My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Twilight and Starlight – Lessons of Friendship and Understanding

June 17th, 2017

Twilight Sparkle is determined to prove that anyone can learn the magic of friendship. So when a reformed Starlight Glimmer wants a fresh start, Twilight is only too happy to take her under her alicorn wing and lend a helping hoof. And though challenges await Starlight as she learns about friendship, Twilight and the rest of the Mane 6 will do whatever it takes to ensure Starlight succeeds!

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Twilight and Starlight
By Imani B.G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Twilight and Starlight is a very positive show. I love how friendship is always the main theme with these magical ponies. I also love how, in each episode, there is a lesson to learn about friendship and how to apply the skills throughout life. Kids will definitely enjoy watching the Equestria girls and learn more about the journey of friendship.

Twilight Sparkle is determined to prove to everyone that making friends is an easy thing to do and how magical friendship is. A changed Starlight Glimmer visits the land of Equestria, hoping to develop a friendship with any pony. Twilight is ecstatic to help her throughout her journey and is willing to lend a helping hoof. Although Starlight faces various challenges throughout the episodes, Twilight and the Mane 6 will do whatever it takes to make sure that Starlight succeeds in making new friends.

Each episode is purposeful, but my favorite is the third episode when Starlight finally realizes who she is and what she is capable of doing in life. At first, Starlight is scared to return to her old town because she is afraid of what people might think of her and how she may even change back to her old ways. She is then forced to look at herself as a pony when her friends and other civilizations of the world are captured by the naughty changelings. You can obviously tell that Starlight wants to change from her old ways, but is too scared to accept it. I like how, at the end, she learns the true meaning of friendship on her own and that it is okay to change!

The overall message expressed throughout every episode is about dealing with friendship. Twilight continuously tries to show Starlight that it is possible to make friends, even with a bad past. People can be very understanding and tend to give others a chance to explain themselves. That’s exactly what Twilight tries to explain to Starlight. Kids will be able to learn from this DVD how to make new friends and how to reconnect with old ones.

I recommend this fun-filled DVD for ages 4 to 6. I also encourage parents and older siblings to watch the episodes with their younger siblings to learn a few things about the magic friendship has to offer. They may even be able to apply some of the skills and lessons they learn from the show. I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars due to its vibrant colors, magical storyline, amazing cast, educational lessons and so much more! This lively DVD is available now so, check out. Please enjoy this as much as I did!

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Twilight and Starlight
Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror

As usual, My Little Pony doesn’t disappoint. This particular DVD has 5 episodes, there are two 2-parters and then a standalone episode. Obviously these specific episodes focus heavily on Twilight and Starlight. The animation is fantastic and the voice acting is on point. The songs are very cute and catchy. One episode set focuses on the idea that you can’t force someone to be your friend, which I thought to be quite interesting. I have not seen that topic brought up in a kids program before and, it is definitely a topic that should be addressed. The only complaint that I have about this DVD is that it bounces around multiple seasons of the TV series. Pretty much all of the DVDs do and I suppose they need to bounce around to gather enough episodes about a specific situation or character, but it gets confusing sometimes. All in all, it is a pleasure to watch. I recommend this for ages 5 to 13 and it probably appeals to girls more than boys. But, then, there are Bronies.  I happily grant it 5 out of 5 stars.

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, Twilight and Starlight
By Kamryn B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age15

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Twilight and Starlight was very pleasant to watch. The different styles of the various ponies is enjoyable because their personalities really shine. In media, I always look for the humorous side of things which happens throughout the six episodes on this DVD. Every episode also addresses the challenges in finding friendships.

On this DVD, we see Twilight helping a new pony Starlight, who wants to exchange her bad bone for a good one. The problem is that she doesn’t have any friends to influence her in making good choices. This is where Twilight comes in, helping her find a friend named Trixie that’s not so bad in the end. Its cool to see how much Starlight grows in her friendships as the shows unfold. That is only some of what happens in the five episodes filled with messages about everlasting friendships.

Starlight Glimmer, the pony who is new to the friendship thing is voice acted by Kelly Sheridan. Her mentor Twilight Sparkle is voice acted by Tara Strong. Kathleen Barr stars as Trixie, a close friend of Starlight’s.

I enjoyed the color, crisp voice acting and the animation. There is a delightful twist to the way each pony is designed to make them different from the other ponies. My favorite part is when Twilight is challenged by the deep connection she has with her new friends. She could either explore a path of her own or save her new friends and go on a whole other path. You have to watch the show to catch the details.

The message of this DVD is that friendships can help you in many ways. It’s a great message for any child. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars. It is interesting to watch and, you’re a My Little Pony fan, this DVD will be particularly interesting and cool. I recommend it for ages 8 to 12. This DVD is available in stores now, so go check it out.

 

 

 

Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: It’s Always Sharkest – Stealth Learning at its Best,

June 16th, 2017

Unknown to the world, Thomas Edison built a secret lab where he invented a virtual version of himself and a steampunk robot named Von Bolt. Years later, Angie, a twelve-year-old science prodigy, discovers the lab. While visiting one of Kent’s relatives, the kids come up with a great idea for attracting more tourists to his restaurant – the only catch is that it also attracts a very big shark with very big teeth! What will the Secret Lab Kids do? Guided by fun-loving Edison, Angie and friends will show just how fun science can be. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “I love all of the puns and the jokes. I thought that they were very funny. I also thought that it was awesome that everything tied in with learning, so that you could enjoy watching the movie while learning new things about science.” Carla P. adds, “The show has cool features that I’ve rarely seen on a TV show. At the end of every episode, they have a music video recapping what they learned in that episode.” KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror, Rachael V. wraps it up with, “This collection is called “​It’s Always Sharkest” because it features an episode regarding a shark​’​s sense of smell. Thinking about subjects ​such as​​ DNA and ​radioactive ​decay​ doesn’t ​seem to be very appealing to younger ​kids, but these episodes change that. It gives a very hands on, kid friendly approach to not just learning about these subjects, but enjoying the adventure along the way.” See their full reviews below.

Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: It’s Always Sharkest
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

This film is very educational and humorous. I love all of the puns and the jokes. I thought that they were very funny. I also thought that it was awesome that everything ties in with learning, so that you can enjoy watching the movie while learning new things about science.

Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab is about Angie and her friends who discover Thomas Edison’s secret lab. They go on multiple science adventures to learn how to solve their problems in everyday life. They go back in time, shrink to be super small, go snorkeling and even go inside animals’ bodies to learn as much as they can about their situation to help solve their problem at home.

Phillipa Alexander (Angie), has a voice of a child, which is probably why they chose her for the role of Angie. Phillipa Alexander’s voice can sound nerdy and smart or be used to sound enraged and mad. Shash Hira (Kent) can make his voice sound small and awkward. He portrays Kent as an intimidated character.

The animation in this movie is not that good. When they talk, their mouths mostly just move up and down. The arm movements they do are also really repetitive. Overall, the movements for the characters and scenery are not very life like. But, I don’t think a young child will mind. This movie is made for younger audiences, but the science they teaching is suitable for older kids.

My favorite part of the movie is when Angie and her friends shrink and go through the process of pollination. It looks really cool to see how pollination works, when you are super small actually see the inside of the flower and bee hive.

The message of this film is to accept yourself for who you are, and to realize that science isn’t lame and can actually be useful. When Angie was building a robot for a competition, the opponents were calling her a geek and science nerd. But Angie isn’t discouraged and actually likes that she knows a lot of things. She doesn’t let them distract her and ends up winning the bot fight.

You can learn a lot from this show. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 8 to 12. The animation and plot seem suitable, but the science and vocabulary is more suited for older children. It’s on DVD so, go check it out – especially if you love science!

Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: It’s Always Sharkest
By Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I like Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: It’s Always Sharkest because it is an educational show, has very unique features and really good animation.

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

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

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

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

Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab: It’s Always Sharkest
Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

I’ve been lucky enough to review two of the Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab DVDs and I just love them. As a kid I always loved science class, but I know that not everyone did. There were lessons that appealed to me less than others and I was lucky enough to have ​shows such as Bill Nye the Science Guy and The Magic School Bus​ to inspire me​. ​This collection is called “​It’s Always Sharkest” because it features an episode regarding a shark​’​s sense of smell. Thinking about subjects ​such as​​ DNA and ​radioactive ​decay​ doesn’t ​seem to be very appealing to younger ​kids, but these episodes change that. It gives a very hands on, kid friendly approach to not just learning about these subjects, but enjoying the adventure along the way. One of my favorite things about this program is meeting the creators take on other scientists like Darwin and Watson. The animation is phenomenal and the lessons learned are even better. I​ recommend this to kids ages ​5​ to 12, but ​make no mistake, ​I greatly enjoyed learning new things and relearning things I had long forgotten. If I could ​rate this higher than 5 stars I would, but since I can’t​, I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

 

 

 

 

Kuu Kuu Harajuku: Music Baby – Fun, Imaginative, Vibrant, Fashionable and Filled with Great Songs

June 16th, 2017

From the mind of Gwen Stefani comes the world of Kuu Kuu Harajuku! Say hello to HJ5! A super cool band made of five super cool girls! Love, Angel, Music, Baby and their inspirational leader G love to sing, dance and sport the latest kawaii fashions (Kawaii is “cute ” in Harajuku speak)! With help from their loveably incompetent manager Rudie, HJ5 travels all over to put on shows for their fans! Although they are totally talented, every time they start a gig, something wild and crazy happens before they finish the first bar! I mean, it’s not easy performing while you are being attacked by space aliens, adorable (and ravenous) monster pets OR hunger (you don’t want to mess with Baby when she’s hangry). No matter what challenges come their way, they always work together to save the day! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan B. comments, “The perfect animation colors and style make this concoction a work of art that is pure genius. This is an adorable fun world full of fashion, original songs and five smart girls with problem solving skills and teamwork.” Kamryn B. adds, “Kuu Kuu Harajuku is a jamming new TV series that is now available on DVD. This show is filled with humor and adventurous episodes. The vibrant colors make the show even more “Kawaii,” the Japanese term for cute.” KIDS FIRST! Juror Rachael V. wraps it up with, “This program was ​co-​created by Gwen Stephani (No Doubt) and you can really tell. It’s extremely girly and stylistic and the music is fantastic.” See their full reviews below. 

Kuu Kuu Harajuku: Music Baby
By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The adventures on this DVD are crazy and humorous! The perfect animation colors and style make this concoction a work of art that is pure genius. This is an adorable fun world full of fashion, original songs and five smart girls with problem solving skills and teamwork.

I adore the likable, optimistic characters including G (Maggie Chretien), the leader of the band HJ5 who is ready for a challenge at all times. She believes nothing is impossible. This is why she is my favorite character. Fun fact: G is supposed to be represent Gwen Stefani in encouraging young girls to become themselves and to have faith in each other as well. Baby (Charlotte Nicdao) loves everything and just wants to give everyone a hug and talk things out. Love (Daisy Masterman) is the brainiac. She knows her technology and her brain is big and chocked full of knowledge. She is one smart cookie. Music (Sally Taylor-Isherwood) is the sarcastic, sassy one who knows what to do and when to do it. Angle (Emma Taylor-Isherwood) is the girl to call on when you need an outfit for an event. She loves fashion and shopping. They all want the best for each other while they try to make it as a girl band. They are true to themselves and believe every problem has a solution.

The voice-over talent is fantastic. They know how to bring out the perfect tones for each character. Gwen Stefani is the executive producer and along with her, many other wonderful actresses are a part of this crew. Lessons to be learned from the show are inspirational and helpful. HJ5 helps kids learn to be themselves and accept who they are. That is what makes this show so special. People are all different and have a unique quality about them. The world would be boring if everyone was the same. We should accept each other’s differences. It is okay to be different. Embrace our differences and have fun with it. That is what makes you who you are and what makes you special and unique.

Phony ponies is the cutest episode. It reminds me of the Kentucky Derby because of the hats that they wear, like the actual Kentucky Derby. My mom and I always wear crazy hats and watch the horse races. Team work is a great theme for this show. The music is originally and catchy. It makes you feel good and you want to sing along. The animation is perfect as are the colors and style. All the colors are eye catching and fun. On the other hand, the style is perfect. I love the complex shapes and details and the way that they make it all work together.

I recommend this funtastic DVD for ages 4 to 12. For kids who love music, fashion and adorableness,  this fabulous DVD will be a hit. I give it 5 out of 5 “Kawaii” (Japanese for cute) singing stars. This DVD comes out on June 13, 2017 so, keep your eye out for it.

Kuu Kuu Harajuku: Music Baby
By Kamryn B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

 

Kuu Kuu Harajuku is a jamming new TV series that is now available on DVD. This show is filled with humor and adventurous episodes. The vibrant colors make the show even more “Kawaii,” the Japanese term for cute. The characters Music, Baby, Love, Angel and G experience different puzzling situations together as they sing to their accumulating fan base. Their unorganized manager Rudie and General No Fun are always trying to ruin the band’s plans.

 

This show was created by Gwen Stephanie based on her Harajuku Lovers brand. Steve Aranguren, Gillian Carr and Madellaine Paxson are credited as co-developers. The cast includes Charlotte Nicdao as Baby, Emma Taylor-Isherwood as Angel, Daisy Masterman as Love, Danny Smith as Rudie and Sally Taylor-Isherwood as Music. I commend the voice actors for the way they make the characters’ emotions seem real.

 

The animation is quite unique, compared to other animated shows. The show has multiple shades of purple and pink that would make any girl squeal. The characters are all quite unique and well defined. G, the leader of the band, helps the group focus on the task at hand. Whenever General No Fun gets in the way of fun, she helps figure out a way to have fun despite his intentions. Since their manager Rudie isn’t much help, G has an important role to play. Baby is childish and knows what’s cute and what isn’t. Love has all the smarts to create a formula of success. Angel is the fashionista who wears all the newest looks and styles.  And Music is my favorite character because of her sense of humor and a hint of sass.

 

My favorite scene involved Music in one of the episodes when she suspects something fishy is going on that would negatively affect the band. Music does her best to protect her friends. The different episodes evoke a different message. One that I resonate with is the idea of teamwork and working together as a group. It also emphasizes that people should not be ashamed of  who they are or what they love to do.

 

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars. The animation is great, the characters are lovable and enjoyable. I recommend this DVd to kids age 5 to 10. This DVD comes out on June 13, 2017 so, be sure to check it out.

Kuu Kuu Harajuku: Music Baby
Reviewed by Rachael Vickers, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.

This program was ​co-​created by Gwen Stephani (No Doubt) and you can really tell. It’s extremely girly and stylistic and the music is fantastic. It’s about a band called HJ5​. It has a real cutesy Spice Girls meets My Little Pony feel to it. The girls are always running into problems while trying to do a gig. Nothing seems to go their way, but because they are such great friends they always find a way to salvage the day. There is an adorable episode called Baby’s Birthday. Baby is on the girls in the band and it’s fun watching the other members scrambling to make this day worthwhile for Baby. This is definitely not a program that I ​think​ boys would ​particularly enjoy. There are ​no action moments​. It is all heavily focused towards girls​,​ which is fine.​ The music is great and ​it ​has a fun pop sound. The animation is ​quite ​good and ​the storyline flows well. I ​recommend this for ages 4 through 11 and give it 5 out 5 stars for really teaching girls to be tough and stay positive!

Cars 3 – Best in the Cars Series!

June 15th, 2017

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage! Benjamin P. comments, “The animation in Cars 3 is great. No other film succeeds in making everyday objects feel truly human as well as this franchise does. This gives it a sense of realism and puts me more in tune with characters’ emotions and makes me care more about them in the process.” Jolleen M. adds, “This film is really unique and well made! I really enjoyed watching it. The storyline is well thought out and original. I also love the animation which is very detailed.” Lucia F. wraps it up with, “As a teenage girl who did not see the first two Cars films, I had serious doubts about this movie. Imagine my surprise when I found myself enjoying Cars 3 from beginning to end.” See their full reviews below.

Cars 3
By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Cars 3 is a great new chapter in the Cars series. While it doesn’t soar to the heights of other Pixar films, it still is the best Cars film yet.

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

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

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

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

Cars 3
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cars 3
By Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Alisa Knows What To Do! Season One

June 15th, 2017

 Alisa Knows What to Do! is based on the extremely popular Russian science-fiction novels by famous Russian author Kir Bulychiov about a young girl from the future, Alisa Salazar. This animated series weaves a tale about the adventures of a group of teenagers living at the end of the 21st century. The world has changed yet the burning questions that occupied people at the beginning of the century are still pertinent today. Alisa and her friends not only battle evil and injustice but they are also concerned with global problems like the natural balance, both on the planet and in space. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Lucia F. comments, “I like the animation because the special effects are very cool. Young children will enjoy this because it is filled with adventure and action.” Gerry O. adds, “There are not many animated kid shows that can teach important life lessons, entertain and spark the viewer’s imagination. Alisa Knows What to Do: Season One accomplishes all of this and more.” Calista B. wraps it up with, “This series is really enjoyable. I was honestly surprised by how much I was invested in the story and the characters. It is surprisingly solid.” See their full reviews below.

Alisa Knows What To Do! Season One
By Lucia Funaro, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18

What I find appealing is that Alisa is everyone’s boss and, as the title says, she obviously knows what to do. I like the animation because the special effects are very cool. Young children will enjoy this because it is filled with adventure and action. One part I don’t care for is how strict the  teacher is. I wish he was nicer to the young teens. At first I was bothered by the audio which is not in sync with the mouth movements and then I realized that the original language is Russian and this version is dubbed in English.

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

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

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

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

Alisa Knows What to Do: Season One
By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alisa Knows What To Do! Season One
By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

This series is really enjoyable. I was honestly surprised by how much I was invested in the story and the characters. It is surprisingly solid. This is a show based on the popular series of Russian books by Kir Bulychlov. The story is about a young girl named Alisa and her friends who live in the future, in the year 2093. They go on adventures throughout the galaxy fighting crime and protecting the environment.

First, I want to talk about the main group of kids. To be honest, Alisa takes center stage a lot. But this isn’t a bad thing, because they switch the spotlight to the other kids every once in a while. And they try to develop the characters of the other kids, which I like. In terms of personality, the characters are pretty stereotyped. There’s The Jock, The Nerd, The Girly Girl who only cares about her looks and similar. As much as I disapprove of stereotyping in general, these are probably some of the best stereotypes I’ve seen. However, I will say that I found the girls way more likeable than the boys.

The most important aspect in any sci-fi story is how you use the futuristic setting to your advantage. The world you create has to be as impactful as the story and characters. And the sci-fi world in this series is really super cool! The other planets and environments the creators made up are really creative. The city where they live is very well designed as are the gadgets they use. This is one of the best instances of edutainment that I’ve ever seen.

In terms of the animation, it’s actually quite good. It is definitely clear that the creators put a lot of effort into the visuals. However, the close-up shots of the characters are a bit weird looking. It makes them look like weirdly made plastic dolls.

The voice-overs are also well done. IMDB only lists Laurie Hymes who voices Alisa and Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld who voices Natalie. Both of them are excellent in their voice-over roles.

I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. I can see some older kids enjoying this show as well. It is great for future environmentalists and scientists. This DVD is available now so, go check it out.

 

 

 

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