Archive for the 'DVDs Released' Category

Big Fish & Begonia – An Emotional Masterpiece. Artistically Magical and Though Provoking

Friday, July 20th, 2018

It is a world within our world, yet unseen by any human, and the beings here control time and tide and the changing of the seasons. On the day Chun turns sixteen, she is transformed into a dolphin to explore the human world. She is rescued from a vortex by a human boy at the cost of his own life. Chun is so moved by the boy’s kindness and courage that she decides to give him life again. But to do this, she must protect the boy’s soul, a tiny fish, and nurture it to grow. Through adventure and sacrifice, love grows, yet now she must release him back to the sea, back to life in the human world. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Sahiba K. comments, “An emotional masterpiece, Big Fish & Begonia is an artistically magical and thought provoking piece of anime. The animation is beautiful. I felt as if I was watching a classic painting come to life.” See her full review below.

Big Fish & Begonia
By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

An emotional masterpiece, Big Fish & Begonia is an artistically magical and thought provoking piece of anime. The animation is beautiful. I felt as if I was watching a classic painting come to life. The story is unforgettable. Each scene left my heart yearning for the characters to succeed.

The story follows a humble, brave girl name Chun who dedicates her life to help a kind boy, Kun, who gives his life to save hers after she travels from her magical to his human world. She goes to great lengths to bring him back and gives him all her love and care. However, when a variety of obstacles threaten Kun’s survival, Chun risks everything to save him.

The animation is mystical and brings Chun’s fantastical land to life. The characters from Chun’s world are unique and their strange characteristics bring a special quality that is unlike other films. Many characters have a quirky addition such as antlers or a completely other-worldly face with multiple eyes. These subtle additions enhance the fresh and original elements the film specializes in. The backgrounds and scenery take the animation to the next level. The water and ocean play a huge role in the film and the animation transforms the water, displaying its beauty and importance. At night the ocean reflects the sky, its stars and the sublime hues present; while during the day it is almost invisible and many objects look like they are floating through air. One of the most notable animation feats is the scenery. In many favorite parts we see Chun running across landscapes and the camera captures her world in the most artistic way.

The emotions of this film left me in awe, showing the friendship and love these characters are capable of. In every scene, I was either smiling or in tears because of the sacrifices they make for each other and for each others’ happiness. The music enhances the mood of these scenes with a mysterious and peaceful quality.

The messages of Big Fish and Begonia are: 1. If your conscience is clear, it doesn’t matter what others think and 2. Follow your heart. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. Check out Big Fish and Begonia on DVD August 7, 2018.

 

 

 

Dream Big: Engineering Our World – Informational and Inspiring!

Friday, July 20th, 2018

Narrated by Academy Award® winner Jeff Bridges, DREAM BIG: Engineering Our World is a first film of its kind for IMAX® and giant screen theaters that will transform how we think about engineering. From the Great Wall of China and the world’s tallest buildings to underwater robots, solar cars and smart, sustainable cities, DREAM BIG celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small, and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. With its inspiring stories of human grit and aspiration, and extraordinary visuals for the world’s largest screens, DREAM BIG reveals the compassion and creativity that drive engineers to create better lives for people and a more sustainable future for us all. DREAM BIG is a MacGillivray Freeman film produced in partnership with American Society of Civil Engineers and presented by Bechtel Corporation. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “I have to say, the camera shots and angles are truly amazing. They capture massive cities and buildings beautifully. There is obviously lots of effort that went into editing this film and adding suitable background music.” See her full review below.

Dream Big: Engineering Our World
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This film is really informational and the camera shots are amazing. The only drawback is that it gets a bit boring after a while. There is so much information that isn’t all that interesting. This documentary would really appeal to those interested in architecture and engineering.

The film reveals stories about different engineers who all want to make the world a better place. They create buildings that won’t collapse in earthquakes and build bridges across rivers so people can get to school. It shows that engineering is an occupation that can really impact the world and make it a safer place.

Jeff Bridges, as narrator of the film, has the sort of deep voice that suits the documentary. Some of the information seems a bit random and doesn’t enhance the story. The best parts for me are when they tell the back stories of peoples’ lives and how difficult they are. After the engineers help them, I love seeing them so happy and having easier lives. Those are things that inspire people to want to become engineers.

I have to say, the camera shots and angles are truly amazing. They capture massive cities and buildings beautifully. There is obviously lots of effort that went into editing this film and adding suitable background music. These all really help the viewer picture engineering as an art, that is very helpful. They show majestic buildings that glow at night, roller coasters that give so much happiness and thrills, and bridges that help you access high areas and look down at the scenery or up at the beautiful stars.

My favorite scene is definitely the story about the engineers building a bridge across a river so kids could get to their school. Before the bridge, they literally risked their lives getting to school. Many people have drowned in the river, but they crossed it everyday in order to get an education. After the bridge is built everyone, including the children, is extremely excited and relieved. They are dancing, playing music and getting to school without risking their lives or getting wet. The bridge changed their lives.

The moral of this film is that engineering is a profession that helps people. This film shows that engineering is interesting and rewarding. However, I did find parts of it a bit boring, with the exhaustive information.  I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 11 to 18, as well as adults. If you are interested in engineering, you will definitely enjoy this documentary. It is available now on DVD so check it out.

 

Super 4: Meet Ruby – All About Ruby, The Girl Pirate Brimming with Personality

Monday, June 25th, 2018

Inspired by the world of PLAYMOBIL® toys, set out on a series of adventures with the Super 4 as they travel through the wider PLAYMOBIL® universes. Join Ruby and friends as they embark on 7 fun-filled pirate adventures! First, understand how Ruby came to be the amazing pirate she is. A wicker basket washes up on the shore of Gunpowder Island holding a little baby. Surprise, it’s a girl! When Ruby is old enough to jump on ship to join in on a pirate raid, little Ruby sits on the sidelines and watches it all. To prove she is a real pirate, Ruby must set out to obtain a mythical treasure. Will she find it and become a true pirate? Find out in Meet Ruby! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “The message of the story is to always believe in yourself no matter what. Ruby was born as a pirate, but girls aren’t allowed to be pirates. Even though this is true, Ruby goes out and proves her worthiness. She encounters many problems, but stays strong and believes in herself. She stays determined every time.” See her full review below.

Super 4: Meet Ruby
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This film has a great plotline and gives each character lots of personality. The plotline becomes even more interesting because of all the strong personalities. Even though this film is meant for younger ages, I still was quite entertained.

This film is all about meeting and getting to know who Ruby is. It starts from pirates discovering her as a baby, watching her go on adventures and figuring out who she wants to be. She goes off to the sea for the first time by herself and encounters problems. Eventually she is able to overcome them. She then goes off and solves multiple tests to be able to acquire treasure.

Laetitia Lefebvre has a determined and strong child-like voice which perfectly fits Ruby because Ruby has all of these traits. Ruby at times can sound very stubborn, scared, determined and strong. The Black Baron (Tom Wayland) sounds determined as well. The Black Baron is a very manipulative character and Wayland changes his voice accordingly. For example, he can sound convincing, caring and sweet, but also ominous.

The animation is very colorful and has lots of details. I also love that their faces express emotion and their body language does as well. The pirate costumes are very unique. I loved seeing all the different types of clothing that doesn’t repeat for everyone.

My favorite scene is when Ruby smartly doesn’t get distracted by the Black Baron when he wants to steal the treasure. I felt really proud of her and I knew that she was fit to become a knight.

The message of the story is to always believe in yourself no matter what. Ruby was born as a pirate, but girls aren’t allowed to be pirates. Even though this is true, Ruby goes out and proves her worthiness. She encounters many problems, but stays strong and believes in herself. She stays determined every time. She doesn’t stop continuing on her journey. Instead she just becomes stronger and fights even harder. This is a good message for female empowerment. Even though people want to limit you because you are a girl, don’t let them. Do what Ruby does. Everyone is against her and she still manages to achieve all of her goals and become successful.

This DVD, just like the rest of the Super 4 series, is well made. It has a wonderful message and an entertaining plotline. I recommend this for ages 6 to 11 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. This is available on DVD now, so definitely check it out.

Super 4: Meet Ruby
By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Animation! Action! Fun-filled pirate adventures! Sounds like fun, right! I was addicted to this seven stories DVD. Get ready for the intense performances in each episode!  I have to say that the level of performances are pretty high in this well-crafted series.

This DVD taked you on a journey of getting to know Ruby! She is discovered as a baby from pirates. We watch her go on adventures and determine who she wants to be. Inspired by the world of PLAYMOBIL toys, this series of adventures follows the Super 4 as they travel through the PLAYMOBIL universe. The Super 4 friends go on seven fun-filled and outrageous adventures to save their valuable and limited treasure, and save Ruby’s Dad along the way! Ruby and her friends undertake so much fun throughout their adventures.

My favorite part is, without a doubt, when Ruby has a battle and wins all the challenges she encounters. She defeats the men and the leader of pirates! I love all the action and how she does a super funny victory dance after her victory! That is definitely my favorite part!

The lead characters in this series are Ruby the brave and bold pirate (Laetitia Lefebvre),  Gene the Genius and serious technology loving kid (Frank Lorrai), Twinkle the adorable fairy (Sarah Natochenny), Princess Leonora the beautiful ,demanding princess (Alyson Leigh Rosenfield), Alex the energized, encouraged kid (Billy Bob Thompson), Various the evil stealer (Veronica Taylor) and many more.

The animation is definitely prominent, colorful and has a unique touch. The animation is so realistic and has lots of details. The animation definitely looks realistic. The building where Ruby’s battle takes place looks so real with its marks, cracks, scratches and holes! I was definitely shocked! The pirates’ costumes are all very distinctive.

The message of the film is that girls can desire to be anything that boys can! If you just believe in yourself, everything will fall into place. For example, Ruby goes out and fights hard for who she aspires to become. She does not give up until she has accomplishes her goals. Why can’t women be leaders? Yes, we can! Don’t put any limitations on what you think you can do or be. Definitely this espouses girl power!

There is nothing in these episodes that is bad for kids! This movie definitely calls you to action to people treat one another appropriately. It definitely promotes positive and uplifting messages. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 11. This DVD is available now so, look for it.

 

ABC Monsters: The Complete Season – Fun and Educational Introduction to Early Language Skills

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Enjoy the complete season of ABC Monsters! Embark on one phonics adventure after another while learning each letter of the alphabet in this complete set! Twenty six cuddly ABC Monsters live within the walls of Capital Castle. Each monster represents a letter of the alphabet but should any of the monsters go missing for longer than a day, all the letters will be wiped out from every book in Capital Town! So it’s very important to make sure that all the ABC Monsters are safely back in Alphabet Gardens before the sun goes down. However, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. The ABC Monsters are naturally curious creatures and often wander off from Alphabet Gardens to try and find new and fun items, inevitably getting themselves lost in the process. When Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry set out to find the ABC Monsters, they learn to spell multiple items that start with that ABC Monsters letter as well as play other phonics games and sing songs! Get set for a spellbinding series of magical adventures that engages the imagination all while making learning the alphabet exciting and entertaining! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ella L. comments, “ABC Monsters: The Complete Season is a fun and educational experience for young kids. It inspires them to learn, enjoy learning and even encourages them to participate in physical activity. It is creative and interesting all the way through.” Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror adds, “Learning can be fun! ABC Monsters: Complete Season DVD is quite an exciting tool for learning the alphabet, learning new words large and small, solving puzzles, writing, learning about directions (north, south, east, west) and the characters teach children about the importance of teamwork.” See their full reviews below.

ABC Monsters: The Complete Season
By Ella Ladd, KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, age 14

ABC Monsters: The Complete Season is a fun and educational experience for young kids. It inspires them to learn, enjoy learning and even encourages them to participate in physical activity. It is creative and interesting all the way through. If I was a parent, I would use this DVD to help me teach my kid about the alphabet and early language skills.

I have reviewed other episodes of ABC Monsters previously and enjoy how each episode is different. For example, one of the episodes is based on introducing kids to the letter “A.” In this episode, the Alphabet Monsters are so excited about the archery competition when suddenly, all the arrows go missing! Alice, Bryan and Cherry Berry (the protagonists) go on a mission to find the missing arrows and the missing letter of the alphabet, which just so happens to be Letter “A.” On the way, they go on a lot of mini quests such as helping Amy the Alligator find her armband and help Farmer Alex find his apple. At the end of the episode, Alice, Bryan and Cherry Berry review everything we learned in the episode and include fun little songs and dances for us to do and sing.

Everything about this show is child friendly and appropriate for a young age group. The storylines are consistent without being repetitive and are quite easy to follow. This show would be very entertaining for young kids. The visuals are bright and colorful which will attract young viewers. The music is upbeat and cheery. The characters are adorable and likable. I think that all of these aspects are important in order for kids to enjoy watching a program.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 1 to 5. I believe that this show will intrigue kids with its cute characters and interesting plotlines. It will get them excited about learning, music and physical fitness. It will help parents teach their kids about spelling, grammar and phonics while keeping them hooked and wanting to learn more. This show offers quality entertainment for young children who need to be introduced to the alphabet. Parents can feel confident about using this DVD to enlighten their little ones about the English language. It is available on DVD now so, check it out.

ABC Monsters: The Complete Season
By Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

Learning can be fun! ABC Monsters: Complete Season DVD is quite an exciting tool for learning the alphabet, learning new words large and small, solving puzzles, writing, learning about directions (north, south, east, west) and the characters teach children about the importance of teamwork. This series concentrates on the alphabet in a fun, lively and energetic way. It also helps with counting. Young children will enjoy singing along with Alice, Brian, Cherry Berry and all the letters when they sing the alphabet song. The song is repeated twice in each episode, bringing the audience back to the original focus of the show – learning the alphabet, writing the letters and learning new words.  Each letter comes  alive with their colorful outfits, colorful hair, hats, clothes, eyes and funny looking feet and hands. The songs also help with learning the alphabet, as well and learning new words, and finding the missing letters in the puzzle clues. I enjoyed watching this series and rate it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 4 to 8. I know these kids will love this series.

Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventures: The Complete Series – Lots of Excitement, Adventures and Learning

Monday, June 4th, 2018

In this complete series set, enjoy 50 dino-filled adventures with junior dinosaur expert, Trek Henderson, as he imagines dinosaurs in the real world! While Trek’s brother, Dan, is away helping his dad, it’s time for Trek to get his own dino time. Trek is going to finish some of the experiments in Dino Dan’s Field Guide including seeing at least eighteen dinosaurs that Dan has never seen before! Trek will even meet marine reptiles for the very first time! It’s time to join Trek Henderson as he embarks on one dino adventure after another and all in his very own way. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Imani G. comments, “Kids will love this series if they have a big imagination and of course, have a love of dinosaurs.” Abraham F. adds, “This series is great for keeping younglings entertained over the summer. With over 500 minutes in its 50 episodes, this will keep them busy and will keep them interested.

Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventures: The Complete Series
By Imani B. G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventures: The Complete Series is a series for young kids with a lot of excitement, and fun adventures to go on! Kids will love this series if they have a big imagination and of course, have a love of dinosaurs.

On this DVD, there are 50 dino-filled adventures with the dinosaur expert, Trek Henderson. Trek imagines different types of dinosaurs in the real world throughout all of his experiences! While Trek’s brother, Dan is away helping his dad with something, Trek takes over and entertains himself with his dinosaur world. The goal is to finish up some of the experiments that Dan has started. Trek even meets some new dinosaurs and marine reptiles that he hasn’t seen before! Join Trek on his wonderful adventures throughout the world of dinosaurs!

One reason I really like this show is how they incorporate educational lessons into it. It’s not everyday that you see a kids TV show that includes all kinds of educational facts within the story line. This is exactly what this series does. For example, in the episode “Trek Rex,” Trek is having trouble figuring out what dinosaur he wants to dress up as for a party. Throughout the episode, he has various encounters with several dinosaurs to help him make his final decision. Trek and the dinosaurs’ encounters happen in the real world, in front of real people, so he is imagining it. I believe that creates a connection between Trek and kids in the real world, since many have big imaginations.

The overall message in this series is that it’s okay to have an imagination and even share it with others! Trek has no problem sharing his findings out loud for everyone to see and has no shame about doing that. This is what kids should feel. And, sharing their findings throughout their childhood is a cool thing to do.

I rate this show 4 out of 5 stars for its playful storyline, exciting cast, imagination and much more. I would love to see the storyline develop more, but it’s perfect for younger kids. I recommend it for ages 5 through 10 . This is available on DVD now, so check it out.

Dino Dan Trek’s Adventure: The Complete Series
By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 13

This series is great for keeping younglings entertained over the summer. With over 500 minutes in its 50 episodes, this will keep them busy and will keep them interested.  I found Trek talking to an imaginary dinosaur somewhat strange but hey, it doesn’t seem to bother his mom.

The storyline is about when Trek’s brother who goes away to dig up fossils and Trek misses him. Then, one day a package arrives in the mail with a message from Dan asking Trek to help him do some dinosaur experiments. In later episodes, he gets better and better at conducting these experiments. One of his tasks is to find out if albertosaurus hunt in packs. For this, he gets a ham sandwich and gets the albertosaurus to chase him.

Trek is played by Trek Buccino who lives in Toronto, Ontario and attended Claude Watson School for the Arts. He has also been in Pacific Rim and PJ Masks. Trek’s mom is played by Allana Harkin who has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy award for Full Frontal which she produced.

What I like about the show is that it is enjoyable to watch while you learn some facts along the way. I recommend it for ages 3 to  8 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. It is available now on Digital and DVD/Blu-ray so, check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

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