The Good Dinosaur – Finding Your Roar!

February 5th, 2016

The_Good_Dinosaur_Box_Art.jpgThe Good Dinosaur, which will be released on Blu-Ray/Digital HD on February 23, asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend and learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ryan R. (age 11) comments, “I like how it touches our emotions and admit that it made me cry in some parts. I also liked the jokes because they are really funny.” Gerry O. adds, “The whole plot is a large and exciting adventure which allows for some mild action. There is a bigger moral to the story which is “discover your voice.” See their full reviews below.

The Good Dinosaur
By Ryan R., KIDS First Film Critic, Age 11

I really enjoy watching the new Blu-ray of The Good Dinosaur. One thing I loved about this Blu-ray is the deleted scenes. I love how the director explains why certain scenes didn’t make it in the final cut. I enjoyed the Dino bites, which is a short showing the characters goofing off. I also enjoyed watching the trailers of The Good Dinosaur in different languages. It was interesting knowing that there are different names for this movie in other places. There was nothing to hate about this Blu-ray.

This 3D, computer-animated, adventure, dramatic comedy is very emotional and funny, a perfect movie for the family. The story is about what would happen if an asteroid missed the Earth and never killed the dinosaurs. In the movie you meet Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) who is a very insecure, scared dinosaur until he is able to find his roar! He meets a human kid named Spot. Something happens.  Arlo chases Spot and falls into the water taking Arlo very far away from his family. Will Arlo make it back to his family or will he be lost?

TheGoodDinosaur.3.jpgI enjoyed this movie. I like how it touches our emotions and admit that it made me cry in some parts. I also liked the jokes because they are really funny. I love the action scenes that involve the water. It kept me on the edge of my seat.

My favorite character is Arlo. He is a very ecstatic, extremely compassionate dinosaur who learns to face his fears. Arlo is very relatable because everyone has fears and people think it is silly but it isn’t. I love that he is very motivated. I love how he changes throughout the story.

The moral lesson in this movie is you can discover what you’re truly capable of if you are willing to face your fears.  Arlo proves that in this movie as he “finds his roar.” On the Blu-ray, there are bonus features, deleted scenes and shorts. The shorts include Sanjay Super Team, Dino Bites and Hide and Seek.  It also tells you facts about dinosaurs and many more. Another feature are trailers of the movie. My favorite short would be Sanjay’s Super Team, TheGoodDinosaur.4_1.jpgbecause this short told its story without any dialogue and delivered an important message about dealing with old family traditions and the modern world.

I give this film 5 out of 5 amazing stars and recommend it for kids ages 5 to 18. Adults might like this as well. I also recommend this to kids who like family, action, adventure, drama, comedies, dinosaurs and Disney movies. Check out the Blu-ray when it comes out on February 23.

The Good Dinosaur
By Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

What if? That’s the beginning of this film with its spectacular scenery, a beautiful soundtrack, an exciting story and so much more. What I really love about this film is the animation. A good 20 minutes of the film is dedicated to looking at the scenery, which is incredible. The design of the landscape, with its hills, valleys, mountains and rivers is truly breathtaking.TheGoodDinosaur.6.jpg

This movie is not all comedy, there is quite a bit of drama. In many scenes you feel touched by the characters and even pity them. The whole plot is a large and exciting adventure which allows for some mild action. There is a bigger moral to the story which is “discover your voice.”  Disney has focused on that in its “Find Your Roar” campaign, encouraging kids everywhere to “find your own voice or ‘your roar!’”
The story starts when an infamous meteor hits the Earth. Millions of years later, a dinosaur named Arlo is separated from his family and home. He goes on a huge adventure to get back home, which involves enemies, friends and more.

The story is dramatic and takes turns that surprise the audience multiple times. The voice acting is excellent in every role, making characters sound alive, personable and full of energy. One of my favorites is Butch (Sam Elliot). Butch is a T-Rex and a pretty cool one too. Sam makes him seem menacing and dramatic, but still friendly, even a bit funny at times.TheGoodDinosaur.5.jpg

In the Blu-ray version, there are a dozen special features, including an option to listen to commentary throughout the film from some of the creators, including storyboard artists and editors talking about the process they used to make the film. A perfect example of this is when they discuss how they based the terrain on the western United States. The special features also include deleted scenes and some cool interviews.

My favorite scene is when Arlo meets the T-Rexes. He and his companion, Spot, are running away from scavenger birds. They see a dinosaur in the distance and plea for help. It turns out they find two powerful T-Rexes and the T-Rexes assist Arlo and Spot to get to safety and on with their journey. The staging in this scene is intense and dramatic, especially when you don’t know if these giant carnivores will be more dangerous than the birds.

This film is most suitable for ages 6 to 18. Younger kids may find the more intense and dramatic scenes way too frightening. I give it five out of five stars for its beautiful animation, emotional voice acting, an intense story and smooth editing. The Good Dinosaur is being released on Blu-ray and Digital HD February 23 so, keep a lookout for it.

More reviews by

Benjamin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0YvOYUeAiw
Samantha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS9FRu50XVU
Nathaniel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxjUEU6H09o
Kayla: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA-vkaUd0Po
Willie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA-vkaUd0Po
Kayla, interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Weq4EpzsiQ
Nathaniel, interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4giz2mEq4Gk

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – An Epic Classic Now on Blu-Ray and Digital HD

January 28th, 2016

SnowWhite2.jpgFrom the Walt Disney Signature Collection comes the enchanting and inspiring classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In this epic animated story of love and friendship, the kind and beautiful princess Snow White wins the hearts of the Seven Dwarfs and triumphs over the evil plans of a wicked Queen. Called “The Greatest Animated Film Of All Time,” it is available now on High Definition Blu-ray and for the first time ever on Digital HD, with special features the entire family will enjoy. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “Before Cinderella lost her slipper and before Aladdin met the Genie, Walt Disney did his most crazy and insane project ever - a feature animated movie, the first of its kind… This film was designed for all ages and I still agree.” See his full review below.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Blu-ray, Digital HD)
By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Before Cinderella lost her slipper and before Aladdin met the Genie, Walt Disney did his most crazy and insane project ever - a feature animated movie, the first of its kind. The title of the film is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Parents and kids loved this film decades ago and, a generation later, families can now enjoy this beautiful classic in Blu-Ray.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a musical with catchy, and beautiful singing done by Adriana Caselotti, (Snow White), Lucille La Verne (Queen) and others. There is also a sense of adventure, and a magical romance, between Snow White and the Prince.

SnowWhite.5.jpgThe story begins when the Queen discovers that she is not the fairest of them all, and that Snow White is. Out of jealousy, she orders the death of Snow White. However, Snow White gets away. She comes upon 7 dwarfs which she befriends. The Queen angrily learns about her failed death, and decides to poison the young princess!

Since this is the Blu-Ray/Digital HD Edition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it is packed with extra features including a tour of the animation studios in the 1930s, actual interviews with Walt Disney, cool facts, (Did you know Snow White was originally designed to have gold hair? Who knew!) and so much more. My favorite part concentrates on how Walt Disney hired over 300 artists, how he spent so much money on making it perfect, and just how much speculation and hate he got for attempting to make (and being very successful as a result) a 90 minute animated film.

Even though this film was made almost a century ago, the quality of the animation is as good as films made today. SnowWhite.3.jpgHand-drawn animation has a quality of from the human touch that CGI can never achieve. In terms of the soundtrack, Walt Disney had a knack for making his animated films not only have background music, but he created it in such as way that the music becomes an integral part of the story. For example, when Snow White and the Prince first meet, they sing a song together and it represents almost, “Instant love,” better than words ever could. This story is based on a classic European fairy tale, and Walt Disney hired a few people who specifically made European-styled drawings, to make the film feel like the original fairy tale, which was perfect for the film. The voice-over sound quality is also top notch, amazingly so since again, it was made almost 100 years ago. I would easily compare it to the voice over acting and quality of the late 90s. This film was ambitious in terms of being the first animated feature film, but also was first feature film to have a female lead.

SnowWhite.4.jpgMy favorite scene is the meeting of The Prince and Snow White. In the scene, Snow White is cleaning outside and she explains to her bird friends what a wishing well is. A prince overhears her fantastic singing and is love-struck when he meets her. This scene is one of my favorites because the music is beautiful, the animation is spectacular and this scene specifically illustrates my point about European artists designing the backgrounds. It really looks like a European castle of sGerry_Orz.2014.LR.jpgome sort.

This film was designed for all ages and I still agree. I recommend it for ages 6 to 13 specifically. Younger kids will enjoy the bright colors, dancing and singing. Older kids can appreciate how difficult it was to make this film and the storyline itself. Adults who have happy memories of seeing this film years ago will also enjoy it. Overall, it’s a great film for the family. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars because of the spectacular animation, exciting story (typical of films made by Walt Disney) and clear voice acting. This film is available online on January 19 and in stores on Blu-ray on February 2, 2016. Don’t miss the change to add it to your family film collection.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
By Willie Jones, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

One of the hardships I encounter as a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic is trying to objectively review older films. The difficulty is mostly because they are often better than many films today. Even more difficult is reviewing a film objectively that was a part of my childhood. It’s so easy for nostalgia to cloud my view. So, before I watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, I told myself to review it without passion or prejudice, and tackle it like I would any other film. Then I started watching it and everything I had prepped myself for went out the window. I got caught up in the songs, the vintage style of animated filmmaking and the general feeling of classic, feel-good Disney. Then I realized that the nostalgia that befell me WAS the appeal of the movie. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is timeless because it transcends generations. Watching it now as I did ten years ago, took me back 10 years. It felt nice to return to an innocent state for 80 minutes.

The film hasn’t lost anything. The songs are still just as catchy, the story is still just as cute and the animation still puts a smile on your face. It’s interesting watching the first Disney animated feature today, because we’re all so taken with the Willie1.jpganimation and maturity of Pixar. Even the Disney Renaissance films which are now 20 years old aren’t as cute or innocent as Snow White is. Fortunately, that’s not a bad thing; it’s actually quite refreshing. It’s feel-good and puts a smile on your face. The simplicity of it all is a great contrast to the complex animated features of today and it’s quite affecting. It transports you to a different state of mind that allows you to let go and enjoy.

So many times parodied and adapted, watching where it all started gives you a great appreciation for all the other adaptations, and reminds you of which is best. I actually contend that Snow White is the best of the classic Disney princesses. It has the best collection of songs with “Heigh-Ho,” “Some Day My Prince Will Come,” and “I’m Wishing/One Song.” The band of dwarfs are still an entertaining, eclectic group of characters than compliment the more one-dimensional princess. I watched it with my younger sister and she was in love with it from start to finish. I was in love with it, all over again, from start to finish. I recommend this classic film for ages 3 to 18 as well as adults and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

The Little Prince: The Planet of Bubble Gob - Fun, Exciting, Vibrant Animation, Bit of Suspense

January 27th, 2016

TheLittlePrince.jpgThe universe is in grave danger of extinction! The evil Snake extinguishes the stars as he passes through the galaxy, causing chaos and plunging the planets into darkness. The Little Prince must leave his Asteroid home and beloved friend, Rose, in his quest to outsmart the Snake and save the universe from doom.  KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Mia A. comments, “The Little Prince: The Planet of Bubble Gob, is a fun and creative movie that I enjoyed, especially because of the animation.” Benjamin P. adds, “I really like the modern characters the show adds because they have a lot of perseverance and they always want to create something new to help their planet.” See their full reviews below.

The Little Prince: The Planet of the Bubble Gob
By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

The Little Prince: The Planet of the Bubble Gob is an imaginative, colorful film with great animation and takes some of my favorite characters from a classic story on a new exciting journey. I really like the modern characters the show adds because they have a lot of perseverance and they always want to create something new to help their planet.

The Little Prince: The Planet of the Bubble Gob is based on the characters from a famous French story by Antoine de St. Exupery published in 1943. Here, the Little Prince, alongside his best friend Fox, are sent around a futuristic universe saving planets from the evil clutches of the malevolent Snake. One day, the Little Prince and Fox discover a mysterious new planet and find out it is inhabited by a species called the Creatall who are always inventing new things to help their people and their planet, like a kooky machine that shoots toast. Soon, the Creatalls’ technology senses a wave coming to destroy their planet. The Little Prince finds out that a giant recycling machine called the Bubble Gob is causing these massive and dangerous waves. The Little Prince must find the Great Inventor who made the Bubble Gob to fix the glitch but he has gone into hiding and no one knows why. The Little Prince must find the inventor before the entire planet is wiped out so the Little Prince, some brave Creatalls and the goofy but loyal Fox set off to save it.Benjamin.jpg

My favorite character is Oddzn’end, the first Creatall the Little Prince meets, because no matter what others think of him, he always tries to come up with inventions to help them.

The Little Prince: The Planet of Bubble Gob made me think about what to do to help the environment and be more aware of how to help the planet. It also showed me how important it is to help others even if you won’t benefit yourself. The Little Prince helps people even when he knows he could get hurt and it’s not his planet that’s in trouble.

I really enjoyed the animation because it takes the story to a magical level with the creation of the planet and its oceans. It is rich and lush and made me wish the planet was real so I could go visit it.

I recommend The Little Prince: The Planet of Bubble Gob for ages 6 to 12. The Snake and the Bubble Gob are a little scary and may be alarming to younger children. I give The Little Prince: The Planet of Bubble Gob 4 out of 5 stars.

The Little Prince: The Planet of Bubble Gob
By Mia A, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The Little Prince: The Planet of Bubble Gob, directed by Pierre-Alain Chartier, is a fun and creative movie that I enjoyed, especially because of the animation.

This version of The Little Prince is about the Little Prince going to The Planet of the Bubble Gob, a planet where the people are called Creatall’s because they create a lot of things.  Sadly, their ocean is completely full of the useless inventions.  The Master Creator creates a big trash collector (the Bubble Gob) to fix the problem, but it actually causes big waves.  The Little Prince has to help to fix the problem.

The characters, the Rose, Fox and Little Prince, are from the book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. In this movie, the plot is different than the original book, but his friends the Rose and the Fox are included.  My favorite character is the Fox because he is the only animal.  He is a cute talking animal who is very feisty and just wants to get the job done so he can go eat a snack.

The animation brings a new twist and is as entertaining as the plot of the movie.  The colors are especially vibrant and repeatedly draw my attention to the Fox and the settings.  I found myself really wanting to look at each of the different inventions the Creatall’s have made.

The animation brings the settings in the movie to life!  The buildings are very unusual and are made with a lot of cool items that otherwise would have been junk.  The houses are very unique because they are on poles that rise up and doMia3.jpgwn to avoid the dangerously high waves of the littered ocean. Even the litter in the ocean is interesting to look at as you can see all the different colors even though you are looking down on it from the sky.

Young girls will like the character of Ilmus. She is a strong female character who is smart, works hard and doesn’t give up on people. The moral behind The Little Prince is that even if you make a mistake, people will forgive you.

I rank The Little Prince: The Planet of Bubble Gob 4.5 out 5 stars.  I recommend the ages 5 to 12 because there are fights in the dark with an evil snake and ghouls, which might be frightening to younger kids.

Kung Fu Panda 3 – Visually Stunning, Emotional Rollercoaster, Comedic Sequel

January 27th, 2016

KungFuPanda3_1.jpgWho hasn’t fallen in love with the adorable Po, voiced by the versatile Jack Black, as he continues on his legendary adventures of awesomeness? In this third installment in this beloved animated franchise, Po is reunited with his estranged father, but the reunion isn’t all fun and games. When a new supernatural villain begins to sweep across China threatening all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible - learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Michelle C comments, “In the third installment of the popular family film series Kung Fu Panda, you will find yourself on an emotional roller coaster, with just enough action, comedy and love to go around.” Benjamin P. adds, “I liked this movie because it was a lot of fun and it still has a captivating plot even though it’s a sequel. I also really like the new villain. He was so evil and greedy, it made me want to SKIDOOSH! him so bad.” Abigail Zoe L. wraps it all up, “This film rocks! It holds nothing back as it is full of adventures that are fun and full of heart.” See their full reviews below.

Kung Fu Panda 3
By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

Kung Fu Panda 3 is a great film with excellent animation, a great villain and hilarious humor. My favorite dumpling-loving panda is back. I liked this movie because it was a lot of fun and it still has a captivating plot even though it’s a sequel. I also really like the new villain. He was so evil and greedy, it made me want to SKIDOOSH! him so bad.

As you can see, I am a big fan of this franchise and I promise you this latest installment does not disappoint. Kung Fu Panda 3 is about Po figuring out who he wants to be and adapting to a lot of changes in his life. As the movie begins, Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) tells Po that next to being the Dragon Warrior, it will be Po’s job to teach the Furikungfupanda3.2.jpgous Five. Before Po can learn how to be a teacher, he meets his long-lost father Li (Bryan Cranston). Their celebration is cut short by the arrival of Kai (J.K Simmons), the villain who is stealing the energy of Kung Fu masters from all over the land and who wants to destroy Po. To fight back, Po has to learn to master being a panda after he finds out pandas have special powers that might be able to help defeat Kai.

The lesson of this film is figure out who want you to be and then be your best self, even if you have to try new things you don’t know how to do. Po has to try to figure out how to live like a panda and become a teacher by trying things he’s not good at.

It’s nice to see the original characters back and it’s hard to pick a villain as a favorite character, but Kai is an excellent bad guy that I love to hate. He is surprisingly funny while being Po’s most formidable foe so far.kungfupanda3.4.jpg

I love the animation because it uses a lot of different styles. There is a lot of detail. It’s very colorful and the animators use Chinese calligraphy and other cultural symbols to give the movie’s setting an authentic feeling. I also really enjoyed the score by Hans Zimmer because it has a lot of energy that goes perfectly with the high-action scenes.

I recommend this film for ages 4 to 12 because there are some scary scenes that may upset younger viewers. Adults will also enjoy this film. I give Kung Fu Panda 3 four out of five stars.

Kung Fu Panda 3
By Michelle Contreras, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

In the third installment of the popular family film series Kung Fu Panda, you will find yourself on an emotional roller coaster, with just enough action, comedy and love to go around.

Large and adorable panda Po (Jack Black) realizes he has a lot to learn if he wants to surpass his next obstacle from his role-model instructor. During this long, adventurous process, he finds himself reunited with his long-lost father (Bryan Cranston). Po must find a way to morph into the teacher he was always destined to be. With help from his new panda family, the martial-arts masters come together to fight the envious and malevolent Kai (J.K. Simmons), a warrior who came back from the spirit realm, in order to steal everyone’s chi.I have always been a kid at heart but watching this film truly made me feel like it was my first time ever watching Kung Fu Panda in the movie theater. Since it brought back a ton of kungfupanda3.6.jpgmemories, I couldn’t help but notice all of the fantastic, quality changes the film has gone through. This has always been a great series from the start, but this movie takes the gold when it comes down to storyline and visual effects. There is no doubt in my mind that the creative directors and graphic designers behind this film spent tons and tons of hours developing such amazing oriental scenes within this movie. Every single color, movement, saying or setting in this film truly embodies what Kung Fu Panda is all about, which makes the meaning and experience for an avid movie-goer all the more understanding and worthwhile. Because of the sincere storyline, it will hit home to lots of viewers and family members. One thing I do wish I had the opportunity to see more of are the famous and Furious Five (voiced by Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Angelina Jolie, David Cross, and Seth Rogen) and Master Sifu (Dustin Hoffman)  in action altogether, especially when attempting to defeat the evil Kai.

Ultimately, Kung Fu Panda 3 is a hilarious and charming film for everyone in the family to enjoy. Whether it’s moving you to tears from laughter or gloominess, you’ll find it hard not to smile with satisfaction when the credits begin rolling. This movie is rated PG for its martial arts action and some mild rude humor, so I think this will be just perfect for kids ages 5 to 18. I rate this film 4.5 out of 5 five stars.

Kung Fu Panda 3
By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 8 years old

This film rocks! It holds nothing back as it is full of adventures that are fun and full of heart. This third film of the awesome Kung Fu Panda series has us once again rooting for the most loveable Panda, Po. Watching Po in this movie is like watching myself because of his endless enthusiasm and passion for life which is just like me! He’s silly, funny and clumsy and still able to save the day!

We find Po battling a villain, discovering his true father and discovering his true self. The villain, Kai, wants to take the chi from all the great Kung Fu masters so he can become the most powerful grand master of the world. Kai will stop at nothing and the only possible way to defeat him is Po. Po must channel his inner chi and confidence to stop Kai.

Part of Po’s adventure is set in Panda Village where the student must learn how to become the teacher. For the first time Po meets other pandas. He changes this panda community and they also change him. Also, with the help of his mentor Shifu and the Furious Five, Po learns what it is to overcome challenges and become his own hero. At the heart of the story is the lesson that what is important in life is to become the best you can be. Po finally realizes this.kungfupanda3.5.jpg

My favorite part of this film is when Po meets his real dad, Li.  This occurs in his adoptive father’s restaurant when Li breaks Po’s dumpling eating record. This is both a touching and yet hilarious scene as everyone in the restaurant realizes that they are father and son except them.

While all the voices are amazing and perfectly match the characters I really like Jack Black’s voice as Po. I really can’t think of any other actor’s voice better for this role than Jack’s. Po’s look, personality and most importantly his soul is just totally Jack Black. I also love J. K. Simmons who voices the villain, Kai. His voice is so perfectly evil yet it also has this lack of confidence in it that can make you giggle at times. For instance, Kai considers himself very special and famous but when he escapes the Spirit World and arrives on earth he finds that no one has ever even heard of him.

There are many wonderful and positive messages in this film. One of my favorites message is that you have to believe in yourself and never give up. Another beautiful message from the film is that you are not alone in this world and that family is important. However, the message that stands out in my mind is when Shifu tells Po: “If you only do what you can you will only be what you are.” This means a lot to me because I think everyone is special and we all have something very special to offer and bring to the world.

Kung Fu Panda 3 comes out in theaters Friday, January 29, 2016.  You definitely don’t want to miss this incredible animated film that is filled with adventure, humor and hear. I recommend this movie for all ages and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

The Finest Hours – Heroes Who Braved The Worst Conditions

January 27th, 2016

TheFinestHours.jpgThis film tells about the heroes who braved one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England in 1952, damaging an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod and literally ripping it in half. On a small lifeboat faced with frigid temperatures and 70-foot high waves, four members of the Coast Guard set out to rescue the more than 30 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly-sinking vessel. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tre’ana H. comments, “This moved me because you have to be a thinker, organizer and strategist in order to achieve the obstacles that you will be encountering.” Clayton P. adds, “I had good expectations for The Finest Hours, especially in IMAX 3D…Unfortunately, the film is riddled with clichés…” See their full reviews below.

The Finest Hours
By Tre’ana H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

The Finest Hours is a Walt Disney film that is filled with much determination that captivates your mind on a realistic approach of being in the ocean on a boat wondering if you will survive. This moved me because you have to be a thinker, organizer and strategist in order to achieve the obstacles that you will be encountering. I really loved this movie because it is in 3D which makes everything appear to be coming right at you and you feel like you are a part of the film, especially during the ocean scenes.  This film is based on a true story and it is filled with action, drama and history. The director, Craig Gillespie draws you into this film by his realistic portrayal of events.

One of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England in February 1952. It damaged an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod and literally ripped it in half. On a small lifeboat faced with frigid temperatures and 70-foot high waves, four members, Bernie Weber (Chris Pine), Ben Foster (Richard Livesey), Andy Fitzgerald (Kyle Gallner) and Ervin Maske (John Magaro) of the Coast Guard set out to rescue the more than 30 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly-sinking vessel. The captain gives the orders and sends them out to accomplish the goal.TheFinestHours4.jpg

My favorite part of this movie is when Bernie Weber and his fellow crew members set out to find the people on the sinking ship.  They lose connection with the captain and also lose their compass. The crew members want Bernie to turn back around, but he says, “no point”. Bernie just keeps on going to see if he can find any type of vessel. He becomes obstinate and passionate about his Coast Guard duty.

The setting is a 1950s snowy and cold day with distinguished vintage cars the town people drive. The women’s dress is classy and stylish and they definitely make a statement upon arrival to any event.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 Stars because it is action-packed with some romance and tense moments. Younger audiences may not understand and might be scared. This movie hits theaters Friday, January 29, 2016. Come and check it out. It is a must see!

The Finest Hours
By Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

I had good expectations for The Finest Hours, especially in IMAX 3D. It has a great, true-life story about a few men accomplishing the impossible on the high seas. It has a good cast, but no blockbuster stars.  And, it has a director, Craig Gillespie, with a great Indie pedigree (Lars and the Real Girl, Million Dollar Arm).  Unfortunately, the film is riddled with clichés, which points to the writer (Scott Silver) and the director. The Finest Hours is an epic rescue story but ultimately a let down.

The Finest Hours is a true story about a rescue mission to save an oil tanker that gets partially destroyed during a big winter storm off the coast of Cape Cod. The Wellfleet Coast Guard is expected to help in the rescue but most of their large craft are out helping other distressed tankers. So, it comes down to four Coast Guarders to go out in a small boat to save the sailors on the tanker. The Coast Guard rescue team is lead by Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) and Richard Livesey (Ben TheFinestHours2.jpgFoster).  Bernie is a quiet, inarticulate man who plays by the rules. They have to get past the “bar” to get out on open seas and the first time, they get fully submerged by the waves and lose their compass. It’s like an ant trying to save a huge whale in the middle of a storm!  Meanwhile, the crew of the tanker is trying to ground themselves on a shoal. They are being led by the head mechanic, Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck), who is an unlikely hero. He is an obsessed mechanic who is not part of the social fabric of the tanker. But because he knows the ship better than anyone, he takes control.  He doesn’t believe in luck, only hard work and ingenuity.

The beginning of the film is a preamble that sets up the love interest between Bernie and his girl, Miriam (Holliday Grainger) and the other characters in the town of Wellfleet. This part of the film feels rushed and cliché. Bernie is set up as a broken man for some reason, but you don’t know why. Other failed rescue missions are hinted at. I feel like I don’t know the characters’ personalities like I do in other films.  The rescue sequences are very exciting and intense, especially in IMAX 3D. The cinematography and graphics are great. The depiction of the roiling water is very realistic. I also liked the fact that both of the men leading each of their crews are unlikely heroes. There’s a point in the rescue where they meet and you can see Sybert size up Webber as a similar animal to himself.

I give The Finest Hours 3 out of 5 stars due to the stereotypical and confusing screenplay and direction.  It is appropriate for ages 10 through 18.

Norm Of The North – Laughs, Appealing Characters, Yet Represents Something Bigger

January 14th, 2016

NormofNorth.jpgFrom our friends at Splash Entertainment comes the new animated feature, Norm of the North. This delightfully friendly story features a polar bear named Norm along with his three lemming friends who end up in New York City where Norm becomes the mascot of a corporation he soon learns is tied to the fate of his homeland, the Arctic. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer B. comments, “This feature film offers laughs and appealing characters for young audiences and I think it also represents something bigger that older audiences will also enjoy.” Ryan R. adds, “Norm of the North is a perfect film for younger kids and delivers a positive environmental message. This film shows that some places are better left untouched in order to maintain their natural beauty.”

Norm of the Norm
by Keefer C. Blakeslee, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

In this abnormally ambitious first feature film from Splash Entertainment, Norm of the North is about Norm (Rob Schneider), a Polar Bear who is able to communicate with humans. When his home, the Arctic is threatened by the evil developer Mr. Greene (Ken Jeong), he must journey to the concrete jungle and convince people to save his home.

This feature film offers laughs and appealing characters for young audiences and I think it also represents something bigger that older audiences will also enjoy.  Splash Entertainment is an independent animation studio that has been given the chance, by its association with Lionsgate, to create a film for the big screen. That’s not an easy task especially with so much competition from other animation companies. Is it revolutionary? No, but it’s a nice start for Splash Entertainment’s movie making journey.

NormofNorth.3.jpgThe film’s delightful animation is colorful and fluent. I love how the characters move and dance. I particularly enjoyed watching Mr. Greene’s rubber legs. Much like his personality, his movements are snake like - always slithering from place to place. He is my favorite character because he’s so over the top. It also helps that he is voiced by the hilarious comedian Ken Jeong. Speaking of which, all the voice actors in this film portray their characters very well. I’m not particularly a Rob Schneider fan but, in this film he makes Norm a lovable and plush Polar Bear.

For me, the humor is hit and miss. But, I’m not really the audience for this film. A lot of the comedy is geared for younger kids and there is a lot of potty humor. Although there are some jokes for parents and older kids to chuckle at, it is best suited for the younger set. While the slapstick is fast paced, I have a problem with how the characters come in contact. What makes slapstick funny is cause and effect. Tom and Jerry are a perfect example. When Tom runs smack into a pole his whole body makes solid contact causing him pain. In this the film, the characters seem to be made of rubber. When they come in contact with each other it’s like silly putty being squished together. Now it does kind of work with Norm’s furry sidekicks, the Lemmings, because their running joke is that they feel no pain. However, it does not work when the other characters rNormofNorth4.jpgeact like rubber. With that said, while watching the film the kids in the theater went nuts and loved every moment of it. Just goes to show you that humor is diverse.

My favorite scene is the opening of the film when Norm tries to hunt. Not only does it reveal the status quo of the main character, it also provides a lovely introduction to the comedy that will follow. The Arctic landscape adds to the visual ambiance of the animation.

The moral of this film is “nature belongs to the animals.” Mr. Greene plans to build condominiums in the Arctic and that’s why Norm goes to New York and tries to convince them not to do that. I was glad to see this environmental message presented to young children.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 3 through 12-year-olds.  This film proves that just because you’re not a big Polar Bear does not mean you can’t make a big splash. I can’t wait to see more from Splash Entertainment.  This film is in theaters January 15 so mark your calendars now.

Norm of the North
By Ryan R. KIDS First Film Critic, Age 12

Norm of the North is a perfect film for younger kids and delivers a positive environmental message. This film shows that some places are better left untouched in order to maintain their natural beauty. It also has a great cast. The voice actors really put a lot of emotions into their characters. The soundtrack is also great!

The story is about Norm (Rob Schneider) who is a polar bear that can speak to humans. He never really has used that power until one fine day Mr. Greene (Ken Jeong) starts to build condos in the Arctic, where Norm lives. Norm has to stop the construction somehow! He sneaks his way into a demo house that is scheduled to be delivered to New York, where Mr. Greene lives. Will Norm be able to stop Mr. Greene or will the beauty of the Arctic be lost when all those condos are built?

Although it’s a good story, I found that at some points, the story just didn’t hold my interest. It felt predictable. You really knew what is going to happen next. Perhaps that’s because it’s better suited for a younger audience than me. I also found myself comparing the animation is this film to other mainstream films and it’s not quite there. But, again, perhaps I’m too NormofNOrth2.jpgold and picky. I think it is a perfect film for kids, who are 3 to maybe 8 or 9.

My favorite characters are Olympia and Norm. I love how brave Olympia is and independent. In the film, she wants to get into a better school and her mom thinks she needs a recommendation in order to get in. Olympia does her best and earns her place in the school without the recommendation. Also, she wants to help Norm succeed in his plan. I Norm because he is funny, compassionate with others and determined to save his homeland.

The lesson of this movie is we need to preserve our environment but we can still behave in a kind way.  For example, Norm goes to New York to stop Mr. Greene from building condos in the Arctic. We seem him acting very compassionate to others and he serves as a great role model to others.

I recommend this film for kids ages 3 to 10. People who like family and adventure movies will particularly enjoy it. I rate this movie 3 out of 5 stars. Norm of the North comes out January 15th so mark your calendars.

Daddy’s Home – Nobody does Step-Parenting like Ferrell and Wahlberg!

December 23rd, 2015

DaddysHome_1.jpgA mild-mannered radio executive strives to become the best stepdad to his wife’s two children, but complications ensue when their freewheeling and freeloading real father arrives, forcing him to compete for the affection of the kids. Starring Well Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg and Linda Cardellini, this is sure to keep make you laugh through all their silly antics. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ryan R. comments, “One of the things I enjoyed most about this film is the cast. They are really great! I love the message because it talks about acceptance.” See his full review below

Daddy’s Home
By Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I really enjoy watching this funny movie directed by Sean Anders. It is pretty hysterical  and enjoyable for preteens. I think adults might like this as well. This movie made me laugh because the movie has  a lot of humor and the jokes are spot on.

The movie is about the good stepdad, Brad played by Will Ferrell.  He wants to be accepted by his family because the kids aren’t happy that he is their stepdad. Eventually, they do accept him, but things change when their dad, Dusty played by Mark Wahlberg tries to come back into their life. Brad and Dusty slowly begin to start a “Dad Off”. They try to beat one another to show the kids who the cooler Dad is. Will they fight until there is a winner or will they make a truce and end up liking each other?

One of the things I enjoyed most about this film is the cast. They are really great! I love the message because it talks about acceptance. I also like the jokes in this movie because they are very hilarious.

My favorite character is Dusty because he is comes off as this mean person but he is actually not so bad.  Dusty makes changes throughout this movie and makes many hilarious jokes that will make you like him.

The message of this movie is acceptance. Both of the dads are trying to get acceptance. Brad wants to be accepted by his step kids so they can be one happy family. Dusty wants to be accepted again after the divorce. Dusty wants to have a family, but he can be irresponsible. In this movie, acceptance is a huge thing. It takes a long amount of time since things don’t happen overnight.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this movie for kids ages 11 to 18. It is perfect for tweens and teens but it does contains some inappropriate mild profanity, rude humor and mild violence that make it unsuitable for younger children. I think adults will enjoy this as well. It comes out on Christmas Day so mark your calendars.

Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: Secret Lab Meeting – Stealth Learning at Its Best

December 22nd, 2015

ThomasEdison.2D.jpgThomas Edison’s Secret Lab is an all new animated comedy series from Genius International starring the greatest inventor of all time and a madcap cast of characters that allows kids to experience how fun science can be. Unknown to the world, Thomas Edison had a secret lab where he invented a virtual version of himself and a nearly completed robot to guide and inspire future generation of young scientists.  The secret lab, Edison’s virtual alter ego, and his prototype robot remained hidden until a 12-year-old prodigy cracked the secret coded message that Edison left behind.  This young genius named Angie and her science club friends move into the lab and the fun begins.  Each episode covers fun scientific topics from dinosaur fossils to minerals to gravity and so much more!  KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Benjamin P. comments, “Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: Secret Lab Meeting is a fun, educational adventure that had me humming songs about science for days. I like this show because it makes science a lot more fun. It’s a series about four kids who solve problems using all kinds of science.” Abigail Zoe L. adds, “I just love this animated series. I found myself smiling, giggling and bouncing in my seat. I actually never left the couch because science is my favorite school subject and I didn’t want to miss a thing!” See their full reviews below.

Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: Secret Lab Meeting
By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: Secret Lab Meeting is a fun, educational adventure that had me humming songs about science for days. I like this show because it makes science a lot more fun. It’s a series about four kids who solve problems using all kinds of science. One of my favorite parts of the show is the relationship between the characters. I like that they would nearly do anything to keep each other safe throughout the show.

Secret Lab Meeting is a collection of different episodes from the television series that teaches children cool stuff. The main characters are the kids in the lab, Kent, Angie, JD, and Nicky. With the help of their hologram of Thomas Edison and their robot Von Bolt they can solve nearly anything, from a zombie virus to a slime monster and even stinky teenagers.

My favorite character is Thomas Edison because he is very smart and he is always willing to help the kids. He’s wise and stays calm during a crisis. My favorite episode is If The Fossil Fits because it’s about dinosaurs and dinosaurs are really cool and studying them can teach you a lot about archeology.

ThomasEdison.1_1.jpgMy least favorite episode is Dunkin Zombies. It’s the first episode in the collection but there is no introduction to the characters and I had trouble figuring out the characters and the story line for a while. I like the second episode No Volts For Von Bolt because of how they explain the elements by introducing a fake police department that specializes in cases involving elements from the periodic table. It’s a great genre flip from the modern-day setting to the feeling of an old school detective show.

In the third episode, we see the crew from the lab use the virtual reality room to travel back in time and meet someone who contributed to science. A cartoon Louis Pasteur makes a cameo appearance to teach the kids how to melt slime to destroy a monster. I like the balance between the history and the action scenes.

The history in this show is really cool and educational. The people the kids meet when they travel back in time have accomplished very interesting feats to help science and its progress. One example is Jonas Salk who created the vaccine for polio.

Each episode has a different topic from chemistry to agriculture and even cloning. At the end of each episode, there is a fun little song recapping all the major vocabulary from the episode. I recommend this series for ages 7 to 11. Younger kids might not understand the more complicated science lessons. I give Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab 3 out of 5 stars.

Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: Secret Lab Meeting
By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 8

I just love this animated series. I found myself smiling, giggling and bouncing in my seat. I actually never left the couch because science is my favorite school subject and I didn’t want to miss a thing! I really like all eight fun-filled episodes that are about solving interesting scientific problems.  I like the different animated characters, story line and upbeat music that make science come to life! I also absolutely love that we meet many very important scientists like Thomas Edison, Louis Pasteur and others that help the world be a better place.

Guided by a virtual Thomas Edison, each episode is packed with fascinating scientific information and vocabulary that entertain and inspire the young scientist in each of us! The Lab Team Angie, JD, Kent and Nicky jump into virtual worlds in each episode through a machine called, ALVA where they seek the advice of many important and famous scientists to solve scientific problems. The robot Von Bolt is a nice addition to the team and funny as he tries to attract a girl robot in one of the episodes. At the end of each episode a robot group, the Von Bytes, perform happy, upbeat, catchy, fun songs with pop up scientific vocabulary words used in that episode.ThomasEdison.2.jpg

Elements, enzymes, fossils, fertilizers, cloning, animal behavior and even body odor are just some of the fun scientific topics we learn about in this animated series.

While there are many super fun episodes, my favorite is Dunkin’ Zombies because the character JD turns into a funny green donut craving zombie after he gets infected by a virus. There are several hilarious scenes in this episode alone like zombies not liking gluten-free donuts and craving donuts instead of brains. By the end of this episode we learn how viruses spread and also how they can be cured by a vaccine. Through challenge and perseverance the lab friends with the help of Thomas Edison and Louis Pasteur defeat the virus.

Abigail.jpgThe only downside to this series are first, some viewers may find the animation kind of square and simple when compared to other more sophisticated animated shows. The other downside is that it would be better for the kid voice-over roles to be actual kids so that young viewers can better connect to the kid characters. At the same time, the kid characters are quirky and you can’t help but love them.

This film teaches viewers that science is not only important but fun. All the different episodes spark the imagination and, if you are not someone who likes science, you may just be by the end of this series, or at least you will have a better understanding of the world of science. Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: Secret Lab Meeting is a great educational series and an entertaining way to introduce kids to many different scientific topics. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10.

Star Wars Returns! For The First Time In Over 20 Years!

December 18th, 2015

starWarsForce.jpgThe wait is over! Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens this weekend and, the word is that you will NOT be disappointed! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “People have been waiting for a good Star Wars story ever since Episode VI came out 32 years ago. Fellow Star Wars fans, I am pleased to tell you, it has come.” The secrecy surrounding this release has been extraordinary. Even our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics who were scheduled to attend press screenings had to pledge to secrecy the time and location and weren’t allowed to even tell anyone they were going to it. You should know that the pace of this film is very fast and the action, quite intense. The original film’s iconic characters played by Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, are back, older and even more incredible than ever. But, the new team, played by Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, definitely strike out on their own and command attention. The film is long at 135 minutes but then, so were the first ones - Episode IV (121 minutes); Episode VI (131 min.); Episode I (136 min.).  Nathaniel B. (KIDS FIRST! Film Critic) adds, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a wonderful film that many people will love. Today’s technology really makes the fantasy of Star Wars seem like reality.” See our youth reporters’ full reviews below.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
By Gerry O, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

It is surprising that only 10 to 12 hours of films created the giant franchise we know as Star Wars. People have been waiting for a good Star Wars story ever since Episode 6 came out 32 years ago. Fellow Star Wars fans, I am pleased to tell you, it has come.

Everyone knows Star Wars is a sci-fi, action franchise, but this film is very unique for the fact that it goes much deeper. With Evil getting more and more powerful, there is drama and fighting between the characters, but that doesn’t stop romance from sneaking in with a little bit of comedy. Granted, I was worried it would turn into a kid’s comedy, but quite a few times I found my self thinking that not only are the jokes perfect, they are also not over used!

Alright, let’s get to the part everyone wants to read, the plot of the most hyped, but hidden film of the decade. The events start out 20 years after what took place in Episode 6, (spoiler alert for people who didn’t see episode 6).  The Empire has fallen, yes, but a new Evil has risen, known as The First Order. The rebellion needs new Jedi now more than ever, but Luke (Mark Hamill) is missing and they need to find (wait for it) a new hope!

StarWars.2.jpgIs the film worth the wait? Ever since almost a year ago, people have been talking about new Star Wars episode, and it is SO worth it. Famous directors have taken on some great challenges before, including Spielberg finishing Kubrick’s AI. But J.J. Abrams took on something completely out of the ball field trying to continue Star Wars. The cinematography is spectacular, the ending shot (no spoiler) is one of the greatest endings I have ever seen in a film, and the whole story itself is unexpected and very enjoyable. Although there are many aspects that are not in the original Star Wars films, I think it is actually very nice to see Star Wars not get ruined, but go through its own evolving evolution.

As for the acting, of course, the original A-Team - Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and more – are phenomenal and I think it was the perfect idea to bring these characters back for the pure enjoyment of long standing fans. However, it is really Daisy Ridley who steals the show. Her character, Rey, is so fresh and unique, full of emotion, and this character (still no spoilers, sorry) goes through so much drama in the film. It must have been a very hard role to play. Daisy gives it 110%. I predict she will be win an Oscar nomination for this role.

StarWars.3.jpgThe special effects obviously got better since the last Star Wars film in the early 2000s, and I still want to mention how breathtaking they are. Even for 2015, with all the CGI aliens, ships and spectacular space scenes, it is quite literally “eye candy.” My only criticism of the film is that it is a bit too long. However, not one single scene is out of place or feels unneeded.

One of my favorite scenes is when we are reunited with Hollywood’s favorite space ship. Rey and Finn (John Boyega) are trying to escape The First Order. They have two options for space flight, a “piece of junk” or another space ship. Well, the space ship gets blown up and it turns out the “piece of junk” is the millennium falcon! Of course, everyone cheers, claps and whistles in the audience once the camera shows the breathtaking ship. It is not only enjoyable, and a bit funny, but the camera technique is perfect. If you want to know the rest of the story, go get your tickets and watch the film!

StarWars.1.jpgThis film is actually pretty mature. It isn’t as kind as episodes 1, 2 and 3.  It has its violence, so I recommend it for ages ten to eighteen. And, adults who saw previous Star Wars films and appreciate them will enjoy this film as well. I give it five out of five stars, because, even if it is a little bit boring in the middle, (it is 2 hours and 10 minutes long) J.J. Abrams, the cast and crew achieved the impossible and created a new masterpiece that can be proudly added to the Star Wars franchise. I am also glad to say that, for the first time in over 20 years, Star Wars returns! You can see Star Wars: The Force Awakens in theaters starting December 18th!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
By Nathanial B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a wonderful film that many people will love. Today’s technology really makes the fantasy of Star Wars seem like reality. The scenery is great from the beginning to the end. The forests are vast and really fit the movie wonderfully. The beautiful stars, planets and, even the spaceships, are amazingly real looking.

The storyline It tells what happens after peace was established in the galaxy at the end of Episode 6, but now it’s more than 30 years later and there is no longer peace.

The actors lured me into believing everything is really happening. Daisy Ridley as Rey shows emotion and strength. John Boyega portrays Finn as a man who starts out being afraid but must overcome his fears. And Adam Driver is excellent playing Kylo Ren, the new bad guy who tries to live up to the evil of Darth Vader and does many foolish things in the process. Each characters enliven the new story. Also, Star Wars fans of all ages will love reconnecting with characters from the original films.

The costumes are great and fit the characters in many ways. Rey’s costume, a rugged suit for the desert planet Jakku, shows that she is resourceful and can take care of herself. The unusual and cool costumes fit in well with the previous films in the series.

Many strange creatures add the element of being on other worlds.  I really enjoyed seeing all the extra characters in each scene like pirates, gangs and a variety of aliens.  A fun new sidekick is BB-8, a feisty round astromech droid that belongs to the rebellion.

Nathaniel2015.jpgThe buildings look real and at the same time like they belong in Star Wars. The props, such as blasters and space ships, are also realistic. They are grungy and look like they have seen some use. The only things I didn’t like were the Stormtrooper’s blasters and armor which looked plastic and fake.

The special effects are wonderful from lightsabers to explosions and lasers from the guns. They are a huge part in the film and bring the movie to life.

I do love this film but some parts of it are not quite the way I expected. There are not many breaks from battles and there’s so much action that it feels intense and rushed.

This film is best for ages 7 to 18 because of the intensity of the action. I give this movie 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. It will definitely awaken the Star Wars fan in everyone. Reviewed by Nathaniel B. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Mike The Knight: Mike’s Bravest Mission - Great Message for Pre-schoolers About Perseverance

December 8th, 2015

MiketheKnight_1.jpgMike the Knight is a Canadian/British animated TV series created by Alexander Bar and Written by Marc Seal. It airs on Nick Jr in the US. Mike is a young boy living in medieval times who has a bright future. The son of the king and queen of Glendragon, Mike is determined to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a noble knight. The young knight-in-training is given missions to complete, which he attempts to do with the help of his two dragon friends, Sparkie and Squirt; his sister, witch-in-training Evie; and his horse, Galahad. Mike tries to be the bravest knight of all. With the help of his friends and his rallying cry, “be a knight, do it right,” Mike discovers the power of responsibility and learns to do things the right way. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ryan R. comments, “I like that Mike is very brave and confident. This program shows kids how to be confident in themselves and encourages them to believe you can do anything when you put your mind to it.” Morgan B. adds, “At first I thought the film was just for little boys but after watching it, I think that little girls will love it too.” See their full reviews below.

Mike the Knight: Mike’s Bravest Mission
Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I like that Mike is very brave and confident. This program shows kids how to be confident in themselves and encourages them to believe you can do anything when you put your mind to it. I like how Mike doesn’t cheat and always plays fair. That is a great lesson that Mike shows you throughout the film.

Meet Mike, voiced by Trek Buccino, a knight in training who dreams of being a brave knight like his father when he grows up. His father, the King, is a knight who is away exploring other lands. Looking up to his father, Mike wants to learn to become a knight too. However, he is still in training. With his two dragon friends, Sparkie and Squirt, his sister, Evie, who is a witch-in-training and his horse, Galahad, Mike tries to be the bravest knight of all.

When his mom and dad think he’s prepared, they put him on a quest to solve the “Knight’s Puzzle”RyanRivera.sm.jpg to see if he is ready to be a knight. Mike goes along on this journey with his friend, Richard to complete his mission. Can Mike complete the quest?
My favorite characters are Mike and Evie. Evie is one of my favorites because, unfortunately for her, her magic always goes wrong and it leads to disastrous but hilarious effects. Even though her spells go wrong she keeps persisting and never gives up. Mike is another one of my favorites because he also never gives up on the idea of becoming a knight. You see his persistence throughout the entire film which is a great message for kids to see - If you want to accomplish something, never give up and keep trying.

What I didn’t like about this show is that it has very little humor. Also, this show wasn’t very  entertaining for me as an 11-year-old. But, keep in mind that this movie is perfect for little kids. I recommend it for ages 5 to 8 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. I also recommend it to people who like action, adventure, family and kids films. The DVD has some trailers of other Mike the Knight DVDs and The Doozers DVD. It also offers bonus features where you can meet the characters or do karaoke to the theme song. That’s sort of fun!

Mike_the_Knight_logo.pngMike The Knight: Mike’s Bravest Mission
Morgan B., KIDSFIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Knights, wizards, kings, dragons and more will put a smile on your face! The planes make me want to jump in and take a ride. The animation is colorful and has great details. The many action adventure scenes are spot on and flawless. The animation is so detailed that it is just mind-blowing.

At first I thought the film was just for little boys but after watching it, I think that little girls will love it too. The animals and the girl wizard will definitely be some kids’ favorites. The wizard is cute and, since she is still learning, this leads to many mistakes and funny moments. The story line includes a treasure hunt and a mystery which will capture your attention. The two story lines flow together into a fun, family-friendly, animation adventure.

The movie has great relationships between father and son. You can see all the similar qualities they share, both good and bad. The voice actors are quite wonderful and the emotions between the characters really come across.MTK_Poster_03_big.jpg The characters show what true friends really do for each other.

The characters are adorable and the voice over work matches well with the individual characters. They are all cute and quirky. My favorites are the dragons which are surprisingly kind, not your usual breed of fire breathing beasts that want to eat or barbeque you.

The villains have a beast of their own which terrifies them. I really wanted to like them because they are funny and made me laugh. However, they are not nice and think that everything is theirs.

Mike the Knight: Mikes Bravest Mission teaches us to never give up. If you try and fail maybe you should look at the problem another way and try something different. No matterMorgan.SM.jpg what, you should always keep trying and eventually it will all work out.

This new DVD by N Circle Entertainment is perfect for kids ages 4 to 18.The colorful movie will keep little ones entertained and older kids will love the story line.

I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 Dragons.

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