The Family category has 2430 KIDS FIRST! endorsed titles
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BOSS BABY: BACK IN THE CRIB
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BOSS BABY: BACK IN THE CRIB
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 6-12
Description - Theodore Templeton is framed for embezzlement and forced to revert back to his old Boss Baby self and crash with his brother Tim and his two nieces, brainy big kid Tabitha and fellow Baby Corp employee Tina. Together, Boss Baby and Tina co-lead a new Field Team fighting to increase Baby Love while keeping a new group of arch-nemeses - The Uncuddleables - from destroying Baby Corp itself. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, "Boss Baby: Back in the Crib is a great show for the whole family. This new animated series is the next installment in the Boss Baby franchise and is super entertaining for kids while still staying relatable to parents."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Boss Baby: Back in the Crib is a great show for the whole family. This new animated series is the next installment in the Boss Baby franchise and is super entertaining for kids while still staying relatable to parents.

When Theodore Templeton (JP Karliak) gets framed for embezzlement by his employees, he is forced to turn into his baby self and hide with his brother, Timothy (Max Miittelman) to escape from the FBI. While staying at his brother's house, he rejoins Baby Corp. and goes on many secret missions and exciting adventures with former characters and a whole new crew.

Since this show is based on The Boss Baby, Boss Baby: Back in Business, and Boss Baby 2: Family Business, I would recommend watching them in advance as the series references characters and storylines from these movies and show, but it is not necessary. And even though there are several different storylines in the Boss Baby franchise, this series still stays fresh and unique. Although it's not for my age range, it's is the perfect show for young children and their parents to enjoy. The strongest performances of the show come from JP Karliak, Mary Faber and Ariana Greenblatt. JP Karliak as Boss Baby is so funny and excellently mimics Alec Baldwin, who voiced Boss Baby originally. Mary Faber voices Tina, and she brings such a happy and sweet mood to the scenes she is in. Ariana Greenblatt in the role of Tabitha has the perfect proportions of clever, smart and caring that a big sister would have. My favorite character is NannyCam No Filter CEO Baby, voiced by Nicole Byer because she is so hilarious and brings a wonderful personality to the long line of Baby Corp CEOs.

The message of Boss Baby: Back in the Crib to fight for what you believe is right. This show also has great themes of teamwork and friendship, and how everyone deserves love.

I give Boss Baby: Back in the Crib 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 11, plus adults. It comes out on Netflix May 19, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA
FOCUS FEATURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - From award-winning creator Julian Fellowes comes the motion picture event DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA. The much-anticipated cinematic return of the global phenomenon reunites the beloved cast as they go on a grand journey to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess' newly inherited villa.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Crawley family returns once more! Downton Abbey: A New Era brings all our favorite characters together again in interesting circumstances. Fans will love what's in store in this new film.

Downton Abbey: A New Era focuses on the secret past of the Dowager Countess Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith). She comes into possession of a property in the South of France. Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and his family head to France to investigate why the villa was given to his mother. Meanwhile back at Downton, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) hosts a crew of filmmakers and actors who use the estate as a set for their new film.

It's so incredible to return to the Downton Abbey era and the Crawley family. Each one is out of their comfort zone in this new movie, which is absolutely hilarious. Lady Mary becomes a voice actress temporarily and seeing Robert hate the film crew for taking over his property is as funny as possible. The Crawleys have seen the times change and preparing for cinema to take over is amazing. It makes audiences realize how this generation saw life change so rapidly. Tom Branson (Allen Leech) is happily married and some new couples flourish in the film too. It's beautiful to see how much the characters have changed since the first time we met them in 2010. This movie focuses on relationships and characters that we haven't seen that often. It's refreshing to watch the pure relationship Daisy (Sophia McShera) and Andrew (Michael Fox) have and I loved watching fan-favorite Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) chase her love. The wardrobe is as spectacular as ever, even adding some Victorian pieces for the film being made at Downton. The comedy is brilliant and cunning, reminding us why we love Violet as much as we do.

There are many messages to take away here. Lady Mary learns to embrace the new era of filmmaking and life as she gets out of her comfort zone and realizes that it's okay to try new things. Lord Grantham learns that, even though being Earl and having property is a big part of his life, it is not everything. He realizes how important his family is to him.

I give Downton Abbey: A New Era 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 plus adults. It releases in theaters May 20, 2022.

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

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


THEY CALL ME MAGIC
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
THEY CALL ME MAGIC
APPLE TV Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - Takes an illuminating, holistic look into the life and career of one of the world's most iconic figures, Earvin "Magic" Johnson. This docuseries explores the remarkable accomplishments and global impact of Johnson's life, both on and off the court. From his humble beginnings in Lansing, Michigan to becoming a five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, he changed the conversation around HIV and transcended into a community activist and successful entrepreneur. Featuring never-before-seen footage and interviews with Magic, his family, powerhouses from business and politics, and those in his inner circle, the series will offer an unprecedented look at one of the biggest cultural icons of our era.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth review
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like They Call Me Magic because it is a four-episode docuseries about the life and career of Earvin "Magic" Johnson, the five time NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers. The audience can appreciate Magic's humbleness, sacrifices and challenges he went through in order to be the Legend he is today.

They Call Me Magic is about the beginning of Earvin "Magic" Johnson's career as a basketball player, his journey from playing in high school, college, becoming an NBA All Star player, and a successful businessman and advocate for the minority communities. The audience will learn where his nickname Magic came from. What type of obstacles Magic had to go through to have the successful life he has today. He experienced racism, rivalry, jealousy, three engagements gone wrong with his actual wife, Cookie Johnson, he has the HIV virus and had to deal with the acceptance of his son, EJ Johnson, being homosexual and the repercussion that comes with it.

This Apple TV+ docuseries was directed by Rick Famuyiwa with editor Dirk Westervelt and cinematographer Rachel Morrison. The audience will enjoy listening to special guests narrating some of Magic Johnson's highlight moments in his life. We get to see former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton expressing their admiration for Magic. Former basketball players like Charles Barkley, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talking about their personal experiences with Magic, inside and outside the basketball court. Jimmy Kimmel, Arsenio Hall, Samuel O'Jackson and Snoop Dog are also some of the celebrities expressing their admiration and narrating Magic's influence in his community and globally. Today, Earvin "Magic" Johnson is a successful businessman, an advocate for HIV/AIDS patients and for the minority community. He owns several sports teams as well.

The moral of this docuseries is that things always happen for a reason and to never give up when situations in life get hard. Magic never thought that having the HIV virus will turn his life for good by educating the world about this illness. He shared his experience with the virus and taught the world that AIDS is not necessary a gay illness. Anyone can be contaminated by this virus.

I'd give They Call Me Magic 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, with adult's supervision due to foul language. They Call Me Magic is available now on Apple TV+.



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


SNOOPY PRESENTS: TO MOM (AND DAD), WITH LOVE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SNOOPY PRESENTS: TO MOM (AND DAD), WITH LOVE
APPLE TV Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV, AGES 5-18
Description - This short film tells the story of Peppermint Patty. All the other kids are excited to celebrate the special day, Mother's Day. But Peppermint Patty never had a mother, so she decides to celebrate her father instead since he does mother things.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - To Mom (and Dad), with Love is a funny and heartwarming animated film about different types of families and how not every family is the same. This 40-minute story featuring the much-loved Peanuts gang appeals to all ages -- old and new fans alike - and will pull you in with its bright colors and sweet storyline. The film has an original point of view on Mother's Day because the main protagonist, Peppermint Patty, doesn't have a mom, though the reason isn't specified. Audiences can only tell that she has a dad, who is very special to her.

The story of To Mom (and Dad), with Love jumps from character to character as each does something original for Mother's Day. The main character, Peppermint Patty (voiced by Lexi Perri), has to find her own way to celebrate a holiday that has always been hard for her. By the end, Patty figures out how to celebrate her own unique family. This film shows almost every character celebrating Mother's Day. Lucy (Isabella Leo) tries to make an art project; Charlie Brown (Tyler Nathan) and his sister, Sally (Hattie Kragten), experiment with a lot of ideas; and other characters, including Snoopy (Terry Mcgurrin) and Woodstock (Rob Tinkler) do something creative and unique for their families, too!

To Mom (and Dad), with Love has a theme of embracing differences and being yourself, as well as celebrating moms (and dads) and caretakers in whatever form they take.

I give To Mom (and Dad), with Love 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 14, plus adults. It releases on Apple TV May 6, 2022, just ahead of Mother's Day!

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

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


BRIE'S BAKE OFF CHALLENGE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BRIE'S BAKE OFF CHALLENGE
HBO MAX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-14
Description - Brie Hayes is an aspiring baker who wishes to win her school's Spring Bake Off Challenge. Troubles ensue when Brie's confidence reaches an ultimate low and her "arch nemesis", Vanessa, does everything she can to slim Brie's chances of winning. Brie's family and her best friend Millie must help her gain perspective and practice to win. Stakes are high as these pre-teens compete for the grand prize of $5,000 and for four Cosmo Land tickets. This is the ultimate baking movie for children and adults who love watching cooking and baking shows.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - First things first, if you are a fan of baking competition shows, you'll want to stop what you're doing and tune into this brilliant and fun film. Brie's Bake Off Challenge delivers all the adorableness and laughter of a teen dramedy while speaking directly to my food-loving spirit. If you appreciate a cute, teeny-bop movie, you're in for a sweet treat!

Brie Hayes (Devyn Mitchell) is an aspiring baker who wants nothing more than to win her school's annual Spring Bake Off Challenge. The path to victory becomes harder for Brie to see as her view is blocked by self-doubt, issues with her adversary, and tension with her best friend. With a $5,000 grand prize and four Cosmo Land tickets at stake, Brie is more determined than ever to be the champion.

Devyn Mitchell's performance pulls viewers in emotionally. Her acting range is evident in multiple scenes. First, you see her anger when she scolds her little brother Peter (Isiah Givens) for destroying her chocolate cake. Next, you see her discontentment and frustration when she goes toe to toe with her arch-nemesis and bully Vanessa Weiler. Then she shows you her creative and intelligent side when strategizing how to win with her best friend BFFL Millie (Mallory Vertman). This film keeps the competitive energy of baking shows while making us feel like we were walking the halls of middle school. My favorite part of the film was when Brie's Mother, Violet (Jennifer Richards), decides to put Brie and her best friend through intensive baking training.

Brie's Bake Off Challenge reminds tweens that even our worst days are temporary and demonstrates the importance of resilience and determination. There are a series of unfortunate events, and she easily could have used those dilemmas as a reason to quit. But instead, her perseverance has great reward. This sends an encouraging message to tweens facing similar situations.

I give Brie's Bake Off Challenge 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 14, plus adults. Brie's Bake Off Challenge is available now on HBO MAX. Check it out if you love cute teen movies, delectable baked goods, and movies with happy endings.



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


TRANSFORMERS: BOTBOTS
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
TRANSFORMERS: BOTBOTS
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 8 TO 13
Description - When the lights go out at the mall, the BotBots come out to play. Meet a fun-loving crew of everyday objects that morph into robots at closing time.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - A cheeseburger, soccer ball, flashlight and even a plunger ... the Transformers are back like you've never seen them! They may be smaller robots than what we usually see, but these bots are still more than what meets the eye in the upcoming new series, Transformers: BotBots, named and based off the toy line of the same name. You'll enjoy relatable characters, hilarious adventures and great friendships in the first comedy in the Transformers franchise.

Transformers: BotBots follows everyday objects that turn into mini robots at night after a substance called Energon hits the mall. Things get interesting when "The Lost Bots" from the lost and found section of the mall run into the mall guard as they strive to get back into their original squads. Will they be able to prove that they are worthy of being part of their original groups or will they stay lost forever?

Burgertron (James Harnett) is the main protagonist of the Netflix series Transformers: Botbots. He is a burger transformer, the former leader of the Food Court Squad and leader of the "Lost Bots." The rest of the "Lost Bot" team are Kikmee the soccer ball (Lisa Norton), Dimlit the flashlight (Deven Christian Mack), Cloggstopper the plunger (Christian Potenza and Bonz-eye the Bonsai plant (Louisa Zhu). Most of the adventures take place as the "Lost Bots" try to avoid the flesh being, Dave the Mall Guard (Mark Little). I love how, throughout the entire series, each episode is a new adventure and picks up where the previous one left off -- almost like a movie. One of my favorite characters is Bonz-eye because she is fierce, carries a cool Katana and is the perfect representation of girl empowerment. The series is really funny, especially when Bonz-eye tries to slingshot Burgertron to save another bot and does it with enough force to cause his toppings to spill out.

Transformers: BotBots is about not focusing so much on the negative or changes that happen in your life. The "Lost Bots" were so focused on reconnecting with their original squads that they forgot to take time to appreciate the new friendships they had with each other. Sometimes you just have to stop and enjoy what life gives you.

I give Transformers: BotBots 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 13, plus adults. It really has something for everyone, and you can stream it now on Netflix.

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

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 8-13
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


NO VACANCY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
NO VACANCY
KINGSTONE STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - A jaded reporter is demoted to a rural news station, where she befriends a recovering addict and gets involved with a church's plans to transform an old motel into housing for homeless families.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - No Vacancy is a good, heartwarming tale, which is especially crowd-pleasing as it is based on a true story.

Brandi Michaels (Sean Young) is a news reporter who lives with her mom and an alcoholic brother (Wade Hunt Williams). Being a very close-minded person, her view of the world changes when she meets a homeless drug addict (T.C. Stallings). She believes that people are only out for themselves, but when she discovers a church that is struggling to purchase a motel for homeless families, her thoughts change.

The storyline hooked me into the movie the most. I found it very exciting. Even though this isn't an action movie, No Vacancy is engaging. Sean Young, who plays main character Brandi, is an exceptional actress when it comes to emotion. She has subtle expressions which contribute to my overall favorable opinion of this film. Brandi is portrayed as a simple person whose view of the whole world changes after she sees how unselfish and altruistic people can be, and the character development portrays this evidently. The pace of the film is perfect, not being too fast or too slow.

The message I took away from this film is that selflessness does exist, and when someone is selfless it can mean a great deal more than people may think it will. There are scenes that show smoking, and there are depictions of alcohol and drug addiction. No Vacancy is suitable for more mature children as there is no severe profanity or intimacy.

I give No Vacancy 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for mature kids ages 12 to18, plus adults. No Vacancy releases in theaters on May 9, 2022.

Apurva S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


IT'S THE SMALL THINGS, CHARLIE BROWN
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
IT'S THE SMALL THINGS, CHARLIE BROWN
APPLE TV Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SHORT, AGES 8 TO 18
Description - Sally's bond with a special little flower on the baseball field may spell disaster for the big game. For Charlie Brown and the team, it's just the inspiration they need to make a positive impact on their environment. It's the Small Things, Charlie Brown is the Peanuts Earth Day TV special which features an original song by American singer-songwriter Ben Folds, Tyler Nathan as Charlie Brown, Terry McGurrin as Snoopy, Hattie Kragten as Sally, Rob Tinkler as Woodstock, Lexi Perri as Peppermint, Patty Isabella Leo as Lucy van P.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Since 1965, the characters in Charles M. Schulz's famous Peanuts comics have brought joy to so many families during the holidays and have also served to promote mature conversation among them. Not much has changed in 2022, as Craig and Bryan Schulz bring the new Earth Day special It's The Small Things, Charlie Brown to Apple TV+. With a deep message and multilayered characters, It's The Small Things, Charlie Brown is the perfect special to galvanize kids into climate action this Earth Day.

In this short film Charlie Brown (Tyler Nathan) is determined to help his team win the big baseball game against Peppermint Patty's (Lexi Perri) team so he can claim the neighborhood pennant. But things turn into a fiasco right before the game when Sally (Hattie Kragten) bonds with a flower on the pitcher's mound and vows to protect it at all costs. Charlie Brown tries his hardest to get her off the mound but repeatedly fails. Throughout her sit-in, all the characters learn to value nature.

What I find intriguing about this special is that it's one big metaphor; Charlie Brown represents the average person, and the ball field represents the planet. Charlie Brown is so obsessed with winning this ballgame that he doesn't see that the ball field is going downhill. Sally represents the new generation, whose focus is on conservation and enhancing the planet. The animation style of this special is the part of the production that stands out the most to me. It is somewhere between the 70s still-frame animation and The Peanuts Movie. In each scene, the lighting is manipulated to make the characters look more lifelike and three-dimensional. It's absolutely beautiful. Though Snoopy (Terry McGurrin) isn't the focus of the special, I still love how his character develops throughout the 38 minute short. By the end of the film, he too realizes how important it is to save the environment. For kids like me who love Snoopy even more than Charlie Brown, this sends a great message. I'm also a big fan of Tyler Nathan as Charlie Brown and Hattie Kragten as Sally; their voice acting really completes the package of the show and makes the plot more believable.

It's The Small Things, Charlie Brown promotes taking initiative, caring for others (whether people, animals or plants), saving our planet and serving as a positive role model for others.

I give It's The Small Things, Charlie Brown 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. It's The Small Things, Charlie Brown is available to stream now on Apple TV+ in celebration of Earth Day 2022.

Just in time for Earth Day, Charlie Brown and the gang are back with a special message about environmental protection and using your voice in a fun, yet educational way only the Peanuts gang can deliver! In the new short film, It's the Small Things, Charlie Brown, they are ready to plant flowers, and clean up trash to make our planet a better place. Everyone loves the Peanuts gang, so what better way to spread the message?

In It's the Small Things, Charlie Brown, the main characters in this short film are Sally Brown (Hattie Kragten) and Charlie Brown (Tyler Nathan). In the story, Charlie Brown just wants to play a baseball game, but his little sister, Sally, finds a special little flower on the baseball field that reminds her of herself. She decides she must protect this flower and give it a voice. Sally relates to the flower because she is also small and tends to be lonely and ignored. It is a nice touch that the flower's petals are the same color and shape as Sally's hair.

The film has updates to the animation techniques, but still gives us the look and feel of the original animation we've come to love. I love the diverse cast and how it reflects what our world looks like today. One of my favorite parts is when Ben Folds' original song, "It's the Small Things, Charlie Brown," plays as Sally is singing about the flower on the mound. It really breaks down how we are all connected to the Earth and can come together to make things happen.

It's the Small Things, Charlie Brown shows us how important and easy it is to take care of our planet, no matter how young or small you are. Even though Sally was told she was too small to play baseball, she wasn't too small to take a stand to try to help protect and save the flower, which represents the Earth. Sally was able to use her voice to show how we should speak up to help save the world.

he Peanuts world is known for creating content that prompts conversations for adults and that also inspires young people, and this film does just that. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 3 to 18, plus adults. You can watch It's the Small Things, Charlie Brown on Apple TV+ now!

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

It's The Small Things, Charlie Brown is a funny, inspirational and entertaining movie. Though it's only 40 minutes long it really embodies the classic Charlie Brown spirit.

This film is about Charlie Brown (Tyler James Nathan). There is a big baseball game between Charlie's team and Peppermint Patty's (Lexi Perri) - a championship. Unfortunately, Sally (Hattie Kragten) grows attached to a flower on the pitcher's mound, preventing the game from happening. In the film, we find out what Charlie Brown does about this.

In It's The Small Things, Charlie Brown there are many fun things to talk about. One is the use of the old style Charlie Brown comics. Rather than use the new style of 3D animation, like some recent Charlie Brown movies, this film goes back to 2D style animation, although it still is very high quality and has cool animation. Another thing is the use of words during the practicing baseball scene. When they hit the ball there is a fun "POP!" animation on the screen and it really caught my eye and kept my attention. Lastly, there is a really fun song about how "It's The Small Things" - hence the title. It is a really beautiful song about a dandelion and, while others consider it a weed, Sally promises to keep it safe.

The message of the film is that sometimes it's not about the thing, but the love you show for it.

I give It's The Small Things, Charlie Brown 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 16, plus. It's available on Apple TV+ now - just in time for Earth Day!

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

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


CHLOE AND THEO
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CHLOE AND THEO
VISION FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-18
Description - Based on true events, a young woman living on the streets meets a wise Inuit elder who was sent to New York by his elders to provide a message of change to the world. The woman, who had been searching for something to believe in, becomes inspired and, with the help of a kind lawyer, the three of them present his story to the United Nations in hopes of creating a better future for us all.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Chloe and Theo is a film about the effects of climate change and how they need to be stopped. The movie has a good message, but falls a bit flat, mainly due to some stereotyping and insensitive jokes, such as people calling Theo an Eskimo despite him telling them repeatedly that he is Inuit. I was disappointed about the representation of the Inuit people.

Chloe and Theo is based on true events about an Inuit man named Theo who comes to New York to warn people about climate change. While in the city Theo meets a homeless girl named Chloe who helps him on his quest. They are joined by a lawyer, and the three of them talk to the United Nations about the dangers of climate change.

Chloe and Theo has an interesting story a great message about spreading climate change awareness. However, the Inuit man, Theo is often the butt of jokes, which is unfortunate. The story flows well, although there are some parts where it drags and it takes a while to get the plot moving. I was disappointed that there wasn't more focus on Theo's story. The vocabulary is suitable for the audience. Visually, the movie looks quite good. The camera work is good and there are some animated aspects, such as when Theo talks about the Inuit tale of the sun kissing the earth that are terrific. The film provides some insight into Inuit culture, but it isn't explored that much, except for the tale of the sun kissing the earth. People may be inspired by this film to want to learn more about Inuit culture and hopefully about climate change.

The message of the film is about the devastating effects of climate change; it emphasizes the need for everyone to play their part in stopping it. There is some violence. For example, in one scene Chloe fights with UN employees and, although it's not graphic, they drag her on top of the table and restrain her. At another point, Chloe tries to jump off of a building, but is stopped by Tyler. At the end of the movie, Theo is stabbed and killed, and blood is shown on his body and on the knife.

I give Chloe and Theo 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Medha N. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Chloe and Theo is a touching and thought-provoking story based on the life of a young homeless woman named Chloe whose world changes when she meets an Inuit with a message to help save the world. Theo, an Inuit, travels from the snow-covered Arctic to New York City in search of the Elders of the South. They both discover that although their worlds are very different, friendship and a common cause can bring people close together.

The film begins in the Arctic, a winter wonderland, where Theo (Theo Ikummaq, who is playing himself) and other Inuit are discussing the effects of the sun and global warming on their environment. They decide it's time for someone to deliver this message to Elders in the South to help save Earth. They choose Theo as the best candidate because he spent time in the South when he was young. He sets out on his mission and ends up in New York City in search of the Elders. Along the way, he meets Chloe (Dakota Johnson), a homeless girl who seems tough on the outside, but has a kind heart. She listens to his message and decides she wants to help him spread it. Together they face many obstacles and dangers, but they also make new friends, including a woman named Monica (Mira Sorvino), who are determined to assist Theo in his journey to deliver his message help save the environment.

My favorite scene is when Theo goes to a meeting with other green environmental companies who have the same goals as Theo. Theo decides to take the stairs and walk up to the top of the building rather than taking the elevator. Thankfully, Chloe and his other friends cover for him in the meeting while he walks up all those flights. The scene shows how far Theo is willing to go for his cause while adding a bit of humor. The costumes fit each character's situation and culture. Theo is seen in clothes he would wear in his village in the Arctic and his clothes change in the film due to the storyline. Chloe is seen with worn, dirty clothes and messy hair, which showcase what it's like to live on the streets. The contrast in settings helps the viewer to understand the characters' lives. The peaceful Arctic village, compared to the noisy city, shows how different Chloe and Theo's lives are. The place Chloe shares with her street friends is also a contrast to the apartment belonging Monica who helps them.

The messages in this film are to care for others and for the Earth's environment. People are all connected no matter how far apart they live. Protecting the Earth is vital for survival for everyone, so everyone should work together to make sure it is taken care of for the future. There is some mild violence that parents should be aware of.

I give Chloe and Theo 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this for ages 12 to 17, plus adults. Chloe and Theo releases just in time for Earth Day, April 22, 2022 on Digital and DVD.

By Carlee S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

Chloe and Theo is a unique and inspiring film that shows how unlikely friendships can change the world! Caring and helping with the environment is very crucial and this film brilliantly portrays this message.

A homeless female, Chloe and an Inuit named Theo build a relationship after getting a life changing message in order to save the world. Despite being total opposites and having a difficult, yet hilarious adventure, both Chloe and Theo create an unbreakable bond in order to finish the mission successfully.

Chloe (Dakota Johnson) is my favorite character in this film. Dakota Johnson is an all-around, well-rounded actress and her acting brings so much to the complex character of Chloe. There is so much character development with Chloe; we see how she grows and matures as a person. Her character is someone that many people will relate to. The Inuit, Theo (Theo Ikummaq) essentially plays himself and captures his own cultural heritage with what seems like little to no acting. His portrayal Theo makes this film heartfelt and more personal for audiences. Chloe portrays a homeless woman and her clothing shows us exactly what her circumstances are. Theo's clothing, to the best of my knowledge, does justice to the Inuit culture by using traditional attire. The music and score, from start to finish, is incredible! Every funny scene, serious scene or even dialogue rich scene is enhanced with the background music. My favorite scenes of the film are those with educational aspects. While much of the film is based on fictional storylines, there are many cultural and environmental aspects that I learned by watching this film -- an experience you don't have often with movies.

The message of this film is to be open minded to different people and possibilities. If Chloe had rejected the opportunity to help Theo carry out the message to save the environment, then she would not have been able to be a hero or make a difference. Despite their differences, they looked past this and decided to see the bigger picture - a lesson I encourage all to learn from.

I give Chloe and Theo 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Chloe and Theo releases just in time for Earth Day, April 22, 2022 on Digital and DVD. Don't miss it!

By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

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


FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald's growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - See youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - This fascinating film, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore finally gives us the long-awaited backstory of what is going on in Dumbledore's brilliant mind throughout the Harry Potter saga. The movie is heart-wrenching, and yet at moments it leaves you bent over with laughter. The actors are truly convincing, bringing their characters to life. Every Harry Potter fan will enjoy hearing the subtle references to the books as they watch the infamous Grindelwald at the height of his power.

The storyline follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his comrades as they act on instructions given by Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to find and defeat the dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen). This unlikely team faces major challenges and setbacks as they try to stop Grindelwald from winning the election for Minister of Magic. Newt uses his quick mind to find him, with help from his fantastic beasts, his friends' brilliant minds and his brother's spell work. Dumbledore has a plan, although he is just as secretive as all Harry Potter fans will surely remember. Will a small group of wizards (and a muggle) be able to defeat the greatest dark wizard of the time?

Jude Law portrays Dumbledore almost perfectly, just as people have always imagined his younger self to be. Dumbledore's secrecy, love and trustworthiness come across effortlessly in Jude Law's face. The protagonist, Newt Scamander, is likable and a spark of joy in these dark times. The computer generated fantastical beasts are extremely realistic and adorable, and the visual effects during fight scenes are powerful. My favorite part of this movie is the bittersweet ending. Watching the characters finally enjoy their lives, far away from evil, brought tears to my eyes.

The message of this film is that strength comes in numbers. One person may be powerful, but when people come together using their unique strengths, they can triumph. This is a beautiful message to all those who feel helpless, reminding them that they can always turn to people they trust. There are not many age restrictions in this movie, but I think it will be more interesting to slightly older audiences. The film starts slow and there are subtle clues that the viewer needs to pay attention to in order to completely understand the storyline. Because of this, this movie would be most appealing to people over the age of eleven.

I give Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters on Friday, April 15, 2022.

By Nyara Afshar, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the 3rd movie of the Fantastic Beasts movie series. It brings the same mysterious, dangerous-yet-exciting adventure as the movies that came before it. Actor Eddie Redmayne's character, Newt Scamander has a new mission that is more courageous and dangerous than before! Can he do it? Will Newt and his team be able to successfully complete this mission?

Newt Scamander and his team are tasked with trying to stop Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) from taking over the wizarding world. Not only is this movie mysterious with great humor, but it is also dark, eerie and action packed with enough action and suspense to keep you guessing. There are parts where I laughed so hard--I love a movie when I can get a good laugh in. Let's talk about suspense: The whole movie kept me on my toes. I kept wondering what was going to happen next. I was never able to predict what would happen next, which made the movie extremely enjoyable. Viewers of the previous Fantastic Beasts movies will really enjoy this movie. Part 3 aligns perfectly with the other two movies; therefore, it makes it easy to follow what was going on from the start. Honestly, you really do not need to watch the other two to follow the movie.

There is a lot going on in the movie with switching clips from one character to next, yet the camera quality and editing makes it easy to keep up with. The acting also makes this movie wonderful-- it has a marvelous cast, and you can see how well they all worked together. I really enjoyed the plot and storyline of this movie. It is interesting all the way through, and I never lost my attention.

The message of this movie is to not judge people or alienate others because they can't do certain things, look different, and accept your family members for who they are. The movie is kid appropriate. There's no bad language or drugs. The most violence shown is battling with the wands. Some of the creatures can be scary or creepy for younger kids, but it is not too bad.

I give Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. The film releases in theaters April 15, 2022.

By Ava Coleman, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

After four years of waiting, the third movie in the Fantastic Beasts franchise is finally here! Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore has a perfect balance of comedic scenes that will make you chuckle and action-packed scenes that will make your adrenaline pump and tightly grip your seat.

Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), former partner of Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) and future headmaster of Hogwarts, calls upon Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), the socially awkward but loveable "magizoologist" to lead a team of witches, wizards and muggles to defeat Grindelwald and his vast crowd of supporters before he takes over the Wizarding World and starts a war between muggles and wizards.

I highly recommend watching the first two films in this prequel, Harry Potter spin-off series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald before watching this third installment. However, it is not necessary to watch the Harry Potter movies or read the Harry Potter books. The special effects are remarkable, as all the magical animals are truly "fantastic" and the magic spells coming out of the wands are so convincing. The movie takes place in the 1930s and the costumes, objects and sets are absolutely beautiful and so well put together. The movie also maintains an accuracy to the era. The acting is very strong in this movie, especially with Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore, Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald, Eddie Redmayne as Newt, and Jessica Williams as Professor Hicks. My favorite character is, without a doubt, Jacob Kowalski, (Dan Fogler), the amiable muggle, because he is so hilarious at some points and also convincingly serious in others.

The message of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is to do what is right and not what is easy. There is violence and death in this movie, so be aware of that for younger viewers.

I give Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Fans of the Wizarding World will definitely enjoy this. This will be released exclusively in theaters on April 15, 2022.

By Katherine Schell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Now everything makes sense! Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore is the story all Harry Potter Fans have been waiting to witness.

As mentioned in the title, this film takes us on a journey through the incredible and unpredictable backstory of Albus Dumbledore. The wizard we all know and love is revealed to have a darker past that has impacted the lives of all wizards and humans.

Despite the title, Dumbledore is not in every scene--however, this brilliantly adds suspense and mystery throughout the execution of the plot. The main character Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) creates cohesiveness throughout this entire Fantastic Beasts franchise. Witch Eulalie Hicks (Jessica Williams) is a wonderful addition to the team--however, one thing I notice is how forced her personality comes across. The costume design and music score are phenomenal. Both interestingly work together in different settings throughout. My favorite scenes are the ones with Jacob Kowalski (Dan Folger) who is the best comic relief for such a heavy story.

The message of this film is to never forget who you are and where you come from. Dumbledore had to come to terms with his past in order to solve the predicament that he is in. Some scenes may be mature for younger audiences.

I give Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore comes out Friday, April 15, 2022 in theaters.

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


POLAR BEAR
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
POLAR BEAR
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 5-18
Description - The film follows the story of a new mother whose memories of her own youth prepare her to navigate motherhood in the increasingly challenging world that polar bears face today. Narrated by two-time Academy Award� nominee Catherine Keener (Capote, Being John Malkovich), Disneynature's Polar Bear tells the story of a new mother whose memories of her own youth prepare her to navigate motherhood in the increasingly challenging world that polar bears face today. Helmed by Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson, the directing team behind Disneynature's Penguins, and produced by Fothergill, Wilson, Jason Roberts, Keith Scholey and Roy Conli.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Have you ever watched a film that left you filled with so much emotion that it rendered you speechless? Disneynature's new Earth Day film Polar Bear has done just that. As a huge advocate for nature, I appreciate this film so much and truly believe that this just may be the film that inspires us all to create the environmental change that can save our planet.

This nature documentary follows the life journey of a mother polar bear and her two cubs. This brave mother navigates through some of the roughest and most dangerous ecosystems on our planet while teaching her cubs all about survival. Environmental changes over the years, however, have negatively impacted these ice bears resulting in an even greater struggle for existence. If these creatures are to survive in this modern world, they must learn to adapt and to pass new survival skills to their offspring which we are able to witness in Polar Bear.

Although the film is so heartfelt and difficult to watch at times, its footage is exactly what we need for a call to action because it creates awareness. If people are unaware of the causes and consequences of climate change, we can't fix it. Directors Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson have created a masterpiece filled with the most breathtaking scenes with each one serving to educate viewers. The cinematography is so captivating, and I especially love the aerial footage. Actor Catherine Keener adds a special touch to the film with her first-person narration of the female cub who shares how the memories of growing up alongside her courageous mother helped to shape her own motherhood.

The message in Polar Bear is about conservation awareness and a need for global commitment to make change. I'm hoping that this film's message inspires others to think more about nature and what would happen if ecosystems were lost forever. Polar Bear also sends the message of the importance of strong family bonds and how for some species, these bonds are critical for survival.

I give Polar Bear 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adults, especially nature lovers, will also love this film. Polar Bear begins streaming exclusively on Disney+ on Earth Day, April 22, 2022. Mark your calendars and spread the word, this is a film that you don't want to miss!

By Dominic DiGravio, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

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


FAIRLY ODDPARENTS, THE: FAIRLY ODDER
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FAIRLY ODDPARENTS, THE: FAIRLY ODDER
PARAMOUNT PLUS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 5-12
Description - Combining live action and animation, The Fairly Oddparents: Fairly Odder will pick up years after the original ended by following Timmy Turner's cousin, Vivian "Viv" Turner, and her new stepbrother, Roy Raskin, as they navigate life in Dimmsdale with the help of their fairy godparents, Wanda and Cosmo. In The Fairly Oddparents: Fairly Odder, Ty Turner uproots his life to reunite with his high school sweetheart, Rachel Raskin, in the town of Dimmsdale, thrusting his cautious 13-year-old daughter, Viv, into a new world where she does not fit in. Once there, Viv's cousin, Timmy, entrusts his fairy godparents, Wanda and Cosmo, to help her adjust by taking her under their wings. Witnessing the fairy transfer take place, Viv's charismatic new stepbrother, Roy, also inherits them, and the two siblings must take turns making wishes. Together, they learn to overcome the obstacles in their path, all with the help from their new wand-wielding and wish-granting fairy godparents.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder is funny new animated series, based on the original, that's sure to give you a good laugh. Besides many funny moments, the show has more serious moments that deliver important messages.

This show is about Vivian Turner (Audrey Grace Marshall) whose Dad, Ty Turner (Ryan-James Hatanka), uproots their life to go live with his new wife, Rachel Raskin (Laura Bell Bundy) and her son, Roy Raskin (Tyler Wladis). The crew has some hilarious adventures when suddenly Roy and Vivian get unlimited wishes from the Fairy Godparents, Wanda (Susanne Blakeslee) and Cosmo (Daran Norris).

The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder is unusual in many ways. One is that the Fairy Godparents, Wanda and Cosmo, as well as a few minor characters are animated while everyone else is live action. For the actors in live action, they have the benefit of using many other things like facial expressions and body languages as well as their voices. Another interesting thing is that there is a Council of Pop Superstars made up of Dustan Lumberlake (Garrett Clayton) as well as three other pop stars in the show. Lastly, there are some very cool personalities among the characters such as Roy who is more of a classic jock, yet is also very kind and compassionate. And Vivian is a shy person who-- as she gets used to everything--opens up a bit more.

The overall message of The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder is to show your love for your family and to have fun throughout your life.

I give The Fairly OddParents: Fairly Odder 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. It premieres on March 31, 2022, exclusively on Paramount+.

By Avalon Niemi, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


REIGN OF CHAOS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
REIGN OF CHAOS
LEFT FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - When the world is gripped by a plague unleashed by the evil lord Chaos, and humans are turned into rabid creatures, mankind can only be saved by three young women, descendants of a Goddess, with the power to stop Chaos' evil.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Reign of Chaos is a gripping, one-of-a-kind tale that will have you intrigued. Its plot makes up for the, at times, weak production.

Reign of Chaos is a tale of anarchy. The evil Chaos has released a terrible plague on the world. Humans are descending into a rabid race of monsters, and mankind's last hope lies in three young women, descendants of a goddess who each have special powers. They must train and then use their powers to take down the great lord Chaos.

The most remarkable part of Reign of Chaos is its storyline. There are also lots of closeup and medium shots with dim lighting to complement the eerie mood. The voice modulation used on Chaos, one part of the special effects in the film, is great; it gives him a Darth Vader-esque voice that's menacing and powerful. The casting of this film is not particularly memorable--perhaps because the roles are not especially memorable--though every actor portrays their character well.

Reign of Chaos promotes resourcefulness, leadership, taking action and teamwork. The film contains violence and some profanity; the protagonists are initially a bit hostile to one another, but in the end work together and are great examples to kids watching the film.

I give Reign of Chaos 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Reign of Chaos will be available on Digital April 12, 2022.

By Eshaan M, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-18
Description - The world's favorite blue hedgehog is back for a next-level adventure in SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2. After settling in Green Hills, Sonic is eager to prove he has what it takes to be a true hero. His test comes when Dr. Robotnik returns, this time with a new partner, Knuckles, in search for an emerald that has the power to destroy civilizations. Sonic teams up with his own sidekick, Tails, and together they embark on a globe-trotting journey to find the emerald before it falls into the wrong hands. From the filmmakers behind The Fast and the Furious and Deadpool, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 stars James Marsden, Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Lee Majdoub and Jim Carrey returning, alongside new additions Shemar Moore, with Idris Elba as the voice of Knuckles and Colleen O'Shaughnessey as the voice of Tails.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The wild, fun and adventurous blue hedgehog we all love, Sonic a.k.a. Blue Justice, is back in his new movie, Sonic the Hedgehog 2! This film has new character appearances, major plot twists, mind-blowing adventures, and tons of laughs throughout it. It's great that this sequel is one of those movies you can enjoy without seeing the original; however, since it refers to different scenes from the first one, you may want to watch the original first.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Dr. Ivo Robotnik, or Dr. Eggman as Sonic calls him (Jim Carrey), returns to Earth with a new ally, Knuckles (Idris Elba), in hopes of finding a magical gem that holds the ultimate power of the universe. All that stands in their way is Sonic (Ben Schwartz) and his new partner in crime, Tails (Colleen O'Shaughnessey). It's a battle of good and bad to see who will reach the emerald first and win in the end.

The main characters are Sonic, Dr. Robotnik, Tails and Knuckles. I love how this film introduces characters from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and they just fit in seamlessly. One of the voice actors who surprised me is Idris Elba. His voice is the perfect match to portray Knuckle's strong and confident personality. My favorite part is when Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) and Maddie Wachowski (Tika Sumpter) are at Rachel's wedding and need to open a portal for Sonic; Tom realizes he may have mistaken the wedding ring for one of Sonic's golden rings. It adds some hilarious adventure to the wedding. Kudos to Junkie XL for keeping an "old school" feel throughout the film with songs such as It's Tricky by Run D.M.C. and Here Comes the Hotstepper by Ini Kamoze.

This film sheds light on the importance of having family and friends in your life. They will always have your back and keep you on the right path in life. Sonic and the other characters experience different obstacles that teach them the true definition of a family, even if they come as friends.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is out of this world. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 8 to 18, plus adults. The "battle of the gem" takes place in theaters on April 8, 2022. Be sure to stay for the after-credits movie scene.

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

I really enjoyed the original Sonic movie and this second one, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, is even better. I really enjoyed watching this new Sonic movie, especially with his fun, amusing and youthful personality. If Sonic was real, I would want to be his friend. Although, this is more of a little kid's movie, it brings excitement and suspense. The battle between Sonic (Ben Schwartz) and the evil Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) makes this film a "must-see"!

In the story, Dr. Robotnik figures out a way to get off the planet that Sonic banished him to. His goal is to seek revenge on Sonic with a new partner. When Dr. Robotnik arrives back to earth, he goes looking for Sonic and realizes that there is something bigger that he wants - something that can give him extreme powers to take over the world. While Dr. Robotnik is trying to figure out how to conquer the world, Sonic is struggling with self-control. He wants to be a real superhero and do good, but sometimes, he causes more problems than doing good. Soon he will be put to the test when it comes time to face Dr. Robotnik.

My favorite part of the movie is the ridiculous plan Dr. Robotnik makes to get off the planet he is stuck on. I also like Sonic's character which is relatable to young teenagers. His funny and quirky personality really embodies how a 13-year-old child really acts. Sonic's characteristic demonstrates how it would look if a child his age had the same power as Sonic and what they would do with it. The animation and quality of the effects are impressive! How they made the real people interact with the animation seems so realistic.

The messages of the movie are discovering what it means to be a true hero, making new friends, and not giving up. There was a little foul language at the beginning of the movie--I felt the movie would have been great without using inappropriate language and some innuendo. Older kids and adults will probably understand what they are insinuating.

I give Sonic the Hedgehog 2, 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5-18, plus adults. It's a family-oriented movie and everyone can enjoy it. It can be found in theaters near you on April 8, 2022.

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

Our familiar blue hedgehog friend Sonic is back with new adventures in Sonic the Hedgehog 2! This film has an exciting plot that moves at the perfect pace, sure to make the audience yearn for more.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 focuses on Sonic (Ben Schwartz) as he's becoming more familiar with his new life in Green Hills. While Tom (James Marsden) is away from home at a wedding, Sonic realizes that Doctor Robotnik (Jim Carrey) is back and he's not alone. Doctor Robotnik has a new sidekick named Knuckles (Idris Elba) who gives Sonic and his new sidekick Tails (Colleen O'Shaughnessey), a run for their money. When Doctor Robotnik and Knuckles try to capture a sacred emerald that belonged to Sonic's family, Sonic and Tails have to try to stop them before evil takes over.

The humor in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is why I would watch it again. This especially goes for the scenes with Rachel (Natasha Rothwell). As her desire for the perfect wedding increasingly gets ruined and her banter with the characters increases, it makes her a really lovable character. Natasha Rothwell's body language and the acting choices she makes are commendable and really drew me in. That being said, I was a little disappointed about how little she was displayed at the end. She is a vital character in the beginning, since she is the whole reason Tom is away from Sonic. However, she then disappears and I wondered when her humorous contribution was coming again. Knuckles is against Sonic the whole time, and then they finally get to know each other, which opens up a lot of room for interpretation and possibly another movie. Now that Sonic has people he can rely on, that can be used to continue to build his story.

The message of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is that sometimes people are just misunderstood. You have to get to know a person before you can truly understand what they're going through and why they make certain decisions. Sonic didn't know why Knuckles was the way he was, but when he hears his story and gets to know him, it is easier for them to see eye to eye.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a very fun movie to watch. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. Everyone will find something they enjoy and can look back on to laugh at. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 releases in theatres April 8, 2022. Make sure you check it out!

By Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 14

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 by Jeff Fowler is absolutely hilarious! This is a must see for all ages, everything from the quirky comebacks to the feel good feeling family moments.

Sonic wants to prove that he is a real hero, and can take care of his community. When Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) comes back to earth, he is surprised by his side villain, Knuckles (Idris Elba) who wants to steal the emerald that can destroy the whole universe. Sonic needs to protect the emerald, so he recruits his sidekick Tails (Colleen O'Shaughnessey) to try to find the emerald. The two of them go through a lot of adventures and triumphs.

This film had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and what stood out to me the most were the special effects. They are so colorful and realistic. Sonic, Tails and Knuckles all look so fluffy and soft. My favorite scene is the dance party and I even learned some new moves. It's amazing how one of my favorite video games has turned into one of my favorite movies. My favorite part of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is when Sonic's fuzz turns gold, much to the surprise of everyone. I love how we see Sonic grow throughout this film. He learns how to be brave for his family.

The message of this film is that family is everything!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 gets 5 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theaters April 8, 2022.

By Sariah Rodriguez, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is an exhilarating film that many young movie-watchers have been anticipating since the first one came out. The sequel shows the growth of Sonic and how he has matured since the last movie. The messages, actors and action-packed scenes will be sure to captivate audiences too.

After the first film, Sonic (Ben Schwartz) has found his place in his town, living comfortably with Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter). But, he makes it his mission to go around helping others to prove he is the hero of the town. While Tom and Maddie are in Hawaii for a wedding, Sonic has the house all to himself and plans to just relax, eat and watch TV. All of that changes when Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) comes back with a new sidekick named Knuckles (Idris Elba). Dr. Robotnik and Knuckles are looking for a very powerful emerald and they think Sonic can show them where to find it. Sonic has to team up with a sidekick of his own, Tails (Colleen O'Shaughnessey), as they face off with Robotnik and Knuckles in an unforgettable battle to the emerald.

What I really like about this movie, and what I think others will enjoy as well, is the acting and the humor. One of my favorite scenes is when Rachel's (Natasha Rothwell) wedding gets ruined. You can really tell by her facial expressions and her tone that she is genuinely angry that her beautiful wedding is destroyed. I also like the fighting scene between Robotnik and Sonic because it is full of action and shows what can happen if you never give up. Like people say - "if you fall down you get right back up" - and that is what Sonic does. My favorite character in this film is Sonic because he is funny, has perseverance, and is a bit childish, which I can sometimes relate to. I also like Knuckles because he acts so serious, but acts funny at the exact same time without any intention. I think these two characters have the potential to be everyone else's favorite too.

The message of this film is that being a hero doesn't mean looking out for yourself; it means doing a lot for others and caring for others. This message is shown multiple times throughout the film and it is shown in many different ways that will draw viewer's attention. This film is completely family-friendly.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 gets 5 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters April 8, 2022. Be sure to check it out!

By Giana Nesmith, KIDSFIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is an ideal sequel, including many of the best parts of the first movie while expanding the sandbox in which it plays. The first Sonic was a fairly traditional road movie, but this sequel bounces back and forth between being a superhero movie, a fantastical adventure, a coming-of-age story and a family comedy.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 follows our favorite speedy blue hedgehog Sonic (Ben Schwartz) on another adventure, this time even greater than his last. He's found a home with humans Maddie (Tika Sumpter) and Tom (James Marsden), who--in trying to be a father to Sonic--warns him of the great responsibilities that come with power he possesses. Sonic, in the meantime, is acting as a vigilante, stopping robberies and preventing low-level crimes in the areas surrounding his hometown of Green Hills. When Maddie and Tom head to Hawaii, Sonic gorges himself on junk food, blasting music throughout his house and taking full advantage of his "parents" absence until his shenanigans are brought to a halt by the arrival of a familiar enemy. That's right, Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) has returned from his exile to a mushroom planet, and he's brought an angry, red echidna with him named Knuckles (Idris Elba) who also has beef with Sonic. Fortunately, Sonic has a new ally in a double-tailed creature who wants to help him in his fight against Robotnik and Knuckles, aptly named Tails (Colleen O'Shaughnessey).

This may be a Sonic movie but you can't cast Jim Carrey and not expect him to make every moment his own. Carrey brings more of the same hyped-up energy to Ivo Robotnik that made him stand out in the previous Sonic installment--the only live-action actor in this movie constantly animated enough to rival that of the actual animated characters he interacts with! I will admit, sadly, there is less Carrey in this movie than in the first, but that's because there's so much more going on. With the addition of Tails and Knuckles, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 goes all in on the richness and, arguably, the insanity of Sonic's lore. And if the post-credits scene that drew excitement and cheers from the audience I saw this with is any indication, this is only the beginning of exploring the expansive worlds and cast of characters that come with Sonic.

You should be aware that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 does have some rude humor and action violence that may be a little intense for younger viewers.

I give Sonic the Hedgehog 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for 8-18, plus adults. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 speeds into theaters April 8, 2022. If you're feeling the "need for speed," I'd say go check this one out.

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

The newly-released Sonic the Hedgehog 2, by filmmaker Jeff Fowler, is exhilarating, action-packed, and fresh. This two-hour film brings back all the fan-favorite characters, including Rachel (Natasha Rothwell), my personal favorite! That's not all--this film also reveals more about our favorite blue hedgehog that we didn't know before. Let's dive in.

The storyline follows Sonic (Ben Schwartz) as he uncovers new powers, becoming a teenager, and once again saving the world from the manic Dr. Robotnik. Yup, you heard right: Dr. Robotnik has returned to Earth, but not alone! He is accompanied by a new ally, Knuckles the Echidna. However, Dr. Robotnik isn't the only one with a determined ally by their side--Sonic meets a new friend named Tails. Together, they go through numerous challenges and even moments of failure, ultimately fighting to protect the "Master Emerald", which was left behind to be watched over by Sonic's most valuable friend, Longclaw. The question is: will they be successful?

My favorite character is most definitely Rachel, portrayed by writer, actress, teacher and comedian, Natasha Rothwell, who is hilarious. Rachel, the long-time best friend of Maddie, Sonic's mother, has been a fan favorite since day one and hasn't lost the title. In this film, Rachel falls madly in love with a young man named Randall, and even marries him. Well, before he can even put the ring on her finger, it is revealed he is actually an undercover agent working to track down Sonic the Hedgehog. Although her wedding doesn't work out the way she planned, Rachel and Maddie team up and work together to help Sonic and his friends complete their mission. She also brings many laughs and memorable moments.

My favorite part of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is when Dr. Robotnik finally gets his hands on the "Master Emerald." Actually, let me rephrase... I wasn't totally thrilled knowing Dr. Robotnik can use that emerald to completely wipe out the entire existence. I was excited how Sonic and Knuckles decide to team up and stop Dr. Robotnik, because they both finally realize they have more in common than they ever would have thought. They both come to the conclusion that they both want the emerald for the greater good, unlike Dr. Robotnik. Sonic helps save Knuckles' life, and Knuckles repays him by doing the same.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has many unexpected moments and even makes you want to close your eyes at some points. This film will most definitely make you get up out of your seat. The message of this film is: It's never wrong to learn to set aside differences with people--we may all be unique and share different opinions, and yet showing kindness and doing good can never go wrong.

I give Sonic the Hedgehog 25 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. It is available now in theaters.

By Nathalia J, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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


PROTOTYPE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
PROTOTYPE
LEFT FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - In the near future, life-like androids with artificial intelligence have been created to help people with menial household tasks. The prototype, One, created by Roger Marshall and tested by his family, proves to be popular but flawed. Roger has been working on a new model, Two, whose improved features show promise of its super-human abilities. As tensions rise between Roger and wife Shelley, the androids malfunction and the lives of the whole family are soon in danger of Two's sinister plans.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Prototype, a frightening and profound portrait of a digital world, will spellbind viewers of all ages. Its chilling plot and well-written script combine with rather realistic special effects to make for an immersive viewing experience.

In the near future, androids with artificial intelligence are being created to help people with menial household tasks. The first prototype, One, created by Roger Marshall (Jamie Robertson) and tested by his family, proves to be popular. Roger has been working on a new model, Two, with improved features, but when things take a turn for the worse, human emotion is weighed against scientific progress and robotic efficiency.

The plot is the most compelling part of Prototype, and the film is very well written. The casting too works wonders. Jamie Robertson is phenomenal in his role as Roger Marshall, the mercurial inventor intent on revolutionizing the technology space. He delivers his dialogue with conviction and passion; I truly felt threatened by his character at times. Actor Ben Reid's character (Roger's son) is intended to emulate his father and Reid works hard to model himself after Robertson's character. Danielle Scott, who plays the wife Shelley Marshall, perfectly plays the role of a well-meaning housewife who is willing to do anything to protect her family. A trite character though it may be, Scott's take on Shelley is fresh and unique. The cinematography complements the dark and suspenseful theme, as several scenes play with light.

Prototype is just as much about entertainment as it is a lesson to value the technology around us, and yet to not let it take over our lives. The film contains scenes suggesting domestic abuse and a murder scene.

I give Prototype 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Prototype will be available on Digital April 5, 2022.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


CYCLOPS CHRONICLES: THE STORY OF SCOTT SUMMERS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
CYCLOPS CHRONICLES: THE STORY OF SCOTT SUMMERS
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 12-18
Description - In the present year mutants are fighting each other in a civil war. Humans and mutants at war as well. Scott Summers (Cyclops) is a leader amongst a mutant organization and helping restore peace for all. This chronicles the backstory of Scott Summers from an early age to his mid adulthood years.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Cyclops Chronicles: The Story of Scott Summers, a new episodic series, is the perfect show for X-Men fans and the "unordained" who are new to X-men as well; its beautiful cinematography, compelling and sonorous soundtrack, plus great acting make this a must-watch series.

A fan-made production, Cyclops Chronicles: The Story of Scott Summers follows the story of Scott Summers (Keith Sutcliff) from his upbringing to how he became Cyclops, one of the most well-regarded and fierce leaders, and my personal favorite X-Men character. On the way, he faces several trials and must confront his enemies.

Cyclops Chronicles: The Story of Scott Summers has some incredible camera work, music and acting! Sutcliff's dialogue delivery perfectly fits the dark Cyclops; even a four-minute episode reveals his acting talent. For a fan-made, unofficial production, the camera work looks super professional. The shots of Cyclops driving down a dusty road and looking pensively ahead are my favorites in the pilot episode. Now, the music -- it sounds like something out of older Batman films, adding enough suspense and tension to the episode to keep viewers enthralled. It's one of the best soundtracks I've heard in a while. The production truly takes Cyclops Chronicles to another level.

Cyclops Chronicles: The Story of Scott Summers is all about the hero's journey: courage to face adversity and gumption! And this film contains some references to drugs.

I give Cyclops Chronicles: The Story of Scott Summers 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Cyclops Chronicles is available now on digital and DVD.

By Eshaan M, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

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


JESSIE AND THE ELF BOY
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
JESSIE AND THE ELF BOY
ENTERTAINMENT SQUAD Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-12
Description - Inspired by Scottish legend, this feel-good comedy follows the antics of the solitary forest elf Ghillie Dhu who becomes friends with a girl lost in the woods. When she is unexpectedly whisked away by her mother, a forlorn Ghillie sets out on a quest to find his lost companion. Years later, in the city, Ghillie meets Jessie Macrae, a plucky teenager determined to win favour with her high-flying mother by becoming a renowned hair stylist. When Jessie discovers that Ghillie has a gift for hair styling, they strike up a unique partnership which causes chaos for the manager of the chic hair salon and catapults Jessie to fame. Thanks to Ghillie, Jessie's dreams are within reach, but will this meeting of two worlds be enough to overcome the deep hurts of broken relationships through the generations?
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Jessie and the Elf Boy is a family-friendly film set in Edinburgh, Scotland. With a sweet storyline and its Scottish sense of humor, Jessie and the Elf Boy is one for the family to watch.

The story follows Ghillie Dhu (Huck Whittle), an elf that you can only see when wearing a special necklace. When a girl he meets in the forest moves away, he goes in search to find her, only to realize that that young girl has grown up. He then finds Jessie (Julia Brown), who he believes is that young girl from all those years ago. Jessie has just started a new job at her mother's salon, and it turns out that this elf may just be the thing she needs to become the next big hair stylist.

Jessie deals with her mother freezing her out as well as trying to get her to notice the amazing things she can do--Julia portrays these characteristics really well. Huck Whittle is a newcomer making his debut in this film--his character, Ghillie, is very comedic about how he searches for his childhood friend. He discovers various things that he didn't have in the woods--one of my favorites being fizzy juice. Jessie's mother, Valerie, (Gail Watson), the owner of the hair salon, plays a very big part in the end, but I won't say too much. My favorite part of the salon storyline is when Jessie discovers Ghillie, and he creates some amazing hairdos. I love the forest at the beginning of the movie where Ghillie's home is set--it is beautiful, and highlights the amazing scenery that Scotland has to offer.

The message of the film is that the truth will always come out in the end, and it will have its perks--good and bad.

I give Jessie and the Elf Boy 3 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it for ages 8 to 11, plus adults. The film will be released April 1, 2022 to digital platforms.

By Katie F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

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


CROODS, THE: FAMILY TREE (2022)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CROODS, THE: FAMILY TREE (2022)
HULU, LLC Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 5-12
Description - Inspired by the blockbuster DreamWorks Animation film The Croods: A New Age, The Croods: Family Tree continues the ever-evolving story of the Croods and the Bettermans as they learn to live together on the most idyllic farm in prehistory. The journey from sparring rivals to unlikely friends is fraught with hilarious misadventures as the two families slowly overcome their differences to turn a tree house divided into a tree home united. In Season 2 Grug, Eep and Sandy enjoy a Crood-ific Daddy Daughter Day while Thunk, bored with the window-TV viewing options, creates a bit of real life drama. Even Gran rocks the boat when she declares it's time to choose a new Thunder Sisters' Queen! Meanwhile, pushed to their limits and ready to relax, the parents set out on separate staycations. But with the kids in charge, only prehistoric time will tell if the treehouse will still be left standing.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Croods: Family Tree is back for another season with even more excitement. With more adventures and more of the Croods and Bettermans, there's a lot to love about this new season. In each episode, many important lessons are learned, and they are all delivered in such a fun and entertaining way.

Season two continues from the previous season focusing on the story of two families, the Croods and the Bettermans, living together in a treehouse on the Bettermans' farm. Because each family is different, learning to live together has its ups and downs. And in each episode, we see them overcome their differences and remember what really matters, like many families do. The show highlights different members of the family in every episode, so it makes for good variety in the storylines.

Even though The Croods is set in fictional prehistoric time period, it shows situations we currently experience and go through, always in a hilarious way. We also see different games and activities we play now. For example, in episode 6 Grug (Kiff VandenHeuvel), Ugga (Amy Landecker), Hope (Amy Rosoff), and Phil (Matthew Waterson) are playing a game of beach ball; however, the game is kind of like how we play volleyball. And in episode 3 where the Croods, Bettermans, and Punch Monkeys are playing throw-go-nut, it is very similar to how we play football today. My favorite characters are Gran (Artemis Pebdani) and Sandy (Dee Bradley Baker) because they are fierce and funny characters. They are alike in many different ways, which makes them the perfect duo--you could say Sandy is a mini Gran.

The message of The Croods: Family Tree is that even when times get tough, you can work together to figure things out. Because teamwork "makes the dream work." This is a completely family-friendly show.

I give The Croods: Family Tree 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 12, plus adults. This show is available on Hulu and Peacock, starting April 5, 2022. Go check it out!

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

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


MORBIUS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MORBIUS
COLUMBIA PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 12-18
Description - One of the most compelling and conflicted characters in Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters comes to the big screen as Oscar� winner Jared Leto transforms into the enigmatic antihero Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed. Will good override evil - or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new urges?
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The new Marvel film Morbius has a lot of action, which I liked a lot, though I did expect more from this movie.

Morbius is about a biochemist named Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) who suffers from a sickness that doesn't let him walk and limits his life span. Dr. Morbius uses bats to make a cure for him and for his lifelong friend from the orphanage they grew up in, Loxias Crown (Matt Smith), who also suffers from the same illness. When injecting himself with the serum it only makes matters worse --this serum makes the infamous Morbius come to life as an ugly bat-like creature that feeds on blood.

The graphics are fantastic, especially the way they make Morbius "poof" in and out as he moves to show his super speed. Not only do the graphics and lighting look good, but also the costumes fit each scene perfectly. This movie--one of Marvel's darkest-- can be classified as a horror film due to the violence and blood-thirsty vampires.. My favorite part is when Morbius says, "I am Venom" since this is a reference to the movie Venom which was funny. Another favorite part is a funny scene where Morbius says, "You won't like me when I'm angry" which is a reference to The Hulk.

The moral of Morbius is you don't have to change yourself--you are perfect for who you are. Morbius learned this when he started killing people. He realized he became something that was not him at all and regrets it.

I'd give Morbius 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Morbius comes out in theaters April 1, 2022.

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

Morbius is a jaw-clenching film, filled with jump scares, betrayal and a bit of romance. The film is also great to watch if you are a fan of bats.

Morbius digs deep into the life of Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto), a man who has a deeply dangerous condition but is a complete genius in the lab and in the operating room. Morbius and his best friend Loxias Crown (Matt Smith), who he calls Milo, have been struggling with this condition since they were born, and they have not been able to find a cure yet. Morbius at a young age is accepted into a gifted school for kids, and he leaves Milo to find a cure for both of them. As Morbius gets older, he does more experiments, and he ends up unleashing this beast he may not be able to defeat.

As the storyline suggests, one theme of the film is that sometimes you don't feel like yourself. There are external forces that can cause you to do things that you would never do or say things you would never say. We all can be triggered by situations, circumstances, people and events that take us out of character; but hopefully, not to this extreme. The CGI in this film is phenomenal; you see a lot of detail in both the characters and the settings. The settings are very cool, and it is fun to see all the different landscapes. The music matches each scene very well, especially in the intense scenes. Not a lot of films have the amount of suspense and thrills that Morbius has, and it is unlike other Marvel films.

The message of Morbius is don't lose sight of who you are no matter what happens. There is some language that would be inappropriate for younger viewers.

I give Morbius 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Morbius is available now in theaters.



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


APOLLO 10 �: A SPACE AGE CHILDHOOD
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
APOLLO 10 �: A SPACE AGE CHILDHOOD
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 8-18
Description - Apollo 10 �: A Space Age Childhood tells the story of the first moon landing in the summer of 1969 from two interwoven perspectives - the astronaut and mission control view of the triumphant moment, and through the eyes of a kid growing up in Houston, Texas who has intergalactic dreams of his own. Taking inspiration from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Richard Linklater's own life, Apollo 10 �: A Space Age Childhood is a snapshot of American life in the 1960s that is part coming of age, part societal commentary, and part out-of-this-world adventure.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Apollo 10 �: A Space Age Childhood tells a creative twist on a story we all know well, NASA's moon mission, and makes us think that history is not always as it seems. Based on the childhood fantasies of director Richard Linklater, this animated dramedy perfectly weaves together classic childhood coming-of-age memories, late 1960's pop music and NASA's historic race to moon.

This nostalgic movie, set in suburbs of Houston in 1969, follows the childhood of Stan, who is voiced by Milo Coy as a child and Jack Black as an adult. The pressure to get to the moon is ever growing, but NASA builds the lunar module too small, so they turn to Stan to do the job before astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins suit up for their famous Apollo mission. Unfortunately, Stan cannot tell anyone, not even his family.

The animation is one of the coolest things about this movie and really sets it apart from other animated films I've seen. It is a mix of live action with hand drawn and computer animation. I also enjoy how accurate it is to the era, so that as a period piece it does not feel artificial. All the clothes, houses, dialogue, objects and even actions reflect that of the time. I always hear my parents talk about their childhood during this era, but I could never really imagine it until I saw this movie. Jack Black is the perfect choice to play adult Stan as his accent is so subtle and his tone is perfect to play an older Stan. And Milo Coy wonderfully captures the personality of a 10 and � year old.

The message of Apollo 10 �: A Space Age Childhood is that mistakes are okay and that not everything is always as it seems. This movie shows some unhealthy and unsafe practices, which were more common in the 1960's, like smoking, riding in the back of a pickup truck or in cars without seatbelts, and playing with fireworks in the middle of a street. However, the narrator, the adult version of Stan, explains how dangerous these behaviors are. There are also a couple of graphic injury scenes and slight profanity.

I give Apollo 10 �: A Space Age Childhood 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Anyone who loves space and maybe even remembers the actual lunar landing will definitely enjoy it also. This movie premiered at South by Southwest on March 13, 2022 and will be on Netflix on April 1, 2022.



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


HIGH EXPECTATIONS
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
HIGH EXPECTATIONS
FATHOM EVENTS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 6-18
Description - Kelsey Grammer co-stars in High Expectations, an inspirational story about realizing dreams despite disappointments, while restoring relationships along the way. Jack Davis (Taylor Gray) finds himself adrift after his father, the legendary Coach Davis (Kelsey Grammer), cuts him from his renowned soccer club, the Carolina Mantis. Estranged from his father, at odds with his brother, Mantis All-Star goalie Sam (Adam Aalderks), and desperate for purpose, Jack turns to his ex-girlfriend Sophia (Ally Brooke). Jack is inspired by her tough love and unwavering pursuit to become a recording artist.�He tackles his depression and takes one last shot at his lifelong dream by trying out for a rival soccer club. Can Jack finally prove that he is worthy of his dad's love?� Can he forgive and believe in second chances? High Expectations is the film debut for pop singer Ally Brooke (formerly of the girl group Fifth Harmony). Brooke performs the title track for the movie.
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KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - High Expectations is an inspirational drama about perseverance and chasing your dreams. It is also a lesson in holding tight to family and the importance of nurturing those relationships.

Jack Davis (Taylor Gray) is adrift in life and afraid to pursue his goals. He loves soccer and has dreamed of playing professionally for his father, the legendary Coach Davis (Kelsey Grammar) who also owns the Carolina Mantis soccer team. Jack was cut from the team before he ever played a professional game while his older brother Sam (Adam Aalderks) has become the team's All-Star goalie. Jack has always played in his brother's shadow both on and off the field and their relationship has resulted in many of his insecurities. Jack turns to his ex-girlfriend Sofia (Ally Brooke) for support, and her thoughtful, and, at times, tough love, helps him overcome his lack of confidence and direction.

This really is an ensemble cast put together by Russell Boast and Debi Manwiller, and I enjoyed the interaction between all of the different groups within the movie. The importance of family is felt in the large Davis clan headed by Kelsey Grammar who has some difficult and emotional scenes with Taylor Gray. The relationships between the brothers and other family members also seem very real. In addition to the familial relationships, there is also the support of his social groups such as team members and coaches, as well as his tight circle of friends. Pop singer Ally Brooke, who plays his love interest Sofia, is an inspiring recording artist in the film, and I enjoyed the scenes where her music inspires him--she performs the title track for the movie as well. Another interesting fact is that Brianna Scurry (Coach Scurry) who portrays the first-ever female head coach of a professional men's soccer team is also a legendary U.S. Goalkeeper, World Cup Champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist.

The message of this film is that family is everything. Even if you have very little wealth, if you have the love and support of your family you are blessed with more than real gold. Another important message in this film is to have grit and show everyone what you're made of. Don't accept other people's expectations regarding your abilities or limits.

I rate High Expectations 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. High Expectations premieres exclusively in over 850 theaters nationwide on April 7, 2022 for a special one-night-only event with Fathom Events. Don't miss your opportunity to view this uplifting film.

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

If you're in search of a family drama or sports movie, High Expectations has it all. The storyline is fantastic, with many relatable characters and experiences, and a few important themes expressed throughout the story. However, the acting isn't all it could be, with various characters slightly underdeveloped.

High Expectations follows Jack Davis (Taylor Gray) three years after being cut from his father's (Kelsey Grammer) Division 1 soccer team. Having always been in the shadow of his star brother, Sam Davis (Adam Aaiderks), Jack longs to prove that he has athletic abilities too. With family issues and romantic conflicts along the way, Jack's journey to play for the Davis family's rival team is one entertaining hour and a half.

This film has numerous strong points. The storyline is the best element--it is relatable and realistic, including many aspects of life. Love is portrayed through Jack and his ex-girlfriend, Sofia (Ally Brooke) on their adventure through breakups, proposals and breakups again. Jack's family issues--though probably more extreme than many viewers' own experiences--replicate modern familial conflicts. His friendship with Eddie (Tyler Chase) makes for heartwarming segments of the film, when Eddie shows how wonderful a friend he is. Their support for each other, while having plenty of fun, provides a good model for healthy friendships. The sad moments when Jack is having an intense anxiety attack or struggling with anger issues make the film relatable. The locations for the soccer games are well chosen--they show Jack's transformation from being just a local industrial league player to a professional soccer player. First, he plays on a poor quality grass field with a few bleachers. Later, he's on a turf field stadium with thousands of seats. The sets provide an easy way to differentiate the two opposites, especially when the plot moves so fast that it's slightly confusing. While not a clear shortcoming, the acting and character development doesn't reach the level of the plot. Taylor Gray as Jack has the top performance, excelling at portraying the struggles of anxiety, anger, and dealing with a mostly unsupportive family along with the romance and friendships. For the most part, the rest of the characters aren't as completely developed by the actors as the writers gave them room to be.

The message of High Expectations is to value the time you have with the people you love. Jack spends years hating his dad, but never gives him a chance to strengthen their father-son bond, until it could be too late. High Expectations reminds us we don't know what other people are going through and cautions us about making assumptions; and it expresses the theme of resisting drugs. Adults should be aware of some profanity, plus alcohol and drug use, as well as some heavy topics.

High Expectations gets 4.5 out of 5 stars from me, and I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can view High Expectations in participating theaters on April 7, 2022.

By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

High Expectations is the perfect representation of millennial life! An extremely relatable protagonist and a fan favorite sport will leave you wanting to watch this film again several times.

High Expectations follows Jack Davis (Taylor Gray), a young soccer player who was recently cut from his father's soccer team. Jack can't seem to catch a break, especially after his recent breakup with his girlfriend. Jack learns to navigate life as his family expects more of him and he learns to grow into himself.

This movie is very relatable. Many viewers will see themselves in Jack, a young adult who second guesses himself and never seems to do anything right. Jack has trouble finding his place in the world and proving his worth to everyone, including his own parents. After being kicked off his dad's team, Jack digs deep inside of himself and learns that he only needs his own approval. This speaks to many young adults, and even younger audiences that may feel lost in the word. To see a character that is such a mess learning to take things day by day makes this refreshing and keeps viewers engaged the entire movie. By the end of the film, I wanted to know more about Jack, as if I was his longtime friend. The acting all around is phenomenal. The simplicity of the performances of each actor stands out, making it seem as though we're watching a reality show, not scripted dialogue. The chemistry Jack and his ex-girlfriend Sofia have is extraordinary. Without revealing too much of their history, we see the tension expressed by the two actors and feel how much Jack is still in love with her.

The message Jack learns is to love and respect himself. Jack struggles with gaining the approval of his friends, his family and especially his father. Once he learns to blaze his own trail and stand up for himself, he's viewed in a different light.

I give High Expectations 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 15 to 18 plus adults. It is available in theaters April 7, 2022.

By Heather Suarez, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

High Expectations is a suspenseful film, filled with surprises and romance. The film is also great to watch if you are a soccer fan.

High Expectations digs deep into the life of soccer player Jack Davis (Taylor Grey), a man who is trying to find his path in life with a soccer career but keeps getting discouraged along the way. Jack is struggling throughout this time but his best friend Eddie (Tyler Chase) and his ex-girlfriend Sofia (Ally Brooke) help push him to make good decisions so he can conquer the conflicts he has. As time goes along, Jack starts improving himself so he can continue a real career in soccer.

As far as the storyline goes, it's very relatable. I would find it difficult to live in someone's shadow and that would block me from who I truly am--which is how Jack feels when compared to his successful brother. My favorite part is the ending when Jack sees his true potential and puts all his work and effort into how he plays his games. I love how this film is relatable to many people and shows the struggles within people's families and how it affects them. The story's ending is happy and includes a milestone for Jack to pass, which viewers will see if he does.

The message of High Expectations is that you should never give up on your dreams. Never give up on love. And never give up on your family. There is some language that would be inappropriate for younger viewers.

I give High Expectations 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 16, plus adults. High Expectations is set to premiere in theaters on April 7, 2022.

By SaniyaRain, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


ADVENTURES OF PEANUT AND PIG
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ADVENTURES OF PEANUT AND PIG
VISION FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-12
Description - The floating paradise of Goola is in trouble when the island begins to sink! An unlikely team of rival monkeys, a scientist bunny, and a jolly pig put aside their differences, learn about friendship, bravery, and save the day.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you are looking for a fun film to sit back and watch with younger children, The Adventures of Peanut and Pig is a great choice. This new film is so chock-full of incredible animation and interesting adventure that viewers of all ages can certainly appreciate its creativity. The Adventures of Peanut and Pig has a high level of energy and its brightly-colored scenes will surely hold a child's interest.

The Adventures of Peanut and Pig follows a diverse team of interesting characters living on the Island of Goola, as they desperately try to save their floating island from sinking. Something is causing this paradise island, held afloat by the Goola Juice Bubble Maker, to gradually sink beneath the waves--it's up to two rival monkeys, a scientist bunny, and a comical pig to figure it out. Although these characters are unwillingly thrown together to save Goola, each brings a different strength with them, which helps with their quest.

Scenes in The Adventures of Peanut and Pig move a bit fast, making it difficult at times to follow; however, the animation is so captivating that it doesn't seem to matter. Those cast for the voiceover roles fit each character perfectly and help to bring the characters to life. Some of the humor may be outside of the film's target age group, but those funny one-liners and gags can easily hook young adults into loving the movie as well. Overall, The Adventures of Peanut and Pig is full of so much energy that it makes loving the film easy.

The main message of The Adventures of Peanut and Pig is about the benefits of working together despite your differences. Working together can even strengthen relationships resulting in close friendships. The film also demonstrates perseverance and courage. The misfit team doesn't give up on their mission to save Goola, but, rather, they work together with their differences to help solve the problem.

I give The Adventures of Peanut and Pig 3 out of 5 stars, and recommend it to ages 5 to 13. The Adventures of Peanut and Pig releases April 5, 2022 and can be viewed on streaming and cable platforms.

If you're looking for a fun and animated film for young kids, The Adventures of Peanut and Pig is a perfect fit. Bright and colorful animation combines with a unique story to deliver a film packed with excitement. A variety of creatures truly emphasizes the theme of diversity.

In The Adventures of Peanut and Pig, Goola, an island of paradise, is in danger of sinking, as it did before, and panic is spreading. Unlike last time, Peanut (Louis Ferreira) has no genius inventions that can keep the island afloat. Peanut and Pig (Peter New) team up to adventure across the island and try to save the day. In order to save Goola, Peanut and Pig must navigate the ups and downs of their unlikely friendship. This sets in motion a fantastic storyline for this kid-friendly movie.

While slow at times, The Adventures of Peanut and Pig has an excellent plot. It incorporates a couple of important themes by displaying how to have a healthy friendship and how to properly disagree. Throughout the intriguing primary storyline, sprinkles of side plots and surprises make the film extra interesting--although the story can sometimes be a bit too complicated. Both action and dialogue scenes can range from slow to very fast-paced, and when they're on the speedy side, it can be difficult to follow the action. This is especially noticeable when the world of Goola is being explained, and it's hard to grasp the important elements. Subtle comedy enters exactly when the audience needs it to, with short breaks in the intensity allowing for laughs in the midst of action. This humor is specifically aimed at kids, as it grabs their concentration when it might be slipping. The tone of the comedy is also very much geared towards a younger age group.

The message of The Adventures of Peanut and Pig is to value friendship even when faced with a crisis. Peanut and Pig don't have a perfect relationship, but they still manage to work together during a scary time.

I give The Adventures of Peanut and Pig 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 8. The Adventures of Peanut and Pig releases on streaming and cable platforms April 5, 2022 and on DVD April 19, 2022.

By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The Adventures of Peanut and Pig is a colorful and lively animated family movie. The humor is perfect for younger audiences and will keep them engaged while also teaching them great lessons about teamwork and friendship.

Goala is a beautiful paradise island with all kinds of animals living in harmony, until it starts sinking. So a scientist bunny, a mechanic pig and two rival monkeys must work together to save Goala before it is destroyed.

Although predictable at times, this storyline will entertain young audiences and keep them engaged the entire length of the movie. The backgrounds, specifically the island itself, is very bright and fun with twisting tubes carrying bubble fluid and rivers and oceans filled with purple water. The voice actors give their characters unique personalities. The original songs are very catchy and creative while also having sweet messages. The comedy is definitely meant for younger audiences.

The messages of The Adventures of Peanut and Pig are that you must work together to accomplish things and that you can find friendship in unexpected places and times.

I give The Adventures of Peanut and Pig 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 10. This movie is available on digital April 5, 2022 and on DVD April 19, 2022.

By Katherine Schell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


BETTER NATE THAN EVER
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BETTER NATE THAN EVER
DISNEY+ Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AES 7-18
Description - Thirteen-year-old Nate Foster is an unpopular Midwestern kid who entertains vivid fantasies of becoming a big Broadway musical star. In the meantime, however, Nate can't even get a decent role in his middle school's drama productions, getting cast as a tree in the chorus instead of the lead role he craves. However, when he and his best friend Litty mastermind a daring trip to New York City, without their parents' knowledge, to audition for Lilo and Stitch: The Musical, Nate may be on the verge of fulfilling his lifelong dream. But first, he has to overcome a series of comical obstacles that threaten his Broadway adventure with disaster at every farcical turn.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Based on the book with the same name, Better Nate Than Ever is a lighthearted and playful musical comedy, filled with showy sets, catchy songs and dreams of being on Broadway. Director and writer Tim Federle is also the author of the semi-autobiographical book, which helps it stay true to the spirit of the story.

Nate Foster (Rueby Wood) is a quirky 13-year-old thespian who loves the theater, but his small town in Pennsylvania doesn't satisfy his dreams of the stage. When his parents go on a weekend trip out of town, he and his friend, Libby (Aria Brooks), run away to New York City to audition for Lilo and Stitch: The Musical on Broadway. Will Nate get the part, or will he be a bust and never see his dreams again?

This movie is very personal to Tim Federle, the director and writer of both the book and movie, as it is an introspective love letter to himself and his childhood. He wants to show the world a glimpse into what it's like to be in the theater. And as a bit of a theater kid myself, I love how it feels so accurate in how it shows the processes the characters go through, like auditions. Rueby Wood, the star of the movie, really shines because of his bubbly personality and beautiful voice. I also love the performances of supporting actors Aria Brooks (Libby) and Lisa Kudrow (Aunt Heidi). Aria seems to care so much about Nate while also finding her true passions. Libby and Nate have such a strong and genuine bond in this movie. Aunt Heidi, the outcast of the family, flawlessly portrays Nate's supportive aunt and secret idol. The sets have a perfect and distinctive contrast between that of the boring too-small-of-a-town in Pennsylvania, the big skyscrapers and bustling activity of New York City and the colorful destinations of Nate's dreams in his songs. The New York and Pennsylvania venues are very realistic and tangible, while the sets of the songs are bright and colorful and straight out of a play.

The messages of Better Nate Than Ever are to follow your dreams, as long as you are being rational, and never give up because it produces great fruit. The importance of friendship is also a key theme. This movie does depict some risky behaviors such as teens running away from home and teens having a house party while parents are away. The film also has some bullying and adult references.

I give Better Nate Than Ever 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. This movie releases exclusively on Disney+ on April 1, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Better Nate Than Ever is a remarkable film that, at some points, is quite the musical. It captured me from the first few minutes. If you're into Broadway and performing arts, Better Nate Than Ever is for you. If you're not, this movie has a lot of comedy, and I'm sure you won't regret watching it.

The film takes us on a journey from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, to the bustling streets of New York City. After being disappointed in the school's musical's cast list, Nate (Rueby Wood) turns toward his best friend Libby (Aria Brooks) who announces the auditions of Lilo and Stitch: The Musical, on Broadway. Without hesitation, Libby decides to sneak away with Nate to New York City in order to audition. Nate is revived with hope, and agrees. With the help of the people around him, what new adventures will Nate experience?

The lead characters are Nate, Libby, Anthony (Joshua Bassett) and Aunt Heidi (Lisa Kudrow). Nate and Libby make an irresistible team--I can't think of a better best friend duo. Furthermore, Tim Federle's work as both the director and writer (he adapted his own novel) is phenomenal, as is the work of the other producers and crew--they made a masterpiece. The casting is well done and the actors absolutely live up to their characters. My favorite part is when Nate calms his nerves in his audition. It was truly inspiring, and I got teary-eyed. This movie's music is extraordinary. After watching it, the songs were stuck in my head the entire day. The highly talented Rueby Wood and Aria Brooks have angelic voices.

One message of Better Nate Than Ever is to pursue your dreams and never give up, especially when people try to shoot you down. Another lesson is to learn to, as Aunt Heidi proclaimed, "find your light." There is some bullying in the beginning, though there isn't any bad language.. Kids could possibly imitate running away from their households, like Libby and Nate do.

I give Better Nate Than Ever 5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Better Nate Than Ever begins streaming exclusively April 1, 2022 on Disney+.

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

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


LOST CITY, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LOST CITY, THE
PARAMOUNT PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE FILM, AGES 10-18
Description - Brilliant, but reclusive author Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) has spent her career writing about exotic places in her popular romance-adventure novels featuring handsome cover model Alan (Channing Tatum), who has dedicated his life to embodying the hero character, "Dash." While on tour promoting her new book with Alan, Loretta is kidnapped by an eccentric billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) who hopes that she can lead him to the ancient lost city's treasure from her latest story. Wanting to prove that he can be a hero in real life and not just on the pages of her books, Alan sets off to rescue her. Thrust into an epic jungle adventure, the unlikely pair will need to work together to survive the elements and find the ancient treasure before it's lost.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Lost City is an attention-grabbing comedic film, filled with action and adventure while still having an important message.

The movie follows Loretta (Sandra Bullock) who's best known for writing her popular book series about adventures in ancient times. However, with an overbearing book cover model Allan (Channing Tatum), and pressure from her tour manager, Loretta has been struggling to write her final book. Luckily, she is swept off her feet and thrown into the reality of her own novels. Loretta must learn to put her pride aside and work with the people that care for her to escape the island that they're stuck on.

The sound and visuals in The Lost City really stand out to me--I am amazed at how clear the audio is. All of the fighting scenes feel so real, without being overbearing. Plus the picture quality is top-notch. Everything feels very realistic, and it's almost as if we are really there. I am very impressed with the acting, too. Each actor grabbed my attention the entire time. For example, Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum's chemistry is so strong, and they make their characters very believable. Lastly, the storyline is so interesting. There's a fun twist to it, and the story is overall unexpected. There are so many different elements, plus it is also a comedic experience. I personally love a good laugh, because it lightens the mood, and this movie definitely does that.

The message of The Lost City is that being greedy and evil will never get you anywhere. In the end love will always win. This film does have some violent scenes including fighting and the use of guns.

I give The Lost City 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. You can watch The Lost City in theaters starting March 19, 2022.

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

Everyone hold on to your seats! The Lost City has you in for a surprise. Combining great actors, action, and comedy, The Lost City surely offers many things you will enjoy.

The Lost City is about a widowed author named Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) who is being forced to promote her book along with her cover model Alan (Channing Tatum). After Alan ruins the event, Loretta gets unexpectedly kidnapped by eccentric billionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe) and taken to a remote island. Luckily, Alan follows and tries to rescue her. Then, not so luckily, it turns out he's not like Dash, the strong, tough, and charming character he models on Loretta's book. Loretta and Alan have to find a way to work together and get out of danger before it's too late.

I enjoy how dynamic The Lost City is in terms of the scenes and the character development--there is always a new twist in the storyline, and never a time when only one thing is happening.. The character development is especially impressive with Loretta and Alan. At first, Loretta is mad at the world and doesn't want anything to do with her book after her husband dies. Alan is a man hiding behind the character he portrays, not wanting to be himself. However, Loretta and Alan help each other realize that they don't have to hide anymore. I will say the villain's motive was a little lost on me. Abigail Fairfax originally kidnapped Loretta to have her decrypt a hidden message. However, it isn't really made clear what Abigail wanted that for, or what he is going to do with it. The set plays a major role in this movie being so interesting to watch--the image of the forest and the high-intensity fight scenes are visually appealing and help the story move forward.

The message of The Lost City is that sometimes people deserve second chances. After Alan embarrasses and offends Loretta at the promotional event, she walks away not wanting to hear from him. However, in the end, she is grateful that he comes to rescue her. This film includes a few inappropriate scenes and minimal vulgar language.

I give The Lost City 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. It will prove very appealing to people who like comedic action movies. You can find The Lost City in theatres now, so make sure you check it out!

By Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 14

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


LAST GLACIERS, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LAST GLACIERS, THE
IMAX FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 9-18
Description - Embark on a global adventure in IMAX, following filmmaker Craig Leeson and UN Mountain Hero Malcolm Wood as they use extreme sports to explore the causes and effects of climate change. IMAX immerses you in an extraordinary journey to the top of Earth's glaciers as Leeson and Wood hear from leading scientists and impacted communities about the imminent dangers if we fail to protect what's left of these rapidly disappearing natural water reservoirs. Filmed over four years in twelve countries, The Last Glaciers captures the fragility of the natural world, the impact humans have on our life support systems and the friendship, personal challenges and tragedies experienced by the explorers during their journey. The Last Glaciers brings forward a call to action from the next generation determined to reverse the climate crisis for their own future.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Last Glaciers is an informative, heartwarming film that sucks you into the storyline, and really makes you think about your life and the world around you.

This documentary follows the main climbers as they take us through their journey of scaling glacier mountains. Throughout the film we learn about how the climate crisis has seriously affected the glaciers, along with the rest of the world.

I really enjoy how informative The Last Glaciers is--it explains how climate change is affecting the world, and raises awareness to the subject. In addition, the structure and tone of the documentary is very easy to understand. For instance, there are lots of visuals, and even though climate change is a complex subject the language is clear and easy enough for the average person to comprehend. Another thing that stands out to me is the quality of the visuals. All of the scenery is beautiful, and even in the extreme weather conditions they had during shooting, they still managed to get good shots. Lastly, the emphasis on the importance of the message is really well done. Throughout the entire film they are constantly reinforcing how important it is that we make a change.

The message of The Last Glaciers is that if we all don't start actively making a difference to stop climate change, then soon enough we'll all be affected.

I give The Last Glaciers 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. The breathtaking documentary The Last Glaciers opens in select IMAX theatres March 22, 2022.

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


POR MI  HIJA
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
POR MI HIJA
SOUTHBAY FILMS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Daniela Vidaurre,Christopher Bustos,Fernando Rodriguez,immigrants,Jalostotitlan,Mexico,Frexno
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Por Mi Hija is a gripping, evocative film; it does its part to encourage dialogue about immigration and the journeys of illegal immigrants to the U.S. while greatly entertaining audiences. The film's cinematography further enhances the engaging storyline.

Por Mi Hija follows Leo (Christopher Bustos) and Emma (Daniela Vidaurre), a newlywed couple from the small town of Jalostotitl�n, Mexico. Leo's friend helps him get a job in Fresno, California, and the two head north as illegal immigrants to start a new life. Soon they must confront the reality that their new life in America isn't all that it's cut out to be.

The acting, cinematography, and storyline of the film all come together to make Por Mi Hija a unique experience. The film jumps back and forth in time, using color and light to indicate these shifts. Director Fernando Rodriguez ensured this isn't disorienting to audiences; rather, he keeps viewers interested throughout the hour-long feature film. Rodriguez also wrote the script, which contains a melodious mix of Spanish (about 90%) and English (about 10%). Bustos, Vidaurre, and young Luciana Elisa Qui�onez, who plays the character of the same name, deliver their lines with beautiful conviction. Their eyes speak just as they do, and their body language syncs up perfectly with the mood of the scene. The cinematography is remarkable as well; especially towards the beginning and during tense scenes--the use of light and framing of scenes adds layers to the film.

Por Mi Hija promotes staying together despite difficulties, taking risks, never running from challenges, and, at its heart, the film's all about empathy: empathy for immigrants, yes, but also for all those around you. Por Mi Hija contains racism, blood, slight profanity, and alcohol.

I give Por Mi Hija 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Por Mi Hija is available now on digital and DVD.



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


TEAM ZENKO GO
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TEAM ZENKO GO
DISNEY+ Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 4-10
Description - Niah, Ari, Ellie and Jax are members of Team Zenko Go, a secret squad of stealthy do-gooders who harness the art of distraction to perform anonymous acts of kindness for the unknowing residents of Harmony Harbor. These four kids have been taught by their mentor, Auntie Yuki, a special set of skills that allow them to do good deeds (or Zenkos) for others, making their town the happiest in the world. Like Auntie Yuki says "when we help people without them knowing, they start to think that the world is just a nicer place."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Team Zenko Go is a positive children's series that shows kids that you don't need to be a superhero to do something good. And that even though you might not agree on the same things as other kids, you can problem-solve to figure things out.

Team Zenko Go focuses on a group of kids named Niah (Nakai Takawira), Jax (Dominic Mariche), Ellie (Penelope Good), and Ari (Hartley Bernier), who live in a town called Harmony Harbor. Together, they are Team Zenko. The people who live in Harmony Harbor think their town is the happiest place on Earth, and it's all because of Team Zenko, who, in their free time, devote themselves to anonymously doing good deeds. The best Zenkos are the ones that are kept secret.

What makes this show unique is that the kids aren't doing good deeds for fame and glory. They are doing it just to be nice and to help out. In fact, this is probably my favorite aspect of the show. Another thing I like about this show is the diversity. For example, Ari is in a wheelchair which demonstrates that just because you have a disability doesn't mean you can't accomplish things you would be able to do without it. My favorite character is Ari because he is optimistic and intelligent for his age. For example, in episode one, when Ari messes up his first mission, he gets kicked out of the team. But he uses his intelligence to figure out that it was all a test for him to prove he is worthy to be on Team Zenko. In most of the episodes when something goes wrong, Ari thinks positively and finds a way to get the job done.

The message of Team Zenko Go is that when good things happen to you, you are more likely to do good things for others, and that just makes everyone happy. The series is completely family-friendly.

Team Zenko Go is an amazing show for kids to watch with their families. I give Team Zenko Go 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 4 to 10. Parents will also enjoy watching it with their kids. This show is available to watch on Netflix starting March 15, 2022. Be sure to check it out!

Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 4-10
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV


CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN (2022)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN (2022)
TWENTIETH CENTURY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - The raucous exploits of a blended family of 12, the Bakers, as they navigate a hectic home life while simultaneously managing their family business. Paul and Zoey Baker are a married couple at the head of a large blended family in this reboot of the 1950 original film. Together, they parent ten kids - some of which each brought into the marriage, some they have together. They also bring their ex-spouses into the mix, including flighty part-time babysitter Kate and wealthy former pro-baller Dom. Paul is White; Zoey is Black; their kids are White, Black, or mixed race -- a blend that offers its own challenges in today's culture. When the Bakers are offered a substantial sum of money to launch a line of sauces and franchise their breakfast place, they take the money and upgrade their lives, but their new lifestyle makes some things more complicated than expected.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Hilarious, chaotic family fun is headed your way as the Bakers return in this highly-anticipated reboot of Cheaper by the Dozen. The film is a modern twist on the original, with a more diverse cast, relatable characters, current world issues, new family adventures and craziness. No matter your age, gender, or race you are sure to find someone you can connect to.

Cheaper by the Dozen is a reboot of the 2001 film of the same name, featuring the Bakers who are a family of 12. It follows parents, Zoe Baker (Gabrielle Union) and Paul Baker (Zach Braff), as they try to balance home life, taking care of their blended multiracial, talented family all while running the family business. Zach is faced with trying to expand the family business and still make time for his family, while Zoe deals with racism in their new neighborhood and constant criticism for having 12 children. It's an all-around struggle of understanding, accepting change, and family.

One of the biggest differences with this reboot is the diverse cast. It really shows how people from all backgrounds can co-exist. The premise of the show is similar to the original, but with a twist: Mr. Baker has an opportunity to expand on the family restaurant, and Zoe stays home to manage the family and the chaos while he travels. All of which leads to plenty of hilarious scenes. I love the updates in the film, especially some of the references such as the Black Lives Matter sign in the window of the first Baker house. Even the dogs' names, 'Bark Obama' and 'Joe Bitten' are creative. My favorite scene from this film is when Seth Baker (Luke Prael) helps his cousin Haresh Baker (Aryan Simhadri) by teaching him skills to avoid getting bullied at school. It's great to see how the family comes together to support each other.

The message of Cheaper by the Dozen is that change can be difficult, and everyone will react to it differently even to the point where it causes issues among family members. But we must accept that we are all different and need to work together to be successful and truly happy in life. The Bakers are the perfect example of how people so different from each other are still able to live and work together. The only things for parents to look out for are short scenes where the parents are intimate, mentions of serious topic like racism and some mentions of 'teenager' issues.

I give Cheaper by the Dozen 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 10 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Cheaper by the Dozen on Disney+ starting March 18, 2022.

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

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


PASANG:  THE SHADOW OF EVEREST
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PASANG: THE SHADOW OF EVEREST
FOLLOW YOUR DREAM FOUNDATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 12 - 18
Description - The story of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the first Nepali woman to summit Mt. Everest. Her courageous, historic, and tragic journey would inspire a nation and generations to come.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - One of the things I love about the new documentary Pasang: The Shadow of Everest is that it shows how much women have struggled to follow their dreams. The film explores the journey of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, a Nepalese woman from a mountaineering family, whose dream is to climb the highest mountain in the world. We learn how mentally and physically challenging this Mount Everest trek is, especially when people doubt your ability because you're a woman.

Pasang started climbing when she was 16 or 17. Climbing as woman is shocking to many people. She was determined and ambitious, but doing this will mean needing to raise the money herself for an expedition, finding sponsors to support her, and getting a group together to go on this dangerous adventure. She believes in herself but Mount Everest takes the risk to a whole other height.

PASANG really made me think about why someone would risk their life to stand on an 8,849-meter mountain. And the answer is: passion. When you really believe in a goal, you climb until you reach where you want to be. Climbing Mount Everest is a very breathtaking and risky experience--there are few chances for mistakes. The amount of time and work you have put into preparation and the trek itself is extraordinary. It takes approximately 6-10 weeks to get to the top, then add bathroom, food and water breaks. Knowing that over 100 people have died either on the way up or down, is terrifying, but knowing 10,184 people have survived is promising.

This film's message is go after your dream, no matter what anybody thinks, because ultimately you can do anything. Women have the right to not be doubted when following their dreams. Pasang: The Shadow of Everest is very uplifting and can inspire many people. People can tell you what to do, but you don't always have to listen.

I give Pasang: The Shadow of Everest 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. This film premieres at the Santa Barbara Film Festival on March 3, 2022.

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

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


MISSING MAP: UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
MISSING MAP: UPTON CHARLES-DOG DETECTIVE
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: BOOK, AGES 5-12
Description - The Chief of Police asks the entire Charles family to help find the missing map, including Upton, who is a Bichon Frise (that's "BEE-shon free-ZEY"), a little white dog, with well-honed canine detective skills and Watson, his feline assistant.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Missing Map: Upton Charles-Dog Detective is a little slow to start. I like that it's a cute little story about a dog detective.

The story starts out on a nice, spring day when the Charles family decides they want to go to an event at a park and when they arrive they discover that a map has vanished. A dog named Upton thinks like a detective and takes on the case to find out how it left the display case.

I like how friendly the structure is and how the story is written. It is very suitable for a young audience. I was curious to see how the dog detective would act. The story is developed as a mystery to find the missing map and have a little adventure. The illustrations in the book are nicely drawn. I love the front cover.

The book teaches kids a little bit about dogs, such as how they are color blind. It could motivate kids to act like a detective and problem solve.

I give Missing Map: Upton Charles-Dog Detective 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. It is an e-book and can be found online wherever e-books are sold.

By Ethan P, KIDS FIRST! F
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Missing Map from the Upton Charles-Dog Detective series is an enjoyable read. The story is told from the perspective of a dog and we read his thoughts and ideas. It makes one wonder if dogs know more than you think and, if only they could speak, would you be amazed. My favorite part of the book is when he proves the librarian wrong by solving a mystery.

The Missing Map follows a dog names Upton on his journey to recover the Waldorf Map. Along the way he encounters many clues while sniffing around a librarian's van. He gets help from his cat friend and his Great Dane friend and faces a few challenges from a doubting librarian. Will the clues lead to the map or will he have to start back at Square One? The story, told from the perspective of a dog, sparks the imagination. The vocabulary is easy to understand. The drawings make a fun addition.

Told in Upton's voice, this story is easy to follow, engaging, and appeals to the imaginative child. The storyline flows well. The story happens over the course of a few hours, which keeps the reader on their toes. It holds your interest from start to finish, because there are constantly new clues and hints to solving the mystery. The story is entirely fictional. It portrays very positive interactions with a specific focus on the interaction between humans and animals. Everyone is treated with respect except for the potential antagonist -- the librarian. She is sometimes mean to the protagonist because she does not believe in him. Problem-solving is central to the story. There are many things that go wrong and the clues don't always lead you in the right direction. They are developed in a very age-appropriate way. The vocabulary and concepts are very suitable for its audience. While some words might be harder for kids under the age of eight, they can still understand the story from the context. For example, the word surreal is used, which is not a common word for younger children. The cover is very detailed and has a good image of the dog, the protagonist. Each chapter has an image that helps you visualize the scenery and location where that chapter takes place. This book will encourage kids to read because it is engaging, fun and entertaining.

This book might encourage children to think about animals or pets and wonder whether they have deeper thoughts.

I give Missing Map: Upton Charles-Dog Detective 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 9. It is available online where books are sold.

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

Missing Map (Upton Charles-Dog Detective Series) is a detective story with an interesting twist - the detective is a dog. I recommend this book to people who admire this kind of tale. My favorite part is when they all decide to go to the autumn festival. It reminds me of festivals from other cultures.

The book tells the story of a dog and a cat that go out with their owners to an autumn festival and meet a policeman who discusses a case where a very famous painting has been stolen from the neighborhood library and they get involved in the case and solve the mystery. The book is full of life lessons, has a good mystery, and is enjoyable to read.

The storyline develops very well. I looked forward to discovering who stole the painting and the story kept me interested through to the end. It refers to historical places, which connect the story point to point. In the course of the story, they show and talk to different characters, and the dialogue is very intelligent. Problem-solving is built into the plot. The vocabulary suits the target audience. This is an E-book. It is easy to access and fast. You can easily continue where you left off. Kids will enjoy the characters, especially the dog who is very attractive.

The message is that what you love, money can't buy. It also emphasizes how helping people is an act of kindness.

I give Missing Map (Upton Charles-Dog Detective Series 4.5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It is available online wherever books are sold.

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

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


ADAM PROJECT, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ADAM PROJECT, THE
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, time-traveling fighter pilot Adam Reed teams up with his 12-year-old self for a mission to save the future.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Adam Project is a sci-fi movie that takes you on a wild, CGI-filled flight that is out of this world--with futuristic technology that makes you excited but also afraid of what could come, and crazy fight scenes that defy gravity. This film also whooshes you into some very realistic topics, too, like grieving for a loved one, being bullied by classmates and accepting who you are.

The year is 2050 and time travel exists; however, it is proving to be too dangerous for humanity's own good. After time-traveler pilot Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds) misses the destination of his mission, to land in 2018, and instead crash-lands in 2022, he is found by his 13-year-old self (Walker Scobell). Together, they embark on a mission to "un-do" time travel so they can fix the past to save the future of the world. But first, the Adams must learn how to get along with each other.

The special effects are one of the most notable things about this movie. The wormholes have a mind-boggling appearance, and the ships are straight out of an alien planet. The sci-fi elements look so realistic - as realistic as those can be - that it gives the impression that the cinematographers used time travel themselves to capture these scenes. The overall storyline of the movie is creative, but it does not really have any unique plot twists nor is it fully developed. And as a result, this film comes off a little bland and seems to be missing something. The Adam Project includes some great actors besides Ryan Reynolds, including Jennifer Garner (Adam's mom). In Reynold's performance, you can really feel all his tension and childhood trauma built up, ready to burst. He also manages to make you laugh really hard. Jennifer Garner is the perfect fit for Adam's loving mother who's trying to keep it together as a single mom.

This movie has great messages about never giving up and learning to live with your past. There is some profanity, intense fighting scenes, blood, and some adult jokes.

I give The Adam Project 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. This movie releases exclusively on Netflix on March 11, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


FRANCIS AT THE BEACH
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
FRANCIS AT THE BEACH
NEPTUNE PRESS LLC/ D.G. STERN
Series: EBOOK, AGES 5-12
Description - Francis is exhausted. He has been working extra shifts. Francis decides that he will go to the beach and visit his lifeguard sister, Fiona. Fiona is delighted that her firefighting big brother is coming to see her. She wants to share with him all the amazing things the oceans have to offer.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - Francis at the Beach didn't quite catch my attention. I am not fond of the characters, which are unsettling to me and the storyline falls short. The wording is simple and the story is definitely easy to understand. I like that it has pictures, which make it more interactive, but they're not great.

The story is about Francis, a firefighting rat, who is tired and needs a break. He decides to go to the beach to visit his sister, Fiona who is a lifeguard and lives on the beach. So, he packs up and goes. Together, they visit the beach, learn about animals, shells and lifeguard duties. They even get smoothies. Then it's time for Francis to say goodbye to his sister and the beach so that he can return to work.

The story makes sense, but it is not very interesting and feels a bit choppy at points. The facts about the animals and shells are accurate, but seeing a rodent as a firefighter or lifeguard is definitely imaginary. The characters all portray positive interactions and respect for one another. The only questions they ask are about what the main character should wear or do on vacation. The vocabulary is mostly appropriate for its audience and, when new words, such as vacation, are introduced, they are explained. I expect most kids to the word vacation, but not words such as pristine or delectable. I did not find the characters attractive, but I'm not a fan of rodents. Stock photos are used for the backgrounds. A reader could learn about dolphins, turtles and birds, and also about climate change. It might make children more interested in knowing more about the beach or nature.

I can't say I'm a big fan of Francis at the Beach, but it might appear to early readers, ages of 2 to 7. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Francis at The Beach is both entertaining and educational. The images are appealing and the cartoon characters are set against real-life photographs, which is nice. Readers will enjoy following Francis's time at the beach with his sister Fiona while learning about beach animals and beach safety.

Francis at The Beach is an educational children's fiction book about Francis, a firefighter, who decides to take a vacation to visit his sister Fiona at the beach. He packs up his things and heads off to the beach where he is greeted by his sister who shows him around. Fiona talks about the different animals they see. The next day they head off to the beach where Fiona works as a lifeguard and she talks about certain dangers at the beach by explaining the meanings of the different flags. During his day at the beach, he enjoys learning to surf and collecting shells. Francis learns about the importance of keeping the beach free from pollution. In the end Francis returns home with a lot more knowledge and appreciation for the beach.

The characters in this book are kid family and good role models. The way they interact with each other and the environment is positive. The story has a well thought-out storyline that stays on topic. It gives reasons why Francis travels to the beach, explains the activities he enjoys and the things he learns while he is there. It held my interest because there is a lot of detailed information. For example, the information about the meanings of the different flags at the beach is interesting and useful. The facts about the beach seem accurate. Francis and Fiona, the main characters, are siblings and they have a positive relationship. They are polite and enjoy each other's company. Fiona teaches Francis about the beach, and he appreciates it. The story also addresses the issue of pollution. There is one instance when Francis finds a plastic bottle floating in the ocean. They take it out and dispose of it properly. There are other examples, such as when a shark is spotted close to the beach, and they respond with the appropriate actions. The vocabulary is rich; however, some of vocabulary might be difficult for younger readers to understand. For example, the words quandary and dilemma are not words that are common for the target age group. The book's cover is colorful and inviting to kids. It features an animated character with a beach as the background. As an e-book, you have option to view one page at a time or several in smaller panels. There is also a search option where you can type in a word, and it shows the pages where that word is featured. This book might make kids inclined to learn more about animals that live at the beach and to do things to protect the beach environment.

One of the important messages of the book is about pollution. Francis and Fiona discuss the importance of cleaning the environment and taking care of the ocean's animals.

I give Francis at the Beach 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 13.

Something very appealing about Francis at the Beach is that it has amazingly edited pictures along with words. The story has lots of good messages and it is not too scary for younger audiences.

This is a very interesting and engaging book with terrific pictures, a nice plot and interesting storyline. The story follows a firefighter rat, Francis, who decides to go visit his sister who lives at the beach. His sister, Fiona, is a lifeguard. While at the beach Francis learns things about the animals that live there and what a lifeguard does.

The story held my attention quite nicely without dragging. It is very accurate, especially when it talks about professions such as the lifeguard and firefighter. Good behavior such as listening to lifeguards is demonstrated. It is very easy to get though; there are even arrows that make it very easy to follow the pages. Kids will find it entertaining to hear about Francis's adventures. They may even decide to do some research on professions such as lifeguards and firefighters.

The story encourages kids to be grateful and to appreciate a vacation. It also talks about necessary professions such as lifeguard and firefighter.

I give Francis at the Beach 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 through 12. You can find it online where books are sold.

Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

The most appealing thing about Francis at the Beach is how much Francis learns and enjoys about the beach when he visits his sister Fiona. This would be a great book for someone to read who longs to go to the beach. I especially enjoyed when Francis discovers the conch shell; those shells are beautiful.

This book is about Francis, a hardworking firefighter, who needs a rest and decides to visit his sister, Fiona, who is a lifeguard and lives at the beach. He learns so many things about the beach and ocean from his sister while he has a very relaxing time.

This e-book is an easy read with interesting illustrations featuring cartoon characters in live action settings. Francis learns how to ride the surf, relax and take better care of the ocean and its inhabitants. We can all take better care of our planet by recycling plastic. Francis at the Beach is a great book for a fun escape to the beach. One thing I found confusing is when Frances takes the bus trip, it states that he will need to take two busses. Then, he falls asleep and still wakes up where he needs to be. Otherwise, the story moves along nicely and is easy to follow. I like that Francis takes a vacation to rest from his hard firefighter job. I also like that Fiona is respectful of the baby turtles by leaving her porch light off. That is a kind and thoughtful idea. The vocabulary and concepts are easy to understand. At first the use of animated characters in a live setting didn't make sense, but by the end of the book I liked it.

The message of the book is that we need to treat our planet better, especially our beaches. Picking up plastic bottles to recycle is important, or limiting the use of plastic.

I give Francis at the Beach 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8. It's a fun book that can be read by parents for little ones and older kids can easily read it for themselves.

By Madeleine H., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

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


SNOOPY SHOW, THE (2022)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
SNOOPY SHOW, THE (2022)
APPLE TV Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 7-11
Description - The world's most iconic dog is ready for his close-up. Dive into new adventures with the happy-dancing, high-flying, big-dreaming beagle, who's joined by best friend Woodstock and the rest of the "Peanuts" gang.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - The Snoopy Show is a fun spin-off series from Charlie Brown's many movies and shows. This animated series is enjoyable for young audiences because it focuses on the life of Charlie Brown's dog Snoopy. This show has the same style as the originals, which makes it interesting to watch, especially if you are a fan of the Charlie Brown classics!

Each episode follows Snoopy, Woodstock, Charlie Brown (Ethan Pugiotto) and Charlie Brown's friends as they get into different hilarious situations. Woodstock and Snoopy have creative and intriguing solutions to problems they face, like wanting a fishbowl so they can become astronauts, or writing a story for a competition. Every episode is unique and has a creative storyline.

This series has interesting anthropomorphic characters, because Snoopy, along with his animal friends, walks on two legs and has many human characteristics. Snoopy (Terry McGurrin) doesn't talk, but he makes many noises like yelling, grunting, sighing and laughing for his character. Woodstock (Rob Tinkler) does something similar for Woodstock. Every episode has about three five-minute shows within it. The first episode has three stories about the backstory of Snoopy, which is really interesting.

Every episode has a different theme; some common themes are selflessness, perseverance and coming-of-age.

I give The Snoopy Show 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 11. The Snoopy Show returns for season two Friday, March 11, 2022.

By Samantha, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

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


TURNING RED
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TURNING RED
WALT DISNEY ANIMATED STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 7-18
Description - Disney and Pixar's Turning Red introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother's dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter--an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren't enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she "poofs" into a giant red panda! Directed by Academy Award� winner Domee Shi (Pixar short "Bao") and produced by Lindsey Collins.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Turning Red is a vivid and dazzling animated story of friendship, parenting, adolescence, and boy bands. Director Domee Shi makes her feature film directorial debut and gives us her unique take on puberty and parenting. Kids and adults alike will find this movie enjoyable given the relevancy of the topics and relatability of the characters.

Set in Toronto in 2002, this beautifully-animated movie follows Meilin "Mei" Lee (Rosalie Chiang), a confident 13-year-old girl who is torn between staying her overprotective mother's obedient daughter and being an independent person with her own interest. And if that is not enough, whenever she feels a powerful emotion, she turns into a giant, fluffy red panda.

The world-building is phenomenal, specifically that of the boy band that Mei and her friends are obsessed with. 4-Town, the boy band, perfectly captures the essence of a boy band with corny love songs, crazy fanatics and, of course, cute boys. Along with that, Turning Red captures the complexity of mother-daughter relationships across generations with both comedy and drama. The animation is visually stunning as it mixes Eastern and Western animation techniques together to make a fresh, new style while still staying true to Pixar's recognizable animation form and style. My favorite performances are that of Sandra Oh (Ming) and Rosalie Chiang (Mei) because there is such a strong chemistry between the characters in how the actors portray a real-life, genuine relationship.

The message of the movie is to honor your parents, but make sure to be your own person while doing so. The movie animates the idea of suppressing your emotions and personality for others. It also highlights the power of friendship and the key role it plays in your life.

I give Turning Red 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. Turning Red releases exclusively on Disney+ on March 11, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


THE BATMAN
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
THE BATMAN
WARNER BROS. PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Batman ventures into Gotham City's underworld when a sadistic killer leaves behind a trail of cryptic clues. As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator's plans become clear, he must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued the metropolis.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like The Batman because the overall script is interesting and very suspenseful. This movie is definitely worth the 2 hours and 55 minutes to watch--I was not expecting it to be this good!

The Batman takes place in Gotham City, home of all the Batman stories. A crazy killer named Riddler (Paul Dano) kills liars like political figures and reveals how corrupt they are. Riddler likes to leave trails of clues behind which forces Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson), a single millionaire, to become a detective to find out who the Riddler is. As you know Batman is Bruce Wayne's secret identity. Along the way, Batman visits old friends like Penguin (Colin Farrell) and meets new ones like Selina or Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz).

The graphics are amazing looking, although the CGI is not as good compared to other films. I was a little disappointed with the Batmobile because it just looks like a sports car with a powerful engine. Very different from the other Batmobiles in the past movies. Robert Pattinson's transformation into Batman is impressive. We see a muscular Robert Pattinson with impressive fighting skills. Colin Farrell is unrecognizable as Penguin. It was fun to watch Zoe Kravitz portraying Catwoman. She resembles Halle Berry when she portrayed Catwoman for the movie of the same name. Her fighting skills are impressive and catch the audience's attention. The gruesome way the Riddler kills his victims makes this a very dark Batman movie--very different from the other Batman films. My favorite part is when Batman uses the hook to walk down a building, kind of like he did in the older films or the 1960's show instead of going down.

The moral of this movie is that not everyone can be good. Bruce finds out the dark side of the Wayne family after Riddler exposes his family--and not only his family but other people such as cops, too.

I give The Batman 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Watch the movie in theatres on March 4, 2022.

Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Out of the deep dark depths of Gotham City comes the newest addition to one of the best-known franchises. The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson is thrilling, chilling, and jam-packed with action. We all know and love Batman, but this stellar cast will show you a deeper, darker side of him and other characters who have been loved, and hated, for generations.

The Batman is an exciting addition to the DC Universe, but does not follow the original Dark Knight trilogy. This new film follows beloved hero, Batman, as he tracks down a series of murders of Gotham's most powerful people. He is given clues written in cryptic codes that he has to decipher, all while the deviously smart (and insane) Riddler (Paul Dano) is killing off important people one by one. From a history of lies, in a corrupt city, and in a battle over the true meaning of justice comes the new DC film that will get in your mind and stay there.

From the moment the lights of the theater dimmed and the movie started, I was hooked. I have never been a fan of movies that waste time getting to the meat of the story, and The Batman wastes no time. This film is full of suspense, and the music is one of the major components that contributes to that. In intense situations, atmosphere is everything, and the music by Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino creates the perfect amount of eeriness and tension. Robert Pattinson's acting is also incredible. This Batman speaks very little, but his body language and facial expressions speak volumes. I was extremely impressed by how real and broken Pattison makes his character seem, and I have never seen this protagonist reach depths like this in other Batman stories. The one thing in this movie I would have liked to see more of is the story behind Batman's technology. He seems to have a million gadgets, but the audience doesn't know exactly what they are or where they came from.

The message of this film is that vengeance won't change the past, but helping others can change the future. A big part of this film is about justice and what that means. In the end, we see that justice isn't about killing or hurting others. Justice is about taking what is wrong and fixing it by doing the right thing. Justice does not equal bloody revenge.

I give The Batman 5 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it to ages 13 to 17, plus adults. You can see The Batman in theatres on March 4, 2022.

By Allison B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

The Batman is everything you're expecting from another adventure with the caped crusader at the center and unlike any Batman movie we've seen yet. It retools the whole world of Gotham City and looks at its spread of criminals, villains, and masked vigilantes through a whole new lens, as well as at the character of Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting counterpart.

The Batman sees a younger and slightly more naive Bruce Wayne in only his second year as Batman (Robert Pattinson). Bruce is being stretched thin--he can't be everywhere at once and certain aspects of life in Gotham have only gotten worse in the time since Batman arrived on the scene. A string of murders of Gotham's most powerful and high profile figures--whose murders bear a striking resemblance to the manner in which Bruce lost his own parents decades before, a flashpoint that haunts him still decades later. These brutal, connected killings send the city into disarray perpetrated by a masked serial killer named The Riddler (Paul Dano) who runs rampant, leaving clues at his crime scenes. Wayne befriends a burglar named Selina Kyle (Zoe Kravitz), who's looking for her missing friend, and, with a morally upstanding cop, they try to track down the elusive Riddler and keep his catastrophic plan from running its course.

Director Matt Reeves and the sensibilities he brings to the table feel well suited to this film. What I didn't expect is this movie's hyper-effective use of shadows--it makes sense for the character, but, oh man, the night isn't just The Batman's central setting: it's Batman's domain. It's the shadows that have given him his hold over the whole city. Criminals see the Bat signal and look into a pitch-black alley not knowing who's gonna walk out and whether or not they'll be dealt the whupping of the century. And with Pattinson's Batman, there is terror in those moments of uncertainty and he's the one we're rooting for. And Pattinson has made this character his own. This Bruce Wayne is divorced from notions of charisma or the qualities of the billionaire playboy that he usually has to pretend to be--he's moody, antisocial, and passive like he's more out of place without the cowl on than with it. He spends a lot of this movie fully in the suit, and it's a credit to Pattinson that he can "mask act", even when not even a quarter of his face is visible. Pattinson's eyes give us a window into Bruce's internal journey.

The Batman shows its admiration for the world and characters of Batman's universe in the skill with which it brings them to life--original, but familiar. Matt Reeves has made a tense, sorrowful, borderline disturbing modern noir about Batman needing to alter his work-life balance. Plus we have an enthralling mystery driven by an ever-expanding web of corruption. This is Batman at its finest, and I hope this is not the last we see of this Batman.

The message of the film is to not let rage consume you. Batman has never been a pacifist, regardless of the iteration of the character, but this Batman has moments of real brutality with the criminals he fights. He has to learn that, as Batman, he has to restrain himself from doing things that would make him no different from his villainous adversaries and to instead be the Batman Gotham needs.

I give The Batman 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 17 for tense sequences, language and shocking, but not graphic, violence. The Batman flies into theaters on March 4, 2022.

I give The Batman 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 17 for tense sequences, language and shocking, but not graphic, violence. The Batman flies into theaters on March 4, 2022.

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

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


LUCY AND DESI
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
LUCY AND DESI
AMAZON STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - From director Amy Poehler, Lucy and Desi explores the unlikely partnership and enduring legacy of one of the most prolific power couples in entertainment history. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz risked everything to be together. Their love for each other led to the most influential show in the history of television, I Love Lucy. Desi -- an immigrant from Cuba who lost everything in exile, became a band leader, and eventually a brilliant producer and technical pioneer. Lucille came from nothing and, with an unrivaled work ethic, built a career as a model, chorus girl and eventually as an actor in the studio system. She found her calling in comedy, first in radio. When Lucille was finally granted the opportunity to have her own television show, she insisted that her real-life spouse, Desi, be cast as her husband. Defying the odds, they re-invented the medium, on the screen and behind the cameras. The foundation of I Love Lucy was the constant rupture and repair of unconditional love. What Lucy and Desi couldn't make work with each other, they gave to the rest of the world. Lucy and Desi is an insightful and intimate peek behind the curtain of these two remarkable trailblazers -- featuring interviews with Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, Norman Lear, Desi Arnaz Jr, Carol Burnett and Bette Midler.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - SEE YOUTH COMMENTS
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Lucy and Desi is a mediocre take on a story fans have heard millions of times! Throughout the film, you'll be craving a sense of something new and fresh, but unfortunately this film simply doesn't deliver anything worthwhile.

Lucy and Desi is a documentary that tells the story of two of the biggest comedians in television, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The film provides behind-the-scenes clips of the hit show I Love Lucy, video recordings of Lucy and Desi throughout the years, and sit-down talks with some of their closest friends like Carol Burnett and Bette Midler.

This film falls flat for several reasons. The story of Lucy and Desi has been told too many times for this documentary to provide anything new or exciting. The timing of its release is unfortunate as another film on the two stars, from the same studio, Being the Ricardos, came out only a few months ago. Lucy and Desi fails to differentiate any information from what the biographical drama gave audiences. Lucy and Desi feels like a watered down version of its predecessors and is unable to engage its viewers. However, it does have some incredible cameos like those by Carol Burnett, Bette Midler and Norman Lear. They give some anecdotes that not many fans have heard and will definitely leave you wanting to hear more of their relationship with Lucy and Desi, which this film does not deliver. The greatest part about the documentary is the romance between Lucille and Desi--their pictures and video clips show a love that is timeless.

The film's main focus is the love of Desi and Lucy, how they were able to create a fantastic and iconic series, and still be in love off camera. There are no warnings for this documentary.

I give Lucy and Desi 3 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 15 to 18, plus adults. It is being released in theaters and on Amazon Prime Video March 4, 2022.

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

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


PROUD FAMILY, THE: LOUDER AND PROUDER
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
PROUD FAMILY, THE: LOUDER AND PROUDER
DISNEY+ Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, 10-15
Description - The series follows the story of Penny Proud, a 14-year-old girl and her family, as they navigate their lives in the 2020s. Trudy, Penny's mom, has new career highs, Oscar, Penny's dad, has wild dreams, and Penny faces a myriad of challenges while her Suga Mama returns, as does Michael, Dijonay, Zoey, and LaCienega.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Your favorite spunky, loving, and humorous family are back - louder and prouder than ever - in the new series reboot of the 2001 Proud Family series, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder! From glow-ups to new adventures, to new characters, this show is sure to entertain new and original Proud Family fans!

The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder follow 14-year-old Penny Proud (Kyla Pratt) as she tries to navigate through the 2020s with new challenges, technology, and social issues in Smithville. Of course, she is joined by her wild, yet relatable family members we have come to love -- Oscar Proud (Tommy Davidson), Trudy Proud (Paula Jai Parker) and Suga Mama (Jo Marie Payton ). The creators of this series, Bruce W. Smith and writer, Ralph Farquhar, are the "proud parents" who delivered us both the Proud Family series and The Proud Family Movie, so you can expect the same laughable, adventurous, and exciting storytelling.

One of the best things about this series is that all the main characters and most of Penny's friends have returned, but there are a few newcomers. Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins (KeKe Palmer) and her rapping brother Francis 'KG' Leibowitz-Jenkins have moved into the neighborhood. The interactions between Maya and Penny are a must-see as they both try to figure themselves (and each other) out. My favorite character in the series is Michael, who is now voiced by the bold, fierce, and stylish EJ Johnson, who plays a live-action unapologetic version of his character. He is the perfect person to voice Michael. I love how the characters have all grown, and yet their transformations all still make sense even after the show has been off-air all this time.

The message of this series is that no one is perfect, and we are all works in progress. The Proud family and their friends are no different. In life, we are going to have different experiences, likes and dislikes, especially as kids grow older and develop in different ways. As a family and extended family, we must learn to grow and accept each other. There isn't anything for parents to look out for, but you should know that real-life family, teen and societal issues are discussed and may initiate conversations with viewers.

I rate The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 10 to 18. You can stream it on Disney+ now with new episodes streaming every Wednesday.

By Tiana Sirmans, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

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


DOG
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
DOG
UNITED ARTISTS THEATERS CORPORATION Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - Dog is a buddy comedy that follows the misadventures of two former Army Rangers paired against their will on the road trip of a lifetime. Army Ranger Briggs (Channing Tatum) and Lulu (a Belgian Malinois dog) buckle into a 1984 Ford Bronco and race down the Pacific Coast in hopes of making it to a fellow soldier's funeral on time. Along the way, they'll drive each other completely crazy, break a small handful of laws, narrowly evade death, and learn to let down their guards in order to have a fighting chance of finding happiness.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Dog is a thought-provoking film about an important subject. This movie tells a compelling story about a former Army Ranger and his journey to bring a canine hero to the funeral of his previous comrade and handler. In the end, the two warriors rescue each other in their odyssey of self-discovery.

Army Ranger Briggs (Channing Tatum) and Lulu (a Belgian Malinois K-9 Working Dog) are joined together against their will to honor the service and sacrifice of Sergeant Riley Rodriguez (Eric Urbiztondo) at his distant funeral. Along the way, they drive each other crazy, exhibit self-destructive and bad behavior while also escaping dangerous situations. They begin to bond on their journey and heal the wounds they both experienced from combat situations which makes them realize that life can move forward in unexpected ways.

Channing Tatum (Army Ranger Briggs) adds a lot of humor in his character's dialogue and in the physical comedy between Lulu and him. Tatum also co-directs this movie along with Reid Carolin who wrote the screenplay as well. My favorite scene is when Briggs coaxes Lulu into taking a bath--and there are many other funny physical interaction scenes between the two of them when they are fighting or at odds. There are some touching scenes together as well, such as when Lulu is comforting him after a severe headache.

The message of Dog is that life typically unfolds in unexpected ways and embracing change can bring about unexpected happiness. Both Army Ranger Briggs and Lulu are wounded warriors and together they experience this journey of healing. Parents need to be aware that this film has some mature elements involving language, drugs and sexual material. Younger audiences may also be frightened by some of the dog's aggressive behavior. I give Dog 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. The film opens exclusively in theaters on February 18, 2022.

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


BIG NATE
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
BIG NATE
NICKELODEON Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 10-16
Description - Big Nate is an American computer-animated streaming television series developed by Mitch Watson and based on the comic strip and book series of the same name by Lincoln Peirce. It follows the adventures of titular protagonist, alongside his friends, in sixth grade. Big Nate follows the adventures and misadventures of Nate Wright, an incompetent, spirited and rebellious sixth-grader. His friend group includes Francis, Teddy, Chad and Dee Dee. Nate hates social studies teacher Mrs. Godfrey, whom he considers his nemesis and calls her names like "the school's Godzilla," and the firm Principal Nichols. At home, Nate lives with his single father, Martin and girly sister Ellen.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Big Nate is an excellent show for kids of all ages! The show has wonderful characters, amazing comedy and teaches valuable lessons. It's an ideal series for families.

Big Nate is an animated series based on books of the same name. Big Nate follows Nate (Ben Giroux), a boy in sixth grade, as he learns about life and grows into his own, while accompanied by his friends, Dee Dee (Bryce Charles), Francis (Daniel MK Cohen), and Teddy (Arnie Pantoja).

The comedy of Big Nate is genius. Nate, Dee Dee, Francis, and Teddy each have their own sense of humor, giving balance to the group and adding to their individual personalities. The animation stands out--it's computer animated, and the heads of the characters are bigger than their bodies; their hair has specific lines and an exaggerated, stiff shape to look like the comics the show is based on. The characters all have depth, giving them as much importance as the titular character. They all have their own backstories and lines that they mutter under their breath. These expression make viewers laugh and provide clues about their personas. By the end of the episodes, we're left wanting more of Nate and his friends. The translation of the books to the small screen is spectacular. It's clear how much the creators of the show cared about doing justice to its published material. The execution of the animation, Nate, and his journey through sixth grade is done with precision and attention.

The messages of this series are learned through Nate. He learns about discovering who you are and who you want to be, the power of friendship, and the hardships of family. Nate makes some enemies and at times doesn't know who he can trust, and yet he always has his friends in his corner.

I give Big Nate 5 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 16. It begins streaming on Paramount+ February 17, 2022.

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

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


UNCHARTED
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
UNCHARTED
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12-18
Description - Street-smart thief Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor "Sully" Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) to recover a fortune lost by Ferdinand Magellan 500 years ago. What starts as a heist job for the duo becomes a globe-trotting, white-knuckle race to reach the prize before the ruthless Moncada (Antonio Banderas), who believes he and his family are the rightful heirs. If Nate and Sully can decipher the clues and solve one of the world's oldest mysteries, they stand to find $5 billion in treasure and perhaps even Nate's long-lost brother...but only if they can learn to work together.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Uncharted because it is based on the 2007 PlayStation video game of the same name. You never know who to trust in this action-packed, two-hour treasure hunt game turned movie.

Uncharted is about the adventures of treasure hunter and fortune seeker Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) as he discovers the truth behind a mythical treasure during his journey with Victor "Sully" Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg). Nathan and his brother grew up in an orphanage until one day they got caught stealing a map. Nate's brother runs away. Sometime later Nate meets Sully who convinces Nathan to look for the lost treasure. Nathan and Sully team up to get the keys that open doors and traps in order to find more clues. Nate follows what his brother and him wanted to do ever since they were younger and that's when the action begins.

This film has extraordinary computer-generated imagery effects. The explosion scenes look real. The cargo airplane scene is one of the most breathtaking and intense scenes of this film, keeping the audience at the edge of their seat. The actors' wardrobe is the same wardrobe as the characters in the video game: typical explorer or hunter's clothes and gear. Mark Wahlberg and Tom Holland work masterfully well together while Antonio Banderas as villain Santiago Moncad will stop at nothing to get what he wants, including killing his own father. You don't have to be a video game fan to enjoy this treasure-hunting movie. Director Ruben Fleischer expressed that Tom Holland, as the younger version of the video character Nathan Drake, is a key to making a movie adaptation that offers something for gamers and newcomers alike. My favorite scene is when Nate gets hit by a car when he finally gets to the cargo plane.

The moral of this film is to be very careful who you trust. Don't trust anyone, only yourself and your instincts. The audience will confirm my statement when watching the movie: Every character pursues same goal--the mystical treasure--and they will do anything and everything in order to get it, even if that means they have to kill.

I give Uncharted 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This movie is available in theatres February 18, 2022. If you are an Uncharted video game fan, you will recognize a special cameo appearance that you just have to "listen" for.

Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

I love Uncharted! Uncharted has been a mega-successful game franchise, and now, Sony is transforming it into a swashbuckling prequel film fit for all: gamers and non-gamers alike. It is full of massive, action-packed sequences, comedy, objects of desire, globetrotting, booby-traps, and loads of double, and even triple, crossers.

Nate Drake (Tom Holland) is a bartender and street-smart criminal, who, along with his brother Sam, dream of finding the long-lost fortune of Ferdinand Magellan. But when Sam disappears, Nate is left with nothing but Sam's ring, some old postcards and his undying love of adventure. One night, he meets the professional treasure hunter and scoundrel, Victor "Sully" Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg), who tries to recruit Nate to set out on a thrilling expedition to find the lost treasure of Ferdinand Magellan and his crew. At first, he is hesitant, but he joins Sully to carry on Sam's unfinished work. But they must do this before Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas), a man who believes he's the heir to the lost riches, gets to it--if they don't, all their work will be lost forever. Who will get there first and what lengths will they go to?

Getting Uncharted to the big screen has been a wild ride. I heard it went through six directors before hiring Rueben Fleischer for the job. And Mark Wahlberg was originally cast as Nathan Drake. True to the game, the adaptation features unrealistic fight scenes and a clich�d storyline. I still find Uncharted to be very fun and entertaining. The violent combat scenes kept me on the edge of my seat, and the perfectly timed comedic lines kept me laughing. Make sure to watch this on the biggest screen possible. The sets are realistic, the props pack a big punch, and the historical symbolism blends everything together perfectly. The beaches and caves provide the perfect backdrop for some of the film's biggest scenes. Tom Holland delivers a knockout performance and his performance is very likeable: he's charismatic, handsome, intelligent, and na�ve perhaps to a fault. Tom does some of the biggest action sequences of his career in this film, and he kills it! Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas also have notable performances.

The messages of the movie are that family bonds last forever and that adventure awaits. There is some profanity, intense fighting scenes, alcohol use and weapons.

I give Uncharted 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Fans of basically any adventure movie will love this. This movie releases in theaters on February 18, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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


BLACKLIGHT
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLACKLIGHT
OPEN ROAD PRODUCTIONS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - Trust, identity, and the danger of unchecked power push a covert operative to the edge in director Mark Williams' intense action thriller Blacklight. Travis Block (Neeson) lives and fights in the shadows. A freelance government "fixer," Block is a dangerous man whose assignments have included extracting agents out of deep-cover situations. When Block discovers a shadowy program called Operation Unity is striking down ordinary citizens for reasons known only to Block's boss, FBI chief Robinson (Quinn), he enlists the help of a journalist (Raver-Lampman), but his past and present collide when his daughter and granddaughter are threatened. Now Block needs to rescue the people he loves and expose the truth for a shot at redemption. Nothing and no one is safe when secrets are hidden in Blacklight.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Thrilling, fast-paced and intricate, you won't want to miss Blacklight! Liam Neeson's strong performance, the plot by Nick May and Brandon Reavis and impeccable cinematography all make this film a joy to watch.

The film follows Travis Block (Liam Neeson), a freelance government operative coming to grips with his past, present (still a bit of a gray area) and future, which he sees in his daughter and granddaughter. When he discovers a plot undermining the safety of American citizens that has proliferated through the upper echelons of national intelligence, Block is pitted against FBI director Gabriel Robinson (Aidan Quinn), whom he once protected while on tour in Vietnam. Using the help of tenacious journalist Mira Jones (Emmy Raver-Lampman) to get the truth out, Block must find a way to keep his daughter and granddaughter safe while combating grave danger.

Just as he plays all of his roles, Neeson seems to have invested all of his mental and emotional energy into perfecting Block's troubled and cerebral personality. He portrays the agent's struggle with great conviction and vigor, and he certainly is my favorite actor in the film. I have to say, though, that as a journalist, I have a soft spot for Emmy Raver-Lampman's character Mira Jones. From Jones' first scene, her grit and tenacity are visible. She even confronts the head of her news corporation! Just as Raver-Lampman acts from her heart, Jones writes from her heart, and I'm sure she would have taken some inspiration from her own craft to portray Jones' courageous quest for the truth. The production of the film isn't all about the acting, though. The variety of unique, dramatic shots in the film including several cutaways, medium shots and close-ups, adds to the intensity of several scenes. As is apt for a film with "light" in the name, the lighting plays a large role in the cinematography; the number of bright scenes steadily decreases over the course of the film as the characters descend to the dark depths of their lives.

Blacklight promotes honesty, valor, persistence and perseverance. There's really no other way to put it. Regardless of how many hurdles Mira Jones faces in her pursuit of the truth, she never backs down. Similarly, Travis Block, however ragged he may look, never throws in the towel in his pursuit of the shadowy figure from his past. There is some violence to look out for and in one scene, a political activist is murdered.

I give Blacklight 4.5 stars out of 5, and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Blacklight is available in theaters now.

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

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


BLUES ON BEALE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BLUES ON BEALE
ECHELON STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: DOCUMENTARY, AGES 10 - 18
Description - Featuring Grammy award winner Bobby Rush, Grammy nominee Shemekia Copeland, award-winner Castro Coleman and a host of acclaimed musicians, Larry Lancit's Blues on Beale was filmed entirely in the Blues clubs on famed Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, captures the people, the soul and music of the 36th International Blues Challenge, an annual event organized and staged by The Blues Foundation. Starting in the early fall of 2019, Blues Societies from across the globe held local competitions for Blues bands and solo/duo acts. The winners of these competitions qualified to travel to Memphis to compete in the International Blues Challenge in late January 2020. 232 winners of these local contests brought their hopes and aspirations to Memphis to compete for medals, recognition and possible record contracts by performing in 20 clubs along renowned Beale Street, the most celebrated Blues location in the world. The 2020 IBC was perhaps the last major music event staged before Covid-19 put the world on "hold."
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - If you love the blues genre of music, Blues on Beale is the perfect documentary for you! If it is not your favorite style of music, or you don't know much about it, this film written by Cecily Lancit and directed by Larry Lancit (also producers) provides a rich insight on this art form and its place in American history. As a music lover, I found this exceptional work beyond entertaining.

Some background: The International Blues Competition on its 36th edition was one of the last events that took place before the lockdown in January, 2020. Over two hundred acts (bands, solo or duo) from around the world got together at the iconic Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee to compete in a challenge organized by The Blues Foundation. Only 16 acts make it to the final and 5 are awarded winners. This documentary covers this competition and intertwines live performances and interviews with the musicians, judges and music experts. The montage brings the audience back to the origins of blues with footage and photos from legends like BB King and Elvis Presley and others that gave birth to this touching music. Stories about those blues pioneers contrast with contemporary artists like Bobby Rush and Shemekia Copeland, making Blues on Beale educational as well as fun to watch.

I am impressed by the talent and the different ethnicities and performers from countries like Croatia and Australia that share the love for blues, despite the fact that it is a secular folk music created by African-Americans early in the 20th century in the South of the United States of America. The producers excel at getting these artists to share their stories. You learn how blues is perhaps the music genre that better connects with the human condition and how it transcends boundaries. Despite the connotation of the word "blues." this music is uplifting and meaningful. Blues also connects with the audience by telling a story whether is about slavery and oppression, longing for a better job or love.

The editing flows nicely and surprisingly--there's a good element of surprise. It just feels that the narrative is sometimes redundant and lacks a deeper insight on the venues and idiosyncrasy of the city. Memphis is the perfect location, but feels a bit abandoned in the storytelling. My favorite part is the energy in how they present the information and ignite a spark in the audience. You'll appreciate the true craftsmanship in the performers and how they don't follow a trend nor are they part of a marketing campaign.

The message of the film is that music is powerful and transcends gender, race and nationality; it unites people and goes beyond the competitive spirit.

I give Blues on Beale 4 out of 5 stars and recommend for kids 10 to 18, plus adults. Blues on Beale is available now on VOD.

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

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


ALICES WONDERLAND BAKERY
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
ALICES WONDERLAND BAKERY
DISNEY JUNIOR Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 7-12
Description - Alice's Wonderland Bakery is a vibrant new take on the classic 1951 Alice in Wonderland film. Featuring reimagined (though instantly-recognizable) versions of iconic characters and introducing memorable new ones, the series highlights diverse cultures and characters as Alice and her friends learn about community through their adventures in the Wonderland Bakery. Wonderland is home to all sorts of unique families, each with their own fascinating cultures and traditions, which Alice and her friends learn about through their explorations with food. In this contemporary version, the royal family, for example, is inspired by Cuban heritage, giving Alice and her friends the chance to discover bu�uelos and huevos haba�eros, among other Cuban-inspired treats, while Hattie, a mad hatter boy and descendant of the original Mad Hatter, is based on Japanese culture and whips up mochi and sekihan with his family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Alice's Wonderland Bakery is absolutely magnificent! Lovable characters, beautiful locations and references to a classic film take center stage in this excellent show. Fans of all ages are bound to love this series.

Alice's Wonderland Bakery follows Alice (Libby Rue) who is a young baker in the world of Wonderland. Alice goes on several adventures with her friends, Hattie (Cj Uy) and Fergie (Jack Stanton). The trio resemble the personalities of their ancestors, Alice, the Mad Hatter, and the White Rabbit from the classic tale Alice in Wonderland.

The series has such fun-loving characters, each a "rockstar" in their own right, with vivid personalities and a developed character arc. Even though they mirror iconic characters from the classic Alice in Wonderland, they are not carbon copies--that means some refreshing twists as we see these new kids grow and learn their way around this topsy turvy town. Alice is a bright, spunky, and modern version of Alice from the 1951 film. My favorite character is definitely Hattie--he's very fun to watch--not always fitting the stereotype of what a "Mad Hatter" is, growing into his own, but proud of his heritage. The songs on the soundtrack to the series move the storylines along perfectly--no doubt sure to be a hit, with young children soon to be bopping along to the melodies. The animation is spectacular--every strand of hair is visible on Alice's head just like the fur on Fergie. The visuals of bright colors, abstract patterns and unusual architecture add to the world building of the Wonderland that fans all around the world are familiar with. It's as if the show picks up with Alice exactly where the movie left off in 1951 and nothing since has changed. This series is perfect, reminding fans why they fell in love with the original film, engaging audiences to watch every last second of every episode.

The theme of Alice's Wonderland Bakery is to follow your dreams. Alice loves baking with her whole heart and is regarded as the best baker in Wonderland. Even as things don't go her way all the time, Alice never gives up baking, and sometimes solves her problems by baking delicious cakes.

I give Alice's Wonderland Bakery 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 12, and older. It premieres February 9, 2022 on Disney Junior.

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

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


TALL GIRL 2
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
TALL GIRL 2
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 10 - 18
Description - After her inspiring speech at the homecoming dance, Jodi (Ava Michelle) is no longer just the "tall girl" - she's popular, confident, has a boyfriend, and just booked the lead role in this year's school musical. But as the pressure of her newfound popularity intensifies, so do her insecurities, and new relationships are formed while old ones are tested. As the world she built starts to crumble around her, Jodi realizes that standing tall was only just the beginning.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Tall Girl 2 is a heartwarming, inspiring film. It has a light happy feel to it, but still has a deep meaning and message.

The storyline continues from the original teen romantic comedy Tall Girl and features Jodi making her way through life in high school. No time has passed--however, now Jodi (Ava Michelle) and Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck) are officially dating and exploring that new aspect of their life. On top of this major change in Jodi's romantic life, she's also starring in her school's musical. Jodi must learn to juggle these new experiences, while figuring out her own identity.

The structure of the film really stands out to me. Although this is a sequel, the storyline still feels entertaining, fresh and relevant--unlike with some sequels-- and continues to grab my interest throughout. I also enjoy how different each character's personality is. For example, Harper (Sabrina Carpenter) is very confident, and knows what she wants. Whereas Stig (Luke Eisner) is more sarcastic, and still trying to figure out who he is. Representing different types of personality is a strong quality in a film--it also attracts a bigger audience, because viewers are always looking for a character they can relate to.

The message of Tall Girl 2 is to never give up on yourself. And the meaning in this story really stands out--throughout the movie they illustrate an important lesson. Overall, it's very inspiring, and makes you examine your life through a different lens.

I give Tall Girl 2 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. Tall Girl 2 releases on Netflix February 11, 2022.

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

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


CAMPFIRE STORIES FOR AN EVOLVING WORLD
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
CAMPFIRE STORIES FOR AN EVOLVING WORLD
101 STUDIOS
Series: BOOK, AGES 6-18
Description - The child in us yearns for simple answers to complex questions. How do we open to new ways of thinking? How can we live in community and still respect the individual? Who are we, and do we have the ability to transform ourselves and, perhaps, each other? This book starts with a set of values that can be true for anyone and a reminder that our hearts hold goodness waiting to be revealed. These stories and drawings are for our children, our future, and they are for you, too. Let the magic transform you and inspire a world filled with unity, compassion and love.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - This is a book to share with young people for those times when they need an uplifting story -- and keep a copy for yourself. You will feel the pulse of family and the sense of community, and you'll recognize Genie Valen's need to get these stories out -- to share with an evolving world. I thank her for how she makes us examine our own accountability. By R. Levy, KIDS FIRST!
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Author Genie Valen writes camp stories in a very unconventional way. This book sets itself apart from other popular stories such as Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Ms. Valen tells important and modern life lessons for an evolving world where future generations are facing different issues that call for a different type of campfire stories.

Campfire Stories for an Evolving World uses bookending where two stories are happening simultaneously. The story starts off with a family traveling to go camping. As issues arise a prayer from the father of the family creates the start of a mystical storytelling. This then ignites into the telling of different stories with different lesson. Will the family be able to learn from this lesson and navigate this evolving world?

This book is such an interesting approach to telling a camp story. It really challenges the idea that the real monsters we should fear are the fear to dream and to not be afraid of change. In the age of social media this is a great guide for younger kids who may need help with self-worth and image. That brings me to my favorite part of this book. I love the story of Lizard Boy best. It really captures the message of being comfortable with your circumstances without letting it define who you are and how you feel. My favorite character, however, is the elder who appears at the campfire to tell the stories. Her character represents any person you may look up to.

There are so many messages in this book. The main message is to be confident in navigating this modern new world. Make sure you take advantage of the people around who can help you on your journey, highlighted in the story entitled Lellie's Adventure. This book promotes positive social behavior.

I give Campfire Stories for an Evolving Stories World 5 out 5 stories. I recommend for ages 6 to 18, plus adults.

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

Exciting, educational, powerful, delightful, and so many other adjectives can be used to describe Genie Valen's new book, Campfire Stories for an Evolving World. This collection of inspirational short stories not only serves to provide readers with ways to critically think about the ever-changing world we live in, but also gives us strategies to help us face the unknown challenges of an evolving society. This is a book that people of all ages should keep within arm's reach to read when times get tough.

Author Genie Valen has created a small masterpiece of literature built on a foundation of love. Her book starts off with an author's note that sets the stage with, "if every cloud has its silver lining, then every silver lining is a doorway to transformation." Life has its many challenges and these challenges only get more complex in an evolving world. Stories in the book help readers get through difficult times and offer positive strategies to transform us--to help conquer our battles, and to make us better people altogether. Her practical stories of overcoming fear, finding one's self, embracing friendship, and having a strong connection to nature are all great reminders of how we should live our lives.

What I enjoyed most about this book is that the stories are short yet chock-full of uplifting messages for teachable moments. The stories reflect the reality of what kids and adult face within our society today. With critical thought and strategies built on understanding and love, we should all feel empowered to move beyond those challenges. The stories are engaging and written such that kids of all ages can connect and interact with them. Leslie Cook's illustrations are a simple yet enjoyable bonus.

Each story in Campfire Stories for an Evolving World carries its own message; however the overall message of the book is that if there is love in our hearts, there is love in this world. Our evolving world can appear "ugly," hardened, and hopeless at times, yet each of us has the ability to change that. Love runs deep within us all and softens the heart, which is the most powerful tool for transformation! This book is more than a book to be pulled out and read around a campfire, but rather its powerful messages are a great tool, and can be read and shared on any given day.

I give Campfire Stories for an Evolving World 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adults will also love and appreciate this book. The book is available now and you can purchase a copy wherever books are sold.

By Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 6-18
Suggested Retail Price: $ 14.95
Media: Book ISBN # 1737329409


ICE AGE ADVENTURES OF BUCK WILD, THE
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
ICE AGE ADVENTURES OF BUCK WILD, THE
TWENTIETH CENTURY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 5-15
Description - The all-new animated adventure, "The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild," continues the hilarious escapades of the beloved sub-zero heroes from the wildly successful global "Ice Age" franchise as they create more prehistoric pandemonium. The thrill-seeking possum brothers Crash and Eddie have grown restless in Snow Valley. They need plenty of wide-open space to practice their extreme stunts and are eager for a bit of independence. Their older sister, the woolly mammoth Ellie, is over-protective and worries too much. Still, Eddie and Crash are like sons to Ellie and Manny (her woolly mammoth husband), whom they met following a devastating flood, and they have bonded to become a make-shift family.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - How wonderful it is that the crazy characters of Ice Age are back with a new adventure. Having watched the Ice Age movies from the beginning, I am familiar with their sarcastic and humorous personalities. It's almost like hanging out with old friends.

Crash (Vincent Tong) and Eddie (Aaron Harris) crave adventure and feel Elli (Domonique Jenning) is preventing them from living their "best life." Eddie and Crash leave the safety of their pack and find their way to the Lost World. Not realizing the actual dangers of the Lost World, Eddie and Crash unexpectedly become reunited with Buck Wild when he has to rescue them from unruly dinosaurs. Buck Wild is in the middle of trying to restore harmony to the Lost World and doesn't have the time to deal with the Opossum brothers. Eddie and Crash are oblivious to the risks involved in staying but have no choice because the cave entrance was blocked. Together with Buck Wild, Eddie, Crash set on a quest to restore the peace of the Lost World.

With the talented cast, visual and animation department, director John Donkin produced an action-adventure film that embraced the Ice Age saga and introduced a fresh outlook.The music by Batu Sener brought life into the action scenes by absorbing the person into the movie. Danger, drama, and humor were not only told through dialogue but also musical notes. The animation team directed by Marshal Fels Elliot seamlessly brought all the original characters back onto the screen while at the same time introducing new friends and foes. The details and color of the animated plants, animals, and birds captured the moviegoer's attention from start to finish.

Teamwork, family, and courage are themes throughout Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild. The pack realized that family is family even if you are apart. Love for each other doesn't change just because you have added distance. Change is not something to be afraid of, and taking risks to find your true happiness takes courage.

I rate Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 13. I would have rated the movie higher if it had included all the main characters I love and did not have so much dialogue. Adults will also enjoy watching this action-adventure film. Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild premieres on Disney Plus on Friday, January 28, 2022.

By Calee N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 5-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: FeatureFilm


DEATH ON THE NILE
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DEATH ON THE NILE
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 11-18
Description - Based on the 1937 novel by Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile is a daring mystery-thriller about the emotional chaos and deadly consequences triggered by obsessive love. Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot's Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple's idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short. Set against an epic landscape of sweeping desert vistas and the majestic Giza pyramids, this dramatic tale of love gone wrong features a cosmopolitan group of impeccably dressed travelers with enough wicked twists and turns to leave audiences guessing until the final, shocking denouement. Death on the Nile transports audiences to the 1930s, recreating many of the locations that served as inspiration for Christie's glamorous, high society thriller.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Death on the Nile, based on the Agatha Christie novel, is an entertaining, action-packed film. It's filled with mystery and suspense that never failed to grab my attention.

This film starts off with two lovers on an innocent, relaxing honeymoon vacation aboard a riverboat. However, they are pretty much doomed from the start, after choosing love over friendship and human decency for others. Eventually, the characters find themselves in the middle of the Egyptian sea. The key, though, is actually making it off the boat alive with a murderer onboard! The movie has many unexpected turns, and by the end you may be in shock.

The movie's unpredictable nature stands out to me. Every time I thought I knew what was happening next, I was completely off. This unpredictability is especially pleasing in a mystery. It creates suspense for the viewer, and can really grab an audience's attention. I personally love murder mysteries, and this film, overall, is an excellent representative of that genre. Another thing I enjoy is the setting. The locations are absolutely beautiful, and really caught my attention. All of the scenery, including the blue ocean, and giant sand dunes, really adds suspense to the film and feels natural at the same time. Lastly, the casting is top-notch. All the actors are excellent in their roles, and I feel like each part is cast perfectly. For example, Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) gets into character, and executes his role as a private investigator to a T.

The message of Death on the Nile is that doing bad things will never make you a good person, even if it's done out of love. This film does have violent scenes, including gunshots and stabbings.

I give Death on the Nile 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Death on the Nile releases n theaters February 11, 2022.

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

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


BITE ME
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
BITE ME
BLUE FIREFLY STUDIOS Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 12 - 18
Description - When Sarah, a real-life vampire, gets audited by the IRS, the last thing she expects to get out of it is a date. But James, her hopelessly romantic IRS agent, thinks she's other-worldly. As an unlikely attraction sparks between the two misfits, they are forced to confront whether they have the courage to commit the terrifying, radical act of falling in love.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - Bite Me is the most creative story about vampires I have seen. Like many teenagers, I am an ardent vampire folklore fan, romance-focused to be more specific. Twilight and Vampire Diaries among the most popular vampire series, and this film is a refreshing and enticing change in the vampire lore storytelling.

Bite Me is romantic comedy about an IRS agent, James (Christian Coulson) and a real-life vampire, Sarah (Naomi McDougall Jones). As Sarah gets a concerning message from the IRS about her church called Twilight she must explain to James about her lifestyle to throw out the case. As romance sparks between these two unlikely lovers, will Sarah have to choose between blood and James? And is James's love strong enough to handle her bite?

The idea of a real-life 21-century vampire is such an interesting concept. In the beginning of the film I was confused, though, by what they meant by the word "vampire"--with so many different variations of this fictional creature in storytelling, I had a hard time defining it. However, director Meredith Edwards cleverly defines this film's interpretation of vampires throughout the story. This is done through James' hilarious jokes and twists on the stereotypical vampire, which are then debunked by Sarah or another vampire. In terms of the film, the cinematography is excellent. The footage is extremely clear and has a depth that almost seems like an "IMAX effect." Naomi McDougall Jones is the best actress to play a modern-day vampire! Many people could relate to her story in the film-- minus the blood. Her co-star Christian Coulson plays James as so cheesy and odd and does things like busts into breakdancing, which is my favorite scene. His character is a perfect example that even the most average "mundane" people can live fantastical lives. My favorite character is played by Annie Golden-- she provides great comic relief throughout. Like a lot of romcoms, Bite Me is set in New York City which creates the perfect tone for every section of the movie.

The message of Bite Me is simply to love who you are and who you wish to become. Sarah and James are both looking for something more in their lives, but realize that it might just be each other. This movie contains some profanity, brief sexual content, and blood, which may be disturbing for younger audiences. The movie promotes some negative behavior that may be mimicked by younger children.

I give Bite Me 4.5 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Bite Me on digital download on February 8, 2022.

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

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


JOCKEY (2022)
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
JOCKEY (2022)
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: FEATURE, AGES 13-18
Description - An aging jockey is determined to win one last championship, but his dream is complicated when a young rookie shows up claiming to be his son.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - I like Jockey because it is a movie full of inspiring scenes. The storyline is very interesting and worth watching.

Jockey is about a famous and talented jockey named Jackson (Clifton Collins, Jr.) Jackson is looking forward to winning his last race, but he has been suffering from pain due to the multiple injuries through the years of competing in horse races. He meets this young man named Gabriel (Moises Arias) who claims to be his son and starts working with him. Jackson is not happy about the news, but still takes him under his wing and trains him to be a jockey. Jackson feels threatened by Gabriel because he becomes a good jockey and might take his place soon. The film has a twist that will leave the audience in awe. You need to watch the movie to find out.

Jockey is written by Clint Bentley and directed by Bentley and Greg Kwedar. It has beautiful scenery like the sun rising above a lake. The music is appealing and goes well with each scene. My favorite scene is when Jackson is training Gabriel at the jockey's training gym. Gabriel sits on a horse-like device. It shows how jockeys gain confidence training on this device, how they work on their grip and how to manage a horse.

The moral of this movie is that being vain doesn't take you anywhere. Jackson is a proud and vain jockey. He thinks he's so good that he's irreplaceable until he realizes he is not the young jockey he used to be. It took Gabriel to open his eyes.

I give Jockey 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. This movie is rated R. Jockey will be released in theaters on February 4, 2022.

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

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


RAISING DION: SEASON TWO
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
RAISING DION: SEASON TWO
NETFLIX Click Title to View High Bandwidth Online Video Trailer This title has online video!
Series: TV SERIES, AGES 10-15
Description - Raising Dion follows the story of Nicole (Alisha Wainwright) and her son Dion (Ja'Siah Young) after Dion starts to manifest several mysterious, superhero-like abilities. Two years after defeating the Crooked Man (Jason Ritter), Season Two follows Dion as he continues honing his powers with the support of his mom and Tevin (Rome Flynn), his Biona trainer who catches Nicole's eye. After befriending new student Brayden (Griffin Robert Faulkner) - a fellow powered kid - a series of alarming events unfold, and Dion learns that danger is still looming. Navigating twists, turns, and surprise visitors, Dion and Nicole must prevail again -- not just to save themselves, but the entire city of Atlanta.
KIDS FIRST!® Adult Jurors say - see youth comments
KIDS FIRST!® Kid Jurors say - After a two year hiatus, the second season of Raising Dion is here! Fans have been waiting to see what's happening with Dion and his family and friends after their lives were turned upside down. Dion's powers have proven to be a blessing and a curse, but can these powers help Dion fight evil when everything he's ever known is on the line?

Season two of Raising Dion comes two years after Dion (Ja'Siah Young) defeated Pat (Jason Ritter) and the Crooked Man with the help of his mom, Nicole (Alisha Warren), and his friends Esperanza (Sammi Haney) and Jonathan (Gavin Munn). Dion is continuing to learn how to control his powers with the help of BIONA and his new trainer, Tevin (Rome Flynn). When a new kid, Brayden, who Dion learns is also powered, comes to school, his life becomes unstable as he realizes danger is still lingering.

In this new season, I really like the involvement of Dion's friends Esperanza and Jonathan. It gives Dion more of a support system, and it also gives more depth to his character, as he has to balance being a normal kid as well as having power. The "triangle of power" what the three call themselves, gives Dion the opportunity to do what he needs to do to save his family, friends, and city because he doesn't have to do it alone anymore. Another beneficial addition to this season is Tevin, Dion's new trainer. Tevin is powered, and because of that, he will have a closer bond with Dion. It also gives Dion someone trustworthy to look up to and to protect him. The introduction of Tevin also adds another storyline for Nicole which fans will enjoy. Brayden's character brings another element of suspense--being a young and vulnerable kid makes him an easy target for the dark energy, and it allows him to get close to Dion. So, what really makes this season good are the storylines and the addition of new characters. They all fit and complement each other, and that makes the audience yearn for more.

The message of season two of Raising Dion is to always follow your instincts. When Brayden is trying to convince Dion to do questionable things, Dion always has second thoughts. The characters in this show have an out-of-the-ordinary life, surrounded by different threats. So when they feel something is wrong, going with that gut feeling is essential. For the most part, Raising Dion is kid-friendly, with minimal use of inappropriate language and fighting scenes.

Raising Dion is everything I hoped it would be and more. Who knows what's to come for Dion as he, along with his powers, starts to mature? I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I rate Raising Dion 5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Season two of this series can be found on Netflix starting February 1, 2022. Make sure you check it out!

By Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 14

KIDS FIRST! Juror Recommended Age: 10-15
Suggested Retail Price: $
Media: TV



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