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KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
RBG
RBG - MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - An intimate portrait of an unlikely rock star: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With unprecedented access, the filmmakers explore how her early legal battles changed the world for women.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have been a fan of Justice Ginsburg since she first came into focus in the 70s, as an advocate of women's rights. This documentary about her life offers insight into her personal history and the people around her who supported her for so many years. She is an inspiration in so many ways. Shy and somewhat introverted, she never let that keep her from pursuing a career path that was unique for woman at the time. She entered Harvard Law School in 1956, one of 9 women in a class of 500 men. I resonated with her story about the Dean reportedly asking the female law students, "How do you justify taking a spot from a qualified man?"

Justice Ginsburg proudly speaks about being born and bred in Brooklyn. In the 70s she co-founded the Women's Rights Project at the ACLU. We listen to Gloria Steinem and Nina Totenberg reveal tales of her past that make you realize how pivotal her involvement in the women's movement was. Filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West dig into the substance of this woman with a judicious zeal usually reserved for our deceased heroes. As a staunch feminist, her nomination to the Supreme Court could have been way-laid had not President Clinton been wowed by her in the first 15 minutes of her interview with him. Then, he knew that he had to put her on the Court.

The love story between Ruth and Martin Ginsburg is nothing less than awe-inspiring. I love how she tells about her undergraduate years at Cornell where there was a four to one ratio of boys to girls. "Every mother wanted to send their daughter there because, if you couldn't find a husband there, you were hopeless." She reveals that during her freshman year, she never dated the same boy twice. That is, until she met Marty, who was the first guy that recognized she had a brain. When President Carter brought her to the federal bench, Marty gave up his success career as a tax attorney in New York to move to DC to support her. He recognized Ruth for the super star that she is and later, when she was nominated to the Supreme Court, rallied on her behalf with endless enthusiasm. Also noted is that he was the cook in the family. Her children tell how they had to keep her out of the kitchen.

One thing I really like about this film is that it focuses on Justice Ginsburg's life long fight against gender discrimination. She experienced it first hand as a fresh law school graduate that could not get a job in any law office in New York City because "they didn't hire women." She has never given up the fight, and there have been many - for women in the military who were discriminated against for pay and benefits, for widowed men who couldn't get survivor benefits. She chose her plaintiffs carefully, picking a male to show that gender discrimination worked against both men and women.

Although this film may lack verve in terms of groundbreaking filmmaking, it is stunning beautiful in telling the story of a contemporary hero. 84-year-old Justice Ginsburg is an icon of our times. A woman who has weathered extremely difficult conditions and sits on the highest court in the country as someone dedicated to equality - for women, for people of different races and cultures - for all of us. She is a modern heroine and, as shy and quiet as she is - carries a big stick! I have been touting this film to all the young women and men in my universe and sending them to it. Most walk away stunned. My 20-year-old friends never even knew who she was before going to see the film. Many weep as they watch it. Now, that's something. That's important. If this film manages to get one young person's attention and give them the courage to stand up for what they believe, then these filmmakers have something to be outrageously proud of. I believe they have.

Reviewed by Ranny L., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - In one of the most divided political times in the recent history, it is good to look back to the previous decades and see the changes and inspiration that occurred in America. This documentary, RBG, tells you about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and not only inspires you, but motivates you to change the world just as she did.

At its core, this documentary will inspire people. It doesn't hide the many aspects of life's challenges. Throughout Ruth's life, there are moments of romance as well as drama. On the opposite side of the coin, there are many comedic moments, ranging from fun antidotes about Ruth's workaholism to Saturday Night Live skits.

Starting from her childhood to the present day, RGB reveals the essence of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is the female attorney who, not only fought for women's rights in the United States, but also spent years on as a Supreme Court Justice fighting for women's rights. This film truly gives real insight into the fight for women's education, equal payment in the workplace and equal treatment in every situation. Despite gender discrimination (which still occurs worldwide), few know the efforts women have gone through, in order to receive the same rights and treatment that men have. The film also shows many aspects of her personal family life as well as struggles she has survived, such as surviving cancer.

One of my favorite parts of the film is when it shows how political differences don't mean that two people cannot get along. Antonin Scalia, also a Supreme Court Justice, and Ruth were best friends for many years. Scalia was a staunch conservative and Ruth was always quite liberal. Often, in court, they differed in opinion. Yet, as the film shows, they were friends in real life, with no hard feelings despite their political differences. Their friendship delivers an important message for our nation today - that politics should not be something that breaks and blocks relationships.

RBG doesn't rely on a single narrator to explain the life of Justice Ginsberg, there are many people who talk about her. Throughout the documentary, the person we hear from the most is Justice Ginsberg herself telling her stories. Skilled research and editing incorporate real-life speeches at the Supreme Court, as well as many hearings when Ruth was a lawyer. This gives a unique realistic feel to the film. Instead of being lectured about the subject, you feel as if you are part of her story. This also has its downsides. The documentary flows chronologically, but it also focuses on many aspects of Ruth's life. In some ways, the film deals with so much information that it can become overwhelming.

While Ruth's story is something we all should hear, it is complex with many mature details and important subjects. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. It truly is a film that teenagers should see, as it demonstrates how anyone is capable of change. I give the film 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AVENGERS: IINFINITY WAR
AVENGERS: IINFINITY WAR - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - s the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment - the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See it! When I reviewed Black Panther, I wholeheartedly admitted I am not the target audience for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This week, as I took my seat, I STILL thought I was not the target audience for Avengers: Infinity Wars and yet I would not have traded my seat for the universe. I felt as if my old friends had invited me to visit and I loved every minute of our time together.

This film rolls out like a reunion story, with old wounds and new challenges. The superhero liaisons are interesting and all the characters work together when every star system is on the line. My favorite character is Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Throughout the trials and travails, he is led by a moral compass. I also like seeing Thanos' (Josh Brolin) conflict and emotion. Yes, emotion. Thanos' quest to collect all six super powerful Infinity Stones is tough to watch - especially when revealed his plans to wipe out 50% of the population. When our superheroes realize he is on a genocide quest, the action truly ignites.

I love this film! It has all the feels. I cheered for the heroes and loathed the villains - and Thanos' crew are a creepy bunch. When I think about the behemoth task of directors Anthony and Joe Russo, I want to evoke the "mind-blown" emoji! More than 76 characters with multiple, simultaneous plotlines! The cast is immense, yet everyone has their featured and focused action. Speaking of which, the action is intense at times and the CGI creatures are wicked. The superheroes' costumes are like old friends or your favorite shoes that you can't wait to see again. It is rare for a summer blockbuster to truly deliver on its "epic" promise. This one delivers.

I give this 4.6 out of 5 stars for the cast, special effects, life lessons, awesome comedic pop culture references throughout, make-up (men and women) and female empowerment. This film will appeal to ages 8 to 18. I caution younger viewing due to fight scenes which may be disturbing to them. Stay for the end crawl! This opens April 26, 2018 in theaters nationwide. Look for it!

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Wow! Just, wow!! Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building up to this movie for ten years. This movie is glorious. All I can say is, you will not be expecting what happens. It left me screaming inside. I still cannot believe it.

The storyline is about the Avengers and their allies needing to team up to stop the titan Thanos from collecting The Infinity Stones and destroying half the universe.

Now, because all the Marvel characters are finally coming together, Marvel fans will obviously be excited. And when basically every single character appears on-screen, the theater erupts into claps and screams of joy. I always love it when a studio or company can make people feel such excitement for their characters. It's just really cool.

This movie features lots of different locations that the characters travel to. I must admit, some of these locations are absolutely gorgeous and others, totally desolate, but still incredible. I love the shots in space and on different planets, especially the snowy planet that Thanos goes to at one point. In fact, the whole movie looks fantastic. Everything - from the costumes, the camera angles, the scale, the special effects - everything! I was so invested in the visuals the entire time.

Also, let's be honest, this is Marvel, we all expect this movie to be absolutely hilarious. And it is. No surprises there. I laughed so hard at Iron Man and Doctor Strange arguing, Star Lord being jealous of Thor and basically all of Spider Man and Drax's dialogue. Comedy always seems to be Marvel's greatest strength. The writing, in general, is fantastic. I love the interactions these characters have, even the dramatic moments. That's coming from someone who usually hates dramatic moments, because I hate being sad in movies.

This is a superhero movie, so obviously there are some pretty cool action scenes. And yeah, this movie has some awesome action scenes. Probably my favorite is the huge fight in Wakanda that is shown in the trailer. The fight is absolutely massive and straight up amazing. The shots and the way the characters work together are just glorious. I felt so immersed in all the action.

Since this movie is connected to the other Marvel movies in their Cinematic Universe, there is the possible question about whether you need to have seen all the other movies in order to understand this one. I would say, not all of them, but at least a few certain ones. I recommend that you brush up on your Marvel characters before you go, just to be ready.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as it gets pretty dark. It opens in theaters nationwide April 27, 2018 so, check your local listings.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

As everyone knows, the hype for this movie was extreme. Even with expectations so high, I can honestly say that it is one of the most exciting and enjoyable movies I have ever seen. I was dazzled by this enormous spectacle of a movie. There are so many surprises, laughs and even sad moments. The production values, acting, special effects and writing are top-notch, of course.

The plot of the story involves Thanos, motion-captured and voiced by Josh Brolin, who is arguably the most evil bad guy yet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This character is intent upon collecting all six Infinity Stones, crystals that control each aspect of existence (time, space, reality, power, mind and soul). The plot involves the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy and others because each of them has an infinity stone that Thanos wants. If someone gets all six stones they can control reality and Thanos, concerned about overpopulation, wants to destroy half the population of the world. The whole team has to figure out how they can stop Thanos from getting all six stones, so they can save the world.

Besides the impressive production values, what people will most enjoy about this film is that it is a really funny movie. The jokes keep coming and simply don't stop, which definitely makes for a kid-friendly film. As in every Marvel movie, the music is terrific. Alan Silvestri of Polar Express fame wrote the rousing score. Last, the realistic makeup fooled me into believing that many of the characters were bleeding. Although, it's not really gory.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars for being a gorgeous and colorful blockbuster film. Of course I love everyone's acting, especially (let's be real) Benedict Cumberbatch, who is the best Doctor Strange. Am I right? The masterful special effects, the humor and even the many surprising emotional moments combine to tell an entertaining story of how everyone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe come together to save the world. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18. It opens nationwide in theaters April 27, 2018, so go check it out.

By Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 19
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MOLANG: SEASON 2
MOLANG: SEASON 2 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-6
Description - Join Molang, a round, fluffy, and happy rabbit, and his friend, Piu Piu, a poised, timid, and reserved yellow chick, as they explore everyday life. Despite their many differences, Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a special friendship. They have amazing times together ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary. From finding themselves in the middle of the jungle, going to the circus or enjoying a rainy day, Molang and Piu Piu embrace every daily adventure together. Who knew dancing in the rain with your best friend could be so much fun? No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with sheer happiness. Embark on 52 lovable adventures with Molang and Piu Piu!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This charming DVD takes you from point A to point B quickly in a manner appropriate for the target age. There is no language spoken except an alien language spoken by visitors. We follow a day in the lives of Molang and Piu, Piu and how they get along on Earty. The show is filled with bright colors along with characters and images that are drawn big and simple. This is an animated series with 52 five-minute adventures. The menu allows one to select a specific episode. You can also select different languages. The show demonstrates positive social skills such as how to get along with others. Themes covered in all the shows include happiness, friendship, caring and respect. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it quite appealing and engaging. I highly recommend it for ages 1 to 5 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The adorable, warm-hearted duo of Molang and Piu Piu are back in Molang Season 2 directed by Marie-Caroline Villand and Stephanie Miziak! The writers compose plots that are incredibly simple, yet engaging and expressive. The directors are skilled in easily conveying the plot, jokes and emotion without the use of dialogue.

These stories take Molang and Piu Piu on adventures near and far, as they help others and bring joy to the lives of everyone they touch. They often run into a friend or neighbor who could use a helping hand or a mood boost. Molang and Piu Piu find unique solutions to everyday experiences and make many friends along the way.

The lexicon of Molang and Piu Piu is incomprehensible, so the animation, sound effects and music work together to transcend words. The animation uses simple images to convey the characters' ideas and concepts. For example, when Piu Piu or Molang have a solution to a complication, a thought bubble pops up to show it in a quick image. The sound effects are either bright or dark, based on the mood of the scene. For example, when Piu Piu gets stressed, which is quite often, he screeches in distress. Furthermore the music, composed by Nicholas Varley, is very adventurous and upbeat, especially during the traveling scenes. It is lively and adds all the more to the jovial ambience.

The art of the animation is pure and simple, yet gives a relaxed and easy going aura. The colors are soft, not too bright or too dark, making the visuals sweet and appealing. Many of the objects such as the houses, characters, trees, vehicles and hills are all rounded creating the huggable, lovable world of Molang.

For me, the most appealing part is the happiness that surrounds each and every episode. Piu Piu and Molang are inseparable and their friendship is beautifully strong. This foundation sets the mood of each episode and their kindness reaches out to my heart.

The message of Molang Season 2 is to brighten the days of those around you and to help those in need. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 185 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.5 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
POCOYO: SEASON 2
POCOYO: SEASON 2 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-6
Description - Meet Pocoyo, the unforgettable little boy with a very big personality! Your child will learn through laughter with Pocoyo and all his friends - Elly, Pato, Loula, and Sleepy Bird. Join Pocoyo and his friends as they embark on fifty-two entertaining and amusing adventures! Whether it's celebrating a birthday party for Elly to overcoming one's fears to ride down the big, scary slide to playing detective with friends, every day is a special day with Pocoyo and friends! 52 episodes, over 6 hours of fun, entertaining and learning.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Pocoyo is a funny, kind-hearted toddler with charisma that goes on for days! He has many friends that he goes on adventures with, but my son (2 years old) really loves Sleepy Bird. Sleepy Bird is a cute little bird that is seemingly always asleep and even flies with her eyes closed. My son giggles his little heart out whenever she comes on the screen. Watching Pocoyo interact with his friends is great. They are all so kind to each other. This whole series focuses on getting through strange or difficult situations via laughter. It really emphasizes the importance of taking a minute to collect your thoughts and laugh away the negativity. I truly love that. It's such a wonderful thing to teach a child. The show's animation is computer generated with a very straightforward design. The simplicity of the characters and sets are eye catching, yet don't over-stimulate the viewer or take attention away from the stories. The music is cheerful and enjoyable. I recommend this DVD for ages 2 to 5 and it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Pocoyo is a unique show for kids. It has cool, clay-like characters and takes place in an entirely empty world. The bright, colorful characters stand out against the plain, white background. The animation style is very clear and calming which fits the personalities of the characters quite well. I like the decision to use very normal toys such as trains and blocks along with unusual characters. It creates a nice contrast.

This is a DVD set with 50 episodes. Each episode follows Pocoyo and his friends Elly, Pato, Loula, Baby Bird, Sleepy Bird and Caterpillar who find something or make something new and then, they all use the item. I like how many possibilities this format provides.

My favorite episode is Guess What? In this episode, Pocoyo and his friends play a game with the narrator. In the game, Pocoyo makes a shape with the things around him. Then, the narrator must guess what the object is. Another episode I really like is Mr. Big Duck. In this episode, Pato finds a pair of sunglasses. The narrator says they make him look like an adult, so he refuses to play with his friends because they're too childish. Eventually, they convince him that being a kid is more fun, so he plays with them. This episode is really funny. I like how his friends react.

I really enjoy how the whole show is shot in first person, from the perspective of the narrator. This makes the viewer feel very involved in Pocoyo's world. The show is very repetitive, which is perfect for its target audience. I really like how the characters move. They move their limbs as if they are actually made of clay. They stretch and move in impossible ways and it's very cute and hilarious.

Each episode has a good moral such as sharing, being kind, cleaning up after yourself and not taking other people's things without permission. The music also fits the show quite well. It sounds fun and almost as if it is being played by a child. I really like Pocoyo's voice. It really fits his character, even though he doesn't speak much. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 2 through 7.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I like this DVD because it has loveable characters and adorable animation. I also love the storyline because it teaches moral lessons. However, I don't like that it gets repetitive at times.

The storyline mainly revolves around three characters - Pocoyo, Pato and Ellie. They learn about morals while doing fun stuff such as dancing and playing detective. They treat each day like it's a special day.

The animation in this is adorable. It reminds me of the game "Animal Crossing". It also reminds me of some sort for anime because of his it is styled. The background of each episode is blank which gives the animators lots of creative freedom. It's cool to do this because you can then do anything with the background. For example, there is a galaxy for an alien and a city for little creatures.

My favorite character is Ellie. She is sassy, kind and loveable. I love that she is always dancing. I also love how she jokes around with the group. She hilarious and I love that.

There are different themes in each episode. For example, in one episode they are talking about how to be considerate and in another they are learning how to be fair with each other. These are all important life lessons that kids should learn, especially at an early age.

I rate this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 3 to 5. This is now available on DVD today so, check it out.
Juror Recommended Age: 2-6 Suggested Retail Price: $ 11.67 Media: CDROM


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MICE WAR, THE
MICE WAR, THE - DAVID CHESKY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - This dazzling animated musical tells the story of Albert, a young and peaceful mouse suddenly caught in the middle of a war between the Blue Mice of the North and the Red Mice of the South. The reason for war? Blue Mice eat pink cheese, Red Mice eat yellow cheese!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The concept of mice and cheese of different colors and who likes what is entertaining and makes a social statement as well. The animation is excellent. It is very clear and colorful. The movement of the mice in the various musical numbers is charming and the orchestral music is outstanding. The story is pretty fundamental. It reminds the viewer that often when things are going well there will be devilish actions that cause turmoil. In the story, the blue mice community is doing well. Everyone is working and earning money. Then, General Kan decides that going to war will make more money for them. There is no real reason for a war between the Blue Mice and the Red Mice and General Kan cannot really provide a reason to go to war. He is challenged by one young mouse. The results give us a possible answer to why we eat yellow cheese. The story flows very well. Just as in real life, there is sometimes one person who is not content and causes problems. The vocabulary and sequence of events are suitable for target age. We see a very good example of how to resolve a situation when there are differences. I highly recommend it and give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adults will enjoy it also. It is available now on DVD and digital. Reviewed by Juanita L. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewers.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This astounding, animated film had me smiling the entire time. With comical jokes, catchy tunes and an exquisite plot, you feel allured from beginning to end. Not only am I still pondering about how intriguing this film is, but I am also considering getting a pet mouse. There is a plethora of adorable mice and are sure to steal your heart.

Set in a war between the Blue Mice of the North and the Red Mice of the South, an adolescent mouse named Albert becomes entangled in a constrictive situation, because he is coerced into the military. Such aforementioned war is due to contrasting opinions on the color of cheese that should be eaten. The Blue Mice strictly consume pink cheese, while the Red Mice believe yellow cheese is best. Therefore, the Blue Mice initiate a compelling war, in order to prevent the Red Mice from instilling yellow cheese among the mice of the North. Find out how Albert attempts to encourage the cessation of a grandiose war.

Albert (Sarah Jane McMahon) is a strong-willed mouse who perseveres to the fullest extent in order to end the war for his community's benefit. I admire Albert for his willingness to stand up against the general, voiced by Gregory Jbara. The General is quite controlling over the mice, even though the King is supposed to possess the power. The King (Barrett Leddy) enjoys how the general consistently suggests newfound ideas, and therefore is easily persuaded. All of the characters juxtapose each other consummately.

Music plays a paramount role in the interactions between the characters and the events they encounter. This music is not what you hear on your everyday radio. It is orchestrated. I could not help but sing along and the songs remained in my head the next morning.

My favorite part is when the mice find out they are heading to war. The mice break out into song and dance, which is hilarious. I wish I was as talented as these mice. The message of this film is about not letting others easily persuade you. Everyone is unique in their own way, which makes society beautiful. This beauty can preserved by holding into your own opinions and ideas. Just because someone else wants to change your mind, does not mean you should. Follow your heart, and everything else will fall into place.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 8 to 18, and adults will certainly love it too. This film is available now on DVD and Digital, so I encourage you to watch it with your friends and family. But, before you do, you might want to get some cheese.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Runtime: 78 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 10 Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
READY PLAYER ONE
READY PLAYER ONE - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - In the year 2045, the real world is a harsh place. The only time Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) truly feels alive is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spends their days. In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone-the only limits are your own imagination. The OASIS was created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who left his immense fortune and total control of the Oasis to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a worthy heir. When Wade conquers the first challenge of the reality-bending treasure hunt, he and his friends-aka the High Five-are hurled into a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film remarkably resembles its subject. Like virtual reality, it takes you into a world which you would never see without the gear. Like VR, it shows the future of technology. Like VR, it has its ups and downs that can be improved upon. Finally, like VR, Ready Player One has the potential to either change everything or to simply bring us back to the past. Ready Player One entertains the audience with its adventure-packed explosions that run the plot of the film and add a surprising amount of comedy, which the actors deliver perfectly.

Ready Player One's adventure follows the quest to find an Easter Egg. This hidden object requires a lot of effort as it is hidden in the massive virtual world called The Oasis, which has a land size greater than Earth and access to multiple planets. The value of it makes it worth the search, as the finder gets half a trillion dollars as well as complete control of this massive online world. While many of the independent gamers fight for this egg, there is also a large corporation fighting to make it a money-making opportunity instead of a skill-based experience. To them, the richest should win. The race is on to get the egg and to make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

My favorite scene is what should solidify this film's nomination for an Academy Award in visual effects. This scene contains a challenge that unlocks another step in finding the Easter egg. The challenge takes place in the classic horror thriller, The Shining. Not only did I immediately love this scene, due to its dedication to the great mind and creator of The Shining, Stanley Kubrick., but I love it because it visually breaks all the boundaries. Despite The Shining being a much older film, with the sets that probably no longer exist, Ready Player One completely recreates the setting from the film and perfectly places the characters' avatars in that world too. Just like the films Star Wars and Avatar, which took your breath away because of ahead-of-their-time visuals, this film and specifically this scene does as well.

Ready Player One excels at bringing the visual world that Ernest Cline describes in the book to the big screen. The surroundings and the story are packed with references to different movies, comic books, games and TV shows. It would take months of constant replay to catch every little detail, which defiantly will delight the fans that are craving nostalgia. The CGI really is what makes this movie stand out. Despite it being branded as live action, it has more runtime in the completely animated environment than it does in live action. However, these visual scenes do not look like the standard animation of Pixar. They look and feel, unmistakably like real life. In a way, Ready Player One fails to portray a virtual world, because it looks so real. The acting has its ups and downs. Inside the Oasis, where acting relies primarily on voiceover and basic body movement, it excels. Outside, where the actors are left to the task completely on their own, they feel rather flat and somewhat monotone. The romance that runs throughout the story feels somewhat forced, partly due to the acting and partly due to the story. Interestingly enough, the romance feels more natural in the virtual world, than it does in the real life. The score of the film is one of the many pleasant surprises. Without the video, the score would still leave audiences satisfied. It does not quite reach the masterful skill of John Williams, but Alan Silvestri, known for his soundtrack for the Back to the Future series, creates beautiful harmonies that sound incredible.

The book and film differ quite a lot in a positive way. While the book (one of my favorites) is a joy to read, in many ways it would not translate well into a film. For that reason, while the main story barely changes, the actual events are structured much better for the movie and make it much more interesting. Instead of watching a person playing a game, the viewer is offered an opportunity to watch someone jump over zombies in a ballroom. The book has mainly 80s references, but the film mixes it up much more to include references from the games and movies that became popular in the last few years, which really allows the nostalgic adults, as well as the kids, enjoy the film.

Even though the messages and possible future is shown in Ready Player One should be shown to kids, there are some things that are a bit mature. For that reason, I recommend this to ages 10 to 18. Despite some issues with acting, it makes for a great adaptation of the book while keeping important messages in place. The biggest accomplishment would be the mass scale of the lifelike CGI that truly makes you believe you're in the virtual world of the Oasis. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Ready Player One is a delightfully nostalgic, modern-day sci-fi classic filled with Spielbergian magic.

Based on Ernest Cline's bestselling book, Ready Player One follows Wade Watts, a teen living in dystopian Columbus, Ohio in the year 2045. Like much of the population, Wade plays the OASIS, a multiplayer game in an expansive virtual world created by the eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday died, he told players he left a hidden Easter egg that will win control of the OASIS and his shares in his company Gregarious Games. A malicious corporation called IOI wishes to turn the OASIS from an imaginative escape to an ad-filled wasteland. Wade's avatar Parzival teams up with his friend Aech, his crush Artemis and a pair of best friends named Shoto and Daito, to take down IOI by finding the egg before the company does and foil its evil agenda.

Ready Player One, true to the book, is full of 80s pop culture references from Halliday's early life and his icon status. At the same time, much of the film takes place in the video game and is visually vibrant and futuristic. Steven Spielberg brings the OASIS to life very well. He sneaks in visual gags from Robocop to Street Fighter. The OASIS has an insane color pallet that totally matches the idea of what that virtual world is. There is a lot of CGI used, but it is necessary to tell the story and the characters' avatars look very realistic.

As a huge fan of the book, this film adaptation still holds up for me. Quite a bit of what happens in the book is different on the big screen, but fans should not despair because the film remains true to the book's main themes. This film is also very funny. The entire ensemble gets great one-liners. This is refreshingly different from typical sci-fi and it makes the ride through Ready Player One even more fun.

I give Ready Player One an age rating of 11 to 18 for some language and heavily implied violence. Older kids and adults will enjoy the film's crazy visuals.

I rate Ready Player One 4.5 out of 5 stars. This film is excellent and I recommend it for anyone who is a fan of anything pop culture. Whether it is music, film, video games or anime, Ready Player One has something for you. This film opens in theaters March 29, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Ready Player One is an epic, nostalgic film filled to the brim with pop culture references. It has characters you can really connect to and a digital world we all dream about. It has all sorts of exiting scenes such as races, puzzles, battles and so many others. Based on the book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, this adaptation runs very smoothly into a film version.

The story takes place in the year 2045. James Halliday creates the OASIS, a completely virtual world that everyone uses to escape reality. After his death, a competition begins to find the Easter egg in the OASIS. Whoever finds the egg will have complete control over the OASIS. Wade and his friends try to win this competition and stop IOI from beating them for total control of the OASIS. It is filled with twists that make it hard to predict what will happen next even, after if you have read the book.

I love all the references to other films including The Iron Giant, King Kong, Batman, The DeLorean and Martin the Martian. The special effects are also incredible. I really enjoyed the effect whenever someone changes their skin in the OASIS. I also enjoyed the mix between animated and live action characters. This is impressive because it's hard to make these two styles be near each other without one being out of place. I really like how the world seems like a fantasy that people have today, yet is also a dystopia at the same time.

My favorite part is the introduction to the OASIS. This scene is really impressive and has so much squeezed into it. I also like the scene where the common people attack IOI. These scenes both show a huge variety of different characters from different parts of pop culture.

Mark Rylance's acting is incredible. He fills the role of James Halliday brilliantly. He is very erratic, yet sincere and makes the character relatable, even in extreme circumstances. The song choices are also great. I particularly like the use of the original King Kong theme.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and strongly recommend it to anyone ages 7 through 18 as well as adults. It is playing in theaters now so check it out.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CHA CHA CHA - FRENCH LEARNING SONGS
CHA CHA CHA - FRENCH LEARNING SONGS - WHISTLEFRITZ LLC Click to purchase directly from the producer
Series: AUDIO CD, AGES 5-12
Description - Parlez-vous cha, cha, cha? From samba and merengue to rumba and reggae, this wildly fun collection of songs with Latin and Caribbean rhythms adds an exciting twist to learning French that makes learning French as easy as un, deux, trois.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an upbeat and energetic learning tool for children ages 3 to 7. Join Fritzi the Mouse and friends as they teach us how to sing in French by using this amazing CD comprised of 15 fun songs! Get ready to feel the Island breeze through steel drums and rhythmic beats as you learn French versions of kid classics. You'll hear some old and some new tunes including Months of the Year, Numbers, Vowels, Days of the Week, Seasons, Bingo, Hide and Seek and On the Bridge of Avignon. The vocals are beautifully clear and performed by acclaimed singer Lynn Veronneau. The unique music, composed by Didier Prossaird, has an French Island influence that is undeniably catchy. Some of the songs are supplemented with children's vocals and chants to prompt participation and memorization by the listeners. The songs run between one and four minutes in length for a total of approximately 36 minutes of listening time. Included is an extensive vocabulary companion booklet with colorful illustrations of your favorite Whistlefritz friends! This CD has won awards from Dr. Toy, Parent's Choice Foundation and the National Parenting Publication. You can gain access to additional Whistlefritz media and educational tools via www.whistlefritz.com. I give this CD 5 out of 5 stars for its creative and unique sound. After listening to it, you'll surely be speaking French and humming these tunes throughout the day! I recommend this for teachers, parents or anyone with children who want to learn a second language in a friendly and fun way. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Whistlefritz: Cha Cha Cha is an upbeat album for the whole family that helps kids learn French in a new and fun way.

Each song on Whistlefritz: Cha Cha Cha teaches a different aspect of speaking the French language. Songs range from being about the seasons to the days of the week and even certain jobs.

This CD is great at teaching vocabulary. The songs are sufficiently repetitive in a way that will educate those new to French, but won't annoy those already familiar with the vocabulary being taught. Even if you don't wish to learn French, the songs are peppy and catchy. A lot of different instruments are used and every song has a different feel and vibe.

I recommend it for ages 3 to 18. As long as your child or you are ready to learn some French, you should enjoy this CD. I would recommend this as a segue even into beginning level adults learning French. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is a nice review of some things in French for me, as someone who already knows some, and both beginners and experienced speakers are certain to get something out of this CD.

Cha, Cha, Cha: French Learning Songs is a helpful, educational, kid-friendly collection of songs that encourage learning the language of French through the art of song. French is a beautiful language that is great to know. The fun songs on this track really add something special to the experience of learning.

I had an awesome time listening to these songs and following along with the booklet provided. The woman who sings has a lovely voice, which is complemented by the upbeat rhythms of the music. This CD is full of catchy tunes that are easy to learn and fun for kids to sing along to. The music is energetic, fun and an absolute blast. It is child friendly and, at the same time very educational. I have no doubt that kids who genuinely want to learn French will enjoy this immensely.

I give this CD 5 out of 5 and commend it for ages 2 to 8. I loved this CD and think that it is a unique and helpful way to assist young learners who want to broaden their horizons and learn a new language. It's available now wherever CDs are sold and online at Whistlefritz so, look for it.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

I really enjoyed listening to this CD. It is entertaining music that uses catchy and recognizable songs to teach French! It makes fun background music for little kids and they can do anything they want while listening to the music. By hearing the music at young age, they will learn French by immersion. It's like singing to kids and learning English without thinking about, just the way we learn English. It comes with the English words to the songs as well, so you can read those while listening if you like. I have to admit that it was a bit difficult for me to understand everything, because I don't know French. But kids under the age of five will probably get the hang of it quicker and will be singing the tunes without knowing they are singing in French. If you're older, you may like it the CD because the tunes are catchy and fun to listen to. I recommend this for ages 2 to 5 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is available now wherever CDs are sold and online at Whistlefritz.

Reviewed by Rachel K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Everyone get ready to move and grove to this terrific new CD! I adore the catchy beat of the music and how I found myself singing in French right away. Cha, Cha, Cha: French Learning Songs is musically creative and makes you want to dance and sing. Even if you don't know the French words, you soon will.

One thing that I really love about this is that it teaches you French in a wondrous way that kids, young and old will enjoy. Everyone likes music, so what better way to learn French than through song.

The songs are about the mouths of the year, different types of fruits, numbers and BINGO - the song that everyone loves. Since the songs are in French, the CD comes with a booklet that translates the lyrics into English, so you will understand every word. I enjoyed this factor because I now know how to say things like kiwi and October in French as well as English.

I recommend this for ages 4 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 40 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BACKYARD WILDERNESS
BACKYARD WILDERNESS - IMAX FILMS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - Backyard Wilderness will surprise and entertain viewers with the unexpected wonders of nature that are right under our noses - in our own backyards. Spanning a seasonal year around a suburban home, the film displays a stunning array of unique wildlife images and behavior - all captured by cameras mounted inside dens and nests, and moving along the forest floor and pond bottom, to reveal its inhabitants in rare and breathtaking intimacy. We follow Katie, a young girl, and her modern family living next to the woods who are blind to the real-life spectacle around them, absorbed by an array of electronic devices in their busy lives. Katie gradually discovers the intricate secrets that nature has hidden so close to her front door and we experience the joy she finds in her interactions with this new world. The film reminds us that Wi-Fi is not the only connection that matters and that sometimes in ordinary places, you can uncover extraordinary things that can transform you forever - you just need to step outside.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Backyard Wilderness is a spellbinding documentary capturing magical moments in nature that we rarely get to see on camera or in our day-to-day lives and puts them on a large and intense scale.

This 3D IMAX film follows Katie, a young girl who lives in a house surrounded by a bustling woodland of animals and plants. Katie and her family are oblivious to the fascinating occurrences in the world around them because they are consumed by the technology at their fingertips. At school, she is assigned a report on animals. She chooses the spotted salamander whose whole life cycle happens right outside her house and her adventure begins.

The cinematography in Backyard Wilderness brilliantly highlights the beauty and vastness of the forests which are the main setting and leaves you wondering how they were able to get such unique moments on film. The film brings exciting moments to the screen such as when a pack of coyotes chase some deer or when you witness the dangerous journey of spotted salamanders to their breeding ground.

My favorite scene is when a group of newly hatched baby wood ducklings exit their nest for the first time and try to fly. You will laugh and cheer at the same time and the filmmakers use a perfect song to score this fun and adorable scene.

The lesson of the film is that there is an active and energetic world around us that is always worth exploring. As a society, we have become so concerned with social media that we forget to notice what is happening right in our backyards. Katie's life changes when she lets go of her electronics and begins to explore the landscape beside her home.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 12. You will learn a lot from this film about how certain species interact with one another and thrive. It is very educational and has a valuable message. Adults and older kids will still enjoy the breathtaking visuals. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. If you like nature documentaries and the larger-than-life world of IMAX with some cool 3D effects, I highly recommend it. Backyard Wilderness is playing around the country in select IMAX theaters now.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 8-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ISLE OF DOGS
ISLE OF DOGS - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, 12-year-old Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs is a movie to be reckoned with. This incredibly unique piece of stop motion animation is totally different from the norm of today's films. Written and directed by Wes Anderson, it stars the voices of Bryan Cranston as Chief, Edward Norton as Rex, Bill Murray as Boss, Liev Schreiber as Spots, Bob Balaban as King, Scarlett Johansson as Nutmeg and Jeff Goldblum as Duke. It also stars Koyu Rankin as the young boy, Atari. It is the second animated film from Wes Anderson, after the wonderful Fantastic Mr. Fox.

In future Japan, where dogs are viewed as savage and disease ridden creatures, a young boy, Atari, searches for his dog, Spots. This dystopian world, created by his guardian, Mayor Kobayashi, disparages dogs but worships cats. Atari defies his guardian and along the way befriends some loyal, passionate pooches who help him on his fateful journey of finding his lost dog.

One thing I particularly adore about Wes Anderson's filmmaking is his irreverent humour and creativity. It's almost as if Anderson has a patent on an new genre of filmmaking, that's entirely his own. During the making of this film, Anderson was influenced by his love for Japanese cinema and two of the most monumental Japanese directors - Akira Kurosawa and Hayao Miyazaki. In an interview about his many influences for the film, he states "with Miyazaki you get nature and you get moments of peace, a kind of rhythm that is not in the American animation tradition...". Later on, Anderson explains that during the scoring of the film he and his composer, Alexandre Desplat, had to rethink their approach to the soundtrack because the movie longed to be quiet. He later specifies that this aspect of the film also comes from Miyazaki.

The stop motion animation style pairs perfectly with the pure grittiness of its creativity. In most animated films you don't hear the roughness or coarseness of the actors' voices, but in Anderson's film you do and it is the most lifelike. Also, despite the humor, Anderson doesn't sugar coat the seriousness of the story. His films are always truthful and cut to the heart of the matter.

I recommend Isle of Dogs for ages 12 to 18, due to its violence and sophisticated humour. Younger kids might not understand the ironic tone. I give it 5 out of 5 stars for bringing an incredibly unique vision to the mostly mundane animation of today.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Isle of Dogs is a genius concept that only Wes Anderson could conjure up and makes for an enjoyable animated film with a quirky aesthetic.

Isle of Dogs takes place 20 years from now in a futuristic Japan. A disease spreading among dogs ravages Megasaki City and the mayor issues a decree that banishes all dogs to a vast, sickening wasteland called Trash Island. The film focuses the story on a pack of dogs who spend their days roaming, trying to stay alive among fierce competition. A young boy named Atari crashes onto the island one day in search of his dog and the pack decides to help him.

Wes Anderson's direction is excellent. He thrives in stop-motion animation because he can meticulously craft each shot. His sometimes bizarre, yet charming style remains resonant, despite it being a change of pace from the stories he usually tells. Isle of Dogs is an homage to Japanese filmmaking, especially the films of Akira Kurosawa, and relies on Japanese language and culture to tell its story.

The film's voice cast includes a range of famous actors, including longtime Wes Anderson partners Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton, as a pug oracle, as well as Yoko Ono as Assistant Scientist Yoko-ono and Jeff Goldblum as Duke, one of the dogs in the film's showcase pack.

My favorite character is Chief (Bryan Cranston). He is a stray dog who goes through a moving transformation as he starts off dreading the idea of having a master. But through his adventure with Atari, Chief starts to learn what it is to care about people and open himself up to them. Cranston gives Chief a weariness that lets you know his character has been through a lot.

I recommend this film for ages 11 to 18, due to some violence involving dogs, some suggestive content and minor offensive language. Note that, despite animation and dogs as main characters, this is not a kids' film. It's really geared pre-teens to adults.

I give Isle of Dogs 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this film for Wes Anderson fans and those who like a good adventure featuring man's best friend. Although this film misses the chance to develop really interesting ideas and characters, it is still fun and hilarious in all the right ways. Isle of Dogs opens in theaters March 23, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Isle of Dogs is an essential Wes Anderson movie. The fluid voice acting and stop motion encompass a twee yet poignant story. This is sure to be a must watch for any dog lovers out there.

The story follows a future dystopian Japan where dogs are outlawed due to a disease outbreak. A young boy Atari (Koyu Rankin) crash lands to Trash Island in search of his dog. This initiates dogs Chief (Bryan Cranston), Rex (Edward Norton), King (Bob Balaban), Boss (Bill Murray), and Duke (Jeff Goldblum) to help Atari on his quest. As a result, Mayor Kobiyashi (Kunichi Nomura) places a hunt to find Atari and suppress the dogs helping him. Meanwhile in Japan, a bevy of riots begin to circulate as people claim on the unfairness on the bans that Mayor Kobiyashi has placed as a possible cure is in the works for dogs.

Koyu Rankin, as Atari, debuts with an incredible performance, despite most of his dialogue not being translated. He effectively characterizes his love for his dog through tone and actions. Bryan Cranston, as Chief, excellently portrays his character development from a violent outcast to careful protector of Atari. Edward Norton, as Rex, is my favorite character due to the way he portrays his character's pragmatic approaches and smart wit. Bob Balaban, as King, effectively presents a wise yet outspoken companion. Bill Murray, as Boss, depicts a clever member of the pack. Jeff Goldblum, as Duke, characterizes his dog through the use of his hilarious gossip talks. Kunichi Nomura, as Mayor Kobiyashi, evokes a malicious yet sympathetic character.

Wes Anderson directs the movie full of his unconventional yet astonishing quality which only he himself can deliver. My favorite scene is a scene where Atari and Chief bond at a park of sorts. It is a touching scene which really forwards the care and friendship from a man's best friend. My only nitpick for the movie is that there could have been more characterization for the backstories of Rex, King, Boss, and Duke.

The message of the movie is to always be hopeful in the care of young kids. Despite all the odds the pack is faced with, they always provide hope for Atari to reunite with his dog. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 because of its infrequent bloody images and mature themes. The movie releases in theaters on April 13th, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FRENCH FOR KIDS: L'ANNIVERSAIRE DE FRITZI
FRENCH FOR KIDS: L'ANNIVERSAIRE DE FRITZI - WHISTLEFRITZ LLC Click to purchase directly from the producer
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Description - The latest release in Whistlefritz's award-winning French for Kids series! Aimez-vous les f�tes d anniversaire ? (Do you like birthday parties?) Join the language-learning celebration as Marie and the Whistlefritz kids plan the perfect party for their playful animated friend, Fritzi the mouse. Balloons, cake, presents, and special guests add an exciting twist to learning French in this lively, interactive French immersion program. At a Whistlefritz party, even cleaning up is fun! Each step in the party-planning process is captured through entertaining animated segments, live-action footage and upbeat interactive songs that teach words and phrases for toys, colors, parts of the room, household objects, and everyday activities. The video includes an easy-to-use translation guide for parents and teachers (also available for free download from the company's website), as well as French and English subtitle options. Designed for ages 2-7, L'anniversaire de Fritzi is fun for all ages! What are you waiting for? Let's get this language-learning party started!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - L'anniversaire de Fritzi (Fritzi's Birthday) is a really fun interactive French immersion program. In this DVD, Marie, an adult narrator and the Whistlefritz kids plan a party for Fritzi's fifth birthday. Fritzi is an animated French mouse and with lots of cute little animal friends. They make a cake, blow up balloons and invite special guests. It's a colorful mix of verbal and visual learning. It's about 30 minutes in length and is full of laughter and learning. Immersion learning is all about learning a language by speaking only that language without any English translation. It is based on how we learn our first language and makes learning a new one easy and fun. The cast is very diverse and there is lots of laughing and silly behavior woven into the educational lessons. This DVD has a lot of fun songs and encourages play and interaction with the characters and the Whistlefritz kids. The menu offers the options to play songs only and offers an in-depth explanation of immersion learning. Included is also a parent/teacher translation guide. This sing-along, dance-along fun fest is perfect for children ages 2 to 5. I give this title 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This educational and adorable language-immersion learning DVD by Whistlefritz is a great way to help young children learn French. The little characters' expressive faces are funny and engaging to watch.

A sweet mouse named Fritzi is turning five years old and his classmates are throwing a party for him. Along the way, kids experience songs and activities that teach them French words for all the fun things that accompany birthday parties such as cake, balloons, presents, toys and much more.

I love this film because I feel it is a great way for little children to learn French in a fun, entertaining way. The bright colors lock in your attention and the goofy characters are easy for small children to connect with. My favorite thing about this DVD is how, every once in a while, Fritzi's friends check on him while he is sleeping in his tiny house. It is so funny when he makes his cute snoring sounds.

The film also teaches children good behavior like being friendly and warm to each other. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. It is available now on DVD so check it out.

Reviewed by Leah R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I enjoyed the French language DVD, L'Anniversaire de Fritzi. It is helpful for kids. Knowing another language can be very helpful. Whether you are trying to communicate with someone who recently moved to your school who speaks a different language or vacationing in a place where they speaks another language, it's good to know the basics. The best time to learn another language is when you are little. Although we can all benefit from learning a new language even if we are older and may need a bit more time to learn it. This DVD hits the nail on the head. It caters to a younger audience and teaches children at their level. It isn't just learning words though. It teaches through games and songs! It's an immersion technique. I have to admit that I had a difficult time understanding what they were saying at some times, having no past knowledge of French. Still, I really enjoyed watching this DVD and participating as much as I could. It was fun to see people doing things and hearing about it in French. I recommend L'Anniversaire de Fritzi for ages 2 to 5 and rate it 4 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD in the obvious places so look for it. Reviewed by Rachel K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 30 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: AN ENCHANTING EASTER
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: AN ENCHANTING EASTER - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - Enjoy this Easter special adventure based on the classic picture book that has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, written by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram and published by Walker Books. As winter melts into spring and the meadow bursts forth with new life, Little Nutbrown Hare sees a rare sight... a pure white fawn, dancing in the moonlight. Nobody in the meadow has ever seen a white fawn so his friends think he's making it up. But Little White Owl tells of a place of mystical white creatures in the next valley, so the friends go on an adventure... across the streamy stream, and through the woody woods to search for the mythical white fawn. Little do they know that the tiny fawn is hiding from them, on the patches of white snow, thinking they are all playing a game of hide-and seek. Only when she falls into the stream and the friends save her do they believe Little Nutbrown Hare. The fawn visits them on Easter Day, but isn't so good at playing hide and seek in the grassy meadow, until they find a field of pure white flowers to play in.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I thoroughly enjoyed this DVD and found it quite interesting to learn about a white fawn. This is a heartwarming tale about Little Brown 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 Brown 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 Brown Hare and they interact with each other in the most loving way. I felt sorry for Little Brown 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 Brown Hare.

The morale of this story is about love. The love between Little Brown 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 Brown 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 title 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.

I recommend this for ages 3 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 available now on DVD, so check it out.

Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The DVD Guess How Much I Love You: An Enchanting Easter is a great movie for the whole family. This film has beautiful animation and an adorable storyline that I love.

Guess How Much I Love You: An Enchanting Easter follows a group of forest animals. One, the Little Nutbrown Hare sees a pure white fawn that enchants him. He tells his father and his friends - the field mouse, the fox and the grey squirrel. They do not believe him at first but Little Nutbrown Hare convinces them to help find the white fawn.

The animation in this series is adorable. The characters and background are very colorful. In every scene, there is always a pop of color, whether it is a vibrant blue or a soft pink. The characters look just like the illustrations in the original book, which I love. It is remarkable how detailed the characters are. For example, the fox has orange fur that fades at the end. It looks like a watercolor painting.

If I was to pick my favorite character, it would be the field mouse or perhaps Little Nutbrown Hare's father. I like the field mouse, because he is the only one who believes in Little Nutbrown Hare and what he saw. I also like Little Nutbrown Hare's father, because he is so kind. He takes care of the mother bird's eggs while she goes to get feathers for her nest. When the birds hatched, he takes them to where he kept warm during the storms until their mother cam back.

The message of this movie is to trust your friends. The fox and the grey squirrel did not believe Little Nutbrown Hare's story about seeing a pure white fawn. The only one that really believes him is the field mouse. He keeps Little Nutbrown Hare's hopes up when his friends did not believe him. I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages five to seven. This is available on DVD so, look for it.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Easter! I love Easter! This 30 minute fantastic, delightful and pure film is directed by Jo Boag. It's so rare to find a truly quality children's film such as this. I love how the storyline brings together so many themes including friendship, believing, togetherness and Easter. Wow! What an amazing combination! Get ready to head down a road filled with adventure.

The story follows Little Nutbrown Hare leading a journey to find a pure white fawn that he sees shining and dancing in the moonlight near his village. His friends think he's making it up. They take a gamble endeavor through the woods in the next valley, down the flowing creek and past the rocks to find her. As their doubt grows, she is right there hiding on the patches of white snow. She instantly thinks it's a big game of hide and seek. She promises to visit them on Easter Day, making Easter that much special for them all.

This film is based on the classic book that has sold worldwide, written by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram and published by Walker Books. The animation is astonishing from beginning to end. The characters are beautiful, colorful, appealing and attractive throughout the entire movie. This film is downright delightful, bringing so much joy for one to appreciate. I just love the animals, especially the cute baby birds! The music really supports the lovely characters and action.

My favorite part is when Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends save the pure white fawn from drowning in the stream. It shows how much he cares and adores her. Absolutely touching! This part in the film has many different actions happening at the same time. All of Little Nutbrown Hare's friends find out the pure white fawn is real and not in Little Nutbrown Hare's imagination. At this moment they are reminded the world is full of marvelous animals. My favorite characters are the pure white fawn and Little Nutbrown Hare, because they are both happy, intriguing, playable and friendly.

This film has a great message of friendship and love and the meaning behind them. True friendships are displayed in this film and we see the genuine love and understanding the characters have for each other. It absolutely calls you to action when they venture out to find pure white fawn. All the characters treat one another appropriately, helping help each other, saying nice things and being friendly to one another.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 11, as well as adults. This film is available now on DVD and Digital, so go check it out before Easter.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

I love Guess How Much I Love You: An Enchanting Easter! It is a great addition for my collection of Easter movies because it is so cute!

Easter is on its way and this hare is perfect for the holiday season. The life lessons are about friendship and being kind to others. We see this in the kindness extended to the pure white fawn when they show her that they can be friends. The other life lessons are about teamwork and believing in your friends.

The animation is just breathtaking. It is so perfectly executed that it looks like a perfect little story book with live animals. The scenes with the snow are amazing because of the color mix. It is truly magical.

My favorite character is the pure white fawn. She is a new character that I will always remember. I love her personality. She has a sweet side, which she shows towards the end of the film and a funny, silly, playful side that she shows in the beginning. I am in love with her character's voice which is so soft and sweet, making her the perfect fawn. Her interaction with all the different animals shows that she fits right in and they all gain a new BFF.

Another thing that I like about this DVD are the voiceovers. They match the characters wonderfully with their soft tones, making sound a lot like young children. Each character has a small, adorable and squeaky voice.

All the animals are lovable and each one has a different personality. This makes me feel like I am meeting them for real. I want to jump into the screen and give them a big welcome hug. It also makes me want to jump through the TV and play in the meadow as they celebrate Easter. This is a perfect way to get into the spirit of spring after a long, cold and rainy winter.

I recommend this DVD for kids age 4 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is available now on DVD so look for it. Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 30 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FLOOGALS: PROJECT EGG HUNT
FLOOGALS: PROJECT EGG HUNT - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-8
Description - Join the Floogals on a mission of discovery as they explore Earth and the funny "hoomans" who live there! Each day, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo, and Junior Boomer encounter something that sparks their curiosity, setting in motion the day's research "project" and triggering an exciting adventure! In Project Egg Hunt, the Floogals mistakenly think Mom and Dad Hooman have accidentally dropped candy eggs in the garden when in fact they have placed them there on purpose to create an egg hunt for their kids. The Floogals think they are being helpful and tidy up the eggs! Once the Floogals realize their mistake, they must get all the eggs back on the ground before the kids arrive so their fun day won't be ruined.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a colorful and exciting DVD with five episodes, totaling 60 minutes of fun! The Floogals are a group of curious alien scientists named Fleeker, Boomer and Flo. Their curiosity is sparked by everyday earthly experiences and adventures that lead to experimentation, discovery and observation. The mix of crisp animation alongside "hoomans" (real actors) and live animals is really unique. These little aliens sometimes get into a bit of trouble, which they use problem-solving and teamwork to remedy as they learn something along the way. The menu offers the option to play all episodes or watch them individually. Each episode has a run time of 10 to 12 minutes and include: Project Egg Hunt, Project Rainbow, Project Kite, Project Picnic and Project Tortoise. This DVD is a great educational tool and extremely entertaining. Children between the ages of 2 to 5 will definitely enjoy the songs and story lines. Adventure is everywhere they go. They're the Floogals! 3, 2, 1 LET'S GO! I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars for outstanding animation, cohesiveness, interesting story lines, songs, educational and overall entertainment value. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Floogals Project Egg Hunt is a DVD about tiny secret aliens from planet Floon that sneak around your house learning about humans or, as they call them, hoomans. I really enjoy the animation and admire how they have real people walking around with animated characters. It's a very colorful, bright show with a new lesson in each episode.

The three Floogals in this series are Captain Fleeker (Rasmus Hardiker), the bravest of the group, First Officer Flo (Jules de Jongh), the smartest of the group and Junior Boomer (Hugo Harold-Harrison), who is clumsy and crazy in most episodes, which makes him very funny. These Floogals wander around a house, encountering new things that the 'hoomans' are doing. Then they spend the day researching what the object or activity is and sometimes try to help, often with hilarious results. At the end of each episode they send their report to their leader, who always likes it. So, they receive a strip of stickers based on their observations.

The episodes in this DVD are, Project Egg Hunt, Project Rainbow, Project Kite, Project Picnic and Project Tortoise. My favorite episode is Project Rainbow which is about the Floogals walking in the yard and, as they take cover from a sudden rain shower, they hear the girl "hooman" talk about a rainbow and they decide to investigate rainbows. I like this episode because I can relate to it, as I loved trying to find the end of the rainbow when I was younger. Another good episode is called, Project Tortoise which is about the Floogals discovering a tortoise and deciding to research it more, but when they look back at the tortoise he is gone. The Floogals must find him and bring him home. The title episode, Project Egg Hunt, is very funny because they almost ruin the egg hunt by trying to help. My favorite character is Junior Boomer because he is always being clumsy and causing accidents that sometimes helps the team in unexpected ways. The message of this DVD is, if you work together you can do anything.

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 5 because every episode teaches a new lesson and is very repetitive. Older kids and adults might find it amusing too. This DVD is available on Blu-ray and standard DVD now so, check it out.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Floogals: Project Egg Hunt, directed by Ruth Ducker is an imaginative, exciting space adventure that seems to take place right in my own backyard! The characters are diverse, funny and kind and the storylines are clever yet simple thrills. The story follows three Floogals - Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer who are sent to explore and understand the interesting ways of the Hoomans.

The animation and voices add to the special aspect of each Floogal that makes them unique. For example, Junior Boomer is innocent and the youngest of the three which is shown by his bigger eyes and wide smile. The voice actors are able to capture the character's personality in their voice. Dominique Moore voices First Officer Flo and expresses the sweetness of her character in her voice.

My favorite part is how the Hoomans are considered the mysterious aliens and the Floogals are there to learn about these queer creatures and their ways.

The message of this show is to help those you can and never miss a chance to learn something new. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to look for it.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The fabulous Floogals are back with five brand new episodes that are filled with magic and experimentation! I love how all the episodes are spring and summer related with the Floogals observing rainbows with pots of gold, egg hunts, kits, picnics and tortoises.

The alien characters in Floogals Project Egg Hunt are just adorable. I find Flo (Jules de Jongh) to be just too darn cute. Her alien personality is a true scientist at heart. She is also very silly and friendly with her other alien partners. Flo is a fantastic role model for young children because she teaches them the value of observation and experimentation.

Fleeker (Rasmus Hardiker) is the kind of captain who put everything he has into his observations and projects. He comes up with the most hilarious hypothesis about the new objects they find. Make sure to keep an eye out for Rasmus Hardiker in the new SYFI series Krypton as the character Kem. The first episode is amazing.

Even though Boomer (Hugo Harold-Harrison) is the youngest in the bunch, he has the biggest heart. He also has the biggest appetite. He loves to eat, so any mission that includes a scrumptious meal is his favorite. My favorite episode is "Project Egg Hunt", because as I watched it I laughed a lot. I know what the eggs are used for, yet the Floogals don't and they are hilarious as they make crazy guesses and try their best to figure out the puzzling mystery. They try to be helpful and put the eggs back, only to find out that they have to hide them again.

This DVD has many lessons for kids such as the wonders of experimentation, observation, discovery and science in general. The Floogals teach kids by observing objects and humans and seeing how strange objects are used in our everyday life. Experimentation is completed by trying all kinds of crazy experiments, whether it is tortoise races or catching rainbows. The discovery comes once the Floogals have made their experiments and observations and finally find out what the object is. Simple things seem complicated, because they are small aliens.

I recommend this for ages 4 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SPIRITED AWAY
SPIRITED AWAY - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURES, AGES 8-18
Description - Chihiro's family is moving to a new house, but when they stop on the way to explore an abandoned village, her parents undergo a mysterious transformation and Chihiro is whisked into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the soceress Yubaba. Put to work in a magical bathhouse for spirits and demons, Chihiro must use all her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents and return to the normal world. Overflowing with imaginative creatures and thrilling storytelling, Spirited Away became a worldwide smash hit, and is one of the most critically-acclaimed films of all time.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Studio Ghibli's deluxe Spirited Away DVD Set is a delectation for the senses. This highly enjoyable Miyazaki masterpiece keeps your eyes transfixed throughout. Spirited Away was released in 2001 in Japan (2003 in US) and nabbed Best Animated Feature at the 2003 Academy Awards.

Spirited Away tells the story of a young girl, Chihiro, who, on the way to her new home gets sidetracked with her family and discovers a magical, unknown world. At the beginning of the film, they wander into an abandoned town where Chihiro's parents get turned into pigs. The rest of the film is a grand adventure where she tries to save her parents from the manipulative clutches of the Yubaba, the Sorceress and owner of the bath house of the gods.

The DVD set includes two discs, a Blu-Ray and a traditional DVD. It also includes bonus features, such as the "making of" Spirited Away, a Nippon Television special; Behind The Microphone, a behind-the-scenes look at the English translation and voiceovers; the original Japanese theatrical trailers; the original Japanese TV spots; and a wonderful booklet with statements from the filmmakers.

In the Nippon Television special, Miyazaki talks about the process of making Spirited Away at Studio Ghibli headquarters. This special gives us an inside look at Studio Ghibli and the thought process of Miyazaki. It shows us the art of creating the film and the dire time constraints in the animation process. Miyazaki tells us how he had to hire double the amount of animators in order to make the deadline for this film. He also goes into how there were so many late nights at the studio, so he had to entrust some of his work to one of his fellow coworkers.

In Behind the Microphone, we see how much effort goes into making the English language version of the film. Narrated by director John Lasseter (who spearheaded the English language translation), this wonderful short shows us how the English-speaking actors match their voices' to the movement of the characters' mouths in the animation.

This Spirited Away deluxe set is everything you could ask for. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Runtime: 125 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE (2018)
HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE (2018) - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Description - From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away, and acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki, comes the Academy Award�- nominated* fantasy adventure for the whole family. Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a curse on Sophie and turns her into a 90-year-old woman. On a quest to break the spell, Sophie climbs aboard Howl's magnificent moving castle and into a new life of wonder and adventure. But as the true power of Howl's wizardry is revealed, Sophie finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens their world. *2005: Best Animated Feature, Howl's Moving Castle
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Studio Ghibli's deluxe Howl's Moving Castle DVD set is the key to all the magic in this world. This profoundly charming Miyazaki monument draws out all the negative energy in your body and fills you with its creative storyline. Howl's Moving Castle was released in 2004 in Japan and 2005 in the U.S.A. It won a myriad amount of awards including the Tokyo Animation of the Year Award in 2005 and was nominated for the 2006 Oscars for Best Animated Feature Film.

Howl's Moving Castle tells the story of an unconfident young woman, Sophie, who leads an unexciting life at her father's hat shop. All of that instantly changes when she is saved by Howl from two hooligans looking to heckle her. An evil witch known as the Witch of the Waste takes offense at her befriending Howl and casts a curse on Sophie, turning her into an old lady. Sophie's one hope of releasing the curse lies with a self-centered, troubled wizard and his comedic entourage.

The DVD set includes two discs, a Blu-Ray and a standard DVD. It also includes a mystical treasure trove full of valuable bonus features, such as Feature Length Storyboards; Behind the Microphone; Interview with Diana Wynne Jones (writer of the book Howl's Moving Castle); Miyazaki's visit to Pixar; The Birth Story of the Film Soundtrack; Explanation of CG; Original Theatrical Trailers; TV Spots; and an exclusive booklet with statements from the filmmakers.

In the Behind The Microphone special, Emily Mortimer, the English dub voice for Sophie, states that it's hard to build up emotion with voice acting because it's so quick. Billy Crystal expresses that there is never one layer to a Miyazaki film and that there is a lot of emotional depth among all the characters. We also hear from the other voice over actors - Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall and Blythe Danner.

In Miyazaki's Visit to Pixar, Miyazaki talks with his biggest fan and friend, John Lasseter, the Chief Creative Officer at Pixar (now at Disney). Miyazaki starts by gifting Lasseter a giant model of the cat bus from My Neighbor Totoro, another Studio Ghibli classic. Later on, they interview Lasseter on his opinions of Miyazaki and his artistic animation style. He states that, in any of Miyazaki's films there are at least ten original ideas. Lasseter later expresses that Miyazaki's films always makes you think and question the world you live in.

This immensely marvelous Howl's Moving Castle DVD deluxe set will instantly break any curse that is hindering you and allow you to enjoy life to the fullest. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Runtime: 119 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 15.9 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BLACK PANTHER
BLACK PANTHER - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T'Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country's new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In the latest production from Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), we see the original story of the Black Panther. We were introduced to the Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War. This film depicts the story of King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and the Black Panther tribe.

When T'Challa returns home to the reclusive, beautiful and technologically impressive nation of Wakanda, a fictional country in Africa, he is named the new leader following the death of his father. True to custom, he is challenged by the tribesman and becomes the new King.

Elsewhere, a cousin unknown to him returns from the United States to challenge T'Challa's reign, and chaos ensues. Warmonger (Michael B Jordan) and his political beliefs are diabolical and the opposite of T'Challa's. As foes set forth to destroy Wakanda, Black Panther teams up with a C.I.A. agent and a neighboring tribe to prevent the country from a world war. The path from light to dark, and back to doing good in the world beyond Wakanda is refreshing.

The film is pure Marvel action-adventure with a broad political and socially aware feeling. It is awake and unique. It may be a superhero film, yet it is also steeped in real political and social issues similar to those we face today, especially diversity and inclusion. The strong female characters - Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Ramonda (Angela Bassett) are phenomenal.

I love this film! From the casting, cinematography and directing, to the special effects and female empowerment, it is fulfilling. The action is believable, many of the fight scenes are based on African martial arts, although the CGI at times is a little whack. Overall, I was displaced, forgetting I was sitting in a theater. The costumes are fantastic with attention to detail befitting royalty. Wakanda forever!

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for the cast, social and political awareness, technology focus and female empowerment. This film will appeal to ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. I caution younger viewing due to fight scenes which may be disturbing. It opens in theater February 16, 2018 so, check it out!

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

Wow! Exciting! Thrilling! I thoroughly enjoyed Black Panther!, Marvel's block buster film with a person of color as its star. The storyline, the fine strong black cast and the visuals are all excellent. The camera work and visual special effects are woven together to create a fantastic movie mosaic.

T'Challa / Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) returns to his hidden, technologically advanced African home nation of Wakanda to be crowned king. He is threatened by not only internal strife but also outside forces. T'Challa's challenge is to save his people from a world war.

One of my favorite scenes happens when T'Challa, Nakia (Lupito Nyong'O) and Okoye (Danai Gurira) travel to Korea to retrieve a stolen object and its thief Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis). We see glamour and a bit of humor when Okoye is irritated by a wig she wears. They have a plan and, as plans often do, it goes astray. They are forced to fight and we see Okoye's wig go flying across the room as she goes into battle.

T'Challa's role model as a king is his father, until he learns of a negative deed. Then he is conflicted with what it means to be a good king. You have to see the film to find out how he resolves this issue.

I love the beautiful scenes with the water falls and forest. The GGI works well. The costumes are beautiful and extremely colorful. You can expect lots of action, violence and a sprinkling of romance.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Many adults will enjoy it also. The film opens in theaters nationwide on February 16, 2018. Be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita S. L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Honestly, this movie is just amazing. There are so many things this movie does incredibly correctly. This might be one of the greatest Superhero movies of all time!

The story is about T'challa, prince of the secluded, incredibly advanced nation of Wakanda, who struggles to defeat an enemy wanting to take his throne. He teams up with some phenomenal females to secure his role as King.

This film is just visually incredible, especially the city of Wakanda. The city looks so amazing. All the buildings and creations are so cool. But that's not all. The designs of the weapons and spaceships look very realistic and straight up awesome! Kudos to the visual effects team! I also loved the Black Panther suit. I love the idea of the suit absorbing hits into stored kinetic energy and using it as a shockwave like blast. The movie starts with a re-telling of the creation of Wakanda, but it was made out of sand. It looked so cool. In general, the aesthetic nature of this movie is just marvelous.

The nation of Wakanda also has a very interesting culture. I like that it blends futuristic technology with a tribal feel, in terms of the fashions, locations and culture. It may seem like an odd blend, but it works well. Even the music reflects this combination. Speaking of which, the music is also fantastic.

The characters in this film are multi-dimensional. I really enjoyed Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and Black Panther himself (Chadwick Boseman). Plus, Sterling K. Brown (one of my favorite actors) is also in it and, while he has a small part, it is a key role. Hands down, the best characters are the female leads. The Future is Female! And there are some cool dudes. This movie has some wonderful female characters that everyone can look up to such as Danai Gurira, who I already love from AMC's The Walking Dead, plays the highly skilled warrior Okoye. Letitia Wright plays T'challa's tech-savvy little sister, Shuri and Lupita Nyong'o plays Nakia. I love these women and I'm sure many young kids will too.

This movie also has very interesting messages. The whole movie presents engaging thoughts on whether or not you should enter in other nation's affairs and the possible consequences of doing so. This is a pretty intriguing and well done storyline. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18. It opens in theaters February 16, 2018 so go check it out!

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Black Panther is a stunning first solo outing for its title character that wowed me with its strong ensemble cast, inventive visuals and multi-layered story.

Black Panther follows T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), King of Wakanda, an advanced and highly powerful territory that is disguised as a third-world country. He also protects his nation and its people as a masked vigilante called the Black Panther. After the death of his father, T'Challa is chosen to take the throne and receive the powers of the panther god. Just after his extravagant coronation, a threat finds its way into Wakanda's borders by Erik Killmonger. Killmonger is a fierce and skilled soldier who wishes to replace T'Challa and usher in a new age for the country. T'Challa will be tested and must protect the throne from Killmonger.

My favorite character is Shuri (Letitia Wright), T'Challa's whizkid sister who helps him maintain the mantle of Black Panther and stay one step ahead of the villains he faces. Letitia Wright delivers hilarious one-liners with near perfect timing. She nails the rapport between Shuri and her brother, interacting in a way that is both believable and develops both their characters.

An outstanding performance in this film comes from Michael B. Jordan who is brilliant as Killmonger. He abandons the genre's usual vague "destroy-the-world" motivation and creates a genuinely complicated character. Jordan has cutthroat moments that make you dread his presence, but his sinister manner is evened out by moments where you come to sympathize with his character.

The deep, emotional part of the film's story is unexpected and caught me by surprise. It is an important moment for the main character and what drives his actions for the rest of the film. Sometimes, these comic-book heroes make poor decisions and have to fight against their own demons as well as the bad guys. This has been done before in both comics and film, but here we really see T'Challa change through his experiences.

I recommend this film to ages 12 to 18. There is some action and violence with spears and swords that feels more violent than what I'm used to from comic book films. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. This opens in theaters February 16, 2018 so, be sure to check it out. Black Panther is easily one of the greatest comic-book films I've seen. Period.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

This movie surprised me because it was more violent than I had anticipated. Director and writer Ryan Coogler drives the remarkable story of Black Panther in an exciting and action-packed way. One of the beginning scenes shows Black Panther challenged by a rival tribe that attempts to kill him, but fails. The scene takes place on top of a waterfall, which gives you an idea of just how many things Coogler had to deal with to choreograph the fighting for that scene.

Black Panther is about a young boy, T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) that becomes King of Wakanda after his father dies in an explosion. When T'Challa takes the throne, he and his people find out that someone stole a weapon made with the precious metal vibranium from a museum. They embark on a mission to find the weapon and its thieves. A character named Klaw (Andy Serkis) intends to sell the weapon. T'Challa's cousin Erik (Michael B. Jordan) also aided in stealing the weapon because Erik seeks revenge for T'Challa's father killing his dad. Without giving away the plot, Wakanda is threatened and, with the help of T'Challa aka Black Panther and his team, they fight to keep their nation alive.

What really stands out are the transitions from scene to scene because ach one is so unique. The soundtrack is unbelievably effective, fittin the movie perfectly with each song at the right place at the right time. I was surprised to find that Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) playing W'Kabi. This movie also includes some humor. My favorite character is Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) because he plays a really good guy.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Black Panther at a theater opens in theaters February 16, 2018, so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 19
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
EARLY MAN
EARLY MAN - LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, Early Man tells the story of Dug, along with sidekick Hognob as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth and his Bronze Age City to save their home.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This fantastic, animated film from Nick Park and Aardman Animations had me laughing the entire time. Hands down, it is the best movie I have seen this year. With a unique storyline, exquisite action scenes and a rollercoaster of events, your eyes don't want to leave the screen.

Set in the Stone Age, when cavemen and wooly mammoths inhabited the Earth, Chief Bonbar and his tribe are driven out of their homeland by a Bronze Age army, led by Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston). Lord Nooth claims the Stone Age is over, and Chief Bonbar's (Timothy Spall) tribe is forced to remain in the volcanic badlands outside of the new city. A young caveman named Dug (Eddie Redmayne) tries to attack, but is knocked into a basket heading to the city. He tries to hide, but ends up being mistaken for a football player. When Dug and Lord Nooth finally meet, they make a deal: If Chief Bonbar's tribe beats Lord Nooth's team in a game of football, then the cavemen can have their valley back.

Dug looks at every situation with optimism. He cares about his tribe and will do absolutely anything for them. Even though he knows he could lose his valley, he constantly perseveres and doesn't think about giving up. Hognob (Nick Park) is the funniest character in the film. He is Dug's pet boar and, although he has no dialogue, he makes the weirdest noises. Hognob is so adorable that I want a pet boar now. The relationship Hognob and Dug share is loving and reminds me of the relationship I have with my pets.

The animation is ingenious, because each character is unconventional. With crooked teeth, messy hair and big eyes, these characters are ones you haven't seen before. My eyes were peeled the entire time, because I couldn't stop admiring the unique animation. My favorite part is when Dug tries to steal some balls from the Bronze Age city. Hognob distracts Lord Nooth and has to play the harp for him, while he takes a bath. Hognob tries to sing and play the harp, but it sounds so terrible that it makes you laugh.

The message of this film is to never give up under any circumstances. Don't ever feel intimidated by somebody, because with teamwork and optimism, you can accomplish absolutely anything. Appreciate your differences and remember that nobody can bring you down.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars, because I have never laughed so hard while watching a film. I recommend it for kids ages 8 to 18, and adults would enjoy it too. It is perfect to watch with your family and friends, because it will put a huge smile on your face and show you how important it is to follow your heart.

Catch this film in theaters nationwide on February 16, 2018. Find out what it means to be an early man.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PONYO
PONYO - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Description - From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro,, and Academy Award�-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, comes a heartwarming adventure, now featuring hours of new bonus features never-before-released in North America. When Sosuke, a young boy who lives on a clifftop overlooking the sea, rescues a stranded goldfish named Ponyo, he discovers more than he bargained for. Ponyo is a curious energetic young creature who yearns to be human, but even as she causes chaos around the house, he father, a powerful sorcerer, schemes to return Ponyo to the sea.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Studio Ghibli's deluxe Ponyo DVD Set is an extraordinary sight to behold. This vastly entertaining Miyazaki creation enchants you with its spellbinding animation style. Ponyo was released in 2008 in Japan (2009 in US) and garnered several awards including the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. The English language version includes such voice over talent as Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin and Betty White.

Ponyo tells the story of a five-year-old boy, Sosuke, who finds and becomes friends with a puzzling goldfish that he names Ponyo. Later on, he discovers that Ponyo is actually a goldfish princess who desires to become a human. Throughout their journey they overcome her father's displeasure of humans. Ponyo becomes so transfixed and loving towards Sosuke that he must undergo a few challenges set forth by her parents to see if he is worthy of her affection.

The DVD set includes two discs, a Blu-Ray and a traditional DVD. It includes over five hours of riveting bonus features, such as Feature Length Storyboards; Behind the Microphone; The Five Geniuses Who Created Ponyo; Interviews with Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki (Producer); Theme Song Press Conference and Theme Song Music Video; Opening Event at Hibiya Scala-Za Theatre; Hayao Miyazaki Press Conference; Creating Ponyo; Ponyo and Fujimoto; The Nursery; Scoring Miyazaki; Producers Perspective: Telling the Story; The Locations of Ponyo; Original Theatrical Trailers; TV Spots; and even an exclusive booklet with statements from the director.

In the Creating Ponyo special, Miyazaki tells us that Ponyo was made for a younger audience, such as five-year-olds, because he wanted to make a movie that was easier than My Neighbor Totoro for young children to understand. Miyazaki believes that five-year-olds are more perceptive than they are able to describe. He later states that Ponyo represents someone who has been released from the constraints of society. By watching this special, we learn how much respect Miyazaki has for children.

The Producer's Perspective is an interview with the producer, Toshio Suzuki. In this special we learn all the steps that go into making a Studio Ghibli film. First Miyazaki and Suzuki review Miyazaki's image boards and decide which is the best. The storyboards are then sent to the animators. He later states that their method hasn't changed over the past 30 years. He finishes by saying that well developed characters are the foundation of any Miyazaki film.

In The Nursery special, Toshio Suzuki states that it was Miyazaki's dream to establish a Studio Ghibli nursery for the employees' children and, during this production, it became a reality. Suzuki goes on by saying that the storyline changed halfway through production from being totally set at the nursery to also taking place at an old folks home and the house on the hill.

This highly rich Ponyo DVD extravaganza is a must have for any Studio Ghibli fan. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO 2018
MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO 2018 - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Description - From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away and Ponyo, and Academy Award�-winning* director Hayao Miyazaki, comes a classic tale of magic and adventure for the whole family. When Satsuki and her sister Mei move with their father to a new home in the countryside, they find country life is not as simple as it seems. They soon discover that the house and nearby woods are full of strange and delightful creatures, including a gigantic but gentle forest spirit called Totoro, who can only be seen by children. Totoro and his friends introduce the girls to a series of adventures, including a ride aboard the extraordinary Cat Bus, in this all-ages animated masterpiece featuring the voices of Tim Daly, Lea Salonga, and real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning, in one of their earliest roles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - It is virtually impossible to not be charmed by this early feature film from Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki of the legendary Studio Ghibli. The story of two young sisters befriended by a huge, oval-shaped forest spirit named Totoro while their mother recuperates from an illness is disarming in its mix of the everyday with the fantastical and the director's unique East-meets-West style. The hand-drawn animation is impressionistic and the attention to detail is incredible, with great use of color and challenging elements such as water rendered convincingly. Throughout, the director's particular whimsy and taste for the quirky bubbles to the surface (a giant cat that acts as a bus), traits that Miyazaki would further explore in later works such as Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle and Ponyo. The Blu-ray DVD of the English-dubbed My Neighbor Totoro features real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning voicing the central protagonists and is pristine in both image and sound. Bonus features include several making-of shorts, extensive storyboards and an exclusive full-color booklet. Rated G, there is a brief consideration of death and a few intense moments. This is animation of the highest order: heartfelt, lovingly crafted, frequently amusing and occasionally poignant. Recommended for ages 6 to 18 and older. 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael Fishman, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

I love this film, there is no getting around it. It is wonderful. It is loved by everyone is my household, as are all of the Studio Ghibli films and works of Hayao Miyazaki. This particular English dubbed version came out in 2005 from Disney studios. The music in this movie is phenomenal and catchy. Since I've had my two-year-old, I have probably watched this movie several hundred times and, both of us are still sit and sing along with the story like it's the first time we've watched it. The story is so captivating. It's about two young girls that move to the country with their father, while eagerly waiting for their mother to be released from the hospital. On the first day in their new home, they encounter Soot Sprites. After this, you are instantly aware that there is something special about this new home. One day, the younger sister Mei encounters a forest spirit named Totoro and from there things get absolutely magical. Totoro is a giant smiling creature and he used scare my two-year-old quite a bit, but after a while he started to see how kind and caring Totoro is. There is a short film called Mei and the Catbus that serves as a mini sequel to My Neighbor Totoro, but it is only able available at the Studio Ghibli Museum in Japan. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars! It is truly one of our all time favorites! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The anime movie My Neighbor Totoro is cute and funny, yet somehow still realistic. Even though some parts are sad, that adds to the plot and makes the story even better. It starts with two sisters, 4-year-old Mei and 12-year-old Satsuki. When Mei runs off and meets a large, mischievous forest spirit named Totoro, their lives are changed forever.

My Neighbor Totoro is directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Every scene is hand-drawn, unlike modern CGI movies. The rural setting and characters just feel real. In one scene, Mei trips and falls instead of running on. This gives a sense of reality, instead of edited perfection.

The story starts when Mei, Satsuki and their father move to a new house while their mother is in the hospital. They soon discover that their house is inhabited by forest spirits, such as the soot gremlins. Nearby, Totoro lives in a huge camphor tree and a magical, eight-legged cat bus is a normal mode of transportation for them.

After Satsuki and Mei get into an argument, Mei runs away. This part is so heartbreaking! With the help of Totoro...you'll see. The ending is a surprise you'll enjoy!

Hayao Miyazaki has also directed other enjoyable anime movies, such as Kiki's Delivery Service and Spirited Away. Recently, Hayao Miyazaki came out of retirement. I, for one, cannot wait to see another Miyazaki directed film!

My Neighbor Totoro is cute, funny and realistic. However, I feel that something is missing. Totoro sounds like the main character, but he is on the screen for only a few scenes. Therefore, the movie somehow seems incomplete. The fact that I want more from it only proves how captivating it is.

Overall, My Neighbor Totoro is an amazing movie. In 1988, when this movie came out, anime was not that popular. My Neighbor Totoro set off a craze for anime in the U.S. that has not stopped yet. The special features unravel the magic by describing how the characters were created, the real life inspiration for the movie's unique locations and more.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 12. You can view this on DVD or Blu-Ray now. If you enjoy anime, cute and quirky characters, or just a realistic movie, check this out!

Reviewed by Eden T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Even after 25 years, My Neighbor Totoro remains an instantly watchable animated masterpiece that holds new surprises from every time I watch it.

Satsuki and Mei are sisters who move to the Japanese countryside with their father. The children are fascinated with the quirks of their new house, as well as the vast nature surrounding it. Satsuki goes to school and Mei begins to explore a fantastical world beneath a large tree in the backyard. She meets three little creatures and names one of them Totoro. Mei tells her sister about the adventure, but Satsuki does not believe her. During the next few days, the sisters discover more and more about their neighborhood and adjust to their new way of life.

My Neighbor Totoro effortlessly crafts and develops so many different poignant stories. It is a coming-of-age tale, as well as a story about how we deal with change and about the bond between two siblings. Totoro, his little pals and the world they inhabit add a whole other layer to an already complete narrative. The magical elements intertwine with Satsuki and Mei's story. They bring light to the siblings, during a scary and dark time in their life. The elements of magic add some levity to less joyful parts of the film, giving closure to the audience as to the characters.

The film never reveals too much about Totoro and a lot about him remains a mystery, even after the credits roll. He is so adorably drawn and never feels threatening. He has no dialogue, excluding a few grunts here and there, but is still one of my favorite things about this film. He brings a kind of magic that resonates with you every time he is on screen.

The lesson of My Neighbor Totoro is to never lose faith in what you believe in. Mei's belief in the magic of Totoro never falters and for that, Totoro helps her and Satsuki not just because they are kind souls, but also because they both learn to believe in his magic.

I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18. It appeals to all ages and has practically nothing objectionable for young audiences. I think adults will marvel at the spellbinding animation and wonderful story. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. You need to see this special re-release if you haven't already fallen in love with this film.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

In 1988, Studio Ghibli released their third motion picture, My Neighbor Totoro. This film is often the first one you think of when you think of Studio Ghibli or director Hayao Miyazaki. The title character, Totoro is even on the Studio Ghibli logo. It has been 30 years since this film first came out and it still holds up as the beautiful and charming film it is famous for being.

The story is about two sisters named Satski and Mei, voiced by the Fanning sisters, who move to an old house in the countryside with their dad. After moving in, they become friends with a forest spirit they call Totoro.

Of course, I like to talk about animation first and it is just beautiful. Not surprising since, the animation in Studio Ghibli films is always incredible. The backgrounds are just amazing to look at and the forest looks gorgeous. The movement is very fluid and fast; and the characters are so expressive. I love everything about this animation!

The characters are wonderful too. The focus is mostly on the two leads, Satski and Mei. The two of them are very fun, sweet characters who feel like real children. That's always important to me - that kids in films act like real kids. I also have to mention Totoro himself is such an adorable creature. I found myself wishing he was real, so you could cuddle him. He's just so fluffy!

Also, the music in this film is just phenomenal. It's so beautiful and whimsical. There is one particular scene where I actually teared up a little, because the combination of the music and the animation is just so pretty. I also listened to some of the music after watching the film and added it to my playlist. Studio Ghibli always has such wonderful music to back up their films.

My one complaint, that isn't even that big, is that it doesn't feel like there's much of a conflict in the plot. What I mean is, it lacks real struggle. There is a slight conflict because the mom is in the hospital, but the film doesn't treat that like it is a big problem. It's just something there. But even with that, the movie is just so cute, I really didn't bother me.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. The film is available now on DVD so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LILY'S DRIFTWOOD BAY: SEASON 1 (2018)
LILY'S DRIFTWOOD BAY: SEASON 1 (2018) - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Description - Welcome to Lily's Driftwood Bay. Lily is six years old and lives with her dad and her best friend, who is a seagull named Gull, in a little hut on the beach. Across the way is Driftwood Bay, a special island that exists in Lily's imagination. Every day the sea washes up a new treasure which sparks Lily's imagination about what might be happening on Driftwood Bay. Join Lily and her friends, Salty Dog, Bull, Nonna, Hatsie, Wee Rabbit and Lord Stag as they sail to Driftwood Bay where wonderful adventures await! Along with each adventure is a valuable lesson learned in each story from learning to tell the truth to saying sorry to asking for help. Embark on new adventures with Lily and friends as they travel to Driftwood Bay
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Watching Lily's Driftwood Bay gives me hope for future generations. Lily is always so kind to those around her and her life is filled with simple adventures that are genuinely interesting, shedding light on the fact that life doesn't always have to be busy to be enjoyable. Lily is an adorable little 5-year-old whom I adore for things like how respectful she is to her father. It is so touching to see a single father raising a daughter represented so positively. In this season, there is an episode called Goodbye Seabird and it is particularly touching and heart-breaking. In this episode, you learn a little bit about Lily's mom. What makes it so special is that not many children's shows acknowledge death, especially the death of a parent. The art is extremely cute. It looks like mixed media using colored pencils and paper cut-outs. The music is charming and blends well with the scenery. I highly recommend this for ages 3 to 6 and give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Lily's Driftwood Bay: Season 1 is an amazing DVD. It's a fun way to teach kids about exploring their curiosity and discovering new things. The show takes its viewers into the world of Lily's fantasy. Each episode on this DVD has a great plot that brings you along the adventures in Lily's imagination. These episodes keep it very interesting and there is never a dull moment. It teaches good lessons in fun ways.

Lily's Driftwood Bay focuses on a world in Lily's imagination called Driftwood Bay. Lily finds new treasures on the sea shore everyday that spark her interest. She then travels in her imagination to Driftwood Bay where friends like Salty Dog, Lord Stag and Wee Rabbit help her find out what the object is and what it's used for.

My favorite thing about this show is the accents of the characters. All have British accents, which I love because it gives a different vibe to the show. Each adventure you take with Lily, teaches you a valuable lesson in such a fun way. This is truly a kid's dream film, because it shows a 6-year-old having fun in her own world, just like any other kid. My favorite episode would have to be Starfish in the Sky. That episode is about when Lily finds a telescope on the sea shore and wants to look at a constellation in the sky that looks like a star. At the end of the episode, everybody comes together to see the starfish and it is nice to see all of the characters in one spot. The show is really interesting and shows Lily's day to day life as well as the lives of her friends in Driftwood Bay. My favorite character has to be Salty Dog. He is such an amazing character and is always there for Lily. Salty is the one to drive the boat to take Lily to Driftwood and the one who tells her about the stars in the sky.

The message of this show is to not be afraid to ask others questions about things that interest you, just like Lily who asks her friends questions all the time. I recommend this DVD for ages 4 to 8 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This DVD is available now, so check it out.

Reviewed by Dariana A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Lily's Driftwood Bay, Season 1 is filled with hours of fun adventures in short, easy-to-watch episodes. I can't lie, when I put in the DVD for the first time I actually watched 16 shows in a row! It was pretty epic!

The entire series takes place on a hidden, quiet beach with tall grass and a cute little house. Lily and her father live in a little house there. Past the grass, there is a small shore where gentle waves wash up onto the sand. Sometimes the water washes up random items that were floating out at sea. A seagull named Gull watches out for new treasures every day. Gull finds Lily every time a new little treasure washes onto the beach. She gets excited when she sees Gull and the two of them run off to inspect the treasure.

Across the way is Driftwood Bay, an imaginary island. This special island is where Lily's stories come to life. I will explain just how that happens. Every episode focuses on a brand new treasure. Sometimes the item is a piece or a part that broke off of something bigger. Sometimes it is a common item like a jar. Lily's imagination always takes off into a fun story whenever a new item comes along, no matter what it is. Lily and Gull take a boat over to the island and that is where every adventure story happens.

There are more than two main characters. Her friends are Salty Dog, Bull, Nonna, Hatsie, Wee Rabbit, and Lord Stag. Lord Stag is somewhat full of himself and has very high expectations of the group. The rest of the group are helpful, but they always get themselves stuck in a pickle. Then it's left to Lily and Gull to save the day.

The animation is sweet and really unique. I find it interesting. It has 2D paper animation and also uses real life objects. It's called "Mixed Media." This is a great series for young children. It's not scary at all and there are no villains, so even toddlers can watch it. The short episodes make it good for young kids who can't watch longer shows.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 3 to 9. Moms can watch this with their kids because the animation is so intriguing. Lily's Driftwood Bay, Season 1 is available now on DVD everywhere so, check it out.

Reviewed by Izzy C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age
Runtime: 375 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-6 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT!, THE: SEASON 2; VOLUME 1
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT!, THE: SEASON 2; VOLUME 1 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-8
Description - Enjoy volume one of the second season of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! follows the adventures of 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick, as they are whisked off on extraordinary voyages of scientific discovery with the Cat in the Hat. �Thanks to the Thinga-ma-jigger and our friends, exploring has never been more exciting! In this season set, learn everything from space topics like gravity, what causes day and night, the planets, earth's atmosphere to all about the human body like why do we sneeze, how and why the heart beats, why our stomach rumbles, how amazing our skin, and how important each different bone is in our body. The discoveries don't end there though! Embark on more numerous adventures where we learn all about animals such as why animal ears come in many shapes and sizes, how different animals carry their babies, who are the fastest creatures in the world, why male crickets chirp, how polar bears survive the arctic winter, how a snow leopard balances, and so much more! So let's go, go, go, go on an adventure, we're flying with The Cat in the Hat today!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I always loved Dr. Seuss as a kid and it makes me happy to be able to share this The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That DVD with my children. Everyone is my house really loves puns and this show is a puntastic adventure during every episode. Sally and Nick are the 6-year-old main characters and they are the very best of friends. They love going on adventures with The Cat and seeing all of his goofy inventions. The kids are always very polite and ready for anything. They are however, quick to help The Cat see better ways to do things and I love that. A good chunk of this season is science relative and I'm glad that there is a show helping children discover great ways to approach "adults" (The Cat) and, either ask for help or offer up their knowledge on the subject matter. The animation is fun and eye-catching, the sound effects and music are kooky. I highly recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Cat in the Hat: Season 2 portrays a dream-like world where learning is adventurous and engaging! Each episode takes you on a ride to a variety of places, some are even out of this world. The animation brings you into the realm of Dr. Seuss. I did not want to leave.

The story follows Sally (Alexa Torrington) and Nick (Jacob Ewaniuk) traveling through everyday life, curious and eager to understand the ways of the world. The Cat (Martin Short) always pops in at the right time to help them find the answers to their dilemmas. Together they hop on the Thingamajigger and fly on adventures to discover wonders.

Martin Short, the voice of the Cat, uses the perfect accent and voice to compliment the Cat's personality. He emphasizes certain words to achieve the goofiness in his voice. Alexa Torrington and Jacob Ewaniuk are the voices of the children, Sally and Nick, who grasp the innocence and youthful spirit by their voices. Rob Tinkler voices Fish, Thing 1 and Thing 2. The way he changes the tone and pitch of the various voices is quite unique. The voices for Thing 1 and 2 are high pitched and humorous, while the voice for Fish is lower and more serious.

The animation offers a portal into Dr. Seuss's world. The houses are crooked, yet appealing. The background hills, bushes and trees are slim and tall. The abstract Thingamajigger flies through the sky with its misshapen helicopter blades and bright red and orange colors.

My favorite part of this show is the Cat's personality. He brings fun to learning and, when explaining different conceptions, he adds a sense of humor. For example, when explaining that the brain receives and sends signals from the nose, a phone rings in his hat asking for his nose. He is clumsy and modest about being smart. He makes the children laugh and ends each episode with a joke.

The message of this DVD is learning can happen anywhere and is always an adventure. I give this DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10. It is available now so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The Cat in the Hat episodes are very colorful, exciting and educational. This season is no exception! Everything is upbeat and entertaining plus, you learn lots of new things. Even I learned some knew things from these episodes!

Season 2 is mostly about science topics. These episodes have lots of songs, jokes and puns, and they can travel anywhere. They can shrink or enlarge themselves to learn about everything. Also, the characters are extremely energetic, which makes you feel energized and uplifted because they are having such a good time.

The voice acting is amazing. All of the characters laugh so much and have a great time. They all sound so happy and amazed at everything they learn. Martin Short, as the voice of The Cat is perfect. His laughs are so contagious and he laughs so often. The children, Sally and Nick (Alexa Torrington and Jacob Ewaniuk) are just as ecstatic and energetic. They laugh a lot as well and are very positive kids. Short, Torrington and Ewaniuk all have wonderful singing voices that enhance the episodes.

The animation in these episodes is bright, colorful and detailed. The animation perfectly suits the educational side of these stories, because you can learn about the object, while seeing it clearly. The music and songs are quite clever and pleasing. The music is a vital part to these episodes.

My favorite episode is "Bounce" because, in that episode they teach many different things besides the topic of rubber. It is interesting to learn everything related to and around rubber.

The message of this DVD is to go outside on adventures, after first asking your parents permission (of course) as Sally and Nick do, and to enjoy what's around you. The Cat goes to Sally and Nick's and makes them happy every time by teaching them about their surroundings and showing them around. These episodes inspire you to learn more and shows how learning about new things is fun and exciting.

I give this DVD 5 out to 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 13. It is available now so, definitely go check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 220 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE
MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - In the epic finale to The Maze Runner Saga, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary last city, a WCKD controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get the answers to the questions the Gladers have been asking since they first arrived in the maze. Will Thomas and the crew make it out alive? Or will Ava Paige get her way?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This science fiction film grabbed my attention starting at the beginning because of its very interesting plot and fascinating storyline. I was riveted to see what would happen at the end. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen because of the combination of topics that I love seeing in movies - the action scenes, the various unpredictable events, character's journeys, sentimental scenes. Since all of those points drew me in, I wanted to finally find out what would be the outcome of the movie. I was excitedly waiting for this movie to come out since it is the third film in the Maze Runner series. I watched the previous films when I found out about this sequel and was counting the days for this one to finally arrive.

The storyline follows Thomas leading some Gladers on their most dangerous mission yet, which could change everything. To save their friends, they must break into the Last City, a controlled labyrinth that could be the deadliest adventure yet. Anyone who makes it out alive and in good state will get answers to the questions that the Gladers have been asking since their arrival in the maze.

My favorite scene is when Brenda is helping a group of kids escape from the Last City and saving them from being in a critical situation. I love this scene because she is hiding in a bus with all the kids, waiting for the officers to leave so she can run away. But, the second she starts the bus, all the officers notice and start chasing her. Eventually, she finds herself trapped in a situation where she is surrounded and it seemed as if there is no way out. She steps down from the bus and confronts the officers, which seems like a stupid choice. Then, something happens which is completely a surprise. The solution is surprising and impressively successful. I love how intelligent and practical the creators and writers of this film are in making this and other scenes with unpredictable solutions possible. Once again, they leave me with my mouth open. I was so shocked that they were so logical in figuring out a solution that I couldn't.

The important message in this film is to always stay positive when looking at a situation. Sometimes the impossible has another way to solve it. In this film, the characters experience extremely difficult problems and situation. What sets them apart is that they never give up.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults and rate it 5 out of 5 stars. This opens in theaters January 26, 2018 so go check it out. Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is full of action from beginning to end. During the production of this film in 2016, Dylan O'Brien was severely injured on set. Because of that, the film was delayed and is just now being released. I'm so sorry about Dylan's accident and believe that the wait was worth it, as I love this movie.

This is the third and final installment of the Maze Runner trilogy. Thomas and his friends head to the last standing city to save their friend, Minho and take down the Government Association known as WCKD.

I'm quite a fan of the Maze Runner books, so I can vouch for the accuracy of this movie. Quite a bit of the story is different from the book. Even the plot of saving Minho isn't in the book. He is with the group in the book. However, all the major events are still the same as both stories involve taking down WCKD.

This movie is fast moving and heart racing. In almost every scene something exciting is happening. The film barely gives you time to rest. I feel like this keeps you on edge and it works. During some scenes I tensed up, with my fists clenched. The action is actually very effectively exciting. There are tons of explosions, and fire and gunshots. And they are all so cool. The special effects are really impressive.

This film is a dystopian story. The reason the world ends in this story is an illness known as the "Flare" that turns people into zombie-like creatures. The makeup used for the creatures, known as Cranks, is outstanding. Here's a shout out to the entire makeup department.

The acting is also really good. Dylan O'Brien, who plays Thomas and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays Newt, have incredible performances. I will not spoil what happens, but one specific performance from them had me in straight up tears.

Also, the city where most of the film takes place, known as Last City, has a very neat design. It looks intimidating, yet beautiful. It felt like Los Angeles, but darker. I'm curious if the director, Wes Ball, plans to do the prequels, as there are two prequels. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. It comes out in theaters January 26, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Based upon the novel, The Death Cure by James Dashner, The Maze Runner the Death Cure is the third and final film in the Maze Runner trilogy. It is a very satisfying conclusion to the series and wraps up most questions for fans. This film is very fun and entertaining. The one thing that disappointed me was the length of time since the last film, The Maze Runner the Scorch Trials. It came out September 2015, so you may need a little refresher course prior to watching the final film.

My favorite character is Newt, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster. I have cheered for Newt during the whole trilogy as he brings so much life to the entire film. His character has depth and passion, but in a light-hearted way. I find him very relatable and, with-out giving away any spoilers, his character will touch you deeply during this final film.

The bond of friendship is a strong theme throughout the trilogy, but nothing has been as powerful as it is in Maze Runner the Death Cure. I love how the screenwriter, T.S. Nowlin, pushes each character to their limits, testing their abilities and gives viewers insight into their mindset and true vulnerabilities.

As in the previous two films, the cinematography is amazing. While the backdrop is futuristic, you do not have the feeling that everything is overly CGI. Even the fight scenes are pretty realistic. I find it interesting that the whole film was shot in Cape Town, South Africa.

Maze Runner the Death Cure is rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi violence and action. There is some language, but not much. If you have been a fan of the Maze Runner series, Maze Runner the Death Cure will not disappoint. With a running time of 2 hours, 22 minutes, it is a bit long, but there are no drag times. You'll remain entertained the whole time. I recom-mend this film for ages 13 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters January 26, 2018 so look for it.

Reviewed by Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Maze Runner: The Death Cure is an action-packed thrill ride and the final chapter in the Maze Runner franchise. Although it never quite escapes the burden of underdeveloped storytelling, loyal fans of the franchise will wish to see how the saga is brought to a close.

In this final chapter, Thomas is going to the main headquarters of WKCD - the organization that has imprisoned kids immune to a virus wiping out humanity - to discover the truth behind its practices and save his friends. He will need to work with his fair share of friends and enemies to bring WCKD's wrath to an end. You will be lost if you haven't seen the first two films or read the books. The Death Cure picks up right where the first two left off with no recap.

My favorite part of this film is the opening action sequence, an intense rescue mission from a speeding train. All the characters are brought back in good ways and the action feels amusing and sometimes highly absurd, but still entertaining. This scene represents exactly what I was expecting and hoping for from this film: a fun action adventure film that would be an enjoyable way to spend two hours.

After an exciting start, the film's pace starts to falter. The Maze Runner: The Death Cure has many of the components to craft a solid finish to this tale: a likable cast of characters, some surprising twists and dazzling stunts. It has good action scenes, but they begin to blur together with little furthering of the plot or character development along the way. My favorite characters in the first two films felt like faces in the crowd. For example, Newt had brought levity to the generally dreary plot of these films. Here, he is left to brood like his fellow teens. The Maze Runner: The Death Cure introduces too many new characters and subplots to cleanly close out these films and seems to rely on explosions to tell a story more than a well-crafted plot and dialogue.

I recommend this one for ages 13 to 18 for some gross imagery and brief violent moments, as well as some moments of peril. I give it 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it mostly to the Maze Runner diehards. It arrives in theatres January 26, 2018 so put it on your calendar. Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PADDINGTON 2
PADDINGTON 2 - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 4-15
Description - Paddington is happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy's 100th birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber's antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it's up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This sequel to the hit family film, Paddington delivers in all the right places and truly lives up to its predecessor and even surpasses the 2014 film in many ways. Paddington 2, like the first one, is definitely a family film filled with many morals and messages, generally surrounded by unique jokes and fun adventures. To add conflict to the story, there are some dramatic scenes, but the film manages to always stay kid-friendly.

The movie picks up sometime after the first film. Paddington the bear still lives happily with the Brown family in London. By now, he has a daily routine and has become friendly with the whole neighborhood. In a few days, his aunt will have her 100th birthday. Paddington decides to get her a perfect present. Little does Paddington know that the present he has chosen actually contains a big secret and gets stolen. Paddington is blamed for the theft and sent to jail. Now two conflicts emerge, Paddington must fit in prison and the Brown family must figure out how to get him out of jail.

Paddington's realism really stands out. He clearly still contains character-like features with big brown eyes and heavenly fluffy fur, but he essentially fits-in properly with his surroundings. Not only does the special effects' team deserve credit for this, but the actors deserve double kudos for performing so realistically with a character that doesn't really exist. Adding a superstar as Hugh Grant also brings the film to a completely new level of goodness.

Rare for a sequel, the story stays original and separate from the last film while still maintaining the good parts of the previous story. The humor becomes almost slapstick at times, and other times it's purely situational and always results in a laugh. Paddington as a character really pulls at the heartstrings of the audience, both because of a well-written script and a bear who's designed to be adorable in every way. My favorite scene starts when Paddington gets into jail. He, of course, does not fit in as a well-mannered, kind bear. After proving his skill at making marmalade sandwiches for everyone, the prison stops looking like the one in Shawshank Redemption and begins to look like a cute bed and breakfast you'd pay to stay at. This really shows a large amount of irony due to the fact that many gruff convicts become well-mannered and kind. This scene not only demonstrates the power of the humor in Paddington 2, but truly brings up all of the main characteristics of Paddington as a character.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 18. Surprisingly, in the audience, there were more adults laughing than kids, while the kids were simply fixed on the realism and adventures of Paddington. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for being an outstanding family film that truly outdoes its predecessor and leaves you wanting more. It opens nationwide in theaters on January 12, 2018 so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Paddington 2 seamlessly blends heart and comedy for a truly charming family film. This sequel revisits the title character, a precocious young bear living in London as part of the Brown family. As the movie opens, Aunt Lucy is celebrating her birthday in darkest Peru and Paddington is struggling to find a suitable gift to send to her. He settles on a pop-up book of London at a local antique shop and takes on a series of sometimes hilarious odd jobs to pay for it. One night, the book is stolen. Paddington is accused of the theft and sent to prison, but the real culprit is Phoenix Buchanan, a narcissistic actor who craves the spotlight and wants to use the book's value to fund his one-man-show. Paddington sets out to clear his name, while the Browns try to prove that Phoenix is the real criminal.

Paddington 2 is a warm fuzzy blanket of a film. Its title character is a symbol of kindness in a world that needs more of it. He never gives up and always believes in the best in those around him. I love coming back to Paddington's London and being reacquainted with the Brown family and their quirks. The cheerful tone of this film radiates throughout. The lesson of Paddington 2 is be kind to others, always, and its timing could not be better.

Paddington 2 surpasses the first Paddington film in many ways. It brings back endearing characters and everything you love about them, while introducing memorable new ones as well. I love how, once again the modern take on the widely loved story of Paddington Bear stays true to the character while still telling an original story.

Hugh Grant is very good as Phoenix Buchanan. Grant embodies Phoenix's charisma and sly humor. It is nice to see an actor typically known for romantic comedies go to a more villainous place to play this sinister has-been actor who will do anything to be famous again. Grant's top moments are his most bizarre. Be sure to stay for the credits for one of his best.

My favorite character in this film is Knuckles McGinty, the prison chef played by Brendan Gleeson. Gleeson subtly and comically shows us the intensity and warmth of his character. Knuckles's anger and pessimism is a nice foil to Paddington's constant glowing positivity. Gleeson also illustrates how Paddington brings out the softer sides of those around him.

I recommend this film to ages 4 to 15 and adults will love its positive attitude. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars for putting a smile on my face and recreating the magic of the original and then some. It opens nationwide in theaters on January 12, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

This film is hilarious and made me cry a cry of joy and also of sadness, multiple times. It is amazing to watch live characters bond with an imaginary, animated bear. Even though there's not actually a bear there, you can feel the love within the family.

The film starts off with a little flash back showing how Paddington was saved from falling off the waterfall when he was a cub, by Uncle Pastuzo and Aunt Lucy. They adopted him and raised him as if he was their own son. Then it returns to present time. Paddington wants to get the perfect gift for Aunt Lucy on her 100th Birthday and decides on a present, but it is expensive. He works hard to earn enough money to buy the gift. One night while he is walking past the store where the gift is, a thief breaks into the store and steals it. Paddington chases after the burglar, but when the police arrive they assume that he is the thief. Paddington is sentenced to 10 years in prison even though he didn't commit the crime. His family tries to prove his innocence, but they don't have much evidence.

Paddington (Ben Whishaw) is supposed to be a young bear. Ben Wishaw, who does his voice, doesn't sound like a young bear to me. He sounds more like a polite and proper man. Even though he doesn't sound young, his voice matches Paddington's personality, particularly because Paddington is very polite, kind and sweet.

The animation for this film is very realistic. Paddington interacts with objects that aren't animated, which makes him seem like he is actually there. Paddington looks very realistic with very detailed fur, eyes and feet. My favorite part of this film are all of the jokes throughout it. They are so funny and sarcastic. The whole audience was laughing together. Everyone understood the jokes, adults and children both, which is always great.

The moral of this story is to be kind and positive, so that life will be kind and positive to you. Throughout all the hardships that Paddington goes through, he stays positive, remains kind and eventually everything becomes right in the end. Paddington 2 is such an amazing film to watch with your whole family. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters nationwide on January 12, 2018 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen m., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 4-15 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS: THE GREAT SWAMP SEARCH
OCTONAUTS: THE GREAT SWAMP SEARCH - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-7
Description - Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii, and medic Peso Penguin, along with the other Octonauts as they explore the world's oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats - above and below the waves! On this exciting DVD, join the Octonauts as they journey to the Everglades to help Tweak's dad, Ranger Marsh, track down several invasive species - including a Burmese Python and her babies! The adventures continue with six more exciting underwater missions!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love The Octonauts. This series is such a cute, effective way to convey real world issues, such as pollution, to children without making it seem wildly scary and overbearing. I genuinely adore watching these little creatures, led by their fearless leader Captain Barnacles who take on so many problems and have so much fun doing it. Tweak and Peso are very cute little characters and I personally love Peso because I am a penguin person. Who wouldn't want to have a medic penguin? In each episode, we meet new creatures and learn all about their habitats and how we can help to keep them safe and happy. My favorite parts by far are The Octonaut Creature Reports. These reports are mini, in-depth views into the creatures The Octonauts encounter along the way in their adventures. The music featured in these episodes is fun, informative and catchy! The animation is simple and my two-year-old really seems to love the style. This show is great for ages 2 to 6 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

Octonauts: The Great Swamp is appealing to the watch, and educational! The show effectively teaches kids about social issues such as invasive species and forest fires without making it scary. The characters are cute, and easy to follow. Each episode has a distinct goal to achieve, whether finding a lost flamingo in the swamp, or rescuing a family of Burmese pythons! The Octonauts, led by Captain Barnacles, work tirelessly to solve the mission together, focusing on the clues they find to guide them to a solution. They are led by the Octonaut motto, "Explore, rescue, protect!" The creature reports produce a fun and catchy song about each animal in the mission giving viewers more information, but the opportunity to learn through song. It's a fun, and educational feature! I recommend it for ages 2 to 7 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kristin H., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a fun, educational, adventure-filled DVD with animals. The voice acting and plots bring a unique feel unlike other animated work. This is sure to be a hit with kids who love animation.

The story follows the adventures of an underwater exploring crew, the Octonauts which includes Captain Barnacles (Simon Greenall), Lieutenant Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw), Medic Peso (Wayne Greyson), Biologist Shellington (Keith Wickham), and Founder Grimpoteuthis (Keith Wickham). They are enticed by many adventures including the likes of returning animals to their homes, rescuing baby animals and finding the right turf for a group of hippos. Meanwhile, they discover new information about all the animals they are investigating.

Simon Greenall, as Barnicles, presents a commanding presence in leading the Octonauts, especially when choosing what is a priority. He is my favorite character because of this. Rob Rackstrawis, as Kwazii, is a fun member of the team who loves to help the animals and learn more about them. It is also interesting to see her reunion with her father who plays a big part in the first adventure. Wayne Greyson, as Peso, is an incredibly smart medic who wants to use his skills to save lives. Keith Wickham, as Shellington and Grimpteuthis, portrays two different characters who are of great importance to the team.

Darragh O'Connell directs this show with a Star Trek-esque tone of discovery. My favorite scene is the chase from the hippos because of the creative ways in which the Octonauts flee. It also feels like an extremely urgent scene. My only problem with the show is that, at times, the episodes are repetitive such as when they use the same plots with different animals.

The message of the show is to protect all animals and the ecosystem. Despite being treated unfairly by the animals, the Octonauts work around that to help them. They even give food to the hungry carnivores who threaten the ecosystem, while protecting the other animals. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. This DVD is available now so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Octonauts: The Great Swamp Search is like Mission: Impossible for younger audiences! There is danger and action at every corner and unique adventures. The music is engaging and made my heart race, adding to the thrilling effect. Along with the gripping stories, each episode cleverly incorporates interesting fun facts casually into the Octonauts' conversations.

The story follows the Octonauts - Captain Barnacles, Kwazii, Peso Penguin, Dashi Dog, Shellington, Tweak and Tunip who always come to the rescue. Each episode follows an entertaining and fresh storyline where the Octonauts face peril and must use teamwork and problem solving to save the day. They help a myriad of animals and learn much from their adventures.

Every species has a distinctive voice and accent. This adds to the element of diversity and uniqueness. Simon Greenall as Captain Barnacles makes it obvious through his authoritative voice that he is the captain. Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw) is a pirate and incorporates an interesting accent to enhance his character and add humor.

The animation is quite realistic, particularly the water, shadows, clouds and colors during different times of the day. The water moves so smoothly that I felt I could reach into their world and touch it. Throughout many scenes, reflections can be seen in the water and are extremely naturalistic. The clouds move subtly across different shots and the movement is memorable. Shadows of the trees, animals and the Octonauts are beautifully portrayed. In the shadows, underwater and during different times of day, the colors change intensity which boosts the sublime qualities of the animation.

The animated cinematography is special. There are many wide shots that show the Octonauts from afar and then zoom in, allowing the viewer a chance to enjoy the scenery, light and depth of the animation. The 3D effects create a world that doesn't seem so far from reality even though it is. It immersed me in the experience while learning about all the different species.

My favorite part is how fun facts are blended into the conversations. Even though it doesn't feel as you are leaning something, you learn many different things about hippos, crawfish and a multitude of other animals. The messages of this show is about teamwork, putting others before yourself and being kind to everyone. I give this DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 12. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to check it out. It's great stealth learning.

By Sahiba K., KIDSFIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
THOMAS EDISON'S SECRET LAB: ROCK IT TO THE MOON (2018)
THOMAS EDISON'S SECRET LAB: ROCK IT TO THE MOON (2018) - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: SERIES, AGES 5-12
Description - Join Angie and friends as they deal with everything from a remote control dance outfit to gravity to moon rocks and more! Hoping to get on a dance show, Von Bolt wears a remote-control dance outfit. But if he let's someone else dance for him, is he really a winner? Next, the Secret Lab Kids are ready to demo their new science song for web entrepreneur, Mook Zookerboom, when he learns that a satellite is coming down out of orbit, panics and heads for the airport. So the team must gather some data on gravity to convince him to return. Then, when Von Bolt accidentally destroys the museum's new moon rock, the Secret Lab Kids must find a way to replace it. Guided by fun-loving Edison, Angie and friends will show kids just how fun science can be!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD is quite appealing and engaging. The most appealing thing about this title are the characters. They are relatable, appealing and funny. The show teaches different science facts. However, it doesn't have much in terms of comedy. A bit of balance between fun and learning would be nice. For me the learning feels a bit heavy. Also, the animation is a bit choppy at times. As far as design, I really love that the characters represent different cultures and I enjoyed that some of the characters have different accents. The vocabulary is engaging and suitable for its intended audience. The science terms introduced in each story are clear and easy to understand. Lots of kids can benefit from watching this DVD and it may ignite their curiosity to further inquiry. I did feel that the pace is somewhat on the slow side. Because it is aimed at older kids, the pace could be a bit faster. The characters act in positive ways and there are definitely consequences to bad actions. For example, in the first episode when the kids build a device to help the robot character win a dance competition, they soon realize that they shouldn't do that, because that would be cheating. Then, when another robot contestant steals the device, she gets in trouble. This show has lots of problem solving and encourages critical thinking. The kids have to solve a problem using science in every story. The characters learn as the story goes and even have to research science facts to solve their problem. The show definitely supports inquiry and investigation. I can see kids wanting to dig deeper into the science exposed in each episode. The DVD was pretty straight forward and easy to navigate. The menu is simple. The special features included a number of music videos. They are cute, but I'm not sure that older kids would enjoy them all that much. I recommend it for ages 7 to 11 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. I think kids will enjoy and learn from it! Reviewed by Martha S. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: Rock It to the Moon DVD is full of episodes about a group of kid scientists who work together on adventures in Thomas Edison's secret lab. The group finds problems around their town and solves them by using scientific facts. I always enjoy these episode packs because I like science and these teach us about chemicals and discoveries I didn't know about before. After every episode, there is a song (written by Stefanie and Ron Fair) about the episode that is sung by dancing robots. The songs are very repetitive and younger kids would like that.

The four kid scientists are, Angie (Phillipa Alexander) a modern female version of Thomas Edison, JD (Adam Long), Angie's brother who thinks well under pressure, Kent (Shash Hira), who has all kinds of phobias and loves all applications of science, Nicky, a scientific genius who is secretly jealous of Angie and, of course, Thomas Edison (Livingston Taylor), a hologram of the scientist who is the kids' inspiring mentor who doesn't solve their problems for them, but instead offers advice and guidance. In the lab, they have Edison's projector which makes his hologram and a virtual reality machine which opens a portal that sends them to a different scientist from the past in each episode. The scientist teaches them something that will help them solve their current problem. These lessons teach real life facts which I like. This DVD is about a few of their problems that they solve using all they know about science.

Episodes on this DVD include, Dancing Machines, Murphy's Law of Gravity, Rock it to the Moon, Act your Stone Age, Von Drop-Out, Freaky Furry, The Monster Not Under the Bed and Nanobots Byte. My favorite is Freaky Furry, which is about Angie accidently switching brains with her dog during a test. The group must find out what happened and switch their brains back. I like this because it is the only one about the human body, which I find fascinating and also because I like dogs. My favorite character is Von Bolts, the robot lab assistant, because he is a funny, indestructible machine who is featured in all the episodes.

The message of this show is that if you work together, you can do anything. I recommend this DVD for ages 4 through 10 because it is funny and very educational but easy to understand. I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars because I like to learn facts and some parts are funny. This DVD/Blu-ray is available now so go check it out. This series has its own website called, edisonsecretlab.com which you should also look at because it has a lot of added features.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This DVD offers a entertaining set of episodes that allows everyone to have a better understanding of science.

Thomas Edison's Secret Lab: Rock it to the Moon is an animated series of science themed episodes. The show is about a group of friends who find the famous scientist Thomas Edison's secret lab. Edison has made a secret lab where he created a virtual version of himself and a robot named Van Bolt. The friends embark on fun adventures with one another while, at the same time, learning valuable scientific knowledge of the world around them.

I was happily surprised by this DVD. I expected these episodes to be very child-like and not very humorous. I was very wrong! The episodes kept me interested the entire time. The episodes are rather short, which is fantastic because it holds your attention the entire time. They are silly, but in a way that got me laughing. These episodes are definitely aimed for much younger audiences than me. I did not think I was going to appreciate the humor like a young child would. My expectations were definitely wrong. I absolutely love the jokes and funny characters. The humor gives these episodes spirit.

This DVD is perfect for anyone interested in science. What surprised me the most about it is that I didn't even know most of the science related topics included. They discuss Murphy's Law of Gravity, fossils and many more. It is very important for children shows to be both informative and entertaining and this one definitely incorporates both ideas beautifully. Each episode teaches kids that science is actually fun. Perhaps one day it can inspire the next generation of scientists.

I absolutely adore the music in this DVD. There are a total of eight episodes and, at the end of each episode there is a music video about science. The music is written and produced by Stefanie and Ron Fair. I am still humming some of the tunes. The music is very catchy and the music videos are entertaining to watch. In the music videos there are always five robots who are do something crazy. In one episode, they float around space and orbit the Earth. The five robots give the music videos a unique touch.

I recommend this DVD for ages 4 to 9 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. This DVD is available now so go check it out!

Reviewed by Talia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

This is a very educational show. Its bright, colorful characters and high-level facts make it attractive to most ages. It manages to be both informative and entertaining.

The DVD has eight episodes of the show that follow Angie, Kent, JD and Nicky as they go on adventures using science. The episodes include Dancing Machine, Murphy's law of Gravity, Rock it to the Moon, Act Your Stone Age, Von Drop-Out, Freaky Furry, The Monster Not Under the Bed and Nanobots Byte. In each episode, the Secret Lab Kids, as they're called, use their hologram projector to visit a scientist from the past. He tells them a bit about his most famous discovery, which gives them a hint to solve the major problem of the episode. I like their decision to use some lesser known scientists such as Thales, instead of just the most famous scientists like Albert Einstein. However, they could have been more diverse in who they chose. Other than the kids, there are no female scientists in the entire DVD.

My favorite episode is Von Drop-Out. Von Bolt is my favorite characters on this show. I like him because he is funny and interesting. In this episode, he feels underappreciated and quits. He gets a new job as a rescue robot and the Secret Lab Kids try to find him so they can get him to come back. I like this episode because its explanation of the science of proportion and measurement is easy to understand and is used in the most practical way that could be used by anyone in the real world.

I like how educational this series is. It teaches science, history, technology, math, vocabulary and much more. Unfortunately, this isn't the main thing children might take from these episodes. The educational values are almost over-shadowed by the wacky unexplained, convenient items the Secret Lab Kids have.

Von Bolt is voiced by Dan Russell, whose voice I really enjoy. I like how he manages to show emotion but still keep the voice robotic. The music is almost better than the show itself. After each episode there is a song. These songs teach more science than the stories, teach it faster, are equally entertaining and are amazingly well produced. They, are by far, my favorite part of this DVD and the show as a whole.

Overall I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 through 14. Younger kids might not understand the science, but they will still probably still find it entertaining. It is available on DVD now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS: SEASON 1
OCTONAUTS: SEASON 1 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii, medic Peso Penguin and the rest of the crew, as they explore the world s oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats above and below the waves! Based on the richly imaginative books by Meomi, this series combines immersive visuals and submersive humor to transport young children into a world that is both real and fantastic, full of mysteries to unravel and surprises around every corner. So come aboard the Octopod for 52 exciting missions!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Octonauts: Season 1 definitely grows on child and adult alike. The stories teach about various underwater creatures and the importance as a team to help others. I am sure this DVD will be a favorite for children because of the great animation, excellent characters, catchy songs and brightly colored underwater locations. It will definitely keep their attention and parents will not be bored either. The episodes offer a lot of educational information about sea animals. I love how it doesn't make it seem as if the carnivorous sea animals, such as sharks, are bad creatures. It is simply what they do and it plays very well, so children don't even notice that the carnivores are different from the non carnivores. Its refreshing to have a series that does not play good against the bad and makes it more about helping each other. Our favorite part is at the end of each segment when they show videos or pictures of what the sea animals looks like. That way the children learn not just what the creature can do while watching the show, but also what they really look like. Now when we go to the aquarium, we will be able to spot these different sea creatures. The animation on this DVD is broadcast quality with a color palette that is bright enough to catch little ones' attention. My kids greatly enjoyed playing with the toys that came with this DVD. It was a nice treat for them to have and help them remember what they learned in the show by play acting with the characters. Our whole family learned something new about the ocean from each episode, especially from the creature reports. They are now looking forward to going to the aquarium to see how many sea creatures they can find! The overall message of this show is about having fun while working together as a team, especially while exploring the seas. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 through 8.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Octonauts have always been one of my favorite TV/DVD series. The Octonauts are selfless and brave, human-like animals and have great teamwork. Aside from the multiple wonderful messages that they teach in every episode, they also have detailed animation.

The Octonauts live in the ocean in their octopus-like structure called the Octopod. Whenever there is trouble in the ocean, the team of Octonauts does not hesitate to help anyone in need. The main characters include Captain Barnacles (the bear who leads the team), Kwazi (the pirate-like cat) and Peso (the timid penguin). At the end of the episode, there is always a Creature Report, a song giving facts about one of the creatures that they saw or helped during the mission.

Captain Barnacles (Ross Breen) sounds like a bear who has everything under control. He has a very deep, commanding and strong voice which implies that he is the boss, and he is. Peso (Paul Panting) has a very soft, sometimes shaky and uncertain voice. Peso is a happy, but conservative penguin, and you can hear that through his voice. You can also easily hear when he is scared.

The animation is detailed and shows the ocean as a beautiful place with the wide variety of colors. Another thing that I like about this series is that on the Octonauts team, there are different species of animals aboard the Octopod. They work together great as a team, even though they are all different. It shows that even though you don't have many similarities, you can still work together successfully and be friends. This is just one of the great messages taught in this series.

My favorite episode is "Undersea Storm." During this episode, a storm is heading near the reef where the Octonauts live. A strong current sweeps up a baby lobster, but Kwazi saves it and returns him to its family and they are very grateful. Later, Kwazi crashes and can't get his submarine to work. The whole family of lobsters shows up to help him out. Everyone makes it safe inside before the storm hits. This is my favorite episode because it teaches the morals of The Golden Rule. It is very clever how they present this moral.

There are multiple different messages throughout this DVD. All are really important and sometimes are overlooked. I love that The Octonauts offer entertainment to young children while teaching them good lessons.

This is an awesome DVD to watch and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 3 to 11. Maybe it could even be for 12 and 13-year-olds, because I really enjoyed watching it myself. It is available now on DVD so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Octonauts is one of my favorite TV shows. I've been watching it my whole life, since I was a baby! This Season 1 DVD is filled with 52 episodes, which is over eleven hours of the best Octonauts adventures. In Octonauts: Season 1, everything that happens takes place underneath the ocean! That is my favorite thing about this show. It takes me on an underwater adventure every time. I get to live my dream of being aquatic!

Captain Barnacles leads his team. Tweak Bunny, Pero Penguin, Kwazii Kitten, Shellington Sea Otter and Dashi Dog all appear in Season 1. Every character is a different type of animal. They are have unique personalities and special traits that make them interesting. All of these traits make the Octonauts team a good group of characters that can handle any kind of problem that comes their way.

This is a fun series! The stories always move forward without a dull moment! Each episode keeps my attention and I am totally entertained. Nothing scary ever happens and that makes me feel relaxed and interested while I'm watching. I can watch one episode after another.

All of the episodes on this DVD have positive messages for kids about helping others or teamwork. I think kids can also learn a lot about the ocean and all of the sea creatures who live there. This is an educational show, but it doesn't feel like it. Those kinds of shows are the best! I have two favorite things about these shows. The Octopod is really cool. It is the big underwater spaceship that they travel around in and it is also the headquarters for the crew. It looks like a big mechanical octopus.

My other favorite thing about the show are the Vegimals. They are so silly and interesting. Think of putting together a vegetable and an animal and you get a Vegimal! For example, if you take a half-salmon and a half-jalepe�o, you have just made a Salape�o. The Vegimals are very cute and funny.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10. It's calm and colorful and it looks like little bath toys that a baby would like to play with. I think even the smallest child would be mesmerized watching these shows. This is available on DVD now, so go check it out!

Reviewed by Izzy C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

The Octonauts have always been one of my favorite TV/DVD series. The Octonauts are selfless and brave human-like animals and they have great teamwork. Aside from the multiple wonderful messages that they teach in the episodes, the episodes also have detailed animations.

The Octonauts live in the ocean in their octopus like structure called the Octopod. Whenever there is trouble in the ocean, the team of Octonauts will not hesitate to help anyone in need. The main Octonauts include Captain Barnacles (the bear who leads the team), Kwazi (the pirate-like cat) and Peso (the timid penguin). At the end of the episode, there is always a Creature Report, a song giving facts about one of the creatures that they saw/helped during the mission.

Captain Barnacles (Ross Breen) sounds like a bear who has everything under control. He has a very deep, commanding and strong voice which implies that he is the boss, and he is. Peso (Paul Panting) has a very soft, sometimes shaky and uncertain voice. Peso is a happy, but conservative penguin and you can hear that in his voice. You can also easily hear when he is scared.

The animation for these episodes is detailed and shows the ocean as a beautiful place with a wide variety of colors. Another thing that I like about this series is that, on the team of Octonauts, there are different species of animals aboard the Octopod. They work together great as a team even though they are all different. It shows that even though you don't have much similarities, you can still work together successfully and be friends. This is just one of the great messages that The Octonauts teach.

My favorite episode is "Undersea Storm". During this episode, a storm is heading near the reef the Octonauts live in. A strong current sweeps up a baby lobster, but Kwazi saves it and returns him to his family and they are very grateful. Later, Kwazi crashes and can't get his submarine to work. The whole family of lobsters shows up and helps him out. Everyone makes it safe inside before the storm hits. This is my favorite episode because it teaches the moral of the golden rule. It is very clever how they present this moral in this episode.

There are multiple different messages throughout the DVD. All of the messages are really important and sometimes are overlooked. I love that The Octonauts give entertainment to young children and teach them good lessons at the same time.

The Octonauts Season 1 is an awesome series to watch and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this film for the ages of 3 to 11. Maybe it could even be for 12 and 13 year olds, because I really enjoyed watching it myself. Be sure to check this series out on DVD and on TV now!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 700 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
POST, THE
POST, THE - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Katharine Graham is the first female publisher of a major American newspaper -- The Washington Post. With help from editor Ben Bradlee, Graham races to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spans three decades and four U.S. presidents. Together, they must overcome their differences as they risk their careers -- and very freedom -- to help bring long-buried truths to light.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Spielberg's The Post is a paean to the American ideal of freedom of the press. This highly intense, suspenseful film tells the story of Katherine Graham, owner of The Washington Post and its historic role in the publishing of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the films stars Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham, Tom Hanks as the Post's editor, Ben Bradlee and a top ensemble cast.

Set in the classic age of newspapers and network television, before the internet age, The Post is a coming-of-age story on two fronts. The Washington Post goes from being a regional media outlet to a national newspaper of note. In the process, Katherine Graham, goes from being a society hostess to a strong female corporate owner. A former government analyst finds proof of a government cover-up regarding American involvement in Vietnam and leaks the information to The New York Times and The Washington Post. Graham's editorial team is in favor of publishing the material because it'll put the newspaper on the map, so to speak. Her legal and financial team are against it and warn that she could go to jail for contempt and lose the newspaper. What follows is an intense examination of all the pros and cons of the issue.

One of the most fascinating parts of the film is seeing the inner workings of creating a newspaper - the old printing presses, the dyes, the plates with all the metal letters and etchings of pictures. Spielberg clearly loves the traditional craft of printing a newspaper. The John Williams music is perfect for the suspenseful plot. The acting is impeccable. Both Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks have such amazing craft that they imbue their roles with intelligence and humanity. The beginning of the film sets up the true-to-life plot and players. Because of this, the beginning of the film may be difficult for younger viewers because they aren't aware of the politics of the 1970s.

The Post is very timely and reflective of our own time. In this day of "fake news" and media bashing, this film is a refreshing story of the integrity of newspaper organizations. Spielberg tries to show the importance of a free press in combating government malfeasance. The Post is appropriate for ages 15 to 18. Younger teens may find the film boring if they are not interested in politics or media. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars for its exceptional use of real life suspense. It is available in theaters January 12, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

In a time of political discourse, The Post's release date arrives not one day too soon. As I sat in the theater, I could not help but compare Nixon's secret White House to today's events and the question of who is controlling the press. While the film uncovers decades of Presidents, four to be exact, who were not always honest with the American people, mainly as related to the Viet Nam War. In today's terms, the film presents leadership who defined what is now referred to as 'fake news.'

The crux of this film and the conflict throughout is defending a constitutional right, freedom of the press. Director Stephen Spielberg masterfully presents this film which focuses on the Washington Post's editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) and publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) as they defy the Nixon administration to publish classified Pentagon Papers, revealing the government's lies about the war in Vietnam.

Following the suicide of her husband, Mrs. Graham is thrust into leading her company in the 1970s when women were not in leadership roles. I gasped when Mrs. Graham was not heard, time and time again. The words are spoken and not heard. Men in her circles preferred she "throw parties," rather than ring the bell on Wall Street as her company went public. My favorite line delivered by Graham, "This is no longer my father's company; it's no longer my husband's company; it is my company."

Ben Bradlee, on the other hand, is played as larger than life, cocky and driven. The only time his feathers are ruffled occurs when he is told he cannot handpick a reporter to cover Julie Nixon's wedding.

In the 70s, The Washington Post was a local paper. It was the actions of the newsroom, and consequential alliances built across newsrooms internationally, which brought this paper, and the employees who covertly worked to defy the government's admonishments, to become an international leader.

The fervor of the newsroom is electric. Active news desks buzz and the energy is palpable. At times, Spielberg guides us to the Washington he wants us to see. The film is fast-paced and opens with historical context focused on Nixon's predecessors who also hid facts about Vietnam from the American people. When Defense Secretary Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood) openly lies to the press near the beginning of the film, the stage is set for lies affecting lives, which is presented as news.

While I appreciate Stephen Spielberg's talent, I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for heavy-handed directing. This film is appropriate for mature viewers, 13 to 18 years of age as well as adults, due to themes of suicide, excessive smoking, war, and violence. It opens in select theaters December 22, 2017 and nationwide January 12, 2018. Be sure to put it on your "must see" list.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - There are very few films every year that keep you excited and entertained while delivering impressive visual achievements. The Post does not belong in this category because it far surpasses any expectations and delivers on a much higher level. Every single aspect of this film -from acting to directing to editing - are all superb.

The Post has many things to offer, but the biggest would be the drama surrounding this very real story. It feels like an adventure, even though it takes place on East Coast. It is sprinkled with just the right amount of funny moments here and there, with hilarious and perfectly timed jokes. Out of all the spectacular cinematic achievements, none of them would be possible without the exciting and truly eye-opening story. It dives into a major leak of top-secret information, ranging multiple U.S. presidents, all relating to the Vietnam War. At first, the film seems to be about the two newspapers, The New York Times and the Washington Post, both attempting to get this story. Later, it turns into a fight between freedom of the press and censorship as the Nixon Administration attempts to block both newspapers from publishing any information about their secrets.

The story comes to life under the masterful direction of Steven Spielberg. His most famous techniques are clear from the very first shot and continue throughout the film. In fact, the first scene, which takes place in the jungles of Vietnam, will remind you of Saving Private Ryan due to the heart-thumping sound design and chaotic cinematography that puts you right on the battlefield. The cast has their own achievements. Tom Hanks (Ben Bradlee) and Meryl Streep (Kay Graham) work perfectly together and truly become their characters. John Williams, the Composer for the film, manages to take the spotlight from the visual scenes and put them into the music. His original score sounds incredible and you'll find yourself swallowed by the soothing and memorable tones. But what really looks impressive in The Post is the film grain. The quality looks like a modern film, yet the colors and the lighting make it feel like the 60s which adds to the realism of the story.

The cinematography defines my favorite scene, the climax of the film. Kay Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, has to make the final decision whether the paper should publish the leaked documents or not. She is on the phone with multiple business partners, her editor (Ben Bradlee), and many journalists of the paper as well as some of her board advisors. Easily, this makes for the most intense scene in the entire film and truly brings Meryl Streep's character to life. Throughout the phone conversation, the camera angles make it feel like one long shot across multiple locations. Finally, at the moment she makes her decision, the camera slowly zooms into her eyes and mouth to show wonder, fear, curiosity and more - all at once. Finally, as Kay makes her decision, the camera zooms out and the feeling of intensity immediately leaves the room. Despite being just a few minutes long, it feels like an eternity and you, as a viewer, can't help but clench your fist in anticipation of what her decision will be.

The story has many mature elements and the concept itself is complicated at times. The messages related to journalistic oppression are very important for all ages. I recommend this to ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars for perfect directing, astonishing acting, and cinematography so beautiful it belongs in an art gallery along with many other films directed by Steven Spielberg.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURES, AGES 12-18
Description - Following the events of The Force Awakens, Rey begins her Jedi training under Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled about Rey's immense strength with the Force. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to continue the fight against the First Order, which is led by Kylo Ren and the mysterious Snoke.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Loyal audiences won't be disappointed! From the traditional opening scroll to the non-stop, action-packed 2:32 hours of characters new, known and loved, writer-director Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi is fantastic. As I watched the film, I thought about the yeoman's task to step into George Lucas' world, filled with beloved characters, and continuing the tale between good and evil, light and dark, all within The Force. After all, Johnson is known for film shorts and episodic television, not movie studio franchise blockbusters.

When we first see our hero, Luke, (Mark Hamill) I could not help but consider, "if Skywalker lives, hope lives." Hope is a central theme of this film and is voiced several times by Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega). Only Poe (Oscar Isaac) seems to have a less than optimistic view of the tasks at hand.

Rey demands Luke teach her the Jedi ways. She delivers Darth Vader's lightsaber to him almost as an offering. Luke declines to show her the Jedi religion telling her there are no more Jedi's. As he painfully explains the path his nephew, Ben Solo (Adam Driver) took from light, as a Jedi trainee, to dark as Kylo Ren, the pain is palpable. As Yoda later reminds us, "The greatest teacher is failure."

Carrie Fisher's final performance as Princess Leia is compelling and often funny. She reminds many crew members, "May The Force Be With You" often. At one point, her admonition to Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) is funny. In fact, there are many humorous bits within the film, humanizing the war among the worlds and battles within deep space. When we meet the Porgs, I laughed aloud at their antics, especially when they take flight with Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew).

The lessons in the film, spoken by various characters are impactful. My favorite is "saving what we love is the only way we fight hate."

Given the performances of the young actors, and possibilities at the end of the film, I wonder, can this story go on forever? As Luke aptly reminds us, "no one is ever really gone". Thank you, Luke. May we all know peace and purpose. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 as well as adults. Some battle scenes could be too intense for younger children.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - As I sat back in the comfy leather seats and watched the star-dusted opening credits roll out in front of me, I reminisced about what it felt like watching the Star Wars series for the first time. It has been a long time since that happened and my only hope was that Star Wars: The Last Jedi would be just as mind-boggling as the others. Shame on me for ever doubting the legendary billion-dollar franchise, because (spoiler alert): It is!

If you haven't seen the previous installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, then I highly recommend you grab some friends to watch it with and get yourself back on track. Otherwise, you will be in for a big surprise. For those who have seen it, then you know that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) makes an iconic return to the big screen and this time, with a vengeance. Luke went into hiding, undetected, to the Porg-infested island of Ahch-To die. Rey (Daisy Ridley) has a mission to bring Luke back to fight the Resistance as war is once again brewing against the First Order. Millions of porg-encounters later, Rey finally persuades Luke to lend her his knowledge in combat, leaving Luke unsettled by the strength of her powers.

This time around, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) leads the Resistance due to unforeseen circumstances. Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Holdo go head to head as he refuses to follow Holdo's rules. This creates major conflict in the storyline, as some things don't necessarily go as planned during combat. We are also introduced to a new lead character, Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), a maintenance worker that guards the escape pods. She bonds with Finn (John Boyega) as she takes him to her wealthy home of Canto Bight. Though, there's so much more to this planet than meets the eye.

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) remains high and mighty, just for show. It's evident that he hides something deep within, something he cannot control - a slight hint of compassion. After a head-to-head conflict with Rey and Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), the film finally reveals who he truly is.

Now that you have an idea of what the film is about, let's talk about the magic that goes on behind-the-scenes. To be quite honest, the writing has its lows. There are moments when the audience would let out an uncomfortable laugh due to the awkward, juvenile jokes that we know certain characters would never say or do. It felt somewhat out-of-touch with the Star Wars franchise, especially since they are thrown in during the most serious, suspenseful scenes. Despite that, the rest of the screenplay is groundbreaking. It gives the audience what they want and what they didn't know they needed. Also, the cinematography is phenomenal. Shooting in locations such as Ireland and Croatia, the visual effects team make it seem as though they are off in a galaxy far, far away, without straying from its natural beauty. Special effects, as always, are mind-blowing. It's nearly impossible not to fathom lightsabers being real. Top it all off with detailed costume design and award-winning acting, and you've got yourself a masterpiece.

Ultimately, Star Wars: The Last Jedi exceeded far beyond my expectations, and I urge you to go out with your Jedi Knight robes and lightsabers and experience it on the big screen. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. It opens December 15, 2017 in U.S. theaters so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Michelle C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 19

Star Wars: The Last Jedi lives up to the hype because of its wonderful story and action. The acting has never been better for the series. This is sure to be a hit for all Star Wars fans.

The story follows the events set in place after Star Wars: The Force Awakens when Rey (Daisy Ridley) turns to the legendary Jedi, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), for help to turn the tide of the desperate battle between the Resistance and the First Order. However, Luke has lost all hope after his failure of letting Ben Solo (Adam Driver) become Kylo Ren. While trying to convince Luke, Rey further learns to control her ties with the Force, while learning mysteries of the past. Meanwhile, the First Order learns an advanced battle tactic that could destroy the Resistance under Leia (Carrie Fisher). This leads to a newly awakened Finn (John Boyega) forming an unlikely team with the smart Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and the determined Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), to save the Resistance.

Daisy Ridley, as Rey, excellently presents her newly learned powers and her inner battle between the light and the dark side as her character progresses to become an epic hero, like Luke. Mark Hamill, as Luke Skywalker, is the highlight of the movie and he is also my favorite character, due to his long-awaited return as the character, which delivers on all grounds. He delivers a more brooding edge to character as a hopeless Jedi who is adamant on his choices. Adam Driver, as Kylo Ren, is an incredible villain with well-developed motives, as you can feel his inner conflict with the Dark Side. Carrie Fisher, as Leia, delivers an impressive posthumous performance as the tactical leader of the Resistance. Her character is also tied up in a way that respects the actor. John Boyega, as Finn, delivers an excellent performance as his character stops being a coward and transforms into a brave rebel for the Resistance. Kelly Marie Tran, as Rose, is smart and resourceful in her team up with Finn. Oscar Isaac, as Poe Dameron, is a true maverick who refuses to follow orders for the safety of people.

Rian Johnson wonderful directs every scenic location, whether it is from the desolate ship of the First Order to the abandoned, yet beautiful landscapes of Crait. My favorite scene is the one where a certain choice must be made, on the side of Kylo to Rey. My only problem with this movie is that, while the performances between Finn and Rose are superb, their subplot drags the movie in a slower middle act. However, this a short part of a long movie is full of story and battles.

The message of the movie is about finding hope. The Resistance is put through extreme threats from the First Order, but they find a way to battle it with hope. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters on December 15, 2017, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI.: CONFESSION
DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI.: CONFESSION - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD AGES 8-18
Description - Tai and his friends are haunted by the infection that resulted in Meicoomon destroying Leomon. What could have caused it? When did it occur? Now, all of the Digimon are quarantined, in hopes that answers can be found and the infection can be stopped. Unfortunately, one of the quarantined Digimon is already showing symptoms. The adventure now evolves once again...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beautifully executed but contains the most emotionally upsetting segments of the series. These episodes show the world of Digimon afflicted by a terrible virus that causes the Digimon to act feral. The only way to save these beloved creatures is to reboot the world. This is an emotional time for the characters because it causes the Digimon to lose all their memories which is absolutely heart breaking. You feel every memory that Digidestin and the Digimon have made together fade. I'm hoping the next installment will be a happier one. The animation is great and the voice acting is wonderful. I love being able to reconnect with characters I grew up with and watch my children form a relationship with them as well. This is great for ages 10 to 15 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Digimon Adventure Tri. 3: Confession is a beautifully made anime film that touched my hearts and will touch the hearts of others. The storyline picks up right after the events that took place in past movies. Tai and his friends are still trying to figure out what caused the infection that made Leomon go rogue. All the Digimon are quarantined in hopes to keep them safe from the infection and buy the friends some time to figure out ways to stop it from spreading. Sadly, one of the Digimon is showing some indications that they might have the infection.

This DVD is the third film in the franchise Digimon Adventure Tri. I had absolutely no background knowledge of the first film Digimon Adventure Tri, nor did I know anything about the second film Digimon Adventure Tri.2: Decision. Consequently, it was a bit difficult for me to understand what was happening in the beginning of the film, since the characters referred to things that happened in the previous two films. For example, the character Leomon is discussed a lot in the beginning of the movie. I had no idea who or what that character was for the first twenty minutes. Eventually I picked up that Leoman is a Digimon. Then, I had to re-watch the scenes where they talked about that character. The one very helpful thing in this film are the flashback scenes. They really helped me understand the plot. I recommend that people watch the first and second films before watching this one as it will help them understand the plot of the film.

This is not my first anime film, but it is my first anime dealing with magical characters like Digimons. I was not a fan of Pokemon growing up so I never watched too many anime films. Occasionally I have watched a realistic fiction anime but never fantasy ones. After watching this film I'm definitely going to put more time in watching anime films. This film gives justice to the world of anime. The storyline is compelling and the whole concept of digital monsters is absolutely fascinating. I love the relationships between the people and their Digimons. My favorite duo has to be Patamon (Anna Garduno) and TK (Johnny Yong Bosch). I could feel the love they have for each other. I grew very fond of these characters over time. I emphasized with them when times were bad. These two characters make this film even better.

The animation is absolutely stunning. There is so much detail that goes into making anime films. This film meets that high standard. The Digimon are drawn beautifully. Their exterior designs match their personalities so well. I could tell a lot of time went into drawing these monsters. The humans also have a very special look to them. My favorite feature is the characters' eyes. You can feel the characters' emotions by looking into their eyes. It can be difficult to truly connect with animated characters at times, due to their not looking realistic. These characters are drawn very realistically and I personally connected to them.

I recommend this film for ages 7 to 16. Younger audiences will love the fun characters and the older audiences will find the story line interesting. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. I felt a connection to the characters and an urge to know the ending. I think the animation is stunning. This film is available now on DVD now so go check it out!

Reviewed by Talia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Digimon Adventure Tri: Confession impressed me because of its wonderful style and action. The voice-acting is spectacular and the impressive animation allows for amazing visuals. This is sure to be a hit with Digimon and anime fans.

The story follows the events after an infected Meicoomon (Kate Higgons) turns to the dark side and kills Leomon. Due to this, Meicoomon's owner, Meiko (Miho Arakawa), is dealing with extreme guilt and all the other Digimon are left in the office of Izzy (Mona Marshall) to prevent further infection. However, when Takeru (Junya Enoki) finds out his Digimon, Patamon (Laura Summer), is facing infection, he tries to stop it before it is too late. Meanwhile, Meicoomon returns to cause more havoc on Earth.

Miho Arakawa, as Meiko, excellently presents her guilt and blame after Meicoomon turns to the dark side. Her sadness is well presented as she tries to abandon her team. Junya Enoki, as Takeru, is a highlight delivering a well-ranged performance full of charisma and urgency, as he tries to put his team back together to save Patamon. Also, the emotional drama between Takeru and Patomon is well done, and due to this he is my favorite character. Tom Fahn, as Agumon, is a well-presented team leader of the Digimon who will do anything to save his friends. Laura Summer, as Patamon, delivers and equally emotional performance to Takeru as she is facing a possible impending infection, which will turn her against her Digimon friends. Kate Higgons, as Meicoomon, is a well-developed antagonist who is a formidable foe for the Digimon to fight.

The direction by Keitaro Motonaro is wonderful due to a pace that feels as if it's an interesting magna story. My favorite scene is the scene when Takeru tells Patamon that he is infected, because it is extremely emotional due to the incredible acting of the two characters. My only problem with this movie is the large amounts of expository flashbacks that further progress the story. It feels like a lazy way to tell a story.

The message of the movie is about finding a way to forgive yourself. Meiko's intense guilt and blame for herself is a big plot point, but she learns that moving on and helping the team will be for the better. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 because of its action and emotional themes. The movie is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 105 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.42 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SNOWMAN, THE & THE SNOWMAN AND THE SNOWDOG (2017)
SNOWMAN, THE & THE SNOWMAN AND THE SNOWDOG (2017) - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD AGES 2-5
Description - Relive Raymond Brigg's holiday classic, The Snowman! 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. Then, embark on a new adventure in the charming sequel, The Snowman and the Snowdog! When a young boy and his mother move to a new house, the boy discovers a secret box hidden under the floorboards of his bedroom. In the box, he finds a hat, scarf, some lumps of coal and a shriveled tangerine - it's a snowman-making kit! Later that day it starts to snow and the boy builds a Snowman and with the little spare snow leftover, a Snowdog. That night they come to life and take him on a wonderful adventure. As dawn breaks they fly home, but before the boy returns to bed a magical surprise awaits him...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Snowman is one of my all-time favorite pieces of animation. Directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by Jonathan Coates, this non-narrative film truly is filled with wonder. The haunting music by Howard Blake ("Walking in the Air") stays with me for days after each time I watch this film. And, I mean that in a good way. Based on the best-selling book by Raymond Briggs, this is a piece of animation that is true to the original story and one to share with your family during the holiday season.

N Circle Entertainment has done a brilliant thing in creating this two DVD pack and including the sequel to this classic film, The Snowman and Snowdog which was created to mark the 30th anniversary of the original. Another non-narrative film, this one brings in a new character in a short film that is as charming as the original. Dedicated to John Coates and featuring a new song, "Light the Night" by former Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows, this is an extremely thoughtful sequel and was made using traditional hand-drawn animation, not CGI. This collection is really a treasure! Reviewed by Sarah S., KIDS FIRST! Juror

These movies are instant classics that bring out the feeling of Christmas Spirit. The first thing you notice is the beautiful animation. The next is the story which is wholesome and great for the whole family. The Snowman is about a boy whom builds a snowman and when that snowman comes to life they embark on a lovely adventure to the North Pole. Similarly, the sequel is about a boy building a snowman and a Snowdog that both come to life. I highly recommend these two short films and recommend them for ages 2 to 9. I also believe some older children and adults will like it as well. I give these 5 out of 5 stars! Happy Holidays!

Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! juror.

This double feature is simply enchanting and magical! I loved the books and I love how the illustrations come to life in this film and what is even more amazing is how entertaining it is to watch even without any talking. I was simply enchanted by the film and didn't want to miss a minute of it. The music fits the film so well and I am awed by the magic of the stories. My favorite part in The Snowman is when the Snowman tries on different fruits for his nose. These films will make you smile. The sequel is even more magical than the original, if that is possible. They are definite holiday feel-good types of movies that the whole family should watch! The bonus features are interesting. I especially like the alternate introduction from David Bowie. Other bonus features include "The Story of The Snowman," "Behind the Scenes" interviews with the author, Raymond Briggs. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18 as well as adults and I give this 5 out of 5 stars for originality, magic and entertainment value. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This double feature DVD includes heartwarming films about the winter season that never ceases to amaze me. I like both movies because they remind 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! This DVD includes two movies: The Snowman and The Snowman and The Snowdog. I love both equally!

In The Snowman, 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!

The sequel movie, The Snowman and The Snowdog picks up where the first movie left off. It takes place in modern times with another boy who has recently moved into the exact same English house (now renovated). Less than a year after moving in, the boy discovers under a floorboard a time capsule left behind by the previous boy. This box includes a picture of the same snowman and the original objects used to decorate it. The lad builds the snowman according to the picture and the Snowman is reborn! Still, the boy isn't finished. While saddened with the recent loss of his dog, he also builds a Snowdog! They travel around the world in similar fashion as the first boy, but there is a surprise ending!

The detail in these movies 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 books. Besides young children, adults who have read this book in their youth will also appreciate these quality films. The unexpected ending is truly memorable!

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for kids ages 2 to 6 and adults who enjoy fine art. This movie is available both on DVD and VOD. So, enjoy this winter delight!

Reviewed by Eden T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Holiday movies are one of my favorite forms of entertainment. Especially those that have adorable characters and a heartwarming tale. That is what these two short films called The Snowman and The Snowman and The Snowdog are all about. Add magnificent hand drawn animation and you have the perfect Christmas movies.

I love that these two films on this double feature DVD have no words and are both beautifully illustrated with animated images. The orchestra for the original film is Sinfonia of London and for the sequel, the London Metropolitan Orchestra. Their performances are 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 just relax to. So grab a hot cup of cocoa and put your feet up.

Both of these films are hand drawn with pastels and pencils. The only thing that is CGI (in the sequel) is the falling snow flakes and that took a lot of persuasion to get Raymond Briggs to allow that. The best part of both films are the drawings, which make them special and unique. I like having a break from all the CGI and seeing animation as it was made years ago. This is something that many other kids will appreciate as well.

My favorite movie out of the two films is the sequel, The Snowman and The Snowdog. I love this movie because there is an adorable dog made of snow and the quirky snowmen. Also in this movie there are more snowmen and snowwomen which is something that I loved seeing.

I love the adorable Snowdog. He is very funny and had me laughing and even crying for joy. He is my favorite character. I also think that he would be an amazing pet to have. This is because he is very loyal and he comes whenever you call for him.

I recommend this DVD for ages 2 to 18. These movies never get old and people from all over the world will absolutely adore them. 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.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.96 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GUMBY: GUMBY'S ARCTIC ANTICS
GUMBY: GUMBY'S ARCTIC ANTICS - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Gumby and Pokey, television's legendary clay characters, live one great adventure after another in a timeless world of stop motion magic and wonder. Join our favorite duo in this fun-filled collection of 50's, 60's and 80's episodes! When Santa gets sick right before Christmas, will the holiday be ruined or can the Witty Witch save the day and deliver the gifts with the help of a certain someone? Then, Scrooge escapes from his book and sets out to destroy all of the toys in Toyland, but luckily Gumby is there to save the day. From helping the Pilgrims, George Washington, and even the Moon Boggles, to rescuing a baby mastodon in the arctic, these unique shows will spark your imagination and bring a smile to your heart.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I didn't watch Gumby as a child but I was aware of the cartoon, as we called them. What struck me watching these clips is how much is based on actual history. Learning about General George Washington crossing the Delaware River, the American Revolution, watching an infamous character from the famous book "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens come to life and see how Gumby deals with each of these is interesting. Learning a little about the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving is also a good lesson. Whoever heard of Santa Claus getting sick on Christmas Eve? Having Gumby, Pokey and a good witch come to the rescue is brilliant! Learning about Alaska? Wow, that is awesome! Who has ever seen a glacier? An Eagle? A Walrus? An Igloo? A Polar Bear? These stories are entertaining and enlightening and hold a child's interest. The focus throughout the series seems is one of teamwork and the importance of working together for the common good. The cover is very colorful. It looks like the characters are having fun on the sled, which is an indication of fun things to come!

This DVD has a number of clips, each telling a different story. The characters in each clip are interesting and fun. It is designed for younger kids, but older children will learn a bit about history by watching. The vocabulary is suitable for the target audience and the claymation and colors are fun for everyone to watch. The social models I gather from this DVD is one of teamwork and its importance. There is a bit of negative behavior in "A Pigeon in a Plum Tree," but Gumby works through it. In "Northland Follies" when a box falls on an igloo, Gumby and Pokey get even with the walrus and leave the scene, because they don't want to have to re-build the igloo again. All in all, the clips are funny and kids are engaging.

Critical thinking and problem solving skills are encouraged as well as doing the right thing. Gumby and Pokey get into lots of interesting situations and many come right out of pages in a book, yet they don't change history, they just add more fun to the story.

The DVD cover design is wonderful and appeals to its target audience. Claymation is a unique form of animation that is not frequently seen. The colors are bright and cheery and the characters are quite real looking. The menu allows you to go to a specific episode. I recommend it for ages 4 to 10 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This collection of a dozen Gumby episodes promises to entertain the whole family with great humor suitable for all ages. Its spectacular soundtrack really brings the show justice.

Like many other Gumby collections, this set revolves around Gumby's adventures which vary from episode to episode, but generally have some light comedy throughout. Something that really stands out to me on this DVD is the moment where Gumby actually talks about some historical facts, bringing a bit of education to this set.

Even though this collection's branded as Arctic, there are many episodes that leave the Arctic Circle and dive into history. Some of the best include visiting the American Revolutionary War or the voyage on the Mayflower. Gumby really makes them shine by bringing humor and unique adventures to each one. The genius writers even fit in an occasional fact here and there that teaches young viewers about history without it feeling like a lecture. It just feels like one character explaining the situation to another character. However, there are minor issues with some of the plots. Generally, Gumby episodes are very short which fits the style, but many of these are too open-ended and don't have a concrete finish. Almost all Gumby episodes feel a bit unfinished and seem to do little to address the conflict that made the story exist, which leaves the viewer slightly disappointed.

The quality of the stop-motion animation keeps at a superb level, despite these episodes originally being made across three decades, some as early as the 1950s. The writers, for the most part, did well in keeping the episodes interesting. There are some noticeable repeats in jokes or ideas. For example, there are two episodes where Gumby and Pokey somehow destroy an igloo and must rebuild it for the occupants. The two stories vary slightly, but have a very similar conflict. This makes the repeat episode rather boring. Something that the writers excel at (as they always did for Gumby) is the dialogue. The conversations are always natural, smooth and very realistic, despite all the characters being made from clay. These episodes of course also feature the original soundtrack of the show, which is recognizable and really adds to the experience. The music feels light and soothing, yet entertaining and fitting for each story.

My favorite episode is Gumby Crosses the Delaware River. In this episode, Gumby and Pokey enter a book about George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River, where he surprise-attacked enemy soldiers. Pokey and Gumby help Washington by sending Pokey in as a spy. The episode is filled with a good sense of humor and does teach kids about some historical facts. It represents a perfect bundle of learning and fun.

Like all other Gumby collections, the show revolves around family. There are some jokes here and there that will make teens and adults laugh, but it's mainly geared for younger kids. I recommend this for ages 9 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. In general, the episodes are great to watch, but some could have a better or different storyline to ensure uniqueness and the originality of writing. This DVD is available in stores now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I believe the DVD Gumby: Arctic Antics is a great series because of its claymation and characters. I found it brought cheer to my Christmas and made me happy.

This DVD is a collection of holiday themed episodes from the 50s, 60s and 80s about Gumby and his friend Pokey as they look into famous stories about Christmas, Thanksgiving and the fourth of July. Gumby and Pokey are an iconic duo from the 60s.

This type of animation is known as claymation. It reminds me of Christmas movies such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and other classics such as Santa is Coming to Town. They poke fun of the fact that the characters are clay by making them melt. I like how they incorporate live action with the animation. In one scene, Gumby and Pokey fall down into a pile of things and they are live action.

The characters in the show are fantastic. I love the banter between Gumby and Pokey. Gumby always tells Pokey to pay attention to the story they are watching, but he always disobeys. Instead, he helps the characters in the story.

The message of this film is to help people no matter the consequences. It spreads a message about helping friends or people in need. Pokey helps a prince who was scammed by shop owners when they gave him a plum tree with a pigeon in it. So, he tells a man with fairy dust to turn the tree and pigeon into gold. The prince is surprised of what happens and the girl he gives it to is ecstatic.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars recommend it to ages 6 to 9. This is available on DVD now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 80 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 3.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SUPER 4: WELCOME TO KINGSLAND!
SUPER 4: WELCOME TO KINGSLAND! - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-10
Description - Inspired by the world of Playmobil� toys, embark on a series of adventures with the Super 4 as they travel throughout the wider Playmobil� universes. Whether it be a sci-fi futuristic world, a magical fairy world, a world of pirates, or a world of medieval knights, the adventures are never ending! Welcome to Kingsland, a world of chivalry, dragons, quests, tournaments, and castles! Kingsland is ruled by the corrupt King John, who is Prince Alexander's uncle. King John ascended the throne when Alex's father and mother were lost at sea. Prince Alexander is the heir to the throne but cannot abide living under his uncle's corrupt authority. Join Prince Alexander, or Alex as he'd prefer to be called, along with his Super 4 friends as they band together to fight villains especially dragons and save their worlds from chaos.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Welcome to Kingsland is about the Super 4 and a lovely prince named Alex joining forces to take down the evil king (who just happens to be Alex's uncle) and fight many medieval monsters such as dragons to save the world! Although I enjoyed the story, I have to be honest., I really disliked the CGI animation. While I understand that this is a Playmobil property and they do things very similar to LEGO. I just really feel like their animation doesn't work well here. By the end of this program, it felt as if it was a long commercial for the Kingsland Playset and less an actual story. My son enjoyed it though and I believe that the younger aged kids will like it. I just wish there was more to learn from this program and less to buy. It is very comical and definitely tries to teach children to problem solve, but falls a bit short of the mark for my liking. I recommend it for ages 5 to 9 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this DVD with its seven, fun-filled episodes with wonderful story lines, exciting characters and fun animation. The animation is similar to what LEGO movies use, but it Is different and transports you to a new place.

The stories usually start off at King's castle and the characters leaving on an adventure. The PLAYMOBIL characters are young, quirky and still trying to figure out their abilities. They all have clothing that matches their various characters which adds to making them look realistic. The Super 4 leader is a prince who is the brave knight, Alex (Damien Ferrette). A rambunctious and quirky pirate, Ruby (Laetitia Lefebvre) has their backs at all times although she is a bit of a thief. A shy and adorable fairy, Twinkle (Sarah Natochenny) is still learning how to use her magic wand. An intelligent and boastful scientist, Gene (Franck Lorrain) stands out from the others because he is a scientist from the future. Also, there is a silly girly girl, Leonora Princess (Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld) who loves her brother but can be a bit of a burden at times. She is very kind and clever and tries to help the Super 4 save the day and the kingdom.

This is set in medieval times, a period I always take joy in watching with its knights, dragons, castles and, of course, a catapult. The background and castles put you the mood to grab your sword and defend the castles. Gene makes this a unique story line. His futuristic vehicle with computers, wheels and an engine sure beats walking or riding horseback. He always tells the viewers facts and science knowledge to help them solve the problems.

The voice talent are perfectly matched for their characters. The fairy is a bit high pitched perhaps but, one thing I like is that you can always tell who is talking because their voices are re all so distinct. The episode "Princely Wedding" is humorous because the Princess is put under a love spell and falls in love with the Black Knight and Super 4 must figure out what is going on. She wants nothing to do with them because she is madly in love and will not listen to anyone, but her "love" is a sworn enemy of the kingdom. She is a girly girl, so this episode is totally out of character for her. I smiled from ear to ear in the "Baby Dragon" episode when Gene, the mature scientist, is singing a lullaby and is attached to the baby.

The lesson learned here is that we all need each other to conquer problems. You should never give up as there are always different ways to look at things. When you do, you can find a solution. I recommend this to kids age 5 to 12. The episodes are short enough to keep young ones' attention and the unique animation, story lines and science information will entertain older kids. I give this 5 out of 5 super PLAYMOBIL stars. You can find this DVD wherever DVDs are sold.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Super4 is a decent Playmobil series that is more suitable for younger kids. The voice acting kept me in interested, but, the childish jokes were definitely not suited for my age group. Also, the CGI is not as sophisticated. Despite these flaws, it is very watchable by a younger audience.

The story line follows the adventures of four characters who go on adventures in Kingsland. The four characters include Prince Alexander (Damien Ferrette), Twinkle the fairy (Sarah Natochenny), Ruby the pirate (Laetitia Lefebvre) and Gene the scientist (Franck Lorrain). The team face certain challenges such as opposing kingdoms and dragons in six different episodes.

Damien Ferrette delivers a decent performance as Prince Alexander and expresses the character's adventurous side quite well. Sarah Natochenny plays a fun Twinkle the fairy, showing the magical side of the character well. Ruby the Pirate (Laetitia Lefebvre) presents a very believable pirate that likes to steal. Gene the Scientist (Franck Lorrain) is the most interesting character due to his intelligence and wittiness.

The movie's CGI is not as sophisticated as most of today's animated TV shows, which bothered me a little. Most movies today, such as the Pixar movies have realistic animations of the characters. The animation here seems choppy and the characters are not very detailed. Despite this, I appreciate the effort of the animation team because their efforts display the characters well. My favorite part would be the scenes involving the dragons. I think that the dragons are a great, fantastical element.

This movie has a good message about people working as a team and that, as a team, they can solve any problem. The team is faced with various dangers and they work together to overcome these dangers. This show would appeal more to anyone interested in Playmobil line of toys. I give this show 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8 years old. This series is available on DVD so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Super 4: Welcome to Kingsland is a DVD of episodes about the Playmobil characters known as the Super 4. The series is based on the worlds of Playmobil. The worlds shown on this DVD are: Kingsland, which holds knights, barons, kings, princes, princesses and dragons; Fairy World, where fairies and little strange monsters live; and the Lost World, which includes dinosaurs. I must admit, I didn't really enjoy this DVD. It is very repetitive. The characters that aren't Super 4 members do the same thing in every episode. For example, the knights just worship the king and don't fight. The plot where the baron tries to marry the princess is used in two different episodes.

The members of the Super 4 are: Alex, (Damien Ferrette), the prince of Kingsland and the leader who started the Super 4; Twinkle, (Annouck Hautbois), a fairy from Fairy World, who doesn't always get her spells right the first time; Ruby, (Laetitia Lefebvre), a pirate from the Pirate Lost Island, who sometimes gets in trouble for stealing treasure but always gives it back unless it is owned by the enemy; Gene, (Franck Lorrain), the team's genius from the Agents' world, who never gets things wrong. The Super 4 are a group of friends who embark on many adventures and missions to fight villains. This collection is about a few of their adventures saving Kingsland, Alex's home world from chaos.

My favorite episode is called "Rage of Dragon" which is about the enchanted witch from fairy world who puts a spell on Ruby that turns her into a dragon. Super 4's remaining members must figure out what happened to her and help her break the spell. That episode really stands out. My favorite character is Alien, Twinkles strange little monster pet who is really scared of dragons. He is funny because he is always clumsy.

The message of this show is that if you work together, you can do anything. I don't like that the series repeats the same plot multiple times, but younger kids who like repetition and play with Playmobil might love this. For that reason, this series isn't really my taste. I rate this DVD 2 out of 5 stars for its ability to look like Playmobil. I recommend this DVD for ages 2 through 6 because it has a lot of repetition of plots and characters and little kids love that. This DVD/Blu-ray is available now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Damon Foxe, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 85 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
STAR, THE
STAR, THE - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Description - In Sony Pictures Animation's THE STAR, a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told - the first Christmas.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This incredible animated film had me laughing the entire time. On top of that, there are so many talking animals, ranging from horses to sheep and even dogs. I love dogs immensely, so seeing them talk kept my eyes peeled the entire time. Along with the talking animals comes an impeccable plot, so I promise that you'll never be bored.

When a donkey named Bo breaks free from the local village mill, he joins his friend, Dave the Dove, on the trip of a lifetime. On their journey to Bethlehem, they find a lovable sheep named Ruth and they all work together to keep Joseph and Mary safe. In doing so, they encounter numerous obstacles, such as fighting wild dogs and protecting Mary from being stabbed. This film is undoubtedly unique, because it tells the story of the First Christmas from an animal's perspective. Watch Bo and his friends discover the true meaning of the First Christmas, by following the bright star in the sky, which ultimately guides them through all of their encounters.

Steven Yeun, who plays Bo the Donkey, is hands down my favorite character. He is optimistic and truly cares about the well-being of others. Even though Joseph tells Bo to leave him and Mary alone, Bo will not stop until he ensures that Mary can safely birth her son. Gina Rodriguez, who plays Mary, is such a sweet woman. She truly cares for Bo and, while her husband Joseph doesn't want Bo around, Mary will never let Bo down. Zachary Levi, who plays Joseph, is an exceptional example of a husband. He never lets Mary down, comforts her when she's upset and will do absolutely anything to make her happy. He travels for miles to find a place for their son Jesus to be born and remains calm the entire time. I applaud him for his great patience.

The animation in this film is adorable. Bo the donkey is the cutest donkey I have ever seen. He has big eyes and, whenever he makes a mistake, you have to forgive him, because he doesn't mean any harm. Each character looks dramatically different. It's great to see such diversity in the film. All of the characters respect one another, no matter their backgrounds or appearances, which is a concept that should directly be applied to human interaction.

My favorite part is when Bo and Ruth are trying to warn Joseph and Mary of the bad guys. The audience knows the animals can talk, but Joseph and Mary don't, which makes it even funnier. All Joseph and Mary can hear is screaming animals and they see Bo and Ruth running around in circles, pretending to act as vicious, wild dogs.

The message of the film is to appreciate the meaning of the First Christmas. Before watching this film, I was unaware of the history behind it, but I am so glad I watched it, because it changes your entire perspective on Christmas. In addition, the film focuses on working together, never giving up on each other and always treat others kindly, even if they don't treat you that way. There is no reason to ever be mean to anyone and all of these animals are so kind to each other. If animals can do it, so can humans.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. It is the perfect film to watch this upcoming holiday season with family and friends. This film opens November 17, 2017 in your local theater, so go check it out. There is no better way to kick off the holiday season than by watching a film about why we celebrate the Christmas holiday.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Star is an amazing movie! It has some stunning animation and graphics. I could see every single hair on the animals. It also has a marvelous plot based on true events. This film gives a modern twist to the biblical story of Jesus' birth which makes it very interesting and keeps you at the edge of your seat. It also has a lot of comedy and funny jokes.

The Star is the story of Jesus' birth and the journey of all the animals in the famous nativity scene. Bo, a donkey, escapes the mill he was in and hid in Mary's house. Bo discovers that there is an evil king who wants to kill Mary, so he follows Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem to protect them.

One of the things I love about The Star is the great music (thanks to John Paesano) and its amazing artists, from Mariah Carey and Kelsea Ballerini, to Fifth Harmony and Pentatonix. I found a bunch of wonderful new Christmas songs in this movie and they are all so awesome. I also love the stunning animation. When Bo first goes outside of the millers, it had been a while since he had been outside. So when he did, you can see his pupils dilate. That shows the amount of attention to detail the animators made. This film makes this biblical story more interesting for kids, with a lot of action and engagement. It is also very funny. They crack a lot of jokes that made the whole audience laugh. My favorite scene is when Joseph tries to put a harness on Bo and Joseph keeps falling off.

The message of this film is that friendship is worth fighting for and, even if someone doesn't know that they need it, you should still help them. I recommend this film for ages 5 to 12 because it really is a great family movie and will teach kids a little more about the history of Christmas and Jesus' birth in a fun way. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for it stunning animation, modern plot and amazing new music. This film opens November 17, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Dariana A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 6-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A lavish trip through Europe quickly unfolds into a race against time to solve a murder aboard a train. Everyone's a suspect when Detective Hercule Poirot arrives to interrogate all passengers and search for clues before the killer can strike again.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - As a colleague of mine said after the closing credits, "Ever once in a while, isn't it great to see a wonderful film." This gentleman has been in the theater and entertainment business all his life, as were the others with whom I attended this screening. With a wonderful cast, under the direction of Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as Poirot, this film did not disappoint. The script, based on the classic novel by Agatha Christie, is filled with wonderful dialogue that one likes to savor it in your memory. The cinematography and locations were awe-inspiring. The camera shots coming over a precipice to see the iconic train below stops your heart at times. Yes, I loved it. Other critics have panned it and I ask why. Perhaps because it's too slow for our U.S. audience that craves action and adventure. But, for me, I enjoyed the costumes, the idea of being on that train, of sussing out "who done it" and more. Of course, I already knew the story but I put that into the back of my brain so I could watch this as if it was fresh and new. And, that made me happy. I loved it! I recommend it! Unless you are a speed junky, I think you will too. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Murder on the Orient Express is an incredible film. It is a perfect example of a classic suspenseful mystery movie. It is based on the detective novel by Agatha Christie. Watching this film really made me want to read the book.

The movie follows Hercule Poirot as he makes a journey aboard the train, The Orient Express. When someone gets murdered in the first-class carriage, while the train is temporarily stuck in snow, he interrogates the remaining passengers to find the culprit. As he slowly starts unraveling the different stories, lots of contradictory clues start to appear and they lead you, along with Hercule Poirot to finally make sense of this twisting tale. I really like how the movie allows you to connect to all the characters as they tell their stories in detail.

My favorite scene is the inevitable big reveal at the end of the film, when Poirot solves the case. I love mystery movies. This is the part when you find out if you are right about who you think committed the crime. I saw this film at in 70mm which was awesome. It gave the film a really authentic feeling.

I love how all the actors portray their characters. During the interrogations, you can tell that each character has something to hide. I really enjoyed Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot. I feel that he really fits the character and portrays how Hercule is feeling at any given time. His moustache is fabulous. I particularly like his moustache guard that he wears at night. This is very funny.

I love the attention to detail in this film. I that there is a slow, rocking sound of the train throughout the entire movie and that there is always movement outside the windows, while the train is in motion. I also like the small connections to Agatha Christie's other books. I love how they use black and white footage to represent flashbacks. This makes very clear what happened in the past rather than the present.

The moral of this film is that there is more to any situation than meets the eye. Nothing is just black and white or right and wrong. There is a gray area in between where people's actions can be both.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for its real, authentic feel and recommend it for ages 10 through 18 as well as adults. This film opens in theaters November 10, 2017 so check it out.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I was excited when I watched the film, Murder on the Orient Express. This movie is truly amazing. I always love mystery movies because they really get me thinking. This one is particularly puzzling. It kept me guessing till the end. The storyline pulls it all together well. The movie has an old-time feel since it takes place in the past. The screening I saw it at was on 70mm film which added to the overall feeling of it. Some parts of the movie are a bit scary, but there are very funny moments too.

The stars of this film are Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot, the protagonist, who is the most amazing detective. Penelope Cruz plays Pilar Estravados, a humble Spanish missionary and nurse. Willem Dafoe plays Cyrus Hardman, a stern German professor who keeps to himself while keeping an eye on everyone else. Other famous actors who are featured include Dame Judy Dench, a foreign princess, Michelle Pfeiffer, an American actress and Johnny Depp, a conman. They all play characters who are riding first class on the train, The Orient Express, when a murder occurs. Hercule Poirot must use his skills to collect the evidence and find the murderer. As the story unfolds, it is very hard to figure out who the murderer is and why. The tagline is "everyone is a suspect" and this turns out to be true, in the most unexpected ways.

My favorite part is in the beginning when Hercule Poirot solves a mystery of a stolen item and catches the culprit at The Waiting Wall. This scene is hilarious. Nothing about this movie is bad, I like when it shows the bottom of the old-fashioned train. Those scenes are particularly cool. The train drives through some awesome scenery on its journey from Istanbul to Paris. The message of this film is that things aren't always what they seem. The movie is based on the book by Agatha Christie and has a perfect ending to have a sequel, as they mention where Poirot must go next, which is the name of another book by the same author.

This movie is really amazing. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars for its awesome storyline and message. The movie is rated PG-13 and I recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Younger children might not understand the concept of murder mysteries and it contains violence such as stabbing and gun shooting. I believe adults will really enjoy it too.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10.

The new mystery film Murder on the Orient Express thrilled with the very intense and complex plot that develops along with the audience's assumptions and theories. When someone watches a suspense movie, you try to keep up and solve the mystery yourself. I could not take my eyes off the screen because of how entertaining this film is and the mystery that unfolds every second of the way. Of course, the plot is very well scripted. It is impressive how everything makes sense and connects at the end. Also, I love how every doubt or question is answered. You can really notice how the filmmakers and the crew were very careful and delicate with the plot and the making of this movie. On another note, what also makes this movie so successful is the cast, a majority of which are A-list, experienced actors that portrayed their characters in the most excellent manner. And at the end, their work pays off as the result is a wonderful film that is most enjoyable.

Murder on the Orient Express is about a lavish train trip through Europe that quickly unfolds into a race against time to solve a murder aboard the train. When an avalanche stops the Orient Express dead in its tracks, the world's "greatest detective" interrogates all the passengers, searching for clues before the killer can commit another crime.

My favorite scene is when the detective interrogates the passengers to get insight on who may be the possible killer. I like this scene because you have the opportunity to see all the different personalities of the various characters in their personal excellent close ups. Also, you get to appreciate the work of all the outstanding actors such as Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz. They are also a big part as to why this movie is pleasurable. Their acting brings the plot to life.

The message of this film is there's more to life than simply right and wrong. In other words, black or white. There are sometimes human factors to consider. People should not be so quick to judged or criticize. The heart needs to be used instead of just thinking with the head or with superficial factors. The detective sees that and has compassion for many of the passengers and their situations. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. It is in theaters now so, be sure to check it out.

By Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DOOZERS: GIANT GINGERBREAD HOUSE
DOOZERS: GIANT GINGERBREAD HOUSE - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - Welcome to Doozer Creek where the Doozers live! They're green. They're cute. They're three inches tall and they're full of energy, ideas, and enthusiasm! It's family time at Doozer Creek! The Pod Squad want to build a Doozer-sized Gingerbread House! However, in order to achieve such a large size Gingerbread House it's going to take some clever construction to create. Can the Pod Squad do it? Then, Daisy Wheel wants to ice skate with the others, but she doesn't know how. Together, the Pod Squad build her a custom Doo-Step Skating Dress that lets her glide across the ice in no time. Weee! Enjoy these adventures and six more focusing on science, technology, engineering and math!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoy watching The Doozers because I was always a huge fan of Fraggle Rock. My son loves Fraggle Rock and he totally recognized the Doozers when they came on! In this DVD collection, the Doozers set out to make a large gingerbread house and the show really goes into the math and engineering of building the house. It's great how it manages to simplify it enough for young viewers to enjoy. Next you get to see the gang help out a friend and engineer a really cute dress in the process. There's even little present exchanges in this story. I really love how educational and engaging this show is for younger children. I think teamwork is an important life skill and any child watching this is sure to learn very quickly the importance and joy that comes from being part of a team. This is great for ages 3 to 7, but my 21-month-old really enjoyed as well. I give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Jim Henson's three-inch green characters, The Doozers, from the wonderful Fraggle Rock Adventures are available on the new DVD, Doozers: Giant Gingerbread House. This is perfect for the holiday season because it is all about sweet treats, ice skating, presents and holiday joy that we know and love. If you aren't in the holiday spirit yet, then this DVD will put you in it.

One thing I love about The Doozers is that they teach young children about STEAM which stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. It is so important that kids learn these basic skills when they are young and The Pod Squad demonstrates this perfectly. The Jim Henson team always seems to know what kids will enjoy and they are on target with this new DVD. You might not have the tools that The Doozers have, but it encourages you to want to build something. It makes me feel like there is never a problem that, with a little thought and creativity, cannot be solved.

The voice-overs are great because they are so cute. They match the little green Doozers perfectly. They all have different personalities and qualities. Each character has a terrific personality and that makes me feel as if I have been friends with them forever. My favorite episode is Daisy Wheel on Ice. It is hilarious when Daisy Wheel tries to ice skate but can't. She keeps falling until her friends invent something to help her skate while standing up. This invention could be very helpful for people who can't skate, including me. I think someone should invest in this invention.

Daisy Wheel might be the youngest of the Pod Squad, but she is ready for anything and always has a bright idea when needed. That is why she is my favorite character. Daisy Wheel is also very quirky and had me laughing through many episodes. Daisy Wheel is goodhearted because she loves helping others by building them things. This is another one of her qualities that I adore.

I recommend this DVD to ages 3 to 8 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Kids will adore the fun things that The Doozers do and will be inspired by the fun projects to want to build things themselves. The animation is colorful and the story lines are easy to follow which makes it perfect for a young audience. It is available on DVD now so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This is a fun movie to watch during the Holiday Season. It takes place in a magical little community that is close to where humans live, but it is hidden from them. The movie stars members of the Doozer Pod Squad, known for using math, engineering and design to find solutions to problems, which they do again in this story.

The story is simple and sweet. It is a very enjoyable and easy to follow along with. The animation is gentle looking, round and happy. The bright colors and good voice actors make it fun to play on the TV. Like it says in the title, this movie is about a Giant Gingerbread House that the Doozers make. They are trying to sell Molly's father's gingerbread houses, but they need the right materials and some help. They have a positive mission, but will they be able to do it in time for Christmas?

Doozers: Giant Gingerbread House takes us on a fun adventure with four little children and their mission to be helpful. This movie is also about spending time with your friends. If you are the type of person who does not like to work with others, then this is the movie you need to watch to encourage you to work better with others.

There are two characters that I identify with - Mollybolt and Daisy Wheel. Molly is independent and kind. Those characteristics speak to me. I can also relate to Daisy Wheel when she learns how to ice skate. I remember learning how to ice skate and I felt just like her when I started. I relied on the encouragement from my Mom and my friends on the ice rink to help me keep going.

My favorite thing about the movie is its positive message. There is a very important lesson here that I have never seen in a Holiday movie. Doozers: Giant Gingerbread House shows kids that anything can be accomplished if you work with a team and do your best. I learned that if I need help with anything then I shouldn't be afraid to ask for help. I also learned that if anyone tries to do something on their own and are not successful, then they should remember that there are people who are ready to help make it happen. All you have to do is ask! When you work as a team, anything is possible. This movie reminds me of the saying "Teamwork Makes The Dream Work!"

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids from 2 to 6 years old. I watched it with my 6-year-old brother and he was very entertained. I don't think older kids or adults will find this movie interesting enough, but it is perfect for little kids. This DVD is available now so, be sure to look for it.

Reviewed by Izzy C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ABC MONSTERS: STARRING VWXYZ
ABC MONSTERS: STARRING VWXYZ - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD AGES 2-5
Description - Twenty six cuddly ABC Monsters live within the walls of Capital Castle. Each monster represents a letter of the alphabet, but should any of the monsters go missing for longer than a day, all the letters will be wiped clean from every book in Capital Town! In this DVD, embark on adventures with Alice, Brian, and Cherry Berry to search high and low for the letters V, W, X, Y, and Z. It's a very windy day in Capital Town. After checking the ABC Monsters, it seems that one of them is missing - W-Monster! So Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry head into town in hopes of finding their missing friend, W-Monster. Along the way they meet, Wanda the Weaver, Wendy the Window Cleaner and then Willie Webster. Hopefully, one of them will be able to help Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry find W-Monster during this windy day. Get set for a spellbinding series of magical adventures that engages preschool children's imaginations, while making learning exciting and entertaining.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Oh no, W-Monster is missing! Capital Castle is a grand place that houses the 26 Alphabet Monsters, but today we have one missing and we must find it! My son was loving the search and kept asking where W had gone. It was adorable. My favorite thing about this DVD is the alliteration and how it coincides with the main cast. For example: since we are searching for W, we encounter Willie Webster and Wanda the Weaver and all this takes place on a windy day! Isn't that fun? One of the children searching for W-Monster is named Alice and she is such a sweetheart. I love seeing such a positive portrayal of little girls on screen. All of the Alphabet Monsters are funny and somehow manage to have different personalities. This show provides fun adventures, but I honestly just love the fact that these 26 monsters have 26 distinct looks and 26 distinct personalities. It's wonderfully done. This is best for preschool aged children, however, I recommend it for ages 2 to 6 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This educational DVD is super cute and hilarious. I love that it is interactive and that there is music. The animation is very colorful, bright and vivid.

In the story, the letters of the alphabet are all different monsters. Each episode stars one of the letters of the alphabet. Later in the episode, the letter goes missing and it's up to Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry to find the missing letter. If one of the monsters goes missing for more than a day, then all of the letters will be erased from every book. Throughout the episodes, they teach letter recognition, spelling, writing each letter, identifying the missing letter in a word and there are parts where you can sing-along.

I like the style of animation in this show. It is really cute, cheerful, colorful and pleasing. The animation flows well and has lots of detail. The backgrounds look really cool as well. I love the way the characters' faces have different expressions and they show a variety of emotions through their facial expressions.

Each of the characters has a different hairstyle and different personality. This shows me that the creators took the time and the effort to give each character a completely different and unique look as well as a completely distinctive personality. It makes the DVD just that much more interesting to watch and it impacts the storyline as well.

My favorite part of the episodes is when they can make alliterations with the letter that is starring. It is really creative and amazing to see how many words they come up with. For example, on the episode that stars the letter W, they met Wanda the Weaver, Wendy the Window Cleaner and Willie the Webster.

The message of this DVD is about teaching kids to do the right things when different situations arise. The goal is to educate kids about the alphabet and help them develop their language skills. The film also has sing-alongs, which can help in developing your reading skills. This show excels at teaching while entertaining kids. I believe that a child can learn a lot about the alphabet from watching it. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7. It is available on DVD now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

ABC Monsters Starring VWXYZ, directed by Ah Loong, is an interactive adventure full of fun and games! Songs, puzzles and dances encircle each episode with excitement. Puzzles where viewers are asked to help kept me engaged as I felt I was a part of the show, helping the main characters along their journey to find the missing monsters.

The story follows Alice, Brian and their fairy Cherry Berry, who embark on different adventures to find the missing letters. On their way, they face many puzzles, meet new friends and visit new places. They even learn new songs and dance moves as they embark on their exhilarating quests.

The animation and songs are unforgettable. The children and adults have a larger head than body, which allows an exaggeration of emotions. It makes it easy to understand what the characters are feeling. The monsters come in different colors, have distinctive hairstyles and unique personalities. Each characteristic adds to their charm including their smiles and even their unique teeth. The backgrounds are colorful and radiant. They appear to have been drawn as there are sketchy lines that outline the trees, hills and houses. This adds to the calm feeling of watching different, lively scenes. The animation becomes more visually appealing when different patches of designs merge to create walls, floors and hills. It prevents certain areas from being one solid color and gave me more to look at on their adventures.

When a song begins, the scene changes into vibrant shades of yellow, pink and blue with a multitude of flowery shapes. The characters dance on screen while colors and patterns flow past them. There are sparkles everywhere and lights flash as if the characters are at a disco. Captions also appear at the bottom, encouraging viewers to sing along. The ambience of these scenes are exuberant and energetic. The songs themselves are catchy and made me want to sing along too.

My favorite part is the journey of finding the monsters because, even I had the pleasure of guessing the riddles and seeing how one puzzle would lead to the next. The message of this DVD is "always help those in need and good will always transpire." I give this DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. This DVD is available now so be sure to check it out, especially if you have preschoolers.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 125 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN
GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN - FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Christopher Robin has a story with a magnificent heart, which is filmed brilliantly. I felt as if I was in England. I cried countless times because the characters are so relatable and there are many touching moments. The acting, photography and graphics are downright superb.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Goodbye Christopher Robin is a great film with top-notch performances from its A-list cast. You may think this is about the creation of Winnie-the-Pooh, which it is, but it is also about how the beloved bear's sharp rise to fame affected the family of A.A. Milne and the writer's own struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Goodbye Christopher Robin follows Milne's young son and his playwright father who finds it difficult to pen any new plays after his experiences in World War I. Father and son begin to spend time together playing in the woods around their new home in the British countryside. Soon, Milne has his friend and fellow soldier, illustrator Ernest Shepherd, visit his homestead to craft stories based on the Milne family's imaginative woodland adventures. Thus, Winnie-the-Pooh is created and a cultural icon is born. Milne gives his own son's name to Pooh's best fictional friend. Suddenly the press and public are eager to meet the real Christopher Robin. The onslaught of interviews and the dwindling time spent with his parents take a toll and he has trouble coping.

Domhnall Gleeson is great as A.A Milne. He shows us the effects PTSD can have on veterans and their everyday lives. Gleeson shows us the transformation from the playwright who feels lost in what he will do next to the author on top of the world grappling with how to deal with his fame and his faltering efforts to be a good father. Kelly Macdonald is also excellent as Christopher Robin's angelic and kind nanny, Olive. She is really the only one watching out for Christopher Robin. Olive has a positive glow that stays strong to the end of the film. She is my favorite character and I compliment Macdonald on making the relationship she has with Christopher Robin so heartwarming.

I give Goodbye Christopher Robin an age rating of 12 to 18 for some subjects that could be troubling for younger audiences. If you're looking for a bright testament to the legacy of Winnie-the-Pooh and the magic of childhood, this is not that film. But Goodbye Christopher Robin is an insightful, historical, sometimes dark drama that goes into other important topics. I give Goodbye Christopher Robin 4 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters October 13.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 12.

A creative imagination and playing games is fun, especially when you add the people that you care about your fun adventures! This is a story about what happens when someone takes those thoughts, turns them into books and shares them with the world. Goodbye Christopher Robin has a story with a magnificent heart, which is filmed brilliantly. I felt as if I was in England. I cried countless times because the characters are so relatable and there are many touching moments. The acting, photography and graphics are downright superb. They bring this true story to life.

War is devastating for everyone, especially the families of the soldiers. One of the worst wars in history was World War I. A.A. Mile returns from the war to rejoin his family and friends and has a hard time adjusting to normal life. Once he joins his son's world of fun and adventure, starring a fluffy bear, he reconnects with his son and finds joy. A.A. Mile wrote Winnie the Pooh stories for his son. They were so good that he published them. He wanted to share his new-found joy with the world and make others happy. The war caused much heartache and Winnie the Pooh made people smile. He thought it would also make his son happy.

The cinematography and graphics in Goodbye Christopher Robin are fantastic. The scenes of the woods are very vivid with lots of brilliant colors. The scene when the snow suddenly drifts into the air to make springtime is terrific. I was surprised with its beauty. I love seeing snow fall in reverse.

The acting is fabulous. Each performer seems to have the perfect personality for their character. Christopher Robin (Will Tilston) is adorable and huggable just like Winnie the Pooh. His happiness with his stuffed animals jumps through the screen and makes you smile. He looks like the Christopher Robin we see in the books. A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) is played as a stern man. He wants his son to be happy, but he also wants to turn Winne the Pooh and his son's stuffed animals into wonderful stories. His muse is his son. Through him he heals from the war and finds his voice again as a writer. He wants to find fame as a wonderful children's writer who brings joy to those who thought there was no joy left in the world. This is played perfectly because you hate him and feel sorry for him, at the same time.

Olive (Kelly Macdonald) is shown as the kind nanny who wants nothing but the best for Christopher Robin and treats him as if he is her own. She tiptoes a fine line between friend and paid help. I love her accent. Christopher Robin's Mother, Daphne Milne (Margot Robbie) wants fame and money. She has no motherly skills, but she does try. At times, she doesn't appear to care if Christopher Robin is okay, just as long as he does what he is told. She is thrilled with the New York Times articles and numerous invites for her family to attend events. I resonated with her emotions. Her crying scenes had me in tears. Older Christopher Robin (Alex Lawther) portrays his role in a very serious way. He creates an emotion of uncertainty. I could not decide if I liked him or not. Great acting sometimes creates an emotional roller coaster ride.

The best part of this film is when Christopher Robin and his father are in the woods making a door for owl's house. If you are a fan of Winnie the Pooh like I am, it is thrilling to see all the different adventures come to life.

I recommend this for ages10 to 18. It is a complicated and emotional story. Adults will love the scenery, the acting and the cinematography. I give it 5 out of 5 fluffy Winnie the Pooh hugs. This film comes out in theaters October 13,, 2017 so, go check it out. Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LIFE CIRCLES
LIFE CIRCLES - CARRIE ATTUNE MUSIC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Description - This is a musical treasure trove that joyfully celebrates the common chord of the human family. From Celtic to Cajun, African to Mexican, Caribbean to American blues as well as jazz and that Bo Diddly beat, "Life Circles" takes the listener on a spirited musical journey!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Like her song Sweet Potato Pie, Carrie Higgins' 'Life Circles' album is chock full of terrific musical ingredients that will bring a satisfied smile to your face and will keep you coming back for more. Her vocals and songwriting skills are terrific and her choice of subject matter skews well for her target audience. With the extra added baked-in pinch of love throughout, this CD is quite perfect for home, school and travel time! There are a lot of positive values, catchy tunes and variety in subject matter. The songs are well-produced and performed including stimulating musical styles and effects. It is very supportive with clear participatory call and response and overall gentleness and love. There are positive behaviors modeled: connection with the Earth, love for all people, appreciation of our differences and love of family. She never talks down to the children and keeps concepts understandable to her target audience. It is very well recorded. Carrie Higgins' voice is terrific! Well-played all around. It offers a plethora of pro social benefits from the importance of love and family, the boomerang effects from lying, the importance of healthy food and the idea that dreams and aspirations can be attained. I would hope that this album would be subject to repeated listening and instill a stronger sense of belonging and self-esteem in the children. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Life Circles is a positive album with good background instruments and a unique set of songs. Singer / songwriter Carrie Higgins's album is geared towards families and features songs about everything from blood sugar, to an interesting connection with a robe, to a folk tale in song form. My favorite song is Rock-A-Bye. It's got a good rhythm and I appreciate that the repetition goes on just long enough to make it catchy without being annoying. I also like that the songs draw from a range of influences and styles from around the world, including Latin and African beats. My one criticism of this album is that there is no major shift in tone in the selection of songs. While these upbeat high-tempo tunes have a nice assortment of instruments, few songs stand out from the others.

Life Circles is a perfect CD for a road trip. It has 14 songs that will have you and your kids singing along. I also like that they use children's voices for some songs. Kids are more likely to enjoy it when they know that their peers contributed to the album. Overall, the songs are cheerful and easy to listen to. Younger kids and their families are sure to enjoy this fun CD. I recommend it for ages 3 to 9.
Runtime: 45 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT HALLOWEEN!
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT HALLOWEEN! - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-8
Description - The Cat in the Hat takes Nick and Sally on the craziest Halloween ride filled with howlers and shockers and scary fandangle's, big laughs and music and fun from all angles! Their fright-filled adventure takes them deep into the Oooky-ma-kooky Closet where Nick and Sally discover the very best Halloween costumes ever.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I always get super excited about watching this series. Martin Short is the brilliant voice actor of The Cat in the Hat and he's hilarious. In general this series has always been very fun and educational, so it's not a shock the this Halloween special follows suit. In this episode we learn the science behind things such as the changing colors in fall. I am very happy that the story features creepy crawlies and monsters and still makes it fun and fearless for children. Fear is actually a large part of this episode. The Cat in the Hat and the kids address scary costumes and how to overcome those fears. Their adventure consists of a really cute camping trip complete with adorable squirrel interactions and teaching respect for nature and wildlife. This is perfect for ages 3 to 10 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars for being fun and educational! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween is a wonderful Halloween movie for children. The theme is about facing your fears because they are not as big as you think. That is what is interesting about the film.

The storyline is about two kids named Nick and Sally who need to find the perfect Halloween costume. They find the Cat in the Hat and he tells them about a closet that has all the best costumes. They go on the hunt for the perfect costume and face their fears on the way.

The characters are very unique, creative and beautifully animated. Some of them are astonishing. I love the wacky and crazy lady who owns all the costumes. She's very helpful to the kids as she helps them find the perfect costume. I love how she dances with the Cat in the Hat. She is a fun, energetic, loving character that children will love. The Fish that follows The Cat in the Hat on his journeys is also hilarious! I love how he tries to scare The Cat in the Hat but he is so oblivious about his fear of pumpkins.

The animation is close to the Cat in the Hat books. The storyline is identical to the books, which doesn't always happen when you make a book into a movie. There are some movies that do not look anything like the original book. The voice acting is applaud-able. I love how Martin Short's (The Cat in the Hat) voice is exactly how I imagine the Cat in the Hat would sound. I love how he sounds whimsical and kooky. I also adore the voice actors of Sally and Nick. I love how they make their voices so perfectly childlike.

The message of this film is to get over your fears because they are not as big as you think. It teaches kids that you can get over your fear whether it's a small fear of ghosts or a big fear like stage fright. All of the main characters get over fears that they couldn't get over before. The Cat in the Hat gives great advice - the fears you have are not bigger than you think. This is a great lesson for kids that have fears that they cannot get over. I rate this film 5 out of 5 and recommend it to ages 5 to 9. This DVD is available now so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This is a film about a friendly, large cat that goes on a fun adventure with two kids named Sally and Nick and their pet fish to find the perfect Halloween costume. Along the way, the group indulges in some spooky fun and silly musical numbers. It is really a fun and festive film to enjoy with your children. This movie is action-packed (for a kids film) and full of magical fun for younger kids to enjoy.

The musical numbers add an innocent and fun component to the film. They are fun, silly and highly entertaining. The musical numbers certainly add lots of fun.

The storyline is easy to follow and actually quite intriguing. When I was younger, I would have watched it and enjoyed it immensely. It leaves you wondering what will happen next. The songs, the animation and the plot are amusing and interesting and very family friendly.

Another aspect that is commendable is the animation. It is cool, clever, brightly colorful and aesthetically pleasing. It reminds me of the animated films I used to watch when I was younger. The animation style is absolutely one of my favorite parts of the film. Then, of course is Martin Sheen as the voice of The Cat. He is simply delightful to listen to. He delivers a stunning performance that takes me back time and time again. He is worth the price of admission, so to speak.

I rate it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to check it out. Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LITTLE WOLF'S BOOK OF BADNESS - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Description - All Little Wolf wants to do is stay at home with Mum, Dad and his brother, Smellybreff. However, Mum and Dad are worried that their precious son, Little Wolf, is not as bad as a small wolf should be. So they decide to send him off to Cunning College in Frettnin Forest to learn the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle Bigbad. Uncle Bigbad is a hopeless teacher, but armed with determination and native wit, Little Wolf thinks things out for himself. Sent out by his Uncle to round up a troop of boy scouts to eat for supper, Little Wolf discovers that the scouts have many useful skills that Little Wolf can learn from them. In the end, Little Wolf decides not to follow outdated rules of proper wolf behavior but to be true to himself. As a result, he inherits his Uncle's fortune and becomes master of Cunning College. Based on a world-famous series of best-selling Little Wolf story books, this one-off is a treat for the whole family!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoyed this animated short film! Little Wolf is charming throughout the film. The whole concept of Little Wolf's Book of Badness is also keen.

Based on the book written by Andre-Morgan and directed by Karsten Kiilerish, the show is about a wolf named, Little Wolf and his perceptions about being bad. His family is disgusted as they watch Little Wolf comb his hair and brush his teeth because, being a wolf you must be unclean and rude. Little Wolfs' Dad and Mom can't put up with his behavior any longer, so they send him to his uncle Big Bad. Big Bad is the head of Cunning College where Little Wolf is taught the nine rules for being bad. In reality though, Big Bad doesn't care about teaching his nephew, he only cares about how much food Little Wolf can give to him.

Big Bad is voiced by Michael Gambon who puts a 'great bad wolf' in his voice. Little Wolf is voiced by Alexander Pownall. Smellybreff, Little Wolf's younger brother is voiced by Matthew Gillespie. Smellybreff knows that Little Wolf isn't acting like a terrible wolf like their parents raised them to be. Lucy Whybrow voices the mom and Richard Hope, the dad.

I enjoyed watching the story come to life. The animation looks like drawing from the book which is very delightful. My favorite part is when Little Wolf tries to warn his uncle of the effects of eating baked beans too fast, but Big Bad just waves his comments away. As he gobbles up all the beans, Little Wolf continues to warn his uncle when he stands to close to the fire. Big Bad once again doesn't listen and toots right in front of the fire, making an explosion at Cunning College. This was my favorite part because it brought some great humor to the climax of the story.

The message of the film is to be yourself by being good, even if being good is bad. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 9. This DVD is available now so, be sure to check it out.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Little Wolf's Book of Badness, directed by Karsten Kiilerich, is unique and unexpected! With its spiral of surprises, I never could predict what would happen in the next scene. The story also puts a twist on common fairy tales such as Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood.

The story follows Little Wolf (Alexander Pownall), who is not bad enough for his family. So his Mum (Lucy Whybrow) and Dad (Richard Hope) send him on a journey to Cunning College to learn from his Uncle Bigbad how to be a true bad wolf. On his quest, he learns the 'Nine Rules of Badness.'

Alexander Pownall, the voice actor for Little Wolf, creates personality through his voice. His voice is high, making it sound like that of a young child. As Little Wolf ventures through the woods to reach Cunning College, I heard the fear in his voice and sympathized with him. When he writes letters back to his family and reads them, I heard the unwillingness to be where he was and the sense of defeat just through his voice. Michael Gambon, voice actor for Uncle Bigbad, has terror in his voice that gave me goose bumps. For example, when he is first introduced and he speaks, I knew Little Wolf was going to have a tough time in Cunning College.

The animation is dark but appealing. It sets the tone of the movie as it reflects Little Wolf's feelings. For example, when Little Wolf feels that his trip was a waste of time and nothing good will come out of his journey, the scenery is dark, it is raining and there are shadowy clouds looming above him. The costume designs add to the personalities of each character. For example, Little Wolf has simple clothes that are similar to a schoolboy's outfit, reflecting what his purpose is in the movie. Uncle Big Bad wears a grey suit, with a yellow shirt and blue tie which reflects his personality as an evil wolf but also one who has the potential to have color or goodness in his life.

My favorite part of this show is the animation. The type of animation that is used made me feel as if I was watching my own imagination. The message here is that goodness will always outshine darkness. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 15. This is available on DVD now so check it out.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Little Wolf's Book of Badness is a very odd type of film. It's not your typical Dora the Explorer type of kids' show, which is good because there are too many of those types of shows out there. This is a story and a good story at that. It teaches kids through a wolf who is supposed to be bad, but wants to be good.

The storyline is about Little Wolf who just wants to stay at home with his family, but his parents don't think he's bad enough to live up to the Wolf family name. So, they send Little Wolf to Cunning College to learn the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle Big Bad. But it turns out Uncle Big Bad isn't such an amazing teacher after all.

As I said, the show is pretty great. The animation is wiggles a bit, even when they are standing still. This is probably intended, but it is kind of distracting. One of the things I really like about this show is its plot and the simple way it shows the lessons they are trying to teach without even saying so. This is what makes it a different type of kids' film. It is also very slow paced. There isn't very much action. One thing I wondered about the whole time is why Little Wolf always sneezes when he's around Mr. Twister. Is he allergic? Michael Gambon, the voice talent for Big Bad is really cool. David Thewlis voices Mr. Twister, which is pretty awesome. I know and like both Gamgon and Thewlis from the Harry Potter films. Another thing I really enjoyed about this film is how scary they make Big Bad. I really was kind of scared when the character Big Bad came on and yelled at Little Wolf. That is probably my favorite scene because it really shows who Big Bad truly is.

The message this film teaches is that, even if you're bad or scary, that doesn't mean that you are happy. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars because it has a cool, different way of teaching kids. I recommend this film for ages 2 to 6. This film is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 30 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
EARTH: ONE AMAZING DAY
EARTH: ONE AMAZING DAY - 0
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - From BBC Earth Films, the studio that brought you Earth, comes the sequel - Earth: One Amazing Day, an astonishing journey revealing the awesome power of the natural world. Over the course of one single day, we track the sun from the highest mountains to the remotest islands to exotic jungles. Breakthroughs in filmmaking technology bring you up close with a cast of unforgettable characters. Told with humour, intimacy and a jaw-dropping sense of cinematic splendour, Earth: One Amazing Day highlights how every day is filled with more wonders than you can possibly imagine- until now.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Earth: One Amazing Day is a beautiful, informational film that makes you really appreciate Earth and know more about it. This film captures nature in all its beauty and is simply breathtaking. This film is very touching, suspenseful and pleasurable. There is comedy, action, adventure, romance and non-fiction all in one film. There is something for everyone to enjoy!

This film explores all the aspects of one day on Earth. It follows the lives of different animals including iguanas, baby lizards, zebras, giraffes, lions and many more. The film shows all the struggles in nature, but also the wonderful and amazing parts. It makes you see the beauty of nature and makes you curious about what's out there.

The people who responsible for filming this, Robin Cox, Kevin Flay and Flying Glass used their cameras to capture the beauty of Earth. Doing this is a real challenge, but they managed to capture so much detail and were able to get incredible close ups. They recorded at different angles, which makes the whole film visually pleasing and close to what it's like if you were actually there. I also loved the narration of Jackie Chan and Robert Redford. Their voices are very mellow, blends in with the music and overall just fits perfectly for this film.

The events that capture are very cool. I especially like how the camera work shoots at different angles so you get a different perspective on the world. The film's visuals are very colorful and intriguing. My favorite part is when the giraffes fight over the land and the ladies. I like this scene because I learned something new. I had no idea that giraffes could bend their necks so much or that they would just swing their heads around to fight. It was really amusing to see their heads swinging around everywhere, but a little sad to see that they were bleeding.

The message of this film is to acknowledge the Earth and realize how lucky we are to be here. There are so many wonderful things happening around us that we don't notice. The film reminds us to stop and smell the roses and to make sure to protect the earth's beauty so future generations can enjoy it as well.

I loved watching this film so much. It really touched my heart and made me realize how beautiful the Earth is, on just one amazing day. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18. I'm sure that everyone will enjoy this film, even adults. Definitely make sure to check it out. It opens nationwide in theaters October 6, 2017.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Earth: One Amazing Day is an incredible feature length documentary that is a sequel to Earth, an acclaimed movie based on Planet Earth, the famous series of BBC wildlife documentaries shown on networks and in schools worldwide. The film features amazing cinematography, stunning graphics, and the audio quality at the screening I saw was brilliant thanks to the Dolby theatre vast speaker system. It had different layers of sound played at the same time creating a very realistic vibe.

Earth: One Amazing Day follows a huge variety of animals and the challenges they must face during a single day. It shows how animals are impacted by the rhythms of the sun and how it provides life to all creatures. It starts off early in the morning following marine iguanas. It then brings you to midday where we get an amazing view of a giant panda and her cub eating bamboo. Next, we get a view of a zebra and her foal attempting to cross a rushing river to get to where the grass will grow next. It continues telling different stories for every animal it shows.

My favorite scene is when it shows a group of bears scratching on trees to music. The scene is hilarious and is very well edited so that the bear's movements appear to go to the music.

The documentary is narrated by Academy award-winner, Robert Redford. The pauses he leaves between his words are timed brilliantly creating a dramatic atmosphere for each tale. Earth: One Amazing Day was directed by Richard Dale, Peter Webber, and Fan Lixin. This is currently one of the biggest collaborations on a film between China and the United Kingdom. The Chinese version is voiced by Jackie Chan who is known across the world for his martial arts movies.

The music matches the scenes seamlessly. I love how they tell a short story with each animal and how it makes the viewer invested in each and every one of them. They use clips taken over the course of several days and make them appear as one scene.

The moral of this film is that there is beauty all around us that can be seen every day. We must only look around us to see it. I feel that this is an important and inspirational message to appreciate our world, this isn't being said enough.

I give Earth: One Amazing Day 5 out of 5 stars for its unbelievable graphics and storytelling. I recommend it to children ages 6 to 18 and think that adults will also
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
VICTORIA AND ABDUL (2017)
VICTORIA AND ABDUL (2017) - FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Abdul Karim arrives from India to participate in Queen Victoria's golden jubilee. The young clerk is surprised to find favor with the queen herself. As Victoria questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance that her household and inner circle try to destroy. As their friendship deepens, the queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes, joyfully reclaiming her humanity.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching the British-American biographical drama, Victoria and Abdul. I learned facts about Queen Victoria, the British ruler of India and the real-life relationship between Queen Victoria (Judy Dench) and her Indian servant, Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal). Directed by Stephen Frears and written by Lee Hall, it is based on a book written by Shrabani Basu. The film has regal pomp and circumstances, life lessons and humorous elements.

We see Abdul (Ali Fazal), a clerk in India, happily going about his duty recording the names of prisoners in a big log book. He is selected to travel to the UK to present a gold mohar, a coin, as part of the Queen's jubilee celebration. Abdul is selected because of his height. He is tall and very handsome.

Abdul is instructed on how to present the mohar to the Queen. He is told not look at the Queen and Abdul, because of his reverence for the Queen, decides to kiss her feet. This is the beginning of a unique relationship.

Abdul begins to share with Queen Victoria facts about India. He tells her about the Taj Mahal, Indian customs and teaches her Urdu. The Queen's viewpoint about how she rules begins to change as she learns more about the country and its customs.

My favorite scene is when the staff of Queen Victoria opposes her decision to give Abdul knighthood. Her son attempts to have her declared insane. She insists on facing the staff in person and she says, "I am cantankerous, greedy and fat. I am perhaps, disagreeably, attached to power. But I am anything but insane."

Victoria and Abdul shows the beautiful countryside of the UK, Scotland and India as well as some of the famous sites such as Windsor Castle. The costumes designed by Consolata Boyle, pay meticulous attention to historical detail even down to the Queen's monogrammed shoes.

This film is a story about a different kind of friendship and how it influenced the lives of everyone in their circle and beyond. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18 and some adults will enjoy it as well. You can experience the royal pomp and circumstances of Victoria and Abdul at your local theater when it opens September 22, 2017

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This incredible, historical film opened my eyes and made me better understand the world I live in. Given that racism is still a prevalent issue in today's society, it was mind-boggling to see it in Britain, at the turn of the 20th century. I admire how this film brings the past to the present, and made me question how racism can dissipate in the future.

This film carefully documents the relationship between Queen Victoria and her beloved servant, Abdul Karim. Queen Victoria reigned in the United Kingdom from 1837 to 1901. She was the longest serving monarch in world history. In addition to being a queen, she was also the Empress of India. Because of this, Abdul Karim and his friend Mohammed are sent from India to Britain to deliver a sacred coin: the Mohur. Abdul and Mohammed believe they are only going to remain in Britain for a short period of time, but they end up going on the adventure of a lifetime.

Judi Dench, who plays Queen Victoria, exceptionally portrays a queen who is tired of her constriction. All she wants to do is have Abdul be her full-time servant, but because of his origins, Queen Victoria's staff does not approve. Ali Fazal, who plays Abdul Karim, considers the queen a very special person and his kindness towards her is impeccable. He teaches her the Quran and shares his culture with her. As time goes on, both develop a strong friendship, which is truly heartwarming.

The setting is remarkable. I've never seen the Taj Mahal, Scotland or the queen's palace. This film takes the audience to all these places. After seeing the beauty in other countries, it makes me want to travel the world. My favorite part of this film is when Queen Victoria eats with her staff. She eats very quickly and, once she finishes her food, regardless if the others are done or not, the servants take all of the food away. It's hilarious to see people still eating their meals and have their food taken away in the blink of an eye.

The message of this film is that no race, culture or religion is subordinate to another, even though individuals are from many different backgrounds. Britain is usually portrayed as one of the most powerful countries, but not in this film. We have to learn to not categorize others as inferior because of their lifestyle. Differences make society beautiful. If we were all the same, everything would be boring.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 15 to 18 as well as adults. There are undertones of adult subject matter throughout the film. Queen Victoria is infatuated with much a younger, married man, which is why an older audience is more suitable for it. Check it out when it opens in select theaters on September 22, 2017. I guarantee you've never seen anything like this before.

By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

How could the Empress of the British Empire and a poor Indian clerk possibly have anything at all in common? The fact that there is much that they share is a major theme in Victoria and Abdul. One example is that they are both in "prison." You first see scenes with Abdul and Queen Victoria in their native habitats: waking up, doing their jobs and, we see that they both exist in confined situations. Abdul works in an actual Indian prison, doing a very boring job and Victoria later says she is "in prison" because she cannot do what she wants to do, which is to explore the world. In one surprising scene, Victoria actually falls asleep at the table at her Golden Jubilee dinner! Abdul catches her eye and he becomes a window to the wonderfully exotic world of Indian culture.

Every British character in this story, except Victoria, is a terrible racist. The Royal staff of Queen Victoria disapproves of her friendship with Abdul and are constantly conspiring to sabotage their relationship. In contrast, Queen Victoria is fascinated by India, the languages, architecture and just about everything. She wants to explore India, but she cannot because if she does, she likely will be assassinated by the oppressed Indian people. Her son and heir Bertie (later King Edward VII) is the most hateful of all. One of the first things he does as king is to burn all evidence of his mother's 14-year friendship with Abdul that exists among his mother's papers and photographs.

One of the things that really stood out for me in this movie was the dialogue. Many wonderful actors are very lucky to bring life to this well-crafted screenplay. Judi Dench, as Queen Victoria, is really funny and dramatic at the same time. Ali Fazal, as Abdul, is amazing because he shows the care, love and respect the character has for the Queen. Of course, Michael Gambon is appropriately arrogant as the Prime Minister (although his distinctive voice keeps bringing Dumbledore to mind!) Eddie Izzard, as Queen Victoria's son Bertie, is also phenomenal as the worst villain in a movie full of them - very realistic and believable. The director Stephen Frears and the writer Lee Hall are amazing because they capture an important piece of history in an entertaining way. (When I found out Lee Hall wrote Billy Elliot, I knew this movie was going to be great.)

I give Victoria and Abdul 5 out of 5 stars because it tells the remarkable story about how two people from very different worlds come together as friends. I recommend this movie ages 13 to 18 because there are no intense moments and the plot is slightly complex. There are only funny, sweet, beautiful and some sad moments. You can see Victoria and Abdul in theaters when it opens on September 22, 2017.

By Lucia Funaro, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 18
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
P. KING DUCKLING: SEIZE THE DAY!
P. KING DUCKLING: SEIZE THE DAY! - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 3-8
Description - 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!® Adult Jurors say - 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. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - 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.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 110 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.65 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FLOOGALS: MISSION COMPLETE
FLOOGALS: MISSION COMPLETE - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-8
Description - Join the Floogals on a mission of discovery as they explore Earth and the funny hoomans who live there! Each day, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo, and Junior Boomer encounter something that sparks their curiosity, setting in motion the day s research project and triggering an exciting adventure! First, the Floogals have an adventure in which they must learn the difficult task of assembling the Girl Hooman s jigsaw puzzle. They learn working in a team wins the day! The projects continue with investigating Boy Hooman s building of a model rocket, learning how to fly a toy helicopter to rescue Boomer, discovering who stole Dad Hooman s veggies in the garden and so much more! Adventure is everywhere they go. They re the Floogals! 3, 2, 1, let s go!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - As far as young children's programming goes, Floogals is one of my favorites. The adventures that the Floogals take are so unique and fun. It makes you wish that you were there as well. One of my favorite episodes is when the Floogals try to assemble a human jigsaw puzzle and it is horribly funny. I'm not a puzzle gal myself and I was shocked to see these little guys make something such as assembling a jigsaw puzzle interesting. This program really has a way of making normal everyday events into huge fantastical events for the Floogals. The animation is cute with bright, eye-catching colors. My 19-month-old cracked up the whole time he was watching. I recommend this for ages 4 to 8, but I am most definitely letting my little guy watch it now. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars for being so darn creative! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This hilarious animated series had me laughing the entire time. Seeing aliens interact with humans is something I've never witnessed before, and the obstacles that the Floogals face are incredibly unique. As soon as I began watching the series, the Floogals have to face a giant cat, which did not fail to make me laugh. With many twists and turns, you will never get bored.

A story is about three aliens from outer space, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer who experience many exciting adventures with humans. They must stay hidden, conduct research projects and report back to their space captain about what it's like to live on earth. The Floogals learn about jigsaw puzzles, mail, a model rocket, a helicopter and so much more! And, if they do a good job with their research, they get badges to wear on their uniforms. Join Fleeker, Flo and Boomer as they learn what it's like to be a "hooman."

Rasmus Hardiker, who plays Captain Fleeker, is the lead Floogal. Fleeker always manages to come up with solutions to problems that the Floogals face. For example, when the Floogals ruin a jigsaw puzzle that a little girl built, they have to find a way to rebuild it before she comes back. Hardiker's voice is very deep, but it's also very optimistic, which makes his character very relatable. Hugo Harold- Harrison, who plays Boomer, is the funniest character I've ever seen. Boomer doesn't think before he acts, which lands him in difficult situations. Boomer is in charge of watching the cat while the other Floogals rebuild the jigsaw puzzle. Harrison's voice is filled with fear, which makes it hilarious.

The animation in this show is very realistic. The house that the Floogals live in looks just like mine! Their uniforms are the coolest uniforms I've ever seen. I wish I could be a Floogal! My favorite part about this series is its theme song. It is incredibly catchy, so prepare to have it get stuck in your head. I love the ending of each episode, because Fleeker, Flo and Boomer each provide their personal perspective about their daily adventures. It's great to hear their differing opinions, which makes their friendship work. Fleeker, Flo and Boomer are undoubtedly best friends, and you'll wish that you could join them on their adventures.

The message of this series is to explore everything that life has to offer and to keep an open mind. The Floogals are nothing like humans, but they learn to love what humans can do. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 4 to 8. With non-stop adventures and many jokes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. This DVD is available on September 12, 2017 so, be sure to look for it. I can't wait to watch the second series.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17.

Floogals: Mission Complete is a spectacular DVD. It has great animation, a great way to teach kids about day to day things and the Floogals are such a great way to get kids hooked on learning. It has an amazing dynamic and a review of everything they learn at the end, so the kids don't forget. It also never has a dull moment, so it will keep kids very interested and wanting to watch more.

Floogals is about three little aliens that move into a "hoomans" house. Everyday, they discover something new about Earth and they investigate. While doing that, they teach kids about all those things. There is a wide variety of episodes from teaching kids how mail works, to finding out how seeds grow.

This show has such amazing animation. The Floogals are little animated aliens, but they live in a live action world. It's so cool to see them pick up objects that aren't animated and they still look like real objects. Another thing I really like is the personalities of all the Floogals. Take Boomer for example. He relates to kids that are more shy and helps them be more out there just like him. I also love the way each episode is formatted. Every episode starts with the Floogals seeing something they don't understand. Then, they find funny uses for it and, in the end when they find out what it is, they go over everything they learned. It's a great tool to help kids remember what they learn. One of my favorite episodes is "Project Mail." I really like it because, as a kid, I never would have known how mail worked and this would have been really cool for me to watch at a younger age. If I could change one thing about the Floogals, it would be how long Boomer's name is. On the show they call him Junior-Floogal-Boomer. I think it would be better as just Boomer.

The message of this show is that you should go out and learn something new every day. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars for its great animation, awesome plots and incredible characters. I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 6. This DVD will be released on September 12, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

By Dariana A., KIDS FIRST Film Critics, age 11.
Runtime: 95 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PUP STAR: BETTER 2GETHER
PUP STAR: BETTER 2GETHER - AIR BUD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4 - 12
Description - 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!® Adult Jurors say - I have to admit that I liked this so much more than I thought I would. The dogs are absolutely adorable and they storyline, while a bit trite, is quite suitable for its intended audience. The humans are all pretty stereotyped and goofy but in a good way. This is one of those films that I definitely recommend for kids, especially dog lovers. My hat is off to the animators for making the dogs appear to be speaking. They way their mouths move is pretty credible. I would definitely take my granddaughter to this! I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - 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 "cantankerous" 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.

By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

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.

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

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.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

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.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1
Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
RESILIENT HEART, THE
RESILIENT HEART, THE - WWW
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - The Resilient Heart explores the keys to preventing heart disease on a worldwide scale. At the film's core is the story of Dr. Valent�n Fuster, a world-renowned cardiovascular scientist, and Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Through his exploration of the heart at the molecular level, Dr. Fuster discovers that the real answer to defeating chronic disease lies in a much larger place: early education. By highlighting scientific contributions ranging from basic science to translational research, the film addresses the improvement of clinical and surgical care efforts to promote lifestyles that prevent or slow the progression of heart disease. Ultimately, it shows how the intersection of science, medicine, research, education and compassion bring about changes that are not only important but also replicable by physicians and patients throughout the world . The film follows Dr. Fuster and his team as they travel to Eldoret (Kenya), Bogota and more. If you or someone you know has ever been touched by a heart disease, you really must see this film. Directed by Susan Froemke. Cast: Dr. Valentin Fuster
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This inspirational film kept me glued to the edge of my seat. I didn't know that heart disease is the number one killer in society today. It fascinates me that there are incredible individuals in this world such as Dr. Valentin Fuster who want to make a difference in the lives of others, especially with a disease that is so common.

In this documentary promoting worldwide heart health, we see cardiologist Valentin Fuster working with doctors around the globe to help individuals realize that behavior is the key to combating heart disease. Traveling to countries like Kenya, Colombia and Grenada, Fuster works with both children and adults to help facilitate healthy behavior, through group therapy sessions, classroom instruction and community volunteering.

Valentin Fuster has the biggest heart. He flies to other countries once a week to help people. He gets up at 4:30 every morning, works 7 days a week and works with kids for 15 years to help them understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. I wish I could meet him, because I would love to thank him for all of the incredible work he has done for kids and adults around the world.

I really admire that the film is not based in a single geographical location. It is fascinating to see different cultures and compare them, and see how heart disease affects poor countries, which most people are not aware of. The fact that I was able to see how different areas of the world need so much help from future generations motivates me to follow in Fuster's footsteps - first starting in my own community, then making my impact even bigger.

My favorite part of this film is when Dr. Fuster talks about his motivation and says that if he died tomorrow, he would be okay with it, because he has helped so many people. This is rewarding to him.

The message of this film is that we have the power to keep our hearts healthy. You can start focusing on heart health at any age and, although we can't necessarily cure heart disease, we can prevent it by exercising, eating right and avoiding incredible amounts of stress. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 12 to 18. Adults would love it too. No age is too young to begin taking care of your heart. You can watch this film on Amazon now! This is the documentary of a lifetime.

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LILY'S DRIFTWOOD BAY: SEASON ONE
LILY'S DRIFTWOOD BAY: SEASON ONE - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-8
Description - Welcome to Lily's Driftwood Bay! Lily is six years old and lives with her dad and her best friend, who is a seagull named Gull, in a little hut on the beach. Across the way is Driftwood Bay, a special island that exists in Lily's imagination. Every day the sea washes up a new treasure which sparks Lily's imagination about what might be happening on Driftwood Bay. Join Lily and her friends, Salty Dog, Bull, Nonna, Hatsie, Wee Rabbit and Lord Stag as they sail to Driftwood Bay where wonderful adventures await! Along with each adventure is a valuable lesson learned in each story from learning to tell the truth to saying sorry to asking for help. Embark on new adventures with Lily and friends as they travel to Driftwood Bay!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love this series! Lily is a great role model and is so creative. A good chunk of this program follows Lily finding "treasures" that have washed up on the shore and being inspired to go on adventures that are based on those items. One the best parts of this series is that Lily resides in a single parent home. Her father is a wonderful character and they have such a great relationship. There aren't enough programs out there that show this type of relationship and I am very pleased to have found one. One of the best episodes on this DVD is called "A New Arrival." In this episode, Lily uses some of her treasures to make a beautiful gift for the new baby lamb. Episodes like this are why I love having my son watching it. There is a lot of heart in this program and the artwork is wonderful. It's mixed media that feels like a blend of colored pencils and water colors. I recommend this for ages 3 to 6 and give it five out of five stars. It's available on DVD now so, look for it! You'll be glad you did. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This creative animated series made me feel like a little kid again. Lily's imagination is so big, and she is so creative, which is exactly how I felt when I was younger. With 52 unique adventures, there is never a dull moment in each episode.

Lily (Orlagh O' Keefe) is a 6-year-old girl who lives with her dad and a seagull on the beach. Right across from her is Driftwood Bay, an imaginary island that she has created. With each passing day, Lily finds a new object washed up on the shore. These objects give life to her Driftwood Bay imagination. Lily and her friends sail to Driftwood Bay and Lily learns valuable life lessons that keep her imagination alive.

Peter Mullan, who plays one of Lily's friends, Salty Dog, is easily one of the funniest actors that I've ever seen. Mullan portrays Salty as being vulnerable, especially in the episode, "The Honking Haddock," where Salty is unaware of his massive stench. Lily continues to tell him that he smells very bad, but Salty is clueless, which makes it hilarious. Salty is a cute Scottish dog who is the Captain of the boat that sails to Driftwood Bay and he always says, "Slippery scallions," which is sure to make you laugh.

The animation in the series is adorable! The characters look so friendly and look as if they are drawn by little kids! Because of this, the series is more relatable and entertaining. The characters aren't perfect and that is exactly how every person is. But, that is the beauty of life, and it is evident through Lily's big imagination.

My favorite part of this DVD collection is when Lily asks about flowers on the beach. She loves them, but her dad has to take them to the market. She is disappointed, but he brings her a flower at the end of the day. He says, "It's a lily for my Lily." I love puns and sweet moments, and this scene is fortunate enough to have both.

The messages of the show are to be creative, enjoy your life, learn from your mistakes and be nice to everyone you meet. Aside from these major life lessons, each episode has little ones asking for help and saying they are sorry. There is always something valuable to take away from each episode. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. Check out this series on DVD. You won't want to miss it.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

This hilarious animated series is very educational and cute. Lily has a great heart and sets a good example for children who watch this. Lily is helpful, positive and caring to everyone no matter what. These shows teach really important morals about positivity, telling the truth and making sure you stay safe.

The episodes start when Lily finds some sort of weird treasure washed up on the beach. She goes to find out what it really is and what its true purpose is on Driftwood Bay, her imaginary island. She meets up with her friends on the island and some of them ask for her help. She tries to solve their problems and realizes that the tool she needs is one that she got on the shore. She realizes its purpose and learns a characteristic such as, grit, honesty, trust, forgiveness and being fair.

Orlagh O'Keefe voices Lily as a sweet, young and na�ve girl. She sounds innocent and ready learn everything she can. Salty Dog (Peter Mullan) really does sound like an old, rusty dog who has been out on the sea for a while, but speaks English. Salty Dog sounds very old, but looks very young, which I find somewhat confusing.

The animation has a lot more details than most animated TV shows do. For example, they show each of the strands in the hair, their faces look very life like, especially in the way the mouths move. This animation is made with a lot of quality which I appreciate.

There are lots of messages in these shows. Lily models being positive, caring, helpful, staying safe and being truthful. She is a great role model for kids and this DVD about her adventures allow her to teach multiple morals in just one episode. Mainly the show educates kids about having good character and following the golden rule - be kind to others if you want them to be kind to you. Lily is kind to others, so she has a lot of good friends that stick by her side.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 5 to 8. It is available now so, go check it out.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 370 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 3-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.79 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DUNKIRK
DUNKIRK - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 26- June04, 1940, during Battle of France in World War II. Samantha M. comments, "This unique film altered my perspective on daily life. It fascinates me how history has shaped our world. Viewing this film made me appreciate the security that we have in our country today." Michelle C. adds, "Dunkirk offers the most intense, beach set cinematic experience since the iconic film Jaws. In this new adaptation of such a strong battle, Christopher Nolan's talent as director and writer shines through, creating a visual masterpiece that leaves you mesmerized."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dunkirk offers the most intense, beach set cinematic experience since the iconic film Jaws. In this new adaptation of such a strong battle, Christopher Nolan's talent as director and writer shines through, creating a visual masterpiece that leaves you mesmerized. The battle of Dunkirk was a short one, May 26 to June 4, 1940. Despite its minimal timeframe, it was deadly. WWII Allied soldiers were hiding, surrounded on all sides by the German Army and had to be evacuated on the beaches of Dunkirk, by way of an operation famously known as Operation Dynamo.

On the ground, British Army Privates Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) and Alex (Harry Styles) are two of the men desperately fighting and struggling to remain alive and safely evacuate the beach, by whatever means available. Across the ocean, local sailors Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) and his son Peter (Toms Carney) had been recruited by the Navy to help with the evacuation. From yet another perspective, members of the Royal Air Force including Farrier (Tom Hardy) attempt to shoot down the German bombers, in order to help the stranded troops evacuate the beach and ocean safely. Let's talk about the production of the film. The cinematography, as expected from talented director and writer Christopher Nolan, is groundbreaking.

Congratulations to Hoyt van Hoyterman for creating a visual masterpiece. Everything looks incredibly realistic and breathtaking, keeping you on your toes throughout the film. The scene that is the most memorable to me, is when one of the Air Force pilots soar through the sunset sky as the troops cheer in victory. I assure you that it will give you goosebumps and make you teary-eyed. The sound effects and the music by Hans Zimmer make the movie that much more tangible. The bombing begins from the very start of the film, preparing you for an emotional rollercoaster. They are so loud that it sounds as if they're coming from the back of the theater. If you listen closely, there's a ticking clock throughout the entire film, (minus the ending, which I will keep under wraps for you to discover) hidden within each song, creating increased tension and suspense. By the end of the film, I was already down to the nub of my fingertips, so prepare to be antsy! Harry Styles' performance is quite impressive, particularly since he is a known as a singer, not an actor. It is refreshing to see his excellent performance her, as he is the one with the most lines and delivers them eloquently, equal to an experienced actor. Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy also delivered remarkable performances. Dunkirk relies heavily on emotions since it barely has any dialogue, so it is important to have the story delivered by the visuals and the acting, which they achieved flawlessly. Dunkirk opens in theaters nationwide on July 21, 2017. It's 107 minutes long and is Rated PG-13 for intense war experiences and some language. Because of the stunning cinematography and storyline, I rate Dunkirk 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Go check it out, whether you are a history buff or not, this film will remind you how history affects us.

By Michelle C. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This unique film altered my perspective on daily life. It fascinates me how history has shaped our world. Viewing this film made me appreciate the security that we have in our country today. Based on the historical account of World War II, Dunkirk highlights the tension within the British Empire, France and Belgium, as the German army begins to make brutal attacks. In hopes of keeping Dunkirk intact, the allied soldiers are evacuated by boats and must fight for their lives at sea.

Fionn Whitehead plays the lead British soldier, Tommy, and his acting is incredible! He doesn't have many lines, which makes his acting stand out. You can empathize with Tommy just by looking into his eyes and see the pain he's experiencing as he is fighting for his life. Harry Styles plays Alex, another one of the British soldiers. Styles doesn't have many lines either, since Dunkirk heavily emphasizes war battle scenes rather than dialogue. When Alex does speak, his words are powerful. In one of the scenes, he tries to convince the other soldiers that Gibson (Aneurin Barnard) is a German spy.

Alex's anger is discernible. You can see how long he has been hiding his emotions and how much the war is taking a toll on him. Dunkirk is set on the beaches of Northern France. The views are breathtaking, but it is depressing to see such a beautiful place being bombed. However, it does motivate the soldiers to protect their country, which is why the director, Christopher Nolan, emphasizes the soldiers' surroundings. My favorite part of the film is when the soldiers are being fed bread with raspberry jam. They look incredibly happy to be eating after days of stress. This scene makes me appreciate how much I have. All I want to do is help these soldiers, get them to safety and thank them for all their hard work. The message is to never give up and to recognize the impact World War II made on our country. Hard work pays off. We should never forget our fallen soldiers and appreciate how they changed our lives and countries for the better. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.

Since there is little dialogue, it can be confusing at times, but it is unique. I recommend it to ages 16 to18, and adults will enjoy it too. There are many fatalities, gunshots and dead bodies, so it is not particularly for little kids. It depends on your tolerance level. Check out this film in theaters nationwide when it opens on July 21, 2017. You won't want to miss it.

By Samantha M. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

This movie is very timely, considering Brexit, in its subject matter of national British pride. Director Christopher Nolan reaches back to one of England's greatest points of pride before the U.S.A.'s entry into the war, namely, the against-the-odds evacuation from the town of Dunkirk, France to preserve 400,000 British troops. This movie is Nolan's love letter to England and the men and women who gave their lives to guard and protect her. Back in England, one representative patriot is a duty-bound father, played by Mark Rylance, whose boat, like many other boats in England, is requisitioned by the Royal Navy evacuate the stranded in Dunkirk. His story connects with that of two RAF pilots sent on a mission to protect the skies while the naval operation is undertaken. The only drawback of the film is that none of the characters is fleshed out enough to make the audience connect with them on a more emotional level. But this is, after all, war. Nolan's realistic account is both a visual and auditory masterpiece. The scenery is magnificent. I have never seen a movie in which there are so many scenes without dialogue. One of the most remarkable sequences is the aerial flight sequence. I actually felt as if I was flying! IMAX adds to the already impressive immersive quality of the movie. I recommend this film for ages 15 to 18 because it gets a bit intense. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars because it tells the incredible true story about how all of England came together to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of young soldiers. By the way, teenage girls will agree with me that Harry Styles isn't too shabby. This is s his first movie and his realistic acting is truly amazing. This film opens in theaters nationwide Friday, July 21, 2017 so, go check it out. By Lucia F. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MOLANG, SEASON 1
MOLANG, SEASON 1 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - Join Molang, a round, fluffy, and happy rabbit, and his friend, Piu Piu, a poised, timid, and reserved yellow chick, as they explore everyday life. Molang savors every moment of his life, imbuing it with joy and wonder. He pays attention to the smallest details, giving meaning to even the tiniest things. Molang puts his heart into his actions, and he has a huge heart. Even when he does absolutely nothing, he does it well! Piu Piu, on the other hand, doesn't t like calling attention to himself. He likes to do things carefully and well. When unexpected situations arise (and Molang s unpredictable behavior often causes such situations to occur!), Piu Piu can become quickly unsettled, even panicked. Despite their many differences, Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a unique friendship. They have amazing times together ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary. From finding themselves in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean to riding camels in the desert, Molang and Piu Piu experience unexpected situations. Throughout it all though, every single moment with these two is filled with happiness. Embark on 52 unforgettable adventures with Molang and Piu Piu!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Molang is about a very cute relationship between Molang, a joyful rabbit and Piu Piu, a reluctant chick. Their dynamic is adorable and, together they go on many adventures and have great fun. The animation in this program is amazing and fun. The fluffy thick lines make it very kid-friendly and hold the attention of the viewer. There are many episodes on this DVD and my favorite is called "The Underground Walk." In this episode, the duo goes on an underground tour and, due to their mischievous behavior and lack of discipline, they get lost from the tour group and must work together to find their way out of the tunnels. I like this episode because you really get a good taste of why they work so well together and you get the feeling that maybe without each other they could not accomplish as much. I recommend this for ages 2 to 6 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Molang: Season 1 is full of fun and laughter! Molang and Piu Piu's innocent demeanor makes them lovable characters that I rooted for every step of the way. Their love for each other and their society made me fall in love with both of them. Each episode is overrun with happiness which made me smile nonstop.

The story follows the everyday life of a fluffy rabbit named Molang and its best friend Piu Piu the chicken. On their journeys together, Molang and Piu Piu face different situations and find creative ways to help others and fix their unique problems. Together, they happily enjoy the surprises their lives bring.

There is no dialogue in this show, but the animation and music easily make it understandable. The animation is bright and rounded giving it a soft and calming feeling. During the daytime, the trees, hills and grass are radiant shades of yellows, greens, pinks and oranges. It adds to the brightness of the mood when Molang and Piu Piu are adventuring through their world. During the night, the aura changes as the colors turn soft shades of purples and blues. The hills, trees, snow, sand and nature are drawn with different colorful patterns as are the walls, floors and ceilings which adds a playful and cheerful feeling. The character's expressions easily convey their thoughts and increase the visual appeal.

The music spoke to me as the dialogue would. Throughout the different episodes, the music changes whenever the situations change. For example, when Molang and Piu Piu are going to the beach or on vacation, the music becomes lively and venturesome. When they run into a problem, the music transforms to a slow rhythm. The music imbued the feelings of Molang and Piu Piu into me. It made me feel a part of their journey.

My favorite part of this show is the character, Molang the bunny. Molang never gets worried and always remains calm when everything seems to be going wrong for Piu Piu. Molang is quick to think of ideas and does anything to help others. Therefore, Molang took a spot in my heart.

The messages of the show address the importance of friendship, teamwork, kindness, loving everybody and helping those in need. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8. Check out Molang: Season 1 on DVD when it is released on August 15, 2017.

By Sahiba Kaur, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

This delightful series had me laughing the entire time. I enjoyed it tremendously, because there is no dialogue. Each episode is filled with multiple adventures, so you will never be bored!

You are invited to join Molang and Piu Piu as they explore what life has to offer. Molang is a big, ecstatic rabbit, who finds ways to enjoy his life in every circumstance. Piu Piu is his best friend, a small, shy little chick who is dragged along on every adventure and is often frightened by the unexpected situations they both face. These best friends are completely opposite, but both manage to experience happiness in every situation.

Bruno Gueracague, the sound coordinator, composed an extremely catchy, opening song. While there are 52 episodes, it only takes two to get it stuck in your head, which is a great way for kids to remember the series. Marie-Caroline Villand, one of the series' directors, successfully communicates themes of happiness and friendship to kids, no matter their culture or dialect. The absence of dialogue leaves the interpretation up to the audience, which gives something for everyone to relate to.

The animation is adorable and leaves you on the edge of your seat the entire time. The characters are incredibly cute, which makes them very relatable. I could not stop watching the series, because I love the unique friendship that Molang and Piu Piu share. My favorite episode is, "The Goldfish." Molang and Piu Piu try to get the goldfish's attention and have a disco party, which is hilarious. The fish loves the party, so next time you want your fish's attention, make sure to involve a disco ball!

The themes of the series are happiness, friendship, respect and unity. It is important to maintain great friendships, live your life to the fullest, care for one another and stick together.

I give this series a 5 out of 5 stars, recommend it to kids ages 3 to 18 and believe that adults will enjoy it too. I could not stop laughing, because it is funny seeing animals act as people in everyday situations. Check out Molang: Season 1 on DVD now, because it will undoubtedly make you laugh.

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17
Runtime: 185 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS: MAGICAL MOVIE NIGHT
MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS: MAGICAL MOVIE NIGHT - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Grab Your Popcorn, Because The Equestria Girls Are Back For A Magic-Filled Triple Feature!? ?DANCE MAGIC? - When Rarity finds out about a music video competition, she's eager to convince her friends at Canterlot High to enter the contest. The girls soon learn that Crystal Prep Academy are also interested in participating in the contest. The students at CPA have many more resources and are better dancers! Will they be able to pull together and make a winning music video?? MOVIE MAGIC? - The Equestria Girls have been specially invited by A.K. Yearling to go on the set of the upcoming Daring Do movie and they are overjoyed. For super-fan Rainbow Dash, watching behind the scenes as her favorite heroine comes to life is a dream come true. But when a rare and important prop from the set goes missing, putting the movie on hold, Rainbow Dash's dream becomes a nightmare.? MIRROR MAGIC?- As the pages in her journal run out, there's only one thing for Sunset Shimmer to do: return to Equestria to get a new journal! There, she meets Starlight Glimmer and agrees to bring her back to experience life at Canterlot High. But while Sunset Shimmer was away, a revenge-seeking Juniper Montage finds a beautiful hand mirror enchanted with Equestrian magic. Not only can it provide a window into another land, but if you push the right button, it can also make things disappear into limbo, trapped between the two realms.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - As always, My Little Pony has delivered a wonderful, heartfelt of episodes on this DVD. I always enjoy watching how well the episodes are chosen to be consolidated for the specific DVDs such as this one, Magical Movie Night. There are so many lessons packed into this DVD from feeling betrayed to feeling unsure of oneself. I love how the cast of ponies handles these problems and creates a familiar story that becomes a beacon of hope and reassurance for children who have gone or will go through similar trials. My favorite episode on this DVD is called "Movie Magic." In this episode, you get to see Rainbow Dash as a fan girl to a movie franchise and discover that the movie world isn't all it's cracked up to be. The animation in this collection is great, as always, and the music is fun and catchy. One of the best parts of the DVD is the bonus feature sing-along. This is a great DVD that I recommend for ages 5 to 12 and it definitely gets 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This animated film has a great storyline and important morals that I loved to watch. Plus, all of the characters have their own unique personalities, which is cool to see. The animation is spot on with detailed facial expressions and body language of the characters.

The stories, Dance Magic, Movie Magic and Mirror Magic are all about friendship, teamwork, persevering and forgiving. In the stories, the Equestria Girls work together solving obstacles that come up. They befriend, forgive and help their enemies. The Equestria Girls create peace among every one and teach others to create peace as well.

Ali Liebert makes Juniper Montage sound very determined, jealous and greedy, but also shows Juniper's hurt side, where she is apologetic and depressed. Tabitha St. Germain portrays Rarity as very elegant, creative and calm. But at times, she is easily frustrated and very competitive. The animation for all of the My Little Pony films is really cute and detailed. I love this type of animation. The backgrounds are very detailed and the animation is really pleasing to watch.

My favorite part is when Pinky Pie's (Andrea Libman) dream comes true when she sees a building made of pudding. Her eyes light up and you can see her pure happiness. I really love this part because it made me really happy to see Pinky Pie so excited. The pudding also looks delicious

The message of these stories is that you should be kind to everyone, no matter what. Also, it promotes forgiving people and giving them second chances. The Equestrian Girls have their stuff and their ideas stolen, but they still forgive and become great friends even with the thieves. This collection of stories teaches children to have a good heart and enjoy life in the moment.

This is a wonderful DVD with big messages. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. This DVD is available August 8, 2017, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

With three unique stories and beautiful animation, this DVD collection entertains younger audiences while teaching them about friendship. It has a room for improvement and is far from the best of the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic series. Like the previous shows and movies of this series, the three episodes focus heavily on adventure and comedy. The episodes all teach kids about friendship, teamwork and many other positive behavior. At times, the stories concentrate more on action or drama but they are never too mature for young children.

The three episodes start after the latest film, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Legend of Everfree. The stories are all different, but generally focus on seven girls solving problems together. At the end, an answer comes to them and they all learn an important message about friendship. Watching at least the previous film is helpful to the viewer since there are some references to previous plot elements. It would be very difficult to enjoy this DVD without having any prior experience with the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series.

Overall, this DVD has an enjoyable series of stories. They are bright, educational and are simple enough for younger kids to understand. Compared to the previous films and shows, the quality has dropped in some places. One of the strongest outliers to me is the comedy. In the past, the main character called Pinkie Pie (Andrea Libman) often plays a comedic role. In this collection, the comedy doesn't come out goofy and funny as it usually does. It feels forced and almost annoying. Something else that I found lacking is the conflict in the stories. The first episode, Dance Magic, really suffers the most. The conflict in this episode focuses on the girls trying to raise money for a spring dance. Sadly, it has no good introduction and is simply explained at the beginning. This makes it not too important to the viewer and the way the characters treat this issue furthers the problem. One thing that has stayed consistent throughout the series is the voice acting and animation. Both have still maintained high quality and are one of the best parts of the show.

Out of the three, my favorite episode is Mirror Magic. The storyline is quite unique. It's about a girl jealous of the seven friends who puts six of them in a magic mirror. It's up to the seventh, Sunset Shimmer and her new friend Starlight Glimmer. This plays out interestingly in the show as Starlight, just like Sunset, is a villain turned good. This makes for some interesting chemistry between the two, which is entertaining.

As always, this series is meant for kids. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 7 to 13. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars for an overall good collection of episodes and high-quality animation, but a lack of good conflicts and a drop in quality.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 66 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AUDUBON
AUDUBON - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Naturalist and 19th century painter, John James Audubon was one of the most remarkable men of early America. The program brings to life his timeless paintings with dazzling footage of the living birds he immortalized - and celebrates visually the natural world he described in his writings. Interviews reveal the man, explore his art, and put his groundbreaking work in modern perspective.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This documentary gives an in-depth history of the life of John James Audubon. There are many examples of his beautiful works of art, maps charting his journey from Haiti to America and excerpts from the journals he kept throughout his life. This DVD offers a great way to teach anyone about John James Audubon. The art and story telling is not only beautiful and interesting, but important scientifically and in regards to American history.

The film flows well with great detail and historical accuracy. The material is easily understood and, after scientific elaborations, often a more simplified explanation is given. John James Audubon was a man of incredible talent and fortitude. He faced many challenges such as childhood abandonment, adult poverty and immigration during the 1800s. The film wonderfully details not only his countless contributions to art, science and conservation, but the challenges he faced and surpassed are an equally important part of his story. This film will prompt many questions regarding many topics! Throughout it, Audubon's travels are documented on a virtual map. The map brings about questions regarding geography, immigration, cultural differences, animal species of North America and many other topics that appeal to many age groups.

The film has great visual appeal. It is filmed in locations where Audubon painted and, throughout it, these works are shown in all their glory. Selections of Audubon's original journal entries are seen for the first time in this film as well. The cover of the DVD and the CD have iconic Audubon images titled "Wild Turkey" and "The Great Horned Owl". This offers the option of viewing the 90 minute theatrical version or the 60 minute broadcast version. English subtitles are available. Scene selection is not available, but you can pause, rewind or fast forward as necessary.

Audubon is such a great film about the life and contributions of John James Audubon. His struggle and journey as a Haitian immigrant to the United States of America is inspiring. The paintings he created forever immortalized the subjects (some of which are now extinct) and the research he did ultimately led to our nation's first conservation organization. This film will prompt many questions regarding many topics including birds, painting, hiking and travel, American history in the early 1800s and more. The message of this film is in its detailed historical look at the life and contributions of John James Audubon to art, science and Conservation.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Audubon will be available on DVD June 20, 2017. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 150 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 17.99 Media: DVD



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