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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE
MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Lifelong G-Man Mark Felt, aka "Deep Throat," leaks information to the press that helps to uncover the Watergate scandal of 1974.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The opening of the film lead me to believe deep secrets would unfold. Mark Felt (Liam Neeson) encounters his former colleague Bill Sullivan (Tom Sizemore) and they exchange words recapping what appears to be a professional rivalry for the viewer's benefit. This film is an historical drama about men (FBI employees) whose job is to analyze every detail and research and report discrepancies. There are times when things do not add up. Mark often comments, "The President has no power over the FBI."

Given this film is created from Felt's 2006 autobiography and published a year after he revealed his identity as "Deep Throat" to Vanity Fair, the film does not deliver on the juicy details and unveiling I expected. The most appealing part of the movie is the historical retrospective of the film. At times, the details are unappealing, as the characters are hard to follow. The film flows well, although it took me a few minutes to determine which characters were members of the FBI and who else was in the room. As the film moves on, the characters develop into an amazing working team. I empathized with Mark Felt throughout the film. I felt the Director could have given us more insight into the walls of the institution where Felt worked for 31 years, and whose integrity he sought to protect from the interference of the Nixon White House officials.

When J. Edgar Hoover dies and Felt is passed over for his position, L. Patrick Gray III (Marton Csokas), a close Nixon ally, replaces Hoover as head of the FBI. Mark's integrity and hard work for more than 30 years are overlooked by the good-old-boy White House network. Leadership knows Mark is dangerous, given what he knows. When the Watergate break-in occurs, the FBI demands a 48-hour wrap and Mark knows this is the beginning of the end of the position he has served loyally and with integrity, even if he decides that spilling secrets is the best way to protect the FBI and manage his way out of an unmanageable situation.

While the office scenes are bland and the meetings with Bob Woodward (Julian Morris) in the parking garage seem contrived, there is substantial interest during sessions with Time Magazine's reporter Sandy Smith (Bruce Greenwood), who realizes Mark Felt is breaking his tight-lipped manner as Felt finally gives way. He tells Mark, "The FBI must be terrified of you." The characters are hard-hitting FBI employees. Their job is to serve and protect, even if it means keeping secrets to protect their peers, boss or the White House administration. For the most part, the characters are seen as positive stand-up men. It is only when Mark Felt makes a decision that we see his character stray, yet it is portrayed with shocking beauty. This film, based on true-facts, is brilliant. Many times, I found myself wanting to research more about this era, and the real men portrayed in the film.

The movie works hard to humanize Mark Felt, his family and fellow G-men. The subplot family story is warm, while most of Mark Felt's career interactions are harsh and direct. The film challenges the viewer's memory of historical facts. Is he a hero or a villain? Whatever you see, there is no doubt Mark Felt is the most impactful whistle-blower in American history so far. Many times, the film appears black and white and a bit grainy. In order to capture the times, I believe this is purposeful. As with any sleuth-type film, the graininess adds to the mystery. Another sign of the times, excessive smoking. While a total turn-off to this reviewer, it was prevalent in the 70s. The historical retrospective of this dark time in American history is invaluable. As the story unfolds, I was glued to the screen. The burden and power of the American landscape is presented in contrast with dark figures who believe secrets are best kept.

This film, with very adult themes, showcases a moment in history which is almost anti-climatic. The story focuses on the Watergate break-ins of the 70s and the ways and means the White House and other organizations lived and worked with secrets. Dare we say it parallels politics today? Because of the subject matter and fine details of "who's who" in the puzzle of facts, I recommend this only for mature teens. Many adults will find this tale riveting, especially those old enough to be aware of Nixon's presidency in the 70s. I recommend this film for ages 16 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This film may prompt teens to research more about Mark Felt and his place in history. Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - While educational, offering a peek into the often hidden parts of our nations' government, this film is also entertaining. The writer/director, Peter Landesman shows authenticity while keeping us engaged. It is based on the true story about the anonymous whistle blower in the Watergate scandal from the 1970s, who we later learned was Mark Felt.

I really enjoy time-era pieces. This is a historical drama based in the 1970s, so between the costuming and set props, it is fun to learn more about life during that time in history.

Not surprising, one of my favorite characters is Mark Felt (Liam Neeson). He always plays more stoic roles, where he is demanding, but deserving of respect. It is funny to see him look older with white hair, and I did miss that he did not have any action scenes in this film. But, I also like that we catch a glimpse into his personal life too - one that is relatable, and sometimes full of conflict and pain.

There is not one particular scene that is my favorite. What I enjoyed the most is when Mark Felt had secret meetings with his colleagues Ed Miller (Tony Goldwyn) and Charlie Bates (Josh Lucas). It was nice to see their loyalty to each other and to their work. When learning about Watergate, this is often an unknown part of the process.

This quote from Peter Landesman speaks of why this film took so long to hit the screens. "In my worldview, events are not about history--events are about human beings. I'm fascinated by people under pressure and in crisis, and what happens to them and what they do." I find it interesting that this film was started in 2005 and did not come to completion until now. This speaks to how much investigating they did for the production.

This film is rated PG-13 for language, although I didn't find it overly profane. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18, provided the viewer has some understanding the Watergate scandal. Otherwise I think they will get bored. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It opens October 13, 2017 in select theaters so be sure to check it out.

By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
REBEL IN THE RYE - 0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - The life of celebrated but reclusive author, J.D. Salinger, who gained worldwide fame with the publication of his novel, "The Catcher in the Rye".
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching the dramatic biography Rebel in the Rye, directed by Danny Small which examines the life of J.D. Salinger, best known for his novel, Catcher in the Rye. I have not read this book, although I know that it was very controversial when it first came out.

The film has elements of determination, a bit of arrogance, some humor and an underlying bit of inspiration. J.D. Salinger not only has inner conflicts, but he also has a conflict with his dad Sol Salinger (Victor Garber). The film stirred my curiosity and I decided to down load Catcher in the Rye and listen to it in my audible library. The film inspired me to seriously begin writing a book. We see a young, smart-mouth J.D. Salinger (Nicholas Hoult) as he experiences the horrors of World War II. The combat scenes are not graphically displayed. Salinger sees many people killed, including a good friend. He also sees a concentration camp and he is a victim of a mugging. You should know that there are scenes of drinking, partying and smoking, (common during this era), mild profanity and mild sensuality.

Strong characters include Whit Burnett (Kevin Spacey), as Jerry's tough mentor. You can see that he really believes in Salinger and pushes him to "find his voice." Another character who stands out is Hope Davis as Salinger's mother. The scene when she receives a copy of his novel is very moving. One of the funniest moments in the film comes when Salinger asked Little, Brown and Company to not send him any reviews of his book. In classic comedic fashion, the very next scene shows Salinger seen reading the reviews at home. I enjoyed seeing the secluded place where Salinger pursues his writing. It is very lovely and peaceful.

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. I give it an enthusiastic 5 out 5 Stars. I plan to see it again. This film comes out on September 15, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Rebel in the Rye, directed by Danny Small, is entertaining and educational. This film is a docu-drama that reviews the life of J.D. Salinger, author of the classic book, "Catcher in the Rye." I found this film both insightful and inspiring. His perseverance as a writer is vividly displayed throughout the film.

The film allows the audience to jump deeper into Salinger's life and what makes him tick. We experience first hand his arrogance, quirky humor and determination. I like how they show the various relationships throughout Salinger's life. Because his father (Victor Garber) was condescending, it made Salinger fight that much harder to succeed. It was the encouragement and love of his mother (Hope Davis) to whom he dedicates his highly successful novel. We see how the betrayal of his love, Oona O'Neill (Zoey Deutch) hardened him and how he felt the relationship he had with his wife (Lucy Boynton) was too overpowering and intrusive for him to grasp. These aspects definitely made me feel more connected to him as a person and understand a bit more about his strange life.

My favorite character is Salinger's college professor, Whit Burnett, played by the award winning actor, Kevin Spacey. Kevin Spacey always manages to bring the audience into the heart and soul of every character he plays. I enjoyed how, at the beginning, Whit Burnett feels like any other professor - just there to teach an educational lesson. Life lessons are what he ends up actually teaching Salinger. Throughout the film we see him develop a true friendship and bond with Salinger. It actually hurts to watch their relationship tear apart and made me want to cheer when they are able to finally mend their relationship and move forward.

Even though the war scenes are very graphic and difficult to swallow, they truly help us see what formed Salinger as an adult and why he spiraled into a recluse.

Rebel in the Rye is rated PG-13 for smoking, brief violence and sexual references. The war scenes, while minimal, are very graphic. There are people smoking throughout the film, which was appropriate for that era, but I did not feel the language or sexual references were strong enough to make it inappropriate for younger teens. I do not feel that younger kids would appreciate the life of this author, or really gain too much enjoyment for this film. So, I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. It is playing now in select theaters so go check it out.

Reviewed by Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BATTLE OF THE SEXES
BATTLE OF THE SEXES - FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement, the 1973 tennis match between women's world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men's-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. The fiercely private King was not only championing for equality, but also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, as her friendship with Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) developed. And Riggs, one of the first self-made media-age celebrities, wrestled with his gambling demons, at the expense of his family and wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms ...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The themes presented in this film are still relevant and have merit. With that said, I want to add that ever since Ibsen wrote "A Doll's House," it's very rare to get a film (or play for that matter) that is charged with the theme of gender equality and presents it in a way that truly resonates. What do I mean? In films that aim to give a message or present an issues, such as when the writer wants to say something about the relevant society, more often than not, the writer portrays those characters in simple categorizations of good and bad. That may work in a superhero film, but in a piece of realism, where character development and relationships are key elements to the storytelling, simple good and bad just won't do. That's my issue with this film. The screenplay simplifies a few integral characters too much, in favor of hoisting up its protagonist.

To get this out of the way, the performances are fantastic. Emma Stone and Steve Carell lead the cast well, and the cast doesn't have a weak link in it. In particular, a lot of credit has to be given to Steve Carell. He took a character that was underwritten and perhaps even misrepresented and makes him sympathetic and someone to root for. Andrea Riseborough also delivers a very affecting performance and really gives us some great scene work with Emma Stone.

The directing is swift, well paced and well filmed. Kudos to the cinematographer who really has a wonderful grasp on stillness to promote an essential moment and exerts great uses of soft and hard focus to portray dramatic moments and internalize character feelings. The editing also deserves a shout out for some wonderful pacing and really effectively switching between the grainy, 70s like cinematography and more clear cinematography.

Now, back to the screenplay. What made and still makes "A Doll's House" the ultimate gender-equality script is that every character can be sympathized with. We learn more about the human condition and evils of society, rather than placing blame and anger on individual groups. There are only two men that can be rooted for without hesitation and that's our protagonist's husband and father. Every other guy is completely unlikable and has no arc, and Steve Carell's character can be questioned. Carell's character, who is a vital part of this story, isn't written very well or thoroughly. It's always hard to have two protagonists in a film, especially at a reasonable and well paced time. Carell's character is both an antagonist and protagonist or, at least attempts to be so. Carell's character opposes Emma Stone's. It's a man versus women ordeal and their tennis match is the crisis and climax of the film. But, here's the issue. Carell's character is NOT the antagonist. It's society! So why is Carell's character's standing within the realm of the film so questionable? Why doesn't he get his own arc? Every major character in "A Doll's House" takes a journey. That's what makes us empathize with them and come away disliking their society, and not the products of that society. The same would work with this film. But instead, there is a co-protagonist / antagonist that is not written for people to care about or even empathize with. He gets no arc, no change. He's unaffected. He may as well have been a smaller part.

Why is this an issue? Because Emma Stone's character is a catalyst. She's the driving force and vehicle used within the film to represent the affects of an unjust era and to showcase the positive effects that a change in this society would have. Unfortunately, because Carell's character and the real antagonists (the sexists who sit atop the societal ladder) don't change, because we only see them as unlikable, this story turns into something simple and ultimately unfulfilling. Stone's character merely wins the battle within the film and we come away knowing that and are momentarily happy. However, that soon goes away, which makes this entertaining dramedy perhaps a little forgettable. Had the writing been more substantial and caring to all its characters, and forgiving to all its characters and condemned society instead, we'd come away with a more profound understanding of where issues lie and are issued from. That's a memorable film. I suppose the cinematic world is still chasing Ibsen.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars for its entertainment value and performances and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It is playing in theaters now so go check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE, THE
LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE, THE - WARNER BROS. ANIMATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - The battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, also secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu (Jackie Chan), as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat the evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), who also happens to be Lloyd's dad. Pitting father against son, the epic showdown tests these fierce but undisciplined modern-day ninjas as they learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash the inner power of Spinjitzu.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What do you get when you mix a crazy cat, stealth ninjas and an evil villain? The LEGO Ninjago Movie which is an action packed adventure. I want to watch The LEGO Ninjago Movie again and again because the animation is fantastic and uses real life LEGOs. This story, told through the eyes of a young boy, captures your heart with friendship, parent controversies and team work.

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

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

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

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

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

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The LEGO Ninjago Movie, directed by Charlie Bean, is confusing yet manages to deliver some humor and entertainment. With many story lines and disconcerting ideas, it is a bit difficult to follow. Some of the plot lines are left unfinished. However, interspersed through the movie are scenes and dialogues where I couldn't help but smile.

The story follows six ninjas - Lloyd (Dave Franco), Cole (Fred Armisen), Jay (Kumail Nanijani), Kai (Michael Pena), Zane (Zach Woods) and Nya (Abbi Jacobson), who protect their home against the abominable Garmadon (Justin Thereox). Garmadon is Lloyd's father but Lloyd would do anything to get rid of him. Together the ninjas journey to find an answer to eliminating Garmadon once and for all.

Dave Franco as the voice of Lloyd easily adds emotion to his character. In one scene, when Lloyd wakes up to answer a phone, his voice tells us that he is weary and has just awakened. In other scenes, when Lloyd is irritated or confused, he uses different vocalizations to easily emphasize these emotions.

The animation and cinematography are the most prominent aspects of this film. The water of the ocean and pools is very realistic. When something emerges from the water, droplets trickle down from the object. The reflection of water on different surfaces is life-like and beautiful. Each individual LEGO block is detailed and, when looked at closely, you can even see scratches. The animation of the faces also brings about a lot of the emotion. The lines of the faces move when the character feels different sentiments. For example, when a character is confused or angry, different lines appear and disappear on the face showing sentiments. The cinematography is unique. In each of the battle scenes, the virtual cinematography allows one to view it from many different perspectives. In one scene, the perspective is Garmadon's point of view while, in the next scene we see the civilians' point of view.

The message of this film is that the superpowers that are invisible are sometimes the most powerful. I give this film 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Check out The LEGO Ninjago Movie when it opens in theaters nationwide September 22, 2017.

By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

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

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

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

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

As I previously mentioned, I don't know much about Ninjago. I was nervous that I wouldn't understand this movie because I don't follow the series. Thankfully, I can say that is not the case. I know almost nothing, yet I easily got the general idea of the story. So, if you're worried about not understanding the story, you're in luck. This movie stands on its own.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Remember, you don't need to like Ninjago to enjoy it. This movie comes out in theaters on September 22, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Calista B, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12 What do you get when you mix a crazy cat, stealth ninjas and an evil villain? The LEGO Ninjago Movie which is an action packed adventure. I want to watch The LEGO Ninjago Movie again and again because the animation is fantastic and uses real life LEGOs. This story, told through the eyes of a young boy, captures your heart with friendship, parent controversies and team work.

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

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

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

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

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

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The LEGO Ninjago Movie, directed by Charlie Bean, is confusing yet manages to deliver some humor and entertainment. With many story lines and disconcerting ideas, it is a bit difficult to follow. Some of the plot lines are left unfinished. However, interspersed through the movie are scenes and dialogues where I couldn't help but smile.

The story follows six ninjas - Lloyd (Dave Franco), Cole (Fred Armisen), Jay (Kumail Nanijani), Kai (Michael Pena), Zane (Zach Woods) and Nya (Abbi Jacobson), who protect their home against the abominable Garmadon (Justin Thereox). Garmadon is Lloyd's father but Lloyd would do anything to get rid of him. Together the ninjas journey to find an answer to eliminating Garmadon once and for all.

Dave Franco as the voice of Lloyd easily adds emotion to his character. In one scene, when Lloyd wakes up to answer a phone, his voice tells us that he is weary and has just awakened. In other scenes, when Lloyd is irritated or confused, he uses different vocalizations to easily emphasize these emotions.

The animation and cinematography are the most prominent aspects of this film. The water of the ocean and pools is very realistic. When something emerges from the water, droplets trickle down from the object. The reflection of water on different surfaces is life-like and beautiful. Each individual LEGO block is detailed and, when looked at closely, you can even see scratches. The animation of the faces also brings about a lot of the emotion. The lines of the faces move when the character feels different sentiments. For example, when a character is confused or angry, different lines appear and disappear on the face showing sentiments. The cinematography is unique. In each of the battle scenes, the virtual cinematography allows one to view it from many different perspectives. In one scene, the perspective is Garmadon's point of view while, in the next scene we see the civilians' point of view.

The message of this film is that the superpowers that are invisible are sometimes the most powerful. I give this film 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Check out The LEGO Ninjago Movie when it opens in theaters nationwide September 22, 2017.

By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

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

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

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

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

As I previously mentioned, I don't know much about Ninjago. I was nervous that I wouldn't understand this movie because I don't follow the series. Thankfully, I can say that is not the case. I know almost nothing, yet I easily got the general idea of the story. So, if you're worried about not understanding the story, you're in luck. This movie stands on its own.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Remember, you don't need to like Ninjago to enjoy it. This movie comes out in theaters on September 22, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Calista B, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GADGETGANG IN OUTERSPACE
GADGETGANG IN OUTERSPACE - VISION FILMS
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - A group of kids help five quirky little aliens who crashed into Earth, fix their spaceship, and together they save the universe from danger.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This hilarious animated film teaches so many important morals. I laughed the whole time. The animation is colorful and pleasing to watch. Also, the storyline is interesting and really inspiring.

The whole adventure begins when the Inva's (quirky little green space aliens) spaceship crashes onto planet Earth. When the Gagetgang kids (Gus, Phoebe, Mary Ann, Francesco, Mitsue, Banana and Tank) go to investigate the loud noise they heard, they see the spaceship and the Invas. The Invas tell the Gagetgang that they need help because an evil warlord is holding hostage the Confederation of Planet Leaders and all the planets are in grave danger.

Antony Serlano (Invas) can make his voice high-pitched, which is the perfect sound for an alien. The voice is very strange and fits the characteristics of the Invas. The writer of this story, Ale MacHaddo has interwoven many different morals into the story. I don't usually see films with multiple morals so prominent in the story. It is cool to see them all and be inspired in so many different ways.

The animation is very detailed and colorful. The different kinds of aliens they come up with look awesome! They are all completely different! They each have their own different characteristics and personalities.

My favorite part is when the Gagetgang offers to help the Invas. This is a perfect example of what you should do for someone in need. It warmed my heart to see the Invas so happy to get help from them.

There are multiple messages in this story. The first is about helping others in need. The Gagetgang help the Invas and the entire universe when they are in need. The second message is about no being defined by the category you are given. The Invas are seen by everyone as a weak, unintelligent species. Even when the Invas are put through a lot of persecution, they prove everyone wrong when they save the universe. The last message is that "no matter how small you are, you can still do big things together." The Gagetgang, even though they are so small compared to the universe, get together and save everyone.

This film is really inspirational, colorful and detailed. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 5 to 11. Gagetgang in Outer Space is a wonderful movie! You can check it out now on Digital!

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

Gadgetgang In Outer Space fascinates me because of its excellent animation. The voice acting is top level and the spectacular direction captures every detail of a space opera. This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser with the kids.

The story is about a spaceship that crashes to Earth and reveals a group of quirky little space aliens on the run for their lives. The GadgetGang kids - Gregory, Phoebe, Francesco, Mitsue, Mary Ann, Banana and Tank soon discover this won't be the same old stuff they are accustomed to. Instead it's an adventure which will heroically test all of their skills as a team. They learn that far away from the galaxy, an evil warlord named Gana Golber has seized control of the Confederation of Planets and now all the whole universe is in danger. Can the GadgetGang stand up to the test, or will all of humanity fall?

Brian Munn, as Gregory, excellently presents his leadership of the team, and relies on his quirky one-liners and street-smart to save the world. Due to this, he is my favorite character. Maisa Silva, as Phoebe, is great in how she shows her love for her brother, Gregory, as well as her adventurous attitude. Marc Thompson, as Francesco, provides a book-smart companion to Gregory. Lisa Adams, as Mitsue, provides exceptional comic relief and gadgets for the team. Alyson Leigh Rosenfield, as Mary Ann, is more concerned about her beauty and appearance as she tags along for the ride. David McDonald, as Gana Golber, is a threat, but his weakness comes beneath his exoskeleton.

The direction by Al McHaddo is splendid. Homage is given to many sci-fi movies, such as Star Wars and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. My favorite scene is the final space battle because there is a mix of spacecraft battles and artillery combat which I found entertaining. The Gadget Gang's banter only heightens the final battle. My only problem with this film is that it is a little too fast with its explanation of key plot points and kids could have trouble following the story line. However, all of the scenes of the movie are filled with humor and action.

The message of the film is about working as a team, because the GadgetGang would not be able to accomplish their purpose without the teamwork from everyone involved. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 80 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.48 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JUNGLE JIM, A MUSICAL WILDLIFE ADVENTURE
JUNGLE JIM, A MUSICAL WILDLIFE ADVENTURE - WAGNER PRODUCTIONS
Series: WEB SERIES, AGES 2-5
Description - Original music and charismatic characters make it easy for kids to learn fun facts about animals from inside their magic world. Jungle Jim is a young boy whose vivid imagination takes him and his animal friends on magical interactive adventures throughout the animal world.

Amazing facts about wildlife are entertainingly communicated through musical skits performed by the animals themselves. Catchy singable tunes make it easy for kids to learn about lots of different animals. http://junglejimmusic.com/
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Very cute animated short, geared for a preschool audience. Content is very suitable and straightforward. This is a pilot episode and, as such, offers a great example of what the finished series will show.

The background music is quite charming, sung by a choir of kids. The show features an animated character and his friends as they explore life action things. The voice over talent is quite good with voices that representing the characters in engaging ways. The storyline teaches kids facts about animals that reside in the jungle accompanied with fun music. This makes learning fun.

The graphics and visuals are clear, colorful and charming without going over the top. The pace of the production is quite appropriate for its target audience. Not too fast or too slow. The words are repetitive but that is suitable for preschoolers. The storyline is presented as a bit of an adventure which makes it fun and engaging.

This is a very watchable piece and I highly recommend it to parents and educators working with toddlers. It allows them to explore wildlife in a fun and informative way.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 2 to 5. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This show is designed for a preschool audience and it's quite suitable for them. The episodes are colorful and the characters look adorable. The songs are a pretty simple but work for its audience. The content is information but not very detailed. Again, remember that it's geared for a preschool audience so, the content is pretty basic and repetitive.

The voice acting is really great! I enjoyed listening to the different characters and give credit to the voice actors for their outstanding work. I found the animation a bit choppy and most of the backgrounds are pretty plain without much detail. There are occasional gaps between lines in a song or in between dialogue lines, but this is a pilot so, I'm sure that will smooth out in the final show.

The message that the film's creators are focused on is that learning can be fun! You should learn more about the things around you, specifically wild life and what all the different types are like. These episodes are short and cute. I give them 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 3 to 6. It is available on YouTube now so, check it out. Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Web Series


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GUMBY MOVIE, THE
GUMBY MOVIE, THE - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD AGES 5-12
Description - Take a magical romp with the world s most popular clay boy in The Gumby Movie. For the first time, you will enjoy this heartwarming adventure, fully re-mastered from its original film rolls. This is the complete movie, with all its scenes intact. This clay-animated masterpiece was written and directed by Gumby Creator Art Clokey, and showcases Gumby, Pokey, Prickle, Goo, the Blockheads, Professor Kapp, and introduces the Clayboys and singing sensation Tara. Gumby rocks out with the Clayboys for a concert benefiting local farmers. But things go awry when Gumby s arch enemies, the Blockheads, dognap his pet pooch, Lowbelly! Bad turns to worse when the Blockheads also kidnap the band...and replace them with clones! The battle between Clayboys and clones is filled with trains and planes, knights and fights, thrills and spills! True to classic Gumby adventures, The Gumby Movie takes viewers in and out of books, to Toyland, Camelot, outer space and beyond! The Gumby Movie Bonus Features include: Photo Gallery and Behind the Scenes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I always love watching anything Gumby related. I remember watching Gumby when I was younger and it was always a blast. It was always quirky and weird, which is something I can really get behind. The movie is a well done flashback to the series and has the same goofy animation and weird storylines. If this is not something that you've grown up with, chances are you might not like this movie as much. It's a hard style to get into if you are not watching it for nostalgia. My children were a little confused when watching this because the animation is so old school. I personally really enjoyed it and I am 26! I recommend it for ages 6 to 12 and give it 5 out of 5 stars, fully admitting that I am a sucker for nostalgia. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.

This Blu-ray release of the original 1995 feature-length film has been re-mastered and restored to its original running time of 90 minutes. The plot follows Gumby and his pals as they thwart the villainous Blockheads, who have created evil robotic clones of Gumby and his friends. The stop-motion clay animation, from the creator of the original TV series, is charming as ever in its stilted nature and the filmmakers utilize bright colors and wild re-shaping of the clay characters to often startling results. Thought not as lovably quirky as the TV show, which ran from 1953 to 1969 and was revived 1982 to 1989, the film should prove catnip to older fans of the iconic green character and entertaining for young viewers (most likely two to ten years of age). There is some pop-culture humor, including a nod to the original Star Wars film, but nothing crude or offensive. The DVD box set comes in a fun green Gumby head-shaped box. Included as an extra is a short film comprised of stills and video from the film's production. I give this 3 out of 5 stars. and recommend it for ages 5 to 12 and over 30.

I am a Gumby fan! I fondly remember watching Gumby and his pals when I was younger and was not disappointed with this movie! It is highly entertaining. It's pretty much like the Gumby I remember with more of a modern twist to it. I especially enjoyed watching Gumby vs. the Bad Robot Gumby and felt myself rooting for Gumby and his pals to win over bad, which back in the day were the blockheads of course! Children ages 7 to 11 will most likely enjoy this and Gumby fans of any age will enjoy it as well. I also like the music in the movie. The soundtrack really adds to the movie. The DVD also has a few surprises such as a photo gallery and behind-the-scenes which I found quite interesting to watch. I give this 5 stars out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is the youngest of the Gumby series and is far from the best. However, even though there are some moments that could be improved on,�Gumby: The Movie�still delivers the timeless entertaining charm that the earlier decades of the Gumby series are so famous for.This film follows the trend of the show by concentrating on Gumby's adventures. There are some light action scenes to keep these adventures exciting as well as a few jokes that the whole family can enjoy.

Gumby: The Movie's plot is about Gumby and his friends attempting to stage a concert. During the concert, two investors in the audience accidentally find out that Gumby's dog (Lowbelly) cries pearls when he listens to their music. They come up with a scheme to steal the dog and make thousands of dollars, but get discovered and Gumby and his friends have to save Lowbelly in one epic and complex adventure.

For the most part, this film really has a lot of great perks. The detail in the stop-motion clay animation really looks spectacular and mostly natural. The plot has lots of fun twists as well as quite a few references (i.e. one fighting scene contains light sabers in a ship that looks like it belongs in�Star Wars) to other series that allows for a good laugh. The background soundtrack by Jerry Gerber fits the tune of the quirky cartoon well and adds a little spice to the movie as a whole. There are a few technical hiccups that can be improved on to make this film perfect. One example is the visible and obvious wires holding up some of the characters. Even though this film was made in 1995, wire removal editing tools have existed since the late 80s. At times, the animation lags quite a bit and could be sped up to make more fluid motions. Nevertheless, none of these little things ruin the watching experience, as�Gumby: The Movie�still is a great film to watch with the family.

There are some filler scenes that don't do much to further the plot nor add any reoccurring elements to the story. Even though they sound bad, they are enjoyable and make it feel like several separate episodes, each with a unique adventure. My favorite scene takes place towards the beginning of the runtime when Pokey looks for Gumby everywhere. On his way, he passes by a slide. At the same time, two of Pokey's friends come out of the slide and run into him. The three turn into a big clay ball and need to go to the hospital to get un-separated. The scene has quite a few made up procedures that are both funny and realistic looking, which adds to the humor. Even though this has no purpose to the story, it still provides a few good laughs and, in general, is a fun mini-story.Gumby: The Movie�can be a family movie but its main purpose is being a kid's movie. For that reason, I recommend it for ages 8 to 18.�I give�Gumby: The Movie�4.5 out of 5 stars because it has a few technical faults here and there, but still really provides a good quality Gumby feature film. By Gerry O. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MONSTER ISLAND
MONSTER ISLAND - VISION FILMS
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Description - When not-so-popular Lucas finds out he is not really a human, but actually a monster, the news changes his whole world! Embarking on a quest to Monster Island to discover his real roots, Lucas undergoes a journey he will never forget. He finds himself face to face with more tentacles, fangs and far-out situations than he can shake one of his new wings at. Ultimately Lucas learns that being a freak, isn't freaky--it means you're a member of a brand new type of family that you can proudly call your own.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Monster Island is a good film with animation that gave me feel a feeling of eeriness and anticipation. I enjoyed the story line.

Monster Island is about a boy named Lucas, a lonely kid who is getting bullied at school and his overprotective dad won't let him go anywhere without his inhaler. We learn that the reason is not that overexcitement might bring on an asthmatic attack, but an awful metamorphosis. The boy's secret is that he is a monster, like his dad. Lucas discovers his monster identity at the biggest party of the year, in front of all his friends, when he forgets his inhaler. He turns into a monster and scares everyone. His dad shows up with his inhaler and he returns to his human state. His dad explains his origins and his powers. Lucas learns they are from an island called Calvera and sets out to find the island and his Grandmother Carlotta.

The movie is very watchable. One message of the movie is to accept who you. Lucas' uncle is not a monster like the others in his family and he resents it. He becomes a mad scientist and causes problems for the family and Calvera.

Every monster is unique and the animators truly show off great creative talent here. The storyline is simple, easy to understand and makes sense. The coordination between sound and movement is good. The music gives a haunting and scary feeling.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 10. Look for this entertaining film on-line at YouTube, Google Play, ITunes and similar. It's available now so go check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

The animation reminded me of early Jimmy Neutron shows. The story is about a 13-year-old boy who finds out his asthma inhaler is actually a device that keeps him from transforming into a monster. He travels to Monster Island to discover who he really is. It's a cute fantastical story with tons of potential that doesn't develop completely. I wanted it to do so much more. But, let's talk about what is good in this movie. The small lessons are great. I loved watching the confused child realize who he is, who his father is and watch him grow to appreciate all of that. It's a great lesson for anyone interested in self discovery. I give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 13. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Monster Island is a great film because of its animation and unique storyline. I love how the monsters are animated. I also adore the storyline. It's something I've never seen before.

Monster Island is about a boy named Lucas who's a monster, but doesn't know it since his dad hid it from him his whole life. His dad has given him a potion to stop him from turning into a monster by hiding it as an inhaler. When Lucas forgets his inhaler at home to go the biggest party of the year, he turns into a monster which scares everyone. Luckily, his dad comes to the rescue with his inhaler which turns him back into a human. His dad explains what's happening and where he got his powers from. Turns out, they're from an island called Calvera. Lucas goes on an adventure to find this island. But will he find it? Watch it to find out!

The animation reminds me of Frankenweenie and Coraline which are some of my favorite Halloween movies. Unlike Frankenweenie and Coraline, Monster Island is all computer animation. However, it looks like claymation. I'm fascinated by the attention to detail. Every monster is unique. There are squid monsters and humongous monsters who tower over people.

I love the characters in this movie. Two of my favorites are the two police officers. I love their banter as they try to catch Lucas, but always fail. I love how the pumpkin monster is the "brains" of their team while the deer head monster is the tough dumb one. They had me cracking up the whole time.

The message of this movie is to accept yourself. Lucas' uncle tries to become a monster since he never became a monster. He felt left out because all of his family are monsters, but he isn't. Although his family loves him either way, he still tries to find a way to become a monster through science.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 10. You can find this incredible movie online now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 80 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 6-10 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: FLUTTERSHY
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: FLUTTERSHY - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Description - Not every Pegasus pony in Equestria is the same. Just ask Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. While Rainbow Dash is bold and daring, Fluttershy is quite reserved and caring. But that's what makes Fluttershy such a wonderful friend to everyone around her, whether they're her pony friends, like Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack and, yes, even Rainbow Dash , or her non-equestrian friends, like Angel the bunny. Join in for five adventures that feature everypony's lovably quiet Pegasus, Fluttershy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Fluttershy, created by Lauren Faust is lively and cheerful! The storylines are well thought out, with plots that relate to real life. The variety of the personalities of each pony creates a realistic atmosphere where everyone is accepted. Each episode teaches how to deal with certain setbacks and different realistic situations through colorful and merry narratives.

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 110 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-10 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
UPTON CHARLES - DOG DETECTIVE, PICTURE PERFECT
UPTON CHARLES - DOG DETECTIVE, PICTURE PERFECT - NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 8-12
Description - Fire engines race to a smokey house, but Upton's nose knows there is something wrong. Join Upton, his assistant Watson and the rest of the Charles family to find the answer.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Upton Charles and his family is back for yet another mystery! This is very entertaining and has an educational twist to it, as well. It flows well from beginning to end. Children will want to know how the mystery is solved. The educational art history facts make this more than a fun read. Children will learn interesting information as they read. The vocabulary is appropriate to its intended audience. The illustrations, although simple, have good visual appeal. There are positive role models in the story and it's quite clever that Upton is not a talking dog, but his thoughts are shown throughout the story. Great chapter book for children ages 8 to 12.? I give it 4 out of 5 stars.?
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99 Media: Book

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LEAP!
LEAP! - WEINSTEIN CO, THE
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Description - Paris, 1884. An orphaned girl arrives in Paris from Brittany. F�licie Milliner is 11 and has no money but one big, passionate dream: to become a dancer. With nothing left to lose, F�licie takes a big risk: she 'borrows' a spoiled brats identity and enters the Opera Ballet School. But how long can she be someone else? Mentored by the tough and mysterious cleaner, Odette , F�licie learns that talent is not enough - it takes hard work to be better than her ruthless, conniving fellow students. That and friendship. Felicie's inventive, exhausting and charismatic best friend Victor also has a dream: becoming a famous inventor. Together, they both encourage each other to reach for the stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Leap! is a great film with a big meaning. This film teaches it all - honesty, perseverance and the importance of practice, family, believing in yourself, believing in your dreams and passion. F�licie makes a lot of mistakes during her journey, which set her back, but that doesn't stop her from continuing to push through.

The story begins when F�licie and her best friend, Victor escape from an orphanage. They take a train to Paris so that F�licie can attend a dance school there and Victor can become an inventor. They arrive in Paris without any money. During their journey, they encounter many challenges. As F�licie meets new people, a love conflict arises as well as a conflict with a wealthy lady who is pure evil and wants to crush Felicie's dream.

A wealthy woman Regine (Kate McKinnon) is cruel, rude and arrogant, but a boy with a crush on F�licie protects her from Regine. McKinnon makes Regine sound totally wicked in a bad but great way. The boy, Victor (Natt Wolf) is portrayed as a timid, but an optimistic and caring friend.

The animation in this film is spectacular! It is very detailed and their mouths move with the words they are saying so well the animated characters seem real. The voice acting is spot on. The voices are filled with emotion and an inspiration to the audience, including me.

My favorite part is when F�licie watches a ballerina at the French dance school. She takes just one look at the ballerina's dance and knows she wants to dance and that she can dance. You can really see Felicie's passion for dancing right there. The whole movie is all about passion and the movie will inspire viewers to follow their dreams.

The message of this film is to follow your dreams. It show how, in order to succeed, you have to work very hard, believe in yourself and have passion. F�licie is an exemplary role model.

Leap! is a very inspirational film with a very important lesson and a pleasure to watch. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18. Adults will love this movie as well. I really enjoyed watching this film. Definitely check this awesome movie out when it opens nationwide in theaters August 30, 2017.

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

Leap!, directed by Eric Summer is a fun filled, adventurous experience! A quick dive into the storyline and action captivated me from the beginning. The animation engrossed me with its beautiful and realistic settings of buildings, streets and skies. The designs of the characters' outfits are unique and exquisite.

The story follows two best friends, F�licie (Elle Fanning) and Victor (Dane DeHaan) who have tremendous dreams. F�licie yearns to be a ballerina and Victor, an inventor. Together they escape their home at an orphanage and arrive in Paris to pursue their ambitions.

Elle Fanning as Felicie's voice communicate sadness when she sniffles, happiness as she squeals with joy and courage with a firm voice. Through Felicie's voice, I connected to her. Dane Dehaan as Victor's voice adds great joy and lightness to the film. The humor in his voice made me laugh out loud along with the audience.

The animation is the highlight of this film. The settings and surroundings are intricately detailed. When F�licie and Victor walk through the streets of Paris, the walls of the different buildings are covered with posters that have been ripped or worn down, the individual bricks or stones that make up the walls and street floors are covered with moss and miniscule cracks which adds to their realistic look. The architecture is angelic. The images of the Grand Opera house does true justice to the actual opera house. The ballet choreographer, Benjamin Millepied, wonderfully creates dance masterpieces. Although animated, I felt as if I was watching F�licie dance in real life. In one scene, two girls dance side by side and gracefully migrate from the stage to the chairs in the audience, to outside the stage. They use multiple areas as their stage and still look skillful and elegant.

My favorite part are the costumes. Designed to be sophisticated, from the ballerina's tutus to the vest of the Director of Opera, they have beautiful flower prints with bright colors and are very visually appealing.

The messages of this film is "never give up on your dreams" and "persevere towards your goals." I give 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It opens nationwide in theaters August 25, 2017 so, check it out.

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

Leap! is a marvelous movie that is so inspirational. It has a classic plot of a dance movie, with amazing twists that keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more. Leap! has fantastic animation and shows some of the real struggles of being a ballerina. This film shows how hard work pays off and really motivates you to work as hard as the characters in the film. I love how it has clich�s, but still kept me glued and wanting to know more.

The storyline is about an orphan girl, F�licie (Elle Fanning) and her best friend Victor (Dane DeHaan) who escape an orphanage to pursue their dreams. Felicie's dream is to dance and she gets her own chance to pursue that. Along the way, she faces challenges and setbacks that help her learn about her longing to dance.

Something really amazing about this film is that during the group dance scenes, they only show the dancers feet, while they dance on pointe. I love it because of how in sync all the feet are and how realistic the animated ballet shoes are. The one thing I didn't like about the movie is how old some the characters sound compared to their age. For example, F�licie is 11 years old and is voiced by Elle Fanning whose voice sounds much older. In some scenes, Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen) who is much older than F�licie sounds younger than her. But, the animation is so beautifully unique and unlike anything I've seen in any other movie. My favorite scene is when Victor (Dane DeHaan) and Rudy (Tamir Kapelian) fight over F�licie and it turns into a very funny slap fight. My favorite character is Odette because she is the one who teaches F�licie how to dance and always believes in her no matter what happens.

I think there are two messages in this film. The first is to follow your dreams because, if you can dream it, you can do it (shout out to Walt on this one). The second message is that practice makes perfect. This is what F�licie has to do in order to achieve her dream. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars because it is such a marvelous movie that I loved watching. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 because even my 17-year-old brother enjoyed it! You can find this film in a theatre near you on August 25.

Reviewed by Dariana A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 5-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NUT JOB 2, THE: NUTTY BY NATURE
NUT JOB 2, THE: NUTTY BY NATURE - OPEN ROAD PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Surly the squirrel and his animal friends find out that the corrupt mayor of Oakton plans to bulldoze their beloved Liberty Park to make way for an amusement park. Hoping to save the place they call home, Surly, Andie, Buddy and the rest of the gang join forces with Mr. Feng, a seemingly cute and innocent mouse who happens to be a fierce master of kung fu.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Nut Job 2 is wonderful! With some movies, the sequel is never as good as the original, but with this movie, they are both awesome films. There is never a boring part or unnecessary scene. It keeps you wanting more and gets you really attached about the characters' lives. The background music really helps keep the story going and makes the chase scenes more suspenseful since there are no silent moments.

In the film, an accident happens and all the animals who are eating at the nut shop are forced to move back to the park. Unfortunately, Mayor Muldoon (Bobby Moynihan) has some nefarious plans to destroy the park. So, Surly (Will Arnett) and his friends have to find a way to work together to save the park.

One of the things I care for in both of The Nut Job films is the animation. I love how you can see every single hair on all the animals and how each one is different. Another thing that I love about this film is the music. That, you can thank Heitor Pereira for. The music goes with the lines and scenes so well, that it truly enhances the story. My favorite character is Buddy because, even though he never talks, he is always there for Surly and it's funny to see Buddy's expressions that make it seem as if he's talking. I also really like the backstory showing Surly and Buddy's friendship. Another thing I really like is Mr. Feng's (Jackie Chan) tail because it makes him more intimidating, which adds to his character. My favorite scene is when Andie (Katherine Heigl) starts singing about how the park is their home and they make a joke about how "no one can break into a spontaneous song." Go watch it and you'll see!

The two messages in this film are to work together, which this movie is all about, and that nothing comes easy. This message comes into place when the animals have to move back to the park and scrounge for food. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars because of the extraordinary animation, plot and music. I recommend this film for ages 5 to 14 and parents and older siblings will enjoy it too. You can find this film theaters nationwide on August 11, 2017.

By Dariana A., KIDS FIRST Film Critics, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TRIP TO SPAIN, THE - 0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on a six-part episodic road trip through Spain, sampling the restaurants, eateries, and sights along the way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed The Trip to Spain for its humor, beautiful countryside scenery, exquisite food and wine and meals shared by two male friends. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon shine as themselves on a romp through Spain for an adventurous week together.

They are asked to go on a newspaper photo shoot to portray Don Quixote and Sancho Panza and we travel with them through Spain in both fun times and some serious professional and family moments.

I love the road trip scenes across different parts of Spain and laughed heartily as the two men tried to outdo each other with comedic imitations of famous actors such as Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro. My favorite scene is Steve Coogan's inimitable portrayal of Mick Jagger singing. He had his voice and hand motions down to a tee. I also loved their singing duet while driving along the road of an old song of Noel Harrison's "Windows of Your Mind." Baby boomers will appreciate the joke about who Noel's father is and what song his father sang.

In opposition to the hilarity of most of the film, we see Steve Coogan dealing with some serious concerns regarding a script he has written and wondering why it has not been green-lit yet. He also learns that his agent has left the agency and he's been handed over to his agent's assistant and is unhappy about that. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Steve, his ex-agent has contacted Rob, telling him that he is the next James Cordon, and should be hosting an awards show and would like to represent him.

While on the road, Steve has some somber phone conversations with his son and Rob enjoys fun Skyped conversations with his wife and kids. The ending of the amigos' trip and Steve's time alone, provide viewers with an interesting speculative ending. This film is the third in a trilogy directed by Michael Winterbottom. Seeing this one has enticed me to seek out the first two films, The Trip and The Trip to Italy.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. It is playing at select theaters nationwide so, go check it out.

By Terry Solowey, KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I surprised myself by actually enjoying this film. It is entertaining and light-hearted. The writer/director, Michael Winterbottom leaves the audience with an ending that encourages some interesting discussion as well as making me want to go grab a late night snack!

The Trip to Spain is a deadpan comedy about two friends, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing themselves, traveling across Spain, writing about food while they take in culture and talk about life. This is the third in a series of "trip" films and aired at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. What I find interesting is Michael Winterbottom never actually wrote a script. It is more of an outline explaining where each scene takes place, who is in it and what subjects will be discussed. Most of the lines are improvised by the actors.

The Trip to Spain is shot on location which allows for some magnificent cinematography. There are numerous breathtaking views from the many restaurants they visit. One thing I found annoying was the abrupt cuts the camera takes to show locals eating or sitting around. I found it unnecessary and actually distracting from the plot.

I enjoy dry, deadpan humor. I also think the many impressions Steve and Rob do throughout the film are fun to watch. Obviously I cannot relate when they make references to their 50-year-old selves, but I often laughed at the situational humor.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Because of the content and dry humor, I think older teens and adults will appreciate it most. It is playing in theaters now so, go check it out.

By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MENASHE - 0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Deep in the heart of New York's notoriously secretive Hasidic Jewish community, Menashe, a good-hearted but somewhat hapless grocery store clerk, struggles against tradition to keep custody of his only son after his wife passes away.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Menashe is an authentic, emotional masterpiece telling the story of a kind, hapless, Hasidic grocery store clerk who battles to keep his family together after his wife dies. Directed by Joshua Z. Weinstein and starring Menashe Lustig, the film was shot clandestinely because of the beliefs of the Orthodox Jewish sect. I love this film because it took willpower to make. You can't say that about many films nowadays.

Menashe is about a kindhearted, but miserable grocery store employee that must remarry in order to care for his only son. It is against the Hasidic beliefs that a child be taken care of without a mother in the home. While Menashe ponders his situation, his well-off brother-in-law is given custody of Rieven by their Rabbi. Menashe is frustrated by this and is only able to get back custody of his son for a week, while he looks for a new wife. It doesn't seem that he really wants to get remarried, because when he goes on one date he isn't particularly friendly.

Unlike the rest of his family and friends, Menashe is more at ease with the secular society surrounding them in Brooklyn. He dresses more casually, without the requisite black hat and coat. While he takes his religion seriously, he wants to embrace life and freedom, more than the sect allows. My favorite part of this film is when Menashe drinks malt liquor with the Hispanic employees after his late night shift. They talk about life and try to get Menashe back on track.

One of the attributes of this film is the way it educates you about the culture of ultra Orthodox Judaism. The other very impressive fact is that it is the first film in 70 years to be filmed in Yiddish. Most of the film is subtitled for those who don't speak Yiddish. Both Menashe Lustig and young Ruben Niborski convey the closeness they have between father and son. One downside of the film is that it is low budget, which is reflected in its grainy resolution. Some of that could also be due to the fact that it was shot in secret.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for its authenticity and emotional punch. I recommend it for ages 13 through 18. The film is in limited release throughout the country at art house cinemas.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LUCKY (2017)
LUCKY (2017) - MAGNOLIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - A 90-year-old atheist has outlived and out-smoked his contemporaries, and as he comes to terms with his own mortality, he searches for ever-elusive enlightenment. Directed by John Carroll Lynch; Starring Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston and more.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This paradoxical film definitely altered my perspective on daily life. Life is meant to be a beautiful thing, but not in this case. Elaborating on loneliness and the mundane events in everyday life, you will surely rethink what it means to be alive.

Lucky is a 90-year-old atheist, who ironically, isn't so lucky. Every day, Lucky drinks his glass of milk, does yoga stretches, has a cup of coffee, goes to the local diner and ends his day walking back home from the store with a package of cigarettes. His health is impeccable, but he does not seem to be happy. In reality, he is afraid of living and consistently talks about death. Join Lucky on his journey of trying to attain enlightenment and see if he can live the life he truly desires.

Harry Dean Stanton plays the role of Lucky and successfully portrays an angry, independent old man. Stanton manages to hold a depressed facial expression for the majority of the film. All the town residents try to help him. Yvonne Huff plays Loretta, the waitress at the local diner who empathizes with Lucky the most and drives to his house to check up on him once day. Originally, Lucky is reluctant, but Loretta goes into his house and they watch TV together. Lucky tells her that he's scared of life and they both share a hug before she heads over to the diner for her shift.

The set is incredible. The film is set in a deserted town, so the characters' relationships are very strong. David Lynch, who plays Howard, has a tortoise named President Roosevelt and he is tremendous. I didn't know that tortoises could live for 200 years. It's great to see an animal become so prominent to the residents of the town. My favorite part is when Howard says his tortoise has escaped. Tortoises travel very slowly, so his friends make fun of him by asking if Howard went to Europe in the time being. Seeing this scene made me want to have my own pet tortoise.

The message of this film is to live life however you desire. Life is short, so make sure to make the most of it, even if it means doing the same thing over and over again. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 16 to 18, since there is drinking, drugs and foul language. Catch this film in theaters September 29, 2017 to find out what it means to be "Lucky."

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE EMOJI MOVIE
THE EMOJI MOVIE - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE 5-12
Description - The Emoji Movie - Exhilarating Storyline, Wonderful Cast, Colorful Animation and More
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see kid comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Emoji Movie is a kid-friendly fun and exciting film for people of all ages to enjoy and connect with. I love how the world of emojis in smartphone relates to the human world throughout the film. It gives the audience a way to identify with the characters and the plot. Families will definitely enjoy this amusing motion film and may even learn from it.

Alex's (Jake T Austin) smartphone is home to all of the emojis. Each has its own facial expression except for Gene (TJ Miller). Gene struggles with being an emoji with multiple expressions and is determined to become normal like all of the other emojis. Gene asks for help from his new best friends, Hi-5 (James Corden) and Jailbreak (Anna Faris), a popular code breaker. During their epic adventure, the three face great danger and conflict with other characters. Join them on their experience.

I enjoyed every aspect of this film, but my favorite scene is when Gene realizes his uniqueness from the other emojis. Alex is having phone troubles and is on the verge of getting it fixed, which means the end for all things emojis. Gene steps in to make sure that doesn't happen, which is a perk since he recognizes his worth. This scene sends a powerful message for kids to learn about liking themselves and recognizing their importance in the world.The overall message of the film is to learn to accept who you are, no matter what others think of you. In the beginning, Gene has trouble figuring out who he is and why he isn't like the rest. That leads him to wanting to be normal. Fortunately, Gene later realizes who he is, with a little help from his friends, and finally accepts himself. Kids and even adults can learn a lesson from this and apply it to their lives by building up their own self confidence.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18. There are scenes that tweens and teens can enjoy, but it also contains some scenes are suitable for 5 to 13 year olds. Adults will most likely enjoy this as well. It really is a film that the whole family will get a kick out of.

I rate The Emoji Movie 4 out of 5 because of its exhilarating storyline, wonderful cast, colorful animation and overall message. The Emoji Movie opens on July 28th, 2017 so, be sure to check it out so you can laugh along with the characters and enjoy it as much as I did.
Juror Recommended Age: 5-13 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DAY HENRY MET, THE: SEASON 1
DAY HENRY MET, THE: SEASON 1 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - Henry is a 4-year-old boy who always wants to learn and find out more. In each episode, Henry has a friendly chat with whatever he meets and discovers something new! No matter what Henry meets, they're always delighted to talk, laugh and share their amazing world with him. After finding out so many amazing things about his new friends, Henry lets his imagination run wild and imagines himself...As a knight rescuing the missing sword...As a singer performing in a band...As a deep sea diver swimming along sea creatures...As a fireman rescuing others... As an astronaut flying to the moon...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is truly a neat little program. This show is exactly as it sounds. It's all about Henry meeting all kinds of people and things. He goes on tons of wacky adventures and I loved every minute of it. The art is goofy and feels as if it came from a child. I believe that is appealing to children who think that they too could create such a little journey. My favorite episode is "The Day Henry Met... A Panda." It may because I love pandas, ha-ha. In this episode, Henry helps a panda at the zoo search for its cousin and, in turn, becomes a zookeeper for the day. it's very fun seeing him meet all the zoo animals and create a friendship with the panda as they search together. I think this show really inspires adventure and curiosity. I love how it makes every small event seem so fun and worthwhile. I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 5 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This creative animated series left me feeling intrigued the entire time. I enjoyed watching Henry act as an inquisitive 4-year-old. I am a little jealous because he is so intelligent and I wish I was that intelligent when I was 4! Throughout the series, I couldn't wait to see what Henry would encounter next.

Henry is a young boy who desires to learn something new in his everyday life. In each episode, Henry meets a new object and his imagination comes to life when he puts the object to use. He finds a soccer ball and acts as a referee, finds a shield and acts as a knight and even acts as a deep sea diver, swimming alongside marine life. The best part is, Henry builds so many friendships and everyone he meets is eager to help him find the answers to his questions.

Steve Austin, the series animator, makes the setting and characters look incredibly realistic, since they aren't picture-perfect. The animation looks pencil sketched, which makes the series more relatable, since nothing in life is perfect. Susan Broe, the series producer, incorporates a multitude of family-friendly themes to make this series fun for everyone to watch.

The music in the series is centralized with an orchestra, which is very calming for young kids and was for me also. It's very unique, which I greatly admire, because most TV shows today have similar types of music. My favorite episode is called, "A Parrot." Henry meets a parrot, begins talking to him and finds out it's his 101st birthday. He tells Henry about his famous grandfather parrot, which is hilarious because parrots aren't usually famous. It reminded me of going into pet stores and seeing talking parrots.

The message of the series is to explore everything life has to offer and to be nice to everyone you meet. Henry is grateful for his life and treats everyone with compassion and respect, which is what everyone should do. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars, recommend it to kids ages 6 to18 and adults would enjoy it too. I love how every object comes to life in Henry's imagination and the unique plot had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. This comes out on DVD August 15, 2017. I can't wait to watch Season 2.

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

This DVD is very educational and cute. It is simply amazing that a child can enjoy watching a film while learning so much at the same time. A child can acquire so many positive traits and behaviors from watching this show. The animation is so cute. I have never seen this style of animation before. In this show, Henry meets a new object every day and goes on adventures learning more about them. He helps his object friends with their problems and learns the correct way to act in different situations. He learns to be fair, honest and kind. The show is somewhat predictable and not as original as some educational kids' shows. I love the plot of Henry meeting a new object. That is very original. One interesting thing is that all of the objects (trees, clouds, pillars) have eyes on them. The eyes are huge and wide, even on Henry. Another thing is that everything is always moving. For example, all the trees in the background sway in the wind. There are tiny details like that which make everything seem a bit more life like.

My favorite episode is "The Day Henry Met a Football." In this episode, there is Henry, two boots and a football. The two boots argue with each other about who is the best. The two boots play a game together with the football and eventually get super tired. Then they start arguing that they aren't the best. This reminds me of when me and my brother argue and it made me laugh. I wonder if the boots are siblings as well

There are multiple message in the stories. The most common ones are about being honest, kind to others, playing fair and facing your fears. These are all very important and good to teach to children at an early age.

This DVD is great for young children who are ready to learn. I recommend it ages 3 to 7 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. The animation is super cute and unique, but the stories are not all that original. Still this is a wonderful DVD and is available now, so check it out!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 135 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE NEW MISSION - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-12
Description - Life on B612 has resumed to normalcy. Rose, Fox, and the Little Prince are living peacefully, maybe too peacefully...Then one night, Rose hears the Snake telling her that she has a home planet with a family. Can this be true? Rose asks Little Prince to find her planet because she's afraid it's in grave danger. The Little Prince asks Fox to keep an eye on Rose as he flies off on his plane to try to find more information on her planet. The Little Prince promises he will return before the next sunset to trim the baobabs germinating on B612. While searching for Rose's planet, the Little Prince encounters four characters, the geographer, the hunter, the king, and the businessman. They tell him that Rose's planet is in another galaxy far beyond interstellar space. Meanwhile, back on B612, days have passed so Little Prince hasn't had a chance to tend to the baobabs like he promised Rose. So Rose is starting to be bothered with nightmares and is becoming irritated. The tones begin to rise between Rose and Fox and arguments occur. After an argument between the two, it's decided to open the sketchbook and free the Snake. When the Little Prince finally returns to B612 and learns that the Snake has been freed, he collapses. His friend, the aviator, comforts him and urges him to set off on a new adventure to fight his worst enemy again. But what about Rose's planet? The aviator mysteriously explains - those you will save will guide you.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really love the whimsical components shown in this story. Most of the characters are well thought out and fun to discover. For the most part, the Little Prince is a great role model. He's kind and caring, with an adventurous spirit. Though the story makes sense, it is a bit weak. I feel the stakes for the Little Prince are not high enough. It lacks a strong motivation for him to leave his planet behind. Also, the opposition isn't very strong, until the snake is set free and that is towards the end of the story. Sometimes it feels as if the protagonist's obstacles are too easy to concord, so it is hard to feel empathy for him and his cause. It feels as if he doesn't have to work hard enough to overcome the challenges he encounters.

I like the design of the show, especially the character designs. Although, I think that the snake may be too scary for younger kids. The most appealing thing about this show are its elements of imagination. I love how each of the characters the Little Prince encounters are whimsical. The whole story is full of surprises. The whimsical factor of the story makes it very enjoyable for kids. The characters are engaging and the story is written in a way that, as viewers, we want to know what happens next. On the other hand, because the story has some weaknesses, older kids might not enjoy it as much.

You can tell the Little Prince loves his friends and his planet and wants to protect them. One thing I didn't like is that in the scene with the hunter, he lies to him and, after the lie, the hunter decides to help him. I think he could have found a better way to solve the issue with the hunter without lying. Also, Fox and Rose constantly fight and we definitely see the consequences of their behavior. They let the prince down and release the snake. However, because this is such an important moment, I feel that the dialog in that scene could have been stronger.

The examples of problem solving throughout the story are not as strong as they could be. They are present, but the prince could have dealt with them in better ways. For instance, his first instinct to fight the snake is to use his sword. He even says he had fought the snake before, so why doesn't he stop and figure out what is it that the snake wants this time. Why doesn't he use the information he knows about the snake from the past to confront it again? Part of the problem is that it isn't clear exactly what the snake's goal is.

The show is done in 3D animation. The visuals are not breathtaking, but they are suitable for its target audience. This is the first DVD I've seen that doesn't have a Menu. It opens with previews of other shows from the same distributor and then the movie starts. It would be nice if a menu was available so you can select to start and stop and go to specific scenes. I can see kids play pretend being the Little Prince, imagining new planets and characters. I think more than inquiry, it will motivate their creativity.

This DVD is best suited for kids ages 6 to 10. The vocabulary and concepts are age appropriate. It is a safe story for parents to watch with their kids. It's entertaining and enjoyable. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD now so, be sure to look for it. Reviewed by Martha S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This imaginative animated film warmed my heart. Elaborating upon a conquest to find Rose's family, the friendship that Little Prince, Fox and Rose share is remarkable. Each character differs from one another, but they all manage to combat the forces of evil together, which in turn, strengthens their relationship in a way never seen before. With such a divine plot, exquisite action scenes and heartwarming friendships, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

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

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

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

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

By Samantha M.s, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17
Runtime: 85 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 6-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS is the new adventure film from Luc Besson, the director of The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy, based on the comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers and filmmakers. In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha-an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets fascinated me because of its excellent, ahead of its time special effects. The stunt work is top level. The spectacular direction adds flair to the story.

The movie is about Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), who are operatives that maintain order in the human territories. Under operation from Commander Filitt (Clive Owen), the team embarks on a mission to Alpha, the City of a Thousand Planets. While on the mission, the team meets shapeshifter Bubble (Rihanna), who helps them. However, a mystery at the center of Alpha could threaten the existence of every person in the city. Only Valerian can unlock the secret beneath the threat.

Dane DeHaan as Valerian bravely presents his character who tries to save the universe, while at the same time impress his partner, Laureline. Dane is excellent in his battle scenes, especially in the final showdown. Cara Delevingne, as Laureline, expresses her extreme love and confidence in her effort to rescue Alpha. Clive Owen as Commander Filitt seems heroic, but puzzles Valerian with his classified files. He is my favorite character. Rihanna, as Bubble, can transform into any shape to help the team. She also represents a slave who craves freedom. Sam Spruell as General Octo Bar is noble and firm in how he presents his orders and also tries to solve the mystery of the classified files of Commander Filitt.

The direction by Luc Besson is splendid. Innovative camera techniques are used to present most of the locales, especially in The City of a Thousand Planets. My favorite scene is when Valerian takes a shortcut across the city. It is a treat to watch, due to how the environments switch. My only problem in this film is that it jumps everywhere following various sub-plots, which makes it difficult to follow. Despite that flaw, the special effects make it worthwhile.

The film's message is that it is sometimes necessary to break conventional rules for a worthy cause. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action and brief language. The movie releases in theaters on July 21st, so check it out for one, ahead of its time sci-fi film.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DINOSAUR TRAIN: DINOSAURS TAKE FLIGHT
DINOSAUR TRAIN: DINOSAURS TAKE FLIGHT - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD AGES 2-5
Description - Join the Pteranodon family on high-flying adventures! In four of the eight dino-mite stories on this DVD, take to the sky with Buddy and his family as they ride in Dinosaur Train Industry's newest creation the Dinosaur Train Zeppelin. As they soar above the clouds, the Pteranodon family visits a waterfall, explores a crater made by an asteroid, and more!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD has a good balance of entertainment and educational elements for kids ages 4 to 6. Because the characters sound like kids and, for the most part, behave like kids too, I feel that the characters are engaging, and relatable. The wow factor for a kid, especially boys, is that the dinosaur characters ride a train and zeppelin. The conductor character is silly and engaging and I'm sure kids watching look forward to seeing the conductor. The storylines clearly aim to educate its audience about dinosaur, paleontology, natural science, natural history and positive social behaviors. I think it is great that one of the brothers from the pack looks different, as it gives the audience a good introduction to inclusion and diversity. The character designs are adorable and the use of bright colors appeals to its intended audience. I also enjoyed the songs and the relationship between the kids and their parents. Overall a great show!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 120 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-6 Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.71 Media: DVD

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This science fiction film had me fascinated with the breathtaking special effects and the animation from the get go. It's impressive how much technology has improved and the differences of the effects in the previous Planet of the Apes films compared to this new one is incredible. It's insane how today, everything looks so realistic. I also like this film because of its sincere, from-the-heart message.

War for the Planet of the Apes is about Caesar and his apes who are forced into deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a cruel Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both of their species and the future of the planet.

My favorite scene from this film is when all the apes are attacked by the military and lots of them are killed. Their leader Caesar, of course, becomes furious and wants to do something about it. He decides to go off to fight the soldiers that attacked his family while defending themselves. I love this scene because it shows how the leader of the apes really cares for his family. Also, the apes that look up to him see him as a role model and can follow in his footsteps and morals.

The important message of this film is that no family is perfect. Unpleasant things can happen that make their relationships worse. Family members can go through tough times, but in the end, family is family and love will always be there. So if there's fighting and family members are struggling through something, they will figure things out and help each other sort things out. In this film, the apes are all there for each other all the time. If someone needs help, they all help. If someone is fighting or arguing, they all help figure it out. They support each other. I think it's an amazing idea that this message is taught by the apes because lots of people can learn from this and apply it to their own lives.

By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15


Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May, under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark, Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine - distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man - but when the Vulture emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving the future lies buried in the secrets of the past and the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Now, it's up to the unlikely alliance of inventor Cade Yeager, Bumblebee, an English lord and an Oxford professor to save the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This latest installment is part of the action packed Transformers series that I love because of the captivating work of the transformers' team. Seeing it in IMAX is even more mind-blowing. As well as the great cinematography, this film has hyper-realistic imagery that makes it ten times better.

This film has many great things in it, but a big problem I have with it is that it has too many things happening. By that, I mean there are new characters, lots of transformers, lots of different storylines and multiple things happening at the same time. These are all great, but there is a limit to how many things can be in a movie. This film isn't quite over the top, but close.

Some of the new characters include Izabella (Isabela Moner), a young girl who is interested in transformers and quite skilled with machinery, Vivian (Laura Haddock) an teacher from England who has a large role in saving the world. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is also in this film as a returning character. He was in the fourth movie, Age of Extinction.

This film has an interesting storyline and is fun and cool. An interesting name twist occurs when a main character, Optimus Prime becomes Nemisis Prime when he is evil. Nemesis Prime is the leader of the auto-bots, a good group of transformers. The strategy of turning a good guy bad is a great strategy to attract viewers of the film.

This movie does a cool, sneak-peek into history. It talks about medieval times and the knights of the round table. That is a primary plot which explains why this movie is called The Last Knight. It is cool to incorporate history into the film as it adds a little extra something to it. For example, in the first film, there is a cool kind of conspiracy part which I won't describe because it would be a spoiler. It is well acted and well executed with beautiful special effects and nearly non-stop action. You don't really have a chance to reflect on what or why this crazy and confusing story bounces around from one country to another, landing deep in the ocean and then suddenly reappearing at Stonehenge, England. Even though it's hard to know who is shooting at whom or for what reason, somehow it's still enjoyable to watch and even gripping at times.

Overall, this is a great film. It is cool, fun and has a lot to it, even if it may be a little too much. I recommend this film for ages 9 to 18. There are some adult jokes and violence, but they are not too bad. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

By Nathaniel B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

What an action packed and thrilling movie Transformers: The Last Knight is! It includes many sentimental, comedic and energetic scenes that had me at the edge of my seat. The animation and computer technology are amazing and so satisfying to watch. Teenagers and adults will definitely want to buy this DVD to re-watch it over and over again.

The Autobots, Decepticons and humans are all at war once again. Optimus Prime is still gone - off on a venture to meet his creator. The essentials for saving the future is engulfed within the secrets of the past and the history of the original Transformers and their descendants on Earth. It is up to the alliance of the inventor and Transformers protector, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), an Oxford professor, Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock) and the Autobots to save the world. Join them on their epic and intriguing fight!

I have always enjoyed watching the Transformer movies ever since I was a adolescent and I was not disappointed in this movie. My favorite factor of the movie is the special effects. The computer technology and editing are tremendous and make the movie come to life. Another part that I really enjoyed is how the history of the Transformers and the historical events are introduced. Being a Transformers fan, I have always wondered about the history of these fun and fast fighting bots and it finally is revealed in this movie. One thing that upset me a little bit is that some scenes are all over the place. I found myself confused about who is who, and how some scenes relate to the overall story. Other than that, I really enjoyed this film.

The overall message of the film is to be united as one. Regardless of how many hardships there are in the world, you should look past the differences and join together to get past them. In the beginning, the humans try to destroy the remaining Autobots because they believe they are dangerous, but that is not the case! They are trying to protect the world and the human race. Eventually, the humans and the bots unite to defeat the evil creator that is trying to destroy Earth.

I encourage teenagers and adults to watch this entertaining and thrilling movie, along with all the Transformer fans. No age below thirteen should see this movie, since there is a fair amount of profanity. However, families with teens will definitely have an awesome time watching it.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars for its exhilarating action-packed scenes, awesome special effects, amazing cast, great voice-overs and enthusiasm. It is available now on DVD and Blu-ray so to check it out. I think you might enjoy this movie as much as I did!

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KIWI: SEASON 1
KIWI: SEASON 1 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Description - It's time to learn phonics skills with Twiki and Twini! In this collection of twenty six episodes, Twiki and Twini will take us on fun and educational adventures to discover new words and new sounds. In this Season 1 collection, your little one will learn how to spell colors like "red" and "blue" to food words like "fruit" to animal words like "snake". The fun and learning never end with Twiki and Twini! Get ready to enter into an unexpected universe comprised of sounds, words, and images.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Kiwi is a stop-motion, animated educational children's series with two very funny and lovable kiwi birds, Twiki & Twini, as the lead characters. In each episode, the kiwis go on adventures discovering new worlds of words and sounds. For example, some of the focus words include "cow," "fruit," "map," "house" and "blue." Words are spelled out phonetically and are used in clear and cohesive imagery and storyline. Twiki & Twini are curious little birds that lead us to lots of discoveries! There are plenty of relevant and silly sounds along the way. The stories are led by the narration and interaction with the kiwis via a child and an adult. This gives a sense of inquiry and offers soft guidance simultaneously. I really enjoyed this DVD and recommend it for children ages 2 to 6. The menu offers "Play All" or "Stories, individually" (26 of them at 11 minutes each). I give this 5 Star out of 5 stars. Review by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

Kiwi: Season 1 is a series directed at children between the ages of 2 through 7. Two characters, Twiki and Twini interact with each other and teach the audience how to spell words. There are 26 short episodes, approximately 5 to10 minutes in length. Each episode teaches the audience a few different words, grouping the words together. For example, the chicken episode has the words "cow, duck, chicken and egg." The episodes' animation is made from colorful clay objects that draw the kids in. It's not too busy, which I like. The background is white and the characters are the only thing on the screen. The characters start each episode by grouping similar items together, such as animals. Then, they spell out each word and link it to the next word. At the end of the episode, they respell each word. The characters are happy and kind. There isn't much problem solving involved as there is not much of a story line. The purpose is to teach kids how to spell and sound out words using phonics. This characters are made of clay animation (claymation), which is fun to watch. The structure of each episode flows very well and draws the viewer in. The DVD case shows examples of the words and pictures featured in each collection. It's fun to look at. The menu is simple with two choices, either watch by selected episode or watch all episodes. There are quite a few previews before it gets to the main menu, but they are all kid appropriate and entertaining. There is no option to change the language or any other bonus features. The message is that learning can be fun and entertaining. I recommend this DVD to any parent or teacher that is looking for an educational video for their child. It is appropriate for ages 2 through 7 and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Amanda M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

Very well produced. The show is well thought for preschoolers. I really enjoyed the design and the animation of the show. I love that the letter design is in line with the word being spelled out. The characters are appealing for the intended audience. I thought it is a smart choice to have a child voice one of the narrators. I do not feel strongly about the stories. To me, the stories feel a bit random. Overall the show is fun to watch, has good intentions and is beautiful to look at. The goal of the show is to get kids to learn about phonics and develop their world building skills. As far as positive social models, it scores well here for the most part. There is an episode where the two main characters are in a restaurant setting and their server keeps eating their food before serving it. In that particular episode I think they missed the mark because the characters didn't deal with the situation in a realistic or constructive way. For the most part, the show uses vocabulary and concepts suitable for its intended audience. The show is well paced, doesn't overload kids with information and the subject matter is suitable for young minds. However, I did find that some of the words they break down or spelled are a bit too long. I think it would be better if there was a build up in learning. By that, I mean start with small words and gradually go bigger in a slow succession. I would certainly show this to my young children. Reviewed by Martha S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like that this DVD teaches vocabulary and spelling to little kids. They learn how to spell words correctly and expands their vocabulary. This show is great for learning words that used in daily life.

Kiwi: Season One teaches little kids vocabulary and spelling. This DVD has 26 episodes that teach new words and sounds so kids can learn how to spell words correctly and expand their vocabulary.

The series features two kiwi birds named Twiki and Twini who go on adventures and teach kids how to spell out words in a fun way. They encounter new animals, objects and other items as they teach kids how to spell out each word. The objects or animals are all related to a particular theme. There is barely any speaking by the characters in the show, but there is great narration that gets the kids intrigued with the story.

The animation is a stop motion clay animation (claymation) technique similar to other popular kid's shows such as Pingu. Claymation is not used a lot today since currently computer generated imagery (CGI) is used more frequently. However, the show does features some computer animation like the graphics when word are spelled out on the screen.

There are not too many other characters, but my favorite character is the recurring rabbit in the first few episodes. The rabbit eats a lot and even tries to eat a whole cake! The rabbit is very funny and had me chuckling the whole time. The premise of this show is to teach little kids phonics, vocabulary and spelling. It's great for preschool learning and for introducing kids to spelling words that are used in everyday conversations. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 3 to 6. This DVD is available now so, go check it out.

By Carla P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

This DVD is about friendship, education and fun. This series is about two kiwis named Twiki and Twini, who go on different adventures throughout different episodes. All of the adventures have a different storyline and include lots of word building exercises and other educational things to help learn different things such as spelling and grammar.

This show is directed towards little kids, ages 2 to 5. I watched this DVD as if I was younger and I would definitely like it as a younger kid. I would enjoy watching it, but I would probably get out of my seat and start playing around and doing the things that they tell me to do and try to spell the words. This show is best to watch before bedtime because you might stay seated and repeat what they tell you to say. I watched it with a 5-year-old and a two-year-old and got to observe them watching it. The 5-year-old said she loved every part of it and she started dancing to the music. The 2-year-old was a little more descriptive and loved the way the characters interacted with each other.

The graphics are really good for a animated show. It does remind me of music video style graphics because they often stand in front of a white background and there isn't much going on in the different places they explore.

I give this show 3 out of 5 stars because of the graphics and because I felt the episodes were too short at 5 minutes. Because the episodes so short, they don't pack a lot of things in which makes it kind of boring. I recommend this DVD for ages 2 to 5. It is available now on DVD, so go check it out.

By Na'im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 135 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 2-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MUMMY, THE
MUMMY, THE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Though safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess, whose destiny was unjustly taken from her, is awakened in our current day bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching this updated version of the classic 1932 film, wearing 3D glasses and starring one of my favorite actors, Tom Cruise. The film combines adventure and action with a sprinkling of fantasy and horror.

Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), along with his partner Chris Vale (Jake Johnson) are soldiers of fortune who steal timeless artifacts from ancient sites and sell them to the highest bidders. While in the Middle East, the duo accidently uncover Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), an ancient princess awakened from her crypt beneath the desert after thousands of years. She uses her powers which evolve throughout the film to bring her revenge and furious rampage to the streets of London.

The story is not a new - disturbing an ancient evil which comes back to wreak havoc on everyone. However, the visuals are very exciting and explosive with a hint of suspense. My favorite scene is when Ahmanet is held captive by chains, ropes and other devices to keep her from escaping. It shows her strength and power and, is the first time we've seen The Mummy as a woman.

You can expect strong, very loud fantasy action and violence with some blood spatters, guns and shooting, stabbings, fighting and punching, crashes and explosions, jump scares, zombies and a lab full of gross things. There are several mildly suggestive sexual references as well, including partly naked and somewhat obscured male and female bodies, kissing, a couple in bed together and other sensuality.

I recommend it for ages 13 to18 as well as some adults. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It opens nationwide June 9, 2017 so, be sure to go see it and enjoy the action!

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Mummy impressed me with its spooky horror, top level stunt work spectacular direction.

The storyline follows Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), who finds the crypt of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) and flies her crypt via airplane when things go amuck. She is awakened and then controls Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) to crashes the plane. He crashes the plane to curse Nick who wakes up despite the plane crash. Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) then hunts down Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) who is also looking for Princess Ahmanet and is the only who can cure Nick. However, when Ahmanet is fully formed, Nick needs to stop her from destroying London and goes to extreme levels to defeat Ahmanet and save Jenny (Annabelle Wallis).

Tom Cruise is versatile in his presentation of Nick Morton who cheats people because of his own selfishness. In the battle scenes, Cruise excels in his stunt work. Sofia Boutella as Princess Ahmanet is creepy, especially as The Mummy. She really suits the character of a princess relentless seeking power. Jake Johnson as Chris Vail provides comedic relief. Annabelle Wallis as Jenny Halsey clearly presents determination in tracking down Princess Ahmanet. However, she still falls to the trope of damsel in distress. Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll is my favorite character because he impressively presents the transition of his character.

The direction by Alex Kurtzman is splendid. The pace from scene to scene is superb and kept me at the edge of my seat. My favorite scene is when Ahmanet attacks London. The special effects are outrageously impactful. My only problem is that the movie's finale is quite anti-climactic. Despite this flaw, Tom Cruise fans will rejoice at this movie.

The movie's message is, even if you cheat others, you can always change to be selfless. Nick, though a thief, finds himself in the ultimate selfless sacrifice to save mankind. I give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because of its intense horror. The movie releases in theaters on June 9, so check it out for one fast-paced thriller.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE
CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books. When their mean principal threatens to separate them into different classes, the mischievous boys accidentally hypnotize him into thinking that he's a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is hilarious! I really enjoyed this film. It is an animated comedy with plenty of action based on a series of books by author Dav Pilkey. It gives us a chance to experience the genius of two fourth grade smart pranksters, George Beard (Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch) as they bring to life their comic book character Captain Underpants, a silly, dimwitted superhero wearing his underwear and a cape. Captain Underpants and his side-kicks George and Harold are fighting against the evil Professor Poopy-Pants (Nick Kroll) who wants to rid the world of happiness.

The animation and visual images of the film are exciting and colorful. Since the book series is known for its action sequences and gross, potty humor, expect plenty of rude language and cartoonish violence. The music makes you sing along and tap your feet. There is a message about friendship. For kids, it's a reminder that friendship does not mean you must be in the same class to remain friends.

My favorite scene is when George and Harold discover that they can hypnotize the mean-hearted school principal Mr. Krugg (Ed Helms) and turn him into their comic book super hero, Captain Underpants. They realize a snap of the finger gives them Captain Underpants and water changes him back to Principal Krugg. To hide his identity, the duo is challenged with keeping him as Principal Krugg when needed and bringing out Captain Underpants to fight bad guys.

I recommend this for ages 7 to 18 as well as some adults. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It opens nationwide June 2, 2017 so, be sure to go check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita L. KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is sure to kick off many kids' summer breaks with lots of laughs (especially if potty jokes are funny to you). I was never a fan of the Captain Underpants books, so I have to say I am not a big fan of this film. I feel it lacks plot and humor.

What I do appreciate about this film is the ongoing theme of friendship and the fun of using your imagination. Best friends, Harold and George grow a strong friendship through making comic books and pulling pranks at their "boring" elementary school. Through some odd force, their comic book hero, Captain Underpants, comes to life. He soon helps the boys rid the school of an even greater threat than their school principal, Professor Poopypants.

This feature animation from DreamWorks has a great voice-over cast. This, by the way, is my favorite part of the film. Kevin Hart plays one of the main characters, George Beard. But, my favorite character is his partner in prank-playing crime, Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch). This character is very relatable, funny and true. And, since I like drawing and illustrating, I found an instant connection with him.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is written by Nicholas Stoller, although it is based on the Epic Novels by Dav Pilkey. You might remember Nicholas Stoller from previous screenplays he has written, including Storks, The Muppets and Gulliver's Travels - to name a few. The movie is right in line with the books and gives you insight into the concept origin.

My favorite part is Harold and George's tree-house. This is where the friends spend so much time developing their comic books. It is such a cool tree house with so many moving parts. It made me want to go home and add to my own.

This film is rated PG for mild rude humor. If you are a fan of the Captain Underpants books, you will enjoy this film. I recommend it for ages 4 to 11 and I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars. Catch it in theaters everywhere, June 2.

By Tristan Tierce, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NATURE: VIVA PUERTO RICO
NATURE: VIVA PUERTO RICO - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Description - Puerto Rico is a tropical island infused with unique natural wonders - from the deepest sea-trench to the longest underground cave system; from a startlingly bright bioluminescent bay to vast rain forests that sometimes really do rain frogs.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Spectacular photography highlights this nature episode from PBS which talks about the protection and conservation of several endangered species of animals in Puerto Rico. The 60 minute video details efforts of scientists and animal behavior specialists to save and encourage the breeding of endangered parrots, manatees and Leatherback turtles. The often stunning filming includes scenes of a Leatherback turtle, which can grow to six feet long, giving birth to some 80 eggs and a minor surgical procedure on a manatee weighing well over 600 pounds by a group of about 13 scientists, interns and a vet struggling to control the animal as they treat it. A negligible amount of history of the island is provided along with a few panoramic shots of the coastline and inner forest, with the bulk of the program focused squarely on the animals and their caretakers. I recommend this for kids ages 12 to 18 and adults will enjoy it as well. The minor surgery might cause some to feel squeamish but there's no real blood to speak of. No special features or bonuses accompany the DVD.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 16.47 Media: DVD

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LASER TAG PRINCESS
LASER TAG PRINCESS - NI-COLA ENTERTAINMENT, LLC
Series: SCREENPLAY FOR AGES 8-12
Description - Starflake is a Cosmic Pixie, who can live in outer space without any life support. A Deep Space Ranger enlists Starflake's help because kids have been vanishing from a Laser Tag Arena. Star flake discovers they are being taken to a distant planet where they are forced to work in the mines of Spelunk. Using her wits, she frees the kids and captures the villain, Sync.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Laser Tag Princess from the Starflake, the Cosmic Sprite series is a kind, unique and positive character who is kind and helps others. The comic book is engaging, entertaining and the illustrations really bring the story to life. This is a great start to a series of many adventures. Its storyline flows well from beginning to end and leaves you with the feeling of wanting to read more about Starflake's adventures. It is engaging and fun to read. The illustrations are colorful, detailed and catch your attention. Starflake is very likable character and quite unique. There is plenty of action to capture the attention of young viewers. Kids will like the characters and find the story refreshing and different. It is primarily entertaining, but there is some social appeal since Starflake helps others and is a positive role model. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING
EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A 17 year old girl named Madeline Whittier has a rare disease that causes her to have to stay indoors 24/7 with her filtered air. Her whole life is basically books, her mom, and Carla(her nurse). One day, a moving truck pulls in next door. There she sees Olly. Olly Bright is Maddy's new neighbor. They get to know each other through emails. The more they get to know each other, the more they fall in love. Olly starts to make Maddy realize that she isn't really living. This starts the adventures of Maddy's new life.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I have nothing but positive things to say about this affectionate and sensational picture. The film incorporates the use of strong chemistry with its talented actors to tell a story about understanding, acceptance, life and love. Everything, Everything is a dramatic, romantic film that the teenage and young adult audience will definitely enjoy.

Maddy (Amadla Stenberg) is an imaginative and creative 18-year-old girl who has an illness which prohibits her from going outside. A new boy, Olly (Nick Robinson) moves to town and the two instantly share feelings for one another. He won't let anything keep them from being together. Maddy and Olly develop an online relationship which progresses throughout the film, leading to them risking everything to be together, even if that means losing everything. We join the two lovebirds on a romantic unforgettable adventure.

My favorite scene is when Maddy and Olly first meet. I can safely say that the audience and I were all screaming (silently of course) with joy and excitement when the two exchange smiles and when Olly constantly flirts with Maddy. The chemistry between the two actors is extremely well executed and seems so realistic. I also love the diverse cast because we need that in our society today. The director really respected and developed the interracial relationship very powerfully and wonderfully. I applaud the crew and cast for making the movie so enjoyable to watch and understand.

The theme is about acceptance and growing from the obstacles that you face. Maddy has stayed inside for the majority of her life, but when she meets Olly, she is finally able to take risks and enjoy what life has to offer step by step. Teens will definitely relate to the storyline in terms of growing and experiencing what life has to offer. Both Maddy and Olly send a message to not let people drag you down or stop doing what makes you happy and helps you become a better person.

I recommend this film to ages 13 to 18 because of its teenage love scenes. I also encourage parents to see this with their adolescents because they will definitely find themselves smiling and feeling happy throughout the whole film. I rate this film 5 out of 5 due to its impeccable cast and crew, intriguing storyline, vibrant colors, soothing music and much more. Everything, Everything is in theaters now so, please go and enjoy this movie as much as I did.

Reviewed by Imani B.G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I fell in love with this exquisite film in the first 5 minutes! I love how it follows the life of Maddy, a girl who has never left her house her entire life and her take on the world as she knows it. The romance, comedy, drama and mystery all come together and make a perfect film filled with a roller coaster ride of emotions. I found myself crying, laughing, falling in love and questioning things and the way I know them. I credit the director Stella Meghie and the writer of the book, Nicola Yoon, that this film is based on. The fact that a women director was given the reigns is a bonus.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to never leave your house or what it would be like to have a disease such as severe combined immunodeficiency - also known as "bubble baby disease"? With this disease, you are allergic to the whole world and you can't go outside or be with anybody you don't know very well because anything and everything can make you sick or kill you. This disease is the one that the protagonist, Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) has. Maddy is taken care of by Pauline (Anika Noni Rose), her mom and also a nurse named Carla (Ana De La Reguera).

Things change when she sees a very cute new boy, her new neighbor Nick Robinson (Olly Bright) through her window. They have an instant connection. The problem is that, because Maddy has this disease, they can't meet, so the adventure begins between them and their bond grows stronger and stronger. I cannot give away the ending but it is a shocking surprise.

The acting is low key and believable. Teenagers do quirky things without thinking of the consequences. It is trial by error and Maddy and Olly take drastic measures to be together.

The scenes that stood out to me are when a crazy astronaut appears throughout the film. They are both symbolic and humorous. The cinematography of their island adventure is beautiful and perfect for a summer movie. I love how the wardrobe department added vibrant colors to the island scenes since most of their other outfits are pale, white and black.

I recommend this to ages 10 to 18 who will love all the romance, comedy, drama and mystery. On the other hand, they will also love the fantastic actors and the tiny bits of animation. Teenagers and kids who feel like they are trapped and need some help to find their way through life, this is the film for you to see in theaters. I give this terrific film 5 out of 5 astronauts floating in space. This romantic movie is in theaters now, so check it out in a theater near you. The book Everything Everything is available as well. It is on the best sellers list so check it out and read it. I know I will read it and can't wait to get started.

By Morgan B. Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MILY MISS QUESTIONS: SEASON ONE - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD AGES 6-10
Description - Join Mily, a funny and inquisitive 8-year-old girl, as she embarks on adventures hoping to answer the many questions she has about life, people, and the world. In this collection of twenty four episodes, join Mily and her friends as they investigate everyday situations from learning how to deal with fear to playing by the rules to using your imagination and so much more. Whenever a particular situation raises a question worthy of examination, Mily is immediately on the case! From one episode to the next, through everyday situations, Mily introduces young viewers to the art of questioning in order to further develop an inquisitive mind
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Mily is an adorably funny 8-year-old with a curious mind. She's always going on adventures in an attempt to answer various questions that she has about, well everything! I love all of her wacky and interesting adventures with her friends and family. They really make you want to be part of the fun. This is a great program for all children, but even more so for that child in your life that never seems to run out of questions. Something quite wonderful about this show that I particularly love is that, every once in a while I learn something new as well. It's nice to watch a kid's show that peaks your adult interest. The animation is neat and includes live backgrounds which is interesting and intriguing. The sound is mixed very well and the stories are just wonderful. I recommend this DVD for ages 5 to 12 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

I love the design of this show! The combination of live pictures and animation is beautiful. The animation is well done. However, the story lines are not as strong. The stories touch on subjects that are relevant to the target audience. However, some of the explanations are not accurate. Sometimes the characters don't feel natural and, part of the reason is the script. The main character looks like a child, but does not sound like one. The other thing the show lacks is diversity. Most of the characters are white and, from a high socio-economical background. At the same time, I feel as if this show would leave kids wanting to know more. Some of the subjects they focus on are not common such as being involved, being bored and feeling like a failure. I believe this show can be a great conversation starter for kids and parents. Overall I think this show means well and the design and animation are really well done. I recommend it for ages 6 to 8 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Martha S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - These wonderful animated episodes are very interesting and they teach a lot of social skills. You can learn a lot of things science-wise, plus you can learn things about being confident, telling the truth and knowing that you are beautiful and unique. There are very deep messages in this series, which is awesome, but the animation lacks detail.

In each episode Mily has a different question that she wants answered or a different problem to be solved. She travels her neighborhood, goes to her friends, asks her family and learns as much as she can. Eventually she understands and gets her questions answered.

The director, Alexis Ducord impressed me by how he developed the plotlines, the different personalities of the characters and the types of questions that Mily asks. The questions are appropriate questions for the targeted audience. I love how the questions are answered. You really get a deep understanding, most of the time. Sometimes the question is not fully answered and leaves you hanging. But most of the time the answers are great.

The animation comes up short when the characters talk, either their mouths don't move in sync with the words or sometimes the audio is late. I really love all of the facial expressions and the body language that indirectly portrays emotion.

My favorite episode is number 3, when Mily isn't accepted onto the swim team. She says to herself that she will never set foot in a pool again and gives up her dream of swimming. But she soon realizes that to succeed you have to make mistakes. Sometimes you might not get accepted, but you have to keep trying and not give up. This episode is a really deep one and gets the message across very clearly.

The DVD Mily Miss Questions: Season 1 has great educational, animated episodes that I recommend for kids ages of 5 to 9. This series teaches a lot of valuable morals in a very interesting way. I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars because some questions aren't fully answered and the animation could use improvement. Yet, I still enjoyed watching this DVD and you should too. You can find it on DVD July 4, 2017.

Reviewed by Jolleen Mejia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

This DVD is about a young girl who goes on adventures with her friends to solve different questions. Mily is an 8-year-old girl who is very curious about all kinds of things and definitely will not take "no" for an answer. While Mily goes on her adventures, she also teaches people about the importance of education and learning true facts. On this DVD, there are 24 different and unique episodes which I think is a perfect amount of episodes. Since the episodes are so short, you could just sit in front of the TV and watch all of them. They are only seven minutes each, but I didn't notice that they were so short because there is so much going on that I thought it was a 30 minute show. I really enjoyed them. I think that this show isn't directed only towards younger kids because I'm 11 and I enjoyed watching this also.

I showed it to my 5-year-old cousin to see what she thought about it. She thinks that the show is well made and loves the story line. She also loves the ending and how entertaining it is. My 2-year-old cousin likes the fact that it features an 8-year-old that little kids can relate to. Really, all ages can relate to her and her younger sister. All of the different episodes show strong friendship and bravery, which I think is a great message. Kids can watch this show over and over because when you watch it once, you don't necessarily get all the details of the story, but after watching an episode multiple times you start to notice the things that you missed. The only thing that I don't like is that some of the episodes are a little slow paced, but overall I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 9. Kids over the age of 8 would enjoy it, but not as much. This is available on DVD now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Na'im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-14
Description - A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg's newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention. This family cross-country adventure turns into an experience the Heffleys will never forget.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul has the same wonderful entertaining impact as the rest of the series. For those who don't know, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a fiction comedy novel for children and teenagers written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. Over the years, these books have been brought to life in films that have the same well-liked effect on the audience as the original books. I was and still am a huge fan of the Wimpy Kid series and I recall always being excited for the new book or the new film to come out.

This film follows the Heffley's taking a road trip to attend Meemaw's (their grandmother's) 90th birthday party. But of course, this trip goes off course thanks to Greg's newest strategy to get to a video gaming convention. They flee from their parents, drive themselves to the convention, violate the no technology rule and many events take place that will make this not-so-family trip unforgettably crazy. Their family adventure turns into an experience filled with different funny moments you don't get in a normal family vacation.

My favorite scene of is when they are entering the grandmother's house. Greg gets into a boat that is outside and he goes inside the house with it. Somehow, he slides into the house and makes it to the pool, thereby making a special entrance. This is a very funny scene because it shows how Greg's delirious mind operates.

The message that I get from this film is to never give up on what you want and don't let anyone stop you. The film teaches this message in a funny and comical way. Gregory sees himself in a position that he doesn't like due to something he does wrong so, he does what he can to clear his image. His way of doing it is to go to the video gaming convention and become famous. This is how Greg thinks he can fix this, by doing all these crazy things. But that's not the important part. The point is that he goes out of his way to achieve his goal and he never stops until he gets it. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15. This opens in theaters on May 19th, 2017 so go check it out.

Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is an upbeat, fun and humorous movie based on the books by the same name. It has an entertaining script with interesting relationships between characters. This movie also has moments where I burst out laughing. However, although it is delightful, this film falls flat in many areas.

The film follows twelve-year-old Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker), his brothers Rodrick (Charlie Wright) and Manny (Dylan Walters) and their parents (Tom Everett Scott and Alicia Silverstone). The family takes a road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday in Indiana. However, Greg has plans to go to a video game convention that land him (and his family) in some hot water.

This film has many positive qualities. One i the clever writing. I really like the scene where Rodrick gets "shot," when Greg and Beardo remake the scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Also, the scene where Manny and the pig are reunited is absolutely adorable. I applaud the writers for their brilliant writing. Another positive quality that quite impressed me is the story line. The chain of events had me on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next. Mischief and misfortune seems to follow the Heffley family wherever they go! It is clear that the writing and the physical humor in this film are quite outstanding.

However, although the script is quite good, the direction is not. The shots don't feel quite right all the time. For example, throughout the movie, the camera is often focused on Alicia Silverstone's teeth. The scene transition is also choppy and disorganized. It just is not smooth. I feel as though there could be more music underneath the dialogue. The acting falls flat as well. I am quite disappointed by these aspects.

I rate this film 3 out of 5 stars. The excessive potty humor throughout the film may appeal to younger kids, so I recommend it for ages 7 to 13. This film is funny and entertaining, yet it lacks several essential components. It opens in theatres on May 19, so if you're looking for some family-friendly fun, go check it out.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This family friendly film will have you laughing as you join the Heffley's in their first summer road trip. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is a fun entertaining film that I highly enjoyed with its funny scenes, unique character personalities and the different adventures the Heffley's take on.

As the Heffley's embark on their summer road trip to rural Indiana for their grandmother's 90th birthday, young and witty Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker) will do whatever it takes to get to a video game convention and meet his favorite gamer. To everyone's surprise, technology will be restricted on the trip since Greg's mother, Susan (Alicia Silverstone) wishes to grow closer to her son and create unforgettable memories. Throughout the trip the whole Heffley family faces numerous adventures and trials as the trip goes hilariously off course and becomes a mission.

I really enjoyed the personality of each character in this film. Their different charisma contributes greatly to tone the film. My favorite character is Rodrick, the older but not so wise brother. His humor, style and spirit brings laughter to the screen. Although he is not the brightest, he is highly funny. One of my favorite scenes is when Rodrick orders an Uber and believes that the ride is free, although the destination is an hour away and it's charged to his parents' credit card. Also hysterical is the scene where Rodrick eats one too many fried butter sticks and regrets it later when riding the roller coasters.

Young and witty Greg Heffley is played by Jason Drucker of Barely Lethal, Every Witch Way and many commercials. Lead rock singer of Loaded Diper and Greg's sixteen-year-old brother Rodrick is played by Charlie Wright, known for Ingrid Goes West and Better Things. Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott play the parents of Greg and Rodrick.

Although this film is hilariously funny, it is filled with several life lessons for the viewer to learn from such as, disconnect from technology and connect with those around you. Today, everyone seems to be so attached to technology and social media that they loose the concept of socializing. This film grasps the importance of family values and disconnecting from technology to spend quality family time.

I highly enjoyed watching this fun, summer movie and recommend it to families and children between the ages of 5 and 10. This is a great film for kids to watch over summer break and remember the value of family. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because of its many funny scenes, unique story line and unique characters. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul opens in theaters May 29, 2017 so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Maria G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Juror Recommended Age: 7-14 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
FRONTLINE: LAST DAYS OF SOLITARY - PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 15-18
Description - The U.S. is the world leader in solitary confinement, with more than 80,000 American prisoners being held in isolation. But in recent years, more than 30 states have begun to experiment with reforms aimed at reducing the use of solitary. Filmed over three years by producers Dan Edge and Lauren Mucciolo, with immersive, unprecedented access to the solitary unit at Maine State Prison, the program portrays -- almost in real-time -- the psychological disintegration of human beings, and the challenge of how to deal with men considered the most dangerous and difficult in the state. It's a haunting portrait of life in solitary, and a unique document of a risky reform experiment. It is a searing program that offers American television's most comprehensive exploration of this controversial practice, and goes inside one state's ambitious attempt to decrease its use.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This documentary offers an inside look at solitary confinement in the U.S. and one prison's efforts to reduce its use. The U.S. is the world leader in solitary confinement, with more than 80,000 American prisoners being held in isolation. In recent years, 30 states have begun to experiment with reforms aimed at reducing the use of solitary. This title was filmed over three years at the Maine State Prison. It follows the story of inmate Adam Brullotte, a 23-year-old serving two years for a non-violent crime and has been in solitary confinement for disciplinary reasons. Scientific studies, even dating back to the 1800s, clearly prove that solitary confinement causes mental deterioration, anxiety, psychosis, violent behaviors and physically and permanently changes the way the brain works. We also know that statistically 80% of inmates who experience time in solitary get released from prison. These inmates ultimately re-offend and return to the revolving door of incarceration. Throughout the film, Brullotte starts his time in "seg" optimistically. He even says "I like Seg. I can handle being locked down 23 hours a day because I can read, write and do push ups. It sucks, but I think I'm doing good." Within 25 days of solitary, Brullotte demonstrates heightened anxiety, floods his cell and shortly after he starts self harming to the point of attempted suicide. After his release, he stays sober and gets a job, but is arrested for unpaid court fines and re-enters the revolving door of incarceration. With intensity, depth and clarity, this film shines a light on a world that is largely hidden from public view. This documentary has graphic footage and hence, I recommend it for ages 16 to 18. I would not say that it meets the KIDS FIRST! criteria for children's viewing. The menu offers English sub-titles and a link to pbs.org/frontline. I give it 3 out of 5 stars due to the sensitivity of the topic. Reviewed by Elizabeth B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 60 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 15-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99 Media: DVD

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TASHI NON-STOP
TASHI NON-STOP - NATASHA HANINA
Series: WEB SERIES, AGES 2-5
Description - This sketch comedy web series features a vast collection of colorful and original characters, and serves up an array of educational and entertaining themes aimed at appealing to kids ages three to seven.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Although this web series could use better production values including steady camera work, louder and clearer audio and better sound mixing, I still enjoyed it. The woman shows genuine care and understanding of children and how they learn life lessons. She has a great way of making these lessons fun and easy to understand. I believe Tashi (Natasha) is going places and has great potential. I'm looking forward to seeing her progress in the future. I recommend this for ages 3 to 10 and give it 4 out of 5 stars for being a fun and educational series. Reviewed by Rachael Vickers, KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Tashi Non-Stop is a sweet and silly YouTube comedy series for kids 3 to 7/ This comedic web series is about problem solving in silly situations or sometimes, there really isn't a plot and it's just a silly situation. Sometimes Tashi plays a character like the Queen of England and sometimes inanimate objects speak to her.. It stars the very likable Tashi (Natasha Hanina). Each very short (around one minute) episode is fun, however some of them have an educational message, so young children will want to keep watching one after the other without even realizing that they are learning. I recommend this to parents of little kids because it's fun and educational. The single word that describes my reaction to this show is engaging. Each episode is very silly or cute and Tashi is very likable. What's great about that is that some of the episodes are just fun, whereas some of them have an educational message. Young children will want to keep watching one after the other without even realizing that they are learning. For example, "Putting on Mommy's Makeup" shows Tashi putting it on in the closet and coming out looking like a very messy clown and it is just funny. On the other hand "The Garbage Can", in which the can's feelings are hurt because Tashi forgot to change the bag, has a message about cleanliness. Although the situations are entertaining, some of them seemingly unintentionally don't make a lot of sense, even for a toddler. These videos are YouTube videos that are apparently made on a laptop or desktop. The lack of production values doesn't really detract from the entertainment value of the series though. Also, in "Tashi Calls Her Grandma and Tells Her that She Loves Her" she has some very cute sound effects when she dials her grandma. Since this series is for younger children, I have to imagine the educational value of the series. I think "Tashi Calls Her Grandma and Tells Her that She Loves Her" teaches the value of expressing love to one of your family members and the value of taking your time in doing so! One thing that stands out is that Tashi speaks with a British accent and all the other characters have American accents. That is a neat twist because it seems to provide emphasis and sort of makes her dialogue more important. I give it 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 3 to 7. Reviewed by Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18.
Juror Recommended Age: 3-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Web Series

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Set to the backdrop of 'Awesome Mixtape #2,' Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Set to "Awesome Mixtape #2", Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. #2 is more thrilling and hilarious than its predecessor. It is an action packed, sci-fi adventure about a group of intergalactic criminals who are tasked to work together to save the universe. Chris Pratt again stars as Peter Quill, aka Star Lord. The rest of the cast follows suit - Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket.

The film starts out with the classic 70s song "Brandi" by Looking Glass as we see two young people driving down the highway, very much in love. We later learn that this is the back story of Peter's conception and is foreshadowing the main storyline of the film. The movie jumps 34 years and Peter is now Star Lord, captain of a band of reformed outlaws. The group is hired to guard the uber batteries of the Sovereign planet. Upon leaving, Rocket steals some of the batteries and a space battle ensues. Star Lord and his crew are shot down and make an emergency landing on a nearby planet. Before landing, they notice a mysterious spaceship, which takes out the entire Sovereign fleet pursuing them. The rest of the film is an emotional, action-packed adventure, having to do with this mysterious personage. There are lots of battles between different factions in this crazy sci-fi, fantasy universe.

The movie has lots of lively and entertaining scenes. My favorite is when Rocket Raccoon uses traps to his advantage to defeat an incoming horde of ravagers. Every scene with Drax is terrific because he has a different philosophy of life and has the most infectious laugh of any character in any movie, ever. I also love how Peter is obsessed with 80s pop culture. He references them all the time, but his companions never understand them, because they didn't grow up on Earth. I especially love how 80s music is used to evoke nostalgia from Peter's childhood, making for a terrific oldies soundtrack.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is phenomenal and full of whimsical jokes that don't get old. It is a perfect family adventure that is suitable for ages 10 to 18. Parents and grandparents will even get a kick out of it. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars for its engaging humor and captivating action. It opens in theaters on May 5 so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Clayton P.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 exceeded my expectations by a landslide. This film is one of my favorites I have seen all year. The CGI is magical, characters are hilarious and I did not dislike one second of the movie!

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 follows up with our beloved team of intergalactic space heroes. The team consists of a humorous guy named Star Lord aka Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), former assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), sarcastic raccoon thief named Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), muscular brute who goes by Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) lastly, a baby talking tree named Groot (Vin Diesel). Though they are a bunch of rebels who have broken the law numerous times, they might just be what the galaxy needs.

I came into the movie theater knowing that, when I walked out I would have absolutely loved it and that went according to plan. I still can't believe it has been three years since Guardians of the Galaxy came out. I thought nothing could top that film, but this one certainly does. I must say that there is definitely a new feel to this film. It seems to be a bit naughtier than the last one. There is much more swearing in this film. However it is appropriate within the context of jokes. This is one of the funniest Marvel films I have ever seen. I actually burst into tears laughing. The funniest character is Groot. He adds silliness when scenes get serious. He truly steals the show when he says his award winning line, "I am Groot."

In Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 we were introduced to these peculiar characters, but in Volume 2 it's almost as if they are our best friends. You laugh, cry and feel their frustrations. Star Lord (Chris Pratt) delivers another stellar performance. You can really see how he is connected to his character. Chris Pratt was born to play this role. This film goes into Peter Quill's past and we learn more about Peter's hardships, which are gloomy. This is a much different feel than the first film. Hopefully he will keep on developing this character in future movies.

No words explain how absolutely beautiful the CGI is. I got transported straight into the world where the characters live. Something they incorporated, that we saw in Star Wars: Force Awakens, is transforming an older actor to make them appear younger. In this film, they completely transform Kurt Russell, who plays Ego the Living Planet, into a rockin' 80s version of himself. At first I thought he was a young actor which they made appear older, but it is the complete opposite!

The main theme in this film is family dynamics. We get a zoomed in view of how the team is trying to fix some unresolved family wounds while trying to save the galaxy. We were left off after the first film with Gamora and her sister Nebula wanting to kill each other. In this film, we see how they have evolved as sisters and the layers of their relationship which make this film very relatable for anyone with siblings. The biggest question answered in this film (who is Peter's dad?) is resolved in a huge way.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is a must-see blockbuster of 2017. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18. There is mild cursing and lots of action scenes that might frighten younger children. Adult Marvel fans will adore this film as well. I give this 5 out of 5 intergalactic planets. I am excited for what will come next in this amazing franchise! This film is in theaters now so go check it out!

By Talia Jacnuk, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SUPER 4: WELCOME TO ENCHANTED ISLAND
SUPER 4: WELCOME TO ENCHANTED ISLAND - 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 Enchanted Island, an island covered with a mysterious enchanted forest, which is home to every form of magical creature you could ever imagine fairies, mischievous boy sprites, unicorns, sirens, ancient tree spirits, and magic wishing wells. Visitors to Enchanted Isle must beware for nothing is ever quite what it seems, and dreams and reality quickly become one. At the center of the forest is the palace of the capricious Fairy Queen, who is in a constant temper due to being turned into a frog by a talented young fairy who overdid herself and, in an attempt to grant the ultimate favor to the queen by making her even more pretty , she cast a spell that in fact gave her the head of a frog! Unfortunately, that talented young fairy is our friend, Twinkle. Twinkle has great potential as a fairy but she must learn to master her wand and its magic. Join Twinkle along with her Super 4 friends as they band together to fight villains and save their worlds from chaos.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an exciting series of adventures with the Super4 gang - Alex, Gene, Ruby and Twinkle. Enchanted Island is home to many magical creatures, trolls, witches, sirens, knights and just about anything your imagination can conjure up! The main story line revolves around a hot tempered Fairy Queen who has been turned into a frog. This spell was accidentally cast by Twinkle while practicing her fairy charms and she enlists the help of her friends to reverse the spell and bring order back to the Island. The animation is beautiful. The continuity and overall structure are comparable to similar animated shows currently available in children's entertainment. There are lots of changes of scenery and storyline, which can be a bit confusing, but actually kept my interest. I especially like that the characters are unique and diverse. They share their feelings and help each other work through difficult emotions and situations. One thing I did not like is the use of negative language such as when the characters call each other stupid, loser or greasy witch. The characters also use magic, cheating and manipulation to get what they want. This DVD is entertaining, but may be unsuitable for a child who is sensitive to violence, scary encounters, unsavory language or over stimulation. The menu offers a "play all" feature or the option to play the episodes individually. The episodes vary in length from 10 to 15 minutes. This DVD may prompt children to ask questions about magic and spells and whether they are real. I rate this DVD 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it to children between the ages to 8 and 12. Reviewed by Eli B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love that this DVD is filled with creativity and fantasy, factors that truly draw children's attention. Each story has witches, fairies, enchanted worlds and many other fanciful things. Since young children have big imaginations and tend to be extremely creative, they are automatically drawn to the show since they can relate to the fantasies in each episode. Their open imagination allows them to dream about these unique and special creatures. I understand why kids love the series so much.

In this show, the characters go on adventure after adventure to help their friends solve problems or situations they are in on the Enchanted Island. They get into very funny and odd situations that children will relate to as something that is actually possible. Of course, using magic to help them adds to the intrigue.

My favorite scene from this collection is when the queen's head turns into a frog as she attempts to make herself more beautiful. She wants to try, but fails and has to deal with the consequences. This scene demonstrates how the shows' makers incorporate things that children will easily be drawn into. It's typical of young children dream of and imagine. Also, it is quite funny to see how they manage to make this funny scene part of the story.

The episodes truly excels at entertaining children and making them have a great time while watching. It offers positive role models and a theme of friendship. The Super 4 friends band together to fight villains and save their worlds from chaos. I can honestly commend the makers of this show on their smart and intelligent writing. While at first look, it appears as a length infomercial for Playmobil toys, it is more than that. The stories are unique and special and geared appropriate for its young audience. It's highly entertaining and fun. I wish the females were more engaging. I rate this DVD 3 out of 5 and recommend it for ages 3 to 8.

By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 80 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DISGUISE COLLECTION: OVERLOADED & DECEPTION ISLAND - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 8-12
Description - Overloaded: The Autobots must split their forces to battle two different, but both dangerous, Decepticons. While Optimus takes his team to the Artic Circle to face off against Polarclaw, Bumblee and his team must battle against Overload, an ancient Decepticon who has a grudge against Optimus. Decepticon Island: The Autobot teams are reunited, but all is not well as they discover that Steeljaw is leading a Decepticon guerilla army. Though outnumbered, the Autobots will have to defeat Steeljaw's army if they want to keep the world safe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD is a double feature with two episodes, approximately 40 minutes each. Because I have never been interested in Transformers, it was hard to keep my attention on the story line. Kids will most likely not have that problem and will find it entertaining. There are robots and bottles between good and evil. There is a message about teamwork and working together to solve problems. The episodes do not have any negative language or inappropriate behavior so this is suitable for them. By all means let kids watch it. They might question how robots work. The animation is good as is the sound quality and the overall quality of production. The DVD is very easy to navigate, there are only two episode options and there are no previews or ads, which I like. There was not a chapter feature to navigate. I recommend it for kids ages 5 to 12 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Amanda M. KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie has great animations! The battle scenes are very detailed and it is pleasing to see that there are diverse types of conflict. In this film, the conflict isn't always good vs. bad. Sometimes it is conflict within the team about who should lead, or even who loves conflicts. The plotline is awesome as well. It really helps move the story forward.

This is a film where the autobots (Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Strongarm, Sideswipe, Fixit) fight against the Decepticons. The goal of the Decepticons is to take over Earth and inhabit the planet for themselves. The autobots protect the humans and try to prevent any damage that the Decepticons might make.

Bumblebee (Will Friedle) is the leader of the autobots. Will Friedle's voice sounds strong and makes you think that he knows what he's doing. Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) is the mentor of Bumblebee and was the leader before Bumblebee. Peter Cullen's voice sounds old, making Optimus Prime seem wise and experienced. The casting director really found great voice talent for these roles!

The animation is spot on. All the movements are easy to follow, the quality of the movie is great and the backdrops are nicely done as well. Everything is very detailed and looks quite realistic. My favorite part is when the whole autobot team works together and comes up with a strategy to defeat the polar bear Decepticon. It is amazing to see them planning and then actually following through with their plan until it works out in the end. I loved seeing the autobots accomplish something together.

The message of this film is to stay strong, focused and remember that teamwork is important. Bumblebee and Optimus prime fight over something so small, but it almost tears apart their friendship. It almost costs the lives of their comrades. But they stay focused, work together and are successful in their mission. The autobots are very moral characters who fight for the greater good. The film tries to influence people to be like the autobots and teaches people how to react in times of trouble.

This film is well thought out. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for the ages 5 to 12. It has a positive message that everyone should hear. I recommend that parents watch it with together with their child. This is available on DVD May 30, 2017 so, go check it out.

By Jolleen Mejia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 88 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 6-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.98 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BORN IN CHINA
BORN IN CHINA - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 4-18
Description - Narrated by John Krasinski, Disneynature's new True Life Adventure film "Born In China" takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden snub-nosed monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard-an elusive animal rarely caught on camera-faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China's vast terrain-from the frigid mountains.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Born in China is a beautifully shot documentary with fun narration, excellent cinematography and an inspiring story. I love the visual splendor of this film and I am still in awe from some of the shots of the vast Chinese landscape.

Narrated by John Krasinski (NBC's The Office, Amazon's Jack Ryan), Born in China chronicles the lives of three animals: Ya Ya, a giant panda who lives surrounded by bamboo and peace with her growing cub, the mischievous monkey Tao Tao who yearns for attention after the birth of his baby sister and later joins a group of outcasts, and the snow leopard Dawa struggling to protect her cubs from predators in harsh conditions. The film also follows the journey of a herd of chiru as they migrate to give birth to their young.

Born in China is one of the rare films that perfectly captures the magic and excitement of nature on screen. Not only does it have footage of some of the cutest animals on earth, but you really get to know some of the animals and their personalities. Also it has great shots of the stunning landscape of China that you're not going to find in any other movie.

John Krasinski is very versatile in his role as narrator. He knows his young audience well and adds some fun dialogue to make it more appealing to them. His narration also goes very well with what is going on onscreen and is key in helping you understand the animals. One flaw is that the subplot with the chiru feels unneeded. Unlike other storylines, there is no main character to gravitate toward or follow. It feels like extra baggage that overcrowds the movie.

One of the best parts is that it demonstrates the animals showcasing basic values we see in society today. The lesson I took away is that the importance of family outweighs everything else, no matter what situation you're in. Tao Tao goes to roam with The Lost Boys because he can't find attention at home but later he learns that those who care for you will be there when you need them.

I recommend this film for ages 4 to 18. It's pretty much suited for all ages, but some animal violence makes it a unsuitable for very young children. It also will be very much enjoyed by adults. I give Born in China 3.5 out of 5 stars. It arrives in theaters just in time for Earth Day, April 22, 2017. Don't forget to stay for the credits for a series of bloopers and outtakes.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11.
Juror Recommended Age: 4-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PROMISE, THE
PROMISE, THE - OPEN ROAD PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, The Promise follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated Ana, and Chris - a renowned American journalist based in Paris.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I am definitely going to watch this film again. It is so exotic because it is based on the Ottoman Empire, which not every kid is entirely aware of. The school subject I dislike most is history, but after seeing this film, my mind is forever changed because I am fascinated about how much goes on in the world.

The Promise is set in the Ottoman Empire, in Armenia, the eastern part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Mikael Pogosian (Oscar Isaac) is a young, Armenian medical student who recently married in order to receive an endowment to pay for medical school. He leaves for Istanbul to further his studies. In the midst of his medical endeavors World War 1 breaks out and Armenia is deeply involved in it. When he travels to Istanbul, a mass Armenian genocide is initiated and he has to overcome these obstacles with Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), a woman he begins to fall in love with. Since her husband, Chris Myers (Christian Bale) is not too happy, a love triangle begins to form. Pogosian and Le Bon work together to keep everyone safe and try to leave Turkey and go to the United States.

Oscar Isaac (Mikael Pogosian), the protagonist, puts others first and acts solely on instinct, which is a great quality to possess. Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) has a kind heart and desires to save all of the Armenian children. Chris Myers (Christian Bale) is a reporter for the Armenian genocide and takes great pride in his work. The budget for this film must have been very large because there are hundreds of weapons utilized, many explosions and gunshots and many buildings destroyed. I love that the men ride on horses because horses are one of my favorite animals. It reminds me of history class because, in the past, soldiers rode on horseback.

My favorite part of the film when Ana is teaching Pogosian how to dance with her cousins and Pogosian's cousin walks in. There is complete silence. Not many men dance, so it is entertaining to watch. The message of this film is to be informed about the past and to appreciate all that you have. Living in America, I feel fortunate to be safe and could not imagine what people in countries such as Armenia and Turkey have gone through.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. Since there are many casualties and gory scenes, I recommend this film to children ages 16 to 18 and think adults will enjoy it too. This movie changes how I think. I learned so much from it. If you can watch intense scenes, then you should see it because it will change your life. This film opens in theaters on April 21, 2017. It is a movie that you truly do not want to miss.

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

The Promise, directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Terry George, is a moving love story based in Turkey and Armenia during World War I.

Mikael Pogosan (Oscar Isaac) was born into a simple family, but had dreams of attending medical school in Constantinople. Once there he fell in love with a fellow Armenian, Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), but she was already in a relationship with American Journalist, Chris Meyers (Christian Bale). While The Promise focuses on the relationships between Mikael, Maral (Angela Sarafyan), Ana and Chris, it dives deep into the chaos and destruction of World War I.

The Promise was shot on location in various parts of Spain witch provides a very picturesque backdrop. I feel that the cinematography matches the very deep and compelling nature of this film. It is a period piece from 1914 and the costumes, hair and makeup are very fitting.

My favorite character is Chris Myers. At first he appears abrasive and hardened, but he wins the audience in the end with his selfless acts and overwhelming display of love toward Ana and compassion toward Mikael and all the Armenian people. I was fascinated by his character development. He continually faces struggles, but his burden for sharing the story of the Armenian people is what keeps him strong.

My favorite scene is when Oscar, narrowly escapes from the Turks and ends up hitching a ride on a moving train, only to learn that it is crammed full of Armenians. Even though he struggles to stay alive, he attempts to rescue them, but unfortunately fails.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars. The Promise is way more than a love story. It is a fascinating history lesson that shows the realities of war through raw human emotions. Because of the graphic nature of this film, along with a few love scenes, it is appropriately rated PG-13 and, therefore I recommend it for ages 13 to 18, and I know most adults will enjoy it as well. This film opens in theaters on April 21 so, be sure to check it out.

By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 14-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
POWER RANGERS (2017)
POWER RANGERS (2017) - LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 12-18
Description - High school outcasts stumble upon an old alien ship, where they acquire superpowers and are dubbed the Power Rangers. Learning that an old enemy of the previous generation has returned to exact vengeance, the group must harness their powers and use them to work together and save the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - There have been many movies, shows and stories related to the Power Rangers series, but by far, Power Rangers (2017) beats all other installments in the series. This doesn't mean Power Rangers (2017) is perfect. The film has a fair share of flaws that could have been fixed, but for the most part, it leaves a pleasant and positive impression.

This film has plenty of action, with lots of comedic scenes to illicit frequent giggles from the viewers. Some romance blossoms between the characters and it is filled with a dramatic feel throughout the entire film. The story begins when five kids, despite having no previous connection with each other, all end up at a gold mine, where a strange rock with even stranger coins is revealed. Each of them take one coin and attempt to escape from the mine's security. Sadly, while escaping, they get hit by a train in what would be a lethal crash. Yet, all five wake up the next day completely alive. More important, now they all share super hero strength, can jump really high and more. Soon the five learn that they are the Power Rangers and need to defend a crystal in Earth's crust that allows life to exist on the planet, from an evil woman named Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks).

Power Rangers (2017) has entertainment value and fans of the brand will especially enjoy it. There are many aspects that come out perfectly. My favorite aspect, by far, is the cinematography. Every single shot in the 120 minute run time is wonderful, from twisting shots that give the viewer a first-person perspective, to shots flying through the air to give a sense of scale. Another aspect that the crew achieved successfully are the costumes. The Power Rangers look epic and the reveal of their costumes were cheered by viewers in the theater because of how iconic the designs are. The plot also has many good aspects. They don't give the characters' super powers and super suits at the beginning. For most of the film, you have five teenagers who are clearly mortal. This gives the viewer time to bond and connect with the characters and allows a sense of realism.

The plot does have its downsides. Even to people who have no idea who Power Rangers are, the story is quite predictable. From the first time they give information about the conflict in the story, I knew exactly how the adventure would turn out. One aspect that surprised me was the special effects. The designs of the monsters and robots all look very real and impressive, but their placements in the real world look forced and somewhat fake, and there are many times where it's especially obvious to the viewer. Despite all these flaws, the acting is quite phenomenal. I love the way every character comes to life, and how the actors are able to transform. One character that I thought could be improved is the villain, Rita. The back story in Power Rangers (2017) is very vague, and turns her into another "good guy turned evil and now she is insane" example. This has been overused in movies, especially when it comes to stories about super-heroes. I do appreciate how diverse the background stories of these characters are and how in tune with today's world they are as well.

My favorite scene has to be the compilation of clips where the five realize their powers. Of course, they wake up thinking that the previous night's deadly train crash was simply a bad dream, but they soon start realizing something is very wrong. Not only are the stones from the previous night still in their pockets, but throughout the day, it becomes very clear that their strength has exponentially grown, and they are now stronger and more fit then the strongest people on Earth. I chose this scene because the acting and cinematography work together very well in these clips to show the true confusion on the characters' faces. You really feel like you are part of the scene, instead of simply watching it.

This film has one major change from the older films. It is no longer appropriate for younger kids. They portray Rita in an almost horror-like way (which comes out stunningly) and, there are some scenes with adult language and slightly adult references. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars because of its many flaws, like the special effects, storyline and some of the characters. However, Power Rangers (2017) is still enjoyable to watch and really does justice to the series. It is in theaters now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Saban's Power Rangers is a great romp of Power Rangers' fan service. I found the acting and special effects to be incredible throughout this movie. This will appeal to all Power Rangers' fans. This film is about five teenagers, Jason (Dacre Montgomery), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Billy (RJ Cyler), Zach (Ludi Lin) and Trini (Becky G.), who are all misfits. The five come across stones of the Power Rangers, an order of people who protect Earth, and they take these stones. The next day they wake up with superpowers. They go back to find an underground lair with a robot Alpha 5 (Bill Hader) and a former Power Ranger in the form of a talking wall, Zordon (Bryan Cranston). Zordon warns them of an imposing threat, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks), who has the power to destroy Earth. This group of misfits must learn to overcome their problems to become the Power Rangers and defeat Rita Repulsa.

Dacre Montgomery presents leadership yet also being a troublemaker in his role as Jason (Red Ranger), and instead of falling to the stereotypes of being the bland leader who gives rules, he presents a charisma in his character. Naomi Scott as Kimberly (Pink Ranger) is fantastic in presenting a fierce yet caring Power Ranger. RJ Cyler as Billy (Blue Ranger) is my favorite character in the movie due to his comic relief. Ludi Lin as Zach (Black Ranger) presents a careless, yet quick Power Ranger. Becky G as Trini (Yellow Ranger) completes the team of Power Rangers. Elizabeth Banks can be a little bit too over-the-top with her villainous Rita Repulsa, who is horrifying most of the time but funny in the most unintentional parts.

The direction of the movie by Dean Israelite is fast paced with every character and especially during the action scenes. The special effects by Zoilo Abad are exceptional with the details on the costumes taking the highlight. My favorite scene is the final battle with Rita Repulsa in the Power Rangers' mech suits due to the breathtaking special effects. The movie's message is about teamwork being the solution to the problem because the team is only able to defeat Rita Repulsa by working together as a team and using tactics they learn together. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 due to the intense action and language. This film opens is in theaters now, so go and check it out, if you want a mighty morphing time.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 1
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FATE OF THE FURIOUS, THE
FATE OF THE FURIOUS, THE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game-and the rest of the crew has been exonerated-the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime he can't seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world's stage... and to bring home the man who made them a family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - As a fan of the Fast & Furious series, I really enjoyed the excitement of the fast cars, beautiful scenery and spectacular action sequences in this film.

The opening scene gives a glimpse of the streets of Cuba, in which Dom (Vin Diesel) races an old, raggedy car that belongs to his cousin who is behind in his payments to the loan shark Raldo (Celestino Cornielle) and gets us ready for all the extravagant stunts to come. The stakes are high. The winner takes the opponent's car! Dom shows his expertise and experience as he races the burning car in reverse to victory. He does not take Raldo's car and gives his cousin his car. This is the beginning of the underlying theme of "family" and "loyalty".

All the characters are now older and family and loyalty resonates with them now. The villain, Ciper (Charlize Theron) is a threat to the team's family. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force crisscross the globe to stop Cipher from unleashing chaos on the world's stage.

There are several scenes that demonstrate ingenuity. For example, the street lights are all green. Cars start without a driver and they chase of a submarine in icy cold water. My favorite part is when the team hooks up Dom's car with the determination to save Dom from his rogue actions.

I recommend the film for ages 14 to 18 because of the violence and how scantily clad women are objectified, looked up and down by the camera and there are scenes of a married couple in bed together kissing and being close to each other. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It opens in your local theater on Friday, April 14, 2017 so, go check it out.

By Juanita Seon L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Buckle your seatbelt for the new movie The Fate Of The Furious, an action-packed, block-buster sequel to The Fast and the Furious. I have never watched any of the Fast and the Furious movies and I really enjoyed this. This film seems like it is the beginning of a story and it brings you up to speed on what happened in the past very quickly. So even if you have never seen any of the Fast and the Furious movies, you will know what's happening and be very interested. The tone of this movie is very intense because the action keeps you wondering what is going to happen next.

This movie is about a guy named Dom (Vin Diesel) who betrays his team and goes and fights for another team that does evil things. Dom's old team, led by Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock), has to go fight not only for themselves but also for the world. You have to watch this movie to the end to find out how Dom feels about betraying his team.

The special effects absolutely blew my mind and, I must say, I have never seen better special effects than what's in this film. The cars drive themselves and the action scenes could never happen in real life. They are pure genius. I would have loved see it in 3D because all of the cars and action scenes would have made been that much more intense. If you like funny movies with a lot of action you will definitely love this movie.

The message of this film is to not betray your friends. When Dom goes rogue, his friends start to change and hate him. In real life, this same thing would happen. One thing that bothered me about this movie is that, even though Dom is one of the main characters, he doesn't talk a lot and looks sad most of the time. I didn't really like that and I think the audience would have understood his character better if he had more lines. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 gold stars and recommend this movie for ages 10 to 18 because of some profanity, humor and violence. Adults will also love this movie. It opens in theaters April 14, 2017 so go check it out.

by Na'im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The Fate of the Furious is an enjoyable entry into the Fast and Furious franchise that brings exactly what fans want to see: ridiculous action sequences, fun characters and slick new cars.

Directed by F. Gary Gray, The Fate of the Furious opens with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) on their honeymoon in Cuba when his team is called to assist Luke Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) with a mission in Berlin. Dom ruins the mission by going rogue and leaving Hobbs injured on the side of the road. The team soon figures out that Dom is working with a cyber terrorist by the name of Cipher (Charlize Theron). To take down Dom and figure out why he has changed sides, they must enlist the help of old friends as well as new ones.

My favorite part of this film is the jailbreak scene where Hobbs has to stop an old enemy named Deckard (Jason Statham) from escaping prison and wreaking havoc. Seeing two action heroes fighting their way out of prison and preparing to duke it out is exhilarating and had me pumping my fists in the air with excitement. This scene is over-the-top and outrageous but I was having too much fun to care.

I am an outsider to this franchise, having never before seen a Fast and Furious film. I really enjoyed this movie. As this franchise has evolved, it has learned what the fans want to see. By not taking itself too seriously, the cheesy dialogue and slow-mo feel a little more fitting with its lighter tone. The way this film works is that it knows it's absurd and has fun with it.

I don't love the story because it tries to do too much, a common thing in blockbuster movies today. The opening sequence in Cuba is unnecessary. It barely has anything to do with the plot but it does establish the mood and tone. By upping the ante with ridiculous action from the very start, it prepares the audience for what's to come. There are also a lot of characters to follow and sometimes the plot gets a little too ridiculous for comfort. But if you're going to see this film, it's not for a strong story.

Some performances in this film are very funny. Tyrese Gibson is hilarious as Roman. He has a lot of fun with this role and is very energetic. Dwayne Johnson is another standout who delivers an amusing performance. He maintains his action hero persona while also exercising his comedic chops.

The lesson of this film is that you should never turn your back on family. Even when Dom goes rogue, his team never gives up on him. I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18 for its mild language and violence.

I give The Fate of the Furious 4 out of 5 stars. Overall, The Fate of the Furious is a film that should be appealing for outsiders to this franchise as well as those who have been on this ride since the very beginning. This film opens in theaters on April 14th, so be sure to check it out.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SONIC UNDERGROUND: VOLUME 2
SONIC UNDERGROUND: VOLUME 2 - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Description - Join Sonic (voiced by Family Matters' Jaleel White), and his siblings, Sonia and Manic, as they fight to be reunited with their long-lost mother, Queen Aleena. In this second and final set of episodes, we return to Robotnik having his sights set upon Queen Aleena's crown jewel, which glows as it moves closer to her. Sonic, Manic, and Sonia plan to recover the jewel before Robotnik, not only to find their mother but also to protect her. Will they succeed? When they aren't battling Dr. Robotnik and his henchmen, Sonic and his siblings make time for their rock band, Sonic Underground. With over seven hours of content, this final set is sure to showcase all the best Sonic episodes from the tunes to the great battles. Based on the popular SEGA videogame character, this Sonic the Hedgehog collection is a must-have for all Sonic fans!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What's most appealing about this title is that it's an animated series based on a video game. A child would enjoy this series because it's visually appealing with vibrant colors and animation. However, I can also see how a child could dislike this series based on the appearance of the characters. For example, the appearance of the villains may frighten some younger children. Each episode flows well, the sound is clear and each one has a beginning, middle and end. The episodes make sense and are quite watchable. The show uses vocabulary and concepts that are suitable for the target age group. Furthermore, this collector's edition includes 20 bonus music videos, which I'm sure children ages 5 to 10 will enjoy as Sonic and his siblings play instruments, dance, and sing catchy songs that kids can dance and sing along with. I'd recommend this series because it's adventurous, entertaining, and action packed. Recommended for ages 5 to 10 and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Geanice G., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

This show is very cheesy, but that's exactly what makes it charming. The animation is pretty good, especially compared to the older Sonic TV series. The story is really great and consists of Sonic and his siblings fighting Dr. Robotnik to find their mother. Due to the subject matter, starting with Vol. 2 takes away from some of the story so, I wanted to watch a copy of Sonic Underground Vol. 1 to watch. I do believe that you will get this best if you watch Vol. 1 before Vol. 2. Once you do that, it is really cute and full of examples of family members looking out for one another and never giving up. Something that I think is really neat is the fact that the set comes with music videos and they are pretty cool. This is a great program for anyone who has been a fan of the Sonic video games. I believe it is best suited for ages 6 to 14 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This series is entertaining. It has its fair share of problems and it is a little cheesy at times, but since I am a Sonic the Hedgehog fan, I may have high standards.

The plot is about Sonic (Jaleel White) and his siblings, Sonia (Jaleel White) and Manic (Jaleel White) who team up, to search for their missing mother, Queen Aleena and to stop the evil Dr. Robotnik. I wouldn't say the animation is amazing, as it is a bit choppy and sluggish at times. However, it isn't the worst animated show to come out in the 90s, as it does have a style and it does feel like it belongs in the Sonic The Hedgehog universe. Also, I find it interesting that Sonic, Sonia and Manic's weapons are magic musical instruments. I really like that decision, as it shows that the series is a more creative and original adaptation.

Speaking of which, the main difference between this show and the games are the two completely original characters who are Sonic's siblings, Sonia and Manic. I found them interesting, but it feels as if they often get pushed aside to let Sonic be the star. I understand he's the main character, but Sonia and Manic don't really get much of a chance to show their personalities. Most of the time, it seems that they are just there to be there. Also, Sonia's voice is kind of irritating. It's super high pitched and nasal, and is somewhat distracting.

This show is an adaptation of the Sonic The Hedgehog series. As an adaptation, it's pretty good. However, it bares more resemblance to the Sonic comic books than the games. It has a similar setting to the comics and some of the characters seem similar. Sonic even looks like the comic adaptation of him, shorter and chubbier.

Sonic The Hedgehog has never really been known for fantastic, well written stories. Sometimes, the games have an engaging story, but writing has never been the focus of the series. So how is the story in Sonic Underground? Actually, not too shabby. The show has a set goal and some actual character development. However, there is only one season, with only forty episodes and that is probably a good thing. If it went on for multiple seasons, the show would probably turn into a wild goose chase looking for Queen Aleena.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13
Runtime: 420 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-10 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TOMMY'S HONOUR
TOMMY'S HONOUR - ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - Set against the early days of the sport and stunning landscape of Scotland, TOMMY'S HONOUR is based on the intimate and powerfully moving true story of the challenging relationship between "Old" Tom Morris (Peter Mullan) and "Young" Tommy Morris (Jack Lowden), the dynamic father-son team who ushered in the modern game of golf. As their fame grew exponentially, Tom and Tommy, Scotland's Golf Royalty, were touched by drama and personal tragedy. At first matching his father's success, Tommy's talent and fame grew to outshine his father's accomplishments as founder of the Open Championship in 1860, his stellar playing record, and his reputation as the local caddie master, greenskeeper and club & ball maker. In contrast to his public persona, Tommy's inner turmoil ultimately led him to rebel against the aristocracy who gave him opportunity, led by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews chief Alexander Boothby (Sam Neill), and the parents who shunned his passionate relationship with his girlfriend-then-wife Meg Drinnen (Ophelia Lovibond).
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed this film. It reminds me that golf isn't as easy as it looks. In fact, the sport is rigorous and difficult and, at times, unpleasant and uncomfortable. In the film, players are forced to play through all kinds of weather, including heavy rain and harsh snow. Going into this movie, I wasn't a great fan of golf. However, you don't need to be in order to enjoy the film. The movie combines elements of romance and allure along with a superb storyline which kept my mind stimulated and thinking as I watched the film.

Tommy's Honour tells a story about a father and son who both love the game of golf. Tommy Morris Sr. is considered the game's founding father and Tommy Jr. was the best golfer in the nineteenth century.

One thing that surprised me is how interesting Tommy Jr.'s character is. He is loyal, chivalrous, intelligent and determined. He always perseveres, no matter what obstacles stand in his way. I especially like the scene in which young Tommy chops down the tree. Although heartbreaking to watch, it really showcases his vulnerability.

Also jaw-dropping are the scenery and the locations. Tommy's Honour was filmed in Scotland where the actual story took place. The wide, open oceans and the vast greenery along with the architecture and culture absolutely blew me away. I've always wanted to travel to Scotland, but now, I am driven to go and experience the culture for myself. Scotland seems like an incredible country, with both natural and manmade artifacts and geography that are gorgeous.

The background music also keeps it stimulating and interesting. The music suits the tone of each scene and also puts a very Scottish spin on the movie. Another thing I like is the subtle humor. Although this film is not a comedy, the writers manage to sneak in a few laughs.

I would rate this film 5 out of 5 stars for its incredible storyline and enchanting cinematography and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well. You should know there are some intense scenes. This film comes out in theaters on April 14 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE
SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGE 5-12
Description - In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a roller-coaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Smurfs: The Lost Village is a fun family film full of creativity and good animation. The movie takes kids into a vibrant new world with a new crew of Smurfs. Unfortunately, some bland characters and stale laughs don't live up to the visual achievement of this movie.

Based on the works of Belgian cartoonist Peyo, this film follows Smurfette as she struggles to discover her identity. Smurfette was a lump of clay created by the evil wizard, Gargamel, who is the Smurfs' sworn foe. Whenever she tries to forget the terrible notion that she is not a true Smurf, something happens that reaffirms her of it. One day, while playing with a group of Smurfs, she sees something that may lead to the uncovering of a new faction of Smurfs. Smurfette, Hefty, Brainy and Clumsy set out on a journey together. With Gargamel on their heels, what they find could change the world around them forever.

The animation in this film is vibrant. The creatures in the forest surrounding the Lost Village are colorful and creative. The look and feel of the film overall pays homage to the original comics but also exploits the nuance and richness of modern computer animation techniques.

I don't care for the story in this film. Other than the addition of the Lost Village and its inhabitants, it feels pretty formulaic. The story has a lot of the tropes of the original cartoon and that isn't a bad thing, but the plot is predictable and the antics between Gargamel and the Smurfs in a full-length feature film grow old very fast. I would have liked to see this film take a different path than the adaptations before it, but it plays it safe.

The voice cast of this film includes a broad range of actors from Julia Roberts to Jack McBrayer. The film never really uses these actors to their full potential, sidelining many to bit cameos rather than real roles. Mandy Patinkin is a standout in this film as Papa Smurf, a wise guy who helps the Smurfs when they seek guidance. Patinkin is the perfect choice to play this role. His voice is both soothing and authoritative. Patinkin also has the right amount of charisma to voice this character.

The lesson of this film is that you will not be remembered for what you were good at, but the kindness in your heart. Smurfette has trouble finding a skill that will define her personality unlike her other Smurf pals. But that is not what is important in life. The way people will remember your legacy is by how you treated others. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 10 and you should be aware there is some crude humor. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I enjoyed the film Smurfs: The Lost Village because it teaches girls to be strong and confident within themselves. This movie also teaches kids that working together is better than working alone. I don't like that the movie implies there is a relationship between Papa Smurf and Smurfwillow or that it pushes a relationship between Smurfette and Hefty Smurf. This is not needed. I found this movie to not be as funny as the live action ones, which is weird since most children's animated films have a lot of funny moments.

The story is about Smurfette feeling lost and alone because she is the only girl in the village. She also feels like she isn't a real Smurf because she was made by Gargamel, who wants to take all the Smurfs to steal their magic. To save another Smurf Village from evil, Gargamel, Hefty, Clumsy, Nerdy and Smurfette work together to find the lost village and warn them about Gargamel. On this journey they discover the biggest secret in Smurf history and help Smurfette realize the power inside of her, that she is strong and fits in.

The animation in this movie is very detailed. It reminds me of a lot of the claymation in The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is much better than The Smurfs 2 (2013). It seems more animated and not as realistic which adds to the fantasy of being in the Smurf world. The backgrounds are quite pretty and mystical, especially when The Smurfs go to the Forbidden Forest.

The star-studded cast includes Demi Lovato, Julia Roberts, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello and many, many more. Their voice acting is one of the best parts of the film, especially Demi Lovato's voice as Smurfetts. She acts in such a docile manner but still projects the strength of girl power.

My favorite character is Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) who is the funniest characters. I can relate to Clumsy in that I too am very clumsy. I always manage to trip over some object. I also really enjoyed the character Brainy (Danny Pudi) who is another funny character. I admire how he relies on his books for most of the movie, but gets over listening to how things should be and just cherishes living in the moment.

The message of this movie is all about team work and how girls are powerful. I recommend this movie to ages 5 to 7 and give this a 3 out of 5 stars. This film comes out April 7, 2017 in theaters nationwide so, check it out.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GIFTED
GIFTED - LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old's mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank's formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary's landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary's teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Gifted is a story with not a lot of surprise elements, but it wins the audience over with its powerful statement, outstanding acting and stunning cinematography. Mainly, Gifted has a very dramatic storyline. However, Gifted offers much more then that. Viewers also get a subplot of romance, friendship and strong family values as well as some comedy here and there to keep a dramatic movie light.

The plot begins when Mary Adler (Mckenna Grace) starts first grade. She isn't like the other kids in her class. Her teacher, Bonnie (Jenny Slate) soon learns that Mary turns out to be a genius in mathematics. She can easily do equations higher than high school level. Despite her clear giftedness, Mary's uncle, Frank (Chris Evans) refuses to put Mary in a school for gifted children, trying to keep the girl's life normal. Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), Mary's grandmother insists on making her do mathematics around the clock and training her to be a math prodigy. What follows is a custody battle between the two for Mary.

My favorite scene really stands out due to remarkable lighting and camera work. The scene really doesn't contribute to the plot, but the cinematography makes it one of the most excellent in the film. The scene shows Mary riding on Frank's shoulders. Behind them, a giant sunset completely fills the sky. The lighting from the setting sun comes out stunningly dazzling. Even though it doesn't add to the complexity of the story, the scene is very impressive and demonstrates the closeness of the uncle and his niece.

One of Gifted's weak points waters down to the story. Even though the film is unique from other stories about genius kids, by focusing on the family values and relationships instead of Mary's exceptional mathematical skills, it still comes out very predictable and rather simple. The main conflict never really feels like a major issue but rather, just a side story. Despite those issues, Gifted still entertains through the acting. All the actors deliver outstanding performances. Mckenna Grace, despite being only 10-years-old, completely steals the show. Never does the acting feel forced and the actors seem to authentically connect with their characters and have a true bond on-screen.

There are a few adult references in the film, but nothing too worry about. I recommend this for ages 8 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars because, although the story needs work, the acting and cinematography make Gifted a very entertaining and memorable film. This opens in theaters April 14 so, be sure to check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BOSS BABY, THE
BOSS BABY, THE - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Loosely based on the children's book "The Boss Baby" by Maria Frazee, follows the adventures of a seven-year old jealous of his new little brother. When the brother embarks on a mission to win back the sole affection of his parents, he stumbles upon a secret plot by the CEO of Puppy Co. (voiced by Spacey) that threatens to destroy the balance of love in the world and this brash baby executive masquerading as his new brother is at the center of it all. Now, they must come together as true brothers to stop the dastardly scheme, save their parents, restore order to the world and prove that love is indeed an infinite force.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - "Where do babies come from?" is a question that children ask adults, parents and anyone willing to take a stab at an explanation. The Boss Baby, a Dreamworks Animation film gives us an unexpected answer to this question. We find ourselves looking through the eyes of a very imaginative seven-year-old boy, Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi). Tim is happy and has a very vivid imagination which we see him use to overcome obstacles. The film is very colorful, funny and includes elements of nostalgia with the music.

The Boss Baby is a family comedy that addresses issues of sibling rivalry. Tim, as the big brother, fears that he will have less love from his parents because of the new baby. The Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) arrives at Tim's home in a taxi, wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. This film shows a view of the culture of the corporate world in a most humorous way. For example, the Boss Baby holds a meeting with a group of the neighborhood babies and talks about plans to carry out his mission. The parents (Lisa Kudrow and Steve Buscemi) have no clue about what is happening with the children.

My favorite scene is when Tim discovers that his baby brother can talk and sets about to prove it to his parents. We see chases, just-in-time escapes and some scary scenes from the imagination of 7-year-old Tim such as creepy hallways. Once Tim learns about his baby brother's mission, the two work together to defeat the evil plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

The Boss Baby addresses issues around sibling rivalry as well as the importance of team work and the fact that there is enough love for everyone in a family. Because of some scenes with rude humor, some mild violence and the display of baby body parts, I recommend it for ages 6 to 18. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars! It opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, March 31, 2017! Be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita Seon Leary, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Dreamworks' The Boss Baby, is an extraordinary, fun and lighthearted animated film based on an award-winning picture book by Marla Frazee.

Seven-year-old Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi) had the perfect life and the full attention of his parents until one day, a new arrival took it all away and became the Boss of his family. Tim and Boss Baby face sibling rivalry, trying to both win the affection of their parents. Much to Tim's surprise, the two bond when they join forces to uncover the evil plot of the CEO of Puppy Co. And in the midst of it all, Tim and his new brother Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) learn the true meaning of the love of family.

The Boss Baby is fabulously directed by Tom McGrath, who you might recognize from his work on all three Madagascar movies and Megamind. He says that the movie is partially an apology letter to his own brother for all the grief he put him in when they were young.

My favorite character is Boss Baby. Alec Baldwin voices this character with great panache. His witty personality mixed with a take-charge attitude bursts through the screen. I feel that Baldwin's voice talent in this is one of the key reasons this movie shines.

My favorite scene is when Tim and Boss Baby work together to sneak into Puppy Co. and attempt to steal the secret file. Watching a working large scale replica of one of my favorite games when I was young (Mouse Trap) was particularly fun. Also, there are many toys from the 70s and 80s included which I enjoyed. Several times I found myself times trying to find them in the scene. There are so many magical moments throughout. As an only child, it's funny that there are times the movie made me want to have a brother and, other times, I'm happy to be an only child.

The Boss Baby is an enjoyable film safe to keep you and your family thoroughly entertained. Director Tom McGrath states "I want this movie to draw you in and make you move to the edge of your seat, not pull away from the screen" and I believe he achieved that goal. It is rated PG for mild humor and I recommend it for ages 6 to 14, although the whole family will enjoy it. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters nationwide on March 31, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

The Boss Baby is a hilarious movie about a boy named Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi) who has a pretty great life with his parents, until one day he gets a baby brother (Alec Baldwin) who wears a suit and tie. Tim is very skeptical about this new baby brother, but eventually he works with his baby brother to help stop the antagonist, the CEO of Puppy Co.

This film is very funny because Tim and the baby are always fighting. Sometimes they put scenes in slow motion which makes them extra funny. In one scene, the babies are going against Tim and everything is over exaggerated. I went with a 6-year-old and she and the rest of the audience laughed a lot.

The animation in this movie is very detailed and brightly colored. The creative use of so many colors help give each scene a happy feeling. There is a lot of detail in this movie such as the characters' hair. You can see little strands of hair and each individual eyelash. Having so much detail on each character helps make it more realistic.

The moral to this film is "don't judge a book by its cover." Although Tim is right to be skeptical about the new baby, he doesn't get to know the baby before judging him and jumps to the conclusion that he is bad. My favorite scene is when Tim tries to show the parents that the baby can talk. This is a very funny scene because everything is so over-the-top and the slow motion parts are hysterical. The music is primarily one song, Black Bird. This song is sung throughout and is Tim's favorite song. Black Bird brings a sweet mood to the film whenever it is sung.

I recommend this film for ages 4 to 14 because. It is a pretty funny movie parents can take their kids to, but you should know that there is a reference to killing people which might be scary to little kids. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars, because the plot is really developed and it is very funny. Go see The Boss Baby in theatres when it opens March 31, 2017. I think you will love it!

Reviewed by Mia A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
UNITED KINGDOM, A
UNITED KINGDOM, A - FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A United Kingdom is the true story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana (David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London, which caused an international uproar when they decided to marry in the late 1940s just as apartheid was being introduced into South Africa. It was a decision that altered the course of African history.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A United Kingdom is a film that is very much in love with its own story. Director Amma Asante is obviously very passionate about the subject of this movie, which is about how a biracial couple in 1940s Africa nearly tears apart an entire village and breaks down the relationship of colonial Britain and Africa. We feel Asante's passion for racial equality, and social justice. We clearly see how adamant she is about doing what is right for a nation, rather than fattening one's own greedy pockets. That's all very evident. However, the one thing Asante fails to do, and a glaring mistake of the film, is that she ignores the core of the relationship between the two main characters involved.

David Oyelowo (Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) play the interracial couple. They are both very invested in their moments and the actors both allow their care for this story to show through their performances. However, their relationship is not at all developed. I found myself caring more for the people of the village than their relationship. The issue as I see it is that Director Amma Asante skipped past all of the expositional development stage of their relationship. About 20 minutes into the movie we are already in Africa and the conflict of the story has already changed. It changes from 40's race relations in Britain, to diplomatic struggles between Africa and Britain. But we never truly get to know these people.

Pike plays Ruth Williams, the white Londoner. And, Oyelowo plays Seretse Khama, the King of Botswana. We quickly see how they meet, how they feel, what their families and friends think and then they're married and are in Africa. But we're missing something very essential when it comes to a successful cinematic relationship and that's relational conflict. Despite the fact that Ruth's family is against their marriage and so is Seretse's, we don't how they're affected by it. There's never a moment of problem between the two of them. Essentially, we never see the events in which their relationship is strengthened by adversity before they're off to Africa. That poses an issue going into the second act because, all of a sudden, we're given new conflicts, characters and situations. And, we have to fill in the blanks and imagine that their relationship is one worth fighting for.

However, once we get to Africa and the colonial conflict starts as well as the conflict within Seretse's family, we're caught up to speed. Asante takes us on a plot of cheer and disappointment and we are never for a moment bored. We're never not entertained and we get sucked into their story and applaud the wars they win amidst the battles they lose. For those reasons, I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It can be seen at a local theaters now.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
KONG: SKULL ISLAND - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers unites to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I saw this last week and have to say that it is definitely an amazing work visually. The special effects teams have truly outdone themselves with their extravagantly detailed Kong and other gigantic creatures. In terms of storyline, meh! Performances are also so so with the exception being John C Reilly's performance. He walks away with the show in my humble opinion. Samuel L. Jackson's character is probably the second most interesting although he transitions from a slightly crazy war hero to a maniac without a logistical means of doing so. It was good to see John Goodman in his older and fitter self and Tom Hiddleson's persona is somewhat believable. Brie Larson's role as a war photographer didn't really deliver much except for one scene that I predicted but won't comment on as that would be a spoiler. I enjoyed the soundtrack, especially Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit - took me back to the 70s and the Vietnam War era. Note to vans: sit through all the credits for a message at the end. I still enjoyed it and would take anyone who is into monster movies. It does deliver that! Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kong: Skull Island is a fun sci-fi movie which is a breathtaking visual treat. I really found the direction and special effects to be fantastic in this movie. This will appeal to all those sci-fi fans.

This movie is about a diverse group of travelers which includes former British Special Air Service Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), an anti-war photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), a government agent Bill Randa (John Goodman), a seismologist Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), and an army led by Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) who head to Skull Island. Upon arriving, they are attacked by Kong, a huge gorilla, who destroys their helicopters and splits the team up. Packard wants revenge for the men he lost in the helicopter crashes, and he wants to kill Kong. Conrad and Weaver realize a bigger threat known as the Skullcrawlers lurk beneath them. The only one who can protect them is Kong, and only he can ensure the team's safety in escaping the island.

Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad heroically represents a soldier. Brie Larson as Mason Weaver is very impressive as a bold photographer. John C Reilly as Hank Marlow, a war veteran, is my favorite character in the movie due to his comic relief and interesting backstory. Samuel L Jackson as Preston Packard brilliantly expresses his revenge with his angry facial expressions.

The direction of the movie by Jordan Vogt-Roberts is unique and really captures the vibe of the 1970s. His filmmaking emphasizes on the smaller things more than the big things, and this is an interesting new concept. This is primarily used whenever we see Kong especially in the first Kong encounter. The focus is more on Kong's face than just his whole body, and this adds tension. Also, the special effects done by Chris Brenczewski really added detail to the monsters, and it made them look real. The scene that I liked the most in the movie is the final fight scene between Kong and a big Skullcrawler, and it was absolutely a blast due to it being a hand to hand combat scene which was fun to watch. My only problem with the movie is the characterization. While everyone does a fine job with the part they are given, their characters just feel like bland stereotypes. I didn't find myself caring for anyone other than John C. Reily's character who has some interesting story beats.

The movie's message is to not mess with nature because if these travelers didn't attack Kong's territory, then he wouldn't have attacked them in the first place. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18 years old as it may be scary for younger audiences due to the intense action and language. This film opens in theaters on March 10th, so go and 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 ENDORSED
DANA'S BEST JUMP & JAM TUNES
DANA'S BEST JUMP & JAM TUNES - LORETTE BAYLE
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 2-5
Description - Dana Cohenour, a pioneering independent singer, songwriter and educator whose music has earned 17 national awards and acclaim from critics and families alike, leaps back into the scene with a brand-new collection of action songs for kids. Dana's sixth highly interactive album includes 12 mostly original songs designed to get kids ages one to seven up and moving, grooving and laughing. Wordplay, catchy melodies and top-notch musicianship.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dana is a seasoned, veteran performer and her work shows it. Her vocals are crystal clear and engaging, the production values are terrific featuring some smoking good musicians. The songs are high-energy and demand participation unless you are Velcroed or hot-melt glued to your seat. Great for classrooms, home schools and for kids you just need to tire out with good positive, down-home, funky fun music! Pick up this CD and you might not be able to put it down. Love the energy, the participation and production quality. Songs are terrific for activity and downright fun! The album flows nicely. The artist knows her audience well and her songs follow suit. Listeners will probably seek out more Dana music! It's just that good. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I enjoyed listening to Dana's Best Jump & Jam Tunes CD! I found myself tapping to the beat of many songs. One of the things I like about this CD is that so many of the songs are nursery rhymes. They have simple melodies, fun rhythms and positive, upbeat messages. Many of them are about animals and the importance of doing the right thing in life. The "I Love Mommy" song is very simple yet it is a reminder of the most important people in our lives - our family.

There are twelve songs on the CD. It's too difficult to pick a favorite, I love "Barnyard Hoedown," "Jumping Beans," "Five Green and Speckled Frogs and "I Love Mommy. The reason why I like "Barnyard Hoedown" so much is because it is a country song with animal voices, a kid's choir and ends with a cow mooing. The "Jumping Beans" is really cool because of its Spanish flavor and the inclusion of a xylophone. I also think "Five Green and Speckled Frogs" is funny because of the frogs croaking in it. Finally, the "I Love Mommy" is particularly touching lullaby with having a heartfelt simple message about loving your family.

Dana Cohenour sings all the songs on the CD is really great. Her voice is very pretty and she can make funny sounds with her voice like singing with different accents. She also does the fun musical arrangements.

The message of this CD is about the importance of respecting animals, doing the right thing and loving your family. What sticks out in mind the most is the kids' choir singing, the animal voices and Dana singing in different styles. I also like all the nursery rhymes.

While I think kids of various ages will enjoy this, I recommend it to ages 3 to 7 because the songs are nursery rhymes with animal sounds. I give this 4 out of 5 musical stars for its positive upbeat songs and inclusion of animal and kid voices.

By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 38 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 1-7 Suggested Retail Price: $ 13 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KIKORIKI. LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON
KIKORIKI. LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 8-15
Description - The lovably simple residents of peaceful Kikoriki Island are thrown kicking and screaming into big adventure when their resident scientist invents an amazing device (a helmet called "the Improverizor") which takes personality traits from one person and swaps them with someone else's! But when spineless young Wally tries to use the untested device to cure his cowardice, he ends up even more spineless: by getting accidentally body-switched with a squirmy little caterpillar. Now he's got more to fear than he ever dreamed, and so do his fellow villagers, as they're dragged into a madcap adventure packed with plane crashes, mistaken identities, erupting volcanoes and angry natives on the warpath. Boy, do the Kikoriki crew wish they could switch places now: with anyone!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Kikoriki is about a character named Wally trying to cure his cowardly ways by using a local scientist's invention which allows you to swap personalities with someone else. Wally accidentally switches personalities with a caterpillar and things really take off from there. It's lovely seeing Wally wanting to be himself again and working so hard to get there. I personally thought this was funny. This is one of those kids movies that attempts to keep adults engaged as well as their children. Between having a random celibacy joke and polite kid curse words, it really draws all ages in. I feel that this is most suitable for ages 5 to 12. I have a 13-month-old who was glued to the screen and I have a 15-year-old who giggled at the jokes as well. I give this program a 4 out of 5 stars just because I feel the light adult humor and the visuals do not always match up. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon is a family-friendly animated film based on the television series GoGoRiki. Directed by Dennis Chernov and originally voiced by Russian actors, this film is one of two DVDs that are being brought to American audiences by Shout! Kids Factory.

The story begins with the local scientist creating a machine called the "Improverizer" which swaps people's personalities. But something goes terribly wrong when a young coward, Wally, gets hold of the device. Wally's friends and other Kikoriki residents take a journey to help him return to his original body. It is a tale about finding yourself, learning to trust your own instincts and not rely on silly mechanisms like an "Improverizer" in order to change and grow and develop friendships.

The animation is done with CGI (Computer Generation) and is colorful and esthetically pleasing. Each of the characters are based on different animals and their personalities are very fitting. Their bodies are egg-shaped and the DVD actually includes an egg decorating kit so you can make your own Kikoriki villagers at home. The animation looks very cartoony and fun, but some times I did feel the storyline was a bit slow. As an illustrator myself, I found the landscaping and various imaginative backdrops were my favorite part.

My favorite character is Wally. Wally starts off as a coward and tries to use the "Improverizer" to change his personality. In the end he learns that bravery comes from within. I found myself laughing several times during the film.

I feel Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon is appropriately rated PG due to some rude humor and mild peril. It also includes a few adult references and jokes, but nothing so noticeable I feel a younger child would pick up on. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 12 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. It came out on DVD, March 7, 2017 so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

KikoRiki: Legend of the Golden Dragon is a funny animated film featuring lots of bright and hilarious characters. I like how it has lots of jokes referencing other films. It is a very interesting film with a cool animation style. I like how it includes lots of zany contraptions that make me laugh. It has an entertaining story filled with prophesies, volcanoes, treasure and jokes.

In the story, a young sheep named Wally gets tired of being a scaredy cat so he uses one of the town's scientist's inventions to get courage. He trips and accidently misuses the device and ends up in a caterpillar's body. Meanwhile, the other residents of KikoRiki Island are taking a plane trip when their plane crashes and are lost. They find the native chameleon's village and discover that Wally's caterpillar-controlled body is worshiped as the golden dragon spoken of in a prophesy. Wally gets the same information from some hilarious treasure hunters and both groups try to get his body back.

This film is very funny and has very colorful characters. The story has many twists and turns that keeps it exciting entire time. I especially enjoyed how they have a slow buildup of action throughout the film, not all in one place. This film's moral is to think highly of yourself. They also emphasize how you can do anything if you believe, friendship is important and good always comes out on top. I feel these are important morals because they teach a lot about self-respect.

My favorite part of the DVD is when the what the characters are playing happens in real life. This is hilarious and shows that the writers have great imaginations. I also strongly enjoyed the part where Wally becomes a caterpillar because it s like a Rube Goldberg machine which I find very entertaining.

I really enjoyed this film. It is very entertaining and funny. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15. I also think parents will enjoy this. It is available now on DVD so, check it out.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 85 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.96 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GREAT WALL, THE
GREAT WALL, THE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within the Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of the world. As wave after wave of marauding beasts besiege the massive structure, his quest for fortune turns into a journey toward heroism as he joins a huge army of elite warriors to confront the unimaginable and seemingly unstoppable force.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Great Wall is a fun monster movie and a good visual treat. I really like the special effects, cinematography and costume design in this movie. This is one movie that monster movie fans will appreciate.

This movie is about William (Matt Damon), a traveler who comes to China with his friend Pero (Pedro Pascal) to find black powder. When they try to enter the Great Wall, the Chinese soldiers of the secret military group, Nameless Order, capture them and escort them to General Lin (Jing Tian) who holds them captive. A wave of alien monsters, known as Taoties, attacks the Great Wall. William and Pero heroically fight and save the order and earn the respect of the General, but they plan to betray the Nameless Order with the help of Sir Ballard (Willem Dafoe), another foreigner in search of black powder. Torn between joining his friends by betraying the Chinese and taking on the responsibility of saving them from this monster attack, William must make a choice.

Matt Damon portrays a believable noble warrior who needs to make a correct choice to redeem himself. Pedro Pascal, as Pero, is my favorite character as he delivers a show-stealing performance with a mixture of comedy and villainy. Jing Tian excellently presents her patriotism and the trust she has towards her people. Willem Dafoe nicely presents a greedy man who will do anything for the black powder.

The special effects for the creatures by Andrew Baker are well executed with many impressive details. During the battle scenes, the creatures look real with excellent slow motion shots. The cinematography by Stuart Dryburgh and Xiaoding Zhao is colorful with outstanding shots of the desert and the Great Wall. My favorite scene is the first battle scene because of the organized battle tactics of the Nameless Order. My only issue with the movie is that some of the line deliveries are a little off.

The Great Wall has a good message about redemption. William is, by no means, a true role model, but he is able to redeem his wrongs by helping the Chinese. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18 as some battle scenes may be too frightening for younger audiences. This film opens in theaters on February 17rd, so go and check it out.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I like the movie The Great Wall because of its beautiful cinematography, great acting and its message. However, I don't like that the writers lean toward a romantic relationship between two of the main characters that never happens. The romantic relationship in The Great Wall movie is unneeded.

The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau, is an epic, historical, fictional, action-adventure film, telling the story of how two adventurers, William (Matt Damon) and Tovar (Pedro Pascal) are searching for black powder. After being attacked by some weird monsters, they end up at a Chinese military base. The leader, Commander Lin (Jing Tian), running the military group named "The Nameless Order" is trying to keep China safe from beasts that attack every 60 years.

The cinematography is spectacular. The scenes and landscapes are stunning. There is a beautiful scene when William and Tovar ride their horses through the mountains. I saw this movie in 3D and it felt as if I was actually there. In one of the scenes, William falls off the Great Wall and I got scared since it felt so real. The CGI of the monsters looks very realistic. When the monsters attacked, I felt as if they were over me.

This film has a star-studded cast. Matt Damon, who playing the lead role of William, shows his fighting and darts skills. I like the scenes of him battling the enemy with his combat skills. I also like how the actor for Commander Lin acted as a fierce fighter with amazing expert skills. Tovar is very entertaining with his funny comments and saying words in Spanish in the middle of some situations.

My favorite characters are Commander Lin and Tovar. Commander Lin is very independent and fierce in a time when women are expected to stay home and take care of their children without any power. Tovar is a very humorous, even in serious situations.

There are multiple messages in this film. One message is to be strong and not to have fears. This film also teaches girls to be confident, fierce and to fight for your people.

I recommend this movie to ages 12 to 17 since it does contain some mild profanity and moderate portrayals of violence. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. You can find this movie in theaters now so, go check it out!

By Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm



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