The KIDS FIRST! Endorsement category has 1680 titles

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KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
OPERATION FINALE
OPERATION FINALE - MGM STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Director Chris Weitz's historical thriller is based on the story of how a group of Israeli secret agents arrested notorious SS officer Adolf Eichmann - the man who masterminded the "Final Solution" - in Argentina. Oscar Isaac plays the legendary Mossad agent Peter Malkin, while Ben Kingsley plays his emotionally manipulative arch-nemesis. After tracking Eichmann down to Buenos Aires, Malkin and his men captured him and brought him to Israel for a historic 8-month trial.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Operation Finale is horrifyingly intense as well as funny at times. The two main characters, Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac) and Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) are terrifyingly realistic. The suspense feels like it's on real stakes because this film is based on actual events. One criticism I have is that all the secondary characters are easily forgettable.

The story of this film focuses on a group of Israeli agents who are tasked with capturing and bringing back Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi Lieutenant who escaped justice after World War II to Israel. The agents spot him at his house after a spy tells them where he lives. They watch his daily routine until they memorize it and fake their car being broken in, to jump him. They take him back to where they are staying and take turns watching him. One day, the airport calls saying that they have to get a signature from Adolf Eichmann to let them board so they try to convince him to sign. Malkin tries a more friendly approach to make him sign and they get to know each other.

My favorite part in this film is when Malkin and Eichmann are getting to know each other. You get to see Eichmann's side and how he interprets the holocaust. That is very interesting.

There are two big names in this film. Ben Kingsley plays Adolf Eichmann and Oscar Isaac plays Peter Malkin. Ben Kingsley has been in numerous award winning films such as Ghandi, which he won an Oscar for best actor. Oscar Isaac has been in Ex Machina, an Oscar winning film and the Star Wars series.

I recommend this film to anyone who wants to know more about the Holocaust or World War II. You should be aware that the adults in this film smoke and drink. I recommend Operation Finale for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. This film opens in theaters August 29, 2018 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SEARCHING - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - After David Kim (John Cho)'s 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter's laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter's digital footprints before she disappears forever.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This new drama/thriller grabbed my attention since the beginning, because of its amazing and unique storyline. I felt thrilled to discover what would happen at the end and, whether or not the outcome would be what I expected. I came up with my theory for the conclusion by putting together the clues from the movie, little by little. It is very entertaining, because the film gives the audience an opportunity to be detectives for a moment and try to solve the very unique mystery in the film.

The storyline is about a father, David, that enjoys watching his daughter Margot grow up while posting pictures and videos of her to social media, sharing his happiness with his love ones. As Margot enters her teenage years, she starts to grow apart and seem distant from him. One day, she disappears after telling her father that she went to a study group. David looks on the internet to try to find clues about where she may be. Her friends don't seem to know much and don't help either David or the detective that comes on the case to figure out what happened to her and hopefully find her alive.

My favorite scene is when David starts to get desperate because of Margot's disappearance, leading to him brainstorming ideas about how to find her. This results with him going into Margot's computer to find answers as to whereabouts. This is my favorite scene because it is very meaningful and is the moment he starts to realize, although he doesn't admit it, that he truly does not know his daughter at all. When he opens her laptop, it is as if he is entering unknown territory and we see the distance between him and Margot. He was very close to her, while she was growing up, but as soon as she hit the teenage years, she became a stranger.

The important message in this film is that better communication between family members is encouraged and will improve the dynamics of the family. For example, in the beginning of the movie, the reason for her disappearance is unknown and that leads to the suspense and mystery of the storyline. But, let's say hypothetically that Margot disappeared on purpose, because she was dealing with a problem and, since she had grown apart from her dad, she didn't feel he could help her. If parents, especially those raising their children alone, communicate and interact better, they can help their kids through the tough times. They ease the process of going through conflicts, so that running away is not their only choice. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults and I rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters August, 31, 2018 so, check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TASHIP NON-STOP (2018) - NATASHA HANINA
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 2-5
Description - Tashi Non-Stop is a TV pilot comprising short, educational comedic skits geared towards 3 to 6-year-olds. During the show, kids are introduced to an array of colorful characters from around the world. Think 'Blue's Clues' meets 'Tracey Ullman.' The show combines live action and animation.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Tashi Non-Stop has good intentions with its "Never Giving Up" theme. It just doesn't quite deliver. There are parts that I do not believe will be entertaining for children of the target age, 2 to 5. Tashi takes on various characters such as Ms. Wallaby and Tashi the Vampire. She raps and, although it isn't completely inappropriate, I don't see the point of many of the lyrics. It shows that Tashi isn't great at rapping and makes its point about never giving up. Basically, from watching this a child might learn how to rap, eat spaghetti and learn the proper way to sneeze. The humor is a bit annoying, especially for adults. I recommend it for ages 4 to 7, but I'm not sure how likable the character's various roles would be for this age. Although I admire the theme, the different skits don't quite deliver. I feel this needs a rewrite to bring in more age appropriate humor for ages 2 to 5. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.

This pilot reflects the overall spirit of the program, if it is developed into a series. This reflects some revisions which the producer made after KIDS FIRST! expressed concerns about safety issues in a segment, which has now been deleted. Therefore, I give them credit for listening to constructive criticism. I believe that the rapping kangaroo segment would be engaging to many young viewers. I particularly like that it teaches children manners. The pilot is simply okay. The Dracula segment could be seen as too scary for preschool viewers. The talent's name, Tashi, is original and likeable. The vocabulary is basic enough to be understood by the intended viewer. The live action visuals are clear, big, colorful and bright. This is good for the intended audience. The segments are structured well. The show basically features Tashi throughout each episode, without any additional cast members. In one segment, she shows children how to cover a sneeze correctly as to not spread germs. This concept is appropriate for the target audience. The other entertainment elements include the rapping animal, a vampire, and a cook. Overall, it is entertaining and educational show for young children. I recommend it for ages 4 to 8 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.


KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Are you ready for educational entertainment made for kids! Get ready to enjoy some humor, exciting, over-the-top, friendly, meaningful topics with animated storytelling. Tashi Non-Stop is the perfect animated story for you and your kids. There's so much merriment in the scenes that will have you eager and attentive in what's happening on screen. Each scene deliveries important lessons in a fun way.

This TV pilot is filled with pleasure and lots of giggles. Each episode will have you experience an unforgettable adventure. This family entertainment pilot follows a very joyful, fun, unique, sweet lady named Tashi, who takes you on a journey on her show Tashi Non-Stop, a show for kids for preschoolers that shows them how much fun it is to be creative. You will experience different scenes with Tashi such as the jungle, the granny gym, the Italian restaurant and you even get to teach a vampire how to sneeze properly. How fun is this?

What an outstanding job Natasha Hanina does who plays Ms. Wallaby, Agnes Mcmonagle, an Arabic instructor, a chef and Tashi the Vampire? Tashi ( Natasha Hanina) is very pleasant, charming and speaks with a British accent that really stands out and sounds beautiful. Natasha Hanina is an actress and producer. I appreciate Tashi's ( Natasha Hanina) distinct take on using entertainment to help refresh the imagination and encourage creative play.

I must say the animation is fantastic. I mean the jungle is standardized. It looks just like a real jungle. The restaurant looks like any other restaurant you walk into. And, the vampire and the gym are just amazing.

My favorite part is clearly when Ms. Wallaby and the Kangaroo perform a humorous rap song together. I declare this part my favorite because it made me start dancing and at least trying to sing. It had me giggling for sure! I also love this part because it's the funniest scene of all.

I believe the whole family will enjoy this TV show and hope it gets produced. It is a program designed with love. The message raises a positive message through kid-friendly humor. Never give up is the lesson and it encourages you to overcome every obstacle that comes you way. Never, never give up. This is certainly a series of entertaining and educational scenes with self-expression and independent thinking. It has a positive message that promote positive social behavior. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 5.

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

Tashi Non-Stop is a playful, comedic educational series that has lots of fun scenes that are silly and have a positive message to offer younger kids. The message of this episode is "Never Give Up" and, with practice you can get better.

In this short pilot (under 9 minutes), there is a funny narrator who introduces each scene, played by the talented comedian, Natasha Hanina. The different scenes include a zoo wildlife caretaker called Ms. Wallaby who introduces us to the forest and her trying to hip hop. There's also a scene with a French chef teaching us about how to eat spaghetti and another with a vampire teaching the proper way to sneeze to avoid germs.

My favorite character is Ms. Wallaby because she is awkwardly funny as corks dangle from her hat all over her face and she talks about wildlife. She also attempts to hip hop dance with a kangaroo (in costume). I also really like the French restaurant scene where Tashi dresses up as a chef with a long mustache. It's cute seeing the animated penguins delivering food to the chef in this spaghetti scene. The sound affects also add to the enjoyment of the production. For example, in the restaurant scene we hear Tashi slurping her spaghetti. The point being that Tashi needs to learn the proper way to eat spaghetti and, with practice, she will.

The background music in the production suits the individual scenes quite well, with its upbeat and childlike arrangements. I also like the simple animation. My favorite part of this pilot is the animals that pop up in the window behind Tashi as she narrates. Tashi's ability to speak with different accents also makes the different characters she plays more believable and enjoyable.

I like the positive message to "Never Give Up" and "with practice you can get better." Little kids will like watching this show because of the fun skits, colorful backgrounds, animation and upbeat music.

I recommend this for children ages 2 to 5 as it deals with simple topics like eating spaghetti and how to correctly sneeze. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: TV


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WORLD FAMOUS INANIMATES, THE
WORLD FAMOUS INANIMATES, THE - GUILLERMO MACHADO
Series: BOOK, AGES 5-10
Description - A spent sock, puny penny, kicky key, brainy bookmark and soft spoon each have a special story to tell.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I like this e-book of different stories and found it refreshing and appropriate for the intended age group. I felt that it would inspire young children to take a more positive outlook on every day, ordinary items such as a sock that lacks a matching sock. The rhyming storytelling is fun and engaging. The colorful illustrations really add a colorful pop and makes these items even more appealing! I recommend this for ages 5 through 10 and give it 4 out of 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 5-10 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Book

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BILLIE - MAKI YOSHIKURA
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 8-12
Description - The Labradoodle Billie's happy life comes to a sudden end when one morning her beloved owner doesn't wake up anymore. She is taken away to a place she does not recognize. She is sad and lonely until one day her life takes a new turn...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What's not to like - dogs and happy endings! It's heartwarming to see how dogs enrich our lives. Billie the pooch gets so attached to his new owners as he learns to love them like he did his original owner. Show him a walking cane and he'll show you some great affection.

Billie's original owner, who walked with a cane, dies suddenly in his sleep. Billie has fond memories of playing ball with that owner. When a new family adopts him, their ball toy doesn't seem to interest Billie. But the grandmother, who walks with a cane, gets his spirit going again.

This short has some issues with continuity. Jump cuts take place that move the story along very quickly but make it a little hard to follow at times. I liked the zooming-in special effects that highlight Billie's facial features and the curly patterns of his fur. Also, the visual effect of the thrown ball rolling into a washed-out, featureless wasteland emphasizes Billie's initial feeling of loneliness after his original owner dies.

My favorite part is when Billie warms up to the new family, after Grandma shows up with her walking cane. The message of this film is to give dogs and other shelter animals a chance. They can very easily learn to love again.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. It would make a lovely addition to a film festival for youth and families, especially one that showcases the importance of animals in our lives. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALPHA
ALPHA - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - An epic adventure set in the last Ice Age, ALPHA tells a fascinating, visually stunning story that shines a light on the origins of man's best friend. While on his first hunt with his tribe's most elite group, a young man is injured and must learn to survive alone in the wilderness. Reluctantly taming a lone wolf abandoned by its pack, the pair learn to rely on each other and become unlikely allies, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds in order to find their way home before winter arrives.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This unpredictable film is a roller coaster of emotions. Although some parts are pretty graphic, it makes the whole thing more real and it helps you feel empathy for the characters.

The film starts off with the turning point scene, then goes to the backstory, then goes back to review what happened in the turning point scene in dramatic snippets and finally continues with the rest of the story. The film tells the story of how a man's best friend came to be. In the story, Keda helps an injured wolf who he eventually become friends with and they help each other survive.

The actors all have amazing abilities. They really draw in the audience in an emotional way. Kodi Smit-McPhee plays Keda wonderfully in this film. He cries tears of sadness, longing and joy. Keda also leads us to believe he is cold or sick in different scenarios.

The cinematography in this film is amazing. The different camera scenes are shot most creatively. The cinematography really helps conveying different emotions, depending on how different scenes are shot. All the different biomes and climates look so beautiful.

My favorite scene is the scene where Alpha, the wolf, cuddles up next to Keda one cold night. Usually, whenever Alpha tries to get close to Keda, he pushes Alpha away. Seeing Alpha and Keda finally become close warmed my heart.

The message of this film is to always show kindness. Even though the wolf tried to hurt Keda, he still helped it heal. Later on, Alpha is very helpful to Keda. The wolf, who was once his enemy, becomes his best friend. Another message of this film is to never give up. Many times Keda considers giving up. He feels so hopeless at times and thinks he isn't getting anywhere. Even so, he keeps going no matter how hard it is and it pays off big time in the end.

This film is such a wonderful experience. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, as well as adults. This film will also appeal to nature lovers and dog lovers! Even if you don't fall into one of these categories still check this film out. You might become a nature or a dog lover! It opens August 17, 2018, so go check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a beautiful film about survival. I love everything about this live action film. The editing flows nicely and there are many visually stunning scenes. The story is about survival, loyalty and, most importantly, following your instincts.

In this film, a boy named Keda (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is attacked by a buffalo. His father thinks he died, so he leaves him on the cliff where he was attacked. When he finally makes it to the ground, a pack of wolves attack. One of the wolves is very hurt and he decides tries to help him. During the course of movie, they help each other in many different ways. At the end of the film, you discover a beautiful surprise about the wolf.

Please keep in mind that this film takes place in prehistoric times and the dialogue is not in English, but is subtitled in English. I could understand the movie perfectly, even though it isn't in English. Keda becomes a man as the story unfolds. It is a coming-of-age story, wherein the boy and the wolf look out after each other as if they are family. The boy tries to prove to himself and his tribe that he can become a man and can be strong. By bonding with the wolf, he accomplishes the unimaginable.

This type of film is uncommon in contemporary cinema. The editing is very well done and there is a flash back at the beginning that helps you understand the back story. The costumes are tribal, which makes the characters seem more believable and tribe-like. The landscapes are quite extraordinary. In so many ways, this film is truly beautiful. Everything that happens takes place in natural environments.

The message of this film is that we should bond with nature, follow our own instincts and preserve our innate quality of being kind. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars because of the beautiful landscapes and touching story. I recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. I was very lucky to watch this movie with my dog, because I attended a special screening that allowed dogs, so that experience was truly unforgettable. Alpha opens in theaters August 17, 2018 so, look for it. Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Everyone get your time machines set up to go to a land filled with adventure and love because we are going to the Ice Age. On our journey we will find stunning views and magnificent creatures that no longer exist, so get ready for one terrific ride.

The graphics in Alpha are breathtaking. I love that we get to see so many animals and different views because they make this film really stand out from other films. We don't see animals like mammoths, saber tooth tigers and warthogs everyday. This not only adds history, but also a few fun facts for kids to enjoy as they watch this film.

During this era there were hardships that were dealt with by brutal force. However, sometimes one finds a kind, cautious and adorable friend to help you along the way. In this case, Alpha. love the wolf Alpha and his new found owner Keda (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Since there are only two main charters, I might add that I like them both because they are too gosh darn cute together. Also Keda's performance as a caveman is quite believable.

My favorite scene is when Alpha and Keda spend the night together for the first time. I admire this scene because it shows Alpha's love when he listens to Keda. This scene made me miss my dog Dusty because Alpha reminds me of him. Alpha is definitely a film for pet owners, especially those with furry friends. Even if you don't have a pet, you will want one after seeing Alpha. This film is truly about man's best friend and how the bond was made over a short period of time.

I recommend this film for ages 10 to 18. Kids will love the wolf and will learn a few things about being future pet owners. Also they will learn about the Ice Age and the creatures that lived during this time period. Older kids and adults will love the animation and the acting. Please note that children need to be able to read, because this film is subtitled. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Alpha is in theaters now so check it out.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MEG, THE
MEG, THE - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Five years ago, expert sea diver and Naval Captain Jonas Taylor encountered an unknown danger in the unexplored recesses of the Mariana Trench that forced him to abort his mission and abandon half his crew. Though the tragic incident earned him a dishonorable discharge, what ultimately cost him his career, his marriage and any semblance of honor was his unsupported and incredulous claims of what caused it - an attack on his vessel by a mammoth, 70-foot sea creature, believed to be extinct for more than a million years. But when a submersible lies sunk and disabled at the bottom of the ocean - carrying his ex-wife among the team onboard - he is the one who gets the call. Whether a shot at redemption or a suicide mission, Jonas must confront his fears and risk his own life and the lives of everyone trapped below on a single question: Could the Carcharodon Megalodon - the largest marine predator that ever existed - still be alive ... and on the hunt?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Meg is a somewhat entertaining homage to old-era shark flicks. A frightful direction and vibrant special effects provide a serviceable summer-end movie. Fans of shark flicks may want to check it out.

The movie follows a Shanghai-based, deep-sea team as they seek to postulate new discoveries among the underwater trenches. However, their discoveries go awry when a previously thought extinct Megalodon attacks their submersibles and threatens to roam the Shanghai seas. With time on the run, team leader Dr. Zhao (Winston Chao) recruits former rescue diver Jonas (Jason Statham). Unbeknownst to everyone, Jonas has previously encountered the same Megalodon and must now confront his fears to save those aboard.

Jason Statham, as Jonas, is always a vibrant presence with his charm and smarm making gold of the cheesy script. He also excels in his underwater stunts, creating some nail-biting thrills. Bingbing Li, as Suyin, proves herself as a smart, yet impatient presence, who wants to prove herself. However, she does fall key to an unnecessary clich� father-daughter subplot, but makes the best of what she is given. Winston Chao, as Dr. Zhang, greatly presents his fears and desperation for Suyin and the mission, in spite of the weak backing for the emotional stakes of the two. Rainn Wilson, as Jacks, heightens his stereotypical rich guy presence with well-timed remarks alike his in The Office. Shuya Sophia Cai, as Meiyang, is my favorite character in her banter with Statham and brave actions power her from just being a 8-year-old damsel in distress. She truly excels in her first, breakout role. Ruby Rose, Page Kennedy, and Cliff Curtis complete the rest of the pack, each giving a unique performance, even if the characters can be viewed as expendable at times.

Jon Turteltaub's direction allows for brisk thrills taking inspiration from Jaws, but allowing for his own unique takes on the genre. My favorite scene is the final act, as it goes all in with the illogic of the shark conflicts allowing for a fun conclusion. The other flaws are the inconsistency of the tone and writing of the movie, which goes from serious to knowingly funny at times and the placement of the scenes feels off at times. The movie also suffers by detracting from the shark conflict and focusing on poorly written character situations. In fact, it takes a long amount of occasionally grueling time and development for the Megalodon to even show up.

The movie's message is that being a hero can come with its fair share of compromises. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, because of intense action, gore and some language. The movie releases in theaters on August 10, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Meg is a very exciting film to close out summer. The huge shark is very scary and the images look very real. The chase scenes are intense and the action scenes are really entertaining.

The film begins with Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham), a marine explorer having to save an underwater exploration team that is stranded after something broke their sub. He saves all but one crew member. He goes back to the exploration center later and one of the scientist's daughters sees a Megalodon, which is what stranded the other scientists in the Mariana Trench. He realizes that they broke the barrier between the modern world and the world of prehistoric animals. Now, it is up to Jonas Taylor to save millions of people from the Meg.

My favorite part of this film is when the shark heads towards an overcrowded beach in China and we see how much terror a shark can cause. The protagonist Jonas Taylor is played by Jason Statham (Fast and Furious, Spy and Parker). DJ is played by Page Kennedy (Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G., Rhett and Link's Buddy System).

This film begs the question: Should you save everyone and risk everything or should you sacrifice a few people for the better good. There are some risky thing kids should not imitate and the main character is portrayed as an alcoholic. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18 and People that like Jaws or other thrillers. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. This film hits theatres August 10, 2018 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (2018)
CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (2018) - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - An adult Christopher Robin, who is now focused on his new life, work, and family, suddenly meets his old friend Winnie the Pooh, who returns to his unforgotten childhood past to help him return to the Hundred Acre Wood and help find Pooh's lost friends.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What day is it? Why it is today, my favorite day. I am a life-long Disney fan. While it is not surprising I loved seeing the characters from the Hundred Acre Wood come to life via CGI transformation, I was surprised to see A.A. Milne's beloved characters in their original book form, not their Disney animation form.

Christopher Robin does not spend a lot of time introducing the viewer to the characters from the idyllic forest where a young British boy spent time creating adventures with his friends - Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo. If one is not a Disney-phile, it may be hard to comprehend why a boy arrives from a tree to have picnics with animals.

That said, the Winnie the Pooh, Disney lover that I am, saw so much love in this film with its themes of friendship, love, family and tenderness. The vintage, live-action look is appealing and kept me intrigued wondering what the "silly old bear" would do next. Winne the Pooh is quite the adventurous wanderer as he goes in search of Christopher Robin who has grown up and works in London. The adventures suspend belief as grown-up Christopher Robin, well played by Ewan McGregor, originally annoyed by Pooh, remembers some of his favorite things, like "doing nothing" and realizing true north is his family and friends, plush or live.

As a grown man who has returned from World War II, married to Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and father of a daughter, Christopher Robin is an efficiency manager for a luggage company or "a fish in the sea" as Winnie the Pooh says. He is a work-a-holic and has a taskmaster as a thankless boss. When told he must work rather than go on holiday to the country with his family, Christopher Robin attempts to take Pooh back to the forest where he and his woodsy friends awaken the lost child from within. They also meet his daughter Madeleine (Bronte Carmichael) and another adventure ensues. Madeline assists Pooh in getting to Christopher Robin when he needs all of them most.

For a franchise, which has historically targeted the very young, the film has melancholy themes. Visually, it is beautiful with its artistic production values and cinematography. The score is also very good. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars for the casting, cinematography, life lessons, amazing cult Winnie the Pooh references and music. I recommend it to ages 8 to 18, due to some mature themes. Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you're a fan of Winnie the Pooh, it's safe to say you are going to love this movie. But even if you aren't, you might still enjoy it. This film is absolutely adorable and it makes you feel like a kid again.

The story follows a grown up Christopher Robin, with a wife and daughter, as he struggles with his job and runs into Winnie the Pooh. The movie follows him interacting with his old friends, while also remembering what's important.

This movie is straight up gorgeous. The Hundred Acre Wood is so lovely. It definitely looks like a place I would like to hang out and read a great book under a tree. It is just how I imagine Winnie the Pooh's home to be. The special effects on the Pooh characters look great as well. There's something charming about their designs, especially Pooh's. I just wanted to hug all of them and take them home with me.

Speaking of cute, that's a good way to describe this movie. Pooh is absolutely precious and is super charming. Every single one of his lines are just so pleasant. He's very likable and he really made me think about my younger self. I feel like Winnie the Pooh is one of those franchises that you always associate with childlike wonder and this film represents that very well. There's something kind of innocent in this film's tone. There's so many scenes that remind me of what it was like to be a younger child and it made me really happy.

This movie also made me tear up a lot. I had tears in my eyes almost instantly, mainly because of how adorable a lot of the scenes are, but there are also a lot of pretty emotional scenes. We see how innocent Pooh is and how a child doesn't stay a child but grows up to have different ideas about what is important.

The soundtrack is really pretty and atmospheric. The background music really works well with the setting and the instrumental version of the Winnie the Pooh song made me really nostalgic. The voice acting is also really great. Each of the Pooh character's voices fit incredibly well with the actual characters. I can't imagine any other voice than these ones. The Pooh characters are the real stars of this movie. Ewan McGregor is wonderful as the adult Christopher Robins. I felt the acting from Bronte Carmichael, who plays Madeline, Christopher's daughter, to be average.

Be sure you stay till the end for a charming scene. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 as well as adults. It opens August 3, 2018 so go see it with your family. Pooh is 93 years old, so everyone, no matter their age, can enjoy it.

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

I honestly love Winnie the Pooh, because this bear never goes out of style. After all, my grandmother grew up with this bear in the original book that came out in October 14, 1926. Then, my mother and sister grew up with him and his friends -Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore - when the first Winnie the Pooh movie came out March 11, 1977. Now, I am growing up this silly old bear and soon my children will as well, because not only is this bear cute, but he has a kind heart and is a timeless classic.

The cast in Christopher Robin all act and sound exactly as I imagine these charters. Jim Cummings (Pooh, Tigger) brings such a beloved bear to life. He really sounds like Pooh and I found myself wanting to grab him right off the screen and make him my own. As you can tell, I am a Winnie the Pooh fan and this he is one of my all time favorite characters, because of his kind and courageous heart and the way he enjoys life, which is in little things like honey and balloons. That is a characteristic we should all have. Also his voice of Tigger makes this character fun to watch and his version of the Tigger song is one I truly love.

Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is a very complex character and different from the rest. You see, he is Christopher Robin as a grown up and his viewpoint of the world has changed along with is characteristics. He has given up his childhood dreams and has moved onto things like bills and jobs. This grown Christopher Robin is portrayed perfectly by Ewan McGregor and I greatly enjoyed his performance. Also he is great at interacting with the other characters because, as we know, they are mainly animated. Therefore, he is staring at nothing while talking to his beloved Pooh bear.

Hayley Atwell (Evelyn Robin) plays a magnificent mother and she shows many sides to Evelyn, which I liked. Bronte Carmichael (Madeline Robin) is just too cute. She might be one of my favorite childhood characters named Darby from My Friends Tigger and Pooh. I really hope they make a sequel about her and her new found friends. Brad Garrett (Eeyore) is hilarious. I couldn't help but laugh at his performance, because he was not only funny to me because he brought this carter to life in a new found way but because he reminds me of my sister Chantel in how he acts. One top of that, when I was 6 years old Brad Garrett gave me the most adorable hamster who I named Hamie. That hamster was an amazing hamster and so very adorable.

My favorite scene in Christopher Robin is when Madeline Robin joins Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore on their great adventure to help Christopher get his important papers. What makes this scene funny is that while they are trying to help Christopher, they cause a lot of mischievous and the whole town goes into panic. Also I like all the bouncing, playing naptime and going to a getaway car along the way, which makes their journey very fun and entertaining to watch.

The animation is very life-like and, at times while watching the film, I felt as if I was really holding my very own Pooh bear. It took me a while to get used to the stuffed animals' new looks because they look a bit ragged, but after a bit, I didn't notice it anymore. I found out it was due to aging. I felt that the movie gets better and better as it develops.

During the film, I noticed that they kept some of the Whinny the Pooh language, so seems closer to the book. This is something I really enjoyed, because I love the fun words used in the books and I think the writer A. A. Milne would smile down upon for sure.

I recommend this film for ages 3 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is in theaters now, so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURES, AGES 12-18
Description - Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - So far, this summer's action and adventure films have been very boring. However, Mission: Impossible - Fallout is far from boring. It's full of adrenaline-pumping action! I believe that this is the best summer action / adventure film of the year and the best Mission Impossible film to date.

In this film, we see Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) as he receives a mission he chooses to accept, but fails to complete, because of an ambush. As a result, Ethan and his IMF team must work together with the CIA and other familiar allies to stop Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), John Lark (Henry) and his group, known as the Apostles, from trying to execute a nuclear threat to the world.

What I really enjoyed about this film are the sound designs, stunts, plot, cast and all the mind-blowing illusions IMF uses to trick the bad guys. I must say, the sound design is fantastic. The audio for explosions and gunshots sound authentic. It sounds so real that I felt as if I was in the scene. The stunts are intense because, if you don't already know, Tom Cruise does all of his stunts. When he performs them, it is hard to watch since he jumps off of many things such as planes and buildings. I felt so nervous that these stunts are real. The stunts are so nerve racking because most of the movie isn't made with CGI's, so most of the stunts are done exactly how the movie shows it. The story is very interesting. I like that you really don't need to see the other films to understand what goes on in this one.

The cast overall is superb. Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames are excellent as the IMF, since every delivery is spot on. I like that Benji is the most nervous character and you feel what he feels when a dangerous event happens. Also I enjoyed the performance of Sean Harris, who really brings in the mystery of this character, since he doesn't speak a lot until the end of the film. Rebecca Ferguson, as Ilsa Faust, makes a great curious assassin, since she always goes the opposite way of the IMF and always finds something different and important, which helps the IMF. Also, Angela Bassett and Alec Baldwin's performances as Erica and Alan are fantastic. I like how their relationship is shown as contradictors, because they both argue their own points. It is a shame we don't get to see more of this in the film. Henry Cavill, as August Walker, is also fantastic. I like how Ethan and August have different ideas about what they should do in the missions and they both try to incorporate their ideas, but those ideas come at a cost.

I really like how each scene feels more intense than the last scene. At one point, I thought that the movie was going to end a certain way and I was so nervous about what was going to happen that I almost fell out of my seat. Finally, what I extremely like about this movie is the tricks the IMF use to trick the bad guys. In certain scenes I was surprised that it was an illusion. My favorite illusion is the masked one where Benji wears a mask that allows him to look like anyone.

This movie had a lot of great things going for it. The only thing I did not like about it is that it shows way too much in its trailer. However, it is fantastic. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to people who like action / adventure and thriller movies. I recommend it for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. Make sure to see Mission: Impossible - Fallout when it opens July 27, 2018.

Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Mission: Impossible - Fallout is one of the most action-packed films of the year, and perhaps of the entire Mission: Impossible franchise. The legendary Tom Cruise never fails in making cutting edge films and surely he has not let his fans down in this one.

This film is a continuation of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. The story follows the agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) as he embarks on another dangerous mission with his fellow teammates, Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Luther Stickle (Ving Rhames) to stop a catastrophic event from taking place.

I have been a very big fan of the Mission Impossible films for many years. I have watched them all and enjoy them very much. That being said, this film feels very different from the others. This storyline is very intricate and complex so, if you miss a piece of dialogue, it's very easy to get lost. It has always been easy to grasp what's happening in the other films in the franchise, but this one is quite overwhelming. There are a couple of new characters introduced including the spy August Walker (Henry Cavill) and they bring back characters from past films. If someone missed the last film, it will be almost impossible to keep up with the story line. I highly recommend watching the previous film, just to jog your memory.

One thing that makes this film different from past ones is the deep emotional connection Ethan Hunt faces in this film. It really goes deep into Ethan Hunt's mind and shares his greatest fears with the viewer. I enjoy that this film gets more personal and cuts deeper into who Ethan Hunt really is as an individual and not just as an agent.

The action scenes are absolutely insane. There are car chases, motorcycle races, jumping off roofs, mountain climbing and way too many more for me to begin to describe. It's a very big clich�, but I was actually on the edge of my seat throughout the entire film. The fighting scenes are very climactic and interesting. The scene I looked forward to watching most is the scene where Tom Cruise actually injured himself performing a stunt. Yes, he broke his ankle performing a stunt! And, the best part is, they kept that scene in the film. Tom Cruise has shown time and time again how he is devoted to this franchise. He is an extremely talented actor and makes the films jaw dropping. He brings much needed humor and intensity to this film.

This film is one to definitely go see. It is entertaining with its captivating fight sequences, goes deeper into Ethan Hunt's psyche, and still keeps the story light and fun to watch. I recommend it to ages 14 to 18, as well as adults. You should know that there is lots of rough fighting and bloody shots that are inappropriate for younger children. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters July 27, 2018 so put it on your watch list.

By Talia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout definitely lives up to the hype and is an all around enjoyable film. There are some parts where Tom Cruise does a stunt, but could have done something simpler to achieve his goal. For example, he knocks a car into a river, but he could have extracted the hostage just by pulling him out.

The storyline follows Ethan Hunt saving the world from a nuclear apocalypse. He goes to deal with a terrorist to get plutonium cores, to stop other terrorists from making nuclear bombs. He fails at this, because one of the terrorists finds out he's there and puts a gun to his friend's head. Ethan decides to save his friend and hence leaves the plutonium cores unprotected. Ethan's mission changes course. He must now earn the trust of a gang boss in order to get the cores.

My favorite part of this movie is when Ethan tries to get a detonator from the bad guy and has to hang onto the helicopter of his enemy. He does all sorts of crazy stunts to get inside the helicopter and ram it into the other helicopter where the bad guy is. Another really good part is in Paris, where they have a huge car chase while trying to outrun the gang members. Ethan has to make a decision whether to save a cop or kill all the gang members.

There are a lot of huge names in this film including the star, Tom Cruise, (Risky Business, Edge of Tomorrow Mission Impossible). Co-stars include comedian Simon Pegg (Ready Player One, Mission Impossible, Star Trek), Alec Baldwin (Boss Baby, Mission Impossible, Saturday Night Live), Henry Cavill (Justice League, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Man of Steel), Ving Rhames and Rebecca Ferguson. Obviously, many of these actors are Mission Impossible veterans, along with Cruise.

The message of this film is that you should always save your loved ones no matter what. There is a bit of bad language in this film, including one f-bomb. Most importantly, in case you haven't read about this, all of Cruise's stunts are astonishingly real, so tell your kids not to try these at home. I recommend this movie to those that enjoy Marvel comics and films, because the style is typical combining comedy with action. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. This film is in theaters now, so check it out.

Reviewed by Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 13-18 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
FROGSPAWN CODE, THE
FROGSPAWN CODE, THE - 0
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 12-18
Description - Milton Riggles, age 14, nerd, loser, president of the Frog Club becomes involved in a life and death situation when his science teacher and mentor disappears and weird sightings of humanoid frogs jumping around the neighborhood. Milton and his side-kick Jenny begin to focus on the Frogspawn Laboratory Industry. When our undaunted duo begin their investigation they encounter the evil Doctor Prince, head of Research and Experimentation at the Frogspawn Corporation headquarters. A villain ready to cash in on gene splicing with a miracle drug that can change the course of human evolution and the coming of global warming. Now Milton and Jenny are in a nail-biting situation to stop the sinister Doctor Prince from turning the world into evil huphibians. Sometimes evolution makes a giant leap, sometimes it just takes a hop.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A definite yes. This is an interesting and engaging story and the characters are a very strong part of the screenplay. There are a couple of subtle messages for teens about not judging others too quickly and getting to know them, but most of its value is entertainment. The story flows well and there is conflict and resolution with a good ending. It is a bit predictable, but I think it would be well received by teenagers. (mine enjoyed the story) Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror. Recommended for ages 12 to 18. Ranked 4 out of 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DREAM BIG: ENGINEERING OUR WORLD
DREAM BIG: ENGINEERING OUR WORLD - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Description - Narrated by Academy Award� winner Jeff Bridges, DREAM BIG: Engineering Our World is a first film of its kind for IMAX� and giant screen theaters that will transform how we think about engineering. From the Great Wall of China and the world's tallest buildings to underwater robots, solar cars and smart, sustainable cities, DREAM BIG celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small, and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. With its inspiring stories of human grit and aspiration, and extraordinary visuals for the world's largest screens, DREAM BIG reveals the compassion and creativity that drive engineers to create better lives for people and a more sustainable future for us all. DREAM BIG is a MacGillivray Freeman film produced in partnership with American Society of Civil Engineers and presented by Bechtel Corporation.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This documentary is extremely educational and filled with a lot of information about engineering. I enjoyed the narration by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges and found the different scenes quite amazing! The scenery is my favorite thing about this film. I also enjoyed the background music and the inspirational stories by all the different engineers. Overall, this is enlightening, inspirational and quite interesting. I like how it shows that engineering really makes a difference in our lives. My grandfather, who was an engineer, would have loved this film. That being said, I think kids may get a bit bored after a while, unless engineering is something that really interests them and they want to learn more about it. I wanted to love it, but have to admit, even I was a bit bored about half way through, because there is a lot of information. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and anyone who is interested in learning more about engineering and all its wonders. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is really informational and the camera shots are amazing. The only drawback is that it gets a bit boring after a while. There is so much information that isn't all that interesting. This documentary would really appeal to those interested in architecture and engineering.

The film reveals stories about different engineers who all want to make the world a better place. They create buildings that won't collapse in earthquakes and build bridges across rivers so people can get to school. It shows that engineering is an occupation that can really impact the world and make it a safer place.

Jeff Bridges, as narrator of the film, has the sort of deep voice that suits the documentary. Some of the information seems a bit random and doesn't enhance the story. The best parts for me are when they tell the back stories of peoples' lives and how difficult they are. After the engineers help them, I love seeing them so happy and having easier lives. Those are things that inspire people to want to become engineers.

I have to say, the camera shots and angles are truly amazing. They capture massive cities and buildings beautifully. There is obviously lots of effort that went into editing this film and adding suitable background music. These all really help the viewer picture engineering as an art, that is very helpful. They show majestic buildings that glow at night, roller coasters that give so much happiness and thrills, and bridges that help you access high areas and look down at the scenery or up at the beautiful stars.

My favorite scene is definitely the story about the engineers building a bridge across a river so kids could get to their school. Before the bridge, they literally risked their lives getting to school. Many people have drowned in the river, but they crossed it everyday in order to get an education. After the bridge is built everyone, including the children, is extremely excited and relieved. They are dancing, playing music and getting to school without risking their lives or getting wet. The bridge changed their lives.

The moral of this film is that engineering is a profession that helps people. This film shows that engineering is interesting and rewarding. However, I did find parts of it a bit boring, with the exhaustive information. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 11 to 18, as well as adults. If you are interested in engineering, you will definitely enjoy this documentary. It is available now on DVD so check it out.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PECK - A LONELY, LITTLE LOVEBIRD DOWN UNDER
PECK - A LONELY, LITTLE LOVEBIRD DOWN UNDER - REMI NICOLE
Series: BOOK, AGES 2-5
Description - A little lovebird named Peck lives happily in Australia with his animal friends until he starts to feel like he is the only one without someone to share his life with. Peck decides he must travel to a faraway land to find what he seeks, but he learns through his many adventures that there is so much fun in the journey along the way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a simple story with likable characters and engaging illustrations. Peck is a likable character and the illustrations are quite lovely. It's a simple story and appropriate for younger children who will enjoy Peck and the images. It has a nice message about meeting new people. But, the ending is bit surprising since you may think that Peck will find someone to really become his friend. The ending is not a strong which is slightly disappointing. The beginning and middle flow really well. It does make sense and is suitable for the target audience. There is nothing inappropriate or out of place. Peck feels lonely and got on a search to find someone to love. Most of the characters he meets are pleasant, except for a jealous Bee. Young children could be asked what does Peck learn by going out on his own? The illustrations fit the story and are quite eye-catching. There is a message that the main character realizes he won't be lonely because there are new creatures to meet. There is also a subtle message that you don't have to find someone just like you to not be lonely. I'm not sure if it will motivate kids of the target age to further action or inquiry. However, I think they will get the subtle message. It certainly meets and exceeds the KIDS FIRST! criteria, is appealing and engaging. I recommend this for ages 3 through 6 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ 2.99 Media: Book

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SKYSCRAPER
SKYSCRAPER - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in Hong Kong he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he's been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who are trapped inside the building...above the fire line.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This science fiction film grabbed my attention from the beginning, because of its very interesting plot and fascinating storyline. It made me feel driven to discover what would happen at the end. From the beginning of the film, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen, because it has a combination of topics that I love seeing in movies - action and suspense! These drew me in. I wanted to finally find out what the outcome of the movie would be. I also liked it because I admire Dwayne Johnson's exceptional work as an actor. He is very expressive with his actions and makes the audience empathize with what he is going through. Because of that, I always follow the movies he works in.

Skyscraper is about a past FBI leader and war veteran called Will Ford who is now managing security programs for skyscrapers. He's been sent on a once-in-a-lifetime work opportunity to establish security measures for the tallest and safest building in the world, located in China. Suddenly, the skyscraper turns into flames and the security measures fail. He is the primary suspect since he is the only one authorized to control the security. As the story progresses, Will must find those responsible for the destruction in order to clear his name and somehow rescue his family who are trapped inside the building, above the fire line.

My favorite scene in this film is when Will runs away from the authorities, climbs up the construction equipment, moves it so that it will point at a floor close to the fire line, and jumps towards a broken window. I love this scene because it shows what a man is capable of doing for his family's welfare. He risks his life in order to save them from the fire that is threatening their lives. Aside from that, I was astonished at all the special effects used to create this action sequence. The post production of this scene is flawless. It all seems as if it really happens. You don't notice the editing at all.

The main message of this film is that family comes before anything else. Some people are driven to do the impossible because of the love they feel towards their family. In this film, Will's devotion to his wife and kids is very impressive and is admirable. It sends a very family oriented message and teaches a valuable lesson that can be applied to anyone's life. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 and up. The film is available now in theaters so, check it out.

By Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Skyscraper is an entertaining, yet derivative homage to the 80s action era. A towering pace and consistent acting provide for a memorable summer detour. This is sure to be a worthwhile watch for any action movie fans.

The movie follows former hostage negotiator Will (Dwayne Johnson), who now accesses building security after a tragic misfire left him as an amputee. While analyzing the world's tallest and safest building, terrorists led by Kores (Roland M�ller) mysteriously access building schematics to take control. However, things reach an all time low for Will once Kores takes Will's family hostage and frames him for the infiltration. With everything left to lose, Will must push past his setbacks in order to sort out this mess and save his family.

Dwayne Johnson, as Will, is my favorite character due to his ever-present charisma and even relate-ability with his physical struggles. His love and determination for his family also make the movie all the more intense. Neve Campbell, as Sarah, is just as believable with her determination to the family and has more nuances than just resorting to a damsel in distress. Chin Han, as Zhao, brings a mysterious layer to his involvement with the skyscraper as his business is not what it seems. Roland M�ller, as Kores, gives Dwayne Johnson a run for his money in terms of strength and is a formidable yet clich�d threat for him. However, his vibrant expressions are enough to lighten his clich�d dialogue. Noah Cottrell and McKenna Roberts, as Henry and Georgia, complete the pack as the cute twins of Will and Sarah, whose combined braveness helps forward the family dynamic. However, Henry's asthma seems a little too situational at times.

Rawson Marshall Thurber's direction brings out a brisk pace with fresh new takes at fisticuffs and shootouts alike many 80s action movies. However, a few of the scenes lack in originality, feeling like a borderline copy of other action films. My favorite scene is the opening hostage negotiation, as it sets a thrilling and unexpected array of events, even if it is not set in the main skyscraper centerpiece. The other flaw is that it could have used more nuances in the scenarios as opposed to having such a predictable plot with unsurprising twists. At times, it feels more like a parody than a movie, with unintentionally funny scenes. However, the fact that it never takes itself too seriously adds to its quality and creates pure escapism.

The movie's message is to never judge a man by his impediments, as pure willpower can defy many obstacles. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action and language. The movie releases in theaters July 13, 2018, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MUCHOKIDS: GALAXIA AND HER QUEST TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE
MUCHOKIDS: GALAXIA AND HER QUEST TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE - MUCHOKIDS
Series: BOOK, AGES 8-12
Description - Thee Book of Azbel, whispered in fable across the universe as the key to all knowledge and magic. The Book was kept safe by Galaxia on Amethyst, a world of beautiful, rare minerals and kind people. But one fateful night, Alekko, a mysterious boy and force of destruction beyond compare came looking for it and left Galaxia's planet in pieces. Now, with Alekko hot on her trail, Galaxia must assemble a team to help protect The Book and save the universe. Let the adventures begin!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This story is wonderfully engaging. I love the descriptions. It left me wanting to read more about Galaxia and Kazar and hear more about the Muchokids that Galaxia was starting to form. The story is only the beginning, so I do not know how it will all end and whether Galaxia will save planet Earth. The two main characters are excellent role models. It has a great story line about space. Children will find it entertaining and will want to know if Earth will be saved by the Muchokids in future chapters. The story flows well and makes sense. I was a bit uncertain about Galaxia being on her own, but other than that it makes sense and has a great plot. The vocabulary and the subject matter are suitable for the target age and there is no violence or bad language.�The storyline demonstrates a keen It friendship and trust between Kazar and Galaxia. I like when Kazar could have stolen The Book from Galaxia, but decides not to do so because he realizes the consequences and makes the best choice.�I like all the characters, but especially Galaxia. It has great illustrations which add a lot to the book. I would have loved to see even more. Perhaps in subsequent volumes, the author will consider that. Ultimately, this has excellent entertainment value as well as pro-social messages about trust and friendship. I am not sure it will motivate children to further action, but I do feel very strongly that they will want to read more about Galaxia and Kazar and the Muchokids. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 thru 12. Personally, I would like to see more about the Muchokids.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 5.99 Media: Book

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAMP ANDYLAND
CAMP ANDYLAND - ANDYLAND MUSIC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-8
Description - Strikingly crafted pop songs for kids, with stick-in-your-head lyrics and catchy melodies - plus a memorable cast of characters that bring kids into Andy's world, taking them on a musical adventure. The camp every kid will want to go to.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Lets go to Camp Andyland or camp in general or stay at home and listen to the CD! This CD is well produced and entertaining. If your busy schedule does not allow you to take your valuable time and refresh and renew at a Camp near you, then sit back, relax and listen to the infectiously fun Camp Andyland - a world inhabited by zany dinosaurs, not-so-scary pirates and a host of other silly sausages! The songs are engaging, delightful adventures that will tickle your ear lobes - and we all need that - so make a date to have some fun and sing-a-long with your new found friends at Camp Andyland! The character voices are quite engaging as are the different musical styles and fun kid-friendly topics. I predict lots of fun and participation from young audiences as they experience the quirky adventures and music. This exemplifies good songwriting skills, terrific use of tempo and instrumentation and very experienced kid-friendly content. Explore and learn about the many wondrous things in this big wide world! Andy respectfully connects to the kids, because he still retains the joys of the child within. He has a handle on what kids like and respond to and doesn't talk down them, but leans in to their level. This is a professional recording all around. Andy does most of the heavy lifting on vocals, instruments and character voices and the recording quality is well done. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. Reviewed by John W., KIDS FIRST! Adult Music Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Are you ready for camp? Sit back, relax and listen to the upbeat, feel-good music to cheer you up! Let's take a trip with Camp Andy, the camp every kid will want to go, with true joy from beginning to end. I perfectly love tuning in, singing and grooving to the songs. This collection of appealing, remarkable fun, lovely adventures is produced, arranged and engineered by Andy Z.

This CD is filled with strikingly crafted pop songs for kids, stick-in-your-head lyrics and catchy melodies - plus, a memorable cast of characters that bring kids into Andy Z's world. This infectious collection of songs contains many from the popular AndyLand series such as "Welcome to AndyLand," "Return to AndyLand" and "Summer in AndyLand."

This collection includes 16 songs, each with a catchy melody and memorable lyrics. I must say, it's an astonishing set of songs. Each song puts you into the camp vibe. Plus, the memorable cast of characters brings kids into Andy Z's world. You can see Andy's creativity and imagination in each song. This whole CD definitely kept me engaged from the beginning to the end.

My favorite song is definitely "I Went to a Party with Dinosaurs," because the lyric are outstandingly funny. This song certainly gave me a laugh-out-loud moment. The rhymes have a way of making you giggle. For example, here's one of my favorites lyrics: "I went on over to say 'hello' and he almost bit off my nose." That rhyme shows why it made me laugh like crazy. The song brings has a professional vibe with its high pitch instruments and great vocals.

Who is Andy Z? Andy is the creator of Camp AndyLand and all its humorous songs. He is an multiple award-winning children's performer, singer, songwriter and educator who combines music, movement, storytelling and character puppets to create a experience that capture children's attention.

I believe the whole family will enjoy this musical collection and kids will enjoy the funny, kid-friendly, exciting, intriguing set of songs. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. This CD is now available online and at discriminating music stores.

By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 34 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-18
Description - Mavis surprises Dracula with a family voyage on a luxury Monster Cruise Ship so he can take a vacation from providing everyone else's vacation at the hotel. The rest of Drac's Pack cannot resist going along. But once they leave port, romance arises when Dracula meets the mysterious ship Captain, Ericka. Now it's Mavis' turn to play the overprotective parent, keeping her dad and Ericka apart. Little do they know that his "too good to be true" love interest is actually a descendant of Abraham Van Helsing, ancient nemesis to Dracula and all other monsters.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This comedy film had me laughing the entire time with all the ways the creatures are portrayed and how the director, Genndy Tartakovsky, manages to bring them to life through the exceptional animations. I love how all the actors resonate with their creature, making it sound natural and fitting. I was excited waiting for this movie to come out since it is the third film in the Hotel Transylvania series. I have seen the previous films and, when I found out there was going to be a sequel, I practically counted the days to the premiere.

The story follows the monster family embarking a vacation on a monster cruise ship. They mostly go so that Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else vacations at his hotel. The whole pack starts to have fun by getting involved in all of the activities the cruise has to offer such as monster volleyball, excursions and tanning. But, the amazing vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes her father likes Ericka, the captain of the ship, who she suspects to be hiding something from Drac and his family.

My favorite scene is when Ericka, the captain of the ship, welcomes all the guests and informs everyone that the first time that a monster cruise has been created. Because monsters are not allowed to live and socialize with people that are not monsters, they have had the opportunity to take a cruise before. I like this scene because, in it the variety of creatures are shown and I was amazed at the creative animations that the creators designed and brought to life.

The important message of this film is that letting go of old grudges and being open to changes in your life are very important. This film is a reminder that one has to honor the past, but be willing to allow new aspects to take place in your life. For example, since his mother's death, Drac has never fallen for anyone else. But when the family arrives for the cruise, the head of the pack starts having feelings for someone else, making it weird for the rest of the family. As time progresses, Mavis, her daughter and the rest of the family accept the fact that they have to let go of the past and be open to new changes in their lives. I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18 and I rate this 5 out of 5 stars. This film opens in theaters July 13, 2018 so look for it.

Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is an entertaining animated film filled with unique creativity. Wonderful voice acting and a distinctive animation style separate this from the majority of animated films. This is sure to be a worthwhile watch for all families.

The movie follows Dracula (Adam Sandler) as his boring hotel business and lack of love continue to bring him down. Wanting to bring back his joy, daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) surprises Dracula and the rest of his best friend-monster pack with an adventurous monster cruise. Initially angered by this, Dracula slowly begins enjoying himself and even finds a new crush in the mysterious yet charming cruise captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn). However, things take a left turn when former nemesis Abraham Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) hunts the cruise, threatening the lives of all monsters aboard.

Adam Sandler, as Dracula, is my favorite character as his transformation to being his old adventurous self is well-presented. His love for his daughter and kind acceptance of humans also provide for a nice central message. Selena Gomez, as Mavis, continues to shine by providing an equally strong father-daughter bond with Dracula. Kevin James, as Frankenstein, greatly presents a dumbfound friend to Dracula whose deteriorating body assures for some inventive comedy. Steve Buscemi, as Wayne/Wolfman, regales with his signature voice highlighting the character's parenting struggles with his many cubs. David Spade, as Griffin/Invisible Man, equally entertains despite not having a corporeal form. Last but not least, Keegan Michael-Kay, as Murray/ Mummy, completes the pack with his unique, child-like nature. Kathryn Hahn, as Ericka, adeptly portrays her mysterious past and interesting attraction for Dracula. Jim Gaffigan, as Abraham Van Helsing, exhibits a new take on the legend monster hunter.

Genddy Tartakovsky brings out his zany and fast-paced direction in new ways. In spite of that, this is nowhere as memorable and groundbreaking as his other works, such as Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory. My favorite scene is the opening one which quickly introduces us to the Dracula-Van Helsing rivalry and sets the stage for a grand adventure. The biggest flaw in the movie is that some of the humor comes across as farcical and this could dissuade adults from watching. Also, the plot is rather one-note and forgettable, especially when compared to the standard of Tartakovsky's other work.

The movie's message is to never discriminate against a person based on their looks and instead, appreciate them for who they are. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on July 13, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Juror Recommended Age: 6-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This phenomenal, action-packed film kept my eyes glued to the screen for the full two hours. 2018 is the summer of Marvel. The writers had very big shoes to fill, following on the heels of the blockbuster Avengers movie. My expectations were greatly exceeded, with a combination of comedy, action and some heartfelt moments.

With the help of the Wasp, Ant-Man must come to the rescue, in order to bring back Dr. Hank Pym's wife, who vanished years before, by saving the world from a nuclear missile. Before Pym's wife can be rescued, our hero has to find the technology the team needs to extract her from the subatomic particle abyss. Along the way, Ant-Man finds himself transforming into various sizes, from the size of a microscopic dot, to a massive skyscraper. The race is on to capture Pym's lab, with the law always one step behind.

The major characters from the first film return for the sequel. Paul Rudd, who plays Ant-Man/Scott Lang, is teamed up once again with him love interest, Hope Van Dyne/the Wasp, brilliantly played by Evangeline Lilly. As an individual, Paul Rudd's character is at best, ordinary. But, with his suit and sharp wit, he becomes a formidable superhero. Hope's no-nonsense personality traits come directly from her father, Dr. Pym, played by Michael Douglas. The coldness in both characters will leave you warm by the end of the movie. Luis, Ant-Man's sidekick, played by Michael Pe�a, offers up lots of comic relief, with a personality that everyone would want for their best friend. With more than one show-stealing scene, Luis balances out the comedic moments in the film.

The special effects are just what you would expect them to be, for a Marvel extravaganza. Disappearing cars, shrinking buildings and giant ants entertain the audience, while the action swirls around Ant-Man's crew. The IMAX 3-D animation is breathtaking, because you feel as if you're right in the middle of the movie. The giant ants are a seamless fit.

My favorite part of the movie is when the criminals interrogate Luis, to try and find Ant-Man. There is an interaction between a number of people, that had me laughing, even after the movie concluded. Speaking of which, do not, under any circumstances, leave the theater, until all of the credits have rolled. Enough said.

The sanctity of the father-daughter relationship permeates the film. It starts with Lang and his daughter, playing in a man-made fort, which takes up most of the house. It continues with the relationship between Dr. Pym and his daughter, Hope, after the loss of her mother. Love your parents to the ends of the earth, because you never know when they will be gone.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars, but I wish I had more stars to give. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18, and adults will certainly enjoy it too. There are a few scenes with violence, so it is not suitable for young children. Also, the ants can be scary, so if you don't like ants, make sure to bring some bug spray.

Check it out in theaters nationwide on July 6, 2018. The sequel is just as good as the original.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I laughed so much when watching this film! It has an amazing storyline as well as great humor. There also is wonderful CGI and acting. There are a lot of characters in this film, but I never became confused or overwhelmed.

Ant-Man and the Wasp takes place around the same time that the film Avengers: Infinity War (another film in the MCU series) takes place. It shows what Ant-Man is up to while the rest of the avengers are fighting a war. There are a lot of hilarious jokes that I enjoyed, but younger children might not understand. There also is a little bit of bad language in this film.

Paul Rudd, who plays the main role of Ant-Man / Scott Lang, is such an incredible actor. In some of the uncomfortable scenes, he really gets into his character and is unfazed by some of the weird stuff he does. He is also a hilarious character and brings comedy to this action filled film which makes it even more enjoyable. Hannah John Kamen, who plays the role of Ghost (a new character who was affected by the Quantum Realm and now has powers), is also a very good actress. Just through her face she expresses so much desperation and sadness. Even though the things that she does are violent and unnecessary, you can't help but have empathy for her.

The CGI in the Quantum Realm is out of this world. Even though I have never seen anything like it before, all of the movement and colors make it seem real. It is truly incredible that they are able to make a world that we have never seen before look as if it is real and not like some imaginary magical world.

My favorite part of the film would be a spoiler. So instead I'll talk about my favorite character, Jimmy Woo, the detective. He is my favorite character because, first of all, he is extremely hilarious when working or talking with Scott. Second, he is such a determined and hardworking character. He really wants to do his job right. Even though he isn't perfect, I still give him credit for working so hard.

There are multiple morals in this film. The ones that stand out to me are about family and helping others. Hope Pym (Evangeline Lilly), the daughter of the Wasp who gets stuck in the Quantum Realm, misses her mom so much and does everything she can to rescue her. But the Ghost also needs the Wasp to save herself which would be fatal to the Wasp. I don't want to give too much away, but they both need the same thing and they have to find a way to make it work. Whether that is through just fighting it out or other means.

As you can probably tell, I was intrigued the whole time watching this film and I really enjoyed it. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Adults too will enjoy this film. You should definitely check it out to see what happens! It comes out in theaters July 6, 2018.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Four years after the Jurassic World theme park was closed down, Owen and Claire return to Isla Nublar to save the dinosaurs when they learn that a once dormant volcano on the island is active and is threatening to extinguish all life there. Along the way, Owen sets out to find Blue, his lead raptor, and discovers a conspiracy that could disrupt the natural order of the entire planet. Life has found a way, again.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I've never really been a huge fan of the Jurassic Park franchise. I felt it went on for way too long and it needed to end. But, I was surprised by how much I liked this movie. It is genuinely entertaining and, I think it's a good way to conclude the franchise, even though I know it probably won't be the end.

The story takes place three years after the events of Jurassic World. When the island the dinosaurs inhabit is about to be destroyed by a volcano, Claire and Owen go to rescue the remaining dinosaurs.

So first I want to talk about visuals. It's not really a surprise that the visuals are really good. The dinosaurs look great. Combine that with great sound and the fact that, you can essentially feel the scale and weight of the dinosaurs. It feels as if they are actually there. Along with some really cool shots of the island and the Lockwood Mansion, the presentation of this movie is fantastic. The shot that was used in the trailers of Owen running from the volcano with the dinosaurs and being encompassed by ash, looked really compelling to me. It is one of my favorite shots in the movie and the presentation helps a lot. But, there is one particular scene that they hold on a brontosaurus that really tugs at your heartstrings. It probably wouldn't have been as good if it wasn't for the way the shot was directed. (J. A. Bayona)

The actors in this movie are also really good. Chris Pratt as Owen stands out to me, but that's mostly because I really like Chris Pratt. But, Chris Pratt is still very good. He has great comedic timing and he is really funny in general. However, he's the second best actor. Hands down, the best actor in the whole movie is Isabella Sermon as Maisie, the granddaughter of Benjamin Lockwood. This girl is absolutely amazing in this film. Talented child actors are hard to come by and wow, this girl is really fantastic. Her scenes are very compelling and she clearly is very invested in her role. I really felt for her, especially during the emotionally terrifying scenes. This is Isabella Sermon's first role and she is great. I genuinely look forward to what she has next in store. She has a bright future ahead.

Now, I mentioned earlier that I felt this movie would be a good conclusion to the franchise. The Jurassic Park franchise has been around since the 90s and the series is still going. I feel like it's been going for too long and I hope it doesn't continue for much longer. I know the series is very popular, but a lot of franchises have worsened from going on for a long time just because of their popularity.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It comes out June 22, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a serviceably entertaining addition to the series, even if genuinely compelling thrills are a bit in short supply. Regardless, the enthralling direction and special effects provide for an outstanding visual experience. This is sure to be an essential watch for any sci-fi fan.

The movie follows the chaotic closing of the unethical, yet technologically advanced Jurassic World as park-created dinosaurs are forced to seclude themselves at Isla Nubar. When a dormant volcano threatens to extinguish the lives of those dinosaurs, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) join a rescue operation in the midst of a controversial debate over leaving the animals to die. However, the rescue team has alternate intentions to enslave and auction the animals, resulting in Owen and Claire urgently trying to free the dinosaurs before the rest of the rescue team gets to them.

Chris Pratt, as Owen, is my favorite character, with his never-ending charm that allows for well-timed banter with Claire. He is also great with his dramatic range, especially in his estranged relationship with raptor Blue. Bryce Dallas Howard, as Claire, equally entertains in her scenes with Owen, as well with leading her dinosaur protection group that eventually joins the rescue operation. Justice Smith, as Franklin, regales with his intelligently fast-talking nature and his phobia for all things nature related never get old. Daniella Pineda, as Zia, excellently presents her caring and rebellious stance to the dino-debate as she risks her life for the goodness in humanity. Isabella Sermon, as Maisie, breaks the norm of predictable child actors with a charismatic and emotional performance that gives even older actors a run for their money. Rafe Spall, as Eli, serviceably depicts his history with Claire while holding a mysterious motive. Last but not least, Jeff Goldblum's short but sweet cameo, as Dr. Ian Malcolm, adds further nuance to the dino-debate.

Director J. A. Bayona captures each sequence with spectacle whether it is from his masterful use of shadows to his wonderful color contrasts. My favorite scene is the whole island escape, as it is one of the most thrilling scenes of any Jurassic Park movie. The sound design and wondrous special effects truly depict an apocalyptic level event. The flaws with the movie are mainly in its second half, which undercuts any of the well-thought out thrills of the first half by presenting one predictably illogical situation to the next, with an unnecessarily mediocre plot-twist. Even so, the consistent talent of acting and direction are enough to lighten the blow.

The message of this movie is to always be careful when playing with nature as it comes with consequences. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of intense action, horror and some gore. The movie releases in theaters on June 22, 2018, so check it out.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
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
FEARLESS AND FLUFFY
FEARLESS AND FLUFFY - DILPREET KAUR WALIA
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 8-18
Description - The friendly Grim Reaper Junior is not a chip off the old block, leaving his dad open to being hoodwinked by the evil Birthday Candlewicks.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This screen play is not what I expected and I mean that in a good way! The ones I thought would be bad are the good guys and the ones I thought would be good...are bad. This is a refreshing change! I really like the imagination and creativity of the characters and the story line and could see this as a movie that tweens and teens would enjoy. I recommend it for ages 8 through 18. I also like that it is entertaining but has a message about not changing for others and being yourself. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MINNIE NOIR
MINNIE NOIR - KATIE GROTZINGER
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 5-8
Description - Minnie Hughes is a hardboiled noir detective that also just so happens to also be the shortest girl in the fourth grade. When a candidate for class president's show and tell South African ostrich egg goes missing, Minnie jumps on the case. Meanwhile, she also deals with her best friend Lincoln Park feeling under appreciated after she calls him her secretary and struggles with asking her crush, Vijay Sampat, a kind of male femme fatale, to be her dance partner for gym class.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The script was enjoyable to read. The term Film Noir (French for suspense film) is most likely a double-entendre since the main character is African-American and is a mystery solver. Strengths- Multicultural cast of characters, main character is an African-American female, which is unusual for any story. Weaknesses - One character is a bit stereotyped. Yes because the WHODUNIT mystery theme is very universal and the school setting makes it relatable to most viewers. Theme- Helping another out in a time of crisis and helping them receive justice. In an increasingly terrifying world and last years headlines exposing injustices against women, Kids need to know that they can attain control over some situations and feel empowered. Plot and Structure- Narrative Logic: A good example is when the viewer can sense that Minnie will get to dance with Vijay when in gym class by the end of the story. Emotional Impact: the best example is when the viewer wonders where Minnie's parents are (or what happened to them) at the synopsis' conclusion. Dramatic drive: a good example is when Vijay kicks open the bathroom door and Dash appears with a bloodied nose. Structure of the storyline: Introduction of characters and story, mystery to be solved, finding the culprit, and conclusion are clear and straightforward. Characters and dialogue: Minnie is the most thoroughly developed character because she is the main protagonist. She is quick-witted and adept, yet comes across as bashful to her crush Vijay, and is annoyed/irritated by her ally in crime-solving, Lincoln. The characters, such as Lincoln and Dash, are not as fully drawn out. They can be described as geeky and devious, respectively. Dialogue- an example of the wittiness, humor, and power in the dialogue includes Lincoln injecting comments at Minnie which irritates/annoy her, but makes the audience laugh. Rhythm/ pace: script does not seem to lag and is easy to read from beginning to end, making it a good film production choice (viewers would not zone out.) Tone of script is light-heartedness. Narrative voice: Minnie is the type of character who is driven and will fight for justice of the deserved and will not stop until she finds the justice. Nothing will get in her way. Highly recommended for ages 5-8. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 5-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PIGJUICE
PIGJUICE - CASEY LAING
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 8-12
Description - A young girl fights to save her town from an evil farmer who wants to transform it into a giant pig farm, while rediscovering her mother, who died when she was just a baby.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This screenplay is very engaging. It has great characters, a story line that flows well and a happy ending. I also like the subtle way a young girl and her father are able to bond over the past death of the mom / wife in a more positive way. The dialogue is natural and realistic and I can see this on a big screen. There are few grammar and spelling mistakes and over all it is entertaining and has lessons to be learned.

The characters are my favorite, especially Emma and her dad Basil. The dialogue is done well and, although it is a bit predictable at times, it does hold your interest. I wanted to keep reading to discover how it ends. The one weakness is that I wasn't quite sure how the bad guy ended up with the winning pig that belonged to someone else. I suspect that he paid Percy's father for it but would have liked for this to be clearer.

I believe it has commercial potential and like that there is a soundtrack and descriptions of the scenes. It's a realistic theme that resonates with today's environment, where the rich and powerful try to own everything, yet it ends well. It does have conflict and resolution, and the story line is done quite well. It flows well and the characters are natural and realistic. It has a bad guy but he actually changes at the end, which is a nice twist.

I liked how well the dialogue is formed and how natural it seems. It fits the characters and flows well.

I like that one of the main characters, Emma is persistent and does not give up easily. She is a good role model. I also like that the rich and powerful do not always win.

Kids could be asked what they learned from the story and who their favorite character is and why?

I would possibly make it a little more straight forward about how Bulbous Swigbottom (what a name!) gets hold of the pig that wins. Did he steal it or did he pay for it?

I found very few grammar and spelling mistakes. On page 11 there is one sentence that needs correction: She is doesn't seem to know anyone. But, over all there are few mistakes. YES ! Highly recommended. It meets or exceeds the KIDS FIRST! criteria, is appealing and engaging.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Juror Recommended Age: 8-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: Screenplay


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR
WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR - FOCUS FEATURES
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Charmingly soft-spoken and yet powerfully incisive expressing his profound ideals, Fred Rogers was a unique presence on television for generations. Through interviews of his family and colleagues, the life of this would-be pastor is explored as a man who found a more important calling to provide an oasis for children in a video sea of violent bombardment. That proved to be his landmark series, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968), a show that could gently delve into important subjects no other children's show would have dared for that time. In doing so, Rogers experienced a career where his sweet-tempered idealism charmed and influenced the world whether it be scores of children on TV or recalcitrant authorities in government. However, that beloved personality also hid Rogers' deep self-doubts about himself and occasional misjudgments even as he proved a rock of understanding in times of tragedy for a world that did not always comprehend a man of such noble character.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This should be required viewing for anyone interested in the history of children's television. Fred Rogers was truly a visionary and an amazing man. He wrote, directed and starred in his own show for over twenty years and brought to it an authenticity that we rarely see on TV or elsewhere. Even the most jaded of industry leaders have to admire what Mr. Rogers brought to the table. He is beyond good; he is truly truly outstandingly awesome. This beautifully crafted documentary reaches back to the beginning of Fred's career, to before he even started his own show, showing us what drove him to create something outside the realm of what was becoming standard fare in the 1960s. Oh my, I miss him so very much. It's good to see how revered he is today. I admit that that documentary brought tears to my eyes more than once. Reviewed by Ranny L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Won't You Be My Neighbor? is the best documentary I've ever seen! I still hear its catchy theme song in my head. I usually don't like documentaries because they are very slow paced. But this one has jokes throughout that makes it so much more interesting to watch. I not only learned a lot about Fred Rogers' life and career, but also about how television shows were made and produced back in the 1960s.

This documentary is about Mr. Rogers and his television show for young children "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." Produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, we learn about Mr. Rogers' ideas on how important it is to talk to children about every aspect of life and how television can be used as a positive influence. During his show, Mr. Rogers sings songs about specific topics so that kids, as young as pre-school age, can understand the topic of the day.

The film shows scenes from the actual show as well as behind the scenes. I really enjoyed the interviews with the crew from the show. Those parts made me belly laugh. The film brings back the original lessons of the show and re-promotes them. For adults, this film might make them remember watching the show as a child and they might find some episodes to share with their own kids. For children, this film might spark an interest in the show and make them want to watch it, just like I did. The film gives everybody something. One thing I love about the film is that it really goes in depth about Mr. Rogers' sunny disposition and how he truly was like that in real life, even through all his struggles. It shows us that there are still kind people in the world. My favorite scene is when Mr. Rogers goes to Congress to try to get the funding to save PBS. That scene shows who Mr. Rogers really is, his personality and love for children. By the time he finishes his speech, I was tearing up and could hear the audience sniffing.

The message of this film is to love yourself as you are, just like Mr. Rogers says in his song. I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 because it talks about topics such as divorce and war, in a serious way, which is not appropriate for very young children. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars because of its amazing message and all the cool inside facts about Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. This film opens nationwide
Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DIGIMON TRI ADVENTURE: COEXISTENCE
DIGIMON TRI ADVENTURE: COEXISTENCE - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 8 - 15
Description - THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES...The arrival of the super powerful Meicoomon starts a countdown to the real world's collapse. The DigiDestined are cast out of the Digital World, and even after returning to the real world, are driven away by people, due to their partnerships with the Digimon. Meanwhile, a cruel fate appears imminent for Kari, who has a more honest and sensitive spirit than anyone.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The storyline in this episode, about dark forces taking over, flows well. There are no long lagging sequences. The viewer will empathize with the protagonist Kari and the evil force overtaking Meicoomon. Created in Japanese anime style, Digimon-tri has sharp-edge graphics and action sequences that draws the viewers in. The storyline addresses the struggles that many of us have to deal with, but shows how there are friends to help along the way. Some might be even be going through something similar.

This entire series is very good at displaying consequences of both negative or positive behavior. It also displays excellent problem solving behavior. Watching this show might convince viewers to seek out others when they are going through tough times. The message is that life has complicated challenges but you can overcome them.

The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for the intended age group and could further enhance vocabulary and concepts the viewer does not understand. A good example of portraying social models is when the main protagonist feels that she might be responsible for a specific situation. One of the other main characters reassures her that this definitely isn't the case. This entire series is very good in displaying consequences of either negative or positive behavior.

The DVD menu allows scene selections, subtitles and a bonus feature interview.

You should be aware that at one point, a character pulls out a gun, but is no blast, and at another point we see a powerful being shaped somewhat like a naked woman. For that reason I give it 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. I would raise the highest age to 25 if I could, because it is so thought-provoking and intellectual.

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Digimon Adventure Tri 5: Coexistence is an enjoyable show that I loved.

This animated film is the fifth sequel to the Digimon Adventures and it definitely builds a lot from the previous films.

The story is about how Meicoomon becomes a vicious creature, thus creating a perilous fight between the real world and the digital world.

My favorite part about this film is the authenticity of the characters and their emotions. It might sound weird that the animated characters are able to display a significant amount of passion and care for other characters in the film, but they do. Their emotions and reactions allow me to see past the drawings and the unlikelihood of this scenario.

My least favorite part is the style of the animation. The artwork looks like any main stream anime. The graphics didn't really hook me or caught my attention. Even the action and the fighting scenes are uneventful. They look somewhat dull and downplayed. I was looking forward to more intense explosions or epic toe-to-toe fighting scenes, but there is only a glimpse of exciting action throughout the whole film.

I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14. It is available now so, look for it.

Reviewed by Raquel Y., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 80 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.97 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
OCEAN'S 8
OCEAN'S 8 - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Danny Ocean's estranged sister Debbie attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City's star-studded annual Met Gala. Her first stop is to assemble the perfect all-female crew: Lou, Rose, Daphne Kluger, Nine Ball, Tammy, Amita, and Constance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I happen to be a fan of heist movies, don't ask why. Maybe it's their Robin Hood aspect in many cases. This one differs from most with it's all female cast of thieves spearheaded by the charismatic Sandra Bullock and filled out with a veritable who's who of women - Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway who steals the show. The plot is a romp, the costumes are absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous and the jokes work. If you are looking for a lightweight summer movie, this is it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ocean's 8 is the best comedic action movie ever! I like it because of the fantastic animation and storyline. I enjoyed the way the movie flows, as if it's a normal day stealing a billion dollar necklace. The comedy is the icing on a cake. It makes the movie sweet and enticing to watch.

The movie's main character is Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock). In the beginning, we see her being released from jail after five years. During that time, she has planned the greatest heist with hidden intentions. Debbie Ocean's team includes one of her old friends, Lou (Cate Blanchett). Lou and other highly intelligent cheaters are all part of the team, Ocean's Eight. As the heist unfolds, it exposes the twists and turns behind the storyline to the audience. Sandra Bullock's charisma in this role draws you to love her even more. The beautiful Rihanna is also in the film as "9-Ball", the Jamaican hacker. The amazing actress from 12 Years a Slave, Sarah Paulson plays a caring mother who loves to shop for home goods. In the mix of the film celebrities pop up everywhere. You just have to pay attention to notice them.

What I love about the film is the all women cast planning on doing something not good. Most heist movies are about men robbing banks, planning their moves and then executing them. Ocean's 8 has the same idea, but without the men. The costumes at the Met Gala for each of them are simply amazing and match each character's personality and abilities.

My favorite part is the ending when everything is pulled together, from Debbie Ocean's release to the creation of Ocean's Eight. My favorite character is Constance who is played by Awkwafina, because of her funny attitude throughout the film. Also, her pick-pocketing skills blew my mind.

Ocean's 8 is a movie to enjoy just because it's an amazing film. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Some jokes are questionable and there is some mild profanity, but nothing is extreme. I recommend it for ages 14 to 18 because of some language, alcohol and drug usage. It opens in theaters June 8, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Kamryn B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

I have never seen any other Ocean films and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. The dialogue is realistic and it is really funny. There are some flaws. It does feel like a lot of other heist films. For example, it has a recruiting phase where one character is the hacker and another is talented at stealing things. Also Debbie Ocean has been in prison for five years plotting her plan, but her plan doesn't take into account that technology changes.

Ocean's 8 follows Debbie Ocean and her plan to steal a 150 million dollar necklace at the Met Gala. She has spent five years in prison and goes to her friend Lou, who helped her in past crimes and asks her to recruit people for the job. Her plan is to get Daphne Kluger, a world famous model, to wear the Cartier necklace and then they will create a fake one to replace it. After that, she would place one of the gems on the person that framed her with the intent of framing him and making it seem as if he stole it.

My favorite part is Rose's character. She is entertaining and realistic when she tries to comfort Anne Hathaway's character when her dress isn't turning out the way she wanted. In another scene, she acts as if she isn't interested in her and that makes her want Rose to be her designer.

There are a lot of big names in this film such as Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok, Lord of the Rings, Cinderella), Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar, Colossal). The director is also a really big name too, Gary Ross who wrote Seabiscuit and the Hunger Games.

There is some mild profanity but nothing too extreme. It is a heist movie, so there are lots of risky actions such as hanging from rafters and escaping prison. I recommend this movie to anyone who enjoyed any of the previous Ocean films or other heist movies. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters June 8, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 12-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SHERLOCK GNOMES
SHERLOCK GNOMES - PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - After a string of garden gnome disappearances in London, Gnome & Juliet look to legendary detective Sherlock Gnomes to solve the case of their missing friends and family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Breaking news from London - garden gnomes have been kidnapped! "Oh fertilizer!" This is one of many amusing jokes from the very British characters in Sherlock Gnomes, sequel to the 2011 animated film Gnomeo and Juliet. Although the plot of this family-friendly movie is somewhat predictable, it is still quite funny and clever.

In this sequel, the formerly star-crossed lovers Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) are married and have just moved to London where they are appointed by their parents as joint heads of the garden. Both Juliet and Gnomeo feel the pressures of their new leadership roles and the marriage begins to suffer through lack of communication and mutual appreciation. Meanwhile, their gnome friends are disappearing from homes all over London, and they attempt to search for and save them. With the help of Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp) and Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor), the adventure begins - to defeat the evil pie company called Moriarty (Jamie Demetriou) and save all gnomes. We also see that poor Watson is quite ignored and under-appreciated by Sherlock.

My favorite aspects of this movie are the music, Johnny Depp and the "planning" sequences. I love the song choices used in transitions between scenes. If you are a fan of Sir Elton John, you will be pleased to hear many of his hits, including "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," "I'm Still Standing," "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" and a fantastic new song performed by the great Mary J. Blige. Johnny Depp is hilarious with his condescending British accent. I have seen almost every movie he has ever been in and he never disappoints with his comedic intensity. Another interesting thing that happens is when we see the inner workings of Sherlock's mind in 2-D black-and-white animation. One clinker for me is when super-intelligent Watson, looking for Gnomeo, says "Gnomeo, Gnomeo! Oh don't make me say it - wherefore art thou, Gnomeo?" (Of course "wherefore" means "why" in Romeo and Juliet.)

The message of this story is a good one - that you will succeed by respecting the people who support you. Sherlock learns that lesson when he realizes that Watson feels that Sherlock isn't listening to him or respecting him. Juliet learns it when she realizes that Gnomeo feels as if Juliet is ignoring him, too.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars because, almost all the scenes kept me laughing, the music is great, and I love the message. I recommend this movie for ages 7 to 18. This is available on DVD/Blu-ray June 12, 2018 and on Digital June 5, 2018. If you are looking for a fun family movie, this is it!

Reviewed by Lucia F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 19
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Sherlock Gnomes is a great movie! I really like the storyline because it has an amazing good versus evil plot.

The story follows Gnomeo and Juliet's move to London where they become the new leaders of the garden. On their first day, somebody kidnaps all the gnomes in the garden! Luckily, Sherlock Gnomes and Watson are there. Gnomeo and Juliet help Sherlock save all the gnomes in London.

The animation in this movie is excellent. The gnomes look like real life gnomes with a small touch of cartoon. I like how, in the beginning, a couple of gnomes are standing on a book talking about how they are going to read about Sherlock Gnomes. Sherlock Gnomes is a great detective just like Sherlock Holmes, but instead of protecting people he is the sworn protector of Gnomes. This gives the feeling that the entire movie is about those three gnomes reading us a book about Sherlock Gnomes.

The movie has lots of characters named from other movies and books such as Gnomeo and Juliet whose names are take offs of Romeo and Juliet. Sherlock Gnomes is based on Sherlock Holmes. I like how the gnomes freeze around humans. They just stay completely still so humans don't realize they move. The frozen position is also what they do when fall asleep. As soon as they get frozen, they can choose to fall asleep instantly or not.

The characters in the film include Gnomeo (James McAvoy), Juliet (Emily Blunt), Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp) and Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor). My favorite character is Benny, (Matt Lucas) because he is smart with technology, but otherwise very clumsy. I find that funny.

My favorite scene is when Benny trips and he is forced to put on a show to distract the guard while Gnomeo escapes. That scene is a mix of action and comedy. Another of my favorite scenes is when Gnomeo comes up with a plan to get past Reggie the gargoyle (Dexter Fletcher). I like how they show the plan with paper versions of all the gnomes.

The message of this movie is never take advantage of your friends. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 11 because of its great storyline and message. I think adults will like watching this movie as well. It comes out on DVD and Blu-ray June 10 so, be sure to check it out. Reviewed by Damon Foxe, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10.

Sherlock Gnomes is a frequently clever animated film that has a few fun moments, yet suffers from a jumbled story and too many characters to fully engage you in the movie as a whole.

Sherlock Gnomes is a sequel to Gnomeo and Juliet and brings together garden gnome versions of the famous detective and the Shakespearean couple from the first installment. Gnomeo and Juliet move to a new garden in London that disappoints their entire faction of gnomes. Gnomeo and Juliet are appointed the new leaders to turn the garden into a beautiful wonderland for their little village. Meanwhile, several gardens have been erased of all signs of gnomekind and soon, Gnomeo and Juliet's is too. The dynamic duo of the incredibly smart, but sometimes selfish detective and protector of London's garden gnomes Sherlock Gnomes and his trusty sidekick Watson are on the case and intend to catch the culprit and track down the missing gnomes, with the help of Gnomeo and Juliet.

Unfortunately the collision of these literary duos doesn't work very well. Their stories have very different characters and tones. The film makes clever references to Sherlock Holmes and his works that will be enjoyable for fans of the character's inspiration, but the collaboration still feels forced. Gnomeo and Juliet go through a storyline that feels out of place and their conversations have a repetitive message. The characters feel less developed against the more engaging Sherlock Gnomes.

My favorite character is Sherlock Gnomes (Johnny Depp). He embodies the qualities of the literary detective and makes his portrayal of Sherlock his own, giving him a more fun and comedic manner. He also nails Sherlock's complex relationship with Watson.

I recommend this film for ages 5 to 9 due to some crude humor. Younger kids will enjoy the film's bright colors and caper elements and older kids and adults might enjoy some of the humor. However, this film lacks the vivid animation and nuance that offers the same wide appeal of other animated films. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars because the story is a bit confusing, although it has some characters and good laughs.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 86 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Young Han Solo finds adventure when he joins a gang of galactic smugglers, including a 196-year-old Wookie named Chewbacca. Indebted to the gangster Dryden Vos, the crew devises a daring plan to travel to the mining planet Kessel to steal a batch of valuable coaxium. In need of a fast ship, Solo meets Lando Calrissian, the suave owner of the perfect vessel for the dangerous mission -- the Millennium Falcon.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I was excited to see the origin story of Han Solo, as he has been a character favorite of mine for years. The young man was boosting scams from age 10 and lived a life of adventure, for sure! Learning how his last name came to be was interesting - think passport control questioning. But, I digress.

While the film strives to tell the story of how Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Chewbacca, everyone's favorite Wookie (Joonas Suotamo) became BFFs after a contentious beginning, it had some stalls and at times, I wondered if Han was attempting to be our hero or villain. I felt the origin story of Han Solo did not go deep enough to show us who he is, and what lead him to be, Solo.

The most interesting character is Becket, played by Woody Harrelson. He is a true team player, but what team does he play for? His chameleon-like persona is wonderful to see and a testament to this talented and beloved actor.

The film begins centered on a bunch of bad dudes who all fear the reptilian and then, our hero Han, who eventually joins the Imperial armed forces to reconnect with his love, Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke). Being the rebel he is, Han is kicked out of pilot training and ends up in one of the many Empire wars. His quest to find Qi'ra lands him in the clutches of the dreadful mob boss Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) and a gambler named Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).

Long ago, in a vision far-away, original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were off-loaded from the payload and rescued by super Director Ron Howard. Howard's optimistic effort on this prequel doesn't save the film. He made a good film, but if it was a stand-alone film, I would not predict a plethora of sequels.

I give this film of 4 out of 5 stars for the performances, which are spectacular, especially Glover, Harrelson and Ehrenreich, along with special effects, creepy wardrobes, action scenes and Star Wars references that any true fan will 'get' (like the Kessel Run, the Millennium Falcon and of course, the necklace hanging on the rearview mirror). I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18. I caution younger viewing due to adult themes and fight scenes which may be disturbing to younger children.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Solo: A Star Wars Story is a perfectly serviceable origin story for the famous titular character. The acting and direction provide an outstanding mix of visuals and characterization. This is definitely an essential watch for any Star Wars fan.

The movie follows young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) on his journey to become the famed hero pilot. As a talented maverick, Solo joins forces with the thief Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and his crew to escape poverty and become part of something bigger. However, one of their heists goes wrong resulting in a life or death deal with Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) which will determine the fate of their lives. To rectify this, Solo and newfound friend Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) enlist the help of old flame Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) and the charming Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) to take part in the second heist.

Alden Ehrenreich, as Han Solo, wonderfully portrays his hero's journey from a poor, oppressed dreamer to heroic pilot. His mannerisms and line delivery excellently match up to the standard set by Harrison Ford. Joonas Suotamo, as Chewbacca, encompasses an extraordinary counterpart Peter Mayhew's mantle as he perfectly portrays his growing friendship with Han. Donald Glover, as Lando Calrissian, is my favorite character due to his exact interpretations of Billy Dee Williams's zany parlance. His banter with Solo only forwards the character's legacy. Woody Harrelson, as Beckett, provides for a flawed yet effective mentor to Solo by guiding him about motivations and how to deal. Emilia Clarke, as Qi'ra, is great with what she is given, but her character falls into the stereotypical "will they or won't they" love interest loop. Paul Bettany, as Dryden Vos, is menacing with his passive aggressiveness building to volatile outburst when his orders are disobeyed.

Ron Howard efficiently grasps all the characters' tales by providing great interactions with known Star Wars lore. My favorite scene is the initial train heist as it showcases how unprepared Beckett's gang was and is intense as regards the fates of all characters involved. Also, there are great displays of special effects with the train's movement patterns. The one flaw is that it really doesn't Solo any character transformation as he always remains heroic with the only change being how he goes from rags to riches. The love triangle between Solo, Qi'ra and Dryden also feels uninspired.

The message of the movie is to always abide by morals rather than selfish instinct. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters May 25, 2018, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DINO DAN TREK'S ADVENTURES: THE COMPLETE SERIES
DINO DAN TREK'S ADVENTURES: THE COMPLETE SERIES - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - In this complete series set, enjoy 50 dino-filled adventures with junior dinosaur expert, Trek Henderson, as he imagines dinosaurs in the real world! While Trek's brother, Dan, is away helping his dad, it's time for Trek to get his own dino time. Trek is going to finish some of the experiments in Dino Dan's Field Guide including seeing at least eighteen dinosaurs that Dan has never seen before! Trek will even meet marine reptiles for the very first time! It's time to join Trek Henderson as he embarks on one dino adventure after another and all in his very own way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dino Dan: Trek's Adventures: The Complete Series is a series for young kids with a lot of excitement, and fun adventures to go on! Kids will love this series if they have a big imagination and of course, have a love of dinosaurs.

On this DVD, there are 50 dino-filled adventures with the dinosaur expert, Trek Henderson. Trek imagines different types of dinosaurs in the real world throughout all of his experiences! While Trek's brother, Dan is away helping his dad with something, Trek takes over and entertains himself with his dinosaur world. The goal is to finish up some of the experiments that Dan has started. Trek even meets some new dinosaurs and marine reptiles that he hasn't seen before! Join Trek on his wonderful adventures throughout the world of dinosaurs!

One reason I really like this show is how they incorporate educational lessons into it. It's not everyday that you see a kids TV show that includes all kinds of educational facts within the story line. This is exactly what this series does. For example, in the episode "Trek Rex," Trek is having trouble figuring out what dinosaur he wants to dress up as for a party. Throughout the episode, he has various encounters with several dinosaurs to help him make his final decision. Trek and the dinosaurs' encounters happen in the real world, in front of real people, so he is imagining it. I believe that creates a connection between Trek and kids in the real world, since many have big imaginations.

The overall message in this series is that it's okay to have an imagination and even share it with others! Trek has no problem sharing his findings out loud for everyone to see and has no shame about doing that. This is what kids should feel. And, sharing their findings throughout their childhood is a cool thing to do.

I rate this show 4 out of 5 stars for its playful storyline, exciting cast, imagination and much more. I would love to see the storyline develop more, but it's perfect for younger kids. I recommend it for ages 5 through 10 . This is available now on DVD, so check it out.

By Imani B.G, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This series is great for keeping younglings entertained over the summer. With over 500 minutes in its 50 episodes, this will keep them busy and will keep them interested. I found Trek talking to an imaginary dinosaur somewhat strange but hey, it doesn't seem to bother his mom.

The storyline is about when Trek's brother who goes away to dig up fossils and Trek misses him. Then, one day a package arrives in the mail with a message from Dan asking Trek to help him do some dinosaur experiments. In later episodes, he gets better and better at conducting these experiments. One of his tasks is to find out if albertosaurus hunt in packs. For this, he gets a ham sandwich and gets the albertosaurus to chase him.

Trek is played by Trek Buccino who lives in Toronto, Ontario and attended Claude Watson School for the Arts. He has also been in Pacific Rim and PJ Masks. Trek's mom is played by Allana Harkin who has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy award for Full Frontal which she produced.

What I like about the show is that it is enjoyable to watch while you learn some facts along the way. I recommend it for ages 3 to 8 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. It is available now on Digital and DVD/Blu-ray so, check it out.

By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 575 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF THE ROSE
LITTLE PRINCE, THE: THE PLANET OF THE ROSE - N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Follow the Little Prince, a hero of multiple generations, as he experiences brand new adventures with iconic characters based on the masterpiece by Antoine de St. Exup�ry. In The Planet of the Rose, the Little Prince believes he has succeeded in getting rid of the Snake after a deadly battle. He can now finally continue to find the Rose's planet for his dear Rose. When the Little Prince and Rose reach the planet of the Rose, strange crabs live on the surface and are hardly hospitable. There is no trace of vegetation and no trace of the Rose people. Convinced they have reached the wrong destination, the Little Prince is ready to leave when they find some of the people. However, the Rose people are asleep and fossilized. The Little Prince and Rose need to bring them back to life. Unfortunately, that's not all they will need to do as the Little Prince's enemy, the Snake, hasn't died after all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I truly enjoyed watching this show. Based on the book series, it has a ring of positivity to it. The Little Prince is an incredibly good and popular book series and a wonderfully animated film series. The symbolisms associated with Rose, the Fox and the Snake may be lost on the youngest viewers. However, school age children will benefit from an increased imaginative mindset and the good vs. evil theme. The flow of the story lags a bit at times, but it is quite pleasant to watch. The Little Prince is definitely a positive role model in terms of protecting the ones he loves such as Rose and other protagonists. They all help each other out of peril like when the spirits help Fox from falling into outer space. The computer animation is exceptional. The characters, locale and colors are easy for viewers to identify with.

One aspect that really stands out are the geographical indicators notating inter-dimensional aspects of outer space. The cover design showing the Little Prince looking out into the distance along with Rose is big, colorful and enticing. Young people would enjoy this film because it is adventurous, the setting is unusual and the graphics are terrific.

The Little Prince series is based upon the teachings of Saint Exupery and holds morals based upon religious values. Although secular in tone, the theme of good overtaking evil is important for children to hear in order to give them hope in this world. The adventure of outer space will draw most children in. This film might get children thinking about other planets and the science of astronomy and geography. It definitely will expand their imaginations. Questioning and probing take place. For example, when the Little Prince talks about traveling to the Rose planet and the Geographer states that they might possibility be "lost forever in infinity" while trying to voyage there. The Little Prince determines it is worth the risk for Rose.

There are no bonus features on the DVD. One issue I have is that when you stop the movie and come back to it later, it starts all over at the beginning. It does not start where it left off, which is a nuisance. Also, there are no foreign language subtitles, which is something I missed. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 13, as well as adults. It is available on DVD now, so check it out.

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Once again, the little prince and the adorable Rose are getting back together and it's fantastic how everything is all happy and joyous for their reunion.

It's very fun and interesting and I absolutely love this DVD. The thing about this story, which is very fun and adorable is that they put a new twist on it. And there are lots of new characters as well as old characters from the series. I absolutely love that they brought the King and the Salesclerk back. I really like that they add new characters to the old ones we love and adore. Everyone will have a character that they can relate to. It is really fun and I love the scene when the Fox comes and they gets knocked off the rope and then he gets to meet the King and the Salesclerk again. It's a glorious movie, very hilarious and silly, which I like. Also, the Little Prince is, once again, a fantastic character. He is definitely my favorite character because he has a lot of wonderful traits. He's very kind and generous, which is glorious. At the same time, he serves as a great role model, and one that kids should see more often. It is good to see someone take their duties seriously, especially helping others. That's what we get in the prince, all the time. I also love little Rose. She's very adorable. She is very funny when she is arguing with the Fox. The two of them are just like yin and yang.

Now, one thing that is just fascinating about this show is the animation. If you think about it, when you look at it you think, "Wow! I'm stunned." I think this show is something that will inspire many young children who might think about traveling to another the moon or Mars. I think that idea is fascinating. I have always loved astronauts. That's what makes this DVD so perfect. The animation is so detailed and colorful and each planet has its own unique twist and turns. By just using words, a little bit of script and then adding all the colors in the DVD make this show perfect. I love that the animation seems to be a mix of anime and origami. They work perfectly together.

I really love that this show is something the entire family can enjoy together. I think it's suitable for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. I definitely give this 5 out of 5 stars. This is available now on DVD so be sure to check it out! You don't want to miss this one.

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 85 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: APPLEJACK
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: APPLEJACK - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - Think work on the farm is easy? Then you don't know jack - Applejack, that is! Honesty, patience and friendships are tested in a new collection of adventures featuring everypony's favorite four-hooved apple lover! Join Applejack and her very best pals - Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy and Spike - as they experience the power and magic of true friendship. Bonus Feature: sing-along.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Each episode in this collection is approximately 25 minutes in length. The storylines are very straightforward and the moral messages are charming and clear. They are very engaging for the target age. The characters draw you in with their multi-dimensional human personality traits. The language is quite suitable for the audience as well, although younger kids may not pick up every single word. The overall messages are what are important. Applejack, the main character, maintains an integrity even if others do something different. If she does something wrong, then she accepts the mistake as well as its consequences and, more importantly, apologizes. The other characters hold the same level of integrity as well. Questioning and probing are developed when certain problematic situations take place. An example is when a pair of scam artists dupe a crowd at a circus presentation into believing that a miracle product cures ills, Applejack instantly feels there is something fishy going on and is concerned when grandma pony purchases the elixir. In another episode, Applejack's younger sisters and friends want to help build carts for a race, but the older sisters take over designing the carts. The race ends in a big crash, destroying the carts. The younger siblings assert that the holder ones took over their project and the resolution is for the younger ponies to rebuild their carts without interference from the older siblings. I love the humor in these stories, the visual appeal, interesting storylines and great morals that children can easily pick up. The animation is big and colorful. There are five episodes and bonus singalong. The messages address how to be a person of high character, getting along with others, owning up to mistakes and apologizing. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 9. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Even though these episodes are clearly for younger kids, I can't deny that I actually really like these episodes. I don't think I'll actually start watching the show, but this show can be enjoyed by the whole family because it is very entertaining.

This DVD is a collection of five shorts from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, with most of the episodes centered around the character, Applejack. She is an important character in every episode, even the ones that are not centered around her. I am aware that My Little Pony actually has some pretty interesting stories and can get pretty dark, but these episodes are filler. They do also reference major events in past episodes and one episode has two characters who appear to be recurring characters, so I really wouldn't recommend this DVD as a way to fully understand what takes place on the show.

That being said, Applejack has a sweet southern accent, works on a farm and appears to epitomize honesty. I like that My Little Pony shows have a moral compass that teach positive lessons. This show should make lots of parents happy. My Little Pony has a ton of effort and care put into each episode. I'm very impressed with this show. Often times in shows, filler episodes are boring and they make you wish you were watching a story driven episode. This isn't the case with these stories!

Now, My Little Pony has some really interesting characters. I love character driven stories and that best describes this series. The main cast consists of six characters, or "The Mane 6" as they're often referred to outside the show. By the way, it's an amazing pun. I really like when shows have a large cast of recurring characters that really make their world feel real. It helps world-building, character dynamics and of course, I love talking about characters in media. As I mentioned, these episodes focus mainly on one character, Applejack, but sometimes the other members of The Mane 6 share the spotlight. If you like Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash and Rarity, then you will love this series because they are highly featured. My main issue is that, ironically, my favorite member of The Mane 6, Fluttershy isn't in any of these episodes. I know the episodes are about Applejack, but from what I've seen of recent My Little Pony, Fluttershy is the most under-developed of the group. So please, My Little Pony creators, show some love and character development to Fluttershy.

I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. The DVD is available now, so look for it.

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

Howdy there everyone. Get ready for a brand new adventure with my favorite pony, Applejack! We will be exploring the terrific apple farm and seeing all the wondrous things Applejack, and her wonderful family, do there. I enjoyed all the new episodes in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Applejack because they show Applejack and her family in Ponyville.

Who can argue with Applejack? I know I can't! After all, she personifies the element of truth and that is one of her best qualities. Since she knows how to spot a lie at first sight, she makes the perfect detective. This is why "Leap of Faith" is my favorite episode, hooves down. I can't get enough of Applejack's detective skills and Granny Smith reliving her youth. There is just too much fun and humor in one episode and therefore it is so enjoyable to watch. Two of my other favorite characters are in this episode and they are brewing up trouble - aka Flim and Flam are back in town.

The pony who steals the show is defiantly Applejack. After all this DVD is all about her and she surely takes advantage of that. I would love to have Applejack as a friend and a neighbor, not only for her honestly, but because she is kind and gracious as well. Her sweet southern accent is hard to resist.

The animation in these episodes is very detailed and, once again, looks as if there is a pony running around this wonderful city. I adore the way the town looks with all the bright colors and fun characters. The barn is especially great. It looks as if you could go and pick apples right from the trees. That is one of the great things about this series. The colors appeal to both young and old audiences because of how vivid they are.

Another thing to look for in this DVD are the fun bonus features such as the sing-along and the amazing new cook book from Applejack. You will find recipes for caramel apples, baked apples and spiced apple cider - all of which are kid friendly. The sing-along is great for kids who want to become world renowned singers because they can sing along with their favorite My little Pony Songs with Applejack and the rest of the main six.

I recommend this DVD for ages 4 to 15 and give it 5 out 5 apple stars. It is available on DVD and Digital now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 110 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 13.98 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MAYA THE BEE 2: THE HONEY GAMES BLU-RAY/DVD
MAYA THE BEE 2: THE HONEY GAMES BLU-RAY/DVD - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Description - After a slow harvest season, the very survival of the hive is threatened. Maya, and her sidekick, Willy, go to Buzztropolis, where the Empress invites them to participate in the Honey Games. But if they lose, the hive will have to give the Empress all of their summer honey! Needless to say, Maya and Willy's teammates are neither enthusiastic nor athletic, but Maya remains positive and exclaims that "every bug has a talent!" Can Maya and Team Poppy win and secure her hive's future? Only if Maya is able to gain new friends and learn about teamwork, responsibility, and overcoming their differences! Bonus features: The Making of Maya the Bee 2; Original teaser and trailers.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - My six-year-old granddaughter really enjoyed this DVD. The storyline is quite interesting in showing the life of bees and how they gather honey and support the Queen and all the other bees in the colony. The story line continues with the Queen Bee of Poppy Meadow and her bees gathering honey for the winter. She realizes that they may not have enough honey for the hive to last the winter when she gets word that the Empress, her estranged sister, has declared that the Queen's colony has been selected for The Honey Games. The Hive of Poppy Meadow is required to honor the Empress to donate 50% of their honey. They don't have enough honey for their own hive to survive the winter, so the request is a difficult one to abide by. Maya and her best friend Willie go the Empress and please their case.

The story line is easy to follow and suitable for the target audience. The vocabulary and concepts are also right on target. There is a lot of teamwork shown and sometimes Maya tries things on her own but soon realizes that is a mistake and relies on her friends to help. There are some consequences and they are repaired by the characters in a nice way. Each becomes more respectful of the others as time passes.

The visual appeal of this DVD is appropriate and interesting enough for the youth it was designed for. The DVD is animated and colorful and lively in action to keep the interests of the intended audiences. I feel that the storyline of this is quite entertaining for youth and the pictures of the bees are so cute! The characters on the cover are so interesting you wonder what kind of trouble are they about to get into!

In terms of the message of this story, as the story develops, we discover that the Empress and the Queen are actually sisters that do not get along. Towards the end they make up and realize they love each other and miss being together. Forgiveness becomes the overall theme as we see the sisters resolve their differences. Also, during the competition games the contestants learn a few lessons about fairness and love. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 9.

Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed watching this! This animated film has many underlying messages without becoming confusing. Each of the characters have their own strong personalities which makes their interactions interesting. The plot line is intriguing also.

The main character, Maya is a bee who dreams of competing in The Honey Games. One day she has a chance to make her dream comes true, but it will put her entire city at risk. The Empress demands Maya's city to give up half of their honey to contribute to The Honey Games. They aren't allowed to participate, but are forced to give up their honey. Maya believes that this is outrageous and challenges the Empress. If Maya wins, she doesn't have to give up any honey. But if she loses, they have to give up all of their honey and her city will starve.

Maya (Coco Jack Gillies) is a well developed character. Coco Jack Gillies makes her voice distinctly sound differently which is good for Maya who goes through a lot of emotions. Gillies can sound distressed, guilty, ecstatic and hopeful.

The animation is done really well. The quality is great and all of the little details contribute to make it seem very realistic. The music also is very suitable for the film and sets the mood in the various scenes.

My favorite part is when Maya's best friend Willy realizes that Violet, a bee who is a bully, is trying to sabotage them. Willy has a slight crush on Violet, which blinds him of all the mean things she is doing to Maya. Finally Willy realizes what is happening and stands up for Maya. Even through all these hardships, Maya and Willy find it in their hearts to forgive Violet for everything that she has done. That is one of the messages in this film.

Other messages address how everyone has their own special talent, how you should believe in yourself and that no matter how small you are, you can still make a difference. These messages are really important and give kids a lot of self confidence. I love how they incorporate all of these wonderful messages into the story without making the film trivial.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10. This DVD is available now so, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The animation in this film is very high quality, except for the characters' hair. It's a bit odd that they put so much detail into the bodies of the bees, but none into their hair. For me, this movie is a bit too predictable. I like more exciting movies.

The storyline in Maya The Bee 2: The Honey Games follows a little bee named Maya who accidentally embarrasses the empress of Buzztropolis and is forced to try to win The Honey Games to prove that her hive are not all foolish bees. The Honey Games are a series of physical challenges. Maya must win them with a team of oddball bugs or the Empress will take all her hive's summer honey and Maya's hive won't survive the winter.

The main characters in this movie are, Maya, (Coco Jack Gillies), the leader of Team Poppy and Willi (Benson Jack Anthony), Maya's sidekick. Other characters include, Bedford, (Cam Ralph), a bedbug, Spinder (Jordan Hare), a vegetarian spider, Craig, (Jimmy James Eaton) a cockroach that fears dirt, Arnie, (David Collins) and Barney, (Shane Dundas) two ants with helmets, and the villain, Violet, (Linda Ngo). My favorite of these character is Willi because he is scared to do all the stuff Maya wants to do, but Maya won't listen to him and he is forced to do those things anyway. I find this funny.

My favorite scene is when Maya tries to get a honey treat away from Willi so she can give it to the Empress, but instead she accidently throws the treat at the Empress and embarrasses her. This scene is funny, because of the way Maya tries to help her but instead she gets stuck to the Empress's face. Throughout the movie Maya must learn about teamwork and overcoming differences. That leads us to the big message of this movie which is everybody has a talent or, as Maya says it, every bug has a talent. That means that nobody is useless.

I rate this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 7 because it has a good message. I think adults might enjoy watching this movie with their children. This movie is available now on Blue Ray and DVD so, check it out.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 83 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ 18.97 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: LOSS
DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: LOSS - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 8-18
Description - Digimon Adventure Tri: Loss is the fourth in a series of six feature length movies. After the "reboot" and Meicoomon's rampage, Tai and friends arrive in the Digital World. They reunite with their partner Digimon, who have lost all their memories. As everyone discusses what they should do from here in the Digital World, Meicoomon suddenly appears and then disappears. She still has her memories for some reason as she wanders around, looking for Meiko. Meanwhile in the real world, Nishijima receives word that Himekawa has gone missing. As he investigates, he determines that there's been some hidden agenda behind her behavior up to this point. It has something to do with an event in the past that determined both their destinies... Special Features: "The Evolution So Far" - Star Joshua Seth Catches Us Up To The Events Of Digimon Adventure tri.: Loss Digimon Adventure tri: Loss is the sequel to Digimon Adventure tri: Confession.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD will certainly entertain the viewer. It has many moving parts, flows well from beginning to end. Younger kids will not understand all the themes, unless they are familiar with the series. The protagonists are polite to each other and concerned for one another. They express emotions in an appropriate manner such as speaking directly about their feelings - "I was scared when you left me." Problem-solving is demonstrated by the characters working together. This concept fits the target age group. Viewers learn that when people work together, the results are positive. This film utilizes Japanese animation which is appealing to children. The color scheme is not brightly colored and the artwork is quite detailed. Young people need to have hope in this world and the theme that prevails here is of good overcoming evil. The storyline is very involved and mind-stimulating. The DVD's menu allows you to select specific scenes and there are bonus feature. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 13. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Digimon Adventure Tri: Loss entertained me because of its wonderful animation and impressive voice acting. This is sure to be a watch for Digimon and anime fans.

The story follows the events after the reboot where all Digimon were forced to forget their partners. In wake of this, the shrewd Joe Kido (Robbie Daymond) sets out to hunt them while they are at their weakest. To defend themselves, the team must unite and strengthen their Digimon to match up to Kido's wits. During this, a hopeless Sora (Colleen O'Shaugnessey) tries to reunite with her estranged Biyomon (Cherami Leigh), as Kido targets her first.

Colleen O'Shaugnessey, as Sora, excellently presents her sorrow and selflessness for Biyomon. However, their sullen interactions become rather repetitive and forced as the story progresses. Miho Arakawa, as Meiko, splendidly portrays her reformation from saving Meicoomon, using this hope to brighten Sora. Robbie Daymond, as Joe Kido, is my favorite character due to his clever performance full of charisma as he proves to be a force to be reckoned with. Also, his deceiving escapes add a theatric grandeur to the character. Tom Fahn, as Agumon, exhibits his leadership through his care and demands of the other Digimon. Cherami Leigh, as Biyomon, depicts an equally well acted counterpart to Sora with her inability to pair with her. Kate Higgons, as Meicoomon, spectacularly reforms from being the main antagonist of the last movie to one that is heroic following the reboot.

The direction by Keitaro Motonaro wonderfully adapts with a similar approach to the source magna. My favorite scene is the resolution between Sora and Biyomon. Its conclusion adds a touching ending to this mixed bag of a plot. My only problems with this movie are in its inconsistent writing which switches from one tone to the next or even underplays many character arcs. Also, the amount of farcical humor could have taken a break to service the plot's serious developments.

The message of the movie is to always take care of yourself first before concerning others. Sora's insecurities increase while trying to reconcile with Biyomon, but this leaves her and other team members susceptible to attack. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 because of its frequent action. The movie is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 100 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 7-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ 11.98 Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PUP STAR: WORLD TOUR
PUP STAR: WORLD TOUR - AIR BUD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - PUP STAR is back, with an all-new movie that takes the popular singing dogs on trip around the world, where Tiny and friends find fantastic new songs and meet exciting new canine singers that prove music really is the universal language.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In some ways, this film reminds me of a combination of The Voice and American Idol, but with dogs as contestants and judges. I have to admit that I had some trouble getting into the film at the beginning, because it seems a bit too unrealistic. I had trouble imagining these dogs as music and rap stars. The beginning is a bit slow and then, someplace in the middle, it became much more entertaining. The songs and soundtrack are my favorite part of the film, but some of the dog characters really grow on you. Even though the storyline is quite predictable, it is entertaining. I really like that the tour goes to different countries. The characters are fun to watch and it has a great ending. It is a good film for families to watch together. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 11. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is definitely made for younger kids. The storyline isn't very complicated and it is pretty predictable, but still very enjoyable for the whole family.

The story is about the puppy celebrity Tiny, now a Judge on Pup Stars World Tour, and has selected a dog named Julio as her representative. The issue is, Julio is helping Bark, the villain from the first two movies, win Pup Stars.

Because almost the entire cast is comprised of talking dogs, the editing needs to look good. And, like previous movies, it really does look like the dogs are talking. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to film and edit this movie. In the scenes where Julio performs, he does all these crazy moves and twists and - he looks really good. Kudos to the editors, Jason Dale and Nik Svab. They say it is difficult to work with kids and animals.

One thing I liked in the previous Pup Star movie is the song that Tiny sang. It really was an ear worm. In Pup Star: World Tour there are tons of new songs, with some really talented singers and interesting cultural backgrounds. Because each contestant is from a different country, the songs differ depending on the culture. I really like that about these songs. It fits well with the message they are trying to spread about being united through music. Shout Out to Brahm Wenger.

I feel that, in this movie especially, the writers work with the fact that dogs in this make believe world are actors, singers and similar. There are dog soap operas and there are also tabloids covering dog news. It is as if dogs are not our pets, but more like our equals. Some people already consider them their kids, so I guess it is not that far fetched. Little stuff like that really helps the world building. Also, one of my main issues with the second Pup Stars movie was that I felt the human characters were too oblivious and easily manipulated by the villain's plans. Thankfully, it's different here. The villain's plan is a little more complicated, so I could actually see how the human characters could believe what was going on. Also, I surprisingly laughed a lot. The way certain scenes are shot and acted is just hilarious!

Now, my one question is, how many more Pup Stars movies will there be? The ending of this movie serves really well as the conclusion to the series. But, my guess is that this won't likely be the last movie.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18. If you like dogs and music from all over, I recommend this for you in particular. It comes out on May 5, 2018 so look for it.

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Pup Star is back and bigger than ever, as the hit singing pup competition goes global! I am totally into this movie! It is absolutely hilarious - very entertaining, witty, sassy, incredible and completely a family Friday- night movie to enjoy. It is also perfect for dog lovers.

I love this heart-warming film because it is different, talking dogs... now that's pretty different. The dogs bring a fun and quirky style with the singing and dancing that will bring the best out of you. This is definitely a fun, big scale musical adventure.

The story follows Tiny, a charming Yorkie, as she joins the launch of the Pup Star World Tour as a celebrity judge. It takes the popular singing dogs on a trip around the world where Tiny and friends find wonderful new songs to sing from different countries. Each judge chooses their favorite contestant to compete for the new title of Global Pup Star Champion. This film literally makes you get up and dance. When the contest faces a severe threat from a trio of conspirators, you have go see the movie to find out how that is resolved.

Directed and written by Robert Vince, the lead characters and the talent that voices them include Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher), Julio (Jorge Diaz), Grandpa Growl (John Ratzenberger), Simon Growl (Steve Valentine), Bark (George Newbern), Shep (Reggie De Leon), Rover (Jonathon Mangum), Jimmy Kibble (Brian Hull), Steven (David DeLuise), Butch (Danny Woodbury), Raji (Maulik Pancholy), Lou (Makenzie Moss), Ming (April Hong), Juan (Steve Zaragoza), Kano (Diedrich Bader), Dog Gnarly (Ziggy Marley) and many more.

The dogs' costumes are glamorous, with all the sparkles, glitter and beautiful colors. The colors really bring great visual effects to the film. When all the dogs from different countries come out to sing in their cultural customs, it really drew my attention. I loved seeing all the different backgrounds and vibes in all of the dogs. The music is remarkable. It really fits the theme of the film and paints pictures of all the different cultures.

My favorite characters are Tiny, who unquestionably is the most adorable judge, Shep, the funny service manager and Julio, the Mexican pup with a big heart. Most importantly, all the characters are amazing. My absolute favorite part is when the cheaters (I'm not going to tell you who they are) get disqualified from the competition.

The message of the story is "cheaters never win; winners never cheat." I'll admit, I've never understood the utility of cheating. This film definitely calls you to action. It has a positive message that promotes positive social behavior. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and definitely recommend it for ages 5 to 14 years old, as well as adults. The film will be released on May 5, 2018 in Canada and USA so look for it!

By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 87 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLUMHOUSE'S TRUTH OR DARE
BLUMHOUSE'S TRUTH OR DARE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone -- or something -- begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Truth or Dare is a new thriller that has the audience questioning their real abilities and intentions behind the fun-filled game. I am a huge fan of horror and thriller films and was so excited to see the amazing acting and suspense behind this work. This film offers jump-scares, second guessing and is loads of fun to watch with friends.

Olivia (Lucy Hale) and a couple of her college friends take a trip to Mexico for a final getaway before graduation. Little did they know it would turn into something more. While there, they meet a stranger who convinces Olivia to play a harmless, fun game of "truth or dare" with the others. The game starts and so does chaos which follows the group back to their hometown, releasing all their deepest and darkest secrets. The rules are quite simple, but fearful: tell the truth or die; do the dare, or die. No one gets out alive if you don't play by the rules. Or do they?

Growing up, my friends and I always played the game "truth or dare" at sleepovers. This movie made me question what secrets are we all hide in this game? If the consequences were real, such as they are in this film, how would we react? My favorite part of this film is how I was able to somewhat relate to the characters. They are all teens, as am I. So, it really had me feeling as if I was in their shoes and made me question what I have done in order to survive. I adore the cast, because each one has something to offer to the character they play.

The message in this film is about being honest with your friends and family and to trust one another in any circumstance. Olivia and her friends are torn apart towards the beginning of the film, due to their belief about whether or not the game was real. Once their eyes are opened, they work together in hopes of beating the game and surviving.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars. It has a great storyline, cast and cinematography. I it for ages 13 to 18. I recommend seeing it with a group of friends to really get the full effect. Also, it would be more fun! It opens nationwide in theaters on April 13, 2018 so, be sure to check it out. Think about this film the next time you play "truth or dare" with your friends!

Reviewed by Imani B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Blumhouse's Truth or Dare is a somewhat disappointing thriller with lots of initial potential. However, the acting and direction allow for some fun thrills. Fans of thrillers and horror movies may want to check it out but proceed with caution.

The story follows teenage friends Olivia (Lucy Hale), Lucas (Tyler Posey), Markie (Violett Beane), Penelope (Sophia Ali), Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk), Ronnie (Sam Lernie) and Brad (Hayden Szeto) on a trip to Mexico. Along the way, they encounter Carter (Landon Liboiron), an amicable person with a dark secret, playing a game of "truth or dare". This quickly takes a turn for the worst, once the game summons a curse among the friends. Upon returning home, the curse sequesters the friends, forcing them to play a deadly game of "truth or dare" - one which will result in death if lost. Realizing they are all being forced to play the same game, the friends try to find a way to remove the curse.

Lucy Hale, as Olivia, delivers a commanding performance as the main lead, willing to go to any lengths to stop the curse. She excels in presenting her unstable relationship with her best friend Markie. Tyler Posey, as Lucas, is extremely determined to save his friends using logic to outthink the curse. Violett Beane, as Markie, is excellent with what she is given, but her character could have been more aptly written. She denigrates a repetitive plot point used to propel her inconclusive relationship with Olivia. Sophia Ali, as Penelope, wonderfully presents her character's nonchalant attitude to circumstances, until it's her turn to play the game. Nolan Gerard Funk, as Tyson, prominently portrays a smart yet misguided teen. Sam Lernie, as Ronnie, is the most careless of the group. Hayden Szeto, as Brad, is my favorite character due to his clever comic relief. Landon Liboiron, as Carter, mysteriously presents his character's involvement in the story.

Jeff Wadlow directs the movie with some fun thrills, but also many that are predictable. My favorite scene is Olivia's first dare for Markie to break her hand. It is well-acted with a visceral intensity. The flaws in the movie are in its inconsistent writing, which completely steal all the potential we see initially. Most of the characters end up in situations that are unintentionally funny. The characters are written to be hate-able and bipolar for the sake of the movie's plot. The conclusion ends up feeling rushed and used as bait for a sequel.

The message of this film is to always be careful of strangers and unknown places. I give this film 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because of the horror, sexual references and language. The movie releases in theaters on April 13, 2018, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MIRACLE SEASON, THE - 0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - After the tragic death of star volleyball player Caroline "Line" Found, a team of dispirited high school girls must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hopes of winning the state championship.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Miracle Season is an inspiring account of a true story. The acting and narration respectfully accommodate the actual people involved. This is sure to be a worthwhile watch for any sports movie fan.

The story follows talented volleyball team, The Women of Troy, as they seek to win the championship. However, a tragic accident results in the death of team leader Caroline Found (Danika Yarosh). As a result, the team disbands in mourning, with coach Kathy (Helen Hunt) trying to lighten and reunite its hopeless members. Caroline's best friend Kelly (Erin Moriarty) chooses to become team leader and respect Caroline by espousing the championship. This results in a grueling training season where all team members must put aside their grief and work together to compete. With extreme stakes at hand, the team must win in order to fully respect Caroline's legacy and rectify their losses.

Helen Hunt, as Kathy, incredibly presents her tough-love attitude towards her team and their determination to win the championship. She performs wonderfully in depicting Kathy's attempt to imbue the team with a purpose in the most hopeless of circumstances. Erin Moriarty, as Kelly, excellently portrays her growth from novice volleyball player to motivating leader. Danika Yarosh, as Caroline, exceptionally characterizes her teenage friendship with Kelly, including some recklessness at times. This allows her accident to have an emotional weight to it. William Hurt, as Ernie, is my favorite character due to his character arc through his grief of his daughter's death, as he slowly pushes people closest to him away. His friendship with Kathy allows for a humanizing and emotionally charged redemption from his self-pity.

Sean McNamara directs the movie with a scenic chronological representation of the events that happened in real life. My favorite scene is one where Kelly and Ernie talk about their regrets, resulting in Ernie asking Kelly to stop being so harsh on herself. I love how it portrays a relatable aspect of life. The flaw with the movie comes in the first act, when it feels like another clich� teen drama. Fortunately, it improves once the more humanizing aspects of the story come into play. However, there is an overuse of mainstream music during much of the movie, which results in a few of the most emotional scenes being completely nullified.

The message of this movie is to always remain as a source of hope for others. Despite the extreme pressure the team faces, Kelly always finds a way to assure her teammates. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on April 6, 2018, so check it out.

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

The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident. I found this film interesting because it remembers a teen, not an adult.

The storyline follows Kelly, who recently lost her best friend Caroline in a car accident. Now she has to lead the team. They have to fight through their loss and still play the game. They lose their first two games, but win the next fifteen games and are driven to win the state championship game in Caroline's memory.

Kelly is portrayed by Erin Moriarty who has appeared in the films Captain Fantastic and The Kings of Summer. Her coach Kathy Bresnahan is played by Helen Hunt, an Oscar-award nominee and winner, who has starred in the films Cast Away with and As Good As It Gets. These veteran actors bring the movie up as a whole.

An interesting thing about this film is that, even though it is a low budget film, it looks like a higher budget film. Also, it's based on a true story and is true to the original story including having videos of the actual games in the credits. Last, I found it interesting that the cast is mostly female, when sports movies usually feature all male teams.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It opens April 6, 2018 so look for it.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE MIRACLE SEASON - LD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE 12-18
Description - The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident. I found this film interesting because it remembers a teen, not an adult.

The storyline follows Kelly, who recently lost her best friend Caroline in a car accident. Now she has to lead the team. They have to fight through their loss and still play the game. They lose their first two games, but win the next fifteen games and are driven to win the state championship game in Caroline's memory.

Kelly is portrayed by Erin Moriarty who has appeared in the films Captain Fantastic and The Kings of Summer. Her coach Kathy Bresnahan is played by Helen Hunt, an Oscar-award nominee and winner, who has starred in the films Cast Away with and As Good As It Gets. These veteran actors bring the movie up as a whole.

An interesting thing about this film is that, even though it is a low budget film, it looks like a higher budget film. Also, it's based on a true story and is true to the original story including having videos of the actual games in the credits. Last, I found it interesting that the cast is mostly female, when sports movies usually feature all male teams.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It opens April 6, 2018 so look for it.
Juror Recommended Age: - Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE MIRACLE SEASON - LD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE 12-18
Description - The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Miracle Season is a sports film based on a real life incident from 2011 when the captain of West High Schools volleyball team tragically died in a car accident. I found this film interesting because it remembers a teen, not an adult. The storyline follows Kelly, who recently lost her best friend Caroline in a car accident. Now she has to lead the team. They have to fight through their loss and still play the game. They lose their first two games, but win the next fifteen games and are driven to win the state championship game in Caroline's memory.

Kelly is portrayed by Erin Moriarty who has appeared in the films Captain Fantastic and The Kings of Summer. Her coach Kathy Bresnahan is played by Helen Hunt, an Oscar-award nominee and winner, who has starred in the films Cast Away with and As Good As It Gets. These veteran actors bring the movie up as a whole.

An interesting thing about this film is that, even though it is a low budget film, it looks like a higher budget film. Also, it's based on a true story and is true to the original story including having videos of the actual games in the credits. Last, I found it interesting that the cast is mostly female, when sports movies usually feature all male teams. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. It opens April 6, 2018 so look for it.
Juror Recommended Age: - Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SAYIN' IT SAM: COLORS - 0
Series: APP, AGES 2-5
Description - This app is a game that uses speech recognition to activate animations. It is deigned for preschoolers and kids with autism and speech impairments to motivate them to play by voice. Say a color and see what happens - balloons pop, birds fly, dogs play fetch, trains go Choo Choo down the track and shapes spin.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The game "Sayin' It Sam" is an amazing interactive game different from any other educational game out there. "Sayin' It Sam" is a game made for preschoolers and, in particular, those who have autism to motivate them to speak. There are different modes that have different colors that you have to name in order to get to the next set of colors. You can chose between popping balloons when you name each color, or naming the colors of different shapes.

The artwork for this game sets a warm tone and a kid friendly atmosphere. There isn't a pressuring timer, or a big bad boss level, just Sam encouraging you to name those colors, and use your voice. Unlike some games built around sound, this game has prompt responses to hearing voices, and a variation of responses to each color named correctly.

I give this game 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this game for ages 2 to 6. You can download "Sayin' It Sam" from the App Store. Reviewed by Raquel Y., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Sayin' It Sam: Colors is an educational app for young children and those with speech disabilities. This app is a good idea that could have been utilized better.

The app Is very simple which is a good thing because it's easy to navigate. When you open it, there's a menu. You select choose an item and then you guess the color of the item. The next screen has three items, each a different color. You say one of the colors out loud and it continues to another set of colors. When you get it right, Sam congratulates you.

I'm not sure if this is the app's fault, but it didn't understand anything I said. It might be because of my accent (I'm Irish), but I couldn't get past the first set of colors. The animation is good for such a simple app and Sam's movement is smooth and his mouth mostly matches the audio. The colors are a bit confusing, because brown looks like red and purple looks like pink.

I give this app 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 3 through 6.

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

Sayin' It Sam: Colors, is an app where you name the colors of shapes, balloons and other objects. When you click on a game to play, Sam says "Let's play!" After the objects appear he says, "Say a color." Then, you say a color and, if you said the name of the correct color, it does a special animation (different for each level) and the shape disappears. Sometimes it takes 4, 5 or even more tries to get the shape to vanish. This game is designed to give young kids who are still learning to talk and kids with language impairments a chance to practice speaking. The animation is quite good. For example, the character Sam, instead of being a random monster or talking animal is a realistic animated human. I like that.

I rate this app 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 6, because it teaches speech and yet it doesn't seem to recognize older voices. I think it's a great idea, but I wish it recognized what I said more easily. I have an Irish accent so that might have been the problem. Some kids might get frustrated having to repeat themselves so many times. The app also has a website (http://www.sayinitsam.com/) which shows live videos of the app being played, a link to their blog and more.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Juror Recommended Age: 2-5 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: App


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TO THE BEAT
TO THE BEAT - VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - To The Beat follows 14 year old twins Mia and Mackie Castillo - dancers since they were toddlers. Beginning at just three years old, that's been their one true passion. They support each other through competitions and rehearsals, even though they dance different styles. Mia loves tap and Mackie loves jazz. When their favorite pop star launches an online contest to find the most unique dance group for his next music video, the twins each form their own team to compete for the chance to dance in the video - enlisting their friends and family to help gain online votes. Meanwhile, their arch rival and neighbor, Avery, the best dancer of all (who knows it too) uses her charm and resources to get the upper hand in the competition.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This magnificent film kept me dancing on my feet the entire time. I used to take hip-hop classes, so I couldn't help but dance along. It amazes me how talented the dancers are, and their dedication truly inspires me. I cannot believe some of the girls have been dancing since they were 3 years old. Even if you are not a dancer, you will certainly want to become one after watching this film.

Twin sisters Mia (Brisa Lalich) and Mackie Castillo (Laura Krystine) are passionate, 14-year-old dancers who constantly support each other in every rehearsal and competition. Although they have danced for their entire lives, both have distinctive dance styles. Mackie loves jazz and Mia is exceptional with tap. Their honed dance skills are put to the test when their favorite popstar arranges a contest for the best five dancers to appear in his upcoming music video. The girls must create their own routine in order to advance to the next stage. Mackie and Mia form separate teams and get help from their friends and family to receive the most online votes. When one of the best dancers, Avery(Jayden Bartels), decides to join the competition, tension arises among the girls, because Avery tries her best to get the upper hand in the competition.

Mackie is such a strong, independent girl. She constantly encourages her sister Mia to never doubt herself, even when Avery thinks she is the best dancer of them all. My favorite character, hands down, has to be Avery's mom (Martha Madison), because she wants to be in her daughter's music video. She loves Paula Abdul and embarrasses her daughters, but she is Avery's number one fan. Each character is vastly different, but they juxtapose each other quite well.

The dancers' outfits are impeccable. A few girls wear leotards; some wear leggings. But Mackie's team has the best outfits. During the final competition, Mackie's team wears silver jackets, which are very stylish. In addition, this film is set in Simi Valley, which is not far from where I live. I go to the Simi Valley Town Center sometimes, and I enjoyed seeing the girls walk around where I shop.

My favorite part is when Mackie and Mia execute their handshake. You can see how they have an unbreakable bond. I love how both sisters appreciate each other and never fight. I have a younger sister and, seeing how they truly respect one another, reminds me of my relationship with my sister. I love my sister more than words can say and you will love your sibling even more after watching this film.

The message of this film is that hard work certainly pays off. Treat your family with love and care, because they are always there for you, through thick and thin. Never let competition keep you from achieving your dreams and always remember to believe in yourself.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars, recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Actually, it is perfect to watch with your family. After watching this film, you and your family will be closer together. This film is available now on DVD and Digital. Gather up your family and friends, get on your feet, and get ready to dance to the beat.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The dances in To The Beat! are great. I love the choreography because it is so precise and very fun to watch. The competitors all have a different style of dance. I found myself dancing just like Mia and Mackie because their moves are contagious. Each dance shows a person's personality and they all have their own unique style. I love the pirouettes and the tap dancing. Avery knows what to do when it comes to ballet and Mia is my top pick for tap dancers.

The characters in To The Beat! are all very distinct. Ambitious dancers and a contest of a lifetime can lead to one big competition. There are dancers everywhere and every one of them wants a part in the next big music video. So you have to watch your back and make sure that you are ready to move and grove to the beat.

Mia (Brisa Lalich) is my favorite character. I love her tap dancing. She adds a lot of fun and beauty to her passion. She reminds me of my grandfather Kenneth because he was an expert tap dancer. Jumping and clicking his heels in the air was his trade mark. Mackie (Laura Krystine) is the kind and noble sister who wants what is best for her better half. Avery (Jayden Bartels) is the average teenager who likes to dress up and be a dancer, yet her intensions are not what they seem. Mandy (Veronica St. Clair) is the amazing older sister who always saves the day. She helps everyone and has dreams and passions of her own. Alyson Stoner plays one of the celebrity judges. In real life, she is adorable. She was my dance teacher at a studio called The Millennium Dance Complex. She has moves.

I had a wonderful time at press day talking to Brisa Lalich, Laura Krystine and Bryce Xavier. These terrific dancers and YouTubers know all about competitions and humor. I loved meeting them and having a few good laughs and getting an inside scoop on the sequel to this, To The Beat 2! I can't wait to see it. Be sure to check out my one on one interviews with them to learn more about their personalities.

The best scene in this film is the fantastic dance competition because the choreography is magnificent and all the dancers are perfectly in sync with one other. I also that the dance competition is on stage and everyone's friends and family are there to support them.

I recommend this film for ages 6 to 13 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. To The Beat! Comes out on DVD and digital March 13, 2018 so look for it!

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

To the Beat is a wonderful dance movie for girls, with real stakes at hand. The acting and cohesive plot provide a urgent, yet vibrant feel to the film. This is sure to please all dance movie fans.

The story follows 14-year-old twins and talented dancers Mackie (Laura Krystine) and Mia Castillo (Brisa Lalich). Despite being from different dance backgrounds, the two always have each other's backs and have an extremely loving bond. When a famous pop star launches an online contest to find the best dance group for his next music video, the twins must form their own teams to compete for the video. The duo impresses the crowd with their ardent love of dancing. However, their egotistical arch rival, Avery (Jayden Bartels), the self-proclaimed "best dancer of all" also uses her charm and resources to get the upper hand in the competition.

Laura Krystine, as Mackie, excellently presents her talented dance moves and her love for her sister. Brisa Lalich, as Mia, like her sister portrays a dancer who loves it, rather than using it as a popularity stunt. The character really shines emotionally, when a huge plot twist regarding her involvement on the team takes place. Jayden, as Avery, is a fun villain to watch, especially as her power- hungry schemes unveil themselves. Veronica St. Clair is my favorite character due to how grounded her character is. She provides a moral support for the team, while also trying to pass her medical exams.

Jillian Clare directs the movie with a high-stakes feel, as you feel the pressure being put upon Mackie and Mia. My favorite scene is the final dance, because it is the culmination of what the movie has been building up to. My only problem with this film is that, while Avery feels like a threat to be reckoned with, I feel as if in the long run she doesn't do too much to turn the tide around once the final dance is about to happen.

The message of the movie is that, if you are going to do anything, do it for the love of it, rather than for popularity. Despite being underestimated at times, Mackie and Mia never give up their love of dance. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 10. The movie is out on DVD and digital now, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPACESHIP THAT FELL IN MY BACKYARD, THE
SPACESHIP THAT FELL IN MY BACKYARD, THE - RUTH AND EMILIA
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-8
Description - When a shiny spaceship lands in Emilia's backyard, she meets URR from planet Goopda who has traveled to Earth to promote universal peace. The two learn about working together and making the world a better place as they sing their way through the day's adventures. Produced by Enrico Lopez-Ya�ez, Asst. Director, Nashville Symphony; Jeff Silverman producer of Mattel's Barbie "The Look." Composer: Ruth Weber.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Spaceship That Fell In My Backyard is the newest release from mother-daughter team, Ruth and Emilia. Featuring strong engaging vocals and terrific production values this fun-filled musical odyssey will have everyone dancing in the streets... as long as there is no traffic and you've looked both ways four times! URR from the planet Goopda is here on a mission of universal peace (like we need it!) and our heroes share positive adventures of love, acceptance and care for planet Earth. A splendid time is guaranteed for all! This energized pop-rock music has some very fun arrangements and instrumentation. It is well produced. The vocals are well-performed and the musicianship is terrific. There are lots of positive messages about love, acceptance, friendship and caring - all very relate-able child oriented issues. The structure follows a theme about our heroes befriending an alien traveler and they share positive goals for the planet. On the plus side, the alien doesn't eat them! This CD is perfect for its intended audience and is created in a gentle loving way. There are safety tips, caring for the planet advice and words of wisdom about befriending people from foreign lands. It all proves that learning and fun can be one. The artists know their audience and intended age group well. I love the way it celebrates our individuality as people and cultures, our deep love and caring for the Earth and the joy and appreciation of our friends near and galactically far away. This CD, in association with their stage show presents a nice package that will get kids get excited about outer space, Earth stewardship and respect for other cultures. I highly recommend it and give it 4 out of 5 stars. My audience recommendation is ages 5 to 10, as well as parents. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Adult juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This CD has lots of wonderful, catchy songs - all upbeat and inspirational. They tell the story of an alien crashing down in a little girl's backyard. They sing about friendship and having fun in life, brushing your teeth at night, saying no to drugs and not talking to strangers. I love how they make catchy songs about these good habits. The song helps you remember these habits.

The only concern I have about this CD is that some of the songs contain words in them that young listeners might not understand. Even though younger children might sing the words, it is always good to include words that young kids understand. Another issue I have is that some of the songs are sun really fast, making it hard to hear the words they are singing.

The CD is definitely informational and catchy and something that kids will definitely learn something from. I recommend it for ages 3 to 7 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This CD comes out on March 23, 2018 so be sure to check it out!

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

This CD tells a story through song and a blend of a variety of music types. Although it teaches positive lessons, this CD is a promising concept met by a somewhat disappointing result.

The storyline is about a young girl named Emilia whose backyard is the landing site for an alien ship from the planet Goopda. The spaceship is carrying an alien named URR. Emilia and URR learn about each others' lives and find they have more in common than they thought.

The CD struggles at keeping an overarching idea to justify an entire CD. It starts off with the thread about Emilia and her otherworldly visitors and then descends into a group of songs about world peace and bubble baths. It doesn't reclaim its original thread until much later and abruptly ends just when it starts to get interesting.

I recommend it for ages 3 to 7 and give it 2 out of 5 stars. Younger kids will enjoy the happy vibe and simple rhymes.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer, age 12
Runtime: 31 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 4-8 Suggested Retail Price: $ 10.99 Media: AUDIO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TOMB RAIDER (2018)
TOMB RAIDER (2018) - WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished years earlier. Hoping to solve the mystery of her father's disappearance, Croft embarks on a perilous journey to his last-known destination -- a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. The stakes couldn't be higher as Lara must rely on her sharp mind, blind faith and stubborn spirit to venture into the unknown.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Tomb Raider is one of the more enjoyable video game adaptations. The acting and the direction provide the same sense of adventure and excitement as the video game. This is sure to be a must-see watch for fans of Lara Croft or anything adventure related.

The story follows Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), an intelligent yet reckless thrill-seeker, who embarks on an adventure unlike any other, when she finds evidence of her father's disappearance. Seeking to solve the mystery of Richard Croft (Dominic West), Lara enlists the help of Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), a ship captain. However, their adventure lands up in the worst when their ship crashes to Yamatai. Lara soon finds herself in the hands of Matthias Vogel (Walton Goggins), a rival archeologist who will do anything to unlock the tomb within Yamatai. Realizing the tomb will unleash global genocide, Lara must find a way to stop Vogel while discovering secrets about her father.

Alicia Vikander, as Lara Croft, is my favorite character and splendidly presents the character of Lara Croft and her struggle/rise to become the well-known "Tomb Raider." Her acerbic wit and vulnerability add a relatable extension to the character. Dominic West, as Richard Croft, excellently delivers his love for Lara and adventure. His mystery adds to plot, which leaves you wanting to know more about it at every turn. Daniel Wu, as Lu Ren, is a capable and funny companion to Lara and he shows a caring need to help the poor. Walton Goggins, as Matthias Vogel, portrays a threatening, yet over the top performance as the main villain, and it works for the most part. His involvement in the Croft conspiracy is interesting as well.

Roar Uthaug incredibly directs the movie with a knowledge of the video games, resulting in a brisk pace from one scene to the next. My favorite scene is when Lara has to find a way out of a plane which is slowly falling off of a river bank. It is extremely intense and it reminded of me of fun, innovative levels from the Uncharted and Tomb Raider games. My problem with the movie is, despite a superb first half, the second half falls from an overreliance on CGI and over-the-top scenarios, often leading to unintentional comedy. It feels jarring when compared to such a first half.

The message of the movie is to always be hopeful, as this allows Lara to keep fighting, even in the toughest of times. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters on March 16, 2018 so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This action movie had me at the edge of my seat the whole time. I loved it! I like that it is filled with lots of suspense and tense moments that make you feel as if you are inside the scenes. I love when a movie draws me in like that, because there are unexpected surprises. What also attracted me is the actors' work and the impressive way they portray the characters that make you feel as if you are with them and feeling what they are going through. The storyline and the actors combined make you forget what is going on around you and focus on the interesting film that is unfolding right in front of you.

The storyline is about Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), the independent daughter of an adventurer who mysteriously disappears for years. Croft embarks on a journey to find her missing father, in hopes to solve the mystery of his disappearance. She goes off to a weird destination she reads about in one of her father's journals and leaves without hesitation. Even though the destination is a tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan, she leaves with the drive to find out what happened to him. Lara must trust herself, mind, and spirit, to make it out alive of this adventure.

My favorite scene is when Lara is stuck on the airplane and about to fall into a waterfall. This scene marks the moment when I most felt as if I was living this tough moment with her and the one that completely drew me. It is a complex scene where she finds herself at the top of a waterfall almost falling and then, finds an old helicopter that she can hold unto. She gets on top of the helicopter, but later realizes that the old helicopter is breaking down and she has to get out of there as soon as possible. Watching her go through all that without falling made me feel super anxious and nervous, as if I was in the scene with her.

The important messages of this film are to never give up and to always fight for what you believe is the right thing to do. In the movie, Lara always has this drive to accomplish any goals she sets herself to complete. I think that is the secret for all challenges in general and all the objectives Lara reaches in the film. You need to believe in your abilities to achieve the goals you want and need to have the motivation that helps get you there. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for people from 13 years old to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters March 16, 2018 so look for it.

By Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Tomb Raider is one of the more enjoyable video game adaptations. The acting and the direction provide the same sense of adventure and excitement as the video game. This is sure to be a must-see watch for fans of Lara Croft or anything adventure related.

The story follows Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), an intelligent yet reckless thrill-seeker, who embarks on an adventure unlike any other, when she finds evidence of her father's disappearance. Seeking to solve the mystery of Richard Croft (Dominic West), Lara enlists the help of Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), a ship captain. However, their adventure lands up in the worst when their ship crashes to Yamatai. Lara soon finds herself in the hands of Matthias Vogel (Walton Goggins), a rival archeologist who will do anything to unlock the tomb within Yamatai. Realizing the tomb will unleash global genocide, Lara must find a way to stop Vogel while discovering secrets about her father.

Alicia Vikander, as Lara Croft, is my favorite character and splendidly presents the character of Lara Croft and her struggle/rise to become the well-known "Tomb Raider." Her acerbic wit and vulnerability add a relatable extension to the character. Dominic West, as Richard Croft, excellently delivers his love for Lara and adventure. His mystery adds to plot, which leaves you wanting to know more about it at every turn. Daniel Wu, as Lu Ren, is a capable and funny companion to Lara and he shows a caring need to help the poor. Walton Goggins, as Matthias Vogel, portrays a threatening, yet over the top performance as the main villain, and it works for the most part. His involvement in the Croft conspiracy is interesting as well.

Roar Uthaug incredibly directs the movie with a knowledge of the video games, resulting in a brisk pace from one scene to the next. My favorite scene is when Lara has to find a way out of a plane which is slowly falling off of a river bank. It is extremely intense and it reminded of me of fun, innovative levels from the Uncharted and Tomb Raider games. My problem with the movie is, despite a superb first half, the second half falls from an overreliance on CGI and over-the-top scenarios, often leading to unintentional comedy. It feels jarring when compared to such a first half.

The message of the movie is to always be hopeful, as this allows Lara to keep fighting, even in the toughest of times. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters on March 16, 2018 so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WRINKLE IN TIME (2018)
WRINKLE IN TIME (2018) - WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-18
Description - Meg Murry and her little brother, Charles Wallace, have been without their scientist father, Mr. Murry, for five years, ever since he discovered a new planet and used the concept known as a tesseract to travel there. Joined by Meg's classmate Calvin O'Keefe and guided by the three mysterious astral travelers known as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the children brave a dangerous journey to a planet that possesses all of the evil in the universe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed this, but had some disappointment as well. I wanted to like it more. Maybe it was all the hype. It seems a bit like a comic version of the story, especially the primordial celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who). Maybe it was the sequined eyebrows on Oprah. At any rate, it didn't quite hit it out of the park. Don't get me wrong, I would take my grandson to see it. I am not sure if I would take another adult. Great special effects! Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A Wrinkle in Time is an enjoyable, yet somewhat flawed interpretation of the classic novel of the same name. The direction and special effects provide a world unlike any other. This is sure to be a watch for sci-fi fans.

The story follows Meg Murry (Storm Reid), a genial teen who is the daughter of famed scientist Alex Murry (Chris Pine). After her father disappears, she goes through a period of insecurity and despair. Four years later, a group of primordial celestial beings - Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) visit Earth to help Meg find her father. Meg's brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and friend Calvin (Levi Miller) also join the quest to find Alex. However, Meg is also brought in to help fight the "It", an entity of darkness that threatens to destroy people's happiness.

Storm Reid, as Meg, excellently presents her inner struggle to be happy and accept herself and this adds a unique element to the story. As the movie progresses, she slowly rises beyond her doubts to become better. Chris Pine, as Alex, delivers an ardent love for science in his character and, while much of his character is witnessed before he disappears, the rest of his scenes add a performance filled with remorse. Deric McCabe, as Charles Wallace, is my favorite character due to his charismatic performance - full of comic relief. Levi Miller, as Calvin, encompasses a respectful companion who seems to be rather enamored by Meg. Oprah Winfrey, as Mrs. Which, is a wise mentor for Meg who guides her throughout her journey. Reese Witherspoon, as Mrs. Whatsit, is the least wise of the three celestial beings, but she provides a kind companion. Mindy Kaling, as Mrs. Who, represents an encyclopedia of character teeming with knowledge.

Ava DuVernay incredibly directs the movie, as you feel as if you are a part of the world through her use of word building to convey a story. My favorite scene is the resolution to the main conflict, as it feels like an appropriate conclusion. My problem with the movie is that is unevenly paced, with the first half of the movie following generic clich�s, despite a great first 10 minutes. But the movie gets running as soon as the second half begins, going into uncharted territory unlike any other movie. I also feel that the scenes for Alex and some other plot points are limited, resulting in a few disjointed, convoluted narrative at times and that could throw off some audience members.

The message of the movie is about believing in yourself and accepting who you are. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on March 9, 2018, so check it out.

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

I liked, but did not love this latest Disney film and here's why. This film is an adaptation of the book, "A Wrinkle in Time" written by Madeleine L'Engle. It is visually stunning, but unfortunately falls short in the storytelling. The protagonists are Meg Murry (Storm Reid) and her little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe). Their scientist father, Mr. Murry has been missing for four years. Meg has had a rough time at school ever since her father's disappearance. Her younger brother, Charles Wallace introduces Meg to three mysterious astral travelers. Meg is very skeptical of them at first, until she and Charles Wallace are informed by them that their father is not dead, but was taken by a dark force. Meg, Charles Wallace and her classmate Calvin (Levi Miller) go on an adventure with the three astral travelers, called the Misses. Will Meg and Charles Wallace find their dad? Well you must see the movie to find out the answer.

I like the visuals, the cast and the message of this film. The visuals are very stunning. The scene where Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) becomes a leaf and gives the kids a ride looks very spectacular. It almost looks like this could be possible in real life. I also like the transitions of the worlds changing as a result of the characters' actions. The visual effects bring this world to life. Another thing I like is the cast. Oprah's, Reese Witherspoon's and Mindy Kaling's performances as the Misses are exceptional. They show different personalities which make them unique. Mrs. Whatsit is more negative, unlike Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), who is wise and uses quotes from famous people to relay her messages. Mrs. Whatsit is more direct and rude, unlike Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) who guides Meg when she is scared or unsure. Lastly, the messages in this movie are very important. They are about embracing your uniqueness, recognizing the importance of love and being brave enough to discover your inner warrior.

One thing I do not like is the pace. In the first act, the pace is slow and that is fine, since it builds up the exposition. However, the final act of the movie feels very rushed and is unsatisfying. I feel the script has some holes in it which made me feel like the movie is missing some important details. This is why I did not really love the film.

Even though this film is not "Pixar great" it still is a good movie to watch with your family. I give it 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 7 to 15. Adults might like it as well. I recommend this to people who have read the book or like book adaptations and fantasy movies. A Wrinkle In Time comes out March 9, 2018 in theaters nationwide.

Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Juror Recommended Age: 6-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DOGGONE ADVENTURE, A
DOGGONE ADVENTURE, A - VISION FILMS
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Description - "Just Jesse the Jack" enlists a group of junior detectives and their dad, host of a popular TV show, to help him unravel the mystery behind his telepathic talents. But things get even more mysterious when they find themselves entangled in a world of UFOs and secret agents.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This adorable film had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I could not take my eyes off of the screen, because the movie is about dogs. I watched it with my Golden Retriever, who perked his head up whenever the dog barked. Dogs are my favorite animal and, even if you don't like dogs, I guarantee you will fall in love with them after watching this film.

Murphy, a small telepathic canine, becomes separated from his owner one night and encounters a group of young kids who spend their days solving mysteries to upload to their YouTube channel. Because Murphy possesses divine telepathic talents, a manufacturing worker comes along and captures Murphy to understand the complexities behind his dynamic, human-like brain. The kids must find a way to get Murphy back and undertake a precarious mission, filled with a multitude of secret agents and UFO's.

Jesse the Jack Russell Terrier, who plays Murphy, portrays him in an exceptional manner, because Murphy perseveres to the fullest extent and never gives up. A Jack Russell Terrier is a perfect dog to play the lead role. Even a small dog can achieve greatness, which demonstrates that, no matter what you set your mind to, you can achieve anything. Jenny Chaplin (Sydney Thackray) is the only girl out of the three friends, but she is hands down the strongest of them all. When the kids arrive at a 100-year-old haunted mansion, she insists on staying to find out more about the alleged ghosts that inhabit the house. I admire her strength and determination to resolve a formidable mystery.

The haunted mansion is quite astonishing. Although it is old with its broken door, windows, cracks and a plethora of mold, I am blown away by how intimidating it looks. The most menacing part is that there is a piano that plays by itself. Chills rolled down my spine when I saw this. I have never seen a scene like this before.

My favorite part is when Murphy runs away and watches TV through a window. In this scene, he begins to discover the mystery he will uncover. It is hilarious because he sits there and pants, as if he is out of breath. I love when dogs pant, because they are so calm and adorable. Murphy will definitely steal your heart with his charming smile.

The message of this film is that if you work together, nothing is impossible. Life is full of obstacles and unexpected events, but with collaboration and hard work, such obstacles are elementary. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 5 to 12, and adults will certainly love it too. It's a spectacular, convivial film to watch with your family and friends, because it will warm your heart. This film is available on DVD and Digital. You'll never guess how Murphy gets rescued.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What can I say? I am a proud dog lover! This live action-packed, lovable and adventurous film is by Tony Randel. It reminds me of my dog BoBo! Just like BoBo, Murphy is a very energetic and brave dog. The only difference is that BoBo can't speak, like Murphy. I mean, that would be demented! Get ready to head down a road filled with a usual risky undertaking.

This story follows a group of kids who love investigating unsolved mysteries. After being separated from his owner, a telepathic canine comes across these kids. The dog is taken by a determined operative who wants his brains, because he has a mind of a human. So, the kids embark on a dangerous mission to get him back. Things get more puzzling when they find themselves twisted in a world of UFOs and secret agents. They go through a scary mansion that has been abandoned for nearly 90 years.

The lead characters are Murphy the dog (Jesse the Jack Russell Terrier), Ricky Hill (Jayden Hedden), Ricky's brother David Hill (Walker Mintz), Jenny Chaplin (Sydney Thackray), Jeremy Tinsdale (Jonathon Tysor), Shelton "the brain" (Dilantin Patton), Jack Bowser (Paul Logan) and Steven Hill (Kurt Yaeger).

The location is outstanding. The old abandoned mansion looks so horrifying with its cracks, broken windows and door, holes in the walls, tilting door step and a broken roof. The inside is old, moldy and creepy. The piano plays by itself. The oven opens and closes by itself. Clothes are falling. Tables move as if there is an earthquake. And ghoulish people live inside.

The location for the CIA is mysterious as well. The door is protected by unearthly people and there are many dark rooms inside the building. Inside the building is a much more open space with secret doors and weird paths to get to the different rooms.

My favorite character is utterly Murphy! Murphy is completely headstrong from the beginning of the movie through to the end. Murphy makes the movie exiting, intriguing and entertaining. When I discovered Murphy could talk I thought, am I delusional!

My favorite part is unquestionably when they rescue Murphy. In that part we see how they come together to save Murphy. It really takes true team work! You have to wait and see how Murphy is rescued. It will certainly take you on an adventure.

The movie's positive message shows how teamwork is a collaborative effort that achieves a common goal. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12 as well as adults. This film is available now on DVD and on Digital so, make sure to go check it out.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 90 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
AMERICA'S MUSICAL JOURNEY
AMERICA'S MUSICAL JOURNEY - MACGILLIVRAY FREEMAN FILMS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - In America's musical cities, musical stories come together to create a soundtrack that showcases the nation's diversity and its collision of cultures, culminating in a unique blend of sound, music and innovation unlike anywhere else in the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - America's Musical Journey is a visually breathtaking, insightful documentary about the power of music and its importance in U.S. history, especially in some of its best-known cities.

America's Musical Journey follows singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc's journey across the U.S.A. as he visits towns and cities important in music's history. We visit places such as Nashville, Memphis, Miami, Chicago and see flash mobs, acrobats, dancing waiters and meet talented musicians along the way. Morgan Freeman narrates the journey and his deep and iconic voice is a perfect fit to accompany this colorful film.

I appreciate that this film shows its audience the music of different time periods. This shows younger audiences how much music has changed in only a couple of decades and should remind older audiences of the powerful legacies of artists like Elvis Presley and Louis Armstrong. This film helps keep those artists' spirits alive so that their mark on the music industry never disappears.

My one complaint about this film is that it is too short for all it tries to accomplish. America's Musical Journey introduces a person or location and then immediately moves on, leaving some parts of the film more interconnected than others. In this way, the film can be like one of the jazz pieces described in the film: sometimes all over the place, but always with lots of thought and creativity put into it.

I enjoyed seeing all the various locations larger than life on-screen. I like learning about towns I didn't know about and, even more, about ones I thought I did and how important their imprint on music is. I was especially happy to see my own hometown of Washington D.C. featured in the film in a particularly flashy fashion.

The lesson of this film is that music is an important part of our past and present and, who we are as a country. Music can transport us to different worlds, tell stories and portray realities. Music does this in a way that is different from any other art form and holds a critical role in our culture for a long time.

I recommend this film for ages 3 to 18. It is educational and everyone will get something out of it in one way or another. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
Juror Recommended Age: 8-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LOVE, SIMON
LOVE, SIMON - TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Everyone deserves a great love story, but for 17-year-old Simon Spier, it's a little more complicated. He hasn't told his family or friends that he's gay, and he doesn't know the identity of the anonymous classmate that he's fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I'm not the typical 14-year-old girl. I am not a big fan of love stories. I find them very clich� and not that enjoyable to watch. This movie is an exception! I actually really like the romance in this movie.

This film is about a closeted gay teen named Simon (Nick Robinson) who, after learning about another gay kid on a school website, begins to search for him while also figuring out how to come out.

The most important aspect of this movie is, of course, the fact that this is a gay love story. I feel like this movie handles the whole thing very well and very respectfully. It's a very positive and inspirational film. But it's also a gay love story in mainstream media. This is not an Indie film. It is a story about LGBT love that is in wide release. I believe this movie makes a very big step in normalizing LGBT characters in mainstream media, made specifically for teens.

But this movie isn't just amazing for that. I love this story in general. It's kind of a mystery and comedy with a little touch of love. Who is Blue? You really get into the mystery. I remember tensing up and whispering to myself whenever I was scared for the characters. I became so invested in them and hoped it was the person I wanted it to be. It is also about friendship and how fragile our friendships can be and how we use and treat people.

The characters boil down to one trait as their whole personality, but I still liked them. I would have liked to see more depth in Simon's friend circle. I like Abby's (Alexandra Shipp) character the most. She's Simon's newest friend who has just moved from D.C. and it seems like every guy is interested in her. But she is not the typical "hot teen, mean girl," she is kind. Simon, of course, is a total show stealer. Not surprising at all, Simon is a charming character who you wish you were best friends with too. You just want him to find Blue so he can be happy because, as the movie posters say, "Everyone deserves a great Love Story."

My only issues with this movie come down to how weird the theatre teacher and the vice principal are. They are a little over the top. While I liked Ms. Albright (Natasha Rothwell), she swore at students (which isn't allowed), even though they deserved it. And, it felt as if the vice principal (Tony Hale) clearly wanted to be seen as cool, but he ends up being way too invested in people's love lives.

All in all, I love this romantic comedy and give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It comes out March 16, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PETER RABBIT
PETER RABBIT - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - Feature adaptation of Beatrix Potter's classic tale of a rebellious rabbit trying to sneak into a farmer's vegetable garden.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching Peter Rabbit, based on the classic book by Beatrix Potter. It is a wonderful combination of CGI and live action, telling a modern, funny version of the story of a rebellious Peter Rabbit.

Peter Rabbit (James Corden) along with his sisters, Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki) and Cottontail (Daisy Ridley) continue their family quest of sneaking into Mr. McGregor's (Domhnall Gleeson) vegetable garden.

One of my favorite scenes happens in the beginning when Peter Rabbit assigns roles, based on each rabbit's talent, to attack Mr. McGregor's garden. There's a lookout person to let Peter know Mr. McGregor's location in the garden and one rabbit serves as the catcher for the vegetables as they are harvested. It is very funny!

The animated characters are excellent. The rabbits look so real. You can see their hair moving in the wind and they have wonderful human-like actions. Bea (Rose Byrne) shows portrays a neighbor who believes that nature and humans can live together. She is the protector of Peter Rabbit and his sisters.

The story and the characters demonstrate a range of different emotions from both the humans and the rabbits. Mr. McGregor decides he must find a way to keep the rabbits out of his garden and resorts installing an electric fence. He does not foresee Peter Rabbit outsmarting him and using electricity against him. That is a hilarious scene and, if you want to know the outcome, you will have to see it yourself.

The visuals and music are funny and work well together. There are elements of mild violence, romance and a bit of rude humor. Kids will probably enjoy the funny animal characters. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. Many adults will enjoy it also. The film opens in theaters nationwide on February 9, 2018. Be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Peter Rabbit is one of my favorite kid's movie of the year so far. It's an adorable film that is perfect for the whole family. I love this film because of the acting and CGI.

Peter Rabbit follows Peter Rabbit, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton Tail and Benji as they get into mischief by taking vegetables from the garden next door. They take the vegetables from Mr. McGregor who tries desperately to get them out of their garden by using explosives and even an electric fence. The rabbits hang out with loveable characters like Bea. She helps the rabbits by giving them shelter when it rains and helps them get food.

Throughout the movie, we see great acting from all the actors and voice actors in the film. I love how Domhnall Gleeson acts like a soulless man with the rabbits who he is trying to kill, but with Bea, he acts like in he's love. I found that Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) really does seem to be in love with Bea. I also like how the voice actors portray the rabbits. Each one of them has a personality that is well portrayed in their voices and actions. For example, Cotton Tail is a memorable character because of how wild and reckless she is. The way Daisy Ridley voices her shows how wild she can be.

The CGI in this film is extraordinary. The animals look so realistic. If you really focus on the rabbits, you can see the individual hairs on them. You can also see it on the pig character that hangs out with the rabbits. During a fight sequence with Peter and Mr. McGregor, they actually look like they are fighting and not like he is fighting a fake bunny.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 7 to 12. This movie comes out on Friday, February 9, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

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

Adorable, humorous, charming and a heartwarming tale just in time for Easter and spring! You will be hopping as fast as you can to catch up with the rabbits and all the other animals that are, once again, calculating how to get into Mr. McGregor's Garden.

Peter Rabbit is based on the books by Beatrix Potter. Beatrix Potter lived from 1866 to 1943 and is one of the best-loved children's authors. She wrote and illustrated 28 books and each one has been translated into more than 35 languages. They have sold over 100 million copies. This is important because one of the main goals for the director and the cast was to stay true to her vision.

The beauty of this film is that the rabbits all look as if you could touch them because the animation is so life like. The scenes with the garden and house look like places that I would enjoy living because they look like a fairytale that came alive. Of course, if you don't share your vegetables your life will not be enjoyable.

The moral of the film is about getting along with others, telling the truth and being honest. Everyone makes mistakes and we need to find a way to fix them.

Thump, click, crack, snap, thud - all these noises, plus thousands of other sounds effects add to the humor of this film. The music is outstanding. I cannot wait to purchase the soundtrack. There is a combination of movie symphony music, sounds from the 80s, new original songs and a plethora of songs and sounds that will put a smile on your face.

Reviewed by Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEW BIG PLANE TRIP, THE - WILLIAM VANDERKLOOT
Series: INDIE DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-10
Description - A big Adventure in the air! Fly on Delta Air Lines from Atlanta to London, England! Travel 4,700 miles across five time zones! Discover the whole hidden world that's behind the ticket. View activities that few people ever see. Go behind-the-scenes on a real flight simulator! Watch flight attendant training, visit the test kitchen, and explore the giant underground machines that move over 100,000 bags every day! Learn how weather affects flights and how planes really fly! Meet the whole team who make this BIG plane trip possible! Smart content for curious kids. Curious content for smart kids.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoyed this for its charmingly educational value. It is exceptionally well made, flows well. Has an excellent script and sound quality. The editing and story line are both well executed. There are lots of good visuals and the whole film is very easy for kids to understand. The youth voice-over is a nice touch. All the information is quite very interesting and kids, especially those fond of aviation, will learn a lot. Even adults will discover things they never knew before. Children who have never been on a plane before will really get a kick out of this and it may dispel any fears they might have. I am quite fond of the film as an educational tool in a classroom or home situation. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 12. Reviewed by Michael M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 44 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: VIDEO

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY
INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Brilliant parapsychologist Elise Rainier receives a disturbing phone call from a man who claims that his house is haunted. Even more disturbing is the address -- 413 Apple Tree Lane in Five Keys, N.M. -- the home where Elise grew up as a child. Accompanied by her two investigative partners, Rainier travels to Five Keys to confront and destroy her greatest fear -- the demon that she accidentally set free years earlier.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This mystery/thriller film had me at the edge of my seat with all of its spooky scenes and the horror vibe it gives off by just looking at the title. Scary movies aren't my cup of tea, but this one is the exception. Insidious: The Last Key is the fourth movie in the Insidious horror franchise, which focuses on both paranormal investigator and psychic Elise Rainier as well as her sidekicks. Looking back at the first film released in 2018, it appears that Insidious: The Last Key is a combination of the old and new films that have been seen in the series. I like when the creators behind a movie series do this, because it makes all of the films have similar traits and maintains a unique essence to the series with the same message. It incorporates traits that make it stand out. Although the next film in the paranormal series brings back some of the crew that worked in the first films, this film has included a newcomer behind the camera.

The storyline is about both paranormal investigator and psychic parapsychologist named Elise Rainier who receives a disturbing phone call from a man claiming his house is haunted. She becomes more disturbed when she sees the address, which is the same home where Elise grew up and first experienced paranormal and haunted activity. She heads over to fix this situation along with her two investigative partners. She travels to Five Keys to confront and destroy her greatest fear, the demon that she accidentally set free years earlier.

My favorite scene is when Elise frees the demon that was trapped in the basement when she was younger. In the scene, she gets called down to the basement by this spirit and follows, because she is curious about what she might find. In the scene, she is very frustrated, because she notices that she is the only one that heard the spirit and wants to know why. She gets to the basement and finds a hidden red door and unlocks the spirit that is trapped behind it. Now, the whole process of her following the spirit's steps to find it is very creepy, but it gets even creepier when the spirit escapes and starts haunting the whole family. That's when all the breathtaking special effects combine to make sure the audience gets scared to death. I like this scene because it is the one that shocked me the most and set the standard for the rest of the movie. From that point on, I knew that I was going to leave the theater frightened, because if the movie started with that scene, I could just imagine how spooky and scary the rest of the scenes were going to be.

The important message for the audience is one of the most essential concepts in life: to have courage and forgiveness towards others. In this film, Elise notices that the demons feed on hate and revenge and she, along with her companions, realize that they could beat the bad forces by not feeding into those things, by being forgiving and showing compassion and understanding with the people around them. By changing their lifestyle and the way they treat others, they could turn the haunted vibes down and into something positive.

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This film is playing in theaters now so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Insidious: The Last Key has an amazing plot, making you question what is really going on. The film made me jump a lot, but it does have some humor that made me smile, which doesn't normally happen during a horror film. I like how the story behind the main character is melancholy, making the audience have to pay more attention to the relevance of her childhood and her current problem.

The story follows Elise Rainier, a real-life ghost buster and her haunted childhood house. The film travels back to her childhood when she realized she has a gift of seeing spirits and demons. Her mother tries to love Elise and her gift, while her father doesn't want anything to do with her. With her gifts she opens a door, allowing an evil spirit into the world. She comes across this spirit again 57 years later, when a man is having supernatural experiences in the same house that she grew up in. When she arrives, things are worse than when she was a child.

Elise Rainer is played by Lin Shaye who makes her characters' experiences seem very real. Elise's gang includes Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson). Elise's brother, who suffered equally as a child, is Christan Rainer (Bruce Davison).

My favorite part is when Elise finds out that her nieces survived and that her brother Christian accepts her for the person she is, including her talents. I like this part because it applies to the real world and reminds us to accept others for who they are and not to be afraid of their differences. Another message is that people's unique features have a purpose.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars. The special effects with the demons walking or crawling is so terrifyingly real, especially the Key Face's hand. I recommend it for ages 14 to 18 as well as adults, especially if they enjoy horror films. This film opens in theaters January 5, 2018 so, check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
COMMUTER, THE
COMMUTER, THE - LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Insurance salesman Michael is on his daily commute home, which quickly becomes anything but routine. After being contacted by a mysterious stranger, Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on the train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realizes a deadly plan is unfolding, and he is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy that carries life and death stakes for everyone on the train.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Commuter is a fun thriller, even if it does get a little too over-the-top for its own good. The acting and camerawork provide a tense feel to this movie, like many Hitchcock films. This is sure to please Liam Neeson fans.

The story follows insurance salesman Michael (Liam Neeson), who is caught in a criminal conspiracy on his daily commute. Michael meets the enigmatic Joanna (Vera Farmiga), who will give him a large sum of money if he finds a passenger with evidence against her. This must be done before a certain train stop. This leads to a frenetic chase to find the passenger, as elements of the conspiracy are revealed. Michael happens to be an ex-cop and will do anything to protect this passenger, but this comes with consequences.

Liam Neeson, as Michael, excellently presents his frantic need to find the passenger because every wrong move can result in an innocent passenger getting caught in the crossfire. He is spectacular in the fast-paced action and stunts. Vera Farmiga as Joanna, is my favorite character because of the intense threat and urgency she provides with her performance. It is also interesting to find out more about her conspiracy. Patrick Wilson, as Alex, is an incredible helper to Michael, but you can tell he has some secrets he's not sharing. Jonathan Banks, as Walt, presents a friend to Michael who commutes with him every day, while also helping him out.

Jaume Collet-Sera wonderfully directs this film with a rapid pace and you feel you are a part of the train. My favorite scene is a one-shot fight scene on board the train, because of its impressive camera work. I also like how intense it is, due to the crowded environment. My only problem with this film is that, while the main story is extremely interesting, there are many over-the-top scenarios, which turn the movie into unintentional comedy. Also, some of the filming and editing feels rushed in places.

The message of the movie is that doing the right thing will never be easy, but could result in the lives of many being saved. Despite his good intentions, Michael is put into one risky situation after another and he always must risk his life. However, he saves many through his selfless acts. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, because of its intense action and language. The movie releases in theaters on January 12, 2018, so check it out.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NAPPING PRINCESS
NAPPING PRINCESS - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 10-18
Description - In Napping Princess the year is 2020, three days before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. While she should be studying for her exams, Kokone Morikawa is often dozing off, stuck between reality and a dream-world full of fantastic motorized contraptions. But after her father, a talented but mysterious mechanic, is arrested for stealing technology from a powerful corporation, it's up to Kokone and her childhood friend Morio to save him. Together they realize that Kokone's dream-world holds the answers to the mystery behind the stolen tech, and they embark on a journey that traverses dreams and reality, city and country, and past and present. Their mission uncovers a trail of clues to her father's disappearance and ultimately a surprising revelation about Kokone's family. Special Features: Interview with Kenji Kamiyama, Introduction at the Japanese Premiere, Greeting at Japanese Release, Okayama Scenery, Special Interviews with Cast, Special TV Program, Trailers and TV Spots.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From GKIDS comes another imaginative Japanese animated film, Napping Princess. Set in the year 2020, this beautifully-rendered story follows Kokone, a high school senior whose rich fantasy world that she dreams about intersects with the real world as she uncovers a family mystery. The animation is bright and atmospheric, occasionally painterly, and the music ranges from playful to orchestral. The story is more sci-fi than fantasy (though firmly rooted in reality), yet magic plays a major role in the plot development. While occasionally predictable, the story is engaging and Kokone makes for a likable heroine, na�ve yet resourceful in a harsh world. The Blu-ray DVD is impressively sharp. Some strong language is sprinkled throughout. Bonus features include interviews with the director and voice cast members and a short video comparing the backgrounds in the film to the actual locations they are based on. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and older and give it 3 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

Napping Princess is a wonderful anime about a lovely young lady drawn between reality and her dreams, due to the fact that she's always nodding off. In her dreams she has fun adventures and sees a fantastical land called Heartland. Little does she know that all of wild dreaming has started causing things to change in the real world as well. Kokone, the protagonist, soon finds that her father has been kidnapped under false pretenses and her beloved dream world holds the key. Her and her childhood friend set off to find her father and clear his name. I genuinely love this movie. I adore anime and am a huge fan of the studio that made this, Gkids. Although I wish that some of the characters had more depth, this film is brilliant and very cute. The animation is lovely and the story is fantastic. This film is great for ages 10 to 16, as well as adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is very creative and entertaining. It reminds me a lot of Studio Ghibli films, which I love and I found myself completely immersed in this movie.

The story centers around a girl named Kokone, who I think has narcolepsy. She often dozes off and dreams about a kingdom known as Heartland. Her father is arrested and accused of stealing technology from a famous company and Kokone and her old friend Morio track him down.

I really like the two main characters, Kokone and Morio. I appreciate their dynamic friendship and their personalities. I truly believe they have a bond that can't be broken. Besides these two and Kokone's dad, none of the other characters stand out that much. Of course, I have to talk about the animation. The animation is beautiful. I've always loved Japanese animation and this film is no different. I love the backgrounds of both the real world and Heartland. I love how the characters move. All of it is so appealing. And speaking of visual stuff, the outfits that the characters wear are amazing. If there was an award for best costume design in animation, this film would win it!

The Heartland dream sequences are the best part of the movie. The dreams have their own story, separate to the story taking place in the real world. The dreams are my type of adventure. A kingdom with a combination of sci-fi and fantasy with lots of action? Perfect! It's also really ingenious. Ancien's magic tablet is one of the most original and imaginative inventions I've ever seen in fiction.

I also love the soundtrack. The background music has a pretty orchestral vibe. The music composer is Yoko Shimomura, a famous video game composer known for working on Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. She also composed one of my favorite video game songs, so I got pretty excited finding this out.

The one thing that did bother me is that the movie is advertised as a sci-fi / fantasy movie. However, there isn't that much fantasy. The movie has elements of fantasy, such as in the dream sequences, but it doesn't feel as if it is an actual fantasy film. This bothered me just a bit. Also, certain things are left unexplained and that left me confused.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, due to some mild language. The film comes out on DVD January 30, 2018 so, check it out!

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

The Napping Princess is a prodigious film. It brings you into a world of fantasy and adventure. This movie is what everyone thinks about when they are kids but adds a cool twist. It is the type of film that has you so immersed in it, that it makes you want to be in the movie. The film is originally in Japanese, but the translation into English is so impressive that I couldn't believe it was originally in Japanese.

The story takes place in the year 2020, with Kokone (Mitsuki Takahata) dreaming about a world called Heartland. Then, Kokone's dad gets kidnapped for stealing technological ideas and Kokone and her friend Morio (Shinnosuke Mitsushima) must work together to save him. On their adventure, they find out that Kokone's Heartland holds the answers to saving her dad.

The Napping Princess is such an amazing movie. It has a plot that keeps you wanting more. The animation has the classic anime vibe to it. The only negative thing is that some of the words in the film are in Japanese, so it's a little hard to understand because they only have subtitles for some of the words. Even though the dialogue was originally in Japanese, the characters' mouths are still very in sync with the words they say. This story is about a kid's dream morphing into reality. It is such an imaginative story that with such a creative idea as its basis. My favorite character is Joi (Rie Kugimiya). Joi is Kotone's stuffed animal that comes to life in her dreams and is just so cute. My favorite scene is when one of the machines sprouts wings. I like it because it reminds me of a Red Bull commercial.

The message of this film is that things aren't always what they seem and, if you pay attention, the truth will come through. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars because it has an awesome plot which I love and classic anime animation. I recommend this film for ages 7 to 14. It really is a very marvelous film and it is available now on DVD so go check it out.

Reviewed by Dariana A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 111 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 10-18 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SPRING INTO FRIENDSHIP
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: SPRING INTO FRIENDSHIP - SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: SERIES, AGES 5-12
Description - New Adventures Are Blooming! Big trouble is on the horizon when Twilight Sparkle is given only two coveted tickets to the most anticipated event in town! How will she decide which of her best friends gets to go with her? Discover the answer, and see four more amazing pony tales, as Twilight Sparkle, Spike, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Fluttershy help usher Springtime into Equestria!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD has beautiful graphics and animation. The character designs are super cute and the color palette and environments give the world a whimsical feel. The animation is stunning. The cover design is appropriate and I love that inside the DVD is a small sheet of cute stickers.

The stories and language are appropriate for the target age. The subject matter, designs and characters show a lack of cultural diversity. Most of the characters are female and they all have different personalities. There are some social elements included in the stories such as the importance of getting along with your siblings. I wish there were more of those types of elements in the stories. Some of the characters come off as a bit bratty but most of them portray positive social models and they treat each other respectfully. The stories have some conflict resolutions embedded in them although I wouldn't say there is deep learning from the resolution. Nonetheless, the stories are quite entertaining, have great design and are very appealing. The vocabulary is well suitable to its intended audience. I wish they dug a bit deeper with the conflict resolutions so that young minds watching would get more out of it. There is one episode about sister conflict where I felt that the resolution a bit rushed.

The DVD menu is simple and easy to navigate. I particularly like that there are no commercials. The DVD doesn't allow you to listen in different languages (which I wish it did). It does have a sing a long bonus feature which is super cute. This is definitely an entertaining show. The music, colors and the stories are entertaining with its overall message of friendship. This show appeals mostly to girls, although there are a number of boys and men who love it as well. I recommend it for ages 5 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Martha S. and Julie S.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - As always these My Little Pony episodes are very entertaining and have a great moral. These are no exception. The animation is so colorful, the plot line for each one is unique and they teach important lessons.

This DVD is based on friendship and each episode teaches you a valuable lesson of how to improve friendships, solve problems that might arise in your friendships or just get you to appreciate the friends that you have. The episodes have unpredictable storylines and beautiful, colorful animation which makes them interesting to watch.

Spike (Cathy Weseluck) is such a comedic character with a lot of personality. Cathy Weseluck voices him as an energetic Dino who is very helpful and playful. Spike is definitely one of my favorite characters along with Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong). Twilight is a very mysterious pony. She also has a lot of personality and wants everyone to be happy. Twilight is very caring and Tara voices her perfectly.

The music and sound effects help set the tone and mood of the scenes. The music amplifies feelings of sadness, suspense and sometimes celebration. The animation also helps set mood. For example, for the feeling of sadness, it might be raining. For feelings of celebration, there might be confetti. Sound effects and animation working together really make these shows stand out.

My favorite episode is "Sisterhooves Social" because it makes you appreciate having a sister or siblings. This episode is about Rarity and her younger sister's relationship. It is really touching to see all of their problems resolved in the end and how happy they are together.

The message in these episodes is to be grateful, considerate and to compromise. In "The Ticket Master", Twilight Sparkle has to be considerate to everyone's feelings. And when she does that, no one is hurt. In "Sisterhooves Social", Rarity made a compromise with her little sister. Rarity has to spend more time with her little sister to make her happy.

This DVD is a great collection of episodes to teach your kids about friendship and how to keep up relationships with people. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 3 to 9. It comes out on February 13, 2018 so be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 110 minutes Juror Recommended Age: 5-12 Suggested Retail Price: $ Media: DVD



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