The Family category has 1570 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles
Below are records 1 - 50 of them
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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, THE
WARNER BRO. HOME ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - There are big changes brewing in Gotham, but if Batman (Will Arnett) wants to save the city from the Joker's (Zach Galifianakis) hostile takeover, he may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up. Maybe his superhero sidekick Robin (Michael Cera) and loyal butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) can show him a thing or two.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The LEGO Batman Movie is a superb superhero movie which serves as a great homage to many aspects of Batman history. I really liked the animation, voice acting and humor in this movie. This exactly what a Batman fan would want.

This movie is about Batman/Bruce Wayne (Will Arnett) who is the crime fighting vigilante of Gotham. Despite all his glory, he feels lonely. He wants to be part of a family, despite his selfish behavior. His butler, Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) soon brings him an adopted kid, Richard Grayson (Michael Cera). Richard grows fond of Batman, and the two go to fight crime, with Richard's superhero name being Robin. Once the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) attacks Gotham with a various variety of villains, Batman must team with Robin, Alfred and the new commissioner of the GCPD, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) to stop the attack. During this, Batman must also learn to accept his new family.

Will Arnett delivers a show-stealing performance as Batman, my favorite character in the movie, and he is great in switching between the dark vigilante of Batman and the charismatic billionaire of Bruce Wayne. Also, he greatly presents the aspect of wanting a family. Ralph Fiennes as Alfred is impressive as a caring guardian for Bruce. Michael Cera portrays another excellent performance as Robin, and his nerdy characteristics are put into play. Zach Galifianakis is good in presenting the Joker with his humor and villainy. Rosario Dawson also manages to deliver with her heroic motives.

The animation by Stewart Alves is incredible. It improves on the what The LEGO Movie did right, and the color pallet used for Gotham really fits how Gotham looks like. The movie's humor impressed me. The movie has a ton of fourth wall breaks. The characters in the movie even act like they know they are movie characters which adds to the fun. The movie even makes jokes about other movie franchises. My favorite scene in the movie is when Batman just happens to chill for a moment and watches a bit of Jerry Maguire. It really gave a good laugh.

The movie has a good message in working as a team. When Gotham is invaded by large number of criminals, the only way to fix the problem is to work as a team. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18 years old. This is a movie which will appeal to all ages. This film opens in theaters on February 10rd, so go and check it out for a unique superhero experience.

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

The LEGO Batman Movie is fantastic! I was laughing throughout the entire film! I really enjoy all of the jokes and comedy that was put into it. But I wish they would have added some more jokes into the movie that younger kids would appreciate because after all Batman is a superhero and little kids love superheroes.

This movie is about Bruce Wayne aka Batman (Will Arnett). Batman has been fighting crime for a very long time, but he is starting to do and say some very bad things to the people around him because he is very lonely without a family. Because of his loneliness Batman adopts a son, Robin (Michael Cera), which forces him to be more responsible and take care of his son. Usually, Batman doesn't want to work with others but he is forced to during the film.

This movie is made by the same production company as The Lego Movie so if you liked that movie then you will definitely love this movie. But, if you haven't seen The Lego Movie you will probably still enjoy this movie.

My favorite part of the movie is the use CGI, which made each scene in the movie really entertaining. The action in this movie is so incredible that when I watched the movie in IMAX I was blown away. I recommend that you do not sit in the front unless you want your eyes to actually fall out.

This movie teaches kids how to work together with others, be responsible, and be kind to others. Even though this is a superhero movie, it was not directed towards little kids because of the humor and violence. I give the movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend this movie for kid's ages 6 to 18 and also adults would really enjoy it. Go check this movie out in theaters February 10, 2017.

Reviewed by Na'im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


PIGEONHOOD
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PIGEONHOOD
PARTHO GUPTE
Series: FOREIGN STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10-18
Description - My film is about the life cycle of a little pigeon, which came to be born in my own bedroom balcony. My film traces his 'coming of age' and examines his role in shaping my own development as a teenager. His fear of flying was no different from my fear of exams and somehow we both crossed those difficult times together. I will forever be grateful to him.
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: EXPLORING THE CRYSTAL EMPIRE
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-8
Description - Join Twilight Sparkle and her best pony pals as they explore one of the most beautiful places in Equestria. In the Crystal Empire, Twilight must find out if there is a spy in the empire. She also dedicates herself to helping a reformed pony learn the magic of friendship. Meanwhile, the Mane Six will work together to ensure a ceremony for Cadences and Shining Armor's new baby goes as planned. With the power of friendship, there is nothing the ponies can't do!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - To be honest, I did not look forward to watching MLP because my daughters watch it so much, but I am always shocked about how much I end up enjoy watching it. This DVD definitely fits that scenario. With various solutions to problems, this keeps right along trucking while letting little fans know that they too can make a difference. Twilight is fantastic and helps Equestria with a curse. Friendship really is magic and I am grateful that stories like this help my daughters realize that. I recommend this for ages 5 to 12 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.

If you have a child that loves My Little Pony, this one is sure to entertain and delight. It has great animation, a delightful story-line and it teaches all about the magic of friendship. It is entertaining but also has a powerful message as Twilight Sparkle and her friends go back in time. It is a true magical adventure with great characters, cool special effects and of course, good wins over evil. There is also a great sing-a-long bonus on the DVD titled "A Changeling Can Change." This one is fun to sing a long with and ?there are subtitles which makes it easy to do so. I recommend this one for ages 5? to 8 and give it 4 ?out of 5 ?stars.

Reviewed by Denise B.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love watching the My Little Pony series and this season does not disappoint. I was captivated by the unique plot and relatable characters. This new season has around 110 minutes of fun and exciting adventures that are both entertaining and educational.

The main purpose of My Little Pony is to educate both kids and adults about friendship and everyday issues. It teaches these lessons in a variety of ways, with each and every episode having its own independent adventure that contains hilarious comedy and even action from time to time.

There are five episodes total on DVD and they all focus on adventures around the Crystal Empire, a city in the My Little Pony world. Each adventure is completely different from the others. One is a time travel adventure, another is about protecting the Crystal Empire from freezing weather and another is about making friends with a creature that everyone assumes to be a monster. Despite the differences in each episode, they are all entertaining, unique and have wonderful messages behind them.

The production quality of this animated series has never gone down, but instead continues to improve. One key thing that surprises me most is the plot and the message behind the plot. This season fantastically creates new and interesting elements to continue the exciting journey of the characters. Speaking of characters, the voice-over work is still as emotional, original and natural as it was in the first episode.

Out of the five episodes, my favorite is the last one called The Times They are A Changeling. In this episode, one of the characters discovers a creature known as a changeling that can take the form of any other character. Unlike the rest of his species, he is not driven by hate and anger. The changeling struggles to prove to others that he is not a monster but just someone who wants a friend. This is a fantastic moral because it talks about how one specific person does not reflect what their entire race or nation is doing and should not be judged for the actions of others. It is a marvelous message that I feel is very important for both kids and adults to listen to in today's world.

My Little Pony is still great for kids, with bright colors, simple but hilarious jokes, and educational morals. But this series also appeals to adults with its compelling stories, relatable characters and morals that can apply to adults as much as they do to kids. I give My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Exploring the Crystal Empire 5 out of 5 stars for its beautiful animation, wonderful episodes, entertaining plot and compelling morals. This DVD is available now so, go check it out.

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

I love this My Little Pony DVD! These episodes are educating, exciting and captivating. I felt happy throughout the entire film and learned more about friendship. This film follows an alicorn, a unicorn and a pegasus, named Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong) and her pet dragon, Spike (Cathy Weseluck) on their adventures in saving Equestria and the Crystal Empire.

In the first episode, Twilight Sparkle and Spike go on a quest to save the friendship between the ponies from Starlight Glimmer. Starlight Glimmer goes back in time to make sure Rainbow Dash (Ashleigh Ball) never creates a sonic boom. Twilight Sparkle has to figure out a way to stop Starlight Glimmer and save the friendship between the ponies.

In the second episode, the eight ponies attend a Crystalling for Twilight's baby brother, Shining Armour (Andrew Francis) who is also an alicorn. A baby, named Flurry Heart, cannot control her powers and destroys the crystal heart, a major part of the Crystalling ceremony. The team now must work together to fix the heart before the ceremony begins. In the final episode, an unexpected friendship forms between Spike and the feared changeling.

The greatest feature of this film is the value of friendship. I learned many lessons, including how you can be friends with anyone, how you can reconnect with old friends, and how you can make a friend of an enemy. Another great quality of the film was the many different personalities of the ponies, which simulated the diversity of the real world. My favorite character in this film was Rainbow Dash because she is loyal, strong, and courageous. My favorite part is when Twilight Sparkle and her friends first meet Flurry Heart, because she is so cute and everyone surprisingly finds out she had strong magical powers.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars because I was both informed and entertained by Twilight Sparkle and her friend's adventures. I would recommend this film for ages 4 to 10 because children this age may be excited to learn about friendship from mystical creatures. This film is out on DVD now, so make sure to watch it.

Reviewed by Linda D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I really enjoyed My Little Pony: Exploring the Crystal Empire. It is a very positive story. I always have a strong liking towards this group of ponies' adventures because of their fun and exciting personalities. Friendship is the main theme of this collection of five episodes and a sing-along. Viewers are invited to join the Equestria crew for fun filled magical adventures filled with great spirit, along with interactive scenes which younger ages will enjoy.

Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong) and her friends go on an adventure to explore the wonderful Crystal Empire. They are encountered by old enemies and obstacles, but are able to make new friendships along the way.

I have two scenes that are my favorites. The first is when Twilight finally connects with Starlight resulting in her to change her unfriendly ways and learn the true meaning of friendship. This is a very good representation showing how people are able to change no matter what the circumstances. Also, it represents how new friendships can be made within or without conflicts. My other favorite scene is the sing-along with all of the Equestria girls. I really like the songs because the ponies explain how friendship can change the world and make it a better place. Without friendship, the magic in Equestria isn't complete! Some other positive aspects of the movie are how every episode deals with friendship and the growth of it. Also, every episode has vibrant colors, great animation and, of course, a great cast!

The message prevalent in this DVD collection is about how strong friendships are for the entire world. Twilight Sparkle, along with her other friends, make is very clear throughout the film how powerful their friendship is. They discuss how they would not know what they would do without each other. Friendship is a powerful source of magic that the kids learn about throughout this film which makes it so fun and magical.

I rate this film 4 � out of 5 stars for its wonderful animation, bright colors, music and interesting storyline. I recommend this film for ages 5 through 10 because of its kid friendly theme. Parents will enjoy watching this as well because it is very family friendly. My Little Pony: Exploring the Crystal Empire is available now on DVD.

Reviewed by Imani B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


RED TURTLE, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
RED TURTLE, THE
SONY CLASSICAL Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - A massive sea turtle destroys a stranded man's raft every time he tries to sail away from a tropical island.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The latest Studio Ghibli release, The Red Turtle is a quiet, visually stunning film that represents a new direction for the Japanese film studio. Directed by Dudok de Wit, the animated film is the first time the studio has commissioned a director from outside Japan.

The Red Turtle is a desert island, castaway story that morphs into a charming fairytale. A man is stranded on a desert island. He tries to leave by building a raft, but each time he gets shipwrecked by a red turtle. The rest of the story is magical, so I don't want to be a spoiler. The story is completely told through imagery. There is no real dialogue in the film.

The animation is quite beautiful. It appears to be hand-painted with water colors. It does not have a saturated, south seas palette as one would expect, but rather a more subtle use of color. Some of it monochromatic. The music helps tell the story as well. All the music goes well with the scenes, rising in intensity when needed.

This is a very contemplative film. At first, I thought it didn't fit into the Studio Ghibli oeuvre. But after thinking about the last few films from the studio, I see why they commissioned it. I'm thinking of the later Ghibli films from 2011 and onward - From Up on Poppy Hill, The Wind Rises, The Tale of Princess Kaguya and When Marnie Was There. They are all of a much softer palette and slower pace than earlier Ghibli films.

The other aspect that this film has in common with other Studio Ghibli films is its inventiveness. There are cute, charming creatures in The Red Turtle, which help move the story along and provide comic relief. Another is the Ghibli respect for nature and for dealing with important subjects, such as life and death, survival and ecology.

The Red Turtle is the complete opposite of today's fast-paced entertainment and, for that reason I think the film is appropriate for more mature kids, ages 13 to 18. Seen in context with other Ghibli films, it's a satisfying entertainment experience. I give the film 4 out of 5 stars.

Review by Clayton Pickard, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I enjoyed the film The Red Turtle, even though I didn't understand some parts of it. This movie is mostly without words except words like "Hey!" and "Ugg!". It starts with a person being flung around by waves who then swims over to a boat that has tipped over. I'm guessing that might have been the boat he was in. Then we see him being washed up onto an island. He starts to explore and he thinks he sees another person but it's only seaweed. He hears a voice but it is only a seal. Then he goes out to explore the island and you get to see what it looks like. There is a mountain, a bamboo forest, a beach and a cluster of boulders. Next, he is on top of a mountain and yells out to see if anyone else is on the island. No one replies and he accepts that no one else on the island. He climbs back down and begins to search the jungle, finds a tree with fruit and begins to eat it. He also finds a little pond.

He is going along pretty well when he decides to build a raft to get of this island he is stranded on. He gathers bamboo to build the raft and, once he gets it done, he sets of to sea. A bit into the journey, his raft starts shaking and breaks apart. He does not find the source of his raft breaking and swims back to the island where he faces troubles and has to problem solve many times.

This film has a way of drawing you in and getting you emotionally connected to the characters, so you get worried when they are hurt or something bad happens. I believe that is a good thing to see in a movie because it means the people who made this film made it seem real. That is a good trait that films should have.

There is one thing that is not realistic, and that is the animation. Even though it does not look real, it is beautiful because of its amazing colors and the movement of the trees, water and animals. I also enjoyed the music which is lovely and shows the emotions that the characters are feeling which is definitely a good thing since there is no dialogue.

The Red Turtle is a wonderful movie that I would recommend for ages 7 to 18 and 4 � out of 5 stars because of its beauty.

KIDS FIRST! Reporter, Nathaniel B., age 10

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


DOG'S PURPOSE, A
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DOG'S PURPOSE, A
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - A devoted dog (Josh Gad) discovers the meaning of its own existence through the lives of the humans it teaches to laugh and love. Reincarnated as multiple canines over the course of five decades, the lovable pooch develops an unbreakable bond with a kindred spirit named Ethan (Bryce Gheisar). As the boy grows older and comes to a crossroad, the dog once again comes back into his life to remind him of his true self.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - There are many movies that focus on a dog's world but not about what the dog is actually thinking. A Dog's Purpose does the opposite, by focusing on the dog and a dog's place in the world. This perfect story will make you laugh, cry and question the true purpose of life. The movie sets out to inspire the audience and does it by taking the main character through an emotional and long adventure filled with comedy, drama and even some romance.

The story begins with a happy puppy entering the world, ready to play and explore. Sadly for the puppy, his life doesn't last long. After passing away, the puppy is surprised to come back as a puppy again. This time in a different body. Soon, he becomes a family pet named Bailey and specifically, is a best friend to the son of the family. As time passes, the boy grows up and heads to college. Bailey passes away once again, but this time he's happy to have lived a long life with a human he loves. Bailey comes back again and again and again. Each time Bailey comes back as a different dog breed (or gender) with a different life purpose. Finally, after many lives, he realizes that his main purpose is to spend time with the people he loves and to help them in their lives as much as he can.

Only a few movies truly make me cry and, within the first 15 minutes, this became one of them. This was done not by blasting sad emotions with sad music at the viewer, but by building a real connection with the characters. The story doesn't put a smile on everything. It is realistic and very sad and depressing at times. People who own dogs, like me, will never look at their dogs the same way. They will look at them as true companions and family members.

I really enjoyed the voice-over (Josh Gad) for Bailey and his other incarnations. His voice-over work is phenomenal and suits all the dogs in the story so well. The cinematography is also spot on. It often shows specific scenes from the dog's perspective which is a genius idea and truly allows one to have a deeper connection with the character. The entire cast evokes emotion and keep a complex story entertaining.

The scene where Bailey/Ellie swim in the water is my favorite because it is an action-packed scene that is exciting but also very sad. Another reason to bring up this scene is that it is the scene that has elicited accusations of animal abuse by some animal activists. In this scene, you can clearly see the dog is not in distress. The dog is happy and greatly enjoying the activity as is the case for almost every single scene in the film. Throughout, you see things happening to the main character which would make anyone want to adopt a dog. The message of dog adoption is so strong that it makes me wonder why animal rights activists are boycotting this film when it does nothing but hurts this wonderful and inspirational story to come out and support animal adoption. A Dog's Purpose will inspire hundreds, if not thousands, to go out and adopt dogs to take care of and love.

A Dog's Purpose has some brutally sad facts about the world around us which would be too much for younger kids. There is also mild violence in several scenes, so I recommend it for ages 9 to 18. I give it 5 out of 5 stars for its beautiful message about the purpose of life, its call to action for dog adoption, spectacular voice-over work, emotional acting and unique cinematography. It opens in theaters nationwide on January 27, 2017 so, go check it out.

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

This charming, appealing film had me on a rollercoaster of emotions. It has many beloved scenes that captivates the audience's heart such as when Ethan saves Bailey from a steaming heat car and adopts the dog as his new companion. Additionally, throughout multiple scenes you see the heartwarming relationship and bond between dogs and their owners. For example, Maya has such a strong bond with her dog that the dog can guess what she is thinking.

The storyline of this film is about a caring dog (Josh Gad) following him through several lifetimes with several different humans as he discovers the purpose and the reason for his journey. Throughout his several lifetimes, every time he is reincarnated he comes back as a different breed, in a different decade and with a new owner. Although he meets several different owners and faces a different experience every time he is reincarnated, he is mostly impacted by Ethan (Bryce Gheisar) who is a young caring boy that rescues him. As Ethan matures and faces the challenges of life, their relationship will be lost but they are reunited in future years.

The idea and structure of this film is very creative and rare. Great attention is paid to all the details and ideas that make up this film. My favorite concept is how it's told from the point of view and perspective of the dog. I love that you can hear the dog's thoughts as he experiences several lives. I really like that every time he reincarnates he is a different breed of dog. For example, in one life he is a male German Shepherd who works with the Chicago Police Department and in another he is a college women's companion. All these different point of views make this film great, although it might get a bit repetitious every time he is born.

The protagonist of the film, Ethan, is played by three characters as they portray his different ages. Young Ethan is played by Bryce Gheisar (Walk the Prank, The Bus Stop). Young high school football star Ethan is played by K.J Apa (Riverdale). Adult Ethan is played by Dennis Quaid (Vantage Point, Frequency, The Day After Tomorrow).

Although this film is told by a dog and is about his experiences, there are several morals and messages that the viewer can take in. As the dog experiences five different decades from the 60s to the 90s, it tries to find its calling in life. This can be reflected in society, in the sense that each and everyone of us has a mission here on earth. Just like the loveable dog trying to figure out its journey and purpose, people also can relate to the goal of discovering what their calling is. Teenagers can particularly relate to this as they are maturing and discovering who they are as a person. I personally can connect with this moral and my philosophy in life is in sync with it - we all have a special unique purpose in this world.

I give A Dog's Purpose 5 out of 5 stars. It's a great film to watch with your friends and family. Its perfect for ages 6 to 18. Young adults and adults will also enjoy watching this heartfelt film about man's best friend. This film comes out January 27, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Maria G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17.

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


SPLIT
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPLIT
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - When three girls are kidnapped by a man with 24 different personalities they have work out which of those personalities will help them escape and which of those personalities will try to stop them. James McAvoy produces a master class performance playing the psychotic kidnapper and 24 roles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Most importantly, I want to say that this movie is amazing! It is very well made! What I like most about it is the acting. The actors' performances truly deliver a great story. In particular, James McAvoy and Ana Taylor-Joy really stand out. They make you feel they truly are the characters they portray in the film. James McAvoy plays Kevin, the insane man that kidnaps three girls. His performance of this complex character is really incredible. Ana Taylor-Joy plays Casey Cook, one of the girls that is kidnapped. Additionally, the plot takes your breath away. M. Night Shyamalan's direction stands out. He is a master of this genre and this is excellent. The scenes are so well set up and all the questions get answered at the end of the movie. The movie is full of suspense, which I love! But, if you get scared easily, this might not be the film for you.

Kevin has a dissociative identity disorder, something that has always fascinated science. It is believed that some can also show unique physical qualities for each personality, which is Kevin's case. Though he has revealed 23 different personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, there remains one still hidden which is set to dominate all the others. By kidnapping three teenage girls, Kevin plays a war for survival among his different personalities and everyone around him, as everything around him collapses.

My favorite part of this film is when Casey starts winning one of Kevin's personalities. She is determined to do whatever it takes to run away, because she knows she could lose her life at any moment. And, one of those ways is to win his little boy personality to find a way out. She is super sneaky and super careful in how she does it, because she has to remember he is a psycho. I love this film because it shows how smart Casey is, how she knew what she was dong and how she had to do it. She almost achieves her goal in escaping, but Kevin turns back into another personality and reverts back to his original self. When he turns back, he does not let her do anything.

There aren't any lessons per se in this film other than not to befriend a psychopath. I recommend it to ages 14 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Split is in theater now so, if you like horror films, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

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


SPACE BETWEEN US, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SPACE BETWEEN US, THE
XXX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - In this interplanetary adventure, a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet - never revealing who the father is. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot - an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional upbringing. While searching for clues about his father, and the home planet he's never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa. When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he's eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars - from the most simple to the extraordinary. But once his explorations begin, scientists discover that Gardner's organs can't withstand Earth's atmosphere. Eager to find his father, Gardner escapes the team.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film is visually breathtaking with magnificent scenes of the Grand Canyon, flowing Lakes in Colorado and the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas that make it difficult to say "What is your favorite thing about earth?" In my opinion, Gardener is a good example of what young people who are smart, inquisitive and have talent can create. He uses his life of 16 years on Mars to help him travel to and experience Earth. His example of determination and following a dream is inspirational for any age group. The behaviors in the film run both positive and negative. For example, we see negative behavior in the decision of Nathaniel Shephard (Gary Oldman), the founder of the space project to keep the birth of Gardner, the first child born on Mars a secret. On the other hand, an example of a person's respect for another is seen in Tulsa's willingness to show Gardner the wonders of Earth. She puts aside her anger and cynicism to show him the beauty of the Earth. The film gives us an opportunity to see the Earth from a different perspective. When Gardner asks, "What is your favorite thing about earth?" We are reminded of the differences between Mars and Earth in respect to the gravity and environment. I recommend this to ages 13 to 18. They will enjoy the relationship between Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield and Tulsa (Britt Robertson). Gardner, a young man born on Mars who desperately wants to travel to Earth connects with Tulsa, a young woman on Earth who is about to age out of foster care and is very angry about her life experiences. The most appealing element for me are the beautiful locations and breathtaking scenes of New Mexico, Las Vegas and California.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I loved this film because it is a romantic and dramatic science fiction film that took me to a whole other world with its amazing cinematography, advance futuristic technology, inspired acting, unique plot and unexpected ending. This film has many astonishing scenes that will make you want to visit space and take a trip to Mars. Most of my favorite scenes deal with Gardner experiencing planet Earth for the first time.

The story line is about Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield), a young man who at age 16, has spent his whole life living on Mars as the first human born on that planet. On Mars, he lives in a bubble and was raised by astronaut scientists after his mother passes away. While searching for his biological father, Gardner builds an online friendship with a young Colorado teenage girl named Tulsa (Britt Robertson). After 16 years of living on Mars, Gardner receives the opportunity to visit Earth. He has two goals he desires to fulfill - meet his father and be united with his online friend Tulsa. Tulsa and Gardner go on adventurous expeditions to unite Gardner with his father while withstanding Earth's atmosphere. It's a race against time for Gardner to find out who he really is.

Fantasy and science fiction is a genre that I'm not really interested in, but I honestly enjoyed watching this film. During the 121 minutes of this film, there are several scenes and factors that contributed to my enjoyment - the relationship between Gardner and Tulsa, the scenery and the unique ending. The chemistry and unbreakable relationship between Tulsa and Gardner is truly heartening because they have totally opposite personalities, but complete each other. It is charming to see innocent Gardner win the heart of Tulsa by expressing his true feelings and emotions to her. Additionally, the various locations of the film, shot in New Mexico and California, are magnificent. As they are on their mission they see the beautiful, breathtaking scenery of the mountains and the astounding greenery of the forests. Furthermore, I love the ending of the film. it is very unexpected and different from typical Hollywood movies.

The Space between Us has a heart warming message relating to home, family and belonging. Young, intelligent Gardener hacks the computer system on Mars, doing whatever it takes to gather every bit of information about his mother and father. The love he has for his father and the ambition he has to meet him is truly inspiring. The importance and value of family and home is reflected throughout this science fiction film.

Each of the actors' contributions to the film is incredible. The young English actor, Asa Butterfield plays the first human born on Mars, Gardner Elliot. This talented 19-year-old actor has long career ahead of him. He has been in several other films such as: Ender's Game, Hugo, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and several others. Britt Robertson plays the rebellious, fearless and adventurous Tulsa. She is highly known for her role in Tomorrowland, The Longest Ride and A Dog's Purpose. Gary Oldman plays the character of Nathaniel Shepherd, one of the incredible scientists in charge of the trip to Mars. Known for his role in Harry Potter and The Dark Knight, the renowned Carla Gugino, plays Gardner's mother and scientist. She is known for Elektra Luxx, Spy Kids, Night at The Museum among several others.

I highly recommend this science fiction and fantasy film to ages of 13 to 18. Teens will enjoy watching this film because of the endearing relationship and charm between Tulsa and Gardner. Adults will also find the film fascinating with Gardner's mission of finding his father and surviving in the Earth's atmosphere. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend that you to catch this film at your local theater when it opens February 3, 2017.

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

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


FOUNDER, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FOUNDER, THE
WEINSTEIN CO, THE Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers' innovative fast food eatery, McDonald's, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed this movie. I thought it was provoking and made me look at McDonald's in a different way. I am a huge McDonald's fan and I have to say, I still am, but after watching the origin story, my view is slightly tainted.

The story is about a man named Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) who is always looking for the next big thing. He comes across a small burger stand called McDonald's, where he promises to help the brothers who created McDonald's turn their burger stand into a franchise. After they agree, Ray slowly becomes more and more obsessed with money and corporate greed.

I will say that one thing that is really good about this movie is how amazing it is paced. Ray's transformation isn't rushed and that's how it becomes believable. You see him becoming more of an antagonist over the course of the film. And, it's actually sad to watch a decent man turn evil so easily. Michael Keaton is excellent in his portrayal of Ray Kroc. The story begins and ends with a monologue that Keaton nails. He gets very invested in his role and it creates a believable character that is very human.

I certainly didn't expect it to be so dark. This is the company that brings Americans Happy Meals. My favorite scene is when the brothers tell Ray about how they set up the first McDonald's. This scene is the first scene that really sets them up as characters and it is really well done. I genuinely liked the brothers and their relationship. They definitely are each other's best friend.

The sets and costumes are also pretty genuine. This movie takes place in the 1950s and the set directors and costume designers have outdone themselves at making the film look authentic to that period. The recreation of the original Golden Arches, right down to the hamburger wrappings is spot on.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Adults will most likely enjoy it as well and it certainly is not suitable for really young kids. Whether you like eating at McDonald's or not, I recommend going and checking out The Founder when it comes out in theaters on January 20th, 2017.

Review by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

The Founder is an entertaining, fascinating and interesting film that gives you a glimpse of the formation of one of the greatest and powerful food restaurant chain in America and worldwide - McDonald's. Throughout the film you experience the historical formation of this corporation and discover how a 50-year-old became the owner of a dominant corporation. As a viewer, I personally love the concept of the film and the rich iconic history of this massive food chain.

Ray Kroc, a salesman, finds himself struggling selling milkshake machines for a couple bucks to support himself and his wife, Ethel Croc. As a salesman living in Illinois in the 1950s, Kroc has to face numerous rejections and several doors slamming in his face before he rises to become CEO of a grand corporation. On a drive across Route 66, Kroc comes across a family-friendly restaurant whose philosophy is "30 seconds and not 30 minutes." Amazed by this unique concept, Kroc will do whatever it takes to franchise and popularize this exclusive restaurant.

American actor Michael Keaton delivers the perfect performance as Ray Kroc. Keaton's physical appearance and excellent acting skills bring us a perfectly believable ruthless, greedy, egotistical portrayal of Ray Kroc. Dick McDonald (Nick Offerman, Parks and Recreation) plays the McDonald brother who invented the idea of the "speedy system" and the iconic "golden arches." The supportive brother Mac McDonald is played by John Caroll Lynch, known for several film such as Shutter Island, Gran Torino and Zodiac. This review would be amiss without giving kudos to the film's amazing director, John Lee Hancock and its writer Robert D. Siegel.

I really enjoyed watching this movie and watching the history of McDonald's unravel before my eyes. I like how the director and producers made this film so precisely accurate to the actual events that took place. The history of McDonald's is fascinating and intriguing. Minutes after the film, I was on my phone reading and learning more about its rich history. I learned that the director used exact locations, exact character names and exact details to produce this documentary exactly as he could.

A clear and straightforward message is depicted throughout the 115 minutes of the film. A message of persistence and ambition can be seen through the actions of Mr. Kroc. He was a 50-year-old struggling business man who faced rejection after rejection, yet he does not give up or stop from archiving his dream. It's his persistence, hunger to succeed and ambition that lead him to achieve his goal. There is something we can all learn form Kroc, since we all have personal dreams and goals.

As a history lover myself, I recommend this film to any history enthusiast who is interested in learning about the formation of McDonald's. I also recommend this film to ages 15 to 18 and believe adults will enjoy this too. I give this documentary four out of five stars. It is playing in theaters now so, go check it out.

By Maria Guerrero, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 17

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

The tall tale legends that everyone loves are back in this terrific, animated adventurous comedy. Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue talking Ox are hilarious once again they bring adventure and fun to Minnesota. I love the tales about Paul Bunyan and Babe, and how they can chop down tress with one swift whack of Paul's Ax. Babe is always by his side to help him, no matter how far they have to travel together. I am so happy to learn about this new comical animated film of 2017. It is the perfect movie to start the year off with your friends and family.

My favorite character is Travis because he is goodhearted, adventurous and comical. He shows that, by helping his grandparents around the farm where he lifts pumpkins, plants seeds and rakes leaves. He does all this because he is compassionate and protective about his grandparents and his family. He also has a funny since of humor and knows how to make a quick remark or two.

The scene when Travis first meets Paul Bunyan is hilarious. This scene reminds me of the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland, when she falls down it and how everything flouts around and it seems like there is no gravity. Paul is pretending to be a mean scary giant like the one from Jack and the Bean Stalk. He even repeats the lines from the giant. In a deep voice, he threatens to eat him and grind his bones but not even Paul Bunyan cannot keep a straight face.

The animation is great with many dimensions and it makes the story quite believable. There are great details and the scene where Paul Bunyan pushes a car is humorous, especially the expressions on the passengers' faces. And, since they do not know how to drive, it's doubly funny. The scenery made me want to take a visit to the country and go to a fair.

The story begins with a young boy named Travis (Johnny Orlando) who goes to his grandparents farm with his sister Whitney (Lola Wayne Villa). When his Grandpa (Mark Hamill, Star Wars - the one and only Luke Skywalker) asks him to buy a tape measurer, he is chased by a stranger and falls into a tree that leads him to the world of Paul Bunyan and Babe. Paul Bunyan (John Goodman) and Babe (Jeff Foxworthy) help Travis by getting him home to his grandparent's farm. While Travis is with Paul and Babe he finds out that an evil, greedy land developer and his brother who is a hypnotist (Kelsey Grammer) are trying to hypnotize the townspeople to get them sell their land. While they are trying to do this, Travis's Grandma (Kay Cole) is protesting against the mall they plan to build.

I recommend this to ages 6 to 18. Kids will love the funny jokes, the bright animation and the quirky characters and the fun plot. Adults will also like the silliness of the film, but it isn't too silly so they will also enjoy it with their family. It is the perfect way to relax and have a good time smiling and laughing with your favorite tall tale legends and some new characters as well. I give this film 5 out of 5 gigantic blue talking stars.

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


FRENCH FOR KIDS: LES SAISONS (THE SEASONS)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FRENCH FOR KIDS: LES SAISONS (THE SEASONS)
WHISTLEFRITZ LLC Click to purchase directly from the producer Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Description - From l'hiver (winter) to l'automne (autumn), it's a year-round language-learning celebration! This lively French immersion video engages children with colorful backgrounds, animation, catchy songs, live-action footage, and lots of fun!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Young children will love French for Kids: Les Saisons and parents will love that they thought to purchase it for them! French for Kids: Les Saisons by Whistlefritz is one of a series of total immersion French instruction videos for children, aged appropriately for viewers 1 to 7 years of age.

The 35-minute lesson is fast paced, kid-focused instruction, that doesn't feel like instruction at all. The teacher, Marie Laure, is engaging, welcoming and animated in her delivery. Marie uses animated backgrounds, props and body language to demonstrate the meanings of words.

French for Kids: Les Saisons has return animated characters Fritzi, the mouse and Rito the fox planning a birthday celebration for Fritzi. Catchy, yet parent-friendly songs are interspersed throughout the stories to further help explain the concepts and add visual and auditory interest. The curriculum is reinforced with print words of key concepts (French only), bright colors, animation and cute videos of kids from diverse races playing in the different seasons - summer in the pool, autumn at a pumpkin farm and trick or treating.

Total immersion instruction means that there is no other language presented other than the one you are wanting to teach. This approach leaves learners relying on their other senses, besides auditory, to determine the meaning of words. Total immersion typically incorporates different learning strategies including visual, auditory and kinesthetic through a variety of multimedia approaches. The lack of English on this DVD was more distracting to me as an adult, than my daughter, who readily embraced the French only instruction. The literature says that there are English subtitles, which this reviewer was not able to locate. Thankfully, a parent/teacher translation guide is included which lists the English translation of the songs as well as key concepts of the lessons.

The Whistlefritz educator's French collection is highlighted on homeschool.com's Top 100 Educational Websites of 2016 as the perfect companion for parents who are homeschooling their young children. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5. French for Kids: Les Saisons is available now wherever DVDs are sold so, go check it out. Reviewed by Ruth A.,KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - French for Kids: Les Saisons (The Seasons) is a fun, colorful DVD language course from Whistlefritz that is perfect for helping your kids learn French.

Les Saisons follows Fritzi, a cute and cheery mouse who attends a birthday party and then wonders when his own birthday is. His friend Marie helps guide him through the year and tells him all the special traits of winter, spring, summer and fall so he can figure it out. I had fun joining Marie and Fritzi in a well-paced lesson and jovial sing-a-long about the seasons - all in French.

The entire program runs 35 minutes and, while it's about the seasons, it also covers vocabulary on saying "hi," saying your name and other basic phrases as well as special vocabulary about holidays. This program really helps children understand by repeating words over and over and singing about the words to make it fun. The teacher Marie pronounces everything very slowly and clearly. A group of kids also repeat key words and contribute to a better understanding of what is going on onscreen. This DVD mixes animation and live action together successfully to make sure kids can follow the pronunciation but also have fun with its cast of animated characters. The lesson also includes footage of kids doing several pastimes related to the season being discussed which keeps things interesting. For instance, when they talk about fall, they shows kids jumping into piles of leaves.

This DVD has a special features video that explains Whistlefritz's inventive philosophy about immersion and what exactly learning by immersion means. I recommend you watch that before showing kids the DVD.

I give French for Kids: Les Saisons an age recommendation of 2 to 8. There is nothing objectionable about this DVD, but I think it is most comprehensible for children at least 2-years-old. I'm not a parent, so that's your call. The DVD's length and cheerful atmosphere should keep your child's attention. I give French for Kids: Les Saisons 4 out of 5 stars. This is an excellent resource for your child to begin to learn some basic French. This DVD is available on Amazon and other places where DVDs are sold. Do check out some of the other titles from its producer, Whistlefritz while you're at it.

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

I love this fun filled DVD that teaches kids how to read and speak French while learning about the seasons. I like how they mix learning with something that I had a wonderful time watching. I found myself dancing, singing and laughing the whole time.

This DVD is full of colorful animation and adorable videos of children swimming, having snowball fights, jumping into leaf piles and enjoying all the seasons. It is the perfect blend of animation, live action and music that will have any child laughing, dancing and learning. The live action videos show what the weather is like and how to find entertainment that each season offers. While these videos play, they have a song in French describing that season and activities the children are doing.

The unique characters will have you laughing and smiling throughout the entire DVD. The characters are a mouse, cat, dog and Marie. Marie teaches the correct pronunciation of words through her storytelling. The video also includes children who speak French which adds a bit of cuteness to the video and shows kids that it's easy for other kids to learn to speak French too.

I love the way they teach French by immersion. It is very different but kept me interested. I delight in the fact that the entire video is in French. I have never seen this use of immersion in learning a language before and I really appreciate that in this DVD.

I recommend this program for ages 2 to 7. Kids will love the storyline, characters and animation in this DVD. The videos will encourage them to try something new, get up and exercise. Older kids might think it is a bit too childish and might not like it as much as the younger ones do. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 French fantastic stars. If you want to learn French and have fun at the same time, then this is the perfect DVD for you. Bonne chance and au revoir. The DVD is available in stores and online now so, go check it out! You'll be glad you did.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 35 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99
Media: DVD

This title is available for purchase from WHISTLEFRITZ LLC


MONSTER TRUCKS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MONSTER TRUCKS
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - Looking for any way to get away from the life and town he was born into, Tripp (Lucas Till), a high school senior, builds a Monster Truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars. After an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site displaces a strange and subterranean creature with a taste and a talent for speed, Tripp may have just found the key to getting out of town and a most unlikely friend.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is the fun, adventurous comedy that is perfect for the whole family. In this stupendous movie, there is a fun story line, quirky characters and terrific graphics. The way they incorporate each and every person's unique talents and personality traits is incredible. On top of that, there is an adorable comedic monster that is not scary but cute, silly and goodhearted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-112
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


FENCES
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FENCES
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Troy Maxson makes his living as a sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh. Maxson once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but was deemed too old when the major leagues began admitting black athletes. Bitter over his missed opportunity, Troy creates further tension in his family when he squashes his son's chance to meet a college football recruiter.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I saw Fences as a play with James Earl Jones years ago and was very anxious and looking forward to seeing the filmed version. Adapted from the stage play by August Wilson (who also writes the screenplay), it lives up to its award- winning status. I am a fan of both Denzel Washington and Viola Davis who star in this film.

Throughout the film, we see life through the eyes of Troy (Denzel Washington) an African American man struggling with issues of race and economics and all the events of his life. He lives with his family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the 1950s.

Fences opens with Troy and Bono (Steven Henderson) riding on the garbage truck. As they work, they talk about the inequality of their jobs. Troy questions why "a black man cannot drive the truck"? He asks the question to his supervisor who is a white man and is facing possible firing. so it is thought. Troy and Bono arrive at Troy's house and we begin to learn about a fence. It is Friday and payday. We see Troy and Bono sharing a bottle of liquor. Troy tells stories and his wife Rose (Viola Davis) sits on porch and interacts to keep Troy honest. We learn about Troy's past, his excellent skills in baseball, time he served in jail and how he met Rose.

The film has excellent scenes that let us feel and see the streets of Pittsburgh. The main center of action is the backyard. There is a baseball on a string and Troy's baseball bat. Rose asks Troy to build her a fence. At one point, Bono speaks to Troy about fences. "Fences are built to keep something or someone out or to keep something or someone in." He lets Troy know that Rose wants to keep him and their son Cory (Jovan Adepo) inside. In Fences, we see the relationship and interaction of a father with his sons. His older son, Lyons (Russell Hornsby) comes by on paydays to ask for a loan and his younger son Cory wants to play football to attend college.

Fences is excellent and has many lessons and messages. Because of the language and suggestive references, I recommend it for ages 14 to 18 and believe that many adults will enjoy it also. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. It opens on December 25, 2016 so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita Seon Leary, KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Fences is an outstanding film driven by great performances from Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. This film took me on a rollercoaster of emotions that had me in a heap of tears by its finish.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by August Wilson, Fences is set in Pittsburgh in the 1950s and follows Troy (Denzel Washington) and his wife Rose (Viola Davis). Troy works on a garbage truck and has failed to accomplish his dreams of becoming a baseball player. He thinks life was stacked up against him and takes it out on his family. His son Corey (Jovan Adepo) dreams of playing football, but Troy is holding him back. A secret that Troy is keeping threatens to ruin his relationship with his family. As the secret and its aftermath are slowly revealed, Fences takes you on an enthralling and emotional family journey.

Denzel Washington is excellent as Troy Maxson, a man reminiscing about his failed baseball career and the cruel injustice he thinks he's experienced in his life. Washington's performance manages to make this character likable, but paints his character's inner demons very well, too. Viola Davis's performance is great. She adds so much aching, raw emotion to her performance. No other actors could have played these roles this well. They starred in these roles on Broadway in 2010 in a revival of this play and I am convinced this helped build the bond they show as husband and wife in the film.

My favorite character is Gabriel (Mykelti Williamson), Troy's brother and a veteran with a challenging injury. He's a very bright and almost magical character who lights up the screen every time he's on it. He helps balance the tense dramatic scenes in this film.

Denzel Washington also directs Fences. The way he shoots this film really resonates with me as an audience member. He brings the viewer in close to the characters during tense moments and draws you into the emotional core of the scene. One thing that I don't like about how the film is constructed is that sometimes the transitions between scenes are sudden and occasionally confusing. It makes the pacing somewhat inconsistent. But overall, this film is extremely powerful and I definitely recommend bringing tissues.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 because some adult themes could be difficult for children to process as well as the racially charged and vulgar language. I give Fences 5 out of 5 stars for its superb acting, captivating characters and drama. This film is in theaters now so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Benjamin, P. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 11. Fences is an outstanding film driven by great performances from Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. This film took me on a rollercoaster of emotions that had me in a heap of tears by its finish.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by August Wilson, Fences is set in Pittsburgh in the 1950s and follows Troy (Denzel Washington) and his wife Rose (Viola Davis). Troy works on a garbage truck and has failed to accomplish his dreams of becoming a baseball player. He thinks life was stacked up against him and takes it out on his family. His son Corey (Jovan Adepo) dreams of playing football, but Troy is holding him back. A secret that Troy is keeping threatens to ruin his relationship with his family. As the secret and its aftermath are slowly revealed, Fences takes you on an enthralling and emotional family journey.

Denzel Washington is excellent as Troy Maxson, a man reminiscing about his failed baseball career and the cruel injustice he thinks he's experienced in his life. Washington's performance manages to make this character likable, but paints his character's inner demons very well, too. Viola Davis's performance is great. She adds so much aching, raw emotion to her performance. No other actors could have played these roles this well. They starred in these roles on Broadway in 2010 in a revival of this play and I am convinced this helped build the bond they show as husband and wife in the film.

My favorite character is Gabriel (Mykelti Williamson), Troy's brother and a veteran with a challenging injury. He's a very bright and almost magical character who lights up the screen every time he's on it. He helps balance the tense dramatic scenes in this film.

Denzel Washington also directs Fences. The way he shoots this film really resonates with me as an audience member. He brings the viewer in close to the characters during tense moments and draws you into the emotional core of the scene. One thing that I don't like about how the film is constructed is that sometimes the transitions between scenes are sudden and occasionally confusing. It makes the pacing somewhat inconsistent. But overall, this film is extremely powerful and I definitely recommend bringing tissues.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 because some adult themes could be difficult for children to process as well as the racially charged and vulgar language. I give Fences 5 out of 5 stars for its superb acting, captivating characters and drama. This film is in theaters now so be sure to check it out.

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

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


MONSTER CALLS, A
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MONSTER CALLS, A
FOCUS FEATURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - 12-year-old Conor, dealing with his mother's illness, a less-than-sympathetic grandmother, and bullying classmates, finds a most unlikely ally when a Monster appears at his bedroom window. Ancient, wild, and relentless, the Monster guides Conor on a journey of courage, faith and truth.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This movie adaptation, while a bit confusing, is touching at times and portrays a plethora of different visual aspects. It's interesting and keeps you wondering what will happen next.

Conor O'Malley (Lewis MacDougall) is a 12-year-old boy who's trying to cope with his mother's terminal illness, being bullied at school and other problems. One night at exactly 12:07a.m., Conor is visited by The Monster (Liam Neeson) who, throughout the film, gives him advice on his situations and tells him stories.

I must say that the visuals have to be my favorite part of this film, from the live action to the CGI, to the visuals of water coloring. I love the detail everywhere, especially the attention to detail with the tree, the set and the wardrobe. It's visually extremely pleasing. I also really enjoy how relatable the different situations are. There are plenty of kids being raised by a single parent, dealing with a sick relative or having nightmares. The relatable moments are not just for kids however, there are some for adults as well. This is a good film that will make you laugh, cry, and sometimes get mad about how Conor is treated. It has little comedic moments, but not a lot. Thee are just enough to lighten the mood. Overall, I like this film a lot, but there are a few things that I don't particularly enjoy. I'm confused about the need for the tree stories or the need for the tree at all. The truth that Conor has to confess to the tree does not measure up to the angst or drama that is presented. I also feel that the film is a bit too long. Some of the scenes are drawn out. Liam Neeson's deep voice with music enhancements is incredible. He is one remarkable Monster. His voice is strong, confident, and a little bit scary in the beginning, but afterwards, you get use to it. Lewis MacDougall's performance is outstanding. He's in that in-between stage of being too old to be considered a child and definitely too young to be a man. A young man you could say, but its still a difficult stage and he is doing great.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18. The title would lead you to believe that this is one scary film, however it's not too bad. It's rated PG 13 for the scary scenes, mentions of terminal cancer and bullying. I give this film 3� out of 5 stars, for its sometimes confusing plot and length. This film is in theaters January 6, so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is just amazing! The monster is very realistic, the plot is new, unique and compelling, and the movie moved me to tears.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ASSASSIN'S CREED
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ASSASSIN'S CREED
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Through Abstergo a company that creates a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the memories of his ancestor, Aguilar de Nerha (Aguilar Of Nerha), in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins and Templars, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Films like these are difficult to recommend for people to watch. Assassin's Creed is a film that isn't bad, but it certainly isn't good. Based on the video game series, it's very divisive and my recommendation depends on the person I am recommending it to. On one hand, the action sequences are engaging and well paced, but on the other hand, the movie takes itself much too seriously and is too thickly plotted. It falls to the conventions of a bad action film and yet it finely executes the entertainment aspects of a watchable action film. Therefore, Assassin's Creed proves to be a very mediocre movie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


JACKIE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JACKIE
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 15-18
Description - Jackie is a portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Kennedy. Jackie places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband's assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a portrait of the First Lady as she fights to establish her husband's legacy and the world of "Camelot" that she created and loved so well.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Jackie is a biopic about more than Jackie Kennedy. It is a display of grief and its effects on its inhibitor. The assassination of JFK is used as a backdrop to present a portrayal of grief as something raw and gritty. The grainy cinematography expresses that. Additionally, the film humanizes a famous figure, that is all too familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.

Natalie Portman plays the famous First Lady and what a transformation it is. Portman's last great performance was in 2010s Black Swan and she is in rare form in this film. From the walk, to the signature voice, Portman embodies the ticks of Jackie Kennedy that we've come to know. That alone is impressive. Then, Portman adds the emotional layers to the caricature we're accustomed to and Jackie Kennedy suddenly becomes human. Natalie Portman portrays the grief of a famous figure and makes it something down-to-earth and relatable. This performance is one to be remembered for its sensitivity, vulnerability and depth. Behind that voice is a tremble of sadness and beneath those eyes are memories of seeing a husband killed. Natalie Portman gives the performance of her career, not simply because she plays a real person who is a famous figure in history, but because she makes that figure unfeigned.

Supporting her are veterans John Hurt, Peter Sarsgaard, Billy Crudup and Greta Gerwig. Sarsgaard plays JFK's brother, Bobby Kennedy. His characterization is spot on and his eyes tell a lot. There is a brooding guilt beneath his eyes and in his face that comes out very perfectly played in a scene near the climax of the film. Gerwig and Hurt play the confidants of Jackie Kennedy, each in his own way playing the wisdom and empathy proper to each spectrum of Jackie's grief. Billy Crudup challenges Jackie's notion and speaks from a perspective of his search for truth. He truly attempts to uncover and peel the celebrity off of Jackie and give us the raw confession of her lies and motivations.

To further the raw portrayal of grief is the cinematography of Stephane Fontaine and the direction of Pablo Lorrain. The documentarian behind-the-scenes style plays to the fervent nature of the film. The grain of the film, conceivably, could be a testament to the imperfections of Jackie Kennedy. Perhaps the cinematography and, at times, sporadic direction is a representation of how imperfect our idol Jackie Kennedy really was. Furthermore, the editing and cinematography are sometimes very eerie, meaning there are tracking shots that come off woozy and pieces of editing that scatter. They are brilliant pieces of filmmaking because they reflect Kennedy's mental state. It's actually quite brilliant how much of Jackie's emotional state is presented without a word of dialogue, but only with Portman's face and the direction of Pablo Lorrain.

Personally, my favorite aspect of the entire film is the score by Mica Levi. The score can be described as haunting. It is laced with a foreboding, calamitous tone that injects dread to the film. It drives the grief into our catharsis and, at times, actually weighs down on us. Then, in the midst of the heavy slightly off-pitch stringing, comes a higher pitched sound that injects a sort of longing for something happier. I can't fully express how beautiful and sad and astute the score is.

My only complaint with this film is very minimal. Sometimes the dialogue gets a little too cinematic for the tone of the film. Additionally, the plot occasionally gets slightly recurring and seems to be a bit lethargic.

With that said, I give this move 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. This film is in theaters December 2, 2016 so, be sure to go check it out.

By Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


MIRACULOUS: TALES OF LADYBUG & CAT NOIR - BE MIRACULOUS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MIRACULOUS: TALES OF LADYBUG & CAT NOIR - BE MIRACULOUS
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 8-12
Description - A third volume of action adventure that will have you feeling Miraculous! The time is now. The city is Paris. And two amazing heroes, Ladybug and Cat Noir, stand to protect its citizens against evildoers. But can this uncanny duo continue to keep their city safe from these dastardly ne'er-do-wells... and get their homework in on time?! That's right. The superheroes known as Ladybug and Cat Noir are actually Marinette and Adrien, two young students with super-secret lives filled with super-awesome excitement! Episodes include: Ladybug & Cat Noir (Origins, part 1), Stone Heart (Origins, part 2), Animan, Simon Says, Pixelator, Guitar Villain, Kung Food.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir: Be Miraculous is an action filled story. I enjoyed several things about this DVD. It is a story with two typical teenagers who transform into superheroes and addresses the diversity of their characters.

Marinette Cheng (Cristina Vee), a shy high-school student, has inherited some magical ladybug-shaped earrings. The earrings grant the power of luck to whomever wears them. Whenever the situation needs it, Marinette turns into Ladybug, the guardian angel.

The series features a great cast of diverse characters who represent different races, body types and gender. Marinette takes center stage as one of the main protagonists. In my opinion, there are not enough female main heroes in TV shows. Her character is very well-written and she provides a great role model for younger viewers, and even adults, to look up to and relate to. Cat Noir/Adrien (Brice Papenbrook ) also stands out as the other key protagonist. Adrien is a rich boy who is well-liked but reserved. Little do they know that they fight together daily as their alter egos.

Both characters by themselves are very interesting. When she turns into Ladybug, Marinette is much more confident in herself. When Adrien transforms into Cat Noir, his personality change is more drastic, becoming more outgoing, flirty and even cocky. Their underlying romance becomes even more interesting when Cat Noir develops a crush on Ladybug, who she does not know is Adrien and brushes off his flirty behavior. I found myself wanting them to discover their true identities. However, the interactions between them are adorable to watch, making them one of the best duos I've ever seen in a animated show.

Since the show is set in France, it exposes viewers to the culture of Paris. It is refreshing to see a different setting as this superhero duo is charged with protecting Paris from evil.

No superhero story will be complete without a villain. Hawk Moth (Keith Silverstein) is a typical villain who has no clear reasoning. He is one of those bad guys that just wants to 'take over the world' just because.

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir reminds us that no one is perfect and that it is important to stand up for your beliefs. It reminded of a quote by Edmund Burke: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

I recommend this DVD for ages 5 to 12 years old and give it 5 out of 5 stars. This DVD comes out January 10, 2017 so, be sure to check it out. By Juanita Seon Leary, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This show is actually pretty entertaining. I am legitimately intrigued by the fascinating characters, the story and what is happening. As a big superhero fan, I can say, this is a good superhero style cartoon.

The story is about two teenagers, Marinette and Adrien, who are granted the powers of "The Ladybug" and "The Cat. " They use their new powers to fight evil villains that have started appearing in Paris. The friendship between these two characters is quite charming.

One thing I enjoy a lot about this show is the animation. I can't exactly figure out why, but the animation feels different and I really like it. I especially like Ladybug and Cat Noir's transformation scenes. I think they are really well done and nicely animated. Something about them gets me pumped for the fight scenes.

The characters are also really likeable, especially Marinette. She's awkward and clumsy, but also smart and strong. She's not the Queen Bee, instead she's a Ladybug! I can see her as a positive role model for young girls. Adrien is also a good-natured, enjoyable character. I like both of them equally.

Most of the other characters are cool as well. I especially like Marinette's best friend, Alya. I think she's a quirky, funny, charming character and a good friend. She is supportive and kind. She also helps Marinette with her love life.

My only suggestion to the show's creator is to make the main antagonist more exciting. He's pretty bland and is honestly the only dull character in the show. He stands in a room, by himself, doing a monologue in all of his scenes in every episode. Super hero's need an exciting villain to defeat. Another thing that's interesting, is that this show is actually dubbed in English. It first aired in France, then in South Korea, then in America on Nickelodeon.

I give this show 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for kids between the ages of 6 to 12. I recommend it for kids of both genders. Girls will enjoy the main lead, while boys will enjoy the action and superheroes. Heads up though - the theme song is super catchy. You will be singing it in your head all night! In fact, I am singing it right now! This comes out on DVD on January 10, 2017 so, go check it out.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir: Be Miraculous is a fun and entertaining animated show. It is a set of seven short stories, including two episodes explaining how they get their powers., all on one DVD that brings the viewer through many exciting adventures. It is cool how they show scenes from both sides of the characters' lives. We see them both as normal teenagers living with their parents to their hidden identities of crime-fighting, world-saving superheroes. It's also exciting how both human teenagers each have a crush on the other's superhero counterpart. This is a will they - won't they theme that goes through the whole series.

The first origin story in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir is about how Ladybug and Cat Noir got their superpowers. They were given jewelry by an old man on the street that they randomly helped. The jewelry gave them powers just in time to stop Hawk Moth's rock monster called a stone hearth get his revenge on everyone who ever wronged him. In the second episode, they must try and save Paris from more stone hearths. In the third episode Animan, Ladybug and Cat Noir must fight another one of Hawk Moth's monsters called Animan. The next episode, called Simon Says is about a hypnotist that gets controlled by Hawk Moth to capture Ladybug's and Cat Noir's powers. In pixelator one of Jagged Stone, a rock star, gets controlled by Hawk Moth and starts storing people digitally in is camera.

This DVD has some very clear storylines and detailed animation. It contains many bright colors and teaches some important lessons about teen life. I would have liked to know more about how their powers work and what Hawk Moths motives were.

My favorite episode was Simon Says. I enjoyed this episode because it was very funny and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Each episode has its moral. Overall, the main moral is to be kind and not let negative feelings control you. Other lessons you could learn are that good always conquers evil and that if you believe in yourself you can do anything.

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir is a fast-paced and entertaining DVD. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars because it was very creative. I recommend it for ages 6 to 15.

By Rohan D. F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 154 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.98
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LONG WAY NORTH (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - 1882, Saint Petersburg. Sasha, a young Russian aristocrat, has always been fascinated by her grandfather's life as an adventurer. A renowned explorer, he designed a magnificent arctic ship, but he hasn't returned from his last expedition to the North Pole. To save her family's honor, Sasha runs away. Headed towards the Great North, she follows her grandfather's trail in search of his famous ship.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoyed this animated film because it is very adventurous, heart-warming and exciting. Not your normal, everyday plot. It is different since it's based in Russia with unusual names for the characters. The story is about Princess Sacha who is determined to prove that her Grandfather had found what he set out to find. The title gives you food for thought about what the story is about. (North to where? North Pole, North Canada, North America?) The colors are soft and the animation is spectacular, unlike any I've ever seen! I felt that the cover doesn't do justice to the actual movie. It's better then the cover would lead you to believe. I believe that watching this movie stimulates kids to question, probe and problem-solve. The vocabulary is age-appropriate and the music definitely adds depth to the production. Any young child would love this movie! I know I did! It flows evenly from the beginning to end, has great characters, a fantastic storyline and it definitely kept my interest. The animation and colors are fantastic! The message of this story is that you should believe in yourself and follow through with your plans. I recommend this movie for ages 5-10 and give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Tina B. KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I loved this film. It surprised me a lot. I have to admit that, when it first started it was a bit boring, but as the movie progressed, it got better and better. I like the film because the events are so unexpected. I would predict that something would happen and then, something completely different happened and I would stare at the screen in shock. I love that feeling because it's exciting. For me, when that happens, when you don't know what's going to happen next or that anything could happen, it makes the film intriguing and interesting. You are curious about what will happen next.

The movie takes place in 19th Century Saint Petersburg when a young girl from the Russian aristocracy named Sacha suffers over the fate of her grandfather. He is a renowned scientist and Arctic explorer who has yet to return from an expedition to the North Pole. Against the wishes of her parents, who have made marriage arrangements for her, Sacha flees home and launches her quest to search for her grandfather and his ship.

My favorite part is when Sacha saves the captain from falling off a cliff and dying. I like this scene because Sacha manages to win the captain's respect. Sacha was very judged and underestimated by the crew and captain, but she manages to prove all of them wrong. With her hard work and dedication, she shows them who she really is. Everyone finally starts respecting her and treats her respectfully. After she saves the captain's life, they stopped judging her.

The life lesson taught in this film is to never underestimate anyone, because you can be surprised. You can be surprised at who they really are or how they might change to attain a goal. Don't ever judge a book by its cover. Sacha changes throughout the movie in a huge way. She starts out as a spoiled girl that doesn't know how to work or make herself useful. But she is also very decided and dedicated in what she wants to accomplish and she will do anything to get that, even if it means preparing herself to work. During her journey, the sailors have very little faith in her and judge her heavily. They think she is a superficial girl that doesn't know what she is doing, but they are wrong. Sacha manages to prove the ship's crew that she is courageous, determined and a special young woman through her actions. So, this film teaches us an important lesson, to never judge a person by they way they look. You don't know what that person is capable of doing to achieve something that's important to them.

I recommend this movie to kids ages 6 to 14 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. This film is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

This film is really cute and I enjoyed most of it but, I'm not going to lie, the beginning wasn't as promising as I thought it would be. It's gets off to a bit of a slow pace so, it took me time to get into it but eventually I did and ended up enjoying it. I really like the clean animation. It is pretty simple and I really enjoyed the music which gives a lasting tone to the overall film.

The story line is about a young Russian girl named Sasha who is in desperate need to find her grandfather who she had a very close relationship with. Throughout the film, she gets closer to finding her grandfather as well as becoming a mature woman.

My favorite part, hands down, is when Sasha prepares herself to go find her grandfather, not only physically but mentally. She is very determined and she works hard to get what she wants which is different for her since she is a pretty spoiled girl who gets everything done for her. So, it was inspiring to see that change in her.

The two lessons I learned from the film are, don't judge a book by its cover and be determined. She is judged very negatively by the townspeople and, although she could have been wrong, she wasn't. Also, she is very determined and that was inspiring to watch. I recommend this film to ages 5 to 10 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This film comes out on DVD January 17, 2017 so, look for it wherever DVDs are sold.

By Nathalie Avendano, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 81 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 21.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ABC MONSTERS: STARRING QRSTU
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, 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!

In this DVD, embark on adventures with Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry to search high and low for the letters Q, R, S, T, and U. Queen Scribble is organizing a Quick Quiz at Capital Castle. She has been writing�the questions for several days and today is the day they have all been waiting for. King Wordy was asked to be the quizmaster, and he is very excited! However, one of the contestants, Q-Monster, is missing! Will they find him in time so that he can play in the quiz with the other ABC Monsters? Find out!

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 - There are 26 ABC monsters, one for each letter of the alphabet and this DVD highlights five of them - Q,R,S,T and U. A letter monster is missing corresponding to the letter for each episode and, as the others search for them, they meet alphabet characters Q,R,S,T and U along the way. In the end, each ABC Monster is found. I have to say that I really enjoyed this DVD along with the 4 young children who watched with me. Cherry Berry is great guide throughout the episodes. The kids also enjoyed Una Underhill and her umbrella. The songs are great and very catchy. The characters are colorful and helpful to one another and there is not any violence of any sort. The kids really enjoyed the music and they really liked that the music is included within each episode and not just at the very end. The DVD has a sing along portion as well as dancing and acting out the letter shapes that are very kid friendly. My team clapped and laughed a lot while watching this. They shouted out answers to the word and alphabet questions. One thing I really appreciate is how this DVD really gets kids involved. It is not just something that they sit back and watch. There is a lot of interaction and learning. In addition, each episode is short enough to hold the younger ones' attention. Also, there is repetition of the letters within each episode that helps younger ones learn their letters. After watching this DVD, the kids were still singing the alphabet song and talking about the letters. This DVD is perfect for preschoolers or young ones learning the alphabet. There is lots of interaction, helpful characters and a fun sing-along that will have your kids dancing and entertained. The bright colors and calling out answers to the word puzzles make it even more exciting. My favorite part is the assortment of songs. They are catchy and really help kids to learn the alphabet, even after the episodes has ended. My kids danced, acted out the letter shapes and sang for the rest of the night. This DVD will definitely be watched again as the sing-along and word puzzle sections are awesome. Reviewed by Jennifer V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I definitely want to recommend this colorful, quirky show that teaches your kids about letters and words. It will definitely have them singing and laughing while they learn. I found myself doing that. I even found myself doing exercises and having a wonderful time with all the fun characters including Cherry Berry who's a magical fairy. I love her because she is very inquisitive and she knows what to do. We also have the funny and adorable Alice who is a princess that lives at Capital Castle with her mother and father, the King and Queen. I love them. She also has her BFF with her named Brian who wants to help all the ABC Monsters, just like Alice and Cherry Berry. And, he wants to help his BFFs Alice and Cherry Berry. I love that about his character. He is very kind and sweet.

This is a perfect show for all little kids because it teaches phonics, writing and reading, how to recognize words and letters and so much more. It's really important for kids to learn how to solve puzzles and how to solve problems. This DVD is great at teaching them how to do those things as well. This is a perfect series. It has a wonderful, fun way of teaching. It's energetic and gets them up, dancing and laughing and, the next thing you know, they're singing the alphabet just like Alice, Cherry Berry and Brian. You'll be smiling and telling them what a great job they're doing.

I definitely encourage you to share this with your preschoolers because it teaches things that most kids don't want to learn, but makes it fun and energetic so they will want to watch this DVD over and over again. My favorites episode is Rain and Raffles. I love that one because there is the adorable R-Monster, who is my favorite monster or alphabet letter. One of my favorites I should say, because there are many. Other than that episode, I really like the way that they have so many fun and new characters such as the adorable rabbit who has a magnificent garden full of radishes, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, any kind of vegetable you can think of. They've probably got it. There is even a gigantic radish that you'll learn more about when you watch the DVD. I love this DVD because it's fun and exciting and I love how it teaches so many different letters and so many different words. I mean, they have one amazing episode about the letter R. That's what I call terrific. All these letters are just magnificent because they all are so different from each other. None of them are the same color and they all have their own perspective and personality which I love.

I recommend this DVD for ages 2 to 5. Kids will learn and have a great time. They'll have fun as they sing, dance and learn. It's also great teaching kids how to solve problems. Have fun. I give this 4 out of 5 Alphabet Fantastic Stars. This is available on DVD January 24, 2017 so, go check it out.

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

ABC Monsters: Starring QRSTU is very impressive with its colorful animation and learning style. I really like the nature backgrounds when the characters are outside. I also like how, at the end of every episode, a song plays and the characters sing and dance. The color and life put into the animation accentuates the themes of happiness and playfulness that the show exudes.

In this DVD, there are five different stories - Queen Scribble's Quiz, Rain and Raffles, Sandy Shores, Ticket to Ride and Unique Cycle. Each story follows Alice, Bryan and Cherry Berry in finding missing the letters Q, R, S, T and U. They follow clues and have to find words starting with the featured letter. For example, in the Q section, one of the clues is "Q Monster was nervous for the Q - - Z." You have to fill in the blank with the clues the show provides the audience with (such as Q Monster saying, "I'm nervous for the quiz"). The show is a great educational experience for young learners.

This DVD targets preschoolers who are learning how to spell and they deliver a great production. This is a wonderful show for teaching young learners alphabet letters and simple words. The producers have been careful to make sure that the spelling and reading comprehension skills are tattooed into the audience's brains by including songs and cute little riddles. I'm impressed with what the team at ABC Monsters has created.

This DVD is a colorful and energetic learning show suitable for ages 2 to 5 and I give it 3 out of 5 stars. If you're looking for a great learning show for your wee ones, be sure to check this out. It's available on DVD January 24, 2017 wherever DVDs are sold.

Reviewed by Ella L, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 120 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


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

The Snake is tired of constantly losing against the Little Prince so he decides to risk it all! He goes back to B612, kidnaps Rose and brings her back to his planet. By doing so, he might lose everything because if the Little Prince comes to the Snake's home planet and frees Rose, the Little Prince will also rescue all the gloomy prisoners! Will the Snake regret kidnapping Rose and possibly losing all of his prisoners?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a modern day version of the Little Prince and is slightly darker because of the evil Snake. I like that it takes place in space, because I know my son and many other young kids really like other planets and things in space. The animation is done well, but is a bit old school and not as cool as some of today's animation. The storyline is very good. It is entertaining and has a good plot that is easy to follow. There are some issues with the voices as they are delayed at times. Younger children may not notice the, but the older children will notice it. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. It is a bite scary so I would not recommend for younger than 5. The storyline is entertaining although it's not completely unique. Reviewed by Denise B. KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Little Prince: The Planet the Snake is a twisting, action-packed animated show for kids. It is based on characters from a famous book by Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry called The Little Prince. It comes as a set of three episodes that create one adventure-filled story. It is fun, fast-paced and very exciting. I enjoyed how it made me feel for The Prince while keeping me excited and interested.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-11
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


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

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

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

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

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

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


MISS WINN'S GARDEN
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MISS WINN'S GARDEN
SHANALYNA PALMER
Series: AFRICAN AMERICAN SHORT, AGES 15-18
Description - Miss Winn's Garden is a dramatic short film that explores real life problems and situations faced by foster parents and foster children. After personal tragedy strikes, Miss Winn opens her heart to children in need of a place to call home. She becomes foster parent to five young males and uses both patience and love to teach them how to accept their situations.

Miss Winn encourages her wards to have faith in humanity despite the cards they've been dealt in life. One of her most useful tools is to have each youngster care for a plant whose state mirrors the state of their own lives. As the boys tend their plants, they learn to accept that all living things (including themselves) need love and nurturing to grow and thrive.

Children become wards of the state through no fault of their own, but many believe that somehow they are to blame. Miss Winn's Garden tells a slightly different story.
Runtime: 35 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 15-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


NOSH: BITE-SIZE ADVENTURES
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
NOSH: BITE-SIZE ADVENTURES
NIKKI BONNER
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-12
Description - Preteens Alex and Taylor are the hosts of Nosh, a kids' cooking show that focuses on one popular dish per episode. With the assistance of their bumbling yet well-meaning young producer, Reese, and occasional guest chefs, the hosts show kids at home how to cook simple, delicious recipes, from spaghetti to chicken pot pie to pizza. In each episode, the hosts delve deeper into the history behind their favorite foods. Through the magic of time travel (and green screen), they teleport through time and space to better understand the origins of the recipes they're creating.
Runtime: 22 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SEED & SPROUT: GROWING THE FOOD RESCUE REVOLUTION
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SEED & SPROUT: GROWING THE FOOD RESCUE REVOLUTION
MARYANNE GALVIN
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 13 - 18
Description - In 2015, one in six Americans experienced hunger while over 40% of food produced in the USA went uneaten. The film follows eight innovative food rescue initiatives across the USA. From prison farms and grocery store donations delivered solely by bicycle, to gleaning from Harvard University dining halls, these go-getters encourage a new generation of creative responses to ending hunger and shrinking landfills. Their focus is on morphing discarded healthy food into nourishment. Seed & Sprout asks: can ordinary people end hunger in America by redistributing a small percentage of the wasted food flooding our food system and dumping grounds?
Runtime: 50 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

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

About the Director: Antje Heyn (*1979 in Bergen auf R�gen) is a Berlin based animation director and illustrator. Her work is inspired by daily observations of urban living and culture as well as nature and animals. Besides setting her heart on creating characters and bringing them to life she teaches animation at art academys and is running the Protoplanet Studio.
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


ADDICTION, THE
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ADDICTION, THE
DANNES ZHANG
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 12 TO 18
Description - In a city of wealth, the homeless are often forgotten as Shanghai continues to struggle with modernization. A homeless man tries to fix a couple's broken relationship while fighting the social stigma against him.
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

CRADLE
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CRADLE
ZANYAR LOTFI
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10-18
Description - Technically the little girl simply just wants to do her homework. But when grandpa's snores keep her little sibling from sleeping and it cries, things get a bit more complicated. But she has a good idea. From Iran, in Kurdish with English sub-titles.
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

KOJO: A SHORT DOCUMENTARY
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KOJO: A SHORT DOCUMENTARY
MICHAEL FEQUIERE
Series: AFRICAN AMERICAN SHORT, AGES 7-18
Description - KOJO is a short documentary on gifted twelve year old jazz drummer Kojo Odu Roney. In this candid interview, Kojo reflects on his tireless work ethic, the current state of Jazz music, learning from his mentor and father, Jazz saxophonist Antoine Roney and much more. Kojo's charisma, sensibility, and passion are as mesmerizing as his drum skills and for the first time in this documentary he shares it with you.
Runtime: 14 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

I AM DYSLEXIC
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
I AM DYSLEXIC
MADS JOHAN OGAARD Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FOREIGN INDEPENDENT SHORT, AGES 8-18
Description - The animated short film I AM DYSLEXIC expresses what it feels like to have a learning difference in our current school system. Those with learning differences should be proud of who they are and should never be made to feel alone. The film uses strong metaphors to portray these emotions, as we follow a little boy in his journey to climb a mountain in a world made of books.
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

I WAS ALWAYS ALEX
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
I WAS ALWAYS ALEX
TANIA GALAN
Series: FOREIGN DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Documentary short about teenager daily experiences. A day in the life of Alex, a boy who dreams like everyone else. He dreams of driving, flying dreams, and dreams of boosting the wolf carries inside. In Spanish with English Subtitles. Directed by Sancho Ortiz de Lejarazu and Roberto Ruiz C�spedes.
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO

MAARTIN
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MAARTIN
JOEL RAHKONEN
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Description - Maartin is an action-comedy about a kind-hearted bicycle police who has high ambitions of becoming a detective. When the Norwegian bicyclemafia kidnaps Pierre, the son of Maartin �s sweetheart, Maartin gets an opportunity to show what he's made of. Against all odds, Maartin tracks down the crooks, but gets caught together with his partner Kowalsky. When everything looks lost, Maartin uses tricks from his favorite TV-show MacGyver to get out and beat the bad guys.
Runtime: 20 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

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

Director's statement: The incredibly talented people that contributed to this production made this film a joy to create. This film aims to be appealing to a wide range of ages. So, no violence, no sex, no explosions! These apparent restrictions enabled the story to focus on the building of relationships between friends and the psychological challenge the protagonist is faced with. Certain philosophical matters that subtly deal with questions such as racism and the path to success will be easier to be picked up by the more mature members of the audience. In this film we also get to know Cyprus by seeing traditions in front of significant landmarks and by hearing Cypriot characters communicate in their native language.
Runtime: 20 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-9
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


SHELTERED BY THE TREES
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SHELTERED BY THE TREES
VALENTINA ARENA
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 13 - 18
Description - "In Jewish tradition, when someone passes away the best way to remember that person is to plant a tree, because in Israel there is the desert and so a tree represents a challenge to time a challenge to memory".
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm

BALLOONS
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BALLOONS
BARRY BOSS
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-12
Description - A collaborative short film created by Marley Boss and several fellow campers at French Woods summer camp about the role of friends in overcoming sadness
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - It has been fifteen years since Harry Potter: The Sorcerer's Stone was released. Now, 15 years later, we have a film explaining so many parts of the Harry Potter's universe that will be loved by everyone who sees it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


HARRY BENSON: SHOOT FIRST
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HARRY BENSON: SHOOT FIRST
MAGNOLIA PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - What we know today about many famous musicians, politicians, and actresses is due to the famous work of photographer Harry Benson. He captured vibrant and intimate photos of the most famous band in history; The Beatles. His extensive portfolio grew to include iconic photos of Muhammad Ali, Michael Jackson, and Dr. Martin Luther King. His wide-ranging work has appeared in publications including Life, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Benson, now 86, is still taking photos and has no intentions of stopping
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you have ever looked through a magazine, then you have seen the photographic work of Harry Benson. I love this film because of its magnificent storyline and photographs. It is one of the best documentaries I have seen this year! I used to think of documentaries as boring, but documentaries now are fun and feel more like movies then just a boring lecture. Harry Benson's photographs take you on a journey of sixty years of history through the pictures he has taken. In every country imaginable he has taken photographs that are recognized around the globe.

It is incredible how he just happens to be at the right place at the right time and manages to capture historical events. The pictures are of everyone imaginable including the Beatles, Martin Luther King Jr., Mohammed Ali, Queen Elisabeth, the Watts riots in LA, Elizabeth Taylor, Hurricane Katrina, Princess Diana, Bobby Fischer, Michael Jackson, Robert Kennedy's assassination, President Barack Obama and many more.

I like the flow of the movie and the many different points of view that are expressed in the film. Harry Benson tells us about his photos, the stories behind them and about his life. There are many guest star appearance including Alec Baldwin, Dan Rather, Sharon Stone, Ralf Lauren and many more who have been photographed by this amazing man.

My favorite photograph in the film is of a lone boy returning from a fishing trip after losing all his friends. Even though it is a simple photo, the story behind it is shocking and heartbreaking. I loved learning about this photograph and was on the edge of my seat listing to its story. If "a picture is worth a thousand words," then Harry Benson is writing an encyclopedia of a billion words.

Directors Justin Bare and Mathew Miele pulled together a fantastic film, filled with interesting stories and a good vibe throughout. You can tell that everything is real and heartfelt. I was lucky enough to meet the director and enjoyed interviewing him. His favorite photo is the one of the Beetles are having a pillow fight. It is fun and shows the joyful energy they had. The music was composed by Ryan Beatty who I had also met. His songs bring the film to life and add just a bit more sincerity to it. I was nervous when I meet him. After all, he is an icon. It was more nerve wracking taking a pictures with him and I wonder what he will think of my photo. I admire him because he captures moments that tell a story and he hates typical pictures where people are posed and say cheese. He would rather photograph you eating cheese.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18. Kids will love learning about Harry Benson and the amazing people he met, the places he traveled to and all the iconic figures he has photographed. Adults will learn more about the man who took the iconic photos that we all recognize. I give this film 5 out of 5 photographic shooting stars.

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

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


RULES DON'T APPLY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
RULES DON'T APPLY
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - An aspiring young actress (Lily Collins) and her ambitious young driver (Alden Ehrenreich) struggle hopefully with the absurd eccentricities of the wildly unpredictable billionaire Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty) for whom they work. It's Hollywood, 1958. Small town beauty queen, songwriter, and devout Baptist virgin Marla Mabrey (Collins), under contract to the infamous Howard Hughes (Beatty), arrives in Los Angeles. At the airport, she meets her driver Frank Forbes (Ehrenreich), who is engaged to be married to his 7th grade sweetheart and is a deeply religious Methodist. Their instant attraction not only puts their religious convictions to the test, but also defies Hughes' #1 rule: no employee is allowed to have any relationship whatsoever with a contract actress. Hughes' behavior intersects with Marla and Frank in very separate and unexpected ways, and as they are drawn deeper into his bizarre world, their values are challenged and their lives are changed.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What a film! Intriguing storyline, filled with romance and drama, which makes it so special and why I liked it! I enjoyed this film and learned some interesting facts about Howard Hughes and how he became such a well-known figure in history.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Calista B. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13
Runtime: 73 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.73
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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