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NEVER-ENDING MAN: HAYAO MIYAZAKI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT CHRISTMAS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT CHRISTMAS
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - 'Twas the day before Christmas and all through the yard the Cat in the Hat and his guests partied hard. When the party was over, and the guests all departed one poor baby reindeer was left broken-hearted! Can the Cat in the Hat, Sally, Nick and the Fish help make come true little Ralph's Christmas wish? to be with his family, in far-off Freeze-Your-Knees. Will you help see him home? Come be our guests, please!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas is filled with excitement, adventure and teamwork. The setting takes place on Christmas Eve and is based on the struggles of an inquisitive reindeer, Ralph, who needs to get home in time for Christmas. We travel through a town called Freeze Your Knees, a waterhole, and even Christmas Island where the crew faces lots of mysterious circumstances. There are creative moments of learning, laughter and problem solving. The climatic moments of this film teach us not to give up, no matter where we end up. The holiday season is most known for caring and sharing and this film focuses on that message. There are lots of surprise appearances from family members and animal friends of the Cat, Nick, and Sally. There are many moments of music the encourage you to sing along. Every character has a helpful role that contributes to the journey to save Christmas. Opportunities for education are surely part of this film. This is a great film to view with friends and family, especially during the holidays. The story has messages about being brave, working together and finding your way back home. I recommend it for ages 5 to 13 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. By Elle Stewart, KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Runtime: 60 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 5.99
Media: DVD
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SNOWMAN, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SNOWMAN, THE
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - One crisp, winter morning, a young boy wakes up to find a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground as far as the eye can see. Filled with excitement, the boy decides to build a snowman using a tangerine for his nose, coal for his buttons and eyes, and tops him off with a hat and scarf. Later that night, at the stroke of midnight, the snowman comes to life! The young boy and the snowman embark on a magical adventure of discovery where the snowman explores the young boy's world and in return he takes him flying to his home in the North Pole. Upon arriving at the North Pole, the two join a party as the guests of honor to a very special person. Based on Raymond Briggs book, THE SNOWMAN is a family classic for generations to enjoy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This classic animated film, based on the Raymond Briggs book, is one of my all-time holiday favorites. I have seen it shown with a live orchestra accompanying it, which was an incredible event. I'm so that that NCircle is celebrating its 40th anniversary as I firmly believe it belongs in everyone's holiday film collection, to be shared with youngsters and family members annually. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Snowman is a masterpiece that will bring families closer together for the holidays. The film is based on the classic UK picture book by Raymond Briggs, which has sold more than 8.5 million copies since it was first published in 1978.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MARY POPPINS RETURNS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael's three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

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


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
HUNGER TIMES, THE
KEITHM FARRELL
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Two children born in the 21st Century go back in time to witness the Irish famine first hand meeting a child their own age and learn how the great hunger still resonates with us today.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Highly recommended! This short film from the U.K gives quite an emotional history lesson. It shows the often painful impact that drought and other factors can have on a country's population. This is a topic that seems very relevant today, particularly in light of climate change problems.

Two youngsters from modern day America are magically transported into the past, to experience first-hand what the Great Famine was like in Ireland. They are led around by a barefoot guide. They meet a family who has fallen upon hard times. They also run across Frederick Douglass (an escaped slave from America), who comments how the earth has given up on its people at various times and in various places.

This is quite well produced with excellent cinematography, audio recording, lighting and acting. The visuals are certainly one of the most compelling I have seen in a while with beautiful shots of the country side, re-enactments from the past, and appropriate use of graphics. All the actors are well cast and deliver quite believable performances. I am quite impressed by the caliber of the film and look forward to more from director Keith Farrell, a seasoned director of docudramas on historical topics.

This movie teaches how museums might offer many insights into the history of the world. It's like a step up from being an armchair traveler. There is a beautiful combination of black and white drawings, sculpture, paintings and panoramic views of the Irish countryside, depicting the people's struggles during the famine period.

A nice surprise occurs at the end when the young 21st Century girl learns about connections between generations of emigrants and immigrants. My favorite part is when we witness the bravery of a poor Irish boy, Patrick, who comes to the USA alone. One of his first challenges is too learn to speak English, so he'll have a better chance to find work and thrive.

The message of the film becomes clear when their guide pauses her stopwatch, as the 21st Century kids ask irrelevant questions or have complaints about being on this tour. The implication is that we shouldn't waste time with trivial points; life is too short for that.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. Reviewed by Jeff M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 16 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LET'S FLY WITH AZIZA
ADASTRA DEVELOPMENT
Series: FOREIGN ANIMATED SHORT, AGES 2-10
Topic - Family
Description - Aziza wants to fly! But how? Go on this magical journey with Aziza, from the jungle, to the city, to outer space!

Let's Fly With Aziza is a digital adaptation of the children's stage production 'Let's Fly', which was a co-production between Little Angel Theatre, based in Islington in London, and Goblin Theatre.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Discover so many different ways to fly in this short animated film from the U.K. The protagonist, Aziza, has a blast being air-lifted around the world in various ways. She learns how different flying objects manage to get off the ground.

The film features different types of flying objects, such as birds, airplanes, balloons and space rockets. Aziza gets to experience the power of them all. She finds out there are many cool places to travel to both on and beyond the earth.

This film utilizes an interesting type of animation. Aziza's face appears to be carved from wood, giving it lots textures and angles. The bright, colorful set looks like it is made of pieces of painted paper glued to a wall. It gives the background a mixed-media feel. The sky, clouds, mountains, ocean, planets and city skyscrapers are all constructed in the same way. It is an unusual and attractive set design.

I enjoyed the clever special effects where a swimming crab made of two reddish-colored hands flaps its fingers up and down in the ocean water. Similarly, the wings of a flying seagull seem to be constructed of two hands flapping in the air.

My favorite part is when Aziza rides on the back of her new friend, Stephan the Seagull, who brings Aziza to new, faraway places for adventures.

The message is to spread your wings and allow yourself to experience the marvels of the world. Travel can be very gratifying and exciting! I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10. It would make a wonderful addition to any festival with a pre-school and early elementary audience.

Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
HA HA HAIRIES
ADASTRA DEVELOPMENT
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 2-10
Topic - Family
Description - BAFTA winning and 3 times BAFTA nominated pre-school comedy show teaching kids to be generous, fun loving and inclusive. Singing, dancing and a lot of laughs!

The Ha Ha Hairies live in Hairyland, where the Hairy Fairies have turned the world hairy! Unfortunately they've run out of spells and can't change it back! However, the Ha Ha Hairies don't mind, they just enjoy life in each other's company, but the same can't be said for Boris Boo Hoo who's always got a plan and is generally up to no good!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - From the UK comes this three times BAFTA nominated animated pre-school comedy show where the hairier, the better. Sometimes, the whole world seems overgrown with different types of hair. This shows us a fun and colorful place to hang out with family and friends where you can enjoy.

Ma creates a toy called a hairy hideysun that comes in very handy around Hairyland. It is utilized as an umbrella, a flying mechanism and a strainer for a special cactus cocktail.

The production design includes Chateau Shampoo, a purple hairy-looking castle which makes a good addition to the set design. Many other features of the landscape are hairy, furry, fuzzy or feathery in appearance. It's probably the first time the audience has ever seen a stringy sun or car. So, the entire set is an accurate reflection of the film's title.

The dance scene with twirling, hairy hideysuns is well choreographed. The dancers spin around in well-timed unison. The music director has selected cheery, happy-go-lucky songs that will appeal to young children in the audience.

My favorite parts are the ranting-out-loud vocalizations of Boris Boo Hoo. Is he speaking a real language? His verbalized plans are nonsensical, but very appropriate for an eccentric character.

The message of this film is about enjoying life, one day at a time. Don't bog yourself down with too many plans or schemes for success. I give this short film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 12 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: CHRISTMAS TO THE MOON AND BACK

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU: CHRISTMAS TO THE MOON AND BACK       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SLR PRODUCTIONS
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 2-7
Topic - Family
Description - On a snow-covered Christmas Eve, Little Nutbrown Hare and his friends stumble across a little Brown Bear who is lost. Determined to return their young friend back to his mother in time for Christmas, the friends venture bravely into the unknown woods. Through this epic journey we are reminded that the greatest gift of Christmas is being with the ones you love.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I thoroughly enjoyed this short film and highly recommend it for kids and families. This is a heartwarming tale about Little Nutbrown Hare who wanders outside one night when he can't sleep and discovers a rare, all white fawn dancing in the snow. He knows all white fawns are rare and when he talks to her she runs away. Through lots of escapades Little Nutbrown Hare finally is able to convince his forest friends the fawn is real and able to befriend the white fawn. The characters are interesting and charming. A field mouse and a squirrel friends are all friends with Little Nutbrown Hare and they interact with each other in the most loving way. I felt sorry for Little Nutbrown Hare when no one believes that he had seen the white fawn. Eventually the truth comes out and they finally see her and believe Little Nutbrown Hare. The morale of this story is about love. The love between Little Nutbrown Hare and his dad, the love of friends and possibility of the love of strangers. The negative behaviors shown are about doubt, but that disappears over time. I particularly enjoyed seeing the field mouse trying to protect Little Nutbrown Hare by making a white fawn out of snow. He tries to protect his friend's honor in doing so. The educational and social elements that make this film valuable emphasize the various ways that you can show someone how you love them. Adults often tell children that they love them and they can hear it in this story in a way they can relate to. The production values are outstanding, from the animation to the voice over talent to the background music. The images look like watercolors brought to life. I love them! I recommend this for ages 2 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It uses vocabulary and ideas which little children can understand and enjoy. Questioning, probing and problem-solving are developed in a manner suitable for the target age. It is very enjoyable and charming. If you have a festival for preschool and early elementary kids, this will fit right in. Reviewed by Tina B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is based on the British book series written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram, published in 1994 in the UK and in 1995 in the US. The book was a ALA Notable Children's book and sold over 28 million copies worldwide!

Now, I have an adorable special guest who helped review the film with me, Little Field Mouse. I really love this film because it captures the Christmas spirit by showing us all the characters telling us what they think about Christmas. They show us that Christmas really means family. It's really about spending time with your family, not about giving gifts or any of that stuff. It's spending time with your Mom and Dad and anyone else you love. That's what I really respect about the film.

I really do cherish the story and also the animation in this film which is true to the original illustrations in the book. It really captures the adventures of Little Nutbrown Hare and his adventures. The show is produced by SLR Productions Australia (Suzanne Ryan) and Scrawl Studios and stars the voice of Ky Baldwin. They really capture all the original pictures from the book which look just like watercolors. I love them. It looks like a beautiful story that was drawn by a little kid. I really love that! The animation is something that everyone will truly enjoy.

I really love the characters in the story, especially my friend Little Field Mouse. Of course Little Nutbrown Hare is my favorite character. He's absolutely adorable and at the same time, kind and thoughtful. Just his love for everything around him makes me love him more. He's kind of fun and silly, but really he is just adorable.

The film is really suitable for preschoolers but also older kids, up to age 8 will enjoy this because of all the fun and silly stories. I even think tween and teens will like this show. Of course, adults can enjoy this as well and it makes a great show for families to enjoy during the holiday season. I definitely give this 5 out of 5 Magnificent Stars. It is available now on DVD so, look for it!

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 26 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CECIL

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CECIL
VISION FILMS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Cecil Stevens' name reveals his lisp so he changes it to "Michael Jordan." His whole school learns a lesson about acceptance after he and his friends start a business with the corrupt principal that sells celebrity names to kids.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This has made my top 5 favorite kids' movies. This film is completely engaging and entertaining. There are common factors that challenge these school aged kids and force them to accept themselves in order to be accepted by their peers. There are, of course, such relatable issues that we all have experienced at least some point in our lives. Abby is a master at expressing her passions through the school newspaper. She may not offer the best advice to Cecil, the protagonist struggling with speech issues due to his lisp, but she does genuinely care for him and other classmates. There is also lots of comedy in the movie which is great for kids and adults to enjoy. There are excellent development skills offered such as strategic planning, friendship, self esteem and social acceptance. All the characters are diverse. The quality of the film is excellent and it flows nicely, even when live action is merged with awesome animation. It offers excellent visual appeal, great pace and very good sound quality. The genre is comedy which is appropriate. I like how it shows a cool way for a kid to dream through animation. There is also a super cool teacher that discusses educational topics in a friendly setting. I recommend this for ages 8 to 12 and rate it 5 out of 5 stars as it resolves all issues, kept me engaged as a viewer and, best of all, kept me laughing. Do watch this film. It has a bonus clip that leaves a positive impact with you.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This film is interesting and sometimes, quite unpredictable. The storyline follows the typical middle school route of becoming popular and having all the girls like you, but in a totally different way. The way they incorporate the moral of acceptance is interesting as well.

Cecil and his mother move in with his grandma because Cecil's mom needs to get away from his father. Cecil moves to a different school too. His grandma has a friend named Abby who goes to his new school and they become very close. One day Cecil tries to tell a group of boys that his name is Cecil, but he has a lisp and they make fun of him. Abby instructs him to never say his name again, so Cecil decides to change his name. Abby and Cecil think it is a great idea and start to sell names. Then, something weird happens to the principal, causing him to desperately want to take all the money he can and he forces Abby and Cecil to give him most of their profits.

The actors in this film are very good. They portray emotions well and smoothly deliver their lines. Having actors that are very professional makes the film enjoyable and realistic. The cast fit perfectly with the personalities of their characters. I love the originality of the characters and the moral of the film. Acceptance isn't something often taught in films.

There are clips in the film showing long segments of an educational cartoon that the teacher plays for the class. The animation in these segments is unique. It has an artistic style that I have never seen before with drawings of the film's characters. They are pretty realistic.

My favorite scene is when Cecil changes his name and makes the basketball team. I like this scene because it is the first scene where Cecil feels confident about himself. It made me happy to see him light up with delight. The actor playing him (this is not on imdb) portrays him with a show of confidence.

The moral of this story is about acceptance. From the beginning, Cecil is made fun of because of his name and the fact that he can't say it properly. Cecil is embarrassed and decides to change his name. It gives him some temporary happiness, but it backfires and brings him back to square one. Once he accepts himself, his name and agrees to go to speech therapy lessons, he becomes confident about himself. It also is easier for him to stop hiding behind a fake identity.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to 11 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Kids in middle school can relate to the film and might learn something from the moral. It is available now so watch for it.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 7.99
Media: FeatureFilm


RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Video game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz must risk it all by traveling to the World Wide Web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope's video game, "Sugar Rush." In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet -- the netizens -- to help navigate their way, including an entrepreneur named Yesss, who is the head algorithm and the heart and soul of trend-making site BuzzzTube.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Ralph Breaks the Internet is a colorful, fun-filled adventure that builds on characters and friendships. Going into this movie I thought it was going to be a predictable and boring washed-up sequel. That is not the case. The film builds upon the friendship that Ralph and Venellope have with each other. The climax of the movie is a heartwarming test of their friendship which brings light that friends don't always need to agree on everything.

Ralph Breaks the Internet is about Mr. Litwack installing the Internet to his arcade and his "Sugar Rush" game breaking, which leads to their adventure through the internet. Mr. Litwack orders the parts on eBay, but it costs $200 which is more than the game makes a year. Ralph and Venellope overhear him talking and decide to go on a quest to find the part and save Venellope's game. They travel to the router and get transported to the magical world of the Internet. They awe at the vibrant colors and variety of the internet and go directly go to the search bar where they ask to go to eBay. When they realize they have to bid for the wheel, they bid the highest number they can think of, not realizing they have to pay. This causes them to go on an epic adventure to get $27,001 in under 24 hours or else the item would be re-bid. They find a pop-up ad that shows them how to make money playing video games. They decide to get a car owned by Shank. They race Shank until they get beat by her. She gives them a tip and tells Venellope she races well.

My favorite scene is when they go to the Disney section of the Internet and we see a whole lot of cameos from favorite characters such as Eeyore and Stan Lee. I especially love when Venellope is being chased by Stormtroopers and goes into the princess lounge where she teaches them about modern comforts. I found that hilarious.

This film has huge star power. Ralph is voiced by John C. Reilly, the man behind Step Brothers and The Sisters Brothers. Also, Sarah Silverman plays Venelope who started in SNL and has appeared in The battle of the Sexes.

The message of this movie is that, even if you are best friends with someone that doesn't mean you can't disagree. This movie has nothing be inappropriate for kids. I recommend it for ages 7 to 18 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is in theaters now so look for it.

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

Ralph Breaks the Internet is an astonishing new film that's full humor and excitement. It is about Ralph aka Wreck it Ralph who goes on a trip with his best friend Vanellope into the internet to buy a steering wheel for Vanellope's game so it doesn't get shut down. The internet is a whole new thing for Ralph and his friends and they walk into some trouble while trying to get the wheel. A few of the inconveniences they run into are not knowing where to go and also not having money. Before Ralph and Vanellope find out they need money, they place a bid of $27,000 on the steering wheel. When they get to checkout and they don't have money, the cashier says they have 24 hours before their bid expires. That's when they embark on their journey through the internet.

All the same characters from the original movie Wreck it Ralph are in this film and there are even some new ones introduced. Nathan Warner, the cinematography director excels at giving the movie a realistic cartoonish look. It really fits in with the whole video game plot and scenery. The theme is that friendships come in all shapes and sizes and that friends are forever.

If you plan on bringing kids under 11 or 12, I strongly recommend that you watch the trailer with them and ask if they would want to see the full movie because there are a lot of puns about Twitter and a lot of jokes that I don't think younger kids will get. I'm not saying that you shouldn't bring younger kids, because they will still understand the majority of what's happening and enjoy the film, but the director geared this film for older audiences such as 12 and above. I recommend this for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. It seemed that the adults were laughing more than the kids during the movie. I give it 4 out of 5 stars because it is a hilarious movie that kept me interested for all two hours.

Make sure you stay for both scenes after the credits. You can find this movie in USA theaters November 21, 2018 and worldwide in the days and weeks after. Put it on your calendar!

Reviewed by Na'im S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Young Clara needs a magical, one-of-a-kind key to unlock a box that contains a priceless gift. A golden thread leads her to the coveted key, but it soon disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. In that world, she meets a soldier named Phillip, a group of mice and the regents who preside over three realms. Clara and Phillip must now enter a fourth realm to retrieve the key and restore harmony to the unstable land.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Do you remember The Nutcracker ballet? What about Cinderella? As I screened this film, both childhood memories came to mind. Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms has brought the magic of Disney back to the big screen. From the beginning of the film, your senses will be ALIVE! Every set looks edible with color and life. Truly, this live-action Disney film is a breath of fresh air.

While you may know the story of The Nutcracker, your senses will be awakened by the colors, costumes, and scenery in this film. As with most Disney films, there is a theme of loss, yet it is also so alive!

Clara (Mackenzie Foy) is an amazing young protagonist. I found myself drawn to her curious nature and determination to live up to her mother's curious nature. As a young girl, she plays a curious and adventurous spirit, who is also very mechanically inclined. She amazed me by her desire to succeed, and her courage. She walks into dark spaces knowing she is enough, and encounters creatures who challenge her along a path of discovery. She encounters toy soldiers and magical mice - some of whom are not kind! Clara's quick mind and wonderful, kind skills help her get through a lot of sticky situations!

Without giving too much away, the gist of the story is about a gift, presented by her Father, but left to her by her mother at Christmas. Her second gift is from her godfather Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) at his annual holiday party, which leads her to a coveted key - which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. From one world to the next, Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets, Clara and a soldier she meets named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight) must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara's key.

The Sugar Plum Fairy Sugar (Keira Knightley), we learn, is not to be trusted and at times, gets annoying with her over the top antics. But in the end, this film has all the feels (and reminds me of so many things) of a Victorian English Christmas, the beloved Russian ballet, lively forest creatures from Disney and the bond of family. Misty Copeland makes a magnificent addition to the film, showcasing her balletic perfection.

Hats off to the costumers and make-up artists! I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18, as well as adults. You should know this film deals with the death of a parent. It opens in theaters nationwide November 2, 2018. Look for it! You'll be glad you did.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a wondrous, visual experience that is somewhat light on substance. Apt acting and sensational ballet dancing excel and make this something more memorable than the premise might suggest. Any Disney fans will want to check this out. The story follows young Clara (Mackenzie Foy) as she recovers from her mother's death. However, a spark of hope lightens Clara after seeing her late mother's parting gift of a box with a hidden key. This key belongs to a parallel world, unlike anything, to which Clara must travel to obtain the key. With the help of budding soldier Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), Clara learns of all obstacles that await, especially in the form of the menacing Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), leader of the Fourth Realm. Most importantly is a looming war that could preside over the three Realms that are at peace - Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets and are threatened by the Fourth Realm. In the three Realms resides Sugar Plum (Kiera Knightley) who is on same page as Clara and braves her up for the Fourth Realm as the fate of the Realms and her mother's dying wish relies on it.

Mackenzie Foy, as Clara, well presents her character's central struggle to find her inner place amidst all the tragedy, while also being hopeful and cheerful. The end result of this character development is a joy to watch and most definitely the movie's best subplot, amongst all the other slumberous ones. Kiera Knightley, as Sugar Plum Fairy, regales with well-written comedic relief, but the timing of her intervention seems quite random and very over-the-top at times. Regardless, children, most of all, will find enjoyment with all the youthful energy. Jayden Fowora-Knight, as Philip, is my favorite character, despite this being only the second film he has appeared in. His charm and braveness add a relentless vigor to the character that never gets old. Helen Mirren, as Mother Ginger, likewise shines, despite her character suffering from a lack of screen time and character development. With what she is given, she shines with the menacing undertones that could mean good under the entire demeanor. Also, Misty Copeland's cameo is full of entertainment with her ballet proficiency bringing a certain something to the stage without feeling like a forced addition. Instead, it feels more like a celebration of the Nutcracker's roots and remains my favorite scene.

Lasse Hallstrom and Joe Johnston expertly direct the visual flair with clear attention to every nook and cranny of the special effects and sound design. Despite this, the movie has flaws coming from the lack of a compelling story line, aside from Clara's inner struggles. Everything feels introduced way too quickly and without clear meaning. This leaves the movie feeling rather inconsequential and just an excuse to put the Nutcracker on the live screen. Still, the movie delivers an amazing awe to each scene's production.

The message of the movie is to never lose yourself in sorrow and always connect with your family and friends during times of grief. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on November 2, 2018 so check it out.

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

This live action film is absolutely stunning! The sets are rich and make you enter a fascinating world of four different, colorful realms. It is so beautiful, I did not want to leave the movie theater. I want to see it again. The film is inspired by the original story from German author E.T.A Hoffman, written in 1816 and the ballet by Tchaikovsky (1892).

The story is simple, but powerful in concept. This is the journey of Clara (Mackenzie Foy) who is dealing with the loss of her mother, trying to reconnect with the world and with her family, especially her father. On Christmas Eve, she receives a special gilt from her mother - a mysterious box. But, she is missing the key. With the help of Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman), her godfather, she enters a world of mysteries with characters that will help her find the key. When she first enters, a cute mouse has the key, but is impossible to catch. She meets a Nutcracker soldier, Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight) who tells her about the realm of Flowers, the realm of Sweets and the realm of Snowflakes, but warns her about the dangerous fourth realm and Mother Ginger. But, Clara is determined to find the key and will do what it takes to find it.

This film has the power of captivating you. There are moments I was really afraid and others I was delighted and amused, depending on the characters in the scene. It has the power to be frightening, like in the fourth realm, with all kinds of circus characters. All the performances are amazing. Mackenzie Foy conveys innocence and courage at the same time and is just perfect for this role. She has an ethereal look and is a brave actress who did as many of her own stunts as can could. I love that she is a princess and a hero at the same time. Morgan Freeman adds gravitas to his role and a sense of wisdom. Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez is so flamboyant and adds a nice touch to the cast. Keira Knightly is the perfect fairy. She has a special tone in her voice. Helen Mirren is also absolutely believable as Mother Ginger. There's a mystery about her character and, despite her bad reputation, you want to know more about her. Actually, the only thing that bothered me in this film is that we don't know her back story and why she is a villain when we first meet her.

I love the ballet and the fact that the filmmakers decided to incorporate dance into the story. Misty Copeland's dancing is flawless. She is the first African American woman promoted to principal dancer in American Ballet Theater. Although the story is simple, all the visual and camera work put you in a fascinating world you are exited to be part of. The costumes are beautiful and the art direction and production design deserve an Oscar nomination.

The message of this movie is about embracing your own courage and discovering yourself. I think this is very important for kids to learn and understand the answer to so many questions. So many times we underestimate the power we have to make the world a better place. I give this film 5 of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 4 to 16. Unlock the mystery!

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

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


NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
THE STORY PIRATES
Series: AUDIO, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - From the creators of the hit Story Pirates Podcast comes an album full of songs for kids that parents will love, too! Nothing Is Impossible features twelve infectious songs, written and performed by the Story Pirates, based entirely on stories written by KIDS! To learn more about the us, visit storypirates.com!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Story Pirates have created a lovely 12 song album based on original stories written by children ages 4 to 11. The imagination is brilliant throughout this project and the performances are impeccable. Each song is based on a different child's original story so each structure is unique to that particular content. You know you're in for a ride when the opening song is "Fart Out Loud Day," written by two sisters from Colorado. I'm sorry, but "Pass Gas Out Loud Day" just doesn't have the same je ne sais quoi - excuse my French. "All Eight Unicorns" are pretentious valley girls and reminded me of the Kardashians - silly unicorns! These are well produced arrangements and performances that are absolutely creatively stimulating for young minds. They are smart songs with a child's sensibility where imagination rules the day and written stories can blossom into something very special. The performances and production are first-rate across the board! Sharing observations and fun, silly ideas with peers can build positive social interaction. I would hope this concept would encourage a child to write down their own stories and observations. This would be a fun activity for the classroom. The hits keep coming and the smiles are plenty, so find your way to this gleaming pot of gold because Nothing Is Impossible! I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 5 to 12. It is well produced, entertaining and fun.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Nothing is Impossible is a collection of songs that are impossible to get out of your head (in the best way possible)! These tunes are funny, addicting and creative. Kids and parents alike will love this music. Even as a teenager, I found this album really funny and musically impressive. I really enjoyed listening to each song and felt that I was listening to music that I could show my kids in years to come.

Nothing is Impossible features songs written and sung by the creators of the hit Story Pirates Podcast. It's based entirely on stories written by young children. The influences for these stories include six-year-old Leah from Maryland's story about being in the car (hence the title "In the Car"), a comic made by eleven-year-old Peer from California ("The Guy") and ten-year-old Alex from New York's story about a talking carrot ("Fred the Carrot"). One story that really caught my eye was four-year-old Ethan's from New Jersey. Ethan has heterotaxy, so he has a special heart and battery. He said the reason behind writing his story was that he would "love to run and catch a seagull, but I can't even jump that high so I wrote a story about it." I really want to commend Story Pirates for choosing Ethan's story and allowing him to express himself. It is really heartwarming to listen to that song and read Ethan's artist statement.

Nothing is Impossible is really an awesome album. Kids will laugh hysterically at songs such as "Fart Out Loud Day" and "Fred the Carrot." Even I had to stop myself from chuckling. Some of these song lyrics are really creative, as are the concepts. It's hard to believe that young kids came up with these ideas. The songs promote self-love and positive messages for young kids, such as believing in yourself and being confident and proud. The concept of this collection is an original one. I've never heard of anyone basing songs off of kids' ideas. Kids can be smarter than grown-ups sometimes, so it is really interesting to see all of these cool concepts played out in song form.

I recommend Nothing is Impossible for kids ages 2 to 10 and give it 5 out of 5 stars, because of its creativity and humor. This CD is a fun and entertaining way for young children to enjoy music and life. Thanks to its positivity, it may also boost their spirits and confidence. I really enjoyed this CD and I think younger kids will enjoy it even more.

Reviewed by Ella L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 45 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: AUDIO


GRINCH, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GRINCH, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - For their eighth fully animated feature, Illumination and Universal Pictures present The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss' beloved holiday classic. The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl's generous holiday spirit. Funny, heartwarming, and visually stunning, it's a universal story about the spirit of Christmas and the indomitable power of optimism. Academy Award� nominee Benedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to the infamous Grinch, who lives a solitary life inside a cave on Mt. Crumpet with only his loyal dog, Max, for company. With a cave rigged with inventions and contraptions for his day-to-day needs, the Grinch only sees his neighbors in Whoville when he runs out of food. Each year at Christmas they disrupt his tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter, and louder celebrations. When the Whos declare they are going to make Christmas three times bigger this year, the Grinch ...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Grinch is a cute and funny movie that reminds us of the real spirit of Christmas. This film is based on the famous Dr. Seuss book about the Grinch who hates Christmas so much. He tries to spoil it for everyone in the very Christmassy town he lives in, Whoville. Meanwhile, a small Who child tries to catch Santa, so she can talk to him about something very important that she wants for Christmas. The Grinch is an orphan and never had a family Christmas. He used to sit at his window watching all the Whos playing and celebrating outside. This made him hate Christmas. Years later, he decides to try to stop it. The Whos are a species that are always incredibly jolly around Christmas, so it will be hard to take it away from them.

I like how the music is the same music from How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), but modernized with a hip-hop beat, complements to Danny Elfman. The way the Whos move around the town quickly is quite unique. Instead of roads, the Whos get around get on snowmobiles and sleds. The main characters in this movie are, The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch), the only person that hates Christmas and Cindy Lou, (Cameron Seely), the little-girl that is trying to catch Santa and talk to him.

The Grinch lives in a cave north of Whoville that is full of rooms with inventive passageways and elevators to move between them. It is clear that the Grinch is very inventive. For example, in the music room there is a thin pathway that leads to a massive organ for the Grinch to play and a tiny drum set, for Max, his faithful dog. The Grinch is always telling Max to stop playing because he is ruining the vibe, but eventually gives in. He does this most times Max wants something, showing he is not as mean a character as he pretends.

Max is my favorite character in this movie. He goes about his day using Rube Goldberg machines to help the Grinch get ready for his day. My favorite scene is when Cindy Lou is sliding down the hill to get to the postman and crashes into the Grinch. That scene is hilarious and cool at the same time, featuring lots of fast action and comedy. Another good scene is when the Grinch is choosing his clothes. Inside his closet, he has clothes that have tags on them that read, "sad, very sad, miserable, very miserable, Christmas or happy." The happy pants are super clean while the very miserable pants look old and worn. This shows that the Grinch has been extremely sad lately.

The message of this film is that being together with friends and family is the only gift you ever need. Cindy Lou shows this through how forgiving she is, even though he steals their Christmas. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, because it is a great family Christmas movie with a good message. This movie opens in theaters on November 9, 2018. Be sure to check it out.

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

What a touching moment! This full-length animated film intensely has you gazing at the screen, without a doubt. This enjoyable, wonderstruck, emotional, touching and kid-friendly movie is directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier. Get ready to enjoy this perky piece of family entertainment, just in time for the holidays. It is filled with memorable and touching moments that catch you off guard.

The story follows a mean-spirited, cynical and grumpy Grinch who sets his eye on a mission, with his energetic dog Max, to destroy Christmas for one deplorable reason. The Grinch really hates Christmas, especially the loud, bright celebrations in Whoville. In order to get some peace and quiet, the Grinch disguises himself as Santa Clause and you'll have to wait to see how he steals Christmas from The Who's. He doesn't expect what happens when he meets a young girl names Cindy Lou. The Grinch realizes he is only afraid of one thing that has affected him his whole life.

The lead characters in this film are Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch), Cindy Lou (Cameron Seely), The Mayor of Whoville (Angela Lansbury), Izzy (Scarlett Estevez) and narrator (Pharrell Williams).

My favorite part of the film is when the grumpy and cruel Grinch changes his attitude and action choices. He has a change of heart and experiences his old ways to become happy and respectful as he feels valued (which is what everyone should feel). A quick theory of what happens is the small young girl changes the Grinch heart with a sentence, and that sentence changes everything.

This holiday film will definitely bring lots of laughs and humor. The film certainly provides positive messages about optimism, compassion and generosity. The animation deserves a big round of applause. It is jaw dropping, extraordinary, realistic to the story theme, beautiful and vibrant. The amazing animation is brought to life by Cinzia Angelina (storyboard artist), Sylvia Deboissy (Character Designer/ Development Artist), Patrick Muylken (color designer) and many more.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 16, as well as adults. Truly, the whole family will enjoy the film. It is designed with so much reaction moments. Don't miss this live-action film when it opens nationwide November 9, 2018.

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

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


PUPPY STAR CHRISTMAS

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PUPPY STAR CHRISTMAS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
AIR BUD ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A song-filled new Air Bud 'Pup Star' movie that introduces four new pups to the family, who stow away on Santa's sleigh and find themselves trapped at the North Pole, trying to save the world's Christmas spirit.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The most amazing thing about the Pup Stars films is how the filmmakers animate the live animals so you actually believe they are talking. After the first 10 minutes, you just accept for what it is and buy into the idea that this parallel universe has talking dogs in it.

This film is the fourth in the Pup Star franchise and it is as cute and charming as the other, with a Christmas theme as its focus. Who can resist a combination of cute dogs with their even cuter puppies, celebrating a favorite holiday. Of course, there has to be a antagonist thrown in, in the form of a pack of evil dogs that want to take over Christmas and commercialize it, making more money than anyone ever imagined.

Most of the original characters have returned, Mackenzie Moss as Lou, David DeLuise as Steven. Most importantly, the voice actors that play the dogs - Kaitlyn Maher as Tiny, Mackenzie Sol as P.U.P., Dillon Fontana as Brody, Oakley Bull as Cindy and Chloe Coleman as Charlie all deserve high fives for their outstanding voice talent.

The moral of the story is one that we can all resonate, that Christmas is really about family, not commercialization. Look for this film on Netflix November 20. It'll make a fun one to watch with your family Thanksgiving weekend and throughout the holiday season. Get grandma and auntie and Uncle Joe to sit down and laugh together watching the antics of these cute pups. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I am not usually a fan of musicals, but this movie is better than some that I've seen. I really like how the dogs are animated in this movie. It really looks as if they are actually talking and dancing. That makes the movie as entertaining as it is.

Puppy Star Christmas is a Christmas themed sequel to Pup Star 2 that follows the Pup Star company making a Christmas special right after Tiny has puppies. The movie follows the pup's parents getting ready for Christmas. It also focuses on the pups as they carry out some crazy ideas and plans that sometimes get them into trouble. For example, the pups decide to go to the North Pole to meet Santa, but while trying to do that, some evil dogs are trying to take over Christmas! Tiny and the Pup Star staff are working on the Christmas special while searching for the missing pups.

The four new members to the Pup Star family are Brody (Dillon Fontana), an adventurous little pup that thinks of something fun to do and his sisters usually follow. Rosie (Vivienne Rutherford) is the pup who always thinks of herself as the star of everything. Cindy (Oakley Bull) is the pup who knows when something will go wrong, but none of her siblings ever listen to her. Last is Charlie (Chloe Coleman), the sarcastic one, who has some of the best lines.

My favorite scene in this movie is when the elves sing "The Worst Christmas Ever," while the villains think they are singing the same thing as they are - "The Best Christmas Ever." Another good scene is when the reindeers bring Roland to the Pup Star stage. The reindeers are doing loop the loops, while going as fast as they can, just to be mean to Roland. My favorite character is Brody, because he is adventurous and he loves to eat, just like me. He also comes up with a bunch of crazy ideas that get him in trouble, but I don't think he will ever learn. For example, in the beginning of the film Brody tries to eat both the turkey and the pumpkin pie. That really gets him into trouble.

The message of this movie is that Christmas isn't just about the gifts, it is about being with family. The pups show that throughout the entire film. I rate this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, because it is an amusing movie that shows the meaning of Christmas in a great way. I think adults will enjoy watching this film with their children. This movie will be available exclusively on Netflix on November 20, 2018 so look for it!

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

"It is Christmas in the heart, that puts Christmas in the air!" once said W.T Ellis. Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way. Yup, it's Christmas time - presents, cookies, family and vacation time. This astonishing, touching, intriguing, heart-warming, well-intentioned and adorable movie is directed by Robert Vince and written by Pier Rae and Robert Vince.

This film follows Tiny and P.U.P whose four new pups take a trip into the dark night sky with a special guest named Santa Claus. Trouble comes with they find themselves with the evil dog Bark and trapped at the North Pole. The pups get saved, but you'll have to see the movie to know how. This song-filled new Air Bud "Pup Star" movie will have you enjoying the Christmas spirit.

The lead characters in this film are Tiny (voiced by Kaitlyn Maher), P.U.P (voiced by Mackenzie Sol), Lou (Mackenzie Moss), Santa Claus (Richard Riehle), Rosie (voiced by Vivienne Rutherford) and complimented by many more.

My absolute favorite part of this film, without giving anything away, is when the Christmas spirit is saved. I love how the four pups set on a quest to find Santa Claus and recover the true meaning of Christmas with the help of their family. I think this part of the film will charm many because of the huge heart the little pups have!

This film delivers a very special message. It's not about the gifts; it is about being with family. The pups show that meaning in this film. This touching movie will have you singing Christmas songs on your way to school, work and perhaps your Christmas recital.

I give this film a 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 14, as well as adults. This film will release exclusively on NETFLIX on November 20, 2018. Make sure to check it out!

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

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


ZOONICORN SING-ALONG SONGS VOL. 1

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ZOONICORN SING-ALONG SONGS VOL. 1
ZOONICORN, LLC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - Four Zoonicorns, magical hybrids of zebras and unicorns, take young animals who are facing a real-life challenges on imaginative adventures in the dreamland Zooniverse. Songs introduce the characters and share empowering social-emotional lessons that teach the power to win is always within!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Zoonicorn Sing-Along Songs, Volume 1 is a web series that features 3-D multicolored unicorn characters, My Little Pony-ish, with unique magical strengths that impart through song and story positive and uplifting answers to children's fears and esteem issues. The songs are well-performed and produced, though somewhat repetitive in style. Children will be drawn to the vivid color and texture of the scenery and characters as well as the child-like voices. In addition, children will identify with the trials and tribulations of the little Otter, Pancake, as he learns life lessons with the help of the Zoonicorns. Nicely produced and performed music. Orchestration is particularly well done on the Pancake story. There is definitely value in the positive messages such as: You can do anything if you try. Don't give up. Keep your eyes on the prize. The sample episode and songs follow the uplifting winner approach of this concept and the 3-D visual style works well as a platform. One problem I have with it is that some concepts or particular phrase are over the heads of little target audience such as 'go with the flow' or 'dot your i's and cross your t's'. It teaches children about tools to use to overcome fear or self esteem issues. Recommended for ages 2 to 5. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music specialist.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Are you ready to listen to the unique, magical and joyful web series that features 3-D multicolored unicorn characters. Get ready to view real-life challenges and imaginative adventures in the dreamland Zooniverse. This colorful masterpiece web series is created and executive produced by Mark Lubratt and directed by Cliff Dew and Ariel Yamus.

The web series follows four Zoonicorns, magical hybrids of zebras and unicorns, taking young animals facing real-life issues on imaginative adventures in the dreamland Zooniverse. The songs introduce the characters and share empowering social-emotional lessons that teach the power to win is always within. When the animals fall asleep, the Zoonicorns appear in their dreams.

The set of songs are well-performed and produced. Along with each song, you will meet seven new colorful, inspiring and adventurous friends as you visit beautiful Zooniverse. The songs provide age appropriate lyrics for which kids can easily sing alone. How fun is this? The music provides positive impact for children to build their vocabulary. No question that every child will be drawn to the vivid colors and texture of the scenery and characters, as well as the child-like voices.

This web series deliveries very powerful messages - for every problem, there is a solution; nothing is impossible, if you just believe in yourself; you can do anything; don't give up! Some of my favorite themes are about showing children to care about themselves, to be creative and to use their imaginations. The Zoonicorns provides lots of positive answers.

I believe the whole family will enjoy this web series and kids will certainly enjoy the catchy tunes This web series launches December 1, 2018 so look for it. Enjoy the fun adventures of the Zoonicorns. I recommend it for ages 2 to 5 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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

The Zoonicorns are four mixes of Unicorns and Zebras that help other animals with their problems. When the animals fall asleep, the Zoonicorns appear in their dreams. As the Zoonicorns help others, they sing and their singing provides lyrics for which kids can easily sing along. This singing is great for preschoolers. The Zoonicorns provide answers to problems. The solution they find for every problem is that it comes from within and nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself. Teaching a child about caring for themselves, using their imagination and creativity is another part of their message. The sing along builds up and introduces words to help the child expand their vocabulary, understanding new words and learning how to use them. This great web series comes out December 1, 2018. You can find it online so look for it. Enjoy the fun adventures of the Zoonicorns. I recommend it for ages 2 to 6 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. By Cemre C, KIDS FIRST! Youth Reviewer, age 14
Runtime: 17 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: AUDIO


GRANDPA IN MY POCKET

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GRANDPA IN MY POCKET
ADASTRA DEVELOPMENT
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - BAFTA winning and four times BAFTA nominated hit kids TV show about a magical shrinking Grandpa and his grand children.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Who knew old folks could be fun? Even grandpas can get dressed up like superheroes and save the day! What an untapped source of entertainment!

This four timed BAFTA UK television show features young Josh and Elsie spending time with their family at a fun hotel, shaped like a windmill. They've got lots of spare time on their hands, so they willingly take over experiencing excitement and adventures in and around the hotel. Their older brother is the only other person who knows Grandpa's tiny secret.

incredibly bright colors used in the set design are a real mood-lifter. Enter the magical black cap. One soon discovers that old-fashioned magic can happen without things like remote controls. The shrunken grandpa reminds me of Tinkerbell flying around in the Peter Pan movies.

Many comical scenes are included such as tiny grandpa entering the flashing spaceship and taking off to rescue a pair of panties stuck in a tree. I enjoyed the 3D animations of the flying objects like airplanes and spaceships. It gives you a real sense of the vehicles quickly approaching and then retreating away from the audience.

The actress who plays Olga Orbit conveys her star-struck amazement at the planets, while gazing out at the universe. Her spaced-out personality is very convincing.

The special effects of the shrunken grandpa riding a bird, standing on a moving toy train and flying out from the chimney while inside a spaceship are all quite memorable. The animation is smooth and well executed.

My favorite part is when the eccentric astronomer Olga Orbit meets the full-size Captain Dumbletwit (magic grandpa). Heroes can appear in real life, not only in cartoons.

The message of this film is to appreciate one's elders. They have a lot of wisdom and skill to offer the world around them. Take advantage of their kindness!

I rate this show 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - SEE adult comments.
Runtime: 12 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GHOST IN THE FAMILY

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GHOST IN THE FAMILY
BRYAN MULLINS
Series: FEATURE 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - When an emotionally broken family moves into a house haunted by a suffering spirit, Tom the ghost sees an opportunity to try and save his soul by teaching the family how to live again. He quickly discovers that is easier said than done.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. This film tells a story similar to BeetleJuice, in it's own way. The story follows Tom, a man who recently died and who is forced to live his afterlife in the house where he died, due to a technicality of his death. Soon after his death, a new family moves into his house. When I first saw this film I immediately thought of BeetleJuice, due to the premise of the story - a person dies and cannot leave the house, but interacts with a new family. But, that is where the similarities end. This film has a good heart to its story and characters, however it has some flaws. The characters are pretty flat. The only one that is quirky and interesting is Franklin Poindexter. The sound quality is acceptable. The cinematography is decent. The sets, costumes and locations are a bit stagnant. There's nothing wrong with them, they just aren't that interesting. The characters stay within the same area of the house throughout the film. The costuming is unimaginative too. I think there was a budget constraint. It is a pretty slow-moving plot. Considering all that, I admire the filmmaker for the film's good heart and story, and the fact that he made it! Plus, I enjoyed the little reference to The Exorcist. My favorite scene is when Tom is visited by his dead, drunk, older brother. He tells Tom he needs to lighten up, that he is only going to be dead once, so enjoy it. The message is that we can all achieve a more gratifying existence, if we try. Agreements are not carved in stone. There are always loopholes to be found, that can help turn bad situations into good ones. I believe a child would enjoy this due to its message. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. You should know that there is some mild language (the words "shit" and "hell") a few times and some scenes with drinking, but nothing more. Reviewed by Angel U. and Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult reporters.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 94 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MILES AWAY
BARBARA BRUNNER
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 4-10
Topic - Family
Description - Miles is a little boy whose best friend is a tree. Together they venture on a roadtrip and enjoy a perfect Summer day at the funfair. "Miles Away" is a short movie for kids, with one simple message: You'll never be lonely or bored as long as you let your imagination lead the way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What a delightful film about imagination and friendship. I love that Miles' best friend is a tree. We see what friendship means to Miles and his best friend, the tree, as they embark on a wonderful summer day, exploring fun things. The most appealing thing is definitely the 2D animation. It is creative, colorful and vibrant.

I had such a amazing experience watching this short film because the animation truly brings the story together as well as the creative kid friendly locations. It truly entertained me from beginning to end. I enjoyed the boy's explorations and the storyline I definitely think other kids will too. Who wouldn't like exploring all the fun places that he does in his imagination.

I definitely recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival and give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 4 to 10. Reviewed by Nathalia J. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! adult juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SKYFALL (ALBERTO GARCIA)

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SKYFALL (ALBERTO GARCIA)
ALBERTO GARCIA
Series: FOREIGN ENVIRONMENTAL SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - The sky is falling
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wow! This short student-produced animated film makes a commentary summing up society's careless attitudes about air pollution and suggests a great way to help solve the problem. I love how the environment fights back to ensure its own survival!

This film illustrates how air pollution is caused by car engine exhaust as well as cigarette smoke. Mindless people leave their car engines running needlessly, while they blab on their cell phones. Clouds in the sky, choking on the fumes, politely ask the drivers to turn off their cars. They get mocked by the mean humans. In response, the clouds suck the drivers right out of their vehicles and later spit them out elsewhere.

The simple, one-line animated figures and objects are delightful in their very flexible movements. The director's use of single black lines is very effective in showing negative emotions, such as sneering by a driver and the resulting anger and frustration of the cloud.

My favorite part of this film is the vacuum hose technique utilized by the clouds. I also enjoyed how the extracted drivers are later deposited onto an alternate form of non-polluting transportation.

The message here is about respecting our fragile environment and getting healthful exercise at the same time. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. You should know the dialogue is in Spanish with English sub-titles.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 2 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PRINCESS'S TREASURE, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
PRINCESS'S TREASURE, THE
MIRCO DA LIO
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - An elderly man comes to the rescue of a girl who is lost inside an Etruscan tomb. While he is helping her look for her parents he tells her a story. The story sounds like a fairytale but maybe it's not..... a magical land, a Princess who emerges from a lake, her encounter with a young man, and how that encounter changes his life. The Princess explains to him the history and importance of that magic land and makes him realise that it's place to be safeguarded for all and everyone...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What a lovely short film! Romance is alive and well! But is the princess just a figment of the excavator's imagination? Is she just supposed to teach him something important, only to disappear?

This subtitled Italian film begins with a lost little girl, Elisa, bumping into Matteo, an excavator inside a tunnel maze. This set establishes an ambiance of mystery, suspense and lonesomeness. Matteo proceeds to tell Eliza a story about a princess he once knew.

The use of flashbacks is very effective to show the old man, Matteo, as a much younger man. The audio effect of whispering voices in the distance adds to the air of mystery. The music director chooses a great musical score for the princess when she first arises out of the water. It makes her seem very seductive. The necklace that Matteo finds is an effective prop. You wonder if it has magical powers or holds some secret.

The aerial views of the Italian countryside, with horses running through it, are very romantic. So are the architectural ruins that young Matteo and the princess go wandering through.

My favorite part is the upside-down bat perched in one of the caves. This makes Matteo's cave dwelling seem more realistic.

One message of this film is to leave historical artifacts and treasures alone. Preserve their integrity to honor the past. Another message is that there are ways to overcome loneliness.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. It will make a lovely addition to any film festival for youth and families. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


MR. JIM

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MR. JIM
JACK FOLEY
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - A recently widowed veteran gets a new lease on life by striking up a friendship with a mom and her young daughter.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - It is reassuring to see the healing powers of human touch and interaction. The open way in which a young girl, Emma, embraces Jim is very touching. She satisfies his need for positive human contact in a simple, trusting fashion. Their budding relationship restores one's faith in basic human kindness.

Jim is an elderly veteran with pleasant memories of his recently deceased wife. However, there is an element of sadness and loneliness in his current existence. Emma's mom (Carrie Plumley) picks up on his good nature and helps nurture a friendship that forms between the three of them.

The old man, Mr. Jim (Jack Mansbach) has a quick smile and knows how to make a child feel good about herself. The director creates wonderful contrasting sets from the bland, silent living room and kitchen in Mr. Jim's house to the energetic, bustling playground where Emma hangs out with her friends.

My favorite part of this film is the flashback scene when Jim, as a young soldier, carries his new bride across the threshold of their house. It is clear from the #24 on the doorpost that the couple lived in this same house throughout their entire marriage. It implies they had a happy, stable life together.

The message in this film is about giving elders in our society a chance. The benefits will be experienced by both sides. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult reviews
Runtime: 13 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


WE THE CHILDREN

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
WE THE CHILDREN
MAYSAA BAZNA
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-16
Topic - Family
Description - We the Children is a short documentary about children' s thoughts and feelings on politics. Sparked by the 2016 elections results, we witness how a group of children, ages 7 to 11, at a democratic school in Harlem, New York City, responds to their concern about the direction their country might take as a result of Donald Trump elected as president. Through an ongoing journey that involves their own civic law education, community involvement, and activism, they ultimately question the general perception of children' s limited role in politics and open the door for further discussion.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Once in a while, a documentary comes along that knocks you out! Directed and produced by Academy Award Nominee Jamal Joseph, this one does just that. I love hearing what young kids think about the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. What a great idea to let third and fourth graders choose the subjects they actually want to learn about at the Pono Democratic School. It is wonderful to see kids get so excited about their education.

One of their teachers, Jessica Greenberg, introduces a great notion that the fourth branch of government is actually "We the People." Kids discover that they have a voice to express their opinions about the goings on in American government. Students of many different ethnic backgrounds create a survey to ask other kids about their thoughts on the 2016 election.

The cinematography is very effective in the scenes where the Pono school children are calling various people to inform them about the upcoming survey. This shows the maturity and confidence of these youngsters. The cinematography is excellent. I especially enjoyed the shots of scribbled rough drafts of the survey questions, leading up to a final typed draft. It shows a true work-in-progress. I like the classical background music. The music director chose a theme that conjures up images of political royalty dancing in the White House.

It is surprising how well these school kids analyze the results of their survey. They present the respondents' answers using quite sophisticated pie charts and bar graphs, showing various percentages. The production designer chose a classroom at Long Island University as a place for the kids to present the results of their survey to an adult audience.

My favorite part is when one young student exclaims how hard (impossible, really) it would be to share the survey with every single kid in Harlem. She throws her hands up in exasperation to emphasize the point. It is quite appropriate acting for a documentary.

The message of this film is that children's education can be much more meaningful for them when their curiosity, creativity, emotions and natural intelligence are engaged.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 16, as well as adults. Reviewed by Jeff M, KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror. Any film festival looking to show an outstanding example of a contemporary school should certainly consider this film.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 22 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-16
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GREEN HOUSE ACADEMY EPISODE 1

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GREEN HOUSE ACADEMY EPISODE 1
ADDY RUOTOLO-PERETS
Series: SHORT AGES 8-14
Topic - Family
Description - After losing their mother, 2 siblings arrive ar a boarding school for gifted future leaders. They join two competing houses at school and become rivals. Soon, mysterious events draw both groups into a secret investigation and uncover a deadly plot to destroy the planet. They must come together to save each other.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - My first experience with Greenhouse Academy was a bit confusing as I viewed a later episode of it. However, after seeing the first episode I am now much more at ease with the show. This episode introduces siblings Alex and Hayley who recently lost their mother in an accident. Alex applies at Greenhouse Academy, a special school that only allows a select few into one of its two houses - the Ravens and the Eagles. One favors physical achievement and the other favors academics. However, the ending of this episode suggests that there might be more to this story and the mother's accident than meets the eye. The characters are believable, although not remarkable. They are typical of teens that we have seen in other shows and they are all likable in their own way. The talent includes Ariel Mortman, Finn Roberts and Parker Stevenson who star in this series.

The pace is good. It is well produced with good visuals, sound and cinematography. The storyline is a bit cheesy, but I am hoping that there will be an interesting rivalry develop between the two houses, similar to what happens in Harry Potter houses. We will have to see how that all rolls out. I recommend Greenhouse Academy for ages 10 to 15 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. It makes a great addition to any film festival looking for programming for tweens and teens. Reviewed by Angel U., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


I MADE THIS FOR MUM

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
I MADE THIS FOR MUM
MELANIE ESSINK
Series: FOREIGN STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Eve (age 11) was only four years old when she lost her mother to breast cancer. She still struggles with this, even though back then she wasn't even old enough to understand what was happening. That's because Eve receives videos from her mum every year on her birthday. In those videos her mother tells her about the life she lived before she passed away. Slowly Eve gets to know a mother she'll never meet again. That's really hard for her, because it raises a lot of questions which she can't ask anyone about. Her father repressed his mourning a long time ago and it sometimes seems that he doesn't even recognize his daughter could be sad too. That's why Eve tries to connect with her past through making something. She starts a film project for the mother she never got to know.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - How hard it is to lose a parent as a young child? I felt an immediate sense of sympathy for this young girl, Eve. She clearly has a lot to say to her dead mom and she finds a very sweet way to communicate with her.

It's a little hard to believe that a dying mom would have the foresight or the energy to make a separate videotape for every one of her daughter's upcoming birthdays. Her father, Kaspar (Erik van Welzen) displays quite a bit of annoyance with Eve over some of her actions and she seems to enjoy defying her dad's wishes. He apparently would like to forget about his deceased wife and focus on his new, pregnant wife. The director brings out the mixed emotions of this family.

In this subtitled film from the Netherlands, 11-year old Eve (Suus Ordelman) has a rather expressionless face as she views her deceased mother on the videotape. She just smiles and tears up briefly as she watches and listens to her mom speak. Have her emotions been numbed by the early loss of her mother?

There are some interesting close-up camera views of Eve's secret stash of personal items stored on her video camera. Some of these scenes presumably would be included in the movie she's making for her mom. There is a creepy use of lighting from her flashlight while Eve visits her mom's gravesite at night.

My favorite part of this film is when Eve's pet dog helps her unwrap her birthday presents. The message is that just because someone you love has died, they do not have to be gone from your life. That someone will always be watching over you.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. Recommended for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, especially for tweens and teens. Anyone who has lost a parent will particularly resonate with this film. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 22 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


TEAM TEENETTES

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TEAM TEENETTES
BRIAN MORELAN
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 6-13
Topic - Family
Description - Balancing regular battles against a giant robot and a mad scientist with high school life leaves supercharged teen hero Kaylee questioning the predictability of her team's missions. From Canada.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Looking for a lighthearted spoof to show your tweens and teens? Team Teenettes is a film that doesn't take itself too seriously. It is more of a comedy than anything else.

The storyline follows the Teenettes, a trio of female super heroes who are called to action anytime their city is in danger. The film feels like an homage and a mockery of shows such as Powerpuff Girls and Power Rangers. When one of the main characters questions the team's actions, she is told to "just go along with it." There is also a fourth wall break, which is shat makes it seem so bad, it's good. It has a type of situation similar to The Room. I actually enjoyed the hokey acting and the sub-par visual effects. Even the villain, "The Evil Doctor" has the most ridiculous reason as to why he wants to destroy the city. I couldn't help but laugh at the premise as well as the scenes when the Evil Doctor and his assistant interact with each other. The background music reminds me of the "Bulk and Skull" theme from Power Rangers. That song only plays when the characters Bulk and Skull are on screen and are messing something up or acting dumb.

The most unappealing aspect of this film is the acting, which is pretty amateurish. However, I still think that younger kids would enjoy it, especially the special effects. The scenes jump around a bit as the plot develops and the beginning is a bit jarring because you are thrown into an action scene without any introduction to the characters or the plot. It has some vocabulary that might go over the youth audience's heads. On the other hand, the cinematography and audio is very good. The sets are appropriate and the costumes work. If you are looking for something campy and fun, then this will suit the bill. IT doesn't take itself too seriously and your audience won't either. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 13. Reviewed by Angel U. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 25 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


AUDITION

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
AUDITION
SEULKI KIM
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Ung-bi, who is a child actor, is worried that she might not get the role because she can't cry. She tries hard to cry.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoyed this subtitled film from Korea. It gives us some insight into their culture. The storyline here is about Ung-Bi, a child actor, both in the film and in real life. She is adorable, in both appearance and performance. The film follows her auditioning for a role in a film when she has difficulty crying to play her character. She tries everything to learn how to cry on cue, from trying to think of something sad to trying to make herself sad. As a fellow filmmaker, I know that working with child actors can be difficult, from forgetting their lines to not being able to portray a particular emotion. But, I never found it irritating. This short film has a build up to something I thought was going to happen, but it never does. I like how it averted my expectations. The cinematography is very good. The plot flows easily and is easy to follow. The vocabulary is age appropriate for a youth audience. The performances are all very good. All the child actors are very talented and deliver very good performances, especially Ung-Bi. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and enthusiastically recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 22 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DANNY LOU & DONNA STARR

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DANNY LOU & DONNA STARR
LEIF SANDQVIST
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - When Donna Starr gets shot on her wedding day, her former sweetheart Danny Lou, sets out to uncover who wanted her gone and why.

Helping him is the sheriffs young granddaughter who soon finds herself in a heap of trouble.

It's a story about chasing your dreams, of how far you should follow them, and what price you wish to pay for them.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Danny Lou & Donna Starr is an interesting film and certainly, a lot of work went into it. It is a western, yet with everything that happens in the film it feels more like a cheesy 70s cop show. The story follows Danny Lou, a cowboy investigating the murder of his old flame Donna, after her marriage to a wealthy tycoon. Danny, along with the help of the local sheriff's young granddaughter tries to bring Donna's killer to justice and track down the large fortune that she had donated with the unwilling help of her husband.

The most appealing thing is its charm. The acting is pretty believable with a few hiccups. Kids would enjoy the storyline of the film. The production values are quite good from the visuals, to the audio track to the sets and locations to the acting. The vocabulary is definitely appropriate for the audience. The costumes are out of Western Central! The soundtrack feels a bit out of place, but that adds to the humor of the film.

The film feels like homage to other westerns. It has a few things that make it stand out. For example, in one sequence Danny chases someone and it reminded me of a chase scene in a buddy cop movie, with a little humor thrown in.

I enjoyed this film, although I felt it could have been a bit shorter. When I thought it had ended, it kept going. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it. It's well made, has some goofy characters, humor and is entirely watchable. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15. It would make a fun addition to our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. I should add that the dialogue is in Swedish with English sub-titles. Reviewed by Angel U., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


NEW ADVENTURES OF GUMBY, THE: 1980S VOLUME 1, PLUS BENDABLE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEW ADVENTURES OF GUMBY, THE: 1980S VOLUME 1, PLUS BENDABLE       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 - Limited edition includes bendable Prickle and Goo figures. Two DVD set. Welcome back Gumby and Pokey in this wild, wacky and inventive collection of '80s episodes. Featuring 50 clay-animated episodes, fully remastered from their original camera rolls and soundtracks. Also making appearances are Prickle, Goo, the Blockheads, Professor Kapp, Dr. Zveegee, the Moon Boggles, and Gumby's parents Gumbo and Gumba. New characters include Gumby's sister Minga, Denali the Mastodon and Tilly the chicken!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This lovely collector's edition comes with two bendable toys that are two new lovable characters from this Gumby DVD. The characters are Prickle, a cute yellow dinosaur/dragon and Goo, a green gooey mermaid. Having been a fan of the original Gumby series, I enjoyed seeing my favorite characters rejuvenated on screen with better film quality and sound. The stories are always so eccentric and fun-loving and this collection is no different. My favorite episode from Vol 1 is Birthday Party in the Middle Ages. During this story, Gumby and friends are invited to King Ott's birthday party from the middle ages book. I love seeing all of these characters brought to life in true Gumby form; the shapes and colors are fantastic. This DVD is captivating for the younger ages. I recommend it for ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars for its timelessness. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The New Adventures Of Gumby: The 80's Series is a good show that retains the groundbreaking animation and immense amount of creativity at the forefront of past iterations of Gumby.

This DVD contains over 40 episodes that follow the vivacious chunk of green clay named Gumby and his friends - Pokey, Prickle the little yellow dinosaur and a blue flying mermaid named Goo. Gumby can go anywhere, including inside books, and turn into anything. The crew goes on lots of fantastical and quirky adventures together. One of the things I enjoy about this DVD is its diverse set of characters. This collection has all the favorite characters from the previous series such as The Blockheads and Professor Kapp.

My favorite character from this collection is Gumby. This altruistic do-gooder is a character whose values are something kids can aspire to adopt. Gumby is one of the few characters that, if we all aspired to be, the world would be a better place. He is very likable and consistently fights for the common good. I also really like Gumby's friends. This collection also highlights how pivotal these characters were to the series' success. I really enjoy Gumby as a character, but without Prickle, Goo and Pokey as foils and characters for him to interact with, this series just wouldn't be as good.

I really have to give credit to the animators for using Claymation and not going with another type of animation. When such a specific brand like Gumby is been created and such dynamic characters are established, it's difficult to divert from the Claymation style. The difference here is I can tell that the character models and the environments have improved from the 60s, but the show doesn't lose the charm of the Claymation format.

I recommend The New Adventures Of Gumby: The 80's Series for ages 6 to 8.These are short cartoons that match younger kids' attention spans. The episodes are extremely colorful, but I think kids under age 6 won't understand the jokes. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. I didn't find this collection as compelling as the 60s series, but it carries the torch of the Gumby legacy well. You can find this collection on DVD now.

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

This lovely two DVD set comes with limited edition bendable Prickle and Goo figures. How awesome is that! The 1980s show was a hit when mom was growing up and it bought back so many memories for her. Welcome back Gumby and Pokey in this wild, wacky and inventive collection of 80s episodes, created and written by Joe Clokey.

My favorite character is, by all odds Gumby, because he is always so energetic and happy. I enjoyed watching how Gumby and his genial friend Pokey take an adventure through an Ice Cave. I enjoyed this mirthful episode because it made me laugh. I really enjoyed seeing the characters come to life. The colors also really bring a sense of enjoyment.

The characters in this series are Gumby, Pokey and Prickle, an adorable yellow dinosaur that looks like a dragon. Also making an appearance are Goo, the Blockhead, Professor Kapp, Dr. Zveegee, the Moon Boggles and Gumby's parents Gumbo and Gumba.

I have to tell you about the story behind this release. Did you know that each episode and song was fully re-mastered from the original camera rolls and soundtracks? How cool is that! Here's a chance to see Gumby as it has never been seen before.

I give this DVD 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7, as well as adults. This series is certainly unique and will definitely bring back memories if you grew up watching Gumby. This DVD is available now so, check it out.

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

What I like about this collection is that each episode is different and each character is made differently. The clay figurines are all unique and super cute. It is a different type of show than what I am used to seeing. I don't often see animated clay shows like this. The claymation is a little old school, like in my parents' days. In some episodes it seems a little slow moving, but according to my parents, Gumby was a pretty hip and legit cartoon to watch when they were young.

Gumby, Pokey and friends make a major comeback in this re-mastered collection. The characters are all made of clay and delivered in "claymation" on this two disc DVD. You do not want to miss out on this wacky, wild and original 50 episodes. One of my favorite episodes is "Gumby's Circus," where you see this circus almost flip upside down by the Blockheads.

My favorite character is Goo, because she is blue like my favorite color and very cute. I love mermaids and it so happens that Goo plays a mermaid. Her powers are extremely awesome! She has the power to fly and spit balls of clay. Pretty awesome! Girl power!

My favorite part of "Gumby's Circus" is when Gumby allows his sister Ming to be part of his circus show. Gumby's parents, Gumbo and Gumba attend the circus show to check out Gumby and Ming's performances. They are definitely proud of their children.

The message of this show is about Gumby being kind-hearted by allowing his sister to join his circus act. Although the Blockheads try to ruin the circus show, by destroying the tent, they are captured by a Good Samaritan cowboy and put into a cage until authorities arrive. Everyone helps save the circus from becoming a huge disaster.

I give this DVD 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 9, as well as adults. It's great animation for a child starting to recognize persons and things. It's available on DVD now, so check it out.

Reviewed by Sev'n F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 250 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


FABLES OF LIVING WATER, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FABLES OF LIVING WATER, THE
MARIANA MECHOULAM
Series: SHORT, AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - M�nica and Sergio, two brothers that play a fight all day. They have a playing room where they have all their toys. When they have any problem, with their imagination they fly to Agua Viva, where all their toys get life. The toys help to solve their problems with a story. Director - Gerardo Paz 6a637c2136 headshot Ratings Rate ProjectThis project has not yet been rated. Notes Ranny Levy on October 18, 2018 � Shared with Submitter This animated 2D short is perfect for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. In Spanish, with English sub-titles, it delivers a fun story with an important message about dishonesty, honesty and forgiveness. I love the line, "someone who steals loses his tranquility." The characters are adorable. The thief, a monkey, didn't intend to steal, He was attracted to the object and couldn't help himself. But, he's sorry, confesses and promises to never do it again. This is well produced with lovely animation, bright colors and a good message. We learn that it takes courage to confess, that we all make mistakes and that the most important thing is to learn from them. The music is catchy and reiterates the theme of the show at the end. I can see kids singing the song along with it, or humming it afterwards. I recommend this for ages 2 to 5 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. You should know that sometimes the sub-titles are a bit off, so be prepared for that. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror To submitter: Congratulations! We are delighted to include your film in our national KIDS FIRST! Film Festival where it will be available to 50 venues that partner with us. Please see required deliverables in the official letter of acceptance from filmfreeway. Send your digital file through dropbox, google docs or similar. Allowing a download from film freeway is also acceptable. And, we need your poster art in 72 dpi (max height 3") or a production still for online publicity purposes. One more thing, KIDS FIRST! is starting a new Digital Channel in association with xerb.tv. We will send you more information about how you can participate in that, if you so choose. Delete Add a note about this entry. Send a copy to the submitter. Add Note Project Links Website Facebook
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This animated 2D short is perfect for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. In Spanish, with English sub-titles, it delivers a fun story with an important message about dishonesty, honesty and forgiveness. I love the line, "someone who steals loses his tranquility." The characters are adorable. The thief, a monkey, didn't intend to steal, He was attracted to the object and couldn't help himself. But, he's sorry, confesses and promises to never do it again. This is well produced with lovely animation, bright colors and a good message. We learn that it takes courage to confess, that we all make mistakes and that the most important thing is to learn from them. The music is catchy and reiterates the theme of the show at the end. I can see kids singing the song along with it, or humming it afterwards. I recommend this for ages 2 to 5 and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. You should know that sometimes the sub-titles are a bit off, so be prepared for that.

Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-7
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
UNDER PRESSURE
GABE SCHMIDT
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 11 TO 16
Topic - Family
Description - Garrett, a student and star athlete, struggles to keep up with the demands of school and sports. His friend, Lucas, suggests he try a medication that has been a help for him. Garrett has to decide what he's willing to sacrifice to get what he wants.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I like that this film attempts to educate people about the dangers of prescription drugs, although it doesn't fully educate people about why these drugs can be dangerous. I believe a child who doesn't know much about drugs would learn something from watching this. The storyline flows well, makes sense and it is watchable. The subject of drugs is handled well, even if it falls short of making a home run in its message. I think most students can relate to the pressure to perform highly. It's far too easy to succumb to the peer pressure of using drugs to alleviate the stress. The information they give in this film is accurate and the topic is definitely on target. It's a message that kids need to be aware of, before it becomes a problem.

The film basically tells viewers to not do drugs because they are bad. The quality of the video is very good and the cast give very believable performances. At times the camera shots move too fast but, in general the filmmaker makes creative use of the camera angles.

I recommend this for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival because it delivers a good message. And, though it falls short about why drugs can be dangerous, parents and teachers could elaborate on the topic and teach kids more about it. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 16.

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 7 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 1-16
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


OCTONAUTS, SEASON 2

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS, SEASON 2       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 2-7
Topic - Family
Description - Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate, Kwazii, medic Peso Penguin and the rest of the crew, as they explore the world s oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats - above and below the waves!

Based on the richly imaginative books by Meomi, this series combines immersive visuals and 'submersive' humor to transport young children into a world that is both real and fantastic, full of mysteries to unravel and surprises around every corner.

In this season set, encounter all types of creatures from the Great White Shark to Lionfish and more! The adventures don't end there! Embark on an Amazon adventure with the Octonauts as they travel down the Amazon River in search of a lost city and Kwazii's long lost grandfather, Calico Jack! So come aboard the Octopod for 24 exciting missions!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - It's the Octonauts to the rescue! Well, they actually do more than just rescue, but I really enjoyed the rescue. They also explore and protect and I can add another one - they educate young children. The characters are extremely likable and engaging. There are so many different adventures in this season's collection. I especially enjoyed the one about the Great White Shark which the group needed to rescue and at the same time had to be very careful so they didn't end up as the Great White Shark's lunch! The underwater scenes are fun to watch. The dialogue is creative. I highly recommend for ages 3 through 7. One of my favorite things is how, at the end of each show, they give facts about sea animals such as the Great White Shark and Sea Snakes. I give this 4 stars out of 5 stars for its entertainment and educational aspects. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Octonauts: Season Two is a very cute children's television series animated in Ireland and voiced by British actors. The show is based on American-Canadian children's books by Meomi Design Inc., which make it ideal for young kids! The series is very entertaining and educational. It contains lots of information and if you love the ocean, I definitely recommend this series for you.

You don't need to watch Season One to understand Season Two. From the very first episode, you are immersed in a colorful underworld, discovering the adventures of the very likable characters. The intrepid Octonauts travel in nautical space ships and the Octopod and will remind parents of Star Trek and the expeditions of French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. I like that they work as a team and how they respect each other. Each character brings something different; they have different specialties and each one is unique.

My favorite characters are Peso, the penguin and Barnabas the polar bear captain which I found very classy. But, all six adventurers are fun to watch - Kawazii (the cat), Inkling (the Dumbo octopus), Shellington (the sea otter), Tweak (the rabbit), Dash (the dog) and Tunip (half animal, half vegetable). They are not only adorable, but it is easy to relate to them. They all have different accents and, by the sound of their voices, they are different ages too.

Everything is very interesting in this show. Each episode follows a different mission where you learn fascinating information about the ocean and marine life in a very fun manner. Each episode is based on one particular sea creature or animal and the Octonauts not only explore the ocean but also protect their habitat. The technology in the series is imaginary, but the creatures are based on real ones.

The show's color palette is beautiful with lots of light blues and greens. It's quite refreshing and calms you down, which I think is ideal for little ones. I really like the animation, especially the graphic transitions at the end of each episode as it gives a recap (Creature Reports) to the episode and additional information about each animal. Each episode is also focused on a particular conflict or problem, but you can enjoy them individually since there's no sequence between them.

Season Two comes with two discs, with 12 episodes each and 12 Creature Reports, which are music videos about the animals featured in that episode. This gives a nice recap on that segment. The message series is "explore, rescue, protect." There's a whole ocean out there to discover, but we have to care and preserve our nature for future generations and ourselves.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8, but parents watching with their little ones will enjoy as well. It's available on DVD now, so look for it. Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

In this animated deep-sea adventure series, Captain Barnacles and his group of explorers roam the oceans in search of finding a creature that needs help. The Octopod is home to Kwazii, Shellington, Dashi, Captain Barnacles and Tweak. Throughout this season 2 collection, the Octonauts save many sea creatures including sharks, manatees, bowhead whales and many more.

This show is great for any kid over the age of 3. It's a wonderful way to learn about different types of sea animals. One episode starts with the Octonauts finding a sea animal needing help and, as the episode continues, the problem is solved. As they solve problems throughout each episode, we learn lots of information about the creature they save.

This really is a terrific show. It is well produced with excellent and colorful animation, has great informative content and it's fun! I recommend this for ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It's available now on DVD so look for it. Reviewed by Cimre C., KIDS FIRST! Juror

I like the Octonauts series because it teaches kids about sea creatures. I also like how cute the animation and the characters are.

This series is about a bunch of underwater explorers that research sea animals. It is based on the books by the author Meomi. The Octonauts are led by Captain Barnacles. The three main characters are Captain Barnacles, Peso and Kwasii. Every episode is a fun adventure of learning about sea animals such as the Great White Shark, Long Armed Squid, Lionfish and more!

The animation in this show is adorable. The animation looks just like the book version. I love how colorful everything is and appreciate that they put a pop of color in every scene. They use colors to show how vivid the ocean is.

The characters in Octonauts are adorable. My favorite is Kwasii because of how funny he is. I love his stories about his days as a pirate. I also love how much of a daredevil he is. It's very thrilling to see him barely getting away from a shark or fighting with Swordfish. I also love his accent because he truly does sound like a pirate. I also like Peso. I love how knowledgeable he is about sea animals. He loves to help sea creatures and I think that's great.

I'm glad that this show teaches children about sea animals. It's important that kids know about animals. A lot of kid shows do not teach kids about meaningful things, but this show does. It's refreshing to see that kids are being taught things that can help them in the future. It is so important that kids learn about the oceans and marine life. It's important to learn about the necessity of protecting the ocean and its creatures.

I give Octonauts: Season Two 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8. This is available now on DVD so look for it.

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Runtime: 286 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-7
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


HELLO, GOODBYE, HELLO

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HELLO, GOODBYE, HELLO       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
LIGHTHOUSE RECORDS
Series: MUSIC VIDEO AGES 2-5
Topic - Family
Description - This video from Vincent Nunes' 10th CD of original music for children is fun and catchy and introduces early learners to the idea of respecting others even when they are different.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - If a picture is worth a thousand words then Victor Nunes' video of his song Hello, Goodbye, Hello must indeed speak a few thousand more. The simple repeated gesture of multi-ethnic children shaking hands and moving together to the positive lyrics of the title song exemplify love, acceptance and cooperation for the human beings we share this planet, this country, this neighborhood, this school and this life with. Sometimes it is just a song and dance together. The video has children as its focus and the material is uplifting. The song flows well. The continuity of the visuals could be more interesting and less repetitious. The material is right on for the intended age group. I recommend this for ages 5 to 8 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Music specialist.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-5
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


LITTLE WOLF'S BOOK OF BADNESS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LITTLE WOLF'S BOOK OF BADNESS       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Topic - Family
Description - All Little Wolf wants to do is stay at home with Mum, Dad and his brother, Smellybreff. However, Mum and Dad are worried that their precious son, Little Wolf, is not as bad as a small wolf should be. So they decide to send him off to Cunning College in Frettnin Forest to learn the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle Bigbad. Uncle Bigbad is a hopeless teacher, but armed with determination and native wit, Little Wolf thinks things out for himself. Sent out by his Uncle to round up a troop of boy scouts to eat for supper, Little Wolf discovers that the scouts have many useful skills that Little Wolf can learn from them. In the end, Little Wolf decides not to follow outdated rules of proper wolf behavior but to be true to himself. As a result, he inherits his Uncle's fortune and becomes master of Cunning College. Based on a world-famous series of best-selling Little Wolf story books, this one-off is a treat for the whole family!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is one of the absolutely cutest stories I have ever seen. I have read several of the short stories that spawned this movie and loved all of them. In this Little Wolf Adventure, his family is concerned that perhaps Little Wolf isn't as big, bad and tough as he should be. Their reaction to this is shipping him off to Cunning College to learn the Nine Rules of Badness from his Uncle Bigbad, whom is voiced perfectly by Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter film series). During his time at the college he continuously struggles with the ideas of being such a bad wolf, but at the same time he just wants to make his family proud. At one point his uncle gives him the terrible task of fetching some unsuspecting boy scouts to gobble up. Little Wolf sees all of these things that the scouts do and decides he wants to learn to do all of these amazing things himself. He may not be a bad wolf, but he sure is a big wolf now! I love the fact that this is a little story where we actively see a child decide who they want to be and being so proud of themselves. This is the kind of feel good story that every child needs to watch. This is great for ages 7 to 11 and I give it 5 out of 5 stars for being so cutely inspirational. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Little Wolf's Book of Badness, directed by Karsten Kiilerich, is unique and unexpected! With its spiral of surprises, I never could predict what would happen in the next scene. The story also puts a twist on common fairy tales such as Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The message of the film is to be yourself by being good, even if being good is bad. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 9. This DVD is available now so, be sure to check it out. Reviewed by Kamryn B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16
Runtime: 30 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - While collecting junk one day, best friends Sonny and Sam meet Slappy, a mischievous talking dummy from an unpublished "Goosebumps" book by R.L. Stine. Hoping to start his own family, Slappy kidnaps Sonny's mother and brings all of his ghoulish friends back to life -- just in time for Halloween. As the sleepy town becomes overrun with monsters, witches and other mysterious creatures, Sonny joins forces with his sister, Sam and a kindly neighbor to save Sonny's mom and foil Slappy's plan.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is spooky, fun and creative! It is very engaging and entertaining throughout the whole film.

The story is about a young boy, Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and his best friend, Sam (Caleel Harris) who finds a book. When they open it, a doll called Slappy comes out! The boys lose the book, but keep Slappy. The friends are very surprised and a bit scared when they discover that the doll can talk. He seems nice at the beginning. He wants to have a family. But later, the boy, his sister Sarah (Madison Iseman) and his best friend realize he is strange and don't want him to be part of their family anymore. Slappy has his own personal agenda and decides to create his own family. He makes Halloween come to life as he invades the whole town with monsters and all the creatures as allies. This is a very scary Halloween for the town of Wardenclyffe, where the story takes place, as all creatures make real chaos. Sonny, Sam and Sarah team up with neighbor Mr. Chu (Ken Jeong) to find the book that Slappy from to figure out how to stop him. They discover that the book can suck up monsters and they are determined to save the city.

The story is based on R.L Stine's books. This is where Jack Black comes in as he reprises his role from the 2015 film, playing the writer who came to help. His performance as the author is excellent. I love him.

The movie is funny and spooky in equal amounts. There is mystery and discovery all combined in the storytelling. There's kind of a homage to horror films, as we see some classic monsters. My favorite scenes are the ones with the Halloween decorations coming to life in the store and the fight with the gummy bears that become real and attack Sonny and Sam.

The effects are very well done. This story focuses on the 3 main characters and the actors did a good job carrying the film. There's a tribute to the books and literature. There's a beautiful metaphor with the blank pages in the book which is powerful. It is so interesting and kind of reminded me that reality is scarier than fantasy and there will be more stories to be written. The message of this film is, "when we face our own fears we learn how not to be scared."

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween opens October 12, 2018 and is the perfect movie for kids this Halloween. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 6 to 13 and grown ups as well.

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

Boo! Trick or treat! Who is ready for a perky piece of family entertainment? Giant spiders made of balloons, pumpkin-headed scarecrows, witches with glowing heads are the factual stars of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. Who's ready to pop some popcorn with a fresh drink and enjoy the film?

This very funny, energetic, colorful and well-crafted film is directed by Ari Sandel. The film follows best friends Sonny and Sam, who meets Slappy, a frisky talking dummy from an unpublished "Goosebumps " book by R.L. Stine. Slappy hopes to start a family of his own. Well you will see how that unfolds. Slappy kidnaps Sonny's mother and brings all of his frightening friends back to life, literally bringing Halloween back to life! Just in time for Halloween. As the Slappy town becomes infested with monsters, witches and other shadowy creatures, Sonny joins powers with his sister, Sam and a concerned neighbor to save Sonny's mom and stop Slappy's strategy.

The lead characters are Kathy Quinn (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Sarah Quinn (Madison Iseman), Mr. Chu (Ken Jeong), Sonny Quinn (Jeremy Ray Taylor), Sam Carter (Bryce Cass) and Slappy (Mick Wingert).

My favorite part of the movie is pretty much, the whole movie. This movie is one of those sequels where it gets restated in a new way, greater and sillier than before. I love how Slappy uses his magical powers to bring typical "Goosebumps" monsters to life.

Wow! Can I say the music in this film is surprising? Composer Dominic Lewis creates a perfect match to the Halloween theme. Every action coordinates with perfect music accompaniment. The music provides escalating emotions and had me jumping out of my seat a few times - in a good way, not a super spooky way. The animation has lively, attractive colors and put me in the spirit for Halloween.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 16, as well as adults. I believe the whole family will enjoy this film. The film is designed with so much fun reaction moments. It delivers on what Goosebumps fans have come to expect. Don't miss this live-action film when it opens nationwide October 12, 2018.

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

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


FRANCIS THE FIREHOUSE MOUSE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FRANCIS THE FIREHOUSE MOUSE
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: EBOOK, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - My name is Francis. As you can see, I am a mouse, but I am not an ordinary mouse. From the time I was very young, I was bigger than all the other mice - and I always wanted to be a firefighter. Being a firefighter is a very rewarding job. You get to help put out lots of different kinds of fires and sometimes save people and even animals.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I feel this picture book will truly be a hit with younger children, because it is engaging and educational. The combination of cartoonlike and realistic illustrations really bring the story to life. Francis is a likable hero, because he is a firefighter. I loved the quote by Tom Hanks in the beginning: "A hero is somebody who voluntarily walks into the unknown." The storyline is simple, with vocabulary that children will understand. This story flows quite well and it does make sense. It is a simple, fun picture book that teaches about firefighters. It shows how firefighters help others, put out fires and rescue people and animals. Young children will learn what firefighters do besides put out fires. I give this 4.5 stars out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 7. I believe this story will entertain young children and includes many pro-social social and educational benefits. Many young readers may want to visit a fire station or learn even more about these amazing heroes after reading this book. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.95
Media: Book


SOPHIE THE SKUNK

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SOPHIE THE SKUNK
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: EBOOK, AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - Sophie the Skunk is a funny, heartwarming story for young children, which emphasizes the importance of children trying new experiences and of their parents allowing them to investigate different avenues without pressure. Sophie the Skunk is written for all those who hope to give their children the opportunity to find for themselves their talents and to have confidence in themselves as they learn that trying is good and winning is not everything. In our world of competition, Sophie the Skunk stands out as a hope for simplicity and growth.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This story is quite engaging and contains many social positive elements. I believe young children will enjoy Sophie and relate to her struggles and obstacles as she searches to find her talent. The illustrations are wonderful. Sophie herself is quite adorable. The story flows very well. I could see this book develop as a series. I love how the story promotes trying new things and accepting help from others. It shows how Sophie is not afraid to try new things and that, even though she may stink at some things, she has to try new things to find out what she is good at. This book includes some wonderful questions at the end that would be fun to ask kids. Additionally, there is a free work book that the reader can download. What a great tool to help build a child's self confidence. I really love this book! The illustrations are lovely, especially Sophie the Skunk. I love how she is drawn. Without any hesitation, I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. This is available online now so look for it. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 12
Media: Book


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
RACK PACK, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-12
Topic - Family
Description - A children's storybook author reminisces about his childhood adventures with his brothers and friends. In a time before kids spent hours watching television, on the computer, playing video games and texting, they went to the park to play with their friends. As military brats, these kids lived their own adventures. They lived a different sort of childhood that challenged their imaginations to soar to a different level. Following in their parents footsteps, they pretended to be soldiers as they played army in the woods. Life seemed simpler back then, until danger came to town. In our story, a cynical man comes across a Civil War General's old map that may lead to long lost treasure buried deep in a mining tunnel. The kids come across the man and his team and learn about the treasure. Our heroes come up with a plan to try to find it first. ?Things take a serious turn when the kids are discovered. The thieves up their status and become kidnappers as they take one of the children's fathers hostage. The kids, in full army gear, set out for a rescue mission. As they learn more about each other they form a bond of brotherhood and friendship called ...THE RACK PACK.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Rack Pack is a funny film that pays respect to our military, all while expressing independence for the youth. I appreciate the diversity and persistence of these school-aged children. Yes, some rules are broken, pranks occur and sometimes a skunk just needs to let one rip. But, overall this movie makes your inner child smile. One of the most appealing things is finding out who the pack includes and why they were given this name. I like that there's a bit of rebellious behavior, taking charge of adults and how the humor is all kid-friendly.

The film flows well. I like seeing the diversity in both race and genders, when it comes to forming a team - on both the child and adult side. I was drawn in from the beginning to the end.

There are various characters and scenes that involve bullying. Some of that goes unresolved or are dealt with retaliation. There are moments when kids get revenge on adult thieves, but it is handled in a more imaginary and comedic way.

As a viewer, I wanted to see how the kids would find the villain and recover the treasure. The way the kids handle the situation lines up with what a tween or young teen would do if they were trying to confront a thief.

I found the production value of this film above average for a lower budget film. I watched an online screener which included bonus footage showing bloopers and behind the scenes content on which was enjoyable.

The message of this film is that children can join forces and fight for not only their community, but for being respectful human beings. Children of all types can be their own advocates and fight for what they believe in. I think those are compelling messages to learn.

I love action films. There's something about being covered in dirt and playing outdoors or "members only" zone where you can just let loose and be yourself. There is a specific message about the fight, that not only stems from its military theme, but also from inside the minds of each character. Whether characters are labeled good or bad, they fight for what they value. Self evaluation, action and adventures are a big part of this film. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 14. I do suggest parental guidance since there are some mild examples of fighting and weapons. Reviewed by Elle S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Rack Pack makes fun of its goofy 80s vibe, but ultimately falls a bit flat with its underdeveloped plot. However, the acting and cohesive script provide vibrant energy. This is sure to be a enjoyable watch for anyone looking for that nostalgic 80s goodness.

The story follows the adventures of military nerd brothers Darrell (Nico Ford), Gerald (Hunter Lee Manning), and Loren (Wyatt Walter). Their escapades take a dangerous turn when they come under the contact of a Civil War treasure map. To compete, the cynical duo Ted (C. Thomas Howell) and DJ (Nick Vernon) race to obtain the map and sell it to criminals. However, the boys slip themselves to the thieves leading to their own dad (David Schifter) getting involved and kidnapped. In a race against time, the boys must save both their dad and map all while earning the legendary name The Rack Pack.

Nico Ford, as Darrell, excels with his sharp, yet reckless thinking. His banter with Tammy also add one of the movie's funniest dynamics as she continuously dupes him. Hunter Lee Manning, as Gerald, sells the eldest brother dynamic with his wise mentorship even if he can come across as disloyal. As well as Wyatt Walter, as Loren, who wonderfully presents his cute youngest brother self always following his elders into trouble. David Schfiter, as Mr. Rackley, excels with his fatherly presence as he holds the family together through tough times and is always willing to take risks to save lives. C. Thomas Howell and Nick Vernon, as Ted and DJ, allow for a charismatic villainous presence, with DJ being my favorite character as his comedic timing was perfectly handled. Last but not least, Cece Kelly, as Tammy, accelerates a fun side-plot as her biting remarks never got old.

Thomas J. Churchill talentedly directs the movie with great 80s gags and adventure with the Goonies being a big influence. My favorite scene is when the boys attempt to stop the duo's perilous plans which result in some truly hilarious scenes as they rely on outsmarting than violent means. However, my problems with this movie stem from the plot of the movie in general which feels devoid of any emotional appeal or development. At times, it feels like there is zero plot. Thankfully, the movie's quirky characters are able to hold attention as their wise cracks always bring something new to the table.

The message of the movie to always trust in your team as the Rack Pack always powers through and fights for what is right. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 10 as some scenes can come across as intense. The movie is available on DVD, so check it out.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Web Series


HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Lewis Barnavelt, after losing his parents, is sent to Michigan to live with his uncle Jonathan. He discovers his uncle is a warlock, and enters a world of magic and sorcery. But this power is not limited to good people: Lewis learns of Isaac Izard, an evil wizard who wanted to cause the Apocalypse so that he could see what happened afterwards. To do this, he constructed a magical clock with black magic, as long as it exists it will keep ticking, counting down to doomsday. He died before he could finish the clock, but he hid the clock in his house, where Uncle Jonathan now lives. Now Lewis and Jonathan must find the clock before it's too late, and before Isaac's wife, Selena, gets to it.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Gather around and get ready to travel to a land of magic adventure and mystery, where things come to life before your eyes and people and places are different, because they are filled with magic and beauty. In this land we shall meet new people and see fabulous things that have never been seen before, such as talking couches, Griffins and much more. So come with me and you will see all the magical things that lie inside the world of The House with a Clock in Its Walls.

Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) is a wonderful warlock. As a mater a fact, he is my favorite warlock throughout the entirety of this film, because he grows during his adventures and becomes a better warlock, friend and family member. As he becomes a better person, we see him learn magic with the help of a few friends and family members. These scenes are just adorable.

Jonathan Barnavelt (Jack Black) and Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett) are the two best magic teachers in all the land. After all, they have an entire enchanted house which they use to teach magic and they also know how to be great family members when you stay with them. These two characters have totally different personalities and that is what makes them the perfect couple. Jonathan Barnavelt is very funny and acts just like the person who portrays him, Jack Black. While Florence Zimmerman is very serious and kind, she is a lady and acts like it too. She is the perfect replica of Cate Blanchett who portrays her perfectly.

Isaac Izard (Kyle MacLachlan) and Selena Izard (Ren�e Elise Goldsberry) are the villains we love to hate. I have to say that their plan for world domination is actually very scary. They make this film perfect for Halloween by adding scary little trick and treats up their sleeves that gets us into the mood for this special holiday that comes once a year.

The best scene in this film is when Lewis Barnavelt taps a water fountain and makes plants come to life as he taps it. I found my eyes lighting up, just like the stars as I watched the plants pass me by in the blink of an eye. Also, I like that it has so many different plants and that the cast interacts with them by juggling them and bouncing them on top of their heads.

I love the graphics because they not only look lifelike, but they act as if they are real, not just computerized graphics. This is one of the many reasons why I love the Griffin, the Couch and the Glass Mural. Each and every one of them has a personality and they act like people, not just old abandoned furniture that you might see in an old house such as the one that Jonathan Barnavelt and Florence Zimmerman live in.

Since this film has some scary aspects such as ventriloquist dolls, live pumpkins with faces, demons, the devil, witches, warlocks and many more, I recommend that your kids know that they are all fake and not real. As long as they know this, then they are okay and will enjoy the movie with no problems. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18 and give this film 5 out of 5 stars.

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

This is an amazing live-action film. It is funny, exciting and a little spooky. I don't usually like scary movies, but this one has just the perfect amount of scary. This film is based on a novel of the same name from 1973 from writer John Bellairs. I haven't seen too many movies with Jack Black in it, but I can tell you Jack Black has usually played funnier roles. This time he plays a more serious character. Cate Blanchett is the perfect addition for this cast. I think the editing is very well done. The sound effects and the film effects are also really good and create an enchanting atmosphere. This story is a classic tale about self discovery in a beautiful magical set up, just like a good old magic trick.

The movie is directed by Eli Roth who is better known as a producer, but has directed a few films with some dark content. This is actually the director's first film not rated R.

The storyline follows a 10-year-old boy, Lewis (Owen Baccaro) who lost his parents and goes to live with his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) in a very old house with a peculiar thinking heart. His uncle is quite mysterious. He is a warlock and his neighbor, Florence is a good witch (Cate Blanchett). A warlock is basically a boy witch and Jonathan is not a very good one, but he is sweet and has the best intentions. Florence's spells do not always come out right, but she is very caring.

Lewis wants a normal life, but he soon discovers some strange forces dormant within the house. His new home is magical, because a long time ago, a man named Isaac (Kyle McLachlan) lived there with his wife Selena (Ren�e Elise Goldsberry) and they constructed and hid a powerful clock to bring the world into apocalypse. One day, he was doing a spell that accidentally killed himself and his unfinished purpose was hidden in the house with a clock in its walls. Lewis tries to adapt to his new strange home and school. He tries to make new friends and impress the popular boy in the school. By doing so, he releases Isaac and Selena from the tomb on Halloween night, causing chaos in the old pacific town. Lewis goes through an incredible journey in order to have the life he wants.

The story is very engaging at the beginning, but loses a bit of interest as it progresses. The actors are very good. The cinematography and production design are beautiful and immerse the audience in a fantastic world. The music and sound effects are my favorite technical aspects. To me, they become a character themselves.

I definitely give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommended from ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. The message is that things happen and you can't really change them, but magic and great things are always within our hearts. This film opens in theaters September 21, 2018.

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

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


KID SEE, KID DO

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
KID SEE, KID DO
AVA CONNOLLY
Series: STUDENT FILM, AGES 5 TO 15
Topic - Family
Description - Written by 8 year old actor Ava Connolly about people's addiction to cell phones
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I'm impressed by this student film from a third grader. It deals with an issue that is rampant in our country and world-wide as well. A young girl is sad that no one wants to play with her because everyone is on their phone.

So, what does the family do? They get her a phone, which is silly because the whole issue is that kids are addicted to their phones. In the end, it's resolved but it does point out issues about phone use that are keeping families and friends from communicating with one another. The production quality is quite well done. The visuals and audio content is clear and well executed.

The acting suits the topic as do the sets. I'm not sure how well this will project onto a large screen so that is something that festival will need to consider. I give the filmmaker credit for taking on a major social issue and addressing it.

Therefore, I find it suitable to the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival and recommend it for ages 5 to 15. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by Abraham F. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I'm impressed by this student film from a third grader. It deals with an issue that is rampant in our country and world-wide as well. A young girl is sad that no one wants to play with her because everyone is on their phone.

So, what does the family do? They get her a phone, which is silly because the whole issue is that kids are addicted to their phones. In the end, it's resolved but it does point out issues about phone use that are keeping families and friends from communicating with one another. The production quality is quite well done. The visuals and audio content is clear and well executed.

The acting suits the topic as do the sets. I'm not sure how well this will project onto a large screen so that is something that festival will need to consider. I give the filmmaker credit for taking on a major social issue and addressing it.

Therefore, I find it suitable to the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival and recommend it for ages 5 to 15. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by Abraham F. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CHANDAN VAN

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CHANDAN VAN
INVENGER TECHNOLOGIES
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 5-13
Topic - Family
Description - 'Sanjana' the city girl from a wealthy family, during her mid-term holidays visits her Grandfather's house at the Western Ghats in Karnataka. Born nature lover, gets adjusted to the village set up, spends time in going around the forest, making friends with village children, one fine day going around the forests finds the tree crying and requesting to save the last plant of sandalwood tree, to which Sanjana promises of keeping and preserving it for future. "Edavattu Enkappa" the leader and the smuggler, who thinks of modernization takes place only through cutting down the trees. And helps Krishna Hedge, the business man, who wanted large amount of paper for their huge project with the Chinese Company. 'Kisha' the friend of Sanjana from America , who keep connecting through video calls, comes to know the whereabouts of the village and the talking plant, to which she promises of her help through her mother, who is a scientist. Eliza Kisha's mother helps her daughter, through the assistance of Research team, who joins them to come to India and to bring an awareness of the forests destruction that has already taken place.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I highly recommend this for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival because children will learn a lot while enjoying the appealing visuals, sweet music and humor.

Directed by Santosh Shetty Kateel, this film offers an innocent and light-hearted look at India where the important topic of environmental preservation is expressed. The storyline is creative. The humor is notable. Most appealing is how the message is conveyed. What is somewhat unappealing is that, at times, there is way too much going on. I believe children will enjoy this, because there is humor, music and dance that are sweet, educational and catchy. The main characters are children so other a youth audience will be able to connect to the storyline. Even the antagonists are appealing as they are a little goofy which offsets their villainous vibe.

The story flows well and the style is quite creative. The story line is comprehendible, although sometimes there are way too many sub-plots going on. However, all the sub-plots come together at the end in a way that makes sense. The subject of environmental preservation is handled well and counterarguments are also addressed. The material is entirely suitable for a youth an family audience. The vocabulary is age appropriate and the story is easy to follow. Although there are a couple of intense scenes, they are lightened by the villain's side kicks who reminded me of the Three Stooges.

The film begins with the narrator, Mother Nature, introducing the topic of environment awareness while animated storybook pages are being flipped on screen, illustrating the narrator's story. This idea of using the storybook adds a childish sensibility and sets the creative tone. The production quality is well done, with clear sound, high screen quality and sublime landscape shots. The story takes place in a village near a vast sandalwood forest, the Chandan Van. One of the songs shot in the forest displays the beautiful aspects of nature. It made me fall in love with nature and want to protect it. The shots are clear, beautiful and interspersed throughout the film. Songs compliment what is happening and are appropriately spaced throughout the film. They brought a smile to my face. In one song, the protagonist and her grandfather explore and address the splendor of India. The costumes they wear when singing this song reflect a culture I have never seen before, connecting to the playfulness of the song.

The only part where the production quality lacks are in some of the special effects. In some scenes, the animated wildlife is not great quality. In the songs and shots of the scenery, the cinematography stands out and captures nature's qualities. However, in some of the chase scenes, when the characters are falling down, the shots are choppy. For example, when the children are biking and fall, it is unclear what happens that makes them fall. However, throughout the film, the production quality generally meets high standards.

The acting ranges from effortless to forced. Throughout the film, the main characters succeed in maintaining the childish heart of the film. The villain maintains an intimidating aura, yet his quirks make him somewhat humorous. However, some of the non-essential characters lack emotion. Since they do not have major roles, the main characters' acting steals the show.

The songs are truly a highlight of the film and they are cleverly interspersed throughout. I found myself smiling during every song because of the innovative lyrics that subtly have underlying teachings as well as fun-filled humor . The message of the film is about protecting Mother Nature and learn to live happily with what we have.

I definitely recommend this film for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals because the moral of the story is important in today's environment, the humor is innocent and it is filled with emotion. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 13.

Reviewed by Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
Runtime: 120 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


ONE GIRL

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ONE GIRL
ROSA RUSSO
Series: FOREIGN DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - One day in the lives of 4 girls that lives in different countries but in the same meridian
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - There are so many ways to have a good time together! It is nice to see the simple joys of a child's life that can happen anywhere. Running around in the snow, participating in sports, playing games around a table, dancing and singing songs all look like a lot of fun.

This film follows the lives of four girls that live in different countries, have different types of school and learning priorities, showing us their differences and similarities. In South Sudan, school fees have to be paid in order to attend classes. In Palestine, the children have a long walk to get to school. In Romania, we see how the girls put an emphasis on stylish clothing and fashion. In Finland, we see people enjoying their hot tubs when it's cold outside.

The teachers focus on different subjects in different places such as physical safety, artistic creativity and physical exercise. In South Sudan, school children all dress in uniforms and they happily sing patriotic songs about freedom as well as songs of appreciation towards their teacher. This seems to enhance feelings of true community and mutual respect.

There are surprising indications of some violence in South Sudan where the instructor cautions the kids about the presence of landmines. Palestinian girls play a game involving slapping each other's hands with a stiff plastic strip. It looks painful. One girl describes it as something that must be endured.

The cinematography is quite wonderful. In South Sudan, we see the lush countryside, which contrasts with the lack of basic services such as electricity and running water. The aerial views of rural Finnish farmhouses and the rugged mountain terrain of Palestine are quite breathtaking. The background music reflects the local culture of the four countries.

My favorite part was watching the kids from all four countries participating in their local folk dancing. What great rhythm and timing they have. One comedic scene shows some Finnish people getting into their hot tub with bathing suits and furry hats on, then rolling in the snow on a cold winter night.

The message is about how we should live life to its fullest right now and that money does not matter. Also, the discipline of doing hard work as a child teaches some very important values for future success. I give this documentary 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 64 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
YOU ARE A GOOD KID
ZICHEN LIANG
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8 TO 12
Topic - Family
Description - A little boy wants to find his mom for his school event.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - What a touching film. It brought a tear to my eye. You Are A Good Kid follows a young boy, Sammy who wants to find his mother for a parent/teacher conference for school and enlists the help of his home room teacher. Sammy is very relatable. I remember when I was in school, kids in my homeroom classes had parents who couldn't make it to their parent teacher conferences because of work, health reasons or because they didn't care enough. So, instead of parents their aunt, uncle or grandparent came instead. The acting is pretty good in this. Sammy and his teacher stand out the most, because they have the most screen time. The most appealing this about this title is the storyline, which is very touching. The story flows really well and has a beginning, middle and end that flow very nicely into each other. The vocabulary is very age appropriate. The cinematography and sets are well designed.

The message of this film is that a "parent" isn't always the one who birthed you, sometimes, it is the one who is there for you during your developmental years. Because of Sammy nonexistent relationship with his mother, his Aunt takes him on as her son, even though is not his birth parent.

I recommend this film for ages 8 to12 and believe children will enjoy it because it addresses a subject that affects so many children so they can relate to it. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Angel U., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 11 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


INVENTING ESTONIA

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
INVENTING ESTONIA
ALJONA SURZHIKOVA
Series: FOREIGN DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Inventing Estonia. There are nice documentary stories about fantastic children's inventions. Leen Bumeister (10) is created staff ruler. Erik Maidla (10) did a cocoon mattress and Aap Petrov (11) built glove for health control. We see the views of Estonia from the point of view of flying birds Tallinn, middle Estonia M�rjamaa and South Estonia V��psu village
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Great and inspirational film! Inventive minds keep dreams alive! Let your imagination run wild and other people will appreciate your ideas and your gizmos. This short film follows children in Estonia who have a knack for inventing things that relate to their hobbies or passions. Music, in one young girl's case and camping, in one young boy's case. Another boy is very kind-hearted and wants to help people live healthier lives. The girl invents a staff ruler. It's for creating a musical staff on which you can later write musical notes. You cannot do this with a regular ruler. Another invention is a cocoon mattress. It eliminates need for a suitcase, heavy backpack or mattress when going camping. A third inventor creates a health glove for managing both epilepsy and cold temperatures. The filmmaker is quite accomplished and this production exemplifies her excellent filmmaking skills. The sets are very pleasing to the eye. Aerial views show lots of green fields, trees and fishing ponds. I particularly love the excellent close-up photography of bees pollinating some pink flowers. There's also a really nice emphasis on nature and natural wonders. These are all good inspirations for invention! Another beautiful close-up is of a very ornate accordion that a woman is playing. There are interesting views of her grandmother's old house in need of repair, including some unusual objects hanging on the outside walls. Perhaps they are some old inventions created by her grandmother or other elders. I noticed a recurring blue and white animated computer graphic of some sort of motorized mechanical device. It seems to be the visual theme or some sort of logo for this film. Perhaps this is some kind of graphical design software that's available to people in Estonia. The cinematography of the flowing rivers and the bustling city streets (where the boy likes to folkdance) captures the viewer's attention. One boy doesn't want to patent his invention. He is very unselfish in that he wants to allow anybody to produce these cocoon mattresses. This boy suggests keeping an invention notebook, to write down or draw all of one's inventions. My favorite part is hearing how happy these children are living in their country. There is a lot of national pride and appreciation for everything their homeland offers them. The message is to figure out what you really enjoy doing in life and then create some new object to make that even better for yourself and other people. Inspiring! I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 16. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
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Runtime: 15 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-16
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


LILLY GOES FISHING

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LILLY GOES FISHING
XSTINE COOK
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 7-18
Topic - Family
Description - Lilly, a giant orange monster, embarks on an adventure at a lakeside fishing camp with her friend Fluffle. Will Lilly discover the mysterious secret that lurks below the surface of the lake?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - OMG, another wonderful animated short from the talented Bum Family! I couldn't wait to watch this and was not disappointed. This group of 6 cousins bring such delightful stories to life with their fun paper animation, voice talent, and creativity. This definitely is a winner that will make a great addition to any KIDS FIRST! Film Festival partner venue. It holds your interest from beginning to end, with many quirky moments throughout - all kid and family friendly. I recommend it for ages 7 to 18, as well as adults and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S. KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 7-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


TOCO TIM AND THE TURTLES

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TOCO TIM AND THE TURTLES
STEVEN EDWARDS
Series: ENVIRONMENTAL SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Toco Tim shares advice on how human behavior affects the lives of leather back turtles.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Trinidad! What a lovely place. I love the animated host. The sense of humor in this piece along with the fun animation and live action, make for an informative, educational and fun piece - all wrapped into one. This has some great environmental messages presented that would be a hit with any festival that has an environment focus. What's good for the environment is good for kids. 4 out of 5 stars, recommended for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


BULBUL

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BULBUL
MEJD ALSHARIF
Series: FOREIGN STUDENT SHORT, AGES 6-18
Topic - Family
Description - bulbul is a story of a little bird who strive to rebuild his little paper town despite all the destruction around him. he put on his shoulders the great responsibilities of restoring life, peace and beauty again by planting flowers around. His story speaks about Syrian children who held on their school's books in hope to grow up and rebuild their country again.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The visual imagery of this film is absolutely extraordinary! Watching this little bird recreate its paper town is awe inspiring in its simplicity and beauty. It is wonderfully and peaceful to watch. The animation is exquisitely created. The background music is lovely and enhances the non verbal message. The message is about restoring beauty and peace and is an inspiration to anyone that has experienced destruction of any sort. It's a powerful message for today's children and families. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 through 18 as well as adults. Everyone needs a little beauty in their life. Reviewed by Denise B. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


PICK OF THE LITTER

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PICK OF THE LITTER       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SUNDANCE SELECTS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - Pick of the Litter follows a litter of puppies from the moment they're born and begin their quest to become Guide Dogs for the Blind, the ultimate canine career. Cameras follow these pups through a two-year odyssey as they train to become dogs whose ultimate responsibility is to protect their blind partners from harm. Along the way, the dogs meet a community of dedicated individuals who train them to do amazing, life-changing things in the service of their human. The stakes are high and not every dog can make the cut. Only the best of the best. The pick of the litter.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Pick of the Litter is such an adorable movie. It has an amazing topic that not many people know about, so you are not bored. It's a great family movie with all of the cute dogs. Pick of the Litter follows such a sweet storyline that you just fall in love with all of the dogs and their journey through many different homes.

Pick of the Litter follows a litter of puppies from the moment they are born through their journey to become Guide Dogs for the Blind. The "P" litter has to go through two years of training with many different owners to train them on their journey to become Guide Dogs. But only the pick of the litter will get the chance to become Guide Dogs.

This documentary is such a feel good movie. There are some moments that bring tears to your eyes. When my family and I watched the movie, it was fun for us to guess which dogs would pass the tests and become Guide Dogs. All the dogs are so cute and the relationships the dogs go through with their trainers and finally when they get paired with their official owners, is very emotional. The five dogs in the litter are Patriot, Potomac, Phil, Primrose and Poppet. All the dogs have such unique personalities. My favorite out would have to be Patriot because he has a lot of different trainers and he has so much energy. He has the biggest personality. He also ends up with such a sweet family and really helps the family he's with. The movie has so much for people of all ages. The charming dogs are enjoyable for everyone and the story they tell is delightful and sends a great message.

The message The Pick of the Litter sends is that dogs go through a lot of work to become Guide Dogs and, even if they don't become one, they still bring joy to whomever owns them. I recommend this film for ages 8 to 17. There is so much to learn about the training Guide Dogs go through and this film has lots of things for kids to learn. I give it 5 out of 5 stars, because it has such a great topic and the dogs are super adorable. You can find this film in a theatre near you on August 31, 2018 so, check it out!

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

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


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BOY AND HIS BAT, THE
B-TV LORA BATCHELOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8 TO 15
Topic - Family
Description - This is a silent film about a boy and his favorite baseball bat.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Great student film. Love that it has no dialogue and the background music is by a digital pipe organ. All that together with a cute storyline, good camera work, good acting, make this a plus. Highly recommended for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for tweens and teens, ages 8 to 15. 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: 8-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


FLOOGALS: PROJECT BIRTHDAY CAKE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FLOOGALS: PROJECT BIRTHDAY CAKE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-7
Topic - Family
Description - Each day, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo, and Junior Boomer encounter something that sparks their curiosity, setting in motion the day's research "project" and triggering an exciting adventure! In Project Birthday Cake, Boomer's built a little fizzerific food finder attachment for his Fizzer controls.�It's supposed to be able to sniff out food - a subject close to Boomer's heart.�Flying by a massive birthday cake the food finder goes out of control and Boomer crashes. The Floogals have to work out how to re-make the frosting and in the process find out what a birthday cake and decorations are for.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Small alien life forms, the Floogals, explore life in an everyday home setting with a particular family, where they discover certain human objects such as birthday cake, ice (for beverages), roller skates and a record player. The most fascinating and unusual part of this series is the background setup - the house is life action as well as the family members (mother, father, and kids). Think of this as a family sit-com. The Floogal characters are done in claymation. They take interest in particular objects located upstairs, downstairs, in the basement, the bathroom, kitchen and elsewhere.

I like the originality of having the real-life backgrounds juxtaposing with the animated characters. The episode with the record player is particularly funny, since it is an older generational way of listening to music. Young children might be as clueless as the Floogals with regards to this "strange object," more so than any other object they explore.

This DVD consists of approximately nine, 8 minute episodes. I recommend this for ages 3 to 6 who will find it really fascinating for expanding their imagination (with every room the Floogals explore) and keep their attention with the pastel-type colors. Curious slightly older kids might tune in for the same reasons. I give this DVD 5out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - These educational episodes are great for younger kids to learn practical things. The animation is colorful, detailed, and the characters, besides the "hoomans" or humans, are unique looking creatures. It is also interesting to look at the human household and human items, from their smaller point of view.

In these episodes, there are three main alien-like characters. Their names are Captain Fleeker, Junior Boomer and First Officer Flo. They live hidden inside the hooman's house. Fleeker, Boomer and Flo explore around house and try to learn more about the hooman ways. They encounter a birthday cake, some ice, a mirror, a banana, a toothbrush, sand, roller skates, a record player and a jewelry box.

Jules de Jongh voices Flo with authority and wisdom. Even though Flo isn't the Captain, you can tell that she knows what she is talking about and that she is more mature than the other two boys. Junior Boomer is the complete opposite of Flo. His name fits him as he has a lot more to learn than Flo and Fleeker. Hugo Harold-Harrison aptly portrays, through his voice, that Junior Boomer is a lot younger and more immature.

They use a mix of animation and live camera shots for these episodes. This brings the Floogals to life as they venture outside their ship. It is interesting to look at the world we know so familiarly from a completely different point of view. To Fleeker, Boomer and Flo everything looks weird and abnormally large. It's like entering a modern giant's house.

My favorite scene is when they first discover the birthday cake. Their facial expressions are so in awe of this great smelling piece of art in front of them. The birthday cake is based on outer space and looks very delicious and colorful. This is my favorite scene because it really is where the Floogals come to life.

There isn't a moral or message in these episodes. Their main purpose is to educate younger viewers about the properties of everyday items and how to use them. For example, in the episode "Project Ice," the Floogals teach viewers that ice can be used to keep things cool, but when it gets hot, it melts back into water.

This DVD offers great learning tools for younger viewers. I recommend it for ages 3 to 5 and give it 5 out of 5 stars for the effort put into it. It is available on DVD now, so check it out!

Reviewed by Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Runtime: 90 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-6
Suggested Retail Price: $ 9.99
Media: DVD



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