Archive for the 'Family News' Category

KIDS FIRST! Holiday Gift Guide – Picking the Right DVD for the Right Kid

Friday, December 20th, 2013

As the holidays approach, you are looking for the perfect gift for that niece, nephew, sister-in-law and, of course, your own kids and family members. You probably know what the people closest to you want and need but those further relations are a bit of a challenge. We want to share with you the films and DVDs that we’ve watched this year along with reviews by our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics so you get the kids’ point of view. After all, kids are the audience for these films, so let’s listen to what the kids have to say about them. More film reviews are available at Happy holidays!


213124.jpgDear Dumb Diary
Based on the best-selling series “Dear Dumb Diary” by Jim Benton. Follow Jamie Kelly as she navigates Mackeral Middle School with the help of her best friend Isabella, her nemesis Angeline and the boy of her dreams Hudson. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review. 

My Little Pony: Equestria Girls
Via a magic mirror, Twilight Sparkle travels into an alternate universe in order to recover a crown that was stolen from the Crystal Empire. Upon her arrival she is surprised to learn that she has turned into a teenage girl. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review.


213149.jpgIron Man and Hulk: Heroes United
When “Zzzax,” a seemingly invincible, energy devouring monster threatens to destroy the planet, Marvel’s unlikeliest pairing of Avengers is mankind’s only hope. Alone, neither can defeat the awesome power of Zzzax. As a duo, they just might have a chance – if they can find a way to work together without smashing heads before time runs out! Trailer.

Transformers Prime: Predacons Rising
A resurrected UNICRON has taken over the now-lifeless body of MEGATRON to seek vengeance on the AUTOBOTS and ultimately, the destruction of Cybertron. This formidable enemy forces an unlikely alliance between the AUTOBOTS, DECEPTICONS, PREDAKING and two new Predacons, who come together in an epic battle to help protect their newly restored planet! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review.

The Wolverine
Hugh Jackman returns as The Wolverine and faces his ultimate nemesis in an action packed life-or-death battle that takes him to modern day Japan. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his limits, Logan confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality; an epic fight that will leave him forever changed. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review. 213091.jpg


The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec
An epic tale set in the early part of the 20th century and focused on a popular reporter and her
dealings with would-be suitors, the cops, monsters, and other adventures. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review.


A crop-dusting plane with a fear of heights lives his dream of competing in a famous around-the-world aerial race. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review.

Merry Christmas, Splat…And More Winter Stories
Ready for this season’s holiday family viewing, Merry Christmas, Splat… and More Winter Stories brings best-selling children’s storybooks to life and promotes a love of literature. Includes: Merry Christmas, Splat; Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas; Owl Moon. Trailer.

Thomas & Friends®: 3- Movie Pack
Start your engines for the most-action packed movie night of the year!  Thomas & Friends®: 3-Movie Pack, is filled with rip-roaring adventures, mysteries to be solved, heroic rescues and new discoveries.  Includes: Thomas & Friends: Blue Mountain Mystery – The Movie; Thomas & Friends: Day of the Diesels – The Movie; Thomas & Friends: Misty Island Rescue – The Movie. Clip.


Christmas Bounty
A former bounty hunter turns into an elementary schoolteacher. Determined to have a normal life and keep her bounty hunter past a secret, she reluctantly returns home for Christmas to help save the family business by catching the one bounty that got away. But when her fiancé follows her home for the holiday, she struggles to hide her wild family business and a bounty hunter ex-boyfriend she thought she’d left behind.

213015.jpgThe Croods
After their cave is destroyed, a caveman family must trek through an unfamiliar fantastical world with the help of an inventive boy. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review.

Despicable Me 2
Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help deal with a powerful new super criminal. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review.

From the creators of Ice Age comes a funny animated adventure starring Amanda Seyfried and Beyoncé Knowles. A teenager finds herself transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil is taking place. She bands together with a rag-tag group characters in order to save their world — and ours. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review.

The Hunters
A family of archeologists hunt down artifacts from fairy tales that have been hidden around the globe. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review.

213152.jpgMama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party
Mama Doni’s “”Jewish Holiday Party”” is her debut DVD with a brand new bonus soulful, acoustic CD soundtrack. From a bluegrass “”Chanukah Oh Chanukah”” medley sing-along to a fun instructional “Making Challah with Mama Doni” video throw-down in the kitchen, this DVD celebrates Chanukah, Passover and Shabbat like never before. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review.

A Monster in Paris
A 3D-animated movie set in Paris in the year 1910 and centered on a monster who lives in a garden and his love for a beautiful, young singer, Lucille.  KIDS FIRST! Film Critics review.

213114.jpgPercy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
The magical, mythical adventures of teenager Percy Jackson — son of the Greek god Poseidon — continue in this heroic, action-packed thrill ride! Out to prove he’s not just a “one-quest wonder,” Percy and his demigod friends embark on an epic, cross-country journey into the treacherous Sea of Monsters, where they battle terrifying creatures, an army of zombies, and the ultimate evil. With time running out, Percy must find and bring home the fabled Golden Fleece, which has the power to save his world…and save us all! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review.

213170.jpgPete’s Christmas
An overlooked middle child finds himself in the unexpected spotlight when he realizes his family’s terrible Christmas day keeps repeating. As the only one experiencing the day over and over, he decides to use his unique gift to give the holidays a makeover and his family a Christmas they will never forget. KIDS FIRST! Film Critics review.

The Smurfs 2
The Smurfs team up with their human friends to rescue Smurfette, who has been kidnapped by Gargamel since she knows a secret spell that can turn the evil sorcerer’s newest creation into real Smurfs. Trailer.

A freak accident might just help an everyday garden snail achieve his biggest dream: winning the Indy 500. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review.

Amazon_film_critic_banner.jpgBrought to you by the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics!

KIDS FIRST! Announces 2013 Audio Recording Endorsements

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

213162.jpgJust in time for your last minute holiday shopping, KIDS FIRST! proudly announces a freshly endorsed collection of audio recordings – music and the spoken word – by some of the most outstanding talents in children’s entertainment. With the assistance of respected music judge John Wood, we offer no hesitation in recommending these recordings by well-known recording artists such as Peter Apel, Bob McGrath, Tom Chapin, Phil Galdston, Marla Lewis, Beth Nielsen Chapman and more. Check them out, they are perfect little stocking stuffers or something to spend your I-tunes gift card on after Christmas.

213143.jpgAUDIO CD FOR AGES 2-5
I’VE GOT A DINOSAUR ON MY HEAD – This CD features singable original songs like “Sometimes I Have Oatmeal for Breakfast” and “I Love Bananas.” Movement and counting songs and educational lessons are sprinkled throughout along with colorful illustrations, liner notes and lyrics are included with the CD. Juror Comment: The title song “I’ve Got a Dinosaur On My Head” gives a big hint that this album is not going to chart new musical waters but it sure is fun, filled with whimsy and lots of sing-alongs and dance-alongs. The vocals are upbeat and engaging and the production values are unobtrusive and supportive. If you don’t laugh during “The Laughing Song,” I’m sorry, you have issues. Everybody loves “Train Whistles” and “Locomotives” so get on board and put a dinosaur on your head! This CD knows its audience and is fun, silly and filled with participation activities. It flows well, is simply structured but effective. There is vocal energy to the songs that will engage the listeners long beyond its 30 minutes. 30 min.; $14.98; Age: 2-6. PETER APEL.

213166.jpgThe Ohmies: MORNING WISH GARDEN – The Ohmies first full-length musical album for preschoolers features cast members from the hit New York stage show. This album features ten original songs for playtime or anytime. Juror comments: “Morning Wish Garden” is a colorful, upbeat musical foray that introduces and encourages young children to dance, move and sing along with a talented cast of brightly, sprightly performers who lead the audience on a quest to find Mr. Sun and wake him up so their garden of wishes may grow. The performances and production values are strong and the songs inviting and engaging. Hopefully this will motivate the child to stay active and not vegetate with TV and video-related games. It speaks directly to its intended audience with the use of colorful costumes and upbeat songs to entertain. I’m not crazy about characters in costume, and any clown named after a fruit or vegetable are suspect. But, I still like it! 34 min., ages 2-5, $12.99, Artsong Music

213165.jpgWHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO TODAY – This second children’s music CD by Francie Kelley showcases her clear and lovely singing voice and a multinational theme binds the joyous songs together with a sense of exploration and wonder. Different tunes draw upon the rhythms and traditions of lands ranging from Jamaican drumming to Irish fiddle playing to Argentinean tango and much more. Juror Comments: This is a fine album filled with sounds and white rabbits that draw you into a world of predominantly world rhythms enticing the listener to become an amateur explorer of other cultures. The vocals are endearing and the production value, with an absolute nod to cultural instrumentation, is spot on. I must give a nod to the child performance at the beginning of “This Land Is Your Land.” The song is seminal as we hand it over to future generations. This album is in touch with its audience and respectful. In addition, it lasers in on its target audience. I love the World Music component of this album. Five thumbs up if I had five thumbs. 34 min.; Ages 2-5. $12.99; Artsong Music

AGES 4-8

BOB’S FAVORITE SING-ALONG SONGS – Bright new versions of 15 favorite children’s songs with first class musicianship and vocals. Bob encourages children to join the fun with him and sing without him as each song is repeated with an instrumental-only track. Juror Comments: Bob’s Favorite Sing-Along Songs are just that with a little added punch. Bob McGrath, a familiar face and voice on Sesame Street has put together 15 fun tracks (in addition to instrumental versions of each) of traditional endearing songs like “When You’re Happy and You Know It,” “When the Saints,” and “Hokey Pokey” to name a few. It encourages lots of participation and love ensues. Bob’s accessible endearing tenor and likability drives the bus but the destination is a safe and magical place. After listening to it, you simply want to listen to it again and again and again. The added instrumental tracks are a plus. I think that Bob McGrath is a positive pied piper who is so endearing and respected and trusted, like Mister Rogers. 51 min., ages 4-8, $12.99; Bob’s Kids Music

213153.jpgCELESTE SINGS, KIDS DANCE – “Happy beats for little feets.” Juror Comments: “Celeste Sings, Kids Dance” is a nice collection of upbeat tunes from an amalgam of writers including John Denver (For Baby), Tom Paxton (The Marvelous Toy) and Richard Starkey (Octopus’s Garden), to name a few, and a couple of instrumentals, Music Box Dancer and Pachelbel’s Canon, to round out the set. The vocals are strong and secure, the musicianship is stellar and the production quality is solid. I really enjoyed the performances – both vocal and instrumental. The recording quality is very good. It uplifts and embraces its intended age group. This project constantly supports love and happiness through a variety of song choices by a variant of artists. The music is quite appealing due to terrific production values from the vocals to the instrumental performances. There is a lot for young ears to like. 41 min., ages 4-8, $14.98, Romantic Realistic Records

213151.jpgCOCOA! – Six tunes of diverse styles: Back to School, Cocoa!, Feet, Feet!, Jammin’, Kalico Kat’s Jug Band and Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Juror Comment: This 6-song extended play CD (EP) is pure magic and available for download. Marla Lewis’s vocals and songwriting abilities are off the charts. These are brilliant songs that educate and entertain seamlessly. The tracks are divinely produced, the musicianship is top of the line, and the message transcends cultural divides. Marla’s voice is pure honey that would confuse a bee. Her songwriting is a master’s class and the songs deliver like a guided musical missile. We can’t say enough so, enuff said! Buy this CD and do your bit to help the debt crisis! 16 min. ages 4-12; $4.99. Plumjuice Records

213142.jpgFRED’S BACK – Thirteen original songs including “Lipstick Blah Blah,” “I Love Sopaipillas” and “Bombones (Marshmallows)” come together in a catchy collection that entertains kids and parents alike. Engaging digi-pack contains an eight page mini-booklet with colorful illustrations, liner notes and song lyrics. Juror Comment: You just can’t go wrong with an album filled with witty tunes about loving moms and dads, squirting grapefruits that nearly blind you, marshmallows, Spanish sopaipillas, donuts, dinosaurs, leprechauns and…you get my point: a little something for the child in us all. The humor is engaging, the musicianship is sound and the characters’ voices and the child performances are terrific. And, if this review is not enough to whet your appetite then my bad! This is a fun album! Check it out. The songs are upbeat and will hold any child’s attention. It is well paced, has a great variety of musical styles and instrumentation. It is very enjoyable. 38 min.; $14.98; Age: 4-8. PETER APEL.

213164.jpgTHE INCREDIBLE FLEXIBLE YOU – Catch, fun songs from the three-time GRAMMY-winning pioneer of children’s music (created in tandem w/the groundbreaking book of the same title) has special appeal to young listeners navigating the tricky waters of social interaction. Juror comments: This is a quality produced and performed album by a celebrity of family music, Tom Chapin, and a gifted co-writer and producer/performer Phil Galdston. The energy and foresight in this project is palpable. Lovely! This album is multi-leveled: engaging music and fun songs on one level and wait, what, on another level – food for thought. The songs that keep on giving. I feel a tightrope successfully crossed that, in other hands, could have come across preachy or pushy are the antithesis of that. Intelligent lyrics. Really! Tom’s vocals ride effortless atop Phil Galdstons terrific production and arrangement with a lovely mix of folk meets Beatles that I love. Recording quality is beautiful. This album addresses socialization issues and promotes cognitive thinking more so than any album that’s crossed my desk in a while. 35 min. ages 5-8. $14.98; Sundance Music


213129.jpgBANQUET ON THE GROUND – Narrated by Cheryl Rhoads (Mother Goose), the story is told from the perspective of animals in a small yard world who have always taken care of themselves until a generous “seed woman” moves into the house and starts giving them delightful edibles replacing their efforts with the expected daily delights. Juror Comment: The music is classical and supports the narrative extremely well without being intrusive. It is very appealing. It’s difficult to recommend this CD to a child because the concepts are a bit lofty and younger children might lose interest. This CD is an allegory using animal characters to demonstrate universal attributes of working for one’s food, not taking hand-outs and working in chorus with your neighbor to achieve goals. All good but, the question begs: are these moral messages communicating to the intended audience of elementary school children? The presentation is well conceived, the orchestration beautifully supportive, the narration is solid but this CD may just fall in the cracks between its intended audience and the message. 53 min. Ages 5-12. $10.00. Renaissance Women Productions

THE 213130.jpgMIGHTY SKY – Children can musically explore the mysteries and wonders of the universe with this beautifully crafted album focusing on the science of astronomy and featuring a variety of musical styles presenting important celestial facts and fun. Juror Comment: I cannot emphasize enough how important the combination of terrific musicianship, production value and lyrics are to a concept album like “The Mighty Sky.” Now granted, Beth Nielsen Chapman has written world class songs and has access to a musical palette of top-flight talent, which is value added for the parent who is looking for a stimulating concept that will pique their child’s interest and lead them to learn more. I wish this had been around when I was a kid but, guitars weren’t invented then. Children are going to be jazzed to learn more about the universe, which in and of itself is a fascinating mystery for young minds. This traditional music CD comes with a gorgeous fold-out of the solar system in the liner notes. 32 min., $14.98; Age 5-12, BNC RECORDS

AGES 8-12
213163.jpgTHE BEST IN ME – Celebrating the best in all of us! Kickin’ pop tunes spotlight helping children make good character choices even when faced with difficult situations. Musicians, vocals and songs are all first-rate and reach out rather than lecture. Juror comments: First of all, “The Best Of Me” rocks!” Second, if you enjoy great music, musicians, songwriting and performances wrapped in lovely messages of positive character choices and love, then you’ve come to the right place. Sit down and listen a spell or insert it into the car CD player and listen a bit. Parents will enjoy and appreciate the content as well as the kids which will hopefully lead to family discourse on the topics. Good Stuff! I think this album is a banner for motivational action. This is a socially interactive, educational album that hits its target audience. The music is top rate. It comes with a booklet. The album is true, first of all to itself, and second to its intended audience. This is a respectful address to the age group for which it is intended. The quality is excellent; the production value draws the listener into a safe place to receive the message. 78 min, ages 8-12, price 14.98 Song Wizards Records

Register Now for LA Mini-Boot Camp on November 16

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

KFFC.2014.Banner.3.5.jpgFor kids wishing to enter our 2014 Film Critics Search Competition, we are offering a mini-boot camp in Los Angeles on November 16 in partnership with A&B Productions, Paramount and Disney. Hurry, as you must register by November 12.

We also have a live audition in New York on December 14 thanks to our partner KiDz HuB and Microsoft. There is a screening of the film “Christmas Bounty” the night before, one of the films selected to review. For details, please visit the search landing page.

Does your child love films and love being on camera? Here’s a chance for him or her to become a star as a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. Our annual Film Critic Search Competition is now underway. The national competition is open to all U.S. children, ages 7 to 15. To enter, submit your child’s written and videotaped review of one of the five Official Competition Films then, get their friends and family to vote. Your child could be one of twelve winners who will review all the newest films rated PG-13 or younger, interview celebrities on and off the Red Carpet and appear on our #1 rated weekly radio show, KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions on the Voice America Kids Network.

Public voting determines the finalists and a panel of celebrity judges select the winners which will be announced on or around January 15, 2014.  Past competitions have generated more than 11 million votes for the child contestants – a number in line with “Dancing with the Stars” or “American Idol.”  Judges for this year’s competition include: Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theaters, HDNet Movies and Magnolia Pictures; Ben Lyons, film critic for the show, EXTRA and frequent contributor to ‘Good Morning America’; Thelma Adams, a Yahoo! Contributing Editor whose column “Thelma Adams on Reel Women” runs on AMC; George Pennacchio, entertainment reporter for ABC7 Eyewitness News team in Los Angeles KABC-TV.

The Official Competition Films include:  Planes, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Iron Man: Heroes United, Dear Dumb Diary and Christmas Bounty. All films are available this fall in DVD/Blu-ray or online at

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics program, now in its fourth year, teaches kids to be critical viewers and users of media. Reviews by the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics reach an audience of more than 4+ million every month through broadcast, print and online media companies such as Voice America Kids Network, HDNet Movies kidScene,,, LA Parent, Colorado Parent, Westchester Family and more. Coaching is available to every child entering the competition in the form of guidelines, tips and webinars on the campaign’s website. Although the competition is restricted to 12 winners, every child who enters wins by learning valuable skills and has a chance to shine! Every contestant will receive a free skin for their mobile device from Zing Revolution.

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics have made a name for themselves in Hollywood, interviewing talent on the red carpet and off and reporting about the latest films rated PG-13 or younger. More than 750 video film reviews have been posted to the KIDS FIRST! YouTube Channel in the last 30 months, with over a quarter of a million views. The youth reporters have covered more than 300 films and events including: Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards, Planes, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Gravity, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Epic, Jobs, Lee Daniel’s The Butler, Planes, Turbo, Grown Ups 2, Despicable Me 2, The Lone Ranger, Man of Steel, After Earth and many more. They have interviewed John Lasseter (Pixar), Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Mel Brooks, Duane “the Rock” Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Ang Lee, Kirk De Micco, Selena Gomez, Nick Cannon and more.

Recent research shows that, during their school age years, most U.S. children spend more hours watching media than the hours they spend in school. Not all children’s media is bad; in fact, many programs can help increase a child’s cognitive, social and behavioral skills. Fundamental to KIDS FIRST! mission is teaching children to make critical media choices so that they seek out and use media in a beneficial way.  The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics program is part of a national outreach effort to promote the concept of critical media viewing to thousands of children and families nationwide by sharing the skills they develop by reviewing media on a weekly basis.

As for the winners, here are what some of the KIDS FIRST!  Film Critics’ parents have to say about their participation:

“First and foremost, thank you for giving Brianna the opportunity to participate in such an amazing opportunity.  This experience has definitely helped her with her confidence level and has enhanced her critical thinking skills.” Parents of Brianna Hope Beaton

Gerry is now 11 and his vocabulary, public speaking ability and interviewing skills have increased drastically. Our young filmmaker truly blossomed under guidance of KIDS FIRST! Parents of Gerry O.

“Camille’s writing skills have improved and she is more comfortable and articulate in front of the camera while I’ve become more confident behind the camera. Overall, KIDS FIRST! has been a fabulous experience for Camille and myself and I highly recommend this program to other families who have children interested in becoming film critics!” Parent of Camille Bajema

“The bonus part of being KIDS FIRST! Film Critics are conducting red carpet interviews; attending press junket, watching all the new movie releases before they hit theaters. My daughter and I truly enjoy and proud to be part of KIDS FIRST! family. This journey has propelled Cheyenne to the next level in communication, reviewing and writing skills.” Parent of Cheyenne Nguyen

KIDS FIRST! is a project of the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, a national, nonprofit organization founded in 1991 whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children’s media.

KIDS FIRST! evaluates, rates and endorses children’s films, DVDs, CDs, TV shows, apps and games using volunteer, community-based juries of adults and children from diverse backgrounds and offers a variety of means to showcase and enhance consumer awareness of sponsored products.

Industry supporters of the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Campaign include, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, ARC Entertainment, Warner Home Video, Walt Disney Home Entertainment . Campaign support also comes from national nonprofit organizations that include the National Education Association and the National Council of Women’s Organizations, with a cumulative membership of over 17 million.

Check out the following links.
For information about KIDS FIRST!
For information about the KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Campaign
Visit KIDS FIRST! on Facebook
Visit KIDS FIRST! on Twitter

Enter, Vote and Support KIDS FIRST!

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012


SUPPORT KIDS FIRST! We know that Holiday Time is the #1 time for making tax-deductible donations to your favorite nonprofits. Please keep us in mind in your annual giving and consider making a contribution to KIDS FIRST!

TIME TO ENTER AND VOTE! KIDS FIRST! needs your help to choose the next group of Film Critics. 2013 will be the third year we welcome new faces to represent KIDS FIRST! to review tons of new feature films, DVDs and old classics. Our youth critics also attend Red Carpet Events and host our very own radio show, KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions on Voice America Kids. We are so excited to welcome these new faces – but don’t worry, you will still see many of our 2011 and 2012 critics next year!

There is still time to enter. If you haven’t entered yet, there’s still plenty of time to do it. Auditions are being accepted from any child ages 7-14. To enter, you will need to watch one of our search titles: Big Top Scooby-Doo!, E.T. : The Extra-Terrestrial, 30th Anniversary, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Princess Bride, 25th Anniversary or Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups  (if you have a group that would like to have an event and enter, please contact us so we can help.)

Next, complete the entry form and submit your written review. After that, you will upload your review and get out the vote. For full rules, instructions and links to the entry form and upload information, visit the 2013 KIDS FIRST! Film Critic landing page. There are also great tips and short online webinars to help to increase your chances of winning a Film Critic spot for next year.

Now it is time to vote! Whether you or one of your friends has auditioned, or if you just want to have a say about who will be the next KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, you will need to help get out the vote. Visit the 2013 Film Critic Search website and click on the tab “Browse & Vote Here.”  Scroll through the pages and watch the reviews. If you like a video, choose the star rating you think is appropriate and click on it (you will have to hover your mouse over the stars beneath the video to choose your rating.)

Vote for all your favorites, tell all your friends, post it to your social media sites and do it often. Voting closes on December 31, 2012 at midnight. Winners will be announced shortly after.

Please support of our Film Critics Program. Every little bit helps! Even if you can only contribute $5, we need your support. Your donation to KIDS FIRST! is always tax deductible, so help us to help kids. At KIDS FIRST! we believe that Smart Kids Make Smart Consumers. Please visit our fundraising page, or contact us directly, if you can help.

‘Wimpy Kid: Dog Days’ Memories of Summer Laughs

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012


Greg Heffley leaves the worries of school for the pressures of summer vacation in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: dog days, and gives our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics plenty of laughs. Julia Chestnut, age 12, says, “Greg is funny and always finding himself in embarrassing situations that are so hilarious.”

Some favorite scenes: For Brianna Beaton, age 12, it’s the pot roast covered in dog slobber from Greg’s escapade rescuing his little brother’s blanket, “and his mom and two brothers don’t know and start eating the pot roast. It is so gross and funny.” Julianna Noone, age 12, who also interviews stars Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron, loves when Rodrick tries to get the attention of a girl lifeguard, but gets mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from the other lifeguard, an older man. “Rodrick’s facial expression is priceless, and this scene is just so funny I could not stop laughing.” Anthony Aranda, age 10, likes the doubles tennis match Greg gets into, “He gets hit a lot of times with a tennis ball in different places, which is really funny.”

With memories of some of the best laughs of summer, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days comes out on DVD and blu-ray on December 18, 2012.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Reviewed by Brianna Beaton
(See Brianna’s full review on video.)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is very entertaining and hilarious to watch. It’s really a good film with lots of funny scenes and great messages.

School is finally out, and the perfect summer to Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) is to stay inside and play video games all day. On the other hand, his dad, Frank Heffley (Steve Zahn), decides he’s had enough of his son’s laziness and takes away his video games for the rest of the summer. With Greg’s main plans for summer canceled, he has to figure out what to do with the rest of his summer break.

There are several reasons of why I love this film, one being that, in the beginning, it goes from the book’s characters to real-life characters. Also, I am laughing at almost every scene. I really enjoy it and think the acting is good. My favorite part is when Sweetie, the family’s new dog, gets hold of Greg’s little brother’s blanket, Tingie. Greg happens to use his mom’s pot roast to get it back. Once he gets it back, he also gets the pot roast back, but it is full of dog slobber. Greg’s dad cleans up the pot roast to serve it for dinner but it still has some slobber on it, and his mom and his two brothers don’t know and start eating the pot roast. It is so gross and funny.

David Bowers does an amazing job on directing this hilarious film. Also doing a great job are the writers Gabe Sachs (screenplay) and Maya Forbes. The other actors are Robert Capron, playing Rowley Jefferson; Devon Bostick, playing Rodrick Heffley; and Peyton List, playing Holly Hills.

I found a couple of great messages in this film. One is to always tell the truth. Greg lies to his dad that he had a job, he lies to the different desk clerks at the country club about his name, and he lies to Holly that he is a member at the country club. It like a lying Macarena, but in the end it all catches up to him. Also, sometimes it’s okay to mess up. Just admit it, take responsibility and learn from it.

I recommend Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days for ages 5 to 15, but the whole family will enjoy it too.

I give this film five out of five stars because it is very very funny, has a great message and is good for the whole family to enjoy. It will keep you laughing.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Reviewed by Julianna Noone
(See Julianna’s full review on video.)

This film is the third in this popular series and is based on the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, which are written by Jeff Kinney. These books are about the ups and downs of growing up and trying to deal with school, family and relationships. The stories are so well written and relatable that you can’t help but love the books and the movies.

This film stars Zachary Gordon, who does a great job once again as the main character, Greg Heffley, and Robert Capron as his lovable friend, Rowley Jefferson. This film starts out with Greg and Rowley finishing the school year and planning out their summer vacation. There’s only one problem, as usual for Greg: Nothing goes as planned. Follow along as Greg and Rowley try to make it through the dog days of summer.

My favorite character is Greg because he is funny and means well even when he makes mistakes. Deep down, he just wants everyone to like him. It is hard choosing one scene as my favorite, because most of the scenes at the country club are absolutely hysterical, but I was able to choose one, when Greg’s older brother, Roderick, played brilliantly by Devon Bostick, tries to fake drowning so the pretty lifeguard will save him. The problem is, she doesn’t even notice him, so an older, hairy man dives into the pool, pulls him out and performs mouth to mouth on him. Roderick’s facial expression is priceless, and this scene is just so funny, I could not stop laughing.

Not only is this movie well written and very funny, but it has a really strong cast that help bring to life the Heffley family and make this an enjoyable film that the entire family can relate to and enjoy. The movie also has a great message in it about growing up and learning from your mistakes. I love this fabulous film and urge you to take your family and go see this film today.

I rate this film five out of five stars, as I think this is a film your entire family will love as much as I do. Trust me, you will love it!

And remember, a man who makes no mistakes is a man who hasn’t learned anything.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Reviewed by Anthony Aranda
(See Anthony’s full review on video.)

This movie is awesome. It has so many funny parts in the movie. It was hilarious. This movie is based on the third and fourth book of the Wimpy Kid series, The Last Straw and Dog Days, which are also really good.

This movie is all about a person named Greg Heffley who is ready for summer. He has a lot of plans to have a lot of fun, but everything seems to go wrong. He is acting really lazy because all he is doing is playing video games and trying to impress a girl named Holly Hills. Rowley invites him to the country club where they can go swimming, play tennis and play golf.
The main characters in this movie are Greg, Greg’s family, Holly Hills and her family, and Rowley and his family. My favorite character in the movie is Greg because he is really funny and is kind of like me. He also does a lot of stuff to get out of spending time with his family. He will go do something else even if he doesn’t really want to so that he can get away from them.

My favorite part in the movie is when Rowley invites Greg to the country club and he meets Holly Hills. He has to play a tennis game with Rowley against Holly Hills and his mortal enemy, Patty Farrell. He gets hit a lot of times with a tennis ball in different places, which is really funny. Rowley gets hit a few times too, but it is mostly Greg who keeps getting hit. It made me laugh a lot.

I would recommend this movie for ages 5 and up because this movie is rated PG and there is only one scary part in the movie that younger children might not like. Everyone will think this movie is really funny and a great movie to watch with the whole family.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Reviewed by Julia Chestnut
(See Julia’s full review on video.)
(See Julia’s live interviews on location.)

I LOVE this movie. It is full of comedy and it makes you laugh the entire movie.
School is out and summer is waiting, and Greg (played by Zachary Gordon) is ready for summer and can’t wait to just play video games. Slowly, everything starts to go wrong. He finds himself sneaking into a country club each day to try and hang out with Holly Hills (played by Peyton List). My favorite part is when Greg gets called into the pool by his little brother and Greg finds out that he is peeing and then all the other little kids are peeing and then his little brother splashes the water with pee in it on Greg. It is so funny! Zachary Gordon plays Greg Heffley. He and Robert Capron are the stars in this movie, and they play best friends. Greg is funny and always finds himself in embarrassing situations that are so hilarious to the viewers watching!

Robert Capron plays his part very well as Rowley Jefferson. He is Greg’s best friend in this movie, but Rowley always embarrasses Greg in front of a big group of people. Rowley is funny and comes from a loving family and is a great best friend to everyone. He can connect with everyone. When he gets made fun of, he doesn’t care and he doesn’t let them get in his way of things.

Peyton List plays her part very well, too. She plays Holly Hills. In the movie, Greg likes Holly and tries to hang out with her for a while. He sneaks into the country club each day to hang out with Holly. I can see why Greg likes Holly, she is a very cute girl and is nice. She helps with everything and she is never selfish. She never looks at the bad side of people; she only looks at the good side. She is a great friend to everybody.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is great! I give it five out of five stars. It is so funny and full of comedy. I would recommend ages 8-12.

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