The LEGO Ninjago Movie – A Clever Animated Film With Humor For All Ages

September 24th, 2017

The battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, also secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu, as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat the evil warlord Garmadon, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Pitting father against son, the epic showdown tests these fierce but undisciplined modern-day ninjas as they learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash the inner power of Spinjitzu. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Benjamin P. comments, “The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a clever animated film that stumbles in its first act but quickly reclaims its footing for a highly enjoyable finish.” Ryan R., adds, “This film is really fun, because it has humor for all ages and the special effects look very interesting and cool.” Calista B. chimes in with, “Of course, I have to start this review by mentioning the visuals. This movie is stop motion animation, made using LEGOs. And, aside from a few live action parts, EVERYTHING is made out of LEGOs. And it looks amazing.” Morgan B. sums it up with, “What do you get when you mix a crazy cat, stealth ninjas and an evil villain? The LEGO Ninjago Movie which is an action packed adventure.” See their full reviews below.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Surprisingly, I found this movie really enjoyable. I say surprisingly because, I am not a fan of Ninjago. Yet I managed to find it as funny and charming as the previous LEGO Movies.

The movie follows the story of the Green Ninja Lloyd, as he struggles to cope with his father, Garmadon, being an evil villain. This affects how the citizens of Ninjago see him and how they treat him. After Garmadon takes over Ninjago, the ninjas go on a journey to find the ultimate weapon to save Ninjago.

Of course, I have to start this review by mentioning the visuals. This movie is stop motion animation, made using LEGOs. And, aside from a few live action parts, EVERYTHING is made out of LEGOs. And it looks amazing. Like The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, this movie looks so good. The city of Ninjago, the subtle Japanese atmosphere, the expressions, they all look great. Since this movie has a lot of action as well, it took over four years to make. It is so impressive and I can’t imagine what patience it took to create.

Similar to the other LEGO Movies, this film manages to be both hilarious, yet deep and meaningful. The story is all about a kid’s life being influenced by his dad’s bad choices, which is a heavy subject. It is handled very seriously and maturely. Kudos to the writers, Dan and Kevin Hageman as they’ve made an amazing product. The movie has moments where Garmadon and Lloyd talk about their relationship and their broken family. That is really well done. The voice actors are also really great. Kumail Nanjiani as Jay is a particular stand out to me. For some reason, I found his voice very adorable and energetic. Honestly, all the voice actors show a lot of energy and effort.

Now, as I previously mentioned, I don’t know much about Ninjago. I was nervous I wouldn’t understand this movie because I don’t follow the series. But thankfully I can say that is not the case. I know almost nothing, yet I got the general idea of the story. So, if you’re worried about not understanding the story, you’re in luck. This movie can stand alone. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. As for who I think would enjoy this movie, I recommend it for ages 5 to 18, and remind you that you don’t need to like Ninjago to enjoy it. This movie comes out in theaters on September 22, 2017 so, look for it.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
By Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a very cool and funny movie that is perfect for the whole family.

In this film, you meet Lloyd (Dave Franco), the green ninja, but outside of his ninja life, his dad is Garmadon (Justin Theroux), an evil ninja trying to rule Ninjago, Lloyd’s homeland. When Lloyd is at school he has to deal with bullying and is treated like an outcast because of his father. After a particular incident (can’t elaborate because it is a spoiler), Garmadon and Lloyd are forced to work together and go on an adventure. Joining them on this adventure to find their inner power are Lloyd’s friends, Kai (Michael Pena), Cole (Fred Armisen), Nya (Abbi Jacobson), and Jay (Kumail Nanjiani). The question is: will they find their inner power?

This film is really fun, because it has humor for all ages and the special effects look very interesting and cool. My favorite scene is when a real-life cat comes to Ninjago and starts terrorizing all the LEGOs. The cat looks like it really is destroying all the ninjas and civilians. I additionally like the water effects they use, instead of the using the traditional LEGOs, like they did in The LEGO Movie. I love the comedy because it has adult humor without making it obvious to kids and it’s not inappropriate. My favorite character is Garmadon because he always says Lloyd’s name wrong throughout the film. He also exaggerates when he tells his flashback story and it made me laugh a lot. It will definitely make you laugh as well. I must say this film doesn’t drag and there are a couple of New York anchors that make surprise cameos in this film. However, there is one thing I would like to point out. There are a few intense scenes, so this a know-your-kid kind of movie. This film also contains mild violence and rude humor.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 5 to 18. I think adults may like this as well. People who like action, adventure, family, children, LEGO and comedy films will also enjoy it. This film comes out September 22, 2017 in theaters nationwide, so go check it out. The LEGO genre is rising and you should go see it, because they are stepping up their game. This is a must-see film.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Age 12

What do you get when you mix a crazy cat, stealth ninjas and an evil villain? The LEGO Ninjago Movie which is an action packed adventure. I want to watch The LEGO Ninjago Movie again and again because the animation is fantastic and uses real life LEGOs.

This story, told through the eyes of a young boy, captures your heart with friendship, parent controversies and team work. The voiceovers are magnificent. It’s as if you can feel the characters’ emotions from the tone of their voices. This film has terrific characters such as Master Wu (Jackie Chan). I love Master Wu and the way that Jackie Chan portrays this character as someone who knows some amazing karate moves to help their students. My favorite character is Master Wu because he is hilarious and tells some good jokes, even when he doesn’t know that he is making them. Guess what? A crazy fact about Jackie Chan (who has been acting since he was 7-years-old) is that he performs his own stunts and has broken every bone in his body. He is remarkable. I talked with him in person at LEGOLAND California just a few days ago. During our conversation, I discovered that his goal is to introduce children to martial arts and teach them how to find inner peace. Jackie Chan also plays Mr. Liu in The LEGO Ninjago Movie.

Cole (Fred Armisen) is a very kind and musical ninja at heart. When I met Fred Armisen, I discovered that he is very musical and knows how to sing Jingle Bells very well. I love the way that he connects with Cole through music and I love that they both love being ninjas, even when not on camera. Cole is a ninja who is very calm and quiet, yet when it is time to lay a bet no one is better for the task than him.

Lloyd (Dave Franco) is an amazing ninja who tries his best to do what is right and find a way to eradicate the evil Garmadon (Justin Theroux). Lloyd is the kid in school who no one likes because his dad is the evil villain Garmadon. During the daytime, Lloyd deals with bullies. Then at night and when he is needed most, he turns into a ninja with his friends Cole, Jay, Kai, Nya and Zane.

Jay (Kumail Nanjiani) is the anxious, yet adorable kid who I love and, who in real life he thinks that the cat was a pain to shoot with. When they were shooting they used two identical, twin cats and it was very hard to shoot them for technical reasons. Kai (Michael Peña) loved the shoot and thought it was a dream come true because, when he was hired he automatically became a ninja inside and out and he loves that feeling. Zane (Zach Woods) says that he was practically born with a robot voice and that he didn’t have to practice at all for this role. Nya (Abbi Jacobson) told me that we all are ninjas and that we don’t have to worry about not being cool or amazing, as we are all those things at heart.

The best scene in this film is when Garmadon and Master Wu have a gigantic martial arts battle and fight each other for good vs evil. I love this scene because it is spot on with the timing and the ending was quite shocking. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 as well as adults. People will love it because of the adventure. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars.  You can see The LEGO Ninjago Movie on September 22 when it opens in theaters nationwide.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a clever animated film that stumbles in its first act but quickly reclaims its footing for a highly enjoyable finish.

The storyline follows Lloyd, who on the surface is a typical 16-year-old. It’s Lloyd’s parentage that makes him different. He is the son of a ruthless warlord named Lord Garmadon. You’d think that Lloyd is the man himself considering how his fellow high school students constantly pick on him. Garmadon left when Lloyd was an infant and Lloyd has hated his father ever since. Advised by the noble Master Wu, Lloyd and five of his friends disguise themselves as ninjas in elaborate giant robots to fight against Garmadon’s attacks on their city. Wu sends Lloyd and his friends on a perilous journey to find weapons that can help them defeat a creature that poses an even bigger threat to the fate of Ninjago City than Garmadon and his goons.

My favorite character in this film is Lloyd (Dave Franco). This character has an emotionally rich back story that changes how you see him and made me sympathetic towards his character. Lloyd is surprisingly complex and the film shows how difficult it is for Lloyd to not give in to the negativity going on around him. Despite his evil roots, he comes out good-natured and more aware of the world around him than ever. Justin Theroux is great as Lord Garmadon. He gives the character a big personality. It’s a nice change of pace from his more dramatic work and you can tell he is having a lot of fun voicing this character. The father and son dynamic between Lloyd and Lord Garmadon is an excellent element of the story. The scenes they share are so funny and they do play off one another really well.

The action scenes in this film are very well executed. The fights feel well choreographed and they never lose my interest. The giant robots are cool to look at and fit each of the characters’ personalities and true powers, making them more than just machines.

I recommend this film to ages 4 to 12. Lord Garmadon could be a little frightening to younger children. I also think many adults will enjoy this film because there are some one-liners that are custom built for their amusement. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. You can see it in theaters when it opens September 22, 2017 so, keep your eyes out for it in a theater near you.

 

P. King Duckling: Seize The Day – A Plucky Duck And His Friends’ Adventure Bring About Interesting Solutions And Charm

September 22nd, 2017

Adventure takes flight with the plucky P. King Duckling! Meet P. King, a slightly hapless but intrepid young duck, and his two best friends, Chumpkins (a sarcastic pig) and Wombat (who helps P. King with his schemes even though she knows better)! Together, they work to seize the day: which always leads to wild adventures and hilarious consequences. Created by award-winning Josh Selig (Sesame Street, Wonder Pets!) and featuring music from Grammy winner Marty Beller of They Might Be Giants, P. King Duckling is a wholly satisfying family experience that engages children in problem-solving and creative thinking: all while quacking you up! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan B. comments, “The lessons that P. King Duckling, Wombat and Chumpkins teach are also quite useful. The animation in this show is simple with lots of colors and shapes. It is perfect for kids.” KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror Rachael V. adds, “This is a cute show about a group of friends who take funny adventures and find solutions to problems along the way.” See their full reviews below.

P. King Duckling: Seize The Day
By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The fun adventures shared here are creative and quite enjoyable. The lessons that P. King Duckling,     Wombat and Chumpkins teach are also quite useful. The animation in this show is simple with lots of colors and shapes. It is perfect for kids. It is easy to follow and understand so you can do some of the experiments that they do in your imagination.

My favorite episode is “Wombats Big Surprise!” This episode is so funny and enjoyable because of the humor and how Wombat doesn’t know about her big surprise birthday party. I also love that Chumpkins and P. King Duckling hide things. It also teaches you about patience, which is a difficult lesson.

My favorite character is Wombat (Courtney Shaw). She is smart, creative and likes to help her friends. Wombat knows how to make lots of fun things such as painting pictures. Courtney Shaw voices Wombat and makes her sound very inquisitive and caring. She fills Wombat’s voice with lots of emotion in all the episodes, which is something I admire.  P. King Duckling (Marc Thompson) is very goodhearted and a silly duck who loves adventure. He finds new fun ways of doing things such as cooling the town he lives in during a heat wave, jogging the Great Wall of China and many more that have great moral values. Marc Thompson’s P. King Duckling has an adorable voice that sounds like a nerd which brings P. King Duckling to life and makes him enjoyable.

Chumpkins (Benjie Randall) is a computer geek and loves technology. Chumpkins is proud of this and wears a shirt with a computer on it. Whenever you need something delivered house right away, have Chumpkins order it online. He also knows a lot about gadgets and gizmos so he is the Pig to call. Benjie Randall makes Chumpkins sound older then he is and that is reflected in his personality and makes you believe he is very smart.

Some of the life lessons in this story are about being a good friend, what friendship really is, how to exercise creativity, using your imagination and learn how to work as a team. The lessons are very valuable, because even I forget how to be a good friend sometimes. It is a great reminder about how to be a good friend for older kids while teaching younger kids the basics of friendship.  It reminds you to use your brains and work with others when trying to solve problems.

I recommend this DVD for ages 4 to 8. Even tweens and teens will benefit from it the life lessons are priceless and everyone will enjoy the characters with their quacky, quirk personalities. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 Quacking Ducks. This is available now on DVD so, check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

P. King Duckling: Seize the Day
By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

This is a cute show about a group of friends who take funny adventures and find solutions to problems along the way. P. King is a funny duckling who constantly gets the group into trouble with his big adventures. Luckily, he has two friends that help keep him centered and out of trouble. There’s Wombat who always supports P. King’s decisions and Chumpkins, an attitude-riddled pig who is the muscle of the group. He is my personal favorite because he is funny and sarcastic all the time. This trio deals with the bad guy, Greg the Goose and teaches us that there are many creative solutions to even the smallest of problems. My 19-month-old absolutely loves this program. The art style reminds me of Phineas and Ferb. I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. My only complaint is its lack of story depth. Everything is over simplified, which is expected for the target age group, but I wanted more.

 

The Little Prince: The New Mission – Those You Save Will Guide You

September 21st, 2017

Life on B612 has resumed to normalcy. Rose, Fox, and the Little Prince are living peacefully, maybe too peacefully. Then one night, Rose hears the Snake telling her that she has a home planet with a family. Rose asks Little Prince to find her planet because she’s afraid it’s in grave danger. The Little Prince asks Fox to keep an eye on Rose as he flies off on his plane to try to find more information on her planet. While searching for Rose’s planet, the Little Prince encounters four characters who tell him that Rose’s planet is in another galaxy far beyond interstellar space. Back on B612, Rose is bothered with nightmares and is becoming irritated. After an argument with Fox, they free the Snake. When the Little Prince finally returns to B612 and learns that the Snake has been freed, he collapses. His friend, the aviator, comforts him and urges him to set off on a new adventure to fight his worst enemy again. But what about Rose’s planet? The aviator mysteriously explains – those you save will guide you. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Samantha M. comments, “This imaginative animated film warmed my heart. Elaborating upon a conquest to find Rose’s family, the friendship that Little Prince, Fox and Rose share is remarkable. Each character differs from one another, but they all manage to combat the forces of evil together, which in turn, strengthens their relationship in a way never seen before.” Alejandra G. adds, “I love that the Little Prince doesn’t just throw the life lessons in your face. It’s not obvious because, when you start watching it, it’s simply a casual storyline. But, if you pay close attention and analyze the characters and the events of the story, you start to notice all of the metaphors, figures of speech and symbols that hide real life lessons and sincere messages.” See their full reviews below.

The Little Prince: The New Mission
By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

This imaginative animated film warmed my heart. Elaborating upon a conquest to find Rose’s family, the friendship that Little Prince, Fox and Rose share is remarkable. Each character differs from one another, but they all manage to combat the forces of evil together, which in turn, strengthens their relationship in a way never seen before. With such a divine plot, exquisite action scenes and heartwarming friendships, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Previously, the Little Prince defeated an evil snake and trapped him in his beloved sketchbook. Everything on B612 is peaceful again. Rose, Fox and the Little Prince are enjoying life, playing games with one another and building stable friendships. But one night, the Snake tells Rose that she has a family that is in danger. It is up to the Little Prince, Fox and Rose to work as a team, and try to reunite Rose with her family.

Marion Cotillard, who plays Rose, delivers exceptional dialogue with her sweet voice. Her laugh is infectious and seeing Rose smile through every difficult situation is very inspiring. Cotillard portrays Rose as optimistic, through her desire to never give up and this is something that everyone can learn from. Riley Osborne, who plays the Little Prince, is very charming, because he cares about Rose and will do anything to help her find her family. He asks Fox (James Franco) to keep an eye on her as he searches the galaxy for her family.

The animation in this film is incredible. Seeing the galaxy for the first time left me speechless. The costumes are very realistic, which makes the characters look like they don’t belong in space. But, that is the beauty of this film, because we can see how opposites attract. My favorite part is when Rose, Fox and the Little Prince play a game called, “Red Light, Green Light.” Rose covers her eyes and Fox and the Little Prince can only move on green light. If they move on red light, Rose wins. It’s fascinating to see their friendship grow and it makes you want to join the game.

The message of this film is to work as a team and to never give up. No matter what obstacle you encounter, there is always a way to combat it and push forward. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for its nonstop action and unique plot. I have never been this intrigued by a film before. I recommend this to kids ages 6 to 12 and it is great to watch for parents as well. With such comedic jokes, relatable characters and a mysterious plot, there is something for everyone to enjoy. This film is available now on DVD. Check it out and find out if the Little Prince can find the Planet of the Roses.

The Little Prince: The New Mission
By Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

This animated series had me very delighted with all the life lessons that it teaches its young audience. I love that the Little Prince doesn’t just throw the life lessons in your face. It’s not obvious because, when you start watching it, it’s simply a casual storyline. But, if you pay close attention and analyze the characters and the events of the story, you start to notice all of the metaphors, figures of speech and symbols that hide real life lessons and sincere messages. audience.

The Little Prince: The New Mission is about Snake telling the Rose that she her home planet and family are in danger. So, the Rose asks the Little Prince to go and find her planet fast. He promises her that he will go look for her planet. He asks Fox to keep an eye on Rose as he flies off on his plane promising he will return to trim the baobabs on B612, their planet. During his quest, he encounters four new characters: the hunter, the geographer, the king and the businessman. As he meets each one, they tell him that Rose’s planet is in another galaxy and offer to help him find it. Meanwhile back on B612, the baobabs continue to grow, Rose and Fox continue to argue and the Snake is freed from the sketchbook. When the Little Prince returns to his planet, he realizes he must set off on a new mission to fight his worse enemy and find the planet of the roses.

My favorite scene is when the Little Prince meets the Hunter. When he lands on his planet, he learns that the Hunter has been on a mission to find this marvelous beast and, while he was on it, he harms all of the creatures living there. Wanting to protect the animals, the Little Prince asks the Hunter to draw the creature he is looking for. His description doesn’t match anything and the Little Prince realizes that the creature doesn’t exist. It’s inside Hunter’s head. The Little Prince and the animals create a plan to stop Hunter’s search. They are cleverly successful in their solution, but you’ll have to watch the film to find out what it is.

One of the many life lessons that the Little Prince teaches, especially in these episodes, is that the baobabs need to be taken care of immediately. To explain, a baobab is a metaphor or a figure of speech for the problems we ignore and don’t pay attention to. Many of us ignore problems that are seemingly harmless at first, but later cause us regret when that tiny sprout of a setback transforms into a giant trouble. Baobabs start to grow small, but when they grow to be a huge tree, they are impossible to get rid of, similar to problems. The Little Prince understands so he  destroy any appearance of them on his planet so they don’t have the chance to dominate the planet. He would take care of the problem at the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Fluttershy – Lively, Cheerful, Exciting Adventures and Lessons About Life

September 20th, 2017

Not every Pegasus pony in Equestria is the same. Just ask Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. While Rainbow Dash is bold and daring, Fluttershy is quite reserved and caring. But that’s what makes Fluttershy such a wonderful friend to everyone around her, whether they’re her pony friends, like Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack and, yes, even Rainbow Dash , or her non-equestrian friends, like Angel the bunny. Join in for five adventures that feature every pony’s lovably quiet Pegasus, Fluttershy. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Sahiba K. comments, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Fluttershy… is lively and cheerful! The storylines are well thought out, with plots that relate to real life.” Samantha M. adds, “This delightful animated series brought me back to my childhood. With many comedic jokes, valuable life lessons and exciting adventures, there is something for everyone to enjoy.” See their full review below.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Fluttershy
By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Fluttershy, created by Lauren Faust is lively and cheerful! The storylines are well thought out, with plots that relate to real life. The variety of the personalities of each pony creates a realistic atmosphere where everyone is accepted. Each episode teaches how to deal with certain setbacks and different realistic situations through colorful and merry narratives.

The story follows a pony named Fluttershy (Andrea Libman) who is timid and would do anything for     friendships. She adventures through life with her fellow ponies including Rarity (Tabitha St. Germain) and Rainbow Dash (Ashleigh Ball), facing different challenges and never giving up. They maintain their friendships no matter what.

Andrea Libman is the voice actor for Fluttershy and has a high pitch but soft-toned voice. This builds upon her personality as a shy, timid pony. When she lowers her voice to a light tone, one can tell she is feeling shy and when her voice rises, one can tell she is feeling more confident. Tabitha St. Germain voices Rarity who also has a high pitch voice. However, she uses more inflections in her voice to show how excited Rarity is.

The animation and the sound effects are the highlights of this DVD. There are many different colors used throughout for the skin and hair of the ponies and for the scenic backgrounds. The variety of these colors is very visually appealing. The animation of the ponies’ eyes convey a multitude of emotions. For example, when a pony is excited, its eyes widen. When they are scared, their pupils shrink. And when they are shy, their eyes look down. The sound effects add more emotion to the scenes. Different sound effects emerge as different words are emphasized. When Fluttershy is mad, loud and low sound effects further accentuate these emotions.

My favorite part was seeing how all the ponies in different colors, shapes and sizes. Everyone gets along and nobody cares how their friends or fellow ponies look. It is an analogy for real life.

The messages are about the importance of friendship and about never giving up despite the circumstances. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10. Check out My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Fluttershy when it’s released nationwide on DVD September 12, 2017.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Fluttershy
By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

This delightful animated series brought me back to my childhood. With many comedic jokes, valuable life lessons and exciting adventures, there is something for everyone to enjoy. There are six Pegasus ponies who are unique in every way. You are certainly able to relate to at least one of them. Join Fluttershy and her friends in five enticing adventures to find out which pony you truly are.

Elaborating upon the importance of friendship and self confidence, this series documents Fluttershy’s journey through life. Fluttershy is a timid pony, but she will do anything to stick up for her friends. Watch how Fluttershy discovers who she really is with the help of her friends Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Rarity.

Tabitha St. Germain, who plays Rarity, successfully portrays a teenage girl through Rarity’s desire to shine bright in the fashion world. In the episode, “Green Isn’t Your Color,” Rarity urges Fluttershy (Andrea Libman) to model for Photo Finish, a famous fashion designer. Libman’s sweet voice acting characterizes Fluttershy as a shy pony with a beautiful heart. You can hear the confidence build up in her voice with every new adventure she experiences.

The animation in this series is incredible. Compared to the My Little Pony that I watched as a kid, these Pegasus ponies are depicted as teenagers instead of children. The ponies are older, bigger and more knowledgeable, which makes them very relatable. Even though the ponies are older, their charm and kind hearts continue to grow, yet they still manage to enjoy life just like little kids, with no worries in the world.

My favorite part is when Spike tells Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie that he has a crush on Rarity. I love how Spike completely trusts Rarity’s friends to keep a secret. Friendship is extremely important and Spike is very lucky to have such caring friends.

The message of the series is to value friendships that you make with others. Friends help you become a better person and they always have your back. No matter what happens in your life, as long as you have a good friend when the world seems to turn on you, you’ll be fine. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 12. Teenagers and adults will love it too, since friendship is applicable to everyone. This DVD is available now, so check it out. It is sure to warm your heart.

 

 

Pup Star: Better2Gether – Fun-Filled Family Film With Adorable Pups

September 20th, 2017

The action-packed new season of the franchise continues with the story of Tiny, an adorable Yorkie pup who, after winning the ‘Pup Star’ TV singing competition, is suddenly launched into an adventure when she’s replaced by a street Yorkie, Scrappy, and the two swap lives in a dog-filled, fish-out-of-water tale that ultimately demonstrates life truly is ‘better together.’  KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abigail Zoe L. comments, “I absolutely love the music because it includes rap, pop, country, upbeat and sad songs that draws you in and touches your heart.” Samantha M. adds, “You’re never too young or old to love an animal. I fell in love with the first Pup Star film and seeing the second one made my heart melt. If you love animals as much as I do, this is undoubtedly the film for you.” Calista B. wraps it up with, “I want to acknowledge the really good editing in this movie. Since most of the characters are dogs, you must make their lip movements and actions look convincing. And I must admit, the lip movements and actions actually do look real. That must have taken a lot of time.” See their full reviews below.

Pup Star: Better2Gether
By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Air Bud Entertainment has done it again and created a fun-filled family film with this follow up sequel to Pup Star. I like the movie because the story has a fun adventure and also introduces lots of new characters including the disco dog Shampoo, the perfect pal P.U.P. (Mackenzie Sol) and the “catankerous” Kitty Purry (Madison Pettis).

The story begins when Roland (Jed Rees) and Bark (George Newbern) kidnap Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher); or should I say dognap. Scrappy (Kaitlyn Maher) is put in Tiny’s place for the Pup Star finals because Bark wants revenge on Tiny. My favorite scene is Shampoo’s disco party! It is hilarious because it is quite unusual to see dogs dancing. Wow! He slides all around and spins on the ground like fidget spinner. My next favorite scene is in Kitty Purry’s cat alley. When Roland enters, his clothes are in perfect condition, but when he comes out, his entire outfit is in shreds.

My favorite characters are Tiny, Scrappy and Roland. Tiny is so loveable and a great singer. Scrappy is an awesome rapper with lots of attitude. Roland thinks he is pretty smart but he’s really like a dodo bird. It’s so funny that in almost every scene something bad happens to him which made me laugh like a howling husky.

I absolutely love the music because it includes rap, pop, country, upbeat and sad songs that draws you in and touches your heart. Kaitlyn Mayer has an amazing and versatile voice. She is able to not only sing pop but rap like nobody’s business. I like the special effects because they make the talking dogs and facial expressions look so real and, by the end of the movie, I believed that dogs can really talk and sing. Can’t they?

I don’t want to give away the ending, but you’ll most likely have tears in your eyes. The heartfelt messages of the film are about sticking together and that families are better together. I recommend this to ages 3 to 13. I rate this film 5 out of 5 Pup Stars. I highly encourage you to see this film! It is available on VOD August 29, 2017 so go check it out.

Pup Star: Better2Gether
By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

This wonderful, animated film is one of my all-time favorites. Firstly, it’s about dogs. Secondly, any kind of dog you can imagine is in this film, so you are sure to love at least one. If you don’t love dogs as much as I do, that’s okay, because there are plenty of cats to go around as well.

After Tiny, a Yorkshire terrier, wins the Pup Star finale, her fame begins to flourish. Having multiple interviews and traveling around the country, she’s forced to remain astray from her family. Scrappy, an identical street Yorkshire terrier, switches lives with Tiny and their families and friends are completely unaware. Tiny and Scrappy encounter multiple adventures and learn a valuable life lesson: life is better together.

Kaitlyn Maher, who voices both Tiny and Scrappy, successfully illustrates the differences between the two, through Scrappy’s low-pitched raps and Tiny’s intense singing voice. During the film, there are also times where you aren’t able to tell the difference. Mackenzie Moss, who plays Tiny’s owner Lou, is the perfect dog owner. She loves Tiny more than anything in the world and, even though she’s actually loving Scrappy for a majority of the film, her heart is always with Tiny. You can see it in her smile when it’s Tiny’s birthday. The entire house is decorated. There is a cake – what more could you ask for?

The set is incredible! It looks so similar to the set of America’s Got Talent. The stage is filled with colorful lights, incredible singers and there’s even a real audience. It feels as if you’re a part of the show. My favorite part is when Tiny goes on “Jimmy Kibble Live” and competes with a super-fan. They play a game called “Who Knows Tiny Best?” Jimmy Kimmel Live is one of my favorite talk shows, so it is hilarious to see an imitation of it.

The message of the film is concise, yet extremely powerful: life is better when you’re together. No matter who you may be with, as long as you have a support system, there is nothing that can tear you down. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 6 to18. Adults will love it too. You’re never too young or old to love an animal. I fell in love with the first Pup Star film and seeing the second one made my heart melt. If you love animals as much as I do, this is undoubtedly the film for you. Catch this film on VOD August 29, 2017. I can’t wait to see Pup Star 3.

Pup Stars: Better 2Gether
By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

This film is a perfectly cute kid and family furry-friendly movie. Sorry, there are lots of puns in this film. It is clearly geared to younger kids, but at least I can say there is a very clear effort to make this film watchable for older siblings and even parents.

The story centers around a celebrity pooch named Tiny and a streetwise dog named Scrappy who are forced to switch places after Tiny is dog-napped. Scrappy is coerced to purposely lose The Pup Stars Final competition pretending to be Tiny.

First, I want to acknowledge the really good editing in this movie. Since most of the characters are dogs, you must make their lip movements and actions look convincing. And I must admit, the lip movements and actions actually do look real. That must have taken a lot of time. Kudos to the film’s editor, Jason Dale. All the dogs in the film are likable and you just want to cuddle up with Tiny and Scrappy.

This film has some flaws in terms of its story. First, the humans are incredibly oblivious and bumbling. When Scrappy meets Tiny’s family, she does a terrible job hiding that she isn’t Tiny, yet they completely buy it. No one seems to realize Tiny and Scrappy have switched places. All the human characters are either self-absorbed or really incompetent. I also have an issue with how predictable the storyline is. I knew the big reveal within the first few minutes of the film. Not only that, this type of story has been done before. This movie is pretty much Parent Trap, but with dogs and an American Idol twist.

I have to say that the music is surprisingly really good. The song Tiny sings, “Is This For Real?” is pretty catchy and I even found it stuck in my head after the movie was over. The singing overall is also great. I admit, the movie’s soundtrack is kind of a guilty pleasure for me.

Before the movie starts, it is revealed that they are working on Pup Stars 3 and I am curious how many movies they can make, especially since the first one only came out last year and they go straight to VOD. I wonder what the plot will be for the next movie and hope they don’t depict the humans as totally incompetent next time.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10, as this is a solid family film. It will be released on VOD on August 29, 2017 so, check it out.

Pup Star: Better 2Gether
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Pup Star: Better 2Gether, the sequel to Pup Star, is an amazing original film that really hits the heart.  The storyline is unique and the ending is so adorable. The film teaches the important messages of honesty and owning up to your mistakes.

The storyline begins when Scrappy gets put up to impersonate Tiny. Bark instructs Scrappy to lose the Pup Star Competition as Tiny so that he can win. Bark kidnaps Tiny and tries to keep him contained. Eventually he escapes and tries to find his owner and reveal the truth.

Kaitlyn Maher voices two completely different characters and personalities well. She voices Tiny’s sweet and affectionate personality and also voices Scrappy’s rough, snarky personality. I also love the voice acting of Steve Valentine as Simon Growl. It is a really good Simon Cowell impression. At first, I thought it was actually Simon Cowell voicing his dog counterpart.

The animation that makes the dogs dance and talk looks so real. It is so cool to see the dogs break-dancing at the disco party. It is also amazing to see the dogs singing and talking. They sound beautiful and angelic.

My favorite character is Scrappy, because she is so courageous and has such a strong personality, even if she seems harsh. She is a great example of “don’t judge a book by its cover.” I don’t want to give any spoilers, but she is very confident and knows what’s right.

The message of this film is to have confidence in yourself and do what’s right. Tiny has confidence that she can find her owner. She doesn’t give up and that helps her greatly. Scrappy knows what’s right and she becomes successful and happy at the end. These things benefit both dogs and the film teaches that it will benefit you as well. They are very important lessons that will help you throughout your life.

This film is very inspirational and super-cute. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 3 to 18. Who doesn’t love puppies?  Definitely check this film out when it comes out on VOD August 29, 2017.

Audience Interviews in NYC by Na’im S., Niles G., Evelyn P., Rohan F. and Damon F.

 

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