The Family category has 1500 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles
Below are records 1 - 50 of them
sorted alphabetically

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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WILD LIFE, THE
LIONSGATE FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - On a tiny exotic island, Tuesday, an outgoing parrot lives with his quirky animal friends in paradise. However, Tuesday can't stop dreaming about discovering the world. After a violent storm, Tuesday and his friends wake up to find a strange creature on the beach: Robinson Crusoe. Tuesday immediately views Crusoe as his ticket off the island to explore new lands. Likewise, Crusoe soon realizes that the key to surviving on the island is through the help of Tuesday and the other animals. It isn't always easy at first, as the animals don't speak "human." Slowly but surely, they all start living together in harmony, until one day, when their comfortable life is overturned by two savage cats, who wish to take control of the island. A battle ensues between the cats and the group of friends but Crusoe and the animals soon discover the true power of friendship up against all odds (even savage cats).
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I enjoyed this movie because it is exciting and adventurous. One exciting part is when pirates come to the deserted tropical island and rescue Crusoe. Another adventurous scene is when the tree house sets on fire after stray cats throw lit lanterns at Crusoe. I enjoyed that movie is narrated by the parrot Mak (David Howard).

If you compare this movie to the book it is completely different. Unlike the book, when Robinson Crusoe A.K.A Robin Crusoe is shipwrecked on an island, there are no cannibals. They do make mention of the cannibals when he and his dog Rufus (B.J Oakie) first get there. The animals make scary noises in reference to the cannibals. So basically, it's a kid friendly version of the book and now, all of a sudden, there are animals talking, pirates and paradise. When Robin Crusoe (Matthias Schweighofer) gets shipwrecked on the island, the animals start to make hilarious statements about him.

The story is about an English man named Robinson Crusoe who gets shipwrecked on an island and has to learn how to survive in the wilderness along with his animal friends Kiki (Marieve Herington), Carmelo (Colin Metzger), Pango (Jeff Doucette), Epi (Sandy Fox) and Scrubby (Joey Camen). But as easy as that sounds, it takes months to complete it and, by then the stray cats have had hundreds of kittens and that creates problems. When this happens you discover how smart these old animals really are. They even learn how to fire a musket.

The movie graphics are great. The CGI animations are colorful, alive and very vibrant. When you get to see the whole tropical island paradise, lots of colors just pop out. I recommend this movie to the ages 5 through 13.

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

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


HILLSONG: LET HOPE RISE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HILLSONG: LET HOPE RISE
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Capturing the on-stage energy and off-stage hearts of the Australia-based band Hillsong UNITED, HILLSONG - LET HOPE RISE is a new motion-picture genre: the theatrical worship experience. The film explores Hillsong's humble beginnings and astonishing rise to prominence as an international church whose songs are sung every Sunday by more than 50 million people worldwide.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Watching Hillsong: Let Hope Rise is the most surreal movie going experiences you will ever have. It's not a film. It's not a documentary. It's a live worship experience being captured on camera.

Hillsong United originated in the late 1990s in Sydney, Australia. The band itself is made up of faithful members of the Hillsong Church. This Christian band creates music that not only worships God but also instills hope to their listeners. And now, they tour many countries and continents singing songs of worship targeting the younger generation.

Unlike popular concert films like One Direction: This is Us and Katy Perry: Part of Me, it is not filled with costume changes and performances. The purpose is to discuss the process of creating music that is truly meaningful. Many of their popular songs are featured in the film and have lyrics at the bottom of the screen to encourage the audience to sing along.

You may recognize Michael John Warren (director) from his other films like Shrek the Musical, Rent: Filmed On Broadway, Drake: Better Than Good Enough and Nicki Minaj: My Time Now. Warren digs deeper by interviewing band members, Senior Pastor Brian Houston and Bobbie Houston. Together, they share how the church has transformed their lives and why they value their music so much.

"We are the biggest band that you don't know." Joel Houston, band leader and son of Brian Houston, explains. For almost a decade, Hillsong United has been number one and two for U.S. Christian albums sales. Joel continues to say "This film isn't for us. The band isn't for us. It's for God." The band members emphasize that the songs are carefully crafted to express their deep feeling of admiration for God. Day in and day out, the band devotes all of their time to finding the perfect sound and lyrics. One song could take months or even longer to be completely finished. That also means, months and months away from their loved ones.

Music is one of the most powerful creations known to man. It is beautiful to observe these concert goers really receiving music and allowing it to affect them. I found myself shedding a few tears because it is so moving. This film is so personal and I felt like I was among the thirty thousand people at their annual conference.

The most important lesson you can take away from this film is to stay true to who you are and what you believe. I recommend this to ages 12 to 18 as well as adults. Although this is a Christian band, I believe people that are looking for healing, have different beliefs or are music lovers will appreciate the real life stories and how their music is changing the world.

This film is out Friday September 16th. Check out your local theatre for listings.

Reviewed by Shelby Ronae, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

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


GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: AUTUMN JOURNEY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: AUTUMN JOURNEY
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD AGES 2-7
Description - Enjoy these adventures 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. Keeping love as the major theme, each adventure is set against the backdrop of a season with this collection focusing on the bright colors of autumn. Join Little Nutbrown Hare and Little Field Mouse as they leave a trail of acorns to find their way home, but Little Grey Squirrel unknowingly collects the acorns. Oh no! Now they are all lost in the woods! Will they be able to find their way back home? Enjoy these autumn adventures and more with Little Nutbrown Hare and friends!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - If you are seeking quiet, calm, old-timey togetherness with your child, then Guess How Much I Love You: Autumn Journey is perfect! Nothing blows up, nothing glitters and, most importantly, nothing is designed to over-stimulate you or your child. These animated episodes are good clean fun that reminds one of sweet, simpler times.

This animated series is based on the iconic books by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram, bed time story go-to's for 20 years. Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends, Little Field Mouse and Little Grey Squirrel have adventures and misadventures that young children will enjoy and learn from.

This DVD of individual episodes makes bed time or quiet time even more special. Like the books, each episode has child-friendly dialogue, the joy of friendship and loving companionship between parent and young bunny. The episodes provide the added bonus of animation, stunning autumn-themed water color illustrations and calming music. And who doesn't enjoy hearing the father, Big Nutbrown Hare and son trying to one-up their love for each other?

Guess How Much I Love You: Autumn Journey is timeless entertainment for 3 to 6-year-olds and anyone else who enjoys a good bed time story!

Reviewed by Ruth A., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Guess How Much I Love You: Autumn Journey is a collection of heartwarming episodes full of love and I absolutely loved them! Watching it reminded me of when I was little and my mom would read me bedtime stories!

This movie is based off of the book Guess How Much I Love You, a much loved classic bedtime story written by Sam McBartney and illustrated by Anita Jeram.

Guess How Much I Love You: Autumn Stories is about Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends who go on outings and learn lessons.. They explore and go on adventures such as building a spider web, collecting different things, playing fun games and enjoying themselves. There are many lessons to be learned in these episodes. Kids can learn about team work, the importance of memory, using their imagination, perseverance and more!

I love all the animation! Autumn Journey is colorful, creative, detailed and it looks like it's a water color. The main characters are all drawn with detailed lines and color. The scenery is really pretty. All the trees have bright autumn colored leaves and they even have details in their trunk lines.

My favorite character is Little Nutbrown Hare. He is so adventurous and playful. He loves his friends and helping his dad out. He is kind and a great role model. Little Nutbrown Hare explores the meadow with his friends, Little Grey Squirrel, Little Field Mouse, Little Red Wood Fox and many more.

It is very sweet how every night Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare say how much they love each other. They try to compete with bigger reasons to describe the amount of love they have for each other. Normally stories are about a mom with the child sharing a bond. Here the dad is always there in the adventures telling Little Nutbrown Hare how much he loves him and this is a really nice change. It shows kids that both parents share equal love.

These short episodes are great bedtime stories to watch and enjoy during quiet family time. This movie is relaxing and full of fun plot lines that can help kids calm down and fall asleep. The sweet animation and story lines are perfect for when Mom or Dad are too tired to read a story out loud. I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 6 and rate it 5 out of 5 stars because it is based on the classic books and is full of valuable lessons, great animation and heartwarming moments.

Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 75 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
WHERE HEROES DO NOT BELONG
THE SEVEN BRIDGES GROUP LLC (REPRESENTING TEREZIA KONTOVA)
Series: SCREENPLAY FOR AGES 8-12
Description - One classroom, twenty children. Every child keeps committing one specific devil deed in the classroom: lying, stealing, bullying, etc. Every chapter one of these children falls asleep and wakes up to a World with the plenty of welfare: countless toys, countless sweats, countless anything the child desires for. But every child in that miraculous World is treated by the same specific devil deed which the child was committing in the classroom during the day-light.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a story of students that have lessons to be learned that are not academic. There are morals to be learned and in this first chapter we learn of young Tom who has a problem with lying. I had some difficulty with the flow of the beginning of the chapter and there was some slight confusion, but the middle and ending did make much more sense and came together. There are quite a few grammar mistakes that should be fixed. I feel that this story does have potential and there are some strengths.

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

LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS, THE
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat. Starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz and more
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - When you watch a romantic film, you expect it to achieve skilled levels of drama, acting, entertaining and relatable story to keep the viewer engaged, but still have a realistic romantic plot. The Light Between Oceans is a spectacular romance story that is truly perfect in many ways.

The Light Between Oceans tells a dramatic story with many romantic elements. There are couple of jokes but it should not be considered a comedy in the slightest. The characters do embark on a large and emotional adventure throughout the story, so this film can also be considered an adventure.

The story begins when Tom (Michael Fassbender), a WW1 veteran comes back to his home, Australia. After suffering in the War, he takes a job of a lighthouse keeper, living completely alone on a small island. However, he meets a girl named Isabel (Alicia Vikander) and they quickly fall in love. After getting married and moving to the island, they try to start a family but lose two babies prematurely. Everything changes when a baby mysteriously washes up on the shore and they must decide to keep her or report this phenomena to the authorities.

The story is based on a book and the story itself is fantastic. In this film however, many scenes are unnecessary and cause it to feel stretched out. For example, there are flashback scenes about the baby's father, which would be nice in the book, but in a film are not necessary and drastically increase the run-time. There are also some scenes that seem to be there for no reason and could be cut out to make the film more enjoyable. Despite those issues, the acting is emotional and fits the characters. Michael Fassbender and Alica Vikander truly make you believe their characters, Tom and Isabel, are deeply in love. Another aspect is the film's heart-wrenching drama, which the entire cast brings to life. From sadness, to anger, to just plain awkwardness, they demonstrate their emotions wonderfully. On top of that, the cinematography is exquisite, especially of the lighthouse, the waves and the beach. It truly shows beautiful parts of Australia not widely known.

My favorite scene is when the boat landfalls onto the island with the baby. Isabel is heavily traumatized from losing two babies, so seeing a live baby changes her mood quickly and, it is interesting to see how the characters react to the situation. I also like this scene because it displays the actors' outstanding performances and is also easily one of the most important scenes in the film.

Although this film lacks any adult language, it still has a considerable amount of adult content so I recommend it to ages 13 to 18. Younger kids may be too young for the content and may not even understand the plot. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars due to its length but still, the acting and beautiful cinematography makes it all worth while.

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

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


SULLY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SULLY
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE 8-18
Description - On Thursday, January 15th, 2009, the world witnessed the "Miracle on the Hudson" when Captain, Chesley Sullenberger, nicknamed "Sully" & is portrayed by Tom Hanks glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Love this film. Of course, I was familiar with the story as was anyone in the US at the time of this incident. What I was not aware of was how Captain Sullenberger and his colleague were investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board to make sure that the river landing was indeed necessary. Clint Eastwood delivers a fine film here. He and Tom Hanks, with his understated heroic performance, demonstrate how you can make a provocative film devoid of all the pyrotechnics and special effects that fill so many films today. The other unsung heroes are all the first responders who got every passenger and crewmember out of that icy water to safety within 24 minutes. Stunning. The final scene under the credits of the actual passengers, Captain Sully and his co-pilot are equally compelling. Every one of them has a personal story of gratitude for the man who saved their lives that day. Bravo. Oscar material me thinks.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Out of all the intense films released this year so far, Sully is the best one, hands down. Out of all the nonfiction films released this year, Sully is the greatest. From spectacular directing to emotional acting, Sully is easily one of the best films of 2016.

Interestingly enough, although this film may have a few action scenes, it shouldn't be branded as an action movie. It is full-on intense drama, with two or three jokes that are original and funny, but don't turn the film into a comedy. The story itself can also be considered an emotional and physical dramatic adventure that changes the lives of the characters forever.

Sully begins when U.S. Airways flight 1549 lands in the water in the Hudson river after both engines are destroyed by birds. Luckily, not one passenger is injured and this is due to the skill of both rescue teams and pilot Sully Sullenbrger (Tom Hanks) and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles (Aaron Eckhart). Unfortunately, the nightmare is not over. Even though all passengers are in safety, it is still a major question if Sully should have landed the plane in the water and if he might have had enough speed and altitude to reach the runway at an actual airport.

This is a very famous story that happened in 2009, but many people do not know what happened after the plane water landed. Sully truly shows all the events of this flight. Another amazing aspect of the film is the acting. Both Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart do phenomenal portrayals of the pilots. Not only do the two look so much like the actual people, they also got their personalities right too. The two actors excel in the scenes where they keep imagining the crash, and it clearly affects them day after day. Clint Eastwood has directed many wonderful films, but Sully, without doubt, is one of his best. The story does not feel like it lasts 96 minutes and I was surprised when it ended. Sully really does keep you on the edge of your seat using cinematography that makes you feel like you are a part of the movie, acting that is emotional and dramatic and even special effects that make it look very real. Something to note, the film was shot with IMAX cameras so seeing it in IMAX theaters gives you the best possible experience.

My favorite scene is the actual plane crash. From taking off, to the passengers getting into rescue boats, this scene keeps your heart beating very fast. I personally suffer from a fear of flying and it pumped me full of adrenaline. I could not blink until I found out what happened next. The special effects of the plane going down in the middle of New York looks very realistic and intense. On top of that, the emotional acting of not only the pilots, but the passengers and the flight attendants brings even more drama to the scene. It is easily the most intense scene in the whole film and, because of cinematography, it makes you feel like you are a part of it, is borderline scary.

Sully is a very mature story. And though it lacks adult content, language or gore, it is geared for a mature audience because of its intense and dramatic scenes. It may be too intense for younger viewers so I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. I definitely give Sully 5 out of 5 stars for its spectacular directing, wonderful cinematography, emotional acting and realistic special effects.

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

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


DRESSMAKER, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DRESSMAKER, THE
AMAZON.COM Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 14-18
Description - A glamorous, worldly dressmaker returns to her small Australian hometown to seek the truth behind her notorious reputation. This dark and quirky comedy stars Academy Award winner Kate Winslet as Tilly Dunnage, who cares for her eccentric mother (Academy Award nominee Judy Davis), schemes with the local sergeant (Hugo Weaving) who has secrets of his own, and falls for local farmer Teddy (Liam Hemsworth). As she starts to unravel her scandalous past, she transforms the town's women with her exquisite creations. Armed with only her sewing machine and haute couture style, Tilly shows she is a force to be reckoned with and that revenge never goes out of style. You should know this if "R" rated. We normally do not review "R" rated films but this was unrated when we reviewed it.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Wow! Best movie ever. This is a complex dramedy mystery. I cried, laughed so hard my side hurt and I picked my jaw up off the ground several times. Jocelyn Moorhouse is an epic director and writer along with her husband P.J. Hogan and I couldn't wait to see what they would do next.

This is what a good drama is all about. It starts with an aerial view over the vast terrain of Australia. It made me feel as if I was going to watch Little House on the Prairie. The fluffy couch seating at Broad Green Pictures made me think this was going to me a quiet drama. Wrong. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. This is definitely an award-winning, must-see movie.

The main characters are played by Kate Winslet (Myrtle Tilly Dunnage) the amazing dressmaker, Liam Hemsworth (Teddy Mc Swiney) the tall drink of cool water hunk, Hugo Weaving (Sergean Farrat) the policeman who loves fashion and fabric and Judy Davis (Molly Dunnage) the mother who can't pass up a drink and is a pick pocket.

Every character in this film an important part in the story. I love all of them. The hunch back Percival Almanac (Barry Otto) can only stop by running into a pillow and will have you holding your sides with laughter. Gertrude 'Trudy' Pratt (Sarah Snook) goes from drab to fab in order the capture the heart of William Beaumont (James MacKay). Beulah Harridiene (Kerry Fox) is the school teacher we all have nightmares about. Evan Pettyman (Shane Bourne), like most of the townspeople, has many secrets. Tilly is out for revenge and to reveals them all. Some of them might not make it out of their lies alive.

Tilly, a Paris educated dressmaker, comes home to check on her mother and to confirm whether or not she is a killer. All the townspeople hate her because she murdered another child when she was a little girl. She wants to know if it is true.

Tilly begins making dresses for the various ladies of the town and tries to extract their memories. Through flash backs she finds pieces of the puzzling mystery. She thinks she is cursed and has given up on relationships. Liam Hemsworth has other ideas. Romance is in the air.

The costume designers, Marion Boyce and Margot Wilson outdid themselves from the sad periodic outfits to the fabulous New York runway dresses. Just picture a small town in the middle of nowhere with dirt roads in the 1950s with half the town walking around like New York Fashion week runway models.

Of course, there are sports in this movie and those are my favorite scenes. Tilly's house is on the top of a hill which serves as the golf range and the town below is the golf course. When the balls fly, look out below.

Tilly is full of girl power and has many assets with which to manipulate the townspeople . Her arrival at a local soccer game, wearing a hot cute red dress to distract the players is shocking to this small quiet town. Then, she changes outfits and distracts the other team, leading the favorite team to victory. I loved this scene.

There is violence and sexual content in this film, but it is minimal. I recommend it for ages 14 to 18 as long as they are mature enough to follow a complex drama. I give this film 5 fabulous dresses with golden stars.

By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 118 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


ABC MONSTERS: STARRING MNOP
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ABC MONSTERS: STARRING MNOP
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: SERIES, AGES 2-5
Description - 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 clean 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 always curious and happy creatures so they tend to wander off from Alphabet Gardens and get lost in the process.�

In each adventure Alice and her good friends Brian and Cherry Berry, must search high and low for one of the missing monsters.� In this DVD, embark on adventures to find the letters M,N,O and P!� Will they be able to get all four letter monsters back to Capital Castle before the sun goes down?� Find out! Along the way Alice and her friends laugh, sing, and clap along as they discover just how much fun letters and words can be, while at the same time learning valuable clues that lead Alice and her two friends ever closer to the runaway monster.� Your little one will enjoy everything from karaoke videos to learning how to draw each featured letter to word puzzles and more!

Get set for a spellbinding series of magical adventures that engages preschool children's imaginations, while making learning exciting and entertaining.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Kids, ages 3 to 6 will simply love ABC Monsters: Party in Capital Castle! Starring MNOP because the episodes are quick paced, entertaining and fun! Meanwhile, their parents will embrace these episodes as a tool for helping children increase their pre-reading skills such as letter recognition, letter formation, visual tracking and vocabulary recall.

Learning the letters of the alphabet and developing pre-reading skills is always easier when it feels more like play rather than effort! Watch along as friendly talking monsters in the shape of letters make learning fun by using repetition, word games, brightly colored animation and age appropriate songs.

Throughout these four stories, cartoon characters Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry work together to find missing letter monsters and return them to their home in Alphabet Gardens in the Capital Castle. This DVD focuses on the letters M, N, O and P.

This reviewer would have welcomed diversity in the "human" characters, as they were all seemingly Caucasian. I rate this 4 out of 5 stars.

By Ruth Anderson, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What would the world be like without the letters M N O P? Chaos! We use these letters every day and, in this DVD, preschoolers and kindergarteners help solve a mystery to find a different missing letter in every episode. This is a fun filled show containing four episodes, each one about the relationships of letters and how important they all are. Each episode focuses on a specific letter and uses words from that letter throughout the show.

This animated cartoon adventure has the perfect blend of silliness, singing, puzzles, mysteries, exercise and games. I enjoyed the colorful animation and all the different activities that keep your mind entertained. The letters are all adorable. It teaches children how to spell, write, count, directions, phonics and the importance of letting peers know where you are.

My favorite episode to watch is Odd Jobs and Octopuses. I love this episode because it is silly. I like all the fun words that we learn and it is really cute. I love the way that it incorporates many different ways we use the letter O. The letter O is very quirky. The way he solves the problems with all his odd jobs is original. All the letters get together to help O. This episode also teaches teamwork and that is a very important lesson for children to learn.

The voiceovers are quite believable and easy to listen to. The voices vary enough to make it easy to see differentiate between the letters. All the character are adorable and make you want to play along with them, sing the catchy songs, exercise, dance and do the fun games.

My favorite character is Alice because she is so adorable, sweet and helpful. I love the ways she supports her friends Brian and Cherry Berry while they try to find the missing letters. Brian is very funny and just too cute for words. I love how he assists Alice and Cherry Berry by telling them what words mean. Cherry Berry is a magical fairy with a jester stick that is friends with Alice and Brian. She is very helpful and is willing to help Alice and Brian find the missing alphabet letters.

The graphics are bright, silly and colorful. The directors, Au Loong and Cheong Siew Wai have created a fast paced, entertaining show that captures your attention from beginning to end. You are sad to see it end.

I recommend this show for ages 3 to 7. Older kids will likely enjoy watching it too as it reminded me of being younger and reinforced that learning can be fun. Cute, singing Monsters always make people smile. This really is one cute, adorable, quirky and fun learning experience all rolled up into one DVD of four episodes. I give this DVD 4 � out of 5 ABC Stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


JUNGLE BOOK, THE (DVD/BLU-RAY/DIGITAL)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
JUNGLE BOOK, THE (DVD/BLU-RAY/DIGITAL)
WALT DISNEY ANIMATED STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - The man-cub Mowgli flees the jungle after a threat from the tiger Shere Khan. Guided by Bagheera the panther and the bear Baloo, Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery, though he also meets creatures who don't have his best interests at heart. Directed by Jon Favreau. Starring Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Disney steps it up in this reboot of the Rudyard Kipling classic tale. This live-action film with enhanced animated animals stays true to the original story while delivering a big Wow! factor with it's realistic animations. Had it not been for the animals talking, I would have sworn they were real.

A stunning voiceover cast combined with an outstanding score equate to, what I believe, is something that outshines the original class from the 60s. I would have loved to have been a fly inside Jon Favreau's mind as he was generating the concept for this film. The visual effects team also deserves a huge applaud for their incredible work. The casting was straight on. Newcomer Neel Sethi, for whom this is his first feature role delivers a lively and believable performance while charming us with his precociousness and adorable smile. You can hardly ask for better voice over work than what we get from Bill Murray as Baloo, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Idris Elba as the formidable Shere Khan , Lupita Nyong'o as Raksha and Scarlett Johansson as the seductive Kaa. She and Christopher Walken as King Louis steal the show with their cameo roles. I love this! Can you tell. However, it does have some "scare the pants off you" scenes so, be cautious when determining which child to take with you. It is not for the faint of heart.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I enjoyed watching the Blu-ray/DVD combo of The Jungle Book about Mowgli (Neel Sethi) who is the only man cub in the jungle. He wants to be a wolf, but in reality he's not. He is raised by wolves and he feels he has a nice life. Then one day Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens Mowgli's life. While the wolves argue about whether or not Mowgli should leave for the safety of the pack, Mowgli decides for them and leaves. He ventures out to find the man village. On his way to the man village, he meets many enemies and friends like King Louie (Christopher Walken), Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) and Baloo (Bill Murray). What will happen next? Will he make it to the man village? Does Shere Khan catch him? You just have to watch the movie to find out.

What I liked about the bonus features on the Blu-ray disc is a feature called, The Jungle Book Reimagined which shows ideas for the remake of The Jungle Book and Neel Sethi's experience while acting on the set. This shows the relationship between Neel and the director. There is also a bonus audio commentary feature from the director, Jon Favreau, which is great because you get to hear what he was thinking when making the movie. Another added bonus allows you to go to the scene selection and select the scene you want, plus there is a setup feature so you can insert your own settings. There is also a DVD version included and a download code to download a digital copy if you would prefer to use that versus the discs.

What I like about this movie are the CGIs which are so realistic that you think the sets are real because they are so incredibly detailed. The animals look realistic as well and the backgrounds are very intricate. But, as I learned in the Blu-ray feature "I am Mowgli", it shows that it was all done on green screen, which makes this film more incredible because most of it isn't real! The voice acting is superb. Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken and many others truly bring the animals to life with their outstanding voice over work. Speaking about Christopher Walken, another bonus feature is "King Louie's Temple Layer by Layer". It shows you how the "I Wan'na Be Like You" scene was created. It is very interesting to watch how the orchestra, Christopher Walken, the storyboard and green screens worked together to make that sequence. Finally, the music is superb and adds so much more energy and excitement to the movie. It just makes the scenes more interesting than they would be without such compelling music.

What you should know about this film is that there are many intense scenes. Even I jumped out of my seat a few times. This isn't a movie for children below age 9 and is definitely a "know your kid" type of movie. I also didn't like how King Louie doesn't look as friendly as in the original movie. Aside from that, this movie is truly outstanding entertainment.

I recommend this film to kids ages 9 to 18. People who like action, adventure and comedy movies will surely enjoy this. It does have intense scenes and will make you jump but I give it 4 out of 5 stars and love all the bonus features on the DVD/Blu-ray/Digital HD which is available August 30, 2016.

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

Having now see three versions of the Rudyard Kipling classic, I can honestly say that Jon Favreau's 2016 adaptation reigns supreme. I know that may come as a far-fetched opinion for the faithful fans of the 1967 animated classic, but open your mind to the possibility that this version is above the rest.

The darker, more realistic tone of this live-action adventure is a sharp contrast to the lighter tone of the 1967 musical comedy. That may be off-putting to some fans, but once you're swept up in the visual splendor of the movie, the story becomes ever more engaging. Speaking of which, don't be surprised if a few elements of the 1967 version's story aren't in this one or are rearranged.

Jon Favreau gives the story the proper grandeur it deserves. He uses lush art direction and sweeping cinematography to make the story look bigger. Visual effects aside, the aesthetic of the film gets across the monumental stature a family adventure should have. Combine the visuals with the score of John Debney and you'll find beauty and thrills that bring back a child like wonder.

One thing I really appreciate is the way the film treats the animals as characters, not denying them close-ups or treating them as spectacles. They are instead, portrayed as natural beings within the world of the screenplay. It enhances the brilliant voice acting of the cast. Speaking of which, I hope this film can rekindle the campaign to get voice acting a category with the major awards. Idris Elba is perfectly evil. Ben Kingsley and Bill Murray provide such natural and fitting voice work. And, Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken steal the show. Their scenes are the highlights of the movie and are easily the most memorable.

This movie is an overall construction of perfect cinematic elements. Disney has hit a grand slam with The Jungle Book as it will be etched in the memories of audiences for decades. I say this film is one of the best films of this decade and maybe even the last ten years.

With that said, I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It can be seen at a local theater near you.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

After analyzing this film, I really appreciated it because it is family oriented and explores the relationship of a young man. This film made me wonder if something happened to my parents who would take care of me. I love the fact that the animated jungle animals look so real and talk like human beings. This film blends adventure, drama, fantasy and family in an entertaining story. I enjoyed this film because of the way it takes a classic story and turns it into something amazing. Director Jon Favreau's fantastic adaptation of the story and his devotion to the animals cherish exceeded my expectations. The special effects and 3D portrayal of all the animals are breathtakingly awesome.

The story follows the man-cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi) who departs the jungle after a threat from the tiger, Shere Khan (Idris Elba). The panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) serves as his protector and keeps him out of harms way until Baloo the Bear (Bill Murray) comes on board and joins the team. Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery and meets creatures along the way who don't have his best interests at heart. The film shows his innocence and you have to respect and honor him.

I loved the scene when Baloo the Bear and Mowgli go to the lake with Mowgli sitting on Baloo's stomach as they float down the river. I really adored this moment because it is hilarious and it reminded me of a special time I spent with my friends in the pool. A bond is formed that you knew could not be broken.

The message of this film is do not ever hold a grudge against someone because of something that happened in the past. Try to make amends because life is too short and precious. Live each moment to the fullest. That is what Mowgli realizes and does. You should always give someone a chance to fit in.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18 because they will definitely be entertained. I give it 5 out of 5 Stars because it is child friendly, hilarious, exciting and enjoyable it even though some terrifying moments exist. This movie opens in theaters Friday, April 15, 2016 so go check it out, you will not be disappointed.

Reviewed by Tre'ana H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 106 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


OCTONAUTS: SLIME TIME
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS: SLIME TIME
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Description - Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii and medic Peso Penguin, along with the other Octonauts as they explore the world's oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats - above and below the waves! On this exciting DVD, join the Octonauts as they plunge into all kinds of sea slime! Captain Barnacles has to catch a runaway Octopod when it s hijacked by a gang of crustaceans trying to escape algae-infested waters! Kwazii searches a shipwreck for hidden treasure, only to encounter goo-squirting Slime Eels! And when a herd of hungry sea pigs is about to fall into a deep sea trench, the crew attempts to lure them away with a tasty treat - rotting sea kelp! It's slime time with the Octonauts!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a great collection of nine 10 to15 minute episodes featuring our favorite underwater explorers, The Octonauts. We follow along as Captain Barnacles and his crew explore the world's oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats. This collection has episodes with some wild creatures such as Sea Snot Cucumbers, Mudskippers, Marine Iguanas and Slime Eels! The Octonauts teach lessons about the importance of helping others and preserving the world around us-above and below the waves! Bonus Features include episode selection and in-depth explanations of all the sea phenomena featured in the episodes via short animations and fun songs! I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 7. It's fun, silly and informative on a relatable level for this age group. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by-Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Do you like adventure, fun and marine biology? Then Octonauts: Slime Time is the perfect DVD for you and your family to watch together. This animated collection of eight shows offer fun-filled adventures where you learn about all kinds of fascinating creatures including algae, snot sea cucumbers, slime eels, marine iguanas, mudskippers, sea skaters, sea pigs and even giant squid. This is a really great collection of shows that are educational, exciting, interesting and fun to watch.

I like that they have so many different characters who all love to help sea creatures and find out more about them. It is really great that they are helping young kids learn about the ocean and spark their curiosity about the creatures who live there. One of the best features of this collection is that at the end of each episode they have a creature report which reinforces, through song, all the informational things for that episode and includes a clip of what the actual real creatures look like.

Even though there are many different characters which I enjoyed very much, my absolute favorite is Shellington (Keith Wickham). He is goodhearted and very inquisitive about oceanic creatures. The way he voices this character truly adds brilliance and friendliness to it. There is also Tweak (Jo Wyatt), a smart southwestern rabbit, Captain Barnacles (Simon Greenall), a kind polar bear, Dashi (Teresa Gallagher), an adorable dog, Peso (Paul Panting), a goodhearted penguin and Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw), a daredevil cat pirate. There is a wonderful gang of all kinds of animals and vegimals (Michael Murphy) who are just too cute for words. Their different personalities all come together as they help some fascinating creatures of the sea.

My favorite episode is with Marine Iguanas. I loved it because it is fun to watch and I had no idea that these creatures even existed and learning about them was incredible. This episode also involves a bit of a mystery and is very quirky. I learned quite a lot and loved seeing what they looked like in person in the creature report at the end.

I recommend this show for ages 4 through 18. Younger kids will love the animation and will learn about some terrific creatures. Older kids and adults will learn new things about these stupendous creatures and might even learn about a couple they never knew about before. I give this DVD 4.5 out of 5 oceanic starfish.

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Age 11
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 5.9
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: THE BOYS OF 36
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: THE BOYS OF 36
PBS DISTRIBUTION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - THE BOYS OF '36 is the story of nine working-class young men from the University of Washington who took the rowing world and the nation by storm when they captured the gold medal at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. These sons of loggers, shipyard workers and farmers overcame tremendous hardships - psychological, physical and economic - to beat not only the Ivy League teams of the East Coast but Adolf Hitler's elite German rowers. Their unexpected victory, and the obstacles they overcame to achieve it, gave hope to a nation struggling to emerge from the depths of the Depression.

Featuring interviews with author Daniel James Brown, historians and surviving children of the 1936 Washington team, the program will be available in August on DVD in conjunction with the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 80th anniversary of the miracle crew's triumph.
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD


PUP STAR
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PUP STAR
XXX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURES, AGES 5-12
Description - A Yorkshire Terrier, competing in a televised singing competition, is separated from her owner by an opportunist dog pound worker. Starring: Jonathan Mangum, Danny Woodburn and Kaitlyn Maher.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - To make a perfect family-friendly adventure film is a difficult task to achieve. You have to make it both entertaining and kid-friendly while including a positive, preferably inspirational message. Pup Star, the latest installment in the Air Bud series, succeeds in this goal with assistance of wonderful music and fantastic acting.

The adventurous feel of the movie appeals to the audience. This film has more than that to offer though with its comedy, positive messages and a slight bit of drama. There is even some romance to keep the viewer entertained and at the edge of their seat.

The story starts when a young puppy named Tiny goes on a dog singing show and does quite well. She receives a golden ticket from the judge which allows her to go straight to the finals. Everything changes when Tiny gets captured by animal control and must go on a huge adventure to get back to her owner and also to the competition finals.

Pup Star has a wonderful story line and great acting by Tom Everett Scott, Kaitlyn Maher and Jed Rees. The voice over cast for the animals matches their characters and feels quite authentic. They each make their characters truly come to life. But, the best part of this film is that the story which is entertaining, suitable for young kids and easy to follow.

My favorite scene is when we first meet Tiny. She gets on stage and starts singing. Her song is beautiful and serves to introduce the style and the feel of the film. I also love this scene because, although the talking dogs are animated, it looks very realistic, as if the dogs are actually talking.

Pup Star would appeal to families and younger kids. I recommend it for kids ages 4 to 13 and rate it 5 out of 5 stars for its excellent acting that truly makes the characters come alive, its realistic animation, beautiful music and its fantastic story. By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Pup Star is a fun, fantastic, family-friendly film! It really is an amazing and inspiring movie with talking and singing dogs. I found myself cheering for the super talented Tiny and booing the bad guys, or should I say bad dogs!

The story is about Tiny, an adorable Yorkie pup who dreams of becoming the next Pup Star, which is a spinoff of the popular TV singing competition reality shows. The celebrity judges include Dog Gnarly, Blake Sheltie, Lady Paw Paw and of course, Simone Growl.

Along Tiny's journey, she is dog napped, meets colorful companions and becomes a more inspired singer with the help of Charlie, who is on his own journey. Tiny is encouraged by everyone she meets to keep going and not give up on her dreams. My favorite part is when Tiny sings. Kaitlyn Maher's voice over and singing of Tiny is outstanding and all 13 original songs are so strong melodically that I found myself humming along to the song Blue Skies after watching it. Additionally, the various voice over and singing talents for all the other dogs are equally impressive.

The message of this film is never give up and follow your dreams. Tiny faces many challenges and tries her hardest to persevere and reconnect with her loving family.

The talking and singing dogs are created with amazing special effects. Their mouths move in perfect harmony with the words and lyrics. Also, I love the rich and emotional music composed by Brahm Wenger which draws you in from the get go. I recently had the privilege to interview the writer and producer of Pup Star, Anna McRoberts and she mentioned that this is the biggest cast of talking and singing dogs ever in one movie - 31 total. Bow Wow!!!

Out of all the Air Bud Entertainment movies, this is my favorite. We can all relate to following our dreams no matter what they are and cheering for the underdog. I recommend this film to kids age 5 to 18 as well as anyone who loves dogs - kids and adults alike. With so many wonderful things to love about this family friendly film movie, I give it 5 out of 5 pup stars! I want to share one more thing: throughout this entire film, I actually forgot that dogs don't really talk... or do they?

Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Lights, Fur and Make-up and we are good to go. Cameras are rolling, dogs are singing and talking. What? Dogs singing and talking? Air Bud Entertainment brings us American Idol and The Voice doggy style, complete with a golden dog bone which takes you straight to the final round of our singing competition.

Anna Mc Roberts and Robert Vince produced and directed this adorable story about singing dogs. Their vision leads to a unique, quirky, family-friendly movie which is fun to watch.

The graphics are so good that you believe the dogs are really singing and talking. The dogs all have different personalities. There are various breeds of dogs and they all sing a different genre of music. The breeds and the songs match up perfectly. The stylish dog outfits and cute names are spot-on adorable. All these differences remind us to be ourselves and enjoy being the person you are. After all, the world would be boring if we were all the same.

The 13 original songs will have you singing along. My favorite song is when Rowland (Jess Ress) the human dog catcher is singing "I want to be a cat" to the dogs. The dogs did not think it was funny but I laughed away. Each dog has its own singing style from country, pop, rock n roll, the blues by Big Ears (Obba Babatude) and many more.

The country scene when Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher) sings on-state with Emily Rose (Bonnie Somerville) is my favorite moment in this film. Their voices together are perfect. Kaitlyn Maher might sound familiar as she appeared on Americas Got Talent when she was four. Her voice has matured and she sings her heart out in this film.

There are three sets of stars in this film, the dogs and their trainers, the voice-over actor/singers and the real people actors. My favorite dog is Charlie (Tom Everett Scott). He is a Labradoodle and looks like a giant version of my dog Dust Bunny who is a Cockapoo. He is a free spirit and loves rock n roll. The dog trainers are awesome because there are some amazing dog tricks in this film.

Tiny, a Yorkshire terrier is too cute for words. Kaitlyn Maher voice matches the personality of Tiny perfectly. Makenzie Moss portrays Lou, the owner of Tiny. You can tell she truly loves dogs and the concern she has when Tiny is lost is genuine. She also sings and has a lovely voice. I would be heartbroken if Dust Bunny ever got lost and would look for him everywhere.

This is a love story. There is drama with Bark (George Newbern), the bounty hunter and Rowland, the dog catcher. There is a mystery as you discover who Charlie really is and wait to see if they ever find their way back in time for the big Pup Star finals. There is comedy in all the various quirky dogs we meet along the way.

The star-studded cast includes voice-over actors from Finding Dory (John Ratzenberger), Last Man Standing (Carla Jimenez), Air Bud (Nicholas Harrison), Let's Make a Deal (Jonathan Mangum), Miles from Tomorrowland (Diedrich Bader) and many more.

I recommend this film to kids ages 5 to 18 because of all the cute dogs, the singing and dancing, the voice-over actors and a great storyline. This movie is definitely family friendly. Who knows, it might make you want to go out and buy a dog. Remember, dogs are a lot of work and even though these trainers make it look easy, it's not. Let's just say lots of time and patience is needed. I give this film 5 out of 5 Doggy Tail Wags. Be sure to check out my interviews with the cast on KIDS FIRST! 's YouTube Channel.

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

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


LITTLE PRINCE, THE (NETFLIX ORIGINAL, 2016)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LITTLE PRINCE, THE (NETFLIX ORIGINAL, 2016)
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - From Mark Osborne comes the first-ever animated feature film adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry's iconic masterpiece, The Little Prince. At the heart of it all is The Little Girl, who's being prepared by her mother for the very grown-up world in which they live - only to be interrupted by her eccentric, kind-hearted neighbor, The Aviator. The Aviator introduces his new friend to an extraordinary world where anything is possible. A world that he himself was initiated into long ago by The Little Prince. It's here that The Little Girl's magical and emotional journey into her own imagination - and into the universe of The Little Prince - begins. And it's where The Little Girl rediscovers her childhood and learns that ultimately, it's human connections that matter most, and that what's truly essential can only be seen with the heart.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is touching, adorable and eye catching. I love this film which is based on the book by the same name. It is original and fun to watch. I also like the fact that this film is about growing up and talks about how growing up is not a bad thing. You can still have fun being a kid at heart.

I love all the characters in this film. My absolute favorite is The Little Girl (Mackenzie Foy) who is adorable, funny and wants to help everyone that she can. She is also a perfect role model for little girls my age. Then we have The Aviator (Jeff Bridges) who is an old man and he is trying to help The Little Girl by telling her a story. He wants her to see that you can still be a kid, have fun and use your imagination even when you grow up.

The Little Prince (Riley Osborne) is a very kind person who tries his best to help The Aviator. Riley Osborne is the son of Mark Osborne, the executive producer and director of this fantastic film. Mr. Prince (Paul Rudd) is a kind, but scared older version of The Little Prince and he is hysterical. I really like his character. He has been so busy working that he has forgotten his true identity.

One of the best scenes in this film is when The Little Girl and her friend The Fox (James Franco) sneak out in the middle of the night to The Aviator's house to borrow his plane. In order to take off an amazing contraption is engaged. Then, they on their way flying through the night sky. I love this scene because it is fun, adventurous and the animation is quick, cleaver and crystal clear.

The animation in this film is beautiful. They used two different kinds of animation in an effort to show the difference between the real world and the one that The Little Girl is imagining. This is a good choice on Mark Osborne's part. He chose to do this because he studied many different styles of animation in college. It turns out that he liked them all so he combined two very different styles to make this film. Half of the movie looks like you are reading a book and the other half looks like the real world. This all makes it gorgeous to watch.

The appropriate age for this film is 7 to 15. Kids will like this film and will enjoy the animation and the story. Adults will like that it is based on a book that they knew as a child and it will bring back memories. I give this film 5 out of 5 daydreaming stars.

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

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


SUICIDE SQUAD
KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
SUICIDE SQUAD
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - It feels good to be bad...Assemble a team of the world's most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government's disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do. However, once they realize they weren't picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it's every man for himself?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - With the awesome soundtrack, unbelievable acting, intriguing storyline and perfect cast members, this film is one I definitely recommend seeing. The film is about an assembled team of the most dangerous villains in the world who are sent on a mission to defeat a bigger evil entity. The film's twist on typical superhero movies really stands out as the antagonists take the spotlight for once. The squad is composed of fearless felons with nothing to lose. Their actions, hidden agendas and intentions are absolutely unpredictable.

One of the best aspects of this movie is the cast and their outstanding acting. Margot Robbie's role as Harley Quinn is jaw dropping and Jared Leto deserves lots of credit for his performance as the Joker. They played their roles so amazingly well that it was hard for me to imagine them as people outside of their roles here. Their facial expressions, from scene to scene, is unbelievable. All of the characters' portrayals are amazing. Deadshot, played wonderfully by Will Smith, provides a comedic and emotional aspect as he tries to hold a loving relationship with his daughter throughout the main conflict. What makes the characters so memorable and the film intriguing is that each one has its own twisted story and talent.

The soundtrack is awesome and the film's use of lot of good songs made certain scenes especially memorable. Overall, this film is a fun movie and, if you go in to see it with no specific expectation or comparison with another film, I can't imagine anyone not liking it. The idea may have been typical but the execution was superb. Sure people argue that it is just another superhero movie and make many comparisons to other superhero films, but I think the style this film has, including the acting, music, camera work and visuals puts this film above others.

I recommend this film for people ages 13 to 18 and think adults will enjoy it as well, especially those who like twisted, psychotic and creepy vibes because, although I am not a fan of action movies, the psychotic and creepy feel made it really interesting for me. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Check it out as it is in theaters now.

Reviewed by Harmony M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a very well written movie with very good special effects and it some good humor. But, it is scary and pretty violent and there are some parts that are not really appropriate for young kids. The story is fast paced and I admit that I did not understand some parts. Overall though, it was great and funny.

The film starts as Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) shows someone a file about multiple villains: Deadshot (the amazing Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney ), Diablo (Jay Hernandez ), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and last, but definitely not least, June Moone/Enchantress (Cara Delevingne). As she describes each villain you see clips of how each of them ended up in prison. In June's case, you learn how she became the Enchantress.

June Moone is a human who finds a little statue in an old tomb. It opens and the Enchantress possesses her. She switches between being June and the Enchantress. June falls in love with a soldier, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and Amanda Waller gets the Enchantress'/June's heart. Amanda has the Enchantress' heart and June has Rick's, so Amanda has Rick in her control.

Rick Flag gathers up The Suicide Squad, plants a bomb in each of their necks and tells them if they disobey they die. They all put on their costumes and get their weapons. They are joined by the Enchantress and Katana (Karen Fukuyama) and are ready to be bad guys fighting even worse guys.

I love the costumes, makeup and special effects used to make the characters look not exactly like their comic counterparts, but still extremely awesome. For example, I love Killer Croc's costume, makeup and special effects. I love that he looks nothing like the person who plays him. Another example is the Enchantress whose special effects may be my favorite of this film. It looks like there is a shroud of death around her. Even though it is scary, it is also very cool. The cinematography is also great. It stays focused on the characters while they fight and run around. It is outstandingly clear and you can see everything.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars for its great effects, costumes and storyline, not 5 because it is scary and a bit too fast paced. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18 unless, of course, you think you can handle the violence.

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

Red, white and blue with sparkles and she chews pink bubble gum, which sounds all American. What could go wrong? Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is adorable, cute, funny and deadly. The Joker' new girlfriend is all kinds of Kray Kray and I love her. She is the heart and soul of this movie. Without her quirky, quick witted one liners it would just be a dark movie about a bunch of bad guys trying to kill another bunch of bad guy.

Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is her awesome, take control kind of girl we love. This movie has great female characters that have depth and intelligence. That has me giving it thumbs up. I enjoyed this movie and hope that it becomes a franchise that I can see for years to come. It left me wanting more movies just like this.

One of the many exhilarating things about this movie is the giant cast. There are so many characters and actors and I love that. In recent years, we have seen so many movies with only a handful of people in them. This movie spared nothing - big cast, action, drama, scares, comedy and graphics. This is the kind of movie we love to see on the big screen.

The graphics are top notch. The stunt work is impressive. Harley Quinn has some great aerial acrobatics. Swan drives take a lot of trust and she pulled it all off with style. Deadshot (Will Smith) gives his best performance in years. I certainly would not want to be on the other end of his firepower.

Not much scares me, but The Joker (Jared Leto) is frightening. Jared Leto is usually unique and quirky and funny but he goes all out to the other side and is terrifyingly crazy. He transforms into something night mares are made of and his acting is too creepy for words.

The concept of this movie is fabulous. Everyone deserves a second chance, right? The idea of microchipping Super villains with bombs like my dog so I can find him if he gets lost is a good idea. Villains fighting other villains makes sense. They think alike. It gives the villains a chance to see that there is another way. They can fight for good instead of evil.

The Enchantress /June Moone (Cara Delevingne) is a big surprise. The one thing I wish they added is more of a back story for her and her brother.

Depending on kind of movies your kids like, if they like being scared to death and can follow a complicated story line, then you are good to go and see this. It is not a cute kid's movie. I recommend for ages 13 to 18.

I give this film 5 out of 5 sledge hammers with red, white and blue sparkling stares. It is different, fun and scary all in one movie.

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

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


PETE'S DRAGON (2016)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PETE'S DRAGON (2016)
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - The adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This latest retelling of Pete and his friend Elliot the dragon does not disappoint. The visual effects are so darn believable it's mind boggling. The story, of course, follows the traditional one with perhaps a few new elements thrown in to juice it up a bit. The performances by Oakes Fegley, Bryce Dallas Howard and Robert Redford excel in their down home simplicity. I particularly enjoyed Oona Laurence's portrayal of Natalie, Pete's BFF from the first time she spots him as a wild kid in the woods. Truthfully, I went to see this to escape the 100+ degree heat into an air conditioned theater and it completely knocked my socks off! I highly recommend it for parents and grandparents to share with their kids and grandkids. Just be aware that there are some disturbing images that make it questionable for kids under age 7. Kudos to Disney for delivering a very believable fantasy.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Over the years, special effects have gotten better, acting more emotional, camera techniques more unique, and stories so much more exciting. Pete's Dragon is a perfect example of the progress in the world of filmmaking.

This film, at its core, is an adventure of two friends - a boy and his dragon. There is much more to offer though. Pete's Dragon offers exciting and spectacular action, yet includes some comedy to keep things bright and highlight the complex relationship between a child and his big friend.

The story begins when a young boy named Pete (Oakes Fegly), age five, gets into a car accident and sadly, both his parents pass away. Pete is now stranded in the woods and everything changes when he meets a green dragon he names Elliot. They live happily together for six years until Pete is discovered by other people and now must make a huge decision. Should he live with Elliot in the woods or go live with humans?

Pete's Dragon truly makes Elliot come to life. Not only is his skin and fur deeply detailed, his expressions look natural and the way he moves is very realistic. It makes you want to get a dragon of your own! The creators made it so we see the actors interacting with Elliot and hugging him, despite the fact that his image was added in post production. The CGI is seamless and makes you truly believe he is a real life dragon. The actors interacted with Elliot emotionally even though he isn't actually there when they shot their scenes. What is equally impressive is that the young kids deliver a level of talent equal to adult actors. I also greatly enjoyed the cinematography. The scenes of Elliot flying through the clouds with Pete on his back and seeing the town, woods and mountains below are simply spectacular.

My favorite scene is when Pete and Elliot play in the woods and are having a blast. I love this scene because it truly shows that no matter the difference of age, height or even species, they are best friends. I also enjoyed this scene because it shows the peaceful beauty of the forest and represents the fantastic visual effects they created for Elliot moving around the forest.

This movie is recommended for kids, but not too young kids. I recommend it to ages 6 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well, but very young kids may find it a bit too intense at times. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for its beautiful cinematography, spectacular acting and very realistic special effects. It's in theaters now so, go check it out.

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

I liked watching Pete's Dragon. I enjoyed watching this film because of its fantastic animations and great pacing. After a terrible car crash, Pete (Oakes Fegley) is the only survivor. He is found and raised by a dragon named Elliot in the woods. Elliot is a huge, green, compassionate and joyful dragon. Six years later Pete is discovered by Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) a forest ranger who wonders how is he the woods by himself. He says that he lives in the woods with a dragon. Grace sets out to investigate if his story can be true. To find out what happens, you have to go see the movie.

What I enjoy about this film is the animation of Elliot. The CGI's are very realistic, for example the look of the fur and the detail of his chipped tooth ate perfect. This film makes it look like there is a real dragon in the woods. The pacing of this film is great, it isn't rushed, choppy or slow. I didn't feel like I was watching a movie for an hour and a half. This movie didn't make me feel empty like other films I have seen. I additionally like the sets, the town looks beautiful. Another thing, the cast performances are fantastic. Robert Redford's performance is superb, I enjoy his performance as Grace's father. He is a great character and Oakes Fegley is amazing as Pete. His performance shows a new side of this character that is different when compared to the original version.

The directing is well done. The director and writer (David Lowery) turned this remake into a fantastic piece. The entire art department made the CGI's great and I give them props for all their hard work.

However, one thing I didn't like is that some scenes were predictable. I knew how some scenes were going to turn out. I didn't feel surprised when certain things happened in the film. Besides that this film is great.

The moral of the film is just because someone or something is different, doesn't make them a monster. When people see Elliot they immediately are afraid, they want to hunt him down and eventually want to use him. Even though Elliot is very friendly, and compassionate dragon.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this to kids ages 6 to 18 and I think adults might like this as well. I also recommend this to people who like children, family, action and adventure movies. Make sure to see this film on Friday, August 12. Coming to a theater near you, this movie won't disappoint you.

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

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


BEN-HUR
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BEN-HUR
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - The epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother, an officer in the Roman army. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption. Starring Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro and more. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The famous story of Ben-Hur has been done in film multiple times throughout the years, but none has reached this level of excitement and beautiful special effects. And none has ever been this action packed and intense.

Ben-Hur will certainly appeal to action genre fans, but it has so much more to offer. Along with multiple dangerous adventures comes strong love story, drama and history, which keeps you excited but surprised by events that unfold in front of your eyes.

The film starts when Prince Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) is accused of attempting to assassinate a Roman Leader. His adopted brother convinces him and his family about the worst punishments available. His family meets a mysterious fate that leaves him guessing about them for years. Judah is sentenced to life as a galley slave (a person that rows Roman ships). He barely survives this terrible punishment for six years before escaping. Back on land, he trains to take revenge on his brother in a place with no law - the dangerous, yet exciting sport of chariot racing!

Although the plot seems confusing, it actually is easy to follow. Towards the beginning it may be a bit confusing, but by ten minutes into the film pieces snap into place. This film not only packs a lot of action, but it is also very historical and truly makes it look as if we are watching these scenes take place in ancient Rome and Jerusalem from the boats, to warfare, to their attire. Throughout the film, I felt transported back 2000 years to the large Roman Empire. Most of the special effects portray the chariot racing and the outcome is nothing short of spectacular, detailed and very realistic. It is exciting and intense, but also easy to follow. The acting in this film exceeded my expectations with many known actors such as Jack Huston and Morgan Freeman (Ilderim), but the entire cast delivers spectacular performances and really make their characters come to life and shine, as well as make the viewer think they actually are seeing life 2000 years ago.

My favorite scene is the galley slave scenes. In a way, these are also my least favorite scenes because it shows how terrible Romans treated these slaves. In one scene, you see Judah changing over the six years from a handsome and healthy prince to a depressed, skinny and beaten slave. Another factor of these scenes that impressed me were the visual effects. Judah escapes when the ship sinks in a battle. The scene is very dramatic, scary and intense. It is full of action and everything from soundtrack to acting makes it a heart-thumping moment.

Ben-Hur is intense with many adult references, but the mature aspect that concerns me most is the gore. Since this takes place in Ancient Rome, there are many violent acts that are unsuitable for young children. I recommend it for ages 14 to 18 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. The acting, special effects and soundtrack are all fantastic but the story is slightly confusing at the beginning which makes it a bit annoying for the viewer.

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

I did not exactly love the 2016 remake of the 1959 movie Ben-Hur, but I didn't hate it either. This film takes place around 26 A.D. when Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) appears as the wealthy Jerusalem prince who is falsely accused of treason and is stripped of everything that he has and taken away. Judah's adopted brother, Messala Severus (Toby Kebbell) betrays him and allows the Romans to make Judah a galley slave for five years. Judah escapes, returns home and seeks revenge. The question is: will Judah get his revenge?

Although it is two hours long, it does not drag. Morgan Freeman gives a very regal performance as Ilderim. His voice makes you want to pay attention when he narrates the story. I love this character because he helps Judah and they make a fantastic team! I think Jack Huston should have been cast as Jesus because his demeanor is very soft and peaceful. He doesn't project the strong, angry character that he should have as Judah Ben-Hur. Rodrigo Santoro, who plays the role of Jesus should have played Judah Ben-Hur. Don't get me wrong, I love how Rodrigo Santoro portrays Jesus. His performance is stellar. But the way he looks and carries himself would have made Rodrigo a more believable Judah. Toby Kebbell's Messala is the one casting that they got right. He acts and looks mean enough to make you to dislike him.

The setting looks epic and visually appealing. The battle scene with the ships in the water is pretty intense but entertaining. However, some scenes are boring and a few scenes didn't need to be there. The chariot race is a bit sloppy and roughly edited.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 11 to 18. Younger kids might not understand what is going on and may be frightened by a few intense and grotesque scenes. There is also some bloody and gory violence. I also recommend this to adults who like action, adventure, remakes and Biblical films. This film opens Friday, August 19 so, put it on your radar screen.

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

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


KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS
FOCUS FEATURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Kubo lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta. This causes all sorts of havoc as gods and monsters chase Kubo who, in order to survive, must locate a magical suit of armor once worn by his late father, a legendary Samurai warrior.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Amidst the beautiful animation is a beautiful story - a story about telling stories and the affects of creating your own story and how to take hold of your fate as you create your story. With comedy, drama and romance, we are taken on a journey of discovery and coming-of-age. Kubo and the Two Strings is a heartfelt, magical, sweeping animated picture that resonates with all ages.

The animation is the first thing to catch your eye and keeps your attention throughout. The detailed, unique animation helps give the film its magical tone. The animation is very defined, which gives the imagery and movement a fluidity that literally, nearly makes the film sweeping. That's how we get an epic feel from it, despite its 100 minute runtime. Furthermore, the animation encourages the theme of creativity, as it is unlike most animated films we've seen, or probably will see.

That theme of creativity, married with the theme of story-telling, is the heart of the story. Kubo tells stories passed down to him from his mother, which she got from living. The movie explains that we create our story as we go and how we will encounter surprises and dangers but the story must go on. What makes our story unique is who's a part of it. That message is told beautifully through brisk, to-the-point plotting and dynamic imagery. What this film says about the process of creating (stories in particular) is how it explains that the situation we're dealt never allows us to create the outcome we want. Instead, life gives us our lemons and we must make our own lemonade.

Even though this film is whimsical and beautifully, there are dark undertones which give it layers. Like Grave of the Fireflies and Up, Kubo and the Two Strings doesn't dumb down its themes and trusts its audience - all of them. The movie uses dialogue to explain itself while giving visual depth that gives it subtext so that children are able to discuss and understand what's at the heart of the film. That is where the true beauty lies.

But there's something beyond that. Even as I write this review, there are things about the movie I can't quite explain. I've touched on the cinematography, the themes and the presentation of the themes, but I can't quite explain the true beauty well enough. What I want to add, is that this movie is a like a painting. It is a moving picture in the true sense of the word. There are moments so distinct and eye-opening that it will take your breath away. Then, the underlying tonal darkness of the picture gives it a maturity that appeals to older audiences. To put it simply, Kubo and the Two Strings is made up of dreamlike imagery underscored by nightmarish undertones. I also want to note the rather haunting score, beautifully penned by Dario Marianelli. It's literally the perfect concoction for a film, filled with fantasy, horror, sadness, humor, creativity, epic-ness, beauty, patience and pace.

With that said, I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. It can be seen at a local theater near you.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this movie. It is original, beautiful to watch and has heart and soul. The quirkiness of this movie only adds to its lovability. It is hard to find an original movie and using origami as the base of this movie is simply genius.

Kubo's grandfather has stolen his eye and now is after the other and he will do whatever he has to, to get the other eye. His two aunts are frighten witches. His mother has lost all her memories and many dangers await Kubo and his only helpers are a monkey and a silly half man, half beetle and an endless supply of paper. I know this all sounds totally crazy, but it all works together quite nicely to make this incredible movie.

I struggled once trying to make an origami swan so I appreciate the origami in this film which has a mind of its own. Kubo plays a two-stringed instrument which transforms simple paper into magnificent, magical shapes and forms.

The voice-overs in this film are stupendous and really bring it to life. My favorite character is Kubo (Art Parkinson) who is just so adorable yet strong, independent and goodhearted. My other favorite is Monkey (Charlize Theron) who is brave, funny, clever and very stubborn. I love her character because of all these traits. Even though she is tough, she has a kind, sweet side that she shows how much she loves her son. There is also the beetle (Matthew McConaughey) who is hysterical, dangerous and a straight shooter or, at least according to him he is. I love his character because its funny and had me belly laughing. His affection for Monkey is adorable. Of course, there are villains of this film. The sisters, both played by Rooney Mara portrays them as crazy, wacko witches and her voice is perfectly scary. The other villain, The Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) is the weird Grandfather who wants Kubo's other eye and he is super creepy.

One of my favorite scenes is when Kubo, Monkey and Beetle are trying to defeat a giant skeleton and find the sword of unbreakablity. It is adventurous and funny. The graphics are incredible, especially the way they created the skeleton. This is the biggest clay animation character ever made. I thought this action scene was intricate and believable.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18. Adults will like it too. I do want to suggest that if your child is younger than 7, they might get scared with the darkness and the villains, but if they can accept that it is all fake then they will be okay. I rate this film 5 out of 5 magical origami stars.

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

A crowning achievement from Laika studios, this tale follows a one-eyed hero named Kubo (Art Parkinson). For years, his mother has hid him away from her cold-hearted sisters (Rooney Mara) and cruel grandfather (Ralph Finnes). One night, they finally find Kubo, but her mother uses her magic to stall her sisters and give Kubo enough time to escape. With the help of Monkey ( Charlize Theron) and Beatle (Mathew McConaughey), Kubo must find the three pieces of armor in order to defeat his grandfather.

With a summer full of remakes, reboots, sequels and adaptations, it's incredibly refreshing to witness a unique film that's not bound by a former version. This film's plot is full of fascinating lore and investing drama. The film gives clues about where the story is headed and those, for me, help predict the outcome of the story. Even though some come true, it is in no way predictable. This film surely doesn't take the traditional route of storytelling. There are some clich� moments, but the tone of the film makes it quite unique. It can be morbid and respectfully deal with fascinating concepts of life and death, but I adore films that don't talk down to kids and instead treat them as capable viewers.

This film exemplifies some of Laika's best stop motion animation ever put on screen. As I commented in one of my blogs (Advertisement: check out our blogs), I believe stop-motion is fascinating but is sadly declining in today's film world. Thankfully, Laika Studios has kept the art form alive. This company finds creative stories and talented artists to create amazing characters and sets. Even though they don't produce a film very often, this film is an excellent example of where that time and effort goes to. The outstanding use of color and lighting creates gorgeous images and dark dramatic scenes. The characters' designs, from their eyes, to their clothes are extremely detailed. Perhaps the best example of their stop motion skills is shown in the first monster Kubo and his friends encounter. The filmmakers built a giant animatronic in order to create this scene. It's an amazing construction and you can see how the filmmakers shot the scene if you stay through the credits. It's a sight to see.

My favorite scene is after Kubo and his friends fight the second sister. Without giving anything away, this scene takes place after an intense battle. All I can say is that this scene consists of neither dialogue nor music. The visuals speak for everything. Each frame captures the emotion and loss of our protagonist. It's truly a prime example of the power of visual narrative.

The message is that stories end, only to begin new ones. Kubo is a storyteller who never manages to find endings to his tales. When face to face with his Grandfather, he is given the chance to immortality so his story never has to end. However, the idea is passed on that even if your story ends, the people you love will keep your story alive in them and pass it on to generation to generation.

My favorite character is Monkey. Charlize Theron once again demonstrates her incredibly acting ability with this character. I adore the devotion and courage she has when protecting Kubo. Plus she knows how to defend herself and when she has a sword, watch out.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 7 to 18. This film is dark at times and can get intense. With that said, because of the sensational technology and intelligent script it's definitely a perfect climax to summer films. It is in theaters now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Keefer C. Blakeslee, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GHOSTBUSTERS
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ghostbusters is the new female reboot of the original Ghostbusters which I like because it has a strong comedic female cast, good humor and great realistic CGI animation. In this reboot, we meet Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), a professor who is up for tenure at her college. One day a man approaches Erin about a book she wrote with her friend Abigail (Melissa McCarthy) regarding the paranormal that he bought on Amazon. Erin asks Abigail to take the book down because Erin doesn't want it to jeopardize her tenure. That same day, Erin goes with Abigail and another friend, Jillian (Kate McKinnon) to speak with the man who bought the book and that's where the fun begins as they encounter a ghost. After that, they start a business as Ghostbusters and along the way they hire an incompetent receptionist name Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) and are joined by Patty (Leslie Jones) who quits her job at the MTA when she sees a ghost on the tracks and decides to join them. Their mission is to find and capture ghosts. Will they find the ghosts and save New York City? Or will they be labeled as frauds?

The performances by Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth are superb. All four of these women are funny but Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon really stand out as exceptionally hilarious. All of their jokes, timing and facial expressions are extremely funny and just cracked me up. Most of the jokes are funny, but this film has some jokes that not everyone would get, especially if they never saw the original movie. Chris Hemsworth really commits and delivers in his role as the clueless incompetent receptionist so you can't help but laugh at him as well. I also love how the CGI animation makes the ghosts look scary and very realistic. I appreciate how the animation makes Slimmer and Marshmallow man look different compared to the original movie. This film also features some actors in surprise cameos which is a bonus for fans of the film.

What I didn't like is the pace of this movie. Some parts feel rushed and some parts feel like they are dragging. Additionally, some scenes are predictable. Other than that, this film is really enjoyable.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 10 to 18. I think adults might like this as well especially those who like action, adventure and sci-fi films. This film has many intense scenes that are unsuitable for younger viewers because they may find it to be too scary. Make sure to see this film which opens July 15, 2016.

Reviewed by Ryan Rivera, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 11-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-15
Description - Scrat's epic pursuit of his elusive acorn catapults him outside of Earth, where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the planet. To save themselves from peril, Manny, Sid, Diego, and the rest of the herd leave their home and embark on a quest full of thrills and spills, highs and lows, laughter and adventure while traveling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters. Starring Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo and more.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm

FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES (IMAX: 4KUHD/3D BLU-RAY/BLU-RAY)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES (IMAX: 4KUHD/3D BLU-RAY/BLU-RAY)
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - It's a natural history epic. It's a compelling detective story. It's scientific adventure at its best.

Flight of the Butterflies is an interconnected scientific adventure story that spans not only thousands of miles, but generations. It's about the remarkable Monarch butterfly migration, the most incredible migration on Earth, and the determined scientist who spent 40 years trying to discover exactly where the butterflies mysteriously disappeared when they flew south for winter.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Glorious! Flight of the Butterflies is as visually stunning as it is educational! Prepared for 3D IMAX, this documentary details Dr. Fred Urquhart's lifelong scientific inquiry into the migration patterns of the monarch butterfly. Scientific facts are brought to life with outstanding photography and make this film one to watch again and again. Young viewers will fall in love with science while witnessing a researcher devoting his life to following his passion. Flight of the Butterflies is perfect for the entire family! By Ruth A., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

In Flight of the Butterflies, a 44-minute film originally intended for IMAX viewing, the mystery of where millions of monarch butterflies migrate each fall is uncovered over many years by a determined scientist and his wife. We literally float with the butterflies at times and get incredibly close to nature, while also following the story of the scientists and their personal journey that leads from Canada to Mexico. Though the music is often heavy-handed and the film can feel dull at times, the science, the strong visuals and compelling true story at its heart are fascinating. The images are pleasing and there are two interesting (occasionally engrossing) narratives of the butterflies migration and the scientists' attempts to trace them. As it was meant to be seen in an IMAX theatre, it has the power to stun. At home on a normal TV, not so much but still engrossing and often fascinating. The film is well-structured and the running time feels just right at about 44 minutes. There is a clear beginning, middle and end and care is taken to present facts clearly. At times, I wished that more science were included and the actual migration rendered with more detail. The film almost takes pains to portray individuals as working together, whether they are scientists and butterfly enthusiasts working towards the same goals or filmmakers and crew taking real care to not injure any butterflies when possible even when there are thousands swirling around them. The film is all about inquiry and investigation, mystery and discovery. This may be its most lasting impression on young viewers as there is more emphasis on plot than pure visuals. The cover design and packaging are colorful and inviting. The filming is often impressive, even astounding as we get to witness a caterpillar turn into a butterfly. Some CGI is utilized in certain sequences which some may not even notice and most will not be bothered by. The menu access is clear. Two special features are included, a Making Of Featurette that is excellent and a short message from the previous President of Mexico. This film is beneficial in a number of ways. It is educational and should awaken a concern and curiosity for nature, butterflies and possibly even conservancy in young viewers. As well, it might inspire a few future scientists. The story unfolds in an entertaining way, with flashbacks to the scientists' earlier lives and outstanding footage of the butterflies throughout. The story arc of the scientist who dedicates his/her life to a mystery and is eventually rewarded (though it took years) and the entire process of the science could motivate some to pursue science. Also, it is certain to influence, in a good way, how they view butterflies for the rest of their lives. Highly recommended for ages 6 to 18. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Flight of the Butterflies is an amazing, beautifully shot film that is a wonder for the eyes. This film centers on a scientist named Fred Urquhart who, as a child, wondered where butterflies go during their migration. As an adult, he and his wife try to answer that question. Another storyline follows a butterfly named Dana as she shows you the year-long process of migration and tells the tale through three generations of monarch butterflies, following them from Texas to Toronto to Mexico.

My favorite part of Flight of the Butterflies is when Fred's life's work takes place before his eyes, when he sees millions of monarch butterflies fluttering around on a mountain in Mexico. The scene is beautiful and has some rich and epic cinematography. I also like when the filmmakers use MRI footage to show a very detailed and sharp scene of a caterpillar slowly turning into a butterfly through its chrysalis.

Flight of the Butterflies was first released in IMAX theaters and I can see why. The cinematography in this film is amazing and keeps you glued to the screen. This film is also extremely educational. I knew almost nothing about butterflies before viewing this film and I learned so much in such a short period of time. I am now extremely interested in the migration process. In fact, the film makes me want to plant my own butterfly garden.

The musical score fits the subject and is tranquil and light. The lesson of this film is to always persevere. Fred Urquhart doesn't give up for forty years and always tries to reach his goal.

I recommend you watch the special features on this Blu-ray disc. Behind the Scenes gives you more context on the making of this film and features interviews with the cast and crew, including one with a real life person portrayed in the movie. It's really cool to see how the crew got some of the shots and makes you realize how difficult it was to make this film. Other special features include a message from the President of Mexico.

I give Flight of the Butterflies an age rating of 7 to 13 because the film goes into some pretty complex science and history. I think older viewers will enjoy this film as well. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars. If you are interested in the topic of butterflies or if you like science in general, you'll like Flight of the Butterflies.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 44 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.93
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


JASON BOURNE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JASON BOURNE
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - The most dangerous former operative of the CIA is drawn out of hiding to uncover hidden truths about his past. "Why would he come back now?" CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) Directed by Paul Greengrass. Starring Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What happens when you are impressed by emotional acting, an exciting soundtrack and heart-thumping stunts? You get the perfect action thriller - next installment in the Jason Bourne series.

This dramatic action film doesn't contain one single joke and it is not a romance flick either. The characters experience multiple adventures and is a non-stop action-filled film with an exciting scene at least every three minutes, keeping the viewer engaged the whole way through.

Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has taken to boxing matches for money, but everything changes when a friend of his, Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) comes to him with a flash drive filled with top-secret CIA information. Jason goes on a dangerous adventure where he loses friends, makes new enemies, finds old ones and more all to uncover his past when he was part of the CIA and what happened to him.

This story may sound confusing if the viewer is unfamiliar with previous Bourne stories. Although you can guess what happened in previous events as the film attempts to explain what Matt's character is trying to achieve, if you know who Jason Bourne is and what the series are about, it's easier to follow. The good thing is that you do not need to read every book of the series or watch all the previous films since the flashbacks and conversation mostly explains what happened before.

Throughout the film there is a very intense soundtrack that adds tension to the dramatic scenes. However, the soundtrack is always intense, including several scenes which contain dialogue and would be great without any of this intrusive music. The action scenes in this film are wonderful with car chases, jumping off buildings and fights in parking lots. Each action scene is epic and clearly shows a lot of work went in to make it perfect. One major problem with the action scenes is that the cinematography is very shaky and rapid. Although it helps put you "inside" the fight, it makes it very difficult to understand what is going on when it's used extensively. Unfortunately, this is the case here and since this film is compiled of lots of shaky and rapid shots, it makes you feel slightly dizzy. The acting in this film is legendary, with returning cast from the previous Bourne films like Matt Damon and Julie Stiles. There are also many new characters such as Alicia Vikander who plays Heather Lee. Each member of the cast excels in their roles and I give them credit for such believable performances.

My favorite scene is one of the first action scenes when James Bourne and Nicky Parsons are trying to escape from Greece. One major problem is that the city is full of protests and riots coupled by the fact that the CIA is right on their tail. An epic motorcycle chase ensues as well as fighting sequences and more. It is exciting with perfect staging and the soundtrack adds a lot of intensity as well.

I do not recommend this film for young kids due to the language, violence, gore and more. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Younger kids would find it too intense and dramatic. I give it four out of five stars because, although it has minor problems such as dizzy cinematography and a relentless soundtrack, it is an entertaining and epic thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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

Jason Bourne is the fourth installment in the original Bourne series (Bourne Legacy is more of a spin-off) and, in the history of franchises, a fourth film after a successful trilogy doesn't usually work out well. It is either flat out bad or falls short of the success of the other films. There is no exception with this film. Jason Bourne is a mediocre action picture that is stumped by clich�s and poor writing.

The success of the first three films in the franchise can be attributed to the face that they were nicely paced and nicely written. You never lost interest and there was always something you wanted to find out within the film. You learned little things here and there about Jason that left you wanting more...not with this one. We are almost told too much, and so much that we actually would be content if this were the last film. Beyond that, the pace is much too slow in some areas. This fourth installment comes off more like an exposition than the first film.

Mind you, the acting is still good. Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones and company still give convincing performances. Unfortunately, in an action film the acting shouldn't be the stand out. It should be the exhilaration and edge-of-your-seat action that's skillfully ingrained into a nicely woven plot. Unfortunately, the director and writer miss the mark on that aspect.

Albeit most of the action scenes are nice, although these seem less plausible than the ones in the previous films. Damon can still throw a nice punch and pull off some convincing combat, but his age is definitely showing. That's no dig; it's just reality. Damon is still a wonderful Jason Bourne and carries this film even though Tommy Lee Jones nearly steals it from him.

Essentially, the predictability of the film is masked by solid writing like the previous films. Bourne being the smartest man in the film has gotten old because we have no fear. There's too much comfort with our protagonist and that's an issue. I hope the next one can redeem itself and be a nice cap to a solid series. With that said, I give this film 2 1/2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It can be seen at a local theater near you on July 29, 2016.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

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


SECRET LIFE OF PETS, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SECRET LIFE OF PETS, THE
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Taking place in a Manhattan apartment building, Max's life as a favorite pet is turned upside down, when his owner brings home a sloppy mongrel named Duke. They have to put their quarrels behind when they find out that an adorable white bunny named Snowball is building an army of lost pets determined to take revenge.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Hysterically funny. Great cast, wonderful animation and delightful story. I found myself laughing pretty much throughout the entire film. There is quite a lot of chase scenes, barking, animals discussing killing humans so, I don't recommend it for very young children. For those old enough to look beyond that, it's an imaginative story that adults will enjoy along with their kids or grand kids.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What do you get when you combine a fantastic cast, beautiful animation, original story and hilarious jokes? You get this new animated masterpiece, The Secret Life of Pets.

The Secret Life of Pets is predominantly a comedy however, there is much more to this story than nicely delivered jokes. The film also dips into a cute romance story with a very strong main sense of adventure. Some action is involved to spice things up as well as some drama to keep the viewer at the edge of their seats and help see the relationship between the on-screen characters to their own pets.

The adventure begins when Max (Louis C.K), an ordinary house dog, gets a new doggy brother, Duke (Eric Stonestreet). The two don't exactly become friends at first and when they end up at a park, they get separated and must go on a huge adventure where they meet many strange and interesting creatures as they journey back to their owner.

This film is a rare case where there is truly nothing to complain about. The comedy appeals to all ages. In the audience, kids were laughing throughout the entire film and so were adults. The story is entertaining and never gets boring or drag on. And, it keeps creating new fun ways to entertain the viewers. I also enjoyed many small references to other films. The whole movie has a very relaxed feel, which is perfect.

The cast is legendary with Louis C.K, Kevin Hart (Snowball), Albert Brooks (Tiberius) and more - all making the characters truly come alive. Visuals of downtown New York are stunning and greatly enjoyable. It is also worth mentioning that I greatly enjoyed the classical soundtrack of the film which is very unexpected for an animated family comedy. But, it elevates the jokes in many places and spices things up without going overboard.

My favorite scene is when Duke and Max run into a sausage factory during their journey home. At the factory they, of course, eat many sausages and both overeat and imagine a heavenly sausage world. This goes back to the very relaxed feel of the whole film and the scene is completely random but seems to fit perfectly and made the audience laugh nonstop.

This film is meant for kids, but It appeals to adults too. I recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Some of the scarier animals may be a bit much for younger kids. I rank it 5 out of 5 because of its original idea, fantastic casting, new and funny characters, wonderful soundtrack and great sense of humor.

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

Let the debates begin and if they haven't begun, allow me to start: Zootopia or The Secret Life of Pets? - two acclaimed comedic animated movies featuring talking animals. Well, I'd like to throw in my opinion - The Secret Life of Pets, while less cleverly plotted, is much better written and animated. This film will not dazzle you with a wonderfully woven plot, but it will undoubtedly entertain you with dynamic characters and strong jokes that land more often than not.

The day of New York City misadventures for Max and the newly picked up Duke, is reminiscent of those zany 50s and 60s comedies. Without coincidence, those decades were very popular for films set in the "City that Never Sleeps", particularly for comedies. Jokes about hipsters moving to Brooklyn and New York City alleyways are featured in the film, paying homage to the city. But even better than that, are the beautiful shots of New York City in this film. It would give the opening scene in Manhattan a run for its money. The cinematography in this film is absolutely gorgeous, worthy of being full sized paintings to hang on your wall. Master shots include New York City at night with the lights from the moon and the buildings illuminating the city, aerial shots of the city in the daytime with beautiful weather and an air of inspiration. The images captured in this film are among some of the best of any animated feature ever and I've no issue saying that.

But, the imagery isn't the best part of the movie. Naturally, its the characters of the film. For a comedy of this nature to be successful, the writer/s must come up with strong characters who make strong choices. So the jokes end up bolder and have a higher probability of landing. This movie is filled with those. Archetypes pervade the movie such as the longing ing�nue, the idiotic gang leader, the fearless elder and the neurotic straight man (the main character). These familiar characters were popular in comedies during the 50s and 60s and further highlight the style of film this is, which is quite refreshing. As a matter of fact, the relationship between Duke and Max is reminiscent of Walter Matthau (Duke) and Max (Jack Lemmon), who were a successful duo in cinema in the 50s and 60s. This film is so much like others of that era, I can see Billy Wilder directing this.

Lastly, and what impressed me most, is the score. It is an up tempo, lighthearted score. But, what makes it so impressive is how often it is used. In today's comedies, a score isn't used often. Because we're in an age of off-beat, dry comedy, an accompanying score ruins the tone and wipes away the awkwardness. This film uses the score like those comedies of the 50s and 60s, which creates a more lighthearted comedic tone and gives comedic rhythm to the scene. It also makes scene transitions less awkward and helps with pace. The score itself is a wonderful, having been scored by the great Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 & 2). I'd love to see it in contention for the Best Score Oscar (although seeing the fate of Inside Out's beautiful score, it may not happen). So with all of this nostalgia, the movie really impressed me. It's not easy to go against the grain and pay homage to classic Hollywood. Speaking of which, I am loving this trend in animated films today that reference older movies. Inside Out referenced Chinatown, this movie referenced Some Like it Hot (a cat says to a dog trying to date her, "I'm a cat" and the dog says "Well, nobody's perfect"), The Birds, and Grease (even singing a song from the musical). It's very satisfying for movie fans.

With all of that said, I give this movie 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. The reason it misses out on perfection for me is because I feel the plot could have been tighter and I wish the film had a little bit more to say, or at least say it meant to say a little louder. But nonetheless, I know your kids will enjoy this film and you will too. I recommend it for ages 6 to 18 and it can be seen at a local theater near you when it opens July 8.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

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


GIBBY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GIBBY
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-12
Description - A young girl finds an unlikely and uplifting friendship with an adorable monkey in this charming, light-hearted film. Katie has lost interest in her school, her friends, and gymnastics following the loss of her mother. But her outlook changes in the summer when she is asked to monkey sit Gibby, her science teacher's Capuchin monkey. Taking care of the monkey challenges Katie and reorders her life in a big way, and Gibby's happy-go-lucky personality renews Katie's zest for life. Gibby helps her with gymnastics, renewing friendships (including finding a potential boyfriend) and overcoming her nemesis, a mean girl who is out to beat Katie at everything.

Rising star Shelby Lyon heads up an all-star cast, including Peyton Meyer (Girl Meets World), Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie), Sean Patrick Flanery (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles), Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day) and, of course, Crystal the Monkey (Night At The Museum).
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Gibby is a fun to watch film. Children as well as adults can enjoy watching the great acting by the cast along with Gibby, the monkey. The film shows great friendship development. While there is an element of a "mean girl," Katie is able to handle it. The film takes you on a journey with Katie as she works through her depression and loneliness after the death of her mother. When she is selected to care for Gibby, it brings her back to her love of gymnastics and renewing friendships. The characters display the behaviors of teenagers, seeking popularity and looking for love. Gibby is entertaining, funny and tugs at your heart. You learn facts about a capuchin monkey and watch the young actors develop friendships and create believable and real life actions. The story is well done with actions, concepts and dialogue that are part of real life. This film could inspire children to engage in gymnastics. It is very real and down to earth, using real people and a very talented monkey - Crystal who definitely steals the show. There is no CGI and the special features are excellent. It offers facts from Gibby's trainer who talks about the challenges of working with animals and humans. I recommend it for ages 5 to 15. Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Bananas!!! This little monkey will keep you smiling as you watch my favorite actress Crystal, use her natural monkey talents to help a young girl find her true heart's desire. This film is heartwarming, entertaining, funny, and adorable all wrapped up into one great movie.

One of my favorite things about this film is that no CGI is used. This film is very down to earth and it is good to get a break from all the amazing graphics taking over movie theaters today. There are ups and downs just like in real life and that is what makes this film endearing and believable.

The acting in this is believable. I love all the different characters in this film, but my absolute favorite character is Gibby (Crystal, a capuchin monkey). She is hysterical, cute and there when you need her. Crystal has made many monkey appearances, but this is one of her best performances I have seen. I had the pleasure of meeting her on the set of We Bought a Zoo and Gibby. She is very talkative, loves to stick her tongue out and has a boyfriend that she hangs out with when she is not in the spotlight. Tom Gunderson, her trainer is like an overly protective father who loves her and takes wonderful care of this high maintenance little diva. Oh, our little monkey is not a hugger, but she likes to high five.

My other favorite character is Katie (Shelby Lyon). She is lonely and depressed at first because of the death of her mother and then she meets Gibby and her whole world changes. Then, she is fun, happy and ready for anything. Her acting is wonderful and I had the pleasure of meeting her as well. Shelby Lyon is very bubbly, cute and fun to hang out with. She also loves doing gymnastics. She showed me a couple of her awesome skills and I was quite impressed. I do wish that they had more gymnastic scenes in this film. Tommy (Peyton Meyer) is a friend of Katie's and has a crush on her but she doesn't know it. A great friendship blooms when he volunteers to watch Crystal and help Katie over the summer with her new pet monkey. He is as cute in a person as he is in this movie.

I have lots of favorite scenes including Gibby (Crystal the monkey) sneaking into a birthday party and being mistaken for a dangerous animal. Gibby is hit on the head by a crazy mother who is scared of the giant one foot, seven inch monkey. This is one of my favorite scenes because it really touched my heart and I found myself crying. Can you say cameo appearance? Look carefully and you will see me there in a pink shirt and a zebra dress. The lovely Vivica A. Fox also joins in on the monkey fun.

I love the fact that all the girls did their own gymnastic stunts. They are very talented and a great group of young women to hang out with. Phil Gorn, the director, is brave working with both kids and monkeys. Congratulations on making an adorable movie.

I recommend this film for kids as young as five who will love the adorable Crystal. Teenagers will relate to the means girls and the young love crushing going on. This is a fantastic family-friendly film for the entire family to sit back and enjoy and appropriate for ages 5 to 16. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 monkeying around stars.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan B., age 11 1/2
Runtime: 86 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-16
Suggested Retail Price: $ 1498
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


ENDGAME
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ENDGAME
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-12
Description - Since he was 5 years old, Jose (Rico Rodriguez, Modern Family) has learned from his Abuelita (Ivonne Coll, Jane The Virgin) how to play chess like his grandfather, who was a champion in Mexico. Now as part of the Brownsville school team, Jose has the chance to use his skills and, for once in his life, find himself in the spotlight, as he tries to help his team make it to the Texas state finals. As their coach, Mr. Alvarado (Efren Ramirez, Napoleon Dynamite), teaches his students the meaning of perseverance and team effort in the face of adversity, Jose discovers his own strengths and uses them to bring his broken family together.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I like that this film teaches kids to never give up and to work as a team. The main story is a great one and one that should be told. There are a lot of different emotional issues covered such as teenage death and the tragedy of being deported. These are big issues and I am not sure that they are shown in the best way possible. What I mean is that they are touched upon but I felt as if parts were missing. For example, I didn't feel that, as a viewer, I saw the despair and grief of the main character Jose when he lost his brother. I would have liked to have seen more about this in this film. The issues are touched upon, but not quite enough to make an impact. It is a good film with an enjoyable story and very good action. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18.

Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Chess, the game that is so simple, yet so complex and difficult is coming to your TV screen in this great film called Endgame on DVD. This film is a wonderful combination of emotions - one minute you are sad and crying, then the next you are happy and laughing. I love that the film does this and that it really makes you feel like you are there.

The acting in this film is very well executed, but my favorite character is Jose (Rico Rodriguez) who is one of the stars of Modern Family. He is goodhearted and loves to play chess just like his grandmother or Abuelita in Spanish (Ivonne Coll) who starts teaching him the game of chess at the age five. Jose is going through a tough time. We see him stumble and fall but friends, family, chess and determination come to the rescue. Karla (Justina Machade), Jose's mother is depressed and sad for many reasons and she is mad because her mother has taught her son how to play chess even though she doesn't approve. The principle (Jon Gries) doesn't think that there should be a chess club and that it is a useless cause. Mr. Alvarado (Efren Ramirez), a teacher at Jose's school thinks that all children should know chess and that it can change their world for the better. Sandy (Cassie Brennan) is adorable and very funny. I like that she tries to help Jose (Rico Rodriguez) when he is playing chess with other competitors by distracting them with her flirtations. She uses her girly charms to her advantage.

Movies that show women as strong mother and grandmother figures are so important to our youth. I love all the women in this film. They have many complex aspects to them. There is always a fine line between grandparents' and parents' roles which is funny because they all want the same thing - for their children to be happy and healthy.

My favorite scenes are those when Mr. Alvarado (Efren Ramirez) have the children play chess on a life size chess board and they are the chess pieces. I love these scenes because they are hysterical and this is great idea for children to learn how to play chess. I will be trying this with my friends and family now because it looks like so much fun.

The fact that it is based on true events is astonishing. I like that it is so real and well portrayed as it makes you become really engaged in the characters and the out-come of this true story. Hurray! I love the end of a movie when they have captions that tell you what happened to the real characters after this event in their timeline.

I wish that this film included just a bit more about chess and explained it a bit better. I have played chess many times and enjoy the game. Although you do not need to know how the play chess to enjoy the drama and family struggles, basic knowledge of the game helps you to better understand what is going on especially when they show scenes regarding competitions. I liked that they showed it as a game of strategy and that you need to know your opponents next move and never lose focus.

I recommend this film for ages 9 to 18 and think adults will also like this film because it is about chess and they might even learn a new chess move or two. Children will learn from this film because they will be able to see Jose struggles and see how he deals with issues such as anger, frustration and hurt. I give this film 4 � out of 5 chess piece stars.

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

Endgame By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11 Endgame is an interesting film with some good characters and memorable performances, but the plot could use a little work. Although, at the end of the movie, I had a smile on my face.

At a very young age, Jose (Rico Rodriguez) starts to learn chess from his Abuelita (Ivonne Coll) but he has always been in his brother's shadow. When tragedy strikes, Jose receives a calling to become a chess champion. The movie is inspired by the true story about a school in Texas that built an champion chess team.

My favorite character is Mr. Alvarado (Efren Ramirez) because he never gives up on the kids and even spends his rent money to get them to a tournament. Another character I like is Jose's grandmother because she is always giving him good advice, encouraging him to do the right thing and she teaches him to play chess. There are other performances that stand out for me. Rico Rodriguez puts a lot of effort into his role and he is very believable. So does newcomer Alina Hererra who plays Jose's friend and is the person who gets him interested in playing chess for the school.

As much as I like the characters and the actors, the plot is uneven and I feel as if I've seen parts of it in other films. Some scenes are pretty inspiring, but others just feel cheesy and stylized. When the plot tries to take an emotional turn, sometimes it ends up going flat and didn't resonate with me. I enjoyed the ending of this movie anyway because it is a pleasant surprise.

Compared to films about baseball or football, chess doesn't get much attention in the film industry, so it is nice to see it recognized in this film. I am also surprised how deep the film delves into social issues. The ending also managed to surprise me in spite of the plot problems in how it was executed. I like some of the music in this film and it really signals the right tone in some scenes.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 16 due to some language and some crude humor. I give it 2 out of 5 stars. It's not perfect but if you like Rico Rodriguez from the TV series Modern Family or chess, you'll probably enjoy Endgame.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 22.97
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


LEGEND OF TARZAN, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEGEND OF TARZAN, THE
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 5-12
Description - John Clayton following his parents' death in Africa would be raised by an ape and would be known by the name Tarzan, would leave Africa and go to his parents' home in England along with woman he fell in love with and married, Jane Porter. He would be asked by Belgian King Leopold to go to Africa to see what he has done there to help the country. Initially he refuses. But an American, George Washington Williams wants him to accept so he can accompany him. He says that Leopold might be committing all sorts of atrocities to achieve his goal like slavery. He needs to prove it. Clayton agrees and his wife insists that she accompany him because she misses Africa. They go and when they arrive a man named Rom who works for Leopold attacks the village they are at and captures Tarzan and Jane. With Washington's help he escapes and sets out to rescue Jane by going across the jungle and Washington joins him despite being told that he might not make it. .
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Alas, Tarzan lovers rise for the continuation of this legendary story, but take a seat because this film is disappointing. The film covers Tarzan's life after he left Africa to live in England as John Clayton and returns to Africa to help his country. After a series of dangerous obstacles and captures, Tarzan fights to save his love Jane.

I found the film's plot so confusing and disconnected that it was difficult to give a thorough summary without looking it up. The film stars Alexander Skarsgard as Tarzan who, in the movie, is quite civilized, British and sophisticated despite the fact that he was raised by gorillas in the jungle. This disappointed me because it is one thing to make a bad movie but it's even more disappointing when the film has a template to follow and doesn't. In the original film, Jane is British but in this adaptation she is American. This really confused me because of its inconsistency with the original story. Another disappointing aspect is that the apes in this film were not his friends. They were his enemies. The back story of Tarzan is all about how he was raised by gorillas and how they are his family. I did not enjoy seeing Tarzan fighting the creatures that are supposed to be his family.

Looking past that inconsistency and hard-to-follow plot, on the positive side, the film has impressive visuals that make it quite entertaining. The characters are not ones you get attached to or gain a bond with and, me for that makes the movie lack the emotional connection it needs to really draw in the audience.

I feel as if the film doesn't focus on appropriate things. It focuses a lot on business schemes to get money rather than the emotional struggles and journeys in the jungle.

The film has little details and aspects that are alright, such as the casting, but I just did not find the movie compelling. I think it would interest people that like historical fiction and recommend it for tweens and teens. People between the ages of 30 to 60 would also enjoy it because of its complexity and historical background. I would not go out of my way to see this and rank it 2 out of 5 stars because I was so disappointed in it.

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

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


DOG LOVER, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DOG LOVER, THE
XXX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-15
Description - Sara Gold is a rising star at the United Animal Protection Agency (UAPA), a major animal rights organization that conducts animal rescues and lobbies for better animal welfare laws. Handpicked for a major assignment, Sara goes undercover as a college intern to infiltrate a suspected "puppy mill" run by the enigmatic Daniel Holloway.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film teaches important morals and has a heartwarming story. It also gives us an opportunity to meet many new characters and experience beautiful scenery.

The Dog Lover is dramatic film. There are a few jokes, but film is not meant to be a comedy. There are a few more elements that spice things up, including a romance between characters as well as an adventurous theme throughout the film.

The story starts when Sara Gold (Allison Paige) is working for a nonprofit organization that is against dog breeding. Sara goes undercover at a dog breeder farm. She discovers that there is truly nothing wrong with the farm and they treat their dogs very well. The organization still accuses the family farm which then has to fight to keep their dogs safe.

This film has a simple and pretty much unoriginal story. It is a story about someone who works for the good guys and then discovers they actually are the bad guys. The ending is very expected so the story is predictable and somewhat boring. But, the main actors performed exceptionally well. Allison Paige, James Remar (Daniel Holloway) and others are amazing. However, I felt as if the side characters' performances felt forced which made some conversations seem rather cheesy.

The cinematography is very simple and standard, but the scenery is beautiful and enjoyable to watch. My favorite scene is when Sara and the son of the dog breeder, Will Holloway (Jason Blair) go on a trip near the farm. There, the two watch the spectacular scenery and observe wild horses galloping around freely. I love this scene because it is peaceful and somewhat romantic without being over the top which is very difficult to achieve.

The Dog Lover does have some mature topics and some sad parts which may be too mature for younger kids. I recommend it for ages 11 to 18 and give it 3 out of 5 stars for its pretty scenery and some good performances. This film is in theaters on July 8 so, be sure to go check it out.

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

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


INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - We always knew they were coming back. After 'Independence Day' redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens' advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Twenty years ago one of the most epic action films was released - Independence Day. Now we finally got a sequel which I believe will again become one of the most exciting action films of the year - Independence Day: Resurgence - with amazing acting, spectacular visuals and an original story.

As expected, Independence Day: Resurgence is an action film, but it goes into much more than that. This film has some romance, but it doesn't go overboard. It just spices up the character development. The story also features a sense of adventure and, of course, a big element of sci-fi.

The story starts twenty years after aliens attacked Earth in 1996. On a moon base, they discover a very powerful and large ship that has the power to rip Earth in half. The human race must then stand up again to defeat the alien race. Even with the powerful technology that has been developed, the human race is threatened of extinction!

The is one disappointment, of course. This film does not have Will Smith, but it is explained why he is not there and many new characters are introduced in addition to the favorite original characters. The special effects are impressive and breathtaking. The detail on the ships makes you feel as if they really exist. I also greatly enjoyed the story. It is original and unexpected. The aerial CGI shots are spectacular and greatly add to the intensity of the whole experience. The soundtrack deserves special mention as it really makes your adrenaline pump and the audience feels as if the theater itself is shaking. Although there isn't much comedy in the film, it is original and made the audience laugh in certain scenes.

My favorite scene is when the giant ship first attacks the moon base. The moon base has a powerful experimental laser that they quickly fire at the ship, but discover it does not do anything to the mother ship. What is also amazing is the size of the ship compared to the moon. That scene also introduces the aliens for the first time. The film is spectacular and not suited for all ages. It is rather intense and has quite a lot of gore. I recommend it for ages 11 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. This truly lives up to the glory of the first film with its beautiful special effects, original story, emotional acting and an unexpected ending. It is that rare case when the sequel is as good, if not better than the original. I applaud the creators and the director Roland Emmerich. This film opens nationwide on June 24 so go check it out.

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

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


BFG, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BFG, THE
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Ten-year-old Sophie is in for the adventure of a lifetime when she meets the Big Friendly Giant. Naturally scared at first, the young girl soon realizes that the 24-foot behemoth is actually quite gentle and charming. As their friendship grows, Sophie's presence attracts the unwanted attention of Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater and other giants. After traveling to London, Sophie and the BFG must convince Queen Victoria to help them get rid of all the bad giants once and for all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie has giants, dreams, friendship and compassion all rolled up into one two-hour long movie that is a wonderful experience. The BFG's character and graphics are shock and awe to me. His job as a dream catcher is in danger and I think I just found my new career goal - catching dreams and using them to make other people happy. The BFG is a complicated, humorous character with many aspects to him. Brilliant director Steven Spielberg adds yet another great movie to his resume.

This must-see summer hit opens nationwide July 1, just in time to spend a hot summer day in a cool theater near you. It is more of a drama then a comedy even though you will laugh throughout the film. The movie is based on the book by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. I have added this book to my summer to do list.

The CGI animation in this film is top-quality and award winning. The scale between the humans and giants has been done before but in this film, it is truly extraordinary. The thought and details shown in every scene captivate you into believing you are on screen in this new make believe world. Giants, the dream country and giant country all come to life. The flipping of the world upside down and entering dream country is a memorable scene and my favorite. It is one of the many places you will find yourself wishing really existed or think that perhaps it does it somewhere.

The characters have incredible depth to them. Ruby Barnhill's (Sophie) performance is extraordinary. Most of her scenes are in CGI and she had to use her imagination when acting out those scenes. She is the lead of this film and carries it well. There are few real humans until the second half and her connection with the BFG is heartwarming. Sophie is a kind, brave and sharp orphan who finds herself dwarfed in the world of giants.

Mark Rylance (The BFG) is fascinating, remarkable and a top notch actor. You can tell that he is kind and he sticks to what he believes in. He doesn't care about what the other giants think about him he just wants to care for a little girl and catch dreams. I like how he thinks that it is wrong to eat humans. At least there is one giant we don't have to run from. He is comical and humorous and his take on the English language will have you laughing out loud as the audience did when I watched this film. His new words will add to your vocabulary and have you smiling when you recall them.

The BFG meets the one and only Queen of England (Penelope Wilton) and the Queen herself would be proud of her performance, as I would definitely bow down in her presence. I find her beautiful, interesting, fair and funny.

When The BFG gives the Queen, her assistances, the guards, crazy dogs, Sophie and everyone in the room a taste of his favorite drink and everyone in the room starts whiz popping, it is hysterical. I loved this scene. Everyone in the theater could not stop laughing and I just joined in right along with them. The dogs in this scene are ridiculously entertaining when they skid along the floor while tooting away.

I recommend this film for ages 10 to 18. This is a family friendly film which kids will enjoy. Be forewarned that the scenes about bullying are unsettling and the huge giants look very lifelike and might scare younger kids. Some of them are mean. I give this film 5 out of 5 giant dream catcher stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

I enjoyed watching the new Disney film, The BFG. We get to see the works of three great storytellers together. Director Steven Spielberg collaborated with Walt Disney Studios to bring Roald Dahl's classic book "The BFG" to life and turn it into a wonderful film. I love the film for its CGI, which makes the animations look incredible and I also enjoyed its comedic moments. In this film, we meet Sophie, an orphan who hates the all girls' orphanage she is living in. Then one day, she spots the elderly big friendly giant (The BFG) who takes her away to Giant Country because he doesn't want her to tell other people that she saw him. At first, Sophie is scared because she thinks he is going to hurt her but then she realizes that the giant is actually really friendly, unlike the other giants. The Big Friendly Giant is considered an outcast by the other giants because he refuses to eat children or people as they do. Sophie has an idea to enlist help from Queen Victoria to help keep the Big Friendly Giant safe and capture all the man eating giants from Giant Country. To see how the story unfolds, go see this film.

I appreciate the animations of this film because they are vivid, detailed, realistic and child friendly. The faces and the size of the giants are amazing. I also like this film because of its humor. It is great! I guarantee that this film will make you laugh at some point during the movie. I also like the designs of the scenes. They look extremely realistic - so much so, that you could easily think it is a real place. I love how the characters change throughout the film. However, what I didn't like in this film is that there are a few scenes that are too intense for younger viewers. Also, some scenes got a little boring. But besides that, this film is fantastic.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to kids ages 6 to 18 and I think adults will like this as well. I also recommend this to people who like family, action, adventure and comedy movies. Make sure to see BFG, which opens July 1 in theaters nationwide.

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

This 2016 colorful film based on the book by Roald Dahl is great to watch and gives you a small look into where dreams come from. The 3D effects draws you into the film and make the characters much more fascinating with its depth, texture and a variety of colors.

Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is a young girl that comes in contact with the Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance-Voice) who, in spite of his frightening looks, we find to be a kind and good natured person. He is assumed to be an outcast by the rest of the giants due to his refusal to eat children like they do.

The visuals are obviously something that stand out to me the most. They are clear, bright and engaging. They make the gap between the animated BFG and the real life character of Sophie very small. Steven Spielberg directs this film so, of course it is authentic and believable. It has dark moments that are spread throughout the film that parents should be aware of when taking their young children to see it. This film highlights the admirable qualities of perseverance and bravery as it tells the story of a girl and a giant in a perilous world. My favorite character is the BFG because of his childlike demeanor. His speech brings softness and an innocent aspect to his character which makes him less of a monster and it accentuates how different he is from the rest of the antagonistic Giants. The BGF for the most part focuses on the relationship between Sophie and the Big Friendly Giant, but other characters include Mary (Rebecca Hall), Mr. Tibbs (Rafe Spall), The Queen (Penelope Wilton), and Bloodbottler (Bill Hader).

My favorite scene is when Sophie shoves herself into a disgusting green vegetable to hide from one of the giants. While she tries to get out of it, we see her feet, then her legs and more - covered in a green slimy substance, until she is fully out. This scene brought about sounds of disgust and laughter from the audience. That's why it's my favorite. Actress Ruby Barnhill plays her part extremely well. She acts just like any other ten year old kid with tons of questions and lots of curiosity. She is full of energy. The BFG gears itself towards younger audiences and has a recurring theme about dreams coming true. One of my favorite inspirational quotes by Stephen Spielberg is "I don't dream at night. I dream at day. I dream all day. I'm dreaming for living." That message happens throughout the film as well.

I recommend this great family film for ages 7 to 14 and rate it 4 out of 5 stars. Even though I enjoy watching this film, I do feel that a couple of scenes are too long or unneeded altogether. The BFG opens in theaters on July 1st, so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16



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


LEGO STAR WARS: THE FREEMAKER ADVENTURES
DISNEY XD Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 8 - 15
Description - The series stars the Freemakers, a family of scavengers who build and sell starships from the scoured debris of space battles strewn throughout the galaxy. When their youngest discovers a natural connection with the Force through an ancient artifact . The Kyber Saber, his world is turned upside down, and he and his family are thrown into an epic struggle against the Empire to restore peace and freedom to the galaxy. Throughout their adventures, the Freemakers explore new worlds, meet new and familiar characters, and learn the true value of what it means to be a family.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


JACKIE ROBINSON (KEN BURNS)
JACKIE ROBINSON (KEN BURNS)
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 9-18
Description - JACKIE ROBINSON rose from humble origins to cross baseball's color line and become one of the most beloved men in America. Featuring intimate and revealing interviews with his family and rarely seen photographs and film footage, documentary tells the extraordinary story of an American icon whose lifelong battle for first class citizenship for all African Americans transcends even his remarkable athletic achievements.
Runtime: 240 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.81
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


ODE TO JOY: BEETHOVEN'S SYNPHONY NO. 9
ODE TO JOY: BEETHOVEN'S SYNPHONY NO. 9
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Description - Ludwig van Beethoven's transformative Symphony No. 9 has been described as "the world's greatest symphony," its "Ode to Joy" recognizable even to the most casual classical music listener. This program showcases this triumphant musical masterpiece in a rare full-length television recording by the Vienna hamber Orchestra with the Westminster Symphonic Choir, under the direction of conductor Mark Laycock.


Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BOOK OF WISHES, THE
SANTA FE SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS & SCIENCES MOVING IMAGES PROGRAM
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-18
Description - Jeff finds a book that will grant all his wishes. But sometimes, what you want isn't all that good for you.
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FAD-ULOUS
SANTA FE SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS & SCIENCES MOVING IMAGES PROGRAM
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-12
Description - Stella's classmates are all obsessed with a new fad: neon mustaches. Stella doesn't want to wear one, but the peer pressure is building...
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

MAGIC TRAIN, THE
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MAGIC TRAIN, THE
JOE CHANG
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - The story of Magic Train was based on a girl called Lin Lin, who was an American Born Chinese and brought up overseas. During her trip to China on a traveling train, she had experienced series of amazing things from what she saw in China. The film was particularly concerned about different aspect of artistic levels. From the unique style and technique of animation, the film had shown the humanistic feelings from the combination of Chinese traditional cultural and modern life. It also had a lot of entertainment and artistic affection, too. The whole film was consist of ten different little stories in sequence, and had 87 minutes in total. The dialogue was little and the music was adapted from Chinese traditional well-known music scores. The audiovisual feeling of the film was like a song, a picture, a poem and a dream. These could touch deep through the heart of different age group audiences.
Runtime: 87 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CHANDLER'S ARK
LANCE DUMAIS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-12
Description - Professional surfer, shaper, and animal lover Scott Chandler sets out on a quest to break the world record for dog surfing. Chandler's Ark shows Scott's journey from constructing his massive fifteen foot board, to practice days at dog beach, all the way to his attempt for the world record in San Deigo, CA. We get a unique inside perspective of the determination it takes when setting out to break a world record and how one boat sized surfboard brought together a team of friends to make it all possible.
Runtime: 16 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

ZOOTOPIA (BD/DD/DIGITAL HD/BLU-RAY)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ZOOTOPIA (BD/DD/DIGITAL HD/BLU-RAY)
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 3-15
Description - From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes a comedy-adventure set in the modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia. Determined to prove herself, Officer Judy Hopps, the first bunny on Zootopia s police force, jumps at the chance to crack her first case even if it means partnering with scam-artist fox Nick Wilde to solve the mystery. Bring home this hilarious adventure full of action, heart and tons of bonus extras that take you deeper into the world of Zootopia. It s big fun for all shapes and species!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From our friends at Walt Disney Animation comes Zootopia, the story about a city of anthropomorphic animals where a fugitive con artist fox and a rookie bunny cop must work together to uncover a conspiracy. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Mia A. comments, "I thoroughly enjoyed Disney's Zootopia because the animation took me into a beautiful world just like ours, but completely filled with animals." Tre'ana H. chimes in with, "I really adored this film because it is very different from any ordinary film. The characters belong to the zoo animals' collection. It is hilarious because all the animals act like humans and engage in everyday, normal conversations like we do." See their full reviews in the kid comments section.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I thoroughly enjoyed Disney's Zootopia because the animation took me into a beautiful world just like ours, but completely filled with animals.

Zootopia is about a bunny named Judy (Ginnifer Goodwin) who grew up on a carrot farm. Judy always wanted to be a cop when she grew up even though she is a bunny and bunnies do not become policemen. She goes to police training and then becomes a cop in Zootopia.

Zootopia is a land where all different types of animals, prey and predators, live together in peace. When Judy gets to Zootopia she is not taken seriously as a Bunny Cop, so Judy has to finish a case in 48 hours or else she resign. She teams up with a fox named Nick (Jason Bateman) to help figure out the case. Will she get taken seriously as a cop and finish the case? You'll have to watch it to find out.

My favorite character in Zootopia is Nick, a clever, funny and mischievous fox. Nick got lots of laughs from the audience and I learned to care about him after his back story was revealed.

My favorite scene is with the sloths. Judy and Nick go to check a license plate and all the workers at the DMV are sloths. The main sloth named Flash (Raymond S. Persi) says everything slowly. Judy is in a big rush and to make the process even slower, Nick tells Flash a joke. This is one of the funniest scenes that got lots of laughs from the audience.

The film's animation is incredible. It's filled with lots of color and creative, minute details. In one scene, Judy travels through the different zones of Zootopia and, in the rainforest zone, it starts raining and the rain hits the train. This scene is filled with detailed colors and light.

Zootopia is a mystery movie, but it is also a comedy. The mystery part of this movie could be scary to little kids because there are dark scenes with intense action and it shows some animals going savage.

There are a couple scenes with nude animals. This isn't that bad because it only shows animals without clothes on. It is funny though because the animals freak out even though, in real life, animals are always "nude".

I rate this movie a 4.5 out of 5 stars because there are some scenes little kids might find scary but everything has a reason even if it doesn't seem important at the time. Since this is a Disney movie, some parents might think it is good for all ages. But, I recommend it for kids age 6 to 15 because of the fear factor. If your kids like mysteries and dark scenes then, that won't be a problem. Go see Disney's Zootopia in theaters near you when it opens March 4.

Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11. Be sure to check out Mia's interview with Animation supervisor Kira Lehtomaki.

I really adored this film because it is very different from any ordinary film. The characters belong to the zoo animals' collection. It is hilarious because all the animals act like humans and engage in everyday, normal conversations like we do. Directors, Byron Howard and Rich Moore have delivered a creative and amazing story filled with imagination.

In the city of Zootopia the animals live a diversified life. They all get along with each other until a plague hits some of the animals and they start to be aggressive with each other. A fugitive con artist / fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) and a rookie bunny cop named Judy Hoops, (Ginnifer Godwin) work together to uncover the conspiracy that is taking over their city. You will not believe the deception that is taking place.

My most memorable scene is when the bunny first goes to Zootopia. I liked this part best because, when she is on the train, you see the entire city of Zootopia. It made me feel like I was part of the scene touring Zootopia with Judy. This section of the filmzootopia.d.jpg shows each part of the city and reveals all the different scenery in each section. This is the coolest scene and is so beautifully detailed.

The setting of this story made me feel like I wanted to be a part of this world of Zootopia. The colors are very bright and it looks like an amusement park with plenty of animals.

The moral message of this film is that you should never let anyone bring you down or stop you from being the person you want to be. People may try to break you down, but you can't let them. You can be whatever you want to be in this world of freedom.

I recommend Zootopia for ages 6 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 Stars because it is child friendly, hilarious, exciting and everyone will enjoy it. This movie opens in theaters Friday, March 4, 2016 so go check it out, you will not be disappointed.

Reviewed by Tre'ana H., age 12.
Runtime: 108 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 22.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


PRESENTING PRINCESS SHAW
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PRESENTING PRINCESS SHAW
MAGNOLIA PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 13-18
Description - A documentary on the collaborative relationship between New Orleans based songwriter/YouTube star Samantha Montgomery and composer/video artist Ophir Kutiel.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - "T" is for teens. I like this film and loved meeting the people involved in it. I was a little concerned that this might not be a KIDS FIRST movie but it is.

We are all into YouTube, Facebook, social media and many other electronic connections with other people. This movie has all of the above. It is a documentary about two people who are followed on a journey of friendship - a great composer, a fabulous singer, a live concert in Israel and a unique film.

I loved the storyline. My favorite part about the movie is all the music. There is a large mix of music from vocals, pianos, violins, guitars, drums and many more instruments. Kutiman is a great composer from Israel. He traveled 7,000 miles across the Internet to find a great singer.

I felt uncomfortable during some of the scenes and my Mom said I was a little too young to understand a few of them. Unfortunately, everyone's life is not perfect and people struggle every day and deal with crazy situations. Yes, I do feel this is a KIDS FIRST movie because it is not cute, funny or Hollywood. It is about real life. The message in this film is to never give up your dreams but to keep them alive and pursue them. This film gives you insight into how we can all feel hopeless and want to give up. That is the time when you cry, eat ice cream, dig deep and get yourself back up and into the fight for your dream.

Samantha Montgomery, also known as Princess Shaw, pursues her singing career when and wherever she can. Finally, a composer in Israel discovers her YouTube page and a great friendship and collaboration begins. Ido Haar who is Kutiman's friend and a director watched the first music mash up video and is intrigued by the process. So, he follows the musicians and the vocalist Kutiman has his heart set on. He even flies back and forth between Israel and the United States several times over the course of a year to capture the real story of Princess Shaw and her journey on film. Meanwhile he is also filming Kutiman's journey.

The actual footage is a breath of fresh air from all the CGI graphics taking place in movies today. You get to sit back and watch a real life story. You really care about what happens to these people. You cry when they struggle and cheer when things go well. I appreciated the emotional attachment you feel throughout the film.

The appropriate age range for this film is 14 to 18 years old. There are a few curse words. There are stories about bad things that happened to children. That is a reality. This is a now film. It is something that could really happen to you today. You never know when or how your dreams will come true. Even when they do, you still have to work hard to keep them alive.

I rate this 4 1/2 out of 5 singing stars. It is in theaters and on demand May 27, 2016.

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

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


JOURNEY TO SPACE (BLU-RAY)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
JOURNEY TO SPACE (BLU-RAY)
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Description - Brilliantly narrated by film and television legend Sir Patrick Stewart, Journey To Space gives a sweeping overview of humanity's accomplishments in space, as well as our ongoing activities and future plans. Journey To Space puts into historical context the magnificent contributions made by the Space Shuttle program and its intrepid space pioneers. It uses the most spectacular space footage (including unique views of Earth and operations in space) such as deploying and repairing the Hubble Space Telescope. It then goes on to show how the shuttle launched and assembled the International Space Station (ISS). Together, these programs have taught us how to live, build and conduct scientific experiments in space. The ISS will continue operating in space until 2024, and the film shows how it is building a foundation for the next giant leaps into space, concluding with a fascinating, realistic scenario of how astronauts will actually get to Mars, live there for long durations, and then return home after a two-and-a-half-year mission.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really liked Journey to Space. This film is greatly educational and adventurous. The film includes amazing photographs that made me feel like such a small being in the vastness of space. This documentary includes authentic pictures from the Hubble space telescope that are out of this world, literally (*wink*). I found myself mesmerized by all the information and discoveries made in space.

This amazing documentary on space exploration is narrated by Patrick Stewart (X-Men series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Ice Age: Continental Drift, and many more).The film is very informative. I learned so much. It even shows NASA's 3D diagrams for how they will build new spacecraft for Mars. The challenges that the human body has to endure while orbiting the Earth in the ISS (International Space Station) are great. For example, some people's bones and eyes start deteriorating within a few days of being in zero gravity. Physical exercise and nutrition are two key components of their staying healthy.

I have many favorite parts of this film. One is when Patrick Stewart describes the human's hunger for knowledge and discovery. Another is the introduction which shares diverse environments of our planet Earth. Patrick Stewart is a great narrator for this film with his captivating tone of voice and amazing vocabulary. Also, this documentary included Chris Ferguson who is an experienced astronaut, Serena Aunon, an astronaut-in-training and Lindsay Aitchison who designs and makes space suits. All three people are passionate about what they do and each plays an important part of the success to travel into deep space and beyond!

The moral of this film is that mankind is, and will always be, exploring new environments and places on this planet and in deep space. I relate to this concept on many levels because I love to explore. The things that really stick out to me in this film are the music, the fabulous scenery and all the information throughout the film.

I recommend this movie for ages 8 to 18 and think adults will enjoy it as well because the extraordinary knowledge given is great for all ages and is very inspirational for all who wish to invent and discover new things. I give this documentary 5 out of 5 galactic stars.

Reviewed by Bison B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Runtime: 45 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 29.99
Media: DVD


TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURES, AGES 5-12
Description - The Turtles return to save the city from a dangerous threat.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - "Shhhh! You have to sneak up on them." I'm talking as quiet as a ninja because I'm reviewing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows! If you liked the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, then you'd better hurry up and buy tickets for this next movie, because it's even better! This is an action-packed movie with lots of comedy, suspense and thrills. In this film, there are many characters that were in the first TMNT movie as well as the original cartoon such as Shredder and Casey Jones. Bebop and Rocksteady make their first debut in this film and it is a hilarious debut, because the actors who play those characters are very funny.

In this film, Shredder has returned, but this time without a mask. Shredder (Brian Tee) is the evil mastermind that everybody hates. Brian Tee is the perfect actor to play Shredder because he never breaks character and makes the audience believe he is really scary. While Shredder is being transported to prison, many unexpected things happen and the Ninja Turtles go through a lot of trouble to find and defeat him once and for all.

Fenwick (Will Arnett) is the person who takes credit for defeating Shredder in the first movie even though it was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, because the Turtles can't show their faces in public.

Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) is a scientist with a hilarious laugh. Baxter Stockman works with Shredder and the Foot Clan to try and take over the world.

Motion capture is used to create this film which means that the actors put on sensors and the sensors capture their movements and put them onto the screen. So, the film is part animation and part live action. It is nice to see an appearance by Carmelo Anthony, a New York Knicks NBA player because the setting is in New York City and seeing him in Madison Square Garden makes the movie seem even more realistic.

I give this film 5 out of 5 bold stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Adults who liked Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when they were younger will also very much enjoy this film. This film is rated PG-13 for mild profanity and violence.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLAD (2016)
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLAD (2016)
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 8-18
Description - When Alice wakes up in Wonderland she must travel through a mysterious new world to retrieve a magical scepter that can stop the evil Lord of Time before he turns forward the clock and turns Wonderland into a barren, lifeless old world. With the help of some new friends, Alice must also uncover an evil plot to put the Queen of Hearts back on the throne.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Disney's Alice Through The Looking Glass is a magical fantasy adventure film in the great Tim Burton tradition. It is also a refreshing, feminist take on the classic Lewis Carroll story. This sequel to 2010's blockbuster, Alice in Wonderland, again stars Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as Iracebeth (Queen of Hearts) and Anne Hathaway as Mirana. New to the cast is Sasha Baron Cohen as "Time."

In the real world of 18th century England, Alice Kingsleigh is a captain of an English merchant ship. She is about to lose her commission when she re-enters Wonderland for the second time. She is given a warm welcome by all her old friends: the White Rabbit, TweedleDee and TweedleDum, the Cheshire Cat and Mirana. She learns that her best friend, The Mad Hatter, is depressed because he misses his parents and his siblings. She decides that the only way to help him is to find his family. They are presumed dead, but the Hatter doesn't believe so. She then goes in search of the chronosphere, a time travel device located at Time's castle. What follows is an epic journey in search of "The Hatter's" parents.

Alice Through the Looking Glass is very creative and colorful. Tim Burton is one of the producers, so this is not surprising. The costumes and the makeup are top notch. The special effects are inventive, especially the sequence at Time's castle. Time has an amazing castle, which is run by a group of creatures called "seconds," which are made of nuts, bolts and gears. These "seconds" can combine to make even bigger creatures called "minutes." These "minutes" can combine to make a enormous, transformer-like creature called "hours."

There is a lot of smart wordplay based on the character Time. Think of all the puns having to do with time and they are all in the movie. Sasha Baron Cohen as Time steals the whole film. He is very funny, exciting and works well with this great ensemble cast. My favorite line of the film is when The Mad Hatter exclaims "dream or reality - who's to say which is which." This sums up the message of the movie and the magic in all Tim Burton movies.

Alice Through The Looking Glass is an enchanting adventure/fairy tale for the whole family. It is appropriate for ages 8 to 18. I rate this film 4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

This film is visually amazing with a legendary cast. A few generations have grown up with the characters of this series. Based on all the details and success of the first movie, it was built up to be a fantastic film. What came out, however, was far from that.

This film mixes many elements, which makes it confusing at times. First, there is comedy. On top of that is lots of drama with some adventure and fantasy thrown in. To make things even stranger for a "Wonderland" film is the presence of sci-fi as well.

The film is just under two hours long and has a dozen different things happening. First, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is now a grown, independent young woman. She is an extremely talented British Captain of her father's ship. However, since it is the late 1800s, that is unheard of. After a dangerous voyage, she discovers that her ship and her status are taken away. While thinking about the future, she encounters an old friend from Wonderland, which leads her through a "mirror portal" back to Wonderland. In Wonderland, she finds that her old friend, Hatter (Johnny Depp) is slowly dying from despair of losing his family and trying to find them. Alice tries to help out the Hatters and discover what happened to his family by time travelling.

This story takes up only the first twenty minutes of the movie. The film has way too many climaxes and problems. It seems like it is moving onto the next film every 10 to 20 minutes. But that's not the biggest issue. On top of that, there are so many holes that it is clear the screenwriters did not think twice about what they were writing. That makes the audience wonder, "Wait, why didn't they just do this and save so much time and problems?" Also, the effect of going from fantasy to slightly sci-fi is a bit much and confuses the viewer even further. So, the script and the storyline are weak. Then, there are the interactions between characters which I found boring and bland. I don't fault of the actors who are legendary and very experienced, but blame it on the screenplay. The writer, Linda Woolverton clearly did not do the justice to the story. Compared to Disney's Alice in Wonderland which came out in 2010 or the 1951 version, this is a disappointment. If Walt Disney ever saw this version of Alice, he'd not be happy and, most likely would make some drastic changes. It was disappointed that the storyline in this movie has very little to do with the original book by Lewis Carroll. I'm all up for being creative but, when it ventures so far astray, why not call it something else?

On the other hand, there are some positives about this film. Even though the writing has issues, the visual effects are simply spectacular. The realistic interaction between animated characters and live actors is amazingly well executed. Even the CGI characters still look a lot like something you'd expect from Alice in Wonderland. There are probably a good five to ten minutes of visual aerial shots showing spectacular buildings and contraptions, all created digitally. Throughout the shots, I stared in awe at the beautiful world created by digital designers and artists. On top of that, even though the dialogue was bland, the performance of the actors is top notch. They did all they could to enlighten the dialogues and the story. Hatter's facial impressions are priceless.

My favorite part in the movie is the eye candy of all those visual effects that made you forget the lack of story structure, or rushed script writing and just enjoy this fantasized world that has been around for so many years. Unlike the story or script, the visuals are in great detail and very fitting.

This film is filled with great acting and or spectacular visuals so I recommend it for ages 7 to 18. There are some action scenes that are too intense for younger children. Because of poor screenplay and storyline, I rate it 2 out of 5 stars.

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

Alice Looking Through The Glass is absolutely amazing. All of its elements make it outstanding. It's based the book by Lewis Carroll where Alice returns to Wonderland and has to help the Mad Hatter find his family. Through her journey, she must overcome multiple obstacles that try to stop her. She also experiences some personal issues herself regarding her own family in the real world. The animation of this movie is, by far, the best I've ever seen. Everything seems so real, yet has that fairytale, fantasy aspect. Most of the movie takes place in the world of Wonderland.

The movie's plot is very well done. My favorite part is when Alice confronts the Mad Hatter about him being right all along and he slowly becomes himself again. Actually, that transformation which includes a change in makeup, hair, eye color and shape is impressive. Without a doubt, that moment is very delightful and heartwarming. My favorite character is Alice Kingsleigh, the protagonist, played by Mia Wasikowska. Ms. Wasikowska represents the character as an adventurous, but still timid girl. Alice never gives up and believes in her dreams and her friend's dreams as well. Alice always keeps her word and is always there for her loved ones no matter the circumstances.

Throughout the movie, there are many morals but the one that caught my attention was how that the past cannot be changed, one can only learn from it. I find this very important since people sometimes can't get over their mistakes and really, they should just learn the consequences and move on and keep living. This film also shows how, in the 19th century, being a female leader was difficult or unheard of and one had to be strong and smart with their words.

The most redeeming quality of this movie for me is that it revolves around the meaning of having a family and doing everything for them. I recommend this film to ages 3 to 18 and I rate it a five out of five stars.

Reviewed by Giselle T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE, THE
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - In the 3D animated comedy, The Angry Birds Movie, we'll finally find out why the birds are so angry. The movie takes us to an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds - or almost entirely. In this paradise, Red (Jason Sudeikis, We're the Millers, Horrible Bosses), a bird with a temper problem, speedy Chuck (Josh Gad in his first animated role since Frozen), and the volatile Bomb (Danny McBride, This is the End, Eastbound and Down) have always been outsiders. But when the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it's up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to. Featuring a hilarious, all-star voice cast that includes Bill Hader (Trainwreck, Inside Out), Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids, Sisters), and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), as well as Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live, Ghostbusters), Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele), Tony Hale (Veep, Arrested Development), Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors, Sisters),
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely loved this family friendly cartoon because it made me laugh out loud! The animation in this movie is exquisite. It is so detailed that you can clearly see all the feathers on the birds and tiny waves of the ocean. When they show scenes of the town you can see the patch work on the houses and the real looking scenery. Each character is unique because the creative animation matches their personalities.

This movie is about, Red (Jason Sudeikis), a red bird who never fit in and has anger issues. One day, he has to go to an anger management class and meets the birds Bomb, Matilda, Chuck and Terence, and they all become friends.

Then, pigs come to the island on an unexpected visit. They have parties with the birds and they give the birds weird gifts like trampolines and motorcycles and generally cause havoc in the town. A horrible turn of events happens and Red and all of the other birds need to save the day.

My favorite scene is when Red attends anger management class. Matilda, the instructor talks with all the birds about their issues. They participate in many funny exercises such as poetry writing and yoga. This is a funny scene. Red has the wrong attitude and is definitely negative and Matilda the instructor demonstrates some anger issues too.

My favorite character is Terence (Sean Penn), a giant red and black bird who doesn't really talk as much as he grunts. His facial expressions are particularly funny. Terence gets a lot of laughs from the audience and appears to be a crowd favorite.

The Angry Birds Movie is definitely a comedy. Almost every scene, even the sad ones, have funny lines. There is some humor that would make sense to older kids and adults but not little kids. There are some parts that some adults might not feel comfortable with some of the content. For example, when the pigs slap their butts and joke about reproducing.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars because of the humor and recommend it for ages 4 to 18. It is a fun and silly animated movie about angry birds. Who doesn't love angry birds? If you like the game Angry Birds or just want to have a good laugh, then The Angry Birds Movie is the movie for you. It opens in theaters nationwide May 20, 2016 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.

Do you like birds, pigs and sling shots and laughing? I know I do and I am so excited that they finally made a movie about the angry birds and their story.

If you're a diehard fan of Angry Birds, then you should see this because it explains everything and it will make you like the game even more. You find out why Red (Jason Sudeikis), a fellow Lithuanian. is always angry. The pigs are cute and cunning and all will be explained. They have an evil plot which leads up to the big pig vs bird war.

This movie is totally stupendous, hilarious and explains why the birds are so angry. There are so many punch lines and jokes that I was laughing and rolling on the floor. I find myself quoting so many of the jokes that are still stuck in my head. I think that adults and kids will both like the humor in this movie because it is appropriate and it appeals to a large audience.

The animation is crisp, clear and detailed. The island the pigs live on is amazing. No detail is left out and it is an incredible, giant city they live in. Each pig and bird is designed to show its peculiarity. The baby birds make your heart go awe every time you see one. They all match the game. I love how they keep the game details in the story.

The voice-over talent - Peter Dinklage, Sean Penn, Danny Mc Bride and Maya Rudolph - all excel in delivering an unique and interesting personality. The star-studded cast brings out the emotions of each individual bird. The birds look so real. I didn't even realize that they were animated until after I left the theater because they were so well portrayed. I loved the way it made me feel like I was part of this film.

The music is also quite suitable. I thought it was really funny that the birds were shown in rock 'n roll and the pigs as country. The mighty eagle and the mighty red song are just adorable to me. There is a large variety of different music throughout this film.

My favorite character is Josh Gad who voices Chuck. He is hysterical, goodhearted and ready for anything. I am starting to think that I have the need for speed and this is the bird for the job. Josh Gad deserves a huge pat on the back for his fast talking and energetic voice, which fit his part perfectly.

My favorite scene is one in which Chuck is so fast that he throws paint, moves pigs around and sets up the scene to distract the pigs for the bids. He starts this while Red is in the middle of a sentence and finishes before the sentence is over. That is what I call FAST! Of course, Chuck pretends that he has no idea as to what has just happened as chaos ensues.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18. Everyone in the theater laughed throughout the film and both the adults and the kids left with a giant smile on their faces. I give this movie 5 out of 5 sling shots with exploding angry birds attached. I really hope you can see this in a theater near you. Brought to you by Columbia Pictures and Rovio Animation, it comes out on May 20, 2016.

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

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


BEAUTIFUL PLANET, A
BEAUTIFUL PLANET, A
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Description - An exploration of Earth and beyond as seen from the International Space Station. Narrated by Jennifer Lawrence.

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

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel's X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto, to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven with the help of Professor X must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Marvel has come out with another astonishing film, X-Men: Apocalypse. After the first five minutes of the movie, I wanted to yell, "Rewind it!" I want to see that again.

There are so many eye candy moments and graphics that are truly some of best that I have ever seen. I need to watch this movie again just to catch them all. They are so amazing. Every minute is shock and awe. The stunts are fabulous and make all the mutants' super powers come to life. Mind boggling graphics and mouth dropping stunts, now that is what I call a movie.

The story line starts in ancient Egypt when the first-ever mutant thinks he is a God because he possesses super strong powers. Apocalypse thinks he is the ruler of the world. He can transfer his conscience into other mutants and gain their powers, which enable him to live forever. He believes that the world that is ruled by the weak should be ruled by the strong. This is why he decides that he will start an apocalypse and the weak will die and the strong will live. Apocalypse plans to rule the entire world.

My favorite character and scene is the moment when Quicksilver saves as many students as he can from death using his power of super-fast speed. I laughed during this scene because he ate pizza at the same time he was rescuing them. And, of course, the slow motion graphics are stupendous.

My favorite character, because I am a girl and believe in girl power, has to be Jennifer Lawrence who plays Mystique. Her costume is awesomely cool. Her character is a strong, believable leader who stands by her principles. She also has my favorite super power, transforming herself into other people.

On the other hand, I do love Evan Peters who plays Quicksilver who is absolutely dreamy. I have a huge crush on this humorous, adorable, dreamy gamer. He is a snazzy dresser. Kudos to the custom designers and make-up artists who help bring his character credibility. Magneto is at his best when he is angry and we gain insight into just how deep his issues go. Ben Hardy as The Angel is simply stunning. I want his wings, both sets. They are simply amazing. In this film, we meet some new characters and an abundance of super powers, which makes you wonder which one would be right for you. There are guest appearances, which brought applause and cheers from the audience at my screening. Sorry, no spoilers. I can't tell you more than that.

The story line answers many questions about the origin of the X-Men and how they became who they are. It answers many questions, which have arisen from previous X-Men movies.

I recommend this film for ages 10 to 18 because the story line is too complicated for younger audiences and there is a fair amount of scary violence. Oftentimes the characters are in great peril and danger. I rate this film give 5 out of 5 ever changing mutant stars. It opens in theaters May 27 so, if you like action and adventure, comic-book based films, be sure to check it out.

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

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


TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DESGUISE: SEASON 1
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DESGUISE: SEASON 1
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 8 - 15
Description - When a Cybertronian prison ship filled with Decepticons crash lands on Earth and unleashes its prisoners, Bumblebee returns to the planet he once called home and with his team (Strongarm, Sideswipe, Fixit and Grimlock) tracks the escapees down in order to bring them to justice. Along with their new human allies, Denny and Russell, this unlikely team of robots in disguise must protect the Earth while preparing for an ominous threat suited only for a Prime.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I grew up watching Transformers, so I was really excited when given the opportunity to review this. Every episode is jammed pack with comedy, but there is much less action than the older Transformers. This series is a great children's show and has a consistent theme of working together for the greater cause. Although I prefer the more action approach to Transformers, I believe that this series has more to offer and is entertaining for boys and girls due to the comedy. I'm giving it 5 out of 5 stars. This series would be greatly enjoyed by ages 4 to 14. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! juror.

Looking for an action-packed video all about fighting for justice? This series is a good one! Planet Earth needs to be saved and Bumblebee assembles a team of Autobots action heroes to save the day. Yes, it is about fighting off evil but it is also about teamwork and is quite entertaining! I like that evil does not win of course, but I like that there is comedy as well. The fact that there are human allies makes this all the more interesting to watch. There are 26 Episodes and I enjoyed the Bonus features: 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International Panel, Featurettes and Animated Shorts. I enjoyed the animated shorts the best and my son liked the featurettes. I also think that I want to go to the San Diego Comic Con! I recommend for kids ages 6 to 12. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Many people dislike the live action Transformers movies directed by Michael Bay and I one among those. I did, however, enjoy the older Transformers cartoons, much like many of my friends did. So when I got the chance to review this newer Transformers animated series for a younger generation, I was considerably excited. After watching four sample episodes, I can say that the show definitely has merits that would appeal to younger audiences such as the action and the creative characters. I think the ideal audience is ages 8 to 12. They would get the most enjoyment out of it. As a 16-year-old, I have problems with it such as the voice acting which isn't up to par and, the fact that they have not learned from the movies and have wasted time with human stories in a show about Transformers. Younger children would probably not care or notice these things and will enjoy it for what it is. They are sure to really enjoy the creative robot designs such as the dinosaur robots and the shark robots. For them, I give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars and believe that these younger kids will definitely get plenty of enjoyment from it. Reviewed by Michael O., KIDS FIRST! juror.
Runtime: 570 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


KIWI: 20 PHONICS ADVENTURES
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KIWI: 20 PHONICS ADVENTURES
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - In this collection of twenty episodes, Twiki and Twini will take us on adventures to discover new words and new sounds. Each episode features a handful of words spelled out by our friends, Twiki and Twini. Your little one will learn how to spell fun words like "clown" and animal words like "dog". The fun and learning never ends with these two! Get ready to enter into an unexpected universe comprised of sounds, words, and images. Filmed in HD Stop Motion Animation! A cinematic process and technique used to make static objects appear as if they are moving. A technique used in claymation and puppet-based animation.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Great way to learn new language skills! This series features 20 stories following Twiki and Twini, the colorful, claymation Kiwi bird characters who help young children develop language skills using phonics. Each story is simple and to the point. Twiki and Twini present the concepts, sounds and spelling in entertaining ways. Each story introduces new words and can be viewed independently. Each story has a theme with related sounds and words. The menu allows you to select a particular story or view them all. Children 2 to 6 years old will enjoy watching this series and their parents can easily enjoy watching it with the children. Reviewed by Juanita S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kiwi: 20 Phonics Adventures is a fun, educational, colorful and well-animated series on DVD that does a good job of teaching young children about phonics and word building.

Kids can learn phonics along with Kiwi birds, Twiki and Twini, as they go on adventures including making a movie and trying to find a magic compass. My favorite episode in this volume, the latest in the Kiwi series, is The Little Robot. Twiki and Twini meet a blue robot in desperate need of energy and they have to go to the moon to find moon rocks to power him.

Another episode I enjoyed is The Magic Compass. The Kiwis find a magic compass that can change the seasons but a mischievous skunk steals it and Twiki and Twini need to find it so they can change the season back.

Each short episode of Kiwi: 20 Phonics Adventures teaches a few words revolving around a specific topic. For instance, one episode centers on housecleaning and another on art. The narrators spell and sound out the words used in each episode and review all of them at the end. Every episode is very playful and bright and the words stay in your mind because they use shapes and objects from the episode's theme to spell out the words on your screen and make it more memorable.

The claymation is very lush and colorful and stands out in this quirky series. The animation brings the kiwi birds to life and, even though they never talk, you understand their personalities and relationship. I really like watching the two buddies, the short, round and sometimes grumpy Twiki and his tall cheery yellow sidekick, the clumsy, easygoing Twini. Fun side characters throughout the series keep the stories lively.

Kiwi: 20 Phonics Adventures was originally a French series and it's fun to spot clues from European culture in the animation in some of the episodes. For example, when showing you how to spell coin, they use European money to make the letter "o."

Kids will have a great time learning about phonics with Twiki and Twini.

I give Kiwi: 20 Phonics Adventures an age rating of 3 to 6 or for anyone trying to learn to read and rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10.
Runtime: 95 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


CAT IN THE HAT, THE: OH SAY, WHAT'S THE WEATHER TODAY?
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT, THE: OH SAY, WHAT'S THE WEATHER TODAY?
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-6
Description - It's time to explore and learn further about everybody's favorite topic - the weather! So let's hop on the Thinga-ma-jigger with the Cat in the Hat, Sally, Nick, and our dear friend, Fish. First, we'll travel to Color-ga-lore to meet King Kaleidoscope, an expert on rainbows! We'll discover how to make our very own rainbow and even learn a musical number to remember the proper color order! Then, we'll travel to Huff-Puff-Maguff where there's just so much wind! We'll fly a kite and cool down with the breeze. Next, we're off to Bluey Blue Sky where we figure out the what and why behind the water cycle. Ever seen water vapor rise high into the sky? The weather adventures have just begun so let's hop on the Thinga-ma-jigger and have some fun in the sun!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This Cat in the Hat series is timeless fun for young children and their parents alike. While the age-old characters of Nick, Sally, the goldfish in the bowl and The Cat in the Hat (voiced by Martin Short) are not much different than the Cat in the Hat stories of olden days, the concept of actually being educated while being entertained is new. Children ages 3 to 7 will have fun secretly being taught science facts in the guise of a cartoon. I personally learned some facts about rhinoceroses that I doubt I will be forgetting anytime soon!

The Cat in the Hat Knows A lot About That! does a brilliant job of repeating facts through kid-friendly vocabulary and catchy songs sure to get kids singing along. Between the repetition, the bright colored animation, Martin Short's characterization of The Cat and the memorable music, these episodes have the potential to make a lasting impression on your children. I suspect this will be one DVD they will want to view again and again! The Cat in the Hat Knows A lot About That! receives a rating of 5 out of 5 stars from me. Reviewed by Ruth A., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I think that it is quite funny that the moms let Nick and Sally go everywhere with The Cat in the Hat. I get a little worried about that. That just goes to show how trustworthy the Cat in the Hat is. The moms have to be very trusting to trust a worthy cat like that.

This 90 minute DVD is filled with seven adventures that are all about the weather which effects everyone, every day. I love that it has fun activities for children to do in between the episodes. It easily keeps you focused while teaching you about the weather in a fun and entertaining way.

Dr. Seuss is loved by all children around the world and this DVD is voiced in many different languages. What started out as silly children's book is something that children worldwide now share.

Sometime science can be boring, confusing and seem like a whole different language but now we have The Cat in the Hat making science and weather concepts easy to understand and remember. Learning can be fun and exciting when watching animations that make it easy to remember. I recently interviewed Julie Stall, the producer of this series and she understands what makes children laugh and smile and has done an amazing job bringing Dr. Seuss books to life in over 60 animated episodes.

Martin Short is the cat's meow. He is the voice of The Cat in the Hat and has been in this role for over six years. His ability as a great character actor who can do many voices makes him a perfect fit for this role. I had the pleasure of meeting him in person a short time ago and found him very pleasant, easy to talk to and extremely funny.

I'm so impressed by Alexa Torrington who voices Sally, the cute adorable little girl who goes off on learning adventures with the Cat. She has played the same character for over six years and is now a young adult, yet her voice sounds the same as when she started as a young girl. Sally is kind hearted, curious, clever and loves learning. She is endearing and cute to watch.

Jacob Ewaniuk voices Nick, the little boy who follows the Cat. He has also kept his voice consistent to his character. Nick is inquisitive, humorous and compelling to watch.

I love to learn and this DVD taught me lots of lessons such as how clouds are formed, how wind power works, what the water cycle is and much more. One of the most intriguing lessons on this DVD is Chasing Rainbows because you get to learn two lessons in one. I love rainbows and this entire lesson is all about rainbows and has a catchy song that is still stuck in my head. I learned all about the colors of the rainbow and where they come from.

Of course there is also the Fish voiced by Rob Tinkler. I adore Fish. Fish asks great question that make you think. He should hide the answers and make finding them a little trickier, although they are perfect hiding places for younger children. Then we have the cutest thing ever - Thing One and Thing Two. They always seem to be helpful and ready for The Cat in the Hat's whistle to lend a helping hand. All three of these characters add a little something to this series and they are all adorable, quirky, humorous sidekicks for The Cat in the Hat.

I recommend this series to ages 3 to 12. Younger kids will love the animation. Older kids will have science lessons reinforced and fun, cute cartoons to watch. I rate this 5 out of 5 Thinga-ma-jigger red and white top-hat stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


QUACKERZ (BLU-RAY & DVD)
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
QUACKERZ (BLU-RAY & DVD)
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - When the peaceful island of the Mandarin Ducks is mistakenly invaded by the Military Mallards, a conflict flares up between the Mandarin Emperor and the Mallard Commander. Longway, the Emperor's son, and Erica, the daughter of the Mallard Commander, meet... and before long, a friendship takes wing. While their feathered fathers fight and egg each other on, the wicked Ms. Knout is con-duck-ting a scheme to destroy the sun. The kids will have to get all their ducks in a row to battle their foe... but waddle they do if her foul plan succeeds?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This movie has very cute animation and lovable characters. Honestly this movie's real hook is the visuals. My daughter complained about not understanding the jokes and dialog in this film and, after watching, I see what she meant. I believe the creators wanted to make it enjoyable for parents as well as kids and, sadly in doing so, they made it a little bit too complex for younger children. That said, the story is quite good and I rather enjoyed it. I recommend this for ages 8 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars due to its complexity. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! juror.

Quackerz is a fun, animated story for both older kids and their parents. Produced by the Russian Animation Studio Rome. This delightful tale is mainly about the Chinese legend of the Sun Duck. What is the purpose of the Sun Duck? To protect the sun and the world, of course. The true Sun Duck (Longway) is a very likable character and one thing I really enjoyed about this film are the characters. Longway is my favorite though and I found myself cheering when he learns how to fly! This film is truly entertaining and this film has it all from adventure to conflict: The Mandarin Ducks and the Military Mallards, But, it is much more than about the conflict between the two groups. It shows true friendship and teamwork and it is quite detailed and even has humor. There is some minor violence and the evil character can seem somewhat scary so even though this is family friendly, I would recommend for ages 7 to 18. The soundtrack and scenes compliment each other and this one also has interesting Bonus features which are Behind the Scenes Animatics and An Attempt at Flying was my favorite one to watch. I give this one 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Do you like crazy ducks, silly henchmen and a love story? Then Quackerz is just ducky for you. The comical, adventures and fun movie is perfect for the whole family. The story is about Mallard military ducks vs. Mandarin ducks. I like the way it all plays out with all the different story lines, characters and all the jokes.

The characters in this film are very detailed. They all have different, wonderful voices, which I enjoyed dearly. Robbie Daymond who plays Longway is spectacular. He fits the teenage duck and you can hear the frustration he feels as his desire is to spread his wings and see the world. Andrea Becker who plays Erica is magnificent. She connects with Longway and the two ducks are destined to be together. Enn Reitel who voices Peng Li is hysterical. It is sweet of him to be so protective of his son. Mallard Commander is tough, but he has a soft side and loves his daughter dearly. You can tell that he wants the best for Erica. The story is really about how far fathers will go to protect their children. The voice-over actors are simply amazing and they all have peculiarities that fit their characters and make them sound unique.

The animation in this film is amazing. I love that it is so detailed. I like the way they show the town where people live as well as the mountains the ducks call home. All of the cooking scenes with the henchmen have astonishing details.

I loved the scene when Longway and Erica are flying and having such a good time. I am also a huge fan of romance. The ducks chewing gum and blowing pink bubbles in the air makes your heart go pitter patter and puts a smile on your face. You can just tell that these two are definitely love birds. The animation in this scene is very detailed. I am a tad bit jealous that she got a gorgeous blue firefly bouquet. It is so amazing.

I have a lot in common with Erica and can relate to her. She has girl power which makes her unique and fun. Erica is goodhearted, curious, adorable, smart and a tough cookie when needed. Those are just some of the qualities that I like about this awesome ducky.

This movie reminds me of Kung Fu Panda which also takes place in China, has talking animals and features the martial art of Kung Fu. Then, there is Romeo and Juliet's feathered fathers who keep the star-crossed duckies apart. It also reminded me of Rio because the Mandarin ducks cannot fly. This combination of movies put into one, has a slice of cake for everyone and I love that.

I recommend for ages 10 to 18. It is certainly family friendly. So, get a box of crackers and have a family adventure of your own. Be forewarned that there is some violence and the evil Ms. Knout could use a tad more feathers. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 quacking flapping stars!

Brought to you by Shout Factory, it is available on DVD and Digital Platforms July 14, 2016.

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

This animation has bright colors, clear visuals, great music and a story line that I'm sure you will find interesting. A young Duck Longway (Robbie Daymond-Voice) is completely bored with his uneventful life on an island off the coast of China. His life turns around when a fight breaks out against the Mandarin Ducks and the Military Mallards. Soon after that a war breaks out against the Duck and human race. To top it all off, to keep the Sun in the sky to shine for everyone, one Duck must step up to the challenge. Will he succeed?

The visuals of this film are very clear and captivating with bright colors and depth. The many different outfits and accessories worn by the animals as well as the humans are exciting and fun. These are not your normal hats, gloves, scarves and belts. Some of the belts are made of metal and the hats are very different from what you and I are accustomed to seeing. This film, for the most part, accurately displays the feelings and situations that tweens and teenagers feel and go through. I find many different aspects of a few characters to be very relatable. The flow to this film isn't as smooth as I would like it to be. Also, many of the actions feel as though they are being thrown in haphazardly with no real meaning. The music is upbeat with catchy tunes and it connects you to each scene. One of my favorite scenes is when Longway learns to fly. It represents the freedom of flying and not being tied down to anyone or anything. It's a great scene that shows individuality and captures what Longway wants from life. I really do not have a favorite character since no single character stands out to me as they are all basically pretty similar. There are a few comedic moments throughout the film, however not a lot.

I recommend Quackerz for ages 6 to 12. It's for both girls and boys and I'm sure they will enjoy the special features including behind the scenes footage.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars. I would have like to see smoother transitions and actions that made sense in the sequences they are played in. Other than that, it's a good film and I'm sure younger kids will enjoy it. Quackerz is available on DVD and Blu-Ray, so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 81 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.97
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - With many people fearing the actions of super heroes, the government decides to push for the Anti-Hero Registration Act, a law that limits a heroes actions. This results in a division in The Avengers. Iron Man stands with this Act, claiming that their actions must be kept in check otherwise cities will continue to be destroyed, but Captain America feels that saving the world is daring enough and that they cannot rely on the government to protect the world. This escalates into an all-out war between Team Iron Man (Iron Man, Black Panther, Vision, Black Widow, War Machine, and Spiderman) and Team Captain America (Captain America, Bucky Barnes, Falcon, Sharon Carter, Scarlett Witch, Hawkeye, and Ant Man) while a new villain emerges.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The time has come! Marvel's latest super hero film lands in theaters just in time for summer viewing. Based on the Civil War comic series which pits two favorite characters against each other - Captain America and Iron Man - this film's story unfolds in a two and a half hour epic that, according to our KIDS FIRST! reporters, is worth every minute. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Brandon C., comments, "I have never had as much of a great time as I had watching Captain America: Civil War. Is that a great amount of hyperbole? Probably yes. But, hear me out." Gerry O. adds, "The length of the film is very long (142 minutes) with many characters and with that Captain America: Civil War still ends up being so far, one of the best films of 2016." Ryan R. concludes with, "The movie Captain America Civil War is finally here and let me tell you, "It is awesome!" I loved watching this movie for its amazing special effects, the high impact action scenes and the acting." See their full reviews below.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - After about eleven years of watching and reading Marvel - from comics to video games to movies to TV shows - I have never had as much of a great time as I had watching Captain America: Civil War. Is that a great amount of hyperbole? Probably yes. But, hear me out.

Captain America: Civil War is based on the Civil War comic series which feature Marvel heroes Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) facing off in an incredible battle. The comic series had multiple issues and pulled several elite characters into it, creating an epic battle along with an epic concept. Captain America: Civil War did not disappoint.

The film's plot revolves around the idea that there have been too many casualties surrounding The Avengers - including their battles in New York, Washington and Sokovia. The United Nations present the remaining superheroes (as Thor and Hulk have disappeared) with a document called the Sokovian Accords, which state that the heroes can do their jobs only when they are told to do so and if they act outside of their boundaries then they will be arrested. Tony Stark and several others agree to sign the document, while Steve Rogers declines to sign. The superheroes form their teams throughout the movie and they eventually clash in a captivating and entertaining battle.

Captain America: Civil War includes the debuts of great characters such as Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and the new Spider-Man (Tom Holland). I cannot say enough how incredible of a job Tom Holland does as Spider-Man, as he is just one of the many actors in this film that creates intrigue and entertainment with their characters. As far as the storyline goes, the audience is presented with an excellent conflict which only furthers the anticipation as to who is going to win the battle. With other Marvel films, the good guys face the bad guy(s) and the good guys usually win. While some may get hurt, they usually end up fine at the end. In Captain America: Civil War, the audience does not have that luxury of just siding with "the good guys". Both teams present great points and deliver spectacular dialogue that keeps the audience involved in whatever is going on.

Technically, Marvel Studios proves once again that it knows how to make a film. Everything, from the lighting, to the camera shot variety is darn perfect. While the introduction is a bit messy and hard to follow, it is a minor setback in an otherwise great film. On a personal note, the fight choreography is what stood out for me. I like realistic approaches to stories and films. In Captain America: Civil War, some of the fights feel almost too real as every punch and kick means something. Every blow and action creates a devastating impact that is so compelling you needed to just sit back in awe of what is transpiring.

In conclusion, Captain America: Civil War will get you on the edge of your seats and leave you fully entertained and satisfied. I believe the movie is intended for the other side of 13-year-olds, as the action scenes are very intense and the occasional cursing is rough as well. I give this movie 5 out of 5 Captain America shields because of its brutal fight scenes, beautiful story, flawless visuals and incredible dialogue.

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

Captain America: Civil War can easily be considered an action film, but it doesn't stick to just that. The dramatic plot excites with careful writing and spectacular twists and turns. Of course, there can never be a superhero film without jokes here and there, but they don't push it over the limit and keep the audience entertained.

The length of the film is very long (142 minutes) with many characters and, with that Captain America: Civil War still ends up being so far, one of the best films of 2016.

Captain America: Civil War starts off with several Avengers attempting to stop the robbing of a strong bio-weapon. The mission's going well, however, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) accidentally kills dozens of civilians. The avengers must now sign a document saying that the UN (United Nations) can dictate where and what to do. The event becomes a disaster when a bomb goes off outside their headquarters. The Avengers are now split. Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) agrees to accept whatever the UN has to say and not interfere. Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) wants to find the terrorist. Eventually, this split gets worse and worse. To find out who wins, what happens and who ignites the bomb, you need to watch the film.

The length of the film may be one big thing about it that some people will see as negative - two and a half hour run time can be trying. However, it perfectly fits this film. The plot unfolds as very thick, complex and long. To try to squeeze it in a shorter run time would make the story feel rushed and confusing. There are other negatives to this film. Much like Captain America: Winter Soldier, the fight scenes go way too fast. Camera shots are only a split second long in the most intense fight scenes, making it very hard to understand what's going on. On top of that, there are a few plot holes in the film. And then, the viewer comes to the point that defeats all the other negatives: the final fight scenes. These fight scenes between characters combine exciting soundtrack, emotional acting, spectacular visual effects, smooth choreography and more. At times, up to 12 characters fight each other in the same scene and the end result is nothing less than epic!

My favorite scene features one of the fight sequences. It takes place in an airport with so many different superheroes including Black Panther, Spider man, Ant man, Iron Man, Captain America and many more. The feeling the viewer gets from it can only be called pure adrenaline. There many exciting moments in this film, but these perfectly put together fight scenes are easily the most exciting.

The film is not meant for young kids in the slightest. I recommend it to ages 13 through 18. I give it 5 out of 5 stars because, despite a few flaws - dramatic interactions between characters, emotional acting and nothing less than perfect fight scenes easily make up for those flaws.

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

The movie Captain America Civil War is finally here and let me tell you, "It is awesome!" I loved watching this movie for its amazing special effects, the high impact action scenes and the acting. In this film, the government's political interference regarding the Avengers' activities and the repercussions that happen when they are trying to save lives causes Captain America and Iron Man to take opposing sides. The rift between them forces the other Avengers to choose sides, even though they don't want to. Now are you behind Team Captain America or Team Iron Man?

Actors Chris Evans (Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Don Cheadle (War Machine), Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Paul Bettany (Vision) all give great performances that are dramatic, witty and comedic when necessary. Not to mention the stellar performances from the two newcomers Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Tom Holland as Spiderman. Chadwick Boseman's performance as Black Panther is very regal, strong and makes him one character not to mess with. Tom Holland is an excellent choice for Spiderman. I love how he portrays the character. He is funny, clever and his interactions with Iron Man are great. I can't wait to see the next Spiderman spinoff starring him. I also enjoyed the special effects, which are amazing and, in some instances, just jaw dropping! The character's costumes look fantastic as well. The only characters I missed in this movie were The Hulk and Thor.

The moral of this film is "don't jump to conclusions." For example, when Bucky is accused of something, everyone in the government tries to kill him. Captain America tries to discover who did it, so he can prove the government wrong. Another moral theme is "vengeance won't make you feel whole and satisfied." One of the Avengers learns this lesson at one point in the movie.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to people who like action, adventure, comic book-based and comedy movies. I recommend this film to kids ages 9 to18 and I think adults might like this as well. Some scenes may be a little intense for younger audiences. Make sure to see this film, which comes out May 6.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 11-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


SING STREET
SING STREET
WEINSTEIN CO, THE Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - This touching film follows a boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s who escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes. It touches on so many different themes while delivering a strong story about a boy and his music. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jasmyn D. comments, "This movie left me speechless. Its different components are what made the movie outstanding. It shows the life of the poor as well as how emotional the life of a teenager can be." See her full review in youth comments.

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



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