The Ages 5-8 category has 3783 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles

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COSMIC DANCER

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
COSMIC DANCER
EMILY O'BRIEN
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 7-15
Topic -
Description - Based around a primary school talent show - ALISTAIR, an introverted 10 year old is thrown into the world of magic when he comes across a leather bound magician's book by MAGIC ETOLIES' - one of the most famous magicians to have practiced. Alistair meets MARGARET, an outspoken witty 10 year old with the confidence of an 85 year old man - who helps him on his endeavor.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a simply wonderful short film that suits KIDS FIRST! Film Festival audience to a tee. It starts out a bit confusing and slightly eerie. But, as it develops you are quickly drawn in, especially when the boy finds his hero magician behind the curtain! I found the two key actors particularly engaging. The boy carries the story, but the girl fulfills the need to both nudge him along and to become his partner in performing his coup de grace magic act. The pace is quite good as is the background music, which lends a suspenseful tone at times, celebratory at the end, and much in between. The narrator helps lead you through the story without being intrusive and there is little dialogue. In the end, it is about friendship and dispelling the myth of those you hold in high esteem, but perhaps are unworthy. The sets and costumes are excellent and suiting. Really, this is a lovely piece. It does have a bit of mild profanity, but nothing a middle school student has not heard (shit). And bullies, there are some bullies, but they are really ineffective. Oh, love the animation with the credits at the end. Absolutely, production is beautiful. It's really about friends supporting each other. I recommend this for ages 7 to 15 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Highly recommend for a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. You'll be glad you selected it. Reviewed by Selene W. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a simply wonderful short film that suits KIDS FIRST! Film Festival audience to a tee. It starts out a bit confusing and slightly eerie. But, as it develops you are quickly drawn in, especially when the boy finds his hero magician behind the curtain! I found the two key actors particularly engaging. The boy carries the story, but the girl fulfills the need to both nudge him along and to become his partner in performing his coup de grace magic act. The pace is quite good as is the background music, which lends a suspenseful tone at times, celebratory at the end, and much in between. The narrator helps lead you through the story without being intrusive and there is little dialogue. In the end, it is about friendship and dispelling the myth of those you hold in high esteem, but perhaps are unworthy. The sets and costumes are excellent and suiting. Really, this is a lovely piece. It does have a bit of mild profanity, but nothing a middle school student has not heard (shit). And bullies, there are some bullies, but they are really ineffective. Oh, love the animation with the credits at the end. Absolutely, production is beautiful. It's really about friends supporting each other. I recommend this for ages 7 to 15 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Highly recommend for a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. You'll be glad you selected it. Reviewed by Selene W. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


QB

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
QB
MURAT KARAMANOGLU
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic -
Description - The world. Kemal H�nal was an electrical technician. He believed in the existence of aliens all his life. When he retired, he tried to send signals to aliens with his radio telescope, which he invented from scrap electronic parts. In 1979, Nasa launched the SETI project to resolve messages from extraterrestrial planets. Kemal H�nal said, "Let's see who will find them first.. One night he heard a signal napping in his chair. (Sounds) He had succeeded. He listened to the message over and over again. He was tired. He reached for his bed with the happiness of success. He didn't wake up in the morning. He did his duty and said goodbye to Earth. Ata and his mother open the door and enter the house inherited from Kemal H�nal. The house is dusty and quiet since nobody has been around for a long time. The curtains open, the room is filled with light. Open the door to the attic and float up the stairs. It is on the space floor of Kemal Bey. He finds his grandfather's diary next to old magazines. Kemal H�nal sit in his favorite chair and start reading. Meanwhile, Ata's mother is on a stool trying to open the insurance. With the arrival of electricity, the radio telescope of Kemal H�nal starts to work and the last recorded signals are heard. The horse wants to silence the sound. Flips the buttons, presses the buttons. The mechanism prepared by Kemal H�nal and sending radio messages to space works again in the meantime. We see the signals rise from the big dish on the roof to the sky. (Effect) Signals move away from the world with the speed of light.Corot-Exo7 constellation. Planet Gobor. Gobor was hit by a large meteor, and most adults lost their lives. Children hiding in shelters are the new rulers of the planet. They are seeking a different planet to sustain their lives. They received the message from Kemal H�nal. They send QB to Earth. His mission is to search for the depleted uranium in the Earth and, if he returns with uranium, run the warships and take over the Earth. Ata met the children of a private school camping in Olympos. Pinar immediately fused with Kaan, Tan and Gizem. The children believe in Ata's alien story and wait for the QB. Ata and the other children spend pleasant days with an alien friend who looks like an Earthling. QB found the uranium he was looking for, by the way. He must leave the world and fulfill his duty. Acts. Aware of the danger of his separation from the Earth with uranium, the children pursue the QBi. A relentless pursuit begins. A big surprise awaited them all
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What an interesting story. Very imaginative. Well produced with great visuals and audio. Lots on unexpected twists and turns. This has the added benefit of an intergenerational connection, a space adventure and kids pursuing their dreams. The acting is quite admirable. I particularly enjoyed the child actors. The visual effects are well executed, a bit corny at times, but in a fun way. The shots of earth from space are particularly well done. This was made in Turkey and hence the dialogue is in Turkish with English sub-titles, which have some poor translations at times, but nothing that detracts from understanding the storyline. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

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


ODD DOG

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


HOME FOR CURIOSITIES, A

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
HOME FOR CURIOSITIES, A
BEN TOBIN
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 6-12
Topic -
Description - A young boy discovers a house full of forgotten imaginary friends. Along with his friend Alice, Wallace helps bring these curiosities back to the real world to meet new human companions.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an unusual film and something that definitely falls outside the mold. If you are looking for something different, you have found it here. The storyline is about a kid who goes bird watching, gets lost and starts to daydream. In his dream, he discovers a house with an eccentric beautiful woman living there who invites him in. She explains that she is an imaginary friend. That part initially confused me, until I realized that she was part of his dram. Once I got into it, I liked the idea of imaginary friends and learning how they operate. The film is very well shot. Excellent camera work and editing, although the scenes are a bit fast in moving back and forth between the forest and the house. I like how the forest looks so alive and real and the house is quite wonderful and full of character. The background music is quite suitable and the protagonist, the kid, befits his character. The message is about allowing your daydreams to guide you at times and you'll discover other worlds you didn't even know existed. I'm not sure how many of our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival partners will pick this up, but I do recommend it to them, as something that is fun and interesting. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Ethan P. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is an unusual film and something that definitely falls outside the mold. If you are looking for something different, you have found it here. The storyline is about a kid who goes bird watching, gets lost and starts to daydream. In his dream, he discovers a house with an eccentric beautiful woman living there who invites him in. She explains that she is an imaginary friend. That part initially confused me, until I realized that she was part of his dram. Once I got into it, I liked the idea of imaginary friends and learning how they operate. The film is very well shot. Excellent camera work and editing, although the scenes are a bit fast in moving back and forth between the forest and the house. I like how the forest looks so alive and real and the house is quite wonderful and full of character. The background music is quite suitable and the protagonist, the kid, befits his character. The message is about allowing your daydreams to guide you at times and you'll discover other worlds you didn't even know existed. I'm not sure how many of our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival partners will pick this up, but I do recommend it to them, as something that is fun and interesting. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Ethan P. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors
Runtime: 17 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PETS 4D! (2D VERSION)

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


FLYING WAGON

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FLYING WAGON
KUNAL NARULA
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic -
Description - Cheel Gaadi is a local term used for airplane (Flying Wagon) which literally translates as Cheel: Eagle & Gaadi: Vehicle. It's a story of a 10 year old boy who works in a tea stall near an airport and has a dream to sit in an airplane one day. To buy the tickets he collects money by betting with the customers on the next flight's colour. He spends his days working in the tea stall and his nights in an abandoned sewer pipe, on a broken bridge outside the airport wall, which he has converted into his version of home. And finally when he collects the amount needed, his journey starts in the so called mature world of adults to acquire the ticket "Cheel Gaadi" is set up in the heritage city of Jaipur, Rajasthan and has been supported with a very unique folk musical perspective on storytelling; its depth and magic lies in the innocence of the kid. The film has a playback song, which is a fine rendition of a Rajasthani folk song, sung by the actor himself, adding to the rooted flavour of the film.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beautiful film with a wonderful storyline and terrific music. This whole film gives us a glimpse into the culture of India, especially for impoverished children. The music alone makes this compelling to watch. But the star of the show is the young actor, Sabir Khan, who plays the 10 year old boy. Excellent camera work, great acting by every cast member and well paced. We feel for the impoverished boy and admire his spunk and drive. When all his money is stolen from him, we share his heartbreak. The ending is very satisfying and the whole film will grab your attention from start to finish. Beautiful. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 17 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


5 MINUTES PEACE

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


AMERICAN MARRIAGE

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

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


DOMBRA

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


TOO MUCH RAIN

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


TROPHY HUNTER

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TROPHY HUNTER
BILL JARCHO
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic -
Description - A little boy with a BB gun fantasizes of being a big game hunter. Selected: 9th Balne�rio Cambori� International Film Festival; International Film Festival of Larissa
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wow, I am such a fan of Sean Burns' work. Kubo and the Two Strings is one of my all-time favorite animated films. It is so brilliant. He is brilliant. Thanks for submitting your short film to our festival. We are honored. This short film tackles a not uncommon situation of a boy with a love for playing with guns. We watch him stalk the wildlife in his own backyard until he finally gets a hit, leaving him unsatisfied and aware of the value of living things. The animation is remarkable in its attention to details and beautiful color palette. The music and sound effects are spot on. The storyline is told without dialog and we get the message loud and clear. My favorite part is when the boy realizes he did wrong by killing the bird. It's heart-breaking. My second favorite part is watching him discard the gun by the tree and seeing the tree grow year by year, season by season. Beautiful piece. 5 out of 5 stars. Recommended for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Ethan P. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review

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


EMBARKO

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
EMBARKO
KAILEE HAGUE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic -
Description - When two delivery dogs on a job discover buried treasure in the mountains, their conflicting interests lead to dire consequences.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is adorable and pretty unique. I really enjoyed that there aren't any words, yet it is so clear what the animals are saying to one another. I also love the twist and resolution. It appeals to me because it has lots of action and adventure, while not overpowering the storytelling. Another aspect is the unexpected ending which is surprisingly happy. Embarko flows extremely well. After the first 30 seconds, I found myself engulfed in the film and loved it. The ending is my favorite part, due to the twist. The story doesn't have any plot holes and makes a lot of sense. The only thing that took me by surprise is the scene showing the raccoon's revolver. Having a gun included raises the audience age. The soundtrack is really appealing, it helps shift your mood in the various scenes and increases your engagement. The animation style is pretty unique. I love the way the animals are portrayed. The 2D characters are simply illustrated, but effectively so. The mixture of unusual animation, cohesive storytelling, and a well-written plot about delivery dogs finding treasure in the mountains makes this a great film. I adore that the story has no dialogue, clearly defined characters, an unpredictable ending, and plenty of action and adventure. It is the perfect amount to keep a short film exciting and entertaining. My only concern with Embarko is when the antagonist raccoon pulls out a gun, it raises the maturity level of the film. I recommend this film for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals due to its unique animation and great storytelling. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Brad M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

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


BRAVE ME: I'M STRONGER THAN ASTHMA!

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


BRACEBALL

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BRACEBALL
REYHANEH MORTEZAEE NIA
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 6-18
Topic -
Description - A disabled boy who loves soccer and tries to make his dreams come true in his imagination and brings himself closer to the sports champion.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beautiful and touching film about including a boy with a physical disability in a neighborhood soccer game. The story is well told, starting from the boy's dream in the beginning to him being included in the street soccer game at the end. Touching without being cloying. Well shot, good background music. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Bill N. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GABRIELLE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GABRIELLE
NICOLA ROSE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic -
Description - When 13-year-old Gabrielle signs up for ballet, she encounters bullying from her teacher -- and friendship in an unexpected place. A story about friendship, overcoming bullies, body image, and knowing your worth.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beautifully told story that tackles a domain not many have taken on in the bullying discussion - the dance world. Having grown up in this world myself, I can relate to the truth behind this story. The ending is a bit far-fetched, but charming. This film is well executed from the camera work, to the acting, to the background music, editing - all is commendable. This would make a lovely addition to any youth or family film festival. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror. Kudos to the filmmaker for creating such a lovely short film.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 14 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


BEWARE THE WOLF!

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BEWARE THE WOLF!
PROTOTYPES ASSOCIES
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic -
Description - Once again, Little Red Riding Hood has to bring a cake, a jar of jam and butter to his grandmother. But this time, the wolf is not at the rendezvous.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I love seeing Red Riding Hood outsmart the Wolf, or so we think, at the beginning of this animated short. Jumping from place to place, making herself hidden and almost invisible while she travels to Grandma's house is cleverly executed and you want to cheer her on. The surprise ending comes out of nowhere and makes you giggle with delight. Well executed. Recommended for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

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


SMALL SPARK

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SMALL SPARK
PROTOTYPES ASSOCIES
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic -
Description - A small mouse lives in the middle of books and their epic adventures. When the candle goes out and when the matchbox is empty, it's her turn to live a dangerous adventure throughout the house, in search of a small spark.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - A cut short animation about a mouse that lives among the books of a home library and whose life is challenged by the existence of a cat in the same house. The "book mouse" is undeterred when his candle goes out and he heads out in search of a match so he can continue reading. The characters are all 2D and charming in their own ways. They are not as textured or complex as today's standard animation, but the clever storyline holds your attention and is worthy of consideration. I love seeing the mouse reading by candlelight. Somehow it gives me hope for the world. Recommended for ages 8 to 18. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by William N., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - SEE ADULT COMMENTS
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


WHAT NOW !?

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WHAT NOW !?
PROTOTYPES ASSOCIES
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic -
Description - The day ends, as the children are now sleeping, Jean-Marc can read his newspaper quietly. But his little boy Tom just wakes up because of a nightmare. He was walking on the roof of a huge building when he felt. His father has a scientific explanation to that.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a charming animated film, cleverly making use of animated stick figures as the characters. It's super short, sweet and to the point. I particularly love the alien invasion at the end and think that kids, ages 8 to 18 will enjoy it. I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 2 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


MARS 3752

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MARS 3752
PROTOTYPES ASSOCIES
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-13
Topic -
Description - A little boy looks at stars dreamer. Such a falling star, cosmonaut's helmet which falls of the sky. The future of the boy seems all mapped out.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Cute and clever and timely. I really enjoyed the animation of this short film and the idea of a young boy becoming so attracted to the concept of space that he ends up building his own space ship to travel into space on his own. What happens there is something else and the ending interestingly reflective. Recommended
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 2 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A DICTIONARY, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A DICTIONARY, THE
VIJAY SUBRAMANIAN
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 7-15
Topic -
Description - Krishna a tech-savvy kid is being given a Dictionary as a gift for his birthday. This is not what he wanted. How the Dictionary finds the meaning of it's existence forms the rest of the story.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What a brilliantly written story. I absolutely love this and think that you will too. The dictionary is an unlikely hero, but in this story, that is exactly what it/he/she is! Wonderful camera work, acting (especially the young boy), voice over and storyline. This is exactly the type of film we love to play at KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. Kudos to the creator for making a wonderful film, based on a great storyline, rather than special or visual effects. It is totally refreshing. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 15, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DRAGON RECIPES

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

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


KARMA OF BOCCE, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KARMA OF BOCCE, THE
DUNCAN PUTNEY
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - A young boy meets a young girl at a local park. They watch her grandfather and his elderly friends play bocce as she reads the boy a story, his imagination is set free and he watches the heavens move with every toss in the old men's game.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is an engaging short with a powerful message about the importance of having an imagination. The characters are very descriptive. I felt as if I could picture them and their dialogue is very real and easy to relate to. I recommend this for ages appropriate for ages 8 to 18 and adults. I can see this on the big screen and I give this 4 stars out of 5. Very well written.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

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


MIMI MEETS BOOKS

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


FROZEN II (2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, A

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


LADY AND THE TRAMP (2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PLAYING WITH FIRE (2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD DVD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


HARRIET

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HARRIET       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Harriet is an absolutely terrific movie with superb acting, vivid scenery and authentic 1800s costumes. The movie pulled me into the story line such that I really loved and hated some of the characters by the end of the movie.

Harriet is about the life of Harriet Tubman, an American abolitionist and political activist. She was born into slavery, along with her whole family. One day, she decides that she has had enough and wants to be free, along with her husband who is already free. She escapes from her cruel masters and flees to Pennsylvania on her own. She then becomes a conductor of the Underground Railroad.

Going into the movie, I didn't know that much about Harriet Tubman, other than she was an escaped slave and part of the Underground Railroad. She was much more than that! And I am quite surprised that there has not been a movie made about her story before this. There are some fantastic actors in this movie, including Cynthia Erivo who plays Harriet Tubman, Leslie Odom Jr. (William Still) and Janelle Monae (Marie Buchanon). My favorite character is Harriet Tubman, because she was such a courageous woman and Cynthia Erivo made me believe she was actually Harriet Tubman.

There are so many positive messages in this movie, but my list includes the importance of family, the impact of a courageous women and the power of faith in hard times. This movie has some profanity, a few gory scenes and dead bodies. As you might expect in a movie taking place in a time when slavery existed, there are risky things that kids might try to imitate.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Adults will also like this movie. This movie opens in theaters November 1, 2019.

Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Harriet is a sincere tribute to the real-life freedom fighter. Excellent performances and a developed story add layers of entertainment. Anyone interested in documentaries or the subject material must watch this.

The story tells the heroic tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's most influential figures. The film recounts how her courage and intelligence freed hundreds of slaves and changed history as we know it.

Cynthia Erivo, as Harriet Tubman, brings out something award-worthy. This actress of Broadway fame launches her star potential to greater heights as she perfectly captures Tubman's appearance on top of her distinguishing characteristics. The film is truly a vehicle for Cynthia's many talents. Other cast members include Leslie Odom Jr. as William Still and Janelle Monae as Marie. While Odom Jr.'s role is relatively one-note as someone Tubman sends runaways to, Monae adds heart to Marie as she settles Tubman for city life. As the film progresses, a heartbreaking scene sticks its landing due to the dynamic between the two.

Kasi Lemmons aptly directs, as the story is told chronologically. However, the cinematography does leave a little bit more to be desired, as it lacks nuance and something of interest, during extended dialogue-heavy scenes. Due to this, I felt the runtime and was left desiring the thrilling rescues that follow. It is worth mentioning that you must be interested in American history, or else you will truly remain bored during its two-hour runtime. My favorite scene is Tubman's first escape, because a thrilling scene follows where Tubman jumps downstream into the river rather than get captured. It is truly a testament to Tubman's courage and agility.

The message of this film is that Tubman always stands for justice and treats even her opponents fairly; really everything Tubman stands for speaks truth in heroic qualities. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 due to violence, thematic content and language, including racial slurs. The movie releases in theaters on November 1, 2019, so check it out.

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

There are a lot of good things to take away from this movie. After seeing this film, I have a very different perspective of Harriet Tubman. I learned that she was a very strong woman.

The storyline is about Harriet Tubman's amazing journey in leading slaves to freedom and how she fought for what she believed in. Harriet Tubman's real name was Araminta Ross; she chose her new name to symbolize her freedom. Harriet had a very strong belief in God and used that to guide her. She walked 100 miles to reach freedom and made 13 trips getting other slaves to freedom. She freed 70 slaves and traveled 1,300 miles total. The bad guys called her 'Moses the slave stealer,' but she was doing the right thing.

This film is very well made. Everything looks very realistic and the actors truly embody their characters. Harriet takes place at a farm starting in 1840. The woman who becomes Harriet Tubman began her life as a slave at the Thompson plantation in Maryland. The movie retells the events of her life very accurately. Cynthia Erivo, who gives a wonderful performance, plays Harriet Tubman. Joe Alwyn plays her master, Gideon, who's portrayal of the bad guy really made me hate him. Janelle Monae plays Marie, a very good friend of Harriet's. Leslie Odom Jr. plays William Still, who helps Harriet find a home and a job when she gets to freedom.

I give Harriet 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this film for ages 14 to 18, because it has a lot of very violent scenes, including some where people are killed. It also shows how horrible slavery actually was. Some of these scenes are heartbreaking and very difficult to watch. There is also a lot of racially offensive language.

Harriet comes out in theaters November 1, 2019 so be sure to look for it!

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

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


MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies, and dark new forces at play.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is the great bad queen! As you may recall, Maleficent is the evil queen from Disney's Sleeping Beauty. As her character came to life, it is a dark reminder of how electric this actress is, and how good it is to be bad!

Jolie rocked this role in 2014's Maleficent, a film re-imagined from the character's point-of-view. It was dark and scary, and the costumes reminded me of Halloween.

This film centers on a clash between Maleficent and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer), Mother of Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson), a human royal from a nearby kingdom who wants to marry Aurora (Elle Fanning), Maleficent's human goddaughter.

While Aurora is Queen of the Moors and she and Prince Phillip both prefer peace to violence; their hope of building a bridge between the human kingdom and the magical creatures that live on the moors is not to be.

What should have been a celebratory engagement dinner becomes a waged war. Queen Ingrith's disrespect begins with her meal choice and escalates to providing iron cutlery, which equates to death to faeries. Throughout the verbal barbs which ensue, there are references to racist and current political regimes, including the current U.S. border crisis.

Maleficent is injured and saved by another winged creature. She awakes to learn she is not the single of her kind. In fact, the story gets a bit disjointed as a back story is revealed to explain the change of venue, and introduces hundreds of winged creatures from all over the planet.

As Maleficent's new tribe decides to fight, Queen Ingrith is preparing for war far below the royal castle walls. The intricate detail to new characters and warfare means the fight is ahead and the architect is revealed. In the beginning, we are lead to believe Maleficent is evil, dark and scary - oh contraire! Maleficent has scary powers, but the true villain is yet to be divulged.

The costumes are beautiful, especially the makeup on Angelina Jolie, which is spectacular. The story moves about a lot. In fact, I feel it harms character development. It's Disney so, of course, there is a cute furry animal that will become plush merchandising gold.

I give this film 3 of 5 stars for its lack of character development and a shifting storyline. The casting is exemplary, especially the humorous takes when Maleficent is made to be more human. Costumes, hair and makeup are stunning. This film will appeal to ages 9 to 18, and introduces elements of Sleeping Beauty. Make no mistake; some of the scenes will be scary to younger children. There is a lot of CGI violence and many off-screen deaths. It opens in theaters October 18, 2019 so check it out.

By Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The visuals in the film are beautiful: The costumes are stunning and the whole movie is so beautiful to watch. We see the splendor of castles and the reign of the humans. The Dark Fay is this obscure underground place that despite its dreary appearance becomes a place for truth. The music from Geoff Zanelli enhances the scenes transporting us to this mythical place.

The story flows very nicely; it is like watching how a great fairy tale comes to life in the big screen, but Maleficent: Mistress of Evil doesn't take us beyond the impact of the first movie. It is very well done and reiterates there's no black or white but areas of gray. The message of this film is that love does not always end well.

I give Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 16. It releases in theatres on October 18, 2019.

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

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is totally intriguing because of how unpredictable the storyline is. The writers applied their creativity and the CGI brings it all to life. The visuals along with the emotional impact made watching this film an exciting experience.

This film is the sequel to Maleficent (2014). It is best to watch Maleficent first and then watch Maleficent: Mistress of Evil to have a better understanding. This series is based on the story of Sleeping Beauty and the writers add their own twists, so you might be unfamiliar with the plot even if you know the plot of Sleeping Beauty. The story starts off with Prince Philip's proposal to Aurora. Their marriage will unite two kingdoms, the Moors and Ulstead. The problem is that the queens of the kingdoms are not on good terms so the marriage does not happen smoothly.

Angelina Jolie plays the powerful and bold Maleficent. Angelina Jolie is perfectly cast for this role with her strong cheekbones and how she commands all the attention. Through subtle changes in her eyes and facial expressions she shows a lot of emotion. Elle Fanning plays sweet and innocent Aurora. Fanning is a wonderful actor as well who can be soft and tough at the same time.

The CGI of the fairies and creatures is very realistic. They are colorful and the habitat that they live in is pleasing to look at as well. I especially love the CGI for Maleficent's wings. They move as one with Angelina Jolie and also help convey her emotions. Maleficent goes through many costume changes and they are all stunning, even though they have a limited number of colors to work with. The costumes highlight her power and confidence. The costumes for Aurora are very flowery and emphasize her innocence. The costumes for Aurora are also symbolic later on in the film.

I simply cannot choose a favorite part of the film. There are so many parts where I cried and laughed. I don't want to spoil anything so all I can say is that I love the scenes where Maleficent gets to use her strong wings.

There are multiple prominent messages and even more underlying messages that can be found in this film. One of the main messages is about looking past appearances to communicate with others. Many of the humans judge the creatures based on what they look like. They stereotype and assume the actions of these creatures, which creates unnecessary apprehension. This can also be applied to our world today, so it is wonderful that the film brings awareness to this problem.

I love the crazy ride that Maleficent: Mistress of Evil has brought me on and you will love it too! I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Even Disney adult fans will enjoy this. Be sure to watch when it comes out in theaters on October 18, 2019.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil explores the world of its archetypal big-bad title character--the witch from the iconic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty--but fans who met her in Disney's 2014 live action film will be disappointed with the overstuffed plot and uneven tone in this film.

Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) protects the Moors, a place inhabited by a vast array of magical creatures from fairies to humanoid trees. Her daughter Aurora (Elle Fanning) accepts a marriage proposal from Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson), prompting talks of peace and unity between the Moors and Phillip's kingdom. Maleficent wearily meets her daughter's in-laws, King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer). The already tense evening escalates when King John becomes cursed and Maleficent is believed to be at fault. She flees, but Aurora refuses to go with her. Maleficent goes on a journey of self-discovery and must restore order between humankind and her kind.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is so steadfast in the gritty approach it takes to its fairy tale world; it often undermines the magic that makes these stories so enduringly popular. When it comes to fairy tales, realism and gloom is not what has kept them in the public consciousness for centuries.

Maleficent does have some high points. The costume and production design are phenomenal, further suspending you in this world. There are some pretty awe-inspiring shots from Maleficent's point of view as she soars through the sky. There are also some interesting ideas about family and parenting here; far more interesting than the exploits of the tribe of fellow fairies Maleficent meets. If any of the individual ideas presented were given room to breathe and develop, the film would be much better for it. Instead, there's a lack of focus that clouds much of the runtime and it's clear the film doesn't quite know what it wants to accomplish. They pack too many characters and subplots into one film.

One of the costs is screen-time for Maleficent. The film doesn't give Angelina Jolie much to do this time around and I was surprised at the scarce amount of dialogue she is given. When she's training herself to smile or going verbally head-to-head with Queen Ingrith, Jolie shines. Jolie is magnetic onscreen and the film should have utilized her powerful presence more. One consolation though is Michelle Pfeiffer delving into the role of a villain. Her passive-aggressive manner mixes well with a jaded, nihilistic worldview and she's a lot of fun to watch.

I recommend Maleficent: Mistress of Evil for ages 11 to 17 due to mass fantasy violence. For a film about peace and togetherness, it's pretty violent and pushes the envelope on its PG rating. I give it 1.5 out of 5 stars. The film comes out in theaters October 18, 2019.

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

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a very emotional and fantastical movie with a unique take on the classic fairytale of Sleeping Beauty. Since I saw the first live-action Maleficent movie and the original Disney's Sleeping Beauty, I was really eager to see how the second Maleficent would compare to those, and this sequel does them justice. I am glad that we get to know more about Maleficent, the "villain" of the story.

This movie successfully switches between the happy and dark sides of the ongoing feud with the mythical creatures and the humans. Also, the amount of effort and detail that went into the art direction and special effects pays off to make the film even better. From the sets to the mysterious woodland creatures, everything is colorful, vibrant and beautifully detailed, which makes it feel like you are in another world.

It is fun to see Angelina Jolie play Maleficent again because she provides the perfect balance of strength and sweetness. The movie also introduces us to many new characters, such as Prince Phillip's evil mother, Queen Ingrith, and the Dark Fey, a group of winged creatures similar to Maleficent.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil spends a lot of time on the execution of the Queen's plot to take down Maleficent and other magical creatures, but never really explains how the Queen is able to get the information she needs to fulfill her plan. Some parts of the plot needed to be developed more but seemed rushed to get to the epic battle scene. Also, because there is so much going on with the battle plot, there isn't really an opportunity to find out a lot more about Maleficent. The first film was all about Maleficent, which is what made it so great. In Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, her character is more on the sidelines up until the end.

The moral of this movie is that anyone can be good or bad and not to judge a book by its cover, because villains can come in many different forms.

The film has a lot of beautiful visuals and lighthearted magic, but there are also some very dark scenes. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, as well as adults. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil hits theaters on Friday October 18, 2019 so check it out.

By Jordan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


MOLLY OF DENALI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


MERRY CHRISTMAS LLAMA LLAMA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


LITTLE WOLF'S BOOK OF BADNESS (2019)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LITTLE WOLF'S BOOK OF BADNESS (2019)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 8 - 15
Topic - Family
Description - All Little Wolf wants to do is stay at home with Mum, Dad and his brother, Smellybreff. However, Mum and Dad are worried that their precious son, Little Wolf, is not as bad as a small wolf should be. So they decide to send him off to Cunning College in Frettnin Forest to learn the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle Bigbad. Uncle Bigbad is a hopeless teacher, but armed with determination and native wit, Little Wolf thinks things out for himself. Sent out by his Uncle to round up a troop of boy scouts to eat for supper, Little Wolf discovers that the scouts have many useful skills that Little Wolf can learn from them. In the end, Little Wolf decides not to follow outdated rules of proper wolf behavior but to be true to himself. As a result, he inherits his Uncle's fortune and becomes master of Cunning College. Based on a world-famous series of best-selling Little Wolf story books, this one-off is a treat for the whole family!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Little Wolf's Book of Badness is a short film based on the book with the same name by Ian Whybrow and made into an award-winning film by Karsten Kiilerich. I personally love this film. Little Wolf's parents are very concerned about him not being big and bad enough, not really displaying typical wolf behavior. So his parents send him to Cunning College in hopes of learning the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle Bigbad. Bigbad sends Little Wolf out to some troops and he, in turn, learns many lessons from them. After all is said and done, Little Wolf is true to himself and doesn't try to change his behavior to reflect the Nine Rules of Badness. This ends well for him and I don't want spoil what happens for him at the end. You'll just have to watch and find out. The animation is style is reminiscent of the books and is very charming. My three-year-old loved watching this. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for age 4 to 12. However, I'm sure some older kids and adults may enjoy it as well. Reviewed by Rachel V., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Little Wolf's Book of Badness, directed by Karsten Kiilerich, is unique and unexpected! With its spiral of surprises, I never could predict what would happen in the next scene. The story also puts a twist on common fairy tales such as Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood.

The story follows Little Wolf (Alexander Pownall), who is not bad enough for his family. So his Mum (Lucy Whybrow) and Dad (Richard Hope) send him on a journey to Cunning College to learn from his Uncle Big bad how to be a true bad wolf. On his quest, he learns the 'Nine Rules of Badness.'

Alexander Pownall, the voice actor for Little Wolf, creates personality through his voice. His voice is high, making it sound like that of a young child. As Little Wolf ventures through the woods to reach Cunning College, I heard the fear in his voice and sympathized with him. When he writes letters back to his family and reads them, I heard the unwillingness to be where he was and the sense of defeat just through his voice. Michael Gambon, voice actor for Uncle Big bad, has terror in his voice that gave me goose bumps. For example, when he is first introduced and he speaks, I knew Little Wolf was going to have a tough time in Cunning College.

The animation is dark but appealing. It sets the tone of the movie as it reflects Little Wolf's feelings. For example, when Little Wolf feels that his trip was a waste of time and nothing good will come out of his journey, the scenery is dark, it is raining and there are shadowy clouds looming above him. The costume designs add to the personalities of each character. For example, Little Wolf has simple clothes that are similar to a schoolboy's outfit, reflecting what his purpose is in the movie. Uncle Big Bad wears a grey suit, with a yellow shirt and blue tie which reflects his personality as an evil wolf but also one who has the potential to have color or goodness in his life.

My favorite part of this show is the animation. The type of animation that is used made me feel as if I was watching my own imagination. The message here is that goodness will always outshine darkness. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 15. This is available on DVD now so check it out.

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

Little Wolf's Book of Badness is a very odd type of film. It's not your typical Dora the Explorer type of kids' show, which is good because there are too many of those types of shows out there. This is a story and a good story at that. It teaches kids through a wolf who is supposed to be bad, but wants to be good.

The storyline is about Little Wolf who just wants to stay at home with his family, but his parents don't think he's bad enough to live up to the Wolf family name. So, they send Little Wolf to Cunning College to learn the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle Big Bad. But it turns out Uncle Big Bad isn't such an amazing teacher after all.

As I said, the show is pretty great. The animation is wiggles a bit, even when they are standing still. This is probably intended, but it is kind of distracting. One of the things I really like about this show is its plot and the simple way it shows the lessons they are trying to teach without even saying so. This is what makes it a different type of kids' film. It is also very slow paced. There isn't very much action. One thing I wondered about the whole time is why Little Wolf always sneezes when he's around Mr. Twister. Is he allergic? Michael Gambon, the voice talent for Big Bad is really cool. David Thewlis voices Mr. Twister, which is pretty awesome. I know and like both Gamgon and Thewlis from the Harry Potter films. Another thing I really enjoyed about this film is how scary they make Big Bad. I really was kind of scared when the character Big Bad came on and yelled at Little Wolf. That is probably my favorite scene because it really shows who Big Bad truly is.

The message this film teaches is that, even if you're bad or scary, that doesn't mean that you are happy. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars because it has a cool, different way of teaching kids. I recommend this film for ages 2 to 6. This film is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I really enjoyed this animated short film! Little Wolf is charming throughout the film. The whole concept of Little Wolf's Book of Badness is also keen.

Based on the book written by Andre-Morgan and directed by Karsten Kiilerich, the show is about a wolf named, Little Wolf and his perceptions about being bad. His family is disgusted as they watch Little Wolf comb his hair and brush his teeth because, being a wolf you must be unclean and rude. Little Wolfs' Dad and Mom can't put up with his behavior any longer, so they send him to his uncle Big Bad. Big Bad is the head of Cunning College where Little Wolf is taught the nine rules for being bad. In reality though, Big Bad doesn't care about teaching his nephew, he only cares about how much food Little Wolf can give to him.

Big Bad is voiced by Michael Gambon who puts a 'great bad wolf' in his voice. Little Wolf is voiced by Alexander Pownall. Smellybreff, Little Wolf's younger brother is voiced by Matthew Gillespie. Smellybreff knows that Little Wolf isn't acting like a terrible wolf like their parents raised them to be. Lucy Whybrow voices the mom and Richard Hope, the dad.

I enjoyed watching the story come to life. The animation looks like drawing from the book which is very delightful. My favorite part is when Little Wolf tries to warn his uncle of the effects of eating baked beans too fast, but Big Bad just waves his comments away. As he gobbles up all the beans, Little Wolf continues to warn his uncle when he stands to close to the fire. Big Bad once again doesn't listen and toots right in front of the fire, making an explosion at Cunning College. This was my favorite part because it brought some great humor to the climax of the story.

The message of the film is to be yourself by being good, even if being good is bad. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 9. This DVD is available now so, be sure to check it out. Reviewed by Kamryn B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD


SONIC BOOM: SEASON 1, VOLUME 1

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SONIC BOOM: SEASON 1, VOLUME 1       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 8 - 15
Topic - Family
Description - It's a Sonic you haven't seen before - an ensemble comedy that pokes fun at action-adventure storytelling, but still manages to deliver plenty of adrenaline! Wherever he goes and whatever he s up against, Sonic the Hedgehog is aided by his sidekick, Tails, and his friends Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks and, of course, attacked by his arch nemesis, Dr. Eggman.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Though somewhat predictable, the show has some very funny moments and can serve as an entertaining break during the day, since the episodes are so short. The message of the story centers around the conflicts between friends. This includes Doctor Eggman, whose role is more of a rivalry than a serious threat of evil. If parents want their kids to get more out of this show, then they should pause between episodes and discuss the characters' adventures with their child, comparing to their child's own experiences with questions such as, "What would you do if your friend acted like that? Can you think of better ways to solve that problem? How might this whole scenario have gone differently?"

Younger kids will enjoy the bright, energetic characters' antics with their friends, as well as making fun of Eggman for always losing. Slightly older kids might appreciate the show, because they're familiar with other materials from the Sonic franchise.

The plots of each episode, though simple, make the usual cartoony sort of sense. Problems are set up, faced and resolved in the next episode. Further consequences are glossed over. The show is not designed to be accurate in the way it portrays animals or technology. There is plenty of punching, lasers, breaking robots and making things explode, but nobody actually gets hurt. Both heroes and villains engage in "don't try this at home" stunts. On another note, nearly all the characters are portrayed as gullible and unintelligent, particularly the stronger ones, like Knuckles. This could be interpreted as the common prejudice that big plus strong equals dumb.

Though less stunning and more simple than the computer animation seen in most contemporary cartoons, the show has some pretty background sets. The action sequences are also well-animated.

This show could be considered educational by its portrayal of the frictions that often arise between a group of people, particularly friends. The gang's interaction with Eggman could even provide a teachable moment, such as showing kindness to your enemy, even when you know he'll turn around and try something bad again tomorrow.

This program is a collection of episodes having to do with solving conflicts between friends. The episodes point out problems that often arise such as jealousy, feeling underappreciated, unpopular hobbies and wanting to make up for thing's you've done wrong. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12.

Reviewed by Beth T., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this DVD because it is very entertaining. Each story line is funny; it has a lot of action and delivers a lot of adrenaline.

Sonic Boom, Season 1, Volume 1, is over four hours of action, fun and entertainment. The package comes with two DVDs that include 26 episodes. Each disk is 145 minutes. Sonic (Roger Craig Smith) is a blue hedgehog who has a sidekick, Tails, who helps him in his adventures. Sonic's friends - Knuckles (Sebastian Desjours), Amy (Cindy Robinson) and Sticks (Nika Futterman) - help him attack his arch nemesis Dr. Eggman (Mike Pollock). Each episode has a different story line. It does not follow a sequence, which it means that each episode is always a different adventure and that's what makes it so entertaining.

The graphics are amazing and the colors are very bright. The voice-overs are funny and they fit each character. The music is okay. I especially like the theme song, which is very catchy. My favorite episode is The Meteor when Sonic and Dr. Eggman switch their brains and body accidentally. They touch a meteor and then their brains and bodies are switched. Dr. Eggman becomes Sonic and Sonic becomes Dr. Eggman. Dr. Eggman tries to act like he really is Sonic and tries to trick Sonic's friends so he can destroy them and he can rule the world, since he is now a genius and super fast. My other favorite episode is Double Doomsday. In this episode a kid meets Dr. Eggman and the kid gets mad at Dr. Eggman, because he is makes the kid do chores. The kid makes a doomsday device to destroy the world. He tells Dr. Eggman that his doomsday device is going to do more damage and they start competing against each other to destroy the world.

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

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, but adults can watch it with their kids and may find it amusing. This disk is definitely worth four hours. Sonic Boom, Season 1, Volume 1, is available now, so look for it! Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.

What do you call a blue hedgehog that is really fast and trying to stop an egghead from taking over the world? Sonic! It's been a while, but he is back along with all of his friends...and enemies. This show is action-packed, hilarious with some dad jokes and just overall fun. Each episode also has some kind of moral or message at the end. I watched the Limited-Edition DVD Gift Set that comes with a DVD of over four hours of action- and adventure-filled episodes, plus it includes Sonic and Dr. Eggman pose-able action figures. But let's just do this, shall we?

We enter the animal world of Sonic Boom, with all of its strange buildings and characters that are actually animals. We are first faced with a problem, which is usually Sonic's responsibility to solve, and which always involves his nemesis Dr. Eggman. Along with help from his friends, Sonic uses his super speed to save the day. Let's meet a few of Sonic's friends! There is Amy, a pink hedgehog, who uses her giant pink and yellow hammer to defeat Dr. Eggman. There is Knuckles who uses his super strength, and of course his knuckles, to take down Dr. Eggman. Finally, there is Sticks, who uses her boomerang to help Sonic win each battle with Dr. Eggman.

It all takes place in Sonic's strange village and Dr. Eggman's evil lair. The series is directed by Natalys Raut Sieuzac and Sonic is voiced by Roger Craig Smith. Sonic is a mischievous blue hedgehog. He can sometimes get a little overprotective of his friend Tails, a cute fox who loves making gadgets that are actually helpful, unlike Dr. Eggman's scary but silly inventions. Dr. Eggman is a true blockhead who sees himself as a genius, even though he is not at all clever. Amy is a true peacemaker who can't stand it when her friends fight, but gladly helps fight Dr. Eggman. Knuckles is well... pretty much a dingbat. He often believes anything he hears and he hears a lot of those unbelievable things from Sticks. No, not a twig! Her name is Sticks and she is way too wild and crazy.

Get on board with Sonic and his friends because every episode is a new, supersonic adventure! The message of this series is to always help your friends and sometimes your enemies too.

Sonic Boom: Season 1, Volume 1 gets 4 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 4 to 12. This DVD is available now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Beatrice N, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Sonic Boom is a really good cartoon filled with funny jokes and adventure. It is based off of the Sonic video games and turns it into an ensemble comedy. It pokes fun at action-adventure storytelling, but still manages to deliver plenty of adrenaline and excitement. The animation is great also.

The storyline follows Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails, Knuckles, Amy and Sticks who defend Seaside Island from various threats such as Dr. Eggman and his robotic creations. Wherever Sonic goes, his friends are always there to help him. Dr. Eggman always creates robotic things and tries to defeat Sonic with them, but he always fails.

In the video game, Sonic did not speak, but Robert Craig Smith gives life to the character and makes him awesome. The director, Bob Rafei, made this animated series great. The writer, Ian Flynn, wrote a great and comedic script too.

The message of Sonic Boom is to always have fun in what you're doing. Whenever they fight Dr. Eggman, they are always telling jokes and having fun. Sonic Boom: Season 1, Volume 1 gets 4 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 5 to 10. This DVD is available now so look for it.

Reviewed by Leandro R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 290 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12.99
Media: DVD


ADDAMS FAMILY, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ADDAMS FAMILY, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
MGM STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Members of the mysterious and spooky Addams family -- Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Wednesday, Uncle Fester and Grandma -- are readily preparing for a visit from their even creepier relatives. But trouble soon arises when shady TV personality Margaux Needler realizes that the Addams' eerie hilltop mansion is standing in the way of her dream to sell all the houses in the neighborhood.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Addams Family is a thoroughly hilarious watch for families. Even adults can have fun as the film boasts humor for all ages. Excellent voice acting and consistently funny script impress. It truly has something for everyone.

The story follows the iconic family in their first animated adventure. Being the kookiest family on the block, several homeowners lend massive disgust for their unconventional ways, teaming up to bring them down. Amidst this is a funny and iconic tale about what it means to be a good neighbor.

The Addams family cast all boast great performances. Oscar Isaac, as Gomez, presents his patriarchal side and his interactions with Pugsley provide great humor. Likewise, Charlize Theron, as Morticia, who cares greatly for Wednesday. Pugsley and Wednesday, played respectively by Finn Wolfhard and Chloe Grace Moretz, are a lot of fun to watch together as they do not get along. Wednesday is my favorite character because her over-analytical self is always enjoyable to watch. Also, Snoop Dogg's cameo is well worth price of admission; it's truly unexpected and works.

Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, known for films such as Shrek 2, aptly direct this film. However, the animation does leave a bit more to be desired; as I felt elements lack refinement and detail, especially compared to current animation. My favorite scene is when Lurch, a creature alike Frankenstein, sings. It's truly hilarious and works amidst his roster of piano playing. The film loses traction once, focusing on the homeowners who lack the characterization of the Addams. Also, Pugsley feels rather undeveloped when compared to Wednesday. I feel that more time could have been devoted to characterizing him.

The message of this film is about accepting others for who they are and learning to resolve differences. Even though The Addams Family is played for outlandish humor, the film realizes the importance of this message and hopes for everyone to accept one another. I give The Addams Family 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 due to its macabre humor. The movie releases in theaters on October 11, 2019, so check it out.

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

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


ABOMINABLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


GINA

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GINA
MEXICAN FILM INSTITUTE
Series: FOREIGN ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 7-18
Topic - Family
Description - This is an animated short film about the protagonist Gina, who from a young age utilizes a chicken suit as a means to deal with her fears. Her mother recognizes this in Gina early on and seeks out therapy so she can learn to cope. Gina's mom suddenly dies when her daughter is a teenager and Gina has to overcome her fears all on her own. She successfully breaks through, and is free to become the dancer she always dreamed of being.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What makes this film appealing is the realistic story line about conquering one's fears and thriving. The 2D animation style is appealing and flows well with the script. The overall theme is not new, but story is told in an original way.

I like the overall theme and the animation style. I particularly enjoyed the Latin soundtrack. I also enjoyed the nightmarish dream sequence and the point-of-view shot of dancers morphing into goblins when Gina first enters dance class as a child. The dancers' costumes dance represent Latin culture quite well. The sets and locations in the dance class, at home and in the psychiatrist office are all relevant to the overall storyline. For me, the music definitely drives the story line and is very relevant, especially for the climax dance sequence near the end.

The message of the story is that one has to conquer her fears in order to make her dreams come true. I like that Gina's mother gets help for her child through finding her a psychiatrist. Sadly, since a mental health stigma still exists today, it might invite people who watch the film to seek services, if needed, for themselves or their child.

My favorite part is Gina, when metaphorically she sheds her chicken suit and becomes the free-spirited dancer. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. I recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. You should know that the dialogue is in Spanish with English Sub-titles. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


LISTIES WORK FOR PEANUTS, THE - EPISODE 3

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LISTIES WORK FOR PEANUTS, THE - EPISODE 3
ASH COTTRELL
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - THE LISTIES are odd couple housemates who love to have adventures. Just staying alive can be a fun challenge for them, literally. Recently, Matt was worried he was dying. He thought his bum was broken - there was a crack down the middle. On top of this their landlady, an impossibly high achieving and quick witted eight year old ABERNATHY PEANUTS, won't stop hammering on the door with a list of demands - well it's more a list of DEMAND seeing as there's only one thing on the list: PAY YOUR RENT! The Listies have got bills, bills, bills so they need to get to werk, werk, werk! The only thing is, they're not exactly what you would call employable. In fact they've been fired from literally every proper job they've ever had, (apart from when they were human cannonballs, when they weren't fired, because they didn't fire, so they were fired (if you catch my drift). In every episode of THE LISTIES WORK FOR PEANUTS, Matt and Rich have to get a job to pay their rent to their eight year old landlord, Abernathy Peanuts - and if they don't... they'll be out on their BEEPs!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Where to start. This is episode 3 of a series so you don't quite know the backstory, but it doesn't hamper understanding this clip. It is well produced and quite current in terms of the social media maven/influencer that hires the two goofy guys for her campaign. The topic of replacing poo for chocolate certainly has no socially redeeming value to it, but it is funny and kids would get a kick out to it. It works for kid and family festivals for a bit of comic relief. The camera work is very good. The actors are spot on, especially the "odd couple." Love the visual graphics. Fun. 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 - see adult comments

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


EMERGENCY BRAKE, THE

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


KAZUMI RACECAR PIG

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


SARAH MACDOUGAL MEETS THE GHOST OF BEETHOVEN

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

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

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

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


TEI TEI

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TEI TEI
MARK LESCHINSKY
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - A heartwarming story about an unusual friendship of two children living in different countries in different time periods. An 11-year-old boy named Johnny, a talented young chess player has found his best friend Dashenka, a 10-year-old Russian girl living with her pet rabbit in 1963. Both children are dreaming about flying to space. Johnny wants to go back in time to meet Dashenka.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I am such a fan of student films, especially those that show true insight and thoughtfulness, like this one does. 13-year-old Mark Leschinsky is to be commended for creating an interesting story line and executing it in a remarkably good production. Yes, there are some continuity issues such as there was no priority mail in 1963 and the types of devices plugged into the electric outlet at the girl's home didn't exist at that time. But, that's something for studios to worry about. What I love is the storyline, the acting which is pretty believable, the use of black and white for the 1963 scenes and I love Mark's personal statement at the end. Kudos to you my friend. Definitely give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S. KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What an interesting plot! I love the idea of a soul mate who is trapped in a different place and time. It adds both the conflict and the fascinating sci-fi theme. This film is about a boy seeking his Tei or soul mate. The only problem is that his Tei lives in another place in time. Despite the distance, they share a love of space and science. What I like about the storyline is that it features two completely different locations and eras, as well as some thought provoking scientific ideas and history. The bunny shots are a unique and interesting way to transition between scenes. Also, the director use photography to differentiate the time eras. The current time scenes are in color and the scenes from the past are in black and white. I love how specific the costumes are to the time periods. I especially love the little girl's dress. The sets and locations are very simple, but reflect the time periods well.

I love the vintage Russian space program footage. It lends an historical authenticity to the film. It is great that the Russian girl speaks Russian. One of the things I really like about the film is that it was written by someone so young. The goal of this film is to inspire and it certainly does so. The message is: if you are a dreamer, always stay true to yourself, and you will somehow find your Tei.

This film made me want to learn where the word Tei comes from. It also made me curious about Russian space travel and time travel. I especially love when the boy is travelling through time. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to18, plus adults. Reviewed by Elle C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 17 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


ARAPAHOE TRUTHS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ARAPAHOE TRUTHS
GEORGE GIGLIO
Series: INDIE DOCUMENTARY, AGES 7-18
Topic - Family
Description - The Northern Arapaho People of the Wind River Indian Reservation of Wyoming are story tellers. In an effort to pass their culture to the next generation the Elders tell the children four traditional stories, using clay animation, shadow puppets, paintings, drawings and performance, the children make the stories come to life.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Very interesting and of a genre all of its own in many ways. It is both a documentary about Native American storytelling which includes examples of illustrated storytelling. Both of which combined make it information and entertaining at the same time. I highly recommend this, especially for any venue looking for films about Native American culture. It is beautifully shot and edited with excellent on camera talent who share their insight into their culture and history. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, as well as adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 29 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


IDEAL EXHIBITION WITH HERVE TULLET, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
IDEAL EXHIBITION WITH HERVE TULLET, THE
FLORENCE ROCHE
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - The Ideal Exhibition with Herv� Tullet invites young and old to unleash their creativity! Herv� Tullet, an artist of playful and uninhibited creations, orchestrates this project with his favorite tools: colors, paper, brushes, scissors... and by sharing his passion, he invites the public to create their own Ideal Exhibition! Part of a web series of art workshops
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is one episode of a web series that illustrates how to utilize scotch tape to make a creative and abstract piece. I like the concept that anyone can create. This is a very hands-on production (how-to) about how anyone, from a 7-year-old to an adult, can bring out their inner artist using sketch work lines, squiggles, multi-colored markers and re-positioning scotch tape. It exemplifies simple artistry than literally anyone can do. This 3:45 minute short makes a good mini movie with a message. The camera angles are excellent with various shots from above that give the viewer a very clear look at the design as it develops. The vibrant colors and clearness of the picture are also necessities for viewer drawings in real-time. The set appears to be an artistic work area where Herve Tullet creates fun stuff. The white background is effective in enhancing the focus on the drawings. The background music keeps the viewer engaged and stimulated during the episode. Herve Tullet makes a charming on-camera talent. You should know that the dialogue is in French with English sub-titles. The message is about creating art with as simple a thing as scotch tape. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Kimberly M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18]
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


STEWY BABY A DOGUMENTARY

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
STEWY BABY A DOGUMENTARY
KRISTIN HERBY
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Stewy Baby has one purpose in life, to share reading, joy and compassion to everyone she comes in contact with. Join Stewy Baby and her human companion, Kristin as they touch the lives of children everywhere.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this short film because I think it is so neat to see how this dog goes to schools, hospitals, and libraries and helps children. It shows that if you are different from others, you are still a person who can make a change, and Stewy helps kids understand that.

Stewy Baby is a "dogumemtary" about a sweet therapy dog who helps children. The owner of Stewy's doggy mother was going to keep Stewy at first. But she sold her to a woman who works with children and writes children's books. She became a therapy dog and her owner wrote a book about Stewy called ''Stewy Baby.'' All kids love Stewy and Stewy loves all kids, but she likes the kids who are different the most. Now Stewy is the star of a program called ''Stories with Stewy,'' where she helps kids learn to love reading. How cool is that?

This is a true story so it is sentimental. Stewy almost goes to a different owner and then, none of this would have happened! I'm glad she didn't stay with her original owner!

Sometimes the camerawork is shaky, but the angles are great! There is one shot that is a close-up of Stewy's face where the camera is slightly tilted, making Stewy's eyes seem larger which is pretty cool.

The film was made in Idaho and it is so pretty there. There are lots of scenes in schools with Stewy and children. The background music is a simple, happy tune. It helps you understand how much this dog does. Stewy is the star. She is so cute. Stewy's owner, Kristin Herby really has a way with words, especially when she talks about Stewy. The message is that it's okay to be different and, even if you struggle with reading, you can learn to love it.

From watching this film, I learned that some kids have trouble with their differences and they can accept who they are. My favorite character is Stewy. She was so adorable and she won my heart. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. This would make a great addition to a kid and family film festival. Who doesn't love kids and dogs! Reviewed by Beatrice N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


WHY...

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WHY...
DEVENDRA KUMAR
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGE 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - A young boy who is mostly busy in his mobile gets a challenge from his mother. The challenge is simple but tricky.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short film is about young boy who is too involved with his electronics. His mother wants to show him that there is more to life than cell phones and computers, so she gives him a task which he needs to solve without using any modern technologies. What makes this film appealing is the way mother challenges her son to solve a problem without using any electronics and instead doing it the "old-fashioned way" - talking to the people, in person, leaving the house. As a mother, I'm also concerned with the amount of time people (not only kids) spent staring at different kinds of screen (PC, cell phone, tablets, TV and others) and avoiding personal contact and outdoors. What I like about this movie is that it shows us how much we rely on modern technologies. Many of us can't even imagine life without them anymore and that's alarming. We need more of the human interaction. I particularly like the scene in the library with bookshelves packed with books. It looks like a small maze and the boy seems a bit lost. Also, the scene where boy sits with the librarian and both read regular paper books is charming. The costumes are accurate and fit well with the story line. There are four major locations - car, home, library, park. They are all well planned and help develop the story plot - from sitting in the car with the cell phone in hand all the way to the great outdoors.

The background music and sound is well executed. It begins with typical video game sounds. Slowly, as the movie progresses (scenes in the library) the music becomes calming, soothing, something that you want to hear while doing some research in the library. The music at the end of the movie represents joy and some kind of triumph. Devendra Kumar, writer, director and producer of the film, originally studied engineering, so the task in the film fits well with his background. To me, who stands out the most, is the mother who is trying to teach her son (the time machine boy) a valuable lesson - don't waste your time indoors with the gadgets, go out, play and talk with friends.

The message of this film is there is more to life than just modern technologies. Let's enjoy some pleasure reading and learn something new. My favorite part of the movie is the scene when the mother sits with her son on the bench in the park and they just TALK and LAUGH. It's simple yet comforting. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. This film shows us how important human interaction and natural curiosity are for our life. It's multi-cultural, educational and teaches us about the importance of pleasure reading.

Reviewed by Monika B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult reviews
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-19
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


HELIOCENTRIC

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
HELIOCENTRIC
MIKE MCCRAW
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Boxer, Verve, Campbell and Herman teach Naomi Money that the Sun revolves around the Earth, foiling her quasi-evil plan, and schooling her about Ptolemy, Galileo and Copernicus in the process.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Oh my! This is definitely my favorite film I've seen all week! Brilliantly animated, great characters. I particularly love the rap song with awesome animation about Galileo. The evil character Naomi Money is just evil enough to make you shrug your shoulder as her caretakers step in to make sure she can do no harm. My only complaint is that the ending doesn't really do the film justice. It just sort of fizzles out at the end of the song and we don't see any true conclusion to Ms. Money's plan or the intervention by her team. I would love to see more work by Mike McCraw because I think he is simply brilliant. Definitely give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Younger kids wouldn't get the irony of the evil Ms. Money. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


L'HARMONIE DE LA VIE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
L'HARMONIE DE LA VIE
PHILIP MARCOCCIO
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - PAR Avion AIRMAIL, a teachers intuition, kindred spirits, and true love . The harmony of life at work in the lives of two children.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a sweet, simple short that is about friendship and love. I liked that it starts at present day and then goes back to 1965 when the two main characters are only 8 years old. It is an appropriate love story for ages 8 through adult. Its main benefit is entertainment but it also teaches about love, hope and friendship. It made me smile and I like the characters and their dialogue and how well the story flowed. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend for ages 8 through 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review

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


JACOB'S GAUNTLET

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
JACOB'S GAUNTLET
FRANK GRESHAM
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Two little piggies (Daddy Pig and his son) react in horror to the spectacle of a man eating a "pig in a blanket" at a hot dog stand. Daddy Pig consoles his son by explaining to him "Jacob's Gauntlet": when humans die, as they make their way to heaven, every animal those humans ate in their lifetimes gets to take a bite out of the humans. Humans only reach heaven if there is anything left of them beyond this gauntlet.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I find this pretty hysterical and absolutely beautifully executed. There may be some people who take offense of the concept behind it, but it you take in context of the world of carnivores and omnivores, it's only fair. Very much told tongue-in-cheek. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. The animation is excellent, the audio is very good, the background music quite suitable. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 2 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO



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