The Ages 2-5 category has 2649 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles

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ADVENTURE BOYZ

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ADVENTURE BOYZ       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
HOWARD FORD
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - When speedway racing champ Mike Harris has his kids for the summer holidays, he is stunned they want to sit inside playing on their devices. Insisting they get out into the real world for adventure and exercise, little does he realize, he is about to set off a chain of events that will change their lives forever.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Adventure Boyz is an engaging film in which family ties are tested and strengthened. The beginning of the movie shows the toll that family separation takes and the father realizing where his children are headed if they continue on that road. It ends with the returning of a missing family member and becoming a family again.

Adventure Boyz encourages family activities as healthy ways to nourish family relationships between parents and children, denouncing the use of electronics as some kind of epidemic that turns people into zombies.

What I found appealing are the main characters, the views and scenery. Plus, there is adventure and fun involved. Although the film lacks in creativity, it flows well most of the time. There are some things that don't quite make sense such as like the father being allowed to compete again and winning. It offers a please feeling of familiarity with the characters and their environments. The movie exceeds in showing positive family and faith values.

Adventure Boyz offers a positive message about family and the importance of good parenting. It emphasizes trusting God and positive advice that a committed parent should give her children. It does have some unnecessary physical violent scenes, that you should be aware of.

I give this 3 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 13 to 18. This film is available now on DVD and digital.

Reviewed by Carolina S., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Adventure Boyz because it has a good, interesting story. This film is full of action and adventure. It is cool how the two boys, Sam and younger brother Jake (Rory Ford, Felix Ford) work together to solve a mystery. I like how the boys' dad is a speedway racer, because that is something I'm not ever around. I also like the mom, because she is very protective of her kids. You can tell she loves them very much.

The story starts off with a news reporter reporting that 50 diamonds has been stolen in the castle. This grabbed my attention right away. When the two brothers are biking, they find a hideout where the diamonds hidden. That is just the beginning of their big adventure. The boys get chased by two bad guys pretty much throughout the movie and have quite a few close calls. They have to fend for themselves because their mom is away and their dad winds up in jail. It's really up to them to set things straight.

I love one of the bad guys in the story--one of the antagonists. He has a great personality, because he is always getting distracted by things and it's funny when he gets off task. The other antagonist is the complete opposite; he is very focused and very serious about his job. My favorite part is when one of the bad guys is admiring flowers. It's ironic because, earlier on in the film, he tells his partner he never wanted to be a criminal, he wanted to be a gardener.

The message of the film is to trust yourself. Sam sometimes has moments when he doubts himself and then, he learns to be more confident and does the right thing. I know when I'm more confident, I tend to do better at something, like when I'm singing, dancing and acting. There is one scary part, the abduction scene, when someone is tied up and has duct tape over his mouth.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 14, but even older kids and some adults may like it. Adventure Boyz is available now on Blu-Ray/DVD and streaming services, so look for it.

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: Video and DVD


KOKOWANDA BAY BY RUTH AND EMILIA

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
KOKOWANDA BAY BY RUTH AND EMILIA
RUTH WEBER, ENRICO LOPEZ-YANEZ AND EMILIA LOPEZ-YANEX PRODUCTIONS
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - URR the alien returns to Emilia's backyard to get her help in saving beautiful Kokowanda Bay which has become polluted. The two work together and sing these catchy tunes as they learn about recycling, reusing, and reducing, to make the world a better place.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The mother and daughter team of Ruth and Emilia have a winner of a new album on their hands with Kokowanda Bay, a rock 'em sock 'em joyous explosion of fun and educational songs of friendship, caring, love and wondrous discovery and includes a cute alien visitor from another planet for good measure. The production value and super vocals are indeed other-worldly with great use of instruments. (Hey, isn't that an oboe!) Songs move the story merrily along. A fun time is guaranteed for all - on this or any planet!

Kokowanda Bay by Ruth & Emilia is finely produced, well paced and flows easily. The album speaks to its target age group with messages of love, acceptance and care for the Earth. The arrangements are totally appealing and the vocals are terrific. I absolutely recommend this with its very positive and educational messages. It encourages that we all, regardless of age, can do our bit to be proactive. This album does not talk down to its audience, but uplifts them to a brighter understanding. All done in a loving and creative way.

The production value is terrific. The vocals are lovely and the musicians are on their game. It has lots of positive messages about going green, recycling and the wonders of nature. This would make a terrific tool for schools with its participatory projects, especially regarding science and the environment. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music Specialist
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: AUDIO


WORLD THAT WAS, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WORLD THAT WAS, THE
LORA BATCHELOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - This video is a combination animation and live action about a little boy learning how we can have peace in the world. He learns how the world originally was and how evil in the world took away peace and how everyone can make a difference by trying to create peace in the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Great message, that everyone can make a difference and the only way to cut through evil is by bringing light into the world, one person at a time. Produced by middle school students, it makes me happy to see them producing a film with this message. It gives one hope. The combination of live action and animation is well executed, although I would have liked to have seen a greater variety in images. It's a bit static as a film. Still, I am going to recommend it for ages 5 to 8 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Great message, that everyone can make a difference and the only way to cut through evil is by bringing light into the world, one person at a time. Produced by middle school students, it makes me happy to see them producing a film with this message. It gives one hope. The combination of live action and animation is well executed, although I would have liked to have seen a greater variety in images. It's a bit static as a film. Still, I am going to recommend it for ages 5 to 8 and give it 3 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SATURDAY CLUB

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SATURDAY CLUB
AGNES LESTI
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 2-6
Topic - Family
Description - Saturday Club is a preschool animation that strengthens social and emotional skills and helps to build kids' capacity for empathy.

The story follows the adventures of four friends - Tian, Jo, Suzie and Jamie - who meet in a play den each Saturday to discuss their week. Each episode introduces a situation where preschoolers have to put themselves in others' shoes and think about how others feel.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Quite fun and imaginative. Love the colors of the animation, so suitable for preschoolers. The length and pace of the storyline is perfect, just long enough for a "teachable moment" without getting too stuffy or detailed. I'd love to see more episodes from the show as this one definitely perked my interest. The voices are of British kids, which pose a bit of a challenge for some US audiences. However, that seems to be disappearing at least in some parts of the country. I definitely feel this would be a hit at a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Quite fun and imaginative. Love the colors of the animation, so suitable for preschoolers. The length and pace of the storyline is perfect, just long enough for a "teachable moment" without getting too stuffy or detailed. I'd love to see more episodes from the show as this one definitely perked my interest. The voices are of British kids, which pose a bit of a challenge for some US audiences. However, that seems to be disappearing at least in some parts of the country. I definitely feel this would be a hit at a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


INVISIBLE INK

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
INVISIBLE INK
LOGAN MARBER
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - When Emma has her friend over for a sleepover, they play with an invisible ink pen. Through a magical spell, the girl they draw with the pen comes to life and haunts Emma's family. Emma is annoyed with her sister for being so dramatic and thinks she is lying about what she saw. After trying to figure out why her sister thinks a strange girl is appearing in their home, Emma receives a message that will open her mind and heart to new friendships.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love this film because invisible ink is fun to play with! I think most kids would love to be able to draw something and have it come to life.

Invisible Ink is about two girls named Emma and Kylie, who draw a girl named Flame using the invisible ink and leave the room. All of sudden a girl that looks like the drawing appears and scares the family. The girls go back to look at the paper, but the page is now blank. The girls soon find out what happened to her.

The story line is really cool. Who doesn't like to play with invisible ink? Also the characters are excited throughout the film and that kept me excited. I love all the scenes where Flame mysteriously pops up, scares people and then disappears. I like how Emma made Flame look really colorful and, even though she is creepy, she still has neon colors. I also like how the girls have everyday clothes on. I like how creepy music is played whenever Flame appears. I also like how fun music is played when the friends are eating ice cream. The special effects are awesome. I liked that there are special effects such as flashing lights when Flame disappears and re-appears in other places. The director of the movie is Logan Marber, who is 8 years old and has made and played in three films including Invisible Ink as Emma. She has also directed and played in The Kid Quest. I admire her as a young filmmaker.

The message of the film is to not judge a book by its cover. Sometimes you have to give people a chance and get to know them and not worry about what they look like. They may end up being a good person after all. My favorite part is when the girl from the paper comes to life. My favorite character is Flame because of her neon colors and her outfit when she turns human. Flame also is really nice.

I recommend this for a KIDS FIRST! Film festival and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is most suitable to ages 5 through 12.

Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love this film because invisible ink is fun to play with! I think most kids would love to be able to draw something and have it come to life.

Invisible Ink is about two girls named Emma and Kylie, who draw a girl named Flame using the invisible ink and leave the room. All of sudden a girl that looks like the drawing appears and scares the family. The girls go back to look at the paper, but the page is now blank. The girls soon find out what happened to her.

The story line is really cool. Who doesn't like to play with invisible ink? Also the characters are excited throughout the film and that kept me excited. I love all the scenes where Flame mysteriously pops up, scares people and then disappears. I like how Emma made Flame look really colorful and, even though she is creepy, she still has neon colors. I also like how the girls have everyday clothes on. I like how creepy music is played whenever Flame appears. I also like how fun music is played when the friends are eating ice cream. The special effects are awesome. I liked that there are special effects such as flashing lights when Flame disappears and re-appears in other places. The director of the movie is Logan Marber, who is 8 years old and has made and played in three films including Invisible Ink as Emma. She has also directed and played in The Kid Quest. I admire her as a young filmmaker.

The message of the film is to not judge a book by its cover. Sometimes you have to give people a chance and get to know them and not worry about what they look like. They may end up being a good person after all. My favorite part is when the girl from the paper comes to life. My favorite character is Flame because of her neon colors and her outfit when she turns human. Flame also is really nice.

I recommend this for a KIDS FIRST! Film festival and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is most suitable to ages 5 through 12.

Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


TERRIBLE ADVENTURE, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TERRIBLE ADVENTURE, THE
KEL THOMPSON
Series: INDIE FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - When two affluent siblings, Jackson and Olivia, are faced with losing everything, they spring into action attempting to conquer a contest put on by billionaire Billy Branson. However, Iceman and Chilly, two corrupt "Ice Cream Men" conspire to win the contest and steal the million dollar prize.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I found The Terrible Adventure appealing because it is funny, fun and adventurous. I love how they travel throughout the state of Florida to find different clues to win the contest. It is also cool that the kids really want to save their home. I love that they work together throughout the movie.

The Terrible Adventure is about two kids that go on an adventure to win money that will help them keep their home. They must solve clues to win and have two villains trying to stop them.

I really like how the sister and brother work together to try to win the contest. The characters have to trust each other to try to accomplish their mission. At times the actors tend to overact, which is a weak point. But, doesn't knock it out of consideration.. The camera work is amazing! The cinematography is actually its best attribute. The camera crew captures great views of some adventurous scenes. They used a drone for some of the shots, which is really cool! One shot that impressed me is when the kids go hang gliding. I loved the costumes. They really tie to the story line. The kids used creative disguises so the villains wouldn't recognize them. This movie was filmed in Florida and I really enjoyed the sets and locations. I like how the videographer shows different locations, such as Key West and Boca Raton from the drones. The film doesn't include a lot of music except with the ice cream truck. The scene where the ice cream truck is blown up is effective and very believable.

Kel Thompson's direction is excellent. The main characters, Jackson Johnson and Olivia Johnson really stand out in this movie, because they are kids working hard to win and solve problems just like real kids in today's world. I think this would work great at a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival.

The message in The Terrible Adventure focuses on teamwork and the importance of perseverance. In the end, hard work always wins. You should know that it does show kids doing risk y things that other kids might imitate such as kids stealing things and running away. There isn't really any cursing, but one of the characters says, "sugar, honey, iced, tea, which is another way to say a curse word without saying it.

Yes, this film taught me something new. It talks about pollution and climate change and made me want to research and learn more about pollution and climate change. My favorite part of the film is when the two ice cream guys are dancing outside of the truck. Their dances are really funny and so are the words to the song they dance to.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. I recommend this film for a youth & family film festival because it a fun film that families would enjoy watching together. The Terrible Adventure does qualify as a special interest topic. It covers global issues such as climate change, pollution and world peace. Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


I AM GEORGE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
I AM GEORGE
BACACI SJENKI
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - George is a boy who is different from the others. While he enjoys expressing his individuality, he finds himself being forced to conform. His usual colorfulness is replaced with shades of black. Will he break free from the norm or will he remain an average citizen? What does it mean, anyway, to be different, and how is it expressed and experienced? Each individual has their own way of expression, and in this short film George will show you his. It's a film about diversity and an (un)willingness to conform, (in)tolerance and willingness to express one's identity and respect for others.

The film was created as part of the advanced workshop of the Frooom! film school in 2018. in Zagreb. The mentors Anja Pletikosa and Dalija Dozet initiated the students' creative thinking about diversity. It took five days from the idea to the realization of the film, which means that in this short time the team of children, in the presence of mentors, devised a story, scripted it, created a storyboard, and made all the components of pre-production, from the selection of locations, the division of roles and training of dialogue and acting. Filming and recording sound, with the supervision of mentors, was also made by the students themselves.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - You are not everybody else! This student-produced short film is from Croatia and it truly made me laugh. George is definitely cut from a different cloth. I also like that it has a good moral that teaches you to be yourself, to not try to fit in. My only complaint is that it's so short! I would have liked it longer. That and there is no dialogue, but you can understand it nevertheless. I like the message that it sends to the audience.

The film is about a kid name George who likes to be different than the others. He enjoys being original and dresses uniquely, but society doesn't approve of it.

The cinematography is well done, nothing spectacular but entirely watchable. The bathroom scene is a bit blurry and when it zooms out, is even more blurry. Definitely, George's costume suits him, as do the other cast members' costumes. The film takes place at school most of the time, but also outside, and at George's house. It is non-narrative so the music and sound effects are important in relaying they story.

The key influencer is George. He stands out because he delivers the message of the film, which it is to be original and to be yourself.

It would be fun to see this at a film festival. Kids need to see a film like this in order to feel better about themselves and remind them that they don't always have to follow what society thinks is the "norm."

The message is to be yourself, no matter how others see you. Let your inner light shine. My favorite part is when George gets his unique outfit back.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. I recommend this, because I agree that we need to learn at a young age to be ourselves and accept ourselves the way we are. We need to express who we are and not bottle it inside. Reviewed by Ethan X. P. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a silly comedic film that I find very amusing! Lovro Hostic does a fantastic job at portraying the cheekiness of an odd little boy. The fact that this film is so short also adds a bonus, as the plot doesn't drag on. The music is able to follow the storyline well, with its happy, upbeat tunes.
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CLEMENTINE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CLEMENTINE
KARI THOMAS
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - She robbed a bank, but stole their hearts.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Clementine is a student film that takes place in the wild west and tells the story of a girl who robs a bank and steals your heart. Its tone gives you the sense of a group of kids playing together. I enjoyed the childish innocence of the film.

The storyline of this film is pretty simple and has a lot of heart. The camera work, costumes and sets are nothing special but are entirely appropriate for the storyline and the situation. The characters are well acted. The student cast are ages 5 to 18, so you see young people obviously made up and costumed to look like adults, but that's part of the fun. Occasionally the actors stumble a bit with their lines, but so what?! I want to remind film programmers that this is a student made film and, as such, is a great example of what can be done by a group of young children in a short period of time. Just don't expect a professional production please.

I like the general childish vibe and tone of the film. It's engaging and certainly holds its own against other student films. I love the idea of the film camp where this was created. Seems like a great experience for kids to learn the fundamentals of filmmaking, from script-writing to shooting, acting and editing.

I give this 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. One distinct audience is other student filmmakers, who will appreciate the efforts by these young people. Reviewed by Calista B. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Clementine is a student film that takes place in the wild west and tells the story of a girl who robs a bank and steals your heart. Its tone gives you the sense of a group of kids playing together. I enjoyed the childish innocence of the film.

The storyline of this film is pretty simple and has a lot of heart. The camera work, costumes and sets are nothing special but are entirely appropriate for the storyline and the situation. The characters are well acted. The student cast are ages 5 to 18, so you see young people obviously made up and costumed to look like adults, but that's part of the fun. Occasionally the actors stumble a bit with their lines, but so what?! I want to remind film programmers that this is a student made film and, as such, is a great example of what can be done by a group of young children in a short period of time. Just don't expect a professional production please.

I like the general childish vibe and tone of the film. It's engaging and certainly holds its own against other student films. I love the idea of the film camp where this was created. Seems like a great experience for kids to learn the fundamentals of filmmaking, from script-writing to shooting, acting and editing.

I give this 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. One distinct audience is other student filmmakers, who will appreciate the efforts by these young people. Reviewed by Calista B. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult juror.
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GRANDMAS SECRET

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GRANDMAS SECRET
LYDIA BRUNA
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Lisa is at her granny's like she is every Friday. But today everything is different - Granny is behaving weird and does the strangest things! Lisa hears her parents discussing what could be wrong with granny and as they mention an old people home, she starts really worrying. She decides to sneak after granny together with her best friend Tom, to find out what's going on. But Tom starts behaving weirdly to - maybe he caught what granny has?

A short story about how falling in love sweeps you off your feet.

From Germany
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really like the story line of this film, although it takes a while to grab really your attention. It is live action with dialogue in German and English sub-titles. The acting and sets are truly first rate.

The film is about two friends, a boy named Tom (Timo Stawski) and a girl named Lisa (Runa Scholz), who visit Lisa's grandma's house every Friday. After Lisa's grandma starts acting weird, they decide to follow her to discover her secret. I like this film because it has a cute storyline and neat camera work. The characters are likable and relatable. Plus, the setting is beautiful with colorful flowers and birds chirping in the background. I love how the director of photography, Daniel Leibold, gets creative with his camera angles--going up close and then showing far away shots.

The storyline is sweet in a bunch of ways. I like how much the characters care for one another. They always are doing little things to put a smile on someone's face. The beginning of the story is a bit slow, but it develops a little faster as the film goes on, almost like the train gaining speed in the film.

I was impressed with how the director of photography, Daniel Leibold, goes from shooting a real train to the model train. It makes for a cool transition. I also like the close up shots of the various flowers mixed with different angles of the characters and moving train. I would have liked more shots of what it looks like while riding the train.

The costumes seem fit the story line, although nothing really stands out, except for the scarf Grandma Klara (Carmen Molinar) wears. The overalls she wears with the white blouse makes me think of the character Donna Sheridan in the film Mamma Mia! The sets are gorgeous. They made me feel like I'm on vacation with all the vibrant colors and sounds of the train traveling through the tunnel. I like the sounds of the birds chirping and the train traveling. At some parts the music drives the action, but at other times it doesn't do much for the script. Luckily the actors' performances are quite good.

One of my favorite scenes is when the real train goes through a tunnel and comes through the other side as a model train.

Timo Stawski, as Tom, shows his emotions well throughout the film. He's a bit of a romantic and his expressions show how he is feeling at any given time. Runa Scholz, as Lisa, is less expressive, although she does successfully show how much she loves her grandmother. Carmen Molinar, as Klara, makes the audience keep guessing what is wrong with her.

The message of the film is to ask questions. Making assumptions can lead to more problems. I liked when Herbert kisses Grandma Klara and when she tries to stop Tom from kissing Lisa on the cheek, and how Lisa is grossed out by her grandma kissing Herbert. I enjoyed seeing what the inside of a train looks like. I'd like to ride in one now.

This film doesn't have any American star power, but the director, Lydia Bruna is the writer of a popular German kids television show called Schloss Einstein. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 9. Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really like the story line of this film, although it takes a while to grab really your attention. It is live action with dialogue in German and English sub-titles. The acting and sets are truly first rate.

The film is about two friends, a boy named Tom (Timo Stawski) and a girl named Lisa (Runa Scholz), who visit Lisa's grandma's house every Friday. After Lisa's grandma starts acting weird, they decide to follow her to discover her secret. I like this film because it has a cute storyline and neat camera work. The characters are likable and relatable. Plus, the setting is beautiful with colorful flowers and birds chirping in the background. I love how the director of photography, Daniel Leibold, gets creative with his camera angles--going up close and then showing far away shots.

The storyline is sweet in a bunch of ways. I like how much the characters care for one another. They always are doing little things to put a smile on someone's face. The beginning of the story is a bit slow, but it develops a little faster as the film goes on, almost like the train gaining speed in the film.

I was impressed with how the director of photography, Daniel Leibold, goes from shooting a real train to the model train. It makes for a cool transition. I also like the close up shots of the various flowers mixed with different angles of the characters and moving train. I would have liked more shots of what it looks like while riding the train.

The costumes seem fit the story line, although nothing really stands out, except for the scarf Grandma Klara (Carmen Molinar) wears. The overalls she wears with the white blouse makes me think of the character Donna Sheridan in the film Mamma Mia! The sets are gorgeous. They made me feel like I'm on vacation with all the vibrant colors and sounds of the train traveling through the tunnel. I like the sounds of the birds chirping and the train traveling. At some parts the music drives the action, but at other times it doesn't do much for the script. Luckily the actors' performances are quite good.

One of my favorite scenes is when the real train goes through a tunnel and comes through the other side as a model train.

Timo Stawski, as Tom, shows his emotions well throughout the film. He's a bit of a romantic and his expressions show how he is feeling at any given time. Runa Scholz, as Lisa, is less expressive, although she does successfully show how much she loves her grandmother. Carmen Molinar, as Klara, makes the audience keep guessing what is wrong with her.

The message of the film is to ask questions. Making assumptions can lead to more problems. I liked when Herbert kisses Grandma Klara and when she tries to stop Tom from kissing Lisa on the cheek, and how Lisa is grossed out by her grandma kissing Herbert. I enjoyed seeing what the inside of a train looks like. I'd like to ride in one now.

This film doesn't have any American star power, but the director, Lydia Bruna is the writer of a popular German kids television show called Schloss Einstein. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 9. Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


KID QUEST, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KID QUEST, THE
LOGAN MARBER
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-10
Topic - Family
Description - A young girl is having ice cream with her friend, Bentley, when he disappears in front of her eyes. Desperate to find him, she enlists the help of her friend, Sally, who also vanishes during the mission. Confused and looking for answers, she runs into Penelope who also fades away after working together. Determined to find her three missing friends, she ventures to the library where she uncovers a mysterious book with clues on why they disappeared and how she can get them back.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Kid Quest is a short, student made film about a girl playing who has exercise her resourcefulness when three friends disappear and she undertakes the quest to find them, using clues she finds in a book at the library. The protagonist, Isabelle is played by Logan Marber (age 8) who also writes and directs the film. Kudos to Logan for pulling all this together.

The storyline of this movie is a bit predictable. I did have a bit of a jump scare when her first friend, Bentley, disappears at the ice cream parlor, right in the midst of enjoying ice cream together. When her second friend disappears at the videogame parlor, I was less surprised. And then a third friend disappears. Very suspicious.

The camera work is pretty good, but the film's audio level is very consistent, jumping in volume from scene to scene. The different locations include an ice cream store, Target, the library and a gaming room - all locations that kids can relate to. My favorite parts of the movie are when the kids are having fun playing, eating ice cream and shopping.

The background music and sounds are well done, especially the sound when the kids disappear. The special effects for the disappearing kids is cool too, though not very believable. Logan's performance as the protagonist is well played. She seems to genuinely care for her friends, is perplexed when they disappear, and tenacious in finding them.

The message of the film is that it's okay to have fun, but do your work or task first.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10 years old. I think this would play well at a student film festival and appeal to other student filmmakers. I also think the idea would make a cool TV show. I also feel that other kids who want to work in film will appreciate the hard work and creativity of a future woman filmmaker.

Reviewed by Tiana S., and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! youth and adult jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Kid Quest is a short, student made film about a girl playing who has exercise her resourcefulness when three friends disappear and she undertakes the quest to find them, using clues she finds in a book at the library. The protagonist, Isabelle is played by Logan Marber (age 8) who also writes and directs the film. Kudos to Logan for pulling all this together.

The storyline of this movie is a bit predictable. I did have a bit of a jump scare when her first friend, Bentley, disappears at the ice cream parlor, right in the midst of enjoying ice cream together. When her second friend disappears at the videogame parlor, I was less surprised. And then a third friend disappears. Very suspicious.

The camera work is pretty good, but the film's audio level is very consistent, jumping in volume from scene to scene. The different locations include an ice cream store, Target, the library and a gaming room - all locations that kids can relate to. My favorite parts of the movie are when the kids are having fun playing, eating ice cream and shopping.

The background music and sounds are well done, especially the sound when the kids disappear. The special effects for the disappearing kids is cool too, though not very believable. Logan's performance as the protagonist is well played. She seems to genuinely care for her friends, is perplexed when they disappear, and tenacious in finding them.

The message of the film is that it's okay to have fun, but do your work or task first.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10 years old. I think this would play well at a student film festival and appeal to other student filmmakers. I also think the idea would make a cool TV show. I also feel that other kids who want to work in film will appreciate the hard work and creativity of a future woman filmmaker.

Reviewed by Tiana S., and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! youth and adult jurors.
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


100% GIRL

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
100% GIRL
CHEN LIANGYU
Series: FOREIGN ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 5-16
Topic - Family
Description - The difference between men and women creates the most difficult battlefield in the world. A girl and a boy try to do a little magic to fight for peaceful and sweet life. From Taiwan
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - 100% Girl tells the story of a woman trying to be the best wife. The dialogue is in Chinese with English sub-titles. It is a student production by a junior high school student from Taiwan who is a first time filmmaker

I like the hand-drawn animation and soundtrack. Interesting that this entire film was made using a mobile phone. This film is really a short anecdote in which the 100% girl finds the 100% boy, both discovering that "a happy life requires mutual consideration and care."

I found this short piece to be cheerful and insightful. The line drawings make simple, yet effective animation. The background music is cute and upbeat. At the end, we see photographs of two actual people and it makes one wonder if they are who the story is about.

I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for a youth and family film festival, also a student film festival since the filmmaker is a student from Taiwan. An audience of 5 to 16 would appreciate this, perhaps adults also.

Reviewed by Calista B. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - 100% Girl tells the story of a woman trying to be the best wife. The dialogue is in Chinese with English sub-titles. It is a student production by a junior high school student from Taiwan who is a first time filmmaker

I like the hand-drawn animation and soundtrack. Interesting that this entire film was made using a mobile phone. This film is really a short anecdote in which the 100% girl finds the 100% boy, both discovering that "a happy life requires mutual consideration and care."

I found this short piece to be cheerful and insightful. The line drawings make simple, yet effective animation. The background music is cute and upbeat. At the end, we see photographs of two actual people and it makes one wonder if they are who the story is about.

I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for a youth and family film festival, also a student film festival since the filmmaker is a student from Taiwan. An audience of 5 to 16 would appreciate this, perhaps adults also.

Reviewed by Calista B. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-16
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


BOOK OF KNOTS, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BOOK OF KNOTS, THE
ROBERT SMITH
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A young boy scout gets his Knots badge and draws his family back together.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a charming short film with a sweet message about bringing family back together.

The storyline is about a boy who is trying to get his Boy Scout knots badge. We first see him tent-camping in his backyard, talking to his stuffed animal. I love that he talks to his stuffed "dog" and takes him to school with him as well.

The camera work is well done, especially the shots outdoors at night, which are not easy. Good audio and the young boy who plays the protagonist is absolutely adorable. Anyone who has ever tried to pass the Boy Scots "know badge" will particularly relate to this. It's a bit crazy and forms a cute underlying plot in this short film. The music is very upbeat and cute. One of my favorite scenes is when he gets back at the school bus bully by tying knots that trip him up when he's leaving the busy. Everyone, from the busy driver to the other kids get a big kick out of that. This kids truly is keen on his knot-tying skills and takes them to a whole new level, making the audience wonder what he is actually up to. He is very determined and self-confident. When he ties string all over his house to do his chores and it backfires, it only makes you smile big time.

There message of this film is to never give up, practice your skills because you never know when they'll come in handy.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for age 4 to 10. It's pretty sweet and would easily fit into any family-friendly film festival. And Boy Scouts would get an extra kick out of it.

Reviewed by Kayenta C. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a charming short film with a sweet message about bringing family back together.

The storyline is about a boy who is trying to get his Boy Scout knots badge. We first see him tent-camping in his backyard, talking to his stuffed animal. I love that he talks to his stuffed "dog" and takes him to school with him as well.

The camera work is well done, especially the shots outdoors at night, which are not easy. Good audio and the young boy who plays the protagonist is absolutely adorable. Anyone who has ever tried to pass the Boy Scots "know badge" will particularly relate to this. It's a bit crazy and forms a cute underlying plot in this short film. The music is very upbeat and cute. One of my favorite scenes is when he gets back at the school bus bully by tying knots that trip him up when he's leaving the busy. Everyone, from the busy driver to the other kids get a big kick out of that. This kids truly is keen on his knot-tying skills and takes them to a whole new level, making the audience wonder what he is actually up to. He is very determined and self-confident. When he ties string all over his house to do his chores and it backfires, it only makes you smile big time.

There message of this film is to never give up, practice your skills because you never know when they'll come in handy.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for age 4 to 10. It's pretty sweet and would easily fit into any family-friendly film festival. And Boy Scouts would get an extra kick out of it.

Reviewed by Kayenta C. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult juror
Runtime: 12 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


I GOT YOU A PRESENT!

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
I GOT YOU A PRESENT!
REIMAGINE PR
Series: E-BOOK, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - A quest for the perfect birthday present leads to ever grander (and ever more imperfect) gift ideas from our hero, a duck. "I wanted to get you the greatest present ever,!" our narrator tells us. But somehow, none of the best ideas seem to pan out. First, there was the pair of hand-knitted birthday socks (have you ever tried knitting birthday socks?). Then, the ten-scoop ice cream cone (a disaster to carry), the magic kit (it disappeared, just like magic!), the apple juice-fueled jet pack (still a few kinks to work out) and the dinosaur (I couldn't find one anywhere). And now, time has run out, and our narrator still has nothing to give. Or, maybe there is something after all. Something that contains all those awesome gifts in one. Something that can be enjoyed again and again, just by turning the pages.

In their debut picture book, Emmy Award-winning children's television writers Mike Erskine-Kellie and Susan McLennan have taken a metafiction approach (speaking directly to "you"). Cale Atkinson's is the illustrator. Though a book about finding the perfect birthday present is itself the perfect birthday present, it's also a simple a good read year round because it offers character education lesson on perseverance. There is also a live show.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoyed this book. The illustrations are engaging and brightly colored, which will attract young children. The story itself is a fun read with a lovely message. Also, the character is very likable.

The story is about a quest for the perfect birthday present. The main character does not know what to get a friend for his birthday explores various options and why they are not suitable. The character finally comes up with a clever solution. The story flows very well and the ending is lovely. It makes sense and is very appropriate for preschool and early elementary age children. A young child could be asked questions about birthday gifts and what to get for friends and family. One could even ask them which gift idea they liked the best.

This is an e-book with visual appealing the illustrations. They really make the book. It is primarily entertaining but also has a message about birthday celebrations with people who are special to you. It might make kids start thinking about what they want for their birthday. (how fun is that?) My only concern is the vocabulary. I am not an expert in this, but I would pass it on to someone who is, because there are some words that might not be the most suitable for the target age.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 18.8
Media: Book


LLAMA LLAMA FAMILY FUN COLLECTION

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LLAMA LLAMA FAMILY FUN COLLECTION       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-10
Topic - Family
Description - Llama Llama springs to life in these heart-warming tales based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. Join Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid the Sheep and Gilroy Goat as they explore their friendly hometown and make childhood memories.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Llama Llama Family Fun Collection DVD features the animated friends from Anna Dewdney's Llama Llama book series in 15 stories, including holiday stories for Halloween, Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. The friends learn to use their unique talents with some creativity to overcome day to day problems by following grown up advice and helping each other. In "Stage Fright," Luna Giraffe's upcoming dance recital is giving her performance jitters, but Llama Llama and Nelly Gnu are there to offer support, calming breaths and remind her to just have fun. Nelly Gnu is jealous of the attention her baby brother receives in the story "Jealous Nelly." Her new tree-house takes a backseat to babysitting and party planning for the baby. She misses her parents' and friends' attention, but soon realizes that being a big sister is the perfect role for her. The friends accept the challenge to do without their electronic gadgets when Grandma Llama and Mama Llama take them on an overnight campout in "Let's Go Camping." They use their five senses to appreciate the sights and sounds of nature. Upbeat, positive messages about friendship and family make these great for family viewing. Children ages 4 to 8 should enjoy these fun, engaging episodes. I give this 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Christine R., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Llama Llama Family Fun Collection is a cute, fun, and family-friendly DVD that is based on an award-winning book and TV series. The storyline and adorable personalities of the characters combine to make the viewing experience enjoyable. The characters' companionship is very sweet, and they care a lot about one another. They always have each other's back.

The Llama Llama Family Fun Collection DVD is collection of episodes about a group of animal companions that go on a lot of adventures, meet new friends and solve problems along the way. In one episode, Llama Llama's friend, Luna the Giraffe, struggles with bad stage fright. She has a dance recital the next day. Llama Llama and Nelly Gnu have to help her, or she won't be able to perform without becoming nervous on stage. In another episode, Llama Llama and two of his friends, Gilroy Goat and Euclid Sheep, plan a sleepover together. What they don't know is that strange things will happen just as they are about to go to sleep. But maybe the friends' imaginations will wander too far.

Some of the lead characters are Mama Llama (Jennifer Garner) and Llama Llama (Shayle Simons). They are an adorable mother-son duo, and they love each other very much. What really stands out in this collection is the incredibly detailed and expressive animation. The vibrant colors and homey scenery go hand in hand to create a wholesome, fun show for children and their families to watch. It really is a great choice for teaching good lessons to young minds.

The message of the DVD Llama Llama Family Fun Collection is that you should always be willing to help your friends, and that problems can be solved through the effort of a team. It is definitely successful in communicating its message through the close-knit friend group, and how they stick together and help each other face their fears. The message is definitely positive and uplifting, and can teach young children that companionship is an important life skill to have. There really isn't anything to worry about when children are watching this series. There is no bad language at all, and there isn't any negative behavior that young children may attempt to imitate.

I give this series 4 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 3 to 10. The Llama Llama Family Fun Collection DVD is available now.

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

I like the Llama Llama Family Fun Collection DVD because every episode has a different main idea with an interesting story to tell. The animated characters each have their own thoughts about things and how to approach a situation. The only part I didn't really like is that the characters sometimes talk too slow and you want to make them talk faster, but it probably makes it easier for little kids to understand.

The Llama Llama Family Collection has 15 episodes and is based on the book series written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney. The animated collection is about a llama and his friends who have awesome adventures together. Each episode has a moral to the story. For example, in one of the episodes, Luna (a giraffe, voiced by Vania Gill) is very scared to go on stage to perform a solo in front of an audience. Then Llama Llama and Nelly Gnu get a dance machine and it really helps Luna lose her fear of performing in front of an audience. Another story tells about Llama Llama, Euclid and Gilroy Goat having a sleepover, where they experience new and different things while at a friend's house. I know when I go to a sleepover, I find myself trying a new food or doing any activity that I wouldn't necessarily have done at my house.

I didn't recognize the voices of any of the characters, although after looking at who does the voices, I recognize Jennifer Garner, who voices Mama Llama. I like Luna's personality, but my favorite character is Euclid (Brendon Sunderland). He's smart, but in a funny way. I like when the group of friends take swimming lessons with Mama Llama in Eleanor Elephant's (Kathleen Barr) pool. Even though Llama Llama (Shayle Simons) isn't a great swimmer, his friends are supportive. And it is cute seeing Llama Llama's grandpa (David Hoole) learn to swim, too.

The message of the film is to be nice to others. It's important to help your friends, rather than make fun of them or bring them down. When I see someone making fun of someone, I try to stand up for them. It is nice to watch a film where a group of friends support one another.

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 9. This DVD is available now, so go look for it!

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 165 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-10
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.95
Media: DVD


SONIC BOOM: SEASON 1, VOL 2 (2 DISCS)

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SONIC BOOM: SEASON 1, VOL 2 (2 DISCS)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - It's a Sonic you haven t seen before an ensemble comedy that pokes fun at action-adventure storytelling, but still manages to deliver plenty of adrenaline! Wherever he goes and whatever he s up against, Sonic the Hedgehog is aided by his sidekick, Tails, and his friends Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks and, of course, attacked by his arch nemesis, Dr. Eggman
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I am quite aware of Sonic the Hedgehog as a video game character, but have never watched any of his shows. I was pleasantly surprised as I watched this action-packed Season One, Volume 2 DVD. There is a lot of action as Sonic and his friends outwit Sonic's arch-nemesis, Dr. Eggman. I like that there isn't just the typical "good wins over evil." It is expected that good will win, but it is fun to watch too. Some of the humor is a bit dry if you are an adult watching the show. But, it is appropriate for children ages 5 through 12. I like that it shows teamwork and friendship, and all of the action makes it very entertaining to watch. The characters are very likable; my favorites are Sonic and Amy. I like that the characters are unique and each brings something to the show. Of course, Dr. Eggman is not a favorite of mine, but he also makes the series entertaining, especially since Sonic and his pals usually outwit him. I give this 4 out of 5 stars for its entertainment value. This DVD would make a great gift for a Sonic fan, since it is a Limited Edition Gift Set that includes Knuckles and Tails figurines. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Sonic Boom: Season 1 Volume 2 is nearly five hours of laugh-out-loud, animated fun, featuring your favorite hedgehog. The physical humor and amusing adventures will keep kids entertained for hours on end.

The DVDs include 26 action-packed episodes, and if you get the limited edition gift set, you'll also get two action figures--either Sonic with Dr. Eggman or Knuckles with Tails. In every episode, Sonic and his friends protect their village from the evil Dr. Eggman. Of course, no matter how crazy the situation, Sonic and friends are able to save the day in the end.

There are some really funny storylines, like when Sonic and Knuckles spill nacho cheese on Amy's couch while house-sitting. They try cleaning it up with grape soda, which just makes it worse! Their next idea is to try to win a new couch by going on a game show, but they fail and one of Dr. Eggman's missiles ends up exploding the couch anyway. In another episode, it's hilarious when Sonic grabs the last chili dog that Dr. Eggman wanted, so to be nice Sonic goes all the way to the warehouse to bring his nemesis a chili dog. But Dr. Eggman wanted extra relish, so he throws a tantrum by trying to destroy the whole town by shooting it with lasers and attacking it with robots. Of course this is nothing Sonic and friends can't handle. One of the best jokes is when the boys compete against the girls in a survivor challenge. The girls decide the losers will have to do everyone's laundry, but Sonic says, "That's not fair for us boys - we don't even wear pants!"

The message of this series is that friends are stronger together. There's probably not a lot of content that parents will object to, but there is some cartoon violence that kids might be tempted to copy. The only thing that's a problem for me is that there is one episode out of the 26 that's only available with Spanish audio, no English at all. Unfortunately I can't understand what they're saying in the episode, "Fire in a Crowded Workshop."

I give this series 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 12, and adults might enjoy watching with their kids as well. Sonic Boom: Season 1 Volume 2 is available on DVD February 2020.

Reviewed by Will C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I like this DVD because it is very entertaining. Each story line is funny; it has a lot of action and delivers a lot of adrenaline.

The Sonic Boom, Season 1, Volume 2 DVD, is over four hours of action, fun and entertainment. The package comes with two DVDs, which include 26 episodes. What is nice is the gift set comes with two toys, Knuckles and Tails. Sonic (Roger Craig Smith) is a blue hedgehog that has a sidekick, Tails, who helps him in his adventures. Sonic's friends - Knuckles (Sebastian Desjours), Amy (Cindy Robinson) and Sticks (Nika Futterman) - help him attack his arch nemesis Dr. Eggman (Mike Pollock). Each episode has a different story line. The episodes do not follow a sequence, which it means that each episode is always a different adventure and that's what makes it so entertaining.

The graphics are amazing and the colors are very bright. The voice-overs are funny and they fit each character. The music is okay. I especially like the theme song, which is very catchy. My favorite episode is "Bro Down Showdown," because it's extremely funny. It is about how Amy had to leave for a little bit, so Sonic and Knuckles ask her if they can stay at her house while she is gone. Amy says yes, but there is one rule - no foolish things in her house. So the first thing they do is eat nachos and spill on the couch. Conveniently a commercial comes on saying, "if you win the best bros contest you win a brand new couch." They immediately enter the contest. It turns out Dr. Eggman is spying on them. He arrives and starts bickering with Sonic about a bogus little thing. A guy working there sees them fighting and pairs them up, even though Knuckles is going to be Sonic's buddy. Knuckels finds a new partner and tries to win the couch. This is my favorite episode because this all happens, just because they spilled a nacho.

The moral to the stories is about "teamwork making the dream work," because in each episode Sonic is helped by his sidekick and best friend, to either defeat Dr. Eggman or to enjoy their different adventures.

I give Sonic Boom, Season 1, Volume 2, 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, but adults can watch it with their kids and may find it amusing too. This DVD is available now so look for it!

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 290 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD
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PLAYING WITH FIRE DVD

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PLAYING WITH FIRE DVD       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - When straight-laced fire superintendent Jake Carson and his elite team of firefighters come to the rescue of three siblings, they quickly realize that no amount of training could prepare them for their most challenging job yet -- babysitting. As their lives, jobs and depot get turned upside down, the three men soon learn that children -- much like fires -- are wild and unpredictable.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This laugh-out-loud comedy stars John Cena as forest firefighter Jake Carson, who has his hands full leading a bumbling, but surprisingly adept team including John Leguizamo at his manic best and Keegan-Michael Key wearing every emotion on his sleeve. Things get unruly after the firefighting team rescue a teenager (Brianna Hildebrand) and her younger siblings from a wildfire and must watch over them for a weekend until their parents arrive. The plot allows square-jawed Cena plenty of opportunity to strike exaggerated stubborn poses while trying to keep in check both his wacky team and the mischievous siblings, who have to be rescued a second time after they run away in an all-terrain vehicle and wind up trapped on the edge of a cliff. The smart script balances one-liners and occasional silliness against the moments of peril, which feels surprisingly intense, thanks to excellent special effects. The fast-paced action and jokes keep the plot moving, often in unexpected ways. Eventually the kids warm to Jake who starts to loosen up, rekindling a romance with animal scientist Dr. Amy Hicks (Judy Greer). The unusual mix of comedy and danger lends a refreshing sweetness to scenes such as Jake fumbling to tell the two younger children bedtime stories. Playing With Fire is available on Digital starting January 21, 2020 and will release on Blu-ray and DVD on February 4, 2020. DVD extras include bloopers, deleted and extended scenes, "Storytime" with John Cena, and the cast reading humorous emails from the director during the shoot. Recommended for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. I give this 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Mike F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this movie because it is very entertaining and super funny. Playing with Fire is a 96 minutes filled with shenanigans. John Cena makes the audience laugh and it is weird to see him with a head full of hair.

This movie is about four smoke jumpers played by John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, Tyler Mane and John Leguizamo, who save three kids from a cabin on fire. The three children are siblings and two of them, Will and Zoe, are under the age of 10. Their older sister Brynn (Brianna Hildebrand, X-Men) is taking care of them. The smoke jumpers bring the kids to their depot until their parents can come to get them. The kids constantly mess with all the equipment at the fire depot, which distracts the smoke jumpers from doing their jobs.

The storyline includes comedy and sometimes sad moments. The visuals are perfect. The fire scenes looks real. The child actors are great at portraying their characters. My favorite scene is when Will is feeding peanut butter to the smoke jumpers' dog and he accidentally spreads it on the firefighter truck. Will drops the industrial soap and takes the fire fighter hose to clean the mess and the truck makes lots of foam.

The moral of this film is that family fulfills your life, in addition to working hard to accomplish your professional goals. Jake's (John Cena) priority is his career. He works hard to achieve and accomplish his title in the firefighter department and forgets to have fun or remember that there are people around him that love him.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 18 and adults can enjoy it too! Playing with Fire comes out in theaters on November 8, 2019. On Digital January 21, 2020; Blu-ray� Combo Pack Arrives February 4, 2020

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, are 11

Playing With Fire is one of the greatest family movies I have ever seen! It is a family-friendly, feel-good movie with an important message - family is the most important thing to help you keep going. There is a lot of comedy in this movie that makes the audience laugh out loud.

The story line is both adventurous and exciting. There is lots of action, but it is not violent. The characters are super funny and the acting is phenomenal! If I had to recommend any film to watch with friends and family, it would be this one. Some parts are sad, but there is also plenty of action and comedy to keep the audience engaged.

Playing With Fire is about four smoke jumpers, which is an elite team of fire fighters. Jack and his friends are specially trained to jump into dangerous wildfires, so they can rescue people and fight fires. Their lives are perfect, until they find three kids trapped in a fire and this special group of men is forced to hang onto them until they can find their parents. Until then, they have to fight fires and take care of the kids. What could go wrong?

The cast in this film is amazing! The casting director, Rich Delia, not only picked some big names to be in this film, but also found some talented new-comers. The whole cast portrays their characters really well and they are hilarious too! Superintendent Jack Carson, head of the smoke jumpers, is played by John Cena, a well-known actor and WWE wrestler. Keegan- Michel Key, a famous comedian, plays Lieutenant Mark, a friend of the Superintendent and another smoke jumper. Jack's soft-hearted friend, Rodrigo, is played by John Leguizamo. Brianna Hildebrand plays Brynn, the oldest of the three kids. This film also has a dog named Masher, that is Jack's fierce firehouse dog. Masher is very well trained and his interaction with the kids is hilarious. Andy Fickman directs the film.

I give Playing With Fire 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, as well as adults. Playing with Fire comes out in theaters on November 8, 2019.

Reviewed by Eva W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Playing with Fire is a funny and a fantastic Nickelodeon movie. It has so many funny moments and cool stunts. There is also some scenes that are very emotional. It is very fun and up beat. It is an enjoyable movie for the whole family to watch.

The storyline is about fire superintendent Jake Carson and his elite team of firefighters coming to the rescue of three siblings and realizing that no amount of training could prepare them for their most challenging job yet--babysitting. The three siblings, Brynn (Brianna Hildebrand), Will (Chrisian Convery), and Zoe (Finley Rose Slater) cause trouble all over the fire depot and are uncontrollable, much like fires. There are lots of hilarious moments that everyone will laugh at, and sad moments where you might cry.

The cast of Playing with Fire, especially John Cena, Keegan Micheal Key, John Leguizamo, and Brianna Hildebrand, elevates the film and makes it amazing. They all put there own little twist on there character and it is really cool how they performed all of their stunts. The cinematography and special effects is fantastic as well. The director, Andy Fickman, did an outstanding job directing everything and everyone. The screenwriter, Dan Ewen, also wrote a funny and a great script.

The message of this movie is that family and friends are important. When someone needs some help, they try to help them like a family. The firefighters have to treat the siblings like they're their kids and teach them what and what not to do. All of them have to stay together for a little while and start to grow on each other.

I would recommend this movie for ages 6 to 12 (adults might like it too). Younger audiences would find it more fun and exciting than teenagers would. I give this movie a 4 out of 5 star rating. Playing with Fire comes out in theaters on November 8, 2019, so go watch it.

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

Playing with Fire is a super-duper good movie. I like it because it shows the difference between only caring for yourself and caring for others. I also love how it shows all the crazy things that kids can get into at a fire station, when left alone. Originally, I didn't understand the title, Playing with Fire, because, even though the firefighters rescue people from fires, they don't "play with fires" at all in the movie. When I thought about the phrase "playing with fire" and what it means, it made more sense.

Playing with Fire is about a team of specially trained firefighters, called smokejumpers led by Superintendent Jake "Supe" Carson (John Cena), who saves three kids from a burning log cabin using a helicopter. Since he and his crew are unable to safely deliver the kids to their parents due to stormy weather, they take the kids back to the fire station until their parents return. In addition to taking care of the kids, Jake is also trying to get a promotion. He tries to find time to apply for this promotion while the kids are "playing with fire" or getting into all types of trouble at the fire station.

The protagonist is Superintendent Jake "Supe" Carson. The movie takes place at the smokejumpers' base in Redding, CA. My favorite part is when the young boy Will (Christian Convery) accidentally spills cleaning powder in the room where Jake's truck is stored and he tries cleaning it up with water from a hose. The room is filled with all these bubbles and he is flying around the room with the water hose. One weird part is when "Supe" first drops from the helicopter to save the kids; he doesn't have on the typical safety equipment that firefighters wear to help them breathe. He and the kids have an entire conversation in the middle of a burning log cabin and everyone is breathing fine in the smoke-filled room.

The message in the movie is that everyone has a soft side and it's okay to show it. It's okay to let your guard down and let people into your world. You never know what you could be missing out on in life if you don't. Some things adults should look out for are characters accidentally drinking lighter fluid and scenes where John Cena is shown shirtless or in the shower.

Playing with Fire is fired up with plenty of fun and laughs so I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Adults may not enjoy the film as much, especially since most of the funniest scenes are in the trailer. Playing with Fire comes out on Digital January 21, 2020 and DVD/Blu-Ray February 4, 2020. Look for it. It's a fun family movie.

Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


ELLA BELLA BINGO

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ELLA BELLA BINGO       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
ABS-CBN FILM PRODUCTIONS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Ella Bella and Henry are best friends, but she becomes jealous when Henry wants to play with the cool new kid. When Henry runs away, Ella Bella and a new kid go on a bicycle adventure to find Henry and learn the magic of friendship.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoyed the animation and the storyline of Ella Bella Bingo. I particularly like that Henry's father is constantly there for Henry, notably when Henry runs away to the clubhouse and they decide to go to the amusement park. I found the ice cream parlor salesman describing Henry using ice cream very interesting and niche-y.

The storyline is about Ella and her best friend Henry who have a fight and then both try to make friends with the new kid in town and everyone discovers true friendship along the way.

I believe kids will easily relate to this storyline, because it involves friendships and has age-appropriate vocabulary throughout. They will relate to the concept of magic and the visuals will draw them in along with the sharp and colorful animation. The entire story flows at an even pace from beginning to end and is sensible throughout. The structure and style reminds me of many DreamWorks productions in terms of the introduction to characters and situations, conflict resolution and the kid-friendly humor. I was absorbed in the story the entire time and felt empathy with both Ella and Henry.

I like that the father is aware when Henry has a fallout with his best friend. This film teaches kids about looking out for the needs of others. For example, Ella and Henry realize and empathize that the new kid in town who has no friends. Kids may pick-up on the fact that the new kid brags about all his expensive gadgets, to compensate for his parents not being there for him. At the end, we see his parents trying to do the right thing, when they praise him for his circus performance. The overall message of the film is really about true friendship.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 12. Ella Bella Bingo comes out on VOD march 24, 2020. Check it out.

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ella Bella Bingo is a fun movie about the joy and pain of friendship. Ella learns that friendships can change and new friends add new dynamics. I enjoyed the adventure of Ella Bella and Henry learning how to bring a neighborhood together through their explorations.

Ella Bella loves magicians and the circus and, when she finds out that her best friend Henry has never been to one, she decides to create a neighborhood circus so Henry can experience the magic for himself. Ella and Henry have a great time in the preparations and recruiting neighbors to help with the circus until a new boy, Johnny, moves into the neighborhood. Henry is torn between spending time with Bella and the cool new boy. Henry runs away when Ella and Johnny fight over him and the neighbors get involved in finding him.

The animation of this film is truly beautiful and filled with rich colors. All the voiceover actors are to be commended on their performances. I absolutely love all the animals in this movie; they add a great deal of humor to the storyline. The chickens are so funny throughout the film that they really steal the show.

The message of this film is that friendship and loyalty matter. Friendship is more important than having things or possessions, as Ella Bella learns about the special magic that is friendship. The movie also highlights the strength of community when the neighborhood comes together to produce the circus.

I rate this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10. It is available on VOD and DVD March 24, 2020.

Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: FeatureFilm


GIGANTOSAURUS: THE BIGGEST, FIERCEST DINOSAUR OF ALL!

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GIGANTOSAURUS: THE BIGGEST, FIERCEST DINOSAUR OF ALL!       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - In GIGANTOSAURUS, four dinosaur pals team up for big adventures around their community as they help others, solve problems, and learn about the mysterious Gigantosaurus that lives among them. Often it's Mazu's curiosity that leads the group's charge, and her friends Tiny, Bill, and Rocky eagerly join in her explorations. Whether it's returning a lost egg to its herd or saving an insect species from extinction, these dinosaurs never give up on a challenge.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I absolutely love this adorable animated series. It is unlike any other animated series I have seen. The dynamics between all the friends is interesting and it is so pleasing seeing how supportive they are of each other.

Gigantosaurus: The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is centered around four tiny dinosaur friends and their gigantic dinosaur friend, that have a love-hate relationship with. Each of the tiny dinosaurs has a different personality. One is brave, one gets scared but loves food, one's silly and one is smart. Together they form the perfect team and are able to solve any problem. Their friend Gigantosaurus doesn't talk, so Gigantosaurus isn't close with them. Gigantosaurus' size is beneficial to them because he is protect their herd, but his size can also cause some problems when he walks around. Therefore, the tiny dinosaurs still fear Gigantosaurus and they become cautious whenever he is near.

The voice actors for this series are all ages, to separate the adult dinosaurs from the innocent tiny ones. Even though there is this contrast between the adult voice actors and the younger voice actors, it is hard to tell the difference between the younger voice actors. Even so, the younger voice actors are quite remarkable. They are lively and portray various emotions well.

The animation is pretty detailed and very colorful. It is wonderful to see that the effort put into animating so many different types of dinosaurs, as well as other animals including birds, a rodent and an interesting walking fish. There is a lot of detail in their facial expressions which portray their emotions quite well.

My favorite part of this DVD is that it is so fun and educational. Hidden inside the plot are actual dinosaur facts that kids can learn, which is amazing.

There can be multiple messages in any episode, all of which are extremely valuable. It is great to see how encouraging the dinosaur friends are towards each other, as well as how all the characters are accepted. For example, Gigantosaurus is a large, scary-looking dinosaur, yet he is so caring, protective, and never means any harm. The tiny dinosaur who is considered to be the brave, adventurous one is encouraged by his friends to let out his soft, caring side. Most importantly, this DVD shows kids to look past the stereotypes and accept others, which I love.

Gigantosaurus: The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is a wonderful animated DVD collection which kids will absolutely love and learn a lot from. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8. It comes out on DVD January 13, 2029, so make sure to pick it up!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this DVD because it is very funny and teaches children different morals. Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is approximately 90 minutes long and has eight 11 minute episodes including "Giganto's Laugh," "Frozen Giganto," "The Lost Egg," "The Island," "The Biggest Hero," "Treasure!," "Seeing Stars" and "Dinosia."

Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! follows four dinosaur friends - Mazu, Tiny, Bill and Rocky - who team up to help animals in need and to solve their community's situations or problems. They also learn about the Gigantosaurus that live among them. Mazu is the leader of the group and her three friends follow her on different adventures. The graphics are neat and very colorful. The landscape is very detailed. The music is pleasant and appealing in each episode. The voice-overs match each dinosaur's personality.

One of my favorite episodes is "Treasure!" This episode is about the four dinosaur friends playing on a playground. Tiny says to get cave moss for Giganto before they leave. When Rocky gets the cave moss, he falls in some sticky water and Tiny pulls him out. Tiny notices a little shiny gold pebble. Mazu takes the gold pebble and brings it home. Eventually, almost all the dinosaurs are chasing each other for the pebble. The only one who's not chasing or fighting over the shiny gold pebble is Giganto. My other favorite episode is "The Biggest Hero," because it teaches an important lesson. This episode is about Rocky and Tiny fighting over who is the best hero. They compete by solving a ton of problems and trying to help everyone in need. At the end they are both heroes.

The moral of Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is about coming together as friends and never give up on any challenge or obstacle that you might find on your path. These four dinosaur friends defeat every obstacle and challenge without giving up and help their community and other animals in need.

I give the DVE Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 18, plus. This DVD is available now so look for it!

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

Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is not my favorite DVD, but I can see how younger kids would love it. It's not really a show that makes you laugh, but there are lots of lessons that can be learned from each episode. I really love how every character has its own unique personality.

Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is an animated show based on the book by the same name by Johnny Duddle. The DVD contains eight episodes about four young dinosaurs that go on many adventures. They all work hard to face their own fears and solve problems together on their journeys. While they are on their quests, their frenemy, Gigantosaurus, who is the largest, fiercest dinosaur of all, makes appearances. Sometimes the friends help him and other times he helps them. The four young dinosaurs learn different things about Gigantosaurus during each adventure.

The main characters are Tiny (�ine Sunderland), Bill (Nicholas Holmes), Rocky (Dylan Schombing) and Mazu (Nahanni Mitchell), which are all dinosaurs. Even though they are all different species, they still treat each other like brothers and sisters. One of the things I felt lacking is more of the stories are not about Gigantosaurus, which is who the show is named for. I expected Gigantosaurus to be the main character, but he only makes a few appearances in each episode. The other characters talk about him a lot and they learn about him, but the four dinosaur friends are the main characters. My favorite part of each episode is how Tiny, Bill, Rocky and Mazu learn to overcome their fears. You can really see their true friendship whenever any of them needs a little help. They are always there to help each other throughout the day. I also love how they never give up.

The message in the movie is: everyone has a different talent that is useful for different things. You should appreciate others' differences and believe that their talent has a true purpose. Since this is a kid's movie, there isn't much for adults to look out for except parts where kids may imitate bragging and scaring people on purpose.

Gigantosaurus, The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! will have younger kids roaring with laughter. I rate it 4 out of 5 stomps and recommend it for ages 3 to 6. You can find it now on DVD.

Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

I absolutely love this adorable animated series. It is unlike any other animated series I have seen. The dynamics between all the friends is interesting and it is so pleasing seeing how supportive they are of each other.

Gigantosaurus: The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is centered around four tiny dinosaur friends and their gigantic dinosaur friend, that have a love-hate relationship with. Each of the tiny dinosaurs has a different personality. One is brave, one gets scared but loves food, one's silly and one is smart. Together they form the perfect team and are able to solve any problem. Their friend Gigantosaurus doesn't talk, so Gigantosaurus isn't close with them. Gigantosaurus' size is beneficial to them because he is protect their herd, but his size can also cause some problems when he walks around. Therefore, the tiny dinosaurs still fear Gigantosaurus and they become cautious whenever he is near.

The voice actors for this series are all ages, to separate the adult dinosaurs from the innocent tiny ones. Even though there is this contrast between the adult voice actors and the younger voice actors, it is hard to tell the difference between the younger voice actors. Even so, the younger voice actors are quite remarkable. They are lively and portray various emotions well.

The animation is pretty detailed and very colorful. It is wonderful to see that the effort put into animating so many different types of dinosaurs, as well as other animals including birds, a rodent and an interesting walking fish. There is a lot of detail in their facial expressions which portray their emotions quite well.

My favorite part of this DVD is that it is so fun and educational. Hidden inside the plot are actual dinosaur facts that kids can learn, which is amazing.

There can be multiple messages in any episode, all of which are extremely valuable. It is great to see how encouraging the dinosaur friends are towards each other, as well as how all the characters are accepted. For example, Gigantosaurus is a large, scary-looking dinosaur, yet he is so caring, protective, and never means any harm. The tiny dinosaur who is considered to be the brave, adventurous one is encouraged by his friends to let out his soft, caring side. Most importantly, this DVD shows kids to look past the stereotypes and accept others, which I love.

Gigantosaurus: The Biggest, Fiercest Dinosaur of All! is a wonderful animated DVD collection which kids will absolutely love and learn a lot from. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8. It comes out on DVD January 13, 2029, so make sure to pick it up!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


JUNGLE FUN WITH MUNKI & TRUNK

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
JUNGLE FUN WITH MUNKI & TRUNK       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD AGES 2-8
Topic - Family
Description - Munki and Trunk: Ain't no mountain high enough, river wide enough, or banana big enough to tear these two apart! Our brave, curious monkey and big-hearted elephant live together in the jungle, as children imagine it: a playground with vines to swing on, trampoline mushrooms to bounce on, and a crew of jungle buddies to share endless adventures. Munki and Trunk explore their world together, facing fears, having fun and helping friends in a comedy adventure that s brim-full of heart, and built on a bedrock of friendship. Includes 8 tree-crashing, rock-smashing, water-splashing, fruit-mashing episodes!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk is an adorable selection of stories compiled onto one DVD. The fun adventures that Munki and Trunk experience are simple, yet engaging to watch. These best friends sure know how to have a good time!

This compilation of episodes follows two main characters, Munki and Trunk, as they explore the world together. Along the way, these jungle animals learn lessons about nature, their friendship, as well as their own unique qualities. The protagonists quite often face their fears with one another and help them grow as individuals.

An interesting part of the world the characters live in is how they communicate through noises and actions, rather than actual words. Brent Dawes, the voice actor for Munki, and Alison Lambole, the voice actress for Trunk, are terrific at making the animal noises comprehensible for the audience. I love how bright and fun the animation in this show is. The jungle and characters all have a very playful vibe that keeps the audience super intrigued with each adventure. For example, each tree is animated with a particular texture that is incredible to look at. One issue I have with the DVD is how repetitive it is, but I believe that is effective for younger viewers. The two goofballs (Munki and Trunk) are amazing at bringing creativity to really simplistic scenarios. For example, the two characters are chasing a rainbow and decide to run through it. When going through the rainbow they change colors like a chameleon and then end up swimming up the rainbow.

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk has many lessons to teach viewers. My favorite is that each animal is their own individual, yet they all get along and coexist so well with one another. I think we can use this in our lives - to not worry about other people's perceptions of us, because we should all be kind to one another regardless. Another moral of these stories is how effective teamwork is in problem solving. It seems that every episode has some type of roadblock or obstacle to overcome, and only when the two friends stand together they can prevail over the problem.

I give Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk 4 out of 5 stars and recommend for kids 2 to 8. It is available now on DVD, so go check it out!

by Brad M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this DVD because it is cute and funny to watch. It makes me smile through all eight episodes, each around seven and a half minutes. Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk DVD is approximately 60 minutes long. The adventurous episodes include: "Hot Stuff," "Rainbow Rising," "Bubble Trouble," "Copycat," "Hypno-Munki," "Boing Boing," "Sticky Situation," and "Midnight Run."

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk is about an elephant and a monkey who live together in the jungle. They have adventures that range from comedy to scary situations. Munki is a very curios and friendly monkey, while Trunk is a big-hearted, kind elephant. They are friends with everyone in the jungle and very nice to other animals in need. The jungle is their playground. The vines are their swings, the mushrooms are their trampolines to bounce on. The graphics are super amazing and the colors are very bright. The animation can be compared to Disney's animated movies. The forest looks so realistic; it looks like a real forest with real animals. The music and theme song are very pleasant and delightful to listen to. There is no dialog in this DVD.

My favorite episode is "Rainbow Rising," because it is very funny. It's about Munki and Trunk finding berries that makes their skin or fur look blue. They go around showing every one that they are blue. Then, the blue wears off and they get upset. Munki and Trunk soon see a rainbow. They play in the rainbow and soon it makes them change colors, so they are happy again.

There are multiple morals for different episodes but the overall moral is about accepting people for who they are, with their perfections and flaws. Nobody is perfect and true friendship is about accepting each other for who they are. Part of the lyrics from the theme songs says, "Ain't no mountain high enough, river to wide enough, or banana big enough to tear these two apart!" Munki and Trunk are completely different animals, but they are still inseparable best friends.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars because and recommend it for ages 3 to 18. Adults can enjoy this DVD with their children as well. It is available now so look for it

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

I like this film for its animation, but I typically enjoy films that have dialogue (which this doesn't). The characters are cute, especially the hedgehog with his spunky attitude. I also like how colorful the scenes are. It is nice to see a change of scenery, since I'm often surrounded by snow, living in northern Minnesota.

This DVD is a collection of episodes about the jungle adventures of two friends--a monkey named Munki and an elephant named Trunk. They have fun together and meet new friends, but always seem to get in a little bit of trouble. They discover really cool things in the jungle and luckily can use many of the things they find to have some fun.

In one episode the elephant (Trunk) and monkey (Munki) start out being too hot, so they find different ways to cool off. They try to find shade and find themselves getting to a place that has snow, where they roll a huge snowball to try to get the hot spot cooler. At another time, they have fun changing colors and use grapes to turn purple, but then the rain washes away the colors. After finding a rainbow, they and other animals start changing colors. In their next adventure, Munki and Trunk find themselves in space because they chewed too much bubble gum. They start copying each other and get all the animals around them involved. Munki winds up hypnotizing all of the animals so they start acting like monkeys. In other adventures they find a plant that has a liquid that causes them to turn into Jell-O. They lose control over their bodies, while another liquid sticks to everything. There's an ostrich that appears throughout the film that is always trying to protect her eggs.

My favorite part of the film is the music, composed by Andries Smit, because it is very catchy. It's exciting and upbeat. It brings out the happiness of the characters. Some episodes on this DVD are a bit cheesy, but would probably appeal to a younger audience. I found myself laughing at one point when Munki and Trunk are squished in a bubble and get stuck in a tree. It is also fun to see all of the animals change colors and watch how excited they get. Listening to the animals just make noises gets a little annoying, but the animation, done by Infinite Studios, is great and gives lots of personality to the characters.

The message of the film is to trust your friends. Munki and Trunk show that you can get through almost any sticky situation by working together and using the problem as the solution.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this DVD to ages 4 to 8. The DVD is available now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD


TOYS & PETS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TOYS & PETS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
VISION FILMS
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A little toy with a wish and a robot from the future team up to find a fabled mystic and rescue their friend from the evil rat Flash. On this magical animated journey, they discover that teamwork and friendship will help them save the day.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Toys & Pets is well produced and has a Hollywood quality to it; it reminds me of Toy Story.

Toys & Pets is an animated film following the protagonist, Nathan, who meets up with a robot, Timebot, and their adventures to find the mystical 3G. Many obstacles get in their way.

The sound and picture quality of this film are excellent, with clear and vibrant color. It is very action-oriented and will keep viewers engaged. The one thing that I would warn audiences of is the violence, which is a bit intense for its target audience. For example, a truck delivery driver slaps a delivery boy a couple of times. This is meant to be humorous, but from an adult point of view, it's not. Another example is during the climax of the film, when Nathan crunches down on the tongue of a toad, accompanied by exaggerated sound effects. The last one is when Nathan falls into a fiery coal-ridden kiln. Does the Flash fall in as well? He is not shown falling, but is not seen after that incident.

This story is okay, but a bit disappointing. It is straightforward and makes sense, but gets lost at times in the action. Produced in Hong Kong, it may be a bit confusing for a U.S. audience, since the characters - porcelain figurines, robots, toads and rats - would not be considered as either toys or pets in the United States.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 13. It is available on DVD January 14, 2020.

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

This film is completely entertaining. I loved watching the adventures of the toy Nathan and his Robot friend. It has humor and adventure. I love the animation and the music. It is fun to watch, but has a real message about friendship as well. The storyline flows well and, of course, good wins over bad. But, the main message is of friendship. I like that it shows how friendship really is the answer to many things, such as the question, "How can I avoid being controlled?" It also shows that it is often better to focus on the here and now, and not just on the future. I recommend this film for ages 4 through 18. It really is something that the whole family could watch together. Very nicely done with enjoyable characters, animation and overall story. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Toys & Pets is appealing to me because it shows how two strangers meet, build a special friendship and help each other through a tough journey.

The storyline follows Nathan who can't understand why he can't change colors like his friend. Nathan meets Timebot, thinking she's from the future. Timebot is willing to help Nathan figure out why he can't change colors. The two of them become good friends and go on an adventure of a lifetime.

I love the storyline because the writer creates a special friendships between two strangers and it taught me how strangers should be kind and caring to everyone. Directed by Gary Wang, the film made me feel as if I was riding the best rollercoaster in the world. The camera work is flawless and amazing. It has great details in every scene and for every character.

I love the character Nathan, because he's a risk taker. He and his friends are created by the Toy Master and Nathan is the only one that can't change colors in water, like his ceramic tea toy friends. He goes on a magical adventure with Timebot trying to find out why. Jason Kesser plays the voice of Nathan. Mr. Kesser is an actor and producer (Girls Gone Dead, Rio, A Story of Love, Fury, Unforgotten). I also love the Timebot character; she's caring and helpful. She and Nathan become friends and go on adventures with Nathan. My favorite part is when Nathan gets stuck under water and can't figure out how to escape. The Toys and Pets costumes are like every day wear. The locations for this film look very realistic - inside a warehouse, a child's toys chest, science lab, baseball stadium. It reminds me of Disney/Pixar's Toy Story. The music is very futuristic, upbeat and happy. The special effects make it seem like you're watching it in 3D.

The message of the film is that good friends are hard to find and you should love your neighbors. What I learned from Toys & Pets is that it doesn't matter if you're different, you should always have self-confidence and be kind to others. There is no profanity but it does show a scene with the characters risking their lives going into a sewer drain. That is not healthy or safe, so I would hope that kids wouldn't imitate that.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It comes out on DVD January 24, 2020 so look for it.

Reviewed by Brianni W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

I like Toy & Pets because it has a very interesting storyline and reminds me of Disney's movie Toy Story. It's produced in China from light Chaser Animation Studios.

Toys & Pets is about a ceramic toy figure made by an old toymaker. One day, the toymaker makes two toy figures, a geisha named May and a chef named Nathan. The toy maker's wife collapses while holding May and a strange, rat-looking creature comes out of the sewer and steals May. The toymaker's wife passes away and he stops making toys. One day, some customers are examining the different ceramic figures and discover that they change color when they get wet, all but the little chef. The little chef is upset, because he doesn't know why he cannot change color. Along comes a robot from the future into the shop that meets the ceramic toys. The robot doesn't know where it came from, so the little chef teams up with him to help him find out also learn why he cannot change color when wet. During their journey they fall into a sewer and meet Flash, the evil rat. Flash has a huge collection of figurines and one is May. The Robot and Nathan come up with a plan to free May.

My favorite part of this Chinese made animated film is when Nathan finds a Ferris-wheel snow globe in the sewer and gives it to the robot as a friendship gift. The graphics of this film are simply amazing. The colors are very bright and the animation looks real, almost like a 3D movie. The background and landscapes also look very real. The voice-overs match the characters quite well and the sound effects are perfect. For example, every time the toys move, you can hear the clanging sound of ceramic.

The moral of Toy & Pets DVD is that teamwork and friendship, together, help save the day. The robot and Nathan become friends and put their idea together to rescue May.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Older adults can enjoy it with their children as well. Toy & Pets is available on DVD now so look for it.

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

Toys & Pets has many characters to fall in love with. There are funny, quirky, loyal and intelligent characters as well as villains to befriend in this film. Join in the adventure of tea toy Nathan and his pal Time-bot as they seek answers and a missing friend.

The Toy Master creates a group of ceramic figurines which are tea toys. The last figurine the Toy Master creates cannot magically change color, like the other toys, and sets out on an adventure to discover why. The villain of this story is a rat named Flash who likes to own all that is beautiful and steals the last completed tea toy made. Find out what happens when Nathan and Time-bot encounter Flash and enter his underground lair.

The movie is written and directed by Gary Wong, who has created quite a few funny and quirky characters. The plot is a little difficult to follow, because there are so many characters in this story. The special effects in this movie are really outstanding and steal the show. Animation is by Amp Wong and you can really visualize this world he has created and the characters that live there, because the animation is absolutely brilliant. The visual effects are by Yang Xiaoqi and truly enhance the production. The sound effects engage the viewer and are supervised by Wu Zhe; the music is composed by Guo Haowei. There are many voices that lend their skills to this production that add depth to the characters and their humor.

The message of this film is that friendship and loyalty matter. The future is now so share it with your friends.

I rate this DVD 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. It is available on DVD now, so look for it.

By Selene Weiss, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
Runtime: 98 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


BOOKFUL

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BOOKFUL
INCEPTION XR
Series: APP, AGES 2-5
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - Bookful is a mobile app for kids that uses augmented reality to bring books to life. Choosing from an extensive library of AR books that features the best publishers and brands such as Penguin Random House, DK and Hasbro, the child can learn, read and have fun at the same time.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This reading app is so much fun! If you wouldn't normally call reading "fun," then you need to experience Bookful so it can change your idea of reading forever.

Bookful is no ordinary reading app. It is an augmented reality reading library for children. Within an augmented reality experience, the viewer becomes an actual participant. Inside the app, the user is offered an assortment of reading choices, moves, games, entertainment, interaction and encouragement!

After the easy download for any Apple or Android smart phone or tablet, the Bookful app begins to come to life. The sign up steps are made very clear with big buttons and clean instructions. I found the quick set-up process to be very simple with helpful prompts. This took me less than one minute to complete!

Inside the Bookful app I saw moving animated books on shelves in an endless library and an entire community of activities surrounding them. Diving into the app, I found myself on an adventure right away. I played a short game, for which I earned points. Then I was whisked away into a book that was directly related to the game. In this case it was knocking down stacked boulders in a prehistoric jungle. After I completed that game I was able to open a book all about dinosaurs.

I really enjoy the way Bookful held my attention as I moved seamlessly from activity to activity. My mind had no time to wander as I was constantly being drawn into another new part of my session. This ability to keep me engaged is encouraging for me as a mother, because I am always looking for ways to keep my children interested in educational tasks. Bookful holds the attention of the user extremely well.

Bookful is different from other reading apps I have used in the past. Normally books in an app are accompanied by audio for the user and sometimes a marker that helps the user follow along with the words being read. In the case of Bookful's reading experience, not only are the words read by incredibly entertaining voice actors, but the books themselves jump off the pages! Literally!

I'm not a tech expert, but I can tell this is very cool technology. I was able to access the AR capabilities of this app so easily. If I can do it, anyone can. I was able to choose my surroundings for my reading session. I could read my book in a virtual room designed by the makers of the app, or in my own room at home. The app allowed me to virtually place the book down on my own coffee table at home and flip through the pages like I was wearing 3D goggles. I'm sure there is a fancier way to explain what this is, but all I know is that it is super cool!

Once the books are opened, the characters inside the book lift up like in the pop-up books of my youth. Those standing characters then move around the pages as they act out the lines being read. It's truly incredible. I was in awe.

Bookful is the next level in reading education. I can't wait to get back to reading more books in this app. As a parent, I'm excited to allow my children screen-time that is so cutting edge and useful. I know that my kids are enjoying their reading experience and that is so important to me. I've always loved reading and I know the benefits of reading. I believe Bookful will help us raise a generation of young learners who truly love to read.

I recommend this app for ages 4 to 18, and adults will enjoy it too. This is good for boys and girls as well as for mom and dad. I give the Bookful app a rating of 5 out of 5 stars. If I could give it more stars I would.

Reviewed by Kristin C., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this app very much because it's a 3D digital book app about creating a magical, playful universe for book lovers like myself.

Bookful is a mobile app for kids that can be used on both Android and Apple devices. The app allows you to read books and play games about the books. It contains a library of Accelerated Reader books and has a Parent Zone menu which includes tells you what this app is about, their privacy policy, terms and conditions, how to send mail, notifications, FAQ, how to restore purchase and how to sign out. The main menu consists of My Books, Featured (books), Friendship, an icon of the 3D map, the volume icon, parent icon and a happy face star with the number of coins I accumulated while playing or interacting with these digital audio books.

When you first open the app you are greeted with delightful music and it really gets you excited to start the interaction with the digital books and what you are about to see. The graphics are very bright and colorful. The app has an older man's voice that narrates the stories in a form of rhyme similar to The Cat in the Hat.

My favorite part about this app is the 3D digital map, because I can interact with it. I like how there are little mini games about the books and, when I read them it's in 3D. I also liked playing the mini game in space, where I had to get stars without hitting any objects. I also had to get letters to spell words. When you spell a word it gives you three hearts. You loose hearts by hitting objects.

The Bookful app teaches children how to read at their level in a very fun and enjoyable way, by interacting with the app and using their visual and audition senses.

I give this app 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 18. Adults might enjoy this app as well when playing it with their children. It is available now from the app store.

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

Bookful is a fun and resourceful learning app that can be used to help teach kids read. It incorporates modern technology. For example, Bookful gives a 3D option and a VR option, which makes reading books much more fun. There are other ways that it makes reading fun, like playing a game with different levels to get to a certain part of a book. Bookful makes reading fun with new ways to explore books.

When the book comes to life on your screen, it makes it so much more real than just reading a regular book. When I was exploring the app I found that the even characters come to life and that's awesome! This app really gives kids the experience of a lifetime.

Another good thing about this app is that while you are learning how to read and write, you can also color in the characters. Now that is cool. You get a variety of books and each comes with an amazing story that kids will love. No matter how a kid feels about reading and learning, this app will make them feel better about it.

I love that this app comes with lots of different books to read. For example, when you first enter the app it takes you to a huge book library where you can choose whatever book you or your child prefers. Bookful makes kids and parents very happy for various reasons. Bookful makes you or your child want to keep reading with all the new offerings in the app.

Although this app is great in many ways, there is one thing that I didn't like so much. There are certain books that can be read and others that need to be purchased. The negative thing is that the price for those books is kind of high and not something everyone can afford. For example, to purchase a lifetime subscription costs one hundred thirty dollars, which is too high for some.

There are lots of amazing things about this app and I most definitely recommend it. I rate the app 4 of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 1 to 6. It is available from the app store, for IOS and Android devices so check it out.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 59.99
Media: App


MOLANG: SEASON 3

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MOLANG: SEASON 3       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4-8
Topic - Family
Description - Join Molang, a round, fluffy, and happy rabbit, and his best friend, Piu Piu, a poised, timid, and reserved yellow chick, as they explore everyday life. Despite their many differences, Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a special friendship. They have amazing times together ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Whether performing in a rock band, becoming superheroes or enjoying a hike with friends, Molang and Piu Piu embrace every daily adventure together. No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with warmth and humor. Embark on 52 adventures with Molang and Piu Piu!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this DVD because it is very cute and nice to watch. Every story has its own moral and they are all very interesting.

Molang: Season 3 is about a white, round bunny named Molang and a little, yellow chick named Piu Piu. They have amazing adventures together that always teach them something new. No matter what happens, Molang and Piu Piu always laugh even through tough times. There are 52 episodes of different stories. The DVD is about three hours of unforgettable fun. The main menu consists of two features, "Play All" which plays everything and "Stories," which play each episode.

My favorite episode is "Santa" because it's about how Santa comes to Molang and Piu Piu's house to give them presents. When Santa is about to put the presents under the tree, the tree falls on Santa and knocks him out. When the tree falls, it makes a loud noise so Molang and Piu Piu wake up to see what happened. They see Santa knocked out, so they decide to take the gifts to every one to save Christmas.

Another one of my favorite episodes is "The Long Trip." This episode is about how Molang and Piu Piu are flying a kite and a bird hits the kite which causes the bird to fall on the ground. Molang and Piu Piu take the kite off the bird's neck and they realize the bird can't fly any more. They get in the car with the bird and follow the bird's family so the bird can reunite with his family. The graphics are pretty good. This animation reminds me of looks the Hello Kitty animation. The colors are vibrant and the background has different patterns and colors. The voice over is funny because is just gibberish; there is no dialogue going in these stories.

There are multiple morals, but the main moral of this show is that we should treat each other equally and learn to get along. Even though Molang is a bunny and Piu Piu is a chick they still are best friends. Just because they are different doesn't mean they cannot get along and have fun together.

I give Molang, Season 3 DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 18, plus adults can enjoy it with their children too. It is available now from NCircle Entertainment so look for it. >p> By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

This animated, unique, funny and creative film takes you along adventures that will make you laugh and wish you were part of Molang and Piu Piu's world. I must say, Molang and Piu Piu love ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary on a daily basis. Get ready for amazing adventures, each with its own moral.

This film follows Molang, an accommodating, nurturing, kind and happy round fluffy rabbit and his best friend, a little duck that loves quack time named, Piu Piu. Despite their many differences, Piu Piu and Molang enjoy their special friendship. Whether it's helping a delivery worker or exploring a haunted house, joining a competition or joining a rock band, they embrace every day adventure together. No matter what happens, every single moment with these two is filled with warmth and humor.

The lead characters in this film are the hilarious and wild Molang and his goofy and tiny friend Piu Piu. Throughout all episodes you meet new characters. Many characters are recurring, such as the neighborhood watch group.

My favorite episode is "Top Model," because it brings so much humor. It's one of the opening episodes and really starts off the show with a bang. I savor this episode specifically because of one scene when Molang and Piu Piu call all the models and take their photos. The faces on the bunny are hilarious.

This film disregards bad language; every adventure in this mirthful and amusing DVD is safe. There are several important messages in this DVD including never stop believing in yourself even when others are fearful, be honest and work hard. The main message is that, although Molang and Piu Piu are different, they got along just right.

I'd give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 11. This film is available on DVD now. Make sure to check it out.

By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Molang is a very cute animated kids' series about a big, fluffy rabbit and his best friend, Piu Piu, a tiny, yellow chick, who every day come across a different problem. Those problems can be from losing the instructions to build a hammock, to trying to find out how to make a carpet fly in the air. Even if Molang and his friends don't speak English, or any real language whatsoever, the series is still so easy to understand.

What I like about this series is how the creators and animators make the characters look. The animation is so cute, and I was impressed with how they made the tiny little arms and cheeks. The best part is that when the characters get excited their eyes glow! I also like that the creators use a fake language--that way it's easier for everyone to understand what's going on in the plot. Although since the cartoons facial expressions are very easy to read, we probably don't need a fake language!

This show has no bad language (they just make sounds) or bad actions. The message of this film is trying to teach you or your kids that there is always a way to get over a situation that you might have trouble in.

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars! Molang is perfect in every way possible! My age recommendation is ages 2 to 6. This series might be more interesting for kids those ages, but even though I am almost 12 I was very interested in this cute series! This DVD is available now so look for it. By Ava L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 186 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


SNOWMAN, THE (2019)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SNOWMAN, THE (2019)       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


QB

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
QB
MURAT KARAMANOGLU
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Kemal Hunal believed in the existence of aliens and tried to contact them for a long time. In 1979, when NASA launches the SETI project in search of messages from extraterrestrials, Kemal wants to find them first. One night he hears a signal and believes he has succeeded. He goes to bed happy and never awakes. Enter Ata and his mother, who inherit Kemal's house and Ata finds his grandfather's diary, radio telescope and the recorded signals he heard. He learns of a planet where all the adults died but the children who hid in shelters are now the rulers and they need to go to Earth and extract its uranium so they can live. Ata meets shares his story with other kids who believe the alien story and search for the QB who has come to extract the uranium. QB knows he must leave the world and fulfill his duty and is aware of the danger of leaving Earth with the uranium. A relentless pursuit begins and a big surprise awaits them all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What an interesting story. Very imaginative. Well produced with great visuals and audio. Lots on unexpected twists and turns. This has the added benefit of an intergenerational connection, a space adventure and kids pursuing their dreams. The acting is quite admirable. I particularly enjoyed the child actors. The visual effects are well executed, a bit corny at times, but in a fun way. The shots of earth from space are particularly well done. This was made in Turkey and hence the dialogue is in Turkish with English sub-titles, which have some poor translations at times, but nothing that detracts from understanding the storyline. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


ODD DOG

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ODD DOG
KEIKA LEE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 3-8
Topic - Family
Description - A young boy pleads with his mother to get him a dog but his mother prefers a cat. Years later, the boy runs into what looks like a cat on the street but oddly enough the cat acts like a dog! See if the cat can win the boy over with his crazy dog-like antics and become the boy's "odd dog".
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is adorable. The line drawn animation in black and white, without any dialogue, just a charming little background music, wins you over. From the time the boy is young, he wants a dog. His mother wants a cat. Time passes as he yearns for the dog. Then one day, what shall he run into but a cat that acts just like a dog! Ala! It's a match made in heaven. But first the cat / dog has to prove its worth and we watch him play fetch, sit, roll over and play dead, enchanting the boy. Yet, the boy walks away! Oh no. You'll have to watch the film to find out what happens. The only hint I can give you is that the world turns from black and white to color when the boy makes the right choice. Love this film. Can't wait for more from this talented filmmaker. Highly recommended for KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. Recommend for ages 4 to 18, plus adults. I give this 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Selene W. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is adorable. The line drawn animation in black and white, without any dialogue, just a charming little background music, wins you over. From the time the boy is young, he wants a dog. His mother wants a cat. Time passes as he yearns for the dog. Then one day, what shall he run into but a cat that acts just like a dog! Ala! It's a match made in heaven. But first the cat / dog has to prove its worth and we watch him play fetch, sit, roll over and play dead, enchanting the boy. Yet, the boy walks away! Oh no. You'll have to watch the film to find out what happens. The only hint I can give you is that the world turns from black and white to color when the boy makes the right choice. Love this film. Can't wait for more from this talented filmmaker. Highly recommended for KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. Recommend for ages 4 to 18, plus adults. I give this 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Selene W. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-8
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PETS 4D! (2D VERSION)

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PETS 4D! (2D VERSION)
XAVIER PIJUAN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-15
Topic - Family
Description - In "PETS 4D!", three cute and cuddly puppies, ready for adoption, are stolen from the pet shelter. It's up to two cats, two dogs, a pig, a parrot and a rat to save the day. The Rescue Heroes use their unique animal skills to track down and confront the bad guys. Along the way they meet a hungry porcupine, a spitting llama and a barn full of captured critters. It's a fun, fast, funny adventure for the entire family. (Shot entirely with Rescue Animals!) Movie Short in 3D!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What a delightful short film about shelter animals. Pets 4D! is a short film about a group of shelter animals that come together to rescue stolen puppies. I absolutely love all the animals and giving them voices. What's amazing is how they build the entire storyline around these actual animals. When thieves come into the shelter and take off with some puppies, all the other animals team up to go find them and bring them back. The storyline really showcases all the different animals and their various quirks. I love the beginning, when the animals dream of what they would love to have happen. The storyline has lots of narrative and physical humor. This is a well-done production from the camera work, to the background music, to the special effects, everything is top rate. Of course the animals are cute and cuddly. The shelter looks very warm and loving. The only thing that doesn't quite make sense is how close the barn is to where shelter is. The music is fun with good tempo. All the animal sounds are great. I don't think this is meant to be a believable story. It's just cute and funny. I love that every animal in this movie was a rescue animal! The only think I don't care for is the narrator at the beginning. His voice reminds me of a bad science film narrator and it's a turn off. The message of this film is "stick together with your friends and consider adopting a shelter animal. There is some slight profanity, where "butt" could have been used instead. Most importantly, watching this made me want to adopt a shelter animal. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 12, plus adults. It is funny, cute and easy to watch. I think our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival venues would love to include this. Reviewed by Selene W. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What a delightful short film about shelter animals. Pets 4D! is a short film about a group of shelter animals that come together to rescue stolen puppies. I absolutely love all the animals and giving them voices. What's amazing is how they build the entire storyline around these actual animals. When thieves come into the shelter and take off with some puppies, all the other animals team up to go find them and bring them back. The storyline really showcases all the different animals and their various quirks. I love the beginning, when the animals dream of what they would love to have happen. The storyline has lots of narrative and physical humor. This is a well-done production from the camera work, to the background music, to the special effects, everything is top rate. Of course the animals are cute and cuddly. The shelter looks very warm and loving. The only thing that doesn't quite make sense is how close the barn is to where shelter is. The music is fun with good tempo. All the animal sounds are great. I don't think this is meant to be a believable story. It's just cute and funny. I love that every animal in this movie was a rescue animal! The only think I don't care for is the narrator at the beginning. His voice reminds me of a bad science film narrator and it's a turn off. The message of this film is "stick together with your friends and consider adopting a shelter animal. There is some slight profanity, where "butt" could have been used instead. Most importantly, watching this made me want to adopt a shelter animal. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 12, plus adults. It is funny, cute and easy to watch. I think our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival venues would love to include this. Reviewed by Selene W. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
Runtime: 25 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


5 MINUTES PEACE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
5 MINUTES PEACE
SAHRA BHIMJI
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - A mother dreams of having just five minutes of peace to try out her new meditation app. However, her two kids have other ideas on how best to spend the day. This short family film is a playful look into the struggles of being a parent - and the magic power of being a kid!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short, live-action film made me laugh. It shows a mother struggling to deal with her sons while trying to find time to relax. It shows the struggles of parenthood while never condemning either the mom or the kids. It does feel that the story feels a little rushed. However, there are some interesting usage of center frames and the children's imagination is well represented. Some of the costumes are a bit cheesy but, in a way they emphasize a childlike wonder. I particularly enjoyed the imagination sequences. Overall, this film pretty well represents life as a mom, struggling to find some quiet space for herself. The characters are pretty normal, middle class kids and mom; there's nothing unique about them, but they're quite likable. The message of this film is that, despite their stress and struggles, parents are there for us. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 6 to 18, as well as adults. Reviewed by Calista B. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This short, live-action film made me laugh. It shows a mother struggling to deal with her sons while trying to find time to relax. It shows the struggles of parenthood while never condemning either the mom or the kids. It does feel that the story feels a little rushed. However, there are some interesting usage of center frames and the children's imagination is well represented. Some of the costumes are a bit cheesy but, in a way they emphasize a childlike wonder. I particularly enjoyed the imagination sequences. Overall, this film pretty well represents life as a mom, struggling to find some quiet space for herself. The characters are pretty normal, middle class kids and mom; there's nothing unique about them, but they're quite likable. The message of this film is that, despite their stress and struggles, parents are there for us. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 6 to 18, as well as adults. Reviewed by Calista B. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! jurors.
Runtime: 13 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


AMERICAN MARRIAGE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
AMERICAN MARRIAGE
GIORGIO FONTANA
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Leonardo, an Italian immigrant who lives in New York, marries a Latina woman, Nikki, to obtain the American green card. Through the comedy of it all Nikki and Leo fall in love "for real" but it looks like "Uncle Sam" will be the one to have the last laugh.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I enjoyed this short film, which addresses the issue of immigrants marrying just to get their green card, but end up finding true love instead. When I first read the synopsis of the film I expected it would be fairly political and, in a way, it is. However, it has a sweet underlying story about finding love when you least expect it. The cinematography is quite good, with bright and vibrant the colors. The costuming is very good, as is the set, especially in the apartment. The locations are also very beautiful. I found the actors quite sweet and the one who steals the show is the young boy, who is unequivocally the essence of sweetness, especially when he steps in at end to rescue his mom. The immigration office, played by Lori Hammel, is a little over-the-top, but they can be that way in reality, so I let it go. And the two principal actors that play the supposedly married couple are straight out of central casting, and quite believable. The message of this film is about finding "true love" when you least expect it. There is a bit of mild profanity. I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18, plus adults and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


DOMBRA

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DOMBRA
RAUSHAN SAPARBAYEVA
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-15
Topic - Family
Description - Asset, who had learned how to play the tune, would have preferred to play in the field, accompanied by his vicious friends. But when he learned that Aigerim was coming to the concert, he decided to turn all his effort into it. However, it was not easy to Asset, having vicious friends and broken dombyra. From Kazakhstan.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beautifully told story not just about a boy and his dombra, but about his entire community. With excellent camera work and editing, the film shows us life in a small rural village in Kazakhstan, reminiscent of when life was simpler. There are no electronic gadgets in this village and child's play is riding inside a wheel that rolls down the hill, landing in a pond. The gang of boys that are Aset's friends are little troublemakers, nothing too serious mind you, just stealing the neighbor's apples or breaking their friend's dombra perhaps. The young actor, Yerasyl Boroo (I think), that plays Aset is charming. He seems to get along with everyone, yet has his own struggles balancing his relationship with his family, his friends and the girl who sparks something in him. We really get a wonderful view of life in this community in this film, as well as the life of this coming-of-age young boy. Highly recommended, I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18.Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 27 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


TOO MUCH RAIN

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TOO MUCH RAIN
OUT OF OUR MINDS ANIMATION STUDIOS
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Into every life a little rain must fall. Those with innocent and appreciative eyes can enjoy every drop. But what happens when life gets out of control? Using the art of New Orleans' artist Mark Bercier, Out of Our Minds Studios created 'Too Much Rain' to take a look at overwhelming circumstances through the eyes of a little girl. When her "Magic" and her world are swept away by a flood, she navigates waters of sorrow and nature and still maintains hope.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Have you ever had a day when it rains way too much? Well this short animated film will have you checking out the nearest ark for sure, but will also remind you to enjoy the little things. The storyline is about a little girl, her dog Magic and the rain. It starts to rain and rain and rain until it turns into a flood. The flood carries Magic away and carries the girl's house away too. The little girl tells the story in great detail, which amuses you and keeps you watching. The animation was very creative and original. It looks like cardboard cutouts. The background music is classical music and that, with the little girl's sweet voice are quite soothing. The message of the film is to have hope. The girl never despairs and, in the end, Magic comes back. (that's a spoiler so don't tell anyone) I learned that we should pay more attention to what's around us and to be more positive about life, enjoy the little things, even if it is the sound of the raindrops dropping into a bucket. I highly recommend this film for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals and give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 4 to 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Ethan X. P. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


BRAVE ME: I'M STRONGER THAN ASTHMA!

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BRAVE ME: I'M STRONGER THAN ASTHMA!
ANDREA BROWN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 4-12
Topic - Family
Description - All Brave Me videos help kids who are facing medical situations. In this story, Riley is feeling anxious about his asthma and when he arrives at Brave Me Headquarters for a bravery boost, he takes a journey to Medical Mountain, Emotion Ocean and Courage Canyon. He finds out he really is stronger than asthma.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - We don't often accept short films with medical messages, but this one is so absolutely well done, with wonderful puppets, animation and live action characters, that it deserves a slot. Asthma has become such a common medical condition for kids and it is a scary disease. This is fun, informative, creative and educational all at once. Kudos to the Nashville production team for such a well executed production. Even if you don't have asthma, it's entertaining and informative. Definitely deserves consideration for inclusion in your festival. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 12. I am completely impressed. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 44 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DRAGON RECIPES

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DRAGON RECIPES
MARIA PAVLOU
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 4-9
Topic - Family
Description - Dragon Recipes is a sweet story about friendship and acceptance, for the whole family to enjoy. The protagonist, a young apprentice witch, idolizes a really scary, green witch from magazine clippings and posters. She dreams of becoming a grand witch like her icon and of having her own fierce, fire-breathing dragon. Spontaneous as she is, our little hero decides to create her own dragon, using an old recipe and magic spells. But the inexperienced youngster will surely make mistakes; magic mistakes that will eventually get her a dragon, but not the fire-breathing one she has in mind. Instead, she gets a dragon with a big heart and a special, magical skill. The little apprentice is about to learn a very important lesson about tolerance and personal sacrifice.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Oh my gosh, this is so adorable. The animation is delightful, with bright colors and clearly defined and cute characters. It has just the right amount of suspense for a preschool or early elementary child and a wonderful message of love, even for a little girl who wants to make a dragon for herself. It is from Cyprus, but there is no dialogue, so no problem understanding it. There are a couple of sub-titles, to identify objects, but one can understand it even if you don't know exactly what they are. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-9
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


MIMI MEETS BOOKS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MIMI MEETS BOOKS
HERYIN EDITOR
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 2-6
Topic - Family
Description - Warmly presents how Mimi meets and falls in love with books.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Delightful! This is truly a superb piece of animated storytelling. The director, Yih-Fen Chou has a degree in literature and educational psychology which shows as the story is thoughtfully told. The animation is charming and flawless; the narration excellent and the back ground music and songs are lovely. My only concern here is that the dialogue is in Chinese with English sub-titles and the target age is pre-school, ages 2-6. I recommend having a reader when playing it at a film festival or other event, so the audience can understand what is being said. Highly recommended. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S. KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-6
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


FROZEN II (2019)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FROZEN II (2019)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY ANIMATED STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Why was Elsa born with magical powers? The answer is calling her and threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she'll set out on a dangerous but remarkable journey. In Frozen, Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In Frozen II, she must hope they are enough. From the Academy Award�-winning team--directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, producer Peter Del Vecho and songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez--and featuring the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad, Walt Disney Animation Studios' Frozen 2 opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2019.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I must admit. I love Disney. I loved the very original Frozen and love Frozen II! The music is captivating, as are the loveable characters we fell in love with when Frozen debuted in 2013. The core characters, Princess Anna (Kristen Bell), Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel), Olaf (Josh Gad), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf and Sven are back and living seemingly normal, happy lives in Arendelle. Olaf ratchets up the comedy and has a plethora of entertaining lines and musical trips down memory lane.

Everyone has grown-up a bit since we last saw the fine people of Arendelle. Kristoff can't get out of his own way in his desire to propose to Anna and life seems to be merry for all, until a calling is felt by Queen Elsa and the group goes in search of answers in the Enchanted Forest, a forbidden place. Along the way, we meet new characters including Mattias (Sterling K. Brown), Yelana (Martha Plimpton) and Honeymaren (Rachel Matthews). They all have a part as Anna and Elsa's quest to learn their family history begins and it gets a little dark as many ventures into the past can be.

When it comes to music, I predict "Into the Unknown" is going to become this year's "Let It Go." I'd be willing to predict the Golden Globe and the Academy Awards nomination for Best Original Song. I also predict Disney will sell millions of iguanas over the holidays. Disney's sequel to Frozen has a built-in fan base, and the Disney marketing machine partnered with the world to ensure we know the film opens just before Thanksgiving, in plenty of time to entertain the entire family!

I give this film 4.5 of 5 stars for its beautiful animation, music and comedy. I would have loved more character development, especially for the new characters. This film will appeal to ages 3 to 18. There is one segment which may appear scary to younger children. Frozen II opens in theaters November 22, 2019. See it!

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror, Ageless

We have dived into the unknown with Disney's latest installment to its chilly universe of Frozen with Frozen II. As a big Disney fan, I can honestly say Frozen was never one of my favorites, as after a while I think we can all agree that building a snowman is anything that you'd like to hear again. I must say though, this sequel is filled with tons of hilarious and amazing surprises.

The film starts in the past, giving us a peek at Elsa and Anna as children, playing with snow in their rooms. We see their parents and get to know them a little better as they tell the sisters a story about an enchanted forest that neighbored the kingdom of Arendelle. What happens next sends the story full-throttle into a whirlwind of emotions as Elsa sets out on a dangerous, but remarkable path of events, that ultimately teaches the pair of sisters how to fix what's been broken and to make things right.

In Frozen, we watched Elsa take the throne of Arendelle and come to terms with her magic. Despite this, we just barely got to see who Elsa truly was. Frozen II gives us everything that we missed out on in the first film, and powerfully gives us an inside look at her mannerisms, thought process, hardships and more. We see her struggle more with her truth, and more specifically her past, as she's itching to know who she really is and where she possibly came from. She's not the only character we see develop though, as Olaf turns into a far more mature little snowman and offers tons of fun facts and questions for audiences to hear along the way. Much like her sister, we see a very different Anna in this film. With crazy mood swings, endless bravery and one big leap of faith, we see the princess grow from fear and confusion into confidence and faith. There is no doubt that you'll get to enjoy all the new sides to these iconic characters.

There are a handful of new characters, one of which is the cute little salamander, Bruni. Surprisingly enough, he is quite the powerful and pivotal character. And of course, how can we forget about Sven and Kristoff? This legendary duo smashes it on the big screen with their great chemistry and 80s rock ballad--oh, yeah. You might want to prepare yourself for some crazy Kristoff vocals.

Disney once again knocks it out of the park with their incredibly detailed animation. Every frame of the movie feels immersive and looks stunning. I still can't wrap my head around the countless amount of hours it must have taken to create a flowing stream of water, and it is done so flawlessly. The soundtrack itself is quite catchy. I've been humming multiple songs to myself since I left the theatre and I only just realized it. With its perfect moments of tenderness and just the right amount of hilarity, Frozen II is set to be a hit for families everywhere.

Frozen II is rated PG for its action, peril and some thematic elements. I recommend this film to ages 5 to 18, as well as adults and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is playing in theaters now, so don't miss it.

Reviewed by Michelle C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 21
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Frozen II is a beautiful continuation of one of the greatest animated films ever made. We know the story and characters from the 2013 film, so it's not as original, surprising and innovative as the first one, but as the story evolves so does the animation. The characters grow in their arc, becoming more mature, with stronger relationships and technically, Frozen II is a much better film than its predecessor.

Anna (Kristen Bell), Elsa (Idina Menzel), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad) and Sven have become a family. Now, they try to discover the origin of Elsa's powers in order to save their Kingdom because it seems as if Elsa has awakened some powerful spirits. They leave Arendelle, their hometown, and embark into a Nordic odyssey, in the impetuous fall, where they will face dangers and will meet new characters.

During the film's 103 minutes, we are delighted with seven new songs, most of them as iconic as those in the previous film and 19 score tracks. "Into the Unknown" stays with you and I'm sure we will hear this beautiful composition at the Oscar ceremony. Frozen II feels like a musical at times and that just makes the movie better.

The story is well narrated and easy to follow for little ones. Sisterhood is a powerful force and the bond between Anna and Elsa only strengths during the whole movie.

Frozen II is absolutely eye candy with a beautiful color palette similar to the original adding the warm tones of autumn. The filmmakers traveled to Finland, Iceland and Norway for inspiration. They consulted with a botanist in Oslo to make sure the forest resembles the authentic vegetation there. The animation is not just beautiful, but also a great representation of the Nordic folklore and the geography of the places.

We can also appreciate the advances in technology in the new characters. Among the most challenging to animate are Nokk, the water spirit and Gale, the wind spirit. The costumes are very detailed and gorgeous and, even Olaf gets to wear one!

The actors from the original cast reprise their roles and Jason Ritter makes his Disney debut as the voice of Ryder. My favorite characters are Brunni, the salamander and Olaf played by Josh Gad. Olaf is very funny and his character becomes bigger in this sequel. My favorite scenes are the ones where the characters are discovering the elements in the forest, because each one represents a new challenge.

The message of the film is about creating your own destiny and not being afraid of growing up.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 16, as well as adults. Frozen II opens November 22, 2019. Be sure to check it out!

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I love Frozen II so much, because the animation is so fantastic and it is so great to see all the characters come back together for a whole new adventure. In the first movie Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) rediscovered being sisters. In this movie, which takes place three years after the original, their closeness as sisters is stronger than ever.

The movie starts off in the past with Anna and Elsa's parents telling Anna and Elsa about the enchanted forest. Their mom sings them a lullaby about a secret place full of magical powers. Then we fast forward to present time and Elsa hears a mysterious voice that calls her into the North Woods and the adventure begins. Along the way they meet the Northuldra, a tribe of people who live in the enchanted forest that are connected with the elements. On this journey Anna and Elsa find out about their parents' past and Elsa finds out who and what she really is.

Frozen II has seven new original songs and all new characters that help Elsa on her journey to discover who she is and the origin of her powers. "Lost in the Woods" sung by Kristoff; it is so funny because it has all these inside jokes from old music videos. There are also two great songs sung by Elsa - "Into the Unknown" and "Show Yourself." Plus, Olaf (Josh Gad) also has a really fun song called "When I am Older'' and Anna sings a song too.

Throughout this movie Olaf become smarter and much funnier. It's a really great experience to see that happen to our favorite little lovable snowman. This movie has a lot of comedy, adventure and touching moments.

The message of this film is to follow your heart and listen to your gut, because if you do, there could be a huge adventure waiting for you. Another important message in the movie is that family is important and will always be there for you; so don't ever turn them away when they offer to help.

I give Frozen II, 5 out of 5 snowflakes and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adults will love it too! You can catch it in theaters November 22, 2019. Look for it.

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

Frozen II is an exciting animated adventure with lots of laughs! The bright, lively animation really gives character to everyone in this movie. The new songs and exciting story make this film a great choice for the whole family.

Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) set off on a quest with their friends Olaf (Josh Gad), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and trusted reindeer Sven. They're following a mysterious voice that only Elsa can hear; in hopes of finding the enchanted forest their father told them about when they were kids. Along the way, they encounter spirits of air, water, earth, and fire, and they learn of a mysterious fifth spirit that they must find. Elsa and Anna work together to right a wrong from the past, even though this may mean sacrificing everything.

Frozen II has lots of great new songs that help tell the story, but nothing as catchy as those in the original film. There is no main villain or antagonist, just a lot of angry spirits to deal with. The audience at the screening I attended really loved the sequence where Olaf treats some new characters to a hilarious recap of the first Frozen movie. The costume designers must have had a lot of fun designing the intricate costumes and Elsa and Anna both change clothes lots of times throughout the film. The animators have done some pretty incredible things, from making a horse out of water, to creating a flaming salamander. My favorite part is a funny song Olaf sings about how everything will make sense when he's older.

The message of this film is that when you feel that you've lost all hope, you should do the next right thing. Parents should be aware that some beloved characters are in grave danger and young children might be upset by what befalls them. There are some really dark moments when even the usually optimistic Anna thinks all is lost. However, there are some great messages about bravery in the face of danger and doing the right thing despite the cost to yourself.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 6 to 12 and I believe adults will like it too. You can see Frozen II in theaters everywhere starting November 22, 2019.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, A

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, A       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Two-time Oscar�-winner Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America's most beloved neighbor.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I grew up watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. He seemed like the nicest man on the planet. Casting the nicest actor on the planet as Fred Rogers was brilliant. Mr. Hanks brings the deliberate-speaking teacher to life in a way I can't describe. I'm betting Tom Hanks will be nominated for many awards for this role. He becomes Fred Rogers in the film.

Kindness is so simple. This film is a beautiful and timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. In the film his character is named Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) and he is grumpy and not interested in an assigned puff-piece profile of Fred Rogers. Throughout the film, he works through his skepticism, and learns kindness, and decency from America's most beloved neighbor.

The real lesson is learned by Lloyd as he works through issues of fathers, his own (Chris Cooper) and his new role as a father. The film is moving and brings forth many emotions - from grief to sadness to joy, and everything in between. Lloyd's wife, Andrea (Susan Kelechi Watson) is the bridge between Lloyd's family pain and his future as a better Dad.

Lloyd spoke to my heart and begs the audience to feel emotions and be kind, clean up family messes and listen to others when help is needed. I believe every person who sees this film will be moved. The depth of Fred Rogers reach is felt on a public subway. I have not been able to forget this scene since I screened the film.

I give this film 4 of 5 stars for its beautiful theme, set design and character development. At times, it is slow, yet is parallels Mr. Rogers' pace so I'm not sure if this was intentional or a flaw. This film will appeal to ages 12 to 18, as well as adults. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood opens in theaters on November 22, 2019. See it!

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror, ageless
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - It's definitely A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood when Tom Hanks portrays the iconic Mister Rogers. The message is timely and needed now more than ever. This movie is not what I expected. You learn about Mr. Rogers' through his relationship with a man who didn't want to be his friend or neighbor. It's a message that we all need to hear.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is based on a true life story about the relationship that develops between Fred Rogers and a cynical reporter who is loath to interview him for a piece on American heroes. In the movie, the reporter is Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) who gives an amazing performance. Through his interactions with Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks), Vogel begins to understand that part of him is broken. The healing process begins as their friendship develops and you see Fred Rogers teaching him to understand, accept and voice his emotions and feelings. It is beautiful. Tom Hanks is masterful in this role at bringing out the transformation of his friend.

In addition to Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys, the cast has other powerful performances, notably Chris Cooper who plays Lloyd's dad, Jerry Vogel. Christine Lahti, as Lloyd's Editor Ellen, pushes him to work on the hero piece and adds a touching element to the movie as well. The film is directed by Marielle Heller and written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. Music plays an important role in this movie and is by Nate Heller. The scenes of Mr. Rogers playing the piano along with the behind-the-scenes of the television show during filming of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood are particularly moving.

The message of this film is that anyone can change the world with words. It's a powerful message that we often forget. Listen and think before you speak, as your words impact others. Fred Rogers finds a positive way to help others express their feelings, which is not an easy thing to do, although he makes it look easy. Forgiveness and redemption are another theme in this film.

I rate this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18 and adults will love it as well. The film opens in theaters November 22, 2019 so don't miss it this Thanksgiving season!

Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


LADY AND THE TRAMP (2019)

LADY AND THE TRAMP (2019)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Lady and the Tramp tells the story of an upper-middle-class American cocker spaniel named Lady (voiced by Tessa Thompson) who meets a street-smart, downtown stray Schnauzer called the Tramp (voiced by Justin Theroux), and the two embark on many romantic adventures including that iconic spaghetti smooch scene. Directed by Charlie Bean and written by Andrew Bujalski and Kari Granlund, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures, the film is a live-action adaptation of Walt Disney's 1955 animated film of the same name, which was based on the Cosmopolitan magazine story of "Happy Dan, The Cynical Dog" by Ward Greene. It is dedicated to Chris Reccardi, co-creator of the Modifyers, and a storyboard artist who died in May 2019.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Lady and the Tramp (2019) is a beautiful re-telling of the Disney animated classic from 1955. Lady, a Cocker Spaniel loves the comfort of home and lives with a nice family, but after the arrival of a baby, she feels left out. Tramp, a Scottish Terrier, is a street dog who loves to be free and believes he knows humans (or at least he thinks he does). They are not loyal like dogs. The two meet when Tramp is running away from the dog catcher Elliot (Adrian Martinez).Tramp advises Lady of a terrible rule: when the baby moves in, the dog moves out.

When Lady's owners leave the house, she is under the care of a family member, Aunt Sarah, who is not into dogs and Lady ends up in the street. Tramp saves her from a dangerous situation and both dogs develop a friendship. They embark on an adventure and, despite their differences, they get to know humans better and understand the value of home.

The original film was the 15th animated Disney movie and the first on cinemascope. This 2019 remake is Disney's first film in a new format called Univisium. I have never watched the original, but this new live-action version is absolutely worth seeing. The characters are very well cast, both humans and dogs. The film was shot in Georgia and the locations are beautiful. The art direction and photography create a warm and romantic atmosphere and recreates the U.S. in the beginning of the 20th century.

My favorite scene is definitively the spaghetti scene. It is romantic. The way the restaurant owner and server treat Lady and Tramp with a special dinner and serenade is delightful. I can understand why is so iconic; it represents a genuine bond between two characters and how they come closer, despite their differences. It is also overwhelming how the humans, which are not owners, manifest their love for dogs.

The voice-over actors give great personalities to their characters and the animators make the scenes real and believable using CGI. Elliot (Adrian Martinez) is very determined as a dog catcher and Martinez captures the perfect tone to make this character unique. I also love Ivette Nicole Brown as Aunt Sarah. She plays a sort of villain character in a very realistic way as well. I love the music from composer Joseph Trapanese, it suits nicely the film well and transports the audience into the era this takes place.

The message of the film is: dog's love is unconditional and they all deserve a home. I give Lady and the Tramp 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18 and adults as well. Lady and the Tramp starts streaming on November 12, 2019 on Disney+.

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


PLAYING WITH FIRE (2019)

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PLAYING WITH FIRE (2019)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - When straight-laced fire superintendent Jake Carson and his elite team of firefighters come to the rescue of three siblings, they quickly realize that no amount of training could prepare them for their most challenging job yet -- babysitting. As their lives, jobs and depot get turned upside down, the three men soon learn that children -- much like fires -- are wild and unpredictable.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this movie because it is very entertaining and super funny. Playing with Fire is a 96 minutes filled with shenanigans. John Cena makes the audience laugh and it is weird to see him with a head full of hair.

This movie is about four smoke jumpers played by John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, Tyler Mane and John Leguizamo, who save three kids from a cabin on fire. The three children are siblings and two of them, Will and Zoe, are under the age of 10. Their older sister Brynn (Brianna Hildebrand, X-Men) is taking care of them. The smoke jumpers bring the kids to their depot until their parents can come to get them. The kids constantly mess with all the equipment at the fire depot, which distracts the smoke jumpers from doing their jobs.

The storyline includes comedy and sometimes sad moments. The visuals are perfect. The fire scenes looks real. The child actors are great at portraying their characters. My favorite scene is when Will is feeding peanut butter to the smoke jumpers' dog and he accidentally spreads it on the firefighter truck. Will drops the industrial soap and takes the fire fighter hose to clean the mess and the truck makes lots of foam.

The moral of this film is that family fulfills your life, in addition to working hard to accomplish your professional goals. Jake's (John Cena) priority is his career. He works hard to achieve and accomplish his title in the firefighter department and forgets to have fun or remember that there are people around him that love him.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 18 and adults can enjoy it too! Playing with Fire comes out in theaters on November 8, 2019.

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, are 11

Playing With Fire is one of the greatest family movies I have ever seen! It is a family-friendly, feel-good movie with an important message - family is the most important thing to help you keep going. There is a lot of comedy in this movie that makes the audience laugh out loud.

The story line is both adventurous and exciting. There is lots of action, but it is not violent. The characters are super funny and the acting is phenomenal! If I had to recommend any film to watch with friends and family, it would be this one. Some parts are sad, but there is also plenty of action and comedy to keep the audience engaged.

Playing With Fire is about four smoke jumpers, which is an elite team of fire fighters. Jack and his friends are specially trained to jump into dangerous wildfires, so they can rescue people and fight fires. Their lives are perfect, until they find three kids trapped in a fire and this special group of men is forced to hang onto them until they can find their parents. Until then, they have to fight fires and take care of the kids. What could go wrong?

The cast in this film is amazing! The casting director, Rich Delia, not only picked some big names to be in this film, but also found some talented new-comers. The whole cast portrays their characters really well and they are hilarious too! Superintendent Jack Carson, head of the smoke jumpers, is played by John Cena, a well-known actor and WWE wrestler. Keegan- Michel Key, a famous comedian, plays Lieutenant Mark, a friend of the Superintendent and another smoke jumper. Jack's soft-hearted friend, Rodrigo, is played by John Leguizamo. Brianna Hildebrand plays Brynn, the oldest of the three kids. This film also has a dog named Masher, that is Jack's fierce firehouse dog. Masher is very well trained and his interaction with the kids is hilarious. Andy Fickman directs the film.

I give Playing With Fire 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, as well as adults Playing With Fire opens in theaters November 8, 2019!

Reviewed by Eva W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Playing with Fire is a funny and a fantastic Nickelodeon movie. It has so many funny moments and cool stunts. There is also some scenes that are very emotional. It is very fun and up beat. It is an enjoyable movie for the whole family to watch.

The storyline is about fire superintendent Jake Carson and his elite team of firefighters coming to the rescue of three siblings and realizing that no amount of training could prepare them for their most challenging job yet--babysitting. The three siblings, Brynn (Brianna Hildebrand), Will (Chrisian Convery), and Zoe (Finley Rose Slater) cause trouble all over the fire depot and are uncontrollable, much like fires. There are lots of hilarious moments that everyone will laugh at, and sad moments where you might cry.

The cast of Playing with Fire, especially John Cena, Keegan Micheal Key, John Leguizamo, and Brianna Hildebrand, elevates the film and makes it amazing. They all put there own little twist on there character and it is really cool how they performed all of their stunts. The cinematography and special effects is fantastic as well. The director, Andy Fickman, did an outstanding job directing everything and everyone. The screenwriter, Dan Ewen, also wrote a funny and a great script.

The message of this movie is that family and friends are important. When someone needs some help, they try to help them like a family. The firefighters have to treat the siblings like they're their kids and teach them what and what not to do. All of them have to stay together for a little while and start to grow on each other.

I would recommend this movie for ages 6 to 12 (adults might like it too). Younger audiences would find it more fun and exciting than teenagers would. I give this movie a 4 out of 5 star rating. You can find this movie in theaters on November 8, so go watch it.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD DVD

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD DVD       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle, nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure yet -- high school. Accompanied by a ragtag group of teens and Boots the monkey, Dora embarks on a quest to save her parents while trying to solve the seemingly impossible mystery behind a lost Incan civilization.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Fans and newcomers alike should find themselves enthralled with this live-action comedy adventure based on the popular Nickelodeon animated series. A colorful palette, witty dialogue and a strong cast led by Isabela Moner (Transformers: The Last Knight) as the ever-enthusiastic Dora with support from Michael Pena as her equally excitable father and Eugenio Derbez as the double-crossing Alejandro, bring the story to life. Humorous songs and bits of science are doled out as the chipper heroine makes her way through the wilds of a jungle to foil a group of mercenaries who have kidnapped Dora's adventure-seeking parents in order to lead them to the fabled Lost City of Gold. The home-schooled Dora is accompanied by two very reluctant friends from her new school in the city and her older cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg), once Dora's best friend, now embarrassed by her naivete. The mix of high school dramatics and hijinks (including a blue monkey and a devious talking fox) makes for an entertaining, action-packed comedy. The cinematography is crisp and colorful with one eye-popping sequence finding the main characters morphed into their animated versions. At the heart of the consistently funny business is the irrepressible Dora, whose wide-eyed look at the world, keen intellect and natural resourcefulness not only save the day, but prove impossible to resist. Recommended for ages 6 to 18. 5 out of 5 stars. Review by Mike F., KIDS FIRST! Juror

I really didn't know what to expect from this film. The cartoon TV show version was unique, but was really aimed for young children, ages 3 through 5 years. This movie is a big surprise ! It starts with Dora and her cousin Diego as young kids in the jungle and then Diego leaves for the city and Dora stays in the jungle with her parents and her friend Boots the Monkey. Dora is very bright and is raised by her parents who are professors. Things change and Dora moves to the big city to start high school. Of course, Dora is, well, a bit different, but she is always herself. I like how this film shows that you can and should be yourself. It also teaches preteens and teens about friendship. Most importantly, this is a very entertaining movie! It is filled with adventure and offers a wonderful family friendly movie for children ages 7 through 18. Many adults will love this movie too. It's so much better than the TV show. If you grew up watching the show, you will definitely relate to the main characters - Dora, Diego and Boots the Monkey. I give it 5 stars out of 5 stars. It is coming out on DVD/Blu-ray/Digital soon.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely love the opening scenes with Dora and Diego playing when they were younger. Dora and the Lost City of Gold includes so many elements from the original beloved series! This scene perfectly transitions from the series into the film. All our favorite characters from the TV show are included in this adventure.

The storyline follows Dora as a young girl who lives deep in the Peruvian jungle with her explorer parents. She spends her days exploring the jungle with her monkey friend Boots, her cousin Diego, and imaginary friends Backpack and Map. When Dora and Diego are young, Diego and his family leave the jungle for city life in Los Angeles while Dora's family remains searching for the hidden city Parapata.

Ten years later, Dora's parents send her to live with Diego and explore the jungle of urban high school. There are many funny scenes in school addressing peer pressure, fitting in and being yourself, which Dora exemplifies. Diego is embarrassed by her behavior and it takes some time for their relationship to get back on track. Dora and friends are kidnapped by mercenaries who try to use them to discover the Lost City of Gold, Parapata. Friends and villains are difficult to discover in their journey, but the gang discovers Parapata and all the secret treasures within.

Isabela Moner absolutely shines as Dora in this film. She IS the character from the TV series come to life. Jeff Wahlberg portrays her cousin Diego and Eva Longoria plays is Dora's mom Elena. Other than Dora, my favorite characters are her friends from the original show. Boots is absolutely adorable and I enjoyed watching Backpack and Map when they appear. The set is spectacularly designed and built. The jungle scenes and Lost City are fabuloso! I love all the cool special effects, especially the booby traps at the end of the movie. I guess you'll just have to watch it to find out more.

There are so many messages in this film such as the value of teamwork, being courageous, being yourself and not succumbing to peer pressure or expectations. Dora finds herself lonely when surrounded by other kids at school, but not lonely when she is alone in the jungle. Throughout the movie Dora and the other characters show these qualities as they work together to find Dora's parents and solve the mystery of Parapata. Dora discovers that exploring new places and people is the real treasure.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 12. It releases both digitally and on DVD/Blu-ray in November, 2019. Look for it!

Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Paramount Pictures has done it again! Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. Deliciouso! Are you ready for a new live action Dora?! If so, you'll love this feature transformation of Nickelodeon's TV show Dora The Explorer. If you have you ever wondered what it would be like to grow up in the jungle, that's a question for Dora and her playful monkey Boots. This film takes you alongside Dora as an explorer learning the jungle's darkest secrets. Buckle up, it's going to get wild.

This film follows Dora, a teenage explorer who leads her friends on a adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind The Lost City Of Gold. Dora spent most of her life exploring the jungles of South America, but nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure yet, high school. Yes, high school. Dora spent most of her life in academic isolation with her professor parents. Get ready for Dora and her adventures to begin. Swiper, no swiping. Swiper, no swiping.

The lead characters are Dora (Isabela Moner), Elena (Eva Longoria), Boots (Danny Trejo's voice), Diego (Jeff Wahlberg), Swiper (Benicio Del Toro's voice), Dora's Father (Michael Pena) and Diego's Mother (Pia Miller). My favorite character is clearly the favorable Dora who shows strength and courage throughout the film. For example, her parents doubt her, but she has a light inside her that will prove them wrong. She wants to show her friends, family and fellow explorers that, just because she's young, she can be a leader and explore alongside her parents. I love that the film features a predominantly Latinx cast. The Spanish parts feel really natural and funny. The Latina female lead really inspired me in so many ways. I learned from her spirit and her willingness to be herself.

My favorite scene is unquestionably when Dora and her friends find the Lost City of Gold. We see how the treasure hunters have tried stealing something that wasn't their own. This scene definitely shows teamwork, action, decision-making and communication skills.

This film shares an important message about always being yourself. Dora proves this as she enters high school for the first time, after being home schooled. She expresses her own personality and doesn't change for anyone.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. There is no bad language or violence or anything to be concerned about. It is available on DVD November 5, 2019. Make sure to go check out this astonishing and adventurous film.

By Nathalia J. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

V�monos! Dora and the Lost City of Gold sends me back to my not-that-long-ago childhood and reminds me why kids love Dora: she is simple, enthusiastic and an avid explorer! Now a teenager, Dora keeps her spirit and deals with identity, like most teens nowadays do, and continues teaching us lessons--and some Spanish. ("V�monos" means "let's go!")

In this live-action movie, Dora (Isabela Moner) goes to the city to explore . . . high school! The jungle seems to be her natural habitat, so when Dora arrives in the city she seems a bit lost and confused. There she meets with her cousin Diego. She doesn't know much about what going to school is and real life in a city seems more dangerous than the jungle does. On a field trip, Dora goes back to doing what she knows best: having adventures. Dora and some classmates accidentally end up in the jungle, and she helps her parents solve a mystery and find the Lost City of Gold.

I love that this film keeps the essence of the original Dora animated series and brings to the big screen elements from the TV show, like some of the animated characters. I like that family is important to Dora, and that she is a good example for younger children. The acting is very good and everyone fits nicely in their roles. Eugenio Derbez, one of the producers of the film, is surrounded with a great group of actors. He plays Alejandro Gutierrez, an explorer related to Dora, although she doesn't know him well. Eva Longoria and Michael Pe�a play Dora's parents, and they are funny and add a warm touch. Isabela Moner is the perfect Dora: she totally embodies the tone of the little girl while playing a teenager.

The story is a little predictable but overall is entertaining. The sets are not perfect, but they serve the purpose. I was actually excited to see the film since Dora is such a classic and 2020 (next year) will be the 20th anniversary of the character. The message of the film is: family comes first, and you don't have to change who you are to fit into society.

I give Dora and the Lost City of Gold 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 4 to 14. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is available on DVD November 5, 2019.

By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I love Dora and the Lost City of Gold much more than I thought I would! The live-action movie is light-hearted, full of comedy and adventure, and stays true to the original Dora the Explorer TV series.

The movie follows Dora, a teenager now, who is begrudgingly shipped off from the jungles of Peru to Los Angeles, California to live with her relatives, including her cousin Diego. Dora struggles to assimilate in high school and has difficulty making friends. Meanwhile, her parents who are professors and explorers, go missing while on their latest quest to find the Lost City of Gold. Through a series of events, Dora and her new friends are off to save the day!

As someone who grew up watching the show, Dora the Explorer, I am delighted at all the little tidbits in the movie that are reminiscent of the cartoon. Dora speaks to the camera, carries her nifty backpack everywhere she goes and she throws in a Spanish word every once in awhile - "Can you say Delicioso?"

Isabela Moner portrays Dora so well. She fits the part perfectly; looks like her cartoon counterpart; sounds like her and is Peruvian herself! She is upbeat, and as one of the characters in the movie says, has a "relentless good-natured spirit." Though I initially thought the movie would be cheesy, I enjoy Isabela's comedic timing. She carries the movie as its heroin.

Dora's best friend, Boots (a monkey) and nemesis, Swiper (a fox) join her in this adventure. They are the only two characters who are in CGI. Though it might be have been created like this on purpose, I find the graphics of these two characters too cartoony. They stand out too much from the live-action cast.

The message of the movie is to stay true to yourself, which is the advice given to Dora early on. Because Dora stays true to herself, she is able to conquer both the high school and jungle worlds.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, because of its youthful nature. You can find it on DVD November 5, 2019.

By Mia G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 8

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a hilarious film for all ages. I love this film because it makes me laugh out loud! This is definitely my newest favorite movie. Thanks to the clever script by Nicholas Stoller, there are lots of funny lines that bring smiles and amusement to the audience.

This live-action movie is about the animated Nickelodeon series character Dora, who is played by Isabela Moner. Dora is all grown up now, and her family's circumstances lead her to move from the jungle to a different kind of jungle: high school. Her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) tries to help her get used to living in the city, but he finds that it is a difficult job. The ever-positive and happy Dora doesn't truly understand the pressures that high school kids face, nor does she see the negativity they aim at her for being different. She doesn't really make friends until she is forced into a situation to solve a big problem.

The actors all represent their characters very well. They look and sound a lot like the original characters from the TV show, as well! Dora's father is played by Michael Pena. Dora's mother is played by Eva Longoria, a popular actress who adults will recognize.

There are lots of special effects in this film. For example, Boots, Dora's monkey, and Swiper, the bad-guy fox, are CGI, but to me they look very real. I would love to share more special effects with you, but you have to see the movie first. There are some fun surprises in this movie that you need to see to believe!

The message of this movie is a great one for all ages: If we stop judging each other and start working together, we can solve big problems!

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is rated PG. I recommend it for ages 3 to 18 and adults will enjoy it as well, especially the ones who have watched the cartoon version with their kids. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for being fun and funny. You should go see this with your whole family! Dora and the Lost City of Gold comes out on DVD November 5, 2019.

By Eva W. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is an exciting, thrilling and adventurous film that brings back your fun childhood memories. It has action, comedy and even some life lessons throughout the story. It's also very enjoyable to watch with the family, so you'll all have great fun and laughs at the theatre.

The storyline is about Dora growing up as a teenage explorer trying to survive the "scary" life of high school. Dora is figuring out a way to fit in at high school and trying to save her parents at the same time. With the help of Dora's friends and older cousin Diego, the team try to save The Lost City Of Gold.

Some things that stand out in this film are the exotic setting and the ancient artwork they use. Also the production of the film is amazing and impressive, turning an animated TV show into a hit live-action movie. "Big ups" to producers Eugenio Derbez and Kristin Burr for the outstanding work. They play a big role in creating Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

Dora faces many challenges in this movie, but one challenge really takes a toll on her. High school can be a difficult transition for some people. But Dora stays herself and is the best she can be even when some make fun of her and bully her. No matter what, Dora keeps striving past those obstacles. So the message that is conveyed is to always be yourself in your own unique way.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Make sure you check out Dora and the Lost City of Gold premiering August 9, 2019.

By Kendall M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a live-action movie with great actors and certainly is action-packed! It's full of excitement with plenty of expeditions for fans of the original Dora animated series.

The story focuses on Dora, now a teenage explorer, who is most at home in the jungle. Dora (Isabela Moner) is forced to go to the city and attend high school, while her parents search for a lost ancient city. When Dora is on a scavenger hunt field trip, she finds herself and her friends trapped in a crate. Once they escape, they journey into the rainforest.

Most people that are over seven years old might think that the movie will be childish. However, they will love it. It has action, suspense and adventure that everyone will enjoy. My favorite character is Dora because she is happy every day and always has a song to sing. And Isabela Moner is the perfect actress for Dora. Other famous actors in this film include Eva Longoria as Elena and Michael Pena ad Dora's father.

The message of the movie is to be kind to others, don't always trust new people and stay adventurous. Dora and the Lost City of Gold has no bad language, but it has some bad behavior like trying to steal, being mean to others and attempted murder. There are a couple of dangerous things that kids might like to do, such as going in to a rainforest alone and touching unidentified animals.

I give Dora and the Lost City of Gold 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, and adults will think that the film is cute. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is available on DVD November 5, 2019 KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 102 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: DVD


MOLLY OF DENALI

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MOLLY OF DENALI       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 4-8
Topic - Family
Description - Molly of Denali is an American-Canadian animated television series created and produced by Atomic Cartoons and WGBH Kids for PBS Kids and CBC Television. It premiered on July 15, 2019. The series is the first ever nationally distributed children's show to feature an Alaska Native as the main character and protagonist. Thirty-eight half-hours have been ordered. Between the two 11-minute story segments, there is a special live-action segment filmed in Alaska. The series follows 10-year-old Molly, an Alaska Native girl from the fictional village of Qyah, and her family, friends Tooey and Trini, her dog Suki, and other residents. Her family runs the Denali Trading Post. It was created by Dorothea Gillim and Kathy Waugh and stars Sovereign Bill. The Molly of Denali theme song is sung by Phillip Blanchett and Karina Moeller. KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Molly of Denali is an animated TV series featuring a strong Native American 10-year-old girl from Alaska. The show I watched has two 11-minute episodes: Grandpa's Drum and Have Canoe will Paddle. The focus is on problem solving, while incorporating literacy and technology skills.

Alaskan Native values are modeled including respect, sharing, team work and honoring elders, family and cultural awareness.

The program highlights a Native American community in Alaska. The lead character Molly is a strong, energetic young girl, full of life and an inquiring mind. In Grandpa's Drum, she and Tuli find an old photograph of her grandpa when he was young together with a young girl. They discover he doesn't like to sing anymore, because he no longer has his drum. They go on a quest to find the girl and his drum by using their research skills. In Have Canoe Will Paddle, Molly, Tuli and Trini get resourceful once again with their literacy skills to learn how to paddle a canoe. With their friendly social skills, they find an appropriate coach to teach them, so they can enter a race. With their friendly social skills, they find an award winning coach to teach them how to canoe so they can enter a race. They are all terrific role models for young children to get excited about learning!

Native Alaskan children will proudly see themselves and their way of life and a broader audience will be introduced to a new culture. They will experience adventures with the lead characters and see their contemporaries problem solving, learning and having fun. In Grandpa's Drum, they will see Molly and Trini singing and their Grandpa remembering songs with his drum and teaching them. In Have Canoe Will Paddle, they will see the steps Molly and friends make to learn how to canoe and master the race. They will learn to know that we are more alike than different. Viewers may be motivated to explore their own cultural backgrounds as a result.

This is a very engaging show with fun characters that are eager to learn. Each episode flows well, incorporating literacy and technology skills that young children can relate to. It encourages them to go out and learn the skills they need to problem solve and have fun while doing so.

Young children, parents, teachers and caregivers alike will learn about the Native Alaskan culture and learn new Native vocabulary, as well as the difference between now and then. In Grandpa's Drum, we learn that when he was a young boy, he had to go to boarding school and was not allowed to celebrate his culture at school. Today, we find out that this does not happen. Children are at home going to school and can celebrate their culture. This animated show is truly delightful and quite authentic in portraying three generations - grand parents, parents and children. The images are true to form and culture.

In addition to the two animated shorts in each episode, there is a live action piece. In this episode, Molly answers questions about life in Alaska. We see children who live there at the river comparing old photographs of a similar place and see what it looks like today. They learn a traditional song from an elder. One girl says, "When I am dancing with ancestors, I connect with the past."

Molly of Denali has all the benefits of inviting the viewer to question, probe and problem solve as described above, while introducing the viewer to a new culture and environment. It encourages one to look into situations such as in Grandpa's Drum when it helps him to reconnect with his youth, re-learning the songs he loved with his new found drum, and then teaching and passing them on to the younger generation. Viewers will be motivated and encouraged to explore their own cultural backgrounds. Similarly in Have Canoe Will Paddle where it shows how one can learn a new sport, if they so desire. The role modeling of determination is inspiring.

The moral of the series is: if there is a will, there is a way as it models problem solving to get the results you want, gaining new skills and having fun while doing it! Molly and her friends are terrific, inspiring role models for young children to get excited about learning!

I give this series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 8. This airs on PBS Kids and CBC Television now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Terry S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-8
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


MERRY CHRISTMAS LLAMA LLAMA

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MERRY CHRISTMAS LLAMA LLAMA       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4 - 8
Topic - Family
Description - Llama Llama Springs to life in these heart-warming tales based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. Celebrate the holidays with Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid Sheep, and Gilroy Goat as they give gifts, sing songs, and build snow sculptures. It's a very Merry Christmas indeed!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The DVD Merry Christmas Llama Llama! delivers two holiday stories and a bonus story about reading. This Netflix series is based on the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney. In "Snow Show," the teacher announces a snow sculpture contest and the judge will be one of the students themselves. No surprise when Llama Llama is chosen, but can he be fair and choose just one winner? Mama Llama, voiced by Jennifer Garner, gives him advice that helps devise a clever way to ensure all his friends are recognized, while still awarding one champion. In the second story "Secret Santa," classmates must keep their Secret Santa from each other, made especially tricky when they all end up at the same store. The timeless lesson is that giving gifts makes you feel good. Bonus episode, "Llama Llama Loves to Read" highlights the importance of reading practice. Gilroy Goat must overcome his reluctance to read aloud, which he does when paired with the perfect book and many repeated readings. Llama Llama must find a new book when his first choice is not in the library. These sweet stories about friendship and everyday kid problems are presented in a comfortable, entertaining way that young fans of Llama Llama are sure to enjoy. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for age 4 to 8. Reviewed by Christine R., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Merry Christmas Llama Llama is a collection of episodes sure to get you in the holiday spirit with its warm, comforting tone.

Inspired by the best-selling books by Anna Dewdney, Merry Christmas Llama Llama chronicles holiday-themed escapades of Llama Llama and his merry band of anthropomorphic pals. Llama judges a fiercely competitive snowman show amongst his classmates, discovers his joy for reading and navigates the complications of a Secret Santa event.

My favorite episode of this collection is Llama Llama Loves To Read. Gilroy Goat gets empowerment and support from his local librarian and it drives him to great things he never thought he'd be capable of. Gilroy grows and becomes proud of what he achieves.

As someone whose regular bedtime read was the Llama Llama series when I was much younger, I went into this show with some preconceived expectations and I was happily surprised. Merry Christmas Llama Llama expands the scope of this world greatly beyond the exchanges between Llama Llama and his mama so lovingly captured in the books. Euclid, Nelly Gnu, Luna Gilroy and Gilroy Goat are all worthy additions to this cast of characters. They feel very specific and unique from one another. Lest we not forget the show's protagonist and title character, Llama Llama. He helps bring the show down to earth against its kooky side characters. A simple, but needed, character for the stories this show is trying to tell. I respect his morals; the passion and love he has for his friends is admirable.

The animation stays true to the style established all the way back in the first Llama Llama book. The static environments cross with the movement of the characters creating a feeling that is like watching these characters come to life, right off the page.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama gets an age rating from me of 2 to 7. This is something that I could see younger kids really enjoying right along with their parents. I give Merry Christmas Llama Llama 4 out of 5 stars. I appreciate the lessons it relays and the good values of kindness and love it holds dear. Merry Christmas Llama Llama is available to purchase on DVD right now.

Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is the perfect holiday movie for kids. Plus, it has two of my favorite holiday things - SNOW and GIFTS! It's really great how all the episodes focus on friendship and giving.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is based on the book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. The DVD includes three short stories of adventures that the lead character, Llama Llama (Shayle Simmons), goes on with his friends. In the first short story, Llama Llama has to judge a snow sculpture contest between his friends and pick a winner without hurting anyone's feelings. In the next one, Secret Santa, Llama Llama and his friends are secret Santas and have trouble picking gifts and keeping their secret Santas a secret. In the bonus episode, Llama Llama Loves to Read, Llama Llama and his friends have to pick out books to read out loud to the younger kids. Llama Llama can't find his favorite book at the library and his friend Gilroy Goat is nervous about reading out loud. In all three episodes, I really love seeing the great friendship between Llama Llama and how they always support each other. They always find ways to make other people feel good about themselves.

The three stories are all quite good and have great animation. One of my favorite parts was watching Llama Llama finish reading and then jumping into a pile of leaves. One cool thing is seeing how they finish things they have to do and are off to do something fun, like sledding. George Gabriel's music is really catchy and short, which is perfect for the short episodes.

The DVD has two different stories and a bonus story and they all have different messages, but they all have the same theme of friendship! In each episode there is some problem that needs to be solved and gives them a chance to show what good friends should do for each other.

Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is a great DVD for movie days around holiday break. I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for age 3 to 12. Merry Christmas Llama Llama! is currently available on where DVDs are sold.

Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Merry Christmas! The holiday season has begun and Llama Llama is soooooooo ready for it! We all remember the loveable Llama Llama books, and now he has sprung to life on screen along with his besties including Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid, and Gilory Goat!

In this new holiday DVD Llama Llama starts his season off with a snow sculpting contest, singing Christmas songs and some secret Santa fun! If you are an imagination filled, wholehearted kid who enjoyed the books, written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney, this DVD is for you. I would have thought these episodes were so much fun when I was little, and I still enjoyed them as 10-year-old. My favorite episode is when Llama Llama is the judge of a snow sculpture contest and is having trouble deciding who the winner should be, between his friends. When faced with a problem little Llama turns to Mama Llama (Jennifer Garner) to help him out. Together, Mama and Llama Llama take you through solving the problem with a little bit of imagination and kindness.

The animation is really cool and unique. The characters are all hand-drawn, while the background is painted. There is also a bonus episode about Llama Llama's favorite library book that someone else has checked out. This episode really deals with the love of reading and how sometimes we need to try different types of books and we may find something new we enjoy. The setting is mostly in Llama Llama's friendly neighborhood, though he often goes to many different places during the day, such as school, the library, the park and much more. Llama Llama is voiced by Shayle Simons creates the perfect Llama Llama voice. There are three episodes included in this DVD and it is a little over 30 minutes long.

The message of these episodes is that, even if you are little, you can solve big problems with some imagination, so always use it!

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. The DVD is available now, just in time for the holidays. Look for it.

Reviewed by Beatrice N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9.
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CHRISTMAS WITH MOLANG       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-11
Topic - Family
Description - The magic of Christmas is all around! Join our best friends, Molang and Piu Piu, on their adventures during this idyllic season. It's the perfect time to build a snowman, go ice-skating with friends, find the most beautiful Christmas tree and of course, meet Santa! Merry Christmas from Molang and Piu Piu!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Christmas with Molang is a sweet DVD that parents can enjoy with their younger children. The episodes are short enough to hold a young child's attention and there is enough charm and comedy to the stories that an adult might find themselves laughing at the characters' antics as well.

Christmas with Molang follows a young cotton-ball rabbit and her best friend Piu-Piu, a small chick. Rather than focusing on Christmas itself, either in the religious or secular sense, these episodes take classic bits of the holiday season (skating, making snowmen, caroling, finding a Christmas tree) and give them a story-book feel, full of light-hearted antics and the joys of having a best friend to do everything with. The DVD is a set of six mini-episodes and contains a number of charming adventures and funny moments.

The best part of this series is that none of the characters actually talk. They make vocalizations, like minions, where some of the words are distinguishable, but must are just sounds. Because of this, the viewer is able to imagine their own dialogue, which adds more humor to the characters interactions. On top of this, Piu-Piu and Molang have some genuinely charming interactions, and there is a distinguished personality difference between the two characters, Molang being the imaginative and upbeat, Piu-Piu being a bit more practical and clever. Most children will just find the characters cute and funny. There are plenty of events with good comedic timing (characters getting run over by snowballs, creeping up behind bushes, or trying to avoid kissing a frog). There is a lot of physical comedy (falling, people getting knocked on the head and such), but they are mostly played for laughs. The only serious injury shown is when Piu-Piu takes a rather nasty fall, nasty enough for him to fall unconscious and temporarily lose his memory.

The stories, while simple, make a decent amount of sense, even without dialogue. The only continuity error is that the two are seen decorating the Christmas tree at the beginning of each episode, making the audience wonder whether this is taking place different years or whether something happened to the old tree. The story does include Santa Claus, which isn't particularly accurate. One episode involves a frog caught in the snow, while real frogs would be hibernating during winter. Another lack of accuracy is that all the Christmas songs the characters sing are secular, with no mention of the original carols used in church.

The animation is pretty basic, with minimal movement and simplistic designs. However, this adds to the charm of the episodes and gives the stories an idyllic, story-book flavor. The voices for the characters are all performed by the same person, but there is a noticeable enough difference to tell who's talking.

The most beneficial episode involves a snow-man. After Piu-Piu and Molang have build and decorated a snowman, their decorations (hat, scarf, carrot and chocolates) are stolen by some hungry forest creatures, twice. After seeing that the small creatures are in need, the two go back to their house and prepare food and clothing for the creatures in a heartwarming show of forgiveness and compassion. In all the episodes, the characters find creative ways to solve problems and are always ready to help out a friend.

More than anything, the DVD illustrates how to be a good friend, to help out when others have problems, is ready to forgive, and find joy in everyday things. Whatever situation Molang and Piu-Piu find themselves in, they are the best of friends and they are always laughing. These episodes have a lot less to do with Christmas, religious or secular, than they have to do with just being kind to others, regardless of the time or season.

Christmas with Molang is a genuinely funny and charming collection of short stories that illustrate friendship and finding joy in simple, every-day things. Through a simple style of story-telling and plenty of vocal effects, these mini-episodes spark the viewer's imagination and bring back idyllic memories of Christmas activities. I recommend it for ages 2 to 6 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Elizabeth T., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Christmas with Molang is a cute movie full of all things Christmas! I love it. It's a movie I would love to watch with my little cousins. The characters are so funny, playful and seem to always have fun.

Christmas with Molang is a DVD with six different short stories about Christmas on it. In each story the lead character, Molang and his friend Piu Piu experience a new lesson related to the spirit of Christmas. They build a snowman, go ice-skating, find the best Christmas tree and even meet a Ninja, back-flipping Santa Claus. Each time they go on one of their adventures, they learn a new lesson.

There are so many funny parts in each of the short stories. One of my favorite parts is when Molang and Piu Piu are ice skating and Molang lets go of Piu Piu's hands and he flies away and lands on the back of a deer. The deer then takes off like a horse. I also find it hilarious that the music director Nicholas Varley has Santa enter to ninja music. Sometimes it is a little weird when the characters speak in animated baby voices. It could be a little annoying for older kids, because you can't always understand what they are saying. However, because of the great animation, you can still tell what is happening. The scenes are very bright and colorful and full of the Christmas spirit.

The overall message of the DVD is to be kind to others, even strangers. In each story the characters are trying to help someone else or show how much they care about them. Also, it encourages you to show people you care and make new friends. Some day, when you are in trouble you'll have help because you helped them.

I rate The adorable episodes on Christmas with Molang convey important messages surrounding Christmas, without having any dialogue. Kids of all ages would be able to understand the messages. The animation is filled with pastel colors and is pleasing to the eyes.

The storyline follows two best friends, Molang and Piu Piu. Molang is a bunny and Piu Piu is a chick. They encounter problems throughout the day and, while finding the solutions to these problems, they learn a valuable lesson every time. Normally Piu Piu is the one who is in distress and Molang finds a way to fix Piu Piu's problem to cheer him up.

The animation is in a cutesy style from Korea. Molang was drawn by a university student named Yoon Hye Jin and is made to look like a sticky Korean rice cake. Everything is colored in light pastels and all the characters have round figures. Super adorable!

Although the cartoon is from Korea, the characters do not speak in Korean or in any real language for that matter. The fans have named the language that they speak Molangonese or Piupiualish. The audience is still able to understand what they are trying to say by the images shown and the strategic framing.

My favorite part about Christmas With Molang has to be the messages. Molang and Piu Piu promote the idea that Christmas is about more than receiving gifts. They help out other animal friends in their community and feel complete. Molang and Piu Piu inspire viewers to do good deeds for other people. They are an example to kids that "when you do good it comes around."

Molang and Piu Piu also show how great it is to have a best friend. Molang and Piu Piu love each other very much and support each other all the time. These besties show how to sympathize and comfort others. These are important things to know to be able to socialize and be a caring person. Molang and Piu Piu promote positivity and love throughout the series.

Christmas With Molang is the perfect cartoon to show kids of all ages during the holiday season. They will love how cute everything is and will be inspired to do kind things for other people. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. Christmas With Molang is out on DVDs now so be sure to check it out!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Christmas with Molang 5 out of 5 stars. It is a really cute movie for younger kids so I recommend it for ages 3 to 10. Christmas with Molang is available now wherever DVDs are sold.

Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

I love this DVD! It is full of cuteness and Christmas cheer! And it is perfect to watch on a cold, winter day.

Christmas with Molang is about a bunny named Molang and a chick named Piu Piu going on fun-filled Christmas adventures. Episodes include A Beautiful Christmas Tree, The Snowman, At The Elves' House and Santa.

The animation in this DVD is charming. It is simple, but with good attention to detail. The characters' hilarious language is made up of gibberish words and sounds, which is very creative and entertaining. The music is upbeat and fits well with all the Christmas adventures. All of the episodes are adorable. My favorites are The Choir and The Frog, because they have the funniest story lines. The episodes are approximately five minutes each, so the total run time is about 30 minutes.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including the value of friendship, helping others and always have fun in what you do. Christmas with Molang has no bad language, but there are a few risky things that kids might try to do such as climb a Christmas tree, bother wild animals and go into houses Santa style.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 9. This DVD is available now so look for it.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD


ABOMINABLE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ABOMINABLE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - After discovering a Yeti on the roof of her apartment building, teenage Yi and her two friends embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family. But to do so, they must stay one step ahead of a wealthy financier and a determined zoologist who want to capture the beast for their own gain.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - To say I love this film would be an understatement! DreamWorks' Abominable is more than a film--it is an experience! It is like a 4D movie without the glasses or vibrating chairs.

Abominable introduces us to a Yeti named Everest, voice by Joseph Izzo, and a young girl named Yi, voice by Chloe Bennet. Everest is being hunted by a scientist and bad guys. Yi is attempting to cope with the death of her father--unfortunately she is trying to push away friends and family that love her. You could say both the Yeti and Yi are being pursued in different ways. Yi befriends Everest and goes on a journey to take him home to Mount Everest. Together, they escape on a magical and surprising adventure that brings them both home, literally and figuratively speaking. Yi and Everest are joined by Yi's friends Jin, voice by Tenzing Trainor and Ping, voice by Albert Tsai.

In the theatre, I sat immersed by the sights and sounds of this film. I felt the violin, performed by Mark Berrow, as if I was at a live performance. The CGI animation is by far the best I've ever experienced. The detail and vibrant colors of the trees, flowers, water and mountains almost make me forget I am indoors. An interesting fact is that Tenzing Trainor is the grandson of Nepalese Tenzing Norgay, one of the first men to reach the summit of Mount Everest. As the characters in this film try to accomplish this same feat, I am further drawn into this movie and impressed with the choice of casting. I'm equally impressed by the over 60 people responsible for the visual effects. One of my favorite parts is a magical moment when an avalanche of realistic-looking, giant blueberries occurs: "got blueberries in places blueberries should never be!" And Jin's two giant blueberry buttocks are hilarious.

Just as Yi is considering giving up the climb, they come across a river of koi, swimming upstream. The koi illustrate the film's message of perseverance.

Abominable has minimal violence. There are no moments of profanity or adult situations. I give Abominable 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, and adults will enjoy it as well. You can find this film in theaters nationwide, September 27, 2019.

Reviewed by Ian C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Abominable is a heartwarming watch for families. Excellent voice acting and breathtaking visuals are the show-stealers. It truly has something for everyone.

The story follows teenager Yi (Chloe Bennet) as she encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building. She and her good friends, Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai), name him "Everest" and embark on a quest to bring the magical creature home. But they will have to stay one-step ahead of Burnish (Eddie Izzard), a wealthy man intent on capturing a Yeti, and zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) to help Everest.

Chloe Bennet is great as Yi, with her voice work providing emotion and wit. I especially enjoyed her dynamic with Everest as the two start to relate with one another. This is really the film's heart and best elements. Tenzing Norgray Trainor and Albert Tsai, as Jin and Peng, are great companions and provide effective voice work. Peng is always hilarious, providing comic relief, while Jin comes to his own in his effective character arc that captures the spirit of being brave. Eddie Izzard, as Burnish, utilizes his comedic charm and blunt accent to great degree. Sarah Paulson, as Dr. Zara, is also a formidable threat as there is more than meets the eye with her.

Jill Culton revitalizes DreamWorks Animation with a nice blend of adventure and comedy, which has engaging narrative choices. Some scenes are realized so beautifully, especially the one involving Coldplay's Fix You. My favorite scene is Jin's trip to Everest, as it captures his arc effectively and features a great sense of humor. However, the film loses steam by the end and drags quite a bit. You will feel the 90 minute runtime as the group sequesters. Also, I feel that complex themes dealing with loss and grief are sidelined by the amount of humor. And, it is a children's movie after all, so I appreciate the effort to explore this territory.

The message of this film is in knowing when to reach out to others. Yi tries to accept others in her life by empathetically communicating. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on September 27, 2019, so check it out.

By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

I like the new film Abominable because the storyline is heartwarming and the characters are very funny.

The story follows a magical yeti who escapes from a lab in China, and who is running away from a crazy scientist trying to catch him. The yeti soon meets a young girl named Yi who lives with her mother and grandmother. Yi and the yeti become good friends. Yi names the yeti "Everest" and helps him to get home to Mount Everest with the help of two boys, Jin and Peng, who are cousins. While the team are trying to help this cute animal, a group of the scientist's guards chase the team through out the movie. Everest is what they call an "abominable" creature. The scientist wants to catch him because Everest is exotic and special.

The CGI animation is just absolutely incredible. The background has stunning landscapes of some of China's historical landmarks. The yeti is very cute and funny. He acts a bit like a dog. The intense music tells you when the action is about to start. Some parts of the movie include violin solos since Yi plays the violin.

The moral of this story is to love your family for who they are and for what they do for you. Family always comes first, no matter what. The message is also about perseverance and never giving up.

I give Abominable 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Adults may enjoy this film as well. This awesome movie releases in theaters September 27, 2019 so go watch it before the tickets are all sold out!

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

Abominable is a great animated film, fun for the whole family! It is very heartfelt. I really love its beautifully animated scenes, especially those with violin playing laced in. This film mixes both fantasy and adventure. The feel of the movie is soothing and delivers positive vibes.

The plot is very deep, creative and well-thought-out. The story follows a rare never-before-seen Yeti who escapes a mean zoologist and wealthy art collector. The art collector wants to display the Yeti to the world and yet the zoologist has her own plans. What will become of this lovable creature?

The Yeti escapes and finds his way to the rooftop of a young woman named Yi. She is an independent misfit going through a difficult time. Yi is played by Chloe Bennet who does an excellent job with the voice over and with the emotions of this young character. Yi lost her dad and she keeps herself busy in order to not think of her loss. When she discovers the Yeti, her life is forever changed. Yi decides to help the Yeti named "Everest" (Joseph Izzo) get back to his home. Even the neighbors get caught up into the commotion and accidentally end up on this journey with Yi.

Yi's family is so cute! I love the character Nai Nai played by Tsai Chin. It reminds me of my nanna and she is so comical. Peng is played well by Albert Tsai, creating a character so obsessed with social media and his phone, just like so many of us kids today. There is a lot of great comedic timing from the actors and there are many beautiful scenes throughout. A couple of my favorite scenes happen when they face obstacles escaping the bad guys--especially, the fields of yellow flowers that turn into a tidal wave, and the tree that has amazing pink flowers and lights that bloom. It's a wonderful, magical scene with the violin playing along. There are beautiful historical sites and scenes depicted of real places in China. The colors are so bright and vibrant that you stay on the edge of your seat. The director and writer Jill Culton has created phenomenal animation that blew me away.

I give Abominable 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. You should go to the big screen and check this out! The release date is September 27, 2019.

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

Abominable is a fantastic movie that leaves you wanting more. The story is really funny and jam-packed with lots of emotion. The characters are easy to fall in love with, and the animation is visually stunning and very detailed. The music is beautiful to listen to, and it captures the tone and essence of this work of art. Producer Suzanne Fitzer hired all the right people: All of the voice actors--especially Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, and Tenzing Norgay Trainor--are very talented. Director and writer Jill Culton wrote this eloquent movie and directs it perfectly. Editor Susan Fitzer put everything together amazingly well.

The storyline is about a teenage girl named Yi that finds a magical yeti on the rooftop of her apartment. Yi names the yeti "Everest" after its home on famous Mount Everest. With the company of her friends Jin and Peng, Yi travels all across China to take Everest where he belongs. They are also running from the people who were keeping Everest secured. Part of the story takes place in Shanghai, China, and the film shows multiple well-known landmarks, too.

The message is to not give up on your dream and to keep going, no matter what comes your way. Abominable also teaches the value of family.

Abominable is a fun adventure movie for the whole family to watch. There is no violence or adult content, but the story touches on and deals with the topic of death. I rate Abominable 5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 9 to 18 (adults might like it, too). You can see it at your local movie theater starting September 27, 2019, so go watch it!

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


EMERGENCY BRAKE, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
EMERGENCY BRAKE, THE
POWELL RIVER DIGITAL FILM SCHOOL
Series: FOREIGN STUDENT ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 3-18
Topic - Family
Description - A collection of works by students who are passionate about the state of their world and future. Animated to the powerful words of Greta Thunberg.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Oh my! Best video submission by students. Beautifully executed. Brilliant narration by Greta Thunberg. This should be seen by every school child in the world, as well as by our leaders in politics, education and spirituality. Thank you for your extraordinary work. Highly recommended for ages 3 to 18, plus adults. 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


KAZUMI RACECAR PIG

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KAZUMI RACECAR PIG
DAVID MCBRIDE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Little Kazumi is afraid of anything different than what he is used to in his Pig culture. One day, Kazumi finds himself in a world of different when he gets stranded on an alien planet. He will need to face these new things if he wants to get back ho.me. Kazumi may even find out that different can be great and make a friend or two along the way
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Oh my, this completely exemplifies what KIDS FIRST! looks for in programming for young children. The theme about embracing differences is right on target and so needed today. The animation is well done, the background music charming. The narration is in rhyming prose which is fun and catchy. I love this in everyday. It truly entertains and inspires as it educates children to not be afraid of things that are different from what they know and are accustomed to. Beautiful in every way. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, although older kids and adults would enjoy it as well. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SARAH MACDOUGAL MEETS THE GHOST OF BEETHOVEN

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SARAH MACDOUGAL MEETS THE GHOST OF BEETHOVEN
KEVIN REEVES
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 4-14
Topic - Family
Description - A disenfranchised girl is bored with life until the ghost of Beethoven appears and sparks a renewed interest in the piano, her friends, and life in general.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a sweet story about a girl and the power of music to inspire. It's fun to see Beethoven portrayed in modern day as a ghost. The music is beautiful! The story is about a young girl reluctantly learning to play Beethoven's music who meets the ghost of Beethoven who befriends her, teaches her how to play better and inspires a love of classical music and adds a spark to her life.

The story is a bit predictable and the pace is a bit slow. However, the photography and color palate are very pleasing. A scene where Sarah plays the Moonlight Sonata in front of an audience is particularly well shot. The modern day dress for the girl works fine and Beethoven's attire seems true to his time. The sets are varied, from the home to school to an auditorium to outside in a park, all very pleasing. The music is very well-played and definitely drives the story, given that it is essential to the plot. The ghost appears and disappears and the visual effects are fine although subdued. The two main actors playing Sarah and Beethoven perform quite well. Tere are some nice scenes with Sarah and her friends who want her to play soccer with them instead of practice the piano, but by the end they come to appreciate her talent. The production design is very good. Visually the film would look fine on a big screen, but its short-comings, such as slow pacing, may be more apparent than on a TV screen or computer. The message of the film is about being open to new experiences and you might become inspired. Good friends will stick by you even if you need to spend time on something other than them. I particularly enjoyed learning details about Beethoven, such as that his Moonlight Sonata was named by someone after he died and not by Beethoven himself and that, in anger, he once threw an unwanted entree at a waiter! My favorite part is when Beethoven tells Sarah he wants to rewrite a section of his famous Moonlight Sonata.

It's a sweet story and Sarah's relationship with her friends is nicely portrayed. Also, the music is beautiful and it might inspire some young viewers to take playing piano seriously. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 14. Reviewed by Michael F. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay


FAST DRAW FUN FOR KIDS WITH SKETCHBOOK GALLERY

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FAST DRAW FUN FOR KIDS WITH SKETCHBOOK GALLERY
BILL DOUGAL
Series: INDIE FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Laugh and learn as Bill Dougal turns one thing into another. Copy his drawing tricks, then create your own. This presentation includes easel drawing, humor, songs, and two-sided props. Core learning standards are addressed regarding geometry art. An additional video sketchbook shows dozens of ideas for kids to try.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a wonderful show that not only entertains but offers kids opportunities to learn how to draw in a simple, noon-threatening way. I wish I would have seen this as a child. Bill Dougal is as charming as can be in his black beret and self-confident way he acts on camera and in front of a youth audience. The kids in the audience are also easy to relate to. The background music perfectly suits the show. I give this charming show 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. It would be a great way to get kids interacting, by handing out paper and something to draw with. I recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Web Series


PRINCESS EMMY

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PRINCESS EMMY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Topic - Family
Description - Princess Emmy is a young girl with a secret gift - she is the only one in the Kingdom of Kandis who can speak to horses. Up until now, life for Emmy has been wonderful: exploring and hanging out with her best friends (a stable full of horses), spending time with her family at the castle, and not having a care in the world. But when her jealous, scheming cousin Gizana appears and Emmy must undergo the ultimate test to earn the right to keep her gift, she'll have to stand strong and stay the course in this wonderful, spirited film about courage, perseverance and friendship.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a delightful film for younger children. The storyline is about a young princess who can talk to horses and finds her gift in peril when her scheming cousin tries to steal it away. Princess Emmy is bright and likable and the animation is quite well done. The storyline is simple and somewhat predictable, but suitable for its target audience. I particularly enjoyed the scenes of the countryside, which are rendered beautifully and the cat is drawn particularly well. The voice acting is definitely noteworthy. All stand out as unique and true to their characters and Ruby Barnhill's portrayal of Princess Emmy is particularly outstanding. Emmy provides an excellent role model for young girls because of her strength of character and sense of adventure. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Welcome to Emmy's world. Magical, playful, discovering, and your real-life wonderland. This 78-minute fantasy DVD will take you on an adventure through princess Emmy's cup of tea with a secret-gift.

Written by Sergio Casci and directed by Piet De Rycker, the story follows Emmy and her friendly and trustworthy stable of horses. Princess Emmy is a young, adventurous girl with a secret, a secret gift that is. Emmy is the only person in the Kingdom of Kandis who can communicate to horses. Life for Emmy has been wonderful; exploring and hanging out with her pals. That is until her jealous and rude cousin Gizana appears and Emmy must experience the ultimate challenge to earn the right to keep her gift. She has to stand strong. Emmy must go through a series of confusing test to find out if her secret is worth to keep.

The lead characters in this DVD are Princess Emmy, voiced by Ruby Barnhill, Princess Gizana , voiced by Bella Ramsey, David, voiced by Nathan Mack, Ceasar,voiced by Joel Fry and many more enjoyable cast.

My favorite character is Princess Emmy, because she is brave, daring, and not like any other Princess. Princess Emmy likes to get messy sometimes, as well as getting wild, dress the way she feels comfortable in. My favorite part in the film would be when Princess Emmy is in the stables and she is quietly reading. She noticed a bright light and a smell that tied up her nostrils. She heads down to the basement, discreetly following the smell and light when she is being circled by the light and is frightened at first but then exclaims "let's take an adventure!" to her horses. This part is my favorite because it proves how brave and adventurous Princess Emmy is.

I really enjoyed the film Princess Emmy, due to its coverage of many important themes and role models for today's girls. I also enjoyed the creativity of the movie, in both the storytelling and animation. The use of animals in the film is one of my favorite aspects, because it creates a very loving environment for the kids watching.

The animation and vocal performances are very well chosen. The film is set in a very ordinary atmosphere on a modern-day Kingdom. I admire the art department for creating such a vibrant and imaginative aspect of this DVD. The colors on the pony stall, to the way the castles design and colors shined at the top of a mountain was simply beautiful. The music in this film provided me with different emotions and had a sense of freedom.

This DVD shares many important messages, such as Emmy being a strong princess, working hard and helping those around her. Just simply being yourself and Emmy work towards her goal of proving her self-worth. This DVD has no false language or any dangerous activity's that younger kids might try to imitate.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 11, but adults might enjoy it as well. Princess Emmy is available now on DVD, make sure to get yours! Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I really enjoyed the film Princess Emmy, due to its coverage of many important themes and role models for today's girls. I also enjoyed the creativity of the movie, in both the story-telling and animation. The use of animals in the film is one of my favorite aspects, because it creates a very loving environment for the kids watching.

Princess Emmy tells the story of a young princess, living in the Kingdom of Kandis, who has a secret -- she is the only girl who can talk and understand horses. She lives in a palace where she gets to explore and play with her friends - a stable full of amazing horses. Her life has been perfect until the arrival of her cousin Gizana who challenges and competes with Emmy, putting at risk her chances of becoming an officially princess. The film traces the ups and downs Emmy faces and the challenges she must overcome in order to earn the right to keep her gift.

Written by Sergio Casci and directed by Piet De Rycker, the film is set in a very natural environment on a modern day kingdom. This is important to the plot because Emmy's home is a beautiful castle at the top of a mountain, where she runs and explores freely with her horses. This setting helps create a feeling of freedom and easiness as well as providing the animals in the film with a lot of liberty. The music in this film is very well chosen, as it intensifies the magical aspect of the movie by adding the sounds of sparkles or fairy dust.

Princess Emmy has a very beautiful ending which leaves the audience valuing the importance of friendship. This film explores the seriousness of being nice to one another, despite the challenges you are facing. Princess Emmy provides a great example for little girls because it presents Emmy as a strong princess who works hard to help those around her, while working towards her goal of proving her self worth.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because of its creativity and well-presented theme. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 12, but adults might enjoy it also. Princess Emmy is available now on DVD, make sure to get yours!

Reviewed by Leire B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Runtime: 75 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 114.98
Media: DVD ISBN # 826663202083
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT, THE: SEASON 3, VOLUME 2

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT, THE: SEASON 3, VOLUME 2
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Topic - Family
Description - Enjoy the second 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 about their five senses, what it's like to walk on clouds, why keeping it simple is sometimes the best solution, how to make things more aerodynamic, and much more!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That just never gets old! I assumed that by Season 3, Volume 2 it may seem a bit unoriginal, but I was pleasantly surprised! This series has 20 fun-filled and educational episodes that will delight young children ages 3 through 7 years old. It teaches children about their five senses and many other things such as how water freezes and turns to snow or ice, and cause and effect. Martin Short as the voice of the Cat in the Hat is simply superb! The characters are as engaging as always and my favorite characters (after Cat in the Hat) are Thing 1 and Thing 2. I also really like the catchy Go, Go Go On an Adventure song. The animation is charmingly engaging. I give this 5 stars out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Cat in The Hat sure does know a lot about that. I absolutely love The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2. It has such cute and adorable characters and really vibrant animation.

The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2 is about two best friends named Sally and Nick going on exciting adventures with the Cat in The Hat, Fish and, of course, Thing 1 and Thing 2. There are 20 episodes covering nearly four hours and include Curious Minds, Bubble Trouble, Batteries Not Included and Cause and Effect.

There are so many things to learn in The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2, like walking on clouds, staying balanced, being creative and more! All of the made-up words are so imaginative, like thingamajiger, jigamawhizzer, pedalmadoodle and dipsey-doodler. Martin Short has the perfect voice to play The Cat. My favorite episode is Enough is Enough because it shows how to be a helpful friend.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including teaching kids to be curious, the value of friendship, and that learning is fun. The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2 has no bad language and treats everyone appropriately.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 8 and adults might also enjoy watching this with their kids. This DVD is currently available so look for it. By Katherine Schell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Let's go, go, go on an adventure with The Cat in the Hat and friends! Season 3, Volume 2 DVD which includes 20 episodes and almost 4 hours of learning and entertainment. I love The Cat in the Hat, because he always makes me laugh with his weird made-up jokes and words. He also tries to fix things, but always ends up ruining things and creating more problems.

This series focuses on scientific discovery and kids have so much fun watching the shows that they forget they are really learning a great deal about the world around us. Stories include: Snow Difference, Bubble Trouble, Good Vibrations and Curious Minds, which reflect the messages of the series. My favorite episode is All Sorts of Things, which teaches that there are different ways to sort and categorize the things that belong to Nick, Sally and The Cat in the Hat.

The Cat in the Hat Season 3, Volume 2 has many great actors and stars the one and only Martin Short who plays the role of the Cat, Alexa Torrington who voices Sally and Jacob Ewaniuk who plays the role of Nick. The animation, as always, are wacky and colorful under the guidance of Art Director Kay Pluto and I especially enjoyed the scenes in Bubble Trouble. The original theme song by David Schweitzer is catchy and memorable. You may watch this in both English and Spanish.

The message of this DVD is about problem solving in different ways and it promotes creativity and curious minds. I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 4 to 10. It is available now, so look for it. By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 220 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


YO-KAI WATCH: SEASON 1, VOLUME 2

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
YO-KAI WATCH: SEASON 1, VOLUME 2       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 - Nate is a just a regular boy struggling to be above average at school. One day when he receives the Yo-kai Watch, he gets the chance to see and communicate with these mischievous Yo-kai. With the Yo-kai Watch on his wrist, Nate starts to form friendships with them and learn of the things that make life so complicated. There's just one problem... they're everywhere and they love to cause mischief!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Yo-kai are invisible spirit-like entities that take many forms and are liable for your daily troubles. Nathan Adams (Nate), a normal boy, receives the Yo-kai watch and with it, is able to see the Yo-kai. These mischievous entities show up unexpectedly and you never know what is going to happen.

This series has good production quality and the story lines flow well. It captures the audience's attention with catchy music, bright colors and true-to-life adventures mixed with imaginative themes. The series highlights the ability to problem-solve as Nate and his Yo-kai have to discover a way out of silly and chaotic situations. Some of the jokes are more grown up and the story lines are more suited for more mature kids. For example, the Yo-kai talk about being hot, as in attractive. An older child would enjoy this series due to its catchy theme songs and familiar story lines.

The story-lines flow well, are easy to follow and draw you in. When Nate is overcome by handsomeness, his classmates respond as normal teenagers would and tell him that he is creeping them out. The material is accurate and is suitable for its target audience. The series uses vocabulary suitable for teens with words such as narcissist and sketchy.

The DVD cover design is appealing, showcasing the main characters and listing several of the episodes. The series is high in entertainment value and invites the viewer to question, probe and problem-solve. For example, in The Legend of Dandoodle, Nate is overcome by handsomeness and his Yo-kai must find a way to help.

The message is to be careful what you wish for. Although the Yo-kai Watch allows Nate to see the Yo-kai, once they are in his life, things became chaotic.

Yo-Kai Watch Season 1, volume 2 offers 290 minutes of fantastical adventure. Each episode is 20 to 22 minutes of non-stop0 action. The menu allows you to play all episodes or watch them individually. I recommend this DVD for ages 12 to 18 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Jennifer V., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer

While Yo-kai Watch: Season 1, Volume 2 has an appealing lead character and is full of quirky and imaginative creatures. However, the stakes are rarely higher than intense embarrassment, a bad day, or a failed assignment. The show does offer examples of kindness and consideration of others, particularly when dealing with clashing personalities, and there are legitimate examples of love shown, particularly for those closest to young people such as their parents, siblings, and friends. While the story-telling lacks depth, the episodes are entertaining and are a safe bet for keeping kids entertained. I found this collection of stories more interesting for its quirkiness than for spectacular storytelling.

The episodes on this DVD follows Nate, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary gift - a watch which allows him to see Yo-kai. Yo-kai are mischievous spirits who spend their time making trouble and getting mixed up in people's business. With the help of couple Yo-kai friends, Nate balances his ordinary life of home and school, with his responsibility to handle the problems the Yo-kai make.

The episodes tend to jump around a lot, making the story-telling somewhat choppy. The stakes in the stories tend to be somewhat inconsequential, and Yo-kai are never portrayed as much of a serious threat. The main character Nate is the same age as the target audience, making him and his struggles relatable. There are a lot of exotic and quirky creatures in every episode, many of them with kid-like personalities themselves. Also, there is plenty of messing around and slap-stick humor that will appear to the target age.

The whole concept of Yo-kai is, of course, fictional. The prison in the show is stated to be Alcatraz, but the city the show is set in bares little resemblance to San Francisco. Since the show is not designed to be educational, this is not a major concern.

There are plenty of stunts in the episodes that would not be safe for kids to imitate. Fortunately, the Yo-kai Whisper comes states at the beginning of each episode that replicating these stunts is ill-advised. That's certainly a positive thing. At one point, a character uses a disguise to get a girl to fall in love with him, not because he cares about her in any way, but because he wants her heart. However, there is another scene where a character willingly throws himself in front of a bus to save a girl he cares about.

The animation style is tidy and typical of the anime genre. Since the show's English voice actors' voices are dubbed over the original Japanese voices, people's lines don't always match up with how their mouths move. The DVD's menu allows for chapter selection and names all the mini-sections in each episode.

This show could be beneficial socially, showing kids how to deal with unfortunate circumstances and clashing personalities. One concern I have is what this show teaches about death and what happens after people die. Parents would be advised to discuss this topic with their children after watching the show.

Yo-kai Watch promotes the premise that the unlucky, unfortunate things that happen to us aren't really our fault, but rather that of mischievous creatures who may be causing us problems. This is an interesting message, although it may encourage kids to not take responsibility for the problems they create. On the positive side, the show portrays a hero who, rather than getting mad or resigning himself to problems, tries to help and make things right. It's fun to watch and kids will enjoy it. I recommend it for ages 5 to 10.

Reviewed by Elizabeth R., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this DVD because this animation kind of looks like Pokemon. This DVD is a combination of anime cartoons and Pokemon like characters, except that a watch is used instead of the red, white and black ball. And instead of Pokemon, the creatures (or spirits in this case) are named Yo-kais.

The Yo-kai Watch DVD includes two disks of Season 1, Volume 2, episodes. Each disk is approximately 145 minutes long, for a total of 290 minutes. That's a lot of cartoons! Each disk has a variety of different episodes, that are not necessarily in order. For example, disk 1 has episodes 3, 4, 5, 6, 2, 3 and 4, which was a little confusing to me.

The storyline on this DVD is about a kid named Nate, who is an average boy that struggles to be popular at school. His parents are somewhat fun, but to him they are also rather weird. He has a special watch with different Yo-Kai's, which are invisible spirit-like entities responsible for annoying situations that make Nate's life to not be the same. One particular Yo-kai is his best friend. His name is Whisper and he teaches Nate about all the different types of Yo-kai and what they are capable of doing.

The theme song is catchy and appropriate for this show. The animation is very neat; the colors are bright and the background is colorful and well drawn. The episodes are kind of confusing because they don't follow a sequence. It's a mix of different situations. There are also two other story lines. One is about the great (Dog) escape, the other is about two Yo-Kai brothers in the city trying to learn how to live in the city.

My favorite episode of all is Spring Break Present. This episode is about a package that Whispers gives Nate as a Spring Break present. Inside the package is a card for Nate to use as a Yo-Kai repellent, so he can take a break from all the trouble that these spirits are causing him. The whole episode is really funny; that's why it's my favorite.

I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15. The Yo-Kai Watch DVD is available now. If you are an anime fan, you might really enjoy this DVD, so look for it! Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.

The hilarious and clever show Yo-Kai Watch, directed by Mark Risley, is incredibly animated and whimsical. It is filled with a variety of different characters that kids really get to know.

The episodes follow the wild adventures of a young boy named Nate (Johnny Yong Bosch) who receives the mysterious Yo-kai watch from the ghostly Yo-kai named Whisper, who is Nate's butler and best friend. This means that Nate is granted the power to see the Yo-kai, which are mischievous invisible beings from another dimension, that cause problems everyday. In this volume, it is up to Nate and Whisper to summon the Yo-kai they have befriended to defeat the troublesome ones and save the day. There are tons of new Yo-kai to be stopped, such as Dazzabel, who makes people become obsessed with being fashionable, and Babblong, who makes people tell long and boring stories. This volume is filled with fun characters that everyone will love.

I really like how the show balances an adventurous aspect with humor. Throughout the show, both the mischievous Yo-kai and the main characters are constantly saying and doing funny things that will keep audiences laughing. My favorite character is Whisper because he's endearing and clever and is knowledgeable about all things Yo-kai, plus he is the trusted sidekick that everyone wants to have. Also, I enjoy how in each episode, there is a new Yo-kai to be defeated, each with its own personality and appearance, which keeps the show very entertaining and unique. You never know what is going to happen next. Visually, the show is very detailed with vivid anime style animation and has great character development, which really contributes to the episodes. Fans of anime will love the look of this show.

Yo-kai Watch: Season 1, Volume 2 has many quirky, funny and imaginative elements that make it enjoyable. It has great entertainment value.

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, but it is also perfect for the entire family. You can find it on digital DVD now so look for it.

Reviewed by Jordan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 290 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


OUT OF THIS WORLD

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
OUT OF THIS WORLD
ANTONIO SOUTO FRAGUAS
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-10
Topic - Family
Description - A little alien travels to earth in a rescue mission. This film has been made as part of the Spanish Film Program, an initiative for the kids to learn a second language through the process of making a movie. Language in Spanish and English.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I believe young people and families should watch this film because is very educational regarding the environment and multi-cultural issues. This short student-produced film is about an alien and her pet that come to Earth to look for an element to save her planet. She makes friends in the process and gives them powers before she returns to her planet.

I like the comedy in this film! The kids are really funny; the story is very interesting and sweet at the same time. I like that there are different cultures and races depicted and I like how the main characters accept and bond with the alien. In their eyes, nobody is different. I also like that the dialogue is in both Spanish and English.

One of the scenes that impressed me is when the alien is watching TV and there is a tentacle commercial. That is too funny. I love the alien's favorite show, which shows a bunch of children of various races, including a "little person" kid. I like that this film has such a variety of kids in the cast. The costumes are very original and suit the story line. The alien's makeup is definitely unique. You need to keep in mind that this film was produced as part of the Spanish Film Club at Tyler Elementary School in Washington DC. It is not a professional production and yet, in many ways, I love it more than some professional productions. I love that the majority of the scenes are shot in the school. It makes the film look like a popular TV show. The student actors are quite delightful and completely believable. The casting is quite wonderful. The kids' dialogue is very funny and some of them are very dramatic.

The background music is appealing, especially the ending song. The lyrics are touching and appropriate. The sound effects are pretty cool too. The visual effects work well. I like how the alien's eyes turn purple and I like the alien's tentacles. The pet, Fluffy, is rather ugly cute.

I believe this short film could be a kids TV show or a feature movie. The story line is interesting and educational. The message is about accepting people of all kinds, helping and being kind to each other. It reminded me to accept people who are different than me and to be kind and helpful. My favorite part of this film is the ending, but I can't tell you what that is or I would spoil it for you.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5-10, as well as adults. Reviewed by Ethan P. and Julie S.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I believe young people and families should watch this film because is very educational regarding the environment and multi-cultural issues. This short student-produced film is about an alien and her pet that come to Earth to look for an element to save her planet. She makes friends in the process and gives them powers before she returns to her planet.

I like the comedy in this film! The kids are really funny; the story is very interesting and sweet at the same time. I like that there are different cultures and races depicted and I like how the main characters accept and bond with the alien. In their eyes, nobody is different. I also like that the dialogue is in both Spanish and English.

One of the scenes that impressed me is when the alien is watching TV and there is a tentacle commercial. That is too funny. I love the alien's favorite show, which shows a bunch of children of various races, including a "little person" kid. I like that this film has such a variety of kids in the cast. The costumes are very original and suit the story line. The alien's makeup is definitely unique. You need to keep in mind that this film was produced as part of the Spanish Film Club at Tyler Elementary School in Washington DC. It is not a professional production and yet, in many ways, I love it more than some professional productions. I love that the majority of the scenes are shot in the school. It makes the film look like a popular TV show. The student actors are quite delightful and completely believable. The casting is quite wonderful. The kids' dialogue is very funny and some of them are very dramatic.

The background music is appealing, especially the ending song. The lyrics are touching and appropriate. The sound effects are pretty cool too. The visual effects work well. I like how the alien's eyes turn purple and I like the alien's tentacles. The pet, Fluffy, is rather ugly cute.

I believe this short film could be a kids TV show or a feature movie. The story line is interesting and educational. The message is about accepting people of all kinds, helping and being kind to each other. It reminded me to accept people who are different than me and to be kind and helpful. My favorite part of this film is the ending, but I can't tell you what that is or I would spoil it for you.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5-10, as well as adults. Reviewed by Ethan P. and Julie S.
Runtime: 38 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO



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