KIDS FIRST! has endorsed 2941 total DVD titles

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KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SECRETS OF THE DEAD: SCANNING THE PYRAMIDS - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 6-18
Description - Passionate about ancient history, the global team of Scan Pyramids consists of particle physicists, experts in innovation and 3D technologies, and engineers in thermal imaging from Egypt, France, Japan, and Canada. For more than two years, they explored every corner of the pyramid, using non-invasive technologies including infrared cameras, 3D scanners and cosmological particle detectors located inside and outside the monument. Their search detected unknown cavities in the Great Pyramid of Khufu for the first time since the Middle Ages. Viewers are able to witness Scan Pyramid's adventures and successes in this extraordinary scientific and historical journey through time and space that led to this historic discovery. A production of Bonne Pioche T�l�vision in association with THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, Curiosity Stream, France T�l�visions, HIP Institute, and NHK. Directed by Florence Tran with the collaboration of Pascal Cuissot. Produced by Bonne Pioche. Stephanie Carter is executive producer for Secrets of the Dead.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film is simply fascinating. We follow a remarkable scientific team of people using physics, science and technology to unlock the secrets of the pyramids. It is not only entertaining, but has so much educational value as well. It is amazing to watch as those involved in the scanned pyramid project unlock the secrets of the pyramids and find proof and real evidence. It flows well. The scenes of the pyramids are truly amazing! It's a real mystery and a great opportunity to see what lies within the Great Pyramid at Giza. This is an historic discovery that the whole family will enjoy learning about. I really like learning about the non-invasive way this team of scientists use technology to scan the pyramids and, once again, this film shows just how far technology has come even in the last 20 years. I give this 5 out of 5 and recommend it for ages 6 to 18 as well as adults. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 55 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 6-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99 Media: DVD

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MOLANG: SEASON 2

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MOLANG: SEASON 2 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-6
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. Despite their many differences, Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a special friendship. They have amazing times together ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary. From finding themselves in the middle of the jungle, going to the circus or enjoying a rainy day, Molang and Piu Piu embrace every daily adventure together. Who knew dancing in the rain with your best friend could be so much fun? No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with sheer happiness. Embark on 52 lovable adventures with Molang and Piu Piu!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This charming DVD takes you from point A to point B quickly in a manner appropriate for the target age. There is no language spoken except an alien language spoken by visitors. We follow a day in the lives of Molang and Piu, Piu and how they get along on Earty. The show is filled with bright colors along with characters and images that are drawn big and simple. This is an animated series with 52 five-minute adventures. The menu allows one to select a specific episode. You can also select different languages. The show demonstrates positive social skills such as how to get along with others. Themes covered in all the shows include happiness, friendship, caring and respect. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it quite appealing and engaging. I highly recommend it for ages 1 to 5 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The adorable, warm-hearted duo of Molang and Piu Piu are back in Molang Season 2 directed by Marie-Caroline Villand and Stephanie Miziak! The writers compose plots that are incredibly simple, yet engaging and expressive. The directors are skilled in easily conveying the plot, jokes and emotion without the use of dialogue.

These stories take Molang and Piu Piu on adventures near and far, as they help others and bring joy to the lives of everyone they touch. They often run into a friend or neighbor who could use a helping hand or a mood boost. Molang and Piu Piu find unique solutions to everyday experiences and make many friends along the way.

The lexicon of Molang and Piu Piu is incomprehensible, so the animation, sound effects and music work together to transcend words. The animation uses simple images to convey the characters' ideas and concepts. For example, when Piu Piu or Molang have a solution to a complication, a thought bubble pops up to show it in a quick image. The sound effects are either bright or dark, based on the mood of the scene. For example, when Piu Piu gets stressed, which is quite often, he screeches in distress. Furthermore the music, composed by Nicholas Varley, is very adventurous and upbeat, especially during the traveling scenes. It is lively and adds all the more to the jovial ambience.

The art of the animation is pure and simple, yet gives a relaxed and easy going aura. The colors are soft, not too bright or too dark, making the visuals sweet and appealing. Many of the objects such as the houses, characters, trees, vehicles and hills are all rounded creating the huggable, lovable world of Molang.

For me, the most appealing part is the happiness that surrounds each and every episode. Piu Piu and Molang are inseparable and their friendship is beautifully strong. This foundation sets the mood of each episode and their kindness reaches out to my heart.

The message of Molang Season 2 is to brighten the days of those around you and to help those in need. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 185 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.5 Media: DVD


NATURE: THE LAST RHINO - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - This is the tragic story of the last Northern White Rhino who has survived against all odds, and how experts are working to save the rest of the species from extinction. Meet Sudan, the last male of his sub-species, the Northern White Rhinoceros. His harrowing journey is told through the international cast of characters who have been involved in Sudan's life, from when he was snatched as a calf from his mother's side in war-torn Central Africa, to his captivity as a prized exhibit in a cold, concrete zoo behind the Iron Curtain while poaching devastated his kind to extinction back home. Now at 43 years old and half-blind, Sudan is living out his days under 24-hour armed guard, on a protective sanctuary in Kenya. As his kind nears its last hour, scientists and animal experts turn to technology in a race to save the Northern White Rhino before it dies out forever.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This documentary is very interesting, educational and enjoyable. The film is about the Northern White Rhino in Kenya. I was unaware that there are only three left in the world and found that a bit sad, but amazing at the same time. It shows Sudan, the very last Male White Rhino and quite well known around the world because of his status. I was amazed at learning how Sudan is protected by armed guards. It made me happy to see how well Zack (a keeper) takes care of Sudan as if he is his own. This definitely is an enlightening film and made me want to research more about this species of Rhinos. The film is appropriate for ages 8 through 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Sudan was still alive when this film was made, at the age of 43. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about him. The sad fact is that Sudan has now passed away and hence, there are no more male White Rhinos alive. Hopefully, this show will teach children and, even adults, an important lesson about preserving endangered species. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to check it out. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99 Media: DVD

GARFIELD: NINE LIVES - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Description - Kids and parents can join Garfield, Jon, and Odie for two hilarious adventures in this new DVD. The two episodes on this DVD include: His Nine Lives - Do cats really have nine lives? Garfield explores his nine lives, from Cave Cat all the way through Space Cat. At the end of his nine tales, Garfield points out to his creator that the circumstances of his last life were stacked unfairly against him and Odie. His creator agrees and gives Garfield back not just one life, but nine more! Garfield in the Rough - Jon announces that he, Garfield and Odie are going on vacation! Garfield gets excited, but that enthusiasm quickly wanes when he discovers Jon planned a camping trip - what a choice! Life in the wild gets dangerous when an escaped panther enters their campground. Will the rangers be able to capture the panther before it finds the trio?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD has two episodes about cats and their nine lives. The first episode is interesting but confusing. I like seeing Garfield, Jon and Odie, but got confused and lost interest towards the middle when it shows other cat short stories and their lives. It loses some of its appeal when other cats are featured instead of Garfield. As a big Garfield fan, I expected more of Garfield. Also, it is unclear whether Garfield is one of the other cats in some of those lives. It that sounds unclear, it's because I was confused. It ends well and has a happy ending, which I like. The second episode is much better, from beginning to end. It flows well and has no confusing issues. It reminds me why I love Garfield so much. This is more of what I expected. I rate this DVD 4 of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 through 18. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
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Runtime: 48 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FRENCH FOR KIDS: L'ANNIVERSAIRE DE FRITZI

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FRENCH FOR KIDS: L'ANNIVERSAIRE DE FRITZI - WHISTLEFRITZ LLC Click to purchase directly from the producer
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Description - The latest release in Whistlefritz's award-winning French for Kids series! Aimez-vous les f�tes d anniversaire ? (Do you like birthday parties?) Join the language-learning celebration as Marie and the Whistlefritz kids plan the perfect party for their playful animated friend, Fritzi the mouse. Balloons, cake, presents, and special guests add an exciting twist to learning French in this lively, interactive French immersion program. At a Whistlefritz party, even cleaning up is fun! Each step in the party-planning process is captured through entertaining animated segments, live-action footage and upbeat interactive songs that teach words and phrases for toys, colors, parts of the room, household objects, and everyday activities. The video includes an easy-to-use translation guide for parents and teachers (also available for free download from the company's website), as well as French and English subtitle options. Designed for ages 2-7, L'anniversaire de Fritzi is fun for all ages! What are you waiting for? Let's get this language-learning party started!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - L'anniversaire de Fritzi (Fritzi's Birthday) is a really fun interactive French immersion program. In this DVD, Marie, an adult narrator and the Whistlefritz kids plan a party for Fritzi's fifth birthday. Fritzi is an animated French mouse and with lots of cute little animal friends. They make a cake, blow up balloons and invite special guests. It's a colorful mix of verbal and visual learning. It's about 30 minutes in length and is full of laughter and learning. Immersion learning is all about learning a language by speaking only that language without any English translation. It is based on how we learn our first language and makes learning a new one easy and fun. The cast is very diverse and there is lots of laughing and silly behavior woven into the educational lessons. This DVD has a lot of fun songs and encourages play and interaction with the characters and the Whistlefritz kids. The menu offers the options to play songs only and offers an in-depth explanation of immersion learning. Included is also a parent/teacher translation guide. This sing-along, dance-along fun fest is perfect for children ages 2 to 5. I give this title 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This educational and adorable language-immersion learning DVD by Whistlefritz is a great way to help young children learn French. The little characters' expressive faces are funny and engaging to watch.

A sweet mouse named Fritzi is turning five years old and his classmates are throwing a party for him. Along the way, kids experience songs and activities that teach them French words for all the fun things that accompany birthday parties such as cake, balloons, presents, toys and much more.

I love this film because I feel it is a great way for little children to learn French in a fun, entertaining way. The bright colors lock in your attention and the goofy characters are easy for small children to connect with. My favorite thing about this DVD is how, every once in a while, Fritzi's friends check on him while he is sleeping in his tiny house. It is so funny when he makes his cute snoring sounds.

The film also teaches children good behavior like being friendly and warm to each other. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. It is available now on DVD so check it out.

Reviewed by Leah R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I enjoyed the French language DVD, L'Anniversaire de Fritzi. It is helpful for kids. Knowing another language can be very helpful. Whether you are trying to communicate with someone who recently moved to your school who speaks a different language or vacationing in a place where they speaks another language, it's good to know the basics. The best time to learn another language is when you are little. Although we can all benefit from learning a new language even if we are older and may need a bit more time to learn it. This DVD hits the nail on the head. It caters to a younger audience and teaches children at their level. It isn't just learning words though. It teaches through games and songs! It's an immersion technique. I have to admit that I had a difficult time understanding what they were saying at some times, having no past knowledge of French. Still, I really enjoyed watching this DVD and participating as much as I could. It was fun to see people doing things and hearing about it in French. I recommend L'Anniversaire de Fritzi for ages 2 to 5 and rate it 4 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD in the obvious places so look for it. Reviewed by Rachel K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 30 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: AN ENCHANTING EASTER

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GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: AN ENCHANTING EASTER - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - Enjoy this Easter special adventure based on the classic picture book that has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, written by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram and published by Walker Books. As winter melts into spring and the meadow bursts forth with new life, Little Nutbrown Hare sees a rare sight... a pure white fawn, dancing in the moonlight. Nobody in the meadow has ever seen a white fawn so his friends think he's making it up. But Little White Owl tells of a place of mystical white creatures in the next valley, so the friends go on an adventure... across the streamy stream, and through the woody woods to search for the mythical white fawn. Little do they know that the tiny fawn is hiding from them, on the patches of white snow, thinking they are all playing a game of hide-and seek. Only when she falls into the stream and the friends save her do they believe Little Nutbrown Hare. The fawn visits them on Easter Day, but isn't so good at playing hide and seek in the grassy meadow, until they find a field of pure white flowers to play in.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I thoroughly enjoyed this DVD and found it quite interesting to learn about a white fawn. This is a heartwarming tale about Little Brown Hare who wanders outside one night when he can't sleep and discovers a rare, all white fawn dancing in the snow. He knows all white fawns are rare and when he talks to her she runs away. Through lots of escapades Little Brown Hare finally is able to convince his forest friends the fawn is real and able to befriend the white fawn. The characters are interesting and charming. A field mouse and a squirrel friends are all friends with Little Brown Hare and they interact with each other in the most loving way. I felt sorry for Little Brown Hare when no one believes that he had seen the white fawn. Eventually the truth comes out and they finally see her and believe Little Brown Hare.

The morale of this story is about love. The love between Little Brown Hare and his dad, the love of friends and possibility of the love of strangers. The negative behaviors shown are about doubt, but that disappears over time. I particularly enjoyed seeing the field mouse trying to protect Little Brown Hare by making a white fawn out of snow. He tries to protect his friend's honor in doing so.

The educational and social elements that make this title valuable emphasize the various ways that you can show someone how you love them. Adults often tell children that they love them and they can hear it in this story in a way they can relate to.

I recommend this for ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It uses vocabulary and ideas which little children can understand and enjoy. Questioning, probing and problem-solving are developed in a manner suitable for the target age. It is very enjoyable and available now on DVD, so check it out.

Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The DVD Guess How Much I Love You: An Enchanting Easter is a great movie for the whole family. This film has beautiful animation and an adorable storyline that I love.

Guess How Much I Love You: An Enchanting Easter follows a group of forest animals. One, the Little Nutbrown Hare sees a pure white fawn that enchants him. He tells his father and his friends - the field mouse, the fox and the grey squirrel. They do not believe him at first but Little Nutbrown Hare convinces them to help find the white fawn.

The animation in this series is adorable. The characters and background are very colorful. In every scene, there is always a pop of color, whether it is a vibrant blue or a soft pink. The characters look just like the illustrations in the original book, which I love. It is remarkable how detailed the characters are. For example, the fox has orange fur that fades at the end. It looks like a watercolor painting.

If I was to pick my favorite character, it would be the field mouse or perhaps Little Nutbrown Hare's father. I like the field mouse, because he is the only one who believes in Little Nutbrown Hare and what he saw. I also like Little Nutbrown Hare's father, because he is so kind. He takes care of the mother bird's eggs while she goes to get feathers for her nest. When the birds hatched, he takes them to where he kept warm during the storms until their mother cam back.

The message of this movie is to trust your friends. The fox and the grey squirrel did not believe Little Nutbrown Hare's story about seeing a pure white fawn. The only one that really believes him is the field mouse. He keeps Little Nutbrown Hare's hopes up when his friends did not believe him. I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages five to seven. This is available on DVD so, look for it.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Easter! I love Easter! This 30 minute fantastic, delightful and pure film is directed by Jo Boag. It's so rare to find a truly quality children's film such as this. I love how the storyline brings together so many themes including friendship, believing, togetherness and Easter. Wow! What an amazing combination! Get ready to head down a road filled with adventure.

The story follows Little Nutbrown Hare leading a journey to find a pure white fawn that he sees shining and dancing in the moonlight near his village. His friends think he's making it up. They take a gamble endeavor through the woods in the next valley, down the flowing creek and past the rocks to find her. As their doubt grows, she is right there hiding on the patches of white snow. She instantly thinks it's a big game of hide and seek. She promises to visit them on Easter Day, making Easter that much special for them all.

This film is based on the classic book that has sold worldwide, written by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram and published by Walker Books. The animation is astonishing from beginning to end. The characters are beautiful, colorful, appealing and attractive throughout the entire movie. This film is downright delightful, bringing so much joy for one to appreciate. I just love the animals, especially the cute baby birds! The music really supports the lovely characters and action.

My favorite part is when Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends save the pure white fawn from drowning in the stream. It shows how much he cares and adores her. Absolutely touching! This part in the film has many different actions happening at the same time. All of Little Nutbrown Hare's friends find out the pure white fawn is real and not in Little Nutbrown Hare's imagination. At this moment they are reminded the world is full of marvelous animals. My favorite characters are the pure white fawn and Little Nutbrown Hare, because they are both happy, intriguing, playable and friendly.

This film has a great message of friendship and love and the meaning behind them. True friendships are displayed in this film and we see the genuine love and understanding the characters have for each other. It absolutely calls you to action when they venture out to find pure white fawn. All the characters treat one another appropriately, helping help each other, saying nice things and being friendly to one another.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 11, as well as adults. This film is available now on DVD and Digital, so go check it out before Easter.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

I love Guess How Much I Love You: An Enchanting Easter! It is a great addition for my collection of Easter movies because it is so cute!

Easter is on its way and this hare is perfect for the holiday season. The life lessons are about friendship and being kind to others. We see this in the kindness extended to the pure white fawn when they show her that they can be friends. The other life lessons are about teamwork and believing in your friends.

The animation is just breathtaking. It is so perfectly executed that it looks like a perfect little story book with live animals. The scenes with the snow are amazing because of the color mix. It is truly magical.

My favorite character is the pure white fawn. She is a new character that I will always remember. I love her personality. She has a sweet side, which she shows towards the end of the film and a funny, silly, playful side that she shows in the beginning. I am in love with her character's voice which is so soft and sweet, making her the perfect fawn. Her interaction with all the different animals shows that she fits right in and they all gain a new BFF.

Another thing that I like about this DVD are the voiceovers. They match the characters wonderfully with their soft tones, making sound a lot like young children. Each character has a small, adorable and squeaky voice.

All the animals are lovable and each one has a different personality. This makes me feel like I am meeting them for real. I want to jump into the screen and give them a big welcome hug. It also makes me want to jump through the TV and play in the meadow as they celebrate Easter. This is a perfect way to get into the spirit of spring after a long, cold and rainy winter.

I recommend this DVD for kids age 4 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is available now on DVD so look for it. Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 30 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FLOOGALS: PROJECT EGG HUNT

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FLOOGALS: PROJECT EGG HUNT - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-8
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! In Project Egg Hunt, the Floogals mistakenly think Mom and Dad Hooman have accidentally dropped candy eggs in the garden when in fact they have placed them there on purpose to create an egg hunt for their kids. The Floogals think they are being helpful and tidy up the eggs! Once the Floogals realize their mistake, they must get all the eggs back on the ground before the kids arrive so their fun day won't be ruined.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a colorful and exciting DVD with five episodes, totaling 60 minutes of fun! The Floogals are a group of curious alien scientists named Fleeker, Boomer and Flo. Their curiosity is sparked by everyday earthly experiences and adventures that lead to experimentation, discovery and observation. The mix of crisp animation alongside "hoomans" (real actors) and live animals is really unique. These little aliens sometimes get into a bit of trouble, which they use problem-solving and teamwork to remedy as they learn something along the way. The menu offers the option to play all episodes or watch them individually. Each episode has a run time of 10 to 12 minutes and include: Project Egg Hunt, Project Rainbow, Project Kite, Project Picnic and Project Tortoise. This DVD is a great educational tool and extremely entertaining. Children between the ages of 2 to 5 will definitely enjoy the songs and story lines. Adventure is everywhere they go. They're the Floogals! 3, 2, 1 LET'S GO! I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars for outstanding animation, cohesiveness, interesting story lines, songs, educational and overall entertainment value. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Floogals Project Egg Hunt is a DVD about tiny secret aliens from planet Floon that sneak around your house learning about humans or, as they call them, hoomans. I really enjoy the animation and admire how they have real people walking around with animated characters. It's a very colorful, bright show with a new lesson in each episode.

The three Floogals in this series are Captain Fleeker (Rasmus Hardiker), the bravest of the group, First Officer Flo (Jules de Jongh), the smartest of the group and Junior Boomer (Hugo Harold-Harrison), who is clumsy and crazy in most episodes, which makes him very funny. These Floogals wander around a house, encountering new things that the 'hoomans' are doing. Then they spend the day researching what the object or activity is and sometimes try to help, often with hilarious results. At the end of each episode they send their report to their leader, who always likes it. So, they receive a strip of stickers based on their observations.

The episodes in this DVD are, Project Egg Hunt, Project Rainbow, Project Kite, Project Picnic and Project Tortoise. My favorite episode is Project Rainbow which is about the Floogals walking in the yard and, as they take cover from a sudden rain shower, they hear the girl "hooman" talk about a rainbow and they decide to investigate rainbows. I like this episode because I can relate to it, as I loved trying to find the end of the rainbow when I was younger. Another good episode is called, Project Tortoise which is about the Floogals discovering a tortoise and deciding to research it more, but when they look back at the tortoise he is gone. The Floogals must find him and bring him home. The title episode, Project Egg Hunt, is very funny because they almost ruin the egg hunt by trying to help. My favorite character is Junior Boomer because he is always being clumsy and causing accidents that sometimes helps the team in unexpected ways. The message of this DVD is, if you work together you can do anything.

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 5 because every episode teaches a new lesson and is very repetitive. Older kids and adults might find it amusing too. This DVD is available on Blu-ray and standard DVD now so, check it out.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Floogals: Project Egg Hunt, directed by Ruth Ducker is an imaginative, exciting space adventure that seems to take place right in my own backyard! The characters are diverse, funny and kind and the storylines are clever yet simple thrills. The story follows three Floogals - Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer who are sent to explore and understand the interesting ways of the Hoomans.

The animation and voices add to the special aspect of each Floogal that makes them unique. For example, Junior Boomer is innocent and the youngest of the three which is shown by his bigger eyes and wide smile. The voice actors are able to capture the character's personality in their voice. Dominique Moore voices First Officer Flo and expresses the sweetness of her character in her voice.

My favorite part is how the Hoomans are considered the mysterious aliens and the Floogals are there to learn about these queer creatures and their ways.

The message of this show is to help those you can and never miss a chance to learn something new. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to look for it.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The fabulous Floogals are back with five brand new episodes that are filled with magic and experimentation! I love how all the episodes are spring and summer related with the Floogals observing rainbows with pots of gold, egg hunts, kits, picnics and tortoises.

The alien characters in Floogals Project Egg Hunt are just adorable. I find Flo (Jules de Jongh) to be just too darn cute. Her alien personality is a true scientist at heart. She is also very silly and friendly with her other alien partners. Flo is a fantastic role model for young children because she teaches them the value of observation and experimentation.

Fleeker (Rasmus Hardiker) is the kind of captain who put everything he has into his observations and projects. He comes up with the most hilarious hypothesis about the new objects they find. Make sure to keep an eye out for Rasmus Hardiker in the new SYFI series Krypton as the character Kem. The first episode is amazing.

Even though Boomer (Hugo Harold-Harrison) is the youngest in the bunch, he has the biggest heart. He also has the biggest appetite. He loves to eat, so any mission that includes a scrumptious meal is his favorite. My favorite episode is "Project Egg Hunt", because as I watched it I laughed a lot. I know what the eggs are used for, yet the Floogals don't and they are hilarious as they make crazy guesses and try their best to figure out the puzzling mystery. They try to be helpful and put the eggs back, only to find out that they have to hide them again.

This DVD has many lessons for kids such as the wonders of experimentation, observation, discovery and science in general. The Floogals teach kids by observing objects and humans and seeing how strange objects are used in our everyday life. Experimentation is completed by trying all kinds of crazy experiments, whether it is tortoise races or catching rainbows. The discovery comes once the Floogals have made their experiments and observations and finally find out what the object is. Simple things seem complicated, because they are small aliens.

I recommend this for ages 4 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


NATURE: THE CHEETAH CHILDREN - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Description - Life on the African plains is a constant struggle, and for a single mother rearing her offspring, the odds seem to be stacked against them. This is an inspiring tale about motherhood and family, as we follow a cheetah family on the grasslands through the eyes of conservationist and cameraman Kim Wolhuter. The Malilangwe Game Reserve in Zimbabwe, where the film takes place, is a dangerous place for cheetah cubs, as the 200-square-mile area is filled with other predators. Cheetah mothers do not have partners or sisters to assist in feeding and protecting their cubs, and this mother cheetah is completely on her own, protecting her five newborn cubs and teaching them how to hunt some of the continent's fastest game. She has just over a year to teach their young to survive in the wilderness without her.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love this movie! I have always been interested in wild animals and nature, especially big cats. This movie follows a mother cheetah and her five children and shows how the mom must protect her young ones and also teach them, within about a year and a half, to hunt and to survive on their own. The photographer had the amazing opportunity to gain the mother's trust enough to follow her and her little ones. There are sad moments because not all five baby cheetahs survive. It's a tough thing for the little ones to survive in a world with so many bigger predators. I was amazed at how mom has to hide her cubs to keep them safe. I learned amazing facts such as a cheetah can run up to 60 miles an hour. The movie made me sad, but it also made me happy to see that there are more than one of the baby cheetahs that survives. The photographer's work is quite extraordinary. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 through 18, as well as adults. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99 Media: DVD

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DOGGONE ADVENTURE, A

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DOGGONE ADVENTURE, A - VISION FILMS
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - "Just Jesse the Jack" enlists a group of junior detectives and their dad, host of a popular TV show, to help him unravel the mystery behind his telepathic talents. But things get even more mysterious when they find themselves entangled in a world of UFOs and secret agents.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This adorable film had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I could not take my eyes off of the screen, because the movie is about dogs. I watched it with my Golden Retriever, who perked his head up whenever the dog barked. Dogs are my favorite animal and, even if you don't like dogs, I guarantee you will fall in love with them after watching this film.

Murphy, a small telepathic canine, becomes separated from his owner one night and encounters a group of young kids who spend their days solving mysteries to upload to their YouTube channel. Because Murphy possesses divine telepathic talents, a manufacturing worker comes along and captures Murphy to understand the complexities behind his dynamic, human-like brain. The kids must find a way to get Murphy back and undertake a precarious mission, filled with a multitude of secret agents and UFO's.

Jesse the Jack Russell Terrier, who plays Murphy, portrays him in an exceptional manner, because Murphy perseveres to the fullest extent and never gives up. A Jack Russell Terrier is a perfect dog to play the lead role. Even a small dog can achieve greatness, which demonstrates that, no matter what you set your mind to, you can achieve anything. Jenny Chaplin (Sydney Thackray) is the only girl out of the three friends, but she is hands down the strongest of them all. When the kids arrive at a 100-year-old haunted mansion, she insists on staying to find out more about the alleged ghosts that inhabit the house. I admire her strength and determination to resolve a formidable mystery.

The haunted mansion is quite astonishing. Although it is old with its broken door, windows, cracks and a plethora of mold, I am blown away by how intimidating it looks. The most menacing part is that there is a piano that plays by itself. Chills rolled down my spine when I saw this. I have never seen a scene like this before.

My favorite part is when Murphy runs away and watches TV through a window. In this scene, he begins to discover the mystery he will uncover. It is hilarious because he sits there and pants, as if he is out of breath. I love when dogs pant, because they are so calm and adorable. Murphy will definitely steal your heart with his charming smile.

The message of this film is that if you work together, nothing is impossible. Life is full of obstacles and unexpected events, but with collaboration and hard work, such obstacles are elementary. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 5 to 12, and adults will certainly love it too. It's a spectacular, convivial film to watch with your family and friends, because it will warm your heart. This film is available on DVD and Digital. You'll never guess how Murphy gets rescued.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What can I say? I am a proud dog lover! This live action-packed, lovable and adventurous film is by Tony Randel. It reminds me of my dog BoBo! Just like BoBo, Murphy is a very energetic and brave dog. The only difference is that BoBo can't speak, like Murphy. I mean, that would be demented! Get ready to head down a road filled with a usual risky undertaking.

This story follows a group of kids who love investigating unsolved mysteries. After being separated from his owner, a telepathic canine comes across these kids. The dog is taken by a determined operative who wants his brains, because he has a mind of a human. So, the kids embark on a dangerous mission to get him back. Things get more puzzling when they find themselves twisted in a world of UFOs and secret agents. They go through a scary mansion that has been abandoned for nearly 90 years.

The lead characters are Murphy the dog (Jesse the Jack Russell Terrier), Ricky Hill (Jayden Hedden), Ricky's brother David Hill (Walker Mintz), Jenny Chaplin (Sydney Thackray), Jeremy Tinsdale (Jonathon Tysor), Shelton "the brain" (Dilantin Patton), Jack Bowser (Paul Logan) and Steven Hill (Kurt Yaeger).

The location is outstanding. The old abandoned mansion looks so horrifying with its cracks, broken windows and door, holes in the walls, tilting door step and a broken roof. The inside is old, moldy and creepy. The piano plays by itself. The oven opens and closes by itself. Clothes are falling. Tables move as if there is an earthquake. And ghoulish people live inside.

The location for the CIA is mysterious as well. The door is protected by unearthly people and there are many dark rooms inside the building. Inside the building is a much more open space with secret doors and weird paths to get to the different rooms.

My favorite character is utterly Murphy! Murphy is completely headstrong from the beginning of the movie through to the end. Murphy makes the movie exiting, intriguing and entertaining. When I discovered Murphy could talk I thought, am I delusional!

My favorite part is unquestionably when they rescue Murphy. In that part we see how they come together to save Murphy. It really takes true team work! You have to wait and see how Murphy is rescued. It will certainly take you on an adventure.

The movie's positive message shows how teamwork is a collaborative effort that achieves a common goal. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12 as well as adults. This film is available now on DVD and on Digital so, make sure to go check it out.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., SEASON 4 - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Description - Today's leading artists, politicians, activists, performers and journalists will discover surprising ancestral stories while learning their family history in the fourth season of the critically acclaimed series. Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, continues exploring the mysteries, surprises and revelations hidden in the family trees of 28 of today's most intriguing cultural trailblazers.<

In "FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., SEASON 4", comedian Larry David and politician Bernie Sanders discover they have more in common than they thought, tracing their roots back to Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. Comedic performers Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari and Maya Rudolph learn contrasting stories of assimilation and independence all over the globe. Actors Fred Armisen and Christopher Walken and musician Carly Simon each learn about a grandparent whose real identity and background had been a mystery to them. Author Ta-Nehisi Coates, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and author and activist Janet Mock see their basic assumptions about their families challenged, placing their ancestors -- of all colors -- into the greater context of black history.

Actors Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and William H. Macy trace their nonconformist ancestors through American conflicts -- the Civil War and the American Revolution, all the way back to the Puritan establishment. Journalists Bryant Gumbel and Suzanne Malveaux and producer and writer Tonya Lewis-Lee discover a tapestry of the unexpected as they delve into their ancestry, revealing slaves and free people of color, Civil War legacies, and forgotten European origins. Actor Lupita Nyong'o, NBA star Carmelo Anthony and political commentator Ana Navarro trace their African heritage, investigating the political choices of their fathers and discovering sometimes unexpected heritage. Also, actors Tea Leoni and Gaby Hoffmann both have lives shaped by family mysteries and are introduced to the identities and life stories of their biological ancestors, thanks to DNA detective work. DJ and producer Questlove, talk show host Dr. Phil, and journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault's family stories are rooted in the American south. Actors Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd and John Turturro, all with immigrant parents, gain greater understanding of the unique challenges their ancestors faced by way of prejudice and poverty at home and abroad.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The title speaks for itself. I really enjoyed watching people find out about their ancestors in this series. Most are really surprised and some, visibly shaken by the information that is shared. You get to see a side of your favorite or not-so-favorite celebrity that's really up close and personal. This series allows you to think about your own past and your own ancestors and the struggles they may have endured. I wondered if Professor Gates would ever interview non-celebrities. Maybe he has, but hasn't included that in his series because it wouldn't be of interest to the general population. This series helps us to understand how people lived many, many years ago and what their lives were like. Professor Gates even shows countries that may no longer exist or he shows pictures of one's ancestors that people have never seen and had no idea of their relationship with them. The DNA tests that are done at the end of each episode is an added feature that helps individuals understand more about who they are and where they and their ancestors came from. Finding your roots is a history lesson by itself. I've learned tidbits about the Civil War, American Revolution, the Holocaust, Quakers, World War II, Japan and Germany. I hope that watching this series encourages young adults to look for their own roots. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 as well as adults. Reviewed by Tina Bunch, KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 600 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 39.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SPIRITED AWAY
SPIRITED AWAY - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURES, AGES 8-18
Description - Chihiro's family is moving to a new house, but when they stop on the way to explore an abandoned village, her parents undergo a mysterious transformation and Chihiro is whisked into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the soceress Yubaba. Put to work in a magical bathhouse for spirits and demons, Chihiro must use all her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents and return to the normal world. Overflowing with imaginative creatures and thrilling storytelling, Spirited Away became a worldwide smash hit, and is one of the most critically-acclaimed films of all time.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Studio Ghibli's deluxe Spirited Away DVD Set is a delectation for the senses. This highly enjoyable Miyazaki masterpiece keeps your eyes transfixed throughout. Spirited Away was released in 2001 in Japan (2003 in US) and nabbed Best Animated Feature at the 2003 Academy Awards.

Spirited Away tells the story of a young girl, Chihiro, who, on the way to her new home gets sidetracked with her family and discovers a magical, unknown world. At the beginning of the film, they wander into an abandoned town where Chihiro's parents get turned into pigs. The rest of the film is a grand adventure where she tries to save her parents from the manipulative clutches of the Yubaba, the Sorceress and owner of the bath house of the gods.

The DVD set includes two discs, a Blu-Ray and a traditional DVD. It also includes bonus features, such as the "making of" Spirited Away, a Nippon Television special; Behind The Microphone, a behind-the-scenes look at the English translation and voiceovers; the original Japanese theatrical trailers; the original Japanese TV spots; and a wonderful booklet with statements from the filmmakers.

In the Nippon Television special, Miyazaki talks about the process of making Spirited Away at Studio Ghibli headquarters. This special gives us an inside look at Studio Ghibli and the thought process of Miyazaki. It shows us the art of creating the film and the dire time constraints in the animation process. Miyazaki tells us how he had to hire double the amount of animators in order to make the deadline for this film. He also goes into how there were so many late nights at the studio, so he had to entrust some of his work to one of his fellow coworkers.

In Behind the Microphone, we see how much effort goes into making the English language version of the film. Narrated by director John Lasseter (who spearheaded the English language translation), this wonderful short shows us how the English-speaking actors match their voices' to the movement of the characters' mouths in the animation.

This Spirited Away deluxe set is everything you could ask for. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Runtime: 125 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE (2018)
HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE (2018) - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Description - From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away, and acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki, comes the Academy Award�- nominated* fantasy adventure for the whole family. Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a curse on Sophie and turns her into a 90-year-old woman. On a quest to break the spell, Sophie climbs aboard Howl's magnificent moving castle and into a new life of wonder and adventure. But as the true power of Howl's wizardry is revealed, Sophie finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens their world. *2005: Best Animated Feature, Howl's Moving Castle
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Studio Ghibli's deluxe Howl's Moving Castle DVD set is the key to all the magic in this world. This profoundly charming Miyazaki monument draws out all the negative energy in your body and fills you with its creative storyline. Howl's Moving Castle was released in 2004 in Japan and 2005 in the U.S.A. It won a myriad amount of awards including the Tokyo Animation of the Year Award in 2005 and was nominated for the 2006 Oscars for Best Animated Feature Film.

Howl's Moving Castle tells the story of an unconfident young woman, Sophie, who leads an unexciting life at her father's hat shop. All of that instantly changes when she is saved by Howl from two hooligans looking to heckle her. An evil witch known as the Witch of the Waste takes offense at her befriending Howl and casts a curse on Sophie, turning her into an old lady. Sophie's one hope of releasing the curse lies with a self-centered, troubled wizard and his comedic entourage.

The DVD set includes two discs, a Blu-Ray and a standard DVD. It also includes a mystical treasure trove full of valuable bonus features, such as Feature Length Storyboards; Behind the Microphone; Interview with Diana Wynne Jones (writer of the book Howl's Moving Castle); Miyazaki's visit to Pixar; The Birth Story of the Film Soundtrack; Explanation of CG; Original Theatrical Trailers; TV Spots; and an exclusive booklet with statements from the filmmakers.

In the Behind The Microphone special, Emily Mortimer, the English dub voice for Sophie, states that it's hard to build up emotion with voice acting because it's so quick. Billy Crystal expresses that there is never one layer to a Miyazaki film and that there is a lot of emotional depth among all the characters. We also hear from the other voice over actors - Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall and Blythe Danner.

In Miyazaki's Visit to Pixar, Miyazaki talks with his biggest fan and friend, John Lasseter, the Chief Creative Officer at Pixar (now at Disney). Miyazaki starts by gifting Lasseter a giant model of the cat bus from My Neighbor Totoro, another Studio Ghibli classic. Later on, they interview Lasseter on his opinions of Miyazaki and his artistic animation style. He states that, in any of Miyazaki's films there are at least ten original ideas. Lasseter later expresses that Miyazaki's films always makes you think and question the world you live in.

This immensely marvelous Howl's Moving Castle DVD deluxe set will instantly break any curse that is hindering you and allow you to enjoy life to the fullest. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Runtime: 119 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 15.9 Media: DVD


KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE (2018)

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KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE (2018) - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Description - From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away and Ponyo, and Academy Award�-winning* director Hayao Miyazaki, comes the beloved coming-of-age story of a resourceful young witch who uses her broom to create a delivery service, only to lose her gift of flight in a moment of self-doubt. It is a tradition for all young witches to leave their families on the night of a full moon and fly off into the wide world to learn their craft. When that night comes for Kiki, she embarks on her new journey with her sarcastic black cat, Jiji, landing the next morning in a seaside village, where her unique skills make her an instant sensation. Don't miss this delightfully imaginative and timeless story of a young girl finding her way in the world, featuring the voices of Kirsten Dunst, Janeane Garofalo, Phil Hartman, and Debbie Reynolds.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Studio Ghibli's deluxe Kiki's Delivery Service DVD set is a treasure trove of magical proportions. This deeply amusing, Miyazaki classic captures your soul with its bewitching aerial perspective of Kiki's neighborhood. Kiki's Delivery Service was released in 1989 in Japan and 1990 in the U.S.A. It was bestowed a variety of awards, including Most Popular Feature at the 1990 Japanese Academy Awards.

Kiki's Delivery Service tells the story of a young girl, Kiki, who was born into a family of witches. At the age of 13, all witches must fly away from the nest for a certain extended period of time. This tradition is aimed to strengthen the witch's powers and make them more independent. On Kiki's journey, she ends up in a magnificent town in which no other witches live. At first, she has a hard time coping with the vastness of the town, but learns to be grateful when a bakery owner offers her attic for rent. Kiki makes a deal with the owner that if she delivers their goods via broomstick and does random chores around the shop she can work out of their attic rent free, with a bonus free breakfast. Thus, Kiki's delivery service is formed.

The DVD set includes two discs, a Blu-Ray and a standard DVD. It also includes a multitude of captivating bonus features, such as Feature Length Storyboards; Behind the Microphone; Creating Kiki's Delivery Service; Kiki and Jiji; Flying With Kiki; Producer's Perspective: Collaborating with Miyazaki; The Locations of Kiki's Delivery Service; Ursula's Painting; Original Theatrical Trailers; and even an exclusive booklet with statements from the filmmakers.

One of the best bonus features is Creating Kiki's Delivery Service, where we learn lots of wonderful inside information about the making of this film. Miyazaki tells how he wasn't originally the director for the film because all the creatives, including the director and screenwriter, had already been selected. Miyazaki expresses that he enjoyed making the time period vague in contrast with the artwork of the film. Miyazaki discloses that Kiki's Delivery Service was influenced by many cities including Stockholm, Ireland, San Francisco, Paris and a town in Italy. He later explains that Kiki's town was modeled after a charming, old town called Visby, in Sweden.

This enchanting Kiki's Delivery Service DVD archive is the most incredible thing since sliced bread. I give it at 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Runtime: 105 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99 Media: DVD


WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 4-9
Description - Based on the bestselling bedtime story book written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, which has sold over 11 million copies globally, the film follows siblings Stan, Katie, Rosie, Max, the baby, and Rufus the dog, who decide one day to go on an adventure through whirling snowstorms, oozing mud, and dark forests in search of bears! Featuring the voices of Olivia Colman (The Night Manager, Broadchurch), Pam Ferris (Matilda, Call The Midwife), and Mark Williams (Harry Potter), this animated story is filled with stunning visuals sure to enchant viewers along with its story of perseverance, optimism, and love of nature.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This animated film, based on the best-selling storybook We're Going on a Bear Hunt written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, brings the story to life! The vibrant visuals and brilliant musical score add a special quality to telling the story of a group of five siblings and their dog Rufus who decide to go on a bear hunt while their parents go to aid Grandma and her broken down car.

Their big brother Peter leads them on their quest over the countryside, lakes, oceans, and mountains and through a treacherous snowstorm. Throughout, they sing the famous chant: "We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We're not scared."

I love the children's positive outlook and excitement as they never give up, continue and approach their various destinations. As they encounter "long, wavy grass", "a deep cold river", "thick, oozy mud", "a big dark forest", "a swirling, whirling snowstorm" and "a narrow, gloomy cave", they also sing their other chant: "We can't go over it. We can't go under it. Oh, no! We've go to go through it."

When one of the siblings, Rosie and their dog Rufus become separated from the rest of the family, their adventure takes an interesting turn, delivering more than they ever expected. I really enjoyed the suspense the additional storyline adds to the film. It brings an extra excitement to the story. Do the paw prints add up to anything? You will have to see this film to find out!

I have fond memories of reading this story in my early teaching days as well as singing the chants with the children. Currently I read to children in the schools and look forward to sharing this film with them in addition to reading the story. The accompanying Adventure Field Guide is a perfect addition for children, teachers and families as a supplement to explore their own great outdoor adventures!

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 9 as well as parents, caregivers and teachers. It will be available on DVD February 13, 2018, so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Terry Solowey, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 24 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-9 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.45 Media: DVD


NOVA: THE DAY THE DINOSAURS DIED - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 10-18
Description - Reflecting NOVA's unparalleled 44-year-old commitment to long-form science programming, this installment examines the latest evidence surrounding one of the greatest mysteries in Earth's history - the sudden extinction of the dinosaurs. Through interviews, footage of scientists working at sites around the world, and stunning digital recreations of events from 66 million years ago, the program vividly brings to life the compelling scientific inquiry around this epic catastrophe. At the end of the Cretaceous Era, after 170 million years of dominance, over 700 species of dinosaurs disappeared from the fossil record virtually overnight. In the 1980s, the hypothesis emerged that an asteroid impact was the catalyst. But the supporting evidence, including the exact nature of the global chain reaction an asteroid impact may have initiated, has been slowly emerging over decades. This show details the efforts of scientists to flesh out what happened in the days and weeks after the asteroid impact. Will they find the smoking gun that provides definitive proof? The program visits an unprecedented, multidisciplinary scientific expedition to drill into the Chicxulub Crater site off the coast of Mexico, the leading suspect for the impact site. It also travels to South Dakota, Argentina and other sites where paleontologists hunt fossils. Finally, the program visually reconstructs the hell on earth - tidal waves, dust clouds, sudden mountain formation -- that wreaked global havoc and doomed the dinosaurs.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I always love watching anything from Nova. In this documentary we meet Alice, a paleontologist and Ben, a biologist, who walk us through the day the dinosaurs died. From Ben's point of view, we experience extracting rock samples from the Chicxulub crater in the Gulf of Mexico. Alice takes us with her as she visits a magnificent fossil site in New Jersey. This documentary paints a very real picture of the whole scenario, showing new evidence that supports the theory of the dinosaurs' deaths and what happened to the rest of the world after the impact of the meteor that killed off the dinosaurs. It is breath-taking and intriguing. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18 as well as adults and give it 5 out of 5 stars. By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99 Media: DVD

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: INTO THE AMAZON - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 8-18
Description - Tells the remarkable story of the 1914 journey taken by President Theodore Roosevelt and legendary Brazilian explorer Candido Mariano Da Silva Rondon into the heart of the South American rainforest to chart an unexplored tributary of the Amazon River. Filmed on location in the Brazilian Amazon, the film features the voices of Alec Baldwin as Roosevelt, Wagner Moura (Narcos) as Rondon and Jake Lacy (Girls) as Kermit Roosevelt. "AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: INTO THE AMAZON" is written, produced and directed by John Maggio, narrated by Oliver Platt, and executive produced by Mark Samels. With six American adventurers, including his son Kermit, Theodore Roosevelt spent eight harrowing weeks in one of the most remote and inhospitable places on earth, battling tenacious insects, deadly rapids, fever, hunger and exhaustion on a quest to map an unknown river in one of the wildest and most beautiful places on earth. What was anticipated to be a relatively tranquil journey turned out to be a brutal test of courage and character. Before it was over, one member of the expedition had drowned, another had committed murder and a third was abandoned to perish in the jungle. Roosevelt would badly injure his leg and beg to be left behind to die. More than a dramatic story of adventure and survival, the program shines a light on two of the western hemisphere's most formidable men and the culture and politics of their two formidable nations.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This American Experience/PBS program dramatically relates the true story of Teddy Roosevelt's eight-week journey in 1914 to chart an unexplored river in the Amazon. With narration by Oliver Platt and Roosevelt's diary entries, voiced by Alec Baldwin, the tale is full of adventure, intrigue and disaster, a testament to the willful, zestful and imperfect spirit of the former President who had just lost his bid for a third term in a bitter campaign. The black and white photography and very generous archival stills and film footage effectively evoke the time period as well as the mystery of the unexplored reaches of the Amazon. Well-paced and informative, with historians weighing in and filling in the details, the program is at once a slice of history, an engrossing adventure narrative and a cautionary tale of dangerous bravado, the trip nearly resulting in Roosevelt's death. A few scenes of naked native Indians serve the anthropological authenticity of the program. No bonus features are included. Recommended for ages 12 to 18 as well as adults. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 112 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99 Media: DVD

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PONYO
PONYO - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Description - From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro,, and Academy Award�-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, comes a heartwarming adventure, now featuring hours of new bonus features never-before-released in North America. When Sosuke, a young boy who lives on a clifftop overlooking the sea, rescues a stranded goldfish named Ponyo, he discovers more than he bargained for. Ponyo is a curious energetic young creature who yearns to be human, but even as she causes chaos around the house, he father, a powerful sorcerer, schemes to return Ponyo to the sea.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Studio Ghibli's deluxe Ponyo DVD Set is an extraordinary sight to behold. This vastly entertaining Miyazaki creation enchants you with its spellbinding animation style. Ponyo was released in 2008 in Japan (2009 in US) and garnered several awards including the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. The English language version includes such voice over talent as Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin and Betty White.

Ponyo tells the story of a five-year-old boy, Sosuke, who finds and becomes friends with a puzzling goldfish that he names Ponyo. Later on, he discovers that Ponyo is actually a goldfish princess who desires to become a human. Throughout their journey they overcome her father's displeasure of humans. Ponyo becomes so transfixed and loving towards Sosuke that he must undergo a few challenges set forth by her parents to see if he is worthy of her affection.

The DVD set includes two discs, a Blu-Ray and a traditional DVD. It includes over five hours of riveting bonus features, such as Feature Length Storyboards; Behind the Microphone; The Five Geniuses Who Created Ponyo; Interviews with Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki (Producer); Theme Song Press Conference and Theme Song Music Video; Opening Event at Hibiya Scala-Za Theatre; Hayao Miyazaki Press Conference; Creating Ponyo; Ponyo and Fujimoto; The Nursery; Scoring Miyazaki; Producers Perspective: Telling the Story; The Locations of Ponyo; Original Theatrical Trailers; TV Spots; and even an exclusive booklet with statements from the director.

In the Creating Ponyo special, Miyazaki tells us that Ponyo was made for a younger audience, such as five-year-olds, because he wanted to make a movie that was easier than My Neighbor Totoro for young children to understand. Miyazaki believes that five-year-olds are more perceptive than they are able to describe. He later states that Ponyo represents someone who has been released from the constraints of society. By watching this special, we learn how much respect Miyazaki has for children.

The Producer's Perspective is an interview with the producer, Toshio Suzuki. In this special we learn all the steps that go into making a Studio Ghibli film. First Miyazaki and Suzuki review Miyazaki's image boards and decide which is the best. The storyboards are then sent to the animators. He later states that their method hasn't changed over the past 30 years. He finishes by saying that well developed characters are the foundation of any Miyazaki film.

In The Nursery special, Toshio Suzuki states that it was Miyazaki's dream to establish a Studio Ghibli nursery for the employees' children and, during this production, it became a reality. Suzuki goes on by saying that the storyline changed halfway through production from being totally set at the nursery to also taking place at an old folks home and the house on the hill.

This highly rich Ponyo DVD extravaganza is a must have for any Studio Ghibli fan. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO 2018

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MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO 2018 - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Description - From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away and Ponyo, and Academy Award�-winning* director Hayao Miyazaki, comes a classic tale of magic and adventure for the whole family. When Satsuki and her sister Mei move with their father to a new home in the countryside, they find country life is not as simple as it seems. They soon discover that the house and nearby woods are full of strange and delightful creatures, including a gigantic but gentle forest spirit called Totoro, who can only be seen by children. Totoro and his friends introduce the girls to a series of adventures, including a ride aboard the extraordinary Cat Bus, in this all-ages animated masterpiece featuring the voices of Tim Daly, Lea Salonga, and real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning, in one of their earliest roles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - It is virtually impossible to not be charmed by this early feature film from Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki of the legendary Studio Ghibli. The story of two young sisters befriended by a huge, oval-shaped forest spirit named Totoro while their mother recuperates from an illness is disarming in its mix of the everyday with the fantastical and the director's unique East-meets-West style. The hand-drawn animation is impressionistic and the attention to detail is incredible, with great use of color and challenging elements such as water rendered convincingly. Throughout, the director's particular whimsy and taste for the quirky bubbles to the surface (a giant cat that acts as a bus), traits that Miyazaki would further explore in later works such as Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle and Ponyo. The Blu-ray DVD of the English-dubbed My Neighbor Totoro features real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning voicing the central protagonists and is pristine in both image and sound. Bonus features include several making-of shorts, extensive storyboards and an exclusive full-color booklet. Rated G, there is a brief consideration of death and a few intense moments. This is animation of the highest order: heartfelt, lovingly crafted, frequently amusing and occasionally poignant. Recommended for ages 6 to 18 and older. 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael Fishman, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

I love this film, there is no getting around it. It is wonderful. It is loved by everyone is my household, as are all of the Studio Ghibli films and works of Hayao Miyazaki. This particular English dubbed version came out in 2005 from Disney studios. The music in this movie is phenomenal and catchy. Since I've had my two-year-old, I have probably watched this movie several hundred times and, both of us are still sit and sing along with the story like it's the first time we've watched it. The story is so captivating. It's about two young girls that move to the country with their father, while eagerly waiting for their mother to be released from the hospital. On the first day in their new home, they encounter Soot Sprites. After this, you are instantly aware that there is something special about this new home. One day, the younger sister Mei encounters a forest spirit named Totoro and from there things get absolutely magical. Totoro is a giant smiling creature and he used scare my two-year-old quite a bit, but after a while he started to see how kind and caring Totoro is. There is a short film called Mei and the Catbus that serves as a mini sequel to My Neighbor Totoro, but it is only able available at the Studio Ghibli Museum in Japan. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars! It is truly one of our all time favorites! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The anime movie My Neighbor Totoro is cute and funny, yet somehow still realistic. Even though some parts are sad, that adds to the plot and makes the story even better. It starts with two sisters, 4-year-old Mei and 12-year-old Satsuki. When Mei runs off and meets a large, mischievous forest spirit named Totoro, their lives are changed forever.

My Neighbor Totoro is directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Every scene is hand-drawn, unlike modern CGI movies. The rural setting and characters just feel real. In one scene, Mei trips and falls instead of running on. This gives a sense of reality, instead of edited perfection.

The story starts when Mei, Satsuki and their father move to a new house while their mother is in the hospital. They soon discover that their house is inhabited by forest spirits, such as the soot gremlins. Nearby, Totoro lives in a huge camphor tree and a magical, eight-legged cat bus is a normal mode of transportation for them.

After Satsuki and Mei get into an argument, Mei runs away. This part is so heartbreaking! With the help of Totoro...you'll see. The ending is a surprise you'll enjoy!

Hayao Miyazaki has also directed other enjoyable anime movies, such as Kiki's Delivery Service and Spirited Away. Recently, Hayao Miyazaki came out of retirement. I, for one, cannot wait to see another Miyazaki directed film!

My Neighbor Totoro is cute, funny and realistic. However, I feel that something is missing. Totoro sounds like the main character, but he is on the screen for only a few scenes. Therefore, the movie somehow seems incomplete. The fact that I want more from it only proves how captivating it is.

Overall, My Neighbor Totoro is an amazing movie. In 1988, when this movie came out, anime was not that popular. My Neighbor Totoro set off a craze for anime in the U.S. that has not stopped yet. The special features unravel the magic by describing how the characters were created, the real life inspiration for the movie's unique locations and more.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 12. You can view this on DVD or Blu-Ray now. If you enjoy anime, cute and quirky characters, or just a realistic movie, check this out!

Reviewed by Eden T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Even after 25 years, My Neighbor Totoro remains an instantly watchable animated masterpiece that holds new surprises from every time I watch it.

Satsuki and Mei are sisters who move to the Japanese countryside with their father. The children are fascinated with the quirks of their new house, as well as the vast nature surrounding it. Satsuki goes to school and Mei begins to explore a fantastical world beneath a large tree in the backyard. She meets three little creatures and names one of them Totoro. Mei tells her sister about the adventure, but Satsuki does not believe her. During the next few days, the sisters discover more and more about their neighborhood and adjust to their new way of life.

My Neighbor Totoro effortlessly crafts and develops so many different poignant stories. It is a coming-of-age tale, as well as a story about how we deal with change and about the bond between two siblings. Totoro, his little pals and the world they inhabit add a whole other layer to an already complete narrative. The magical elements intertwine with Satsuki and Mei's story. They bring light to the siblings, during a scary and dark time in their life. The elements of magic add some levity to less joyful parts of the film, giving closure to the audience as to the characters.

The film never reveals too much about Totoro and a lot about him remains a mystery, even after the credits roll. He is so adorably drawn and never feels threatening. He has no dialogue, excluding a few grunts here and there, but is still one of my favorite things about this film. He brings a kind of magic that resonates with you every time he is on screen.

The lesson of My Neighbor Totoro is to never lose faith in what you believe in. Mei's belief in the magic of Totoro never falters and for that, Totoro helps her and Satsuki not just because they are kind souls, but also because they both learn to believe in his magic.

I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18. It appeals to all ages and has practically nothing objectionable for young audiences. I think adults will marvel at the spellbinding animation and wonderful story. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. You need to see this special re-release if you haven't already fallen in love with this film.

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

In 1988, Studio Ghibli released their third motion picture, My Neighbor Totoro. This film is often the first one you think of when you think of Studio Ghibli or director Hayao Miyazaki. The title character, Totoro is even on the Studio Ghibli logo. It has been 30 years since this film first came out and it still holds up as the beautiful and charming film it is famous for being.

The story is about two sisters named Satski and Mei, voiced by the Fanning sisters, who move to an old house in the countryside with their dad. After moving in, they become friends with a forest spirit they call Totoro.

Of course, I like to talk about animation first and it is just beautiful. Not surprising since, the animation in Studio Ghibli films is always incredible. The backgrounds are just amazing to look at and the forest looks gorgeous. The movement is very fluid and fast; and the characters are so expressive. I love everything about this animation!

The characters are wonderful too. The focus is mostly on the two leads, Satski and Mei. The two of them are very fun, sweet characters who feel like real children. That's always important to me - that kids in films act like real kids. I also have to mention Totoro himself is such an adorable creature. I found myself wishing he was real, so you could cuddle him. He's just so fluffy!

Also, the music in this film is just phenomenal. It's so beautiful and whimsical. There is one particular scene where I actually teared up a little, because the combination of the music and the animation is just so pretty. I also listened to some of the music after watching the film and added it to my playlist. Studio Ghibli always has such wonderful music to back up their films.

My one complaint, that isn't even that big, is that it doesn't feel like there's much of a conflict in the plot. What I mean is, it lacks real struggle. There is a slight conflict because the mom is in the hospital, but the film doesn't treat that like it is a big problem. It's just something there. But even with that, the movie is just so cute, I really didn't bother me.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. The film is available now on DVD so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


FRONTLINE: PUTIN'S REVENGE
FRONTLINE: PUTIN'S REVENGE - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Description - The program draws on more than 60 interviews with heads of U.S. intelligence agencies, diplomats, Russian politicians, historians and journalists to trace how Putin went from low-ranking KGB agent to long-serving president of a newly assertive Russia with the ability to wage cyber-war in the U.S. and across the globe. With in-depth reporting from Moscow and Washington, D.C., PUTIN'S REVENGE is a riveting and revealing documentary that explores why Putin has sought to sow distrust in America's democracy.

The first part of the program is a portrait of what makes the Russian leader tick, and the events that shaped his belief that the U.S. has sought to undermine Russia dating back to the fall of the Soviet Union. It explores how Putin came to power and then carefully constructed his image, cracking down on independent media outlets and opponents. It also traces key turning points in Putin's relationship with the U.S. over the years, including how his fear of a U.S. policy of regime change intensified, and how he came to see Hillary Clinton in particular as an enemy trying to oust him - despite State Department insistence it was only promoting democracy, not trying to steer the outcome of Russia's election.

The second half delves into the riveting story of Russian involvement in the 2016 election, and how and why the Obama administration struggled to confront Putin about both election interference and, before that, Putin's actions in Ukraine. The program shows Donald Trump's repeated praise of Putin, how Russia is believed to have weaponized hacked emails to influence U.S. news cycles and exploit the gulf between Hillary Clinton's and Bernie Sanders' supporters, and how false stories picked up by Russian propaganda websites were then promoted by Russian trolls and bots on social media, and eventually found their way onto mainstream American news broadcasts.

Against the backdrop of investigations by the FBI and Congress into the role Russia played in the election, Putin's Revenge is the must-watch, inside story of how we reached this point, what drives Putin, and what might happen next
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Attention-Grabbing! This fact based, true-life story was so interesting to watch. Vladimir Putin is definitely a curious man. Anyone who wants to learn more about his history and ties to the U.S. should watch this documentary. Putin's history is very dramatic. He is a former KGB officer and Prime Minister, who took over the presidency of Russia on December 31, 1999, after the former president resigned. As President, he has implemented many changes to Russian politics, including reducing democracy and transitioning back to Soviet Union era policies. The first half of is about Putin's history. The second part is about the Russian involvement with the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election. It is eye-opening.

This documentary dives deep into the history of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, his ties to the United States, and the chronicled possible interference with the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, his "revenge." Part 1 tells the story about Vladimir Putin, the current Russian President, former intelligence officer for the Soviet Union's KGB and Russian Prime Minister. Did you know that he is a man infatuated with how he is perceived by others? He is obsessed with television, and has gone so far as to get top TV execs fired for airing shows that portray him negatively or comically. He now has complete control over what his country views on public television. Even the news channels are only allowed to show footage that has been approved by this President. Part 2 focuses on leaked emails, Facebook ads and fake news....all linked to Russian hackers. It addresses how cyber intrusions instigated by Russians affected how U.S. people voted. The saga continues as we hear about why and how this was executed. Your thoughts will be spinning as you watch this story unfold. This is a documentary, so the characters are real life as are the clothing they wear. It definitely held my interest and is professionally produced. I learned a lot about the Russian President and about the U.S. Presidents that have dealt with him in the past. There is so much information that I had never heard of prior to watching this film.

This is a documentary you do not want to miss! It takes a deep dive into Putin's past, his policies, his personal character and his involvement with the U.S. 2016 Presidential election. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults, and give it 4 out of 5 stars. The DVD releases on January 30, 2018.

Reviewed by Amanda McNeely, KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Attention-Grabbing! This fact based, true-life story was so interesting to watch. Vladimir Putin is definitely a curious man. Anyone who wants to learn more about his history and ties to the U.S. should watch this documentary. Putin's history is very dramatic. He is a former KGB officer and Prime Minister, who took over the presidency of Russia on December 31, 1999, after the former president resigned. As President, he has implemented many changes to Russian politics, including reducing democracy and transitioning back to Soviet Union era policies. The first half of is about Putin's history. The second part is about the Russian involvement with the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election. It is eye-opening.

This documentary dives deep into the history of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, his ties to the United States, and the chronicled possible interference with the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, his "revenge." Part 1 tells the story about Vladimir Putin, the current Russian President, former intelligence officer for the Soviet Union's KGB and Russian Prime Minister. Did you know that he is a man infatuated with how he is perceived by others? He is obsessed with television, and has gone so far as to get top TV execs fired for airing shows that portray him negatively or comically. He now has complete control over what his country views on public television. Even the news channels are only allowed to show footage that has been approved by this President. Part 2 focuses on leaked emails, Facebook ads and fake news....all linked to Russian hackers. It addresses how cyber intrusions instigated by Russians affected how U.S. people voted. The saga continues as we hear about why and how this was executed. Your thoughts will be spinning as you watch this story unfold. This is a documentary, so the characters are real life as are the clothing they wear. It definitely held my interest and is professionally produced. I learned a lot about the Russian President and about the U.S. Presidents that have dealt with him in the past. There is so much information that I had never heard of prior to watching this film.

This is a documentary you do not want to miss! It takes a deep dive into Putin's past, his policies, his personal character and his involvement with the U.S. 2016 Presidential election. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults, and give it 4 out of 5 stars. The DVD releases on January 30, 2018.

Reviewed by Amanda McNeely, KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 120 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LILY'S DRIFTWOOD BAY: SEASON 1 (2018)

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LILY'S DRIFTWOOD BAY: SEASON 1 (2018) - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
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 - Watching Lily's Driftwood Bay gives me hope for future generations. Lily is always so kind to those around her and her life is filled with simple adventures that are genuinely interesting, shedding light on the fact that life doesn't always have to be busy to be enjoyable. Lily is an adorable little 5-year-old whom I adore for things like how respectful she is to her father. It is so touching to see a single father raising a daughter represented so positively. In this season, there is an episode called Goodbye Seabird and it is particularly touching and heart-breaking. In this episode, you learn a little bit about Lily's mom. What makes it so special is that not many children's shows acknowledge death, especially the death of a parent. The art is extremely cute. It looks like mixed media using colored pencils and paper cut-outs. The music is charming and blends well with the scenery. I highly recommend this for ages 3 to 6 and give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Lily's Driftwood Bay: Season 1 is an amazing DVD. It's a fun way to teach kids about exploring their curiosity and discovering new things. The show takes its viewers into the world of Lily's fantasy. Each episode on this DVD has a great plot that brings you along the adventures in Lily's imagination. These episodes keep it very interesting and there is never a dull moment. It teaches good lessons in fun ways.

Lily's Driftwood Bay focuses on a world in Lily's imagination called Driftwood Bay. Lily finds new treasures on the sea shore everyday that spark her interest. She then travels in her imagination to Driftwood Bay where friends like Salty Dog, Lord Stag and Wee Rabbit help her find out what the object is and what it's used for.

My favorite thing about this show is the accents of the characters. All have British accents, which I love because it gives a different vibe to the show. Each adventure you take with Lily, teaches you a valuable lesson in such a fun way. This is truly a kid's dream film, because it shows a 6-year-old having fun in her own world, just like any other kid. My favorite episode would have to be Starfish in the Sky. That episode is about when Lily finds a telescope on the sea shore and wants to look at a constellation in the sky that looks like a star. At the end of the episode, everybody comes together to see the starfish and it is nice to see all of the characters in one spot. The show is really interesting and shows Lily's day to day life as well as the lives of her friends in Driftwood Bay. My favorite character has to be Salty Dog. He is such an amazing character and is always there for Lily. Salty is the one to drive the boat to take Lily to Driftwood and the one who tells her about the stars in the sky.

The message of this show is to not be afraid to ask others questions about things that interest you, just like Lily who asks her friends questions all the time. I recommend this DVD for ages 4 to 8 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This DVD is available now, so check it out.

Reviewed by Dariana A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Lily's Driftwood Bay, Season 1 is filled with hours of fun adventures in short, easy-to-watch episodes. I can't lie, when I put in the DVD for the first time I actually watched 16 shows in a row! It was pretty epic!

The entire series takes place on a hidden, quiet beach with tall grass and a cute little house. Lily and her father live in a little house there. Past the grass, there is a small shore where gentle waves wash up onto the sand. Sometimes the water washes up random items that were floating out at sea. A seagull named Gull watches out for new treasures every day. Gull finds Lily every time a new little treasure washes onto the beach. She gets excited when she sees Gull and the two of them run off to inspect the treasure.

Across the way is Driftwood Bay, an imaginary island. This special island is where Lily's stories come to life. I will explain just how that happens. Every episode focuses on a brand new treasure. Sometimes the item is a piece or a part that broke off of something bigger. Sometimes it is a common item like a jar. Lily's imagination always takes off into a fun story whenever a new item comes along, no matter what it is. Lily and Gull take a boat over to the island and that is where every adventure story happens.

There are more than two main characters. Her friends are Salty Dog, Bull, Nonna, Hatsie, Wee Rabbit, and Lord Stag. Lord Stag is somewhat full of himself and has very high expectations of the group. The rest of the group are helpful, but they always get themselves stuck in a pickle. Then it's left to Lily and Gull to save the day.

The animation is sweet and really unique. I find it interesting. It has 2D paper animation and also uses real life objects. It's called "Mixed Media." This is a great series for young children. It's not scary at all and there are no villains, so even toddlers can watch it. The short episodes make it good for young kids who can't watch longer shows.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 3 to 9. Moms can watch this with their kids because the animation is so intriguing. Lily's Driftwood Bay, Season 1 is available now on DVD everywhere so, check it out.

Reviewed by Izzy C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age
Runtime: 375 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-6 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT!, THE: SEASON 2; VOLUME 1

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CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT!, THE: SEASON 2; VOLUME 1 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-8
Description - Enjoy volume one of the second season of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! follows the adventures of 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick, as they are whisked off on extraordinary voyages of scientific discovery with the Cat in the Hat. �Thanks to the Thinga-ma-jigger and our friends, exploring has never been more exciting! In this season set, learn everything from space topics like gravity, what causes day and night, the planets, earth's atmosphere to all about the human body like why do we sneeze, how and why the heart beats, why our stomach rumbles, how amazing our skin, and how important each different bone is in our body. The discoveries don't end there though! Embark on more numerous adventures where we learn all about animals such as why animal ears come in many shapes and sizes, how different animals carry their babies, who are the fastest creatures in the world, why male crickets chirp, how polar bears survive the arctic winter, how a snow leopard balances, and so much more! So let's go, go, go, go on an adventure, we're flying with The Cat in the Hat today!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I always loved Dr. Seuss as a kid and it makes me happy to be able to share this The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That DVD with my children. Everyone is my house really loves puns and this show is a puntastic adventure during every episode. Sally and Nick are the 6-year-old main characters and they are the very best of friends. They love going on adventures with The Cat and seeing all of his goofy inventions. The kids are always very polite and ready for anything. They are however, quick to help The Cat see better ways to do things and I love that. A good chunk of this season is science relative and I'm glad that there is a show helping children discover great ways to approach "adults" (The Cat) and, either ask for help or offer up their knowledge on the subject matter. The animation is fun and eye-catching, the sound effects and music are kooky. I highly recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Cat in the Hat: Season 2 portrays a dream-like world where learning is adventurous and engaging! Each episode takes you on a ride to a variety of places, some are even out of this world. The animation brings you into the realm of Dr. Seuss. I did not want to leave.

The story follows Sally (Alexa Torrington) and Nick (Jacob Ewaniuk) traveling through everyday life, curious and eager to understand the ways of the world. The Cat (Martin Short) always pops in at the right time to help them find the answers to their dilemmas. Together they hop on the Thingamajigger and fly on adventures to discover wonders.

Martin Short, the voice of the Cat, uses the perfect accent and voice to compliment the Cat's personality. He emphasizes certain words to achieve the goofiness in his voice. Alexa Torrington and Jacob Ewaniuk are the voices of the children, Sally and Nick, who grasp the innocence and youthful spirit by their voices. Rob Tinkler voices Fish, Thing 1 and Thing 2. The way he changes the tone and pitch of the various voices is quite unique. The voices for Thing 1 and 2 are high pitched and humorous, while the voice for Fish is lower and more serious.

The animation offers a portal into Dr. Seuss's world. The houses are crooked, yet appealing. The background hills, bushes and trees are slim and tall. The abstract Thingamajigger flies through the sky with its misshapen helicopter blades and bright red and orange colors.

My favorite part of this show is the Cat's personality. He brings fun to learning and, when explaining different conceptions, he adds a sense of humor. For example, when explaining that the brain receives and sends signals from the nose, a phone rings in his hat asking for his nose. He is clumsy and modest about being smart. He makes the children laugh and ends each episode with a joke.

The message of this DVD is learning can happen anywhere and is always an adventure. I give this DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10. It is available now so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The Cat in the Hat episodes are very colorful, exciting and educational. This season is no exception! Everything is upbeat and entertaining plus, you learn lots of new things. Even I learned some knew things from these episodes!

Season 2 is mostly about science topics. These episodes have lots of songs, jokes and puns, and they can travel anywhere. They can shrink or enlarge themselves to learn about everything. Also, the characters are extremely energetic, which makes you feel energized and uplifted because they are having such a good time.

The voice acting is amazing. All of the characters laugh so much and have a great time. They all sound so happy and amazed at everything they learn. Martin Short, as the voice of The Cat is perfect. His laughs are so contagious and he laughs so often. The children, Sally and Nick (Alexa Torrington and Jacob Ewaniuk) are just as ecstatic and energetic. They laugh a lot as well and are very positive kids. Short, Torrington and Ewaniuk all have wonderful singing voices that enhance the episodes.

The animation in these episodes is bright, colorful and detailed. The animation perfectly suits the educational side of these stories, because you can learn about the object, while seeing it clearly. The music and songs are quite clever and pleasing. The music is a vital part to these episodes.

My favorite episode is "Bounce" because, in that episode they teach many different things besides the topic of rubber. It is interesting to learn everything related to and around rubber.

The message of this DVD is to go outside on adventures, after first asking your parents permission (of course) as Sally and Nick do, and to enjoy what's around you. The Cat goes to Sally and Nick's and makes them happy every time by teaching them about their surroundings and showing them around. These episodes inspire you to learn more and shows how learning about new things is fun and exciting.

I give this DVD 5 out to 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 13. It is available now so, definitely go check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 220 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: DVD


VA: THE HUMAN COST OF WAR - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, 15-18
Description - VA: The Human Cost of War takes a broad look at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - examining the organization's history, leadership, structure, funding and relationship to veterans. The film chronicles, in depth and often in wrenching detail, the workings of this crucial but at times beleaguered American institution.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The title speaks for itself. There's an old saying, "out of sight, out of mind." This DVD brings the cost of war into view, particularly for our returning soldiers. From the very beginning, we see the ravages of war. Generally, non military people have no idea of the affects of war. This DVD makes it clear and personal. The program begins with retired Army intelligence officer Daniel Somers' suicide note, read by his parents, which is a wake up call. It goes on to discuss the physical and mental effects of war on soldiers and the lack of help veterans receive from the Federal Government, which should be better prepared to help these soldiers returning from war zones. It addresses how many politicians don't want to face the reality of this problem.

The Veterans Administration is the second largest government agency and one of the most mismanaged. Over 57,000 veterans must wait three months or longer just to get a doctor's appointment. When they finally see a doctor, most often the doctor prescribes pills, pills and more pills. In 2014, 800,000 veterans' applications went unprocessed. 10,000 applications were lost. Over 307,000 veterans died waiting for help. This is very, very wrong! In 1996, Congress authorized outpatient clinics, but the demand outstripped the supply. In 1975, there were two million veterans over the age of 65. In 2016, there were 10 million vets! Our healthcare system for our veterans must be improved. This DVD reveals the shameful situation the VA is in today.

Young adults should question and investigate the material presented in this DVD, especially those considering joining the armed forces. It is shameful how the government treats its returning soldiers who have given their all and returned home half the person they were when they left. This is educational and a socially conscience piece. It is an eye-opener for the general public, many of whom may not a clue of how dismal the situation is for our vets. They have no idea how ill equipped the VA is to handle medical or mental health issues on a timely basis. Since 2013, we have had almost 20 vet suicides a day, because of the lack of appropriate health care.

As a nation, we should be questioning our Congressmen and women as well as local officials in regards to VA services. It's not just the physical affects of war that are killing our vets, but the mental and emotion illness as well. Suicide rates are very high among soldiers returning from war and who have not gotten any help from doctors to adjust to living with themselves after their wartime experiences. There aren't enough doctors to care for these soldiers once they leave the service. The Federal Government dropped the ball on taking care of returning soldiers and every one is paying the price. We have to do better.

I found the information in this DVD to be extremely disturbing and hence, reluctantly recommend it to older teens, ages 15 to 18. It is really most suited to adults. However, those teens considering joining the service would benefit greatly from this. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It is well produced and available now on DVD from PBS Distribution. Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 15-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 17.99 Media: DVD


NATURE: NATURE'S MINIATURE MIRACLES
NATURE: NATURE'S MINIATURE MIRACLES - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - What happens if you re the little guy in a big bad world? This film tells the epic survival stories of the world's smallest animals. To make a living, these tiny heroes have evolved extraordinary skills and achieved mind-boggling feats. From nature's greatest artist to the tiny creatures that provide us with so much of the air we breathe, we discover what it takes to be a miniature miracle.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The world has some amazing animals, both big and small. This film shows how amazing some of nature's smallest creatures can be. These little creatures have to adapt and have super amazing survival skills. This film is educational and entertaining. I learned so many amazing facts about creatures such as the hermit crab and a hop less toad that can't hop, but can bounce out of danger. I enjoyed learning amazing facts about how these smallest creatures survive in a world surrounded with creatures so much bigger than they are. One of my favorite parts was learning about the hermit crabs on an Island in the Caribbean. They live in abandoned seashells and move into bigger seashells as they grow bigger. The photography is amazing and I love the variety of different creatures shown. I recommend this DVD for ages 7 to 18 as well as adults. I give it 5 stars out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99 Media: DVD

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS: THE GREAT SWAMP SEARCH

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OCTONAUTS: THE GREAT SWAMP SEARCH
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OCTONAUTS: THE GREAT SWAMP SEARCH - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-7
Description - Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii, and medic Peso Penguin, along with the other Octonauts as they explore the world's oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats - above and below the waves! On this exciting DVD, join the Octonauts as they journey to the Everglades to help Tweak's dad, Ranger Marsh, track down several invasive species - including a Burmese Python and her babies! The adventures continue with six more exciting underwater missions!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love The Octonauts. This series is such a cute, effective way to convey real world issues, such as pollution, to children without making it seem wildly scary and overbearing. I genuinely adore watching these little creatures, led by their fearless leader Captain Barnacles who take on so many problems and have so much fun doing it. Tweak and Peso are very cute little characters and I personally love Peso because I am a penguin person. Who wouldn't want to have a medic penguin? In each episode, we meet new creatures and learn all about their habitats and how we can help to keep them safe and happy. My favorite parts by far are The Octonaut Creature Reports. These reports are mini, in-depth views into the creatures The Octonauts encounter along the way in their adventures. The music featured in these episodes is fun, informative and catchy! The animation is simple and my two-year-old really seems to love the style. This show is great for ages 2 to 6 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

Octonauts: The Great Swamp is appealing to the watch, and educational! The show effectively teaches kids about social issues such as invasive species and forest fires without making it scary. The characters are cute, and easy to follow. Each episode has a distinct goal to achieve, whether finding a lost flamingo in the swamp, or rescuing a family of Burmese pythons! The Octonauts, led by Captain Barnacles, work tirelessly to solve the mission together, focusing on the clues they find to guide them to a solution. They are led by the Octonaut motto, "Explore, rescue, protect!" The creature reports produce a fun and catchy song about each animal in the mission giving viewers more information, but the opportunity to learn through song. It's a fun, and educational feature! I recommend it for ages 2 to 7 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kristin H., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a fun, educational, adventure-filled DVD with animals. The voice acting and plots bring a unique feel unlike other animated work. This is sure to be a hit with kids who love animation.

The story follows the adventures of an underwater exploring crew, the Octonauts which includes Captain Barnacles (Simon Greenall), Lieutenant Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw), Medic Peso (Wayne Greyson), Biologist Shellington (Keith Wickham), and Founder Grimpoteuthis (Keith Wickham). They are enticed by many adventures including the likes of returning animals to their homes, rescuing baby animals and finding the right turf for a group of hippos. Meanwhile, they discover new information about all the animals they are investigating.

Simon Greenall, as Barnicles, presents a commanding presence in leading the Octonauts, especially when choosing what is a priority. He is my favorite character because of this. Rob Rackstrawis, as Kwazii, is a fun member of the team who loves to help the animals and learn more about them. It is also interesting to see her reunion with her father who plays a big part in the first adventure. Wayne Greyson, as Peso, is an incredibly smart medic who wants to use his skills to save lives. Keith Wickham, as Shellington and Grimpteuthis, portrays two different characters who are of great importance to the team.

Darragh O'Connell directs this show with a Star Trek-esque tone of discovery. My favorite scene is the chase from the hippos because of the creative ways in which the Octonauts flee. It also feels like an extremely urgent scene. My only problem with the show is that, at times, the episodes are repetitive such as when they use the same plots with different animals.

The message of the show is to protect all animals and the ecosystem. Despite being treated unfairly by the animals, the Octonauts work around that to help them. They even give food to the hungry carnivores who threaten the ecosystem, while protecting the other animals. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. This DVD is available now so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Octonauts: The Great Swamp Search is like Mission: Impossible for younger audiences! There is danger and action at every corner and unique adventures. The music is engaging and made my heart race, adding to the thrilling effect. Along with the gripping stories, each episode cleverly incorporates interesting fun facts casually into the Octonauts' conversations.

The story follows the Octonauts - Captain Barnacles, Kwazii, Peso Penguin, Dashi Dog, Shellington, Tweak and Tunip who always come to the rescue. Each episode follows an entertaining and fresh storyline where the Octonauts face peril and must use teamwork and problem solving to save the day. They help a myriad of animals and learn much from their adventures.

Every species has a distinctive voice and accent. This adds to the element of diversity and uniqueness. Simon Greenall as Captain Barnacles makes it obvious through his authoritative voice that he is the captain. Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw) is a pirate and incorporates an interesting accent to enhance his character and add humor.

The animation is quite realistic, particularly the water, shadows, clouds and colors during different times of the day. The water moves so smoothly that I felt I could reach into their world and touch it. Throughout many scenes, reflections can be seen in the water and are extremely naturalistic. The clouds move subtly across different shots and the movement is memorable. Shadows of the trees, animals and the Octonauts are beautifully portrayed. In the shadows, underwater and during different times of day, the colors change intensity which boosts the sublime qualities of the animation.

The animated cinematography is special. There are many wide shots that show the Octonauts from afar and then zoom in, allowing the viewer a chance to enjoy the scenery, light and depth of the animation. The 3D effects create a world that doesn't seem so far from reality even though it is. It immersed me in the experience while learning about all the different species.

My favorite part is how fun facts are blended into the conversations. Even though it doesn't feel as you are leaning something, you learn many different things about hippos, crawfish and a multitude of other animals. The messages of this show is about teamwork, putting others before yourself and being kind to everyone. I give this DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 12. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to check it out. It's great stealth learning.

By Sahiba K., KIDSFIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NAPPING PRINCESS

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NAPPING PRINCESS
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NAPPING PRINCESS - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 10-18
Description - In Napping Princess the year is 2020, three days before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. While she should be studying for her exams, Kokone Morikawa is often dozing off, stuck between reality and a dream-world full of fantastic motorized contraptions. But after her father, a talented but mysterious mechanic, is arrested for stealing technology from a powerful corporation, it's up to Kokone and her childhood friend Morio to save him. Together they realize that Kokone's dream-world holds the answers to the mystery behind the stolen tech, and they embark on a journey that traverses dreams and reality, city and country, and past and present. Their mission uncovers a trail of clues to her father's disappearance and ultimately a surprising revelation about Kokone's family. Special Features: Interview with Kenji Kamiyama, Introduction at the Japanese Premiere, Greeting at Japanese Release, Okayama Scenery, Special Interviews with Cast, Special TV Program, Trailers and TV Spots.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From GKIDS comes another imaginative Japanese animated film, Napping Princess. Set in the year 2020, this beautifully-rendered story follows Kokone, a high school senior whose rich fantasy world that she dreams about intersects with the real world as she uncovers a family mystery. The animation is bright and atmospheric, occasionally painterly, and the music ranges from playful to orchestral. The story is more sci-fi than fantasy (though firmly rooted in reality), yet magic plays a major role in the plot development. While occasionally predictable, the story is engaging and Kokone makes for a likable heroine, na�ve yet resourceful in a harsh world. The Blu-ray DVD is impressively sharp. Some strong language is sprinkled throughout. Bonus features include interviews with the director and voice cast members and a short video comparing the backgrounds in the film to the actual locations they are based on. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and older and give it 3 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

Napping Princess is a wonderful anime about a lovely young lady drawn between reality and her dreams, due to the fact that she's always nodding off. In her dreams she has fun adventures and sees a fantastical land called Heartland. Little does she know that all of wild dreaming has started causing things to change in the real world as well. Kokone, the protagonist, soon finds that her father has been kidnapped under false pretenses and her beloved dream world holds the key. Her and her childhood friend set off to find her father and clear his name. I genuinely love this movie. I adore anime and am a huge fan of the studio that made this, Gkids. Although I wish that some of the characters had more depth, this film is brilliant and very cute. The animation is lovely and the story is fantastic. This film is great for ages 10 to 16, as well as adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is very creative and entertaining. It reminds me a lot of Studio Ghibli films, which I love and I found myself completely immersed in this movie.

The story centers around a girl named Kokone, who I think has narcolepsy. She often dozes off and dreams about a kingdom known as Heartland. Her father is arrested and accused of stealing technology from a famous company and Kokone and her old friend Morio track him down.

I really like the two main characters, Kokone and Morio. I appreciate their dynamic friendship and their personalities. I truly believe they have a bond that can't be broken. Besides these two and Kokone's dad, none of the other characters stand out that much. Of course, I have to talk about the animation. The animation is beautiful. I've always loved Japanese animation and this film is no different. I love the backgrounds of both the real world and Heartland. I love how the characters move. All of it is so appealing. And speaking of visual stuff, the outfits that the characters wear are amazing. If there was an award for best costume design in animation, this film would win it!

The Heartland dream sequences are the best part of the movie. The dreams have their own story, separate to the story taking place in the real world. The dreams are my type of adventure. A kingdom with a combination of sci-fi and fantasy with lots of action? Perfect! It's also really ingenious. Ancien's magic tablet is one of the most original and imaginative inventions I've ever seen in fiction.

I also love the soundtrack. The background music has a pretty orchestral vibe. The music composer is Yoko Shimomura, a famous video game composer known for working on Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. She also composed one of my favorite video game songs, so I got pretty excited finding this out.

The one thing that did bother me is that the movie is advertised as a sci-fi / fantasy movie. However, there isn't that much fantasy. The movie has elements of fantasy, such as in the dream sequences, but it doesn't feel as if it is an actual fantasy film. This bothered me just a bit. Also, certain things are left unexplained and that left me confused.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, due to some mild language. The film comes out on DVD January 30, 2018 so, check it out!

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The Napping Princess is a prodigious film. It brings you into a world of fantasy and adventure. This movie is what everyone thinks about when they are kids but adds a cool twist. It is the type of film that has you so immersed in it, that it makes you want to be in the movie. The film is originally in Japanese, but the translation into English is so impressive that I couldn't believe it was originally in Japanese.

The story takes place in the year 2020, with Kokone (Mitsuki Takahata) dreaming about a world called Heartland. Then, Kokone's dad gets kidnapped for stealing technological ideas and Kokone and her friend Morio (Shinnosuke Mitsushima) must work together to save him. On their adventure, they find out that Kokone's Heartland holds the answers to saving her dad.

The Napping Princess is such an amazing movie. It has a plot that keeps you wanting more. The animation has the classic anime vibe to it. The only negative thing is that some of the words in the film are in Japanese, so it's a little hard to understand because they only have subtitles for some of the words. Even though the dialogue was originally in Japanese, the characters' mouths are still very in sync with the words they say. This story is about a kid's dream morphing into reality. It is such an imaginative story that with such a creative idea as its basis. My favorite character is Joi (Rie Kugimiya). Joi is Kotone's stuffed animal that comes to life in her dreams and is just so cute. My favorite scene is when one of the machines sprouts wings. I like it because it reminds me of a Red Bull commercial.

The message of this film is that things aren't always what they seem and, if you pay attention, the truth will come through. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars because it has an awesome plot which I love and classic anime animation. I recommend this film for ages 7 to 14. It really is a very marvelous film and it is available now on DVD so go check it out.

Reviewed by Dariana A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 111 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SPRING INTO FRIENDSHIP

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MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SPRING INTO FRIENDSHIP
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MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SPRING INTO FRIENDSHIP - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: SERIES, AGES 5-12
Description - New Adventures Are Blooming! Big trouble is on the horizon when Twilight Sparkle is given only two coveted tickets to the most anticipated event in town! How will she decide which of her best friends gets to go with her? Discover the answer, and see four more amazing pony tales, as Twilight Sparkle, Spike, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Fluttershy help usher Springtime into Equestria!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD has beautiful graphics and animation. The character designs are super cute and the color palette and environments give the world a whimsical feel. The animation is stunning. The cover design is appropriate and I love that inside the DVD is a small sheet of cute stickers.

The stories and language are appropriate for the target age. The subject matter, designs and characters show a lack of cultural diversity. Most of the characters are female and they all have different personalities. There are some social elements included in the stories such as the importance of getting along with your siblings. I wish there were more of those types of elements in the stories. Some of the characters come off as a bit bratty but most of them portray positive social models and they treat each other respectfully. The stories have some conflict resolutions embedded in them although I wouldn't say there is deep learning from the resolution. Nonetheless, the stories are quite entertaining, have great design and are very appealing. The vocabulary is well suitable to its intended audience. I wish they dug a bit deeper with the conflict resolutions so that young minds watching would get more out of it. There is one episode about sister conflict where I felt that the resolution a bit rushed.

The DVD menu is simple and easy to navigate. I particularly like that there are no commercials. The DVD doesn't allow you to listen in different languages (which I wish it did). It does have a sing a long bonus feature which is super cute. This is definitely an entertaining show. The music, colors and the stories are entertaining with its overall message of friendship. This show appeals mostly to girls, although there are a number of boys and men who love it as well. I recommend it for ages 5 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Martha S. and Julie S.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - As always these My Little Pony episodes are very entertaining and have a great moral. These are no exception. The animation is so colorful, the plot line for each one is unique and they teach important lessons.

This DVD is based on friendship and each episode teaches you a valuable lesson of how to improve friendships, solve problems that might arise in your friendships or just get you to appreciate the friends that you have. The episodes have unpredictable storylines and beautiful, colorful animation which makes them interesting to watch.

Spike (Cathy Weseluck) is such a comedic character with a lot of personality. Cathy Weseluck voices him as an energetic Dino who is very helpful and playful. Spike is definitely one of my favorite characters along with Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong). Twilight is a very mysterious pony. She also has a lot of personality and wants everyone to be happy. Twilight is very caring and Tara voices her perfectly.

The music and sound effects help set the tone and mood of the scenes. The music amplifies feelings of sadness, suspense and sometimes celebration. The animation also helps set mood. For example, for the feeling of sadness, it might be raining. For feelings of celebration, there might be confetti. Sound effects and animation working together really make these shows stand out.

My favorite episode is "Sisterhooves Social" because it makes you appreciate having a sister or siblings. This episode is about Rarity and her younger sister's relationship. It is really touching to see all of their problems resolved in the end and how happy they are together.

The message in these episodes is to be grateful, considerate and to compromise. In "The Ticket Master", Twilight Sparkle has to be considerate to everyone's feelings. And when she does that, no one is hurt. In "Sisterhooves Social", Rarity made a compromise with her little sister. Rarity has to spend more time with her little sister to make her happy.

This DVD is a great collection of episodes to teach your kids about friendship and how to keep up relationships with people. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 3 to 9. It comes out on February 13, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 110 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD



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