The Family category has 1235 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles
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WHAT IF
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WHAT IF
ENTERTAINMENT ONE Click to purchase directly from the producer
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - WHAT IF is the story of medical school dropout Wallace, who's been repeatedly burned by bad relationships. So while everyone around him, including his roommate Allan seems to be finding the perfect partner, Wallace decides to put his love life on hold. It is then that he meets Chantry an animator who lives with her longtime boyfriend Ben. Wallace and Chantry form an instant connection, striking up a close friendship. Still, there is no denying the chemistry between them, leading the pair to wonder, what if the love of your life is actually your best friend? Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Meg Park. Directed by Michael Dowse.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed this film. I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but the plot is wonderful, the cast is amazing and the story is very touching and funny. The cinematography is great. I especially love the fact that there are some whimsical elements added to the visuals to help tell the story. Chantry is an animator, and occasionally her drawings come to life in the movie, adding a really cool multi-media element to the film.

My favorite character is Chantry played by Zoe Kazan. Chantry is a very fun character and Zoe is perfect for the role. I am a big fan of Zoe Kazan and love her work in Ruby Sparks and The Pretty One. She never fails to entertain me. One thing I love about Chantry is that even though you can tell she starts to grow romantic feelings for Wallace, she never crosses the boundaries from platonic to romantic while she's in another relationship which is very cool. I've seen a lot of films where two friends have feelings for each other and they act on it even though one of them is in a relationship with someone else. In this film, it is stated many times that Wallace and Chantry are very against cheating, especially since Wallace's ex cheated on him. I really admire that even though these characters are fictional, they still have solid moral standards.

Daniel Radcliffe also does a wonderful job in this film. His character, Wallace is very witty and cynical, adding a lot of comic relief to more intense interactions. He works wonderfully with Zoe Kazan and you can really see the chemistry between their characters. Daniel also pairs perfectly with Adam Driver, who plays his best friend Allan. The two of them make a hilarious combo and any scene with them together is sure to make you laugh.

What If is a heartfelt, genuine, feel-good film that I really enjoyed. It is definitely geared more towards adults, in my opinion and I believe 20-year-olds will probably enjoy it the most. My mom loved it and was even brought to tears because it is so sweet. However, I love it as well, so I recommend it for ages 15 to 18. I give it 5 out of 5 stars, so make sure you don't miss this gem in theaters now! Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven Devanney, age 17.

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

This title is available for purchase from ENTERTAINMENT ONE


IF I STAY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
IF I STAY
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If I Stay is a beautiful, moving film about a teenage girl and the life or death decision she must make. Mia is a teenage girl that has a wonderful, quirky family, a boyfriend who loves her to pieces, and a bright, ambitious future. But, all of that changes when she and her family are in a fatal car accident. While Mia's body is in a coma, her mind journeys back to all of her memories, triumphs, heart breaks and future. She has to make the decision on whether or not to fight and stay alive, or let go and leave this world. Will Mia stay?

I love this movie. It made me laugh, cry and it helped me to see all of the good in my own life that I should cherish, because you never know when it could all change. The cinematography is beautiful. Most of the film is filled with memories that Mia has and the way they are portrayed is very neat. The music is also beautiful. Mia is a cellist and a lot of the film focuses on her dreams of becoming a successful musician, so the film is filled with beautiful classical music.

My Favorite character is Mia played by Chloe Moretz. This film shows so many aspects of Mia's life, so it's easy to find something to relate to. She has a great passion for playing the cello and dedicates most of her life to it. She has difficulties relating to her parents and even her boyfriend since their musicals tastes are far more edgy than hers. She has to face her insane loss and she has to choose between many different things in life. There's something about her life that I think anyone can relate to, so she's a wonderful character. Chloe does a wonderful job portraying everything she's going through and she moved me to tears many times.

This film makes me think about my own family and everything I would do for them. It makes me think of my life and all the joys and sorrows I've faced. There was not a dry eye in the audience because this film provokes unique memories for every individual. I felt especially connected to Mia's family because I too have a younger brother and am very close with my parents, so I was very touched by Mia's situation.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 because of the intense emotions and mature content. Make sure you check out If I Stay in theaters August 22nd. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven Devanney, age 17.

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


WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - The journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport. Stars Jim Caviezel, Alexander Ludwig and Michael Chiklis. Directed by Thomas Carter
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - When The Game Stands Tall is a movie inspired by the true story of high school football coach, Bob Ladouceur. It tells the story of the longest high school football winning streak. The winning streak of 151 games is not just the longest for high school football but it the third most in all sports - ever!

Actor Jim Caviezel portrays Coach Bob Ladouceur. Coach Ladouceur or "Coach Lad" as team calls him is the head football coach of California high school De La Salle aka the Spartans. He is not like typical big time high school coaches. He doesn't yell much or get too excited on the sidelines. To Coach Lad the streak didn't matter that much, it is the life lessons the team members learn that are important to him. Coach Lad is also a Life Skills teacher at De La Salle High School.

The movie begins by showing events that led up the Spartan's 151st win. It shows how being a high school coach has affected Coach Lad's personal life. Coach Lad's wife, Bev (Laura Dern), wants him to spend more time at home. She is frustrated that Coach Lad would rather coach high school where he is not making a lot of money instead of considering offers to coach at a college. Coach Lad's son Danny (Matthew Daddario) feels neglected by his father and later, he feels neglected by his father as a coach. Danny is a junior who is excited about becoming a senior and having his own time to shine. He is a good athlete but not the best. Some of teammates feel that he gets playing time because the coach is his father.

Senior, Terrance "TK" Kelly (Stephan James Born), is a standout outside linebacker and tight end. He is being raised by his father and grandmother. Many college teams want him to commit to going to their school. With the assistance of his father he finally decides on a college. His father and grandmother are very proud that he is going to make it out the tough neighborhood where he currently lives. Senior, Cameron "Cam" Colvin (Ser'Darius Blain), is a starting wide receiver. He is dealing with a lot of personal tragedies, including the death of his father and his mother's terminal cancer. He and TK are best friends and, after some hesitation, they pledge to attend the same college. Junior running back, Chris Ryan (Alexander Ludwig), is on the verge of breaking the state records for touch downs. The movie shows him being bullied by his father to get the record.

I really like this movie. My favorite part is when Coach Lad makes the team visit a veteran's hospital. The visit humbles the players and changes many of their attitudes.

When The Game Stands Tall shows how to deal with and overcome adversities on and off the field.

Reviewed by Brooklyn W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.

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


MUMFIE'S QUEST: THE MOVIE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MUMFIE'S QUEST: THE MOVIE
LIONSGATE FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT Click to purchase directly from the producer
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 2-5
Description - From Britt Allcroft, creator of Thomas & Friends, comes Mumfie's Quest. Discover how Mumfie the special elephant first meets his friends Scarecrow, Pinkey, Whale and many more. Share the excitement as they hunt for Pinkey's mother on a mysterious island taken over by the evil Secretary to the Queen of Night at last returning home with a treasure beyond price. Magic, mystery, songs and laughter.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mumfie's Quest - The Movie is an adventurous, funny and exciting animated film for preschoolers. The Animation Director (John Collins) does a great job of making the characters look so realistic.

This film is about a young elephant named Mumfie who lives all by himself. One day he decides he wants to go on an adventure. He makes a lot of friends on the way such as Scarecrow, Whale, and Pinky the flying pig, who is lost from his mother. Mumfie, Scarecrow and Whale decide to take Pinky back to her mysterious island home, but the Queen's evil secretary has taken over the island. They have to work together to defeat him and bring back the Queen of Night.

I really enjoyed this movie! It is very adventurous and suspenseful. It captured my attention the whole time and the suspenseful parts kept me wondering if Mumfie and his friends were going to get caught by the evil secretary. This movie is also very funny. There are lots of jokes throughout the whole film. Britt Allcroft does a great job writing amusing scripts and creating interesting characters. The music, by Larry Grossman, is also great! Some of the music is dark and scary during evil parts and then bright and upbeat during the happy parts in the film. My favorite character in this film is Whale because he is built like a ship. On the inside he has hammocks for beds, chairs, tables and food. It is so cool that he looks like a whale on the outside and a cruise ship on the inside!

The message in this movie is that friends will always help you if you ever get into trouble and need them. In the end, Mumfie realizes that friends and teamwork are more important than anything else. His friends help him a lot throughout the film and when they are in trouble Mumfie helps them too! In the end they have to learn to work together to stop the secretary.

I give Mumfie's Quest - The Movie 4 out of 5 stars because it is adventurous, exciting, and funny. I recommend it for kids ages 2 through 6 especially those who like animals, adventures, and pirates.

Reviewed by: Jeremy B. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 67 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.98
Media: Video and DVD

This title is available for purchase from LIONSGATE FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT


PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 5-12
Description - When world-famous air racer Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his team, a bunch of all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire, and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero. Starring the voice talent of Dane Cook, Ed Harris and Julie Bowen. Directed by Roberts Gannaway. Written by Jeffrey M. Howard.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Disney's sequel to its successful Planes film and in this one, world-famous air racer Dusty finds a new career as a fire fighting plane. This anthropomorphic character charms us once again in a tame adventure that you can feel comfortable taking your preschoolers to. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, age 12, comments, "What a great add-on to the series... there are a lot of great messages and a lot of references to things in real life." Haley P, age 11, adds, "Planes: Fire & Rescue is not what I expected at all. It's even better! Although this is a kid movie, it has a message comparing real life situations even adults can relate to." Adam C, age 8 says, "If you enjoy fun, thrilling action scenes then Planes: Fire and Rescue is the movie for you." See their full reviews in youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What a funny and entertaining film! I did not know what to expect, this is the fourth film in this vehicle's universe with the two Cars movies and then the first Planes movie. I was wondering if maybe Disney pushed it a little bit. However, Planes: Fire and Rescue is an entertaining film that is a fantastic sequel in this magical franchise.

The story isn't about just one topic. This is a little bit of humorous romance and also a lot of action. They make some pretty funny jokes while adding a little sprinkle of drama and a great message for the kids as well.

The story starts when Dusty sadly learns that a key component in him is broken and he thinks he will never race again. When a fire breaks out in his airport, they realize the town needs a second firefighter. Dusty steps up to the plate and goes into training. If you want to find out what happens and if he becomes a firefighter, you have got to watch the film.

What a great add-on to the series; the jokes are perfect. Julie Bowen (Lil' Dipper) is funny through the end. Also, there are a lot of great messages and a lot of references to things in real life. However, this film is very predictable. Ten minutes in, I knew the ending, so it probably would be more captivating for a younger audience. Also, Planes: Fire and Rescue is very similar to the last three films. There is a challenge, a serious character and some comedy. Other than that, the voices are well done and they even changed a Native American folk tale into the version of vehicles just for this film! Very clever! My favorite scene is when Dusty first arrives at the firefighting station for his training. He is introduced to some Smoke Jumpers, cars that parachute into the fire to tackle fallen trees and save wildlife. One nearly takes off his head and the other two introduce themselves. Once they all get acquainted, the first fire breaks out and cars and planes all get into action in a well-choreographed manner!

This is a kid's film and nothing really is here that parents should be worried about. I recommend it for ages 3 to18. Even kids that don't understand it will enjoy the bright colors. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for great jokes and a fantastic story line, even though a bit predictable.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Gerry Orz, age 12.

Planes: Fire & Rescue is not what I expected at all. It's even better! Although this is a kid movie, it has a message comparing real life situations even adults can relate to.

Dusty Crophopper (Dan Cook) is a famous racing plane. While enjoying some fun and flying full speed, Dusty hears a sound he never heard before..."CRACK!" He looses control but is able to land safely. When his crew checks him out, they find Dusty's gear-box is broken - a part in his engine that has been discontinued. His crew promises to search everywhere for a replacement but in the mean time, he can no longer race. Feeling sorry for himself, Dusty gets angry and goes on a flying frenzy. His wing accidentally clips a building that bursts into fire. Inspectors shut down the town runway because the fire safety plan was totally outdated, especially the fire truck in charge. Dusty feels bad and decides to get certified as a firefighter to help get the town runway reopened. In the process, he realizes it means more to put other people first and he risks his engine to save the life of someone else.

My favorite scene is when the whole forest is on fire. It's the largest wildfire the smoke jumpers ever have to deal with. The crew springs into action to contain the wildfire and save everyone's life.

I just loved Dotty (Teri Hatcher) the most. It is hysterical the way she has a crush on Dusty. She doesn't' leave his side. Blade (Ed Harris) is also a great leader. He risks his own life to protect Dusty in the wildfire. The 3D animation makes the story come alive. It's like being in the middle of a real forest fire. The whole movie is action packed. The moral of this story is if life throws you lemons, make lemonade and never give up on your dreams in the process.

This movie is a good fit for ages 5 through 18. Boys, girls and even adults will enjoy Planes because it has many life lessons. I rate this movie a 5 out of 5 "dazzling" stars! Planes: Fire & Rescue is in theaters now.

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

If you enjoy fun, thrilling action scenes then Planes: Fire and Rescue is the movie for you. This is a sequel to the Disney movie Planes where Dusty Crophopper becomes a famous racing star. Dusty's engine is damaged and he may never race again due to his equipment failing. The local airport is closed due to safety concerns and the only way to save it is for Dusty to become a certified firefighter. Dusty decides to go to learn to be a firefighter with Blade Ranger and his team in a gorgeous National Park so he can be a certified firefighter.

My favorite character or should I say plane is Dusty Crophopper (voiced by Dane Cook). He portrays a wide range of emotions in the movie from sad to happy. I can relate to Dusty wanting to help the forest out when Blade Ranger was not able to do it.

The scenery is beautiful in this film. The national park is gorgeous and pristine. The animation is thrilling with the planes flying over the majestic national park and dropping fire retardant on the fires.

My favorite part of the movie is when Dusty and the team fight a huge fire without their leader Blaze Ranger. Dusty is brave to go out without his mentor and earns his certification as a firefighter. The firefighting scenes are beautiful and exciting to watch especially for boys my age.

The film's positive message can apply to all age ranges. Sometimes in life things do not go as we plan them to be and we have to have a positive attitude and not give up. Dusty provides a good role model for this as he takes on the brave role of fire fighter when he cannot race anymore.

I give this movie five out of five stars. I am eight-year-old boy and I loved it. It is geared more to young boys who will love it and want to buy the merchandise. I recommend it to ages four to ten, especially boys. The movie is in theaters now.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Adam C., age 8

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


GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Light years from Earth, 26 years after being abducted, Peter Quill finds himself the prime target of a manhunt after discovering an orb wanted by Ronan the Accuser. Starring Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Karen Gillan. Directed by James Gunn. Written by James Gunn, Nicole Perlman. Based on the comic books by Dan Abnet and Andy Lanning.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In the vein of mythological-based films comes Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy featuring Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana. After stealing a mysterious orb in the far reaches of outer space, Peter Quill, a half human/half alien is now the main target of a manhunt led by the villain known as Ronan the Accuser. To help fight Ronan and his team and save the galaxy from his power, Quill creates a team known as the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' to save the world. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Gerry O, age 12, comments, "The film has something interesting for everyone - a sense of adventure with a side of romance and perfectly timed jokes as well as can't-beat action all rolled up in one film." Willie J, age 15, adds, "The finest thing about this movie is the comedy that goes with it. Writer James Gunn really does a fine job of using the archetypical characters (tough female, dumb big guy, sassy little guy) and gives them attributes that add to their farce." Shelby R, age 14, concludes, "Marvel has created a 3D futuristic adventure-comedy that explores the true meaning friendship." See their full reviews in the youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - It's predictable, clich� and often times cartoonish...yet, Guardians of the Galaxy is still one of the most entertaining blockbusters you'll see this summer. Boasting beautiful special effects and constant humor, Guardians of the Galaxy may not be a groundbreaking entry into its genre, but it certainly is a welcome addition.

The finest thing about this movie is the comedy that goes with it. Writer James Gunn really does a fine job of using the archetypical characters (tough female, dumb big guy, sassy little guy) and gives them attributes that add to their farce. Really, the comedy is the film's saving grace, as its predictability sucks away any suspense. Remember, with a film such as this, it's not where the path ends that matters, it's how much fun you have along the way.

I give my utmost respect to Bradley Cooper for his sensational, and hilarious voice-over work. Between his pre-recorded deliveries and the wonderful editing of Fred Raskin, Hughes Winborne and Craig Wood, the character of Rocket becomes an instant fan favorite. I also enjoyed his lovable sidekick, Groot who tells you his name a ton of times in the film in comedic fashion. If you're a film and acting nerd like me, I think you might find more excitement in seeing Glenn Close and Benicio Del Toro in their fine supporting roles. They don't do much but their presence alone is enough.

I find it interesting that Groot, who has the least amount of lines, is the best-written character in the whole film. Groot says so much without saying anything and is easily the most lovable and the most human character in the film. Despite the fine characterization and portrayals of the "good guys" in the film, the villains are terrible. They are probably the worst thing about the movie. They are overly cartoonish and come off as B-movie caricatures. From the overly dramatic, yet beautiful, score accompanying the villains, to their hammy portrayals, they are just hard to watch. It's funny how films of this nature (action, comic book based) spell out everything, as if you wouldn't get it on your own.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this film I also found it to be a bit frustrating. Like Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, The Guardians of the Galaxy actually has a deep and darker meaning. Beneath the explosions and punch-lines, the film is about the loss of loved ones. I'm not going to give the movie away for you but be aware that the film is about losing family and friends and how that affects your motivations and loves. If the film wasn't quite so formulaic, it would be one of the greatest films of its genre. Easily. The characters are deep enough and their motivations and loves are justified enough through rational traumas, that this film could have been Marvel's Dark Night. Unfortunately, for me, it's too predictable to hit that mark.

I rate this film 3.5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. You can see this film in 3-D or 2-D at your local theater. Guardians of the Galaxy is a fun, entertaining romp that offers a lot of laughs, has a great soundtrack and is a guaranteed good time. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Willie J, age 15.

The sweet sounds of 80's music, amazing stunts, hilarious one liners, a talking raccoon and a loving, giving tree named Groot are some of the highlights I like most about this film. Marvel has created a 3D futuristic adventure-comedy that explores the true meaning friendship. Chris Pratt plays Star-Lord who is a really good at making enemies and finds himself in trouble when Gamora, Rocket and Groot are after him for stealing the most powerful orb in the galaxy.

One of my favorite scenes is when Star-Lord distracts Ronan from destroying the universe by singing Sweet Child and dancing. Everyone asks him what is he doing and he explains that this is what people do on Earth and he challenges Ronan to a dance off. A memorable moment is when Ronan comes charging toward the guardians and he says "Star-Lord." Star-Lord replies finally because everyone is always calling him by his real name, Peter Quill and he wants a cool superhero. It is funny that he is excited by people calling him his alias when he should be worried about getting blown to pieces.

Alexandra Byrne, (known for designing costumes for Thor, The Avengers and Finding Neverland) has changed the look of costumes for Sci-Fi and adventure movies. Every costume has more depth for each character especially that of Star-Lord. In the opening scene, you see Star-Lord with a dark maroon cape and metal mask and then, when the aliens try to kill him he escapes by flying via his built-in rocket shoes. The cinematographer, Ben Davis, creates a galaxy never seen before. Throughout the movie I felt as if I was sucked into another galaxy filled with unique aliens and different landscapes.

The moral of this film is that friendship is more important than anything. James Gunn shows how desperate all of the characters are to get 4 billion units and then get rid of each other. But, they are meant to do something greater together and that is to protect the galaxy and learn how to love others. I recommend this film for kids 12 to 18 and I give this five stars out of five stars.

Reviewed by Shelby R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.

This is a funny and action packed adventure that fans of Marvel will adore! When I heard about this film, I thought this will be another add on to the series of films based of super hero comic books, and well, maybe it was time for something fresh, but Guardians of the Galaxy pleasantly surprised me - it is a fantastic adventure that many people will enjoy.

The film has something interesting for everyone - a sense of adventure with a side of romance and perfectly timed jokes as well as can't-beat action all rolled up in one film.

The story starts with a young boy who just experienced a tragic loss and has been abducted by aliens. What do you think they do to him? Train the boy to be an outlaw. Twenty years later, he finds a powerful object and teams with other outlaws to make sure it doesn't get in the wrong hands. Can they succeed or would he switch to the "dark side?" You have to watch the movie to find out.

This movie is stupendous. The jokes aren't everyday flat jokes, they are one-of-a-kind, ironic humor all the way. The special effects are crystal clear and pretty amazing and, to add to all that, the story is nicely done and plays smoothly. However, even though the jokes are a bit more unique, the rest is rather normal. One item I craved for and didn't get was to see something unique that would separate this film from the rest of the comic book-based films. However, I still greatly enjoyed it. My favorite scene is when StarLord (as he calls himself) is about to face a huge enemy that may destroy billions of lives. What does he do? He starts a dance off! The villain is very confused which gives enough time for the crew to plan something to save everyone!

This movie has some gore and a lot of very intense scenes so I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. I also give it 4.5 out of 5 star for over all a good film, but not much different from a lot of others. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, age 12

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


HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY, THE
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-18
Description - The Kadam family clashes with Madame Mallory, proprietress of a celebrated French restaurant, after they open their own nearby eatery, until undeniable chemistry causes the Madame to take gifted young chef Hassan under her wing. Produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake. Based on the book by Richard C. Morais. Starring Helem Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon, Amit Shah and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey have partnered with Juliet Blake to produce this remarkable film starring Helen Mirren in a role perfectly suited for her as Madame Mallory, proprietress of a celebrated French restaurant. An Indian family opens their own restaurant across the street much to her chagrin and leads to confrontations that are hilarious and awkward. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, "This has a lot of cooking with a bit of love spiced in with the cooking, there are some fantastic one-liners that make the audience roar with laughter and this is all included in a fantastic adventure."
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What a fantastic way to wrap up the summer! I am not the biggest fan of romance films, which is what I expected from this film initially. However, The 100 Foot Journey is a funny, inspirational and delicious adventure that everyone will love.

This isn't just a romance film. This has a lot of cooking with a bit of love spiced in with the cooking, there are some fantastic one-liners that make the audience roar with laughter and this is all included in a fantastic adventure.

The story starts when an Indian family that cooks at a school, has to leave the school for very sad reasons. They end up in France where they start a restaurant. However, across a 100 foot wide road, there is another, very different restaurant. A huge adventure starts with the chefs, the owners, and some other people too. If you want to find out what happens you got to watch the film!

This film is produced by a great partnership of Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey based on a famous novel, so it was bound to be a masterpiece, and it is! The actors are funny. They are very much in touch with their characters and they all fit their parts perfectly! The directing is very precise and it makes me want to read the book that the movie is based on!

My favorite scene is when they are a bit competing and there is a montage of different cooks/chefs from the two restaurants cooking pretty and yummy looking food. It shows you that, even though both restaurants are very different, both can make excellent food! It made me hungry and I swear I could smell it at times.

This movie has some adult oriented references and also some scenes little children won't understand so a good age rating is 8 to 18. I also give it a solid 5 out of 5 stars for fantastic directing, cast, editing, ideas, and of course producing!

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.

Lasse Hallstrom, the director of Dear John, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Safe Haven and What's Eating Gilbert Grape, makes a heartfelt comedy about the struggles of an Indian cook trying to become a successful chef in France that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Om Puri plays Papa, one of my favorite characters, because he is stubborn, loveable and cares deeply for the well-being of his children and tries to make the best decisions for them. In the beginning, he and his children are in the middle of nowhere and a stranger takes the family under her wing. Papa finds a place for them to start a restaurant and Hassan thinks he is crazy for making an Indian restaurant hundred feet away from a popular French restaurant. Papa proves them wrong by making the restaurant very popular.

Hallstrom explores the different flavors and spices that educate the senses by showing the audience that the sacred culinary traditions being perfected by adding Indian spices and unusual ingredients. A memorable scene is when Hassan asks Madame Mallory to make an omelet with him. Madame Mallory has rejected his ability as a chef in the past and she questions him every time he adds something unusual to the omelet. With one bite she can no longer deny that Hassan is a gifted chef and tries to give him an offer he can't refuse.

Music adds the extra spice to the movie. When watching Hassan and his family makes their traditional meals the audience feels like they are in the middle of a family party but it is different because when Madame Mallory expects nothing less than perfection, which makes the audience feel like they are at a very classy and fancy restaurant. One of my favorite scenes is when Madame Mallory yells at Papa for having his Indian music up too loud and instead of Papa turning down his music, he turns it up louder just to make her even more upset.

This film is about only about food and competition it is about how a commonality can bring others together do something extraordinary. One lesson from this film is that you should always follow your dreams even when the people closest to you might not agree with your dream. Everyone will enjoy firework displays, colorful Indian costumes and the beautiful countryside of Paris, mouthwatering cuisines.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. The Hundred-Foot Journey is playing now in theaters nationwide.

Reviewed by Shelby R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


EXPENDABLES 3, THE
KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
EXPENDABLES 3, THE
LIONSGATE FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill... or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables -- but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables' most personal battle yet.

Starring Sylverster Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson Antonio Banderas, Ronda Rousey. Directed by Patrick Hughes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - We all need the movies that allow us to just sit back and let our mind melt - the kind of movie you can watch without your brain. No thinking, no deciphering, no figuring things out. Just watch and enjoy the explosions.

The Expendables 3 has plenty of that and more. There are enough bullets, deaths, explosions, weapons, punches, kicks and bruises to make any fan of action movies content.

Usually in action film like this, the acting is good enough to believe the characters. Adding Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas to this third sequel is the best thing this franchise has done. They easily give the finest performances in this film and in the whole trilogy. Antonio gives the film lots of humor and a remarkable monologue, showing his range impeccably. And then there's Mel Gibson, who works with the limitations of his script beautifully - not being too over-the-top, too psycho or too much of a clich�, he creates a villain that doesn't come off crazy or bombastic, but realistic. I appreciated their performances.

As for other aspects of the movie, there isn't really much that struck me as outstanding. The sound is great, the special effects are nice, the script is an action movie script. You have typical character archetypes - tough girl, stubborn prodigy, attempts at humor, one liners and lots of explosions.

To sum up this film, I would quote critic James Berardinelli's (Reelviews) review on The Expendables 2, "Does exactly what it's supposed to do-no more, no less." What does that mean? No deep thinking, more explosions.

Taking into consideration its success and flaws, I give this film 3 out of 5 stars, meaning I recommend you see it. It's a nice film to see if you wish to get a few laughs and relax your brain. Because of the huge amount of violence and the profanity , I recommend this film for kids ages 16 to18. The MPAA seems to be getting more lenient with their ratings but KIDS FIRST! considers excessive profanity inappropriate for younger kids.

Reviewed by Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Critic, Age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 14-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


GIVER, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GIVER, THE
WEINSTEIN CO, THE Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the "real" world. Starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaits, Katie Holmes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Full of pretense, theories on life and enough ideas to cause you to rethink your own ideas, The Giver is an intense film about the effects of accepting the good and bad things memories of life.

Being a huge Meryl Streep fan (Chief Elder), I was very excited to see her performance and, I was not disappointed. Jeff Bridges' (The Giver) performance gives this film a veteran presence that adds to the wisdom their characters possess. As for Brenton Thwaites (Jonas) and Odeya Rush (Fiona), their performances show great promise for their careers. Their youth and lack of experience add a sense of na�vet� to their characters that beautifully contradicts with the characters played by both Streep and Bridges.

I find the script a bit pretentious but necessarily so. The premise itself is very complex but suitable for the subject matter. What could have 90 minutes of melodrama turns into brilliant and intelligent conversations thanks to the skills of the ensemble. I give an Oscar nod for both Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges.

There is a scene towards the end of the film where The Giver and Chief Elder debate on the pros and cons of memories and allowing people to make decisions. That is one of the very best acted scenes I've seen this year. The dialogue is so poetic that we're drawn into the fantasy instead of repulsed by its theatrical nature.

My favorite part of the film, second to Meryl's performance, is the beautiful cinematography by Ross Emery. Mr. Emery and Editor Barry Alexander Brown really come together wonderfully to create awesome moments of visual storytelling. The mixture of black and white with color, and the short shots of real life events give this film a certain vivacity the book is unable to give.

This film is really quite an achievement. To bring such a loved and popular book, with tons of deep ideas and themes, and execute as wonderfully as Director Philip Noyce and company do, is great. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and really hope you see it. It opens theatrically on August 15. Due to the mature themes and ideas, I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18. Reviewed by Willie J.

The Giver is based the book by Louis Lowry. It tells the story of what seems like a perfect community where there is no pain or suffering - a simple, secluded world where there are no differences and no choices. A young boy named Jonas is selected to become the receiver of memories and he learns from an elderly man about the pain and suffrage, from the outside world, that has been kept from everyone. Jonas soon figures out that his whole life has been a lie and tries to change the way his secluded community is governed.

This movie is very captivating. I had my eyes glued to the screen the whole time, not wanting to miss a second of the story. I was so excited to see this movie because The Giver is one of my favorite books and I think the movie is just as good, although a bit different.

Like most movies that are based on books, there are some big parts of the storyline that the movie misses that I feel would have helped people who hadn't read the book understand the story better. Although at certain points in the movie it doesn't matter that parts are missed, because the missed parts are replaced with something equally as great. Then sometimes, the missed parts aren't replaced and it takes the movie in a whole other direction. That's why even if you read the book some parts in the movie will be a total surprise. I enjoyed watching the movie and seeing which parts of the book are included and what surprises are added by the movie's producers.

The actors and actresses in this film are fantastic. Brenton Twaites (Jonas) was born for this role. I really like how bold and brave his character is throughout the whole movie. Meryl Streep fits the role of the chief elder perfectly. Odeya Rush is great as Fiona. I love the fact that she stands with Jonas through thick and thin. Lastly is Jeff Bridges who plays the role of The Giver, he is phenomenal. His character isn't very outspoken but has a strong on-screen presence and he says a lot just using body language and facial expressions. He has true acting talent.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars because of its great acting, a great story line and definitely worth seeing in theaters with a best friend. I recommend it for 10 to 13-year-olds because the storyline is a bit mature and I don't think kids under age 10 would understand the story. Reviewed by Samantha A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


AMAZING WIZARD OF PAWS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
AMAZING WIZARD OF PAWS
BRYAN MICHAEL STOILLER Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 5-12
Description - What happens when you find out the family dog is actually six-hundred years old and was once owned by a great and powerful wizard? In this charming and magical adventure, young Bobby Spade and his faithful therapy dog, Ozzy, stumble upon an ancient wizard's mystical book of spells. The once shy boy and loveable canine are unprepared for what comes next as the two find themselves suddenly graced with extraordinary magical powers. Through this amazing miracle, Bobby is now inspired to become the world's most famous magician, accompanied by his enchanted talking dog Ozzy who inherits universal wisdom and is eager to share it. With their newly acquired supernatural talents, these great and powerful little magicians embark on a series of wondrous spellbinding adventures. With some amazing and breathtaking illusions, the two amaze and astound everyone they encounter. Bobby's magnificent skills also come in handy at school, and help him and Ozzy to escape the local bullies by showing them a supernatural thing or two they'll never forget! To save the family home from foreclosure, Bobby and Ozzy enter the National Million Dollar Talent Show in hopes of winning the grand prize. It seems a cinch to nab the Million Dollars with their inherited new powers-- until the evil Wizard, Lord Gragheon who fought for, and lost the book of spells centuries ago -- time travels to claim it back through a spectacular dual against the young magician and his mystical talking dog.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have to admit that I wasn't too sure about this movie in the beginning. It seemed a tad dark and sad. It does touch on some emotional issues of loss, being bullied and social anxiety. But, this quickly turns into a mystical and magical movie that is very entertaining. There is a whole theme of bad magic and good magic and, although good magic is much more powerful, something more meaningful is portrayed in the film. It shows how real magic comes from within oneself and, in this case, a young boy named Bobby who has to deal with the loss of his dad at a young age. With the help of a magical dog, Ozzie, who becomes his best friend, he learns to deal with social anxiety and learns that magic doesn't solve problems.

This films had me on the edge of my seat at times and I enjoyed the happy twist at the end. The actors portray the characters really well. I would rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. It is entertaining and is quite magical. It is much more than just a bad vs. good kind of movie.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is a really good movie and one you just want to share with everyone. I think a lot of people would like it because it is family friendly and really cute.

This story is about a boy named Bobby who has a dream of becoming the greatest magician ever. He got a dog named Ozzie when he was young because he was so depressed after his dad died and he needed Ozzie to come with him everywhere he went. One day, he went to a store to buy a magic book with $20 dollars that he found. He buys a magic book that gives him powers to do a lot of things.

The main characters in this movie are Bobby, Ozzie, his mom and two wizards. My favorite character is Ozzie because, he may be a dog but, he is actually a magic dog. He has lived for centuries and can talk. He can also do a few magic powers. He is also a really cool dog.

My favorite part in this movie is when Bobby is at a school talent show and he and Ozzie do a lot of cool magic tricks. They make Ozzie disappear and do a lot more tricks. He does some elusions and the dog helps him with a few things. One time, Ozzie goes into one box and comes out another. It is really cool and a quick hint he wasn't teleporting.

I recommend this movie for ages 5 to 12 because all of the magic tricks are cool. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Anthon A., age 11.
Runtime: 96 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


HANK THOMAS: FREEDOM RIDER
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
HANK THOMAS: FREEDOM RIDER
LORA BATCHELOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
Series: STUDENT DOCUMENTARY, MIDDLE SCHOOL
Description - This is a documentary produced by middle school students about Freedom Rider Hank Thomas and why he is an unsung hero of the civil rights movement. The video includes interview clips with Hank Thomas.
Runtime: 12 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

FIRST T-REX THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FIRST T-REX THE
LUISA PARNES
Series: SCREENPLAY FOR AGES 8-12
Description - Tee is the first T-Rex ever to walk the face of the Earth and is treated by everyone with unease. When his mom marries the mayor, he moves into town after years of homeschooling and the timing couldn't be worse. The mayor has just signed a deal allowing raptors to come into town and destroy the local forest to build cheap housing. When the town looks to Tee for help, he must learn to overcome his insecurities and defeat the raptors.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The First T-Rex is about the first T-Rex but it is much more than that because it has important messages for kids about standing up for what you believe in, being different and not being a bully. The characters make this script fun, entertaining and bring this script to life. It is appropriate for children ages 7+ but children ages 7-12 will relate to it more because of the fantasy aspect of it. The characters dialogue is humorous and will be easy for children to relate to. The tone is its strength, also important messages. The characters' personalities shine in this screenplay. They make the story. There is a strong message that it's okay to be different and it's not okay to be a bully. The dialogue is suitable for a youth audience.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult evaluation

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay

ICE DANCER THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ICE DANCER THE
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC
Series: SCREENPLAY FOR AGES 8-12
Description - The Ice Dancer is an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic with a twist. Set in rural New England, this tale weaves a web of romance adventure and fantasy featuring Max, a troll-like character, who becomes good. All his friends try to rescue him and keep him bad. The beauty and grace of figure skating sets the theme for this timeless piece.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Ice Dancer is quite interesting and will appeal to children ages 8-14. As an adult, even I enjoyed reading it and could see commercial potential. I could imagine the beautiful snow-filled scenery and the characters bringing this story to life. It is based on the Hans Christian Andersen classic and does have a slight familiar ring to it but there is quite a modern-day twist with a lesson to be learned. Good wins over bad in this delightful story of friendship and teenage romance and it is engaging from beginning to the end.

The characters' dialogue is a strength of this script. The characters are very strong. It is easy to find Andrew and Sarah quite likable. Even though Maximillian is not very likable, the author does a great job at making the reader go from not liking him to liking him. The story structure is also another strength. It is easy to follow along with the story line and the scenes and characters are described quite well.

I do think this script has commercial potential. I think there could be beautiful scenes with the snow and ice and the characters could have real appeal. It's an interesting story line and I like that it isn't too predictable. It's like a classic fairy tale story with a modern day magical twist.

I would rate this 8 because I am not completely sure of the time frame. I am assuming it is pretty modern time but it would be helpful what the time frame is. What year does the story take place? I think children today could understand the story and I felt the magic wizard twist really gives it a more modern day feel. I feel children today would be more interested in this story than the classic fairy tale it is based on.

The story line is an absolute strength to the script and the conflict and resolution is appropriate. It's typically good and bad evil and magic and typically good wins over evil. But, this isn't so predictable and I think that the twist is very clever on the writer's part.

The characters are one of my favorite things about the script. The teenagers are easy to relate to and you can actually picture them in your mind. I think the writer describes them quite well and I like how he actually makes me feel sorry for the evil Maxmillian who really is more misunderstood than evil and turns good at the end. The dialogue seems very natural and fits right into the story line.

The lesson or moral simply is that good wins over bad and is portrayed very well in the script. I like that bad actually turns good in Maxmillian's case. A child will get this because the lesson shines through in the script. Other than that, it is very entertaining and kept my interest from beginning to ending.

I would likes to know the year this takes place but I am not quite sure if it is necessary. I do not think that I would make any changes because it is entertaining and teaches a moral lesson. I would have liked to know who the woman was that Maxmillian ends up with at the end. She is just brought up at the end but, then again, it is the end and I'm not sure if that is necessary. I feel that the writer does a superb job in writing this story.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

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


BIG BREAKFAST, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BIG BREAKFAST, THE
LITTLE MAMMOTH MEDIA Click to purchase directly from the producer Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 5-8
Description - The BIG Breakfast a look at how our food gets to the table! LEARN how wheat is harvested and how it's into flour! And see giant combines in action! TRAVEL from Hawaii's pineapple fields to the cold maple forests of Quebec. And watch a crop duster fly a few feet off the ground! SEE all the ingredients of a blueberry pancake breakfast come together, and meet all the people who make it happen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Big Breakfast is an educational film showing young children where their breakfast comes from starting at a dairy farm where milk comes from. It shows all the steps from farm to store and is a great introduction for young children to learn about farming and agriculture. It is interesting and a great educational resource for parents and teachers of young children. It shows real people in their real roles and also teaches children to be thankful for their food and all the people who make it possible for them to have food.

It is very age appropriate in terms of the topic, presentation and vocabulary. It flows well, starting by showing what breakfast in different parts of the world looks like and then focusing on a "big" breakfast of blueberry pancakes and fruit.<[>Farmers are shown in a positive light with emphasis on the amount of work that goes into planting and harvesting. The characters in the film are kind and respectful towards one another and to the animals on their farms.

This short film could really stimulate a lot of questions and interactions from the youth viewers who learn not only where does milk come from but how orange juice is made. There is a great multiple choice quiz at the end of the film that is useful for either a single viewer or a group.

This film is well produced with realistic looking sets and locations. It shows real people in real, every day attire who are not simply actors playing a role.

This would make a lovely resource for teachers of young children or a home library for a thoughtful parent. We recommend it!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is a pretty good movie. It's really geared for kids younger than me but, for them, it is a very good movie. It shows all about how a normal, American style breakfast is made. It talks about the ingredients needed to make blueberry pancakes and tells you where blueberries come from, how they are cleaned and how they are transported. They do the same with oranges. It also describes how oranges become orange juice. They describe where milk comes from and how they make sure it doesn't contain any diseases. There's more that that but you will just have to watch the movie to learn more.

I recommend this movie for ages 3 to 7 because it is educational and well done. It is very informative and I think younger kids will really think it's cool because they probably don't know where the food they eat comes from anyway.
Runtime: 38 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: -
Suggested Retail Price: $ 4.99
Media: DVD

This title is available for purchase from LITTLE MAMMOTH MEDIA


BATMAN: ASSAULT ON ARKHAM
KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
BATMAN: ASSAULT ON ARKHAM
WARNER HOME VIDEO Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Based on the hit video game series, Batman must find a bomb planted by the Joker while dealing with a mysterious team of villains called, The Suicide Squad. Starring Kevin, Neal McDonough and Hynden Walch.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Vigorous! This is your typical entertaining comic book film, only this time you're cheering for, and looking from, the bad guys' point of view.

Amanda Waller (C.C.H. Pounder) assembles a team of six criminals, called The Suicide Squad. Their mission is to break into Arkham and retrieve The Riddler's (Mathew Gray Gubler) cane. However it does not go according to plan.

This film is rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language and I admire this film's judgment. Not long ago, I wrote a blog about the rating system and how leisurely the ratings are letting mature content into PG-13 films without forewarnings. I can't complain since this film gives us a clear heads up! I will say, one of the film's characters towards the end says, "Mother..." and then the audio cuts off. I don't believe that counts for using the "F" word.

The characters are dynamic. As much as I love heroes, I adore villains. A protagonist is nothing without an antagonist and these criminals take the cake. Batman villains are unlike your regular, "Want to take over the world" bad guys. They are complex criminals that are assassins, deranged psychologically, destined to kill and maim for fun, and sometimes all of the above at once. What's even better, these characters are lesser known villains such as Killer Shark (John DiMaggio), Captain Boomerang (Greg Ellis) and more - all with their own vendetta both personal and business. This creates engaging conflict between the characters.

The artistry in the animation never ceases to amaze me. Batman's universe is dark and brooding with lots of shadows and dim lights. Colors like red, green and purple are done in darker shades and tones instead of normal bright tones. The characters all have costumes and designs that define them. Joker (Troy Baker)'s bright colored suit stands out from the rest of the characters while still looking like a part of the world he lives in.

My favorite Character is Deadshot (Neal McDonugh). Deadshot is the leader who only wants to be with his daughter. He's cunning, a sharp shooter and deadly. He even manages to get into Joker's mind and outsmart him. That's impressive.

My favorite scene is when the squad is up against Batman (Kevin Conroy). This takes place in a building full of confiscated belongings from the criminals of Arkham. So if you're a comic book fan, like me, see how many different Easter Eggs you can spot. Plus this is one of the rare times you see Batman do what he does best.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommended it to 13- through 18-year-olds. As I mentioned earlier, there is content that is inappropriate for younger kids.

This film is out on DVD and Blue-ray now.

Reviewed by Keefer C. Blakeslee, age 14, KIDSFIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 75 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.98
Media: DVD


NIGHTLIGHT DAYLIGHT
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NIGHTLIGHT DAYLIGHT
CGD MUSIC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 2-5
Description - The first interactive lighted cover art. Two CD set of 30 tunes for anyone who wants beautiful music to drift to sleep and optimistic music to awaken. A calming yet intellectually stimulating experience for children, with world class musicians and Nashville Symphony's live string orchestra.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Nightlight Daylight is an exceptional package from first look and apparently you can tell a book, uh, CD by its cover. Its lovely, interactive fiber optic cover is off the charts - push the moon and the stars and fireflies light up. Impressive! It just gets better. After I finished pushing the moon for about half an hour I delved into the treasures within: an ambitious 30-song two-CD set. Hence the title. The artist, Muriel Anderson, is a force of nature and a brilliant guitarist. The first CD, Nightlight, is perfect for winding down and drifting into dreamland with soft and soothing guitars and vocals with support from some major talent. The Daylight CD, although equally talented, is more suited for an adult audience. The music is absolutely stunning and so well played. Primarily acoustic guitar supported occasionally with other unobtrusive instruments. Half the album (lullaby) is directed to children while the second disc is more suitable for adults which is not necessarily a bad thing. I recommend this to anyone - there is so much to like - great for lullabies and meditation. Very soothing. This double album flows along seamlessly from night to day. The classical-based guitar work is exemplary. However this is not totally a children's album. The quality is amazing across the board. It will retain a youth audience on the first CD but not on the second. I cannot express how much the performances and production quality resonates. I look forward to Muriel Anderson's next release! Reviewed by John Wood.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I liked this CD set because it has both day and night songs. It has really cool bonus features too like light up stars on the cover and removable guitar pics. The Nightlight CD is my favorite because it would be good to listen to at night if you can't fall asleep. I liked the Daylight CD too but would have liked faster melodies and more lyrics. I would recommend this for ages 2 to 7 because older kids may get bored. There are few lyrics. It is mostly instrumental. The packaging is really cool. When you push down on the cover, the stars light up.
Runtime: 109 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 35
Media: AUDIO

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This sequel to the reboot of the original Planet of the Apes (1968) explores new and uncharted territory. And, it serves as a prequel to the original films in the series. What we see is a growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar that is threatened by a band of human survivors from the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, age 12 comments, "...this is a sequel and an eighth movie. I expected that it would feel a bit stretching, but it isn't." See his full review in youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What an exciting and thrilling blockbuster! I was worried about this film. This was the 8th add on to the Planet of the Apes series, second to the reboots. So this Is a sequel and an eighth movie. I expected that it would feel a bit stretching, but it isn't. In fact, Dawn of The Planet of The Apes' main purpose Is to show another side of these super apes and to set up the story for the next film in the franchise.

This isn't just about fighting; in fact, fighting scenes, even though they are epic, take very little part of the film. There is romance within humans and apes families, sometimes, the apes can act funny. Dawn of The Planet of The Apes is thrilling and kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time! Also it has a story line no one expects!

The original Planet of the Apes book is about humans that went to a planet ruled by apes. When they come back to Earth, the same thing happened to our planet. The reboots, (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes and Rise of the Planet of the Apes) are pretty much prequels. So, Caesar leaves civilization with his ape friends while the human race almost goes extinct due to a deadly virus. The remaining humans struggle for power. Will they be able to find a new source of power or will it be up to the apes and their leader to decide the humans' fate?

For me, this is a fantastic addition to the series. They don't try too hard to make it too action-packed and cool looking. The apes look extremely realistic and I really like that. They include some scenes from Rise of the Planet of the Apes which helps to pull it all together nicely. The action and fighting even has some stuff from the original 1963 Planet of the Apes book! The director made it a perfect length and, in fact, this is the first time I've seen what I would call a "trailer" movie (a movie that looks like an hour-long trailer for the next one in the series) that is entertaining and includes a surprise ending.

My favorite scene is when we see a small group of humans working on the power station. When they wake up, the youngest is sitting with an ape that acts as a teacher to young apes and is very loyal to Caesar. The kid gives him a book and reads along with him. It shows how well they actually understand each other and how alike humans and apes are. It shows friendship and how two creatures of different species can be friends.

This film has some violence and intensity so I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars for fantastic graphics, a well planned story, excellent cinematography and stupendous acting. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.

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


APPETITE FOR CONSTRUCTION
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
APPETITE FOR CONSTRUCTION
THE POP UPS
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 2-5
Description - These songs provide an active participation point for whole-family engagement, celebrating imaginative play, building, dance, puppet making and more. "We wanted to make something that wasn't only about listening, but could actually be recreated and re-imagined at home," explains Stein. "The Pop Ups are all about making things," adds Rabinowitz. "We want our fans to be able to engage in that experience for themselves and really take part in the record, and to experience The Pop Ups world."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Stop the presses! Late breaking news: The Pop Ups have done it again! Their latest album 'Appetite For Construction' is a fanciful, danceable explosion of ideas and get-down rhymes and rhythms. The group is in touch with its musical lineage and producer/arranger Jason Rabinowitz does a masterful job of paying/playing homage to a myriad of pop culture voicing and styles. The group has a special spark and presents a moving target of attention grabbing hip nouveau vaudeville. Oh, and by the way, I liked the album. This is a finely constructed and produced album from the first downbeat. Nothing unappealing unlike a banana. Each song segues into the next seamlessly with a myriad of pop culture styles. Their liner notes hit it on the head, "This album is dedicated to the simple joy of making things with family & friends!" The group knows how to integrate terrific music with creative voice work that they perform live with the puppet portion of their shows. They always present a moving target of attention-grabbing modern vaudeville. Top rate sound quality has layers of harmonies, excellent musicianship and masterful recording technique. Reviewed by John Wood.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The kids absolutely loved this CD, especially the upbeat music that made them dance. They liked the vocalist, the instruments and the fun music. The kids that reviewed the CD were ages 2-7. The slower songs were not enjoyed as much as the faster paced ones but overall they really enjoyed this. One 2-year-old came running in from another room dancing along to it. Their favorite song is "Getting the Job Done" and they repeatedly said, "give it a 5" (rating).
Runtime: 40 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12
Media: AUDIO

SEA BLUE SEA
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SEA BLUE SEA
THE WHIZPOPS
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-8
Description - This new album of original songs delivers educational content via a zany range of characters and grooving, upbeat music in a range of styles. In all, the 10 tunes present key facts about the ocean and its inhabitants in a lighthearted and engaging way, often from the perspective of the subject animal.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Unlike the glorious manatee, Sea Blue Sea clips along at a rockin' pace and doesn't let up until we have been musically introduced to a variety of engaging underwater characters like the dolphin, manta ray, sea turtle and octopus among others that abide beneath the waves. The songs are exquisitely arranged and performed with a musical nod to the 80's forward - especially enjoyed the B-3 organ and guitar work. Clear and present vocals enhance the outstanding educational values embedded but not buried or lost in the upbeat arrangements. The Whizpops are a group to be reckoned with - Jump on in the waters fine. Love the music, my kind of stuff. A variety of musical influences from the 80s on up! Sounds like a live band. No pun intended but, there is a nice ebb and flow to the album as the artists share the wonders of the sea. Excellent use of musical styles from rock to reggae. The quality reflects the research that the artist have included on the manatee, dolphin, manta ray, sea turtle and more. Enthralling for their audience. Most children are intrigued by the ocean and its inhabitants. What's not to like? The artists know their audience well and are very respectful, no condescending allowed. This album is a guide to the wonders of the sea disguised as a flat-out fun and gun rock album. Reviewed by John Wood.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Whizpops Sea Blue Sea music CD is awesome. It is very funny and rhythmic. The Whizpops do a great job writing enjoyable, upbeat music for each song. I like the CD so much I tap my fingers along to the beat of almost every song.

Throughout all the songs I learned about sea creatures that live inside and outside of the coral reefs. It is a good combination of music and education to explain what happens under the sea. For example, you learn about zooplankton, sea turtles and blue whales. You will have to listen for yourself to find out about all the other cool sea creatures and things they sing about.

This CD is so entertaining. I enjoyed all the musicians, different instruments, and music they played throughout the whole disc. I couldn't wait until the next song to see what they would play next! I especially like Matt Cornette who plays the banjo because he plays in all of my favorite songs and the banjo sounds really cool. My three favorite songs are Anglerfish, Coral Reef, and Manta Ray because they tell cool stories about each of the animals and have rock and roll type of music.

This CD by the Whizpops, shows that you can have fun learning about the sea and all of its creatures while listening to entertaining music.

I give this CD 5 out of 5 stars because it is funny, educational and the music makes you want to dance. I recommend it for kids ages 2 to 8, especially for those who like the ocean, sea animals and upbeat music. This is a CD the whole family can enjoy as I saw my dad dancing in the next room. .
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12
Media: AUDIO


TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - After the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons that leveled Chicago, humanity thinks that all alien robots are a threat. So Harold Attinger, a CIA agent, establishes a unit whose sole purpose is to hunt down all of them. But it turns out that they are aided by another alien robot who is searching for Optimus Prime. Cade Yeager, a "robotics expert", buys an old truck and upon examining it, he thinks it's a Transformer. When he powers it up, he discovers it's Optimus. Later, men from the unit show up looking for Optimus. He helps Yeager and his daughter escape but are pursued by the hunter. They escape and Yeager learns from technology he took from the men that a technology magnate and defense contractor named Joshua Joyce is part of what's going on, so they go to find out what's going on.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Set five years after Dark of the Moon, this sequel sets out to continue the franchise and take a new pathway to hold our interest. It's a technical extravaganza, to be sure and, if it wasn't for being way too long, sure to be a hit with summer theater-goers. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O comments, "I think t this is a fantastic part of the series. They do an extremely impressive job since it is the first action feature film to use ONLY IMAX 3D HD cameras, which is hard to do with these types of shots." Raven D, age 16 adds, "This film is entertaining and visually very well done. Director Michael Bay uses the first IMAX Digital 3D camera, making the images more immersive and stunning than anything that's been seen on the big screen so far." Their full reviews are under youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is the most action packed film I've seen in a while! I was worried that it won't be as good as the original, but boy was I wrong. Transformers: Age of Extinction is an action packed adventure that all Transformer fans will love! They are definitely back!

This is not just about fighting between bad and good guys (which there is plenty of). Transformers: Age of Extinction has a good mixture of romance, humor and action. It's all related to a main adventure and, of course, who can forget, stupendous looking Transformers!

The story starts when humans are killing Transformers because they think they are attracting aliens. That's when a young dad, who is in kind of a pickle with his finances, starts fixing up an old truck and discovers that it is an Autobot and, not just a regular one at that. So, they go on an adventure to stop something extremely powerful from being made.

I think t this is a fantastic part of the series. They do an extremely impressive job since it is the first action feature film to use ONLY IMAX 3D HD cameras, which is hard to do with these types of shots. In the theater, it looks like you are in the movie and is definitely the right choice. There are a lot of exciting moments such as when the Transformers get their favorite car models back and also, the battles and story line are a lot like the first one. This, in my opinion, is a perfect approach. However, this film is about three hours long and I felt it could have been made shorter. By the second hour, you could guess what the ending is going to be. As much as I love the special effects, when you have too much of a good thing - it's too much.

My favorite moment is when the main character sees his 17-year-old daughter with her boyfriend. When he starts talking about teenage problems, Optimums Prime responds with, "Yeah, I experienced that with Bumble Bee." The timing is perfect and it also fits perfectly and shows that even though they're 90% robotic, they still love their families. I also thought it is awesome how the director portrays Bumble Bee as an unruly teenager.

This film has a lot of action and intense moments so I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. I also give it 4.5 out of 5 stars because I believe the movie should have been a bit shorter. Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

It's been years since the Decepticons and the Autobots battled for the fate of the humans in Chicago and human defenses against alien forces are at an all-time high. A government branch of humans is targeting all Transformers, Autobots and Decepticons alike, with the help of a menacing assassin. While all of this is going on, Cade Yeager, a struggling inventor from Texas tries to make enough means to keep his property and put his daughter Tessa through college. While looking for parts to help his inventions, he stumbles upon a broken down, rusted truck and decides to fix it up. To his surprise, the truck turns out to the mighty Optimus Prime. Cade fixes him and decides to help him defeat the forces coming for Earth yet, again once he realizes what the government is doing to Transformers. Now, the fate of the entire human race lies in the hands of Optimus and this family of humans and, without them, we might just face extinction.

This film is entertaining and visually very well done. Director Michael Bay uses the first IMAX Digital 3D camera, making the images more immersive and stunning than anything that's been seen on the big screen so far. It's very intense to be sitting in the IMAX Theater seeing these 50 ft. robots captured in such a realistic way. If you've seen any of the previous films from this franchise you know that they are nothing short of action packed. The cinematography and CGI is able to show the intense battle scenes and large scale attacks in a breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat way. One thing that I don't like about the visuals is the inconsistency of the Transformers from film to film. The main characters look the same but some of the Autobots that are introduced in this film are designed completely different than in any of the previous films. Their faces are constructed to have features that look extremely humanesque and it is strange to see them next to Optimus and BumbleBee who still have the classic Transformer look. Another inconsistency is that, in the last film, every time a Transformer was hit they would spill a blood-like-liquid, but in this film, if they are injured, the liquid that comes from the wounds is bright green.

It is very strange to see a Transformer film without Shia Labeouf but, I am quite impressed with Mark Wahlberg and the way he tackles this role. I think he's a fantastic actor and really grounds the film. I'm also a fan of Nicola Peltz and think she is decent in this film. However, I am really sick of the way girls are portrayed in this franchise. Every single leading lady looks like a Victoria's Secret model, is completely helpless about 75% of the movie, can never figure out how to help them self and has to be told to run before they do. Near the end, they have one moment of courage and that's pretty much all. It's a formula that is completely predictable in all of the Transformer films, but alas, it's what sells.

Like I said before, this film is entertaining and it enjoyable. It kept me engaged, concerned for the characters, shocked and, I'll admit, I did almost cry near the end. However this film is peppered with extremely clich� and honestly annoying lines and interactions. From the very beginning, Tessa is introduced as a stereotypical film version of a teenage girl. She rolls up with her friends screaming and giggling about how excited they are to party and be crazy. The whole interaction is cheesy and unnecessary and sets her up to look like a bimbo. After that, her boyfriend, who looks suspiciously similar to the Hemsworth brothers, comes to save the day and the rude, inappropriate and just plain stupid things he says to Tessa's father drove me insane. There are several lines in the film that prompted me to say to myself, "Really? Was that really necessary?" The last irritating thing is the fact that they really drove the whole "American Way" and patriotism to the ground. In every seen at Cade's ranch there are at least two American flags shown and it is constantly mentioned that they're just good ole' Texas folk, protecting America with cries of: "Don't mess with our country!" "Think of your country!" "Fight for your country!" Previous films were less centered on our nation and more about the human race as a whole.

Despite my qualms regarding this movie, it is entertaining and the visuals are extremely well done. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 due to the violence and language. However, if you have seen the previous films and are under 13, then this film should be suitable for you. If you're a fan of Transformers, action or just want to experience the first film to ever use the million dollar IMAX Digital 3D camera, be sure to check out Transformer: Age of Extinction in theaters now.

Reviewed by Raven Devanney, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

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


LOVE BUG BY RAFFI
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LOVE BUG BY RAFFI
ROUNDER RECORDS/CONCORD MUSIC GROUP Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 2-5
Description - This 16 song collection embodies all of the qualities that have already established Raffi as a beloved and trusted icon for young listeners. These are songs about love ("Love Bug," "Seeing the Heart"), nature ("In the Real World," "Blue White Planet"), play ("Free to Play," "To the Park"), chores ("Mama Loves It"), teamwork ("On Hockey Days"), imagination ("Magic Wand") and the need to slow down and catch one's breath amidst the accelerated pace of modern life ("Cool Down Reggae").
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Let's start with the obvious, 'Love Bug' is a terrific album filled with lovely and entrancing songs. I could say, ridiculously, where have you been for twelve years? And the answer might be, doing lots of fun and satisfying stuff. It's like we never missed you, Raffi. The soothing voice and positive artistic sensibilities are sharper than ever. The love for the individual child and family, care for our world and the simple joys of playing ice hockey, and enjoying the park are just a sampling of this splendidly produced and performed 16-song set. And a nod to the updated lyrics to 'This Land is Your Land.' Beautiful guitar work. engaging production and that voice that makes a stadium performance sound like a personal concert in your living room. Pick this up, you won't put it down.

I really like the choice of mainly acoustic instruments (guitars, banjo, fiddle, drums, bass piano and dulcimer). This music breathes. Raffi is one of the foundations of children's music - a national treasure that generations have grown up with.

There are terrific songs, exceptionally performed and spot-on for the target audience. The structure and continuity are near-perfect.

The title says it all: Love Bug! Raffi is all about love, respect, our planet and the power children have to change their surroundings for the better. Like Fred Rogers, he is true to himself, respectful of his audience and always in a gentle, loving way. He is a seeker of good intentions for the World we live in.

Raffi's voice is an instrument that soothes and draws the audience to scoot just a little bit closer. The kid choruses are lovely. The production fabulous. The musicians add so much energy and propulsion. I hope that children will see a bigger picture of their involvement and heir apparent to a smaller, brighter and more loving world.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The kids really enjoyed this CD. This is the first time I've heard a Raffi CD and, although the lyrics are very intelligent and often mature, the kids still were completely drawn in to the songs. They sang along almost immediately and they wanted to hear more. After the original review, I started playing it in the car when they were out of control and they would immediately calm down and start singing along. They especially love the first two songs. Based on the kids' reactions, I recommend this CD to anyone. They particularly loved the Dogwood Song and Love Bug was their second favorite.
Runtime: 40 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 15
Media: AUDIO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WIZARD OF OZCAR, THE
VARTANOUSH TOROSSIAN
Series: ANIMATED COLLEGE STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-12
Description - This is a magical story which takes place in a gypsy camp where nobody knows how to read. But one day, a little gypsy boy, Knicknack finds a book, The Wizard of Oz, and that book changes his life forever.
Runtime: 21 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BOXCAR CHILDREN, THE
HAMMERHEAD PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-8
Description - Based on the best selling book, a touching tale of family togetherness that explores themes of personal integrity, generosity and kindness. Four orphaned siblings mysteriously appear in a small town on a warm summer night. No one knows who these young wanderers are or where they have come from. They make a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar they discover in the woods. Ambitious and resourceful, the plucky children make a happy life for themselves. Time passes and they discover the struggles and rewards of independence as well as the joys of family until one day, Violet gets too sick for the others to care for her. They must take Violet to a doctor and risk discovery and the loss of their secret forest home.

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

NEXT STEP, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEXT STEP, THE
HULU, LLC
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18 ANIM
Description - As the A-Troupe dancers prepare for the regional dance competition, relationships and loyalties are put to the test at the Next Step studio. Created by Frank Van Keeken. Starring Victoria Galdesarra, Isaac Lupien and Trevor Tordjman
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The pilot episode of this TV show was full of so many amazing dance moves that it was hard to keep my eyes off of the screen. The drama that occurs within a group or a team was conveyed perfectly, and every dancer on the show performed flawlessly.

This first episode basically provides the background as to what the season will be about. The Next Step is a dance studio in Canada, and in the first episode, teenage dancers whose lives are devoted to dance compete for a spot on the coveted A-Troupe. Auditions took place, and each teen dancer showed off his or her moves to the adults who would decide on the members of the groups. There is a sort of "queen bee" of the teens named Emily, who heads the A-Troupe and is the studio's best dancer. The episode made it clear that drama and tension will certainly sprout from her.

The audition portion of the episode was very interesting. Some of the girls who spoke about themselves very highly and as if a spot on the A-Troupe was guaranteed failed to dance as impressively as some of the more humble ones. It was also interesting when the new girl, Michelle came along, and seemed to put all the cocky dancers in their places when she danced. The dancers, especially the girls, spoke about Michelle as if she were inferior, so I found it nice how Michelle rose up like a dark horse and performed ten notches above the other dancers.

Tiffany, who is played by Tamina Pollack-Paris, is shown to be a standout actress in the show. Her personality is very bubbly and optimistic, yet it doesn't seem artificial or forced at all; she seems like a genuine person. Brittany Raymond's portrayal of Riley, Emily's younger sister, also stood out. While Emily seems like a diva who simply wants to hold her tiara as the head of A-Troupe, Riley seems much more down to earth. She doesn't say anything rude about others, and seems to be a complete foil to her older sister.

Since it was merely a pilot episode, the general moral of the show cannot be said. However, it could be said that we should throw words to the side and simply let our actions do the talking. Words are merely words, while actions actually prove our abilities and what we have to offer the world.

The talent and the genuine passion that the teenagers have is a nuance that stands out. Without the abilities of the teenagers, the concept of a dance competition and drama show would not appear realistic. Although some of the teens dance more impressively than others, all of them clearly have the skills. They are all truly passionate about dance, and it is nice to see that while they perform.

The episode meets the KIDS FIRST! criteria and would suit kids the ages of 9-15. Girls would enjoy it more because of the typical drama that females tend to endure, although boys would like it as well. This first episode would receive a 3.5/5 star ranking from me, and the rest of the episodes of the season would be interesting as well. Reviewed by Carissa Payongayong, age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: THE KEYS OF FRIENDSHIP
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: THE KEYS OF FRIENDSHIP
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Since her arrival in Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle has learned the true meaning and value of friendship. With her very best friends -- Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Fluttershy and, of course, Spike -- Twilight goes on the greatest of adventures and comes back with even more lessons. All of this has earned Twilight her wings and the crown of a Princess and now you can learn what Princess Twilight Sparkle has learned and take with you The Keys Of Friendship. from Shout! Factory Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. The 5 episodes include "Rarity Takes Manhattan," "Pinkie Apple Pie," "It Ain't Easy Being Breezies," "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 1," and "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 2." A fun sing-along is included as a bonus feature.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - My Little Pony is a perennial favorite with kids of a certain age and adults as well, as I discovered last year at the premiere of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls. A huge following of 20 and 30-year-olds arrived in costume to celebrate the feature film debut of this iconic series. About this DVD Gerry O, age 12, a self-proclaimed fan comments, "This collection has more than just favorite characters - there are a lot of family matters, some good lessons, a lot of comedy and some pretty thrilling moments as well as great and catchy music." Kendyl P, age 12, adds, "(This DVD) is an adorable collection of episodes complied on one DVD! While watching the different episodes it reminds me of the fun times my sister and I shared when we were younger watching My Little Pony on television." Their full reviews are in the youth comment section.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a fantastic collection of My Little Pony episodes. My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Keys of Friendship is a collection of the best episodes from My little Pony including a sing-along. If you are as big of a fan as I am, you will be very entertained by this collection.

This collection has more than just favorite characters - there are a lot of family matters, some good lessons, a lot of comedy and some pretty thrilling moments as well as great and catchy music.

The episodes show, as usual, the pony friends learning about friendship. However, Twilight, who recently became an alicorn (unicorn and Pegasus) doesn't feel like she is doing enough of her job as a princess. However, she will become more important than ever when an ancient beast comes back from his prison to rain chaos in Equestria! (The country where ponies live.)

I thought this was a very smart choice of episodes since the DVD contains about half of the full season. These episodes really are exciting and, even though some people may not know it, pretty funny and really show some good lessons. For example, in one episode about family, ponies argue a lot but at the end they are still just a family.

My favorite episode is when one of them learns that she is a cousin of another friend. When they realize there may be an error, they go on a road trip to find out the truth. On the way there, the family argues and feels bad that they may look like a dysfunctional family. At the end, they see that even though they argue, they are still a great family. I like it because so many families in real life feel like that and we all need to understand that it happens with everyone. Nobody is perfect.

There is nothing parents should worry about and even infants will like the bright colors of the show and its wonderful sounds. I give this DVD an age rating of one to 18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: The Keys to Friendship is an adorable collection of episodes complied on one DVD! While watching the different episodes it reminds me of the fun times my sister and I shared when we were younger watching My Little Pony on television.

This DVD includes four different episodes and each one offers a different friendship lesson. The DVD is filled with beautiful music, great family lessons, a bonus sing along and wonderful comedy!

My favorite character is Rarity; she is a beautiful pony! Rarity and I have some similarities - she likes fashion, enjoys working with her friends and working hard to get the job done - just like me!

My favorite episodes are Twilight Kingdom, Parts 1 and 2 when Twilight has to defeat the evil monster but has to find her own special power! I enjoyed watching the ponies work together to help Twilight discover her special gift.

The message of this series is everyone has a special talent or character trait that makes him or her unique and important. After each episode, one of the ponies does something brave and commendable by putting its friend first. The pony then receives a little object, as a reminder, and it is very useful at the end of the show.

I love the voices of actors, Tara Strong, Ashleigh Ball and Andrea Libmar in this DVD Their voices are perfect for their characters.

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: The Keys to Friendship is the perfect show for little girls. I highly recommend this movie for girl's ages 2 to11. They would love this movie! I give it 5 out of 5 shining stars. You can purchase this DVD in stores near you July 29, 2014.
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.97
Media: DVD


MY LITTLE PONY - FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SPOOKTACULAR PONY TALES
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY LITTLE PONY - FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SPOOKTACULAR PONY TALES
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Everypony loves Halloween... the candy, the pumpkins, the costumes, the friends! Join your favorite residents of Ponyville -- Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie Pie and, of course, Spike -- as they take on some of the spookiest adventures Equestria's ever seen! Time to gather around and hold on tight, because these six exciting tales are a chillingly good romp. Episodes Include: Boast Busters, Stare Master Luna Eclipsed, Sleepless In Ponyville, Castle Mane-ia, Bats!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a fantastic grouping of episodes from the "My little Pony Friendship is Magic series!" I saw the episodes that are listed and I have to say that it is a wonderful selection for the chosen theme.

These episodes are mainly around being spooky and a little bit scary even though each one has a different story. From a Halloween special to an episode about a haunted castle, the episodes make you laugh, be entertained and learn good lessons from our pony friends.

These episodes are fantastic, each shows a different side of a specific character. There is even an episode where they bring back the very first villain in My Little Pony! All episodes have unique jokes, songs, heartfelt meaning behind each and every one and, of course, demonstrate unbreakable friendship.

My favorite episode would be when six ponies go camping and three of them are kids. One of the filly looks up to a older Pegasus named Rainbowdash (my favorite character by the way) and when she has nightmares, she is too scared to tell Rainbowdash but has to forget her fears and do it. I like the episode because it shows a fantastic lesson and is pretty funny.

This famous series really has nothing parents should worry about and kids of any age will enjoy the bright colors. I recommend it for ages 2 to18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars because of the good stories, fantastic voices and unique jokes.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, age 12.
Runtime: 132 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.97
Media: DVD


KRISTA-LINK-A-LA AND THE SIZE 13 SHOES
KRISTA-LINK-A-LA AND THE SIZE 13 SHOES
XXX
Series: BOOK, AGES 2-8
Description - Krista-link-a-la is a precocious 8 year old immigrant girl from Eastern Europe. Her family settles in a remote town in Northern Ontario to make a better life for themselves. Surrounding herself with friends and family, she finds a clever way to build a bridge between her old life, and the new. She writes a hysterical homage to the classic Cinderella story- casting herself as Cinderella replacing the glass slipper with her oldest brother's Sze. 13 Red Running Shoes.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-9
Suggested Retail Price: $ 3.59
Media: Book

SIGNAL, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SIGNAL, THE
ENTERTAINMENT ONE Click to purchase directly from the producer Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - On a road trip, Nic and two friends are drawn to an isolated area by a computer genius. When everything suddenly goes dark, Nic regains consciousness - only to find himself in a waking nightmare. Starring Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke and Beau Knapp. Directed by William Eubank.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Best friends Nic and Jonah embark on a road trip with their close friend Haley to help her move to California. Along the way, Nic and Jonah continue corresponding with a computer genius known to them as Nomad. Nomad previously hacked into their college's computer system and, being computer programmers themselves, they aim to one-up this mysterious hacker. They trace the IP address from the emails they've been receiving and intend to confront who ever is "messing" with them. But when they are lead to a small abandoned home in a desolate area, things take an unexpected turn. When Nic awakes from unconsciousness he finds himself in a government testing facility and what he learns is more shocking than anything he could have ever imagined.

This is one of the weirdest films I have ever seen but, I love it. The cinematography is absolutely incredible. Most of the film is centered more around the visuals than the dialogue. This film shows a lot of flashbacks and memories throughout that are shown mostly in slow motion and the film work is very artistic and thoughtful. The soundtrack is incredible. Since there is little to no dialogue, at times the music often carries the emotion and intent of the film. The music contains quite a bit of ambient noise and definitely has a spooky sci-fi feel to it. Not only is the music a vital part to the film, but there are almost always strange, off-setting, whirring sounds that play in the background. It gives the feel that something is about to happen which is a nice way to add some edge and unease.

The reason I say this is one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen is because I can honestly say there were very few moments when I completely knew what was going on in the film. This movie does not explain what is happening throughout the whole thing, it gives no real background info on the characters, what happened to them, where they really are, nothing. Throughout the movie I kept thinking that there would be a big reveal and everyone would say "Oh, I get it now!." But, that came in a very surprising way. There is a big reveal at the very last minute of the film but honestly, it left my friend and I with more questions than before. Although I spent the 95 minutes of this film terribly confused, it isn't a bad thing at all. In fact, it's brilliant. Director William Eubank only gives the audience as much information as the character Nic has in this film. And, after suffering major head trauma and being told very little, Nic has barely any information to work off of or any idea what is going on. So in a sense, the audience is being forced to feel what Nic is feeling complete with his frustration and confusion. It's a very immersive movie experience and, like I said, it's brilliant.

Unfortunately I can't share my favorite scene, or any scene really without taking away from actually watching the film. But I can talk about the incredible cast and characters. There are very few speaking roles in the film, only six actually. But these six characters are fantastic. Of course there is the main trio, Nic, played by Brenton Thwaites, Haley, played by Olivia Cooke and Jonah, played by Beau Knapp.

Nic is an interesting character and also the main one. I'm assuming he suffers from MS or some degenerative disease because in the beginning of the film he is walking around with forearm crutches and mentions that he'll need a wheelchair but, in flashbacks you see him running and walking around freely. However this is never explained. He is such a great character because as I mentioned before, he is confused about what is going on throughout 95% of the film. Brenton does a phenomenal job portraying this sense of panic and frustration at being so lost. His actions and reactions seem so authentic to his character and he has a wonderful way that invites the audience to join him in his ups and downs. Jonah is also a really great character. He is very quirky but also crazy intelligent and, although he is not in a large portion of the film, he is able to shed some light on what is potentially happening to them. I love Haley because Olivia Cooke plays my favorite character on "Bates Motel" so it is really cool to see her playing a more mature role. Haley is what drives Nic to do pretty much everything he does in the film because the two of them are in a relationship. It is very nice to have such sentimental and caring interactions throughout this film since everything else is quite intense. I can't discuss the rest of the characters without, again, taking away from your movie watching experience.

I wholeheartedly recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 because of the difficulties around following the plot, some very intense and violent situations and also, there is a lack of dialogue. You're just viewing images from the past and present which may be confusing and not very entertaining for a younger audience. At first, I was very hesitant about this film because it starts off a bit slow and is, as you know, confusing as heck, but after watching it all the way through I give The Signal 5 out of 5 stars and am eager to see it again. If you're into sci-fi film, aliens or just want a mind-bending experience, then check out The Signal in theaters now.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven Devanney, age 16.

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

This title is available for purchase from ENTERTAINMENT ONE


HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - It's been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snotlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island's new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons. Starring the voices of Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett and Gerard Butler. Directed by Dean DeBlois.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - How to Train Your Dragon 2 is an awesome animation! It is adventurous, funny, and suspenseful. The producer (Bonnie Arnold) does a great job keeping everyone on the edge of their seats throughout the whole film.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is an incredible sequel to the first movie. It is a 3D animation about a boy named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon, Toothless (Randy Thom), who are trying to stop a bad Viking named Drago (Djimon Hounsou) from capturing all the dragons and making an army out of them. Hiccup and his friends must work together in a battle to protect the peace.

This movie has you feeling many different emotions throughout the film. It is suspenseful, funny and even a little bit sad. The amount of thrilling scenes in this film is incredible. I kept wondering if Hiccup and his friends were going to get caught when they went on all their adventures. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is also very funny. All the characters and the dragons have a good sense of humor. The characters scripts are hilarious and the dragons have very comical body language. The animation in this film is also amazing. The 3D animators do a great job with the special effects. The dragons look like they are popping out right in front of you! My favorite part of the movie is when the two alpha dragons fight with each other. I like it because the special effects make it look like it is happening right in front of me. Like I could reach out and touch them!

How To Train Your Dragon 2 has a great message. It shares with us that you have to believe in yourself if you want to accomplish big goals or dreams. This message is used a couple times with a couple different characters throughout the film.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it is suspenseful and funny. Kids and adults will love it, especially those who love fantasies with dragons and Vikings. I recommend How To Train Your Dragon 2 for children ages 8 and up. This is a movie the whole family can enjoy.

Reviewed by Jeremy Badour, age 7, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

The movie How to Train Your Dragon 2 is absolutely spectacular and even more improved than the first one. It is a battle between peace and dragon domination or in today's world, as I see it, the battle between good and evil. This movie is definitely a mind blowing journey and I love it.

The plot begins when Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless (Randy Thom) go exploring. They find an old city that looks like an ice explosion and run into unfriendly dragon trappers who try to attack them and steal Toothless. They claim that a man named Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou) is going to overcome all the dragons and achieve world domination. Bludvist is a very evil man. However, Hiccup has some peace making he wants to do with Drago instead. The good in Hiccup makes him want to restore peace in the land. Hiccup's determination for peace costs him both happiness and disappointment. However, in the end Hiccup finds out what his true destiny is.

My favorite part is when Hiccup runs into his long lost mother, Valka (Cate Blanchett). Everything immediately falls right into place. It turns out that Hiccup receives his peace making personality and love for dragons from his mother. They have a lot of things in common with each other.

All the dragons, I mean characters do a fabulous job and play each part well. My favorite human character is Hiccup because he is determined to make peace and show that dragons can be as loyal as humans. My favorite dragon character is Toothless. He proves his loyalty and stands up for Hiccup no matter what it may cost. The moral of this story is not to judge someone negatively before you get to really know him.

This movie is a good fit for ages 8 through 18. Both boys and girls will enjoy this action packed movie because it includes emotion as well as adventure with many unexpected turn of events. Therefore, I rate this movie a five out of five "dazzling" stars! How to Train your Dragon 2 is playing in theaters now. Reviewed by Haley Powell, age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

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


FAULT IN OUR STARS, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FAULT IN OUR STARS, THE
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. Starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and Nat Wolff. Directoted by Josh Boone.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Every summer film line up should have a heart-warming love story, right? Well, this one suits the bill but isn't quite like the usual fare that comes out this time of year. Based on the novel by John Green, the story follows two teens that meet and fall in love at a cancer support group. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven D., age 16 comments, "I was very hesitant when I saw that they were making a film based off of the novel by John Green because the book is so amazing and I wasn't sure if a movie would do it justice. But this film goes above and beyond." Jailene A., age 13 adds, "This movie shows the hardships of being in love and fighting for your life in such a beautiful but realistic manner. I absolutely love this film." See their full reviews in our youth comments section.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Never have I seen a movie so heart wrenching as this one. The Fault In Our Stars is an exceptional movie that will have you crying, laughing and anxious all at the same time. It is based on the amazing novel written by John Green. In this movie, Shailene Woodley plays Hazel Grace, a girl diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. Ansel Elgort plays Gus Waters who is diagnosed with cancer as well. They fell in love with each other the way we fall asleep, slowly and then all at once. Their journey goes from meeting their favorite author in Amsterdam to rushing to the hospital for immediate chemotherapy. This movie shows the hardships of being in love and fighting for your life in such a beautiful but realistic manner. I absolutely love this film.

There are so many great aspects about this movie that it's hard to highlight a few. However, one of my favorite things is the whole plot and its meaning. It creatively captures a teenager's perspective of love but also of dealing with cancer. It reaches out to a younger audience but still allows an older audience to enjoy it. John Green knows how to grab the audience's attention by intertwining the two most heart-wrenching aspects of life - love and death. Another thing I really love about the movie is how well it depicts the book it is based on. I read the book a few months ago and I loved how the director put in just enough of the details to keep its authenticity. I didn't feel like there was anything missing. Overall, this movie is extremely great and I want everyone to enjoy it as I did.

My favorite character is Hazel Grace Lancaster. Hazel is witty and smart but also strong and understands things. She teaches Gus a lot about books and how not to be afraid of oblivion. Hazel knows she's going to die but she accepts that and she wants her parents to accept that too. I think a lot of teens going through love or even pain can relate to Hazel Grace.

My favorite scene is when Hazel, Gus and Isaac go to Isaac's ex-girlfriend's house. Isaac's ex-girlfriend, Monica, dumped Isaac because he was going to have eye surgery which would leave him blind. Right before the surgery, Monica dumped Isaac and never even asked if he was okay. Hazel, Gus and Isaac want revenge so they go to egg her house. This part is so funny because Isaac is blind and he can't see where he's throwing the eggs. This struck me as so funny because he's throwing the eggs in the bushes and at the trees but Hazel and Gus try to keep his spirit up by giving him encouragement. It is just a funny scene.

I recommend this movie for ages 12 to 18 because it is a lot to comprehend and some of the information about death may be too much for young children. I am 14 and have never cried so much in two hours. This is an amazing movie and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. This is a great movie for teens to go out and watch with friends. It comes out this weekend so make sure you get to watch this movie, you won't regret it! Reviewed by Jailene Arias, age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

The Fault in Our Stars based on the best-selling novel by John Green is a beautiful, refreshing and witty love story about two teenagers and the remarkable love they share. Hazel, played by Shailene Woodley, is a teen girl living with cancer. Accompanied by her oxygen tank, she attends support groups in the hopes that it will ease her parents worry for her. One day at a group gathering, she meets a boy unlike any she has ever met before. Augustus Waters is a cancer patient with a prosthetic leg and a heart of gold. The two of them bond immediately over their shared sense of humor and disdain for ordinary things. The two of them go through incredible ups and downs dealing with their illnesses while taking a beautiful journey of love places the never thought they'd go.

This film is incredible. I was very hesitant when I saw that they were making a film based off of the novel by John Green because the book is so amazing and I wasn't sure if a movie would do it justice. But this film goes above and beyond. It stays so true to the characters and their personalities. The feel of the book is captured perfectly in the film and I cannot wait to see it again. The sets and locations are great because it really shows everything as I imagined it in the book. I feel like everything is as it should be. They even captured Hazel's depressing and run down swing set exactly as I imagined it. The musical score by Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott fits the film amazingly well. It really helps carry the emotions throughout the film and is wonderful to listen to.

I'm very pleased with the actors chosen for this film. I honestly did not imagine Shailene Woodley when I thought of actresses to play Hazel Grace but, she does an incredible job portraying her. Hazel is such a wonderful character. She looks at the world in such a unique and honest way and is such a genuine person. She has a very interesting, witty personality and even though her life seems very bleak at times, she is a very positive. John Green created such a complex character while also keeping her extremely real and I think Shailene was the perfect choice to play such an imperfect role.

I think what makes this film so amazing is its uniqueness. You don't hear many stories about two teenagers with cancer meeting and falling so deeply in love at a support group. Yet, even though this film is so unique, it sends a universal message about love and loss that everyone can relate to in some way. This film is so refreshingly real and authentic and I think it's been a while since I've seen that in theaters. We get so caught up with all the explosions and fantasy and unrealistic scenarios that big blockbuster films bombard us with that it's really nice to finally see a film like this. These two individuals are able to share such a deep connection and love each other for all of their flaws and quirks, which is something that everyone deserves to have in their life. This film shows love on such a real level in so many ways, from romantic love to the love of parents and children. But it also shows loss and heartbreak just the same. I can't accurately describe everything I felt while watching this movie, but I can say that it is epic.

The entire audience was sobbing by the end and this film does look at life and death in a very blunt and real fashion. There are also a few moments with mature language and some sexual situations so I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18. I think this is a must see and definitely a wonderful summer film, whether or not you're a teen. This is a wonderful love story that everyone in their teens and older should experience. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars so make sure you see this remarkable film in theaters June 6th!

Reviewed by Raven Devanney, age 16, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

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


EARTH TO ECHO
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
EARTH TO ECHO
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - After receiving a bizarre series of encrypted messages, a group of kids embark on an adventure with an alien who needs their help. Starring Teo Halm, Astro and Reese Hartwig. Rated PG for some action, peril and mild language.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - For those of use who hold a special place in our hearts for the sci-fi films of our youth such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, this film may seem like a blast from the past, only with new and fun twists. The story follows a group of kids who embark on an adventure with an alien who needs their help. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, "This movie brings the old sci-fi feel of the 80s back to life. It has the same style, which is my favorite." Kendyl P. adds, "Earth to Echo is a mind blowing movie. If you are a fan of movies like E.T. or discovering aliens from space, this movie is perfect for you." Kayla P has one last thought, "The actors are spectacular. They make the film come alive and make you feel like you are on the journey with them. Earth to Echo is the perfect summertime movie for the entire family." See their full reviews in kid comments and video reviews and interviews with cast and creators are in the video links below.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is an adventure Hollywood has been waiting for. This is not just another story about helping an alien to get to its home planet, Earth to Echo is an emotional and fun adventure that many kids will love and cherish for generations.

The story has a little sprinkle of romance, displays a true friendship, thrills when they discover Echo, and, of course, will pump you up with adrenaline. If you are the type of person that likes action - this film has plenty of it since there are also BAD guys chasing after them.

The adventure starts when four young kids have to move out of their homes because a highway project is going to demolish them. On their last day together, they follow maps that randomly appeared on their phones. What they find is greater than any of them anticipated. Now, if you want all the juicy details - you have to watch the film.

This movie brings the old sci-fi feel of the 80s back to life. It has the same style, which is my favorite. It relates a lot to the legendary film, E.T and I see Echo as a sort of E.T. Jr. character. However, the story starts rather abruptly. It feels like there is no well-defined beginning. Otherwise this is great adventure that kids will love and perhaps even look for their own Echo's in the neighborhoods.

The directing, I think, is very unique since it seems as if the movie is shot from the kid's prospective. There is a lot of complexity around this type of technique but I believe the end result is well worth the time and the effort that was put into the movie.

My favorite scene is when they are escaping BAD guys. The thing they find, which they name Echo is in danger because of those bad guys. They are about to crash into a truck, but Echo takes the truck apart in midair and puts it back together behind them! The special effects are amazing and it also shows that Echo is very protective of her friends.

I recommend this movie for ages 6 to 18. Younger kids may not understand the full complexity of the film. I also give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Earth to Echo is a mind blowing movie. If you are a fan of movies like E.T. or discovering aliens from space, this movie is perfect for you. Earth to Echo is about a group of friends, Tuck (Astro), Alex (Teo Halm), Munch (Resse Heartwig) and Emma (Ella Wahlesedt) who are forced to move because of the construction of a big freeway near their houses. Before they move, their cell phones start acting up. It turns out to be a map and they follow it. It leads them to an alien that is trying to get back home but can't go. It's up to Tuck, Munch, Alex and Emma to save the day.

My favorite character is Alex because he is very helpful and cool. He sticks by the alien's side and he really cares about him. He is like the alien's best friend. My favorite part is when small parts of the space ship fly in from all over the neighborhood to form a really large spaceship and the main part of the ship is in Alex's backyard. I really enjoyed watching that.

The actors, Astro, Teo Halm, Resse Heartwig and Ella Wahlesedt do a great job expressing different emotions in the film. The message of this film is "true friendships can last a lifetime." The friendship the boys have continues long after they go their separate ways.

This is a great film. I recommend this film for kids age 9 to 16 and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kendyl Powell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Earth to Echo is a fantastic family movie to watch this summer. This film is about three boys, Tuck, Alex and Munch who have a very close friendship. Unfortunately, their homes are being demolished because there are plans to build a major highway right through the middle of their community. As the boys prepare to pack up and leave their community, their cell phones began receiving strange pictures, which they learn is a map. The boys decide to follow the map and discover a robot named Echo. After communicating with Echo, the boys learn he is trying to build a key to unlock his space ship to go home. While the boys are helping Echo, they learn the real reason why their homes are being demolished. They may be able to save the community from being destroyed.

Tuck and his friends are told to stop trying to help Echo. They learn that by helping Echo they are also helping the families in their community. The message of the film is "do the right thing." You might face some opposition by some people, but you still have to do the right thing that will benefit all people.

My favorite scene is when Tuck, Alex and Munch discover Echo. At first they think he is a beeping machine. Every time Echo beeps Munch starts running for his life and acts crazy. He is my favorite character because he brings a lot of the humor to this film.

The actors are spectacular. They make the film come alive and make you feel like you are on the journey with them. Earth to Echo is the perfect summertime movie for the entire family. I recommend this film for kids ages 7 through 18. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars. Earth to Echo will be in theatres July 2, 2014, don't miss it.

Reviewed by Kendyl Powell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


THE NEXT STEP
HULU, LLC Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18 ANIM
Description - Follow the lives of a group of elite dancers at The Next Step Dance Studio as they train hard, rehearse and hang out. With the regional championships coming up, the A-Troupe needs to come together if they want to win and qualify for the national title. The Next Step is a Canadian teen drama series shot in a reality television style. The show was created by Frank van Keeken.

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

SLUGTERRA: GHOUL FROM BEYOND
SLUGTERRA: GHOUL FROM BEYOND
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Just when the evil Dr. Blakk has been defeated and it seems like Eli Shane's duties as protector of Slugterra are getting easier, a new danger emerges from beyond the 99 caverns. Eli and the Shane Gang rush to the rescue, but nothing can prepare them for what they encounter: a slug that can do something no one in Slugterra has ever seen, or heard, a slug do before! Traditional slugslinging no longer applies. Eli will have to engage in a very different kind of duel to save Slugterra...and himself!
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.97
Media: DVD

MALEFICENT
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MALEFICENT
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land's fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal - an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces a battle with the invading king's successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom - and perhaps to Maleficent's true happiness as well. Starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning and Sharlto Copley.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Maleficent is a remake of the Disney classic "Sleeping Beauty." I assumed that I knew what it was going to be about but, it turned out to be a totally unpredictable and amazing movie. Maleficent is about a betrayed fairy (Angelina Jolie) that curses the king's infant daughter Aurora as revenge. She soon discovers that when Aurora grows up, she is the only one who can restore the peace and happiness that everyone needs to get them out of the depression caused by revenge and war. This movie takes "Sleeping Beauty" and turns it into a completely different movie.

By far, this is the best Disney movie I've seen and one of the best movies I've seen in a while. Everything is just right. For example, the music sets the right mood in every scene. It is strong and loud when it needs to be and quite and shy at other times and, at certain points, it is playful and happy. It really pulls the whole movie together. Along with the jaw-dropping music, this movie has amazing actors starting with Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning (Aurora). They fit each role perfectly almost as if they were born for these roles.

This movie is very interesting to watch because it isn't entirely based on "Sleeping Beauty" so you get to see a completely different side of Maleficent before she becomes the villain that she is known as. Throughout the movie I found myself wanting the movie to go quicker to see what would happen next but not wanting it to end anytime soon. I think that the director Robert Stromberg and the writers Linda Woolverton and Charles Perrault really outdo themselves with this movie because I cannot stop obsessing about how great it is.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 perfect stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18. To be honest, this movie is a movie that you should be sure not to miss because IT IS THAT GOOD! Reviewed by Samantha Alexander, age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

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


X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I am not necessarily a fan of the X-men films - too violent for my taste. This film starts out very violent and dark and I thought it was going to continue like that the entire time. It doesn't! Much to my surprise and delight, what follows is a compelling storyline about going back in time to change the turn of events and prevent the darkness we see in the opening scene. Are they successful, you'll have to go see the film. Suffice it to say that I think this is the best X-Men film yet!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - X-traordinarily perfect! I've been waiting for this movie for a while and what a payoff. The future, as we know it, is a wasteland for mutants: hunted and eliminated by the Sentinels. To stop this from ever happening, Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent into the past to prevent this dark outcome.

I adore the X-Men series and to see it again is beyond fantastic. Bringing back the original iconic actors such as Sir Patrick Stewart (Professor X) and Sir Ian McKellen (Magneto) makes me overjoyed! Even the younger versions of them - Micheal Fassbender and James McAvory are their own 3-dimensional characters because they're not trying to be replicas of their older selves. Their interaction and relationships are strong and, just as in "X-Men First Class," I love seeing Eric and Xavier just talking. These two started as friends and the film shows that perfectly. They have different pathways and ways to fix events but they never give up on each other.

The action and special effects in this film are grand. Showing different mutant powers is what made X-Men unique to begin with. It's not entirely combat action, like "Avengers," it's more letting their powers do the work. Magneto slowly lifts an entire baseball stadium, which allows us to marvel at how powerful mutants can be.

The story is astounding! This film has to pick-up from the previous films and tie-up loose ends. Not only do they succeed but, they also remember little details. Example: the young Wolverine doesn't have metal claws. They're bone because he doesn't get the metal ones until sometime in the future. Specifics like that add to how incredible this film is. It can also confuse people who haven't seen the other films. There are inside jokes and character connections that could be lost.

My favorite character is Quicksilver (Evan Peters), a mutant who has incredible speed.

This is by far the best representation of a comic-book character. Evan shows the mischievous and cocky side of Silver that is always a kick to watch.

My favorite scene is Quicksilver's super speed sequence. This is when the team breaks Eric/Magneto out of a Pentagon prison and the group is cornered by security. Quicksilver, without a care in the world, pranks the guards by poking the bullets in mid-air, pulling their guns out of their hands and more. This is such an incredible ride that it just needs to be experienced.

The message of this film is, "Choices you make in the present, affect your future." The whole reason for this story is that one careless act has changed the world forever. We need to think through the choices we make to have a bright future.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 13- to 18 year-olds. This film shows dark images and language that is not intended for younger audiences.

Keefer C. Blakeslee, age 13, KIDSFIRST! Film Critic

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


BLENDED
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BLENDED
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - After a blind date gone horribly wrong, Jim and Lauren agree they never, ever want to see each other again. Well, that's all about to change when the two find themselves and their respective families (including children) all stuck together in one suite at an African Safari vacation spot. Starring Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore and Wendi McLendon-Covey.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film made me laugh till my jaw hurt. Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler are back together for another comedy that is fun, smooth and has so many one-liners that everyone will repeat and remember for years to come! Blended is one of the funniest films of 2014 so far. I also believe this is the best and funniest of Sandler's film to date.

The amazing thing about this film is that it has a great story line with deep meaning. It isn't just about comedy. There is a romantic family get away with jokes, dancing and heartwarming scenes and a very special treat for all animal lovers out there.

The story starts when two single parents, Lauren and Jim, have a horrible blind date...at Hooters! After that, and quite by accident, the two families end up enjoying a family vacation together. It is a funny adventure that makes you laugh, cry and stay at the age of your seat, pumped with excitement and anticipation of what is coming next.

I absolute love the chemistry. You can see that the actors are good friends and they play their emotions perfectly. The comedy is an Adam Sandler / Drew Barrymore classic but, it is not the usual everyday Hollywood comedy that you expect. This film has a message. Even though it is a funny movie, it has a story line that is easy to follow and easy to cry, to laugh and to be happy.

My favorite scene is when the two people, Jim and Lauren, first see each other. They get in line to buy something and in front of them is someone from another Happy Madison movie. Yep, they brought an old character from another movie that everyone adores. So, when this happens, it surprises everyone and it makes the audience laugh out loud. If you want to know who I am talking about, you have to watch the film.

Even though this is a comedy, there are a lot of jokes that are somewhat mature so I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. I also give it 5 out 5 stars for good chemistry, comedy and great acting. I hope this will not be the last film with this amazing duo because their partnership clearly works. It gives the film that little something extra that makes for an instant blockbuster.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, age 12, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

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


FED UP
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FED UP
ENTERTAINMENT ONE Click to purchase directly from the producer Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Description - Upending the conventional wisdom of why we gain weight and how to lose it, Fed Up unearths a dirty secret of the American food industry-far more of us get sick from what we eat than anyone has previously realized. Filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig and TV journalist Katie Couric lead us through this potent expos� that uncovers why-despite media attention, the public's fascination with appearance, and government policies to combat childhood obesity-generations of American children will now live shorter lives than their parents did. Directed by Stephanie Soechtig. Starring Michele Simon.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Eye-opening! I love the way this film's message comes through in an intellectual and impactful way. This documentary tackles the issue of childhood obesity and follows the lives of kids across America. In between, we learn that everything we know about losing weight is wrong and that the content in our food products is a lie.

I want you to find any processed food product and look on the nutrition label. You will find that sugar does not have a percent daily value. All the other ingredients do. Why not sugar? Because, "80% out of the 600,000 food products sold in the country have added sugar and since 1995 the government has provided over eight billion dollars in subsides for corn based sweeteners." Revealing these surprising facts was no easy feat however, director Stephanie Soechtig brilliantly shows the struggle that all kids go through as they battle obesity. The half a dozen kids they follow through their physical and, more important, emotional pain - are amazing. We see them living different lives but dealing with the same obstacles. Their everyday struggles prove this film's theory. Many doctors, authors and, even presidents, are interviewed. Each has their say in the issue and all have wise words. The animation showing graphs, pie charts and ratings are clever. Mixed in with the informative, stock footage of news and food commercials showing the history of obesity, make this an exciting and insightful film.

I was blown away by Maggie Valentine's story. This beautiful girl is going through the heartache of trying to control her weight. She works everyday to release weight but, in the end, it's futile. To see her tears, frustration and sadness is unbearable to watch.

The message in this film is, "Change the food industry!" Being overweight is not entirely a personal fault. Our processed foods are a huge cause of the obesity rate in America. Food companies continue to grow bigger and stronger. Thus, we need to change the way we eat. We need to stop putting gasoline on to the fire. It's not easy. As Margo Wootan says, "Healthy eating is like swimming up stream. If you want to eat better you have to work hard against the food environment."

The interview with David Allison, PH.D, Director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center, is both tragic and funny. Allison has repeatedly taken research money from Coke, Pepsi and America Beverage Association. Asked about sugary beverages, David says, "one question you might ask is 'weather sugary beverages contribute more calories than other foods'" The interviewer asks, "Do they?" David replies, "It's a good question but I don't think the evidence is quite clear." The interviewer asks, "What is the science behind that?" David replies, "The ideal study might be to require people to ... (he stumbles) Ah, let me start again on that. Let me get my thoughts together..." Allison can't even form words. This made me chuckle because he can't even devise a logical explanation.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this to 6- to 18-year-olds. Kids need to be aware of what's in the food they eat and learn how to make better choices.

Keefer C. Blakeslee, age 13, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

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

This title is available for purchase from ENTERTAINMENT ONE


BELLE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BELLE
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - BELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mabatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle's lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar's son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield's role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England. Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew, Goode, Emily Watson.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Belle is remarkably interesting, informational and captivating. It's a wonderful film that I enjoy watching. I would really like to see it again soon.

Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is of mixed race and an illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. She is being raised, reluctantly, by her noble great-uncle, Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife. They find out that, surprisingly, Belle is part of their blood lineage and is entitled to certain things such as money, land and education. However, due of the color of her skin, she cannot attend some of the traditions that the family has, such as dinner with the family when guests are present.

There is so much that I love about this film. I love the story, the costumes, the intensity and the scenery. The acting is so genuinely real and all the actors make this story come to life on the big screen. The wardrobe is breathtakingly beautiful, especially the dresses that Belle wears, and has tremendous historical details that are very accurate. This story touches base on slavery and equal rights. It is by no means over-bearing or too much to handle and definitely needs to be told to everyone who will listen. My favorite character is, of course, Belle. She transitions from being a confused little girl, who is scared and alone, to a strong-minded supporter of human rights. I like her witty comebacks and how she does not settle for anything she does not want. One of my favorite scenes is when Belle is playing outside with her cousin when they are children. They go behind a tree, laughing and playing together, and when they come from behind it, they are two beautiful young women who obviously still love to play and fool around. The resemblance from the young Belle to the older one is almost exact except for the eye color.

Belle is based on a true story and sends a great message that everyone is created equal. It doesn't matter what color their skin is or how they look or even, how they are brought up - everyone should be treated equal.

I recommend Belle for ages 10 to 18 and to anyone who likes the eighteenth Century. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Belle comes out in theaters on May 23rd, so please check it out. Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

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


AS THE CROW FLIES
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AS THE CROW FLIES
ALLS HOUSE FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 2-5
Description - Family recording artist Dan Crow offers a brand new collection of original songs that celebrate his fun with travels around the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dan Crow's "As the Crow Flies" boasts the talents of a seasoned, much-traveled performer who knows his audience. The album is packed with outright fun and danceable hits that will have its audience on their feet and moving right along. Some of the highlights, supported by a band of all-stars, are the surf-inspired "Stevie's Got a Maui Owie," the multitude of fun available on the "Playground" and the timeless log of a little dog in "Greyfriar's Bobby" complete with authentic Scottish instrumentation. A fun, inspired album the whole family will enjoy. There are lots of opportunities for participation, out and out fun, and movement. The children's chorus is particularly appealing. The artist recalls growing up in his first house, the love of eating mac n'cheese, the fun of traveling, anti-bullying and something we can all remember - waiting for the Tooth Fairy. The recording quality is terrific and the guest musicians and youth singers are all top notch. We love this one! `
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This CD has a lot of fun and catchy songs. The lyrics don't always make sense and are sometimes just silly but they will make kids want to laugh out loud and dance around the room. The instrumental part is a very strong part of the CD. It is what will make you want to get up and dance around. Even when the words are a bit too silly the instrumental section holds your attention. Although, young kids may not learn a lot from listening to the CD, they will enjoy the music and sometimes that is just as important as learning something new. I did learn something from the song "Bully Girl and Bully Boy." The music styles are pretty similar throughout the CD. There is some rhyming and the songs touch on topics such as the tooth fairy and the playground, things kids can relate to. I recommend this for kids ages 4 to 8.
Runtime: 40 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: AUDIO

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FRENCH FOR KIDS: ON VA JOUER (LET'S PLAY)
WHISTLEFRITZ LLC Click to purchase directly from the producer Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 2-5
Description - Join host Marie, Fritzi the mouse and playful peers who make learning French as easy as un, deux, trois. Delightful sing-along and dance-along songs, irresistible world music rhythms and an engaging combination of live-action, animation and colorful illustrated backgrounds immerse children in French and language learning fun. Designed to teach English speakers the French language. http://www.whistlefritz.com/french-onvajouer.html
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed this DVD for the enthusiastic way Marie, the children, and the puppets presented each little French lesson. Not being a French speaker, I found it difficult to say some of the words, but I could get the gist of what she was saying through her actions, followed by those of the children. I believe that young children would need lots of adult support to help them pronounce and practice the basic vocabulary. The enclosed French-English pamphlet was very helpful particularly for making sense of some of her phrases. We know that nouns are the easiest words to learn in a new language, but putting them into simple sentences requires more instruction. This is a sweet, colorful production and the child actors in it will make all viewers smile as well as attempt to sing and dance along to the catchy music.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Runtime: 40 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 1-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.98
Media: DVD

This title is available for purchase from WHISTLEFRITZ LLC

SMART SONGS FOR ACTIVE CHILDREN
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SMART SONGS FOR ACTIVE CHILDREN
LIGHTHOUSE RECORDS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 2-5
Description - The 7th CD by early childhood music specialist and award-winning composer Vincent Nunes. The sixteen tracks are original songs, each curriculum rich and loaded with catchy melodies which make you want to sing along
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What is the adage you can't tell a book by its cover? Well in the case of 'Smart Songs for Active Children' the cover artwork for all the songs is there but, with that in mind, when you open a book and play an album - in whatever format you choose - the artist, the story, and investiture takes over. This album comes from a pure place of what communicates to children, what uplifts and involves them and ultimately what brings joy and the 'play it again phenom' we have experienced as parents. This album works on a multitude of levels. The music strides a variety of styles with lots of room for participation. Vincent is a consummate writer and performer who knows his audience. Great continuity and variety of styles. The lyrics are filled with love, fun and positive values throughout. The title gives it away. These are indeed smart songs and kids will be dancing and singing along from the first downbeat. The vocals are well placed out front of the tracks. The production values are very good with a nice mix of instruments. Check it out.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The kids really like some of the songs and lost interest on some. They really liked the Spanish song, the store song and the washing hands song. They also seems to like Manuel the great and danced around to all the music. Overall, they had a fun time listening to it and remembered a lot of it afterwards.
Runtime: 48 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 15
Media: AUDIO

POPPY CAT: BIRTHDAY TREASURE AND OTHER ADVENTURES
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
POPPY CAT: BIRTHDAY TREASURE AND OTHER ADVENTURES
ENTERTAINMENT ONE Click to purchase directly from the producer Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: SERIES, AGES 2-5
Description - Join Poppy Cat and her friends in these 7 fun-filled episodes as they embark on extraordinary adventures through fantastical lands. Seen through the eyes of Poppy's imaginative young owner, a little girl named Lara, each episode tells the tale of a very special cat and her colorful band of friends. In Birthday Treasure, it's Poppy's birthday and one of her presents is a treasure map. All aboard the hot air balloon for an exciting ride to Mystery Jungle, plus lots more adventures to enjoy! Episodes include: Birthday Treasure, Bad Robot, Magic Show, Sunken Ship, Bumble Fumble, Cheese Mountain, Marshmallow Mines
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a fun and entertaining collection of short episodes that are narrated by Poppy the Cat's owner, Lara who is a little girl. Lara tells imaginative stories about Poppy the Cat and her animal friends that teach about kindness, friendship and using your imagination. Poppy is a positive role model who although is just a cat, has a positive outlook on life. Great for young children who will love the bright colored characters and their adventures.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Poppy Cat: Birthday Treasure and Other Adventures is an exciting, funny, and adventurous series of animated films for preschoolers. They are based on the best-selling books by Lara Jones. They have a lot of bright colors and friendly characters throughout the film which will keep kids entertained for a long time.

This DVD is a collection of seven animated films. In the main episode, Poppy Cat is celebrating her birthday. She receives a lot of presents from her friends including a treasure map. Poppy and her friends journey to the Mystery Jungle to find the treasure.

Each episode on this DVD takes you on a different adventure and they all are really cute. The characters are friendly and treat each other nicely, which is good for preschoolers to see. Each episode only lasts for eleven minutes so it is a good length for young children whose attention span is pretty short. The episodes are full of bright colors that are very appealing and I think young children will really like. The music is very pleasant too. My favorite episode is "Marshmallow Mines" because one of my favorite characters, Rocket Cat, is in it. Rocket Cat is brave and thankful throughout the episode, which I really appreciate and I know parents will too. Another great thing about this DVD is that it made my imagination fly. I immediately wanted to create boots that had magnets in them so that I could walk on walls, just like Rocket Cat.

What I like best about Poppy Cat: Birthday Treasure and Other Adventures is that each episode teaches an important lesson about friendship and teamwork. At the end of each segment, Poppy Cat's owner explains the message and gives examples.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars because it is educational, adventurous and funny. I recommend it for kids ages 2 to5, especially for kids who like animals, music and bright colors. I think young kids will really enjoy the friendly and silly characters.

Reviewed by Jeremy Badour, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 7.

Are you ready for fun and adventure?

These stories begin with Poppy's owner, Lara, telling her cat a story. In Poppy Cat Birthday Treasures and other Adventures we see seven episodes with Poppy's friends - Owl, Zuzu, Mo, Egbert and Alma. My favorite character is Alma because she is an adorable white bunny with a cute Southern accent.

I loved "The Birthday Treasure" because it has lots of adventures. This episode is about Poppy receiving a treasure map for her birthday and following the treasure map as it leads them to a mysterious jungle. A Bad Robot attacks Poppy and her gang's favorite superhero, Rocket Cat so they take a spaceship to see if they can help him. When Owl performs his magic show, Owl makes Zuzu's skateboard accidentally disappear. Then, Owl's magic wand breaks and the gang must find a way to fix it or lose the skateboard forever. This leads them to a dark and dangerous cave. "Sunken Ship" has the gang making a statue for their friend the Frog Prince. Egbert the Badger ruins the day by telling them they need gold for their statue and they set out to find some. They head to the ocean in hopes of finding a sunken ship full of treasure. "Bumble Fumble" is about a bird that loses her baby egg. Poppy Cat and friends are at a picnic and they spot the lost polka dotted egg. Owl notices that the egg is from a Bumble Fumble who is known for his poor eyesight and the gang tries to find the mother and the nest. "Cheese Mountain" begins when the gang slides down a slide and decides to go to Cheese Mountain. "Marshmallow Mines" is another story featuring Rocket Cat. The electricity goes out during a show and they decide to help Rocket Cat out of his marshmallow world.

All the episodes feature Egbert the Badger causing some sort of trouble. Plus, there are all kinds of ways that they travel - an airplane, rocket ship, car, submarine and a hot air balloon. My favorite was the rocket ship. I like the animation of the ship traveling in space.

I really enjoyed the DVD because it took back to my youth when I used to love watching Poppy Cat on Sprout. I recommend this for ages 2 to 9. I loved this DVD because it is fun and full of adventure.

Reviewed by Morgan Bertsch, age 9, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 80 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

This title is available for purchase from ENTERTAINMENT ONE


MILLION DOLLAR ARM
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MILLION DOLLAR ARM
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - A sports agent stages an unconventional recruitment strategy to get talented Indian cricket players to play Major League Baseball. Starring Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Alan Arkin.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Wonderfully played! This film has a well thought-out story with genuine interaction between the actors and their characters. Based on a true story, a sports agent from America, JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) seeks to find a fast armed cricket pitcher in India for a reality show called, "Million Dollar Arm." His goal, to teach them the game of baseball and get them signed to a major league baseball team. However, JB may have gambled more than he thought.

The natural relationship and connections with these actors are what sparks the charm in this film. Seeing JB handle the streets of India or entering an elevator with Rinku Singh (Suraj Sharma) and Dinesh Patelv (Madhur Mittal) is what builds this film's character. The actors look and act their roles. During the credits we see a short video and pictures of the real Rinku, Dinesh and JB. The actors' looks sell the illusion. Even the real JB Bernstein, who was present during shooting, says, "He had several out-of-body moments watching Hamm recreate his life. It was spooky, almost like reliving the moment," he admits. This made my reaction stronger.

The cinematography is beautiful! This film captures the crowded streets and beautiful culture of India against the 21st century concrete jungle of L.A. Once these two worlds are established, it makes the collision on these characters even bigger.

My favorite scene is when Pitobash gives Rinku and Dinesh a pep talk. Think of this as the last stand speech. Saying, "Go out there and make our country proud." The irony of this is how a little Indian man has a huge voice.

My favorite character is Amit (Pitobash), he helps JB in document Rinku and Dinesh's journey. He loves baseball and hopes to become a coach one day. I admire how enthusiastic he is. The first time we see him he's up and ready to work - a little ball of fire with a huge heart.

The moral of the story is, "Don't put business in front of what's right." JB worries too much about another client and loses track on his main project. He needs to make it fun for Rinku and Dinesh.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 9- through 18-year-olds. There is tiny bit of bad language and some gross scenes that younger kids may not want to see, but this is a film that's well worth a view.

Reviewed by Keefer. C. Blakeslee, Age 13, KIDS FIRST, Film Critic

Million Dollar Arm tells the true story of a sports agent and three young men from small villages in India as they make baseball history. Jon Hamm plays a sports agent named JB whose business is teetering on either making it big or failing completely. When his big plan of managing a major league NFL player falls through, all seems lost. That is until one night when he finds himself watching Indian cricket with his friend and gets a brilliant idea. Cricket is such a huge sport in India. He wondered what would happen if he found two cricket players, brought them to America and trained them for major league baseball. His idea seemed foolproof, he would make baseball history by recruiting the first Indian players plus, he would get an entirely new following of Indian fans. Once JB finds the boys he is looking for, it becomes less about business, and more about friendship.

I found this film very pleasing. I didn't know much about it and wasn't quite sure what to expect but, once I got into it, I was very touched. The cinematography is very well executed and, during the portion of the film that is shot in India, the landscape and culture are captured beautifully. Even the slums and run down villages are filmed in a way that makes you feel as if you are under the sweltering heat of the sun or in the chaotic mix of vendors and civilians on the crowded streets. The music in this film is fantastic. It features the essence of Indian music with a twist of modern American pop, making it perfect for this multicultural film.

My favorite character is Amit played by Pitobash. He is recruited early on in the film, almost by accident, to be an assistant and translator for JB. He is one of the funniest characters because he is so polite and hospitable to JB and his recruiting team but he often gets himself into funny situations while trying to accommodate everyone. In one scene, Alan Arkin's character Ray says something along the lines of "...this guy has juice" as a way to express the potential he saw in a player. However, Amit overhears this and immediately goes sprinting away to find his boss some juice to drink. It is quite hilarious. My favorite scene is when Amit, Rinku and Dinesh come to America for the first time. They have spent their entire lives in small villages in India so you can imagine their adjustment to the extravagant LA lifestyle JB is living. There is such a funny scene when they all get into an elevator for the first time and Dinesh (Madhur Mittal) is so impressed by its motion sensors that he repeatedly sticks his hand in between the doors right as they close just to see the "magic" of them automatically opening again.

I was very touched by this film. Not only does it show the historical achievement of the first Indian major league baseball players but, it also made me laugh out loud and tugged on my heart strings. JB starts out viewing the boys as his project, a way to make a lot of money and propel himself forward in the sports industry, but soon he realizes that they are so much more than just a paycheck. As he lets his defensiveness down, he sees how kind, funny and talented they each are and an unforgettable bond is formed between them. Because of this, I give the film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Million Dollar Arm hits a homerun into theaters on May 16th so be sure to check it out at a theater near you!

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


MOM'S NIGHT OUT
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MOM'S NIGHT OUT
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - All Allyson and her friends want is a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and fun - a long-needed moms' night out. But in order to enjoy high heels, adult conversation, and food not served in a bag, they need their husbands to watch the kids for a few hours ... what could go wrong? Starring Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Patricia Heaton.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mom's Night Out is a heartwarming and hilarious film that is great for the whole family.

Allyson (Sarah Drew) wants to have a night on the town with her friends. She wants to enjoy grown up stuff and have adult conversations. However, in order for this to happen, their husbands must watch the kids for a few hours and take care of everything at home. This should be easy enough, right? Wrong! All kinds of things happen which shows that a Mom's job is extremely important. Mom's Night Out is a little snapshot of the parenting journey.

I love this movie! It has real life situations that I'm sure a lot of Moms can relate to. They probably relate to the pain of struggling to be the perfect parent. The cast is so talented and their acting is so natural and real. The chemistry between them is great with the way they feed off of each other. They take this story and make it so believably funny and have you laughing out loud. I like the action sequences as it keeps your interest and it adds to the humor. My favorite character is the Cabbie (David Hunt) because the things he says makes no sense at all but cracked me up. Also, he is able to actually pull off an English accent although he is not from England. My favorite scene is when the ladies go to the Tattoo Parlor looking for the Baby and speak to the Desk Guy (Manwell Reyes). The ladies are hysterical and anxious but he is so cool and calm. He acts like he doesn't have a care in the world.

Andrew and Jon Erwin (October Baby) both direct this hilarious yet gratifying film. The comedy, action sequences and the genuine portrayal of the characters make it an enjoyable film. I like it when some of the words of wisdom come from the least likely person that you would imagine and it really touches your heart.

There are many messages about a mother's job in this film but, I like the unconditional love message. A mom's job is very important and, although she can take the place of others, no one can ever take her place.

I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 and all the mom's who need a night out. This comedy is rated PG with no inappropriate language and is suitable for the whole family to see. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Give your Mom an extra treat and take her to see Mom's Night Out. It comes out in theaters on May 9th just in time for Mother's Day weekend.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

What a funny family film, I expected an over the top try-too-hard comedy, but I was way off! Moms Night Out is a great film that is not only funny but also has a heartfelt story many moms can relate too. It gets you excited as the storyline unrolls and offers a mix of romance and thrills.

The story starts when a way-over-worked mom feels like she has had enough and really needs a break. So, she and her friends plan a girls' night out. However, the night doesn't quite work the way they expected. They 'enjoy' this insane night and have some pretty funny adventures. It is a movie that all moms can relate too and a film that is a perfect way of showing how hard mothers work.

I love this film for many reasons! The actors, Sarah Drew (Allyson) portrays her emotions well. The camera shots are smooth and perfect for the film. They catch the main idea of the scene and represent it at perfect angles. However, the comedy is on a smaller scale than I expected. Some of the jokes feel a bit outdated and are pretty predictable such as those about auto correct, cartoonish moves and stuff like that. Sadly, some of the jokes and situations have already been done a number of times in the movie industry.

My favorite scene is when they first introduce Sondra who has a teenage daughter. She tries to text on her phone and is terrible at it. Her auto correct version is way off from what she is trying to say. The brilliant Patricia Heaton portrays one of the lead characters so, you can imagine how entertaining it is. She types some interesting things to her daughter. It's a good scene to introduce her and funny as well. It made me laugh, while telling me a lot about the characters.

This film does have some adult content so I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and give it 4.5 out 5 stars because it could use a bit more humor. Reviewed by Gerry Orz, age 12, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

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


JODOROWSKY'S DUNE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JODOROWSKY'S DUNE
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - The story of cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What an inspirational and meaningful story. When I first started watching this film, I thought it was a story about a director but, it is completely different, unexpected and unique. It is the marvelous story about Jodorowsky's Dune journey.

This documentary has tons to offer if you are a sci-fi fan or simply interested in inspirational stories. It is thrilling, funny and interesting, especially for cinema enthusiasts like me. I also believe that anyone who loves classics will enjoy it as well. The documentary is unique and different, in its own way.

The story is about a "French Steven Spielberg" named Alejandro Jodorowsky who made famous and mind-blowing films that always had a deeper meaning behind them. He had a dream of making a movie based on the famous book "Dune" by Frank Herbert. We join this extremely inspiring adventure where he tries to make this film but sadly fails after two years of hard work. Fortunately, his work is not wasted as it became the basis for many sci-fi movies that followed thus making Jodorowsky's dream become bigger than he could have ever imagined.

I absolute loved this documentary. The angles of the camera are very different, never fixed on one person or one place, which makes it look like you are there in the same room with the people that are talking. It includes narration by people that helped make the film which fits really nicely. The director also includes clips from some of the films that used some of Jodorowsky's ideas to support what the narrator is discussing. That made me want to watch those films. The layout is unique and clean because it shows the passing of time. Since the film was never made, they animated the drawings to give you an idea of how it would have look had it been finished. That, in turn, made me want to watch it over and over again. The story inspired me and will inspire others.

My favorite part is when they talk about the very opening scene. The scene opens in a galaxy than zooms in on a specific area. For the 70s, this was very advanced and hard to do. Since they drew it, the animators made it come to life in the documentary. Also, at the end, the film shows how this work inspired other producers to create similar shots. There is a secret meaning, which I love, and that is advanced and was never before done.

This movie has a lot of adult content and terminology so I recommend it for ages 13 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


SOPHIA GRACE & ROSIE A ROYAL ADVENTURE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SOPHIA GRACE & ROSIE A ROYAL ADVENTURE
WARNER HOME VIDEO Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Sophia Grace and Rosie are sent to Switzelvania by The Ellen DeGeneres Show as special correspondents tasked with covering the coronation of a new queen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Eleven-year-old Sophia Grace Brownlee and eight-year-old Rosie McClelland are irresistible as singers, dancers, Red Carpet correspondents, and charming guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show -- and now as talented actresses in this lively and entertaining family film.

Playing themselves in the movie, the adorable British cousins are sent to Switzelvania as Ellen's correspondents to cover the coronation of a new queen. They find two princesses aggressively vying for the job, and are determined to do whatever it takes to help the kind and true -- but shy - third princess gain confidence and, ultimately, the throne.

Hijinks and adventures ensue, punctuated by well-choreographed song and dance production numbers, cameo appearances by a magic duck, and the encouraging message that being yourself - and believing in yourself - will win the day.

Silly enough for giggles from young audiences, yet with enough cleverness for the older set (including parents), the film successfully borrows from classics as far afield as Cinderella, Aladdin and King Lear! Energetic and fine performances from the supporting cast, high production values, and fast-paced editing add to the plotlines.

Sophia Grace and Rosie's Royal Adventure appeals largely to girls ages 5 through 12, and to their fans who have followed their ascent to stardom from their original viral videos, to Ellen's show, and now to their own feature film. I watched the movie with an audience of girls, boys, and adults, and while some jokes might have gone over the heads of the younger kids, there was plenty of action and fun to keep everyone captivated.

Reviewed by Ann B, KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The movie Sophia Grace & Rosie's Royal Adventure reminds me of a Cinderella fairy tale. There are two bratty sisters and a very innocent one named Abigail. It is similar to the Cinderella story because Abigail has two girls looking out for her as if they are her fairy godmothers. This movie is definitely an exciting royal adventure.

The story begins when Sophia Grace and Rosie are sent on a special assignment to meet the princesses of Switzelvania to see which one will be crowned Queen. However, they loose their guardian and become mistaken as the King's great grand nieces. They end up having to teach the King's daughter, Princess Abigail, the ways of being a real princess. In the process, they get thrown into a dungeon because the bratty princesses (Abigail's sisters) don't want her to become Queen. However, at least they have their secret weapon. To find out what that is, you will have to watch the movie. In the end, everyone gets what they deserve!

My favorite part is when the security guard tells the guardian, Phyllis Bunt (Amy Louise Wilson) that she can get out of jail if she reveals her true identity. She gives a made up name of Dynasty Composition knowing no one believes her real identity anyway. However, the security guard lies and won't let her out. Phyllis then jumps the security guard, ties her up and duck tapes her mouth. I didn't see that coming! It was hysterical.

All the characters are great, especially Princess Cordilla (Emma Pierson) one of the princesses who makes fun of Abigail. She has a funny voice and isn't very smart and plays the part well. The main idea of this movie is that if you believe in yourself, you can make anything happen.

I recommend this movie for kids ages 5 through 12. Specifically, girls will enjoy this movie, as every girl wants to imagine herself as a princess at some point. Therefore, I rate this movie a four out of five "dazzling" stars! Sophia Grace & Rosie's Royal Adventure is available now on DVD.

Reviewed by Haley Powell, age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 89 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.95
Media: DVD


SON OF BATMAN (BLU-RAY)
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SON OF BATMAN (BLU-RAY)
WARNER HOME VIDEO Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURES, AGES 8-12
Description - Ra's al Ghul is dead, slain by former League of Assassin Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke. His victory is not without a cost, the price his right eye; taken by Ra's own grandson Damien. Fearing for her sons' safety Talia al Ghul decides now is the time for the boy to meet his father. Half a world away a trail of chemical plant heists finds the Batman catching the culprit in the very act. The thief is Killer Croc, but Croc has changed mutated by some unseen hand. With the shocking appearance of the lovely but deadly Talia, Croc is quickly taken down. Back at Gotham harbor Talia gives the Detective the news of Ra's fate along with the surprise of introducing him to Damien, their son. Talia sets out to handle Slade while Damien falls under the guardianship of Batman. The young man possess great fighting prowess but his cocky self confidence creates friction back at Wayne Manor. Batman's investigation into Croc's actions leads him to the home of Dr. Kirk Langstrom, creator of the Man-bat ...Starring Jason O'Mara, Stuart Allan, Thomas Gibson.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I was pleasantly surprised by this original and great story. Son of Batman is a great, action-packed animation many people will enjoy.

This film has a lot of elements to admire - thrilling Batman-class fighting that kept me excited and at the edge of my seat. There is also some romance between Batman and his 'special person' which is short, but nice and I thought it fit well.

The story starts when a training camp is destroyed. A young boy escapes with his mom and flees to Batman who, as it turns out, is the boy's father. For his safety, Batman takes the child and, as Batman, tries to protect and train him. Batman teaches his kid to take criminals alive but, a new mystery arises - one that will have a significant impact on the story line. We join Batman, Robin, and Batman's son as they face off deadly people while Batman makes sure his kid doesn't hurt himself. It's a fun and action adventure that all Batman fans will appreciate!

Overall, I think this movie had some ups and downs. The animation is rather interesting but, I thought it was a bit too much at times. It is gory at times, yet plastic and 2D like most superhero animations. I believe that the animators could have cut down a bit on the violence and mature content. Also, the animation of the faces looks a bit fake to me. The directing is interesting. I thought that the angles were good and fit the storyline quite well. The voice-overs are excellent. For example, Jason O Marra who is the voice of Batman, doesn't show much emotion and talks in a quiet and dark whisper - perfect for the character. The plot is original and surprising, which I am fond of. For the most part, Son of Batman turns out to be a very unexpected and surprising adventure.

My favorite scene is the first scene when the academy is destroyed. Even though this is a sad moment, it sets the tone for the entire movie. I love scenes that may not seem important but have a big impact on the rest of the film.

This movie has lots of adult lines and a lot of gory scenes, so I recommend for ages 11 to18. I also give it 4 out of 5 stars because of some hiccups with the animation. This film comes out on DVD on May 6 so look for it in your favorite retail store.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.
Runtime: 74 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.98
Media: DVD


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, THE
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - We've always known that Spider-Man's most important conflict has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that his greatest battle is about to begin. It's great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there's no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: Oscorp. Directed by Marc Webb. Produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. Screenplay by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Amazing Spider-Man 2 comes out this weekend much to the delight of fans world-wide. This film explores the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man and Peter experiences his greatest battle yet. Keefer B., age 13, comments, "The special effect's department really gets creative on how Spider-Man moves and fights, especially when he's in spider-sense mode and everything slows down." "I love this fast-paced, emotional and action-packed film," comments Raven D, age 16. Gerry O, age 12 adds, "The CGI is off-the-chart and extremely realistic! With both 3D and IMAX, I felt as if I was in the film with Spider-Man and Gwen flying from one building to another." See their full reviews as well as our coverage from the red carpet and the "Be Amazing" event at Larchmont School in LA.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I was blown away by the groundbreaking effects, huge action scenes and memorable characters and actors! Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man / Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is back on the big screen in this gripping story about a boy who has the powers of a spider. He's up against Electro / Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), a man seeking attention, Harry Osborn / Green Goblin (Dane DaHaan), Peter's best friend and Spider-Man's foe, while still having to keep a promise and not uncover his parents' secret.

In this film, the writers allocate time to explore the alter-ego of Peter Parker without making the film run too long or lose action. The strong relationship between all the characters, whether it's love or hatred is all 3-Dimensional. It helps when you have capable actors filling these roles.

The story creates a darker look at being a hero and throws in some comic book jokes once in a while. This movie had a chance of becoming too unfocused but doesn't. It has two villains to establish, the romance between Peter and Gwen, Peter trying to figure out the truth about his parents' past and more. However, with the help of a very talented director, Marc Webb and wonderful writers, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner, they pick a goal for the plot and follow through with it, while bringing all the characters' stories together naturally.

The special effects in this film are beyond amazing! Electro's design makes him the most unique villain. The special effect's department really gets creative on how Spider-Man moves and fights, especially when he's in spider-sense mode and everything slows down.

I gained a new respect for Jamie Foxx who portrays my favorite character Electro / Max Dillon. He plays a menacing villain, but also shows the tragic and even pathetic side of Max Dillon. On the Google+ Hangout which I was fortunate to be part of, Jamie confided that he "based this character on a person he knew." Behind all the CGI you see Jamie honor this person.

The battle in Times Square between Electro and Spider-Man is my favorite scene. It encompasses all the incredible CGI effects mentioned. It's where Max finally gets attention, once he gets his powers and he sees himself on T.V. When Electro says, "You see me?" You genuinely feel sorry for him.

The moral of this story is, "It doesn't matter how hard you fall, it matters how fast you get back up." Peter goes through a life changing event and can't move on. However, in a clever and Marvel way, Aunt May gives Peter some advice that changes things.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 10- to 18-year-olds. There are violent and intense scenes that some kids may not be able to handle, but this is a marvelous adaptation of Spider-Man. It will be released in theaters nationwide on May 2 so don't miss it. Reviewed by Keefer B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13.

It's the end of senior year and Peter Parker, played by Andrew Garfield, is busy saving the streets of New York while also managing to graduate on time. Life seems to be working out for him when all of a sudden fate throws a series of misfortune his way. He is forced to distance himself from the love of his life in order to keep her safe. He discovers mysterious clues to his parents' past. An old friend of his is back in town and causing a bit of trouble for him. And to top it all off, there's a new super villain on the streets that is about to change Peter's life forever.

I love this fast-paced, emotional and action-packed film. It is visually stunning in IMAX and 3D. I am quite impressed by the CGI, especially since so much of the film consists of special effects. This film is electric, quite literally and the way they capture the vivid blue electrical currents shot off by Electro is beautiful. Even though the electricity is obviously a very menacing aspect of the film, it adds an element to the film that makes it aesthetically pleasing. Not only are the effects in this film spot on, but the camera work is done very well. The use of lighting, camera angles and especially camera placement is executed strikingly. I love the direction that cinematographer Daniel Mindel takes with this piece and seeing it in IMAX makes the experience even more enjoyable. Another thing that blows me away in this film is the soundtrack and use of music mixed in with the sound effects. I find myself tapping my feet and on the verge of rockin' out on many occasions throughout the movie. It is interesting to hear how music is used during fight sequences and explosions to aid the sound effects in a big way and make the entire scene even more intense. And I'm not talking about the classic slew of string instruments and brass section that we hear in the background of most films, I'm talking about loud, intense bass you'd experience in the front row of a trap concert and the beats you'd hear booming out of the speakers of a teen's new car. To put it quite simply, I will definitely be purchasing the motion picture soundtrack ASAP.

I am really pleased with how this series of Marvel's "Spider-Man" franchise is developing. I am a devoted fan of the "Spider-Man" trilogy that captured the hearts of the of comic book fans in the early 2000s and I love the interpretation of the comics done by Tobey Maguire and Director Sam Raimi. Those films will always have a place at the top of my DVD shelf and in my heart, but I very much enjoy this modern take on the story. There are so many Spider-Man comics, so many adventures, so many super villains for our favorite Spider Guy to defeat, so I think it's a really wise decision that director Marc Webb is creating films about the stories and villains we haven't yet seen in major motion pictures. The way technology and the film industry has advanced in the last decade, it is inevitable that these more recent films are a bit more flashy than the older Spidey movies. Because of the added visual appeal, the attractive leading roles and the witty comical phrased peppered throughout "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," it has a younger target audience, mostly teens, than Tobey Maguire's "Spider-Man." I also like the way Andrew Garfield plays Peter Parker. He treats the character very comically and gives Spider-Man a dose of sharp wit which is very entertaining to watch.

Something that I think is strange about this film, and honestly all superhero films in general, is that the amount of civilian fatalities is never addressed. It's always a main focus to save the woman falling from a building or the little kid who happens to be crossing the street in the middle of a battle and, that's all fine and dandy. But what about the dozens of cars filled with people that get crushed or flipped on their hoods or exploded? What happens to all those families in the building that's destroyed? I feel like it's something to think about when watching a film like this.

It's really difficult to pick just one favorite character from this film, so I'll just cover my top three. Obviously, Andrew Garfield's character Peter Parker/Spider-Man is a favorite. After all, the film is named after him. I really like Andrew's rendition of Spider-Man because he gives the character a very charismatic personality and a lot of charm. I am especially impressed with Jamie Foxx in this film. He plays the super villain Electro and his performance is impeccable. I appreciate Electro as a villain because he's not just some evil guy, he's a real human, with real feelings who's been hurt over and over again in his life. All he wants is for someone to need him, to show him kindness, to value all he has to offer. Instead he is walked all over one too many times and, when given the opportunity to get back at the world, he takes it. It reminds me that every person that has hurt me or others or maybe has gone down the wrong path and done things that we may view as "evil" was once someone who didn't get what they needed. It's a message to be kind to everyone, even those who might seem insignificant to you at the time. And last, but most definitely not least, on my list of favorites, Harry Osborn. Harry is played Dane DeHaan and, my goodness, do I love every performance he's done in every film he's been in. Dane's take on this character is a lot more twisted and dark from the very beginning than James Franco's spin on the same character. I love both versions of this millionaire bad boy equally but, it's really interesting to see Harry in a more destructive light. I am a huge fan of Dane DeHaan. He always plays characters that are twisted or flawed in some way, so I was pleased when I read he was cast in this role. The only issue I have with Harry Osborn is that he and Peter's relationship is not granted enough time in the film. I feel like, all of a sudden, they are best of friends after not seeing each other for eight years and then their dynamic is completely changed in an instant. I would have liked to see a bit more development between the two of them so that when Harry turns against Peter it has more of an emotional impact.

This film is rated PG-13 however, I plan to take my 9-year-old brother to see it. A few things to take into consideration when deciding if this film is right for a child under the age of 13 is whether or not they have seen other Marvel and or superhero films. It has just about as much violence as most films in this genre and doesn't have any profanity I can recall. What makes me think twice about considering this film for a younger audience is the emotional aspect. Because, although this is a movie about a spider kid fighting an electric monster, which seems pretty far fetched to just about everybody, one thing in this film does stay very realistic, and that is that the humans are not invincible and good people don't always make it to the end of the film.

I give The Amazing Spider-Man 2 five out of five stars and I plan on seeing it again. So be sure to check it out when it swings into theaters on May 2nd. Reviewed by Raven D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16.

I really didn't know what to expect from this film. I predicted that a new villain (or villains) would want to get revenge on Spider-man (Andrew Garfield) or something. Sounds right? Wrong. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a fantastic sequel that everyone will love.

The film has more to offer than just action which feels like an added bonus. It has adventure, suspense, action, comedy, romance, super heroes, science and a little sprinkle of drama in the mix as well.

The story starts when Peter and his girlfriend, Gwen (Emma Stone) have just graduated. At Oscorp, the original CEO has just died and a new person, his son, (Dane DeHaan) comes in. Soon after, there is a horrible accident and a new villain arises. What's very interesting is a story about the villain himself. Spider-Man must break all the odds to beat this villain.

I love this movie! The actors are fantastic and display their emotions well. The camera shots are a bit wobbly at times but still look awesome. The CGI is off-the-chart and extremely realistic! With both 3D and IMAX, I felt as if I was in the film with Spider-Man and Gwen flying from one building to another. The editing is very smooth and some scenes are in slow motion which is a fantastic idea. Everything comes out clean and makes it a great sequel.

My favorite part is when Peter/Spider-Man needs to tell Gwen something important. However, when he finds her, she is about to walk into an interview for Oxford. He tries to sound somewhat British to a lady at the desk saying things like, "Let me talk to my fair lady," or "God save the Queen!" He also pretends to be a 'young professor at Harvard and recommends Gwen. It's funny, lighthearted, but not overdone either.

This film has a lot of mature scenes so I recommend it to kids age 10 to 18 and I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.

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


HEAVEN IS FOR REAL
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HEAVEN IS FOR REAL
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A small-town father must find the courage and conviction to share his son's extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world. Starring Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly and Thomas Haden Church
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wonderful feel-good movie that will bring tears to your eyes. Based on a real story and a #1 New York Times best-selling book by the same name, it brings to the screen the true story of a small-town preacher and father who has to look deep inside himself to deal with his son's experience of seeing heaven after a near death experience. Great cast, especially the young boy who is played by Connor Corum. The pace is a bit mundane but the story is exhilarating.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I thought this film would be about a 9-year-old kid dreaming about heaven and speaking about it across the country. Boy was I wrong! "Heaven Is For Real" is a fantastic movie that people of all religions and walks of life will appreciate! It gives us hope.

This film has a lot to offer; more than people think. "Heaven Is For Real" has action, adventure, family, comedy, religion and drama.

The film starts with a look into a day of a Reverend. He has a wife, a 4-year-old son and a daughter. Soon however, the 4-year-old son gets very sick. However, while he is in surgery, the little boy has an out-of-body experience which he later shares with his Dad. What happens next is truly remarkable and unexplainable by all laws of science. If you would like to see it for yourself - you have to watch the film.

My favorite scene is right before the little boy gets sick. The family takes a vacation to Denver. On the way, they sing different songs. Then the boy asks, "Can we sing 'We Will Rock You?'" Everyone looks at each other for a second and then they all sing out of tune, "We Will Rock You." It's funny and lighthearted.

This film may seem like its all about God and heaven, but really, it's not. "Heaven Is For Real" is a loving story about a community that experiences something extraordinary. I think the fact that they made a movie based on the real story is fantastic! It also benefits the film that the actors are so in touch with their roles and the camera shots are one of a kind and perfect for the scenes.

This film has a bit of mature content so I give it an age rating of 9 to 18. Also this film deserves 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


ANTBOY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ANTBOY
CINEDIGN Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Description - 12-year-old Pelle is bitten by an ant and develops superpowers. Aided by comic book nerd Wilhelm, Pelle creates a secret identity as superhero Antboy. When a super villain The Flea enters the scene, Antboy must step up to the challenge.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Antboy is based on a popular Danish comic book series and although I have never read the comic series, I think this movie is pretty cool. It is funny and has a small amount of action. It is really good and I think other kids would enjoy it too.

This movie is about a boy named Pelle who is bitten by a rare and genetically altered ant. This ant gives Pelle superpowers. Eventually, Pelle realizes these super powers only work when he eats sugar. He finds out his real powers when he runs into a boy named Wilhelm, who later becomes his friend and helps him discover what super powers he has. Pelle decides that his super hero name is going to be Antboy. When a super villain named "The Flea" captures a girl and invades the school, Antboy has to figure out how to stop him.

The main characters in the movie are Pelle, Wilhelm, Ida and the Flea. My favorite character in this movie is Wilhelm because he is a really nice guy and he is the reason Pelle decides to help people and become Antboy. He also loves comics and, while I wouldn't say I love comics, I do like them.

My favorite part in the movie is when Pelle figures out his super powers. He can bite through hard things. He can climb walls. He is really strong and his pee is acid. Sadly, his super hero powers only work when he has eaten sugar. Sometimes he doesn't realize he has eaten any sugar at all. Sometimes he sleepwalks and eats all the candy in the house.

I recommend this movie for ages 5 to 10 because it is really good with a lot of weird and quirky action. It is more of a movie for kids as teens and adults usually prefer films with more action. Reviewed by Anthony Aranda, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 77 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD



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