The Family category has 1651 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles
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LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE, THE
WARNER BROS. ANIMATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - The battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, also secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu (Jackie Chan), as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat the evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), who also happens to be Lloyd's dad. Pitting father against son, the epic showdown tests these fierce but undisciplined modern-day ninjas as they learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash the inner power of Spinjitzu.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What do you get when you mix a crazy cat, stealth ninjas and an evil villain? The LEGO Ninjago Movie which is an action packed adventure. I want to watch The LEGO Ninjago Movie again and again because the animation is fantastic and uses real life LEGOs. This story, told through the eyes of a young boy, captures your heart with friendship, parent controversies and team work.

The voiceovers are magnificent. It's as if you can feel the characters' emotions from the tone of their voices. This film has terrific characters such as Master Wu (Jackie Chan). I love Master Wu and the way that Jackie Chan portrays this character as someone who knows some amazing karate moves to help their students. My favorite character is Master Wu because he is hilarious and tells some good jokes, even when he doesn't know that he is making them. Guess what? A crazy fact about Jackie Chan (who has been acting since he was 7-years-old) is that he performs his own stunts and has broken every bone in his body. He is remarkable. I talked with him in person at LEGOLAND California just a few days ago. During our conversation, I discovered that his goal is to introduce children to martial arts and teach them how to find inner peace. Jackie Chan also plays Mr. Liu in The LEGO Ninjago Movie.

Cole (Fred Armisen) is a very kind and musical ninja at heart. When I met Fred Armisen, I discovered that he is very musical and knows how to sing Jingle Bells very well. I love the way that he connects with Cole through music and I love that they both love being ninjas, even when not on camera. Cole is a ninja who is very calm and quiet, yet when it is time to lay a bet no one is better for the task than him.

Lloyd (Dave Franco) is an amazing ninja who tries his best to do what is right and find a way to eradicate the evil Garmadon (Justin Theroux). Lloyd is the kid in school who no one likes because his dad is the evil villain Garmadon. During the daytime, Lloyd deals with bullies. Then at night and when he is needed most, he turns into a ninja with his friends Cole, Jay, Kai, Nya and Zane.

Jay (Kumail Nanjiani) is the anxious, yet adorable kid who I love and, who in real life he thinks that the cat was a pain to shoot with. When they were shooting they used two identical, twin cats and it was very hard to shoot them for technical reasons. Kai (Michael Pe�a) loved the shoot and thought it was a dream come true because, when he was hired he automatically became a ninja inside and out and he loves that feeling. Zane (Zach Woods) says that he was practically born with a robot voice and that he didn't have to practice at all for this role. Nya (Abbi Jacobson) told me that we all are ninjas and that we don't have to worry about not being cool or amazing, as we are all those things at heart.

The best scene in this film is when Garmadon and Master Wu have a gigantic martial arts battle and fight each other for good vs evil. I love this scene because it is spot on with the timing and the ending was quite shocking. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 as well as adults. People will love it because of the adventure. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. You can see The LEGO Ninjago Movie on September 22 when it opens in theaters nationwide.

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

The LEGO Ninjago Movie, directed by Charlie Bean, is confusing yet manages to deliver some humor and entertainment. With many story lines and disconcerting ideas, it is a bit difficult to follow. Some of the plot lines are left unfinished. However, interspersed through the movie are scenes and dialogues where I couldn't help but smile.

The story follows six ninjas - Lloyd (Dave Franco), Cole (Fred Armisen), Jay (Kumail Nanijani), Kai (Michael Pe�a), Zane (Zach Woods) and Nya (Abbi Jacobson), who protect their home against the abominable Garmadon (Justin Thereox). Garmadon is Lloyd's father but Lloyd would do anything to get rid of him. Together the ninjas journey to find an answer to eliminating Garmadon once and for all.

Dave Franco as the voice of Lloyd easily adds emotion to his character. In one scene, when Lloyd wakes up to answer a phone, his voice tells us that he is weary and has just awakened. In other scenes, when Lloyd is irritated or confused, he uses different vocalizations to easily emphasize these emotions.

The animation and cinematography are the most prominent aspects of this film. The water of the ocean and pools is very realistic. When something emerges from the water, droplets trickle down from the object. The reflection of water on different surfaces is life-like and beautiful. Each individual LEGO block is detailed and, when looked at closely, you can even see scratches. The animation of the faces also brings about a lot of the emotion. The lines of the faces move when the character feels different sentiments. For example, when a character is confused or angry, different lines appear and disappear on the face showing sentiments. The cinematography is unique. In each of the battle scenes, the virtual cinematography allows one to view it from many different perspectives. In one scene, the perspective is Garmadon's point of view while, in the next scene we see the civilians' point of view.

The message of this film is that the superpowers that are invisible are sometimes the most powerful. I give this film 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Check out The LEGO Ninjago Movie when it opens in theaters nationwide September 22, 2017.

By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Surprisingly, I found this movie really enjoyable. I say surprisingly because I am not a fan of Ninjago, yet I managed to find it as funny and charming as the previous LEGO Movies.

The movie follows the story of the Green Ninja Lloyd, as he struggles to cope with his father Garmadon, an evil villain. This affects how the citizens of Ninjago see him and how they treat him. After Garmadon takes over Ninjago, the ninjas take a journey to find the ultimate weapon to save Ninjago

Of course, I have to start this review by mentioning the visuals. This movie is stop motion animation made using LEGOs. And aside from a few live action parts, everything is made out of LEGOs. And, it looks amazing. Like The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, this movie looks so good. The city of Ninjago, the subtle Japanese atmosphere, the expressions all look great. Since this movie has a lot of action, it took over four years to make. It is so impressive and I can't imagine what patience it took to create.

Similar to the other LEGO Movies, this film manages to be both hilarious, yet deep and meaningful. The story is all about a kid's life being in influenced by his dad's bad choices, which is a heavy subject. It is handled very seriously and maturely. Kudos to the writers, Dan and Kevin Hageman. They've made an amazing product. The movie has moments where Garmadon and Lloyd just talk about their relationship and their broken family, and it's really well done. The voice actors are also really great. Kumail Nanjiani as Jay is a particular stand out. For some reason, I found his voice very adorable and energetic. Honestly, all the voice actors show a lot of energy and effort.

As I previously mentioned, I don't know much about Ninjago. I was nervous that I wouldn't understand this movie because I don't follow the series. Thankfully, I can say that is not the case. I know almost nothing, yet I easily got the general idea of the story. So, if you're worried about not understanding the story, you're in luck. This movie stands on its own.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Remember, you don't need to like Ninjago to enjoy it. This movie comes out in theaters on September 22, 2017 so, go check it out.

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

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


GREAT YELLOWSTONE THAW: HOW NATURE SURVIVES
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GREAT YELLOWSTONE THAW: HOW NATURE SURVIVES
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Description - Yellowstone is home to North America's most iconic wildlife, and every year these animals must survive the Thaw one of the harshest seasonal changes on Earth when temperatures can swing from minus 40 F in winter to almost 100 F in summer. Learn how animals cope with this range, and witness the impact on individual families of wolves, grizzly bears, beavers, and great gray owls.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This three-part BBC Earth production series vividly portrays how various animals cope with the seasonal thaw in Yellowstone Park, an extreme weather transformation that sees temperatures range from minus 40 degrees F. in winter to over 100 degrees F. in summer. The astounding beauty and brutal harshness of nature are well-documented in this impeccably photographed look at the effect of the challenging weather conditions on wildlife in the park, from wolves and bears to beavers and Great Grey owls. Kirk Johnson of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History makes for a genial host as he is joined by fellow scientists and wildlife photographers who demonstrate in the field how they track and monitor the particular animals they specialize in. Johnson is occasionally humorous but not overly so, remaining focused on providing a clear-eyed view of how climate change is threatening the balance of life between predators and prey and affecting the vegetation that provides sustenance for many of the animals. The camera work throughout is impressive - getting inside a beaver's nest as they loll about and observing owlets as they first attempt to fly. Images of animals hunting and eating their prey are present but rarely lingered on and there is very little that would be disturbing to any but the youngest of viewers. Recommended for ages 12 to 18 as well as certified adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Mike Fishman, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 180 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


GADGETGANG IN OUTERSPACE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GADGETGANG IN OUTERSPACE
VISION FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - A group of kids help five quirky little aliens who crashed into Earth, fix their spaceship, and together they save the universe from danger.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This hilarious animated film teaches so many important morals. I laughed the whole time. The animation is colorful and pleasing to watch. Also, the storyline is interesting and really inspiring.

The whole adventure begins when the Inva's (quirky little green space aliens) spaceship crashes onto planet Earth. When the Gagetgang kids (Gus, Phoebe, Mary Ann, Francesco, Mitsue, Banana and Tank) go to investigate the loud noise they heard, they see the spaceship and the Invas. The Invas tell the Gagetgang that they need help because an evil warlord is holding hostage the Confederation of Planet Leaders and all the planets are in grave danger.

Antony Serlano (Invas) can make his voice high-pitched, which is the perfect sound for an alien. The voice is very strange and fits the characteristics of the Invas. The writer of this story, Ale MacHaddo has interwoven many different morals into the story. I don't usually see films with multiple morals so prominent in the story. It is cool to see them all and be inspired in so many different ways.

The animation is very detailed and colorful. The different kinds of aliens they come up with look awesome! They are all completely different! They each have their own different characteristics and personalities.

My favorite part is when the Gagetgang offers to help the Invas. This is a perfect example of what you should do for someone in need. It warmed my heart to see the Invas so happy to get help from them.

There are multiple messages in this story. The first is about helping others in need. The Gagetgang help the Invas and the entire universe when they are in need. The second message is about no being defined by the category you are given. The Invas are seen by everyone as a weak, unintelligent species. Even when the Invas are put through a lot of persecution, they prove everyone wrong when they save the universe. The last message is that "no matter how small you are, you can still do big things together." The Gagetgang, even though they are so small compared to the universe, get together and save everyone.

This film is really inspirational, colorful and detailed. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 5 to 11. Gagetgang in Outer Space is a wonderful movie! You can check it out now on Digital!

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

Gadgetgang In Outer Space fascinates me because of its excellent animation. The voice acting is top level and the spectacular direction captures every detail of a space opera. This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser with the kids.

The story is about a spaceship that crashes to Earth and reveals a group of quirky little space aliens on the run for their lives. The GadgetGang kids - Gregory, Phoebe, Francesco, Mitsue, Mary Ann, Banana and Tank soon discover this won't be the same old stuff they are accustomed to. Instead it's an adventure which will heroically test all of their skills as a team. They learn that far away from the galaxy, an evil warlord named Gana Golber has seized control of the Confederation of Planets and now all the whole universe is in danger. Can the GadgetGang stand up to the test, or will all of humanity fall?

Brian Munn, as Gregory, excellently presents his leadership of the team, and relies on his quirky one-liners and street-smart to save the world. Due to this, he is my favorite character. Maisa Silva, as Phoebe, is great in how she shows her love for her brother, Gregory, as well as her adventurous attitude. Marc Thompson, as Francesco, provides a book-smart companion to Gregory. Lisa Adams, as Mitsue, provides exceptional comic relief and gadgets for the team. Alyson Leigh Rosenfield, as Mary Ann, is more concerned about her beauty and appearance as she tags along for the ride. David McDonald, as Gana Golber, is a threat, but his weakness comes beneath his exoskeleton.

The direction by Al McHaddo is splendid. Homage is given to many sci-fi movies, such as Star Wars and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. My favorite scene is the final space battle because there is a mix of spacecraft battles and artillery combat which I found entertaining. The Gadget Gang's banter only heightens the final battle. My only problem with this film is that it is a little too fast with its explanation of key plot points and kids could have trouble following the story line. However, all of the scenes of the movie are filled with humor and action.

The message of the film is about working as a team, because the GadgetGang would not be able to accomplish their purpose without the teamwork from everyone involved. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 80 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.48
Media: DVD


VIETNAM WAR, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
VIETNAM WAR, THE
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - In an immersive narrative, Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. THE VIETNAM WAR features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides. Ten years in the making, the series brings the war and the chaotic epoch it encompassed viscerally to life. Written by Geoffrey C. Ward, produced by Sarah Botstein, Novick and Burns, it includes rarely seen, digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20thcentury, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and revelatory audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.

The run time of the program is approximately 1080 minutes on 10 discs. There are over 100 minutes of extra bonus footage, including a 45-minute preview program, 2 pieces on contemporary lives of 2 of the participants, and bonus content. The program will also be available for digital download. "The Vietnam War was a decade of agony that took the lives of more than 58,000 Americans," Burns said. "Not since the Civil War have we as a country been so torn apart. There wasn't an American alive then who wasn't affected in some way -- from those who fought and sacrificed in the war, to families of service members and POWs, to those who protested the war in open conflict with their government and fellow citizens. More than 40 years after it ended, we can't forget Vietnam, and we are still arguing about why it went wrong, who was to blame and whether it was all worth it."

THE VIETNAM WAR features new, original music written and recorded by Academy Award-winning composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The film also features new music arranged and performed by Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble. It is the first time Burns and Novick have worked with Reznor and Ross, as well as with Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble. Additional music in the film was composed by David Cieri and Doug Wamble, both of whom are longtime collaborators with Florentine Films.

The series also features more than 120 popular songs that define the era, including tracks from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Simon & Garfunkel, Janis Joplin, Ben E. King, Phil Ochs, Donovan, Johnny Cash, Barry McGuire, Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Otis Redding, Santana, Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone, The Temptations, Booker T. and the M.G.s, Pete Seeger and more.

The film will be accompanied by an outreach and public engagement program, providing opportunities -- facilitated by public television stations -- for communities to participate in a national conversation about what happened during theVietnam War, what went wrong and what lessons are to be learned. In addition, there will be a robust interactive website and an educational initiative designed to engage teachers and students through multiple platforms, including PBS Learning Media.

Viewers are encouraged to join the conversation: #VietnamWarPBS
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I am a huge fan of war films and often associate them with sitting on the couch with my dad and listening to him tell me stories of my grandfather's experience at war. This particular series is among one of the most powerful I have seen. There are many interviews from people that were involved or witnessed the war from various sides of the battle. There are some graphic moments, but nothing too graphic since it is a PBS production. I feel that this is an important series for everyone to watch regardless if you are curious or not. Learning of the horrors of war gives you an understanding and an appreciation to those that fought. Many of the interviews are heartbreaking because, as you can imagine, there is nothing glamorous about war. I feel that the educational aspects of this are so powerful that they will stay with me for a long time. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 999 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 129.99
Media: DVD


P. KING DUCKLING: SEIZE THE DAY!
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
P. KING DUCKLING: SEIZE THE DAY!
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 3-8
Description - Adventure takes flight with the plucky P. King Duckling! Meet P. King, a slightly hapless but intrepid young duck, and his two best friends, Chumpkins (a sarcastic pig) and Wombat (who helps P. King with his schemes even though she knows better)! Together, they work to seize the day: which always leads to wild adventures and hilarious consequences. Created by award-winning Josh Selig (Sesame Street, Wonder Pets!) and featuring music from Grammy winner Marty Beller of They Might Be Giants, P. King Duckling is a wholly satisfying family experience that engages children in problem-solving and creative thinking: all while quacking you up!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a cute show about a group of friends who take funny adventures and find solutions to problems along the way. P. King is a funny duckling who constantly gets the group into trouble with his big adventures. Luckily, he has two friends that help keep him centered and out of trouble. There's Wombat who always supports P. King's decisions and Chumpkins, an attitude-riddled pig who is the muscle of the group. He is my personal favorite because he is funny and sarcastic all the time. This trio deals with the bad guy, Greg the Goose and teaches us that there are many creative solutions to even the smallest of problems. My 19-month-old absolutely loves this program. The art style reminds me of Phineas and Ferb. I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. My only complaint is its lack of story depth. Everything is over simplified, which is expected for the target age group, but I wanted more. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The fun adventures shared here are creative and quite enjoyable. The lessons that P. King Duckling, Wombat and Chumpkins teach are also quite useful. The animation in this show is simple with lots of colors and shapes. It is perfect for kids. It is easy to follow and understand so you can do some of the experiments that they do in your imagination.

My favorite episode is "Wombats Big Surprise!" This episode is so funny and enjoyable because of the humor and how Wombat doesn't know about her big surprise birthday party. I also love that Chumpkins and P. King Duckling hide things. It also teaches you about patience, which is a difficult lesson.

My favorite character is Wombat (Courtney Shaw). She is smart, creative and likes to help her friends. Wombat knows how to make lots of fun things such as painting pictures. Courtney Shaw voices Wombat and makes her sound very inquisitive and caring. She fills Wombat's voice with lots of emotion in all the episodes, which is something I admire. P. King Duckling (Marc Thompson) is very goodhearted and a silly duck who loves adventure. He finds new fun ways of doing things such as cooling the town he lives in during a heat wave, jogging the Great Wall of China and many more that have great moral values. Marc Thompson's P. King Duckling has an adorable voice that sounds like a nerd which brings P. King Duckling to life and makes him enjoyable.

Chumpkins (Benjie Randall) is a computer geek and loves technology. Chumpkins is proud of this and wears a shirt with a computer on it. Whenever you need something delivered house right away, have Chumpkins order it online. He also knows a lot about gadgets and gizmos so he is the Pig to call. Benjie Randall makes Chumpkins sound older then he is and that is reflected in his personality and makes you believe he is very smart.

Some of the life lessons in this story are about being a good friend, what friendship really is, how to exercise creativity, using your imagination and learn how to work as a team. The lessons are very valuable, because even I forget how to be a good friend sometimes. It is a great reminder about how to be a good friend for older kids while teaching younger kids the basics of friendship. It reminds you to use your brains and work with others when trying to solve problems.

I recommend this DVD for ages 4 to 8. Even tweens and teens will benefit from it the life lessons are priceless and everyone will enjoy the characters with their quacky, quirk personalities. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 Quacking Ducks. This is available now on DVD so, check it out. You'll be glad you did.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.65
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


MONSTER ISLAND
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MONSTER ISLAND
VISION FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Description - When not-so-popular Lucas finds out he is not really a human, but actually a monster, the news changes his whole world! Embarking on a quest to Monster Island to discover his real roots, Lucas undergoes a journey he will never forget. He finds himself face to face with more tentacles, fangs and far-out situations than he can shake one of his new wings at. Ultimately Lucas learns that being a freak, isn't freaky--it means you're a member of a brand new type of family that you can proudly call your own.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Monster Island is a good film with animation that gave me feel a feeling of eeriness and anticipation. I enjoyed the story line.

Monster Island is about a boy named Lucas, a lonely kid who is getting bullied at school and his overprotective dad won't let him go anywhere without his inhaler. We learn that the reason is not that overexcitement might bring on an asthmatic attack, but an awful metamorphosis. The boy's secret is that he is a monster, like his dad. Lucas discovers his monster identity at the biggest party of the year, in front of all his friends, when he forgets his inhaler. He turns into a monster and scares everyone. His dad shows up with his inhaler and he returns to his human state. His dad explains his origins and his powers. Lucas learns they are from an island called Calvera and sets out to find the island and his Grandmother Carlotta.

The movie is very watchable. One message of the movie is to accept who you. Lucas' uncle is not a monster like the others in his family and he resents it. He becomes a mad scientist and causes problems for the family and Calvera.

Every monster is unique and the animators truly show off great creative talent here. The storyline is simple, easy to understand and makes sense. The coordination between sound and movement is good. The music gives a haunting and scary feeling.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 10. Look for this entertaining film on-line at YouTube, Google Play, ITunes and similar. It's available now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

The animation reminded me of early Jimmy Neutron shows. The story is about a 13-year-old boy who finds out his asthma inhaler is actually a device that keeps him from transforming into a monster. He travels to Monster Island to discover who he really is. It's a cute fantastical story with tons of potential that doesn't develop completely. I wanted it to do so much more. But, let's talk about what is good in this movie. The small lessons are great. I loved watching the confused child realize who he is, who his father is and watch him grow to appreciate all of that. It's a great lesson for anyone interested in self discovery. I give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 13. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Monster Island is a great film because of its animation and unique storyline. I love how the monsters are animated. I also adore the storyline. It's something I've never seen before.

Monster Island is about a boy named Lucas who's a monster, but doesn't know it since his dad hid it from him his whole life. His dad has given him a potion to stop him from turning into a monster by hiding it as an inhaler. When Lucas forgets his inhaler at home to go the biggest party of the year, he turns into a monster which scares everyone. Luckily, his dad comes to the rescue with his inhaler which turns him back into a human. His dad explains what's happening and where he got his powers from. Turns out, they're from an island called Calvera. Lucas goes on an adventure to find this island. But will he find it? Watch it to find out!

The animation reminds me of Frankenweenie and Coraline which are some of my favorite Halloween movies. Unlike Frankenweenie and Coraline, Monster Island is all computer animation. However, it looks like claymation. I'm fascinated by the attention to detail. Every monster is unique. There are squid monsters and humongous monsters who tower over people.

I love the characters in this movie. Two of my favorites are the two police officers. I love their banter as they try to catch Lucas, but always fail. I love how the pumpkin monster is the "brains" of their team while the deer head monster is the tough dumb one. They had me cracking up the whole time.

The message of this movie is to accept yourself. Lucas' uncle tries to become a monster since he never became a monster. He felt left out because all of his family are monsters, but he isn't. Although his family loves him either way, he still tries to find a way to become a monster through science.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 10. You can find this incredible movie online now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 80 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: FLUTTERSHY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: FLUTTERSHY
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Description - Not every Pegasus pony in Equestria is the same. Just ask Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. While Rainbow Dash is bold and daring, Fluttershy is quite reserved and caring. But that's what makes Fluttershy such a wonderful friend to everyone around her, whether they're her pony friends, like Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack and, yes, even Rainbow Dash , or her non-equestrian friends, like Angel the bunny. Join in for five adventures that feature everypony's lovably quiet Pegasus, Fluttershy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Fluttershy, created by Lauren Faust is lively and cheerful! The storylines are well thought out, with plots that relate to real life. The variety of the personalities of each pony creates a realistic atmosphere where everyone is accepted. Each episode teaches how to deal with certain setbacks and different realistic situations through colorful and merry narratives.

The story follows a pony named Fluttershy (Andrea Libman) who is timid and would do anything for friendships. She adventures through life with her fellow ponies including Rarity (Tabitha St. Germain) and Rainbow Dash (Ashleigh Ball), facing different challenges and never giving up. They maintain their friendships no matter what.

Andrea Libman is the voice actor for Fluttershy and has a high pitch but soft-toned voice. This builds upon her personality as a shy, timid pony. When she lowers her voice to a light tone, one can tell she is feeling shy and when her voice rises, one can tell she is feeling more confident. Tabitha St. Germain voices Rarity who also has a high pitch voice. However, she uses more inflections in her voice to show how excited Rarity is.

The animation and the sound effects are the highlights of this DVD. There are many different colors used throughout for the skin and hair of the ponies and for the scenic backgrounds. The variety of these colors is very visually appealing. The animation of the ponies' eyes convey a multitude of emotions. For example, when a pony is excited, its eyes widen. When they are scared, their pupils shrink. And when they are shy, their eyes look down. The sound effects add more emotion to the scenes. Different sound effects emerge as different words are emphasized. When Fluttershy is mad, loud and low sound effects further accentuate these emotions.

My favorite part was seeing how all the ponies in different colors, shapes and sizes. Everyone gets along and nobody cares how their friends or fellow ponies look. It is an analogy for real life.

The messages are about the importance of friendship and about never giving up despite the circumstances. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10. Check out My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Fluttershy when it's released nationwide on DVD September 12, 2017.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-10
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


FLOOGALS: MISSION COMPLETE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FLOOGALS: MISSION COMPLETE
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 3-8
Description - Join the Floogals on a mission of discovery as they explore Earth and the funny hoomans who live there! Each day, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo, and Junior Boomer encounter something that sparks their curiosity, setting in motion the day s research project and triggering an exciting adventure! First, the Floogals have an adventure in which they must learn the difficult task of assembling the Girl Hooman s jigsaw puzzle. They learn working in a team wins the day! The projects continue with investigating Boy Hooman s building of a model rocket, learning how to fly a toy helicopter to rescue Boomer, discovering who stole Dad Hooman s veggies in the garden and so much more! Adventure is everywhere they go. They re the Floogals! 3, 2, 1, let s go!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - As far as young children's programming goes, Floogals is one of my favorites. The adventures that the Floogals take are so unique and fun. It makes you wish that you were there as well. One of my favorite episodes is when the Floogals try to assemble a human jigsaw puzzle and it is horribly funny. I'm not a puzzle gal myself and I was shocked to see these little guys make something such as assembling a jigsaw puzzle interesting. This program really has a way of making normal everyday events into huge fantastical events for the Floogals. The animation is cute with bright, eye-catching colors. My 19-month-old cracked up the whole time he was watching. I recommend this for ages 4 to 8, but I am most definitely letting my little guy watch it now. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars for being so darn creative! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This hilarious animated series had me laughing the entire time. Seeing aliens interact with humans is something I've never witnessed before, and the obstacles that the Floogals face are incredibly unique. As soon as I began watching the series, the Floogals have to face a giant cat, which did not fail to make me laugh. With many twists and turns, you will never get bored.

A story is about three aliens from outer space, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer who experience many exciting adventures with humans. They must stay hidden, conduct research projects and report back to their space captain about what it's like to live on earth. The Floogals learn about jigsaw puzzles, mail, a model rocket, a helicopter and so much more! And, if they do a good job with their research, they get badges to wear on their uniforms. Join Fleeker, Flo and Boomer as they learn what it's like to be a "hooman."

Rasmus Hardiker, who plays Captain Fleeker, is the lead Floogal. Fleeker always manages to come up with solutions to problems that the Floogals face. For example, when the Floogals ruin a jigsaw puzzle that a little girl built, they have to find a way to rebuild it before she comes back. Hardiker's voice is very deep, but it's also very optimistic, which makes his character very relatable. Hugo Harold- Harrison, who plays Boomer, is the funniest character I've ever seen. Boomer doesn't think before he acts, which lands him in difficult situations. Boomer is in charge of watching the cat while the other Floogals rebuild the jigsaw puzzle. Harrison's voice is filled with fear, which makes it hilarious.

The animation in this show is very realistic. The house that the Floogals live in looks just like mine! Their uniforms are the coolest uniforms I've ever seen. I wish I could be a Floogal! My favorite part about this series is its theme song. It is incredibly catchy, so prepare to have it get stuck in your head. I love the ending of each episode, because Fleeker, Flo and Boomer each provide their personal perspective about their daily adventures. It's great to hear their differing opinions, which makes their friendship work. Fleeker, Flo and Boomer are undoubtedly best friends, and you'll wish that you could join them on their adventures.

The message of this series is to explore everything that life has to offer and to keep an open mind. The Floogals are nothing like humans, but they learn to love what humans can do. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 4 to 8. With non-stop adventures and many jokes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. This DVD is available on September 12, 2017 so, be sure to look for it. I can't wait to watch the second series.

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

Floogals: Mission Complete is a spectacular DVD. It has great animation, a great way to teach kids about day to day things and the Floogals are such a great way to get kids hooked on learning. It has an amazing dynamic and a review of everything they learn at the end, so the kids don't forget. It also never has a dull moment, so it will keep kids very interested and wanting to watch more.

Floogals is about three little aliens that move into a "hoomans" house. Everyday, they discover something new about Earth and they investigate. While doing that, they teach kids about all those things. There is a wide variety of episodes from teaching kids how mail works, to finding out how seeds grow.

This show has such amazing animation. The Floogals are little animated aliens, but they live in a live action world. It's so cool to see them pick up objects that aren't animated and they still look like real objects. Another thing I really like is the personalities of all the Floogals. Take Boomer for example. He relates to kids that are more shy and helps them be more out there just like him. I also love the way each episode is formatted. Every episode starts with the Floogals seeing something they don't understand. Then, they find funny uses for it and, in the end when they find out what it is, they go over everything they learned. It's a great tool to help kids remember what they learn. One of my favorite episodes is "Project Mail." I really like it because, as a kid, I never would have known how mail worked and this would have been really cool for me to watch at a younger age. If I could change one thing about the Floogals, it would be how long Boomer's name is. On the show they call him Junior-Floogal-Boomer. I think it would be better as just Boomer.

The message of this show is that you should go out and learn something new every day. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars for its great animation, awesome plots and incredible characters. I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 6. This DVD will be released on September 12, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

By Dariana A., KIDS FIRST Film Critics, age 11.
Runtime: 95 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


UPTON CHARLES - DOG DETECTIVE, PICTURE PERFECT
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
UPTON CHARLES - DOG DETECTIVE, PICTURE PERFECT
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 8-12
Description - Fire engines race to a smokey house, but Upton's nose knows there is something wrong. Join Upton, his assistant Watson and the rest of the Charles family to find the answer.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Upton Charles and his family is back for yet another mystery! This is very entertaining and has an educational twist to it, as well. It flows well from beginning to end. Children will want to know how the mystery is solved. The educational art history facts make this more than a fun read. Children will learn interesting information as they read. The vocabulary is appropriate to its intended audience. The illustrations, although simple, have good visual appeal. There are positive role models in the story and it's quite clever that Upton is not a talking dog, but his thoughts are shown throughout the story. Great chapter book for children ages 8 to 12.? I give it 4 out of 5 stars.?
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99
Media: Book

LEAP!
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEAP!
WEINSTEIN CO, THE Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Paris, 1884. An orphaned girl arrives in Paris from Brittany. F�licie Milliner is 11 and has no money but one big, passionate dream: to become a dancer. With nothing left to lose, F�licie takes a big risk: she 'borrows' a spoiled brats identity and enters the Opera Ballet School. But how long can she be someone else? Mentored by the tough and mysterious cleaner, Odette , F�licie learns that talent is not enough - it takes hard work to be better than her ruthless, conniving fellow students. That and friendship. Felicie's inventive, exhausting and charismatic best friend Victor also has a dream: becoming a famous inventor. Together, they both encourage each other to reach for the stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Leap! is a great film with a big meaning. This film teaches it all - honesty, perseverance and the importance of practice, family, believing in yourself, believing in your dreams and passion. F�licie makes a lot of mistakes during her journey, which set her back, but that doesn't stop her from continuing to push through.

The story begins when F�licie and her best friend, Victor escape from an orphanage. They take a train to Paris so that F�licie can attend a dance school there and Victor can become an inventor. They arrive in Paris without any money. During their journey, they encounter many challenges. As F�licie meets new people, a love conflict arises as well as a conflict with a wealthy lady who is pure evil and wants to crush Felicie's dream.

A wealthy woman Regine (Kate McKinnon) is cruel, rude and arrogant, but a boy with a crush on F�licie protects her from Regine. McKinnon makes Regine sound totally wicked in a bad but great way. The boy, Victor (Natt Wolf) is portrayed as a timid, but an optimistic and caring friend.

The animation in this film is spectacular! It is very detailed and their mouths move with the words they are saying so well the animated characters seem real. The voice acting is spot on. The voices are filled with emotion and an inspiration to the audience, including me.

My favorite part is when F�licie watches a ballerina at the French dance school. She takes just one look at the ballerina's dance and knows she wants to dance and that she can dance. You can really see Felicie's passion for dancing right there. The whole movie is all about passion and the movie will inspire viewers to follow their dreams.

The message of this film is to follow your dreams. It show how, in order to succeed, you have to work very hard, believe in yourself and have passion. F�licie is an exemplary role model.

Leap! is a very inspirational film with a very important lesson and a pleasure to watch. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18. Adults will love this movie as well. I really enjoyed watching this film. Definitely check this awesome movie out when it opens nationwide in theaters August 30, 2017.

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

Leap!, directed by Eric Summer is a fun filled, adventurous experience! A quick dive into the storyline and action captivated me from the beginning. The animation engrossed me with its beautiful and realistic settings of buildings, streets and skies. The designs of the characters' outfits are unique and exquisite.

The story follows two best friends, F�licie (Elle Fanning) and Victor (Dane DeHaan) who have tremendous dreams. F�licie yearns to be a ballerina and Victor, an inventor. Together they escape their home at an orphanage and arrive in Paris to pursue their ambitions.

Elle Fanning as Felicie's voice communicate sadness when she sniffles, happiness as she squeals with joy and courage with a firm voice. Through Felicie's voice, I connected to her. Dane Dehaan as Victor's voice adds great joy and lightness to the film. The humor in his voice made me laugh out loud along with the audience.

The animation is the highlight of this film. The settings and surroundings are intricately detailed. When F�licie and Victor walk through the streets of Paris, the walls of the different buildings are covered with posters that have been ripped or worn down, the individual bricks or stones that make up the walls and street floors are covered with moss and miniscule cracks which adds to their realistic look. The architecture is angelic. The images of the Grand Opera house does true justice to the actual opera house. The ballet choreographer, Benjamin Millepied, wonderfully creates dance masterpieces. Although animated, I felt as if I was watching F�licie dance in real life. In one scene, two girls dance side by side and gracefully migrate from the stage to the chairs in the audience, to outside the stage. They use multiple areas as their stage and still look skillful and elegant.

My favorite part are the costumes. Designed to be sophisticated, from the ballerina's tutus to the vest of the Director of Opera, they have beautiful flower prints with bright colors and are very visually appealing.

The messages of this film is "never give up on your dreams" and "persevere towards your goals." I give 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It opens nationwide in theaters August 25, 2017 so, check it out.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Leap! is a marvelous movie that is so inspirational. It has a classic plot of a dance movie, with amazing twists that keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more. Leap! has fantastic animation and shows some of the real struggles of being a ballerina. This film shows how hard work pays off and really motivates you to work as hard as the characters in the film. I love how it has clich�s, but still kept me glued and wanting to know more.

The storyline is about an orphan girl, F�licie (Elle Fanning) and her best friend Victor (Dane DeHaan) who escape an orphanage to pursue their dreams. Felicie's dream is to dance and she gets her own chance to pursue that. Along the way, she faces challenges and setbacks that help her learn about her longing to dance.

Something really amazing about this film is that during the group dance scenes, they only show the dancers feet, while they dance on pointe. I love it because of how in sync all the feet are and how realistic the animated ballet shoes are. The one thing I didn't like about the movie is how old some the characters sound compared to their age. For example, F�licie is 11 years old and is voiced by Elle Fanning whose voice sounds much older. In some scenes, Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen) who is much older than F�licie sounds younger than her. But, the animation is so beautifully unique and unlike anything I've seen in any other movie. My favorite scene is when Victor (Dane DeHaan) and Rudy (Tamir Kapelian) fight over F�licie and it turns into a very funny slap fight. My favorite character is Odette because she is the one who teaches F�licie how to dance and always believes in her no matter what happens.

I think there are two messages in this film. The first is to follow your dreams because, if you can dream it, you can do it (shout out to Walt on this one). The second message is that practice makes perfect. This is what F�licie has to do in order to achieve her dream. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars because it is such a marvelous movie that I loved watching. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 because even my 17-year-old brother enjoyed it! You can find this film in a theatre near you on August 25.

Reviewed by Dariana A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


PUP STAR: BETTER 2GETHER
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PUP STAR: BETTER 2GETHER
AIR BUD ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 4 - 12
Description - The action-packed new season of the franchise continues with the story of Tiny, an adorable Yorkie pup who, after winning the 'Pup Star' TV singing competition, is suddenly launched into an adventure when she's replaced by a street Yorkie, Scrappy, and the two swap lives in a dog-filled, fish-out-of-water tale that ultimately demonstrates life truly is 'better together.'
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have to admit that I liked this so much more than I thought I would. The dogs are absolutely adorable and they storyline, while a bit trite, is quite suitable for its intended audience. The humans are all pretty stereotyped and goofy but in a good way. This is one of those films that I definitely recommend for kids, especially dog lovers. My hat is off to the animators for making the dogs appear to be speaking. They way their mouths move is pretty credible. I would definitely take my granddaughter to this! I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Air Bud Entertainment has done it again and created a fun-filled family film with this follow up sequel to Pup Star. I like the movie because the story has a fun adventure and also introduces lots of new characters including the disco dog Shampoo, the perfect pal P.U.P. (Mackenzie Sol) and the "cantankerous" Kitty Purry (Madison Pettis).

The story begins when Roland (Jed Rees) and Bark (George Newbern) kidnap Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher); or should I say dognap. Scrappy (Kaitlyn Maher) is put in Tiny's place for the Pup Star finals because Bark wants revenge on Tiny. My favorite scene is Shampoo's disco party! It is hilarious because it is quite unusual to see dogs dancing. Wow! He slides all around and spins on the ground like fidget spinner. My next favorite scene is in Kitty Purry's cat alley. When Roland enters, his clothes are in perfect condition, but when he comes out, his entire outfit is in shreds.

My favorite characters are Tiny, Scrappy and Roland. Tiny is so loveable and a great singer. Scrappy is an awesome rapper with lots of attitude. Roland thinks he is pretty smart but he's really like a dodo bird. It's so funny that in almost every scene something bad happens to him which made me laugh like a howling husky.

I absolutely love the music because it includes rap, pop, country, upbeat and sad songs that draws you in and touches your heart. Kaitlyn Mayer has an amazing and versatile voice. She is able to not only sing pop but rap like nobody's business. I like the special effects because they make the talking dogs and facial expressions look so real and, by the end of the movie, I believed that dogs can really talk and sing. Can't they?

I don't want to give away the ending, but you'll most likely have tears in your eyes. The heartfelt messages of the film are about sticking together and that families are better together. I recommend this to ages 3 to 13. I rate this film 5 out of 5 Pup Stars. I highly encourage you to see this film! It is available on VOD August 29, 2017 so go check it out.

By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This wonderful, animated film is one of my all-time favorites. Firstly, it's about dogs. Secondly, any kind of dog you can imagine is in this film, so you are sure to love at least one. If you don't love dogs as much as I do, that's okay, because there are plenty of cats to go around as well.

After Tiny, a Yorkshire terrier, wins the Pup Star finale, her fame begins to flourish. Having multiple interviews and traveling around the country, she's forced to remain astray from her family. Scrappy, an identical street Yorkshire terrier, switches lives with Tiny and their families and friends are completely unaware. Tiny and Scrappy encounter multiple adventures and learn a valuable life lesson: life is better together.

Kaitlyn Maher, who voices both Tiny and Scrappy, successfully illustrates the differences between the two, through Scrappy's low-pitched raps and Tiny's intense singing voice. During the film, there are also times where you aren't able to tell the difference. Mackenzie Moss, who plays Tiny's owner Lou, is the perfect dog owner. She loves Tiny more than anything in the world and, even though she's actually loving Scrappy for a majority of the film, her heart is always with Tiny. You can see it in her smile when it's Tiny's birthday. The entire house is decorated. There is a cake - what more could you ask for?

The set is incredible! It looks so similar to the set of America's Got Talent. The stage is filled with colorful lights, incredible singers and there's even a real audience. It feels as if you're a part of the show. My favorite part is when Tiny goes on "Jimmy Kibble Live" and competes with a super-fan. They play a game called "Who Knows Tiny Best?" Jimmy Kimmel Live is one of my favorite talk shows, so it is hilarious to see an imitation of it.

The message of the film is concise, yet extremely powerful: life is better when you're together. No matter who you may be with, as long as you have a support system, there is nothing that can tear you down. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 6 to18. Adults will love it too. You're never too young or old to love an animal. I fell in love with the first Pup Star film and seeing the second one made my heart melt. If you love animals as much as I do, this is undoubtedly the film for you. Catch this film on VOD August 29, 2017. I can't wait to see Pup Star 3.

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

This film is a perfectly cute kid and family furry-friendly movie. Sorry, there are lots of puns in this film. It is clearly geared to younger kids, but at least I can say there is a very clear effort to make this film watchable for older siblings and even parents.

The story centers around a celebrity pooch named Tiny and a streetwise dog named Scrappy who are forced to switch places after Tiny is dog-napped. Scrappy is coerced to purposely lose The Pup Stars Final competition pretending to be Tiny.

First, I want to acknowledge the really good editing in this movie. Since most of the characters are dogs, you must make their lip movements and actions look convincing. And I must admit, the lip movements and actions actually do look real. That must have taken a lot of time. Kudos to the film's editor, Jason Dale. All the dogs in the film are likable and you just want to cuddle up with Tiny and Scrappy.

This film has some flaws in terms of its story. First, the humans are incredibly oblivious and bumbling. When Scrappy meets Tiny's family, she does a terrible job hiding that she isn't Tiny, yet they completely buy it. No one seems to realize Tiny and Scrappy have switched places. All the human characters are either self-absorbed or really incompetent. I also have an issue with how predictable the storyline is. I knew the big reveal within the first few minutes of the film. Not only that, this type of story has been done before. This movie is pretty much Parent Trap, but with dogs and an American Idol twist.

I have to say that the music is surprisingly really good. The song Tiny sings, "Is This For Real?" is pretty catchy and I even found it stuck in my head after the movie was over. The singing overall is also great. I admit, the movie's soundtrack is kind of a guilty pleasure for me.

Before the movie starts, it is revealed that they are working on Pup Stars 3 and I am curious how many movies they can make, especially since the first one only came out last year and they go straight to VOD. I wonder what the plot will be for the next movie and hope they don't depict the humans as totally incompetent next time.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10, as this is a solid family film. It will be released on VOD on August 29, 2017 so, check it out.

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

Pup Star: Better 2Gether, the sequel to Pup Star, is an amazing original film that really hits the heart. The storyline is unique and the ending is so adorable. The film teaches the important messages of honesty and owning up to your mistakes. The storyline begins when Scrappy gets put up to impersonate Tiny. Bark instructs Scrappy to lose the Pup Star Competition as Tiny so that he can win. Bark kidnaps Tiny and tries to keep him contained. Eventually he escapes and tries to find his owner and reveal the truth.

Kaitlyn Maher voices two completely different characters and personalities well. She voices Tiny's sweet and affectionate personality and also voices Scrappy's rough, snarky personality. I also love the voice acting of Steve Valentine as Simon Growl. It is a really good Simon Cowell impression. At first, I thought it was actually Simon Cowell voicing his dog counterpart.

The animation that makes the dogs dance and talk looks so real. It is so cool to see the dogs break-dancing at the disco party. It is also amazing to see the dogs singing and talking. They sound beautiful and angelic.

My favorite character is Scrappy, because she is so courageous and has such a strong personality, even if she seems harsh. She is a great example of "don't judge a book by its cover." I don't want to give any spoilers, but she is very confident and knows what's right.

The message of this film is to have confidence in yourself and do what's right. Tiny has confidence that she can find her owner. She doesn't give up and that helps her greatly. Scrappy knows what's right and she becomes successful and happy at the end. These things benefit both dogs and the film teaches that it will benefit you as well. They are very important lessons that will help you throughout your life.

This film is very inspirational and super-cute. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 3 to 18. Who doesn't love puppies? Definitely check this film out when it comes out on VOD August 29, 2017.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


NUT JOB 2, THE: NUTTY BY NATURE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NUT JOB 2, THE: NUTTY BY NATURE
OPEN ROAD PRODUCTIONS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Surly the squirrel and his animal friends find out that the corrupt mayor of Oakton plans to bulldoze their beloved Liberty Park to make way for an amusement park. Hoping to save the place they call home, Surly, Andie, Buddy and the rest of the gang join forces with Mr. Feng, a seemingly cute and innocent mouse who happens to be a fierce master of kung fu.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Nut Job 2 is wonderful! With some movies, the sequel is never as good as the original, but with this movie, they are both awesome films. There is never a boring part or unnecessary scene. It keeps you wanting more and gets you really attached about the characters' lives. The background music really helps keep the story going and makes the chase scenes more suspenseful since there are no silent moments.

In the film, an accident happens and all the animals who are eating at the nut shop are forced to move back to the park. Unfortunately, Mayor Muldoon (Bobby Moynihan) has some nefarious plans to destroy the park. So, Surly (Will Arnett) and his friends have to find a way to work together to save the park.

One of the things I care for in both of The Nut Job films is the animation. I love how you can see every single hair on all the animals and how each one is different. Another thing that I love about this film is the music. That, you can thank Heitor Pereira for. The music goes with the lines and scenes so well, that it truly enhances the story. My favorite character is Buddy because, even though he never talks, he is always there for Surly and it's funny to see Buddy's expressions that make it seem as if he's talking. I also really like the backstory showing Surly and Buddy's friendship. Another thing I really like is Mr. Feng's (Jackie Chan) tail because it makes him more intimidating, which adds to his character. My favorite scene is when Andie (Katherine Heigl) starts singing about how the park is their home and they make a joke about how "no one can break into a spontaneous song." Go watch it and you'll see!

The two messages in this film are to work together, which this movie is all about, and that nothing comes easy. This message comes into place when the animals have to move back to the park and scrounge for food. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars because of the extraordinary animation, plot and music. I recommend this film for ages 5 to 14 and parents and older siblings will enjoy it too. You can find this film theaters nationwide on August 11, 2017.

By Dariana A., KIDS FIRST Film Critics, age 11

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TRIP TO SPAIN, THE
0 Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on a six-part episodic road trip through Spain, sampling the restaurants, eateries, and sights along the way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed The Trip to Spain for its humor, beautiful countryside scenery, exquisite food and wine and meals shared by two male friends. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon shine as themselves on a romp through Spain for an adventurous week together.

They are asked to go on a newspaper photo shoot to portray Don Quixote and Sancho Panza and we travel with them through Spain in both fun times and some serious professional and family moments.

I love the road trip scenes across different parts of Spain and laughed heartily as the two men tried to outdo each other with comedic imitations of famous actors such as Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro. My favorite scene is Steve Coogan's inimitable portrayal of Mick Jagger singing. He had his voice and hand motions down to a tee. I also loved their singing duet while driving along the road of an old song of Noel Harrison's "Windows of Your Mind." Baby boomers will appreciate the joke about who Noel's father is and what song his father sang.

In opposition to the hilarity of most of the film, we see Steve Coogan dealing with some serious concerns regarding a script he has written and wondering why it has not been green-lit yet. He also learns that his agent has left the agency and he's been handed over to his agent's assistant and is unhappy about that. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Steve, his ex-agent has contacted Rob, telling him that he is the next James Cordon, and should be hosting an awards show and would like to represent him.

While on the road, Steve has some somber phone conversations with his son and Rob enjoys fun Skyped conversations with his wife and kids. The ending of the amigos' trip and Steve's time alone, provide viewers with an interesting speculative ending. This film is the third in a trilogy directed by Michael Winterbottom. Seeing this one has enticed me to seek out the first two films, The Trip and The Trip to Italy.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. It is playing at select theaters nationwide so, go check it out.

By Terry Solowey, KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I surprised myself by actually enjoying this film. It is entertaining and light-hearted. The writer/director, Michael Winterbottom leaves the audience with an ending that encourages some interesting discussion as well as making me want to go grab a late night snack!

The Trip to Spain is a deadpan comedy about two friends, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing themselves, traveling across Spain, writing about food while they take in culture and talk about life. This is the third in a series of "trip" films and aired at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. What I find interesting is Michael Winterbottom never actually wrote a script. It is more of an outline explaining where each scene takes place, who is in it and what subjects will be discussed. Most of the lines are improvised by the actors.

The Trip to Spain is shot on location which allows for some magnificent cinematography. There are numerous breathtaking views from the many restaurants they visit. One thing I found annoying was the abrupt cuts the camera takes to show locals eating or sitting around. I found it unnecessary and actually distracting from the plot.

I enjoy dry, deadpan humor. I also think the many impressions Steve and Rob do throughout the film are fun to watch. Obviously I cannot relate when they make references to their 50-year-old selves, but I often laughed at the situational humor.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Because of the content and dry humor, I think older teens and adults will appreciate it most. It is playing in theaters now so, go check it out.

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

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MENASHE
0 Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Deep in the heart of New York's notoriously secretive Hasidic Jewish community, Menashe, a good-hearted but somewhat hapless grocery store clerk, struggles against tradition to keep custody of his only son after his wife passes away.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Menashe is an authentic, emotional masterpiece telling the story of a kind, hapless, Hasidic grocery store clerk who battles to keep his family together after his wife dies. Directed by Joshua Z. Weinstein and starring Menashe Lustig, the film was shot clandestinely because of the beliefs of the Orthodox Jewish sect. I love this film because it took willpower to make. You can't say that about many films nowadays.

Menashe is about a kindhearted, but miserable grocery store employee that must remarry in order to care for his only son. It is against the Hasidic beliefs that a child be taken care of without a mother in the home. While Menashe ponders his situation, his well-off brother-in-law is given custody of Rieven by their Rabbi. Menashe is frustrated by this and is only able to get back custody of his son for a week, while he looks for a new wife. It doesn't seem that he really wants to get remarried, because when he goes on one date he isn't particularly friendly.

Unlike the rest of his family and friends, Menashe is more at ease with the secular society surrounding them in Brooklyn. He dresses more casually, without the requisite black hat and coat. While he takes his religion seriously, he wants to embrace life and freedom, more than the sect allows. My favorite part of this film is when Menashe drinks malt liquor with the Hispanic employees after his late night shift. They talk about life and try to get Menashe back on track.

One of the attributes of this film is the way it educates you about the culture of ultra Orthodox Judaism. The other very impressive fact is that it is the first film in 70 years to be filmed in Yiddish. Most of the film is subtitled for those who don't speak Yiddish. Both Menashe Lustig and young Ruben Niborski convey the closeness they have between father and son. One downside of the film is that it is low budget, which is reflected in its grainy resolution. Some of that could also be due to the fact that it was shot in secret.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for its authenticity and emotional punch. I recommend it for ages 13 through 18. The film is in limited release throughout the country at art house cinemas.

By Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

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


RESILIENT HEART, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
RESILIENT HEART, THE
WWW Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - The Resilient Heart explores the keys to preventing heart disease on a worldwide scale. At the film's core is the story of Dr. Valent�n Fuster, a world-renowned cardiovascular scientist, and Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Through his exploration of the heart at the molecular level, Dr. Fuster discovers that the real answer to defeating chronic disease lies in a much larger place: early education. By highlighting scientific contributions ranging from basic science to translational research, the film addresses the improvement of clinical and surgical care efforts to promote lifestyles that prevent or slow the progression of heart disease. Ultimately, it shows how the intersection of science, medicine, research, education and compassion bring about changes that are not only important but also replicable by physicians and patients throughout the world . The film follows Dr. Fuster and his team as they travel to Eldoret (Kenya), Bogota and more. If you or someone you know has ever been touched by a heart disease, you really must see this film. Directed by Susan Froemke. Cast: Dr. Valentin Fuster
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This inspirational film kept me glued to the edge of my seat. I didn't know that heart disease is the number one killer in society today. It fascinates me that there are incredible individuals in this world such as Dr. Valentin Fuster who want to make a difference in the lives of others, especially with a disease that is so common.

In this documentary promoting worldwide heart health, we see cardiologist Valentin Fuster working with doctors around the globe to help individuals realize that behavior is the key to combating heart disease. Traveling to countries like Kenya, Colombia and Grenada, Fuster works with both children and adults to help facilitate healthy behavior, through group therapy sessions, classroom instruction and community volunteering.

Valentin Fuster has the biggest heart. He flies to other countries once a week to help people. He gets up at 4:30 every morning, works 7 days a week and works with kids for 15 years to help them understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. I wish I could meet him, because I would love to thank him for all of the incredible work he has done for kids and adults around the world.

I really admire that the film is not based in a single geographical location. It is fascinating to see different cultures and compare them, and see how heart disease affects poor countries, which most people are not aware of. The fact that I was able to see how different areas of the world need so much help from future generations motivates me to follow in Fuster's footsteps - first starting in my own community, then making my impact even bigger.

My favorite part of this film is when Dr. Fuster talks about his motivation and says that if he died tomorrow, he would be okay with it, because he has helped so many people. This is rewarding to him.

The message of this film is that we have the power to keep our hearts healthy. You can start focusing on heart health at any age and, although we can't necessarily cure heart disease, we can prevent it by exercising, eating right and avoiding incredible amounts of stress. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 12 to 18. Adults would love it too. No age is too young to begin taking care of your heart. You can watch this film on Amazon now! This is the documentary of a lifetime.

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

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


LUCKY (2017)
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LUCKY (2017)
MAGNOLIA PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A 90-year-old atheist has outlived and out-smoked his contemporaries, and as he comes to terms with his own mortality, he searches for ever-elusive enlightenment. Directed by John Carroll Lynch; Starring Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This paradoxical film definitely altered my perspective on daily life. Life is meant to be a beautiful thing, but not in this case. Elaborating on loneliness and the mundane events in everyday life, you will surely rethink what it means to be alive.

Lucky is a 90-year-old atheist, who ironically, isn't so lucky. Every day, Lucky drinks his glass of milk, does yoga stretches, has a cup of coffee, goes to the local diner and ends his day walking back home from the store with a package of cigarettes. His health is impeccable, but he does not seem to be happy. In reality, he is afraid of living and consistently talks about death. Join Lucky on his journey of trying to attain enlightenment and see if he can live the life he truly desires.

Harry Dean Stanton plays the role of Lucky and successfully portrays an angry, independent old man. Stanton manages to hold a depressed facial expression for the majority of the film. All the town residents try to help him. Yvonne Huff plays Loretta, the waitress at the local diner who empathizes with Lucky the most and drives to his house to check up on him once day. Originally, Lucky is reluctant, but Loretta goes into his house and they watch TV together. Lucky tells her that he's scared of life and they both share a hug before she heads over to the diner for her shift.

The set is incredible. The film is set in a deserted town, so the characters' relationships are very strong. David Lynch, who plays Howard, has a tortoise named President Roosevelt and he is tremendous. I didn't know that tortoises could live for 200 years. It's great to see an animal become so prominent to the residents of the town. My favorite part is when Howard says his tortoise has escaped. Tortoises travel very slowly, so his friends make fun of him by asking if Howard went to Europe in the time being. Seeing this scene made me want to have my own pet tortoise.

The message of this film is to live life however you desire. Life is short, so make sure to make the most of it, even if it means doing the same thing over and over again. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 16 to 18, since there is drinking, drugs and foul language. Catch this film in theaters September 29, 2017 to find out what it means to be "Lucky."

By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

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


LILY'S DRIFTWOOD BAY: SEASON ONE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LILY'S DRIFTWOOD BAY: SEASON ONE
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 3-8
Description - Welcome to Lily's Driftwood Bay! Lily is six years old and lives with her dad and her best friend, who is a seagull named Gull, in a little hut on the beach. Across the way is Driftwood Bay, a special island that exists in Lily's imagination. Every day the sea washes up a new treasure which sparks Lily's imagination about what might be happening on Driftwood Bay. Join Lily and her friends, Salty Dog, Bull, Nonna, Hatsie, Wee Rabbit and Lord Stag as they sail to Driftwood Bay where wonderful adventures await! Along with each adventure is a valuable lesson learned in each story from learning to tell the truth to saying sorry to asking for help. Embark on new adventures with Lily and friends as they travel to Driftwood Bay!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love this series! Lily is a great role model and is so creative. A good chunk of this program follows Lily finding "treasures" that have washed up on the shore and being inspired to go on adventures that are based on those items. One the best parts of this series is that Lily resides in a single parent home. Her father is a wonderful character and they have such a great relationship. There aren't enough programs out there that show this type of relationship and I am very pleased to have found one. One of the best episodes on this DVD is called "A New Arrival." In this episode, Lily uses some of her treasures to make a beautiful gift for the new baby lamb. Episodes like this are why I love having my son watching it. There is a lot of heart in this program and the artwork is wonderful. It's mixed media that feels like a blend of colored pencils and water colors. I recommend this for ages 3 to 6 and give it five out of five stars. It's available on DVD now so, look for it! You'll be glad you did. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This creative animated series made me feel like a little kid again. Lily's imagination is so big, and she is so creative, which is exactly how I felt when I was younger. With 52 unique adventures, there is never a dull moment in each episode.

Lily (Orlagh O' Keefe) is a 6-year-old girl who lives with her dad and a seagull on the beach. Right across from her is Driftwood Bay, an imaginary island that she has created. With each passing day, Lily finds a new object washed up on the shore. These objects give life to her Driftwood Bay imagination. Lily and her friends sail to Driftwood Bay and Lily learns valuable life lessons that keep her imagination alive.

Peter Mullan, who plays one of Lily's friends, Salty Dog, is easily one of the funniest actors that I've ever seen. Mullan portrays Salty as being vulnerable, especially in the episode, "The Honking Haddock," where Salty is unaware of his massive stench. Lily continues to tell him that he smells very bad, but Salty is clueless, which makes it hilarious. Salty is a cute Scottish dog who is the Captain of the boat that sails to Driftwood Bay and he always says, "Slippery scallions," which is sure to make you laugh.

The animation in the series is adorable! The characters look so friendly and look as if they are drawn by little kids! Because of this, the series is more relatable and entertaining. The characters aren't perfect and that is exactly how every person is. But, that is the beauty of life, and it is evident through Lily's big imagination.

My favorite part of this DVD collection is when Lily asks about flowers on the beach. She loves them, but her dad has to take them to the market. She is disappointed, but he brings her a flower at the end of the day. He says, "It's a lily for my Lily." I love puns and sweet moments, and this scene is fortunate enough to have both.

The messages of the show are to be creative, enjoy your life, learn from your mistakes and be nice to everyone you meet. Aside from these major life lessons, each episode has little ones asking for help and saying they are sorry. There is always something valuable to take away from each episode. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. Check out this series on DVD. You won't want to miss it.

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

This hilarious animated series is very educational and cute. Lily has a great heart and sets a good example for children who watch this. Lily is helpful, positive and caring to everyone no matter what. These shows teach really important morals about positivity, telling the truth and making sure you stay safe.

The episodes start when Lily finds some sort of weird treasure washed up on the beach. She goes to find out what it really is and what its true purpose is on Driftwood Bay, her imaginary island. She meets up with her friends on the island and some of them ask for her help. She tries to solve their problems and realizes that the tool she needs is one that she got on the shore. She realizes its purpose and learns a characteristic such as, grit, honesty, trust, forgiveness and being fair.

Orlagh O'Keefe voices Lily as a sweet, young and na�ve girl. She sounds innocent and ready learn everything she can. Salty Dog (Peter Mullan) really does sound like an old, rusty dog who has been out on the sea for a while, but speaks English. Salty Dog sounds very old, but looks very young, which I find somewhat confusing.

The animation has a lot more details than most animated TV shows do. For example, they show each of the strands in the hair, their faces look very life like, especially in the way the mouths move. This animation is made with a lot of quality which I appreciate.

There are lots of messages in these shows. Lily models being positive, caring, helpful, staying safe and being truthful. She is a great role model for kids and this DVD about her adventures allow her to teach multiple morals in just one episode. Mainly the show educates kids about having good character and following the golden rule - be kind to others if you want them to be kind to you. Lily is kind to others, so she has a lot of good friends that stick by her side.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 5 to 8. It is available now so, go check it out.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 370 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.79
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


DUNKIRK
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DUNKIRK
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 26- June04, 1940, during Battle of France in World War II. Samantha M. comments, "This unique film altered my perspective on daily life. It fascinates me how history has shaped our world. Viewing this film made me appreciate the security that we have in our country today." Michelle C. adds, "Dunkirk offers the most intense, beach set cinematic experience since the iconic film Jaws. In this new adaptation of such a strong battle, Christopher Nolan's talent as director and writer shines through, creating a visual masterpiece that leaves you mesmerized."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dunkirk offers the most intense, beach set cinematic experience since the iconic film Jaws. In this new adaptation of such a strong battle, Christopher Nolan's talent as director and writer shines through, creating a visual masterpiece that leaves you mesmerized. The battle of Dunkirk was a short one, May 26 to June 4, 1940. Despite its minimal timeframe, it was deadly. WWII Allied soldiers were hiding, surrounded on all sides by the German Army and had to be evacuated on the beaches of Dunkirk, by way of an operation famously known as Operation Dynamo.

On the ground, British Army Privates Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) and Alex (Harry Styles) are two of the men desperately fighting and struggling to remain alive and safely evacuate the beach, by whatever means available. Across the ocean, local sailors Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) and his son Peter (Toms Carney) had been recruited by the Navy to help with the evacuation. From yet another perspective, members of the Royal Air Force including Farrier (Tom Hardy) attempt to shoot down the German bombers, in order to help the stranded troops evacuate the beach and ocean safely. Let's talk about the production of the film. The cinematography, as expected from talented director and writer Christopher Nolan, is groundbreaking.

Congratulations to Hoyt van Hoyterman for creating a visual masterpiece. Everything looks incredibly realistic and breathtaking, keeping you on your toes throughout the film. The scene that is the most memorable to me, is when one of the Air Force pilots soar through the sunset sky as the troops cheer in victory. I assure you that it will give you goosebumps and make you teary-eyed. The sound effects and the music by Hans Zimmer make the movie that much more tangible. The bombing begins from the very start of the film, preparing you for an emotional rollercoaster. They are so loud that it sounds as if they're coming from the back of the theater. If you listen closely, there's a ticking clock throughout the entire film, (minus the ending, which I will keep under wraps for you to discover) hidden within each song, creating increased tension and suspense. By the end of the film, I was already down to the nub of my fingertips, so prepare to be antsy! Harry Styles' performance is quite impressive, particularly since he is a known as a singer, not an actor. It is refreshing to see his excellent performance her, as he is the one with the most lines and delivers them eloquently, equal to an experienced actor. Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy also delivered remarkable performances. Dunkirk relies heavily on emotions since it barely has any dialogue, so it is important to have the story delivered by the visuals and the acting, which they achieved flawlessly. Dunkirk opens in theaters nationwide on July 21, 2017. It's 107 minutes long and is Rated PG-13 for intense war experiences and some language. Because of the stunning cinematography and storyline, I rate Dunkirk 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Go check it out, whether you are a history buff or not, this film will remind you how history affects us.

By Michelle C. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This unique film altered my perspective on daily life. It fascinates me how history has shaped our world. Viewing this film made me appreciate the security that we have in our country today. Based on the historical account of World War II, Dunkirk highlights the tension within the British Empire, France and Belgium, as the German army begins to make brutal attacks. In hopes of keeping Dunkirk intact, the allied soldiers are evacuated by boats and must fight for their lives at sea.

Fionn Whitehead plays the lead British soldier, Tommy, and his acting is incredible! He doesn't have many lines, which makes his acting stand out. You can empathize with Tommy just by looking into his eyes and see the pain he's experiencing as he is fighting for his life. Harry Styles plays Alex, another one of the British soldiers. Styles doesn't have many lines either, since Dunkirk heavily emphasizes war battle scenes rather than dialogue. When Alex does speak, his words are powerful. In one of the scenes, he tries to convince the other soldiers that Gibson (Aneurin Barnard) is a German spy.

Alex's anger is discernible. You can see how long he has been hiding his emotions and how much the war is taking a toll on him. Dunkirk is set on the beaches of Northern France. The views are breathtaking, but it is depressing to see such a beautiful place being bombed. However, it does motivate the soldiers to protect their country, which is why the director, Christopher Nolan, emphasizes the soldiers' surroundings. My favorite part of the film is when the soldiers are being fed bread with raspberry jam. They look incredibly happy to be eating after days of stress. This scene makes me appreciate how much I have. All I want to do is help these soldiers, get them to safety and thank them for all their hard work. The message is to never give up and to recognize the impact World War II made on our country. Hard work pays off. We should never forget our fallen soldiers and appreciate how they changed our lives and countries for the better. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.

Since there is little dialogue, it can be confusing at times, but it is unique. I recommend it to ages 16 to18, and adults will enjoy it too. There are many fatalities, gunshots and dead bodies, so it is not particularly for little kids. It depends on your tolerance level. Check out this film in theaters nationwide when it opens on July 21, 2017. You won't want to miss it.

By Samantha M. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

This movie is very timely, considering Brexit, in its subject matter of national British pride. Director Christopher Nolan reaches back to one of England's greatest points of pride before the U.S.A.'s entry into the war, namely, the against-the-odds evacuation from the town of Dunkirk, France to preserve 400,000 British troops. This movie is Nolan's love letter to England and the men and women who gave their lives to guard and protect her. Back in England, one representative patriot is a duty-bound father, played by Mark Rylance, whose boat, like many other boats in England, is requisitioned by the Royal Navy evacuate the stranded in Dunkirk. His story connects with that of two RAF pilots sent on a mission to protect the skies while the naval operation is undertaken. The only drawback of the film is that none of the characters is fleshed out enough to make the audience connect with them on a more emotional level. But this is, after all, war. Nolan's realistic account is both a visual and auditory masterpiece. The scenery is magnificent. I have never seen a movie in which there are so many scenes without dialogue. One of the most remarkable sequences is the aerial flight sequence. I actually felt as if I was flying! IMAX adds to the already impressive immersive quality of the movie. I recommend this film for ages 15 to 18 because it gets a bit intense. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it tells the incredible true story about how all of England came together to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of young soldiers. By the way, teenage girls will agree with me that Harry Styles isn't too shabby. This is s his first movie and his realistic acting is truly amazing. This film opens in theaters nationwide Friday, July 21, 2017 so, go check it out. By Lucia F. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

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


THE EMOJI MOVIE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE EMOJI MOVIE
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Description - The Emoji Movie - Exhilarating Storyline, Wonderful Cast, Colorful Animation and More
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see kid comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Emoji Movie is a kid-friendly fun and exciting film for people of all ages to enjoy and connect with. I love how the world of emojis in smartphone relates to the human world throughout the film. It gives the audience a way to identify with the characters and the plot. Families will definitely enjoy this amusing motion film and may even learn from it.

Alex's (Jake T Austin) smartphone is home to all of the emojis. Each has its own facial expression except for Gene (TJ Miller). Gene struggles with being an emoji with multiple expressions and is determined to become normal like all of the other emojis. Gene asks for help from his new best friends, Hi-5 (James Corden) and Jailbreak (Anna Faris), a popular code breaker. During their epic adventure, the three face great danger and conflict with other characters. Join them on their experience.

I enjoyed every aspect of this film, but my favorite scene is when Gene realizes his uniqueness from the other emojis. Alex is having phone troubles and is on the verge of getting it fixed, which means the end for all things emojis. Gene steps in to make sure that doesn't happen, which is a perk since he recognizes his worth. This scene sends a powerful message for kids to learn about liking themselves and recognizing their importance in the world.The overall message of the film is to learn to accept who you are, no matter what others think of you. In the beginning, Gene has trouble figuring out who he is and why he isn't like the rest. That leads him to wanting to be normal. Fortunately, Gene later realizes who he is, with a little help from his friends, and finally accepts himself. Kids and even adults can learn a lesson from this and apply it to their lives by building up their own self confidence.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18. There are scenes that tweens and teens can enjoy, but it also contains some scenes are suitable for 5 to 13 year olds. Adults will most likely enjoy this as well. It really is a film that the whole family will get a kick out of.

I rate The Emoji Movie 4 out of 5 because of its exhilarating storyline, wonderful cast, colorful animation and overall message. The Emoji Movie opens on July 28th, 2017 so, be sure to check it out so you can laugh along with the characters and enjoy it as much as I did.

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


DAY HENRY MET, THE: SEASON 1
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DAY HENRY MET, THE: SEASON 1
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - Henry is a 4-year-old boy who always wants to learn and find out more. In each episode, Henry has a friendly chat with whatever he meets and discovers something new! No matter what Henry meets, they're always delighted to talk, laugh and share their amazing world with him. After finding out so many amazing things about his new friends, Henry lets his imagination run wild and imagines himself...As a knight rescuing the missing sword...As a singer performing in a band...As a deep sea diver swimming along sea creatures...As a fireman rescuing others... As an astronaut flying to the moon...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is truly a neat little program. This show is exactly as it sounds. It's all about Henry meeting all kinds of people and things. He goes on tons of wacky adventures and I loved every minute of it. The art is goofy and feels as if it came from a child. I believe that is appealing to children who think that they too could create such a little journey. My favorite episode is "The Day Henry Met... A Panda." It may because I love pandas, ha-ha. In this episode, Henry helps a panda at the zoo search for its cousin and, in turn, becomes a zookeeper for the day. it's very fun seeing him meet all the zoo animals and create a friendship with the panda as they search together. I think this show really inspires adventure and curiosity. I love how it makes every small event seem so fun and worthwhile. I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 5 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This creative animated series left me feeling intrigued the entire time. I enjoyed watching Henry act as an inquisitive 4-year-old. I am a little jealous because he is so intelligent and I wish I was that intelligent when I was 4! Throughout the series, I couldn't wait to see what Henry would encounter next.

Henry is a young boy who desires to learn something new in his everyday life. In each episode, Henry meets a new object and his imagination comes to life when he puts the object to use. He finds a soccer ball and acts as a referee, finds a shield and acts as a knight and even acts as a deep sea diver, swimming alongside marine life. The best part is, Henry builds so many friendships and everyone he meets is eager to help him find the answers to his questions.

Steve Austin, the series animator, makes the setting and characters look incredibly realistic, since they aren't picture-perfect. The animation looks pencil sketched, which makes the series more relatable, since nothing in life is perfect. Susan Broe, the series producer, incorporates a multitude of family-friendly themes to make this series fun for everyone to watch.

The music in the series is centralized with an orchestra, which is very calming for young kids and was for me also. It's very unique, which I greatly admire, because most TV shows today have similar types of music. My favorite episode is called, "A Parrot." Henry meets a parrot, begins talking to him and finds out it's his 101st birthday. He tells Henry about his famous grandfather parrot, which is hilarious because parrots aren't usually famous. It reminded me of going into pet stores and seeing talking parrots.

The message of the series is to explore everything life has to offer and to be nice to everyone you meet. Henry is grateful for his life and treats everyone with compassion and respect, which is what everyone should do. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars, recommend it to kids ages 6 to18 and adults would enjoy it too. I love how every object comes to life in Henry's imagination and the unique plot had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. This comes out on DVD August 15, 2017. I can't wait to watch Season 2.

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

This DVD is very educational and cute. It is simply amazing that a child can enjoy watching a film while learning so much at the same time. A child can acquire so many positive traits and behaviors from watching this show. The animation is so cute. I have never seen this style of animation before. In this show, Henry meets a new object every day and goes on adventures learning more about them. He helps his object friends with their problems and learns the correct way to act in different situations. He learns to be fair, honest and kind. The show is somewhat predictable and not as original as some educational kids' shows. I love the plot of Henry meeting a new object. That is very original. One interesting thing is that all of the objects (trees, clouds, pillars) have eyes on them. The eyes are huge and wide, even on Henry. Another thing is that everything is always moving. For example, all the trees in the background sway in the wind. There are tiny details like that which make everything seem a bit more life like.

My favorite episode is "The Day Henry Met a Football." In this episode, there is Henry, two boots and a football. The two boots argue with each other about who is the best. The two boots play a game together with the football and eventually get super tired. Then they start arguing that they aren't the best. This reminds me of when me and my brother argue and it made me laugh. I wonder if the boots are siblings as well

There are multiple message in the stories. The most common ones are about being honest, kind to others, playing fair and facing your fears. These are all very important and good to teach to children at an early age.

This DVD is great for young children who are ready to learn. I recommend it ages 3 to 7 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. The animation is super cute and unique, but the stories are not all that original. Still this is a wonderful DVD and is available now, so check it out!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 135 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE NEW MISSION
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 4-12
Description - Life on B612 has resumed to normalcy. Rose, Fox, and the Little Prince are living peacefully, maybe too peacefully...Then one night, Rose hears the Snake telling her that she has a home planet with a family. Can this be true? Rose asks Little Prince to find her planet because she's afraid it's in grave danger. The Little Prince asks Fox to keep an eye on Rose as he flies off on his plane to try to find more information on her planet. The Little Prince promises he will return before the next sunset to trim the baobabs germinating on B612. While searching for Rose's planet, the Little Prince encounters four characters, the geographer, the hunter, the king, and the businessman. They tell him that Rose's planet is in another galaxy far beyond interstellar space. Meanwhile, back on B612, days have passed so Little Prince hasn't had a chance to tend to the baobabs like he promised Rose. So Rose is starting to be bothered with nightmares and is becoming irritated. The tones begin to rise between Rose and Fox and arguments occur. After an argument between the two, it's decided to open the sketchbook and free the Snake. When the Little Prince finally returns to B612 and learns that the Snake has been freed, he collapses. His friend, the aviator, comforts him and urges him to set off on a new adventure to fight his worst enemy again. But what about Rose's planet? The aviator mysteriously explains - those you will save will guide you.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really love the whimsical components shown in this story. Most of the characters are well thought out and fun to discover. For the most part, the Little Prince is a great role model. He's kind and caring, with an adventurous spirit. Though the story makes sense, it is a bit weak. I feel the stakes for the Little Prince are not high enough. It lacks a strong motivation for him to leave his planet behind. Also, the opposition isn't very strong, until the snake is set free and that is towards the end of the story. Sometimes it feels as if the protagonist's obstacles are too easy to concord, so it is hard to feel empathy for him and his cause. It feels as if he doesn't have to work hard enough to overcome the challenges he encounters.

I like the design of the show, especially the character designs. Although, I think that the snake may be too scary for younger kids. The most appealing thing about this show are its elements of imagination. I love how each of the characters the Little Prince encounters are whimsical. The whole story is full of surprises. The whimsical factor of the story makes it very enjoyable for kids. The characters are engaging and the story is written in a way that, as viewers, we want to know what happens next. On the other hand, because the story has some weaknesses, older kids might not enjoy it as much.

You can tell the Little Prince loves his friends and his planet and wants to protect them. One thing I didn't like is that in the scene with the hunter, he lies to him and, after the lie, the hunter decides to help him. I think he could have found a better way to solve the issue with the hunter without lying. Also, Fox and Rose constantly fight and we definitely see the consequences of their behavior. They let the prince down and release the snake. However, because this is such an important moment, I feel that the dialog in that scene could have been stronger.

The examples of problem solving throughout the story are not as strong as they could be. They are present, but the prince could have dealt with them in better ways. For instance, his first instinct to fight the snake is to use his sword. He even says he had fought the snake before, so why doesn't he stop and figure out what is it that the snake wants this time. Why doesn't he use the information he knows about the snake from the past to confront it again? Part of the problem is that it isn't clear exactly what the snake's goal is.

The show is done in 3D animation. The visuals are not breathtaking, but they are suitable for its target audience. This is the first DVD I've seen that doesn't have a Menu. It opens with previews of other shows from the same distributor and then the movie starts. It would be nice if a menu was available so you can select to start and stop and go to specific scenes. I can see kids play pretend being the Little Prince, imagining new planets and characters. I think more than inquiry, it will motivate their creativity.

This DVD is best suited for kids ages 6 to 10. The vocabulary and concepts are age appropriate. It is a safe story for parents to watch with their kids. It's entertaining and enjoyable. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to look for it. Reviewed by Martha S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This imaginative animated film warmed my heart. Elaborating upon a conquest to find Rose's family, the friendship that Little Prince, Fox and Rose share is remarkable. Each character differs from one another, but they all manage to combat the forces of evil together, which in turn, strengthens their relationship in a way never seen before. With such a divine plot, exquisite action scenes and heartwarming friendships, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Previously, the Little Prince defeated an evil snake and trapped him in his beloved sketchbook. Everything on B612 is peaceful again. Rose, Fox and the Little Prince are enjoying life, playing games with one another and building stable friendships. But one night, the Snake tells Rose that she has a family that is in danger. It is up to the Little Prince, Fox and Rose to work as a team, and try to reunite Rose with her family.

Marion Cotillard, who plays Rose, delivers exceptional dialogue with her sweet voice. Her laugh is infectious and seeing Rose smile through every difficult situation is very inspiring. Cotillard portrays Rose as optimistic, through her desire to never give up and this is something that everyone can learn from. Riley Osborne, who plays the Little Prince, is very charming, because he cares about Rose and will do anything to help her find her family. He asks Fox (James Franco) to keep an eye on her as he searches the galaxy for her family.

The animation in this film is incredible. Seeing the galaxy for the first time left me speechless. The costumes are very realistic, which makes the characters look like they don't belong in space. But, that is the beauty of this film, because we can see how opposites attract. My favorite part is when Rose, Fox and the Little Prince play a game called, "Red Light, Green Light." Rose covers her eyes and Fox and the Little Prince can only move on green light. If they move on red light, Rose wins. It's fascinating to see their friendship grow and it makes you want to join the game.

The message of this film is to work as a team and to never give up. No matter what obstacle you encounter, there is always a way to combat it and push forward. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for its nonstop action and unique plot. I have never been this intrigued by a film before. I recommend this to kids ages 6 to 12 and it is great to watch for parents as well. With such comedic jokes, relatable characters and a mysterious plot, there is something for everyone to enjoy. This film is available now on DVD. Check it out and find out if the Little Prince can find the Planet of the Roses.

By Samantha M.s, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS is the new adventure film from Luc Besson, the director of The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy, based on the comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers and filmmakers. In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha-an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets fascinated me because of its excellent, ahead of its time special effects. The stunt work is top level. The spectacular direction adds flair to the story.

The movie is about Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), who are operatives that maintain order in the human territories. Under operation from Commander Filitt (Clive Owen), the team embarks on a mission to Alpha, the City of a Thousand Planets. While on the mission, the team meets shapeshifter Bubble (Rihanna), who helps them. However, a mystery at the center of Alpha could threaten the existence of every person in the city. Only Valerian can unlock the secret beneath the threat.

Dane DeHaan as Valerian bravely presents his character who tries to save the universe, while at the same time impress his partner, Laureline. Dane is excellent in his battle scenes, especially in the final showdown. Cara Delevingne, as Laureline, expresses her extreme love and confidence in her effort to rescue Alpha. Clive Owen as Commander Filitt seems heroic, but puzzles Valerian with his classified files. He is my favorite character. Rihanna, as Bubble, can transform into any shape to help the team. She also represents a slave who craves freedom. Sam Spruell as General Octo Bar is noble and firm in how he presents his orders and also tries to solve the mystery of the classified files of Commander Filitt.

The direction by Luc Besson is splendid. Innovative camera techniques are used to present most of the locales, especially in The City of a Thousand Planets. My favorite scene is when Valerian takes a shortcut across the city. It is a treat to watch, due to how the environments switch. My only problem in this film is that it jumps everywhere following various sub-plots, which makes it difficult to follow. Despite that flaw, the special effects make it worthwhile.

The film's message is that it is sometimes necessary to break conventional rules for a worthy cause. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action and brief language. The movie releases in theaters on July 21st, so check it out for one, ahead of its time sci-fi film.

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

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


MOLANG, SEASON 1
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MOLANG, SEASON 1
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - Join Molang, a round, fluffy, and happy rabbit, and his friend, Piu Piu, a poised, timid, and reserved yellow chick, as they explore everyday life. Molang savors every moment of his life, imbuing it with joy and wonder. He pays attention to the smallest details, giving meaning to even the tiniest things. Molang puts his heart into his actions, and he has a huge heart. Even when he does absolutely nothing, he does it well! Piu Piu, on the other hand, doesn't t like calling attention to himself. He likes to do things carefully and well. When unexpected situations arise (and Molang s unpredictable behavior often causes such situations to occur!), Piu Piu can become quickly unsettled, even panicked. Despite their many differences, Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a unique friendship. They have amazing times together ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary. From finding themselves in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean to riding camels in the desert, Molang and Piu Piu experience unexpected situations. Throughout it all though, every single moment with these two is filled with happiness. Embark on 52 unforgettable adventures with Molang and Piu Piu!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Molang is about a very cute relationship between Molang, a joyful rabbit and Piu Piu, a reluctant chick. Their dynamic is adorable and, together they go on many adventures and have great fun. The animation in this program is amazing and fun. The fluffy thick lines make it very kid-friendly and hold the attention of the viewer. There are many episodes on this DVD and my favorite is called "The Underground Walk." In this episode, the duo goes on an underground tour and, due to their mischievous behavior and lack of discipline, they get lost from the tour group and must work together to find their way out of the tunnels. I like this episode because you really get a good taste of why they work so well together and you get the feeling that maybe without each other they could not accomplish as much. I recommend this for ages 2 to 6 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Molang: Season 1 is full of fun and laughter! Molang and Piu Piu's innocent demeanor makes them lovable characters that I rooted for every step of the way. Their love for each other and their society made me fall in love with both of them. Each episode is overrun with happiness which made me smile nonstop.

The story follows the everyday life of a fluffy rabbit named Molang and its best friend Piu Piu the chicken. On their journeys together, Molang and Piu Piu face different situations and find creative ways to help others and fix their unique problems. Together, they happily enjoy the surprises their lives bring.

There is no dialogue in this show, but the animation and music easily make it understandable. The animation is bright and rounded giving it a soft and calming feeling. During the daytime, the trees, hills and grass are radiant shades of yellows, greens, pinks and oranges. It adds to the brightness of the mood when Molang and Piu Piu are adventuring through their world. During the night, the aura changes as the colors turn soft shades of purples and blues. The hills, trees, snow, sand and nature are drawn with different colorful patterns as are the walls, floors and ceilings which adds a playful and cheerful feeling. The character's expressions easily convey their thoughts and increase the visual appeal.

The music spoke to me as the dialogue would. Throughout the different episodes, the music changes whenever the situations change. For example, when Molang and Piu Piu are going to the beach or on vacation, the music becomes lively and venturesome. When they run into a problem, the music transforms to a slow rhythm. The music imbued the feelings of Molang and Piu Piu into me. It made me feel a part of their journey.

My favorite part of this show is the character, Molang the bunny. Molang never gets worried and always remains calm when everything seems to be going wrong for Piu Piu. Molang is quick to think of ideas and does anything to help others. Therefore, Molang took a spot in my heart.

The messages of the show address the importance of friendship, teamwork, kindness, loving everybody and helping those in need. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8. Check out Molang: Season 1 on DVD when it is released on August 15, 2017.

By Sahiba Kaur, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

This delightful series had me laughing the entire time. I enjoyed it tremendously, because there is no dialogue. Each episode is filled with multiple adventures, so you will never be bored!

You are invited to join Molang and Piu Piu as they explore what life has to offer. Molang is a big, ecstatic rabbit, who finds ways to enjoy his life in every circumstance. Piu Piu is his best friend, a small, shy little chick who is dragged along on every adventure and is often frightened by the unexpected situations they both face. These best friends are completely opposite, but both manage to experience happiness in every situation.

Bruno Gueracague, the sound coordinator, composed an extremely catchy, opening song. While there are 52 episodes, it only takes two to get it stuck in your head, which is a great way for kids to remember the series. Marie-Caroline Villand, one of the series' directors, successfully communicates themes of happiness and friendship to kids, no matter their culture or dialect. The absence of dialogue leaves the interpretation up to the audience, which gives something for everyone to relate to.

The animation is adorable and leaves you on the edge of your seat the entire time. The characters are incredibly cute, which makes them very relatable. I could not stop watching the series, because I love the unique friendship that Molang and Piu Piu share. My favorite episode is, "The Goldfish." Molang and Piu Piu try to get the goldfish's attention and have a disco party, which is hilarious. The fish loves the party, so next time you want your fish's attention, make sure to involve a disco ball!

The themes of the series are happiness, friendship, respect and unity. It is important to maintain great friendships, live your life to the fullest, care for one another and stick together.

I give this series a 5 out of 5 stars, recommend it to kids ages 3 to 18 and believe that adults will enjoy it too. I could not stop laughing, because it is funny seeing animals act as people in everyday situations. Check out Molang: Season 1 on DVD now, because it will undoubtedly make you laugh.

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17
Runtime: 185 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS: MAGICAL MOVIE NIGHT
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS: MAGICAL MOVIE NIGHT
SHOUT! FACTORY Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Grab Your Popcorn, Because The Equestria Girls Are Back For A Magic-Filled Triple Feature!? ?DANCE MAGIC? - When Rarity finds out about a music video competition, she's eager to convince her friends at Canterlot High to enter the contest. The girls soon learn that Crystal Prep Academy are also interested in participating in the contest. The students at CPA have many more resources and are better dancers! Will they be able to pull together and make a winning music video?? MOVIE MAGIC? - The Equestria Girls have been specially invited by A.K. Yearling to go on the set of the upcoming Daring Do movie and they are overjoyed. For super-fan Rainbow Dash, watching behind the scenes as her favorite heroine comes to life is a dream come true. But when a rare and important prop from the set goes missing, putting the movie on hold, Rainbow Dash's dream becomes a nightmare.? MIRROR MAGIC?- As the pages in her journal run out, there's only one thing for Sunset Shimmer to do: return to Equestria to get a new journal! There, she meets Starlight Glimmer and agrees to bring her back to experience life at Canterlot High. But while Sunset Shimmer was away, a revenge-seeking Juniper Montage finds a beautiful hand mirror enchanted with Equestrian magic. Not only can it provide a window into another land, but if you push the right button, it can also make things disappear into limbo, trapped between the two realms.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - As always, My Little Pony has delivered a wonderful, heartfelt of episodes on this DVD. I always enjoy watching how well the episodes are chosen to be consolidated for the specific DVDs such as this one, Magical Movie Night. There are so many lessons packed into this DVD from feeling betrayed to feeling unsure of oneself. I love how the cast of ponies handles these problems and creates a familiar story that becomes a beacon of hope and reassurance for children who have gone or will go through similar trials. My favorite episode on this DVD is called "Movie Magic." In this episode, you get to see Rainbow Dash as a fan girl to a movie franchise and discover that the movie world isn't all it's cracked up to be. The animation in this collection is great, as always, and the music is fun and catchy. One of the best parts of the DVD is the bonus feature sing-along. This is a great DVD that I recommend for ages 5 to 12 and it definitely gets 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This animated film has a great storyline and important morals that I loved to watch. Plus, all of the characters have their own unique personalities, which is cool to see. The animation is spot on with detailed facial expressions and body language of the characters.

The stories, Dance Magic, Movie Magic and Mirror Magic are all about friendship, teamwork, persevering and forgiving. In the stories, the Equestria Girls work together solving obstacles that come up. They befriend, forgive and help their enemies. The Equestria Girls create peace among every one and teach others to create peace as well.

Ali Liebert makes Juniper Montage sound very determined, jealous and greedy, but also shows Juniper's hurt side, where she is apologetic and depressed. Tabitha St. Germain portrays Rarity as very elegant, creative and calm. But at times, she is easily frustrated and very competitive. The animation for all of the My Little Pony films is really cute and detailed. I love this type of animation. The backgrounds are very detailed and the animation is really pleasing to watch.

My favorite part is when Pinky Pie's (Andrea Libman) dream comes true when she sees a building made of pudding. Her eyes light up and you can see her pure happiness. I really love this part because it made me really happy to see Pinky Pie so excited. The pudding also looks delicious

The message of these stories is that you should be kind to everyone, no matter what. Also, it promotes forgiving people and giving them second chances. The Equestrian Girls have their stuff and their ideas stolen, but they still forgive and become great friends even with the thieves. This collection of stories teaches children to have a good heart and enjoy life in the moment.

This is a wonderful DVD with big messages. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. This DVD is available August 8, 2017, be sure to check it out.

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

With three unique stories and beautiful animation, this DVD collection entertains younger audiences while teaching them about friendship. It has a room for improvement and is far from the best of the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic series. Like the previous shows and movies of this series, the three episodes focus heavily on adventure and comedy. The episodes all teach kids about friendship, teamwork and many other positive behavior. At times, the stories concentrate more on action or drama but they are never too mature for young children.

The three episodes start after the latest film, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Legend of Everfree. The stories are all different, but generally focus on seven girls solving problems together. At the end, an answer comes to them and they all learn an important message about friendship. Watching at least the previous film is helpful to the viewer since there are some references to previous plot elements. It would be very difficult to enjoy this DVD without having any prior experience with the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series.

Overall, this DVD has an enjoyable series of stories. They are bright, educational and are simple enough for younger kids to understand. Compared to the previous films and shows, the quality has dropped in some places. One of the strongest outliers to me is the comedy. In the past, the main character called Pinkie Pie (Andrea Libman) often plays a comedic role. In this collection, the comedy doesn't come out goofy and funny as it usually does. It feels forced and almost annoying. Something else that I found lacking is the conflict in the stories. The first episode, Dance Magic, really suffers the most. The conflict in this episode focuses on the girls trying to raise money for a spring dance. Sadly, it has no good introduction and is simply explained at the beginning. This makes it not too important to the viewer and the way the characters treat this issue furthers the problem. One thing that has stayed consistent throughout the series is the voice acting and animation. Both have still maintained high quality and are one of the best parts of the show.

Out of the three, my favorite episode is Mirror Magic. The storyline is quite unique. It's about a girl jealous of the seven friends who puts six of them in a magic mirror. It's up to the seventh, Sunset Shimmer and her new friend Starlight Glimmer. This plays out interestingly in the show as Starlight, just like Sunset, is a villain turned good. This makes for some interesting chemistry between the two, which is entertaining.

As always, this series is meant for kids. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 7 to 13. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars for an overall good collection of episodes and high-quality animation, but a lack of good conflicts and a drop in quality.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 66 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


PRIME SUSPECT TENNISON
PRIME SUSPECT TENNISON
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 14-18
Description - The early career of iconic detective Jane Tennison is chronicled in this series, which is set in the early 1970s.
Runtime: 360 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 20.66
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


AUDUBON
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AUDUBON
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Naturalist and 19th century painter, John James Audubon was one of the most remarkable men of early America. The program brings to life his timeless paintings with dazzling footage of the living birds he immortalized - and celebrates visually the natural world he described in his writings. Interviews reveal the man, explore his art, and put his groundbreaking work in modern perspective.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This documentary gives an in-depth history of the life of John James Audubon. There are many examples of his beautiful works of art, maps charting his journey from Haiti to America and excerpts from the journals he kept throughout his life. This DVD offers a great way to teach anyone about John James Audubon. The art and story telling is not only beautiful and interesting, but important scientifically and in regards to American history.

The film flows well with great detail and historical accuracy. The material is easily understood and, after scientific elaborations, often a more simplified explanation is given. John James Audubon was a man of incredible talent and fortitude. He faced many challenges such as childhood abandonment, adult poverty and immigration during the 1800s. The film wonderfully details not only his countless contributions to art, science and conservation, but the challenges he faced and surpassed are an equally important part of his story. This film will prompt many questions regarding many topics! Throughout it, Audubon's travels are documented on a virtual map. The map brings about questions regarding geography, immigration, cultural differences, animal species of North America and many other topics that appeal to many age groups.

The film has great visual appeal. It is filmed in locations where Audubon painted and, throughout it, these works are shown in all their glory. Selections of Audubon's original journal entries are seen for the first time in this film as well. The cover of the DVD and the CD have iconic Audubon images titled "Wild Turkey" and "The Great Horned Owl". This offers the option of viewing the 90 minute theatrical version or the 60 minute broadcast version. English subtitles are available. Scene selection is not available, but you can pause, rewind or fast forward as necessary.

Audubon is such a great film about the life and contributions of John James Audubon. His struggle and journey as a Haitian immigrant to the United States of America is inspiring. The paintings he created forever immortalized the subjects (some of which are now extinct) and the research he did ultimately led to our nation's first conservation organization. This film will prompt many questions regarding many topics including birds, painting, hiking and travel, American history in the early 1800s and more. The message of this film is in its detailed historical look at the life and contributions of John James Audubon to art, science and Conservation.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Audubon will be available on DVD June 20, 2017. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 150 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 17.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


DINOSAUR TRAIN: DINOSAURS TAKE FLIGHT
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DINOSAUR TRAIN: DINOSAURS TAKE FLIGHT
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD AGES 2-5
Description - Join the Pteranodon family on high-flying adventures! In four of the eight dino-mite stories on this DVD, take to the sky with Buddy and his family as they ride in Dinosaur Train Industry's newest creation the Dinosaur Train Zeppelin. As they soar above the clouds, the Pteranodon family visits a waterfall, explores a crater made by an asteroid, and more!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD has a good balance of entertainment and educational elements for kids ages 4 to 6. Because the characters sound like kids and, for the most part, behave like kids too, I feel that the characters are engaging, and relatable. The wow factor for a kid, especially boys, is that the dinosaur characters ride a train and zeppelin. The conductor character is silly and engaging and I'm sure kids watching look forward to seeing the conductor. The storylines clearly aim to educate its audience about dinosaur, paleontology, natural science, natural history and positive social behaviors. I think it is great that one of the brothers from the pack looks different, as it gives the audience a good introduction to inclusion and diversity. The character designs are adorable and the use of bright colors appeals to its intended audience. I also enjoyed the songs and the relationship between the kids and their parents. Overall a great show!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 120 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.71
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


LUCKY OR NOT HERE I COME
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LUCKY OR NOT HERE I COME
GERRY ORZ
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 12-18
Description - The story is about a man named John Wilson, who has no talents and no aspirations. He is certain that he will never live up to his parents' expectations. He's forever stuck in the shadows of his quarterback older brother and his younger sister, a child prodigy. However, just as he comes to accept his dull existence, a series of extraordinary and devastating events changes John's life forever. John goes on a journey that turns out to be anything but ordinary as he embraces his own destiny in this adventurous and inspirational story of love, loss and loyalty. It turns out anything is possible.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an amazing story with well-thought out writing and wisdom. The strongest aspect are the characters and the lesson to be learned. John is just an average guy with a brother and sister who are above average, but he truly is the lucky and amazing one. It is entertaining and eye-opening and a great way to learn some important life lessons. If I had to sum this book up in one word, I would say that word would be "Wow!"

The characters are the most appealing aspect of the story. Besides that, it is different and unique and offers a whole lots of life wisdom. It is entertaining and the kind of book that is hard to put down. I found myself rooting for the main character many times. It follows the life of the main character, John and his journey from childhood to adulthood. Some may think he is unlucky, including himself but he learns a valuable lesson about how really lucky he is. This is an eye-opening revelation. I think that teenagers will relate to this story quite well.

John is a very positive role model. His being an average guy with a prodigy sister and jock older brother puts a great spin on the story. I also think that the family dynamics and the friend relationships are explained extremely well and I enjoyed reading about John, his family and his friendships. There are a couple of negative characters, but they really don't win in the end and I feel they served an important role.

It flows well from beginning to ending and it makes sense. Many times as I was reading, I just sat there in awe about how such a young author could have such knowledge beyond his years. I can imagine this on the big screen one day. The story has great visual appeal and the book's cover is amazing.

There is quite a bit of death in the story which is why it may not be suitable for every 13-year-old, but I also believe that it is dealt with in the best of ways and makes sense within the story. This would be a great book to discuss with teenagers. I can see discussing how they saw John in the beginning of the book compared to how they saw him at the end. I really feel that he was unlucky for the first half of the book and then my perspective changed.

Initially, I felt this story is purely entertaining, but as I thought more about it I see the value of the social elements about friendship, family and even morals. The story encourages one to take a better look at themselves and at life.

I give this 5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 and believe adults will thoroughly enjoy it as well.

Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult review

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


WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This science fiction film had me fascinated with the breathtaking special effects and the animation from the get go. It's impressive how much technology has improved and the differences of the effects in the previous Planet of the Apes films compared to this new one is incredible. It's insane how today, everything looks so realistic. I also like this film because of its sincere, from-the-heart message.

War for the Planet of the Apes is about Caesar and his apes who are forced into deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a cruel Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both of their species and the future of the planet.

My favorite scene from this film is when all the apes are attacked by the military and lots of them are killed. Their leader Caesar, of course, becomes furious and wants to do something about it. He decides to go off to fight the soldiers that attacked his family while defending themselves. I love this scene because it shows how the leader of the apes really cares for his family. Also, the apes that look up to him see him as a role model and can follow in his footsteps and morals.

The important message of this film is that no family is perfect. Unpleasant things can happen that make their relationships worse. Family members can go through tough times, but in the end, family is family and love will always be there. So if there's fighting and family members are struggling through something, they will figure things out and help each other sort things out. In this film, the apes are all there for each other all the time. If someone needs help, they all help. If someone is fighting or arguing, they all help figure it out. They support each other. I think it's an amazing idea that this message is taught by the apes because lots of people can learn from this and apply it to their own lives.

By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15



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


SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May, under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark, Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine - distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man - but when the Vulture emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments

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

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving the future lies buried in the secrets of the past and the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Now, it's up to the unlikely alliance of inventor Cade Yeager, Bumblebee, an English lord and an Oxford professor to save the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This latest installment is part of the action packed Transformers series that I love because of the captivating work of the transformers' team. Seeing it in IMAX is even more mind-blowing. As well as the great cinematography, this film has hyper-realistic imagery that makes it ten times better.

This film has many great things in it, but a big problem I have with it is that it has too many things happening. By that, I mean there are new characters, lots of transformers, lots of different storylines and multiple things happening at the same time. These are all great, but there is a limit to how many things can be in a movie. This film isn't quite over the top, but close.

Some of the new characters include Izabella (Isabela Moner), a young girl who is interested in transformers and quite skilled with machinery, Vivian (Laura Haddock) an teacher from England who has a large role in saving the world. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is also in this film as a returning character. He was in the fourth movie, Age of Extinction.

This film has an interesting storyline and is fun and cool. An interesting name twist occurs when a main character, Optimus Prime becomes Nemisis Prime when he is evil. Nemesis Prime is the leader of the auto-bots, a good group of transformers. The strategy of turning a good guy bad is a great strategy to attract viewers of the film.

This movie does a cool, sneak-peek into history. It talks about medieval times and the knights of the round table. That is a primary plot which explains why this movie is called The Last Knight. It is cool to incorporate history into the film as it adds a little extra something to it. For example, in the first film, there is a cool kind of conspiracy part which I won't describe because it would be a spoiler. It is well acted and well executed with beautiful special effects and nearly non-stop action. You don't really have a chance to reflect on what or why this crazy and confusing story bounces around from one country to another, landing deep in the ocean and then suddenly reappearing at Stonehenge, England. Even though it's hard to know who is shooting at whom or for what reason, somehow it's still enjoyable to watch and even gripping at times.

Overall, this is a great film. It is cool, fun and has a lot to it, even if it may be a little too much. I recommend this film for ages 9 to 18. There are some adult jokes and violence, but they are not too bad. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

By Nathaniel B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

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


DESPICABLE ME 3
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DESPICABLE ME 3
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother-a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin's despicable footsteps-one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have reviewed quite a few films for KIDS FIRST! and many of them have been memorable, fantastic additions to my media life. Despicable Me 3 has officially taken the spot as my favorite KIDS FIRST! film to review and is one of my favorite five animated movies of all time. I really liked the first two Despicable Me films, which led me to believe I would enjoy this one as well. This movie is fantastic. It is lovely to see a story with a bit of a serious side to it and one that I can relate to so thoroughly. In this film, you get your standard goofy storyline with the Minions and villains, but you also get a more in depth look at Gru's family life and how it has evolved. In the last film, Gru married Lucy and, in this film, you get to see Lucy and the girls figure out the mother/daughter dynamics. It's wonderful and very touching. Being a step-mother myself, watching this film for the first time with my step-children was a great experience. The family feeling is great and the step-parent or adopted-parent bonds seem would really help freshly blended families or give a lovely reminder to not so freshly blended families. The animation s great as always, the music is fun and engaging and the story is beyond wonderful. This film is perfect for children ages 5 to 14. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. If you haven't seen it, you really should. It opens June 20, 2017 in theaters nationwide. By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this movie! It is a funny, fast-paced film about Gru and his family discovering his charming, long-lost twin brother Dru. After Gru and Lucy lose their jobs and the Minions quit, the brothers team up against Balthezar Bratt, the new villain, while Lucy and the girls have some of their own adventures.

My favorite scene is when Gru and Dru attempt to break into Bratts' headquarters. Dru, who isn't used to the idea of a heist, continuously messes up the plan. Its laugh-out-loud funny! The long lost twin brothers are two of my favorite characters, brilliantly voiced and acted by Steve Carrell. I also love Gru's wife Lucy voiced by Kristen Wiig.

Now of course we can't forget Balthazr Bratt (Trey Parker), an old school villain determined to get revenge on Hollywood for canceling his hit TV show in the 80s. Gubble gum that blows up on impact is his choice of weapon. His purple pantsuit inspires him to break into an 80s song. You can imagine that he is a fun character and, I think he is very good addition to this movie. You want him defeated, but you enjoy thinking what he might do next. Although the good guy/bad guy element of the movie is slightly predictable, I would definitely go see it again.

The music in this film is all around great. The villain Bratt is stuck in the 80s and constantly breaks out in dance whenever there is 80s music. I know adults will remember those songs. In addition there are Pharrell Williams' awesome new songs. Illumination Studios nails it again with so much creativity, great animation and new characters to join the familiar ones. The Minions are adorable as always!

I give this film 5 out of 5 shining stars and I recommend it for ages 5 to 18 because of its laugh-out-loud, but not crude humor, creative plot twists, fabulous acting and great music. Though it's the 3rd sequel, it doesn't matter if you didn't see the previous films. It is great on its own!! Check it out when it opens June 20, 2017 in theaters nationwide.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I love this movie. It is an action-packed film that is entertaining from beginning to end! It is an excellent sequel to the two other Despicable Me films and the Minions. But to love this film, seeing the others is not required. It is great all on its own!

Despicable Me 3 picks up where Despicable Me 2 left off and takes us on an exciting new adventure. After Gru and Lucy get fired by the new boss of AVL (Anti-Villain League), the Minions want Gru to return to a life of crime. Instead, they are taken on an adventure to find Gru's long-lost twin brother Dru! Gru, Lucy and their three kids fly to his brother's house in Freedonia. As soon as they walk in, they notice Dru has an extravagant lifestyle, very different to the one they're used to, with lots of awesome vehicles.

My favorite scene is when the Minions are running from the police and end up on a television show called Sing. There are three judges waiting for them to start and, at first the Minions don't want to sing. When one Minion gets pushed to the front, he starts singing and all the others join in. Shortly after, the crowd and the judges love them. It is hilarious!

Although, I love the Minions, my favorite character is Lucy, performed brilliantly by Kristen Wiig. She is such a fun, high-spirited person and she is always the one to come in and save the day. I also think Balthazar Bratt, the new villain, is a great addition to the film. He starts out as a child actor in Hollywood until he is kicked off the show as a teen. He then thinks and acts as if he is the evil character he played on TV and starts destroying and stealing things. Gru and Dru decide to take down Balthazar Bratt and carry on their family tradition as special agents.

The animation in this film is fantastic. It allows for creativity that live action films just can't achieve. Balthazar Bratt's bubble gum guns are a great example of that, especially when they blow up Hollywood. I love how the hundreds of Minions change their expressions, their color or their clothes, especially when they change from their jail jumpsuits to their overalls.

The music is awesome. It's a fun mix of Pharrell Williams' new songs and 80s music that adults are sure to remember! this movie is very family friendly. I recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Many teens and adults will enjoy it as well. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. It's a super fun summer film that opens nationwide in theaters June 30, 2017. Go check it out. I hope you enjoy the movie.

By Madeline R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


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

AMERICAN EPIC
AMERICAN EPIC
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - From executive producers T Bone Burnett, Robert Redford and Jack White, this is the story of early American recorded music when the musical strands of a nation first combined to spark a cultural renaissance that forever transformed the future of music and the world. Also includes a feature-length film of in-studio sessions, with leading contemporary artists recording early American music on a restored 1920s recording machine.
Runtime: 330 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 34.99
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


CARS 3
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CARS 3
WALT DISNEY ANIMATED STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 4-18
Description - Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn't through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing's biggest stage!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Cars 3 is a great new chapter in the Cars series. While it doesn't soar to the heights of other Pixar films, it still is the best Cars film yet.

Cars 3 sees Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) undergo a series of losses and then a near fatal crash. His fellow racers are dropping out and being replaced by new, high tech cars like his rival Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). McQueen realizes during his recovery that the game has changed and he's not the sharp rookie he used to be. He knows he needs to train harder than he ever has to keep doing what he loves. With the help of trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), McQueen plans to beat Storm at an upcoming race in Florida to start off the season. This is his last chance to prove his worth to his fans and his new corporate sponsor (Nathan Fillion) and McQueen is not going down without a fight.

My favorite character in Cars 3 is Cruz Ramirez. The reveal of a new car being added to Lightning's crew is exciting. This character's glowing positivity is a nice contrast to McQueen's snarky pessimism. Cristela Alonzo brings a lot of enthusiasm, but also plays the deeper sides of this character very well too and engages you in the evolution of Cruz Ramirez throughout the movie.

The animation in Cars 3 is great. No other film succeeds in making everyday objects feel truly human as well as this franchise does. This gives it a sense of realism and puts me more in tune with characters' emotions and makes me care more about them in the process. The backgrounds in this film are gorgeous. They're detailed, picturesque and really reflect the quality of Pixar's animation. The total effect makes me envy the characters and wish I could visit them in their rich, colorful world.

Preceding Cars 3 is the short film Lou about a creature made out of objects from a school lost-and-found bin. It's an interesting concept and carries an important message. It's one of my favorite Pixar shorts to date. I recommend Cars 3 for ages 5 to 12. The scene where Lightning McQueen crashes is quite intense and could scare younger children. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Cars 3 opens in theaters June 16 so be sure to go check it out.

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

This film is really unique and well made! I really enjoyed watching it. The storyline is well thought out and original. I also love the animation which is very detailed. I especially love the facial expressions of the cars which show a lot of emotions.

Cars 3 is about the famous racer, Lightning Macqueen. He is usually the winner of every race until a rookie racer comes along. The rookie, Jackson Storm, is younger, sleeker and faster than Lightning Macqueen and his "old-school" friends. Eventually, his friends retire, leaving room for more rookies to join the races. And Lightning McQueen goes on an adventure to figure out if his racing days must come to an end.

Owen Wilson, the voice of Lightning McQueen, perfectly performs Lightning McQueen's rage scenes. He makes McQueen sound desperate, frustrated and on the edge of breaking at times, but can make him also sound determined and hopeful. Armie Hammer, the voice of Jackson Storm, voices Jackson as an arrogant character. The voice fits very well because Storm always makes fun of Lightning McQueen.

The animation of this film is very pleasing to look at, is 3D, and even though they are cars, you can see their facial expressions. Their voices and facial expressions indirectly show their emotions which was really pleasing to watch.

My favorite part is when Lightning McQueen goes back to visit the hometown of his late crew chief and former racer Doc Hudson. McQueen sees all of the letters that Hudson sent back home about him. McQueen starts feeling emotional and begins to really miss Hudson. I really like this scene because it warmed my heart to see McQueen realize that he made Hudson happy till his last days. Lightning McQueen was like a son to Doc Hudson.

The message of this film is about persevering and empowering women. Cruz Ramirez, a female car with the dream of being a racer, is told by everyone that she can't be a racer, even though she works extremely hard every day to become one. Lightning McQueen gives her a chance to become a racer and she takes it no matter what anyone says.

Cars 3 is a great movie and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 6 to 14. This film is very positive and has a different storyline. It's awesome for car lovers. Check it out when it opens in theaters June 16, 2017.

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

As a teenage girl who did not see the first two Cars films, I had serious doubts about this movie. Imagine my surprise when I found myself enjoying Cars 3 from beginning to end. Although this movie is clearly an action movie, it is also hilarious! I am a huge Larry the Cable Guy fan and, as Mater the Tow Truck, he provides plenty of comic relief. I also love how loyal and heartwarming Mater is as a friend to the protagonist, Lightning McQueen. Of course, his is not the only remarkable performance. Owen Wilson, as Lightning McQueen, is a very effective leading man. His performance is pure genius.

The movie is intense. A new race car character, Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) is introduced as competition to our hero, Lightning McQueen. Unfortunately, Storm steals Lightning's thunder (sorry, I couldn't resist). Viewers will find the many racing sequences extremely exciting. I actually jumped during the nighttime race through the forest with no headlights. Parents should know that there is another scene that might be disturbing to younger viewers which occurs during the Crazy 8's demolition derby race at Thunder Hollow. Since all the characters are cars, the destruction could be considered quite violent.

There are three messages in this film. The first is a message of girl power when a plot twist involving Lightning's female trainer provides a completely unexpected result. Another message is to value and honor the old-timers who succeeded before you and paved the way for your success. We see this when an older lady racer talks about the days when she was not allowed to have a number, so she stole one. The third message, which provides yet another surprise, is that those who support actual heroes are indeed, heroes themselves.

What really stands out for me throughout this film is the music and the animation. I love how the music, usually heavy-metal guitars, suits each race so perfectly. The images are of two types - absolutely breathtaking scenery, such as the trip to the Rusteeze Racing Center, and the appealing, animated car characters. It is also very interesting that Lightning McQueen keeps changing his look throughout the film.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It very effectively tells a story about doing what you love to do regardless of public opinion. I recommend this film for girls and boys ages 7 to 18. Cars 3 races into theaters on Friday, June 16, 2017 so go check it out. You will absolutely enjoy the ride.

By Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18

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


HOLDEN ON
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOLDEN ON
GRANGER PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - No longer your average boy-next-door, Holden Layfield weaves audiences through his harrowing tale in this film set in the early 1990s. After succumbing to a secret battle with mental illness, Holden evolves from a beloved, small town Georgia football player to a lost, self-medicating prophet.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This exceptional film brought out all of my emotions, which is why it is one of my new favorites. I don't remember the last time I laughed and cried within minutes of each other. I'm glad I was able to express my emotions, because that is what makes me relate to a film. This film helped y heart grow bigger and make me more empathetic towards others.

Based on a true story, Holden On is about a 17-year-old boy named Holden Layfield, who lives in a small town in Georgia and is a star athlete. Playing football like a professional, Layfield receives multiple college scholarships and is ready to begin a new chapter in his life. But, he has a big secret: he is battling a mental illness. Over a two year period, Layfield tries to keep his illness to himself and transforms from a fantastic football player to a prophet who believes he can save the world.

Matthew Fahey portrays Holden in a remarkable fashion. He acts very humble, which illustrates how kind-hearted Holden truly is. However, because of his humility, it is difficult for Holden's family to decipher his thoughts. Fahey makes you believe that Holden is completely fine and, because he isn't, it makes the plot even more intriguing. Steve Ellis' portrayal of Zinte, Holden's best friend, is humorous. Zinte truly cares about Holden and it is evident through their five year friendship. Ellis characterizes Zinte as comical, joking around with him to cheer him up. But, he is unaware of Holden's issue. These lead actors left me on the edge of my seat for the entire film.

I love the music in this film because which is from the 80s, opening with "It's the End of the World" by R.E.M. The film is set in the 90s, but the music is from an older era and includes bands such as Suzie Rose and Tommy McCarthy. My favorite parts of the film are when Holden is in a situation and the camera shifts towards his point of view. For example, Holden tackles another team player on the football field before the game begins. The camera cuts to Holden's thoughts, displaying a visual of what is going on in his brain. I enjoyed how Holden narrates his thoughts when this occurs, because I could empathize more with him.

The message of this film is that you are not alone, even if you're battling mental illness. Talk to your friends, family or a professional about your feelings, because there is someone who is always willing to help. Mental illness is common and not many people are aware of the help available to those who are suffering. That a movie has been created to address the issue touches my heart.

Be forewarned that Holden resorts to drugs to cope with his illness yet, this film has such an impactful message that I wish every kid could see it. We can all help those who are dealing with mental illness. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 16 to 18 as well as adults. Go to Iamholdenon.org to read about the nationwide movement supporting treating mental illness through artistic expression. Also, catch this film when it comes out June 7, 2017. It is one that you don't want to miss.

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

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


MUMMY, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MUMMY, THE
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Though safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess, whose destiny was unjustly taken from her, is awakened in our current day bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching this updated version of the classic 1932 film, wearing 3D glasses and starring one of my favorite actors, Tom Cruise. The film combines adventure and action with a sprinkling of fantasy and horror.

Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), along with his partner Chris Vale (Jake Johnson) are soldiers of fortune who steal timeless artifacts from ancient sites and sell them to the highest bidders. While in the Middle East, the duo accidently uncover Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), an ancient princess awakened from her crypt beneath the desert after thousands of years. She uses her powers which evolve throughout the film to bring her revenge and furious rampage to the streets of London.

The story is not a new - disturbing an ancient evil which comes back to wreak havoc on everyone. However, the visuals are very exciting and explosive with a hint of suspense. My favorite scene is when Ahmanet is held captive by chains, ropes and other devices to keep her from escaping. It shows her strength and power and, is the first time we've seen The Mummy as a woman.

You can expect strong, very loud fantasy action and violence with some blood spatters, guns and shooting, stabbings, fighting and punching, crashes and explosions, jump scares, zombies and a lab full of gross things. There are several mildly suggestive sexual references as well, including partly naked and somewhat obscured male and female bodies, kissing, a couple in bed together and other sensuality.

I recommend it for ages 13 to18 as well as some adults. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It opens nationwide June 9, 2017 so, be sure to go see it and enjoy the action!

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Mummy impressed me with its spooky horror, top level stunt work spectacular direction.

The storyline follows Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), who finds the crypt of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) and flies her crypt via airplane when things go amuck. She is awakened and then controls Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) to crashes the plane. He crashes the plane to curse Nick who wakes up despite the plane crash. Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) then hunts down Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) who is also looking for Princess Ahmanet and is the only who can cure Nick. However, when Ahmanet is fully formed, Nick needs to stop her from destroying London and goes to extreme levels to defeat Ahmanet and save Jenny (Annabelle Wallis).

Tom Cruise is versatile in his presentation of Nick Morton who cheats people because of his own selfishness. In the battle scenes, Cruise excels in his stunt work. Sofia Boutella as Princess Ahmanet is creepy, especially as The Mummy. She really suits the character of a princess relentless seeking power. Jake Johnson as Chris Vail provides comedic relief. Annabelle Wallis as Jenny Halsey clearly presents determination in tracking down Princess Ahmanet. However, she still falls to the trope of damsel in distress. Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll is my favorite character because he impressively presents the transition of his character.

The direction by Alex Kurtzman is splendid. The pace from scene to scene is superb and kept me at the edge of my seat. My favorite scene is when Ahmanet attacks London. The special effects are outrageously impactful. My only problem is that the movie's finale is quite anti-climactic. Despite this flaw, Tom Cruise fans will rejoice at this movie.

The movie's message is, even if you cheat others, you can always change to be selfless. Nick, though a thief, finds himself in the ultimate selfless sacrifice to save mankind. I give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because of its intense horror. The movie releases in theaters on June 9, so check it out for one fast-paced thriller.

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

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


WONDER WOMAN
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WONDER WOMAN
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURES, AGES 12-18
Description - Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when a pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - When this movie was announced, I was super excited, but at the same time, skeptical. Because all the recent DC Movies didn't live up to all the hype. However, once I sat down in the theatre, all comfortable with my popcorn and icee and watched the film, I can say that it is absolutely amazing! It definitely lives up to its potential. Once the movie was over, I started clapping and, after I left the theatre, I realized my hands were red because I had clapped so hard.

The story of this film starts on Themyscira, an island cloaked from society and home to the Amazons. Diana, Princess of the Amazons, finds an allied spy who washed on shore named Steve Trevor. He tells her about the horrors of World War l and she decides to join him to stop The War to End All Wars.

Gal Gadot plays Wonder Woman and, oh my gosh, she is awesome! She is courageous and fierce, but also intelligent and empathetic. She is the perfect role model for every little girl. She is the iconic Wonder Woman! But in all seriousness, all the actors are awesome and really likeable. One particular character that didn't get enough screen time was Steve's secretary, Eta Candy, played by Lucy Davis. She is really funny and has some great one liners. She really deserved more time to shine.

The special effects and fight scenes are also extraordinary. During most of the action scenes, I found myself leaning forward, wide-eyed and gripping my seat. Unlike Batman V Superman or Suicide Squad, I could actually SEE what was happening! To me, the best scene in the movie is when Diana, Steve and his crew lead an invasion of a German controlled town and liberate it. The action is so exciting and, when the Wonder Woman theme starts playing, I literally started smiling until the scene was over.

Surprisingly, this film is also extremely hilarious. I was laughing for a good chunk of time. The humor mainly comes from Diana's lack of knowledge of our civilization. There's a really funny scene where Eta tries to give Diana a normal outfit and she kicks and rips the skirt.

I definitely give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. This movie opens in theatres on June 2, 2017. I could say I recommend this movie for comic book fans, but honestly everyone should see this movie. Wonder Woman is an iconic role model and Gal Gadot definitely lives up to the part. Director Patty Jenkins lassoed this hit film and I love that a woman directed it - Girl Power! That's the truth.

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

Wonder Woman is a defining example of a great superhero movie. While the movie struggles in its final act, it still delivers compelling action, great directing and good performances.

Gal Gadot plays Diana, the princess of an island called Themiscyra, inhabited by Amazon warriors. As a child, she is taught to be a fierce warrior. One day, a plane crashes just offshore. The pilot is a spy named Steve Trevor, who is trying to escape the German army after stealing their secrets. Diana saves him from the wreckage. Soon, German troops besiege the island in search of Steve. After a clash between the Amazons and the troops, Steve warns Diana and her people of a war in the outside world. Her strong urge to help others leads her to follow Steve to the frontlines to end the conflict. As her journey continues, she must embrace her destiny and become the hero she was born to be.

Gal Gadot is very good as Diana a.k.a. Wonder Woman. There is something very generous and kind about her character. Gadot is convincing as a strong female heroine who cares deeply about the lives of others and is willing to risk her own to save them. This character make a great role model, someone ready to spring into action to fight for things such as justice and freedom, but also some who cares about other people. Gadot studied a lot of martial arts and other training to prepare for this film and it certainly pays off in the thrilling action scenes. She carries the movie very well and I hope to see her in more DC films.

Diana's fish-out-of-water dynamic is explored to great effect for some good laughs. She has little knowledge of life beyond the island. Her reactions and conversations in the outside world are very funny. She also has enjoyable banter with Steve Trevor.

Director Patty Jenkins had a very clear vision of what she wanted the film to look like and it translates to the screen very well. She shot it on a very epic scale and used techniques like shooting on film instead of digital to get the grainy feel of the World War I era. This makes for a more real cinematic experience.

One of my main criticisms of the film is its third act. The first two thirds are near perfect. The final act almost descends into a dumb, explosion-filled mess, but redeems itself in a way that doesn't ruin the first two acts for me. I recommend Wonder Woman for ages 12 to 18 due to some violence and language and give it . It opens in theaters June 2 so, go check it out.

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

Wonder Woman caught me off guard. I thought it would be a girly movie about her trying to go against gender issues. But that is not the case. It fits right in with the other superhero movies. This movie starts off with the characteristic young kid that has a burning fire within them. She grows up and becomes strong. Then she goes out into the real world. It, along with the other origin story films, is a great example of a really good movie.

Wonder Woman instantly became one of my favorite superhero movies because, when there is action, you can actually follow it. Let me explain. Some movies (James Bond) are really difficult to follow when there is action. Because of constant quick editing and constant changes in shots and angles, it becomes really hard to understand the action or see what you are looking at. That is not the case with this film. However complicated the fight scenes are, you can understand what she does and follow her movements. In order to do this, the movie utilized slow motion. It's not annoying. I kind of liked it, but it happens a lot.

Not only does action dominate the movie, but every second of the movie has a well placed shot. What I'm saying is that the camera angles are amazing throughout and the whole movie looks fantastic. In this way, thankfully, the movie does not follow the usual way of things. There is, let's just say it, a totally boss battle where they could have easily taken a wide angle shot. And they do, but only for a second. And, the rest is fabulous to watch.

Wonder Woman is played by Gal Gadot. Sir Patrick Morgan (David Thewlis), Steve (Chris Pine) and basically all the other actors are amazing. Every character is necessary and the movie would be poorer without any one of them. Not that I didn't hate any of the characters. Of course there are ones that the movie wants me to hate. But they are all well built and quite lively. They seem to fit like gloves to the time and place of when the film takes place. This brings me to the sets. Every set looks like they just barged into real and existing buildings and started filming. This realism is especially challenging since it's set during WW I. The locations and sets make sense and the way the filming is done made me want to visit them. The green screen work is especially amazing because they did not scream "look at me!" Instead, they are just backgrounds and are very believable. So much so that, if I hadn't known these settings exist I would not think anything was fishy about the backgrounds.

My favorite part of the film is the scene when Wonder Woman jumps out of the trenches and single handedly fights the opposing side. My second favorite is when she completely demolishes an entire building. Yeah, she does not kid around.

This movie also explores working with the obvious feminist issues. After all, this is a female superhero! They depict a very strong character, just like all other superheroes, and they are able to add some humor as well. Throughout the movie everyone underestimates and doubts her because she is a girl. Ha! She creams everyone else. Unfortunately, at the very end, the movie pops the great feministic bubble they created by getting sappy and making Wonder Woman say that love is the answer. *POP*

I recommend this movie for ages 7 to 18 and adults will love it too. I say age 7 because, what kid above 5 doesn't see action movies these days? But if you are one of those parents who doesn't let their kids see these types of superhero movies, this one has is rated PG-13. I caught no cursing. There is one sexual statement that will go unnoticed by kids who aren't already knowledgeable about that. I this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars, because the ending is girlish. Everything is great besides that though. It opens nationwide in theaters June 2, 2017 so, go check it out.

By Miles T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE
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 - George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books. When their mean principal threatens to separate them into different classes, the mischievous boys accidentally hypnotize him into thinking that he's a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is hilarious! I really enjoyed this film. It is an animated comedy with plenty of action based on a series of books by author Dav Pilkey. It gives us a chance to experience the genius of two fourth grade smart pranksters, George Beard (Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch) as they bring to life their comic book character Captain Underpants, a silly, dimwitted superhero wearing his underwear and a cape. Captain Underpants and his side-kicks George and Harold are fighting against the evil Professor Poopy-Pants (Nick Kroll) who wants to rid the world of happiness.

The animation and visual images of the film are exciting and colorful. Since the book series is known for its action sequences and gross, potty humor, expect plenty of rude language and cartoonish violence. The music makes you sing along and tap your feet. There is a message about friendship. For kids, it's a reminder that friendship does not mean you must be in the same class to remain friends.

My favorite scene is when George and Harold discover that they can hypnotize the mean-hearted school principal Mr. Krugg (Ed Helms) and turn him into their comic book super hero, Captain Underpants. They realize a snap of the finger gives them Captain Underpants and water changes him back to Principal Krugg. To hide his identity, the duo is challenged with keeping him as Principal Krugg when needed and bringing out Captain Underpants to fight bad guys.

I recommend this for ages 7 to 18 as well as some adults. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It opens nationwide June 2, 2017 so, be sure to go check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita L. KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is sure to kick off many kids' summer breaks with lots of laughs (especially if potty jokes are funny to you). I was never a fan of the Captain Underpants books, so I have to say I am not a big fan of this film. I feel it lacks plot and humor.

What I do appreciate about this film is the ongoing theme of friendship and the fun of using your imagination. Best friends, Harold and George grow a strong friendship through making comic books and pulling pranks at their "boring" elementary school. Through some odd force, their comic book hero, Captain Underpants, comes to life. He soon helps the boys rid the school of an even greater threat than their school principal, Professor Poopypants.

This feature animation from DreamWorks has a great voice-over cast. This, by the way, is my favorite part of the film. Kevin Hart plays one of the main characters, George Beard. But, my favorite character is his partner in prank-playing crime, Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch). This character is very relatable, funny and true. And, since I like drawing and illustrating, I found an instant connection with him.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is written by Nicholas Stoller, although it is based on the Epic Novels by Dav Pilkey. You might remember Nicholas Stoller from previous screenplays he has written, including Storks, The Muppets and Gulliver's Travels - to name a few. The movie is right in line with the books and gives you insight into the concept origin.

My favorite part is Harold and George's tree-house. This is where the friends spend so much time developing their comic books. It is such a cool tree house with so many moving parts. It made me want to go home and add to my own.

This film is rated PG for mild rude humor. If you are a fan of the Captain Underpants books, you will enjoy this film. I recommend it for ages 4 to 11 and I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars. Catch it in theaters everywhere, June 2.

By Tristan Tierce, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES
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 - Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil's Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea...including him. Captain Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and has the most other-worldly visual effects of any recent movie. The CGI is the most mesmerizing piece of treasure throughout the film. Johnny Depp again stars as Jack Sparrow and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa. It also stars the terrific Javier Bardem as the new villain, Captain Salazar. Brenton Thwaites plays Henry Turner and Kaya Scodelario plays Carina Smyth. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley have cameos as Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, respectively. Full disclosure: I am a huge Johnny Depp fan and I have loved the Pirates of the Caribbean movies since I was 5 years old!

At the beginning of the film, Captain Jack Sparrow is presumed dead. He resurfaces in a most humorous way. Captain Salazar is Jack Sparrow's oldest nemesis. He takes revenge on Sparrow by unleashing the vicious ghost pirates of Devil's Triangle. The ghost pirates are hell-bent on killing Sparrow and destroy multiple pirate ships in the process. The only way to break the curse is to find and destroy the Trident of Poseidon. Along the way, we learn the background of Will Turner's son, Henry Turner. He's looking for Sparrow and also trying to find the Trident in order to save his father who is trapped in Davy Jones Locker. Carina Smyth is a young astronomer who is also searching for the Trident. What ensues is a humorous, action packed adventure on the high seas.

The special effects and CGI are astoundingly lifelike. The most stunning visual effects in the film are the CGI animated ghost sharks, which are sent to hunt down Jack Sparrow. The movements of the ghost pirates and sharks are hyper-realistic. Out of all the Pirates of The Caribbean films, this one utilizes the most mythological elements. Johnny Depp again aces his performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. His interpretation of Jack Sparrow is one of the most entertaining and memorable characters in recent film history. The inimitable Geoffrey Rush is again terrific as Captain Barbossa and Javier Bardem, an acclaimed actor from art house and independent films, is riveting as the vicious Captain Salazar.

One flaw of the film is how Keira Knightley suddenly appears for one minute during the movie. It's the one false note because it seems gratuitous. However, it doesn't distract from the impact and excitement of the film. Compared to other movie sequels, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales flows surprisingly well and moves along at an exciting pace. The film is appropriate for 10 to18 year olds. I give Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 5 out of 5 stars. It opens May 26, 2017 in theaters nationwide so be sure to check it out.

By Clayton Pickard, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is the fifth movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise which impressed me due to its plot. The special effects are full of wonder and the fabulous direction adds charm.

The movie is about Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), who is in pursuit by Captain Salazar (Javiar Bardem). He wants payback for when Jack left Captain Salazar to rot in the Devil's Triangle, where he became cursed. Jack's way out is to find the Trident of Poseidon. Meanwhile, Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) also wants the Trident to remove the curse on his father, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom). Henry follows Jack's crew to the Trident. The crew is filled out by Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario). On top of that, Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) is forced by Salazar to track Jack.

Johnny Depp is impressive in his charisma as Jack Sparrow, a funny yet intelligent pirate and he is always my favorite. Javiar Bardem as Captain Salazar excellently presents his pain from his cursed life. Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner represents determination in his quest to save his father. Orlando Bloom as Will Turner appears as a protective father. Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth is feisty in the struggles faced by women who believed in science. Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa nicely displays his efforts to rescue his crew from Captain Salazar's cursed army.

The directors (Joachim Ronnining, Espen Sandberg) stage the movie in exceptionally scenic locales. The close up shots impressed me, especially the detail of the cursed sharks around the island. My favorite scene is when Jack is trialed to execution. Inventive ways of dark comedy make the scene quite funny. My only problem with the film is that the story only begins to unfold after the first hour. Until then, it is mostly exposition to preface the plot. However, the characters keep the movie entertaining.

The movie's message is that "where there is determination, there is a way." Despite being told not to search for the Trident by his father, Henry pursues this adventurous expedition in spite of lots of complications. He also teams up with Carina and Jack Sparrow and the crew's teamwork pays off. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters on May 26th, so check it out if you want a Caribbean treat.

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

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


NATURE: VIVA PUERTO RICO
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NATURE: VIVA PUERTO RICO
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Description - Puerto Rico is a tropical island infused with unique natural wonders - from the deepest sea-trench to the longest underground cave system; from a startlingly bright bioluminescent bay to vast rain forests that sometimes really do rain frogs.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Spectacular photography highlights this nature episode from PBS which talks about the protection and conservation of several endangered species of animals in Puerto Rico. The 60 minute video details efforts of scientists and animal behavior specialists to save and encourage the breeding of endangered parrots, manatees and Leatherback turtles. The often stunning filming includes scenes of a Leatherback turtle, which can grow to six feet long, giving birth to some 80 eggs and a minor surgical procedure on a manatee weighing well over 600 pounds by a group of about 13 scientists, interns and a vet struggling to control the animal as they treat it. A negligible amount of history of the island is provided along with a few panoramic shots of the coastline and inner forest, with the bulk of the program focused squarely on the animals and their caretakers. I recommend this for kids ages 12 to 18 and adults will enjoy it as well. The minor surgery might cause some to feel squeamish but there's no real blood to speak of. No special features or bonuses accompany the DVD.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 16.47
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


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

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

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

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

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

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

I fell in love with this exquisite film in the first 5 minutes! I love how it follows the life of Maddy, a girl who has never left her house her entire life and her take on the world as she knows it. The romance, comedy, drama and mystery all come together and make a perfect film filled with a roller coaster ride of emotions. I found myself crying, laughing, falling in love and questioning things and the way I know them. I credit the director Stella Meghie and the writer of the book, Nicola Yoon, that this film is based on. The fact that a women director was given the reigns is a bonus.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to never leave your house or what it would be like to have a disease such as severe combined immunodeficiency - also known as "bubble baby disease"? With this disease, you are allergic to the whole world and you can't go outside or be with anybody you don't know very well because anything and everything can make you sick or kill you. This disease is the one that the protagonist, Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) has. Maddy is taken care of by Pauline (Anika Noni Rose), her mom and also a nurse named Carla (Ana De La Reguera).

Things change when she sees a very cute new boy, her new neighbor Nick Robinson (Olly Bright) through her window. They have an instant connection. The problem is that, because Maddy has this disease, they can't meet, so the adventure begins between them and their bond grows stronger and stronger. I cannot give away the ending but it is a shocking surprise.

The acting is low key and believable. Teenagers do quirky things without thinking of the consequences. It is trial by error and Maddy and Olly take drastic measures to be together.

The scenes that stood out to me are when a crazy astronaut appears throughout the film. They are both symbolic and humorous. The cinematography of their island adventure is beautiful and perfect for a summer movie. I love how the wardrobe department added vibrant colors to the island scenes since most of their other outfits are pale, white and black.

I recommend this to ages 10 to 18 who will love all the romance, comedy, drama and mystery. On the other hand, they will also love the fantastic actors and the tiny bits of animation. Teenagers and kids who feel like they are trapped and need some help to find their way through life, this is the film for you to see in theaters. I give this terrific film 5 out of 5 astronauts floating in space. This romantic movie is in theaters now, so check it out in a theater near you. The book Everything Everything is available as well. It is on the best sellers list so check it out and read it. I know I will read it and can't wait to get started.

By Morgan B. Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MILY MISS QUESTIONS: SEASON ONE
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD AGES 6-10
Description - Join Mily, a funny and inquisitive 8-year-old girl, as she embarks on adventures hoping to answer the many questions she has about life, people, and the world. In this collection of twenty four episodes, join Mily and her friends as they investigate everyday situations from learning how to deal with fear to playing by the rules to using your imagination and so much more. Whenever a particular situation raises a question worthy of examination, Mily is immediately on the case! From one episode to the next, through everyday situations, Mily introduces young viewers to the art of questioning in order to further develop an inquisitive mind
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Mily is an adorably funny 8-year-old with a curious mind. She's always going on adventures in an attempt to answer various questions that she has about, well everything! I love all of her wacky and interesting adventures with her friends and family. They really make you want to be part of the fun. This is a great program for all children, but even more so for that child in your life that never seems to run out of questions. Something quite wonderful about this show that I particularly love is that, every once in a while I learn something new as well. It's nice to watch a kid's show that peaks your adult interest. The animation is neat and includes live backgrounds which is interesting and intriguing. The sound is mixed very well and the stories are just wonderful. I recommend this DVD for ages 5 to 12 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

I love the design of this show! The combination of live pictures and animation is beautiful. The animation is well done. However, the story lines are not as strong. The stories touch on subjects that are relevant to the target audience. However, some of the explanations are not accurate. Sometimes the characters don't feel natural and, part of the reason is the script. The main character looks like a child, but does not sound like one. The other thing the show lacks is diversity. Most of the characters are white and, from a high socio-economical background. At the same time, I feel as if this show would leave kids wanting to know more. Some of the subjects they focus on are not common such as being involved, being bored and feeling like a failure. I believe this show can be a great conversation starter for kids and parents. Overall I think this show means well and the design and animation are really well done. I recommend it for ages 6 to 8 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Martha S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - These wonderful animated episodes are very interesting and they teach a lot of social skills. You can learn a lot of things science-wise, plus you can learn things about being confident, telling the truth and knowing that you are beautiful and unique. There are very deep messages in this series, which is awesome, but the animation lacks detail.

In each episode Mily has a different question that she wants answered or a different problem to be solved. She travels her neighborhood, goes to her friends, asks her family and learns as much as she can. Eventually she understands and gets her questions answered.

The director, Alexis Ducord impressed me by how he developed the plotlines, the different personalities of the characters and the types of questions that Mily asks. The questions are appropriate questions for the targeted audience. I love how the questions are answered. You really get a deep understanding, most of the time. Sometimes the question is not fully answered and leaves you hanging. But most of the time the answers are great.

The animation comes up short when the characters talk, either their mouths don't move in sync with the words or sometimes the audio is late. I really love all of the facial expressions and the body language that indirectly portrays emotion.

My favorite episode is number 3, when Mily isn't accepted onto the swim team. She says to herself that she will never set foot in a pool again and gives up her dream of swimming. But she soon realizes that to succeed you have to make mistakes. Sometimes you might not get accepted, but you have to keep trying and not give up. This episode is a really deep one and gets the message across very clearly.

The DVD Mily Miss Questions: Season 1 has great educational, animated episodes that I recommend for kids ages of 5 to 9. This series teaches a lot of valuable morals in a very interesting way. I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars because some questions aren't fully answered and the animation could use improvement. Yet, I still enjoyed watching this DVD and you should too. You can find it on DVD July 4, 2017.

Reviewed by Jolleen Mejia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

This DVD is about a young girl who goes on adventures with her friends to solve different questions. Mily is an 8-year-old girl who is very curious about all kinds of things and definitely will not take "no" for an answer. While Mily goes on her adventures, she also teaches people about the importance of education and learning true facts. On this DVD, there are 24 different and unique episodes which I think is a perfect amount of episodes. Since the episodes are so short, you could just sit in front of the TV and watch all of them. They are only seven minutes each, but I didn't notice that they were so short because there is so much going on that I thought it was a 30 minute show. I really enjoyed them. I think that this show isn't directed only towards younger kids because I'm 11 and I enjoyed watching this also.

I showed it to my 5-year-old cousin to see what she thought about it. She thinks that the show is well made and loves the story line. She also loves the ending and how entertaining it is. My 2-year-old cousin likes the fact that it features an 8-year-old that little kids can relate to. Really, all ages can relate to her and her younger sister. All of the different episodes show strong friendship and bravery, which I think is a great message. Kids can watch this show over and over because when you watch it once, you don't necessarily get all the details of the story, but after watching an episode multiple times you start to notice the things that you missed. The only thing that I don't like is that some of the episodes are a little slow paced, but overall I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 9. Kids over the age of 8 would enjoy it, but not as much. This is available on DVD now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Na'im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ALISA KNOWS WHAT TO DO SEASON 1
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ALISA KNOWS WHAT TO DO SEASON 1
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Alisa Knows What to Do! is based on the extremely popular Russian science-fiction novels by famous Russian author Kir Bulychiov about a young girl from the future, Alisa Salazar. This animated series weaves a tale about the adventures of a group of teenagers living at the end of the 21st century. The world has changed yet the burning questions that occupied people at the beginning of the century are still pertinent today. Alisa and her friends not only battle evil and injustice but they are also concerned with global problems like the natural balance, both on the planet and in space.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What's most appealing about this title is that it's an animated science-fiction series that shows life at the end of the 21st century. During this time, humans learn to co-exist with different life forms. Each episode takes children on a journey of exploration as a group of teens fight for justice while also dealing with global problems on their planet as well as in space. I believe a child between the ages of 5 to12 would enjoy this series because it's entertaining, has futuristic technology, great visuals and graphics and includes vocabulary and concepts that are suitable for this age group. In fact, each episode flows well, the sound is clear and it has a clear beginning, middle and end. Furthermore, season one of Alisa Knows What to Do! is a 3-disc set that runs approximately 630 minutes. I highly recommend this series and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Geanice G., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What I find appealing is that Alisa is everyone's boss and, as the title says, she obviously knows what to do. I like the animation because the special effects are very cool. Young children will enjoy this because it is filled with adventure and action. One part I don't care for is how strict the teacher is. I wish he was nicer to the young teens. At first I was bothered by the audio which is not in sync with the mouth movements and then I realized that the original language is Russian and this version is dubbed in English.

This DVD is a compilation of episodes from the TV show. Based on a popular Russian science fiction novel by Kir Bulychiov, the show follows a group of teens in the future who learn to solve problems with help from their leader Alisa. Alisa and her friends face many difficulties and they have to figure out how to fight the villains that are trying to defeat them. They are also concerned about the environment and how the earth will survive. They live near the end of the 21st century, so there is lots of advanced technology included in this show.

There are two messages in this show - every problem has a solution and teamwork is the key. I love that the person who usually comes up with the right answer is a girl. I also love how everyone helps each other out in complicated situations.

What really stands in this show is that each episode is self-contained. It has a beginning, middle and end. The animation and audio quality are also amazing. It took me a while to realize that this show takes place at the end of the 21st Century. Most episodes start out showing the kids at school doing class work or something funny. Then someone tells Alisa about a problem and she usually finds the situation. Her friends are her sidekicks so they help her when she needs them. Alisa and her friends are very concerned about the earth, the environment and how to protect it. They are constantly trying to save the universe. Everyone will want to root for Alisa and her friends!

I recommend this show to ages 5 to 10 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. I believe children will enjoy the action, adventure and problem-solving. It is fun and also educational. It is available June 13, 2019 on DVD so, go check it out.

By Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

There are not many animated kid shows that can teach important life lessons, entertain and spark the viewer's imagination. Alisa Knows What to Do: Season One accomplishes all of this and more. Even though it is meant for kids, this animated series is perfect for the entire family.

The show has a core of a futuristic adventure with many different elements for viewers to enjoy. Throughout the episodes, viewers will find plenty of comedy that makes everyone laugh. It also includes quite a few of child-friendly action sequences and even some slight young romance between the characters.

Even though each episode has a different plot, the series follows the story of five teenagers living in the year 2090, where there are aliens, robots, spaceships and many advanced pieces of technology. Alisa is always there to save the day with her skills and quick wit to stop evil monsters and evil scientists, rescue her friends and preserve endangered inter-galactical animals.

Overall, this DVD offers a very entertaining collection of episodes with unique stories that always have surprise endings. I also love the interesting perspective of the future. It feels possible but still makes you dream about endless possibilities. The animation itself is a quite different style than what is generally seen on TV, due to being produced in Moscow. One small issue that is very apparent throughout the show is the dubbing. Due to being converted from Russian to English, there are many times when the characters' lips do not match the audio perfectly. The problem isn't too noticeable most of the time, but there are scenes where it is distracting.

My favorite episode is Games without Rules. In this episode, a new museum about the history of the galaxy opens on Pluto. The top scientists, including Alisa's father, attend the opening. Disaster strikes when an eclipse by a Pluto moon causes the release of "Zye" waves, which turns people into statues. Luckily Alisa and her friend find out about this and destroy a crystal to rescue the people. The animation of the museum and the dwarf planet is beautiful and the plot has unexpected and entertaining twists.

The show is meant for kids, but there are some darker aspects of some episodes. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. I give the DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars because there of the small issue with the dubbing, but other than that, the show is entertaining, has strong messages and is perfect for the whole family.

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
Runtime: 630 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 8.99
Media: DVD


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

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

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

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

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

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


KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
FRONTLINE: LAST DAYS OF SOLITARY
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 15-18
Description - The U.S. is the world leader in solitary confinement, with more than 80,000 American prisoners being held in isolation. But in recent years, more than 30 states have begun to experiment with reforms aimed at reducing the use of solitary. Filmed over three years by producers Dan Edge and Lauren Mucciolo, with immersive, unprecedented access to the solitary unit at Maine State Prison, the program portrays -- almost in real-time -- the psychological disintegration of human beings, and the challenge of how to deal with men considered the most dangerous and difficult in the state. It's a haunting portrait of life in solitary, and a unique document of a risky reform experiment. It is a searing program that offers American television's most comprehensive exploration of this controversial practice, and goes inside one state's ambitious attempt to decrease its use.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This documentary offers an inside look at solitary confinement in the U.S. and one prison's efforts to reduce its use. The U.S. is the world leader in solitary confinement, with more than 80,000 American prisoners being held in isolation. In recent years, 30 states have begun to experiment with reforms aimed at reducing the use of solitary. This title was filmed over three years at the Maine State Prison. It follows the story of inmate Adam Brullotte, a 23-year-old serving two years for a non-violent crime and has been in solitary confinement for disciplinary reasons. Scientific studies, even dating back to the 1800s, clearly prove that solitary confinement causes mental deterioration, anxiety, psychosis, violent behaviors and physically and permanently changes the way the brain works. We also know that statistically 80% of inmates who experience time in solitary get released from prison. These inmates ultimately re-offend and return to the revolving door of incarceration. Throughout the film, Brullotte starts his time in "seg" optimistically. He even says "I like Seg. I can handle being locked down 23 hours a day because I can read, write and do push ups. It sucks, but I think I'm doing good." Within 25 days of solitary, Brullotte demonstrates heightened anxiety, floods his cell and shortly after he starts self harming to the point of attempted suicide. After his release, he stays sober and gets a job, but is arrested for unpaid court fines and re-enters the revolving door of incarceration. With intensity, depth and clarity, this film shines a light on a world that is largely hidden from public view. This documentary has graphic footage and hence, I recommend it for ages 16 to 18. I would not say that it meets the KIDS FIRST! criteria for children's viewing. The menu offers English sub-titles and a link to pbs.org/frontline. I give it 3 out of 5 stars due to the sensitivity of the topic. Reviewed by Elizabeth B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 15-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MASTERPIECE: PRIME SUSPECT: TENNISON
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Description - Behind every great detective is a backstory. MASTERPIECE dials back the clock to spotlight the influences that turned 22-year-old rookie policewoman Jane Tennison into the savvy, single-minded crime fighter beloved by Prime Suspect viewers over the course of seven seasons. Starring Stefanie Martini (Doctor Thorne) as the rookie WPC (Woman Police Constable) Jane Tennison - the iconic role immortalized by Helen Mirren. A prequel to one of the most innovative crime series in television history, the program also stars Sam Reid (The Astronaut Wives Club) as Jane's mentor, DCI Len Bradfield; Blake Harrison (Houdini and Doyle) as Bradfield's volatile sergeant, DS Spencer Gibbs; Jessica Gunning (Law & Order UK) as Jane's female colleague and friend, WPC Kath Morgan; and Alun Armstrong (Little Dorrit, Bleak House) as crime family kingpin Clifford Bentley.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This PBS Masterpiece prequel to the series Prime Suspect, which starred Helen Mirren as Detective Jane Tennison, turns the clock back to give viewers a look at Tennison's start in the British police force. In 1973 London, the young Tennison (Stefanie Martini), assists in a murder case, enduring personal tragedy when a particularly close associate is killed. The backstory, along with Martini's performance, brings to life a credible young Tennison struggling to find her footing. Scenes of Tennison's home life round out her character and the police station setting provides an engrossing glimpse back at a less cynical time. The DVD set includes brief shorts about the original show and 1970s London. Being a crime show, there are some grizzly visuals and crime details. I recommended it for ages 14 to 18. As the plot is a bit stretched, I give this mini-series 3 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult review
Runtime: 360 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 14-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 39.99
Media: DVD

AFRICA'S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AFRICA'S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. This is a journey through two hundred thousand years of history, from the origins, on the African continent, of art, writing, and civilization itself, through the millennia in which Africa and Africans shaped not only their own rich civilizations, but also the wider world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In this six part series made for PBS, Harvard University Professor Henry Gates, Jr. provides an in-depth look at many of the major events that define African civilization, beginning with humankind's origins in Africa and the subsequent development of culture, religion, and society on the continent. Focusing on debunking myths, the hour-long episodes delve into the topics of the origins of mankind; the spread of Christianity and Islam; the emergence of art, culture and writing; the thriving coastline cities during the Middle Ages; contact between Africa and Europeans; and the tumultuous 19th Century with the expansion of the slave trade and gold, ivory and diamond trading. Special emphasis is placed on art and architecture, shining a welcome light on aspects of African culture that young people may not be aware of. As usual for PBS, the production is excellent, although one might wish for more for detail on daily life and many topics are barely touched upon. Overall, Prof. Gates makes for an engaging host and the detail covered is impressive and enlightening. The program is suitable for all children ages 12 to 18. The DVDs include chapter headings but no special features. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is an educational and interesting way to learn about the history of Africa. It is also told from an African perspective, which I really enjoyed and found most enlightening. You learn about its history, starting from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. I wish that it actually went into a little more of modern times but maybe that could be the next six-part series. The visuals and interviews make this very interesting to watch and there are also some really great maps. I enjoyed the narration and the way the entire DVD flows from beginning to end. I also enjoyed the different scenes that bring this DVD to life! I recommend it for ages 11 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B..
Runtime: 360 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 20.79
Media: DVD
      This title is available for purchase from Amazon.com


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

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



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