Get in the Mood for Summer Camping with The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Camping!

May 22nd, 2017

It’s the first day of summer vacation and The Cat in the Hat whisks Nick, Sally and Fish off on the greatest great outdoor camping adventure ever! Our gang gets back to nature as they hike through the Fickle Fern Forest, camp out overnight, trek over Mt. Weewobble and canoe down the Tickle Drop River… just in time for Fish to meet up with his family for a grand reunion. Along for the ride are Little Cats A, B and C, who discover there’s wonder in nature once their electronic devices are powered off! Nick and Sally help keep the Little Cats out of trouble, while Fish tries to keep his jacket pressed and the mud out of his fancy fishbowl… all while getting up close to some of nature’s most awesome sights, and learning how best to respect them. After being lulled to sleep under the stars by a chorus of animals, the morning brings Everyone agrees it really has been the Greatest Great Outdoors Adventure Ever! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan B. comments, “I absolutely love all the different things I learned about from this DVD! The animation is spot on in this show which brings out a lot of cool stuff.” Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror adds, “What a great DVD to get you in the mood for the upcoming summer vacation! I’m a big fan of the Cat in the Hat and his shenanigans. This one does not disappoint!” See their full reviews below.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Camping!
By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

I absolutely love all the different things I learned about from this DVD! The animation is spot on in this show which brings out a lot of cool stuff. In this collection, the Cat in the Hat, Nick, Sally, Fish, Thing One and Thing Two are all back for new and exciting adventures about camping. It makes the perfect summer DVD for kids who love Dr. Seuss’s terrific characters and stories. I enjoyed watching this so much because it is interesting and enjoyable and shows so many different people from all around the world. I imagine that kids from everywhere will enjoy this since camping is something everyone can do.

My favorite scene features a crafty squirrel who borrows food. We are in the great outdoors and have to remember that humans are in animal territory so, they need to be kind to the animals. The voice actors truly fit their characters, especially Martin Short as the Cat in the Hat. Mr. Short’s energetic voice over suits the Cat so well. His voice is very unique which makes his character always so fun, happy, encouraging and knowledgeable. He makes watching the show a treat.

Electronics rule the world today, so camping is great way to get back to nature.  Leave the phones at home and go outside and enjoy the world. This is the great lesson on this DVD. I would like to go camping this year for a fun vacation. It might even start a family tradition that my family and I would enjoy – time away from electronics exploring the wonderful world we live in. It is so easy to sit and worry that everything will go wrong, but things tend to always work out. Spend less time worrying and more time enjoying life is a message I took away from this.

There is no fishing on this camping trip since the goal is to take Fish to his family reunion. We see family members coming together from all difference places to get reacquainted with one another and connect in new ways.  It is always fun to see our family members from far away, listen to their stories about the past and learn about others in your extended family. I’m going to make this part of my summer plan.

I recommend this DVD for kids ages 4 to 12. You can learn a lot about camping, friendship and family reunions while watching this adventure. It is very catchy and perfect for summer. If you’re looking for something to do this summer, then this will give you some wonderful ideas. I give this terrific DVD 5 out of 5 camping adventure stars. This fun DVD is available now so, go check it out.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Camping!

By Denise Bloomfield, KIDS FIRST! Juror

What a great DVD to get you in the mood for the upcoming summer vacation! I’m a big fan of the Cat in the Hat and his shenanigans. This one does not disappoint! It’s entertaining for the whole family and children, ages 3 to 9 will love it! I like that all the characters such as the Fish are included in this fun outdoor adventure. It also has a great story line from the beginning to end and it’s just so fun to watch. I found myself laughing out loud more than a few times. I also like that it is rather original and the animation and soundtrack are great. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and think that the adults will also enjoy watching this one with their young children.

Digimon Adventure Tri. : Reunion – Great Animation, Real Fan Pleaser

May 19th, 2017

It’s been six years since that summer adventure when Taichi and the rest of the DigiDestined crossed over to the Digital World and nearly three years since the final battle between Hikari’s group and BelialVamdemon. And, at some point, while the peaceful days went by, the gate to the Digital World mysteriously closed. But when a Kuwagamon suddenly appears in Odaiba, its rampage leaves the town in ruins, and the people there in turmoil. Taichi chases after it, in an effort to halt its rampage. But there’s nothing he can do against a Kuwagamon. Not by himself. And that’s where a new adventure begins. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tristan T. comments, “), I have to say that the animation in this DVD is really well executed. It is very colorful, vivid and very realistic.” Benjamin P. adds, “My favorite part of this film is the climactic final battle. Seeing the Digidestined fight against one common evil is very epic. This scene feels like it has real stakes to it. I honestly was unsure of what would happen next.” See their full reviews below.

Digimon Adventure Tri. – Reunion
By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 14 years old

While I am not a big fan of Digimon (I prefer Pokemon), I have to say that the animation in this DVD is really well executed. It is very colorful, vivid and very realistic. After a slow start, the plot picks up and brings fans right back into the Digital World full of adventure and battles.

If you were a fan of the Digimon series in the 1990s and early 2000s, then this is the movie for you. Toei Animation and Shout! Factory have reunited the original characters to produce its first animated feature film.  It has been six years since Tai and the rest of the “DigiDestined” crossed over into the Digital World. The gate remains closed but new adventures await.

There is a DVD combo pack option that includes both Japanese and English language versions as well as bonus content. The English dubbing is highly professional. Joshua Seth returns as the voice artist for Tayi Kamiya. He is a well-known voice-over artist, not just for his work on the Digimon series, but multiple other anime and video game projects. My favorite character is Angemon (Dave Mallow).  I really enjoy the way he voices this character, making him sound creative and quirky.

Digimon Adventure Tri. – Reunion would not be a good place to start if you are new to Digimon, as it picks up where the series left off many years ago. It is best to have at least some understanding of the back story of the characters and storyline or you will not be able to really grasp what is going on. But the message of working together to achieve a common goal is easy to understand. My favorite scene is when Tai and Angemon stand looking over the cliff. This scene is dramatic and relatable and changes the tone of the film.

This is a dramatic, yet lighthearted film reuniting all of the Digimon characters from the original series. I recommend this film for ages 10 to 16 and give this film 3 out of 5 stars.  It is available on DVD, March 16, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

Digimon Adventure Tri.: Reunion
By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Digimon Adventure Tri.: Reunion is a fun return to the world of Digimon’s Digital Monsters with epic battles and powerful Digimon that should definitely appeal to fans of the original series.

Many years have passed since the original show and the characters are now in high school. Tai encounters a strange Digimon that jeopardizes the reputation of the rest of the magical creatures. Tai is reunited with the rest of the Digidestined and they come together with their Digimon to fight against the destructive monsters that Tai encounters. As this threat becomes more hostile, the Digidestined must work together to fight against it.

My favorite part of this film is the climactic final battle. Seeing the Digidestined fight against one common evil is very epic. This scene feels like it has real stakes to it. I honestly was unsure of what would happen next. It is a nice pay-off for what the film has been building up to the whole time. The Digimon really let loose and you finally really get to see the grand scale of their powers onscreen in a rewarding way.

I do not like the ending to this film. It might catch you off guard with an ending that feels abrupt. You could argue that they chose to end it this way because this film has two other sequels, but I think they could have at least added one more scene.

This film is a little confusing. I know little of the Digimon mythos and there is some exposition that I don’t understand. However, this series’ welcoming nature though makes up for that. Even though I do not know the characters, they interact in a way that made me feel as if I knew them already. I mostly credit the voice cast for this. They have never played these characters before or worked together, but it feels as if they’ve known each other for a long time and their chemistry feels very much believable.

I give this DVD an age rating of 5 to 14. It’s pretty much for all ages and, if you’re a fan of Digimon, I highly recommend it. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Fans of Digimon will really enjoy it. You can find it now on DVD so, go check it out.

 

 

 

Diary of A Wimpy Kid’s Latest Installment Is Fun, Upbeat and Unpredictable

May 19th, 2017

A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw’s 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg’s newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention. This family cross-country adventure turns into an experience the Heffleys will never forget. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Alejandra G. comments, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul has the same wonderful entertaining impact as the rest of the series.” Ella L. adds, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is an upbeat, fun and humorous movie based on the books by the same name. It has an entertaining script with interesting relationships between characters. This movie also has moments where I burst out laughing.” Maria G. wraps it up with, “I really enjoyed the personality of each character in this film. Their different charisma contributes greatly to tone the film.” See their full reviews below (Alejandra’s are in English and Spanish). Also, check out our coverage from the Red Carpet by Ryan R.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul has the same wonderful entertaining impact as the rest of the series. For those who don’t know, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a fiction comedy novel for children and teenagers written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. Over the years, these books have been brought to life in films that have the same well-liked effect on the audience as the original books. I was and still am a huge fan of the Wimpy Kid series and I recall always being excited for the new book or the new film to come out.

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

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

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

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15. This opens in theaters on May 19th, 2017 so go check it out.

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
By Ella Ladd, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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

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

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

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

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

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
By Maria Guerrero, KIDS FIRS! Film Critic, age 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – More Thrilling and Hilarious Than its Predecessor

May 2nd, 2017

Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Clayton P. comments, “Set to “Awesome Mixtape #2”, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. #2  is more thrilling and hilarious than its predecessor.” See his full review below.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
By Clayton Pickard, KidsFirst! Critic, age 17

Set to “Awesome Mixtape #2”, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. #2  is more thrilling and hilarious than its predecessor. It is an action packed, sci-fi adventure about a group of intergalactic criminals who are tasked to work together to save the universe.

Chris Pratt again stars as Peter Quill, aka Star Lord. The rest of the cast follows suit – Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket.

The film starts out with the classic 70s song “Brandi” by Looking Glass as we see two young people driving down the highway, very much in love. We later learn that this is the back story of Peter’s conception and is foreshadowing the main storyline of the film. The movie jumps 34 years and Peter is now Star Lord, captain of a band of reformed outlaws. The group is hired to guard the uber batteries of the Sovereign planet. Upon leaving, Rocket steals some of the batteries and a space battle ensues. Star Lord and his crew are shot down and make an emergency landing on a nearby planet. Before landing,  they notice a mysterious spaceship, which takes out the entire Sovereign fleet pursuing them. The rest of the film is an emotional, action-packed adventure, having to do with this mysterious personage. There are lots of battles between different factions in this crazy sci-fi, fantasy universe.

The movie has lots of lively and entertaining scenes. My favorite is when Rocket Raccoon uses traps to his advantage to defeat an incoming horde of ravagers. Every scene with Drax is terrific because he has a different philosophy of life and has the most infectious laugh of any character in any movie, ever. I also love how Peter is obsessed with 80s pop culture.  He references them all the time, but his companions never understand them, because they didn’t grow up on Earth. I especially love how 80s music is used to evoke nostalgia from Peter’s childhood, making for a terrific oldies soundtrack.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is phenomenal and full of whimsical jokes that don’t get old. It is a perfect family adventure that is suitable for ages 10 to 18. Parents and grandparents will even get a kick out of it. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars for its engaging humor and captivating action. It opens in theaters on May 5 so, be sure to check it out.

 

Dino Dan: Dino Go Seek – Interesting Facts About Dinosaurs And Augmented Reality Technology

May 2nd, 2017

Join junior dinosaur expert, Trek Henderson as he imagines dinosaurs in the real world! During an indoor game of hide and seek with his friends and Grandma, Trek discovers that Microraptors use their natural abilities to hide with the best of them! Enjoy playing dino go seek and more dino game-filled adventures with Trek and friends! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Carla P. comments, “I like the look of the animation, it looks very realistic according to what dinosaurs would have looked like.” Rohan F. adds, “I loved the variety of styles in this DVD so I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I also find it quite informational, so I recommend It for kids who love dinosaurs from ages 3 to 10.” See their full reviews below.

Dino Dan: Dino Go Seek
By Carla Paz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I like this DVD because it teaches kids about dinosaurs. I like the look of the animation, it looks very realistic according to what dinosaurs would have looked like.

Dino Dan is about a boy named Trek who is fascinated with all things about dinosaurs. He teaches his friends facts related to dinosaurs.  In the story the dinosaurs help Trek with daily activities such as school and fun things like playing with his friends.  I also like how they help Trek on his adventures while Trek teaches us about dinosaurs.

For the animation of the dinosaurs it uses augmented reality technology, so it looks like real dinosaurs that actually existed.  In some occasions, the combination of animation and augmented reality looks a bit fake, but it’s not a big deal. 

The actors are great, especially Trek (Trek Buccino). He looks and talks like he’s fascinated with the dinosaurs. I also like his grandma in the first episode. She is great at relating to the kids.

My favorite episode is the one where Trek talks about going to a science school with his friend and his friend’s dad. They talk about robots and how they are made. Trek teaches us about how dinosaurs are protective of their offspring. Trek takes us to a go-cart course where he talks about how fast certain dinosaurs are. The friends race the dinosaurs and learn a lesson about the tortoise and the hare.

I like learning about dinosaurs. They are a very important part of our history. The show tells us about a lot of dinosaurs that I didn’t know about before and presents interesting facts about the dinosaurs too.

I rate this show 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend this DVD to ages 3 to 8. This DVD is available now so, go check it out.

Dino Dan: Dino Go Seek
By Rohan Foxe, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Dino Dan: Dino go Seek is a very educational DVD for young kids. It contains lots of interesting facts about dinosaurs. Unfortunately, there are lots of plot holes that left me wondering what was going on. I enjoyed the concepts of each episode, but found myself getting somewhat bored. Also, in the five episodes, the same dinosaurs are featured in four of them which I found very repetitive. They don’t really change the facts up, so basically three episodes tell the same thing in different ways.

This DVD is a compilation of five episodes that aired on Nick Jr. including Dino Go Seek, Train of Dino’s, Robots & Dino’s, Dino Clash and Dino Racing. In Dino Go Seek, Trek learns about dinosaurs during a game of hide and seek. In Train of Dino’s, Trek incorporates dinosaurs into his friend Penelope‘s train set. In Robots & Dino’s, Trek helps protect a Dromaeosaurs egg using his friend Bobby’s robots. Dino Racing is about Trek and his friends having imaginary races between humans and dinosaurs. Finally, Dino Clash Is about Trek and Bobby playing a game and learning about dinosaurs and teamwork.

I really enjoyed how they used CGI dinosaurs over video footage. I couldn’t tell if his friends knew he could see dinosaurs or not because in some episodes they talk about it to him and in others they are wishing there were dinosaurs.  My favorite episode is Train of Dino’s because, it not only uses the usual CGI over video, it also uses stop motion animation in the form of the train set people moving. This is very creative and I love the variety.

The main character Trek is played by Trek Buccino.  Jordyn Nergri plays Hannah. Katherine Forrester plays Penelope. Bobby is played by Colin Petierre. His brilliant facial expressions are one of my favorite things. Each episode has its own moral. The clearest message ii in Dino Clash. It is about teamwork because, in the end they have to work together to get to the finish line.

I loved the variety of styles in this DVD so I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I also find it quite informational, so I recommend It for kids who love dinosaurs from ages 3 to 10. I also think parents will probably enjoy watching this with their younger children. It’s available on DVD now, so go check it out.

 

 

 

 

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