The Family category has 1761 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles
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COMING TO MY SENSES
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
COMING TO MY SENSES
0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - In 1999 Aaron Baker broke his neck in a motocross accident, leaving him completely paralyzed from the neck down. Despite doctor's grim prognosis over the next 16 years Aaron decided not to listen to those who said 'he had a million-to-one odds of ever feeding himself again' and instead, through painstaking effort, endeavored to regain as much mobility as possible. This journey through the unknown took him from the depths of depression to the joys of cross country road tripping via tandem bicycle with his mother and friends, and finally, culminated in his opening a socially conscious low cost gym focused on increasing mobility for the disabled. Now in Coming To My Senses we watch as Aaron takes one final journey which symbolizes his recovery: to cross a 20 mile tract of Death Valley unsupported on foot. But will he make it?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Coming to My Senses is an inspiring film about love, determination and overcoming the odds. This film will touch the hearts of everyone who watches it. The documentary not only puts life into perspective, but it teaches everyone that life's not about the destination but the journey and the steps we have to take to get there.

This is a documentary about Aaron Baker, a motorcyclist who breaks his neck and is left completely paralyzed. Doctors tell him he has a million-to-one chance of ever being able to feed himself again. Even after he receives this news, he chooses to ignore the people who doubt him and, over the course of 16 years, fights to gain as much mobility as possible. The documentary follows his final journey, which is to walk 20 miles across Death Valley.

This documentary is one of the most inspiring films I have ever watched. I cannot comprehend how brave and strong Aaron Baker is. The film gives the audience the perspective of his entire family throughout his journey of recovery. I immediately felt a strong connection to his family and truly felt their struggle. My favorite relationship in this film is between Aaron's mother and himself. They both go through depression and overcome it together. Aaron's mother sticks by his side through his hardships, which allows their relationship to grow strong. One of the most powerful lines in this film is when Aaron's mother is released gets out of jail for drunk driving and gets onto a bus where Aaron is waiting for her. Aaron gives his mother the choice to pack her bags and leave so she can do what she needs to. She is in a very bad place at the time and responds to him by saying, "You might not need me, but I need you." This line is absolutely beautiful. I can feel the love that Aaron's mother has for her son.

The one rather extraordinary aspect of this film is how humorous it is. It covers such a serious subject (spinal cord injury) so I expected it to be austere. This assumption was completely wrong. Aaron Baker is a very silly and playful guy. He chooses to make light of his situation and occasionally makes fun of his injury. This surprised me, because I have never watched a documentary about a serious topic that joked about the topic. That silliness and pure happiness that surrounds Aaron allowed me to stay interested in him and his journey.

My favorite scene is when Aaron is in the hospital right after his motorcycle accident. His sister decides to paint his nails, which makes him frustrated at first. After she is finished, he looks at his toes and visualizes which color toe he wants to move. He then discovers he is able to move the toe he wants to. The doctors don't believe he is able to do this, but he decides to ignore them. This is the first step on his long journey to recovery. This scene is funny and heartwarming at the same time. Aaron paints his toenails throughout the film which symbolizes his recovery. This quirky and sweet action gives the documentary great character.

This documentary is one I will never forget. The story is very influential. It blows my mind how he was able to go from paralyzed and dependent on people for his most basic needs, to walking on his own and even cycling. The film helps bring attention to people who struggle with mobility. A topic such as this is important to share with the world since it gets people talking and more educated about spinal injuries.

I recommend this film for people ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. The film deals with some harsh topics such as depression, which is why it skews towards teens. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

By Talia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR
FOCUS FEATURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Filmmaker Morgan Neville examines the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, the beloved host of the popular children's TV show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Won't You Be My Neighbor? is the best documentary I've ever seen! I still hear its catchy theme song in my head. I usually don't like documentaries because they are very slow paced. But this one has jokes throughout that makes it so much more interesting to watch. I not only learned a lot about Fred Rogers' life and career, but also about how television shows were made and produced back in the 1960s.

This documentary is about Mr. Rogers and his television show for young children "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." Produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, we learn about Mr. Rogers' ideas on how important it is to talk to children about every aspect of life and how television can be used as a positive influence. During his show, Mr. Rogers sings songs about specific topics so that kids, as young as pre-school age, can understand the topic of the day.

The film shows scenes from the actual show as well as behind the scenes. I really enjoyed the interviews with the crew from the show. Those parts made me belly laugh. The film brings back the original lessons of the show and re-promotes them. For adults, this film might make them remember watching the show as a child and they might find some episodes to share with their own kids. For children, this film might spark an interest in the show and make them want to watch it, just like I did. The film gives everybody something. One thing I love about the film is that it really goes in depth about Mr. Rogers' sunny disposition and how he truly was like that in real life, even through all his struggles. It shows us that there are still kind people in the world. My favorite scene is when Mr. Rogers goes to Congress to try to get the funding to save PBS. That scene shows who Mr. Rogers really is, his personality and love for children. By the time he finishes his speech, I was tearing up and could hear the audience sniffing.

The message of this film is to love yourself as you are, just like Mr. Rogers says in his song. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 because it talks about topics such as divorce and war, in a serious way, which is not appropriate for very young children. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars because of its amazing message and all the cool inside facts about Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. This film opens nationwide

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


SUPER 4: MEET RUBY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SUPER 4: MEET RUBY
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-8
Description - Inspired by the world of PLAYMOBIL� toys, set out on a series of adventures with the Super 4 as they travel through the wider PLAYMOBIL� universes. Join Ruby and friends as they embark on 7 fun-filled pirate adventures! First, understand how Ruby came to be the amazing pirate she is. A wicker basket washes up on the shore of Gunpowder Island holding a little baby. Surprise, it's a girl! When Ruby is old enough to jump on ship to join in on a pirate raid, little Ruby sits on the sidelines and watches it all. To prove she is a real pirate, Ruby must set out to obtain a mythical treasure. Will she find it and become a true pirate? Find out in Meet Ruby!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film has a great plotline and gives each character lots of personality. The plotline becomes even more interesting because of all the strong personalities. Even though this film is meant for younger ages, I still was quite entertained.

This film is all about meeting and getting to know who Ruby is. It starts from pirates discovering her as a baby, watching her go on adventures and figuring out who she wants to be. She goes off to the sea for the first time by herself and encounters problems. Eventually she is able to overcome them. She then goes off and solves multiple tests to be able to acquire treasure.

Laetitia Lefebvre has a determined and strong child-like voice which perfectly fits Ruby because Ruby has all of these traits. Ruby at times can sound very stubborn, scared, determined and strong. The Black Baron (Tom Wayland) sounds determined as well. The Black Baron is a very manipulative character and Wayland changes his voice accordingly. For example, he can sound convincing, caring and sweet, but also ominous.

The animation is very colorful and has lots of details. I also love that their faces express emotion and their body language does as well. The pirate costumes are very unique. I loved seeing all the different types of clothing that doesn't repeat for everyone.

My favorite scene is when Ruby smartly doesn't get distracted by the Black Baron when he wants to steal the treasure. I felt really proud of her and I knew that she was fit to become a knight.

The message of the story is to always believe in yourself no matter what. Ruby was born as a pirate, but girls aren't allowed to be pirates. Even though this is true, Ruby goes out and proves her worthiness. She encounters many problems, but stays strong and believes in herself. She stays determined every time. She doesn't stop continuing on her journey. Instead she just becomes stronger and fights even harder. This is a good message for female empowerment. Even though people want to limit you because you are a girl, don't let them. Do what Ruby does. Everyone is against her and she still manages to achieve all of her goals and become successful.

This DVD, just like the rest of the Super 4 series, is well made. It has a wonderful message and an entertaining plotline. I recommend this for ages 6 to 11 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. This is available on DVD now, so definitely check it out.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13.
Runtime: 45 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


ABC MONSTERS: THE COMPLETE SEASON
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ABC MONSTERS: THE COMPLETE SEASON
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Description - Enjoy the complete season of ABC Monsters! Embark on one phonics adventure after another while learning each letter of the alphabet in this complete set! Twenty six cuddly ABC Monsters live within the walls of Capital Castle. Each monster represents a letter of the alphabet but should any of the monsters go missing for longer than a day, all the letters will be wiped out from every book in Capital Town! So it's very important to make sure that all the ABC Monsters are safely back in Alphabet Gardens before the sun goes down. However, this isn't as easy as it sounds. The ABC Monsters are naturally curious creatures and often wander off from Alphabet Gardens to try and find new and fun items, inevitably getting themselves lost in the process. When Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry set out to find the ABC Monsters, they learn to spell multiple items that start with that ABC Monsters letter as well as play other phonics games and sing songs! Get set for a spellbinding series of magical adventures that engages the imagination all while making learning the alphabet exciting and entertaining!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - ABC Monsters: The Complete Season is a fun and educational experience for young kids. It inspires them to learn, enjoy learning and even encourages them to participate in physical activity. It is creative and interesting all the way through. If I was a parent, I would use this DVD to help me teach my kid about the alphabet and early language skills.

I have reviewed other episodes of ABC Monsters previously and enjoy how each episode is different. For example, one of the episodes is based on introducing kids to the letter "A." In this episode, the Alphabet Monsters are so excited about the archery competition when suddenly, all the arrows go missing! Alice, Bryan and Cherry Berry (the protagonists) go on a mission to find the missing arrows and the missing letter of the alphabet, which just so happens to be Letter "A." On the way, they go on a lot of mini quests such as helping Amy the Alligator find her armband and help Farmer Alex find his apple. At the end of the episode, Alice, Bryan and Cherry Berry review everything we learned in the episode and include fun little songs and dances for us to do and sing.

Everything about this show is child friendly and appropriate for a young age group. The storylines are consistent without being repetitive and are quite easy to follow. This show would be very entertaining for young kids. The visuals are bright and colorful which will attract young viewers. The music is upbeat and cheery. The characters are adorable and likable. I think that all of these aspects are important in order for kids to enjoy watching a program.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 1 to 5. I believe that this show will intrigue kids with its cute characters and interesting plotlines. It will get them excited about learning, music and physical fitness. It will help parents teach their kids about spelling, grammar and phonics while keeping them hooked and wanting to learn more. This show offers quality entertainment for young children who need to be introduced to the alphabet. Parents can feel confident about using this DVD to enlighten their little ones about the English language. It is available on DVD now so, check it out.

By Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, age 14
Runtime: 575 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


INCREDIBLES 2
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
INCREDIBLES 2
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURES, AGES 8-18
Description - Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) is left to care for Jack-Jack while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Incredibles 2 is here! It has been 14 years since Incredibles and, I believe that the long -awaited sequel is quite good. I thoroughly enjoyed this Pixar super hero sequel.

The storyline is about the Parr family - Bob/Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile) returning to save the world. The Incredibles continues their battle in balancing family life with saving the world with their super powers.

I like the addition of the new cast of super heroes including Lucius Best/Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) and Voyd (Sophia Bush). This film continues with action similar to the original film and the animation is truly amazing as it shows the various adventures of the family members.

The storyline features Elastigirl taking the lead in a campaign to bring Supers back, while Mr. Incredible is given the responsibility of caring for the kids. Their mission is derailed, as a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don't shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone by their side. This is what makes this family so incredible.

My favorite scene is when Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible discovers baby Jack Jack has super powers. He goes through walls, becomes a ferocious beast and duplicates himself, just to name a few of his powers.

This film contains action, adventure, comedy and It could be too intense for very young or sensitive kids. I think it will surely be a fun summer movie for many families.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Many adults will enjoy it also. The film opens in theaters nationwide June 15, 2018. Be sure to check it out.

By Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Fourteen years after the first film was released, we finally have the continuation of the Pixar animated hit and I would dare say, every year of waiting was worth it because this film is truly incredible.

The story follows the Parr Family, as it looks like being super heroes (Supers) is against the law, but then an opportunity for Elastigirl to change people's view of Supers occurs, while Mr. Incredible stays at home with the kids.

I always talk about the animation first, so let's do that. The animation in the first movie was pretty good by 2004 standards. What I find interesting is that this movie looks really similar to the first. It feels as if it's the same animation, just updated. That isn't a bad thing. In fact, I actually like it. I love how you can actually see such small details such as the fabric textures on the clothes. You can see the sleep deprivation on the characters' faces and not just in bags under the eyes. I really like seeing all these details.

Since the main characters are all super heroes, there's lots of action. I feel like this movie is really creative with all the different powers, particularly those for Violet and Elastigirl. There's lots of cool stuff they do with Violet's force fields and Elastigirl's stretching. They also introduce a group of new Supers who are very creative. From the design, to the powers, I think the group is a cool addition to the story.

Of course the elephant in the room is Jack-Jack. In the first movie, they show that Jack-Jack has powers. They never specify what powers he has. An important plot point in the movie is about Jack-Jack's powers. However, now I'm even more confused. Off the top of my head, he has 11 powers and I may have forgotten some. The movie also has slight implications that this isn't normal and now I'm incredibly curious. Hopefully it won't take 14 years for an answer. Yes, I am ready for Incredibles 3!

This movie also excels in character development. Since the typical parent roles are switched, with the mom working and the dad staying at home watching the kids, it very subtly shows off both Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl's character and motivations. It genuinely feels like a continuation, as it does address Mr. Incredible's desire to be a super hero again. It also shows how raising a family is team work.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as the movie is kind of dark at times. The movie opens in theaters June 15m 2018 so check it out!

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Incredibles 2, directed by the legendary Brad Bird is a timeless classic that has been reborn fourteen years after The Incredibles! Although bound to be compared to the original, Incredibles 2 creates a legacy and masterpiece in itself with a myriad of creativity and uniqueness. The story takes me back to my childhood and into the future with the retro, but futuristic feel created by integrating new superhero technology and vintage technology.

The story picks off from where the Incredibles ends, when the Underminer threatens the city and superheroes are still illegal. To try and bring the superheroes back into business, a rich entrepreneur by the name of Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) enlists the help of Helen Parr, also known as Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) to win the people's hearts once again. Bob Parr, also known as Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) stays at home to take care of his three super children.

The same voice actors play the same characters in The Incredibles and Incredibles 2 except Dash Parr, played by Huck Milner. It made me feel as though no time has passed since I was a young child watching The Incredibles. When I was watching this film, I didn't realize the actor was different for Dash. He has the same childish innocence and humor in his voice, as well as Dash's famous sarcasm. Due to the fact that the same cast plays the same characters fourteen years later, Craig T. Nelson's voice is more raspy, but it adds an element that elevates Bob Parr's character. Bob is a lot more exhausted throughout the film and the raspy addition makes the character feel realistic and relatable.

The animation uses many of the features from the first film, while adding new perspectives and elements of modern filmmaking. The animated camera angles are a special component. During a variety of fight scenes and other relaxed scenes, the perspective switches from third person to first person quite often. This engaged me as a viewer and adds to the intensity and excitement of a superhero chase and being in a world with superheroes. The fight scenes are memorable with each one becoming better and more innovative than the last. The director, Brad Bird makes sure each of the superhero's powers are used to the best of their ability. For example, Elastigirl acquires a new motorbike that can split apart while she provides the bridge keeping it intact, allowing for easy mobility in difficult situations.

The message of this film is that parents are heroes, whether or not they wear super suits. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Be sure to check out this long-awaited sequel in theatres nationwide June 15, 2018. Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The Incredibles 2 is a great sequel to an amazing movie. The animation is brilliant, plus, the two main plots balance out well to create a well-rounded film.

The Incredibles 2 continues the story of the Parrs, a super hero family that had to go into hiding because of a law banning supers. This film focuses on Elastigirl as she tries to end the anti-super laws that stop her from being a superhero. Meanwhile, Mr. Incredible struggles to keep the kids in check.

My favorite part is when Jack-Jack uses his powers to fight a raccoon because he thinks it's a criminal. This scene is hilarious. I really enjoyed how Mr. Incredible is sleeping in the foreground, while all the action happens in the back. I also like the scene when Elastigirl chases after the new hover train. This scene is fast paced and funny.

The animation in this film is great. I specifically like the glass breaking, the water features of the house and Frozone's ice. The glass and the water are both super realistic and I really like how they kept the same style as the original film for Frozone's ice. I felt they underused Dash in this film though. His only part in this film is needing help with math. I feel this wastes Dash, because I really enjoy him as a character. The Incredibles 2 has some very topical morals in it. It asks the question of whether a law should be followed if it is unlawful. It also focuses on the concept of "when enough people have the same idea and they fight for it, that things will change".

The voice acting is quite good. You can hear the emotion in the actors' voices, so you can really connect to their characters. The music in this film is truly brilliant. They wrote theme songs for Frozone, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl that are written like 60s super hero themes. These are scattered around the movie and really make a major comedic effect.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars because, while it's not as good as the original, it is still an incredible film. I recommend it for ages 7 through 18 because it's really a film a huge variety of different people will enjoy. I believe adults will really enjoy watching this film as well. It opens in theaters nationwide June 15, 2018 so, check it out.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1

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


OCEAN'S 8
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
OCEAN'S 8
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Danny Ocean's estranged sister Debbie attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City's star-studded annual Met Gala. Her first stop is to assemble the perfect all-female crew: Lou, Rose, Daphne Kluger, Nine Ball, Tammy, Amita, and Constance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I happen to be a fan of heist movies, don't ask why. Maybe it's their Robin Hood aspect in many cases. This one differs from most with it's all female cast of thieves spearheaded by the charismatic Sandra Bullock and filled out with a veritable who's who of women - Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway who steals the show. The plot is a romp, the costumes are absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous and the jokes work. If you are looking for a lightweight summer movie, this is it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ocean's 8 is the best comedic action movie ever! I like it because of the fantastic animation and storyline. I enjoyed the way the movie flows, as if it's a normal day stealing a billion dollar necklace. The comedy is the icing on a cake. It makes the movie sweet and enticing to watch.

The movie's main character is Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock). In the beginning, we see her being released from jail after five years. During that time, she has planned the greatest heist with hidden intentions. Debbie Ocean's team includes one of her old friends, Lou (Cate Blanchett). Lou and other highly intelligent cheaters are all part of the team, Ocean's Eight. As the heist unfolds, it exposes the twists and turns behind the storyline to the audience. Sandra Bullock's charisma in this role draws you to love her even more. The beautiful Rihanna is also in the film as "9-Ball", the Jamaican hacker. The amazing actress from 12 Years a Slave, Sarah Paulson plays a caring mother who loves to shop for home goods. In the mix of the film celebrities pop up everywhere. You just have to pay attention to notice them.

What I love about the film is the all women cast planning on doing something not good. Most heist movies are about men robbing banks, planning their moves and then executing them. Ocean's 8 has the same idea, but without the men. The costumes at the Met Gala for each of them are simply amazing and match each character's personality and abilities.

My favorite part is the ending when everything is pulled together, from Debbie Ocean's release to the creation of Ocean's Eight. My favorite character is Constance who is played by Awkwafina, because of her funny attitude throughout the film. Also, her pick-pocketing skills blew my mind.

Ocean's 8 is a movie to enjoy just because it's an amazing film. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Some jokes are questionable and there is some mild profanity, but nothing is extreme. I recommend it for ages 14 to 18 because of some language, alcohol and drug usage. It opens in theaters June 8, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Kamryn B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

I have never seen any other Ocean films and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. The dialogue is realistic and it is really funny. There are some flaws. It does feel like a lot of other heist films. For example, it has a recruiting phase where one character is the hacker and another is talented at stealing things. Also Debbie Ocean has been in prison for five years plotting her plan, but her plan doesn't take into account that technology changes.

Ocean's 8 follows Debbie Ocean and her plan to steal a 150 million dollar necklace at the Met Gala. She has spent five years in prison and goes to her friend Lou, who helped her in past crimes and asks her to recruit people for the job. Her plan is to get Daphne Kluger, a world famous model, to wear the Cartier necklace and then they will create a fake one to replace it. After that, she would place one of the gems on the person that framed her with the intent of framing him and making it seem as if he stole it.

My favorite part is Rose's character. She is entertaining and realistic when she tries to comfort Anne Hathaway's character when her dress isn't turning out the way she wanted. In another scene, she acts as if she isn't interested in her and that makes her want Rose to be her designer.

There are a lot of big names in this film such as Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok, Lord of the Rings, Cinderella), Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar, Colossal). The director is also a really big name too, Gary Ross who wrote Seabiscuit and the Hunger Games.

There is some mild profanity but nothing too extreme. It is a heist movie, so there are lots of risky actions such as hanging from rafters and escaping prison. I recommend this movie to anyone who enjoyed any of the previous Ocean films or other heist movies. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters June 8, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


SHERLOCK GNOMES
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SHERLOCK GNOMES
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - After a string of garden gnome disappearances in London, Gnome & Juliet look to legendary detective Sherlock Gnomes to solve the case of their missing friends and family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Breaking news from London - garden gnomes have been kidnapped! "Oh fertilizer!" This is one of many amusing jokes from the very British characters in Sherlock Gnomes, sequel to the 2011 animated film Gnomeo and Juliet. Although the plot of this family-friendly movie is somewhat predictable, it is still quite funny and clever.

In this sequel, the formerly star-crossed lovers Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) are married and have just moved to London where they are appointed by their parents as joint heads of the garden. Both Juliet and Gnomeo feel the pressures of their new leadership roles and the marriage begins to suffer through lack of communication and mutual appreciation. Meanwhile, their gnome friends are disappearing from homes all over London, and they attempt to search for and save them. With the help of Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp) and Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor), the adventure begins - to defeat the evil pie company called Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou) and save all gnomes. We also see that poor Watson is quite ignored and under-appreciated by Sherlock.

My favorite aspects of this movie are the music, Johnny Depp and the "planning" sequences. I love the song choices used in transitions between scenes. If you are a fan of Sir Elton John, you will be pleased to hear many of his hits, including "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," "I'm Still Standing," "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" and a fantastic new song performed by the great Mary J. Blige. Johnny Depp is hilarious with his condescending British accent. I have seen almost every movie he has ever been in and he never disappoints with his comedic intensity. Another interesting thing that happens is when we see the inner workings of Sherlock's mind in 2-D black-and-white animation. One clinker for me is when super-intelligent Watson, looking for Gnomeo, says "Gnomeo, Gnomeo! Oh don't make me say it - wherefore art thou, Gnomeo?" (Of course "wherefore" means "why" in Romeo and Juliet.)

The message of this story is a good one - that you will succeed by respecting the people who support you. Sherlock learns that lesson when he realizes that Watson feels that Sherlock isn't listening to him or respecting him. Juliet learns it when she realizes that Gnomeo feels as if Juliet is ignoring him, too.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars because, almost all the scenes kept me laughing, the music is great, and I love the message. I recommend this movie for ages 7 to 18. This is available on DVD/Blu-ray June 12, 2018 and on Digital June 5, 2018. If you are looking for a fun family movie, this is it!

Reviewed by Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 19
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Sherlock Gnomes is a great movie! I really like the storyline because it has an amazing good versus evil plot.

The story follows Gnomeo and Juliet's move to London where they become the new leaders of the garden. On their first day, somebody kidnaps all the gnomes in the garden! Luckily, Sherlock Gnomes and Watson are there. Gnomeo and Juliet help Sherlock save all the gnomes in London.

The animation in this movie is excellent. The gnomes look like real life gnomes with a small touch of cartoon. I like how, in the beginning, a couple of gnomes are standing on a book talking about how they are going to read about Sherlock Gnomes. Sherlock Gnomes is a great detective just like Sherlock Holmes, but instead of protecting people he is the sworn protector of Gnomes. This gives the feeling that the entire movie is about those three gnomes reading us a book about Sherlock Gnomes.

The movie has lots of characters named from other movies and books such as Gnomeo and Juliet whose names are take offs of Romeo and Juliet. Sherlock Gnomes is based on Sherlock Holmes. I like how the gnomes freeze around humans. They just stay completely still so humans don't realize they move. The frozen position is also what they do when fall asleep. As soon as they get frozen, they can choose to fall asleep instantly or not.

The characters in the film include Gnomeo (James McAvoy), Juliet (Emily Blunt), Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp) and Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor). My favorite character is Benny, (Matt Lucas) because he is smart with technology, but otherwise very clumsy. I find that funny.

My favorite scene is when Benny trips and he is forced to put on a show to distract the guard while Gnomeo escapes. That scene is a mix of action and comedy. Another of my favorite scenes is when Gnomeo comes up with a plan to get past Reggie the gargoyle (Dexter Fletcher). I like how they show the plan with paper versions of all the gnomes.

The message of this movie is never take advantage of your friends. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 11 because of its great storyline and message. I think adults will like watching this movie as well. It comes out on DVD and Blu-ray June 10 so, be sure to check it out. Reviewed by Damon Foxe, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10.

Sherlock Gnomes is a frequently clever animated film that has a few fun moments, yet suffers from a jumbled story and too many characters to fully engage you in the movie as a whole.

Sherlock Gnomes is a sequel to Gnomeo and Juliet and brings together garden gnome versions of the famous detective and the Shakespearean couple from the first installment. Gnomeo and Juliet move to a new garden in London that disappoints their entire faction of gnomes. Gnomeo and Juliet are appointed the new leaders to turn the garden into a beautiful wonderland for their little village. Meanwhile, several gardens have been erased of all signs of gnomekind and soon, Gnomeo and Juliet's is too. The dynamic duo of the incredibly smart, but sometimes selfish detective and protector of London's garden gnomes Sherlock Gnomes and his trusty sidekick Watson are on the case and intend to catch the culprit and track down the missing gnomes, with the help of Gnomeo and Juliet.

Unfortunately the collision of these literary duos doesn't work very well. Their stories have very different characters and tones. The film makes clever references to Sherlock Holmes and his works that will be enjoyable for fans of the character's inspiration, but the collaboration still feels forced. Gnomeo and Juliet go through a storyline that feels out of place and their conversations have a repetitive message. The characters feel less developed against the more engaging Sherlock Gnomes.

My favorite character is Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp). He embodies the qualities of the literary detective and makes his portrayal of Sherlock his own, giving him a more fun and comedic manner. He also nails Sherlock's complex relationship with Watson.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 9 due to some crude humor. Younger kids will enjoy the film's bright colors and caper elements and older kids and adults might enjoy some of the humor. However, this film lacks the vivid animation and nuance that offers the same wide appeal of other animated films. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars because the story is a bit confusing, although it has some characters and good laughs.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 86 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: AN ENCHANTING EASTER
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 2-7
Description - Enjoy this Easter special adventure based on the classic picture book that has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, written by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram and published by Walker Books. As winter melts into spring and the meadow bursts forth with new life, Little Nutbrown Hare sees a rare sight... a pure white fawn, dancing in the moonlight. Nobody in the meadow has ever seen a white fawn so his friends think he's making it up. But Little White Owl tells of a place of mystical white creatures in the next valley, so the friends go on an adventure... across the streamy stream, and through the woody woods to search for the mythical white fawn. Little do they know that the tiny fawn is hiding from them, on the patches of white snow, thinking they are all playing a game of hide-and seek. Only when she falls into the stream and the friends save her do they believe Little Nutbrown Hare. The fawn visits them on Easter Day, but isn't so good at playing hide and seek in the grassy meadow, until they find a field of pure white flowers to play in.
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Young Han Solo finds adventure when he joins a gang of galactic smugglers, including a 196-year-old Wookie named Chewbacca. Indebted to the gangster Dryden Vos, the crew devises a daring plan to travel to the mining planet Kessel to steal a batch of valuable coaxium. In need of a fast ship, Solo meets Lando Calrissian, the suave owner of the perfect vessel for the dangerous mission -- the Millennium Falcon.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I was excited to see the origin story of Han Solo, as he has been a character favorite of mine for years. The young man was boosting scams from age 10 and lived a life of adventure, for sure! Learning how his last name came to be was interesting - think passport control questioning. But, I digress.

While the film strives to tell the story of how Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Chewbacca, everyone's favorite Wookie (Joonas Suotamo) became BFFs after a contentious beginning, it had some stalls and at times, I wondered if Han was attempting to be our hero or villain. I felt the origin story of Han Solo did not go deep enough to show us who he is, and what lead him to be, Solo.

The most interesting character is Becket, played by Woody Harrelson. He is a true team player, but what team does he play for? His chameleon-like persona is wonderful to see and a testament to this talented and beloved actor.

The film begins centered on a bunch of bad dudes who all fear the reptilian and then, our hero Han, who eventually joins the Imperial armed forces to reconnect with his love, Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke). Being the rebel he is, Han is kicked out of pilot training and ends up in one of the many Empire wars. His quest to find Qi'ra lands him in the clutches of the dreadful mob boss Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) and a gambler named Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).

Long ago, in a vision far-away, original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were off-loaded from the payload and rescued by super Director Ron Howard. Howard's optimistic effort on this prequel doesn't save the film. He made a good film, but if it was a stand-alone film, I would not predict a plethora of sequels.

I give this film of 4 out of 5 stars for the performances, which are spectacular, especially Glover, Harrelson and Ehrenreich, along with special effects, creepy wardrobes, action scenes and Star Wars references that any true fan will 'get' (like the Kessel Run, the Millennium Falcon and of course, the necklace hanging on the rearview mirror). I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18. I caution younger viewing due to adult themes and fight scenes which may be disturbing to younger children.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Solo: A Star Wars Story is a perfectly serviceable origin story for the famous titular character. The acting and direction provide an outstanding mix of visuals and characterization. This is definitely an essential watch for any Star Wars fan.

The movie follows young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) on his journey to become the famed hero pilot. As a talented maverick, Solo joins forces with the thief Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and his crew to escape poverty and become part of something bigger. However, one of their heists goes wrong resulting in a life or death deal with Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) which will determine the fate of their lives. To rectify this, Solo and newfound friend Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) enlist the help of old flame Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) and the charming Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) to take part in the second heist.

Alden Ehrenreich, as Han Solo, wonderfully portrays his hero's journey from a poor, oppressed dreamer to heroic pilot. His mannerisms and line delivery excellently match up to the standard set by Harrison Ford. Joonas Suotamo, as Chewbacca, encompasses an extraordinary counterpart Peter Mayhew's mantle as he perfectly portrays his growing friendship with Han. Donald Glover, as Lando Calrissian, is my favorite character due to his exact interpretations of Billy Dee Williams's zany parlance. His banter with Solo only forwards the character's legacy. Woody Harrelson, as Beckett, provides for a flawed yet effective mentor to Solo by guiding him about motivations and how to deal. Emilia Clarke, as Qi'ra, is great with what she is given, but her character falls into the stereotypical "will they or won't they" love interest loop. Paul Bettany, as Dryden Vos, is menacing with his passive aggressiveness building to volatile outburst when his orders are disobeyed.

Ron Howard efficiently grasps all the characters' tales by providing great interactions with known Star Wars lore. My favorite scene is the initial train heist as it showcases how unprepared Beckett's gang was and is intense as regards the fates of all characters involved. Also, there are great displays of special effects with the train's movement patterns. The one flaw is that it really doesn't Solo any character transformation as he always remains heroic with the only change being how he goes from rags to riches. The love triangle between Solo, Qi'ra and Dryden also feels uninspired.

The message of the movie is to always abide by morals rather than selfish instinct. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters May 25, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


RBG
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
RBG
MAGNOLIA PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - An intimate portrait of an unlikely rock star: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With unprecedented access, the filmmakers explore how her early legal battles changed the world for women.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have been a fan of Justice Ginsburg since she first came into focus in the 70s, as an advocate of women's rights. This documentary about her life offers insight into her personal history and the people around her who supported her for so many years. She is an inspiration in so many ways. Shy and somewhat introverted, she never let that keep her from pursuing a career path that was unique for woman at the time. She entered Harvard Law School in 1956, one of 9 women in a class of 500 men. I resonated with her story about the Dean reportedly asking the female law students, "How do you justify taking a spot from a qualified man?"

Justice Ginsburg proudly speaks about being born and bred in Brooklyn. In the 70s she co-founded the Women's Rights Project at the ACLU. We listen to Gloria Steinem and Nina Totenberg reveal tales of her past that make you realize how pivotal her involvement in the women's movement was. Filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West dig into the substance of this woman with a judicious zeal usually reserved for our deceased heroes. As a staunch feminist, her nomination to the Supreme Court could have been way-laid had not President Clinton been wowed by her in the first 15 minutes of her interview with him. Then, he knew that he had to put her on the Court.

The love story between Ruth and Martin Ginsburg is nothing less than awe-inspiring. I love how she tells about her undergraduate years at Cornell where there was a four to one ratio of boys to girls. "Every mother wanted to send their daughter there because, if you couldn't find a husband there, you were hopeless." She reveals that during her freshman year, she never dated the same boy twice. That is, until she met Marty, who was the first guy that recognized she had a brain. When President Carter brought her to the federal bench, Marty gave up his success career as a tax attorney in New York to move to DC to support her. He recognized Ruth for the super star that she is and later, when she was nominated to the Supreme Court, rallied on her behalf with endless enthusiasm. Also noted is that he was the cook in the family. Her children tell how they had to keep her out of the kitchen.

One thing I really like about this film is that it focuses on Justice Ginsburg's life long fight against gender discrimination. She experienced it first hand as a fresh law school graduate that could not get a job in any law office in New York City because "they didn't hire women." She has never given up the fight, and there have been many - for women in the military who were discriminated against for pay and benefits, for widowed men who couldn't get survivor benefits. She chose her plaintiffs carefully, picking a male to show that gender discrimination worked against both men and women.

Although this film may lack verve in terms of groundbreaking filmmaking, it is stunning beautiful in telling the story of a contemporary hero. 84-year-old Justice Ginsburg is an icon of our times. A woman who has weathered extremely difficult conditions and sits on the highest court in the country as someone dedicated to equality - for women, for people of different races and cultures - for all of us. She is a modern heroine and, as shy and quiet as she is - carries a big stick! I have been touting this film to all the young women and men in my universe and sending them to it. Most walk away stunned. My 20-year-old friends never even knew who she was before going to see the film. Many weep as they watch it. Now, that's something. That's important. If this film manages to get one young person's attention and give them the courage to stand up for what they believe, then these filmmakers have something to be outrageously proud of. I believe they have.

Reviewed by Ranny L., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - In one of the most divided political times in the recent history, it is good to look back to the previous decades and see the changes and inspiration that occurred in America. This documentary, RBG, tells you about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and not only inspires you, but motivates you to change the world just as she did.

At its core, this documentary will inspire people. It doesn't hide the many aspects of life's challenges. Throughout Ruth's life, there are moments of romance as well as drama. On the opposite side of the coin, there are many comedic moments, ranging from fun antidotes about Ruth's workaholism to Saturday Night Live skits.

Starting from her childhood to the present day, RGB reveals the essence of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is the female attorney who, not only fought for women's rights in the United States, but also spent years on as a Supreme Court Justice fighting for women's rights. This film truly gives real insight into the fight for women's education, equal payment in the workplace and equal treatment in every situation. Despite gender discrimination (which still occurs worldwide), few know the efforts women have gone through, in order to receive the same rights and treatment that men have. The film also shows many aspects of her personal family life as well as struggles she has survived, such as surviving cancer.

One of my favorite parts of the film is when it shows how political differences don't mean that two people cannot get along. Antonin Scalia, also a Supreme Court Justice, and Ruth were best friends for many years. Scalia was a staunch conservative and Ruth was always quite liberal. Often, in court, they differed in opinion. Yet, as the film shows, they were friends in real life, with no hard feelings despite their political differences. Their friendship delivers an important message for our nation today - that politics should not be something that breaks and blocks relationships.

RBG doesn't rely on a single narrator to explain the life of Justice Ginsberg, there are many people who talk about her. Throughout the documentary, the person we hear from the most is Justice Ginsberg herself telling her stories. Skilled research and editing incorporate real-life speeches at the Supreme Court, as well as many hearings when Ruth was a lawyer. This gives a unique realistic feel to the film. Instead of being lectured about the subject, you feel as if you are part of her story. This also has its downsides. The documentary flows chronologically, but it also focuses on many aspects of Ruth's life. In some ways, the film deals with so much information that it can become overwhelming.

While Ruth's story is something we all should hear, it is complex with many mature details and important subjects. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. It truly is a film that teenagers should see, as it demonstrates how anyone is capable of change. I give the film 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


DINO DAN TREK'S ADVENTURES: THE COMPLETE SERIES
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DINO DAN TREK'S ADVENTURES: THE COMPLETE SERIES
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - In this complete series set, enjoy 50 dino-filled adventures with junior dinosaur expert, Trek Henderson, as he imagines dinosaurs in the real world! While Trek's brother, Dan, is away helping his dad, it's time for Trek to get his own dino time. Trek is going to finish some of the experiments in Dino Dan's Field Guide including seeing at least eighteen dinosaurs that Dan has never seen before! Trek will even meet marine reptiles for the very first time! It's time to join Trek Henderson as he embarks on one dino adventure after another and all in his very own way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dino Dan: Trek's Adventures: The Complete Series is a series for young kids with a lot of excitement, and fun adventures to go on! Kids will love this series if they have a big imagination and of course, have a love of dinosaurs.

On this DVD, there are 50 dino-filled adventures with the dinosaur expert, Trek Henderson. Trek imagines different types of dinosaurs in the real world throughout all of his experiences! While Trek's brother, Dan is away helping his dad with something, Trek takes over and entertains himself with his dinosaur world. The goal is to finish up some of the experiments that Dan has started. Trek even meets some new dinosaurs and marine reptiles that he hasn't seen before! Join Trek on his wonderful adventures throughout the world of dinosaurs!

One reason I really like this show is how they incorporate educational lessons into it. It's not everyday that you see a kids TV show that includes all kinds of educational facts within the story line. This is exactly what this series does. For example, in the episode "Trek Rex," Trek is having trouble figuring out what dinosaur he wants to dress up as for a party. Throughout the episode, he has various encounters with several dinosaurs to help him make his final decision. Trek and the dinosaurs' encounters happen in the real world, in front of real people, so he is imagining it. I believe that creates a connection between Trek and kids in the real world, since many have big imaginations.

The overall message in this series is that it's okay to have an imagination and even share it with others! Trek has no problem sharing his findings out loud for everyone to see and has no shame about doing that. This is what kids should feel. And, sharing their findings throughout their childhood is a cool thing to do.

I rate this show 4 out of 5 stars for its playful storyline, exciting cast, imagination and much more. I would love to see the storyline develop more, but it's perfect for younger kids. I recommend it for ages 5 through 10 . This is available now on DVD, so check it out.

By Imani B.G, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This series is great for keeping younglings entertained over the summer. With over 500 minutes in its 50 episodes, this will keep them busy and will keep them interested. I found Trek talking to an imaginary dinosaur somewhat strange but hey, it doesn't seem to bother his mom.

The storyline is about when Trek's brother who goes away to dig up fossils and Trek misses him. Then, one day a package arrives in the mail with a message from Dan asking Trek to help him do some dinosaur experiments. In later episodes, he gets better and better at conducting these experiments. One of his tasks is to find out if albertosaurus hunt in packs. For this, he gets a ham sandwich and gets the albertosaurus to chase him.

Trek is played by Trek Buccino who lives in Toronto, Ontario and attended Claude Watson School for the Arts. He has also been in Pacific Rim and PJ Masks. Trek's mom is played by Allana Harkin who has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy award for Full Frontal which she produced.

What I like about the show is that it is enjoyable to watch while you learn some facts along the way. I recommend it for ages 3 to 8 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. It is available now on Digital and DVD/Blu-ray so, check it out.

By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 575 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF THE ROSE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF THE ROSE
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Follow the Little Prince, a hero of multiple generations, as he experiences brand new adventures with iconic characters based on the masterpiece by Antoine de St. Exup�ry. In The Planet of the Rose, the Little Prince believes he has succeeded in getting rid of the Snake after a deadly battle. He can now finally continue to find the Rose's planet for his dear Rose. When the Little Prince and Rose reach the planet of the Rose, strange crabs live on the surface and are hardly hospitable. There is no trace of vegetation and no trace of the Rose people. Convinced they have reached the wrong destination, the Little Prince is ready to leave when they find some of the people. However, the Rose people are asleep and fossilized. The Little Prince and Rose need to bring them back to life. Unfortunately, that's not all they will need to do as the Little Prince's enemy, the Snake, hasn't died after all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I truly enjoyed watching this show. Based on the book series, it has a ring of positivity to it. The Little Prince is an incredibly good and popular book series and a wonderfully animated film series. The symbolisms associated with Rose, the Fox and the Snake may be lost on the youngest viewers. However, school age children will benefit from an increased imaginative mindset and the good vs. evil theme. The flow of the story lags a bit at times, but it is quite pleasant to watch. The Little Prince is definitely a positive role model in terms of protecting the ones he loves such as Rose and other protagonists. They all help each other out of peril like when the spirits help Fox from falling into outer space. The computer animation is exceptional. The characters, locale and colors are easy for viewers to identify with.

One aspect that really stands out are the geographical indicators notating inter-dimensional aspects of outer space. The cover design showing the Little Prince looking out into the distance along with Rose is big, colorful and enticing. Young people would enjoy this film because it is adventurous, the setting is unusual and the graphics are terrific.

The Little Prince series is based upon the teachings of Saint Exupery and holds morals based upon religious values. Although secular in tone, the theme of good overtaking evil is important for children to hear in order to give them hope in this world. The adventure of outer space will draw most children in. This film might get children thinking about other planets and the science of astronomy and geography. It definitely will expand their imaginations. Questioning and probing take place. For example, when the Little Prince talks about traveling to the Rose planet and the Geographer states that they might possibility be "lost forever in infinity" while trying to voyage there. The Little Prince determines it is worth the risk for Rose.

There are no bonus features on the DVD. One issue I have is that when you stop the movie and come back to it later, it starts all over at the beginning. It does not start where it left off, which is a nuisance. Also, there are no foreign language subtitles, which is something I missed. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 13, as well as adults. It is available on DVD now, so check it out.

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Once again, the little prince and the adorable Rose are getting back together and it's fantastic how everything is all happy and joyous for their reunion.

It's very fun and interesting and I absolutely love this DVD. The thing about this story, which is very fun and adorable is that they put a new twist on it. And there are lots of new characters as well as old characters from the series. I absolutely love that they brought the King and the Salesclerk back. I really like that they add new characters to the old ones we love and adore. Everyone will have a character that they can relate to. It is really fun and I love the scene when the Fox comes and they gets knocked off the rope and then he gets to meet the King and the Salesclerk again. It's a glorious movie, very hilarious and silly, which I like. Also, the Little Prince is, once again, a fantastic character. He is definitely my favorite character because he has a lot of wonderful traits. He's very kind and generous, which is glorious. At the same time, he serves as a great role model, and one that kids should see more often. It is good to see someone take their duties seriously, especially helping others. That's what we get in the prince, all the time. I also love little Rose. She's very adorable. She is very funny when she is arguing with the Fox. The two of them are just like yin and yang.

Now, one thing that is just fascinating about this show is the animation. If you think about it, when you look at it you think, "Wow! I'm stunned." I think this show is something that will inspire many young children who might think about traveling to another the moon or Mars. I think that idea is fascinating. I have always loved astronauts. That's what makes this DVD so perfect. The animation is so detailed and colorful and each planet has its own unique twist and turns. By just using words, a little bit of script and then adding all the colors in the DVD make this show perfect. I love that the animation seems to be a mix of anime and origami. They work perfectly together.

I really love that this show is something the entire family can enjoy together. I think it's suitable for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. I definitely give this 5 out of 5 stars. This is available now on DVD so be sure to check it out! You don't want to miss this one.

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: APPLEJACK
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: APPLEJACK
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Think work on the farm is easy? Then you don't know jack - Applejack, that is! Honesty, patience and friendships are tested in a new collection of adventures featuring everypony's favorite four-hooved apple lover! Join Applejack and her very best pals - Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy and Spike - as they experience the power and magic of true friendship. Bonus Feature: sing-along.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Each episode in this collection is approximately 25 minutes in length. The storylines are very straightforward and the moral messages are charming and clear. They are very engaging for the target age. The characters draw you in with their multi-dimensional human personality traits. The language is quite suitable for the audience as well, although younger kids may not pick up every single word. The overall messages are what are important. Applejack, the main character, maintains an integrity even if others do something different. If she does something wrong, then she accepts the mistake as well as its consequences and, more importantly, apologizes. The other characters hold the same level of integrity as well. Questioning and probing are developed when certain problematic situations take place. An example is when a pair of scam artists dupe a crowd at a circus presentation into believing that a miracle product cures ills, Applejack instantly feels there is something fishy going on and is concerned when grandma pony purchases the elixir. In another episode, Applejack's younger sisters and friends want to help build carts for a race, but the older sisters take over designing the carts. The race ends in a big crash, destroying the carts. The younger siblings assert that the holder ones took over their project and the resolution is for the younger ponies to rebuild their carts without interference from the older siblings. I love the humor in these stories, the visual appeal, interesting storylines and great morals that children can easily pick up. The animation is big and colorful. There are five episodes and bonus singalong. The messages address how to be a person of high character, getting along with others, owning up to mistakes and apologizing. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 9. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Even though these episodes are clearly for younger kids, I can't deny that I actually really like these episodes. I don't think I'll actually start watching the show, but this show can be enjoyed by the whole family because it is very entertaining.

This DVD is a collection of five shorts from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, with most of the episodes centered around the character, Applejack. She is an important character in every episode, even the ones that are not centered around her. I am aware that My Little Pony actually has some pretty interesting stories and can get pretty dark, but these episodes are filler. They do also reference major events in past episodes and one episode has two characters who appear to be recurring characters, so I really wouldn't recommend this DVD as a way to fully understand what takes place on the show.

That being said, Applejack has a sweet southern accent, works on a farm and appears to epitomize honesty. I like that My Little Pony shows have a moral compass that teach positive lessons. This show should make lots of parents happy. My Little Pony has a ton of effort and care put into each episode. I'm very impressed with this show. Often times in shows, filler episodes are boring and they make you wish you were watching a story driven episode. This isn't the case with these stories!

Now, My Little Pony has some really interesting characters. I love character driven stories and that best describes this series. The main cast consists of six characters, or "The Mane 6" as they're often referred to outside the show. By the way, it's an amazing pun. I really like when shows have a large cast of recurring characters that really make their world feel real. It helps world-building, character dynamics and of course, I love talking about characters in media. As I mentioned, these episodes focus mainly on one character, Applejack, but sometimes the other members of The Mane 6 share the spotlight. If you like Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash and Rarity, then you will love this series because they are highly featured. My main issue is that, ironically, my favorite member of The Mane 6, Fluttershy isn't in any of these episodes. I know the episodes are about Applejack, but from what I've seen of recent My Little Pony, Fluttershy is the most under-developed of the group. So please, My Little Pony creators, show some love and character development to Fluttershy.

I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. The DVD is available now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Howdy there everyone. Get ready for a brand new adventure with my favorite pony, Applejack! We will be exploring the terrific apple farm and seeing all the wondrous things Applejack, and her wonderful family, do there. I enjoyed all the new episodes in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Applejack because they show Applejack and her family in Ponyville.

Who can argue with Applejack? I know I can't! After all, she personifies the element of truth and that is one of her best qualities. Since she knows how to spot a lie at first sight, she makes the perfect detective. This is why "Leap of Faith" is my favorite episode, hooves down. I can't get enough of Applejack's detective skills and Granny Smith reliving her youth. There is just too much fun and humor in one episode and therefore it is so enjoyable to watch. Two of my other favorite characters are in this episode and they are brewing up trouble - aka Flim and Flam are back in town.

The pony who steals the show is defiantly Applejack. After all this DVD is all about her and she surely takes advantage of that. I would love to have Applejack as a friend and a neighbor, not only for her honestly, but because she is kind and gracious as well. Her sweet southern accent is hard to resist.

The animation in these episodes is very detailed and, once again, looks as if there is a pony running around this wonderful city. I adore the way the town looks with all the bright colors and fun characters. The barn is especially great. It looks as if you could go and pick apples right from the trees. That is one of the great things about this series. The colors appeal to both young and old audiences because of how vivid they are.

Another thing to look for in this DVD are the fun bonus features such as the sing-along and the amazing new cook book from Applejack. You will find recipes for caramel apples, baked apples and spiced apple cider - all of which are kid friendly. The sing-along is great for kids who want to become world renowned singers because they can sing along with their favorite My little Pony Songs with Applejack and the rest of the main six.

I recommend this DVD for ages 4 to 15 and give it 5 out 5 apple stars. It is available on DVD and Digital now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.98
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


MAYA THE BEE 2: THE HONEY GAMES BLU-RAY/DVD
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MAYA THE BEE 2: THE HONEY GAMES BLU-RAY/DVD
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Description - After a slow harvest season, the very survival of the hive is threatened. Maya, and her sidekick, Willy, go to Buzztropolis, where the Empress invites them to participate in the Honey Games. But if they lose, the hive will have to give the Empress all of their summer honey! Needless to say, Maya and Willy's teammates are neither enthusiastic nor athletic, but Maya remains positive and exclaims that "every bug has a talent!" Can Maya and Team Poppy win and secure her hive's future? Only if Maya is able to gain new friends and learn about teamwork, responsibility, and overcoming their differences! Bonus features: The Making of Maya the Bee 2; Original teaser and trailers.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - My six-year-old granddaughter really enjoyed this DVD. The storyline is quite interesting in showing the life of bees and how they gather honey and support the Queen and all the other bees in the colony. The story line continues with the Queen Bee of Poppy Meadow and her bees gathering honey for the winter. She realizes that they may not have enough honey for the hive to last the winter when she gets word that the Empress, her estranged sister, has declared that the Queen's colony has been selected for The Honey Games. The Hive of Poppy Meadow is required to honor the Empress to donate 50% of their honey. They don't have enough honey for their own hive to survive the winter, so the request is a difficult one to abide by. Maya and her best friend Willie go the Empress and please their case.

The story line is easy to follow and suitable for the target audience. The vocabulary and concepts are also right on target. There is a lot of teamwork shown and sometimes Maya tries things on her own but soon realizes that is a mistake and relies on her friends to help. There are some consequences and they are repaired by the characters in a nice way. Each becomes more respectful of the others as time passes.

The visual appeal of this DVD is appropriate and interesting enough for the youth it was designed for. The DVD is animated and colorful and lively in action to keep the interests of the intended audiences. I feel that the storyline of this is quite entertaining for youth and the pictures of the bees are so cute! The characters on the cover are so interesting you wonder what kind of trouble are they about to get into!

In terms of the message of this story, as the story develops, we discover that the Empress and the Queen are actually sisters that do not get along. Towards the end they make up and realize they love each other and miss being together. Forgiveness becomes the overall theme as we see the sisters resolve their differences. Also, during the competition games the contestants learn a few lessons about fairness and love. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 9.

Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed watching this! This animated film has many underlying messages without becoming confusing. Each of the characters have their own strong personalities which makes their interactions interesting. The plot line is intriguing also.

The main character, Maya is a bee who dreams of competing in The Honey Games. One day she has a chance to make her dream comes true, but it will put her entire city at risk. The Empress demands Maya's city to give up half of their honey to contribute to The Honey Games. They aren't allowed to participate, but are forced to give up their honey. Maya believes that this is outrageous and challenges the Empress. If Maya wins, she doesn't have to give up any honey. But if she loses, they have to give up all of their honey and her city will starve.

Maya (Coco Jack Gillies) is a well developed character. Coco Jack Gillies makes her voice distinctly sound differently which is good for Maya who goes through a lot of emotions. Gillies can sound distressed, guilty, ecstatic and hopeful.

The animation is done really well. The quality is great and all of the little details contribute to make it seem very realistic. The music also is very suitable for the film and sets the mood in the various scenes.

My favorite part is when Maya's best friend Willy realizes that Violet, a bee who is a bully, is trying to sabotage them. Willy has a slight crush on Violet, which blinds him of all the mean things she is doing to Maya. Finally Willy realizes what is happening and stands up for Maya. Even through all these hardships, Maya and Willy find it in their hearts to forgive Violet for everything that she has done. That is one of the messages in this film.

Other messages address how everyone has their own special talent, how you should believe in yourself and that no matter how small you are, you can still make a difference. These messages are really important and give kids a lot of self confidence. I love how they incorporate all of these wonderful messages into the story without making the film trivial.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10. This DVD is available now so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The animation in this film is very high quality, except for the characters' hair. It's a bit odd that they put so much detail into the bodies of the bees, but none into their hair. For me, this movie is a bit too predictable. I like more exciting movies.

The storyline in Maya The Bee 2: The Honey Games follows a little bee named Maya who accidentally embarrasses the empress of Buzztropolis and is forced to try to win The Honey Games to prove that her hive are not all foolish bees. The Honey Games are a series of physical challenges. Maya must win them with a team of oddball bugs or the Empress will take all her hive's summer honey and Maya's hive won't survive the winter.

The main characters in this movie are, Maya, (Coco Jack Gillies), the leader of Team Poppy and Willi (Benson Jack Anthony), Maya's sidekick. Other characters include, Bedford, (Cam Ralph), a bedbug, Spinder (Jordan Hare), a vegetarian spider, Craig, (Jimmy James Eaton) a cockroach that fears dirt, Arnie, (David Collins) and Barney, (Shane Dundas) two ants with helmets, and the villain, Violet, (Linda Ngo). My favorite of these character is Willi because he is scared to do all the stuff Maya wants to do, but Maya won't listen to him and he is forced to do those things anyway. I find this funny.

My favorite scene is when Maya tries to get a honey treat away from Willi so she can give it to the Empress, but instead she accidently throws the treat at the Empress and embarrasses her. This scene is funny, because of the way Maya tries to help her but instead she gets stuck to the Empress's face. Throughout the movie Maya must learn about teamwork and overcoming differences. That leads us to the big message of this movie which is everybody has a talent or, as Maya says it, every bug has a talent. That means that nobody is useless.

I rate this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 7 because it has a good message. I think adults might enjoy watching this movie with their children. This movie is available now on Blue Ray and DVD so, check it out.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 83 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 18.97
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: LOSS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: LOSS
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 8-18
Description - Digimon Adventure Tri: Loss is the fourth in a series of six feature length movies. After the "reboot" and Meicoomon's rampage, Tai and friends arrive in the Digital World. They reunite with their partner Digimon, who have lost all their memories. As everyone discusses what they should do from here in the Digital World, Meicoomon suddenly appears and then disappears. She still has her memories for some reason as she wanders around, looking for Meiko. Meanwhile in the real world, Nishijima receives word that Himekawa has gone missing. As he investigates, he determines that there's been some hidden agenda behind her behavior up to this point. It has something to do with an event in the past that determined both their destinies... Special Features: "The Evolution So Far" - Star Joshua Seth Catches Us Up To The Events Of Digimon Adventure tri.: Loss Digimon Adventure tri: Loss is the sequel to Digimon Adventure tri: Confession.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD will certainly entertain the viewer. It has many moving parts, flows well from beginning to end. Younger kids will not understand all the themes, unless they are familiar with the series. The protagonists are polite to each other and concerned for one another. They express emotions in an appropriate manner such as speaking directly about their feelings - "I was scared when you left me." Problem-solving is demonstrated by the characters working together. This concept fits the target age group. Viewers learn that when people work together, the results are positive. This film utilizes Japanese animation which is appealing to children. The color scheme is not brightly colored and the artwork is quite detailed. Young people need to have hope in this world and the theme that prevails here is of good overcoming evil. The storyline is very involved and mind-stimulating. The DVD's menu allows you to select specific scenes and there are bonus feature. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 13. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Digimon Adventure Tri: Loss entertained me because of its wonderful animation and impressive voice acting. This is sure to be a watch for Digimon and anime fans.

The story follows the events after the reboot where all Digimon were forced to forget their partners. In wake of this, the shrewd Joe Kido (Robbie Daymond) sets out to hunt them while they are at their weakest. To defend themselves, the team must unite and strengthen their Digimon to match up to Kido's wits. During this, a hopeless Sora (Colleen O'Shaugnessey) tries to reunite with her estranged Biyomon (Cherami Leigh), as Kido targets her first.

Colleen O'Shaugnessey, as Sora, excellently presents her sorrow and selflessness for Biyomon. However, their sullen interactions become rather repetitive and forced as the story progresses. Miho Arakawa, as Meiko, splendidly portrays her reformation from saving Meicoomon, using this hope to brighten Sora. Robbie Daymond, as Joe Kido, is my favorite character due to his clever performance full of charisma as he proves to be a force to be reckoned with. Also, his deceiving escapes add a theatric grandeur to the character. Tom Fahn, as Agumon, exhibits his leadership through his care and demands of the other Digimon. Cherami Leigh, as Biyomon, depicts an equally well acted counterpart to Sora with her inability to pair with her. Kate Higgons, as Meicoomon, spectacularly reforms from being the main antagonist of the last movie to one that is heroic following the reboot.

The direction by Keitaro Motonaro wonderfully adapts with a similar approach to the source magna. My favorite scene is the resolution between Sora and Biyomon. Its conclusion adds a touching ending to this mixed bag of a plot. My only problems with this movie are in its inconsistent writing which switches from one tone to the next or even underplays many character arcs. Also, the amount of farcical humor could have taken a break to service the plot's serious developments.

The message of the movie is to always take care of yourself first before concerning others. Sora's insecurities increase while trying to reconcile with Biyomon, but this leaves her and other team members susceptible to attack. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 because of its frequent action. The movie is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 100 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 11.98
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


PUP STAR: WORLD TOUR
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PUP STAR: WORLD TOUR
AIR BUD ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - PUP STAR is back, with an all-new movie that takes the popular singing dogs on trip around the world, where Tiny and friends find fantastic new songs and meet exciting new canine singers that prove music really is the universal language.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In some ways, this film reminds me of a combination of The Voice and American Idol, but with dogs as contestants and judges. I have to admit that I had some trouble getting into the film at the beginning, because it seems a bit too unrealistic. I had trouble imagining these dogs as music and rap stars. The beginning is a bit slow and then, someplace in the middle, it became much more entertaining. The songs and soundtrack are my favorite part of the film, but some of the dog characters really grow on you. Even though the storyline is quite predictable, it is entertaining. I really like that the tour goes to different countries. The characters are fun to watch and it has a great ending. It is a good film for families to watch together. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 11. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is definitely made for younger kids. The storyline isn't very complicated and it is pretty predictable, but still very enjoyable for the whole family.

The story is about the puppy celebrity Tiny, now a Judge on Pup Stars World Tour, and has selected a dog named Julio as her representative. The issue is, Julio is helping Bark, the villain from the first two movies, win Pup Stars.

Because almost the entire cast is comprised of talking dogs, the editing needs to look good. And, like previous movies, it really does look like the dogs are talking. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to film and edit this movie. In the scenes where Julio performs, he does all these crazy moves and twists and - he looks really good. Kudos to the editors, Jason Dale and Nik Svab. They say it is difficult to work with kids and animals.

One thing I liked in the previous Pup Star movie is the song that Tiny sang. It really was an ear worm. In Pup Star: World Tour there are tons of new songs, with some really talented singers and interesting cultural backgrounds. Because each contestant is from a different country, the songs differ depending on the culture. I really like that about these songs. It fits well with the message they are trying to spread about being united through music. Shout Out to Brahm Wenger.

I feel that, in this movie especially, the writers work with the fact that dogs in this make believe world are actors, singers and similar. There are dog soap operas and there are also tabloids covering dog news. It is as if dogs are not our pets, but more like our equals. Some people already consider them their kids, so I guess it is not that far fetched. Little stuff like that really helps the world building. Also, one of my main issues with the second Pup Stars movie was that I felt the human characters were too oblivious and easily manipulated by the villain's plans. Thankfully, it's different here. The villain's plan is a little more complicated, so I could actually see how the human characters could believe what was going on. Also, I surprisingly laughed a lot. The way certain scenes are shot and acted is just hilarious!

Now, my one question is, how many more Pup Stars movies will there be? The ending of this movie serves really well as the conclusion to the series. But, my guess is that this won't likely be the last movie.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18. If you like dogs and music from all over, I recommend this for you in particular. It comes out on May 5, 2018 so look for it.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Pup Star is back and bigger than ever, as the hit singing pup competition goes global! I am totally into this movie! It is absolutely hilarious - very entertaining, witty, sassy, incredible and completely a family Friday- night movie to enjoy. It is also perfect for dog lovers.

I love this heart-warming film because it is different, talking dogs... now that's pretty different. The dogs bring a fun and quirky style with the singing and dancing that will bring the best out of you. This is definitely a fun, big scale musical adventure.

The story follows Tiny, a charming Yorkie, as she joins the launch of the Pup Star World Tour as a celebrity judge. It takes the popular singing dogs on a trip around the world where Tiny and friends find wonderful new songs to sing from different countries. Each judge chooses their favorite contestant to compete for the new title of Global Pup Star Champion. This film literally makes you get up and dance. When the contest faces a severe threat from a trio of conspirators, you have go see the movie to find out how that is resolved.

Directed and written by Robert Vince, the lead characters and the talent that voices them include Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher), Julio (Jorge Diaz), Grandpa Growl (John Ratzenberger), Simon Growl (Steve Valentine), Bark (George Newbern), Shep (Reggie De Leon), Rover (Jonathon Mangum), Jimmy Kibble (Brian Hull), Steven (David DeLuise), Butch (Danny Woodbury), Raji (Maulik Pancholy), Lou (Makenzie Moss), Ming (April Hong), Juan (Steve Zaragoza), Kano (Diedrich Bader), Dog Gnarly (Ziggy Marley) and many more.

The dogs' costumes are glamorous, with all the sparkles, glitter and beautiful colors. The colors really bring great visual effects to the film. When all the dogs from different countries come out to sing in their cultural customs, it really drew my attention. I loved seeing all the different backgrounds and vibes in all of the dogs. The music is remarkable. It really fits the theme of the film and paints pictures of all the different cultures.

My favorite characters are Tiny, who unquestionably is the most adorable judge, Shep, the funny service manager and Julio, the Mexican pup with a big heart. Most importantly, all the characters are amazing. My absolute favorite part is when the cheaters (I'm not going to tell you who they are) get disqualified from the competition.

The message of the story is "cheaters never win; winners never cheat." I'll admit, I've never understood the utility of cheating. This film definitely calls you to action. It has a positive message that promotes positive social behavior. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and definitely recommend it for ages 5 to 14 years old, as well as adults. The film will be released on May 5, 2018 in Canada and USA so look for it!

By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 87 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


AVENGERS: IINFINITY WAR
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AVENGERS: IINFINITY WAR
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - s the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment - the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See it! When I reviewed Black Panther, I wholeheartedly admitted I am not the target audience for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This week, as I took my seat, I STILL thought I was not the target audience for Avengers: Infinity Wars and yet I would not have traded my seat for the universe. I felt as if my old friends had invited me to visit and I loved every minute of our time together.

This film rolls out like a reunion story, with old wounds and new challenges. The superhero liaisons are interesting and all the characters work together when every star system is on the line. My favorite character is Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Throughout the trials and travails, he is led by a moral compass. I also like seeing Thanos' (Josh Brolin) conflict and emotion. Yes, emotion. Thanos' quest to collect all six super powerful Infinity Stones is tough to watch - especially when revealed his plans to wipe out 50% of the population. When our superheroes realize he is on a genocide quest, the action truly ignites.

I love this film! It has all the feels. I cheered for the heroes and loathed the villains - and Thanos' crew are a creepy bunch. When I think about the behemoth task of directors Anthony and Joe Russo, I want to evoke the "mind-blown" emoji! More than 76 characters with multiple, simultaneous plotlines! The cast is immense, yet everyone has their featured and focused action. Speaking of which, the action is intense at times and the CGI creatures are wicked. The superheroes' costumes are like old friends or your favorite shoes that you can't wait to see again. It is rare for a summer blockbuster to truly deliver on its "epic" promise. This one delivers.

I give this 4.6 out of 5 stars for the cast, special effects, life lessons, awesome comedic pop culture references throughout, make-up (men and women) and female empowerment. This film will appeal to ages 8 to 18. I caution younger viewing due to fight scenes which may be disturbing to them. Stay for the end crawl! This opens April 26, 2018 in theaters nationwide. Look for it!

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Wow! Just, wow!! Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building up to this movie for ten years. This movie is glorious. All I can say is, you will not be expecting what happens. It left me screaming inside. I still cannot believe it.

The storyline is about the Avengers and their allies needing to team up to stop the titan Thanos from collecting The Infinity Stones and destroying half the universe.

Now, because all the Marvel characters are finally coming together, Marvel fans will obviously be excited. And when basically every single character appears on-screen, the theater erupts into claps and screams of joy. I always love it when a studio or company can make people feel such excitement for their characters. It's just really cool.

This movie features lots of different locations that the characters travel to. I must admit, some of these locations are absolutely gorgeous and others, totally desolate, but still incredible. I love the shots in space and on different planets, especially the snowy planet that Thanos goes to at one point. In fact, the whole movie looks fantastic. Everything - from the costumes, the camera angles, the scale, the special effects - everything! I was so invested in the visuals the entire time.

Also, let's be honest, this is Marvel, we all expect this movie to be absolutely hilarious. And it is. No surprises there. I laughed so hard at Iron Man and Doctor Strange arguing, Star Lord being jealous of Thor and basically all of Spider Man and Drax's dialogue. Comedy always seems to be Marvel's greatest strength. The writing, in general, is fantastic. I love the interactions these characters have, even the dramatic moments. That's coming from someone who usually hates dramatic moments, because I hate being sad in movies.

This is a superhero movie, so obviously there are some pretty cool action scenes. And yeah, this movie has some awesome action scenes. Probably my favorite is the huge fight in Wakanda that is shown in the trailer. The fight is absolutely massive and straight up amazing. The shots and the way the characters work together are just glorious. I felt so immersed in all the action.

Since this movie is connected to the other Marvel movies in their Cinematic Universe, there is the possible question about whether you need to have seen all the other movies in order to understand this one. I would say, not all of them, but at least a few certain ones. I recommend that you brush up on your Marvel characters before you go, just to be ready.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as it gets pretty dark. It opens in theaters nationwide April 27, 2018 so, check your local listings.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

As everyone knows, the hype for this movie was extreme. Even with expectations so high, I can honestly say that it is one of the most exciting and enjoyable movies I have ever seen. I was dazzled by this enormous spectacle of a movie. There are so many surprises, laughs and even sad moments. The production values, acting, special effects and writing are top-notch, of course.

The plot of the story involves Thanos, motion-captured and voiced by Josh Brolin, who is arguably the most evil bad guy yet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This character is intent upon collecting all six Infinity Stones, crystals that control each aspect of existence (time, space, reality, power, mind and soul). The plot involves the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy and others because each of them has an infinity stone that Thanos wants. If someone gets all six stones they can control reality and Thanos, concerned about overpopulation, wants to destroy half the population of the world. The whole team has to figure out how they can stop Thanos from getting all six stones, so they can save the world.

Besides the impressive production values, what people will most enjoy about this film is that it is a really funny movie. The jokes keep coming and simply don't stop, which definitely makes for a kid-friendly film. As in every Marvel movie, the music is terrific. Alan Silvestri of Polar Express fame wrote the rousing score. Last, the realistic makeup fooled me into believing that many of the characters were bleeding. Although, it's not really gory.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars for being a gorgeous and colorful blockbuster film. Of course I love everyone's acting, especially (let's be real) Benedict Cumberbatch, who is the best Doctor Strange. Am I right? The masterful special effects, the humor and even the many surprising emotional moments combine to tell an entertaining story of how everyone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe come together to save the world. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18. It opens nationwide in theaters April 27, 2018, so go check it out.

By Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 19

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


SECRETS OF THE DEAD: SCANNING THE PYRAMIDS
SECRETS OF THE DEAD: SCANNING THE PYRAMIDS
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 6-18
Description - Passionate about ancient history, the global team of Scan Pyramids consists of particle physicists, experts in innovation and 3D technologies, and engineers in thermal imaging from Egypt, France, Japan, and Canada. For more than two years, they explored every corner of the pyramid, using non-invasive technologies including infrared cameras, 3D scanners and cosmological particle detectors located inside and outside the monument. Their search detected unknown cavities in the Great Pyramid of Khufu for the first time since the Middle Ages. Viewers are able to witness Scan Pyramid's adventures and successes in this extraordinary scientific and historical journey through time and space that led to this historic discovery. A production of Bonne Pioche T�l�vision in association with THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, Curiosity Stream, France T�l�visions, HIP Institute, and NHK. Directed by Florence Tran with the collaboration of Pascal Cuissot. Produced by Bonne Pioche. Stephanie Carter is executive producer for Secrets of the Dead.
Runtime: 55 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD

BLUMHOUSE'S TRUTH OR DARE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLUMHOUSE'S TRUTH OR DARE
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone -- or something -- begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Truth or Dare is a new thriller that has the audience questioning their real abilities and intentions behind the fun-filled game. I am a huge fan of horror and thriller films and was so excited to see the amazing acting and suspense behind this work. This film offers jump-scares, second guessing and is loads of fun to watch with friends.

Olivia (Lucy Hale) and a couple of her college friends take a trip to Mexico for a final getaway before graduation. Little did they know it would turn into something more. While there, they meet a stranger who convinces Olivia to play a harmless, fun game of "truth or dare" with the others. The game starts and so does chaos which follows the group back to their hometown, releasing all their deepest and darkest secrets. The rules are quite simple, but fearful: tell the truth or die; do the dare, or die. No one gets out alive if you don't play by the rules. Or do they?

Growing up, my friends and I always played the game "truth or dare" at sleepovers. This movie made me question what secrets are we all hide in this game? If the consequences were real, such as they are in this film, how would we react? My favorite part of this film is how I was able to somewhat relate to the characters. They are all teens, as am I. So, it really had me feeling as if I was in their shoes and made me question what I have done in order to survive. I adore the cast, because each one has something to offer to the character they play.

The message in this film is about being honest with your friends and family and to trust one another in any circumstance. Olivia and her friends are torn apart towards the beginning of the film, due to their belief about whether or not the game was real. Once their eyes are opened, they work together in hopes of beating the game and surviving.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars. It has a great storyline, cast and cinematography. I it for ages 13 to 18. I recommend seeing it with a group of friends to really get the full effect. Also, it would be more fun! It opens nationwide in theaters on April 13, 2018 so, be sure to check it out. Think about this film the next time you play "truth or dare" with your friends!

Reviewed by Imani B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Blumhouse's Truth or Dare is a somewhat disappointing thriller with lots of initial potential. However, the acting and direction allow for some fun thrills. Fans of thrillers and horror movies may want to check it out but proceed with caution.

The story follows teenage friends Olivia (Lucy Hale), Lucas (Tyler Posey), Markie (Violett Beane), Penelope (Sophia Ali), Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk), Ronnie (Sam Lernie) and Brad (Hayden Szeto) on a trip to Mexico. Along the way, they encounter Carter (Landon Liboiron), an amicable person with a dark secret, playing a game of "truth or dare". This quickly takes a turn for the worst, once the game summons a curse among the friends. Upon returning home, the curse sequesters the friends, forcing them to play a deadly game of "truth or dare" - one which will result in death if lost. Realizing they are all being forced to play the same game, the friends try to find a way to remove the curse.

Lucy Hale, as Olivia, delivers a commanding performance as the main lead, willing to go to any lengths to stop the curse. She excels in presenting her unstable relationship with her best friend Markie. Tyler Posey, as Lucas, is extremely determined to save his friends using logic to outthink the curse. Violett Beane, as Markie, is excellent with what she is given, but her character could have been more aptly written. She denigrates a repetitive plot point used to propel her inconclusive relationship with Olivia. Sophia Ali, as Penelope, wonderfully presents her character's nonchalant attitude to circumstances, until it's her turn to play the game. Nolan Gerard Funk, as Tyson, prominently portrays a smart yet misguided teen. Sam Lernie, as Ronnie, is the most careless of the group. Hayden Szeto, as Brad, is my favorite character due to his clever comic relief. Landon Liboiron, as Carter, mysteriously presents his character's involvement in the story.

Jeff Wadlow directs the movie with some fun thrills, but also many that are predictable. My favorite scene is Olivia's first dare for Markie to break her hand. It is well-acted with a visceral intensity. The flaws in the movie are in its inconsistent writing, which completely steal all the potential we see initially. Most of the characters end up in situations that are unintentionally funny. The characters are written to be hate-able and bipolar for the sake of the movie's plot. The conclusion ends up feeling rushed and used as bait for a sequel.

The message of this film is to always be careful of strangers and unknown places. I give this film 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because of the horror, sexual references and language. The movie releases in theaters on April 13, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


MOLANG: SEASON 2
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MOLANG: SEASON 2
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-6
Description - Join Molang, a round, fluffy, and happy rabbit, and his friend, Piu Piu, a poised, timid, and reserved yellow chick, as they explore everyday life. Despite their many differences, Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a special friendship. They have amazing times together ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary. From finding themselves in the middle of the jungle, going to the circus or enjoying a rainy day, Molang and Piu Piu embrace every daily adventure together. Who knew dancing in the rain with your best friend could be so much fun? No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with sheer happiness. Embark on 52 lovable adventures with Molang and Piu Piu!
Runtime: 185 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.5
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


POCOYO: SEASON 2
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
POCOYO: SEASON 2
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-6
Description - Meet Pocoyo, the unforgettable little boy with a very big personality! Your child will learn through laughter with Pocoyo and all his friends - Elly, Pato, Loula, and Sleepy Bird. Join Pocoyo and his friends as they embark on fifty-two entertaining and amusing adventures! Whether it's celebrating a birthday party for Elly to overcoming one's fears to ride down the big, scary slide to playing detective with friends, every day is a special day with Pocoyo and friends! 52 episodes, over 6 hours of fun, entertaining and learning.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Pocoyo is a funny, kind-hearted toddler with charisma that goes on for days! He has many friends that he goes on adventures with, but my son (2 years old) really loves Sleepy Bird. Sleepy Bird is a cute little bird that is seemingly always asleep and even flies with her eyes closed. My son giggles his little heart out whenever she comes on the screen. Watching Pocoyo interact with his friends is great. They are all so kind to each other. This whole series focuses on getting through strange or difficult situations via laughter. It really emphasizes the importance of taking a minute to collect your thoughts and laugh away the negativity. I truly love that. It's such a wonderful thing to teach a child. The show's animation is computer generated with a very straightforward design. The simplicity of the characters and sets are eye catching, yet don't over-stimulate the viewer or take attention away from the stories. The music is cheerful and enjoyable. I recommend this DVD for ages 2 to 5 and it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Pocoyo is a unique show for kids. It has cool, clay-like characters and takes place in an entirely empty world. The bright, colorful characters stand out against the plain, white background. The animation style is very clear and calming which fits the personalities of the characters quite well. I like the decision to use very normal toys such as trains and blocks along with unusual characters. It creates a nice contrast.

This is a DVD set with 50 episodes. Each episode follows Pocoyo and his friends Elly, Pato, Loula, Baby Bird, Sleepy Bird and Caterpillar who find something or make something new and then, they all use the item. I like how many possibilities this format provides.

My favorite episode is Guess What? In this episode, Pocoyo and his friends play a game with the narrator. In the game, Pocoyo makes a shape with the things around him. Then, the narrator must guess what the object is. Another episode I really like is Mr. Big Duck. In this episode, Pato finds a pair of sunglasses. The narrator says they make him look like an adult, so he refuses to play with his friends because they're too childish. Eventually, they convince him that being a kid is more fun, so he plays with them. This episode is really funny. I like how his friends react.

I really enjoy how the whole show is shot in first person, from the perspective of the narrator. This makes the viewer feel very involved in Pocoyo's world. The show is very repetitive, which is perfect for its target audience. I really like how the characters move. They move their limbs as if they are actually made of clay. They stretch and move in impossible ways and it's very cute and hilarious.

Each episode has a good moral such as sharing, being kind, cleaning up after yourself and not taking other people's things without permission. The music also fits the show quite well. It sounds fun and almost as if it is being played by a child. I really like Pocoyo's voice. It really fits his character, even though he doesn't speak much. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 2 through 7.

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

I like this DVD because it has loveable characters and adorable animation. I also love the storyline because it teaches moral lessons. However, I don't like that it gets repetitive at times.

The storyline mainly revolves around three characters - Pocoyo, Pato and Ellie. They learn about morals while doing fun stuff such as dancing and playing detective. They treat each day like it's a special day.

The animation in this is adorable. It reminds me of the game "Animal Crossing". It also reminds me of some sort for anime because of his it is styled. The background of each episode is blank which gives the animators lots of creative freedom. It's cool to do this because you can then do anything with the background. For example, there is a galaxy for an alien and a city for little creatures.

My favorite character is Ellie. She is sassy, kind and loveable. I love that she is always dancing. I also love how she jokes around with the group. She hilarious and I love that.

There are different themes in each episode. For example, in one episode they are talking about how to be considerate and in another they are learning how to be fair with each other. These are all important life lessons that kids should learn, especially at an early age.

I rate this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 3 to 5. This is now available on DVD today so, check it out.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $ 11.67
Media: CDROM
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


BOXCARE CHILDREN, THE: SURPRISE ISLAND
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BOXCARE CHILDREN, THE: SURPRISE ISLAND
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-14
Description - One of the most-read children's book series of all time comes alive on the big screen in the Boxcar Children - Surprise Island based on the second book from the series by Gertrude Chandler, featuring the voice talents of Martin Sheen, J.K. Simmons, Griffin Cluck, Joey King, Dane DeHaan and more! The Alden children have a home with their grandfather now - but their adventures are just beginning! The first surprise comes when they learn they'll be spending the summer on their private island. A kind stranger who lives there is always happy to help the children out, but does this new friend have a secret?

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm

JAMESTOWN
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - Taking viewers back to 1619 Jamestown, Virginia, Alice, Verity and Jocelyn are among the first women to arrive in the English colony. Duty bound to marry the three men who have paid for their passage to the New World, they have little idea of what the future holds or the disruption their arrival is about to bring. Twisting storylines follow the new arrivals as they make an immediate impact and are thrust into a new world of love, desire, power and survival. While love triangles, bitter rivalries and fierce competition cause conflict for the residents, ultimately they are bound together by their resolute will to survive and thrive in their new lives. The cast includes: Sophie Rundle, Niamh Walsh and Naomi Battrick as the leading female roles. The male leading roles include Max Beesley, Jason Flemyng, Kalani Queypo and Raoul Trujillo. From the producers of Downton Abbey. Written by Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise to Candleford, The Paradise), a new episode of the series will be available each Friday on PBS MASTERPIECE Amazon channel by subscription.
Runtime: 360 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO

MICE WAR, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MICE WAR, THE
DAVID CHESKY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - This dazzling animated musical tells the story of Albert, a young and peaceful mouse suddenly caught in the middle of a war between the Blue Mice of the North and the Red Mice of the South. The reason for war? Blue Mice eat pink cheese, Red Mice eat yellow cheese!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The concept of mice and cheese of different colors and who likes what is entertaining and makes a social statement as well. The animation is excellent. It is very clear and colorful. The movement of the mice in the various musical numbers is charming and the orchestral music is outstanding. The story is pretty fundamental. It reminds the viewer that often when things are going well there will be devilish actions that cause turmoil. In the story, the blue mice community is doing well. Everyone is working and earning money. Then, General Kan decides that going to war will make more money for them. There is no real reason for a war between the Blue Mice and the Red Mice and General Kan cannot really provide a reason to go to war. He is challenged by one young mouse. The results give us a possible answer to why we eat yellow cheese. The story flows very well. Just as in real life, there is sometimes one person who is not content and causes problems. The vocabulary and sequence of events are suitable for target age. We see a very good example of how to resolve a situation when there are differences. I highly recommend it and give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adults will enjoy it also. It is available now on DVD and digital. Reviewed by Juanita L. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewers.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This astounding, animated film had me smiling the entire time. With comical jokes, catchy tunes and an exquisite plot, you feel allured from beginning to end. Not only am I still pondering about how intriguing this film is, but I am also considering getting a pet mouse. There is a plethora of adorable mice and are sure to steal your heart.

Set in a war between the Blue Mice of the North and the Red Mice of the South, an adolescent mouse named Albert becomes entangled in a constrictive situation, because he is coerced into the military. Such aforementioned war is due to contrasting opinions on the color of cheese that should be eaten. The Blue Mice strictly consume pink cheese, while the Red Mice believe yellow cheese is best. Therefore, the Blue Mice initiate a compelling war, in order to prevent the Red Mice from instilling yellow cheese among the mice of the North. Find out how Albert attempts to encourage the cessation of a grandiose war.

Albert (Sarah Jane McMahon) is a strong-willed mouse who perseveres to the fullest extent in order to end the war for his community's benefit. I admire Albert for his willingness to stand up against the general, voiced by Gregory Jbara. The General is quite controlling over the mice, even though the King is supposed to possess the power. The King (Barrett Leddy) enjoys how the general consistently suggests newfound ideas, and therefore is easily persuaded. All of the characters juxtapose each other consummately.

Music plays a paramount role in the interactions between the characters and the events they encounter. This music is not what you hear on your everyday radio. It is orchestrated. I could not help but sing along and the songs remained in my head the next morning.

My favorite part is when the mice find out they are heading to war. The mice break out into song and dance, which is hilarious. I wish I was as talented as these mice. The message of this film is about not letting others easily persuade you. Everyone is unique in their own way, which makes society beautiful. This beauty can preserved by holding into your own opinions and ideas. Just because someone else wants to change your mind, does not mean you should. Follow your heart, and everything else will fall into place.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 8 to 18, and adults will certainly love it too. This film is available now on DVD and Digital, so I encourage you to watch it with your friends and family. But, before you do, you might want to get some cheese.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Runtime: 78 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 10
Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MIRACLE SEASON, THE
0 Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - After the tragic death of star volleyball player Caroline "Line" Found, a team of dispirited high school girls must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hopes of winning the state championship.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Miracle Season is an inspiring account of a true story. The acting and narration respectfully accommodate the actual people involved. This is sure to be a worthwhile watch for any sports movie fan.

The story follows talented volleyball team, The Women of Troy, as they seek to win the championship. However, a tragic accident results in the death of team leader Caroline Found (Danika Yarosh). As a result, the team disbands in mourning, with coach Kathy (Helen Hunt) trying to lighten and reunite its hopeless members. Caroline's best friend Kelly (Erin Moriarty) chooses to become team leader and respect Caroline by espousing the championship. This results in a grueling training season where all team members must put aside their grief and work together to compete. With extreme stakes at hand, the team must win in order to fully respect Caroline's legacy and rectify their losses.

Helen Hunt, as Kathy, incredibly presents her tough-love attitude towards her team and their determination to win the championship. She performs wonderfully in depicting Kathy's attempt to imbue the team with a purpose in the most hopeless of circumstances. Erin Moriarty, as Kelly, excellently portrays her growth from novice volleyball player to motivating leader. Danika Yarosh, as Caroline, exceptionally characterizes her teenage friendship with Kelly, including some recklessness at times. This allows her accident to have an emotional weight to it. William Hurt, as Ernie, is my favorite character due to his character arc through his grief of his daughter's death, as he slowly pushes people closest to him away. His friendship with Kathy allows for a humanizing and emotionally charged redemption from his self-pity.

Sean McNamara directs the movie with a scenic chronological representation of the events that happened in real life. My favorite scene is one where Kelly and Ernie talk about their regrets, resulting in Ernie asking Kelly to stop being so harsh on herself. I love how it portrays a relatable aspect of life. The flaw with the movie comes in the first act, when it feels like another clich� teen drama. Fortunately, it improves once the more humanizing aspects of the story come into play. However, there is an overuse of mainstream music during much of the movie, which results in a few of the most emotional scenes being completely nullified.

The message of this movie is to always remain as a source of hope for others. Despite the extreme pressure the team faces, Kelly always finds a way to assure her teammates. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on April 6, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident. I found this film interesting because it remembers a teen, not an adult.

The storyline follows Kelly, who recently lost her best friend Caroline in a car accident. Now she has to lead the team. They have to fight through their loss and still play the game. They lose their first two games, but win the next fifteen games and are driven to win the state championship game in Caroline's memory.

Kelly is portrayed by Erin Moriarty who has appeared in the films Captain Fantastic and The Kings of Summer. Her coach Kathy Bresnahan is played by Helen Hunt, an Oscar-award nominee and winner, who has starred in the films Cast Away with and As Good As It Gets. These veteran actors bring the movie up as a whole.

An interesting thing about this film is that, even though it is a low budget film, it looks like a higher budget film. Also, it's based on a true story and is true to the original story including having videos of the actual games in the credits. Last, I found it interesting that the cast is mostly female, when sports movies usually feature all male teams.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It opens April 6, 2018 so look for it.

Reviewed by Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


READY PLAYER ONE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
READY PLAYER ONE
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - In the year 2045, the real world is a harsh place. The only time Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) truly feels alive is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spends their days. In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone-the only limits are your own imagination. The OASIS was created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who left his immense fortune and total control of the Oasis to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a worthy heir. When Wade conquers the first challenge of the reality-bending treasure hunt, he and his friends-aka the High Five-are hurled into a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film remarkably resembles its subject. Like virtual reality, it takes you into a world which you would never see without the gear. Like VR, it shows the future of technology. Like VR, it has its ups and downs that can be improved upon. Finally, like VR, Ready Player One has the potential to either change everything or to simply bring us back to the past. Ready Player One entertains the audience with its adventure-packed explosions that run the plot of the film and add a surprising amount of comedy, which the actors deliver perfectly.

Ready Player One's adventure follows the quest to find an Easter Egg. This hidden object requires a lot of effort as it is hidden in the massive virtual world called The Oasis, which has a land size greater than Earth and access to multiple planets. The value of it makes it worth the search, as the finder gets half a trillion dollars as well as complete control of this massive online world. While many of the independent gamers fight for this egg, there is also a large corporation fighting to make it a money-making opportunity instead of a skill-based experience. To them, the richest should win. The race is on to get the egg and to make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

My favorite scene is what should solidify this film's nomination for an Academy Award in visual effects. This scene contains a challenge that unlocks another step in finding the Easter egg. The challenge takes place in the classic horror thriller, The Shining. Not only did I immediately love this scene, due to its dedication to the great mind and creator of The Shining, Stanley Kubrick., but I love it because it visually breaks all the boundaries. Despite The Shining being a much older film, with the sets that probably no longer exist, Ready Player One completely recreates the setting from the film and perfectly places the characters' avatars in that world too. Just like the films Star Wars and Avatar, which took your breath away because of ahead-of-their-time visuals, this film and specifically this scene does as well.

Ready Player One excels at bringing the visual world that Ernest Cline describes in the book to the big screen. The surroundings and the story are packed with references to different movies, comic books, games and TV shows. It would take months of constant replay to catch every little detail, which defiantly will delight the fans that are craving nostalgia. The CGI really is what makes this movie stand out. Despite it being branded as live action, it has more runtime in the completely animated environment than it does in live action. However, these visual scenes do not look like the standard animation of Pixar. They look and feel, unmistakably like real life. In a way, Ready Player One fails to portray a virtual world, because it looks so real. The acting has its ups and downs. Inside the Oasis, where acting relies primarily on voiceover and basic body movement, it excels. Outside, where the actors are left to the task completely on their own, they feel rather flat and somewhat monotone. The romance that runs throughout the story feels somewhat forced, partly due to the acting and partly due to the story. Interestingly enough, the romance feels more natural in the virtual world, than it does in the real life. The score of the film is one of the many pleasant surprises. Without the video, the score would still leave audiences satisfied. It does not quite reach the masterful skill of John Williams, but Alan Silvestri, known for his soundtrack for the Back to the Future series, creates beautiful harmonies that sound incredible.

The book and film differ quite a lot in a positive way. While the book (one of my favorites) is a joy to read, in many ways it would not translate well into a film. For that reason, while the main story barely changes, the actual events are structured much better for the movie and make it much more interesting. Instead of watching a person playing a game, the viewer is offered an opportunity to watch someone jump over zombies in a ballroom. The book has mainly 80s references, but the film mixes it up much more to include references from the games and movies that became popular in the last few years, which really allows the nostalgic adults, as well as the kids, enjoy the film.

Even though the messages and possible future is shown in Ready Player One should be shown to kids, there are some things that are a bit mature. For that reason, I recommend this to ages 10 to 18. Despite some issues with acting, it makes for a great adaptation of the book while keeping important messages in place. The biggest accomplishment would be the mass scale of the lifelike CGI that truly makes you believe you're in the virtual world of the Oasis. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Ready Player One is a delightfully nostalgic, modern-day sci-fi classic filled with Spielbergian magic.

Based on Ernest Cline's bestselling book, Ready Player One follows Wade Watts, a teen living in dystopian Columbus, Ohio in the year 2045. Like much of the population, Wade plays the OASIS, a multiplayer game in an expansive virtual world created by the eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday died, he told players he left a hidden Easter egg that will win control of the OASIS and his shares in his company Gregarious Games. A malicious corporation called IOI wishes to turn the OASIS from an imaginative escape to an ad-filled wasteland. Wade's avatar Parzival teams up with his friend Aech, his crush Artemis and a pair of best friends named Shoto and Daito, to take down IOI by finding the egg before the company does and foil its evil agenda.

Ready Player One, true to the book, is full of 80s pop culture references from Halliday's early life and his icon status. At the same time, much of the film takes place in the video game and is visually vibrant and futuristic. Steven Spielberg brings the OASIS to life very well. He sneaks in visual gags from Robocop to Street Fighter. The OASIS has an insane color pallet that totally matches the idea of what that virtual world is. There is a lot of CGI used, but it is necessary to tell the story and the characters' avatars look very realistic.

As a huge fan of the book, this film adaptation still holds up for me. Quite a bit of what happens in the book is different on the big screen, but fans should not despair because the film remains true to the book's main themes. This film is also very funny. The entire ensemble gets great one-liners. This is refreshingly different from typical sci-fi and it makes the ride through Ready Player One even more fun.

I give Ready Player One an age rating of 11 to 18 for some language and heavily implied violence. Older kids and adults will enjoy the film's crazy visuals.

I rate Ready Player One 4.5 out of 5 stars. This film is excellent and I recommend it for anyone who is a fan of anything pop culture. Whether it is music, film, video games or anime, Ready Player One has something for you. This film opens in theaters March 29, 2018 so check it out.

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

Ready Player One is an epic, nostalgic film filled to the brim with pop culture references. It has characters you can really connect to and a digital world we all dream about. It has all sorts of exiting scenes such as races, puzzles, battles and so many others. Based on the book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, this adaptation runs very smoothly into a film version.

The story takes place in the year 2045. James Halliday creates the OASIS, a completely virtual world that everyone uses to escape reality. After his death, a competition begins to find the Easter egg in the OASIS. Whoever finds the egg will have complete control over the OASIS. Wade and his friends try to win this competition and stop IOI from beating them for total control of the OASIS. It is filled with twists that make it hard to predict what will happen next even, after if you have read the book.

I love all the references to other films including The Iron Giant, King Kong, Batman, The DeLorean and Martin the Martian. The special effects are also incredible. I really enjoyed the effect whenever someone changes their skin in the OASIS. I also enjoyed the mix between animated and live action characters. This is impressive because it's hard to make these two styles be near each other without one being out of place. I really like how the world seems like a fantasy that people have today, yet is also a dystopia at the same time.

My favorite part is the introduction to the OASIS. This scene is really impressive and has so much squeezed into it. I also like the scene where the common people attack IOI. These scenes both show a huge variety of different characters from different parts of pop culture.

Mark Rylance's acting is incredible. He fills the role of James Halliday brilliantly. He is very erratic, yet sincere and makes the character relatable, even in extreme circumstances. The song choices are also great. I particularly like the use of the original King Kong theme.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and strongly recommend it to anyone ages 7 through 18 as well as adults. It is playing in theaters now so check it out.

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

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE MIRACLE SEASON
LD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE 12-18
Description - The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident. I found this film interesting because it remembers a teen, not an adult.

The storyline follows Kelly, who recently lost her best friend Caroline in a car accident. Now she has to lead the team. They have to fight through their loss and still play the game. They lose their first two games, but win the next fifteen games and are driven to win the state championship game in Caroline's memory.

Kelly is portrayed by Erin Moriarty who has appeared in the films Captain Fantastic and The Kings of Summer. Her coach Kathy Bresnahan is played by Helen Hunt, an Oscar-award nominee and winner, who has starred in the films Cast Away with and As Good As It Gets. These veteran actors bring the movie up as a whole.

An interesting thing about this film is that, even though it is a low budget film, it looks like a higher budget film. Also, it's based on a true story and is true to the original story including having videos of the actual games in the credits. Last, I found it interesting that the cast is mostly female, when sports movies usually feature all male teams.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It opens April 6, 2018 so look for it.

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


CHA CHA CHA - FRENCH LEARNING SONGS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CHA CHA CHA - FRENCH LEARNING SONGS
WHISTLEFRITZ LLC Click to purchase directly from the producer
Series: AUDIO CD, AGES 5-12
Description - Parlez-vous cha, cha, cha? From samba and merengue to rumba and reggae, this wildly fun collection of songs with Latin and Caribbean rhythms adds an exciting twist to learning French that makes learning French as easy as un, deux, trois.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an upbeat and energetic learning tool for children ages 3 to 7. Join Fritzi the Mouse and friends as they teach us how to sing in French by using this amazing CD comprised of 15 fun songs! Get ready to feel the Island breeze through steel drums and rhythmic beats as you learn French versions of kid classics. You'll hear some old and some new tunes including Months of the Year, Numbers, Vowels, Days of the Week, Seasons, Bingo, Hide and Seek and On the Bridge of Avignon. The vocals are beautifully clear and performed by acclaimed singer Lynn Veronneau. The unique music, composed by Didier Prossaird, has an French Island influence that is undeniably catchy. Some of the songs are supplemented with children's vocals and chants to prompt participation and memorization by the listeners. The songs run between one and four minutes in length for a total of approximately 36 minutes of listening time. Included is an extensive vocabulary companion booklet with colorful illustrations of your favorite Whistlefritz friends! This CD has won awards from Dr. Toy, Parent's Choice Foundation and the National Parenting Publication. You can gain access to additional Whistlefritz media and educational tools via www.whistlefritz.com. I give this CD 5 out of 5 stars for its creative and unique sound. After listening to it, you'll surely be speaking French and humming these tunes throughout the day! I recommend this for teachers, parents or anyone with children who want to learn a second language in a friendly and fun way. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Whistlefritz: Cha Cha Cha is an upbeat album for the whole family that helps kids learn French in a new and fun way.

Each song on Whistlefritz: Cha Cha Cha teaches a different aspect of speaking the French language. Songs range from being about the seasons to the days of the week and even certain jobs.

This CD is great at teaching vocabulary. The songs are sufficiently repetitive in a way that will educate those new to French, but won't annoy those already familiar with the vocabulary being taught. Even if you don't wish to learn French, the songs are peppy and catchy. A lot of different instruments are used and every song has a different feel and vibe.

I recommend it for ages 3 to 18. As long as your child or you are ready to learn some French, you should enjoy this CD. I would recommend this as a segue even into beginning level adults learning French. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is a nice review of some things in French for me, as someone who already knows some, and both beginners and experienced speakers are certain to get something out of this CD.

Cha, Cha, Cha: French Learning Songs is a helpful, educational, kid-friendly collection of songs that encourage learning the language of French through the art of song. French is a beautiful language that is great to know. The fun songs on this track really add something special to the experience of learning.

I had an awesome time listening to these songs and following along with the booklet provided. The woman who sings has a lovely voice, which is complemented by the upbeat rhythms of the music. This CD is full of catchy tunes that are easy to learn and fun for kids to sing along to. The music is energetic, fun and an absolute blast. It is child friendly and, at the same time very educational. I have no doubt that kids who genuinely want to learn French will enjoy this immensely.

I give this CD 5 out of 5 and commend it for ages 2 to 8. I loved this CD and think that it is a unique and helpful way to assist young learners who want to broaden their horizons and learn a new language. It's available now wherever CDs are sold and online at Whistlefritz so, look for it.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

I really enjoyed listening to this CD. It is entertaining music that uses catchy and recognizable songs to teach French! It makes fun background music for little kids and they can do anything they want while listening to the music. By hearing the music at young age, they will learn French by immersion. It's like singing to kids and learning English without thinking about, just the way we learn English. It comes with the English words to the songs as well, so you can read those while listening if you like. I have to admit that it was a bit difficult for me to understand everything, because I don't know French. But kids under the age of five will probably get the hang of it quicker and will be singing the tunes without knowing they are singing in French. If you're older, you may like it the CD because the tunes are catchy and fun to listen to. I recommend this for ages 2 to 5 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is available now wherever CDs are sold and online at Whistlefritz.

Reviewed by Rachel K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Everyone get ready to move and grove to this terrific new CD! I adore the catchy beat of the music and how I found myself singing in French right away. Cha, Cha, Cha: French Learning Songs is musically creative and makes you want to dance and sing. Even if you don't know the French words, you soon will.

One thing that I really love about this is that it teaches you French in a wondrous way that kids, young and old will enjoy. Everyone likes music, so what better way to learn French than through song.

The songs are about the mouths of the year, different types of fruits, numbers and BINGO - the song that everyone loves. Since the songs are in French, the CD comes with a booklet that translates the lyrics into English, so you will understand every word. I enjoyed this factor because I now know how to say things like kiwi and October in French as well as English.

I recommend this for ages 4 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 40 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: AUDIO

This title is available for purchase from WHISTLEFRITZ LLC


PANDAS
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - An American biologist embarks on a life-changing journey to China to help scientists breed giant pandas and introduce the cubs into the wild.

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

TO THE BEAT
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TO THE BEAT
VISION FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - To The Beat follows 14 year old twins Mia and Mackie Castillo - dancers since they were toddlers. Beginning at just three years old, that's been their one true passion. They support each other through competitions and rehearsals, even though they dance different styles. Mia loves tap and Mackie loves jazz. When their favorite pop star launches an online contest to find the most unique dance group for his next music video, the twins each form their own team to compete for the chance to dance in the video - enlisting their friends and family to help gain online votes. Meanwhile, their arch rival and neighbor, Avery, the best dancer of all (who knows it too) uses her charm and resources to get the upper hand in the competition.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This magnificent film kept me dancing on my feet the entire time. I used to take hip-hop classes, so I couldn't help but dance along. It amazes me how talented the dancers are, and their dedication truly inspires me. I cannot believe some of the girls have been dancing since they were 3 years old. Even if you are not a dancer, you will certainly want to become one after watching this film.

Twin sisters Mia (Brisa Lalich) and Mackie Castillo (Laura Krystine) are passionate, 14-year-old dancers who constantly support each other in every rehearsal and competition. Although they have danced for their entire lives, both have distinctive dance styles. Mackie loves jazz and Mia is exceptional with tap. Their honed dance skills are put to the test when their favorite popstar arranges a contest for the best five dancers to appear in his upcoming music video. The girls must create their own routine in order to advance to the next stage. Mackie and Mia form separate teams and get help from their friends and family to receive the most online votes. When one of the best dancers, Avery(Jayden Bartels), decides to join the competition, tension arises among the girls, because Avery tries her best to get the upper hand in the competition.

Mackie is such a strong, independent girl. She constantly encourages her sister Mia to never doubt herself, even when Avery thinks she is the best dancer of them all. My favorite character, hands down, has to be Avery's mom (Martha Madison), because she wants to be in her daughter's music video. She loves Paula Abdul and embarrasses her daughters, but she is Avery's number one fan. Each character is vastly different, but they juxtapose each other quite well.

The dancers' outfits are impeccable. A few girls wear leotards; some wear leggings. But Mackie's team has the best outfits. During the final competition, Mackie's team wears silver jackets, which are very stylish. In addition, this film is set in Simi Valley, which is not far from where I live. I go to the Simi Valley Town Center sometimes, and I enjoyed seeing the girls walk around where I shop.

My favorite part is when Mackie and Mia execute their handshake. You can see how they have an unbreakable bond. I love how both sisters appreciate each other and never fight. I have a younger sister and, seeing how they truly respect one another, reminds me of my relationship with my sister. I love my sister more than words can say and you will love your sibling even more after watching this film.

The message of this film is that hard work certainly pays off. Treat your family with love and care, because they are always there for you, through thick and thin. Never let competition keep you from achieving your dreams and always remember to believe in yourself.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars, recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Actually, it is perfect to watch with your family. After watching this film, you and your family will be closer together. This film is available now on DVD and Digital. Gather up your family and friends, get on your feet, and get ready to dance to the beat.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The dances in To The Beat! are great. I love the choreography because it is so precise and very fun to watch. The competitors all have a different style of dance. I found myself dancing just like Mia and Mackie because their moves are contagious. Each dance shows a person's personality and they all have their own unique style. I love the pirouettes and the tap dancing. Avery knows what to do when it comes to ballet and Mia is my top pick for tap dancers.

The characters in To The Beat! are all very distinct. Ambitious dancers and a contest of a lifetime can lead to one big competition. There are dancers everywhere and every one of them wants a part in the next big music video. So you have to watch your back and make sure that you are ready to move and grove to the beat.

Mia (Brisa Lalich) is my favorite character. I love her tap dancing. She adds a lot of fun and beauty to her passion. She reminds me of my grandfather Kenneth because he was an expert tap dancer. Jumping and clicking his heels in the air was his trade mark. Mackie (Laura Krystine) is the kind and noble sister who wants what is best for her better half. Avery (Jayden Bartels) is the average teenager who likes to dress up and be a dancer, yet her intensions are not what they seem. Mandy (Veronica St. Clair) is the amazing older sister who always saves the day. She helps everyone and has dreams and passions of her own. Alyson Stoner plays one of the celebrity judges. In real life, she is adorable. She was my dance teacher at a studio called The Millennium Dance Complex. She has moves.

I had a wonderful time at press day talking to Brisa Lalich, Laura Krystine and Bryce Xavier. These terrific dancers and YouTubers know all about competitions and humor. I loved meeting them and having a few good laughs and getting an inside scoop on the sequel to this, To The Beat 2! I can't wait to see it. Be sure to check out my one on one interviews with them to learn more about their personalities.

The best scene in this film is the fantastic dance competition because the choreography is magnificent and all the dancers are perfectly in sync with one other. I also that the dance competition is on stage and everyone's friends and family are there to support them.

I recommend this film for ages 6 to 13 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. To The Beat! Comes out on DVD and digital March 13, 2018 so look for it!

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

To the Beat is a wonderful dance movie for girls, with real stakes at hand. The acting and cohesive plot provide a urgent, yet vibrant feel to the film. This is sure to please all dance movie fans.

The story follows 14-year-old twins and talented dancers Mackie (Laura Krystine) and Mia Castillo (Brisa Lalich). Despite being from different dance backgrounds, the two always have each other's backs and have an extremely loving bond. When a famous pop star launches an online contest to find the best dance group for his next music video, the twins must form their own teams to compete for the video. The duo impresses the crowd with their ardent love of dancing. However, their egotistical arch rival, Avery (Jayden Bartels), the self-proclaimed "best dancer of all" also uses her charm and resources to get the upper hand in the competition.

Laura Krystine, as Mackie, excellently presents her talented dance moves and her love for her sister. Brisa Lalich, as Mia, like her sister portrays a dancer who loves it, rather than using it as a popularity stunt. The character really shines emotionally, when a huge plot twist regarding her involvement on the team takes place. Jayden, as Avery, is a fun villain to watch, especially as her power- hungry schemes unveil themselves. Veronica St. Clair is my favorite character due to how grounded her character is. She provides a moral support for the team, while also trying to pass her medical exams.

Jillian Clare directs the movie with a high-stakes feel, as you feel the pressure being put upon Mackie and Mia. My favorite scene is the final dance, because it is the culmination of what the movie has been building up to. My only problem with this film is that, while Avery feels like a threat to be reckoned with, I feel as if in the long run she doesn't do too much to turn the tide around once the final dance is about to happen.

The message of the movie is that, if you are going to do anything, do it for the love of it, rather than for popularity. Despite being underestimated at times, Mackie and Mia never give up their love of dance. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 10. The movie is out on DVD and digital now, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


SPACESHIP THAT FELL IN MY BACKYARD, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPACESHIP THAT FELL IN MY BACKYARD, THE
RUTH AND EMILIA
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-8
Description - When a shiny spaceship lands in Emilia's backyard, she meets URR from planet Goopda who has traveled to Earth to promote universal peace. The two learn about working together and making the world a better place as they sing their way through the day's adventures. Produced by Enrico Lopez-Ya�ez, Asst. Director, Nashville Symphony; Jeff Silverman producer of Mattel's Barbie "The Look." Composer: Ruth Weber.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Spaceship That Fell In My Backyard is the newest release from mother-daughter team, Ruth and Emilia. Featuring strong engaging vocals and terrific production values this fun-filled musical odyssey will have everyone dancing in the streets... as long as there is no traffic and you've looked both ways four times! URR from the planet Goopda is here on a mission of universal peace (like we need it!) and our heroes share positive adventures of love, acceptance and care for planet Earth. A splendid time is guaranteed for all! This energized pop-rock music has some very fun arrangements and instrumentation. It is well produced. The vocals are well-performed and the musicianship is terrific. There are lots of positive messages about love, acceptance, friendship and caring - all very relate-able child oriented issues. The structure follows a theme about our heroes befriending an alien traveler and they share positive goals for the planet. On the plus side, the alien doesn't eat them! This CD is perfect for its intended audience and is created in a gentle loving way. There are safety tips, caring for the planet advice and words of wisdom about befriending people from foreign lands. It all proves that learning and fun can be one. The artists know their audience and intended age group well. I love the way it celebrates our individuality as people and cultures, our deep love and caring for the Earth and the joy and appreciation of our friends near and galactically far away. This CD, in association with their stage show presents a nice package that will get kids get excited about outer space, Earth stewardship and respect for other cultures. I highly recommend it and give it 4 out of 5 stars. My audience recommendation is ages 5 to 10, as well as parents. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Adult juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This CD has lots of wonderful, catchy songs - all upbeat and inspirational. They tell the story of an alien crashing down in a little girl's backyard. They sing about friendship and having fun in life, brushing your teeth at night, saying no to drugs and not talking to strangers. I love how they make catchy songs about these good habits. The song helps you remember these habits.

The only concern I have about this CD is that some of the songs contain words in them that young listeners might not understand. Even though younger children might sing the words, it is always good to include words that young kids understand. Another issue I have is that some of the songs are sun really fast, making it hard to hear the words they are singing.

The CD is definitely informational and catchy and something that kids will definitely learn something from. I recommend it for ages 3 to 7 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This CD comes out on March 23, 2018 so be sure to check it out!

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

This CD tells a story through song and a blend of a variety of music types. Although it teaches positive lessons, this CD is a promising concept met by a somewhat disappointing result.

The storyline is about a young girl named Emilia whose backyard is the landing site for an alien ship from the planet Goopda. The spaceship is carrying an alien named URR. Emilia and URR learn about each others' lives and find they have more in common than they thought.

The CD struggles at keeping an overarching idea to justify an entire CD. It starts off with the thread about Emilia and her otherworldly visitors and then descends into a group of songs about world peace and bubble baths. It doesn't reclaim its original thread until much later and abruptly ends just when it starts to get interesting.

I recommend it for ages 3 to 7 and give it 2 out of 5 stars. Younger kids will enjoy the happy vibe and simple rhymes.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer, age 12
Runtime: 31 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 10.99
Media: AUDIO


PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Jake Pentecost is a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity's victory against the monstrous Kaiju. Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through cities and bring the world to its knees, Jake is given one last chance by his estranged sister, Mako Mori, to live up to his father's legacy.

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

GARFIELD: NINE LIVES
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Description - Kids and parents can join Garfield, Jon, and Odie for two hilarious adventures in this new DVD. The two episodes on this DVD include: His Nine Lives - Do cats really have nine lives? Garfield explores his nine lives, from Cave Cat all the way through Space Cat. At the end of his nine tales, Garfield points out to his creator that the circumstances of his last life were stacked unfairly against him and Odie. His creator agrees and gives Garfield back not just one life, but nine more! Garfield in the Rough - Jon announces that he, Garfield and Odie are going on vacation! Garfield gets excited, but that enthusiasm quickly wanes when he discovers Jon planned a camping trip - what a choice! Life in the wild gets dangerous when an escaped panther enters their campground. Will the rangers be able to capture the panther before it finds the trio?
Runtime: 48 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


BACKYARD WILDERNESS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BACKYARD WILDERNESS
IMAX FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - Backyard Wilderness will surprise and entertain viewers with the unexpected wonders of nature that are right under our noses - in our own backyards. Spanning a seasonal year around a suburban home, the film displays a stunning array of unique wildlife images and behavior - all captured by cameras mounted inside dens and nests, and moving along the forest floor and pond bottom, to reveal its inhabitants in rare and breathtaking intimacy. We follow Katie, a young girl, and her modern family living next to the woods who are blind to the real-life spectacle around them, absorbed by an array of electronic devices in their busy lives. Katie gradually discovers the intricate secrets that nature has hidden so close to her front door and we experience the joy she finds in her interactions with this new world. The film reminds us that Wi-Fi is not the only connection that matters and that sometimes in ordinary places, you can uncover extraordinary things that can transform you forever - you just need to step outside.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Backyard Wilderness is a spellbinding documentary capturing magical moments in nature that we rarely get to see on camera or in our day-to-day lives and puts them on a large and intense scale.

This 3D IMAX film follows Katie, a young girl who lives in a house surrounded by a bustling woodland of animals and plants. Katie and her family are oblivious to the fascinating occurrences in the world around them because they are consumed by the technology at their fingertips. At school, she is assigned a report on animals. She chooses the spotted salamander whose whole life cycle happens right outside her house and her adventure begins.

The cinematography in Backyard Wilderness brilliantly highlights the beauty and vastness of the forests which are the main setting and leaves you wondering how they were able to get such unique moments on film. The film brings exciting moments to the screen such as when a pack of coyotes chase some deer or when you witness the dangerous journey of spotted salamanders to their breeding ground.

My favorite scene is when a group of newly hatched baby wood ducklings exit their nest for the first time and try to fly. You will laugh and cheer at the same time and the filmmakers use a perfect song to score this fun and adorable scene.

The lesson of the film is that there is an active and energetic world around us that is always worth exploring. As a society, we have become so concerned with social media that we forget to notice what is happening right in our backyards. Katie's life changes when she lets go of her electronics and begins to explore the landscape beside her home.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 12. You will learn a lot from this film about how certain species interact with one another and thrive. It is very educational and has a valuable message. Adults and older kids will still enjoy the breathtaking visuals. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. If you like nature documentaries and the larger-than-life world of IMAX with some cool 3D effects, I highly recommend it. Backyard Wilderness is playing around the country in select IMAX theaters now.

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

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


ISLE OF DOGS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ISLE OF DOGS
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 - When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, 12-year-old Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs is a movie to be reckoned with. This incredibly unique piece of stop motion animation is totally different from the norm of today's films. Written and directed by Wes Anderson, it stars the voices of Bryan Cranston as Chief, Edward Norton as Rex, Bill Murray as Boss, Liev Schreiber as Spots, Bob Balaban as King, Scarlett Johansson as Nutmeg and Jeff Goldblum as Duke. It also stars Koyu Rankin as the young boy, Atari. It is the second animated film from Wes Anderson, after the wonderful Fantastic Mr. Fox.

In future Japan, where dogs are viewed as savage and disease ridden creatures, a young boy, Atari, searches for his dog, Spots. This dystopian world, created by his guardian, Mayor Kobayashi, disparages dogs but worships cats. Atari defies his guardian and along the way befriends some loyal, passionate pooches who help him on his fateful journey of finding his lost dog.

One thing I particularly adore about Wes Anderson's filmmaking is his irreverent humour and creativity. It's almost as if Anderson has a patent on an new genre of filmmaking, that's entirely his own. During the making of this film, Anderson was influenced by his love for Japanese cinema and two of the most monumental Japanese directors - Akira Kurosawa and Hayao Miyazaki. In an interview about his many influences for the film, he states "with Miyazaki you get nature and you get moments of peace, a kind of rhythm that is not in the American animation tradition...". Later on, Anderson explains that during the scoring of the film he and his composer, Alexandre Desplat, had to rethink their approach to the soundtrack because the movie longed to be quiet. He later specifies that this aspect of the film also comes from Miyazaki.

The stop motion animation style pairs perfectly with the pure grittiness of its creativity. In most animated films you don't hear the roughness or coarseness of the actors' voices, but in Anderson's film you do and it is the most lifelike. Also, despite the humor, Anderson doesn't sugar coat the seriousness of the story. His films are always truthful and cut to the heart of the matter.

I recommend Isle of Dogs for ages 12 to 18, due to its violence and sophisticated humour. Younger kids might not understand the ironic tone. I give it 5 out of 5 stars for bringing an incredibly unique vision to the mostly mundane animation of today.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Isle of Dogs is a genius concept that only Wes Anderson could conjure up and makes for an enjoyable animated film with a quirky aesthetic.

Isle of Dogs takes place 20 years from now in a futuristic Japan. A disease spreading among dogs ravages Megasaki City and the mayor issues a decree that banishes all dogs to a vast, sickening wasteland called Trash Island. The film focuses the story on a pack of dogs who spend their days roaming, trying to stay alive among fierce competition. A young boy named Atari crashes onto the island one day in search of his dog and the pack decides to help him.

Wes Anderson's direction is excellent. He thrives in stop-motion animation because he can meticulously craft each shot. His sometimes bizarre, yet charming style remains resonant, despite it being a change of pace from the stories he usually tells. Isle of Dogs is an homage to Japanese filmmaking, especially the films of Akira Kurosawa, and relies on Japanese language and culture to tell its story.

The film's voice cast includes a range of famous actors, including longtime Wes Anderson partners Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton, as a pug oracle, as well as Yoko Ono as Assistant Scientist Yoko-ono and Jeff Goldblum as Duke, one of the dogs in the film's showcase pack.

My favorite character is Chief (Bryan Cranston). He is a stray dog who goes through a moving transformation as he starts off dreading the idea of having a master. But through his adventure with Atari, Chief starts to learn what it is to care about people and open himself up to them. Cranston gives Chief a weariness that lets you know his character has been through a lot.

I recommend this film for ages 11 to 18, due to some violence involving dogs, some suggestive content and minor offensive language. Note that, despite animation and dogs as main characters, this is not a kids' film. It's really geared pre-teens to adults.

I give Isle of Dogs 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this film for Wes Anderson fans and those who like a good adventure featuring man's best friend. Although this film misses the chance to develop really interesting ideas and characters, it is still fun and hilarious in all the right ways. Isle of Dogs opens in theaters March 23, 2018 so check it out.

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

Isle of Dogs is an essential Wes Anderson movie. The fluid voice acting and stop motion encompass a twee yet poignant story. This is sure to be a must watch for any dog lovers out there.

The story follows a future dystopian Japan where dogs are outlawed due to a disease outbreak. A young boy Atari (Koyu Rankin) crash lands to Trash Island in search of his dog. This initiates dogs Chief (Bryan Cranston), Rex (Edward Norton), King (Bob Balaban), Boss (Bill Murray), and Duke (Jeff Goldblum) to help Atari on his quest. As a result, Mayor Kobiyashi (Kunichi Nomura) places a hunt to find Atari and suppress the dogs helping him. Meanwhile in Japan, a bevy of riots begin to circulate as people claim on the unfairness on the bans that Mayor Kobiyashi has placed as a possible cure is in the works for dogs.

Koyu Rankin, as Atari, debuts with an incredible performance, despite most of his dialogue not being translated. He effectively characterizes his love for his dog through tone and actions. Bryan Cranston, as Chief, excellently portrays his character development from a violent outcast to careful protector of Atari. Edward Norton, as Rex, is my favorite character due to the way he portrays his character's pragmatic approaches and smart wit. Bob Balaban, as King, effectively presents a wise yet outspoken companion. Bill Murray, as Boss, depicts a clever member of the pack. Jeff Goldblum, as Duke, characterizes his dog through the use of his hilarious gossip talks. Kunichi Nomura, as Mayor Kobiyashi, evokes a malicious yet sympathetic character.

Wes Anderson directs the movie full of his unconventional yet astonishing quality which only he himself can deliver. My favorite scene is a scene where Atari and Chief bond at a park of sorts. It is a touching scene which really forwards the care and friendship from a man's best friend. My only nitpick for the movie is that there could have been more characterization for the backstories of Rex, King, Boss, and Duke.

The message of the movie is to always be hopeful in the care of young kids. Despite all the odds the pack is faced with, they always provide hope for Atari to reunite with his dog. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 because of its infrequent bloody images and mature themes. The movie releases in theaters on April 13th, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


TOMB RAIDER (2018)
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TOMB RAIDER (2018)
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished years earlier. Hoping to solve the mystery of her father's disappearance, Croft embarks on a perilous journey to his last-known destination -- a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. The stakes couldn't be higher as Lara must rely on her sharp mind, blind faith and stubborn spirit to venture into the unknown.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Tomb Raider is one of the more enjoyable video game adaptations. The acting and the direction provide the same sense of adventure and excitement as the video game. This is sure to be a must-see watch for fans of Lara Croft or anything adventure related.

The story follows Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), an intelligent yet reckless thrill-seeker, who embarks on an adventure unlike any other, when she finds evidence of her father's disappearance. Seeking to solve the mystery of Richard Croft (Dominic West), Lara enlists the help of Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), a ship captain. However, their adventure lands up in the worst when their ship crashes to Yamatai. Lara soon finds herself in the hands of Matthias Vogel (Walton Goggins), a rival archeologist who will do anything to unlock the tomb within Yamatai. Realizing the tomb will unleash global genocide, Lara must find a way to stop Vogel while discovering secrets about her father.

Alicia Vikander, as Lara Croft, is my favorite character and splendidly presents the character of Lara Croft and her struggle/rise to become the well-known "Tomb Raider." Her acerbic wit and vulnerability add a relatable extension to the character. Dominic West, as Richard Croft, excellently delivers his love for Lara and adventure. His mystery adds to plot, which leaves you wanting to know more about it at every turn. Daniel Wu, as Lu Ren, is a capable and funny companion to Lara and he shows a caring need to help the poor. Walton Goggins, as Matthias Vogel, portrays a threatening, yet over the top performance as the main villain, and it works for the most part. His involvement in the Croft conspiracy is interesting as well.

Roar Uthaug incredibly directs the movie with a knowledge of the video games, resulting in a brisk pace from one scene to the next. My favorite scene is when Lara has to find a way out of a plane which is slowly falling off of a river bank. It is extremely intense and it reminded of me of fun, innovative levels from the Uncharted and Tomb Raider games. My problem with the movie is, despite a superb first half, the second half falls from an overreliance on CGI and over-the-top scenarios, often leading to unintentional comedy. It feels jarring when compared to such a first half.

The message of the movie is to always be hopeful, as this allows Lara to keep fighting, even in the toughest of times. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters on March 16, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This action movie had me at the edge of my seat the whole time. I loved it! I like that it is filled with lots of suspense and tense moments that make you feel as if you are inside the scenes. I love when a movie draws me in like that, because there are unexpected surprises. What also attracted me is the actors' work and the impressive way they portray the characters that make you feel as if you are with them and feeling what they are going through. The storyline and the actors combined make you forget what is going on around you and focus on the interesting film that is unfolding right in front of you.

The storyline is about Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), the independent daughter of an adventurer who mysteriously disappears for years. Croft embarks on a journey to find her missing father, in hopes to solve the mystery of his disappearance. She goes off to a weird destination she reads about in one of her father's journals and leaves without hesitation. Even though the destination is a tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan, she leaves with the drive to find out what happened to him. Lara must trust herself, mind, and spirit, to make it out alive of this adventure.

My favorite scene is when Lara is stuck on the airplane and about to fall into a waterfall. This scene marks the moment when I most felt as if I was living this tough moment with her and the one that completely drew me. It is a complex scene where she finds herself at the top of a waterfall almost falling and then, finds an old helicopter that she can hold unto. She gets on top of the helicopter, but later realizes that the old helicopter is breaking down and she has to get out of there as soon as possible. Watching her go through all that without falling made me feel super anxious and nervous, as if I was in the scene with her.

The important messages of this film are to never give up and to always fight for what you believe is the right thing to do. In the movie, Lara always has this drive to accomplish any goals she sets herself to complete. I think that is the secret for all challenges in general and all the objectives Lara reaches in the film. You need to believe in your abilities to achieve the goals you want and need to have the motivation that helps get you there. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for people from 13 years old to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters March 16, 2018 so look for it.

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

Tomb Raider is one of the more enjoyable video game adaptations. The acting and the direction provide the same sense of adventure and excitement as the video game. This is sure to be a must-see watch for fans of Lara Croft or anything adventure related.

The story follows Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), an intelligent yet reckless thrill-seeker, who embarks on an adventure unlike any other, when she finds evidence of her father's disappearance. Seeking to solve the mystery of Richard Croft (Dominic West), Lara enlists the help of Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), a ship captain. However, their adventure lands up in the worst when their ship crashes to Yamatai. Lara soon finds herself in the hands of Matthias Vogel (Walton Goggins), a rival archeologist who will do anything to unlock the tomb within Yamatai. Realizing the tomb will unleash global genocide, Lara must find a way to stop Vogel while discovering secrets about her father.

Alicia Vikander, as Lara Croft, is my favorite character and splendidly presents the character of Lara Croft and her struggle/rise to become the well-known "Tomb Raider." Her acerbic wit and vulnerability add a relatable extension to the character. Dominic West, as Richard Croft, excellently delivers his love for Lara and adventure. His mystery adds to plot, which leaves you wanting to know more about it at every turn. Daniel Wu, as Lu Ren, is a capable and funny companion to Lara and he shows a caring need to help the poor. Walton Goggins, as Matthias Vogel, portrays a threatening, yet over the top performance as the main villain, and it works for the most part. His involvement in the Croft conspiracy is interesting as well.

Roar Uthaug incredibly directs the movie with a knowledge of the video games, resulting in a brisk pace from one scene to the next. My favorite scene is when Lara has to find a way out of a plane which is slowly falling off of a river bank. It is extremely intense and it reminded of me of fun, innovative levels from the Uncharted and Tomb Raider games. My problem with the movie is, despite a superb first half, the second half falls from an overreliance on CGI and over-the-top scenarios, often leading to unintentional comedy. It feels jarring when compared to such a first half.

The message of the movie is to always be hopeful, as this allows Lara to keep fighting, even in the toughest of times. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters on March 16, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


FRENCH FOR KIDS: L'ANNIVERSAIRE DE FRITZI
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FRENCH FOR KIDS: L'ANNIVERSAIRE DE FRITZI
WHISTLEFRITZ LLC Click to purchase directly from the producer Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Description - The latest release in Whistlefritz's award-winning French for Kids series! Aimez-vous les f�tes d anniversaire ? (Do you like birthday parties?) Join the language-learning celebration as Marie and the Whistlefritz kids plan the perfect party for their playful animated friend, Fritzi the mouse. Balloons, cake, presents, and special guests add an exciting twist to learning French in this lively, interactive French immersion program. At a Whistlefritz party, even cleaning up is fun! Each step in the party-planning process is captured through entertaining animated segments, live-action footage and upbeat interactive songs that teach words and phrases for toys, colors, parts of the room, household objects, and everyday activities. The video includes an easy-to-use translation guide for parents and teachers (also available for free download from the company's website), as well as French and English subtitle options. Designed for ages 2-7, L'anniversaire de Fritzi is fun for all ages! What are you waiting for? Let's get this language-learning party started!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - L'anniversaire de Fritzi (Fritzi's Birthday) is a really fun interactive French immersion program. In this DVD, Marie, an adult narrator and the Whistlefritz kids plan a party for Fritzi's fifth birthday. Fritzi is an animated French mouse and with lots of cute little animal friends. They make a cake, blow up balloons and invite special guests. It's a colorful mix of verbal and visual learning. It's about 30 minutes in length and is full of laughter and learning. Immersion learning is all about learning a language by speaking only that language without any English translation. It is based on how we learn our first language and makes learning a new one easy and fun. The cast is very diverse and there is lots of laughing and silly behavior woven into the educational lessons. This DVD has a lot of fun songs and encourages play and interaction with the characters and the Whistlefritz kids. The menu offers the options to play songs only and offers an in-depth explanation of immersion learning. Included is also a parent/teacher translation guide. This sing-along, dance-along fun fest is perfect for children ages 2 to 5. I give this title 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This educational and adorable language-immersion learning DVD by Whistlefritz is a great way to help young children learn French. The little characters' expressive faces are funny and engaging to watch.

A sweet mouse named Fritzi is turning five years old and his classmates are throwing a party for him. Along the way, kids experience songs and activities that teach them French words for all the fun things that accompany birthday parties such as cake, balloons, presents, toys and much more.

I love this film because I feel it is a great way for little children to learn French in a fun, entertaining way. The bright colors lock in your attention and the goofy characters are easy for small children to connect with. My favorite thing about this DVD is how, every once in a while, Fritzi's friends check on him while he is sleeping in his tiny house. It is so funny when he makes his cute snoring sounds.

The film also teaches children good behavior like being friendly and warm to each other. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. It is available now on DVD so check it out.

Reviewed by Leah R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I enjoyed the French language DVD, L'Anniversaire de Fritzi. It is helpful for kids. Knowing another language can be very helpful. Whether you are trying to communicate with someone who recently moved to your school who speaks a different language or vacationing in a place where they speaks another language, it's good to know the basics. The best time to learn another language is when you are little. Although we can all benefit from learning a new language even if we are older and may need a bit more time to learn it. This DVD hits the nail on the head. It caters to a younger audience and teaches children at their level. It isn't just learning words though. It teaches through games and songs! It's an immersion technique. I have to admit that I had a difficult time understanding what they were saying at some times, having no past knowledge of French. Still, I really enjoyed watching this DVD and participating as much as I could. It was fun to see people doing things and hearing about it in French. I recommend L'Anniversaire de Fritzi for ages 2 to 5 and rate it 4 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD in the obvious places so look for it. Reviewed by Rachel K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


This title is available for purchase from WHISTLEFRITZ LLC

WRINKLE IN TIME (2018)
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WRINKLE IN TIME (2018)
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-18
Description - Meg Murry and her little brother, Charles Wallace, have been without their scientist father, Mr. Murry, for five years, ever since he discovered a new planet and used the concept known as a tesseract to travel there. Joined by Meg's classmate Calvin O'Keefe and guided by the three mysterious astral travelers known as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the children brave a dangerous journey to a planet that possesses all of the evil in the universe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed this, but had some disappointment as well. I wanted to like it more. Maybe it was all the hype. It seems a bit like a comic version of the story, especially the primordial celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who). Maybe it was the sequined eyebrows on Oprah. At any rate, it didn't quite hit it out of the park. Don't get me wrong, I would take my grandson to see it. I am not sure if I would take another adult. Great special effects! Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A Wrinkle in Time is an enjoyable, yet somewhat flawed interpretation of the classic novel of the same name. The direction and special effects provide a world unlike any other. This is sure to be a watch for sci-fi fans.

The story follows Meg Murry (Storm Reid), a genial teen who is the daughter of famed scientist Alex Murry (Chris Pine). After her father disappears, she goes through a period of insecurity and despair. Four years later, a group of primordial celestial beings - Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) visit Earth to help Meg find her father. Meg's brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and friend Calvin (Levi Miller) also join the quest to find Alex. However, Meg is also brought in to help fight the "It", an entity of darkness that threatens to destroy people's happiness.

Storm Reid, as Meg, excellently presents her inner struggle to be happy and accept herself and this adds a unique element to the story. As the movie progresses, she slowly rises beyond her doubts to become better. Chris Pine, as Alex, delivers an ardent love for science in his character and, while much of his character is witnessed before he disappears, the rest of his scenes add a performance filled with remorse. Deric McCabe, as Charles Wallace, is my favorite character due to his charismatic performance - full of comic relief. Levi Miller, as Calvin, encompasses a respectful companion who seems to be rather enamored by Meg. Oprah Winfrey, as Mrs. Which, is a wise mentor for Meg who guides her throughout her journey. Reese Witherspoon, as Mrs. Whatsit, is the least wise of the three celestial beings, but she provides a kind companion. Mindy Kaling, as Mrs. Who, represents an encyclopedia of character teeming with knowledge.

Ava DuVernay incredibly directs the movie, as you feel as if you are a part of the world through her use of word building to convey a story. My favorite scene is the resolution to the main conflict, as it feels like an appropriate conclusion. My problem with the movie is that is unevenly paced, with the first half of the movie following generic clich�s, despite a great first 10 minutes. But the movie gets running as soon as the second half begins, going into uncharted territory unlike any other movie. I also feel that the scenes for Alex and some other plot points are limited, resulting in a few disjointed, convoluted narrative at times and that could throw off some audience members.

The message of the movie is about believing in yourself and accepting who you are. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on March 9, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

I liked, but did not love this latest Disney film and here's why. This film is an adaptation of the book, "A Wrinkle in Time" written by Madeleine L'Engle. It is visually stunning, but unfortunately falls short in the storytelling. The protagonists are Meg Murry (Storm Reid) and her little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe). Their scientist father, Mr. Murry has been missing for four years. Meg has had a rough time at school ever since her father's disappearance. Her younger brother, Charles Wallace introduces Meg to three mysterious astral travelers. Meg is very skeptical of them at first, until she and Charles Wallace are informed by them that their father is not dead, but was taken by a dark force. Meg, Charles Wallace and her classmate Calvin (Levi Miller) go on an adventure with the three astral travelers, called the Misses. Will Meg and Charles Wallace find their dad? Well you must see the movie to find out the answer.

I like the visuals, the cast and the message of this film. The visuals are very stunning. The scene where Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) becomes a leaf and gives the kids a ride looks very spectacular. It almost looks like this could be possible in real life. I also like the transitions of the worlds changing as a result of the characters' actions. The visual effects bring this world to life. Another thing I like is the cast. Oprah's, Reese Witherspoon's and Mindy Kaling's performances as the Misses are exceptional. They show different personalities which make them unique. Mrs. Whatsit is more negative, unlike Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), who is wise and uses quotes from famous people to relay her messages. Mrs. Whatsit is more direct and rude, unlike Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) who guides Meg when she is scared or unsure. Lastly, the messages in this movie are very important. They are about embracing your uniqueness, recognizing the importance of love and being brave enough to discover your inner warrior.

One thing I do not like is the pace. In the first act, the pace is slow and that is fine, since it builds up the exposition. However, the final act of the movie feels very rushed and is unsatisfying. I feel the script has some holes in it which made me feel like the movie is missing some important details. This is why I did not really love the film.

Even though this film is not "Pixar great" it still is a good movie to watch with your family. I give it 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 7 to 15. Adults might like it as well. I recommend this to people who have read the book or like book adaptations and fantasy movies. A Wrinkle In Time comes out March 9, 2018 in theaters nationwide.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MAGIC OF READING, THE
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MAGIC OF READING, THE
CLAUDIA MOYSSET
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-12
Description - A young boy escapes his boredom by unlocking the magic of reading with the help of his big sister. Together, they both venture into a world that only literature can unlock for them and are shown a glimpse of the world that rests bound in the pages of wonderful books. They escape from the clutches of a monster and battle it to their freedom, challenging their imaginations to follow along with the book.
Runtime: 3.5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO

FLOOGALS: PROJECT EGG HUNT
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FLOOGALS: PROJECT EGG HUNT
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-8
Description - Join the Floogals on a mission of discovery as they explore Earth and the funny "hoomans" who live there! Each day, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo, and Junior Boomer encounter something that sparks their curiosity, setting in motion the day's research "project" and triggering an exciting adventure! In Project Egg Hunt, the Floogals mistakenly think Mom and Dad Hooman have accidentally dropped candy eggs in the garden when in fact they have placed them there on purpose to create an egg hunt for their kids. The Floogals think they are being helpful and tidy up the eggs! Once the Floogals realize their mistake, they must get all the eggs back on the ground before the kids arrive so their fun day won't be ruined.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a colorful and exciting DVD with five episodes, totaling 60 minutes of fun! The Floogals are a group of curious alien scientists named Fleeker, Boomer and Flo. Their curiosity is sparked by everyday earthly experiences and adventures that lead to experimentation, discovery and observation. The mix of crisp animation alongside "hoomans" (real actors) and live animals is really unique. These little aliens sometimes get into a bit of trouble, which they use problem-solving and teamwork to remedy as they learn something along the way. The menu offers the option to play all episodes or watch them individually. Each episode has a run time of 10 to 12 minutes and include: Project Egg Hunt, Project Rainbow, Project Kite, Project Picnic and Project Tortoise. This DVD is a great educational tool and extremely entertaining. Children between the ages of 2 to 5 will definitely enjoy the songs and story lines. Adventure is everywhere they go. They're the Floogals! 3, 2, 1 LET'S GO! I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars for outstanding animation, cohesiveness, interesting story lines, songs, educational and overall entertainment value. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Floogals Project Egg Hunt is a DVD about tiny secret aliens from planet Floon that sneak around your house learning about humans or, as they call them, hoomans. I really enjoy the animation and admire how they have real people walking around with animated characters. It's a very colorful, bright show with a new lesson in each episode.

The three Floogals in this series are Captain Fleeker (Rasmus Hardiker), the bravest of the group, First Officer Flo (Jules de Jongh), the smartest of the group and Junior Boomer (Hugo Harold-Harrison), who is clumsy and crazy in most episodes, which makes him very funny. These Floogals wander around a house, encountering new things that the 'hoomans' are doing. Then they spend the day researching what the object or activity is and sometimes try to help, often with hilarious results. At the end of each episode they send their report to their leader, who always likes it. So, they receive a strip of stickers based on their observations.

The episodes in this DVD are, Project Egg Hunt, Project Rainbow, Project Kite, Project Picnic and Project Tortoise. My favorite episode is Project Rainbow which is about the Floogals walking in the yard and, as they take cover from a sudden rain shower, they hear the girl "hooman" talk about a rainbow and they decide to investigate rainbows. I like this episode because I can relate to it, as I loved trying to find the end of the rainbow when I was younger. Another good episode is called, Project Tortoise which is about the Floogals discovering a tortoise and deciding to research it more, but when they look back at the tortoise he is gone. The Floogals must find him and bring him home. The title episode, Project Egg Hunt, is very funny because they almost ruin the egg hunt by trying to help. My favorite character is Junior Boomer because he is always being clumsy and causing accidents that sometimes helps the team in unexpected ways. The message of this DVD is, if you work together you can do anything.

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 5 because every episode teaches a new lesson and is very repetitive. Older kids and adults might find it amusing too. This DVD is available on Blu-ray and standard DVD now so, check it out.

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

Floogals: Project Egg Hunt, directed by Ruth Ducker is an imaginative, exciting space adventure that seems to take place right in my own backyard! The characters are diverse, funny and kind and the storylines are clever yet simple thrills. The story follows three Floogals - Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer who are sent to explore and understand the interesting ways of the Hoomans.

The animation and voices add to the special aspect of each Floogal that makes them unique. For example, Junior Boomer is innocent and the youngest of the three which is shown by his bigger eyes and wide smile. The voice actors are able to capture the character's personality in their voice. Dominique Moore voices First Officer Flo and expresses the sweetness of her character in her voice.

My favorite part is how the Hoomans are considered the mysterious aliens and the Floogals are there to learn about these queer creatures and their ways.

The message of this show is to help those you can and never miss a chance to learn something new. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to look for it.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The fabulous Floogals are back with five brand new episodes that are filled with magic and experimentation! I love how all the episodes are spring and summer related with the Floogals observing rainbows with pots of gold, egg hunts, kits, picnics and tortoises.

The alien characters in Floogals Project Egg Hunt are just adorable. I find Flo (Jules de Jongh) to be just too darn cute. Her alien personality is a true scientist at heart. She is also very silly and friendly with her other alien partners. Flo is a fantastic role model for young children because she teaches them the value of observation and experimentation.

Fleeker (Rasmus Hardiker) is the kind of captain who put everything he has into his observations and projects. He comes up with the most hilarious hypothesis about the new objects they find. Make sure to keep an eye out for Rasmus Hardiker in the new SYFI series Krypton as the character Kem. The first episode is amazing.

Even though Boomer (Hugo Harold-Harrison) is the youngest in the bunch, he has the biggest heart. He also has the biggest appetite. He loves to eat, so any mission that includes a scrumptious meal is his favorite. My favorite episode is "Project Egg Hunt", because as I watched it I laughed a lot. I know what the eggs are used for, yet the Floogals don't and they are hilarious as they make crazy guesses and try their best to figure out the puzzling mystery. They try to be helpful and put the eggs back, only to find out that they have to hide them again.

This DVD has many lessons for kids such as the wonders of experimentation, observation, discovery and science in general. The Floogals teach kids by observing objects and humans and seeing how strange objects are used in our everyday life. Experimentation is completed by trying all kinds of crazy experiments, whether it is tortoise races or catching rainbows. The discovery comes once the Floogals have made their experiments and observations and finally find out what the object is. Simple things seem complicated, because they are small aliens.

I recommend this for ages 4 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD


GOOD FOR ONE FREE HUG
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GOOD FOR ONE FREE HUG
SAGE DRAKE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-18
Description - A little girl makes a difference by giving out hearts coupons to those in need.
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO

AMERICAN MASTERS: TYRUS
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Description - People worldwide have seen the Disney animated classic Bambi and have been deeply moved by it, but few can tell you the name of the artist behind the film. Even fewer are aware of this pioneering artist's impact on American art and popular culture. Until his death at the age of 106, Tyrus Wong (1910-2016) was America's oldest living Chinese American artist and one of the last remaining artists from the golden age of Disney animation. The quiet beauty of his Eastern-influenced paintings caught the eye of Walt Disney, who made Wong the inspirational sketch artist for Bambi. Filmmaker Pamela Tom (A Tribute to Sir Sidney Poitier, Two Lies) corrects a historical wrong by spotlighting this seminal, but heretofore under-credited, figure. Born in Canton (now Guangzhou), China, right before the fall of the Chinese Empire, Wong and his father immigrated to America in 1919, never to see their family again. The film shows how he overcame a life of poverty and racism to become a celebrated painter who once exhibited with Picasso and Matisse, a Hollywood sketch artist, and 'Disney Legend.' Previously unseen art and interviews with Wong, movie clips and archival footage illustrate how his unique style - melding Chinese calligraphic and landscape influences with contemporary Western art - is found in everything from Disney animation (Bambi) and live-action Hollywood studio films (Rebel Without a Cause, The Wild Bunch, Sands of Iwo Jima, April in Paris) to Hallmark Christmas cards, kites and hand-painted California dinnerware to fine art and Depression-era WPA paintings. The film also features new interviews with his daughters and fellow artists/designers, including his Disney co-worker and friend Milton Quon, Andreas Deja (The Little Mermaid), Eric Goldberg (Aladdin) and Paul Felix (Lilo & Stitch), and curators and historians of Wong's work.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: CDROM

NATURE: THE CHEETAH CHILDREN
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Description - Life on the African plains is a constant struggle, and for a single mother rearing her offspring, the odds seem to be stacked against them. This is an inspiring tale about motherhood and family, as we follow a cheetah family on the grasslands through the eyes of conservationist and cameraman Kim Wolhuter. The Malilangwe Game Reserve in Zimbabwe, where the film takes place, is a dangerous place for cheetah cubs, as the 200-square-mile area is filled with other predators. Cheetah mothers do not have partners or sisters to assist in feeding and protecting their cubs, and this mother cheetah is completely on her own, protecting her five newborn cubs and teaching them how to hunt some of the continent's fastest game. She has just over a year to teach their young to survive in the wilderness without her.
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD

DOGGONE ADVENTURE, A
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DOGGONE ADVENTURE, A
VISION FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - "Just Jesse the Jack" enlists a group of junior detectives and their dad, host of a popular TV show, to help him unravel the mystery behind his telepathic talents. But things get even more mysterious when they find themselves entangled in a world of UFOs and secret agents.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This adorable film had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I could not take my eyes off of the screen, because the movie is about dogs. I watched it with my Golden Retriever, who perked his head up whenever the dog barked. Dogs are my favorite animal and, even if you don't like dogs, I guarantee you will fall in love with them after watching this film.

Murphy, a small telepathic canine, becomes separated from his owner one night and encounters a group of young kids who spend their days solving mysteries to upload to their YouTube channel. Because Murphy possesses divine telepathic talents, a manufacturing worker comes along and captures Murphy to understand the complexities behind his dynamic, human-like brain. The kids must find a way to get Murphy back and undertake a precarious mission, filled with a multitude of secret agents and UFO's.

Jesse the Jack Russell Terrier, who plays Murphy, portrays him in an exceptional manner, because Murphy perseveres to the fullest extent and never gives up. A Jack Russell Terrier is a perfect dog to play the lead role. Even a small dog can achieve greatness, which demonstrates that, no matter what you set your mind to, you can achieve anything. Jenny Chaplin (Sydney Thackray) is the only girl out of the three friends, but she is hands down the strongest of them all. When the kids arrive at a 100-year-old haunted mansion, she insists on staying to find out more about the alleged ghosts that inhabit the house. I admire her strength and determination to resolve a formidable mystery.

The haunted mansion is quite astonishing. Although it is old with its broken door, windows, cracks and a plethora of mold, I am blown away by how intimidating it looks. The most menacing part is that there is a piano that plays by itself. Chills rolled down my spine when I saw this. I have never seen a scene like this before.

My favorite part is when Murphy runs away and watches TV through a window. In this scene, he begins to discover the mystery he will uncover. It is hilarious because he sits there and pants, as if he is out of breath. I love when dogs pant, because they are so calm and adorable. Murphy will definitely steal your heart with his charming smile.

The message of this film is that if you work together, nothing is impossible. Life is full of obstacles and unexpected events, but with collaboration and hard work, such obstacles are elementary. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 5 to 12, and adults will certainly love it too. It's a spectacular, convivial film to watch with your family and friends, because it will warm your heart. This film is available on DVD and Digital. You'll never guess how Murphy gets rescued.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What can I say? I am a proud dog lover! This live action-packed, lovable and adventurous film is by Tony Randel. It reminds me of my dog BoBo! Just like BoBo, Murphy is a very energetic and brave dog. The only difference is that BoBo can't speak, like Murphy. I mean, that would be demented! Get ready to head down a road filled with a usual risky undertaking.

This story follows a group of kids who love investigating unsolved mysteries. After being separated from his owner, a telepathic canine comes across these kids. The dog is taken by a determined operative who wants his brains, because he has a mind of a human. So, the kids embark on a dangerous mission to get him back. Things get more puzzling when they find themselves twisted in a world of UFOs and secret agents. They go through a scary mansion that has been abandoned for nearly 90 years.

The lead characters are Murphy the dog (Jesse the Jack Russell Terrier), Ricky Hill (Jayden Hedden), Ricky's brother David Hill (Walker Mintz), Jenny Chaplin (Sydney Thackray), Jeremy Tinsdale (Jonathon Tysor), Shelton "the brain" (Dilantin Patton), Jack Bowser (Paul Logan) and Steven Hill (Kurt Yaeger).

The location is outstanding. The old abandoned mansion looks so horrifying with its cracks, broken windows and door, holes in the walls, tilting door step and a broken roof. The inside is old, moldy and creepy. The piano plays by itself. The oven opens and closes by itself. Clothes are falling. Tables move as if there is an earthquake. And ghoulish people live inside.

The location for the CIA is mysterious as well. The door is protected by unearthly people and there are many dark rooms inside the building. Inside the building is a much more open space with secret doors and weird paths to get to the different rooms.

My favorite character is utterly Murphy! Murphy is completely headstrong from the beginning of the movie through to the end. Murphy makes the movie exiting, intriguing and entertaining. When I discovered Murphy could talk I thought, am I delusional!

My favorite part is unquestionably when they rescue Murphy. In that part we see how they come together to save Murphy. It really takes true team work! You have to wait and see how Murphy is rescued. It will certainly take you on an adventure.

The movie's positive message shows how teamwork is a collaborative effort that achieves a common goal. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12 as well as adults. This film is available now on DVD and on Digital so, make sure to go check it out.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


AMERICA'S MUSICAL JOURNEY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
AMERICA'S MUSICAL JOURNEY
MACGILLIVRAY FREEMAN FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - In America's musical cities, musical stories come together to create a soundtrack that showcases the nation's diversity and its collision of cultures, culminating in a unique blend of sound, music and innovation unlike anywhere else in the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - America's Musical Journey is a visually breathtaking, insightful documentary about the power of music and its importance in U.S. history, especially in some of its best-known cities.

America's Musical Journey follows singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc's journey across the U.S.A. as he visits towns and cities important in music's history. We visit places such as Nashville, Memphis, Miami, Chicago and see flash mobs, acrobats, dancing waiters and meet talented musicians along the way. Morgan Freeman narrates the journey and his deep and iconic voice is a perfect fit to accompany this colorful film.

I appreciate that this film shows its audience the music of different time periods. This shows younger audiences how much music has changed in only a couple of decades and should remind older audiences of the powerful legacies of artists like Elvis Presley and Louis Armstrong. This film helps keep those artists' spirits alive so that their mark on the music industry never disappears.

My one complaint about this film is that it is too short for all it tries to accomplish. America's Musical Journey introduces a person or location and then immediately moves on, leaving some parts of the film more interconnected than others. In this way, the film can be like one of the jazz pieces described in the film: sometimes all over the place, but always with lots of thought and creativity put into it.

I enjoyed seeing all the various locations larger than life on-screen. I like learning about towns I didn't know about and, even more, about ones I thought I did and how important their imprint on music is. I was especially happy to see my own hometown of Washington D.C. featured in the film in a particularly flashy fashion.

The lesson of this film is that music is an important part of our past and present and, who we are as a country. Music can transport us to different worlds, tell stories and portray realities. Music does this in a way that is different from any other art form and holds a critical role in our culture for a long time.

I recommend this film for ages 3 to 18. It is educational and everyone will get something out of it in one way or another. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

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


FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., SEASON 4
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Description - Today's leading artists, politicians, activists, performers and journalists will discover surprising ancestral stories while learning their family history in the fourth season of the critically acclaimed series. Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, continues exploring the mysteries, surprises and revelations hidden in the family trees of 28 of today's most intriguing cultural trailblazers.<

In "FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., SEASON 4", comedian Larry David and politician Bernie Sanders discover they have more in common than they thought, tracing their roots back to Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. Comedic performers Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari and Maya Rudolph learn contrasting stories of assimilation and independence all over the globe. Actors Fred Armisen and Christopher Walken and musician Carly Simon each learn about a grandparent whose real identity and background had been a mystery to them. Author Ta-Nehisi Coates, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and author and activist Janet Mock see their basic assumptions about their families challenged, placing their ancestors -- of all colors -- into the greater context of black history.

Actors Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and William H. Macy trace their nonconformist ancestors through American conflicts -- the Civil War and the American Revolution, all the way back to the Puritan establishment. Journalists Bryant Gumbel and Suzanne Malveaux and producer and writer Tonya Lewis-Lee discover a tapestry of the unexpected as they delve into their ancestry, revealing slaves and free people of color, Civil War legacies, and forgotten European origins. Actor Lupita Nyong'o, NBA star Carmelo Anthony and political commentator Ana Navarro trace their African heritage, investigating the political choices of their fathers and discovering sometimes unexpected heritage. Also, actors Tea Leoni and Gaby Hoffmann both have lives shaped by family mysteries and are introduced to the identities and life stories of their biological ancestors, thanks to DNA detective work. DJ and producer Questlove, talk show host Dr. Phil, and journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault's family stories are rooted in the American south. Actors Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd and John Turturro, all with immigrant parents, gain greater understanding of the unique challenges their ancestors faced by way of prejudice and poverty at home and abroad.
Runtime: 600 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 39.99
Media: DVD


SPIRITED AWAY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SPIRITED AWAY
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURES, AGES 8-18
Description - Chihiro's family is moving to a new house, but when they stop on the way to explore an abandoned village, her parents undergo a mysterious transformation and Chihiro is whisked into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the soceress Yubaba. Put to work in a magical bathhouse for spirits and demons, Chihiro must use all her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents and return to the normal world. Overflowing with imaginative creatures and thrilling storytelling, Spirited Away became a worldwide smash hit, and is one of the most critically-acclaimed films of all time.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Studio Ghibli's deluxe Spirited Away DVD Set is a delectation for the senses. This highly enjoyable Miyazaki masterpiece keeps your eyes transfixed throughout. Spirited Away was released in 2001 in Japan (2003 in US) and nabbed Best Animated Feature at the 2003 Academy Awards.

Spirited Away tells the story of a young girl, Chihiro, who, on the way to her new home gets sidetracked with her family and discovers a magical, unknown world. At the beginning of the film, they wander into an abandoned town where Chihiro's parents get turned into pigs. The rest of the film is a grand adventure where she tries to save her parents from the manipulative clutches of the Yubaba, the Sorceress and owner of the bath house of the gods.

The DVD set includes two discs, a Blu-Ray and a traditional DVD. It also includes bonus features, such as the "making of" Spirited Away, a Nippon Television special; Behind The Microphone, a behind-the-scenes look at the English translation and voiceovers; the original Japanese theatrical trailers; the original Japanese TV spots; and a wonderful booklet with statements from the filmmakers.

In the Nippon Television special, Miyazaki talks about the process of making Spirited Away at Studio Ghibli headquarters. This special gives us an inside look at Studio Ghibli and the thought process of Miyazaki. It shows us the art of creating the film and the dire time constraints in the animation process. Miyazaki tells us how he had to hire double the amount of animators in order to make the deadline for this film. He also goes into how there were so many late nights at the studio, so he had to entrust some of his work to one of his fellow coworkers.

In Behind the Microphone, we see how much effort goes into making the English language version of the film. Narrated by director John Lasseter (who spearheaded the English language translation), this wonderful short shows us how the English-speaking actors match their voices' to the movement of the characters' mouths in the animation.

This Spirited Away deluxe set is everything you could ask for. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Runtime: 125 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE (2018)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE (2018)
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Description - From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away, and acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki, comes the Academy Award�- nominated* fantasy adventure for the whole family. Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a curse on Sophie and turns her into a 90-year-old woman. On a quest to break the spell, Sophie climbs aboard Howl's magnificent moving castle and into a new life of wonder and adventure. But as the true power of Howl's wizardry is revealed, Sophie finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens their world. *2005: Best Animated Feature, Howl's Moving Castle
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Studio Ghibli's deluxe Howl's Moving Castle DVD set is the key to all the magic in this world. This profoundly charming Miyazaki monument draws out all the negative energy in your body and fills you with its creative storyline. Howl's Moving Castle was released in 2004 in Japan and 2005 in the U.S.A. It won a myriad amount of awards including the Tokyo Animation of the Year Award in 2005 and was nominated for the 2006 Oscars for Best Animated Feature Film.

Howl's Moving Castle tells the story of an unconfident young woman, Sophie, who leads an unexciting life at her father's hat shop. All of that instantly changes when she is saved by Howl from two hooligans looking to heckle her. An evil witch known as the Witch of the Waste takes offense at her befriending Howl and casts a curse on Sophie, turning her into an old lady. Sophie's one hope of releasing the curse lies with a self-centered, troubled wizard and his comedic entourage.

The DVD set includes two discs, a Blu-Ray and a standard DVD. It also includes a mystical treasure trove full of valuable bonus features, such as Feature Length Storyboards; Behind the Microphone; Interview with Diana Wynne Jones (writer of the book Howl's Moving Castle); Miyazaki's visit to Pixar; The Birth Story of the Film Soundtrack; Explanation of CG; Original Theatrical Trailers; TV Spots; and an exclusive booklet with statements from the filmmakers.

In the Behind The Microphone special, Emily Mortimer, the English dub voice for Sophie, states that it's hard to build up emotion with voice acting because it's so quick. Billy Crystal expresses that there is never one layer to a Miyazaki film and that there is a lot of emotional depth among all the characters. We also hear from the other voice over actors - Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall and Blythe Danner.

In Miyazaki's Visit to Pixar, Miyazaki talks with his biggest fan and friend, John Lasseter, the Chief Creative Officer at Pixar (now at Disney). Miyazaki starts by gifting Lasseter a giant model of the cat bus from My Neighbor Totoro, another Studio Ghibli classic. Later on, they interview Lasseter on his opinions of Miyazaki and his artistic animation style. He states that, in any of Miyazaki's films there are at least ten original ideas. Lasseter later expresses that Miyazaki's films always makes you think and question the world you live in.

This immensely marvelous Howl's Moving Castle DVD deluxe set will instantly break any curse that is hindering you and allow you to enjoy life to the fullest. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Runtime: 119 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 15.9
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE (2018)
KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE (2018)
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Description - From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away and Ponyo, and Academy Award�-winning* director Hayao Miyazaki, comes the beloved coming-of-age story of a resourceful young witch who uses her broom to create a delivery service, only to lose her gift of flight in a moment of self-doubt. It is a tradition for all young witches to leave their families on the night of a full moon and fly off into the wide world to learn their craft. When that night comes for Kiki, she embarks on her new journey with her sarcastic black cat, Jiji, landing the next morning in a seaside village, where her unique skills make her an instant sensation. Don't miss this delightfully imaginative and timeless story of a young girl finding her way in the world, featuring the voices of Kirsten Dunst, Janeane Garofalo, Phil Hartman, and Debbie Reynolds.
Runtime: 105 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


BLACK PANTHER
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BLACK PANTHER
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T'Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country's new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In the latest production from Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), we see the original story of the Black Panther. We were introduced to the Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War. This film depicts the story of King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and the Black Panther tribe.

When T'Challa returns home to the reclusive, beautiful and technologically impressive nation of Wakanda, a fictional country in Africa, he is named the new leader following the death of his father. True to custom, he is challenged by the tribesman and becomes the new King.

Elsewhere, a cousin unknown to him returns from the United States to challenge T'Challa's reign, and chaos ensues. Warmonger (Michael B Jordan) and his political beliefs are diabolical and the opposite of T'Challa's. As foes set forth to destroy Wakanda, Black Panther teams up with a C.I.A. agent and a neighboring tribe to prevent the country from a world war. The path from light to dark, and back to doing good in the world beyond Wakanda is refreshing.

The film is pure Marvel action-adventure with a broad political and socially aware feeling. It is awake and unique. It may be a superhero film, yet it is also steeped in real political and social issues similar to those we face today, especially diversity and inclusion. The strong female characters - Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Ramonda (Angela Bassett) are phenomenal.

I love this film! From the casting, cinematography and directing, to the special effects and female empowerment, it is fulfilling. The action is believable, many of the fight scenes are based on African martial arts, although the CGI at times is a little whack. Overall, I was displaced, forgetting I was sitting in a theater. The costumes are fantastic with attention to detail befitting royalty. Wakanda forever!

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for the cast, social and political awareness, technology focus and female empowerment. This film will appeal to ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. I caution younger viewing due to fight scenes which may be disturbing. It opens in theater February 16, 2018 so, check it out!

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

Wow! Exciting! Thrilling! I thoroughly enjoyed Black Panther!, Marvel's block buster film with a person of color as its star. The storyline, the fine strong black cast and the visuals are all excellent. The camera work and visual special effects are woven together to create a fantastic movie mosaic.

T'Challa / Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) returns to his hidden, technologically advanced African home nation of Wakanda to be crowned king. He is threatened by not only internal strife but also outside forces. T'Challa's challenge is to save his people from a world war.

One of my favorite scenes happens when T'Challa, Nakia (Lupito Nyong'O) and Okoye (Danai Gurira) travel to Korea to retrieve a stolen object and its thief Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis). We see glamour and a bit of humor when Okoye is irritated by a wig she wears. They have a plan and, as plans often do, it goes astray. They are forced to fight and we see Okoye's wig go flying across the room as she goes into battle.

T'Challa's role model as a king is his father, until he learns of a negative deed. Then he is conflicted with what it means to be a good king. You have to see the film to find out how he resolves this issue.

I love the beautiful scenes with the water falls and forest. The GGI works well. The costumes are beautiful and extremely colorful. You can expect lots of action, violence and a sprinkling of romance.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Many adults will enjoy it also. The film opens in theaters nationwide on February 16, 2018. Be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita S. L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Honestly, this movie is just amazing. There are so many things this movie does incredibly correctly. This might be one of the greatest Superhero movies of all time!

The story is about T'challa, prince of the secluded, incredibly advanced nation of Wakanda, who struggles to defeat an enemy wanting to take his throne. He teams up with some phenomenal females to secure his role as King.

This film is just visually incredible, especially the city of Wakanda. The city looks so amazing. All the buildings and creations are so cool. But that's not all. The designs of the weapons and spaceships look very realistic and straight up awesome! Kudos to the visual effects team! I also loved the Black Panther suit. I love the idea of the suit absorbing hits into stored kinetic energy and using it as a shockwave like blast. The movie starts with a re-telling of the creation of Wakanda, but it was made out of sand. It looked so cool. In general, the aesthetic nature of this movie is just marvelous.

The nation of Wakanda also has a very interesting culture. I like that it blends futuristic technology with a tribal feel, in terms of the fashions, locations and culture. It may seem like an odd blend, but it works well. Even the music reflects this combination. Speaking of which, the music is also fantastic.

The characters in this film are multi-dimensional. I really enjoyed Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and Black Panther himself (Chadwick Boseman). Plus, Sterling K. Brown (one of my favorite actors) is also in it and, while he has a small part, it is a key role. Hands down, the best characters are the female leads. The Future is Female! And there are some cool dudes. This movie has some wonderful female characters that everyone can look up to such as Danai Gurira, who I already love from AMC's The Walking Dead, plays the highly skilled warrior Okoye. Letitia Wright plays T'challa's tech-savvy little sister, Shuri and Lupita Nyong'o plays Nakia. I love these women and I'm sure many young kids will too.

This movie also has very interesting messages. The whole movie presents engaging thoughts on whether or not you should enter in other nation's affairs and the possible consequences of doing so. This is a pretty intriguing and well done storyline. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18. It opens in theaters February 16, 2018 so go check it out!

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Black Panther is a stunning first solo outing for its title character that wowed me with its strong ensemble cast, inventive visuals and multi-layered story.

Black Panther follows T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), King of Wakanda, an advanced and highly powerful territory that is disguised as a third-world country. He also protects his nation and its people as a masked vigilante called the Black Panther. After the death of his father, T'Challa is chosen to take the throne and receive the powers of the panther god. Just after his extravagant coronation, a threat finds its way into Wakanda's borders by Erik Killmonger. Killmonger is a fierce and skilled soldier who wishes to replace T'Challa and usher in a new age for the country. T'Challa will be tested and must protect the throne from Killmonger.

My favorite character is Shuri (Letitia Wright), T'Challa's whizkid sister who helps him maintain the mantle of Black Panther and stay one step ahead of the villains he faces. Letitia Wright delivers hilarious one-liners with near perfect timing. She nails the rapport between Shuri and her brother, interacting in a way that is both believable and develops both their characters.

An outstanding performance in this film comes from Michael B. Jordan who is brilliant as Killmonger. He abandons the genre's usual vague "destroy-the-world" motivation and creates a genuinely complicated character. Jordan has cutthroat moments that make you dread his presence, but his sinister manner is evened out by moments where you come to sympathize with his character.

The deep, emotional part of the film's story is unexpected and caught me by surprise. It is an important moment for the main character and what drives his actions for the rest of the film. Sometimes, these comic-book heroes make poor decisions and have to fight against their own demons as well as the bad guys. This has been done before in both comics and film, but here we really see T'Challa change through his experiences.

I recommend this film to ages 12 to 18. There is some action and violence with spears and swords that feels more violent than what I'm used to from comic book films. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. This opens in theaters February 16, 2018 so, be sure to check it out. Black Panther is easily one of the greatest comic-book films I've seen. Period.

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

This movie surprised me because it was more violent than I had anticipated. Director and writer Ryan Coogler drives the remarkable story of Black Panther in an exciting and action-packed way. One of the beginning scenes shows Black Panther challenged by a rival tribe that attempts to kill him, but fails. The scene takes place on top of a waterfall, which gives you an idea of just how many things Coogler had to deal with to choreograph the fighting for that scene.

Black Panther is about a young boy, T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) that becomes King of Wakanda after his father dies in an explosion. When T'Challa takes the throne, he and his people find out that someone stole a weapon made with the precious metal vibranium from a museum. They embark on a mission to find the weapon and its thieves. A character named Klaw (Andy Serkis) intends to sell the weapon. T'Challa's cousin Erik (Michael B. Jordan) also aided in stealing the weapon because Erik seeks revenge for T'Challa's father killing his dad. Without giving away the plot, Wakanda is threatened and, with the help of T'Challa aka Black Panther and his team, they fight to keep their nation alive.

What really stands out are the transitions from scene to scene because ach one is so unique. The soundtrack is unbelievably effective, fittin the movie perfectly with each song at the right place at the right time. I was surprised to find that Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) playing W'Kabi. This movie also includes some humor. My favorite character is Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) because he plays a really good guy.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Black Panther at a theater opens in theaters February 16, 2018, so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 19

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



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