New Dates for KIDS FIRST! Film Critics NYC Boot Camp

April 23rd, 2014

KFCA.2014_1.jpgIf you have an 10 to 15-year-old in your life who loves films and dreams of being on the red carpet, KIDS FIRST! has the perfect opportunity. Your tween can participate in the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp this summer in New York City/Brooklyn at Zing Revolution and Silver Spring, MD at Discover Communications for an experience they will never forget.

Give your child the opportunity to build self confidence and learn more about behind-the-scenes aspects of the film industry as they critique the latest films, learn to write reviews, practice interview techniques, improve on-camera skills, visit with industry professionals and are coached by seasoned professionals. All campers will have the opportunity to join the KIDS FIRST! Film Critic team of reporters.

Lara Lavi, managing partner at Zing Revolution comments, “We are thrilled to offer our ZING REVOLUTION HQ in Brooklyn to KIDS FIRST! As a Board member and fan of the organization we love seeing young people nurtured like this.”

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critic’s program, now in its fourth year, has received acclaim from publishers and educators alike. The reviews, both written and videotaped, by the team of youth reporters reach an audience of more than 7 million monthly through affiliations with broadcast, print and online publishers including Kidsville News, Working Woman, Kidzworld.com, HDnet Movies KidScene, LA Parent, Westchester Parent and many more.

Leading the KIDS FIRST! teaching team is Ranny Levy, founder and president of KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, a former television producer, educator and long-time children’s media advocate.  Documentary filmmaker, Nancy Kenney brings years of teaching experience to the team and a practical knowledge of how to inspire students. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Nancy co-founded the Children’s Peace Initiative and produces documentary films. Terry Solowey, former director of outreach for Sesame Street Preschool Education and manager of outreach for Thirteen/WNET brings additional years of experience in media education. Rounding out the team is Janet Davidson, and EQUITY/SAG actor and DGA director with more than 200 episodic and 20 tele-films credited to her including Earth 2, Cagney & Lacey, Soul Food, Judging Amy and Any Day Now.

Each week-long boot camp will meet Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Locations include:

  • Silver Spring, MD, Discovery Channel, July 14 - 18.  
  • New York City/Brooklyn, Zing Revolution, Aug 4 - 8.

For more information and to register, go to http://www.kidsfirst.org. Please act soon, because space is limited. Tuition: $459. There is a limited number of partial scholarships available.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Boot Camp is a program of the 23-year-old, national, nonprofit organization,  Coalition for Quality Children’s Media  whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children’s media. For more information visit http://www.kidsfirst.org/become-a-juror/2014.BootCamp.html

About Zing Revolution: Zing Revolution is the industry leader in innovative technology and pop culture product development. Zing has the largest image offering in the world for music, fashion, art, television, movies and animation for premium 3M vinyl skins for consumer electronic accessories for over 300 electronic devices, home décor, extreme sports board skins and more. For more information visit zingrevolution.com. To enjoy the new custom Marvel comic web realm go to www.zingrevolution.com/marvel.

“Your efforts to make media a more valuable part of students’ lives is critically important,” John Wilson, Executive Director, National Education Association.

Heaven is For Real - A Loving Story about a Community that Experiences Something Extraordinary

April 23rd, 2014

This is a wonderful, feel-good movie that will bring tears to your eyes. Based on a real story and a #1 New York Times best-selling book by the same name, it brings to the screen the true story of a small-town preacher and father who has to look deep inside himself to deal with his son’s experience of seeing heaven after a near death experience. Great cast, especially the young boy played by Connor Corum. The pace is a bit mundane but the story is exhilarating.

Heaven Is For Real is a loving story about a community that experiences something extraordinary,” comments KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, age 12. See Gerry’s full review below.

Heaven Is For Real
Reviewed by Gerry O. age 12
Video review available here.

I thought this film would be about a 9-year-old kid dreaming about heaven and speaking about it across the country. Boy was I wrong! Heaven Is For Real is a fantastic movie that people of all religions and walks of life will appreciate! It gives us hope.

This film has a lot to offer; more than people think. Heaven Is For Real has action, adventure, family, comedy, religion and drama.

The film starts with a look into a day of a Reverend. He has a wife, a 4-year-old son and a daughter. Soon however, the 4-year-old son gets very sick. However, while he is in surgery, the little boy has an out-of-body experience which he later shares with his Dad. What happens next is truly remarkable and unexplainable by all laws of science. If you would like to see it for yourself – you have to watch the film.

My favorite scene is right before the little boy gets sick. The family takes a vacation to Denver. On the way, they sing different songs. Then the boy asks, “Can we sing ‘We Will Rock You?’” Everyone looks at each other for a second and then they all sing out of tune, “We Will Rock You.” It’s funny and lighthearted.

This film may seem like its all about God and heaven, but really, it’s not. Heaven Is For Real is a loving story about a community that experiences something extraordinary. I think the fact that they made a movie based on the real story is fantastic! It also benefits the film that the actors are so in touch with their roles and the camera shots are one of a kind and perfect for the scenes.

This film has a bit of mature content so I give it an age rating of 9 to 18. Also this film deserves 5 out of 5 stars. Heaven is for Real is in theaters now.

Antboy - A Calmer Type of Super-Hero

April 22nd, 2014

With Super Heroes all the rage, Antboy is a bit different - in a good way. Based on a popular Danish comic, this is a good film for younger kids who may find the super charged super hero films like Spider-Man, Captain America and The Avengers a bit too much action for them. The story follows a young boy who is bitten by and ant and develops super powers. He is aided by a comic book nerd and, of course, has to deal with a super villain. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Anthony A, age 12 says, “I think this movie is pretty cool. It is funny and has a small amount of action.” His full review is below.

Antboy
Reviewed by Anthony A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.
Video review available here.

Antboy is based on a popular Danish comic book series and although I have never read the comic series, I think this movie is pretty cool. It is funny and has a small amount of action. It is really good and I think other kids would enjoy it too.

This movie is about a boy named Pelle who is bitten by a rare and genetically altered ant. This ant gives Pelle superpowers. Eventually, Pelle realizes these super powers only work when he eats sugar. He finds out his real powers when he runs into a boy named Wilhelm, who later becomes his friend and helps him discover what super powers he has. Pelle decides that his super hero name is going to be Antboy. When a super villain named “The Flea” captures a girl and invades the school, Antboy has to figure out how to stop him.

The main characters in the movie are Pelle, Wilhelm, Ida and the Flea. My favorite character in this movie is Wilhelm because he is a really nice guy and he is the reason Pelle decides to help people and become Antboy. He also loves comics and, while I wouldn’t say I love comics, I do like them.

My favorite part in the movie is when Pelle figures out his super powers. He can bite through hard things. He can climb walls. He is really strong and his pee is acid. Sadly, his super hero powers only work when he has eaten sugar. Sometimes he doesn’t realize he has eaten any sugar at all. Sometimes he sleepwalks and eats all the candy in the house.

I recommend this movie for ages 5 to 10 because it is really good with a lot of weird and quirky action. It is more of a movie for younger kids since teens and adults usually prefer films with more action. Antboy is playing in theaters now.

In Time for Earth Day - Celebrate One of Nature’s Most Majestic Mammals - Bears

April 14th, 2014

In an epic story, Disneynature’s new film, Bears showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two young cubs are taught how to make their way in the world. Set in the grandiose Alaskan wilderness, the film follows them as they emerge from hibernation and experience the incredible world they live in complete with predators, avalanches and the search for food. “Bears is a fantastic and inspirational wild life adventure that many people will adore and watch again and again,” notes KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, age 12. See his full review below.

Bears

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Video review available here.

I thought this documentary would be like a usual educational lecture-like film about bears and the life of a Mama-bear. Boy, was I completely wrong. Bears is a fantastic and inspirational wild life adventure that many people will adore and watch again and again.

The movie has a mix of action, thrills, adventure, education, comedy and, of course, adorable human-like cubs. They make you fall in love the second you see them on the screen.

The story begins when a brown bear who lives in Alaska’s national park has just gave birth. She is planning to leaves her winter nest soon with new born cubs (Amber and Scout). Then she begins her big and hard journey trying to store enough food through the season. Her name is Sky. She meets a couple of friends and protects her little ones from predators. 

This film has crazy close-ups on the bears. At one point I swore the bear was less than an inch from the camera. Unlike other documentaries, this one has a storyline. Honestly, I thought that this fit better as a movie. The narrator makes us believe that the bears have feelings. I would love to know how the cameramen got so close to the bears and watched bear when she was in her winter den. That was perfect and nearly impossible. Kudos to Disney Nature for bringing us this unforgettable experience.

My favorite scene is when they search for salmon. Scout and Amber go to the beach for the first time. While Amber keeps close to mommy, Scout is in the water getting clams stuck to his claws. The scene shows that there is some family fun time anywhere in the world. Even with bears. 

This movie has some thrills and some violence, remarkable since it is unscripted. I recommend this for ages 9 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Coming out in theaters April 18.

Noah - Epic Filmmaking That Will Test You

April 14th, 2014

Noah is based on the Biblical story and greatly influenced by the graphic novel “Noah: For the Cruelty of Men.” This film has been greatly criticized for its deviation from the Biblical story. It’s good to remember that it’s not a documentary. It is a Hollywood film and, as such, a great piece of filmmaking. Enjoy it for what it is not for what it isn’t. Noah is the story about a man who is chosen by the Creator to undertake a momentous mission to rescue the innocent before an apocalyptic flood cleanses the wicked from the world. “This is an unexpected, thought provoking film, based loosely on the biblical story, and I was pleasantly surprised,” comments KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer B, age 13. See his full review below.

Noah

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

Video review available here.

This is an unexpected, thought provoking film, based loosely on the biblical story, and I was pleasantly surprised. The world was created and mankind was born. Soon humans became wicked and made the world black. The Creator tells Noah (Russel Crowe) that Earth will be cleansed through a flood. Noah and his family build an ark to save the innocent. The journey begins as Noah wrestles with what the creator is asking of him.

This is not a family film, nor is it a film based entirely on the Biblical story. It is a movie. The word God is not used. Instead, the word Creator is used which opens the film to audiences of any belief. The story shows the joy of a second chance but gives a gruesome look at the world. The film follows Noah and his incredible journey. Noah witnesses the barbaric nature of the people and it’s hard to watch, however necessary. It makes Noah question if mankind should live at all and how far he’ll go to fulfill his task.

The actors portray their roles marvelously. The women cast members are particularly outstanding. Emma Watson ( Lla) and Jennifer Connelly (Naameh) are both fantastic. Connelly simply blows you away showing the strong partnership she has with Noah and the struggle that results from it.

The cinematography is grand. The locations are unlike anything of this world from the flourishing mountains to the desolate black-paved land. The ark is beyond compare in its massive size. I only wanted them to show us more of the vessel.

My favorite character is Noah. Playing a figure of faith is no small feat. Crowe shows the drive and love for the Creator but also the obsession and confusion of his task. This is what makes him human and an interesting character.

My favorite scene is when one of the fallen angels, known as The Watchers, tells Noah the tale of how they were cursed. I enjoyed the interesting designs of these characters and their tragic story. It made me empathetic with them.

The main message is, “Higher power is a guide, but it’s your personal choice that makes the final decision.” Noah is told, through a dream, that the world will be cleansed. Noah is the one who figures out to build the ark. The Creator doesn’t give clear instructions and, in the end, you’re still left wondering what the higher power really wants.

I rate this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 14 to 18-year-olds. This film has violence, disturbing images and brief language. This film took a risk that I highly respect. It sends a Biblical message but is executed differently.

Rio 2 - A Musical With a Message - What Goes On in the Amazon Affects Us All!

April 10th, 2014

This sequel to the 2011 movie Rio, takes the loveable Blue Macaws, Blu, Jewel and their three kids on an adventure in the wilds of the Amazon. They are faced with adversity in the form of an overbearing father-in-law but, more importantly, some humans who are cutting down the trees where the Macaws live. “I like the story line which has lots of humor as well as some amazing songs which really enhance the film,” comments KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Brianna B, age 14. And critic Jeremy B (age 7) adds, “Another thing I really enjoy is the setting. The Amazon is so colorful and beautiful. The brightly colored birds and butterflies are incredible!” Their full reviews are below.

Rio 2
Reviewed by Brianna Hope B, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Video review available here.
Cast interviews available here.

Rio 2 is a wonderful animation with great comedy for the entire family. Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway) are back in Rio 2 with their three children. Their kids really need to learn to live like actual birds so Jewel insists that the family take an adventure to the Amazon where she is from. However on this trip there are some dangers that could lie ahead for them like meeting the revengeful Nigel (voiced by Jemaine Clement) and other things. Will they survive the jungle?

I like that this film is a clear continuation of the first one. It’s just not about Blu and Jewel but it also lets us know more about their family and their roots. I like the story line which has lots of humor as well as some amazing songs which really enhance the film. I love the romance and really love all the dancing in the rain forest. It’s so pretty, especially in 3D. The animation is stunning with lots of bright colors and spectacular attention to detail, especially of the Amazon.

I truly like everything about this film but my favorite part is in the beginning when we hear the first song, “What is Love” by Janelle Monae. This song puts me in an upbeat and happy mood. I knew immediately that this was going to be a great film. My favorite two characters are Pedro (voiced by Will I Am) and Nico (voiced by Jamie Foxx). These two are so hilarious to watch especially when Nico tries on different items he wants as a hat.

Director, Carlos Saldanha, directs a much bigger and better film in Rio 2 with sounds, exciting new songs and great comedy. A message in this film is that “Family is extremely important and you need each other to support each other.”

I recommend this film for ages 6 to 15 and anyone that loved the first Rio. The whole family will definitely enjoy it. I give it 5 out of 5 stars because everything about it is great.

Rio 2 3D
Reviewed by Jeremy B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 7.
Video review available here.

Rio 2 (3D) is an adventurous, exciting and funny animated film.  It has a lot of music, dancing and fun! The music director (John Powell) chose fun and festive music that plays throughout the film.  Be careful, you might want to get up and dance right along with the characters!

The story line is about Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), his wife Jewel (Anne Hathaway) and their children who travel to the Amazon to find other Blue Macaws who might be family.  Once they arrive they find that some bad people are cutting down trees where the Blue Macaws live.  They must work together to stop the humans and save the rainforest.

I really enjoyed this film. The 3D animation is incredible!  The images pop right off the screen in front of you. I like the new characters added in this film from the first Rio movie, especially Eduardo the father-in-law (Andy Garcia) who is very funny. I also like that some of the old characters reappear such as Nigel (Jemaine Clement), Nico (Jamie Foxx) and Rafael (George Lopez). They bring lots of humor and excitement to this film.  Another thing I really enjoy is the setting. The Amazon is so colorful and beautiful. The brightly colored birds and butterflies are incredible! There lots of great parts in this movie but my favorite part is when the Blue Macaws and the Parrots play soccer in the Pit of Doom.  It is so crazy and suspenseful!

This film has a couple really good messages. One is that it teaches us to always put family first.  If Blu does not learn this he will end up alone.  Another one is to believe in yourself.  Blu has to prove to himself that he is important no matter what anyone else tells him.  You have to watch the movie to see what happens in the end!

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.  It is funny, exciting and adventurous.  Kids and adults will love it, especially those who love nature, music and Brazil!  I recommend this movie for ages 5 to 18. I think young children will Anreally like the music, the colorful setting and all the animals throughout the film.

Additional video review by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O.
Additional Rio 2 cast interview by Gerry O.
Interview with Rachel Crow (Carla) from Rio 2.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Conspiracy, Secrets and Adventure

April 9th, 2014

Captain America returns in this political thriller with a compelling story line where Steve Rogers, awakening after decades of suspended animation tries to catch up with pop culture while facing a world of multiple threats and moral complexities. This film is rated PG-13 for good reason with lots of violence, gun-play and action throughout. “This film has everything I look for in a superhero film. The characters are already established which allows the writers to explore these characters and to introduce more personalities.” comments KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer B. See his full review below.

Captain America: Winter Soldier
by Keefer C. B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13.
Video review available here.

Another action packed Captain America movie, full of twists and turns and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Captain America aka Steve Roger (Chris Evans) has new enemies to fight - not only a deadly adversary, Winter Solider (Sebastian Stan) but S.H.I.E.L.D. itself. Roger can’t trust anybody in his battle to crack the secrets of the world in which he now lives.

This film has everything I look for in a superhero film. The characters are already established which allows the writers to explore these characters and to introduce more personalities. I get a kick out of their relationships and the witty remarks they share with each other. Action is essential in a film like this and I appreciate how the Captain’s shield is used in these sequences. How it bounces back and forth, hits a target and returns to Roger is impressive. The camera angles show everything that’s going on. It’s fast paced, entertaining and not just mindless violence.

The story, while based on the comic book, stands on its own. This film captures the sheer mystery and conflict between the characters. Even if you’re a not comic-book fan, you can still be shocked by the twists this film throws at you.

My favorite character is one I’ve loved for a long time, Falcon aka Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). As a fan of Marvel, I’m ecstatic to see this character re-imaged. Mackie performs exceptionally in this part; he is dignified, smart and an expert in high flying combat. Seeing him soar though the skies and fight alongside Captain America ignites my inner geek.

My favorite scene is when Nick Furry (Samuel L. Jackson) is out-numbered and fights for his life during a car chase. This has amazing action and shows Jackson being awesome. It’s primitive, but it’s true.

The moral here is, “You don’t have to destroy an old philosophy to create a new one.” Captain America is stuck in his old ways. Fury says “You need to look at the world as it is, not as you would like it to be.” While to some extent that’s true, Roger needs to show them that sometimes it’s not.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this for 11 to 18-year-olds. There is violence and occasional language, but kids can enjoy seeing their stars and stripes hero back in action and be excited for “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Best Marvel Flick Yet - Comic-Book Nostalgia Mixed with Conspiracy and Adventure

April 3rd, 2014

CaptAmerica.jpgWhether you are a Marvel fan or not, you’ll find the latest installment of Captain America to be a great political thriller with a compelling story line. There are a few twists, some expected, some not. The story revolves around Steve Rogers struggling to embrace his role in the modern world, dealing with S.H.I.E.L.D., and battling the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier. This is rated PG-13 for good reason. From the very start, there is lots of action and violence but it’s not graphic. “The special effects are completely off the charts!” comments KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. See his full review below.

Captain America: Winter Soldier
Reviewed by Gerry O, age 12, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Video review available here

I heard there was a comic book where Captain America (Chris Evans) is a soldier working with another super hero before he turned into a super human. I expected movie to be like that but I was brutally wrong. “Captain America: Winter Soldier” is a cool movie many Marvel fans and non-fans will enjoy.

This film has lots to offer for all fans. This blockbuster includes action, romance, conspiracy, adventure, comedy, thrill and, of course, super heroes.

The story starts when Captain America is doing his thing - saving everyone. Soon however, Shield starts to act more privately about a new project that is being formed. Something is going on that worries Captain America. What is it? And how does he fix it? To find the answer to these questions you must watch the movie.

This movie has a great cast (Robert Redford, Scarlett Johansson) and a great concept. However, because we all know how amazing this super hero is, the ending is somewhat predictable. Some moments drag a bit but the special effects are completely off the charts. The story line is well conceived. However, I would have liked this movie more if it was not told from Captain America’s point of view. I think this film would be fantastic if it was told from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)’s point of view. Some camera shots are so fast that they are a bit difficult to follow but overall, the special effects are spectacular! The technology alone in this movie will satisfy even the most discerning sci-fi fans.

My favorite scene is when Captain America is in an elevator and all kinds of people equipped with weapons enter on different floors. This is when Captain America realizes for the first time that something is not right. Finally, Captain America asks, “Does anybody want to get off before we start this?” Then, all people in the elevator attack him. It’s an amazing action scene. I don’t think this has ever been done before - such a complex fight scene in the tight space inside an elevator. The director and editors make the whole movie not only very engaging but very funny too which is a great mix of emotions.

This film has tons of action, gunplay, death and some intense violence, so I recommend it for ages 9 to 18 and I would rank it 4 out of 5 stars.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Reviewed by Brianna Hope Beaton, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.
Video review available here.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is a great Sci-Fi film with lots of adventure and action. Steve Rogers AKA Captain America (Chris Evans) is quietly living in Washington D.C. trying to adjust to his new world. However one of his S.H.I.E.L.D. associates is not doing so well and is being attacked. A lot of things are happening that are putting the world, as we know it, in danger. Steve gets help from Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to reveal what is going on and try to save millions of lives.

This film is easy to understand and follow, even if you’re not a die-hard Marvel follower. It’s good! I like the overall story line, the pace of the film and the costumes. The fighting scenes and stunts are well choreographed and really keep the action going. The actors’ performances are truthful and show real dedication to the characters to the point that you totally dislike the villains. My favorite actor is Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon) because he is funny with some of the expressions and words he uses. Also, I like his Falcon suit that gives him the ability to fly around like a bird. I have a lot of favorite scenes in this film, but one that stands out is the elevator scene. It starts off with Captain America on the elevator and at each floor more and more people get on. Captain America senses that something is about to happen and knows he will have to defend himself as usual. So, right before the fight breaks out, he gives says, “Before we start, does anyone want to get off?” I like this scene because it has lots of action in such a small and confined space.

A message that I get from this film is “Stand up for what is right even if not that many people are standing with you.” It’s a good message and one I can relate to.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 and anyone who loves The Avengers and Marvel. It’s rated PG-13 for some very intense violence scenes with a lot of gunplay.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Lemurs - Strange Creatures You Will Never Forget

April 2nd, 2014

IslandLemurs.jpgIsland of Lemurs: Madagascar comes out in theaters April 4.  Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman narrates Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, which profiles nature’s greatest explorers - lemurs. Shot in IMAX 3D, the film explores the remote world of Madagascar and its primate inhabitants - lemurs - who first arrived as castaways millions of years ago and have evolved into hundreds of diverse species, now endangered. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, says, “I love this film. The most mind-blowing part is how the camera crew gets so close to the wild, and sometimes posing, lemurs.” See his full review below.

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Reviewed by Gerry O, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.
Video review available here:
Interviews at junket:
Interviews at premiere:

I thought this movie would be a story of a specific lemur living in Madagascar, but I was very wrong. Nothing could have prepared me for the wonderful adventure I experienced. “Island of “Lemurs: Madagascar” is a fantastic documentary that every animal or nature lover will enjoy.

This documentary has more to offer than lemurs. It has action, comedy, adventure, thrill, education and so much more. Of course, who could possibly know that there are so many species of lemurs – the unforgettable bamboo lemur, the brown lemur, the hustle lemur and the adorable and my personal favorite - the mouse lemur.

The story begins when a scientist by the name of Dr. Patricia Wright goes to Madagascar to study lemurs. She goes to the wildest part of the vast jungles to look for one thing: bamboo lemurs, which were thought to be extinct. Lucky she proves them wrong and spends many years saving their species from extinction. We join her on her adventure and learn about the real dangers to the cute and furry animals and hear about her stories in Madagascar.

I love this film. The most mind-blowing part is how the camera crew gets so close to the wild, and sometimes imposing, lemurs. There are some angles that look simply impossible to accomplish with wild animals. The film is enhanced by the narration of Morgan Freeman which makes this documentary truly unique. The filmmakers are so smart, using simple ways to get their dream shots. The entire cast of lemurs (no, they are not paid actors) are adorable and, the coolest thing is, they are not trained. Every lemur in the movie is wild.

My favorite scene is when they talk about the adorable, but powerful hand-sized, smaller primate, the mouse lemur. This little guy is captured in a trap that does not hurt him and then is taken to a place where they study and scan him. Then, he is released back to the wild with a story to tell his family.

This movie is meant for all ages but does have a bit of intensity. So, I recommend it to kids ages 6 to 18. This move also easily deserves 5 out of 5 stars. The only thing I would add is that it was too short. I wish it was longer because it is so good and interesting.

Tinker Bell Saves the Pixie Dust in Disney’s new The Pirate Fairy

March 26th, 2014

PIrateFairy.jpgDisney has a pretty good grasp on stories about fairies and pirates and their latest release, The Pirate Fairy certainly reflects that. Tinker Bell plays a leading role in coming to the rescue when mischievous fairy Zarina steals Blue Pixie Dust and flies away to join forces with the pirates of Skull Rock. “This movie is full of excitement the entire family should enjoy, ” claims KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kendyl P. and her twin, Kayla adds, “The message of this film is that you should not turn your back on your friends when you do something wrong.” See their full reviews below along with a link to their interviews with the cast members, director and producer at the premiere.

Disney’s The Pirate Fairy        
Reviewed by Kayla and Kendyl Powell, Age 12, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Premiere coverage here:
Video review here:

The fairies are coming, the fairies are coming. That’s right Disney’s The Pirate Fairy is a phenomenal film. This movie is full of excitement the entire family should enjoy. There are fairies for the girls, pirates and adventure for the boys and great comedy for the parents.

Disney’s The Pirate Fairy is about a pixie dust fairy name Zarina (Christina Hendricks) who has a lot of great ideas. Zarina wants to use some of her creativity to make new things for the town of Pixie Hallow. She makes a few mistakes and runkayla_powell_0237_rt_LR.jpgs off and becomes a Pirate Fairy. Zaina partners up with a pirate named James (Tom Hiddleston) who is actually the younger Captain Hook. Once again Zarina finds herself in a lot of trouble. Now it is up to Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman) and her friends to help save the day.

The message of this film is that you should not turn your back on your friends when you do something wrong. In the film, Zarina turns her back on her friends and then later regrets her actions and her friends continue to be there when she is in need. Zarina does not expect the other fairies to be nice to her after what she did to them. The voice actors, Christina Hendricks, Mae Whitman and Tom Hiddleston deliver spectacular performances and really bring their characters to life.

My favorite character is Tinkerbell because she is very determined to help her friend Zarina even though Zarina left and was the best friend at the time.

My other favorite character is Zarina because she likes to take charge and is really determined to kendyl_powell_0411_LR.jpgaccomplish her personal goals and ambitions. That’s what I like about her.

My favorite part of the film is when they play the Pixie Hallow games. I really enjoyed the figure skaters and all their cool tricks. I was awed by their performances.  

We recommend Disney’s Pirate Fairy for ages 4 to 10.  We give this movie 5 out of 5 SHINING STARS!!!!!! You can watch Disney’s Pirate Fairy in Movie Theaters on April 1st, 2014. Reviewed by Kendyl and Kayla Powell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critics.

 photos: top - Kayla Powell, bottom - Kendyl Powell.

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