The New Adventure of Gumby: The 1980s Series, Volume 1 * Re-Mastered With Improved Video and Sound!

December 13th, 2018

This limited edition includes bendable Prickle and Goo figures as we welcome back Gumby and Pokey in this wild, wacky and inventive collection of ’80s episodes. Featuring 50 clay-animated episodes, fully re-mastered from their original camera rolls and soundtracks. Also making appearances are Prickle, Goo, the Blockheads,Professor Kapp, Dr. Zveegee, the Moon Boggles, and Gumby’s parents Gumbo and Gumba. New characters include Gumby’s sister Minga, Denali the Mastodon and Tilly the chicken! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Nathalia J.comments, “Did you know that each episode and song was fully re-mastered from the original camera rolls and soundtracks? How cool is that!  Here’s a chance to see Gumby as it has never been seen before.” Benjamin P. adds, “The New Adventures Of Gumby: The 80’s Series is a good show that retains the groundbreaking animation and immense amount of creativity at the forefront of past iterations of Gumby.” KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer Rachael V. wraps it all up with, “Having been a fan of the original Gumby series, I enjoyed seeing my favorite characters rejuvenated on screen with better film quality and sound. The stories are always so eccentric and fun-loving and this collection is no different.” See their full reviews below.

The New Adventure of Gumby: The 1980s Series, Volume 1
By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This lovely two DVD set comes with limited edition bendable Prickle and Goo figures. How awesome is that! The 1980s show was a hit when mom was growing up and it bought back so many memories for her. Welcome back Gumby and Pokey in this wild, wacky and inventive collection of 80s episodes, created and written by Joe Clokey.

My favorite character is, by all odds Gumby, because he is always so energetic and happy. I enjoyed watching how Gumby and his genial friend Pokey take an adventure through an Ice Cave. I enjoyed this mirthful episode because it made me laugh. I really enjoyed seeing the characters come to life.The colors also really bring a sense of enjoyment.

The characters in this series are Gumby, Pokey and Prickle, an adorable yellow dinosaur that looks like a dragon. Also making an appearance are Goo, the Blockhead, Professor Kapp, Dr. Zveegee, the Moon Boggles and Gumby’s parents, Gumbo and Gumba.

I have to tell you about the story behind this release. Did you know that each episode and song was fully re-mastered from the original camera rolls and soundtracks?How cool is that!  Here’s a chance to see Gumby as it has never been seen before.

I give this DVD 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7, as well as adults.This series is certainly unique and will definitely bring back memories if you grew up watching Gumby. This DVD is available now so, check it out.  

The New Adventures of Gumby: The 1980s Series
By Benjamin Price, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

The New Adventures Of Gumby: The 80’s Series is a good show that retains the groundbreaking animation and immense amount of creativity at the forefront of past iterations of Gumby.

This DVD contains over 40 episodes that follow the vivacious chunk of green clay named Gumby and his friends – Pokey, Prickle the little yellow dinosaur and a blue flying mermaid named Goo. Gumby can go anywhere,including inside books, and turn into anything. The crew goes on lots of fantastical and quirky adventures together. One of the things I enjoy about this DVD is its diverse set of characters. This collection has all the favorite characters from the previous series such as The Blockheads and Professor Kapp.

My favorite character from this collection is Gumby. This altruistic do-gooder is a character whose values are something kids can aspire to adopt. Gumby is one of the few characters that, if we all aspired to be, the world would be a better place. He is very likable and consistently fights for the common good. I also really like Gumby’s friends. This collection also highlights how pivotal these characters were to the series’ success. I really enjoy Gumby as a character, but without Prickle, Goo and Pokey as foils and characters for him to interact with, this series just wouldn’t be as good.

I really have to give credit to the animators for using Claymation and not going with another type of animation. When such a specific brand like Gumby is been created and such dynamic characters are established, it’s difficult to divert from the Claymation style. The difference here is I can tell that the character models and the environments have improved from the 60s, but the show doesn’t lose the charm of the Claymation format.

I recommend The New Adventures Of Gumby: The 80’sSeries for ages 6 to 8.These are short cartoons that match younger kids’ attention spans. The episodes are extremely colorful, but I think kids underage 6 won’t understand the jokes. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. I didn’t find this collection as compelling as the 60s series, but it carries the torch of the Gumby legacy well. You can find this collection on DVD now.

The New Adventures of Gumby: The 1980s Series, Volume 1
Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

This lovely collector’s edition comes with two bendable toys that are two new lovable characters from this Gumby DVD. The characters are Prickle, a cute yellow dinosaur/dragon and Goo, a green gooey mermaid. Having been a fan of the original Gumby series, I enjoyed seeing my favorite characters rejuvenated onscreen with better film quality and sound. The stories are always so eccentric and fun-loving and this collection is no different. My favorite episode from Volume 1 is Birthday Party in the Middle Ages. During this story, Gumby and friends are invited to King Ott’s birthday party from the middle ages book. I love seeing all of these characters brought to life in true Gumby form; the shapes and colors are fantastic. This DVD is captivating for the younger ages. I recommend it for ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars for its timelessness.

Once Upon a Deadpool * Action-Packed, Draped With The Famous Parody Of The Original

December 8th, 2018

“Fox has been asking for a PG-13 basically since the start in 2006, “Ryan Reynolds told Deadline. “I’ve said no since 2006. Now, this one time, I said ‘Yes’ on two conditions. First, a portion of the proceeds had to go to charity. Second, I wanted to kidnap Fred Savage. The second condition took some explaining…”Fred Savage will join Reynolds in new scenes for Once Upon A Deadpool in an homage to Savage’s starring role in the 1987 bedtime-story classic The Princess Bride. Fred remarked, “while my participation in this film was anything but voluntary, I am happy to learn that Fudge Cancer will be the beneficiary of this shameless cash grab.” KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “Similar to the original film, the story is action-packed with some romance and drama, but always draped with the famous parody feel that creates an entertaining and comedic atmosphere.” See his full review below.

Once Upon a Deadpool
By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

Deadpool had much attention recently for its fame of being highly mature, but at the same time incredibly entertaining. Once Upon a Deadpool attempts to break that by releasing a PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2 and, while it will make the audience laugh as much as the previous version, it fails to expand the Deadpool audience to younger viewers.

Similar to the original film, the story is action-packed with some romance and drama, but always draped with the famous parody feel that creates an entertaining and comedic atmosphere.

 Once Upon a Deadpool follows the previous film with Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) losing the love of his life, leading to him trying to find ways to stop his grief, eventually ending up with Deadpool trying to save a young mutant boy from becoming a cruel murderer and on the way making a new family. In the PG-13 edition, the entire story is told by Deadpool to Fred Savage as a bedtime story, similar to the style of Princess Bride. While this doesn’t truly affect the main plot a lot, the twist leads to much laughter and many comedic moments.

Once Upon a Deadpool delivers the same chaotic, dark and highly mature atmosphere that the previous film did and, despite being marketed as a PG-13 film, it still has the same amount of lewdness and foul language, even if the material merely gets hinted at instead of blatantly shown. While this does technically makes it a less severe rating, the re-cut is far from a family film that everyone can enjoy. Also, at times, the re-cut rearranges scenes and shots very uniquely to avoid showing anything mature. Mostly this works to tell the story,but at times it feels forced, as if the editor had to construct a film from sticks instead of clips, with awkward cuts and sequences.

Aside from this, the film achieves high praise overall. The new cast and old cast hold a great quality in their performances, despite being in many ways a parody film. Of course, being a superhero action, good VFX holds a huge role in the end product. While the CGI throughout has less quality than what you’d see in an Avengers’ film, it still mostly looks realistic and could convince anybody that what they see on screen is real.

 Some of the funniest scenes come from the method that the film tells its story by having Deadpool read it to Fred Savage as a bedtime story. Most of the scenes breaks the fourth wall and are filled with self-mocking and sarcasm, which makes each time that the two are shown on camera together enjoyable. Savage and Reynolds’ on-screen chemistry works perfectly and the conversations and scenes flow smoothly, adding to the enjoyment as the comedy feels natural and real.

Despite being rated PG-13, Once Upon a Deadpool fails to actually expand to the target audience. I recommend this for ages 15 to 18, as well as adults. Parents should be warned that, while the film meets the national standard for a PG-13 rating, many adult-oriented elements are still referenced heavily, making it very mature in many ways. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for excellent acting and comedy, but lacking in an interesting and unpredictable story and having a strange flow at times due to the numerous edits necessary to achieve the lower rating. This film opens in theaters December 12, 2018 so, check it out.

Photos ©Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

The Snowman * A Holiday Classic Unlike Any Other!

December 7th, 2018

One crisp, winter morning, a young boy wakes up to find a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground as far as the eye can see. Filled with excitement, the boy decides to build a snowman using a tangerine for his nose, coal for his buttons and eyes, and tops him off with a hat and scarf. Later that night, at the stroke of midnight, the snowman comes to life! The young boy and the snowman embark on a magical adventure of discovery where the snowman explores the young boy’s world and in return he takes him flying to his home in the North Pole. Upon arriving at the North Pole, the two join a party as the guests of honor to a very special person. Based on Raymond Briggs book, The Snowman is a family classic for generations to enjoy. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Clayton P. comments, “…directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John Coates. This extravagant film has a little touch of magic which will keep you on your toes with excitement.” Eden T. adds, “This heartwarming film about the winter season never ceases to amaze me. It reminds me of myself during the holidays.” Morgan B. wraps it up with, “I love that this film has no words is both beautifully illustrated with animated images. The orchestra for the original film is Sinfonia of London. Their performance is stunning.” See their full reviews below.

The Snowman
By Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

The Snowman is a masterpiece that will bring families closer together for the holidays. The film is based on the classic UK picture book by Raymond Briggs, which has sold more than 8.5 million copies since it was first published in 1978.

In The Snowman, a young boy James wakes up one morning and finds snow on the ground. He quickly gets dressed and runs outside. He then builds a huge snowman. He gives it eyes, a nose, a scarf and a hat. He even gives it a big smiley face. After building the entire snowman by himself, it is time for James to go to bed. When he wakes up he notices that the Snowman has moved a little, so he runs downstairs and out the door. He then notices that the Snowman is glowing, moves some more and then, totally comes to life. James is flabbergasted to see a live Snowman. The Snowman and James introduce themselves and become great friends. The rest the film shows the two flying around having so much fun and adventure throughout the day.

The Snowman book was adapted for the screen in 1982and earned a nomination for an Academy Award for best animated short film.  The animation of the drawings is just amazing,bringing to life so many memories from the days of movie shorts. There is no dialogue,which makes it even more beautiful and somewhat old-fashioned. 

The music by Howard Blake, Peter Auty and the Sinfonia of London is amazing. It fits perfectly with everything the boy and the snowman are doing.  Each song tells a story, with each pluck of a string or push of a piano key. The songs in themovie are catchy and addicting to sing along with.  I am sixteen and I sung along with the songs!

The Snowman is directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John Coates. This extravagant film has a little touch of magic which will keep you on your toes with excitement. I recommend this for ages 1 to 12 and give it5 out of 5 stars.

The Snowman
By Eden T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This heartwarming film about the winter season never ceases to amaze me. It reminds me of myself during the holidays. For example, when the boy has to scrounge up snow for his snowman, I thought about when I tried to do the same thing!

The detail in this movie is stunning! Even though there is no talking, the artistry makes up for that. Each scene is hand-drawn, which must have been a technical pain for the scenes in motion! These movies are based on Raymond Briggs’ classic picture book. Besides young children, adults who have read this book in their youth will also appreciate this quality film. The unexpected ending is truly memorable!

In the film, a young British boy in a classic 1950s English rural home builds a snowman on Christmas Eve. At midnight, the snowman comes to life and takes the boy on a flying trip around the world! The scenes become grander and grander until you think nothing more can happen! After all of this is over, they travel back home. The next morning, the boy…well, you’ll see. The ending brought meaningful tears to my eyes!

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 2 to 6, as well as adults. This movie is available both on DVD now so check it out. Enjoy this winter delight!

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kidsages 2 to 6, as well as adults. This movie is available both on DVD now socheck it out. Enjoy this winter delight!

The Snowman
By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Holiday movies are one of my favorite forms of entertainment. Especially those that have adorable characters and a heartwarming tale. That is what this short film is all about. Add magnificent hand drawn animation and you have the perfect Christmas movie.

I love that this film has no words is both beautifully illustrated with animated images. The orchestra for the original film is Sinfonia of London. Their performance is stunning. Each piece of music fits the scene perfectly because it made me feel as if I was in the scene myself. Also, the music is superb to relax to. So grab a hot cup of cocoa and put your feet up.

The images in this film are hand drawn with pastels and pencils, which make it special and unique. I like having a break from all the CGI we see and seeing animation as it was made years ago. This is something that many other kids will appreciate as well. This movie never gets old and people from all over the world will absolutely adore it. This DVD has become one I have added to my holiday collection and will watch it every year. Even really young children can watch it because it is so beautiful and the message is all about friendship, love, cheer and what the holidays are all about. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 golden stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 18, as well as adults.

Ralph Breaks the Internet: An Astonishing New Film Filled with Humor and Excitement!

December 2nd, 2018

Video game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz must risk it all by traveling to the World Wide Web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope’s video game, “Sugar Rush.” In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet — the netizens — to help navigate their way, including an entrepreneur named Yesss, who is the head algorithm and the heart and soul of trend-making site BuzzzTube. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abraham F. comments, “Ralph Breaks the Internet is a colorful, fun-filled adventure that builds on characters and friendships. Going into this movie I thought it was going to be a predictable and boring washed-up sequel. That is not the case.” Na’im S. adds, “Ralph Breaks the Internet is an astonishing new film that’s full humor and excitement.” See their full reviews below.

Ralph Breaks the Internet
By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. age 13

Ralph Breaks the Internet is a colorful, fun-filled adventure that builds on characters and friendships. Going into this movie I thought it was going to be a predictable and boring washed-up sequel. That is not the case. The film builds upon the friendship that Ralph and Venellope have with each other. The climax of the movie is a heartwarming test of their friendship which brings light that friends don’t always need to agree on everything.

Ralph Breaks the Internet is about Mr. Litwack installing the Internet to his arcade and his “Sugar Rush” game breaking, which leads to their adventure through the internet. Mr. Litwack orders the parts on eBay, but it costs $200 which is more than the game makes a year. Ralph and Venellope overhear him talking and decide to go on a quest to find the part and save Venellope’s game. They travel to the router and get transported to the magical world of the Internet. They awe at the vibrant colors and variety of the internet and go directly go to the search bar where they ask to go to eBay. When they realize they have to bid for the wheel, they bid the highest number they can think of, not realizing they have to pay. This causes them to go on an epic adventure to get $27,001 in under 24 hours or else the item would be re-bid. They find a pop-up ad that shows them how to make money playing video games. They decide to get a car owned by Shank. They race Shank until they get beat by her. She gives them a tip and tells Venellope she races well.

My favorite scene is when they go to the Disney section of the Internet and we see a whole lot of cameos from favorite characters such as Eeyore and Stan Lee. I especially love when Venellope is being chased by Stormtroopers and goes into the princess lounge where she teaches them about modern comforts. I found that hilarious.

This film has huge star power. Ralph is voiced by John C. Reilly, the man behind Step Brothers and The Sisters Brothers. Also, Sarah Silverman plays Venelope who started in SNL and has appeared in The battle of the Sexes.

The message of this movie is that, even if you are best friends with someone that doesn’t mean you can’t disagree. This movie has nothing be inappropriate for kids. I recommend it for ages 7 to 18 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is in theaters now so look for it.

Ralph Breaks the Internet
By Na’im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Ralph Breaks the Internet is an astonishing new film that’s full humor and excitement. It is about Ralph aka Wreck it Ralph who goes on a trip with his best friend Vanellope into the internet to buy a steering wheel for Vanellope’s game so it doesn’t get shut down. The internet is a whole new thing for Ralph and his friends and they walk into some trouble while trying to get the wheel. A few of the inconveniences they run into are not knowing where to go and also not having money. Before Ralph and Vanellope find out they need money, they place a bid of $27,000 on the steering wheel. When they get to checkout and they don’t have money, the cashier says they have 24 hours before their bid expires. That’s when they embark on their journey through the internet.

All the same characters from the original movie Wreck it Ralph are in this film and there are even some new ones introduced. Nathan Warner, the cinematography director excels at giving the movie a realistic cartoonish look. It really fits in with the whole video game plot and scenery. The theme is that friendships come in all shapes and sizes and that friends are forever.

If you plan on bringing kids under 11 or 12, I strongly recommend that you watch the trailer with them and ask if they would want to see the full movie because there are a lot of puns about Twitter and a lot of jokes that I don’t think younger kids will get. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t bring younger kids, because they will still understand the majority of what’s happening and enjoy the film, but the director geared this film for older audiences such as 12 and above. I recommend this for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. It seemed that the adults were laughing more than the kids during the movie. I give it 4 out of 5 stars because it is a hilarious movie that kept me interested for all two hours.

Make sure you stay for both scenes after the credits. You can find this movie in USA theaters November 21, 2018 and worldwide in the days and weeks after. Put it on your calendar!

Guess How Much I Love You Christmas To The Moon And Back – Captures The Christmas Spirit

December 1st, 2018

On a snow-covered Christmas Eve, Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends stumble across a little Brown Bear who is lost. Determined to return their young friend back to his mother in time for Christmas, the friends venture bravely into the unknown woods. Through this epic journey we are reminded that the greatest gift of Christmas is being with the ones you love. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan B. comments, “I really love this film because it captures the Christmas spirit by showing us all the characters telling us what they think about Christmas. They show us that Christmas really means family.” Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror adds, “The production values are outstanding, from the animation to the voice over talent to the background music. The images look like watercolors brought to life. I love them!” See their full reviews below.

Guess How Much I Love You Christmas To The Moon And Back
By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

This film is based on the British book series written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram, published in 1994 in the UK and in 1995 in the US. The book was a ALA Notable Children’s book and sold over 28 million copies worldwide!

I have an adorable special guest who helped review the film with me, Little Field Mouse.  I really love this film because it captures the Christmas spirit by showing us all the characters telling us what they think about Christmas. They show us that Christmas really means family. It’s really about spending time with your family, not about giving gifts or any of that stuff. It’s spending time with your Mom and Dad and anyone else you love. That’s what I really respect about the film.

I really do cherish the story and also the animation in this film which is true to the original illustrations in the book. It really captures the adventures of Little Nutbrown Hare and his adventures. The show is produced by SLR Productions Australia (Suzanne Ryan) and Scrawl Studios and stars the voice of Ky Baldwin. They really capture all the original pictures from the book which look just like watercolors. I love them. It looks like a beautiful story that was drawn by a little kid. I really love that!  The animation is something that everyone will truly enjoy.

I really love the characters in the story, especially my friend Little Field Mouse. Of course Little Nutbrown Hare is my favorite character. He’s absolutely adorable and at the same time, kind and thoughtful. Just his love for everything around him makes me love him more.  He’s kind of fun and silly, but really he is just adorable.

The film is really suitable for preschoolers but also older kids, up to age 8 will enjoy this because of all the fun and silly stories. I even think tween and teens will like this show. Of course, adults can enjoy this as well and it makes a great show for families to enjoy during the holiday season. I definitely give this 5 out of 5 Magnificent Stars. It is available now on DVD so, look for it!

Guess How Much I Love You: Christmas To the Moon and Back
Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

I thoroughly enjoyed this short film and highly recommend it for kids and families.  This is a heartwarming tale about Little Nutbrown Hare who wanders outside one night when he can’t sleep and discovers a rare, all white fawn dancing in the snow. He knows all white fawns are rare and when he talks to her she runs away. Through lots of escapades Little Nutbrown Hare finally is able to convince his forest friends the fawn is real and able to befriend the white fawn. The characters are interesting and charming. A field mouse and a squirrel friends are all friends with Little Nutbrown Hare and they interact with each other in the most loving way. I felt sorry for Little Nutbrown Hare when no one believes that he had seen the white fawn. Eventually the truth comes out and they finally see her and believe Little Nutbrown Hare.  The morale of this story is about love. The love between Little Nutbrown Hare and his dad, the love of friends and possibility of the love of strangers. The negative behaviors shown are about doubt, but that disappears over time. I particularly enjoyed seeing the field mouse trying to protect Little Nutbrown Hare by making a white fawn out of snow. He tries to protect his friend’s honor in doing so. The educational and social elements that make this film valuable emphasize the various ways that you can show someone how you love them. Adults often tell children that they love them and they can hear it in this story in a way they can relate to.  The production values are outstanding, from the animation to the voice over talent to the background music. The images look like watercolors brought to life. I love them!  I recommend this for ages 2 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It uses vocabulary and ideas which little children can understand and enjoy. Questioning, probing and problem-solving are developed in a manner suitable for the target age. It is very enjoyable and charming. If you have a festival for preschool and early elementary kids, this will fit right in. Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.

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