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NEVER-ENDING MAN: HAYAO MIYAZAKI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


AQUAMAN

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
AQUAMAN       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - coming soon
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - coming soon

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


CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT CHRISTMAS

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

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MORTAL ENGINES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A mysterious young woman, Hester Shaw, emerges as the only one who can stop a giant, predator city on wheels devouring everything in its path. Feral, and fiercely driven by the memory of her mother, Hester joins forces with Tom Natsworthy, an outcast from London, along with Anna Fang, a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mortal Engines is a visually incredible movie. Unfortunately, the story is quite hard to follow, and a lot seems to have been cut.

The film is set in a post-apocalyptic future where civilization has been wiped out. What's left of the human race has rebuilt cities as war vehicles designed to destroy and loot other cities. A girl named Hester Shaw tries to revenge her mother and stop London from destroying the shield wall, a wall that protects the peaceful, non-moving cities.

I dislike how fast it moves. There are lots of action scenes and some of them get a bit too fast. On the other hand, these action scenes are well planned out and have lots of moving parts. In almost all of them, the characters are fighting while the city falls apart.

The CGI in this movie is really impressive. The steampunk cities that fill the movie are thought out thoroughly. Shrike, a humanoid robot, is well designed. He looks very realistic, but with lots of sci-fi details. I specifically like how he can hold onto the ground by folding his feet down. This is a unique ability that isn't over or under used. I enjoy Stephen Lang's voice as Shrike. It gives an expected, eerie feeling to his character. The makeup for Hester's scar is great, looking realistic but not too over the top.

The moral of Mortal Engines is that you can accomplish anything if you work as a team. This is shown when Hester refuses to work with her friends until the end, when they must work together to stop London from destroying the shield wall.

The music is often too overpowering. In several scenes, the music actually takes away from what is happening on screen. For example, in the final set it gets so loud that you can't hear what the characters are saying.

My favorite scene is at the beginning, when they show the landscape of this post-apocalyptic future and then, quickly jump into the action with a fun chase scene. This scene is very intense and shows what most of the movie is all about.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 12 to 15. It opens in theaters Friday, December 14, 2018 so look for it.

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

Mortal Engines is one of the most creative films I've seen in years. The concept is fresh and imaginative and the storytelling is solid. There are two flaws though. This film tries to create a universe that is deep and rich, but also has many plots going at the same time which makes the film seem jumbled. It seems that they tried to fit too much into one movie.

Mortal Engines' premise is that world's crust is split into hundreds of pieces thanks to a war that lasted 60 minutes. Humans, after the decimation of the earth, made cities and nations built on wheels, because the entire earth became a hunting ground where larger more powerful cities prayed on the less powerful. The film begins with London chasing down one rogue city that tries to escape, but is captured. The city has onboard Hesther Shaw (Hera Hilmar) who has been tracking down London to kill its commander Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving), who killed her mother. She attempts to murder him, but gets caught and runs away with another Londoner.

My favorite part is the opening sequence where the smaller city is driving away from London. This is a great way to show off the type of world this is. Also, it shows the pure beauty of the CGI and special effects they use.

This film has some serious star power. Most notably Hugo Weaving who has been in countless movies including The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Matrix. He is a Nigerian born Australian-English film and stage actor. Also Leila George who plays Katherine Valentine and is a stage actor who is also known for her work in The Long Home and The Kid, both to be released in 2019.

The message of this film is that you don't have to do whatever it takes to get your way. I recommend this film to anyone who likes Lord Of The Rings and Mad Max. There plenty of stunts that you don't want to try and lots of drinking so, I recommend this for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. This film hits theatres December 14, 2018.

By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - "Fox has been asking for a PG-13 basically since the start in 2006," Ryan Reynolds told Deadline. "I've said no since 2006. Now, this one time, I said 'Yes' on two conditions. First, a portion of the proceeds had to go to charity. Second, I wanted to kidnap Fred Savage. The second condition took some explaining..."Fred Savage will join Reynolds in new scenes for ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL in an homage to Savage's starring role in the 1987 bedtime-story classic THE PRINCESS BRIDE. Fred remarked, "while my participation in this film was anything but voluntary, I am happy to learn that Fudge Cancer will be the beneficiary of this shameless cash grab"
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Deadpool had much attention recently for its fame of being highly mature, but at the same time incredibly entertaining. Once Upon a Deadpool attempts to break that by releasing a PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2 and, while it will make the audience laugh as much as the previous version, it fails to expand the Deadpool audience to younger viewers.

Similar to the original film, the story holds is action-packed with some romance and drama, but always draped with the famous parody feel that creates an entertaining and comedic atmosphere.

Once Upon a Deadpool follows the previous film with Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) losing the love of his life, leading to him trying to find ways to stop his grief, eventually ending up with Deadpool trying to save a young mutant boy from becoming a cruel murderer and on the way making a new family. In the PG-13 edition, the entire story is told by Deadpool to Fred Savage as a bedtime story, similar to the style of Princess Bride. While this doesn't truly affect the main plot a lot, the twist leads to much laughter and many comedic moments.

Once Upon a Deadpool delivers the same chaotic, dark and highly mature atmosphere that the previous film did and, despite being marketed as a PG-13 film, it still has the same amount of lewdness and foul language, even if the material merely gets hinted at instead of blatantly shown. While this does technically makes it a less severe rating, the re-cut is far from a family film that everyone can enjoy. Also, at times, the re-cut rearranges scenes and shots very uniquely to avoid showing anything mature. Mostly this works to tell the story, but at times it feels forced, as if the editor had to construct a film from sticks instead of clips, with awkward cuts and sequences.

Aside from this, the film achieves high praise overall. The new cast and old cast hold a great quality in their performances, despite being in many ways a parody film. Of course, being a superhero action, good VFX holds a huge role in the end product. While the CGI throughout has less quality than what you'd see in an Avengers' film, it still mostly looks realistic and could convince anybody that what they see on screen is real.

Some of the funniest scenes come from the method that the film tells its story by having Deadpool read it to Fred Savage as a bedtime story. Most of the scenes breaks the fourth wall and are filled with self-mocking and sarcasm, which makes each time that the two are shown on camera together enjoyable. Savage and Reynolds' on-screen chemistry works perfectly and the conversations and scenes flow smoothly, adding to the enjoyment as the comedy feels natural and real.

Despite being rated PG-13, Once Upon a Deadpool fails to actually expand to the target audience. I recommend this for ages 15 to 18, as well as adults. Parents should be warned that, while the film meets the national standard for a PG-13 rating, many adult-oriented elements are still referenced heavily, making it very mature in many ways. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars for excellent acting and comedy, but lacking in an interesting and unpredictable story and having a strange flow at times due to the numerous edits necessary to achieve the lower rating. This film opens in theaters December 12, 2018 so, check it out.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


SNOWMAN, THE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


OBAMA YEARS: THE POWER OF WORDS
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Barack Obama launched into our national consciousness at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and ever since, he's delivered messages of patriotism, unity, and hope through the power of words. Interviews with eminent historians and key figures in his writing process give rare insights into these iconic speeches, as well as the Obama presidency and the man himself.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I have to admit that watching this DVD made me cry as I watched Obama's defining moments as President of the United States. This DVD shows how powerful and how heartfelt his words were, before he became President and during his eight years as President. In the beginning, his use of powerful words is compared to Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. All three inspirational men used words in their speeches that moved people. I also cried when Barack Obama became President, but they were happy tears. This DVD shows Barack Obama and how his powerful speeches were filled with hope and unity. He often tells a story. I really enjoyed watching some of his most powerful speeches that are included in this documentary. The narration is so engaging. I enjoyed learning about his speechwriters and how seriously Barack Obama took his words. He is a true inspiration and one of my favorite Presidents. This show made me realize how much I wish he was still the President. He is truly missed! I give this DVD 5 stars out of 5 stars because it is entertaining and very powerful. I recommend for ages 12 through 18 years old as well as adults. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 46 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99
Media: DVD


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FROM UP HERE
CASSANDRA BRISKMAN
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Cassandra Sage Briskman is the author of the YA novel, "If You Wish". Her film "From Up Here" is an excerpt from her second novel, "Big Green Eyes".
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Lovely This film is a great reminder of early romance and feelings of acceptance. The teasing and camaraderie Between the teenage boy and girl while overlooking their small town is heartwarming.

The two characters commiserate over their fate as residents of a slow-motion town. The girl seems ready to leave now. The boy wonders if and how he could ever leave. It's a common theme and dream about the frustration of many young people.

The accusations and blaming for things gone wrong is funny. The boy making his living mowing lawns is so true-to-life. It rang a bell for me about my own childhood memories. His crack about her perfume clouding his thoughts is endearing. She puts her head on his shoulder as a sign of true affection.

This student film is very well produced. It has excellent visuals and audio recording. The close ups are great as are the long shots. The music at the end is quite lovely but we need to get confirmation that the filmmaker has proper licensing to use it. Kudos to a well produced short film!

My favorite part is when he accuses her of trespassing. It's a ridiculous charge in someone's public backyard

The message is that home is often where the heart is and you often don't have to look very far to find your peace and perfection. This point is made very quickly in this short film.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Reviewed by Jeff M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Adult Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
INFINITY (2018)
BARRY BOSS
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - A 14-year-old girl deals with the death of her twin sister.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Highly recommended. It's comforting to know that a loved one's spirit can live on. The vitality of a lost sister can continue in the form of a good friend. There can be a suitable substitute when you open your eyes and your heart.

A young girl struggles with the death of her twin sister. She keeps seeing ghostly images of her dead sibling. A friend offers her support and starts to fill in where the deceased sister left off. This non-narrative films tells a story through it's striking images that reveal the depth of emotion shared by these young people. I give kudos to the director of this film for excellent storytelling and to the actors who relay the story so convincingly.

I have to admit that tears came to my eyes while watching the film. I really like the symbolism of the matching charm bracelets. It is very effective plot twist when the surviving sister places her beloved sibling's charm bracelet on her friend's wrist, in a moment of spiritual transition. It gives the film good continuity.

Another powerful symbol is the sturdy tree where the sisters used to play. Their initials, carved into the tree trunk, are a classic cinematic representation of a forever bond.

My favorite part is when the kids are in a classroom and the girlfriend places a clump of clay onto the surviving sister's nose, in a playful gesture to lift up her mood.

The film's message is to open your heart to the love that surrounds you. You do not have to endure loss alone. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CECIL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GETTING GRACE
0
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Grace, (newcomer Madelyn Dundon) is a teenage girl dying of cancer, who crashes a funeral home to find out what will happen to her after she dies. Instead, Grace ends up teaching the awkward funeral director, Bill (Daniel Roebuck), how to celebrate life in this critically acclaimed movie for the entire family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This movie is a very emotional ride. I laughed a lot and I teared up. It is so well done, from the writing to the acting. Even though Getting Grace deals with something very sad, it tries to have a positive outlook, which makes it stand out.

The story follows a teenage girl named Grace, who has cancer. She crashes a funeral home to ask the funeral director what happens when someone dies. Most of the film follows her living her life as the clock counts down to her death and shows the way she affects the people around her, especially the funeral director, Bill.

The acting in this movie is fantastic. Some stand out actors are Madelyn Dundon as Grace, Daniel Roebuck as Bill, Marsha Dietlein as Venus and Alexa Mcfillin as Audrey. However, everyone else in the cast also come through, even very small characters. Kudos to the casting directors, Rod Gilkeson and Elaine Nunez. Speaking of the emotional scenes, these are genuinely amazing. Towards the end of the movie, there are some really great performances from Madelyn Dundon, Daniel Roebuck and Marsha Dietlein. But, I don't want to go into much detail because I don't want to spoil it.

Along with the acting, the movie is also carried by the direction. There are lots of really cool scenes in both the beginning and end of the movie. In the beginning, there's a scene where Grace rips off her wig to reveal she's gotten to the point where she's lost her hair. That's one of the many stand out scenes in the film. The foreshadowing! There's some really great foreshadowing in one particular scene, which I won't spoil, but it ends up being really important and really heartbreaking in the end.

I enjoyed the characters in this movie a lot. Grace is very funny and entertaining, but is a very tragic character as well. The way she slowly starts to understand the seriousness of her condition as the story progresses really hurts. There's also a lot of nice character development, particularly with Bill. He first comes off as cold-hearted and a bit emotionless, but he soon develops into a pretty sad, yet complex character. My one issue with the film is that certain scene transitions from a serious scene to a more normal scene kind of kill the tone the previous scene was going for. So there are some editing issues.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. This film is already out so look for it.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: FeatureFilm


GREEN BOOK

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GREEN BOOK       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Dr. Don Shirley is a world-class African-American pianist who's about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South in 1962. In need of a driver and protection, Shirley recruits Tony Lip, a tough-talking bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx. Despite their differences, the two men soon develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism and danger in an era of segregation.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Sometimes being alone means not being accepted. A fact that some have attempted to convey in the art of cinema, but only a few reach the precision and emotional strength of Green Book which shows not only the complex and dark social issues of the 1960s but also demonstrates the power and emotion of feeling truly alone.

This movie contains a massively wide range of emotions. At times, the story is driven by love, romance and family. At other times, the characters live in racism, homophobia and segregation as it directly addresses and shows the darkness of the 60s in the United States. Yet still, the viewer will be surprised by the amount of humor and wonderfully vibrant moments that are portrayed. They will make you laugh in all the right places, without interrupting truly emotional moments.

Taking place in the 1960s, Green Book follows the highly famous and incredibly successful pianist, Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), who takes great risks as an African American man touring through the highly racial deep south. Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) accompanies Shirley going from his driver to savior to eventually, his close friend. As the tour progresses, the audience goes through many parts of the south where not only racism was prevalent against African Americans and Italians, but also acknowledge the severe homophobia that existed so terribly in the 1960s.

Perhaps one of the most lovable aspects of this movie can be attributed to the story itself. Every person in the film has a major character arc in which they become completely reshaped and remolded by the end. The entire cast performs with Oscar-worthy emotional portrayals of their characters. Mahershala once again delivers absolutely heart-wrenching scenes as the audience becomes acquainted with the lonesome and depressed life Don Shirley lives in, despite being unarguably talented and highly intelligent. The complexities in the set design, costume design, and overall tone of the entire world never run out of depth as the entire film feels as if it truly belongs in the 1960s, despite being shot nearly half a century later. Director Peter Farrelly may be seasoned in humoristic comedies, but makes sure his background stays separate for this film. With his lead, the audience experiences bitter reality and, with the help of cinematographer Sean Porter, view a vivid and colorful picture of United States in the 1960s, from up north in New York all the way to down south in Alabama.

Cinema about musicians would be blasphemy without an impressive soundtrack to follow suit. From music considered modern and pop for that era, to classical pieces hundreds of years old, Green Book promises a highly wide and diverse soundtrack that highlights itself as one of the greatest this year. Furthermore, the music tells the story as it begins with 1960s music, but slowly goes more and more towards classical and orchestral as the story unfolds and the viewer learns more about the conflicts of pianist Don Shirley. Furthermore, despite being over two hours long, the film keeps you captivated for the entire runtime and leaves you satisfied with a natural and beautiful ending.

Instead of a favorite scene, I would like to talk about several sequences present in the film. Since they're on tour, of course, Shirley and his fellow musicians in his trio are shown playing music. Yet, this varies in emotion, strength and passion as real-life events impact Don Shirley's craft just as the events impact his actual character. The power of his work never dwindles and always leaves you in awe. During the performance scenes, every aspect of the film shines with absolutely masterful cinematographic compositions that seem to isolate the musicians and truly captures the raw emotions such powerful music creates.

Despite the beauty and power that hold true throughout this film, it does have things to concern parents. As previously stated, the film embraces the bitter and blunt reality of the 1960s, from homophobia to racism. This makes it most appropriate for ages 14 to 18, as well as adults. I absolutely give the film 5 out of 5 stars for its powerful portrayal of an inspirational journey that promotes courage, activism and always doing what's right in the world. It opens in theaters November 21, 2018 so, check it out.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, THE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - In an effort to thwart Grindelwald's plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love all of the stories and plots from J.K. Rowling. She never fails to amaze me with all the different plot twists that she comes up with. Besides having a wonderful follow up story that leaves the audience wanting more, the CGI is very detailed, yet still realistic. The sound immerses viewers even more into the story.

The story starts off with a very intense scene that starts the conflict and trouble. No spoilers though. After the introduction, it picks up three months after Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them left off. We are introduced to Newt's brother who works for the ministry and his fianc� who had a childhood crush on Newt. We also discover that Jacob gets his memory back!

Eddie Redmayne comes back to play Newt. He embraces Newts' quirky and kind side perfectly. Dan Fogler and Alison Sudol (Jacob and Queenie) come back even closer as a couple. They fight just like a real couple too. Ezra Miller (Credence) is back, but as an older, mature and independent adult. His ability to portray his rage while staying calm is impressive and also intimidating.

The CGI is quite realistic, but at the same time out of this world. All the different creatures are so unique. I love how immersive the entire experience is. The animation combined with the acting, sets and music allows everyone to enter a different world.

My favorite scene is when Credence transforms into his black, floaty form because he is angered. In this form, he tries to attack one of the wizards who killed the person he was trying to get information from. He uses all his might and strength to attack. He even damages the entire building they are in with his force. Even though Credence is very powerful, he is still unable to pierce the wizard's shield. This scene is very intriguing to me because everything is so detailed. From Credence's liquid, black form to the crushing of the building, everything is very realistic.

There are many different underlying messages in this film. One of them is about family. Newt and Theseus (Newt's brother) haven't always been on the best of terms. For a while they worked against each other because of their conflicting views. But inevitably, they ended up on the same side, because they both have good intentions. And even though they might have done some unforgivable things to each other, they still forgive each other.

I love that this film allows you to enter a new world. It is fantastic! I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18. Even adults will enjoy this intriguing film. This film is out now in theaters so go see it!

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

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a serviceable entry in the Harry Potter universe despite its many shortcomings. Fantastic performances and visuals complete some truly great and pivotal plot developments. Any Harry Potter fan might want to check this out, but go with lowered expectations.

The story follows the breakout of influential dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) as he seeks to enlist his army of pure bloods. He starts by manipulating the transformation of Credence (Ezra Miller). All sides are divided by this as many find that killing both will fix the issue and many believe that Grindelwald upholds what is right. All except for the moral Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) who believes in stopping both but not killing. As a result, a younger Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists him to work behind the lines as dangerous times approach testing the loyalties and love of all involved.

Eddie Redmayne, as Newt Scamander, is always entertaining with his quirky remarks and unswayable morals. Also, he attempts to reunite with Tina (Katherine Waterston) to humanize his central struggle to find company. Johnny Depp, as Grindelwald, empowers with his powerful voice and fear-inducing actions. His presence holds well even among the likes of Voldemort. Jude Law, as Albus Dumbledore, is my favorite character with a spot-on recreation of a younger Dumbledore even if he's not in it for long. His wise remarks and enthralling character developments only left me wanting more. Zoe Kravitz, as Leta, is one of the most interesting characters with her fair share of story which leaves us craving for more regarding the mysteries of the lore. Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler and Ezra Miller return better than ever with twists and turns further developing their characters, even if a little too much time is spent on their side of the story.

David Yates expertly directs with an eye of awe for each of the magical settings visited. It is always a delight to see the early happenings of events and monuments such as Hogwarts. However, my favorite scene comes from the opening escape which rips and roars with wondrous sound design and sets the precedent for a truly epic villain in Grindelwald. Despite this, the movie comparably falls flat resulting in some boring sections of exposition with forced moments of fan service. The movie feels considerably crowded and in need of a more compelling story in some sections. Despite this, the exceptional first few minutes and last third redeem the story from being a total slump.

The message of the movie is to never lose your morals despite what could benefit you. Newt is a great example of this because he chooses what's right in spite of Grindelwald's powerful way with words. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 because of some intense action and themes. The movie releases in theaters on November 16, 2018 so check it out.

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

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


NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE

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

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

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

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

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


INSTANT FAMILY

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INSTANT FAMILY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - When Pete and Ellie decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child, but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15-year-old girl, they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hope of becoming a family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Now, I must admit that I'm a bit biased. My mom has worked with foster kids for 20 years and I've helped out a charity that helps foster kids. So foster children are really important to me and this movie really reflects the truth about this system in an emotional and funny way.

The story follows Pete and Ellie, a couple who feel as though there is something missing in their life. They decide to adopt three siblings from the foster care system. However, they find that raising children is a lot harder than they thought.

This movie deals with a very heavy subject - the foster care system. Foster kids go through a lot of terrible stuff, which greatly affects them psychologically. One thing I really like about this movie is that it doesn't sugar coat the hard reality. It dives straight into the lives of foster kids, without simplifying what they've gone through. I really like this as it breaks the impressions that a lot of people have about raising a foster kid - that it's not as hard as raising your own kid. That is not the case and the movie perfectly shows this. It may seem like the kids are unlikable because of this, however they grow on you. It took quite a while for Pete and Ellie to grow on me however. They're very impatient and annoying for a lot of the movie. And, although they get better over time, it kind of takes a while.

This movie is a comedy. So how is the comedic aspect? Pretty good. However at the beginning, there are lots of jokes about foster kids that feel very forced. While they technically have a purpose. They just weren't funny to me. For example, there is a joke where Pete says one kid looks like she has fetal alcohol syndrome or was chained to a radiator her whole life. While there is a funny pay off, the implications kind of made me uncomfortable and it was part of the reason why I didn't like Pete and Ellie.

I admit that when the film starts to get really emotional, it really hits hard. The acting is really great in the serious scenes, especially from Lizzy (Isabela Moner). Of course, I need to give a shout out to Octavia Spencer who plays Karen, one of the case workers. I really like Octavia Spencer and she makes every scene she's in absolutely outstanding!

I would give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it for ages 13 to 18. I would also recommend this movie for people who are considering becoming foster parents. If you want to mentor foster youth go to your local group home and help out. This movie is out on November 16, 2018 so look for it.

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


NATIVE AMERICA
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - This new series from Providence Pictures, weaves history and science with living indigenous traditions. The series brings to life a land of massive cities connected by social networks spanning two continents, with unique and sophisticated systems of science, art and writing. Made with the active participation of Native American? ?communities and filmed in some of the most spectacular locations in the hemisphere, "NATIVE AMERICA" illuminates the splendor of a past whose story has for too long remained untold.?

Narrated by Robbie Robertson (Mohawk and member of the famed rock group The Band), each part of "NATIVE AMERICA" explores Great Nations and reveals cities, sacred stories and history long hidden in plain sight. In what is now America's Southwest, indigenous people built stone skyscrapers with untold spiritual power and transformed deserts into fertile fields. In upstate New York, warriors renounced war and formed America's first democracy 500 years before the Declaration of Independence, later inspiring Benjamin Franklin. Just outside of Mexico City, the ancient city of Teotihuacan is home to massive pyramids built to align with the sun and moon. On the banks of the Mississippi, rulers also raised a metropolis of pyramids and drew thousands to their new city to worship the sky. And in the American West, nomadic tribes transformed a weapon of conquest -- the horse -- into a new way of life, turning the tables on European invaders and building a mobile empire. ?

The producers of the program were given remarkable access to Native American communities, going behind the scenes at special events, including a pilgrimage to ancestral ruins at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, a trek across lost territories in the American West and an investiture ceremony for a chief in the Pacific Northwest, surrounded by cedar totem poles and centuries of tradition. Numerous Native American musicians provided music for the series and tribal members and descendant communities, whose ancestors built this world, share their stories, revealing long-held oral traditions as the thread that runs through the past to these living cultures today.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This impressive four-part PBS series, narrated by musician Robbie Robertson (himself a Mohawk), delves deeply into the history, culture, lifestyles and rarely discussed accomplishments of Native Americans. From excavated ancient cities to an appreciation of their contribution to the concept of democracy, the filmmakers utilize brisk editing, roving camerawork and animation to produce a moving, yet entertaining exploration of the original inhabitants of the Americas. The program provides an in-depth look at Native American rituals, scientific accomplishments and wall art that should prove enlightening to many viewers. Ceremonies rarely filmed are given welcome context and the detailed overview of their deep connection to the environment and the natural world make for an at-times startling program. New light is shed on their perseverance in the face of colonization and conquest. Recommended for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. I give this 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 216 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 29.99
Media: DVD


GRINCH, THE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PUPPY STAR CHRISTMAS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


GRANDPA IN MY POCKET

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


GHOST IN THE FAMILY

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


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

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

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


ADVENTURES OF ZACK AND MOLLY, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ADVENTURES OF ZACK AND MOLLY, THE
ECOFOCUS FILM FESTIVAL
Series: ENVIRONMENTAL SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Zack is more interested in the small world of his smart phone than the larger world around him. His online request for a roommate is answered by Molly, a tech-savvy dumbo octopus on a mission to tell the world about the importance of the deep ocean. Molly wants to use Zack's apartment for her global communications headquarters, but Zack is skeptical. To win Zack over, Molly takes him to her deep ocean home in the Gulf of Mexico to see its unique features and diverse marine life, and to help him understand how human activities threaten its health.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Wow! Great film! The Gulf of Mexico is such a hotspot of biochemical activity. Many species of fish and plants live near the floor of the Gulf and are a vital source of energy for our planet.

Molly, the octopus protagonist in this animated film, proves that animals are often wiser than humans. Molly takes her somewhat lazy friend, Zack on a tour of her home, which is the Gulf of Mexico. She explains how this ecosystem works and how it contributes in positive ways to the local economy. Zack is usually too busy looking at his cell phone to notice these ancient wonders of the world.

The screenwriting is quite sophisticated in this film. It touches upon fairly complex technical and scientific issues, such as energy production, oil exploration and underwater drilling. This film is actually a compilation of three 3-4 minutes shorts that were intended to be watched together. Programmers may want to only screen one or two of them, not all three, if time is a consideration. I love how two protagonists (Molly and her human roommate Zack) sometimes disappear from a room in a puff of smoke, only to reappear somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. Molly's personality is quite anthropomorphic. She is an extremely informative teacher regarding marine environments.

My favorite part is the segment on bioluminescence in certain fish and other organisms. They dwell in the pitch black of the deep ocean, a mile or more below the surface.

The message is to respect our environment, both the visible and invisible parts. Underwater trash accumulation is a big problem facing our oceans today and it is a tragic conflict between nature and humanity. I give this wonderful short 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. Film programmers looking for an inspiring and extremely well produced films about oceans and ecology will love this one! Kudos to Jim Toomey for creating such wonderful work. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult reviews
Runtime: 10 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


SKYFALL (ALBERTO GARCIA)

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

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

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

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

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


PRINCESS'S TREASURE, THE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


MR. JIM

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

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

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

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

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


WE THE CHILDREN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


GREEN HOUSE ACADEMY EPISODE 1

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

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


I MADE THIS FOR MUM

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

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

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

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

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

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


TEAM TEENETTES

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

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

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


AUDITION

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


DANNY LOU & DONNA STARR

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEW ADVENTURES OF GUMBY, THE: 1980S VOLUME 1, PLUS BENDABLE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Limited edition includes bendable Prickle and Goo figures. Two DVD set. Welcome back Gumby and Pokey in this wild, wacky and inventive collection of '80s episodes. Featuring 50 clay-animated episodes, fully remastered from their original camera rolls and soundtracks. Also making appearances are Prickle, Goo, the Blockheads, Professor Kapp, Dr. Zveegee, the Moon Boggles, and Gumby's parents Gumbo and Gumba. New characters include Gumby's sister Minga, Denali the Mastodon and Tilly the chicken!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This lovely collector's edition comes with two bendable toys that are two new lovable characters from this Gumby DVD. The characters are Prickle, a cute yellow dinosaur/dragon and Goo, a green gooey mermaid. Having been a fan of the original Gumby series, I enjoyed seeing my favorite characters rejuvenated on screen with better film quality and sound. The stories are always so eccentric and fun-loving and this collection is no different. My favorite episode from Vol 1 is Birthday Party in the Middle Ages. During this story, Gumby and friends are invited to King Ott's birthday party from the middle ages book. I love seeing all of these characters brought to life in true Gumby form; the shapes and colors are fantastic. This DVD is captivating for the younger ages. I recommend it for ages 3 to 7 and give it 5 out of 5 stars for its timelessness. Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The New Adventures Of Gumby: The 80's Series is a good show that retains the groundbreaking animation and immense amount of creativity at the forefront of past iterations of Gumby.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN (2018)

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN (2018)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN is the third installment of the Johnny English comedy series, with Rowan Atkinson returning as the much loved accidental secret agent. The new adventure begins when a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all active undercover agents in Britain, leaving Johnny English as the Secret Service's last hope. Called out of retirement, English dives head first into action with the mission to find the mastermind hacker. As a man with few skills and analog methods, Johnny English must overcome the challenges of modern technology to make this mission a success.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This entertaining film, written by William Davies and directed by David Kerr, is very funny. The main character, Johnny English is supposed to be a spy, but fails a lot. For example, he accidentally sets things on fire or blows things up. And, when he does things wrong, he pretends that he was trying to do it.

The film is about a cyber attack, which exposes the identities of all of Great Britain's undercover spies. Johnny English is a retired spy, currently working as a teacher, and he comes out of retirement to find the mastermind hacker who did it. When he was a spy, he used old gadgets, but now they use more digital things like tablets and smart phones. Since Johnny doesn't know how to use them, he just throws them at his targets instead.

The actor playing Johnny English, Rowan Atkinson, is very good. Every time he fights someone, it looks quite realistic. He is hilarious when he dances in the middle of the dance floor and doesn't stop the whole night. Also, the gadgets he uses, like his magnetic boots and his exoskeleton suit make the film even more exciting. My favorite part of this film is that Johnny English is a teacher and he teaches the kids how to be spies instead of teaching them normal school subjects.

The soundtrack is excellent and so are the sets. They make it feel as if it's a real spy movie. All of the crazy things that you expect to happen in a spy movie happen here, plus even more. The special effects and stunts make each scene that much more fun to watch.

As fun as this film is, you should know that people are violent with each other and there is one inappropriate scene when Johnny's pants fall down and you see his rear end. The violent parts are not bloody or gory. They are just normal fight scenes like you would see in any funny spy movie. There is some humor that younger kids may not understand or might find disturbing, but I think older kids and adults will definitely be amused. As thrilling as all of the stunts are, they are dangerously unrealistic and not the kind of thing you would want a young child thinking they should try.

I recommend this film for ages 9 to18, as well as adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is available in theaters on October 26, 2018, so look for it.

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

Johnny English Strikes Again is an incredibly humorous film that definitely holds up to the success of the two previous Johnny English films. There isn't a low moment in this movie and I plan to see it again. This is a "cannot miss" film that everyone is sure to love.

The storyline follows the Prime Minister of London (Emma Thompson) who calls Special Agent English (Rowan Atkinson) back into action after cyber-attack leaks the identities of all the undercover agents working for the MI7. English must stop the hacker in order to save the people of London.

My favorite part about this film is when English is practicing his mission using a virtual reality simulation. The simulation is said to be highly "immersive." While English is running through the simulation, he makes his way out of headquarters and into the streets of London, causing havoc for the people of London. I also found it interesting how well Johnny's old fashion ways comes into play numerous times throughout the film.

The director, David Kerr, makes a huge play on irony by making the bad guy a super high-tech professional, with special agent English not tech savvy at all. Luckily for Johnny, his lack of knowledge about technology helps him for the better.

There isn't anything about this film that I didn't like. From its special effects, to props to acting, everything fits together nicely, creating a great film that audiences will enjoy.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters October 26, 2018, so look for it.

Reviewed by Raquel Y., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 1

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


BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. They reach unparalleled success, but in an unexpected turn Freddie, surrounded by darker influences, shuns Queen in pursuit of his solo career. Having suffered greatly without the collaboration of Queen, Freddie manages to reunite with his bandmates just in time for Live Aid. While bravely facing a recent AIDS diagnosis, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Queen cements a legacy that continues to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Let us set the stage. I love rock music. I love Queen. Live Aid has a distinct and personal memory for me. That said, this film's telling of the band's evolution from a bar band to a trans-fixing rock band with a legendary performance at Live Aid had me engrossed and, at times, weeping. The storytelling is intoxicating. Enough about me.

This film has been on a journey of its own. It was widely reported when director Bryan Singer was replaced before the film's production concluded. Yet, due to DGA (Directors Guild of America) rules, he is the named Director. My hat is off to Mr. Singer and his team for the casting of this film. The band members are believable. At times, I forgot I was watching actors. The story is about the life of Queen's lead singer Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek "Mr. Robot" TV). Mr. Malek brilliantly plays Freddie Mercury. The film's story follows Freddie Mercury's humble beginnings to living his dreams as the band develops and their unbelievable performance during the 1985 Live Aid concert. By the time the group hits the stage, we know Freddie Mercury has been diagnosed with AIDS and this became the last performance of his career. As I listened to the 20 minute set afforded each band in the line-up, I was in tears. I encourage you to please do your research to see who else shared the stage with at this unprecedented event. Given the large body of work from Queen, I heard the song selection differently, knowing what was happening to Freddie and his band mates. Trust me, I heard it differently live in 1985.

Another facet of the film involves Freddie's relationship with his family, the rise and demise of his career, his love affair with Mary (Lucy Boynton, Murder on the Orient Express), who received the majority of his estate when he died in 1991. His male lovers do not hold a candle to her, as this story goes.

Queen's original band members are so well portrayed in the film. You see they were truly a band, not just backup for a lead singer. Bassist John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello, The Cure), drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy, X-Men: Apocalypse) and guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee, "Jamestown" TV), discuss many nuances of a band from writing credits to performances. Brian May and Roger Taylor serve as music co-producers, which adds authentication to the story.

Bottom line - Queen is KING! The music should have a casting credit. See it. Enjoy the rock and roll fantasy. I dare you not to cry during the last 20 minutes. Long live rock and Queen!

I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. You should know that there is alcohol and drug use, gay themes and discussions about AIDS, all of which are inappropriate for younger children. This film opens in theaters nationwide November 2, 2018. Look for it.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Before seeing this movie, I was mostly neutral about Queen. I did like their songs, but I was never really a fan. However this movie completely changed my perspective of the band. Even though I only knew the most famous songs, that doesn't matter. You don't need to be a fan to enjoy this film. It belongs to everyone, like Queen does.

The story follows Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), the lead singer of Queen, and his rise to fame, but also his fall from grace. It sounds really simple, but the other aspects of the movie, such as the writing and acting, really set it apart from other similar films.

First, the script is amazing. Kudos to the script writer, Anthony McCarten. There are so many scenes in this movie that are genuinely full of tension particularly scenes showing the band arguing and practically any scene with Paul Prenter (Allen Leech). The writing really helps deliver tension in the darker scenes and make the more uplifting scenes really motivating. The writing makes you feel Freddie's downward spiral. The scenes with Paul especially made me genuinely nervous. Because, you know he doesn't care about Freddie and he just wants to leech off of him. All you want is for Freddie to cut ties with Paul. Thankfully, this movie isn't a complete downer, as there are some genuinely heartwarming moments, especially in the beginning. Then, things get dark pretty quickly. It's nice seeing the band get together and hang out. You genuinely believe in their friendship.

This movie also shows Freddie dealing with real issues - his race, his sexuality and not feeling like a disappointment to his parents. Life is complicated, whether or not you are rich and famous. We also got to give special attention to Freddie's actor. Rami Malek really is Freddie Mercury! It is so spot on that Rami Malek and Freddie Mercury look almost identical. That's what I call amazing casting. While the rest of the cast is really great as well, Rami Malek completely steals the show.

This movie also excels at showing how destiny works in mysterious ways. For example, five minutes before Freddie asks to join to the band, the lead singer quits. I find that really interesting. To be honest, the only issue I have with this movie is the final scene. It's a recreation of the Live Aid performance Queen did, which seems fine at first. However, the scene goes on forever. It is a good scene and I get why they made it so long, but after awhile I kept wondering how much longer the scene was going to last. That's really my only issue with the film. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. Even if you're not a huge Queen fan, I think you'll enjoy this. It opens in theaters nationwide November 2, 2018 so look for it. By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

This live-action, biographical or biopic film is electrifying! The music is absolutely incredible! Of course, it's the music from the British rock band Queen. I am familiar with the band's music; because my mom is a 80s rock fan and I grew up listening to this and other bands. I do like and know the songs and enjoyed summer camps at "School of Rock" playing music from those bands.

The actors are great. The actor that plays Freddie Mercury, Rami Malek looks exactly like the real Freddie Mercury. He mimics his stage movements and reflects on the artist who loved music and art in general. The rest of the actors' are flawless as well. At first, I didn't think I would like this film, but when I watched it, I absolutely fell in love with it. It is amazing. At least half the songs that are in this film I didn't even know were by Queen!

The story is narrated through Queen's hit songs. It starts showing how Mercury joined a band that played at bars and became one of the most important rock bands in the world, creating iconic music. The film focuses on Mercury's story and tells it with so much respect. Once he joins guitar player Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), they start composing songs. They got the attention of important music producers and record labels and became Queen. The film shows the creative process - how these songs were made, how the band members agree and disagree, go on tours and got tired of the routine of making albums and touring. At one point, we see Freddie Mercury becoming so popular and later kind of losing himself. But, the band members were a family and the movie shows those who always stood by his side as well as those who betrayed him. Freddie decided to go solo, but he reunites for the spectacular Live Aid Show in 1985 that was impeccably recreated.

The photography, production design and costumes reflect the look and feel of the 80s. They look exactly as they do in Queen's music videos and live shows. The editing mixes the drama of Mercury's life together with the songs really well and the camera work is remarkable. My favorite scenes are all those when music is involved, especially the operatic "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," both written by Mercury.

I watched the film under my mom's guidance. I don't recommend this for kids under 13. The film shows, in a very elegant way, Mercury's dark side and relationships in his life. There are no explicit scenes, but is definitively a movie for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. I definitely give this film 5 out of 5 stars, because it is amazing and actors and filmmakers have worked really hard to interpret and recreate an important moment in music history. I truly love this film and definitely recommend it. You are not going to want to miss this extraordinary film. It opens nationwide in theaters November 2, 2018 so, check it out. By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Bohemian Rhapsody is a biographical film based on the life story of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the incredible British super-band Queen.

Bohemian Rhapsody takes place when a young boy named Farrokh joins a college band which later becomes Queen, the band that revolutionized concerts with audience participation and became one of the biggest stadium bands in history. The movie mainly focuses on Freddie Mercury's relationship with the band, his family and other people around him and how he remained true to his unique personality.

I like how they used lots of clips from that time by inserting televised shots of important moments. I also enjoyed the use of montages to Queen's songs to show different things. The format never gets boring because there is a unique twist to each one. I especially enjoyed how they started the film by setting up for Live Aid, the most ambitious charity concert ever, and ended at Queen's mind-blowing performance of that same concert. I also like how they used the running joke of lateness to show power throughout the band's life.

The cinematography in the movie is wonderful. There are lots of shots showing the entire room which really helps you understand the locations. I particularly like the shots showing how low the ceiling is in the drummer's room. There are some very emotional shots of Freddie communicating with his girlfriend using lights in their opposing apartments.

My favorite scene is when they try to sell their new song, Bohemian Rhapsody, to Ray Foster. I like this scene because it shows how the members of Queen really didn't allow themselves to work the same way that other bands do. It shows that they wouldn't use a formula to write any of their songs. I also enjoyed the scene when the band writes Bohemian Rhapsody, because there are lots of good jokes in it. They use simple digital transition effects that wouldn't usually be in a professional movie to show how the band was different. These transition effects are also true to the 70s and 80s when the movie is set.

The moral of this film is to be yourself, even if you're different. This moral is important to the story. It influences every decision Freddie Mercury makes and is an important part of his legacy. Freddie Mercury was a unique individual, but by staying true to himself, he gained acceptance in the world and became an icon.

They use mostly Queen songs (of course) and they use them well. There are a lot of cuts in the music, but they aren't too noticeable. The songs that aren't by Queen are used mainly as music the characters are listening to in the background.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to for ages 13 through 18, as well as adults. I believe lots of adults will enjoy it, especially those who were teen and young adults during this time. This film opens in theaters nationwide November 2, 2018 so look for it. By Rohan F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Bohemian Rhapsody is a film that hits plenty of high notes, both figuratively and literally. It is a foot-stomping film showing how Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become a legend, in not only the rock and roll community but the music industry as a whole. The film does go deeper into Freddie Mercury's life, due to its PG-13 rating.

Bohemian Rhapsody follows Queen's journey to become the world's most famous band. It starts off showing Freddie as an airport baggage loader who aspires to be a musician. He has been following Smile, a local rock band. One night when their lead singer quits, he offers to sing for them. They blow him off, making fun of his teeth and saying how he will never be able to sing with those. But he proves them wrong by singing better than any of their past singers. Once on the road, Freddie has the idea of selling their van and recording a song. The record gets the attention of the legendary music producer John Reid, which gets them the break they need and immediately they start touring the USA, where they are a huge hit.

My favorite part of this film is definitely the Live Aid concert where we see Rami Malik's best performance as Freddie Mercury. Queen performs numerous songs including "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." This scene is so convincing. It made me think it was a high definition version of the actual Live Aid concert.

This movie has lots of excellent talent in it. Most notably, Freddie Mercury is played by Remi Malek, who has starred in movies such as Night at the Museum and won an Emmy for his performance in IRobot. Lucy Boynton plays Mary Austin, Freddy's girl friend. She has notably appeared in Murder on the Orient Express and Sing Street.

The message of this film is that you shouldn't hide who you are and people should accept that. There is one F-bomb in the movie and several other swear words, also there is heavy drinking and partying. I recommend this film if you're a Queen fan or just looking for a great film about rock. I recommend this film for ages 15 to 18, as well as adults, and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This film opens in theaters nationwide November 2, 2018. Look for it.

By Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 13

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


TALE OF A SASSY LITTLE GIRL, A

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TALE OF A SASSY LITTLE GIRL, A
FRANCESCA NOBILI
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 9-14
Topic - Family
Description - On Halloween night, a little girl receives a spooky visit.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Here's a fun piece that belongs in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. Written and directed by award winning filmmaker Francesca Nobili, this Halloween themed animated short is perfect for your tween and teen fans that want something spooky, but not too much. I enjoyed except for the characters' sounds which suddenly switch from simply guttural sounds to speaking English. I liked the parts with the cute muffled sounds better. Other than that it is funny and cute. The story flows well and I enjoyed the animation and claymation. There is excellent visual and sound quality. Everything is clear - from the audio to the visual quality. I like how the characters are animated, especially the monsters. It's quite impressive.

It flows well and is easy to understand. I like how the girl scares away the monsters. That is funny and ironic. It is a bit creepy at first, but then the girl takes charge. I think tweens and teens would like it because they won't mind the creepy parts and would find them funny.

I feel that kids under age 7 would be scared by some of the creepy parts, especially at the beginning and so I recommend it for ages 9 to 14 and give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Leah R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - See adult comments
Runtime: 2 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


BEVERLY HILLS GHOST

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BEVERLY HILLS GHOST
KEMMY MORAN
Series: INDIE FEATURE, AGES 11 TO 18
Topic - Family
Description - What happens when you cross a choir nerd and a dead fashionista? A makeover from hell, and a Beverly Hills murder mystery going nowhere good. Except maybe the mall... 17 year-old Sari Coogan is a lonely nerd from New Jersey. After a near-death experience that leaves Sari able to see ghosts, her parents take the settlement money from the accident and move to Beverly Hills. Unfortunately for Sari, her new room is haunted by teen heiress Missy Palmer, whose death in the pool the year before was ruled an accident. After Missy goes poltergeist on her, Sari reluctantly agrees to help find her killer - a task that entails a total makeover, complete with painful brow waxing, in order to get close to Missy's cliquey fashionista friends and her boyfriend Aidan's rock band, Deja Vu. After facing a high school gauntlet of band try-outs, snarky socialites, and snobby billionairesses, Sari quickly realizes that almost everyone had a motive to kill Missy. And if she can't figure out WHO killed Missy Palmer - and soon - she just might become the next BEVERLY HILLS GHOST...
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Murder mystery is not the usual genre for teen films, but this one pretty much hits the nail on the head. It's campiness makes it appealing to tweens and teens and I believe they will get a kick out of this.

Lifestyles of the idle rich can be so vacuous. The intelligence, or lack thereof, portrayed by these Beverly Hills teens is a bit mind-numbing and trivial. These stereotypical, spoiled kids leave you feeling like they need a life altering experience.

Sari, a recent transplant from New Jersey, discovers a ghost in her new Beverly Hills home. The back story of what brought Sari and her family to Beverly Hills is unclear, but Sari is somewhat blackmailed into helping Missy the Ghost find her killer.

Sari's nervous auditioning for a rock band is a quite realistic goal for a teenager looking to fit into the crowd. Her singing voice is quite beautiful, a shocking revelation when compared to the other contenders for lead singer.

This movie's sequence of events is a bit confusing. The clues of the stolen artwork and a mysterious gifted necklace help make this movie fit the genre of murder mystery. The evidence for who murdered Missy does not add up at first. However, a last-minute discovery reveals the murderer.

The production values are quite good, from the visuals to the audio, the locations, costumes, hair and makeup and background music. I especially enjoyed Missy's campy, dark eye makeup which gives her a ghostly, far-away look. The streaks of dark makeup along her cheekbones, neck and chin also give her a somewhat decayed look, appropriate for someone who's died.

My favorite parts of the film are the scenes with the body guard, especially when he sticks his tongue out, wielding a razor blade. He then proceeds to chew the blade up in his mouth (redefining tongue-in-cheek humor).The message of this film is that too much ambition can be dangerous.

I give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18. Reviewed by Jeff M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Jurors.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 144 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 11-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


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

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

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

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


LITTLE WOLF'S BOOK OF BADNESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW, THE
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - The delectable baking competition that has grown into a beloved international phenomenon returns for a fifth season. The program features the original cast of Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, in a season never before seen in the U.S. Viewers will meet twelve of Britain's best amateur bakers who will don their aprons, enter the iconic tent and tackle culinary trials that increase in difficulty as the competition unfolds. Vying to be crowned star baker, challengers prepare three creations in each episode: a signature bake, which tests their creative flair and baking ability; the devilishly difficult technical challenge, in which contestants have to bake creations using only ingredient lists and minimal instruction; and finally, the showstopper, designed to fully showcase each baker's skill and creativity.

Contestants face the demanding but endearing judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, two icons of British baking who are now household names in America. Comedy duo Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc are the series hosts, providing the bakers with much-needed emotional support and comic relief. Offering viewers the perfect sweet summer escape, this program features unforgettable contestants attempting some of the series most difficult challenges, from bagels to strudel, treacle tarts to choux gateaus.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Ready, set, Bake! This series of shows follows 12 amateur bakers, all of whom are hoping to win the competition and become Britain's best. There are two main judges - well-known Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. It starts out with one of my favorite baked items - CAKE and at the end, someone is eliminated. Obviously, the worst of the 12 is axed. Each show focuses on a different baked item such as bread, tarts, pies and more. This is a very addictive show, meaning that you want to continue watching. It has humor and is quite intense. I also like that they give a little back story on each contestant. I found myself rooting for one or two of them, but I won't say which one because one of them wins. It is simply fun to watch and, if you actually love to bake (as I do), this is a must-see! I actually learned a few helpful tips. There are ten episodes, including the finale. I give this 5 out of 5 stars for its entertainment and educational value and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Younger children who are interested in backing will also enjoy it, as well many adults. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 550 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
LIYANA       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
0
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - A Swazi girl embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue her young twin brothers. This animated African tale is born in the imaginations of five orphaned children in Swaziland who collaborate to tell a story of perseverance drawn from their darkest memories and brightest dreams. Their fictional character's journey is interwoven with poetic and observational documentary scenes to create a genre-defying celebration of collective storytelling.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Liyana is a beautiful documentary that not only educates people about epidemics that are occurring in Africa, but gives a creative animated story created by children featured in the film.

Liyana is about five Swaziland orphans who, under the guidance of storyteller Gcina Mhlophe, create their own fictional character that embarks on a journey to save her brothers. The story directly correlates to the struggles they are experiencing and their own dreams. The character they create, named Liyana is fully animated throughout the film.

This film is one that everyone needs to watch. Sometimes, we get so caught up in our own lives and take a lot of things for granted. This film highlights the struggles of these orphaned African children. Some of them don't even remember anything about their parents. The film really open your eyes to an unfamiliar place and allows you to connect on a personal level with some of their struggles. This documentary is not intended to pity the children in any way, but to inspire others to follow in their footsteps. I find these children completely inspiring, because they are prepared to do anything to make their dreams come true. They live their lives everyday with happiness and passion.

The animation is quite unique in many ways. It is very still and the characters rarely move. It's a very interesting way to animate. I have never seen anything quite like this. It's intriguing to see the subtle movements of the characters and the subtle sound effects in the background. The orphans that the film revolves around are storytellers of the film. I love hearing them express the characters. They occasionally make sounds to portray the weather such as thunder and then make sounds representing actions of the animated character Liyana. Overall, the sound and music in this film feels quite lively and upbeat. The music brings a huge cultural aspect to the film because the lyrics are in their native tongue. The music is quite beautiful and expresses African heritage.

This film takes you on a whirlwind of emotion. People hear about horrific events on the news, but don't really find a personal connection to the struggles that people around the world face. This film provides a personal account on how children deal with disease and family issues. By show the audience real people dealing with their struggles, this film can help spread the word about people around the world needing help and teach us that their problems are not just something to flip through as you change TB channels.

Definitely put this film on your watch list. It deals with some harsh topics such as disease and abuse, but it does so in a sensitive way. I recommend this film for ages of 12 to 18, as well as adults. The story is fascinating and the realness of the film gives usinsight into the lives of African orphans. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. It comes out on October 9 so go check it out!

Reviewed by Talia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


ENDEAVOUR: SEASON 5
PBS DISTRIBUTION
Series: DVD, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - As 1968 dawns, a year of change promises to disrupt the private and professional lives of Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans) and his colleagues. Endeavour's recent promotion leads him to reluctantly mentor new recruit Fancy (Lewis Peek), while Thursday (Roger Allam) is beginning to think about life after the police. But in Oxford, crime never sleeps, and the team continues to be challenged by mysterious and intriguing cases of murder, greed, and deception. Meanwhile, the rise of organized crime in the city promises to change Oxford forever. When 1968 comes to a close, will things at Cowley Police Station ever be the same again?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is definitely not for young kids, but it is full of action and mystery. Adults who enjoy crime mysteries will find it entertaining and engaging. I really like the characters in this complete fifth season. My favorite is Endeavour Morse, of course. I like that he is paired up with a new rookie (recruit) and seems to be a bit bothered by the fact. The exchange between them adds to the entertainment factor. This series includes six mysteries and I like the 1960s time frame and how the mysteries are solved. There is definitely some violence and sexual content so I do not recommend it for children or young teens. I recommend it for ages 16 to 18, as well as adults, especially those who like crime mysteries. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 540 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 49.99
Media: DVD


FIRST MAN

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FIRST MAN       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - A biopic on the life of the legendary American Astronaut Neil Armstrong from 1961-1969, on his journey to becoming the first human to walk the moon. Exploring the sacrifices and costs on the Nation and Neil himself, during one of the most dangerous missions in the history of space travel.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Easily one of the most famous events in human history is centered around a singular man, Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling). Behind the Apollo Mission that landed the first human on the moon, Neil is a man with conflicts, a man with a history and a man with a mission.

Along with its main focus on the intense, action-packed mission, First Man explores many avenues that include dramatic and intense moments which spawn from the heart-wrenching grief of losing a child to the intricate and beautiful romance with his wife, Janet (Claire Foy). Much of the movie has emotions that are quite far from being out of this world, specifically in its massive focus on the family.

The film begins up close and personal seeing Armstrong in his daring mission on the rocket-propelled plane, the X-15. Immediately, the story shows just how dangerous space exploration can be and how close those who brave exploring the final frontier get to never returning home. It follows Neil and his story intimately from the X-15 mission to the loss of three astronauts (close friends of Neil's) in Apollo 1, the near-lethal mission of Gemini 8 and, of course, the incredibly daring mission of Apollo 11, that landed the first people on the Moon. Throughout these milestones in space exploration, the story pauses to look at the relations and life of Neil, truly unveiling the blueprints showing who he was as a man.

While incredible in revealing a massive side of this well-known historical event, the film attempts to focus so much on a story that has little to tell. The length clocks in at just under two and a half hours, which feels very stretched after the adrenaline of the exciting opening scene wears off. Neil Armstrong is portrayed as a deep man with little visual emotions mixed with dramatic internal conflicts. While this decision allows for excellent character design, it makes him rather boring at times. It seems the writers wished to divide First Man into three stories - one, the story of Neil as a man; two, the story of Neil as a father and three, the story of Neil as an astronaut. All three have their pros and their cons, but mixed together, the film becomes daunting and stretched.

The cinematography sadly could have been better. Only a handful of camera shots do not shake. In most shots, the camera moves constantly or jitters. In the beginning, with the X-15 mission, this effect adds to the entertainment of the film. The audience quickly becomes sucked into the important and lethal mission with dangers at every corner. After two hours of shaky camera shots, that excitement changes to annoyance. While a mix would be ideal, and in more intensive scenes a camera shake would be appropriate, having the entire runtime featuring shakiness as well as many blurry shots, looks amateur and comes off as poor execution of what should be an interesting and captivating story.

However, the film does go beyond the moon in many ways. Predominantly, in the acting. Neil Armstrong has deep faults and that stands as a challenge to any actor. Ryan Gosling nails the role in what turns out as an Oscar�-worthy performance of the famous astronaut. Others, including Claire Foy, also deliver extraordinary performances bringing each character to life. Despite the fact that no one can hear you scream in space, the sound design really belongs out of the world due to the quality and complexity of the sound effects. Much of First Man contains loud, intricate sound effects that vary and cover a massive spectrum. Perhaps more powerful would have been the use of silence in the most dramatic moments, sending chills to the entire audience.

My favorite scene is one of these moments of eerie silence. In this scene, three members of the Apollo 1 mission do a test in the Apollo capsule. It goes horribly wrong and the interior of the capsule catches on fire, sadly, resulting in losing the lives of all three. Yet, the film takes this a step further, as the three fallen heroes are not new in this scene. The viewer gets time to like them, understand them and befriend them - just as Neil did in real life. This makes their sudden and dramatic loss nothing short of shocking and cold, replicating the real-life impact it had on Armstrong.

Although, First Man has a strong beginning, a strong ending and many high points throughout, it also has many mistakes and things that could be improved that simply negate the extraordinary story of this story. For that reason, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. The story is quite intensive and is best suited for older audiences that will understand the impact of the events so I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. This film opens nationwide in theaters on October 12, 2018 so, look for it. If you are a fan of space exploration, it is sure to make an impact, but even if you aren't you will learn something new.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

First Man is a visually stunning and up-close account of the Apollo 11 mission. Excellent acting and innovative directing excel this personal focus, as one of a well-built dramatic journey. Anyone interested in space studies or even cinematic craft must check this out.

The story follows the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) in the 1960s on his journey to becoming the first man to walk on the moon. More so, an exploration of the sacrifices and costs that the journey had upon Armstrong's personal life and the nation itself, during one of the nation's most desperate and dangerous missions.

Ryan Gosling, as Neil Armstrong, is my favorite character with near-perfect representation of Neil's reclusive, yet adventurous self. His struggles to overcome the death of his daughter Karen and fellow crewmates offer the movie's best share of emotions and present a newfound inspirational look into this real-life pioneer. Claire Foy, as Janet Armstrong, excels with her bitter opinions on her husband's involvement in the Apollo program. Her intense wariness effectively presents the instability that the Armstrong family faced during such tough times. Corey Stall, as Buzz Aldrin, respectfully acts out the childlike, but intellectual aspects of his real-life counterpart. Jason Clarke, as Edward Higgins White, impressively presents a good friend in need to Neil, contributing to the success of NASA's missions with his tragic accident being handled all the more respectively.

Damien Chazelle expertly directs the movie with an innovative handheld approach steered by cinematographer Linus Sandgren that captures the paranoia, but wondrous awe of each voyage into space. This approach can become a little disorienting at times and requires an adjustment factor. My favorite scene is the Agena voyage, as it distinguishes itself from the Apollo 11 landing, by focusing on NASA's most miniscule attempts to catch up with the Soviet Union. As a result, the mission comes with its huge share of bumps, which are helped by the cringe-inducing sound design and a self-contained terror within the astronauts involved.

The message of the movie is that success never comes without sacrifice and failure, but most of all, perseverance. Armstrong sets a strong persevering mentality and example towards dealing with any obstacle as he seeks to support his family peacefully and the mission safely. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18 because of infrequent intense scenes and language. The movie releases in theaters on October 12, 2018 so check it out.

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

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


GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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