The Ages 12-18 category has 3097 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles

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FANGIRLS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FANGIRLS
0
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - Two 'fangirls' sing about their obsession with a particular YouTuber with a hilarious surprise twist at the end.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a fun and cute short film that would play well at the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. Although the storyline does not have a lot of depth to it, the girls in the film make up for that. Their voices are incredible and make the film heartwarming and fun. The most appealing thing I about Fangirls is the sing by Trinity Rose and Samantha Gangal. They both have beautiful voices and deserve to be recognized. It is such a warm film that girls will enjoy watching and somewhat relate too.

I believe many teenage boys and girls will relate to this film, due to how common fan-girling is! Everyone loves to fawn over their favorite celebrity or idol, so making something like that into a short film, is a great way to show the world what fan-girling really is.

I recommend this for ages 8 to 15, and parent might enjoy it as well. I rate this 4 out of 5 stars for a talented cast and relatable message. I think it will play well at film festivals because of the wonderful singing. Reviewed by Imani B and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Alita is a creation from an age of despair. Found by the mysterious Dr. Ido while trolling for cyborg parts, Alita becomes a lethal, dangerous being. She cannot remember who she is, or where she came from. But to Dr. Ido, the truth is all too clear. She is the one being who can break the cycle of death and destruction left behind from Tiphares. But to accomplish her true purpose, she must fight and kill. And that is where Alita's true significance comes to bear. She is an angel from heaven. She is an angel of death.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching Alita-Battle Angel, a sci-fi, action film with a little romance thrown in. The film mixes action, romance, relationship building and humor in a charming way. This film has excellent computer-generated graphics. I was very impressed with the details of her body parts, which shows how much CGI has come along since Toy Story!

The story line is about a 26th-century cyborg warrior girl assembled from scavenged bits and pieces. Alita (Rosa Salazar) is re-assembled by Dr. Dyson Ido (Christopher Waltz) who reminds me of Dr. Frankenstein. Alita has no memory of who she is and we see her venture out into the world with a child-like curiosity and fearlessness. The story is based on a graphic novel by Yukito Kishiro with a screenplay by James Cameron, Laeta Kalogridis and Robert Rodriguez. It is directed by Robert Rodriguez as well.

The action scenes are exciting to watch. To me, it was good to see the fight scenes occasionally interrupted by flashes of Alita's previous life. This helped me to understand what was going on and yet, it did not seem to faze her at all.

My favorite scene is when Alita goes to the hangout of the warrior hunters to unify the efforts to defeat the enemy and the men think she is crazy and cannot possibly fight. She, of course, proves them wrong when she demonstrates her strength and power. I also enjoyed the development of the romantic relationship between Alita and Hugo (Keean Johnson).

I recommend it film for ages 14 to 18 and some adults may enjoy it. I give it 5 out 5 stars. It opens in theaters February 14, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Alita Battle Angel is an epic, action-packed film. It has incredible CGI and accomplishes lots of world-building. It is based on the Manga series Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kishiro.

When Doctor Ido finds a living machine in the scrap yard, he takes it back and calls it Alita. When she wakes up she realizes all her memories have been lost. She finds herself in a crazy world in Pig City, beneath the last floating city. She tries to restore her memory and makes some friends and even more enemies. While it's an interesting story, I feel like it's not the focus of the film. Instead, the focus appears to be the battle scenes, because there are lots of them. While being beautiful and entertaining, I feel many were unnecessary.

I really liked the fight scenes. The unique fighting style used by Alita makes them interesting to watch. The CGI is incredible. I almost forgot Alita is a CGI character because of all the facial detail. The sport Motor Ball is unique and explained quite well. I found the ending left me wanting more. The character design in this film is wonderful. All the different androids are visually impressive. They are so unique. You can tell what they can do just by looking at them. The sets are also very well designed and stick to the theme. The floating city is very intriguing. I enjoyed how they explained little bits of it. However, this movie feels like a long setup for a sequel.

The moral of this film is to not stand by while people are being hurt - to speak up in the face of injustice. Unfortunately, although this message is spoken a few times, it isn't communicated very well throughout the plot of the movie and seems a bit like an afterthought. The music is great. I enjoyed it without being distracted by it. It varies in each scene but keeps to a coherent theme throughout the film.

My favorite scene is when Alita goes into the hunter-warrior bar and tries to recruit people. This scene is very entertaining to watch and is choreographed brilliantly. It also introduces a bunch of interesting hunter-warriors. They all have entirely different fighting styles which makes this scene interesting to watch. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 11 through 16. It opens February 8, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Rohan F, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

This is an extraordinary animation film by James Cameron about a young girl who has forgotten her past and is trying to find herself. This story empowers us young ladies. She is brave, strong through rough times and proves people wrong. I really felt the emotions and turmoil of this coming of age tale of Alita.

This story is set in the future, after terrible devastating world event. It is about two worlds, one above and one below. It is action packed with villains and heroes. Alita is found by a cyborg Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) in a junkyard. He refurbishes her into a cyborg part-human and part-machine. The young Alita is trying to figure out her past. Meanwhile, she discovers her hidden abilities to transform into an elite fighter, athlete and warrior. She never looses heart, as she becomes a young woman and haves to deal with several conflicts.

The film is directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by James Cameron, a creative genius who is known for many other films such as Titanic and Avatar. The lead character, Alita is played by Rosa Salazar. Rosa truly takes you through the emotions of her character. Alita's human sidekick, Hugo, is played by Keean Johnson. He is her teenage first love. The villains are played by Mahershala Ali and Jennifer Connelley. Ed Norton makes a cameo appearance at the end which makes me believe there will be a part two and we will see more of him.

The CGI and F/X in this film are so vivid and realistic. It is hard to tell animation from reality. The cyborgs' transformer bodies are so creative and the costumes really bring light to the characters. The music, lighting and scenes are enhanced by the 3D movie theater experience.

My favorite part is when Alita gets a new robotic body and is better than ever. It suits her. I also like when she decides to start a fighting league of her own. She signs up to be a bounty hunter, then tries to rally other bounty hunters. They do not take her seriously, but they will soon learn she is a force to be reckoned with. The bounty hunter Zapan (Ed Skrein) and the bounty hunter that loves dogs are pretty cool characters.

The message in the film seems to never give up, even when the odds are against you. Never let anyone tell you who you are or who you should become. I really relate to the story line and it made me to want to be the best that I can.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 due to adult language and violence content. Adults will also enjoy this film. This film opens in theaters February 14, 2019. Look for it.

Reviewed by Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

I really like this film because, even though Alita is a cyborg, that doesn't stop from her from doing everything she can to make her discover who she actually is. Although she is a machine, she is still treated as if she is a human being.

This amazing film is directed by Robert Rodriguez who also shoots, produces and scores many of his films in Mexico, as well as his home state, Texas. Rodriguez directed the 1992 action film El Mariachi, which was a huge commercial success. The story line here follows the one and only Alita, who is found in the scrap yard and taken to a nearby clinic by Dr. Ido who repairs all cyborg visitors. As Alita awakes, she has no memory of what happened, where she is or even who she truly is. As she explores the world little by little, she has minor memory recall about who she really is.

The more Alita experiences her present life, she meets a lot of people who are just like her. Dr. Ido tries his best to keep her safe from any bad things coming into her life.

The main characters in the film are played by a veritable who's who of talent: Alita is played by Rosa Salazar (Parenthood, American Horror Story). In Rosa's portrayal of Alita, we see that she is more than just a machine; she is also a warrior. Hugo is played by Keean Johnson (Heritage Falls), who really portrays Hugo as being a really cool and trustworthy guy. Dr. Dyson Ido is played by Christoph Waltz (Spectre). Waltz really surprised me in this role which suits him well. Plus, even though he is older, he still has great moves. Chiren is played by Jennifer Connelly (Only the Brave, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Winter's Tale). Connelly shows us what an interesting character Chiren is and contributes to the idea of how she doesn't look bad, but actually is. Mahershala Ali plays Vector. This character is quite different in how he communicates with the headmaster of Iron City, which is why people obey him. Ed Skrein plays Zapan as very intimidating, because of how he roams the streets as a big tough guy. You do not want to mess with him.

The sets are pretty cool. I like the set at the local plaza where Alita first learns to play the game motor ball. I also really love the music in this film because, depending on the scene, the music changes within it and drives the story line alone. The costumes are quite amazing and different. They aren't like the usual bad guy costumes. They are enhanced with CGI, which makes them quite tremendous.

My favorite part of the film is when Dr. Ido comes to find Alita in a bar, where she is challenging hunter-warriors to fight with her if they lose. In between all of the chaos, Dr. Ido shouts "Stop it, Stop it right now!" Yet, no one listens to him until he says, "Or no one gets free repairs!" In less than a second, everyone releases each other from the chaos.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. I think that everyone watching this will enjoy all the good reaction parts as well as jump scares. It opens in theaters February 14, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Siaki S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


LEGO MOVIE 2, THE: THE SECOND PART

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LEGO MOVIE 2, THE: THE SECOND PART       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-15
Topic - Family
Description - The citizens of Bricksburg face a dangerous new threat when LEGO DUPLO invaders from outer space start to wreck everything in their path. The battle to defeat the enemy and restore harmony to the LEGO universe takes Emmet, Lucy, Batman and the rest of their friends to faraway, unexplored worlds that test their courage and creativity.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is a superb follow-up to the original film that lives up to the years' worth of hype surrounding it. Vibrant voice talent, including new standouts, and quippy writing make for a cartoon genre-defying blast. Any fans of the LEGO franchise must check this out.

The movie follows five years since "everything was awesome," as the citizens of Bricksburg suffered irreparable damage from the forces of LEGO DUPLO invaders. Bricksburg descended into Apocolaypseburg, where the citizens brood. Luckily, Emmet (Chris Pratt) always retains hope, even when General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) captures many of his friends. This takes Emmet on a journey across multiple unexplored worlds, including a central DUPLO musical land, as the fate of the LEGO galaxy relies upon him.

The ensemble cast not only features one role from Chris Pratt as, of course Emmet, but also as Rex Dangervest. He continues to shine as Emmet, with the reluctant hero taken to deeper territories as his hope to regain his friends is tested. Rex Dangervest shines and is my favorite character, as he remains a charming presence and even mirrors many of Pratt's roles in Hollywood. His relevance to the plot also provides for some mind-bending revelations. Elizabeth Banks, as Lucy/Wyldstyle, continues in her heartfelt buddy dynamic with Emmet, as she even wants him to do something more intimidating. This proves for an interesting drive in his quest to find Lucy. New additions from Stephanie Beatriz and Tiffany Haddish are welcome ones, with their unique DUPLO builds taking the spotlight. In particular, Tiffany Haddish as Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi, shines with her malicious intent and deceitful musical numbers. Will Arnett, Allison Brie and Charlie Day return from the previous movie and continue their signature work, with all even having a moment to shine amid this gigantic cast.

Mike Mitchell spectacularly directs the movie with a great mastery of unconventional animation found within, that pans out beautifully. Also, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller return with a script that might even be funnier and more meta than the original. My favorite scene is the musical number between Batman and Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi that is just a true showcase of this series' unique sense of meta-commentary and humor. My problems with the movie do stem from the real world scenes. Even though the dynamics between siblings Finn (Jadon Sand) and Bianca (Brooklynn Prince) is a very touching and even humorous one, it just doesn't lead to much and feels tacked on, with the time gap seeming like something of an afterthought.

The message of this film is that everything will not always be awesome, but in times like those, we must always let people in and help others as much as we can. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on February 8, 2019, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

With all its clich�s, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is as original as its predecessor, The LEGO Movie! An intricately, well thought out plot steals the show along with jokes that hit my funny bone. The two types of animation, stop motion and CGI, are used at appropriate times, connecting the LEGO world and our world to merge reality with imagination.

Starting right where The LEGO Movie ended, the story follows Emmet (Chris Pratt) and his best friend, Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) who are now living in a post-apocalyptic world. When Lucy and his other friends, Batman (Will Arnett), Unikitty (Alison Brie), MetalBeard (Nick Offerman) and Benny (Charlie Day) are kidnapped by General Mayhem, Emmet must embark on a dangerous quest to save them and unravel an evil plot.

Chris Pratt voices two characters, Emmet and Rex, who are disparate characters. Emmet is innocent and kind while Rex is more hardened and a typical action hero. It is evident that Chris Pratt voices Rex because of Chris Pratt's experience in the role of the action hero, but the way that he is able to contrast that with the sweetness of Emmet is commendable. Tiffany Haddish has an abundance of personality in her voice that is necessary for her character, Queen Watevra Wa'nabi. The uniqueness of her voice is key in helping understand who she is. Her character has an ability to change shape, preventing us from viewing who she really is, so her voice tells us the most about her personality.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is surprisingly a bit of a musical, with original songs. Ironically, my favorite song is actually in the end credits, although it is hard to pick a favorite. Each songs' lyrics are comedic and manage to have very catchy beats. By the time I finished watching the film, "The Catchy Song" was stuck in my head all day, but I honestly did not mind. It might even be my favorite soundtrack from a movie.

The message of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is to never change who you are. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18, because the jokes are suited for all ages and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Be sure to check out The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part when it opens in theaters on February 8, 2019.

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

The LEGO Movie: The Second Part is fascinating and I loved that everything is still awesome! It's dynamic, colorful and funny. While watching this film I saw how cool all the little LEGO figures look, because the animation is so well done that they look like they're really moving and the amount of detail this film is incredible.

This movie picks up where the first LEGO Movie ends and adds new exciting scenes. This film is about our hero Emmet (Chris Pratt) and his friend Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) battling in outer space. The Duplox LEGO blocks attack the regular LEGO world, specifically the citizens of Bricksburgh. Everyone tells Emmet he should grow up, because he thinks everything is always awesome and LEGOS are facing a terrible menace. We meet a new character named General Mayhem (Stephany Beatriz) whose identity is unknown and whose voice is very intriguing. She takes all of Emmet's friends, including superhero Batman (Will Arnett) faraway for a strange ceremony. In this journey, they travel into galaxies and planets and they are part of several music episodes. While Emmet is sometimes insecure and Lucy is battle ready, they are forced into parallel adventures that lead them into a re-discovery of empathy and friendship.

I love how the movie uses all kinds of LEGO brands - LEGO Friends, regular and Duplox. There are many twists which make the movie a lot more interesting. At one point, you think the movie is over, but it's really not. There are lots of new, fun characters and the jokes appeal to both kids and grown-ups. I also love that you can never really guess what is going to happen next, because there is always a twist. All the characters have very distinctive personalities. The work of the voice actors is fantastic, as they are in the first one. And, there are a lot of references to classic films.

In this film, human participation seems even bigger than in the first one. I like those scenes, because it makes it more evident that the story is told from the LEGO's perspective. The rhythm is great and it is funny and touching at the same time. It's awesome how the producers have created a world made of little, and not so little bricks, that is so engaging for all audiences.

Another thing I love about this film is how they took songs from the original movie and made them completely different. And, you don't need to see the first movie to understand this one. This film proves that sequels can be awesome!

The message of this film is that we don't always need to grow up. Being mature does not mean that we lose our kindness, sweetness or imagination. I give this film 5 of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12 and adults as well. The Lego Movie: The Second Part opens February 8, 2019 and I totally recommend it! Be sure to watch our YouTube Channel for my videotaped review of this one.

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part keeps everything pretty awesome. This sequel has a lot of what I loved about the first film, but isn't afraid to go in some pretty bizarre directions and explore new aspects of the characters.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part follows Emmet Brickowski. Years after attacks by the destructive Duplo, Emmet lives in the town of Apocalypseburg. He and his positive demeanor are still having trouble adjusting to the hardened wasteland of chaos and disarray. Emmet still has his friends by his side, but when they are taken by a masked figure, he searches for answers on how to get them back. Emmet teams up with the macho Rex Dangervest to bring his friends home from the clutches of an evil alien queen and save them from impending doom.

I really like the humor in this film. As with many of the other LEGO films, there are so many jokes coming at one time. Screenwriters Phil Lord and Chris Miller take full advantage of the LEGO toy box at their disposal having Velma from Scooby Doo, Aquaman and Beetlejuice ALL show up in the same scene. This film takes on a lot of new characters and develops the world of this franchise, but above all LEGO Movie 2 is a blast.

I love all the characters. Rex Dangervest is a great character for Emmet to play off of. Emmet is a carefree do-gooder who always looks on the bright side of things and goes on an adventure with Rex, the hardcore adventurer. This is nowhere close to who Emmet is, but he wants to prove to his fellow LEGO people that he is capable of living in a wasteland. He learns that maybe the person he wants to be is more complicated than he thought.

I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18, due to some crude humor. I think adults will really like the countless pop culture references. The fact that this film can make me care so much about a bunch of plastic bricks is impressive. Seeing these characters back on screen is more than worth the price of admission. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters February 8, 2019 so look for it.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


ARCTIC

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ARCTIC       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
BLEECKER STREET MEDIA
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A man stranded in the Arctic after an airplane crash must decide whether to remain in the relative safety of his makeshift camp or to embark on a deadly trek through the unknown in hopes of making it out alive.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This intense dramatic film about survival had me on the edge of my seat the whole time!

The film takes place in the cold, icy mountains of Iceland. A man crash lands in the middle of nowhere, thanks to a snow blizzard. He is very resourceful and does well on his own. Finally, a rescue arrives, but things get out of control. Time is ticking and he needs medical help. He has more difficult times ahead battling mother nature and has to decide to either stay at his makeshift campsite or move to clearer ground in hopes of being rescued.

Written by Joe Penna and Ryan Morrison, the protagonist Overgard is played by Mads Mikkelsen, a Danish actor who has appeared in many American films such as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Doctor Strange. He makes you experience the physical and mental emotions of this painstaking survival of the fittest. His rescuer is played by Maria Thelma Smaradottir who does very little in the film because she is on her death bed.

The scenery is mostly snow-covered mountains and the landscape is beautiful. Overgard's costumes look suitable for his role.

I enjoyed this film because it taught me about how unpredictable nature is and how to think through a difficult situation. The scenes with the bear scared me so much, I literary jumped in my seat!

I give this film 4 stars out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 15 to 18. You should know that there is some adult language in it, including use of the F word. Talking is minimal and it's an excellent film, aside from the profanity. This film opens February 1, 2019 in select theaters so, look for it.

Reviewed by Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


MISS BALA

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MISS BALA       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
COLUMBIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Topic - Family
Description - Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Miss Bala, a film of female power, is very exciting and thrilling. It certainly had me on the edge of my seat. Based on the 2011 Mexican hit film by the same name, it centers on Gloria (Gina Rodriguez), a smart, courageous Mexican-American woman who must work for a cartel boss to find her missing friend, Suzu (Cristina Rodlo).

While we don't see a lot of blood, the violence is in our face. You can expect gun battles, an execution- style murder, a car bombing and more. We see a sexual culture that dehumanizes women, which I feel the film clearly does not support. There is unwanted groping and sex, strong language and cursing in Spanish. Characters drink and use drugs.

My favorite scene is when Gloria returns to Tijuana to help her best friend, Suzu enter a beauty contest. At a nightclub, Gloria survives a shootout, but loses sight of Suzu. While trying to find her, Gloria catches the eye of crime boss Lino (Ismael Cruz Cordova), who shoots up the club and has plans for her. In order to find her friend and survive, Gloria shows her strength and wisdom to survive the malicious actions of the cartel, corrupt police and DEA agents.

Miss Bala has excellent visual production. I could feel that I was there with Gloria and feeling her fear, yet her bravery and commitment to find her friend no matter what it cost.

The story involves some questionable and illegal activities, but Gloria's intelligence, courage and loyalty drive everything. It's a female-empowerment film.

I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18. You should know that it is not a film for everyone. I give it 5 out 5 stars. Miss Bala opens in theatres Friday, February 1, 2019.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Miss Bala is quite a movie! From the friendship that led to a whirlwind of violence and manipulation, to the caring of others, that is the reason behind the storyline. Miss Bala has it all. While watching this film, I definitely had some mixed feelings, but overall I enjoyed the story and found it fun and interesting. If you enjoy being misled through twists and turns, never knowing where the next scene will take you AND you like being scared along the way, you'll love Miss Bala! If you don't like being scared or a fast-paced, violent movie, you may want to stay away.

In this action-packed film, a young woman, Gloria (Gina Rodriguez), returns to her birthplace Tijuana, to visit a close friend. Little does she know that going to enjoy a fun night out would lead her down a path of constant trouble. Gloria gets pulled into a literal turf war between the gang La Estrellas and the Chief of Police (Damian Alcazar) when she witnesses a shooting where her friend also disappears. Luckily, Gloria survives the shooting, but in an effort to locate and rescue her friend, she experiences a number of mishaps with the gang, the DEA, the Police Chief and more. Unbeknownst to Gloria, all of these men are using and manipulating her to get what they need. When all she needs is to find her best friend Suzu (Christina Rodio). Does she rescue her friend? Does she escape the gang's awful manipulations? I guess you'll have to watch it to find out!

There are so many elements of this movie that make it awesome and entertaining! The funny comments, realistic music, beautiful sets and locations, and super cool special effects. Despite this being a live-action film with quite a bit of violence, there are actually some really funny parts and comments, too. Plus, with the help of the music and the costumes, the story flows and makes sense. What I liked and appreciated the most was how perfectly the music changes and is paired to match the feelings of every scene!

The deeper message that this film displays is that we have to be careful with who we put our trust into. In Miss Bala, Gloria puts her trust into the gang and they end up doing things that are not okay and using her. Then, she trusts the DEA and just wait until you see how they treat her. These are not the kind of people we want to trust. Keep in mind that this is a pretty violent movie, even though it's rated PG-13, it has lots of blood, guns and more scary stuff. Also, look out for some partial nudity and profanity. I definitely would never bring anyone under the age of 13 to this movie!

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. I'm not giving it 5 stars because I am not a big fan of scary and violent movies, so it was unsettling, for me. I can see, however, that others would really love the action-packed sequences. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 and adults. That said, I wouldn't even bring a sensitive 13 or 15-year-old who scares easily. This film opens February 1, 2019 all over the USA. If you like action, drama and thrillers, check it out. You'll enjoy it!!!

Reviewed by Lexi G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


TEAM MEOWSA

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TEAM MEOWSA
DIANA LEE WOODY
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGE 7-18
Topic - Family
Description - Lily is a fiercely dedicated cathlete who made her Olympic debut in the 2018 Pyeongmeow Olympics, competing in the Feather Jump Competition for Team MeowSA. This short documentary traces Lily's journey from rescue kitten with her new sibling Kevin to her dreams of Olympic gold. Her Feather Jump is not to be missed! So curl up in a cozy chair, get a saucer of your favorite milk, and hold onto your whiskers!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Cat lovers, this one is for you! This delightful short spoof might be just the thing to toss into your programming to bring laughter and light! I think it's completely charming and everyone, including dog people will get a kick out of it. The commentary is strictly hysterical, drawing upon what I surmise to have been way too many hours on the part of the screenwriter of Olympic competition viewing. The slow motion portion is particularly well narrated. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, including adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GNANAM

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GNANAM
VASANTHA CINE CREATIONS
Series: FEATURE 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Two Children born in same day, one in rich family named Gagan and other one in a poor family named Swami. Where as Gagan is a special child and Swamy is born intelligent. Narrators perspective is special child's poses special power, whereas Gagan has a special ability to connect people through stars while looking at sky and listens to thier mind voice. We Dedicate this movie to those great parents.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film confirms how challenging parenting can be! The graphic image of traveling a random path through the starry universe symbolizes the many choices a parent and child must make in a lifetime. It exemplifies that we don't always know exactly where we are going or where we'll end up, but it will be an adventure. Kids need unconditional love. Whether they are gifted or handicapped, all kids need positive reinforcement and someone who believes in them, as well as teaches them. The music includes some very dramatic instrumentals which give the film a lively pulse at times. There is also some very soothing music that helps make the expectant mother feel better. The cinematography highlights some beautiful, lush countryside and bright sunrises and sunsets. It is very appropriate how the camera angle turns everything that the handicapped boy sees in an upside-down perspective. My favorite part is when the young magician tells the intelligent boy, "If you are good at something, don't do it for free." This advice could set the boy on a path of prosperity. The message is to appreciate all the good that your parents have done for you and, in turn, show kindness towards others. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 16, as well as adults. It would make an excellent addition to the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see juror comments
Runtime: 92 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WE ARE ONE
ANIMAL FARM MUSIC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - The message of "We Are One" is all about bringing people together through, like Aesop's Fables, the use of animal characters - whether it's something humorous like a baby bat who is afraid of the dark or something more serious like a monkey witnessing deforestation - songs that talk about our shared humanity.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Animal Farm's, We Are One, is a wonderful CD filled with songs that promote social and emotional learning and self-expression. It uses animal characters to help bring people together. There's great storytelling and really cool beats to help to make this group of educator's and musician's version of Aesop's Fables come to life.

Each track tells a story that makes the listener either feel happy or sad. From shouting out animal noises in Cranky Pants, to learning how to deal with life's challenges in It Always Could Be Worse, children are taught humanity through different mixes of all genres of music including jazz, blues, salsa, afro-pop and more.

We Are One is surprisingly not a CD with songs simply about animals with human-like qualities. It teaches kids creativity and encourages them to use their imaginations to understand real life situations and people. After listening to the chorus of these tracks, you'll find that colorful songs like Awesome Possum and Snow Bird will stick in your head.

I give this CD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 2 to 6. You can stream these songs online at https://animalfarmband.bandcamp.com/album/we-are-one or buy the CD. Thanks for listening, peace out!

Reviewed by Brandon James J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 46 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 15
Media: AUDIO


GLASS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GLASS
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The film Glass is breathtaking! This unique film is such a great combination of comedy, action, and drama and that's what makes it unique and different. I didn't want to look away during any part of the film, because every second you feel like you want to know more. The way each story is laid out is outstanding. Each character is so unique and all have their own strengths and weaknesses. The film is so extraordinary that you think you have powers.

The storyline is about three people who have amazing gifts that are so unbelievable that they start to believe they are more then just a person with amazing gifts. Then, a doctor finds out about them and takes them in because she doesn't believe that they have extraordinary gifts. She believes they just have mental disabilities from accidents that happened to each of them during their lives. She tries repeatedly to make them believe that they are all normal with a disability, until they decide to do something insane to show her that they are not just a normal people and are special. This film will surely bring chills, smiles, laughter and maybe even tears to those who watch it.

The main characters are: James McAvoy (Kevin W. Crumb/The Beast/Patricia/Barry), Bruce Willis (David Dunn), Samuel L. Jackson (Elijah Price/Mr. Glass), Sarah Paulson (Dr. Ellie Staple), Spencer Treat Clark (Joseph Dunn) Anya Taylor Joy (Casey Cooke), Charalayne Woodard (Elijah's Mother). These actors truly make you believe their characters are real and keep you on the edge of your seat with their performances.

My favorite part is when Anya Joy (as Casey) speaks to Kevin Crumb who has split personalities - good and bad. During this conversation, Casey talks to all of Kevin's various personalities and the love she shows somehow fights off the other personalities. It is heartfelt to watch this scene because it shows how important their friendship is.

The message of this film is that we are all special. All we need to do is express ourselves and not hide. Another message is that it doesn't matter if other people believe in you. As long as you believe in yourself, anything is possible.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, including adults. I truly believe that many who watch this film will really enjoy it. This film opens in theaters on January 18, 2018. Look for it!

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

This action-packed film, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, puts a unique twist on the classic theme of a superhero movie. As another addition to Unbreakable and Split, this movie ties the series together well and I enjoyed it.

The comic book thriller follows security guard David Dunn, who uses his heroic powers to find a troubled man named Kevin Wendell Crumb, who has a superhuman alter-ego and twenty-four distinct personalities. When the men are captured and taken to a mental institution, they encounter another character, named Mr. Glass. The doctor informs them that she has three days to convince them that superheroes are not real, but she is yet to realize that the three characters are meant to be connected by fate.

This movie puts you into a new perspective, and makes you think differently. The stunt coordinator, Mohammed J. Ali, incredibly incorporated action and fighting into certain scenes. However, the plot is sometimes unclear and characters' roles are unbalanced, so some people receive more attention than others. My favorite scene is when the main characters sit in chairs and are asked to recall moments that make them believe they're superheroes. The doctor tries to convince them that there is a logical explanation behind these events, but as viewers, this is when we know that they have powers.

The movie overall has a deep meaning that there are more complications than good and evil and the idea of superheroes clashes with modern day society. Although the movie contains some mild profanity and violent scenes, it is still a great film to watch.

I rate this production 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters Friday, January 18, 2019. Look for it!

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

Glass kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time! This film takes the viewer on a rollercoaster of twists and turns. It's very well done with exceptional acting, which is what I like most about it. James McAvoy, Ana Taylor-Joy, Bruce Willis, Sarah Paulson, Samuel L. Jackson all make you feel as if you are inside the movie, living all the intense moments they go through as your own. M. Night Shyamalan's direction is outstanding. Everything is so well set up and all the questions are answered at the end of the film, giving it a suspense that keeps the audience engaged.

Glass is a mixture of narratives of two of standout originals, Unbreakable from Touchstone and Split from Universal in a new comic-book thriller. From Unbreakable, Bruce Willis comes back as David Dunn and Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price or Mr. Glass. From Split comes James McAvoy, replaying his role as Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities that reside within and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, the only survivor from the Beast. Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb's superhuman figure of The Beast in several events, while the manifestation of Price appears as a mastermind that holds secrets critical to both men. Definitely this concludes the series in an unexpected, yet impressive way.

My favorite part is when Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) switches and acts like his multiple personalities when he is first taken into the mental hospital. For anyone that has seen Split, you get to relive how funny his impressions of the distinct personalities are and remember how much you enjoy them. The whole plot is so tense throughout, that it is good to have moments like these to breathe a little bit before the film goes back to more serious moments of the story.

This is a very entertaining film that perhaps reminds us not to be friends with psychopaths. I recommend it to ages 14 to 18, plus adults and rate it 5 out of 5 stars. It opens in theaters January 18, 2018 so, look for it.

Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


GSLV MARK3

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GSLV MARK3
HARISH GOKUL
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 8 TO 18
Topic - Family
Description - GSLV Mark3 is a two point of view narration told from a girl and also the ISRO team who wants to launch their GSLV mark 3 satellite into the space. There is a beautiful connect between girl and rocket which is about to launch.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I found this student produced documentary quite intriguing. I wanted to know what a GSLV Mark 3 is and discovered that it is a satellite. The storyline is about dreams coming to light. I found it interesting to learn about India launching a satellite so their internet service is up to par with the rest of the world. The storyline is pretty straightforward and sensible and the film is very easy to watch. I love the little girl who is clearly interested in aerospace. We see here playing with a toy rocket that her dad takes away from her. She imagines it as a real life rocket launching into space. There is deep joy when she rescues the rocket after her dad tosses it away and the next thing we see is an image of her as an astronaut! Who knows what dreams become reality. Kalpana Chawla was the first woman of Indian origin in space. This film appears to be the first of a series about Indians who have ventured into space or pursued a career in space. It's well produced with good visuals, audio and appropriate vocabulary. The location appears to be typical of a working class neighborhood in India. The footage of the space shuttle voyage from India draws the viewer in immediately. The location of the recycling pickup area is pivotal to the storyline. This has an inspiring message about realizing your dreams. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults and give it 4 out of 5 stars. The dialogue is in Hindi with English sub-titles. Reviewed by Kimberly M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


MUSIC BOX, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MUSIC BOX, THE
JOE CHANG
Series: SHORTS
Topic - Family
Description - The Great Chinese Cultural Revolution was a political campaign in China launched and led by Mao Zedong from 1966 to 1976. Nearly ten million people, including outstanding scientists, artists, intellectuals and ordinary people, died during these "Ten Years of Turnmoil" or "Ten Years of Holocaust." This animated short film is based on a real story and sets in China during the Cultural Revolution in 1967, It is about a young boy Liang Liang, whose family is suddenly taken to the countryside by Red Guards. He is able to grab the only thing he treasures which is a western style music box, and is careful not to expose it to the red guards since it was linked to western culture. The film mirrors tragedies that befall children and families who are forced to leave their homes, due to war, colonization and political campaigns - unfortunately a situation which is all too common today.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This exquisitely animated short expresses such chaos and fear. These emotions, brought on by war and many political campaigns, are made perfectly clear in this film about the Great Chinese Cultural Revolution. It shows the scary plight of refugees from the point of view of children. A family is forcibly removed from their home in China by the Red Guard soldiers. The young boy hangs on to his treasured music box, a symbol of Western culture of which the Chinese government is strongly opposed. The animation is beautifully created. The images reflect the Chinese culture with images of people in traditional garb, landscapes and group settings. It includes some dark, shadowy, mysterious scenes which convey the sense of danger and tragedy in this story. The plume of curling red smoke turning into a devilish visage is one of the cool special effects. This is a non-narrative film where the story is told by the images themselves, enhanced by suitable background music. My favorite part is watching a pair of dancing pandas dancing, signifying a simpler, happier time for the boy and his family. I also enjoyed seeing the image of a piano slowly morphing into a white dove. This really is a film that belongs to be seen and is well suited for a film festival environment. It could easily generate some poignant conversation about the Chinese Revolution and current day political situations as well. Truly, this is one of most beautiful animated shorts I have seen in a while. It's not all happy and frolicking though. It does deliver an important message and reflects on society. The message is that music can be a universal messenger of peace in the world. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 16, as well as adults. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see juror comments
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PLAYDATE (2019)

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PLAYDATE (2019)
MATT AARON KRINSKY
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - A Boy and a Girl find themselves stuck on a playground with no electronic devices and must rediscover how to play using their imaginations.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I found this short film enjoyable because it tackles a current social issue of how much technology has taken over our lives, not just for adults but for young children as well. The live action film features two young kids, a boy and a girl, who find themselves on a playground trying to entertain themselves while their parents are in a meeting, without their electronic devices. It's a classic struggle of modern day kids who don't know how to play without their devices. As the storyline develops, the kids turn a cordoned off gazebo into a space ship and actually begin having fun - fun without electronic assistance. The talent is quite adorable. The black girl and the Caucasian boy contrast each other in looks and temperament, to some degree. Yet, they find common ground in the end. The playground set is bright and colorful. The background music is a bit contrite at times, although I enjoyed hearing the opening bars to 2001: A Space Odyssey and the music under the credits is delightful. I think this would make a great discussion starter at a film festival. It's well produced with excellent visuals and audio. It would appeal to ages 8 to 12, as well as adults. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see juror comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


STORY TIME!

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
STORY TIME!
JEROMINE ADER
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - This is a collection of beautiful tales - both forgotten wonders and original stories. The series has been designed to pass on these narratives and to open children's minds to other cultures. Set to beautiful music, each episode takes us on a new journey. With the magic words "Once upon a time..." the wonderment begins and the mischievous storyteller brings to life a cast of extraordinary characters from around the world. This endearing and amusing series is suitable for preschoolers and the whole family. From France.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beautiful. This is exactly the type of programming that resonates with us for inclusion in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. Beautifully animated and wonderfully inspiring storyline. The story revolves around the loss of the seasons and a young Native boy who goes out to find the Bear that controls the seasons. His journey is difficult but he perseveres, finding assistance from many along the way. He eventually has to wander into the dream world to find the Bear. This is one episodes from a longer series and I would love to see more from this series. The animation is lovely - bright, simple and mindful of portraying the culture accurately. The background music adds much to the story, without being obtrusive. The storyline is classic Native storytelling and one worth passing down to generations. I highly recommend it, giving it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, as well as adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see juror comments
Runtime: 13 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


KONRAD & PAUL

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KONRAD & PAUL
SARAH SCHILL
Series: SHORT AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Paul, an outsider in his class, meets Konrad, a tramp who shows him, that true freedom means being able to choose who you want to be. Even if that means to give a bold guy a decent haircut. From Germany, in German with sub-titles
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a quietly provocative short film that sort of creeps up on you as it unfolds. In the beginning, we watch a young boy cutting his own hair and we're not sure what his situation is. Then, he runs away and the demeaning worlds of his peers echo in his head. He settles on a park bench where tears fill his eyes. A homeless man appears, sits next to him and shares pages of his notebook with the boy. It holds mementos from all around the world. The boy is intrigued and sees this way of life as appealing. He asks to go with him but the tramp tells him it's not all roses and sunshine; it's hard. He asks the boy to cut his hair like the boy's. The resulting hair cut is wild. Now, they both have wild haircuts as they go their separate ways. I like that the films has these layers of mystique. We don't know what the background if of either the boy or the old man. We do see that neither of them fit in exactly, and yet, they are finding their own happiness. The location in the woods seems suiting to their encounter. It's a random, out of the way place, removed from the rest of the world. The camera work is well executed with interesting angles. The costumes are suited to the storyline, nothing too outrageous. Both the boy and the tramp are quite ordinarily dressed. The audio is well done. I especially enjoyed the music at the end. You should know that the dialogue is in German with English Sub-titles. I recommend this to the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival because it's thought provocative and perhaps gives insight into another culture. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 16. Reviewed by Julie S, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-16
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


EAGLE FEATHER

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
EAGLE FEATHER
PASQUALE ENCELL
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Eagle Feather is an animated, feature length, family friendly story about Elizabeth, a young American Indian girl, and her single father as they journey into the wilderness early one morning to search for her first ceremonial eagle feather. On their way home father and daughter find a wounded eagle and in an effort to rescue the large bird take it to their family friend and local game warden. He informs our heroes that there have been a string of eagle shootings and that no one has any idea who the culprit may be or why it is happening. Knowing that Elizabeth's family's spirit animal is the eagle and that they still practice many of the old ways the game warden asks her father if he may know a way to help. Her dad does know a way but it will not be easy. Using all but forgotten Native American lore and shamanism the father and daughter begin a race against time that takes them deep into the wilds of the northwestern United States. Along the way her father and other elders teach Elizabeth about her people's ways and culture. Eagle Feather is a fun combination of drama, adventure, comedy and action that is based entirely on real events and the background music that plays continuously throughout is ancient ceremonial songs that were sung and recorded just for this film.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I highly recommend this remarkable film, which sensitively portrays Native Americans and their respect for nature and living things. The pace is slow and intentional. It may not be for everyone, but for those who want something more thoughtful than traditional fast paced box office hits, this offers an authentic look into another culture. The story revolves around a Native American family whose spirit animal is the eagle. It begins with a young girl being taken by her father into the forest to find an eagle feature for herself. In the midst of doing that, they come upon an injured eagle that they take to her uncle for healing. While there, they learn about eagle shootings that have been going on and the uncle asks if they can help. It's not an easy passage to follow but they do, using a combination of tradition and experience to find the culprit. The animation is not full range animation so, if you're expecting a Disney level production, this is not it. However, it is completely suitable in telling this story and works quite well. On top of that, the background music that plays throughout is traditional Native music which was recorded just for this film. The voice over talent is excellent. May only concern might be about the audio levels which, even when I boosted them, were a bit low. The message this film delivers is about living in harmony with nature and it's creatures. It's one that Native Americans exemplify and is shared throughout this film. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 14. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
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Runtime: 65 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GIFT OF THE RED FERN, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GIFT OF THE RED FERN, THE
ROBYN HARTMAN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 7-16
Topic - Family
Description - This film is based on the true story of how one teacher's act of kindness changed a lonely boy's life. Now a District Attorney in South Carolina, Kevin Brackett, Esq, narrates the letter he sent to his teacher in 2017, sharing the events she set in motion with her caring gesture. Kevin begins his first day of 5th grade at Kenwood Elementary. He is 10-years-old and this is his fifth elementary school. A child of the military, he is always the new kid, shunned, lonely and friendless. His Air Force captain father was transferred from Colorado to Eglin Air Force Base, FL, so his family had to move once again. In Florida Kevin experiences his first hurricane, and then finds a compassionate and loving teacher in Mrs. McSheehy, who takes Kevin under her wing. An entertaining teacher, Mrs. McSheehy's boundless enthusiasm for literature is contagious, and a passion for reading sparks in Kevin's heart. She reads "Where the Red Fern Grows" to the class, and he imagines himself as the main character Billy, running and wrestling with two adorable, rambunctious puppies. But sadly, after only a few months at Kenwood, Kevin's parents buy a house in another school district, and he has to leave Mrs. McSheehy's class. Both are heartbroken. After Kevin has gone on to his 6th elementary school, Mrs. McSheehy is inspired to reach out to him with a thoughtful act of kindness, which brings joy into his life in a way she never could have imagined. Until now. This movie highlights: Children of the Military; the Unsung Heroes who also make sacrifices for our country. Shunning, and how it is just another form of Bullying. How the Right book can ignite a passion in your heart for Reading, and change the course of your Life. How Puppies can brighten anyone's day!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love this documentary film and I think others will love it too. It is really outstanding and shows how one person's kindness affects another in such a meaningful way. The story is about a kid, Kevin Bracket and the influence that his 5th grade teacher made on his life. Kevin narrates the letter he sent to Mrs. McSheehy who takes Kevin under her wing when he lands in her class after a tumultuous round of moving from school to school, as a child of a military dad. It's a story about a kid who grows up and becomes a man and thanks to Mrs. McSheehy's kindnesses, it impacted his life in a huge way. Kindness should never be underestimated. What is most appealing about this film is seeing how the boy has to readjust to a new lifestyle each time. He attended 6 different schools in 3 states and 2 countries during that time. It shows how one teacher made such a huge impact on his life. The film is beautifully shot, with re-enactments of children the age that Kevin was at the time the incident took place. It flows well, makes sense and inspires at a deep level. The filmmaker is Mrs. McSheehy's daughter who read Kevin's letter and felt compelled to create a film out of it, not just for her mother but for teachers everywhere who haven't received a letter but have contributed to the lives of the many children they have worked with over the years. The production quality is excellent and the topic is certainly one that kids and adults can relate to, whether or not you have lived the military life. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 16, as well as adults. Reviewed by Sev'n F. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult juror comments
Runtime: 12 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-16
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


LAPS-AN ANTI-BULLYING SHORT FILM

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LAPS-AN ANTI-BULLYING SHORT FILM
IAN LANG
Series: SHORT AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - "LAPS" is an Anti-Bullying Short Film centering around a talented young swimmer who is being bullied by some older boys on his team when they recognize his talent. Out of jealousy, the older boys antagonize him until he can't take it anymore. When he finally gets the chance to exact his revenge, he begins to think twice about the consequences of his actions and if it will really put an end to the difficult situation. A heartfelt and honest tale of a boy overcoming adversity, LAPS is a film that families and children of all ages can enjoy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This non-narrative short film says so much in the expressions and actions of the children. When the protagonist, a young boy, outswims the antagonist, we see the terrible bullying behavior of him and his friends as they antagonize the kid. From tossing his dry clothes into the shower to locking him in a locker and tripping him in the locker room they mistreat him at every opportunity. This is how bullies behave and we see it in its stark and despicable reality. Things escalate until the coach finally catches them red-handed and marches them off. A handshake changes things and we see that friendship is possible, if we only give it a chance. Well written, shot, directed and acted. Stay for the outtakes during the credits. They'll bring a smile to your face. Recommended for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for ages 8 to 18 and rank it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
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Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


IN THE LAND OF MOONSTONES

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
IN THE LAND OF MOONSTONES
NICOLA ROSE
Series: SHORT AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A young girl looks back on an extraordinary time in her life -- winter vacation the year she was eleven, when she went to visit her beloved Russian grandmother in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. But it wasn't just any ordinary vacation. That was the winter she fell in love for the first time, with an extraordinary boy just her age. Now, some time later, she remembers the joys and sorrows that followed. Told in live-action and animated drawings, this film is an ode to intergenerational friendships, memories, and the first loves that never really leave us
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I'm quite fond of this charming short because it touches so delicately on first love, coming of age, an affectionate grandmother and The Little Prince. It's woven together so sweetly as a memoir to a turning point in this young woman's youth. The story is a reflection by a young woman on a winter vacation when she visits her Russian grandmother in Brighton Beach, meets a young man who becomes her first love and breaks away from her ordinary life in Westchester where nothing ever happens. It's well shot with excellent cinematography and makes use of animated drawings to bridge between scenes. The narrator and protagonist in the film is quite believable, as is her quite unorthodox grandmother who offers her a draw on her cigarette and the two them cuddle in bed reading The Little Prince. The boy who she falls for is unexpectedly present. He helps open her eyes to doing things that she would normally do and the actor that plays him portrays him in a very laid back way, which makes him seem real. I think kids will relate to this story, especially tweens and teens so I recommend it for ages 12 to 15, as well as adults. And, I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
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Runtime: 39 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SYMPHONY OF TRIANGLE, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SYMPHONY OF TRIANGLE, THE
SIMO LIU
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 3-18
Topic - Family
Description - The Symphony of Triangle is stop-motion animation that plays with different triangles for fun!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Ah yes! This is exactly the type of film we look for. Fun, bright, clever... I love how these triangles reconfigure to make different shapes, all in time with the music. I could watch this for a long time. It's almost meditative. Kudos to Simo Liu for creating such a fun piece. Love to see more of her work. I recommend this for ages 3 to 18, as well as adults and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult juror comments
Runtime: 2 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


OOGLE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
OOGLE
VICTORIA KELEMEN
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 9-14
Topic - Family
Description - The problems of an 11 year old are worked out in her dreams as she sleeps.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In order to soothe her worries about being laughed at by peers when she answered a question wrong, Leia has a healing dream about being a search engine wiz. She comes across Lauren, the classmate that made fun of her in class and helps her find the astronomy answer that she missed in class. This heals Leia's mind and spirit and Leia gets back her sense of self. Perhaps the healing dream helps Lauren make amends with Leia as well. This is a very appealing and appropriate short for tweens and young teens. It is very clever and the theme is quite original. Healing dreams is a metaphysical subject that are not talked about much, but they are something most people have likely experienced. I have had a couple that I consciously remember. The story flows well with a clear, middle and end. It's very watchable with good vocabulary and concepts that tween and teens will relate to. It's well produced with good visual and audio quality, good direction and acting. I do have one comment about the abrupt sound adjustment, 2 and 3 minutes in, which may have been done consciously to increase dramatic effect. I found it just a bit too loud. Happy to recommend to the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for ages 9 to 14. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


NIGHT TERRORS (2018)

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
NIGHT TERRORS (2018)
TONY PAPA
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10-14
Topic - Family
Description - A group animation about nightmares or night terrors.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a animated student produced short with various segments relating to night terrors that kids experience. The animation is very rough and imaginative. I love the use of line drawings to create much of this. I'm not sure the age of the filmmaker but, it's an interesting piece that lends itself to discussion. This is well structured and definitely a subject that kids will realte to. The young female narrator talks about her experience with nightmares and how they bother her. While I believe children will relate to the experience of watching and hearing about these nightmares, some of what is talked about or animated could be frightening for a younger child. I recommend this for ages 10 to 14 give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S. and Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult juror comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. ANIMATION
Series: VIDEO, AGES 13-18
Topic - Family
Description - After the death of Superman, several new people present themselves as possible successors.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - As a long time DC Comics fan, I love anything DC related. Now, if you combine DC Comics and animation, I'm sold. This movie is great the whole way through and does not disappoint.

Reign of the Supermen is the sequel to the movie The Death of Superman (Oh yeah, by the way, spoiler alert...Superman dies in The Death of Superman). In the wake of Superman's death, four new would-be-heroes take on the Superman name and serve as replacements. However, these new "Supermen" must put their different views aside to work together to defeat a mysterious alien threat.

First off, let's talk about the animation. While the animation looks nice, it feels kind of basic to me. The style is more realistic and so are the colors. The art style emulates the DC Comic style and I like that. I just feel the animation doesn't stand out as much as the story and writing.

Speaking of story, I've watched quite a few of the DC animated movies and, while I like those films, I enjoyed the story in this movie more than any of the other films. This movie is more engrossing. There's something about the mystery of the alien threat and the new Supermen that I find really interesting. I also really like that Lois Lane actually is important to the plot. Even though Lois (Rebecca Romijn) is one of the most well-known DC characters, her entire character has been the damsel in distress since Superman first came out. And even though there are periods of time when she is a superhero, most of them are alternate universes and dreams and, one interpretation made her a hero because the writer of that specific story received accusations of using a misogynistic stereotype. Plus, no one talks about these interpretations. I didn't even know that she has been a superhero until I was researching her for this review. So it really feels like a breath of fresh air for her to be in the spotlight in a way that feels natural. Plus, I like how you can say that journalism is her super power, which makes her stand out.

This movie is pretty funny. An issue that I have with the live action DC movies is that they tend to be too serious for their own good and, when they try comedy, it just doesn't work. However, I laughed a lot at this movie. All the characters are very lively and witty with clear personalities that work well off each other, especially Green Lantern. Kudos to the voice actors.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, and anyone who loves DC Comics. It comes out on digital on January 15, 2019 and on DVD January 29, 2019.

By Calista Bess, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15
Runtime: 87 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


THREE BEARS AND THE PERFECT GIFT, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THREE BEARS AND THE PERFECT GIFT, THE
THREE BEARS MOVIE LLC
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Topic - Holiday
Description - When Baby Bear steals a turnip from the wicked Boo-Hag's garden - she transforms him into a human. Unless he finds the perfect gift before Christmas morning, he will remain a boy forever and Mother Nature will banish him from the Enchanted forest.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A loving heart can be the greatest gift of all. The Three Bears: The Perfect Gift is sure to be a holiday favorite. It revisits the classic Three Bears story, adding a modern twist filled with suspense and thought provoking circumstances. Can humans, animals and make believe characters find the courage within to help each other on Christmas? We take a journey through an enchanted forest where multiple tragedies take place. Boohag, a wicked witch who lives in a secluded space called black hollow, is to blame. She is a mean old witch that will ruin the lives of anyone that crosses her path. Find out what happens when two loving fathers join forces to rescue their family.

Goldie, Benny the Beaver and Baby Bear travel along an amusing journey of danger, mystery and magic. Most importantly, we find out if spells are cast and if wishes really do come true. Curious children decide to collect gifts on Christmas Eve, but find much more than they bargain for.

I enjoyed the actor's performances, the graphics and the storyline. The message is about learning to be brave and put differences aside to problem solve. I really liked seeing a new version of this childhood classic with a holiday theme that appeals to kids and families. I had to stream the video on a different device because the first one kept pausing. But, once I got it working, it was entertaining and held my attention immediately after the first few minutes. The film progressively gets better. The story is a little predictable, but the ways in which problems occur is unexpected. The costumes are also quite charming.

The production quality is very good, although some scenes and graphics don't match the actual settings. But, all images are clear. The sound is great. I enjoyed the bonus features and bloopers at the end. It gives us a chance to see the actors without their costumes on.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to12. This is available now on DVD so, keep a look out for it, especially for the next holiday season. Reviewed by Elle Stewart, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really like the adventurous plot, the realistic and detailed costumes and the character personalities in this remake of the class Three Bears story.

This film tells about how Baby Bear sneaks out on Christmas morning to find the perfect gift for his parents, Mama and Papa Bear, only to cross paths with the evil Boo Hag who transforms him into a human. It is the prefect mixture of action, sadness and silliness. It is 100% live action, with the animals being people in costumes instead of being CG.

The characters that stand out the most to me are Bedilia Beaverton (Maile Flanagan) because she's hilarious and Madame Rosa (Elissa Dowling) because I like her accent. They are very realistic and yet they also have human characteristics as well. They are always in one forest or another. My favorite setting is the scene where they are walking through the woods and all of the trees are lit up with Christmas tree lights.

I like the song in the beginning a lot. It reminds me of barn dance music. All of the songs are good, but the singing could have been better. There are only two special effects. One is a kind of scary banshee. The other is a fairy that is a glowing pink orb half of the time.

The message of the film is that a perfect gift doesn't always have to be something big and extravagant. Sometimes, the perfect gift is something small but meaningful. Some things to be aware of are that first, we see Baby Bear, Benny and Goldie sneaking off without telling their parents where they are going and then, they talk to and trust a stranger. There are some scary images that would make it unsuitable for younger kids.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It will be available November 15, 2019 so look for it.

By Kayenta C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 84 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! SEASON 3, VOLUME 1

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! SEASON 3, VOLUME 1       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Topic - Family
Description - Enjoy the first volume of the third season of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! The award-winning television show follows the adventures of 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick, as they're whisked off on amazing voyages of scientific discovery with the Cat in the Hat. Thanks to the Thinga-ma-jigger and our friends, exploring has never been more exciting! In this volume set, kids will learn how accidents and mistakes can lead to discovery, how the shape of an object impacts the way it bounces, and how changing the direction of a force can make heavier things easier to move. But the discoveries don't end there! We learn how mirrors reflect and bounce images, how to change the volume and pitch of a sound, and much, much more! So let's go, go, go, go on an adventure - we're flying with The Cat in the Hat today!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - In this DVD, the Cat in the Hat, along with 6-year-old best friends Sally and Nick, Thing #1 and Thing #2 and Fish go on numerous adventures dealing with scientific discoveries. The separate stories include dealing with the phenomenon of shadows and how they are made, why a slide loses friction, why accidents can be a positive thing and why some magnets attract and others do the exact opposite. The stories are approximately 15 minutes each. The set consists of two discs and is approximately 220 minutes long.

The DVD consists of 20 episodes plus a bonus section with five snippets around two to three minutes each, all of which reinforce the scientific facts in the stories. Also available is a Spanish language sub-title option. The Cat in the Hat is voiced by well-known comedian Martin Short.

The segments are short enough to hold the attention of the target age group. Children will most likely want to see more than one story at a time. Thus, they can absorb science information in an exciting way. I like the separate adventures that deal with science facts. I could relate to the story about the children's slide because I recall being at a popular amusement park as a child, where one of the popular attractions was a gigantic slide. When I was younger, I was able to slide down gracefully. Years later, as a pre-teen, I was not able to slide down the slide without becoming stuck at some point because of the friction issues. This was probably because of the bumpiness in the aging attraction. After many complaints, it was dismantled. Another story segment I found interesting was the opposites magnets attracting. I enjoyed when they were streaming down the river in red and blue boats and have to match the color of the boat with the same color of the oncoming rock in order to keep from crashing into it.

I recommend this DVD for ages 5 to 9 and give it a 5 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD now, so check it out!

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - To start off, I want to comment on how The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Season 3, Volume 1 and the rest of this series impacts children in a positive way due to the vocabulary and other lessons taught in each episode. This series is very enjoyable for kids to watch since the plots are well prepared in a way that kids can both understand and relate to. I didn't follow The Cat in the Hat when I was younger, but I feel it is very attracted to its target audience. The way the show is made, with all the colorful objects and the plots that draw you in is quite interesting.

The episodes on this DVD contain different stories and plots, but the format and the meaning are consistent. All the adventures have different plots and all the characters are inquisitive and enthusiastic about learning. This motivates kids' curiosity about the natural world and encourages them to follow the positive examples.

My favorite scene is at the end of when episode when The Cat in the Hat, his cat cousins, Nick, Sally, Fish and all his family gather together for a great musical finale where they are celebrated as true adventurers. I like this scene because it is a very creative with great songs and how the it is organized. It definitely gets children's attention in every way possible.

The important message that this show teaches is in encouraging kids' curiosity about the natural world. The series answers questions about natural science in a kid-friendly way. They learn about the seasons, animal behavior, habitats and more - learning to appreciate the wonder of exploration and discovery. The day and night concept, animals, plants, planets, gravity and a lot more are taught in fun ways and make kids catch it fast. I recommend this for ages 5 to 8 and give it 4 out of 5 stars.

By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

The Cat in the Hat is superb! I love the Cat in the Hat because he makes me laugh with his made up words and his corny jokes. The first episode that I watched was about Sarah the Inventor. This series has been around since 2010, but every time I watch it, I see something new. I think it is for everyone. The family can learn lots of lessons from each show. Sarah is an inventor like me. I create masterpieces on canvas, but Sarah invented the paint fall. When Sally hits the paint fall, all the colors get mixed up and start forming a color that one of the characters needs for his mountain. This episode is called "Accidents Happen if You're Lucky." As we get older, we learn that sometimes the things we plan don't go the way we want them to, but can still have a good outcome. Different doesn't always mean better and that is something we should understand about people. All people do not look alike, but we are all important in our own ways.

The second episode is called "Play Ball." It is a funny story about Sally getting a new ball and a boy loses it when he throws it up and it gets caught in the tree branches. Cat then takes them to a really cool ball palace with lots and lots of cool balls. They try to find the right bouncy ball for Sally. Cat gives her a tool that helps her look closely to see if the balls bounce. They finally find a ball she likes. Sometimes, things can be replaced and sometimes they can't. One thing is for sure, we will always lose stuff, even people. We have friends and sometimes they might lose our belongings and we get mad. Sometimes friends do stuff to hurt our feelings. We have to decide if the object is more important than our friend or is our friend more important. Losing anything is not fun, but it happens.

The third episode is "Gravity Drop." This is my second favorite episode. It is about a boy getting his plane stuck in a tree. They go to a valley that allows you to have more or less gravity. It looks fun because they are floating through the air when there is less gravity. It reminds me of going on a rollercoaster and going up into the air and then getting dropped back down. This is like a learning video because it teaches the viewer about gravity.

The last episode, "Design Time" is my favorite of all. It is my favorite because Sally makes a vase for her mom and the boy makes a robot for his dad. Sally has trouble making the vase so Cat takes them to blueprintia where they learn how to create blueprints of what they want to make. They learn that they must have a plan in order to do something correctly. That is like life, too. You have to have a plan. You have to think before you do something or make something. If you want things to go right, plan it first. I give this DVD 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. This is available on DVD now so, be sure to look for it.

By SaniyaRain F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 220 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


KID WHO WOULD BE KING, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
KID WHO WOULD BE KING, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Old school magic meets the modern world in the epic adventure THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING. Alex (Ashbourne Serkis) thinks he's just another nobody, until he stumbles upon the mythical Sword in the Stone, Excalibur. Now, he must unite his friends and enemies into a band of knights and, together with the legendary wizard Merlin (Stewart), take on the wicked enchantress Morgana (Ferguson). With the future at stake, Alex must become the great leader he never dreamed he could be. CAST: Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Dorris, Angus Imrie, with Rebecca Ferguson and Patrick Stewart
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed watching The Kid Who Would Be King. It is a family film full of adventure and a very timely version of a classic tale about the famous Excalibur sword of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. Writer/Director, Joe Cornish gives us a fresh look at the King Arthur tale.

like that the story is retold using the book given to Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) as the source for his adventure. We see Alex along with his fellow students at school and going about their daily activities as they hear and see negative news about a divided United Kingdom. It is similar to the type of activities we are experiencing in the United States today.

We see Alex defending his friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo), a would-be magician, which leads him to become the target of bullies Lance (Tom Taylor) and Kaye (Rhianna Doris). After running from them, Alex discovers a sword in a stone. He and Bedders deem it to be Excalibur. Alex is reminded by Bedders and his book of King Arthur of his mission to unite and fight the evil of Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) sister of King Arthur.

My favorite scene is when young Merlin (Angus Imrie) appears at the school as a lanky new teen student with an ill-fitting uniform. To me, he steals the scene with his hand actions, clicking and snapping to perform his sorcery. The repetition of his sorcery provides some elements of humor and, at one point, I tried to duplicate his hand actions.

The CGI and other visuals and music are acceptable. Be aware that there is fantasy action violence, scary images with bullying. The Kid Who Would Be King has an important and timely message. We see young people standing up to wrongs and taking on what is right. Age is not a deterrent and a group victory can be achieved.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18, and some adults. I give it 5 out 5 stars. This opens in theaters January 25, 2019 so, look for it.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is very interesting. I like how it starts with illustrations that look like you are reading a book, then transitions to a live action film. While watching this, it made me think about Harry Potter, although it is very different than other magical and majestic films like the Harry Potter films, Fantastic Beasts and other fantasy movies.

The film is based in the King Arthur story and retold in a modern way. It's about a boy named Alex (Louis Ashborne Serkis) who finds the Excalibur sword and embarks on an adventure trying to battle bullying and injustice. He teams up with his best friend in his journey to become a great leader. Alex and his enemies conform a group of brave knights to fight monsters and defy great dangers.

In the beginning, Alex and his best friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) are victims of bullying at their school. They believe they are regular boys, until one day Alex comes across a sword in a big rock. He pulls it out and he shows it to Bedders. Later, they realize that everything that happens to them is similar to what happened in a book Alex's dad gave him with a very special dedicatory. It is a very special book because, despite that his father left, he has feelings for him. He and Bedders go on a quest that replicates in many ways the story of the King Arthur legend. Alex not only discovers his power for being a leader and doing good deeds, it is also a self discovery of loss and acceptance.

This spin on the classic King Arthur tale has a different purpose than other films or interpretations of this classic tale: - to show todays' kids the power of classic tales, the importance of books and to find the good within ourselves by retelling the story in a contemporary way and making it relatable to a new generation.

The film reminds us why books are essential in our education and how they show messages about perseverance and loyalty. In the movie, the main characters face lots of obstacles and some are very scary!

The scenes with the medieval villain Morgana are particularly exiting. I also love the scenes with Merlin, especially the younger one. They are funny and obviously magical. I like that Alex and Beddders team up with their enemies in their journey. I enjoy the sets in London from the landscapes near the city to the beautiful Stonehenge. The sets and costumes are well done. The acting is very good and the special effects believable.

The story flows well, although there are so many scenes that make the film longer than necessary. Another thing that bothered me is that it references so many things we have seen in other films. That makes it not very original. Also, some scenes are a little too over dramatic. I do like how this film shows the classic tale based on someone pulling a sword out of a stone and becoming king.

The message of this film is that nobody is just ordinary. We just have to discover the great powers we have within ourselves. I give The this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 6 to 18. It opens in theaters on January 25, 2019. So look for it.

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

The Kid Who Would Be King is a heartwarming film about a boy named Alexander who finds out that he is the future king of Britain. Now he, his friends and his enemies, must embark on a quest to defeat a wicked enchantress named Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) before the end of a solar eclipse. This film is based on the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, including the legend of the magical sword, Excalibur. At night, everyone disappears from the world except for Alex and anyone he has knighted. This way they can take whatever they want and try to defeat all of Morgana's minions. When they are all gone, Alex and his knights stay where they are and everything else returns to normal.

There are lots of cool scenes in this film that involve exciting sword battles. In my interview with Patrick Stewart (Merlin), Rhianna Dorris (Kaye) and Louis Ashbourne Serkis (Alex), I learned that the cast used real swords to train with to learn the real feel and heaviness of medieval swords and armor. However, in the actual film they used realistic plastic swords, because otherwise it would be too dangerous.

My favorite character in this film is Merlin (Angus Imrie/Patrick Stewart). He is serious and gets things done most of the time, but he also does a lot of funny and cool things that are really appealing to watch. For example, when he does his magic, all the stuff around him is flying through the air and all the lights are flickering. That is a really interesting effect.

My favorite scene is when Alexander and a few of his knights are rushing through the woods on horses, while trying to defeat a large army of fire monsters on fire breathing horses who are trying to take Excalibur away from them. This scene is very exciting and has a few funny parts in it too.

The message of this film is that anyone can be a king; you just need to have a good heart and follow the knight's code which says that you must "honor those you love, refrain from wanton offence, speak the truth at all times and persevere in any enterprise until the end."

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, because it is a good combination of an action movie and a heartwarming storyline that gives it a great message. I think adults will enjoy watching this with their kids. This movie opens in theaters on, January 25, 2019. Look for it!

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
UPSIDE, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
0
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Philip is a disabled white billionaire, who feels that life is not worth living. To help him in his day to day routine, he hires Del, an African American parolee, trying to reconnect with his estranged wife. What begins as a professional relationship develops into a friendship as Del shows his grouchy charge that life is worth living
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Upside is a wonderful, but very contrived remake of the French classic: The Intouchables. The superb main duo makes for a variety of heartfelt and well-found laughs. Anyone looking for a packed "January movie" will find a perfect outing.

Inspired by an incredible true story, the movie follows a recently released ex-convict named Dell (Kevin Hart), as he seeks employment to do right by his family's financial needs and regain their trust. He finds the most unusual employment with an offer to care-take the paralyzed billionaire Phillip (Bryan Cranston). Most don't believe in Dell's capabilities, especially chief executive Yvonne (Nicole Kidman), with Dell failing, but slowly learning to care-take. Amidst this process, Dell and Phillip form an unlikely friendship and journey, bettering themselves.

Kevin Hart, as Dell, is my favorite character, as he steps into newfound dramatic territory and delivers exceptionally. As always, his unique sense of humor remains and he is as better than ever with the amicable chemistry he shares with Bryan Cranston. Bryan Cranston, as Phillip, delivers a gravitas to his character when needed, as his condition make him hopeless. In only a way Cranston can deliver, his journey to regain hope and optimism through Dell is very compelling. It also helps that their unique banter is just so funny and intellectually executed. Nicole Kidman, as Yvonne, is another relatable character, as even she learns to smile from Dell, despite her disagreements. Her long history with Phillip is well sold, as well.

Neil Burger serviceably directs the movie, with a great eye for scenery, even if many scenes fall within a repetitive layout at times. My favorite scene is the haircut scene, as it is a fun rendition of the classic French scene and even has more nuances of its own. The main problem with this movie comes from the fact that, in comparison to its French counterpart, there really isn't much of a difference with a few scenes and characters having some subtleties. At times, its pace even takes a hit and even the newer additions don't fare as well as the original. This can be viewed as a bit of a pro, as sticking with the original does prove to its advantage.

The message of this film is that a friendship is a relationship most valued and will always remain irreplaceable. If we all get along, we will strive towards greatness and a happier mental well-being. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, because of some sexual references and brief drug use. The movie releases in theaters on January 11, 2019, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

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


LITTLE FISH AND THE CROCODILE,THE (2019)

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LITTLE FISH AND THE CROCODILE,THE (2019)
MARKUS KAATSCH
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 4-18
Topic - Family
Description - This is a fable from the rainforest in the Odzala National Park in the Republic of Congo told by the children of the Sanza Mobimba kindergarten.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From the Congo comes, The Little Fish and the Butterfly, a visual roller coaster that tells a fable by interesting, unique means with good direction and cinematography. The storyline follows a little fish and a butterfly that live in the same body of water. They get along just fine and one night, they eat together. Then, they fall asleep and the fish wakes up in horror the next morning. The fish finds out that the crocodile ate all his eggs and discovers the unfortunate fact that nature has its own laws, even when they are cruel. This story is told through the reenactment of the tale and the final lesson is that stories like this need to be passed down through generations to live on and continue to be told. It is a live action piece with colorful characters in beautiful costumes. The locations are so well shot, with excellent camera angles and beautiful close-us. The director uses fabulously interesting visuals to tell the story. It flows well and is very watchable. Seeing the fish eggs being eaten is a bit dark, but it is not too dark for the target age group and, it portrays the honesty of nature. I give this short film an age rating of 4 to 18 and 4.5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it for inclusion in the film festival. Reviewed by Benjamin P. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult juror comments
Runtime: 16 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


NEKO NO HI - CAT DAYS (2019)

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
NEKO NO HI - CAT DAYS (2019)
MARKUS KAATSCH
Series: ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 5-16
Topic - Family
Description - Jiro, a little boy, feels sick. His father takes him to see the doctor. She diagnoses a harmless case of cat flu. However, according to the doctor, this means that Jiro must be a cat. As father and son try to cope with the boy's new identity, things go awry. Jiro's father wishes him to connect with other cats at the animal shelter, but Jiro gets scratched. Complying with a handbook on raising cats, Jiro's father sends his son outside. This leads to encounters with a friend, with nature and with a wild white cat. In the end, though, everything will feel right again.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I believe a child would enjoy this because of the cute animals and the cool animation. The most appealing thing about it is the animation and the boy's condition. The film flows well, has a structure and it is watchable, but some parts were confusing to me. It uses vocabulary and concepts suitable for the target audience. The sound and visual quality are very good. You can tell that there is a lot of work put into creating this production. I recommend this for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals because it is cute and simple enough for kids and families to enjoy, especially cat lovers. I recommend it for ages 4 to 9 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Jolleen M, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic I love this adorable short film. From Germany, with dialogue in Japanese, the crisp animation is very modernistic and minimalistic. In fact, the art design is so clever that I could easily watch this film all day without the audio. Yet, the voice over talent is well cast and their voices enhance the characters in a remarkable way. The storyline is surprising, particularly when the doctor tells Jiro's father that he must be a cat because he has cat flu, which only cats get. Jiro's dad sends him outside to play and he has an encounter with a cat in the woods which could be frightening to younger kids. The ending has a comforting resolution and all is well. This would play well at KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals for ages 5 to 16, as well as adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see juror comments
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-16
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


STAN & OLLIE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
STAN & OLLIE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURES, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - The true story of Hollywood's greatest comedy double act, Laurel and Hardy, is brought to the big screen for the first time. Starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as the inimitable movie icons, Stan and Ollie is the heart-warming story of what would become the pair's triumphant farewell tour. With their golden era long behind them, the pair embark on a variety hall tour of Britain and Ireland. Despite the pressures of a hectic schedule, and with the support of their wives Lucille (Shirley Henderson) and Ida (Nina Arianda) - a formidable double act in their own right - the pair's love of performing, as well as for each other, endures as they secure their place in the hearts of their adoring public.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Stan & Ollie is a superb bio-pic about the famous comedy duo. Spot-on casting and great direction make for a very informative and entertaining romp. Anyone looking for an outstanding bio-pic or a wonderful movie will want to watch this.

The movie follows the famous Laurel & Hardy, as they set out to tour Britain in 1953. However, years have passed since their heyday of being Hollywood comedy kings, and they face an uncertain challenge. They find success obtaining their long-lost charm and even reconnect with their most ardent fans. The tour eventually finds success, until Stan (John C. Reilly) and Ollie (Steve Coogan) can't quite shake their disagreements and Ollie's health starts failing. They are aware that this may very well be their swan song, but amid that they can rediscover just how much their brotherly bond means.

The titular duo, Stan (John C. Reilly) and Ollie (Steve Coogan), remain my favorite characters and bring great heart. The two share great chemistry and bring out the best with their impeccable theater performances. Same with their wives, Lucille Hardy (Shirley Henderson) and Ida Laurel (Nina Arianda), who equally sell their disagreements, but with sisterly love. Shirley, in particular, shines with emotionally charged reactions to her husband's health. Danny Huston, as Hal Roach, embodies the famous producer, and gives us a good look behind the scenes in Laurel & Hardy. His frustrations with the group is also well presented and those provide a most realistic look at the bitter friendship the three had.

Jon S. Baird aptly directs the movie, with a great eye for the duo's on-stage performances. The shifting timeline proves slightly confusing at times, but such moments are few and far between. My favorite scene is the final concluding scene, that proves to be an epic ending to the tour and is very touching. It showcases the true power of friendship and the importance of the duo on comedy history. It is a perfect ending to this poetic tale.

The message of this film is that a friendship can always outweigh any challenges and even the test of time. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, because of brief language and smoking. The movie had a limited release in theaters on December 28, 2018 and is rolling out across the country, so check your local listings.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Stan & Ollie is a fine biopic with great performances, beautiful scenarios and a powerful story about the value of friendship.

I didn't know much about these comedians and this film offers a great introduction to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (affectionately nicknamed Babe), two of the most fascinating entertainers of the Golden Era of Hollywood. I like discovering the roots of filmmaking and physical comedy. The movie shows who they are, their artistic personalities and the dynamics of their friendship.

Directed by Jon S. Baird, the story starts in 1937 when the duo is at the peak of their career. Then it quickly moves to 1953 when their career is not solid anymore and the comedians embark on a trip to Great Britain to reconnect with fans and regain fame. Even though they are famous, there are empty seats at their shows. They have recognition, but not that much money. They return to what they know and love to do - comedy. People thought they retired, but they managed to perform and work hard like they did from the beginning. I like that the film centers in this poignant part of their lives where their friendship is put to a test, while they struggle with aging and loosing popularity. They haven't stopped dreaming and hoped to obtain the financing for a movie project.

I enjoyed their slapstick comedy and noticed how different humor was in the 30s and 50s. I appreciated how committed they were as working actors. Stan and Ollie conformed a unique duo. They shared a strong friendship and were not only business partners, but truly close friends. Their bond was special. They complemented each other in the creative process and on stage with grace and sentiment. They seemed to be in constant collaboration. The film also shows their dynamics outside the stage and with their wives, who were kind of rivals, but they supported each other at the same time. Their love for comedy and performing arts was genuine. They really lived for that. But they didn't always have happy moments. We see them disagree and even break each others' hearts. Despite their different point of views about business, they shared a true love for performing and entertaining.

My favorite scene is the iconic gag where they keep on going in circles to find each other when they are next to each other all the time. I like all the jokes and I really enjoyed them.

The most remarkable aspect of this film are the performances by John C. Reilly (Ollie) and Steve Coogan (Stan). Not only for their impeccable physical resemblance, helped by some awesome make up, but for their interpretations and rapport, which reflect the spirit of the duo. You can feel the actors' admiration for the comedic duo.

The message of the film is that no matter how much you disagree and even fight with your friends, true feelings always endure and true friendship is endless.

I give Stan & Ollie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. Is a great movie for those who are familiar with early Hollywood films and for us who want to discover and connect with the origins of cinema.

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


2ND CLASS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
2ND CLASS
MARKUS KAATSCH
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Charlotte has got a new job as a second-grade teacher. One night she is attacked by a nazi and is severely injured. When she comes back to her students she discovers that one of her students is the son of that nazi
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a very dramatic short film about how love conquers hate. The storyline is not easy at first but, in the end, you are happy with how things turn out. The film begins with Charlotte getting hired for her new teaching job and then we see her in the classroom. Next, we see her she walking with some friends and they run into some kind of a race rally going on. They walk over to see what is going on and she is attacked by the demonstrators. Her friends come to her rescue and she ends up in the hospital, severely injured. When she returns to her class, she recognizes the father of one of her students as her assaulter. She pulls him aside and demonstrates an important message about how truth and love conquer hate. The boy doesn't know that her father is the culprit and it's a moot point. Her point is well taken in the context in which it takes place. The film is well shot and well paced. I didn't like watching Charlotte attached by the Nazi agitator. However, it's critical to the message of the film. The actors give quite believable performances, particularly Hannah Alem Davidsson who plays Charlotte. She has an underlying strength that predominates her in every scene. The background music is subtle yet enhances the scenes. The dialogue is in Swedish with English sub-titles. I recommend this to the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals for ages 12 to 18 as well as adults and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
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Runtime: 14 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


HARROWING WEEK WITH GRANDMA, A

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
HARROWING WEEK WITH GRANDMA, A
LISA DOAN
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A law and order kid spends a week with his outlaw Grandma. After Grandma commits an outlandish felony, Andrew Crandall has to decide which is more important - rules or family?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The overall story is a bit unbelievable and quirky and that is part of its appeal. The characters are likable and the story flows well. I like that it has humor and is engaging yet there is a subtle message about family and giving second chances. I recommend this for teenagers and adults as well and would rate this 4 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. It is quirky, different and interesting. In an unique way it teaches that family members can learn to love each other or at least tolerate each other and deserve second chances. One of the greatest strengths is that the story is different and has humor. The characters are quite well done and I even found myself liking Grandma and although I am glad she's not my Grandma, the character really adds to this story. I would have liked to have more detail in exact location in the very beginning of the story but over all, it was quite well done. I do think that teenagers will find it fun to watch. Grandma is not your typical Grandma and she actually is a bit twisted but I actually felt more compassion towards this character as I continued to read and I think that viewers would feel the same way. Also, I think a lot can be done with the scenes when Andrew and his friend stay with Grandma. it is a fun story that has entertaining value. The plot is engaging and has a few twists. The characters are quite well done and it flows well. There is a bit of conflict between the characters because Grandma was a bad Mom to her son (the Dad in the story) and I felt the resolution was not over the top but that it ended well and was resolved. it is entertaining yet there is a subtle message about family and giving family members another chance even if they don't completely change. I think this is a valuable lesson for teenagers to learn and although most teenagers won't have Grandmas like this one it may make them appreciate their grandparents or see the in a different light.
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KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay


SUGARBUG

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SUGARBUG
SAGE DRAKE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A young woman goes on a crazy adventure to get to her "Sugarbugs" on time.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Ok, I'm a cat lover so I definitely found this amusing. It's well produced, has a good pace, nice camera work, good acting and a surprise ending. Love the cats! For every dog lover, there is an equal and opposite cat lover! This has a light touch to it and will make a nice addition to any youth and family film festival. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
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Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


LASER RACERS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LASER RACERS
JENNIFER COOTS
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Emmi, excited to join a youth racing team, finds herself immersed in the futuristic game and in life's unexpected struggles. With the support of her teammates, she finds that friendship can carry you through your toughest challenges.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a great story with lots of potential. It flows well and the characters are extremely well developed. I like how it is more than just a story about skate racing. It teaches about compassion and even has a couple of scenes that made me tear up. It is engaging and I think that it would be fun to see the actually skate racing on the big screen. I loved the characters especially Jet and Starcaster but their team mates were also quite intriguing. The only weakness is that there are a few grammar and spelling mistakes but they can be easily fixed and I do highly recommend this script. I would give this 4.5 out of 5 stars. Recommended for ages 8 to 18. Accepted! Reviewed by D.B.
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KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay


DONUT THIEVES FROM VARGON V

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DONUT THIEVES FROM VARGON V
MOONBASE2020 PRODUCTIONS
Series: SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Robots are invading the Earth to steal the irresistible donuts! What will the Earthlings do....?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This Australian student production from elementary and middle school students is campy in the most adorable way. I love the space suits made out of cardboard boxes and the audio track which is distorted to make you think the two kids are talking to us from space. I love how the beginning starts with text similar to the opening of Star Wars. It's a good take off. So is the set with the "Breaking News" scrolling across the top. The make up with drawn on mustaches and beards is fun as are the titles. The kid cast appear to be having a wonderful time making this film. There are some issues with audio that is a bit uneven, such as when the kids are outdoors and we heard the wind. But, the quirky storyline and delivery make it something that I think elementary and middle school kids will enjoy. You just have to remind them that this IS a STUDENT PRODUCED film. Recommended for ages 5 to 12. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer.
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Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


LAST WARRIOR, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LAST WARRIOR, THE
YULIA TRAVNIKOVA
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Ivan, an ordinary guy, who, by mere chance, is transferred from modern Moscow to fantasy land of Belogorie. This parallel world is inhabited by characters of Russia fairy-tales, magic is an inherent part of ordinary life and disputes are settled by an enchanted swords fight. Ivan turns up in the middle of the battle between light and dark forces, although it's unclear why, by everyone's opinion, he has the leading role in these events. From Russia with English sub-titles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What a great combination of medieval fantasy and comedy! I love the time travel aspect in this action-packed, Russian film (sub-titled in English). The special effects that cause weapons to disintegrate or melt away are particularly cool. This story is about Ivan, a reluctant Wizard, who escapes modern life in Moscow by going down a water slide into the fantasy world, Belogoria. It's funny how he often hesitates to use his magic powers as he leads an adventurous life in Belogoria, with its colorful cast of characters. They include a dismembered, frozen senior wizard, a horny old witch and a courageous, beautiful young maiden. They are on a common quest to find the Magic Sword. There is a lot of good slapstick comedy, with pratfalls and other mishaps between adversaries. Also included are plenty of elaborate costumes for the king, queen and knights. The production designer created an authentic-looking castle, dungeon, cave and a foggy, enchanted forest setting. The lighting utilizes lots of candles, torches, flickering flames and a laser beam whip, all suitable for this environment. The background music adds an air of romance and homesickness to the story. My favorite part is when the old witch hurls a bunch of insulting nicknames at Ivan. She thinks he's a useless tag-a-long, who would best serve the team as a meal. The lecherous, flirtatious swamp monster is also a riot. The message here is that heroism often comes in unexpected forms and, the tongue can be mightier than the sword. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. This would make a wonderful addition to any KIDS FIRST! Film Festival so be sure to check it out. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
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Runtime: 110 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


THREE APRILS IN MARCH

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
THREE APRILS IN MARCH
MICHAEL COLES
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 12 TO 16
Topic - Family
Description - Nick is going to his first school dance and it's a turn-about. After confirming he'll go with April, he turns to the women in his life for advice. On the night of the dance, Nick must use all the advice he received to turn a disaster into a dance to remember.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Oh man, there's so much on the line! This film shows how going to your first school dance can either make or break your future reputation at school. One wrong move, and you can be labeled a dork for the next few years. This short, live action film emphasizes the role of confusion in teenagers' lives. Nick, the main character, is confused and uncertain about what girls really want. Then, there's mixed-up communication over which April is supposed to be his date for the school dance. Finally, the three Aprils fool Nick into thinking that he's in control of the situation. The screenwriter chooses some fun dialogue for Dr. Dee Light, the TV dating advisor. Dr. Light speaks with a fake Russian accent, talks about babushkas, and jokes about how many sides there really are to a woman. Her costume, with the ridiculously long cigarette holder, is also hilarious. The sets are a bit underwhelming, although appropriate for the story with very typical places such as garages, kitchens and school auditoriums. The camera work is pretty good, although it's a bit on the dark side. Better lighting could have helped amp it up. The audio is well done and there is really no background music, except at the dance. It is well cast, with each character played in a quite believable way. My favorite part is seeing the dad dancing and singing into a wooden spoon as a microphone, while cooking dinner. This provides good comic relief for the tense household. I also enjoyed watching Nick practice his dancing in front of a TV screen, obviously getting some tips from YouTube or similar. The message of the film is to appreciate being invited to a party. It's a lot better than being left out. Feeling included and accepted is very important to teenagers. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 12 to 16. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult critic. Reviewed by Jeff M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult jurors.
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Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-16
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


MISPLACEMENT, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MISPLACEMENT, THE
JEFFREY MORIN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 13-18
Topic - Family
Description - A grandfather takes his grandson on a walk through the woods and park. He tells him the story of the' Misplacement of George Washington' a story he had written for his wife 35 years earlier. There is also a message to all about the creative growth of children and what we leave behind when we, pass.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film definitely stirs up our creativity! It was fun to let my imagination wander while watching the main characters, a grandfather and his grandson, play in the woods. The audience is encouraged to make up some great tales as to how the George Washington Christmas ornament ended up in the forest. This is a story about an anthropomorphic figurine that learns to cope with its adversary, a squirrel. The George Washington doll manages to avoid being trampled by a walrus by rolling out of the way at just the right time. Thus he picks up some survival skills after being dumped carelessly in the woods. The cinematography excels in this film as one scene fades into the next, giving the film a dream-like feel. At times, we see multiple images layered upon one another, like the deer that sneaks into a shot of the two people in the wooed. The production designer chose an effective set in the woods, using a live squirrel as the antagonist. A children's playground serves as an effective set to illustrate the grandfather's continuous urge to explore and seek adventure. There is a prominent lamp fixture, which lights up and later goes dark, to symbolize that life must be grabbed by the horns. There is no dialogue. Instead, it is narrated, which lends an additional layer of insight into what's going on inside George Washington's mind. My favorite part is how the grandfather gets his grandson so excited about finding a toy in the woods and how they create a story about how it landed up there. It's wonderful to see the power of storytelling being passed from one generation to the next. At some level, this film is really about the legacy that the grandfather is passing on to his young grandson, told with love and care. The message is that you can simply go outdoors to find great stimulation in life. It's not necessary to buy pre-packaged entertainment that can actually cramp our imaginations. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. I really think that adults will respond to it better than children, but teens will "get" the message. Reviewed by Jeff M. and Julie S. KIDS FIRST! adult jurors
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Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


FRONTLINE: THE FACEBOOK DILEMMA

FRONTLINE: THE FACEBOOK DILEMMA
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Early warnings about Facebook's impact on privacy and democracy in the U.S. and around the world. Dozens of original interviews and rare footage show how the company faced claims of misuse while becoming an unprecedented global power.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This two-hour Frontline episode offers a fascinating and much-needed critical look at the influence and effects of Facebook. From its gathering of users' data to the website's open forum being manipulated by propagandists, the fast-paced program portrays the dangers inherent when a company does little to verify the information being disseminated on its platform. Emphasis is placed on Facebook leaders identifying the company as a technology provider, rather than a media organization, which led to a focus on growth and profitability and little attention given to controlling the content being posted. The result was a proliferation of misinformation and "fake news," used insidiously by foreign governments to sow discontent and influencing the 2016 Presidential election. The hard-hitting program includes frank interviews with former Facebook staff who describe the failure of the company's leadership to take action when faced with the reality of the weaponization of the site as well as current high-level staff who defend their response as "slow." The issues raised here affect every user of social media and should be required viewing for anyone using Facebook. Recommended for ages 14 to 18, as well as adults. 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Mike F. KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
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Runtime: 106 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: Video and DVD


WELCOME TO MARWEN       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - On April 8, 2000, aspiring artist Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) became a victim of a violent assault when five men beat him up and left him for dead. Following the attack, Mark was left with little to no memory of his previous life due to brain damage inflicted by his attackers. In a desperate attempt to regain his memories, Hogancamp constructs a miniature World War II village called Marwen in his yard to help in his recovery. Unfortunately, Mark's demons come back to haunt him when he's asked to testify against the five men that attacked him.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say -

Welcome to Marwen is disappointing, despite its very inspiring true story and many talents. Some performances, impeccable direction and a beautiful animation style save it somewhat. Fans of Zemeckis may want to check it out, but should vastly lower their expectations.

The plot follows the true story of Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell), a former war writer turned photographer after a hate crime left him an amnesiac. Split into two distinct plotlines, one of which is Mark's everyday life, as he photographs his dolls made to resemble himself and important women in his life (Leslie Mann, Merrit Wever, Janelle Monae, Eliza Gonzalez, Gwendoline Christie, Leslie Zemeckis and Diane Kruger) the other is a doll world, as acted by his dolls and led by his doppelganger doll, Captain Hogie. Both follow Mark on his road to recovery, as the doll world mirrors events from real life.

Steve Carrell, as Mark Hogancamp/Captain Hogie, is my favorite character, as he delivers an inspirational and emotionally charged performances that captures all ends of his trauma and strength in recovery. He pays pure respect to the real-life artist, despite a detrimental script. Leslie Mann, as Nicol, is extremely vibrant in all her interactions, but that comes with a price as her scripted lines make her seem somewhat like a cartoon character. Despite this, it is easy to see why she has the impact she does in Mark's recovery. The rest of the women in the film, from the doll store owner Roberta (Merritt Weaver) to the mysterious Deja Thoris (Diane Kruger) all shine. This roster also includes compelling performances from Janelle Monae, Eliza Gonzalez, Gwendoline Christie and Leslie Zemeckis, even if their interactions prove to be cartoonish and stereotypical at times.

Robert Zemeckis aptly directs the movie, as he does always. Although the flair of Back to the Future or even Forest Gump is missing here. It is very well shot, but the meaning of the film matches up to nothing like his previous work. My favorite scene is the initial courtroom encounter, as it truly embodies the anxiety that Mark faces from seeing his attackers. It is very creative, with an eye for visuals putting us into the moment of his fright. The flaws in the movie are not just in the lackluster script, but also in various pacing issues. The doll world plot, despite its many creative action scenes, does not make any sense as to how it helps him recover and there are too many sub-plot that try to make up the lack of movie flair. The movie slows down because of this. Despite that, the real-world plot fares much better, with its compelling share of characters that give his personal plight an explainable and inspiring recovery.

The message of this film is that trusting in friends and acting upon creativity helps alleviate our stress. I give this film 2.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because of violence, mature themes, and brief sexual references. The movie releases in theaters on December 21, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 11-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


ON THE BASIS OF SEX

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ON THE BASIS OF SEX       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - The story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights and what she had to overcome in order to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - On the Basis of Sex is such a fun and empowering film. I enjoyed it quite a bit as it was equally entertaining and informative. The characters are well crafted and the aesthetic of the 50s to 70s time period really sets the tone of the movie. It feels real and true, as opposed to the glorified version of the story that some biographical films show. The authenticity and uniqueness of the film really helps it stand out. This is a very important movie for people see.

This film follows the true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a young and gifted lawyer, who struggles to find work simply because she is a woman. In order to prove that the law discriminates on the basis of sex, Ms. Ginsburg has to work harder than she ever has before.

The film is very well written with an immaculate attention to detail, thanks to the writer being Ruth Bader Ginsburg's nephew Daniel Stiepleman, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing. It is full of heart and truth because Justice Ginsburg made sure everything was accurately portrayed. She read all of the drafts of the scripts to make sure that her story told well. It is never boring! I laughed out loud when it was funny and got angry seeing RBG rejected and having doors slammed in her face, due to her gender.

The acting is really great. Both Armie Hammer, who portrays Martin Ginsburg and Cailee Spaeny who portray Jane Ginsburg absolutely blew me away. Armie portrays Martin as a man who really loves and respects his wife in such a heartwarming way. Cailee portrays Jane as a funny and empowered feminist. The relationship between Jane and Ruth is displayed with such honesty and realism. My only complaint about the acting might be that Ruth's accent could have been much stronger.

I rate this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, as well as adults. This film tells such a special and unique story, one that is incredibly important, with equal amounts of heart, humor, turmoil and honesty. This triumphant story really gets you thinking. It opens nationwide in theaters January hits theatres worldwide on January 11, 2019, so do yourself a favor and go watch it.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


NEVER-ENDING MAN: HAYAO MIYAZAKI

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEVER-ENDING MAN: HAYAO MIYAZAKI       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
GKIDS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8 TO 18
Topic - Family
Description - A look at famous Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki following his retirement in 2013.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Never Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki is a poignant, revealing portrait of the Oscar�-winning Japanese director, Hayao Miyazaki. Directed by Kaku Arakawa and produced by NHK, this documentary shows Miyazaki's fans what the legendary director is planning for the future, since his decision to retire in 2013. The film uses chapters to title each section of the film, which makes it seem more personal, as if each piece is a part of Miyazaki's thought process. The editing and camera angles are spot on and very cleanly done.

As the film opens, Miyazaki believes that he is too old to continue with hand-drawn, animated, feature films, because they are too emotionally and physically taxing on his aging body. He decides to start focusing the rest of his energy on a less physically intense short film, Boro the Caterpillar. In order for this project to be practical for Miyazaki, he and the remains of his trusted team decide to call upon a more technological, younger CGI team. Miyazaki doesn't trust the younger team at the start because he says they don't capture the essence of emotion and passion in their CGI work. However, he ultimately gets a kick out of learning CGI animation from the younger team and begins to feel more open towards them, because he feeds off the energy of their youth.

During the project, Miyazaki becomes mildly depressed because two of his old animation colleagues pass away and he questions why he didn't go first. Miyazaki says that he would rather die being productive, making his next film than being an ordinary, lazy old man. In fact, the documentary shows how he changes his mind about doing another feature length film. Even though he may die during the making of the next film, he states that he wants "to die with something to live for."

This documentary was somewhat sad for me, because Miyazaki is, by far my favorite director. To see him speak of himself as old and feeble was really hard to watch. I've seen all of his films multiple times and it's really distressing to think that it will all be over after his next film. However, he still appears to be robust and the films ends on a positive note. He states that "self-satisfied people are boring and we have to push hard to surpass ourselves." It's difficult to imagine how Miyazaki can surpass what he's already accomplished.

I recommend Never Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki for ages 13 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars, because it digs deep into the emotional and complicated life cycle of a world-shaping animation director. This film is distributed by Gkids and playing in select screenings through Fathom Events. Do check it out.

Reviewed by Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 19

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


AQUAMAN

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
AQUAMAN       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Origin stories are always fun. Learning the back-story of a character is a wild ride, especially when discussing Aquaman. The unlikely and forbidden union of a human man and a queen from the depths of the seas resulted in a boy with surreal aquatic skills and knowledge. As the narrator of the film, Aquaman/ Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) tells the tale of his birth and youth in a lovely way - until his Mother Queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) is violently swept away by the troops of King Orm (Patrick Wilson), a power-hungry ruthless ruler. Now confused, Arthur is visited by a teacher named Vulko (Willem Dafoe) who teaches him the ways of his people.

As Arthur grows up, he learns he is the heir to Atlantis, an underwater kingdom. The story is told through a series of flashbacks, which teach the audience more about his origin story and how his disinterest in attaining a throne comes to be. Throughout the film, Arthur denies his birthright and refuses to fight for his rightful place as heir to a throne held by his half-brother, King Orm (Patrick Wilson). His betrothed, Princess Mera (Amber Heard) reconsiders her place in the kingdom as the battle for Atlantis ensues.

Throughout his life, Vulko has trained Arthur to educate him about the sea, and the reigning factions. As he is a cross-species being, he must learn how to get along above and below the sea. Arthur lives a history lesson as he learns about the sea Kings and evolution of the Master of the Sea.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend this film for ages 14 to 18, as well as adults. As widely reported, there is a lot of CGI, and violent CGI. The War Of The Seas is scary at times. Conversely, the stunts and special effects are detailed and outstanding. The visuals are beautiful. The costumes are alive with color. Moms will see themselves in the reality of Motherhood self-sacrifice in Queen Atlanna. Hats off to Jason Momoa (swoon. His over-the-top portrayal of Arthur works. He is equally funny and dedicated to the role. Suspend belief and enjoy a wet ride through lands never seen before. This film opens in theaters nationwide December 21, 2018.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really like this film because the message is so powerful. It's about training to be the best you can be. Then, when you are ready, your task is to beat anything that's in your way, with a humble heart because good always wins. Another reason why I like it is because of the action between Arthur and King Orm. These two teach that, no matter what the situation is, violence is never the answer. I also really like the background music because the suspense really moved me and made me want to jump out of my seat with excitement and joy.

This amazing action/adventure film is about the city of Atlantis, which is now an underwater kingdom ruled by the power-hungry king Orm. With his army by his side, King Orm plans to take over the remaining oceanic people to become the King of all oceans better known as the Oceanic Master, then to rule the surface world. Standing in Orm's way is his half-Human, half-Atlantean brother, Aquaman, known as half-breed. With help from Vulko, who is the royal counselor of the throne, Aquaman must retrieve the powerful trident of Atlan to proclaim the title as the protector of the deep blue sea.

The cast includes Arthur/Aquaman (Jason Momoa, Game Of Thrones), Atlanna (Nicole Kidman, Dead Calm), King Atlan (Graham McTavish, Outlander), Mera (Amber Heard, Never Back Down), King Orm (Patrick Wilson, Insidious), Vulko (Willem Dafoe, Spider-Man), Manta (Yahya Abdul-Manteen II, The Greatest Showman).

My favorite part of this film is when Arthur finds out that he has the power to talk to the creatures in the water, in other words echolocation. Following that, Arthur doesn't know how to control the power that he has, which is why King Atlan puts Arthur in the hands of the royal counselor, Vulko, to learn to control his powers. From the training that Artur does with Vulko, Arthur shall use it in the future.

Aside from that, King Orm plans to take things into his own hands and decides to conquer the seven seas to become King Of The Deep Blue Sea, also known as the Oceanic Master. After that, King Orm plans to take apart the surface world to become his treasure for good.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, as well as adults. Truly the whole family will love this film as it has so many funny and good reaction moments. This film also requires very good anthropomorphic qualities in various scenes. Don't miss this amazing action/adventure film directed by James Wan, which is playing in theaters now, to find out what happens at the end.

Reviewed by Siaki S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT CHRISTMAS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT CHRISTMAS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - 'Twas the day before Christmas and all through the yard the Cat in the Hat and his guests partied hard. When the party was over, and the guests all departed one poor baby reindeer was left broken-hearted! Can the Cat in the Hat, Sally, Nick and the Fish help make come true little Ralph's Christmas wish? to be with his family, in far-off Freeze-Your-Knees. Will you help see him home? Come be our guests, please!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Looking for an original family fun DVD to watch with the younger kids during the Holiday Season? The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas is the one to watch This is a great addition to the other Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That shows. Like the others, it features Martin Short as the voice for the Cat, is colorfully animated, has very catchy music and is just fun to watch. It starts out at the Cat's big Christmas party with all his various creature friends, from elephants to a very little mouse. We learn that a caribou is the same as a reindeer. There is a delightful story about finding Ralph the Caribou and taking him home for Christmas. I highly recommend this for children ages 3 to 8, and their parents too. I give it 5 stars out of 5 for its terrific entertainment value. Reviewed by Denise A. B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say -

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas is filled with excitement, adventure and teamwork. The setting takes place on Christmas Eve and is based on the struggles of an inquisitive reindeer, Ralph, who needs to get home in time for Christmas. We travel through a town called Freeze Your Knees, a waterhole, and even Christmas Island where the crew faces lots of mysterious circumstances. There are creative moments of learning, laughter and problem solving. The climatic moments of this film teach us not to give up, no matter where we end up. The holiday season is most known for caring and sharing and this film focuses on that message. There are lots of surprise appearances from family members and animal friends of the Cat, Nick, and Sally. There are many moments of music the encourage you to sing along. Every character has a helpful role that contributes to the journey to save Christmas. Opportunities for education are surely part of this film. This is a great film to view with friends and family, especially during the holidays. The story has messages about being brave, working together and finding your way back home. I recommend it for ages 5 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. By Elle Stewart, KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 5.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


MORTAL ENGINES

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MORTAL ENGINES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A mysterious young woman, Hester Shaw, emerges as the only one who can stop a giant, predator city on wheels devouring everything in its path. Feral, and fiercely driven by the memory of her mother, Hester joins forces with Tom Natsworthy, an outcast from London, along with Anna Fang, a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mortal Engines is a visually incredible movie. Unfortunately, the story is quite hard to follow, and a lot seems to have been cut.

The film is set in a post-apocalyptic future where civilization has been wiped out. What's left of the human race has rebuilt cities as war vehicles designed to destroy and loot other cities. A girl named Hester Shaw tries to revenge her mother and stop London from destroying the shield wall, a wall that protects the peaceful, non-moving cities.

I dislike how fast it moves. There are lots of action scenes and some of them get a bit too fast. On the other hand, these action scenes are well planned out and have lots of moving parts. In almost all of them, the characters are fighting while the city falls apart.

The CGI in this movie is really impressive. The steampunk cities that fill the movie are thought out thoroughly. Shrike, a humanoid robot, is well designed. He looks very realistic, but with lots of sci-fi details. I specifically like how he can hold onto the ground by folding his feet down. This is a unique ability that isn't over or under used. I enjoy Stephen Lang's voice as Shrike. It gives an expected, eerie feeling to his character. The makeup for Hester's scar is great, looking realistic but not too over the top.

The moral of Mortal Engines is that you can accomplish anything if you work as a team. This is shown when Hester refuses to work with her friends until the end, when they must work together to stop London from destroying the shield wall.

The music is often too overpowering. In several scenes, the music actually takes away from what is happening on screen. For example, in the final set it gets so loud that you can't hear what the characters are saying.

My favorite scene is at the beginning, when they show the landscape of this post-apocalyptic future and then, quickly jump into the action with a fun chase scene. This scene is very intense and shows what most of the movie is all about.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 12 to 15. It opens in theaters Friday, December 14, 2018 so look for it.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Mortal Engines is one of the most creative films I've seen in years. The concept is fresh and imaginative and the storytelling is solid. There are two flaws though. This film tries to create a universe that is deep and rich, but also has many plots going at the same time which makes the film seem jumbled. It seems that they tried to fit too much into one movie.

Mortal Engines' premise is that world's crust is split into hundreds of pieces thanks to a war that lasted 60 minutes. Humans, after the decimation of the earth, made cities and nations built on wheels, because the entire earth became a hunting ground where larger more powerful cities prayed on the less powerful. The film begins with London chasing down one rogue city that tries to escape, but is captured. The city has onboard Hesther Shaw (Hera Hilmar) who has been tracking down London to kill its commander Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving), who killed her mother. She attempts to murder him, but gets caught and runs away with another Londoner.

My favorite part is the opening sequence where the smaller city is driving away from London. This is a great way to show off the type of world this is. Also, it shows the pure beauty of the CGI and special effects they use.

This film has some serious star power. Most notably Hugo Weaving who has been in countless movies including The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Matrix. He is a Nigerian born Australian-English film and stage actor. Also Leila George who plays Katherine Valentine and is a stage actor who is also known for her work in The Long Home and The Kid, both to be released in 2019.

The message of this film is that you don't have to do whatever it takes to get your way. I recommend this film to anyone who likes Lord Of The Rings and Mad Max. There plenty of stunts that you don't want to try and lots of drinking so, I recommend this for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. This film hits theatres December 14, 2018.

By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - "Fox has been asking for a PG-13 basically since the start in 2006," Ryan Reynolds told Deadline. "I've said no since 2006. Now, this one time, I said 'Yes' on two conditions. First, a portion of the proceeds had to go to charity. Second, I wanted to kidnap Fred Savage. The second condition took some explaining..."Fred Savage will join Reynolds in new scenes for ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL in an homage to Savage's starring role in the 1987 bedtime-story classic THE PRINCESS BRIDE. Fred remarked, "while my participation in this film was anything but voluntary, I am happy to learn that Fudge Cancer will be the beneficiary of this shameless cash grab"
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Deadpool had much attention recently for its fame of being highly mature, but at the same time incredibly entertaining. Once Upon a Deadpool attempts to break that by releasing a PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2 and, while it will make the audience laugh as much as the previous version, it fails to expand the Deadpool audience to younger viewers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


SNOWMAN, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SNOWMAN, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - One crisp, winter morning, a young boy wakes up to find a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground as far as the eye can see. Filled with excitement, the boy decides to build a snowman using a tangerine for his nose, coal for his buttons and eyes, and tops him off with a hat and scarf. Later that night, at the stroke of midnight, the snowman comes to life! The young boy and the snowman embark on a magical adventure of discovery where the snowman explores the young boy's world and in return he takes him flying to his home in the North Pole. Upon arriving at the North Pole, the two join a party as the guests of honor to a very special person. Based on Raymond Briggs book, THE SNOWMAN is a family classic for generations to enjoy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This classic animated film, based on the Raymond Briggs book, is one of my all-time holiday favorites. I have seen it shown with a live orchestra accompanying it, which was an incredible event. I'm so that that NCircle is celebrating its 40th anniversary as I firmly believe it belongs in everyone's holiday film collection, to be shared with youngsters and family members annually. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

The Snowman (1982) harkens back to a more pure form of animation: hand-drawn, nearly wordless and not a pop culture reference in sight. The story of a boy whose snowman comes to jolly life unfolds in bursts of warm color, the images flowing into each other in a mesmerizing effect. Based on the popular children's book by Raymond Briggs, this 30-minute short was made for British television, earning a BAFTA TV Award and an Academy Award nomination. The texture and tremulous nature of the hand-drawn animation is of a piece with the author's original drawings, truly a book brought to life in a swirl of images and music, most notably the ethereal "Walking in the Air." This DVD release, celebrating the film's 40th Anniversary, includes two excellent bonus features: an alternate opening with David Bowie created for the 20th Anniversary and a 25-minute "making of" that goes into great detail about how the animation was done. Recommended for ages 4 to 18 and older. 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.

Winter is a magical time for children, especially when the snow falls. Every child looks forward to that one giant snowfall of the season. You know the one, where the whole world looks like it's engulfed in a comfortable, soft blanket. It makes even adults reach into their soul for their inner child and go outside to make snow angels, forts and of course... a snowman. The reality of the wonder of a heavy snowfall is what makes The Snowman such a wonderful story. The Snowman is based on the 1978 wordless picture book of the same name. The story is about a young boy who goes outside on a particularly snowy day to build himself a snowman. To his delight, at midnight the snowman comes to life! James and the snowman have all kids of fun together and even go on a little adventure to the North Pole! This story differs a bit from its source material, but it is a wonderful adaptation. The Snowman received a sequel called The Snowman and the Snowdog. This 40th anniversary DVD has some great special features, including an alternate introduction by David Bowie. This story has aged very well and the animation is still breathtakingly beautiful. This story is great for children ages 2 to 12, but anyone in the holiday spirit will really enjoy watching this! I give it 5 out of 5 stars for being so wonderful! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Snowman is a masterpiece that will bring families closer together for the holidays. The film is based on the classic UK picture book by Raymond Briggs, which has sold more than 8.5 million copies since it was first published in 1978.

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

The Snowman book was adapted for the screen in 1982 and earned a nomination for an Academy Award for best animated short film. The animation of the drawings is just amazing, bringing to life so many memories from the days of movie shorts. There is no dialogue, which makes it even more beautiful and somewhat old-fashioned. The music by Howard Blake, Peter Auty and the Sinfonia of London is amazing. It fits perfectly with everything the boy and the snowman are doing. Each song tells a story, with each pluck of a string or push of a piano key. The songs in the movie are catchy and addicting to sing along with. I am sixteen and I sung along with the songs!

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

Reviewed by Clayton P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Eden T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

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

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

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

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Miles Morales comes across the long-dead Peter Parker. This Peter Parker is not from his world though; he's from somewhere else in the multiverse. With Parker's guidance, Miles will become Spider-Man: and through that he will become part of the ever-expanding 'Spider-Verse'.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What would you do if you could be a superhero? What if you have no choice? From the very beginning, Spider-Man: Into the Spicer-Verse is very energetic and captures your attention. This animated film has impressive visuals. The music creates a fantastic rhythm. And you just want to watch more.

The story follows a high school student named Miles Morales, who just changed school. He goes into an abandoned subway station with his uncle Erin and gets bitten by a radioactive spider. Ever since that day, Miles starts sticking to everything he touches. Then, he meets Spider-Man (Peter Parker), teams up with some friends from the same dimension and they attempt to save the world from the villain Kingoin.

The story is very original and makes the impossible possible. It takes all the abilities of Spider-Man to far and beyond with its action scenes. The film also shows a very real family atmosphere and the humor is smart. I love the non-traditional characters and how they embrace diversity. And yes! Spider-Man is Latino and surely does speak Spanish! There are also some fun new characters.

With this film, Marvel has created a film that celebrates comics, film and visual arts. Of course, it celebrates Spider-Man and makes this super hero relevant and contemporary. It is absolutely eye-poppingly beautiful and really pushes the boundaries of the genre with its colors, textures and camera movements. There are several different forms of animation in one film. You feel as if you are actually reading a comic book or the comic book is coming to life.

Naturally, the film does a very touching tribute to genius Stan Lee. I feel the filmmakers took some risks bringing new ideas to this iconic character which as been adored for over 50 years. The result is a must-see family movie that is even more appealing to new generations. I also love how this film is animated. It's so different. I've never seen a film like this one. I think it's very unique. Be sure to stay after the credits to see something very special, including another set of credits at the very end.

This film sets a new era in animated movies. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and include it in my Oscar predictions as a very possible winner. This is the film parents will love their kids to watch and kids will enjoy in many different ways.

With great power comes great responsibility and we all can be heroes. This is the idea behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - inclusion for all in the vast universe and the idea that we can all be heroes by making the right choices and doing our best helping each other in our everyday life. This film opens nationwide December 14, 2018 at a theater near you. Be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a masterpiece of the superhero and animated genre. Groundbreaking animation and voice talent propel this above any other Spidey movies. Any fan of Marvel or even animation must check out this one-of-a-kind experience.

The story follows Brooklyn teen Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) or the "new Spider-Man," after he is bitten by a radioactive spider. When Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man, dies, Morales realizes he is the only one left to save the city from the grips of Kingpin (Liev Schreiber). Kingpin threatens to risk all space-time continuums, which even brings new Spider-men from other dimensions and timelines. One such is another Peter Parker (Jake Johnston) who serves as Miles' mentor. These Spider-men remain the only ones powerful enough to defeat Fisk and his maniacal experiments.

Shameik Moore, as Miles Morales, is easily the movie's best character and empowers in what is the first depiction of his character in a movie. His coming-of-age brings upmost relatability and his perseverance only makes his origin story as compelling, if not more so as Peter's. Jake Johnston, as Peter Parker, portrays the classic original well, but with neat nuances. His character is one that has suffered many setbacks and devolved to laziness, with his arc being a fun, unexpected diversion. Bryan Tyree Henry, as Jefferson Davis, charges his father-son relationship with much heart as he struggles to bond. His brother Aaron, played by Mahershala Ali, provides another compelling performance, as he remains a key inspiration for why Miles is who he is. The Spider-verse, is complimented by the mysterious Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), anime-inspired Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), Nicolas Cage who shines as the Spider-Man Noir and last, but not least, the wise-cracking anthropomorphic Spider-Ham (John Mullaney). Liev Schreiber brings a deep booming voice in the Kingpin that only adds to his menacing large physique.

Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman are experts in their class with many beautiful and visceral shots commanding the plot. The animation is something to be commended with its own identity taking homage from many comic books. My favorite scene comes from the central scene where Miles becomes one with his powers, as every shot has meaning and flair. It is truly inspiring and mind-blowing from a plot-driven and animated perspective. I could nitpick on the lack of a compelling villain at points or even some very infrequent awkward song placements, but in the end, everything comes into fruition and those are a long gone afterthought.

The message of the movie is about taking leaps of faith as Morales's whole story revolves around just that in his quest to live up to the worthy Spider-Man mantle. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 because of some intense scenes and themes. The movie releases in theaters on December 14, 2018 so check it out.

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

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse surprised me in its ability to create an original piece despite the several renditions of Spider-Man that exist! Spider-Man has been adopted by several films and TV shows in the past decades, yet Into the Spider-Verse is the most creative take on Spider-Man. The animation sets a milestone in the history of animation, for it is the first of its kind. Such aspects bring fresh artistry in animation that is rare in the film industry.

The story follows Miles Morales, a young boy who faces pressure at high school and at home to be the best. However, when a portal to the multi-verse is opened, Miles is tasked with the responsibility of saving his hometown of Brooklyn. Along the way, several Spider-Men and Women meet who align with Miles and they become a close and loving family.

The animation is contemporary and avant-garde, featuring pop art and street art. It is a tribute to the art of comic books, bringing them to life. It has several aspects of a comic book including onomatopoeia like "Pow!" and "Boom!" that are surrounded by colorful borders in several of the action scenes. Another example of the comic book charm occurs when an exciting fight move is taken by one of the Spider characters. At this time the screen splits into three, displaying the happenings in that instant, and adding to the thrill of the moment and overall fight. These small nuances accumulate, making me feel as if I had walked into a comic book.

My favorite part is the way that there are small tributes to the original Spider-Man comic books with different takes on villains such as Dr. Octopus and the Green Goblin. They even made small references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe films that added to the ingenuity and display the directors' attention to detail. The only thing that the film can improve on is the plot, because some of the characters are underdeveloped. Otherwise, the climax and storylines are unpredictable and engaging.

The message of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is that all it takes to be what you want and do what you want is to take a leap of faith. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. Be sure to check out Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in theatres nationwide December 14, 2018.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MARY POPPINS RETURNS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MARY POPPINS RETURNS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael's three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This charming musical is not a remake of the original Mary Poppins, like some expected. Rather it is a sequel to the wonderful original, with the children grown and parents themselves. Lin-Manuel Miranda plays the lamp-lighter with his usual panache and flair. I swear, I could watch him on screen forever. He is ever so charming and sprightful. Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins is equally engaging, bringing her own magical fantastic way of problem-solving to the family as it faces economic ruin. Rob Marshall has a way of creating such delightful family friendly films and this one will become a must see for those who love musicals. The singing and dancing are superb. The choreography makes use of lampposts, ladders, bicycles and everything else in the set as the ensemble cast adeptly dances their way across the screen. Really, all the cast is superb and I would be remiss without shouting our Dick Van Dyke's cameo appearance at the end. Seeing this 90 year old icon dance on top of a desk just proves that you're never too old to be young! I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 through 18, as well as adults. My older sister watched this with me and I had to drag her out of the theater afterwards. She loved it! So did my much younger grandson. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mary Poppins Returns is a charming musical filled to the brim with imagination and whimsy. It is quite entertaining and Emily Blunt is very good as the magical, manners-focused nanny.

The storyline follows the title character as she returns to the Banks' family home, decades later. Siblings Michael and Jane Banks are grown up. Michael, with kids of his own and mourning the loss of his wife, is about to lose the home that they have lived in since they were children. Poppins descends from the London sky, ready to help the Banks' family with their plight and teach Michael's kids to use their imaginations and improve their manners. The bank has given Michael a few days to pay off his house, setting off a countdown for Poppins, the Banks and a lamplighter named Jack to save the home.

The story is interesting. Michael Banks has hit rock bottom. His wife has tragically passed away and he's about to lose the home he has lived in since childhood. The only thing that brings him joy is the comfort and company of his family. It's a sad place to start, but it's a great scenario for Mary Poppins to come to work her magic. The idea of losing your home is pretty realistic and the contrast with such a fantastical protagonist and situation, provides an aspect that I quite enjoyed.

Emily Blunt is very good as Mary Poppins. She puts her own twist on the character, yet you can still trace it back to the earlier onscreen depiction of Poppins. Blunt gives the character a sharper, comedic edge. Her Poppins is much more witty and sarcastic, but still gives a sense of compassion and care for those around her. Blunt really dives into the role and cements her portrayal in a charismatic way. She steals the show in nearly every scene.

I recommend Mary Poppins Returns for ages 5 to 18, due to some dark themes. Adults and fans of the original Mary Poppins will enjoy this film. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. The film has lots of charm and it's great to see Poppins sail back onto the screen once again.

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

The movie, Mary Poppins Returns is a beautiful classic movie. I totally enjoyed it and can't wait to watch it again. However, it is different from what I thought it would be. I thought I was going to see a remake of the original Mary Poppins, you know, the one made famous by the incredible Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. However, Mary Poppins Returns is a sequel.

The story takes place 25 years into the future of the Banks' family and the brother and sister are all grown up now. Mr. Banks has recently lost his wife and is devastated. The family is losing their home because they are behind on payments. Fortunately, for the Banks' family, Mary Poppins (played by the multi-talented Emily Blunt) returns to help the family.

What I really love about this film is that it has a great story, acting, singing, dancing and music. I particularly loved the live action mixed with vibrant colorful animation. There are also golden nuggets of lessons to be learned in life, which I'll share shortly.

One of my favorite parts in the movie is when Mary Poppins makes her grand entrance gliding down from high in the sky with her umbrella. Another awesome scene is when Jack (played the brilliantly talented Lin-Manuel Miranda) uses a ladder to climb the multi-high clock tower. Another really cool scene is when all the characters go down a tub drain and enter a whole new world where they swim and sing.

I love the singing voices of Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. It is great to see a cameo appearance by the amazing Dick Van Dyke (as Mr. Dawes Jr.) who runs the bank. He literally lit up the film when he appears and dances on a desk. Angela Lansbury's cameo as the Balloon Lady was also just perfect. She has one of those voices when you hear one word you know it's her.

The messages of Mary Poppins Returns are important for all of us to remember - never lose hope, try to look at the brighter side of things and don't forget what it is to be or have the heart of a child. I recommend this for ages 5 to 18 and also for adults. This film comes to theatres December 19, 2018 and I think you will love it, too. I joyfully give Mary Poppins Returns 5 out of 5 stars!

Reviewed by Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


SHAKESPEARE UNCOVERED SERIES 3
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 14-18
Topic - Family
Description - Series 3 includes six films with new hosts as they weave their personal passions with history and analysis to tell the stories behind the stories of Shakespeare's famous works.: Much Ado About Nothing (Helen Hunt); The Merchant of Venice (F. Murray Abraham); Measure for Measure (Romola Garai); Julius Caesar (Brian Cox); The Winter s Tale (Simon Russell Beale); Richard III (Antony Sher).
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Are you a fan of Shakespeare plays? If you are, then you will find this series engaging and educational. This series is hosted by six different hosts and shows what actually sparked Bard to create some of his greatest plays. I was intrigued and found this a very interesting series. One of my favorite parts of the series is that there are interviews with some of the actors and there are clips from some of the television adaptations. My favorite of the six hosts is Helen Hunt and she shares with us much of the meaning behind Much Ado About Nothing. Other hosts include F. Murray Abraham, Romola Garai, Brian Cox, Simon Russell Beale, and Anthony Sher. I enjoyed learning about the stories behind these great plays. I give this series 4 stars out of 5 stars for both its educational and entertainment aspects. I recommend for ages 14 through 18 years old and also for adults as well. Reviewed by Denise B. KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 350 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 14-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99
Media: DVD
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OBAMA YEARS: THE POWER OF WORDS
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Barack Obama launched into our national consciousness at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and ever since, he's delivered messages of patriotism, unity, and hope through the power of words. Interviews with eminent historians and key figures in his writing process give rare insights into these iconic speeches, as well as the Obama presidency and the man himself.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have to admit that watching this DVD made me cry as I watched Obama's defining moments as President of the United States. This DVD shows how powerful and how heartfelt his words were, before he became President and during his eight years as President. In the beginning, his use of powerful words is compared to Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. All three inspirational men used words in their speeches that moved people. I also cried when Barack Obama became President, but they were happy tears. This DVD shows Barack Obama and how his powerful speeches were filled with hope and unity. He often tells a story. I really enjoyed watching some of his most powerful speeches that are included in this documentary. The narration is so engaging. I enjoyed learning about his speechwriters and how seriously Barack Obama took his words. He is a true inspiration and one of my favorite Presidents. This show made me realize how much I wish he was still the President. He is truly missed! I give this DVD 5 stars out of 5 stars because it is entertaining and very powerful. I recommend for ages 12 through 18 years old as well as adults. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 46 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99
Media: DVD



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