Archive for March, 2011

‘Tangled’ Seen as a Five-Star Winner

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Tangled_181x300.jpgWalt Disney Studios’ Tangled has been hailed by old-time Disney fans as a return to the classic style they loved as kids – visually stunning scenes, tried-and-true heroes with appealing personalities, great songs and well-crafted animation. Young viewers may not have that historical perspective, but they don’t need that to fall in love with it on their own. Eight-year-old KIDS FIRST! film critic Ny’Asia Bell shares her review (and here’s a heads up, folks: The DVD release is on the near horizon):

This is Ny’Asia Bell reporting for KIDS FIRST!

Today I will be reviewing the animated Disney movie Tangled, starring Mandy Moore as Rapunzel, Zachary Levi as Flynn Rider and Donna Murphy as Mother Gothel. I thought this was a great movie full of lots of action and great special effects. This movie is about a princess named Rapunzel, only she doesn’t know she’s a princess. She was stolen at birth for her magical golden hair by a wicked and selfish lady named Mother Gothel, and kept in a tower for eighteen years. For her 18th birthday, she wants to go outside to see the floating lights. What are the floating light, and does she get to go outside? You will have to see the movie for yourself to find out.

My favorite character has to be Pascal, Rapunzel’s pet lizard. Even though he never spoke a word, he played a very important role in her life. He was her best friend and only companion.NyAsiaBell_forweb.jpg

I love the scene where the girls are feeding Pascal berries, and each time they fed him a different color he turned that color. I thought that was cool, but that’s what chameleons do. Also when Pascal tries to wake Flynn Rider by slapping him with his tail then sticking his tongue in his ear, I thought that was hilarious!

I thought Mandy Moore did an outstanding job playing Rapunzel. I felt like I could really relate to her character. We both love to read, paint, and we both have a pet lizard.

I rate this movie 5 of 5 stars. I thought it was full of action, and very entertaining. I recommend this movie to kids 7 and up, because I thought Mother Gothel was a little scary.

This has been Ny’Asia Bell reporting for KIDS FIRST!

Photos: Tangled (top), Ny’Asia Bell (bottom)

Sci-Fi for Family Good in ‘The Jensen Project’

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

JensenProject.jpgThe new TV show “The Jensen Project” provides parents and kids a program they can enjoy watching together and conversation points good for lively and meaningful discussion. The story centers on a couple who come back after a 16-year absence to a secret community of geniuses conducting advanced underground research to solve the world’s most difficult problems – but now they have a teen-aged son, which involves a whole slew of other challenges. As scientists working on the Jensen Project, Claire and Matt Thompson are geniuses (Patricia Richardson and Lavar Burton, respectively, adding their own star power to the show), but as parents, they experience the same struggles as all parents to make the right decisions.

One of the show’s core values is communication, as the family moves from little to a lot. And in doing so, as KIDS FIRST! juror Juanita Richburg Seon points out, “The content helps the audience realize that even after what may have been a mistake or error that opportunities can come back and give you a chance to go forward and win.” And KIDS FIRST! juror Cindy Palmer says, “This movie … demonstrates that just because a family may not always see eye to eye, they still need each other and can work together if they all choose to. This is a great example for a child, but it doesn’t stop there. This film is full of action and suspense that any young person will enjoy. The son, Brody, is like so many kids today. He’s highly intelligent, yet bored in his daily life. This movie is a great example of using your smarts for good.” It’s also, says Seon, a great influence to “stimulate youngsters to stay in school and learn more about science, medicine and technology so that in the future they could be a part of a project like the Jensen Project.”

The entertainment value is what carries the kids along. A common description from KIDS FIRST! kid jurors was “adventurous” said one 10 year old. It also earned the ultimate accolade, “”I want to watch this movie again! This was so cool!”

Palmer describes “The Jensen Project” as full of high-tech fantasy that mirrors reality. Warning that “it is a science fiction film that might be too suspenseful for the sensitive,” she relates, “There are a couple of questionable activities that Brody gets involved in. He makes some decisions that lead to danger and have the potential to harm, such as taking off without his parents knowledge to find Edwin. With his creativity and the help of the brilliant Sam, they are successful in finding the villains. Brody then has to deal with the results of putting himself in danger; he has been infected with a nano bot. The technology in the film may be fictional, but the realities of cause and effect are right on!”

Realities of the world depicted were rated high by adult viewers as well as the young ones. The word from KIDS FIRST! kid jurors: “The sets and locations all looked real. They really added to the movie,” and “I was totally obsorbed in the movie. The sets and locations made me feel like I was there.” And it was more than just a visual experience: “The sound effects were cool. They added to the movie and it sounded like what they were actually doing,” shared one young boy.

It’s a show populated by characters to whom viewers can really relate. Shares one KIDS FIRST! kid juror, “”This film was cool because sometimes I feel like I don’t belong. This gave me an idea for the future, what might happen for me. Maybe I can do something like Brody!”

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