The Family category has 1603 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles
Below are records 1 - 50 of them
sorted alphabetically

KIDS FIRST! has linked to external websites through which you may order many of the KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles


EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A 17 year old girl named Madeline Whittier has a rare disease that causes her to have to stay indoors 24/7 with her filtered air. Her whole life is basically books, her mom, and Carla(her nurse). One day, a moving truck pulls in next door. There she sees Olly. Olly Bright is Maddy's new neighbor. They get to know each other through emails. The more they get to know each other, the more they fall in love. Olly starts to make Maddy realize that she isn't really living. This starts the adventures of Maddy's new life.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I have nothing but positive things to say about this affectionate and sensational picture. The film incorporates the use of strong chemistry with its talented actors to tell a story about understanding, acceptance, life and love. Everything, Everything is a dramatic, romantic film that the teenage and young adult audience will definitely enjoy.

Maddy (Amadla Stenberg) is an imaginative and creative 18-year-old girl who has an illness which prohibits her from going outside. A new boy, Olly (Nick Robinson) moves to town and the two instantly share feelings for one another. He won't let anything keep them from being together. Maddy and Olly develop an online relationship which progresses throughout the film, leading to them risking everything to be together, even if that means losing everything. We join the two lovebirds on a romantic unforgettable adventure.

My favorite scene is when Maddy and Olly first meet. I can safely say that the audience and I were all screaming (silently of course) with joy and excitement when the two exchange smiles and when Olly constantly flirts with Maddy. The chemistry between the two actors is extremely well executed and seems so realistic. I also love the diverse cast because we need that in our society today. The director really respected and developed the interracial relationship very powerfully and wonderfully. I applaud the crew and cast for making the movie so enjoyable to watch and understand.

The theme is about acceptance and growing from the obstacles that you face. Maddy has stayed inside for the majority of her life, but when she meets Olly, she is finally able to take risks and enjoy what life has to offer step by step. Teens will definitely relate to the storyline in terms of growing and experiencing what life has to offer. Both Maddy and Olly send a message to not let people drag you down or stop doing what makes you happy and helps you become a better person.

I recommend this film to ages 13 to 18 because of its teenage love scenes. I also encourage parents to see this with their adolescents because they will definitely find themselves smiling and feeling happy throughout the whole film. I rate this film 5 out of 5 due to its impeccable cast and crew, intriguing storyline, vibrant colors, soothing music and much more. Everything, Everything is in theaters now so, please go and enjoy this movie as much as I did.

Reviewed by Imani B.G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-14
Description - A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg's newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention. This family cross-country adventure turns into an experience the Heffleys will never forget.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul has the same wonderful entertaining impact as the rest of the series. For those who don't know, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a fiction comedy novel for children and teenagers written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. Over the years, these books have been brought to life in films that have the same well-liked effect on the audience as the original books. I was and still am a huge fan of the Wimpy Kid series and I recall always being excited for the new book or the new film to come out.

This film follows the Heffley's taking a road trip to attend Meemaw's (their grandmother's) 90th birthday party. But of course, this trip goes off course thanks to Greg's newest strategy to get to a video gaming convention. They flee from their parents, drive themselves to the convention, violate the no technology rule and many events take place that will make this not-so-family trip unforgettably crazy. Their family adventure turns into an experience filled with different funny moments you don't get in a normal family vacation.

My favorite scene of is when they are entering the grandmother's house. Greg gets into a boat that is outside and he goes inside the house with it. Somehow, he slides into the house and makes it to the pool, thereby making a special entrance. This is a very funny scene because it shows how Greg's delirious mind operates.

The message that I get from this film is to never give up on what you want and don't let anyone stop you. The film teaches this message in a funny and comical way. Gregory sees himself in a position that he doesn't like due to something he does wrong so, he does what he can to clear his image. His way of doing it is to go to the video gaming convention and become famous. This is how Greg thinks he can fix this, by doing all these crazy things. But that's not the important part. The point is that he goes out of his way to achieve his goal and he never stops until he gets it. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15. This opens in theaters on May 19th, 2017 so go check it out.

Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is an upbeat, fun and humorous movie based on the books by the same name. It has an entertaining script with interesting relationships between characters. This movie also has moments where I burst out laughing. However, although it is delightful, this film falls flat in many areas.

The film follows twelve-year-old Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker), his brothers Rodrick (Charlie Wright) and Manny (Dylan Walters) and their parents (Tom Everett Scott and Alicia Silverstone). The family takes a road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday in Indiana. However, Greg has plans to go to a video game convention that land him (and his family) in some hot water.

This film has many positive qualities. One i the clever writing. I really like the scene where Rodrick gets "shot," when Greg and Beardo remake the scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Also, the scene where Manny and the pig are reunited is absolutely adorable. I applaud the writers for their brilliant writing. Another positive quality that quite impressed me is the story line. The chain of events had me on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next. Mischief and misfortune seems to follow the Heffley family wherever they go! It is clear that the writing and the physical humor in this film are quite outstanding.

However, although the script is quite good, the direction is not. The shots don't feel quite right all the time. For example, throughout the movie, the camera is often focused on Alicia Silverstone's teeth. The scene transition is also choppy and disorganized. It just is not smooth. I feel as though there could be more music underneath the dialogue. The acting falls flat as well. I am quite disappointed by these aspects.

I rate this film 3 out of 5 stars. The excessive potty humor throughout the film may appeal to younger kids, so I recommend it for ages 7 to 13. This film is funny and entertaining, yet it lacks several essential components. It opens in theatres on May 19, so if you're looking for some family-friendly fun, go check it out.

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

This family friendly film will have you laughing as you join the Heffley's in their first summer road trip. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is a fun entertaining film that I highly enjoyed with its funny scenes, unique character personalities and the different adventures the Heffley's take on.

As the Heffley's embark on their summer road trip to rural Indiana for their grandmother's 90th birthday, young and witty Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker) will do whatever it takes to get to a video game convention and meet his favorite gamer. To everyone's surprise, technology will be restricted on the trip since Greg's mother, Susan (Alicia Silverstone) wishes to grow closer to her son and create unforgettable memories. Throughout the trip the whole Heffley family faces numerous adventures and trials as the trip goes hilariously off course and becomes a mission.

I really enjoyed the personality of each character in this film. Their different charisma contributes greatly to tone the film. My favorite character is Rodrick, the older but not so wise brother. His humor, style and spirit brings laughter to the screen. Although he is not the brightest, he is highly funny. One of my favorite scenes is when Rodrick orders an Uber and believes that the ride is free, although the destination is an hour away and it's charged to his parents' credit card. Also hysterical is the scene where Rodrick eats one too many fried butter sticks and regrets it later when riding the roller coasters.

Young and witty Greg Heffley is played by Jason Drucker of Barely Lethal, Every Witch Way and many commercials. Lead rock singer of Loaded Diper and Greg's sixteen-year-old brother Rodrick is played by Charlie Wright, known for Ingrid Goes West and Better Things. Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott play the parents of Greg and Rodrick.

Although this film is hilariously funny, it is filled with several life lessons for the viewer to learn from such as, disconnect from technology and connect with those around you. Today, everyone seems to be so attached to technology and social media that they loose the concept of socializing. This film grasps the importance of family values and disconnecting from technology to spend quality family time.

I highly enjoyed watching this fun, summer movie and recommend it to families and children between the ages of 5 and 10. This is a great film for kids to watch over summer break and remember the value of family. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because of its many funny scenes, unique story line and unique characters. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul opens in theaters May 29, 2017 so, be sure to check it out.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


THOMAS EDISON'S SECRET LAB: IT'S ALWAYS SHARKEST
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
THOMAS EDISON'S SECRET LAB: IT'S ALWAYS SHARKEST
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-11
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. While visiting one of Kent's relatives, the kids come up with a great idea for attracting more tourists to his restaurant - the only catch is that it also attracts a very big shark with very big teeth! What will the Secret Lab Kids do? Guided by fun-loving Edison, Angie and friends will show just how fun science can be
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I've been lucky enough to review two of the Thomas Edison's Secret Lab DVDs and I just love them. As a kid I always loved science class, but I know that not everyone did. There were lessons that appealed to me less than others and I was lucky enough to have ?shows such as Bill Nye the Science Guy and The Magic School Bus? to inspire me?. ?This collection is called "?It's Always Sharkest" because it features an episode regarding a shark?'?s sense of smell. Thinking about subjects ?such as?? DNA and ?radioactive ?decay? doesn't ?seem to be very appealing to younger ?kids, but these episodes change that. It gives a very hands on, kid friendly approach to not just learning about these subjects, but enjoying the adventure along the way. One of my favorite things about this program is meeting the creators take on other scientists like Darwin and Watson. The animation is phenomenal and the lessons learned are even better. I? recommend this to kids ages ?5? to 12, but ?make no mistake, ?I greatly enjoyed learning new things and relearning things I had long forgotten. If I could ?rate this higher than 5 stars I would, but since I can't?, I give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: It's Always Sharkest because it is an educational show, has very unique features and really good animation.

This show is about a group of kids and with a few robots that do scientific research. They do it in a secret lab that Thomas Edison left behind with a digital version of himself. They do research about a shark's sense of smell. When the group gets into situations where they mess up on a project or experiment, they always find a way to fix it. And, they have adventures with famous scientists such as Charles Darwin.

The show has cool features that I've rarely seen on a TV show. At the end of every episode, they have a music video recapping what they learned in that episode. I've only seen this once before on Bill Nye's old TV series. The only thing different between Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: It's Always Sharkest and Bill Nye's music video is that Bill Nye's was a parody of popular songs while the songs on this show are all original songs.

The animation reminds me somewhat of the TV show The Fairly Odd Parents. Both have similar animation styles. They both look sort of like paper cutouts. Furthermore, I like how the robot's actions are animated. In the first episode, one of the robots is almost eaten by a shark so he spins out of control to try to get away from the shark's mouth. I thought that was hilarious, seeing him spin out of control.

The message of the show is to find ways to fix problems and it encourages kids to appreciate and learn more science. In the first episode, the group tries to make a slide but fails because there was too much friction. The whole series is based around science and boosts kids' interest in science. The program shows how science can be fun. I rate this show 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 9. It is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

By Carla Paz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


AFRICA'S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AFRICA'S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. This is a journey through two hundred thousand years of history, from the origins, on the African continent, of art, writing, and civilization itself, through the millennia in which Africa and Africans shaped not only their own rich civilizations, but also the wider world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In this six part series made for PBS, Harvard University Professor Henry Gates, Jr. provides an in-depth look at many of the major events that define African civilization, beginning with humankind's origins in Africa and the subsequent development of culture, religion, and society on the continent. Focusing on debunking myths, the hour-long episodes delve into the topics of the origins of mankind; the spread of Christianity and Islam; the emergence of art, culture and writing; the thriving coastline cities during the Middle Ages; contact between Africa and Europeans; and the tumultuous 19th Century with the expansion of the slave trade and gold, ivory and diamond trading. Special emphasis is placed on art and architecture, shining a welcome light on aspects of African culture that young people may not be aware of. As usual for PBS, the production is excellent, although one might wish for more for detail on daily life and many topics are barely touched upon. Overall, Prof. Gates makes for an engaging host and the detail covered is impressive and enlightening. The program is suitable for all children ages 12 to 18. The DVDs include chapter headings but no special features. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 360 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 20.79
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


TASHI NON-STOP
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TASHI NON-STOP
NATASHA HANINA Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: WEB SERIES, AGES 2-5
Description - This sketch comedy web series features a vast collection of colorful and original characters, and serves up an array of educational and entertaining themes aimed at appealing to kids ages three to seven.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Although this web series could use better production values including steady camera work, louder and clearer audio and better sound mixing, I still enjoyed it. The woman shows genuine care and understanding of children and how they learn life lessons. She has a great way of making these lessons fun and easy to understand. I believe Tashi (Natasha) is going places and has great potential. I'm looking forward to seeing her progress in the future. I recommend this for ages 3 to 10 and give it 4 out of 5 stars for being a fun and educational series. Reviewed by Rachael Vickers, KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Tashi Non-Stop is a sweet and silly YouTube comedy series for kids 3 to 7/ This comedic web series is about problem solving in silly situations or sometimes, there really isn't a plot and it's just a silly situation. Sometimes Tashi plays a character like the Queen of England and sometimes inanimate objects speak to her.. It stars the very likable Tashi (Natasha Hanina). Each very short (around one minute) episode is fun, however some of them have an educational message, so young children will want to keep watching one after the other without even realizing that they are learning. I recommend this to parents of little kids because it's fun and educational. The single word that describes my reaction to this show is engaging. Each episode is very silly or cute and Tashi is very likable. What's great about that is that some of the episodes are just fun, whereas some of them have an educational message. Young children will want to keep watching one after the other without even realizing that they are learning. For example, "Putting on Mommy's Makeup" shows Tashi putting it on in the closet and coming out looking like a very messy clown and it is just funny. On the other hand "The Garbage Can", in which the can's feelings are hurt because Tashi forgot to change the bag, has a message about cleanliness. Although the situations are entertaining, some of them seemingly unintentionally don't make a lot of sense, even for a toddler. These videos are YouTube videos that are apparently made on a laptop or desktop. The lack of production values doesn't really detract from the entertainment value of the series though. Also, in "Tashi Calls Her Grandma and Tells Her that She Loves Her" she has some very cute sound effects when she dials her grandma. Since this series is for younger children, I have to imagine the educational value of the series. I think "Tashi Calls Her Grandma and Tells Her that She Loves Her" teaches the value of expressing love to one of your family members and the value of taking your time in doing so! One thing that stands out is that Tashi speaks with a British accent and all the other characters have American accents. That is a neat twist because it seems to provide emphasis and sort of makes her dialogue more important. I give it 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 3 to 7. Reviewed by Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-7
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Web Series

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Set to the backdrop of 'Awesome Mixtape #2,' Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Set to "Awesome Mixtape #2", Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. #2 is more thrilling and hilarious than its predecessor. It is an action packed, sci-fi adventure about a group of intergalactic criminals who are tasked to work together to save the universe. Chris Pratt again stars as Peter Quill, aka Star Lord. The rest of the cast follows suit - Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket.

The film starts out with the classic 70s song "Brandi" by Looking Glass as we see two young people driving down the highway, very much in love. We later learn that this is the back story of Peter's conception and is foreshadowing the main storyline of the film. The movie jumps 34 years and Peter is now Star Lord, captain of a band of reformed outlaws. The group is hired to guard the uber batteries of the Sovereign planet. Upon leaving, Rocket steals some of the batteries and a space battle ensues. Star Lord and his crew are shot down and make an emergency landing on a nearby planet. Before landing, they notice a mysterious spaceship, which takes out the entire Sovereign fleet pursuing them. The rest of the film is an emotional, action-packed adventure, having to do with this mysterious personage. There are lots of battles between different factions in this crazy sci-fi, fantasy universe.

The movie has lots of lively and entertaining scenes. My favorite is when Rocket Raccoon uses traps to his advantage to defeat an incoming horde of ravagers. Every scene with Drax is terrific because he has a different philosophy of life and has the most infectious laugh of any character in any movie, ever. I also love how Peter is obsessed with 80s pop culture. He references them all the time, but his companions never understand them, because they didn't grow up on Earth. I especially love how 80s music is used to evoke nostalgia from Peter's childhood, making for a terrific oldies soundtrack.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is phenomenal and full of whimsical jokes that don't get old. It is a perfect family adventure that is suitable for ages 10 to 18. Parents and grandparents will even get a kick out of it. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars for its engaging humor and captivating action. It opens in theaters on May 5 so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Clayton P.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 exceeded my expectations by a landslide. This film is one of my favorites I have seen all year. The CGI is magical, characters are hilarious and I did not dislike one second of the movie!

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 follows up with our beloved team of intergalactic space heroes. The team consists of a humorous guy named Star Lord aka Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), former assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), sarcastic raccoon thief named Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), muscular brute who goes by Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) lastly, a baby talking tree named Groot (Vin Diesel). Though they are a bunch of rebels who have broken the law numerous times, they might just be what the galaxy needs.

I came into the movie theater knowing that, when I walked out I would have absolutely loved it and that went according to plan. I still can't believe it has been three years since Guardians of the Galaxy came out. I thought nothing could top that film, but this one certainly does. I must say that there is definitely a new feel to this film. It seems to be a bit naughtier than the last one. There is much more swearing in this film. However it is appropriate within the context of jokes. This is one of the funniest Marvel films I have ever seen. I actually burst into tears laughing. The funniest character is Groot. He adds silliness when scenes get serious. He truly steals the show when he says his award winning line, "I am Groot."

In Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 we were introduced to these peculiar characters, but in Volume 2 it's almost as if they are our best friends. You laugh, cry and feel their frustrations. Star Lord (Chris Pratt) delivers another stellar performance. You can really see how he is connected to his character. Chris Pratt was born to play this role. This film goes into Peter Quill's past and we learn more about Peter's hardships, which are gloomy. This is a much different feel than the first film. Hopefully he will keep on developing this character in future movies.

No words explain how absolutely beautiful the CGI is. I got transported straight into the world where the characters live. Something they incorporated, that we saw in Star Wars: Force Awakens, is transforming an older actor to make them appear younger. In this film, they completely transform Kurt Russell, who plays Ego the Living Planet, into a rockin' 80s version of himself. At first I thought he was a young actor which they made appear older, but it is the complete opposite!

The main theme in this film is family dynamics. We get a zoomed in view of how the team is trying to fix some unresolved family wounds while trying to save the galaxy. We were left off after the first film with Gamora and her sister Nebula wanting to kill each other. In this film, we see how they have evolved as sisters and the layers of their relationship which make this film very relatable for anyone with siblings. The biggest question answered in this film (who is Peter's dad?) is resolved in a huge way.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is a must-see blockbuster of 2017. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18. There is mild cursing and lots of action scenes that might frighten younger children. Adult Marvel fans will adore this film as well. I give this 5 out of 5 intergalactic planets. I am excited for what will come next in this amazing franchise! This film is in theaters now so go check it out!

By Talia Jacnuk, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: REUNION
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: REUNION
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - It's been six years since that summer adventure when Taichi and the rest of the DigiDestined crossed over to the Digital World and nearly three years since the final battle between Hikari's group and BelialVamdemon. And, at some point, while the peaceful days went by, the gate to the Digital World mysteriously closed. But when a Kuwagamon suddenly appears in Odaiba, its rampage leaves the town in ruins, and the people there in turmoil. Taichi chases after it, in an effort to halt its rampage. But there's nothing he can do against a Kuwagamon. Not by himself. And that's where a new adventure begins.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This story takes place six years after the events of the original Digimon Series. New threats to the real world from the digital world occur and it's up our reunited heroes to save us. It's really neat seeing the Digi-destin (heroes) grown up. They are so different from when they were kids. The animation, despite being digitally animated, is quite nice. The sound track is great and really gives you the feel of the older show. I believe this is suitable for ages 6 to 18, but I really enjoyed it as well. I give this great revamp of a classic 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - While I am not a big fan of Digimon (I prefer Pok�mon), I have to say that the animation in this DVD is really well executed. It is very colorful, vivid and very realistic. After a slow start, the plot picks up and brings fans right back into the Digital World full of adventure and battles.

If you were a fan of the Digimon series in the 1990s and early 2000s, then this is the movie for you. Toei Animation and Shout! Factory have reunited the original characters to produce its first animated feature film. It has been six years since Tai and the rest of the "DigiDestined" crossed over into the Digital World. The gate remains closed but new adventures await.

There is a DVD combo pack option that includes both Japanese and English language versions as well as bonus content. The English dubbing is highly professional. Joshua Seth returns as the voice artist for Tayi Kamiya. He is a well-known voice-over artist, not just for his work on the Digimon series, but multiple other anime and video game projects. My favorite character is Angemon (Dave Mallow). I really enjoy the way he voices this character, making him sound creative and quirky.

Digimon Adventure Tri. - Reunion would not be a good place to start if you are new to Digimon, as it picks up where the series left off many years ago. It is best to have at least some understanding of the back story of the characters and storyline or you will not be able to really grasp what is going on. But the message of working together to achieve a common goal is easy to understand. My favorite scene is when Tai and Angemon stand looking over the cliff. This scene is dramatic and relatable and changes the tone of the film.

This is a dramatic, yet lighthearted film reuniting all of the Digimon characters from the original series. I recommend this film for ages 10 to 16 and give this film 3 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD, March 16, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

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

Digimon Adventure Tri.: Reunion is a fun return to the world of Digimon's Digital Monsters with epic battles and powerful Digimon that should definitely appeal to fans of the original series.

Many years have passed since the original show and the characters are now in high school. Tai encounters a strange Digimon that jeopardizes the reputation of the rest of the magical creatures. Tai is reunited with the rest of the Digidestined and they come together with their Digimon to fight against the destructive monsters that Tai encounters. As this threat becomes more hostile, the Digidestined must work together to fight against it.

My favorite part of this film is the climactic final battle. Seeing the Digidestined fight against one common evil is very epic. This scene feels like it has real stakes to it. I honestly was unsure of what would happen next. It is a nice pay-off for what the film has been building up to the whole time. The Digimon really let loose and you finally really get to see the grand scale of their powers onscreen in a rewarding way.

I do not like the ending to this film. It might catch you off guard with an ending that feels abrupt. You could argue that they chose to end it this way because this film has two other sequels, but I think they could have at least added one more scene.

This film is a little confusing. I know little of the Digimon mythos and there is some exposition that I don't understand. However, this series' welcoming nature though makes up for that. Even though I do not know the characters, they interact in a way that made me feel as if I knew them already. I mostly credit the voice cast for this. They have never played these characters before or worked together, but it feels as if they've known each other for a long time and their chemistry feels very much believable.

I give this DVD an age rating of 5 to 14. It's pretty much for all ages and, if you're a fan of Digimon, I highly recommend it. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Fans of Digimon will really enjoy it. You can find it now on DVD so, go check it out.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Runtime: 96 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 21.97
Media: DVD


OCTONAUTS: 12 RESCUE MISSIONS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS: 12 RESCUE MISSIONS
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-8
Description - Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii and medic Peso Penguin, along with the other Octonauts as they explore the world's oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats - above and below the waves! On this exciting DVD, join the Octonauts as they embark on not one, not two, but 12 rescue missions! From attempting to dive deep into the abyssal zone to encountering a school of toothy barracudas to Barnacles seeking guidance from a mysterious sea turtle. It's time to sound the Octo-alert!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a great DVD! The collection not only features a new sea creature every episode, but includes facts about the ocean in general. This show helps children look at the world around them and realize that there are other forms of life that may need our help. The songs are fun and catchy. The characters present many facts about interesting sea life, problems facing our environment and marine life and offer ways in which we can do our part to spread the word and be proactive about positive change. Show this to children to boost their interest in marine life, sea creatures, pollution, global warming, endangered underwater species and much more. The option to choose individual episodes gives you the control to present as much or as little info as you like. Hopefully, kids will use fun and informative media to learn about important issues that we face today and use it to be the change our future depends on. This DVD includes a collection of twelve episodes that teaches lessons about teamwork, diversity, rules, seal life and protecting the planet. It has a main menu that includes Play All Episodes, Play episodes individually and Creature Reports which is an in depth look at the creatures and main songs from individual episodes. The DVD has great visual appeal! The cover is colorful and has a shiny, raised surface. The characters are fun and cute with unique personalities. The production quality is clear, concise and really fun to watch. There are catchy and informative songs that help you retain the information from the episode and will surely stick in your head for the day! The characters' voices are calm and your child is never prompted to yell, scream or shout out answers. In fact, the characters don't talk directly to you. They speak to each other about teamwork, determination, learning and helping other creatures and the environment. The characters are great social models for children. They show diversity in behaviors and personalities and also use teamwork to solve problems together. The interactions are done respectfully and characters with certain stronger skills step in and help out those who could use guidance and support. There are important issues approached in each episode, such as pollution, but they're presented in a way that children are comfortable moving forward with questions and exploring. This show debuted in 2010, so it has perfected its structure and style. It has a clear beginning and end that is easy for children to understand. Each episode averages between 10 to 14 minutes, so it is perfect for short viewings and discussion afterwards. The only unappealing factor in this collection is that there is no female character that actually lead adventures. All the proactive protagonists are male. The two female characters, Tweak and Dashi are generally left behind on the base while the three main male characters take an active role. Unfortunately, it's missed opportunities via media such as this that could encourage girls to pursue an interest in science. Children will enjoy this because of the relatable characters, fun songs, information about sea creatures and grand adventures! I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10. Reviewed by Eli Byerly, KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 160 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-10
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD

CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT CAMPING, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT CAMPING, THE
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 3-8
Description - It's the first day of summer vacation and The Cat in the Hat whisks Nick, Sally and Fish off on the greatest great outdoor camping adventure ever! Our gang gets back to nature as they hike through the Fickle Fern Forest, camp out overnight, trek over Mt. Weewobble and canoe down the Tickle Drop River... just in time for Fish to meet up with his family for a grand reunion. Along for the ride are Little Cats A, B and C, who discover there's wonder in nature once their electronic devices are powered off! Nick and Sally help keep the Little Cats out of trouble, while Fish tries to keep his jacket pressed and the mud out of his fancy fishbowl... all while getting up close to some of nature's most awesome sights, and learning how best to respect them. After being lulled to sleep under the stars by a chorus of animals, the morning brings Everyone agrees it really has been the Greatest Great Outdoors Adventure Ever!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What a great DVD to get you in the mood for the upcoming summer vacation! I'm a big fan of the Cat in the Hat and his shenanigans. This one does not disappoint! It's entertaining for the whole family and children, ages 3 to 9 will love it! I like that all the characters such as the Fish are included in this fun outdoor adventure. It also has a great story line from the beginning to end and it's just so fun to watch. I found myself laughing out loud more than a few times. I also like that it is rather original and the animation and soundtrack are great. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and think that the adults will also enjoy watching this one with their young children. Reviewed by Denise Bloomfield, KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely love all the different things I learned about from this DVD! The animation is spot on for this show which brings out a lot of cool stuff. In this collection, the Cat in the Hat, Nick, Sally, Fish, Thing One and Thing Two are all back for new and exciting adventures about camping. It makes the perfect summer DVD for kids who love Dr. Seuss's terrific characters and stories. I enjoyed watching this so much because it is interesting and enjoyable and shows so many different people from all around the world. I imagine that kids from everywhere will enjoy this since camping is something everyone can do.

My favorite scene features a crafty squirrel who borrows food. We are in the great outdoors and have to remember that humans are in animal territory so, they need to be kind to the animals. The voice actors truly fit their characters, especially Martin Short as the Cat in the Hat. Mr. Short's energetic voice over suits the Cat so well. His voice is very unique which makes his character always so fun, happy, encouraging and knowledgeable. He makes watching the show a treat.

Electronics rule the world today, so camping is great way to get back to nature. Leave the phones at home and go outside and enjoy the world. This is the great lesson on this DVD. I would like to go camping this year for a fun vacation. It might even start a family tradition that my family and I would enjoy - time away from electronics exploring the wonderful world we live in. It is so easy to sit and worry that everything will go wrong, but things tend to always work out. Spend less time worrying and more time enjoying life is a message I took away from this.

There is no fishing on this camping trip since the goal is to take Fish to his family reunion. We see family members coming together from all difference places to get reacquainted with one another and connect in new ways. It is always fun to see our family members from far away, listen to their stories about the past and learn about others in your extended family. I'm going to make this part of my summer plan.

I recommend this DVD for kids ages 4 to 12. You can learn a lot about camping, friendship and family reunions while watching this adventure. It is very catchy and perfect for summer. If you're looking for something to do this summer, then this will give you some wonderful ideas. I give this terrific DVD 5 out of 5 camping adventure stars. This fun DVD is available now so, go check it out.

By Morgan B. B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-10
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


BORN IN CHINA
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BORN IN CHINA
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 4-18
Description - Narrated by John Krasinski, Disneynature's new True Life Adventure film "Born In China" takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden snub-nosed monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard-an elusive animal rarely caught on camera-faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China's vast terrain-from the frigid mountains.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Born in China is a beautifully shot documentary with fun narration, excellent cinematography and an inspiring story. I love the visual splendor of this film and I am still in awe from some of the shots of the vast Chinese landscape.

Narrated by John Krasinski (NBC's The Office, Amazon's Jack Ryan), Born in China chronicles the lives of three animals: Ya Ya, a giant panda who lives surrounded by bamboo and peace with her growing cub, the mischievous monkey Tao Tao who yearns for attention after the birth of his baby sister and later joins a group of outcasts, and the snow leopard Dawa struggling to protect her cubs from predators in harsh conditions. The film also follows the journey of a herd of chiru as they migrate to give birth to their young.

Born in China is one of the rare films that perfectly captures the magic and excitement of nature on screen. Not only does it have footage of some of the cutest animals on earth, but you really get to know some of the animals and their personalities. Also it has great shots of the stunning landscape of China that you're not going to find in any other movie.

John Krasinski is very versatile in his role as narrator. He knows his young audience well and adds some fun dialogue to make it more appealing to them. His narration also goes very well with what is going on onscreen and is key in helping you understand the animals. One flaw is that the subplot with the chiru feels unneeded. Unlike other storylines, there is no main character to gravitate toward or follow. It feels like extra baggage that overcrowds the movie.

One of the best parts is that it demonstrates the animals showcasing basic values we see in society today. The lesson I took away is that the importance of family outweighs everything else, no matter what situation you're in. Tao Tao goes to roam with The Lost Boys because he can't find attention at home but later he learns that those who care for you will be there when you need them.

I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18. It's pretty much suited for all ages, but some animal violence makes it a unsuitable for very young children. It also will be very much enjoyed by adults. I give Born in China 3.5 out of 5 stars. It arrives in theaters just in time for Earth Day, April 22, 2017. Don't forget to stay for the credits for a series of bloopers and outtakes.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


WEDDING PLAN, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WEDDING PLAN, THE
ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-16
Description - After her fianc� calls off their wedding a month before the ceremony, a woman decides to keep the reservation and trusts God will provide her with a husband.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Many people say that they have faith, but how many are willing to give it 100 % and put their family, money, beliefs and trust into the hands of God. This is a fabulous tale of faith and how things can be rough, but you need to buckle down, be kind and try your best to have faith in God and in yourself, no matter what happens. The writing and the acting is brilliant and will have you on the edge of your seat throughout this humorous story.

It is a common human belief that, as we grow up, everyone's goal is to find a mate or someone to spend the rest of their lives with. While Michal (Noa Kooler) is planning her big wedding, she finds out the man she plans to marry does not love her.

Exhausted by dating and trying to find the perfect mate, she puts her faith in God and plans an entire wedding with the faith that a groom will show up by her wedding day. This leads to a string of matchmakers, blind dates, rock stars and many other possible grooms before the wedding day.

The acting is superb and Michal (Noa Kooler) tells her story in the most believable way, showing how difficult it can be to find the perfect mate. I love how Noa Kooler portrays her character with such passion and poise. Her facial expressions are fantastic she really makes you relate to Michal and the way she feels. Kooler deserves an award for her wonderfully portrayal of such a hard-working, honest and opinionated person. Michal is very quirky and honest with everyone she meets. Yos (Oz Zshavi) is a super-cute rock star who Michal meets. Although she wants a groom, it cannot be just anyone. She wants to marry someone for life.

You can see the shock in people faces when she tells them that she is getting married on the eighth day of Hanukah but has no idea who the groom will be. This is why I was fascinated by this movie because you never know until the end whether she will be married or if she will be single forever. I like the music. Adding the lyrics to the screen is a great idea.

One of my favorite things about this story is that Michal travels with a petting zoo. Her job is introducing the animals to the children and letting them hold and pet them. The van that she drives which holds all the animals, adds to the charm of this film. It made me laugh. One of my favorite scenes is Michal's introduction of a snake at a little girl's birthday party when she tries to get them to pet a snake.

The dialogue of the story, set in Jerusalem, Israel is Hebrew and subtitled in English. After a while I didn't even notice that I was reading subtitles because the story is so intriguing and interesting. Every once in a while there were a few points where the subtitles went a little too fast for me. This movie is fascinating and thought provoking. It made me think and laugh at the same time.

I give this 5 out of 5 gigantic wedding bouquets and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because, in order to read the sub-titles, you must know how to read. Also, it is a very intense story and teaches good values such as don't give up, always give 100% or more, always believe in one another, especially God and, even when you think you can't succeed, you need to have faith. It is full of cute outfits, great acting, a stunning cast and an adorable story. It opens in theaters May 12, 2017 so, put it on your to see list.

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


PROMISE, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PROMISE, THE
OPEN ROAD PRODUCTIONS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, The Promise follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated Ana, and Chris - a renowned American journalist based in Paris.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I am definitely going to watch this film again. It is so exotic because it is based on the Ottoman Empire, which not every kid is entirely aware of. The school subject I dislike most is history, but after seeing this film, my mind is forever changed because I am fascinated about how much goes on in the world.

The Promise is set in the Ottoman Empire, in Armenia, the eastern part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Mikael Pogosian (Oscar Isaac) is a young, Armenian medical student who recently married in order to receive an endowment to pay for medical school. He leaves for Istanbul to further his studies. In the midst of his medical endeavors World War 1 breaks out and Armenia is deeply involved in it. When he travels to Istanbul, a mass Armenian genocide is initiated and he has to overcome these obstacles with Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), a woman he begins to fall in love with. Since her husband, Chris Myers (Christian Bale) is not too happy, a love triangle begins to form. Pogosian and Le Bon work together to keep everyone safe and try to leave Turkey and go to the United States.

Oscar Isaac (Mikael Pogosian), the protagonist, puts others first and acts solely on instinct, which is a great quality to possess. Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) has a kind heart and desires to save all of the Armenian children. Chris Myers (Christian Bale) is a reporter for the Armenian genocide and takes great pride in his work. The budget for this film must have been very large because there are hundreds of weapons utilized, many explosions and gunshots and many buildings destroyed. I love that the men ride on horses because horses are one of my favorite animals. It reminds me of history class because, in the past, soldiers rode on horseback.

My favorite part of the film when Ana is teaching Pogosian how to dance with her cousins and Pogosian's cousin walks in. There is complete silence. Not many men dance, so it is entertaining to watch. The message of this film is to be informed about the past and to appreciate all that you have. Living in America, I feel fortunate to be safe and could not imagine what people in countries such as Armenia and Turkey have gone through.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. Since there are many casualties and gory scenes, I recommend this film to children ages 16 to 18 and think adults will enjoy it too. This movie changes how I think. I learned so much from it. If you can watch intense scenes, then you should see it because it will change your life. This film opens in theaters on April 21, 2017. It is a movie that you truly do not want to miss.

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

The Promise, directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Terry George, is a moving love story based in Turkey and Armenia during World War I.

Mikael Pogosan (Oscar Isaac) was born into a simple family, but had dreams of attending medical school in Constantinople. Once there he fell in love with a fellow Armenian, Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), but she was already in a relationship with American Journalist, Chris Meyers (Christian Bale). While The Promise focuses on the relationships between Mikael, Maral (Angela Sarafyan), Ana and Chris, it dives deep into the chaos and destruction of World War I.

The Promise was shot on location in various parts of Spain witch provides a very picturesque backdrop. I feel that the cinematography matches the very deep and compelling nature of this film. It is a period piece from 1914 and the costumes, hair and makeup are very fitting.

My favorite character is Chris Myers. At first he appears abrasive and hardened, but he wins the audience in the end with his selfless acts and overwhelming display of love toward Ana and compassion toward Mikael and all the Armenian people. I was fascinated by his character development. He continually faces struggles, but his burden for sharing the story of the Armenian people is what keeps him strong.

My favorite scene is when Oscar, narrowly escapes from the Turks and ends up hitching a ride on a moving train, only to learn that it is crammed full of Armenians. Even though he struggles to stay alive, he attempts to rescue them, but unfortunately fails.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars. The Promise is way more than a love story. It is a fascinating history lesson that shows the realities of war through raw human emotions. Because of the graphic nature of this film, along with a few love scenes, it is appropriately rated PG-13 and, therefore I recommend it for ages 13 to 18, and I know most adults will enjoy it as well. This film opens in theaters on April 21 so, be sure to check it out.

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

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


POWER RANGERS (2017)
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
POWER RANGERS (2017)
LIONSGATE FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 12-18
Description - High school outcasts stumble upon an old alien ship, where they acquire superpowers and are dubbed the Power Rangers. Learning that an old enemy of the previous generation has returned to exact vengeance, the group must harness their powers and use them to work together and save the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - There have been many movies, shows and stories related to the Power Rangers series, but by far, Power Rangers (2017) beats all other installments in the series. This doesn't mean Power Rangers (2017) is perfect. The film has a fair share of flaws that could have been fixed, but for the most part, it leaves a pleasant and positive impression.

This film has plenty of action, with lots of comedic scenes to illicit frequent giggles from the viewers. Some romance blossoms between the characters and it is filled with a dramatic feel throughout the entire film. The story begins when five kids, despite having no previous connection with each other, all end up at a gold mine, where a strange rock with even stranger coins is revealed. Each of them take one coin and attempt to escape from the mine's security. Sadly, while escaping, they get hit by a train in what would be a lethal crash. Yet, all five wake up the next day completely alive. More important, now they all share super hero strength, can jump really high and more. Soon the five learn that they are the Power Rangers and need to defend a crystal in Earth's crust that allows life to exist on the planet, from an evil woman named Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks).

Power Rangers (2017) has entertainment value and fans of the brand will especially enjoy it. There are many aspects that come out perfectly. My favorite aspect, by far, is the cinematography. Every single shot in the 120 minute run time is wonderful, from twisting shots that give the viewer a first-person perspective, to shots flying through the air to give a sense of scale. Another aspect that the crew achieved successfully are the costumes. The Power Rangers look epic and the reveal of their costumes were cheered by viewers in the theater because of how iconic the designs are. The plot also has many good aspects. They don't give the characters' super powers and super suits at the beginning. For most of the film, you have five teenagers who are clearly mortal. This gives the viewer time to bond and connect with the characters and allows a sense of realism.

The plot does have its downsides. Even to people who have no idea who Power Rangers are, the story is quite predictable. From the first time they give information about the conflict in the story, I knew exactly how the adventure would turn out. One aspect that surprised me was the special effects. The designs of the monsters and robots all look very real and impressive, but their placements in the real world look forced and somewhat fake, and there are many times where it's especially obvious to the viewer. Despite all these flaws, the acting is quite phenomenal. I love the way every character comes to life, and how the actors are able to transform. One character that I thought could be improved is the villain, Rita. The back story in Power Rangers (2017) is very vague, and turns her into another "good guy turned evil and now she is insane" example. This has been overused in movies, especially when it comes to stories about super-heroes. I do appreciate how diverse the background stories of these characters are and how in tune with today's world they are as well.

My favorite scene has to be the compilation of clips where the five realize their powers. Of course, they wake up thinking that the previous night's deadly train crash was simply a bad dream, but they soon start realizing something is very wrong. Not only are the stones from the previous night still in their pockets, but throughout the day, it becomes very clear that their strength has exponentially grown, and they are now stronger and more fit then the strongest people on Earth. I chose this scene because the acting and cinematography work together very well in these clips to show the true confusion on the characters' faces. You really feel like you are part of the scene, instead of simply watching it.

This film has one major change from the older films. It is no longer appropriate for younger kids. They portray Rita in an almost horror-like way (which comes out stunningly) and, there are some scenes with adult language and slightly adult references. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars because of its many flaws, like the special effects, storyline and some of the characters. However, Power Rangers (2017) is still enjoyable to watch and really does justice to the series. It is in theaters now so, go check it out.

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

Saban's Power Rangers is a great romp of Power Rangers' fan service. I found the acting and special effects to be incredible throughout this movie. This will appeal to all Power Rangers' fans. This film is about five teenagers, Jason (Dacre Montgomery), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Billy (RJ Cyler), Zach (Ludi Lin) and Trini (Becky G.), who are all misfits. The five come across stones of the Power Rangers, an order of people who protect Earth, and they take these stones. The next day they wake up with superpowers. They go back to find an underground lair with a robot Alpha 5 (Bill Hader) and a former Power Ranger in the form of a talking wall, Zordon (Bryan Cranston). Zordon warns them of an imposing threat, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks), who has the power to destroy Earth. This group of misfits must learn to overcome their problems to become the Power Rangers and defeat Rita Repulsa.

Dacre Montgomery presents leadership yet also being a troublemaker in his role as Jason (Red Ranger), and instead of falling to the stereotypes of being the bland leader who gives rules, he presents a charisma in his character. Naomi Scott as Kimberly (Pink Ranger) is fantastic in presenting a fierce yet caring Power Ranger. RJ Cyler as Billy (Blue Ranger) is my favorite character in the movie due to his comic relief. Ludi Lin as Zach (Black Ranger) presents a careless, yet quick Power Ranger. Becky G as Trini (Yellow Ranger) completes the team of Power Rangers. Elizabeth Banks can be a little bit too over-the-top with her villainous Rita Repulsa, who is horrifying most of the time but funny in the most unintentional parts.

The direction of the movie by Dean Israelite is fast paced with every character and especially during the action scenes. The special effects by Zoilo Abad are exceptional with the details on the costumes taking the highlight. My favorite scene is the final battle with Rita Repulsa in the Power Rangers' mech suits due to the breathtaking special effects. The movie's message is about teamwork being the solution to the problem because the team is only able to defeat Rita Repulsa by working together as a team and using tactics they learn together. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 due to the intense action and language. This film opens is in theaters now, so go and check it out, if you want a mighty morphing time.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 1

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


FATE OF THE FURIOUS, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FATE OF THE FURIOUS, THE
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game-and the rest of the crew has been exonerated-the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime he can't seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world's stage... and to bring home the man who made them a family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - As a fan of the Fast & Furious series, I really enjoyed the excitement of the fast cars, beautiful scenery and spectacular action sequences in this film.

The opening scene gives a glimpse of the streets of Cuba, in which Dom (Vin Diesel) races an old, raggedy car that belongs to his cousin who is behind in his payments to the loan shark Raldo (Celestino Cornielle) and gets us ready for all the extravagant stunts to come. The stakes are high. The winner takes the opponent's car! Dom shows his expertise and experience as he races the burning car in reverse to victory. He does not take Raldo's car and gives his cousin his car. This is the beginning of the underlying theme of "family" and "loyalty".

All the characters are now older and family and loyalty resonates with them now. The villain, Ciper (Charlize Theron) is a threat to the team's family. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force crisscross the globe to stop Cipher from unleashing chaos on the world's stage.

There are several scenes that demonstrate ingenuity. For example, the street lights are all green. Cars start without a driver and they chase of a submarine in icy cold water. My favorite part is when the team hooks up Dom's car with the determination to save Dom from his rogue actions.

I recommend the film for ages 14 to 18 because of the violence and how scantily clad women are objectified, looked up and down by the camera and there are scenes of a married couple in bed together kissing and being close to each other. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It opens in your local theater on Friday, April 14, 2017 so, go check it out.

By Juanita Seon L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Buckle your seatbelt for the new movie The Fate Of The Furious, an action-packed, block-buster sequel to The Fast and the Furious. I have never watched any of the Fast and the Furious movies and I really enjoyed this. This film seems like it is the beginning of a story and it brings you up to speed on what happened in the past very quickly. So even if you have never seen any of the Fast and the Furious movies, you will know what's happening and be very interested. The tone of this movie is very intense because the action keeps you wondering what is going to happen next.

This movie is about a guy named Dom (Vin Diesel) who betrays his team and goes and fights for another team that does evil things. Dom's old team, led by Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock), has to go fight not only for themselves but also for the world. You have to watch this movie to the end to find out how Dom feels about betraying his team.

The special effects absolutely blew my mind and, I must say, I have never seen better special effects than what's in this film. The cars drive themselves and the action scenes could never happen in real life. They are pure genius. I would have loved see it in 3D because all of the cars and action scenes would have made been that much more intense. If you like funny movies with a lot of action you will definitely love this movie.

The message of this film is to not betray your friends. When Dom goes rogue, his friends start to change and hate him. In real life, this same thing would happen. One thing that bothered me about this movie is that, even though Dom is one of the main characters, he doesn't talk a lot and looks sad most of the time. I didn't really like that and I think the audience would have understood his character better if he had more lines. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 gold stars and recommend this movie for ages 10 to 18 because of some profanity, humor and violence. Adults will also love this movie. It opens in theaters April 14, 2017 so go check it out.

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

The Fate of the Furious is an enjoyable entry into the Fast and Furious franchise that brings exactly what fans want to see: ridiculous action sequences, fun characters and slick new cars.

Directed by F. Gary Gray, The Fate of the Furious opens with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) on their honeymoon in Cuba when his team is called to assist Luke Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) with a mission in Berlin. Dom ruins the mission by going rogue and leaving Hobbs injured on the side of the road. The team soon figures out that Dom is working with a cyber terrorist by the name of Cipher (Charlize Theron). To take down Dom and figure out why he has changed sides, they must enlist the help of old friends as well as new ones.

My favorite part of this film is the jailbreak scene where Hobbs has to stop an old enemy named Deckard (Jason Statham) from escaping prison and wreaking havoc. Seeing two action heroes fighting their way out of prison and preparing to duke it out is exhilarating and had me pumping my fists in the air with excitement. This scene is over-the-top and outrageous but I was having too much fun to care.

I am an outsider to this franchise, having never before seen a Fast and Furious film. I really enjoyed this movie. As this franchise has evolved, it has learned what the fans want to see. By not taking itself too seriously, the cheesy dialogue and slow-mo feel a little more fitting with its lighter tone. The way this film works is that it knows it's absurd and has fun with it.

I don't love the story because it tries to do too much, a common thing in blockbuster movies today. The opening sequence in Cuba is unnecessary. It barely has anything to do with the plot but it does establish the mood and tone. By upping the ante with ridiculous action from the very start, it prepares the audience for what's to come. There are also a lot of characters to follow and sometimes the plot gets a little too ridiculous for comfort. But if you're going to see this film, it's not for a strong story.

Some performances in this film are very funny. Tyrese Gibson is hilarious as Roman. He has a lot of fun with this role and is very energetic. Dwayne Johnson is another standout who delivers an amusing performance. He maintains his action hero persona while also exercising his comedic chops.

The lesson of this film is that you should never turn your back on family. Even when Dom goes rogue, his team never gives up on him. I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18 for its mild language and violence.

I give The Fate of the Furious 4 out of 5 stars. Overall, The Fate of the Furious is a film that should be appealing for outsiders to this franchise as well as those who have been on this ride since the very beginning. This film opens in theaters on April 14th, so be sure to check it out.

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

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


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KUU KUU HARAJUKU: MUSIC BABY
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - From the mind of Gwen Stefani comes the world of Kuu Kuu Harajuku! Say hello to HJ5! A super cool band made of five super cool girls! Love, Angel, Music, Baby and their inspirational leader G love to sing, dance and sport the latest kawaii fashions (Kawaii is "cute " in Harajuku speak)! With help from their loveably incompetent manager Rudie, HJ5 travels all over to put on shows for their fans! Although they are totally talented, every time they start a gig, something wild and crazy happens before they finish the first bar! I mean, it's not easy performing while you are being attacked by space aliens, adorable (and ravenous) monster pets OR hunger (you don't want to mess with Baby when she's hangry). No matter what challenges come their way, they always work together to save the day!
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98
Media: DVD

SONIC UNDERGROUND: VOLUME 2
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SONIC UNDERGROUND: VOLUME 2
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Description - Join Sonic (voiced by Family Matters' Jaleel White), and his siblings, Sonia and Manic, as they fight to be reunited with their long-lost mother, Queen Aleena. In this second and final set of episodes, we return to Robotnik having his sights set upon Queen Aleena's crown jewel, which glows as it moves closer to her. Sonic, Manic, and Sonia plan to recover the jewel before Robotnik, not only to find their mother but also to protect her. Will they succeed? When they aren't battling Dr. Robotnik and his henchmen, Sonic and his siblings make time for their rock band, Sonic Underground. With over seven hours of content, this final set is sure to showcase all the best Sonic episodes from the tunes to the great battles. Based on the popular SEGA videogame character, this Sonic the Hedgehog collection is a must-have for all Sonic fans!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What's most appealing about this title is that it's an animated series based on a video game. A child would enjoy this series because it's visually appealing with vibrant colors and animation. However, I can also see how a child could dislike this series based on the appearance of the characters. For example, the appearance of the villains may frighten some younger children. Each episode flows well, the sound is clear and each one has a beginning, middle and end. The episodes make sense and are quite watchable. The show uses vocabulary and concepts that are suitable for the target age group. Furthermore, this collector's edition includes 20 bonus music videos, which I'm sure children ages 5 to 10 will enjoy as Sonic and his siblings play instruments, dance, and sing catchy songs that kids can dance and sing along with. I'd recommend this series because it's adventurous, entertaining, and action packed. Recommended for ages 5 to 10 and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Geanice G., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

This show is very cheesy, but that's exactly what makes it charming. The animation is pretty good, especially compared to the older Sonic TV series. The story is really great and consists of Sonic and his siblings fighting Dr. Robotnik to find their mother. Due to the subject matter, starting with Vol. 2 takes away from some of the story so, I wanted to watch a copy of Sonic Underground Vol. 1 to watch. I do believe that you will get this best if you watch Vol. 1 before Vol. 2. Once you do that, it is really cute and full of examples of family members looking out for one another and never giving up. Something that I think is really neat is the fact that the set comes with music videos and they are pretty cool. This is a great program for anyone who has been a fan of the Sonic video games. I believe it is best suited for ages 6 to 14 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This series is entertaining. It has its fair share of problems and it is a little cheesy at times, but since I am a Sonic the Hedgehog fan, I may have high standards.

The plot is about Sonic (Jaleel White) and his siblings, Sonia (Jaleel White) and Manic (Jaleel White) who team up, to search for their missing mother, Queen Aleena and to stop the evil Dr. Robotnik. I wouldn't say the animation is amazing, as it is a bit choppy and sluggish at times. However, it isn't the worst animated show to come out in the 90s, as it does have a style and it does feel like it belongs in the Sonic The Hedgehog universe. Also, I find it interesting that Sonic, Sonia and Manic's weapons are magic musical instruments. I really like that decision, as it shows that the series is a more creative and original adaptation.

Speaking of which, the main difference between this show and the games are the two completely original characters who are Sonic's siblings, Sonia and Manic. I found them interesting, but it feels as if they often get pushed aside to let Sonic be the star. I understand he's the main character, but Sonia and Manic don't really get much of a chance to show their personalities. Most of the time, it seems that they are just there to be there. Also, Sonia's voice is kind of irritating. It's super high pitched and nasal, and is somewhat distracting.

This show is an adaptation of the Sonic The Hedgehog series. As an adaptation, it's pretty good. However, it bares more resemblance to the Sonic comic books than the games. It has a similar setting to the comics and some of the characters seem similar. Sonic even looks like the comic adaptation of him, shorter and chubbier.

Sonic The Hedgehog has never really been known for fantastic, well written stories. Sometimes, the games have an engaging story, but writing has never been the focus of the series. So how is the story in Sonic Underground? Actually, not too shabby. The show has a set goal and some actual character development. However, there is only one season, with only forty episodes and that is probably a good thing. If it went on for multiple seasons, the show would probably turn into a wild goose chase looking for Queen Aleena.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13
Runtime: 420 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-10
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


LET'S GO POCOYO: PLAYTIME!
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LET'S GO POCOYO: PLAYTIME!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-6
Description - Pocoyo, the unforgettable little boy with a very big personality, returns with all of his friends, Elly, Pato, Loula, Sleepy Bird, and more, in this new series! Let's Go Pocoyo offers children a unique approach to learning about language through simple, basic vocabulary. This new series of Pocoyo continues to embody the core philosophy of "learning through laughter". By utilizing a blend of humor and learning, Pocoyo inspires and informs children about the world around them. Embark on eleven playtime adventures with Pocoyo and friends as they learn the importance of playtime is enjoying it with others. Enjoy playing hide and seek to playing dress up as pirates! Ahoy there, Pocoyo! Learning through laughter has never been this fun! Plus, each episode includes a refresher section in which children are reminded of key words that have been covered during Pocoyo's adventures such as color, animals, and shapes. Then, at the end of each episode, a catchy music clip will revisit one last time those important new words. Every day is an adventure with Pocoyo and friends!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed the DVD, Let's Go Pocoyo with its kid-friendly scenes, colors and characters. This exciting DVD is filled with fun, educational activities that kids can remember and use during their everyday lives at school or when hanging out with family and friends.

Pocoyo (Alex Marty) is accompanied by his lovely friends Elly, Pato, Loula, Sleepy Bird and many more for a fun and exciting time of playing. The DVD helps preschool children learn languages in a simple and eye grabbing way. This compilation of the series elaborates on learning new vocabulary while laughing along in the adventures. The viewer can join Pocoyo and his friends on 11 playtime adventures as they learn the importance of playing with others!

I really like how the narrator (Stephen Fry) describes what goes on during the playtime sessions. This helps the kids pay attention and interact with the activities that are going on, which is a very positive aspect of this series. I also like how, at the end of each episode, there is a recap of all the words the kids and characters learned in each lesson. What is also good about the recaps is that it addresses the lesson in song, which is another fun way for kids to remember the information they obtained.

The theme of Let's Go Pocoyo: Playtime! is about learning new vocabulary in a fun and entertaining way that helps kids easily remember them. A message that comes through is to remember to have fun, with or without friends. For example, during the first episode, Pocoyo wants to play by himself, but later, he realizes that playing with his friends is more fun because it makes him happier.

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars for its vibrant colors, wonderful cast, educational content, exciting storyline and much more. I recommend it for ages 2 to 6. I encourage parents to sit and watch this lively series with their children to learn how laughter can be incorporated while learning new languages and more. This DVD is available now so, go check it out.

By Imani Baptiste-Green, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

To begin, I want to say that I think Let's Go Pocoyo: Playtime! affects kids in a positive way because it teaches them vocabulary and important life values while still making them laugh and have fun. It is very well produced in such a way as to draw the kids attention and entertain them with all the bright colors and very friendly, fun animals and shapes. I relate to this because, when I was little I watched it and I remember being drawn into the series because of all the entertaining shapes and the great stories with important messages.

The 11 episodes of Let's go Pocoyo: Playtime! all have different stories which have things in common. In each episode, Pocoyo, Pato, Elly and Sleepy Bird go through an adventure that teaches kids basic English vocabulary and life lessons for them to grow up. For example, in one episode, Pocoyo shows up with a box full of toys including building blocks and a puzzle. He decides that he is going to keep all the toys for himself and not share with anyone, not even his friends. He notices that he is doing something wrong by doing this. So later he goes up to his friends, shares the toys with them, and has an even better time in doing so. While teaching vocabulary words, it teaches kids a lesson that they may apply even at their young age.

My favorite part of all the episodes is the ending in each one when they sing a song to recap everything they learned in it. All the vocabulary words and the life lessons are easily presented so a child can remember them. I love this part because it allows the kids a recap of what they just saw and helps them remember everything they just learned.

The most important message that I got from watching this DVD is its emphasis on diversity. It teaches them that no matter how different anyone is, it doesn't make them less of a person or a weird person. If you look closely, all of Pocoyo's friends are different. All of them have different characteristics, traits or something unique that makes them who they are. It makes them special and one of a kind. It's beautiful how this series teaches kids to accept diversity since this is very essential message they will stay with them as they grow up help them be accepting of all different types of people. I rate Let's Go Pocoyo: Playtime! 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5. This is available on DVD now, so be sure to go check it out!

By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 80 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


DINO DAN: DINO GO SEEK
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DINO DAN: DINO GO SEEK
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-8
Description - Join junior dinosaur expert, Trek Henderson as he imagines dinosaurs in the real world! During an indoor game of hide and seek with his friends and Grandma, Trek discovers that Microraptors use their natural abilities to hide with the best of them! Enjoy playing dino go seek and more dino game-filled adventures with Trek and friends!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Although it is animated, the dinosaurs look quite realistic most of the time. I know that when my son was younger, he loved dinosaurs and he would have enjoyed this one because it has interesting facts about them. The acting and script are quite wonderful which makes it interesting and fun to watch. Also, it has great educational value since it teaches kids many things about dinosaurs. It is a perfect length at 60 minutes. I recommend it for ages 3 to 9 and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Dino Dan: Dino go Seek is a very educational DVD for young kids. It contains lots of interesting facts about dinosaurs. Unfortunately, there are lots of plot holes that left me wondering what was going on. I enjoyed the concepts of each episode, but found myself getting somewhat bored. Also, in the five episodes, the same dinosaurs are featured in four of them which I found very repetitive. They don't really change the facts up, so basically three episodes tell the same thing in different ways.

This DVD is a compilation of five episodes that aired on Nick Jr. including Dino Go Seek, Train of Dino's, Robots & Dino's, Dino Clash and Dino Racing. In Dino Go Seek, Trek learns about dinosaurs during a game of hide and seek. In Train of Dino's, Trek incorporates dinosaurs into his friend Penelope's train set. In Robots & Dino's, Trek helps protect a Dromaeosaurs egg using his friend Bobby's robots. Dino Racing is about Trek and his friends having imaginary races between humans and dinosaurs. Finally, Dino Clash Is about Trek and Bobby playing a game and learning about dinosaurs and teamwork.

I really enjoyed how they used CGI dinosaurs over video footage. I couldn't tell if his friends knew he could see dinosaurs or not because in some episodes they talk about it to him and in others they are wishing there were dinosaurs. My favorite episode is Train of Dino's because, it not only uses the usual CGI over video, it also uses stop motion animation in the form of the train set people moving. This is very creative and I love the variety.

The main character Trek is played by Trek Buccino. Jordyn Nergri plays Hannah. Katherine Forrester plays Penelope. Bobby is played by Colin Petierre. His brilliant facial expressions are one of my favorite things. Each episode has its own moral. The clearest message ii in Dino Clash. It is about teamwork because, in the end they have to work together to get to the finish line.

I loved the variety of styles in this DVD so I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I also find it quite informational, so I recommend It for kids who love dinosaurs from ages 3 to 10. I also think parents will probably enjoy watching this with their younger children. It's available on DVD now, so go check it out.

By Rohan Foxe, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


TOMMY'S HONOUR
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TOMMY'S HONOUR
ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - Set against the early days of the sport and stunning landscape of Scotland, TOMMY'S HONOUR is based on the intimate and powerfully moving true story of the challenging relationship between "Old" Tom Morris (Peter Mullan) and "Young" Tommy Morris (Jack Lowden), the dynamic father-son team who ushered in the modern game of golf. As their fame grew exponentially, Tom and Tommy, Scotland's Golf Royalty, were touched by drama and personal tragedy. At first matching his father's success, Tommy's talent and fame grew to outshine his father's accomplishments as founder of the Open Championship in 1860, his stellar playing record, and his reputation as the local caddie master, greenskeeper and club & ball maker. In contrast to his public persona, Tommy's inner turmoil ultimately led him to rebel against the aristocracy who gave him opportunity, led by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews chief Alexander Boothby (Sam Neill), and the parents who shunned his passionate relationship with his girlfriend-then-wife Meg Drinnen (Ophelia Lovibond).
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed this film. It reminds me that golf isn't as easy as it looks. In fact, the sport is rigorous and difficult and, at times, unpleasant and uncomfortable. In the film, players are forced to play through all kinds of weather, including heavy rain and harsh snow. Going into this movie, I wasn't a great fan of golf. However, you don't need to be in order to enjoy the film. The movie combines elements of romance and allure along with a superb storyline which kept my mind stimulated and thinking as I watched the film.

Tommy's Honour tells a story about a father and son who both love the game of golf. Tommy Morris Sr. is considered the game's founding father and Tommy Jr. was the best golfer in the nineteenth century.

One thing that surprised me is how interesting Tommy Jr.'s character is. He is loyal, chivalrous, intelligent and determined. He always perseveres, no matter what obstacles stand in his way. I especially like the scene in which young Tommy chops down the tree. Although heartbreaking to watch, it really showcases his vulnerability.

Also jaw-dropping are the scenery and the locations. Tommy's Honour was filmed in Scotland where the actual story took place. The wide, open oceans and the vast greenery along with the architecture and culture absolutely blew me away. I've always wanted to travel to Scotland, but now, I am driven to go and experience the culture for myself. Scotland seems like an incredible country, with both natural and manmade artifacts and geography that are gorgeous.

The background music also keeps it stimulating and interesting. The music suits the tone of each scene and also puts a very Scottish spin on the movie. Another thing I like is the subtle humor. Although this film is not a comedy, the writers manage to sneak in a few laughs.

I would rate this film 5 out of 5 stars for its incredible storyline and enchanting cinematography and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well. You should know there are some intense scenes. This film comes out in theaters on April 14 so, go check it out.

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

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


SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGE 5-12
Description - In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a roller-coaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Smurfs: The Lost Village is a fun family film full of creativity and good animation. The movie takes kids into a vibrant new world with a new crew of Smurfs. Unfortunately, some bland characters and stale laughs don't live up to the visual achievement of this movie.

Based on the works of Belgian cartoonist Peyo, this film follows Smurfette as she struggles to discover her identity. Smurfette was a lump of clay created by the evil wizard, Gargamel, who is the Smurfs' sworn foe. Whenever she tries to forget the terrible notion that she is not a true Smurf, something happens that reaffirms her of it. One day, while playing with a group of Smurfs, she sees something that may lead to the uncovering of a new faction of Smurfs. Smurfette, Hefty, Brainy and Clumsy set out on a journey together. With Gargamel on their heels, what they find could change the world around them forever.

The animation in this film is vibrant. The creatures in the forest surrounding the Lost Village are colorful and creative. The look and feel of the film overall pays homage to the original comics but also exploits the nuance and richness of modern computer animation techniques.

I don't care for the story in this film. Other than the addition of the Lost Village and its inhabitants, it feels pretty formulaic. The story has a lot of the tropes of the original cartoon and that isn't a bad thing, but the plot is predictable and the antics between Gargamel and the Smurfs in a full-length feature film grow old very fast. I would have liked to see this film take a different path than the adaptations before it, but it plays it safe.

The voice cast of this film includes a broad range of actors from Julia Roberts to Jack McBrayer. The film never really uses these actors to their full potential, sidelining many to bit cameos rather than real roles. Mandy Patinkin is a standout in this film as Papa Smurf, a wise guy who helps the Smurfs when they seek guidance. Patinkin is the perfect choice to play this role. His voice is both soothing and authoritative. Patinkin also has the right amount of charisma to voice this character.

The lesson of this film is that you will not be remembered for what you were good at, but the kindness in your heart. Smurfette has trouble finding a skill that will define her personality unlike her other Smurf pals. But that is not what is important in life. The way people will remember your legacy is by how you treated others. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 10 and you should be aware there is some crude humor. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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

I enjoyed the film Smurfs: The Lost Village because it teaches girls to be strong and confident within themselves. This movie also teaches kids that working together is better than working alone. I don't like that the movie implies there is a relationship between Papa Smurf and Smurfwillow or that it pushes a relationship between Smurfette and Hefty Smurf. This is not needed. I found this movie to not be as funny as the live action ones, which is weird since most children's animated films have a lot of funny moments.

The story is about Smurfette feeling lost and alone because she is the only girl in the village. She also feels like she isn't a real Smurf because she was made by Gargamel, who wants to take all the Smurfs to steal their magic. To save another Smurf Village from evil, Gargamel, Hefty, Clumsy, Nerdy and Smurfette work together to find the lost village and warn them about Gargamel. On this journey they discover the biggest secret in Smurf history and help Smurfette realize the power inside of her, that she is strong and fits in.

The animation in this movie is very detailed. It reminds me of a lot of the claymation in The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is much better than The Smurfs 2 (2013). It seems more animated and not as realistic which adds to the fantasy of being in the Smurf world. The backgrounds are quite pretty and mystical, especially when The Smurfs go to the Forbidden Forest.

The star-studded cast includes Demi Lovato, Julia Roberts, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello and many, many more. Their voice acting is one of the best parts of the film, especially Demi Lovato's voice as Smurfetts. She acts in such a docile manner but still projects the strength of girl power.

My favorite character is Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) who is the funniest characters. I can relate to Clumsy in that I too am very clumsy. I always manage to trip over some object. I also really enjoyed the character Brainy (Danny Pudi) who is another funny character. I admire how he relies on his books for most of the movie, but gets over listening to how things should be and just cherishes living in the moment.

The message of this movie is all about team work and how girls are powerful. I recommend this movie to ages 5 to 7 and give this a 3 out of 5 stars. This film comes out April 7, 2017 in theaters nationwide so, check it out.

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

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


GOING IN STYLE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GOING IN STYLE
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A reboot of the 1979 movie that was directed by Martin Brest and featured George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg. Three seniors, who are living social security check to check and even reduced to eating dog food at times, decide they have had enough. So, they plan to rob a bank...problem is, they don't even know how to handle a gun! A social commentary on growing old in America and what we are sometimes driven to, due to circumstances.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I was really looking forward to seeing this film because of its stellar cast and the heist theme, which I'm particularly fond of. And, I must say, I was not disappointed in the least. Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Ann-Margaret all deliver credible and mildly hysterical performances. It's an absolute hoot whether you are 60, 40, 20 or younger. The line: It's a culture's duty to take care of its elderly" makes a poignant statement. The underlying theme, about robbing a bank because the bank and the company that you slaved away for 40 years, touches an all too true scenario in today's retiree experience. I'm not saying you should go rob a bank but seriously, seniors are being robbed of what is due them in ever expanding numbers and it's not a good thing. Nice to laugh about the situation. Highly recommended. 5 out of 5 stars, recommended for ages 10 to 18.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Out of all of the movies that I have seen this year, this movie is by far the funniest. Within five minutes, my stomach hurt because I was laughing so much.

I love a comedic plot and Going In Style is exactly that - three older men try to rob a bank to obtain a better life. These lifelong friends, Willie, Al and Joe, are having personal struggles. Willie (Morgan Freeman) desperately needs a new kidney. Joe (Michael Caine) is losing his home. And, Al (Alan Arkin) is just pressured into robbing a bank. Joe thinks of making the idea a reality once their pensions are cancelled. Inspired by a robbery the men witnessed, Willie, Joe and Al are optimistic they can steal their deserved pension money, but are going to need help.

Morgan Freeman's portrayal of Willie is incredible. Given that Willie needs a new kidney to better his life, Freeman's despair is heart-wrenching and he connects with the audience in a unique way, because he remains hopeful that he will feel better in the near future. Michael Caine really suits the role of Joe whose fearless personality helps accelerate the success of the robbery. Alan Arkin plays Al who acts innocent at first, but once the robbery becomes a reality, you see his wild side emerge and it is quite hilarious.

The costumes worn by Willie, Joe and Al are extremely entertaining. They wear masks that resemble famous people! In addition to this, the bank they plan to rob is very fancy. Seeing famous people walk into an elegant bank with guns and large bags is humorous to watch. My favorite part is when Joe and Willie are watching television and The Bachelorette comes on. This scene had me laughing the entire time because I am a such a Bachelorette fan. Seeing these older men discuss Kaitlyn Bristowe's final pick was unexpected, but gave me a good laugh.

The message of this film is to chase after your dreams, no matter how old you are. If 70 year old men can rob a bank, then you can too. All humor aside, the film illustrates that nothing is impossible and you can better your life if you want to. Hands down, this film deserves 5 out of 5 stars. There are a multitude of jokes, action scenes and the motivation that these three men possess to reunite with their families and better their lives is so strong. It motivates me to jump over any obstacle in my way and complete any task I need to. I recommend this film to kids ages 13 to 18, because it leaves you with a smile on your face. Even though it is about robbing a bank, kids know to not replicate that, so I'm not concerned about them heading out to rob their neighborhood bank. There are a few shooting scenes, so please be mindful about who goes to see this film. Adults will love this film as well, because they can relate to the personal issues these men face. This film opens nationwide on April 7th, 2017. It has something for everyone and if you have never seen three older men rob a bank, you definitely should.

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

Going in Style is a good remake of the 1979 movie of the same name. I found the acting and humor to be funny and it will definitely appeal to all heist movie fans.

This movie is about three elderly people, Willie (Morgan Freeman), Joe (Michael Caine) and Albert (Alan Arkin), whose pensions have been frozen by a corrupt bank. Joe has an idea to rob the corrupt bank. Despite initially disagreeing, Willie and Albert agree to the plan. However, the three have a long way to go and they must face training to pull off the heist.

Morgan Freeman as Willy presents a supportive friend with health ailments and expresses his love for his granddaughter with whom he communicates by internet. Michael Cane as Joe is the one who comes up with the plan and is very impressive because of his willpower to not lose his home. Alan Arkin as Albert is my favorite character as he steals the show with his charm and wit. Matt Dillon as Hamer portrays an intelligent cop who wants to track down these bank robbers.

The direction by Zach Braff is slow paced in the beginning and becomes fast paced towards the end. The movie seems to the drag a lot in the beginning but it comes around. My favorite scene is the chase after they rob a local convenience store. It is very hilarious and comedic.

The movie's message is to never underestimate a person by their age or looks because the three friends are able to pull out an impossible heist in spite of their age and health issues. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 due to some scenes involving drugs and some language. This film opens in theaters on April 7th, so go and check it out.

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

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


GIFTED
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GIFTED
LIONSGATE FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old's mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank's formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary's landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary's teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Gifted is a story with not a lot of surprise elements, but it wins the audience over with its powerful statement, outstanding acting and stunning cinematography. Mainly, Gifted has a very dramatic storyline. However, Gifted offers much more then that. Viewers also get a subplot of romance, friendship and strong family values as well as some comedy here and there to keep a dramatic movie light.

The plot begins when Mary Adler (Mckenna Grace) starts first grade. She isn't like the other kids in her class. Her teacher, Bonnie (Jenny Slate) soon learns that Mary turns out to be a genius in mathematics. She can easily do equations higher than high school level. Despite her clear giftedness, Mary's uncle, Frank (Chris Evans) refuses to put Mary in a school for gifted children, trying to keep the girl's life normal. Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), Mary's grandmother insists on making her do mathematics around the clock and training her to be a math prodigy. What follows is a custody battle between the two for Mary.

My favorite scene really stands out due to remarkable lighting and camera work. The scene really doesn't contribute to the plot, but the cinematography makes it one of the most excellent in the film. The scene shows Mary riding on Frank's shoulders. Behind them, a giant sunset completely fills the sky. The lighting from the setting sun comes out stunningly dazzling. Even though it doesn't add to the complexity of the story, the scene is very impressive and demonstrates the closeness of the uncle and his niece.

One of Gifted's weak points waters down to the story. Even though the film is unique from other stories about genius kids, by focusing on the family values and relationships instead of Mary's exceptional mathematical skills, it still comes out very predictable and rather simple. The main conflict never really feels like a major issue but rather, just a side story. Despite those issues, Gifted still entertains through the acting. All the actors deliver outstanding performances. Mckenna Grace, despite being only 10-years-old, completely steals the show. Never does the acting feel forced and the actors seem to authentically connect with their characters and have a true bond on-screen.

There are a few adult references in the film, but nothing too worry about. I recommend this for ages 8 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars because, although the story needs work, the acting and cinematography make Gifted a very entertaining and memorable film. This opens in theaters April 14 so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE, THE
FOCUS FEATURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - The time is 1939 and the place is Poland, homeland of Antonina Zabinski and her husband, Dr. Jan Zabinski. The Warsaw Zoo flourishes under Jan's stewardship and Antonina's care. When their country is invaded by the Nazis, Jan and Antonina are forced to report to the Reich's newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck. The Zabinskis covertly begin working with the Resistance and put into action plans to save the lives of hundreds from what has become the Warsaw Ghetto.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is truly incredible because it shows how kind hearted people are. Given that the movie takes place in Poland during World War II, there is a lot of tension among the Jewish and German residents because the Jewish Holocaust is occurring. But, the main characters, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, still manage to take care of their zoo and try to keep the animals safe.

In the midst of World War II, Adolf Hitler's power permeates in Poland, specifically in the Warsaw ghetto, where there are many Jewish inhabitants. Living in Warsaw is Antonina Zabinski (Jessica Chastain), her husband Jan Zabinski (Johan Heldenbergh) and their son. They are in charge of the Warsaw Zoo, where any animal you can imagine lives. Bombs are hitting the Warsaw Zoo, killing many of the animals. The zoo is almost completely destroyed, and the Zabinski's decide to use it as a Jewish sanctuary.

Jessica Chastain's portrayal of Antonina is quite believable. Antonina is a beautiful woman who loves animals more than she loves herself and she does her best to ensure that everything goes as planned. Johan Heldenbergh, who plays Jan, is very brave. He acts as an assistant to a German soldier and looks for creative ways to transport the Jews to safety. They put their lives on the line to save others, which truly is remarkable.

The Warsaw Zoo looks astonishing. It is huge! There are so many beautiful trees, and there are animals walking around with Antonina. I want to now have my own zoo someday!

My favorite part of the movie is when Antonina is riding her bicycle and she calls her camel to walk alongside her. This camel is hilarious because he makes strange noises and he hops so quickly. He acts as a police patrol for the zoo, which I think is extremely funny.

The message of this film is to help others. Antonina and Jan Zabinski try to help hundreds of Jews stay safe and do not put themselves first. Antonina and Jan live in imminent danger themselves and all they can focus on is making a difference, which I admire greatly.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. It is so inspiring and there are animals in it, for which I have a great soft spot. Given that there are many casualties among animals and people, I recommend this film to ages 14 to 18 as well as adults. This film is not afraid to depict historical reality, so it may be difficult to watch some scenes, but this movie is now one of my favorites. Watch this film if you enjoy history and films that are based on true stories. It comes out on March 31, 2017 in theaters so, make sure to keep your eyes open for it. It is a movie you certainly don't want to miss.

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

I really enjoyed The Zookeeper's Wife. It is a real-life story about love and caring under extreme conditions in the midst of war. Antonina Zabinska and her husband, Dr. Jan Zabinski, are so brave and generous. They saved the lives of almost 300 Jewish people by hiding them in their basement under their zoo during the German invasion in Poland in WWII. This movie was moving and beautifully done, but there are some scenes that were a little too intense for me.

The plot is a true story that occurred during the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in 1939 to1945. The Warsaw Zoo, owned by the main characters, is bombed and so many animals unnecessarily slaughtered. The brave owners rescued and protected hundreds of local Jewish people from the Nazis. The main character is Antonina Zabinska (Jessica Chastain). She is the leader of this establishment and comes up with the idea to hide the Jewish people. The film tells a wonderful true story about this modest woman who accomplished an amazing feat.

The message is that an unassuming woman was able to save many human lives even though she would have been killed instantly by the Nazis if they knew she had sheltered these people. She does everything in her power to ensure almost everyone's safety. I love how Jessica Chastain portrays Antonina. She remains calm about the situation and believes it is going to work out okay for everyone. Even though she is nervous about the advances of the Nazi zoologist Heck, she still tries to manage her nervousness when in front of the children. She has tremendous strength of character.

What really stood out for me was the opening scene when you see two cute lion cubs sleeping with a young child and her mother watching lovingly over them. Juxtaposed with that adorableness is a scene later where many of the animals are killed by the Nazis. It is extremely shocking and sad to see these beautiful animals so needlessly slaughtered. Another very intense, but effective scene is when two Nazi soldiers are flirting with a young teenage girl and then, you see the girl beaten up and blood running down her leg. Even though the attack on the girl is not shown, the aftermath of the rape shows the cruelty of the Nazis.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars because it effectively tells a beautiful, true story about the power one woman's loving heart. This movie contains intense scenes, so I recommended it for kids 13 to 18. This film is in theaters now so, check it out.

Reviewed by Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

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


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017)
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Disney's animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Beauty and the Beast, directed by Bill Condon is a whimsical yet captivating film that I highly adored watching. This live action film has made my "Top 10 List" due to its incredible singing performances, marvelous set designs and accuracy of the original Disney story. As a Disney fanatic myself, I absolutely love that this film has the power to take me back to my younger days.

Daughter of a wise and humble merchant (Kevin Kline), Belle (Emma Watson) is a bright and independent young lady who will be taken as a prisoner by a monstrous beast (Dan Stevens) in place of her elderly, caring father. As prisoner of the Beast in his cold dark castle, Belle soon builds a strong bond with the talking enchanted objects of the castle. Who will help break the lasting "forever curse" by bringing the Beast and Belle closer? Belle learns to look past the frightening physical appearance of the Beast and looks upon his caring gentle soul. But, will this be enough to break the lasting forever curse upon the castle and the Beast?

Incorporated as a live action film from Disney's original animated film, Beauty and the Beast, the whole cast delivers exquisite performances portraying each unique and iconic character. The caring, yet brave Belle is played by the talented actress Emma Watson. Watson has appeared in numerous films including the Harry Potter films, My Week with Marilyn and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Dan Stevens, known from Legion TV Series deftly portrays the terrifying Beast, a difficult character to play due to its temper.

From the songs, to the set designs, this film has it all. I truly appreciate and love that they took the 1991 Disney classic and turned it into a live action film. This is something that has not been seen before and was well directed by Bill Condon (Mr. Holmes, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and 2, Dreamgirls). Being a huge Disney princess fan, I am highly pleased with the accuracy of this live action version. The costumes, songs, characters and plot are all very accurate. It made me feel as if I was in a Disney story book.

One of favorite things about this film and the story of Beauty and the Beast itself, is the message it depicts - that of looking past the physical and looking within. This is a moral that every viewer can learn from. The film is very successful in massaging this message and the audience will easily relate to the moral as the film unfolds before their eyes.

This enchanted, unbelievable film deserves 5 out of 5. I highly recommend it to families, young children and Disney fanatics. Kids and adults both will enjoy watching it and singing along with the iconic songs. You can catch Beauty and the Beast when it opens nationwide on March 17, 2017. Reviewed by Maria G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

It has been 26 years since Disney released the animated film, Beauty and the Beast. Now, we have a remake with a slightly updated story, stunning visual effects, beautiful acting and an epic soundtrack. Here is another attempt to convert an animated film into a live action film. The classic fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast is predominantly a romance and, just like the original animated film, this one also has a strong comedic take with lots of funny scenes. There are also a hand full of scenes that are quite the opposite. These are filled with heart-wrenching drama that make you either hate or love the characters and get sucked into the story.

Beauty and the Beast (2017) is pretty much a carbon copy of the 1991 animated film. Belle is a beautiful but smart village girl who goes into the woods after her father goes missing. She discovers a cursed castle full of inanimate objects brought to life and a hateful prince turned into Beast. The Beast has locked up her father and she takes her father's place, being sentenced by the monster to live in the castle with him forever. The Beast's curse can be removed though. All he needs to do is to fall in love with someone and that person needs to love them back. The Beast and Belle start falling in love in what seems an impossible romance at first. There are challenges, as Belle still feels she is a prisoner and the townspeople think the Beast is a monster that needs to be destroyed.

The previous Disney live-action remake was the classic Cinderella (2015). It suffered from the same problem as this one - the fact that an animated film is different from a live action film. The story, musical numbers and character interaction all feel much more real in a live action film, which causes fantasy love stories to lack credibility. Cinderella suffered from this problem and Beauty and the Beast is also affected by this challenge. However, its creators did a much better attempt at addressing the issue. Instead of simply taking a story and using a camera instead of a drawing pencil, the writers incorporated more intricacies to the plot than were in the 1991 version. There are back stories about the characters which enhanced and refined their personalities and made the plot richer. This allows for a film that isn't just a spin off on a 25-year-old animated film, but a truly enjoyable story on its own.

The film's quality is superb and the acting is a big plus. Two actors who stand out the most are Luke Evans (Gaston) and Josh Gad (Lefou). They are absolutely spectacular together and Disney generously incorporates some changes to Lefou from 1991, which shows him being slightly in love with Gaston. This change adds a lot of fun and silly moments. Emma Watson (Belle) also delivers a stupendous performance as Belle, although the my favorite Belle is that played by Paige O'Hara. Emma Watson's Belle doesn't seem like a main character, but more of a supporting one. There is no strong presence as we saw in the 1991 version where Paige's performance makes it apparent that Belle is the star along with the Beast. The rest of the cast performs wonderfully and bring the characters to life, with some slight changes to keep the film fresh and new.

The film's two strongest points are more technical. The cinematography and special effects are outstanding. The Beast looks very real and has immense detail, from his facial expressions, to his fur. The castle, magical servants and landscape are the pure definition of eye candy, and are the most beautiful parts of this film. This integrates perfectly with unique and spectacular cinematography that really does the film version justice. Another part that I commend the sound designers and mixers for is the music. The entire soundtrack plays impeccably with every scene and the musical numbers are extraordinary.

Out of all the wonderful cinematics and special effects, I would choose one musical number as my favorite scene - the Gaston number. In this scene, Lefou sings a song and gets the entire village to join in - about how great Gaston is. Not only does the song come out as entertaining, but the scene has fantastic visuals by everyone participating and truly brings justice to the scene. I prefer this version of the song over the original, which doesn't happen often with the remakes.

In general, this film, from its comedy, to its story, is meant for kids. This doesn't mean adults won't enjoy it. The nostalgia alone makes Beauty and the Beast an entertaining film and, dozens of times in the film, there are small references that adults can truly appreciate and enjoy. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 and believe adults will enjoy it as well. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars because it does outdo any other film this year in visuals, acting, music, cinematography and plot, but has some weak acting and still feels a bit like a forced conversion from animation to live action. Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Age 14

Disney has done it again! I was enchanted as I watched Disney's live-action remake of the 1991 animated classic, Beauty and the Beast. This film is different enough and certainly strong enough to stand on its own, and much better than the remake of Cinderella. Meet Belle (Emma Watson), who is a young woman who loves to read. She feels different because no one in her village knows how to read. They choose not to and treat her as if she is the oddball because of it. All she wants is an adventure. One day, her father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), gets taken and imprisoned by the Beast (Dan Stevens) in his remote castle. Belle searches for her father and finds him. To free her father, she exchanges her freedom for his and stays in the castle with the Beast. She starts to befriend everyone in the castle and she begins to develop a friendship with the Beast. If you want to know what else happens, you should go see the movie.

I enjoyed this movie because as soon as you see Emma Watson in action, you are enchanted by how she brings Belle to life. Her portrayal of the Disney princess, Belle, is perfect. I have never seen Ms. Watson sing before, and she sings considerably well. Dan Stevens is hilarious as the grumpy Beast. The CGIs are outstanding, especially the Beast. It is incredible how he transforms. I also like how they designed all the talking objects. Lumi�re, the candelabra (voiced by Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth, the pendulum clock (Ian McKellen) and Garderobe, the wardrobe (Audra McDonald) all look like real talking objects and are very comedic. On another note, the soundtrack is beautiful. I love the song, Beauty and the Beast by Ariana Grande and John Legend.

The only things I don't like about this movie are the few scary scenes. Because of them, I don't recommend this to younger kids. Some other scenes are a bit dark also. This is a know-your-kid kind of movie. Something interesting I want to point out is that one of the characters is gay (although if your blink you might miss the quick reference) and I like that Disney is trying to add more diversity in their films.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this to the ages 8 to 18 and I think adults might like it as well. I recommend this to people who like action, adventure, adaptations, family and Disney movies. Make sure to see Beauty and The Beast which comes out in theaters nationwide on Friday, March 17. This is definitely a must see and you won't regret watching at the theater. Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


UNITED KINGDOM, A
KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
UNITED KINGDOM, A
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A United Kingdom is the true story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana (David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London, which caused an international uproar when they decided to marry in the late 1940s just as apartheid was being introduced into South Africa. It was a decision that altered the course of African history.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A United Kingdom is a film that is very much in love with its own story. Director Amma Asante is obviously very passionate about the subject of this movie, which is about how a biracial couple in 1940s Africa nearly tears apart an entire village and breaks down the relationship of colonial Britain and Africa. We feel Asante's passion for racial equality, and social justice. We clearly see how adamant she is about doing what is right for a nation, rather than fattening one's own greedy pockets. That's all very evident. However, the one thing Asante fails to do, and a glaring mistake of the film, is that she ignores the core of the relationship between the two main characters involved.

David Oyelowo (Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) play the interracial couple. They are both very invested in their moments and the actors both allow their care for this story to show through their performances. However, their relationship is not at all developed. I found myself caring more for the people of the village than their relationship. The issue as I see it is that Director Amma Asante skipped past all of the expositional development stage of their relationship. About 20 minutes into the movie we are already in Africa and the conflict of the story has already changed. It changes from 40's race relations in Britain, to diplomatic struggles between Africa and Britain. But we never truly get to know these people.

Pike plays Ruth Williams, the white Londoner. And, Oyelowo plays Seretse Khama, the King of Botswana. We quickly see how they meet, how they feel, what their families and friends think and then they're married and are in Africa. But we're missing something very essential when it comes to a successful cinematic relationship and that's relational conflict. Despite the fact that Ruth's family is against their marriage and so is Seretse's, we don't how they're affected by it. There's never a moment of problem between the two of them. Essentially, we never see the events in which their relationship is strengthened by adversity before they're off to Africa. That poses an issue going into the second act because, all of a sudden, we're given new conflicts, characters and situations. And, we have to fill in the blanks and imagine that their relationship is one worth fighting for.

However, once we get to Africa and the colonial conflict starts as well as the conflict within Seretse's family, we're caught up to speed. Asante takes us on a plot of cheer and disappointment and we are never for a moment bored. We're never not entertained and we get sucked into their story and applaud the wars they win amidst the battles they lose. For those reasons, I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It can be seen at a local theaters now.

Reviewed by Willie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

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


KONG: SKULL ISLAND
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers unites to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I saw this last week and have to say that it is definitely an amazing work visually. The special effects teams have truly outdone themselves with their extravagantly detailed Kong and other gigantic creatures. In terms of storyline, meh! Performances are also so so with the exception being John C Reilly's performance. He walks away with the show in my humble opinion. Samuel L. Jackson's character is probably the second most interesting although he transitions from a slightly crazy war hero to a maniac without a logistical means of doing so. It was good to see John Goodman in his older and fitter self and Tom Hiddleson's persona is somewhat believable. Brie Larson's role as a war photographer didn't really deliver much except for one scene that I predicted but won't comment on as that would be a spoiler. I enjoyed the soundtrack, especially Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit - took me back to the 70s and the Vietnam War era. Note to vans: sit through all the credits for a message at the end. I still enjoyed it and would take anyone who is into monster movies. It does deliver that! Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kong: Skull Island is a fun sci-fi movie which is a breathtaking visual treat. I really found the direction and special effects to be fantastic in this movie. This will appeal to all those sci-fi fans.

This movie is about a diverse group of travelers which includes former British Special Air Service Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), an anti-war photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), a government agent Bill Randa (John Goodman), a seismologist Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), and an army led by Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) who head to Skull Island. Upon arriving, they are attacked by Kong, a huge gorilla, who destroys their helicopters and splits the team up. Packard wants revenge for the men he lost in the helicopter crashes, and he wants to kill Kong. Conrad and Weaver realize a bigger threat known as the Skullcrawlers lurk beneath them. The only one who can protect them is Kong, and only he can ensure the team's safety in escaping the island.

Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad heroically represents a soldier. Brie Larson as Mason Weaver is very impressive as a bold photographer. John C Reilly as Hank Marlow, a war veteran, is my favorite character in the movie due to his comic relief and interesting backstory. Samuel L Jackson as Preston Packard brilliantly expresses his revenge with his angry facial expressions.

The direction of the movie by Jordan Vogt-Roberts is unique and really captures the vibe of the 1970s. His filmmaking emphasizes on the smaller things more than the big things, and this is an interesting new concept. This is primarily used whenever we see Kong especially in the first Kong encounter. The focus is more on Kong's face than just his whole body, and this adds tension. Also, the special effects done by Chris Brenczewski really added detail to the monsters, and it made them look real. The scene that I liked the most in the movie is the final fight scene between Kong and a big Skullcrawler, and it was absolutely a blast due to it being a hand to hand combat scene which was fun to watch. My only problem with the movie is the characterization. While everyone does a fine job with the part they are given, their characters just feel like bland stereotypes. I didn't find myself caring for anyone other than John C. Reily's character who has some interesting story beats.

The movie's message is to not mess with nature because if these travelers didn't attack Kong's territory, then he wouldn't have attacked them in the first place. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18 years old as it may be scary for younger audiences due to the intense action and language. This film opens in theaters on March 10th, so go and 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


LOST CITY OF Z, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LOST CITY OF Z, THE
AMAZON.COM
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - The Lost City of Z tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as "savages," the determined Fawcett - supported by his devoted wife, son and aide de camp returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed The Lost City of Z, an interesting nonfiction film that highlights certain aspects of history from the viewpoint of an explorer in the 1900s. The film is based on true events, revealing the history of the lost city.

The Lost City of Z explains the tale of British Explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who finds various artifacts that prove to be evidence of a lost city that once resided in the Amazon. His findings and beliefs are ridiculed by many who do not want to believe that there once was an advanced civilization where savages live today. Eager to prove them wrong, Fawcett travels into the Amazon multiple times with his aide de camp Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson) and his son Jack Fawcett (Tom Holland).

The setting of the film captured my interest with its realistic Amazonian look, luscious plant life, rapid rivers and villages portrayed throughout. I was mesmerized by the attention to detail. Additionally, the tribes who are described as "savages" are played marvelously and their cultures are depicted accurately. The history shown throughout The Lost City of Z is displayed in an interesting way, making the history fun to learn and easy to understand.

The Lost City of Z displays the courageous acts of Percy Fawcett in his historical exploration. His ambition and bravery is excitingly portrayed as we delve into the history of a past civilization. I absolutely recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and think adults will enjoy it as well. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. This film opens in theaters nationwide on April 21 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Lara Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


KIKORIKI. LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KIKORIKI. LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 8-15
Description - The lovably simple residents of peaceful Kikoriki Island are thrown kicking and screaming into big adventure when their resident scientist invents an amazing device (a helmet called "the Improverizor") which takes personality traits from one person and swaps them with someone else's! But when spineless young Wally tries to use the untested device to cure his cowardice, he ends up even more spineless: by getting accidentally body-switched with a squirmy little caterpillar. Now he's got more to fear than he ever dreamed, and so do his fellow villagers, as they're dragged into a madcap adventure packed with plane crashes, mistaken identities, erupting volcanoes and angry natives on the warpath. Boy, do the Kikoriki crew wish they could switch places now: with anyone!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Kikoriki is about a character named Wally trying to cure his cowardly ways by using a local scientist's invention which allows you to swap personalities with someone else. Wally accidentally switches personalities with a caterpillar and things really take off from there. It's lovely seeing Wally wanting to be himself again and working so hard to get there. I personally thought this was funny. This is one of those kids movies that attempts to keep adults engaged as well as their children. Between having a random celibacy joke and polite kid curse words, it really draws all ages in. I feel that this is most suitable for ages 5 to 12. I have a 13-month-old who was glued to the screen and I have a 15-year-old who giggled at the jokes as well. I give this program a 4 out of 5 stars just because I feel the light adult humor and the visuals do not always match up. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon is a family-friendly animated film based on the television series GoGoRiki. Directed by Dennis Chernov and originally voiced by Russian actors, this film is one of two DVDs that are being brought to American audiences by Shout! Kids Factory.

The story begins with the local scientist creating a machine called the "Improverizer" which swaps people's personalities. But something goes terribly wrong when a young coward, Wally, gets hold of the device. Wally's friends and other Kikoriki residents take a journey to help him return to his original body. It is a tale about finding yourself, learning to trust your own instincts and not rely on silly mechanisms like an "Improverizer" in order to change and grow and develop friendships.

The animation is done with CGI (Computer Generation) and is colorful and esthetically pleasing. Each of the characters are based on different animals and their personalities are very fitting. Their bodies are egg-shaped and the DVD actually includes an egg decorating kit so you can make your own Kikoriki villagers at home. The animation looks very cartoony and fun, but some times I did feel the storyline was a bit slow. As an illustrator myself, I found the landscaping and various imaginative backdrops were my favorite part.

My favorite character is Wally. Wally starts off as a coward and tries to use the "Improverizer" to change his personality. In the end he learns that bravery comes from within. I found myself laughing several times during the film.

I feel Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon is appropriately rated PG due to some rude humor and mild peril. It also includes a few adult references and jokes, but nothing so noticeable I feel a younger child would pick up on. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 12 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. It came out on DVD, March 7, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

KikoRiki: Legend of the Golden Dragon is a funny animated film featuring lots of bright and hilarious characters. I like how it has lots of jokes referencing other films. It is a very interesting film with a cool animation style. I like how it includes lots of zany contraptions that make me laugh. It has an entertaining story filled with prophesies, volcanoes, treasure and jokes.

In the story, a young sheep named Wally gets tired of being a scaredy cat so he uses one of the town's scientist's inventions to get courage. He trips and accidently misuses the device and ends up in a caterpillar's body. Meanwhile, the other residents of KikoRiki Island are taking a plane trip when their plane crashes and are lost. They find the native chameleon's village and discover that Wally's caterpillar-controlled body is worshiped as the golden dragon spoken of in a prophesy. Wally gets the same information from some hilarious treasure hunters and both groups try to get his body back.

This film is very funny and has very colorful characters. The story has many twists and turns that keeps it exciting entire time. I especially enjoyed how they have a slow buildup of action throughout the film, not all in one place. This film's moral is to think highly of yourself. They also emphasize how you can do anything if you believe, friendship is important and good always comes out on top. I feel these are important morals because they teach a lot about self-respect.

My favorite part of the DVD is when the what the characters are playing happens in real life. This is hilarious and shows that the writers have great imaginations. I also strongly enjoyed the part where Wally becomes a caterpillar because it s like a Rube Goldberg machine which I find very entertaining.

I really enjoyed this film. It is very entertaining and funny. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15. I also think parents will enjoy this. It is available now on DVD so, check it out.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.96
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


MACK & MOXY: ADVENTURES IN HELPEELAND!
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MACK & MOXY: ADVENTURES IN HELPEELAND!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Description - Join Mack, a blue moose with a heart of gold and two left feet, and Moxy, a perky pink raccoon, on four new exciting adventures! Watch Mack & Moxy rescue another Great Helpee in a far off mystical place called HelpeeLand. In the first adventure, Mack & Moxy start a lively game of foursquare at the HelpeeLand School. When a disagreement develops over who won, Trooper Sydnee suggests Rock, Paper, Scissors to settle the dispute. It works like a charm except for one problem Shelfish Sheldon (played by Hank Azaria) is about to snatch the Great Helpee and keep all its happiness for himself. Guest celebrity, Simone Biles (Olympic Gymnastic Gold Medal winner), helps the Heroes on their mission. Three more adventures introduce kids to subjects like autism, buckling-up for safety and eating healthy foods. Other guest celebrities featured include Keegan Michael-Key (The Angry Birds Movie, Key & Peele), Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn 99) and Matt Lucas (Little Britain, Alice Through the Looking Glass). In the episode, A Spectrum of Possibilities, Trooper Charlie is a wonderfully talented boy who lives with autism. Mack & Moxy teaches children life-long lessons of charity and compassion while celebrating the joy of helping others.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD has a beautiful way of explaining and expressing important ways of helping children understand some of life's complicated issues. Friendship, honesty, tolerance, patience, healthy eating habits, dancing, singing, playing together, solving conflicts and working together are not always easy for children to understand and the Mack & Moxy series really helps parents instill good values in their children and helps parents find ways to teach these qualities to their children in a playful, colorful yet firm way. A must for all parents! The topics discussed, the music, the lyrics, the funny and unusual characters, and the vibrant colors are all spot on and will all appeal to children. Each story has a great topic and the characters are lively, honest, funny, believable and colorful. Each segment concentrates on a powerful message to help young children understand. The songs emphasize the message and make a great addition at the end of each segment. Having the words written on the screen also helps parents relay the words. The material in each segment is very relevant and is very easy for children to follow. Subjects such as honesty, proper car seats for children of different ages, healthy eating, friendship, cooperation, team work, understanding children with autism, respect and organized games at recess time, are all introduced. At the end of each segment a mention of where to find more information is listed. The vocabulary is age-appropriate and the subject matter is very relevant. The songs are so lively and sing-able.

The theme song throughout the DVD when the team is ready to go out on their mission, 'Here We Go, Na Na Na, Off to Healthyland' is great. I found myself singing to it too! The animation is fantastic. The colors are so bright and rich for each of the characters and each of the Great Helpees hatched is a different color! The songs are upbeat and uplifting! Having the words written on the screen helps adults learn the songs. The settings for each of the segments has lots of imagination built in and also has awesome colors. Each of the characters has their own unique costume and name. Shellfish Sheldon is a red lobster, Clicks the robot, Patches the tiger, Little Bird is Autistic as well as Trooper Charlie, who dances very well, and so many others. These segments are all very interesting and colorful and playful and educational as well. Some of the segments dealt with normalizing Autism and one explains about the devices that help Autistic children communicate with others. It stresses that 'even though we are all different, we are all the same'. The song, 'Each One of Us Is Different' helps us to understand more. The theme of this segment is that children with Autism can be a great friend, and our differences are Okay. Yes, I love this! Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mack & Moxy: Adventures in Helpeeland! is a great DVD for preschoolers. It teaches basic lessons that kids will need for school. This colorful DVD contains four episodes that combine animation, live-action, puppets and songs. The first episode teaches how to solve and arguments using "Rock, Paper, Scissors." The second teaches you about buckling your car seat belt. The third talks about healthy eating and the fourth is about autism. In each episode, Mack (a moose-like giant) and Moxy (a perky pink raccoon) and their friends go to Helpee Island to save the great Helpee egg? One day they meet a new friend who helps them get the Helpee Egg. Meanwhile, the show's enemy, Shellfish Sheldon is trying to steal the Great Helpee and keep all its happiness for himself. My favorite part of each episode is when Shellfish Sheldon is about to achieve his goal but fails, usually helping Mack and Moxy get the Helpee Egg. This show contains lots of repetition. At the end of each episode, they use exactly the same script as they did at the beginning. Repetition is good for younger children but can get tedious for older kids and adults so, I recommend this film for ages 1 to 4 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.

Mack and Moxy is a very enjoyable children's TV show series with multiple scenarios portraying life's messages in a fun and laughable tone. With its bright colors and relatable characters, this series is great for young children to enjoy.

In this four episode DVD, Mack, a tall blue moose who's a bit of an airhead, and Moxy, a pink and purple raccoon who's quick on her feet, take part in numerous adventures to help rescue the "Helpee Orbs" which play pivotal roles in helping others. In each episode, a human scout helps Mack and Moxy on their missions. Missions are assigned by multiple guest stars, such as Simone Biles or Keegan Michael-Key. Each episode is unique in its own way. The first has Mack and Moxy's team hunting for the Helpee in a playground. They play 4 square and even take a swing on the monkey bars. The second episode takes place in a desert. The third episode is underwater, with a family of octopi. These octopi grow a garden of fruits and veggies. The final episode takes place in a forest, where communication is controlled by music and technology.

My favorite character is Shellfish Sheldon (Hank Azaria) who has a lovable lisp and a persistency like none other. Even though Sheldon is supposed to be the bad guy, his personality makes his attempts to ruin the day a complete joke. Each time Sheldon makes his one time per episode appearance, he made me laugh. Additionally, the songs are very catchy and easy to remember. I played the songs in my head over and over again. I still remember lyrics from the song "Buckle Buckle, Seatbelts & Chuckle."

Each episode has a different message. One talks about how fairness is distributed on the playground. Another captures the importance of buckling your seat belt. One explains how eating the right food can greatly improve daily life. And one teaches how everyone is different, yet should be treated equally.

The catchy songs are the highlight of each episode and serve a purpose to help kids remember the important teachings. I recommend this DVD to ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Lara M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 75 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FLOOGALS: DESTINATION PLANET EARTH!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Description - Join the Floogals on a mission of discovery as they explore Earth and the funny "hoomans" who live there! Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo, and Junior Boomer are pocket sized alien adventurers on a mission to observe and experience a new and exciting world Planet Earth! Arriving in their spaceship from the distant planet of Floog, the Floogals are on a mission to document everything around them in the peculiar world of the "hoomans". Each day, Fleeker, Flo, and Boomer encounter something that sparks their curiosity, setting in motion the day's research "project" and triggering an exciting adventure! First, Boomer becomes very fond of the three stripy caterpillars the kids are keeping in the shed. Then, one day one of the caterpillars disappears and then another and another. It's up to the Floogals to learn the mystery of the disappearing caterpillars! Then, when the Floogals encounter a balloon that's intended for the Girl Hooman's birthday party they think it's a monster it's ten times bigger than them with a giant face! Can Fleeker conquer his fear to return the balloon to the little girl in time for her birthday? Find out! Adventure is everywhere they go. They're the Floogals! 3, 2, 1, let's go!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This show follows three little explorers observing the hooman (human) world in a way that we can only observe by watching a show like this. All the stories are fantastic, but the one I like the most is Project Garden Hose. Due to the size of The Floogals, something like a garden hose is a behemoth to them (which becomes adorably obvious in Project Hamster). They are skating down the hose and it looks like this neat little jungle. It's very fun. Something about this program that had me worried at first is that it mixes animation with live action. The Floogals and their belongings are shown in CGI, but the world in which they explore is all shown in live action. I've seen this before and didn't care for it. I was not looking forward to watching it because of that. But The Floogals really pull it off! I can honestly say that the exploration would not be nearly as entertaining without the brilliant visual media mix along with the fun writing. I look forward to showing this to my son when he gets a bit bigger. I recommend this for ages 2 to 5 and give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.

This DVD is a fun story about aliens from outer space coming to Earth and discovering "hoomans". The aliens don't know anything about life on Earth and they learn and discover how things work on Earth. They have to use problem solving skills to find out where all the caterpillars disappear to when they turn into butterflies. It teaches them about the lifespan of a butterfly. It teaches them how to work together as a team, build friendships and how things work. It emphasizes trust, respect, team work and problem solving. The menu is easy to understand and use. You can move backwards and forwards easily through chapters. Visually, it is stunning. Kids will certainly enjoy it. The story makes sense. It starts with aliens landing on Earth, goes into finding their way around and ends with them understanding how things work on this planet. It is definitely fun to watch. I recommend it to children ages 2 to 7. Reviewed by Amanda M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Demonstrating the power of exploration and critical thinking, Floogals is a children's TV show with a mix of cartoon and real life images, exciting characters and unique episodes. Young children will enjoy the adventures the Floogals embark on.

This special Floogals DVD has eight episodes, stars Captain Fleeker, Officer Flo and Junior Boomer - aliens who have come to earth to explore the human's objects. Episode #1, Project Caterpillar, explains the process of metamorphosis to the Floogals as they watch and wait for the Hooman's caterpillars to change into butterflies. Episode #2 is Project Balloon, where the Floogals discover what a balloon is, how it works and why they are needed. The next Episode, #3 is Project Baby. The Floogals discover what a baby is exactly. Episode #4 is Project Bubbles. Along with discovering what a bubble is made of, the Floogals learn to work together to blow bubbles. In Project Hamster, the Floogals have to catch the Hooman's hamster that escapes the cage. In Project Robot, they take Hooman's son's robot to rescue officer Flo. The episode Project Garden Hose has them finding out that the hose is turned on by a lever and learning that hoses are used to water plants. The final episode is Project Magnet where the Floogals' learn what a magnet is and how it works. In each episode, kids learn the use of objects in our world.

My favorite character is Junior Boomer. Boomer's adolescent character and curiosity is fun to watch throughout every episode. Of course, the other characters are exciting to watch too. Officer Flo's intelligence and Captain Fleeker's leadership qualities greatly enhance the show. In addition, I enjoyed the live elements incorporated into the show. In Project Hamster, I like how a real hamster is in the show along with the animated Captain Fleeker, who are both in the hamster's cage.

Each episode teaches something different. Project Caterpillar teaches the audience about Metamorphosis. Project Balloon shows how balloons float. Project Baby demonstrates how we grow. Project Bubbles shows us what bubbles are made of. Project Hamster teaches about live animals and how to keep them in a cage. Project Robot shows how electronics work and how they run on batteries. Project Garden Hose demonstrates how a hose is used and how it works. Finally Project Magnet shows us how magnets work. As each episode teaches kids how ordinary objects in our world work, the Floogals' comedic characters and unique adventures make the show enjoyable. I recommend Floogals for ages 2 to 6 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. This DVD is available now wherever DVDs are sold so, go check it out. You're missing out if you don't share it with your preschoolers.

Reviewed by Lara M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I love this fun and adorable DVD with its eight fun episodes that made me want to go on scientific adventures with my friends and family. All the episodes have fun things about science and they use the scientific method to teach kids about pets, magnets, garden hoses, toys and so much more.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an alien or to see an alien up close? Most people think that aliens would be bigger and better than us, but in this fun DVD there are aliens called Floogals that are adorable and fun-loving. The Floogals are aliens who want to find out more about humans, our surroundings and why we do all the different and quirky things that we love or need to do.

I love the animation and the way it is used together with live action to teach about the functions of ordinary household items. The aliens are animated, but the humans and the surrounding objects are live action. It is very different from what you mostly see today in the theater or on TV. I love that it isn't repetitive, but silly enough to have me laughing until I found myself wanting to do an experiment with the Floogals myself.

One of my favorite episodes is "Project Baby." I love this episode because it teaches kids about growing up, what babies are and what they need to grow up to become big and strong. They even think that the baby is the king of the humans and they also think that it was held in captivity because its crib looks like a hamster cage to them. My favorite character is Flo (Jules de Jongh). I love her voice and the way her character is so courteous and always on the lookout for adventure and projects to collaborate on with her fellow aliens. Another thing I enjoyed is the way that the Floogals guess things and then find out what they are. For example, in the episode "Project Garden Hose," they think that the hose is a snake or a straw of some sort, but, by using the work of science, they find out it is a garden hose and is used for watering plants in the garden.

I recommend this for ages 4 to 8. It is very creative and full of great conversations for adults and children. Children will learn in a fun, new, adventurous way. It will help them be great scientists and explorers when they are young and encourage them to do the same when they grow up. I give this fantastic DVD 5 out of 5 flying Floogal saucers. It is available now on DVD so, be sure to check it out.

By Morgan B. Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
Runtime: 95 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC
XXX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - A reclusive young woman who dreams of becoming a children's author finds an unlikely mentor in the rich curmudgeon who lives next door.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This Beautiful Fantastic is an incredible cinematic experience that I'll never forget! It is a stunning movie that brings two lonely people together to enjoy the beauty of nature. I love seeing each character grow throughout the film.

This incredible film is about an aspiring author with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) named Bella (Jessica Brown Findlay). She befriends her next door neighbor, Alfred (Tom Wilkinson), when she is told she will be evicted from her house if she doesn't tend to her garden. With the help from Alfred and Vernon (Andrew Scott), Bella's personal chef, they try to find a way to tend to the garden and, in doing so, discover how a garden influences them.

This film has stunning visuals, character development and a spellbinding script that turns it into a cinematic masterpiece. The flowers in Alfred's garden add to the visual appeal of the film because of its juxtaposition to Bella's garden. The set design also creates visual appeal, with sets such as Bella's canopy bed and the setup of the garden. The garden is what inspired the film's title because Bella describes it as "beautiful, fantastic." The cinematography is gorgeous as well. An example of this is when the downpour starts and a rainbow reflects over Bella's face.

In this movie, the characters grow alongside each other. Alfred starts off as a grumpy and mean old man, but grows to be kind, gentle and treats Bella as though she is his daughter. Bella is introduced as timid and scared of nature, but she overcomes her fear when she befriends Alfred and learns to care for the garden. Throughout the movie, you also see Bella become less and less OCD. At the end, she leaves her door open versus, in the beginning she checks the door five times before leaving the house. There is also a change in Vernon. In the beginning, he is very nervous and acts as a "slave" towards Alfred. But by the end, he becomes less scared and more independent.

The music adds an ethereal effect to the movie, such as when Alfred watches Bella tend to the garden. Also, when Billy (Jeremy Irvine) shows Bella the mechanical bird, Luna, he is making. The music in this scene adds a very magical tone.

I love how eloquent the script is. An example of this is when Billy talks to Bella about a statue he is studying called The Ecstasy of Theresa. He describes it as "destroying logic with emotion." His detail in explaining the statue shows how impactful art can be to a person.

This film demonstrates how much another person can help you thrive and adore the importance of nature. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for people ages 10 to 18 and adults will enjoy it as well. This movie comes out March 10, 2017 in theaters nation wide, so check it out.

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

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


LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, THE
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 - This is not the type of film I usually enjoy but, after seeing the trailers I really wanted to see it and I was not disappointed. The animation is very clever and looks almost as if the characters are truly made out of LEGOs. Kudos to the animation team for that. Then, the jokes and references to Batman and DC characters just never stops. Thankfully, my screening partner was even more of a DC comic fan than me and, when I got lost, he filled me in. I love that the storyline has such a strong message about needing other people, needing a family and not having to tackle the world all on your own. At first, I thought this was unique in this film but yet, if you think about it, it is a recurring theme in almost all the Batman movies. Definitely strong here though. I found myself laughing through most of the film but when I walked out of the theater and discussed it with my partner, it was the theme that stuck with us most. It is definitely worth taking in and, in the midst of all the heavy stuff going on today, provides great comic relief. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
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


MILY MISS QUESTIONS: 10 ADVENTURES FOR CURIOUS MINDS!
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MILY MISS QUESTIONS: 10 ADVENTURES FOR CURIOUS MINDS!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD AGES 6-10
Description - Join Mily and her friends as they investigate the major themes of life encountered in everyday situations. Mily is a funny, curious and uncertain little 9-year-old girl. Like many children her age, she has a great many questions about life, people, and the world. She's never lost for words; in fact, life for her is a goody-bag full of questions to be dipped into. Whenever a particular situation raises a question worthy of examination, Mily is immediately on the case! From one episode to the next, through everyday situations and without ever favoring a particular point of view, Mily introduces young viewers to the art of questioning and the development of an inquiring mind.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This program is so adorable! It's about an all too curious 9-year-old girl who has all sorts of fun questions. I remember my older children being at that stage where they had non-stop questions and this show really portrays that well. It's also really good about getting her questions answered. The animation is well done. I recommend the show for ages 5 to 11, although my 10-year-old disagrees and thinks she is too old for it. Little does she know, she still asks a million funny questions. I give this 5 out of 5! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror

I found each segment quite interesting once I realized that this is a continuation of events in a child's life. The stories are thought-provoking and made for children, teens and adults because the themes are relative to everyone. I really enjoyed the animation and colorization of the videos. In each segment, a story opens with Mily asking a question about life. The first segment about the family history had Mily and her baby sister, Lola, curious as to 'where are babies before they are born!' The story takes Mily and Lola to various people for clarification and finally to their Mom who explains it to them on their level. They explore various themes throughout the segments including decision making, ideas about choices in jobs, rules vs. laws and, when it applies, "telling the truth and teaching responsibility. I really enjoyed this DVD and I think it will help children understand more about life's themes. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend to ages 5 to 12.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This DVD is collection of 2D animated stories that are both educational and entertaining. I like this series because it teaches children to ask questions about things they are curious about. The lead character, Mily is a girl who asks everyone questions. Mily asks questions about typical things that kids are thinking and about everyday situations as well. The show originated in France.

I like the style of the animation. The background of each scene is an actual photo of where it takes place, such as a kitchen. We see an actual photo of a kitchen. The characters' animation is over the background. I found that cool because I've never seen that before in animation.

The message of this movie is to ask questions when you wonder about things. It teaches kids to ask questions even if they seems dumb. If someone doesn't know something, they have the right to ask. No one should judge them for asking. It also teaches kids to be creative. In one of the episodes, Mily gets bored and doesn't know what to do. Her friends come up with ideas to keep her from not being bored. They get creative and make games.

My favorite character is Mily's little sister Lola because she nags Mily in a funny way. She annoys Mily sometimes but you can tell that they love each other. I love how she helps Mily with her questions. She may be younger but she helps Mily a lot.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 10. This DVD is available now wherever DVDs are sold so, be sure to look for it.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 75 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-10
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT SPACE, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT SPACE, THE
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 3-8
Description - The Cat in the Hat joins Nick and Sally who are exploring the backyard when something extraordinary finds them--a flying robotic dog! The robot lands and does some exploring of his own, gulping up rock samples and photographing the Cat, Nick, Sally, and Fish before blasting off back into space! What was that thing? Where did it come from? Where is it going? The Cat in the Hat fires up his Space-ama-racer and whisks Nick, Sally and Fish off on a cosmic adventure in search of the robot. Together, they survive a dust storm on the surface of Mars, rocket through an asteroid belt, and then narrowly escape being sucked into Jupiter by its huge gravitational pull! Ultimately, they hitch a ride on a comet that leads them all safely back to the Space Station, along with plenty of space samples, and stories and even a small souvenir that follows The Cat in the Hat and our crew back to Earth!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Cat in the Hat has always been a favorite storybook character of mine and I have fond memories of reading the books with my son from an early age. I am impressed how this story is brought to life in this film. It can be viewed in either English or Spanish and features Martin Short as The Cat In The Hat. It is fun to watch and has the usual likable characters - Nick & Sally, Thing 1 and Thing 2, The Fish and, introduces a flying Robotic Dog named Space Rover. The film follows the book with its catchy rhyming style that the Cat In The Hat is known for and adds catchy musical songs which are quite entertaining. It has a lot of adventure and entertainment value and also teaches a lot about space with an emphasis on the different planets. What a fun way for children ages 3 to 9 to learn about space including gravity, the asteroid belt and so much more! I give this 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise A. Bloomfield

I have always been a huge Dr. Seuss fan. I have all of the original books and such. I was super excited when I watched my first The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about That show! Here I am in my 20s and still just as excited as I was when I was little reading The Cat in the Hat. I love the way this show gets information across while managing to have the fun and goofy rhymes and great visuals. This creates a promising way for younger kids to learn while having fun. I highly recommend this show for anyone with small children. I recommend this for ages 3 through 8, although my one-year-old was pretty enthralled with the visuals and voices. I give this 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Cat in the Hat knows a lot about Space is a delightful animated film that incorporates learning with fun. Young imaginations soar as Cat in the Hat leads Nick and Sally through space on this easy to follow, yet engaging film.

It is just another day playing in the backyard for Nick and Sally, until they are once again joined by the always lovable Cat in the Hat and his trusty pal, Fish. They soon have a visitor from outer-space - a flying robotic dog. The Cat in the Hat prepares his Space-ama-racer and takes Nick and Sally on an adventure to follow this space dog on a cosmic mission. The team encounters many obstacles along the way and must work together to help their new space dog friend and find their way back to planet Earth.

My favorite character is Space Rover because he has fun while learning and exploring his environment. Much like a real dog, Rover uses his senses to guide him and sometimes this gets him into some sticky situations. Thankfully the Cat in the Hat, Nick, Sally and Fish are there to help him out. This teaches the value of teamwork and problem-solving skills.

While Cat in the Hat knows a lot about Space is not considered a musical, the characters do break into an occasional song. I find these songs enjoyable and they actually add another level of fun to the experience. The Cat in the Hat (Martin Short) has a goofy voice that kids feel comfortable with and he uses words and phrases that are age appropriate, making the story easy for young audiences to follow. In line with other Dr. Seuss videos, this also speaks in rhyme throughout, but never to the point where I felt it was annoying. The animation is simple and plain, but still visually appealing. It is consistent with other Cat in the Hat videos.

I recommend this film for ages 2 to 8. Young children will appreciate the rhyming lyrics and easy to follow story line. Parents can be assured their children are learning within a fun environment. The Cat in the Hat knows a lot about Space does not disappoint, as it is right in-line with the other Dr. Seuss stories. I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars. It is available now on DVD.

Reviewed by Tristan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I really enjoyed this DVD. The animation is colorful, the storyline is engaging and the characters are fun to watch. I like how the Cat rhymes and sings. I also like learning about space and the solar system. My favorite character is Rover the Dog who explores different planets and takes pictures of them. His tail squirts out fire when he flies, which I think is hysterical.

The story is about the adventures of Cat in the Hat with Sally, Nick and Fish as they follow a robot dog into space. They meet up with Rover's owner, Astronaut Audrey who guides them to different planets, through Asteroid fields and space junk. We learn that when Rover is on different planets he brings back rock samples to the space station so Astronaut Audrey can study them. The cool thing is that not only do the characters learn facts about space but so do we!

My favorite part of the DVD is when Rover the Dog goes to Nick and Sally's house and spends time digging in the yard, taking photos of flowers and everyone. I laughed my head off when Rover takes a picture of Fish which causes him to freak out! Fish freaks out because he thinks he's going to be eaten. Oh do I love Martin Short as the voice of The Cat in the Hat. He's super animated and super funny. I can't think of a better voice.

The message of this collection is that space is fun and, as The Cat in The Hat says, "Space is planet Earth's biggest backyard." This means that space has a lot for us to explore and learn about such as: Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system. Mars is half the size of earth and has no gravity. Dust storms can cover the entire planet of Mars and last for days. Jupiter is the biggest planet, has no surface to land on and has a red spot that is a storm which has lasted for years. Also, the sun is so large that you can fit all the planets in the solar system into it. Wow! My head is spinning with all this exciting new information!

There are a lot of great songs and rhymes by the Cat in the Hat. Fish is really funny, has lots of personality and attitude, but at the same time is always worried. This DVD is extremely enjoyable. Not only does it teach kids about space but it has a dog. Who doesn't like a cute robot dog? I recommend it for ages 4 to 7 and give it 4 out of 5 stars (or should I say) cat hats for its humor, colorful animation and educational lessons. The DVD is available now wherever DVDs are sold so, be sure to check it out for your budding scientists!

Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


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

MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: EXPLORING THE CRYSTAL EMPIRE
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 - 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!® Kid Jurors say - On the edge of my seat for the entire movie, my terror briefly subsided only because of the comedic acting of villain, Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), playing 24 distinct personalities in M. Night Shyamalan's new movie, Split. I really enjoyed the film because it did more than terrify me. Although McAvoy's characters are deeply disturbing, I couldn't help but feel bad for them at different points. The acting of Mr. McAvoy in playing such diverse characters is superb and Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), trying to outsmart him in their cat and mouse game is very entertaining.

Two popular girls and Cooke are kidnapped while inside the car and locked away in a remote location. They are preyed upon by McAvoy's 24 distinct personalities which include a little boy and a stern woman. This movie transcends the typical horror movie where people try to run away from the madman. From the beginning of the film, it's apparent that Casey is different from the mainstream characters. She has been taught how to survive by her dad and battles McAvoy's character on a psychological level as she tries to figure her way out of a hopeless situation.

The lighting and dilapidated surroundings where the girls are imprisoned sets the mood for the upcoming terror. The premise behind the movie is that each of the split personalities takes on its own characteristics. For example, one of the diabetic characters needs insulin in order to survive. McAvoy is brilliant at playing so many different personalities and seamlessly changing from one to another.

My favorite part of the movie is when Cooke is brought up to the killer's bedroom and forced to watch him jam out to loud, crazy dance music as one McAvoy's characters, Hedwig, a boy years younger than her. Between his lisp and repeated use of the word etcetera, he had me smiling in the midst of the terror.

The message of the film is that people with mental disorders have cognitive thinking and unique personalities just as people without mental derangements. Mental disorders don't necessarily affect people in the way we think they do. This film gives surreal images about mental complexities.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars because the thrill of the movie scared me so much that I think James McAvoy might actually come after me. I felt as if I was one of the two girls he was chasing while watching the movie.

Even though the movie is PG-13, I only recommend it to ages 17 to 18. Adults will enjoy it more than kids because there is so much suspense and terror with McAvoy's kidnapping of the two girls that younger kids might have nightmares after watching the movie.

This movie is playing in theaters not so, go check it out. If you enjoy thrillers, it's one you don't want to miss.

Reviewed by Samantha M., 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



NEW SEARCH

All content ©Copyright 1991-2017 by Coalition for Quality Children's Media

Database search interactivity by NET MAN
Kid movie news & Free DVDs:
Join KIDS FIRST! on Twitter Join KIDS FIRST! on Pinterest Join KIDS FIRST! on Facebook
Loading Search...