The Family category has 1298 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles
Below are records 1 - 50 of them
sorted alphabetically

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This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SI
SAMANTHA SMITH
Series: SHORT FILM, AGES 5-12
Description - Si, a temperamental 6-year-old, gets a goldfish from her parents after begging for a puppy.
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD

CLASSIC SONGS & TRADITIONAL TUNES
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CLASSIC SONGS & TRADITIONAL TUNES
ANDYLAND MUSIC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Description - Fifteen beloved folk and classic children's tunes capture the heart of the songs. Authentic instrumentation, thoughtful arrangements, restored lyrics, and Andy Z's friendly vocals complete this rousing CD that will entertain and engage for years.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From 'This Land is Your Land' to 'Happy Trails,' Andy Z brings a freshness and excitement to familiar songs that we think we may know but after a few extra verses that were part of the original songs and some well-played musical surprises our ears are buzzing with a renewed acquaintance with old friends. The vocals are engaging and the toe-tapping arrangements will have you dancing with a 'Turkey in the Straw' or breaking out a 'Hokey Pokey' or singing along with 'You Are My Sunshine'. 'Oh Susanna' you've got to listen to this CD and don't you cry for me now, girl!

The songs are performed as close to their original intent with all of the original lyrics and instrumentation approximated. This absolutely keeps the tradition of American folk songs alive and well. It is positive and uplifting and the interpretation of songs that a lot of us have heard for years is fresh and engaging.

The quality is excellent. The music mirror the birth of our nation which was an exciting time for America in terms of exploration and strong families along with adventurous and brave people immigrating from all over the world. These songs offer insight into American history from a musical point of view. The artist starts with the premise "maybe you're familiar with this song, but did you know there are other verses?" Particularly enlightening is "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with the wraparound lyrics.

The musicianship, choice of traditional instruments and vocal performances are well-done and engaging. The production value (recording) is very professional.

Reviewed by John Wood.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming
Runtime: 38 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98
Media: AUDIO


CALLING ALL THE ELEPHANTS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CALLING ALL THE ELEPHANTS
SONG WIZARDS RECORDS
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Description - Twelve cheeky, laugh-out-loud funny songs. Combining country and children's pop music with a wacky, seesaw feel, moving from a country stroll where the wit sneaks up on you to a rock 'n' roll sprint where an outrageous lyric slams into you.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Put on the headsets and buckle up because 'Calling All the Elephants' is one of the best albums in a long while to make you laugh out loud and snort milk out of your nose! The word-play, songwriting and musicianship are exemplary. Randy Sharp and Dave Kinnoin, two-seasoned performers, flex their musical chops and in the process push the creative boundaries of children's music in a profoundly wondrous way.

These crafty clutch of tunes hatch from basic concepts and happenings into mini-operas of mirth and merriment. Be yourself. Be resourceful. Be different. Be inventive. Be creative. Have FUN! Who could ask for anything more. Love this album!

Lyrics are stellar, brilliant and quite appealing. The music and production are terrific. Plus, there are many wonderful surprises. Very clever!

Everything clicks like an expensive watch. It's rare to discover an album that appeals to older children, doesn't talk down and takes conceptional chances. This is a breath of musical fresh air.

In ways, it is purposely disrespectful of what is considered appropriate in children's music. Therefore, kids will love it!

I love an album that invites frequent listening because you flat-out love it and / or continue to discover new elements and surprises that you missed before. This is one of those albums. Never gets old. Solid vocals and character voices, musicianship rocks and the recording quality is state-of-the-art.

Reviewed by John Wood.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming
Runtime: 38 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98
Media: AUDIO


IRIS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
IRIS
MAGNOLIA PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - IRIS pairs the 87-year-old Maysles with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. More than a fashion film, the documentary is a story about creativity and how, even at Iris' advanced age, a soaring free spirit continues to inspire. IRIS portrays a singular woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people are life's sustenance and reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment. Despite the abundance of glamour in her current life, she continues to embrace the values and work ethic established during a middle-class Queens upbringing during the Great Depression. I feel lucky to be working. If you're lucky enough to do something you love, everything else follows.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Iris is a great documentary, particularly if you have a passion for fashion. Iris Apfel is a 94-year-old woman who embraces her unique eye for fashion and style. She takes the simplest things from shops and stores all over town and dresses them up in a variety of ways. She accessorizes her clothing by accenting them with very large and unique pieces of jewelry. Large pearl necklaces with big, bright colorful bracelets are only a few items that Iris uses. She believes each outfit needs to have color and sometimes lots of it. A lot of designers and fashion icons love her style and creativity.

The message of this documentary, produced by veteran documentarian Albert Maysles, is "success is a sacrifice." Iris talks about how she always wanted to have kids, travel and have a successful career. She realized that she could not have it all and be successful. She did not want her kids to be raised by someone else. So, she chose to purse her career and travel the world with her husband, Carl Apfel. Although Iris did not have kids as she once hoped, she still feels successful and that her life has made a positive impact in the fashion industry.

Iris is very witty, funny and inspirational. Even in her 90s, she continues to educate young aspiring fashion designers. She believes it will be a lost art if people do not learn the history of fashion and its origin.

The film Iris is a wonderful documentary. It is perfect for girls and boys ages 13 to 18-years-old who aspire to learn more about the fashion industry. Even if you are not in the industry and want to watch a good film about a wise woman who continues to inspire others, this film is a perfect selection. Iris will be released in select theaters April 29, 2015. I give this movie 4 out of 5 shining stars.

Reviewed by Kendyl P., KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 12

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


STORIED STREETS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
STORIED STREETS
THOMAS A. MORGAN & JACK HENRY ROBBINS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - STORIED STREETS explores homelessness across America by telling the stories of those who live it every day. The documentary film-which premiered at the 2014 Sedona International Film Festival-profiles the homeless and the formerly homeless and their struggle to survive. Their stories are real, raw and compelling. These stories, coupled with the fact that right now homelessness is growing at an unprecedented rate in America, is the genesis behind STORIED STREETS. The film will provide a window into their struggles, question stereotypes and change the way you feel about homelessness. Directors: Thomas A. Morgan & Jack Henry Robbins. Executive Producers: Susan Sarandon & Morgan Spurlock
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film completely destroys the stereotypical image of the homeless and makes you rethink what you should have said to that person you saw on the street. Storied Streets is truly inspiring and I believe everyone should watch it.

This is a documentary. But, it tells stories like none other that are not only terrible and sad, but also inspirational and heartwarming.

The story looks at different homeless people and shows that they are not people who are lazy and just want to make money without any work. It shows hard working people who just, sadly, can't afford a home. And, because of that, they are dehumanized and try not to appear homeless because they believe it is shameful.

This documentary not does a phenomenal job of showing statistics and evidence of this problem and what should be brought to our attention. It also shows how we as normal, every day people can easily fix it. This is something that a lot of documentaries don't have. This film is well produced and directed which makes it enjoyable to watch and thought provoking at the same time.

One of my favorite stories in the film is about a boy who is now around 18-years-old. His mother abandoned him in his freshman year of high school and, instead of finding her, he concentrated on his education and worked hard. He doesn't appear to be homeless and is pretty much the complete opposite of what you might think to be a homeless person. I was happy to see that he is now going to college.

This film is rather mature so I recommend this to ages 12 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is a well told story and also offers good pro-active solutions for dealing with homelessness.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 13

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


BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN
REVOLVER ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - The story follows a young rickshaw-puller in Bhopal who gets a menial job at a chemical plant, but in December of 1984 a chemical spill in India takes the lives of almost 15,000 people and injuring more than 100,000. The film follows how the industrial disaster in the city changes his life and those of others.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film is based on the true story about Bhopal's gas tragedy which book place in December of 1994 at the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant. Over 500,000 people were exposed to toxic gas and other chemicals, killing as many as 10,000 people in one night. This historical drama is moving and shocking. Directed by Ravi Kumar. Starring Martin Sheen, Mischa Barton, Kai Penn, Fagun Thakrar, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Rajpal Yadav and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This documentary drama is about something everyone should know about and make sure the human race should not repeat. What happened 30 years ago should have never happened and it is truly sad this film is based on this true story. Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain is not only a reminder of what happened, but a story we must remember, so we do not repeat it.

This film is a documentary, but is also a story and a drama. There is no comedic relief. There is strong messages and lessons to be learned.

The story begins when a multinational company, Union Carbide India opens a chemical factory which contains the number one most dangerous chemical to humans in the world. The company responsible for the factory is sadly not making much money and, as a result, they cut their safety regulations. This does not end up as a good idea for, in 1984, the factory had a major leak and the deadly chemical called MIC quickly shot into the air, and into the surrounding air which covered a major town called Bhopal. Thousands die while hundreds of thousands are injured and even today, 30 years later, are still ill.

This film truly shows this event well and shows how many people were effected by it and what the company who caused it did to help the victims. Nothing. Warren Anderson (Martin Sheen) not only doesn't help them, but the India court accuses him of mass murder and the "corporate shield" protects him so he is not affected whatsoever. Martin Sheen plays this role with true conviction.

This film is an incredibly sad story, I cannot choose a favorite scene. My least favorite is when the accident comes to the attention to Warren for the first time. Anyone would expect that he would be in shock or cry or just try to help them. What he does is blame the workers because he gave them an opportunity and they "ruined it." Then, he flees the country when he sees all the dead bodies and is accused of mass murder. I do not like this scene for I believe he should have at the least go to jail for the rest of his life.

This film is very mature so I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars for they did a wonderful job retelling this horrid event. Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


MONKEY KINGDOM
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MONKEY KINGDOM
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Description - In South Asia, Maya the monkey and her son Kip struggle to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the troop at Castle Rock. When neighboring monkeys take over their home, Maya's whole troop is forced to relocate. She uses her ingenuity to lead the members of her extended family to untapped resources amid strange new creatures and unfamiliar surroundings. Ultimately, the entire troop must work together to reclaim Castle Rock, where Maya hopes her son will have a bright future. Narrated by Tina Fey. Directed and produced by Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Monkey Kingdom opened my mind to learning about animals in the wild! This is a great nature documentary, especially if you like monkeys and, contributions from ticket sales of this movie will help save the monkeys in south Asia.

Monkey Kingdom begins with an explanation of how a certain group of monkeys live. Specifically, it focuses on Maya and her baby, who are considered the lowest of the group. It discusses their lifestyle, their routines and how they have to deal with the different seasons and the weather. They also talk about their struggle for survival. Finding food, especially for the ones at the bottom of the tree, is a challenge. These monkeys have a king and three queens. It is amazing that even though they are monkeys, they still have a social hierarchy.

My favorite part of this movie is when all the monkeys are playing with each other and swinging from their homemade "original" jungle gym. I also like the part when the lower class runs out of food and have to find a way to survive. They locate the humans' house and raid their kitchen. They even confiscate all the eggs from the hen house!! It is hysterical to see a monkey running off with a sub sandwich.

My favorite character is Kip, Maya's son! He is a cute baby monkey that is so innocent and, most of the time, has no idea what is going one. He depends on his mom for protection. Maya is on the low end of the social hierarchy. She is a female monkey with a nice personality unlike the three sister queens who act as if they own everything. I love how Maya protects her baby at all costs. Tina Fey is a wonderful narrator for this, giving a clear understanding of what is taking place.

The thrust of this documentary is to raise money to help maintain the habitat of monkeys that live in the jungles of South Asia. I recommend this film for kids age 6 through 18. Both boys and girls will enjoy it because, who can resist watching monkeys play. I rate this movie a five out of five dazzling stars! Be sure to check it out when it comes out in theaters on April 17, 2015.

Reviewed by Haley Powell, KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 12

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


PADDINGTON (2014)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PADDINGTON (2014)
WEINSTEIN CO, THE Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 4-18
Description - A young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck ('Please look after this bear. Thank you.') and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist. Starring Nicole Kidman, Ben Whishaw, Imelda Staunton, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Paddington is a great adventure, with lots of twists and turns. This film is playful, comedic, enjoyable and definitely a great film for friends and family.

Paddington (Ben Whishaw, voice) is a rare breed of bear that travels all alone to London. He wants to find a home after his is destroyed. While there, he discovers that it's not what he expects, but finds a family that's willing to take him in and look after him for just a little while. This is when everyone's adventure begins.

Paddington is so outgoing and adorable. You can't help but love this bear. He has an innocent way about him, but still is a little mischievous and gets into trouble. His visual effects and fur looks very real and life-like. Nicole Kidman's character (Millicent) is very determined to add Paddington to her collection of stuffed animals. She will stop at nothing to get him. She's fierce, frightening and intimidating. I love the story line, humor, and definitely the action. I liked that the climax of this film is very unpredictable and shocks the audience. My favorite character would have to be Paddington. He truly thinks of the wellbeing of others and his curiosity is adorable. He reminds you of a child learning new things. A scene that I would call my favorite is when Paddington tries to return a wallet to a man that dropped out of his packet while walking out of an antique shop. Paddington chases him, trying to get the wallet to him. Finally he catches up with the man by falling on him from the air. When he falls on the man they both tumble down and about 30 wallets fall out of the man's coat. Paddington catches a pickpocket and ends up in the paper on his first day in London. It's a very comical scene that makes the audience crack up.

One of the messages of this film is that families are not just made up by the people who are related to us, but friends and even animals can be a part of our family.

I recommend Paddington for ages 8 to 16. However it's great for the whole family and anyone who loves Bears. It's rated PG and there's nothing really you would need to look out for.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars. It's a great film that makes you feel good.

Paddington arrives in theaters on January 16th, so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - From the producers of the Harry Potter franchise comes another children's film that many families will love for its humor, storyline, special effects and of course - the Bear! Paddington will be loved by families everywhere.

This movie has a nice core of humor with an intriguing story that is not only intense, but lighthearted too. Breathtaking special effects, animation and a strong feel of adventure round out the show.

The story starts when a very intelligent family of bears is sadly separated. An earthquake happens and the aunt must send her young nephew to London for a better home. After arriving in London, this young bear is taken in by a family but immediately starts running into challenges of fitting in to the human world.

This film is wonderful. I love the cast - lots of talented and wonderful people. Ben Wishaw plays the voice of Paddington and is excellent at making his character seem adorable and innocent, yet smart and caring at the same time. The humor is off-the-charts amazing and the camera angles and shots are one-of-a-kind. Some shots I could not get over and had to watch again and again.

My favorite scene is when Paddington tries to say his name to Mr. Brown, who is kind of the father of the family. But, Paddington says it in bear language. When Mr. Brown tries to repeat it, Paddington looks horrified and says, "How Rude!" It is a funny and lighthearted scene and kind of sets the right mood for this funny film.

This film is diffidently meant for kids but adults will enjoy it as well. I recommend it for ages 8 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Critics, age 12
Runtime: 95 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


MAYA THE BEE MOVIE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MAYA THE BEE MOVIE
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Freshly hatched bee Maya is a little whirlwind and won't follow the rules of the hive. One of these rules is not to trust the hornets that live beyond the meadow. When the Royal Jelly is stolen, the hornets are suspected and Maya is thought to be their accomplice. No one believes that she is the innocent victim and no one will stand by her except for her good-natured and best friend Willy. After a long and eventful journey to the hornets hive Maya and Willy soon discover the true culprit and the two friends finally bond with the other residents of the opulent meadow.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
Runtime: 89 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 17.99
Media: DVD

HOME
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOME
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: ANIMATED FEATURE, AGES 4-15
Description - When Oh, a loveable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own. Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human. And while he changes her planet and she changes his world, they discover the true meaning of the word HOME.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From Dreamworks comes a new animated feature, Home with an adorable misfit from another planet who lands on Earth, makes friends with the locals and everyone discovers the true meaning of the word Home. Starring Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Steve Martin, this film is filled with music and humor and is perfect for you to share with the younger members of your family. KIDS FIRST! Critics Harmony M. comments, "The film serves as great entertainment with its loveable characters, hilarious dialogue and feel good tone." Madeline R. adds, "The message of this film is that family is important and it's good to face your problems or fears instead of running from them." See their full reviews and Gerry O's interviews with cast and crew below.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - From DreamWorks, comes the delightful film Home. The film serves as great entertainment with its loveable characters, hilarious dialogue and feel good tone. The film is about an alien species, called the Boov, that invade planet Earth in an attempt to hide from an evil monster called the Gorg. By doing so, the alien race makes themselves at home and relocates all the humans elsewhere. While all the humans are transported, a young girl named Tip gets left behind and later encounters a Boov named Oh. Oh and Tip join together in search of Tip's mother who got taken away during previous alien invasion. A lot unfolds when Tip's mother is not the only one who needs saving.

It is very enjoyable and even shocking to hear familiar voices in the film such as Jim Parsons who plays Oh, Rihanna who plays Tip, Steve Martin who plays Captain Smek and Jennifer Lopez who plays Lucy. Jim Parsons is delightful as the voice of Oh. They couldn't have chosen a better actor for that role. Oh is an overly friendly, silly, trouble-making, outcast, who not only steals the hearts of the audience with his facial expressions and personality, but also with a voice that fits that perfectly. Fans of The Big Bang Theory will be so pleased to see his character, Sheldon in cartoon form. Home is Rihanna's first role in an animation film. Considering that, her portrayal of the sassy and adventurous Tip are spot on. I find it very unique that the Boovs change colors depending on their emotion, especially because I have not seen that feature in any other type of film. The dialogue is really funny because the Boovs speak with improper grammar which adds a comedic touch that all ages will love. The futuristic technology shown in the movie is fascinating, it will be especially appealing to the younger crowd.

The film is entertaining to watch and one I would enjoy watching again. Although the film is very good, it's not good enough to be a new classic or one that will be very memorable in the long run. It is cute, friendly, very funny, has amazing messages and puts you in a good mood. I recommend this uplifting film to people of all ages, especially between the ages of 5 and 11. Overall, I give the film a 4 out of 5 stars. It is playing in theaters now.

By Harmony M, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Home is a new animated family film from Dreamworks. The screenplay was written by Tom Astle and Matt Ember and he film was directed by Tim Johnson.

I love this movie! It is a fun, action-packed adventurous movie the whole family can enjoy together.

Home is about an alien named Oh who runs away from his own people, the Boovs who are trying to hide from the Gorg. He lands on Earth and meets an adorable and feisty girl named Gratuity Tucci, who everyone calls Tip. Oh and Tip form an unlikely friendship and go on an exciting adventure together to find Lucy, Tip's mom.

Home features a star studded cast. Jim Parsons is brilliant as the voice and personality of Oh and Steve Martin is hilarious as the voice of the Captain Smek, the cowardly leader of the Oh's. Rihanna plays the fun, yet determined Tip and Jennifer Lopez plays her sweet Mother, Lucy.

As a special bonus, both superstars perform original songs for the film which adds a lot of emotion and drama. Be sure to listen for Rihanna's new single "Towards the Sun" and Jennifer Lopez's new song "Feel the Light".

The animation is spectacular. I love how Oh and Tip ride in Tip's newly "fixed" car powered by multi-flavored slushis. My favorite scene is when Tip tries to teach Oh jokes to help make him feel better. She does the "Interrupting Cow" Knock Knock joke. It's really funny because it takes him a while to get it!

The message of this film is that family is important and it's good to face your problems or fears instead of running from them. Home is great for families of all ages, especially for families with kids between 4 and 14. I give Home 5 out of 5 stars. I love it and think you will too! Home is in theaters nationwide now.

By Madeline Rose, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


WOMAN IN GOLD
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WOMAN IN GOLD
WEINSTEIN CO, THE Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Maria Altman sought to regain a world famous painting of her aunt plundered by the Nazis during World War II. She did so not just to regain what was rightfully hers, but also to obtain some measure of justice for the death, destruction, and massive art theft perpetrated by the Nazis.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film stars Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, who takes on the government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Susana H. comments, "Personally, it has everything I'm looking for - a little bit of action and seriousness and actually has somewhat to do with history, the Holocaust to be exact." Willie J. adds, "I was completely invested. The story is enough to take my heart, for I can easily empathize. Then, there is the performance of Helen Mirren to wrench your heart." See their full reviews below.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Woman in Gold, an intriguing and true-life story, is excellent. Personally, it has everything I'm looking for - a little bit of action and seriousness and actually has somewhat to do with history, the Holocaust to be exact. There are very strong characters to play out the story including Rondol Schoenberg or Randy (Ryan Reynolds) and Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), which of course, has to be my favorite character. Even for an older woman, she is so sassy and confident, which I reminded me of myself. What really caught my attention is the writer and director's use of flashbacks throughout the entire movie because we are looking into Maria's past life during the Holocaust. Most of the time, flashbacks in parts of movies can be confusing. It's almost as if they are telling two completely different stories at once. In this case, it's done very well.

Woman in Gold is a true story based on Maria Altmann's experience with the Nazi's cruelty. About 60 years after Maria leaves Vienna, she begins her quest to regain one of her dearest family possessions, which have been taken away by the Nazis. Amongst them is a famous painting entitled Woman In Gold, hence the name of the movie. She meets an untrained, young lawyer and together they fight for what rightfully belongs to Maria. Along their path, they are faced with addressing the Austrian government, which is too stubborn to notice what is right from wrong and the U.S. Supreme Court. Throughout her journey she constantly is reminded of her past.

My favorite part definitely has to be from one of the flashbacks. We see the younger Maria and he husband escaping the Nazis and being chased all over town. If you know me, you know I like a bit of action in my movies. They are running to catch a plane to leave Austria. As all of this is taking place, of course, I am holding my breath until they get away and dying to scream when the Nazi officers are right behind them.

The message of this film is to always fight for what you believe is right and never give up. Maria knows those paintings belong to her family and have been forcefully taken away. She knows she has to get them back for the sake of her family's honor and she does so. She has some help along the way but the motivation is all from her. She will fight to the end to secure the paintings along with her trusted partner by her side and, even though she might give up, Randy is there to support her.

I recommend this movie for people of ages 13 to 18 because it is a serious movie and uses a bit of bad language here and there. I give this excellent movie 5, out of 5 stars due to the strong actors and characters and interesting plot. It opens in theaters nationwide April 1.

Reviewed by Susana Hoyos, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15.



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


FURIOUS 7
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FURIOUS 7
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Dominic Torretto and his crew thought they left the criminal mercenary life behind. They defeated an international terrorist named Owen Shaw and went their seperate ways. But now, Shaw's brother, Deckard Shaw is out killing the crew one by one for revenge. Worse, a Somalian terrorist called Jakarde, and a shady government official called "Mr. Nobody" are both competing to steal a computer terrorism program called God's Eye, that can turn any technological device into a weapon. Torretto must reconvene with his team to stop Shaw and retrieve the God's Eye program while caught in a power struggle between terrorist and the United States government.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film is not for the faint-of-heart. It's action is absolutely non-stop and crazy! From dropping cars out of airplanes only to parachute to the ground where they begin their high speed chase through a forest and jump off cliffs. And, that's just the start. I am not an action/adventure genre fan lover but, I have to say, this one really does take the cake. It gets your blood moving. It is certainly not one I would take younger children to, or anyone who might attempt to replicate the decidedly unsafe behaviors displayed. But, for teens and adults who love this type of action, it will satisfy that thirst.

The storyline is pretty simple. The acting pretty rote. The camera work and stunts drive this film. And, of course, it is a tribute to Paul Walker who passed away during the filming of this movie. There are some remarkable scenes when Paul's face is CGI'd in on top of one of his brother's bodies and a simple dedication at the end of the film.

Dwayne Johnson makes almost what you would call a cameo appearance, appearing briefly at the beginning and again, strategically at the end - brining in the Calvary. Diesel and his crew of crime-fighting, car chasing buddies are the focal point of the film along with his squeeze whose memory has lost the details of their romantic past. See it on the big screen. Imax if possible. I did and it was - wow!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This action-packed series returns with another intense and fantastic film and the only way to describe it is amazing - loaded with awesome looking cars, adventures and action scenes. You will not be bored once in its entire 137 minutes. Furious 7, like all the other Fast and Furious films, beats its predecessor.

There is much more to this movie than just action scenes. There is a story with morals and family, for the group is growing up. Nothing can stop that. They are having kids and starting a family. There is also (like the other Fast and the Furious films) some comedy but, not to the point where you don't take the action seriously. All together, it is an adventure.

The story begins when the crew is separated and starting their own lives with jobs, kids and other normal day-to-day things. However, they must stop their peaceful lives (and some are happy about that) when a man named Deckard Shaw seeks revenge for the death of his brother who was a mercenary. So the crew is forced to take him down. Full of cars, action and fantastic rock songs, it is truly a fast and furious experience.

This film is fantastic. Something I have to mention is Paul Walker's job. He played Brian O'Conner who dies in a tragic accident mid-filming. Amazingly, directors and producers were able to use the magic of editing, CGI and doubles. In some scenes, they use Paul's brothers as doubles, putting Paul's face onto the brothers via CGI. They do it so well I hardly even noticed the difference and it felt great to see him as part of the movie and being remembered. The cars are as awesome and as fast as ever with cars ranging from a minivan (yes, a minivan) to a 3.4 million dollar super car that drives through three skyscrapers. This is the longest Fast and the Furious film yet at over two hours. However, I think the length is perfect for this is a massive story to tell. The acting is phenomenal. Jason Statham (Dekard Shaw) plays a great bad guy. I also have to mention how they wrap everything together with transitions that are just amazing, camera shots that are breathtaking and directing that is spot on. It wraps up to be a perfect action packed and fast-paced movie. My favorite scene is when they are trying to get a program, which hacks into anything and tracks someone and can find anything or anyone on Earth in less than an hour. However the program is hidden inside the mechanics of a Lykan Hyper-sport, which is a Middle Eastern car - also considered a super car for its ridiculous speed. This specific model is located in the penthouse of a prince who lives in a tall building with two other towers right next to it. They get the car while a party is going on. However, it's not very sneaky. They have to flee but the only way is out of the building. They drive the car through two of the skyscrapers and jump out at the third one while the car plummets to its destruction. I love this scene because it's intense, action packed, and just plain awesome.

This film is definitely meant for adults. There are adult related jokes, intense action packed scenes, and situations not suitable for younger children. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars for a job very well done. Something I liked was how, at the end, the filmmakers surprised us by showing about five minutes of scenes with Paul's character, Conner, as a memorial and also dedicated the entire film to him.

I would like to dedicate my review to Paul as well. Paul, you are missed and the Furious team is never going to be the same without you. Hope you found peace and are racing the coolest cars up there.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Furious 7 is the seventh installment of the Fast and the Furious movie series. This movie is also the last movie to feature leading actor Paul Walker who died last year in a car crash. The movie pays homage to Paul at the end of the movie by having a montage of different clips from the original Fast and the Furious movies with Paul Walker, ultimately leading up to a final message at the end of the movie simply saying, "For Paul."

Furious 7 is an action-packed fun movie with B+ actors all around. It is the perfect summer blockbuster that is released pre-summer. The movie revolves around Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) as he and his crew are hunted down by an angry Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). Shaw is the brother of Owen Shaw from Fast and Furious 6, who was defeated by Dominic and his crew.

There is an enormous amount of talent in this movie from Dwayne Johnson playing Luke Hobbs, to Paul Walker playing Brian O'Connor, to Michelle Rodriguez playing Letty Ortiz. Another great thing about this movie is that there is no one location for the movie, as the movie takes place in Los Angeles, London and even in the Middle East.

The action is fantastic, as director James Wan and editor Christian Wagner have created something spectacular for the eyes. Also, the music is superb throughout the entire movie. Musical director Brian Tyler selects great music applicable to every scene and every action, which gives everything a great and awesome flow. I loved seeing Dwayne Johnson perform the Rock Bottom in one of his scenes against Jason Statham. Also, Ronda Rousey's appearance is a personal highlight. However, there are some big lowlights in Furious 7. The dialogue could use some improvement. The story gets stuck due to the dialogue and the actors seem to just throw out one-liners over and over again to fill up time. Also, the fights are too unrealistic. After every brutal fight, the characters have only small bumps and a little bit of blood on their faces, which is completely unrealistic.

Overall, this movie is intended for dudes. I recommend it for guys age 13 to 18 because of how it portrays women, includes lots of cars and lots of fighting.

Reviewed by Brandon Cela, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15.

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


LONGEST RIDE, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LONGEST RIDE, THE
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Based on the bestselling novel by master storyteller Nicholas Sparks, THE LONGEST RIDE centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia, a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City's art world. As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected and fateful connection with Ira, whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple. Spanning generations and two intertwining love stories, THE LONGEST RIDE explores the challenges and infinite rewards of enduring love.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This new romantic drama is a fantastic mix of adventure and romance. Although it is a romantic film at heart, there are many other aspects that will make everyone find something they like about it. It has a little sparkle of comedy, which makes it entertaining and great story line. There is a true feeling of thrill with a core of adventure and heart-warming discoveries.

The film is about a famous bull rider named Luke Collins who, after one year of recovering from an accident, is back on the bull again trying to make a comeback. At his first match, he has to climb the fence to escape a bull and accidentally throws his hat to a girl named Sofia. They end bumping into each other later and start dating. On the way home from the first date, they rescue a elderly man named Ira from a car on fire. And that's what starts the beautiful double plot story that comes to an unbelievable culmination at the end of the movie.

This film is breathtaking. Produced by the same people that gave the world The Fault In Our Stars, they created something unique by running the two stories in parallel. The director also makes it so each story has vivid colors so you concentrate on specific points and makes you feel like it is a certain time or age which I think is a wonderful idea. The acting is phenomenal and in both stories they fill in each other's gaps making it very entertaining. Speaking of entertaining, even though it is called a romantic drama, I think it is just a heart-warming story that has potential to become a classic.

My favorite scene is when Sofia and Luke meet. You think it is very coincidental which kind of makes it funny. However it's well done and shows how they were meant to be together. I also like it because Sofia, an urban girl who always puts school first, hooks up with Luke, a cowboy (yes, a true cowboy) who lives on a farm and rides bulls. It is completely unexpected. However, when they meet, you see how it can become true.

This film is very mature and has quite a bit of sexuality displayed so, I recommend it for ages 14 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This heartfelt film takes two love stories and combines them into one. Luke (Scott Eastwood) and Sophia (Britt Robertson) are two people with different goals that stay connected after saving an old man, Ira (Alan Alda), from a car accident. Sophia visits Ira in the hospital and reads letters that reveal the history of love and challenge between him and his wife Ruth (Oona Chaplin).

The most investing and romantic tale is Ruth and Ira's which starts in the 1940s. Their story is the highlight of the film. However, the film's greatest aspect is it's downfall. As I listen to Ruth and Ira's tale, I'm captivated by their story and feel wrenched away from the lovers as I am brought back to Luke and Sophia touching story line. I understand the concept is used to connect the two similar love stories, that eventually intertwine. But, the film's main focus is towards Luke and Sophia and I feel the real story is about Ruth and Ira.

Both stories have huge potential for being their own film. At times, it feels as if the film makers force these two stories together to make them work as a whole. I know this script is based on a popular book, by the same name, written by Nicholas Sparks. I also know that a book and a movie are two different things and are perceived in two different ways.

Every actor in this film puts on believable performances. The heart and tender romance between each couple is honest and loving. I love a good romantic film and the couples in this movie are a lovely addition to the world of cinema.

My favorite scene is when Ira is given a simple portrait of his wife's face. Ira and Ruth spent their life together collecting irreplaceable works of art, but this painting reminds him that the true work of art is the life they made together. This is one of the rare times that a film made me cry.

My favorite character is Ira (Alan Alda and Jack Huston). Both Jack and Alan's performances are outstanding. Jack, who plays the young version of Ira, shows the supportive loving husband. Alan, who plays the older Ira, starts out as a bitter old man but, as he shares his story with Sophia, he becomes more open. Both performances make for one great character.

There are many morals in this movie. The one that stands out to me is, "Focus on the things you have, rather than the things you don't." Ruth and Ira try everything to have children, but can't. They're distraught, but remember they have each other and that's enough.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this to 14 through 18-year-olds. There are sensual scenes and partial nudity in the film that are inappropriate for younger kids, but it's a memorable film for couples ages teen through adult. There's plenty of love and passion to makes this a another great romance film. This can be seen in theaters April 10th.

Reviewed by Keefer Blakeslee, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.

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


INSURGENT
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INSURGENT
LIONSGATE FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side. Directed by Robert Schwentke, Starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and Theo James.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The highly anticipated film Insurgent opens this weekend and, from our KIDS FIRST! Critics comments, you won't be disappointed. This second film from the Divergent series shows how Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Brianna B. comments, "Insurgent has a strong message about choices. The choices you make affects what will happen later in your life, so you should always try to make the right choice." See her full review below.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This second installment of the Divergent series is an action packed film with a great display of emotions from the entire cast. It's intense and, at times, a little touching. I truly enjoyed viewing it.

War is now full-fledged between the Factions. Tris (Shailene Woodley), as a Divergent, has to continue to battle the guilt of her past shame and her enemies while trying to figure out who her true allies are. Many secrets are uncovered and trust is indeed tested between everyone.

Insurgent is filled with great scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat and your eyes glued to the big screen. The little sparks of pure creativity in presenting this adaptation is refreshing and satisfying with the CGI, stunts and different camera angles. My favorite character is Tobias (Theo James), aka Four. I can clearly see how much he loves and wants to protect Tris. His eyes tell the whole story of how much he cares and truly adores her. Even though some of the decisions aren't the best, he still stands by her. There are a ton of great scenes in Insurgent. However, my favorite scene is when Tris finds herself connected to one of Jeanine Matthew's (Kate Winslet) simulators. The cinematography and the special effects are outstanding and Shailene Woodley's acting in this scene is phenomenal. I loved seeing it in IMAX. The picture is definitely bigger, has higher quality and the sound is all around me, feeling so real.

Insurgent also stars Jai Courtney (Eric), Ansel Elgort (Caleb) and Octavia Spencer (Johanna). They embody their characters fully and their acting performances are truly incredible. They really feed off of one another and look so natural.

Insurgent has a strong message about choices. The choices you make affects what will happen later in your life, so you should always try to make the right choice. You can make the wrong choice or the right one, but either one has a consequence.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18. It's rated PG -13 for some intense violence and heavy action throughout the film. I give Insurgent 5 out of 5 stars. It's action packed, easy to follow along and a joy to watch with all the special effects.

Make the right choice and see Insurgent in theaters on March 20th, so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

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


SOUND OF MUSIC, THE (50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SOUND OF MUSIC, THE (50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT Click to purchase directly from the producer Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Description - In 1930s Austria, a young woman named Maria is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the widower, Navy captain Georg Von Trapp writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischievous children, Maria is given the job. The Captain is often away and runs the household as strictly as he does the ships he sails on. The children are unhappy and resentful of the governesses that their father hires and have managed to run each of them off. When Maria arrives, she is met with the same hostility, but her kindness, understanding, and sense of fun soon draws them to her and brings some much-needed joy into all their lives -- including the Captain's. Eventually he and Maria find themselves falling in love, even though Georg is already engaged to a Baroness and Maria is still a postulant. The romance makes them both start questioning the decisions they have made. Their personal conflicts soon become history in this multiple award-winning film celebrating its 50th anniversary this year (2015).

Starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker. Directed by Robert Wise. From the stage musical with music and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I remember the year this film came out (1965). It was all the rage and everyone ran around singing the wonderful songs. Julie Andrews became a household name that held her fast in our hearts. This film today, still enchants. Based on the real live story of the Von Trapp family and their escape from Nazi Germany, it is a classic in many ways.

The bonus features on this 50th anniversary meditation will be a plus for filmophiles who will enjoy the audio commentary by Ms. Andrews, Mr.. Plummer and director Mr. Wise. The restoration of the real-life Von Trapp family, the screen tests, sing along track - all well thought out and presented. Thank you Fox for your thoughtfulness in presenting this special edition.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The 50th Anniversary Edition of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music is a must-have for every family. This 5-disc DVD set includes the movie in HD and standard definition, a new 60 minute documentary called The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg and lots of other special features.

The Sound of Music is the best family film of all time because it brings everyone together with its great, true-life story of the Von Trapp family. The songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein are all wonderful and unforgettable. Each song is a masterpiece. Some might think Frozen is an amazing movie musical, but Rodger and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music is a million times better! The quality of the song writing just cannot be compared with anything else.

The Sound of Music stars Julie Andrews as Maria, a young Austrian woman who is training to be a nun at a monastery. Christopher Plummer stars as Captain Von Trapp, a wealthy Austrian naval captain who hires Maria as governess to his seven children. It was directed by Robert Wise. It won five Academy Awards including Best Picture.

The documentary, The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg, which is included in this 50th anniversary DVD edition, is informative and revealing. We go behind-the-scenes to visit the original locations in the film: the monastery, the Cathedral, the Von Trapp estate (which is really a classical music school) and a 100-year-old marionette theater which was the inspiration for the puppet scene in the film. It is wonderful to see Julie Andrews so excited about coming back and visiting the film's locations after 50 years.

For those who love the songs, the 50th Anniversary DVD Edition also includes the original soundtrack from the film. And there are lots of other bonus material, such as Music Machine Sing-Along; Audio Commentaries with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, and Director Robert Wise; A City of Song--Virtual Map of Filming Locations in Salzburg, Austria; Vintage Rodgers and Hammerstein and The Sound of Music programs; and more.

The Sound of Music is appropriate for all ages. The documentary, The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg is appropriate for those ages 10 to 18. I rate this new DVD set 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Clayton Pickard, KIDS FIRST! Critics, age 15
Runtime: 174 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.98
Media: Video and DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


This title is available for purchase from TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT

CINDERELLA
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CINDERELLA
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Description - When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her daughters. Never one to give up hope, Ella's fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger. Starring Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter and Richard Madden. Directed by Kenneth Branagh
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This much anticipated live action feature from Disney does not disappoint. The sets, locations and costumes are absolutely stunning. Cate Blanchett shines as the evil stepmother who can turn on the charm when she wants to. Lily James as the innocent Cinderella truly exemplifies kindness, a theme of the film. Richard Madden as The Prince also holds up. He is good-looking, kind-hearted and drawn to Ella because of her extreme honesty and her ability to live by what she believes in. The step sisters, played by Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger are truly a hoot. Their antics are more humorous than evil but they get the point across. As their mother says, they are just plain stupid.

Branagh's direction is as delightful as when he directed Much Ado About Nothing. He takes a well-known take and puts an entirely new spin on it. Well done Mr. Branagh. Filmed at various locations in Buckinghamshire, England, it wreaks of Old English architecture and detail.

And, one more thing - even my husband liked this! And he is usually only a fan of fast-paced action films. Much to my surprise, he raved about it afterwards.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Cinderella is a beautiful classic fairytale. This modern rendition is powerful with a great cast that will keep you entertained. It's simply stunning!

After her father's death, Cinderella (Lily James) lives under the guardianship and authority of her wicked stepmother (Cate Blanchett). She becomes the servant of the house and is the subject of the family's ridicule and unkindness. When she meets a stranger in the woods Cinderella is unaware that she is talking to The Prince (Richard Madden) and this classic fairytale continues.

Cinderella's cinematography is flawless. It has elaborate costumes and the glass slippers are outstanding. You are in awe of how spectacular they look when you first see them. The set has such a majestic feel to it and it draws you in entirely as the plot develops. I especially like the special effects when the Fairy Godmother is preparing Cinderella for ball. It has a lot of excitement and anticipation. The chemistry and romance between the two main characters is incredible. It feels as though they are made for each other. Even though I know the plotline to this classic fairy tale it is nice to see it with slightly a different take.

My favorite scene is when Cinderella meets her Fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) for the very first time. The Godmother transitions from an ugly, dreadful old woman to a beautiful goddess. This scene has some humor and a well-know, message to never judge a book by its cover. My favorite character has to be the Fairy Godmother. She is surprisingly funny and has a very big part in the story.

Director, Kenneth Branagh, directs this classic fairy tale with great artistry and dramatic characteristics. The cast, design and the creative aspects of this film is wonderfully place together.

Always be kind. A message that's very evident in this film. Being kind can change someone's day for the better. The younger you learn this message the better.

I recommend Cinderella for ages 8 to 18. Also, I'm sure a lot of adults will enjoy this film as well. Anyone who loves fairy tales, this is your film and you will love it. I give this beautiful film 5 out of 5 stars. It's wonderful and beautifully made. Cinderella is in now so please check it out.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, Age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

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


BIG BLOCK SINGSON VOLUME ONE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BIG BLOCK SINGSON VOLUME ONE
GODDARD/BROWN Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 0-2
Description - The DVD features animated Big Block Singsong music videos. This is a fun and entertaining animated musical short format series which currently airs on the CBC in Canada, Disney Junior in the US and Nick Jr. in the UK, among other international networks. Season 2 music videos debut on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior TV in May, and they already air on CBC TV in Canada. For more info, go to www.bigblocksingsong.com. "Season 2" episodes will debut on Disney Junior in May. www.bigblocksingsong.com
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Who knew that being so square could be so cool! Big Block Singsong is a terrific musical, visual DVD romp. Creators Warren Brown and Adam Goddard have hit the creative mother load here - what seems so simple is so deceiving in its well-designed construction - the 'simple' individual block characters sing a two-minute nicely produced song that covers subjects from noses and hair to emotions of sadness and happiness, so you see the sky's the limit, or not. Two of my favorite pieces are 'Octopus' who is so proud of his eight legs and 'Moose' who touts the joys of visiting the park. If I was a betting man I'd bet you couldn't watch just one, could you, I bet not.

This might be the best invention since the Wheel! Simplicity and cleverness of design mixed with catchy songs and melodies. Great to look at and fun to hear. I'm 65 and mesmerized ... the colors and movement will entrance toddlers while adults will get the in-jokes.

Each two-minute animated song is a complete story and true to its mission of making what might be a mundane single word into a revelation that being so square could be so cool. I love that some of the lyrics are above the head of the little ones. It doesn't matter because the visual and audio support each other so well.

The songs are positive and supportive and applaud individualism and uniqueness. I bet this DVD will get worn out from repeat viewings!

The DVD cover shows the diversity of each character, an animated block that is colorful, very fun-looking and inviting. The technical features are all sound but the joy is letting each of the 24 segments play through. Cool!

The entertainment value is topnotch - colorful and unique animation coupled with a creative two minute song on a theme such as monkey, spider, robot, ears, moose and similar.

Bet you can't watch just one! The characters and songs are all so engaging that the children will learn while being highly entertained.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The kids really liked this program. They watched it with interest and they were excited for each next song to begin. They laughed and jumped around during the song about hair. We watched it in two sessions because it was a little long for them to watch in one session. They lost interest halfway through but came back excited about it again later. They loved the different colors of the blocks and were interacting and discussing the songs with each other.

"It's big music!" "My favorite part was the hair person that had hair all over her eyebrows." "We liked everything." "We liked that it said, oh yeah!"

They really liked the format of short, fun songs, laughed hysterically at the hair song. The baby had his eyes open really big. They also liked the space song. Thought it was really cool.

"We learned about colors, fruit and flamingos. The owl looked so mean." They were loud and enthusiastic about each new song. The baby cooed at the fruit song. Very enjoyable for all, ages 4 months to 5 years.
Runtime: 48 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 1-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: DVD


DUFF, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DUFF, THE
LIONSGATE FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A high school senior instigates a social pecking order revolution after finding out that she has been labeled the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier more popular friends.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The comedic movie, The Duff, is hilarious, relatable and worth watching. The film is about high-school senior Bianca, played by Mae Whitman, who finds out that she is the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) of her attractive group of friends. Determined to change her DUFF image and impress her crush Toby, she turns to her popular neighbor Wesley Rush, played by Robbie Amell, to give her a complete makeover. Through her journey of transformation, she gains self confidence and shows the school that everybody is a DUFF. Not only do I enjoy that the movie starts off fast, but I really like that it starts with a cool, graphic newspaper clip that explains high school and the different types of people in high school. Being a high school student myself, I was really surprised at how relatable the movie is, especially to today's generation of teenagers. It doesn't just portray the generic, stereotypical high school student that is so outdated. The movie has a lot of familiar celebrity stars that I enjoyed seeing. The performances by Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Allison Janney and Ken Jeong are especially hilarious and very entertaining.

The movie is hilarious, yet deep. Most comedy movies are really funny, yet pointless or lack an overall message. I laughed so often and even shed a tear in a heartfelt scene. The facial expressions are priceless and memorable. I respect this film for being extremely funny while also having a deep, motivational moral lesson and theme. I enjoyed the plot and moral of the story as much the comedy. The movie has a lot of references that are very comical. One example is an episode of the Simpsons that the movie shows. The movie also has really entertaining graphics that make the movie even more unique, some of this include labels and an interactive screen effect.

This film is one I will watch multiple times and tell my friends to watch, yet I do not recommend it as a family movie. The film may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 due to inappropriate language and actions. I definitely recommend the movie for teenagers in high school, especially girls. I recommend the movie to ages between 13 and 18. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. Check it out coming to theatres on February 20th! Reviewed by Harmony M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15.

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


GIRL LIKE HER, A
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GIRL LIKE HER, A
XXX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE 5-18
Description - 16-year-old Jessica Burns has a secret that she's afraid to share with anyone - except her best friend, Brian Slater. For the past year she's been victimized by another girl - her former friend, Avery Keller, one of South Brookdale High School's most popular and beautiful students. What can you do when the world sees the image of a person but not the reality? With Brian's help and a hidden digital camera, the evidence of Avery's relentless harassment is captured and finally exposed-bringing both girls and their families face to face with the truth. Starring Hunter King, Jimmy Bennett, Lexi Ainsworth.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a film that looks like a real, although its not, bullying story. It concentrates on everybody who is affected by it. It shows who does what about it and why. A Girl Like Her can truly show that something may seem so small, can mess up so many people. This movie isn't a romance or comedy or an action packed adventure, quite the contrary. It shows a journey, a drama-filled one. It will not make you laugh. However, it may make you cry. It is about bullying which should not be referred to as a joke.

The story is about a girl named Jessica who goes to one of the best public high schools in the nation. However, after refusing to let her 'friend' cheat on her test, she starts getting bullied. She makes her best friend tell no one of this. But the friend decides something else. He gives her a hidden camera to wear and this documents all the bullying. Soon, she tries to commit suicide and the movie shows the struggle of not only the victim and her family, but everybody - the bystander, the bully, the administration, everybody.

This movie is truly emotional. It is made to look like it is documenting a real story. I didn't even know it was fake till the end! That's how good of a job it is! The acting is truly wonderful. This is the only time I have ever truly hated a character then, felt pity for the character. This is the bully. The director does a wonderful job showing the emotions of characters and proving that bullying isn't just a normal part of life to deal with. It is a serious matter that has killed hundreds of children.

I cannot choose a favorite scene because I would rather that this movie doesn't need to tell people about bullying. My least favorite scene is when the school administration denies the need to institute anti-bullying policies and tries to brush it away as nothing. The school acts like it's nothing and it shows you how quickly a school will put bullying as nothing to be worried for their own benefit.

This film should be seen by everyone over the age of 9. This film shows you that the world isn't always a happy place with sunshine and smiles. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars because it is a wonderful movie and something we all know is taking place. The only thing I would have liked to have seen in this film is a message at the end or beginning saying that this is WRONG and this is no laughing matter. And, they should recommend resources that kids and parents can go to. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12, producer the anti-bullying film, Equation of Life (available on amazon)

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


RUSSELL MADNESS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
RUSSELL MADNESS
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT Click to purchase directly from the producer Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - This tail-wagging comedy-adventure from the Creators of "Air Bud" and "Air Buddies" stars John Ratzenberger, Will Sasso and Fred Willard. Russell is an undersized but big-hearted terrier who dreams of having a family of his own. After running away from his pet store, Russell gets taken in by The Ferraros, a family desperate to revive their grandfather's pro wrestling arena. That's when they discover their new pet pooch has incredible wrestling skills. With help from his coach, Hunk, a savvy and hilarious monkey, Russell rockets to the top of the pro wrestling world and becomes a famous sports superstar. But when a dishonest promoter double-crosses the Ferraros, Russell will face his biggest challenge and discover that the strongest tag team is family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is hilarious, adventurous and much more! It will appeal to kids as well as adults and has a very unique idea. Russell Madness is a perfect family story that will be enjoyed by many. Russell Madness has a feel of comedy with a wrap-around of family ties, while still having a core of wrestling and a little sprinkle of suspense.

The story starts when a family moves back to Oregon to take over an old wrestling ring which belonged to the family for a long time. It is a bit run down, but a new generation opens it back up. Then, during a first match, something very interesting happens. A dog named Russell (completely by coincidence) comes into the ring where a big tough and strong wrestler is. What happens next is absolutely unexpected and surprising.

This film is stupendous! Something I really like about it is that Russell's coach is a monkey named Hunk. And yes, it is a talking monkey, played by a very smart and adorable monkey named Crystal, except for the talking parts of course, which I think is a great and smart idea. The acting is wonderful and the whole film has that perfect amount of cheesiness, cuteness and positivity to make it a wonderful family film. Also, the jokes are original and hilarious.

My favorite scene is about the family's first encounter with Hunk. Hunk tells them to take in Russell as a family dog and offers to train Russell to be a wrestler. But, his price is many things doing with bananas. It is funny and an important scene in the movie.

I recommend for kids ages 5 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars for fantastic acting, production, directing, and unbelievable animal training. Don't miss it when it comes out March 10, 2015. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.

Watching a movie with talking animals that do athletic activities makes me feel nostalgic, especially that movie is made by the same people that made the movie that gives me nostalgia: Air Bud. When I was younger, I remember watching Air Bud and wanting a dog like that. But after watching Russell Madness, I experienced that same feeling all over again.

Russell Madness is about a Russell terrier named Russell (very punny) that meets a family, the Ferraros, that just so happen to have recently gained the ownership of a vintage wrestling arena from their grandfather. At this arena he meets a monkey named Hunk. Russell seems to be a timid dog, but once Hunk begins to train him he becomes a world class wrestler. On the way to stardom, he gains the love of his new family and this is something that he has longed for. However, as his popularity grows, he runs into bigger opponents.

It was great to be able to watch a different storyline that involves animals. I think that so many movies have the same plot, one way or another. However, Russell Madness brings a completely different story and uses it to its advantage. It is also perfectly executed with good actors and great dialogue. I enjoyed the small jokes here and there. While some jokes are aimed at the younger kids, they do include some jokes for the older kids and adults. I really enjoyed seeing the wrestling dog but I think that actors that played the wrestlers could have been much better. Some of the extras looked slightly out of place and that was little distracting. The cinematography is good. I enjoyed the different angles that the movie is filmed from. In some cases, the camera is low to show that the animals are talking and their point of view is different than that of people.

This movie brings back a lot of memories from my childhood. Russell Madness looks like its going to leave a mark in a new generation of children just like Air Bud did for me. This can also rekindle the flame that was lit by Air Bud for older kids and even for adults. I recommend this movie to kids from the age of 5 to 16, because it is a heart-warming story that kids of any age can enjoy. I give this movie a rating of 4 out of 5 stars and I hope that everyone enjoys it as much as I did.

Reviewed by Jorge Lopez, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 22.98
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


This title is available for purchase from TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT

TINKER BELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TINKER BELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Return to Pixie Hollow for a heartwarming adventure, Disney's TINKER BELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST. An ancient myth of a massive creature sparks the curiosity of Tinker Bell and her good friend Fawn, an animal fairy who's not afraid to break the rules to help an animal in need. But this creature is not welcome in Pixie Hollow -- and the scout fairies are determined to capture the mysterious beast, who they fear will destroy their home. Fawn must convince her fairy friends to risk everything to rescue the NeverBeast. This thrilling action-adventure roars to life with never-before-seen bonus extras on Disney Blu-ray and DVD.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast is an adventurous movie about Tinker Bell and her good friend Fawn, (Ginnifer Goodwin) an animal fairy with a big heart and an adventurous mind. As Fawn is flying through the forest, she notices a mysterious cave and hears a weird sound coming from inside. Fawn immediately flies inside the cave to see what is happening. Fawn discovers a mysterious creature that no one knows anything about. She begins to observe the creature and notices he does a lot of strange things. Fawn names him Gruff. Nyx and the other fairies try to capture the big green-eyed beast because they fear he will bring harm and danger to Pixie Hollow. Fawn tries her best to convince Tink, Nyx and their scout friends and fairies not to harm Gruff.

My favorite character is Nyx (Rosario Dawson). Nyx is apart of the Scout fairies. She protects the fairies in Pixie Hollow and tries to get rid of anything that would harm them. Nyx is very cool, confident and strong. She likes to get her job done.

My favorite scene is when Fawn tries to help Gruff hide from Nyx and the other fairies. As Fawn tries to hide Gruff in a secret place, he lets out a very loud and big sneeze and he sneezes on all the other fairies. It is really funny.

The message of this movie is not to judge people. Gruff is a creature that only wakes up every 1000 years for a special task. Everyone in Pixie Hallow thinks he is a bad beast. He is actually a nice creature.

The DVD/Blue-Ray combo has bonus features which include never before seen bonus extras, access to cool computer games, five ingredients to getting Gruff, The True Story of the NeverBeast and so much more!

Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast is a fabulous movie. It will be available on DVD/Blue-Ray/Digital on March 3, 2015. I recommend it for boys and girls ages 3 to 10. I give this move 5 out of 5 shinning stars. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kendyl Powell, age 13
Runtime: 76 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 36.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE: SHIP SHAPE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE: SHIP SHAPE
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 8-12
Description - When the Chief of Police calls the Charles family to report that a brand new boat and trailer are missing from the boat show, Upton is immediately recruited to apply his detective skills to the disappearance. Our super sleuth is a Bichon Frise (that's "BEE-shon free-ZEY"), a little white dog, who wastes no time in sniffing out clues that lead to a surprising discovery. During the course of the investigation, Upton is joined by a new assistant. Come along with Upton as he unravels another mystery in Ship Shape.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink. (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner)

This story is one of many from the Upton Charles - Dog Detective series, a series about a mystery-solving dog, a white fluffy Bichon Frize, who is a cute as can be, judging from the illustrations. Besides solving mysteries, Upton Charles can tell time (sort of), hates dry dog food and, of course, talk to us which allows him to tell about all his adventures.

The black and white illustrations are lovingly drawn and give us insight into what Upton's family is like. This adventure has Upton Charles and his family trying to solve the case of the missing boat, a 27 foot Wyman motor cruiser, from the boat show. As Upton shares his thought processes with us, we follow his logic in solving the crime. We learn about cool stuff such as how tire prints are like finger prints. Upton exerts his way upon the humans by his adept non-verbal communication and winds his way into your heart. He discovered a cat in the midst of the investigation who appears to have joined the motley group. Just when you think the mystery is solved, it takes a bit of an unexpected twist leaving us with newfound appreciation for the fine art of detecting.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a mystery novel with a little twist. It is from the prospective of an intelligent dog named Upton Charles. This book will make you laugh and wonder who is the culprit in the mystery. Upton Charles, Dog Detective: Ship Shape is a wonderful book that will be admired by both mystery and animal lovers.

This is a mystery story at heart, of course, with that little bit of suspense of who did it! There is also the family feel from Upton's owners which serves as a wonderful addition to the comedy.

I loved this book! It is not hundreds of pages so you feel satisfied when you get to the end. It is the perfect length at around 140 pages. It is a little predictable at times which will make kids love it, but anyone could fall in love with Upton and his family. The book does a wonderful job of showing the prospective of a dog's point of view and we see Upton's special talent. He can solve crimes, but still has dog in him.

This is definitely meant for teens and younger so I give it a age rating of 8 to15. The vocabulary is very basic so it is an easy read. I give it 5 out of 5 stars for wonderful writing that made me imagine the text coming to life but enjoying it too.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Critics, Age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99
Media: Book


MCFARLAND USA
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MCFARLAND USA
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - A cross country coach in a small California town transforms a team of athletes into championship contenders. Directed by Niki Caro. Starring Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Ramiro Rodriguez.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is definitely a "feel-good" kind of movie. Against all odds, broken down coach White (Kevin Costner) takes a job in McFarland, CA in the central valley. It's the only job he can get since he's been fired one too many times for his bad temper. His wife (Maria Bello) and kids are not thrilled when they arrive but, the town grows on them, and on him. He quickly gets in trouble with the lead football coach for acting against his will and is left on his own, teaching PE. The aha moment is when he realizes that his students, sons of migrant farm workers, are amazing runners and he starts a cross country track team with them.

There's nothing too surprising here since, it's based on a true story of how this track team ends up taking multiple state championships and traveling to foreign countries to compete as well. What is heart-warming is seeing how all this plays out with Costner taking the lead. The cast is comprised of local kids from McFarland along with professional actors and, they train for the film by running 5 miles a day. Pretty impressive.

The side stories - the mom and two daughters falling in love with their community, the 15-year-old having the community gather around her to produce her quinceanara, and how the local parents and business owners warm up to "White" are all good stuff. I particularly enjoyed the ending where they show what happened to the actual kids who are portrayed in this film. Every one of them went on to college, mostly on scholarships and all but one returned to McFarland to teach, coach, and run local businesses. As I said, it's a feel-good kind of movie and a great one to share with your family.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is truly an inspirational story for anyone who watches. McFarland USA will keep everyone on the edge of their seats.

McFarland USA will make you cry, laugh and more. It is a compelling film based on a true story that is full of drama and a solid feeling of inspiration. However, there is a hint of comedy to brighten things up and a spice of thrill that will keep you engaged throughout the movie.

The story starts when a family moves to a very poor town in central California called McFarland. Track coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) is a newcomer to a predominately Latino high school in California's Central Valley. He quickly notices that the kids there are faster than he has ever seen and turns the fastest boys into a cross country track team. The movie covers the relationship between the coach and the boys, his relationship with his family and the adventure the boys and the coach go through as they try to win the state cross country championship.

This movie is truly compelling and inspiring. After seeing it I had an urge to do more. It has a fantastic mix between concentrating on the coach's story but also looks at each person on the team, which I think was a fantastic decision. The acting is impressive especially since some of the actors had never even acted before and some of them actually grew up in McFarland.

My favorite scene is when they have a one on one race with another school. Once the two teams start running, the opposing coach starts teasing Coach White. However, after the team's fastest player, Thomas (Carlos Pratts) finishes first, he brings back all that teasing but in a very classy way. I love this scene because it shows that the team was looked down on but they rose above the torment and tease and truly believed in themselves and a better future for themselves.

This film has a lot of mature moments that may be a bit too much for younger kids, so I give it an age rating of 10 to18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars for a truly inspiring and fantastic film. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry Orz, age 12.

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


ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 8-18
Description - Alexander's day begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by more calamities. Though he finds little sympathy from his family and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him, his mom, dad, brother, and sister all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Starring Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner and Ed Oxenbould as Alexander.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This comedy is based on the best-selling book and is about young Alexander and his horrible day. Alexander only thinks these bad days happen to him but, he learns he is not so alone. This is an entertaining family movie and had my whole family laughing out loud. It actually makes you smile and there are quite a few meaningful lessons in this fun movie. It shows that when things go wrong, you should have courage and should try your best to turn them around. Maybe you won't fix it perfectly but, with courage, you can be proud of who you are. It also shows that there will be some bad days and you don't always have to be positive. The two most meaningful lessons are that family is important especially at the worst of times and as young Alexander states in the movie "You have to have the bad days so you love the good days even more."

The DVD/Blu-ray includes some great extras. My family found them interesting and enjoyable to watch. There are quotes from the actors and the author of the book in "Alexander in Real Life." Both kids and adults will enjoy the "Delightful, Magnificent Bloopers" because they are really funny! There is also a short video called Snappy Crocs and Punchy Roos which is about how Alexander is into the Australian outback. I enjoyed the "Walk About Diary" where you learn that the actor who plays Alexander is actually really from Australia. Last of all, there is a music video of the Vamps performing the song from the movie "Hurricane." A Must-See! I give this one 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What a hilarious adventure! Something I like about this film is that although it's a comedy, at the same time, the directors have created a story so it doesn't feel as if it's just one big joke. In my estimation, it is just perfect. This film has a bubble of unique comedy that sends the audience laughing out loud. And, it has a sprinkle of romance packaged with it which makes it a unique story.

The story starts out showing an eleven-(soon to be twelve)-year-old kid who always has bad days while everyone else in his entire family always has perfect days. On the very early morning of his 12th birthday he wishes that his family members would have a bad day. Well they do! And, phew, is it bad!

This film has comedy that isn't just little jokes or things that are commonly seen in lots of normal comedies but, unique and creative comedy that is really funny. The actors are all well suited to their roles and, something I love about this film is that the ending is not easily predictable. Also, the story is created in such a way that the comedy is just a part of the story. The creators managed to get a very important message through to the audience.

My favorite scene is when the sister is under the weather with a common cold but has a play that day. She decides to drink a whole bunch of cough medicine and gets drunk during the play. This part is absolutely hilarious. The entire audience, including me, could not stop laughing during this scene.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a young kid film but not too young. I would recommend for ages 9 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars for a great story, fantastic acting and unbelievable comedy!

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

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good Very Bad Day is an amazingly funny comedy for the whole family to enjoy. This movie is full of very humorous moments.

This film is about a boy named Alexander who always has awful days but other members of his family have great days; some of those days are even perfect, according to Alexander. On his 12th birthday, he decides to make a birthday sundae and he makes a wish that his family would know and understand the horrible conditions that he has to endure. Unfortunately, the next morning another horrible day begins. Everyone wakes up late, Anthony (Alexander's older brother) wakes up to a pimple and his girlfriend breaks up with him the morning before prom. Emily (Alexander's older sister) gets sick before her play and Trevor (Alexander's baby brother) runs out of diapers. It continues to get worse from there.

The message of this film is everyone will experience bad days; though the bad days will not last long. It is important to really enjoy the good days when they come.

My favorite character is Trevor, Alexander's baby brother. He is simply adorable. He has the cutest and funniest facial expressions at the right moment.

My favorite part is when Trevor starts to eat the ink from the marker. It is funny because no one notices him. Once the adults realize Trevor is eating the marker it is funny watching them try to wash it off and unfortunately, they learn it's a bit of a challenge to get the marker off.

The actors Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner and Ed Oxenbaould are all simply phenomenal in bringing humor to the film.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good Very Bad Day is a fantastic movie for the whole family. I highly recommend it for boys and girls ages 9-18 and I give it 5 out of 5 shinning stars. You can watch Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day in a movie theater near you, October 10, 2014.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $ 36.99
Media: FeatureFilm
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


HUMPBACK WHALES
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HUMPBACK WHALES
MACGILLIVRAY FREEMAN FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Description - Narrated by two-time Golden Globe� nominee Ewan McGregor, Humpback Whales is an extraordinary journey into the mysterious world of one of nature's most awe-inspiring marine mammals. Set in the spectacular waters of Alaska, Hawaii and the remote islands of Tonga, this ocean adventure offers audiences an up-close look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play and take care of their young. Captured for the first time with IMAX� 3D cameras, and found in every ocean on earth, humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a slow but remarkable recovery. Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out why humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales, why they sing their haunting songs, and why these intelligent, 55-foot, 50-ton animals migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you enjoy seeing a documentary movie that will educate, inspire and amaze you than you will love MacGillivray Freeman's Humpback Whales. I learned more about the humpback whale than if I had studied this unit in school for a month!

This forty minute, large format documentary on humpback whales tags along with leading whale researchers using new methods to see what the humpback whales do when no one's watching them.

The documentary follows the whales to the tropical kingdom of Tonga, to summertime in Alaska and then to the warm waters of Hawaii. The audience has a chance to follow the humpback whales migration, while experiencing their incredible songs and underwater acrobatics.

One unique thing among humpback males is the singing that they engage in. In fact, the recordings of whale songs are what helped save the humpback whales from extinction as people became interested in the animals who could make these beautiful and unique sounds.

The humpback whales do cooperative food gathering. It is known as "bubble net fishing" in which they work together to release bubbles and loud "feeding calls" to herd and trap herring. This makes it easier for them to gulp the herring or krill in large quantities because they can eat up to two tons of food a day.

My favorite part of the movie was seeing and learning about the different researchers who have spent their lives studying the humpback whales. One scene showing the males circling a female whale in an effort to mate is usually seen once every ten years. Nobody has ever seen the humpback whale actually mate so there are many unanswered questions surrounding this aspect of the humpback whales.

Ewan McGregor narrates with a sense of wonder that inspires us to want to know as much as possible about the humpback whales. The upbeat music throughout the movie peaks our interest and curiosity about these extraordinary creatures.

The film teaches us to admire and appreciate the complexities and sheer beauty of the humpback whales. We also see how a whale is rescued when it becomes entangled in life-threatening fishing gear. This rescue requires a lot of skill and understanding of how to free the whale while the rescuers stay safe. We learn the important things we must ensure so that they do not become extinct. We must never again have a whaling industry, have safer fishing gear, less trash in the ocean and take precautions not to have collisions between ships and whales.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adam Chernick, 9, KIDS FIRST! Critic.

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


1001 NIGHTS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
1001 NIGHTS
BIG BAD BOO STUDIO Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 5-12
Description - 1001 Nights is an animated show that brings the famed 1001 Arabian Nights to the screen. You've heard of Sinbad, Aladdin, and Ali Baba? You've got 998 more stories to go! Join the heroine, Shahrzad, as she weaves tales of adventure, intrigue, and excitement!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - 1001 Nights really wasn't exactly what I had expected from the theme song but this series is entertaining, engaging and appropriate for ages 7 to 12. There are beneficial social lessons children will learn from watching this series such as all actions have consequences or that rules need to be reinforced. The characters are fun to watch and the story lines are easy to follow because they flow well. The most important thing is that these shows will motivate children to think before they act. Maybe they will think before they make fun of someone. Maybe they will realize there are consequences to their actions. The series makes it a fun way to learn these important social lessons.

The shows have appealing characters, there is humor and each show has a lesson to be learned. The animation is also fun to watch and eye catching. The series is also available in a variety of different languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Persian and Urdu. The one thing that may be a slight drawback is that it is slightly difficult to find out all the names of the characters and remember their names. The theme song expresses that there will be adventures and many thrills. Two of the shows didn't seem to go along with the song.

The shows flow well and are easy to follow. They make sense and each starts with a problem of some type and then a story is told and a lesson is learned. All actions have consequences, rules are rules and should be followed. For example, in the first episode, The Joke's on You, the young prankster needs to learn that there are consequences for his joking/pranking behavior. He learns that if you play a practical joke on someone that you need to be prepared that someone will play one back on you. The consequences definitely do not go undetected.

It is visually appealing. The characters and the animation are eye-catching and entertaining. There are bright colors and it is simply fun to watch. The theme song is delightful but I'm not sure it's a perfect fit for the show. There seems to be lots of adventures in the stories but there are more lessons than adventures and thrills. It is action packed at times.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The animated comedy series, 1001 Nights, is playfully exciting and keeps it fun for young viewers. Based on the classic stories from Arabic literature, 1001 Nights, is humorous and educational. The series was nominated for 13 Leo awards and won 4. It won Best Screenwriting in an Animation program or series in 2012 and 2013 and won Best Animation Program or Series in 2012.

In Episode 3:Sinbad and the Valley of Serpents, a porter, Sinbad, comes to the palace and accidentally drops all the fruit in front of the Queen. The Queen asks if he's ok and he tells her he hates his job as a porter. She asks him why he doesn't get a new job and he tells her he's too poor and untrained. The Queen tells him the story of another Sinbad who started out as a poor fellow but became a rich merchant due to perseverance and intelligence. The rest of the episode is an adventure about how ancient Sinbad became rich through tenacity and keen wits. It is told in a funny, light, exciting way. There's a serpent, treasure, huge rooks and a whale!

1001 Nights was produced by Big Bad Boo Productions, from Vancouver, Canada. They are the production company that did Mixed Nuts which airs on PBS. Chad Van De Keere and Mike Myhre are the two main animation executives on the series. Mr. Van De Keere also worked on Being Ian (TV Series), Ren and Stimpy and Madeline: My Fair Madeline (TV movie). Mr. Myhre work on Monster High (TV Series) and George of the Jungle (2007 TV series).

1001 Nights grabs you in with its wonderful short stories based on tales from the classic book. In each episode it is the Queen, Shahrzad, who tells an ancient tale, just like in the book. So each episode has a story within a story. Each episode also has a gently imparted moral. The members of the Queen's family are always included in the ancient tale in some way. And, there's always a bumbling character, who thinks he's smart and wonderful, but humorously messes everything up. The only thing I didn't like was the animation style. It is flat and uninspiring, like most of Saturday morning animated TV.

Despite its mediocre animation style, 1001 Nights is a good series for kids aged 5-10. The fast-paced storytelling style and the educational elements make it a worthwhile series. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Clayton Powell, KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 15.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-13
Suggested Retail Price: $ 0.99
Media: TV


SPONGEBOB MOVIE, THE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPONGEBOB MOVIE, THE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Description - When a diabolical pirate above the sea steals the secret Krabby Patty formula, SpongeBob and his nemesis Plankton must team up in order to get it back. Starring Tom Kenny, Antonio Banderas, Bill Fagerbakke.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you enjoy seeing a documentary movie that will educate, inspire and amaze you than you will love MacGillivray Freeman's Humpback Whales. I learned more about the humpback whale than if I had studied this unit in school for a month!

This forty minute, large format documentary on humpback whales tags along with leading whale researchers using new methods to see what the humpback whales do when no one's watching them.

The documentary follows the whales to the tropical kingdom of Tonga, to summertime in Alaska and then to the warm waters of Hawaii. The audience has a chance to follow the humpback whales migration, while experiencing their incredible songs and underwater acrobatics.

One unique thing among humpback males is the singing that they engage in. In fact, the recordings of whale songs are what helped save the humpback whales from extinction as people became interested in the animals who could make these beautiful and unique sounds.

The humpback whales do cooperative food gathering. It is known as "bubble net fishing" in which they work together to release bubbles and loud "feeding calls" to herd and trap herring. This makes it easier for them to gulp the herring or krill in large quantities because they can eat up to two tons of food a day.

My favorite part of the movie was seeing and learning about the different researchers who have spent their lives studying the humpback whales. One scene showing the males circling a female whale in an effort to mate is usually seen once every ten years. Nobody has ever seen the humpback whale actually mate so there are many unanswered questions surrounding this aspect of the humpback whales.

Ewan McGregor narrates with a sense of wonder that inspires us to want to know as much as possible about the humpback whales. The upbeat music throughout the movie peaks our interest and curiosity about these extraordinary creatures.

The film teaches us to admire and appreciate the complexities and sheer beauty of the humpback whales. We also see how a whale is rescued when it becomes entangled in life-threatening fishing gear. This rescue requires a lot of skill and understanding of how to free the whale while the rescuers stay safe. We learn the important things we must ensure so that they do not become extinct. We must never again have a whaling industry, have safer fishing gear, less trash in the ocean and take precautions not to have collisions between ships and whales.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adam Chernick, 9, KIDS FIRST! Critic.

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


DOWNTON ABBEY, SEASON 5
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DOWNTON ABBEY, SEASON 5
PBS KIDS
Series: SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - "Downton Abbey" returns for an epic fifth season of intimately interlaced stories centered on an English country estate - a deliciously entertaining formula that has made it the highest-rated drama in PBS history. Season 5 features returning stars Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Laura Carmichael, Joanne Froggatt, Allen Leech, Robert James-Collier, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Lily James, Brendan Coyle, Lesley Nicol, Sophie McShera, Samantha Bond, Ed Speleers, Kevin Doyle, Raquel Cassidy, David Robb, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Daisy Lewis, Douglas Reith, Jeremy Swift, and Andrew Scarborough.

This acclaimed ensemble is joined by guest stars Harriet Walter ("Atonement"), reprising her role as Lady Shackleton, and Peter Egan ("Death at a Funeral"), who returns as Lord Flintshire, together with completely new characters played by Richard E. Grant ("Girls"), Anna Chancellor ("The Hour"), and Rade Sherbedgia ("24").
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Season Five takes off in the year 1924. This series continues with stories centered around the English country estate of the Crawley family. Their lives are intertwined with the lives of their servants in this carefully crafted drams ty Julian Fellowes and this is what makes Downton Abbey so entertaining! Although most of us were not alive in the 1920s, it seems so authentic and makes one feel that you are actually there.

The costumes and settings are so perfectly in tune with the time period. It is filled with secrets and, at times, mini-scandals which is exactly what makes it so compelling to watch. One can hardly wait to find out what would happen in the next episode.

The servants and the wealthy family members live separate lives but they are connected in so many ways and that really makes for great drama and humor.

Although, honesty is not rampant in the series, it does occasionally prove to be the best thing. There are also important lessons such as dealing with change and, for the younger generation, standing up for their principles. It shows how the younger generation has to stand up and express their opinions. Also, there are some social lessons that make this series beneficial.

On the whole, it provides drama-packed entertainment in a unique way due to the influence of the period in which it takes place and also, the connections between the different classes. It has been criticized for presenting the two classes cooperating so well when, in actuality, that was rarely the case.

It shows that people are people no matter what class they come from. We recommend this for older teens and adults, ages 13 to 18 plus adults. And, we give it 5 out of 5 stars for its excellence in production, writing and authenticity. The DVD set includes over 40 minutes of bonus video to see what happens behind the scenes in Season 5.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Runtime: 522 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 49.99
Media: DVD


SELMA
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SELMA
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - The unforgettable true story chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay's "Selma" tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Selma is a powerful new film that tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr. as he fights for equal voting rights by assembling the historic march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

I absolutely love this film. It details one of the most pivotal and epic protests during the civil rights movement in such an emotional, educational and inspiring way. The cinematography, musical score and stylistic editing techniques really assist the emotion of the film and convey just how intense the conflict and racial tension in the south was at that time.

David Oyelowo takes on the iconic role of Martin Luther King Jr. in this film and I am completely blown away by his performance. Not only does he embody Dr. King's public persona and extraordinary speech delivery, but he also portrays him in a way that sheds a light on his personal and home life as well as his relationships with his peers.

The violence that occurred during this movement and the march from Selma, in particular was extreme, hateful and very prevalent. It was disturbing to witness such hateful and unnecessary acts on screen, but I think it is very important that we remember the wrongs that have been overcome and that we continue to educate the public on what our country has been through and where it's going. Even though it was uncomfortable to see, it is important that we know and understand the history so we can better our future.

Because of the violence and heavy subject matter of the film, I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Considering the fact that this film is very educational, enlightening and inspiring, I think it is a must see. I give Selma 5 out of 5 stars, so make sure you check out this incredible true story, in theaters near you now! Reviewed by Raven Devanney, KIDS FIRST! Critics, age 17

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


STRANGE MAGIC
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
STRANGE MAGIC
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - "Strange Magic," a new animated film, is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Story by George Lucas, screenplay by David Berenbaum. Starring Evan Rachel Wood, Elijah Kelley, Kristin Chenoweth.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is an original, visionary, animated musical, inspired by a classic tale by William Shakespeare. An assortment of characters, from fairies to goblins to elves, who live in two different worlds clash over a magical love potion. Their encounter teaches them all that everyone deserves to be loved.

While the story is inspired by Shakespeare's Midsummer's Night Dream, George Lucas has adapted this story in a manner that is enjoyable for younger audiences. That's not an easy task to do, especially when taking Shakespeare's work.

The film's music spans several decades from nostalgic rock to pop and includes various love songs. The song choices are perfect for this film. Every song sets the tone for each scene whether it's fast-paced action or slower-paced romance. While the songs appear spontaneously, they are where most of the comedy comes from, and the characters poke fun at them from time to time.

It also helps when there are magnificent voice actors portraying the character. This film has a talented cast. I have a huge respect for voice actors because all the character's emotions comes solely from their voice. In this film, every actor successfully does that.

The animation and design are exquisite. The character designs look exactly like something George Lucas would create. The forest is literally flourishing with life. We see beautiful fairies to the impressive goblins we see incredibly rich details showing their scales, teeth and wings. And, their movements are fluid and believable. You are successfully transported into their world.

My favorite character is the Bog King (Alan Cumming). Not only do I admire the mosquito look of his character, but also the voice actor who plays him, Alan Cumming. Alan is a wonderful performer whether it's stage or film. He is a capable singer and actor which he proves again in his portrayal of this character.

My favorite scene is the duel duet between the Bog King and Marianne (Evan Rachel Wood). This is where the animators really show off their skills. The fight is swift and the witty comments between the two characters share make the scene even more entertaining.

The message this film stresses is that everyone deserves love. The love potion supposedly makes the person you love feel the same way towards you. However, through a misunderstanding, the Bog doesn't think any can love him, even with a love potion.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommended it to 5 through 18-year-olds. Adults will enjoy this too. Kids might be amazed by the imaginative animation and parents can enjoy the blast-from-the-past music.

Reviewed by Keefer Blakeslee, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Strange Magic is an animated film about two worlds. One where there is happiness, singing and love in the air. In the second world, everything is evil, with mystery around every corner and its leader - a dark, heartless king called "the bog king" (voice by Alex Cumming) that bans all love in his dark world. These two worlds have always been separated until one fairy princess named Marianne, (voice by Evan Rachel Wood) crosses the barrier and changes everything.

I have to admit, this movie is different from anything I have ever seen before, but I'm not sure whether that's a good or bad thing. It is a musical and most of the songs are songs that have been on the radio by popular artists. For example, Kelly Clarkson's "What Doesn't Kill You Stronger" and that is something I liked. But, something I am not a fan of are things that happen in the movie and how the movie is directed at children, but has some very mature things in it.

This movie is unpredictable which isn't a good thing all the time. This movie takes a turn that I had no idea how it even happened, to be honest. I don't even know how it got to where it ended. It all went so fast that I didn't get time to understand what was happening at the moment. Other times, it is kind of cool seeing what is happening next. But overall, I didn't exactly like how things move so fast and I never really got the concept of what was going on.

One thing that I love about the movie is that the characters are different. There are fairies, goblins and imps. I really liked that mythical feel of the movie.

This movie may look like it's for kids but trust me, it's not. There are things that I didn't even understand so I doubt that kids and younger than me will understand what is happening at all. There are also some mature scenes in the movie that made me unsure if it is kid-friendly or not. For example, the husband cheats on his wife on their wedding day. That happened within the first 20 minutes of the movie.

I am recommending this movie for ages 10 to 13 because it still has a kid-friendly touch that would draw little kids in. But, like I said, it does have some mature scenes. I am giving this movie 3 out of 5 stars because it isn't something I liked but I know that some kids would. Gary Rydstrom, the director and George Lucas, the writer do a good job on this film but it is just not something I personally enjoyed.

Reviewed by Samantha A, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


HOBBIT, THE: BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOBBIT, THE: BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
WARNER BRO. HOME ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - After the Dragon leaves the Lonely Mountain, the people of Lake-town see a threat coming. Orcs, dwarves, elves and people prepare for war. Bilbo sees Thorin going mad and tries to help. Meanwhile, Gandalf is rescued from the Necromancer's prison and his rescuers realize who the Necromancer is.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies is a breathtaking movie that is visually stimulating and very interactive. There are lots of scenes in the movie that invoke a variety of emotions and realizations of life lessons. This is a fantastic adaptation of the book and does it justice. I agree with the rating of PG-13, although the movie shows violence it is not overwhelmingly graphic. Children will most definitely appreciate the fantasy aspect of the movie and, if they haven't already read the book, I can assure you that after seeing the Hobbit trilogy they will be interested in reading the book.

Friendship and loyalty are so amazingly present in this story that you can't help but take away life lessons from it. There are many reasons to watch this movie and to share it with children, but the most important of all is for the art. It's incredible and worthwhile. It is a filmed version of the story that will last forever. Reviewed by Rachel V. KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the final installment of The Hobbit trilogy. Bilbo and his company of Dwarves have just unleashed the Dragon Smaug upon a small lakeside village and chaos breaks loose. Once word is out that the dragon has been driven from the mountain, armies from Actionm all over the land come to battle for the treasures that lie inside. It is a fight unlike any before and Bilbo must find a way to make peace before it is too late.

I really enjoyed this film. From the very beginning it is full of action, epic battles and suspense. The graphics in this entire series are stunning. The Hobbit never fails to impress me with its immaculate visuals and special effects. The soundtrack to this film is beautiful, as expected, since the rest of the series is filled with wonderful music. I think that this film is the perfect closure to the series that so many have fallen in love with and been loyal fans of over the years.

I'm also very impressed with the fact that this trilogy of films is adapted from one, relatively short novel and every film is so packed full of action and adventure, there is never a dull moment.

The cast is marvelous as usual. Martin Freeman is the perfect actor to play Bilbo Baggins because he embodies his personality so well. It's been wonderful to watch Bilbo's character develop over the course of these films. He starts off very timid and unsure of himself, but by the end of the final film he has so much new found confidence from all he's been through and is a completely different hobbit than he was at the beginning of the journey.

I'm very sad that the series has come to an end and that the journey is over, but I'm glad for the closure and amazed at how well this film turned out. Lord of the Rings fans will clearly love this film, but I think anyone who enjoys action, adventure and fantasy will love this film as well. There is a considerable amount of violence since the majority of the movie is an epic battle, so I suggest this film be viewed by ages 13 to 18-year-olds. If you have seen any of the previous films from The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings series, then this film should be suitable for you.

I give The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 5 out of 5 stars.

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


COOPERATIVE NEW GAMES LEADERSHIP
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
COOPERATIVE NEW GAMES LEADERSHIP
NEW GAMES LTD
Series: SHORT, AGES 12-18
Description - For the first time, Dale N. Le Fevre presents a visual leadership guide to accompany the New Games he offers. While he has always offered written guides of the qualities needed to lead the games in his DVDs and books, this time these are not only discussed but demonstrated graphically to maximize the most effective way to lead. Naturally, many of these leadership techniques can be applied to other situations.

Why play New Games?

New Games are fun cooperative group games for people of all ages, sizes, and abilities. Beyond that, playing them is a great way to learn a wide range of physical and social skills by doing these in the context of play - without even realizing it since they are just part of the games. Basic learning skills such as listening, following directions, cooperation, self control, and concentration are part of every game. (A detailed listing of skills for each game is with each game and on a pdf file.)

New Games get people moving and playing because they're fun. This make them a good way to help keep fit and are a perfect antidote for combating obesity.

Including 15 new New Games

There are 15 New Games that have not been presented on film by Dale previously. Some are quite unusual and all are fun. The games depicted are intended for all ages, ability levels and sizes. The leadership section is for a minimum age of 10 up to adult. Mainly the games are for fun and meant to include everyone wanting to play. Text files included in pdf format provide written games descriptions, leadership qualities, and skills information for each game besides being included with information for each game.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Cooperative New Games Leadership is for both adults and children. Although, the leadership section is slightly more adult friendly. The games are shown visually and makes learning how to play them easy. It's not only a way to become more active but a way to learn leadership skills, and other important social skills. It has educational, social and entertainment value and would be great for ages six to adult. It is positive and motivating and may encourage children to get out and play outside more while learning valuable lessons such as following directions and cooperating with others.

It gives complete directions to the games and visually shows how they are played. The only thing that may be unappealing is that it does show mostly adults. I think children would enjoy this because the games are silly, fun and interactive. Also, they really make you think. This would be great for a classroom or a big group setting.

It flows well and the games' menu is divided into "lower" and "higher" activity games. Or, you can view all the games at once. You know the number of players that are needed, its social purpose and the skills developed for each game. You should be aware that this is really a teaching DVD and should be used as such. This is not a glamourous or exciting DVD. The scenery is pretty basic and is outside where there is lots of space and room to play the games. The participants, both adults and kids, are dressed in regular casual clothing and the filming is very natural. I really like the layout of the menu. It is set up in such a way that you can watch all the games or select different ones. The leadership section is separate and not part of the section showing the games. There is also a resource folder that you can view from a computer rather than the DVD player. This is excellent because you can print it out or view it on a tablet.

The DVD is educational with social and entertainment elements. The education and social would be most meaningful for most. I think it makes a great school resource or for use by youth service organizations. The games can easily be adapted for a variety of different ages and group types. The visuals are engaging because you watch people having fun! I would hope it would motivate kids to play outside more and engage in these games with family and friends. We lead such a techy/computer filled life that anything to get kids and families outside is a plus! Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! juror Denise B.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This VD provides visual instruction on how to lead a group of people to enjoy one another's company and to have fun. It is quite enjoyable seeing a large group of both old and young people play games together, something that is not seen quite often.

This DVD is divided into categories called "Leadership Section" and "Games Menu." The games menu shows various group games that people can play in different size groups. There are more intense activity games, some requiring a lot of people, some needing only a few. It is just like being out there watching the games as they take place right in front of you.

One of the most exciting looking games is called Knights, Mounts, Cavaliers. It seemed to bring generate lots of laughter and high energy in the players. All the players seemed to be genuinely engrossed in the games, whether they were 7-years-old or 50! The leader of the games is also very inviting and his friendly nature makes the DVD very pleasant to watch.

The leadership section of the DVD, in particular, made me think about some skills and tools that I can use to be a better team leader in my community, school and wherever I go. This section focuses on characteristics that a person needs to be a kind, caring and effective leader.

The setting of this film is outdoors in a nice green grassy area where it would be very realistic to picture oneself playing these games. It gives a very casual, fun vibe. This film by Dale N Le Fevre definitely meets the KIDS FIRST! criteria due to its very inviting tone. It would be perfect for people of all ages to watch, to learn some exciting games to play, and to learn how to be a better leader for others to follow and receives a four out of five star rating. Reviewed by Carissa Payongayong, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16.
Runtime: 52 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 29.99
Media: DVD


THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - After the Dragon leaves the castle, the people of lake town see a threat coming, the orcs, dwarves, elves and people prepare for war. Bilbo sees Thorin going mad and tries helping everyone. Meanwhile, Gandalf still needs to break out of the orc prison.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the final installment of The Hobbit trilogy. Bilbo and his company of Dwarves have just unleashed the Dragon Smaug upon a small lakeside village and chaos breaks loose. Once word is out that the dragon has been driven from the mountain, armies from all over the land come to battle for the treasures that lie inside. It is a fight unlike any before and Bilbo must find a way to make peace before it is too late.

I really enjoyed this film. From the very beginning it is full of action, epic battles and suspense. The graphics in this entire series are stunning. The Hobbit never fails to impress me with its immaculate visuals and special effects. The soundtrack to this film is beautiful, as expected, since the rest of the series is filled with wonderful music. I think that this film is the perfect closure to the series that so many have fallen in love with and been loyal fans of over the years.

I'm also very impressed with the fact that this trilogy of films is adapted from one, relatively short novel and every film is so packed full of action and adventure, there is never a dull moment.

The cast is marvelous as usual. Martin Freeman is the perfect actor to play Bilbo Baggins because he embodies his personality so well. It's been wonderful to watch Bilbo's character develop over the course of these films. He starts off very timid and unsure of himself, but by the end of the final film he has so much new found confidence from all he's been through and is a completely different hobbit than he was at the beginning of the journey.

I'm very sad that the series has come to an end and that the journey is over, but I'm glad for the closure and amazed at how well this film turned out. Lord of the Rings fans will clearly love this film, but I think anyone who enjoys action, adventure and fantasy will love this film as well. There is a considerable amount of violence since the majority of the movie is an epic battle, so I suggest this film be viewed by ages 13 to 18-year-olds. If you have seen any of the previous films from The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings series, then this film should be suitable for you.

I give The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 5 out of 5 stars, so make sure you finish the journey in theaters now! Reviewed by Raven Devanney, KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 17

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


UNBROKEN
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
UNBROKEN
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis biography, drama, sport spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp. Starring Jack O'Connell, Finn Wittrock, Takamasa Ishihara, Domhnall Gleeson. Directed by Angelina Jolie.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Unbroken tells the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who joined the armed forces in World War II and endured tortured until the end of the war.

Although Unbroken is the third film Angelina Jolie has directed, Jolie skillfully recounts Zamperini's life. The first half weaves in and out of Zamperini's childhood and life in the Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.

Some of the cinematography is gripping, such as the scene in which Zamperini and his friends encounter sharks while they're lost in the middle of an ocean. The opening shots of Zamperini's crew struggling to stay alive in their airplane immediately engage the audience.

Despite the occasional frantic scenes, the movie succeeds best by focusing on its plot, which is intellectually fulfilling. There aren't any extraneous scenes and the story is straightforward. However, I didn't feel emotionally connected. I was looking forward to watching Zamperini develop relationships with his friends during the war. But, there isn't much of that. The ending, which is when the war finally ends, feels a bit rushed and didn't feel gratifying. Most of the film centers on Zamperini withstanding suffering. Although Unbroken is rated PG-13, there are several violent scenes in which the protagonist is beaten. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18.

Jolie's storytelling conveys the themes clearly. Zamperini was known as a troublemaker during his childhood. Yet, he worked hard to become a great runner and eventually was good enough to enter the Olympics. After his crew's plane crashes, he manages to stay alive, even despite a brutal 47 days stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. When he's captured by the Japanese navy and is sent to a prisoner-of-war camp, he endures severe beatings. When he's presented the opportunity to live luxuriously in exchange for aiding the Japanese, he refuses. When the war ends, he forgives his World War II enemies and fulfills his dream by participating in a marathon in Japan. The themes of loyalty, determination, perseverance and forgiveness make the movie very relevant to today's society. As Lauren Hillenbrand writes in her book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, "A lifetime of glory is worth a moment of pain."

This inspiring movie is fitting for the holiday season. Watch Unbroken when it's released in theaters Christmas Day!

Reviewed by Gabriella Chu, KIDS FIRST! Critics, age 18.

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


INTO THE WOODS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
INTO THE WOODS
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-18
Description - Into the Woods is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales in a musical format that follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel-all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I confess that I binge listened to the soundtrack before seeing this film and was thoroughly impressed with the vocals. It got me excited going to the screening. I also admit that I am a fan of the Broadway musical. I've seen the play this film is based on starring Bernadette Peters, Vanessa Williams and Phylicia Rashad. All three have played the witch. I have watched Johanna Gleeson light up the stage with energy, charm and humor. I noticed every change, subtraction and addition in the cinematic adaptation and I must say, this film is a triumph. It has wit, humor, emotion, magic and music - all the makings of a great musical.

The first fifteen minutes, the prologue, is edited with such vivacity and rhythm that you are immediately engulfed into the stories and the action. Then, Director Rob Marshall slowly starts to focus on the rhythms and details of each individual story. From the Baker and his wife, to Little Red Riding Hood, to Jack, to the Witch and Cinderella. All their stories are told with the same passion and intent as the others, each with their individual flair. Yet somehow Marshall is able to have each story fit perfectly into the grand puzzle that is Into the Woods.

I could rave on and on about Sondheim's score. His scores always have a sort of, inside joke sound to them. It's as if Sondheim knows something we don't know when he composes. There is an obvious humor and wit in Sondheim's score of Into the Woods, but it is the lyrics that tell the story. James Lapine, who wrote the screenplay and the libretto for the Broadway musical, makes some interesting changes for the film version. Fans of the musical will recognize the changes immediately and they may or may not like them. I personally liked them. For those who've never seen or even heard the Broadway version, this film will entertain and even touch them.

Meryl Streep, is the best Witch I've seen. The finest actress of all-time gives The Witch a portrayal big enough to fit Rob Marshall's theatrical style, but is subtle enough for us to understand her. Her solo Stay With Me is one of the best scenes in the whole movie and one of the best acted scenes this year. But, it is the show-stopping number of Last Midnight that will leave a lasting impression on you. I haven't been able to stop listening to it since I saw it. I was in jaw-dropping awe in the theater watching that number. It's because Meryl Streep doesn't just sing a song (she has a beautiful voice and can surprisingly belt very well), she acts it. She feels each word and doesn't waste them. She's able to find the subtext in every song, every line of dialogue, every lyric. She will definitely be a presence this awards season and rightfully so.

Speaking of showstoppers, I must mention the funniest duet in any musical from any time, Agony. Sung by Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen, who play Cinderella and Rapunzel's princes respectively, the number is beautifully staged and timed hilariously. Everyone in my theater roared with laughter and I was apart of it. That may actually be the best musical number in the whole movie.

I'd also like to point out James Corden, who really surprised me. I knew he'd do the comedic portrayal of The Baker well, but it is the dramatic parts that had me apprehensive. He killed them. His chemistry with Emily Blunt is very believable. They work well together and they both have fantastic voices as well.

I think Blunt is one of the most underrated actresses today and I'm confident this film will put her on the map. She is a grand talent. The million dollar question fans of the musical may have, "Does she live up to Johanna Gleeson?" My answer is, I don't know. They approach The Baker's Wife differently. Their choices completely differ and therefore they cannot be compared.

The last standout I want to mention is young Lilla Crawford, who some may know as Annie in the 2012 Broadway revival. She has impeccable timing and a great voice. It is a great feature film debut for the young star.

The ensemble overall is fantastic and work extremely well together. Of course the costume and production design are top notch, but I don't think anyone expected anything less. Rob Marshall and company have made the best American movie musical in over ten years. Ironically enough, Rob Marshall's Into the Woods is the best musical since Rob Marshall's Chicago. I give it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18.

Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Willie Jones, age 15.

Into The Woods is a brilliant new film adapted from the award-winning Broadway musical. This lively tale tells the story of some of the most well-known Grimm's Brother fairy tales, but with an unexpected twist. In the film we see the stories The Baker and his Wife, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk. All of their lives intertwine and it makes for a wild journey full of song, humor, heartbreak and wonderful lessons.

Into The Woods is a must-see this season and I am so pleased with how it turned out. Being a theater junky, I heard news that this musical was going to be made into a film and the anticipation began to grow. The execution of this film is flawless. It captures the feel of seeing a musical live, with the over-the-top theatrics and set design. It translates so well to the screen and allows the audience to fully immerse themselves into this incredible story. The costumes and locations for this film are beautiful and the music is excellent. I caught myself singing along with the movie more than once.

Something that I love about this film is that it isn't the "classic" Disney version of these fairytales that most of us grew up with. It goes back to the authentic stories from the Grimm Brothers themselves, with the obvious twist here and there. In this film, the bad stuff that tends to be cut out of modern fairytales actually happens. For example, Cinderella's step-sisters cut off bits of their feet to fit into the golden slipper, Rapunzel's prince is blinded by blackberry thorns and there are no fairy godmothers. Rest assured, all of these misfortunes are done in very humorous ways. I also love that it takes all of these different fables and weaves them together so that everyone has a part in each others' story. The final thing that really makes Into The Woods stand apart from other fairy tales is that not everyone gets a happy ending. You have to work with what you're given and make the best of the situation.

The entire cast is wonderful and so talented. Meryl Streep plays The Witch, Anna Kendrick - Cinderella, Emily Blunt - The Baker's Wife, Johnny Depp - The Wolf, Chris Pine - Cinderella's Prince. Every character has a solo and I'm so impressed with all of these actors' amazing voices. I had no idea they could sing. This film brings in names and faces that are very recognizable and also incorporates actors that most of us have probably never seen. So, it's a really nice mix of people that make up this cast.

My favorite scene is when the two Princes sing Agony. It is the most hilarious scene in the film and I laughed so hard I cried. Prince Charming and his brother are lamenting over their princesses, Cinderella and Rapunzel, and it is the cheesiest, funniest thing I have seen in a long time. The Princes are the most melodramatic people, making everything a big deal and this song highlights just how over-the-top they are. The entire audience was cracking up and after the film was over I could not stop singing Agony and laughing about how ridiculous the music number is.

Into The Woods is a film that all ages will enjoy. I cannot wait to see it again. Every aspect of it is so well done - the cast, the visuals, the music and even though a few moments could maybe be a bit scary for younger children, it is something for the whole family. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18 and give this film 5 out of 5 stars. Be sure not to miss Into The Woods. It opens in theaters everywhere on Christmas Day! Reviewed by Raven Devanney, KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 16.

Into the Woods is a musical comedy about a journey a baker and his wife must take in order to reverse the curse The Witch put on their house and have the child they always wanted. They must go into the woods and get four things - a slipper as pure as gold, hair as yellow as corn, cape as red as blood and a cow as white as snow - all before the blue moon rises. The most interesting thing about this film is how the screenwriter, James Lapine merges the stories of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood into this brand new fairytale.

Cinematographer Dion Beebe has created incredible fairytale-like scenes that are just outstanding. I loved the scene when Cinderella goes to her mother's grave and tells her that she wishes to go to the ball. All of the sudden, the tree and the leaves twirl her around to dress her in a beautiful golden dress and slippers. It's fascinating how the camera moves around her to make the scene magical.

Of course, music plays a huge role in the film thanks to the brilliant work of Stephen Sondheim who has written perfect lyrics that capture the emotions of every scene. Meryl Streep's character, The Witch, is the most memorable character. Her voice is powerful and beautiful. When she discovers that Rapunzel has fallen in love with a prince, she begs Rapunzel to stay with her. When The Witch sings "Stay with Me," you realize that she isn't as cold- hearted as everyone thinks. She locks Rapunzel in a tower because she is protecting her from the world.

The message of the film is that you should be careful of what you wish for. Sometimes what you wish for isn't exactly what you really want. A secondary message is when you love something you should set it free. I recommend this film for ages 10 to 18 and give it four out five stars. Into the Woods comes out on Christmas Day to a theater near you! Reviewed by Shelby Ronae, KIDS FIRST! Critics, age 14

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


ANNIE (2014)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ANNIE (2014)
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-18
Description - Academy Award� nominee Quvenzhan� Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who's also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they'd be back for her someday, it's been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). But everything's about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) - advised by his brilliant VP, Grace (Rose Byrne) and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy (Bobby Cannavale) - makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. Stacks believes he's her guardian angel, but Annie's self-assured nature and bright, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow outlook on life just might mean it's the other way around.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon

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

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Larry spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a wild, adventurous and funny film. This last installment of the Night at the Museum trilogy is takes you on an adventurous journey and is defiantly a must see. Robin Williams' final on-screen portrayal of Teddy Roosevelt is amazing. He has a great sense of humor and is in tune with his character completely.

The magic that brought the characters to life in Night at the Museum 1 and 2 is in danger. Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) must go on an adventure to unite and save them all. Will he be able to do it?

I really enjoy seeing this film. It has excitement and is bigger and better than before. Everyone is back, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Steve Cogan. They are joined by some electrifying new characters. A lot of attention to detail is paid to the wardrobe, set locations and the historical time pieces. The special effects are big and bold and definitely compliment the film in every way. It looks so real. My favorite character is newcomer Tilly (Rebel Wilson, Pitch Perfect). She is funny, talks a lot and says whatever is on her mind. She goes on funny tangents and her appearance is simply amusing. The cast also includes Dick Van Dyke and Rick Gervais.

Shawn Levy, directs this film and brings his skill to making it artistic and funny from pulling together a great cast, production designers and all the creative people involved in this film. Although the film has a number of characters, jokes and situations, it also has a simple message of teamwork. Sometimes, you need a good team of people working together to get the job done.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18. However, adults will enjoy it as well, especially if they have seen the previous two films. It's rated PG for mild action and some rude humor. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It's a good adventure that will keep you entertained.

Join the wildest night yet and see Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, it's in theaters on December 19th. So please check it out. Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, KIDS FIRST! Critics, age 15

Hilarious, exciting and imaginative is how I would describe Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. I enjoy the Night at the Museum movies because I love anything to do with history. This movie brings some of history's greatest characters to life in a fun and entertaining way.

Director Shawn Levy brings back the incredibly talented cast and adds a few new faces. Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) returns as head of the museum's "special effects." Larry begins noticing some strange behavior by the museum's residents. He suspects the ancient Tablet of Akmenrah, the source that causes the museum's exhibits to come to life, is somehow losing its powers. Larry decides that he must travel to the British Museum in London to find Akmenrah's parents. He hopes the parents can help him solve the mystery of why the tablet is losing its magical powers. Larry's plan does not turn out as smoothly as he hoped. Some of the residents of the New York museum secretly follow Larry to Britain. That's when things go hysterically wrong.

Ben Kingsley( Akmenrah's Dad) and Dan Stevens (Sir Lancelot) are wonderful newcomers to the cast but, Rebel Wilson shines as the weird and wonderful security guard Tilly. Her one-liners are a little puzzling at times, but I loved them. The original cast is just as great as they were in the last two movies. I laughed out loud at Owen Wilson's Jedediah and Steve Coogan's Octavious as they go through their adventure.

My favorite part of the movie is when the exhibits in the British Museum come to life for the first time. The visual effects' team does an excellent job in creating images that are realistic. The story has many sub plots so it may be difficult for a younger audience to keep up with how each part connects to the big picture.

The message of this film is that parents cannot hold onto their children forever. I recommend Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb for ages 8 to 15 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Please be sure to check out Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb when it comes to theaters on December 19.

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


KAZAZ!!
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KAZAZ!!
AMERICAN STORY CHANNEL
Series: APP, AGES 5-8
Description - Kazaz! uses technology and storytelling as a vehicle to support learning for young children. It's an immersive tablet-based world designed to help children develop visual literacy and support social emotional learning as well as language development
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The iPad app Kazaz! combines story, animation and factual information. The opening screen presents a planet with various islands to explore. The islands pop up links to a story with illustrations accompanying a voice narration. As you revisit the story, animations and "gems" appear on the illustrations that link to informational videos relating to the topic of the story.

This is a good learning tool for ages 5 to 8. The narration is very interesting, engaging and helps kids to read along. The music is good and, after all the stories are developed, it should be a good app for this age group.

/The stories are perhaps a bit too long for kids in the younger part of this age group. But, they have simple words and concepts that are age-appropriate. And, the stories model positive behaviors. They are also constructed well and encourage you to continue reading to find out what happens at the end. A page turner!

The app is very easy to navigate and to listen to the stories and the music. The sounds and visual quality are great. The sound effects for the instruments are quite good. The app seems to be in the beginning stages so all the stories are not yet developed. Those that are show good sound and picture quality. I could not find a way to start from where I left off and that was disappointing.

The entertainment value of the music and the music man are good. The children can learn about different instruments when using this app.

I was able to view only one story, the namesake of the app. All other content is available for purchase or says "coming soon."

This app stands out from other story apps because as you revisit the story, animations and "gems" appear on the illustrations that link to informational videos relating to the topic of the story. These animations and gems are not only fun to discover, but the level of information presented is accessible to the target audience. I enjoyed exploring the one story that is available because the graphics are visually appealing and the element of surprise made me want to come back for more.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a fun and educational app that will encourage young kids to learn about reading and the world around them.

This app has a core of education and learning with a sprinkle of fun adventure and a little humor. It is a series of audio picture books that all talk about different characters in this world called Kazaz.

Personally, I thought that the app was a bit limited. The GUI is very complicated with no instructions or guidance and I could only get one book for free. The rest, which was only around two, are $2.99 each. As far as the books go, they are fun. However I really felt like the books could concentrate on more educational things. The free book that I read was mostly about the creation of Kazaz, the planet. In my opinion, it would be more educational if instead it provides a story about how Earth formed and evolved. Kids would be very curious about that!

My favorite feature is how you find the stories. There is a map of the planet and you click on certain areas to get the books instead of going into a folder and choosing one. I think that is a nice touch.

I recommend this app for ages 2-5. It is definitely meant for younger kids. I also give it 3.5 out of 5 stars for some disappointing features. But, it is a very smart and civic minded idea which, with some enhancement, can become a very popular product for early education.

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


LOST TREASURE HUNT
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LOST TREASURE HUNT
ARGOSY FILM GROUP Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: SHORT, AGES 8-12
Description - A secret code dating to 1492 sends two teen treasure-seekers on an adventure to solve the mystery before the treasure falls into enemy hands. They discover multiple sides to the Columbus voyage while decoding clues and escaping from counterspies.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Lost Treasure Hunt is and action packed and entertaining animated film with lots of visual appeal. It is historical fiction about Christopher Columbus and 1492. The main characters are very likable and fun to watch and at the end, you expect you will be seeing more of Dex and Eva's adventures. There is humor, action and the typical good guys win at the end although there is a slight twist. The film is appealing and entertaining. It grabs your attention from the get go and holds it through to the end. Children will enjoy the treasure hung aspect with all its action and adventure. The two young sleuths, Dex and Eva (from the Society of Lost Treasure Hunters) are completely likeable and it is easy to root for them to find their treasure. The historical facts add a bit of education to the mix.

The story flows well from beginning to end. It makes sense and the end tells you that the real treasure hunt has only just begun. The vocabulary is appropriate for its audience (8-18). Any negative behaviors displayed are done by the criminals and there are repercussions. The two sleuths treat one another respectfully.

It may make kids ask what was the real treasure? Why was it valuable? What does the ending means when they say "a treasure hunt that has only just begun?"

It is entertaining and loaded with historical facts but it is primarily historical fiction. Children will learn a few facts about Christopher Columbus and 1492 by watching this. They may want to learn more about treasure and treasure hunts. Certainly, they will most likely want to see more adventures with Dex and Eva.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This fun and educational show makes history an adventure. In this episode, the lost treasure of Christopher Columbus is in jeopardy of falling into the wrong hands. The organization, appropriately called Sleuth sends in agents Dex and Ava. Their mission is to find clues leading to the treasure before a piece of history is lost.

The educational side of this show is refreshing. They provide update-to-date information and illustrations of what happened during the Columbus' voyage. This enlightens the audience with a different side of history. It's not patronizing in any way. It's clever to witness how they transform theses history lessons into investigative clues. In one scene, we learn about Columbus' signature and that information brings us closer to the treasure. This method of storytelling promises amazing future episodes.

The treasure hunt itself is a ride kids can enjoy. There are fast chases, foreign locations, and gadgets to capture everyone's attention. Mixed in are two main characters who are fantastic to watch as they go on this hunt.

My favorite character is agent Dex. He is the one with the gadgets and gizmos that help him and Ava get out of a sticky situation. I enjoy this character for his brains and, at times, his awkward behavior. This is his first mission and we can see that he is not used to being out in the action.

My favorite scene is when the agents go to Central America. This is when we meet Falcon who gives information about the Taino tribe. I love this scene because we see a different side of Columbus that not many people refer to. The character Falcon is also entertaining to watch. He never stays in one place.

The moral is "the treasure is in the journey not the destination." The villain, Ivan does not care about clues and history, all he wants is the treasure. However, if you are just out to find fortune then you will never find it. The sleuth agents know this and look at every clue and fact. Not only do they find the treasure, but they acquire something better than that. Knowledge.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this to 7 to 15-year-olds. Kids will enjoy the spy action and adventure while also learning about history. Older kids are probably past this history lesson although, one never knows what the next episode will cover.

Reviewed by Keefer C. Blakeslee, age 14, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 29 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


BELLE AND SEBASTIAN
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BELLE AND SEBASTIAN
FILM MOVEMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Description - In the snowy Alps of occupied France, young Sebastian befriends an enormous yet gentle sheepdog he calls Belle. With Nazis in their village rooting out the resistance fighters helping Jewish refugees cross the border, Belle and Sebastian will have the chance to become the village's heroes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This beautifully set film in the French Alps follows the adventures of a young, free-spirited boy Sebastian and the dog who he learns to trust and names Belle. The opening shot of Sebastian dangling over the side of mountain to rescue a young sheep whose mother has been shot by hunters, indicates to us a young brave boy who feels at home in his elements and exhibits great will and courage.

This film takes place during World War II when the German soldiers are on the lookout for anyone in the French Resistance who is trying to smuggle Jewish refugees through the mountains to Switzerland. It is here, once again, that Sebastian shows his true colors. With the assistance of his tried and true dog, and a determined Angelina, wife of Dr. Guillaume who has hidden a Jewish family in the mountains, they fulfill their mission to bring the family to safety.

The subplot of the French resistance coupled with daily life twists and turns, shows Sebastian and Belle both exhibiting bravery and determination. The combinations makes for a suspenseful, well-told story that warmed my heart and I believe will do the same for children and their families. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Critic Terry S.

This is one of the most visually appealing titles I've reviewed. The scenery is absolutely beautiful. There are lots of different settings such as the mountains, villages, caves and meadows. The storyline is heartwarming even though the topics faced are difficult to approach. The unappealing parts are animals being shot pretty graphically, the heaviness of war and the heartbreak the main character, Sebastian faces. The title shows the importance of kindness towards humans and animals and I find that is very valuable. It deals with some very serious social situations and, if the child is able to comprehend these concepts, it could be a great educational tool. This film brings up many questions that a parent could explain such as why some humans are cruel to animals and why is there war.

The characters are complex as is the setting. There are people fleeing and hiding from the government. The "good guys" portray respect, kindness, generosity and sympathy. The vocabulary is age appropriate but I would be cautious about showing this to a child who has experienced the ravages of war him or herself. The story is well presented and easy to follow. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! juror Elizabeth B.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you have a child who has never seen a foreign film, this would be a great one to start with! Belle and Sebastian is a French movie, by Nicholas Vanier, with English subtitles.

Belle and Sebastian is about a young boy, Sebastian and the friendship he makes with Belle, a large dog. She is being blamed for killing the sheep in the village. In fact, the villagers call her "the beast."

The movie is set in Nazi-occupied France. There are refugees in the village always escaping at night over the snow-covered mountains into Switzerland. Sebastian is told to stay away from both this part of the mountain and "the beast." But, he can't resist. He finds and tries to protect "the beast," who he names Belle.

Sebastian meets up with Belle every day and they run in the fields and play in the snow. He shows her places to hide from the angry villagers and from the German Nazi soldiers. She is Sebastian's friend and he believes that it is not her who is killing the sheep.

The scenery in this film is incredible! The snow-covered mountains, grassy hillsides, waterfalls, rocks and panoramic vistas will take your breath away. There are lots of aerial shots in the film that make you wish you lived in France.

Parents should know that there is some drinking, lying and cursing, but the characters are trying to do their best given the given circumstances. It can't be easy having your little village be taken over by soldiers. Over-all, the message this movie gives is a good one. "Protect your friends and always try to do the right thing."

I recommend this movie for ages ten to eighteen. This is a great age level to introduce appreciation of sub-titled movies. I give Belle and Sebastian four out of five stars for amazing scenery and great acting.

Reviewed by Katie G., KIDS FIRST! Critic

Belle and Sebastian is an adventurous type of movie. It takes place in the mountains of France. This film is about a about a beast that is trying to kill all of Sebastian's grandfather's sheep. But once Sebastian meets the dog he realizes that the dog is a girl and decides to call her Belle. So, it is up to Sebastian to protect Belle from his grandfather and the men who are trying to kill her.

The message of this film is to not judge a book by its cover. Everyone judges Belle by calling her a dirty wild beast. But truly she is a very loveable and a great dog.

My favorite character is Angelina. She is Sebastian's cousin. She's very helpful, caring and she is always there for Sebastian.

I did not have a favorite scene because I enjoyed the whole movie. The actors, do a fantastic job translating the movie from French to English.

If you're the type of person that enjoys adventures, this is the perfect movie for you. I recommend this movie for boys and girls ages 8 to 13 and give this movie 3 out of 5 shining stars.

You can find this movie at film festivals everywhere and on DVD. Reviewed by Kendyl Powell, KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 12.
Runtime: 104 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 29.99
Media: DVD


UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE: LOST LOOT
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE: LOST LOOT
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 8-12
Description - Upton loves to dig for clues, so it's no surprise that when he and the rest of the Charles family discover some unusual old coins while touring the construction site at the twins' new school. Our sleuth is a Bichon Frise (that's "BEE-shon free-ZEY"), a little white dog and he always finds himself in interesting situations. And this time, there is something very familiar about the silver dollars he uncovers. Could they be from a bank robbery? Come along with Upton as his efforts lead to the discovery of Lost Loot.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Upton Charles is a very likable White Bichon Frise dog who loves to solve mysteries with the help of his family. The beginning of the story starts off a bit slow, but it picks up in the middle and becomes engaging until the end. Upton is quite insightful for a dog. In this mystery, he finds some old coins at a construction site of a school. The coins he first finds are dated back to 1882. This story has quite a few educational and historical information about the coins that children should find quite interesting. The middle of the story is quite intriguing as the family and the sleuth dog try to figure out where these coins came from. Is it possible they came from a famous train robbery? I found this appealing it held my interest. The story has entertaining elements as well as educational ones that teach about coin collecting. It actually may inspire and motivate young readers to want to take up the hobby of coin collecting.

Upton Charles is an insightful and interesting Character. He is unique. The story in itself a bit slow and wordy in the beginning but, once you get into the middle it picks up and is interesting, slightly educational and a fun read for kids ages 8 to 12. When reading with my 11-year-old son, it was hard to get his interest in the beginning because it has a lot of extraneous narration. However, once you get to chapter 3, the story really takes off. So, be patient.

I think Upton Charles is a unique character and one that children will really enjoy. Some kids may think the story is a bit longer than need be but I would encourage them to stick with as it will be worth their while in the end.

Upton Charles is a positive character, the family members are appealing and the story is engaging. The illustrations are quite simple and the story's historical facts give it extra depth
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This book is for a younger audience but I still enjoyed it. The book tries to get across a lot of facts and include them in a story to make it more interesting.

This book is all about a dog named Upton Charles who is 3 years old and finds some silver dollars at a construction site. He and his family, along with a new family they met on their trip around the beach, go to a construction site where a school is being built. There, they discover a lot of cool coins and share the history of them. A lot of kids will probably like this story because it is educational and fun.

The main characters in this story are Upton, Veronica, Alex, Mom, Dad and the Keenan's. My favorite character is, of course Upton because he is a cute little dog, always obeys and if, he didn't find the silver dollar coins, there would be no story.

My favorite part in the book is when they tell the history of the coins because I learned a lot more things that I never knew before. It's really cool to learn about coin history.

I recommend this book for ages 8 to 12 because it is well written and includes quite a lot of history. It will teach you things regardless of what age you are. I like the book and I bet you will too! Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Critics Anthony Aranda, age 11.

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


UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE: WINTER WONDERLAND
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE: WINTER WONDERLAND
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 8-12
Description - Upton Charles and his family are in New Hampshire for a weekend ski vacation and our canine investigator meets three Saint Bernards. But it would not be an Upton Charles adventure without a mystery. Our sleuth is a Bichon Frise (that's "BEE-shon free-ZEY"), who is quickly on the trail of a long-lost treasure map, buried gold, and the papers of Daniel Webster. The fire is warm, but the case is never cold. Come along with Upton as he considers two-hundred-year-old clues to solve the mystery in Winter Wonderland.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Upton Charles is a likable, and not your average every-day Detective. For one thing, he is an insightful dog that doesn't talk but narrates this story as he looks for clues and solves a mystery with his family. The mystery starts off as the family goes on a ski weekend trip to New Hampshire. The beginning of the story shows that Upton is not only insightful but has a sense of humor - canine humor that is! The mystery takes off a bit slow but there are interesting historical facts about Daniel Webster (not to be confused with Noah Webster and the Dictionary). And, the story teaches us that! The middle portion of the story speeds up when a stranger arrives. Is he good or bad? This is the most interesting part of this story. The story also has missing treasure and a valuable lesson to be learned about what treasure really is. Is treasure always something of monetary value? This is a great lesson for kids to learn. There is a twist in this story which makes it very entertaining as it leads to solving a mystery. This story is entertaining and educational with historical facts and valuable social lesson to be learned. The messages inherent in the story is that things do not always have to be worth a lot of money to be valuable.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - After all of his adventures, the one and only Upton Charles (Dog Detective) receives his rightful spot in being the guard dog of his beloved family. Though he is small, he will detect any case and will always protect his family. Upton Charles knows by now that a hero like himself can always take a vacation at any time but he always has to be prepared for whatever life will throw at him. He and his family go on a skiing trip and Upton judges the Inn by its cover and does not feel welcome at first. Then, two St. Bernards, Hans and Fritz host him and do an excellent job. While Upton and his family are having fun, a mysterious presence arrives and is urgent. There seems to be missing treasure. While Upton the mastermind dog and his assistants try to solve the case, Upton gets closer and closer to his new friends and family.

I admire how the author allows Upton to be more courageous and tough but at the same time playful and sweet. I also enjoyed that the setting in each of these e-books is different every time. I also like this specific setting because it is winter which causes the setting to have calm auras. Throughout each book, the author escalates in cutting out any unnecessary scenes. Also, the level of difficulty in each book doesn't increase very much in terms of vocabulary and context. This could be interpreted beneficially or negatively, depending on the reader. Upton's character is very curious and Upton can be interpreted as a role model for kids. I also love how new characters are introduced as it gives the reader the opportunity to favor different characters. In every new book, more characters are introduced which makes each novel more interesting and hooks the reader. The author also is very good at relieving the intensity of tension and suspense unlike the first and second books.

I almost feel as if each book is a bit too similar and has the same plot to some degree. Also, the situation Upton has to detect is not necessarily realistic but, could be possible, which is not bad but it is a bit clich�. The second book is a little more of a fantasy. Some concepts are almost too difficult to grasp, not because it is a general difficult book but because of how they are written.

The moral of the story is "no matter what shape or size you are, you can achieve anything if you are determined and work hard for it." I recommend this book ages 6 to 10and rate the book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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


UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE: SOMETHING FISHY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE: SOMETHING FISHY
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 8-12
Description - Upton and the rest of the Charles family are on vacation in a small coastal town in Maine and something VERY fishy is going on. Along with his new friend, Storm, the dog detective discovers an abandoned boat near Shell Light. Upton puts his nose to work sniffing out clues...which lead to the secret of the lighthouse. Our inquisitive canine, a Bichon Frise (that's "BEE-shon free-ZEY"), helps answer a tricky question: What's real and what's fake? Follow Upton as he gathers evidence and puts together pieces of the puzzle to solve the mystery in Something Fishy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a story about Upton Charles, a dog detective, and his family as they head out on a family vacation that turns into solving a mystery. Upton Charles is a likable dog who tells this story from his dog point-of-view. He is also a solver of mysteries. It's fun to follow Upton as he finds the clues and solves this mystery.

After some sibling squabbles, the family heads to Maine. The friends they stay with have a dog named Storm. They explore the beach and readers will learn lots about boats and parts of boats. The mystery starts out a bit slow and then, around the middle of the story, it takes off when the family finds an abandoned vessel. The middle and ending flow together as the mystery unravels and they discover the clues to solve the mystery.

This story is entertaining. There is humor and action and it is very appropriate for school-aged children. Younger children may want more visual appeal and not as many words but for older kids, it's perfect. It is fun to follow the mystery of the abandoned (stolen) vessel through to its ending. There are some educational elements such as learning about different types of boats and houses.

One of the appealing aspects of this book is the mystery. The other is that the main character is a dog who thinks out loud as the narrator of the story. Upton Charles is an intelligent and insightful character that children will enjoy. Note, he is not a talking dog, just a dog whose thoughts we can hear. Children will easily relate to the characters in this story, particularly the mom, dad, boy and girl. But, Upton Charles is, without a doubt, the most entertaining of them all.

The language is most appropriate for ages 8 to 12. It is somewhat believable that a real dog may be thinking some of the things that Upton Charles thinks. The brother and sister do not always get along which is quite realistic. Overall, the family members are very respectful of one another and the other characters as well. There is also a display of teamwork.

It may stimulate conversation with younger readers with questions such as: What were the clues that Upton Charles found? How did they know there was a mystery to be solved? How did Storm help Upton solve the mystery?

Visually, I would have liked a more colorful cover. But then, you can't always tell a book by its cover. It is a chapter book but it is a short chapter book. Most important is that it is fun to read and engaging. Upton Charles is very entertaining. I'm sure kids will want to seek out more stories about him.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Every hero needs a vacation, so dog detective Upton Charles and his family set off to visit Maine. Upton Charles makes a new furry friend named Storm on this adventure. All is well but, there is a boat anchored nearby for a couple days and nobody knows what or who it is yet alone why it is anchored there. Upton Charles and his new assistant, the dog Storm, step into the mysterious case. Though Upton Charles is small, he is capable of handling the big world.

The vocabulary and content of this story is a bit more difficult than in the first book of this series. I like that Upton makes a new friend who helps him on the case and keeps him company while everyone else is very busy. This gives the viewer the opportunity to explore a whole new personality. I like how the author makes the situation that Upton is investigating very unusual. In the first book of this series, the story was a bit too predictable. In this one, it's much more interesting. The author describes each scene so that I can visualize exactly what it looks like and I could really understand what was going on in the story. I like that the book goes into more depth describing each character's personality, especially Upton's.

The author marginally describes the case that Upton is investigating and the clues escalate a bit too quickly for my taste. The author takes too long on the introduction and then squishes all the clues together. There isn't as much suspension as in the first book but, in many ways, I like this one better.

The moral of this story is that if you work really hard and are determined then you can achieve anything. I recommend this book for the ages 7 to 10 and rate it 4 out of 5 stars. By Hailee H., KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 12

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


UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE: DISAPPEARING DIAMONDS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE: DISAPPEARING DIAMONDS
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 8-12
Description - A Dog-Gone Good Book Upton Charles is a lot like you and me. He likes to be with his family, play with his friends and go on nice walks. Except Upton isn't like you and me...because he is a little white dog, a Bichon Frise (that's "BEE-shon free-ZEY"). Upton is also very smart and knows an important clue when he smells one. Our dog detective is recruited to help find the Van Camp diamonds that have disappeared from the local museum. Join Upton as he sniffs out evidence to find a valuable missing necklace in Disappearing Diamonds.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Upton Charles the Detective Dog is an intriguing dog who solves mysteries with the help of his owners. His family consists of a mom, dad, a brother and sister. I like that this mystery gets off to a quick start when the dad receives a phone call from a friend who works at the museum. A valuable Van Camp necklace is missing! This necklace is part of an exhibit and is quite valuable. So, off to the Museum they go. The middle is simply entertaining to read and educational as well due to the historical facts about artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The story is not just fun to read, children can learn about art and the artists known as the Impressionists. This actually could motivate children to want to learn more about art from this time period. It's both an entertaining and educational story to read. Children will enjoy reading as Upton finds the different clues and pieces them all together to solve the mystery. I also like that the mystery is not predictable and it teaches some facts about real and fake diamonds. The beginning, middle and ending flow well together to make this a good story with educational and entertaining elements. It's perfect for school-aged kids.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The first book of the series called Upton Charles is Disappearing Diamonds. This series is told from the perspective of a dog named Upton Charles who is underestimated not only by his family but by everyone else around him. Later in the book, he begins to be honored. This story revolves around a case of a stolen diamond necklace from a museum. The case can not be cracked by anyone else, so Upton Charles steps in to solve the mystery and, along the adventure, he gets closer to his family than ever before.

I like the book because the author describes the storyline in an interesting way. The vocabulary is first to third grade level. Upton Charles has an adorable and curious personality which is a good personality for a main character. Though many books have a plot of a dog, I have never before heard of a book about a dog that is a detective. That makes it creative. Another think I like is how the author thoroughly introduces a descriptive background of Upton Charles in the first book of the series.

Though the book has good sides, I have some issues with it. One is that there are some scenes that seem unnecessary and can be confusing. Also, the book is intended for 6 to 9 and I am older than that so, I'm not the perfect audience. I also thought that the author could have been more creative about the diamond necklace's whereabouts. It seems a bit too realistic and predictable. After all, this is a children's book so why not add more creativity and imagination into the crime scenes.

The moral of the story is that no matter what shape and size you are, differences do not matter. As long as one puts their mind to it, they can achieve whatever they want, whenever they want. I recommend the book for 6 to 9-year-olds and rate it 3 out of 5 stars. Overall, the book is good but I'm a bit older than the targeted age. By Hailee Hutton, KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 12.

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


BIG HERO 6
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BIG HERO 6
WALT DISNEY ANIMATED STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - The special bond that develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes. Starring voice talent of Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit and Jamie Chung. Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams. Written by Don Hall, Jordan Roberts and 7 others.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The movie Big Hero 6 is adorable, funny, and downright enjoyable. The movie is about a young, intelligent, robotics fanatic named Hiro Hamada, voiced by Ryan Potter, who spends his days hustling adults in "bot fights" until his brother, Tadashi, voiced by Daniel Henney, introduces him to his college and friends. Hiro then spends his days trying to get accepted into his brother's school to apply his knowledge of robotics to a greater cause. Hiro later develops a loveable bond between himself and an inflatable robot named Baymax, voiced by Scott Adsit. After Hiro encounters a dangerous force that threatens his future and safety of the city, he turns to Baymax and his friends to make a heroic group called "Big Hero 6" to fight evil. The movie takes us through an action-packed adventure that provides laughter, tears, tension and relief.

The unpredictable plot makes the movie very exciting and hilarious. The movie is funny within the first few minutes which is really delightful because it avoids a slow beginning. Even though this movie is about superheroes fighting evil with intense superhero gear, it does not follow the typical superhero expectations because the heroes handle situations differently than expected. The movie provides realism and surprisingly does not sugar coat certain scenarios. There a certain times where one would think "wow, I'm surprised Disney did that" but that surprise is good because it makes the movie stand out from the rest in a new and different way.

The characters are so lovable, especially Baymax, an adorable robot whose only purpose is to make others feel better. Because of this, it is easy for the audience to get attached to the characters and engage with the movie emotionally. The movie is phenomenal and appeals to adults as much as children which is a very special aspect.

Not only does Big Hero 6 have clever dialogue, great special effects, lovable characters and nice music, but it also pays attention to little details and messages about education and friendship that contribute to an amazing movie as a whole. I will definitely watch this movie multiple times and recommend it ages 5 to 18. Be sure to check it out in theaters on November 7th. Reviewed by Harmony M, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

This film is a fun and hilarious adventure with a very unique story that the whole family will love.

The story starts when a technology genius, Hiro, is accepted into a technology university but, at the same time, something bad happens to his older brother. While he grieves, he finds his brother's medical robot, Baymax. Together they discover a deep and dark secret and they team up with four friends to get to the bottom of it.

This film is wonderful! The humor is unique and not boring, making the audience always roar with laughter. They don't concentrate on one theme. Instead, they surprise us with many different things to spice up the story. However, in many ways, I feel the story is a bit too complicated. It takes the film about 30 minutes just to finish the back story which makes the climax and conflict a bit rushed. Otherwise, its a great film!

My favorite scene is when Hiro first discovers Baymax. Hiro stubs his toe which activates Baymax. First, Baymax squeezes around a bed and the way he does it makes the audience laugh to tears. Then Hiro trips, gets stuck and things fall on him. The entire scene is just pure comedy which makes it a very memorable scene and sets the tone for their relationship as the story unfolds.

I recommend this for ages 9 to 18 and give it 4.5 out 5 stars its amazing, unique animation, humor and interesting storyline.

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

Big Hero 6 is a really fun movie! It is suspenseful, funny and creative. The writers, Don Hall and Jordan Roberts, wrote an awesome script. Each character has a different ability and a distinct personality. Yet, they all work very well together. I really enjoyed learning about each character!

Big Hero 6 is an animated film about a boy genius named Hiro (Ryan Potter) whose parents have died and he spends all his time "bot" fighting with robots he creates. When Hiro's brother, Tadashi, (Daniel Henney) dies, he discovers a robot named Baymax (Scott Adsit) that his brother designed as a personal health care assistant. When a villain steals one of Hiro's inventions, Hiro must use his brain and technology to change Baymax into a robot superhero and, along with some friends, must stop the villain.

Big Hero 6 is a really incredible movie. This movie has a great mix of comedy, suspense and even a little bit of sadness. There is a lot of comedy from beginning to end. All of the characters are funny and face some tough challenges. Another thing I like about this film is that it kept me guessing what would happen next throughout the whole movie. I was completely surprised by some of the things that happened because I had a different idea in my head of what to expect. The 3D effect is also great! The animation makes it seem as if I could reach out and touch objects and jump right in with them. My favorite part is when Baymax learns karate. It is so funny because he looks like a giant marshmallow and looks so cuddly you want to hug him instead of fight him.

Big Hero 6 has a really great message. It teaches us to make great friends and to always put your friends first! The characters have to trust in their friendship and stop arguing to defeat the villain.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it is funny, adventurous and really creative. Kids and adults will love it, especially those who like comedy and science experiments. I recommend this film for children ages 4 to 18. This is a movie that the whole family will enjoy. Reviewed by Jeremy Badour, age 7, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic



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


THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Description - Thunder, an abandoned young cat seeking shelter from a storm, stumbles into the strangest house imaginable, owned by an old magician and inhabited by a dazzling array of automatons and gizmos. Starring the voice talent of Cinda Adams, George Babbit, Murray Blue. Directed by Jeremy Degruson and Ben Stassen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The animated film, Thunder and the House of Magic is directed by Ben Stassen Jeremy Degruson. The story is about a small, orange cat named, Thunder, who is abandoned by his owners. While wandering the neighborhood, he happens upon a supposedly haunted house, which is full of magical toys and an old magician.

Although, Thunder is quickly accepted into the house by the elder performer, he is not immediately approved of by the rest of the group. Through several adventures and troubles arising with the magician's not-so-nice nephew, who is trying to sell the house against the magician's wishes, the group begins to bond.

My favorite scene is when the old magician does a magic show for children in a local hospital. The magic is funny, imaginative and it is sweet that he does a show for kids in need.

Parents should know that this film is not for little kids! In the beginning, Thunder is chased by a scary dog, almost gets hit by cars and nearly falls out of a tree. In the end, he is thought to be dead for a short period of time. There is also a bit of bad language.

Therefore, I recommend this movie for ages 9 to 14. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars for loveable characters and an original storyline. It is available now on DVD! Reviewed by Katie G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13.
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 15.99
Media: DVD


PUMP
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PUMP
XXX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - A documentary that tells the story of America's addiction to oil, from its corporate conspiracy beginnings to its current monopoly today, and explains clearly and simply how we can end it - and finally win choice at the pump. Directors: Joshua Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell. Write: Johnny O'Hara. Starring Adhemar Altieri, Dr. Greg Anderson, Edwin Black, John Hofmeister, Elon Musk and Luiz In�cio da Silva.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - PUMP is an eye-opening documentary that tells the story of America's addiction to oil, from its corporate conspiracy beginnings to its current monopoly today, and explains clearly and simply how we can end it and finally win choice at the pump. This film is well researched and easy to understand. The directors, Joshua and Rebecca Tickell won a Sundance award for their 2008 documentary Fuel. They have honed their skills and come across stronger than ever. This film is a wake up call offering alternatives that you can implement today and help break the oil monopoly. Appearances are made by John Hofmeister, Elon Musk and Luiz In�cio da Silva. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer Blakeslee comments, "The purpose of this film is to spread the word that oil is not the only source of fuel for the U.S." Gerry Orz adds, "This film should be seen by everyone who thinks we pay too much for gas and appreciates how it negatively affects all aspects of our lives." See their comments in the youth comment section.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Riveting! This film examines the story of oil addiction in America. The question is, do we have a choice of fuel?

The purpose of this film is to spread the word that oil is not the only source of fuel for the U.S. I'm guessing parents out there love their cars and know that gas prices are the highest they've been in years. In order to take your child to school, you need to pay and pump expensive gasoline. Or, do you? This film shows that we can have a choice about fuel. Fuel is available that is safer, better for the air and cheaper. Pump proves these ideas with intriguing facts and mind-boggling statistics.

This movie's focus is not about which fuel is better. This documentary provides information about alternative fuels such as ethanol, methanol, natural gas and even electric. Each one has its pros and cons, but just being able to have the ability to choose is what moves this production along.

We hear extremely intellectual interviews with people who are strong about the subject. My only criticism is that the audience for this film is not young kids. Teens who are driving or those starting driver's education will find this important enough to watch. While I found the subject interesting, I do not think kids from 7 to 13 care about the big oil epidemic.

My favorite part is when we see the comparison of air pollution with regular gasoline and methanol, also known as "Wood Alcohol." Dr. Robert Zubrin conducts an experiment where he ignites both fuels. We see that methanol is clean and leaves no residue while gasoline is the opposite. It made me realize what we put in the air every time we run a gasoline engine.

My favorite person interviewed is Luiz Inacio Da Sliva, 35th president of Brazil. The movie states, "under Da Sliva's leadership, Brazil's economy grew by the trillions." He did something that no other country has ever done, achieve complete independence from foreign oil. He gave Brazil the choice of gasoline and ethanol. Da Sliva is what you might call a dreamer. He states, "I believe we will conquer this. I believe the world will learn to live without oil."

This film wants to expose U.S. citizens to the idea of having a choice. We know that there are other forms of fuel and you might think we would use them. This idea was introduced in 2006 with the "Open Fuel Standard Act." Sadly, it never left a committee for a vote. The reason being, that members of the Congress receive 32 million dollars in campaign contribution from big oil.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 14 to 18-year-olds. This film shows a great message and an even more amazing vision. This film was released September 12 so check your local theaters.

Reviewed by Keefer Blakeslee, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

This movie shows you the real, untold story behind oil usage, what we can do about it and how it affects real people. Pump is a film that shows the truth about the current oil crisis and the start of an oil movement.

This film has intensity wrapped together with a side of history and, of course, an educational aspect. All that while still presenting an entertaining documentary.

This examines our love for oil since the first automobile - our highs and our lows in oil history, the people who it affects and the people who are happily profiting from it. We see the businesses that have fallen and others that rose. Most importantly, this movie shows what we can do to stop this oil epidemic and make things better in U.S. as well as around the world.

I believe this film has a great message. We also see a story and a timeline based of the history of oil usage. The part where they describe how to adapt your car for healthier and cheaper fuel by just clicking on the computer is very exciting. But then, 20 minutes later, they mention it is illegal. I wish they pointed out this little detail right in the initial scene.

My favorite part which shows people trying to stop oil-dependency is when they talk about all these electric cars and natural gas cars and how hundreds of cars today can run on multiple fuels, if not all the cars. You know if you are using more than fuel in your car RIGHT NOW if you check your fuel tank cap. If it is orange, you have one of those special cars.

This film should be seen by everyone who thinks we pay too much for gas and appreciates how it negatively affects all aspects of our lives. There is a little bit of action, so I recommend it for ages 8 to 18. I also give it 5 out of 5 stars for its message and desire to make things better. I always admire those that stand by what is right.

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

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


BOOK OF LIFE, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BOOK OF LIFE, THE
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - THE BOOK OF LIFE, a vibrant fantasy-adventure, tells the legend of Manolo, a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to rescue his one true love and defend his village.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Just in time for Halloween comes this new animated feature by producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez. In an unique visual style, The Book of Life reveals the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan Bertsch comments, "This animated feature is set in South America. It is colorful and festive and I enjoyed learning about all the different cultural beliefs of South America." See her full review in youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this movie. It's a terrific, animated family film full of adventure. It's a visual spectacular with fantastic sets, costumes and intriguing characters. And, it has a great positive message.

The movie begins with a museum tour-guide telling her field trip students about The Book of Life. Her voice is played by Christina Applegate who serves as narrator throughout, which is especially helpful with all the flashback and flash-forward scenes. In the book, it starts with a flashback to three children. Maria, Manolo and Joaquin are childhood best friends, living in San Angel, the 'center of the world' in Mexico, in the Land of the Living (aka Earth). As they grow up, we see the two grown men compete for Maria's affection. The story revolves around the celebration of the Day of the Dead, when Mexicans celebrate their loved ones who have passed away. As legend has it, as long as they are beloved, they live in the Land of the Remembered. For those not remembered well, they live in the Land of the Forgotten. The two rulers of these two lands, Meurta and Xibalba make a wager on which boy will marry Maria. The winner gets to rule the Land of the Remembered.

Great adventure and drama ensues as Manolo and Joaquin, voiced by Diego Luna and Tatum Channing, compete to win Maria's heart, and fend off the pressures from their families' expectations, while saving their home town. Joaquin's father was a war hero and Manolo comes from a long line of Bull Fighters, though he prefers to sing and play guitar.

My favorite part is when Manolo visits the Land of the Remembered and is reunited with his mother, grandfather and great grandfather, both matador heroes, who were killed. He learns of their common musical interests too, and what mother really wanted him to be.

This film has a terrific message: To never stop fighting for what you believe in, to follow your own dreams and be true to your heart.

The music throughout the movie is awesome and helps tell Manolo's story, especially with the songs "I Will Wait" and "The Apology Song."

The three sets are very distinctive and perfect for each of the three realms: San Angel is a beautiful town in the present day. The Land of Remembered is a colorful, vibrant, happy place and the Land of the Forgotten is dull, grey and has spiky architecture.

I really enjoyed the animation. The characters are wood-like with joints like Pinocchio. The boys have broad shoulders and super skinny legs. Maria and the other girls have skinny waists, full Mexican skirts and dramatic hair and eyes. While I love it in 3D, the animation is so good, it would be great in 2D also.

This is an all-around great family film. I recommend it for families with kids ages 7 to 18. There are some intense bull fighting scenes, slightly scary music and fights in the Land of the Forgotten. I give this film a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. Be sure to check out The Book of Life which is in theaters now. Reviewed by Katherine Starr, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9.

On October 17th Twentieth Century Fox brings a new Halloween movie to the big screen. This is sure to become a must-see for everyone at Halloween time!

This animated feature is set in South America. It is colorful and festive and I enjoyed learning about all the different cultural beliefs of South America. On the day that we celebrate Halloween, they celebrate Mexican Day of the Dead. This movie is funny, cute and the story keeps your attention from beginning to the end.

Many of the movies we see today seem like the same story or theme told in different ways. This movie is truly an original. There are many hints of movies you have seen before but overall, it is truly a different movie. The animators' attention to detail is mind boggling.

The characters are made of wood but, after the first five minutes you see them as real people. The intercut details are astonishing. The unique personalities and different characters will keep you entertained. Animals, people, spirits - this movie has it all.

Maria is my favorite because she is a little girl with cute pig tails. She is fun, bubbly, tough and adventurous. Her independence gets her in trouble but at the same time it is her greatest asset. We watch her grow from a child to a young lady. She keeps the same spirit and kind heart. She must choose who to marry between her two best friends. Zoe Saldana voices the character and really brings her to life.

The candlestick maker, voiced by Ice Cube, is laugh-out-loud funny. Even though he is not in the movie for very much time, you will leave with a smile on your face just thinking about him.

Gabriel Iglesias, Cheech Marin, Hector Elizondo are three amigos who try to help one of our heroes win Maria's hand in marriage. The singing group is hilarious. The song choices are great and made me giggle.

There are many messages in this film. The two heroes follow in their father footsteps. We see how it is important to remember your ancestors but also know that you are your own person and should follow your own path. Although it has been a long-standing tradition, bull fighting is beginning to be thought of as wrong. The bulls should be allowed to live. We see how it takes a whole village of people to protect and look out for each other and how everyone needs to be on the same team helping everyone else.

I recommend this movie ages 7 to 18. It is about Halloween and the Mexican Day of the Dead. Although it is entertaining it is still about death and there is violence. I give this movie 5 out of 5 twinkling stars. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan Bertsch, age 9.

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


DRACULA UNTOLD
KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
DRACULA UNTOLD
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - At the turn of the century, the young lord Vlad Tepes and his young family live a peaceful life ruling over their small kingdom. However, when a ruling rival king with a growing army demands from Vlad the first born male of every family to join his army; Vlad's wife makes a terrible mistake which will change history forever. Vlad's wife, Mirenea travels to visit bloodthirsty witches in the nearby mountains. While there she sells her soul to stop the invading army- the price however is that Vlad will become a blood-thirsty monster that will hunt the ages. Starring Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadson. Directed by Gary Shore. Written by Maatt Sazama, Burk Sharpless.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This classic story is brought back to life in Dracula Untold which presents a whole new take on the tale by explaining the origins of the deadly vampire. This version tells the story of prince Vlad of Transylvania who has to fight the all mighty Turks. His troops are greatly out numbered, therefore he travels to a mystical mountain and asks a devil figure for help. The devil figure offers to give him great strength, keen senses and super speed for his mortal life. Vlad ultimately agrees and ends up drinking blood which makes him become the iconic Dracula.

This movie is very dark in the sense of horror. The characters and battles are very graphic and scary. The plot of the movie was very unique but it lacks fluidity. The plot starts very early in the movie which is a bit of a shocker because it jumps to the middle of all the action. The cinematography, CGI and animations are amazing, but the editing is a bit choppy and, as a result, it lacks a smooth storyline. The script is bit disappointing because it uses a lot of iconic lines such as "let the games begin" which is greatly is overused and lacks creativity.

The actors are all rising stars. Luke Evans is superb as Vlad and provides a new look once he is transformed into Dracula. He definitely fits the role with his very masculine presence as the prince and also by showing a dark side when portraying Dracula.

With a prince comes a princess, portrayed by Sarah Gadon. Her chemistry on screen with Luke Evans is unsteady. They do not seem to be truly in love with each other. Overall the movie is weak when compared to other action movies. The attempt to make a new storyline for Dracula is confusing. All the cuts between scenes make the movie lack fluidity.

II give this movie 4 out of 5 stars because of its confusing plot and weak script. This movie is rated PG-13. The genre of the movie is action / horror due to its violent and dark scenes. I recommend this movie for ages 13 to 18 with parental advice. Dracula Untold releases October 10 at your local theater so, if you're looking for a Halloween themed movie, definitely check it out. Reviewed by Patrick Nguyen, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.

Dracula Untold is an intense love story that changes everything we know about the world's most famous vampire. Dracula undergoes a complete makeover, trading his creepy castle in for a palace fit for a king. That's right, Dracula better known as "Vlad the Impaler" is a Slavic prince and protector of his people. This movie tries to stay true to some of the history behind the classic story of Dracula which is interesting, but also confusing.

Vlad, played by Luke Evans is a prince who may be brutal on the battlefield, but is adored by his citizens. When war with a neighboring nation seems unavoidable he is forced to do something that will change his life forever. He locates a great evil that will give him super speed, strength, and the ability to fly. He will get these powers and many more for three days if he can resist the urge to drink human blood, but if he gives in he will stay like this for the rest of eternity. The deal seems simple at the time but the safety of Vlad's people and family is at risk. Now it's up to him to protect himself and those he loves from the war.

My favorite thing about this film is definitely the special effects. They make the movie less scary and more action packed and thrilling. I also like how unpredictable the movie is. You never know exactly what was going to next and, it is still fun watching it all play out.

The most entertaining character in the entire movie is the "master vampire" played by Charles Dance. He makes a lasting impression on the audience because of how he makes his character scary, but interesting. He also plays a very important role in the storyline. My favorite part of the movie is when Dracula unleashes his powers on an entire army for the first time. This scene is jaw-dropping due to the animation and special effects. Also, the music adds excitement to the movie.

I recommend Dracula Untold for ages 14 to 18 because of some more mature scenes and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Dracula Untold flies into theaters October 10th so please be sure to check it out. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Simone Sharrieff, age 14.

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


FORGOTTEN FOUR: THE INTEGRATION OF PRO FOOTBALL
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FORGOTTEN FOUR: THE INTEGRATION OF PRO FOOTBALL
XXX
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - The EPIX Original Documentary, Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football tells the little-known story of four outstanding and brave African American men - Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley and Bill Willis - who broke the color barrier in pro football in 1946, one year before Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey were credited with integrating Major League Baseball.

The hardships and triumphs of the Forgotten Four are told through the recollections of their families and those who have researched these remarkable pioneers.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football, an EPIX Original Documentary, will make its World Premiere on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, at 8PM ET. The 60-minute documentary, narrated by Jeffrey Wright tells the little-known story of four outstanding and brave African American men - Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley and Bill Willis - who broke the color barrier in pro football in 1946, one year before Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey were credited with integrating Major League Baseball. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer B. comments, "This proves the impact that these four football players had on history and I thank this film for bringing this information to an audience." See his full review in the youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Unforgettable! This documentary literally tackles the history of the first four African- American pro football players during the time of segregation.

Most people know that Jackie Robinson was the first African-American baseball player on an all white team. However you may not know that Kenny Washington, Marion Motley, Bill Willis and Woody Strode were the first African-American football players on major teams. Branch Rickey, who signed Jackie to the Dodgers, was part owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers football team and once told Marion Motley, "Had I not had the experience of seeing you and Bill Willis play in a contact sport, without incidence, I might not have had the courage to bring Jackie Robinson up into the majors." This proves the impact that these four football players had on history and I thank this film for bringing this information to an audience.

The film expresses the passion and philosophy of playing football in an honorable matter. I'm not much of a football fan or sports fanatic in general, but this film swayed me into believing how important football is to sports enthusiasts. The film teaches audiences that football is not just men running back and forth tackling each other, it is a way of life for the people who are good at it.

There were hard times for people like Kenny Washington and the film does not hide this. It provides pictures of African Americans being hanged or even burned and footage of African slaves working in plantations. After slavery ended, the world turned into a segregated society. Coloreds and whites were separated from each other. They couldn't even use the same drinking fountain. You're thinking to yourself, "I already know this,". Most of you do, but I give regards to the film for reminding us of that. If they didn't begin the film this way, the story of Kenny Washington or Bill Willis wouldn't be as remarkable. When Marion Motley and the rest of the African players stepped onto the field, they are not only representing themselves, but their whole race. Just imagine the weight of that responsibility.

This film not only recognizes the players, but Paul Brown, coach for the Cleveland Browns - the man who brought them together in the first place. I admire this man not just for his determination and teaching skills but, for his desire to win with the best players no matter the color of their skin. That belief, during that time, was unthinkable and courageous. That is why he is my favorite person in this film.

My favorite part is when Jim Hardy, one of the white players for the Los Angeles Rams, talks about the abuse Kenny Washington took from his own team mates. While playing a game one of the players "knocked down Kenny flatter than a mackerel." After the game, Jim placed his arm on Kenny's shoulder and said, "We got beat today but, I've never seen anybody play as good a football game as you played today." Kenny responds, his eye watering, "Jim, it's hell to be black" Hearing Kenny's emotional words made me melancholy.

The moral of this documentary echoes words from the Declaration of Independence, "All men are created equal." These four pioneers were all great at what they did and because of the color of their skin they were rejected. This tarnished everything our country stands for.

If you're amazing at what you do, you should do it, despite what you look like.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. And, I recommend it to 12 through 18-year-olds. There are images and language that might not be appropriate for younger audiences. Although I do believe that kids need to watch this film and learn about the four men who opened the door to a brig

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



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