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GABBY DURAN & THE UNSITTABLES

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GABBY DURAN & THE UNSITTABLES       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
DISNEY CHANNEL
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A girl finally finds her moment to shine when she inadvertently lands an out-of-this-world job to baby-sit an unruly group of very important extraterrestrial children who are hiding out on Earth with their families, disguised as everyday kids.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Gabby Duran & The Unsittables is entertaining! The transformation between alien and human is unpredictably funny. The green Gorman had me anticipating the next alien. I am ready for the next episode.

The story is based on the novel by Elise Allen and Daryle Conners. Kirby Buckets' Mike Alber and Gabe Snyder serve as showrunners as well as executive producers alongside Just Add Magic's Joe Nussbaum.

The series focuses on 12 year old stylish and confident Gabby Duran (Kylie Cantrall) who constantly feels like she's living in the shadows of her lucrative mother and brainy little sister. Gabby lands an out-of-this-world job as a babysitter to a group of peculiar, extraterrestrial aliens who are hiding on Earth disguised as everyday kids. Resourceful Gabby steps up to the challenge to protect these aliens and their secret identities. She proves to be the best sitter ever.

I was committed to the visual effects waiting to see what Jeremy, played by Callan Farris was going to morph into. Without giving too much away, whatever Jeremy eats he turns into. No doubt my favorite character is Gabby Duran played by YouTube sensation Kylie Cantrall. She is definitely setting trends in this episode. Her outfits from the neon orange distressed jacket to the aloha knee length shorts gave a 90's vibe most definitely. One of my favorite scenes is when Gabby meets Jeremy for the first time and beats him up with a rake. There were so many funny scenes, but you will have to watch it.

Beside the message that I need some knee-length purple camo shorts in my life... having a good attitude is crucial. Making the best of where you are is a game changer. It's emphasized the importance to always be yourself, because the right people will like you. I give this series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. My mom actually enjoyed watching this and she laughed along with me. Be sure to watch Gabby Duran & the Unsittables beginning October 11, 2019 on the Disney channel.

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

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


ADDAMS FAMILY, THE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ABOMINABLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


AD ASTRA

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
AD ASTRA       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Astronaut Roy McBride undertakes a mission across an unforgiving solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father and his doomed expedition that now, 30 years later, threatens the universe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I feel transported to the moon and Neptune! This movie is not only a great story, Ad Astra is a roller coaster of emotions and a ride that makes the movie-going experience beyond the usual thrill. It's totally immersive and I enjoy that, and I recommend to experience it in IMAX for best results.

It put me at the edge of my seat and is so exiting. The pace, in general, is slow. But there are a lot of action peaks that certainly shake your emotions. The visuals are stunning and the acting overwhelming. Probably, what I enjoyed the most is that in this futuristic voyage, where imagination floats, the human condition remains grounded.

In Ad Astra, astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) joins a mission in which he will be sent to outer space to find his father, who disappeared 30 years ago and is associated with a threat to humanity. Roy's journey is also personal - they have a dysfunctional father / son relationship, but share a strong bond for the love for outer space.

The car chase on the moon, when space pirates attack, is one of my favorite scenes. It is original and out of this world, literally. I also love the scenes when Roy is floating out of the spaceship.

The cinematography (Hoyte Van Hoytema) and visual effects are the most remarkable technical aspects of the film. The movie has a heart and Brad Pitt's performance makes us remember that, despite all advances in technology and stunning visuals, the core will be always humankind. There are a lot of close ups and drama, and the journey is not only beyond the frontiers of Earth, but inside of our souls. I did not find some secondary characters' interactions as important as they should be. The music composed by Max Richter is very atmospheric and keeps us suspended.

Ad Astra is very unique because of the story; it's not like any film you have seen in the past. I definitively recommend seeing this film if you love space, or maybe just want to see something different. One thing that I really liked is how futuristic it is, in a near future that is not that far from us.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to18+. Finally, the message of this film is there's no greater journey than knowing ourselves. Ad Astra opens in theaters nationwide September 20, 2019. Look for it. By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

This film is nothing like what I anticipated and I mean that in a good way. I had a lot of fun discussing the themes of this movie.

The movie follows Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) as he's tasked with finding his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones) in hopes of stopping a series of electrical surges that threaten the world.

Now, while the whole cast is pretty fantastic, a good majority of the film revolves around Roy McBride. There are a lot of scenes where he's by himself while narrating. And these are probably the most interesting scenes in the movie. And it's not just because of the acting. The film is filled with voice over narration from Roy and these narrations are very interesting to think about. Since Roy is essentially prohibited from emoting, the narration sort of acts as his solution to that. I think that works really well, especially since, when he actually does emote, even slightly, it hits you really hard.

Speaking of the narration, that, along with the incredible ambient music gives the tone a very eerie, atmospheric vibe which fits the feeling of isolation in the vastness of space and the monotone acting. There's also a lot of ideas in this film that are really creative and worthy of discussion. For example, in this movie there are commercial flights to the moon. So when Roy actually gets to the moon, you can see recognizable restaurants in the background, implying the moon is essentially a travel location. This is such a neat idea and something I really wish was expanded upon. Not only that, but this film has some really thought-provoking themes relating to legacies, searching for something greater and repressing your emotions. For most of the film, people see Roy in relation to who his father was. And these scenes, along with some spoiler-y moments, led me and my mom to have an entire discussion about how certain people will never be able to fully escape the legacy of their ancestors, as their ancestor and that ancestor's name will always weigh on them. Not just that, but the way space is used as a metaphor for taking what you have in life for granted is intriguing.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It comes out September 20, 2019. Look for it. By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Are you ready for a thrilling movie experience? Ad Astra delivers this and more with terrific acting, great cinematography and amazing sound.

The film's title draws its name from the Latin phrase "ad astra" and means "to the stars." This science fiction movie is about an astronaut named Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who goes into space to find his father (Tommy Lee Jones), who was also an astronaut. When his father went to work on something called the Lima Project, he went missing and died, or so Roy thinks. He is called in and told that his father might be alive and is sent across the solar system to find him.

Ad Astra is so intense - almost too intense for me. The amazing performances from Brad Pitt, as Roy McBride, and Tommy Lee Jones, as Roy's father, are so believable and they made want to both love and hate the characters by the end of the movie. The special effects are realistic, and the sound is astonishing, as you can hear every move made. My favorite character is Roy because of his perseverance.

The message of the movie is: if something is hard, work through it. The intensity of the movie comes from some profanity, bloody images, dead bodies and violence (including some murderous actions). Obviously, these scenes include risky things that kids might try to do.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, as kids any younger might get scared (like me!). Adults will also like this movie. This movie opens in theaters September 20, 2019. By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Ad Astra has a very strange and artistic viewpoint of space. This film is personally not really my taste in film, but there are definitely moments that catch my eye. The way the visual effects pull this film together is completely mind blowing. They create the look of space and planets being realistic as if they are right in front of you.

Ad Astra tells the story of Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who works for Spacecom. Roy sets out on an expedition across the solar system to find his father and his dad's doomed expedition in order to solve a mystery that is threatening the universe.

I would like to acknowledge Brad Pitt's acting. Brad Pitt plays a major role in this film and, boy, he pulls it off outstandingly! You can definitely tell that he brings his all to bringing the concept to life. However, the ending could have been a little bit more put together. I was a little confused throughout the whole movie and the ending did throw me off more than other parts. Also, they could have given more information on a few characters--some randomly appear and leave which leaves you wondering what happened to them.

Ad Astra delivers a very inspiring message: Never give up hope and keep fighting for what you love no matter what someone or the world tells you.

Ad Astra has some blood and gore, though there is hardly any profanity, except for one word and one gesture. I give Ad Astra 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this film for ages 10 to 18 and adults would enjoy it. All in all, I recommend you check this film out. Ad Astra is in theatres September 20, 2019. By Madison W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Ad Astra is an engrossing odyssey about outer space and the inner life of an emotionally distant astronaut.

A massive surge of energy hits Earth leaving chaos in its wake. The surge is traced deep into space, and the suspected culprit is the father of Major Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) who disappeared years ago in search of extraterrestrial life. Roy is sent deep into the reaches of the solar system to find his father. The fate of the planet hangs in the balance, and it's up to Roy to avert further catastrophe.

Roy is calm and collected to an unusual extent. This calm demeanor assists him at work, but impairs his personal life. In the hands of a less-skilled performer, Roy McBride would feel bland, but Brad Pitt's performance is nuanced and subtle, showing that what is going on under the surface is the key to McBride's character. Pitt's reserved performance gives his small and spare spurts of visible emotion greater magnitude.

It's fascinating to see what an auteur like director James Gray does with Ad Astra. Gray takes his time, indulging in the aesthetics of the individual environments that Roy visits and offering up numerous wide shots of the endless void of space. The visual splendor on display from Gray--and also the remarkable cinematography from Hoyt van Hoytema--are jaw dropping to behold. I was surprised by the quality of the few action set pieces in the film. Whether it's a chase on rovers with space pirates across the lunar surface or a bare-knuckled brawl in zero gravity, the set pieces are strangely well executed for what is, in essence, a meditative character study.

Ad Astra has the sensibilities of an art film colliding with a familiar galactic adventure narrative. Gray uses the interstellar voyage to tell a story about dealing with the absence of a parent and overcoming the burdens of the past. McBride's quest to find his father becomes a quest to find himself.

Ad Astra has a larger reliance on science than fiction. The setup of this futuristic concept through world building grounds the film in a sense of reality. The setup is so well executed that the rest of the film pales in comparison.

I give Ad Astra an age rating of 11 to 18 for sci-fi violence and a little bit of language. Although I enjoyed it, the film will resonate more with adults. I give Ad Astra 3.5 out of 5 stars--it is an artfully done, well-made sci-fi flick that demands to be seen on the big screen. It opens in theaters September 20, 2019 so look for it.

By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


DOWNTON ABBEY (2019)

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DOWNTON ABBEY (2019)       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
FOCUS FEATURES
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Downton Abbey is a 2019 British historical period drama film that acts as a continuation of the British television series of the same name. The film is written by Julian Fellowes, creator and executive producer of the television series, and directed by Michael Engler. Much of the original cast returns. The film, set in 1927, depicts an official state visit by the King and Queen to the Crawley family's English country house in the Yorkshire countryside. As the Royal staff descend on Downton an assassin has also arrived and attempts to kill the monarch. The family and servants are pitted against the royal entourage, including the Queen's Lady-in-Waiting who has fallen out with the Crawleys, especially the Dowager Countess, over an inheritance issue.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This is probably one of my all time favorite movies! Downton Abbey stands alone as a film and it doesn't matter if you watched the TV series or if you are totally new to the story. I have not seen the TV series and enjoyed very much this long format installment. It is elegant, well narrated and the performances are fascinating. From the beginning you are transported to early in the 20th century - the clock, the train, the letters. Very elaborate and detailed art direction combines with beautiful cinematography that makes this so pleasant to watch.

This is the story of the Crawley Family, a wealthy family that owns a state in the countryside in England, and all the employees that live with them. They are exited to receive the visit of the Queen and King of England, but their efforts to serve and all preparations are sabotaged by the monarchy protocol that insists the royals will bring their own servitude. During this very expected visit, all the people in Downton Abbey, from upstairs to downstairs, get involved in a series of events that ends up changing their lives.

We see the devotion and commitment every character has for this royal visit, which I found inspiring. Everyone is determined to perform their duties exceptionally well. I loved the performances by Hugh Bonneville (as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham), Tuppence Middleton (as Lucy) and especially Maggie Smith (as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham). She is charming and funny.

The cinematography (Ben Smithard) and the sets (Donal Woods) revive the splendor of an era that I can't believe existed not long ago. I love the costumes; they are rich and elaborate. John Lunn has composed beautiful music that is touching and intriguing at the same time and is a perfect fit for the movie. It is very classy.

The message of this film is that we all have to be true to ourselves and do what is important, for the passion of what matters. There are some jokes that I did not understand or are more suitable for grown ups, but that didn't stop me from enjoying this very classic story.

I give Downtown Abbey it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 16+, because there are some mildly intense scenes. It opens in theaters September 20, 2019. Look for it. By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Looking for royal intrigue and aristocratic shenanigans? Then, Downton Abbey is your cup of tea.

This film is the continuing story of the Crawley Family who are the wealthy owners of Downton Abbey. The story unfolds as the entire family and their staff are in an uproar at the approaching visit of King George V and Queen Mary. Their upcoming visit is a great honor, but also a challenge when the family and estate need to economize. There is much intrigue and maneuvering over wealth and power from inheritance disputes as well as currying royal favor. Downton's staff are in a fracas when the royal staff invade and take charge of the upcoming visit and there is much plotting below the stairs as well.

The majesty of Downton Abbey is its own character in the film and there is gorgeous footage of the estate. The entire cast is talented and noteworthy, but I particularly enjoyed the sarcasm of Violet Crawley, played by the indomitable Maggie Smith, as she is "an expert in every matter." Violet's verbal jousting with Maud Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton) is my favorite storyline in this film. The movie is directed by Michael Engler and the screenplay is written by Julian Fellowes. One can't forget the majesty created by cinematographer Ben Smithard and production designer Donal Woods. Anna Robbins is the costume designer for the film and exquisite style takes on a role of its own.

The message of this film is about the importance of family and its continuity and traditions. The movie offers a glimpse into the past and the family's efforts to maintain their traditions into the future.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 through 18, plus adults. Parents need to be aware that there is some mature content. Downton Abbey opens in theaters September 20, 2019. Look for it as you will be utterly delighted. By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

All the way from TV to new movie comes Downton Abbey, a place of joy and mystery as well as love and honor. As a fan of the show I am so glad to see they made a movie and let us know how everything ends.

One of the things that Downton Abbey is known for is the costumes. Each one sparkles from head to toe and they all simply terrific. Each costume and actor looks elegant and yet, very simple at the same time. That in turns reveals their true personalities in the end.

All the characters are very unique and they all share one thing in common, a love for the place they live, Downton. Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith), who can be very as stubborn at times, is the best person to call when it comes to needing a smart and witty person. I love that she can turn any situation into a funny one, in literally ten seconds flat.

Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) is the middle sister in family. She is very compassionate in times of need. This is one the many reasons why she is such a great assist to her family and the people around her. Robert Crawley or the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) owns Downton and wears his title to the fullest extent. He is not only a great father, but also a great man and a very helpful person in general.

Lady Mary Talbot (Michelle Dockery) is my personal pick of choice, when it comes to whom to have as your friend at Downton. She is the heart and soul of this magnificent place and, when it comes to keeping things running, that is exactly what she does. Not only does she help around the house, but she also gives the best advice, which is exactly why I pick Lady Mary to the new leader of Downton.

My favorite scene is when the Queen of England is being served dinner by the House of Downton for the first time ever. This scene shows a lot about the people who work there and also a lot about the Queen herself.

One issue I have with Downton Abby is that it reveals too many details about what happened to the Crawleys as their life had moved on. I hoped that they would keep some of it secret, so that we could wonder about it for just a while longer. Maybe they could have made a sequel to this movie, if they hadn't answered so much. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It opens September 20, 2019 in theatres. By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

Downton Abbey is absolutely marvelous. It made me laugh. It made me cry. The acting is magnificent and the scenery, cinematography and costumes are all stunning.

Downton Abbey is set in the 1920s and is about a wealthy family named the Crawley's that live in the countryside of England in a castle called Downton Abbey. They receive word that the King and Queen of England are coming to spend the night at Downton Abbey as part of their royal tour. The movie entertains us with the chaos of the family and the house staff preparing for the royal visit as well as the family's sometimes serious and hilarious interactions.

There are six seasons of Downton Abbey that previously aired on TV, but it is not necessary to have watched them to enjoy or follow the plot of this movie. I did not watch the TV series before seeing the movie and still loved it. I left the movie feeling so happy. It has amazing actors, like Michelle Dockery, Imelda Staunton and Maggie Smith. My favorite character is Violet Crawley or "Granny" (Maggie Smith), because almost everything she says is so funny.

The message of the movie is about the importance of family. Another message is that people in wealthy families have their own challenges. It has no bad language, but parents should know that there are some mature scenes.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, because kids any younger might not understand the movie. Adults will also love this movie, hopefully as much as me. This movie opens in theaters September 20, 2019. Look for it.

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

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


MAKING WAVES: THE ART OF CINEMATIC SOUND

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MAKING WAVES: THE ART OF CINEMATIC SOUND       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
GERRY ORZ
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - An exploration of the history, artistry, and emotional power of cinema sound, as revealed by legendary sound designers and visionary directors, via interviews, clips from movies, and a look at their actual process of creation and discovery.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The greatest crime in the world of cinema is against the world of sound. Despite sound making up half of every film from the last century, it receives one measly percent of attention from the audience and film industry. This documentary uncovers the hidden world of cinematic sound in its history, its art and its complexity - showing a side of film one has never been seen before.

Although being a documentary with a core purpose of education, its masterful editing and layout makes it an entertaining experience for those who have a passion for film and those who have seen very few films in their lives. Instead of simply looking at the technical aspects of sound editing and sound design, Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound makes a relatable documentary by looking at the people who simply wish to discuss their deep passion for the art of sound. This allows the film to incorporate drama, action, intensity and even comedy while still teaching the audience about sound in cinema.

Starting with the roar of 1933s King Kong to the drumming of Black Panther (2018), this documentary explores in depth the big revolutions of sound design in film throughout history. Some particularly fascinating references include the wholly organic sound design of every creature, explosion and spaceship in Star Wars (1977) and the quiet artful water-splashing in Roma (2018). Not only that, but the documentary also discusses the many branches of cinematic sound. From dialogue editing to SFX and even ambiance (sounds of the environment), each department of the soundscape of cinema gets covered in this documentary.

My favorite part of the film lies towards the end and features Ben Burtt, a sound designer who has worked on several Star Wars films, Indiana Jones films, Wall-E, and much more, garnering him two Academy Awards. Yet, despite his many achievements, his discussion about his life makes his interview so unforgettable. Burtt discusses how after winning an Oscar for his first project, Star Wars: A New Hope, he felt massive pressure to maintain that success in future projects. Not only that, he discusses his challenges in separating from work and returning home every day for dinner. This segment gives an intimate hidden look at the intimate challenge many artists in the film world face: disconnecting from their craft. The scene truly humanizes these sound designers and editors as people too, with lives that exist distinctly outside filmmaking.

Midge Costin, the director and producer of this documentary has taught at the world-famous USC School of Cinematic Arts for many years and it shows - one can enter with no knowledge of sound in cinema and come out nearly an expert. Watching a film after this documentary feels distinctly different because the secret subtlety of the many brilliant aspects of sound design now become clear. After watching this documentary, one can begin to understand the impressive complexity that sound artists go to in developing a world in a film, on the subconscious level. Not only that, the documentary presents ideas in a very visual way. Even technical concepts such as the difference between mono, stereo, four-point and modern Dolby 5.1 surround sound can easily be understood by hearing it in auditory examples, but also in visually showing how the different systems operate. Truly, this documentary takes the massive subject of cinematic sound and breaks it down into simple subjects that nearly anyone can understand.

This documentary tailors ideally to adults, young and old, although older kids will also enjoy this thoroughly. For that reason, I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. I give Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound a solid 5 out of 5 stars for making an entertaining, profound and enlightening experience that truly engulfs one into the extensive soundscape of cinema. Premiering in theaters in Los Angeles and New York City Oct. 25, the film will then roll out in cities across the country.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

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


TALL GIRL

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TALL GIRL       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
NETFLIX
Series: FEATURE 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Tall Girl is the 2019 Netflix original comedy about Jodi, the tallest girl in her school, who has never quite felt comfortable in her own statuesque skin. All of that changes when she falls for the handsome (and equally tall) foreign exchange student Stig who, of course, gets Jodi's quirky, best, male friend Dunkleman and his hippie mom as a host family. As a result, Jodi gets embroiled in a surprising love triangle, which helps her realize she's far more than her insecurities about her height have led her to believe.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Netflix's new movie Tall Girl is a wonderful coming-of-age story that touched my heart. It is really a perfect teen movie, as it deals with insecurity, friendships, relationships, high school, bullying and finding the confidence to believe in oneself.

What I particularly like about the film is that it has a great positive message that, even if you can't change something about yourself, you should embrace your uniqueness since that is what makes you special. For instance, the main character Jodi, played by the amazingly multi-talented Ava Michelle, is very tall at 6 foot 1 inch, and has been bullied her whole life because of it. Kids tease Jodi in school with comments like, "How's the weather up there?," which naturally hurts her feelings. However, one day, a tall and handsome foreign exchange student Stig (Luke Eisner) comes to her high school and takes an interest in Jodi. This relationship along with her best friend Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck) and her beauty queen sister Harper (Sabrina Carpenter) help Jodi find the confidence to believe in and truly accept herself.

My favorite scene is when Jodi and Stig sing the song "Stand Tall" together. It is an original song that Luke Eisner wrote with his band Viola about his father fighting cancer. The song incorporates perfectly into this movie with new lyrics by both Luke and Ava that they recorded in a bathroom. There is also a lot of humor in the movie. Specifically, Dunkleman is very funny and does impressions of Kevin Hart and other people.

The talent is off the charts in this movie. Luke Eisner is incredibly handsome and has the smoothness of a young George Clooney. His Swedish is authentic and I just can't get his gorgeous voice out of my head now. Ava Michelle's voice is wonderful too; together they harmonize on a couple of songs that I just love listening to. Ava is also a great pianist. I also found Griffin's humor hysterical and, after interviewing him with other actors from the cast, I could immediately see that he has stellar improv chops. Sabrina Carpenter perfectly captures a high school beauty queen. I don't think there's anything that Sabrina Carpenter cannot do!

What sticks out in mind about this movie is that it is of the utmost importance to believe in yourself. The movie also reminds us to never trade your integrity by just hanging out with the popular crowd.

This film has several fantastic, timeless moral messages including "accepting and believing in yourself and don't compromise your integrity." It's perfect for teen audiences. I believe both boys and girls will like this movie and I recommend it for ages 10 to 18 as there is some kissing in it. I give Tall Girl 4.5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to see it again! It premieres on Netflix on September 13, 2019. Look for it.

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

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


POLIANGULAR

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
POLIANGULAR
MEXICAN FILM INSTITUTE
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Searchers pursue mysterious objects that seem to be unreachable. They want to find out what those secret forms are and what will happen once they catch them.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Fascinating piece of animation, expertly executed. Very surreal images and storyline. Alexandra Castellanos Solis is certainly a filmmaker to keep your eye on. This piece touches on so many ideas and thoughts, allowing the viewer to interpret it for herself. I had to watch it two times, read the synopsis again, and I'm still pondering the meaning. Love that. I highly recommend this for older viewers, age 12 to 18, plus adults and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 8 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


GINA

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

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

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

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


LISTIES WORK FOR PEANUTS, THE - EPISODE 3

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
LISTIES WORK FOR PEANUTS, THE - EPISODE 3
ASH COTTRELL
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 8-12
Topic - Family
Description - THE LISTIES are odd couple housemates who love to have adventures. Just staying alive can be a fun challenge for them, literally. Recently, Matt was worried he was dying. He thought his bum was broken - there was a crack down the middle. On top of this their landlady, an impossibly high achieving and quick witted eight year old ABERNATHY PEANUTS, won't stop hammering on the door with a list of demands - well it's more a list of DEMAND seeing as there's only one thing on the list: PAY YOUR RENT! The Listies have got bills, bills, bills so they need to get to werk, werk, werk! The only thing is, they're not exactly what you would call employable. In fact they've been fired from literally every proper job they've ever had, (apart from when they were human cannonballs, when they weren't fired, because they didn't fire, so they were fired (if you catch my drift). In every episode of THE LISTIES WORK FOR PEANUTS, Matt and Rich have to get a job to pay their rent to their eight year old landlord, Abernathy Peanuts - and if they don't... they'll be out on their BEEPs!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Where to start. This is episode 3 of a series so you don't quite know the backstory, but it doesn't hamper understanding this clip. It is well produced and quite current in terms of the social media maven/influencer that hires the two goofy guys for her campaign. The topic of replacing poo for chocolate certainly has no socially redeeming value to it, but it is funny and kids would get a kick out to it. It works for kid and family festivals for a bit of comic relief. The camera work is very good. The actors are spot on, especially the "odd couple." Love the visual graphics. Fun. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

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


EMERGENCY BRAKE, THE

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


KAZUMI RACECAR PIG

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


SARAH MACDOUGAL MEETS THE GHOST OF BEETHOVEN

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

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

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

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


TEI TEI

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

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

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


ARAPAHOE TRUTHS

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


CLYDE AND BEAR

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CLYDE AND BEAR
ARAM KATZ
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 9-18
Topic - Family
Description - One was a boy with no friends. The other was a dog, abandoned and forgotten. Together, they built a bond that could never be broken and shared adventures that they would remember for a lifetime.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - At first, I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading about bearlike aliens and when I found out it is a boy's game and use of his imagination, I found the story much more intriguing. The characters are easy to relate to and are a strong point of the screenplay. The bullying seemed a bit over the top at first and then it fit with the story. My favorite characters are Bear and Clyde's mom, but all the characters are engaging. It teaches kids a lesson about bullying and also about friendship. Even with a talking dog it feels very real and, although I would have really liked to know if Bear lives, it still has a very good ending. I give this screenplay 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 through 18. Some adults may even learn something about compassion and friendship. Reviewed by Denise B, KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: Screenplay


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
IMPROV AT DAYBREAK
BRIAN G. SMITH
Series: FOREIGN INDIE DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - 'Improv at Daybreak' provides a glimpse into the Monday morning Drama program at L'Arche Daybreak, an inclusive community for adults with intellectual disabilities in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short documentary is fantastic. It shows that you shouldn't let anything stop you from doing what you love. Improv at Daybreak is about an acting program for developmentally challenged people. They talk about their experiences and the things they've done in their Monday morning acting class. We also hear from the instructors of the program who talk about their experiences in the class. It is pretty well filmed, although some of it appears to have been filmed with a phone or a low quality video camera. I noticed a young girl wearing a "Wicked" shirt, being a huge fan myself. It takes place at the place that hosts the acting program, which looks like a decorated, fun version of a public school. During their acting class, they wear fun accessories such as feather boas, colorful hats and shawls. The music is light, happy and fun. It really sets the mood of the film. The message of the film is that it doesn't matter who you are, what you look like, what you wear, or anything, you can always do what you love. I really liked when it shows the people acting in the class. They're enjoying themselves and they don't seem to have a care in the world. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, definitely adults as well. I feel like it's a topic we should all know about, even if only a little. This would definitely fit into KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals, especially those with a focus on people with special needs. Reviewed by Kayenta C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 9-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
ADVENTURE HARBOR
JENNIFER PHILLIPS
Series: INDIE FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - When two tween boys Nate and Tyler are pushed together by their parents developing relationship, they struggle to find anything in common as they are forced into a blended family. Nate's father Ben, loses his job and they all move in together. The newly formed family must figure things out fast. Nate and Tyler are exploring the beach area and meet Travis and Sarah. One night Travis and Sarah take them to their favorite secret spot in the harbor. The harbor has been closed off to the public, but that doesn't keep them from enjoying the beauty of the blue waters. As they explore the harbor one night, they see something stirring in the waters, something with beautiful colors that dance off the light of their flashlights. The kids soon realize it's some sort of mystical sea creature and quickly learn that she is injured and vulnerable. They must develop a plan to get her back to the open water and reunite her with her family. During this exciting adventure they meet both friends and foes but ultimately it pulls this family together and creates memories and a bond between these cast of characters that can never be broken.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Well done! Excellent camera work, great storyline, good acting, well edited, good background music. This reminds me of "Goonies" and "Spy Kids" in terms of the youth exploring things on their own, bringing in the adults when things get too out of control. A few things to give warning about: there is alcohol drinking and a fair amount of rather risky behavior exhibited by the kids. However, I still love it and think kids will also. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults and give it 4 out of 5 stars. This feature would make a great addition to a kid & family film festival, especially for tweens and teens. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 85 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


IDEAL EXHIBITION WITH HERVE TULLET, THE

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


STEWY BABY A DOGUMENTARY

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

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

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

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

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

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


WHY...

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

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

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

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


HELIOCENTRIC

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


NOOREH

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
NOOREH
ASHISH PANDEY
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Nestled in Kashmir valley lies a small village on the India-Pakistan border always caught in the crossfire between the two warring nations. One night an eight year old girl 'Nooreh' discovers that the gun battle rages when she sleeps and the bloody duel stops when she keeps her eyes open. Director Biography - Ashish Pandey
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Nooreh is a young girl who lives in the village located very close to the war-zone. One night she discovers that when she closes the eyes, she can hear gun shots but when she opens them, they stop. What makes this movie appealing is the resilience of these people. This movie shows us a region torn apart by war. What is disturbing and, at the same time fascinating, is how people, including small kids, can adapt to any situation - hearing gun shots, seeing gun shots marks - and still manage to live, go to school, even enjoy their lives. What I like the most about this story is the desire of all human beings to live in the peace.

My favorite scene is when the girls are counting bullet marks on the wall. The scene is both sad and touching. Also, the scene where Nooreh talks to the soldier holding a big automatic weapon. It shows how these kids adapted to life in a conflict zone, surrounded by soldiers and guns. The costumes are very accurate. Headscarves, darker colors, clothes the fully cover the body are very typical for any Islamic country. The landscape surrounding the village is breathtaking! The hills, farm animals, trees, the turquoise bridge. What caught my attention are how some of the houses in the village have pretty blue window frames and wooden carvings.

The first sounds you hear in this movie are gun shots in the distance. It's night and as morning approaches, you hear typical Islamic music calling for the morning prayer. The music becomes more upbeat and happy as the girls walk to school. You can feel the girls' joy at being able to attend school. Again, during the night, all you can hear is gun fire.

Ashish Pandey, writer, producer and director of the film, studied sound as his specialization. His talent for this shows throughout the film. Who stands out the most in this movie is definitely the main character - Nooreh. By her example - keeping awake during the night and stopping gun fire - she influences others.

My only negative criticism of the film are the night scenes, which are so dark. I'm afraid that would negatively affect how the movie appears on the big screen. I understand that the filmmaker wants to convey the overall feeling of the night and the fear of war. However, the dark scenes are poorly visible. Fortunately, they don't last too long.

The message of this film is about the desire we have to live in the peace. You should know that there are gun shots marks and a scene with the soldier with automatic weapon. This may be disturbing for children who have come from war-torn countries. After watching this, audiences might be interested in learning more about the conflict in this particular region, plus more about Islamic customs, traditions and way of life. There are nations which have been living in war conflicts for years. We take peace for granted and shouldn't. We should appreciate it more. The last scene, where there are more lights on during the night, is my favorite. It shows how people would do (almost) anything to live in the peace, even sacrifice their sleep if that should help and stop war.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 as well as adults. As for special interest, it represents a different religion, Islam and is multi-cultural. Reviewed by Monika B. and Sara S., KIDS FIRST! reviewers.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 22 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


L'HARMONIE DE LA VIE

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

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


BI ME

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BI ME
SAGE DRAKE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A mother forces her fourteen-year-old daughter to choose over the laws of attraction.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The film is visually appealing as it's in black and white. The flow is understandable and the ocean scenes are a favorite for me. The audio is an issue at times because the waves drown out some of the dialog. Bi Me is a short film about the relationship between mother and her fourteen-year-old daughter. This film addresses dramatic and realistic events between both actors. It's interesting to see the unique portrayal of each scene expressed by the characters throughout the film. I would have liked to know more about the background about why the mother had a problem with the influences of media on her daughter. Some of the conversation is cut short, so it was unclear what the verbal disagreement is all about and why it escalated. There are some great beach scenes. There are moments when the daughter expresses her frustration by throwing rocks into the ocean that are captured well. Using black and white film really compliments the water and rocks. It also gives a somber feel to the whole scene. Aside from the beautiful beach location. The apartment works well. I found myself admiring the art work and amenities in the home. The wide open spaces are a perfect location for the stunts during the climax of the film.

the film's oceanic sounds are pleasant, but at times distracting. The dialog is not as crisp due to the continuous sounds of the ocean. That was probably meant to be symbolic of their relationship, but as a viewer I found it distracting. The mother stands out most to me. Her actions are very believable. Considering that the actors improvise the dialogue, the mother's kept me most engaged. The message is about standing for what you believe in and hope that family will eventually be there to accept you even when differences of opinion occur. There is a tussle between the mother and daughter and the daughter runs away from home. My favorite part is toward the end, because I was concerned that the daughter wouldn't have anyone else to call on after leaving. I was pleasantly surprised with the ending. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 12-18. It's relatable and is a great discussion piece. The special interest is about family, communication and media influences. Reviewed by Elle S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult review
Runtime: 5 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


TAKEN

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TAKEN
YI GE
Series: FOREIGN STUDENT SHORT, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - From the United Kingdom, this short animated student film is about a quirky character who likes his nugget and soda. He's rather a slob and the nuggets in the box take on a life of their own. As he eats one, its sibling comes to its rescue and, well you'll have to see for yourself what happens. Quirky? You bet!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Ok, this is definitely weird, but in a very kid-friendly kind of a way. These "chicken nuggets" or whatever they are supposed to be, take on a life of their own that is truly hysterical. Maybe you have to be a kid to appreciate this because my mom did not! I love this. It's very well executed so I give props to the filmmaker, who is from the UK mind you. Definitely include this in your family-focused programming. The kids will love it. I recommend for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Judith M., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 3 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


MASTORAH

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
MASTORAH
AHMAD AL ZU'BI
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - An old man in his sixties forms an unlikely bond with his young barber. Tensions begin to rise between them as they defend their respective generations.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is very well done and representative of the culture, I presume, in Jordan, where this was made. The young barber and the old man are stylized in such a way as you get a glimpse of where they are both coming from. The camera work suits the story without being too imaginative. The audio is clear, although the radio playing in the background is a bit distracting it does represent the barbershop environment. I think it is good for youth and families to experience what life is like in other countries and get a glimpse of their culture, in as simple a thing as going to the barber shop. The unlikely friendship between the old man and the younger barber is charming and realistic. Recommended for teens, age 13 to 18, plus adults and I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 6 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


JACOB'S GAUNTLET

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


URANUS WHISPERS

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
URANUS WHISPERS
FRANK GRESHAM
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 8 TO 12
Topic - Family
Description - Wiss and Krill, two self-absorbed extra-terrestrial buddies, complain vociferously about their Neptunian surroundings. They procure a rocket and attempt an escape to neighboring planet Uranus. Unbeknownst to our encapsulated idiots, their rocket launch is thwarted, and they end up going nowhere. Emerging from their space capsule full of hope, Wiss and Krill convince themselves they have arrived on Uranus and life is better.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I like the comedy in this student-produced animated short! These robots are not happy where they live, so they decide to move to Uranus. They try to fly to Uranus, but their trip isn't successful. They come out of the space ship and believe they are in Uranus and start liking the planet. Little do they know, they are still home.

I like how funny and clueless these robots are. One thinks his coffee is cold and the other robot doesn't like the humidity and heat of their planet. They see Uranus. They want to move there.

The 2D animation is quite well done. Uranus almost looked like 3D. The coffee machine really caught my attention. The background sounds are fitting for this storyline. My favorite part was the ending, because it drives home the film's message.

I compliment the creator of this piece. The animation is well done, even the titles. The two robots catch and hold your attention.

The moral of the story is "it's all in your head. You don't need to change the scenario to feel good. You need to change your attitude to make things better."

It reminds us to have a better attitude towards the situations in our lives.

I give this student film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It would make a fun addition to any KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the comedy in this student-produced animated short! These robots are not happy where they live, so they decide to move to Uranus. They try to fly to Uranus, but their trip isn't successful. They come out of the space ship and believe they are in Uranus and start liking the planet. Little do they know, they are still home.

I like how funny and clueless these robots are. One thinks his coffee is cold and the other robot doesn't like the humidity and heat of their planet. They see Uranus. They want to move there.

The 2D animation is quite well done. Uranus almost looked like 3D. The coffee machine really caught my attention. The background sounds are fitting for this storyline. My favorite part was the ending, because it drives home the film's message.

I compliment the creator of this piece. The animation is well done, even the titles. The two robots catch and hold your attention.

The moral of the story is "it's all in your head. You don't need to change the scenario to feel good. You need to change your attitude to make things better."

It reminds us to have a better attitude towards the situations in our lives.

I give this student film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It would make a fun addition to any KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 4 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


FAST DRAW FUN FOR KIDS WITH SKETCHBOOK GALLERY

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
FAST DRAW FUN FOR KIDS WITH SKETCHBOOK GALLERY
BILL DOUGAL
Series: INDIE FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Laugh and learn as Bill Dougal turns one thing into another. Copy his drawing tricks, then create your own. This presentation includes easel drawing, humor, songs, and two-sided props. Core learning standards are addressed regarding geometry art. An additional video sketchbook shows dozens of ideas for kids to try.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a wonderful show that not only entertains but offers kids opportunities to learn how to draw in a simple, noon-threatening way. I wish I would have seen this as a child. Bill Dougal is as charming as can be in his black beret and self-confident way he acts on camera and in front of a youth audience. The kids in the audience are also easy to relate to. The background music perfectly suits the show. I give this charming show 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals. It would be a great way to get kids interacting, by handing out paper and something to draw with. I recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

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


BECOMING LANA LIU

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
BECOMING LANA LIU
DAVID J SCHROEDER
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Lana Liu, disguised as a boy, enters a Chinese martial arts academy, only to be discovered. She fights to support her grandmother, and begin her journey to the home of her father, the USA.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a short screenplay about a teenage girl who, as Shi Fu says, "will go far." I really enjoyed the characters and the dialogue is engaging and believable. It is most suited for teenagers and young adults. It is entertaining and it teaches an important lesson. I give it 3.5 out of 5 points and look forward to seeing even more about Lana Liu. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

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


RUPERT BECOMES

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
RUPERT BECOMES
DAVID J SCHROEDER
Series: SCREENPLAY, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - A pink Irish ogre, RUBERT, discovers his origin and creators in an animation studio.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Rubert is a pink ogre who sports a bowler hat and dances through the forest. Although he seems a bit dazed and confused, he learns a lesson about existentialism. I found the characters quite likable, although I admit my prejudice to being a big butterfly fan. I recommend this for teenagers and college students as it would be a great introduction to learning about free will and this philosophy concept. I think it would be best shown in a classroom setting but that may just be the teacher in me. I found this original and engaging and rank it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

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


GROWN BOY

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
GROWN BOY
TYLER KNUTT
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 12 - 18
Topic - Family
Description - Robert must open up to his young son about the truth behind his divorce, and the man he really is.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This short narrative film tackles a subject that is sorely in need to addressing within the LGBTQ community. That is of explaining a non-heterosexual lifestyle to your child. For those who grew up in the "Dick & Jane" world, explaining that there are different ways to have adult relationships outside of the traditional "mom and dad" role models, this film offers a short introduction to the topic.

The one issue I have with the film is that the audio level is too low and I had a difficult time hearing the dialogue, especially when they are whispering. I hope the filmmaker can provide a copy with better audio so that it plays better in exposition.

Other than that, it is very well produced with excellent video quality that will project well onto the big screen. The actors all perform quite well. The little boy is particularly charming, but also the two men perform equally well in their roles.

I recommend this for KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, especially those with a LGBTQ focus. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

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


SOMETHING ELSE, THE

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
SOMETHING ELSE, THE
THOMAS BABBITT
Series: SHORT, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - Lively, action-packed, sequel to 2016's "The Something," which was written by mother Natalie Babbitt (Tuck Everlasting). The new story, written, drawn, edited, animated, scored and voiced by Tom Babbitt, revises the original mother and son characters - as the son (Mylo) tries to wrestle with yet another of life's challenging little questions... This time, it's, "Who am I?"
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Oh, I was so looking forward to watching this as I have seen Tom Babbitt's other film, The Something. I love his sense of style and wit. This animation of this is quite lovely; the characters are charming and have such human qualities. Poor little Milo has quite the identity crisis, which we see played out in this sweet short film. And, the resolution at the end is quite satisfying. I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It is a sure hit for family friendly programming. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 13 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT, THE: SEASON 3, VOLUME 2

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT, THE: SEASON 3, VOLUME 2
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-10
Topic - Family
Description - Enjoy the second volume of the third season of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! The award-winning television show follows the adventures of 6-year-old best friends, Sally and Nick, as they're whisked off on amazing voyages of scientific discovery with The Cat in the Hat. Thanks to the Thinga-ma-jigger and our friends, exploring has never been more exciting! In this volume set, kids will learn about their five senses, what it's like to walk on clouds, why keeping it simple is sometimes the best solution, how to make things more aerodynamic, and much more!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That just never gets old! I assumed that by Season 3, Volume 2 it may seem a bit unoriginal, but I was pleasantly surprised! This series has 20 fun-filled and educational episodes that will delight young children ages 3 through 7 years old. It teaches children about their five senses and many other things such as how water freezes and turns to snow or ice, and cause and effect. Martin Short as the voice of the Cat in the Hat is simply superb! The characters are as engaging as always and my favorite characters (after Cat in the Hat) are Thing 1 and Thing 2. I also really like the catchy Go, Go Go On an Adventure song. The animation is charmingly engaging. I give this 5 stars out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Cat in The Hat sure does know a lot about that. I absolutely love The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2. It has such cute and adorable characters and really vibrant animation.

The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2 is about two best friends named Sally and Nick going on exciting adventures with the Cat in The Hat, Fish and, of course, Thing 1 and Thing 2. There are 20 episodes covering nearly four hours and include Curious Minds, Bubble Trouble, Batteries Not Included and Cause and Effect.

There are so many things to learn in The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2, like walking on clouds, staying balanced, being creative and more! All of the made-up words are so imaginative, like thingamajiger, jigamawhizzer, pedalmadoodle and dipsey-doodler. Martin Short has the perfect voice to play The Cat. My favorite episode is Enough is Enough because it shows how to be a helpful friend.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including teaching kids to be curious, the value of friendship, and that learning is fun. The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That! Season 3, Volume 2 has no bad language and treats everyone appropriately.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 8 and adults might also enjoy watching this with their kids. This DVD is currently available so look for it. By Katherine Schell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Let's go, go, go on an adventure with The Cat in the Hat and friends! Season 3, Volume 2 DVD which includes 20 episodes and almost 4 hours of learning and entertainment. I love The Cat in the Hat, because he always makes me laugh with his weird made-up jokes and words. He also tries to fix things, but always ends up ruining things and creating more problems.

This series focuses on scientific discovery and kids have so much fun watching the shows that they forget they are really learning a great deal about the world around us. Stories include: Snow Difference, Bubble Trouble, Good Vibrations and Curious Minds, which reflect the messages of the series. My favorite episode is All Sorts of Things, which teaches that there are different ways to sort and categorize the things that belong to Nick, Sally and The Cat in the Hat.

The Cat in the Hat Season 3, Volume 2 has many great actors and stars the one and only Martin Short who plays the role of the Cat, Alexa Torrington who voices Sally and Jacob Ewaniuk who plays the role of Nick. The animation, as always, are wacky and colorful under the guidance of Art Director Kay Pluto and I especially enjoyed the scenes in Bubble Trouble. The original theme song by David Schweitzer is catchy and memorable. You may watch this in both English and Spanish.

The message of this DVD is about problem solving in different ways and it promotes creativity and curious minds. I rate this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 4 to 10. It is available now, so look for it. By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 220 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


YO-KAI WATCH: SEASON 1, VOLUME 2

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
YO-KAI WATCH: SEASON 1, VOLUME 2
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Nate is a just a regular boy struggling to be above average at school. One day when he receives the Yo-kai Watch, he gets the chance to see and communicate with these mischievous Yo-kai. With the Yo-kai Watch on his wrist, Nate starts to form friendships with them and learn of the things that make life so complicated. There's just one problem... they're everywhere and they love to cause mischief!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Yo-kai are invisible spirit-like entities that take many forms and are liable for your daily troubles. Nathan Adams (Nate), a normal boy, receives the Yo-kai watch and with it, is able to see the Yo-kai. These mischievous entities show up unexpectedly and you never know what is going to happen.

This series has good production quality and the story lines flow well. It captures the audience's attention with catchy music, bright colors and true-to-life adventures mixed with imaginative themes. The series highlights the ability to problem-solve as Nate and his Yo-kai have to discover a way out of silly and chaotic situations. Some of the jokes are more grown up and the story lines are more suited for more mature kids. For example, the Yo-kai talk about being hot, as in attractive. An older child would enjoy this series due to its catchy theme songs and familiar story lines.

The story-lines flow well, are easy to follow and draw you in. When Nate is overcome by handsomeness, his classmates respond as normal teenagers would and tell him that he is creeping them out. The material is accurate and is suitable for its target audience. The series uses vocabulary suitable for teens with words such as narcissist and sketchy.

The DVD cover design is appealing, showcasing the main characters and listing several of the episodes. The series is high in entertainment value and invites the viewer to question, probe and problem-solve. For example, in The Legend of Dandoodle, Nate is overcome by handsomeness and his Yo-kai must find a way to help.

The message is to be careful what you wish for. Although the Yo-kai Watch allows Nate to see the Yo-kai, once they are in his life, things became chaotic.

Yo-Kai Watch Season 1, volume 2 offers 290 minutes of fantastical adventure. Each episode is 20 to 22 minutes of non-stop0 action. The menu allows you to play all episodes or watch them individually. I recommend this DVD for ages 12 to 18 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Jennifer V., KIDS FIRST! Reviewer

While Yo-kai Watch: Season 1, Volume 2 has an appealing lead character and is full of quirky and imaginative creatures. However, the stakes are rarely higher than intense embarrassment, a bad day, or a failed assignment. The show does offer examples of kindness and consideration of others, particularly when dealing with clashing personalities, and there are legitimate examples of love shown, particularly for those closest to young people such as their parents, siblings, and friends. While the story-telling lacks depth, the episodes are entertaining and are a safe bet for keeping kids entertained. I found this collection of stories more interesting for its quirkiness than for spectacular storytelling.

The episodes on this DVD follows Nate, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary gift - a watch which allows him to see Yo-kai. Yo-kai are mischievous spirits who spend their time making trouble and getting mixed up in people's business. With the help of couple Yo-kai friends, Nate balances his ordinary life of home and school, with his responsibility to handle the problems the Yo-kai make.

The episodes tend to jump around a lot, making the story-telling somewhat choppy. The stakes in the stories tend to be somewhat inconsequential, and Yo-kai are never portrayed as much of a serious threat. The main character Nate is the same age as the target audience, making him and his struggles relatable. There are a lot of exotic and quirky creatures in every episode, many of them with kid-like personalities themselves. Also, there is plenty of messing around and slap-stick humor that will appear to the target age.

The whole concept of Yo-kai is, of course, fictional. The prison in the show is stated to be Alcatraz, but the city the show is set in bares little resemblance to San Francisco. Since the show is not designed to be educational, this is not a major concern.

There are plenty of stunts in the episodes that would not be safe for kids to imitate. Fortunately, the Yo-kai Whisper comes states at the beginning of each episode that replicating these stunts is ill-advised. That's certainly a positive thing. At one point, a character uses a disguise to get a girl to fall in love with him, not because he cares about her in any way, but because he wants her heart. However, there is another scene where a character willingly throws himself in front of a bus to save a girl he cares about.

The animation style is tidy and typical of the anime genre. Since the show's English voice actors' voices are dubbed over the original Japanese voices, people's lines don't always match up with how their mouths move. The DVD's menu allows for chapter selection and names all the mini-sections in each episode.

This show could be beneficial socially, showing kids how to deal with unfortunate circumstances and clashing personalities. One concern I have is what this show teaches about death and what happens after people die. Parents would be advised to discuss this topic with their children after watching the show.

Yo-kai Watch promotes the premise that the unlucky, unfortunate things that happen to us aren't really our fault, but rather that of mischievous creatures who may be causing us problems. This is an interesting message, although it may encourage kids to not take responsibility for the problems they create. On the positive side, the show portrays a hero who, rather than getting mad or resigning himself to problems, tries to help and make things right. It's fun to watch and kids will enjoy it. I recommend it for ages 5 to 10.

Reviewed by Elizabeth R., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this DVD because this animation kind of looks like Pokemon. This DVD is a combination of anime cartoons and Pokemon like characters, except that a watch is used instead of the red, white and black ball. And instead of Pokemon, the creatures (or spirits in this case) are named Yo-kais.

The Yo-kai Watch DVD includes two disks of Season 1, Volume 2, episodes. Each disk is approximately 145 minutes long, for a total of 290 minutes. That's a lot of cartoons! Each disk has a variety of different episodes, that are not necessarily in order. For example, disk 1 has episodes 3, 4, 5, 6, 2, 3 and 4, which was a little confusing to me.

The storyline on this DVD is about a kid named Nate, who is an average boy that struggles to be popular at school. His parents are somewhat fun, but to him they are also rather weird. He has a special watch with different Yo-Kai's, which are invisible spirit-like entities responsible for annoying situations that make Nate's life to not be the same. One particular Yo-kai is his best friend. His name is Whisper and he teaches Nate about all the different types of Yo-kai and what they are capable of doing.

The theme song is catchy and appropriate for this show. The animation is very neat; the colors are bright and the background is colorful and well drawn. The episodes are kind of confusing because they don't follow a sequence. It's a mix of different situations. There are also two other story lines. One is about the great (Dog) escape, the other is about two Yo-Kai brothers in the city trying to learn how to live in the city.

My favorite episode of all is Spring Break Present. This episode is about a package that Whispers gives Nate as a Spring Break present. Inside the package is a card for Nate to use as a Yo-Kai repellent, so he can take a break from all the trouble that these spirits are causing him. The whole episode is really funny; that's why it's my favorite.

I give this DVD 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 15. The Yo-Kai Watch DVD is available now. If you are an anime fan, you might really enjoy this DVD, so look for it!
Runtime: 290 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD
      Buy Here (Amazon.com)


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
TEI TEI
MARK LESCHINSKY
Series: STUDENT SHORT, AGES 6-15
Topic - Family
Description - A heartwarming story about an unusual friendship of two children living in different countries in different time periods. An 11-year-old boy named Johnny, a talented young chess player has found his best friend Dashenka, a 10-year-old Russian girl living with her pet rabbit in 1963. Both children are dreaming about flying to space. Johnny wants to go back in time to meet Dashenka.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I am such a fan of student films, especially those that show true insight and thoughtfulness, like this one does. 13-year-old Mark Leschinsky is to be commended for creating an interesting story line and executing it in a remarkably good production. Yes, there are some continuity issues such as there was no priority mail in 1963 and the types of devices plugged into the electric outlet at the girl's home didn't exist at that time. But, that's something for studios to worry about. What I love is the storyline, the acting which is pretty believable, the use of black and white for the 1963 scenes and I love Mark's personal statement at the end. Kudos to you my friend. Definitely give this 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. Reviewed by Julie S. KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What an interesting plot! I love the idea of a soul mate who is trapped in a different place and time. It adds both the conflict and the fascinating sci-fi theme. This film is about a boy seeking his Tei or soul mate. The only problem is that his Tei lives in another place in time. Despite the distance, they share a love of space and science. What I like about the storyline is that it features two completely different locations and eras, as well as some thought provoking scientific ideas and history. The bunny shots are a unique and interesting way to transition between scenes. Also, the director use photography to differentiate the time eras. The current time scenes are in color and the scenes from the past are in black and white. I love how specific the costumes are to the time periods. I especially love the little girl's dress. The sets and locations are very simple, but reflect the time periods well. I love the vintage Russian space program footage. It lends an historical authenticity to the film. It is great that the Russian girl speaks Russian. One of the things I really like about the film is that it was written by someone so young. The goal of this film is to inspire and it certainly does so. The message is: if you are a dreamer, always stay true to yourself, and you will somehow find your Tei. This film made me want to learn where the word Tei comes from. It also made me curious about Russian space travel and time travel. I especially love when the boy is travelling through time. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to18, plus adults. Reviewed by Elle C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Runtime: 17 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


OUT OF THIS WORLD

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
OUT OF THIS WORLD
ANTONIO SOUTO FRAGUAS
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-10
Topic - Family
Description - A little alien travels to earth in a rescue mission. This film has been made as part of the Spanish Film Program, an initiative for the kids to learn a second language through the process of making a movie. Language in Spanish and English.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I believe young people and families should watch this film because is very educational regarding the environment and multi-cultural issues. This short student-produced film is about an alien and her pet that come to Earth to look for an element to save her planet. She makes friends in the process and gives them powers before she returns to her planet.

I like the comedy in this film! The kids are really funny; the story is very interesting and sweet at the same time. I like that there are different cultures and races depicted and I like how the main characters accept and bond with the alien. In their eyes, nobody is different. I also like that the dialogue is in both Spanish and English.

One of the scenes that impressed me is when the alien is watching TV and there is a tentacle commercial. That is too funny. I love the alien's favorite show, which shows a bunch of children of various races, including a "little person" kid. I like that this film has such a variety of kids in the cast. The costumes are very original and suit the story line. The alien's makeup is definitely unique. You need to keep in mind that this film was produced as part of the Spanish Film Club at Tyler Elementary School in Washington DC. It is not a professional production and yet, in many ways, I love it more than some professional productions. I love that the majority of the scenes are shot in the school. It makes the film look like a popular TV show. The student actors are quite delightful and completely believable. The casting is quite wonderful. The kids' dialogue is very funny and some of them are very dramatic.

The background music is appealing, especially the ending song. The lyrics are touching and appropriate. The sound effects are pretty cool too. The visual effects work well. I like how the alien's eyes turn purple and I like the alien's tentacles. The pet, Fluffy, is rather ugly cute.

I believe this short film could be a kids TV show or a feature movie. The story line is interesting and educational. The message is about accepting people of all kinds, helping and being kind to each other. It reminded me to accept people who are different than me and to be kind and helpful. My favorite part of this film is the ending, but I can't tell you what that is or I would spoil it for you.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5-10, as well as adults. Reviewed by Ethan P. and Julie S.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I believe young people and families should watch this film because is very educational regarding the environment and multi-cultural issues. This short student-produced film is about an alien and her pet that come to Earth to look for an element to save her planet. She makes friends in the process and gives them powers before she returns to her planet.

I like the comedy in this film! The kids are really funny; the story is very interesting and sweet at the same time. I like that there are different cultures and races depicted and I like how the main characters accept and bond with the alien. In their eyes, nobody is different. I also like that the dialogue is in both Spanish and English.

One of the scenes that impressed me is when the alien is watching TV and there is a tentacle commercial. That is too funny. I love the alien's favorite show, which shows a bunch of children of various races, including a "little person" kid. I like that this film has such a variety of kids in the cast. The costumes are very original and suit the story line. The alien's makeup is definitely unique. You need to keep in mind that this film was produced as part of the Spanish Film Club at Tyler Elementary School in Washington DC. It is not a professional production and yet, in many ways, I love it more than some professional productions. I love that the majority of the scenes are shot in the school. It makes the film look like a popular TV show. The student actors are quite delightful and completely believable. The casting is quite wonderful. The kids' dialogue is very funny and some of them are very dramatic.

The background music is appealing, especially the ending song. The lyrics are touching and appropriate. The sound effects are pretty cool too. The visual effects work well. I like how the alien's eyes turn purple and I like the alien's tentacles. The pet, Fluffy, is rather ugly cute.

I believe this short film could be a kids TV show or a feature movie. The story line is interesting and educational. The message is about accepting people of all kinds, helping and being kind to each other. It reminded me to accept people who are different than me and to be kind and helpful. My favorite part of this film is the ending, but I can't tell you what that is or I would spoil it for you.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5-10, as well as adults. Reviewed by Ethan P. and Julie S.
Runtime: 38 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
CERULIA
MEXICAN FILM INSTITUTE
Series: FOREIGN SHORT, AGES 12-18
Topic - Family
Description - Cerulia comes back home to bid her final farewell, but her childhood memories and grandparents presence would not let her go. In Spanish with English Sub-titles. From Mexico. Directed by Sofia Carrillo.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is definitely something that I would only recommend to older teens as younger children would not begin to understand it. It is very well executed with stunning animation and unusual characters. The storyline is rather spooky and the old house hides many secrets. The writer/director Sofia Carrillo is extraordinarily talented. I would love to see more of her work. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 13 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
KAZUMI RACECAR PIG
DAVID MCBRIDE
Series: INDIE SHORT, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - Little Kazumi is afraid of anything different than what he is used to in his Pig culture. One day, Kazumi finds himself in a world of different when he gets stranded on an alien planet. He will need to face these new things if he wants to get back home. Kazumi may even find out that different can be great and make a friend or two along the way.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Oh my, this completely exemplifies what KIDS FIRST! looks for in programming for young children. The theme about embracing differences is right on target and so needed today. The animation is well done, the background music charming. The narration is in rhyming prose which is fun and catchy. I love this in everyday. It truly entertains and inspires as it educates children to not be afraid of things that are different from what they know and are accustomed to. Beautiful in every way. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, although older kids and adults would enjoy it as well. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 9 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


DAM WALL

This title is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
DAM WALL
VENTURA COUNTY NEWS
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 6-18
Topic - Family
Description - Dharan is a story of friendship between a six-year-old urban girl and an eight-year-old rural boy. Inquisitive Charcha travels to a village near Satara in western Maharashtra with her father on his official tour. Her father is a water resources officer who has arrived to inspect a water dam site. They settle in a circuit house. In the hour of load shading at night Charcha walks out of her room in the search of her father - wearing a white nightdress, holding a candle in her hand. She bumps into Panya, a shy rural boy who is a nephew of the caretakers at circuit house. He confuses her for an evil spirit and runs away in fear leaving Charcha mind boggled. Although Panya realizes, she is no ghost by their second encounter, the running away continues. It adds to Charcha's loneliness who's already unable to function without her mother. She breaks down. Panya realizes his mistake. In the guilt of his ignorant behavior, Panya apologizes to her and after some gifts, with lots of persistence - They become friends. Their friendship is flowering in the backdrop of protest existent in the village against the proposed dam. When Panya takes Charcha to his home to show around, his mother learns whose daughter she is. The dam being sanctioned by Charcha's father will put Panya's house and property into the water catchment. This leads to an interpersonal conflict as well as social conflict within them. In their own simple world - How do they solve the problem of this magnitude with their compassion and empathy?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a beautiful film in every way. The quality of the cinematography is to be commended as every scene is a picture of its own. The young girl who plays Charcha charms us to no end. I feel as is I could watch her reading the phone book. Her expressions are so charming and yet believable at the same time. Her friend Panya is also delightfully plays as is her father. All the casting is spot on. I commend the filmmaker for her excellent work in making this film. The storyline is so appropriate for today's viewers, with the question of greedy adults trying to take advantage of the simple villagers. But, the film really displays the friendship between the children. I love that the camera angle is even with their eye level, which gives it an authenticity that is rarely seen. Highly recommended for ages 8 to 18. I give this 5 out of 5 stars. You should be aware that the dialogue is in Marathi, with English sub-titles. Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments
Runtime: 94 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: VIDEO


JUNGLE BUNCH, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JUNGLE BUNCH, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
SHOUT! FACTORY
Series: DVD, AGES 3-12
Topic - Family
Description - Get ready for the wildest ride of your life! Maurice may look like a penguin - but he's a real tiger inside! Raised by a tigress, he's the clumsiest Kung-Fu master ever. Along with his friends, The Jungle Bunch, he intends to maintain order and justice in the jungle, as his mother did before him. But when Igor, an evil koala, decides to destroy the jungle once and for all with the help of his army of silly baboons, Maurice faces his biggest challenge yet! Your family will go bananas for The Jungle Bunch, a fresh and funny adventure that's full of laughs and memorable characters!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Jungle Bunch is a movie of champions. "You don't have to wear stripes in order to be strong like a tiger." We follow the lives of different creatures, both heroic and evil, to see how they respond when devastation hits their habitat.

The battle is on between Natasha, the tiger and former leader of the champs. She stands for justice and equality and won't stop protecting and serving her home. Igor, a wicked koala, wants revenge and power. He's relentless when it comes to commanding all the animals of the jungle for his own benefit. They fight for the future of the jungle and who is in control is tested at ultimate lengths. Natacha has rescued and raised Maurice, a strong willed penguin with a tiger spirit. He follows in the footsteps of his mother as he teams with a group of animals to protect and serve.

This film offers positive outlooks when it comes to equality, problem solving and finding hope during hopeless situations. The overall production quality is great. The imagery and sound quality is sure to keep children engaged. Only a couple of scenes go on a little longer than needed. For the most part, the film maintains a positive flow.

Children that love animals, fireworks explosions, monkey butt jokes and rescue missions will absolutely enjoy this. It is recommended that you enjoy the film in its entirety as there is a special bonus clip that is sure to please. There are multiple scenes using freeze framing, bold bright animation and music that fits well with the flow of the film. The film takes place in a jungle, so I loved hearing the birds squawking, animals hooting and other sounds of nature.

The film draws me in for many reasons. It's nice to see how each animal is portrayed by voice over, characteristics and challenges. Igor, the wicked koala, is small but forceful with throwing mushroom grenades that burst into big, bright fireworks exploding across the screen. I appreciate the teamwork between the animals.

There is a menu that offers the film to be played in its entirety or to select certain scenes. A trailer clip, audio, and subtitles are also available to select. The most impactful message I got from the film promotes equality and justice. I really enjoyed that Natasha, the tiger, loved and raised Maurice, a penguin like her own. That equality and unconditional love is passed down to Maurice when he raises his goldfish, Jr. The moral and love for the community doesn't change regardless of the animal or upbringing. This is a positive message for audiences. The message is that you don't have to have stripes in order to have the tiger spirit.

I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars for its wildness, comedy, production and impactful socially-positive messages throughout. I recommend it for ages 5 to 12. The content is appropriate and user friendly with its jokes and imagery. Reviewed by Elle S., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Jungle Bunch is a wacky animated movie with talking animals that doesn't make a lot of sense, but still entertains. Based on a popular French kids' series, this film has lots of action and some laughs.

The Jungle Bunch begins by introducing us to a civilized nation of animals where an evil koala tries to throw mushroom bombs at everyone. The Champs are saviors of the jungle - a tiger, sloth, rhino and porcupine. The tiger raises a penguin as her own, who in turn raises a fish as his own child. Maurice the tiger-penguin joins up with a gorilla and a bat, among others, to save everyone from Igor the koala mastermind.

While the animation isn't quite the level viewers are used to from Disney and Pixar, it's still quite colorful and interesting to watch. The jungle setting is especially well done with convincingly animated tropical plants. The writers probably tried to squeeze too much plot into this film by including the origin story, but I was still able to follow it well enough. My favorite part of the movie is when an exploding mushroom captures the entire Jungle Bunch. In order to get out, they throw a pebble which starts a chain reaction to set them free.

The message of this film is that you should be kind and brave. I don't want to give any spoilers, but there's a sad ending for one character that might be upsetting for little kids. Parents should also know that there's quite a bit of action with explosions and cartoon violence.

I rate this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 5 to 8. Reviewed by Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10.

This is a cute film about a group of animals, called the Jungle Bunch, that protect and watch out for the jungle. They put out forest fires, fight bad guys, save animals and help the community. I really enjoyed the bright colors and scenes from the jungle.

The jungle bunch includes a penguin named Maurice, a gorilla named Miguel, Gilbert the Tarsier, Bat Batricia and a few other odd creatures. In this story, Maurice is the hero and leader of Jungle Bunch. He is a penguin that was raised by a tigress. He struggles with being the leader and trying to live up to the standards of his mother. The characters are well developed and funny. They make lot of contraptions and inventions to help save the jungle, including a butt cream for a bird's bottom, which really had me cracking up.

The villain in the story is the koala Igor. He wants to destroy the jungle, because he feels excluded from the bunch. He wants to take over and become the leader. The Jungle Bunch thinks he is too controlling. He plans to use mushrooms as explosives to blow up the jungle for revenge and payback. The Jungle Bunch must stop him from destroying their homes. Igor has a clock that is a crab as his alarm clock. He hits his crab's claws together to make a tick tock sound. This is a really funny part of the movie.

My favorite part is when they play the song "Eye of the Tiger" when Maurice is feeling down. This helps raise Maurice's spirit to become confident and put his "tiger stripes" back on. It is really cute when the fish and penguin want to be tigers and they paint themselves with stripes.

Maurice is voiced by Philippe Bozo . I like his voice and attitude. It's perfect! The Gorilla is voiced by Pascal Casanova, who also portrays his character quite well. In fact, I'm quite fond of all the voice-over work in this film. I give director David Alaux credit for putting together such a terrific cast.

The moral of the story addresses the unlikely friendships between different species in the jungle who work together as a team and stick with each other during hard times, helping their community save their homes.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 15 as well as adults. It is available on DVD now, so look for it.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-9
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.98
Media: CDROM


BENNETT'S WAR

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BENNETT'S WAR       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
ESX ENTERTAINMENT
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Marshall Bennett (Michael Roark) is a young soldier with the Army Motorcycle Unit who survives an IED explosion in combat overseas, and is medically discharged with a broken back and leg and sent back to the U.S. When he gets home to his family farm, he discovers that his dad, Cal Bennett (Trace Adkins), is behind in the mortgage and may lose the farm. Against all odds, Marshall Bennett pledges to help his family by the only means he knows how, as a motocross racer.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Bennett's War is inspirational and exhilarating with its storytelling. It is buoyed by unique performances and apt cinematography. The movie is a worthwhile watch in theaters at full price.

The film follows Marshall Bennett (Michael Roark), a riding prodigy who rode for the Army Ranger Motorcycle Unit. One accident cost him a broken back and leg. After being medically discharged, he is told that one more accident could mean he may never walk again. When he gets home to his family farm, he discovers that his dad Cal (Trace Adkins) is behind in the mortgage and may lose the farm. All odds in his way, Bennett pledges to help his family by doing the one thing he does best, get back on his bike and ride.

Michael Roark, as Marshall, triumphantly portrays the hero. His love for bikes and service for the military add inspirational layers for all to follow. His honor to help his dad is also extremely touching. Roark well rounds all these angles with nuance. Trace Adkins, as Cal, soars with his deep, gravelly voice adding character. The scene with Allison Paige who plays Sophie, Marshall's wife, and Cal is my favorite scene in the movie. In this scene, Sophie is worried about Marshall participating in motor cross racing. Cal's speech of his wife, who was a fighter pilot, is full of emotion and stellar acting between the two. Allison Paige also steals the show with a relatable romance and dedication to help Marshall. My favorite character in the movie is Ali Afshar's Cyrus. Afshar is uniquely hilarious, and his back story with Marshall adds an interesting mentor dynamic. Hunter Clowdus and Brando Eaton, as Chris and Kurt Walker, are formidable foes challenging Marshall with their macho appearance and physical prowess.

Alex Ranirevelo directs with fast-paced racing scenes being the main highlight. All the stunts are 100% real, adding the layer of excitement. Nowadays everything is too CGI and, it's good to see old school approaches like this. The flaws are in some rushed character development, especially as Sophie agrees with Marshall's decision to race. Also, some of the special effects during the war scenes are not very impressive. Despite this, they are short and serve to develop Marshall better in the long run.

The message of this film is about never giving up. Marshall moves forward from his injuries to pursue what he loves doing and to pay off bills. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, due to brief war scenes and language. The movie releases in theaters on August 30, 2019, so check it out.

By Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

This inspirational film had everyone on the edge of their seats. The racing is suspenseful; it draws you in. Everything else in between, the hardships and rivalry, is raw. I love how realistic it is.

The story starts follows Marshall Bennett, a soldier in the Army Motorcycle Unit. He has a father, a wife and a newborn son at home. Out in the field, he gets involved in a shootout. As he tries to make a getaway with his injured friend on the back of his motorcycle, an IED explodes. He is fortunate and survives with only a broken back and a broken leg. But one more bad fall and he might never walk again. Back at home, he works at a shop repairing bikes. His family struggles financially and he looks to motorcycle racing, despite the risks.

Michael Roark (Marshall Bennett) and Allison Paige (Sophie Bennett) are incredible actors. The emotions and pain seep right to the audience. In the more cheerful scenes, the satisfaction and gratitude is felt through the screen. Trace Adkins (Cal Bennett) is a beloved country singer and performs really well when acting. All of these great actors coming together make the pain and suffering realistic. It makes you appreciate the sacrifices made by those in the military.

The costumes for the soldiers and racers all look very professional. The music, as well as the absence of music, works with the actors to convey certain moods. The film has an overarching serious mood to it. Marshall Bennett is dead set on winning his races and making a comeback, so there is only one comedic scene.

My favorite scene is the comedic scene with Cyrus (Ali Afshar) and the rivals that tamper with Marshall Bennett's bike. Cyrus walks over to them, knowing what they've done, and decides to pull down one of the guys' pants. He proceeds to punch the guy in the face. It's funny and shocking because Cyrus is a small dude surrounded by lots of macho rivals, yet he still acts very boldly. After Cyrus hits the guy, he turns around to walk away and laughs. He isn't able to walk away and gets beat up right after.

The purpose of this film is to give hope and inspire people to take risks. It's all about going for your dreams and giving everything you've got. Although Marshall Bennett is badly injured and one more fall could disable him forever, he still gets back on his bike.

I give this wonderful film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Even adults will enjoy this. Definitely be sure to check this film out when it comes out in theaters August 30, 2019.

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


PEANUT BUTTER FALCON, THE

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PEANUT BUTTER FALCON, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
Series: FEATURES, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - The Peanut Butter Falcon is an adventure story set in the world of a modern Mark Twain that begins when Zak (22), a young man with Down syndrome, runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler by attending the wrestling school The Salt Water Redneck. Through circumstances beyond their control Tyler (32), a small-time outlaw on the run, becomes Zak's unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor (28), a kind nursing home employee with a story of her own, to join them on their journey.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really enjoyed this movie because it is hilarious and sweet at the same time. It is extremely entertaining to watch and keeps your attention the whole time. This is an award-winning kind of movie!

The Peanut Butter Falcon is about a Down Syndrome, 20-year-old young man named Zak, who has no family and no one to take care of him, so the state is in charge and places him in a nursing home. Zak knows he does not belong there, so he tries to escape several times with no success, until one time he does succeed. When Zak escapes he has one goal in mind and it is to be a professional wrestler. On his way he meets Tyler, a guy with a troubling past who also is running away from his former workers for something that he did wrong at his job. One of Zak's friends and volunteers at the nursing home, Eleanor, is sent from the nursing home to find and bring Zak back.

The cast for this extraordinary film is incredible. There is Shia LaBeouf (Tyler), Dakota Johnson (Eleonor), Bruce Dern (Carl), Thomas Haden (Chris) as The Salt Water Redneck, who is Zak's favorite wrestler in the movie, John Bernthal (Tyler's brother) who we know as Shane from The Walking Dead, rapper Yelawolf (Ratboy) and two famous wrestlers Mick Foley (Jacob the Ref) and Jake Roberts (Sam). Last, but not least, is Zakary Gottsagen who plays himself and has an amazing performance in this movie. A fun fact is that Zak's favorite wrestler, in real life, is Mick Foley who he works with in this film. The music is great and perfect for the storytelling of this film. The song "Running For So Long (House A Home)" by Parker Ainsworh was specially written for this movie.

My favorite scene is when Taylor and Zak are sitting by the edge of their water raft. Zak tells Taylor that he will give him all his birthday wishes because Zak knows all the things Taylor is going through in order for Zak to have his "American Dream" of meeting meet his favorite wrestler.

The moral of this movie is not to underestimate people with disabilities or mental challenges (in this case Down Syndrome), because they are more than capable to pursue any challenge, just like anybody else. They don't see themselves as disabled. They see themselves as normal people who have dreams and goals to accomplish.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. I wish I could give it 10 or more, but 5 stars is the limit. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Even though there is a lot of cussing, the drama of this film overcomes the bad words. The Peanut Butter Falcon opens in theatres August 9, 2019. I can't wait to see how many awards this film gets. Bring a box of tissues because you WILL need them!

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10.

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


OCTONAUTS, THE: SEASON 3

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
OCTONAUTS, THE: SEASON 3       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 3-12
Topic - Family
Description - Animated series based on the books by Vicki Wong and Michael C. Murphy. Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! Join brave Captain Barnacles, daredevil ex-pirate Kwazii, and medic Peso Penguin, along with the other Octonauts as they explore the world's oceans, rescue the creatures who live there and protect their habitats - above and below the waves! Includes: Loggerhead Sea Turtle; Hammerhead Sharks; The Octonauts and the Urchin Invasion; Immortal Jellyfish; Sea Sponge; Red Rock Crabs; The Octonauts and the Lion's Mane Jellyfish; Over Under Adventure (Special); Octonauts and the Mariana Trench Adventure; Sea Skaters; Duck-Billed Platypus; Barracudas; Yeti Crab; Sea Pigs; Pelicans; Humpback Whales; Artificial Reef; Cone Snails; Water Bears; Siphonophore.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Octonauts is a wonderful series for young children and also has appeal for older children. The Octonauts are adventurers who travel around the world along different ecosystems where they are constantly learning. They work together as a team to problem solve as they often get into different situations. They meet new sea creatures on the way and learn about them. The graphics in this cartoon series are simple and very engaging. There are fun songs that the kids can sing and dance along to. Overall The Octonauts: Season 3 is a wonderful DVD I highly recommended to a wide range of children.

The Octonauts series is different from other animated shows because viewers often learn something that they would not typically encounter in a learning environment. The material and characters are very engaging and the graphics are simple. The kids I showed it to are familiar with the series and enjoy watching it on TV. Seeing this DVD a lot of interest and excitement.

The stories follow the adventures the creatures go on. These stories flow well and make sense. For instance, there is one whole adventure on barracudas and the children were able to learn about them. The characters work together as a team solving problems and go on adventures together. The lead character Captain Barnacles and his crew have great camaraderie between them work together well. Sometimes the vocabulary may be slightly advanced for younger children, however that does not stop them from enjoying the characters or series. Also, the music is very catchy and the kids really enjoy the main song "Creature Report." The special feature was too small toys included in the gift set. Younger children found this very exciting.

This show is all about problem solving and working together as a group. The group gets together, goes on adventures, often gets stuck in a situation and then figures out how to get out of it. Along the way they learn a lot about different sea creatures and climates around the world. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 12.

Reviewed by Hanna M., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Octonauts Season 3 DVD Gift Set is a great choice for the preschooler in your life. Not only do you get almost 300 minutes of educational animated adventures on two discs, you also get some awesome toys so you can play along with the Octonauts. Little kids will love this set, and as a bonus, they will learn a lot while they watch and play.

The Octonauts are back for a third season, ready to dive in and learn about creatures in the world's oceans. They also help protect the animals' habitats and rescue sea creatures when they need help. All your favorite characters return, like Captain Barnacles and Peso Penguin. They head out from their home base, the Octopod, to carry out their missions all around the globe. At the end of each episode, they sing a "creature report" song to summarize what they've learned.

You'll learn about some common animals in Season 3, such as pelicans and seals, but also some more unusual creatures like water bears, also known as tardigrades. The Octonauts stick to singing "water bear" though, maybe because it's hard to find a good rhyme for tardigrade! The animation and voice acting is just right to appeal to the target age range and I could definitely see my little cousins watching this over and over.

The message of this series is that you should be curious and bring your own unique skills to work together as a team. Preschoolers will take away not only lots of positive messages but also tons of new information.

I rate this series 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 2 to 5. The Octonauts: Season 3 is available on DVD August 6, 2019. Reviewed by Will C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.

This DVD is so enjoyable! It has the cutest animation and best underwater adventures. If you're a fan of the Octonauts, Season 3 will not disappoint you. It has 23 awesome episodes.

The Octonauts are a group of animals that explore, rescue and protect. They encounter a wide variety of animals, from sea pigs to barracudas. They travel to different parts of the world including the Amazon River and the Mariana Trench. Episodes include, The Water Bears, The Loggerhead Sea Turtles, The Duck-Billed Platypus, The Pelicans and many more. The run time is almost 5 hours, so children will be entertained for a long time.

The cool thing about Octonauts: Season 3 Gift Set is that it not only comes with the DVDs, it also comes with two small toy speeders. My favorite episode is The Harbor Seal because the harbor seal is such a fun character and he really helps out other animals.

There are many positive messages throughout the episodes, including being kind to animals, always try to help and the importance of friendship. Octonauts: Season 3 has no bad language and it has no bad behavior. Everyone treats each other kindly. The only dangerous thing that kids might try to do is swim in the deepest part of the ocean.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8. Adults will also think the DVD is fun and probably learn as much about different animals as their kids will. This DVD is available now, so look for it. By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

"Let's Do This!" The Octonauts is an incredibly fun and engaging show which teaches us about the world's oceans and aquatic life. The Octonauts team rescues sea creatures and protects the ocean and the life within. The marine life that the team encounters are based on real animals and habitats around the world. The Octonauts Season 3 has 23 exciting adventures filled with interesting creatures and underwater fun.

The Octonauts team is made up of eight diverse characters led by Captain Barnacles whose motto is explore, rescue and protect. My favorite episode is The Immortal Jellyfish because I love how he is able to transform from an old jellyfish to a new jellyfish over and over. Who wouldn't want an immortal life or the chance to relive an adventure? Octonauts: Season 3 includes fun episodes such as The Artificial Reef, The Sea Skaters and The Urchin Invasion so come aboard with The Octonauts this season and explore.

The storyline of each episode really brings these adventures to life thanks to the talented team of writers behind this series. In addition, there is a creative team that brings the art and the storylines together to make each episode a learning adventure as well. The message of this series is to explore life and to rescue and protect the world around us and the things in it. As we learn about different creatures and different environments we should be aware of how we interact and impact each other.

I rate this series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7. The DVD releases August 6, 2019 soon so look for it. By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Runtime: 286 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 3-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD


CARNAVAL: SPANISH LEARNING SONGS

KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CARNAVAL: SPANISH LEARNING SONGS
WHISTLEFRITZ LLC
Series: AUDIO CD FOR AGES 5-8
Topic - Family
Description - Embark on a musical celebration with this festive collection of Spanish-learning songs. From calypso, soca, and soukous to New Orleans second line, jazz, and country, this CD's diverse musical styles are a carnaval for the ears. https://www.whistlefritz.com/product/carnaval-spanish-learning-songs/
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a charming CD with great the rhythm and song lyrics. I think the rhythm will appeal to children and the lyrics make it easy to sing along. The colors and design of the presentation of the CD is also attractive with its bright colors, fun design, great images and fonts. The booklet that comes with the CD is easy to read and includes the lyrics of the songs in both, English and Spanish.

I really enjoyed the songs, and love that they include Halloween, which isn't a Spanish festival, but certainly kids in the USA will relate to it. "Carnaval" is particularly fun and promotes the holiday Carnival or Mardi Gras as it's called in the USA.

The menu access is very easy to navigate. You can select specific songs or play them all. The songs are only sung in Spanish, but you can turn to the accompanying booklet to find out what they mean. What I love best is that all the songs are catchy and have great rhythm which make them easy for children to remember them.

I give this CD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8, perhaps older.

Reviewed by Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Juror
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like this CD because the music is very festive and entertaining. I also like that the lyrics are written in Spanish and in English, which makes it very easy to understand what the song is about. The duration of Carnaval is about less than an hour.

This award-winning, language-learning CD includes 14 Spanish children's songs that teach the language with easy and basic Spanish lyrics. The 14 song titles are written in Spanish and in English too. The Hispanic music, such as salsa, let kids sing along and have fun while learning the vocabulary at the same time. The songs are about going to the supermarket, going camping, celebrating Thanksgiving, Halloween, the Fall, a small spider, a frog named Juanita, a fish, a donkey and much more. Whew!

Ileana Perez, an award-winning soprano, is a great singer and really grabs my attention because her voice is very pleasant to listen to. I also like that it is not just her singing all the songs. In some songs a guy named Hector Barez sings with her too. My favorite song is number 12, La Arana Pequenita (The Itsy, Bitsy Spider), because it is the first time I heard this song in Spanish.

I give this CD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 18. Adults can enjoy and learn these Spanish tunes as well.

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

The party has arrived with Carnaval: Spanish Learning Songs! Interested in learning more Spanish vocabulary, then this CD is for you. The upbeat music makes learning fun.

Sing your way through basic conversational dialogue with De donde eres? (Where are you from?) and Como estas? (How are you?) The CD comes with printed lyrics and translations. Plus, the company's website includes useful vocabulary pages. Who knew learning Spanish could be so much fun? What a great way to learn and reinforce vocabulary.

The party continues with other festive songs about holidays and animals, set to various types of music performed by Cuban-American vocalist Ileana Perez and musician / composer Didier Prossaird. The cover artwork is fun and colorful and sets the tone for this party. There is approximately 40 minutes of music with 15 great songs included. Sing along with friends and family to Carnaval and you'll find yourself learning Spanish without even realizing it!

I rate this CD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, perhaps older. The CD is available now so look for it online.

Reviewed by Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Runtime: 37 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 2-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: AUDIO

Buy Here (from WHISTLEFRITZ LLC)


BLINDED BY THE LIGHT

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
NEW LINE CINEMA
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Topic - Family
Description - In 1987, during the austere days of Margaret Thatcher's Britain, a teenager learns to live life, understand his family, and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Blinded by the Light is a very inspirational comedy-drama based on the accounts of real-life writer Sarfraz Manzoor. It is buoyed by excellent performances and a lively script. The movie truly has something for everyone.

The film follows music fanatic and writer Javed (Viveik Kalra), who after discovering the back catalogue of Bruce Springsteen or "the Boss," is inspired by lyrics that feel all too familiar to the aspirational teenager. Wanting to escape his racist hometown and the rules of his traditional Pakistani family, Javed finds himself caught between two worlds and must discover if he is born to run.

Viveik Kalra, as Javed, is phenomenal at making his character relatable and inspiring. Kalra, like Himesh Patel from Yesterday, debuts with charm as well. Javed is hilarious, but also takes the surroundings of Thatcher-era Britain seriously. He is a role model for all. Aaron Phagura, as Rhoops, is also a standout as his character's similar situation to Javed's adds layers to their identity complexes. Hayley Atwell, as Ms. Clay, is an English teacher who inspires Javed to write. I quite enjoyed her inclusion as she fits the role well. Kulvinder Ghir, as Malik, also impresses as Javed's dad. His character can be too stereotypical of ethnic ways, but this feels intentional as it satirizes both his culture and English culture.

Gurinder Chadha directs with a nice blend of comedy and drama. He brings life to Manzoor's memoirs and I never felt any awkward total shifts. Some editing choices also bring great style. But, substance is at the main focus here as Chadha's and Paul Mayeda Berge's script is smartly witty. My favorite scene is Javed's final speech to the school. Kalra's performance is award-worthy and the script boasts great messages in the movie's themes of pursuing dreams. My only flaw is that the second act sometimes drags with a romantic subplot that spins its wheels quickly, despite Nell Williams' impressive performance as Nell.

The message of this film is about pursuing your dream, and also about remembering your family and always staying in touch. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 as some language and racist behavior could be inappropriate for younger audience. The movie releases in theaters on August 16, 2019, so check it out.

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

Blinded by the Light is a very interesting film about a boy wanting to become a writer. He is introduced to a famous American singer and becomes inspired. It is a humorous film, but does touch on serious issues of family as well as cultural and economical struggles.

Viveik Kalra plays his character Javed extremely well. Javed lacks confidence and struggles dealing with his father and his culture. He doesn't feel like he fits in anywhere. You get the feeling he is held back by this. Along the way, people in his life believe in him and encourage him to go for his dreams. His friend introduces him to Bruce Springsteen's music, which inspires him. Then he transforms his look and gains more confidence.

His parents do not support his dream of becoming a writer. The parents are excellent in this movie. His father is played by Kulvinder Ghir and his mother is played by Meera Ganatra. The father is hilarious and thinks that if an American is good at something, then they are Jewish. The whole family is dealing with money problems. I have to mention that his best friend, Matt is played by Dean-Charles Chapman who is fantastic in this role. He deals with his own issues in a different way. They have a true friendship. My favorite part about Matt is his crazy 80s style hair. I love the costumes, music and dancing. It really takes you to another era. The wigs and the old jogging suits that they wear made me laugh! The costumes are bright for the 80s and the Pakistani outfits suit the family. One of the funny parts that I like most is when the car won't start and, instead of the dad pushing the car, he makes the entire family push it. Another funny part is when Javed celebrates his birthday and, to treat him like an adult, he is given pants as his gift. The movie exposes you to more serious matters of racism and what other cultures go through. It has very good timing and is a little quirky which I like.

The director Gurinder Chadha really delivers with this film. His timing and costumes are perfect. I didn't really know who Bruce Springsteen was before, but I really like his music now. Thanks to Blinded by the Light, I am now a fan of this legendary musician.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. It opens in theaters August 16, 2019. Look for it and give it a chance.

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

Everyone get ready for a new adventure about a man and his relationship with a great artist who we all know as Bruce Springsteen.

My favorite character is Javed (Viveik Kalra), because he is someone that many people can relate to. He is a person dealing with many issues with his family, because they are very religious people who think that writing poems is wrong and that listening to nontraditional music is unheard of. On top of that, he is trying his best to become his own person and, with everyone on his back, it can be a bit hard for a young college student to do that.

I love how the people who made this film brought back a bit of the past by making it take place in the 1980s. That makes it even more fun to watch, because we get to see things such as huge phones record players, cassette tapes and so much more. This makes it feel more realistic and fun to watch.

The music is so good. I love how it all comes together to make a movie that sounds and looks so incredible. At times it not only looks like a film, but also a music video, all in one. This is a masterpiece in my mind and I greatly appreciate it.

I can't wait to get the soundtrack of this film. The music is fun and friendly and has a deep meaning, which is something I admire. All the music is by Bruce Springsteen and now that I have heard some of his greatest hits I love him and his artwork. Can't wait to get the soundtrack of this movie.

This one-of-a-kind true story is very inspirational as well as fun and lighthearted. It has a lot of meaning with its morals and values about following your dreams no matter what anyone tells you, have fun with your friends and family while you still can, and it's okay to grow apart from your family and their values.

I recommend Blinded by the Light for ages 13 to 18. I think that adults will like this film as well even if they aren't Bruce Springsteen fans. I give Blinded by the Light 5 out of 5 stars. Make sure to look for Blinded by the Light at a theater near you when it opens August 16, 2019

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
COLUMBIA PICTURES
Series: FEATURE, AGE 5-18
Topic - Family
Description - The flightless birds and scheming green pigs take their feud to the next level.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Angry Birds Movie 2 is an amazing sequel about a large group of birds who live on an island called Bird Island. These birds are always trying to fight their rivals, the pigs, who live on an opposite island called Pig Island. The first movie Angry Birds, was about the how rivalry between the islands first began. In this movie, while the two islands are still at war, a third island of eagles decide to join in, but in a more destructive fashion. The two enemy islands now must team up to stop the eagles from destroying them both.

In this film there is a subplot about three cute hatchlings who accidently lose some eggs while playing around. Throughout the movie it shows them trying their best to bring them back home safely before their parents realize what they have done.

This movie is based on a popular game by Rovio Entertainment called "Angry Birds". In the game, you play as the birds use a giant slingshot to take back eggs from the pigs. The slingshot and other items from the game are replicated in the movie in some appealing animation.

Throughout out the movie there are a lot of different references to old TV shows and movies. For example, the way Red builds his team is similar to the character introductions in Ocean's 11. I found this cool and funny.

My favorite scene in this movie is when the three hatchlings are trying to get the eggs off a cloud. They miss it and keep going up higher and higher. As they leave the planet and enter space, the song "Major Tom" by David Bowie starts playing. This scene is hilarious because the animated characters are put in front of a realistic space picture and they look completely out of place. My favorite character in this film is Chuck. I like him because he is very fast and almost instantly gets things done. Chuck is also very funny because he is very possessive about his sister. The message of this movie is that sometimes you need to work with your enemies to win.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 18 because there are a bunch of different jokes that will appeal to kids and adults. I think adults will enjoy watching this with their kids. This film opens in theaters August 17, 2019.

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

The Angry Birds Movie 2 is a fast-paced slapstick comedy that fans of the first movie may enjoy. I liked seeing all the same characters again, plus a few new ones that were very funny. You won't find the old angry Red in this movie, though. Now he's a hero and everyone loves him. Personally, I prefer the Red of the first film, with his explosive outbursts.

In the first Angry Birds movie, the birds and pigs were at war. In The Angry Birds Movie 2, they have to team up against a common threat. As the movie begins, the pigs and birds are still happily fighting each other, but then a mysterious frozen ice ball lands on Pig Island. King Leonard Mudbeard realizes he can't fight this himself and calls a truce with the birds. Together, they find out that a very angry bird named Zeta is trying to destroy their islands to create her own paradise. The rest of the movie involves their plan to sneak onto Zeta's Island and crush her island-destroying machine.

There are a lot of funny sequences where the voice actors really excel, including a subplot where baby birds rescue a group of eggs. The animation is really well done - it brings the characters to life as well as creates a beautiful world of islands.

The message of this film is that teamwork is always better than fighting. Parents should know that there's some mildly crude humor, like butt jokes. A bathroom scene with potty humor got the most laughs at the screening I attended.

I rate this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 7 to 12. Angry Birds 2 opens in theaters everywhere August 13, 2019.

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

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


ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, THE

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, THE       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Topic - Family
Description - Dog lovers believe their canine family members understand language, comprehend events, have opinions, exude loyalty. In "The Art of Racing In The Rain", wise old dog Enzo Swift shares thoughts about the life experiences which prepared him to protect his family in times of greatest need.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth reviews
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Art of Racing in the Rain, brings the beloved novel to life but ultimately lacks memorability. The changes made in the movie make it a common story that is too well known. However, the losses in the screenplay are covered by clever character development and the lovable dog, Enzo.

The story follows the golden retriever Enzo (Kevin Costner) and his adventures alongside his owner Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia). They walk through life together and in doing so, Enzo learns the secrets of living happily.

Milo Ventimiglia has positives but also some negatives when taking on the role of Denny. In morose scenes, he fails to fully express the pains of his character while in loving and joyful scenes, he excels. However, from the beginning, Ventimiglia plays a large role in developing an unspoken apprehension that builds between Denny and his father-in-law, Maxwell (Martin Donovan). Donovan's one look aroused tension in me. Whenever the two characters interact, I felt uneasy as if something wrong was bound to occur. This development of the characters is one of my favorite parts. Everything that happens is intentional so that the audience is aware of what each character is capable of doing.

The movie mostly lives up to the expectations that the novel sets with a few weaknesses to note. Enzo's narration is kept to a minimum as the entire movie could not be narrated by the dog. So to make up the loss, the relationships and development of Denny and his family are heightened. Music and cinematography techniques are incorporated to help bolster Enzo's emotions and are highly effective tools. In several scenes, the music is lyrical, providing insight into what Enzo might wish to say. Similarly, the cinematography provides insight with a first person view from Enzo. It often switches to this perspective when there are emotions by other characters only Enzo can see. Thus it made me feel as if I was Enzo, observing intimate moments and experiencing his emotions. These techniques work well but with Enzo's role slightly lessened, the story weakens and does become more mundane and predictable.

The message is "that which we manifest is before us," or we make our own destiny. I give The Art of Racing in the Rain, 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18. Be sure to check it out when it opens in theatres August 9, 2019. By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

The Art Of Racing In The Rain is a spectacular movie. It takes on many emotions: happy, sad, thrilling, scared, then feeling all those emotions again. The movie is based on the best-selling novel by Garth Stein.

The Art Of Racing In The Rain is about a dog named Enzo (Kevin Costner, voice) who knows how to race cars really well. The dog studies the track and is great at helping - the best in fact. Enzo's owner Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia) is trying to make it big as a race car driver and providing for his family. Enzo helps his owner Denny with knowing the track and also with navigating things in life. The film follows Denny and the people he loves - his wife, Eve (Amanda Seyfried), their young daughter Zoe (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), and his best friend, Enzo.

The production values for this film are high. The cars are super dynamic and fast. Director Simon Curtis brings the book to life in an appealing way and make you feel like you are at the race track. All the cast deliver wonderful performances. My favorite part of The Art Of Racing In The Rain is when Denny gets to see his daughter again, and wins quality time with her. This is dynamic. My least favorite part is when the dad can't be at the house for a significant life event, which made me sad. I wish he could be there for comfort.

The message of this film is that when you get torn apart, you have to get back up.

I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adults might like this too. It opens in theaters nationwide on August 9, 2019 so look for it.

By Brock T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

The Art Of Racing In The Rain is a fantastic movie. Some scenes are very emotionally heavy and I don't believe this film is suitable for young kids. There are parts that a younger child simply will not understand. I know because I am ten years old. Plus, there are scenes that are hard to watch and a few that are just plain scary. I definitely would not let my 8-year-old brother watch this movie.

The storyline is about a dog, Enzo (Kevin Costner, voice) who belongs to a race car driver named Denny (Milo Venimiglia). As Denny starts to have a family, Enzo is not pleased to have other people in the apartment. But as time goes on and the family gets bigger, Enzo warms up to everyone.

The casting in this movie is amazing! Milo Venimiglia is known for his role as Peter Petrelli in the show Heroes. Denny's girlfriend Eve is played by Amanda Seyfried, known for her work as Sophie in Mamma Mia Here We Go Again. I love Kevin Costner's voice as Enzo. He sounds just like what I think Enzo would sound if he could actually speak.

The production values are quite high here. One example is shown in the dog's training, which was done by Bonnie Judo. The dog almost seems part human. He stands on his back legs, barks like he is speaking and more! The casting is very well done as well. I was particularly impressed by the actresses who play the younger and older versions of Denny's daughter.

There are a lot of funny parts in this film, but there are just as many sad parts. I laughed, cried, gasped and had so much different emotions throughout the film. You might want to bring your tissues. And, oddly enough, after you see this film, you will never feel the same way about Zebras again. There are also a lot of surprising parts too, so be ready.

I give The Art Of Racing In The Rain 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, as well as adults. It opens in theaters August 9, 2019 so look for it.

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

The Art of Racing in the Rain has happy moments, sad moments, funny ones and more. It has it all! At first, I didn't know what to expect because, what does a dog have to do with racing? Well, there's actually a lot more to the story than you would expect, and I absolutely fell in love with this film and all its characters.

This movie is about a dog who is adopted by a race car driver, Denny. Denny's dog, Enzo, slowly learns about the human life, and he and Denny create a powerful bond. Enzo loves Denny no matter what, and he develops a love for car races and TV, too. But when Denny's girlfriend Eve comes along, Enzo becomes a bit jealous. Denny and Eve get married and have a baby girl named Zoe. Later on, Denny has to face the obstacles of life as he does on the track. While Denny is very good at racing in the rain, he faces the unpredictable in life.

Enzo feels more human than dog, thanks to the beautiful voice narrating the story (Kevin Costner) from the dog's point of view. This film makes me emotional, but I think that's good because I definitely feel a connection when watching The Art of Racing in the Rain. I also think that at one point in the story there might be too much going on at the same time. Even though that makes the movie interesting, it could have all happened at a slower pace.

I love the acting in the film, especially Enzo's voice narration, and feel it is all believable. And I have a completely different perspective of my dog now, and wonder what she is thinking because Enzo has very interesting thoughts of the human world. I enjoy the comedy - it's a nice balance to what happens in the story. Milo Ventimiglia is great as Denny, and you care about him throughout the whole film. Amanda Seyfried plays Eve, Denny's wife, and her character--although she doesn't love dogs at first--experiences with her new four-legged friend one of the most important connections in her existence.

The message of this film is that we are all in control of our own lives, and dogs are the best friends that can join us in the ride of life.

I give The Art of Racing in the Rain 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18 and adults as well. There are parts in this film that little kids would not understand and moments that wouldn't be very appropriate for younger viewers. The Art of Racing in the Rain releases in theatres August 9, 2019.

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

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


NEW ADVENTURES OF GUMBY, THE: 1980S VOLUME 2

KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NEW ADVENTURES OF GUMBY, THE: 1980S VOLUME 2       Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
N CIRCLE ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 5-12
Topic - Family
Description - The New Adventures of Gumby: The 1980s Series Volume 2. Welcome back Gumby and Pokey in this wild, wacky and inventive collection of 80 s episodes! Featuring 49 clay-animated episodes, fully re-mastered 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 DVD set is a collection of 49 re-mastered episodes, 7 to 9 minutes each, totaling 250 minutes of lively entertainment! The menu offers the option to play all the episodes or watch them individually and includes extra features such as: Tribute to Art Clokey, Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery and a music video. In this series Gumby, his family and friends are animated clay figures that have many adventures comprised of magic, science, music and more. In one episode, "Young Granny", Gumby's grandmother mistakenly becomes a seven-year-old girl and runs around playing with her granddaughter's toys. After she is returned to her rightful age, everyone, including Granny, is relieved. This series is lots of fun and many episodes feature the Blockheads as troublemakers and mildly highlight that trouble does not pay. Full of vibrant colors and offbeat just enough to capture the attention of younger and older kids ages 3 to 18. The series is from the 80s. It was not originally filmed with the video or audio quality that is currently available. However, it has been remastered and is greatly improved and close to today's standards. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars for relatable story lines and overall amusement!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The 1980's show was a hit when my mom and uncle were growing up and it brought back so many memories for my mom. We welcome back Gumby and Pokey in this wild, wacky and inventive collection created and written by Joe Clokey. I love that this DVD features 49 claymation episodes that are fully re-mastered from their original camera work and soundtracks. Gumby and Pokey return for fun-filled adventure. Get ready! It's going to get wild.

This DVD takes you alongside Gumby and his imaginative friends as they solve problems, have fun and help others. These episodes include a lot of audience interactions, which lets the audience contribute to Gumby's adventures. The characters include Gumby, Pokey, Prickle, Goo, the Blockheads, Professor Kapp, Dr. Zveegee, the Moon Boggles and Gumby's parents, Gumbo and Gumba. Also making an appearance are new characters - Gumby's sister Minga, Denali the Mastodon and Tilly the chicken.

My favorite part is the fact that each episode is fully re-mastered from the original. How iconic is this? I'd say pretty cool! The animation is extremely creative with loveable color episodes. There are a variety of songs on this DVD, with various tempos and music types.

My favorite character is absolutely Gumby, because he's always positive and shares his positivity with others. I also love how he never gives up and works so well with his team. He's dedicated to his friends and to the idea of friendship.

I watched The New Adventures Of Gumby: The 1980s Series, Volume 1 previously and I very much enjoyed Gumby's many adventures with his friendly bud with yellow pricks on his tail, named Prickle.

There are multiple episodes on this DVD, which express multiple messages. If had to choose the main message, I would say it is that "teamwork makes the dream work." That and "don't be afraid to ask for help." There is no bad language on this DVD or any unsafe actions that kids will try to imitate.

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 7, as well as adults. It's a series that certainly will bring back memories if you grew up watching Gumby when you were younger. It's available now, so look for it. You'll be glad you did.

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

Do you have little kids in your house? If you do, you should definitely share with them The New Adventures Of Gumby: The 1980's Series, Volume 2. This claymation show from the 1980's is the perfect series for any little kid with an imagination and a creative mind. For all you adults out there who remember Gumby & Pokey, then welcome back! We rejoin Gumby along with Pokey, Prickle, Goo, The Blockheads, Professor Kapp, Dr. Zveegee, the Moon Boggles, Gumby's mother Gumba and his Father Gumbo....plus a couple of hilarious newcomers.

Gumby was once just a slab of clay then one day he rose to life. He can walk into any book and once inside the book, he becomes part of it! Every time he gets knocked down he becomes flattened like a pancake. But he always gets back up and right back into shape again! Every episode is a new adventure and sometimes there is a lesson to go along with it. Gumby can have the best time with his friends, or the worst time with the Blockheads, depending on the storyline and characters in the episode. Speaking of characters, the new friends we meet include Gumby's sister Minga, a mastodon named Denali and a chicken called Tilly!

The theme song is a fun tune sung by kids that will make you want to sing along with them. In every episode the music changes. In some episodes the music is creepy. In some it can be silly and bubbly. It all depends on the episode. Gumby originally debuted in 1956, was re-introduced in the 1970's and came out again, for a third time in the 1980's! The animation is unique because it is claymation. The creator and writer of the series, Mr. Art Clokey, also voices Pokey the horse, Gumby's sidekick. Fun Fact, the bump on Gumby's head is based on a picture of Mr. Clokey's father from when he was a kid. In the picture, his hair is sticking up on one side creating a little bump. Mr. Clokey always thought this was funny, so he gave the same bump to his title character Gumby! Let's talk about some of the other supporting characters, shall we? Prickle is a cheerful dinosaur who goes on Gumby's adventures with him, the two mischievous Blockheads can't ever seem to get themselves out of trouble and Goo is a hilarious clay person with a bubbly personality.

The message of the story is to never grow up and that it's okay to let your brain wander and to always be creative. I give this series 4 1/2 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 3 to 8. It is available on DVD now.

By Beatrice Nail, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9
Runtime: 250 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-12
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.99
Media: DVD



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