The Family category has 2376 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles
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LOST TREASURE, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LOST TREASURE, THE
VISION FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - When a treasure hunter discovers his family ties to an ancient Hawaiian secret that's been lost for generations, he embarks on a quest to find and protect this mystical staff which, in the wrong hands, could lead to the island's doom.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - SEE YOUTH COMMENTS
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Lost Treasure is a greatly scripted, nicely executed film. It has quite a bit of action but definitely not too scary for younger children.

This film is about treasure hunter Eddie Fox (Josh Margules). One day he finds a book which leads him to find out about a magical staff. He embarks on a mission to get this staff before it falls into the wrong hands.

First, this film has lots of amazing stuff in it. Most noteworthy are the locations, all of which are beautiful; some are in the forest and others are on the beach, and are all stunning. This makes it a fascinating show to watch. There are a lot of interesting camera shots in this film. One example is the shot from behind the leaves which shows the main characters exploring. There is a bit of some intense stuff going on and its accompanied with some intense music that goes great with it. One of my favorite things is how the story of the staff is similar to mythological stories, without actually being mythology. I very much enjoy mythology so that made this story all the more interesting to me. Lastly, I noted that there is a group of three bad guys and a group of three good guys, which means there is a 50% chance that either side wins. You just have to watch it to find out.

The message of this story is to never give up and keep persevering because you never know what you might uncover.

I give The Lost Treasure 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It releases on streaming January 11, 2022.

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Based on one of the greatest themes in film history, The Lost Treasure is a beautifully-shot film with a riveting plot. Unfortunately, some elements of the film, including the music and actors' performance, let the beauty of the story down.

The Lost Treasure opens in the middle of the action, as Eddie Fox (Josh Margulies), a treasure hunter, discovers the existence of a secret Hawaiian staff that's been lost for generations. He also finds a special journal with information about a mythical spirit named Mahina (Angelica Quinn), who is a nature nymph of sorts. While paging through this journal, he finds that the staff has a connection to his family, and it's up to him to keep the staff safe from evil forces. He embarks on a quest to find and protect this staff for the sake of the island and his family's legacy, and he locks horns with a band of nefarious, scheming villains led by Charles Wellington (Dezmond Gilla) along the way.

The film is quite a mixed bag. One on hand, The Lost Treasure is a cinematographic masterpiece. The sets truly transport viewers to Hawaii. Vibrant colors, the serene bright blue sea, and a good number of Pacific Islander actors enhance the setting. I especially love Fox's office -- the warm, woody tones contrast with the exterior setting. On the other hand, the music could have used something more. Suspenseful music cues arrive at odd times, and there are some scenes (including close-ups of reactions with no dialogue) where viewers will be left questioning why no music is playing. The dialogue is stilted and forced throughout the film due to a mix of actor delivery and script quality; it's a pity, as a good script could have been a game-changer. It took me about half the film to cement everyone's roles, especially that of Tanya Granger (Stella Tinucci) (Eddie's sidekick, of sorts). She seems rather out of place as a European pundit, and Eddie and Tanya's love story is underdeveloped.

The Lost Treasure is all about the triumph of good over evil. It's a story of discovery and exploration, and it educates viewers about Hawaiian culture and tradition. The use of Hawaiian language in some parts is a nice touch that allows viewers to learn a few phrases in the language.

I give The Lost Treasure 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 15. It releases on-demand on January 11, 2022.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The Lost Treasure is an entertaining, fun and enjoyable movie. It has lots of action scenes, and really grabbed my attention. Plus it is very family friendly.

The film's storyline revolves around a small book that is very important to all of the characters. There are two teams that are independently working to win it back. They constantly go back and forth with who has hold of it. However, the treasure hunt that the special book takes you on is worth it!

Something that really stands out to me is the setting of this movie. Throughout the film the location for the characters is a pretty beach, on what looks to be a small island. The schenary is gorgeous. The ocean looks clear blue, and there's tons of beautiful flowers everywhere. I also like the concept of the story. The characters are all trying to get hold of a book, which leads them to a treasure hunt that eventually takes them to the treasure! However, the viewers don't realize this extended storyline until they are actually doing it. This creates good suspense, which always surprises the audience. Finally, it is very interesting how each character is so different from the next. They all have their own distinct personalities and way of thinking. Plus, each has their own style. For instance, Tanya (Stella Tnucci) wears a lot of unique clothing. Most of it stands out. I really liked this, because I'm very into clothes and personal style.

The message of this film is to never give up. If you want something badly enough, teamwork can always help you to achieve that goal. Be aware that this film does include the use of guns and swords.

I give The Lost Treasure 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 12. It releases on digital Jan 11, 2022.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, aged 15

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


HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA: TRANSFORMANIA
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA: TRANSFORMANIA
SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT Click to purchase directly from the producer Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8-18
Description - Drac and the pack are back, like you've never seen them before in Hotel Transylvania: Transformania. Reunite with your favorite monsters for an all-new adventure that presents Drac with his most terrifying task yet. When Van Helsing's mysterious invention, the 'Monsterfication Ray," goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny becomes a monster! In their new mismatched bodies, Drac, stripped of his powers, and an exuberant Johnny, loving life as a monster, must team up and race across the globe to find a cure before it's too late, and before they drive each other crazy. With help from Mavis and the hilariously human Drac Pack, the heat is on to find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Your favorite monsters are back in Hotel Transylvania: Transformania for the fourth and final installment of the Hotel Transylvania franchise! This film is entertaining from the opening sequence right until the last minute. Full of thrilling CGI animation, electrifying music, monstrous comedy and one all-new crazy adventure, the audience is sure to have a frightastic time watching it!

Drac (Brian Hull) and his friends are back and Drac is ready to announce his retirement from Hotel Transylvania. He plans to give the hotel to his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Johnny, his son-in-law (Andy Samberg), but after having a change of heart, he decides not to, thinking that Johnny will ruin the hotel. To get out of it, he tells Johnny a lie, which causes Johnny to use Van Helsing's (Jim Gaffigan) mysterious invention, the "Monsterfication Ray" to transform into a monster to get Drac's approval and fix everything. However, the machine malfunctions and ends up stripping Drac of his powers and turning him and his monster friends into humans. Johnny and Drac must partner up on an adventure to find the magical stone that will change them back before their transformations become permanent.

The main characters are Drac, Johnny and Mavis, but the rest of the Hotel Transylvania family we've come to love, such as Drac's wife, Erika Van Helsing (Katherine Hahn), Frank (Brad Abrell), Murray (Keegan-Michael Kay), Griffin The Invisible Man (David Spade) and Wayne (Steve Buscemi) also make appearances. This film lives up to its subtitle where almost every character goes through some type of internal or external transformation. It is fascinating watching the monsters get turned into humans and how they have to adapt. I laughed so hard when Blobby, who is a green blob monster, turns into his human form, which ends up being a plate of green gelatin that the characters have to carry around. Drac and Johnny's entire adventure through the jungles of South America is hilarious, especially when they are on a tour bus and Johnny's weight as a monster slows it down, so he sticks his feet through the bottom and starts running with it.

The message of this film is to accept others for who they are and also be true to yourself. Drac only sees the crazy things Johnny does and Johnny tries to teach him to see beyond the worst things so he can see the best parts in people and life. Whether Johnny is a human or monster he always loves being himself but gets in trouble when he lets Drac convince him that he isn't enough.

I rate Hotel Transylvania: Transformania 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. You can check into Prime Video to watch Hotel Transylvania: Transformania starting January 14, 2022.

by Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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

This title is available for purchase from SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT


DRAGONS: THE NINE REALMS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DRAGONS: THE NINE REALMS
HULU, LLC Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 5-12
Description - Set 1,300 years after the events of How To Train Your Dragon, dragons are now just a legend to the modern world. When a geological anomaly opens up an immense, miles-deep fissure in the Earth's surface, scientists from all over the world gather at a new research facility to study the mysterious phenomenon. Soon a group of misfit kids, brought to the site by their parents, uncover the truth about dragons and where they've been hiding -- a secret they must keep to themselves to protect what they've discovered.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Dragons: The Nine Realms is a fun, animated, action-packed and mystical kids TV series that will entertain young kids everywhere! Anyone who is a fan of the How to Train Your Dragon movie franchise and/or loves dragons and themes of friendship and uniqueness will enjoy watching the series, set 1,300 after the Dragon films, Dragons: The Nine Realms features a group of kids: Tom Kullersen (Jeremy Shada), Jun Wong (Ashley Liao), D'Angelo Baker (Marcus Scribner) and Alex Gonzalez (Aimee Garcia) who form a group called The Dragon Club. The group starts after Tom breaks the rules and travels deep into Earth into a place called the Fissure and they end up befriending a dragon who is hiding there with other dragons. Now, it's up to The Dragon Club to unite, protect the dragons from getting hurt and to save the dragons' homes from being destroyed.

One of my favorite scenes in Dragons: The Nine Realms is when a sheep randomly shows up and tries to blow the cover of the kids who were trying to keep their dragons a secret. The sheep constantly tries to sneak up on them or make noise to blow their cover, so it is funny how the kids always have a "not again" moment but are still able to avoid the sheep. I also love how each character is unique, but they come together and have fun with each other like they are one of a kind. My favorite character is Alex Gonzalez because of her combination of personality traits. She is really into electronics and anything that has to do with cameras or using advanced technology, and yet she also is willing to help out others and make friends. Alex will even break some rules, though she is very introverted and shy person at first, which seems to make her an unlikely rule-breaker.

The message of Dragons: The Nine Realms is to be yourself, take time to appreciate who you are and stand up for what you believe in. Coming together is a key theme: all the characters have different personalities and beliefs in this series, but they all come together in The Dragon Club and protect the dragons from their parents who may harm them with their experiments.

I rate Dragons: The Nine Realms 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10. You can find Dragons: The Nine Realms streaming on Hulu and Peacock starting December 23, 2021.>p>By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


AMERICAN UNDERDOG
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AMERICAN UNDERDOG
LIONSGATE FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - American Underdog tells the inspirational true story of Kurt Warner (Zachary Levi), who went from a stock boy at a grocery store to a two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl champion, and Hall of Fame quarterback. The film centers on Warner's unique story and years of challenges and setbacks that could have derailed his aspirations to become an NFL player -- but just when his dreams seemed all but out of reach, it is only with the support of his wife, Brenda (Anna Paquin) and the encouragement of his family, coaches, and teammates that Warner perseveres and finds the strength to show the world the champion that he already is. American Underdog is an uplifting story that demonstrates that anything is possible when you have faith, family and determination.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - American Underdog is based on a football player's unlikely true story of ascending to the heights of the game. This biopic features moments of drama, comedy, romance, nostalgia, frustration and religious events that will touch your core.

This magnificent movie is about the legendary NFL quarterback, Kurt Warner (Zachary Levi) and his wife Brenda (Anna Paquin). This is the first faith and family film released by Lionsgate on Christmas Day. The movie depicts Warner's journey from college all the way till he makes it to the NFL. During that journey, Warner meet his wife, goes through tough and challenging situations with Brenda and her sons, and he has to make a living--on top of all that, he struggles with being drafted into the NFL. My favorite part of this movie is the ending. Why? Because is a mixture of video showing real plays combined with scenes created for the movie. To see Kurt Warner executing his plays in real life gives the audience a sense of motivation and happiness, and sends the message that nothing is impossible when you have hope and faith.

The moral of this film is to never give up on your dreams, no matter how impossible they look or what it takes. Every time you fall, stand up. Every time you fail, try again. Have faith in yourself and in God, or the higher power, that you can achieve whatever you focus on or put your mind to.

I give American Underdog 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 10 to 18 plus adults. The movie releases in theaters on Christmas Day, December 25, 2021.

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

A touching, inspiring real life story that will have you hooked, American Underdog is the sports film you want to be watching this Christmas!

American Underdog follows NFL quarterback Kurt Warner (Zachary Levi) and his journey from bagging groceries, to the struggles of being an undrafted player, to playing arena football, to playing for the then, St. Louis Rams. While he's experiencing ups and downs in his career, Warner also must balance his vacillating family life. It's a saga for the ages, and it's all true!

The production team of American Underdog led by Andrew and Jon Erwin don't let a single detail go - the acting, music, cinematography and script of this film are all incredible. Zachary Levi owns his role as Kurt Warner, harmonizing the characteristic toughness of a NFL player with the emotions of a husband, son, dad and teammate. Dennis Quaid's portrayal of head coach Richard Vermeil deserves a round of applause as well, and for a similar reason. It feels as if Quaid must have been a coach at one point. In his role as Vermeil, Quaid unrelentingly pushes Levi's character, but encourages and supports him in equal measure.

American Underdog teaches the virtues of perseverance and hard work. Kurt Warner didn't get what he wanted the first time, so he worked his tail off and earned it. Sure, he was dejected when sent home from the Green Bay Packers after a day on the team. But he didn't let it stop him.

I give American Underdog 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to18, plus adults. American Underdog releases in theaters December 25, 2021.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


WELCOME TO EARTH
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
WELCOME TO EARTH
DISNEY+ Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, 10-18
Description - It might seem humans have mapped every inch of our planet's surface, but look closer and you'll discover that there is still so much more to uncover -- the age of exploration is far from over! Welcome to Earth, a Disney+ original series from National Geographic, follows two-time Academy Award� nominee Will Smith on an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime adventure around the world to explore Earth's greatest wonders and reveal its most hidden secrets. Throughout the six-part limited series produced by visionary Academy Award�-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, Protozoa Pictures, Jane Root's Nutopia and Westbrook Studios, Will is guided by elite explorers on an awe-inspiring journey, getting up close and personal with some of the most thrilling spectacles on the planet -- from volcanoes that roar in silence to deserts that move beyond our perception to animal swarms with minds of their own. Combining breathtaking cinematography with Will's boundless curiosity and enthusiasm, the blockbuster series is an exciting, multisensory ride through Earth's most mind-bending portals.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I loved Welcome To Earth, a six-part documentary featuring Will Smith traveling to the far reaches of the globe in search of Earth's hidden secrets. It is exciting to watch Will find himself in places few have gone before, which forces him to conquer his fears as he embarks on life changing expeditions that alter his perception, and the viewer's, of the world we live in.

Audiences will follow Will from the Nambia Desert to Norway, from Brazil into the depths of the ocean and to top of a volcano, as well as to other fascinating places. He witnesses the secrets of nature in hidden places that most people don't often see or notice. Viewers will be both educated and enchanted by the wonders they encounter in each episode, especially since the different camera angles and tricks that capture the speed of movement give viewers images of these incredible sights.

My favorite scene is in the episode called "Descent Into Darkness" when Will Smith and Dr. Diva Amon travel by submarine 3000 feet below sea level to a mind-blowing place that looks like another world. They explore and learn about a variety of sea creatures that live in the Twilight and Midnight zones below the ocean. It's fascinating to learn how the animals communicate using bioluminescence, the emission of light. And since a very small percentage of the ocean has been explored, Will's below-the-sea trip is particularly meaningful and also quite terrifying. I also appreciate how each experience has expert guides. Many of them have faced challenges of their own which makes it even more interesting. It's eye opening to hear from multiple people on what they're passionate about and learn about their past. Ultimately, Will Smith is an incredible host who combines humor with education and is very enjoyable to watch.

The message in this series is that you need to face your fears in order to defeat them. You can't let your fears stop you from pursuing your goals. Will gives the advice to "work with your fear not against it." He is constantly pushing himself and testing his limits, too. There is some mild cursing that parents should be aware of.

I give Welcome To Earth 5 out of 5 stars. This documentary held my attention and got me excited to learn more about Earth. I recommend this to ages 11 to 17, as well as to adults. It releases on Disney+ December 8, 2021.

By Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


PORTAL RUNNER
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PORTAL RUNNER
TERROR FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - When 15-year-old Nolan discovers a secret family legacy and a portal that enables him to travel to parallel worlds, it's a young boy's dream come true ... until it becomes a nightmare when he realizes he's being pursued across the ages by an evil force. When he becomes stranded on Christmas in an alternate timeline with his quirky family and a rebellious and petulant older sister he's never met before, he realizes Mae may be the key to defeating his adversary and must enlist her help fast ... before it's too late for them all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Portal Runner is a great horror film that also qualifies as a family film. The character development between two siblings, Mea and Nolan, is worth noting. They go from siblings that hate each other to a duo willing to collaborate to solve an issue. I love all the sound effects and music, the props (especially the cooker-like appliance that is the cause of the all the horror) and the main character, Nolan, who is willing to sacrifice himself to stop all the unfortunate things that are happening in the house.

The story follows Nolan, the main character, as he discovers a portal that allows him to travel to parallel worlds. But things start to fall apart when he realizes that he is not alone. He tries to fight off the monster by himself and fails to do so. When he is all alone he uses the portal, which causes him to be with his family and a sister that doesn't exist in his "real" life. Their relationship develops from him mistrusting the sister to realizing that she might be the one to remove the evil force and the two of them would have a race against the clock. There are certain aspects of this film that are pretty scary such as when the monster shows its deformity. The sound effects and visual effects make it feel like a horror film. The parts where Nolan argues with his sister are perhaps too realistic, especially for someone who had argued with their own siblings. The movie flows well. The characters, Nolan and Mae, develop from argumentative siblings to ones that can work with each other to solve the problem of how to get rid of the evil force. Their relationship definitely drew me in, in terms of how they develop. I enjoyed the background music, which is tense and eerie, suitable for a horror movie. At other times there is upbeat music, such as when the family is celebrating Christmas. The costumes, in particular the monster's costume, are fitting. The sets, especially the one in the garage or basement where Nolan's uncle is setting up the Christmas tree, are typical family settings. The story does encourage ways of problem solving. For instance, when the monster approaches Mea and her mother, they come up with a temporary solution of restraining the monster. The entire process of how Mea and Nolan collaborate to remove the curse is another example of problem solving.

The message is that teamwork is the key to success. You should be aware that there are references to Hitler, smoking weed and a shooting.

I give Portal Runner 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Portal Runner releases on VOD December 10, 2021.

By Tom E., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Portal Runner is a new, captivating movie with so many twists and turns there is never a dull moment. Up-and-coming actors use an interesting plot to turn this film into a memorable one. Portal Runner has the potential to become a fan favorite.

The film Portal Runner follows a young boy, named Nolan (Sloane Morgan Siegel), who was living a perfectly normal life, until he discovered a portal to other worlds. When he realizes that he is actually being targeted by an evil force, he ends up on the run, going between parallel worlds. With the help of his sister Mae (Elise Eberle), he must try to stop the evil force before it's too late.

Something that impressed me in this film is the way the tone matches the plot and the different scenes. Director Cornelia Duryee clearly knows exactly what she wanted this film to look like, and conveys it precisely. In the scene where Nolan is being chased by the evil force, it is dark and the music grows increasingly intense. When watching, the audience feels the same kind of fear that the characters are feeling. It has a small cast and that actually benefits this particular film as the scenes seem more intimate and it's easier for the audience to understand the dialogue. The actor that really stands out for me is Elise Eberle who plays Mae, Nolan's sister. She is very versatile character; she is sly, rebellious, scared, angry and lovable at different points of the film. Elise Eberle's performance definitely delivers that. Portal Runner is a movie that will entice you to watch it multiple times, especially if you're a sci-fi fan and like time travel related films.

The main message is that sometimes you need to sacrifice things in order to help the people you care about. There are lots of times when Nolan and Mae want to focus on themselves and what they want, but they eventually come to terms with the fact that their family needs them more.

I rate Portal Runner 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Portal Runner releases on VOD December 10, 2021.

By Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Portal Runner is very different from traditional holiday films. Even the name, Portal Runner, is titled differently from most holiday films. The fact that the film takes place around the holidays seems secondary to the actual events of the film.

The story is about a 15-year-old named Nolan (Sloane Morgan Siegel) who has the ability to travel to parallel worlds. Noah is also cursed because he is chased through the parallel worlds by a monstrous evil. The parallel world includes family members, like a sister Mae (Elise Eberle), that Nolan doesn't have in his true world. Once the portal stops working, Nolan must make allies and dig deep to destroy the creature before it destroys him.

Portal Runner maintains a good and interesting story line. That is, once you get past the beginning, which is a little confusing. The writers allow the viewers to figure out that Nolan is able to travel to parallel worlds by watching the movie. Although later that is explained. It may take a younger audience a few minutes to catch on to this. Overall, the characters are believable as family members and we observe Nolan's character grow and become more caring as he interacts with family across the parallel world. Both Uncle Boon (Brian S. Lewis) and Carol Roscoe (Klara/Mom) bring some comic relief and serve to help the film stay family friendly. There is definitely more room to explore Nolan's relationship with his extended family in the parallel world and how that shows him what he is missing in his world. Perhaps a sequel is in sight.

The message of the film is that sometimes we need the help of loved ones to fight our demons. Another message is to spend as much time as you can with you family because it could be over in a blink of an eye.

I give Portal Runner 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Portal Runner releases on VOD December 10, 2021.

By Ayden P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


MIXTAPE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
MIXTAPE
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - In 1999, 12-year-old Beverly discovers a broken mixtape made by her late parents. She sets out to find the songs -- and learn more about her mom and dad.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Mixtape is an excellent feel-good flick! Amazing songs, extraordinary characters, and comedic one-liners make this movie worthwhile. By the end of the film, I wanted to watch it all over again.

Mixtape follows twelve-year-old Beverly (Gemma Brooke Allen) in 1999. She lives with her grandmother Gail (Julie Bowen) after her parents died in a car crash. One day, Beverly finds a mixtape from her parents and goes on a journey to find out more about them and about herself. She is accompanied by her friends Nicky (Olga Petsa), Ellen (Audrey Hsieh) and Anti (Nick Thune).

This film is incredible. It radiates fun vibes that young audiences need today. The comedy is perfectly balanced to give the movie a lighthearted feel, but doesn't distract from Beverly's quest to find out more about her family. The flick really does resemble life in the 90s, with phrases, taunts and wardrobe that are appropriate to the era. The characters are so loveable. Anti is hilarious with his dry humor which compliments Beverly's eccentric personality. Nicky, Ellen and Beverly make a perfect and unlikely trio. They are all funny, work great together as a team, and are strong together - just as strong as they are individually. The writers fit so many relationships and themes into this movie - friendship, family and finding yourself. It's incredible how they focus on so many topics without jumbling them and making a huge mess. Audiences need a film like Mixtape because it's a breath of fresh air. It's easy to get exhausted from heavily dramatic movies and Mixtape is the perfect comfort movie.

There are several themes in this movie. Beverly learns to find confidence in herself plus she finds amazing friends. She also learns to live life to the fullest, seeing it through new lenses and getting out of her comfort zone.

I give Mixtape 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 16. It begins streaming on Netflix December 3, 2021.< p>By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


INTRUDER, THE (2021)
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INTRUDER, THE (2021)
101 STUDIOS
Series: FOREIGN FEATURE, AGES 15-18
Description - Ines works as a dubbing actress and sings in a choir in Buenos Aires. After a traumatic experience during a holiday trip, she develops a sleep disorder and starts suffering from very vivid nightmares. At work, the studio microphones pick up strange sounds coming from her body, threatening her career and her singing. In�s becomes paranoid as she has increasing trouble telling what is real from what is not. She begins to entertain a dangerous idea: the characters in her dreams are trying to take over her body.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Its one-of-a-kind mix of horror, humor, intrigue and a sprinkling of mystique make The Intruder, Argentina's entry for the Oscar Awards, a spellbinding watch. With enjoyably offbeat storytelling and crisp cinematography, this film is not one to miss.

The Intruder opens with some scenes that are up to the audience's interpretation, where we meet In�s (Erica Rivas), a voice artist who suffers from troubling nightmares after her partner Leopoldo (Daniel Hendler) commits suicide. Additionally, as every time she tries to dub someone, there is electromagnetic interference (a slight hum) that ruins the recording. Fellow voice-actress Adela (Mirta Busnelli), a wizened and mysterious woman, provides In�s with a curt answer - In�s has an intruder, a being who came to her in a nightmare and was involuntarily invited by In�s to stay. She struggles in a variety of outlandish ways to get rid of this pest.

Erica Rivas provides a compelling, authentic performance as In�s, and her genuine emotion makes up for some clunky dialogue in the film. The supporting cast of Nahuel Perez as Alberto, Cecilia Roth as In�s' mother Marta, Guillermo Arengo as Ines' maestro and Agust�n Rittano as Nelson support the storyline well, with P�rez's portrayal of the sweet, yet mysterious Alberto truly taking the cake. The film gets complicated when dealing with the secondary cast, as the lines between reality and hallucination begin to blur. Confusion may arise during this segment, despite how clear each of the characters' personalities are. Music plays a large role in this film, as Alberto is charged with tuning a large church organ and In�s is part of a choir that sings some suitably haunting songs. Every musical element of The Intruder has been carefully thought through and meticulously composed by Luciano Azzigotti. The direction and screenplay by Natalia Meta are also flawless.

The Intruder is all about overcoming tragedy, bouncing back from trauma and confronting your inner demons. In�s' journey is much like that of humanity as we (hopefully) exit this pandemic and move forward. There are several sexual scenes and dark themes to watch out for.

I give The Intruder 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 15 to 18, plus adults. The Intruder is available to watch on HBO Max and Hulu.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 15-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


CHRISTMAS WITH THE CHOSEN: THE MESSENGERS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CHRISTMAS WITH THE CHOSEN: THE MESSENGERS
101 STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-18
Description - The Chosen has a new episode! To launch the Christmas season this December, The Chosen has created a special episode about the birth of Christ through the eyes of Mary and Joseph. You'll also see an extraordinary lineup of musicians perform both new and classic Christmas songs from the set of The Chosen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Calming, musical and inspiring are just some of the words that describe this new episode of The Chosen series, Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers. This episode is just in time for the Christmas holiday and brings a touching story and music revolving around Jesus Christ's birth. This special event is the first time The Chosen fans gather across the country and they will not be disappointed.

Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers is a two-hour Christmas special episode of The Chosen's multi-season series. It shows the birth of Christ through the eyes of Mary and Joseph. It also includes Christmas-themed musical performances by Christian artists and storytelling from the Bible.

The Chosen fans will feel right at home watching some of their favorite actors from the original series. The director of this episode, Dallas Jenkins, is known for faith-based media and put this episode together flawlessly. From the songs to the musicians that perform them and even the accurate storytelling, everything is amazing. The costumes, sets and cinematography make you feel like you are actually witnessing Jesus being born. The music is sensational and helps drive the film. My favorite song is Emmanuel (God with Us Forever) performed by Bryan and Katie Torwalt, because it is delivered beautifully and is soothing, inspiring and heartwarming. Fun fact ... this entire film was recorded in secret and is the perfect Christmas gift for The Chosen's fandom. I think it is pretty amazing that the filmmakers, cast and the staff behind the episode were able to pull off such a huge surprise.

Audiences will enjoy the spiritual Christmas music and Bible stories that are included in this episode and it makes a great addition to a Christian family holiday film collection.

I rate Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It will be released through Fathom Events in select cinemas December 1 through December 24. Tickets are available at Fathomevents.com.

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


CHRISTMAS AGAIN
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CHRISTMAS AGAIN
DISNEY CHANNEL Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM AGES 5-18
Description - Rowena "Ro" is a high-spirited teenager who is experiencing a lackluster Christmas. Ro isn't handling her parents' divorce well. She wants her life back the way it was--her parents back together, her dad's new girlfriend and son out of the picture, and their family traditions to remain the same. After a disappointing celebration with her family, including her sister Gabriela "Gabby," Abuela Sofia and Abuelo Hector, she makes a wish to a neighborhood Santa for a "do-over" and unexpectedly finds herself reliving Christmas day over and over ... and over again. Now, in order to break the strange magical loop, Ro must learn to appreciate her loving family as it is, as well as the true meaning of Christmas.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Christmas Again is full of so much comedy, action and seasonal fun. Imagine your craziest and/or most memorable Christmas and having to live it over and over again! Well that's exactly what you will get from this new holiday film. It's sure to go on your list of movies to watch every year with your family.

Christmas Again follows Rowena "Ro" (Scarlett Estevez) who wakes up on Christmas Day looking forward to another amazing Christmas with her family, but everything is different. While her family is fine with the new way of life and traditions, Rowena struggles with accepting her parents' divorce, her father's new girlfriend and new traditions. Ro wants everything to go back to how it was before so she makes a wish to the neighborhood Santa Claus to re-do Christmas in hopes that it will make things go back to normal, but things just get worse. She repeatedly re-lives Christmas Day over and over again. In order to break the loop, Ro has to learn to love her family, but also discover the true meaning of Christmas.

The main character, Rowena, is a teenager that just really loves Christmas and her family's long standing traditions. One of my favorite parts is when Rowena and her family are playing a game and she knows all the answers because she has played it over and over again each day in the magical loop. It is funny watching her family's reaction as they try to figure out how she knows everything. I enjoyed seeing all the traditions Rowena and her family had and watch as Rowena tries to figure out how to break the loop. Even though the movie shows the same day over and over again, you will be entertained as Ro learns more and more about the true meaning of Christmas each day.

The message in Christmas Again is that the true meaning of Christmas is about spending time with family and embracing new traditions together with the old ones. Ro must learn to appreciate her family as they are now and realize the true meaning of Christmas. Changes are going to happen in life and you have to be ready to accept them.

I rate Christmas Again 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 6 to 18, plus adults. Christmas Again premieres Friday, December 3, 2021 on Disney Channel.

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


HARRIET THE SPY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HARRIET THE SPY
APPLE TV Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, 10-15
Description - Set in 1960s New York when the original book was published, Harriet the Spy follows the outspoken and perpetually curious 11-year-old Harriet M. Welsch. More than anything, Harriet wants to be a writer, and in order to be a good writer, she'll need to know everything. And to know everything means she'll need to spy ... on everyone! Produced by The Jim Henson Company, the animated series stars acclaimed actor Beanie Feldstein as Harriet, a fiercely independent and adventurous 11-year-old girl, alongside Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch as Ole Golly, Harriet's larger-than-life, no-nonsense nanny. The first half of the series (five episodes) debuts on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 19, 2021, and the second half will return with additional episodes in spring 2022.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A sweet series bringing back to life a classic character, Apple TV+'s Harriet the Spy is a fun watch, though its animation doesn't break any barriers.

Harriet the Spy follows 11-year-old Harriet M. Welch (Beanie Feldstein), the same wannabe spy popularized by Louise Fitzhugh's 1964 books. She's a normal kid, attending a prep school with her friends in an indeterminate time without cell phones and with nannies wearing tight updos. What sets Harriet apart from her classmates, though, is that she embarks upon unique espionage adventures across New York City in a quest to become the best writer and best spy ever. It is unfortunate that only one of the five episodes in the first season deals directly with spying. Regardless, Harriet's adventures are enjoyable in their sheer otherworldliness. For example, she uses a dumbwaiter to spy on a weary aristocrat.

Feldstein's voice acting provides the series with a warm tone, and most of the humor springs from her dialogue. There are also a few comedy Easter eggs thrown in there - see if you can catch one in episode 2! The animation is clean and colorful, but it's nothing we haven't seen before. There are lots of hand-drawn lines with an emphasis on natural movement. I wish the animation team had tried something out of the box for Harriet, who truly is an out-of-the-box kind of gal. The show is easy to digest, and very addicting -- each of the five episodes in season 1 is 20 to 25 minutes long, and you won't be able to stop watching!

Each episode of Harriet the Spy has a nuanced lesson - finding comfort in isolation, discovering yourself, and setting boundaries are just a few examples.

I give Harriet the Spy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. The first five episodes aired on November 19

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


RAE'S FIRST DAY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
RAE'S FIRST DAY
THE CAPABLES
Series: EBOOK, AGES 5-12
Description - Rae is like many five year olds with one BIG exception: she has a super-secret superpower. It's her 1st day of school & her classmates are in need. Will she keep her power hidden, or help her friends?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - I really enjoyed Rae's First Day. The book is filled with beautiful artwork, almost like a graphic novel. My favorite part is when Rae explains her disability to her classmates and is able to make friends and to prevent herself from being bullied.

Rae's disability doesn't define the little girl she is. Rae's First Day is about inclusiveness of all people with disabilities. Rae shows her superpowers caused by her disability. This book is very informative and educational in showing that, despite our differences, we are capable of so much more.

A graphic novel, the first book in the Capable series, Rae's First Day was written by Danny Jordan and illustrated by Augustina Perciante. The story was inspired by Jordan's daughter who has the same disability as Rae. Rae is a five-year-old girl with an upper limb difference who is about to start her first day of school and is quite reluctant. When she gets to school with her parents, it is raining. She doesn't like it when her teacher touches her right arm because of her limb difference. When her teacher reaches for her arm, she backs away, not wanting to go into school. Rae explains to her classmates about her disability and they become friends. Lex is the only person that she shares her superpowers with. Rae uses her secret superpowers to turn the rainy day into a sunny day.

The message of the book is about addressing your differences, explaining them to your peers and understanding if they don't comprehend.

I give Rae's First Day 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, plus adults. It is easy to understand for middle-school kids, but some language is too advanced for more 5-year-olds. It is available now where book are sold.

By Connie C., KIDS FIRST! Adult reviewer
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The theme of Rae's First Day is very appealing; it's about the inclusion of all people no matter how different they are. Everybody should read this book. Not only is it totally heartwarming, but it empowers people who have disabilities to be the very best they can be. We are all super in our own way. My favorite part of the book is when Rae uses her superpowers to save the day by clearing the rain so that recess could be held outside.

This book displays acceptance and embraces differences. The theme, the story, and the illustrations are extremely engaging for a young audience.

This book is an easy read. It has some slightly difficult vocabulary for younger readers but overall the story flows nicely, has great content and is somewhat suspenseful, which makes the reader wanting to read on. Not only is this a perfect book for younger readers, but it's also a great family read. Whether families are sitting around a table, the campfire, or lounging in a living room, this is a great book to share.

Rae's First Day models some of the very best characteristics. It is such a package deal for displaying courage, perseverance, kindness, acceptance and so much more within the many character interactions. There are many teachable moments. Problem-solving can be seen throughout the book. Rae's parents question the readiness of Rae starting school, the interaction she may have among her peers, and whether Rae will stay strong. Rae also questions her abilities to get through the day. Both Rae and her parents are able to problem solve by just trusting themselves. Negative thoughts ran through their heads, yet they problem-solved by simply facing the world head on. All ages can relate to having the courage to face any struggles. The concepts are exceptionally easy to follow. The vocabulary, for the most part, is easy to understand, although some terminology may be difficult for younger readers. For example, the words instance, daily affirmations, villainous and illumination are suitable for older readers.

The colorful, glossy pages and illustrations made me want to delve right in and read the book and I was super excited for the last page that reads, "...to be continued." I'm eager to read more about Rae and her capabilities!

Rae's First Day is highly educational and has great merit. In a world that can sometimes be very cruel, reading about Rae and how her difference makes her super is a must read for all ages. This book should perhaps land itself in classrooms around the globe as its value is priceless. I will be sharing this book on my social media accounts as it such a worthy book.

Like Rae, many children across the globe have disabilities which often affect them, both physically and socially. Rae's bravery needs to be shared with the world. Books such as this can only serve to make the world a better place.

I give Rae's First Day 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults, especially educators. It can be found now wherever books are sold.

By Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Rae's First Day is a wonderful representation of kids with disabilities and how being different makes you super. Rae's First Day is the first story in the Capables series showing how differences not only make you unique (because if everyone was the same it would be boring), but how differences make you super. Make you special.

Rae is a five-year-old starting her first day of kindergarten and she is worried that all the kids will treat her differently. You see, Rae was born with only one bone in her right forearm while most kids are born with two. Because of this, Rae's right hand is shorter than her left and only has two fingers. But (as her dad says ALL THE TIME!), Rae is smart and strong and capable! Because she is capable; because she is different - unlike her limb difference that all can see - she has a superpower she's never shown anyone.

The Capables are a group of super-capable kid superheroes who all have a cape or super capability. That cape or superpower is activated through empowerment. The author, Danny Jordan, is following this cause because it hits home. His daughter Emerson Rose is just like Rae, a superhero in her own right who has an upper limb difference. Danny created The Capables to put children like his daughter in the hero role and also to encourage readers to be more understanding when it comes to disabilities and more inclusive. The illustrations are by Agustina Perciante and are beautiful and very accurate to the story. The book has lots of pictures with lots of color which definitely make the book engaging for young kids. There's even a word-search with one of the kids playing that readers can actually play. And the words --- smart, strong, unique, capable - all supports ideas related to the cause and message of the book such as, "Agustina possibly draws better than me." I think that this is an amazing educational, engaging and entertaining children's book with a focus on the inclusion of those with disabilities, which is a great cause that doesn't get enough attention. It's Danny's hope (and now mine too) that this book will turn into a series - one that strongly believes that being different is a superpower.

The message of this book is that different is super. It's a beautiful message we need to hear more often in our world today. The only thing I don't like is that Rae doesn't tell her parents about her superpower. She says maybe someday but now - no way. Keeping secrets from parents isn't the best message for young kids.

Rae's First Day is great and I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8 (for younger kids, parents can read it aloud). It is available for purchase now at Amazon.com, the capables.com and other places where books are sold.

By Alma K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Rae's First Day is a must read for all ages that belongs in classrooms around world as it portrays positive outcomes for children that are different from others. This book has a beautiful message we need to hear more often. Rae's First Day describes how being different makes you awesome. I loved reading this book because it empowers people who have disabilities to be great.

The story follows five-year-old Rae who is starting her first day of kindergarten and is worried about how all the kids will treat her. Rae was born with only one bone in her right forearm. Because of this, Rae's right hand is shorter than her left and only has two fingers. Rae is smart and strong and capable! With her limb difference she has a superpower she's never knew before.

This book is suitable for the young audience because it is easy to read and has an educational message too. I love the content and the suspenseful events, which made me want to read more. The story displays courage, perseverance, kindness, acceptance and so much more. The concepts are easy to follow. The vocabulary, for the most part, is easy to understand as well. The book shows the characters' social interactions, especially when Rae explains her disability to her classmates. After doing that, she is able to make friends and prevent herself from being bullied. Like Rae, many children have disabilities which often affect them, both physically and socially. Rae's bravery is wonderful to share with the world, because books such as this can help others that don't yet believe in themselves.

The theme, the story and illustrations are all well executed. The colorful, glossy pages and illustrations make you want to delve right in and read. There are many teachable moments in this book. Problem-solving is shown throughout. Rae's parents question Rae's readiness to start school, any negative interaction she might have with her peers, and whether Rae can stay strong. Rae also questions her abilities to get through the day. Both Rae and her parents' problem solve by just trusting themselves. Negative thoughts ran through their heads, yet they problem-solved by simply facing the world.

The book's vocabulary is mostly suitable for a 5 to 8-year-old audience, but some language is too advanced for some 5-year-olds. For example, words such as daily affirmations and illumination may need to be defined for younger readers. This book is filled with beautiful artwork, almost like a graphic novel. The illustrations are by Agustina Perciante who keeps it accurate to the story. This book is very educational and has great merit. In a world that can sometimes be very cruel, reading about Rae and how her difference makes her a great student and child. The author created The Capables series to put children like his daughter in a heroic role and to encourage readers to be more understanding when it comes to those with disabilities. My favorite part is when Rae uses her superpowers to save the day for her classmates by clearing the rain outside for everyone to have recess.

The message of this book is about addressing your differences, explaining them to your friends and understanding if they don't comprehend. The only thing I don't like is that Rae doesn't tell her parents about her superpower. She says maybe someday but not now. Keeping secrets from parents isn't the best message for young kids.

I give Rae's First Day 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults, especially educators. It is available for purchase now at Amazon.com and other places where books are sold.

By Alma K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

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


ADVENTURES OF SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ADVENTURES OF SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED
VISION FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATUREE, AGES 6-14
Description - Snow White and Rose Red begin to cross paths with magical characters from their fairy tale book! On their adventures, learn the importance of sisterhood, friendship, and kindness. Life can be far from ordinary if you just believe in a little magic.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red is a fantastic movie. It is comprised in short episodes that are filled with lessons such as the importance of reaching a compromise if you cannot reach what you want from the other person. The characters are familiar characters from fairy tales we all grew up with.

In The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red the two lead characters, Snow White and Rose Red, meet magical characters from their book of fairy tales. On each adventure, they solve problems such as finding a way to rescue the fairy queen or finding an alternative when Alice cannot be the princess's knight.

Each story presents new challenges that the princess has to face and solve, which is refreshing from traditional fairy tale-based movies. A child would enjoy this film as it involves typical fairytale characters but drastically differs from typical stories. The costumes are signature outfits that we identify these characters with such as Alice's blue dress. I like the props a lot, in particular the fairy book. The movie has some problem-solving scenarios such as when they are rescuing the fairy queen, where the princesses have to solve a simple mathematic question to get the key to bring the fairy queen back. I was disappointed by the simplicity here because I expected something more elaborate. Some of the lessons are things that you can relate to in real life. I enjoyed the issue with Alice where she cannot be the princess's knight and she throws a tantrum due to that. The story does flow well and I empathized with some of the characters such as when Cinderella is left out.

The messages in the film are to be nice to other people and value the importance of teamwork.

I give The Adventures Of Snow White And Rose 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. It releases on DVD and VOD - streaming and hundreds of cable platforms - across the US and Canada on December 7, 2021.

By Tom W., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Adventures Of Snow White And Rose Red is an amazing tale of two sisters. It takes many different fairy tales and puts them all into one film. The excitement and adventure never stops.

The storyline follows two sisters, Snow White (Demetra Zorbas) and Rose Red (Callista Zorbas) who go on many adventures together, such as exploring the world of Alice in Wonderland, and helping Little Red Riding Hood. At the end, the fate of the world hangs in their hands in the last original story about the golden key.

I found it interesting that Demetra Zorbas and Callista Zorba are sisters in real life. One thing I really enjoyed about this film are the camera angles; there are some cool shots such as one from a treetop looking down on them. My favorite character is Prince Ferdinand (Angelo Polito). Prince Ferdinand has a brother in the show that appears in the "Cinderella" section who happens to be Prince Charming (Daniel Batista). Angelo is a prince who appears a few times and can even change into a wolf. I also like the cute little bunny that appears at the end of Alice in Wonderland; he's an albino. The little bunny is played by a real bunny. As for locations, there are some cool places such as the quaint little cottage, which the characters always return to after ever story. This film is filmed almost completely outside in a forest. I enjoyed the background music throughout; the song at the beginning sets the tone and the one at the end stands out.

The message of this film is to be kind and always help others.

I give The Adventures Of Snow White And Rose Red 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14. It releases on DVD and VOD - streaming and hundreds of cable platforms - across the US and Canada on December 7, 2021..

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST!

I like The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red because it's a lighthearted and enjoyable film. It has a very happy energy to it, and really reaches its intended audience.

This film follows two main characters, Snow White (Dematra Zorbas) and Rose Red (Calista Zorbas), as they embark on adventures. Throughout the film the two girls help multiple characters, including Cinderella, Alice and Wonderland and Little Red Riding Hood. They constantly are doing good deeds, and helping people solve their problems. The girls encounter some troubles along the way, but with the help of some friends, they contribute to the peace in the land.

Something that I enjoy about this film is the genre. The entire movie is very light and relaxing to watch. You don't really have to think too hard or pay a lot of attention to understand what is going on. Plus, it's a good length, not too long or too short. Another thing that stands out is the interpretation of the characters. The cast is mainly made up of children, playing roles that were originally played by adults. It is interesting to see how the director creates these characters in different ways. For instance, Rapunzel has blue hair and is in a tree instead of a tower. I personally love the original Tangled and it is cool to see that character brought to life in a new way. Finally, the set designs are really terrific throughout the entire film. The production quality, from lighting to camera work is all exceptionally well executed and makes for a pleasant viewing experience.

The message of this film is to never stop having faith in yourself.

I give The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red 3 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 4 to 9. The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red releases on multiple streaming platforms and on DVD December 7, 2021.

Byu The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red Is a simply amazing film, filled with magic and beautiful stories. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen and it will make me feel special.

The storyline follows two sisters named Snow White (Demetra Zorbas) and Red Hair (Calista Zorbas) who, as they read a certain book, go to the world of several princesses to help them with their conflicts.

This movie is very magical. The script is very well written. All the characters are very beautiful and each one of them has a gift. My favorite part is the part is where we see Prince Ferdinand (Angelo Polito). actor) turning into a wolf. I like this part because it's all about magic and imagination. It made me think of what would it be like if I could turn into an animal. It would be amazing, wouldn't it? Another part that I really like is when the girls are having tea because it made me feel like I was a peaceful princess along with these girls. The acting is really good and the special effects are exceptionally well done, especially the magic lights. I love witnessing magic and these are very radiant. The soundtrack is also very beautiful and almost mystical. I love the voice of the girl who sings the soundtrack. The costumes are terrific and suitable for the time and for adventures too. If the dresses had more lace or accessories, the girls wouldn't be able to run or sit on the floor. I congratulate Linda Wood on the costume design.

The message of this movie is that brothers are always our best friends, and that love prevails.

I give The Adventures of Snow White and Rose Red 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It releases on DVD and VOD - streaming and hundreds of cable platforms - across the US and Canada on December 7, 2021.

By Anna Clara B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-14
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


FOODTASTIC
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FOODTASTIC
DISNEY+ Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 5-18
Description - Hosted by the multitalented, Emmy� award-winning actress Keke Palmer, Foodtastic is an immersive global competition series in which highly skilled artists create extravagant scene work and larger-than-life sculptures made entirely out of food. From vegetables and butter to fruit and cheese, these everyday items are transformed into works of art. Each episode is rooted in iconic Disney IP and the food-based builds are an extension of that world. Flour Shop founder Amirah Kassem and NYC's City Cakes founder chef Benny Rivera serve as food art experts on the series.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - What do you get when you give adults a pass to play with their food in the magical world of Disney? You get one Foodtastic show! Foodtastic is Disney's new food build competition show that is filled with whimsical storytelling, breathtaking set designs, out-of-this-world visual effects, and larger than life food sculptures with magic around each corner.

Foodtastic is hosted by the multi-talented actress, Keke Palmer, who is also one of the executive producers. Each episode opens with Keke Palmer acting out a Disney-themed skit narrated by award-winning voice actor Anthony Mendez. Contestants must build scenes using food sculptures based on the skit. Flour Shop founder Amirah Kassem and NYC's City Cakes founder chef Benny Rivera serve as the food artist experts and judges on the show. Contestants are judged on technique, realism and creativity. The winning team is awarded bragging rights and a gold Foodtastic pin.

Each episode has three teams consisting of highly talented food artists including architects, food sculptors and even a Guinness world record pumpkin carver. Disney left no stone unturned when it came to making this show magical. The set designs are vibrant and very realistic. Creative visual effects such as a red sun setting in the background of the Star Wars-themed episode are used to track the contestants' time. The food artists are like kids in a candy store when they see all the food options they have to build their sculptures. The food designs are impressive and include anywhere from 55 different food ingredients for one sculpture, giant jawbreakers as giant donut sprinkles, wasps made out of hot peppers and even Ramen noodles as a massive ant hill. There are even plot twists that serve as extra challenges for the teams, where they may have to re-think their entire project to add a last-minute element, such as Micro Girl needing to be rescued. In that instance, they had to figure out how to add her and what type of food to use to make her. One of the best parts of the show is that all unused food is donated to the local food banks.

Disney is known for being magical and inspiring audiences around the world and Foodtastic is no different. It promotes teamwork, creativity, problem-solving skills and tapping into the magical world of Disney. The contestants really learn what it's like to dream big, free your mind, believe in yourself and your team and just go for it. It's sure to motivate generations of food artists.

I rate Foodtastic 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 5 to 18, kids at heart and adults. You can find Foodtastic on Disney+ starting Wednesday, December 15, 2021.

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


BACK TO THE OUTBACK
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BACK TO THE OUTBACK
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 5-18
Description - Tired of being locked in a reptile house where humans gawk at them like they're monsters, a group of Australia's deadliest creatures plots a daring escape from the zoo. Back to the Outback is an upcoming Australian-American computer-animated adventure comedy film directed by Clare Knight and Harry Cripps, from a screenplay written by Cripps, and a story by Gregory Lessans and Cripps.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Has your family been looking for a new movie, but can't seem to find anything quite right? Well, your search ends here! Back to the Outback is a brand new Netflix film with perfectly paced humor and out-of-this-world animation. Hilarious for kids and entertaining for adults, this film is sure to be the perfect movie night adventure.

Back to the Outback follows Maddie (Isla Fisher) and her fellow "scary" show animals as they decide they've had enough of sitting in cages and posing as horrific creatures. They escape from Chaz's (Eric Bana) cages and venture out; their final goal being to reach their home in the Outback of Australia. Along the way, they meet the cute koala, Pretty Boy (Tim Minchin), whose looks conceal his real personality. That is, until he spends time with Maddie and realizes his true self. Their adventure is going fine until Chaz brings his son along on a mission to catch the animals. Will Maddie, Pretty Boy and the rest of the crew find their way to their families, or end up back where they started?

The first stand-out thing about Back to the Outback is the humor. The funny scenes are spread out between suspenseful ones, so there's always a laugh. Hilarious moments are included even in the action segments, which keeps the film light and relatable. In addition to the funniness, the animation is positively amazing. First, it's incredibly vibrant and colorful. The colors aren't so flashy that they are unrealistic, but they are bright enough to always look warm and welcoming, except for the action-packed, dangerous scenes. In addition, the characters and objects seem to pop out of the screen. It feels like you're actually there! If Chaz is chasing Maddie and her friends down a hill, you're screaming in terror along with them. That is due to the spectacular, almost 3D animation. To add another positive aspect, the plot is strong. There is an easy-to-follow main plot that kids will find simple enough to understand, but there are also countless subplots that are resolved at the end of the film. These subplots are what create an adult-worthy film. They require some deeper understanding, but you can still watch the movie and have a ton of fun even if you don't follow every single character's backstory and subplot.

The message of Back to the Outback is that no one's ugly, but everyone's different. One person's idea of ugly could be someone else's idea of beauty. This film also conveys the importance of trust within family and friends. Without teamwork and immense trust, Maddie and her friends would never have survived their trip to the outback. The only thing to look out for is action-packed and slightly suspenseful scenes.

I give Back to the Outback 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Back to the Outback in select theaters beginning December 3 and on Netflix beginning December 10, 2021.

By Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


TRY HARDER
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TRY HARDER
101 STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - At Lowell High School, the top public high school in San Francisco, the seniors are stressed out. As they prepare for the emotionally draining college application process, students are keenly aware of the intense competition for the few open spots in their dream colleges. At Lowell -- where cool kids are nerds, nearly everyone has an amazing talent, and most of the student body is Asian American -- the things that usually make a person stand out can feel commonplace. With humor and heart, director Debbie Lum captures the reality of the American college application process and the intersection of class, race, and educational opportunity as young adults navigate a quintessential rite of passage.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The college admissions process is one of the most competitive endeavors children in America face every year. As a senior in high school currently going through it, I found this film relatable and eye-opening to the hardships that I and many others are facing.

Try Harder! takes us through the admissions process by following members of the senior class at Lowell High School, a prestigious, nationally ranked school. The students in the film all share the same process, yet different personal experiences which make the process more complex.

The stereotypes of immigrant parents reign true in this documentary. It considers different viewpoints on the different aspects of the admissions process - from test scores to essays. I love that the film ponders questions we will never get to uncover such as, if you should be humble in writing your essay or not. It questions whether you should check the "I do not wish to disclose" when asked for your race or gender. This film also touches on heavy social issues such as the stereotypes placed on African Americans and their academic abilities, racial discrimination in the admission's process, and the mental health of students in pressurized households.

One of students in the film mentions a very powerful message applicable to this situation, but also in any difficult situation - "People who apply and don't work hard, yet still get in, rubs me the wrong way." This quote exemplifies how, during a competition of any sort, you must work hard and overcome those people making it difficult for you to succeed or to be happy. This film promotes positive social behavior and mentions mental health.

I give Try Harder! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Try Harder! opens in theatres December 3, 2021.

By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

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


INTRODUCING JODEA
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
INTRODUCING JODEA
FAIRMONT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13 - 18
Description - A struggling young actress's fortunes change when a world famous movie director drives into the back of her car.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I love Introducing Jodea! It is an incredible film that brings great emotions to the viewer and is full of teachings. This film tells the story of Jodea, a woman who, since a kid, dreamed of becoming an actress, and she finds someone who can help with that. This film is so amazing that you could not look away from the screen!

The storyline is about when Jodea (ChloeTraicos), a struggling young actress, crashes into the car of a very famous film director (Jeff Coppage) and this event changes her life.

The script is well written; I especially enjoyed the way Zac talks to the actors, which is very funny. My favorite part is when Zac and Jodea are training to box and she accidentally punches Zac instead of hitting the spot where the punch is supposed to go. That is too funny! Some other things I love are the acting, because they not only act, but they give life to the character. All the actors are amazing. Something else that I love is when Jodea is showing her talent for the first time. I really like the background music, because it gives us an energetic vibe or a sad one. For example when Zac is training Jodea to be an actress, there background song in that scene is infectious. The costumes are also noteworthy, because they are right for every occasion. I particularly love the outfits for Jodea and Zac, especially Jodea's red carpet costume. They are radiant!

The message is that we shouldn't give up on our dreams. Don't listen to bad people; believe in those we love with our eyes closed and there will always be someone who will care FOR us.

I give Introducing Jodea 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters November 16, 2021.

By Anna Clara B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I love the romantic comedy Introducing Jodea directed by Jon Cohen and written by Chloe Tricos. It is completely entertaining, exciting and humorous. Its light-hearted, humorous plot lines center on romantic ideas, such as how true love is able to surmount most obstacles.

Introducing Jodea is a teen romantic comedy about a struggling young actress, Jodea Maxwell (Chloe Traicos), whose fortunes change when a world famous movie director Zac Kawalsky (Jeff Coppage) drives into the back of her car. Desperate, the actress uses the opportunity to beg Kawalsky for a role in his latest movie, but her audition is woeful to say the least. However Zac's agent Grant tempts him with a bet he can't refuse, the condition being that Zac has one week to make Jodea a brilliant actress.

My favourite character is Chloe Tricos because she never gives up even when she is told that she cannot become an actress because she is ugly and she can't act. Chloe keeps on trying and pushing until she succeeds. My favourite part is when Zac Kawaslky's agent Grant (Kent Hatch) tells Jodea that she is a very bad actress, but Jodea still believes in herself and knows that she can do it, she just needs help.The production design and costume are on point and very well executed. Introducing Jodea is very engaging and intriguing; it is definitely worth checking out. I can see it catching on with audiences.

We all like to feel that dreams can come true and that true love does exist, which is the message of this film - the traditional Cinderella story that'll make you laugh and cry. The idea that you can accomplish anything if you put your mind and soul to it; that you should not give up when you get bad feedback and that you should be resilient and determined.

I give Introducing Jodea 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Introducing Jodea releases in theatres November 16, 2021. Save the date!

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


HOME SWEET HOME
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
HOME SWEET HOME
NBC STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, 6-18
Description - Created by Ava DuVernay, a social experiment focuses on real families of different backgrounds who experience a new way of life when they trade homes. The participants boldly step out of their comfort zones, taking part in each other's daily routines, getting acquainted with new friends and neighbors, trying unfamiliar hobbies and more. Afterward, the families come together to share stories as well as their new perspectives and learnings. Their emotional, inspiring journey begins as a celebration of differences, but in the end, it might just reveal that they have more in common than they think.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Home Sweet Home is not just another show where families switch lives! This show is different from other reality television shows because it focuses on celebrating differences, things that families have in common and connecting people rather than conflicts, like many other reality TV shows. It really is a breath of fresh air.

Home Sweet Home is an unscripted nine-part docu-series created by Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ms. Ava DuVernay that follows two families with very different lives as they swap homes, eat each other's meals, meet each other's loved ones and experience their traditions and lifestyle.

One of the best parts of the show is that Ms. DuVernay picked families that have never been on a television, had no desire to be famous and are genuinely interested in understanding other people. I love that different families, even the children, learn about other cultures and ways of life that they may not be able to experience any other way. During the social experiment, the families must remove personal photos or anything that may give the other family clues about who they are so the "switch family" really keeps an open mind while staying at their house. It's hilarious watching the families try to guess things about each other based on what they see in their homes, like their food and decorations. It's really cool that, at the end of each episode, the two families sit down for a meal together to share what they learned about each other and themselves throughout the experience.

Home Sweet Home is all about kindness and understanding others. The lesson in this series is to learn how to have an open mind and heart to see life through other people's eyes. The families are able to appreciate how other lives and learn that we all want the same things at the end of the day and that we are all human.

I give Home Sweet Home 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. You can enjoy a free screening of episode 4 of Home Sweet Home now through November 28 during the American Black Film Festival at www.abff.com. The series premiered on October 15, 2021, on NBC and moved to Peacock on November 12, 2021.

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS, A
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS, A
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 8 - 18
Description - An ordinary young boy called Nikolas sets out on an extraordinary adventure into the snowy north in search of his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of the elves, Elfhelm. Taking with him a headstrong reindeer called Blitzen and a loyal pet mouse, Nikolas soon meets his destiny in this magical, comic and endearing story that proves nothing is impossible.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A Boy Called Christmas is an unforgettable magical tale of how Christmas came to be. Nikolas sets out on a difficult journey to the Far North in search of his father and the magical elf village called Elfhelm. What he finds is so much more. He finds new friends, hope, and who he was meant to be.

As the film begins, Aunt Ruth (Maggie Smith), comes to babysit three children during the Christmas season. She tells them a story of a boy named Nikolas (Henry Lawfull), or Christmas as his mother used to call him. His father, Joel, (Michael Huisman) embarks on a quest with others to find a spark of magic in the North for the King (Jim Broadbent) who is looking to bring back hope to the people. Nikolas finds a map and ventures into the great unknown with his pet mouse, Miika, in search of his father and the village of Elfhelm.

My favorite scene is when Nikolas meets The Truth Pixie (Zoe Margaret Colletti) while he's locked away in a tower. The Truth Pixie is a comical character who doesn't want to help Nikolas at first, but they soon become friends, which is lucky for him. She decides to help him find his dad and their reactions to events are enjoyable to watch. The settings in the film help add to the mood of the story. The small home has simple things that reflect their simple lives. The creative details in the Elfhelm village add a festive flavor to the story. The decorations are perfect for the holiday season and add to the spirit of Christmas. The animation in the film blends well in the scenes. The animated character Miika ( Stephen Merchant) is a helpful little companion to Nicholas that adds a nice touch to the film. The costumes in the film fit the different characters' personalities well. The elves' costumes have nice details that go well with the story. I also like how everything ties in with the kids and Aunt Ruth at the end.

The message in this film is to have hope. Hope is what keeps people going in times that are hard. Nickolas learns that hope is never out of reach and shares this thought with others. The king needed a tangible symbol of hope that would bring happiness and learns from Nikolas that it was inside him all along.

I give A Boy Called Christmas 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this to ages 10 to 17, plus adults. It releases on Netflix November 24, 2021.

By Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


14 PEAKS: NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
14 PEAKS: NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible explores Nepal's deep connection to high-altitude mountaineering through the eyes of Nirmal "Nimsdai" Purja, a fearless, fun-loving Nepali climber on a quest he dubs "Project Possible"--to summit all 14 of the world's 8,000-meter mountains in just seven months, breaking the previous record of seven years. With a team of skilled Sherpas, he traverses Mount Everest, K2, and other iconic peaks through extreme weather, life-or-death decisions, and the emotional weight of his mother's illness back home. 14 Peaks is a thrilling, action-packed story about courage, perseverance, and pushing the limits of human endurance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really like 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible. It's an intense emotional documentary film that highlights the reality of mountain climbing. Most importantly, it showcases the ability that a human being has.

This film follows the journey of Nimsdai Purja as he manages to climb the world's 14 highest and most dangerous mountains in just a few months. He calls his mission "Project Possible," and we see the reality of this challenge and how it affects his life. However, Nimsdai's confidence, courage and hope inspire his team to help him break this record.

Something I enjoy about this film is its structure. Throughout the movie there is footage of Nimsdai climbing the mountains, as well as background information. The director really makes sure that the audience has enough information about climbing to fully understand the film. They also interview some important people in Nimsdai's life, in order to help us understand him better. Another thing that really stands out is the quality of the movie. Even during the shots of the climbers high up in the mountains with snow blowing from every angle, you can still see what is going on. The entire film feels very ready for the big screen; even though most of the mountain shots aren't filmed by professionals, they are definitely remarkable.

The message of this documentary film is that you can achieve anything you put your mind to, even if it seems impossible. This film does include some profanity.

I give 14 Peeks: Nothing is Impossible 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. You can watch 14 Peeks: Nothing is Impossible on Netflix starting November 29, 2021.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


RUMPERBUTTS, THE
KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
RUMPERBUTTS, THE
GLOBAL CONTINUITY PUBLISHING Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - A married couple and indie band duo, who never reached the success that they had always hoped, decides to stop pursuing their dream when a financial opportunity arises for them to perform on a new children's program called "The Rumperbutts." In spite of all the money and newfound success, the two of them are miserable and have spilt up. However, on one magical evening, a mysterious stranger comes into their lives and gives them a second chance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Rumperbutts was interesting and fun to watch, but it's geared for an older audience than me. I did like the storyline a lot and the editing is great. My favorite bit is probably the music. Yeah, definitely the songs - some are a little corny (the Rumperbutts ones), but some are actually really, really beautiful.

Bonnie (Kori Gardner) and Jack (Jason Hammel) met in 2005, formed a band and started dating. Three years later, they became partners on a popular kids' show, The Rumperbutts. The show made them break up and become miserable and they still had another THREE years on their contract! Then, they both are invited to meet with a guy named Richie (Josh Brener) who tricks them into smoking magical pot which sends them on an unexpected journey.

The acting in this is one of the highlights. I especially like the performances of Josh Brener as Richie and Kori Gardner as Bonnie. Kori Gardner has a gorgeous voice and the songs are quite beautiful. Some of the songs have nice messages like "listen to your parents." Josh and Kori really embody their characters in a way that is very fitting. I also really like the costumes. Julia Knapp made the Rumperbutts costumes which are the funniest ones in the movie. The photography and editing are really good and the animation when Richie snaps his fingers and the setting changes is excellent. I like the plot. The storyline is well thought out and well written, planned and directed. It has multiple sets that are all really good.

The message of the film is: you made your bed, now you have to lay in it. You should be aware that there are some curse words in the movie and there is pot smoking.

I rate The Rumperbutts 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 16 to 18, plus adults. The Rumperbutts releases on digital November 19, 2021. Go check it out!

By Alma K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


INDIA SWEETS AND SPICES
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
INDIA SWEETS AND SPICES
BLEECKER STREET MEDIA Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Alia Kapur (Sophia Ali) returns to her family's posh suburban New Jersey home after a year away at college and upends their well-ordered life with her newfound independence. Befriending Varun (Rish Shah), the handsome son of the new owners of the local Indian grocery, she invites his family to a weekly dinner gathering with her parents' wealthy friends. She is shocked to learn that her perfectionist mother Sheila (Manisha Koirala) has a previous connection to Varun's mother Bhairavi (Deepti Gupta). Alia's surprise turns to indignation when she uncovers secrets about both her parents that push her toward a daring and transformative confrontation. India Sweets and Spices celebrates a young woman's coming of age set against a lovingly framed glimpse of the life of an Indian American family
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - India Sweets and Spices is the South Asian-American coming-of-age film of the year - a tale of family, feminism and biscuits and bravery. With masterful acting, beautiful cinematography, and a strong script, it's certainly not a film to miss!< p>Alia Kapur (Sophia Ali) returns to her family's New Jersey hometown after a year away at UCLA and upends their life with her free-spirit personality. She befriends Varun (Rish Shah), the son of the new owners of the local grocery store, India Sweets and Spices. But when she invites his family to a dinner party at her house, family secrets from their Delhi University days are uncovered and lives are changed. Alia is motivated by the new discoveries to seek out more information about her parents' pasts, which mounts up to a powerful (and slightly hilarious) rebellion.

Everything about this film is well thought-out and executed. I'm a massive fan of the star cast. Veteran Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala plays Alia's mother Sheila. She is known for her work promoting women's rights, and so it was only logical that she chose to be a part of this film. Her journey with feminism in the film (which I won't spoil for you) is also one you won't want to miss. A master of her craft, Koirala shows great depth of emotion and truly becomes her character in the film. Sophia Ali seems to hit one note for a large part of the film, and comes through with an emotionally dynamic performance towards the last half hour of the film. Deepti Gupta plays Bhairavi Dutta, Varun's mother. Her portrayal of the warm, yet fiery shopkeeper truly steals the show. There's so much mystique to Bhairavi, which Deepti plays beautifully.

India Sweets and Spices promotes standing up for yourself, especially in the context of women's rights. It teaches others to never bend to the will of others if it goes against your principles. Some profanity is used and there are some intimate scenes.

I give India Sweets and Spices 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. India Sweets and Spices releases in theaters November 19, 2021

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE
COLUMBIA PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 10-17
Description - When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Ghostbusters: Afterlife because it includes a great combination of events from the original 1984 movie. This film has comedy and nostalgic moments mixed with a journey filled with adventure. Then the ending gives the audience a hint of a sequel.

This magnificent movie starts off with Egon Spengler in his home located in a creepy, old farm in the middle of nowhere. He is a lonely, old man whose life revolves around how to capture ghosts. After his death, his daughter and single mother of two kids, Callie (Carrie Coon), moves to Spengler's farm. Spengler's granddaughter Phoebe, (Mckenna Grace), is very skeptical of ghosts' existence until she starts experimenting with strange events happening in her bedroom. That's when Phoebe's grandfather's spirit takes her to the Ghostbusters' gun and guides her to assemble it. Her older brother Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) fixes the old Ghostbuster mobile from 1984 and they start their journey to capture this maleficent ghost with the help of Podcast, Phoebe's classmate, and Trevor's girlfriend.

This film has amazing graphics and sound effects like. For example, when Phoebe shoots the gun, the light effect coming out of it is very cool. The props look real. I love the use of the Ghostbusters' mobile, which is a huge prop that brings back memories of the original film. The landscape and scenery are mostly outside. The audience can appreciate seeing the town, the green areas and the lonely and creepy farm. I like the costumes, such as when the children wear the 1984 Ghostbuster's uniform, which brings nostalgic memories to older audiences. Bill Murray, Ray Stantz, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts, cast members from 1984, reappear and give this film a sense of excitement and memorabilia. Of course, Slimer, the green friendly ghost, is in this movie. The audience will enjoy some of the 1984 movie puns and also the Ghostbusters original theme song which plays in the credits. My favorite scene is when Phoebe's teacher, Mr. Groobers (Paul Rudd), is in the store and the marshmallows come to life as little Michelin look alike creatures. They are so cute, but at the same time, they destroy everything and start killing each other inside blenders and with torches.

he moral of this film is for young people to understand the sacrifices that our parents make for us in order to have a better life. Egon Spengler spent his whole life hunting and catching ghosts in order that his daughter will have a better life. Too bad Callie didn't realize her father's sacrifices until he passed.

I give Ghostbusters: Afterlife 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters on November 19, 2021. And remember, if you experience paranormal activity, "Who are you gonna call?"

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a beautiful love letter to a classic film! It's the Easter Egg Hunt of the year, with wonderful cameos and amazing new characters. Ghostbusters' fans of any age are set for an incredible ride.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife follows Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) after they move to a secluded town in the middle of nowhere. Their grandfather recently passed away and left them with a house. Unbeknownst to them, their grandfather was Egon Spengler, legendary Ghostbuster. There's paranormal activity in the town and now Phoebe, Trevor and their friends and family have to bust some ghosts.

This movie is incredible all around. There are so many wonderful references to the original Ghostbusters film - the proton pack, the jumpsuit, the iconic Cadillac. The writers fit in so many amazing tokens that will have fans gasping and tearing up. The best part is how all the new characters look up to the original team, thinking of them as legends, and the ghost phenomenon in the 1980s as extraordinary. The new characters are awesome; they are lovable and funny, making audiences want to see more of them. The way Phoebe loves science reminds fans of Egon, and Trevor's brashness resembles Venkman. Podcast is a hilarious, supernatural-loving kid who fans are going to adore. It's so adorable how he looks up to Ray Stantz, and even has a few scenes that mirror Ray's in the first film of the franchise. The CGI is fantastic, using remarkable de-aging technology. The production team was careful in not overusing CGI, keeping both the Gatekeeper and the Key Master exactly as they were in the 1984 film, instead of modernizing their appearances. The cameos are so amazing; they don't take over the entire film, but they have significance to the plot, and fit perfectly into the storyline. The two post-credit scenes are a must-watch, including a deleted scene, a cameo and an opening for a sequel.

The moral of the film is to be yourself and follow your heart. Phoebe is an outcast for her love of science and being socially awkward. Her mother mentions on several occasions how she worries for her daughter. Phoebe learns to be herself, makes new friends, and is able to hunt some ghosts using her intelligence.

I give Ghostbusters: Afterlife 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It is available exclusively in theaters November 19, 2021.

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The 2021 fantasy and comedy film Ghostbusters: Afterlife, by Jason Reitman, is absorbing, hilarious and intriguing. I truly enjoyed watching how Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) grows from being the quiet/nerdy girl, and finds her place. She becomes more comfortable with herself, and soon the ghost-hunting begins.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife follows a single mother and her two children, Phoebe and Trevor. After being evicted from their home, the family is forced to move to a decayed farmhouse in Summerville, Oklahoma, left to them by the children's late grandfather. Phoebe begins attending a new school and bonds with the summer school teacher, Mr.Gooberson (Paul Rudd) over their mutual interest in science. Coincidentally, many scientifically un-explainable things happen, and they both feel the need to research more. After Phoebe discovers secret hidden rooms around their new farmhouse, she realizes her grandfather was not just a regular man--he was a Ghostbuster back in the day. Due to daily unexplained earthquakes, Phoebe decides to investigate, which leads her to discover who her grandfather was and finds that they have more in common than she thought. I was impressed by all of the acting talent, especially Mckenna Grace, as the bright and brilliant, Phoebe. Aside from Mckenna and Paul Rudd, familiar faces starring in Ghostbusters: Afterlife include Ernie Hudson, Josh Gad and Bokeem Woodbine. Overall, the cast fits the role--if I had to pick my favorite character, I would choose Logan Kim as Podcast. Podcast is absolutely hilarious; such a geek, and he calls himself Podcast because he has a podcast!

My favorite parts about Ghostbusters: Afterlife are the real-world concepts such when the main characters are introduced, during a scene where the family is getting evicted from their simple home. Not only does their eviction make the audience sympathetic to them, but this is a very realistic scene that leads us into not-so-realistic ghost scenes. It also allows us viewers to really identify the big differences between Trevor and Phoebe as siblings. Phoebe is the classic nerd who has never been comfortable, and Trevor is very worried about not fitting in, especially in a new, unwelcoming town where everyone knows their grandfather as the creepy, quiet and mysterious old man who believed in ghosts.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife promotes positive social behaviors and shows how important it is to follow your dreams. The message is to do whatever you aspire to do that makes you happy, no matter the thoughts or negative opinions of others. Treat others the way you want to be treated, and be a leader by helping others to live for themselves.

I give Ghostbusters: Afterlife 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It debuts in theaters on November 19, 2021. Be sure to check it out!

By Nathalia J., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is an action, attention-grabbing film that never failed to grab my attention.

The story starts off innocently enough, with a mother bringing her two children, Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), to their inherited grandfather's house. However, the plot thickens when Phoebe soon discovers that her crazy scientist grandfather isn't that crazy after all. She eventually learns that he is connected to the original Ghostbusters, and she needs to use his research to help survive the future.

Something that really stands out to me is that the main character of this movie is a twelve-year-old girl. In most blockbuster films, there are adults leading the film, especially in a movie series that is so well known. However, this is definitely not the case. Mckenna Grace carries this film the whole way through, while still having the maturity of a blockbuster film star. Something else that I really enjoyed are the special effects and cinematography. There are tons of shots of electrifying ghosts, along with fire bombs, and scary wolves! Everything feels so real, and makes it feel as if the viewer is there in the moment. Finally, the cast is phenomenal! They brought the original Ghostbusters back, including Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. This is so iconic, especially for diehard Ghostbuster fans. Plus, Paul Rudd has one of the leading roles parts and plays it to a tee. He never fails to make me laugh, and you will never be disappointed with his performance.

The message of this film is to never doubt someone without knowing their whole story. This film does have some profanity as well as some violent scenes including bursting of fire and strikes of electricity.

I give Ghostbusters: Afterlife 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theaters November 19, 2021.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Who you gonna call? Your local theater to witness the next installment of the franchise everybody loves, Ghostbusters: Afterlife! Like all the previous films Ghostbusters: Afterlife never fails at getting a laugh in, even in the craziest ways. Behind all the laughs is unfortunately a very complex plot that leaves viewers confused. Audience members that do understand the plot are likely fans of the original films because the core story is copy and pasted from Ghostbusters 1984.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife takes place, present day, in a small town of Oklahoma, following the life of previous Ghostbuster Elon Spengler. After the mysterious death of Elon, everything he owns is willed to his remaining family. The story of Ghostbusters: Afterlife then shifts to center around Elon's remaining family, and the mysteries they uncover from his mysterious past. When the terrifying god Gozer makes a reappearance from the original film, Elon's family must work together with friends new and old to defeat Gozer once and for all.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a huge step up from the previous films. The original movies stayed in the central location of New York City, yet Ghostbusters: Afterlife expands its locations to new parts of the world. This is a large breath of fresh air for long-time fans. Moving past the boundaries of NYC also requires a step up in CGI to keep the realistic vibe of the film. Ghostbusters: Afterlife doesn't miss and provides practical ghosts for the highest of quality viewing experiences. Given the history of Ghostbusters, one would normally assume there would be quite a lot of spooky ghosts, but this film does not include as many ghosts as I expected. Due to this change, the film widens its age range for a lot of younger audience members. Most ghosts in the film are there for comedic relief, but there are indeed a couple of ghosts that are intense and frightening.

The main themes of the film are about family, friendship and perseverance. Ghostbusters: Afterlife teaches the lesson that relationships can always be repaired... no matter the damage. Cursing and crude humor are also very present throughout the film.

I give Ghostbusters: Afterlife 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theaters November 19, 2021.

By Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


KING RICHARD
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
KING RICHARD
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10-18
Description - Armed with a clear vision and a brazen 78-page plan, Richard Williams is determined to write his daughters, Venus and Serena, into history. Training on Compton, California's neglected tennis courts--rain or shine--the girls are shaped by their father's unyielding commitment and their mother's balanced perspective and keen intuition, defying the seemingly insurmountable odds and prevailing expectations laid before them. Based on the true story that will inspire the world, "King Richard" follows the uplifting journey of a family whose unwavering resolve and unconditional belief ultimately delivers two of the world's greatest sports legends.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - King Richard is a heart-warming bio-drama film about family and perseverance that will inspire the world! Director Reinaldo Marcus Green and Writer Zach Baylin deliver a great film about achieving the impossible when you don't give up. It's based on the true story about tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams and how they rose to fame and the role their father played. Tennis fans are sure to love this, but anyone that loves inspirational films will appreciate it.

King Richard follows the journey of Richard Williams (Will Smith), the father and coach of famed tennis players Serena Williams (Demi Singleton) and Venus Williams (Saniyya Sydney). It shows how, even without having a background in the sport, poor equipment, outdated tennis courts, and limited financial resources, he was able to guide his daughters' careers and turn them into some of the best athletes in the history of tennis. Williams was an undeterred, driven father with a clear vision and plan to turn his girls into talented superstars using his own unusual methods.

The main characters are Richard Williams, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Demi Singleton, Oracene 'Brandy' Williams (Aunjanue Ellis), Paul Cohen (Tony Goldwyn) and Rick Macci (Jon Bernthal). While this film is two hours long, you can't tell due to the amazing writing and the hilarious comedic delivery of two-time Oscar winner, Will Smith. You will experience many emotions while watching this film - pride, inspiration, sadness and happiness. My favorite part was watching the family support each other by making the best decisions for the overall family, whether it was getting mentors for Venus and Serena or just figuring out how to survive and strive in everyday life. The music is amazing and Beyonce's feature song "Be Alive" really sums up the journey the girls went through on their rise to the top.

The message throughout King Richard is to never give up and believe in yourself and your family, no matter your circumstances or background. The Williams' sisters came from a rough neighborhood and their family didn't have the money and resources needed to properly train them, but did not let that stop them from working hard and eventually dominating the world of tennis. Their father, Richard Williams, had a dream and a plan and he stuck to it. He also taught his family to dream big, despite any obstacles. Parents should be aware that there is mild violence.

I rate King Richard 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 18, plus adults. King Richard serves up in theaters November 19, 2021 and on HBO Max for 30 days after the theatrical release.

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

King Richard is one of the best movies of the year! The movie tells the incredible story of the childhood lives of two of the most famous female tennis players ever, Serena and Venus Williams. The acting is stupendous, and the portrayal of the Williams' story is extremely accurate. I love how there is so much subtle humor that keeps you laughing throughout the movie.

This storyline follows the lives of the Williams' family, specifically Serena (Demi Singleton), Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and their father, Richard's (Will Smith) journey to the top of the tennis world. You learn about their home life, their victories and their struggles.

I have a million reasons why I feel this is an incredible movie. The first amazing thing is the acting, which is so believable and so natural that I felt as if I was watching a high-quality documentary. While all the actors have very notable performances, one of the strongest performances is from Will Smith, who plays King Richard. His struggles are so visible as he gets his girls to the top after being rejected so many times. Other strong performances come from Saniyya Sidney (Venus Williams) and Demi Singleton (Serena Williams) because they both portray their character very accurately and you really feel their passion for tennis. Another terrific thing about the movie is its accuracy. Almost every detail stays true to the real lives of the Williams family - from the dialogue, to the outfits, to the sets and locations. One more thing that stands out is the cinematography, which is breathtaking. There are many exceptional camera shots that show varied points of view and add to the film's uniqueness.

The messages of the movie are that family is everything and you should always follow your passions. This movie will definitely inspire future tennis players, and other future athletes. There is some offensive language, mild violence and mention of drugs.

I give King Richard 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Tennis fans will most certainly love this. This movie releases in theaters and on HBO Max November 19, 2021.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

King Richard, which tells the story of Venus and Serena Wiliams' father, is one of the most inspiring and powerful films to date. Especially so as it was created to portray the African-American experience in the United States and explore the possibility of overcoming a system created to oppress the excellence and hardworking efforts of Black Americans.

The two greatest world-renowned tennis players, Venus and Serena Williams, a sister act, were not made in a day. King Richard delves into the life and story of raising Serena (Demi Singleton) and Venus (Saniyya Sidney) through the perspective of their father, Richard Williams (Will Smith). This film creatively tells a story many thought they knew. But one particular aspect about this film that many don't know, and which director Reinaldo Marcus Green makes authentic, is the relationship between Richard Williams and Brandi Williams, husband and wife. It seems that little was held back in the telling of Mr. Williams' story. Will Smith's mannerisms, down to the accent, are almost a pure reflection of the real Richard Williams. Rick Macci (Jon Brenthal) though, as the coach, is my favorite character. The way that Jon Brental interacts with Will Smith and Saniyya Sidney on-screen creates one of the most hilarious scenes in the movie. Overall, the cinematic experience is wrapped up perfectly at the very end of the film with credits which includes a musical number called "Be Alive" by Beyonce, which creates a perfect ending to this film.

King Richard and his daughters teach the important lesson of the process to being great. It first starts with a dream. Then you must create a plan and stick with it through hard work and hustle. And when you get to the top, make sure to stay humble--a positive and uplifting message. You should know that there is profanity and violence throughout the film.

I give King Richard 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. You can watch King Richard in theatres and on HBO Max November 19, 2021.

By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

I really enjoyed King Richard and the story about a hard-working, dedicated father guiding his proficient, talented daughters through their journey on achieving their best. I really like seeing how Richard Williams (Will Smith) starts his girls, Venus (Saniyya) and Serena (Demi) practicing tennis at a young age and works hard to make sure everyone in his family is cared for and has a successful life. He had a vision and was determined to make that vision come true, which is admirable.

This film is based on the true story of Richard Williams (Will Smith), Venus Williams (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena Williams (Demi Singleton). In the film, Williams tells anyone who will listen to him that his daughters are born to be stars and that he has a plan to achieve that dream. He guides his daughters from working-class Compton, California, to become world tennis stars.

Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the film is a compelling piece that captures both the internal and external landscape of this tennis-playing family from both California and Florida. The acting is phenomena, from Will Smith's portrayal of the father to Saniyya Aidney and Demi Singleton as Venus and Serena Williams and Aunjanue Ellis who plays their mother, Brandy. The camerawork is breathtaking, showing both the kindness and sacrifice of facing the battle of success on and off the tennis court. This is a must see in-the-theater movie to appreciate the grandeur of the cinematography and all this movie brings. Excellently written and motivationally driven, it delivers an array of positive messages regarding self-worth, courage, discipline, family, faith and humility.

The film's message is about believing in yourself and promotes the idea that hope is all you need to conquer anything. There are some parts that are frightening such as when a young man interrupts their practice to flirt with Venus. Richard asks him to stop disrespecting her and the guy punches Richard in the face.

I give King Richard 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters and on HBO Max November 19, 2021.

By Rosabella P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

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


BELFAST
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BELFAST
FOCUS FEATURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Belfast is a 2021 black-and-white coming of age comedy-drama film written and directed by Kenneth Branagh. The film stars Caitr�ona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciar�n Hinds, Colin Morgan, and newcomer Jude Hill. The film, which Branagh has described as his "most personal film," centers on a young boy's childhood amidst the tumult of Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the 1960s.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Belfast is the equivalent of a stormy, rainy day, creating a perfect calm-before-the-storm kind of feeling. Written and directed by Kenneth Branagh, this family story is a tasteful, bittersweet masterpiece.

Set in a small neighborhood in Northern Ireland during the late 1960s, Buddy (Jude Hill), a young boy from a small-town family, experiences life in tumultuous times. As religious tensions between the tight-knit community members grow, his family dodges shady neighbors and argues the question of moving out of Belfast while Buddy tries to ace his time tables. Belonging to the struggling working class, Buddy's father (Jamie Dornan) often travels for weeks at a time leaving him and his older brother (Lewis McAskie) to explore Belfast on their own. However, their father and mother (Caitriona Balfe) are always there to protect them when danger comes their way.

Four things really stand out to me watching this film. First, the use of black and white with some color is really outstanding. It creates a sense of nostalgia and the few choice moments with color helps those scenes stand out. Second, the sound is absolutely fantastic. In every scene, there is a sound effect that enhances it, it's the sound of rain, fire, or a buzzing television. The quality of the sound effects is astounding, adding another layer of engagement when watching this film. Third, the acting is especially impressive. Young talent Jude Hilly, especially, is quite a star and steals the show. I also love the talent of Caitriona Balfe, who masters the strength and emotion of a mother. Lastly, every scene is very intimate; the camera is always up and close to the action and the family, making audiences feel closer to the main characters.

Kenneth Branagh's film, based on a true story from his own childhood, touches audiences' hearts with an intimate view of family and the struggles of the working class. Parents should be aware there is some profanity, mention of religion, aggression and minor violence.

I rate Belfast 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. This film opens in theaters November 12, 2021.

By Abigail L,, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Belfast shows how a talented child actor, the use of black and white film and a powerful emotional story can make an independent film pack a powerful punch. The heart of Belfast is the lead character, Buddy (Jude Hill). I like how we see the story through his eyes. The black and white photography and close-up camera angles also highlight the joy and terror of Buddy's neighborhood in 1969 when religious tensions explode.

Belfast was inspired by director Kenneth Branagh's childhood in Belfast, Ireland, in the late 1960s. We meet Buddy, his older brother, his parents, grandparents and the neighborhood where everyone knows everyone, kids play safely in the streets and residents may not have much money but are happy. This reality is quickly shattered when violence breaks out between Protestants and Catholics, pitting the once friendly neighbors against each other. Buddy's parents have to make a difficult choice about whether to stay or go.

In addition to a standout performance from Jude Hill as Buddy, I love the character of Ma (Caitriona Balfe). You feel the agony of her decision about whether to move the family out of Belfast. I also love the grandparents (Judi Dench, Ciar�n Hinds). Their love for each other is so genuine. I also enjoyed the music in the film, which is by Irish singer Van Morrison. The sound design for the violent scenes is very powerful and creates a lot of tension. In addition, the film shows how going to the movies was a way for Buddy and his family to escape the growing violence. Finally, the period details bring Belfast to life, especially the red bus from the late 60s that appears in so many scenes like when Buddy's Pa comes and goes every two weeks from his job in England.

The main message of Belfast is that being a good person is more important than what religion you are. Also, it addresses the importance of family and community and how sometimes change is hard, but necessary. Be aware that the film contains some profanity, gambling, fighting and gang violence but also promotes positive behavior with great role models who stand up for what is right.

I give Belfast 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. I left this movie smiling, and I think you will, too. Belfast opens in select theaters on November 12, 2021.

By Samantha B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


FINCH
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
FINCH
APPLE TV
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - In Finch, a man, a robot and a dog form an unlikely family in a powerful and moving adventure of one man's quest to ensure that his beloved canine companion will be cared for after he's gone. Tom Hanks stars as Finch, a robotics engineer and one of the few survivors of a cataclysmic solar event that has left the world a wasteland. But Finch, who has been living in an underground bunker for a decade, has built a world of his own that he shares with his dog, Goodyear. He creates a robot, played by Caleb Landry Jones, to watch over Goodyear when he no longer can. As the trio embarks on a perilous journey into a desolate American West, Finch strives to show his creation, who names himself Jeff, the joy and wonder of what it means to be alive. Their road trip is paved with both challenges and humor, as it's as difficult for Finch to goad Jeff and Goodyear to get along as it is for him to manage the dangers of the new world.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Cinematography, sound effects mixed with one sole apocalypse human survivor, a lovable, relatable robot, and a cute dog, make Finch an adventure like no other! Not to mention that it has some of the best CGI I have ever seen. Finch is considered a sci-fi drama film, but could also be considered a comedy, making this a very interesting film.

Finch tells the story of Finch (Tom Hanks), who survives the apocalypse with just his dog, Goodyear, and a new robot, Jeff (Caleb Landry Jones). Finch builds Jeff from scratch to look after and protect Goodyear in case he dies from the effects of the apocalypse. The three of them travel in an RV to search for a new home that hasn't been affected by the apocalypse. During their journey, Finch tries to survive in this new world, while also teaching Jeff all about being human and keeping Goodyear safe.

The main characters are Finch, Jeff the Robot and Goodyear. Hanks has a one-man show in this film, but you tend to forget that because of his loving and protective relationship and dialogue with Jeff and Goodyear. He is a genius at carrying the film with no other human actors. My favorite character is Jeff the Robot because he is very relatable and curious. He steals the film with his determination to learn how to be human and his humorous ways. He is very dedicated to learn how to communicate and bond with Goodyear. When Jeff decides to learn how to speak "dog" with Goodyear it is hilarious watching them bark at each other. Part of what makes Jeff so funny is that he takes everything Finch says literally. Finch once tells Jeff that there are holes in the sky like swiss cheese. Jeff then goes off to try to locate the cheese. One of the most beautiful parts of this film is the relationship Finch, Jeff and Goodyear have and the level of trust they have with each other in order to survive. The CGI in this film is spectacular and really keeps you engaged.

The message of this film focuses on learning about life, love, friendship and what it means to be human. Finch spends the entire movie teaching Jeff how to be human so he can properly take care of Goodyear in case anything happens to him, even teaching him about having trust. It is very heartwarming watching their relationship develop throughout the film.

I rate Finch 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Finch is available on AppleTV+ November 5, 2021.

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


GIFT FROM BOB, A
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
GIFT FROM BOB, A
SABAN ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Christmas gifts come in all shapes and sizes. For James (Luke Treadaway), a struggling street musician, a very special one arrives in the form of Bob, a strong-willed stray cat who wanders into James's tiny flat. Bob enriches James's life, giving him companionship, purpose, and a large, new audience. When Animal Welfare officers threaten to take Bob, the local community rallies to help James and Bob -- sparking a journey that takes the pair to places they never imagined in this heartwarming, spirit-lifting movie for the whole family.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A Gift From Bob is a holiday story with a touching message and a loveable cat named Bob. The film shows how a musician and a cat come together and form a bond that touches everyone around them. It's based on a true story and is an uplifting reminder of the true spirit of Christmas.

This movie begins with the main character, James Bowen (Luke Treadaway) at a party. He has published a successful book about his cat Bob and is struggling with an idea for his next book. When he walks outside with his cat, he sees a young man being accosted and he intervenes. He learns the young man is homeless and decides to tell him about his past struggles. The majority of the film centers around this flashback. Life has not been easy for James. He has experienced many misfortunes and he struggles to make ends meet as he tries to escape his past and care of Bob. Throughout the film, James meets a lot of people along the way, including Bea (Kristina Tonteri-Young) and Moody (Phaldut Sharma) who are willing to help him. He also meets people who are trying to take away the one thing he loves most. He must try to figure out his path in life and what is best for Bob.

My favorite scene is when James is dealing with a tough dilemma and suddenly, all the people of the city gather around him with gifts. This display of affection shows how much they all care for Bob and that they all agree James and Bob are perfect for each other. His friend Moody tells him some stories which are inspirational and interesting to hear; they also add to the message of the film. The setting is perfect for Christmas with the city decorated in lights and Christmas trees and, even Bob wears a holiday outfit. I also like how James' apartment changes to reflect what is happening in his life. It is a big contrast from the beginning to the end. The music in the film is enjoyable. I particularly like how James turns a traditional Christmas song into one about his cat.

The message in this film is that treating others with kindness is a gift that gives back. The film captures the essence of Christmas by showing how gifts of kindness are more powerful than material gifts. The bond James creates with his cat and those in his community help give him the strength and encouragement he need. The only warning I have are the references to drugs that occur a few times in the film, plus some mild violence.

I give A Gift From Bob 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 17, plus adults. It opens in select theaters November 5 and On Demand, Digital and DVD November 9, 2021.

By Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG (2021)
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG (2021)
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-18
Description - Jack Whitehall,Darby Camp,Tony Hale,Sienna Guillory,David Alan Grier,,John Cleese,
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Clifford the Big Red Dog is the kind of lightweight, zippy children's entertainment that keeps kids engaged and parents from eyeing the theater's exits. It doesn't stray away from what Clifford stands for, but it fundamentally misunderstands what has made Clifford's adventures iconic.

Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp) is a pre-teen on a scholarship at her private school, picked on by her classmates for her comparative lack of wealth. She trudges home each day, worn down by her classmates' ridicule, but that changes when her mom has to leave town and her unruly Uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) arrives. On the way to school, they come across a tent shrouded in mystery with an eccentric owner named Mr. Bridwell (John Cleese), and there they find a little red dog named Clifford. Casey lets his niece know she can't take the puppy home and, despite her sunken shoulders and the hanging head, she agrees. But little Clifford gets in her backpack and later she finds him. Emily wishes that she and the dog would grow big and strong so they could be protected from the world's cruelty. A tear tinged with magic runs down her face and brushes against Clifford's bright red fur and--just like that!--the next day, he's grown to his familiar grand size.

Emily and Clifford's serenity is short-lived, and you can't keep a 10-foot dog a secret for long; from there, Emily, the dog and her uncle, dash back and forth across New York City in search of a home for Clifford as a genetics company wants to harness Clifford's traits for their next product and tries to capture him.

Clifford the Big Red Dog gets lost in grounding their characters in the real world. The simplicity of the Clifford stories is part of what make these best-selling books so well-known and loved. As this story goes deeper into the corporate troubles of the genetics company, the fun of placing Clifford in the real world isn't developed, with the exception of Clifford chasing a giant inflatable ball across a park. Also, there is a bit of a message in this film that the minute you are made fun of, that you should put your aggressor through the same humiliation which did not sit right with me.

I give Clifford the Big Red Dog 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 13 for some crude and rude humor as well as some cruelty toward a bully. Clifford the Big Red Dog paws its way into theaters and onto Paramount+ November 10, 2021.

By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Clifford the Big Red Dog is an action-packed film, filled with fun, adventures and non-stop-entertainment. It's based off the original show from the 2000s, but it's made more modern. If you are a fan of the original Clifford the Big Red Dog, then you will definitely enjoy this.

The storyline follows Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp) who is an outcast at her new school and, while her mom is away, she is being taken care of by her Uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) who is a bit irresponsible. On her way to school she comes across an animal petting tent and meets Clifford, a little red dog. One morning she wakes up and Clifford is ten feet tall. Emily needs to find a way to get Clifford small again before she gets into a whole lot of trouble.

My favorite aspect of the film is that this one keeps to the same concept as the original show. Although Clifford starts out as a small puppy, he grows bigger and bigger the more he feels loved by Emily Elizabeth. And the bigger he gets, the more noticeable he is to everyone. Clifford is obviously animated and you know he's not real. However, the animation makes him look pretty realistic and he's so cute. I also like the relationships Emily had with her family and friends. Even though the officials claim Clifford belongs to someone else, the people that are closest to Emily stick with her until the end. My favorite character is Uncle Casey because he is funny and fun to be around. He is hilarious when the time is right, and he also knows how to be serious, keep focused and get the job done when he needs to. The acting in this film is just really believable. With all the emotional and exciting scenes in this film, you'll find yourself entertained the whole time. You may even shed a tear while watching.

The message of Clifford The Big Red Dog is that it's okay to be different. Everybody is different and it's a normal thing. So we should just accept each other the way we are.

I rate Clifford The Big Red Dog 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theaters and on Paramount+ November 10, 2021. Be sure to check it out!

By Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Adventure has never been bigger than in Clifford the Big Red Dog, based on the beloved Scholastic book series. This movie really grows on you as quickly as Clifford grows from a small puppy to a big red dog.

Clifford the Big Red Dog is a story about Emily Elizabeth Howard (Darby Camp) who is gifted an adorable red puppy after she and her Uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) discover a magical pet rescuer (John Cleese) on their way to school. The puppy grows overnight into a big red dog and Emily Elizabeth and her uncle have many adventures trying to adjust to Clifford's new size and the various problems that arise. An antagonist shows up to seize Clifford for his scientific experiments. Emily Elizabeth and her friends rescue Clifford and, in the end, it is Clifford that rescues Emily.

My favorite character is obviously Clifford, but I also enjoyed Jack Whitehall's (Uncle Casey) performance which is so humorous, especially the interesting situations as he tries to grow into his role as the supervising adult. Darby Camp (Emily Elizabeth) really shows a great deal of emotional depth as her special bond with Clifford grows along with his size. My favorite scene is the one where Clifford is playing fetch with a blow-up ball in New York City's Central Park. I really enjoyed all of the New York scenery and characters from the Big Apple which add to the story.

The message of this film is that love comes in many shapes and sizes. Being different doesn't exclude you from being loved, but rather expands love's possibilities. Clifford teaches Darby how love can bring new experiences and confidence when you allow it to grow.

I rate Clifford the Big Red Dog 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 10, plus adults who will enjoy the humor as well. The film is available in theaters and on Paramount+ November 10, 2021. Don't miss this classic story as it come to life!

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


JULIA
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
JULIA
CNN Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Julia tells the story of the legendary cookbook author and television superstar who changed the way Americans think about food, television, and even about women. Using never-before-seen archival footage, personal photos, first-person narratives, and cutting-edge, mouth-watering food cinematography, the film traces Julia Child's surprising path, from her struggles to create and publish the revolutionary Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961) which has sold more than 2.5 million copies to date, to her empowering story of a woman who found fame in her 50s, and her calling as an unlikely television sensation.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you're looking for a fun, yet informative documentary, then Julia is a perfect film for you. This documentary is great both cinematically and educationally. The detail and effort put into this documentary is seen throughout the film.

Julia is a new documentary about famous cook, author and television personality, Julia Child. It follows her through the struggles of being a woman in the film industry, her 12 year struggle to publish Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her fight with breast cancer. This film talks about how Ms. Child changed the cooking industry, and America in general - forever.

This film takes an extra deep dive into Child's life, going from where and when she was born all the way through her cooking career, up to her tragic death. It has great detail, exceptional archival footage and sound bites, which add to its interest. Some of the information about Julia are so fascinating that I really just had to learn more. She really was a hilarious person! Julia was such a character and that is what makes this film really fun to watch. My favorite part is when it talks about Child's love life, because I really love learning that Julia was such an independent woman. She didn't get married until she was 35! I thought that was really cool.

The message of Julia is that dedication and hard work will help you achieve your goals. Julia had some struggles as a woman in the television industry, but with her hard work, she was able to overcome all of it. There are a few sexual references in this documentary and a very small bit of profanity to watch out for.

I give Julia 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. The film releases in theaters November 12, 2021.

By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

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


REAL CHARLIE CHAPLIN, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
REAL CHARLIE CHAPLIN, THE
SHOWTIME - LA Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - From the award-winning creative team behind Notes On Blindness and Listen To Me, Marlon comes a contemporary take on cinema's most iconic figure. In an innovative blend of newly-unearthed audio recordings, dramatic reconstructions and personal archive, the film traces Charlie Chaplin's meteoric rise from the slums of Victorian London to the heights of Hollywood superstardom, before his scandalous fall from grace. Refracting his life through a kaleidoscope of previously unheard voices and perspectives, the film sheds new light on the many sides of a groundbreaking, controversial and visionary artist. For decades he was the most famous man in the world but who was The Real Charlie Chaplin?
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Real Charlie Chaplin is an earnest attempt to characterize the legendary silent film star Charlie Chaplin, showing more about the man behind the Little Tramp character, and explaining his significance. At times this documentary's somewhat bland narration and spotty coverage of Chaplin's life seem to undermine the actor and his legacy.

Almost everyone knows who Charlie Chaplin is, at least by his image: The bowler hat, scraggly coat, thin cane, and trademark mustache are well-known symbols of the first landmark actor of Western cinema. The Real Charlie Chaplin does its best to do the impossible -- capture the essence of Charlie Chaplin -- using archival footage and tape-recorded interviews. It's a compilation of perspectives and personal impressions, told in dramatic fashion, rather than a linear storyline. Really, The Real Charlie Chaplin is all about Chaplin's rise and fall to and from fame, his political opinions, and his contributions to film history (which have been surveyed in a slightly haphazard fashion, only grazing the surface of some of Chaplin's works).

The film draws on rarely-heard recordings made by Chaplin, his family, and Effie Wisdom, a childhood friend who grew up with him in London. It's surreal to hear all these voices talk about one of history's most-loved personalities. Directors Charles Middleton and James Spinney orchestrated reenactments of these recordings, with actors lip-synching and emoting precisely to the audio. It's an approach that works for some and may not for others, since it entails actors adding gestures or expressions that the original speakers weren't able to, and so feels a bit unnatural at times. Wisdom's recording is by far the clearest, and this reenactment method begins to fall apart when Chaplin's recording is introduced, as Chaplin's voice is grainy and the tape recorder makes him sound strained. Many scenes of Chaplin's films are dissected by narrator Pearl Mackie, as is his family life through a series of photographs accompanied by the aforementioned recordings. Her narration slows the pace of the film quite dramatically, and it may have been a better idea to have the recordings guide the film more, instead of the narration. In all other aspects, though, The Real Charlie Chaplin is a well-made film.

The Real Charlie Chaplin is all about individualism, perspective, and devoting yourself to your craft. There are some mature themes like domestic abuse and manipulation to watch out for.

I give The Real Charlie Chaplin 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. The Real Charlie Chaplin begins its theatrical run at Cinema Village (New York) and Laemmle Santa Monica (Los Angeles) on Friday, November 19, 2021.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 14-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


END OF BLINDNESS, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
END OF BLINDNESS, THE
PASSION RIVER FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - There is a crisis in Ethiopia. With over four million cases of visual impairment it has one of the highest rates of blindness on the continent. But one man is fighting to change that. Here, over a million people live without sight. In fact, it has one of the highest rates of blindness in Africa. The End of Blindness tells the incredible true story of Dr. Samuel Bora, the only ophthalmologist for over 3 million people in rural Ethiopia who provides free cataract surgery to the blind poor. Dedicating his life to serving the poor in his country, Dr. Samuel performs up to 60 surgeries a day for those who would otherwise be forgotten. Step inside the operating room and witness the powerful impact a single surgeon can have on the lives of thousands of people- from children with cataracts to a blind mother who has never seen her son.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The End of Blindness is a beautifully shot, moving real-life story drawing attention to an important current issue. It's not just a great watch, but a necessary watch in 2021.

Ethiopia is facing a crisis. With over four million cases of visual impairment it has one of the highest rates of blindness on the continent, but one man -- Mr. Samuel Bora -- is fighting to change that. Dr. Bora is the only ophthalmologist for over three million people in rural Ethiopia, providing free cataract surgery to the blind poor. Dr. Samuel performs up to 60 surgeries a day for those who would otherwise be forgotten. The End of Blindness takes you into the operating room and shows you the impact one can have on the lives of thousands of people, from children with cataracts due to trauma to a blind mother who has never seen her son.

Dr. Bora's passion for helping the poor is evident, as he has been touched by poverty. The film features many emotional scenes where he shares more about his journey from working in his village to being sponsored for a formal education by two Finnish missionaries. The care with which Dr. Bora does his work and the compelling way he speaks about his job and his life make a narrator almost unnecessary. The narrator only interjects once or twice to help move the story along or summarize, which works well. My favorite scene in the film is when Dr. Bora visits a patient whose eyesight has been restored; seeing the ecstasy on her and her husband's face really made my day, and I'm sure it made Dr. Bora's day, too. The cinematography is beautiful and it's evident that a professional team has taken on this effort. Panoramic shots of Addis Ababa and the Ethiopian countryside open the film and close-up shots of surgery provide a clear view of exactly how cataract surgery is performed (though many may be squeamish at the sight). Overall, it's an immaculately created film.

The End of Blindness promotes community service, using your talents for good and showing compassion, just like Dr. Samuel Bora does. There are some graphic scenes of surgery that those who are afraid of needles or blood will find difficult to watch.

I give The End of Blindness 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. The End of Blindness releases on demand on November 16, 2021.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The End Of Blindness is an inspiring and heartfelt documentary. With so many great stories it is sure to inform you about something you didn't know before and make you want to help.

This documentary is about Samuel Bora who is the only ophthalmologist for three million people in rural Ethiopia. It shares many stories about people who have eye problems or are blind and how Dr. Bora provides free or very cheap cataract surgery for the poor. We learn about Dr. Bora's incredible life story during this documentary.

One of the most amazing parts is seeing people take off their eye patch after their surgery. When they can see, after being in the dark for so long, you share their joy. There are lots of cool camera angles such as the shot from the ground when a jeep passes by. There are also some shots of African villages that show us how different these cities are from what we are accustomed to in the USA. There are so many remarkable stories that range from a blind 67-year-old to a blind 9-year-old. There is no age limit to blindness. Though most of the people's blindness is fixable, not all are, and it is sad when they are told nothing can be done. Something else I found out is that blind people sometimes have their children act as guides, which prevents the children from having a normal life. These surgeries not only give a blind person sight but their child gets a chance to be a kid again.

The message is that no matter what the situation, there is always something to be done, so go out and do it. I should warn you that there are scenes of cataract surgery which are very graphic and may be unpleasant to watch.

I give The End Of Blindness 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It comes out On Demand November 16, 2021.

By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


SOUNDTRACK TO SIXTEEN
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SOUNDTRACK TO SIXTEEN
EVOLUTIONARY FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Soundtrack to Sixteen is a coming-of-age film about two anxious teens growing up in London in the 2000s. Maisy is self-conscious and constantly overanalyzing. She is obsessed with having her first kiss this year, before she turns seventeen, but stalking the boy next door doesn't seem to be working. Meanwhile Ben, a boy from a nearby school, is happy being a nerd and thinking he's better than everyone else until his grades start plummeting. For the first time he must come face to face with the idea that he might, in fact, be average. When the two meet each other on the night bus things get even more confusing for them as they attempt to navigate their first potential romance under the stress of exams that will define their future.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Soundtrack To Sixteen is a film every teen can relate to! Simple and easy to connect to watching these teens experience what it's like to fall in love and go against the status quo. You'll fall in love with these relatable characters.

The storyline follows teens Maisey (Scarlett Marshall) and Ben (Gino Wilson), two socially awkward teens navigating the world and trying to find their place in it, while falling in love with one another. The film is accompanied by rock music and voice overs provided by the main actors as their characters' thoughts.

This film accurately represents the lives of teens for whom finding their place in the world is difficult and they feel awkward and out of place. It's so refreshing to watch two characters go through their daily life experiences, and watching ourselves in them. The soundtrack is incredible. It's as if the songs represent the thoughts and emotions of the characters - all wild and crazy. The romance between Ben and Maisey is something very peaceful to watch, almost comforting. In society, it's rare to have a Romeo and Juliet romance. Watching these two characters have a calm relationship, get to know one another and still have insecurities is so beautiful because it's the relationship the majority of us experience. I really love the opening credits; they're a perfect way to open up the movie. It gives a wonderful introduction to the actors, and the unique sketches of the characters set the tone for the rest of the film. The perfect way to describe this movie is hilarious and definitely a feel-good flick.

The moral of the story is to love yourself and soon enough you'll find people who will love and relate to you. Maisey was always left out of her friend's group and, once she stopped worrying about trying to fit in, she meets Ben, who loves her for who she is. Ben, on the other hand, feels as though he needs to pretend to be someone he's not. His worries are quieted when he meets Maisey.

I give Soundtrack to Sixteen 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18.

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS
101 STUDIOS
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Hal, a reclusive hermit, pays tribute to his mother's death by calling various "Questions and Comments" hot-line to capitalize on their 100% customer satisfaction guarantee until the country's biggest food and beverage conglomerate, KNACK, hits him with a lawsuit. Armed with nothing but free food samples and the less than mediocre legal aide of his eccentric next door neighbor Amelia, Hal must lead the battle against the corporate giants to retain his peaceful solitary existence.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Questions and Comments is a great film about harsh realities. It has excellent characters and serves as a wonderful motivator to some viewers. It's easy to want to get up off your seat and change the world.

The storyline follows Hal (Danny Leonard), a reclusive young man who is facing a hard time coping with his mother's death. Hal decides to phone almost every Questions and Comments hotline to be able to receive free samples. When he gets discovered by the law and ordered to court, he's accompanied by his lawyer and friend Amelia (Nathalie Galde).

This film is as funny as it is relatable and tragic. Hal, wallowing in his sorrows, represents so many people around the globe dealing with their grief. He feels very alone and doesn't have anyone to turn to, which then leads to him falling off the deep end. Hal makes the audience sympathize with him as it's easy to see ourselves in his shoes. Amelia also represents many around the globe; a young woman not knowing how to get her foot in the door. She faces all odds and becomes a fan favorite for being a powerful lawyer and a good friend. The production is extremely solid and holds up well. It is clear the movie is an independent production, however they take complete advantage of their budget and provide adequate visuals, lighting and music. The music especially stands out, because it points directly to Hal's emotions, almost as if his feelings were translated to tunes.

The lesson Hal learns and teaches audiences is that there is always someone who loves you and will be there for you. Hal feels lonely and doesn't have anyone to comfort him, but he soon learns that help is always around the corner, in his case, literally. Amelia becomes a close friend, putting her career on the line for Hal.

I give Questions and Comments 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages for 15 to 18, plus adults. Playing in November 2021 at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival

By KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S., age 15

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


STRAY STORY, THE: A DOGUMENTARY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
STRAY STORY, THE: A DOGUMENTARY
101 STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - In a consumerist society where everything, including man's best friend, is treated as disposable, everyday people aiding stray dogs remind us what being human(e) is all about. Through their experiences, successes, difficulties and dilemmas, the documentary exposes the problem and its solutions, while tackling the human condition in the western world.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Stray Story: A Dogumentary will have you in tears. All audiences will have their heart strings pulled in every which way and, by the end of the film, you'll want to get up off your couch and advocate.

The Stray Story: A Dogumentary is a documentary pieced together by multiple advocates of stray dogs. They all spread their messages to aid abandoned dogs, and to limit the number of dogs on the street. Clips include protests and interviews of ambassadors for the cause.

This film is heart wrenching and motivational. The advocates make everyone aware that they have a voice and encourage us to help those that don't. Their compassion for this cause makes us want to help any way we can. The film is also incredibly educational. Title cards with statistics help those that are not as aware about abandoned animals learn the truth about these animals. The movie serves as a master class. At the end of the documentary, you have a huge load of knowledge that you probably didn't know before. It's the perfect package to encourage anyone who wants to stand up for strays, but doesn't know how to start. The movie provides problems - some major and some that go unnoticed - while including the solutions. They share the achievements and progress of these groups, while adding how they're still not done advocating.

The lesson audiences learn is an awareness of how large the stray population is, how to help out, and how to limit that population. We're taught how every voice matters and how to use it for good. The film serves as motivation for everyone to do their part, and help all the dogs we can.

I give The Stray Story: A Dogumentary 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 16 to 18 plus adults. Playing at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival November, 2021.

By Heather S, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


AMERICANISH
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
AMERICANISH
AUTONOMOUS PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - In Jackson Heights, Queens, career-driven sisters Maryan and Sam and their newly-immigrated cousin Ameera must navigate the consistent and sometimes conflicting demands of romance, culture, work, and family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Americanish is a perfect and unlikely rom-com! It's hilarious, has incredible representation, and it gives all audiences a great laugh. You're sure to find yourself in fits of hysteria.

Americanish is the first of its kind, romantic comedy following Muslim-American Sam (Aizzah Fatima) and her sister Maryam (Salena Qureshi). Both sisters navigate life in America, while trying to find romance and learning the meaning of being an immigrant in the USA. Maryam finds herself falling in love with handsome Shahid (Shenaz Treasury).

This is a completely hilarious movie with perfect comedic lines, while tackling huge and extremely relevant problems that Muslim-Americans face today. It is such a grand breath of fresh air to have a rom-com following a couple that we've never seen before - Muslim-Americans. The characters learn to speak their truth, face stereotypes and their parents' expectations. To have these actors on screen representing their culture is beautiful in its authenticity. The film gives audiences a break from the usual on-screen couples, while providing a platform for Muslim-American actors. The best part is the wonderful storyline of the relationship between Maryam and Shahid. The two of them find themselves having an adorable relationship. They help one another feel comfortable in their own skin, learn how to be themselves, and learn how to maintain a healthy long distance relationship. Their engagement scene is beautiful; showing the love of their family surrounding them as they appear dressed in incredible outfits. Shahid and Maryam face their troubles while putting on a brave face, leaving audiences on the edge of their seats.

The lesson Maryam learns is to always follow her heart. She's trapped in the decision to stay and get married and follow tradition, or head for Harvard to attend medical school. She chooses what will make her happiest, putting herself first.

I give Americanish 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18 plus adults. It is playing now at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival.

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


THE ELECTRICAL LIFE OF LOUIS WAIN
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
THE ELECTRICAL LIFE OF LOUIS WAIN
AMAZON STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - English artist Louis Wain rises to prominence at the end of the 19th century for his surreal cat paintings that seemed to reflect his declining sanity. After his father's death, Louis Wain tries to look after his five sisters and his mother as a freelance artist. He is fortunate that Sir William Ingram, editor of the Illustrated London News, offers him a job as an illustrator. His life takes another positive turn when Emily Richardson, the new governess of his sisters, steps into it. She becomes the love of his life, and soon they take in a stray kitten they call Peter. It is unusual in the Victorian era to keep a cat as a pet, and the cat pictures that Louis paints from then on are just as unusual.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like The Electrical Life of Louis Wain because I learned facts about electricity that I didn't know before. I learned to see electricity in a different way. What I like about this movie is that it is based on the life of the painter Louis Wain and it is filled with drama, comedy, romance and tragic events.

This extraordinary film is about the eccentric, British painter named Louis Wain portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch. The film beings in 1880s London when Mr. Wain is a young boy, and his family depends on him economically. He loves painting animal portraits, rather than people and when his younger sisters need a teacher (Claire Foy) he accepts a better job in order to pay for the governess who he falls in love with and marries. Wain has a peculiar way of feeling and seeing electricity; seeing it as a feeling between people and animals, especially cats, which takes him to painting cats and making a huge profit from those paintings.

The scenes in this film are exquisite, showing Victorian style furniture, houses and beautiful landscapes of 1880s London. The costumes are also from the Victorian era. We see British traditions like drinking tea at midday, visiting the opera house to watch a film and gossiping between nosey neighbors. The instrumental music is very appealing as well. The movie is narrated by Olivia Coleman. I believe this film will be nominated for Best Picture of 2021 and I predict Benedict Cumberbatch will be nominated for Best Actor, because his performance as Louis Wain from each stage of his life is magnificent. Mr. Wain's world was full of eccentric and colorful imagination. His infatuation with cats made him one of the most acclaimed painters of his era. His last work was about cats wearing Victorian outfits and acting as humans. What if Mr. Wain was smart enough to see beyond what normal people can see?

The moral of this film is to understand that mental health, besides being an illness, can also be a gift, if treated. This film does contain some mature content and strong language.

I give The Electrical Life of Louis Wain 5 out of 5 stars and recommended to ages 12 to 18. plus adults. The movie will be released in theaters and on Amazon Prime November 5, 2021. And remember, if you or your loved ones suffer from mental health, don't hesitate to look for help. Mental health requires a great deal of attention and it needs to be faced and dealt with.

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

I really like The Electrical life of Louis Wain because it is intense and emotional, but still very attention grabbing. It really locks you in and reveals a shocking, but heartwarming story.

This storyline is set in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It follows Louis Wain (Benedict Cumberbatch) as he navigates his way through life. Louis is an aspiring artist, most known for his infamous cat paintings, and always looks at things from a different perspective. He goes through quite a bit of trauma, but learns from it and never gives up his loves and passions in life.

Something that I really enjoy about this film is the acting. Each of the actors brings a raw, genuine feeling to their character and each character has its own storyline. I was really drawn to Marie's (Hayley Squires) character, which is one of Louis' younger sisters. She is a very complex character with so many emotions. In addition, Claire Foy, who plays Emily, really intrigued me. Emily is Louis's wife and is a uniquely emotional character. All her lines have a very specific meaning, and Claire really brings them forward. Another thing I enjoyed is the time period; the film takes place in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a time period I particularly enjoy. The wardrobe from that time period is something I love, particularly the costumes of all the women wearing these extremely detailed dresses. Each of Louis' sisters has a personal that matches the times. Even Marie (Anya Mackenna), who is so young, wears outfits suited to the era. Plus, the house interiors show us so much about what life was like back then, including what kind of technology they used.

The message of this film is that, no matter how many obstacles life throws at you, if you strive for better days then they will come. This film does include some profanity.

I give The Electrical Life of Louis Wain 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. The Electrical Life of Louis Wain releases in theaters and on Amazon Prime November 5, 2021.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-17
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


MUSTANGS, THE: AMERICA'S WILD HORSES
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MUSTANGS, THE: AMERICA'S WILD HORSES
VIRGIL FILMS & ENTERTIAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12-18
Description - "The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses" is a feature documentary that takes audiences on an odyssey throughout America to places few people have seen or know about. There are more than 80,000 wild horses on our public lands and 50,000 in government corrals. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Philipps says, "The wild horse is so ingrained in the American imagination that even for those who have never seen one know what it stands for: fierce independence, unbridled freedom, the bedrock ideals of the nation. From car ads to high school mascots, the wild horse -- popularly known as the mustang -- is the enduring icon of America. But in modern times it has become entangled in controversy and bureaucracy, and now its future is in question." The film features songs by Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson and an original song written by Diane Warren and performed by Blanco Brown. "America's wild horses are fighting their last stand," said Executive Producer Robert Redford. The Mustangs....the fight for freedom has begun!
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - SEE YOUTH COMMENTS
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses is a cinematic masterpiece that tells the story of one of America's most iconic animals: the mustang. The impeccable cinematography and emotionally-compelling narrative make up for times when the film feels a bit more like an advertisement than a documentary.

The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses follows an array of stories, including how an organization is helping veterans deal with their PTSD by matching them with horses. Another story follows a group that manages mustang population growth through a unique form of fertility control, and yet another narrative follows "Wild Horse Annie," who motivated kids to save wild horses 50 years ago. An additional storyline focuses on a sanctuary reuniting rounded-up wild horses.

Hearing perspectives from individuals like Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Philipps enhances the film's compelling mission, as does the breathtaking cinematography! The symbolism of the mustang, independence and freedom, is conveyed through panoramic shots of these majestic horses traveling across lush expanses of the American countryside, their manes billowing and hooves clip-clopping. Every individual interviewed for The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses brings a fresh take to the story, and the genuine passion and commitment each of them have for what they do is palpable. The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses is certainly a magnificently-produced documentary!

The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses promotes kindness to animals as well as preserving history. It takes a strong stance against animal cruelty and sheds light on an alternative therapy, matching veterans to horses.

I give The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. The Mustangs: America's Wild Horses opens theatrically nationwide on October 15, 2021, and premieres on VOD on November 23, 2021.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 12-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm
      Order MUSTANGS, THE: AMERICA'S WILD HORSES Now!


GABBY'S DOLLHOUSE, SEASON 3
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GABBY'S DOLLHOUSE, SEASON 3
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SHOW, AGES 4-8
Description - Cute cats, quirky crafts and colorful magic! Join kitty enthusiast Gabby and her sidekick Pandy Paws as they team up for a series of animated adventures.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Season 3 of Gabby's Dollhouse is coming, and you can't miss it! With impeccable acting, adorable animation, cute songs, fantastic characters and educational values, Gabby's Dollhouse is a must-see for any little kid or little kid at heart.

Each episode of Gabby's Dollhouse features a transformation from live-action to animation that is important to the overall storyline. Gabby (Laila Lockhart Kraner) starts as a person and Pandy Paws (Tucker Chandler) as a stuffed animal. The plot begins here and then dives into the dollhouse where Gabby and Pandy Paws become animated, along with the other dollhouse characters. The episodes are individual storylines, so each show is a brand new experience with the same high quality.

Gabby's Dollhouse checks all of the boxes. The acting fits the characters well and they sound simply adorable. These characters are far-fetched, like funky kitties and fairies, so the voices can be unique and dripping in characterization to fit the individual creature and personality. It also adds so much to the series that the characters' lips move in sync with their cute voices. The in-sync animation takes Gabby's Dollhouse to a level that some animated shows don't reach. Every character is unique and there is diversity in their appearances. The animated objects are colorful, bright and very cute. They create an interesting background that adds to the storyline in many ways. Whether these objects are used to create foreshadowing or to make the visuals more appealing, they always have a purpose. The same can be said for the animated and live-action locations, which are unique. Another outstanding element of these episodes is the consistent educational breaks. Sometimes it involves choosing to solve a problem or choosing to make a decision that makes everyone happy. These are short breaks and they get important messages across and teach life skills. The entertaining and often educational songs are another wonderful aspect. Each piece of music is woven naturally into the story. The writers have created interesting lyrics that add to the story. All of the singers and musicians mix their acting talent with their musical abilities to create a characterized, yet incredibly musical performance with each song.

The overall message of this show is about teamwork and problem solving. There are subplots and sub-messages as well, about cooking, music and art skills.

I give Season 3 of Gabby's Dollhouse 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8, plus families. You can watch season 3 of Gabby's Dollhouse on Netflix beginning October 19, 2021.

By Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-8
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


ETERNALS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ETERNALS
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 11-18
Description - Marvel Studios' Eternals features an exciting new team of Super Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind's most ancient enemy, the Deviants.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I really like Eternals. It's an action filled blockbuster that teaches you about cultures from so many different centuries. Most importantly, it brings you into a whole new world of marvel.

This film centers on the life of the eight eternals that are the first of their kind and have immortal life. Each character has their own unique characteristics, and powers. Throughout the movie they work together to help create a better planet, and learn many things along the way.

Something that really stands out to me is the amount of surprises that are thrown along the way. This movie is extremely unpredictable, which creates a suspense that really grabs the viewer's attention. There are so many turns of events that I never expected! Another thing that I really enjoy is how many different locations are involved in the film. For instance, they talk about Mesopotamia and ancient times. We see so much about their cultures and how people back then lived their lives. The camera highlights how people used natural resources to survive. We also learn about their religion and life skills. This is especially interesting to me because I am currently learning about these places in my history class. Finally, I love how unique and diverse each character's costumes are. For example, Thena (Angelina Jolie) has a very classically elegant wardrobe, whereas Sersi (Gemma Chan) wears more armor and structured outfits. I love fashion, and enjoy when movies put a lot of attention into it and that is definitely the case here.

The message of this film is to never lose sight of who you are, no matter what unexpected surprises life throws at you. This film does include a slightly sexual scene, as well as violence with fire and open wounds.

I give Eternals 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Eternals in theaters starting November 5, 2021.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Eternals is the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a perfect film for all audiences! Its comedic timing is wonderful and the story is filled with lovable characters you can't get enough of. While the movie has wonderful aspects, it definitely has notable flaws as well.

Eternals follows ten mythical beings, Eternals, who were sent to protect Earth from deviants: dark, evolving and deadly creatures. They have protected the humans for 7,000 years, and once they think they've killed all the deviants, the monsters are back and the Eternals have to assemble the team again. The film takes place in the present day, but shows flashbacks to several time periods throughout thousands of years. Demonstrating diversity, the film includes characters of all ethnicities, representing so many groups of people. The actors, too, are of varying races, and the movie includes LGBTQ representation. The characters are well written and equally well-rounded. Each of them has their own individual problems, goals and ideas. During these flashbacks, action and fighting, ten new characters were introduced with equal significance to the plot, and the movie leaves audiences wanting more of each one. Two post-credits scenes also tease exciting new characters with a cameo, which hypes up the fans.

Separating the Eternals from all the other Marvel Studios' characters, this new team has beautiful gold-embellished powers, which are shown in swirls and circles of gold. For example, Thena (Angelina Jolie) has incredible CGI weapons, so carefully detailed. Watching Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) run extremely fast on - but separated from the background - makes her appear to be in 3D.

This film is brilliant; however it loses itself in its need to be even more grand than necessary. Introducing ten new characters, villains, and a higher power is a lot to do in one film and the result can be confusing. The movie shows Celestials, beings that can destroy and create life and universes. The introduction of these beings conflicts with ideas existing in previous Marvel movies, leaving audiences confused as to who has more power, and who created what, exactly. The deviants rebel against their creator and the Eternals, but the goal gets confusing. The ending of the movie is also left wide open. It's understandable that a franchise film needs to lead into the movies to come, but there are too many loose ends, nothing resolved.

The lesson to be learned is that if you love something you fight for it. This quote is repeated by several characters. The Eternals have loved the human race for 7,000 years, and they continue to protect us against their biggest battle yet.

I give Eternals 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18 plus adults. Eternals opens exclusively in theaters November 5, 2021.

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 11-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


STAR TREK: PRODIGY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
STAR TREK: PRODIGY
PARAMOUNT PLUS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8-18
Description - In 2383, five years after the USS Voyager returned to Earth, a motley crew of young aliens in the Delta Quadrant find an abandoned Starfleet ship, the USS Protostar. Taking control of the ship, they must learn to work together as they make their way towards the Alpha Quadrant. The series uses computer animation, differing from previous Star Trek animation. The series is intended for younger audiences than the rest of the franchise.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - An enthralling and unique offering from a franchise that doesn't normally cater to a kid-specific audience, Star Trek: Prodigy is an action-packed CGI-animated series that kids will love!

Star Trek: Prodigy follows a crew of six young aliens, all of whom are outcasts, tasked with navigating the galaxy searching for a better future. These six young outcasts know nothing about the ship they have commandeered - a first in the history of the Star Trek franchise and an element that certainly keeps the show approachable for newbies. It's an entertaining and novel concept, and the sense of wonder the characters feel is contagious.

My favorite character has to be Dal (Brett Gray). He's instantly likeable, seems to be up for any challenge, and has one heck of a personality! It's characters like Dal who make this series the perfect way for Star Trek to introduce the franchise to younger audiences. Showrunners Dan and Kevin Hageman and director Ben Hibon evidently worked hard on the plot and overall look of the show. They came up with a whole new cast of protagonists and animation language, which I find perfectly fitting for the show's intergalactic theme. The soft purples, oranges, yellows and blues work in tandem to produce a wonderful backdrop for the saga of the young misfits, played by Ella Purnell, Jason Mantzoukas, Brett Gray and Rylee Alazraqui. Kate Mulgrew's reprisal of her role as Captain Kathryn Janeway is also especially exciting, and Mulgrew manages to phenomenally hit every beat.

Star Trek: Prodigy promotes teamwork, kindness and the idea of working hard to achieve your greater goals and dreams. As Engadget puts it, "part of the franchise's ethos is exploration," and discovery is certainly a major theme in this show.

I give Star Trek: Prodigy 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids age 8 to 18, plus adults. Star Trek: Prodigy premieres October 28, 2021 on the streaming service Paramount+ with its first 10-episode season. Go check it out!

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

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


SECRET AGENT DINGLEDORF AND HIS TRUSTY DOG SPLAT (20210
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SECRET AGENT DINGLEDORF AND HIS TRUSTY DOG SPLAT (20210
INTEGRITY RELEASING Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-8
Description - Using quirky inventions from a spy backpack, young Bernie Dingledorf, his dog, and two best friends, are the only ones who can save the world by facing bullies, thwarting circus clowns and destroying Dr. Chuckles evil laugh generator.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Secret Agent Dingledorf and His Trusty Dog Splat is a film that has a relatable message, an interesting storyline, and shows the importance of teamwork. There are some familiar faces in this film, making it one to watch.

The story follows a 10-year-old boy named Bernie Dingledorf (Zackary Arthur) who is living a normal life, until he and his friends eat a Gooey Chewy Bar. This makes the friends immune to the Laugh Generator, which is being used by Dr. Chuckles, a clown who is trying to take over the world through uncontrollable laughter. When a secret spy agency called T.W.I.T. forces Bernie and his friends to come together to save the world from Dr. Chuckles, it is up to them to step up to the plate.

The acting in this film is not great, but it's acceptable. The sets are very colorful and creative. At some points you can tell they are using a green screen such as when we see the T.W.I.T. agency behind the characters - the setting looks like it has been edited. My favorite aspect is the storyline, which is entertaining and fun. Throughout the movie we see Berinie and his friends go on an adventure to figure out how to stop the clowns from creating world-wide havoc, which can be a fun, exciting, adventure for the audience. My favorite character is IQ (Cooper J. Friedman) because he's really funny. Although IQ is small, he is a big help in stopping the clowns. The others think that just because he is small, he doesn't know much and is small-brained. But, I like the fact that he is really just as smart as the others.

The message of this film is that it doesn't matter who you are or what you do, God doesn't make junk. This film is completely family friendly.

I rate Secret Agent Dingledorf and His Trusty Dog Splat 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 8. You can find this film on VOD starting October 23, 2021. Be sure to check it out.

By Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

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


BECOMING COUSTEAU
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BECOMING COUSTEAU
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS ENTERTAINMENT - LA
Series: DOCUMENTARY, 10-18
Description - Adventurer, filmmaker, inventor, author, unlikely celebrity and conservationist: For over four decades, Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his explorations under the ocean became synonymous with a love of science and the natural world. As he learned to protect the environment, he brought the whole world with him, sounding alarms more than 50 years ago about the warming seas and our planet's vulnerability. In BECOMING COUSTEAU, from National Geographic Documentary Films, two-time Academy Award�-nominated filmmaker LIZ GARBUS takes an inside look at Cousteau and his life, his iconic films and inventions, and the experiences that made him the 20th century's most unique and renowned environmental voice -- and the man who inspired generations to protect the Earth.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - The documentary Becoming Cousteau reveals the life of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his passion for all things under the sea. I loved learning more about this man, who was a dominate figure during my youth who brought fantastic underwater images into our living rooms.

This film shows Cousteau's love for the oceans, as it explores over four decades of his work and how he became a spokesperson for the environment more than 50 years ago.

I loved watching this film and learned more about Jacques Cousteau than I knew previously. It sort of filled in the blanks of the back story of the man who captured our hearts and imaginations years ago. The cinematography is breathtakingly beautiful, although I wondered why the archival shots at the beginning had not been digitally enhanced. I also found it interesting that even his first dives into the ocean, in 1937, were filmed. Of course, he says several times that he has always been a filmmaker, but still those shots surprised me. He also talks about how he was not a good husband or father and, indeed, six months after his wife died he remarried. Also, he sent his children off to boarding school so he and wife number one could spend their time on the boat pursuing various missions. He was a clever businessman too, which was necessary to keep the funding flowing and we learn how he too on an assignment from British Petroleum to research oil reserves under the ocean in order to finance other projects he and his crew pursued. I remember well his TV series, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, which aired from 1968n to 1976 and featured Cousteau along with his two sons and grandson. His wife, who did not appear on screen, was sort of the glue that held things together with the crew during these expositions on their boat, the Calypso. The Cousteau Society still exists and continues to carry out explorations worldwide and helps people understand the fragility of life on Earth - the Water Planet. This beautifully produced documentary directed by Liz Barbus (The Farm: Angola, USAP truly is an ode to a remarkable man who changed the course of history by embracing life beneath the sea.

The message of this film is a reminder to take care of our planet and treasure the undersea world.

I give Becoming Cousteau 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by R. Levy, KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - see adult comments

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


DUNE (2021)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DUNE (2021)
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - A mythic and emotionally charged hero's journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet's exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence-a commodity capable of unlocking humanity's greatest potential-only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I absolutely love Dune! It is a thrilling attention-grabbing adventure that creates a connection you would never expect. It opens your mind up to a whole new world that you never knew existed.

This film follows Paul (Timothee Chalamet), the son of the most noble and respected family on their planet, Arrakis. Forces from all over the galaxy, as well as theirs, are fighting for necessary resources, as well as power, in hope of someday finding the one who can stop time.

The director of Dune, Denis Villeneuve has created one of the best films I have ever seen. The camera work and the angles used are extremely insightful and satisfying. For example, when the actors are climbing up the dunes, it's almost as if we are following right behind them. The camera doesn't show us what is at the top until the characters themselves get there. This makes you feel as if you are actually there with them. It creates a suspense that I've never experienced before. Also, the digital and visual effects are out of this world. You fully feel as if you are there with them every moment. Every single sword fight and burst of fire encompasses the entire room and fully transforms your experience. The cast is terrific! For example, the relationship between Paul and his mother (Rebecca Ferguson) shows some of the most raw and real love between a mother and son that I've ever seen on screen. They fully embody their characters and their relationship with each other. Furthermore, I love the character Chani (Zendaya), who is mysterious and intriguing. Zendaya's work never fails to impress me, and I love her role here. I also really enjoyed the bond between Paul and Duncan. They have such a strong friendship that feels so genuine, and gives such a positive effect on the audience. The wardrobe, hair and makeup are all top notch. Every costume is so personalized for each character. All the outfits that Rebecca Ferguson wears are so intricate and unique. She has many wardrobe changes, while still staying true to her character. This is something that was cool to see in such an action packed movie. The hair and makeup are also executed extremely well. They are simple, but intense and give you the feeling that these characters do not live on earth, but they still feel human at the same time. The eye makeup that most of the characters wear, is natural looking and yet created an alien-esc look.

The message of this film is that if you can conquer your fear, then you can conquer anything. This film does include violent scenes, including blood, stabbings and bombs.

I give Dune 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Dune releases in theaters October 22, 2021.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I love Dune. This film is almost like an introduction to a great story. When at the end Zendaya's character says, "This is only the beginning," the foreshadowing tells me that there will hopefully be a sequel.

Dune is an exceptional film directed by Denis Villeneuve and adapted from the original sci-fi novel, written by Frank Herbert and published in 1965. Fans of the 1984 version directed by David Lynch - and newcomers to Dune -- will be fascinated to see Villeneuve's incarnation. I absolutely love the cast, cinematography, CGI, makeup and many other aspects of this film.

The film takes place on an unfamiliar desert planet, Arrakis - the world of Arrakis is breathtaking. I love the culture of the planet, such as the languages they speak, the homes the characters live in, and, of course, the makeup and costumes have a huge effect on the aesthetic of this planet. The story centers on a young man named Paul Atreides (Timoth�e Chalamet) who has an important role: His family is responsible for mining a very valuable and powerful spice, which is the most precious element on Arrakis. As the story unfolds, it's easy to be captivated and mesmerized into the illusion that you as the audience are with the characters on Arrakis. At times, though, I felt I was almost missing parts of the story. Since this is an adaptation from a book, a lot of information has to be left out, and I left the theater wanting to know more about Arrakis. I also felt that the beginning is a bit slow and most of the action in this film takes place near the end, although that isn't a huge issue for me.

Now let's talk about the acting and this great ensemble cast with Timothee Chalamet in the lead role and his peers: Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Oscar Issac and many others. I've been a huge fan of Timothee Chalamet for a long time and this is one of his best performances to date. I love his character - you can really see how at the beginning of the movie he is a vulnerable yet strong boy who eventually stands his ground and knows his place. I also love Zendaya's performance; throughout the entire movie I was waiting to see her appearance. I also love Jason Momoa's character, another one of my favorites. Finally, Oscar Issac and Rebecca Ferguson work really well together and deliver very engaging performances.

The costumes are very detailed and intricate which bring out fascinating elements of the planet. And the cinematography (by Greig Fraser) and visual storytelling is so beautifully done and goes in perfect sync with the production design. It's important to acknowledge Hans Zimmer who composed all the music since his score brings the sci-fi storytelling to life.

The message of the film is we all have a purpose, we should find our own voice and destinies and true empathy is as powerful as blood lineage in our world.

I give Dune 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. Dune opens in theaters, October 22, 2021 and I highly recommend seeing it in IMAX if you can.

By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Dune is mind-blowing! The musical score by Hans Zimmer is so dramatic and so fitting for the movie and the cinematography is breathtaking. The costumes and locations are so perfect for the storyline that it transports you to 8,000 years into the future.

Dune takes place in the year 10,191 and tells the story of Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), who is a young man gifted with great powers and a great destiny. The Emperor sends the House of Atreides to the planet Arrakis, aka Dune, to harvest the rare spice that gives prowess, prescient, and the ability to navigate deep space to whomever eats it. Harvesting the spice is a dangerous task as they face the harsh desert, giant sand worms, and the much-feared Fremen, who are native to Arrakis. However, as they find out shortly after arriving on Arrakis, the Emperor sent them there as a part of his plot to destroy the House of Atreides. Be ready for a cliffhanger!

Dune is based on the book Dune, by Frank Herbert. Although you don't need to read the book, doing so will help fill in some of the background details. I cannot express how beautiful the sets and costumes are. They give off an almost Star Wars feeling. The movie helps one imagine what life might be like in the very distant future. The musical composition is mesmerizing as it has a very primitive and futuristic sound all entangled. The acting is excellent. The strongest performances are from Timothee Chalamet, who plays Paul. His portrayal of Paul's struggle to find himself and live up to his family name is very visible. Rebecca Ferguson plays his mother. Her portrayal of the wise and powerful Lady Jessica steals many scenes. Additional noteworthy performances include Oscar Isaac, as Duke Leto Atreides, because he masters the balance of playing the stern ruler and caring father simultaneously. Jason Momoa's portrayal of Duncan Idaho really shows the friendly connection his character has with Paul.

This movie reveals a story of conflict between two powerful parties in a powerful way. There are some visuals of war, fighting and death that make this unsuitable for younger views, plus some profanity.

I give Dune 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theaters and on HBO Max October 22, 2021. I recommend you see it on the biggest screen possible.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

From the acting, cinematography, sound effects and visual effects, Dune is a masterpiece! Many people have tried to bring Frank Herbert's novel, Dune, to the big screen, but Denis Villeneuve may just have finally pulled it off. The collaboration between Villeneuve and composer, Hans Zimmer is a perfect combination that really helps make this film one incredible experience.

Dune follows protagonist Paul Atreides (Timoth�e Chalamet), the son of a noble family who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to protect the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy. He is born with mystical powers that he doesn't really understand and, throughout his journey, he has to learn how to use it in order to be successful and face his fears. After having reoccurring dreams of a mysterious girl who is trying to save her people from those who are trying to take over, he eventually ventures onto her planet and has to save his family, people, the most precious resource on earth, and himself.

The casting in this film is like no other. While almost every character is important, some of the main ones are Paul Atreides (Timothe�e Chalamet), Chani (Zendaya), Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa), Leto Atreides I (Oscar Isaac) and Baron Vladimar Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard). One of my favorite characters is Paul Atreides because he is a kindhearted, strong character who cares about everyone. He is also very relatable in the ways he is still trying to find his way in life. The film takes place on a desert planet called Arrakis, which is a hot and dry planet that resembles the Sahara desert. The audience will get sucked in with incredible visual effects such as the sandstorms that swallow up anything in its path. They are one of the highlights of this film. The cinematography of the film takes you on a journey on its own. Dune is truly a work of art and could easily be the movie of the year. It is a must watch, especially for "Dune" fans.

The message of this film is to not be afraid to face and conquer your fears. Paul is constantly having to try new things and can only be successful when he faces his fears. Parents should be aware of scenes with extreme violence and also know that this movie has runs two hours and 35 minutes.

I rate Dune 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Dune is available in theaters and on HBO Max October 22, 2021. I highly recommend seeing it in the theaters to get the full experience.

By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


CAT DADDIES
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CAT DADDIES
101 STUDIOS
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 8-18
Description - David Giovanni is living on the streets of New York, determined to stay together with his beloved cat Lucky. When he's finally granted a spot in a transitional housing facility that accepts cats, the COVID-19 pandemic and a devastating medical diagnosis puts his future together with Lucky in doubt. David's journey is interspersed with portraits of other "cat dads" from all over the country and some who struggle to navigate the unprecedented events of 2020 with their little furry friends. They include a group of firefighters, a stunt man, a truck driver, a Bay Area tech worker, a schoolteacher whose cat becomes a viral sensation, and an actor/Instagram influencer. These men couldn't be more different, but they share an unconditional love of their beloved pets. Cat Daddies is a refreshing and timely exploration of modern masculinity and the unlikely bond between man and cat.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like the documentary Cat Daddies because it documents different cat adoptions or rescues, especially by men, and each one of their stories is a heartwarming story that touches you. I liked seeing each one of these men and their cats bond and their journey.

This documentary is about different men or "cat dads" rescuing or adopting kittens from the streets. The film takes place in different states including California, New York, South Carolina and Arizona. You will enjoy different stories of an actor who adopts four cats and becomes an influencer by posting about his cats on social media, a fireman who adopts a cat that now is part of their crew and more. This film also documents the journey of a homeless man named David who suffers from cancer, and his cat Lucky. David became so selfless that it takes him a lot of thinking to go take care of his cancer in order to not leave Lucky unattended. Cats, like dogs, are good companions and can be supportive animals as well. Cats can feel when you are sad and they express their love in different ways from dogs, but that doesn't mean the love they offer is less. We often see movies or stories of men and their dogs, but have you ever watched a heartwarming movie or film about men and their cats? Well, this is your chance! My favorite story is David's. His love for his cat, Lucky, is bigger than himself. Before David admits himself to the hospital to take care of his tumor, he makes sure Lucky is in good hands. He misses Lucky terribly while he's at the hospital. This film is a reminder that if you are looking to adopt a pet, remember there are plenty of adorable cats and dogs in shelters waiting for a warm, cozy and loving home. Why go to pet stores and buy a pet when you can rescue them? At the end of your journey you will ask yourself, "Who rescued whom?"

The message of this film is about how men express their masculinity as they melt with love and compassion over cats.

I give Cat Daddies 5 out of 5 stars and recommended for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It is playing now at select film festivals, so look for it. By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


SUPERMAN & LOIS: COMPLETE SEASON 1
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
SUPERMAN & LOIS: COMPLETE SEASON 1
WARNER BRO. HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Series: DVD, AGES 10-18
Description - After years of facing supervillains, monsters, and alien invaders intent on wiping out the human race, the world's most famous superhero (Tyler Hoechlin) and comic books' most famous journalist (Elizabeth Tulloch) come face to face with one of their greatest challenges ever - dealing with all the stress, pressures and complexities that come with being working parents in today's society.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Superman & Lois: Complete Season 1 is a unique take on Superman because it focuses on his life as both a husband and father. There are action sequences like we expect to see from a Superman show. Like a lot of other interpretations, the tone is very light and has a bright and hopeful nature, but it does have some high stakes, because it ventures into a new aspect of the superhero.

The story follows Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechilin) and famous journalist Lois Lane ( Bitsie Tulloch) facing a big challenge, which is dealing with the stress, pressures and complexities that come from being working parents in today's society. This is complicated by Superman's already daunting job of being a superhero and Lois knowing his big secret.

In Superman & Lois, Clark and Lois return to Smallville where Clark grew up. The first season is about the family dynamics of raising two very different twins, Jordan (Alex Garfin) and Jonathan (Jordan Elsass). Jordan is moody and temperamental; Jonathan is happy and popular. The family experiences another change when the boys discover their father's secretary identity and again, when one of the boys develops his own superpowers. This all happens as an ominous stranger comes to town. Superman & Lois incorporates everything you would expect from a Superman show. The main difference is adding marriage and kids - the family element. This allows Clark to become more human in a way because he struggles with family issues like we all experience. I can see a bit of my own family in their conflicts. This brings out more of Superman's human qualities; we see the man just as much as we see the superhero. The show's CGI is more improved compared to other Arrowverse shows. For example, Superman has an improved suit, which looks good against the CGI. Also, the dynamics between the characters seems true. There is a natural flow to their dialogue, making them believable and more relatable.

The message of the show is that, even though Superman may have all these superpowers, they can't help him with everything. Despite being Superman, Clark Kent still struggles with the being a "man" and balancing his family life with his superhero persona. Plus the fact that, no matter how different or how many issues a family may have, at the end of the day they still love and support each other.

Superman & Lois: The Complete Season 1 gets 4 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Superman & Lois: The Complete Season 1 releases on DVD October, 19 2021.

By Ayden P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Runtime: 450 minutes
KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 29.98
Media: DVD


UNDER WRAPS 2021
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
UNDER WRAPS 2021
DISNEY CHANNEL Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV, AGES 7-18
Description - Friends Marshall, Gilbert, and Amy accidentally revive and release a mummy from its sarcophagus in the days leading up to Halloween. At first terrified, they quickly learn that the Mummy who they affectionately name 'Harold' is actually very sweet and in dire need of assistance.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Are you ready for a remake of a spook-tacular and adventurous mysterious story? Then you have got to check out Disney Channel's new Under Wraps movie! It's got everything - action, friendships, mysteries, and a lovable, friendly mummy! It has a spine-tickling storyline, with many surprises along the way. So, buckle up and get ready for a fun, chilling story that is perfect for the whole family!

This storyline follows three friends, Marshall, Gilbert and Amy, who mysteriously find a mummy in their neighbor's basement. Accidently bringing it to life, they discover he is a kind mummy. Most films describe mummies as horrid, brain-eating, dead monsters. But this movie is special because, its mummy is not like the others. He is a kindhearted, affectionate and friendly mummy, ready to help his friends with anything that may come next. Upon finding out that their new friend Harold, the mummy, will turn to dust if not put back in his sarcophagus by midnight on Halloween, the three friends do everything to save their new mummy friend.

You'll love the main characters. Marshall (Malachi Bartoh) is a sci-fi, monster enthusiast. Gilbert (Christian J. Simon) is a scared, yet honest friend. He is always trying to help his friends and embraces people for whom they really are throughout the movie. Amy (Sophia Hammons) wants to solve mysteries and get the inside scoop. She dreams of becoming an investigative journalist. Even though she's the new kid in town, she is bold and is not afraid to stand up for what is right. Malachi Barton connects with his character, Marshall, in a believable way. Christian J. Simon's Gilbert is very funny; Christian is funny in real life as well. He makes giving a solid, amazing, thorough performance look easy. Sophia Hammons gives a dynamic, well thought out performance and shows the variety of ways she can connect with different emotions while portraying Amy. The costume for Harold is well thought out, with incredible special effects. He looks and seems like an actual mummy. My favorite character is Amy because she is very brave, incredibly smart and she is not afraid to speak her mind.

This message is to embrace people's differences and to not judge a book by its cover. When Harold is brought back to life after thousands of years, people seem to fear him - when he's really trying to help them out. You discover that all Harold wants is a friend and our three friends learn to accept him for who he is on the inside, beyond his wrapped-up-mummy-outside.

I give Under Wraps 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. Under Wraps is available now on Disney Channel and Disney plus. This is a movie you don't want to miss!

By Ella M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

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


NO TIME TO DIE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
NO TIME TO DIE
MGM STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13 - 18
Description - In No Time To Die, Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - No Time to Die certainly kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire two hours and forty three minutes. This movie has a combination of danger, romance, sadness, humor and a lot of action and violence, but most importantly, it shocks the audience by revealing a secret hidden from James Bond.

No Time to Die is about agent 007, James Bond (Daniel Craig) who, after a peaceful five years of retirement, comes back to complete a mission, rescuing a Russian scientist who created a powerful weapon out of DNA. During Bond's mission rescuing this scientist, he finds out his number 007 has been assigned to another agent, a woman. He also finds out his wife's secrets and he meets Safin (Rami Malek), a villain who uses the Russian scientist to create dangerous technology. My favorite part is when the female 007, Nomi (Lashana Lynch) tries to compete with Bond on the rescue mission.

This film has a lot of dangerous action. The majority of the scenes include explosives that will make the audience jump out of their seats. The stunts are amazing. The wardrobe is very classy and elegant. The female roles are very important in this movie. Bond's wife is Madeleine (L�a Seydoux) who, at a young age had to fire a gun in order to protect herself. Paloma (Ana de Armas) is a Cuban agent who helped Bond with his mission. Nomi is very proud of her number 007 and does not want to give it back to Bond. Watching these women in action is amusing as well.

The moral of this film is to trust the ones you love. James Bond didn't trust his wife and he lost five years of his life without her that he can never recover ever again. Be forewarned that this movie has a lot of gory scenes and violence, but it does have a PG-13 rating.

O give No Time To Die 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 and 18, plus adults.

This film opens in theatres October 8, 2021. What are your thoughts about agent 007 being a woman? Drop your comments below and stay tuned for more reviews.

By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 13-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


JUST BEYOND
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
JUST BEYOND
DISNEY+ Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, 11-18
Description - Inspired by the writings of R.L. Stine, "Just Beyond" is an eight-episode anthology series that tells astonishing and thought-provoking stories of a reality just beyond the one we know. Each episode introduces viewers to a new cast of characters who must go on a surprising journey of self-discovery in a supernatural world of witches, aliens, ghosts and parallel universes. Stine, prolific author of young-adult horror fiction, including the "Goosebumps" and "Fear Street" series, has been scaring readers worldwide for over 35 years. The show's creators referenced his popular page-turners while developing their new series of hair-raising stories. Episodes acknowledge teenage struggles, such as bullying, peer pressure and anxiety, through supernatural storylines that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Just Beyond is so thrilling! It has the just right amount of scary, unusual and supernatural. All of the storylines are so different and keep you wanting more.

Just Beyond has eight episodes running about 30 minutes, each with a unique storyline. Episodes include "Parents Are From Mars, Kids Are From Venus," "Which Witch," "My Monster," "We've Got Spirits, Yes We Do," "Standing Up for Yourself" and "The Treehouse."

This live action anthology series is loosely based on the graphic novel series by R.L. Stine, also titled "Just Beyond," so fans of the series, or any R.L. Stine story should love the show. The costume design, especially for "Which Witch" and "My Monster" are incredible; Luna's outfits are perfect for her character and the monster looks super realistic. And sometimes, the costumes even give references to past R.L. Stine work. The music is very fitting as it is eerie and gives you the chills as you listen. The cinematography really adds to the storyline, as there are so many unique angles and points of view. This show has some very talented young actors, such as McKenna Grace, who plays Veronica, Lexi Underwood as Ella, Cedric Joe plays Sam, Gabriel Bateman as Jack and Megan Scott who plays Olivia. I loved all the episodes, but my favorite is "Leave Them Kids Alone," because it just could happen.

The messages vary from episode to episode, but what stands out are: embracing uniqueness, not letting fear get the better of you and it matters more about what's inside than outside. Some of the episodes contain scary parts that young kids might find frightening.

I give Just Beyond 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. This show begins streaming on Disney+ October 13, 2021.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 11-18
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


LANGUAGE ARTS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LANGUAGE ARTS
KAIROS PRODUCTIONS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - A student project abruptly forces an emotionally stunted high school English teacher to confront his demons--past and present--taking him on a powerful journey of connection and redemption. Based on the novel, starring Ashley Zukerman, Sarah Shahi, Elliott Smith and Lincoln Lambert.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Language Arts is a powerful film about a difficult subject that draws you in as the characters develop and face challenges. It's emotional to see some of the challenges the characters face. It is even more difficult to see how children without challenges treat those with them.< p>The storyline follows a student that wants to do a project on how people with limited or no language skills are able to tell their own stories. Her English teacher, who grew up in a flawed family, has an autistic child. During this powerful movie he relives his life, the good and the bad, on a path that will bring him to a much better place.

We are introduced to people who have dementia, are autistic and those who have other challenges. The characters are full and rich. I don't believe the nun, with dementia, would have just been lead to a new room and quickly left there alone. The actor who plays Dana, who went to school with the teacher, delivers a great performance. However, I don't believe he would ever have been left unattended, given how challenged he is. The teacher and Charlie's child, Cody both give believable performances. Although the actors portray the characters well, I don't believe they would be as easily handled as the movie shows. The end of the film pulls everything together very well, particularly for Cody's divorced parents.

Much of the movie is very "beige." The scene where Charlie and his wife visit a doctor is the perfect example. Not only is the office beige, but Charlie and his wife's clothing match the colors of the wall. Cody's room is very "beige." Even the kitchen, where the nuns bake bread, have little color. The end of the film is the only place, for the most part, where there is color that pops. Given how heavy the material is, a little color may help. The way they tie the Palmer method of writing throughout the film is amazing! The costumes are accurate for the time, but again, adding some color might help. The only scene, besides the ending that has color is when Charlie is bartending and his wife is with him in a colorful outfit. How the characters act makes for great visual effects, from the nun making a collage of Cody's work with crunchy noodles and paper. What the characters do very much impacts how you see each one and makes them very believable.

Mrs. Braxton (Jane Ryan) plays a teacher of that time to perfection. The Charles (Elliot Smith) character is incredibly well developed from his dysfunctional and traumatic childhood, due to trauma suffered over the assault of Dana (Lincoln Lambert) and Charles' (Ashley Zukerman mother (not credited) not telling him that Dana survived. Dana gives a stellar performance and we discover he lived and had a rich life, and wrote his mother many letters, which leads right back to the Palmer method of writing.

There is also a point when Charles' mother-in-law sums her daughter up so succinctly it is a true gem of a line, "My daughter, let's hope out lasts the truth, otherwise known as denial. There are some real gems throughout the movie.

The director's skill shows throughout the film. The background music fits in well and is wonderful. The costumes needed some help, as they were very bland. My favorite scene is where Charlie's wife's parents visit to talk about home renovations. It meant a lot to see Charlie visit Dana's mother and finally learn the truth. The movie is well done and ventures into areas few have dared to go. For those who have not been in contact with people with these kinds of challenges, it important they see the full spectrum of humanity. The characters are rich and developed. It is a powerful movie with a great message. Although depressing in many ways, it is an excellent film with a positive message at the end.

The message is that everyone has a voice, although they may show it in different ways!< p>I give Language Arts 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 through 18, plus adults. This is a film that offers many viewers a whole new perspective.

By Evie K., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - An emotionally compelling film, with impeccable performances and superb cinematography, Language Arts provides viewers with a glimpse into the lives of parents of children with disabilities as well as the children themselves.

Language Arts follows a man on his life journey. As a student, he befriends Dana, an autistic boy who is part of a program at his school. Dana is bullied by other students every day and, after an especially horrid incident involving a pen and a pantsing, Dana's life is in danger. The film fast-forwards and the young man is now an English teacher with an autistic son named Cody and a strained marriage. Over the duration of the film, life comes full circle for him as he reconnects with his past and comes to terms with the struggles he faces through his student's photography project.

The film's director, Cornelia "Corrie" Dury�e, is part of the disabled community herself, as she suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, fibromyalgia and severe multiple chemical sensitivity. Her youngest son, who makes a cameo in the film, has ASD. Four actors in the film also have ASD, including Mickey Rowe , who is an incredible actor with great depth of emotion and, evidently, personal experience that fuels his conviction to the role. Lincoln Lambert plays Dana, and his portrayal of an autistic student is very compelling. The cinematography accents the turmoil faced by the characters, with many crisp and evocative close-ups, and music accents every poignant moment. Some of the cuts between years and ages of characters make the film tough to understand at the start, but the story unrolls as it develops in a magnificent fashion.

Language Arts promotes accepting each other for who they are; making friends with those that are different from you; and working together, which can help people overcome what may seem like an insuperable hurdle. The film does contain some profanity, portrayals of fights, and various instances of ableism. There are also some graphic scenes where Dana is violently bullied.

I give Language Arts 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. The film will resonate with parents of disabled children. It is available now on VOD.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Kid Reporter, age 15

Language Arts is an emotional film that covers a wide variety of heavy, yet entertaining topics. This film has talented actors, great sets, relatable storylines, strong characters and fabulous cinematography. The creativity of this film is so cool, although it is sometimes a little bit confusing.

The storyline follows Charles Marlow (Ashley Zukerman) as he deals with family issues and connects with differently abled people throughout his life. As some young autistic patients start sparking memories of his childhood, we travel back to those times with him. As we visit his past, we see young Charles Marlow (Elliott Smith) and Dana McGucken (Lincoln Lambert) in elementary school, meeting and marrying Allison Forche-Marlow (Sarah Shahi) and then dealing with his disabled son, Cody Marlow (Kieran Walton). We get even more backstory about young Charles as kid and observe his life with his constantly arguing parents.

Language Arts has many fantastic elements; one of them being the incredibly well-chosen actors. The emotional story leads to deeply developed characters, which requires talented actors to pull off. Each actor portrays their character very well. Some of the best performances are from Elliott Smith as young Charles Marlow and Sarah Shahi as Allison Forche-Marlow. Young Charles Marlow deals with many challenging situations, including distant parents and bullying. Elliott Smith captures his character so well that I believe he is Charles. Sarah Shahi clearly connects with her character, Allison. She shines a light on Allison's real desires and personality, despite her actions telling a different story. Most importantly, the storyline is relatable and written strong enough to give actors the opportunity to shine. Each character has its own subplot so that every character is important. Learning about the secondary characters' backgrounds and deepest desires through the subplots adds to the film. The sets are another standout part. I particularly liked the set in the art studio which features beautiful artwork. The camerawork is also outstanding, using a variety of angles to draw you into the scenes. I love the creativity of the film jumping back and forth in time, allowing us to see the characters when they were younger, which helps us understand their current point of view. Yet that gets confusing at times. Sometimes it's difficult to know if I'm watching something from the past, present or future and that makes the storyline hard to follow. However, once you get accustomed to those time changes, which includes change of wardrobe and period-specific sets, the film is easier to follow.

The message of this film is to treat people with disabilities with the same respect as anyone else. There are other important themes that are shown such as being kind and living life to its fullest. Language Arts does address heavy topics, contains some profanity and is a sad story in many ways.

I give Language Arts 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Language Arts now on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Vudu.

By Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


GHOST AND MOLY MCGEE, THE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
GHOST AND MOLY MCGEE, THE
DISNEY CHANNEL Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 6-16
Description - Tween optimist Molly McGee lives to make the world a better place, fix what has gone wrong, and spread joy. Meanwhile, cantankerous ghost Scratch lives to make the world a worse place, break what has gone right, and spread misery. When a curse from Scratch backfires, he finds himself forever bound to Molly. Despite that, Scratch and Molly form an unlikely friendship that guides each of them through the ups and downs of their respective worlds.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Ghost and Molly Mcgee is a fun show about the supernatural. With so many things that don't exist in the real world, this show makes you see into the world of the supernatural.

This show is about Molly Mcgee (Ashly Burch) and The Ghost whose name is Scratch (Dana Snyder). When Molly moves into a new house that is haunted by Scratch, Molly instantly befriends him and, in an attempt to get her off his back, he curses her so that she will be haunted forever - but, that ends up being a curse for him. To find out what happens to this hilarious duo watch this show!

One cool thing about this show is that, when the ghost does his haunting thing, the whole screen turns sideways and the colors go crazy, which makes it so entertaining to watch. Another thing I like about this show is the ghost council. The head ghosts hands out assignments and each ghost gets a scare report where they have to show a certain amount of scares during a certain period of time. The whole show is animated and has a very different style of animation. Most animated shows I watch try to look 3D and as realistic as possible, but this one is closer to 2D and it intentionally looks more like a cartoon. That has a more kid-friendly feel, especially with the scary ghost scenes.

The message is that unlikely friendships can work out.

I give The Ghost and Molly Mcgee 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 16. I think younger kids might find the ghost scenes a little scary. This begins streaming October 1, 2021 on Hulu TV Live.

By Avalon N. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-16
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV



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