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PLACE TO CALL HOME, A

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PLACE TO CALL HOME, A
DANA'S MUSIC PLAYGROUND
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 4-8
Topic - Nature
Description - Every living being, from honey bees to humans, needs a safe place to call home. Dana's seventh album explores the different places animals live. Featuring numerous musical genres, the songs are designed to educate and entertain children while planting seeds of care for the planet we all call home.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Dana's hot off the press new album called A Place to Call Home is a breath of fresh air and a warm musical hug that inspires and requires multiple listenings. The songwriting, performances, production and various musical genres lend energy to this album that is truly infectious whether your home is where your heart is or in sweet home Alabama or even at home on the range along with a myriad of animals. A Place to Call Home shares a covering of love and acceptance with a batch of nifty crafted terrific tunes with perfect timing from a true professional.

A Place to Call Home is hip, happening and has energy to burn. Terrific arrangements and clever songwriting! Dana is a tried and true trooper and knows her audience extremely well so yes, I highly recommend.

There is a strong theme about animals and their habitats/homes that is lovingly presented. The production quality is excellent, executed by professionals. I love how it makes children aware that they can become difference makers in the global sense. Once again this pro knows her audience and loves what she's doing. She talks up to kids not down. Experience counts, especially from those who have toured and performed for live performances. Clearly Dana knows what works.

I can't say enough about Dana's spot-on vocals and the production value throughout this project. The different musical styles give the album a true World Music vibe. Teachers will have fun breaking down the animal and their habitats' segments for reports and activities with the kids.

I recommend A Place to Call Home for ages 5 to 8 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music Specialist.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like A Place to Call Home it is a very interesting musical CD. I like the fact that it has a variety of melodies and music genres, plus I like how the songs pumps my adrenaline and some songs are so slow that they calm me down.

This CD is produced by EJ Ouellete and all the songs belongs to singer, Dana Cohenour. Dana Cohenour is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of independent children's music. She is named as on of the "Top Five Kids' Singers You Should Know." Her six albums for kids have won 22 National Awards so far. Her music is very contagious and enthusiastic. On this CD, in particular, you can listen to different music genres such as dance music, rock and roll, jazz, country and ballad among other music genres. This CD has 11 songs and each song has a different message of how to take care of our planet, the animals and how to build things in order to give animals shelter or protect them. Each song has approximately a duration of four to five minutes.

My favorite song is "Animal Hide and Seek" because this song is about animals hiding in their own habitat, such as bees hiding in a hive and cows hiding in a barn. Dana finds the animals and describes in her song how and where she finds them with a very adventurous lyric and country music rhythm that makes you want to stand up and dance.

The moral of this DVD is to help the environment around you, like helping animals when they are in need. Besides the environment, we need to take care of animals with whom we share the planet Earth. We need to remember to be kind to the animals and to our beautiful planet because this amazing place is what we all call home.

I give A Place to Call Home 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 18. Adults can enjoy this CD as well. For example, if you are going on a long trip with your family, this CD would be delightful and entertaining to listen to and to sing along to the catchy songs. This CD is available now at iTunes and elsewhere, so look for it!

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 40 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12
Media: AUDIO
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


HIGH NOTE, THE (2020)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HIGH NOTE, THE (2020)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A superstar singer and her overworked personal assistant are presented with a choice that could alter the course of their respective careers.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This musical romantic comedy/dramatic film shines a light on someone who is normally in the dark. There are many plot twists which kept me intrigued the whole time. The original songs in the film also kept me watching because they sound incredible.

The film focuses on the life of Maggie Sherwood, personal assistant to superstar Grace Davis. Maggie is amazing at her job and loves working for such a successful person in the music industry, but her dream job is to be a music producer. Her goal is to produce another hit song for Grace Davis and help her overcome the stigma of being an older woman of color in the music industry.

Tracee Ellis Ross plays Grace Davis and perfectly does so. She fully embodies the persona of an accomplished superstar and her vocals are always on point. Ross also adds a lot of comedic elements to the film. Dakota Johnson is an accomplished actress so it comes as no surprise that she is able to pull off many of the difficult scenes as Maggie Sherwood. Johnson is able to convey Maggie's determination and feelings of ambition to the audience.

The costumes are absolutely beautiful. Naturally as a superstar, Grace Davis has to present herself in the best way possible and she does not disappoint. The locations where this is shot are breathtaking as well. They beautifully capture the views and beauty of Los Angeles.

Describing my favorite scene would spoil the movie, so all I can say is that I really love how inspiring this film is. It accurately depicts the life of musicians living in LA and seeing a story like this will inspire many to go for their dreams, despite all the odds that may be against you.

There are multiple messages within this film. One of them is to go for your dreams despite the risks. The film shows that you need to be able to take risks and work hard to reach your goals. Even if you do encounter a setback, all that matters is that you keep getting back up and getting right back to work. Another message is to do what you want to do, even if others are against you. Grace Davis is an older woman of color in the music industry and, because of this, people try to shove her into a category and tell her what to do. But Grace has no intention of retiring anytime soon.

I love this film and the messages it conveys. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. It comes out on Video on Demand May 29, 2020, so make sure you look for it!

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

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


LLAMA LLAMA'S BEST SUMMER EVER! (2020)

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LLAMA LLAMA'S BEST SUMMER EVER! (2020)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
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 safe, friendly hometown and make childhood memories. On this DVD, join Llama Llama as he camps, boats, floats and swims his way through his BEST summer ever! Adventure and learning awaits with Llama Llama and pals!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Llama Llama Best Summer Ever! DVD is tons of fun and will appeal to kids and families. It's a bright and happy animated series that is based on Anna Dewdney's books about an adventurous llama and his circle of family and friends. This DVD has eight episodes with an option to play all the episodes or select them one at a time at an approximate run time of 90 minutes of lively entertainment. The series employs bright colors, fun animals and engaging story lines that align with the daily activities that many kids are involved in, to capture their interest. The cute story lines deliver positive messages. For example, Llama Llama's kite is torn on the last day of summer and his mom teaches him resourcefulness. There's no need to buy a new one, we can fix this one and it will be better than before. The writing structure is straightforward and geared towards its target audience. The continuity and style reinforce each episode's message, teamwork, resourcefulness and helping others. The series uses vocabulary that appeals to young kids. For example, when Llama Llama's kite is torn his mom states that she will help him make a swirl-o-rama kite!

Through Llama Llama and his friends Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid the Sheep and Gilroy Goat, kids will learn how to problem-solve, work as part of a team, help others, develop friendship and enjoy their families with awesome summer activities such as making lemonade, camping, boating, swimming and kite flying. The series visually appeals to kids with its bright colors and cute animal friends. The DVD cover is appropriate and appeal as it features Llama Llama and his friends. There is also a listing of each episode included, with a picture next to it representing what the episode is about. There are educational benefits as kids are taught about problem solving and teamwork. For example, Llama Llama wants to help his friend buy a new bike tire, so he opens a lemonade stand to earn the money. His friends help him improve his product and help with marketing it. Additionally, kids are shown that everyone can be included even if they don't do the same things. i.e. Euclid the Sheep shows up when everyone's flying kites. He doesn't have a kite, but he can make calculations on wind, temperature and time to help the other kites fly. There are several messages in this series about teamwork, resourcefulness, friendship, family and helping others. The DVD menu has an option to watch all the episodes or select them one at a time. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 11.

Reviewed by Jennifer V., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Llama Llama is an animated series full of family values and nature adventures! This heartwarming series is based on the beloved children's books by Anna Dewdney who also illustrated the books. There are eight episodes on the new DVD Llama Llama BEST Summer Ever!

Llama Llama has exciting adventures with his family and friends which include valuable life lessons at the beach, camping and around the town. The series features Jennifer Garner as the voice of the loving Mama Llama. My favorite episode is "Last Day of Summer" where Llama Llama seizes the day with friends and goes to the park to fly kites and ends up using imagination when the weather complicates their plans. Change can be exciting and fun!

The message of this series is to learn from family and friends and to enjoy childhood. Change can be tough but you can always enjoy time with family and friends.

I rate this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 6. The DVD is available now.

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

Llama Llama's Best Summer Ever! is so entertaining to watch. It has adorable characters, fun animation, great music and lots vibrant content. The short episodes are the perfect length to keep young children entertained.

This DVD is about Llama Llama and his friend having the time of their lives on their summer vacation. Episodes include Let's Go Camping, Beach Day, Boat Float and Last Day of Summer. Wherever Llama Llama goes, there will always be fun.

The Llama Llama animated series is so cool, because they are based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. There are several lovable characters including Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu and Luna Giraffe. This DVD is approximately 90 minutes long with eight episodes. My favorite episode is Last Day of Summer, because it shows that even if the weather is bad you can still have fun indoors during the summer.

There are a lot of positive messages in this DVD including keeping a positive attitude when your plans change unexpectedly and, if you go with the flow and have a positive attitude, the outcome can still be fun. We also learn that a little bit of practice can make you feel more confident and that if you feel as if you are not getting enough attention from your parents, just know that they still love you. This DVD has no bad language and there is nothing risky or dangerous that kids might try to do. However, there are scenes showing jealously.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. This DVD is available now. I totally recommend this DVD for your kids.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-11
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: Video and DVD


SCOOB! (2020)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SCOOB! (2020)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Topic - Family
Description - Scooby-Doo is the hero of his own story in "SCOOB!," the first full-length, theatrical animated Scooby-Doo adventure, which reveals how he and his best friend Shaggy became two of the world's most beloved crime busters. The story takes us back to where it all began, when a young Scooby and Shaggy first meet, and team up with Velma, Daphne, and Fred to launch Mystery Incorporated.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Grab your Scooby Snacks and get ready for a Scoob-tasic adventure. Zoinks, this movie is terrific! The storyline is creative and entertaining and there is wonderful character development that is unique to this movie versus the cartoon episodes we all grew up with.

Scoob! is about the never-before-heard origin of the Mystery Inc. gang and how Shaggy (Will Forte) and Scooby Doo (Frank Welker) met. After a montage of solving mysteries, we see the gang wanting to expand and we get to follow them on their biggest mystery yet. Only their friendship can save them.

I LOVE The Scooby Doo Franchise! And Scoob! is no exception. I remember watching the show and wondering how the Mystery Inc. gang got together. And now, in Scoob! we finally learn the answer. The animation is super vivid and creative. Everywhere you look, there is an "Easter Egg." For example, the names of streets and stores are names of people associated with Hanna-Barbera. The cast includes children of some of the adult actors. The characters' voices are cast to perfection. Frank Welker has a fantastic snack-loving dog voice and has been the voice of Scooby Doo for nearly 20 years. Will Forte has a hilarious hippy voice; Amanda Seyfried (Daphne) has a magnificent, kind and caring tone in her voice; and Gina Rodriguez (Velma) has an excellent voice portraying wit, intelligence and quite a bit of sarcasm. My favorite character is (SURPRISE) Scooby, because he is such a sweet dog and, as Frank Welker says, "When he talks, I'm not even sure I am listening to a dog talking like a human, or a human talking like a dog." I agree. But a close second is the villain of the movie (no spoiler here) because his name, his voice and his appearance are just perfect for a bad guy.

The key message of this movie is about the power of friendship. This movie has mild bad language and some magic scenes that may be scary for a younger audience.

Jinkies, I give Scoob! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Adults will love this as well. Scoob! is available online May 15, 2020. #SCOOBMOVIENIGHT

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

SCOOB! is a hilarious, action-packed and adventurous animated movie based on the original Scooby Doo cartoon. This movie is a cool, updated version and includes cell phones and references to some of the current stores, such as IKEA and Wal-Mart. There are so many funny scenes in this movie that the whole family will love.

In SCOOB!, the entire Mystery Inc. team from Scooby Doo returns to solve more mysteries. We learn how Shaggy, Scooby, Velma, Daphne and Fred originally met one Halloween night. The team then goes on several adventures while trying to solve mysteries. Their biggest mission is when Velma, Daphne and Fred find out that Shaggy and Scooby are missing, and they go on a quest to find their lost friends. They need to stop the villain, Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs), from capturing Scooby and using him to open up the gates so he can steal the treasure of the underworld.

The lead characters are Shaggy (Will Forte), Scooby (Frank Welker), Velma (Gina Rodriguez), Daphne (Amanda Seyfried) and Fred (Zac Efron). It was interesting to learn what role each of them had in the group. For example, Velma is the "brains" of the team. The costumes are amazing and spot on to the originals. Scooby even gets an upgrade and gets to wear a great superhero costume in the movie. There is a lot of great music from different eras and it takes place in Venice, California. It is really clever that the movie starts with Dr. Dre and Tupac's song, "California Love." The special effects are realistic and make you feel as if you are in the movie. One of the coolest parts of the movie is when other Hanna Barbara characters such as, Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg), Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) and Dee Dee Sykes (Kiersey Clemmons) show up to help save Shaggy and Scooby. A great surprise is when American Idol's, Simon Cowell (Simon Cowell) appears in the movie. I love how current events are used in the movie, especially the joke they include about how Simon is responsible for giving the world Kelly Clarkson.

The message in SCOOB! is all about friendship. The cast uses the phrase "friendship saves the day" throughout the film. Anytime the Mystery Inc. team needs to solve a case, they do it together. This movie is PG and, even though there isn't a lot for parents to look out for, there are two scenes that could be mistaken for inappropriate language.

SCOOB! is PAW-tastic and a film you definitely want to see. You may even find yourself dancing while watching it. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 5 to 18. Adults will love it too. This movie is available on video on demand now, so grab your Scooby Snacks and order it today!

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Fire up your Mystery Machine and head to your home theater to watch the new Scooby snack-eating, ghost-catching and hilarious new film, Scoob! Scoob! brings much more to the table then huge sandwiches and Scooby snacks, it also brings amazing characterization and belly-laughing humor. The film has outstanding animation, but some parts look a little bit off and need a little more detail. The movie brings back that nostalgic feel we all know and love, and makes the movie feel somewhat like another episode of some ghost-catching, meddling kids.

Scoob! starts off with a young, lonely Shaggy Rodgers (Iain Armitage) when he runs into a stray puppy and names it Scooby-Doo. From that day forth we get the amazing dog and man duo that forms Mystery Inc! The movie cuts to about 20 years later to see the full-grown meddling kids we all know and love, Shaggy (Will Forte), Scooby (Frank Welker), Daphne (Amada Seyfried), Velma (Gina Rodriguez), and Fred (Zac Efron). One day, Scooby and Shaggy are attacked by scorpion-looking robots and have to team up with the local superhero, Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg) to find the culprit responsible for these menacing attacks! This movie is an emotional rollercoaster filled with twists and turns you never saw coming!

There are many Scooby-Doo movies out there and I personally think that they all kind of all are the same, but let me tell you, Scoob!is completely out of the Scooby snack-box and original. I have to give big props to director Tony Cervone for making a movie that is completely original and its own. Another obvious favorite of this movie is Scooby-Doo himself! Frank Welker's voice acting is spot on and captures everything we all love about our snack-eating dog, Scooby. The only weakness with this movie is the character design. The main characters are designed extremely well, however, the people in the background all have a generic look and seem the same, but with different hair and shirt pieces.

Scoob is rated PG, but it is very edgy for a PG rating. The film includes two mild curse words and a bunch of hilarious adult jokes that will go over many kids' heads. The film also has scorpion-looking robots that might be frightening to younger viewers and, in some scenes, the scorpions turn into little cute robots. The movie's main theme is friendship, so throughout the film, many morals are provided for teaching younger viewers.

Overall, the producers and directors really put the pedal to the metal of the Mystery Machine and provide an original, fun-loving Scooby-Doo story with great characterization and humor. Therefore, I give Scoob! 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this film for kids ages 4 to18. You can buy or rent Scoob! Digitally beginning May 15, 2020.

Reviewed by Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

I like SCOOB! because it has an amazing mystery and the characters are really cute. It's cool that they have their own opinions about pretty much everything, yet are still good friends. This film is full of action and also has some touching scenes that that will make you feel emotional.

This animated film is about a gang that meets on Halloween when they are young and they solve their first mystery. Then they start solving mysteries all the time. When they grow up, they try to find an investor to support their mystery-solving business. Simon Cowell (Simon Cowell) meets the crew in a diner and says he won't give them any money if Shaggy (Will Forte) and Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) are part of the business, since he believes a group is only as strong as its weakest link. Shaggy and Scooby go off bowling on their, but wind up getting chased by evil robots. They get transported to Blue Falcon's (Mark Wahlberg) ship and meet Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) and Dee Dee Sykes (Kiersey Clemons). The group gets chased by the robots who are controlled by Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs)--a bad guy that wants to take Scooby and open the gate to the underworld. You'll have to watch to see if Dick successfully opens the gate.

All the characters are so funny; each one has its own little personality. Fred (Zac Efron) isn't the smartest guy, but he's the cutest. Velma (Gina Rodriguez), on the other hand, is probably the smartest person ever. The group relies on each other to solve problems. To me, that's pretty cool. My favorite part is when Shaggy and Scooby sing "Shallow" to Simon Cowell. It is so funny because they are definitely not good singers. But I love it because "Shallow" is my favorite song.

The message of the film is to trust your friends. Even when they mess up, you should have their back. It kind of reminds me that sometimes I mess up and I want my friends to support me still.

I give SCOOB! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. I also think adults will like this film--especially if they used to watch the animated shows when they were kids. SCOOB! is available now online, so go look for it!

By Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


NATALIE WOOD: WHAT REMAINS BEHIND

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
NATALIE WOOD: WHAT REMAINS BEHIND       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
HBO FAMILY CHANNEL
Series: FEATURE 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Exploring Natalie Wood's life and career through the unique perspective of her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, and others who knew her best.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind is a wonderful biography telling the story of Natalie Wood's life in a raw way from the perspectives of multiple people. The film gets into lots of details and aspects of her life. By the end, the audience knows all about who Natalie Wood was.

The film is composed of old video and audio clips of Natalie Wood as well as multiple interviews, some of which are conducted by Wood's daughter, Natasha. The clips follow in somewhat of a chronological order, but the film doesn't start off at the beginning of her life. It covers details and facts about her entire life, but skips around, going to different parts. It focuses on her success as a child, her family's struggles, her love life, and the drama surrounding her death. The documentary also highlights all of her achievements in her film career.

The people featured in the documentary represent Natalie Wood's extensive circle of family and friends. Their interviews tell their perspectives of Natalie and her life. Included are her daughters, the family nanny, her husband and people who worked with her.

I thought it was interesting the way that they decided to skip around to different phases in her life. Normally documentaries pursue a chronological order, starting from the beginning and following through to the end. In contrast, this documentary is really effective in the way it skips around, because it gives the audience a bit of background information before returning to explain some aspect in deeper detail. I liked this because it allowed me to get a general idea first of what Natalie Wood was like and then what she experienced. I could see how people viewed her from the outside and then, the film delves deeper into a closer perspective by her friends and family.

My favorite parts are the home videos of Natalie Wood with her children. These clips make you realize that, even though she was under the pressure of the spotlight all the time and looks perfect, she is a human being with a life too.

The purpose of this documentary is to honor Natalie Wood and show people how great a life she lived. Some people focus more on the tragedy of her death and overlook her legacy in the film industry.

I loved watching and learning more about Natalie Wood's wonderful story. I give Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Even adults will enjoy learning from this documentary. Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind premieres on HBO May 5, 2020 so be sure to look for it!

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

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


OCTONAUTS: OCEAN ADVENTURES

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS: OCEAN ADVENTURES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Education/Instructional
Description - The Octonauts are a team of adventurers who explore the world s oceans, rescue aquatic creatures and protect their habitats - from the bustling eco-system along the Amazon River to the deepest depths of the Mariana Trench. Deploying a set of aquatic vehicles, Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii, medic Peso and the rest of the crew embark on missions around the globe before returning safely to their home base, the Octopod. On this exciting DVD, join the Octonauts as they journey to the Midnight Zone to rescue a bomber worm! Come along with Dashi as she teams up with her sister, Koshi, so solve a mysterious disappearance. And when Shellington crashes the Gup-D, he and Kwazii team up to pick up the pieces. Enjoy these adventures and more with the Octonauts!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Octonauts Ocean Adventures is an exciting educational DVD that follows the adventures of a team of friends that explore the world's oceans. It is comprised of six colorful and fun episodes including titles such as Kelp Monster Mystery, The Loneliest Whale and Operation Cooperation. Follow the crew in this action-packed series as they explore mysterious ocean life, learn about and rescue curious sea creatures and teach us how to protect their environments and habitats. The team is lead by Captain Barnacles, the bravest polar bear you will ever meet and always the first to rush in and help whenever there is a problem to be solved. Other characters include Kwazii - the daredevil cat, Dr. Shellington - the coolest marine biologist sea otter around, Dash dog - a sweet natured IT officer and Tweak - a bunny who's ready to lend a helping hand. From their underwater Octopod, they are always ready for excitement and the challenges that await them in the deep blue sea. The DVD's run time is 66 minutes and includes menu options such as episode selection and comes with a colorful booklet with information about The Octonauts and other shows from NCircle Entertainment. This series is highly recommended for any child that enjoys colorful characters, fun songs, adventure and learning about the ocean and its creatures. I give Octonauts Ocean Adventures 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 10. It's available on DVD now, so check it out. Reviewed by Eli B, KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the Octonauts: Ocean Adventures because the animation is so cute and the characters are super funny. It can get a little repetitive for older kids when you watch more than a couple episodes, but I think little kids would want to watch all six episodes on the DVD. I really like how each episode shows the actual animal, and not just the animated one. It allows viewers to get a better idea of what the animals looks like in real life.

This DVD has different episodes about a specific animal that lives in the ocean. The Octonauts, featuring Captain Barnacles, ex-pirate Kwazii (a cat) and medic Peso (a penguin) go on a bunch of adventures under the ocean. In one episode, the Octonauts help two very competitive shrimp that are fighting, become best friends. In another one, a confident polar bear goes underwater with Kwazii and Peso to talk to little worms they meet and look for one worm that sank to the bottom of the ocean. Other characters, like an otter, help Kwazii search for parts after their ship crashes to the bottom of the ocean. It's a very fun DVD because there is a lot of action and you always want to know what will happen next.

All of the characters have their own personality, such as the penguin, named Peso. Peso is very scared, but Kwazii (the cat) is not afraid of anything. I love how all of the characters are so different from one another. It reminds me of some of my friends who like different things than I do, or have a shy personality. Even though we are different, we still have fun together. My favorite part about this DVD is when Peso gets so scared of the huge "monster," but it's not quite a monster. You'll have to watch the DVD to find out what the creature actually is. I also like the blobfish who always wants food--especially worms--but is so slow he often misses out on a snack. That character is probably the funniest part of the DVD.

The message of this show is: if you work together, you can even save people's lives. It's amazing what you can do when you work together. Even if you different from one another, you can still use the strengths of each person in the group to be successful.

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

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I was absolutely thrilled with the stories told in the DVD Octonauts: Ocean Adventures. This series of tales is full of twists and turns that will keep you engaged throughout the six action packed episodes. You will have tons of fun and learn valuable lessons along with the Octonauts, Captain Barnacles, ex-pirate Kwazii and medic Peso.

Octonauts: Ocean Adventures follows a team of underwater explorers that save ocean life and protect their habitats. The Octonauts help all animals and sea life ranging from the predatory mantis shrimp to the wiggly bomber worms. While doing this, the gang faces troubles such as transportation breaking down and fights between other animals. Even though the troubles seem tough, the Octonauts always manage to come through and learn skills to help them in life.

In this DVD, we are introduced to six episodes: Mantis Shrimp, Kelp Monster Mystery, Bomber Worms, Loneliest Whale, Operation Cooperation, and Spinner Dolphins. Each episode tells a unique story. I truly enjoyed each episode and did not get bored with any of them. The fun ocean setting captivated me, since there are so many things that are unknown about the ocean habitat. I was happily surprised when I heard the voices of all the characters. Instead of having high, cartoonish voices, the Octonauts voices are deep, and some even have accents. I particularly liked Captain Barnacles' English accent voiced by Ross Breen. That isn't the only audible thing I enjoyed. I was very entertained by the music. It sets a tone and makes situations seem much more relaxed, dire or whatever the mood may be. The clever theme music composer Darren Hendly is to thank for the catchy intro. Lastly, I really appreciate the animation style in this show. It is funny and adorable, without giving a fake impression of how these animals truly look.

The message behind these episodes is that, even when there are problems that seem tough and unsolvable, you can count on teamwork and kindness to always help you out. If we all help each other out, the problems can be fixed and you can gain important lessons from them.

I give Octonauts: Ocean Adventures 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it to ages 6 to 12. This collection can be found on DVD and Digital now.

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

I am a big fan of the Octonauts series and this DVD is one of my favorites. It never gets boring and kept me looking forward to the next episode.

Octonauts: Ocean Adventures is about a team of under-the-sea adventurers. They explore, rescue and protect everything in the ocean. We follow them along many expeditions like cleaning the ocean and helping a lonely whale. Episodes include Mantis Shrimp, Operation Cooperation, Kelp Monster Mystery and more. The DVD runs about an hour, so it is the perfect amount of entertainment for a younger audience.

This is such an educational, yet fun DVD. I learned about animals that I had no idea even existed! Children will enjoy it, and so will others! It is great for the whole family to watch. The animation is simple, yet adorable, and the sea animals are darling. There are a lot of episodes in the Octonauts series and, just when you think that you have learned it all, NCircle Entertainment always throws more stuff at you to learn, and you're having a blast doing it. The characters' voices in Octonauts fit their personalities perfectly. Simon Greenall has a flawless, bold polar bear voice, Paul Panting plays a wonderful, gentle penguin and Bob Rackstraw voices a magnificent, dare-devil cat. My favorite episode is Bomber Worms because I learned about this animal for the first time and how interesting and unique they are.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including teamwork, friendship, being adventurous, and loving animals.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 through 9. This DVD is currently available.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 66 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


SHARK SCHOOL WITH JESSICA HARVEY

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SHARK SCHOOL WITH JESSICA HARVEY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
GEORGE C. SCHELLENGER
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Topic - Nature
Description - Join Jessica Harvey as she takes you to the coolest school on planet earth, the school of sharks. From the Tiger Shark - to the Bull Shark - to the Great Hammerhead, get ready for an educational experience you can really sink your teeth into!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you are looking for the "coolest school on the planet," well, look no further because I have found it! Shark School with Jessica Harvey offers the best instruction - marine style - right from your own home! The film's producer, George Schellenger takes you on an exciting journey into our oceans while providing us with some amazing lessons about a variety of shark species ranging in size from a few feet long to the length of an entire school bus. Scientist Jessica Harvey, the daughter of the legendary artist and Marine Biologist, Dr. Guy Harvey, adds such excitement as she narrates this film. The film's magnificent footage of some of our Earth's most precious oceanic creatures is sure to leave viewers wanting more instruction from this school!

Shark School with Jessica Harvey gives viewers a detailed education on over a dozen shark species living within our oceans. The narrators give a detailed explanation on the size, feeding patterns and special anatomical features of a variety of sharks occupying different marine habitats. From lateral lines, dermal denticles, to electroreceptors, each of these shark species are explained as being so unique. The film highlights how these characteristics are considered evolutionary advantages, yet sharks have become an addition to the threatened or endangered list due to over hunting and human consumption. With the alarming decline in shark population numbers, this film serves as a call to action that research, conservation, and preservation is much needed in order for man to save these species.

Hats off to the production and cinematography crew for showcasing such amazing creatures which inhabit our oceans. The up close footage of these amazing creatures shows how lively our marine environments are. The fact that the researchers can get that close to these majestic creatures and that there is somewhat of a mutual understanding between man and shark is what I like best in this film. Sharks appear to be underestimated by some, yet they are so critical for a balanced ecosystem.

The message well conveyed in Shark School with Jessica Harvey is about finding balance between man and nature. Sustainable seafood consumption and conservation are critical for our shark species. Shark diversity has been negatively impacted by man and if we don't make changes soon, we may never be able to recover from such an alarming decline in shark populations. Education is the key! If we aren't aware of a problem, we can't change it. This film makes people excited about our oceans and the creatures that call the oceans their home. This excitement may be the driving force that we desperately need to conserve what little we have within our ecosystems. There is great value to our sharks and this film has given me a new appreciation of these fish!

I give Shark School with Jessica Harvey 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 18. This is a perfect educational film for teachers, nature lovers and environmentalists. They will love it just as much as kids. This film can be rented or purchased now on Amazon. Check it out. This is a film that you do not want to miss!

Reviewed by Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Sharks are the scariest predators in the sea! That is why it is important to learn accurate information about them, which is what you can on the documentary Shark School with Jessica Harvey from the Guy Harvey Expeditions. Both the narrator and Jessica help the viewer understand facts about the different species of sharks.

This documentary is about many different sharks, but I will only be talking about a few. The first shark I want to talk about is the bull shark. Bull sharks can actually live in fresh water and, although most shark attacks are blamed on white sharks, they might have been from the bull shark. The bull shark also is one of the most dangerous sharks in the sea, mostly because of its strong quest for food.

One shark I found particularly interesting is the hammerhead shark. For one, since its eyes are located on each end of its head, the shark has a wide view. Did you know that hammerhead sharks can use their heads like a metal detector to find sting rays? Now, that's cool. Sadly the hammerhead shark is endangered; not only because of overfishing, but because people like to eat shark fin soup, which often comes from hammerhead sharks.

My favorite shark is the whale shark, which is as big as a bus. That is crazy! And, whale sharks don't eat normal shark food; they eat very small foods like plankton. They can reach up to 40 feet in length and they are the biggest fish in the ocean.

I give Shark School With Jessica Harvey 3 out 5 stars because I wish it had more information but it is still a great documentary and was fun to watch. I recommend this series for ages 10 to 15, plus adults. It is available on Amazon to rent or buy. Check it out.

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

I like Shark School with Jessica Harvey because I learned about things I didn't know about sharks. Some parts were a little boring because there is a lot of information, but I really liked the scenes of sharks swimming in the water.

Shark School with Jessica Harvey teaches you bout different species of shark. For example, the whale shark is a shark that is about the size of a school bus. When I watched that part it made me want to be able to ride a bus to school. I learned that sharks have a dorsal fin on top and pectoral fins on their undersides. The caudal fin is the "tail" of the shark and helps them swim in the water. Sharks use gills to breathe and don't have bones. I didn't know much about sharks until I watched this film, so if you want to learn more, you have to watch it. I did know about the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. Guy Harvey is Jessica's dad. I bought a necklace for my dance teacher that was designed by Guy, so it was very cool to learn more about his foundation and the information his daughter shares in the film.

I really like how the film breaks down the different types of sharks, step-by-step. It's very interesting learning all about the sharks and hearing what you can do to protect them. I like that the film shows real sharks swimming after showing illustrations of the different parts of the sharks. My favorite part of the film is when the hammerhead shark is talked about and shown. I've never seen a real shark before, so it was neat to see the odd-shaped head of the hammerhead. I was surprised to find out that it is considered to be a pretty friendly shark.

The message of the film is that sharks aren't necessarily scary. Before I watched this film, I was really scared of sharks, but learning more about them makes them less scary. Now I'm not afraid of sharks, although I don't know if I'd swim with them anytime soon--at least not without experts around me.

I give Shark School with Jessica Harvey 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 16, as well as some adults, especially if they are interested in learning more about sharks. Shark School with Jessica Harvey will be available on Amazon to rent or to buy sometime soon.

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 25 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: VIDEO


ROOT OF THE PROBLEM

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - When a suburban family inherits a real-life money tree, they have a one-way ticket to easy street. As they lose sight of the things that matter most, the family will be tested to discover that it is better to give than receive.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Root Of The Problem is one of my new favorite films. I planned to watch the first part of the film and the rest later, but the movie was so interesting that I watched it all in one session. I love this movie because one is always eager to know what happens next.

The movie centers around an ordinary man named Paul Campbell (Sergio Di Zio) who lives in Ohio with a wife and two kids. After his wife's uncle passes away, his family is left with a plant. Unbeknownst to Paul, the plant actually grows money. Paul is the first one to discover this and he decides to keep it to himself. Being selfish and greedy, Paul only buys things for himself. Eventually, authorities catch on to his spending habits. Turn of events happen, which lead Paul to reconsider his greed and other life choices. Eventually, Paul regrets all of the choices he has made and vows to right himself.

One of my favorite scenes is when Paul decides to buy a new car, even though he has bought an expensive lawn mower without his wife's permission, which creates a feud between them. It is funny because he has the audacity to do it again, only buying something way more expensive. Sergio Di Zio acts the selfish and greedy Paul Campbell perfectly at the beginning of the movie and follows through with an amazing performance as a changed new man at the end. Di Zio has his best acting when he pours all his emotion out vividly in the scene of Paul showing his genuine remorse after his big mistake later in the film.

One thing that stands out in the movie is the music. The music in the movie fits the tone of the scenes really well. The movie starts out slow and eventually picks up the speed. It could be better if the early part got to the exciting moments more quickly, so as not to lose the younger audience with short attention spans. A number of events in the movie, such as buying a Porsche with cash, a lawn mower costing $5,000 and a tree growing money by itself, are not very plausible in real life. The screenwriter seems to throw these events in for the convenience of developing the plot.

One of the main messages of Root of the Problem is to never be greedy and, when you have a chance, always give back. Root of the Problem without a doubt meets the KIDS FIRST! baseline criteria. This movie is geared towards teenagers because younger children might not understand why certain things happen in the movie, such as the authorities' investigation of Paul. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults.

Reviewed by Jason Y., KIDS FIRST! reviewer

The Root of the Problem is a film where everything is entirely adequate, but nothing more than that. The cinematography by Scott Corban Sikma guides us through the story beautifully. Though the story itself is rather uninteresting at times, and the acting is uninspiring, the music is certainly a highlight of this film. If you are ever looking for a light-hearted family film, this movie is exactly that.

The Root of the Problem is about a man, Paul Campbell, who inherits a plant from his uncle's will. Paul's family is living like any average income family - frugally and mindful of their money. But when the deceivingly ordinary plant begins to grow hundred-dollar bills, Paul trades family values for cars, machines and other expensive things. All of this causes a rift within the Campbell family.

Cinematography is one of the most important things in a film. The Root of the Problem understands this and delivers a well-shot movie. The screenplay by Francis Damberger and Joanne Sikma is a little on the bland side, though this is minor matter for a children's film. There are emotional scenes, which must be dealt with carefully to keep the viewer engaged and the actors pull it off well. Though there are negatives sides in the cast's performances. For example, Paul Campbell, played by Sergio Di Zio, nails the humor and stress his character feels when given the responsibility of acquiring his uncle's plant. But, when Paul is upset and crying, the actor struggles with being out of control and letting real tears flow freely. This causes the emotional impact of that scene to be reduced. Another thing to note is that the music is very catchy, which sets a cheeky atmosphere every time it plays. All in all, it's a solid film.

The message in The Root of the Problem is that nothing, not even money, is worth giving up your family for. Be generous, selfless and kind-hearted. These are wonderful lessons everyone can learn from.

I rate The Root of the Problem 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 16. This lovely movie comes out on digital and DVD on July 7, 2020!

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.95
Media: FeatureFilm


HALF OF IT, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HALF OF IT, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Bookish introvert Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis) is perfectly content with her life: watching old movies with her widowed father and ghostwriting papers for her high school classmates to help pay the bills. But her side gig turns personal when lovelorn jock Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) hires her to craft love notes to Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire) -- a smart, popular girl out of both their leagues... and Ellie's own secret crush. Just as the duo's plan begins to work, a new wrinkle emerges: Ellie and Paul have fallen into a deep friendship neither could have anticipated, giving rise to a surprising love triangle. Written and directed by Alice Wu, THE HALF OF IT is a heartfelt comedy-of-errors about searching for perfect love--and finding yourself in the process.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Half of It is certainly a beautiful story about love, friendship and longing. It is a very relatable story about the process of discovering love and what comes with it. The acting is splendid and writer/director Alice Wu is very assertive in both capacities.

The story follows Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), a shy and introverted, straight "A" student, in her senior year, helping a friend, Paul, to capture the attention of the girl of his dreams, Aster. Initially, Ellie writes just one letter, but the story evolves into an exchange of text messages before their first date. During the journey, the characters discover the truth of the stress and challenges of courtship.

The film starts with a beautiful, artsy animation and excellent voice over work, guiding us into the mysteries of love at a very young age. The Half of It is a very well narrated story, keeping you intrigued, making you wanting to know more about the characters and how they will end up. The editing and music are very interconnected and they work in perfect harmony, turning into amazing storytelling.

I enjoyed the acting and the honesty of Leah Lewis' portrayal of a very timid, but determined girl. I love Paul naivet� and his struggle to communicate and show his emotions and how his innocence contrasts with Ellie's intelligence. Despite their differences they become friends, which is one of my favorite aspects of the film. I also love Collin Chou who plays Ellie's dad. He barely speaks English but he's really funny. He portrays a very loving and kind man and wants what's best for his daughter. Ellie's Dad loves classic films and, throughout the movie, there are several references to art in different disciplines like painting and poetry. This makes the film feel very grounded. "The Best Part," as Ellie's Dad refers when interrupted when watching his cinema classics, is when Ellie and Aster are in a secret lake and just talking. The scene itself is beautiful and the acting feels so natural. I love how this scene is shot and found it really relaxing.

The Half of It is not the typical high school movie, because in almost every high school movie there is a popular girl, a shy nerdy girl with lots of clich�s and no substance. But in this movie the characters are real, current and deep.

The message of this film is "be the best version of you." Ellie used to be an artist and one of the things she learns is that "you can have a good painting, but to make it a great one you need to make a bold stroke." I think what she means by "bold stroke" is the best version that you can possibly be of yourself. Also we hear that "love is the journey we pursue with determination."

This film is wonderful! I could watch it a million times and still be entertained. I give The Half of It 5 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 12 to 18. The Half of It opens on Netflix May 1, 2020.

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

The Half of It is interesting, however I feel like it could have been much better. I like it, yet I think there is a lot of missed potential.

The movie follows Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis) who makes money by charging other students for essay help. One day, a jock named Paul (Daniel Diemer) asks her for help writing a love letter to his crush Aster (Alexxis Lemire). However, as Ellie continues to help Paul win her over, she ends up also falling for Aster.

A big aspect of this film is the LGBT twist. As someone who cares a lot about representation, this intrigued me. However, I have mixed feelings about the way this movie goes about its representation. I can't elaborate much as that would lead to spoilers, but let's just say the actual LGBT romance is a little lackluster and mostly overshadowed by the straight romance. This isn't really an issue for most of the film, however this heavily affected my opinion on the ending. I usually try not to compare pieces of media, however I want to compare this film to Love, Simon. An issue I've noticed when it comes to LGBT representation is the prevalence of tragedies and dramatic stories. Either that, or stories where the LGBT character doesn't have a happy ending. This is why Love, Simon was such a hit with the LGBT audience, because it is a wholesome, romantic comedy that embraces its gay representation. And considering The Half of It is also pushing the gay aspect in marketing, it could have been a lot better. The Half of It is far from the worst when it comes to unsatisfying representation, but it definitely has room for improvement.

However, the representation is not the only aspect of the film. As this is a comedy, how is the humor in this movie? Honestly, I really like a lot of the comedy in this film. I like the way Ellie and Paul play off each other and there's many well executed visual gags and recurring bits. I also really like the friendship between Ellie and Paul. Despite the fact that they're technically romantic rivals, you really buy their friendship as they have a great chemistry and you want them both to be happy in the end.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18. It comes out on May 1, 2020. Look for it.

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

The Half Of It is a film that virtually anyone can enjoy. It's hilarious, unique, and has many intersecting relationships that keep you guessing what will happen in the future. The small-town setting helps the story feel more relatable. The personalities of the characters blend well and the progression of the plot makes sense.

Netflix's The Half Of It takes place in a small town by the name of Squahamish, following a girl named Ellie Chu. Ellie is in high school and has a way with words. Although she is talented, she is made fun of frequently. One day, Ellie is riding her bike and her classmate, Paul Munsky, asks her to write his crush, Aster, a love letter. Ellie is skeptical and annoyed, but she agrees to help him out. Little does she know that she will become his friend and fall for his crush at the same time.

Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) and Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire) make a great cast of main characters. Paul and Ellie (despite their differences) make a great team when trying to impress Aster. I love so many parts of this movie, however I have to choose a favorite! The acting really is something else. The cast is really amazing and, when you watch it, you feel an emotional connection to them. There is one specific person from the cast who does an exceptional job - Leah Lewis. She embodies the role of a reserved and skeptical-of-everything teenager very well.

The lesson from this film is that acting like your true self is for more valuable than the person you may want others to perceive you as. This way, others can love you for just being you. The movie is most definitely successful in portraying this. It is a very positive and uplifting message. This movie promotes the positive social behaviors of friendship and helping other people. However, there is quite a bit of bullying towards the main protagonist, Ellie, that occurs. There is a slight bit of swearing, but nothing too severe, and some alcohol use is shown.

I give The Half Of It 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can find The Half Of It on Netflix in May.

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

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


GIGANTOSAURUS: DINO TALES

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GIGANTOSAURUS: DINO TALES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 4 - 12
Topic - Family
Description - ROCKY, BILL, TINY and MAZU are four young dinosaurs growing up in the Cretaceous period. Life is always an adventure: new volcanoes are popping up all the time, long-necked brachiosauruses and enormous triceratopses roam free, meteor showers light up the night sky and the big bad Gigantosaurus reigns over it all! On this exciting DVD, join Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu as they explore the world of Cretacia. Embark on a mission to help find a lost egg s missing parents. Join the four friends as they venture out on a sleepover at the lake and camp among the herds in the desert. The adventures don t end there! Race with Mazu to see a once-in-a-lifetime comet and join Bill as he becomes invisible during a game of hide and seek. Enjoy these adventures and more with our Dino pals!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the Gigantosaurus Dino Tales DVD because it is very entertaining and funny. This show amuses younger children as well as older children like myself.

This DVD is a compilation of eight funny episodes with each episode a duration of 11 minutes approximately. The episodes do not follow a sequence. Each one has its individual story line. This DVD is about four "dino" friends, named Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu, who explore the world of Cretacia, where they live and make missions along the way. This show is very entertaining for young audience, keeping their attention their entire time.

The graphics are very bright and colorful. I especially like the jungle background. The voice-over talents suit each character. The music is appealing, especially the theme song. The episodes are short and interesting. My favorite episode is "Mazu's Comet," which is about Mazu wanting to see a comet with his name, because he is actually named after the comet. This is a special day for him because the comet only passes by every 100 hundred years. He makes a telescope, but the lens of the telescope breaks, so he scavenges to find a new lens in the desert. He only has a limited time to get back to the mountain to watch the comet. Finally, he finds the lens he needs but he gets distracted by another dinosaur in need of assistance and forgets all about the lens that he needs to see this special comet. He travels back without the lens and keeps helping more fellow dinosaurs along the way. When he finally arrives at the mountain he realizes that he forgot his lens. All the dinosaurs that Mazu helped along the way help him get his lens back and Mazu watches the comet successfully. My favorite character is Rocky because he is very adventurous dinosaur.

The moral of this DVD is that "teamwork makes the dream work," while having fun together. There is nothing like having a strong bond with our closest best friends to experience adventures together while exploring our surroundings or hometown.

I give Gigantosaurus Dino Tales DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults can watch this DVD with their children as well. This DVD is available now so look for it!

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

What I like about this DVD is seeing how all the characters of different types get along as great friends. I like how they work together as a team to solve problems. I also love the animation.

This DVD is a collection of episodes from the TV show by the same name. The story line is four young dinosaurs growing up in the Cretaceous period where there is a new adventure every day from volcanoes popping up, to meteor showers lighting up the night sky to all the various dinosaurs that you might run into at any time. The young dinosaurs, Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu invite the audience to join them in their adventures.

What stands out in these animated episodes are the minute details of each dinosaur and the positive relationship between the four characters. The dinosaurs are very distinguished so that the viewer can determine their various types. The lead character Rocky pretends to be very brave, but his friend assures him that it's okay to have fears. The character Bill shows his loyalty as a friend. Mazu and Tiny are committed to their friendship. It's also fun that the dinosaurs have human-like qualities, making them anthropomorphic.

The message of this DVD is to demonstrate friendship, acceptance and compassion. The episodes focus on taking care of one another and being thoughtful. I learned to continue to value my friends and enjoy fun times together. I also learned how to pronounce some of the difficult names of dinosaurs.

I give Gigantosaurus: Dino Tales 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages w to 5. It is available now on DVD or digital, so look for it.

Reviewed by Bailey Rae F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


HIDDEN ORCHARD MYSTERIES: THE CASE OF THE AIR B&B ROBBERY

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HIDDEN ORCHARD MYSTERIES: THE CASE OF THE AIR B&B ROBBERY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - When a home robbery occurs in neighborhood, two junior detectives looking for adventure attempt to discover the culprit. Their closest neighbors are the most likely suspects and their investigation digs up bigger secrets than they expected.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B&B Robbery because of how the two girls are best friends and they work together to figure things out. The beginning is a little boring because there's not much adventure, but once the film gets going, I like the mystery.

The film begins with someone stealing some jewelry in total darkness and the camera shows pictures of people in frames. Two girls, who are best friends, see that there is a problem at the neighbor's house. They start working on discovering who this thief could be. They make a plan that they are going to start the next morning. I like the breakfast scene because it shows how Lulu (Ja'ness Tate) helps her friend, Gabby (Gabriella Pastore), who doesn't like her new mom because she think she is trying to replace her biological mother, feel more comfortable with her new mom. It is nice to see how the friends support each other. They start going to all the neighbors' houses one by one and they get confused sometimes, but they get some good clues. They also go to the librarian (Diane Cater), who tells them two neighbors might be having an affair. The two best friends work together to find the truth.

The actors are amazing because they portray their characters well through their facial expressions and body language. I also think the camera angles by Frazer Lockhart (Director of Photography) are great because it really feels as if you're in the same room with the characters. My favorite part of the film is when the two girls are eating cupcakes at a caf�. They are just pounding them down. Cupcakes are one of my favorite desserts, so that's probably why I like that scene so much.

The message of the film is to go with your gut, and if you work together a lot can happen in a good way. When I work on a project with my best friend, it's not only more fun, but also is easier to do. One warning is that the characters occasionally say some bad words and there is a gun involved, which might not be appropriate for younger children. But those are the only things that might concern parents.

I give Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B&B Robbery 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 17. Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B&B Robbery can be found online and on DVD June 16, 2020.

Reviewed by Cadence G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I really enjoyed Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B & B Robbery because it shows very funny and inspiring scenes. The movie is entertaining and, at the same time, teaches a life learning lesson.

This film is about a small, upper class, mostly black community name Hidden Orchard, where a robbery has occurred in one of the houses whose owners, The Parkers, have turned it into an AirB&B. Two teenage girls, Gaby and Lulu, who live in this community, start an investigation to find out which of the neighbors robbed the Parker's house. They interview each neighbor, especially a young guy nicknamed Dayday. Daydady is a scrawny, young black man who returned to the neighborhood after being away for some mysterious situation he got involved in. Both girls are suspicious of Dayday, because of his appearance and because of his mysterious disappearance when he went away before.

My favorite scene is when Gaby and Lulu meet the owners of a bakery who are a very funny couple. Gaby and Lulu convince the couple to be their partners in crime by sending one of the owners across the street with cupcakes, because Mrs. Parker was mysteriously meeting with Mr. Patricks, an insurance broker for the Hidden Orchard community. The film's scenery is very beautiful, especially the landscaping and the houses. The music is not that appealing. Some scenes are a bit boring, too long or lack a purpose in the story line. The main actors are pretty good, but some of the others are not.

The moral of this film is to not to judge a book by its cover and that not everything that shines is gold. Gaby and Lulu are convinced Dayday had something to do with the robbery, because of his appearance and his past. This film teaches you to have better judgment, to be kind and that everyone deserves a second chance. Also, it points out that things are not what they appear to be.

I give Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B & B Robbery 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This film comes out on Digital and DVD June 16, 2020. Look for it.

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

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


HORSE CAMP: A LOVE TAIL

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HORSE CAMP: A LOVE TAIL       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - It's a new year at horse-riding camp and everything changes when the ranch hand has a crush on the riding instructor! The campers put competition aside and rally together to help him win her over her while building new friendships.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Horse Camp: A Love Tail is a fun movie about life lessons learned at a horse ranch. The horses and ranch serve as the backdrop for the characters to learn about kindness and true friendship. Together they learn how to be better riders and people.

It's a new summer at Black River Farm and Ranch and their camp has a lot of changes this summer. New faces and returning campers, as well as staff changes, create an interesting social environment. Campers and staff are divided until Jerry (Richard Karn), the ranch hand, develops an awkward crush on Bonnie (Teri Lee) the new head riding instructor. The campers are familiar with new love and social awkwardness and come together to help Jerry gain Bonnie's notice and affection.

The beginning of the movie during the opening credits which shows trick riding is my favorite scene. Unfortunately, we don't get to see any more of this type of footage in the movie. I really like the storyline, but the writing and characters seem very immature. Jerry's shyness and dialogue is extremely awkward and unbelievable. Luckily, Bonnie is able to see his kind heart and value rather than focusing on his behavior and speech. The one scene where he expresses his anger which is due to jealousy is really over the top.

My favorite character is Stacey Vanderbelt (Kristen Ryda), a former camper who was supposed to be the head riding instructor this camp session, but is replaced with newcomer Bonnie Lightyear who becomes Jerry's love interest. Stacey's transformation in the movie as a rider, teacher and a person is really inspiring and I enjoyed watching her change from a self-absorbed popular girl to a kind person who improves herself and others. Life lessons are abundant throughout this film and there is a lot to take away from watching this movie.

The message of this film is that kindness matters and that you can build self-confidence without bringing down others. Being popular has a limited time in the spotlight, but making and supporting friends can last a lifetime.

I rate Horse Camp: A Love Tail 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Movie releases to digital and DVD May 15, 2020. Watch for it.

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


VAST OF NIGHT, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
VAST OF NIGHT, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
AMAZON STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - In the twilight of the 1950s, on one fateful night in New Mexico, a young switchboard operator Fay and charismatic radio DJ Everett discover a strange audio frequency that could change their small town and the future forever.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Vast of Night was somewhat disappointing. The film has an interesting set up but it feels underdeveloped and a waste of potential.

The story is a very clear parody of shows such as The Twilight Zone, to the point where the story is framed as if it was an episode of The Twilight Zone. The plot follows two high schoolers named Everett and Fay, who run a radio show together in the 1950s. One night, Fay hears a strange frequency through the radio and she investigates it with Everett.

To start off, I want to talk about my biggest problem with this movie, which is the pace. There are many scenes in this movie that go on for way too long and, as a result, completely kill the atmosphere and investment. The worst of these is the scene near the beginning in which Fay first hears the frequency. She calls a bunch of other people to ask them about it, and this takes around ten minutes. There is no justifiable reason that this scene needs to be so long. It barely establishes anything and, at most, reestablishes the same thing. It's not entertaining and is incredibly boring. But what makes this scene even more tedious is that, for ten minutes, there is not a single cut. It's the same frame and same shot of Fay, for the entire ten minutes. I'm usually not one to talk about cinematography and editing, but this combination is a recipe for boredom. However, props to Sierra McCormick, the actress who plays Fay, for being able to pull this scene off. I'm sure this scene was difficult to do. Unfortunately, it's not enough to save this major flaw. In actuality, this film is pretty short, but it feels like an eternity.

Aside from the pacing and poor editing, the mystery of the frequency is ultimately confusing and unsatisfying. And as an homage to The Twilight Zone, it's not eerie or unique enough and honestly it feels like a gimmick. The fact that the story takes place in the 50s rarely comes up other than the old technology, which is a bit disappointing to me, since I really like the 50s aesthetic.

I give this film 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. It comes out May 15, 2020 and on Prime Video May 29, 2020. Look for it.

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

This movie is so creepy and bone chilling! From start to finish, audiences are kept at the edge of their seats. The eerie feeling is present throughout the film and the ending is unexpected and a shocker.

The Vast Of Night centers around a radio DJ Everett (Jake Horowitz) and his younger friend Fay Crocker (Sierra McCormick) as they investigate a peculiar radio frequency. Set in the 1950s, the movie starts out as a show, imitating the Twilight Zone. Throughout the film, we switch from watching the television set, to watching the actual episode.

The acting by both central characters is phenomenal! Jake and Sierra have wonderful onscreen chemistry. The casting for both of their characters is superb. Their friendship is comedic. Jake's character, Everett, is sarcastic and hilarious. Even in dark times, we need humor. The storyline is super freaky and very mysterious. The ending is one that is completely unpredictable. Writers James Montague and Craig W. Sanger really create movie magic with their unique plot. Following these characters throughout their eventful night is an amazing adventure.

The lesson of the film is to always stay curious and always investigate. The moment Fay and Everett discover there is something wrong they immediately go in search of the problem. They gather all the clues to save their town. There is a tiny amount of adult language and several tobacco depictions.

I give this excellent motion picture 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. The Vast of Night is available on Amazon Prime May 29th, 2020.

Reviewed by Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


DOOZERS WE DIG SPRINIG!

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DOOZERS WE DIG SPRINIG!       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 - Doozers: We Dig Spring! - Living at the edges of our world and right under our noses are Doozers. Just who are the Doozers? They're green, they're cute, they're three inches tall, full of energy, ideas, and enthusiasm they're AWESOME! Doozers love to create, build, and innovate. Doozers are DOERS they put their ideas into action! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, "The stories follow four green Doozers that love helping wildlife and building things. Doozers are little green, cute and energetic creatures - two boys and two girls. Each one has a unique talent. For example, one has the power of science, another has technology, the third one has engineering and the fourth one has arts and math. All together it equals STEAM (science, technology, engineering arts and math)." See his full review below.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Doozers We Dig Spring! DVD because it is very entertaining, even for an 11-year-old, like me. This animation has very unique story lines in every episode.

The DVD has six episodes, each about 11 minutes long. The stories follow four green Doozers that love helping wildlife and building things. Doozers are little green, cute and energetic creatures - two boys and two girls. Each one has a unique talent. For example, one has the power of science, another has technology, the third one has engineering and the fourth one has arts and math. All together it equals STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). In every adventure they learn something new such as the stages of a butterfly, what bees like or how to work together.

My favorite episode is Oh Beehive where one of the Doozers is hungry and goes to a bakery to get something to eat. When he is about to go inside, a storm of bees swoops in front of the bakery's door so the owner has to shut the bakery down. The Doozer calls his friends to come and help him. All four Doozers together think of a genius plan so they can stop the bees and remove them from the door. The animation is cute with vibrant colors. The voice-overs are all by kids and their voices fit each character perfectly. The theme song is very energetic. Each episode is a different adventure and they don't necessary follow a sequence. My favorite catch phrase they say is, "Doo, doo, doo..." and, right after that phrase, they start working together as a team to resolve a situation or to build something.

The moral of Doozers We Dig Spring! is "team work makes the dream work," because in all six episodes all four Doozers team together to solve situations or to build something and they always put their ideas together to make things happen as a team.

I give Doozers We Dig Spring! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 18, and adults can enjoy this DVD as well. This DVD is available now so go get it before it runs out! Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 66 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD


FLOOGALS: INVESTIGATION STATION

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FLOOGALS: INVESTIGATION STATION       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 - EXPERIMENTAION, DISCOVERY, OBSERVATION, HUMANS
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Floogals Investigation Station because it is very funny, original and creative. It captured my attention the whole time. I like that it is not just animation, as some parts are real life graphics. I also like that it is always teaching kids to explore and experiment in every episode.

This DVD is about three purple lookalike aliens called Floogals - Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer. The Floogals learn new things and report back to their boss to inform him what they have learned on Earth. This DVD contains six episodes about experimentation, discovery and observation. Each episode has about 11 minutes of adventure and funny situations. One of the funniest things of this show is that the aliens call the humans "hoomans."

My favorite episode is "Project Popcorn." This episode is about the Floogals discovering a food called popcorn. When a human accidentally lets go of the popcorn, it falls and the dog eats it, so they think it is dog food. Later they start to realize what popcorn is. Another one of my favorite episodes is "Project Sleep" which is about how a "hooman" girl invites her friends over for a sleepover. The Floogals spy on the girls to see what a sleepover is all about. The Floogals slowly learn about and process the word "sleepover," The Floogals do not realize that the whole time they are actually part of the sleepover. The graphics are real live backgrounds and the Floogals are little animated aliens. The animation is neat and very colorful. The voiceover talent suits each character. I like Junior Boomer's character the most, because he is clumsy, funny, and always curious about learning new things.

The moral of this show is: don't ever let someone stop you from doing what you desire. Don't allow anyone to discourage you from doing what you are capable of doing. For example, Junior Boomer investigates this thing call "popcorn" and Captain Fleeker tries to stop him, but Junior Boomer still investigates.

I give Floogals Investigation Station 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it ages 6 to 18, plus adults. By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 66 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD


MY SPY

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MY SPY
AMAZON STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A hardened CIA operative finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, having been sent undercover to surveil her family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I thought My Spy was so good because I loved the friendship and love that develops between the characters JJ (Dave Bautista) and Sophie (Chloe Coleman)! They start off as strangers and then, throughout the movie, JJ teaches her how to be a good spy, and she teaches him how to be a kinder person as their relationship grows stronger and they become friends. Not only does JJ have a change of heart and but eventually he develops feelings for her mom.

My Spy is the story of a CIA agent who is secretly watching a family in order to try and get information connected to a big case he is on. One of the people he is watching is the little girl, Sophie, who discovers J.J. and that he is spying on her and her mom. In exchange for not revealing his secret, Sophie makes him teach her how to be a good spy.

One of my favorite parts of My Spy is when JJ goes on a date with Sophie's mom and starts dancing. Because his character is so serious and he's such a large person, it's very funny to see him trying to do all these trendy dances...because he does it so terribly! Honestly, it kind of reminded me of my dad dancing.

For those who like Dave Bautista in Guardians of the Galaxy you will love him in this movie. Chloe Coleman has a very bright acting future--she is such a kind person both on and off camera, and she has such an amazing on-camera presence.

A quick note to parents: My Spy does contain some adult language (and in some songs played during the movie.) So while younger kids may enjoy it, parents should decide if their kids are mature enough to see a movie with moments of profanity.

My Spy is full of action, fun, comedy and love. I give My Spy 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, and adults will love it too! Available now on Amazon Prime

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

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


I STILL BELIEVE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
I STILL BELIEVE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
LIONSGATE FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-14
Topic - Family
Description - The true-life story of Christian music star Jeremy Camp and his journey of love and loss that looks to prove there is always hope.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I Still Believe is a sincere and true love story, held down by clich�d dialogue and plot development. The subtle messages and radiant leads stick their landing without feeling preachy. Adults and kids will admire this faith-based tale, perhaps in a matinee and a box of tissues.

This story brings the true-life story of Christian music star Jeremy Camp (KJ Apa) and his remarkable journey with his wife Melissa (Britt Robertson). Their faith in God is tested when Melissa is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Still, Jeremy believes there is always hope and a faith worth sharing through his music and memories.

The two leads share great chemistry allowing for a believable relationship. KJ Apa, as Jeremy Camp, steps into the shoes of the Christian music singer, through his original music and devotion towards his wife Melissa. Speaking of which, Britt Robertson, as Melissa, is the best performance nailing the emotional gravitas of the real-life counterpart's plight. She fares much better in emotional scenes, and while KJ has great screen presence, he could improve his emotional chops. Both characters absolutely deliver a heart-warming dynamic that makes the ending all the more tragic, but also reminiscing. Nathan Dean, as Jean-Luc, adds a love-triangle dynamic that feels more at home in a CW show than a dramatic real-life story. Still, his character is charismatic and relatable in his struggles. Gary Sinise, as Tom, is Jeremy's father, adding more heart to Jeremy's unwavering love and choices.

Directors Andrew and Jon Erwin return after directing the Christian film I Can Only Imagine. The Erwins have a good grasp on not being preachy and instead, focus on the human relationships that bind. However, this film's first half panders with one instance of egregious product placement, unbecoming of its more mature second half. It feels tonally inconsistent in spite of KJ and Britt's natural chemistry. There's a scene involving a broken jar of pickles where the film becomes thoughtfully complacent about its conflicts. This is where the film began to click, and it ends up being moving and lyrically heartwarming.

The message of this film is to always keep the faith and stay close to those you love. They make us for who we are, and unfortunately, tragic things can happen. It's best that we stay close and not waste any day with them.

I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 due to strong thematic material. The movie releases in theaters March 13, 2020, so check it out.

By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


STARGIRL

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
STARGIRL       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-14
Topic - Family
Description - A boy becomes intrigued by a mysterious and quirky student named Stargirl and spends his time trying to know more about her.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Stargirl is an amazing movie that encourages you to be yourself and not let anyone tell you who else to be. This movie could make a great impact on the world and it has such a powerful and positive message with the ability to inspire many people.

Stargirl is about a boy named Leo Borlock (Graham Verchere) and a girl, Stargirl (Grace VanderWaal) who, after many years of being homeschooled, decides to attend a regular school and the two of them begin a connection. When Stargirl shows up at the school, positive things start happening, like the football team winning games, which it hadn't for YEARS)! But, when Stargirl makes a choice that causes the school to lose the championship football game, everyone turns on her and it's up to Leo to save Stargirl and win back everyone's love for her.

One of my favorite parts is when Stargirl sings Happy Birthday to Leo at the beginning of the movie, because that's when he starts noticing that this girl is different and wonders what she knows about him. What a surprise to have a complete stranger serenade you on your birthday, in front of the whole school! I also love the moment when Stargirl runs out of her house as Leo is leaving and kisses him. She's like, "Oh no, what do I do now?" and runs back into her house. I think that's so cute and funny and I love that he gets so giggly and happy about it. It is so adorable.

The message of this film is simple enough - be true to yourself and never let anybody tell you who to be or what to do, because you'll be unhappy with yourself in the end.

I love Stargirl and give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. If you're in high school you'll be able to relate to at least one of the many likeable characters in this movie. And, Disney fans, as well as adults will LOVE this movie too. There's something for the whole family in this film. Make sure to have a box of tissues near by when you watch it. You just may need it for both the heartwarming and joyful moments. This movie is streaming on Disney+ beginning March 13, 2020.

By Lindalee Rose, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


BLOODSHOT

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLOODSHOT       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
COLUMBIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Ray Garrison, an elite soldier who was killed in battle, is brought back to life by an advanced technology that gives him the ability of super human strength and fast healing. With his new abilities, he goes after the man who killed his wife, or at least, who he believes killed his wife. He soon comes to learn that not everything he learns can be trusted. The true question his: Can he even trust himself?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments`
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Bloodshot because it has a unique storyline, awesome action and great stunt scenes. This film keep your attention throughout the entire movie.

Bloodshot is about a solider named Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) who gets killed in action and is brought back to life by an innovative scientist named Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce), who fixes wounded soldiers by augmenting what the soldier lost in battle. One soldier, named Jimmy Dalton (Sam Heughan), lost his legs in battle so Dr. Harting gave him robotic legs. Ray lost his life and Dr. Harting replaced all of his blood with nanites, which can rebuild any part of his injured body.

My favorite part is the elevator shaft fight scene when Ray, Jimmy and Tibbs (Alex Hernandez) are fighting on top of the elevator. The digital effects are awesome, like how the nanites heal Ray every time he gets hurt. The graphics are perfect. The costumes look like army gear with special devices attached. There is some foul language and violence. The cast fits each character, especially Vin Diesel who perfectly playa Ray Garrison.

The moral of this movie is that not everything is what it seems. You have to see the film in order to understand the moral.

I give Bloodshot 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Bloodshot comes out in theaters March 13, 2020. Go watch it.

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

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


CRITICAL THINKING

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CRITICAL THINKING
CQCM - CARIBBEAN CHAPTER
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - CRITICAL THINKING is based on the story of the 1998 Miami Jackson Senior High School chess team that defied the odds and overcame incredible adversity to become the first urban high school to win the U.S. Chess National Championship. John Leguizamo stars as Mario Martinez, the determined high school teacher who's unwavering belief in his students set in motion the rise of the Miami Jackson chess team from the city streets of1998 Miami, to the spotlight as national champions.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Critical Thinking is a film with incredible, fleshed out characters in an emotional story which surprises you at every turn. It gets you to connect with the characters quickly and made me actually feel bad for them when things go wrong.

Critical Thinking tells the true story of the lives of members of the Miami Jackson High School chess team during the U.S. National Chess Championship. It goes into the motivations behind the members and their team supervisor, Mr. Martinez, as they struggle to get out of a system that doesn't value them via the chess tournament. It follows their journey from the start, raising money to get to the tournaments, and the events that occur during the tournaments, as well as all the problems throughout. The film also goes into specific details of the members' personal lives to show their daily struggles.

The characters are developed incredibly well, making you feel as if you know the characters. It makes even the most insignificant characters interesting. They are all real people who make real choices about their lives, for better or worse. I really enjoyed the way they show the players develop during the competitions. They play like real people and make mistakes like them too. There are very complicated relationships between the characters that help them develop their abilities and personalities.

The score is subtle and matches the film. There was never a point when I noticed that the score was practically good or bad, but it fits the themes and changes when necessary. My favorite scene is the final chess match. Marcel takes risks which make sense for his character. The other members of his team appear genuinely nervous, because they don't know who is going to win. They put Marcel under a lot of pressure, and it is unclear if he is going to break because of it. There is one point when an offer is made to him and it is unclear if he would be willing to abandon his team for personal gain.

The film delivers a message that people who come from different places can still accomplish incredible things. It also addresses the problems with the school systems' view on people of color.

I give Critical Thinking 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 13 to 18, because it covers some very mature topics. Critical Thinking will be released summer 2020.

Reviewed by Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

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


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 - Ruth and Emilia: Kokowanda Bay is a fun musical story that is extremely positive, while teaching younger viewers many important things about friendship. Even though this CD comes off as a children's CD, do not let that turn you away because this little package has lots to offer such as amazing singing, lyrics and important morals.

An adventurous team of Kokowanda Bay is formed when the planet Goopda sends an alien named UUR to Earth to save Kokowanda Bay. The team explores different ways to help the earth such as "going green" and planting flowers across Kokowanda Bay. They also participate in fun beach activities and learn about some of nature's cycles.

There are many reasons to love this CD and the biggest one is the vocals. Emilia Lopez-Ya�ez and Ruth Weber's voices are amazing! Their voices combined makes you want to listen to this CD for hours! Emilia and Ruth also wrote the song lyrics, which are also outstanding. They are creative and positive one thing that makes it even more fun is that they rhyme most of the time.

This CD is extremely kid-friendly, however, it moves very fast so it may be difficult for younger viewers to comprehend the entire story. The CD teaches young viewers the importance of friendship while also teaching different ways to take care of the environment.

I give Ruth and Emilia: Kokowanda Bay 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. This CD is widely available now. Look for it. Reviewed by Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: AUDIO


WENDY

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WENDY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Lost on a mysterious island where aging and time have come unglued, Wendy must fight to save her family, her freedom, and the joyous spirit of youth from the deadly peril of growing up.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Wendy is the new re-imagined version of the Peter Pan story and a very thoughtful and meaningful film. It is beautifully shot, and it reminds us of the power of imagination. Wendy is a very introspective story that combines adventure with drama but is not a colorful vibrant tale--instead it is filled with some sadness and a little gloom.

Director Benh Zeitlin co-wrote this film with his sister Eliza, a story where a little girl, Wendy, assumes the role of a mother figure to her brothers. The story explores adulthood and the challenges of a new self-acquired freedom.

Trains pass everyday just next to Wendy's house and everything shakes. Her life seems very methodical; she helps her mom at the dinner business that operates in the lower level of her house. On the top level, she plays and uses her imagination reading books and daydreaming about adventures. One day, when she is little, a kid disappears on top of a train in front of her pretty blue eyes. Years later, she decides to disappear on a train, too, followed by her brothers, curious to see what happens at the end of the journey. She meets Peter Pan and arrives in a remote volcano island. She also meets the kid that disappeared years ago, but he hasn't aged. She discovers the secrets behind staying forever as a kid as she learns the importance of growing and enjoying every stage of life.

The film was shot on location, in places that represented a real challenge to the crew. Zeitlin is a passionate filmmaker who challenged himself filming in 16mm, a format that is artistic but represents more efforts, technically speaking. The format definitively adds texture and works perfectly for the story. The young actors are excellent; they totally conveyed a wide range of emotions.

Wendy is about lots of things; definitively a coming-of-age film where Wendy deals with the fact of growing up and assuming responsibilities and being afraid of that. But it is also about family, respect for nature and grown-ups and older people. And this is probably my only issue with this film - at times, it feels that it has too many moments of symbolism which makes it hard to follow the main purpose.

The message of the film is we should always remember the good things about being a child, keeping a free spirit and use our imagination. But aging brings wisdom and we can't change the course of life.

I give Wendy 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids age 10 to 18. Some images could be a little intense for young kids and this movie will not be very easy to understand for kids under 10. Wendy opens February 28, 2020.

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

This soulful fantasy drama drew me in from the very beginning and never let up. It is so visually stimulating, with a lot of different camera angles and incredible stunts. The location is both beautiful and exotic. It's the perfect setting.

Wendy is a very different adaptation of the classic Peter Pan story. It follows a young girl named Wendy and her adventure to a mysterious island with her brothers. Once on the island, they discover the wonders of nature, freedom and the surprising struggles of life. Wendy fights to keep her family together, while trying to stay young.

Benh Zeitlin co-wrote the screenplay with his sister, Eliza Zeitlin, and also directs the film. The awesome thing about this twosome is that they didn't just, one day, think of this idea for a movie, but had the idea their whole lives. Benh also co-composed much of the dynamic music for the movie along with Dan Romer. Wendy was filmed on location in the Caribbean, using 16mm film versus a reliance on green screens for background settings. It features real nature! This movie has a wonderful cast of nonprofessional kids, such as Yashua Mack, who plays a very believable Peter. Gage and Gavin Naquin, as Wendy's brothers Douglas and James, have a visible bond with each other as brothers as well as in real life. My favorite character is Wendy (Devin France), because she is so brave, very curious, and has a kind spirit.

The messages of this film are that it is ok to grow up, but never loose joy, hope, wonder and freedom and to confront, not escape, life's difficulties. This movie has some mild profanity, some gory images and some very risky adventures, but the last is on purpose because they wanted these kids to be free to do fun and dangerous things.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Adults will also like this movie. Wendy opens in theaters on February 28, 2020.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I like Wendy because it is a totally different and more realistic version of the Peter Pan story. I like how this movie follows Wendy's life story and point of view about life.

This film is about a little girl named Wendy who has a pair of twin brothers and they are raised by their single mother. Their mom owns a diner and she works very hard in order to take care of her three children. They live upstairs above the diner and, next to their house, is a train track where they can see the trains pass by very close to their bedroom window. When Wendy was about two or three years old, her neighbor, Thomas, who was about eight at the time, jumped on one of the trains and never came back. That memory hunts Wendy. Years pass by until one night, Wendy sees a train that's similar to the train Thomas jumped on and she decides to wake her brothers up and jump on the train. Once they are on the train, they meet Peter, a young boy who takes them to an island where a group of children and a group of very old people named "The Lost Boys" live.

Wendy is not the traditional Peter Pan classic tale or movie that we are used to seeing. This movie is unique because Wendy comes from a low income and hard working family. She is raised by her mother only. The kids are dirty, sweaty and untidy. They are very hyper, wild and adventurous. They use foul language and fist fight with each other. There is only one graphic scene with blood in it. There is no Tinkerbell and the creation of Captain Hook is very original. It is a great new take on this fairy tale story.

The moral of this movie is to always be young at heart and to use your imagination and creativity in life. Wendy physically grows old, but in her heart she is young. She believed in helping her brothers overcome their sadness and bad experiences on the island, in order for them to continue to be young.

I give Wendy 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Children under 10 could watch this film under the supervision of an adult. Wendy was released in theatres February 28, 2020.

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 11

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


FRIENDLY FACES & SAFE SPACES

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FRIENDLY FACES & SAFE SPACES
LEAH GALLOWAY
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 10-15
Topic - Family
Description - Steven Botelho, a puppet maker hailing from Milton, Ontario, designs and creates puppets that represent a variety of different mental, physical, and learning disabilities to attempt to educate young children in the entertaining form of puppetry. Together with his fianc� Tony Babcock, Steven is attempting to change the world with his puppetry, and bring forth a new perspective of the reality of the different disabilities young children may come across as they grow up, and how they can work to look past them to see the person for who they are.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This documentary attempts to educate kids about different mental health issues in a way they can relate to. It offers a message of self-acceptance and does this by using puppets to display common, though often ignored, symptoms of ADHD, anxiety and other issues.

I found this film incredibly enlightening and personal. Shining a light on ADHD, for example, is extremely important. Using puppets to get children to learn is a unique method that I greatly admire. Also, the scenes showing the audience point of view are particularly enjoyable, so credits to the filmmaker for that. The production is very professionally made, although it has some audio issues at points.

I love that the documentary shares actual experiences by its creators. What stands out most is the script by Leah Galloway and Chris Bacon. I like that they address the ignorance around mental health and find ways to get students to participate during their presentation. The design for the puppets is very creative and colorful. Certainly, the puppets appeal to the target age of this documentary - elementary school kids. story The part about parents not relating to their child's mental health issues is very eye opening. My favorite part about this documentary are the puppets; they are similar to Sesame Street Muppets, which charmed me and I think most young children will enjoy them.

The message of this documentary is to accept yourself and don't try to alter the unique things about you.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. Reviewed by Joshitha B, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This documentary attempts to educate kids about different mental health issues in a way they can relate to. It offers a message of self-acceptance and does this by using puppets to display common, though often ignored, symptoms of ADHD, anxiety and other issues.

I found this film incredibly enlightening and personal. Shining a light on ADHD, for example, is extremely important. Using puppets to get children to learn is a unique method that I greatly admire. Also, the scenes showing the audience point of view are particularly enjoyable, so credits to the filmmaker for that. The production is very professionally made, although it has some audio issues at points.

I love that the documentary shares actual experiences by its creators. What stands out most is the script by Leah Galloway and Chris Bacon. I like that they address the ignorance around mental health and find ways to get students to participate during their presentation. The design for the puppets is very creative and colorful. Certainly, the puppets appeal to the target age of this documentary - elementary school kids. story The part about parents not relating to their child's mental health issues is very eye opening. My favorite part about this documentary are the puppets; they are similar to Sesame Street Muppets, which charmed me and I think most young children will enjoy them.

The message of this documentary is to accept yourself and don't try to alter the unique things about you.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. Reviewed by Joshitha B, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SPAGHETTI MONSTER, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SPAGHETTI MONSTER, THE
KARI THOMAS
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Trespassing can be deadly.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From a kids' point of view, this student production delivers a pretty solid storyline that holds together the story from start to finish. The camera work is pretty good, the audio is excellent, background music suitable and enhancing. My only concern is that it gets off to a bit of a slow start, but definitely picks up midway. It's a well told fantasy, with a bit of animation thrown in to enhance the background of the Spaghetti Monster. I recommend it to the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, especially for those featuring student productions. I give it 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 - From a kids' point of view, this student production delivers a pretty solid storyline that holds together the story from start to finish. The camera work is pretty good, the audio is excellent, background music suitable and enhancing. My only concern is that it gets off to a bit of a slow start, but definitely picks up midway. It's a well told fantasy, with a bit of animation thrown in to enhance the background of the Spaghetti Monster. I recommend it to the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, especially for those featuring student productions. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Runtime: 13 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


ONCE IN A LIFETIME PASS, A

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ONCE IN A LIFETIME PASS, A
MATTHEW AGUSTIN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - This is the real-life story of a boy and his grandfather, and their closeness with one another. The boy becomes curious as to why his grandfather goes out on a daily basis. He learns of his grandfather's lifetime pass and why that allowed him to ride public transportation on a daily basis. He decides to join his grandfather to discover his habits; however, he unknowingly embarks on a trip to a store far away from their home. Little does the boy know what fate has determined for them. The boy hopes that his grandfather's story will encourage other elders to strive to be active. His grandfather's story will inspire other public transportation agencies to administer lifetime passes to the elderly population.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A Once in a Lifetime Pass is a charming documentary about a boy and his grandfather. It is lovingly made and very watchable. It made me smile and very teary at times. It deals with the loss of a grandparent, but is suitable for tweens and teens.

This is a real life story about public transit and the way that a senior uses it, plus his grandson. I found it very engaging and appealing. Although it has a sad ending, it is still a wonderful story.

I like that it shows a typical day in the grandfather's life, using his bus pass. The camera work is well done - simple and straightforward and the audio is clear most of the time, although opening and closing music are both way too loud, compared to the rest of the film. The filmmaker would do us all a favor if he evened out the audio. It is a bit difficult to understand the grandfather's dialogue at times, but was still easy to figure out what was going on. The background music is a bit annoying in that it is very repetitive and rather than enhance the film, I wanted it to just go away. It's not so annoying as to disqualify the film, though I wish the filmmaker had sought out something more appropriate to the story. Another drawback, in terms of production is at the ending, the young man talks about the lifetime pass, he is moving constantly and his audio is tainted by the wind. It seems there was no windscreen on the microphone.

I recommend this for a youth and family film festival. I also like that the family it follows is Korean. It is a good representation of that culture, and a loving relationship between the boy and his grandfather. It could be something that would motivate other public transit companies to adopt the free senior pass. The best part for me was seeing the bond between the grandfather and his grandson and how public transit made it possible for the grandfather to live his life more fully. It was engaging from beginning to end and it made an impression on me.

I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 through 18. I would rate it higher if the audio levels were fixed. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A Once in a Lifetime Pass is a charming documentary about a boy and his grandfather. It is lovingly made and very watchable. It made me smile and very teary at times. It deals with the loss of a grandparent, but is suitable for tweens and teens.

This is a real life story about public transit and the way that a senior uses it, plus his grandson. I found it very engaging and appealing. Although it has a sad ending, it is still a wonderful story.

I like that it shows a typical day in the grandfather's life, using his bus pass. The camera work is well done - simple and straightforward and the audio is clear most of the time, although opening and closing music are both way too loud, compared to the rest of the film. The filmmaker would do us all a favor if he evened out the audio. It is a bit difficult to understand the grandfather's dialogue at times, but was still easy to figure out what was going on. The background music is a bit annoying in that it is very repetitive and rather than enhance the film, I wanted it to just go away. It's not so annoying as to disqualify the film, though I wish the filmmaker had sought out something more appropriate to the story. Another drawback, in terms of production is at the ending, the young man talks about the lifetime pass, he is moving constantly and his audio is tainted by the wind. It seems there was no windscreen on the microphone.

I recommend this for a youth and family film festival. I also like that the family it follows is Korean. It is a good representation of that culture, and a loving relationship between the boy and his grandfather. It could be something that would motivate other public transit companies to adopt the free senior pass. The best part for me was seeing the bond between the grandfather and his grandson and how public transit made it possible for the grandfather to live his life more fully. It was engaging from beginning to end and it made an impression on me.

I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 through 18. I would rate it higher if the audio levels were fixed. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PERFECTLY IMPERFECT
LORA BATCHELOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - This is a film about learning to have positive thoughts about ourselves and how self perception is so important to our mental health. Positive self perception is important to our perception of others and to having peace.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Excellent! This student film, by middle school students hit the nail right on the head about how we think about ourselves influences everything in our life - from our relationships to others, to health, to success in school or work. This is a great message and one everyone benefits from hearing every now and then. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. In English. Live Action. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Excellent! This student film, by middle school students hit the nail right on the head about how we think about ourselves influences everything in our life - from our relationships to others, to health, to success in school or work. This is a great message and one everyone benefits from hearing every now and then. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. In English. Live Action. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


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


DELIVERING SUNSHINE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DELIVERING SUNSHINE
LORA BATCHELOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - This is a film about using our inner climate to help others and help bring about peace.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beautiful short film by middle school students. Beginning with a quote from Maya Angelou, this film grabs your heart as we witness the selfless acts by a young boy collecting abandoned shoes and gifting a pair to an apparently homeless man. He doesn't make a big deal of it, collects, delivers and moves on. Love this. Inspiring film about helping others. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend if for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. In English. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Beautiful short film by middle school students. Beginning with a quote from Maya Angelou, this film grabs your heart as we witness the selfless acts by a young boy collecting abandoned shoes and gifting a pair to an apparently homeless man. He doesn't make a big deal of it, collects, delivers and moves on. Love this. Inspiring film about helping others. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend if for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. In English. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


TRUTH OF BEAUTY, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TRUTH OF BEAUTY, THE
LORA BATCHELOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - This is a film about the diverse nature of beauty and learning to accept yourself.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Well done, excellent message. From middle school students, in English, this short film is well produced, with excellent narration and images. This would make a wonderful addition to a student film festival or one focused on truthful messages. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Well done, excellent message. From middle school students, in English, this short film is well produced, with excellent narration and images. This would make a wonderful addition to a student film festival or one focused on truthful messages. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


ONE AT A TIME

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ONE AT A TIME
LORA BATCHELOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - This is a film about how simple acts of random kindness can help change the world. Simple acts like picking up trash can help make a difference.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beautiful and thoughtful short live action film by middle school students. The message, that no matter how small you are, you can make a difference rings true, particularly in current time when too often people are overwhelmed and don't think they can make a difference. Beautifully shot, good acting. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 7 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Beautiful and thoughtful short live action film by middle school students. The message, that no matter how small you are, you can make a difference rings true, particularly in current time when too often people are overwhelmed and don't think they can make a difference. Beautifully shot, good acting. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 7 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GAME WITHOUT ZERO

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GAME WITHOUT ZERO
DR. MAHZIAR SHIRAZI
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 9-18
Topic - Family
Description - A girl who is trying to get a wedding ring for her doll. From Iran with English Sub-titles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a sweet story about a little girl wanting to get a ring for her doll so she can host a pretend wedding. The girl's patience is remarkable. The film is well shot and edited and there is no dialogue, the story is told entirely through images. Beautifully made and reflect the culture of Iran where it is from. Recommend for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S, KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a sweet story about a little girl wanting to get a ring for her doll so she can host a pretend wedding. The girl's patience is remarkable. The film is well shot and edited and there is no dialogue, the story is told entirely through images. Beautifully made and reflect the culture of Iran where it is from. Recommend for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S, KIDS FIRST! Juror
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


BREAD AND DIMENTIA

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BREAD AND DIMENTIA
KAVEH AZIZI
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Freshteh, a nine-year-old girl who plays with her friends free of sadness. Meanwhile, she forgets the responsibility of taking care of Agha (the old man) and he lost! If Freshteh cannot find Agha, she and her parents must leave Agha's house. From Iran with English sub-titles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Very touching story about a little girl and her family, whose job is to caretake for an elderly gentleman who is the "master" of the house. Beautifully shot, wonderful acting, especially on the part of the young girl. From Iran, the dialogue is Persian, with English subtitles. Recommended for ages 10 to 18, plus adults.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Very touching story about a little girl and her family, whose job is to caretake for an elderly gentleman who is the "master" of the house. Beautifully shot, wonderful acting, especially on the part of the young girl. From Iran, the dialogue is Persian, with English subtitles. Recommended for ages 10 to 18, plus adults.
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


LOST ON BARDUINO

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LOST ON BARDUINO
KARI THOMAS
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - They had to get lost in space...to find what really matters.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Nicely executed. This student production delivers a great story taking place in space through the use of great costumes and visual effects. The youth actors are quite good, the storyline is imaginative and the editing is excellent. This would make an excellent addition to a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, especially one that features student productions. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Nicely executed. This student production delivers a great story taking place in space through the use of great costumes and visual effects. The youth actors are quite good, the storyline is imaginative and the editing is excellent. This would make an excellent addition to a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, especially one that features student productions. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


CAZANDO GAMUSINOS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CAZANDO GAMUSINOS
SILVIA MANES
Series: FOREIGN STUDENT SHORT, AGES 7-12
Topic - Family
Description - Humans possess a totem that gives them control of their imagination. When a gamusino steals Ruben's totem, his son Hugo goes on a quest and will confront the creature to restore his father's vitality.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Cazando Gamusinos is a fun short film that can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages. It is very family-friendly and enjoyable. From the animation to the music, Cazando Gamusinos proves itself to be a lovely film and I highly recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival.

This is a animated film about a world where people possess magical pendants, which contain a source of strength for that human. Each person has their own pendant, treasuring it. One day, a man's pendent is stolen, so, with desperation, he sends his son out to retrieve the locket.

The animation is spectacular - very smooth, and effort is clearly shown by the animators. Not to mention, this film is very quick, so you're sure to not be bored. The magical aspect of this short film is very appealing to younger audiences, which is always a plus.

The storyline is charming and very simple. In the sense, it is an overdone idea, therefore it's rather predictable. However, it is a well-done animation. The background details are given a strong emphasize with movement of the camera. I like that it portrays a parallel universe, with the difference being that of the magic. I love the quest the son takes to the cave. It is such a contrast to the domestic little home we see in the beginning. His home is his place of comfort, and the discomfort in the dark, spooky cave is very apparent by the way the son visibly shakes out of fear.

The music is whimsical, very reminiscent of games such as Wizard 101, for example. The melody truly paints a picture of the fantasy aspect of the world of Cazando Gamusinos. The style of animation is quite cartoonish, so none of the effects are made to appear realistic. The style is very straight-forward, with dark outlines and solid coloring.

The voice actress, Joan Climent, makes noises of distress without sounding actual words. With that said, it certainly helps take the film onto a more emotional route such as when the father is shown sadly resting on his chair, and his son sounds as if he is about to cry. Those things are very important for a short film like this. This film should play well on the big screen. The music is what makes this film interesting. It really enhances the story and helps move it along.

The message is - even when things are looking low, don't lose hope!

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 13. Reviewed by Joshitha B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Cazando Gamusinos is a fun short film that can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages. It is very family-friendly and enjoyable. From the animation to the music, Cazando Gamusinos proves itself to be a lovely film and I highly recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival.

This is a animated film about a world where people possess magical pendants, which contain a source of strength for that human. Each person has their own pendant, treasuring it. One day, a man's pendent is stolen, so, with desperation, he sends his son out to retrieve the locket.

The animation is spectacular - very smooth, and effort is clearly shown by the animators. Not to mention, this film is very quick, so you're sure to not be bored. The magical aspect of this short film is very appealing to younger audiences, which is always a plus.

The storyline is charming and very simple. In the sense, it is an overdone idea, therefore it's rather predictable. However, it is a well-done animation. The background details are given a strong emphasize with movement of the camera. I like that it portrays a parallel universe, with the difference being that of the magic. I love the quest the son takes to the cave. It is such a contrast to the domestic little home we see in the beginning. His home is his place of comfort, and the discomfort in the dark, spooky cave is very apparent by the way the son visibly shakes out of fear.

The music is whimsical, very reminiscent of games such as Wizard 101, for example. The melody truly paints a picture of the fantasy aspect of the world of Cazando Gamusinos. The style of animation is quite cartoonish, so none of the effects are made to appear realistic. The style is very straight-forward, with dark outlines and solid coloring.

The voice actress, Joan Climent, makes noises of distress without sounding actual words. With that said, it certainly helps take the film onto a more emotional route such as when the father is shown sadly resting on his chair, and his son sounds as if he is about to cry. Those things are very important for a short film like this. This film should play well on the big screen. The music is what makes this film interesting. It really enhances the story and helps move it along.

The message is - even when things are looking low, don't lose hope!

I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 13. Reviewed by Joshitha B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer.
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DUO

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DUO
DUO SHORT FILM
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 7-18
Topic - Family
Description - On his eleventh birthday, Graham receives the gift of his dreams: an Ally Duo virtual assistant set. However, when he tries to go against The Manual, he finds himself at odds with his parents and society as a whole.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Do you like films about the future? If so, Duo would be a great short film for you. Duo is a live action, student-produced, short film about a little boy named Graham and a little girl named Ana, who both get a Duo Orb set. They fear what might happen if they try to switch their orbs.

The Duo Orb set is Graham's birthday present and it come with two orbs, named Coral and Yellow. Coral keeps him entertained and Yellow keeps his life on track. When Graham tries to switch the Yellow orb for another Coral, he gets in BIG trouble. Graham's friend, Ana, already has a Duo Orb set, but she doesn't like Coral. So, Ana and Graham try to switch their orbs and they both fear what will happen next.

The background music is very pretty and sweet sounding. The film seems to be set about twenty years in the future. It is very beautifully shot, and the special effects are gorgeous! Graham is played by Mason Gillet, Ana, by Alyssa Marquez, and the orbs Andres Eduardo, Inez Gregory and Liz Rodgers.

The message of this film is that teamwork makes the dream work! I give this short film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend for ages 7 to 18, but adults would like it too. I recommend Duo for KIDS FIRST Film Festival, but warn you about one scene that might be scary for younger and more sensitive children.

Reviewed by Beatrice N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Do you like films about the future? If so, Duo would be a great short film for you. Duo is a live action, student-produced, short film about a little boy named Graham and a little girl named Ana, who both get a Duo Orb set. They fear what might happen if they try to switch their orbs.

The Duo Orb set is Graham's birthday present and it come with two orbs, named Coral and Yellow. Coral keeps him entertained and Yellow keeps his life on track. When Graham tries to switch the Yellow orb for another Coral, he gets in BIG trouble. Graham's friend, Ana, already has a Duo Orb set, but she doesn't like Coral. So, Ana and Graham try to switch their orbs and they both fear what will happen next.

The background music is very pretty and sweet sounding. The film seems to be set about twenty years in the future. It is very beautifully shot, and the special effects are gorgeous! Graham is played by Mason Gillet, Ana, by Alyssa Marquez, and the orbs Andres Eduardo, Inez Gregory and Liz Rodgers.

The message of this film is that teamwork makes the dream work! I give this short film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend for ages 7 to 18, but adults would like it too. I recommend Duo for KIDS FIRST Film Festival, but warn you about one scene that might be scary for younger and more sensitive children.

Reviewed by Beatrice N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


STATUE, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
STATUE, THE
NATALIE NEWMAN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGE 8-14
Topic - Family
Description - Hassan has just moved to the US from Egypt and to make things harder, this 2nd grader is a shy little guy. His supportive mother does the best she can to encourage him on his first day of school while Makai, the rowdiest kid in class, is keenly interested in the new kid. Ms. Burgess, his vibrant yet commanding dance teacher, finds his shyness curious and casts Hassan in the annual 2nd grade play, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". Hassan is assigned a suitable part: the Giant Rumblebuffin who is turned into a statue by the White Witch. He stands as a frozen statue most of the time and only has one line. Sounds easy enough but he just can't get the line right. Even though Hassan is surrounded by supportive people, will he get it right on closing night when his parents come see the show?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a brilliant piece of filmmaking and perfect for KIDS FIRST! as it truly reflects values that we look for - love, patience, teamwork, and embracing differences. The child actors are delightful, especially the actors for Hassan and Makai. The adults are equally terrific, all truly believable in their roles. Excellent graphics and digital images, background music, camera work and editing. I highly recommend this for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival and give it 5 out of 5 stars, recommend it for ages 8 to 14, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a brilliant piece of filmmaking and perfect for KIDS FIRST! as it truly reflects values that we look for - love, patience, teamwork, and embracing differences. The child actors are delightful, especially the actors for Hassan and Makai. The adults are equally terrific, all truly believable in their roles. Excellent graphics and digital images, background music, camera work and editing. I highly recommend this for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival and give it 5 out of 5 stars, recommend it for ages 8 to 14, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


RAINBOW BRIDGE, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
RAINBOW BRIDGE, THE
ANGELA DAUN
Series: INDEPENDENT SHORT, AGES 6-12
Topic - Family
Description - A 6-year-old boy runs away in search of the infamous "Rainbow Bridge" after learning of the pet heaven when his beloved dog suddenly dies. Once he finds it, he doesn't want to leave. The mission given to him by the guardian of the bridge is the only reason he willingly returns back home to his panicked family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This film is sure to tug at your heart strings! As a huge animal lover and an owner of many pets, I truly relate to this film, as I am sure almost any viewer will as well. It's so difficult to let go of your furred, feathered or scaled companions, but knowing that goodbye is not forever can surely be appreciated. Believing that our non-human companions have left this life and moved into a world of beauty, color, happiness and are full of life makes the pain of losing that friend so much better.

The Rainbow Bridge, based on the themes of several works of familiar poetry, takes us on the journey of "Noah the dog" as he crosses over into another world following his death. His closest family companion, a young boy named Christian, sets out on a journey of his own to find his beloved pet.

Any animal lover will appreciate the story line. Believing that someday you will be reunited with a pet you once loved so much, brings such peace to a broken heart. This is what I love so much about this film; it refreshed my memory about the same story my mom once told me about the gates to the Rainbow Bridge. After viewing this film, it restored my hope that I will see my pet companions again. The story line is sad and heart-warming at the same time.

The cinematography and camera work in The Rainbow Bridge deserves two thumbs up. The outdoors scenes are flawless and perfectly chosen for the script. I really enjoyed the mountainside view of the wild flowers where Christian is reunited with Noah. The costumes are appropriate. I especially like the clothing worn by the "Guardian of the Bridge." I imagine that my mom would consider it a bit over-the-top, but I liked it.

I really enjoyed the sets chosen for the film. The home in the first scene is a typical middle-class household with everything you would expect to find in the home, including the family pet. This makes the story line believable. Both outdoor scenes are perfectly chosen. I particularly enjoyed the mountainside view into the other world or Rainbow Bridge. The filmmaker made great choices for the music and sound effects. Everything suits the scenes well.

One slight flaw in terms of believability is the scene where the family turns their backs on Noah and the brownies and within minutes, Noah is dead. Most dog owners are aware that chocolate can be deadly for dogs, but death does not occur that soon after the animal eats the chocolate. It would have been more believable had there been a scene showing the family taking Noah to the vet where soon after, he dies. I overlooked this since the film is so good in other ways.

Hands down, Christian is the star of the film. He is very talented and really conveys how his heart is broken by the death of his pet friend Noah. His emotions are sincere and we can feel it. I thought that Christian's Mother is a bit over dramatic and cute little Noah steals our hearts!

I recommend The Rainbow Bridge for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. It will be loved and appreciated by children and families. This is the perfect youth and family film. The story line is easy to connect to since so many family households has at least one pet companion which is loved so much. The message of The Rainbow Bridge is about friendship to the end and beyond. Those bonds that you have make with your non-human companions will always be with you and, most always, will encourage you to keep those bonds alive with other needy animals.

My very favorite part of The Rainbow Bridge comes at the end of the film when there is an explanation of how many homeless animals die each year due to the lack of homes. Angela Daun, director, writer and producer, puts a great touch on this film by encouraging people to adopt an animal from the shelter rather than support the puppy mill industry when purchasing your pet companions through breeders. Kudos to Angela Daun!!! I think Angela Daun has star power for her call to action in addressing the issue of pet overpopulation and how adopting a pet is so much better.

I give The Rainbow Bridge 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 18, plus adults. Bring your tissues, you will need them. Reviewed by Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is sure to tug at your heart strings! As a huge animal lover and an owner of many pets, I truly relate to this film, as I am sure almost any viewer will as well. It's so difficult to let go of your furred, feathered or scaled companions, but knowing that goodbye is not forever can surely be appreciated. Believing that our non-human companions have left this life and moved into a world of beauty, color, happiness and are full of life makes the pain of losing that friend so much better.

The Rainbow Bridge, based on the themes of several works of familiar poetry, takes us on the journey of "Noah the dog" as he crosses over into another world following his death. His closest family companion, a young boy named Christian, sets out on a journey of his own to find his beloved pet.

Any animal lover will appreciate the story line. Believing that someday you will be reunited with a pet you once loved so much, brings such peace to a broken heart. This is what I love so much about this film; it refreshed my memory about the same story my mom once told me about the gates to the Rainbow Bridge. After viewing this film, it restored my hope that I will see my pet companions again. The story line is sad and heart-warming at the same time.

The cinematography and camera work in The Rainbow Bridge deserves two thumbs up. The outdoors scenes are flawless and perfectly chosen for the script. I really enjoyed the mountainside view of the wild flowers where Christian is reunited with Noah. The costumes are appropriate. I especially like the clothing worn by the "Guardian of the Bridge." I imagine that my mom would consider it a bit over-the-top, but I liked it.

I really enjoyed the sets chosen for the film. The home in the first scene is a typical middle-class household with everything you would expect to find in the home, including the family pet. This makes the story line believable. Both outdoor scenes are perfectly chosen. I particularly enjoyed the mountainside view into the other world or Rainbow Bridge. The filmmaker made great choices for the music and sound effects. Everything suits the scenes well.

One slight flaw in terms of believability is the scene where the family turns their backs on Noah and the brownies and within minutes, Noah is dead. Most dog owners are aware that chocolate can be deadly for dogs, but death does not occur that soon after the animal eats the chocolate. It would have been more believable had there been a scene showing the family taking Noah to the vet where soon after, he dies. I overlooked this since the film is so good in other ways.

Hands down, Christian is the star of the film. He is very talented and really conveys how his heart is broken by the death of his pet friend Noah. His emotions are sincere and we can feel it. I thought that Christian's Mother is a bit over dramatic and cute little Noah steals our hearts!

I recommend The Rainbow Bridge for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. It will be loved and appreciated by children and families. This is the perfect youth and family film. The story line is easy to connect to since so many family households has at least one pet companion which is loved so much. The message of The Rainbow Bridge is about friendship to the end and beyond. Those bonds that you have make with your non-human companions will always be with you and, most always, will encourage you to keep those bonds alive with other needy animals.

My very favorite part of The Rainbow Bridge comes at the end of the film when there is an explanation of how many homeless animals die each year due to the lack of homes. Angela Daun, director, writer and producer, puts a great touch on this film by encouraging people to adopt an animal from the shelter rather than support the puppy mill industry when purchasing your pet companions through breeders. Kudos to Angela Daun!!! I think Angela Daun has star power for her call to action in addressing the issue of pet overpopulation and how adopting a pet is so much better.

I give The Rainbow Bridge 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 18, plus adults. Bring your tissues, you will need them. Reviewed by Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 13 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


JAIL LULLABY

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
JAIL LULLABY
JORMA KAULANEN
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - One stormy night three convicts break out of their prison. As trouble ensues, their comradery is put to the ultimate test. A successful getaway will require finesse, lightning reflexes, and gums of steel.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Awe, this is definitely a labor of love by first time Finnish filmmaker Jorma Kaulanen, starring none other than his own baby (who plays his role quietly believably well). From reading the synopsis, I was completely unprepared for what actually transpires in the short film, and pleasantly so. What parent has never imagined the life their young one has after they walk out of the room? This plays out that concept quite well, with excellent subtitles directing us as to the inner thoughts of the small protagonist. There is some mild profanity, so be forewarned. Other than that, excellent production, fun concept, great acting, lovely background music and charming storyline. I recommend it for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, award it 4 out of 5 stars, and suggest an audience age of 12 to 18, plus adults. (Need to take into consideration the bit of profanity).

Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Awe, this is definitely a labor of love by first time Finnish filmmaker Jorma Kaulanen, starring none other than his own baby (who plays his role quietly believably well). From reading the synopsis, I was completely unprepared for what actually transpires in the short film, and pleasantly so. What parent has never imagined the life their young one has after they walk out of the room? This plays out that concept quite well, with excellent subtitles directing us as to the inner thoughts of the small protagonist. There is some mild profanity, so be forewarned. Other than that, excellent production, fun concept, great acting, lovely background music and charming storyline. I recommend it for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, award it 4 out of 5 stars, and suggest an audience age of 12 to 18, plus adults. (Need to take into consideration the bit of profanity).

Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
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


ASTA'S JOURNEY

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ASTA'S JOURNEY
FREIA TITLAND
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 7-10
Topic - Family
Description - A film steeped in Norse mythology and folklore, Asta's Journey tells the story of a young girl on the eve of her 9th birthday. Asta's wishes come true as she embarks on an adventure through a magical forest in order to save a new friend.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This story is based on a young girl and fairy tales and it is entertaining. I really like the characters and the story flows well. I also like the gentle reminder of when you lose someone special they are not forgotten. I give this 3 stars out of 5 and recommend it for children ages 7 through 10. It is engaging and I like the dialogue. The downside is there just may not be enough adventure to keep some children's interest and it is somewhat predictable. Reviewed by D.B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This story is based on a young girl and fairy tales and it is entertaining. I really like the characters and the story flows well. I also like the gentle reminder of when you lose someone special they are not forgotten. I give this 3 stars out of 5 and recommend it for children ages 7 through 10. It is engaging and I like the dialogue. The downside is there just may not be enough adventure to keep some children's interest and it is somewhat predictable. Reviewed by D.B., KIDS FIRST! Juror

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay


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


CASTLE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CASTLE
RACHEL DOMAN
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Castle follows a young girl, Raegan, struggling with Asperger's Syndrome when she is taken in by her school chess club led by popular Kennedy. An unlikely friendship between the two girls and the game reveals an sanguine alliance between Raegan's unique mind and the game of chess and forces Kennedy to adapt, and thrive, in developing society beyond the basic social dynamics of school and develop a new human connection.

When a devastating meltdown puts their relationship to a heightened test, the bitter truth of reality sets in.

The theme of human connection is imagined through a castle rooted in a heroic fairytale from Raegan's past and evolves an inspiring journey from a childhood dream.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - At first, I wasn't quite sure if young Raegan had Asperger's because there are only a couple of subtle hints. I like that the script really portrays what it may be like to be a girl with Asperger's and how difficult it is to make friends. I like the characters and felt they represented teenagers quite well. It is insightful and may teach an understanding for those on the spectrum. I found the story unique and appropriate for ages 12 through 18. I also liked the descriptive writing style and give this 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - At first, I wasn't quite sure if young Raegan had Asperger's because there are only a couple of subtle hints. I like that the script really portrays what it may be like to be a girl with Asperger's and how difficult it is to make friends. I like the characters and felt they represented teenagers quite well. It is insightful and may teach an understanding for those on the spectrum. I found the story unique and appropriate for ages 12 through 18. I also liked the descriptive writing style and give this 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror

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


STRAWS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
STRAWS
LINDA BOOKER
Series: ENVIRONMENTAL SHORT, AGES 7-18
Topic - Family
Description - Used once and tossed, billions of plastic straws wind up in landfills and streets finding their way to oceans. A viral video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw in its nose has now sparked anti-straw campaigns globally. Actor/Director Tim Robbins narrates the history and story of straws and marine researchers, citizen activists and business owners discuss how it's possible to make a sea of change, one straw at a time.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I found this film very informative and was engaged from start to finish. The brief history of straws made a great beginning and set the scene as to why we have arrived at the need for a film of this nature. I also liked the way the film interviews different people to provide various perspectives and thus retains balance whilst still providing a powerful message. The wildlife featured was nice to see, although there is a slightly upsetting, but entirely valid scene of an injured turtle. From my perspective this scene really explains the unseen impact to the viewer. The film is inclusive of children's engagement and was especially good to see. I would challenge anybody who views this film not to question their use of a plastic straw next time they are offered one. I certainly did and this is based on clear information, which is why I recommend this film for ages 10 to 18, plus adults and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Richard L., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This educational documentary by Linda Booker opens with a short history about straws as a useful tool. However, it then takes us on a journey explaining how the non-recyclable material that straws are made from today is completely devastating to the environment. How could a tool, which is so useful, have such a negative impact on the environment? Straws opens our eyes to see how single use straws are harmful to the world around us. The take home message is huge! Straws gives us disturbing facts and examples which are easy to relate to and more importantly, it gives the younger generation a call to action to make change for a better tomorrow.

I like how Straws interviews several researchers and groups who all tell the same story -that single use plastics are destroying our environment. Each of these people gives alarming specifics, which are compelling. This documentary takes us right to the site and gives us a first hand account on how plastics are impacting our ecosystems. It made me want to hop on a plane and join their teams!

The camera work of the film is outstanding. The ocean and underwater scenes are amazing. The footage is clear, making the message truly stand out! The research teams and outreach groups are well represented and have excellent spokespersons. The sets and locations are perfectly chosen. I especially like the story and plight of the sea turtles in Costa Rica. I have been to Costa Rica and have participated in outreach programs there. For me, the Costa Rican scenery made me appreciate the film even more.

The information is so interesting that quite honestly; all I wanted and waited for was more facts to come. I found that each and every person who is interviewed and included truly stands out and there is no single person that is better then the rest. They are all excellent. The documentary doesn't need the "wow factor" of special effects, as the information in itself is enough to wow the audience. Its message deserves to be projected globally. I was aware of the dangers of these plastics, but I never knew the global scope of how much is being consumed and ending up in our oceans. The data presented in this film is alarming. I particularly love the scene showing the children working together to make bamboo straws. One of the boys says, "We need community action," which I believe to be so true.

The message of Straws is about the need for change; consumers need to change their behavior before our fragile ecosystems are impacted forever. I have been learning about single use plastics for years, because I am huge environmentalist.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. It belongs in every KIDS FIRST! Film Festival to inform people that in order to save our environment we need individuals, families and communities from all around the world. We can't make change unless we are aware of the negative impact that man has on nature. Reviewed by Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 32 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CONCERNED CITIZEN, A: CIVICS IN ACTION

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CONCERNED CITIZEN, A: CIVICS IN ACTION
BO BOUDART PRODUCTIONS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 6-18
Topic - Family
Description - Dr. Riki Ott, is a whistleblower who predicted the Exxon Valdez oil spill hours before it happened. A toxicologist, author, and activist, Riki organized the Gulf coast communities to recover from the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. She is also helping to spearhead the campaign with Ultimate Civics, one that will introduce a Constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood and to reform campaign finance and contributions. The film also follows how other citizens have also taken her example-to change and strengthen efforts at curbing oil pollution of America's lands, rivers, and coastal waters.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - No more oil spills! I like that phrase because it tells people not to have oil spills. It also makes sense in this short film, because the whole point is to get rid of oil spills. I like the film, because I like seeing someone changing the world and teaching kids how to do the same.

This film is about Dr. Riki Ott who is helping to avoid the biggest oil spills in the world. She and other people have protested for no more oil spills. Riki goes to different schools teaching kids about the oils spills and how to prevent them and help.

I like how the film shows some scenes from the air of a big oil spill. You can see everything and that is really interesting. The scenes with all the oil spilled in the ocean shows how bad oil spills are to the world and animals. Dr. Ott stands out in this film and is inspiring, because she helps clean up from the spills and helps people in need due to the spills. The graphics are perfect. I learned about how we can prevent oil spills and how to help people in need when a oil spill happens.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults.

It would be excellent for a for youth or family film festival, because it teaches people about the dangers of oil spills and how Dr. Ott and others help.

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - No more oil spills! I like that phrase because it tells people not to have oil spills. It also makes sense in this short film, because the whole point is to get rid of oil spills. I like the film, because I like seeing someone changing the world and teaching kids how to do the same.

This film is about Dr. Riki Ott who is helping to avoid the biggest oil spills in the world. She and other people have protested for no more oil spills. Riki goes to different schools teaching kids about the oils spills and how to prevent them and help.

I like how the film shows some scenes from the air of a big oil spill. You can see everything and that is really interesting. The scenes with all the oil spilled in the ocean shows how bad oil spills are to the world and animals. Dr. Ott stands out in this film and is inspiring, because she helps clean up from the spills and helps people in need due to the spills. The graphics are perfect. I learned about how we can prevent oil spills and how to help people in need when a oil spill happens.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults.

It would be excellent for a for youth or family film festival, because it teaches people about the dangers of oil spills and how Dr. Ott and others help.

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
Runtime: 41 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DAWN RIDGE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DAWN RIDGE
ELIZABETH ADAMS
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 7-10
Topic - Family
Description - DAWN RIDGE explores a young boy's feelings about losing his family home. Wyatt rows up in a special place - a fantastic old western ranch that once hosted hundreds of visitors a day, but is no longer as popular in a world that has forgotten the lure of six-shooters and lassos. Wyatt's ??fascination with the ??abled Lost Adams ??old sends on him on a journey to save the property and remain on the ranch. From bedtime to horse chases, his living?? room becomes the rowdy saloon it was meant to be. DAWN RIDGE rides head-first into the ??feelings of?? loss, ??growth, and love that come with ??getting older.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What is missing are more specific details about why the family of three is moving away from the old west type of town. I did understand that the Mother and Father are most likely not making enough money and are in the red, so to speak. But all I learned is that they are moving somewhere with snow so that will be a new adventure. I like the use of imagination and found the over all dialogue entertaining, but the theme isn't as original as I would like. There is a slight message of being positive about the future but that isn't a strong message either. It is appropriate for ages 7 through 10. I give this 2.5 out of 5 stars. Over all, the characters are a strong point but I would like more of a story.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What is missing are more specific details about why the family of three is moving away from the old west type of town. I did understand that the Mother and Father are most likely not making enough money and are in the red, so to speak. But all I learned is that they are moving somewhere with snow so that will be a new adventure. I like the use of imagination and found the over all dialogue entertaining, but the theme isn't as original as I would like. There is a slight message of being positive about the future but that isn't a strong message either. It is appropriate for ages 7 through 10. I give this 2.5 out of 5 stars. Over all, the characters are a strong point but I would like more of a story.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay


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


PARADISE HOTEL

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PARADISE HOTEL
DANIEL REHDER NORMAND
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 9-15
Topic - Family
Description - A coming-of-age story about family, first love and restoring self-esteem. When Guillermo, a pre-adolescent introvert, arrives with his family at the wonderful HOTEL PARA�SO (Paradise Hotel) for summer vacations, he will not only have days full of activities and colourful entertainers, but he will also run into Andrea, a beautiful and curious girl from his school with whom he regularly fantasizes. Unfortunately for him, Nahel, the popular and heartthrob boy, who often bullies his classmates, is also staying in the hotel and seeks to make Andrea fall in love with him. With the help of unexpected allies and family members, Guillermo will have to confront his insecurities and participate in different hotel activities to win the weekend's real big prize: Andrea's heart.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beautiful coming-of-age story by a Peruvian filmmaker who truly has a wonderful touch on storytelling and an excellent delivery on film. The key cast members are all outstanding, especially Kareem Pizarro, who plays Guillermo. But truly all the cast members are to be commended. We see that bullies can show up anywhere, even on your vacation and that nothing counts more than being who you are.

My favorite scene is when Guillermo plays his guitar and sings in the talent show. We see inside his soul and it's beautiful. The girl who he's had his eyes on from the get go sees it as well. I like that their love story is told in a pretty realistic way, and in a way that pre-teens and teens can easily relate to.

The location for this film is exceptional. For those of us who are not from Peru, it reminds us of family camp in the Adirondacks, or perhaps Maine or upper Michigan. It's typical down to the crazed social director and the unexpectedly charming lifeguard.

I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 9 to 15, plus adults. The dialogue is in Spanish with English sub-titles, which are pretty spot on most of the time. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Beautiful coming-of-age story by a Peruvian filmmaker who truly has a wonderful touch on storytelling and an excellent delivery on film. The key cast members are all outstanding, especially Kareem Pizarro, who plays Guillermo. But truly all the cast members are to be commended. We see that bullies can show up anywhere, even on your vacation and that nothing counts more than being who you are.

My favorite scene is when Guillermo plays his guitar and sings in the talent show. We see inside his soul and it's beautiful. The girl who he's had his eyes on from the get go sees it as well. I like that their love story is told in a pretty realistic way, and in a way that pre-teens and teens can easily relate to.

The location for this film is exceptional. For those of us who are not from Peru, it reminds us of family camp in the Adirondacks, or perhaps Maine or upper Michigan. It's typical down to the crazed social director and the unexpectedly charming lifeguard.

I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 9 to 15, plus adults. The dialogue is in Spanish with English sub-titles, which are pretty spot on most of the time. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Runtime: 93 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


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


ONWARD

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ONWARD       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Oh my gosh, I loved this film from Disney/Pixar. Perhaps my favorite Pixar film yet! Lovely story with a wonderful message, beautiful told and, of course, beautifully animated. I could watch this multiple times and shared it with my daughter who is 12. The humor is great, without bowing to potty humor, thankfully. The voice actors are superb in their character portrayals (Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) and Octavia Spencer as The Manticore is the icing on the cake. Love it love it love it. Go see it. You'll be glad you did. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - As of now, this film is easily one of my favorite Pixar films. I adore the touching story and especially the world building. Overall, Onward is an amazing film.

Onward takes in a world much like our own, except it's populated with fantasy creatures. We follow two elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot as they discover magic still exists and thus go on a quest to revive their father for one day.

So, first the animation. I feel like this is pretty self-explanatory. Since it is Pixar, the animation is absolutely outstanding. But, I specifically want to discuss the world in which Onward takes place. There are so many creative and diverse character designs and representations of mythological creatures (which I appreciate as a mythology fan). The world building is probably some of the best I've ever seen. I have contemplated the idea of a suburban fantasy, so I'm really happy seeing that idea brought to life. There's a lot of really funny gags surrounding this idea, such as an historically accurate "Dungeons and Dragons" and unicorns becoming the equivalent of raccoons. You can tell the artists really enjoyed designing the settings.

However, the world is not the only enjoyable aspect of this film. The characters are especially fun. The two brothers, Ian and Barley, have amazing chemistry. This is probably thanks to their voices actors - Tom Holland playing Ian and Chris Pratt playing Barley. They already have a connection from the Marvel movies, so their relationship feels real. But Ian and Barley aren't the only great characters in this movie. I would say my personal favorite character is The Manticore, played by Octavia Spencer. The Manticore is probably the funniest character and I really like her friendship with the brothers' mom, Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus).

Speaking of which, Onward is really funny. There's a specific scene involving The Manticore that caused me to laugh probably the hardest I've ever laughed at a Pixar movie. There are also a lot of gags involving the fact that the world is populated with fantasy creatures.

And as expected from a Pixar film, it's pretty emotional. And, given the context of the plot, I feel this might be one of Pixar's most heart wrenching films. When you think about it, who wouldn't want to bring someone back, even for one day?

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. It comes out on March 6, 2020 so look for it.

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

Onward is a spectacular film! I especially enjoyed the very well written story line and the animation. This film had me laughing and crying, as well as sitting on the edge of my seat. The characters are funny and very well animated, and remind me of humans that I know and love.

Onward is about two elf brothers named Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt). Their dad passed away when the Barley was very young and Ian was about to be born. All the two brothers want is to see their dad again. After getting their dad's old wizard staff and a spell to bring him back for a day, they find it is a lot harder than it seems and they need to work together to solve the puzzle.

The characters in this film are voiced by some very well-known names. Tom Holland (Spiderman movies) voices Ian Lightfoot and Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World) plays Barley Lightfoot. Julia Louis-Dreyfus voices Laurel Lightfoot, Ian and Barley's mom. Manticore, the fierce creature who helps the brothers, is voiced by Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures).

Onward has everything that a fairy tale adventure film needs. The whole film is filled with magic and magical creatures like a fairy tale films has, but it also contains just the right amount of action to make it qualify as an adventure film as well. Onward's story line is fantastic! Every single detail is spot-on. My only problem with this film is that the pace starts a little slowly, but it picks up as the story develops. Other than that, I love this movie!

My favorite character in this movie is Barley, Ian's big brother. He is my favorite because most of his lines are very funny and he had me laughing every time he opened his mouth. I admire him because the other creatures think Barley is weird, but he is confident in who he wants to be and he is always himself.

The message of this film is that sometimes the very thing that you are looking for is right in front of you. I give Onward 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. Onward opens in theaters March 6, 2020, so be sure to look for it! Now I will take my family to see this movie. By Eva W, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This animated fantasy film, directed and co-written by Dan Scanlon, is heart-warming and magical! Onward is a hilarious movie with terrific animation and special effects. Jeff and Mychael Dana's musical compositions are spectacular and really drive the flow of the movie.

Onward is about two teenage elves that receive a magical staff left to them by their father when he passed away. Their father was a magical wizard and created a way for them to use a magic spell to bring him back for 24 hours. Unfortunately, when they try to use it, the staff malfunctions and only half of their father returns. So, the brothers go on an adventurous journey to find the phoenix gem, so they can bring back the other half of their father. The catch is they only have 24 hours to do it, while solving the mystery using weird clues and some magic to get to see their dad again.

The protagonists are Ian Lightfoot (Tom Holland) and Barkley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt). The chemistry between the brothers is amazing, which is probably because Tom and Chris have worked with each other before. All the characters are well-developed. My favorite character is The Manticore (Octavia Spencer), because she is extremely funny. I love how she becomes the fearless warrior she was before the world stopped believing in magic. My favorite scene is when Ian uses the magic staff to make a gas can bigger and accidentally shrinks Barkley. Barkley jumps up and down, because he thought the magic worked, and then realizes it only worked on him. It is pretty funny. I also think it is clever how the unicorns play the role of raccoons and dragons act as pets. The special effects in this movie are spot on. I love the scene where Ian tries to bring his father back and everything flies around the room. Other scenes where Ian uses the magic staff are pretty cool too.

Even though the special effects are great, they are not what make this movie magical. The message of the film does. Many of the characters in this film have stopped believing in their own magic. In order for them to move onward, they need to believe in themselves, each other and the magic they each have. Adults may want to be cautious with children that have lost loved ones, as it might be disturbing to them.

Onward is an adventurous, family-friendly movie. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. Adults will enjoy this too. Move onward to see this film in theaters opening in theaters March 6, 2020. Reviewed by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Onward is fun, exiting, adventurous, and an emotional roller coaster. Pixar delivers another wonderful film that is very appealing to new generations and easy to relate, despite characters from another world.

Onward is a computer animated, urban fantasy film directed by Dan Scanlon, who also co-wrote the script with Jason Headley and Keith Bunin. The story follows brothers Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt), two teenage elf's who embark on an extraordinary quest. Their goal is to try and see if there is magic left in the world, in order to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were younger. This is a story about bonding between father and son, and between two brothers.

Tom Holland, as Ian, the younger of the two brothers delivers a very subtle, but engaging interpretation that makes the audience immediately connect with his loner behavior. Chris Pratt, as Barley, the eldest brother, is vibrant, optimistic and his personality is almost opposite to his younger brother. Octavia Spencer plays Manticore, a fearless creature who can fly and sends people on quests). I absolutely love Octavia's performance and Manticore is my favorite character. I've always loved Octavia as an actress, so I was really exited that she voices this character. Another great voice is Laurel, the brother's mother, by super fun and charismatic Julia Louise-Dreyfus.

The animation in this movie is very detailed and sometimes photo realistic. Pixar has developed digital animation over the years to a fine art, and truly this film displays that. You can see so many details in the characters' facial expressions. If you look very closely you can see that the elves all have freckles! There is also a lot of emotion in this movie and the animation displays it so well.

I'm pretty sure everyone who watches this movie will cry at one point. I sure did. One of the fascinating aspects of Onward is how these fantasy creatures interact with each other and go through a journey of redemption and self discovery.

Onward is entertaining all the way, but some jokes don't work out and, at some point, it's a little hard to feel fully invested in one of the characters that appears only from his waist to his feet.

The message of this film is - believe. The magic in the film is a metaphor for our own ability of make things happen and letting out the light within ourselves.

I give Onward 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 13. Make sure to check out Onward in theaters on March 6, 2020. By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Onward is Disney/Pixar's new action-packed animated movie with lots of magical laughs! There's hilarious physical humor, exciting chases and fights, but it's also a very moving film. You really feel the main characters' sense of loss at not growing up with their father.

Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt) are teenage elf brothers who live in a suburban mushroom house in a land that was formerly full of magic. They use a spell to bring their dad back to life, but only get his bottom half! They have 24 hours to complete a quest to finish the spell and see him one more time. All they need to finish the spell is the Phoenix gem, but finding it proves a lot more complicated than they first think. While they are working to bring him back, they have to bring their dad's legs and feet along with them for the ride.

The animators have created a beautiful imaginative world with lots of clever details that will make you want to watch again and again. The voice acting is top notch, with Tom Holland and Chris Pratt showing a range of emotions and humor as Ian and Barley. Octavia Spencer as Manticore brings her character to life with frantic energy. The introduction of her character is hilarious! She's a former magical adventurer turned family restaurant owner. I really like the part when Barley shrinks down to a tiny size due to Ian messing up a spell. I also like when Ian turns their boat into a cheese puff so they can eat their own transportation! I love Officer Colt and his catchphrase where he asks everyone if they are "working hard or hardly working."

There are a lot of positive messages in this film about family and loyalty. Another message is that you can go searching for things you've never had in life, but you might find they were right with you all along. Parents of younger kids might want to watch out for some of the risky actions the brothers take, like when Ian walks off a cliff, trusting in his magic to keep him safe.

I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 5 to 17, and adults will like it too. You can see Onward in theaters everywhere starting March 6, 2020. By Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I love Onward! It is a whimsical story filled with colorful and eccentric characters. Pixar nailed the animation, and the cast of voices is pure perfection.

Onward takes place in a magical world, that isn't quite so magical anymore. Brothers Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt) are complete opposites in every way. Brave Barley is never is afraid to take a risk, especially when it involves magic. Ian, on the other hand, is quirky, and lacks confidence. Their mom, Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), is an important character as she is the glue keeping their family together.

The movie is inspired by the director, Dan Scanlon's own childhood. I love the setting of this movie. It takes place in a modern town, where everyone lives in mushroom-shaped houses. Unicorns, once a majestic creature, are now more like raccoons than anything else. Adorable mini dragons are kept as pets. The voice-over actors are wonderful. Mel Rodriguez, who voices Officer Bronco, has the funniest laugh. Octavia Spencer, who voices The Manticore, acts as wild as a Manticore should. Tom Holland (Ian) perfectly portrays an awkward kid. My favorite character is Barley, because he is a classic rock loving boy.

The messages of this movie are that family is the most important thing and sometimes what you're looking for has been with you the whole time. This film does have some magical scenes that kids should not imitate. It also reminds us to always pay your parking tickets.

I give Onward 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. People with siblings will especially like it as will adults. Onward opens in theaters March 6, 2020. By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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



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