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I STILL BELIEVE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


STARGIRL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ADVENTURE BOYZ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


KOKOWANDA BAY BY RUTH AND EMILIA

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

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

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


WENDY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SPAGHETTI MONSTER, THE

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


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


WORLD THAT WAS, THE

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


ONE AT A TIME

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


LOST ON BARDUINO

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

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


CAZANDO GAMUSINOS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


DUO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


STATUE, THE

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


RAINBOW BRIDGE, THE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SATURDAY CLUB

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

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


ASTA'S JOURNEY

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

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


INVISIBLE INK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


STRAWS

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

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

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

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

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

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


CONCERNED CITIZEN, A: CIVICS IN ACTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


DAWN RIDGE

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

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


TERRIBLE ADVENTURE, THE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


I AM GEORGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ONWARD

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ONWARD       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - As of now, this film is easily one of my favorite Pixar films. I adore the touching story and especially the world building. Overall, Onward is an amazing film.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


CLEMENTINE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


MCGUFFIN, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MCGUFFIN, THE
KARI THOMAS
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 6-18
Topic - Family
Description - The world's most powerful superheroes go in search for the ultimate prize.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I like this student created film because it reflects the creativity of kids, which I think is cool. I also like how the film is made by students during 5 weeks at summer camp. That's cool. Plus, it has funny dialogue, pretty good special effects, an interesting plot, and the music, costumes and makeup are all really well executed.

It begins in Professor Dog Ear's castle with him telling his crew, Strong Girl, Flightless Bird, Rolling Stone and The Accountant, that he needs to find the McGuffin. To get to the McGuffin, they face three obstacles - a dinosaur who only speaks in metaphors, a door that only the pure of heart can go through, and the guards of the McGuffin - Flip and Flop.

The story is really well written, with well drafted characters and a really funny ending ( which I wont say!) The work is quite good with cool camera angles throughout. One shot I particularly like is when they are behind the McGuffin box. That really impressed me. The costumes are a joy to look at. They are well made and cool to look at from the audience point of view. It is shot at a beautiful location. The outdoor sets are really pretty and the indoor sets are really well put together. I enjoyed the background music too. The special effects are okay, but you can totally tell they are digital. But they are still effective. The film was created by kids, with all child actors. My favorite character is Strong Girl because she is so brave and smart. My favorite scene is the one with the red door that only someone with a pure heart can walk through. The special effects are really cool in that scene as well.

The message of the film is teamwork makes the dream work and don't let anything stop you from reaching your goals.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults and recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. It would be particularly suited for a festival showcasing student films.

Reviewed by Beatrice N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this student created film because it reflects the creativity of kids, which I think is cool. I also like how the film is made by students during 5 weeks at summer camp. That's cool. Plus, it has funny dialogue, pretty good special effects, an interesting plot, and the music, costumes and makeup are all really well executed.

It begins in Professor Dog Ear's castle with him telling his crew, Strong Girl, Flightless Bird, Rolling Stone and The Accountant, that he needs to find the McGuffin. To get to the McGuffin, they face three obstacles - a dinosaur who only speaks in metaphors, a door that only the pure of heart can go through, and the guards of the McGuffin - Flip and Flop.

The story is really well written, with well drafted characters and a really funny ending ( which I wont say!) The work is quite good with cool camera angles throughout. One shot I particularly like is when they are behind the McGuffin box. That really impressed me. The costumes are a joy to look at. They are well made and cool to look at from the audience point of view. It is shot at a beautiful location. The outdoor sets are really pretty and the indoor sets are really well put together. I enjoyed the background music too. The special effects are okay, but you can totally tell they are digital. But they are still effective. The film was created by kids, with all child actors. My favorite character is Strong Girl because she is so brave and smart. My favorite scene is the one with the red door that only someone with a pure heart can walk through. The special effects are really cool in that scene as well.

The message of the film is teamwork makes the dream work and don't let anything stop you from reaching your goals.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults and recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. It would be particularly suited for a festival showcasing student films.

Reviewed by Beatrice N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 14 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GOPHER DREAMING

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GOPHER DREAMING
KARI THOMAS
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 6-12
Topic - Family
Description - Gophers and farmers don't get along. Unless...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I LOVE the Gopher family! This film has so much humor along with educating the audience about farms. The sponsor ad is hysterical as well. This is just a fun, family-friendly film. By students!

The student produced film is about the relationship of Farmer Ellen and a family of gophers who want to live on the farm. The humor is great. I love all the various jokes throughout the entire film and the interaction between all the characters in the various scenes.

The camera work is well done. I especially like the camera shots of the gophers, shot from below with their faces showing the sky in the background. There are lots of good facial expressions. The gopher costumes are fabulous. Farmer Ellen's is good, but David Flim Flam's costume is absolutely hysterical, with all his "chest hair." The costumes definitely make this film! The background music is good and upbeat; it keeps things moving. The Gopher family song about Ellen finding love is really fun and funny! Do stay for the credits, because they're quite fun too.

All the performances are quite good, but there are two breakout performances that stand out. Tess Painchaud as Margaret Cheeker and Greyson LeClair as David FlimFlam (not in the credits on filmfreeway). Mother Gopher's singing, line delivery and facial expressions are all terrific. Greyson LeClair's performance hits it out of the park in part because of his costume, but also his tongue-in-cheek attitude.

The message of this film is about learning about others.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. Keep in mind that it is a student produced film, so don't weigh it against professional productions. But, if your festival is showcasing student films, you should definitely consider this one.

Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I LOVE the Gopher family! This film has so much humor along with educating the audience about farms. The sponsor ad is hysterical as well. This is just a fun, family-friendly film. By students!

The student produced film is about the relationship of Farmer Ellen and a family of gophers who want to live on the farm. The humor is great. I love all the various jokes throughout the entire film and the interaction between all the characters in the various scenes.

The camera work is well done. I especially like the camera shots of the gophers, shot from below with their faces showing the sky in the background. There are lots of good facial expressions. The gopher costumes are fabulous. Farmer Ellen's is good, but David Flim Flam's costume is absolutely hysterical, with all his "chest hair." The costumes definitely make this film! The background music is good and upbeat; it keeps things moving. The Gopher family song about Ellen finding love is really fun and funny! Do stay for the credits, because they're quite fun too.

All the performances are quite good, but there are two breakout performances that stand out. Tess Painchaud as Margaret Cheeker and Greyson LeClair as David FlimFlam (not in the credits on filmfreeway). Mother Gopher's singing, line delivery and facial expressions are all terrific. Greyson LeClair's performance hits it out of the park in part because of his costume, but also his tongue-in-cheek attitude.

The message of this film is about learning about others.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12. Keep in mind that it is a student produced film, so don't weigh it against professional productions. But, if your festival is showcasing student films, you should definitely consider this one.

Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.
Runtime: 13 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GRANDMAS SECRET

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


KID QUEST, THE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


100% GIRL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BOOK OF KNOTS, THE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - After discovering a small, blue, fast hedgehog, a small-town police officer must help it defeat an evil genius who wants to do experiments on it.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this movie because is based on one of my favorite game characters. Sonic The Hedgehog is a live-action film--except for Sonic who is a CGI character (Ben Schwartz)--based on the global blockbuster video game franchise from Sega.

The story of Sonic the Hedgehog follows Sonic, a small blue hedgehog who has super-speed powers. When Sonic was younger, his owl guardian gave him a bag of rings to help him escape to different planets in case anyone discovers and kidnaps him because of his powers. One night, after he comes to Earth, he is playing baseball by himself and he gets upset because he realizes he is very lonely. Sonic runs in circles as fast as he can because he is upset. He is so fast that blue energy comes out of his body causing the whole town to black out.

This power outage causes big problems for Sonic who is pursued by a crazy military man named Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey) or Dr. Eggman, as Sonic calls him. Fortunately for Sonic, the town's sheriff (James Marsden) catches him and helps protect him from Dr. Robotnik.

The graphics in the movie are excellent, and, with the new Sonic design, it looks like Sonic is real. The new design works better than the Sonic design Paramount Pictures had before redoing this movie. The special effects are impressive too, such as Sonic's blue lightning which also looks real. Ben Schwartz did and very funny voiceover for the Sonic character. He is really full of energy.

The moral of this movie is that you are never alone in the world. There will always be someone for you to be your friend, to talk to and to be by your side when you need it. When Sonic is feeling alone, Sheriff Tom, or The Doughnut Lord, as Sonic calls him, takes Sonic to protect him and help him get to the Mushroom planet where Sonic needs to go.

Sonic the Hedgehog is filled with a lot of action and fun. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. If I could, I would give this movie 100 out of 100 stars. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18 plus older adults. Sonic the Hedgehog comes out in theaters on February 14, 2020.

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

Sonic the Hedgehog fails to evoke the propulsive rush of its source material. There's so much possibility in translating this character and the mythology he brings with him from the video game to the big screen. Unfortunately, this film gets bogged down in familiar family film antics.

An adaptation of the popular game franchise of the same name, Sonic the Hedgehog follows Sonic (Ben Schwartz), a carefree, lightning-quick blue hedgehog who hides out, in fear of what those with villainous intent would do with his super-speed. Trouble comes calling in the form of a genius named Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey), who is brought in to deal with the growing threat of a rogue, ultra-powerful hedgehog. Sonic convinces a small-town police officer (James Marsden), who dreams of working in the big city, to help him retrieve a few of his golden rings to help Sonic flee this world and move on to a new one.

Jim Carrey delivers a next-level performance as Dr. Ivo Robotnik, and he's easily Sonic's most valuable asset. Robotnik is another entry in the pantheon of zany, almost manic characters Carrey plays so beautifully. Carrey hasn't been this in control of his comedic strengths in a long while and its great to see him back in his element. His performance is on an entirely different wavelength than the rest of the film and, yet, it feels like he knows exactly what this movie should be. Kooky, frenetic and even more cartoonish than the film's CGI lead, Jim Carrey gives Sonic the Hedgehog a boost of energy it desperately needs. Ben Schwartz works well as the blue speedster at the center of the film. There's an innocence and playfulness to Sonic that Schwartz radiates nicely in his vocal performance.

I don't understand the screenwriter's choice to coop Sonic up in a car for much of the film's runtime. A character that is known for his speed finally arrives on the big screen, and they chose to confine him to a car with James Marsden. At the point at which the road trip begins, it feels as though you see every moment on the journey ahead coming far before you're supposed to. When Sonic and his pal arrive at their destination, they reach a visually exciting climax, but no payoff can make up for the bland route that is taken to get there. These games are not the most modern and this adaptation does its best to rectify that with countless references to current trends and popular culture to middling results. Even so, Sonic the Hedgehog struggles to keep its finger on the pulse of the culture.

I give this film 2 out of 5 stars and an age recommendation of 4 to 12 for some peril and crude humor. Sonic the Hedgehog is not the disaster many expected, nor the surprise sensation nobody saw coming; it's just fine, and I was hoping for more than that from this film. Fans of this character will relish getting to see him on the big screen, but I'm not sure I can confidently recommend this to those who are not die-hard Sonic fans. Sonic the Hedgehog releases in theaters February 14, 2020

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

I've never played Sonic the video game and was never a really big fan of the character but I really like this movie. It is very well done and great for the whole family. I like the animation and I love the acting. The story is very human and has very little to do with video games. It is about friendship and friends that become a family.

Sonic the Hedgehog is about a blue hedgehog that ends up on earth and he's trying not to be discovered. He lost a ring that helps him transport to places. When humans find Sonic, he has to run away (something he does well because he moves at super sonic speeds). Sonic feels lonely and wants a friend. When he meets Tom, a police officer (James Marsden), they develop a great "bromance," but they have to face Mr. Robotnik who is obsessed with everything fast and wants to experiment with Sonic. In their journey, both learn they don't have to run away from their problems.

I love all the characters! Dr. Robotnik is so funny and pleasing to watch. He is played by Jim Carrey, who is one of my new favorite actors. His performance is amazing and he is definitely a fascinating villain. He is graceful, entertaining and full of life. I also love the character Sonic; even though it is an animated character he really looks realistic. I could really see all the details in Sonic and I felt like he was pretty much a stuffed animal, opposed to a virtual digital character. Sonic is played by Ben Schwartz, an amazing voice actor who gives the character a great personality.

It's so amazing to see a character that was made about 30 years ago continuing to fill children's hearts with joy. I think Sonic is 100% absolutely adorable and all the characters are so fun to watch. There are a lot of action scenes and wonderful colors in the film as well. The music adds so much energy; it is catchy and upbeat. Finally, I like all the jokes and they definitely made me laugh. To add to that, I love how Sonic gives everyone their own special nickname. That gives the movie its own special touch and I guess I'll nick name this film "Blue Speedy Furry with Heart."

I give Sonic the Hedgehog five out of five stars and recommended it for ages 4 to 13. The message of this film is that friends in our lives bring us the most joy and they are the family we chose. Another message is that humans will always be more important than technology. Dr. Robotnik keeps trying to make technology a greater power than humans, but Sonic and everyone prove that our simple life and connections are what really matter. Sonic the Hedgehog opens February 14, 2020. Look for it!

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

I really love this movie! Sonic the Hedgehog's team has created a movie based on the SEGA video game of the same name. There are amazing special effects from the beginning to the end. I love how it includes parts from the SEGA game, such as Sonic running in vertical loops and his spin attacks. I felt as if I was watching a live version of the actual game!

Sonic the Hedgehog is about a blue, fast and funny hedgehog named Sonic (Ben Schwartz) who has to escape his home in another world and ends up on Earth. He accidentally causes a power outage and has to hide out in Green Hill, Montana. The government tries to hunt him down and hires Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey) to capture him. Sonic meets a cop named Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) or Donut Lord, as Sonic calls him, and Tom agrees to help Sonic, find his rings and defeat Dr. Ivo Robotnik, who wants to use Sonic's power to take over the world.

The lead characters are Sonic, Tom Wachowski and Dr. Ivo Robotnik. It is very clever that the movie takes place in Green Hill, Montana, since the first level of the actual SEGA game is called Green Hill Zone. My favorite character is Sonic because he is funny. I love how he is made to have lives, just like he does in the SEGA game. One of my favorite scenes is when Dr. Ivo Robotnik has a virtual reality screen behind him and it shows a dinosaur running after him. Jim Carrey uses his flexibility to lower his head to make it look like the dinosaur bit it off. The movie is filled with special effects, such as explosions and lightning when Sonic runs. Sonic's CGI perfectly match his character in the video game. This is something the producer went back to correct before releasing the film. The music ties into what happens for each part of the movie; however, I was a little disappointed that the song Super Sonic used in the trailer is not in the movie.

The main message of Sonic the Hedgehog is that you should consider home wherever people that care the most about you are. There isn't much to be forewarned about besides Dr. Ivo Robotnik uses some minor foul language.

I rate Sonic the Hedgehog 5 out of 5 rings and recommend it for kids ages 6 to 18. Adults, especially gamers, will also love this movie. Since it's based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game by SEGA, it may remind them of their own childhood. It's a great action-packed, family movie. Catch Sonic the Hedgehog in theaters starting February 14, 2020. Be sure to stay for the credits.

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

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


I GOT YOU A PRESENT!

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

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

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

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

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

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


LLAMA LLAMA FAMILY FUN COLLECTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 290 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-8
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


PLAYING WITH FIRE DVD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ELLA BELLA BINGO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


GIGANTOSAURUS: THE BIGGEST, FIERCEST DINOSAUR OF ALL!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


JUNGLE FUN WITH MUNKI & TRUNK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


TOYS & PETS

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewed by Kimberly M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


TROOP ZERO

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TROOP ZERO       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
AMAZON STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - In rural 1977 Georgia, a misfit girl dreams of life in outer space. When a competition offers her a chance to be recorded on NASA's Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troop of Birdie Scouts, forging friendships that last a lifetime.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this movie because it is a combination of comedy, drama, diversity and great casting, especially the children actors. This film is an Amazon Prime original and has a duration of 1 hour and 37 minutes.

Troop Zero timeline is the late 70's and the storyline is about a young girl named Christmas (McKenna Grace) who's obsessed with outer space, aliens and planets. She finds out there is a competition that offers her to be recorded on NASA's Golden Record, but in order to compete she needs to belong to a Girl's Scout troop. She recruits four challenging kids and asks her father's (Jim Gaffigan) co-worker, Mrs. Rayleen (Viola Davis), to be her Troop Mom. The five children go through tough and exciting experiences in order to earn their badges to enter the NASA's competition. During their journey, all five children create a strong bond and friendship.

My favorite part is when Christmas starts recruiting kids to belong to her troop. Troop Zero has amazing actors such as Award Winner Viola Davis, Jim Gaffigan, Allison Janney and McKenna Grace from The Haunting of Hill House. Charlie Shotwell, who portrays Joseph, Christmas' best friend, pulls off an amazing performance as a feminine boy. I am happy to see Johanna Colon (internet dancing sensation) play Smash, in this movie. She's great! The scenery and costumes are typical 70s style, including the hairstyles. The story line is bit slow in the beginning, but later it gets interesting. You will experience laughter, sadness and tears of joy with this movie.

The moral of this film is to have a child's heart when it comes to choosing your friends or recruiting a team. Christmas does not discriminate against skin color, gender identity, religion or personalities when it comes to recruiting her troop and becomes friends with all four of them because she sees their hearts, not what society considers flaws.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because the beginning is rather slow. I recommend it for ages 8 to 18. Older adults might enjoy this movie as well. Troop Zero is available on Amazon Prime beginning January 17, 2020.

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

I recently saw the inspiring new Amazon Prime movie, Troop Zero, and love it. It's a warm-hearted coming-of-age story with a beautiful, positive message and a fun adventure throughout. The movie guides us through the story of a quirky girl, Christmas Flint played by the talented McKenna Grace and her rag tag group of Birdies known as Troop Zero.

Christmas is passionate about science. She wants to connect to the universe and her late mom through a NASA competition. The winner will have their voice recorded and sent out to the universe for posterity on a Golden Record. This movie is a journey of self-discovery, not only for Christmas, but everyone that is a part of her adventure. Each person learns more about themselves as they work together.

One of my favorite scenes is at the end of the movie, when the cast comes together and performs at the jamboree competition. I won't give away what happens but it is an emotional moment when they take a stand to be accepted for who they are. Another favorite scene is the baking fight scene. I bet it was so much fun for the actors to film, because it is absolutely hilarious and, at the same time, cathartic as a baking food fight between Troops Zero and Birdie. My question for you is: Who do you think won? LOL.

The acting by McKenna Grace as Christmas Flint and Viola Davis as Miss Rayleen, is perfect. Each of them make the audience believe in the struggles they face during the movie. McKenna really embraces her character with the lopsided haircut and awkward, quirky moves. However, I particularly connected with her character's father, Ramsey Flint (Gaffigan), because he so perfectly portrays the ideal father. He reminded me of my own father, who while not perfect, truly loves his daughter and wants her to be happy and achieve her dreams. Indeed, theirs is a father-daughter relationship very touching that I think families will connect with.

The moral of the story is to be yourself, listen to your heart and, if people try to knock you down, just keep on fighting the good fight for what you believe in. This is definitely a triumphant movie of self-acceptance and overcoming life challenges and one definitely to watch. This film would be especially enjoyable for those who love science. The transition of Troop Zero becoming Troop Hero is inspiring and uplifting. At the same time, the critic in me did find the film a little slow moving at times. All said, I think it is a wonderful movie and give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It is airing on Amazon Prime beginning January 17, 2020.

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

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


DOLITTLE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DOLITTLE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - Dr. John Dolittle lives in solitude behind the high walls of his lush manor in 19th-century England. His only companionship comes from an array of exotic animals that he speaks to on a daily basis. But when young Queen Victoria becomes gravely ill, the eccentric doctor and his furry friends embark on an epic adventure to a mythical island to find the cure.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Wow! The long anticipation of Dolittle is well worth the wait! A big two thumbs up for director Stephen Gaghan, for knocking this action-packed, comical, fun-loving film out of the ball park! The film, although perhaps a little lengthier for younger kids, keeps viewers on the edge of their seats while they take in all the adventure, suspense, laughs and emotion that this film offers. I left the theater with an appreciation of the quote, "It's truly by helping others that you can help yourself!"

The film follows the life of quirky veterinarian Dr. John Dolittle, of Victorian England, who has a sure connection with animals. Dr. Dolittle becomes reclusive, hiding behind the walls of Dolittle Mansion following the death of his beloved wife Lily. His only companions since her death are his furred and feathered friends that the animation department has excelled in giving anthropomorphic qualities to. Dolittle is quite content with his lifestyle, void of humans, until he has to make a decision when the very ill Queen of England calls on him to help save her from sickness. Dr. Dolittle appears to be the only person able to bring the Queen the secret antidote to reverse the symptoms of her sudden illness. The doctor, along with his humorous animal crew and new young, self-appointed assistant, set sail in search of the cure which will save the Queen from dying. They encounter several obstacles while on their journey, which adds to the suspense, adventure and comedy of the film.

The star of film, Robert Downey Jr. as Dr. Dolittle plays his role well. He also is one of the film's executive producers. Hats off to the very lengthy list of animators who bring Dolittle's friends to life and make us laugh at each of their personalities. The animatronics are by far my favorite part of this movie. It was also super fun to try to identify the many voices behind Dr. Dolittle's menagerie. I especially love the voice of Craig Robinson who plays Kevin, the squirrel with an attitude. The locations also deserve mentioning. Landscapes are lush, bright and so captivating, which adds such so much to this film.

The message in Dolittle is all about relationships. You have to have a sense of imagination to appreciate the connection between Dr. Dolittle and his animal friends, but the message is clear that no matter how diversified living things are, we can find a way to connect, communicate and appreciate one another. The film writers gathered together a variety of different characters that show that no matter what their limitations, they can interact with each other and build heartwarming friendships. This film allows us to open up our minds about differences and promotes positive interactions.

I give Dolittle 5 out of 5 stars and, if I could rate it higher, I would! I recommend it to ages 5 to 18. Dolittle is the perfect family film and adults will love it as much as kids. Dolittle opens January 17, 2020 in theaters. This is a film that you do not want to miss...mark your calendars!

By Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 9

What a terrific movie! The dialogue among the characters is so much fun and the cinematography, costumes and visual effects are so beautiful and well done.

Dolittle takes a new spin on the infamous tale of Dr. Dolittle, who is of course the doctor that speaks to animals. The story begins at Dolittle Manner, which is an estate provided to him by the Queen of England for serving as her veterinarian. Dolittle Manner is a sanctuary open to all animals until his wife passes away on an adventure and Dr. Dolittle closes it and isolates himself from people. As the Queen falls ill, Dr. Dolittle is convinced to go on an adventure to find a cure to help save the Queen before it's too late!

The movie trailer does not do this movie justice as I was not overly excited to see movie before going to the screening. My feelings changed greatly after I watched the movie. The writing is very clever with the dialogue for the animals. Everything they say is witty and playful. I also love that the animal characters aren't stereotypical, as they all need a lit bit of fixing. There are some magnificent actors in Dolittle, such as Robert Downey Jr. (as Dr. Dolittle), Harry Collett (as Stubbins, Dr. Dolittle's self-appointed apprentice), Emma Thompson (as the parrot Polly and Dr. Dolittle's advisor), Rami Malek (as the funny gorilla Chee-Chee), Octavia Spencer (as the enthusiastic duck Dab-Dab), Tom Holland (as the sight-challenged dog Jip), Craig Robinson (as the wise-cracking squirrel Kevin) and Selena Gomez (as the giraffe Betsy). My favorite character is Kevin since he made me laugh the most.

The messages of this movie are about perseverance and the importance of family and friends to help you overcome obstacles. Dolittle has no bad language, but it does have some mild violence and action scenes, primarily among the animals. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 14. Adults will also like this movie. This movie opens in theaters January 17, 2020. Check it out.

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

Dolittle is a roaring, barking and chirping fantasy adventure story with great humor and special effects. The film has amazing CGI and the animals look completely real. The movie also has very creative dialogue that fits each of the characters very well. The film has very vibrant colors and beautiful landscapes. Unfortunately, even though the film is not very long (an hour and 41 minutes), some scenes seem very slow and the film feels a lot longer than it actually is. The movie is very comedic and has some laugh out loud moments, but sometimes the humor seems a little forced and unfunny.

Dolittle follows the retired Doctor Dolittle (Robert Downy Jr.) after his wife passes away from a ship-wreck. An odd boy named Stubbons (Harry Colltett) seems to have the same animal talking abilities as Doctor Dolittle himself and becomes his apprentice. When the Queen of Buckingham Palace (Jessie Buckley) falls gravely ill, Doctor Dolittle, Stubbons and the rest of the animal gang embark on a journey to attain the cure for the Queen to preserve the land they live on and the animal's sanctuary.

It is difficult to cast people for this kind of film, because we're dealing with lots of animals and I think the casting is amazing! The voice-overs for the animals really make a big difference because they add humor, drama and suspense. The dialogue is very creative and fits each animal very well, making them seem very real. For the most part, the dialogue is very entertaining and creative. However, some lines try to force the humor and come off as not humorous at all. Robert Downy Jr.'s performance is spot on, but his accent seems a little off and inconsistent throughout the film. It seems as if he is trying to be too exotic and it doesn't work.

Dolittle fits the PG rating. It has some action and possibly scary creatures that could be frightening to younger viewers. The message of the film is about helping other people, even when it does not benefit your personally. It also points out that when something gets in your way of reaching your goal, don't give up, figure out a new way to reach that goal. Be creative. Think outside the box.

Dolittle did not soar as high as the parrots do in the film so I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. It has amazing visuals and CGI, but forced jokes and slow scenes. I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18. Dolittle opens in theaters January 17, 2020. Look for it.

By Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Unfortunately, Dolittle left me confused because its storyline is all over the place. There are too many plot elements to follow and they do not tie together cohesively in the end. Most of the characters have vague back-stories which are presented in ways that prevent any character from becoming fully developed.

The story follows the grief stricken Doctor Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) who is mourning the death of his wife. He lives alone with his animal friends including Chee-Chee (Rami Malek), a gorilla and Yoshi (John Cena), a polar bear. When the Queen of England (Jessie Buckley) falls ill, she calls upon Dolittle for help. To save the Queen, he must embark on a perilous journey to find a mythical healing fruit.

Robert Downey Jr. has the quirkiness and personality to play an eccentric individual like Dolittle. However, his potential is overshadowed by his perplexing accent which feels forced and thus, his voice does not match his emotions or actions very well. Rami Malek plays my favorite character, Chee-Chee, and gives him a sweet, loveable personality. Unfortunately, due to the excess of poorly developed characters, Chee-Chee's character arch seems irrelevant even though he is one of the better characters.

The graphics are well done in some aspects but not in others. The gorilla, polar bear and the parrot all look realistic and have features that add to their cuteness. Other animals such as the dragonfly and the ostrich do not look realistic, which disrupts the mood, making it cartoonish, and contributing to the chaos I felt when viewing the film. Moreover, the graphics in exciting scenes, such as those that take place on the ships, are noticeably done in CGI and thus the realistic aspect is not achieved.

The saving grace is the creative incorporation of the animals. I enjoyed the scenes where Dolittle uses his gift of animal communication to ask for help, whether to solve the mystery of the Queen's illness or to run away from the antagonist.

The message of Dolittle is that the best way to help yourself is to help others. However, this message is stated by the narrator at the end and is otherwise loosely relevant to what happens throughout the film. I give Dolittle 2 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Check out Dolittle when it opens in theatres January 17, 2020.

By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Dolittle does little in terms of original storytelling, but this reboot offers colorful ambiance and magical performances. Anyone interested in big budget family entertainers is sure to get their money's worth on a matinee.

The reimagining of the Dr. Dolittle franchise follows the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.), famed English doctor and veterinarian, who hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his collection of exotic animals for company. When the young queen (Jessie Buckley) falls ill, her daughter Rose (Carmel Laniado) asks a reluctant Dolittle to set sail to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his humanity and courage and gaining a young, self-appointed apprentice Tommy Stubbins (Harry Collett).

Robert Downey Jr. brings his signature charisma and his posh British accent to fill the energetic void left by January releases. His conversations with his animals are seamless; keep in mind, he's talking to larger-than-life CGI constructions. Regarding the big ensemble cast voicing the animals, they're all great if a little bit reliant on star power. You wouldn't know big list actors are voicing the animals without background research or watching the credits. However, there are a few noteworthy exceptions including Rami Malek's Chichi, a paranoid gorilla, which is greatly characterized and developed. Emma Thompson brings her acerbic demeanor as Poly the parrot. I also enjoyed John Cena and Kumail Nanjiani, as Yoshi and Plimpton, the bickering and bantering polar bear and ostrich that serve as the film's comic relief. Finally, the film has impressive child performances from Harry Collett, who previously acted on Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk and Carmel Laniado, both of whose screen presence holds well alongside Robert Downey Jr.

I enjoyed the special effects as they are truly impressive to look at, even a bit too flashy at times. The director Stephen Gaghan blueprints the film in an honest way. However, his writing is trope-ridden and uninspired, at times hodgepodging rather than creating. Don't expect a developed plot, even if some good messages prevail.

The message of this film is about allowing friends to carry your back as Dolittle realizes his reclusiveness is unhealthy and decides to be better. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters January 17, 2020, so check it out.

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

Dolittle is a great family movie - comedy, drama, adventure and fantasy all together. Not all is perfect in this film, but is definitively engaging for young audiences and totally entertaining.

The Story of Dr. Dolittle, Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts was written in 1920 by Hugh Lofting. In 1998 there was a modern cinema version with Eddie Murphy portraying Dolittle that was a commercial success.

In this re-imagined of the beloved characters by writer/director Stephen Gahan, we meet a grumpy Dr. Dolittle with very messy hair, living with a delightful assortment of animals in his Manor. The movie is set in Victorian England, just like in the original books. In this film, the Queen is very ill and about to pass away. Dr. Dolittle still hasn't recovered from the death of his wife seven previous, despite the efforts of all the animals doing their best to keep him alive. When a young boy tries to save an injured squirrel, he is guided by a colorful parrot (Emma Thompson) to Dolittle's manor. On his way, he meets Lady Rose, a sweet young Lady determined to bring Dr. Dolittle to the palace to help save her mom, the Queen. She manages to convince him and all that arrive at the castle to help. They discover the only way to prevent the Queen's death is to find a cure on a remote Island. They embark on a journey where they will face many dangers to find a magical tree that hopefully will heal her.

The movie starts with a cool animation that explains, not in depth, who Dolittle is and how significant his wife was in her life. Robert Downey Jr. is certainly graceful. He adds personality to a character that definitely lacks development. He is perfectly cast because he has the gravitas to make this film work and connect with the audience. The voice over cast is amazing; you'll enjoy the performances and discovering all the talented actors that bring the animals to life. Among my favorite are John Cena who plays the polar bear, Rami Malek who plays a gorilla with fear issues, Selena Gomez as the giraffe, Tom Holland as the dog and Kumail Nanjiani as the revengeful squirrel who, by the way, is the first actor I ever interviewed.

These characters remind us of the power of team work and the importance of friendship and loyalty. Not only do they all get along well, but they are family. They are also protectors of the man that devoted his life to rescue them. The actors make this movie engaging and bring lots of humor to it. On the technical aspect, a lot is recreated in a well done, not perfect CGI. The costumes are beautiful and the cinematography is colorful and thrilling, showing many eye candy locations.

Dolittle is a fantastic film for the whole family. A few scenes may be a little frightening for kids under age six. The message of this film is that you can accomplish anything and you can face your fears when you work together with friends. I give Dolittle 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 4 to 14. It opens January 17, 2020. Look for it.

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

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


BOOKFUL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SPIES IN DISGUISE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SPIES IN DISGUISE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-15
Topic - Family
Description - Super spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) and scientist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) are almost exact opposites. Lance is smooth, suave and debonair. Walter is...not. But when events take an unexpected turn, this unlikely duo is forced to team up for the ultimate mission that will require an almost impossible disguise - transforming Lance into the brave, fierce, majestic...pigeon. Walter and Lance suddenly have to work as a team, or the whole world is in peril.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Spies in Disguise is a slick spy film that mirrors James Bond, but at the same time sticks to its own authenticity. Several of the scenes are adopted from action and spy movies like Skyfall, but I was impressed by the way that they are altered for comedic effect. Despite its silliness at times, Spies in Disguise manages to be entertaining with a perfect blend of emotions.

The story follows the typical conundrum of a framed spy trying to redeem his image. Lance Sterling (Will Smith) is a #1 spy who is beloved by his agency, but when a mission goes terribly wrong, he finds himself the agency's most wanted criminal. With help from a tech specialist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland), Sterling learns valuable lessons through his journey for redemption.

The animation and the screenplay are key to making this story intriguing. For instance, every spy film has a car chase and so does this one. Yet, this car chase involves a pigeon controlling the getaway car. It is one of the funniest scenes and, since the animation has a realistic look, the chase is exciting and imaginative, yet not too absurd. Additionally there is impeccable attention to detail. In the same chaotic car scene, there is a slow motion scene where a calculator in the car is tossed upside down to reveal the numbers turning into the word "help."

My favorite part about this film is what makes it unique: its message. Walter Beckett is a kind, nerdy individual who teaches his friend, Sterling, that every fight does not need to be fought with violence because we are all just people who make mistakes. This theme makes the film lovable and differentiates it from any other spy film. Furthermore, the film does not take itself too seriously which actually strengthens the comedy. I found myself giggling most when the film exaggerates the clich�s that are so typical to spy films such as the car chases, trips to exotic places and the slow motion action. Another message of Spies in Disguise is that you do not have to do everything alone.

I give Spies in Disguise 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. Please check out Spies in Disguise for a fun adventure when it opens in theatres on Christmas Day, December 25, 2019. By Sahiba Kaur, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

Spies in Disguise is a fun-filled, action movie that's not just for the birds! It stars two of the most currently popular and talented actors, Will Smith and Tom Holland, who entertain us from beginning to end.

The animated movie begins with a little bit of background about Walter Beckett, Tom Holland's character, and Agent Lance Sterling, Will Smith's character. Walter Beckett grows up alone and often isolated, despite being a genius and inventor for the C.I.A. He struggles to make friends and is often referred to as "weird." Agent Sterling thinks he has it all, as the best and most respected C.I.A. agent, but he does not work well with others and does not know how to be part of a team. He doesn't even bother remembering his coworkers' names! The two unlikely friends pair up out of necessity and eventually realize how much they need each other.

During the movie, Agent Sterling becomes a pigeon, which is of course, hilarious! Smith's voice-over of Agent Sterling is perfect. He brings his usual suave, debonair qualities that we often see Smith portray in many of his movies. During his time as a pigeon, his outrageous comedic chops brings the theater to laughter. Smith is truly an entertainer.

Even though Smith's performance is hilarious as always, Holland steals the show as the voice of Walter. He brings warmth to the film much like he does with his rendition of Spider Man. Walter is the heart of the movie. He teachers Sterling valuable lessons about how to care about others, work as a team, and make the world a better place. Holland's endearing and lovable voice-over brings the movie together. Instead of it just being a funny action film, the movie becomes a funny, sweet action film.

The message of the film is that you can defeat all by working together as a team. Agent Sterling becomes a better agent and person when he allows Walter to help him, and he learns how to effectively defeat the enemy without violence.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4-18. Adults will love it as well. The family friendly film opens in theaters on December 25, 2019. By Mia Gonzalez, KIDS First! Film Critic, age 9

I love this animated movie! It is action-packed and has a fun soundtrack. Also, the writing is very creative.

Spies in Disguise is about the world's best spy, Lance Sterling, who gets framed for a crime that he didn't commit. So, he turns to a very smart young man, named Walter Beckett, who is the complete opposite of himself to find a gadget to help him. Lance then accidentally drinks an elixir that turns him into a pigeon and now has to save the world as a pigeon, with Walter as his side-kick.

Before Spies in Disguise, I did not think that pigeons were all that smart or even had much of a personality. I learned that pigeons are very under rated. You'll find out how awesome they are when you watch this movie. There are some extraordinary actors in this movie, including Will Smith, Tom Holland, Ben Mendelsohn and Rachel Brosnahan. My favorite part of the movie is the escape scene in their car, because it is the funniest scene of the movie and takes place in slow motion.

The key messages of this movie are to be yourself and to not always fight fire with fire as many times you can solve problems with peace. This movie has no bad language; however, there is some violence with guns and other weapons.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Adults will also like this movie. This movie opens in theaters on December 25, 2019).

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

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


MOLANG: SEASON 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


CATS (2019)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CATS (2019)       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 - A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Cats, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, was one of the longest running Broadway musicals of all time. Now, with the help of director Tom Hooper, Cats has been adapted for the big screen, making the new movie a unique blend of both a musical and a major motion picture. Cats is filled with intriguing characters, dances and songs that are incredibly memorable.

The story begins in a mysterious alleyway when a car drops off a new, innocent yet unwanted cat named Victoria (Francesca Hayward). It is there that she stumbles upon a tribe of stray animals known as the Jellicle Cats. Once a year, the cats gather for their annual Jellicle ball, where they audition to be chosen by the wise leader Old Deuteronomy (Judi Dench) to go to the "Heavyside Layer", a place that will provide them with the new and better life that each one can only dream of. As they prepare for the life-changing event, Victoria encounters each of the cats that hope to win, such as the hilarious Jennyanydots (Rebel Wilson) and gluttonous Bustopher Jones (James Corden). Meanwhile, the evil Macavity (Idris Elba) and his partner in crime Bombalurina (Taylor Swift) will do anything to win, even if it means eliminating the competition.

From the beginning, the plot feels rushed and that it needed to be developed more. During the film, the characters constantly switch from different sets and have sudden outbursts of singing and dancing. While these aspects may have worked well on Broadway, it makes some of the scenes feel awkward on the big screen. Because of the rushed plot and lack of dialogue, it is not only difficult to follow what is happening in the movie, but also to sympathize and get to know the characters of Cats and their struggles. Audience members are not given enough time to really take everything in, making the movie a bit overwhelming at certain times. Also, the CGI that was used makes everyone seem to be a strange combination of both human and feline. Depending on the actor or actress, the CGI is either very distracting or more on the subtle side.

In spite of this, everything still feels very whimsical and as though you are being whisked away into the magical world that the Jellicle Cats are a part of. The sets for every scene are each incredibly giant, detailed and unique, adding to the fanciful and imaginative feeling. Although it is hard at times to sympathize with the characters, we get to see a more endearing side of them as the movie progresses. From the Magical Mr. Mistoffelees (Laurie Davidson), an aspiring magician, to Grizabella (Jennifer Hudson), an outcast who seeks acceptance, you can easily see that some of the cats in the film spark emotion. There are also some amazing vocals in the film such as Jennifer Hudson's "Memory" and Taylor Swift's "Macavity: The Mystery Cat".

Overall, while there are some confusing scenes, it is balanced with comedy, singing and dancing. The film also shows the important lesson of learning to accept and be kind towards others, especially cats.

I rate Cats 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18 as well as adults. You can see Cats in theaters on Friday, December 20, 2019. By Jordan M., KIDS First! Film Critic, Age 13

This film is a "claw-full fantasy tail" about a tribe of misfits called Jellicle cats. Directed by Tom Hooper, this live-action movie version of the musical Cats tells the story of alley cats that seem to be competing for another kind of afterlife.

The story starts in a big city setting with a sad thing that happens to many helpless animals: A young beautiful cat is abandoned by its owner in a dark alley. Soon she makes "fur-ends" with other cats of all shapes, colors and sizes. All the cats have their own unique personalities. Cats shows the "paw-some" nature of the cats, including the playful, sneaky and mischievous personalities of these human-like creatures. There are a few crazy cat characters, which were my most favorite to watch. They are in a competition for a better life and that is when the cat fight starts. Who will be the next chosen one?

The lead role is Victoria (Francesca Hayward), the abandoned kitty. Taylor Swift also makes an appearance as Bombalurina. Another of my favorites in this film is Bustopher Jones (James Corden). I really like this healthy cat and his funny scenes. My favorite of all is Jennyanydots (Rebel Wilson). She is so "hiss-terical" in this role. I love the entire scene from the dancing mice and the army of cochroaches. The scenery colors are really electric, and I like how the set is realistically sized to the scale of the cats. The choreography and costumes are also very intriguing.

The Cats storyline is a little hard to follow, because there is more singing than dialogue. However, the overall meaning comes through, which is about finding your way in a big city, making friends, learning who to trust and letting the right people get what they truly deserve, and being honorable. There is no bad language, and it is very suitable for kids.

I give Cats 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It opened in theaters December 20, 2019 so be sure to check it out.

By Ivey H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Everyone get ready to transported to a world where cats rule, dogs drool, and humans are nowhere to be found. The actors are intriguing to watch, because you forget they are human. Their personification of individual cat traits and personalities keeps you glued to the screen. It is fun to watch our favorite stars such as Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and Jennifer Hudson behaving as if they are cats.

Victoria (Francesca Hayward) is a gorgeous dancer and singer. I have never seen a more graceful cat than her. When her journey begins it seems that she is a very scared young kitten, but as time goes on she grows to be a very graceful cat who knows what to do. Since she is such a great singer, she is my favorite character.

Mr. Mistoffelees (Laurie Davidson) is the most magical cat I ever seen and he always has trick up his sleeve. Plus, he is too gosh darn cute to ignore.

The song Skimbleshanks, the Railway Cat by Andrew Lloyd Webber is magnificent and too cute to ignore. The cinematography is magnificent and the dancing is outstanding. One of the best moments in Cats is the song sung when Skimbleshanks is tap dancing and turns the whole stage into a railway station.

The graphics are eye candy. Everywhere you look there is something or someone to look at. One time, it's a giant bed the size of three people, another time it's a building in the background, or it might even be the cats themselves. No matter where you look your eyes are never bored and there is always a fun graphic or two or three.

The dancers are stupendous. When they are dancing they act like cats. When performing simple moves they have to land or do the move in a whole new different way. Plus all time they are standing like cats and walking on all fours.

The songs from Cats are all now going onto my fave playlist because they all are so good. Each song is sung by different artist, so we get a glimpse of many different art forms while watching the film. We also see the characters having fun and being themselves.

Cats is based on the award-winning Broadway play and book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. It is definitely a must see for 2019. People who love song and dance and are animal fans will find it a fascinating and magical experience.

I give Cats 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18 years. Cats comes out in theater nationwide on December 20, 2019 so get tickets right meow.

By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

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


SNOWMAN, THE (2019)

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SNOWMAN, THE (2019)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - One crisp, winter morning, a young boy wakes up to find a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground as far as the eye can see. Filled with excitement, the boy decides to build a snowman using a tangerine for his nose, coal for his buttons and eyes, and tops him off with a hat and scarf. Later that night, at the stroke of midnight, the snowman comes to life! The young boy and the snowman embark on a magical adventure of discovery where the snowman explores the young boy's world and in return he takes him flying to his home in the North Pole. Upon arriving at the North Pole, the two join a party as the guests of honor to a very special person. Based on Raymond Briggs book, THE SNOWMAN is a family classic for generations to enjoy.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This classic animated film, based on the Raymond Briggs book, is one of my all-time holiday favorites. I have seen it shown with a live orchestra accompanying it, which was an incredible event. I'm so that that NCircle is celebrating its 40th anniversary as I firmly believe it belongs in everyone's holiday film collection, to be shared with youngsters and family members annually. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

The Snowman (1982) harkens back to a more pure form of animation: hand-drawn, nearly wordless and not a pop culture reference in sight. The story of a boy whose snowman comes to jolly life unfolds in bursts of warm color, the images flowing into each other in a mesmerizing effect. Based on the popular children's book by Raymond Briggs, this 30-minute short was made for British television, earning a BAFTA TV Award and an Academy Award nomination. The texture and tremulous nature of the hand-drawn animation is of a piece with the author's original drawings, truly a book brought to life in a swirl of images and music, most notably the ethereal "Walking in the Air." This DVD release, celebrating the film's 40th Anniversary, includes two excellent bonus features: an alternate opening with David Bowie created for the 20th Anniversary and a 25-minute "making of" that goes into great detail about how the animation was done. Recommended for ages 4 to 18 and older. 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror.

Winter is a magical time for children, especially when the snow falls. Every child looks forward to that one giant snowfall of the season. You know the one, where the whole world looks like it's engulfed in a comfortable, soft blanket. It makes even adults reach into their soul for their inner child and go outside to make snow angels, forts and of course... a snowman. The reality of the wonder of a heavy snowfall is what makes The Snowman such a wonderful story. The Snowman is based on the 1978 wordless picture book of the same name. The story is about a young boy who goes outside on a particularly snowy day to build himself a snowman. To his delight, at midnight the snowman comes to life! James and the snowman have all kids of fun together and even go on a little adventure to the North Pole! This story differs a bit from its source material, but it is a wonderful adaptation. The Snowman received a sequel called The Snowman and the Snowdog. This 40th anniversary DVD has some great special features, including an alternate introduction by David Bowie. This story has aged very well and the animation is still breathtakingly beautiful. This story is great for children ages 2 to 12, but anyone in the holiday spirit will really enjoy watching this! I give it 5 out of 5 stars for being so wonderful! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Snowman is a masterpiece that will bring families closer together for the holidays. The film is based on the classic UK picture book by Raymond Briggs, which has sold more than 8.5 million copies since it was first published in 1978.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


COSMIC DANCER

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


QB

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

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


ODD DOG

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


HOME FOR CURIOSITIES, A

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



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