The Ages 5-8 category has 3678 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles

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TITO AND THE BIRDS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TITO AND THE BIRDS
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Tito is a shy 10-year-old boy who lives with his mother. When an unusual epidemic starts to spread, making people sick whenever they get scared, Tito quickly discovers that the cure is somehow related to his missing father's research on bird song. He embarks on a journey with his friends to find the antidote. Tito's search becomes a quest to find his missing father and save the world from the epidemic. "One of the most memorable films for 2018" - Elvis Mitchell, Film Independent. Bonus features: Interview with director Gustavo Steinberg, Theatrical trailer
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Tito and the Birds is an oddly dark tale that is highlighted by its remarkably original art style. By dark, I don't mean gritty or vulgar, but it is most certainly heavier in tone than some young adult films out there. That said, anyone that's seen something akin to Corpse Bride or Coraline won't be addled in the slightest by this story about a fear pandemic. The BIG selling point of this film is the sensational art! It is an interesting of digital animation and what looks like layers of living oil paintings. It's hard to accurately describe the visuals in a way that gives this film the credit it richly deserves. I assure you, this film deserves to be seen by anyone who appreciates the medium of animation. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. Some younger viewers may enjoy it as well. I loved it! I give this film 5 out if 5 stars, for being so stunning. It's available on DVD April 23, 2019, so look for it!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Runtime: 73 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 27.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


LITTLE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LITTLE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURES, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - A ruthless tech mogul, Jordan Sanders (Regina Hall) receives the chance to relive the life of her younger self (Marsai Martin) at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much for her to bear after a girl she offended wishes she was little. Jordan receives help from her overworked assistant, April (Issa Rae), to find a way to revert to normal.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Little is a mostly enjoyable romp with its familiar, but unique spin on clich�s. Well-matched talents and a heartfelt script carry this fun, but flawed ride. Families may want to check out this crowd-pleaser.

The comedy centers on woman (Regina Hall) who, when her successes get the best of her, is forced to take the form of her younger self (Marsai Martin). This gives her not just a chance to relive more careless days, but an important lesson pertaining humbleness.

Marsai Martin, as little Jordan, is my favorite character with her introductory film role racking up well to most experienced stars. She translates her great work from Black-ish even more here. She truly plays well off Regina Hall's adult footing. She, as well, nails it with her energetic banter, but rudeness to others, being a center focus. But, all this is not complete without Issa Rae, as April, who sells the chemistry with both actors equally well. This trinity truly sells most of the comedic and heartfelt wonders.

Tina Gordon Chism aptly writes and directs with fresh takes at common plots. It also helps that every joke is well-timed and most end up landing. She really nails more heartfelt moments as the movie's tones remain natural. My favorite scene is the restaurant karaoke, because it is truly a staple of creative and relevant humor. Marsai Martin and Issa Rae really give it their all with their zappy singing being on point. However, many other jokes just don't land. It really falters when the middle school subplot becomes center focus and the talent show finale with its Fortnite dance-off doesn't help anything. It feels uninspired and, with the solid buildup, the whole setting really could have strived for more. All the characters here feel cartoonish and clich�d to a fault. Thankfully, the "friend zone" kids (J.D. McCrary, Tucker Meek, Thalia Tran) are a saving grace with their twee personalities and relatable struggles.

The message of this film is to just be yourself. Sure, it is one simple aphorism to live by, but the movie offers a fresh take by diving into the minds of kids. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, due to some suggestive content and brief language. The movie releases in theaters April 12, 2019, so check it out.

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

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


MISSING LINK, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MISSING LINK, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
ANNAPURNA DISTRIBUTION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-15
Topic - Family
Description - A movie about a Gay Caveman... When an unexpected outsider arrives in their camp, a microcosmic group of cave men and women find their world turned upside down by this mysterious stranger's evolved ways. When the women decide to leave camp until they receive better treatment, the cave men must turn to the evolved stranger to help them change their ways to get their women back.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Missing Link is a positively charming adventure with a lovable protagonist and fantastic animation.

The story line follows Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman), a daring adventurer with a flair for the dramatic, who stumbles upon a massive discovery. He receives a letter confirming the existence of the Sasquatch and treks off to meets the sender, a Sasquatch named Mr. Link (Zach Galifianakis). Mr. Link convinces Frost to help him track down his cousins, the yetis, living up in the Himalayas. Together with Frost's old flame Adalina, they travel the globe in search of Link's distant family.

My favorite character in this film is Mr. Link. He is a big creature with an even bigger heart. Link yearns for family after years of loneliness in the wilderness. Link takes everything very literally which provides the film with some witty gags. Zach Galifianakis's voice work on this film adds an extra layer to this character with his warm, upbeat energy and comedic voice performance.

I really like the character of Sir Lionel Frost also. He is a flawed explorer who has lost his passion for adventure and has gained a desire for success in all the wrong places. It's interesting to see an adventurer who, although good at what he does, isn't as dashing and is more unlikable at the onset of this film than the norm. Frost isn't readymade for the role of hero and earns it as we watch him become a more selfless, kind person during his arc in the film.

I love the animation in this film. With Missing Link, animation studio Laika continues to prove that its animation is getting better and better with each film. Every locale in this film, from India to the Himalayas is colorful and vibrant. These environments and characters are well-crafted and thought out. You sense the work and passion behind what you see on screen and the animation is breathtaking and even unbelievable at times.

Missing Link doesn't overuse the fish-out-of-water trope with the character of Mr. Link. The one flaw with this film is the use of an assassin character named Stenk. This character doesn't add much to the film, other than an action scene every once in a while and comes across as underdeveloped.

I give Missing Link an age rating of 5 to 15 for some scenes of peril and crude humor. I give Missing Link 4 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend you see this film when it ventures to theaters on April 12, 2019.

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

Missing Link, written and directed by Chris Butler is a heartfelt and funny film. It is a story about adventure and friendship.

It tells the story of monster hunter Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) who is in search of a mysterious creature - the Missing Link. He wants to join an exclusive club and needs this discovery to become a part of it. Soon he goes searching and spots the Missing Link in the woods. Link, who goes by Susan, is played by the hilarious Zack Galifainakis. The two set out on a journey to find Link's home, a land of yetis, so he can finally be part of a family. They are joined by Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana). She is a spunky and fearless woman who helps them on the way. On their way, they encounter villains who are determined to stop Sir Lionel from proving Link's existence.

The movie has outstanding animation and a unique storyline. Because it's a LAIKA studio film, the characters are made out of clay and there are a lot of incredible details that add to the movie. Fans of LAIKA films will enjoy the artistic style of the film. My favorite character is Link (aka Susan) who is funny and lovable. The movie takes the audience on a journey as Link tries to find out who he is and where he belongs. I also enjoyed the character Adelina because she is the motherly figure of the group. Together, Sir Lionel, Link and Adelina are a perfect team. My favorite part of the movie is when the three characters set out on an adventure to find Link's family. It is the first time they work together and they are hopeful.

The film is a story about belonging and friendship. Sir Lionel and Link form a strong bond. They remind me of Sherlock Holmes and Watson. The movie is full of humor and surprises.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 18, as well as adults. It's fun for the whole family. You can find it in theaters on April 12, 2019.

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PLOEY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A plover chick has not learned to fly when his family migrates in autumn. He must survive the arctic winter, vicious enemies and himself in order to be reunited with his beloved one next spring.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ploey, Ploey, Ploey... where do I begin? This is a cute family / love story that dragged until the last 10 minutes of the film. It was very hard for me to stay engaged.

The story is about a little plover chick named Ploey, who has not learned how to fly before his family migrates to the south. He learns about bravery and adventure through the scary winter. Ploey must face his fear of flying, in order to be reunited with his family and his true love Ploveria. Throughout his experience he meets a malicious hawk named Shadow, a creepy cat and a sympathetic big bird named Giron.

My favorite character in this film is Giron. The voice of Giron is played by John Stamos who is well known for his role Jesse on Full House. Giron is amusing, lovable and smart. He comes to Ploey's rescue. My favorite part is when Giron uses Ploey as bait, then accidentally falls asleep in the middle of the trap. I could not stop laughing. Ploey is another favorite character of mine, because he reminds me so much of the adorable Chicken Little. There are several parts in this movie that are not necessary, which causes the film to drag. The music is very mundane and I felt like I was going through the long winter with Ploey. The movie starts to pick up towards the last ten minutes of the film.

The message is to never quit. Everyone learns at their own pace. As long as you keep going and not give-up, you will make it. I give this movie a 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 11. I do not think adults will enjoy this so much. Ploey opens in theaters in the US on April 26, 2019.

Reviewed by Milika L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1

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


DREAMER'S MELODY, A

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DREAMER'S MELODY, A
KENDRA ANN SHERRILL
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 7-15
Topic - Family
Description - A trip to the movie theater sparks a passion for a young girl and her shoes.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What a lovely and uplifting piece. Told simply, through the feet of the protagonist, we are drawn into her little saga, and rooting for her at the audition, watching her dancing her sweet little heart out. In a very uncomplicated way, this film tells us more about the "owner" of the feet than many that show entire bodies. It has a sweet and surprising ending that anyone can relate to. Well shot. Great background music. Love it. I highly recommend for ages 7 to 15, as well as adults and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


MAKE A DIFFERENCE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
LORA BATCHELOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - This is a short animation produced by students at Lora Batchelor Middle School in Bloomington, Indiana about the importance of being inclusive, not bullying, and accepting differences.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Very nice. Simple message, tellingly told. Whether crayons or people, we can blend to make a loving society. I love that these middle school students came up with this stop-action animation to illustrate this message. Kudos to them and their leaders for having the insight to do so. This short film easy fits into any film festival, as a charming interstitial that will appeal to ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. I give it 4 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: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


ZUL

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ZUL
MAGALI HERAM
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - What�s your earliest memory? This is the question that makes ZUL, an extraordinary little girl, to take up a trip towards a magical world where MIZAR, a cosmic being, will be the guide who helps her to find answers.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Zul is an amazing and creative film. Its story line is very original and the message is good for young people.

This story follows a girl named Zul whose lungs, at a very young age, started to rob the oxygen in her body, leading her to go through surgery. When the anesthesia hits her, she awakes in a beautiful land where she meets Mizar, a new friend that guides her through her journey. Zul asks herself, "Why am I here?" Throughout her journey, she struggles to come back to life, as her state of health is not in the best shape. Will Zul be able to return to her life with her parents and answer the question she has been asking her whole life?

I like the originality of the director, Magali for thinking of the concept of this film. I've never seen a movie with this concept, which made it appealing from beginning to end. It really impressed me how they were able to make this film so realistic, such as the way they put Zul to sleep when the image blurs as she prepares for surgery. Throughout the film, the locations and time periods change. The way they made the two actresses that play Zul look alike make the film look very professional and the great costume that Mizar wears throughout are awesome.

The locations are amazing and well thought out. The beautiful land she visits is just how I imagine that would be in the land of my dreams. The background music is very appropriate, almost mystical at times. The special effects are well executed. They make the film look realistic in every single scene. The characters Zul and Mizar really captured my attention. Zul fights for life and for what she believes in and Mizar stays with her in that special world, helping her move along through the hard times.

This film's message it to fight for your dreams to the very end. We never know how long or how short we will live. I learned from this film to fight for my dreams and to be the best version of me that I can be. My favorite part of the film is when Zul arrives at the place where she wakes and meets Mizar.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It has such a great message that many should see and get inspired by it. This might be of most interest for Latinos since the film's original language is Spanish, but anyone can enjoy it since it is subtitled in English. Reviewed by Hennesi V., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


MAX TOPAS - THE BOOK OF THE CRYSTAL CHILDREN

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MAX TOPAS - THE BOOK OF THE CRYSTAL CHILDREN
MICHAEL W. DRIESCH
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - Nine-year-old Max Topas wakes up much too late one morning and finds that his parents and sister have vanished without a trace. Monsieur Quidam, a peculiar stranger, appears just at that moment, claiming to have cast a spell on the family, that they were about to embark on a trip around the world from which they would never return and that they would have no memory of Max at all. There was only one way to stop all this: within just two hours, Max must find the 'Book of the Crystal Children' for Monsieur Quidam. The only clue provided by the mysterious Quidam is the business card of Madame Edda, a lady who would help Max make sense of all this and be able to point him towards finding the book. From Madame Edda, Max learns that he is a so-called 'Crystal Child' with the ability to enter a special 'Dreamland'. And so begins a spectacular search for the book that will take Max, during the course of a couple of hours, into the dream world and around the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a wonderfully charming tale, exquisitely told. Kudos to director Michael W. Driesch and his team of talented actors to bring such a great story to the screen. It is well filmed with great visuals throughout, excellent audio & background music and wonderful cast. The dialogue is in German with English sub-titles but easily read. I highly recommend this for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals for ages 8 to 15 and give it 5 out of 6 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 82 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


BESTEST JOB, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BESTEST JOB, THE
GIULIETTE LUGARA
Series: FOREIGN INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A 2D animated film that follows Frank, a single father who is reminded by his young daughter that the most important and rewarding job he has is being a dad
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Oh gosh, this is so adorable. This is exactly the type of film that we love for our KIDS FIRST! festivals! Cute, sweet, great message. Nicely executed. Not too corny. Love the little girl and how she gets her very busy dad to relate to her. Sometimes parenting can be overwhelming and tiring. It's good to be reminded how special it is. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


NOAH (2019)

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NOAH (2019)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SIGHT & SOUND THEATRES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - With a catastrophic storm on its way, Noah is given a monumental task: build a boat big enough to save mankind from a flood that will cover the entire earth. Seen by more than 5 million people live on stage, Sight & Sound's landmark production sets sail into movie theaters this April for a nationwide Fathom Events presentation. NOAH takes you on history's best-known voyage as you board the enormous ark--along with two of every kind of animal! Filmed before a live audience, NOAH captures the panoramic scope, spectacle and grand scale that are signatures of a Sight & Sound musical production.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Sight and Sound Theatre's NOAH is a stage musical presented as a film and I really like it. Full disclosure, I am not a pious person, but I derived a lot of enjoyment out of this surprisingly entertaining rendition of the story of Noah's Ark. The moment you set your eyes on the stage, you realize just how much budget and coordination went into making this show. It's outstanding. The stage and props are huge with fantastic quality and tremendous variety. It really sets this production apart from other of a similar vein. Similarly, the actors are remarkably multifaceted in their talents. Every one of them seems equally capable of transitioning from deep dramatic moments, to musical numbers, to comedic moments. For the religious and the not-so religious, this is a wonderful stage show with very obviously high production values. The musical numbers are very cute and catchy. Recalling this story from Bible school when I was younger, it was always one of my favorites. This really helps bring Biblical stories to a fun light for younger ages. I recommend this for ages 9 to 14, as well as adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Can I say memorable, exciting, truthful, teachable and intriguing? This film takes you on a journey through the perspective of Jesus and Noah. It will keep you interested throughout the whole film. Are you ready for this extraordinary Bible story coming to life on the big screen?

The story follows Noah, a dedicated believer of Jesus, along with his family. One day Jesus speaks to Noah and exclaims there will be a massive flood throughout the land and his family and he will be the only ones to survive because Noah will build a boat. Noah listens right away as his brother, king of non- believers of God, tries to stop him. His brother has little faith in God left. We see the outcome while watching the film.

My favorite part of the film is that this is a physical film which allows me to see the back story that leads up to the ending. I also love that this story is not animated and you are able to see real reactions and actions. My favorite real-life character would have to be Noah. Not only because he is the lead person in the story, but because he stands up for himself throughout the hardest time and he completes a task without any doubt of his own beliefs.

This film shares important messages such as stay strong to your beliefs. We see this important message modeled in the scene which shows everyone except Noah and his family leaving and exclaiming how they didn't care about money. Noah and his family stay strong and happy. Another important message is to always stand up for yourself, no matter the situation.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. I believe the whole family will enjoy it as well. It will play in theaters for three days, April 11, 12 and 13, 2019. Make sure to check it out at your local theaters on these dates.

Reviewed by Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

NOAH is incredibly different and wonderful! It teaches about trust, choice, family and beliefs. Noah believes in God. He stands alone and people are against him because of what he believes in. He has to do what God says and not let anyone change his decision to listen. This is what all of us have to do sometimes, even when we feel alone. Sometimes we know we are right, but everyone says we are wrong. Noah doesn't want to die with everyone else. He wants to save his family, so he builds an ark.

There are lots of lessons and parts when you feel scared to see people that are going to die. God is tired of everyone that does not obey and does not live like God wants them to. So, he tells Noah that he is going to end the world. Noah gets treated badly. It reminds me of school, when people want to pressure you to do bad things and if you don't do them, they will turn on you. Noah has to do the opposite. He has to turn on the people who don't want to do good, in order to save himself. It is hard to say no to peer pressure sometimes.

The film is a recording of a live performance. It is different than other films and seems more real in some ways. We know it is not real because everything happens on the stage, but it made me pay more attention to the characters since there are not different setting or locations like in most films. I liked it. I would not want to watch a lot of movies like this. I prefer seeing plays in person. However, this is good.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5-11. It made me proud of what I believe in and that I can trust my family to protect me too! It is playing at select theaters April 11, 12 and 13.

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

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


SHAZAM!

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SHAZAM!       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson's case, by shouting out one word - SHAZAM! - this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Shazam! keeps up the strong footing of solo DC movies within the Extended Universe. It soars far above other superhero movies buoyed by a unique direction and story. This is a must watch for all.

The story follows street-smart foster kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who turns into an adult superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi) by yelling "Shazam!" Courtesy of an ancient wizard, Billy revels this adult version of himself alongside foster pal Freddy (Jack Dylan Gratzer). Can he fly? Can he buy beer? Does he have X-Ray vision? Better yet, can he talk to fish? These scenarios are tested to their limits, but seriousness strikes as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) seeks to defeat Shazam and steal his powers. Billy realizes there's more to this than jokes, but also a test to prove what makes a hero.

First, Zachary Levi owns it as Shazam with his natural comedic talent and physical prowess. He looks the part with his Godlike figure, while nailing the childishness with believability. The same goes for Asher Angel, who plays Billy Batson with the similar youthfulness, but nails his quieter heroic actions. The transformation is so seamless that you can truly believe the two are playing off each other. But, the cast's standout comes in Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy who proved his talents in IT, but here he is even better. His conversations with Billy/Shazam are so improvisational and random and they just work. Every line of his lands. The rest of the foster family, played by Faithe Herman (Darla), Ian Chen (Eugene), Jovan Armand (Pedro) and Grace Fulton (Mary) are all incredible with each member having their own unique characteristics. I especially love Darla's innocent goodness and happiness to have Billy around. Mark Strong, as Thaddeus Sivana, is a formidable foe with an apt back story. Still, I would have loved to see Strong saved for a bigger endgame.

David F. Sanberg's direction is superb, especially for his first action movie after a variety of successful horror movies. He even flexes his horror muscles with some truly terrifying designs for Sivana's powers. My favorite scenes are Freddy's training montages as those are a true testament to the film's sense of humor. Scenes like these are so unique in comparison to most superhero films. I also love many of the heartfelt moments within Billy's quest to find family. I wish the film had a bigger budget to make up for its action scenes, which could be far-between and underwhelming. But, in a way that adds to the movie's freshness, giving small scale looks at big fights.

The message of this film is that family is found from loving and genuine experiences, not in a word. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 due to intense action sequences, brief suggestive content and language. The movie opens in theaters April 5, 2019, so check it out.

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

Shazam! is absolutely amazing. It's entertaining, funny, action packed and engaging. This is maybe the best DC Extended Universe movie so far.

Fourteen-year-old Billy Batson discovers, with the help of an ancient wizard, that he can turn into a Superhero, just by saying the word Shazam! But Billy is not just dressed in a superhero outfit. He looks older and bigger.

Converted into Shazam, Billy, who lives with adopted parents, goes home and tells his friend Freddy that he is Shazam. Freddy loves and knows everything about superheroes. Together they test Shazam's capabilities and, surprise! He is indeed a real superhero. Billy uses his powers for good, but also for fun.

I think Shazam! makes the cinematic world a better place. This is not just a hilarious comedy. It is about finding a family, making true friends and combating bullying.

The acting in this film is amazing. Zachary Levi is the perfect Shazam. He has the charisma and humor to make this hero adorable and he is a big kid. Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer also make this movie very engaging. They are not just funny but also kind hearted. These actors totally carry the film. I think all the actors make it more relatable for younger audiences and new generations. I definitely think this movie is unique, because superhero films are usually more serious and only have a couple jokes, but this one kept my laughing. There's action and emotional moments as well. The amount of comedy is perfect and what makes it so special. The director David F. Sandberg surprised audiences. He's most know for his horror films, but this one turns out to be incredible and enthusiastic.

The message of the film is that we can all be heroes. It only takes a pure heart to have the power and strength to do good deeds, help people and beat the bad guys. The story works perfectly for the whole family, so I recommend it for ages 8 to18. I am a huge fan of this film as it made me laugh and I felt entertained the entire time. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. Shazam! opens in theaters April 5, 2019, so make sure to catch it in theaters!

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

Shazam! is a refreshing, rollicking good time with some hilarious comedy and great performances. Shazam! has tons of superhero fun, but also has a warm emotional center.

The story line follows Billy Batson, a 14-year-old foster kid, who moves in with a new family. Billy gains powers from a wizard who chooses him to be his champion against the forces of evil. He can transform into a powerful superhero just by saying the word "shazam." He and his foster brother Freddy test Billy's abilities to figure out the extent of his powers. Billy navigates the ups and downs of being a sudden superhero, while also clashing with Dr. Sivana, who is determined to take Batson's powers to rule the world.

I really like the performances in this film. Jack Dylan Grazer is good as Freddy. Grazer takes a comedic best friend and makes him much more than a one-note sidekick. Zachary Levi is great as the super-powered version of Billy Batson. Levi channels the personality of a teenager very believably. His performance is natural and I don't feel like I'm watching an adult try to play a teen. Mark Strong hams it up as Dr. Sivana, but he's still quite frightening and a real threat to the characters.

I love the tone of this film. It's never self-serious and, rather than making the hero dark and brooding, Shazam! captures its heroes and their powers with a childlike wonder. This film understands that superheroes are people who we can look up to because, even though they are flawed, they always aspire to do the right thing. I love the stakes of this film. It does not rely on apocalyptic proportions to make you care about its characters.

Shazam! starts as an origin story, but ends up doing more than that. Billy has always pushed the idea of family away and is more scared of accepting family than his powers. He has to embrace the idea of family to grow as a person and a hero. He realizes he can't beat Sivana alone and what you gain from having people support and appreciate you. I think this arc is heartwarming and a great direction for this film.

I recommend Shazam! For ages 12 to 18 due to some violence and language. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Although this film sometimes veers into predictable and clich�d territory, I came out of Shazam! with a smile on my face and excited to see what comes next from these characters. I highly recommend you check out this film when it comes out in theaters April 5, 2019

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

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


DUMBO (2019)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DUMBO (2019)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Struggling circus owner Max Medici enlists a former star and his two children to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant born with oversized ears. When the family discovers that the animal can fly, it soon becomes the main attraction -- bringing in huge audiences and revitalizing the run-down circus. The elephant's magical ability also draws the attention of V.A. Vandevere, an entrepreneur who wants to showcase Dumbo in his latest, larger-than-life entertainment venture.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Director Tim Burton's mind truly is a circus - a beautiful, colorful, vivid and artistic mind. While he adds his dark macabre to this classic Disney tale, it is done in such a way to engage the viewer and bring another dimension to the film. Dumbo is one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen, and I've seen thousands of films. What's impossible is possible when you believe. I believe in Dumbo.

When I heard Disney was creating a live-action version of their classic animated film Dumbo, I was skeptical as Dumbo is one of my childhood favorites. The live-action film I screened brought joy to my heart and tears to my eyes. It is so BEAUTIFUL - the colors come alive in every frame, from the costumes to the imagery. Dumbo is so loveable, believable and beautiful. His eyes captivate you from the first time you see the baby to his final frame. For the only character in the film who doesn't speak, you hear his journey of love and pain purely.

Dumbo plays homage to a Mother's love and a quest of survival for motherless children - human and animal. It is so beautifully cast from our hero Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell), to his amazing, innocent children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins), to the nefarious V. A. Vandevere (evilly played by Michael Keaton) and the con-man we come to love, Max Medici (Danny DeVito). In my eyes, the children and Dumbo are the stars of the show. V.A. Vandevere teaches the audience a lesson in greed and Max Medici showcases his desire to make a buck with true transparency! This traveling circus offers many journeys for the cast and audience.

As a true Disney fan, I see the essence of many iconic Disney places and films. The balloons remind me of UP. The pink elephants remind me of Fantasia. Dreamland, a fictionist theme park made me think of Disneyland (I mean, DL...) - and all the theme parks at Walt Disney World and the merch! Plenty of merch to sell at Dumbo's circus tent. The sublime imagery is seen throughout the film.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. Warning: there are some scary parts (Nightmare Island in Vandevere's Dreamland theme park and hallucinogenic pink elephants) and a SNAKE! Not my favorite creature. The casting is great. The costumes are authentic and the music will move you. Danny Elfman is the master of music in film! Could this be another Oscar nomination? Pay attention to a new twist on the classic song "Baby Mine." You won't believe who sings this classic song!

Bring your tissues! This film opens in theaters nationwide March 29, 2019.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is absolutely amazing - a bit dark, but beautiful and the visual effects are very good. I was so excited to see this film because Dumbo is such a classic and I really wanted to see it not in animation form. It is a story about outsiders and the beauty in the strange. This is the perfect tale for the imagination of the great director Tim Burton.

The story is about a circus elephant who is a baby. His name is Jumbo but later he is renamed Dumbo. He was born with big ears and people around him think he is weird and worthless. In this environment with lots of extraordinary people, this peculiar elephant shouldn't be so strange, but people make fun of him and are actually cruel. His protective mother who works in the circus gets really mad and is sent far away for misbehaving. Dumbo is sad because he is separated from his mom. The kids in the circus, Milly and Joe, don't have a mother either. They are the sons of Holt (Collin Farrell) who returns from war to work at the circus. The kids feel empathy for the baby elephant and try to comfort him. They come up with a way to get Dumbo involved in the circus after they discover he can fly. They think if they make enough money they can buy her mom back and the elephants can be reunited. The flying baby elephant becomes the circus' main attraction and the owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) receives a tempting offer. The family circus becomes part of a huge amusement park, but they are losing all that kept them united.

The story develops a little bit slowly at the beginning. I definitively love the scenes with Dumbo flying and the scenarios and costumes are gorgeous, but overall it is not as emotional as I expected. The cast is amazing, but the kids don't deliver as much sentiment as the story requires and they play a key role. Eva Green is charming and believable. Her character Collette Marchant, the girl that "flies" is many the most intriguing one. Danny Elfman's music creates an ideal atmosphere.

This film has a very positive and powerful message - even if we are different, it doesn't mean we should be treated differently, because that's what makes us beautiful and makes us stand out from the ordinary. We have to accept people the way they are. I give this film 4.5 out of five stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12 and adults as well. Dumbo opens in theaters March 29, 2019.

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

Despite Tim Burton's flair, Dumbo shows promise, but ultimately fails to take flight. Still, the movie does boast apt direction and talented cast. Any Disney fan may want to check this out, but proceed with low expectations.

The story expands upon the beloved classic story as Dumbo, a newborn elephant with oversized ears, becomes a star. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) to caretake the young one. Dumbo quickly becomes the laughing stock. But, once Holt's kids discover he can fly using his ears, Dumbo soon becomes the superstar of the circus and gains the attention of beguiling tycoon V.A. Vandevere with his Dreamworld amusement park. Vandevere's schemes are not what they seem as he wants to monopolize Dumbo and threaten the circus's goodwill.

First off, Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins, as Milly and Joe Farrier, are absolutely fantastic in their first-ever roles. Nico shines with her scientific interests and discovering Dumbo's flying capability. Whereas Finley nails his jockey attitude. Colin Farrell, as Holt Farrier, shines as their father who always means well for his kids and the safety of all. Sure, his Southern accent is quite jarring at first, but he grows into it. Danny DeVito, as Max Medici, is my favorite character as he has many scenes in the first half and is truly funny in every scene. It's a shame that a lot of his screen time is axed by a meandering second half. Michael Keaton, as V.A. Vandevere, unfortunately falters with a comically over-the-top performance. While Keaton's work is normally strong, here it just doesn't mesh with the movie's scenarios. Sure, at times, he sells the role of a tycoon well, but really his character always appears out of place.

Tim Burton aptly directs the movie, but the writing doesn't do this visually spectacular experience any wonders. Every scene is well produced, but the movie's pacing is all over the place. The special effects are also quite underwhelming at times. Some moments are impressive, but at times it comes across as artificial and unreal. The movie's second half also meanders into some bizarre territory, primarily due to its unimpressive villain. In spite of this, Dumbo's first flight scene is awe-inspiring, and is definitely my favorite scene.

The message of this film is that being different isn't always bad. It can come to be a true talent. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 due to some intense scenes and mild language. The movie releases in theaters on March 29, 2019 so check it out.

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

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


STORM BOY

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
STORM BOY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A beautiful and contemporary retelling of Colin Thiele's classic Australian tale. 'Storm Boy' has grown up to be Michael Kingley, a successful retired businessman and grandfather. When Kingley starts to see images from his past that he can't explain, he is forced to remember his long-forgotten childhood, growing up on an isolated coastline with his father. He recounts to his grand-daughter the story of how, as a boy, he rescued and raised an extraordinary orphaned pelican, Mr. Percival. Their remarkable adventures and very special bond has a profound effect on all their lives. Based on the beloved book, Storm Boy is a timeless story of an unusual and unconditional friendship.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This emotional, happy and humorous film is so interesting. This film was very fun to watch and I was interested in almost every scene.

Storm Boy is about a grandfather (Geoffrey Rush) who is a retired businessman and tells a story about when he was a kid in his old home town. As a young boy, he (Finn Little) made friends with a Native kid who was kind of a loner. The two of them found three baby pelicans and raised them. Michael (aka Storm-Boy), over the years, falls in love with the birds - Mr. Percival, Mr. Proud and Mr. Ponder. And, when he has to release the pelicans he is not happy. Even though he doesn't want to, he knows he has to. Over time Mr. Percival comes back to Michael and never leaves his side again. After a tragic event, everything changes and Michael gets in a fight with his dad because he finds out he might have to go to boarding school.

I like how clear the actors speak, because I could understand everyone and everything they talked about. The movie is long, but I wish it was longer. That's how good it is!

I couldn't believe that they were able to get these birds to do all the things they did. Finn Little who plays the boy really delivers a great performance and the way he interacts with the pelicans is cool to watch. Watching him is a highlight of the film.

This film has some language, but it is still kid appropriate. What other people can learn from watching this is to love and enjoy something while you have it, or just be thankful and be full of gratitude. The film is one that both children and grownups can enjoy. Warning: you might get teary eyed, so have a box of tissues!

I recommend this for ages 7 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars, because it is great. This opens in theaters April 5, 2019. So look for it!

Reviewed by Ava L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


NANCY DREW AND THE HIDDEN STAIRCASE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NANCY DREW AND THE HIDDEN STAIRCASE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - A bit of an outsider struggling to fit into her new surroundings, Nancy and her pals set out to solve a mystery, make new friends, and establish their place in the community.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is very entertaining which is why we go to the movies. Even though I have no nostalgic attachment to the Nancy Drew books, I really enjoyed this film.

The story is about Nancy Drew who has just moved to a small town called River Heights. She meets an elder woman named Flora who claims her house is haunted. Nancy decides to investigate with the help of her friends, George and Bess, and Flora's "mean girl" niece, Helen. My biggest issue with this movie is the mystery. I understand that this movie is aimed at younger kids, yet I feel the mystery is too easy to solve. However, that is my only major problem with this film. Plus, I didn't mind this that much, since even though the mystery is obvious, I mostly let it slide as I enjoyed the characters so much.

One thing I really like about this film is the typical mean girl character, Helen. At first it seems like Helen is just a stereotypical popular girl. Instead, she's only mean for a little bit of the movie. Halfway in she actually goes through a character arc. I really like this as I honestly feel mean girl characters are so overdone at this point. So it is nice to see this character done differently. However, my favorite character is hands down Flora. She is a very funny and so memorable. Everyone needs to have an Aunt Flora in their life. Flora had some of the best lines in the movie.

I really like the cast of this film. Sophia Lillis as Nancy Drew is fantastic. She is very engaging and I hope to see more of her in the future. Linda Lavin as Flora is amazing. She brings so much charisma and humor to every scene she is in. Zoe Renee as George and Mackenzie Graham as Bess are also pretty good supporting characters. I wish they were in the movie more.

Now, it's no secret that Nancy Drew is timeless. The books were first written in 1930 and they have been inspiring women ever since. I believe Nancy Drew is timeless and we all need a little girl power!

I give this movie 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. This film comes out on March 15, 2019 so look for it.

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SUPERPOWER DOGS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
0
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Join an immersive IMAX adventure to experience the life-saving superpowers and extraordinary bravery of some of the world's most amazing dogs. In this inspiring true story, our best friends are also real-life superheroes. Journey around the globe to meet remarkable dogs who save lives and discover the powerful bond they share with their human partners. Follow 'Halo', a rookie puppy training to join one of the most elite disaster response teams in America. Meet 'Henry', an avalanche rescue expert in the Canadian Rockies, 'Reef', a Newfoundland lifeguard with the Italian coastguard, 'Ricochet', a Californian surf legend helping people with special needs, and the Bloodhound brothers, 'Tipper and Tony', who are leading the fight to save endangered species in Africa. As we discover the incredible abilities of dogs and the astonishing science behind their superpowers, we'll never look at our best friends the same way again.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I loved watching the film Superpower Dogs. The camera work is absolutely amazing with so many interesting shots and lighting angles in this 3D IMAX production. The director really worked with so many special effects to get lots of close ups and precise detailing. You really see things from the dog's point of view, as well as its trainer's. It is a very entertaining movie that appeals to all ages. This movie really shows that all dogs have super powers with their amazing senses, even if they are not trained to dig 15 feet into the snow or lift forty times their own weight.

The movie features a disaster response dog named Halo and her journey to become a service dog for disaster response. She is joined by five other dogs named Henry (avalanche rescue), Reef (water rescue), Ricochet (emotional support dog who enjoys surfing) and Tony and Tipper (endangered species protection in Kenya). Their trainers play extremely important roles in the film and also in their training. It shows what all the dogs do, but the main focus is on Halo.

This is a documentary so there are no actors involved. It is directed by Daniel Ferguson and produced by Dominic Cunningham-Reid, George Duffield and Taran Davies. The cinematographer is Reed Smoot. Big propos to all the crew! There are all kinds of special effects where they show us a peak of the dog's anatomy. It is very realistic, but purposefully made as a special effect, which is so great. Also, they show a physical representation of scents from a dog's perspective, since they have very exquisite smelling skills. It is difficult to bring smells to life but this IMAX movie does it!

The only bummer for me was I wish they gave a little more attention and time to the other dogs in the movie. I think the director only had 45 minutes, so I imagine it would be hard to include lots of details about all the dogs and their trainers.

The message of the film is that all dogs have superpowers, even if they are not rescue dogs. This movie can will appeal to all animal lovers (even cat lovers), even though the main focus is on dogs.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. This film is playing now at select IMAX theaters. Go check it out!

Reviewed by Lukas L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


WONDER PARK

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WONDER PARK       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 4-12
Topic - Family
Description - June, an optimistic, imaginative girl, discovers an incredible amusement park called Wonderland hidden in the woods. The park is full of fantastical rides and talking, funny animals - only the park is in disarray. June soon discovers the park came from her imagination and she's the only one who can fix it, so she bands together with the animals to save this magical place and bring back the wonder in Wonderland
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Are you ready for a wonderfully fun and imaginative family adventure family movie? This exhilarating, thrilling, interesting and adventurous film was created by Josh Appelbaum and Andr� Nemec. This refreshing film will have you on the silliest adventure ever. Make sure to buckle up for this wild ride through the imagination of the "Wonders in Wonderland."

This film follows a wildly creative girl named June who, with her mother spend countless hours imagining, designing and building models of an amazing park, all from their imagination. The heart of Wonder Park exists in the relationship between June and her mom, which is extremely beautiful to me. It reminds me of my mom and me.

As the film progresses, you get to see June enter this world in real life and from a different perspective. You also get to see June go on a wildly and festive ride through her imagination. She gets to encounter her own fantasy characters, which she created when she was little.

The lead characters are young June (Sophia Mali), Cooper (Ken Jeong), older June (Brianna Denski), Greta (Mila Kunis), Boomer (Ken Hudson Campbell) and many more. My favorite character is clearly the favorable and cheerful Boomer. I adore Boomer because he is the friendliest and most outgoing character of them all. I also love that he is always positive and gives second chances to all his boon companions. An example is when June explains how she generated the darkness in Wonder Park. When June apologizes to Boomer she feels as if she disappointed him. Though he is always friendly, he felt unhappy when June let him down.

The animation by Peter Chan and Nathan Fowler is simply marvelous. It is colorful, unique and imaginative - from the beautiful sky to the detailed roller coasters, to the crazy popping popcorn machine. This animation should be acknowledged because it is amazing to see the Wonder Park as such a bright and innovative Wonder Land.

This film has no bad language or dangerous actions that children might attempt to imitate. It does teach children to always carry an imagination throughout their life because it can be healthful and healthy throughout good and bad times.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. This film opens in theaters march 15, 2019. Make sure to go check out this astonishing and adventurous film at your local theater.

Reviewed by Nathalie J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

This animated fantasy film is awesome! It has a good message for younger viewers, is whimsical, bright and colorful. The music is very inspiring.

The storyline is about a little girl's extraordinary imagination. She and her mom have a special bond, sharing a passion for creating a magical place called Wonderland. Then, an unexpected life-changing event occurs, causing June's world to change forever. She becomes very depressed and decides to put Wonderland away. She quits doing the things she loves most. Will the wonder ever come back to Wonderland?

The lead character June is played by Sofia Mali. Her voice-over work is outstanding. You're really able to connect with her adventurous heart, emotions and struggles as she experiences them. Steve, the porcupine is played by Jhon Oliver. He secretly admires Greta the hog. He had me laughing throughout the film. Whenever he gets nervous, he loses his sharp quills and you had better run!

The jokes in this film are very practical, as June is somewhat of math genius. Some of my favorite scenes are the homemade roller coaster that June and the neighborhood kids attempt to make. One particularly funny scene is when they are on the bus and June wants to escape. This is when she discovers there is really a Wonderland. The park is full of unexpected rides, zero gravity fun and chimpanzee zombies. June remembers how she created Wonder Park by whispering into her stuffed animal Peanut's ear and remembers that anything is possible. Her stuffed animals are her inspiration and caretakers of the park. The music and singing really carries you through the scenes. They are very relaxing and beautiful. The theme song "Wonder" was written by Ali Dee, Doug Davis and Anthony Mirabella and performed by Rachel Platten. The screenplay is written by award-nominee Josh Appelbaum.

I like that this film, which is a fun animation, has a much deeper meaning. It is very emotional and I cried a few times. Junes has a loving father and mother that encourage her to create and dream. However they face difficult times, as many families do. Many children may face times in their life that are not easy to understand. Losing someone close to you and having your life turned upside down breaks your spirit. So you stop being a kid and stop enjoying life and doing the things you love to do. Here, June stops imagining a land where everything is different.

There are some scenes where June and her friend make risky decisions like going off on her own. I recommend this film for ages 4 to 12. Teens may enjoy it also. It opens in theaters in the United States and Spain on March 15, 2019. Look for it.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! S2, V 2

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! S2, V 2       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Enjoy the second volume of the second season of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! follows the adventures of 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick, as they are whisked off on extraordinary voyages of scientific discovery with the Cat in the Hat. Thanks to the Thinga-ma-jigger and our friends, exploring has never been more exciting! In this volume set, kids will learn the answers to questions like what is the Earth s atmosphere, why do we need bones, and how is paper made. The discoveries don t end there! We learn how polar bears survive the arctic winter, how our ears work and so much more! So let s go, go, go, go on an adventure, we re flying with The Cat in the Hat today!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I'm a big fat of The Cat in the Hat! I have been since I was a little girl. Now, as an adult, I'm still a big fan! This DVD does not disappoint! It has 20 episodes! Directed by Tony Collingwood, the Cat in the Hat (Martin Short) definitely shows us that he knows a lot about many things from names and locations of the planets in our solar system to how animals walk with more than two legs. It is entertaining, engaging and great for preschool and school aged children, as well as their parents. Children will enjoy watching the Cat in the Hat and his friends Sally & Nick as they go on adventures to learn new things. One of my favorite episodes is about the solar system as the Cat in the Hat teaches Sally & Nick the order of the planets and their names. Martin Short as the voice of Cat in the Hat is perfect! I just love him. I also enjoyed the theme song. I give this 5 stars out of 5 stars, because I think it is a perennial hit. It's engaging, entertaining and educational What more could you want! I recommend it for ages 3 to 12. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Here we go, go, go, go on an adventure! I love this DVD because it is bursting with awesomeness. You find stories with snappy songs, wildly creative graphics and colorful animation. The voices of all of the characters work in perfect harmony, which makes each episode very engaging.

In The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That: Season 2, Volume 2, the two, adorable 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick set out on many quests for knowledge. Nick and Sally learn a lot about why tummies grumble and how to walk on more than three legs. They also learn to name the planets in a splendid trip to space (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune). In another adventure they learn how cloth is made. The DVD has 20 different stories averaging a little more than 10 minutes each.

Martin Short is the voice of the Cat who does a remarkable job! The creativity in The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That is so very clever, including the names of the Cat's friends, the places that Sally, Nick and the Cat go, and of course, all of the things that the thinga-ma-jigger can do. My favorite character is The Cat in The Hat because he has loads of fabulous and brilliant friends from all over the world. They are always happy to educate and teach Sally and Nick all they know. And something I also really like is that The Cat in The Hat's friends seem to always have wild and wacky hairstyles. They are really funny. My favorite part is when Sally, Nick, and the Cat go to space and how the thinga-ma-jigger transforms into a space thinga-ma-jigger.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including teaching kids to want to learn, be curious, and the value of friendship. The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That has no bad language and there is nothing risky or dangerous that children might try to imitate. It promotes positive behavior and they treat everyone appropriately.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this DVD for ages 3-8 and adults might also enjoy watching this with their kids. The DVD is currently available.

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

Calling all Dr. Seuss fans! Here's two discs, 20 episodes, fully loaded of extraordinary voyages of two best friends. Not only is this a fun Dr. Seuss cartoon for all, but it is also educational. Have fun while learning about the earth's atmosphere, the human skeleton, how paper is made and much more! So, let's jump into our imaginary Thinga-ma-jigger and go go go on an adventure with Nick, Sally and The Cat in the Hat.

In each episode, I learned something I never knew before. In each of the 20 episodes, a lesson is taught through the journey of two best friends. It had me saying "wow, how interesting !" In one episode, I learned how paper is made. Who would have thought a tree, that I see every day in my young life, is chopped down to make paper? I use paper everyday. This is what I liked about this DVD. I learned something new in each episode.

What is less appealing about this show are the settings and colors. It felt like this film was created back in the 80s. I thought it needed to be modernized to capture the attention of today's young viewers.

My favorite characters are Sally and Nick. They are six years old and best friends. I like the bond they share in each episode. They communicate and work well with each other - team players, if you ask me. They have tons of fun and experience their journeys together. It truly shows the true meaning of best friends. I have a best friend and she and I love to take pretend voyages together.

Each episode has a different message, but the one thing they have in common are the lessons that are being taught through Nick and Sally's voyages. In each show, you learn scientific knowledge. This is a neat way to gather your children together to sing along while taking an amazing educational journey. Knowledge is key and there's no better way to learn but through a cool Dr. Seuss show.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars. It is very educational and fun. The music had me bopping my head along with it. I would like it even better if it was more modernized. I recommend it for ages 3 to 14. My baby brother is three and he sung along with Nick and Sally. My mom is 39-years-old and she learned something about the human skeleton, that she never knew about before. This DVD is available now so, look for it.

Reviewed by Sev'n S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

This is a delightful animation adaptation DVD collection with the Cat in the Hat and friends! It is very creative with catchy songs to sing along to and, of course, the famous rhyming. It teaches many different things in each episode.

When I was around 6 years old, I read the books and watched this show. I was really excited to see the new episodes. This Season 2, Volume 2 has 20 episodes, each taking you on another adventure. The Cat in the Hat is an anthropomorphic character that escorts the kids on adventures in the Thing-a-ma-jigger, a contraption that can fly, sail and do so much more.

In every episode, Sally and Nick ask their Mom for permission to go on an adventure. Of course my mother likes that part. Then Sally and Nick are off to learn many new things about animals, insects, our solar system, constellations and even recycling.

The storytelling is great and so creative. Every adventure takes them to a new place - the Arctic, dessert, beach or jungle. The fish always tags along and ends up in some sort of trouble, which is funny to watch. Sally and Nick also learn physical things like swimming, balance, wrapping and digestion.

The storyboards and drawings are very colorful in this film. The characters' outfits change and go along with the storyline. The characters are interesting to watch. They really hold your attention. In some scenes, new characters appear like Doctor Giggles. He helps them explore science and the body. They use the shink-a- bobber to shrink themselves and explore the ear. I enjoyed the singing and rhyming in this film and all the catchy phrases. Thing 1 and Thing 2 make an appearance to assist and they always make me laugh. The voice-over for The Cat is Martin Short who is fantastic at portraying The Cat. I like one of the episodes when they go to the beach and Pirate teaches about how glass is made and all its many uses. It can be recycled and used over and over. One catchy phase they use is "glass can change the way you see things."

This DVD offers so many ways for kids to learn. Parents will like it because it teaches children about safety, listening and buckling up every time they go exploring in the Thing-a- ma- jigger. I really enjoyed this and I think you will too! I recommend it for ages 3 to 8 years of age. I give this DVD 5 out 5 stars. It is mostly for younger children, but adults will enjoy it too. You never know where you will end up at with Cat and the Hat!

Reviewed by Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 220 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.96
Media: DVD
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SONIC BOOM: HERE COMES THE BOOM

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SONIC BOOM: HERE COMES THE BOOM       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 7-11
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 is aided by his sidekick, Tails, and his friends Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks and, of course, attacked by his arch nemesis, Dr. Eggman. The series is set in a wide-open world, where most of the characters live in and around an unnamed village. Just over the horizon is a vast landscape filled with beaches, jungles, mountains, undersea civilizations, cloud cities, frozen lakes, and more! Includes 8 Action-Packed Episodes!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This DVD is a compilation of episodes from Sonic Boom, an animated (CGI) kids' show based around the Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise. Let me frank, I have seen better kid's shows. That's not to say that it is not a good show, it just isn't as great as the video game that it originates from. Aesthetically, it is a fairly good looking show, certainly above average your standard kiddie show in that regard. The voice acting is pretty good, but I have other concerns. The dialogue seems as if it is intended for preteens or adolescents, but it is not nearly clever or funny enough for that audience. Although it's based on the Sonic franchise, there is not a lot of on-screen action to keep little one's eyes trained on the screen. That said, I believe that any young kid who is a fan of the game will be very excited to see Sonic on screen. I recommend this for ages 7 to 11 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachel V., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This action packed series is very educating. The morals taught in the episodes are valuable for the target audience. I love how they are able to teach important lessons in a very entertaining way.

The show follows the characters Sonic, his friends and Dr. Eggman. Sonic and his friends always have some conflict with Dr. Eggman. The different schemes that Dr. Eggman comes up with are amusing and I watched till the end to see if Sonic and his friends were be able to solve the problem.

Mike Pollock voices Dr. Eggman in a very interesting way. Pollock can sound like a villain in one scene and in another he could be your grandfather. Dr. Eggman is a character with two personalities and it is great that Pollock voices both of them.

The characters in this series are unique in their appearance. Sonic and his friends are animals, but they only have a few features that are recognizable as animals. I like that they vary their appearances from other films and series. It keeps the audience interested and intrigued.

My favorite part about this series is that they always find a way to make it humorous and add some plot twists. Every episode is different and that makes the audience want to watch the whole series all at once.

There are many underlying messages in each episode. The ones that stand out are to find the goodness in people and to work together. Sonic and Dr. Eggman will forever be rivals, but they do enjoy each other's company. Sonic realizes that Dr. Eggman is desperate for attention and uses that to his advantage to be able to get to the good side of Dr. Eggman. This is how Sonic is always able to calm Dr. Eggman down and stop him from continuing his crazy, sometimes evil, ideas - for a while. Sonic and his team of superhero friends have to work together to come up with a plan to stop Dr. Eggman. Sometimes, when Sonic leaves, they fight over what to do and who should be the leader. In the end, they resolve their problems and learn the right thing to do for the next time a similar situation arises.

I loved how this DVD teaches valuable lessons that are usually overlooked in other children's shows. I give this series 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 9. Sonic Boom: Here Comes the Boom is out now on DVDs so check it out!

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

I like this show because it has lots of characters from the classic Sonic Video games and TV shows. It shows their personality and fighting techniques. This is a good introduction to the characters to anyone that wants to play the Sonic games. If you want to try Sonic games, but you don't know any of the characters just watch this show.

Sonic Boom - Here Comes the Boom is about Sonic (Roger Craig Smith) and his friends facing challenges usually involving Dr. Eggman (Mike Pollock), where they must work together to either escape a temple or destroy a robot. Sonic can't fight off Dr. Eggman by himself, so he gets help from his friends and sticks the completely wild badger that uses a boomerang as her weapon of choice. Amy Rose is a pink hedgehog who fights with her hammer and keeps everyone at peace. Rounding out the team are Knuckles the echidna with a love of fighting and Tails Sonic's tech-loving fox sidekick that can use his two tails to help him fly around.

My favorite episode in this DVD is "Just a Guy." In this episode, Sonic accidently calls someone "just a guy" and everyone gets angry at him. I like this episode because it is funny and has a good message. That message is "don't stereotype people." Another good episode is "CowBot," which is about when Dr. Eggman sends a robot that looks like a cow after Sonic. After a bit of fighting, Sonic gets the CowBot to go after Dr. Eggman. He goes to save him, but the CowBot is incredibly slow so they do loads of funny stuff while they wait. This episode is hilarious in how they solve the problem in the end.

My favorite character is CuBot because, whenever his partner OrBot says something smart about something he just says the real meaning without knowing what OrBot wants. For example, in the episode "The Meteor." OrBot says, "Perhaps it is time we bid our foes "adieu." CuBot doesn't know what that means so he just says, "No time, we have to leave," which means the same thing. I find these parts funny.

The main message of most of the episodes is, you must work together to complete a challenge. I rate this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7 because it has good messages in every episode that younger kids will like.

Reviewed by Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-11
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
APOLLO 11
0
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8 TO 18
Topic - Family
Description - A look at the Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon led by commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The documentary Apollo 11 is so fascinating, especially for those that love space. Apollo 11 is not only educational, but it's also very memorable and touching. I love that it not only shows space exploration, but it also shares the examples of teamwork applied when they were sending the first man to the moon. The whole space station team split into groups and would come in at different times so that each member had a chance to rest. I also like how this story shows determination, commitment and how hard they worked to get those three men to the moon. Anyone that wants to learn about the first man on the moon should definitely watch this documentary.

This documentary follows NASA's mission to send the first two men to the moon on the spaceflight Apollo 11. It shares the details and facts about the Apollo 11 mission and the astronauts sent to be the first to set foot on the moon. It took over 50 years to build and complete the Apollo 11, which safely got the men to the moon and back.

The stars of this documentary are Neil Armstrong (Commander), Michael Collins (Command Module Pilot) and Buzz Aldrin (Lunar Module Pilot). The message of this film is that you can achieve anything, as long as you put your mind to it and have confidence. Also, we see how important teamwork is. With the help of others, we can do so much more than we can alone.

My favorite moment in the film is when Neil Armstrong sets the American flag on the moon, showing that the USA was first to put a man on the moon. When Neil Armstrong puts the American flag on the moon, it stands as an honor to all those who worked so hard to get Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin there.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, as well as adults. This story is absolutely fascinating, educational and outstandingly retold! All of those that watch this documentary will definitely love it, as much as I did. It is playing at select theaters now in IMAX and opens in other theaters March 8, 2019 so look for it.

By Nancy F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST (IMAX)
MACGILLIVRAY FREEMAN FILMS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Journey to a land of grizzlies, coastal wolves, sea otters and the all-white spirit bear - the rarest bear on earth - in the film Great Bear Rainforest. Hidden from the outside world, the Great Bear Rainforest is one of the wildest places left on earth. Found on Canada's remote Pacific coast, it is the last intact temperate rainforest in the world-a place protected by the region's indigenous people for millennia. Now, for the first time ever, experience this magical world in IMAX and giant screen theatres, and discover the land of the spirit bear.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This documentary is about the Great Bear Rainforest and all the amazing animals that live in rainforests such as bears, seals and other creatures. The film shows some amazing people, including children, that study and have a passion for these rainforests and animals. One is an amazing twelve-year-old named Nelson Robinson who studies bears with his dad. There are also a few kids on the bear research team. All of these people love bears and want to make a impact. This film was produced for Imax theaters, but I watched it online. I bet it's awesome in IMAX!

The narrator, Ryan Reynolds is excellent. I likes how the film includes regular people that have a passion studying bears. The point of view showing the bears is good because sometimes we don't see them in a positive light. This film is both educational and entertaining at the same time. It gives lots of facts about the rainforest and the animals that live there which is interspersed with humor and fun clips of extraordinary living animals. That is the best part.

The message of this film is to educate viewers about the importance of preserving the rainforest and its inhabitants before they are gone. Many of them are endangered species, including the spirit bears. This film may have some mature humor, but there is nothing that is not child friendly.

I give this 4 out of 5 stars. It is detailed and fun to watch, but I wanted it to be longer. I recommend this for ages 4 to 18, as well as adults. This is available now in select IMAX theaters so look for it.

Reviewed by Ava L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


BEARABBIT BEIBEI

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BEARABBIT BEIBEI
ROSE LUO
Series: EPISODICS
Topic - Family
Description - 5 year-old girl Beibei's daily life adventures together with her 4 year-old brother Taotao. They live with their parents in Jasmine village. Aim for 39 episodes by 7 minutes long for each, finished 12 episodes so far with both Mandarin and English dubbing.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Very cute, well animated and the English voices make it easy for preschoolers to watch and understand. One issue I have is with the sub-titles, which I turned on to watch. They are not always correct plus they occasionally have time code on them. I recommend the producers clean those up prior to festival play since some programmers may want to have them on. Having said that, the content is adorable and age appropriate and I recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-5
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SPEAKING OF FAIRIES

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SPEAKING OF FAIRIES
LAURA GRAVES
Series: SHORTS, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - A young girl's love is challenged when her brother is stolen by fairies.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Lovely tale, well executed. This makes a perfect addition to our KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. Well shot and edited, great cast, fun story. Who doesn't love a story about fairies and magic? I recommend this for ages 5 to 14 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 14 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


FUN?

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FUN?
SHANNON VAN METRE
Series: SHORT FILM, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A well-meaning dad overtakes his son's hobbies... until the hobby strikes back.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Terrific film. A story well told about a father and son relationship where the dad learns to back off and let the kid be a kid. Nicely shot, great audio, lovely casting. The flashbacks to the actual airplane shots bring a wealth of thoughts to the viewer's mind. Is he channeling his grandfather? Learning from the past? You're free to surmise what you wish. I highly recommend this for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Age recommendation: 5 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult reviews
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SNOW QUEEN: MIRRORLANDS, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SNOW QUEEN: MIRRORLANDS, THE
LIDIA STRELNIKOVA
Series: ANIMATED FILM, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - A powerful king nearly lost his family due to the Snow Queen's evil deeds. He finds a way to withdraw all the magic from the world - they who master the magic powers get trapped into the Mirrorlands. The only one who can stop him and keep the fairytale in our world is Gerda - as her own superpower is not sourcery but her faith in kindness and friendship. In Gerda's new adventures, the Snow Queen herself will help her along with trolls and pirates.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really like the film The Snow Queen: Mirrorlands because it's action-packed and full of magic. The animation is quite splendid. The music truly expresses the magical action. This film has a lot of wonderful characters including Gerda, her family, the Snow Queen, the Troll King, King Harald, Rollan and more. In the beginning, we see Gerda longing for magical powers while her family are all magicians. The story takes place in multiple fantasy locations - the Mirrorlands, the town, and the Troll Kingdom. King Harald invites all of the kingdom's magicians to his castle to pay them for their skills and plots to trick them and capture all of them into the Mirrorlands. Will Gerda and her friends help the magicians, including her family, get out? One of the directors of this movie is Robert Lence who has worked on Toy Story, A Bugs Life, Beauty and the Beast, Shrek and The Lion King. It is no surprise then that the animation is amazing! My favorite part is the ending, which, if you like surprises and happy endings, you will love. There are many positive messages throughout the film. My favorite one is that you don't need powers to save people, even if you want them and your entire family has them. Another message is that sometimes you have to work with others that you may not like to save someone or something. This film is kid friendly. It promotes teamwork and doing what's right. However, it does have guns and some attempted violence, so people don't always treat others nicely, including some of the kids. There isn't any bad language. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 10, as well as adult. If you like fantasy, you would really enjoy it. Reviewed by Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SYLPHVANIA GROVE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SYLPHVANIA GROVE
REBEKAH FIESCHI
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - A troubled girl follows a magical being into the woods where her fears take on fantastic forms.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Interesting and a bit frightening. How much of what we see the girl experience is from her imagination and how much is real? This is well shot, with good visual effects and editing. For audiences that appreciate fantasy, this is a film they will appreciate. For younger kids, some scenes would definitely be scary. I recommend it for ages 8 through 12 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 19 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


LIKE PLAYING

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LIKE PLAYING
SONTRAC
Series: ENVIRONMENTAL SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Peru, 2018. Bruno (11) and Claudio (6) return home after a long day at school. It's lunchtime and Bruno finds nothing to eat, baffled and prey to the insistence of his brother, tries to convince him to go play and find a treasure. Upon leaving, they meet Carlitos (8), a neighbor who decides to accompany them on the adventure. The three children, give free rein to their imagination while collecting, metals, plastics and cartons that sell at the end of the day to take a bowl of soup.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Three boys, Bruno, Claudio, and Carlitos, are playing soccer and get hungry. Bruno suggests they go on a treasure hunt so that they can trade the objects they find for money to get food. This movie kind of drags and I did not enjoy watching it. There is not a noticeable conflict to keep the viewer engaged. Also, the story gets a little confusing. But, it is different. The acting is a bit bland also. The most appealing things are the scenery, props and camera work. They used a lot of different camera angles and show a lot of different perspectives, which enhance it visually. The costumes are okay. They illustrate where it takes place, what the climate is, the socio economic status of the kids and what kind of kids they are. The set is very realistic. It appears to have been filmed outdoors, without a green screen. That made it believable, which I like. The kids sing a song that reminded me of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall," but in Spanish and referenced elephants and spider webs. The main characters are Bruno played by Dey Zuniga Campos, Claudio played by Fabrizio Fernandez Davila Tafur, and Carlitos played by Mathias Chavez Fernandez Davila. Bruno stands out the most because he is the leader of the pack. He keeps the treasure hunt going. The message of the film is to persevere and be persistent if you want something. It does show kids doing risky things that kids might imitate. That's not so good. Aside from the ending, my favorite scene is the chicken soup scene, when they finally get food.. I do not recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival because I don't think the storyline is developed enough at this time. It is not ready for exposition. Reviewed by Lukas L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 20 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PUPPY, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PUPPY, THE
KRISTIAN B. WALTERS
Series: SHORT FILM, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Siblings Perle and Henrik, both eight years old, try to buy a beautiful little puppy in their local pet store, but get rejected by the shopkeeper who says he can't sell animals to children. Heartbroken but not defeated, the kids come up with an audacious plan to bring the puppy home. A plan that doesn't involve any adults!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I recommend the short foreign film, The Puppy for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. This is a wonderful story about two siblings who so dearly want a puppy, but their mother does not think they are old enough for one. The two travel to a pet store with their own money and personal treasures in hand to buy a puppy. They are turned away by the shopkeeper after being told that they need an adult to buy the puppy so, the two think of a plan to get the beloved puppy. What ensues is a hilarious cute plan that goes well for the kids, but poorly for the shop keeper. The whole film is very cute and lighthearted. Some might have issues that the kids misrepresent themselves when they dress up as adults wearing masks, but it's so preposterous that it is clearly not a serious effort. The story flows well and the child actors are truly adorable. You should know that the dialogue is in Norwegian with English sub-titles.

It's well shot with camera work, clear audio and lighting - all help enhance the emotions of the duo as they execute their plan. The close-ups of the children's faces and the small puppy are heartwarming. It you didn't already love puppies, you will after watching this. I believe this would make a charming addition to any film festival or special event for kids & families. Dog lovers will particularly enjoy it. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 14 and believe adults will enjoy it as well. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars. The writer/director/producer Kristian B. Walters is quite accomplished in the film world and deserves commendation for creating such a sweet film. Reviewed by Rachael V and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - As Hiccup fulfills his dream of creating a peaceful dragon utopia, Toothless' discovery of an untamed, elusive mate draws the Night Fury away. When danger mounts at home and Hiccup's reign as village chief is tested, both dragon and rider must make impossible decisions to save their kind.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - All of the How to Train Your Dragon films are well illustrated, with a huge variation between the different characters. The animations are very creative and realistic, accurately depicting the personality and essence of the character they portray. It is enriching how technology and the different ways of communicating a story through different platforms is advancing and growing in exciting ways. I have been following this series I was a kid and watching the third movie made me realized how remarkably this series has affected a large number of people with the message it passes through its amazing animation.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a story about an unexpected friendship between a teenage Viking and a Night Fury dragon that turns into an epic adventure between them that changes their lives completely. In this film, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they have known and travel to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth and by Hiccup's father. They face this new chapter of their lives along with the rest of the Vikings and dragons in fleeing from the danger that will put the security of the dragons on the line.

My favorite scene of the film is when the landscape and full pan of the village is shown with all the distinct Vikings and unique dragons that accompany each character. Apart from the fact that you get to admire the different animation styles and how much creativity is involved in bringing all these characters to life, this is my favorite scenes, because it introduces the audience to what will be shown in the movie. You get an idea of what is going to happen and start predicting the events of the story, based on the personalities of each Viking and dragon.

The important message gleaned from this film is that finding the courage to face the unknown is important in one's life. In the movie, as soon as the dragons are in trouble, the whole Viking village decides to do anything in their power to try and save them, even if it means leaving their home and journeying to a place that is mythical. The sacrifices that are made are worth it in the end. I rate the film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, as well as adults. It is in theaters now, so look for it.

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

How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World is a film with colorful explosions that includes magic and it made me say "wow!" It is the third film in the series and now, I need to check out the previous two films.

As it begins, we see that Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is now chief, after the death of his father, and leading his mixed group of friends and their respective dragons on rescue missions to free captured dragons and take them home to a now densely-populated Berk. But their work is getting them noticed by those that don't agree that dragons should be treated as equals.

There is a bit of violence, without blood, and lots of battles that between dragons and humans. We see the young Viking chief and his trusty alpha dragon, Toothless facing big decisions and going up against evil forces who want to kidnap and enslave dragons. My favorite scene is when Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) is captured by villain Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham). Grimmel thinks he will be able to use Ruffnut as a pawn against Hiccup. However, to his dismay, Ruffnut keeps talking nonstop until Grimmel is not able to take her babbling any longer and sets her free. It is a very funny scene.

How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World has messages about courage, love, determination and commitment. Hiccup and his relationship with Toothless show us the challenge of love and commitment between a human and a creature. Toothless finds love and Hiccup must let go for the benefit of others, yet he needs his long-time pal to fight the dark forces and protect the dragons.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18, and some adults will enjoy it also. I give it 5 out 5 stars. This film opens in theaters February 22, 2019 so look for it.

Reviewed by Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - DreamWorks' How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World is the best movie of 2019, so far. This movie has something for all ages. It's filled with lots of action, surprises and humor. This full length animation, co-written and directed by Dean DeBlois, is a definite must see!

Following the format of any great adventure, screenwriters DeBlois and Cressida Cowell, include everything needed to keep the continuity flowing from the first installment of How to Train Your Dragon to this one. In what is supposed to be the last movie of this trilogy, we see Hiccup, now as the spirited ruler of Berk, protector of the dragons and boyfriend of his longtime friend, Astrid. Hiccup discovers that Toothless, his best bud, is not the only Night Fury alive. He learns that danger is coming and that the only option of surviving is to seek out the Dragon Utopia that his late father once spoke of before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first. There's lots of fire, fighting, roaring, funny bits and mushy stuff too, but you have to watch it to find out who gets the best of who.

Cinematographer, Gil Zimmerman, is terrific at laying out the scenes, which help the viewers understand the story. We get to see how the Vikings really feel about their dragons and what happens when Hiccup finally meets his match. Every moment feeds off the first and excitement is built off of reflections from the first two movies. The production designers and art directors help keep viewers connected to the characters by giving us realistic scenes and sets that capture you with bright lights and strong graphic details. When darkness comes, critical moments become more authentic. When there's action, you can't help but stay focused. Toothless' upgrades and the new, much larger dragons are epic!

Jay Baruchel is super cool as Hiccup, my favorite character. He's grown, has the best dragon ever, is Chief of the Vikings and everyone loves him, except the Night Fury Slayer and those dragon captors. He has crazy friends like Tuffnut & Ruffnut, who keep you laughing throughout the movie. Hidden World is a screen adaptation of the book series by children's author, Cressida Cowell. It sends you on a fun journey with some curious characters with strange outlooks on life. These anthropomorphic characters make you forget that you are actually watching an animation.

Lessons to take with you after seeing this flick are to make good choices and to allow others to do the same thing, even it doesn't benefit you. I give DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, as well as adults. It's one film for everybody! Grab your friends and parents and get to your local theater for the premiere, February 22, 2019. Remember to like and subscribe to our channel. Until next time, I'm Brandon for KIDS FIRST! Film Critics. That's a wrap. Peace out!

Reviewed by Brandon James R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World brings one of animation's best trilogies to a beautifully done conclusion. Maturing voice talent and wild animation make for a mix of satisfying and bittersweet that just works. Any fans of this franchise in general must check this out.

The movie follows Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), now chief of Berk, alongside lover Astrid (America Ferrera) seeking to create a dragon utopia. Plans take a shift when Toothless smittenly chases and falls in love with a female Night Fury, dubbed Light Fury, the last of its kind. However, when dragon hunter Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham) seeks to finish what's he started and eliminate all the Night Furys, starting a cat and mouse game, all of Berk must leave the only home they have known and journey to a mystical hidden world and prepare counterattack. True destinies are revealed, dragon and rider will do whatever it takes to protect and find peace for all they treasure.

Jay Baruchel leads this ensemble cast as my favorite character Hiccup and is impressive in showcasing the growth of the character. From the first movie, we follow him from teen to adult, and his struggles to lead or even marry Astrid remain the movie's compelling center. His iconic bond with Toothless goes to further extents as he finds wrong in not providing his pal with the life he truly wants and a loving partner. Light Fury provides a great love interest for Toothless and some of the movie's most impressive special effects, with their chase being one of the most visceral scenes put into any animated film. America Ferrera provides a smart adviser to Hiccup and also a best friend, with their decision to marry being one of the most beautiful and realistic aspects of this conclusion. This line-up of heroes wouldn't be complete without a formidable villain and F. Murray Abraham's Grimmel gives us one. Grimmel is truly charismatic and a force to be reckoned with. He steals every scene he's in. Watching his cunning plans unfold is a true treat. Cate Blanchett returns as Valka, giving Hiccup more advice in his adulthood. However, Gerald Butler's cameo appearances in flashbacks truly characterize Hiccup's bond with his parents. Most of the other Vikings from past movies return, with Kristen Wig's Ruffnut being a huge standout, and her improvisation is the funniest scene.

Dean DeBlois spectacularly directs this film, with a mastery of some of the greatest animation of the decade. He continues the great work found within the past two entries and challenges himself with the Hidden World, which is the biggest visual feast of the film. My favorite scene is the entire epilogue which wraps up the movie and series perfectly. It remains one of the most emotionally effective conclusions in any movie, and no fates are left unanswered. My only problems with the film are with its initially slow pace, that don't showcase the truly grand, epic ending at first. Still, the pace quickly picks up with its fair share of epic battles and, while it's not always of that same epic scale, the characters bring out the heart of the film.

The message of this film is that love is an irreplaceable bond, unlike any other that applies to all living things, from family to lovers, to even pets. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, due to some intense scenes and mild language. The movie releases in theaters on February 22, 2019, so check it out.

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

This bittersweet film, directed by Dean DeBlois and set in medieval times, is a very fantastic adventure. As the last movie to the How To Train Your Dragon trilogy, it is the perfect ending to the lives of a young Viking boy named Hiccup and his unexpected friendship with a fearsome Night Fury dragon, Toothless.

This time, Hiccup is now the Chief Ruler of the chaotic city of Berk, where dragons and humans live peacefully together. When he and Toothless discover the mysterious appearance of a Light Fury, they realize he is not the only one. Their relationship is tested as they must search for the hidden world - a dragon paradise where no one has ever traveled, before a greedy dragon hunter finds them. Everything is at stake as Hiccup must not only save Toothless and his people, but the entire population of dragons.

I am really amazed by the incredible animated scenery throughout the film and how it successfully compliments the mood of certain scenes. One of my favorite parts is when we are first introduced to the village of Berk. It is stunning to see the varieties of dragons inhabited there. Also, the city is very colorful and quirky, which I really like. The movie is full of humor, action and tearful moments. Throughout the film we get to see how all of the characters change, grow and discover who they are and who they can become.

The film explores the message of finding courage to journey to the unknown and how love comes with learning to let go.

I rate this film 4 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10, as well as adults. It opens in theaters February 22, 2019 so look for it

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

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


PBS KIDS: 20 INCREDIBLE TALES

PBS KIDS: 20 INCREDIBLE TALES
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - It's a bird ... It's a plane ... It's your favorite PBS KIDS friends! In this action-packed collection, watch as Oscar and Dr. O save the day when all of Odd Squad comes down with a case of the jinx, Sheep becomes WordWorld's first superhero and saves the day with the letter S, and lots more! Join these PBS KIDS characters as they jump to the rescue and have several superhero adventures along the way! This DVD features 20 stories from 13 different PBS KIDS series. Children can watch as their favorite PBS KIDS characters take on problems and save the day. In the DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD episode, Super Daniel!, kids follow Daniel Tiger as he pretends to be the superhero, Super Daniel. In the ODD SQUAD episode, Jinx, Oscar and Dr. O save the day when all of Odd Squad comes down with a case of the jinx. And Sheep becomes WordWorld's first superhero while saving the day with the letter S, in the WORDWORLD episode, Superhero Sheep.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have always loved PBS Kids. Everything they make is wonderful, fun and educational. My toddler is a picky media viewer. He has a very specific taste in animation and music. Having the chance to review something like 20 Incredible Tales has been fantastic! There are thirteen different shows included in this collection. Some of these shows were around when I was a kid such as Arthur and Caillou. Having this wide a variety to see what your child does and does not like is a godsend. All of the episodes teach different lessons, encourage polite behavior and several have musical numbers. I found out that my three-year-old really likes Super Why!, WordGirl and Peg + Cat. Somehow, I have a feeling that it's because they are all superhero related. I highly recommend this collection, not just for picky viewers, but for a great variety of wholesome, family-friendly adventures! This collection is great for ages 3 to 7 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 299 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $ 6.99
Media: DVD


SESAME STREET: CELEBRATE FAMILY

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SESAME STREET: CELEBRATE FAMILY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Topic - Family
Description - Celebrate your family with this fun-fest of five family stories from Sesame Street! First, Abby's family has dinner at Elmo's house, where Abby learns that different families can have fun working together to make a meal. Then, Cookie Monster realizes he's forgotten a gift for his mommy for Mother's Day what should he do? For Father's Day, Rosita wants to make a video for her dad, but she needs some help from her friends. Next we meet Rudy, Abby's new stepbrother! And finally, Hooper's Store is throwing a special party for kids and their grandparents.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This delightful DVD carries the Sesame Street legacy of learning and fun, mixed with new characters, updated theme song elements and scenery. The various segments included here celebrate family, including Mother's and Father's Day and introduces one of the main character's new stepbrother.

The storylines have meaning and there is nothing threatening about them. One can rely on Sesame Street for great live action cinematography, great characters and thoughtful stories. I always enjoy the uniqueness of the Muppet costumes along with the Sesame Street set. The characters bright colors stand out and help hold the attention of younger viewers.

As to the characters in this show, I like seeing the older characters along with some new ones. We see Oscar, Elmo, and Abby meeting and learning about new human fraternal twin siblings.

Another favorite part for me is the segments where they sing about different types of families. In one segment, the human twin siblings argue over music until they find common ground with jazz. That's fun!

Sesame Street excels at presenting humor in their sketches, effectively making kids and older viewers laugh along. I enjoy that this DVD celebrates all different aspects of family. It is geared primarily for young children and they will benefit by learning about sibling rivalry and other aspects of family that may be unfamiliar to them.

There are no unsavory aspects to this show. Sesame Street has a long-standing reputation, since 1969 of creating conscientious programming for preschoolers and this DVD is reliably thoughtful, educational and fun. The DVD is 140 minutes in length and can easily be enjoyed by watching it in segments. I truly enjoyed it and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 2 to 5, as well as adults. It is available now on DVD, so look for it.

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely love each episode of Sesame Street: Celebrate Family, because the characters are so colorful and cute. Each episode has an abundance of vibrant energy and many great lessons for families. This DVD is a great place to learn about the importance of family.

Sesame Street: Celebrate Family has five parts covering different topics with all of the different Sesame Street characters. The stories include Abby and her stepfamily visiting Elmo for a fun "father/kids' night" learning about the different things families do together. We get to see the challenges that Cookie Monster has trying to make something for his mom on Mother's Day. He just likes to gobble everything up because it reminds him of cookies (surprise!). For Father's Day, Rosita makes something special for her dad since he's away from home. We also get to see a grandparent's party and learn about different grandparents such as Baby Bear's grandpa.

The main characters are, of course, Elmo, Abby, Rudy (Abby's step brother) and Rosita. The puppeteers are fabulous with all their actions and different voices. The songs are so stinking cute, catchy and easy to follow along with. My favorite part is when Cookie Monster eats the locket he planned to give to his mom because the picture reminded him of how they eat cookies together. You probably guessed that my favorite character is Cookie Monster. If so, you guessed right.

There are several positive messages throughout the DVD. My favorite is that family is so very important, and you should take time to celebrate with them. Family is important no matter what you do or how different yours is. These episodes also touch on ways to have self-control, acknowledge your differences and give love to your family and friends. They also show that it is okay to be nervous about meeting new people, and that you can still celebrate even if your special person isn't there. Each episode makes me want to celebrate family even more.

Sesame Street: Celebrate Family is very kid friendly. It promotes positive social behavior and treating one another appropriately. There is no bad language and nothing risky or dangerous that children might imitate. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 through 11. Adults will also enjoy this this show. This DVD is available now, so look for it. I recommend it.

By Katherine Schell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The DVD Sesame Street: Celebrate Family is incredibly adorable! It is absolutely amazing to watch, focusing on positive messages that teach kids about family values. It also shares terrific lessons about kindness and many other uplifting messages. What I really love and appreciate is how each character highlights a different point of view that all relate back to friendship and family. This film is filled with catchy music, comedy, valuable lessons, and features funny and adorable characters.

The DVD is centered on five family stories from Sesame Street! The first adventure is about Abby and her families' dinner with Elmo's family. She discovers that not all families are the same; each has their own way of doing things. The second story involves Cookie Monster and Mother's Day. He is great at creating gifts, but always ends up devouring them. He finally is able to restrain himself from eating the cookies he gives his mom as a gift for Mother's Day. The next story is about Father's Day and how Rosita wants to make a special video for her father. In order to complete the video she needs help from her friends. Then there's a story about Abby and her new stepbrother Rudy! The last adventure shows happiness through a special celebration held for grandparents at Hopper's store.

The characters we see here include Elmo (Kevin Clash), Abby (Leslie Cadabby), Rudy, Rosita, Cookie Monster (David Rudman), Oscar (Caroll Spinney), Slimy, Prairie Dawn (Fran Brill), Elmo's Father (Bill Barretta) and Abby's Father. I love all the messages that are taught in the different episodes. Each gives cute and warm fuzzy feelings as it focuses and draws attention to the importance of family relationships, family support and having family right by your side.

My favorite moment on this DVD is when Elmo Face Times his grandparents. It is a simple gesture and form of communication, but their reaction of joy and happiness is priceless. It teaches us an important lesson that, even if distance separates us from family, there is always a way to keep in touch, especially in the world of modern technology.

I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 11 and adults as well. This DVD is so adorable, with meaningful lessons and teachable moments. I'm sure that anyone that watches it will truly enjoy it! It is available now so look for it!

Reviewed by Nancy F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 140 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.96
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


FANGIRLS

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

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

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


LEGO MOVIE 2, THE: THE SECOND PART

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


COWBOY BILLY'S HAT FULL OF FUN (PILOT)

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
COWBOY BILLY'S HAT FULL OF FUN (PILOT)
BILL DOUGAL
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 3-7
Topic - Family
Description - Cowboy Billy and his Old West friends have fun while they learn to live right, the cowboy way, through original songs, comedy and cartoons
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Charming and silly. Cowboy Billy offers some lighthearted entertainment for preschoolers and early elementary aged kids. Great visuals, fun songs. This would make a great interstitial at a KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Recommended for ages 3 to 7. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-7
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


LILLY HITS THE ROAD

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LILLY HITS THE ROAD
XSTINE COOK
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 5 TO 18
Topic - Family
Description - Lilly, a 10 foot tall orange monster, and her adorable friend Fluffle are abducted by aliens. An epic adventure ensues as they try desperately to return home in the nick of time.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I confess, I am a true Bum Family fan. These Calgarian cousins create such delightful animated shorts that are quirky, slightly off-center and imaginative. The characters remind me of a Picasso painting transformed into contemporary oddballs and I love them! The storyline follows no predictable pathway which keeps me wondering what in the world will happen next. I highly recommend this for KIDS FIRST! for ages 5 to 16, as well as adults, providing they have a sense of humor and wonder. 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


YO-KAI WATCH: SEASON 1, VOLUME 1

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
YO-KAI WATCH: SEASON 1, VOLUME 1       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD AGES 4-12
Topic - Family
Description - Remember that time you passed gas in that super crowded elevator? Or when you lost your sock in the dryer? That was just bad luck, right? Wrong! That was the work of Yo-kai; the invisible Yo-kai all around us that are the cause of our daily annoyances!! Nate is a just a regular boy struggling to be above average at school. One day when he receives the Yo-kai Watch, he gets the chance to see and communicate with these mischievous Yo-kai. With the Yo-kai Watch on his wrist, Nate starts to form friendships with them and learn of the things that make life so complicated. There's just one problem: they're everywhere and they love to cause mischief!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I feel that Yo-kai Watch definitely owes a good deal of its model to Pokemon. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, mind you. But you'll quickly notice how Yo-kai are collectible creatures who are varied and around virtually every corner. However, unlike Pokemon, these creatures speak an intelligible language and have strong personalities. What are Yo-kai" Well, they are trans-dimensional spirits that travel to the human world in order to make mischief for people. This often manifests in things such as affecting people's mood, pick-pocketing candy and things of that nature - nothing horrible. Also, unlike Pokemon almost no one can actually see these Yo-kai, as they are impossible to see without the titular Yo-kai Watch. The watch is a device that allows a human to both see, AND summon Yo-kai. All of these stories on the DVD are extremely lighthearted and are done with a ton of humor with younger kids in mind. From these episodes, the ideal audience for this anime is around the 5-year-old mark, but I can certainly see even younger kids enjoying the show for its lively art and regular silliness.

This Limited Edition Gift Set comes bundled with an American comic book in digest size. It certainly keeps the tone and art of the series intact and is smaller and more durable than a standard comic book, something that is certainly ideal for its target audience. Though it's not geared at adolescents, I can see some of them enjoying it as well. I recommend this for ages 5 to 10 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I have vague memories of Yo-kai Watch from when it first came to the states. I never beat the first game and I ended up forgetting about it for a few years. However from what I remember, the show reflects the game and the world pretty well.

The story follows a kid named Nate who finds Whisper, a Yo-kai, who gives him the Yo-kai Watch. This watch allows him to see Yo-kai, mischievous spirits that are invisible without the watch. The show mostly follows Nate's adventures as he helps and befriends Yo-kai. This seems to be the main plot of the show. There doesn't appear to be any overarching story or conflict. Remember, these are only a few episodes from the first season. So maybe there eventually is a set goal or conflict. However, there are a lot of positive lessons. So parents, this show is a good one to watch with your kids.

Nate, the protagonist, doesn't seem particularly invested in the world of Yo-kai. He's essentially forced to solve everyone's problems and he seems to reluctantly just accept it. For example, when he first meets Whisper, a literal ghost, he tries to walk away from the conversation three times and he barely seems to care that he is talking to a magical ghost that appears from a capsule machine. That isn't exactly a good way to introduce your main character.

Also, the structure of the show is rather confusing. At first I thought the show had the "two 11 minute stories merged into one 22 minute episode" type of structure that many cartoons have, but no. Sometimes it's one really long story combined with a story that's really short. Sometimes it's THREE stories in one episode. It's really inconsistent. The show also seems oddly inconsistent in its tone. The show is mostly comedic, however one story has no comedy and is entirely serious. It just feels really random, but maybe it ties in with Season 2. It is entertaining overall and a series I would have probably watched when I was younger.

I give this show 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. This DVD is already out, so look for it.

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

This is a very interesting and cool DVD to watch! It has all the qualities that make a good animated series - interesting plots, vivid and clear animation, a fun mix of humor and action all in one! I really like when the action in the story, because it makes me feel more excited and enthusiastic to watch what is going on in.

The story is about Nate, a normal boy, except he has a Yo-kai Watch which gives the person who has the watch the power to see Yo-kai. Yo-kai are things that cause your daily annoyances such as, when you have bad luck and fall or, you really have to go to the bathroom but there is a really long line, or you have a song stuck in your head that you hate or dislike. The Yo-kai are mischievous and you never know when they might show up or what they might do. Also, the Yo-kai are invisible, so you can't see them unless you have the Yo-kai Watch. This DVD reminds me of Pokemon a bit so, if you like Pokemon I recommend this for you! I am pretty sure the creators of this film got inspired or got the idea from Pokemon.

The show is well produced and made me want to keep watching. Sometimes though, I was a little confused as to what was happening. I wished for more details. For example, the film kept switching to other subjects which are a little confusing about what is happening. Sometimes the story is not so specific. Besides that, I really enjoyed it!

This show does have some mature humor. Even my mom and dad laughed at some of the jokes! But for the most part, the series is really kid-friendly and younger audiences will enjoy it or appreciate this DVD! In my opinion it is a really awesome series for kids!

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, because anyone can enjoy it. This DVD is already available so look for it!

Reviewed by Ava L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I've been a fan of the Yo-Kai franchise for a while, but I had never watched some of the episodes featured on this DVD. Yo-Kai Watch Season 1, Volume 1 is an awesome addition to your collection if you are already a fan of Yo-Kai! And, if you are new to the Yo-Kai stories, then you are in for a treat!

The Yo-Kai are funny little spirits who are responsible for all of life's daily annoyances. Yo-Kai are all over the place, but no one knows they are there. Humans can't see them unless they have the special Yo-Kai watch!

Nate is the main character, along with Whisper who is his Yo-Kai butler and Jibanyan, his Yo-Kai cat. Nate is a kid who seems to be about 13 years old. Whisper is a proud, yet annoying sidekick. And Jibanyan is Nate's playful pet, who helps with his knowledge of Yo-Kai and also brings a comedic element.

In this series, we learn a lot of back story about the Yo-Kai. They are all interesting, but I must say that some of them are a bit dark. After all, these spirit creatures were once alive, which would mean that something happened to them to make them not alive anymore - aka disease.

The animation is classic simple Japanese anime. It's easy to watch. It held my attention from start to finish. The music is catchy and original. The theme song gets stuck in my head all day whenever I hear it!

I give Yo-Kai Watch Season 1, Volume 1, 5 out of 5 stars! This series has so many good episodes. A viewer will probably watch for hours - like me!

In my opinion, this series is good for ages 9 to 18. I don't know if adults would like it. They may get bored or not understand it. But for a kid, it's great! Get it where your favorite DVD's are sold or on Digital. It's available February 26, 2019.
Runtime: 286 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


DREAM CATCHER

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DREAM CATCHER
RYAN ADKINS
Series: SHORT AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - Six-year-old Dorian Hubble escapes his loneliness into the fluid, watercolor World of Dreams with the help of a magical dream catcher and a little imagination. As he journeys through the fantastical world, he finds strength and happiness in this enchanted land filled with creatures both big and small. Dorian returns to his bedroom confident in himself and his dreams, unsure of whether or not his surreal adventure really happened.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Beautifully animated short with a message of encouragement and creativity. Love the background music and the song at the end. The animation is smooth. I love the soft, muted pastel colors. The story is one that kids can all relate to. Who has never felt a sense of loneliness? Anyone can relate to this young boy discovering his creativity in his dream world. Or, is it a dream? This is exactly the type of content we look for at KIDS FIRST! I wholeheartedly recommend this for ages 5-8, as well as adults and give it 4 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: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


ONE CHANCE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ONE CHANCE
JEREMY RIGBY
Series: SHORT AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - A young girl with a passion for soccer tries to silence her bully by attempting an impossible goal.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This Australian short delivers a good message about bullying that would play well at KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. The storyline follows a group of kids playing soccer. We see an older girl acting very judgmental towards the younger one and insulting her. The boy sides with the younger girl, must to the dismay of the older one. He agrees to let the younger one be on his soccer team if she scores a goal, which she miraculously does. The older girl becomes both extremely sad and jealous and the younger one steps up to the plate to resolve issue. The story teaches us not to bully and when forgiveness makes sense. The little girl is bullied, proves the bully wrong, then becomes the bully's friend. This is well produced and gives a fairly realistic depiction of bullying and solutions to it. The acting is quite believable from all the kids. The camera work is great, using different camera angles to allow the audience to get a good look at everything and everyone's reactions. The casual clothing match the time period and storyline. The set looks like they are playing in a junkyard and looks quite realistic. The music and sound effects help intensify some of the climactic scenes, which makes the film more interesting. The filmmaker uses a mix of color saturation, sound echo and low motion during key point to change up the moods of select scenes. The characters are the young girl Mia (Sienna De Carlo), young friend Charlotte (Kirar Mercy), older girl/bully Chloe (Isabella De Carlo) and the boy Isaac (Harrison Wilkes). Isaac stands out the most because he has a well-rounded personality. He is compassionate towards the younger girls. The message of the film is that bullying is unacceptable and you need to forgive. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 7 to 12. Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See Juror comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


ISABELS TREASURE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ISABELS TREASURE
LYDIA BRUNA
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-11
Topic - Family
Description - Isabel runs away from home to find a treasure to finance her parents renovation works of the new house. On her way she meets all sorts of pirate fairytale characters.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This storyline is adorable. Isabel searches to find a treasure and finds a friend to accompany her. What makes this film appealing is the concept. Isabel cares about her family a lot and wants to help them. Isabel is obsessed with the idea of pirates and treasure. She lives in a house that's falling apart, with her two loving parents. One day, after dinner, she runs away to find treasures in her town. She gets help from a guy that she calls punk. They both try to find the treasure. During this, the police are trying to find her because the parents called saying their daughter has gone missing. In the end, there is no treasure. She get sad and then realizes her treasure is her home. When she gets home, she tells her parents about the adventure she took and why she did it. The reason why she tried to find the treasure is so that her parents could buy a better house. In the end, her parents redecorated her room in a pirate theme. The cinematography is beautiful. There's a shot of the town that she lives in which I found absolutely beautiful. The colors in this film are primarily blues which I find aesthetically appealing. The costumes work well. The pirate costumes work well, when Isabel imagines each person as a pirate. What Isabel wears is typical of what a child her age would wear. The punk guy looks like the stereotypical punk. The set is a small German town. It's beautiful and I like that they chose that place to shoot it. The background music works quite well, with themes that sound as if we are in a medieval time period. The key characters are Isabel, Punk and the policeman. Isabel is adorable roping in people to help her with find the treasure. Punk goes along, instead of leaving her alone in the town. The policeman is funny when trying to find Isabel. He sees Punk and says that he's watching him because he thinks Punk has something to do with her disappearance. The message is to care about your family. Isabel cares for her family a lot and wants the best for them. She hears her parents complaining about their home so she tries to do something about it. It does show her doing risky things that kids might imitate, but it is fictional. My favorite part is when Isabel steals the treasure box from the man imitating a statue. When the man tries to get the box back by chasing her, it is hilarious. The director is an award winning director. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 11. It shows how important family is and it's funny. Kids would get the humor. They'll also like it if they love pirates and the concept of finding treasure. Reviewed by Carla P. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-11
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


OPERATION FIRST LIGHT

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
OPERATION FIRST LIGHT
IRVING NESTOR
Series: SHORT, AGES 4-13
Topic - Family
Description - In this creative, high-energy story, a group of boys at summer camp plan a mischievous raid on the girls' cabins only for the advantage to be reversed as the boys face an ambush unleashed by a ruthless, well-oiled pranking machine.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is a fun, enjoyable short film with good concept about the boys' cabin at a summer camp getting out pranked in a prank war by girls' cabin. The concept is intriguing. There are some cool one shot sequences that make it feel kinetic. It does feel as if it was shot at an actual summer camp. The one thing I was disappointed about is that there are really no character arcs. That is its biggest problem. The acting is pretty good and the background music is well suited to the storyline. Actually, I think the music is one of the best attributes of the film. The message of the film is to always think one step ahead of your opponent. Some might object that it does show kids doing risky things that kids might imitate. My favorite part is the climax where the main characters are bombarded by pranks from the girls cabin. This does bring me back to my own summer camp experiences, in a hyped up version. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 13. I think anyone who has attended summer camp will definitely relate to this, as well as those who haven't but have experienced adolescence. Reviewed by Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13 and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer.
Runtime: 16 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


WINGS & SAILS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WINGS & SAILS
ITTY IMPRINTS
Series: SHORTS 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Underneath the "Wings and Sails" of an "outrageous" structure, comes the knowledge that sustainability is essential for the future of our life on this planet. We have to be creative and embrace new ideas and solutions for our continued existence. The filmmakers tell the story of this innovative Pavilion and the architect who designed it... from the beginning of the structure until the last sail is attached. A member of the Ojibwa tribe crafted (2) 24 foot story poles... they show the native viewpoints of environmental sustainability.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Describes the Sustainability Art Project. Shows the audience about human and environmental sustainability and how this art project will help. It is very watchable. The vocabulary and concepts are appropriate for a youth and family audience. The only word that the audience may be unfamiliar with is sustainability, but that is described and illustrated. Very good production values - sound and visual quality excellent; clear picture and appropriate amount of lighting. I recommend this for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 17 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


TEAM MEOWSA

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


GNANAM

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


WE ARE ONE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
WE ARE ONE
ANIMAL FARM MUSIC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - The message of "We Are One" is all about bringing people together through, like Aesop's Fables, the use of animal characters - whether it's something humorous like a baby bat who is afraid of the dark or something more serious like a monkey witnessing deforestation - songs that talk about our shared humanity.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Animal Farm's We are One CD is a musical bouillabaisse of energetic, engaging tunes that will tickle little ears and tantalize the soul and imagination. Fun animal songs abound. The band and arrangements are tight and the songwriting is solid. The electric violin is a standout. Most importantly, this collection scores a hit with its target audience and delivers a seal of approval from...the seals of course, KIDS FIRST! The engaging songs about animals and its kid-friendly concepts are commendable. The style is consistent for the intended age group; the continuity flows well and the structure follows suit. These artists know their key audience and the content is totally appropriate with lots of positive reinforcement on attitude and our association and connection the world around. The artists do not talk down to their intended audience and, in many places, lift them up to learn more about the stories in their songs. The performances are strong and kid friendly. I especially appreciate the electric violin which adds a touch of musical class. Through the use of well-constructed songs with accessible lyrics, this group is able to ...wait for it...edutain their fan base. I believe children are always excited about learning more about animals and there are many songs here that promote that discussion and a fun journey. I give this CD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Animal Farm's, We Are One, is a wonderful CD filled with songs that promote social and emotional learning and self-expression. It uses animal characters to help bring people together. There's great storytelling and really cool beats to help to make this group of educator's and musician's version of Aesop's Fables come to life.

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

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

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

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

At a glance, I love the concept of We Are One by Chicago based quartet Animal Farm. In the world we live in now, this refreshing album with the image of planet earth surrounded by a bunch of animal friends makes a great message, because we very much need inclusion and music!

We Are One is a compilation of happy tracks. The music is not the traditional harmonies that we often hear on children's music. It is an eclectic collection of song genres that you can enjoy - rock, country, folk and others. In general, it sounds very American.

In some songs, the ukulele, stands out and in others, the violin. The lyrics are fun and the vibe is very positive. There's a simple, but thoughtful storytelling within all songs.

My favorite tracks are "Cranky Pants," which for some reason sticks in my head, "Two Headed Tortoise," "Screen Time" and "The Abbys," which I love the French prelude because it reminds of Jacques Cousteau's marine explorations. When "Nocturnal Me" starts, it reminds me of the beautiful tune in Kansas' "Dust in the Wind." I may be 10 years old, but I love music from 60s, 70s and 80s).

I also love how, when you listen to this music, it sounds like regular songs and not a typical kids' CD. And, when you listen to the lyrics, they are very funny. When I listen to this album, I think of a family road trip with music in the background that all family members can enjoy and relate to.

Kudos for Animal Farm's musicians, educators and soul up-lifters for creating such terrific material for kids and people of all ages to enjoy.

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

Animal Farm's fun CD titled We are One is filled with music that give us lessons and things we should always remember. We are kids and kids sometimes don't understand the world. Sometimes we get confused or sad or mad for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes we can react and things that we thought were bad become worse, because we didn't think first. There are so many lessons in these songs plus they are just fun to listen to and sing along!

One of the songs I like best is called Slow Down. It is about a snail watching everyone in the world rush past him, scrambling to get here or to do this or that. He keeps telling people to slow down. I wish the world would slow down too. I wish people had time to sit and relax, talk and have fun. We are always going somewhere or doing something and we don't enjoy it much, because we are rushing to do something else. We should remember to take our time and really enjoy our life by taking time to appreciate everything.

Another song I like is called The Abyss. I had to look up that word. It means a big dark place that has no end or seems like it does. An animal says his house is in the abyss and that everyone is not going to like it because it is not their home, but he likes it because it is his home. We all feel more comfortable at our own home where we eat and talk to our family, sleep and do homework. We are most comfortable there. When we go to someone else's house, even if it is nice, we do not feel as comfortable as we do at home. This song tells kids to be happy that they have a home and to relax and be happy there.

The last song I'll mention is We are One. They saved the best song for last. There is so much bad going on in the world with so many different types of people, some thinking they are better than others. Some people are treated badly if they are handicapped or if they don't fit in. Everyone is different, but we all should be able to get along, be proud or ourselves and be nice to other people. The song talks about how we could all agree that, even if we are different, we are people and should make everyone feel comfortable.

I like this CD and recommend it to ages 5 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. It's available now, so look for it. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic SaniyaRain F., age 11
Runtime: 46 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 15
Media: AUDIO


GSLV MARK3

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


BALANCE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BALANCE
RAYMOND LIMANTARA
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 4-8
Topic - Family
Description - Balance is a 2D animated short film about a boy and a girl fighting for painting space, both refusing to give in until the mess they create goes out of control. They then realise the only way out is to work together and strive for coexistence.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short animated, non narrative film has a wonderful message, but most importantly is a delight to watch. The filmmaker portrays a genuine love for his characters whose styles differ greatly until they reach a compromise. It's fun to watch them execute their painting squabble and see all the colors explode all over the place. I believe younger kids would love it and get the message as well. I recommend it for ages 4-8, as well as adults and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-8
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PLAYDATE (2019)

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


STORY TIME!

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


EAGLE FEATHER

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


MOKO THE YOUNG EXPLORER

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MOKO THE YOUNG EXPLORER
JEROMINE ADER
Series: ANIMATED FEATURE, AGES 4-15, EPISODIC
Topic - Family
Description - Moko is a young boy full of curiosity and gifted with a generous imagination. His one and great challenge is to discover the globe in its every corner. Thus, he travels through the African, the Asian, the European and both American continents. He is a true adventurer who loves to meet new people, deal with new situations and feel new emotions. He is both fascinated and scared by all the natural phenomenon surrounding him: stars, rainbows, tornados, seasons... At the end of the episode, a 1-minute segment provides children with the concrete explanation of the encountered phenomenon and an answer to Moko's question.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This animated short is quite charming. I love its shadow style of animation, which reminds me of Indonesian shadow puppets. The storyline is one that kids will relate to - exploring the world we live in. We watch Moko and his friend paddling their boat across the sea, diving in and swimming among the fish and marine life. The animation under the sea is brilliantly colored and makes you want to jump right in and join them. In addition to Moko's fantasy journey, at the end we learn facts about marine life, from coral to fish. I really enjoy the narrator's voice, which is strong yet calming. And, the musical accompaniment at the end is upbeat and fun. This was entered as an episodic so I presume there will be additional shorts from the series, which would be most welcomed. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see juror comments
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-7
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GIFT OF THE RED FERN, THE

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



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