate Blanchett, as Hela, is one of the best villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, due to her nefarious behavior and interesting backstory that shines a new light on Asgard's history. Mark Ruffalo, as the Hulk, is excellent in his Jekyll-Hyde personality between being Bruce Banner and being the Hulk. Due to this, he is my favorite character in the movie. Jeff Goldblum, as the Grandmaster, is quirky and fun like always. Tessa Thompson, as Valkyrie, provides an initially flawed companion to Thor, but stops running away from her problems and face them, when she decides to team up with Thor. Tom Hiddleston, as Loki, is as deceptive and charismatic as ever.

The direction by Taika Waititi is splendid. Every scene in the movie is filled with style and well-timed comedy. My favorite scene is when Thor activates his true potential in the final battle against Hela because it is a huge leap for the character, and it leads to one of the most epic battles in the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe. My only problem with the movie is the tonal shifts the movie faces because the movie is filled with comedic scenes. However, in serious and emotional scenes, they feel rout of place.

The message of the movie is about believing in yourself. Thor is only able to last in the battle with Hela when he realizes his true potential is beyond his hammer. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action and suggestive references. The movie releases in theaters on November 3, 2017 so check it out.

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

Marvel movies... They are either works of art with great plots, or completely confusing and the plots are like earbuds in a pocket - tangled and time-wasting. This one isn't (thankfully) the latter. It has humor around every corner which blends well into the story, making it quite enjoyable. This new, highly anticipated third film has cutting-edge CGI. Colorful new worlds are brought to life with realistic scenery and quirky new characters. It's surprising what modern-tech can do for a movie's quality.

Thor: Ragnarok is action-packed, like most of Marvel Studios blockbusters. The music really helps drive the already epic fight scenes to make them feel even more epic. There is also a really interesting storyline. It takes Thor into many different places and situations. I really enjoyed watching this film and am excited to see how Marvel will wrap up all the films that they have made and will make.

The jokes enhance their fair share to the story. They are witty and fun and take nothing away from the thick plot. Most are quick witted and fit in well into what is happening. Very few are cringe-inducing or make you feel disappointed in the world. Two are especially funny, one is about the battle tactic 'get help!,' about which you will have to discover for yourselves. The other joke is when Thor puts together a team to fight Hela (Cate Blanchett) and calls them the 'revengers.' An obvious nod to the Avengers.

Like many modern films, there is very realistic CGI, but this one is more artful than most in the computer generated imagery area. All things - the projectiles, spaceships, even monsters look detailed to the point of realism. The scenery is also beautiful, the real ones as well as the computer generated ones.

The fight scenes are quick and smooth and also look great with modern CGI. The camera angles, the weapons, even the grunts all enhance the action. The music helps the action more than anything else by amplifying the epicness of the combat. The plot is interesting and flows pretty smoothly. It begins with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) who fights monsters and then gets stranded on a faraway planet where people are captured off the streets and forced to fight. He finds Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and tries to get him to help in taking down the death goddess, Hela, who is invading Asgard after breaking Mjolnir, Thor's magic hammer. She is the reason Thor is stranded.

I like this film a lot, for its humor, CGI, plot and more. It is the best in the Thor trilogy. Some smaller things I like include the short Doctor Strange cameo and the inclusion of the "Contest of Champions." I liked the cameo because they never really have been placed in previous films, other than the ones from 'Marvel Man' Stan Lee. The Contest of Champions is cool because I have heard of it before, mostly from the Marvel game, which I admit to playing a bit myself.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars, because it is very well done and I recommend it for ages 9 to 18. It does have a fair share of violence and some inappropriate language as well. This blockbuster will be in theaters November 3, 2017, so make sure to go see it!

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

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


WONDERSTRUCK

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WONDERSTRUCK       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
AMAZON.COM
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - The story of a young boy in the Midwest is told simultaneously with a tale about a young girl in New York from fifty years ago as they both seek the same mysterious connection.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wonderstruck is a shining gem in the cinematic "cabinet of wonders." The film is adapted from the book Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick, the same author who wrote Hugo Cabret. Directed by Todd Haynes and written by Brian Selznick, the film envelopes you in its beautifully detailed vision of old New York. The movie stars Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore and Michele Williams. I love this film because it combines the artistic style of old black and white silent films with the more modern color palette of today's films.

Wonderstruck tells two similar stories that have a connection. One story concerns a twelve-year-old boy, Ben, in the 1970s, who, after losing his Mom, decides to run away and look for his father in the big city. Recently losing his hearing from a lightning strike, he must deal with his disability without knowing sign language. Luckily, when he arrives in NYC he makes a friend, Jamie, who takes him to the American Museum of Natural History. The other story follows a young girl, Rose, in the late 1920s. It is portrayed as a silent black and white film, as befits the time period. Rose is born deaf and never learned sign language or how to properly talk, but she is talented at creating artworks with paper. She is depicted as a very shy, quiet type, but loves visiting her brother who works at the Museum of Natural History.

This film reminds me of Hugo and The Night at the Museum because of the attention to historical detail and the wonder inherent in the natural world. I also enjoyed how it keeps changing from a silent, black and white film to a talky, color film. It gives you the best of both worlds - old style filmmaking and more modern. Each time the film shifts time periods, the music changes as well. The film revels in many different textures, such as the gritty reality of NYC in the 1970s, all the old curiosities in the Museum of Natural History and even the paper cityscapes that Rose creates. The crux of the film is the director's fascination with the old "cabinet of wonders" and how it is the precursor to the modern museum. This film itself is a "cabinet of wonders," revealing many treasures in its depths. My favorite scene is when Ben and Jamie explore the secret rooms in the Museum of Natural History.

Before Wonderstruck, I was not familiar with the director, Todd Haynes. Until now he has created mostly sophisticated, art house, independent films. This film can be considered a fascinating, art house, family film. I give Wonderstruck 4 out of 5 stars for its creative way it combines two different artistic styles. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. It opens October 20, 2017 in select theaters nationwide so look for it.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Wonderstruck is such an amazing and inspiring movie. It has a great plot that is very inspiring to all kids. In the beginning, the story takes a while to develop so it's a little slow. Once you get to the climax, there is never a dull moment. If you stick around, it's an awesome movie! It also is a little hard for kids to understand, but if you are over 10, you should be able to follow it.

Wonderstruck is a story about a boy named Ben who gets in accident in 1977 which causes him to become deaf and inspires him to run away in search of his father. This story intertwines with another, set in 1927, about Rose, a young deaf girl who runs away looking for a mysterious woman whose scrapbook she has. As the story progresses, we find out more about how their stories really are alike.

One of the many stunning things about Wonderstruck is the cinematography. The way they change from a silent film (Rose's story set in 1927) to a movie that is set in a future time (Ben's story set in 1977) is seamless. All the actors bring so much to the characters they play, especially Oakes Fegley (Ben) and MIllicent Simmonds (Young Rose) who are child actors and perform beautifully. Another marvelous thing about this movie is that it really gives you a look into what it's like to be deaf. Rose's story is a silent film, so you have to read people's facial expressions to know what they are trying to say. During Ben's time, there are moments where you can hear what Ben hears, which is almost nothing except for very faint sounds. Wonderstruck really gives you a glimpse into deaf people's lives and you learn to relate to them through the filmed story.

My favorite character is Jamie (Jaden Michael) because he is Ben's friend throughout the whole movie and that is his whole purpose - to be there for Ben. My favorite scene is at the end when Ben is standing on the rooftop of a museum with Jamie and another person (I won't say who because that's a spoiler) and they are watching fireworks in the Queens' skyline. I love it because of its beautiful cinematography.

The message of this film is that you may not always find what you're looking for, but what you do find, might be better. This is a really fortune cookie message, but it's the message I got because both Rose and Ben don't find exactly what they are looking for, but still find something great. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars because it has stunning cinematography, star power, great acting and gives you a peek into what it's like to be deaf. I would give it an extra .5 if the beginning wasn't so slow. I recommend this film for ages 10 to 18. It opens in theaters nationwide October 20, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

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

Wonderstruck is a wonderful, visually rich film with imagination, friendship and family at its core.

Based on a novel by Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck follows two different children in different time periods. Rose is deaf and lives in New Jersey in the 1920s with her father. She finds it difficult to find somewhere to belong and runs away to New York to meet her idol, Lillian Mayhew, an actress. The other storyline follows Ben, whose mother dies in a car crash and he moves in with his aunt and her family in the 1970s. Ben has an accident that leaves him deaf and a cryptic clue leads him from his hometown in Minnesota to New York City in search of his father.

Wonderstruck is magical. This movie is very different from your typical family film. It is fascinating to see a director like Todd Haynes, known for Far From Heaven and Carol, make a film in this genre. Haynes's vision makes this film faithful to Brian Selznick's work. Haynes helps you differentiate the timelines by making Rose's storyline black and white and silent and the other in color with some dialogue. This creative decision not only pays homage to silent films of the past, which figure their way into the film's plot, but it also honor Selznick's brilliant pencil drawings from his novels.

The score by Carter Burwell is fantastic. In long spans with little dialogue, his score is practically the only thing driving our understanding of how the characters feel. Burwell crafts beautiful pieces that evoke a sense of longing that our two main characters share.

This story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. The kids in this film don't feel clich� by any standard. They do things that any kid might do. They confront things that I know would be hard to deal. Seeing how they deal with the obstacles they face is a major part of the film. Their characters feel very real and emotionally complex.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18. Younger kids might not stay engaged with the slow pace. Adults will appreciate the visual richness of this movie. I give Wonderstruck 4.5 out of 5 stars. This film is an enthralling adventure and you can see it in theaters everywhere starting November 10, 2017

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

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


ONLY THE BRAVE

ONLY THE BRAVE
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Through hope, determination, sacrifice and the drive to protect families and communities, the Granite Mountain Hotshots become one of the most elite firefighting teams in the country. While most people run from danger, they run toward it -- watching over lives, homes and everything people hold dear, forging a unique brotherhood that comes into focus with one fateful fire in Yarnell, Arizona.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The film takes time setting up each of the characters, making them feel very well developed. The use of practical effects makes the movie seem more real, because real fire is used instead of CGI for the fire. The characters also act like true heroes and seem very real.

The storyline is about a group of firefighters who want to become 'hotshots,' which are the elite group of firefighters that work in the fire itself. When it comes time to assess them, their Chief doesn't agree with the assessor's opinion on not burning the wood and takes his own path which risks having their certification taken away. But the chief thinks it's better to do it that way so they burn the logs, making the correct choice in the situation and, as a result, they get their certification. After that, they go into many dangerous wildfires to protect nature and homes. One day when the Yarnell Mountain fire comes on June 30, 2013, they are especially challenged.

Josh Brolin portrays Eric Marsh the fire chief. He has proved his skill in many movies including Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy and as Beck Weathers in Everest. Miles Teller, the actor for Brendan Mcdonough, the protagonist, has been in Footloose and The Divergent series which were both huge hits.

One interesting thing about this film is its timing. I live in Northern California where huge fires in the North Bay have left many people homeless and injured. Another interesting thing is that Only the Brave is one of the movies in the 21st century with the most practical effects.

The message is to get awareness for the firefighter community, which it got 100% loud and clear. Kids will be influenced to save people's lives. There isn't much reckless behavior except when someone falls asleep while driving. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18 who will understand the shear force of the message of this film, although I think it was intended more for an adult audience. This movie is fantastic and I am happy to give it 5 out of 5 stars. This movie hits theaters on October 20, 2017 so go check it out.

Reviewed by Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Christopher Robin has a story with a magnificent heart, which is filmed brilliantly. I felt as if I was in England. I cried countless times because the characters are so relatable and there are many touching moments. The acting, photography and graphics are downright superb.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Goodbye Christopher Robin is a great film with top-notch performances from its A-list cast. You may think this is about the creation of Winnie-the-Pooh, which it is, but it is also about how the beloved bear's sharp rise to fame affected the family of A.A. Milne and the writer's own struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Goodbye Christopher Robin follows Milne's young son and his playwright father who finds it difficult to pen any new plays after his experiences in World War I. Father and son begin to spend time together playing in the woods around their new home in the British countryside. Soon, Milne has his friend and fellow soldier, illustrator Ernest Shepherd, visit his homestead to craft stories based on the Milne family's imaginative woodland adventures. Thus, Winnie-the-Pooh is created and a cultural icon is born. Milne gives his own son's name to Pooh's best fictional friend. Suddenly the press and public are eager to meet the real Christopher Robin. The onslaught of interviews and the dwindling time spent with his parents take a toll and he has trouble coping.

Domhnall Gleeson is great as A.A Milne. He shows us the effects PTSD can have on veterans and their everyday lives. Gleeson shows us the transformation from the playwright who feels lost in what he will do next to the author on top of the world grappling with how to deal with his fame and his faltering efforts to be a good father. Kelly Macdonald is also excellent as Christopher Robin's angelic and kind nanny, Olive. She is really the only one watching out for Christopher Robin. Olive has a positive glow that stays strong to the end of the film. She is my favorite character and I compliment Macdonald on making the relationship she has with Christopher Robin so heartwarming.

I give Goodbye Christopher Robin an age rating of 12 to 18 for some subjects that could be troubling for younger audiences. If you're looking for a bright testament to the legacy of Winnie-the-Pooh and the magic of childhood, this is not that film. But Goodbye Christopher Robin is an insightful, historical, sometimes dark drama that goes into other important topics. I give Goodbye Christopher Robin 4 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters October 13.

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

A creative imagination and playing games is fun, especially when you add the people that you care about your fun adventures! This is a story about what happens when someone takes those thoughts, turns them into books and shares them with the world. Goodbye Christopher Robin has a story with a magnificent heart, which is filmed brilliantly. I felt as if I was in England. I cried countless times because the characters are so relatable and there are many touching moments. The acting, photography and graphics are downright superb. They bring this true story to life.

War is devastating for everyone, especially the families of the soldiers. One of the worst wars in history was World War I. A.A. Mile returns from the war to rejoin his family and friends and has a hard time adjusting to normal life. Once he joins his son's world of fun and adventure, starring a fluffy bear, he reconnects with his son and finds joy. A.A. Mile wrote Winnie the Pooh stories for his son. They were so good that he published them. He wanted to share his new-found joy with the world and make others happy. The war caused much heartache and Winnie the Pooh made people smile. He thought it would also make his son happy.

The cinematography and graphics in Goodbye Christopher Robin are fantastic. The scenes of the woods are very vivid with lots of brilliant colors. The scene when the snow suddenly drifts into the air to make springtime is terrific. I was surprised with its beauty. I love seeing snow fall in reverse.

The acting is fabulous. Each performer seems to have the perfect personality for their character. Christopher Robin (Will Tilston) is adorable and huggable just like Winnie the Pooh. His happiness with his stuffed animals jumps through the screen and makes you smile. He looks like the Christopher Robin we see in the books. A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) is played as a stern man. He wants his son to be happy, but he also wants to turn Winne the Pooh and his son's stuffed animals into wonderful stories. His muse is his son. Through him he heals from the war and finds his voice again as a writer. He wants to find fame as a wonderful children's writer who brings joy to those who thought there was no joy left in the world. This is played perfectly because you hate him and feel sorry for him, at the same time.

Olive (Kelly Macdonald) is shown as the kind nanny who wants nothing but the best for Christopher Robin and treats him as if he is her own. She tiptoes a fine line between friend and paid help. I love her accent. Christopher Robin's Mother, Daphne Milne (Margot Robbie) wants fame and money. She has no motherly skills, but she does try. At times, she doesn't appear to care if Christopher Robin is okay, just as long as he does what he is told. She is thrilled with the New York Times articles and numerous invites for her family to attend events. I resonated with her emotions. Her crying scenes had me in tears. Older Christopher Robin (Alex Lawther) portrays his role in a very serious way. He creates an emotion of uncertainty. I could not decide if I liked him or not. Great acting sometimes creates an emotional roller coaster ride.

The best part of this film is when Christopher Robin and his father are in the woods making a door for owl's house. If you are a fan of Winnie the Pooh like I am, it is thrilling to see all the different adventures come to life.

I recommend this for ages10 to 18. It is a complicated and emotional story. Adults will love the scenery, the acting and the cinematography. I give it 5 out of 5 fluffy Winnie the Pooh hugs. This film comes out in theaters October 13,, 2017 so, go check it out. Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


VISIONS OF NEW YORK CITY

VISIONS OF NEW YORK CITY
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - New York City has long been a symbol of the American Dream, the first stop for immigrant families for generations - and in modern times the symbol of America's continuing strength. The vivid film offers striking views of New York: the harbor from Lady Liberty's perspective; Central Park as the birds experience it; the crucifix architecture of St. Patrick's Cathedral as intended from the heavens; neighborhoods from the Lower East Side, Little Italy, Chinatown, Harlem, and the Upper West Side, and more. Aerial and ground footage highlight the city's iconic images, boundless energy and enduring allure.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This highly-entertaining tour of New York City, focus?s?e??s largely on Manhattan, ta?king viewers from Battery Park to Harlem, occasionally offering little pearls of wisdom about its most iconic buildings, structures and spaces (the Guggenheim Museum is best experienced by starting from the top so you can take in the artwork on the walls of its distinctive circular design as you make your way down). Though necessarily painted in broad strokes with a running time of just under an hour, this PBS program hits all the expected highlights, from Ellis Island to Wall Street, jazz clubs, museums, Broadway and Times Square. Backed by a blend of jazz and classical music, narrator Frank Deford waxes enthusiastically to often-stunning aerial photography of the streets and skyscrapers, most notably in a sequence covering Central Park. While lifelong New Yorkers won't be surprised by much of the material, anyone familiar with the City That Never Sleeps will bask in the brisk editing and many shots of the constantly moving city from street level and above. Recommended for ages 12 ?to 18 as well as adults. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. ?Reviewed by Michael Fishman, KIDS FIRST! Juror?
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 55 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


STORY OF CHINA WITH MICHAEL WOOD, THE
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - The Story of China, written and presented by historian Michael Wood, explores the history of the world's oldest continuous state, from the ancient past to the present day.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Story of China is quite interesting. It appears to offer a realistic and complete look of China and its culture. The first disc covers ancestors, silk roads, China ships and the Golden Age. I learned a lot about China and can't think of a more entertaining way to learn. I like its set up. It is quite long and the episodes make it easy to go back to where you left off. The narration is by Michael Wood whose voice keeps you awake, rather than droning on. I really enjoyed learning about China's history and especially liked the scenery and the narration. The second disc covers the Ming Dynasty, the Last Empire and the Age of Revolution. There are also special features that are equally entertaining such as "Anyone for Coffee"? This is a very thorough filmed history of China and anyone watching it will surely learn a lot. I give this 5 stars out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to18 as well as adults. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 360 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 34.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


LIFE CIRCLES

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LIFE CIRCLES
CARRIE ATTUNE MUSIC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - This is a musical treasure trove that joyfully celebrates the common chord of the human family. From Celtic to Cajun, African to Mexican, Caribbean to American blues as well as jazz and that Bo Diddly beat, "Life Circles" takes the listener on a spirited musical journey!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Like her song Sweet Potato Pie, Carrie Higgins' 'Life Circles' album is chock full of terrific musical ingredients that will bring a satisfied smile to your face and will keep you coming back for more. Her vocals and songwriting skills are terrific and her choice of subject matter skews well for her target audience. With the extra added baked-in pinch of love throughout, this CD is quite perfect for home, school and travel time! There are a lot of positive values, catchy tunes and variety in subject matter. The songs are well-produced and performed including stimulating musical styles and effects. It is very supportive with clear participatory call and response and overall gentleness and love. There are positive behaviors modeled: connection with the Earth, love for all people, appreciation of our differences and love of family. She never talks down to the children and keeps concepts understandable to her target audience. It is very well recorded. Carrie Higgins' voice is terrific! Well-played all around. It offers a plethora of pro social benefits from the importance of love and family, the boomerang effects from lying, the importance of healthy food and the idea that dreams and aspirations can be attained. I would hope that this album would be subject to repeated listening and instill a stronger sense of belonging and self-esteem in the children. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Life Circles is a positive album with good background instruments and a unique set of songs. Singer / songwriter Carrie Higgins's album is geared towards families and features songs about everything from blood sugar, to an interesting connection with a robe, to a folk tale in song form. My favorite song is Rock-A-Bye. It's got a good rhythm and I appreciate that the repetition goes on just long enough to make it catchy without being annoying. I also like that the songs draw from a range of influences and styles from around the world, including Latin and African beats. My one criticism of this album is that there is no major shift in tone in the selection of songs. While these upbeat high-tempo tunes have a nice assortment of instruments, few songs stand out from the others.

Life Circles is a perfect CD for a road trip. It has 14 songs that will have you and your kids singing along. I also like that they use children's voices for some songs. Kids are more likely to enjoy it when they know that their peers contributed to the album. Overall, the songs are cheerful and easy to listen to. Younger kids and their families are sure to enjoy this fun CD. I recommend it for ages 3 to 9.
Runtime: 45 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98
Media: AUDIO


RAG DOLLS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
RAG DOLLS
ABOVE THE LINE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 4-14
Topic - Family
Description - Playtime turns into uncontrolled shenanigans when a young girl discovers rag dolls in an antique chest. For the dolls' very real counterparts, self-control is out of their hands.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a very fun and enjoyable short film. I like the film's premise about a little girl who is able to control the adults with rag dolls she found in an antique chest. It makes for some very funny actions by the characters who don't understand what's happening to them. This film is perfect for children because the dolls get to know each other better and they see them in live action form. It makes sense and flows very well. The storyline is consistent and the language is appropriate for its intended audience. The music is very complimentary, almost like what is used in a silent film. It sets the mood and drives the pace. And, it's a happy sound. The quality of the cinematography is high, as is the audio. It should project well on a big screen. Most importantly, I think it will make young viewers laugh. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 14. Reviewed by Ryan R. and Julie S, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! adult juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a very fun and enjoyable short film. I like the film's premise about a little girl who is able to control the adults with rag dolls she found in an antique chest. It makes for some very funny actions by the characters who don't understand what's happening to them. This film is perfect for children because the dolls get to know each other better and they see them in live action form. It makes sense and flows very well. The storyline is consistent and the language is appropriate for its intended audience. The music is very complimentary, almost like what is used in a silent film. It sets the mood and drives the pace. And, it's a happy sound. The quality of the cinematography is high, as is the audio. It should project well on a big screen. Most importantly, I think it will make young viewers laugh. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 14. Reviewed by Ryan R. and Julie S, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! adult juror.
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


MY TOWN: PETS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MY TOWN: PETS
0
Series: APP, AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - My Town: Pets has everything needed to take care of your pet. Play with cats, dogs, birds and hamsters. Imagine adopting your dog, dressing them and discovering all the hidden locations and hot spots. Walk your dog at the park's litter sand area, just don't forget to clean up the poop. Wash your animals and if they get hurt take them to the vet. Discover all the locations and invent your own story with each game play.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This app is age appropriate and cute. I watched my 8 year old play with it and she was completely drawn in. The images are well done. The topics covered perfect for anyone thinking about adopting a pet. You can do a dry run by using the app to see if your child is really all that interested in taking care of one. My only objection is that there is very little diversity shown. I was quite surprised by that since the company is an Israeli one. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This app melted my heart with pets so adorable that I just wanted to wrap them in a bear hug! I'm telling you, this app will instantly captivate you with an overload of cuteness!

You are in a town full of pets to adopt! There is also a relaxing spa and fashion boutique for pets. You can feed, play or even weigh your pets! If you want to spice up a pet's appearance, you can take them to the spa and give them a new coat! The options are almost limitless, and you have an infinite supply of dogs, cats, birds and hamsters! My favorite part is that you can buy new outfits for pets and even the townspeople!

This app promotes responsibility for pets, even though it's easier in a game. This app is extremely addicting. Watch out, your mother might get upset if you spend all day playing this! I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this game for children ages 4 to 10. You can find this in the App Store for iOS devices and on google play for Android devices, so check it out!

Reviewed by Eden T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 8.

My Town: Pets is a video game app that's filled with layers of fun. It is mostly about pets, but if you are creative, then this game can expand with your own individual imagination. I think that the possibilities for fun are almost endless!

In this game, I am a special person that can control everyone and all the animals too. First you adopt a pet and you can also have your other humans (NPCs) get pets too. After I have my pet, I can play with it, take it for a walk to the park or other places. There's even a groomer and a veterinarian. You can go inside and click on all things to make them move.

This game can teach kids how to be a good pet owner. The lessons learned when playing My Town: Pets is that pets are fun but you must care for them. The animation is simple and sweet. I love the sounds in the game. The music is fun and has energy. It is easy to listen to. My favorite sounds in the game have to be the meows of the kittens. They sound so cute!

I give My Town: Pets 3.5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for kids ages 2 to 5. I don't think grown-ups would enjoy playing it, but my mom played it and she loves it. I say you should check it out for yourself! You can download My Town: Pets now in the Apple App store or in Google Play for Android devices.

Reviewed by Izzy C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 2.99
Media: App


SHOPKINS: WORLD VACATION

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SHOPKINS: WORLD VACATION       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - Grab your boarding pass and come on a worldwide ride with our favorite Shoppies and Shopkins. Vacation with the gang as they meet crazy bandits and go on even crazier adventures! When Kooky Cookie gets caught up in a diamond heist and goes missing, the Shoppies must go on a wild chase around the world to find her and help bring back the 'Shop Diamond' to its royal owner. Watch as they attempt amazing challenges and face Kooky fans to try and clear her name. Fasten your seatbelt for a world vacation you'll never forget!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This fantastic animated film made me smile. With its unique characters, adorable animation and catchy tunes, my eyes never left the screen. I have never seen a film with characters that resemble food. From bananas to strawberries, and even chocolate bars, you are sure to relate to your favorite food.

Join all of the Shopkins' characters on an exciting adventure to one of the most beautiful places in the world: London. When Kooky Cookie wins a trip to anywhere in the world, she is shocked. Little does she know, she will be in for the trip of a lifetime. When Kooky Cookie goes missing and gets caught in a diamond heist, the Shopkins and their new friends must find a way to return the Shoppe Diamond back to Royal Crown Jewels before the bandits get their hands on it. Kooky Cookie has become part of a beautiful, new fashion trend by a famous designer, Macy Macaron. Another reason why it is imperative that the Shopkins reunite, in order to reduce havoc among the city.

Kooky Cookie (Cassandra Lee) is sweet, humble and is always eager to try new activities with her friends. She asks all of the other Shopkins to pick a place to go when she wins the trip, because she values the opinions of others. Jessicake (Cassandra Lee) has the most stylish outfits, and loves decorating cupcakes. She has to be my favorite character, because I love dessert - especially cupcakes. Apple Blossom (Harlacher) is very kind, has big dreams and loves fall weather. It is very easy to relate to Apple Blossom because, even though she is timid on the outside, her heart is so pure and she is such a great friend. I would love to have a friend like Apple Blossom.

I've never seen such adorable, exquisite animation in a film before. Even though all of the characters are different, they all share the same big, beautiful eyes that will undoubtedly melt your heart. I didn't originally like bananas, but after seeing how cute Buncho Bananas is, I can't wait to try a banana again. My favorite part of the film is when all of the Shopkins talk about what they will do in London. For example, Buncho Bananas says, "I'm going to cause an international incident." I laughed very hard, because it made me think of how we all have that one friend who jokes around and loves living life on the edge.

The message of this film is to always stick together. No matter what happens with Kooky Cookie, her friends always come to the rescue. Teamwork is very important, because without Kooky Cookie's support system, the situation would have been much worse. In addition, it is imperative to enjoy your life and to see the beauty it has to offer, because life always works itself out. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 12. It is perfect to watch with your family, because it will give you a good laugh. This DVD is available on October 17, 2017 s go check it out. I can't wait to get my stuffed animal Shopkins' characters.

By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed this DVD because I am a huge Shopkins fan and I love all the vibrant colors that are used in the animation. It is very creative how they make certain objects come alive like Apple Blossom with her resident worm and Strawberry Kiss. Actually, the worm in Apple Blossom is my favorite character. He is silent but cute and he, together with Apple Blossom save the day! But you'll have to watch it to find out how they do it.

The Shopkins: World Vacation DVD is a fun adventure of travel with the Shopkins' characters. They travel to many different countries after Kooky Cookie wins a trip to anywhere in the world with her friends. Together they decide to visit London. While in London, they get separated from their friend, Kooky Cookie. She gets taken away on another adventure in France after she is bedazzled with a stolen jewel unbeknownst to her. The Biscuit Bandits and the Shopkins friends chase Kooky to France and then to New York and then to Japan to get their friend and stolen jewel back. In the end the Biscuit Bandits get tricked by the clever Shopkins friends.

My favorite scene is at the beginning when they all are deciding where to go. I love the upbeat song. There are two songs and I wish there were more because I the melody and singing are great. I think more music would enhance the show. Also, the animation voices are perfect for their characters. Each has their own special sounding voice such as Lippy Lips, Kooky Cookie, and Cheeky Chocolate. Believe it or not, voice-over actor, Kate Murphy gives the unique voices to five of the Shopkins' characters and they each sound so different!

The message of Shopkins: World Vacation is that friends stick together, help each other and persevere as they do when they travel all over the world to find their lost friend, Kooky Cookie. I recommend this fun family DVD for ages 3 to 10 and I give it 5 out of 5 Shoppie stars!

Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 71 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE       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 - Lifelong G-Man Mark Felt, aka "Deep Throat," leaks information to the press that helps to uncover the Watergate scandal of 1974.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The opening of the film lead me to believe deep secrets would unfold. Mark Felt (Liam Neeson) encounters his former colleague Bill Sullivan (Tom Sizemore) and they exchange words recapping what appears to be a professional rivalry for the viewer's benefit. This film is an historical drama about men (FBI employees) whose job is to analyze every detail and research and report discrepancies. There are times when things do not add up. Mark often comments, "The President has no power over the FBI."

Given this film is created from Felt's 2006 autobiography and published a year after he revealed his identity as "Deep Throat" to Vanity Fair, the film does not deliver on the juicy details and unveiling I expected. The most appealing part of the movie is the historical retrospective of the film. At times, the details are unappealing, as the characters are hard to follow. The film flows well, although it took me a few minutes to determine which characters were members of the FBI and who else was in the room. As the film moves on, the characters develop into an amazing working team. I empathized with Mark Felt throughout the film. I felt the Director could have given us more insight into the walls of the institution where Felt worked for 31 years, and whose integrity he sought to protect from the interference of the Nixon White House officials.

When J. Edgar Hoover dies and Felt is passed over for his position, L. Patrick Gray III (Marton Csokas), a close Nixon ally, replaces Hoover as head of the FBI. Mark's integrity and hard work for more than 30 years are overlooked by the good-old-boy White House network. Leadership knows Mark is dangerous, given what he knows. When the Watergate break-in occurs, the FBI demands a 48-hour wrap and Mark knows this is the beginning of the end of the position he has served loyally and with integrity, even if he decides that spilling secrets is the best way to protect the FBI and manage his way out of an unmanageable situation.

While the office scenes are bland and the meetings with Bob Woodward (Julian Morris) in the parking garage seem contrived, there is substantial interest during sessions with Time Magazine's reporter Sandy Smith (Bruce Greenwood), who realizes Mark Felt is breaking his tight-lipped manner as Felt finally gives way. He tells Mark, "The FBI must be terrified of you." The characters are hard-hitting FBI employees. Their job is to serve and protect, even if it means keeping secrets to protect their peers, boss or the White House administration. For the most part, the characters are seen as positive stand-up men. It is only when Mark Felt makes a decision that we see his character stray, yet it is portrayed with shocking beauty. This film, based on true-facts, is brilliant. Many times, I found myself wanting to research more about this era, and the real men portrayed in the film.

The movie works hard to humanize Mark Felt, his family and fellow G-men. The subplot family story is warm, while most of Mark Felt's career interactions are harsh and direct. The film challenges the viewer's memory of historical facts. Is he a hero or a villain? Whatever you see, there is no doubt Mark Felt is the most impactful whistle-blower in American history so far. Many times, the film appears black and white and a bit grainy. In order to capture the times, I believe this is purposeful. As with any sleuth-type film, the graininess adds to the mystery. Another sign of the times, excessive smoking. While a total turn-off to this reviewer, it was prevalent in the 70s. The historical retrospective of this dark time in American history is invaluable. As the story unfolds, I was glued to the screen. The burden and power of the American landscape is presented in contrast with dark figures who believe secrets are best kept.

This film, with very adult themes, showcases a moment in history which is almost anti-climatic. The story focuses on the Watergate break-ins of the 70s and the ways and means the White House and other organizations lived and worked with secrets. Dare we say it parallels politics today? Because of the subject matter and fine details of "who's who" in the puzzle of facts, I recommend this only for mature teens. Many adults will find this tale riveting, especially those old enough to be aware of Nixon's presidency in the 70s. I recommend this film for ages 16 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This film may prompt teens to research more about Mark Felt and his place in history. Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - While educational, offering a peek into the often hidden parts of our nations' government, this film is also entertaining. The writer/director, Peter Landesman shows authenticity while keeping us engaged. It is based on the true story about the anonymous whistle blower in the Watergate scandal from the 1970s, who we later learned was Mark Felt.

I really enjoy time-era pieces. This is a historical drama based in the 1970s, so between the costuming and set props, it is fun to learn more about life during that time in history.

Not surprising, one of my favorite characters is Mark Felt (Liam Neeson). He always plays more stoic roles, where he is demanding, but deserving of respect. It is funny to see him look older with white hair, and I did miss that he did not have any action scenes in this film. But, I also like that we catch a glimpse into his personal life too - one that is relatable, and sometimes full of conflict and pain.

There is not one particular scene that is my favorite. What I enjoyed the most is when Mark Felt had secret meetings with his colleagues Ed Miller (Tony Goldwyn) and Charlie Bates (Josh Lucas). It was nice to see their loyalty to each other and to their work. When learning about Watergate, this is often an unknown part of the process.

This quote from Peter Landesman speaks of why this film took so long to hit the screens. "In my worldview, events are not about history--events are about human beings. I'm fascinated by people under pressure and in crisis, and what happens to them and what they do." I find it interesting that this film was started in 2005 and did not come to completion until now. This speaks to how much investigating they did for the production.

This film is rated PG-13 for language, although I didn't find it overly profane. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18, provided the viewer has some understanding the Watergate scandal. Otherwise I think they will get bored. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It opens October 13, 2017 in select theaters so be sure to check it out.

By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


NATURE: YOSEMITE

NATURE: YOSEMITE
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Yosemite was forged by time and shaped by the power of water. Water made life possible in this "stone wilderness," carved out the iconic Yosemite Valley, and gave birth to the Earth's largest living trees. But with climate change, Yosemite is feeling the heat. Water is scarcer and the threat of wildfire is more common. Join scientists and adventurers as they explore the past, present, and future of the Sierra Nevada's (a mountain range which stretches from California into Nevada through Yosemite) most precious resource, its water. Glide over the Yosemite Valley, climb trees as tall as buildings, and see how critters both great and small - from the bighorn sheep to the American pika - survive through drought, wildfires, and mountains of snow, as we investigate one of America's great wildernesses.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an entertaining and educational film about Yosemite and the breath-taking scenes are amazing. If you have never been to Yosemite, this film will make you want to visit! I really enjoyed seeing the wildlife and the narration is superb! I highly recommend for children ages 8 to 18. I even learned about a little critter that is related to the rabbit (the pika) and thought a great part of this film was learning about this little critter who looks like a rodent but isn't. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for being both educational and entertaining with breath-taking cinematography. There are no special features but this truly is a special film all by itself. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99
Media: DVD


MARSHALL

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MARSHALL       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Young Thurgood Marshall faces one of his greatest challenges while working as a lawyer for the NAACP. Marshall travels to conservative Connecticut when wealthy socialite Eleanor Strubing accuses black chauffeur Joseph Spell of sexual assault and attempted murder. He soon teams up with Sam Friedman, a local Jewish lawyer who's never handled a criminal case. Together, the two men build a defense while contending with racist and anti-Semitic views from those who deem Spell to be guilty.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching and experiencing Marshall. The 1940s legal thriller is the story about a dozen years before young Thurgood Marshall challenged segregation's separate but equal premise in Brown v. Board of Education. For me, this film brought back my experience as a young person who lived in Virginia and experienced the separate but equal in my education.

Chadwick Boseman captures the essence of Thurgood Marshall's spirit. He brings the confidence, intelligence, cockiness as well as the charm and humor of Thurgood. It is an exciting performance from Hollywood's go-to-guy for playing important Black Americans.

There are many parts that I enjoyed. When Marshall meets Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), we see his cockiness from the moment he steps off the train in Bridgeport, CT., ordering his white co-counsel, Sam Friedman, to carry his bags. Another enjoyable scene is the Harlem night club with Marshall and his friends, Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.

The cinematography is outstanding. One scene when Marshall and Friedman are in the men's room, it looks as if they are in the mirror together, however you can see them individually. With its excellent role models and strong messages about courage, teamwork and tolerance, this film is a great movie for teens and families. You can expect to see fist fights and beatings, with bloody wounds and bruises. There's also a flashback to a suggested rape, with violent acts against a woman. There is a mild sex scene which includes kissing, however there is no nudity. Language includes several uses of the "N" word as well as "kike." Characters drink alcohol and there is background smoking.

This film celebrates standing up and courageously risking your own safety to fight against popular opinion and against difficult odds. The movie is about tolerance in a way that's more matter-of-fact than self-righteous. Characters work together in an effective way.

I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18 as well as adults and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Marshall opens Friday, October 13, 2017 in theaters across the country. Be entertained while learning about American history and a very powerful and influential man.

Reviewed by Juanita L.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Marshall is a sleek legal drama with great performances from Chadwick Boseman as the title character and Josh Gad. Don't be fooled by the snazzy vintage costumes, the real heart of Marshall's success is its screenplay and the chemistry between its lead actors.

This film follows pioneering Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in his earlier years as a lawyer for the NAACP. A white socialite in Greenwich, Connecticut, accuses a black man of rape and attempted murder. The NAACP believes the man, Joseph Spell, is innocent and sends Marshall to defend him. Marshall enlists local lawyer Sam Friedman (Josh Gad) whose previous track record involves tax or insurance cases. Friedman worries about his family's safety due to the unrest the controversial trial causes. Sam and Thurgood must work together to defend Spell...and each other.

This film is very good and so is its screenplay. The touches of comedy bring a welcome balance to its serious topic and difficult history. There is an array of good lines for Boseman and Gad. Several other actors get a chance to shine as well. I appreciate that Marshall takes its subjects seriously, but doesn't take on a dreary tone doing it. The scenes in the courtroom are intense and keep you interested in the action. As the case develops, these scenes get more and more engaging.

While Boseman is very good as Thurgood Marshall, his performance is disappointing considering how hyped his portrayal has been in the film's ad campaign. He gives Marshall a suave personality but the script limits his ability to show off his range and really take the character on a journey. On the other hand, Josh Gad is a standout as Sam Friedman. He plays to his comedic strengths as Marshall's sidekick while also giving a genuinely good dramatic performance as a central and evolved character. He is a nice foil to Boseman and their chemistry reminds me of a buddy cop comedy.

The lesson I take from the film is that you have to follow your moral compass even when it's hard. Sam's unwillingness to join the case makes sense. He is just starting out and worried that it could ruin his reputation. The fact that he does it anyway is a testament to the person Friedman must have been in real life.

I give Marshall an age rating of 14 to 18 because of some racial and offensive language and suggestive and violent content, including depictions of the alleged assault. And my verdict on Marshall? 4 out of 5 stars. Marshall opens in theaters on October 13, 2017 so go check it out.

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

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



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